Monday, December 29, 2008
I have noticed similar musings on a couple of other blogs so it appears that my experience is not isolated. There go my dreams of making a living at beading, I guess.
Back to the drawing board.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Christmas Day was a family one with my children and their partners, grandchild, parents and parents-in-law and brother-in-law all present. It was a bit hectic around lunch time when we had our Christmas meal, but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. Then we had a visit from Santa (my Dad likes to dress up) and Santa's new little helper. Santa's little helper garnered more than his fair share of the presents under the tree, but was really more taken with the cardboard box that his ride on toy came in.
In the evening, we spent some time watching DVDs with my parents and eating left over Christmas cake.
Yesterday, for the first time for many years, I spent the entire day doing nothing but read a book. In fact I read the whole book in a day which is rare for me even though I am an avid reader. Usually I feel obliged to stop and do housework or bead for a while so that I don't feel that the day has been entirely wasted. Somehow, this year I needed to unwind and just do nothing. It was a great feeling and I recommend it to everyone wondering how to spend the holidays. We are all rushing around madly in our normal lives. All the labour saving devices we have only seem to add to the amount we need to do instead of the opposite. Just occasionally we need to stop and take the time to look after our inner self.
I hope that others have taken the time to reflect and to enjoy some family time as well as some personal "do nothing" time over the holidays. I think it did me good and I will get on with things feeling more refreshed than if I had kept rushing around.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Kat, at Candles, Crafts & Whatnot
has given me a Blog Love award! That's so nice of her - its been a while since someone has sent me one. Thanks, Kat. Your blog is great too.
Now I need to think of my own list:
Jael's Art Jewels
Wire Artisans Guild
Hope you enjoy checking them out.
An update on our bee hive ... tonight a bee keeping friend of my hubby has brought over a brand new hive which we have set up in close proximity to the one in our garden. The theory is that the bees will be attracted to the honey in the hive and because it offers protection from the wind, will transfer to the new hive. If this doesn't happen within the week, the bee keeper will be back with a smoker and protective gear to cut the hive from the tree and transfer it into the new hive. Hopefully the bees will take the easy way out.
For those of you who admired my DH's photo of the bees, here is a close up which he claims he took by closing his eyes and hoping for the best.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Have almost caught up with all the washing which had accumulated while we were away. Noticed that there seemed to be a lot of bees flying around near my face when I was on one particular side of the clothes line. Investigating further and to my surprise, I found a large bee hive thrumming with activity in the middle of my hibiscus tree. It seems a bit unusual for the hive to be out in the open like this. Click on the image to enlarge.
It is so large, I can't image how I didn't see it before we went away. Don't know how long bees take to get the hive this big, but I am sure it wasn't there three months ago when the tree had very few leaves.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
On Saturday, I went to a beautiful wedding in Adelaide. Nephew Jeremy has married the lovely Theresa over there and we all had a great time, despite a few hiccoughs, such as:
Spending five hours at the airport on Thursday afternoon (partly because we went too early to try and miss the peak hour traffic and then the flight was delayed an hour). Glad I had a good book. When we did take off, we flew at record speed as Adelaide airport has a curfew of 11.00 and we barely made it in time.
Arriving in Adelaide on the wettest weekend this year. It started on Thursday, rained all day Friday (so we went out to buy umbrellas) and just stopped in time for the wedding photos.
Having to move apartments after only one day because of flooding (which meant repacking suitcases, lugging them downstairs, into other apartment and then upstairs and unpack....)
Darling daughter's windscreen wipers broke down on the way to the airport and she had to park in a school for the weekend and get a cab the rest of the way. She planned to deal with the wipers later. When she returned and got the car on Sunday, it was to find that after only a km or so it broke down (almost on the freeway) with transmission problems. Oh, and their flights were both late as well.
Arriving at the airport yesterday to find that Son and DIL's flight had been cancelled and they had been moved to a flight which was to get to Melbourne at about 10.30 pm. They decided to return on the Virgin flight with us (also 1/2 hour late).
