Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm bringing pretty back

One of the perks of having daughters ...... Prom Dress Shopping!

First Stop:  Shoes

Next Stop:  Dress Shop

This is the beading on Meg's dress.  I love it!!! 

click to enlarge

Its such a fun dress - looks good from every angle!

I really do like Meg's beading the best, but look at some of the other dresses....
I've never worn a dress like these - ever.  I didn't really care what I wore to my prom.  I wore an old bridesmaid dress that I had worn at my sister's wedding early that same year.  My wedding dress was a vintage wedding dress on loan from the Amherst Museum.  It was spectacular, but no beads.  My wedding dress was actually featured in Victoria Magazine back in the late 1980s- I know I have the issue around here somewhere.  They ran a whole article on the loan program that the museum offered at that time.  All the vintage gowns were donated to the museum by one woman with the condition they be loaned out to brides.  No alterations were allowed so you had to be able to fit into them. Luckily I was about the size of Meg when I got married, so I had my pick of dresses.  I understand they had to discontinue the loan program as the dresses became too delicate as the years went by.  I'm glad I had my chance to wear one. 

If you missed the first week of the Beading for a Cure Auctions - don't miss out on this week's selections!  Click on over to the auction site and see if there's a piece or two you just can't live without and support the fight against colon cancer.   Thanks much!

~ Bead Happy and Often ~
I've been crazy busy at work (gee, maybe because I just can't seem to focus or comprehend without great effort - those xanax are amazing little things),  so I haven't had a chance to respond personally to each of you, but I just want to let everyone know who sent me a comment that you have all made me smile and laugh out loud and help me breathe again.  And I am so thankful for that!  You guys rock :)

And I haven't been home for a long enough time to put up a post of our Prom Dress experience, but Wait til you see the pics of Meg's prom dress - the beading will blow your mind!  Plus I took pics of quite a few other dresses - they are so amazing!  I can't wait to share them with you all.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ugly meets Ugly

Although I have responded to each of you who took the time to send me your strength and encouragement, I just wanted to give a 'public' shout out too to thank you from the bottom of my blackened heart for reaching out to me.  It has helped me breathe again and although this situation is beyond miserable, I will try not to drag my beading blog into the pit with me! 

Since my mood is still a bit ugly, I thought I'd share what I consider to be the ugliest thing I've ever made.  It was a class and the kit was provided with the class.  Granted, I picked the kit, so really I can only blame myself!  I don't know what I was thinking:

Its supposed to be:    a photo album or scrapbook cover. 
What it really is:    a 12" square of pure ugly.

These calla lillies took forever!  They were made in two pieces and the bottom piece is completely beaded, which you don't even see.  Sewing the tops to the bottoms took a lot of hand strength to get the edges to line up so they would curve. 

So, yesterday I went to the Gem Fossil and Mineral Show which is this huge awesome event every spring hosted by the Buffalo Geological Society.  As a bit of a 'rock hound', I look forward to this show so much!  Just to see the amazing crystals and fossils that lie under our earth's crust is mind-blowing.  Yes there are some bead vendors, but honestly as hard as it is to believe, I don't even look at those vendors' tables.   It is the natural treasures that make me drool!   What a great way to spend the afternoon.

Today promises to be another fun day.  Meghan and I are going to get her prom dress fitted.    I'm going to take my camera so hopefully I can get some good pics of the beading on the dress.  Its awesome!  Time to bring back the pretty!!

Thanks again for putting up with my rant in the last post.  I think I heard Debbie Downer packing her packs this morning.  Now I just have to kick her to the curb......can somebody call a taxi? lol

~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Debbie Downer Comes to Town

Having a rough time this week. 
No beading.  Just sadness.

This whole year has been a pretty trautmatic time in my life and I feel like it has all come crashing down on me all of a sudden. 

You guys always cheer me up, and I could really use a hug or two, so
You, dear reader,

are cordially invited

TO:  A Pity Party

For:  Lynn

Date/Time:  Right here, Right now
~ : ~ 

If you've known me for a while, you know that my youngest daughter Hannah is a survivor of bullying.  What I never addressed publically about the whole mess is that her cousin was a key player in the hell that Hannah was put through at Lockport High School during her sophomore year.  Yea, you read that right, her cousin.  I'll call her "V" for the purposes of this post, to 'protect' her privacy.   After all, she is family (please read that with extreme sarcasm).

