Sunday, August 24, 2014

Iterations 2 and 3

Yesterday's beaded beads were all very well and good: they held together, had good structure, a little bit of texture, but lacked a little zing, even with the triangle beads. They're just seed beads, smooth seed beads.

Perhaps a faceted bead? Not bad. The fire-polished beads increase their overall girth slightly (not a problem) and the facets add a bit of sparkle. 
Still not quite enough.

Until I remembered the baby daggers that I've had such a hard time with: everything I've tried to make with them has been cut up before it's finished.
Except these.

To be sure, the daggers wiggle sightly, even with monstrous thread tension, but even so, they give these little beaded beads a bit of spunk.

There may be a fourth iteration, but I'm not sold on the necessity.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Little Ones

I started on a few of these a couple of months ago, snatching moments between stitching samples and filling kits for Bead & Button but they weren't quite right. The ends were clumsy and mismatched and the beads I chose didn't enhance anything.

I knew they needed some attention eventually.
I fixed the ends and fooled around with two-hole triangle beads too.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Emptying the Queue

I may have been working on this since around the time of Bead & Button. That's the first week of June. It's now August 21st and my daughter is turning twenty-four. If the queue could grow moss, this would be green and furry.
 This one isn't young either, quite honestly.
Neither am I today, truth be told.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Oh By The Way

I haven't been doing completely nothing, just very little somehow - at least very little that's worth photographing that is.

I did however make a start on the Kumihimo Clasps Queue (I love how it's alliterative out loud, but to anyone unfamiliar with the Roman alphabet, just a bunch of rando words. Which it is anyway, after all) which is the pile of beaded kumihimo ropes needing clasps.
 Two or three more to follow. Sometime.
And I made a class sample, a variant of the original which I prefer. Yeah, I know, I always prefer what I've just made. Secret to my bliss.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

This Is What I Meant

There are things I guess at because they seem logical and often it turns out I'm right. There are things I have learned because without thinking I made a poor choice and now I know from bitter experience. And these things that I know, whether via clever guesswork or via learning the hard way, apparently I disregard from time to time.

Apparently I'm pretty excellent at fooling myself.

One of the things I have learned is that when I'm taking pictures for beading instructions, beads with a matte finish make for clearer pictures than beads with a shiny finish. Most of the time. Opaque is better than clear. Plain is better than lustre. Medium shades are better than pale shades and better than dark shades. Most greys are just Not Good. All these things I know and I generally pick colours for a project I'm photographing step by step so that the pictures are actually useful.

And yet, sometimes I take a sequence of photographs for instructions for a project in which there are basically seed beads and only occasionally something else, and still I insist on using transparent seed beads with a shiny rainbow lustre finish in which it's impossible to see what's happening.

Like this:
It's pretty bad, right? Even I can't see what it's supposed to be illustrating and I made this stuff up so I ought to know.

I have about a gajillion picture for TWO projects using these beads.

Not. Very. Smart.

This is what I meant to do, really:
Much better, right?

And also pretty when finished so it's not as though I have to use ugly beads for pictures. Jeez.
Perhaps I like making these things. I mean, I guess I just made three of them in the last couple of days (not counting this one) and now I've run out of the rivolis.

Huh. Shopping ahead. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Did Some Beading

It was fun.

First, the last of the class samples due next week: a pair of earrings to match the pendant I made a few weeks ago.
Then I got stuck on this two-sided pendant. First I made it pretty much the way I made the origina sample. Nice enough.
 Then I thought the sides needed to be more interesting.
Guess you need to see a picture from the side?
I mean, it's cute but it could be better, right?
So I guess this one I'll keep since it's really too far removed from the original which I've sort of committed to. I wish I could have sent this one instead though. (The rivoli on the other side is a paler pink in case you were wondering).

I might have to make a matching necklace, unless I have to wear it first; in that case I'll find something that will do.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Days and Miles and Hours

Yeah, it's been a while.

I thought I'd post on the road but I was just too weary.

I thought I'd post when I got there but I didn't.

I thought I'd post when I got back but I was too busy.

It's all been compounded by moving my daughter to Los Angeles while at the same time desperately trying to get samples complete for a big deadline. Both at once. And I always feel I'm behind on deadlines though so far I've not missed one but honestly, I really would prefer to not be hitting the "Submit" button around eleven at night and then still having to pack and sort and sign and send the samples and still getting enough sleep to be functional at work the next day. I more or less was. Functional.

Our first day of driving took us through Missouri (pretty, mostly):
 And Oklahoma (largely less so) and into Texas to Amarillo:
That ridiculous billboard offers a free seventy-two ounce steak which while obviously not likely to be actually free (the catch is you have to eat it within one hour) is so very wrong in almost every way. No, I take that back: it's wrong in every way.

I wasn't even tempted. Twelve hours on the road, snacking to assuage the boredom makes the thought of that much steak (and I bet it's a nasty cheap cut of meat) that much less attractive than its already low ranking in the list of Foods I Want To Eat Now.

Still, we managed to eat a decent amount of meat for dinner (hello? Texas) and the next morning there were waffles in the shape of Texas (of course).

A few minutes past Amarillo we stopped at the Cadillac Ranch:
 Where even the plants are spray-painted.
Texas did not abound in fascinating scenery.
Neither did the first half of New Mexico.

We had an errand to run in Albuquerque and the kids decided that since we were there already, we just had to go to Walter White's house which is in a neighbourhood as quiet as it seemed in Breaking Bad. People live there, and have a sign posted to remind you that it is private property and that your foolish actions are being monitored on closed circuit TV.
 We made it to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon in time for sunset. The kids hadn't seen it before.
 The next day I really enjoyed the scenery in Arizona.
It got drier and browner the closer we got to the Mojave desert.
 Just across the border (where they confiscated our cherries and plums) California wasn't terribly pretty.
We decided that arriving in LA to unpack my daughter's worldly possessions into a tiny shared apartment and then returning the truck (or worse, parking it on some random street overnight) on a Saturday evening probably wasn't a tremendous idea, so we took refuge in San Clemente.
 We arrived in LA on Sunday morning. I guess traffic wasn't too bad? I mean, it never actually stopped moving.
 There was convenient street parking to unpack the truck.
It all went quite smoothly.

I came home the next day.

One of my cats was pretty mad at me and took almost three days to forgive me for leaving her. The other was just pleased to see me. He's a pretty straightforward little guy.

I still had a couple of samples to finish. As it turns out (and why I should even be slightly surprised I don't know) I didn't get to them on the road. The hotel in Flagstaff didn't even have a table and chair and lamp but even at the ones that did, working on samples just didn't occur to me.
Being relatively immobile in a vehicle for the better part of the day turns your brain (and the rest of you too) to mush.
I did get done though, and I did make my deadline and I wasn't totally useless at work this week.

My daughter went to Geneva for a semester, but she came back, and it hasn't quite sunk in that she's two thousand miles away and won't be coming back, except to visit (if I send a ticket) occasionally.

It's only a matter of time before my son leaves too (he still has a year of college).

Life. It's weird.