Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ch ch ch Changes.... and other stuff

I haven't blogged in a while then I started back up the other day. Since I blogged there have been a few changed I thought I would bring up.

 Well I just learned a couple days ago that Bead-Patterns Magazine was going away... I will miss it as I can take all the issues with me on the computer or iPad and they don't weigh anything more at all and yet I have a wealth of projects at my fingertips.

 Sometime when I wasn't looking or beading much for that matter and probably why I wasn't looking, Beadwork at about.com got a real guide! I think they actually went through a couple real actual beading guides but this one appears to have stuck. She has some nice projects on my glance I took today.
 Jewelry Crafts Magazine died a while back. It was the first magazine I was published in and boy was my Mom proud. Finally these beads were leading somewhere, and now it's gone. Run into the ground by the editor who lost interest and instead of passing it along to someone who could put soul back into it, she just let it go and fall apart it did. The start was when they failed to publish the CHART to the item on the COVER. At the time it was just chalked up to the time that Beadwork Magazine published an issue with the word EGYPT spelled EYGPT or something like that but NOT spelled correctly. Now you had to wonder HOW THE HELL a magazine went to bed with a HUGE headline misspelled on the COVER.

But then instead of using the desktop publishing capabilities of computers to make diagrams in tutorials in the magazines these days – I can’t pin point one but I have seen WAY too many hand drawn diagrams for stitch tutorials. It looks AWFUL and is hard to see. When did they go backward to hand drawn diagrams? I started adapting programs on the computer to make my tutorials since 1992 and I took class from an instructor who hand drew all her stuff but back then – everyone didn’t have a computer at home or the expensive graphics program to make the diagrams in. I started on my roommate’s Mac and KidPix, graduated to SUPERPAINT a program by Aldus who got ate up by guess… ADOBE.. SHOCK! And was never updated. 8 bit graphics for those who know what that means. Huge pixels for those who don’t. Said roomie and I sat one evening and went through the WHOLE book and learned how each tool worked and we both knew that program in and out. I grew up to PowerPoint which in many ways works like Superpaint. And believe it or not Superpaint had a couple things PowerPoint doesn’t offer. Superpaint had 2 layers only – one paint and one vector. So it was like having Photoshop and Illustrator on top of each other and switchable.

 I love making my tutorials many pages and many steps so anyone practically can bead from them. I’m not selling advertising space, and I see no need. I also try not to use too many abbreviations. Recently I got a pattern from a friend who bought it but couldn’t make it. It took me 3 times sitting down with it to get it done and even then I said bad words and wondered WHY anyone would put so many intersecting thread paths on one diagram. It also changed words like 4mm fire polish bead to some combination of 2 capital letters which made no real connection to the thing it referred to making them confusing. When you sell a tutorial directly to a beader who has to print it – make it AS CLEAR AS YOU CAN. Why confuse people with multiple steps and abbreviations like the magazines? Give your customers the best product you can. I have been updating my tutorials as I list them on Etsy with extra photo and nice big photos on a cover page of the finished product. Why not give the customer the very best chance of good results with as little stress and confusion as possible?

And I noticed people selling one tutorial for personal use and one tutorial for commercial use as in you can make and sell the item the tutorial teaches you to make. Fun fact – I contacted the copyright office – they are very nice and prompt. They used a pattern for an apron as an example. As long as the item isn’t a registered trademarked item like MICKEY MOUSE, then you can SELL ANYTHING YOU OWN OUTRIGHT. You bought the beads and there IS NO REASON YOU CAN NOT SELL THE ITEM IN ANY TUTORIAL. This does NOT mean you can have the pattern mass produced in China and sold at Walmart. But you can make a few and sell them – no one dies and MAYBE you will use some of that money to buy another tutorial. What a RIP OFF! Someone said that if people were uninformed enough to pay more I should let them but how unfair is that? Isn’t it that for evil to prosper all we need is for good people to do NOTHING? So nope – not keepin quiet here. It’s bunk and they know it. If they don’t, then they need to learn a little about copyright… COPYRIGHT COVERS THE TEXT AND DIAGRAMS OF THE TUTORIAL. It does NOT restrict what you can do with what you make from them.  Don't cheat people, people.  It's just rude.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Eyeballs EVERYWHERE!!!!

More Catching up.... 

this time it's all about eyeballs...   

A couple years ago I went to a bead shop on a vacation and found these cool eyeball cabochons. 

They came in Bermuda Blue blue/purple and Vitrail Medium green/gold/pink

I bought a couple - not cheap either - and played and I made the first pair:

I wore them for a year or so and gave them to a friend who admired them.

Then I made a pair for a gift:

Then this year, I started making stuff to sell so I broke out a pair of green/gold/pink eyeballs....

and I made these:

They sold right away... 
The crystals make them very much the last thing you notice. 
I choose a crystal with gold.pink/green colors and the eyeballs golded up almost hazel.

Another Blue pair:

GROOVY - ridges of purple and blue

Sold about 2 weeks after I made them
need crystals to sell right away apparently

Then the next green pair was ALL GREEN:

These two got snatched up - so I guess I should make up a couple more pair. :-) 
ALL will have crystals from now on I think.