Brother in law's rellies arrived in Adelaide only to suffer gastro on Friday, both parents and two small children sick on progressive days, with the mum being put off the plane on Sunday because although she thought she was going to be OK, she almost fainted in the gate lounge. She got sent back to my sis's place without her luggage while the rest of the family flew home without her. She has now returned home after obtaining Medical clearance.
Sister rings this morning with the news that her hubby now has the gastro.....
If you saw a show like this on TV you would think it was difficult to believe. Truth is definitely stranger than fiction.
Once again there were a fantastic batch of Snow Queen beaded goodies appearing on the Etsy Beadweavers site. The beadweavers excelled themselves and the winner was Karin of Gypsy Eyes Jewelry who won with her Queen of the Frozen Tundra necklace, a truly imaginative and interesting piece of work.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Bead Challenge winners are now up on the Bead Society website and I am so excited. I have entered the Bead Challenge three times before and previously haven't done very well. In the past the Challenge has always been voted by the public at the Bead Expo and I guess my stuff does not have general appeal. However, this year we had a guest judge for the Challenge, plus a separate division for the Public Vote. The judge liked my work! YAY! I got a highly commended, which was almost as good as first prize as far as I am concerned.
I call this piece "Running Rings Around Me". It says a lot about my life at the moment. Lots going on that's for sure.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Now that the Bead Expo is over I have finally managed to add some new items to my etsy shop. Since the market stall I thought I was having next week didn't end up happening, I have a few items to list. I thought I would put just a few at a time.
Flower earrings and a bracelet as you will see in my etsy mini. I will put a bigger picture of the bracelet here. The colours in this bracelet are great together. At first I wanted to keep it myself, but have decided one can have too much jewellery. That's part of the problem. I make something new and then love it so much I hate to part with it. I have a lot of green and blue stuff now and can only wear them one at a time. Hope someone falls in love with it and wants to buy it. It took quite a few hours to make.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
What a weekend! Four days of 9 til 5 at the BSV Bead Expo in Moorabbin, Vic. It was pretty hard work as I was allotted the task of speaking to all of the Exhibitors about advertising in our society newsletter, which is a pretty spesh full coloured glossy mag - check it out at our website www.beadsociety.com.au. It meant I got to talk to every exhibitor at the Expo at least once and ended up being quite a lot of fun, even though my feet were ready to fall off at the end of it. This morning I soaked for a while in the bath as I had rather a long drive to teach a class this afternoon and I was feeling a bit stressed out after the busy weekend.
This is a picture of one of my entries in the Showcase 2008 at the BSV Bead Expo. Japanese seed beads in 11/0s and 15/0s with a large faceted glass bead in the centre. The front section is all 3D RAW and the band is peyote stitch with buttons and loop closures. The bracelet is Art Deco inspired and I called it Napier after the New Zealand city which has many Art Deco buildings.
I had two other entries in the Showcase, this one is called Lazy Days and is also constructed of size 11/0 seed beads in 3D RAW. It is a deck chair and beach umbrella sitting on the "sand" with a bucket and ball close by. Hope you like it.
My third piece is also a 3D one and rather difficult to photograph. I will try and load a picture later in the week.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I just looked at the date of my last post and was amazed. Didn't realise it was nearly two weeks since I wrote anything.
We went away for a few days on the Melbourne Cup "Long Weekend". Spent some quality time with our son, DIL and grandson at their camp site at Paradise Valley on the McAllister River near Glenmaggie. It was a very relaxing weekend.
Last Sunday was the Bead Society meeting and as it was the last meeting before the Bead Expo there were a few "housekeeping issues" to be sorted out.
This weekend is the biggest Beading weekend in Victoria, with the Bead Society of Vic Annual Bead Expo taking place from Friday to Sunday. We will be setting up all day tomorrow and then once the Expo starts there will be no rest for the wicked, I am sure.
Fiona Hammond, who I have featured previously, is coming to stay at my house for a couple of nights and I daresay there will be a bit of a gabfest going on then.
Fiona and I both have pieces in the Bead Challenge and the Showcase 2008 Members Exhibition and I am looking forward to seeing her work in the flesh.
