It’s Been Stressful…

•January 22, 2023 • Leave a Comment

Aside from being scheduled for a medical procedure this week, a stray cat has adopted us! We noticed a cat outside our house in early December. Perhaps it chose us because our two indoor cats would sit at the window and watch it. This kitty would come and go and as winter weather set in we started putting food out for it and I constructed a make-shift shelter. Little by little it would come out of the shelter when it heard food being put in its bowl. We started calling it Georgie because we couldn’t decipher if it was a male or female. To make a long story short, after six weeks and everything from sub-zero temperatures to torrential downpours, we were finally able to coax this little survivor indoors just a few days ago. Yesterday he went to the vet to be neutered and tested and I’m happy to report that he is very healthy! The vet estimated that he is four years old. Georgie is very loving and is becoming more trusting of us every day. He is adapting so well to indoor life that I can’t help but think he was just dumped by someone who no longer wanted him. If he were truly feral, I doubt he would be so comfortable around people. Now the process of integrating him into our family begins. Unlike dogs who can become fast friends after a few sniffs, cats are extremely territorial and are seldom eager to welcome a new cat. It can take weeks or even months for cats to get along. Some never do! We’re taking it slow and easy. Georgie is confined to our family room where there are French doors so the cats can watch each other and, if so inclined, pass toys back and forth under the door. There is a bit of hissing and a few yowls now and then, mostly from Jackson. Cooper, I think, will adapt more readily to Georgie. Jackson will take much longer. I find myself trying to think like a cat to make transitioning flow with the least stress possible. My husband’s grandpa always said, ‘Everything always works out.’ And it will. It takes time. We feel so fortunate to have saved Georgie from the outside world…something tells me that he knows how lucky he is to have chosen us!

I’m Making Up For Lost Time…

•January 16, 2023 • 2 Comments

Yay! It seems my beading Muse is going to stay around for a while! After a long hiatus, she is now whispering in my ear and suggesting ideas for new designs as well as alternate versions of past designs. So different from being at my jeweler’s workbench hammering silver and other metals, I’m truly enjoying spending quiet time with beads at the moment. It’s a contemplative and peaceful process that feels so comfortable right now. A Zen moment.

Time to Retire…

•January 7, 2023 • Leave a Comment

I created the “Safari” Cuff in 2013. I love this design, but I really must make room for new work. Although the tutorial will still be available, I’m kissing the beading kit goodbye! I have just four kits of this design left in my Etsy shop (BarbaraBriggsDesigns.Etsy.com) and when they’re gone…well, adieu pour toujours! The “Safari Cuff” beading kit contains almost 50 grams of Delica beads in various shades of rust, brown, black, tan, ivory, and grey, bordered by deep red and rich bronze with finishes in metallic luster, matte, opaque, iris, silver-lined, and crystal AB. The step-by-step tutorial for this comfortable and lightweight slip-on Cuff has directions for small, medium, and large sizes. Color photos accompany each step and colorful charts show color placement of each bead. If you’ve had your eye on this kit, now is the time to get one before they are gone for good!

As Promised!

•January 1, 2023 • 2 Comments

“Geometric Oval Picot-Edged Earrings”…my first design project of 2023 is here! The tutorial and beading kit is now listed in my Etsy shop. As many of you know, I had taken an hiatus from beading for the past year while I devoted myself to metal work, but as luck would have it, my Muse returned just in time for the holidays! I love this design and hope you will too! Happy New Year!

Finished Just in Time!

•December 28, 2022 • 2 Comments

I wanted a dramatic pair of bead-woven earrings to wear for New Years Eve and here they are! I love asymmetry so I’ve mixed up the colourways a bit. Playing off a palette of rich, dark-toned neutrals, I jazzed up the earrings with metallic gold and silver accents and used Swarovski Cushion Stones (square stones with round corners) in graphite on one earring and burgundy on the other. And guess what? I’m presently working on a tutorial for these earrings which I hope to finish within the coming week. This is a milestone for me as I have not written a new tutorial in quite a while. But, I do think it’s a great way to ring in the New Year! Stay tuned!

Unlike the Grinch Who Stole Christmas…

•December 24, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I love Christmas! Decorated trees, twinkly lights, brightly wrapped presents, snow, and the feeling of goodwill toward mankind and peace on earth (however brief!) make me happy. Although the Grinch does find redemption by the story’s end, it’s such a shame that his negative energy spoiled enjoyment of life up to that point! So many waste life thinking their ‘cup is always half-empty’ instead of half-full. In reality we can’t have a world filled with Polly-Annas, but looking on the bright side does make life easier! With that in mind, I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season…even the Grinches out there!

Happy Winter Solstice!

•December 21, 2022 • 2 Comments

It’s officially the shortest day and the first day of winter. To celebrate, Mother Nature has decided to send us a blizzard! Heavy snow is forecast for the Midwest with windchill factors of 35-40 degrees below zero along with 55mph winds! I’ll definitely be hunkering indoors for the Holidays!

A Few Months Ago…

•December 12, 2022 • Leave a Comment

I posted a photo of a “find” from a resale shop. It was to be a project to do indoors when weather turns cold. Well, winter weather has arrived and here is the finished project…I’m very pleased with the color! I used chalk paint, which is so easy to work with. It requires a clean surface, but the previous finish doesn’t have to be removed, which makes the task so much easier and speedier. After the paint dried, I applied a light coat of wax and buffed the surface imparting a protective, subtle glow. I can’t wait to fill this beauty with jewelry!

Whew!

•December 6, 2022 • Leave a Comment

It’s been non-stop busy these past few weeks! The Holidays do stir things up a bit! But now I’m back in the beading studio working on a design that I hope I will have finished in time for Xmas, or at the very least, for New Years Eve. I’m testing out several different colourways in earth and forest tones…all somewhat subtle. I hope to have more to show in my next post!

If You Haven’t Started…

•November 30, 2022 • Leave a Comment

It’s really time to think about those on your list and things they might like for Holiday gifts! And what bead enthusiast wouldn’t love to have one of these beautiful satin brocade pouches that contain ten tiny vials they can fill with beads! The zippered pouches measure approximately 4″x4″, which is large enough to hold thread, scissors, and other beading paraphernalia. And it’s the perfect size to toss in a handbag for “on the go” projects! So mosey on over to my Etsy shop and nab one or more…after all, you may want one for yourself!

 
%d bloggers like this: