23 March 2007

Art Bead Scene Blog: Dear Ms. Bead-It-All

There's a new bead blog in town, and it promises to be something pretty cool. My friend (and Beads-of-Clay co-founder) Melanie Brooks-Lucaks, will be writing regularly at the Art Bead Scene Blog. In her first column as Ms. Bead-It-All, Melanie addressed the problem of designing a necklace with a focal bead whose hole is oriented vertically instead of horizontally . The column inspired me to look at my beading history, to remember how I've addressed this problem in my own work.

The truth is, since I'm usually stringing my own beads as focals, I have an idea how I want to present the piece and make the holes accordingly. As a result, I'm very seldom confronted with holes that go "the wrong way." A quick look through my jewelry box didn't reveal any finished pieces that I could easily scan. The next best thing was to try to come up with a graphic to demonstrate the idea.

The idea behind the solution above is to thread your focal bead on 2 lengths of your stringing material (thread, beadalon, etc) down through vertical hole. The strands from the bottom connect back to the main body of the necklace forming a beaded frame around your art bead focal. Crimp where the loop closes and continue beading as normal. The whole design can be further embellished by adding a dangle below your focal using a headpin threaded through the hole with your stringing material.

Of course my real question for Ms. Bead-It-All is where do you find the time?!?! Melanie does everything. Earthenwood Studio, articles in numerous beading magazines, shows, blogging, etc

Art Bead Scene Blog: Dear Ms. Bead-It-All

10 March 2007

BPAL Barter Vessels

This is a set of vessels that I've currently set aside to trade for some things on my BPAL fragrance wish list... I'll probably be posting some of them to Etsy in the near future. I just want to give swap partners a chance to choose their favorites. [photo is clickable to show vessels large enough to see details...)

08 March 2007

Bead Circle

I 've been reading the Bead Circle Blog for quite some time and recently joined the forums over there. This led to a nice conversation with Mandi via the Etsy convo feature. I am quite honored that Mandi has chosen to feature me on the Bead Circle Blog, and it looks like this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or something like that.

03 March 2007

Psychopharmacology Roulette

I've written a bit about rants recently and I guess that's because I'm in a bit of a ranty mood. I'm easily frustrated right now. I seem unable to concentrate for very long on anything. My current knitting project is a perfect example. It is an extremely simple pattern, a 2 row repeat. The first row is knit a certain number of stitches until you get to a place where you're supposed to have a bead. Purl one, slide the bead into place, purl again, and then knit until time for the next purl/bead/purl combo. The second row is knit, knit, knit, until you get to the stitch marker that tells you that it's time to do the first row again. The problem is, I keep forgetting and either purl/bead/purl-ing in the middle of the knit row, or knitting two or more rows and then I have to go back and unknit the portion that I've messed up.

On one hand, I can't help thinking that spinning would be the perfect answer to my current lack of focus. I've got quite the stockpile of wool around here (and my alpaca roving finally arrived from Wooly Knob) to play with and a new double drive band on the wheel. The only problem with this plan is that I don't want to abandon my knitting in the middle. (Although I did decide that I needed to experiment a bit with the pattern and -- after visiting 2 craft stores looking for suitable beads -- am playing with a more involved pattern with a somewhat less decadent yarn and the only 8/0 beads that I could find... In other words, I have 2 projects on DPNs right now!)

Sprout and her daddy are both asleep and I should be too, but my mind is going at light speed. Thoughts are popping in and ideas are building on ideas at a rate much faster than I can seem to process. (Certainly a lot faster than I can type!) This is the bulk of the reason that my concentration is so poor right now. I don't know if I process it all better when I'm sleeping or if I just care less that I can't keep up, but once I get to sleep, I don't want to wake up. My psychiatrist and I are about to launch another round of psychopharmacology roulette. We're adding another drug to the staggering dose of anti-depressants I'm already taking. If it works, I should be able to reclaim roughly 1/8th of my life. (That being the portion of my life that I spend sleeping beyond what would be considered normal...)

In studio news, the image in this post is of the first piece in my Technological Artifacts series from 2001. I have decided that the time has come for me to let go of these pieces and will be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop. I'm going to be working on the images for the listings in the next couple of days.

In parenting news, we took Sprout to the Y today so that she could swim. At one point, while she was crawling around the perimeter of the pool, she lost her "footing" and tumbled into the pool. Her daddy and I are never further than arms length from her at the pool, so there was really no cause for alarm, but it happened so quickly that she ended up completely underwater before her daddy could scoop her into his arms. The experience startled her and she came out of the water crying a little bit. This is such an unusual thing for her that I was pretty alarmed. This is a child whose first reaction to a fall is to stand up and say "I'm okay!" or "I'm fine." She almost never cries about falling. As usual, she got over the experience quite rapidly, but I was pretty shaken for a few minutes there. It wasn't the tumble or the submersion in the water. I was just so unaccustomed to seeing her upset by it that I was sure that it must have been worse than I thought.