Have fun and safe celebrations tonight.
My best wishes to all for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012!
For any of you who do not receive Suzanne Cooper’s newsletter (and if you don’t, you should sign up for it here) I wanted to let you know that she is having her annual 12 Days Of Christmas Santa Hunt. I always have fun searching for the Santa pictures.
Click around the pages on her website, and if you see a Santa, click on him. When you do, you’ll receive a free peyote pattern, immediately. There are 12 Santas to find. But hurry over there, because I’m not sure when it expires. And while you’re looking for Santa, enjoy looking at everything Suzanne has to offer.
I found all of them. Can you?
My back is finally starting to feel better, so I’ve been beading up a storm getting Xmas presents ready for the girls.
I did take pictures of these pendants that I also made for them. These are from Marcie Abney’s tutorial on her blog, La Bella Joya. They were a lot of fun to make, and I want to make some more trying out some different variations. I’d like to try putting drop beads around the outer edges, for instance. I hope the girls like them.
I’d also like to wish each of you a very Merry Xmas and a happy and healthy New Year! Here’s to all the best in 2012!
Here’s a fun timewaster for you. We all know we need more ways to waste time on the internet, right? This one is really fun though. At Photofunia, you can upload photos and make all kinds of special effects out of them. I made my wire spiral earrings into an art gallery painting. (they were just the first picture I had handy to play with)
Then I pasted them into an old book page.
Then for even more fun, I turned them into graffiti art.
I even put them outside in the snow.
There are all kinds of fun things you can do with your pictures! And it’s easy. The hardest part is picking which special effect you want to use. After you make your picture, you can save it to your computer. And some of the effects give you a choice of saving it as a 100x100 size avatar. I think I’m going to play around with it and make a new message board avatar.
Have fun! And don’t say I didn’t warn you when none of your housework gets done!
I have been wanting to make the beaded fish at the top of this page on Linda Richmond’s website for a long time. Previously, it was only available as a kit, as were most of her designs, and was way out of my price range.
I got an email a couple of days ago letting me know that Linda has changed her business model. She is now selling all of her projects as downloadable instructions instead of kits. And she has some beautiful designs! Take a look.
Now I’m off to get myself the fish instructions!
I did manage to do a little work with wire today. I had started working on these earrings from a tutorial by Pat Capostato a while ago, and I was itching to work on something so I thought I’d finish them up tonight.
I’m going to make them over again, this is just a practice pair, while I’m trying to get the “feel” of working with wire and doing different things with it. The bends in the wire aren’t very smooth and there are marks on the spiral from where I held it with my pliers while making it. (How do you hold a spiral to wind it without marking it? I couldn’t get a tight enough grip using nylon pliers.) And I took this picture right at my workspace, so having a bad photo doesn’t help.
They are a very pretty design, but aside from all of the mistakes, I feel like there is something just “off” about them and I can’t figure out what it is. I’m thinking that maybe I used a bead that was too big in relation to the dangle, so they look top-heavy, unbalanced. When I re-do them, I’m going to try with a smaller bead on top since the little dragonflies are so dainty. Maybe that will fix it and I’ll be satisfied. I’ll let you know.
While I was playing around practicing with spirals though, I found out that if I use a file straight across the top of a spiral it looks almost like it was hammered. But without the noise, LOL. Interesting. I don’t know when I’ll be able to use that little tidbit, but it’s filed away in my head for now.
I found a great website with some beautiful patterns. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow. Have a great day!
I’m in withdrawal! Beady withdrawal, that is. I haven’t been able to bead except for a few minutes at a time, and I have so many projects going on right now that I want to get done. So I’ve been drawing some peyote graphs with designs for my beaded beads. That helps a little, but I want to bead them up! And I still have to finish my daughter’s rock, work on a bracelet that I started, I still haven’t finished the wine bottle for my friend, and I have wire designs that I want to get to, and many earrings in my head.
