Monday, December 21, 2009

So this is where it's lead me

So, while thinking of a couple of ideas for new designs that day while I was looking at ebay, I remembered I had several old pocket watches that had belonged to two of my grandfathers, one great grandfather and one great great grandfather. There is also a wristwatch that belonged to my father. I've had these for years and have looked at them several times.

So I'm looking at them and I decide to wind them up. Wristwatch starts right up. My grandfather's watch won't even wind. My great grandfather's gold Hamilton pocket watch is the prettiest one of the bunch. I wind it up...nuthin'. I put it on my shelf and picked up the oldest watch that belonged to Judge John Bear in Tuscumbia Missouri. This watch dates from the late 19th century. It winds with a key. I have the key. I attempt to wind it but it will only click twice. I put it aside. I'm beading and I hear a noise. I hit Mute on the remote and listen carefully. I hear ticking!!! I picked up my dad's's still running but you can't hear it. Then I pick up my great grandad Sam's watch and look at's ticking. I put it to my ear and was immediately swept up in a strong memory of sitting on my grampa's lap (Sam's son) with my head on his chest. I can smell the tractor oil and tobacco, feel the warmth of his rough hands on my arm and I can hear the ticking of the pocket watch in the chest pocket of his bib overalls. I sat and listened to it for a long time. Since then (3 days) the watch has continued to run, if I remember to wind it.

My great great grandfather's watch also ran for about 3 and a half minutes. I can't get the key to turn anymore but it was wonderful to put it up to my ear and listen to the same watch ticking as the man who died many years before I was born. He was an admirable man who did a lot of good and left the world a better place. I've always thought a lot of him so it was very special to hear his watch.

They are all still sitting here on the little shelf in front of my work space. Comforting in a way. I need to get me a watch to stick in the box too! I don't even wear one...

Nothing much about beads but just thought I'd share.

I hope you will draw your family close and tell them how much you love them during this holiday season. I'm going to.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mental meanderings while perusing ebay...

So I've been on this "trip" through ebay looking at lots of Victorian jewelry. Looking at shapes, materials, styles for inspiration. I'm already enamored with slide bracelets. I've bought 2 already. I'm working on some ideas for a beaded version but I was always curious of the design. So here's the story on slide bracelets...when ladies and gentlemen wore a pocket watch it was often on a chain. These chains had fobs (charms/seals/etc.) dangling from the clasp that attached the watch to the chain. The other end of the chain was attached to a "T" bar that was inserted into a button hole of the jacket or vest. In my great grandpa's case, it was attached to the strap of his overalls. There were often slides on these chains to lengthen or shorten the length of the chain to adjust for girth, desired drape and the like.

Then at some point (late 1800s, early 1900s) people started switching to wrist watches, the newest thing!.

This from Wikipedia "In 1904, Alberto Santos-Dumont, an early aviator, asked his friend, a French watchmaker called Louis Cartier, to design a watch that could be useful during his flights.[132] The wristwatch had already been invented by Patek Philippe, in 1868, but only as a "lady’s bracelet watch", intended as jewelry. As pocket watches were unsuitable, Louis Cartier created the Santos wristwatch, the first man's wristwatch and the first designed for practical use.[133] Wristwatches gained in popularity during World War I, when officers found them to be more convenient than pocket watches in battle. Also, because the pocket watch was mainly a middle class item, the enlisted men usually owned wristwatches, which they brought with them. Artillery and infantry officers depended on their watches as battles became more complicated and coordinated attacks became necessary. Wristwatches were found to be needed in the air as much as on the ground: military pilots found them more convenient than pocket watches for the same reasons as Santos-Dumont had. Eventually, army contractors manufactured watches en masse, for both infantry and pilots. In World War II, the A-11 was a popular watch among American airmen, with its simple black face and clear white numbers for easy readability."

