Friday, March 18, 2011

"Simple" Designs

The simplest of designs are often the hardest to accomplish. When there's not a lot of layers and extra beads to hide behind, every single stitch counts. The beads must lay just so. Be exactly right. And sometimes it's easy to mistake an elegantly conceived piece as simple.

But let me tell you about that simple piece. I have been working for six hours now on a simple piece. I've changed bead sizes. I've tried out different bead shapes. I've added two beads at a time, then tried three, then tried four.... I've ripped and reshaped. I've played with color. I've tried more than one type of stitch to get the drape I'm looking for. I'm finally closing in on the best way to make it. I think. But there are hours more of this type of experimentation to make sure that it's perfect.

So when you get the instructions for the project, of COURSE you're going to think it's simple. Because I worked up all the wrong ways to make it the right way for you.

You're welcome. :-)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Whirl & Twirl

At last, I arrived back home Wednesday afternoon. It seemed like twice the distance I drove getting to Santa Fe! The strong pull to be home home home was the culprit, I'm sure. I spend much of the next 10 weeks getting to BEAD! And DESIGN! And, oh yeah - there's this little thing called the Bead & Button Show that I need to get ready for as well.

I made Mom laugh like a hyena today as I was describing my spending spree on filigree components at Artworks by Cathy J. It's all Mom's fault. She emailed me a shopping list that included the note, "I like the stuff at this vendor - this piece in particular." Except she hadn't attached a photo of the piece she liked so much! I managed to get over to the booth in the last 30 min. of the show, and doggone it, I liked it all. So I bought it all. Almost all of it, anyway. Seems like. I'm a heck of a power shopper! Now if Mom had sent me the photo...I would have gone with a specific purpose! Instead she sent me shopping for "pretty." Mom asked if I was buying thinking about using pieces in kits. Um. I dunno. Actually it's probably mostly stuff for my personal jewelry. You know - the jewelry I haven't made in FIVE YEARS!!! But I have the perfect filigree for it when I get around to it. You're laughing like a hyena at me now too, aren't you? I can feel it.

I am tired and tried going to sleep at 9pm tonight. But the brain is dancing about - whirling and twirling. So I was back up by 10, and making lists and paying bills and ordering supplies and Facebooking and Tweeting. Listening to the new Adele album which I love and adore. But at last I feel sleepy eyes coming on. I think I'll be dreaming of filigree jewelry designs tonight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bead Fest Santa Fe: By the Numbers

766 - miles from my front door to the Santa Fe Convention Center
14 - hours it took me to drive nonstop on Thursday to get there
12 - the time of night I arrived
2 - the time of morning I went to bed because I was glued to the Japan earthquake/tsunami coverage on tv
6 - the hour the alarm clock went off
3 - number of curse words used when the alarm clock went off
20 - happy students who now can make Kumihimo with Beads
4 - vendors from whom I made purchases (Beyond Beadery, Alacarte Clasps & Wirelace, Oak Grove Studio, Artworks by Cathy J. )
28 - new colors of Delicas I purchased to add to my stash
0 - number of times I got to walk the whole show - too busy!!
2880 - number of 2mm Swarovski crystals I spilled on the floor of my booth
7 - number of curse words used when I spilled them
2700 - approximate number I managed to pick up
1 - burnt out headlight that I have to get fixed Monday morning before I head home
47892093457 - number of happy exchanges I had at the show. (Approximately.)
1 - tired Jilly
4- puppies and kitties that need their Mama Jill to come home for lovin's. And Winston wants his bed back.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Packin' up the suitcases again

One more big trip to get through, and after that, while I do have a quick overnight trip to Lake Jackson, and a vacation weekend visiting a friend in Phoenix, I will be HOME until the beginning of June.

And what do I plan to do while I'm home, you might ask?? Well! Let me tell you.

First, I intend to play with the beads. Lots and lots of time sitting  and designing the beautiful items I've dreamed up in my head over the last year but haven't had time to bring to life. I have a list of projects that's so daunting - but I am excited to dive headfirst into the pile - like when I was little and dove into the pile of Autumn leaves, giggling and laughing and screaming. Exactly like that.

And I have a new bead cabinet that Mom and I scored from a fellow beader who needed to downsize a bit. We have plans to put it in our personal bead room to organize our personal bead stash, but naturally that requires moving pretty much every item in the room. Again. Organizing never ends!

And while I think they're gorgeous, I think Mom and I might break down and put the Christmas Ornaments that have been hanging in our front hall for the last three months away.

First, though? A week in gorgeous Santa Fe for Bead Fest 2011. I'll have a booth in the Convention Center, and my Quick & Easy Kumihimo with Beads class is sold-out for the second year in a row. (As a matter of fact, we just added a fourth session of that class for Bead & Button in June - on Tuesday night.) I'm also teaching a private class in Albuquerque the Monday after the show, and plan on being home by Wednesday. SWEET!