Wednesday, April 9, 2008

29 hours left to take off

Not that I'm counting or anything. I fly out of Austin at 7am on Thursday and I have so very much to do between now and then. I have a few last minute kits to put together, although not many. Laundry needs to be finished so packing can happen. I need to sort through all the samples and make sure I have all the ones I need safely packed.

The samples always go with me in person. No shipping. No checked luggage. Can you imagine if they all got stolen or lost? That's months of beading that would be gone! So I'm pretty protective of my babies.

I always try to get a seat on the aisle too, so on the longer segments I can bead. I don't bother pulling the stuff out if it's only an hour or shorter, but longer flights are great for beading as long as I don't pour out lots of beads at a time. You know I have that list of 25 beading projects I need to make some progress on!

And what have I been doing tonight instead of working on the beading project list? Well, first I taught a class tonight. And I was happy to see some new folks in the room - I love you "usual" gals, but we need fresh blood every once in a while too! When I came home I started working on a Laura McCabe kit that came in the mail today instead of doing my own projects. Sigh! But sometimes it's important to see how other folks in my world are doing things. Compare my kits to some of the big names out there. Make sure they don't have any great ways of doing things that I'm missing out on.

I'm happy to say that I still feel like my kits are great values and projects. Example: Laura's instructions are solely for those beaders who already have previous knowledge of a lot of beading techniques. She gives abbreviated instructions and the diagrams in this set of instructions are actually hand-drawn. Not even computer graphics like I do. They're hard to follow - I'm doing a lot of going back in forth in the instructions to catch what she's talking about. They reference using Crystal Fireline in the instructions due to the color of the beads being used, but the Fireline they included in the kit was Smoke, so I had to go track down my own. And the biggest thing for me is that she's got you doing things like making four passes of thread through a Size 15 Czech seed bead which I'm here to tell you is almost impossible. I tried it, but actually broke the bead trying to force the needle through. So I came up with a work around, but can everyone? And why do it if it's so hard to do? That's a design problem in my eye. I would never purposely do that to any of my customers.

On the other hand, the way she's put the project together is giving me some ideas for my own, so like I said, it's important to do this. I try to buy one or two kits a year from some of the big names and even if I don't have time to do the projects just reading through their instructions and seeing how they're putting things together is very useful continuing education.

I promised Kathryn tonight at class that I was going to post a photo I got from one of my fabulous customers of her Josephine's Fortune necklace, but I'm tired! So I'm off to bed right now, and I'll post it tomorrow. A little last show and tell before I take to the skies.

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