Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fuller Craft Museum. Tricia Harding

Last night some of the South Shore Beaders went to the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA for the "Come and Craft" group. The room to meet is in the Education Department wing and is often different each week depending on what else is going on that day.

So, we walked in, stuck our heads in the first door and asked if this was the "Come and Craft" Group. The answer was no, so we started on when someone spoke up and said it was a Jewelry demo. We quickly turned around and asked if we could join. Since the answer was "Yes" we pulled up chairs and were treated to a nice demonstration of metal smithing by Tricia Harding. Tricia has a web site at You can check out her jewelry items and portfolio. Tricia also has a studio in Fall River and we plan on visiting her in the near future.

I was very impressed with her passion for her work and the joy she showed as she worked. She had just finished a twisted ring when we arrived and was showing how to add texture to another ring that had been rather plain. She made it look easy but I'm sure my attempt would not have been as nice.

Next, Tricia demonstrated how to make an "S" clasp. Not the kind you can buy but a real handcrafted one. She started out by cutting a 2-3 inch length of 12 (?) gauge wire and proceeded to make it look like a tooth pick. Not the flat variety but the round whittled at the ends tooth pick. Next she bent it and hammered and soldered one end close and more hammering. The result was beautiful.

The picture at the beginning of this post is a Brooch by Tricia entitled "Chrysanthemum, Brooch, 2001 Brass, pierced and fabricated, dia: 1 1/4" See what I mean about her pieces?

You can see more of her work at her web site


Monday, April 27, 2009

Barrel Chain Maille variation

The Urban Maille instructions for the Barrel Chain Maille weave came with a variation. Got to try that, of course. I'm always wondering how pieces get their names. I noticed the Barrel weave does look like Barrel's when held vertically.

The variation, mixes the "Barrels", alternates them is a better word. At first I had some trouble remembering to alternate, after I got the way to make the pattern "backwards" Well, isn't that the fun of learning a new pattern?

Here is a picture of the regular Barrel and the variation (on top).

I'm glad I have both since I can not decide which pattern I prefer. What do you think?


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Orbital Chain Maille

I noticed that there are not many math enthusiasts as no one commented wanting to know about Aspect Ratio. ;-)

Here is the Orbital Chain Maille bracelet I promised yesterday. Can you tell the difference?

It is hard to see but all rings are doubled. The Barrel Chain Maille Bracelet from yesterday only has one connecting ring between the segments.

Any one have a choice?


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Barrel Chain Maille Bracelet

OK, can you tell that I've been playing with my camera again?

This is my latest Chain Maille creation. It is called the Barrel Weave. I learned the weave from instructions I purchased from

I really love the instructions that Aislyn from Urban Maille provides. Clear pictures, clear instructions and lots of tips. I ordered the kit thinking it was just another name for a pattern I've made before called "Orbital". Many weaves have several different names for the same pattern. Byzantine comes to mind. It is also called Bird Cage, Fool's Dilemma, Idiot's delight or Idiot's Box.

It turned out to be a different pattern. Not drastically different but different none the less. Instead of having two rings on the sides, it only has one. This allows you to use a smaller ring than the Orbital which uses double rings. Actually, it is a good lesson in aspect ratio. Aspect ratio is the ratio that compares the inside diameter (ID) and the thickness of the wire in the ring.

Getting back to playing with my camera. I was in a hurry (what else is new) to post the pictures. So, I quickly took pictures of the new Barrel bracelet. First on a black background and then on a white background. None of them came out very well. However, with Picasa my picture "fixer", I was able to make some adjustments. The one on the left is taken on a white background with a flash and obviously adjusted. Looks really fake, doesn't it? Yet you can see the detail of the bracelet. The second one is taken on a white background with out a flash. The picture looks more realistic but harder to see the details.

Next time, I'll spend more time with the set up and see if I can get a picture that is both realistic and easy to see the details.

Tomorrow, I'll show you the Orbital bracelet so you can see the difference.

If anyone is interested in a discussion or explanation of Aspect Ratio, let me know. Just remember, it will prove that you do need high school Arithmetic after you graduate.


