Monday, January 4, 2010

Calendar UpDate

Yes, I know it has been a while since my last post. To be honest, I have been in kind of depressed and have just not wanted to do any beading lately. And, I had to force myself to finish the necklaces and bracelet that I was making my sister for Christmas.

The main reason for my depression was “The Beadwork Calendar” that has a picture of the bracelet that I made in it. Yes, I know, I was very excited about my bracelet being chosen for the calendar; after all, this is the first professional publication of my work, so my getting depressed doesn’t make much sense. So, I will explain.

When the calendars came out, I rushed to the store to get my copy. I opened the calendar and all of the pictures taken of the submitted beadwork were so beautiful and so professional looking, all except on, that is, MINE!

The photo of my bracelet was awful. I don’t understand how they could have put such a horrible, unprofessional looking picture of my bracelet into the calendar. First of all, my bracelet was made using purple ab. beads and brown beads. The colors of the photographed bracelet looked as though “Photoshop” had been used to change the bead colors to red shades. Secondly, the picture of the bracelet was blurry and not a clear image. Thirdly the “white” background used for the photo did nothing to enhance the picture of my bracelet but actually helped to detract from the look of the bracelet.

So my first professional publication experience turned out to be a big disappointment. I take solace in the fact, however, that the picture of my bracelet appears for the month of January. By the time the calendar pages are turned to March, the purchasers of the calendar will have forgotten all about the horrible photo of my bracelet.

I have been working thru my beading depression and have resolved not to let outside forces take away from my enjoyment of beading. 2010 is a brand new beading year with brand new beading goals. With this in mind, I have recently started on a new project that I am thinking seriously about submitting to a beading magazine for publication. I also am hoping to learn how to do “French Beadwork” this year.

I wish everyone a safe, joyous, healthy, prosperous, heartfelt, “Happy New Year!!!”

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you.

I am also on myspace.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Contest Entry

I haven’t posted a blog entry in a while, but that is because I have been really busy beading. I am working on some Christmas presents but as soon as they are finished I will post pictures.

Also, over the summer, I spent some time working on a bracelet for a contest. The contest was being hosted by one of my local bead stores. They asked for beadwork entry submissions from their customers to be featured in their first beadwork calendar for 2010. The winners would receive a free copy of the published calendar along with a professionally taken photograph of their beadwork entry. So I decided to enter.

I decided to make a “herringbone stitch bracelet” for the contest using 8/0 purple ab. seed beads and 11/0 rust colored seed beads. I added a dark purple brick stitch flower, using 11/0 seed beads, to the bracelet as a focal point. A small dyed purple peal bead formed the center of the flower. I was very pleased with how the bracelet turned out.

Now, I have entered several on line contest before where you submit a photo of your work, but this contest wanted the actual beadwork piece. This was the very first time that my beadwork would be picked up, held and examined for flaws by the contest judges. So, you can imagine that I was somewhat apprehensive about submitting my bracelet for such close scrutiny.

On the second to the last day, for contest entry submissions, I finally got the nerve up to submit my bracelet. So with butterflies the size of raven’s wings, fluttering in my stomach, I drove to the bead store to submit my bracelet into the contest. The girl who processed my entry told me that the contest entry winners would be announced during and after-hours special store event at the end of August.

My anxiety grew palatably day by day as I waited for four weeks on pins and needles to find out if my bracelet would be chosen as one of the contest winners. I had planned on attending the “special calendar night announcement” event at the bead store to find out who the lucky winners would be. But, of course things do not always go as planned.

A day before “announcement night” my car died. It just would not start. It had to be towed to the mechanic and would not be fixed until the following week. Since the event at the store was an “adults only” event, and I was unable to obtain a sitter, or a ride for that matter, I ended up staying home. To say the least, I was extremely disappointed.

Two days later I received and email from the bead store, with the heading, “Calendar Winners Announced.” It took me at least 10 minutes to work up the courage to open the email. The email stated that there had been over 250 entry submission. Out of the 250 entries they had chosen 54 beadwork submissions to be photographed and published as the calendar winners. Six entries were to be featured on the cover, and 4 entries were to be featured for each of the 12 months.