And I’ve been a crab to everyone around me. I feel bad, and I keep apologizing, but pain makes me crabby, and beading relaxes me.
I’ve been going for therapy every day this week. No results yet, but hopefully I will start feeling better soon. First they relax my muscles with a heating pad for a few minutes. Next I get a little massage with an electronic wand. Then I lay on a table and they lock this device around my neck (cough, cough). It uses traction to create space between my vertebrae so that hopefully the herniated disc will move back where it’s supposed to be and I will be pain-free. Each day the time on the table increases by one minute and the traction weight increases by one pound. It’s not so bad, because at the same time the table is massaging my whole back. That part feels good. Then I put ice on it for half an hour, and then “see ya tomorrow!”
I really, really hope this works! I will just think positive about it and wish for the best.
Have a great weekend!
Before I get to the news about what I won, I have to tell you that I was in Michaels yesterday and I found a new toy!
It probably doesn’t look like a toy to you, but wait. I made this out of it.
I wanted to wait until I had more than one bead before I took pics, but I couldn’t wait. I love it! It makes a simple peyote beaded bead look so much more professional. I can’t remember where I saw this idea, but I’m happy that I did. They come in three different sizes (this one is the largest, it’s 22 rows of Delica beads around, 6 mm across according to my calipers), and also in colors with a little flower shape on the end. Now I want all of them, lol. If you’re going to go looking for them, I found them in the scrapbooking section.
I can’t wait to make more beads, and then turn them into something!
Now for the really exciting news….I went to the bead store to get some E6000 to glue the eyelets in, and while I was paying (with my gift certificate..cha-ching!) I saw my name and phone number sitting on the register. I know I’m a regular customer, but not that regular. So, I asked Ella why it was there, and she said I won the drawing that they had on Small Business Saturday! I can’t believe it, this is my first time to win something. I get a free class of my choice! I’ll probably pick a basic wire class, since I’m starting to teach myself how to work with wire. Wire-working is a bit harder to self-teach than beading because there is a right and a wrong way to hold and position the tools if you want to get good results. It would be nice to learn the proper way to do things right at the start.
Hope you have a great day!
YAY! Ahead of the anticipated delivery date, I received my copy of Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry by Maggie Roschyk. I’ve already read it from cover to cover.
Before Maggie even gets to the projects, there are 26 pages of luscious goodness, including how she comes up with designs, how to choose colors and finishes, what she hopes you will get from the book, a rundown on tools, and more.
Here’s a couple of sentences that will whet your appetite. “I consider starting a new beading project akin to having a small party on my beading tray. I’m going to gather together different and interesting characters and let them mingle.” She does have a way with words, and will make you look at your beads with new eyes.
There are 13 projects in the book, and while I will probably not make them all, each of them has techniques that can be used as a springboard for new ideas. She also demonstrates a totally different way of doing cubic RAW, so some who may be having trouble with it could possibly try it her way and see if you can grasp it easier.
The project instructions are written in a way that some knowledge of basic stitches is assumed and there aren't very many diagrams, although there is a glossary of stitches in the back of the book, so an enthusiastic beginner would probably be able to work through them. Maggie’s famous Poppy Pod Beads are in here! Although I think there is either a mistake in the directions for the narrow band bead on page 46 or I am reading them incorrectly.
All in all, it looks like a great book, and I can’t wait to get started using some of the ideas in it.
As soon as I can use my arm without pain, lol. I have been beading some small snowflakes for Xmas cards, but it’s a slow process, 10 minutes beading, then 30 minutes on the heating pad…
Well, I went and saw the new doctor today. He was certainly friendly enough, and thorough. He looked at my MRI’s and gave me lots of tests. He’s also getting my records from my pain doctor and the other “neurosurgeon”.
But one thing he said really pissed me off. When I was telling him how much it hurts (because I thought it might be relevant that he knows this is not just some derpy level 5 pain), he said, “If you’re here looking for drugs, I’m not going to give you any.”
