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.

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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?