Monday, January 31, 2011

Time Flies!

Hello beady peeps! I hope everyone is beading happily into the New Year. It has been far too long since I've written any posts! I began a new career last March, and between the three months of schooling that I had to take, as well as working in my actual job as a poker dealer in a local casino, I have had little time to keep up with my email, Facebook, Twitter, my blog, and oh yeah..... my delightful beading hobby! My new job has been interesting, fun, and action-packed, to say the least.

I managed to take one beading class at Artful Bead Studio this month; a necklace project using the new Miyuki Tila beads. Barbara, the instructor and co-owner of the bead store is such a lovely designer. I sincerely enjoy her classes and admire her projects. Her work has been published in a few of the beading magazines, as well as the work of her store co-owners: her daughter Laina, and partner Amy. There is a really great mixed-media project of Amy's that was published in the Fall 2010 issue of Stringing Magazine for which I have all the materials. I'm anxious to put my piece together.... I just need to find the time!

Since it captured my eye at first glance, I purchased the kit for the Steampunk Necklace featured on the cover of the November 2010 issue of BeadStyle Magazine from Eclectica Beads. I enjoyed putting the necklace together, but I learned with this project that the enameled beads must be handled with extreme care. I managed to crack one of the flowers as I was working with it because I was wrapping my wire so tightly.

I really love fiber jewelry. It's so comfortable to wear and looks so beautiful. Ever since I purchased Annika deGroot's book, "Micro-Macrame: 30 Beaded Designs for Jewelry Using Crystals and Cords," I was easily inspired and eager to create my very own Stained Glass micro-macrame bracelet. I'm so pleased with the result, and I've received some very nice compliments on the piece.  There are numerous other projects in her book that I would like to make sooner or later.

I came upon a lovely bead-woven project that was published in a couple of issues of Beadwork Magazine. It's the Arabella Bracelet, designed by Regina Atkins. I love the twisted bugle beads used in the project, and need I say anything about the pearls?!  Ooooo..... pearls!!

Beads Gone Wild, a bead shop and online retailer based in Florida, came out with a kit that incorporated Tila beads and crystals that absolutely intriqued me, and that I just knew I had to have. The Carnival Bracelet was fun to put together, and I think it's a real stunner. Great job by those designers!

And lastly, I finally began working on a few of the numerous bead embroidery projects that I purchased from Beads East quite some time ago. Having a couple of "snow days" off from work gave me some extra time in my schedule to work on them. I still have many more kits that I purchased from Beads East, which I'm rather eager to get busy with. I am the type of person who really appreciates a bead kit. It's not always easy to find just the right cabochon, focal, or particular bead for a project, so I'm thrilled to have everything put together for me in a kit. That way, I can just sit down and get to work. I find bead embroidery to be a great way to relax and unwind after a day of dealing poker at the casino.

Here are the photos of all the pieces I've mentioned in this post:

Steampunk Necklace ~ Eclectica Beads
Stained Glass micro-macrame bracelet ~ Annika deGroot
Aztec Tiles ~ Class at Artful Bead Studi
Carnival Bracelet ~ Beads Gone Wild
Arabella Bracelet ~ Beadwork Magazine
Dottie Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
Nan Downing Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
Silver Streak Bead Embroidery Kit ~ Beads East
I also made a few wire jewelry projects that are featured in the inspiration galleries of the Fusion Beads and Artbeads websites. So, yes, I'm still in love with my hobby and I'm beading whenever possible. I'm very excited about the upcoming Beadfest Wire convention in King of Prussia, PA this coming April. I've already put in for the time off from work. I've registered for workshops at the convention on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I've left myself open for shopping on Friday. Beadfest workshops are loads of fun. I was really disappointed that I had to miss BOTH Beadfests in King of Prussia last year, but again, school and work kept me away. Not this year! I will be there with bells on!

Ok.... time for me to get busy with my next embroidery project, so I'll sign off here. Have yourself a most artful and beadiful day!