Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ohhh! Ahhhh! O-Beads!

We live in some pretty exciting and inspiring times for new bead shapes, my friends!
They're coming at a rapid pace these past few years.  Part of me is begging new production to sloooow down because I can barely keep up, not to mention the expense and no place to display them in the shop and part of me is like a little kid on my birthday and I just can't wait for my presents to arrive!

The latest new bead is called an O-Bead™ and is yet another awesome idea by the incomparable Sabine Lippert (she also designed the Rizo™ bead!).  For Sabine, it is important that she not only has consistency in beading supplies for her own piece of mind, but also so that when she creates a project for a class or a tutorial beaders across the globe will have easy access, always, to an exact bead.  This is the reason for naming this specific bead an O-Bead™.  It is a glass ring, which have been around for years, but the specs for the size and the diameter of the hole and the thickness will always be specific for the O-Bead™ (unless maybe we start begging for additional sizes because we love the shape so much...but then we could just call them 6mm or 24mm O-Beads™)!  This way if you are trying to recreate a project you'll have consistent results!  Yay!

An O-Bead™ is 4mm in diameter and 1.5mm in thickness with a 1.5mm hole.  Precious!
Below are some images of some of the colors as well as some amazing beadwork designed by Sabine herself as well as a few of her colleagues who she asked to also create some inspiring beady designs using these new beads.

Most of them will have tutorials available on their websites soon, so check back for them!

And we'll (hopefully if all goes well) have them up on our website, early in the first week of December!

In the meantime, and withOut further delay....may I intrOduce yOu tO the gOrgeOus O-Bead™!

And here are some amazing designs from Sabine and a few of her new bead testers....

Five Up! 
by Sabine Lippert

by Sabine Lippert

O Ball
by Cindy Holsclaw

Annular O Necklace
by Cindy Holsclaw

Cocktail O Ring
by Heather Kingsley-Heath

And more designs on the way!  Remember to check these
beaders website or Etsy shops for the tutorials!

OOOOOO What fun new beads can be!


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been dealing with a major funk the past few weeks.  Not a normal depression type funk where I don’t feel like doing anything at all – but more of a muse on vacation type of funk.  No beading, no knittting, no coloring, no Zentangles, and only cooking what is necessary to feed us.  I couldn’t figure out why I was just feeling so void of any inspiration.  I mean, I’d just done a bead show and that usually fires up the muse into overdrive.  I’d taught two full classes, which is also a major muse fuel stream.  What could possibly be wrong with me?

I took my complaint to a group of my fellow beady teachers and the wise, and still very young, but amazingly astute Melissa Shippee solved my issue by saying, “
sometimes when it's the time of year something big and bad has happened to you in the past, it's like a grief anniversary”.  She could not have been any more correct!
17 years ago today my Mom passed away.  It was also the day before Thanksgiving that year.  I was only 35 with 4 small kids and Shawn had already lost both of his parents and my Daddy had been gone for over 6 years.  I felt so lost.

But there really wasn’t a lot of time to grieve.  With 4 young kids I needed to get my act together.  My Mom told me a few days before she passed to not let this event ruin the holidays for my kids.  She made me promise to always make it a special time for them so they had the same joyous holiday season as she always tried to give to me.  I’ve worked really hard at that, but I’m wondering – now that they’re all grown am I finally beginning to grieve the holiday instead of celebrate it?  I sure hope not!  Maybe I just need to learn to recognize when that funk is coming on, face it head on and accept it. 

Shawn reminded me to just slow down and enjoy the process of getting ready for Thanksgiving by sharing what I see, smell, taste, and experience with my Mom. Let her enjoy it again through my eyes.  So I’ve been trying to do that these past few days and I’m thinking it has worked a bit to help me enjoy everything I need to do to prepare a great meal and make a nice home for my family to spend together tomorrow.  Which is exactly what my Mom used to do.  It made her feel good to do all these things and I want it to make me feel good again, too.

