Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Appreciating visual beauty

Ok, I don't usually do movie reviews, but I find myself unable to resist. I just finished watching the 2010 movie The Warrior's Way. Let me be honest. The Warrior's Way is NOT a good movie. The plot is lame, the narration is distracting, and the acting is odd. There are ninja assasins flying all over the place and over the top evil cowboys where the ninjas fail to be. There is also blood flying everywhere! Big misty clouds of blood just poofing out of people. This is really NOT a good movie.

What this is, is a visually beautiful movie.

As I watched, I found myself entralled with the cinematography. Each shot and sequence was carefully crafted to be breath taking. Even the blood splatter (did I mention there was a lot of blood?) was asthetically pleasing! Who new a cute Korean man covered in blood could be even cuter?

I now find myself trying to figure out how I can capture the sheer joy of flying blood drops in beads. I don't think I can, but I really want to try, darn it!

Anyway, if you have a few hours to kill, and no squeamish stomachs around, I am highly recommending this film, 'cause, mercy me but that was awesome to watch!


Quote: Ninjas. Damn. - The Warrior's Way 2010
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- .... .- -. -.- / -.-- --- ..-

The ring pattern for this week offers a simple message - Thank you. Thank you to those who read my blog and to those who offer comments. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone in my obsession with jewelry. Thank you for support throughout the year.


Quote: I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 - 1882)
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Friday, November 18, 2011


My brain works in mysterious ways. I have several friends who frequently accuse me of changing topics midconversation. But in my mind, it's not a change of topic. See, my brain likes to connect things. And not always in the same what that others connect them. So we may be talking about trains, but my brain sees the industrial revolution --> Victoriana --> steampunk --> cool modded keyboards --> the most recent episode of Warehouse 13. And I will suddenly start talking about that. It all connected in my head.

This week, I decided I wanted to make one of the cool wrap bracelets I had seen that wraps around the wrist a bunch of times. The tutorials all say to use a clip board to steady the work. Yeah, that didn't work for me. And holding it in my hands worked, but because I am making a longer one, which means long thread, I kept getting knots. Then I suddenly looked down at it and thought, "This is just 2 warp looming". So I went and grabbed my bead loom, did some wrapping and presto chango!

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The piece is held, I can work in a motion I already know, and it all makes perfect sense in my head! Woo! It also allows for bathroom breaks without everything falling apart. Bonus.

Quote: Coincidences are a true paradox... on the one hand they seem to be the source of our greatest irrationalities--seeing causal connections when science tells us they aren't there. On the other hand, some of our greatest feats of scientific discovery depend on coincidences.
Josh Tenenbaum, quoted in "The Power of Coincidence," Psychology Today, July 2004

(for the record, the quotes always make sense in my head as well...)
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Finished Frosty Ring

Just wanted to share a picture of my finished Frosty the Snowman ring. You can find the pattern here. I did mine with a mix of Delicas and round seed beads, but you could use either!

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Quote: Happy birthday! Hey, I said my first words. But... But snowmen can't talk. Ha ha ha, come on now, what's the joke? Could I really be alive?
- Frosty, Frosty the Snowman(1969)
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More kumihimo and cake!

So, this weekend a friend of mine decided everyone should get flowers now and then and bought me one.

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It was delicious.

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This weekend I got to finish 2 kumihimo projects! WOO! The first was a necklace made with the pink rope shown in my last post. For some reason I haven't taken a picture of the finished necklace. I will correct that this evening. The second piece was a bracelet. I used some 6/0 seed beads in a Lilac Garden mix. I went back to using the smaller string, and it still caves in, but for some reason this time I am OK with that. Luckily I had some awesome Vintaj Magnolia endcaps that were perfect for it!

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Finally, I am working on making some Steampunk items for my sister, who has recently discovered this awesome styele. Here is the start of a cuff.

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Quote: Gods don't like people not doing much work. People who aren't busy all the time might start to think.
Terry Pratchett, Small Gods
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Voting is open on the Etsy Beadweaver's November Challenge

The theme for November was Totally Twisted. I am sad that I was not able to get my Klein bottle worked out in time to enter, but I will keep working on it!

