Tuesday, November 24, 2015

2015 Christmas Ornaments

I've finally finished this year's Christmas ornaments. Unlike past years, I only designed one new one this year. 

The Holly Wreath ornament is this year's new ornament and it will be on sale the rest of this month at my BeadPatternsBoutique shop. Check out my On Sale now category for it and other designs in my Shuffle Sale.

The Drum, Christmas Angel and Twin Snowflake are all from previous years. I've modified each angel and snowflake by changing colors here and there, so they all look a little different from the pattern (because I'm averse to doing the same thing twice).

My granddaughter will be hosting Thanksgiving this year. I hope it's a great success. I love family gatherings, but I'm reluctant to host them. I get exhausted just attending.

Now on to tedious everyday happenings.  It's time to start learning the flat chenille stitch I mentioned in my last blog. , , and then there's the matter of keeping my vehicle running. I've been saying for a year if I have to put it in the shop one more time I'm just going to get rid of it.  Maybe it's time to make good on that threat.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Which Stitch?

As you may know from my previous blogs, I'm obsessed with learning bead stitches.  Keeps things from getting dull, don't you think?

I first learned Pondo stitch as the modern modified stitch also known as African Circle Stitch. When I finally mastered it I went to work creating designs.  Pondo Ripples was my first design. Independence day was coming up, so I made it in red white and blue, but it works up nicely in any combination of colors you desire. 

You can find the pattern for Pondo Ripples on sale now in my BeadPatternsBoutique Shuffle sale.

Delft Blue Tile is the same stitch. As with any other stitch, the color placement creates the design.

When I first started learning this stitch someone mentioned that it looked like Chenille stitch.  I love tubular chenille for ropes but have never been able to figure out how to make the turn on flat chenille.

Recently, Jean Cox of Beading Daily posted instructions for flat chenille stitch. It is much more straight-forward that African Circle stitch and looks so nearly like it, you'd have to examine it closely to see it's different.  You'll need to scroll down a bit to get to the tutorial.

That,s my next stitch to learn. . .after I finish Christmas Ornaments. Only one more drum and one snowflake and I'll be finished!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Shuffle Sale


I decided to try to breath some life into my pattern shop at BPB in November. I have a lot of older patterns that don't get much attention, so I've compiled a list of patterns that did well when first published, patterns that never received much attention, my all time best sellers, and some new patterns. I'm calling this a shuffle sale because the items will change at random times during the month.

There are 21 items on the list. All items listed will be marked down bu 10%.There are five categories: bracelets, necklaces, earrings, rings and Christmas ornaments. There will be five items on sale at all times, (one from each category) but I may change one, two or all of them on any given day. The patterns will cycle through the sale at random and may reappear at some point during the sale. You'll never know how long any given item will be on sale, or when/whether it will reappear, so bookmark my On Sale category of my catalog and check it often.

You'll find there are various bead stitches and the complexity of the patterns go from simple to a little more time consuming.  Great items for gifts, ornaments or something special for yourself! 

The pattern for the ring shown is on sale as I write this. There are variations to the ring that change its shape, so it's almost like getting 3 patterns in one.

I made this pattern shortly after I wrote my blog post on the comparison between twin beads and super duo beads. I decided to try mixing the two brands of beads, and found that they could be used together if the twins were culled very well. 

Don't forget to bookmark my BeadPatternsBoutiaque On Sale Now page and check often for new listings. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Ramble

My Christmas ornament beading has temporarily come to a halt. Due to problems with hand-eye coordination, depth perception and other frustrations, I put the beadwork aside for a day or so.

I decided to try a little crochet instead. I found a beautiful pattern and a small scrap of sport weight yarn and attempted to make a swatch of the pattern.

I ran into a few problems. The first one: I haven't crocheted in so long I'm not able to hold the thread properly to maintain steady tension, so my stitches aren't even. With practice, I'm getting better and holding the work is becoming more natural. The second problem is: although I've been crocheting for 70 years and reading word patterns since I learned to read, I've never crocheted from a computer generated diagram. The pattern didn't come with a symbol legend and some of the symbols were unclear to me.

I went so far as to download a free crochet stitch program in order to find and decipher the symbols. I'm not too old to learn. No, I'll probably never make crochet patterns with it, but it was a great help.

I discovered that although bead weaving and crochet are both needlework, they each require different hand muscles, different ways to hold the project and a different approach to deciphering the pattern.  I feel that I need to go back to some of the handwork I grew up doing in order to keep my brain, and consequently my hand-eye coordination from deteriorating any further.

Now it's time to get back to the Christmas ornaments. Second angel is in the works. One more angel, three drums and one snowflake to go.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Christmas Ornaments 2015

I've finished 10 of the 17 Christmas ornaments I need to make this year. Five wreaths and five twin snowflakes. 
I made the wreaths first then the snowflakes.  On the fourth snowflake, I noticed that all of them had a stained glass effect due to matte transparent, transparent and opaque beads being used in each ornament.  It wasn't planned at all. I was sifting through my bead stash and that's just how things came up. Since nine of them were stained glass, I deliberately made the tenth one the same way. 

Now I have to decide which ornaments to make for the youngest group.  I haven't come up with any inspiration for that type of ornaments yet this year, so I'll have to choose from the 2009 collection or the 2010 collection. I need to go back through my notes and see who has what.

Everyone thought I was stressing over nothing when I was having such a hard time getting the wreath pattern to work, but what they didn't understand is how slow I am at brick stitch, so the last phase of ornaments not only contains more ornaments than the first two, but it will take me longer.  I just have to keep calm and breathe.


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