Sunday, November 11, 2018

Where is, where are? How I store my finished beadwork.

Perhaps you remember my article "Bead Organized" about storage and organizers for beads, trays, tools and boxes with cabs and findings?
Did you notice that something very important was missing? Yes! Finished Jewelry Storage. Let's call it FJS.

Nice "psyche"
It was missing because I hadn't found the right solution for me. I had boxes full of beadwork on my shelves. There were bags with things I had completely forgotten about... and that was simply not OK.

When you love beading, chances are that you have a growing pile of beautiful things. And even if you sell and/or offer what you make to others, there are certainly plenty of things you want to keep. Maybe you have a wonderful FJS. If so, I would love to receive photos of it to add to this article. I know, however, that some have their beadwork piled up in boxes in which it ends up entangled. I have many pieces in boxes too, but to avoid the entangling part, I put everything in separate plastic bags. It is particularly useful for jewelry sets: it all remains together and nothing gets lost.

In an ideal world, I would showcase my most special pieces on shelves behind glass, and have a vanity with lots of storage space, but as for many, my world is not perfect. My apartment is small and some places tend to be invaded by what I wear most regularly, or by recently finished beadwork that I don't want to put in a box immediately... Thinking about it - I made many new pieces the past year:

One year of beading (Oct. 2017 - Oct. 2018)

I saw several lovely "Psyche" out there, as the French call them, but although I quite like them, I find that they take too much space on the ground and the price was a little high. My big pieces would also not fit in there. The only place where the storage could be added was a spot between my bedside and the window. I have been searching for a satisfying solution during months, without success.

Now this article might seem to be about what you could do, but it is actually more about something to avoid, and that is buying plastic hooks like the ones in the photo left. 3 sizes, perfect for necklaces, rings, objects like brooches, and for earrings. Super cheap, they come in multi-packs. After some hesitation, I bought a shallow Billy shelf, in which I placed these practical hooks with double-sided tape and thought that I had found the best possible FJS I could dream of. I even made lots of photos of how I arranged everything... but... as said, the world is not ideal and my plan didn't work as I hoped. The tape and the lacquer, or whatever it is, on the Billy, didn't really like one another. During the night following my installation, all the crochets came off. Needless to say that we didn't sleep super well - the hubby freaked out when the first things fell... in the end there was so much beadwork on the bottom shelf, that the last pieces barely made a sound when falling. Only the earrings, light weight, remained in place.



Yes, beads are heavy and just like bead storage, beadwork storage has to be sturdy too! I thought about attaching it all with screws... but preferred buying peg boards with assorted hooks which I can move freely, tiny shelves and elastic cord which offer the perfect support for earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Unfortunately, this resulted in costing a bit more than foreseen. What I use less is in sturdy boxes, with stickers mentioning what is in there, so now I know where my CGB beadwork is, or tutorial beadwork, or contest beadwork, There is a  box for "specials", etc. So here is my FJS. It takes only 40x28cm on the ground but is 2 meters high and holds everything I want.

The bracelets are on a support that is normally meant for house-hold paper.
The tiny shelves are metal, and so magnets stay very well on them.

I cannot say that this is my dream FJS - the back of a Billy shelf is not so sturdy... but so far it  stays put and is very practical. Now if you wish to create this shallow storage with peg boards (called Skadis), unless you are really handy yourself... you might need an ingredient that might be hard to find: a handy hubby. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank my dear one for cutting the peg board and fixing it and also for the many other things he does. Love him b

My next buy might be a mirror that can open and close thanks to hinges at the back. They mention that one can add small objects at the back of the mirror where the crochets for screws are not in use. What I would do is hang my favorite pendants and earrings against the wall and close the mirror to hide it all! Hop! On my wish list for x-mas!

Now if I could find more hands to help me rip out old stuff to ⥀... but that is another story.  

I hope that this inspires you. Thank you for reading me! Maybe you also will like to bead with me?

Use coupon code CATHELIER to get 25% off of all patterns - valid only on my website until 30.11.2018 (not on Etsy). 

Happy Beading!

