I have loads of bugle beads. Always at a loss of what to do with them, the other day I resolved to make a bracelet. I chose the light blue beads, the ones that fade when exposed to light - not direct sunlight, just light. The result was nice, not over the top, but shiny, decorative, feels good to wear. Then I made another one out of the pink bugles, that have the same problem. The beads are fine, it's just that the colour goes. They remind me of people: the varnish is off, wrinkles appearing, scars of life show through. It is not the high polish that matters, but what we do with it; if we are still nice to each other, look after ourselves and care for the people next to us. I hope Ken and Barbie know that by now.
“I love your jewellery, but you always use your colours not mine!”
She had a point, and I knew it. She was summer, I was spring – we just could not wear each other’s colours without looking like ghosts.
Spring is everything you think it is – warm, vibrant, like the fresh green grass and the first bright colours shooting forth from the trees! Spring colours (and autumn colours) are warm and the metal is gold. The style is flowery, romantic; think Laura Ashley.
Summer is really too hot to do anything much. The colours are more washed out than spring, a little more white content than spring. Summer colours are cool, blue-tinged, and go with the metal silver (as does winter). The style is sporty, uncluttered.
Autumn has more muted, deeper, darker tones than spring. Like spring it contains all the warm colours, you can almost smell the deep colour of the fallen leaves. Metal is gold, but can be a tricolor of gold/bronze/silver, just like the trees. Style is classic; (lady of the manor).
Oh to be winter – you are the only one who can wear black and actually look good in it! This style can be modern, outrageous and still look great. Winter can also wear white (summer may get away with a little bit of white). The metal colour is silver.
Spring and autumn (both warm) can get away with each other’s colours, and so can summer and winter (both cool). But dress a spring in black, and you have someone straight out of a B-horror movie. Mind you, sometimes you might want that effect.
The images here are from the book “Colour Me Beautiful” by Carol Jackson. She has also published the book “Colour for Men”, which I found really helpful when I had to dress in suits for corporate wear.
It was years ago that I had my colours done at a local beauty parlour. It cost a fair penny then, but it was really worth it. Sitting in front of a mirror and getting shawls of coloured fabric draped over me one after the other, I could tell which one looked good on me and which did not. For a while after some cosmetic companies informed their customers which colours where cold or warm. I still use it as a guide when shopping for clothes, and yes, also when making jewellery
The other day I sat down my long suffering husband: “I have to show you this bead project I’m working on.” After listening politely for a few minutes he quietly said: “Why don’t you talk about this on your blog?” I guess he’s right. No need to bother him about it when I have you, my dear audience of fellow beaders.
I like how CGB has come up with other starts than the modified right angle weave (MRAW). It is a very useful start, but takes a long time. Now there is the exploding round. Put a new start together with exploding rounds? I decided I do a big five pointed star with lots of exploding rounds and see what happens next. Here is the result, after I exploded the five pointed star and started working on two of the resulting shapes:
The middle bit of the original pentagon is very small (bottom right, the smallest one without a hole in the middle), and so is the next (to the left; any ideas what to do with it?), and the next - I added some rows and elegant guide rounds to this size, but not sure where I’m going with this. Thinking of that, did you follow that triangular band by Kim van Antwerp? That might be the way to go, just adding more rows to one corner only.
The next one up looked like a winner. I have added lots of rows to it, it’s the big one on the top right (and the two photos below). There are three different parts to it: the yellow part has no increases or decreases (yet?), and is a little big as a bangle. The brown part is only increases, following on from the ones of the original pentagon.
The red part was initiated by an elegant guide round from the original pentagon, with the increases (yes, they are INcreases that have fallen into the middle; there are no decreases) placed between the increases of the brown band.
In hindsight it is remarkable that I did not count out the increases on the red band. I was inspired by the irregular work of Hundertwasser, and just went for what looked like about in the middle. The result looks astonishingly regular. So do the little flowers and the dark bits. All in all it looks very symmetric, but it ain’t.
Now what? I could add decreases to the yellow, in the aim to achieve a tighter fit. Or netting on the yellow band, which would follow up the wrist and underarm. On the red bit I could add decreases while continuing with the increases: that would probably form bulging pockets. And the same on the brown band. That would probably eventually form a rickrack in the opposite direction of the red.
