another overcast day

It’s another beautifully lit high-overcast day here in the desert, and that is a blessing for my photography, but not boding well for Conjunction viewing. I may not get to see the second triangle of Mars, Saturn and Spica, and that’s just a fact. At least I saw it the first time, and how nice that I wasn’t expecting it when I did. I got the full caveman shock of it all, up there in the sky, so even if I don’t get to see the mirror image of it, I’ll always have that first look, buttoned into my being.

. . .

I have another full day of shooting- I am about half-way through the giant box of work that I got from Jean Power last week- it contains hundreds of things, many of them hers but also bits and bobs from people who made pieces for us and sent them in. There are little tiny slips of paper with bead colours, with the names of people and return addresses… I am including each tiny slip in the shots like digital toe tags, which is excellent, because as I am working with the images, the information about what/who/which is right there on the screen.

As cool as it is to get the working photos, the ones to lift, OF COURSE we have photos with backgrounds in the book as well. Both Jeroen Medema and Kyle Cassidy have shot gallery photos, and each one of these will appear full page, for study, in that section of the book. We are also using them as section headers.

Here is a tiny clown, arranged in one of Gabri’s Rick-Racks. We have quite a few pieces on the table that no one has seen but the team- this is one of them. You wouldn’t see the secret restraint if you were just observing the daily torrent I post on Facebook and the blogs, but I promise you, even those of you who have seen every post will still pee your PANTS when you see some of the stuff we have been keeping for surprises for the book.

Beadwork by Gabriella van Diepen, photo by Jeroen Medema

It turns out that many people are interested in the photo-lifting process, so I will definitely include a tutorial on getting the shots in the book. My setup is simple and inexpensive, and I think will help people who want to do the same thing. Lord knows I’ve struggled for a long time trying to shoot beadwork with traditional cameras. The IPhone camera can’t do everything, but for this? It rules the Earth. I’ll post the how-to as a Specials for Pre-Orders Update one of these Fridays, so people don’t have to wait for the book.

. . .

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about bead stores. I hope our book will be as much a love story to beads, beaders and bead stores as it will  be about our own beadwork. All of us on the book team have a deep and abiding love for bead stores; to me they are like heaven. And the people who run them are heroes. For the most part, beaders are smart and helpful and willing to share- I’ve been involved in the world of metals for a long time as well as beads, and let me tell you, people in that world don’t share their sources and techniques as generously as beaders do. And there aren’t the same kinds of shops.

Bead stores need us- we have to support them or they will be gone. So I’d like to include more than the usual about the shops, the beaders, the people. Also, I’m very struck by the long history humans have with beads- always, in all times, we have tried to put things with holes on strings and wear them or make art. Always. It’s part of our RNA. There is so much more to beads than beadwork patterns. I love every layer, every facet, every implication.

So- if you have a shop, and you would like to send me a couple of paragraphs about it, about you, about why you run a bead store, about the things that you do for the beady community, like Open Bead nights, or free demo days, about bringing in teachers… whatever you have to say I’d like to hear it. And I’d like to get a few nice features into the Resources section.  We can do this in our Artist’s Edition, you know, put in things like brand names and shop recommendations and personal stories and real product reviews. We couldn’t do this if we were making a commercial project book.

Send me your bead store photos, your stories, your links, your thoughts… your favorite shops…

4 thoughts on “another overcast day

  1. Hi Kate,

    I would like to put in a good word for Beads By Blanche in Bergenfield, NJ. That is where I met you in a class and was blown away with your knowledge. I thought you packed more into that one day than in any other class I had taken there — and I’ve taken a great many! Her shop brings in fabulous teachers and she carries a wonderful stock of beads and gems. A true treasure trove for the bead addicted.

    Colleen Wolf

    • I LOVE LOVE LOVE Blanche’s shop. Talk about seed bead heaven. She was firmly on my list for sure.

      That is really nice, what you said about our day of class. I really enjoyed my one time teaching there. I’ve decided to stop teaching in the future, more for reasons of wanting a life that doesn’t put myself forward, but happily Jean Power and Christina Vandervlist, who will be teaching the projects in our book, are the two best beadwork teachers I have ever sat down with. If you have a chance to get into one of those sessions, definitely, do.

  2. while I love the advance patterns and pictures I’ve seen I cannot WAIT for the book! Just had to say that first!
    I would like to add my favorite bead store to your list – it’s a small bead store in Augusta Maine – Beads on the Kennebec. Linda, the owner, is an avid beader and is always looking for ways to connect with beaders of all kinds. She has an amazing inventory of beads – from seed beads to gemstone beads; fibers, leather, wire, buttons – she packs a lot into her little store. And if you can’t find it there, she will find it and order it for you. She has classes and is super helpful to all.

    • Thank you very much! I will be pleased to add her, and she sounds like a great person to ask for a little writeup from. Much appreciated.

      Also, yeah, the book is going to be magnificent. I need to get all of the photos in it, and it’s a lot of work. I mean, when you see, you will say OMG OMG. I won’t be doing this again (only because I don’t do anything twice) and so I’d like to get it right, and not farm any of the work out to others.
      November, I think.

      Thank you!

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