Cath

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

I love to be(ad) together

Except for the Fake website warning (annoying but necessary, and proof that interaction is vital), it's been quite a while since I wrote my last article, and I have lots of things to tell, and they are all happy things! (Note for those who might wonder: I leave the mean stuff out: you and I don't need negativity in our lives, and I refuse to waste my super precious time writing more than one sentence, and that is this one, about people I don't want to see, hear or deal with anymore).

First, let me share my happiness with you, for being a gold-gold-silver medalist in this year's Fire Mountain Gems beading contest! Yeehaw!

This is the dream trio:

Takato, Spirit of the Goldfish, got a beautiful second place in their purses category
Anthea's Tiara and earrings got a first place in the jewelry set category, and
Octavio the Octopus got a gold medal in the sculpture category.

If you follow the links above, you will learn more about each piece,
the making of and/or the inspiration behind each piece.

But there is more to all the above pieces than winning a medal: they are all representative of my 3 Facebook groups - 3 groups where I share what I love most about beading: beading itself, 3D peyote stitch with or without Cellini, lots of colors, a lot of interaction, mutual support and encouragement. "Bringing beadworkers together", which is the motto of the Beadworkers Guild, of which I am a proud member.

Takato was made using petals for his face and fantail. 3D Petals and pods are taught in  the "From Petal to Pod" group. You are welcome to join.

Some of the creations made by the members of the Petal to Pod group
I still have tons of ideas for the petals. I wish that I had more hands!

Octavio was made using my latest 3D Cellini peyote tulip design and has Cellini herringbone arms, and you can learn Cellini peyote and many of its applications in the "Cellini Peyote Freaks" group, including Bolas Canastas. It is a great design to play with and take further.

Some of my bolas. Somebody on FB said "Barbapapa".
Barbapapa Bolas would have been a super name too!

Katerina Bacikova from the Czech Republic wrote instructions in Czech for the readers of the magazine Koralki how to create her Bolas Canastas necklace. Can you spot it?


Basic instructions how to make Bolas Canastas should also soon be available on Preciosa Ornela's website.

Anthea's Tiara was created with the colorful Yukka Flowers created within the framework of last year's year-long-bead-along in the International Beading Week group. And the bezel at the top of the piece, the Cellini peyote Bezel, gave birth to the Bolas Canastas (as explained in my article about the tiara).

Official banner of International Beading Week

You can still participate in this year long bead along! Just ask to join and bead one component each month in the monthly color (you can catch up the 3 past months progressively) and at the end of the year, we all assemble our components to make a fabulous rainbow!

My IBW year long bead along Bolas Canastas.

In the Cellini Peyote Freaks group, you can participate in the COLOR CHALLENGES. There will be 3 challenges, and the first, which has already started, will end on the 31st of December. A draw will designate 2 winners among those who challenge themselves to participate in these challenges and THIS is what the lucky ones will win:

5 Tidy Rings (only 3 shown)
A wonderful pack of beads and the amazing book "Story of Czech Seed beads" 

The book included in the prize lot offered by the wonderful folks of Preciosa Ornela is a very special and beautiful book. I made a short video to present it to you:



Now something very important and new for me, that took quite a bit of my time to organize, but how worthy it was! I gave my first introduction to beading workshop to a group of ladies who had never ever done it before. It was in the framework of the art-therapy class of my ergotherapist - we had two 2.5 hour sessions. The aim was to see if the participants would like this activity, and at the same time to see if I could teach to completely newbies, and if the lack of light in the room would be a problem for the students - it was not as long as they had their lamps and I wasn't exposed to said lamps. The ladies all loved it, I loved it, and the ergotherapist loved it. Even she wants to bead on! I have no photo of this event - because a therapist cannot disclose the identity of the patients. But it was lovely. I am very proud. We all had a very good time, all wish to continue beading, and we can't wait to meet again!

Now I need to find a place where we can all meet on a regular, not therapy-related basis and where the lights won't bother me. I welcome your wishes of good luck, fingers crossed and good vibes, for it is not easy to find a place in my region, and if you can, please visit my shop and buy a few patterns to support me. 

In French, a workshop is called an "Atelier", and so I will call it my "Cathelier". 

Use coupon code CATHELIER to get 25% off of all patterns - valid only on my website until 30.11.2018 (not on Etsy).

Thank you for your support and for beading with me! 

