Saturday, March 26, 2011

Week Eight: Nikia Angel

Our two, at this point very heavy, boxes have found their way back into New Mexico, to the home of Nikia Angel in Albuquerque. It will be fun to see what Nikia takes and gives over the next week.

Occupation (either bead-related or non-bead related): Bead Artisan/designer
Blog: n/a
Facebook Fan Page: Buy the Kit

How long have you been a beader/jewelry maker? 
I have been beading since I was 7, obsessively for the last 22 years.

Why do you want to participate in the Best Little Bead Box project? 
Sounds like a fun way to connect to fellow beaders and I have some cool stuff to pass along! And, it is for an excellent cause.

Have beads changed your life? How?
Beads are my life.  Beads have given me the wherewithall to build the life I lead and love. 

Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or advanced beader/jewelry maker? 
I consider myself advanced in some aspects and intermediate in others, but rank beginner with RAW and bead crochet!

How did you get started working with beads? 
My nanny (maternal gmother) taught me to do loomwork when I was spending the summer with her in 1960.

If you were a bead, what kind would you be? Why? 
I am a bead...a human bead.  We all are.  Stand straight, look at the sky and open your are a bead.  But otherwise I'd be a vintage swarovski crystal.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one kind of bead with you, what would it be and why? 
seed beads...11s would be best.  Because with them you can make pretty much whatever you want.

What is the best advice you've ever received from a bead artist, teacher or beading friend? 
Spread the joy.  Try to teach as many people as you can to move our artform forward.  If we don't teach and inspire the next generation of beaders, it could die.

Do you have a particular quote that you think reflects your personal philosophies? If yes, please share it.
Leave the world a better place. Play nice.

What was the best beady gift that you have ever received? What was the best beady gift that you ever
gave to someone else? 

The time and freedom to follow my bliss (continually given to me by my husband) and my husband's unwavering support of my efforts.  Best gift I've given would be teaching my daughters to bead and letting them rummage in my bead room for supplies.

Aside from beading, do you do any other crafts? What are they?
Not really...beads are pretty much it.

What three words would best describe your current bead stash? 
Unique, very large, sparkly

Please include a photograph of your very best piece of beadwork, if you have one available.

Dunno if it's my very best, but it is my current very favorite!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The BLBB spends the first day of Spring in NC!

It was a gorgeous spring Saturday in central North Carolina.  My best friend Linda and I were headed 90 miles East to Raleigh for the Bead Mercantile Show.   We were looking forward to the drive since the recent warm weather had urged the trees into bloom about a week early.   All along I-40 I felt like I was looking into an impressionist watercolor of fluffy white Bradford Pears, frilly palest pink Cherry blossoms, hot pink/purple Redbuds, the first green tinged blooms of dogwoods, the deep red of the maples and the soft greens of the newest leaves.  And at the end of all this vernal glory…BEAD SHOW!!  It doesn’t get much better than that. 

Returning home again to Greensboro by mid-afternoon, I was blissed out with beads and blooms and was considering taking a nap, when what to my wondering eyes did appear but two boxes of beads and my husband’s wry sneer.  “Now whadja buy?” was the greeting.  I didn’t expect the Best Little Bead Box(es) for another couple days, so I didn’t prepare him, and he and our postal carrier shared some amusement at what could possibly be in those crazy heavy boxes.

My nap forgotten, my husband and two cats (Harry & Amelie) all gathered around the boxes and spilled the contents onto the kitchen table.  Oh, yeah…I was experiencing bead nirvana now!  Bead-topia, bead-tacular, bead-zinga, bead-gasm (can you say that on a blog? ;~).   And there was my husband in the middle of the loot acting like a kid in a candy shop (a wrestler in a folding-chair factory maybe?).  How awesome is it to have a husband (30 years!!) that is so genuinely happy for you and what you love?!  So he helped me gently unpack and open up all the packages.  Here Amelie meets Courage.
What I took...
Urged by the BLBB goddesses Carol Dean and Jennifer not to be shy about taking, I started my keep pile.  Seed beads are my weakness so I made a beeline for those (several strands of size 8 mixes, a tube of pink 11s, a bag of transparent green that I had just about run out of, beautiful rainbow crystal cut charlottes and a tube of very cute pink peanut beads!).  One can never have enough Czech glass anything, so I got some leaves, flowers, ladybugs, faces and crystals.  I grabbed a couple cuff blanks, a knot of gorgeous pink/red silk strands, and that cool color wheel (THANKS Sharon!!), as well as lots of gemstone cabs, pendants, chips and rounds.  I chose some really droolworthy lampwork glass, a vitrail rivoli, a gorgeous porcelain face, some charms, a sweet Czech button, some clay and glass pieces and two yummy pendants and beads by Golem.