I have the video survellaince from the first (but not only) violent physical encounter that Hannah endured just about a year ago every day she walked into that school.  I wish I could show it to you all somehow.  But I have no idea how to upload it. What it shows is  a small glimpse into my daughter's daily world. 

How many of you wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall in your child's high school?  

Well, I got that chance and what I saw has changed my life forever.  Hannah's too, of course, but what no one seems to ever talk about is the ripple effect bullying has in a family.   Me, my husband, my daughters - we are all victims of bullying - each in our own way - as unsuspecting players in this bizzare social 'game' that plays out day in and day out in our schools.  Bullying.

But can you imagine seeing with your own eyes your child be attacked?   I hope none of you ever have to see that. 

It is important for you to know what I saw on that video.   What I'm going to explain is just one of the two physical attacks on Hannah on that particular day because what happens is creating a shock wave through my marriage and is the reason for the Pity Party.

Ironically, these events occurred just about exactly a  year ago.  This is an overview of  the second attack of that day:

 V (Hannah's cousin) sees Hannah coming down the hallway.  V then goes over to Mary (one of the bully-pack)  and alerts Mary that Hannah is coming.    Mary stops dead  in her tracks, turns and sees Hannah and immediately runs at top speed   (you can see her long hair flying out behind her) toward Hannah in what is clearly an attempt to attack her again (remember this is the second incident - the first attack was thwarted by teacher intervention).  I say "attempt", because at the last second, Hannah looks up, sees  Mary coming at her and instinctively reaches out her right arm and grabs hold of Mary's hair and pulls Mary almost to the ground.  Luckily, the two School Police Officers jump in and pull the girls apart and it ends.

There is no doubt in mind, V's parents need to see this footage.  V's parents are Pete's older brother and his wife.

At my insistence, Pete called his brother (I'll call him "C") and asked him and his wife (I'll call her "J") to please come to our home (they live 5 minutes away) so we could show them the footage and talk about V's role in the attack.    

C told Pete he would talk with J and let us know.  Huh?  Are you f*cking kidding me?  What's to discuss?  My God, if my sister ever called me with news like that, I'd have hauled my daughter and my ass over to their house faster than you could blink.  My God - What kind of people are C and J?  I am dumbfounded by their response.   We have always been 'friends' with them and have never had any problems between us.  I was shocked. 

Hours later, C finally calls back.  They won't be coming to see the footage. 

You see, C and J discussed the incident with V and believe her when she says that she did tell Mary that Hannah was coming, but it was done to 'warn Mary' and tell her to 'keep cool'.  BullSH*T.    The footage clearly, without a speck of doubt, shows V go over to Mary and alerts her Hannah is coming.  V then steps aside and watches Mary go after Hannah.  She makes no effort to hold Mary back at all and she had ample opportunity to do so.  And then when the fight is broken up,  V lingers against the wall and as Hannah gets escorted past V, V turns her head, so Hannah can't see her.  And as a matter fact, Hannah had no idea V was even there until she saw the replay of the footage.   Hannah's response?  "I'm not surprised, she's one of Them."  Oh my God.  I'm sick to my stomach.  I see my daughter as  a brave warrior facing these bullies every day.   And to have her own cousin "One of Them."  Good God, I can't even wrap my head around that.

When Pete tells me C and J won't be coming, I freak out. Really. Freak.Out. Like I've never freaked out before. I truly thought I was going to pop a blood vessel in my brain and die right there in my kitchen.  I've never felt that enraged in my life.  ever.  I demanded Pete call C back and tell them this wasn't an option - they HAD to see this. V is lying and this footage shows that.  They need to see our side of the story - not just hear V's side.    Pete doesn't agree with me, but he calls  C back and after some pretty intense conversation, C agrees to come alone - J will not come.

I tell my husband that based on their refusal to come, if he continued to have any 'social' contact with C or J, I wasn't sure if our marriage would survive.

 As far as I am concerned C and J are no longer family.  Families help each other - bond together, work things out, etc.  I want NOTHING to do with them EVER again.  I have no desire to associate with anyone, even if they are family, that would stick their heads in the sand and ignore this.  They are scum - white trash - I hate them.      They are the reason bullying is so prevalent -- absentee parenting, I call it.  And if he doesn't agree with me, I can only see that as a reflection of his lack of true love and caring for Hannah and I.  Actions speak louder than words, as my mother always says. 

I expected my husband, as Hannah's father, would share, if not my all out-hatred of C, J. and V., at least great animonisty toward them and have no contact with them.  And after a year now, that has turned out not to be the case.   Time and time again it was come to hit me smack in the gut that Pete continues on his relationship with C as if nothing has happened.    And that devastates me more than I can explain.

I am now, once again, back in the pit.  That's what I call this black hole of sadness that I tumbled backward into on Saturday when I found out that  Pete had invited  C to a hunting raffle that day.

The pit is a cold place - its a disorienting, lonely, muse robbing, energy sucking hell kind of place. 

My husband, the man that I expected to have my back and care enough about me and my happiness and put, not only his wife, but his child, 'above' all others, has chosen to continue to associate with C, knowing full well how it affects me.  Says a lot about our marriage doesn't it. I never thought bullying could reach into a marriage and pull the rug out from under it. 

Thanks for listening guys - the tears have started, so I better end this now.......xoxo

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ahh, That's Better.........

After ripping out a few times, I'm getting happier with this piece.  I've decided to call it Time for Spring, even though the placement of those little cabs really isn't in a clock formation.   Its what I think of when I work on it, so I'm going with Time for Spring.

I had bought a smoky lavender mat for the shadow box frame, so when I found these bugles in my stash, I was so happy - they match really well.

Click any (or all!) pics to get upclose and personal!
 I added these little buds in the corners. 

Don't know if you noticed or not, but each of the center of the buds matches the color of the center ring of the larger flowers.

And each of the crystal flowers match the stamen color of the cat's eye flowers. 

I'm going to add the same mint/blue stacks around the middle two crystal flowers.  Not sure what I'm going to do after that.

I'm counting on the beads to lead the way......

Don't forget the Beading for a Cure auctions start today! 
~ Bead Happy and Often ~

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is Springing

YYYYYEEEESSSSSS!  The crocuses have burst from the earth!   The robins are back singing to me in the morning and evening!  The snowbanks have all but disappeared!  I love the transitional time between the seasons.  Every day I notice something different. 

Sweet Liss gifted me this adorable (really adorable) paper clay cabachon that she made. 

Click on Pics to Enlarge
I'm using it in a 5" x 7" bead embroidered picture which is not coming together as easily as I wish it would.  I've spent more time ripping out and starting again than I care to admit.  I know, I know, I can hear Nicole telling me that she never rips out -- I just haven't reached that level of expertise yet.  Some things are just plain hideous!

Using a piece of Nicole's super-duper-how-did-I-ever-bead-without-it BeadBacking, I placed these little cabs all around the focal (I don't know why).  It reminds me of those candy dots I used to get as a little girl.  Do you know the ones I mean?  They came on a long strip of white paper. 

The next morning I was heading out the door to work and it was a hateful windy cold day and I thought "ugh, definitely time for spring."  That's it!  Time!  Time for Spring -- that's why I put those cabs around.  I must have been thinking of a clock.  When I got home from work and took a look at the placement again, I thought, NOPE.  Didn't put them in a clock formation.    Great.  Now what do I do?

I started encasing the focal and realized when I was done it look like I had made a little nest around it. 

I came across this spring-looking mix of seeds in my stash and wanted to use them somehow.

I encased all the inner cabs and the outer most cabs became flowers.

Then, because it was raining outside, I thought I would do little umbrellas in each of the corners.

I started out making a line of cylinder beads

another row and some seeds


So bad I didn't even take any pictures of the finished umbrellas (I actually made two of them just to make sure they were as awful as I thought -- they were!)

Now I'm making some of the inner cabs into flowers too.

The jury is still out.......

 ~ * ~ Bead Happy and Often  ~ * ~

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Beading For A Cure Auction Schedule

To see when your favorite Beading for a Cure piece will be up for auction, check here:

Personally, my favorite (if I had to choose) would be this bag made by Tracy Vincent:

Or maybe this lovely vessel created by Chris Pratt

Oh, wait, maybe this one from Kathy Koppinger:

You know I'm smitten with little vessels, bowls, dishes, anything that can hold itty bitty treasures!

Which one is your favorite??