Cath

Warning: fake websites!

This is a very important warning. It appears that many, many Etsy vendors, be it beading artists, designers, sellers of items to make jewelry and more, discovered this week that a hacker, or maybe a group of hackers, has created websites using their photos, listings and every little detail about their artwork, to create fake shops. They seem to have abused Etsy's database by passing via their statistics system. Everything is cheaper on these websites, but it are fake websites. You think that you will receive patterns or findings or crystals for half the price or even less, but in fact, you are buying wind. All they're after is your hard-earned money, and your credit card details.



Sofar, 7 sites, which are craft-oriented, have been spotted. If you buy from those sites, your credit card info and paypal ID will be known (and probably stolen) by the site, you will pay for your purchase but will never get what you paid for.

These are the sites we could identify as frauds - but please note that they can multiply and be copied in just hours with a new name, so please read on:

https://www.ekpneomall.eu
https://www.yakboymarket.eu
https://www.wmmgbaonline.eu
https://www.stlciashop.eu
https://www.icabseshop.eu
https://www.evertystore.eu
https://www.aftrotmall.eu

Beware of where you buy your supplies and patterns. We artists only sell on well known platforms, not on strangely named websites. I only sell on https://caththomasdesigns.indiemade.com/ and on https://www.etsy.com/shop/SamohtaC. If you see a pattern sold elsewhere, it is a scam. So be careful: these fraudulent websites are after your $, your credit card nr. and other payment ID.

Fellow bead artist and designer Katie Dean​ wrote a good article how to spot these sites.

And should you already have bought something from a site like this, it would be better to change your ID and passwords immediately for PayPal and possibly warn them, and Visa.

If you wish to learn more about spotting fake websites, this article should help you.

Now to finish this article on a less unpleasant note: this proves, once again, that it is better to buy directly from us, artists. We work hard for you to have fun beading, and we need your support, because if you don't buy from us, we will disappear. Don't buy from impostors.

See Katie Dean's brilliant Beading Patterns Directory for Legitimate Shops. This Directory shows the names and website of the shop of reliable designers. Have your shop added to that list if you are a designer, buy from these shops to be sure that you are buying from a Legitimate source.

And if you get patterns for free (we know that people share a lot without afterthought) but appear to like it and bead it or use it to learn, please come to our websites, and buy it to make things good again.

THANK YOU!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Bolas Canastas & Cellini peyote freaks

You may have noticed by now that I am a Cellini Peyote freak. And a pearl aficionada. My moto could be

"If it ain't got pearls, it's got to have swirls."

Because I love pearls too. I love to use them together.

Cosmic Spiral (not Cellini peyote, but it's got pearls and swirls)
After coming up with the dimensional Cellini peyote shapes within the framework of my 'Waves and Flames' study, I asked you, people of Planet Bead, if I should make a tut for each  or for all, and if I should create a group on Facebook where to share ideas and many answered that you wanted "all". Of course!

Lotus Bangle, Mermaid Tails,
Parrot earrings, Precious
Pomanderand Tulip Tassel
"Open Heart" - pendant, earrings,
bracelet and necklace
So I made nearly all the tutorials, individually, and also listed them as bundles: duos, a trio and  a quintet for the pieces I made with the 'Flames start; and 1 tutorial for several designs made with the 'waves' start.
I haven't made tuts for everything yet, but I have created the proposed Facebook group, to share ideas with like-minded beaders, who love this stitch too: the "Cellini Peyote Freaks" group. You are welcome to join.

'Waves and Flames, unfinished'
In this group you will find my paper about the principles of the "Waves and Flames" start, including guidelines to make a "Waves and Flames, unfinished" bangle. If you are not into Facebook, you can send me an e-mail via my website to ask for it.

To have something new to photograph for the banner of the group, I beaded up something swirly, of course: a Cellini bezel, which became a beaded bead.



The Cellini bezel is an old idea, left in a drawer, which I took out for the pink ice CZ in Anthea's Tiara - I wanted the bezel to match the Yukka Flowers. It is based on diagonal peyote.

Pink Ice cubic zirconia on top of Anthea's Tiara

And as explained in my previous post, this gave me the idea to make a gigantic bezel for a tape measure.

