NOT the Bead & Button 2012 Report

Wednesday afternoon I sat and wrote a lovely, poetic, fascinating post about the Bead & Button Show, which I know y’all are waiting to hear about. And then this little bitty <thisbig> thunderstorm moved through my area – and even though I’d been conscientiously saving my blog post as I went along, the storm caused my internet connection to freeze – and then – you see it coming, dontcha? Yup. It ate the post. Gobbled up every last word. And while I appreciate any drop of rain, I’m still pretty bitter about having to start over with the report.

So no report today. Instead, let me tell you about what was going through my head tonight as I worked out a new design. I’m already anticipating the reaction to it. Folks will love it (I know a winner when I see it!) and they will say it’s another of my classic, streamlined, wearable necklaces and how it’s SO EASY to do! And it’s that last part that has me giggling.

Because I started out this easy project some 7 hours ago, and I have only now figured out the proper spacing for it. Graduating sizes made it curve too much. No graduation made it too straight. Two size 11s was too small, three size 11s was too big. I tried one size 11, one 15, and another 11. Still too big. Changed the embellishment – three times – finally, AH-HA!! Changed the shaping. Changed the thread path – twice. And now I may finally have something. Although I still don’t have a full necklace made and since I made so many alterations along the way I’m going to have to start over to make it the way I think will work. I hope will work. <Please let it work.>

And then I get to make it two more times in two other colorways, perfecting that thread path along the way. And then there’s the illustrations and instructions to write. Tips to offer up.

Yup – this is gonna be an EASY one! And no, I can’t show you yet. 🙂

No Walk Monday

From June:

I take Winston and Maggie for a walk every day. Theoretically, it was supposed to help Winston lose a couple of pounds, but that hasn’t happened. But now the walk is a daily ritual.
A month or so ago on one of our walks, a garbage truck came down the street and hit the air brakes when it was just a couple of feet in front of us. Winston freaked out. And ever since then, he is terrified of big trucks when we walk. Garbage trucks are the worst, but even noisy pick-up trucks and cars cause him great anxiety. I’ve tried everything I can think of and could find on the internet, but this seems to be permanent.
So when traffic is heavy on the street next to the walking trail, I divert into the neighborhood. (The only problem with that is there are no public trash cans for the poop bags as there are on the walking trail.) So the dogs are still getting their daily walks despite Winston’s phobia. 

Except Monday, neighborhood trash pick-up day. It’s just too hard to avoid the worst of the worst truck. So it’s a “no walkies Monday” today
.

Sneak Peek

From June:

Here is a new design I created for Bead and Button this year. We’ve named the bracelet Mambo. We’ll have kits for the two colors, or if you want to use your own beads, you will also be able to purchase just the instructions.

Bead and Button – just a few more days! Come see us at booth #1011.

I have a crystal or two

At least once a week I think I’m crazy for having this job. Like when I look at my to-do list a mile long and know there’s no way I’ll accomplish it all.

At least once a week I think I’m lucky to have this job. Like when I looked at my Bead & Button Show signups today and discovered that I now have seven of eleven classes sold out at the show. I’m so grateful and humbled (and freaking out.)

At least once a week I adore this job (and usually MUCH more than just once!) Like when I have this many Swarovski Crystals delivered to my door. 😀

Guilty pleasures

I started my addiction to magazines at an early age. My babysitting income went to Vogue, Glamour, Bazaar, and Seventeen (along with some trashy romance novels when the income allowed.) I would pour over every little piece of every page – the clothes, the shoes, the jewelry, the hair, the makeup. And at some point I began pulling out the pages I liked. Which in some cases was pretty close to every single page. I had literally thousands of pages stored away that I had to selectively purge when we moved from Wisconsin to Texas when I was 14. It was horrible to have to let them go! I kept the “most important” ones though, and I still have some to this day in a file folder.

While my pulling of pages slowed to a trickle over the years, my magazine obsession has continued, and my list of titles expanded. Over the last 10 years of my jewelry career I’ve mainly pulled pages for design inspiration, and it’s been a very effective way to jump-start my brain when I need a design push.

But we have some new toys these days for visual cues, and while I have learned that I don’t like reading magazines online (strange when I have willingly given up physical books for my Kindle) I LOVE the endless sensory overload of Pinterest and Houzz. And pinning things is much like pulling those pages out of magazines again. My life has come full circle.

Hot Shoes

Pinterest has images on pretty much any topic, and Houzz is home/architecture focused. And if I just dropped you down the rabbit hole on these two sites, I’m sorry (ish.) There are some legal copyright problems for the photographers regarding the use of their photos on the sites, which is a bigger issue than I’m willing to spend time pondering and writing about. I’ll let the experts sort it all out. But I’m having a blast planning my fantasy wedding, and future DIY projects, buying a whole new wardrobe, and pretending I would actually be able to walk in those Hot Shoes I adore… Oh yeah, and there’s a LOT of fabulous jewelry inspiration too!

