Monday, November 18, 2013

Just Beading Along On A Big Ol' Rock

For the Freeform Peyote Group Found Object Challenge I decided to do one of the things I do best...cover a rock with beads.

I normally use the quick and easy method of covering a rock with a base of 8'0 and 11'0 seed beads, then surface embellish until I'm satisfied with the over all look.  But this time I'm doing freeform peyote around a center piece of chalk turquoise 2 or 3 rows at a time, then going back and sewing each round down into the base beads.  Time consuming, but in the end it will be worth it.

So, without further ado, here is the list of all the other amazing and creative pieces my fellow challenge participants have done:

Mandi Ainsworth -host
Karen Williams – host
Nancy Dale
Regina Roper
Lisa Jones
Romana Tschunko
Catherine Chinoy
Annita Wilson
Therese Frank
Naan Pocen
Lies Koster
Halina Trolle
Sally Russick
Judy Pennington
Anna Belous

A big THANK YOU to Mandi and Karen for hosting another great challenge!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Making Progress

Slowly, but surely I'm making progress with my 100 Days Challenge. 

I decided to kill two birds with one stone, (pun intended) by using the beads I bought in a kit that I wanted for just the instructions with the goal of joining a beading challenge and now I'm covering a rock with beads for the "Found Objects Free Form Peyote Challenge," being hosted by Mandi Ainsworth and Karen Williams.

For anyone interested, the last day to sign up for this challenge is Saturday, October 12th, and the reveal date is Friday, November 15th.

The big messy pile of assorted beading, crochet, and cross-stitch kits you see there on the left has now been sorted and organized.  Realistically I won't be able to get through all of this by the end of the year, but it's a start!

I can't say enough about how strong and peaceful I've been feeling as a result of starting and ending each day with yoga and meditation.  I think it's safe to say that yoga is my greatest passion because it enhances all of the other things I love to do.

I've also added another bonus challenge to my list, but for now it's a secret.  All will be revealed sometime in late November.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

100 Days of "RE"

Reorganize, revitalize, reclaim, rethink, reconnect;  those are some of the things I'll be thinking about and doing over the next 100 days. 

Fellow belly dancer Gina of RaksGina is hosting the 100 Days Challenge again this year and I am totally on board for this for the second time.  In a nut shell, it's at least 10 things you want to do or experience during the last 100 days of the year.

This year I put some thought into what I wanted to accomplish and here is what I came up with:

1.  Reduce the number of beading, crochet, and cross stitch kits I've bought over the decades.  It's a ridiculously large amount and I can use the space.  Pictures to follow in another post.

2.  Reclaim my body with yoga.

3.  Reclaim my mind with meditation

4.  Reclaim myself by doing at least one nice thing for me.  Like so many other moms I fall into that same trap of taking care of myself last.

5.  Reconnect with my creative muse by learning at least one new bead related technique like Viking knit, micro macrame, or crystal clay.

6.  Reduce the "to read" pile.  I'm only doing this so that I can justify buying more books.

7.  Reduce, the countless number of boxed up magazines I have stored in the garage in favor of having back issues on DVDs.

8.  Reconnect with the beading community by joining at least one bead challenge.

9.  Recharge my creativity by participating in either NaNoWriMo or National Seed Bead Month.

10.  Revive this blog for the next 100 days and see where it leads.

11.  BONUS GOAL:  Rethink what I want to do as far as dancing is concerned.  Two less than stellar troupe experiences, plus having an up and coming little dancer to think about, has left me wondering who I am and where I belong in the dance community.
*100 Day Challenge banner created by RaksGina.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Close Encounters of the 6th Purple Kind

I know.  I know.  Long time, no post.  But in my defense I have been beading, beading, beading away.

Just a few days into Fusion Beads 30 day challenge my beading muse began bombarding me with ideas for jewelry that I'll be submitting for publication. I've had to say goodbye to the challenge in favor of developing ideas, writing tutorials, and taking pictures.  It's been a long time since I had anything published, and I'm looking forward to getting myself back into it.  

In the meantime I thought I would share with you a deliciously purple necklace I made using a Caldera triangle from Kate McKinnon's book Contemporary Geometric Beadwork.  It's the first in a series of necklaces that represents each of the 7 basic chakras. 

