Thursday, May 26, 2011

Freeform Peyote Too Much Fun!

News flash! Freeform peyote officially declared too much fun...or perhaps just Too Much.  Wha-hoooo!!

You decide. I had never tried this technique before, and actually I'm glad I didn't. I needed some seasoning, some wrassling with various other techniques and getting really really comfortable with peyote in various incarnations. I learned odd-count peyote because I might need it for this, and it came in handy a time or two to know how to do that odd-count turn.

But mostly the experience came in handy in learning that in nearly every case, the Next Bead will tell you where it wants to go. Really.

So I pulled out the inspiration for the color scheme, which has been sitting on my desktop for months. The grapes against the green leafy background, some ripe, some not, just makes me long to drive through Napa and Sonoma again. Aren't the colors luscious?

And here is the main section of the necklace that resulted. The large stones are ametrine, a combination of amethyst and citrine. They're cut large so that in some stones you can see the color change gradation from purple to amber/brown. There are few that go all the way to light yellow like regular citrine.

I'm including some closeups of the center section as well. I wasn't able to get a good picture of the entire necklace. Used to be I could get good distance pics but not detail views. Now the detail views are crisp and sharp, but try to get the whole necklace in, no way.

There are some problems with the necklace laying flat when worn. It looked great as I designed it on a flat surface, but has some shape issues when worn on a three-dimensional body. Live and learn, I guess. 

I also learned some fun things about incorporating segments of bugle beads right into the peyote. Those puppies are stitched right into the peyote piece, with a continuous thread. Really nifty!  

I did have a hard time determining when to stop, though. Since I just started this piece with no real thought of design, it did come out a bit scattered. Next time, more planning. More concept. Less wha-hoooo! No, not that. It'll always have plenty of wha-hooo, if I have anything to say about it!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Couple of Firsts, Tutorials and Software and Freeform Peyote!

Yes, the previous two posts were sent from my software in development, BeadEnCounter Beading Inventory software.   One of its features is the ability to send a post to either Facebook or a Blogger blog using the secret emails from each of those services.

The software is looking good, nearly in beta form. If any of you reading this (I do have several readers, I hope, after weeks of neglect) wish to participate in the beta stage of development, please email me at  I need testers who use Mac or PC, as the software will work on both.

Participation means receiving a guaranteed-buggy pre-shipping version of the software. I'll ask you to test the functioning of the various areas of the software, where data on your beading inventory, your finished work, and your seed-bead collection is stored. We'll also be testing functions like backing up and upgrading the files, which are necessary to take care of your data once it's entered.

Then you have to tell me in great detail what goes wrong. ;) This is the fun part, because so often the software you use is developed by faceless programmers on another planet. At least they might as well be, for all the feedback you can really give. At least this time, your pain will be heard, corrections will be made, and the final product will be that much better for your contributions.

Not to mention you'll get free software when the product does ship.

I could ship the software without a beta phase, but that's a very Microsoftian thing to do, expecting the first adopters to serve as beta testers. I hope not to do that.

In other news, I have listed on Etsy my first beading tutorial, Netted Rope and Netted Loop Variation. This stitch just came to me while I was working on a netted rope bracelet. It seems to be original, at least I've never seen anything like it. It's easy and lends itself to a zillion different adaptations.  I think of new ones all the time.  Pictured is one of the bracelets made with the variation. 

Even working up a seemingly-simple document like a tutorial took an unimaginable amount of work. I had a very kind beader offer to be first reader, and she worked enough of the pattern to point out all sorts of places where explanations were unclear, or pictures not explanatory enough. I had to nearly rewrite the whole thing, because she was right, in almost every particular. Someone once said that writing was the universe's way of teaching you how fuzzy your thinking is. I concur. Just when you think you've made everything plain, you haven't.

But the tutorial is much better now for the assistance of the first, reader.

Last, but not least, my freeform peyote piece is done. I think. I'm still deciding if I want to embellish more. Pictures tomorrow, I hope. I'm stopping now to go and bead. You do the same!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Shells & Coral test post

A second test with more text, explaining things in the script.
Allowing users to type many lines of text.

The small striped shells in this necklace are not painted, they are
naturally striped.

Testing email posting to my blog from my software in development.

testing email body