Monday, March 3, 2014

New Year, Same Old Story.

Happy New Year everybody!!!

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm three months late.  Things to do, stuff to accomplish. 


As you may remember in one of my last posts, I bought some Superduo beads to make some beaded ornaments with.  Well, I only managed to make one ornament which I gave to my mom for Christmas (she loved it by the way). 

This also left me with 7 1/2 tubes of Superduo beads that I did not intend to have after Christmas.  So what to do? 

Hence, my gripe in this post (sorry in advance).  I've been looking around, seeing Superduo and twin beads in action and there are some GORGEOUS pieces out there.  I've also seen some very simple but still pretty trinkets that anyone can make.  Now it is those pieces that I am blogging about.  Simplicity.

Some of the sites I went to all had the same dilemma: someone creating something really simple and another person coming to the site and CLAIMING that the pattern was theirs.  For example:

Now, for those of us who are familiar with beading and beadweaving recognize this as Peyote (or Gourd ) stitch, depending on who you ask.  I had made a couple of Cellini ropes in the past so I used that technique to create the spiral. The difference?  It was made with Superduo beads.  The point?  When I started experimenting with these beads, this is the first stitch I tried.  Why? Because it was the first stitch I learned.  A BASIC stitch. What is the point of beading companies coming out with new bead shapes and designs if we cannot learn how to use them by creating what we already know and what we have already learned using these new and innovative beads?  That means opening your beading books and GOING BACK TO THE BASICS!  Just because you were fast enough to be the first person to put up a picture of your completed "Basic Peyote Stitch Rope" does NOT make it your pattern. I've even seen people SELLING patterns for simple Peyote stitch rope with Superduo beads and telling their customers do not sell the pieces you make from it!    Talk about "brass ones"!   (Don't even get me started on selling patterns then dictating to your customer what they can or cannot do with the finished pieces, that's a whole 'nother argument that I will NOT be taking up here)

It seems that every year, a question of ethics comes up when it comes to beadweaving and jewelry design in general and quite frankly I'm tired of it.  It is for this reason I stopped subscribing to beading magazines, so much inspiration but so easy to be accused of something you had no intention of doing (Besides, there's enough tutorials on techniques on the internet).  Yes, I know that using Stitches (Peyote, Right Angle Weave etc.) and the Techniques involved in creating these and other STITCHES are NOT subject to copyright (no matter what anyone else says, techniques and stitches CANNOT be owned), but for some reason not everyone is getting the NEWS AT TEN.  For awhile, this dilemma actually hindered my beading.  Even now, when I am beading, even though I know for a fact that my creation is born from my imagination, I am still always mindful of the dreaded question:  Am I copying someone else?  Will someone accuse me of making something that looks (however slightly) like someone else?

I usually don't write things like this but the blog I went to really touched me and angered me because the work she did was really sweet and she is very talented, but the piece she did was a basic rope.  How dare someone come and scream copyright infringement?  I only pray that no one comes to me with this.  I'm warning you now, I've got four words for you:

Ridiculous.  Get over Yourself!!!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Crafting for the Holidays: Part IV: Upcycling Old Ornaments, Finishing Up

Hi Everybody!

I've got a few more ornaments to show you!

These ornaments I got from a 99 cent store years ago.  There were 4 designs available and I bought 3 of each.  They were initially just plain clear acrylic ornaments.  They were pretty at first, reminding me of ice crystals, but I was getting tired of the transparency.  This is how they looked initially:

See?  Boring!!!

But instead of just tossing them (I mean really.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with them except they were boring.)  So I decided to add a little color.  Using two coats of acrylic paint, I added colorful accents to both sides of each ornament.  Then I covered them with two layers of varnish.  Voila!  New Ornaments!

These were some ornaments that I had from two years ago.  Ornaments that you get from your local dollar store don't really last that long.  The color started to fade on these and I was going to throw them away.  But aside from the color they were perfectly fine.  So, I covered them in Mod Podge and covered them in microfine glitter.  Upcycling at it's finest!!

These started out as a set of transparent ornaments that I got from  I bought these along with a set of discs and cube ornaments (the disc ornaments I etched and you can see those in my previous post.  I just swirled some glitter in there and they are gorgeous!!

These were a little more difficult to work with.  I broke one just getting them out of the package, the glass is PAPER THIN!  Just letting you know that in advance.  So, I was treating these with kid gloves.  First, I used irridescent mica instead of glitter on the inside.  Then, I added the stickers, using Mod Podge to make the bond a little stronger.  The one in the middle was my initial idea to bead all of them after decoupaging them with vintage stickers so they looked like gift boxes.  I got ready to bead the second one and again it shattered on me!  Needless to say, I was pretty cheesed off at this point.   So I added a couple more coats of Triple Thick to each one (after noticing that a THIRD ornament was cracked.  On a whim I coated them with the glaze and it sealed the crack!  I was really happy about that.)   Then I framed each sticker with a glitter liner pen and just glittered the edges with Triple Thick Glaze and microfine glitter. (get the feeling I like glitter?) After I let that dry, I brushed off the excess glitter and added a layer of a thinner varnish.  They really look like vintage ornaments! 