After reading this, I scrolled down the alphabetical list to the “F’s.” To my amazed delight, my name was among the list of names of the calendar contest winners!!! In celebration, I danced around the room doing a silly little happy dance. My daughter, Angie probably thought that her “mother” had gone off her rocker, but she started dancing with me.

So, for the first time, I am a “published” bead artist. The calendars should be coming out soon. I am looking forward to seeing my bracelet in the calendar and viewing all of the other winning beadwork that was chosen to be featured.

Here is a picture of my winning bracelet.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you.

I am also on myspace.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Beading Dilemma: Choosing Bead Colors

As a beader, I have found that the hardest part of designing a project is choosing the colors of the beads for my design. For some strange reason choosing the color of the beads for a project that I am designing does not come naturally to me. Fortunately, I have discovered a few resources that are actually free, and who doesn’t like free, to help me when I am trying to decide what colors of beads to use.

The first free resource is to look at nature. By taking a walk through my neighborhood or my local park, I find much color inspiration in the colors and beauty of trees flowers, leaves, grasses and plants. Especially, in the Autumn when the foliage is changing colors and at the beginning of Spring when colors begins to emerge from Winter’s sleep. The extra benefit is that I also get some much needed exercise.

Color Schemer is another free resource that I utilize. Color Schemer is an on-line color palette. To use I just click on one of the little color boxes at the bottom of the screen. The color palette then shows a variety of color choices that go together so I can make my selection. I can also lighten or darken my color scheme by clicking on the “lighten scheme” or “darken scheme” boxes located at the lower left side of my computer screen. And, if I am not satisfied with my color choice, I can start over until I find a color selection that I want to use. The website address for Color Schemer Online is,

My sisters, Laura, Patty, and Jamie are all quilters. Through them I have discovered that looking at the finished quilts that they have made, as well as images of quilts made by other quilt makers, to be another excellent source of color inspiration. Quilters carefully choose the colors of their fabrics so that each different color pattern creates a harmonious and beautiful color balance. Not only do I get the advantage of color inspiration from looking at quilts, I also am able to get the added advantage of design inspiration when creating a beaded graph pattern. When typing the words “quilt images” into a search engine, I am rewarded with listings of tons of quilting sites.

Another free color resource that I have found is at my favorite hardware store in the paint department. I am referring to those little color cards that help to decide what colors to paint your walls (or whatever project you are working on). Each card has a predetermined color chart, and the cards are free. I have found that they are great for taking with me into the bead store or craft store to use to help me match, as closely as possible, my beads to the color scheme on the card.

So even though I am most definitely a color challenged individual, when it comes to designing a new project, I have discovered several free resources to aid me in my beading color quest. If you too are color challenged, I would love to hear about what free resources that you have discovered to assist you in your personal color quest.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website "Bead Between The Lines." You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook

I am also on myspace

Friday, July 17, 2009

Murphy's Law

Today I’ve been having one of those frustrating “Murphy’s Law” beading days. I don’t have beading days like that very often but when I do, the saying is true, “What can go wrong will go wrong!” I had an idea for a new necklace projects. I made a rough sketch on paper of what I wanted the necklace to look like. However, transferring my beaded vision into beaded reality was a different matter all together.

As I am beading, the thread tangles up into a knot. I hate having to tie off and add a new thread when I have just started a project. I had added only 7 beads. So, I patiently picked at the thread, with out causing it to fray. After about 10 minutes I was able to untangle the thread and start beading again. I added a few more beads and the thread tangled again. So I went through the detangling process again. And this pattern kept repeating itself over and over again, add a few beads, detangle the thread. I spent more time detangling thread than beading. AAARGUG!!!! I decided to set the project aside for a while, get my frustration under control, and then later on, continue where I left off beading.

After washing the dishes (no I do not have a dishwasher), cleaning the bathroom, reading to and playing with Angelina for a while, I was ready to bead again. I picked up my beads, but the beads and thread still did not want to cooperate. The beaded kept curling up and twisting in strange directions. I pulled out the bead that I had added and looked over my sketch to figure out where I should be adding more beads so that my necklace would not be curly and twisty in the wrong places.

After figuring out how to fix my design I picked up my thread and needle again to bead. Only this time, I could not get the needle threaded. I must have spent 15 minutes trying to bring the thread through the needle’s tiny little hole. Yes they do make big eyed beading needles but I prefer using the smaller eyed needle. It just must be my masochistic tendency, but I was determined not to let needle threading get the best of me.

When I finally got the needle threaded and started to get into a beading groove, the phone rang. And of course it was across the room and not sitting next to me like it usually is when I bead. Normally I would just let the phone ring, but I was expecting a call. So with a frustrated huff, I put my beading back down onto my beading tray and walked a crossed the room to answer the phone. But, as soon as I got the phone in my hand, naturally, it quit ringing.

With phone in hand, I walked a crossed the room again and settled down to bead. I finally got my groove back and was able to get 11 rows of beading done before Angelina was ready for a snack. Angie and I fixed and ate a snack together, and then she decided she wanted to watch a movie in her room so I decided to bead some more.

I picked up my project and to my horror I discovered that I had made a color mistake at the very beginning of all the beadwork that I had just done. With a totally aggravated sigh, I began to rip out all of the 11 rows, which I had just previously beaded, in order to fix my mistake!!! I decided to quit beading for the day since the beads and I were just not in harmony. So I put my project away and quoted to myself in the immortal words of Scarlett O’Hara, “After all tomorrow is another day!”

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guest book.

I am also on myspace

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Update: What I Have Been Doing In The Last 3 Months

Wow!!! I can’t believe that it has been a little over 3 months since my last post. Time can sure fly away from you. I guess I really blew my New Years Resolution to update my blog at least twice a month. However, I am here to correct that and from here on I will try to write at least 2 blog posts every month.

The last time I posted a blog, I was participating in 5 Minutes For Mom’s Ultimate Blog Party. What fun that was. I so enjoyed discovering, reading and posting comments on new and exciting blogs and discovering new blogs to follow. During this week long blog party, I offered a Corraling Technique Necklace as blog party prize (a picture of this necklace can be seen on my “Ultimate Bead Party post”). Beth of “Jus Shar Designs” was the winner of this necklace. I was so very honored when Beth told me that she was going to give the necklace to her mom for Mothers Day. Thank you, Beth!!!

Beth is a very talented fiber artist. She creates beautiful knitted and crochet items. I urge you to checkout all of her beautiful handcrafted goodies. Her website is,
“Jus Shar Designs”

During the blog party, I also offered readers of my blog, 3 free bead patterns that I designed. (A picture of these patterns can also be seen on my “Ultimate Bead Party Post” and if you would like a copy of any or all the patterns contact information for me is also on that post). So, during my 3 month hiatus, I created 2 of the patterns. I made a lovely pair of earrings using the tulip pattern. I used size 11/0 seed beads. Purple beads were used for the tulips, green beads for the leaves and stem, white for the background and copper for the edge and fringe. They turned out beautifully. A picture of the earrings is posted below.

I also made a book hook using the rosebud pattern. For the book hook I used size 8/0 seed beads. Red and dark red beads were used for the rosebud, green beads for the leaves and stem, cream beads for the background, and orange for the edge and fringe accent. I think that the book hook turned out beautifully too. A picture of the book hook can be seen below. I have as yet to make the moon pattern, but creating a pendant using the moon pattern is on my to-do list.

As many of you know, my daughter, Angelina has autism. In addition to creating the tulip earrings and rosebud book hook, I also designed and created some “Autism Support” beadwork. What causes autism is still a mystery, though in some cases, such as Angelina’s, there is a genetic link. Her cousin is also autistic. Autism is a spectrum disorder and the degrees of this disorder vary from person to person. So it is no wonder that a “puzzle piece” is a perfect symbol for autism. Pictures of my “Autism Support” beadwork can be seen on my picture tails site as well as purchasing information.

When I wasn’t beading, I was doing all the usual things that single moms do, such as, housework, shopping, running errands, paying bills, taking care and playing with Angelina and my adorable new granddaughter, Anastacia Rachael, etc…

Now that I have updated you, here is what I will be doing in the future. My daughter Charlotte has commissioned me to create a bracelet and necklace for her nieces. The bead store near my house is having a bracelet making contest which I plan to enter. I also have several other beading projects lined up for this summer. And I will be making an earnest effort to update this blog on a regular basis.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website, “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook.