So what to do with all these beautiful sometimes gem encrusted slides? It became fashionable (and still is!) to collect these slides and put them on a bracelet or necklace chain design for the purpose. So that's the origin of the slide bracelet.

So, this afternoon, while staring at a ladies short watch chain (called an Albertini in this instance) it was mentioned that sometimes these short chains were worn as bracelets. The T bar went through the loop or clasp at the other end in the manner of a toggle clasp. So is that where THAT design is from?

I'm tellin' ya this has been a very valuable excursion looking at vintage jewelry. And it's only cost me about $100 so far. I have a slide bracelet, a white sapphire and marcasite mourning brooch, an old crystal necklace strung on fine chain, and my newest acquisition another slide bracelet. I'll take some pics and show ya. In the meantime I've seen some beautiful shapes and jewelry styles that I hope to translate into beadwork. I highly recommend this sort of activity for inspiration when you are in a bit of a bead slump.

Pictures coming soon!

Happy Holidays!

I sit here surrounded by unwrapped gifts playing on the computer. What is wrong with me? I have candy to make, packages to wrap, house to "clean", yadda yadda I'm looking at pictures of Victorian jewelry for inspiration. I have a couple of new pieces on the bead board and am hoping to get a chance to bead this afternoon! Housework be damned!

So, I'm in Michael's (craft store) yesterday picking up some more containers to put candy in for friends and neighbors, and a woman walks up to me and says "You stand out as one of the most exciting beaders around." I stammered, "Thank do you know? (I had not one lick of beadwork on)...she replied "Oh, I've seen you all decked out!" I thanked her and we talked about having time to bead after the holidays and parted ways. I was very flattered by her statement but it also made me feel, I don't know, "funny". And, not in the hilarious way.

It made me think about the people who are truly "famous". Many of them worked for years to be good/visible in their field and achieved fame. The reward is a double edged sword I'm a thinkin'. Can you imagine not being able to go out to eat in peace, or go to the grocery store....*shudder*. That would definitely put an end to me going to the post office in my plaid flannel pj pants (I call them my work pajamas).

I hope you are all finding time to enjoy the season! And, above all, let's not forget the reason for the ain't all about the presents. Love your family and bask in the light of their company! Remember, their presence is your best present!

Best wishes for a lovely holiday season and may you and yours find peace and joy in the new year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The holidays are right around the corner!

And we're ready! Buy the Kit is offering free first class shipping for the next 2 weeks-ish (12/13). I'm also going to include a little goody to make your day a little brighter.

We've got some great new kits and I hope to get a couple more new ones up in the next couple of days. Take a look at the new kits . There are some sparklers just perfect for holiday get togethers. Also some quick pendants that make a perfect gift and work up fast.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Serious Issue...again

The issue is taking what isn't yours. As in downloading pirated versions of books, magazines, movies, cds, whatever. Its endangering the ability of artists of all mediums to continue to create and make a "living" doing it. I highly recommend you read the following blog from one of my favorite bead artists, Beady-Eyed Woman Jeanette Cook.

I have just finished working with a wonderful woman with a bead store in Ohio who discovered that a teacher at her store was teaching projects and passing them off as her own when they were not. In this instance it was my project.

Please respect the hard work and copyrights of others.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Summer and Happy 4th of July!

Wow! Summer's jammin' by. I hope you all are having a great one. Hope you are able to take some time to relax and enjoy your family. I've been spending time with my 5 year old grandson at the local pool. It's a blast. I can't help but think that these are days we don't get back. I try to make the most of them and savor every aspect. Hope you do too.

My husband and I went to Vegas the end of May and renewed our vows with Elvis! LOLOL! It was a hoot! And! I got to stay at the Bellagio which was beautiful! and!!! there was a jewelry show at the Mirage while we were there! Yes sirree I was in heaven. LOL! It was a great time and quite relaxing.

After I was home for 3 days it was off to Milwaukee and Bead and Button show. It was a blast! Saw lots of people and sold a bunch of kits! Ate good food and came home with cheese curds and summer sausage.