You asshole, you have my medical history right in front of you. Including two MRI’s that show substantial spine damage. I am already taking more drugs than I want to be taking. I have a pain management doctor who takes care of any medicine I might need for pain. Did I ask you for drugs? I told you I am here to try out your Groundbreaking New MethodTM that controls pain without surgery or medication. WHY would you say something like that? I guess all the idiot people who do go around to different doctors looking for drugs ruin it for the ones who really are in pain.
Now I only wish I had said all that to him. Just because doctors don’t even think about how what they say might make somebody feel. Instead, I meekly said no, I am hoping that this treatment will allow me to decrease my medication back to normal levels. So he says he’s glad to hear that. Good for you, Doc. I’m happy you’re “glad”.
I’m still going to give it a chance. I go in Monday for a nerve test, then I start a physical therapy regime 4 days a week that uses a combination of heat and cold therapy, and some sort of traction-therapy to stretch the muscles. This is supposed to give the discs more room and relieve the pain. He might want me to wear a neck brace.
Also, I was worried about the co-pays, because I can’t afford a $40 co-pay four times a week. As it turns out, I was talking to another new patient outside the office. He told me that when he said he couldn’t afford the co-pays, the office offered to reduce his co-pay to five dollars. So, when I am negotiating with the office, I will be sure to tell them that I know they offered another patient a five dollar co-pay and that’s what I want also. I’m sure this place is making out like a bandit from the insurance money they’re collecting.
I really am still not sure if this is some kind of legitimate therapy or some insurance scam. (I gave you the website last time. What do you think?) But I guess I’ll never know until I at least try it. And at this point, I’d be willing to let someone stab me in the back with a fork if it would stop the pain I’m in.
So, I guess I’ll have an update on the back issues some time next week, if therapy begins that soon, which I hope it does. And I hope this stuff works.
I hate doctors. Even the ones who pretend to be nice.
PS…Sorry for the long rant. I’m just so tired of all of this.
After the depressing news about what my surgical outcome might be, I have been looking for non-surgical options. I found a neurosurgeon right around the corner from my house who practices something called “neuro-muscular re-education”. Has anyone ever heard of this, or tried it? I’d love to get some feedback.
He has a website, which I’m not sure is a good thing or a bad thing. Here it is. The only thing is that you have to make 20 visits in one month, which also means 20 co-pays in one month. I can’t afford $800 ($40 times 20 visits), but they said they will work with me on it. Supposedly, they have a 90% success rate.
I was able to get an appointment for this Friday morning to have a consultation. Hopefully I can find out more information, and not get yelled at for asking questions.
I’ll let you guys know what he says after the consultation. I have to get rid of this pain! It is soooo bad, but I think I’ve mentioned that before.
Even though I’ve already had a great birthday month, since my boyfriend took me on a trip to Mexico to celebrate, I got a wonderful surprise today!
I went to the bead store to pick up a few items during their Small Business Saturday sale. Spend $25 and get a $25 gift card back from American Express. Can’t beat that!
Anyway, when I walked in, Ella said “I have a surprise for you.” I said, “Oh, did you get those jewelry polishing cloths in?” (I’ve been waiting for them) She said no, they hadn’t come in, and handed me an envelope. At first I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t even process what I was seeing. She had handed me a $125 gift certificate from my daughter to use at the bead store!
I was so stunned! We don’t even usually buy gifts for each other in our family, we give each other a card and spend time together doing something fun when a birthday rolls around. I had to pay for today’s purchase on my Amex card so that I could get the $25 gift card from them, but that’s OK. I don’t want to spend my store certificate yet, I just want to…..hold it for a little while. Then I will use it little by little when I need, or even want, beady things. $125 is sooooo much money to me. I can’t believe I actually have that much money, just to spend on beads and nothing else.
As soon as I got home I called my daughter and I couldn’t thank her enough. She was happy that I was happy, and blah, blah, blah, we had a happy-fest, lol.
