Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Beadworkers: Seven Deadly Sins - SIN #7

Linda L. Jones
Have you already visited Linda L. Jones's blog, Wild Wicked Beads? That is where you will find 6 articles which she grouped under the title BEADWORKERS: SEVEN DEADLY SINS. Linda's articles are priceless. Her humor and talent as a writer equalled her beading skills: amazing.
You may notice that Sin #7 is missing. It will always be missing.
Linda passed away in 2012 after a very brave fight against brain cancer. She is much missed by Planet Bead.

I don't remember when exactly this year, but I got so upset by people manoeuvering behind people's back - something which has hurt me so much in the past, that I wanted to write the 7th Beader's deadly sin. 

While writing, I understood why she never wrote this one (at least, it felt so):
if Slaunder and Innuendo are the 7th Deadly Sin, writing about it was like perpetrating it... particularly the 'Innuendo' part, the "I have the right to write this, because... because what? I am better? or would never do this to someone else?"
Frustration disappeared instantly when I realized that. Gone, it was, and the peace of letting destiny's wheel turn came instead.

Linda, I now understand why you never wrote the 7th, but still kept the title. May your class and beautiful insights light a little light in the heart of many more beaders and people. 

Love and gratitude.

I'm starting the New Year with a fresh, clean mind.

I wish you all a very Happy, Creative, Colorful New Year!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'T is the time of year...

I wanted to send a newsletter to you all, but it seems to be illegal to do that (spam) without asking your permission. So if you would like to receive the kind of information as contained in this post, sign up in the little form on the left of this page - the star is the field for the e-mail, the two other fields are for your first and last name.

First of all, I would like to inform you that I updated the pattern for the 3D shapes "Pepper, Fork and Yukka Flower". If you purchased it from me in the past, please convo me to let me know if you want the updated version for this. I will send it to you by e-mail.

next... lots of nice things to know!

'T is the time of year... to look back at 2013 and give thanks.

I opened my Etsy shop in March, the first day of Spring, and sold 200 patterns! Many thanks to all for your support!
Mandala Beaded Beads by Datz Katz
One of the patterns was a fundraiser for my friend Debra from DatzKatz, it is not available in my shop anymore, but in hers, you will find her lovely Mandala Beaded Bead, together with other very nice and beautiful things.

A few listings have expired and instead of relisting them, I am planning to make a little booklet, mainly the botanical designs. I would love to know what you think about this.

'T is the time of year to offer yourself a treat!

Today, I listed the Ishtar Collar Pattern, 34 pages plus cover and back, with extremely detailed illustrations and instructions, lots of hints and advice. Ishtar Collar is very pleasant to bead, you won't want to put the needle down. 

Ishtar Collar - Honey Topaz
Marca Smit from DiMarca-Online teamed up with me to make kits available at a reasonable price.

You can choose 3 color variations:
- Honey/Topaz
- Malachite Green/Gold
- Silver/Gray/Black

The kit comes in a fancy frosted plastic wallet and contains the most beautiful Delicas and Tilas, with yummie metallic or gold luster finishes, and of course lovely little dangling drops, thread, needles and ribbon, everything you need to make your own beautiful collar.

You can choose to buy the kit with electronic or in paper pattern, or without - in case you have already purchased the electronic pattern from me.

'T is the time of year to gather together.

Rick Rack graph for tall peaks
We can get together anytime, but the past month, cool Contemporary Geometric Beaders contributed to a survey about Rick Rack bangle Sizes.
Thanks to their generous contribution, I could finalize the Rick Rack Graphs, a 15-page 'bundle' with detailed information and graph paper for you to colour in.
I will let you know on Facebook when it will be available. I am also offering the flags and pennants patterns for free to the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork web blog for all the subscribers to use.

'T is the time of year to offer a little present to those who count, which you do.

As a Christmas gift I have written a short tutorial for a simple,  pretty bracelet using superduos (Twin beads) and Czechmates Lentil beads. It is called Ayatee and you may download the free pattern here. Let me know what you think of it, send me your pictures!

