Friday, May 28, 2010

Organizing beads.

Heather Pyle of the blog My Muse posted a contest with the question How do you organize your supplies? The prize is a fabulous pair of beads.

I work a short note in reply this morning, but wanted to expand on my thoughts.

I've been working for the last few years to find a way to organize my beads. I work primarily with seed beads. At first, I had the seed beads organized by size in plastic boxes. The boxes were labeled with the size, and I kept the boxes in a rolling cart in my work room. This didn't work. Every time I went to complete a project, I had to go through several of the boxes before I hit the size of beads that I needed in the color tone I wanted. The beads were in their original containers - long and short tubes, tic tac boxes etc., and I really couldn't get them to be neat. Last year, I moved everything out of the tubes, etc. that they came in and organized by color. I took the beads out of their original containers and put them in 4mml zip top bags that I labeled with size and supplier. Didn't work. I had to go through each color to find the sizes I needed. I now have my seed beads in hardware store containers that have 8 drawers across and 8 drawers down. The beads are still in their zip top bags that I converted to last year Row one goes vertically by size with size 15 beads in the first row. The horizantal rows are organized by color, white first, with sizes ranging from 15 to six across . Works!!!!! I have two of these bins. They are on a ledge in my work room and I can get at the bins easilyThe rest of the beads, are still being put in zip top bags if I have several - labeled with size and where I purchased the beads. Drops, cubes pearls, crystals and bugles will go in their own bozes. Larger beads and random beads will still be stored by color in large flat fishing tackle boxes. I can pull the tops off of these and line them up so I can see what I have. When things are a bit neater, I will take pictures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Aphrodite's Smile for the Bride and Bridesmaid

Summer seems to have arrived early. It is August warm today, over 90 degrees. The Mountain Laurel that is so abundant on our land is about to burst into bloom and carpet the landscape in light pink flowers. The temperature and time of year makes me think of the abundance of Mother Nature and June weddings in all their beauty

A few months ago, I designed a pattern I called Aphrodite's Smile because I thought the design would be perfect for a June Bride. I made a few changes and then created a necklace that I thought would be perfect for the bridesmaids and flower girl. When Artbeads contacted me as a part of their blogging partner program I ordered Swarovski pearls and complementary beads to create the two styles of necklace. The Swarovski pearls can be found here on Artbeads site.

HTML Link: Swarovski pearls
I also had an idea for a necklace for the mother of the bride using my Marguerite pattern.

My major concern when ordering online is ordering beads that will be the same color and finish as I see on my computer screen. I was thrilled when I opened my packages. What I thought would go together well went together perfectly. The soft green of the Swarovksi pearls is creamy and gorgeous and the bridal pearls have just the lightest and most perfect tinge of creamrose.
It took me an evening to stitch up each of the three necklaces shown. The bridal necklace uses the Swarovski pearls I ordered as part of the blogging program. I added rainbow crystal seed beads (TBRD11-994) and a clasp (CLASP18-GP) from Artbeads that blend perfectly with the creamrose pearls. I added TBMT3-457 -3mm Gold-Lustered Green megatamas and - TOHO Bead 3-Cut 12/0 Olive Gold-Lined seed beads TBTC12-C262 to the bridesmaids necklace and the same clasp. The patterns to make these necklaces are on my ETSY site.

Disclaimer: sometimes sends me products to review on this blog. I am free to choose from designated beads/findings and whatever I choose. I do not receive any compensation from Artbeads and am expected to review their products honestly.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Muse Missed Her Target Date

It used to be that I was meticulous about meeting deadlines and dates. I worked writing procedures at an Insurance Company in Hartford and did not miss one deadline in 1 1/2 years. Not one. Since retiring, the days often run in to each other. I have to remind myself what day of the week it is. Some days, the whole day will pass by in a wink. Not that this is bad - but I missed the deadline for "Use the Muse" by a day. In spite of having the time set aside. In spite of having the project almost done.

This time, I made a choice to make something totally for me. Not a really complex item, but something simple and wearable. I used the wooden muse as a setting for a leaf and three trillium. They were created using lacemaking techniques that I learned from a pattern purchased from the immensely talented Cynthia Newcomer Daniel. The neckband uses the beautiful and tiny tiger eye beads and was completed using Russian Spiral. Its sits nicely on the neck. I am happy.