Friday, May 30, 2008

You Only Have One Chance to Make a First Impression

You never know when you are going to be called upon to make a good first impression. However, it would help if someone would give a heads up and say, " Today many people, you do not know, will read what you have to say." Especially if said person sets you up!

I loved the comments regardless of how they were generated and welcome all. From now on though, I will be more mindful that someone just may be reading all this.

Much of what I have learned so far in seed beading has been self taught. I will try to pass along any hints I have read or learned by trial and error. Many errors, many trials!

I needed to download three different free instructions from the Internet when I attempted to learn the African Helix pattern. The lesson I learned was that different people explain the same thing in different ways and some are way easier to understand and interrupt than others. The free instructions and pattern at were extremely helpful. On the left side of the site is a Free choice. There are numerous pages and I waded through all several times and have copied many of the lovely patterns. There are tutorials on several different patterns and by more than one designer. A video tutorial is at this site

What I will add to all this is I do the pattern "upside down" from all that I have read. I use a dowel as apposed to a pencil although a pencil does work. I have a few different sized dowels, 3/8 and 5/16 seem to work with most of my 11/0 or 15/0 bead choices. Instead of working my pattern downward with the beads on the bottom of the work, I turn the work and have the thread at the top after I do the first 16 beads and tie a knot. I load the 5 beads and allow them to fall down the thread to the dowel and hold them above the work and then insert my needle from bottom to top while holding the beads in place with my left thumb. As I snug up the thread, I allow the string to go in to the correct place by controlling it with my left thumbnail. I am leaving out all the pattern instructions and attempting to give a hint here. It works well for me. My first African Helix was a necklace, then a bracelet to match, and earring sleeves.

I hope to include a picture of necklaces today and with them is the dark and lime green African Helix first attempt. Also in the picture is the first necklace I ever tried. It is a cream and brown in Russian Spiral with a slide also in Russian Spiral doubled. I do not know if that is a pattern as I made it up as I wanted to add something to the rather plain necklace. The Flower necklace I got the pattern from the site mentioned above. It is done with seeds, crystals and pearls. I did not use the freshwater pearls round ones I had on hand instead.

A note on Cheap Beads...try to avoid them, as they only make your work look cheap. It costs a little more for good beads, but the work will reflect the the difference. It takes way too much time to seed bead to have the work cheapened.

Wow can I run to get busy my son Bryan is coming tomorrow.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Beginners Beginnings

I have the bloggiest of daughters and who was relentless about me blogging. Is it misery loves company or does she indeed think I have something to say?
Wow. I have lived my whole life waiting for my children to think I have something important to say. So based on the assumption that at least one of the four want to hear from me, I begin.

As an introduction, I am a happily married, retired, mother of four children and seven grandchildren. I am very proud of all of them and tend to brag. I have always had a "project" or two going. I macramed, raised and trained Bulldogs for show, crocheted, and taught health and physical education. I am now a judge for Bulldogs and French Bulldogs in AKC shows. I am also a recent (March 08) Seedbeader. I have found a passion, or is it just another of my compulsions?

I took a class at the Volusia County Fair Grounds at a Down the Street Bead Show early in March of this year. I bought a kit from Jenny of then paid a little extra and spent about 3 hours learning. I had never beaded before, but had a seedbead book I had owned for a year. I learned Russian Spiral from Jenny and have been trying to learn more and more via the Internet ever since.

I will try to learn how to add pictures and other things that may be of interest.

Bye for now...duty calls!