Once the Bead Expo commences, I will try to put up a couple of pictures of my work, but cannot do so until Friday.
In the mean time, yesterday I had TWO sales on my etsy shop!! One was for the instructions for the Lolly Pink Choker shown above and the other was for a crochet neckwarmer. Good stuff, since they were sales in US dollars and I need these for my USA bead purchases! The Aussie dollar is at a really low rate which makes my bead purchases really scary at present.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
A couple of weeks ago there was a picture of Sharon Stone wearing a great looking necklace in our regional newspaper. I cut it out because it reminded me of some beads which I had purchased at a Bead and Gem Show last year and hadn't really done anything with. The result has pleased me a lot and judging by the comments of passers by, it has appeal to others as well. The pendant is made from a wooden button, with freshwater pearls (I think they are called potato pearls) joined by a strip of peyote, with a peyote bail. The rest of the necklace is more freshwater pearls, shell shapes and agate chips.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Just received my copy of Australian Beading which contains one of my projects - Caged Bead earrings. This magazine is just getting better and the articles this month are very interesting. Notice there are a couple of other Bead Society of Victoria members mentioned as well. Good going girls!
Here are some variations on the earrings in the project.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Don't forget to go to the Etsy Beadweavers blogspot and vote in the October Challenge. Voting is from 9-15 October.
I have entered one of my snake bracelets. See earlier post for larger picture.
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
or you can even make a bracelet, like this:
Friday, October 3, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Posted my Animal Instincts piece on Etsy today. It is one of my snake bracelets. I am rather "snaky" at present. Fun to make and always a lot of comments about them. The snake has the clasp in his mouth. I have called this bracelet "Just chasing my tail", which is something I seem to be doing a lot lately. Don't know why it is but all the important exhibitions in Melbourne seem to have deadlines in August, September and October so I have been pretty busy.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Yesterday I spent a lovely day meeting one of the Bead Society members who is down in Melbourne for the Cynthia Rutledge classes. I have had some correspondence with her for a while and we decided it was the ideal time for a meet up. Fiona is definitely a kindred spirit - she loves beads, purple and green colours and we spent the day looking at bead shops, the local gem club Show and sharing some show and tell of our work. It's great to keep in touch with modern communication being so instantaneous, but meeting someone is much better!
Fiona does some amazing and colourful quilts as well as jewellery. You might like to check out her website at Chiatanya Designs.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Very pleased to see another sale of one of my crochet instruction patterns on etsy today. This particular item sells very well.
Today I spent a full day beading in a Cynthia Rutledge class - Buttons and Beyond. It is all about making interesting closures and edgings for cabochons etc. It was a fascinating class, but although I beaded ALL DAY, I only completed one thing and managed to try out two other techniques. Had a great deal of fun though.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Another EBW member experiencing some success at present is UK beader Kerrie Slade. She has recently announced another two published projects which are available in Bead Magazine. Check out Kerrie's work at www.kerrieslade.blogspot.com
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Yesterday I was on duty at the Embroiderers Guild Vic Spring Fever Exhibition - they had asked me to give a beading demonstration. As I was checking out the exhibition, I discovered one of my pieces was SOLD! A lovely red sticker was on the label. An interesting dilemma - whilst I like selling things, I didn't really want to sell this one so I put what I thought was a fairly high price on it. But it sold anyway. Guess any sale is a good sale though. My stock of beaded necklaces and stuff is overflowing.
Whilst I was demonstrating, who should come past but Marg Mueller our Bead Society Workshop Co-ordinator, with Cynthia Rutledge from the USA. I was not expecting Cynthia, who is here to tutor some workshops for the Bead Society to be inspecting the work I had on the demonstration table. It's all pretty ordinary compared to her fabulous creations. She was very nice and we had an interesting chat about bead addiction.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Had a great email from the editor of a US magazine who had seen one of my bracelets on Etsy and wanted me to write it up as a project for them. Unfortunately, I had to tell her that it was heavily inspired by a BeadWork project and so I cannot write it up for them. Great to know that people like magazine editors use the Etsy shop to look for projects!
