Saturday, September 24, 2011


               ….finished with Abacus.  Almost? I find myself lacking the 5 rondelles used for the closure of this bracelet. How can this be? Must mean a trip up the freeway to  Fusion Beads. Oh the hardship of it all, well the hardship will be choosing where to stop Trophy CupcakesMolly Moon's or CupCake Royale. So you’re thinking not much of a hardship, right? Hey how’s a girl to choose?  Cupcake or ice cream? What flavor?  How to choose? Decisions, decisions.  It will all have to wait for another day tomorrow I leave for Art & Soul in Portland. Yes the beads will be along for the ride.

               To be honest Abacus didn’t jump out at me the first time I went through the book, It wasn’t anywhere near the top of my must have list, actually not anywhere close. Maybe not even on the list. So glad I decided to indulge myself with this adventure, had I not I have no doubt I would have never picked up the beads to create Abacus. What a loss that would have been. I am completely enamored. To feel it draped across my wrist was so distracting. Beading would have gone much faster had I not constantly stopped to admire my work. Oh come on you know you do it too, we all do! All the stopping and starting of thread can try your patience. Does anyone enjoy starting a new thread? But nothing tries your patience like weaving in the final tail and breaking one of the beads. Oh Abacus did you count the bad words? Black beads and smoke fireline, would anyone notice? Then I heard my Grandma’s voice “if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well”. I answered my own question, I would notice. Time to cut!

                Here’s where reading the first two chapters of Bead Opulence come in very handy. On page 25, under shortening and cutting it explains how to reinforce the beadwork before cutting off the offending area. There was no way I was going to try to back it all out. I cut it. Much to my delight it worked like a charm, not that I had any doubt that Marcia was telling me the truth. Now it’s all back together, waiting for the rondelles.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A is for Abacus

abacus /ˈabəkəs/ noun (pl. abacuses) 1 a frame with rows of wires or grooves along which beads are slid, used for calculating.

I know I told you all that I would be going cover to cover, chapter by chapter and here I’m starting off talking about chapter 3. I trust that when you dive into the book you will take the time to read the first two chapters as there truly is some very valuable information tucked in those pages.

Squarelettes, not a common critter locally I discovered. So on-line I went. (Tip:  Marcia's website has source information for all the projects in the book). Decided I really didn’t need hundreds. I know when I comes to beads less is more is not my normal motto. Tried eBay & etsy without much luck, found small quantities on Artfire. Not a lot of choices. I wound up choosing one with a silver background with peacock effect. To go with them I chose black true-cut 11’s and black 15’s.

Abacus as the first project in the book is the absolute perfect choice. You are immediately immersed in RAW. The only hold up with this bracelet is the stopping to admire your work, to relish in the fluid feel of the bracelet. I so look forward to wearing this bracelet once it is finished.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It all started....

..... on a stormy winter day here at the beach with a cup of cocoa and a movie, "Julie & Julia". Inspired, I wanted to do something similar. A cookbook had been done, quite well I might add. While I enjoy cooking at times baking is more my “thing”. I decided that would be far too dangerous. Really how could I not taste test everything? Finally “light bulb”!  Why not a beading book? Less calories and just think of all the great jewelry I’d have at the other end.

Next, which book? Trust me I do not suffer a shortage of choices in my library. How to choose? The book would need to challenge me, hold my attention, and look forward to the next project while I’m still in the midst of the one before. Cover to cover. I knew which book it would be, which one it should be.

While at Bead & Button this year I took Under the Mast II with Marcia and Liz. As I was beading away I asked Marcia how much she would guess just the crystals would cost if one was to bead every project in the book. Wish I had a picture of the look on her face. Those familiar with Beaded Opulence and Swarovski crystals the answer is not for the faint of heart. Somehow this is when I told her of my plan, crazy as it may seem. It had been my plan all along to talk to Marcia before going public. To my surprise and delight she liked the idea. Here’s where this story differs from Julie & Julia, I am fortunate to know Marcia. Have her as a mentor, both bead and blog (I’m much better with beads than computers so…warning, there will be a learning curve), a cheerleader, a sponsor and best of all, my friend. Thank you Marcia!

The beads are calling……..