Happy 3rd Etsyversary to Sand Fibers!!

>> Saturday, February 28, 2009

Please join me in wishing Bead Art Originals member, Carol Dean Sharpe, a happy 3rd Etsyversary. Carol Dean set up her successful shop, SandFibers, just three short years ago on the Etsy website.

In honor of her Etsyversary, I am featuring my favorite necklace from her shop. This handcrafted necklace illustrates Carol Dean's creative instinct for color and design resulting in beautiful wearable art jewelry. I admire the unique way she has combined her love of fabric art and bead art along with an exquisite handmade raku focal bead from Lisa Peters Art.

Carol Dean is celebrating her Etsyversary by offering a 20% discount on purchases from her Etsy shop. Visit her blog here to read the three simple steps that will qualify you for the 20% discount. Her special offer ends March 6th, so don't delay ... This is your chance to own an original SandFibers!


What's New This Week

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Here are the fabulous Bead Art Originals Items of the Week!

Artists contributing this week are:

If you have a moment, please click on the picture to visit the Bead Art Originals blog to view these items in greater detail and find out the special offers with purchase being made by each artist.


Mariya of BeadCatcher Takes First Place in the Etsy Beadweavers Challenge!

>> Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tropical Treasures created by Mariya of BeadCatcher took top honors in the recent Tropical Holiday Challenge sponsored by the Etsy Beadweavers Team. Congratulations Mariya!

For more views of this stunning necklace and to read Mariya's description, please click here.

There were 694 people who visited the Etsy Beadweavers Blog and voted for their favorite among the 47 entrants. The tropical theme created a lot of excitement, not only for the team members, but also for Etsy shoppers! Eight of the entries sold before voting even began! I'm pretty sure that the EBW Team broke all kinds of records during this particular challenge.
Special thanks to Patrizia Tager of Triz Designs for selecting Tropical Holiday as the theme for this challenge.


Weird and Unexpected Things

>> Monday, February 16, 2009

Artists are known to use weird and unexpected things in their creations, and the artists from Bead Art Originals (BAO) are no exception. Several Items of the Week depict or contain prehistoric shark's teeth, a folkart skull, and Ironman's DNA. If we were playing a game of word association, and I called out any one of those, would you call out "bead art"? I don't think so. These artists really "tease the eye" turning weird and unexpected things into beautiful works of art. No matter what your taste, the creative artists of Bead Art Originals will certainly "please and tantalize the eye"!

Please click on the mosaic picture and visit the Bead Art Originals blog. You'll enjoy reading about each artist and their work. Don't forget to check out the "special offers with purchase"! Offers range from free shipping to ... well, you really just have to click on the picture and read Salamander House's special offer! I'm serious folks, she cracks me up!

Special thanks to Sandfibers and Time2cre8 who have spent immeasurable time and effort on behalf of Bead Art Originals!


Here Be A Dragon

I wasn't quite truthful when I said in my profile that I wasn't going to slay dragons. I do have one dragon, but it's not one that I want to slay ... I just want him to stop breathing fire!!!

My husband, the fire breathing dragon, snores. He has sleep apnea. And, before you say, "he needs a CPAP machine", he has one. It's tucked away in a dark corner of his man cave.

I used to blame my constant state of exhaustion on my fulltime career. Now that I am retired, I know the truth. I'm exhausted because I never get to sleep. My husband's snoring either wakes me continually throughout the night or keeps me in the land of not quite asleep yet not quite awake.

How many women go to their physician complaining of exhaustion and just plain being tired all the time? Long before I retired, I sought the help of a physician only to have him shrug this off as a "woman's complaint" ... making me feel that I was not taking good care of myself, and recommending that I take over-the-counter or prescription meds to help me sleep. I have a much safer solution. I send my husband to his man cave to snore the night away so that I can get an occasional good nights sleep. This is a much better solution than putting chemicals in my body.


They Have Spoken!

>> Sunday, February 15, 2009

The two beaded ends pieces that I was working on last week, Mr. Gold and Ms. Iris Blue, have announced to me that they will become a necklace! It is a relief for me to have a picture in my mind of what the beads will become, and I'll begin posting pictures starting this coming week of the weaving process. So, please check back.

Have I mentioned that I am a slow beadweaver? Well, I am. Some of my beading friends can knock out beadwoven work right and left, day after day ... some even complete a piece every day. I don't know how they do it, as I am lucky to finish one piece of work in a week. Perhaps I ponder too long on the technical aspects of weaving, maybe I'm too uptight that every bead must be perfect and every thread path must be perfectly executed. My inventory is very low due to my on-going hand/arm over-use problems that started late last year. How I wish the designs would just flow forth from my brain to my hands in a speedier fashion!

