Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Butterscotch and green luster (Kits rant #2)

You may know that I am busily getting ready to submit classes for the 2014 Bead&Button Show.  The submissions are due Friday, and I still have a few things to stitch.  Steve said I should call this post "Stitch 'n Bitch", but I didn't want it to get confused with Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook, their other books, and their groups.  I haven't read any of the books yet, but they look like an awful lot of fun.

A few weeks ago my blog post was about my struggles in getting all the beads I need for kits.  I said that I had to order from five different places to get what I wanted.  One concern was price, but another concern was color.

Hold on... a package was just delivered.  Yes!  It's my final order from my purchases a few weeks ago.  That was fast considering it came all the way from the Czech Republic!  Excuse me while I open it to see if I'm going to bitch about the color of one type of bead or two.  This box is more secure than Fort Knox.

Huh, this is interesting.  Okay - I'm going to bitch about the color of two types of beads.  I'll cover the original one then get back to the Czech order.

Butterscotch.  Sounds tasty, doesn't it?  The original color scheme of my Cobblestone Path (that I showed in my post from a few weeks ago) has 6mm faceted round fire polish beads in a Butterscotch color.  I'm not able to buy in bulk where I originally got those beads, so I have been looking for them online.  I found what I thought were the same beads on only one website (called two-tone crystal and tan).  They didn't have anything else I needed, so I had to get a few other things to get up to the $25 minimum.  Not a huge deal - I'll use those to make jewelry to sell (as opposed to putting them in kits).

So here's the original color:

Here's the picture from the website of the two tone crystal and tan:
It's a bit hard to tell the color, but it looked really close.  I could see a bit of crystal in there, which made sense since they're called "two tone crystal and tan", but it seemed that the color would be mostly tan with just a little bit of crystal.  Not ideal, but I was willing to live with it.

However, here's what I got:

The color is very close, but look at all of the beads that are mostly crystal with hardly any tan in them.  I think that would completely change the look of the piece.  I wouldn't mind some crystal in the beads, but since the rest of the beads in the design are opaque I don't want there to be a lot of translucency in the largest beads.  I think it'll look weird.  Steve liked them, but I wasn't happy.  I kept envisioning what it would look like stitched up and didn't like it.  I'm sure the beads will work for something, but not for this.

I looked at the website more and found some 8mm two tone tan.  The picture looked too much like the crystal and tan one, though, and I couldn't find any of the same color in the 6mm size.  There was also a Butterscotch that I was curious about, but there wasn't a picture.  I called them and asked if there was a two tone tan in 6mm, but we realized that the item numbers were nearly identical (the only change was the code for size), and she agreed that the picture looked a lot like the 6mm size.  She said there's not too much of a call for tan beads so they don't have a lot of choices.  Just my luck to fall in love with a color that's hard to find!

I asked about the Butterscotch, and she was kind enough to e-mail me a picture, not just of the Butterscotch but showing them with the two tone crystal and tan:

They're a little darker, but the color is solidly matte (not solid, but I like the variations) with no crystal peeking out.  Steve and I discussed it, and we decided to not return the first ones (I'll do something with them, and we'd have to pay to ship them back which seems like a waste of money) and to get the Butterscotch for my kits (plus some extra black 6mm for more kits of that colorway).  They came yesterday, and I like them a lot better.

Here's a picture with all three of the colors side by side.  The original ones are in the middle so you can compare them with each of the new ones.

I'm pleased that I chose to not try using the crystal and tan ones and that I asked to see the Butterscotch ones.  Those stick closer to what my vision is for the piece.

Now for the green luster.

My original color scheme uses green luster Super Duos.  I really like them because they're opaque, matte, and have the slightest variation in color.  I needed more to make a second sample, but the store has been out of them.  I stopped by a different store because I was in the area, and while they didn't have "green luster", they had "opaque baby blue".  Wait a minute!  Blue isn't green, Traci!  Yeah, I know, but look:

The ones on the left are green luster, and the ones on the right are "opaque baby blue".  Yes, they have a slight bluish tint, but since I needed to stitch up my sample, they're close enough.  They look pretty good, too!

Today's package from the Czech Republic included 100 grams of Chalk White Green Lustre.  Here's the picture on the website:
My "Huh, this is interesting." from above is what I found when I looked at the Chalk White Green Lustre that was delivered.  There's some purple in some of the beads, which is not shown in the above picture.  I thought at first that some purple Super Duos made it into the bag (which happens occasionally), but the other side of the bead is the right color.  Sometimes it occurs on the side, sometimes on the end, sometimes on the front/back.  It's not on every bead, though, and it doesn't seem all that distracting.

Here - you can judge for yourself:

This time the original green luster is on the right side.  I purposefully put a purple one right in the middle of the "new color" pile.  You can see hints of purple in a few other beads.  Steve would say that I'm going to say this because it's purple, but I kind of like it.  It's just a touch, and it doesn't clash with any of the other colors in my Cobblestone Path design.

On a side note: if you want to pour beads from the original bag into a reclosable bag, don't do it over your example, especially before you take pictures.  Beads will go everywhere, and you'll have a hard time picking them out of the "original color" pile and will have to use new ones out of the tube to get an accurate color example.  On the plus side, since I had a hard time picking the new color out of the pile of the original color, I think I succeeded in finding a good source!

Now that all my beads are here, do I put aside the one I'm 2/3 done with and stitch a new one with the new colors to take a picture of for the class submission?  No, I don't think so.  Time is ticking away, and the one I'm working on is very, very close to what the kit colors will be.  (Steve is breathing a sigh of relief right now, I'm sure.)

Since this blog should actually have a point, I'll say that it's very important to have patience and a bit of flexibility when ordering online.  If I had my heart set on that exact color of 6mm bead or the Super Duos, I'd drive myself even more crazy trying to find them, or I'd spend a lot more than I want to get enough for kits.  I'm looking forward to making test pieces out of each of the color schemes to see how well I did.  Hopefully I'll get that done and posted next week!

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