Saturday, February 23, 2013

Letting Go

A little gift for a friend who got good news about a job.
 After I finished my cauliflower-esque beaded bead, I spent far too much of my meagre free time working on a variation that could be a flat pendant, to no avail. After letting go of that little obsession, I ended up with a lovely little slider instead.
Although it's hanging out alone, I'd love to see a whole collection of them lined up together. Make it longer, and it's a super-blingy bangle.

Guess I need to shop for more chatons!

This isn't the first time that I've fixated on what turned out to be a bad idea, stitching and cutting and stitching and undoing and stitching and cutting ad nauseum until I give up. The problem is that sometimes I do get it right, I do end up with what I was aiming for, even after endless snippage, and the sense that a solution is imminent is indistinguishable on a path that leads to success versus a path that ends in my giving up. I'm a decent problem-solver, but that doesn't mean that there's always the solution that I want - the solution could be giving up that idea and taking a sharp left turn, but I never know it until I do it. There's just no way to tell. And sometimes I just have to give up completely, and I never get anywhere close, anywhere even distantly related to where I think I wanted to be.

Luckily, this time, it's close enough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I Decided

Turns out I was able to slide a solid piece of wire through the bead, and so it's a pendant.
Frankly, it was rather ugly without that last little floral explosion.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I know I like it, that's not the issue.
I just can't figure out exactly what it should be. There's one face left, and if I add the same embellishment as on all the other faces, then I have a ball, just a ball, something that really doesn't lend itself well to having a head-pin stuck though its axis, and it really ought to be a pendant so maybe that last face should become a fancy bail.
I'm just not quite sure.

I think I'll sleep on it.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Sample Set

A third colour-way for Dolce.
While in general I find it tedious to do the same thing over and over, these beaded beads are quick enough and fun enough that I really don't mind at all.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Quite Productive

Last night I went to see Paula Poundstone and walked in a couple of minutes late (I've never done that before) and even though I rushed like crazy to finish the pendant on the right, that wasn't the cause.
 And it wasn't my fault alone AND we weren't the last people to arrive, small comfort though that is.

And the pendants? Reversible.

I know they're rather floral, both in their detailing as well as in the pressed beads used, but I was having a moment. Besides, it's actually quite a relief to be able to use those beads. I know I'm not the only one who looks through their stash and asks themselves more than once "What was I thinking?"
 Even though the picture doesn't show it, this necklace is actually finished.
 And the follow-on too.

I really wanted the brown and turquoise one to be more scalloped, but maybe that'll be the follow-on to the follow-on.
And I made one bead for the next set of samples but I have to say, the colours of the seed beads leave me cold. I like each individually but they don't even begin to sing together; it's more of a monotonous drone if you ask me.

I need a do-over.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Nameless no More

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I have the hardest time coming up with names for things I make.

Some are purely descriptive: Cuboctahedral Bouquet (it's a cuboctahedron with floral thingies), Rondelle Spacers (do I need to explain that one?), but mostly not so much. 

If you're going with two- or three-word descriptive phrases, it doesn't take long until you start reusing names, or wanting to. If you use too many words and the names are too long, they also won't fit into the template at the bead store at which I do the bulk of my teaching so there's incentive to find a small collection of letters that can be arranged into a name.

Once I asked for suggestions on an email list, and gave the pattern as a prize for the winner, which is where La Trenza di Sirena came from (a necklace with has a plaited bit) and that gave me the idea that is most often the genesis of the names of the pieces I'm going to teach.

I come up with an English word that captures something about it, and then go to a translation site where I plug in the word and choose the nicest-sounding foreign word. Sometimes I change the spelling so that my American students will pronounce it closer to the way I hear it in my head, though honestly that doesn't always work.

But at least I end up with a name.
For this one, however, I can't even find a starting-point.

It's not that I don't like it, I do! It's a fun little motif that can be combined in different ways (there's another variation I need to make) and it has a good variety of beads so there's the possibility for lots of colour and texture experimentation and variation but for the life of me, I'm without a single word to describe it.

Motif? Seriously? That's all I can do?

OK then, I'll play:

Motif yields nothing.

Seriously yields: baie (Afrikaans, but that means "very"), сериозно (Bulgarian, but my regular keyboard doesn't have those characters and I have no idea how to pronounce it), seriamente (Portuguese), vážně (Czech, I have an idea of how to pronounce it, but an English transliteration is a little difficult because we don't have those sounds), ernsthaft (German, it sounds too dry and earnest), alvorligt (Danish, too hard to say), (στα) σοβαρά (Greek, same problem as Bulgarian), en serio (Spanish, meh), vakavasti (Finnish, now I like that!), secara serius (Indonesian. I like the first word), and lots more like 嚴重地,認真地,嚴肅地 (Chinese. Yeah, that won't work either).

I think I like Secara, whatever that means. In my head it's s'KAra.

Okey dokey then.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pairs of Finished Things

At SOAR, someone asked me to make a pair of earrings just like the ones I was wearing, only bright aqua with gold or copper. I bet she doesn't remember!

I didn't finish the necklace that these earrings match, but all the same I'm pleased that the central motif of the necklace translates well to earrings.

I wish cubic right angle weave wasn't so slow because I have about a gabillion variations on the afore mentioned necklace want to try, and at this rate I'll be eighty before I can get to them. I have started on one of them though.

And then samples for Tuesday's class. The pictures I'd taken for the instructions are just too monochromatic, and I needed better contrast so that you can actually see what's going on. I think they're not horribly unattractive even so.

I finally finished the socks I was working on, and I guess there's a lesson. When the instructions say to block the socks before wearing them, that should be a dead giveaway that there's something funky about the shaping. Apparently I am (a) too enamoured of my own ability to get things right and (b) too trusting that something that looks good in a picture will actually work well on a real foot.

On the plus side, I can get back to sweaters. Or the gloves on the backlog.


Friday, February 1, 2013

This Is What I Meant

Sort of.

When I made the pendant the other day, I sort of had something like this in my mind.
 A cube with a rivoli on four sides and holes in the other two sides for a chain.
I'm not sure why I felt compelled with the colours, I mean really, one would have been enough, but there weren't four rivolis so I foolishly matched the fringe beads to the rivolis but it wasn't the best plan in the world now, was it?

The seed beads or the fire-polished beads in the pendant must have been ever slightly longer than the ones I used in the cube, because the cube displays one of my worst things: thread showing between the beads. You can't really see it in these pictures but trust me, it's there, and I am Not Happy about it.