Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breaking radio silence (and B&B Show class submissions)

Boy, when I take a break, I take a break!  My last post was on July 3rd, exactly five weeks ago.  Since then, much has happened.  We got a new stove, Steve's parents came to visit, I taught a class, two dear friends lost their pets due to old age (one of them was the dog I had with Dave - you can read about him a bit in my quote book post), and much more.

Above it all, though, I haven't been feeling well.  There have been many nights of insomnia and a fair amount of overall pain.  I knew when I stopped writing that I needed to get to work on the Bead&Button Show class submissions (due 8/8/2014 - so early!!), but I didn't feel up to working for long periods of time.  I couldn't stay awake during the day, and I couldn't sleep at night.  Yes, the solution should be to force myself to not nap, then I'd be able to sleep at night, but that doesn't work for me.  The culmination of this was about a week and a half ago when I did not sleep one wink the entire night.  It just about drove me out of my mind, and Steve has been extra extra supportive.  I'm still really tired, but the submissions are done and delivered to Kalmbach, so I have no deadlines looming over me.

I've made a number of things this last five weeks - more than just the class submissions.  I'm looking forward to showing them to you in the coming weeks.  I'm still not going to blog every day, though.  I think that put too much pressure on me.  I am going to try to post at least twice a week like I did at the end of last year.  That seems doable.

The B&B Show class submissions wouldn't have been so hard except that I wanted to submit a bunch of new things, and I didn't have tutorials written for them yet.  That is one of the requirements - they want to see the physical instructions as well as a sample.  That meant a lot of picture taking and editing as well as a lot of writing.

Here are the classes I submitted:

This is Double Decker Daisy, a modified daisy chain bracelet.  I've submitted this one before, and it's the only one out of this group that is a repeat submission.  I really like the movement as it's worn - those flower petals like to flop about like real ones do in the wind.  It uses twin seed beads or Super Duos to add some height.  The full flowers are a bit higher than the "buds" between them.

This one is Quadrille, a modified Right Angle Weave piece using Super Duos, Rizos, and crystals.  I've blogged about it before (this post has another picture of the above bracelet).  Steve thought that my official picture should show the whole bracelet, so he arranged it in a V, and I took a few pictures.  Looking at them on the computer, he said, "It looks like panties."  It must have been all the scalloped edges.  :)  The thing I like about this project is that there are a few different Right Angle Weave techniques in here so you're not doing the same thing over and over again.  Also, the threads between the Super Duo holes are masked with seed beads.  That makes the piece look a bit more ornate.

This is SDN15 - Dino-spine.  I really don't know what the stitch would be.  It's something I made up.  Frequent readers of my blog will recognize this one from many posts (this one is the most recent).  I'm really fond of this picture.  I was going to have all my pieces on white backgrounds, but then Steve remembered the box of petrified wood pieces that my stepfather gave him for possible use on his model railroad layout.  I think that's why he gave it to him.  It looks like a rock, but it's really petrified wood.  This page explains where petrified wood comes from, and there's an example that looks just like the above piece.  This picture not only looks neat, but it also shows the spiky nature of the bracelet really well.

I'm going to miss this bracelet.  One of the things I wanted to get done but didn't was another sample that I could give to Kalmbach so I could keep this one.  I have another one as a sample at Knot Just Beads (that's the class I taught a while ago), and it's not yet time for it to come out of the case.  Also, it doesn't fit me.  Ah, well, I guess I can live without it until October.  ::sniff::

This is Riding the Waves, a spiral rope with a bunch of different kinds of beads.  If it looks slightly familiar, than you must have read this post.  The change is the shell in the middle.  Karen Crown of Lady Crown Glass made that out of glass.  I first met Karen at the AGAB in Madison (you can see her here at the GLOW table), and I watched her make a shell at the Bead&Button Show (you can see her hard at work in this post).  After I knew I could incorporate this shell into my design, I talked with her about including shells in my kits, and I added to the instructions to explain how to do it.  Yay!  My shop page has not been updated to include the shell - hopefully I'll get to that soon.

This is The Ever-Evolving Spiral, a spiral rope technique that uses Super Duos and Rizos.  You may have seen this project here, here, and/or here.  These colors are something else, aren't they?  A friend of mine recommended them as something that would pop off the class catalog page.  She called it "Fiesta".  There's green, orange, pink, and blue.  Wow.

One thing that I found disconcerting while stitching a new sample of this design was that all 8/0 seed beads are not the same size.  That really throws a crimp in my measuring instructions, but I think I have it explained well enough.  This tutorial is so new (I finished it on Tuesday) that it hasn't made it to my shop yet.

The final one is SDN15 - Intertwined Pyramids.  Believe it or not, it starts out using the same triangle as the Dino-spine bracelet.  I really wanted this one to fit me, but it was getting late last night when I was finishing it and the instructions up, and it would have taken another 45 minutes to make one more segment so it would be big enough.  ::pout::  Oh, well.  I'll just have to make another one!

I'm planning on making earrings to match this, and I'll add those to the tutorial when I'm ready then put it on my SDN15 shop page.

Huh.  I must really like Super Duos.  Five out of my six submissions use them.  I have many more ideas bubbling around in my insomniatic head, so stay tuned to see what I'm up to next!  In the meantime, what do you think of these designs?  Would you take the classes if they're offered at B&B?


  1. Thank you for breaking your silence -- I've missed you!!! I love your submissions and wish you good luck!! - Abby

    1. Aw, thanks, Abby! I've missed you, too! You could have e-mailed or called me. :)

  2. I like the Daisy. The different levels make it interesting and the movement sounds intriguing too. I also like the Spiral - the colors really do pop! Good luck! I hope Kalmbach is good to you this year.