Friday, January 29, 2016


This morning as I was playing, making mandalas (making them is as good for meditation as coloring them), my mind focused on a friend who we know won't be with us much longer. As I put the finishing touches on this mandala, all I saw was angels and hearts. Here's to you, my friend. May the angels welcome you and give you peace.

I made another one from the same base. I see many paths, some dark some light, some twisted and curved all connected to or surrounded by other objects and I thought about how our lives were connected, as improbable as it was and thanked God for her presence in our lives all these years.

I'm in the process of making and publishing coloring pages and have many made up by now, but I haven't decided whether I'll share these two with the public. Right now they're my personal reflections of the past nearly four decades.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January is Regroup Month

My beadwork is still defying me. I've put aside the chenille stitch I was working on. Sometimes it went smoothely, and other times I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

I finally got the base for an open 3D heart to work. Now to just finish it. My hands don't seem too delighted to manage needle and thread (something I've been doing since I was four years old.

On the other hand, I'm getting better at making coloring mandalas. This is Tulip Cross made with a different technique than I've used with previous mandalas. It's a little more structured than some of my first ones.

I started downloading free mandalas to color, finally looked at one and thought to myself "I can do this". Then I started playing around making them and I have more fun making them than coloring. It's relaxing and fun.

I've been going through my Bead Patterns Boutique shop cleaning up some errors in listings. I started the shop while I was recovering from hip surgery 8 years ago. Obviously, my brain was still foggy.  All this time, I've never noticed I left out some crucial information. I don't know how I managed to sell anything. 

I'm trying to get a schedule set up to allot time to all my endeavors, but I've been so lax in that respect for so long that's a real chore.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Chenille Stitch Progress

The new year is starting out fairly well for me in spite of the storms keeping me practically house bound. I've made some progress with the Chenille stitch tutorial.

In order for the stitch to make sense to me, there has to be a design in it.  That's just me. The stitch is beautiful just worked with two sizes of beads of the same color. 
I've made a few swatches in order to test bead sizes etc. Here are two.  for the one on the right, I used size 11 throughout. I thought to create a little texture, but I wasn't happy with it.  The one on the left I used size 11 and 15. I like it much better.

I was still having trouble remembering which turn to use on the left (there are 2) and seeing the logical placement of beads that is now very clear to me.

I'm still working on the tutorial. I have all the illustrations done and enlarged to meet Hub Pages standards (I think). Now I'm just trying to string words together in sentences that are comprehendible. 

I hope to find a filter to take pictures of this gleaming, glittery bracelet when I'm finished.

I'll let you know when I get the tutorial posted to Hub Pages.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Joining the New Stress Relieve Rage

I decided to take a stab at coloring again. I haven't colored in many many years, but all the hoopla I've been seeing on facebook prompted me to download some free pages and just see if it was as therapeutic as everyone claimed.

The past 10 or so years, I have rarely used a pen or pencil. Everything was done on the computer. After I retired 8 years ago I wrote nothing in longhand except a grocery list (which I had trouble reading). It had gotten to the point holding a writing utensil was awkward and my hand would cramp in a very short time. I doubted I'd be able to color, but I had some colored pencils that I'd bought for my granddaughter five or six years ago and with the free pages trying wouldn't cost me anything.  

It wasn't long before I discovered that my fingers were much more limber and what hindered coloring more than anything was my eyes would get tired, but it was relaxing and I wasn't stressing as much over the trials of retired life.

As I was looking through some of the pages I'd downloaded, I did a double take when I realized, at least one of them was made with the kaleidoscope effect in a photo shop program.

I'd made a few snowflake brushes, so I had an idea of how the effect worked. I decided I'd try making my own coloring pages. I've spent most of the morning squiggling and adjusting and have found it just as relaxing as coloring. The picture shows four of the designs I've created and I'm getting a much better idea of how to make the initial "squiggle".

While I'm more at ease at the computer, I still need to keep coloring so I wan't forget how to hold a pencil.

I hope all of you are enjoying the holidays and are not in the path of these winter storms.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Flat Chenille Stitch

I had mentioned in a previous post the similarities between Pondo (African Circle stitch) and Chenille stitch.  Jean Powers posted a basic tutorial by Diana Balogh in Beading Daily.  It looked fairly simple except some of the turns were a bit complex. I spent several hours trying to bead the sample on the left from that tutorial and kept getting lost on the turns.  My solution, of course, was to make my own illustrations, breaking down the parts that confused me into different steps. 

While I was at it, my muse plunked some designs into my head so I made some graphs of those.  The heart on the right is the result of one of those.  I can't tell if the slight irregularity is a result of uneven tension (I know I got the start row too tight) or if the beads aren't as uniform as the yellow ones on the left.  I suspect it's a little of both.

Now that I've got the illustrations drawn and have sort of mastered the stitch, I hope to have an illustrated tutorial posted to my Hub Pages within the week.  Writing the accompanying article will be the hard part.

Wow! The year's nearly over.  Christmas this weekend.  I hope all of you stay safe on the highway if you're traveling, and that you have a very Merry Christmas. . .or whatever holiday you celebrate this time of year.


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