Welcome to ChrisBeads!

A Blog about Bead addiction, crochet, knitting and life in general.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Prize Winning Entry!

The Melbourne Bead Expo is over for another year and I have spent the week recovering. The event is totally run by volunteers from the Bead Society of Victoria. Whilst the Show is tiny compared with those in the USA, it is one of the biggest bead shows in Australia. As such, organisers start preparing for 2012 almost as soon as 2011 is over. The members of the BSV do a wonderful job of running the show and the exhibitors are always very complimentary about the professionalism shown in its organisation. As a BSV Committee member, I am very proud to be associated with the Show and hope it continues to attract exhibitors and beaders from all around Australia into the future.

An exciting aspect of the Show for me, was being awarded Third Prize for my bracelet "Regatta 3" in the Elly Feldman Award, which is the major Member Only competition run by the BSV each year. Elly Feldman made some very nice comments about the bracelet during the award presentation and I was honoured to be one of the top five in a field of amazing entries.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chocolate Orange

The wonderful burnt orange beads matched this cabochon so well that I just had to put them together. One of my fb friends said she thought it looked all choclatey and swirly and this lead to the title. Beading has been slow this year and I didn't feel that I was accomplishing much, but the past couple of weeks have seen a resurgence in enthusiasm. With the Melbourne Bead Expo coming up in a week's time I hope this continues.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Outback sunset

The weather during our trip to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia was not great and we finally got a few sunset pictures towards the end of the trip. I was inspired to use the gorgeous lampwork bead from Bellissimo Jewels which I bought at last year's Melbourne Bead Expo. The necklace is a spiral rope with flower embellishments. We did see a lot of wildflowers in the ranges.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


On our recent holiday to the Flinders Ranges we saw many groups of Kangaroos and Emus in the wild. They are not always easy to see and have a bad habit of suddenly appearing on the road side and jumping out in front of the car if you are not concentrating. This picture shows two kangaroos feeding in the bush with the ranges in the background. They were fairly unconcerned at us staring at them and taking photos. There was also a faint rainbow in the distance.

The emus were often easier to see and were in much larger groups. Some had chicks at their feet. Watching an emu kneel down to wash and drink at a waterhole is an amazing sight.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The inspiration for this freeform peyote bracelet came from the beads supplied by Leah Kelly of Beads of Ambrosia, for her "What would I do with these?" Bead challenge. Whenever I enter Bead Challenges like this, the first time I see the beads there is usually a totally blank moment - OMG What WILL I do with these??? Then over a couple of days of staring at the bead pack, a vision slowly starts to appear.

Freeform is such a delightful way to use the beads as there is such a lot of freedom to chop and change. Thanks Leah, I enjoyed this one.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Regatta Bracelet with a difference.

This version of the Regatta Bracelet was made for my friend Jane. She very kindly allowed us to park our campervan at her place whilst we were attending the 50th Anniversary of the Sandringham Yacht Club/Metung Yacht Club Junior sailors' Easter Regatta.
Some fourteen years ago, our sons sailed together in an International Cadet called "Fast Charlie". The bracelet shows "Fast Charlie" with its red and white mainsail and pink/grey spinnaker. She seemed to like her bracelet and wore it during the regatta.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Regatta Bracelet

It's been quite a while since I blogged and maybe you have all dropped off from looking at it. Just had to share the news that my Regatta Bracelet has been featured on the cover of the Australian Beading Magazine this issue - it also contains project information.

Monday, May 30, 2011

A very busy weekend

Another weekend has gone past without any beading, although I was on a bead related task. For some time, the Core Committee of the BSV has been trying to put together a Procedure Manual to conserve the knowledge of the current management team. Since we hold a couple of large events each year - The Melbourne Bead Expo and the January BSV member only Bead Retreat, it is important for us not to lose the expertise needed to get these events underway. There is also the publication of the Connect newsletter, a full colour 28 page glossy magazine, which needs procedural documentation. It has been a big task, but over the weekend we seem to have managed to make headway on this. As well we had a "bonding" weekend with the rest of the Group.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Brain Drain

Over the past few months as editor of Connect magazine, I have found that it takes me a little while to reactivate my creative spirit. Putting the magazine together takes quite a lot of time and once it is done, there is a great feeling of relief. Then I try to get back to my beading, but sometimes it is all just too hard.

First I spend time checking out other people's blogs on my computer, catching up with facebook friends and other procrastination exercises. Then I try checking out the new issues of Australian Beading, Bead and Button and BeadWork magazines.

I think this might be almost overstimulation! I download all the "extras" mentioned in the magazine and mull over whether I have the beads in my stash to make one of the projects. Usually, there is something missing. I did manage to complete a bracelet from the April issue of Bead and Button - the Honeycomb bracelet by Cynthia Rutledge. Not from the stash though! Had to purchase a whole kit (plus another one, of course) from Beads by Blanche. See previous blog. I have started the second one, but didn't get very far.

Then a customer asked for a particular colour neckwarmer on my madeit site and never one to miss a sale, I jumped in and crocheted one from my stash of yarn. Then I didn't know whether to concentrate on crochet, or go back to beading.