Don't miss the special sale in my Etsy Shop, 2 patterns for 1, which remains valid until 31 December 2013. You may also convo me to offer your complimentary pattern to a friend.

My very best wishes for a peaceful, joyful time of year.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

I know how to swim, but not endlessly

My balcony in the summer
It might not seem so, but over the past months, I really didn't feel well. It all started with the return of the cold, end of August. I wanted to profit from my balcony a little bit more, because this year... well this year the heaters were on until the beginning of July and Summer lasted exactly 7 weeks. Unbelievable.

They did not put the heaters on very quickly, of course not... This resulted in cystitis (and a bad cold later on), and I needed to have antibiotics. When she delivered the antibiotics, the pharmacist said that I had to interrupt 2 medications, due to interactions. One of the two is for fibro and -I have to admit that now- mental stability. The pharmacist had already warned me in the past that it could affect the heartbeat, but I decided to rely on my doctors, who never said anything about that. But yes, my heartbeat had changed (I felt scary 'blobs'). During that one week of antibiotics without my other medics I felt ok, so I decided to not take them for a while.

In the meantime, my adorable physiotherapist said that I seemed to loose my inner light and that I should talk about it with my doctor.

Which I did, a tiny bit later than reasonable.

To make a long story short: I saw plenty of doctors and had to make plenty of phone calls and became really, really depressed. 

I love the view from my window.
Since yesterday there are ice flowers
on my favorite tree.
Someone suggested that it might be seasonal depression. Well, that for sure is not the problem. Not at all. I love Fall and Winter. I'd say that seasonal depression happens to me when it is still cold in June :) June should be nice, right?

According to the cardiologist everything is fine. I'm glad that I finally have that important medication back, since last Friday. I can feel the difference already. Hurray!

There is hope here. However, it was a shock to realize that beads and positive attitude weren't sufficient to remain balanced... I didn't even like beading anymore, and that felt so very wrong.

It is like swimming in the middle of the lake or sea. You've learned to swim but you cannot swim continuously. Plus, the water is cold.  The strength or power to keep on swimming and breathing weakens more and more... You need to have something to hold on to keep your head out of the water (or find a way to the shore). Happy to have the buoy back!

I am very very grateful for the wonderful support many of you have shown on Facebook when I wrote about this. Much gratitude and love to you all. You rock!

Now, I feel that I'm coming back. Suddenly I succeeded to finish the graphs for the Rick Racks for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork (in the process of being reviewed) as well as my patterns for  Ishtar Collar KITS. Yes, KITS!! This will be the subject of another blog post - suspense suspense!

For now, I want to celebrate with you that my heart is ok, and that I can take the much needed medication again. And with Christmas at our door, let's have a special

This is how it works: buy one pattern and write to me in the comments box which other pattern you wish to receive. I will send it to you via e-mail. Do not put the second pattern in your cart. 

You can choose a pattern of a lower or identic value as the one you purchase in my Etsy Shop.

This is valid until the end of December 31, 2013 on all patterns listed in my Etsy Shop.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

OTTBS challenge

I finally succeeded to finish something for a challenge, in this case organized by the excellent team of OTTBS (Operation Tackle That Beadstash), a Group of fun, positive and kind beaders. They have a Facebook page where I like to 'hang out' from time to time. They organize a theme-based challenge every month and the November's challenge was ''any film, no tricks''.

Gone with the Wind immediately came up in my mind, and looking at it, I knew what I wanted to make pretty quickly, but could not get to it until Friday 29, and due day was Saturday 30! Friday it went all wrong, wrong wrong, in particular the second earring - I finished it only at 3:30! They had to be finished, so that I could take pictures on Saturday!
So here are my “Scarlett” earrings. They are made with only one thread for the entire earring.