Running the Boston Marathon

I'm again quoting Alice Williams' Caring Bridge journal. Mostly because it is the only place I have been able to get - what happened? I could see on line that Melanie had a fantastic run but it didn't say if Lexie Williams was able to finish the last mile with her, as planned. Well, she did! Here is the account from

“Toughness is in the soul and the spirit, not the muscles. " -Alex Karras

"And Run the last 1.2 miles she Did !!!! -In Ten minutes, as that was her runner's pace, and we didn't want to slow Melanie down in her last mile of glory with the crowd screaming, so Lexie dug deep, ran fast all the way, looked a bit peaked, and promptly Barfed into a vent !!!! Now that's true grit !!!! She recovered quickly and we walked back to the Copley with Melanie for the post race greeting area-

"Amazingly, she had a crowd of supporters from our school who cheered for her along the way, and later came back to the post race area to congratulate her and Melanie on their accomplishments !!!! We are So incredibly proud of both of them- Lexie for stepping up and running fast, and Melanie for posting a Great race time- 4 hours 33 minutes !!!!

"While we waited for Melanie to run the first 25 miles, we had the pleasure of sitting roadside with Hailey and her mother Lisa to cheer for the runners as they passed by, and got to greet and hug several other Jimmy Fund families at Mile 25 !!! We also were joined by Kristen, the Kristen of Team Lexie and Kristen, as she had the day off and took the T over to hang out with us for a few hours !!!! We have certainly had our share of glorious moments with great friends this past few days !!!!

"It has been a pretty special start to this vacation week, and now we are taking a breath, and Lexie will attend her swim team's swim camp for the next three days until we shove off for Phila. and the Atlantic Ten championship weekend !!! Emily has a couple dance events this week, and she will reunite with her Tufts Sisters next Saturday, on the way home from a dance competition !!!

"We are feeling very grateful for so many things this week, and the first one is having a week of vacation !!!!


Hopefully I'll have some new pictures to post soon.

In the mean time. Congratulations, Melanie and Lexie on a great run for Cancer Research!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Boston Marathon

Tomorrow is the Boston Marathon. Tonight Lexie Williams' Mom, Alice, wrote in her Caring Bridge journal:

"At the Pasta Party, we saw Hailey and her people, got to hug Jim and Michelle Roderick, which was a Huge gift, as beautiful Erin was among the honorees- Lexie and Melanie sat and ate pasta together to get themselves carbed up for the Big Day tomorrow-

Tomorrow, Lexie will run the final mile of the Boston Marathon with her DMFC runner, which has been Melanie's wish since last year, when Lexie just wasn't capable of running a mile- What a difference a year makes !!!
So it's been a Whirlwind weekend, filled with action, friendship, love and more love !!!! Devon would have Loved this weekend !!!!"

How exciting to hear that Lexie has made such progress.

Go Melanie and Lexie Go for the Dana Farber Marathon Challenge. Go to help defeat Cancer!


Friday, April 17, 2009

South Shore Beaders Etsy site Part 2

I hope you enjoyed part 1 and here is part 2:

This necklace is made of Montana Moss Agate oval briolettes known for their dendrite and ribbon effect in the stone.
Designed by Judy T.

The Blue Lagoon Necklace shown here is
designed by Arlene Abramson.
Arlene used handmade glass beads in shades of blue, aqua,
and turquoise (beads are hand made by a local glass artist, not Arlene)
mixed together with blue resin beads on a blue cord.

This is one of my chain maille creations. The pattern is "Romanov" and contains cobalt blue stones in the middle of the Romanov circles.
Designer: Bev Carlson

I hope you have enjoyed these pieces and will visit our shop at:


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Southshore Beaders Etsy Part 1

Last night we had our monthly South Shore Beaders gathering. As usual, fun was had by all. For the first time we had what comes close to a meeting. That is we insisted that only one talk at a time, at least for the first 15-20 minutes. Do you know how hard that is to do???? After that we had our usual show and tell and "Where should we go for our next field trip?" Oh yes, we welcomed two new members. A growing group!