Now my friend Karen has looped me off in a whole different direction. She sent me an excerpt from a blog on polymer clay adventures in Nepal, which you can read at A Colourful Journey but which then fired me off in the direction of some amazing polymer clay artists. One in particular caught my eye, Helen Breil Designs. There are some amazing tutorials on her site. Just checking my paypal account to see if there is any to spare there. Problem is, I would also need to buy stamps and inks as well as more clay!

Will I ever get back to beading again?

Friday, April 29, 2011

Firemountain Gems - Jewelry Artists

Some months ago, I filled out a questionnaire for Firemountain Gems and the result can be seen here today:

Thanks FMG for using the profile on your site!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Time to put on my Connect Hat.

As some of you may know, I am now the editor of the Bead Society of Victoria's newsletter "Connect". For the next week or so, my most important task will be getting all the articles together for sending to the graphic artist. So no beading for me - well almost none anyway.

We have a very professional looking newsletter - glossy magazine style which is only available to members of the BSV (you can check out the covers on the BSV website). The previous editor/graphic artist, Naomi, is a hard act to follow. So far, most of the comments I have received regarding the new format have been favourable, so we must be on the right track.

The picture is the cover of March Connect, showing Patrick Duggan's winning entry to the Elly Feldman Award at the Bead Expo 2010. Entitled "Dragon's Bane" it is a beautiful piece of work.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cynthia Rutledge's Honeycomb Bracelet

Isn't it amazing when one particular pattern in the beady world attracts so many avid beaders? This one, which appeared in April 2011 Bead and Button, seems to be a real hit and I am sure will be a classic in years to come.

Yesterday at the Bead Society of Victoria meeting, there were many people talking a bout making it and also buying Rondelles, thanks to the lovely Kay, from Kay's Artycles.

I know of five other people who are making this one and one other person who has finished two of them! From the chatter at the B&B forum, there are a lot of other people out there getting into the honeycomb mode.

Hoping to take a photo of those which make it to a BSV meeting for Show and Tell in the near future.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Blogging - is it just a big waste of time?

I started this blog with high hopes that it would be a great promotional tool for my etsy shop. It doesn't really seem to have lived up to its earlier promise though. Lately I haven't really been blogging much at all, because there are few comments when I do blog, so it looks as though no one is reading it anyway. Certainly the sales at my etsy shop don't seem to benefit one way or the other.

The entrecard widget might as well be taken off as well. The people who look at the blog because of the widget are just those who are still trying to make their 300 hits and I just don't have the time to waste on clicking through a myriad of blogs on subjects that don't always inspire me at all. What is it with all the people who claim to have made money with their blogs? And how do you manage to get so many credits on the entrecard site (some of them seem to cost thousands to advertise). I never seem to get above 40 or 50 these days without a big struggle. Then I spend way too much time working out how to spend them economically.

There are some on my watch list who blog almost every day. I certainly hope their efforts are worthwhile. For me, I am reconsidering. I am sure there are better ways to spend my time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Regatta Bracelet

Some time ago, a friend lent us her holiday house for a week. It was lovely and relaxing and to thank her, I made a bracelet based on the design of her crockery. Since then I have wanted to make another one and finally got to it last weekend. I really like wearing this one.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Name Tags

When I go to meetings I like to wear one of my beaded nametags. I have a really big chunky one, a delicate peyote stitch one and now I have made another in square stitch. This one was the sample for a class which I was tutoring at the Bead Society in Melbourne. We had quite a few members who wanted to make their own nametag and this one is very simple. Made another one for my DD. Love the sliding Toob brooch fittings. They make adding the finding to a square stitch brooch extra easy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Do you buy jewellery to match an outfit or an outfit to match jewellery?

Just lately I have been thinking about the way that I coordinate jewellery and clothing. As a beader, I find there are many occasions on which I produce a necklace or bracelet which I then need to find an appropriate outfit to wear it with.

Kinda backwards, really. This time, I have made a bracelet to match a green swirly top that I bought and this set me to thinking. It is one of the few pieces of jewellery I have made recently AFTER I have bought the outfit.

The bracelet is based on the technique I learnt from Marcia Decoster in the Romantica class. It has a lovely lacy texture.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Busy Time of the Year

My last post was back in December! It's hard to believe we are already in February 2011. So many things have been happening that blogging has been put on the back burner.
Do you have a particular month of the year when everyone in the family seems to be having a birthday? December/January is a bit like that for us. Both of my parents were born in December, one either side of Christmas. My grandson, father-in-law and two nephews also have their birthdays in December and January.
The last week in December always seems to be one long party and then we went away for a few days' holiday at a beautiful camping spot on a river in Gippsland.
Fortunately that river was not in flood so we had a lovely time swimming and relaxing. Elsewhere things were not so great for many people, with flooding in the north west of the state.
Last weekend though, we really copped it. On Friday night around 7.00 pm the rain started and didn't stop until half way through Saturday. The tail end of Cyclone Lasi lashed Victoria and caused massive flooding all over the place. Many suburbs of Melbourne experienced rivers running through the streets and houses. I doubt that we could have got through to the main roads during the night as there was evidence of flash flooding on many of the lower lying sections of road. We are at the top of the hill, so apart from a few drips through the ceiling we were lucky.
Only about a km away, water was up over the carpets in several houses where there is a dip in the road. One house had a watermark about a third of the way up the front window. There are photos of the floods on many of the news sites, but this one contains pictures of places all around Melbourne and shows how bad the flood water was. Click here. The first picture is of a freeway we use regularly.