"Scarlett" - click for a larger picture
Inspiration is a pair worn by Scarlett together with her ‘Curtain Dress’. Since she has lost nearly everything during the war, I suppose that it is a favorite piece of hers which she kept as long as possible. I chose this pair because the bottom seems to have a feather, which is a nice wink to the title of the film. I also like the look of the bezel, simple yet sophisticated.

It is very probable that this jewelry was made by Joseff of Hollywood. I've never heard of him before.  While searching for more info about the jewelry worn in Gone with the Wind, I found out that he made an enourmous collection of ‘historically correct’ jewelry, with an antique matte gold finish that nobody has ever been able to copy.

Christmas tree of Joseff jewelry during a company holiday party.
Joan Castle Joseff on the left seems to fear that Shirley Jones
might really touch it. Photo courtesy Joseff of Hollywood
I liked the challenge of trying to make something which would look antique and the matte gold-lined Toho bead and matte crystal chatons are really looking ancient.
It was surprisingly difficult to find matching earwires. Gold and silver both took attention away from the discreet matte seed beads; bronze was too yellowish, copper too rose. I don't have lots of findings and spare parts like Joseff, so I took apart the hinged gun metal earwires from another pair, which ended up being a suitable addition.
Looking for more information about this man who made approx 90% of all the jewelry worn in films during the so-called Golden Age of Hollywood, it surprised me that his work is not in a museum like many costumes and gowns are. This is because he mostly rented the jewelry to the studios, and it remained in the hands of the family-run business. He was very famous, known as "Jeweller to the Stars". You can still hire jewelry for shows.
According to the International Business Times, the Harry Ransom Center acquired five dresses from the collection of Hollywood’s producer David O. Selznick in the early 1980s, amongst which the curtain dress, and intends to display them at an exhibit to mark the film’s 75th anniversary in 2014. Maybe the jewelry will be presented to the public, too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Gerlinde Lenz

Last week, Gerlinde Lenz, who lives in  Germany, came to visit me in Switzerland and stayed during 3 nights. This was the second time that I met her in real. She came to Switzerland a few years ago within the framework of the "Beaders' Voice for Nature" action, for which I organized a meeting in Geneva.
Fondling Gerlinde's beadwork
It was like having a family member staying with us, it was really good, we had fun beading, chatting, eating. Time went by much too quickly.
I learned a lot from her and she says that she did learn from me too, but I think that my contribution to her already broad knowledge is insignificant.

Beading with friends is wonderful, beading with an advanced beader is wonderful, imagine what it is to be beading with a friend who is an advanced beader. Simply fantastic. There were moments that we were beading in silence, as if we disapeared in the act of beading. You could hear a needle fall on the ground. Or a bead. Even hear a heart beat. Magic.

Diamond Weave Necklaces
Click to see larger pictures
I admire Gerlinde very much. Not only from a beading point of view - she is very clever, straight to the heart and trustworthy. She takes care of her parents who need permanent assistance. She has a heart of gold.

As a beader, she is the same. She's generous, clever and strong. Strong because she doesn't give up easily. She masters techniques extremely well. She is active on Facebook, where she shares photos of her work, info, tips and techniques, as well as on Flickr.
Because she doesn't have a website or a blog, I thought that it would be nice to talk a bit more about her. Her work is for sure worth a special article.

Gerlinde started beading more than 20 years ago and her enthusiasm is intact, her joy of beading is contageous and her open attitude is like one of a little girl. Her eyes shine each time she discovers or simply thinks of another possibility to explore.

The very small holes of the stone beads available 25 years ago forced her to find thread paths that would pass every bead for a maximum of twice.
She loved RAW, but wanted a bracelet with straight lines of pearls parallel to the direction of the ribbon, without threads showing at the outside. So she developed a very nifty stitch which she called Diamond Weave - "DW". It can be used to make various designs and patterns. At first glance it looks a bit like RAW (right angle weave) but the edges are smooth and looking closer to find the threadpath, your brain goes like 'Huh?'
Diamond Weave Bracelets
It somehow exploits the principle of adding the first and second row in one go, like with fast peyote. Another difference - and advantage - is that beading with this technique goes very fast.