I’ll close by sharing a special story about my Mom’s passing.  I am the youngest of 5 and was always introduced as “the baby”.  Even after having 4 kids of my own!  LOL
My Mom was diagnosed with cancer (breast) the first time when I was 12.  She said she would just pray to live long enough to see me raised. She also told everyone “I don’t want the baby to see me die”.  Amazing how a Mother’s first concern is how her child will be affected. 
The following year they found the cancer in her other breast and removed that one as well.
 5-6 years later she was diagnosed with lung cancer.  She prayed again to live long enough to see me get on my own feet. 
5-6 years later she was diagnosed with another type of cancer, a tumor in her jaw area that had two types of cancer.  One that could go to her brain and one that could affect her internal organs.  She prayed to live long enough to see me settled down with a family. 
After 23 years of surviving all these hits from the insidious cancer she was diagnosed with liver cancer.  Sadly, she had no more prayers for survival.  She was just ready to go. 
Hospice came and helped us get her comfortable at home.  She quickly went into a coma.  All of her kids would take turns sitting with her and caring for her.  On the night of her death I had spent a couple of hours telling her some stories about my kids, than it was Sharon’s turn to sit with her.  I sat down across from her on the couch and listened to Sharon praying with her.  I watched the curtains gently blowing in the window.  Moments later one of my other sisters was waking me up letting me know that Mom had passed.  How could that be?  I was just looking at her seconds ago?
She had gotten her wish!  Don’t let the baby see me die.  And so I had not. 

Even in her passing she looked out for me.  And even now, 17 years later I can feel her sitting here with me reminding me how much I have left to do before tomorrow.  So I better get in the kitchen and get busy….I’ve got a huge family coming to enjoy Thanksgiving Day!

Thanks Mom!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What an Honor!

I’ve been honored over the years to be included in many publications and have my work featured on the cover, or back cover of a few beading books.  I know I was supposed to keep track, for self-promotion sake, but I’m not real good about that sort of stuff.  Go ahead, lash me with a hank of beads, I deserve it!

 I was on the back cover of Suzanne Cooper’s Then & Again book of redesigned beaded purses for Deco Flames(sadly, I don’t even have an image of this any longer) but that link will take you to an image on Suz’ website.

I was on the cover of Charlene Hughes, Beadin’ with BeadyBoop.

And on the cover of Valerie Hixson’s Wild Things….I beaded the giraffe.  

 I think I also had a piece on the back cover of Bloomin’ Beads, but I’d have to go find the book to be certain.  (more lashings with the hank of beads!)

I was also honored to have several designs included inside the covers of several of these ladies books.

But recently, I am most honored to have not only been asked to be included in the upcoming Marcia DeCoster Presents by Lark Publishing, but I also just found out that one of my pieces was selected by the publisher to be on the cover along with several other stunning pieces of beaded artwork.  Enchanted is in the upper right hand corner! 

Now, I’m not saying that my other book covers weren’t as thrilling, they most certainly were!  But the newest always seems to feel the best.  Plus, I’m included in with so many awe-inspiring beaders that it makes my head spin to think of being included in the same pages along with them.  29 others to be exact - from all over the world!  I hesitate to include names because I don’t want to leave anyone out.  Some of them are mentioned in the Amazon listing.  Where you can also pre-order your copy….hint, hint!  ;)

I will mention one of these artists, Linda Jones, who was a dear friend of mine.  She started off as a customer, and after a few phone conversations regarding beads, we hit it off.  Linda had a beautiful voice that matched her spirit and I loved the time I got to spend talking to her.  She was also an amazingly talented beadweaver who had an eye for color that awed me beyond belief.  Sadly, this amazing woman lost her courageous battle with cancer last year, but not before Marcia was able to interview her for this upcoming book.  

So, of all my “honors” to date, I am humbled to the core that I will be included between the same book covers as my sweet friend Linda.  And knowing Linda, she would be saying how humbled she is to be included with all those other amazing artists.

So, here’s to you, Linda!  May your beautiful spirit that you let shine through your beadwork live on forever in the eyes, memories and hearts of all those beaders you’ll be inspiring in this upcoming book!

And thank you, Marcia, for not only inviting me to be a part of this very special book, but for also featuring my sweet friend, Linda L. Jones!