I still have some big globe ornaments to bead but I'm not sure they will be done in time for Christmas.  So unless I have a free moment to do them, I think my Christmas ornament crafting is done.   Despite the shattering setback, I had loads of fun creating these and look forward to finding more stuff to do for next year!


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Crafting for the Holidays, Part III: Etched Glass and Gilder's Paste

Hey you guys!!!!  I'm back with the next part of my ornament crafting!  In my last post, I started etching my glass ornaments with great success.

Now, I am ready for the next bit. Since I had to rinse off the cream, some of the etched glass debris wound up inside the ornament.  So I rinsed the insides out as well and  I let them all dry overnight.

 Now, I wanted to add some color.  I found this product called "Glitter it".  Basically, it's a liquid (very liquid) adhesive that you swirl inside of your ornament.  If you don't have or can't find it, I've seen tutorials where they used Future floor polish and other varnishes and the results were just as beautiful.  I also had some small tubes of glitter that I had sitting in my craft stash forever.  I knew they would come in handy one day!

So I swirled in the Glitter It, poured out the excess (basically just followed the instructions).  Then I added a ton of glitter, shook it around until the entire inside of the ornament was coated and poured out the excess to use for another time.  Let it sit for about 5 minutes.  The picture on the right I used a mix of faux snow and glitter.

Finished baubles...or so I thought.  As you can see, the etching does not show up well now that I colored the glass.  So after eating lunch, I searched through my craft closet and found...

Tada!  Gilder's paste.  For those that have never heard of this, Gilder's Paste is a wax-based paste that is used to color just about everything, from metal to wood. Before trying it on the ornaments I tried it on the scrap of glass that I etched and it worked perfectly!  It colors just the etching because the etching has a "tooth", holding on to the color.  Anything that was not etched will not take the color. If you can't find or can't afford Gilder's Paste (the lowest price I found was about $8 a tin) you could probably use Rub N' Buff.


So, I smeared some on my ornament, then took a napkin and began to gently (very gently, the ornaments are not very thick) rub the paste into the etching.  Take your time with this.

I left it for about a minute then took a napkin and began to rub the paste away from the smooth portions of the glass.  Remember, the paste won't stick to glass that's not etched or scratched. 

Here's my finished ornament! This was a lot of fun to do.  So much so that I ordered another set and did them in different colors!

And my ornament making quest will continue!  But for now...Toodles!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crafting for the Holidays, Part II: Etched Glass

 Hi everyone! 

So...I'm almost finished with my beaded bulbs I showed you in my last post, I've got 2 more left to do.  But Friday, I got my other stuff for ornaments and I am really excited to go to the next craft!

I got my Armour Glass Etching Kit and my ornaments (the pic shows the cubes but I used the discs for this.  I bought cubes, disks and globes which are a little bigger than I thought they would be but that's for another post.) 


So, I read the directions and it was pretty straight-forward.   I used the practice glass that was provided in the kit. Getting the image stencil on the glass was a little difficult, I suspect intricate stencils might be more difficult to transfer and all of the stencils I wanted to transfer are intricate.  Oh well, lots of rubbing and patience.  Then the cream, added evenly across the image and leave on for 1 minute.  After rinsing, I saw the image but it was so faint that I was really afraid that this was not the product for me and I would have to rethink my plan for these ornaments.  So I did some digging online and saw that a couple of people left the cream on for 10 minutes.  So I tried it on one of my disks.  Still not enough of an image emerged.  So I pushed the envelope a bit and left the cream on for 20 minutes, thinking that I might wind up with a broken ornament because the cream etched too deeply.  But the box of ornaments was only $5.99 so I was prepared to buy another box if this didn't work.

After 20 minutes and a lot of praying, I rinsed the ornaments off.  I think they came out pretty nice!

So this took all day, barring a break for lunch and another break to clean my kitchen.  Tomorrow, I will do the next step in what is turning out to be another pretty set of ornaments for my tree!  See you in the next post!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Crafting for the Holidays, Part I

Hi everybody!  Yes, I know, I know Christmas is what, about 5 or 6 weeks away?  But I can't help it.  Last year I got into the Christmas spirit on...wait for it... Christmas Eve.  I so wasn't feeling it last year.   This year I think my mind is making up for lost time.  I want to start making cookies, stollen and gingerbread, I could smell the sage and bacon wrapped Thanksgiving turkey and orange and clove studded Christmas ham, even though all I have sitting in front of me is almond flour applecake and hazelnut coffee.  I'm so ready for the holidays.