DW is particularly beautiful with variations. It is really versatile, and the few pictures here are only a tiny example of a big collection of beadwork Gerlinde made with this stitch.

The technique is pretty simple, but for beautiful soft flat work a moderate tension is essential and I tend to pull a bit stronger, because I often make 3D shapes. I'll need to experience a bit more.

It is also possible to make ropes with DW, unusual strong, hollow, round ropes which look a little bit like Russian spiral, but again, the thread path is not the same and the result more hollow and stronger. You will find more pictures of Gerlinde's work in her online flickr Gallery, where she is known as Geometric Jewels.

Now the very exciting news is that she is working on patterns, maybe booklets with projects!

Gerlinde likes to challenge herself to find new stitches and new thread paths. She is able to make very intricate pieces and it takes an experienced eye to see the clever details, such as a nearly invisible opening in the beadwork to act as a button hole, or toggle clasp. She will favor making a piece in one go instead of assembling separate little parts, which is generally not the easiest way to make something. There are really genius beaders out there, and she is one of them.

Starweave 1
with star clasp
Starweave 2
with elastic
Gerlinde loves geometry and uses it a lot in her beadwork. She has, for example, developed 2 different star weaves, starweave. 1, and starweave 2.
Can you see the little star clasp which repeat the pattern in the work?

She excells at "what if's". She'll turn a little piece of beadwork into all directions, start it over an endless number of times, until she achieves what she envisioned. For example, she envisioned the double snap clasp below before making the bracelet.

A 'Herringote' ring with
flat round firepolished
crossing over
Nifty double-snap clasp with herringote
bracelet - the clasp came first.

Her zig zag using Peyote and Herringbone stitch alternately is remarkable. I remember calling it Herringote when she came up with it and I love how she takes the stitch further. The little ring here, where the difference in distance between the right and the left side of the work is inevitable, led her to add 3 tiny little flat rounds.

Instead of seeing this difference in length as an obstacle, she sees it as an opportunity for design.

Various double Zig Zag bracelets
Peek-a-boo bracelets
made with 'Herringote' tubes
Flat, 'Herringote' looks like fabric, like twill. But when it is circular, folded or shaped in whatsoever way, it can become very dimensional, like her peek-a-boo bangles, her flower bezels, her double zig-zag bangles... 

Gerlinde's work is all about pushing the limits. Here are a few examples of her nifty bezels for rivolis. I was very impressed by her flower bezel with little stacks, her swirl-bezel and her very beautiful Modified RAW bezels (with prisms).

Flower bezel with 7 "stacks"
Flower bezel with 6 "stacks"
See how the stone is attached: it does not fall out thanks to the cupped petals, holding it in place by the tension on the beadwork. Should one turn the petals of the flower to the back, the stone would get liberated.

Monte Carlo bracelet
The flower bezel above was born from a pear-shaped bezel. Playing with Peyote and Herringbone to create a little cup for a pear, she ended up with this incredible flower-bezel, the Monte Carlo bracelet, and exquisite puffy pear-shaped earrings.

Pear shaped beaded earrings
In the picture on the right below, you can see a bezeled donut hanging from her Swirling Herringbone rope, it is a swirl-bezel. Click on the picture to see a larger image.

This "Herringbone with a swirl" rope is another beautiful result of her explorations. She created this sophisticated design by "adding new stacks between stacks and subtracting stacks on stack".
Marvellous Swirled Herringbone
Necklace with swirling bezel for
the donut.
The swirling effect came as a surprise, she says, but she has since then understood that "the oblique stacks need more space than the frame, and thus a band begins to spiral."
Admittedly this sounds like chinese to me as long as I don't try it myself, but I know that increasing Herringbone is a piece of cake when adding 3 beads at a time... but decreasing...