And I am quite unsure about the colour way, not sure which way to take that.
There we are, in the middle of the project, all dressed up and nowhere to go. Let me know what you would do!
Colours change through light
I have two big bags of silver lined bugles, one in pink, one in light blue. Both of them have been stored away from sun light for most of their lives, but now they are out - and they fade. At first I was not even sure if my eyes deceived me. Now I know: the side that gets exposed to the light - not even direct sun, just daylight - that side fades to an antique silver. I can see it in the bag: give them a shake to see the beads that were not exposed to the surface before. These still have a bit of colour, and the others have all turned silver. To be sure, this is an interesting effect that I am intending to use in the future.
Colours have different stickability: simple use may get the colour to come off, some come off even while beading.
Colours are differently applied: died, or solid throughout, or a finish applied after the manufacturing process of the bead itself. Check with the Miyuki chart to get an idea on how the colour got into the bead, and how easily or difficult it comes off.
Some of you will have seen today's post on the CGB blog - the patternbook colourway is released. For you, my trusted locals, I have been through this to compare with my stock on hand. Here is what we've got (only while stocks last):
(Please note that the DB799 is also a died colour and has changed on me when used in bracelets.)
The other day I received an email from a fellow beader, wanting to approach a local shop to sell her beaded jewellery, but she had no idea how to do that. Not sure if what I said helped her, but here is a new and improved version that might help somebody else.
First of all, you need to know how much you want for your piece (eg. $40). Then the shop puts on their margin, or percentage or mark-up.
a) They could take a percentage based on your price. When it sells you get your $40, but the retail price the shop customer paid was $52. It seems that 25% to 30% are the lower end of the shop's commission, 50% is quite common.
b) You tell them what you want the retail price to be ($40). Then they tell you what percentage they take. You price it at $40, they take 50% - that means they give you $20 once the stock is sold. This is why you need to know how much you want for your pieces, and how they arrive at their retail price.
c) They sell it at the price they think they can get, maybe $100, and they tell you what margin they need to make, say 50%. That means you get $50 when they sell it for $100.
… or any combination of any the above. In any case, it is important that you have an open and honest discussion with your gallery or shop, and then make a decision after that. No need to rush these things. And you can change. Work with your retail shop for a few weeks or months or a season, see how it goes, and you may want to adjust your prices up or down.
When you think of your price, think about what is important to you: to sell to get some money back for material (lower price), or to be rewarded for the immense amount of time you have worked on the piece, say, an hourly rate (higher price).
After that, think of your customer: is it a ‘playpiece’ to wear and discard, or is it a special item to be taken out on special occasions? Think of the shop, and what kind of customer the shop has. How much money do their customers have or do they spend? Where are they coming from? Is the shop selling to students, farmers or cruise ship tourists? These are all questions that your shop owner might (or might not) want to talk about - and eventually price accordingly. That’s why you need to think about these questions as well.
The Terms You Have agreed Upon
You might want to write down the terms, and maybe even get them to countersign, to make sure you both have the same understanding of the agreement. Once I had a most unpleasant experience, when the terms where changed on me - neither party had written them down - and I only received 35% instead of the 50% I expected. Needless to say that I pulled out the rest of my stock very quickly.
Pay your Tax
Note that you are responsible for paying your own GST, as is the shop for theirs. Have a chat to your friend the accountant to find out the current threshold. Here is a link to the IRD webpage.
When you bring them your pieces (inventory) to the shop provide a delivery note, maybe even with a small photo of every piece. That shows them that you know what you have at the shop, and it shows you that you know what they have at the shop (unless you are willing to give your stock away). Whatever they sell they will have to pay you the agreed price, and you can cross it of the list. Like this you know at every point in time what is at the shop.
Ask how they pay and when they pay: cash or electronic transfer (provide bank account number), weekly or monthly.
Some shops provide packaging material, others ask you to provide organza bags, business cards etc. Some shops ask you that you bring your items ready with price tags. Think about a customer buying your items as a gift: you may want to attach the price and a hanging tab rather than write it on the label, that is supposed to go with the jewellery.
In any case, it is time to start talking to your shop owner. Bring some samples, and some ideas about what money you want for your individual pieces. You need a starting point, and so does your shop owner. They will tell you - or you can judge by their reaction - if the price is too high or too low, or just right.
There is more information in the free guide by Beading Daily: How to sell your Jewellery.
Hope this was of help and you enjoy the process!
I love my bead books. I do refer to my ebooks as well, but bead books still have a certain feel to them. Real books you can share and have your friends look at them. It's not them same when you huddle around a screen.
Do you like second hand book shops? I love rummaging around, you never know what you are going to find. It's a treat when you actually find a bead book. The other day I found this in a second hand book shop: Margie Deeb's Beader's Guide to Colour. Love it! It uses lots of Delica colour references, and very handy hints on how to put colours together. Recommended!
After joining last year's 30-in-30 with time and enthusiasm to spare, this year was strongly influenced by the fact that I am now studying for a bachelor of commerce: I was mainly lacking the time to bead while preparing for exams. But sometimes I needed to put my mind at ease and do a small beading exercise, such as a beaded bead: a peyote stitched 10 x 10.
This approach had a result! Finished the exams, and beaded a bit more. Now I have finished this pretty little bracelet - you like?
It has a magnetic clasp (looks like silver, but isn't - sorry Ruth, but I can probably swap it over). Materials cost me about $20. All up, beading the beads and then assembly, it took me about 16 hours. I make most of my jewellery because I enjoy it, but also to sell. In fact, it is the beads and jewellery sales that pay for my student fees (low as they are at SIT, but they still charge cost for course materials, and then there are the text books).
And here is the question: How much to charge? Please qualify your answer.
Here some ideas to get you started:
I am pretty sure it would sell for $50. But would I make it again for that price? I don't think so.
On the other hand, $50 to me, now, is better than nothing. That means I am eroding the price for my fellow crafters that are trying very persistently to make a living from their hard earned skills (and there are many of us).
Here we are, one more bracelet emerged out of my stash of beads. It's lovely. What's it worth? Do tell.
People don’t talk about this much. The very first memory of anything resembling this was a scene from Moliere’s “Hypochondriac”. I was turning the knob on the TV (that’s to show you how long ago that was) to find a pleasing programme, and up flashed a person on their hands and knees pointing animated at their bottom. When someone approached with what looked like an oversized syringe in a doctor’s coat I decide to turn the TV knob again, since I had no idea what any of that could mean, and really did not want to find out.
Later, in my thirties, I decided it was a good idea to do a five day juice fast at the Aio Wira Centre. I had been putting stuff into my body for a long time, it could do with some help to get it out. Meekly I succumbed to the required practice of daily enemas. But when other fasters started talking about having colonics and how beneficial it was, I refused to even consider it for myself. Having my bottom rinsed out?! That’s not natural, stuff is supposed to go out from there, not in the other direction.
It took another year or two, and I really don’t know what finally convinced me that it was a good idea to have a colonic. Since then I go on a regular basis, about two to four times a year. Below I’ll give you the details of the two health centres that I can recommend, just in case you know someone who might be interested.
Why, oh why would you do such a thing I hear you ask? a) I feel better afterwards, and b) I look better afterwards.
The feeling better is an observation I made first a few hours afterwards, by then having arrived at the Aio Wira Centre to commence my fast. Doing the dishes I felt unusually bouncy, high spirited and light, and someone commented, that’s from the colonic. I hardly ever believe anything on face value, but this keeps happening every time.
Then I heard from a psychiatric nurse that whenever their patients get grumpy and hard to handle they give them enemas. Afterwards the patients are much friendlier, more agreeable and easier to handle.
And the third story is from Roberta Flack, no less. One day a signed mirror appeared at my favourite colonic centre, with an image of Roberta Flack. She had been in town for a concert. Apparently she has a colonic before every concert, was glad to have found this place, and preferred it to many other places she had been to.
Well, you might say, that looking better comes from feeling better, and I agree. It is a fact that there are sometimes ghastly little spots even the most pointed fingernails can’t get to, and after a colonic they just disappear without any further manual help, these little blighters.
Enough of that. The other day I received a newsletter from my colonic centre in Auckland, reluctantly started to read it, and finally actually enjoyed it. I’ll put it in here, for you might like it too.
Look After Yourself – Only You Can Really Do It!
Whether we are consciously aware of it or not, aren’t we all extremely blessed to be alive and to have all this creative power?
Believe it or not, we all create our reality ourselves and in NOT being aware that it happens and not knowing how this process works , we can easily get stuck in painful experiences, mentally and physically.
What, if we could increasingly become more aware and able to create more and more of the reality we want and which feels good? What, if we could move from the passenger seat into the driver’s seat in the car of our life's journey? What would it take? What are the important ingredients? Where do we start?
There are innumerable ways; some have proven to work well, quickly and for nearly everybody in the same way.
We all lead very busy and stressful lives from day to day and tend to neglect ourselves, our mind, our soul and our body. Stress and sometimes our lifestyle are affecting us negatively in many ways and have tremendous impact on us. We get clogged with toxins of all kind and the mind tends to slow down and become hazy.
When the mind and body are not in sync we do not function well and we will definitely not create the reality we would so much like to have. So many of us are striving for a healthy body , an energetic positive mind, and a peaceful and loving soul. However, so many of us do not manage to like or love ourselves as we are at the moment.
The challenge is then - how do we start to change to be able to accept and love ourselves again as we truly are? Only if we are good and loving to ourselves are we able to share these qualities to others and receive these from them.
One of the ways to start the CHANGE is to rid our bodies of "toxins" which we tend to overlook until it hurts a lot or is too late.
These toxins we can experienced as blocked energy, pain, discomfort, negative thoughts and strong fixed belief systems and clogged up waste products in our digestive system.
We only have this one body and mind to live in and so it is very important to take regular care (we deserve at least the care we offer our cars or other objects). Our soul will love it!
Try following these few recommendations and see improvements in the way you feel and experience your life:
• Try juicing from fresh organic products or having a smoothie every day.
• Meditate for 10 to 15 minutes a day, preferably in the morning and in the evening.
• Have balanced healthy meals and approximately two litres of water a day.
• Always be active by taking on at least one activity each day, like hit the gym or take a fitness class a couple of times a week. Take a long walk on a fine day. Ride your bicycle, go swimming and so on.
• Soak in a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil before bed a couple of times a week. This is a detoxing and relaxing bath.
• Have a regular colonic to clean out all the toxic waste which poisons your system and stops the body from being in a happy condition.
• Take time to be grateful for what you have in life and count your blessings every single day.
In taking up some or all of the routines above you will notice a positive change, you will be aware of your power to change your reality. It is in your control entirely. Nobody can do this for you and ultimately , it is your responsibility! We are only here to help.
- Colon Care Centre, Auckland
I’ll go have a bath now.
Here the addresses of the two places I use and recommend. I'll be interested in your thoughts and comments!!
Colon Care Centre
639 New North Road, St Lukes, Auckland
Ph 09 8156499 Mb +64 225 688 235
Vitalis Colon Care Clinic
195b Main South Road, Green Island, Dunedin
Ph 03 476 1419 Mb +64 21 141 0482
Truly, I love Contemporary Geometric Beadwork. I get their updates on Facebook and they make me happy. I like that they let us all look into the pattern library. I like that there are so many different possibilities, of which I have only scratched the surface. I am picking up slowly on those fabulous ideas, but will get there eventually. Hey, someone has to put all those Delicas to good use!
On that note, Kate McKinnon (who has undertaken this laborious task that is CGB, and whose skills I admire immensely) has put together fine colours and finishes for everyone who wants to pay that sort of money (US$250 for a total of 292g). However, in my humble opinion my NZ$9/18g tubes are a much better deal for us Kiwis. Note the latest updated stocklist with over 180 Delicas with different finishes. Pick what you like, some of the new ones have only one tube on hand. The three for NZ$25 deal is still on. Strictly first come first served!
Viviane studies for a BCom at SIT in Invercargill, New Zealand and loves to bead.