Friday, February 28, 2014

Are You Ready to Bead Soup???

 My first Bead Soup Blog Party My first Bead Soup Blog Party

It's getting exciting around here! Some of the participants have been matched up. I love the anticipation of waiting to hear who my partner will be, and that first email!
If you've not heard of the Bead Soup Blog Party, please check out some of my past entries, and for more info, please check out Lori Anderson's blog. Lori started this blog party several years ago, and really had no idea it would take off like it has. To my knowledge, there is not another blog hop that is quite this big in the beading world. I attribute the success of it to Lori herself. Not only is she a fantastic designer, but her caring heart shines through in absolutely everything she does. Throughout her struggles over the past year with health issues, she has continued to be present and accounted for in her blog, her facebook, and her inspiration. I know I would not do half as well handling all that she has, and still want to host this great Blog Party.

 One of my favorite pieces.

I've grown as a designer each time I've participated, and glue myself to the chair on reveal day, hopping from one blog to another. I cut and paste the list to a word document, and highlight each blog, or comment to go back later.
You will always have folks that sign up, and then don't participate. It's really a bummer, but it does happen. Then there are computer glitches, life events that overtake us, etc.
I love reading about the process of designing the pieces, sometimes more than the piece itself. Ugly? I don't really feel that way, since I don't expect everyone to like beadweaving either. What I do appreciate is their effort and commitment to the challenge.

Ok, I still have a bit of cleaning to do before my reveal tomorrow for Sharyl's Clean Up, Fix Up Blog Hop. See ya tomorrow! Blessings, Shirley

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Word for the Year....Leaning

Have you decided on your Word for this year? I'm a bit late, as this year has already rushed into existence with me standing bewildered on the sidelines!

This one took some soul searching. I didn't stick to my word last year too well. I am still coming to understand myself as a designer, and what I want 'my look' to be...
What I have come to understand is how deeply I respect designers of patterns. I have grown and developed as a designer myself because of the teaching I have received through patterns and tutorials.
I have participated in blog hops and challenges, and each time have grown better. word for this year is LEAN.
I am leaning on my understanding of my skills, and lack thereof. I am leaning on the expertise of designers that teach me to be better. I am leaning on God's understanding of His plan for me, not my own.
Truthfully, if it were up to me, I would happily spend my days beading and interacting with lovely folks on FB and blogger. But that is really just a fantasy, cause I don't have unlimited funds, but, more importantly, because at some point, you have to put your work out there and see if anyone responds to your style.
And what if they don't? Well, as crushing as that might be, I hope I would take it to heart that I need to explore my style more, focus on my skills a bit more, and try, try again.
I will also continue to LEAN on my awesome FB groups.
One in particular is a new skill that I have been extremely excited over...bead looming!
It is so far from my usual fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants style.
I hope you'll come back and hang with me while I explore the possibilities of the loom, and learn
more about some great artists while I'm Learning and Leaning!
Blessings, Shirley

Now, you know I can't just let you leave without some eye candy, right?
Original Koi Fish pattern created by Erin Simonetti, beaded by me. (My very first loom piece)

Matte black and green kumihimo rope, designed and created by me, for custom button and focal by Sheri Mallery of Slinging Mud. (focal not shown)

Netted bracelet, instructions by Carol Cypher in Mastering Beadwork. Custom button designed by me.

 Peyote crosses, pattern in Beadwork June 2013 by Alice Coelho.

 Guitar string bangles, designed by me.