Some of us came with questions, some with announcements. We talked about our fledgling Etsy web site. It seems to be working well with more and more pieces being added. Then it hit me!

Feature some of our members items in a blog post. Duh! So, today's and tomorrow's posts will feature

The South Shore Beaders:

Here is a lovely piece by Marilyn Oliveri. Marilyn specializes in bead crochet. Her focals and endings are very special and unique to her style. This one she calls "Checkers"

This piece is designed by Eileen Lipkind.
Eileen loves to design summer and ocean themed pieces.
She calls this: Dreams of Summer Starfish Necklace

The third piece is designed by B'Jeweled (aka Donna)
This is called: Arizona Desert and Sky Bracelet
Magnesite chips surround an Amazonite Oval Centerpiece Stone.

Check out all of the designs at our web site:

More featured tomorrow.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Artists on 1000 Markets

I try, as a rule to post 5 times a week, Monday through Friday. Yesterday, try as I may, I could not come up with a idea. I even posted that fact on my Facebook page. (You can follow me on
Facebook as "Bev Carlson")

I received a comment from Ingrid Hobbs of One Meaning Couture. You may remember Ingrid as one of the founders of One Meaning Couture. They featured Friends of Jaclyn as one of their charities in January. Friends of Jaclyn matches young children with brain cancer with sports teams. The results are amazing for both for the patient and the teams. Check out their web sites or my post in January.

Her suggestion was "step away from it and come back in the can't force it."
Great idea. So, I did just that and here I am. Thanks Ingrid.

An idea came to me that if I'm not making anything worth sharing right now, many others are. So, I started looking over the web site where I have my shop on 1000 Markets. I spent some time surfing some of the amazing things available.

It took me awhile to zero in on one person but I finally chose Glasstastic Treasures in Lake Nebagamon, WI. As you would expect from the name, she makes the most beautiful things from glass. A skill I have always admired. Here is one of my favorites from her collection:

You can find all of her items at her shop on 1000 Markets. Glasstistic Treasures

While you are there, browse around. I guarantee you'll find lots of things you will like.


Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Well, spring is finally here, I think. Though I still hear about snow flakes here and there. The sun is out more than not, our forsythia, outside, is showing lots of yellow. The crocus are up and some daffodils and tulips are showing green.

For me, as a Jewelry Designer, it means time to take stock and clean out from the winter "pile it here" until later. The taxes are finished. Every year, it seems I get frustrated all over again with getting my business information together. I figure, next year will be different. It just seems to take more time that I feel it should.

So, I have a big question for all of my readers. Do you get into the same "rut" and if so, do you plan to make changes? What changes do you plan to make? I really think we could come up with some great ideas to help each other.

I'll start.

With me, it isn't that I don't know what to do (mostly) but actually doing what I should is the hard part. For example, keeping good records. I have a great program to help with inventory. (Jewelry Designer Manager). However, I need to remember to enter new purchases. (I do that fairly well) BUT I need to remember to remove items as I use them and then add the finished piece to my inventory. That seems to be my down fall.

I noticed another problem as I started to clean up. I found about four pieces unfinished. Strange why things are not finished. Some how making new things is more fun.

So, let me know what your problems are and more importantly, what can we do to fix the problem. Waiting to hear.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dr. David Weiman /

You may or may not have noticed that I like the Jewelry web site of Dr. David Weiman (See the right hand side bar) I was surprised to see in my list of his articles, that I have been following his site and newsletter since February 2007. I, personally, have learned a lot from his advice and suggestions.

Dr. David Weiman, "the Jewelry Marketing Doctor," is a psychologist and internationally-known expert on marketing and selling handmade artisan jewelry. He is also the marketing director for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Step by Step Beads, and Step by Step Wire Jewelry.

He has graciously let us use some of his articles in blogs or newsletters and I have decided to feature some of them on this blog from time to time. I hope that you will find them helpful too. Check out his web site at

Give it Away
(It Comes Back)

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

Back when I was the marketing director for all of the Wendy's restaurants in Southern New Jersey, we ran a 'crew incentive' one month.

Everyone on the staff was given a stack of coded coupons that were good for a dollar off a meal. They handed these coupons out to their friends, family, the mailman, strangers, etc. The crew member who had the most coupons redeemed won a prize.

That was one monster of a month.

And it demonstrated two things. One: People like getting something for free, even if it's just a dollar. Two: People feel good when they can give something to someone else.

Judy is a friend of mine who uses this same concept in her hair styling salon. She had custom-designed 'gift certificates' printed up. The certificates have a $10 value. But she doesn't sell them: She gives them to her best customers to give as gifts. Why? Because her best customers are the ones most likely to recommend that their friends, family and acquaintances get their hair styled by Judy.

And now they not only get the opportunity to turn someone on to a great hair stylist, but they also feel good when they hand a friend a $10 gift certificate to be used on their first visit to Judy.

Think about it. Which would you be more excited about ... going to a business a friend recommended, or going to a business a friend recommended with someone else's money to spend?

There are a few subtleties to this marketing technique. First, you have to recognize that your customers are essential to helping you market. You must see them as your partners.

Second, you should accept that although there are some people who enjoy referring business to you because it makes them look like an expert, there are others who would recommend you, but they need a nudge.

Finally, because you're probably introducing a new concept to them, you have to explain what you're doing, and what they should do, the way a professor would.

For example, after a good customer has made a purchase, you chat with them to learn how they feel about dealing with you.

If their feelings are positive, you tell them that you appreciate their business.

Then you tell them that you'd like them to have two gift certificates they can give to friends who they think might like shopping with you, too.

Then you smile.

Then they smile.

It's a beautiful thing.

Leave a space on the gift certificate for them to write the name of the recipient, and a space for them to sign their own name.

Then get a larger bag to take deposits to the bank. You're going to need it.

About the Author: Dr. David Weiman, "the Jewelry Marketing Doctor," is a psychologist and internationally-known expert on marketing and selling handmade artisan jewelry. He is also the marketing director for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist, Step by Step Beads, and Step by Step Wire Jewelry. His new book , 101 More Great Jewelry Selling Techniques 101 More Great Jewelry Selling Techniques is available -- along with many other books and tools for selling handcrafted jewelry -- at where you can also sign up for his free "Jewelry Seller" e-newsletter.


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Viking Knit 2

Well, taxes are pretty much finished, so I started again on my Viking Knit necklace. The first thing you do is to cut the wires and remove the chain from the dowel. Then add some thicker wire at the top and bottom, catching all the little loops in the row.

This allows you to pull the chain through the draw plate. The first hole is the size of the dowel and then gradually get smaller. As you pull the chain through the draw plate the chain lengthens and gets smaller. This is when the uneven tension is supposed to get better. It did some but not as much as I would have liked. So, that is something I really need to improve.

This is almost finished now. Next, to add cones and pendant if desired and clasp

So, in a future post, I'll have the finished necklace.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Science with a Mission

Just a quick report about the live Science with a Mission Auction held last Saturday evening. They were able to raise over $6,500 with items in the silent and live auctions as well as 3 tables of raffled items. Everyone had lots of fun and it was obvious that they like to eat. One $25 certificate to a local restaurant took in over $150. I'll have to check out that restaurant! Babysitters were also very popular.

Oh, yes while I'm in an update mode, taxes are going well. A word of advice. Be sure to keep good records especially on any Mutual Fund/stock purchases and sales. Gathering the necessary supporting information can be done, it is tedious to say the least. Hopefully, by tomorrow I can be back on my preferred list of things to do. Jewelry designing.

Also, remember not to wait so long!

Aren't I just full of helpful advice ?


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Income Tax time

To those of you who have already completed your income tax, Congratulations! I seem to put them off to the last moment.

I spent almost all of yesterday working on ours. And, I'm not finished. I've been using Turbo Tax and usually find it easy and quick to do our return. For some reason, this year it seems less helpful. Probably me. They totally missed asking me if I had a Schedule C to fill out. In their defense, when I went from the "question" format to "forms" it was there and filled in with information from last year.

