Friday, August 24, 2012

New Bead, New Grade

Summer's almost over! In a few more weeks, I have to go back to school and this time I'm teaching a new grade: Grade 4/5. I'm pretty excited about teaching this grade level for a number of reasons. It's an age group where I'd be teaching less of the basics of reading and writing and more interesting content material. I've never taught this age group before so I can't wait for the new experience. The problem is I have a lot of primary materials from teaching Grade 1 and 2's for so long. So how do I turn my primary materials into a junior classroom without spending a lot more money?

A few weeks ago, I ordered a ceramic pendent from Marti Conrad. I've seen her work on the Bead Soup Cafe and loved it! But I could never give myself a reason to spend the money on a new bead... until I saw this.

It's a dark brownish fish pendent! And since I've been fishing a lot this summer (husband loves fishing) and I love her stuff, it was a great reason to finally get one of Marti's lovely beads. When I got it I was so happy! It's so pretty! But how do I make it into a necklace? Well, after blog hopping during the last reveal, I noticed many people used waxed linen to macrame jewellery pieces. I've never used waxed linen before so I think I'll try it on the fish pendent. I'll post the finished product once I get myself some waxed linen and create something.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

App Review: Evernote

Looking for the Bead Soup Blog Party? Click Here!

Ever since getting my Samsung Galaxy S2, I've been downloading apps like crazy. There are many good apps that I found were useful in helping me organize my business. So I thought I'd review some of these android apps (although some have an iphone equivalent) that I think are useful for business, beading or just really cool! I'll try to post a new review every month. Here goes the first one!


AVAILABLE ON: Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Phone 7

Evernote was one of those apps that was raved about on Google Play. It was on the front page whenever I go into Google Play and I kept seeing ads about it. So I finally decided to give it a try. At first, I thought it was just a mobile app but soon realized that it could be downloaded onto your computer and other devices. It is best used on the computer to gather all your info and then its available on your phone. The phone app is used for gathering quick ideas on the run. I find that it works best when you create the more complicated notes (like creating a blog hop checklist) on the computer then use it on your phone. Some of the simpler functions like typing a note, taking a snapshot, voice recording etc. can easily be done on your phone.

The most useful thing I've done with this app is create a blog hop checklist of all the participants. From the computer, I copy and paste the entire list right from my blog. Then (somewhat tedious but not difficult to do) I manually put a check box next to each participants name. Now when I'm not near a computer I can still hop to a few blogs on my phone.

A list of items in one of my notebooks
Bead Soup list of participants.
I can click on the link to go to their
blog then check off their name as
I visit them.

Overall, Evernote is a great app to use for organizing all your ideas and notes in one place. As you can see in my second picture (look up) I created lists of items I need to buy and ideas. I can record my ideas when on my phone and then sync it and it'll be on my computer if I need it. And did I mention you can access your files from the web. So if you're at another computer, you won't need to download the program.

(I just typed this on the subway on my phone, then copy and pasted it onto blogger. What a good use if time:))

Evernote also has other apps that can be used with its original app:
  • Skitch - draw your ideas, on photos you've taken and attach it to your Evernote
  • Evernote food - a food journal of all your food adventures
  • Evernote Hello - keeps track of all the people you meet
  • and more... check out their website to find out more

    1. Keep track of ideas that float through my head during the day or take a snapshot of something that inspires me for a beading project. 
    2. Created a shipping checklist when I need to ship a package
    3. Make a list of projects that I need to finish so it doesn't keep swimming around in my head bothering me.
    4. Clip websites with ideas and tips about running a craft show.
    5. Create a checklist of all the participants in the Bead Soup Blog Hop so that I can check each person off as I visit their site. Best part is that I can do this all on my phone!

    What do you think? Do you use Evernote? Let me know in the comments below and/or click one of the reactions.

    Saturday, August 11, 2012

    BSBP: The Reveal

    **check out the other reveals HERE**

    The day has finally come. It's party time! So sit back, drink some tea and enjoy some delicious bead soup.

    My partner, Sandra Young, sent me this yummy purple-y, pink soup of beads. It consisted of a Jasper focal, flower clasp and many other lovely goodies. 

