Thursday, June 11, 2015

K is for Keeping It Real - or - aka.... I'm not as self-disciplined as I thought I was!!

When New Year's Eve rolled around this year, I didn't really make any resolutions as most people do, but I told myself that I wanted to get more focused on my business and making it more successful. That was a huge priority for me! One of the ways I planned on accomplishing that little piece of business was to post two new beading tutorials a month in my Etsy store, Lady Abeada Designs

Damsel Flowers

The first two months of the new year, I did great and I was able to stick to the schedule I set for myself.  It seemed like a breeze, and I thought I wasn't going to have any difficulties whatsoever keeping up with my new regimen. In fact, I found myself wondering what the heck my problem had been and why I hadn't been doing this right along.  HAH!!

Then March came along and my schedule went all haywire. What happened? In a word, LIFE!! Isn't that always what happens when we make plans? Life makes plans of it's own and totally buggers up your best intentions and outcomes? ::sigh::
I told myself, that's OK, we all have little set backs and come April, I would get back in the saddle and get back on track!

Step Stones

Not so fast.... what happened this time? Ahh... it was that old pattern of mine that came back to me like a roaring freight train.... a little, self-defeating talk was all it took to derail me this time. I told myself things like; what does it matter if I don't stick to my schedule and get out two tutorials a month? I'd already blown it in March... so what did it matter if I blew it again this month?? Why do we do those little self sabotaging things to ourselves? I have no idea, except, that they are learned patterns we cultivate over time... and if they can be learned they certainly can be unlearned and replaced with better habits, right?? Well, that's what I want to believe, at any rate.

Let's just say that April was a month where I did a bit of flailing... lol,  I needed some direction badly, and direction, I got!! As most of you know, somewhere towards the end of April, Kelly Stevenson of Back2Beads asked me to join his design team, The Glam Squad, and I did! I am still so excited about that, I can't even begin to tell you how much!!

At the beginning of this journey, one of the things that continually flashed through my brain was that someone was going to be sending little ole' me beads to design with!!  Sounds pretty exciting and cool, right? It is... make no mistake about it, it is!! BUT... along with those beads comes a great responsibility to someone else. Someone else is trusting in and depending on you. In return for the beads and products, as a member of the Glam Squad, I create designs using those beads, that will, hopefully, help Kelly to promote his beads and products in a big way. Its a Quid Pro Quo situation!
Fairy Wings

I have never beta tested beads for anyone before or had the great privilege of someone sending their products to me to design with. I have to admit that after my feet touched back down to this earth, a bit of panic set in!! OK ... more than a bit... A LOT of PANIC set in. What if I wasn't able to come up with any decent designs? Or what if he didn't like my designs? lol... you can't begin to imagine all the different things I stressed over and the amount of pressure I put on myself!! Suddenly, all the confidence I thought I had in my work and skills seemed to completely evaporate! So... I panicked and freaked out for a few days, until I realized, that all I could do was give it my best shot and what ever happened, happened. That's all anyone can do. So I got busy and got myself to work!!

Turns out... having a responsibility to someone else is somewhat of a tonic and great motivator for me!! (Thank you, Kelly!) The first bead that Kelly sent to the Glam Squad was his Etched Drums , and I have to say, they were a bit of a challenge to work with. But once I figured out what they would and would not do... things went along a bit more smoothly for me, and I was able to come up with three different designs using the Etch Drums and complete the tutorials for all three designs, in a single month! Yes, you heard correctly! That has to be a record for me.... lol, so its not that I CANT do it...  I just require something to motivate me to do it, and apparently being able to eat isn't enough of a motivator, lol. It's kind of funny tho, because all of this time I have been laboring under the mistaken impression that when it comes to my beading,  I am "motivated" and entirely "self-disciplined"! Obviously, that's not the case at all or I would have been much more prolific long before this!! LOL

So what's the moral of this story? Its always good to do a bit of self introspection along the way! You may find that what you believe to be true about yourself, isn't at all! Plus, the discoveries you make  may lead you in a direction or to a truth about yourself that you hadn't even imagined!

What's up next? Etched Daggers!!  Stay tuned!!

Friday, May 8, 2015

J is for.... JUST IMAGINE ... An Opportunity that doesn't come along every day!

