I have finally gotten my bead stash organized just how I like it. However, it leaves me with a bunch of old trays and boxes that I don't use anymore. So I figure I would offer them to you guys before I toss them out. Shipping is going to be expensive because they are bulky, so if they need to be shipped you might as well get more than one to cut down on the costs. I'm willing to ship if you are willing to pay for it, however. That being said if you live in the Milwaukee area I'm totally okay with figuring out a drop off point to save you some money. I have:
- 5 of the large white boxes
- 8 of the small middle trays
- 15 of the yellow boxes
So this weekend is my 36th birthday, and my 1 year wedding anniversary. I have spent some time today pondering what all I have done with my life in the 36 years I have been alive.
I have loved with all my heart.
I have had my heart broken.
I have picked myself up and pushed forward despite the wounds I have suffered.
I have learned to love again.
I have dedicated my life to art and crafts.
I have struggled to find which one fills my heart with joy. Drawing, painting, sewing, jewelry making, photography, sculpting, knitting, crochet, spinning, weaving, carving, writing and more have passed through my hands in one form or another.
I have honed my skill as a jewelry maker; beads have been a passion of mine for aaaaaaages. They still are.
I have found my love in writing, poems and short stories, I've even tried my hand at a novel or two. Now I combine several of my favorite arts into a comic, which I look forward to working on for years to come.
I have made friends, and lost some. I have learned to be wary with my heart, but not afraid to give.
I have known fear that makes the heart miss a beat.
I have known anguish that makes you feel as if you were dying.
I have laughed hard enough I cried and hugged someone in such a way that I felt like I was being remade.
I have sat in silence and watched the stars fall from the sky.
I have worked in several different fields and built my marketable skills through each job.
I have lost the job I loved the most, only to find one that nearly equals it in joy.
I have learned that Role Play can be a lifesaver in more ways than one.
I have studied my faith in detail and with no small amount of obsession.
I have headed up a local congregation of faith and I have sat out upon the stones alone.
I have made a group of sisters from strangers and their support is priceless.
I continue to work on the relationships I have established over the last few decades and know in my heart that the work I do is for the best.
I have learned that no matter the culture or nation we hail from, human experience translates through emotion. We are frail little creatures clutching the thin surface of a giant rock, hurdling through space and time at unimaginable speeds. We are an anomaly of science in this vast universe and we are WAY to focused on the small piddly shit to notice.
36 years, my friends, no where near done, yet far enough along to know I've made some progress.
So life here is busy. Running three businesses tends to keep me on my toes. Sadly that means I don't get to update this blog as much as I like. It's in the back of my mind, but there is always something that must come first. Well, enough of that. I have so much to tell you about what I've been doing! Firstly, I am crafting like mad. Much of it isn't jewelry but costuming for the live action role play I am a part of. If there is interested I might post pictures of the sewing I've been doing. Sewing takes more time than it should because I'm not really very good at it, so I spend much of my crafting time fixing the errors I've made. Eventually I should be able to cut down on the mistakes, but I'm still waiting on that part! I know all you lovely people come here to see sparklies so I'll share what I've been doing on the jewelry side first. I have multiple sets of earrings I have put together. Earrings are quick and easy and always make me feel like I'm all dolled up. On those days when I am feeling like a mess and a half I toss on some eyeliner and a pair of wild earrings and I actually feel pretty. Feeling good about yourself is half of what makes the day go well! From left to right: These gold chain earrings are made from a necklace I found at a goodwill. I had enough of the necklace to refashion it into a matching necklace. I made them for one of my characters that misses the sunshine of her home. The gold was perfect for her. The silver axes are for another of my characters. Her name is Alice Cooper and she takes after her namesake fairly heavily. These earrings are so metal they were perfect for her. The third pair is a pair I made because I love the look of them. The last pair was a beautiful find. I found the drops at a local craft store and fell in love. Gold and black with iridescent sparkles. So yummie! Secondly I've been working on a steampunk/dieselpunk themed section of jewelry. I bought these cogs and gears in a bundle and have no supplier to replace them, so all of these are limited edition unless I can find a regular supplier. They are put together with a strong adhesive so there shouldn't be any issue of them falling