     I wanted to use the focal and clasp on one piece. The Jasper pendent looked best by itself. At least I thought so. At first, I put the focal on a silver chain and attached it to the flower clasp but what kind of challenge was that. It was too simple of a design that I scraped it.  Then this piece went through several more changes before I ended up using Amethyst seed beads that I got a long time ago at a bead show. I was going to add some of the faceted crazy lace agate but I didn't like how it went. I thought it best to keep the design simple because that's how I like it. Why complicate it with more beads when it looks great already.

    The next necklace I made uses the really cute button shaped freshwater pearls. I love pearls! So for this piece I decided to hand knot the pearls using silk thread. At the ends I used matte Japanese square beads and attached it to a heart clasp that I've been trying to use for a while (the heart shaped was so small most of the beads I used wouldn't fit, therefore the toggle wouldn't go through).

    I just love the button pearls. I think they're really cute. It's also very light to wear.

     My next two pieces are earrings. The first pair I used some copper wire and wire wrapped two of the Muscavite brios. Then I added the rhodonite rounds to make it dangle some more.
     These are my favourite pair of earrings. When I first saw these Jasper drops I knew I was going to make them into earrings with the earring wires from Sandra. I love these! It has a little shine to them with the purple crystals.

    My last piece is a dangle bracelet with the agate beads mixed with the purple crystals and some silver beads from my own stash.

    And that's it! I hope you enjoyed that! This is my second time participating in the Bead Soup Blog Party and it has been a blast! I just want to thank Lori Anderson for hosting this year after year. It takes a lot of work pairing everyone up and organizing the hop. Also, thank you to Sandra, my partner for the lovely mix, I got to work with. Come see what she created with the soup I gave her.  

    Click me!

    Another really nice lady, Tanya of FusionMuse Thomas Pautler, created this site which lists all the participants from all three reveals. Be sure to check out some really talented artists.

    Now it's time to hop on to Sandra's blog before I go to everyone else's. Have fun!

    Hostess, Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

    Adlinah Kamsir, Dream Struck Designs
    Adrienn Lukacs, Raszputyin Designs
    Agata Grygiel, Cytherea Bijoux 
    Alenka Obid, Pepita Handmade 
    Amy Dickerson, Damyjo Designs 
    Amy Schmidt, Amy's Treasure 
    Amy Severino, Amy Beads 

    Andra Weber, Andra's Joyful Journey
    Andrea Trank, Heaven Lane Creations
    Anke Humpert, Anart Island Studios
    Ann Rishell, My Critical Eye
    April Grinaway, Brooklyn Bead Goddess 
    Ashley Bunting, Miss Ashely Kate 
    Astrid Boyce, Astrid Boyce Beads 
    B.R. Kuhlman, Mixed Mayhem Studios 
    Barb Fernald, Barbara S. Fernald Jewelry 
    Barbe Saint John, Saints and Sinners

    Beata Benkone Meggyesi, Beahobbi
    Brandy McNair, Bella Vita Handmade Jewelry 
     Bryna Lumb, Bryna's Bead Box
    Carmen Lau, Little Maketto
    Cate van Alphen, Fulgorine
    Cathie Carroll, Cathie Carroll's Studio
    Cathy Khoury, Touch Jewelry 
    Christina Stofmeel, Feng Beads 

     Collette Collins, Fire Fly Myst Artisan Jewelry
    Courtney Breul, Beads by Breul 
    Crystal Thain, Here Bead Dragons
    Cynthia Abner, Created Treasures
    Deana Hager, Just Deez'Art & Life
    Debbie Davis, Natural Treasures by Deb
    Debbie Phenes, Deb Joy Sing
    Dhea Powers, Java Bead

    Diana Welte, Lilyweeds
    Dita Basu, alankarshilpa
    Dorota Zeranska, gdymamczas 
    Dot Lewallwn, Speedie Beadie
    Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals
    Ema Kilroy, Ema K Designs
    Emma Todd, A Polymer Penchant
    Eva Sherman, Eva Sherman Designs
    Evie and Beth McCord, EB Bead and Metal Works
    Francy Inman, Francy's Studio