But before we get to that exciting opportunity.... Lady Abeada has a new look!! I am so excited to show it off to you!! She is the result of a collaborative effort between myself and my sweet, dear friend, Val Clifton, of VC Artisan Originals!  That translates to 97% Val for the design, and 3% me for the Color Palette. ;)
Isn't she just gorgeous?? I truly LOVE her!! I think we can all agree that Val is extremely talented and gifted
when it comes to graphics and jewelry, right? Very soon you will begin to see Lady Abeada sporting her new look everywhere, beginning with the blog, and then  Etsy, and new business cards, and so on and so forth!!                                                              
But for NOW.... let's move on to the really EXCITING news of the month......   About three weeks ago, I was approached by Kelly Stevenson, owner of and asked if I would be a part of the design team that he was forming, known as the Back2Bead Glam Squad. Are you kidding me?? What a great opportunity for me!! I didn't even have to think about it... my answer was a resounding YES!! If you don't know who Kelly is you must be living in a cave somewhere, lol .... No, but seriously,  he is the former Manager of York Beads in New York City (which recently closed) and he's been in the bead industry for over 30 years. He recently opened,
which is an online bead store and he is also designing and selling his own beads!! Say "Hello" to our handsome, fearless Leader... Kelly!!

 The Glam Squad consists of two other designers besides myself; Val Clifton and Diane Dennis, two really bad ass designers, in their own right.

Our first assignment was to create new designs around a bead that Kelly developed called; Etch Drums. The Glam Squads coming out party was held this past Monday and we unveiled our first designs as "The Glam Squad" featuring the Etch Drums, yesterday on Face Book. So without further ado.... lol

Meet  "Vixen" ... and her creator and designer.... Val Clifton!!

Meet "Bang a Drum" and her creator and designer.... Diane Dennis!

And last but not least.... Meet Step Stones and her creator and designer... Moi, Twyla Harbick :)

Eventually, there will be patterns available for all three of these designs in our individual Etsy stores; VC Artisan Originals, Diane Dennis Beadwork and Lady Abeada!

Together, we all make up the Back2Bead Glam Squad!! Stay tuned for new beads and new designs!! In the meantime... stop by Back2Bead, check out the site, get yourself some of the new Etch Drums and say "Hi" to Kelly!!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

I is for Insanity, ie... Bead Mania!!

Insanity is defined as: (1) The state of being seriously mental ill; madness. (2) Extreme foolishness or irrationality.

Yup, that about sums it up!! I decided I must have experienced a bout of insanity recently when I decided to revamp my system of sorting and how I store my stash of beads.
It all began when Lisa Kan released her latest book, Bead Metamorphosis, which btw, is  fabulous and you should definitely give a look see, if you haven't already.
 OK, I digress here... so as I was saying, it all began with the release of Lisa's new book. A friend of mine purchased this book for herself at Christmas time and she was enthralled with the projects in it, but also the knowledge Lisa shared with the beady world. I don't know if it was something Lisa specifically suggested in the book or just an idea my friend came up with after thoroughly exploring Lisa's book, but.... my friend decided that she would re-sort her stash into groups of beads by color rather than storing her stash by size and shape. It seemed like a great idea on the surface. One could only surmise that  it would be extremely helpful to know exactly what one had available in varying sizes given any color scheme. My friend believed that it  would prove to be time-saving as well, because you could just pick any color, go to  your stash and have available at your fingertips all the bead types and sizes in that particular color to work with. Seems simple enough, right?
After making her decision, it took only about a week and a half before she twisted my arm and talked  me into re-arranging my stash accordingly. :) OK, so maybe she didn't have to twist my arm... I am always up for trying something new, especially if it makes my life easier, and believe me this should have, because I have been known to spend literally hours sorting through my beads looking for a particular color of something!!
Enter Phase 1 of insanity.... You know what I am talking about. That phenomena when you are thinking about tackling a project and you tell yourself that you will breeze right through this and it will only take you an hour or two to complete the project, and it ends up taking you three or four days?!?!?!
Yup,that about sums it up!! It seemed like it took forever to go through each of my containers and sort them into little piles of color here and there all over my living room. Everywhere I turned there was a different pile of color staring back at me. No kidding, it took me at least two days to get them sorted into piles... and my stash is nowhere as big as most. I think I have like ten containers of beads... which really isn't all that much in comparison to some stashes I'm aware of. So why did it take so long? I have no, the only thing I can think is that I had just too much fun going through them all and "remembering" what I actually had. I will say this; after all was said and done, this exercise proved very insightful. I discovered I had very little beads in some colors that I thought I had lots,  and I had a multitude in other colors that I didn't think I was very fond of. Well, I must be fonder than I know, because otherwise, why would I have such a huge collection of them?? It definitely showed me where my stash lacked and where it didn't. In betweenst all that sorting, I somehow managed to begin three new projects, one of which I have completed, and the other two are works in progress. Thought I would post some sneak peeks for you to look at, while taking this journey with me. :)