In other non-bead related news I just finished a 30 Day Belly Dance Challenge and I'm currently participating in a 21 day meditation challenge.  The harder of the two has definitely been the meditating.  I can commit to dancing anytime, but sitting still and training my mind to be quiet for as little as 10 minutes is taking some monumental effort, and in some ways is more exhausting and rewarding then dancing.

Also, starting in April I'll be doing a 28 day yoga challenge with fellow beadiac Jennifer Chaslow VanBenschoten.  Please join us if you can!   

Friday, March 1, 2013

National Craft (and Bead) Month

To celebrate National Craft Month the folks over at Fusion Beads are hosting a 30 Day Bead Challenge, and to get things started the first challenge is to make a pair of earrings. 

I was feeling a bit ambitious so I made two pairs using my new favorite Swarovski crystal color, Astral Pink.  Sorry the photos don't do this rich, exotic color the justice is deserves.  Trust me;  these earrings are amazing.

This pair is based on Fusion Beads "Maple Sugar Earrings:"

And this second pair is accented with Fuchsia crystals:

Tomorrow's challenge is to string up something simple, and for that I made a bracelet to match, as well as a quick and easy necklace to complete the set:

It's going to be an exciting month!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Adventurous Egg

YAY!  Today is the day of the "Freeform Peyote Choose Your Own Adventure Reveal!"

The wooden eggs I found stashed away in my bead closet are 1 1/4" to 3 1/2" in size.  Seeing as how I was facing a time crunch I decided to start with the smallest ones and I plan to eventually to cover them all with beads.

 Egg #1:  Two different views:

Egg #2:  Experimenting with changing the beading path from horizontal to vertical:

 Egg #3:  Green! 

Adventurer Roster:  Visit these other blogs to see what my fellow adventurers have created:

Mandi Ainsworth - Adventure Guide
Karen Williams - Adventure Guide

Bobbie Rafferty
Sarah Meadows
Katherine Gale
Mandy Duffy
Leanne Kirsch
Jean Hutter

Nancy Dale
Judy Riley
Natasha Wiegelman
Pam Chesbro
Stephanie Woods
Romana Tschunko

Bette Greenfield
Mary Harding 
Melody Marie Murray
Shirley Moore

Sally Russick
Therese Frank
Tanya Goodwin
Christine Altmiller
Lea Paličková
Ivona Šuchmannová

Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Kay Haynes
Tammy Bowman  
Alisa Lehman
Lori Callahan
Tami Norris

Jane Kettley
SaraBeth Cullinan
Tami Norris
Julie Schmidt Bowen
Tammi Clapper
Cynthia Machata

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Creative Confession

I have a confession to make, but before I do I would like to say a big "Thank you!" to Karen Williams at Baublicious and Mandi Ainsworth at Bead Circle for creating the "Choose Your Own Adventure Freeform Peyote Challenge and Blog Hop."

This isn't the first bead challenge that I've entered, but it the first one that I have actually completed.  I know that sounds strange, especially since I've been beading for so long and have had my work published in books and magazines since 1998.  But there it is:  something I've been secretly embarrassed about for a long time.

Every time I've ever signed up for a beading challenge my brain, my muse, my creativity, all of it, just shut down, and after an number of false starts I would drop out, drown my sorrow in chocolate and ice cream, and secretly be depressed about my failure.

The problem has always been with a spiteful creature I call "The Anti-Muse," the inner critic that takes over and starts hurtling all sort of abuse and insults at me until I give up and the little jerk wins.

There is an unfortunately predictable pattern here:  first comes the excitement and the brainstorming as I mentally bead up several projects that I think I want to try; then, after selecting the one fabulous project that is going to astonish and amaze everyone, and pulling all my materials together I sit down to start making my masterpiece, and...

...nothing.  Nothing except The Anti-Muse and a brain that has been wiped clean.

But this time something was just a tiny bit different.  

One of the questions the ill-natured Anti-Muse asked me was just exactly why I needed another over the top piece of beaded jewelry that I would never have the opportunity to wear.  "You are, after all," she sneered "only a schlub, a stay-at-home mom and chauffeur." At that point I was ready to quit.  But before I did I rummaged around in my bead closet until I came upon a box of wooden eggs...

And for now, this is where my confession ends.

Tomorrow is when myself and the other 32 participants are allowed to reveal our challenge pieces so you'll have to wait until then to see some pictures of what I've been working on in all shades of greens, golds, purples, and violets.  I get up and leave the house fairly early on Saturday mornings so it will be late afternoon before I have chance to post them.