Sunday, January 27, 2013

Because I have time for this...

I believe back in 2008 (wow!) when I started my first blog - dedicated to family pictures and updates after the birth of my firstborn - I started with a similar first blog post. Of course, then there was only one little one, I was home on maternity leave, and it was winter, thus my gardening hobby was on hold. So I did, actually, have time for this. Plus it was fun and an easy way to keep the family updated without having to send out mass emails to people who may or may not be actually interested in every adorable thing my child did.

Bead tray on the kitchen island. My current work in progress is a giant embroidered star. It will be a tree topper for the Christmas tree. It will be a pick up and put down project over the year since I obviously have some time before the next Christmas tree!
Now, five years later, I'm not certain I do. I've thought over the past few months about starting a blog to highlight my progress out in bead land. I used to think that I was crafty - and still do mostly, thanks to the amazing headache inducing 'I can do anything' glory of Pinterest - but mainly I'm a beader. And, as it turns out, I'm not into the bead stringing I was into as a kid; I do mainly beadweaving and bead embroidery. For me, it is the perfect combination of playing with the beads I've always loved and doing the sewing/needlework I also love. Time in my life seems to be on the short side. In fact, most people I know who comment on my bead work are amazed that I have time for it at all. However, despite a full time job teaching high school, taking courses during the school year toward my master's degree, two young kids, a husband, and a house, I fins the time for this bead love of mine and am now hoping to blog about my progress. To be fair, though, my husband does (probably more than) his fair share around the house, but still, Phew! That's a lot!

Just over two years ago I had only a tackle box full of beads left over from childhood and college sitting idle in our home office. My last project prior to my bead rediscovery had been back in 2004 when I made necklaces for all of my bridesmaids to wear at our wedding. Even this was a simple stringing project based off of a necklace I had purchased at Ann Taylor. As it turns out, my mother-in-law caught the beading bug probably around the same time Chris and I got married. I have always been impressed with her work and her sense of color, so for Christmas 2010 she gave me a copy of Mastering Beadwork my Carol Cypher, I headed off to my local bead store and was re-bitten by the bead bug.

My stash this morning doesn't actually photograph that poorly. I'm not sure the picture does justice to how much there really is.
I had stopped beading in college mainly because stringing wasn't my thing and I didn't know other techniques existed out there. At the time it was also hard to get beads. The closest big bead store I knew of was in Boston, and I couldn't get there often enough to support a hobby. Now, beads are everywhere! I have a great little store close to my work, you can buy beads at Michael's, and Oh, the internet! What a source of beady amazement! Now, my bead stash has grown to such monstrosities that it has taken over the office desk, and I typically have beads strewn all over the kitchen island where I do most of my work. I have had New Year's Resolutions both this year and last to  "bead my stash" so hopefully I can use up some of what I have instead of buying more.

At any rate, though I have been thinking about starting this blog for awhile to showcase my work, the impetus for starting today is because of this fabulous thing called "The Bead Soup Blog Party" put together by the talented Lori Anderson. I first stumbled upon this party of sorts a few years ago and loved the idea of it. Since then it had been on my future "to-do" list. This morning I saw that signups for the 7th edition of this party end today, AND that it is the only party she's doing in 2013. So, if it's not now, then I have to wait for at least a year! What happens in the blog party is that beaders with blogs who wish to participate get paired up and send each other a "bead soup" mix of beads and other certain items for the other beader to make something with. Then on a specified reveal day, they post on their blog what they made with what they were sent and everyone who participated can hop around via links to each others blogs. Hundreds of people participate from around the world. So, later today my plan is to sign up and also maybe post some pictures of my work (and fold laundry, shower and get dressed, feed the family, do some lesson planning for the upcoming week, clean, read to prep both for teaching and for the my master's courses that start up again this week...)

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