apart in the heat like there would be if I had used hot glue, but seeing as how they are metal they WILL get hot if exposed to direct sunlight. Talking from experience here. I love the steampunk genre, even as it's picking up in popularity. I've had my eye on the scene for years now, watching the creativity that comes out of it. I figured it was about time I dip my toes into the style and express my beauty. These pieces were prototypes of pieces for a more military look but I think they would work for any engineer or tinker that wanted some flair to spice up their costume. Of course, I am perfectly happy to wear these things on a daily basis. They are just so much fun! There will be more of these coming as I still have quite a few gears to play with. Bwahahaha! I am planning on making these pins and necklaces, and I have a few ideas for bracelets too. I found a pin back that can turn into a necklace so I might just grab a few of those to give folks options if they want to switch between pin and necklace. I admit I loved the winged one so much I expanded on the idea to make something much more ornate that kept the wings. How much fun is that? The more I play with these gears the more ornate they get, which really shouldn't be a surprise given how I love my little details. As always, if you see something you like, I take commissions. I've not been able to take decent pictures to get all of these up on the store, but rest assured, I have plans to get them there soon! I have earrings and some new bracelets and necklaces that need to go up soon as well. I will be setting aside time to do all of this later this week, so hopefully things will get updated very soon. Thanks for your patience and I can't wait to see what you think about all the new pieces! Needless to say life has been keeping me busy and I love it! I am at my most creative when my life is filled with things to do, I just have to makes sure I take the time to actually create and not let that aspect of my life fall to the wayside in favor of all the other things that I need to get done in all the other areas of my life. Life is short, make stuff!
[caption id="attachment_574" align="alignleft" width="214"] I mean look at that! That is stunning! (photo from KQ Designs)[/caption] As someone who is interested in history, and more specifically historical aspects of beading and other 'women's work' I am always fascinated to learn about different culture's practices with regards to beads and embelishments. One of the cultures who have had a huge impact on beading and bead embroidery, is the Native Americans. They have made some of the most beautiful beaded pieces and continue to do so! Their work with seed beads is intricate and colorful, and their applique process is intense! The symbols they use are distinct to each tribe and their beadwork usually holds a spiritual significance which expertly flows through the entire piece. I love it when artists work spiritual aspects into their pieces. It's something I try to do myself in many of my works. Sometimes with more success than others. [caption id="attachment_575" align="alignright" width="245"] The color on this handmade bracelet is beautiful(photo from LJ Greywolf)[/caption] Native beadwork began with natural materials such as seeds, wood and bone. Their most intricate work was quillwork where they wove together quills from porcupines or bird feathers. They didn't start using seed beads until the Europeans brought them over for trade, but once they did glass beads quickly took over as a favorite method of embellishment over the much more labor intensive quill work. The best part is that Native American beadwork is still going strong! There are many artists out there today who are keeping their ancestral traditions alive. KQ Designs is where I found the delightful picture of a beautiful crown decked out in some stunning beadwork, posted above. You can find many more Native Artists on Etsy! One of the ones I found that makes some really amazing pieces is LJ Greywolf. Check out his shop on Etsy, you can tell he puts some love in each of his pieces. Beaded Willow makes some great chokers and her barrettes are dripping with beads! I love it! [caption id="attachment_582" align="alignleft" width="178"] Dripping with beads I tell ya! (photo from Beaded Willow)[/caption] My great grandfather was a rural doctor in Oklahoma that worked partially for a reservation. Sometimes his patients couldn't pay in cash, so they paid with some beautiful beadwork. My grandfather's beloved childhood moccasins are beyond repair, but still maintain some of their beaded beauty. I am currently working on fixing a beaded basket that at some point during the years has begun to fall apart. The basket itself is still very well kept, though the string holding the beadwork on is broken in several places. It is beautiful, and well worth the effort. I just wish I had someone with more experience with the Native American style of beadwork to fix it. I feel like I'm throwing mud at a work of art! For more information on Native American beadwork check out this article from Fire Mountain Gems. Reading it today is what started my brain processing this blog post. Totally worth it!
