Monday, May 30, 2011

Come Play with Beth!

Hi all! Beth Stone has a great idea to share with the beady world.  I'm just going to copy and paste her info below, so you can read it for yourself.

I would like to invite you to participate in "Beads. Beaders. Beading: a showcase of beaded art from around the world." This project was inspired by the photography book called, "A Day in the Life of America."

For this project, I would like to collect images of the work of beaders from around the world, which I will use to create a slideshow as well as an electronic book (PDF file). To be included, the pictures need to sent to... me via email during the month of August 2011. Acceptable images include but are not limited to seed bead work, strung work, lamp work, polymer clay, etc. If the components can be recognized as beads, a picture of the finished work can be submitted. The work does NOT have to be done in August, the image simply needs to be submitted in August. My goal is to use every image sent to me but the images need to be usable. I would like jpg files that are at least 300 dpi in which the piece is photographed on a solid background (no fingers, toes, or lace doilies). Along with the image I need your name, contact information and country where you live. I would also like a short paragraph about who you are, what inspires you to bead, a story about the work submitted (if applicable) and a picture of you.

There is no participation fee. One image per participant will be allowed. There will be no charge to view the slide show. I will send you a link to view the show as well as a PDF file of all images and artist information.

By submitting your image you are giving me permission to use the image in a slideshow, without payment or any other consideration. Submitted images will become the property of Beth Stone (Beads. Beaders. Beading.) and will not be returned. You authorize Beth Stone to edit, alter, copy, exhibit, publish or distribute this image/photo for purposes of a compilation of images in a slideshow and electronic book. You waive the right to inspect or approve the finished product, including written or electronic copy and waive the right to royalties or other compensation arising or related to the use of the photograph.

Let me be clear that by altering any image, I simply mean that I may have to crop an original image or I might have to enhance the brightness, contrast or adjust the color. I will not change the integrity of any image unless I discuss it with you first.

How to submit your picture:

Please send the image to me at during the month of August 2011. Please write “Beads. Beaders. Beading.” in the subject box.

I hope you have fun and enjoy the final project.

Please spread the word to any beaders who might be interested in participating.

With love and appreciation,

Beth Stone
Marlene Rackley and
Kat Oliva

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Margie and Me Reveal Day!

So here we are again, Margie and Me Reveal Day. This has been such an exciting, frustrating, learning challenge.  I absolutely fell in love with the first painting, Flaming Jane. I love the soft, cloudy look of the dress and her curving posture.  I was very excited to start a necklace for it. However, I was about two thirds of the way thru, when I ran out of one of the beads. I promptly went to the store for more, and they were out! Yikes! Now what do I do? I have 4 days to make something else. Seriously. I am no MaryLou Holvenstot. If you're not familar with her work, go check her out on Etsy at Time2cre8.  She is a fantastic beader, and seriously fast. But, I digress.
The other painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring, also has lovely colors. I make another trip to the store for more beads.  Have I told you I'm a hobby beader? My hubs is not so happy with all the beady purchases lately.  But I'm having a great time!  So, it is 11:30 on the night before I head out to NC for a homeschool conference. I have finished the piece. I must say, I'm extremely in love with it. The colors are a bit off from the inspiration piece, but they are really stunning.  Hope you like it!

This is based on a Beadwork pattern called Arabella, by Regina Atkins. I had to make a few changes, but it is overall the same. The mauve bugles are the diversion from the colors in the painting.  I love the duality of this bracelet.  In one way, it is very Victorian feeling.  In another, it has a bit of a punky feel. My husband said I could definitely defend myself with it, and leave my attacker with a few sparklies!  It is  a substantial bracelet, so my LBS suggested I go with 3 magnetic clasps. Naively, I said ok.  Have you ever tried sewing on ONE magnetic clasp? Let alone 3? Man, I thought she liked me.  Anyway, hope you enjoy the piece as much as I do. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gifts and other cool stuff

What a lovely PIF gift, don't you think? I received these beauties in the mail Saturday, and have just now been able to stop a moment to show them to you.  These came to me from the wonderful Niky over at SilverNikNats. They have the most
awesome sparkle. Which makes me want a new camera even more!

I am also in absolute heaven with a new purchase. Beth Stone wrote a self published book called, Bead, Play & Love.  She had some type of shipping issues, so she decided to take it off the market just a few weeks before I discovered it.  I wrote a very humble email, asking if she had any extra copies, so she was able to find me a coupon to help with shipping, and off I went to purchase it!!!  I have been drooling over it since I got it. Haven't had a chance to try any of the stitches, cause I'm in a serious crunch for the Margie and Me challenge.  The piece I was working on will not be completed, because I ran out of a certain bead, and the store that carries them is out. :(
So I had to back up and punt very quickly!!! And I'm heading to NC for a homeschool conference on Thursday, so I only have a couple of days to finish. Urgh.
The last time I tried to write a post to publish later on, it didn't work. So I will also have to pray over that option working correctly this time as well.
Life is exciting, and I'm counting off the days to SUMMER VACATION!!!!  Kids? Who cares? I'm the one needing the break!  Seriously. Teacher is D  O  N  E... :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

We won!!!