I took this bracelet with me when I made a call on a local business. When I set my tray on the counter, the shop owner and one of her customers reached for this bracelet at the same time. Of course, the customer always wins! I used very vibrant colors ... silver-lined oranges and reds, topaz and yellow, and blues and purples. I'm so happy this bracelet found a good home with this happy customer! Happy customer, happy shop owner, happy me!


Cat's Meow February 11, 2009

>> Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are you familiar with the term "cat's meow"? It is slang used to describe something that is so wonderful you get goose bumps. I use a lot of slang ... knocks my socks off and the bomb are two of my other favorite slang terms that mean the same thing. These slang terms have come out of my mouth over and over again since I joined the Etsy website, and my blog is the perfect place to share with you.

Let me please introduce you to Tropical Chic Sunset - Choker, and its creator, Patrizia Tager. Isn't this the cat's meow??!!


If you would like to see more of Triz's work, please click here to visit her Etsy Shop and click here to visit her blog. ~~~~


Bead Art Originals Items of the Week

>> Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Bead Art Originals (BAO) Team on Etsy has posted their latest mosaic highlighting items of the week. These artists have special offers if you purchase one from their Etsy shop. Click on the picture, and you'll be taken to the team blog where you can read about each special offer.
I'd like to take a moment to bring special attention to Melody of Salamander House. Her item of the week is the blue bird beadwoven bracelet. Even if you are not interested in beads or jewelry, she makes it worth your time to visit the team blog every week just to read her latest special offer. She cracks me up! This week, her offer is: " Receive free shipping or a free hour of birdwatching at Salamander House's fabulous feeders with local pickup when you purchase this cuff." I remember one week when her offer for local pickup was a plate of homemade fudge. My husband, a fudge lover, said that was the BEST offer EVER!
My item of the week is bottom center ... the bronze and raspberry beadwoven bracelet. I'm offering FREE shipping world wide!
Here's how I describe the bracelet in my Etsy shop, Beads and Weaves:
"This bracelet is lush with the colors of cabernet, raspberry, and bronze. The angular and rounded shapes of the beads make it a textural and colorful delight.
Fits a 6-1/4 inch wrist (15.9 cm) and is a little over 1 inch wide (2.8 cm).
Woven in herringbone stitch with many types of beads -- beautiful round garnet gemstones; Toho triangle beads in matte cabernet bronze, gold washed raspberry lustre, and transparent raspberry; Czech faceted firepolished beads in cloudy pink and fuchsia; pale lavender transparent teardrop beads; and seed beads in matte pale pink and transparent lined fuchsia.
My apologies for using "~~~~" between paragraphs. Some days my post doesn't show the blank space between paragraphs making my text look all smushed together. Other days, it works just fine! I-yi-yi, another "glitch" to have to figure out!


Etsy Beadweavers (EBW) February Challenge - Tropical Holiday

>> Sunday, February 8, 2009

The beadwoven entries for the challenge have been posted on the Etsy Beadweavers Blog.

I have truly never seen so many creative and amazing pieces submitted for the monthly challenge. It will be very difficult to select my favorite!

Voting begins on Monday, February 9th and ends midnight February 15th.

Please click here to view each individual item and place your vote.

EBW Team members also list their items on the Etsy website. If you are interested in purchasing handmade beadwoven items, click here.

Your support of this Etsy Team and beadweaving is sincerely appreciated by all 160+ members!


Did she say ... UFO Dungeon??

>> Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why, yes I did say UFO dungeon! If you grew up during the infancy of the space program, the first thing that comes to mind (my mind anyway) is Unidentified Flying Objects and the super secretive Area 51. Did I mention that I worked on the space program back in the late 60’s and early 70’s? It was the most exciting time of my career. Well, that’s a story for another day … back to UFO’s.

UFO in this writing refers to UnFinished Objects. No matter what keeps you busy in life, you have UFO’s … it’s not just a term used by artists and crafters. Didn’t clean the grass off the lawnmower blades? … that’s a UFO. Didn’t run the dishwasher last night? … that’s a UFO. See what I mean?

I am way too embarrassed to show you all of my UFO’s. My camera wouldn’t be able to take a picture of the mountain of sewing, crocheting, knitting and cross stitching UFO’s in my stash. I’ll just give you a peek at my beadweaving UFO’s.

UFO’s can linger up to 12 months in the dungeon (a plastic pencil box from the Dollar Store). Some are the result of experimenting with new ideas or techniques, some the colors are all wrong, others I just haven’t learned to love yet, and some eventually find their way into a finished piece. How many of you beadweavers out there are snickering at my teeny UFO stash? As a proponent of capital punishment, some pieces receive the ultimate punishment … I call it drawn and quartering. They are cut apart into neat piles of beads and findings, eventually finding their way into another creation.

