Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dragons Tail Colorway Options for BABE! 2013

Below are images of the various colorways that the Dragons Tail class kit will be available in for my students at BABE! 2013.
An ooops in the email!  The class is Nov. 15th and 9am....not Nov. 5th.  One little number can make such a HUGE difference!  :)

This is a sold out class.  Sorry, I do not offer kits of projects I am currently teaching outside of the classroom.  This post is for my students to be able to select which colorway they would prefer so that I can reserve it for them.

These necklaces are all created with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Crystal Pearls and Japanese Seed Beads.  Remember to bring your Fireline or Wildfire to class.  If you forget or need to purchase some I'll have some available in class in 30' spools. 

Copper Dragons Tail

Petrol Dragons Tail

Bronze Dragons Tail

Cream Dragons Tail

Green Dragons Tail

Please reply to my email with your color choice at your earliest possible convenience in the event that I need to order more product.
Thanks!  See you in class!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not My Holiday

Did you know I am a high school dropout?  It is certainly not something I am proud of, but it is a fact and one I have learned to stop hiding from.  I’ve managed okay since then with hard work, determination and amazing people in my life. 

I’m the classic case you’ve heard about; a kid who couldn’t manage to conform to public school standards.  I had my own ideas and that really ticked off the teachers and administrators in my school.

The last report I turned in was on Christopher Columbus.  I got a big fat red F, was called into the principal’s office and my Mom was called and also reprimanded for allowing me to “speak my mind”. 

I ripped the pages up and dumped them on his desk just before I walked out.  I returned two days later to pick up stuff from my locker and never returned.  I did go to a vocational school, but that didn’t pan out very well either.  While I had the height and build, I did not have the tenacity for modeling.  Those girls are ruthless!  LOL

Anywho, on to why I hate Columbus Day and refuse to celebrate it as a holiday. 
These are facts; you can look them up if you don’t believe me.

Columbus did not “discover” the new world.  Leif Ericson found it about 500 years before Columbus got lost looking for the East Indies and stumbled onto the shores of a group of islands off the coast of Florida that we now refer to as the Bahamas. 

His greed when he saw the native inhabitants wearing gold was the impetus for his highly funded return trip.  The original voyage was meant to establish a better trade route to Asia.  Instead he returned to Spain with 25 native Lucayan aboard his ship.  Of them only 7 survived.  Columbus noted in his journal, “I could conquer the whole of them with fifty men and govern them as I please”.

When the queen was made aware of the prospect of that much gold, she sent Columbus back with an arsenal of ships, weapons and 1,500 men.  Sounds like a friendly approach, eh?

Columbus returned with a renewed vigor to “conquer”, and set up horrible forms of treatment of the indigenous people raping and killing their women and children and setting up a token system whereby they would supply him with what he wanted (gold) or face a horrible torturous death.   

Another excerpt from his journal: "A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand."

Columbus' acts of cruelty were so unspeakable and so legendary, even during that age of debauchery,  that Governor Francisco De Bobadilla arrested Columbus and his two brothers, put them in chains, and sent them back Spain to answer for their crimes against the Arawaks. But the King and Queen of Spain, their treasury filling up with gold, pardoned Columbus and let him go free.

It is estimated that the final death toll from post-Columbian disease and starvation was between 3-5 million. 


So, the next time you’re disgruntled that the post office is closed to celebrate our federal holiday of Columbus Day consider what took place in our history to bring that about.

Oh….and also consider that it was FDR who established this day as a holiday.  I’ll save you from hearing my tirade about that! 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mine, Mine, Mine!

Ut Oh!  Controversy!  Proceed with caution, there is an opinion ahead. 

My thoughts are mostly about "ownership" or perceived notions of "ownership" regarding beadweaving.  That should scare quite a few peeps away!  LOL

Having been online for almost 20 years now, joining in with groups, newsgroups, email lists, online forums, you name it - that have anything to do with beading, mostly because I LOVE beaders and hanging out with them, and sharing ideas and oohing and aahing over other peoples beautiful creations, I have also managed to hear 1000 times, “I learned to bead from my Grandmother, Mom, Aunt, etc.”. 

I did, too!  And then I learned more stitches from my SIL, and even more from the Native American folks in my area who shared their knowledge freely with me….because that’s what you do.  You share what you know with others.  Especially in beadweaving.  It is how skills have been passed down from one generation to the next.

In history, most arts and crafts or even artistic skills, such as lampworking from Italy, or the Matryoshka dolls from Russia, or German brewery, or Native American basketry, Brazilian Woodworking, Japanese Origami…. I could go on and on, had skills that were passed down from generation to generation.  Many times with no written documentation.  Each successive generation was just shown how to create something and many times they added their own unique style or even additions or simplifications to the completed work.  Sometimes they were closely guarded family or cottage secrets, but many times, in order for them to continue or flourish they were shared outside of the family.  In some cases it was to ensure the preservation of a technique, in other cases it was to ensure the industry did not die out.  And many times these skills were given freely to the most eager ones who wanted to learn. 

This is not to say that charging to teach shouldn’t happen.  Obviously I am not against that either as I do it myself, and as often as I can manage.  But I also try to share things freely as well.  I have an obligation to pass on what I was taught by some.  It was part of the condition of them sharing so freely with me that I would also share freely when asked.  I have an easy vehicle for that as I’ve owned a brick and mortar bead store for 28 years.  I cannot even begin to count the amount of times I’ve shown someone how to make a proper loop on a headpin, or how to keep their tension even in beadweaving, or how to get your knots secure on a strand of pearls, or what the proper thread path is for Peyote stitch….just because they came up to me and asked.  I also cannot express how fulfilling it is to me to be able to pass along what I was taught to another.    

And in thinking about what is, or in my “opinion” should be shared freely, it brings me right back to the impetus for the blog post.  Bead weaving stitches.  My personal opinion….they don’t belong to you!  Even if you “think” you came up with some unique thread path all on your very own, chances are you are sharing it with some other mind somewhere on this planet.  Now, the design you create with that stitch….all yours.  Any words or illustrations or images you may create in order to share or teach that to someone else….ALL YOURS!  But the course that the needle and thread are taking through those bead holes??  How would you ever have a way of knowing that it has not been done before?  I mean, it could have been a mistake I made just yesterday.  Or it could be something a Zulu tribesman is fine tuning right at this very moment, or it could be something a Pomo Indian perfected 100 years ago.  You don’t know.  I don’t know.  We have no way of ever truly knowing.  So let it go.  Stop with the Mine, Mine, Mine attitude about it.  It makes you look petty, and frankly rather selfish and snide as well. 

Do you ever see a knitter talking about a stitch being hers? A master tailor saying those fine crossed over stitches belong to him?  A fiber artist claiming stake to combing two fibers into a beautiful knot?  Heck no!  They are not vain enough to presume they’re the only living soul since the dawn of man to tie a freaking knot in some thread and you shouldn’t be either! 

I am not saying that every single one of us needs to share what we know freely.  I will say that I enjoy doing it as often as I can so maybe try it once in a while and see if it fills a space in your heart as well.  What I’m truly trying to say here is that if you let go you will be amazed at what comes your way.  If you share just a little you will gain more than you can possibly contain.  If you stop with the notion that something is Mine, Mine, Mine and realize that is pretty close to impossible and instead focus your energy and attention on what you can create with those thread paths, not only will your life be more peaceful but you will also have opened your mind to more knowledge than you can possibly imagine.
Let it go….it was never yours to begin with. 

With respect,
Happy Beading All!