Later this month on the 25th I'll be in Rollinsville Colorado for a trunk show at Beyond Beadery. If you're in the neighborhood you really should drop by. It'll be a blast!

As you can tell, I'm having no problem keeping busy. I've been spending as much time as possible designing some new things. I have a bowl of new pieces that just need to be written up! So much fun! So many crystals! LOL!
I'm also working on a potential contest entry. I've never entered anything but I might just give it a try. Here are some pictures of the progress.

This is one of the most challenging pieces I have made. She seems to have a mind of her own and I have spent a lot of time just staring trying to see what she wants me to do. I'll show you more as she develops.

Buy the Kit is continuing to grow, adding new designers, designs, and patterns! It's fun to think of projects I could never kit but can still put out the pattern. We're looking forward to welcoming a couple more designers in the near future.

If you have a moment during these busy summer days, stop by and see whats new.

Wishin' you all the best!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Beadless Kits and Great Sale!

Beginning Monday April 20, Buy the Kit will be launching the Beadless Kit (aka patterns) section of the site. Several of our designers will have patterns for sale of kitted projects and patterns for new projects. Check back often to see the newest additions in both kits AND patterns! Beading supplies will soon be available as well.And, to celebrate the opening of the new Beadless Kit section, Buy the Kit will be offering a 20% discount on selected kits. To see which designers are participating, look for the star on their individual pages, right next to their name. We will also take care of the postage; domestic orders only. Now that's incentive! LOL!
The picture is of a beautiful bracelet by Cindy Allison. This kit has been retired. Watch for the pattern! Take a look at her beautiful kits.
We have added a couple of new designers who have added some nice new designs. Take a look at Lanai Kinsky and Cristie Prince. More coming from them!

Hope you all are having a great spring!

Nikia - pullin' weeds and building a little rock wall...and beading of course!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring has sprung

And I've got so many ideas I can hardly sleep! Just need to stop beading long enough to write up some instructions! Here are a couple of new bracelets I've been working on.

Also taking a little time out to work in the yard and do a tiny bit of spring cleaning. Do you hate dusting as much as I do? And why did I think collecting cut glass in a state where dust is the main component of everything was a good idea? And I just got more off of ebay! Gads!

But, back to beading LOL!

Progress is being made at Buy the Kit to give you the ability to purchase and eventually download patterns! And, we're gathering some really nice ones! The web team is doing bang up job. I can't wait! We're also going to have a section where you can find odds and ends and extra stuff. I found some really pretty leaves and I have some sets of fruit beads...vintage cabs anyone? I've got a few's finally occurred to me that I will NOT be able to use them all.

I hope everybody is having a wonderful spring and beading to your heart's content.

sloppy smooches!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are we going to have fun!

Wow lot's of stuff going on.

Where to start? We've got several new designers joining us with some beautiful designs! More to come in the near future.

We are in the process of adding the ability to purchase patterns on our site. Eventually they will be download on demand... To start with you will purchase your pattern and receive the pdf within 24 hours. We are also going to be selling bead-only kits for anyone wanting to make additional pieces from some of the kits we sell. Beads and other unique beading supplies will also be available. I hope you will take some time to visit to see the changes.

I am also planning to offer e-books, downloadable or on cds.

Several of our designers have recently put up some new kits. Cathy Lampole has added a trio of beautiful bracelets. Cindy Allison has a great new bracelet that is perfect for spring! I'm ready, how about you?!? I've also been working on some new designs and will be adding a few new ones real soon. They were introduced at the Best Bead Show in Tucson.

Because of the current economy Buy the Kit will be at fewer shows this year. We will be at Bead and Button and BeadFest Philadelphia. I will be teaching a couple of classes at BeadFest Portland in September. Hope to see you around one of these shows!

I hope you are all happily beading beautiful things. Check back for special offers and free patterns! I better go get busy!