Sunday, December 28, 2008

Spread the Love

I don't believe there is anything more flattering than receving recognition from someone whose work and ethics you greatly admire.

So you can imagine my absolute delight to receive The Spreader of Love Award from the lovely and extraordinarly talented Nicole Campanella of Beadwright. What an honour!

Please pay a visit to Nicole's blog where you can view her beautiful creations, read articles about copyright and ethics, and even go into a monthly draw to win beads simply by leaving a comment! Her Etsy store is well worth a might be lucky enough to snap up one of her gorgeous creations, or you can purchase a fantastic range of beading supplies. Nicole has some great sales when you're certain to grab a bargain, so be sure to pop back often!

Here are the rules to spread the love!
(1) Post a copy of the award on your blog post.
(2) Mention who gave you the award.
(3) Pass the award on to 6 others.
(4) Leave a message on their blog letting them know the honor has been bestowed upon them.
There are so many blogs I love, so this was no easy decision! Here are my picks:
1. My latest blog friend, the beautiful spirit who is Sharon and her loving husband, Damein, of Mana Moon Studios;
2. The ever resourceful Bianca (who has an answer to every conceivable beady question and is always so kind to offer her sage advice freely) of Bianca Velder Creations;
3. The very talented Morwyn and her wicked wit of Another Country BeadWorks;
4. The undisputed queen of freeform brick stitch, Vampi of Beading Bipolar;
5. The wonderful and ever-so-lovely Julie (who I know has only just received one of these awards, but she is just so nice that she deserves another!) of Meanderings by Julz;
6. And last but certainly not least, this being a love award 'n all, I naturally have to give one to be beloved husband, Anthony (whom has only just created his own blog about his second love, aerobatics, after my persistant nagging about the joys of blogging! Love you, baby xxx) Saville Aerobatics.

Thanks for letting me spread the love, Nicole ;)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Happiness is...

...wedded bliss :)

Saying 'I do' on the island of Qamea, Fiji

It is three years to the day since I married my best friend and soul mate. To say that it has been the best three years of my life would be the understatement of the century. It's like saying that we need air to breathe. Well, duh!

Actually, it's been the best four and a half years of my life...we have been practically inseparable since we first met. We could spend every minute of every day in each other's company, and we would never tire of one another. That's saying something.

I have never locked eyes with another human being for the first time and felt the universe slow, and time lay down and be still, as I did with my husband. It was one of those profound moments where you know that life will never be the same. There was an innate awareness that we were just meant to be.

Life has never been better, but we have certainly had our fair share of hard times and heartbreak. Whenever the universe sends some crap our way, my husband jokes that it's because he used up all his good luck when he found me :)

I could gush for days about how Anthony is the perfect husband, and the perfect father. But it's already taken me a week to write this much...the damn pregnancy hormones must be in overdrive because I get choked up and have to type through the tears every time start to think about him!

So, without any further gushiness...

I love you more with every breath, darling. Life without you would just not be worth living!

As a perfume doth remain

In the folds where it hath lain

So the thought of you, remaining

Deeply folded in my brain

Will not leave me: all things leave me:

You remain.

~Arthur Symons~

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tis the season to be...beady

My plum-glazed ham was a runaway success. And we have enough leftovers to feed a small country for a week. Although in my current pregnant state where I *must* eat everything in sight, I doubt they will last long.

How was your Christmas, dear readers? Full of much merriment and mountains of food, I hope. Was Santa good to you?

I must have been a good girl this year (pah, well of course I was!). My stocking contained, amongst other lovelies, 'The Art of Bead Embroidery' by Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kummli. Seeing as I threw myself straight into the deep end of bead embroidery, not really knowing how to swim as such, it's no doubt a very good thing that I now have some guidance and guidelines to follow. I have already read it from cover to cover. It's worth buying for the gallery pages alone. Eye-candy, and then some.

Santa also gave me 'Creative Bead Weaving' by Carol Wilcox Wells. Having recently re-discovered the joys of my local library (I had been shirking the library for years, reasoning that it was only for geeky teens and middle-aged women with a penchant for Mills & Boon romances), I have borrowed 'Creative Bead Weaving no less than four times in the last six months. It's an essential resource for any beader, in my humble opinion. And now it's mine. All mine. *mwahahahahah*

I also received some Delicas in the most drool-worthy shades of purple. They are just begging to be woven into something fabulous. Watch this space.