Jus Shar Designs

Friday, March 20, 2009

Welcome To My Ultimate Bead Party

Hello Ladies,
My name is Brenda. Welcome to my “Ultimate Bead Party.” I’m so glad that you could stop by and party with me. Virtual cocktails are being served at the bar along with a virtual picnic smorgasbord, and, virtual chocolates for dessert.

And, what would an ultimate bead party be with out beads?! I have a lovely selection of beads available so that you may sit back and create for yourself a fabulous piece of jewelry.

If you are not sure what to make, I can help you get started. I have designed 3 patterns for this party and you are welcome to use them. If you choose to use one or all of these patterns, I encourage you to put your own stamp on them. Do not feel that you have to use the colors that I chose. And, feel free to choose whatever size seed bead you would like to use. These patterns would look great beaded into earrings, pendants, book hook, or whatever your imagination may come up with.

If you would like a free copy of one or all of these patterns, email me at

My patterns are copyrighted. So, the only thing that I ask is that you do not distribute the patterns themselves in any paper or electronic media form, as I claim distribution rights. If you know someone who would like to have a copy of any or all of these patterns, give him or her, my email address, and I will send out a copy of the pattern(s). You are more than welcome to sell any piece of beadwork that you create with my patterns. Just, please give me (Brenda Federighi) credit as the designer. Additionally, I would love to see a picture of what you have created using my design(s) so that I may share it on this blog.

As hostess of this party, I should tell you a little about myself. I am a self-confessed beadaholique who cannot go into a craft store or bead store without purchasing beads. You will find beads in every corner of my house. Be not alarmed if you walk out the door with a bead stuck to the bottom of your shoe. Hopefully when we move this summer, I will get a little more organized, but I highly doubt it. I firmly believe that beads have a mind of their own and like to invade the most unlikely of spaces.

Also, you might be interested to know that “Bead Between The Lines” is giving away a necklace as a prize during the “Ultimate Blog Party” event. Below is a picture of the necklace. I made it using the “coraling” beading technique.

So, thank you again for partying with me. You are welcome to come back at any time. Please leave me a comment telling me something about yourself along with a link to your blog so that I may come and party at your place.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like or something that will inspire you. And, please, take a moment to sign my guestbook.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Angelina's 11th Birthday Present

My daughter Angelina will be 11 years old on March 20th. When she turned 9 yrs. old I made her a Daisy Chain bracelet. Last year, I made her a Very Pink Heart Pendant necklace. But, this year I had some trouble deciding what I should make for her. Since Angelina was born on the first day of Spring, I wanted her present to have a Spring theme. Inspiration hit as Angelina and I were watching the move, James And The Giant Peach. The ladybug was Angelina’s favorite character in the movie. So, I decided to create a Ladybug Pendant Necklace for her. And a ladybug fits right into the Spring theme.

I went to my computer and opened up my Beadesigner program. Then I sat down and created the Ladybug pattern for the necklace. I have to admit, the Ladybug in the movie was much cuter than the one that I designed for her necklace. However, I never claimed to be an artist. Here is a picture of the pattern that I made.

After creating and printing out the pattern, I realized that I only had 2 of the 7 colors of beads that I needed in my bead stash to make her necklace. A trip to the bead store was in order so that I could obtain the other five colors of beads necessary for me to create this necklace. So, I hopped on the bus and went to the bead store that is about 2 miles away from my house. At the bead store, I chose five tubes of size 8/0 beads, paid for them, and hopped on the bus for the return trip home.

When I got home I immediately began to work on her necklace. Unfortunately, I caught a bad cold. So I was only able to bead in between the breaks of sneezing fits and watery eyes. It took me 3 day to create her necklace because of my cold. But, all things considered I think her necklace turned out rather well and I am excited about giving it to her for her birthday. Below is a picture of the finished necklace.

I invite you to visit my picturetrail website “Bead Between The Lines.” You just might find something that you like, or something that will inspire you.

I am also on myspace