When you work with glass to make beads, you have a variety of different ways you can accent your basic color of glass. There are ways to put color beneath the main color, and ways to overlay other colors on top of your base color. You can have a blue glass base, and add AB (aka Aurora Borealis) topcoat and it totally changes the whole look of the bead. It typically also changes the price. I’m a huge fan of the special finishes and most of my work will have some fancy colors throughout the piece so I compiled a list of what kind of special finishes you can find and use in your beadwork. Some of these finishes are permanent, some will wear off with continued contact with the skin. (Skin is very acidic!) You can treat some of the beads with outside finishes so they don’t wear off as quickly, so it's good to know what finishes are on your bead so that you can create jewelry that will look good for as long as it can! Swarovski Crystal has its own types of finishes as well, and there are companies out there who specialize in creating their own finish on the base Swarovski beads. Swarovski also discontinues colors and finishes on a fairly regular basis so it can be hard to find some of the older finishes. Honestly, it's hard to keep track of all the colors and specialized finishes, so I can only list the ones I know of personally. By the time you read this you might need to check with a store to see if any of the effects have been discontinued. If you know of more, let me know! I would love to see them! At the end of the post you will find links to more information though two of my favorite stores. Glass Beads:
- AB or aurora borealis - a rainbow effect applied to the surface of a seed bead.
- Bronze-lined - a bronzy coating which reflects a brown light is applied to the inside of the seed bead.
- Ceylon - A pearl luster finish. Sometimes the color of this bead fades when exposed to strong sunlight.
- Color lined - a color coating is applied inside the beads; sometimes this is not very durable and the color of finished work may appear very different in a short time.
- Copper-lined - a coppery coating which reflects a reddish light is applied to the inside of the seed bead.
- Duracoat - “Duracoat®” is durable clear coating for outside dyed or galvanized beads. It is thicker and stronger coating than traditional one.
- Iris - An iridescent coating with multiple hues, usually on dark, opaque beads.
- Luster or lustre - a transparent "pearl" effect applied to the surface of the seed bead.
- Marea - Same process as AB but results in a primarily orange/yellow reflection.
- Matte - the bead is textured on a microscopic level to result in a matte finish.
- Metallic or Galvanized - A shiny, very reflective coating that gives the bead a look of metal.
- Metal - seed beads made of metal. These beads have sharper edges than most seed beads, so use of a stronger thread is recommended. Metal seed beads have larger holes and function well as an inexpensive alternative to spacer beads.
- Opaque - the solid color prevents light from passing through the bead.
- Picasso Coating - gives a speckled multi-colored effect over a solid color bead.
- Rainbow - An iridescent coating on the outside of either opaque or transparent beads.
- Silver-lined - a silvery coating which reflects light is applied to the inside of the seed bead.
- Satin - fiber-optic tubular seed bead with slight striations. Made from a different type of glass than other seed beads, satin seed beads have sharper edges, so use of a strong thread is recommended.
- Opal - semi-translucent finish that is often achieved with a dye on the surface. This finish is at risk of wearing away or fading.
- Dyed - seed beads are coated with a dye that is often impermanent. Dyed seed beads in bright pinks, purples and reds are less stable and more likely to wear and fade.
- Transparent - the glass is see-through. You will need to use similar color thread with these beads if you do not want it seen.
- Translucent - one can see light through the bead, although the light is diffused.
- Vitrail - Same process as AB but results in a primarily pink/green reflection.
- Blue Shade
- Golden Shadow
- Silver Night
- Lilac Shadow
- Paradise Shine
- Antique Pink
- Luminous Green
- Silver Shade
- Red Magma
- Vitrail Medium
- Comet Argent Light
- Hematite 2x
- Metallic Light Gold 2x
- Crystal Rose Gold
- Crystal Rose Gold 2x
- Iridescent Green
- Metallic Sunshine
- Dorado 2x
- Metallic Blue 2x
- Bronze Shade
- Astral Pink
- Purple Haze
- Chili Pepper
- Nut 2x
- Electra I
- Summer Blush
- Bronze Shade 2x
- Aurum 2x
- Sky Blue
- Crystal Iridescent Green 2x
- Metallic Sunshine 2x
- Star Shine
- Metallic Blue
If you have visited my Facebook page recently you might have noticed a new widget on the top left hand side. If you missed it, here is a screen shot. Facebook lets you know that I have been "Very responsive" to messages. I don't know about that 3 minute response time, but I do try very hard to respond to all messages sent as quickly as possible. You all are important to me and I hate to leave you hanging for too long. I wasn't even aware that Facebook had this little widget, but it showed up there today! How neat is that?! If you aren't already a part of my Facebook page, you are missing out! It is only one of the ways to get a hold of me so check it out!