The blue and green necklace below is made of 6 RAW bezels enchasing square, pointed back crystal stones. The stones have incredible depth and the setting allows light to reflect really well. Huib Peterson, who taught the use of prisms other than cubes in RAW, calls RAW with such prisms Prismatic Right Angle Weave, PRAW. The sides of the bezels here are the basis of heptagon links. Gerlinde's use of PRAW results in connections made with 5 and sometimes 6 beads.
Can you see the star-shaped prisms in blue, adding more interest to the piece?

The clasp is a very long, beautiful CRAW double toggle. Needless to say that it feels like being a princess when putting this piece on.

Last but not least, Gerlinde showed me this super nifty little sample of her zig zag start using different beads in the first row to better keep track of where the decreases have to be made in the next row. Can you see that tiny white paper confetti, which can be torn and thrown away afterwards?

Peyote start of zig zag (or Herringote) with different beads
The threadpath used makes a peyote start for a zig zag much simpler.

Zig zag bracelet with nifty start
Zig zag rings with nifty start
 Left: a zig zag bracelet made with the peyote start and right two little zig zag rings made likewise.

This clever start is described and shared by Gerlinde on Facebook.

Check out her work, her albums are really worth visiting.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Girl with a black eye

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. - Paul Klee 18 December 1879 – 29 June 1940

When I was a little girl, I had a fabric puppet with a blue dress and eeeeeeeeeeeeendless legs with red and white striped stockings, brown hair and freckles. I didn't really like this puppet, so long and skinny and far not as lovely as the perfect blonde sweet baby girl doll with the blue eyes which opened and closed and her sweet rose lips, but my dad loved that "Pippi Långstrump" doll. He compared me to her all the time, because I was skinny, tall and had freckles too. I know now that already at that extremely young age I wanted to be another girl...
I didn't realize who or what Pippi was. Only much later did I understand that she was an independent, intelligent, nice, problem solving, always singing, and funny girl, to whom nothing seemed impossible (too strong to be true - but that was a wonderful way to make believe that nothing is impossible). She was a little bit stubborn and sensitive too. My dad certainly put all the chances on my side to become like her. Strangely, without knowing it, and certainly because my dad loved her, I kept this doll in my heart for the rest of my life. I discovered that only recently, when I saw Dee 'Torcherer' Elgie's awesome three-part doll bead..

I had to have her. It felt like me. Like the true me. Fallen apart and put together again, still standing strong, despite the black eye. This black eye is representative of everything one cannot see - Fibro, allergy to light and PTSD. But... that black eye doesn't take away my worth. Standing strong, proud and honest, helping others when I can.

I love myself now. 
It feels good. 
Thank you Dad.

Now I have to find a way to do justice to this little piece of Art.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

When you bring your talent to the world, you've got to let it fly...

Sharing seems to be the word 'à la mode' on Planet Bead; it pops up in many a blog post and on social platforms.
For some persons, sharing their knowledge is a panicking idea, because they might not catch the deeper message.
Sharing is not about giving away creative ideas or designs. It is about avoiding a monopoly of techniques, and letting it evolve. Maybe sharing is not the right word.

Clearly, it is everybody's right to choose what they want to make 'public' or not. However, it should be commonly accepted that as soon as a stitch goes out into the world, the stitch becomes everyone's, to play with, to develop, and go beyond limits. That's what it's all about.

Techniques are not copyrightable. You cannot refuse the right to another one to use a particular technique. It's fortunate, because if we didn't have the right to use the techniques, we would not be beading at all.

An example why is it better to share technique:

This square is a 4-pointed 'triangle'
If the 'owner' of the beaded triangle refused to Planet Bead the right to use the nifty threadpath, then CGB Vol. I and absolutely all the other marvellous things which resulted from the nifty threadpath, would not exist. Also, the clever brain who developed this thread path would never have enough of a lifetime to create 1% of what has been made by beaders all over the world with it. Apart from a triangle, the technique can be used for anything. Without it, my Jalisco Bangle would not exist. Ishtar Collar would not exist. Entire books would not exist. Tons of designs would not exist. Not fun.

