Sunday, November 27, 2011

Bosque del Apache

Sometimes on our annual trek to T or C for R & R, we cruise the Bosque del Apache.

Keeping a low profile. ;-)

Spying on cranes. Yes, that is all wetlands out there.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ramakian Dancer Doll Costume

Detail of the costume on a vintage Ramakian dancer doll
from Thailand. See the metal sequins in the fringe?
And the 6-pointed stars?

Wow. Sequins and dolls, in the same post.
She's in my Etsy shoppe.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Poll: Best Venues for Bead & Jewelry Teachers

Hey all, now that school is over I have gotten three requests to teach again. I know -- weird. And while these requests are mostly local (plus the Boulder trip next week), my friend Nikia got something like 5 classes accepted at Bead & Button next year. She's all excited, and I'm excited for her. All of this got me thinking.

Travelling to a national show is so exciting, but it's also expensive. There is travel -- by plane? by car? And there is lodging -- hotel, at the venue or close by? And food (we won't mention the bar expenses). Then you teach. You get a percentage of the tuition, and sometimes all the kit fees, which are sometimes folded into the student's tuition. Usually you can sell kits, supplies, etc. during the class (which some students resent if you push it too hard), and often there's a meet the teachers venue where you can also sell to project-hungry attendees.

When I teach locally, I don't have travel, lodging or food expenses. When travelling regionally to guilds and bead societies, you sometimes get to stay with a local host or hostess and/or have some of your meals paid for. Sometimes they will also pay your travel expenses. I've never taught at an out of town bead store so I don't know how that works, but locally, the pay arrangements vary tremendously. Sometimes you can only take 3-4 students, sometimes you have to agree to take 16-18. Sometimes you can sell your stuff, and sometimes you can't. And you get anywhere from 50% to 100% of the class fees.

And then there's the planning, prep time, kit making, tutorial writing, packing, set up etc. Generally, the expectations are higher for national events.

For me, there's also the social scene. Oddly, I probably know as many people at the national events as the local ones. And I love seeing old friends, sharing a meal, getting away from the dishes for a day or three. But teaching locally is less stressful.

So. I've created a poll (Facebook and other feed readers, you'll need to come to my blogspot page to vote: ). What's your opinion? Do teachers benefit more and/or make more money teaching locally, regionally, nationally, or a combination? The poll is open until Thanksgiving weekend.

Also, add a comment here to weigh in with your details & experiences. :-)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Accidental Zentangle

The back of my sequin sampler.
I was holding this up while working on it and someone said,
"Have you ever photographed the back of your beadwork?"
The answer (at the time) was "No........"

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beading Daily Earrings

That headline is confusing, so I left it that way, ha! (What are daily earrings?) Bottom line -- I need to read my own emails a little more closely. Sally congratulated me on my earrings featured in Beading Daily, and had go back three dailies to figure out what she was talking about. Then I found out Chris P. mentioned it on the Prodigy Orphans list. Where have I been??? What they were talking about were these (<--also a not very good sentence):
Thanks Jen for picking these two. I think we should get back to peyote stitch fringe earrings more often -- they're very satisfying and quick, and so many color combos (I think this particular article was about making earrings to go with your favorite blouse...). Here's a link to the pattern ($4.00):

And the hand amulet pattern is near and dear to my heart. For me, it's come to symbolize unity because it is a symbol used by both Muslims (as the Hand of Fatima) and Jews (as the Hamsa) in the Middle East. In case you hadn't noticed, they have not exactly been on the best of terms lately. So if I can make something that means something to two disparate and "at odds" groups, thus proving they have at least something in common, maybe that becomes a small act of positivity. And even if you're not into politics you can make these little puppies out of SO MANY colors of silver and gold thanks to the Japanese Delica people. The photo above shows a tarnished silver, almost pewter, but there's also an old fashioned gold that just makes me want to cry, it's so beautiful (and it looks great with bright blue turquoise). Here's the link to the Hamsa pattern ($4.00):

And by the way, I'm always willing to tout Interweave's online pattern shop, because after they  publish your project, if they put it for sale on their website, the artist gets a commission on all sales. Which is a lot more than most other publishers do... not that I'm complaining. Interweave is the only site (that I know of) that republishes any of my print articles.