Now, I realize that the program can only work with the information I give it. IBC is no excuse. So, I know that I must have given it some incorrect facts. NO way did I earn that much last year. Otherwise, my check book would be showing many more dollars than it does.

Today I was set back in finding my mistake by an eye Doctor exam. At first I thought my husband could not go with me. Turned out he could and good thing because at the last moment the Doctor decided to dilate my eyes. Nice sunny day too. I'm starting to show my age when it comes to having my eyes dilated. It takes a long time to undilate. Almost 6 hours this time.

Fortunately, there was a Red Sox game on toward the end of the 6 hours to take my mind off of that. They beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3.

I was unable to do more on my Viking Knit project either. Oh, well tomorrow I'll get back on schedule. Taxes, taxes (with a break for Viking Knit, of course)

I did receive a nice suggestion in a comment on how to improve my tension from Thanks, I'll try your suggestion.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Viking Knit

Saturday, I took a Viking Knit class. I really like to learn new techniques and had the opportunity to take it at Beadcache, in near by Mansfield, MA.

Boy, it took (is taking) me a long time to get the tension right. I was told that Viking Knit is very forgiving. I'm counting on that! Ann Spano is our teacher and she did a good job.

The first picture shows my start on the dowel. In the following picture, you can see the dowel and the draw plate used to transform the rather ugly looking knit into a lovely chain. The final results is about twice as long as what is on the dowel.

What we learned (and what is shown) is single knit. But we were also shown how to do "double knit". Which we found was rather simple after given the explanation. While we did not have time, in the class, to finish, I feel confident that I can finish it. So, in a few days, I'll show the finished product. Assuming I find time.

So, stay tuned.


Friday, April 3, 2009

More Swarovski component bracelets

After I posted the Swarovski crystal necklace and bracelets the other day, I remembered I used the Swarovski components with pearls too. The first one contains white round pearls with the blue sapphire stones.

The second one with shaped light peach pearls and peach colored Swarovski components. Now, those color names are rather arbitrary. Change the light and the color changes and therefore the color name. Peach, apricot, light pink??? Not really sure what the color is.

I've always admired people who can "name" their pieces. I'm not good at it at all.

So, help me out here. What would you name these pieces??


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Science with a Mission Auction

This Saturday, April 4, 2009 there is an Live Auction for Science with a Mission. The Auctions are always a lot of fun. (It is at the Covenant Congregational Church of North Easton MA at 6:30 PM) If you live near, stop by. They are having some wonderful items to auction.

One of the items in the auction is the above necklace. I have always liked the Kazuri beads and like to support a Fair Trade Business. The beads are hand made by women in Kenya. They are payed a fair wage and are often the sole support of their family. They are members of the Fair Trade Federation. One of those win-win situations. I've always tried to quiz vendors about their sources and support (buy from) those that have good working conditions.

I feel the Fair Trade Federation members seem to be a fit with the philosophy of Science with a Mission.

This necklace is made with 3 Kazuri Beads, jet Swarovski crystals with Bali Silver spacers and silver plate curved tubes. It is 18 inches long, finished with a lobster claw clasp and has a 2 inch extender.

I hope it will raise lots of money to support Science with a Mission. Check out their web site too.
You may also read more on my post last December here.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

PSA How to forward an email

I received a phone call last night from someone who I did not know. She said, "I'm sorry if this is a weird call." Well, it was and it wasn't a weird call. She told me that she grew up in the town where I live. (Not weird) but how she got my phone number was weird. She received an email from a friend that had been forwarded to her. My name, email and phone number was included in the email. She called me because she knew a Beverly from her high school (in my town) and wondered if it was me. Well, no, not me.

The point is my email and phone # (I put in in my signature for email) was transmitted with my information and about 100 others as the email was forwarded. Now, my son taught me how to forward email without all that information and that is what I do. However, many people (obviously) do not.

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend in Florida that basically summarizes the correct (and polite) way to forward emails. I thought I'd share it with you all. Feel free to send it on to others who could use the information.