So I won a great giveaway from Penny Neville over at Copper Penny Designs. It was for her 100th blog post. I can't wait! You've got to go check out her Viking Knit bracelet. Awesome!!
And my kids....are gonna win something great from their parents.  I got our test scores back today. I choose to test the kids each year, using the Stanford Test. This is to help me prepare for next year, not to criticize them on their knowledge.  In all the years we've tested, I've not received any negative surprises.  When you are with your kids teaching them each day, you know where the weak points are.  I have, however, received some great positive surprises.  And this year was no exception.
Starting with my youngest, who is completing 3rd grade.  This was his first year testing. He's not a great tester. He does much better at oral spelling tests than written ones. He didn't understand the wording of the math problems. I knew all that. What I didn't know was that he would score at a 5th grade level for science. And a 6th grade level for listening skills! (Really?)  And that my little boy who started out the year struggling to read Magic School house books, and then took off reading the "Warrior" series of books (about cats) would score at SIXTH grade level in reading!!

Gracie is finishing 5th grade. Here too, there were no negative surprises. And actually, few surprises at all. She is an excellent student. Even though she claims to hate math, she still scored at an 8th grade level! She hit Post High School in language skills, and 11th grade in listening skills! Love that girl!

My firstborn child is finishing 6th grade. He has a "butterfly" personality.  Ya'll know how hard it is to get that one to focus!!  He also raced thru all the Warrior books, and then went on to Brian Jacques Redwall series.  His reading level went to Post High School.  He loves math, and it shows, with an overall math level of 10th grade.  The surprise to his mother, once again, was his listening skills rated at POST HIGH SCHOOL!!  Seriously??   And with his science scoring at almost 10th grade level, I'm so gonna push him towards a math and science degree.
 I love this picture, for the sheer joy on his face, running thru...mud!
Once again, as we wind down our school year, I reflect on how seriously hard it's been this year, and how extremely proud I am of these three little personalities.  They are such unique people already, and it's just fascinating to watch them grow and develop. Helps me to see how much God adores us, you know? 
Blessings, Shirley

Thursday, May 12, 2011

When Things Go Awry

Ever had one of those days?
The hubby woke me this morning at 6:15 with the words, "The dog has diarrhea and I don't have time to clean it up. You need to come help her."
I love my little dog, really. And, it's my fault, since I gave her some bread crusts last night.( Her little tummy just couldn't handle all the food. )
But giving a dog a bath and cleaning a crate at 6 a.m. is not how I imagined starting my day.

So, let's move on to the next success story, shall we?
I finally got my dough mixer for Christmas this past year.  I love my dough mixer. I have been making bread for several years now. I have it down pat, pretty much.  See?
Beautiful, aren't they? And they taste divine.
However.....I tried to make whole wheat tortillas.....
Started out good....and went downhill...

 Apparently, there's a serious technique involved in this process. The little instruction book says, press and release quickly, several times. Obviously, I squished too hard...

And, last, but certainly not least, the Rams Head Bead.
If you have a copy of Beaded Beads, it's on page 86. It's by Sharon Bateman.  It's a beautiful bead, especially in the colors she chose. Now, my colors, while looking fab in the tube, and on the tray, left something to be desired when put together. And in a complex pattern like this, one wrong move can....well, you see?

Just to give you a comparison, since I can't post a pic of hers, I found this one that another blogger made.
[Ram's+Horn+Shell+Bead.jpg]This is from JuBeads. I like her colors better.
So, what to do? Why, go buy some beads, of course!!!
Aren't these yummy? Love the color palette.

The tube of beads is more of a brass color. And those faceted crystals are to die for! So sparkly!

I"ve been wanting a needle case for a while, and everyone references Thread Heaven on instructions, so I finally got some.  There are great needle case patterns on

And, last but not least, have you heard about Tulip needles? Carol gives you all the good info, and you can buy them from her. I'm very excited to start using them.
And, of course, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  Or in this case, make a cute little beaded bead!
 I must be hanging out with Mandy @ Beads for Brains too much!  This little cutie is from April/May Beadwork, by Monika Pienkowska.

I did have to alter the pattern a bit, since I wasn't using the correct size beads. But it's still pretty, and it's better than whining, right??
Have a blessed day! Shirley

Monday, May 2, 2011

Margie & Me...Finally!

Well, it certainly took me long enough! Of course, if I hadn't decided that I just had to do a necklace, it would have been finished on time. But I have a slew of bracelets, and really need some new necklaces.  I really love the soft colors of the first palette Marcie gave us, so that is the inspiration.


I am proud of myself for several reasons on this necklace. Number one, I could have just said, oh well, I missed the deadline, I'll just skip it this month. (My kids were so funny, asking if I was going to get into trouble because I missed the deadline.) Number two, the stitch I chose for this is one that I struggle with...right angle weave.  So, here is my challenge piece, a few days late....
The pendant is from a B&B pattern from Oct '10 issue called Garden of Daisies. It is not exactly that pattern, but that is where I got my inspiration from, so that's where I'm giving credit.

 The light grey looking beads are actually a soft platinum color, with a little sparkle on the inside. The dark grey ones are also color lined...with pink! It really adds to the overall effect of the burgundy fp crystals lining the necklace, and the burgundy glass pearls.

 My son took this picture, and was very proud of himself for getting a decent pic.

I'm so glad Marcie has kept these challenges going, and some of the pieces I have made are my new favorites in my personal wear.  I'm definitely going to do better with marking the deadline! Why don't you join her in the challenge this month?