So that was a much better surprise than a polishing cloth. And when they do come in, I’ll have the money to buy one.
Well I finally saw a neurosurgeon yesterday, if one can call him that, and what a wasted effort that was! The man should not even have an M.D. license. I left his office in tears.
My pain management doctor sent me over there because I am having terrible pain in my back and arm. An MRI showed three herniated thoracic discs. She did not want to try an epidural because I had such a bad reaction (seizures) to the Medrol I was given, so she is afraid to give me any more steroids.
The “surgeon”, and I call him that very loosely, took a look at my MRI. He tersely said that the only thing he could do is remove a disc, but it might not work and might leave me paralyzed from the neck down or just paralyzed on the left side. I asked what are the chances of that, and he said 20% of being paralyzed from the neck down. I asked him what are the chances of just the left side (like I would really try the surgery after hearing the first answer anyway!) and he said “Why are you asking so many questions? Don’t you trust me?” I told him of course I trusted him (ok, I lied to him about that), he has done surgery on me before (failed surgery, I might add) but that I needed some facts to base a decision on. He said I don’t need to make a decision, he is the doctor.
I won’t bore you with the whole conversation, but at one point I finally asked him what he would advise if it were his daughter sitting before him. I can’t live with the pain, not even with medication, what options do I have?
He actually told me that I ask too many questions and that he cannot work with a patient like that, and did not want to be my doctor anymore! Even though I was in tears, I remembered to ask for my co-pay check back on the way out of the office, because I am not paying to be treated like that.
I went back to my other doctor, and she said she will refer me somewhere else, and will not refer any more patients to this “doctor”.
In case anyone is interested, this guy’s name is Dr. Yonas Zegeye. He practices out of several offices in South Florida and a surgery center in West Palm Beach. Don’t ever go him, EVER! If you are referred to him, run fast in the other direction. He has a God complex so big that you could fit the entire world inside of it and still have room.
So what am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? Besides the normal family and friends, I am thankful that I realized what a jerk-head this doctor is before I allowed him to come near me with his knife.
I didn't find all that much that was very different from what we have here in the USA while I was in Mexico, but I did find a few surprises. And who can resist buying beads in any bead store?
Here’s a picture of all of my loot.
At the top left, though you can’t see them very well, are silver-colored cell phone/purse charm holders. I never see them in silver color here, so I picked up a few. I also liked that they have lobster clasp attachments instead of the split ring I usually get on mine.
Then, on towards the right, just some different colors and sizes of seed beads. I can never have enough hematite, heehee.
At the top right are some round colored disks. The holes are in the center, and I think they are some sort of thin shell. Just underneath those are one of my favorite finds. Flat oval beads made of wood in several colors. The hole is on one of the ends of each bead.
The four red hearts are for Xmas earrings, and I couldn’t resist the two cute little pieces of turquoise to make earrings for myself.
I couldn’t resist picking up the two finished pieces of beadwork. If you can’t see them well, they are a butterfly and a puffy stuffed peyote fish, and both are keychains. I’m not sure if I will keep them or give them away as gifts. They are both very well made, and sold for less than $7.00 USD each. I feel bad for the girl who makes and sells them, she could charge more than that, they are well worth much more. If she had been a street vendor, I would have paid her more for them, but I bought them in a gallery so there was no way I could ensure that any extra money would get to her.
Here is a better picture of the fish and the butterfly:
The black round beads are just glass pearls that I thought I might use with my hematite. The holes are large, about 1 to 1½ mm, and there is no color flaking around the holes. I feel lucky to have found this strand. The ‘pearls’ are good quality. They are strung on a twisted nylon cord.
The other necklace with the charms and also the small group of bluish glass beads are vintage pieces. I don’t know what kind of beads those are on the charm necklace, but I’m sure I’ll be saving that set for a while before I get a really good idea for it. The clear round glass beads (if you can see them) appear to be vintage Swarovski. There are three of those silver charms on the necklace. I don’t know what kind or quality of silver it is. One of the silver charms is tarnished in the center with a greenish color.
