Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I have a confession to make

Sometimes, I am late to the party.

When I first learned beadweaving everyone in the industry was basically using Nymo or Silamide. Before long though, one of the beading teachers at the local store started talking about this new thing - Fireline. She was such an advocate that she talked the store into carrying it. I resisted. More beaders converted. I tried it once and hated it and kept resisting. The WHOLE WORLD converted to Fireline, and I finally decided I'd give it another chance. It took a few projects to get used to this new fangled thread imposter - it had all this body to it! I had to flatten the tip to thread my needle! It left black marks on my hands! But before you know it, I was one of the converts too, and I almost never use anything else now.

Which brings me to the topic of thread conditioners. Or rather, my lack of usage of them. Baby Beader Jill faithfully used Thread Heaven and beeswax on her Nymo thread. But over time....they kept disappearing into the great Bermuda Triangle of my beading stash.Because I got tired of buying it over and over again I simply stopped using thread conditioner althogether! No problems arose, so the habit stuck.

Enter Fireline into the thread condition equation. I felt like it made absolutely no sense whatsoever to use thread conditioner on Fireline. It wouldn't absorb into the thread like it did with old fashioned beading thread so it would leave a coating on the Fireline that would then block up the bead holes, and get sloppy, and who needed it? Fireline already didn't tangle quite like thread did, and it was easier to get out the knots when you did. So no thread conditioner recommendation from me! I was surprised when I heard that other national beading teachers DID recommend it. I just didn't get it.

So here's the confession part. (You thought I'd forgotten by now, didn't you?) This week, I finally tried using Micro-Crystalline Wax (the synthetic stuff that doesn't go bad on you and lasts forever - or until it falls into the Bead Bermuda Triangle) on my Fireline. And...um, well. I liked it. A lot.

Not only did it cut tangling to basically not at all, but it gave the Fireline a bit of resistance which will be really helpful for beaders with loose tension who need to tighten up. It also cut down on the black marks on my hand.

There you have it. You CAN teach a resistant old dog new tricks eventually. I am now going to recommend using the Micro-Crystalline Wax with Fireline. Yes, you may laugh at me now.

You can purchase it from my friends at The Hole Bead Shoppe. Just $3 for a 4oz. cup that will last you forever. For the local ladies, I am now stocking it at the house for when you come to bead.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Head Shots!

Like many people I know - I hate having my photo taken. I've gotten better about it over the years, mainly because when my grandmother died many many years ago, one heartbreaking moment was my grandfather confessing that the day before she got so sick she had to go to the hospital, they were scheduled to have a portrait taken of the two of them for their 50th anniversary. He balked at the photo shoot and refused to do it, but regretted it terribly after she passed away. So I try to remember that it's okay that I'm fluffy or my hair is wonky that day or I don't love the outfit I'm in. Because that's not the point of the photo!

Still doesn't make it easy, though, when your brain thinks you're significantly skinnier than reality. Seeing those pictures can be a shock! So I haven't been enthused about having to get a head shot taken for the book. But yet, that's my first book-related deadline, so - grumble - groan - put off - reschedule - whine - I finally did it yesterday.

I picked Korey Howell as my photographer because I loved the informal tone of her website - kinda silly and chatty, like I tend to write. Plus I also loved her photos! Much to my surprise, the whole event was, well, a non-event! It was quick, and easy. I chose to do several different clothing looks so I would have a variety to choose from (again, thinking they were all going to suck!) and also so I would be able to use different photos for different things. The book, bead show websites where they post the instructor's bios, bead stores where they are showing what classes are being offered by national instructors, and magazines when I'm published. But guess what? I had a horrible time choosing photos because they were ALL GOOD!

Here's what I picked - and I may go back and pick one more big smile shot. But really, I feel great about them! What a relief!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Albuquerque Classes Report

I was lucky enough to be invited to teach Pitaya Necklace to some really amazing beaders in Albuquerque last weekend. It started out small. A regular customer of mine, Bonnie, saw me at my booth in Tucson, and asked if I might be able to teach a private class in Albuquerque when I was in the area for Bead Fest Santa Fe in March. I figured, why not? I'd stay over an extra night, and we'd do the class that Monday before I headed for home again. And I was thinking it would be 6-8 folks since it was a private class. Silly me! I underestimated Bonnie!

She lined up a store for us to hold the class (Bead Obsession), and filled it with 20 folks! Then, due a variety of issues, the class got pushed back to April, and Bonnie told me she thought she could fill a second class for Pitaya if I did one on Friday and one on Saturday. And doggone it, she did!
Friday's Class - waving hello!

So we had quite the weekend of beady love. The Albuquerque ladies (and Jerome!) are simply wonderful beaders, and they have a great time together. Bead Obsession is only open two days a week, but she has a super selection of seed beads and Delicas and books! Wow!

And this was my favorite part - the owner made Delica sample mats of all the Delica colors (before the store was opened) and they are available as a reference. Can you imagine the hours this project took? I'm in lust for them!

I'm delighted that I'll be going back to visit them again the first weekend in November for more classes and beady love. I made them all promise to bring show-and-tell jewelry to share with me!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Secret news - not secret any longer!

I have been holding some really important secret news close to my heart since mid-February. It's been KILLING me to not be able to share with you! Because you guys know, I share everything! But today I got permission to announce it....

I'm writing a book!
(Two books, actually!)

I have signed a contract with Lark Publishing to write two books. The first will be part of the amazing Master Class series on beaded ropes. I couldn't be more honored to be included in this series of books by designers like Diane Fitzgerald, Laura McCabe, Marcia DeCoster, Sherry Serafini, Rachel Nelson-Smith, Maggie Meister, Sabine Lippert...and me! 
It will be released in the fall of 2012.

And then I go right back to work! Because I'll have a second book focused on advanced herringbone coming out 12-18 months later. 

Way back, as far as when I was 8 years old, I said I was going to be an author one day. And now I will be. Dreams do come true!