What went in...

In anticipation of the BLBB, I began a “donate” box a couple weeks ago and started filling it with goodies from my stash and as instructed, I gave gooder than I got.  I have to tell you that my face started to hurt from the giddy smile I got while bagging and tagging my contributions, I think that was my favorite part!!  Again, I started with seed beads: 5 hanks of assorted 11/0 Czech seed beads, two hanks each of burgundy and dark navy Czech charlottes, a couple size 6 bead mixes, some big bags O’ beads in matte rainbow amber and purple, 9 tubes of assorted Delicas, some green rainbow triangle beads, and some assorted tubes of size 11 seed beads and one tube of fabulous size 15 Miyuki hex beads in antique bronze (oh the sparkle on those babies!).

 In the odds and ends category, I included a bag of assorted shell coin beads, some nylon gift bags, earring cards, wooden balls (for beaded beads), assorted glass, goldstone, hematite and metal pendants, assorted findings and threads, a few pieces of vintage glass and acrylic cabochons, some gold charms and puffed hearts, and some kicky clay bananas, budgies and hibiscus flowers that came off some old necklaces.  I’ve added an assortment of Czech glass leaves, hearts, flowers, crystals, pearls, fish, cubes and rounds and four lovely gold 14mm rivolis.  Three beadweaving books are also included.   Are we having fun yet?!!

In the naturals category, I’ve added lots of rocks: cabs, pendants, donuts and rounds in assorted agates and jaspers including some paua shells, picture jasper, and an amazing pietersite cab.  Cat’s eye (optic) glass rounds in several colors, a bag of olive green fresh water pearls, amethyst chips and several strands of shell

 The Grand Finale includes pieces from some of my favorite artists: two Golem Pendants, a bunch of lampwork glass beads from Gail Hanley, clay tiles from FiredandFused, several bits from Lisa Peters Art, two polymer clay pieces from TrinityDJ, a polymer clay sun/moon cab by CreationsbyAna, two Kenyan porcelain beads, a raku pendant from a local NC potter, a couple gorgeous dichroic glass pieces, and two fabulous porcelain slides by Marsha Hedrick.   

Harry and Courage supervise loading the boxes
Before I packed up the boxes and tucked in the Tiger for the next destination, the Courage Tiger and I took a little stroll to celebrate the first day of Spring in North Carolina!  He’s a frisky little guy and enjoyed frolicking through the flowers.  I’d turn my back for just a second and he’d scramble up a tree!  I think he was happy to be out in the fresh air after being cooped up on his long travels.  He even hung out on my deck catching some rays! 

 In the Cherry Tree.

 Catching rays on the deck!

 Scampering up the Redbud tree!

The Best Little Bead Box is now officially two LARGE flat rate boxes weighing at least 25 lbs each.  As I told Carol Dean, it should either be illegal or required to have this much fun!  I’ve enjoyed the entire experience, not the least of which has been getting to share this great cause with so many friends!   

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Week Seven: Chris Maj

Our two anything-but-little boxes arrive at the home of Chris Maj in North Carolina yesterday. Chris will have the next few days to choose what to keep and what to add to these boxes before she sends them on to the next beader.
Occupation (either bead-related or non-bead): Homemaker / Bead Artist 



Facebook Fan Page:
How long have you been a beader/jewelry maker?
About 8 years

Why do you want to participate in the Best Little Bead Box project?
Beside the uncontrolled glee of opening a box of treasures and choosing a couple for myself, I would love being a part of the end goal of contributing to Beads of Courage.

Have beads changed your life? How?
Well, sure! I get to play with pretty, sparkly, shiny objects on a daily basis which makes me very happy. I spent 15 years as an administrative assistant during which I began to feel acutely the lack of creative/artistic outlet. Now I’m able to look at everything with the eye of an artist/beader for inspiration, and create ooak pieces that also make others happy.

Do you consider yourself a beginner, intermediate or advanced beader/jewelry maker?
I’ve acquired quite a few techniques, but still consider myself to be an intermediate plus.

How did you get started working with beads?
For Christmas 2003 I was making jar candles for everyone in my family and I wanted to decorate the jars with some pretty beaded ornamentation. At the time, beaded amulet bags seemed to be all the rage and I bought a book and began making them.

If you were a bead, what kind would you be? Why?
I would be a voluptuous lampworked goddess bead. A big, one of a kind, sorta odd bead that you would admire, but never be quite sure what to do with.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could have only one kind of bead with you, what would it be and why?
SEED BEADS!! There is no limit to what you can do with a mess of seed beads. You could make a fabulous hammock.