So all in all, I guess you could say that I enjoyed a very beady Christmas. The best kind!

To all my beady friends and followers, I hope that Santa filled your stocking with much beady goodness. And to all my non-beady friends and followers, from someone who was a non-beader only last Christmas, you don't know what you're missing! Start writing your letter to Santa for next year now and make sure it includes BEADS!

Paradise in Purple (Heather's Garden)

I can finally post some photos of my latest creation. It was a hush-hush project, a Christmas present for my wonderful Mum :) And as she's my biggest fan, she's a frequent visitor to my blog (Hi Mum!) and I didn't want to spoil the surprise before Christmas.

So here it is...Paradise in Purple (Heather's Garden):

It is a bead embroidered choker-style necklace. Many, many hours work. It probably didn't help that I changed my mind at least three times during the process about what I was started as a collar, then became a pendant, and ended up being a choker in it's final manifestation. Nooo, I'm not indecisive...maybe...

It includes some flowers made with simple fringing, a scattering of peyote leaves, and many different types of beads...and even a few... *gasp* ...sequins! I can hear almost hear the beading purists hissing at that admission. I'm not a bead snob, I use whatever works. So bite me!

I wanted to add something to the ends of the ribbon...they looked rather sad in their unadorned state. A jumble of mauve seed beads did the trick. I'm pleased with their berry-like appearance.

I used cotton fabric for the backing as I think it adds something special to the piece. Why shouldn't the back look as good as the front! As recommended by the lovely and always knowledgeable Bianca, rather than gluing the fabric straight to a felt backing (as I did in 'Hope Has a Place'), I used a layer of fusible interfacing between the fabric and the felt. It worked a treat! The finish is much nicer and fraying is not a concern as the edges of the fabric were first folded over and ironed flat. I just love the mind-boggling range of beautiful fabrics available, so it's a thrill that I can use them to good effect in my bead embroidery creations.

I'm pleased to report that Mum loves her new necklace. So much so that she's going to eat, sleep and shower whilst wearing it :)

Sunday, December 7, 2008

In the maternal way...

I just realised that it has been a month since my last post, so I figured I should 'fess up about my recent lack of blogging (and beading, in fact).

I know this blog is supposed to be for bead-related stuff only, but heck, some news is just too big and needs to be shouted from rooftops.

I'm up the duff...baking a bun in the the maternal way... :)

My husband and I are thrilled, we can't wait to welcome our newest cuddly, squishy bundle of goodness into the world. We hope that our 14 month old will be excited about being a big sister. She adores other children so having a permanent playmate at her disposal has gotta be good news, right? It's someone to blame for her mischievous wrongdoings at the very least. "No Mummy, I'm an angel, I didn't do it. It was .........!"

It's still early days and I'm only around 10 weeks along. We had an ultrasound at 7 weeks and we saw our little jelly bean with a heartbeat. Phew. It's impossible to have a completely stress-free pregnancy after you've suffered a miscarriage.

So whilst I'm over-the-moon to be having a baby, my beading has suffered. In fact, I've barely picked up a needle and thread in the last month. The lack of beading is mostly due to my utter exhaustion...I'm lucky if I can stay up past 9pm. Given that India goes to bed at 8:30pm, it doesn't leave much time for beading.

Oh yes, and there's also a little thing called morning sickness. Whoever coined the phase 'morning sickness' obviously never experienced it for themselves...'morning-noon-and-night-and-every-minute-inbetween-sickness' would be more appropriate.

Add to that the fact that I have to eat almost constantly to stave off the sickness and, get the picture. It's a little hard to bead when both hands are full of food *tummy grumbles*

That's not to say that I haven't WANTED to bead. I have a plethora of new ideas swirling around in my scattered, pregnancy-affected head. Mum-nesia anyone?

It's just as well Christmas is around the corner. Nothing like a looming deadline and unmade presents to get your butt into gear. Even if I have to tape my eyelids open to stay awake, I WILL finish my beady presents, damn it!

Now excuse me, but I have to go and out-eat a football team...