I was speaking with a friend the other day, a fellow entrepreneur who was having trouble with one of her employees. Trouble enough that she was going to have to let him go. She explained to me that she was hurting because she wanted to give this employee the opportunities to shine. She knows they can shine, but they have been obstinate about their work, not putting their heart into things and causing some nearly catastrophic problems because of it. She is a creative person, like myself. Creative people want to believe the best in folks. Those of us who can see the potential in people tend to give folks more leeway than we should because of that vision of what we know those people can be. But sometimes those people aren't in a place where they can fill those expectations, they aren't able to see their own worth around their baggage or even worse, they actively work against the goals of the group. You can't help those people. You certainly can't change someone who doesn't think they are doing anything wrong. At some point, you have to let go. But let me tell you folks. It's not easy. It's not fun, and for those of us who strive to live with compassion, it hurts. For the health of her business, and inevitably her own sanity, she did what was necessary. Nobody likes pain. But the pain itself isn't bad. It reminds you that you still can feel compassion, that you still have a soul to share with folks. There is nothing wrong with that. Just acknowledge the pain for the lesson it brings and continue to do what you need to do. Knowing that you will continue to do it with compassion and soul. Most of us try to avoid hurting others because we want to do what is right, and we want to see those we love and care for happy. But sometimes that that is not an option, and that pain that we feel reminds us that we are alive, that we haven't become some soulless automaton that walks this world just doing what it's told no matter how it effects the people and things around us. It proves to us that we as individuals are still striving to do the right thing, not only for ourselves, but for those we care about. So when struggling to do what you know is necessary, bare with bleeding heart the storm of doubt, frustration and anxiety, and understand that the pain that comes from compassion is a sign of life, of the struggle to do the right thing. We should all strive to do the right thing. So let the pain come, thank it for it's hard lessons, and then, when it's time, let it go.
I have been working on a rather large project for the past few weeks and haven't been able to give as much time to my beads as I would like to. I really need to make sure to set aside time each week to work on creating and designing jewelry, it really relaxes me and boy, oh boy, can I use some relaxation now. Jewelry creation has been a passion of mine for years, and it keeps getting interrupted by all the other things I need to do in life! Luckily, I am blessed by a supportive husband who loves me and wants to see me succeed, so that helps. He helps me overcome my anxiety and frustration and for that I can't thank him enough. Even with life exploding all over my creative time, I have been able to create a new piece for stock and wanted to share them with you lovely folks. In the next few days I am hoping to have this bracelet and all the other new pieces in the store so folks can purchase them if they like them. The first piece is a lovely bracelet that would be perfect for someone with slightly smaller wrists. I can fit it on my wrists but it's a wee bit tight. Swarovski crystal makes this bracelet sparkle! It was created by me, the pattern is by Ellad2. I have a bracelet on the workbench now too! I should have it finished in the next few days. Here is a sneak peek. I'm working it in purples as that is my second favorite color! I have so many ideas for my own patterns, and I am thinking of uploading a few of my own patterns for download here on the blog, what do you think? Would you like some simple patterns to download? I have a few I made for several classes I taught last year. Might be fun to see what you guys can make out of them! Last but not least, something totally not bead related! For years I have wanted to add a bit of color to my hair. I used to dye it bright red. But I'm already a bit red in the face so it wasn't exactly flattering. I wanted something that would take the rosy cheeks and tone them down a bit. So I found a lovely hair stylist and she gave me a few streaks of blue! It's such a great color of blue too, I absolutely love it. She also added a lighter patch in front, where all my grey is because I love the stripe of white! If it wasn't such a pain to grow out I would leave that part natural and wear it with pride! Since I have no patience to let the color grow out, I figured this was the next best thing. Take a look!
What an uplifting article on crafting and it’s worth. Wait, that’s not right. No, it’s not just crafting, but the worth we hold within ourselves. Even those of us who have been around the block a time or two, like the author, can read this and get something out of it. The article is about being able to stand tall and proud of our work and not apologize for it’s mistakes. It’s about knowing what you do is worth the money you are asking for it because you deserve to make a living wage too. Thank you The Pale Rook. It’s totally worth the read. Artist’s Statement ….Part Two.