What is the best advice you've ever received from a bead artist, teacher or beading friend?
I can’t think of a single piece of advice, but in getting to know the community of beaders on facebook and ETSY, one of the things I’ve heard the most that has inspired me is “Try it”.

Do you have a particular quote that you think reflects your personal philosophies? If yes, please share it.
“Do what you Love”. I don’t know if it’s a direct quote from someone or just an often said ideal, but life is short, do what makes you happy and others will respond positively.

What was the best beady gift that you have ever received? What was the best beady gift that you ever gave to someone else?
A friend gave me this huge vintage bead from Africa and I had a blast playing detective to try and figure out what on earth it was. Still haven’t used it, but it’s fun to imagine. I’ve given my jewelry to many people because there is no greater gift than the happiness you feel as you present something special to someone. But one of my favorite giving experiences was in taking a beautiful agate that was very special to my friend’s mother, and creating a beadwoven necklace she’s able to wear anytime.

Aside from beading, do you do any other crafts? What are they?
Not currently. Back in the day I was a fabriholic and made quilts and renaissance costumes. And before that I crosstitched my way through the 80’s.

What three words would best describe your current bead stash?
Colorful, Organized, Incomplete.

Please include a photograph of your very best piece of beadwork, if you have one available.
I've attached a picture of "Mariposa" my entry to the Haute Couture Beading Contest that I created in September. My best bead embroidery piece. I've only been doing bead embroidery for less than a year.

I've also included one of my best beadwoven pieces, a cellini spiral.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Beads of Courage Tiger travels Fort Worth, Texas - We're on vacation!

Tiger shops for a cowboy hat
Tiger rides a bucking bronco
Tiger goes to the Fort Worth Stock Yards for the cattle round up, good food, and some antiques, too!
Hey, tiger, see that cowboy wrangle that steer!
Don't touch that cactus, Tiger!
Wow, a cross eyed moose, and antiques, too! Tiger had lots of fun here.
Tiger doesn't know what to think about the longhorn skull
Tiger gets all saddled up
Tiger rides a donkey
Tiger rides a road runner
Tiger shops for cowboy boots
Tiger gets arrested by sheriff armidillo, but of course he's innocent, so he was released.
Tiger isn't sure if this is an alligator or a crocodile, but he's friendly
Tiger at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame
Tiger keeps looking the wrong way when that stagecoach goes by
Tiger likes all the 16 longhorns at the cattle roundup, especially this one with the curly horn
Tiger is thinking about going to flight school when he grows up
Yes, Tiger is at the Fort Worth fire station #25. Look close to find him.
Tiger spots a PT Cruiser 2004 Dream Edition, and begs for a ride
Tiger loves all the trains that run along Main Street
Tiger looks over this plane and dreams about flight school

Sharon Erwine - The beads I added to the boxes

The whole donation above, detailed pictures below:

Bead book, color wheel, new jade barrels, new jade bib
Hematite rounds, Australian jasper, picture jasper, rose quartz,
jasper rings, fancy jasper, artistic jasper
(some of the rose quartz is hand cracked nuggets)
Dalmatian jasper, black lava, red lava
Green (yellow) turquoise, rhodonite bib and rounds, unknown stone rounds
Black onyx, black and white banded agate, snowflake obsidian
Cubic zirconia topaz and amethyst earrings, light amethyst briolettes, wood boxes, navy fossil stone
Blue chalcedony, fancy jasper, red picture jasper
Artistic jasper, picture jasper, rose quartz
Dalmation jasper
Green (yellow) turquoise, slab turquoise
Unknown stone rounds
Black onyx, black and whit banded agate, snowflake obsidian
Dark amethyst briolettes, purple fossil stone, green fossil stone
Blue chalcedony, fluorite
Green (yellow turquoise), Peach Blossom jasper (didn't photo well, there are
beautiful peach and blue flecks), picture jasper, carnelian briolette, poppy jasper
Rose quartz, dalmation jasper
Dalmatian jasper, turquoise
Unknown stone rounds, turquoise slabs, black onyx, Black and white jasper
Black and white banded agate, natural agate rectangles, snowflake obsidian, mahogany obsidian
Dark amethyst briolettes, Chevron amethyst nuggets, plastic rosettes
Blue chalcedony, moonstone chips, peridot chips
Unknown stone tile beads, rose quartz
Rose quartz, Dalmatian jasper
Turquoise chips, unknown stone rounds
Turquoise slabs, black and white jasper (oops, I took the bottom left nuggets back when I realized they belong with one of my projects at home - sorry!)
Natural agate nuggets, mahogany obsidian

And that's all, folks!