Interview with a Spiritual Influence

Meet Meagan, a person I met on SwapSity.  Meagan knows how to say just enough and leaves you wanting more. Without giving anything away I can tell you I benefited when Meagan recently reduced her glass beads  ‘stash’. As soon as I can I’ll be making some glass bead artisan jewellery.

H: Who are you in your ‘real’ life?

M: Good question! My real life is a work in progress. All I can say is that I am interested in tons of different things.

H: What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it? Do you still have it?

M: I remember making cloud nametag pins with my mom when I was a kid. She’s a big crafter of all sorts of things. I think she still has the pins in her house womewhere.

H: Describe your work area: what is the best thing and the worst thing about your space?

M: I work at my desk. I like to be able to look at my computer because  I’m still learning some of the finer aspects of making prayer beads and I use lots of tutorials and pictures for inspiration. I have one of those slide out keyboard trays and my bead cloth is on that. It’s a good use of the space, although I wish the lighting were a little better.

H: What is your medium of choice?

M: I’m a beader. I used to make fashion jewellery and I’m starting to make prayer beads now.

H: What are your favourite materials?

M: I love natural materials. I’ve always been drawn to simple, functional things that are close to nature. The less polished the better! It is my dream to learn to whittle my own wooden beads.

H: What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from? Do your other interests play a part in your designs?

M: I often get ideas just from seeing interesting shapes and colours in my daily travels. I am a very spiritual person.

H:  For whom do you do your designs?

M: I think I mostly design for myself.  I give a lot of my work away as gifts.

There you go! Didn’t I say she is interesting! Meagan and I ‘swapped’ her beads for my money. I’d be lying to say these beads are nice: they’re great! 

Thanks, Meagan, for this interview. While your answers got me to a-thinking so I hope you found yourself happily reminiscing.


I am so happy that Meagan sent her answer to a follow up question I had.

H: What influenced your change of focus?

M: I guess I decided to start with prayer beads because spirituality is becoming more and more important to me. To be honest I liked making jewellery but not so much wearing it, so this is something I can also use myself.

Good or bad, Life is Growth. When we stop growing is the day we die. Some change is easy but it is the hard to accept change that builds our character.


Social Marketing – 02 11 09 LinkedIn, StumbleUpon

So! Let’s go. This is one artisan jeweller who is making an enormous effort to focus on business.  Why do artisans seem so scatterbrained? Our minds are whirling around like a Whirling  Dervish, with wonderful and beautiful ~ beautiful to this artisan ~ ideas for things to make.

When you look at a tree, do you ask yourself how you could render the tree in your favourite techniques? If I use this bead colour for the leaves and these triangle beads for the trunk of the tree and something pretty in pink around the trunk for those pretty pink flowers, I can do it all as a Dorset Button!

That takes brain space so business stuff ~ the left side of your brain is the logical side ~ gets pushed around to allow more space for all the artsy stuff.  The artsy stuff on the left side of the brain is manipulating my great ideas within a defined space: that is the logical part of the artsy stuff.

With all that going on, is it any wonder that the business acumen suffers so much in the brain of the artisan jewellery designer and manufacturer!?

But today I’ve promised myself I’ll focus on business. Today I am filling out my LinkedIn profile. And, if there is time, I’m moving on to do the same stuff, I mean business, on my StumbleUpon profile.

If there is still time, I’ll be investigating ‘ning’ accounts vs. Blogger vs WordPress for my brand new group, Love Beads. That’s all about beads. I really want to keep this group, still in its infancy, vibrant and a place to go for bead works.

I think I have my work cut out for me. I may be logical and have business skills ~ some skills but not a lot of them. I may be able to reason out a problem put before me.  I may be able to identify what needs doing next. But all that is shoved back to make room for  designing, creating, making and embellishing with glass beads.

Even this post has a better reason than just listening to my thoughts: it is the way I can link with LinkedIn. This is an experiment and I hope it works.

Go to and see if there’s a link to BaubleBabble’s WordPress account.

PS  IT WORKED!! My WordPress post shows up in my LinkedIn profile.  YIPPEE!!

Niki.Tasha – Follow Up

Black n Silver Amulet Bag Backside
Black n Silver Amulet Bag Backside

Well. I did promise to add pictures of the finished amulet bags and I have been remiss in not doing so.

