Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bead something related to your country

What defines us? I don't know...

I am Dutch, but live I in Switzerland since so many years, that I could not tell Steven Weiss that I should normally not 'battle' under the Swiss flag. I'm happy to have a white cross on the red background for banner.
Swiss and Dutch Flags.
The Swiss flag is the only square flag for a country
I am not royalist for one cent, but when watching the inauguration of King Willem-Alexander in the Netherlands, I was a bit moved though. Quite honestly, I particularly loved to see all the boats and flags and the water... and the many people celebrating together.
I will never forget how I cried at my arrival in Geneva, after 2 months stuck on a bear-infested Ranch somewhere in Michigan, when seeing the beautiful lake and the Alps from the plane at our arrival...and how surprised I was to be crying. I love this place more than I thought.

I am not at all a chauvinist. When it comes to sports or art, I simply fall for beauty and quality of performance, for sincerity, the very talented ones. But when the particular team or person happens to be Swiss, I feel a little something like 'hey, how nice, "my" country also brings beauty, talent, quality to this world". I feel glad.

The Swiss skater St├ęphane Lambiel made me cry when he danced his Flamenco (not this video, but similar), so beautiful was his skating, his Qi. Since that day, I believe that I understand why - if there is a God - He loves humans; it must be for that moment where the spark of life glows, the beauty of an accomplishment makes time seem to be eternity. We see only the best on tv, but there is beauty in every person on this earth, in every first step, every action of bravery, every kiss...

Like Lambiel, the couple Duschesnay (brother and sister) have hypnotized me in the past. They were Canadian by their mother and French by their father. Even thought they lived in Canada, they skated for France, because there was already a couple representing Canada in international competitions...

They did well. Very well. They were not just excellent, they also were extremely innovative, despite the - far too drastic - rules, limiting a lot the dancers in their movements.

What they did in this performance was a dream, but at the end, when it is over, they fall... I watched this live and it hurted me even thought it wasn't me there on the ice.

The Duschesnay had a huge influence on the performances of the next generation, and even on skaters of their generation. Same for St├ęphane, always dancing on the edge of a cliff with remarkable dexterity, taking many risks.

Competition brings the best out of participants. I like contests for that reason. It can be tough, yet it makes us surpass ourselves. And even though it is the athlete or artist who is celebrated, they are there under the banner of a country.

The reason why I am talking about this is that I am participating in Nancy Smith's Blog Hop entitled "My Country, Of Thee I Bead". It is a challenge to make a piece of jewelry based on something that is distinctive to our home nation (flag, emblem, anthem or anything  else that seems representative).

What shall I come up with? Well, you need to wait until the end of June to discover it. It is not a contest and it is only for fun. It doesn't need to be a big thing.

Join in if you also think that this is a nice occasion to make something different.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Getting organized

I am still a little bit stuck with beading. Not because of lack of inspiration. In fact, I feel pretty tired and only make little things here and there on the corner of a beading mat. There is stuff everywhere all over the place to be put in boxes and, well... there is a serious lack of organizing boxes here in my room. A creative mess is nice, but I have to admit that having no place to put away unnecessary stuff, the space being eaten up by it, is really anti-productve. I feel demotivated. And tired. But I am not being lazy: I really want to clean my place.

Thinking of solutions, I realized that there is not much I can do apart from buying more boxes with compartment - because I have a nice place, with lots of trays and places to store my stuff.. And suddenly I thought that I could share with you what I prefer most.

Make-up organizer
I love my two little transparent make-up organizers which I use for tools, thread, pens for fabric, etc... here you can see one of them. Small but soooo handy.
And as you can see, I've added an elastic around bead tubes for them to remain together because they inspire me - maybe a new project? Don't know yet!

I have 10 plastic - stackable - drawers in which there is - fortunately - still place left for organizers. So I bought a few more little boxes online, and plastic tubes - I like my seed beads to be in tubes.

Bead Tube Tower
When ordering the tubes, I noticed that the little square flip-top (tic-tac) containers are less expensive... I have 4 bead towers for tubes from the Beadsmith and I love them - they are so practical to sort beads by type and by color. The Beadsmith now also offers a "Bead Tower II" for flip-top tubes. Click the image on the right to see their YouTube presentation. I still prefer round tubes because the lid of the flip-tops comes off if you use them a lot.

While browsing IKEA's website, I saw a very pretty oranizer: a white letter-tray box. To be honest, I have enough trays already, and I love them. My trays wouldn't fit in this organizer.

IKEA's letter organizer
Maybe I'll succeed to adapt my workspace to slide my trays like this somewhere... I think I will need my dear hubby's help for this.

I also saw a transparent over-the-door multi-pocket organizer on Ebay but didn't buy it - I already have a multi-pocket organizer where I put little bags with bead assortments for future projects, waiting for time.. but it is not transparent and I sometimes forget what's in there... It is made of green sturdy fabric. Shall I cut out little windows in the pockets?

I have white drawers with miscellanous stuff: adhesives, sewing-, cutting-, measuring-, and other useful material. I have 2 transparent boxes with little drawers in which I store finished projects which are not for myself and shelves with books. I like things to be white or transparent. It doesn't influence the colors of the bead work.

My order of last week (Delicas) has just arrived in the mail box and I can't wait to get started with them. However, I need to get rid of the mess first.

This is what it should look like:


You think that I have too many beads?

Of course not, one can never have too many beads!