Friday, September 19, 2008

Favorite beading items

I thought it would be a good idea to list and describe some of my favorite things that I use in my beading. This will give you a better understanding of my approach to projects and possibly give you an idea or two for yours. I will do this over a couple of posts, and who knows how many I will add.

Okay, in no particular order, here are some of my favorites;

1. Miyuki Delica seed beads! Size 11/0 in particular. I love the uniformity and the variety of color choices! LOVE LOVE LOVE

2. Gudebrod Kevlar thread. I love it for beading with Delica seed beads. It doesn't fray too much, it can be dyed (the lightest available color being yellow) and it's STRONG. I don't use it on every stitching project as it is harder to find than Nymo and other threads. You can find this fine thread at Fire Mountain (one of my favorite places to shop online for beads), Cabelas (fishing/hunting supplies online and in-store) and other fishing supply store, specifically for fly-tying. It comes in a variety of colors (red, black, yellow, orange, brown, etc) and some are harder to find than others. I find the best color is yellow and you can use Sharpie marker to dye the thread if you want.

3. John James size 12 beading needles in a variety of lenghts. The size 12 needle is perfect for stitching with size 11/0 Delicas.

4. Sharpie markers. I love them all. I don't use them too much with beading except in the first stages of designing a project. I love the ultra fine tip. The uses for Sharpie markers are unlimited.

Okay, that is all for tonight. We are having a pretty decent thunder storm here in Jax tonight and it makes it hard to concentrate.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Bead patterns for sale

Oh, I forgot to mention, I have patterns for sale under the name, 3 Peeps Designs! I have quite a few of them and am now wondering if I should post some on Etsy or other bead pattern sites because Sova Enterprises, the owners of www.bead-patterns.com takes a hefty chunk of money.

I am also investigating free software for putting watermarks on my images. I would hate to find someone is using my patterns without giving me credit.

I am back and am committed to doing this, if only for myself

Okay, I am back. Sorry for the long absence, I have been busy, busy, busy. I started homeschooling my two kids and that takes A HUGE chunk of my time. Not to mention I am never alone unless I am in the bathroom, and then I still have company because my puppy always joins me. That is another change in my life that has added to the time crunch. His name is Charlie (I picked the name because of the adorable commercial of the baby laughing and his name was Charlie). Anyway, he is 8 months old now.

My parents rescued a stray after the death of their dog, Phantom. I was there for it, helped and cheered them on. I hoped with all my might that they would keep her. I am a sucker for animals and so is my father. I think that is why her chances for staying with them were so great. And of course my mother is a nurturer and thus couldn't turn her back on the dog. They ended up calling her Sophie, my father doesn't like the name, but hey, she picked it! Anyway, she didn't appear to have ever been in a house. I can only imagine what was done to her, but my parents worked with her (with a little help from me and my husband, and kids, and sister and brother-in-law -- It was a true family effort) and now I don't think you could entice her to leave. We could tell she had never been in a house when she ran through the sliding patio door to the outside world when my sister flushed the toilet! Thankfully the screen was shut and not the glass. She is at least part pit bull and so she has a big, hard head, but going through the glass still would have hurt. Anyway the rescue started at the beginning of November. I still remember taking her food to the empty lot and trying to get her to come to me. Now, she will happily tackle you and lay on you and drool on you. Of course, we tried to find her owners, but with all of her character ticks, trust issues, etc, we are glad we never found them. She still won't go into a crate, not even for food, and is only now just starting to eat in the kitchen. Anyway, December rolled around and we concluded she was definitely pregnant. For as malnourished as she was, she gained weight and had 9 healthy puppies. One was definitely the runt, my husband and I went to Walmart at 3 in the morning for puppy bottles and milk. Through a million forced feedings, she is doing great. She is still the smallest, my Charlie is 66lbs, and Piper the runt, is 36lbs. They must have been mixed with a lab of some sort. Anyway, my parents kept Sophie the stray and Piper the runt. We kept Charlie, and my sister and her husband kept Pebbles. We found loving homes for the 6 other puppies... after the first went home with a family, it got easier. Of course this all provided a remarkable learning opportunity for the homeschooled kids!

And with the addition of a new puppy we had potty training and all the other training required for a well behaved dog. He definitely has the best temperament and our other dog, Apple really loves him. She can play rough and not worry about hurting him. We also had to get eye surgery for Charlie because he ended up having a birth defect, a growth on his eye. $1000 and his eye is almost as good as new. Trying to keep him out of trouble while his eye was healing, was a job in itself! Then of course, we had to have him neutered and that was more constant babysitting so that he didn't open the stitches.... Time in a bottle would be great about now. And then of course I spent a lot of time reading everything I could about pit bulls. It was a huge decision bringing him into our home because of course, all that the average person hears about Pits is that they are dangerous, killer dogs. So getting all of that non-sense out of my head and helping to do the same for my mother, was time consuming. Of course, now I think I will never own any other breed, whether it be pure pit or mixed. He is definitely the best dog. He even makes my other best dog, Apple, seem a little nuts... she does not lick faces, nor does she like being licked. She likes to smell people's breath and lick toe jam.... He licks everything and seems a little sad that she doesn't like to be licked. Of course, he throws in licks every once in a while for her. And of course, when Piper and Sophie come over to play, Piper gives her many, many licks!

So, after homeschooling for part of last school year and having had summer break, I feel better about all of it. I don't want to get into the negatives of public school, but I sometimes wish we hadn't moved here because Jax's public schools really suck! I hope to be able to afford Catholic school or some other private school once the kids reach middle school. I can't really picture myself teach algebra and that other math crap. I was good at it when I was in school but I absolutely hate it and really I don't see the point of learning it except for getting into college later. I mean this. I am a artsy fartsy person and majored in English at MSU because I thought a degree in that would have better rewards than focusing all on art. Had I known what I know now, I would have stuck with the art and enjoyed my studies, rather than only taking a handful of art classes and enjoying my social life more. Oh well, I will pass that advice on to my kids later and hopefully they will benefit from it. So, homeschooling, I am still nervous about parts of it. I am nervous about being evaluated, but aside from keeping a better daily log of work and educational stuff, I think we are all doing well. Oh, and the socialization of my kids... Big question, probably the number one question we homeschoolers get, my kids are better socialized now than they were in school.

So, after all of that, I just wanted to say that I am back to my blog.... beading beading beading and some other crafts thrown in for kicks.... after all, I love most crafts. So keep checking back for my updates!