Thinking of Spring

The beading I am doing is on a piece of fabric that takes me right away from the snow outside my door. It’s soft and it’s pure spring.

Spring Flower bead1

Subtle is usually not in my repertoire. When I’m beading, in particular, it’s usually over-the-top-extravagant. However, with this piece I AM trying to use the beads for emphasis, not to overwhelm the whole design. It’s often hard to know when to stop, but I do have a goal in mind this time. I want to use it as a class sample, so I want it simple and I want the beading to enhance the print. I think it’s almost done now!

Spring Flower bead2


Feels like a new year…

I’m having some extra time this week since we are in a Christmas routine, not a regular routine. Getting out of the routine makes it feel like a brand new year already. It’s also enabled me to finish my little beading project that I fell in love with. Or is it finished? I’m never quite sure when to stop. I started out just wanting a few beads to use as a sample for a class.

Worlds Away3

The more I worked on it, the more I thought I could add. There were so many good places to put beads! Then I thought it would look better with some simple hand stitching. People are right when they say hand stitching adds something good to any piece. I liked it a lot better as I added the handwork.

At some point though, you just have to draw the line and call it done. But there is so much more room for beads, for hand stitching…

Worlds Away1

This part is pretty full, trying to be the focal point.

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This part has room for lots more.

The whole thing is only 11″ square, and I had lots of time to work on it last week. That made me realize that it took that whole week to get it this far done and I was supposed to be working on a simple sample for a class. Whoa, Nellie!!! Time to put the brakes on and take a serious look at how long it takes to do beading.

All those samples that I got ready to work on when we’re on vacation…hmmm…maybe I shouldn’t wait ’till vacation to start working on them. It might take longer than I think, especially if I’m doing more on vacation than sitting around beading!!!

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Maybe it’s just an excuse to start working on some just-for-fun projects instead of those things that I said yes to when I should have said no! Doing some ‘want to’ things instead of ‘have to’ things. That almost sounds like a new year’s resolution…

Life is short; follow your heart!

Playing with beads…

And it isn’t what you think! I wasn’t doing the playing; it was my grandson. He has loved playing with a pile of beads and little trucks ever since he could sit at the table.

Now, though, he knows how to open the jars that I keep on the table, full of beads.

AJ Beads 12.22

So now, instead of working on beading a project, I have a project to work on sorting my beads!

My husband thought the look on my face was so funny when I saw this. And it IS funny–just not what I expected to be doing this evening! Maybe I can play with the little trucks for a while, too, though.

Hope you all get a chance to do what you love doing over the holiday time. I know I will be with my family and it doesn’t get any better than that for me!

P.S. I’ll post again right after present opening time to let you know what bead and/or fabric booty I get!

Wooo-hooo! More playing!

Time…precious time…and I got some! It was, of course, spent in the studio. I could have had a dedicated session on a project that has a deadline. But nooooooo–I’m dedicated to playing right now, and serious thought about a serious project just can’t find room in my brain.

So, here’s what I wasted devoted my time to…

The sun ray beading project is just destined to be my project that takes forever. I didn’t do any beading on it, but the edges were getting a little raggedy so I decided that I’d better finish them off. And no matter how many shots I took, following all those picture taking rules, or how many times I measured, it looks like the top is wider than the bottom. And it’s NOT. Not that it really matters here, but that little thing bugs me!

Play again1

Facing the edge was my finish of choice, but it’s not a favorite choice. Once you get the facing on, you have to sew it down to the back, by hand. Yuck! That’s why I don’t do binding by hand…it seems like such a waste of time. But it is necessary sometimes to get the look you want.

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Then I skipped over to the pink and gray batik project. Got borders on it and got some basic quilting done on it. There will be beading to come and I think some hand stitching of some kind. And…I got distracted!

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Had to go to the fabric store for some thread…one little spool of thread. Well, wouldn’t you know it? They got in a new line of fabrics yesterday and I am in love with all of them! That rarely happens to me anymore and I certainly DO NOT NEED one piece more of fabric. Hmmm…It’s Christmas—time to ask for a big gift certificate. That’s a good justification, isn’t it?

But I did NEED to have one little fat quarter come home with me…can you see why?

Play again4

(Well, everyone’s tastes are different!) And this is the little project for a beading class sample that I am going to do right now.

I don’t need any samples until February, so the plan was to take them on our trip to Florida later this winter. Unh-unh…this one is getting started today.

Play again5

I think I may have sewing project ADD…but as long as I don’t have a taskmaster other than myself, it’s really okay. And I’m having fun, fun, fun! No holiday stress here, let me tell you. We’ll finish our shopping tomorrow (Right, Scarlett?). It’s not hard to buy some gift cards, and then I can come home and bead, bead, bead…fa la la la la, la la la la…

Does too easy make it less valuable?

Got some glorious studio time today…aaaaahh! Went right back to work playing with fabrics from which to make small beaded projects.

This is way too easy. I’m having way too much fun. Does this mean it can’t be real art? Do I really care about that? I make things that I like, just because I like them. If I happen to find a market for them or they are part of a class, that’s a bonus. So, here’s how you can join me in having fun, too!

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Using the commercial fabrics, planning on teaching simple beading, small, easy projects…can’t get much better!

I’m trying to get these all prepped so I can take them to Florida when we go and bead them there. I may not be able to wait! Maybe I can pick out just one to do now…Just plain fun and I’m smiling whenever I look at them. Try it yourself…you may like it!

Have you ever gone on a tree hunt?

We have been successful yet again! Our annual Christmas tree hunt has not been my favorite expedition in recent years. Now I know why…you need to have a child with you on the hunt for it to be exciting!

And when I’m not in the studio, there is nothing better than grandson time.

Practicing on one of the smaller species!

Practicing on one of the smaller species!

Helping Dad do the actual cutting.

Helping Dad do the actual cutting.

Poppa, those branches are prickery!

Poppa, those branches are prickery!

Home and mounted! Success!

Home and mounted! Success!

New beading class

I’ve decided that I need to try and entice more people into beading on their quilts. And I think the best way to do that is to teach it in the easiest possible format…utilizing the prints on commercial fabric.

A simple little block with a fabric you love…any fabric…can be used to teach the basics of beading.

However, I have so many great fabrics that I’ve accumulated over the years that I spent a good part of the day yesterday gazing at and fondling fabric.

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I finally narrowed it down a bit, but there are still so many from which to choose!

I was going to try and make samples that would fit a standard size canvas or frame, but when I found these two, the standard sizes went out the window.

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This one will be mostly outlining with beads, but there are some nice curves and some spots to show some clusters of beads or lines of beads for shading.

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The appeal of this one is that there are areas for outlining, areas for sparkle, clustering for color, curvy curves…there’s a lot going for an 11 x 14″ piece of fabric!

There really is no size limitation on what you bring to beading class, but I don’t want to overwhelm anyone, so I’m going to put a reasonable limit on my suggestions. In the meantime, the more fabric I look at in my stash, the more possibilities I see!

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I think I’m looking at a full winter of beading small pieces…I think my samples need to have more than just beads to be effective examples of what adding embellishment can do. So when I pack for our visit to Florida, I’d probably better include some hand stitching supplies and I probably need to bring my sewing machine. My mom’s machine is just a bit too ‘unused’ to reliably work with! Oh, and beads, of course.

And there may–just may–be the possibilty that I can find a piece or two of new fabric when we are there! Oh, and beads, of course!!!

I truly don’t think I will ever run out of things to do…ever, ever, ever!