Monday, September 25, 2006

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Despite not being home most of Saturday, and having guests Saturday night, I managed to get some beading done.

I have an obsession with repurposing old jewelry to make new jewelry. It started with some vintage beaded pieces that I bought so I could reuse just the beads. But I also received some additional pieces of jewelry with those beaded pieces and was inspired. Since then, I have scoured eBay and for steals. I have a price limit, and I set a parameter that I must be able to see at least 5 pieces from the grabbag/lot/mystery-box-o-junk that I absolutely must have, before I bid. Its not hard to find lots with at least 5 pieces that I must have. So I now have a large pile-o-junk-jewelry. I plan to make some pieces that I can sell as a fundraiser for a charity organization I volunteer with. More on that in coming months I hope. And of course, if there is anything in the pile that I know I just won't make use of, I'll sell it on eBay so I can afford to buy some more stuff.

Last night, I started sorting through that massive pile (while watching "The Amazing Race", hence today's title). To make it easier to organize it, I started dismantling the beaded pieces, putting the beads into little zip-top baggies, so they will fit nicely into the compartments of my bead boxes (tackle boxes are the best). I didn't make much of a dent though, so I know for sure, I have a lot. And I love it. And I know what I will be working on tonight (much to my husbands annoyance, as the coffee table will be covered with beads again).

I also made the cutest earring yesterday. Tonight, I may attempt the second one so I will have a pair. And I may even go for a pendant or a full out bracelet or necklace, so I can have a set. I took a little bit of lightweight green beading wire. I strung an earwire onto it, followed by a ceramic leaf bead then crossed the ends of the wire through a crimp bead. I crimped the crimp bead to hold the crossed ends in place. Then I strung a 6mm round red bead onto each wire end, followed by another small crimp. Crimped the crimps, cut the excess wire (right at the crimp) and viola! Adorable Cherry earrings. I'll post a picture after I make the second earring. I still want to perfect a few things about it. Not sure if like how the silver crimp beads look.

I also spent some time on some red chandelier type earrings. I must be in the mood for fall (even though it doesn't arrive in the desert for another month or so). I have this set of beads, the manufacturer calls the colors "Asian Spice", in lovely shades of red and peach, in various sizes and cuts. Lovely eclectic set. Saw them, had to buy them, they sat in the bead box for months. Now I have a use for them. Only problem is, I can't decide on a final pattern. My inspiration came from a beading magazine project that used two-needle RAW to create some cute pearl and crystal earrings. I used beads of my choice, and altered the pattern slightly to make it my own. If I could just decide WHAT that pattern will finally be. I made two earrings, both slightly different. Not completely happy with either one. Will sit down one night this week and try to pull the best from both and finally finish the pair. Maybe I'll post the pictures for them too. I might just have to do a monthly "images" post, to show what all I did each month.

I have some shrink-plastic projects still sitting on the corner of the worktable, crying to be finished. Maybe I'll spend some time on those tonight as well. Gee, its going to be a long night. Good thing there are a bunch of new shows premiering tonight, so I have something to listen to while I bead.

Happy beading!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Very Beginning - September 20, 2006

Wow, my first blog entry. I've never blogged before. I was never a very good journal writer in my younger days. I tried many times. I owned many diaries, some with locks, some with funky cardboard covers, some ruled, some with just blank pages. Most of them never had more than a few pages filled. I think faster than I write, my hands could never keep up. But its a new age, and computers are the way. I have found that I type almost as fast as I think, so maybe this will work.

I plan to use this blog for many things. To express new thoughts and ideas about projects I'm working on (yes, another beading blog, if you're not a beader, move on). To post links to sites I want to remember (until I get around to adding them to my Favorites). To share my finished projects and get some feedback before I try to sell them. I hope to get a website up one of these days to sell my work on. But before I can do that, I need to create enough pieces to be worth the effort.

I'm a hopeless beader that way. I love beads. I love to look at beads, I love to hold beads, I love to think about beads, and most of all, I love to buy beads. And I buy a lot of beads. Many have been in my bead box for over a year and have yet to be used or even considered for use. But that's half the fun of beading, accumulating lots and lots of pretty beads. If only I had more free time. I can't just work on something for an hour here, an hour there. I need whole days blocked out. Between working full time, going to school part time, sharing household duties with my husband, and volunteering (which becomes a full time job in and of itself sometimes), finding time to bead can be hard. I did manage to churn out two pieces over the weekend, and I was proud of myself for that. But then I bought some new beads over the weekend too, so I really didn't make a dent in the ol' bead collection. *Sigh*

I think I really need to just sit down and select a set number of projects from my mound of scribbled-out ideas (I get any idea, I quickly scribble/sketch it on any available scrap of paper, which then gets put in a pile on my worktable; I have notepads in my purse, in my truck, in my bedside table, in every room of the house....). Then I need to be sure I have all the supplies for them. Then set up a schedule for working on them. Just like I would with my coursework or my volunteer scheduling. Yeah, but first, I have to figure out some time to do all that!!! Oh to be able to quit my job and just bead for the rest of my days. I'd become the crazy bead lady. That would be a good name for a blog.....

I've rambled enough for this first round. Hopefully my future posts will have some substance, and will actually be about beading. And will be something others will actually want to read.