I am waiting impatiently for issue 19 of Beads Etc to come out as another one of my button projects is in it (according to the page in issue 18 which lists the upcoming features).
Its very hard to think of something unique though and I am at a bit of a standstill at present, just coming out of the excitement of the wedding and with a very busy schedule of tutoring. As well there are two Australian Bead exhibitions which have a 12th September Deadline and once again, I haven't quite finished my entries.
Maybe next month!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
He had some interesting things to say and the last words in the book are "And, remember, there's always a way to make a quid" (or a dollar as the case may be). He also talks about the benefits of having "the fire in your belly" which drives you to try and make something of yourself and your business, without which it is difficult to succeed.
The book is a good read and has a lot of lessons for budding businesses, especially in the areas of who to trust. I wonder what George Frew would make of the way internet business is growing these days?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Here in Australia today is Daffodil Day, the major cancer fund raising day in the southern hemisphere. As a cancer survivor myself, I know how important it is to keep fighting cancer so that more people survive this horrible disease. Almost 17 years ago, I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer and underwent surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy during a very harrowing time in my life.
I was determined that I would not die, although the prognosis was not good. My children, Fraser and Catriona were just 12 and 8 respectively and I wanted to be around to watch them grow up. In fact, it never really entered my head that I wouldn’t be. My determination to beat cancer, despite the odds, paid off. As you can see from earlier blogs this week, I have managed to live long enough to see Fraser become a father and marry the love of his life, Dana, last Friday.
Unfortunately, too many people still neglect the signs that all is not right with their bodies and allow cancer to overtake them. Ever since my diagnosis, I have tried to impress on my family and friends the importance of checking up on puzzling symptoms. Get them checked early and the rate of cancer survival is much better.
None of us likes to talk about those embarrassing signs of things that may be going wrong. Especially with bowel/colon cancer. Signs of bleeding, changes in bowel habits, pain, loss of weight – don’t put it off! Get yourself off to the doctor and insist on being properly checked over.
Have a colonoscopy if necessary. Yes, I know how awful having one is – I still need to have one every two years just to be sure. There have been lots of changes though and the colonoscopy preparation is much better than the drinking of four litres of Glycoprep (UGH!) that I had to go through twice in two days when I had my surgery the day after having the colonoscopy. Unfortunately, I had lunch in between, or I could have missed the second batch!
To my great regret, talking about the symptoms and encouraging people to speed off to the doctors did not save my beloved sister-in-law (my husband’s twin sister) from being taken from us by Colon Cancer. Now all of my family – all my blood relatives and also her blood relatives have been checked and are now clear. My father discovered he had polyps – a precursor to cancer – just months after my diagnosis. These were removed during the colonoscopy and now at 82 he continues to enjoy good health. For Fraser, one of the joys of turning 30 next year will be a reminder from his mother that he too should now join the ranks of those in the family undergoing regular checks.
If you are in the situation of having a few niggling little worries about some health issues – DON’T DELAY! Get yourself off to the doctor now. Give yourself the chance to beat cancer, if that is what it turns out to be. The minor embarrassments suffered are all worthwhile in the long run.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
After all the preparations, our son's wedding went off like clockwork. This is a picture of the happy couple and their seven month old son, after the wedding. We were lucky the rain stopped for enough time to get some lovely photos in the garden of the venue, Nathania Springs, in Monbulk. It is a really beautiful place.
For more gorgeous wedding photos, Elise (our photographer) has put some photos of the wedding up on her website:
See link in my favourite websites to Elise's blogspot.
(You may need to page down a bit to see the photos. They are listed as August 19.)
Yet again she's done such a fantastic job! Can't wait to see the whole album.
Now I need to settle down to some beading as there are a couple of exhibitions coming up here in Melbourne.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Promoting a good cause.... Fellow EBW Team and Beading Forum member Kerrie Slade has designed an Awareness Pin to raise funds for two very worthwhile charities.
The instructions for the project will be available to purchase from Beading Daily and all funds raised from sales during August and September will be divided between two international charities - The Wellness Community and the American Institute for Cancer Research ( a member of World Cancer Research Fund International).