Blue Ingenue Bracelet

OK, so once I had them all sorted, I had to put them all away again. (I'm hearing a collective sigh!) That proved to be mind boggling also, because then I had to decide which colors to group together in each container. For example, when it came to purple... they took up an entire container of their own... but not so much with things like pink, red and yellow.
Enter Phase 2 of insanity....Listen to your little voice! The entire time I was putting away the newly sorted, by color beads, I kept having this nagging, kind of uncomfortable feeling. Did I listen to my little voice? Nope!!
Yup, that about sums it up!! Enter Phase 3 of Insanity.... Denial! Deep, down inside me, I knew that this new system wasn't for me, but I kept telling myself that this was going to be great and so much easier when it came to choosing beads and colors for a new design.  I was lying to myself.  One day, when I was on FB this woman posted a picture of her bead stash and she had them all sorted into huge tubs full of beads. For example, all the browns and each of their respective shades were in one tub, greens in another and so on and so on.  I thought how wonderful that she has  such a huge collection, and I admit, I was a bit envious... but upon deeper introspection, I thought, OH MY GOSH! I could easily see myself spending an entire day going through any one tub  looking for a specific size and color of bead. Now, don't get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against sorting your beads by color, if that's what system works for you, but as it turned out, it isn't the system that works for me.

Well,... not wanting to admit defeat to myself... I tried living with the new system for about a week and a half... until I began a new design. The strangest thing happened and I made a profound discovery about myself and my design process. Perhaps when creating a new design,  most people choose a color palette they want to work with first, but I tend to choose the type of bead I want to work with first, and the colors second. That's huge and really important for me to know about myself. When it came time to choose and find beads in this new system of mine, completely lost and seriously confused. What I thought was going to take a shorter amount of time actually took twice as long, because I seriously couldn't recall what type bead I had available in any particular color. The end result was that I spent more time going through each color looking for particular types of beads.  With my original system,  I could just think superduo... and look to see what colors I had available in them. Point made and taken... I really knew my way around the old system!!
Enter Phase 4 of Insanity.... Don't fix what isn't broken!

Yup, that about sum's it up!! I spent the next three to four days resorting my stash back into piles of types and sizes of beads, so that I could put things back the way they were when I began this journey, and I have been a completely happy camper ever since!!

What's the moral of this story? There are several.
First, Don't be afraid to try and explore something new, because you never know when a new method will hit the nail on the head and turn out to be the perfect solution to a dilemma!
Second, Learn to listen to your little voices, they will rarely lead you astray!
Third,  Don't fix what isn't broken, and
Fourth, and  perhaps most importantly, Figure out what works for you as an individual and stick with it!!

Have you ever taken a journey that led you right back to the place where you began?? :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

....and the Winner is!

My apologies at this late posting but my internet has been down today and just came back. So so sorry! Thank you to everyone who participated in my giveaway!! I really appreciate your support!
I honestly couldn't decide between your pay it forward ideas as to whose was the most creative, so I have decided to give each of you that participated in the giveaway a free tutorial from my Lady Abeada Designs Store on Etsy.

Lady Abeada Designs

If you will email me at : with your tutorial choice, I will get the tutorial of your choice sent off to you!

Now to the giveaway.... The winner is: #4-Shirley Moore!! Congratulations!!

Please email me your full name and address so that I can get your giveaway winnings mailed off to you!

Again thank you everyone for your support and participation!

Monday, December 15, 2014

H is for Holiday Happiness and a Giveaway!!

I just returned from a glorious trip to Interlaken, NY to visit my Son and his family for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the entire thing was gifted to me by my very generous son!! I had such a marvelous time that I, myself am in a very happy, generous mood and want to spread some of that happiness around to the rest of the world. I've been thinking a lot lately about different ways that I can pay things forward to return some of the goodness that has been bestowed upon me, and for me, this giveaway is the first step in that journey.

What do you get?