This years Fair Results...

More catching up Blogging here....

I didn't enter the fair last year, but this year I was all geared up for the fair in June this 2012 and I encouraged all who would listen to ENTER!  It's a freakin $1 an item - one allowed per category.  So I entered 5 pieces and all but one got first place, and the last one got 3rd place. 

Necklace - FIRST PLACE

Bracelet - FIRST PLACE

Other - Third Place

Production Beadwork is BORING!

I've been making things to fill my table... I love beading but production beadwork is boring so Tuesday I decided to make something that would make my heart smile. It would still be for sale but would me more of a one of a kind piece than a cookie cutter piece.

I made it this far Tuesday night and then in the morning I finished it!

I'm pretty happy with it. It's for sale in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Things that make my beading experience happier:

EXCELLENT Bead Store locally that I get my bead needs filled at and am lucky to teach at - THE BEADMAN in Redding, CA
Furry companion close by.

Thread that doesn’t tangle – no tail. Tie a tiny knot in the end of your thread. Bring the needle down to it and bead. You will pull more but you will tangle less. Most of the time when you do get a knot, it’s a slip knot loop that just pulls out. I think it’s a good trade off.

Improved design on toggle clasps now, so they lay properly. Stem of at least 1 seed bead to act as a swivel.

Triangle Trays and Funnels – keep my beads separate and get them back into the container efficiently.

Post it – super sticky notes – Keep my place on the beading graph and last longer than regular Post it notes.

Round plate with leather on it. I have a nice thrift store find that is a wooden plate – pretty heavy so the thread doesn’t flip it when it catches it occasionally. I keep looking for other similar plates and have had no luck.

I have a plastic eyeglass case that has what I call my pokey tools. It’s a collection of pointy things – tweezers – awls – a huge needle – crochet hooks - wooden sticks. All things I could use to get a knot out or as a support for bead cords.

All my pliers and cutters in their cool purple case. I have a very special collection of tools. Three of them are connected to a good friend – Jen Armour – she gave me the first two. When I started to bead, she was a big part of how I started. She wanted this pair of parrot earrings. So one day we are playing on her Mac computer (she was the first friend I knew who had a computer at home) and I mentioned I needed round nosed pliers. She walked into her kitchen to the catch all drawer and handed me my most cherished tools – a tiny pair of round nosed pliers and a tiny pair of needle nose pliers. I have them in said purple tool case that I bought at another special person in my bead journey. I also have a pair of bent nose needle nosed pliers I bought with Jen at Fedco. Though they have serrated jaws they have been my favorite tool to put ear wires on with. I’ve even had to re-align the tips a few times. I have another pair of smooth tipped – purple handled – bent nosed pliers. A few other tools in the kit but those are the ones that matter.

Having my beading area cleaned up once a week. The go backs have to GO BACK and the area has to be dusted. Then I can begin to create again.

RULER TAPE! on front edge of desk. It's a cheap kit desk and I also drap ruler marks on it with permanent marker.

Velux pads under my wooden plate – give it a nice secure plant on the desk.

My beading corner – a table with this laptop on it and a desk making an L with the table which I have 2 beading lights on – right and left of where I bead. I also take there. Beading area and computer – I often work from the computer and now that I have this thing set up right, I need to start chatting again. Under the tables and desk are plastic drawer towers with other things I need close by.

I have all my size 15’s on the wall in their cases. The charlottes are in their trays and close by.

My old Mac laptop with Beadscape is very close and handy for when I need a file or need to create.

My Delica needles - sabres really - they are very firm and last longer than the bendy ones.

CLEAR NAIL POLISH! - with no Formaldehyde - it yellows in time.

All my beads put in their plastic boxes with labels on both ends. They are sorted first by shapes, things like: leaves, flowers, stars, butterflies, light faceted, dark faceted, 4mm fire polish, small daggers, large daggers, 3mm fire polish and 4x7 drops (dutch spiral beads), pearls, chips, natural. Then sorted by color with purple in the lead with these divisions: purple faceted, purple iris, light purple, dark purple, gold luster. It’s a huge job and the room is about 50% done – a little at a time as the back allows. The 11’s are sorted by color. Then there are 8’s and 6’s and squares and triangles and 10 hex twists and peanuts and 8 charlottes… None enough to sort by color though 8’s might be getting close. I use the boxes that have the divisions in the short width and not small squares.

The Delicas are all in their cases. Another very special friend Carla Szczuka sent me hers and I have added quite a few…. I am learning to love them.

The special friendship and guidance from Charlene Zweerink. She taught me, among other things, the peyote triangle which I have exploded with and has helped me love thos crazy Delicas! I also got the purple tool case in her shop on one of my 4 trips to play at a bead show and teach in Nebraska. I also got to go to HOBBY LOBBY! (SOB!) As we have no HL here.... had a student tell me about getting to one in Tennessee... I groaned properly and remembered my many trips there. Redding needs to start a letter writing campaign to get an HL here....

Designing new things to teach others and share my love of this crazy addiction.
Something to drink – usually Pepsi.

Something on the TV that I can listen/watch or music.

What makes your Beading Happy?