There is also a competition to win one of her lovely ribbon pins. For more information go to Kerrie's website.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
We are all thankful for the rain, as we keep getting told what a dreadful drought we are in..... But please could we have a bit less of it at the end of this week? Today the rain has been bucketing down with a forecast of 12 Deg C and possible snow in the mountains, so it is a bit chilly here.
Back to beading and I have made a set of goodies to wear to the wedding which I thought you might like to take a look at.
There is a cuff, ring and pendant all in Right Angle Weave, with bicone bead embellishment. The fabric for my outfit is purple/mauve/silver and I wanted to try and keep the jewellery complementary rather than taking over. Hope I have succeeded.
The cuff is based on my Elegant Bracelet Instructions (just another couple of repeats of the main pattern). The clasp is something I dreamed up and works really well with the cuff.
Don't forget to vote in the EBW Challenge! Voting started yesterday. See previous post for the website link. There is another great treasury west as well http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=21105. The EBW team members work really hard on their Challenge pieces so I hope you enjoy them.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Monday, August 4, 2008
Saturday, August 2, 2008
This is my Art Deco challenge piece for August. It is a brooch constructed in right angle weave and was inspired by a design originally made by Cartier in 1925. Whilst the Cartier piece was made from Coral, diamonds and emeralds, I have chosen to use coral coloured seed beads to make the "D" Shape, and crystal AB Japanese seed beads to make the bail for the large blue bead. Crystal AB beads have also been used to represent diamond loops, and two other larger faceted glass beads hang below the "D".
A brooch pin has been attached to the back. This piece took many hours to construct in 3D RAW and I have used Fireline thread throughout.
Hope you like it.
I found my inspiration from looking through a beautiful book on the Cartier Museum in Russia, showcasing some spectacular pieces of work.
As an Art Deco bead woven piece I think it has worked out well.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I can't believe another week has passed by so quickly! This week is my third week of looking after my gorgeous grandson whilst his Mum returns to work for a couple of days a week. Today he was a bit grumbly as he has a slight cold (or is maybe teething). He is 6.5 months old now and very active.
This picture was taken a week or so ago and he is wearing a beautiful Aran cardigan knitted by his "other" granny.
I have been beading furiously on various ideas for the Art Deco challenge, but not having a great deal of success so far.
Can't believe how many mistakes I made in the first one, but probably trying to bead with black beads in rather dim lighting whilst manning (or is it womanning) the Bead Society booth at a recent Craft and Quilt Show probably didn't help.
Have also been reading other people's blogs and entrecarding like mad. Not really sure if it all helps though. Not a lot of comments on my blog so far.
However, I did manage to sell another beading kit for the project which appeared in Beads Etc Magazine Issue 17. It is for a bracelet made in herringbone stitch and including buttons. It has gone off today to PA, USA (correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's Pennsylvania?)
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thanks to the wonderful Marlaine, I have been featured in another Treasury! I dont know how she does it, because every time I try to get a treasury at Etsy, the list is full to overflowing. Maybe it is the time difference thing? Thanks Marlaine, I really appreciate being part of your Treasury.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
The quirky focal beads are fun. Wish I could get one of each.
The gorgeous woven beadwork is mostly done by members of the EBW Team and they are all obviously labours of love. There is just so much work involved in stitching the tiny little beads into beautiful works of art.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Had a lot of nice comments about the rings I posted last week and as the project in Beads Etc is a ring in brick stitch, I thought you might like to see the finished product. I must say it was amazing to see a real professional photo of the ring in the magazine. Funnily enough, I must have forgotten to tell my daughter that it was being published. She went into a newsagency and like a lot of other beaders I know, decided to flick through a magazine. She was at first horrified to find that someone had a project exactly the same as her mother's blue ring!! Turning swiftly to the designer's name she breathed a sigh of relief and then rang to abuse me for not telling her I had another project in print.
It was also exciting to see confirmation that Beads Etc are going to publish another one of my projects next issue, as they used my earring for the "Next issue promo" at the back of the mag! Yay!