I saved the brown beads for last because I’m hoping someone might know what they are. Here is a better picture of them.
The tag says “ivory chip”, but I’m sure they aren’t ivory. They are very pretty, and kind of pearlescent. I’m not very good at identifying stones. I tried looking on the MineraliA company website, but can’t find any similar looking stone chips.
The one other thing I bought lots of, because they were only a dollar each, were rubber bracelet blanks. It’s funny, we were just discussing something similar to these on the Beading Daily forum because we don’t find these bracelets with clasps like this in the USA. I think the ones pictured in the forum are leather, though, and the clasps are different. The clasps on these are stainless steel, and I intend to use the bracelet by making a beaded “slider” design around the rubber. They came with stainless steel sliders already on them, but I am going to remove those. They are just folded around the rubber. Here are some pics:
The top four pictures are clasp open, clasp closed, back of slider, front of slider. The bottom picture is all the different designs on the front of the sliders. They are made of stainless steel.
If I can get the sliders off neatly, does anybody want them? I will probably never use them. Maybe one of you metalworkers could use them as templates? I think I have about 20 of them.
@KipperCat, I don’t know if you read my blog, but I know you’ve been obsessing over these. If you do read my blog, let me know and I’ll send you a couple of the rubber bracelets to play with.
What a great trip! Even though I have 3 herniated discs in my back, so I was in lots of pain during the trip (seeing surgeon tomorrow), I still had a great time. I brought my heating pad and used it often.
I have a few notes, all unrelated, just things I observed and did during my trip.
Edit to add: I forgot to say, we saw "Occupy Mexico". There was a small peaceful encampment in front of the Mexico City equivalent to Wall Street.
I also bought some interesting bracelets. I’ll do a separate post for those because it’s image heavy.
I have not bought anything for myself for quite some time due to budget issues. My recent vacation, and all the bead purchases I made during it, were a present from my boyfriend. (what a great boyfriend and great present! He’s the best!)
But my birthday is Monday, so I have just placed two books on pre-order at Amazon as a birthday present to myself. Heck, I can cut out $32.00 from somewhere else. It’s worth it.
First is Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry: Ideas and Techniques for Original Designs by Maggie Roschyk. It is scheduled to be released on December 19, so I’ll get it fairly soon. I just love Maggie’s designs, and I’m sure her design hints will be invaluable!
My next pre-order was for Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects by Sabine Lippert. It is scheduled to be released on May 1, 2012. I’m sure by then I will have forgotten all about the order so it will be a surprise when I receive it. Exciting! I have always been a fan of Sabine’s work, and can’t wait to have this collection of her projects. Plus, this book is a hardcover!
I can’t wait to get them, and will write reviews of both as soon as I do! Hop on over to Amazon and get your own!
♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ …Happy birthday to me… ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫ ♫
I’ll be away for two weeks. My dear boyfriend is taking me to Mexico since this is my birthday month! We’re leaving tomorrow morning. My daughter will be manning the house while we’re gone. Please, no parties!
I can’t wait to shop in all the bead stores down there! I have a friend there who will be taking me to the best bead stores.
See you all when I return on Nov. 20!
This is so cool! I found a website where you can make your own QR code to connect to any website you have!
A QR code is that little square picture that people can hold their phone up to, and it magically transports them to your website. Of course I can’t use it myself, because I still have a ‘dumb” phone, but people with smartphones can do it.
I made one for this blog:
One for my ArtFire store:
One for my jewelry Facebook page:
This is fun! I almost wish I had more web pages so that I could keep making these all day, heehee.
I found this at Marshalls after-Halloween clearance sale. Four dollars, and I think it will make a great earring display! It even has a lazy-susan bottom, so it spins around.
My boyfriend says I should leave it orange and black, I’m thinking I should paint the orange parts black. What do you think?