    Ginger Bishop, lilmummy likes...
    Giorgia Rossini, Jo in Wonderland
    Ine Vande Cappelle, Jewels by Ine 
    Iveth Caruso, Creative Atelier 
    JJ Jacobs, Coming Abstractions
    Jackie Ryan, Kydo Jewellery
    Jeannie Dukic, Jeannie's Blog
    Jelveh Jaferian, Jelveh Designs
    Jenna Tomalka, Twin Birch Studio
    Jenni Connolly, Jenni's Beads

    Jennifer Van Horn, Jennifers Jewels and Junk
    Jo-Ann Woolverton, It's a Beadiful Creation
    Johanna Rhodes-Nash, Fire Phoenix Creations 
     Joyce Blair, Bent Wire West Coast
    JuLee Wolfe, The Polymer Penguin
    Karen Vincent, Swallow Tail Jewellery
    Karin Slaton, Backstory Beads
    Kayla Potega, The Eclectic Element 
    Kim Dworak, CianciBlue
    Krafty Max, Krafty Max Originals
    Kris Lanae Binsfeld, Cherish Designs by Kris Lanae

    Kristen Latimer, MJM Jewelry Designs
    Kumi Fisher, Malie Kai Designs
    Kym Hunter, Kym Hunter Designs
    Lennis Carrier, Windbent
    Leslie Wayment, AA Beads & More
    Linda Murphy, Bonita Bead
    Lisa Johnson, Whimsey Wonders
    Lisa Lodge, Pine Ridge Treasures

    Lisa Sittniewski, Love, Yesterdays
    Lois Moon, Que Onda, Q'Town?
    Lola Surwillo, Bead Lola Bead
    Lorelei Eurto, Lorelei's Blog
    Lori Bowring Michaud, Artfully Ornamental
    Lori Finney, Using My Beads
    Marcia Dunne, The Alternative Foundry
    Margareta Saari, Mags-koruja
    Maria Horvath, Horimarika Beads
    Marian Hertzog, M's Place

     Mary Ellen Parker, BeeTree by m.e.
    Mary K McGraw, MK's Creative Musings
    MaryLou Holvenstot, time2cre8 
    Martha Aleo, Ornamento
     Maybeline Tay, The Jewelry Larder
    Megan Collins, Churchy & Her Sailor
    Melissa Meman, Art. Life. Love.
    Melissa Mesara, One-Eared Pig Beads
    Melissa Muir, Kelsi's Closet Jewelbox
    Paige Maxim, Paige Maxim Designs

    Pam Farren, re-maker
    Pam Hurst, Pam Hurst Designs
    Patricia Handschuh, The Color of Dreams
    Patty Miller, CabariBeads
    Penney Klapoth, Faerie Acres
    Regina Santerre, Regina's Writings
    Rhea Freitag, starrgazer creates
    Rochelle Brisson, A Creative Chelle

    Sabine Dittrich, PerlenDschungel
    Sandra McGriff, Creative Chaos
    Sandra Neights, Petalo Azul
    Sandra Young, It's a Bead Life! <-----My Partner
    Sara Oehler, SoftFlex Girl
    Saturday Sequins, Saturday Sequins
    Shanti Johnson, Sunshine Bliss
    Shari Replogle, Plays With Paper
    Sonya Stille, Dreamin' of Beads

    Stefanie Teufel, Stefanies Sammelsurium
    Tammie Everly, TTE Designs
    Tania Spivey, Moobie Grace Designs
    Therese Frank, Therese's Treasures
    Tina Holden, Polymer Clay Bytes!
    Toltec Jewels, Jewel School Friends 

    Tracey Nanstad, A Beadiful Mess
    Tracy Choy, BumbleBeads Designs <-----You are here!
    Valerie Norton, Hot Art

    Click HERE to see participants from the other reveal dates!

    Thursday, August 9, 2012

    My New Studio!!!!

    My "studio" started its humble beginnings in boxes and containers. I didn't have very much so it worked. It would be mobile so that I could bring it from my room to the living room and create while watching TV. I've always liked this arrangement except it caused me back and shoulder pain from looking down (I also like to sit on the floor, still do actually). All my beads would be all over the carpet and was a safety hazard for people walking around. It was also a terrible mess!

    My old "studio"

    So..... last week I decided to clear out a table in our bedroom that would solely be dedicated to beading. And during the school year, I can use it for school work.  That solved the mess and back pain issues.

    My new studio!
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