Archive for August, 2012

Muggy Monday

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Completed Misty Monday Kitty seed bead bagThe temperature has dropped, but the humidity is way up. It was like this last night, too. I decided to stay in next to the air conditioner. The heat and humidity just drains all my energy. All I want to do is to sit in the cool and bead.

Wow, the strap is done! When did that happen? Maybe during NCIS? Guess I was on auto-pilot last night and finished the strap while I was watching TV.

Here is Mysti Kitty, done and ready to wear.

by Beverly

(Beverly has been working on this seed bead purse during the occasional misty days of summer.)

Super Old Beads Discovered in South Africa

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

More old beads have been found at Border Cave in South Africa.

While these beads are not as old as the ones found in Blombos Cave, they have been dated to 44,000 years ago. The really cool part is that they have been associated with a group of people still living in the area – the San People of the Kalahari.

The San People used to be known as Bushmen of the Kalahari, and it is believed that the San culture can be dated anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. The San may be the heirs of the original hunter-gatherer cultures of Africa.

Just think, the ancestors of the San were making ostrich egg and marine shell beads just as more recent San people did before the Europeans arrived with trade beads.

This new evidence may push the date of documented human culture back even further. Cool stuff!

San People Beads

Click on image to read LA Times Article by Thomas H. Maugh II

Source:  Research published in the online issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 30, 2012. Social Sciences – Anthropology: Francesco d’Errico, Lucinda Backwell, Paola Villa, Ilaria Degano, Jeannette J. Lucejko, Marion K. Bamford, Thomas F. G. Higham, Maria Perla Colombini, and Peter B. Beaumont

by Beverly

Bracelet Beading – Harlequin at Lane County Fair

Friday, August 17th, 2012

On Wednesday, August 15th, Angela and I hosted Harlequin’s annual FREE Bracelet-making Event in the comfortably air-conditioned exhibit hall at the Lane County Fair. This fun forum has become a yearly tradition for me – two hours of helping people make memories in the form of a bracelet.

Free Bracelet Making at the Lane County FairThis year there were several really young beaders, and I was so impressed by them! Apparently, four and five year-olds can do my job. We used size 6 pony beads and some of our pressed glass beads. Angela and I started the bracelets by cutting a foot of Soft Flex cable and attaching a clasp by using a crimp bead. We had 12 seats and 12 trays of beads to choose from, and the chairs were full for the entire 2-hour session. I only dropped and spilled one person’s bracelet – a little embarrassing, but it happens. Angela didn’t drop any.

It was really fun to observe each person’s beading style, from the pattern-oriented to random freestyle. I think my favorites were the mixed bead bracelets, because the combinations of colors achieved without over thinking were the most exciting to me.

When our brave beaders had strung enough beads to fit their wrists, we finished the final crimp for each person, so everyone left with a finished handmade bracelet.

It was nice to see whole families beading together. It really is an ideal craft to do with children, and with mixed ages. Beading is for everybody!

by Nome

The Casino Bag

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

Casino Bag Seed BeadworkI love casinos. Well, I love casinos that have buffets. Hmm, almost. I love big fancy buffets in casinos. That’s more like it. It’s the food that gets me into a casino, and the games are a definite second.

My sweetie and I used to take long drives all over Oregon. We would spend hours just watching the scenery go by and finding new restaurants. That was when we found out about casino buffets. They were big, fancy and had really good food – cheap.

John didn’t gamble, but I like penny slots. He would watch me play, shake his head in complete bewilderment and smile. He never did understand that it wasn’t the thought of winning big that made me happy. It was the flashing lights and spinning wheels that I found fascinating.

Well, one time we were at a casino (I think it was Spirit Mountain) and looking forward to an early dinner about four o’clock in the afternoon. I had a new amulet bag that looked just like a slot machine. The pattern came from Suzanne Cooper’s book Dimensions. It was gorgeous, and it felt good just playing with that ample jingly fringe I’d put on it.

There was a couple behind us in line for the buffet, and the lady asked about my bag. Well, if you know me, you know I can’t keep quiet about bead work. We started talking about beads, pouches – all sorts of things – and all the while she was fondling my casino bag as it hung around my neck on its long strap.

John and I went to our table, the couple behind us went to theirs. John and I talked a lot during dinner and it took awhile before we finished. The desserts were super good, and the coffee was very fresh. Well, the couple I had been talking to quickly finished dinner and went back to gaming.

Just as we left the restaurant area, the lady I had been talking to rushed up to me and said, “That bag is so lucky, I have to have it! How much do you want for it?” She was very excited, and I was quite startled and started to back up. She stepped right up again and, before I knew what was happening, she had a hold of the bag. At this point I was more than a little flustered, and if John hadn’t been standing right behind me, I would have bolted for the door. Being the calmer and more sensible one, John held me by the shoulders and whispered in my ear, “If you don’t want to sell it, set a really high price.” While this was happening, the lady was chattering about how much she loved the bag and how perfect it was. It was beautiful and on and on and on.

Okay, I can adjust on the fly. I took a deep breath and said, “I can’t part with it for less than eight hundred dollars.” I really thought she would be sad and go away.

Boy was I surprised when she asked, “Are hundreds okay?” I think I froze. I certainly didn’t know what to say. John came to my rescue again. He whispered, “You know, you can make another one.”

Suddenly, it hit me. Bead money! Yes, I can sell my work – if it means I can buy more beads!

I soon made another casino bag, and it was just as much fun to make as the first one. I’m not so flustered about selling my work now. It’s still a thrill when someone likes my work well enough to pay for it, but I still mostly bead for the love of beading. When I wear my beaded bags and pouches, they still make great conversation pieces. And who doesn’t love a great conversation?

by Beverly