Why are we so concerned about this matter? Because of this:

This star is an addition of several
4-pointed 'triangles'
The problem of intellectual property brought Computer Science to a scary level of blockage because nobody could use this or that sequence or code anymore (there are gazillions of companies and persons who have patented their little sequence). This or that tiny bit of piece of electronics in their machine is someone else's property, so making something with it becomes that someone else's property.  It takes lawyers huge amounts of time to verify 'if this particular sequence or code had not already been patented'. Young talented future engineers were (are?) completely stuck, and could not move on and create because of this monstruous hijack of Mathematics (because in the end, it is just a certain way of using numbers). This problem might have been solved in the meantime, which I hope, but it illustrates exactly what we, beaders, do not want to happen on Planet Bead.

Jalisco is a 10-pointed 'triangle'
Note that seed beads and mathematics are very similar in nature due to their geometric shape.

Creatives who find a way of making something and who refuse the right to others to use it even if those others find out by themselves how to do it, or a variation, can simply not show their work. However, they better be open to the possibility that another brilliant someone could have the same ideas. 8 billions of human brains on Earth, that is a lot of potential. It happens to me all the time.

We all inspire each other. We all work with the same material. As designers, we know that the stitches are not ours, but what we make with it, is. And when others take it and make it evolve, we have to let it go...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Blog post for the Bead Mavens

I have been invited by Mikki Ferrugiaro to contribute to the Bead Mavens blog. It is about my creative process.

I hope that you will enjoy the article. Happy reading and happy beading!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

My only goods are my creative ideas

A new page on Facebook called "We support designers" has been created by Sabine Lippert. It is a page where bead shops can show their support to designers like me. Because a shop who sells beads needs designers to continue making designs for their customers. The shops collaborating with the designers and encouraging their customers to purchase our pattern for a workshop - instead of secretly giving copies - is rewarded with this new logo:

As an ethical beader you can also use this logo to show your support to creative minds:

I think that this is very nice. I'd be glad to collaborate with shops who want to organize workshops using my designs and if you are interested in doing that, I'll be glad to discuss this with you. Please feel contact me, because

Thank you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I scream Ice-cream

Free Herringbone Tutorial
There is a lot going on in the beadworld, but first let me present: Herringbone Stitch Tutorial, a free pattern to show you what my patterns look like and of course for you to have fun with flat Herringbone, or make a regular or a twisted rope. See how well the page layout suits a tablet? That is why I write in landscape and with a big font size.

There are more free patterns on my Facebook page for you. Typically my style, but the work is not  representative of my patterns. This one really shows the way I write and illustrate them. You can share it, copy it, transmit the link. No problem. But please don't do this with my other patterns.

My heart beats for The Beat
I live on a small budget and really need the little extra you bring to my family. You have no idea how grateful I am, dear beader with noble heart who buys my patterns! You have an unknown impact on my life. You not only allow me to buy beads (for new designs for you, and  mental stability for me), but also tea (Oolong -  for my physical health) and Croc's + medical soles for in my shoes which aren't reimbursed by my insurance (I can't walk without these). In addition, you make me dream. Dream that one day I might be able to buy new books or my favorite perfume again (my old bottle is desperately empty since months...). Books and perfume soothen the pain...

I dream of offering a big aquarium to my hubby one day. And maybe one day I won't have to worry about how the heck I'm gonna pay for the new computer... And you know what? I wouldn't need a new computer if I didn't write patterns, because even if the software is free, it needs power to run...and my old machine just can't have it anymore.

I never go on holidays, never go to the theatre or a concert, etc... but that is also photophobia-related and I have to live with it (or actually, without a lot of things). And I do. With passion. I'm a beadist!