DIY  

You can follow me on Pinterest at: http://pinterest.com/jilltwiseman/

Fantasy Wedding

My own worst enemy

So I spent my night’s worth of work doing the following:

  • Making a new sample for a workshop I’m teaching in Detroit in a 10 days – and as I am halfway through I discover that I’ve made the rookie mistake of sewing both snaps on upside down so it can not be clasped. AGH! I even was thinking to myself as I was sewing them on that I need to mention that in class as I’m teaching. I often do that…basically teach the class in my head as I’m stitching the project. Too bad I didn’t listen to myself. So I ended up having to cut them off and restitch them, which was much more difficult because I’d gone on and done more embellishment after I had sewed them on which caused the angles to be difficult to turn. But it’s done.
  • Next up I discovered that for the second time in the last year, I had mixed Size 15 seed beads and Size 11 Delicas of the same color in the same container. It was even the SAME COLOR as last time. So then I had to spend a stupid amount of time sorting those bits out. 

Can you imagine how much more productive my time would have been if I hadn’t been working against myself? Sheesh. So you see – when you make these sorts of mistakes at home and think you’re the only one – you’re NOT. All you can do is throw a little hissy fit and fix it.

Preparations continue for both my trip to the Great Lakes Bead Society (Detroit) for a week of fun, and then the iconic Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. I have only 8 days between getting home from Detroit and leaving for Milwaukee, so I’m having to try to stock up for both events at once. Double the fun. I’m teaching one new class in Detroit and two new ones in Milwaukee so I’m trying to make sure I have all my ducks in a row with the instructions. It’s always a little nerve wracking to debut a class. I also have to give a talk to the Great Lakes Bead Society monthly meeting while I’m there, so I’m figuring out what interesting stuff I might have to say there. Any ideas for me?

Sideways photos and all


This is what it looks like around our house (production factory) these days. I never did figure out why the photos insist on loading sideways and such. Oh well.

Sideways kits
A few end caps for the Kumihimo classes

There’s a wee bit o’ printing happening…
Some Fireline being spooled. About $800 worth.
Pearls anyone? Everyone?

Technology is great. Except when it sucks.

I had this great post with lots of photos to show you tonight, but the technology gremlins are messing with my head! And after spending 45 min. trying to figure out why my photos are all importing sideways or upside down when they’re not showing that way in Paint Shop Pro, I give up. The gremlins win. For tonight anyway. I shall live to fight another day! (And probably take the photos with my camera instead of my iPhone and see if that makes a difference.)

Ugh. Frustrating.

The Dog Bed

From June:  Years ago, after Jill and I first discovered we could make jewelry, we tried selling our finished projects. It was all strung stuff. We used quality materials, .i.e., all sterling components. And we watched everyone admire our work, then walk on down to the booth that had the cheap imports and buy there. We never made very much money..
One weekend we were working a show in an un-airconditioned metal shed. In Texas. It was awful. Jill probably remembers more details than I do. I think I’ve blocked it out. Across from us a nice lady was selling beautiful wooden dog beds, and she had brought her cute, tiny dog to the show.  She wouldn’t let us take her dog home with us, but we did buy one of the dog beds. They were so cute, with a fur animal print mattress, and matching blanket and bone-shaped pillow. As I recall, we spent more on the dog bed than we made the entire weekend.
When we got it home, neither of our dogs would have anything to do with it. I was crushed! It was so cute! So it went in the garage. Over time, we got new dogs, but they all turned up their noses at the it. The bed was too nice and too expensive to just throw away, so I put it up on Craigslist. Twice. Not a single call.Still, I refused to throw it out. 
Last week, as I was doing some garage organizing, I came across the bed again. It really had to go. I decided to take it outside to see if the dogs or either of the cats would use it out there. (It’s kind of like putting leftovers in the refrigerator, knowing you’ll never eat them, but it’s a step toward the garbage can.)
SCORE! Miss Piper has decided the bed is perrrfect for her. The last few nights she hasn’t even come inside, because she’s sleeping in that darn bed! At last SOMEONE will use the bed and I don’t have to throw it out.

Slow motion

I had an amazing trip to Seattle to teach at Quiltworks and then spent an extra few days to hang out with friends. Honestly, it was the most fun trip I’ve had in quite a while. Slowing down to enjoy it made a huge difference for me. Much more to report on that whole adventure another day, including some cool photos.

Since I returned I’ve been stuck between two equally important tasks. Designing like a mad woman for the book and for future teaching projects, and making kits like a mad woman for my trip to the Great Lakes Beadworker’s Guild in Detroit in May, and the extravaganza of the Bead & Button Show that I have to leave for a mere week after I return from Detroit. For the moment, making kits has won out – a decision that has left my mother nervous about the lack of designing it seems. So I’m happy to report to her that I finally feel the mental shift coming on and I think I’ll be switching to beadwork for a few days. I simply can’t face one more Kumihimo with Beads kit at the moment. In the empty mental space that kitting provides, I’ve designed several new projects and worked out a sticky solution to a beading problem that’s been plaguing me.