Since it is way too early for the big cooking marathons that come with Thanksgiving and Christmas, I thought I would feed my spirit by making some Christmas ornaments. I started by looking for some clear glass ornaments, a clean slate for my creating.  I never knew how difficult it would be to find plain, clear, glass ornaments.  Tried  No ornaments.  Michael's?  Nope.  Maybe I'm too early (or too late.  Might have to go shopping for Christmas supplies in August?)  Then I came across a craft site, and they had a selection of clear ornaments in globe, disc and cube shapes.  I bought a set of each and I'm waiting for them now.  I'll post those and what I do with them at a later time.

But I was still itching to get started creating.  So I dug into my Christmas box and found some ornaments from previous Christmases that were just a little scuffed and scratched (How long do you think a set of $2.99 bulbs last?) 

These ornaments are about 2 1/4" maybe? Out of 12 ornaments I managed to save about 9 of them.  The others had holes, scratches and patches of finish missing.  Using 11/0 beads and crystals, I beaded a series of nets and loop stitches to cover the surface.

These are so ready for my tree!  I've got 3 more to go.  After making these, I ready for my upcoming order!  I will post more when I get my supplies.  Until then...Toodles!


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Protein Jello Recipe

Hi everybody!

Wow! It's been awhile since I've posted anything.  But I have been a busy bee!  Store is almost ready to open (WooHoo) and I have just a few more product pictures to do.  But this post is about FOOOOOD!

I have been trying to stay true to my new way of eating which is more protein and less carbs.  I find that if I stay on this diet I feel so much better, my joints hurt a lot less and I am not as fatigued as I normally am.  If I go off of it, I KNOW it!  But I was getting a serious craving for dessert. Sweet, calorie-laden, fat inducing dessert. I also had a craving for fruit.   So today, I devised this recipe for fruity, indulgent protein Jello which is to die for!

You need:

1 pkg. sugar-free Jello (4 serving size) I made three different flavors.

1 packet (28g) of Syntrax Nectar Protein powder ( I suppose you could use your favorite but I chose this because it has so many flavors.  I  matched my jellos to the flavors I had in the protein powder.  I used lime jello for Caribbean Cooler protein powder, strawberry jello for Strawberry Kiwi protein powder and orange Jello for Fuzzy Navel protein powder.


Prepare your jello according to the package directions.  Take 8oz. of boiling water and dissolve the jello packet.  Let it cool to room temperature (THIS IS IMPORTANT!  If you add the protein before the jello cools it will destabilize the protein and cause it to clump.)

Once the jello liquid has cooled, weigh out another 6oz. of COLD liquid and add your protein powder (the protein powder increases the volume of liquid you need.  If you add too much liquid the gelatin will not set.  I found that 6oz. (up to 6.5 oz of liquid is sufficient). Shake or blend as if you were making your usual protein shake.  Make sure the powder is dissolved.  If it gets all foamy, it's okay, you can let the mixture sit until the foam dissipates or try and get as much of the foam off of the top before you combine it with the jello.  Mix the protein liquid with the jello liquid and stir thoroughly to combine.

  Divide between 4 serving dishes (I had gotten a new set of containers and it came with these sweet 4oz. dessert cups.  PERFECT!)  Place in refrigerator and let set.

Now, I have a new way of taking in my daily protein shakes!  They are sooooo yummy.  Each serving of jello is only 22 1/2 calories!

Well, that's all for now my beady buddies!  Enjoy my recipe and I hope to have more stuff for you soon.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Hooray! Hooray! For Kimchi Jigae!

Hi everybody!  Hope you are all having a great summer!  Well, this morning I woke up and just went through my normal routine, except for having breakfast.  When I finally slowed down and realized that I hadn't eaten, it was almost lunchtime.  So I was REALLY hungry by then.  So, looking in the fridge, I found:

1 lonely uncooked porkchop

1 gallon pickle jar of homemade kimchi (yep!  I made it myself!  Holla at your girl if you happen to be Black and MAKE kimchi  LOL!)

Ramen noodles (Chicken. That's all they sell in the stores around here.  I didn't use the seasoning packet)

Some leftover gojuchang (red pepper paste) from a previous recipe



My first bowl of homemade Kimchi Jigae Noodle soup!  Mind you, the recipe isn't STRICTLY Kimchi Jigae, there are some ingredients missing, like some onions and tofu because I can't eat soy, but  I am so proud of it.  It's warm, really spicy and very, very flavorful.  Still have some left, so tomorrow (because after this I want NOTHING else to eat today!  LOL!  )  I might put some brown rice in it.  Or something.

Yes, yes, I know that I put beading stuff up here mostly, but I had to share this with you guys.  I do have a pretty piece to show you, but I'm not finished with it yet.  So I will leave you with this mouth-watering picture and I'll see you next time.  Have a great weekend and...