At 'work'
What is a beadist? I hope that I don't mis-use the word. One day I saw that the brilliant Jean Campbell used it, and I immediately thought "Wow, a Beading Scientist". A searcher. A researcher (searching again, like "how did I do that, what if I change this") and teacher.
Yes. That is what we, pattern writers, are.
We search for new designs, we explore techniques 'to the bone', try to develop new stitches and threadpaths and tricks and teach them further, to you. We ask for as little money as possible for the huge amount of time going into this work. Yes, work. Many of us could have a job with paycheck at the end of the month. It might seem nice to bead and write tutorials. It is. It is as nice as selling ice-cream. Customers are always happy and smile when they buy it from you. Most tutorials are the price of two flavours on a cone.
Now, it may sound odd, but imagine that people steal your ice cream... You are so lucky to do that job, lucky to have so much ice-cream... hey! how can one make a living with selling ice-cream! You surely do it for the fun, don't need a job.

La Venezia,
Home-made Ice-cream Success Story
Would you continue selling ice-cream? No. You'd find another job, because you need the extra money, because it's a hard world for you too. Some, like me, have no other option than doing this type of work from home. Some beaders choose to stop a 'good' job they didn't like, sacrifice a lot to try to make a living with their passion.

People stand in a row, queuing to buy Daniele's divine icecream... He started with his tiny little ice-cream shop La Venezia all alone 20 years ago. His gelateria now not only pays the rent, but also the wages of several part-time employees... Yes. Those who are successful grant an income, even small, to others. Apparently, selling ice-cream can make a living for more than one person. Of course it has to be good. I remember him saying "that is 'XXX sport' when we said that his vanilla ice cream was the best in the world - which meant the 250th new, improved, recipe. Beading is also a question of doing a good job. Testing it. Recommencing.

Rania - Dangle Earrings
Less then two ice cream
So if certain people buy a pattern, why do they share it with all their contacts via PM or e-mail, of which some contacts share it further with all their contacts, and so on? Because they want to be loved by others. They want others to be grateful for the gift. And so the pattern goes round the world, gets added to huge 'libraries' of patterns stored in computers, sometimes on servers with limited acces - only available to those who are part of the club and won't tell anything... and the designer feels miserable because nobody seems to like what s/he makes. Why not pay for the pattern? It will bring you hours, and maybe years of fun (making and wearing your own jewelry). Ice-cream far less...

And honestly, what's the fun in making beaded jewelry and not being able to show it to all your friends online? Also, wouldn't you love to have your beautiful work showcased by the designer? It feels mighty good to be featured you know! Except the one who paid for the pattern, nobody can lightheartedly showcase her (his) latest beaded marvel, certainly not on FB or in groups, in public... Maybe at meetings  or on forums under cover of a nickname... But hey, the beadist - who also has a nickname on forums -, sooner or later will see it, or his/her friends will report it... And it hurts. It feels like a knife in the heart... It leads to bitterness and grief.

Now, why spend endless hours beading and re-beading and photograph and photoshop and write and illustrate and list and customer service, and, and, and? Because there are customers who are worth it and because we believe and hope that there will always be customers worth it. And we dream of / believe in a world with more honest beaders.

Many designers believe that we can reduce copyright infringement, little by little, through education. There is a new Facebook Group where designers get together to discuss these issues. I am going to join this group because I want these Korean thieves to take down my design, offered a few years ago to Firemountaingems. And because I believe in this 'education' idea. And because I believe in you.

You don't want to bead bad

May I scream? Please buy my patterns! They're good! They're fresh! As good as Ice-cream!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Out of BOTB'13, still BOTB-ing!

It is a particularly beautiful Summer in Switzerland this year. It is fantastic and much much appreciated after 10 months of cold. Being 'allergic' to light doesn't mean I don't like it, even if I have less freedom than a prisoner with a bracelet at his ankle.
I don't take apointments, do no shopping, nothing. It is like this the entire year, but particularly July and August. During these two months, and if lucky, beyond, I practice BOTB-ing as much as possible.

clic to enlarge
My apartment faces the North-East, the sun is there until a certain hour in the morning and I keep the curtains closed until the sun is on the side of the building.