Cellini Measure Tape
My first try was not what I wanted for the tape measure and so it became a beaded bead.


Because of its resemblance with Mexican woven basketry (canastas), I called it Bola Canastas. 
It provoked something inside of me. Something I cannot explain in words, but these bolas are addictive. I made more. 
And more.
And more!



Rounder, longer, double etc. 




It's so much fun.


Because I have to take a break to rest my arms, instead of adding this to my pile of stuff to tutify, I posted a short, pretty bad video in the group, to show the beady world how to do it. It's just a technical trick... Amazingly, many beaders got instantly hooked too. Enthusiasm is infectious! I love that. But my video was unclear, so I made a graph and a new video, which you can watch here too:


In the Cellini group, many members seem to actually never have done Cellini, so I created class rooms and made the first graphs for 2 basic techniques, so that they can get started. There is still more to do. It's a nice place, with advanced beaders and beginners, and members are helping one another. Isn't that awesome?

Interaction with other beaders is what I love most. It is what keeps me going and writing patterns and inventing new designs. "Drink me" will probably be a tutorial (perhaps the tape measure too!). Perhaps even a kit, but I will have to find a better quality tassel.


Unfortunately for my arms, all this provoked massive tendon-overload, so now that my video is up, and you beady peeps can fly, I am going to slow down the pace, and thus...

I need help

I need a little help in the group. Thankfully Elisanne M. McCutchen joined nearly immediately as Admin. I am so grateful for her help. But we need moderators. So if you have a passion for beading, are inclined to help fellow beaders, and know Cellini peyote, maybe you will like to help moderate the group? It's not complicated: approving (sometimes rejecting) new membership requests, help newbies finding this or that information and perhaps delete a post that is off-topic.

My dream team would be composed of one more person in the Americas, two from the East (Asian, Australian), one or two more from Europe / South-Africa (or anywhere in between) and a Russian and a person from the Middle East. That would really be awesome. One instead of two would already be awesome, but you've got to aim for the moon to land among the stars, as Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said so well.

Enter the rabbit hole. Let's celebrate Cellini peyote together.



Thank you!!

Cath


Thursday, August 2, 2018

IBW "All year long bead along"

Beading is important in my life, so I am a proud IBW ambassador. IBW means International Beading Week. It takes place the first week of August every year and is meant to bring beadworkers together, to celebrate and promote beading to a wider public. IBW started as NBW, National Beading Week in the UK, under the flag of the Beadworkers Guild, a registered charity dedicated to supporting and promoting the art of beadweaving and is open to beadworkers and bead artists everywhere.


In the IBW Facebook group managed by moi, to have some fun in between last year's and this year's events, several members participated in a year-long-bead-along, e.g. making each month one component in the color of the IBW banner, and assemble it during this Beading Week.

All 9 Yukka flowers, in company of the pentabezels

I made two designs, one with pentabezels for the Meryl bracelet, which you can learn in the  Facebook group during beading week (you can still join and participate), and one with the Yukka flowers.

Here are the marvelous pieces made by the designers who participated:



Karan Parker made a unique design and covered one of her friends with hugs and kisses - in the IBW FB group you will see how amazing the necklace looks on her.
Coral Johnson also had an awesome idea: she made 12 beautiful twisted triangles (a June Huber design), to make a mobile with them!
Teresa Shelton made her own design, the "Sawblade Bangle" using her astonishing folded triangles.
Erin Markowitz made a gorgeous rainbow garden. She used the explanations from the Petal to Pod document to make little leaves for nearly all the components she designed for her necklace. I think that it looks like a paradise!
Amanda Cape-Davis took a very unique take on a design by Marsha Wiest-Hines - Lilac blossoms, by using a base color and adding each month flowers to it with a color from the rainbow. Something very special and beautiful.
Beth Clark made a beautiful collection of beaded beads in delicious neon colors and sent all her beads to participate in the IBW 2018 draw, and become part of the big Beadworkers Guild collection. Knowing that my own beaded bead is there now too, maybe sandwiched by hers, puts a big smile on my face.
and yours truly made a tiara (I describe the making of this piece in this article about the inspiration behind it).

My compliments to all the participants!!! Thank you for participating!