Here’s the really good news! The UFO dungeon also contained these …

I’m sending these to the gray mat with Mr. Gold and Ms. Iris Blue. That ought to create some beady excitement!


Indecisive Couple Holds Meeting With Associates

>> Friday, February 6, 2009

I posted the other day about the silent treatment I was getting from the couple that I‘ll call Mr. Gold and Ms. Iris Blue. I gave them a day away so they could communicate privately, and hopefully, come to a decision regarding their future.
The following day, I had them come by my office. I put my face up close and softly asked for their decision. The curve of Ms. Iris Blue’s herringbone shaped lips quivered, and Mr. Gold stared back at me in silence with his beady eyes. Obviously, we are at an impasse!
In desperation, I have sent them to the gray mat where in a show of support they have been joined by their like-minded associates. It's been several hours, and the conference continues. Be warned, that if they continue with their indecisiveness, I will be forced to seal them in plastic and banish them to the UFO dungeon with a sentence of not less than three months.

Perhaps tomorrow they will come forth with their decision … will they be a bracelet or a necklace?

Stay tuned ….


Bead Art Originals Items of the Week

>> Thursday, February 5, 2009

I am a member of Bead Art Originals (BAO), a fantastic group of bead artists. I pinch myself regularly because I am so enthused about this group. Every week, Carol Dean Sharpe of Sandfibers puts together this collage and posts it to the BAO blog. Members of the group have special offers associated with their items which are for sale in their individual Etsy shops. Please take a closer look by clicking here!

Yippee! I am so excited that I actually made links and they work! Each day I'm trying to learn something new about blogging. Quite an adventure!


The mailman is my hero!

He not only delivered the dark blue pearls that I posted about yesterday, he also delivered a package containing sterling silver magnetic clasps and another package with more pearls and crystals. I am a happy camper! There is definitely a big difference in my mood on the days when I receive new beads in the mail! :) The Swarovski pearls are perfect and exactly the colors I wanted. One package of crystals is a disappointment. It was a toss up whether to order crystal silver shade or the crystal cal. The crystal silver shade is not nearly as "silver" as I had hoped. There is an order for crystal cal and crystal cal 2X in my future (just don't tell my husband!). Here is the stash! :)

Bello Modo sent me a couple of Tierra Cast samples ...

I really (REALLY!) like getting samples (thank you Bello Modo!) ... they pull me out of my little seed bead box, and I can feel my creativity zinging back and forth across the inside of my brain. I'm really liking these particular samples ... they are items I wouldn't have ordered. The quality of the workmanship is very good ... something you can't necessarily tell from a screen picture. The sample packet included a gold colored bead cap cone, a copper colored hammered square that is double drilled on the diagonal, and a silver colored drop or charm that looks like an upside down pyramid made up of little silver balls. Even if I don't order more of these, I can still use them. Isn't that what random (aka freeform) beadweaving is about ... using up all those bits and pieces of beads and findings that might otherwise go to waste?
Heaven forbid that a beader waste beads or findings! I even feel sad for every little bit of wire that I mangle. I look at them and wonder, "Is there anything else I can do with you?" I used to chalk this up to the thriftiness of my New England roots, but it's just plain old obsession! Ha! I've even thought about putting them in little glass bottle pendants and naming them "Beaders Remorse". What do you do with your mangled wire?
I did work on my beadweaving project of the day that I posted about yesterday. I finished the other end piece, but the beads did not speak to me at all. Perhaps I just wasn't listening close enough ... I was watching Lost at the same time. :) Did the spookiness of Lost overshadow the spookiness of beads talking to me?
My agenda today is to attempt to learn how to "link" other websites to my blog. My two Etsy Street Teams, Etsy Beadweavers (EBW) and Bead Art Originals (BAO), both have links that I can copy and paste to my blog. Wish me luck!


New Beginnings

>> Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I am going to have lots of fun recording my experiences with my craft work on this blog, and I sincerely hope that readers of my blog will have fun along with me! I'm a wife and mom living in the mountains of North Carolina. With grateful thanks to my husband, I retired early following a 37-year career in human resources where I worked with many admirable people and a few dorks. I can usually be found at my desk in the family room working on my project of the day. Most of the time my project is beadweaving; other times my projects are crocheting, cross stitch embroidery, knitting, or some other form of jewelry making. Here is my current project of the day ...

These are beadwoven end pieces using 24kt goldplated Delica beads and blue iris metallic Czech seed beads. They haven't told me yet if they want to be a necklace or bracelet. The mailman hasn't delivered the dark blue Swarovski pearls I ordered from Fusion Beads. My fingers are crossed that the dark blue of the pearls is a good match to the Czech beads. I'll be working on this the rest of the day until I time-out to watch the new episode of Lost. I am a big fan of Lost! If you read this, I hope you'll comment and/or come back in the next day or two to see my progress.