I’ve received a slap up the side of m’ head, figuratively speaking, so here they are.

You will note, I hope, that these pictures don’t quite match the graphs offered in Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship. Read on and you will see why.

(See the wee speckles in the silver section on the left? Some of my silvers look so much alike that it isn’t until you’ve got a bit further that they show themselves. I am of the mind that these speak to the imperfections of Artisan Jewellery that make them truly unique or one of a kind.)


Black n Silver Amulet Bag Frontside

Black n Silver Amulet Bag Frontside

This is one of the patterns for Tubular Even Count Peyote Technique. It does look different from what was graphed: that’s the artistic licence we all have. I copied the graph for the back and the front sides. Once the tube had reached what I considered a  pleasing size (approx 2″ x 2.25″in or 5 x 6cm) I squished it until I hit upon the configuration you can see here. The lesson in this step is to try a pattern different ways: you can be a slave and do the pattern as written, or you can adapt the pattern to your taste. Add a bit of yourself to each pattern or technique and you will have something unique; something that will look different than all the others using this same pattern. I sewed up the bottom side by adding a couple more rows on only 1 side. Then I ran my thread through the ‘teeth’ back and forward and pulled: it’s just like pulling up on a zipper.

Then on to the top or ‘lid’ of the bag. I decided to fiddle with the lengths of the rows and came up with something that looks a bit like a pair of boots.
Then the strap step followed. I began the strap by adding beads to a row several below the lip of the bag. Several rows of that with a pattern I use often, a wee flower in pewter colour glass beads with a silver centre held between an edge row of silver on both sides. I stitched 18 rows which seems a lot until you remember in Peyote each row is only half a step up.  Then I continued on only 6 beads on one side of that back tab and worked back and forth until I had a strap that would slip neatly over my head.  When I reached that length, I connected the 6 bead strap back to the back tab.
Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Frontside

Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Frontside

Blue n Silver Amulet Bag

Blue n Silver Amulet Bag

The Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag is from the other graph offered in the Niki Tasha Apprenticeship. It, too, does not quite resemble the graph. Again, I have exercised my artistic licence and ‘smooshed’ the finished tube to find what I liked. In this case I chose not to repeat the pattern on the backside: it cuts down on having to concentrate on the pattern on both sides. I love things asymmetrical so I  chose to have the pattern wrap around one side. A few rows of beads added to only 1 side of the tube and ‘zipping’ up the bottom and there you have it: an amulet bag.

The strap starts at one side by weaving 6 beads to the tube. With those 6 beads I used a Flat Herringbone technique: it’s a technique I love and offers an opportunity to experiment. When I reached the magic ‘slip over the head’ length, I attached it to the other side of the amulet bag by weaving the beads of the strap with the beads on the side of the amulet bag.
When you don’t know what to add when cooking, it needs a ‘soupçon’ of something but you don’t know what you add either some cheese or some sugar. In design work you add a snippet of black. If I had used yet another silver or pewter, the pattern would have a very washed out look.
I have no ‘lid’ for this bag. I couldn’t decide what to do with it, so I left it open to the skies. Maybe some good luck will fall into it.
Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Side

Blue n Silver Peyote Amulet Bag Side

No you aren’t seeing things: I’ve smooshed the tube to better show that this is really one of the patterns from Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship.

There it is. I have posted my pictures for Niki Tasha’s Apprenticeship.
Has anybody got questions for me? Something I didn’t explain well enough? Comments of all sorts, except the spamming sort, are welcomed; nay, looked for. I can only get better and that happens a whole lot faster when there are other ‘slaps’ (figuratively speaking).


Design Play – Introduction

Hiya, all. We are starting a new class. Today we begin playing with design. I am going to share some of the things I’ve observed, some things I’ve been taught myself, and some things I’ve learned all by myself.

We will be discussing colour and texture. And we will be discussing shapes and spaces. There will be exercises to help unblock ‘designer’s block’ – you know, the same as writer’s block only relating to design.

By the end of this class, made up of however many lessons are needed, you should be able to draw on your own imagination and apply some rules to it and be left with a reasonable piece, ready to be worked.

These lessons can be used no matter what your milieu. They are  equally useful to needlework and to beading, to fashion design and interior decoration, to anything at all.

Questions? Comments? Please add your observations to this set of lessons: it helps make the classes more interesting.

That’s it for now –    … Helene …