What a difference a bead makes

I often tell my classes that not all beads are equal, no matter what the size number is. A Japanese size 11 is about the same size as a Czech size 10. Usually. Unless they aren’t. I related how I was struggling with adapting my Czech bead version of the Leaf Tipped Lariat to a Japanese version, and I finally gave up.

Here’s a photo of what I’m talking about. The top one is the reject. You can see much more of the core beads (although it’s not as aparent in this photo), and see how much bigger those Size 6 beads are in the center of each loop? the lines of the light amethyst don’t sit as well because of how big the Size 6 beads are at the core, and last, but not least, the dark amethyst is much darker in the Czech version on the bottom.

But it’s not just that. I also have been working on a personal necklace from my Bubbles & Bumps class. (Kit version is on the way – beads to be ordered after I get back from Miami.) I’m doing it in Brown Iris, which is a favorite bead color of mine and as I was working along I realized that I had purchased some Czech one-cuts in Brown Iris not so long ago, and I should be using the one-cuts for extra sparkle. So I started over with the one-cuts. (Side note: I’d actually purchased some from two different vendors – and guess what? They’re really different colors. I had to dump them together and mix them to get enough for this project.) And as I’m going along, all of a sudden the spacing on the necklace seemed quite different. I put the original version with Czech size 11s next to the new version with Czech size 11 one-cuts, and the size of those beads is totally different! AGH!! In this case it doesn’t matter much. I was easily able to make the changes necessary for it to work, but it’s not always that easy.

I’m a little worried about a new class I’ll be teaching at Nomadic Notions this summer called Ring Around the Rosie. Making the circles ruffled the way they should look for this project calls for very exact bead sizes to make it work. But I know not everyone will purchase their beads at Nomadic Notions for the class. Some will bring beads in from the outside. And a Toho size 11 is twice the width of a Miyuki size 11. I’ve decided when I do the kit version, I’m only going to sell it as a kit because if you get the instructions and buy beads that don’t work together, not everyone will understand that it’s because of the beads and not the designer, ya’ know?

A day in the life. Seed bead minutia.

If it ain’t one thing, it’s your mother

I swear! I’ve got to watch that woman every moment. We had some excitement at Casa de Wiseman this weekend when Mom decided to be Wonder Woman. She was building a new raised bed garden for some roses we bought the previous weekend, and of course those 75lb stones left by the masons who did our house would be the perfect thing. And they will look quite perfect! But getting them from one side of the yard to the other is the part that tripped her up. Literally.

We figured out that she could flip them end over end on to a dolly, then use the dolly to get them across the yard. We were quite proud at our ingenuity. Until the dolly hit a divot in the yard, the stone fell….you see where this is going, right?? Mom’s foot happened to be in the way as the stone came crashing down.

Now the thing that saved worse catastrophe was that she was wearing socks and shoes (protecting the pedicure she and I had both gotten that morning) and that the stone hit the side of her foot rather than dead on top. But even so, it immediately puffed up to the size of a softball – it was scary – I didn’t know your skin could stretch so dramatically. I took her to minor emergency and they loaded her up with a bootie and crutches. They couldn’t tell right away from the xray if the foot was broken or not. Too much swelling.

She went to see her regular doc about it today, and she said they will treat it as if it’s broken anyway, so Mom’s getting a new, more stabilizing bootie to wear for the next 3-6 weeks. Sigh. Of course, it could have been so much worse.

In beady news, that darned lariat kit is giving me fits. When I made the first sample for the store I do a lot of teaching at, Nomadic Notions, I was using the Czech seed beads they have there. I was so thrilled with the way the colors flowed that I decided to use the same color scheme for the kit version. Easy! Except I use Japanese seed beads for the kits. And converting the colors over seems like it would be simple, but it turns out it’s not. I’ve been working on the kit sample and the colors just weren’t popping the right way. Plus a Japanese Size 6 seed bead is significantly taller than a Czech Size 6 which is effecting the way everything is laying. So I made the choice last night to stop trying to force it to work with the Japanese beads, and I ordered some Czech to use in the kit. Actually, I just ordered small quantities of several colors that appear to be the right ones. I want to check them in person before I order masses of them. So the lariat kit is delayed and now I won’t have it for Bead Fest Miami in 10 days. Bummer. But I want it to be right for ya’ll. That’s what you pay me for!! To do the digging for the right beads and the goofing up.

Trying something new

I’ve been wondering if I’m likely to post Journal entries more often if I don’t have to go through the scary moment of updating the website every time I do. One never knows if the whole thing will go poof when you hit that update button. So let’s try this and see how it works out.

Plus, I really like the fact that you guys can leave comments, and I can upload photos of various things I’m working on or inspired by or just generally wanna share without hassle. So let me know how you like it – ‘kay? ‘KAY!

It’s 5:58am, or more accurately, 6:58am, being Spring Forward Day, and many of you are wondering what the heck I’m doing up at such an hour. You KNOW I don’t go to bed until the wee hours of the morning and sleep in until 11 or 12. Well, I tried sleeping and it didn’t go too far. I tossed and turned and finally decided my time was better spent getting up and accomplishing something. Like creating a new blog!

I had the second night of a new class last night and we had a blast, as usual. It’s my Leaf Tipped Lariat, and I’ve got all the beads to create the kit, I just haven’t had the time to stop and do it yet. At least now that I’ve taught the class I have the instructions written, so the next stepping stone is finishing my sample for shows. Wanna see? Pretty, huh??

Yeah, I’m definitely gonna like this blogger thing.