You may review the lovely entries and vote for your favorite on the Etsy Beadweavers Team Blog.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

My first bead show and learning kumihimo

This past weekend I got to attend my very first bead show. I went with my sister to a small bead and gem show that was occuring locally. I am not sure if I was expecting bigger or smaller, but I was definately expecting different. This show seemed to have lots of rocks (cabs and otherwise) and lots of strung glass beads, pearls, and crystals, but very little of findings or metal. Since we went specifically to try to find some things I could make into steampunk jewelry for my sister, this was a little disappointing.


Also this week, I have been learning kumihimo - the Japanese art of braiding. Why? Glad you asked. For a while now, I have been working on learning bead crochet. While I have the basic technique down, it is awkward. Holding hook, thread, work and moving beads.... just awkward. It would probably get easier with practice, but for now it causes my hands to cramp. So, I came across a kumihimo braid done with beads that looked remarkably similiar to the bead crochet ropes I had been coveting. After a little research on youtube, this looked like something I could do!

My first project was done with the rattail that came with the kit I bought, and included no beads. Just learning the basics of the 8 strand braid. It was incredably easy! Move move turn. Move move turn. I like! The first braid turned out nice, but I forgot to take a picture of it before my niece claimed it for her own.

The second project I decided to try with some 6/0 beads I had and some #10 cotton thread. This did not turn out so well. While adding the beads to the braid wasn't hard, I found that my braid kept collapsing on on itself and not being circular. After some thought, I decided that the thread I was using was too thin for my beads. So I tried again with some random yarn. Better!

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With the yarn, the 6/0 beads had better support and it made a much sturdier braid. However, when looking closely at the finished product, I think the yarn may actually have been a little too thick. It shows a lot!

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It doesn't help that it is so very contrasting to the beads. I was getting closer to what I wanted.

Next I decided to try some 11/0 seed beads. My first thought was to use Fireline, but when searching it out, I came across a couple of rolls of Wildfire beading thread I had purchased a while back. It was originally purchased when I was experimenting with threads for beadweaving, but I had decided I hated it and turned to Fireline instead. One of the reasons I hated it was that it was too thick, which I decided might make it perfect for this!

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So, I am a couple of inches into my braid with 11/0 seed beads, and really liking it. The beads seem to fit together nicely with no space to see the thread, and the work is going fairly quickly - much quicker than my crochet attempts! The only real problem I am having is that as my braid gets bigger, I am loosing the weight on my bobbins and it is throwing off my tension. I may need to go invest in some fishing weights to attach to the bobbins. Or remove more of the stones from the bag I have weighting the braid... or both.

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Quote: Hofstadter's Law: It always takes longer than you expect, even when you take into account Hofstadter's Law.
Douglas R. Hofstadter, from Go"del, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid
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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

As long as it snows on a weekend or somewhere else that is. Here is my first peyote ring pattern for winter! Again, I really recommend mixing your beads to get a nice 3D effect.


If you have made a ring from one of my patterns, please send me a picture. I would love to know they are being used! Also feel free to send me (or comment below) any feedback about the patterns themselves. Thanks!

Quote: I used to be Snow White -- but I drifted.
Mae West (1892 - 1980)
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The joy of dabbling

I recently had someone tell me that I should focus solely on my beaded rings and should set aside everthing else like resin work or metal. I carefully considered what they said and why one might do this. Then I threw the idea out the window and went back to my dabbling ways.


The thing is, I like to dabble. While i truely love beadweaving, the very intricacy of it sometimes turns me off. There are days when I just want to make a quick item and see the results right away! For those days there is etching. Draw it, etch it, string it, done. Other times, I am drawn to all the pretty papers and stamps that I use with my resin.


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Still other days I want to learn something new, go off in some new direction I have never been before. Right now is like that. I really, really, really want to start working with precious metal clay. I keep trolling Amazon adding all the cool tools and clays to my wish list. I have been jotting down design ideas constantly. *sigh* If only I had money.


Quote: Lack of money is the root of all evil.
George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950)
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