You probably already know most of the following article, but you probably have some friends that do not.
A friend who is a computer expert received the following directly from a system administrator for a corporate system. It is an excellent message that ABSOLUTELY
applies to ALL of us who send e-mails.
Please read the short letter below, even if you're sure you already follow proper procedures.
Please share it with your email buddies!
Do you really know how to forward e-mails? Most of us DO NOT know how.
Do you wonder why you get viruses or junk mail? Do you hate it?
Every time you forward an e-mail, there is information left over from the people who got the message before you -- namely their e-mail addresses & names.
As the messages get forwarded along, the list of addresses builds, and builds, and builds, and all it takes is for some poor sap to get a virus, and his
or her computer can send that virus to every email address that has come across his computer. Or, someone can take all of those addresses and sell them
or send junk mail to them in the hopes that you will go to the site and he will make five cents for each hit. That's right, all of that inconvenience over
a nickel!
How do you stop it? Well, there are several easy steps:
(1) When you forward an e-mail, DELETE all of the other addresses that appear in the body of the message (at the top). That's right, DELETE them. Highlight
them and delete them, backspace them, cut them, whatever you know how to. It only takes a second. You MUST click the 'Forward' button first and then
you will have full editing capabilities against the body and headers of the message. If you don't hit the forward button first you won't have full editing
functions . I particularly dislike having to scroll through 200 Email addresses before I get to the email.
(2) Whenever you send an e-mail to more than one person, do NOT use the 'To:' or 'Cc:' fields for adding e-mail addresses.. Always use the BCC: (blind carbon
copy) field for listing the e-mail addresses. This is the way the people you send to will only see their own e-mail address.
If you don't see your 'BCC:' option click on where it says To: and your address list will appear. Highlight the address and choose BCC: and that's it, it's
that easy. When you send to BCC: your message will automatically say 'Undisclosed Recipients' in the 'TO:' field of the people who receive it.
That way you aren't sharing all those addresses with every Tom, Dick or Harry.
(3) Remove any 'FW:' in the subject line. You can re-name the subject if you wish or even fix spelling.
This one is very important - please read and heed
(4) ALWAYS hit your Forward button from the actual e-mail you are reading. Ever get those e-mails that you have to open 10 pages to read the one page with
the information on it? By Forwarding from the actual page you wish someone to view, you stop them from having to open many e-mails just to see what you
sent. These are the ones that often end up having picked up a virus from somebody. This is really important!
(5) Have you ever gotten an email that is a petition? It states a position and asks you to add your name and address and to forward it to 10 or 15 people
or your entire address book. The email can be forwarded on and on and can collect thousands of names and email addresses.
A FACT: The completed petition is actually worth a couple of bucks to a professional spammer because of the wealth of valid names and email addresses contained
therein. If you want to support the petition, send it as your own personal letter to the intended recipient. Your position may carry more weight as a personal
letter than a laundry list of names and email address on a petition. (Actually, if you think about it, who's supposed to send the petition in to whatever
cause it supports? And don't believe the ones that say that the email is being traced, it just isn't so!)
(6) One of the main ones I hate is the ones that say that something like, 'Send this email to 10 people and you'll see something great run across your screen.'
Or, sometimes they'll just tease you by saying something really cute will happen.
IT AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!!! (Trust me, I'm still seeing some of the same ones that I waited on 10 years ago!) I don't let the bad luck ones scare me either,
they get trashed. (Could this be why I haven't won the lottery??)
(7) Before you forward an Amber Alert, or a Virus Alert, or some of the other ones floating around nowadays, check them out before you forward them. Most
of them are junk mail that's been circling the net for Years!
Just about everything you receive in an email that is in question can be checked out at "Snopes" or "Truth or Fiction". Just go to
It's really easy to find out if it's real or not. If it's not, please don't pass it on.
So please, in the future, let's stop the junk mail and the viruses.
Finally, here's an idea!!! Let's send this to everyone we know (but strip my address off first, please).
This is something that SHOULD be forwarded.