Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Story Behind: Butterfly Kisses

I was actually awake on Monday! During the day! And it may have been the power of suggestion, but I was more clearheaded and got more work accomplished than I have in weeks. Of course I'm already goofing up and it's now 2:30 am and am I in bed like I should be? Um....look! Over there! Sparkly! (Did my distraction work???)

Today was a great day with exciting news for me on the book front. I found out that through the magic of being the author and asking for favors, I was able to get a shipment of books sent out to me at my hotel in Philadelphia! So next week when I'm at Bead Fest Philadelphia, I will have BOOKS to sell! Those who have already pre-ordered them from me will be able to pick them up there. I also have a shipment of books being sent to Austin, but unfortunately they will arrive a few days after I leave for Philly. So I will get all the pre-orders autographed and mailed out from Austin by August 27th.

And then, because I was able to get my hands on the books, Betcey from Beyond Beadery asked me if I would be willing to do a book signing at the show in their booth! So I'll be hanging out there on Saturday, August 17th, from 1-3pm. My very first book signing! I told Betcey it was only fitting because she and Mark were literally the first folks I told about the book contract after telling Mom. They were in the right place at the right time and I just HAD to spill it!

So....wanna see another project from the book? (puts hand to ear to listen) I hear yes! So let me introduce you to the necklace known as Butterfly Kisses...

This is one of the few pieces in the book that have been previously out in the world. As a matter of fact, you may have seen me wearing it as it's one of my favorites! I have this one in gold and another in silver and they go with anything and everything. The name Butterfly Kisses comes from the fact that it's made with the ogalala stitch, which is sometimes known as the butterfly stitch.

Normally the ogalala stitch is a very light and airy, barely there ruffle. But I decided to put a new twist on it and make some adjustments that turn it into a more substantial, thicker rope. I think the look is feminine, but modern - not too precious.

I'd better work on that bedtime thing now. It was really nice spending the day with the fur babies wide awake. Poppy keeps us on our toes right now. She managed to escape through the smallest of holes in the fence to our back neighbor's yard. She got returned by being passed over the fence top! And how nice is our neighbor - he even offered to come fix it Tuesday. Or maybe he just doesn't want Poppy visits again. But how can one get too mad at this little sweetheart???

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Can you hold on one more day?

This weekend did not go as planned by me. Mainly because I am SO tired lately! In an effort to switch things up and try to sleep on a more regular schedule I'm working on trying to go to bed between midnight and 1am, and then sleeping until 9-10am. Also included in the plans is a little exercise, but right now I don't even want to think about that part. I do, however, want to go to bed now now now!

What I didn't get accomplished was scanning in photos of the book projects so I can blog about them - can you hang on one extra day while I get myself sorted out?

I also had to place roughly a bazillion supply orders over the weekend for all the last minute stuff I'm preparing for the Bead Fest Philly Show. I leave a week from today (Sunday.) Teaching six classes this time - plus the booth - plus - well, I might have a little surprise too, but I have to wait for phone calls on Monday to verify everything first before I get y'all too excited!!

Sleep tight!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Story Behind: Forever Tango

That blog post title sounds like a VH1 Special, doesn't it?

First up for our walk through the projects included in my upcoming book, Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes, is a sleek little bracelet I named Forever Tango.

About the time I signed the contract to write the book, I was out shopping and found a cheap (bad quality) costume bracelet that had a really interesting intertwined rope. I shelled out $4.99 for it (told ya' it was cheap) as an inspiration piece. My interpretation of it is Forever Tango.

I wanted to keep it small scale, so I chose to work with all Size 15 seed beads. The bracelet would certainly work with Size 11s too, so if the 15s scare you, don't worry! It will make a larger piece, of course, but other than that there's no difference.

I considered adding some sparkle in the center of the two knots - by way of a crystal ring around the middle section - but in the end I decided I was most taken by the intricate weaving back and forth of the ropes and wanted that to be the star. I'd love to see it with that sparkle, though, if you're so inclined to add it!

One quick note: I found a small boo-boo in the text on this project - you're fine if you follow the illustration, and I know that's what y'all do most of the time anyway! But if you read the text on the section referring to weaving the ropes together, it says you add both circles the same way. In actuality, you add the second circle the opposite way to make them mirror image.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Is it time yet???

It's so VERY VERY close to the moment where my little book springs into the world, and I finally get to start seeing what y'all think of the projects it contains. I've gotten some feedback over the last few months while I've been able to privately show some friends and customers as proofs and then my one hard copy came in, which has been so exciting - like showing off my newborn baby! And on Thursday I got to read my first formal review of the book from Jennifer VanBenschoten, of Beading Daily. You can read it here: go ahead, I'll wait.

Isn't that exciting! She gets me! And I have to tell you, I was worried that the peyote tube bracelet she mentions in the review was going to be one of the overlooked projects in the book, because unless you read the instructions you don't realize how it's made completely differently than you assume looking at the photo.

Which brings me to this - how about you and I have a little daily preview action while we all wait for the big release day?? I plan on showing you a project a day from the book, with any little stories I have about how and why I made the project the way I did, ideas for variations, and any other fun stuff I can dream up.

So don't forget to come back starting tomorrow!!! Okay? Because I'll be sad if you don't.

And in the meantime, how about this?? Two FREE patterns from the book have been released (you remember this post about that, right?) and already folks are starting to send me photos of the projects they've made from them! So if you make anything, will you pretty please send me a photo so I can show it off??
Flirtation Earrings by Danielle McElroy Brown

Flirtation Bracelet by Julie Grossberg Glasser