A new copy of Kelly Angeley's book, Explorations in Beadweaving, Techniques for an improvisational approach, and all the beads and components that you see pictured in the photo below. Its kind of a mixed media spread with a little of this and a little of that; Super Duos, Rivoili's, peanut beads, some delicas, triangles, a cameo, some cabs, and a few seedies, among other goodies!!

The Official Rules:

While I think it would be a super awesome sign of your appreciation for my having this giveaway, if you would follow my blog and/or share this post on your FB page, I won't require you to do that in order to be entered into the giveaway. (If you are already following my blog, I thank you for your support!) The only requirement for entering is to leave a comment following this post and tell me how you will pay things forward in your life in  2015. Put your thinking caps on and be creative! (The most creative response may win something special!)

The giveaway will run from December 14, 2015 until 9pm on December 19th, PST. One lucky person will be drawn by random number and announced on Saturday, December 20th at 1pm, PST.

Best of luck to everyone!!

I don't usually do this sort of thing, but due to some extenuating circumstances and posting issues, I am extending the giveaway through this weekend to give everyone a chance to participate. The lucky person will be announced on Monday, December 22, 2015, at 1pm, PST. Thank you to everyone for your understanding and your participation!! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Friday, November 14, 2014

G is for Guest Blogger-Cynthia Newcomer Daniel!!

Hey Everyone... When I asked Cindy if she would write a guest blog for Lady Abeada Designs  and she said "Yes, she'd be happy to," well, ... I was over the moon as you can imagine!! I left the subject matter to her saying she could write about anything she  wished as long as it had something to do with beading. I am  excited to read what she has prepared for us, as  I am sure you all are, as well. She is one of my favorite designers, and one of the nicest, most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of being associated with.  I know you will all make her feel welcome. Grab a cup of joe or your favorite tea, take a load off and enjoy this wonderful guest post and the incredible work made by my talented, creative friend, Cynthia Newcomer Daniel!!

Once upon a time, there were seed beads, and it was good. We wove them into chains and rings and bracelets; we loved our little beads. And then, we added pearls. And crystals. And gemstones. Our bead cupboards were full, or so we thought.

We had all we needed (except for new colors, we always need new colors), but then, one day, it all changed….
What was your first 2-holed bead? I started with Twins, and quickly moved to Superduos. I couldn’t get enough of them; after my first tube was opened, I knew I needed more. Transparent, Metallic, Magic…I had to have one of each. Then more, and even more.

The designs flowed, and it was wonderful. It wasn’t just a crush; I was in love. Superduos let me do things with seed beads that I’d never imagined doing. They became an important structural element; they took my beadwork to new places that I’d never visited before.
And then, in rapid succession (and in no particular order), I tried Rullas, Tilas, Half-Tilas, Tiles, Peanuts, O Beads, BiBos, Pyramids, Tri-Beads, Silky Beads, Tipps and Chexx. But that’s not all: on my desk, waiting for me to open them, are packages of Dobbles, Pucca Beads, Dome Beads, Dragon Scales, Tulip Petals, and Pellet Beads.
I think I need another cabinet.

I confess; I’m a bead addict, and I love trying new beads. I’m sure there are probably more new beads out there that I haven’t got (yet); every time I see a new one, my imagination is fired up and I want it. I have to have it. I won’t rest until I find a supplier. (Am I the only one who finds this paragraph a bit disturbing? Good thing beads aren’t illegal or immoral; otherwise, I’d be breaking bad.)

I don’t know which of these new beads will stand the test of time; I suspect some will, and some won’t. I hope that my favorites will be around for a long time, but even if they aren't, I will still be glad that I knew them. I think that this is a very exciting time to be a beader; with all of the new beads out there, the design possibilities are endless.

Are you as enamored of the new beads as I am? Or do you wish they’d stop already?

Sunday, October 5, 2014

F is for Forward Motion and a FREE Tutorial!

   As many of you most likely already know, once again, the Bead Mavens are no more, which means, I am no longer a Bead Maven! :( At first, I was very sad at this turn of events, but now in retrospect, I realize I have more time to focus on my business and my blog... which is always a good thing. :) I will always be grateful for an opportunity to learn and grow and that was what the Mavens represented to me. But onward and upward and forward motion as they say. :)
  One day I was playing with my beads... well, experimenting with a particular color scheme, actually, and these cute little earrings are the end result of that experimentation. I hope you like them. They use Herringbone and Peyote stitch,  work up really quickly and are a great project for when you don't have a lot of time to invest in something. Enjoy!