Monday, December 20, 2010

Names, anyone?

I'm definitely in a blue period.  As affirmation, I've just finished this . . .

I've been told by several members of the family that it's a bit too glitzy for me, so of course, I should give it to them.  There's lots of bling -- it's a new 36 or 38mm rivoli (I can't remember; am I really too old to wear it?)   The base of the piece is a wonderfully soft royal blue leather that's splattered with metallic paint.  I've no idea what to call it.  Names, anyone?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Blue Period

For those of you that know me and my beading habits, you know I tend to metallics and earth tones in my beadwork.  I can think of one thing -- a bracelet -- that I've beaded in blue beads.  Historically, blue just isn't my color.  Maybe this is due to the fact that I grew up in a home decorated in the 1960's with blue moire wallpaper throughout.  The memory gives me the shivers.  However, as my mother used to say, the function of the mind is to change.  Following that train of thought, I discovered a cabochon (Gary Wilson of course) that peaked my interest when paired with some new fire polish that came in this week, and one thing led to another . . .

I may be entering my blue period!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Dad's Hanukkah gift

As many of you may know, I have the MOST wonderful father in the world.  He turned 80 this year, and I wish I had the energy at my age (you notice I don't say) that he has at 80.  He works full time, works out every day,  and never stops pushing me to be the best that I can be.  I can honestly say I think both of us are having fun with this bead thing.

Hanukkah is this week, and dad is not the kind of guy for whom you can make jewelry.  For all the years my mom and dad were married  (47 before she passed away) he never wore a wedding band, and to this day he wears a pocket watch rather than anything on his wrist.  Buying a gift for him is IMPOSSIBLE; he has everything he wants, and what he doesn't have, he buys for himself.  With that in mind, as a tribute to him and all he's done for his family and community, I just completed this

which I will give to him this evening at our family Hanukkah gathering.  It is one of Julia Pretl's Little Beaded Boxes, this one entitled "Tree of Life."  Here's to you, dad, the man who's planted the deep roots of our family from which strong branches abound, and for many more healthy and happy Hanukkahs together!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where does your creative energy come from?

While I did not prepare a full Thanksgiving dinner (the kids and I were invited out) I don't think I want to look at turkey for a while.  Why, you may ask?  Well, the store has been busy, there is yet another shipment of czech glass due in the next few days, and I seem to be in the midst of a creative surge -- knit, bead, knit, bead -- whatever shall I do?  New fire polish . . .

and rondelles . . .

 and the ever hard to find 15/0 czech charlottes . . .

and the MOST wonderful new clasps!

To top that off, maybe a buying trip to the Big Apple, a visit to a gem warehouse in L.A. over winter vacation (if I can bribe the kids to tear themselves away from their vacation) and my dear friend NanC Meinhardt was featured in the craft guild newsletter (you can read it here -- just scroll down to teacher interviews).  Life is good!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

To all of you followers and readers out there, my heart felt wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving and joyous holiday season.  I am thankful to have crossed paths with each and every one of you.  Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives and your art, and thank you for your support of City Beads.  I hope to see you soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Stuff!

OK, gang.  The camera is down, but I still remember how to write.  All kinds of new things have arrived.  Just in -- beautiful new clasps from Germany.  My favorite is the clasp of two joined hands that closes with a magnetic closure. We've also received resin  flowers in beautiful sorbet like colors, sparkling Chinese crystal rondelles and Czech glass buttons.  And while all this is going on, I've completed (almost) four new original designs.  I hate to brag, but it's really nice to have your own store when you need to find just the right bead . . .  Pictures will follow as soon as I get the old photo studio up and running! 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'd rather be Beading

When I got home from work today (the job that pays for the beads) there was much work yet to do.  It was when I was talking to a dear friend about advertising for the store, while at the same time cooking boiled chicken for the dog (stop laughing) and ordering wonderful new clasps online and trying to get my son out of the shower and into bed so he'll get up on time tomorrow, and realizing I haven't blogged yet this week, and, and, and, and . . .  Hmmm.  I think I'd rather be beading!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Sneak Peak

For those who haven't come to visit, here's a sneak peak at the 11/0's (over 1,000 colors) and 15/0's (over 500 colors) in stock today!

So many beads . . . so little time!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Farfalle Beads

Just In!  These wonderful little beads are made in the Czech Republic.  My favorites, of course, are the metallics -- anything that looks like gold, silver or bronze works for me!  They work great in Ndebele, spiral rope and as an element in fringe.  Of course, anything with a metallic finish is good as an embellishment bead in my book.

Of course, for those of you who love color -- oh the choices!  And with an AB finish, no less!

Come for a visit and see the new farfalle beads!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Changing Seasons

One of the things I love about living in Chicago is being able to experience the change of seasons.  In a mere ten weeks, Chicago goes from this . . .

and this . . .

to this . . .

and this . . .

I've noticed that as I anticipate the changing seasons, the color palette of my beadwork changes.  By September, I'm ready to use bronze, olive, rust and dark teal beads.  Come November and December, I find myself using black, steel and silver colors.  And in February, I'm ready for the primary colors often found in spring (with winter in Chicago, spring can never come too quickly!)  Are your bead color choices influenced by the changing seasons?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Beading With Friends

I'm a very lucky lady.  Something that started as a "crafty past time" has become a passion and business through which I've met people who I know will be friends for life.  One of those people, NanC Meinhardt, has a group of bead artists over to her studio on one Sunday every month to share their work, thoughts and inspiration.  Today was such a day.  I often look at the men and women who surround me on these Sundays, and think to myself, "What am I doing here?"  Certainly my work is no where near their caliber.  The art that comes out of our "Beading With Friends"  Sundays is mind boggling.  However, I've come to be less intimidated by these artists, who I now call friends.  I've found that these Sundays force me to stretch myself, stretch my imagination -- and I always leave these wonderful afternoons full of new ideas and the energy to create new, exciting things.  Now, I just need about 10 more hours a day to do everything. . .   

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Itty Bitty Bugle Beads

Just on a lark, I ordered some bugle beads.  I'm not good at judging the size of things, particularly when length is described in the metric system, but I ordered #1's, which turned out to be about 3mm long.  They're itty bitty little things, and I can see a great application in bead embroidery.  They'll provide good coverage and detail at the same time.  I can also see their application as an interesting element in the Ndebele stitch.  C'mon in and check them out.  How would you use itty bitty bugle beads?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Can't Believe I'm Blogging!

OK. So if anyone would have told me 6 months ago -- no, even 4 months ago -- I would own a bead store, I would have told them they were nuts.  Now I'm thinking I'm crazy!  But I must say, it's been interesting so far.  First, I have no time for "dull moments."  Second, I'm forever changing hats.  Am I Mom? Accountant?  Lawyer? Artist? Business Owner?   Things are starting to run into each other.  But the best part?  Every day during my lunch hour, I get to walk over to the store and see all the pretty beads, open the new shipments and see all the goodies people are sending from all over the country.  How lucky can one girl get?