Monday, March 14, 2011

Had to Share this

You may remember that my sweet Cloudy cat passed away shortly after Christmas.  My painter-artist friend Cindy offered to paint Cloudy's portrait for me.  Well, she brought it to me today and I just HAD to share it with you!  Its excellent!  No, its BEYOND excellent!!

This is the picture she worked from:

And this is her masterpiece:
11" x 14" Acrylic on Canvas
~Cindy Meal, Artist

And yes, of course, I burst into tears when she gave it to me.....such a crybaby, I am.   I absolutely love it! She said it 'painted up' really quickly and she mentioned to me how sometimes the paintings just come together and other times she struggles with them.  Just like beading!  That happens to me all the time, too. 

I will treasure this always...................Thanks Cindy!

Layne's Legacy Beading for a Cure

The auction pieces are in the gallery!!!!    They are Amazing!!!!

2011 Auction Gallery

The weekly on-line auctions will start on the 21st of March (next Monday).  There is no indication yet what pieces will be up first.  I'll keep checking and let you know when I see the postings.  This is a great opportunity to bid on gorgeous bead art for a good cause. 

~Bead Happy and Often~

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

March BJP - Pennsylvania

When the Pennsylvania state quarter tumbled out of my little jar I keep them in, I immediately thought to do my March Bead Journal Project piece based on the Black Snake Mountain hiking trail in Allegany State Park that runs right along the Pennsylvania border. 

Hannah and Meghan at the trailhead
Meghan and I are now standing in Pennsylvania:

And here's the view back over to the New York side (yeah, we get all dressed up when we go hiking!). 

Pretty cool that this stone marker is there, isn't it? Otherwise, how would you know, right?

The problem with this idea is that I would have to incorporate the hateful scene that lies on the Pennsylvania side of the trail - a hydraulic fracturing well site.  If you aren't familiar with hydro fracking, it is an idiotic method of harvesting natural gas pockets that are trapped beneath the marcellus shale.    Idiotic because it is destroying the forests of the Allegheny (yep different spelling on the Pennsylvania side) Forest, not to mention the hazardous waste water it generates (well, supposedly the jury is still out on that)......ENOUGH!   I will not step onto my soap box, I promise.    If you are interested in learning more about this, just "google"  hydro fracking and you'll be drowning in a sea of information.

Back to the BJP.  I wanted to keep 'happy' thoughts and memories in my journal pieces.  Maybe someday I'll cross over into the dark side of my beading brain, but not now.  So, I thought and I thought and I thought ~ but I just couldn't come up with anything else.

Bink!  I woke up in the middle of the night with a thought - a Pennsylvania Dutch Hex Sign!  I remember as a little girl traveling to Pennsylvania with my parents and grandparents on a 'mission' to find them.  For the life of me, I could not imagine why.  We aren't Dutch, so why would my mom travel all that way to get one?  Well, come to find out, they are actually a German-based tradition!  That explains it - we are of German heritage and at that time, my grandparents had just come back from Germany after visiting my aunt and uncle who were living there.    (click here if you want the full Hex Sign details)

Sweet!  I've got my inspiration!

I chose this pattern simply because it looked easy.  Come to find out, the symbolism behind the pattern was very appropriate to what I had just experienced.   You see, the tulips represent faith and trust in man - remember the incident of the scary looking old man that appeared on my doorstep?  Pretty ironic.  (if you missed that story, you can click here and go to the end of the post to see what I'm talking about)

According to what I read, the eight pointed star is a fairly common hex design. The star is usually blue and symbolizes goodwill and the sheaves of wheat symbolize abundance.   Ok, I think I can bead this up.

I took a little liberty on the 'star' - I made mine more like a star of leaves.

Hmm, I know I had tulip shaped beads somewhere........

oh, darn, I didn't want blue tulips!  What else can I use to make a tulip? 

Perfect - a bicone and some seeds.

Even with the golden 'wheat', it was still looking a bit drab, so I perked it up a bit and chose some sunny colors to make a rope border out of size 15 seeds.

Looks more like candy corn than sun! Oh well.

I don't know why I could picture a black and white edging, but I like the effect.  Reminds me of an old fashioned tile floor.

March BJP - Pennsylvania

February BJP - California
January BJP - Florida
Thanks for coming along on my journal journey - I hope you enjoyed the scenery ! !

~ Bead Happy and Often ~