Today, the noisy grassmower of our building woke me up earlier than usual and I have mixed feelings about it. It is the loudest, oldest, noisiest mower in this area. It is also clear that it is useless trying to explain that grass does actually not grow much in July and August, because it uses its energy to not dehydrate and save its roots. The very little shade it has left for itself is priceless... so now the grass will burn. Like every year when the replacement of the concierge-on-holidays takes the job too seriously.

Now I've heard that some newbies in the building complain when the grass is not perfectly mown, sleek an chic, fully under control. As if the slightest little flower popping up makes it seem wild and neglected... Too serious people, too? Ha! that makes me think of a scene in Asterix and the Britts... With many thanks to Goscinny who knew how to highlight with much kindness what we, his human fellows, sometimes take so seriously. He succeeds to make me appreciate too serious people in a certain way...
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I'm waiting for the sun to turn (well, the earth to turn) and do some Beading On The Balcony, my sweet little balcony in the shade, and write a new pattern for you. I often think of the lake, so close - I can actually see a tiny tiny portion  of it -, and the water, the  boats, sailing, swimming, icecream, wind in my hair... and am grateful for beads and a shower in my bathroom.
And icecream, too.

This is my summer. I practice BOTB-ing. Beading On The Balcony. Funny that it has the same initials as the Battle Of The Beadsmith. Of which I have been eliminated in round 4 by Eva Dobos, who made a super beautiful necklace! I am not sad at all. I am not particularly proud about having gone up to round 4 either. I could have been eliminated in round 1 by one of the truly incredible, magical pieces which are now in the final group. I loved participating: the wonderful compliments from my peers made it truly enjoyable. Many thanks!

BOTB'13 is  a game more than a contest. If you participate in it, better not take it too seriously.
Same as life, better apply rule no. 6 - a very clever rule developed by the brilliant Mr. Benjamin Zander. It makes everything so much easier!

Mr. Zander at TEDTalks.
And you? Do you BOTB? Or maybe you BIP (Bead In Public) in a park?

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sometimes you've got to have faith...

Today's post is about my Kanagawa Wave Bangle, made for Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Vol. II

Kanagawa Wave Bangle
It started with a sentence in the Basics section, obsessing me since the day I saw it:

'If you place the final bead of your round and skip passing through the bead from the previous round [...] you will transform the work from circular to spiral.'

CGB Vol. I, page 25 Paragraph 4.  

I wanted to make a spiralling triangle when I read that. But when making it, I found myself making something in between a Geobead, a design by Jessica Beels and a pillow bead like those made by Carol Huber, available for free in one of those lovely free e-books proposed by Beading Daily, called 'How to make a beaded bead'.

Geobeads by Jessica Beels
This brought me back in memory another design by Jessica, published a few years ago in Beadwork magazine... a croissant.

Beaded Croissant by moi
Suddenly inspiration hit me like a lightning bolt: waves! Big waves around my wrist, waves like those in Katsushika Hokusai's artwork 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' - I was sure that it would work thanks to the flexibility of the  MRAW bellyband in the center. But I had no idea how to find the right size. so I just went for it, with a very unusual number of units at the start...

It felt like wing suit flying. You know, those guys who jump off the cliffs with a pinguin-like suit... (and a safety parachute).

I like this picture of one of them a lot, he looks like a little fly near this Jesus:

I knew that only when completely finished, the wave would be visible... You can see it taking the shape only when you reach the very last rows of the work. So  either it would be ok, or a disaster - I really feared not having started with enough MRAW units...the bangle would have been too small in this case... It was a relief to see the adorable little waves finally curve... YAY!!!
Close-up of Kanagawa Wave Bangle

The Great Wave - Hokusai
The little horns on both sides appear to not only be necessary for the aspect (they represent a smaller wave and Fujiyama Mount far in the distance) but also for balance and keeping the bangle flat.

It makes me think of Mandy Hale's words:

"You don't always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go, and see what happens."