Saturday, October 18, 2008

Herringbone blocked or just disliked?

Well I am coming to terms with this herringbone issue I have had... It's not the stitch specifically that I can't get. It's parts of it that I just can't like. I don't like the thread showing in the flat. You can do an odd figure 8ish turn and I don't like that either. You can put a bead with the thread and thus not have the thread showing but it puts a bead on the outside of every other row... and on the alternating rows on the opposite side... and my OCD can't grasp that not matching thing, so I can't handle that. So I decided to make tubular and that I can get a rhythm going with it until the step up. I changed to a small needle than I usually use - which is very long - and that helped a bit. Maybe I'm just never going to like this stitch. And that is ok too but at least I can do it in tubular and flat. So I think it's just a stitch I am not going to like very much.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Versa Loom

I had posted about this elsewhere and hosted the pics on AOL but AOL is taking away the hosting part, so here it will be.

It's everything it promises to be and more! The instructions are very clear and each step caused another "light bulb" moment for me where the info and the task just made total sense and on to the next step I went. Where with other looms, the distance between warp threads can be a problem, it's not here because you use the beads you are looming with at the ends to space them out! Once it was set up, it only took me about an hour - size 8 seed beads to get the bracelet finished. I had a glitch in my pattern - I was 3 rows shy, so you can see - I added 3 rows of black to finish the piece:

Taking it off was fantastic. It called for a seam ripper or a sharp pair of scissors - I had the second and now need to add the seam ripper to my bead tools. Scissors were fly tying ones so they have a very tiny sharp point. They did the job perfectly. It came off the loom as advertised - with only 2 threads to weave in! Then I showed it to my friend's sister and she and I both show a love for rainbows, so I was compelled to finish it off with clasps right then, but which clasps? I choose these nifty snap clasps and since it was wide, I used 2 of them.

So here are 2 shots of it with the claps on it:

The Versa Loom web site

I just love it and now have all sorts of loomed ideas floating in my head!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Photographic Pet Peeve...

I have another pet peeve... who'd have ever guessed?
When taking a picture of your beadwork - or anything for that matter - you need to make sure it's a good picture. It needs to be in focus and clear. It needs to be large enough to see what you want them to and not so small that they can't tell what it is.
Many of us have digital cameras and most of those have a MACRO setting.

You can pick up a cheap tripod for under $25 - a table top version can be
even cheaper. You should not use your flash for photos of jewelry. Close up, the flash is way too bright. Use good lighting or even better an over cast day is great lighting. I use Reveal Bulbs in my lamps that are where I bead. They are great for lighting photos.
If you have photoshop, you have a couple tools that are simple and easy. Auto Levels does much for me in many cases.

In the IMAGES Menu - Adjustments - AUTO Levels

(yes everything on my computer that can be purple is purple)

You can also play in Brightness and Contrast as well as Hue/Saturation.
So that you don't damage your original photo - SAVE AS - and name it something else. Then play with the settings. You have nothing to loose and think of what you have to gain.
Here is a raw image of a pair of purple earrings - no flash -
reveal light bulbs in the celing fixture - tripod:

And here is one that I only used Auto Levels on:
The 2nd photo is a much better representation of the background and the piece I was taking a photo of.
So keep trying until you get a good photo because a blurry or too small or dark photo will not show off your work, it will show off the flaws of the photo.