Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Shop Talk: North Country

Each summer in the heat of July we pack the car and head up to the northern border of the Adirondacks. Up in the mountains it is comfortably cooler.  It's one of those places where you exhale deeply, close your eyes and just clear your mind.  I love this place. 

Last summer I discovered that the local bead store that I had been going to for years also had a bead class! 

I decided to give it a try.  What I found was a group of local beaders who do much more talking than beading. They called it their "bitch & stitch" group. The conversation was full of fantastic local gossip.  I found out whose husband was driving them nuts, whose neighbor was 'just over the line' and who said what to whom.  I didn't know any of the names, but felt right at home. 

We did have a project to work on as we gossiped.  Yes my friends, this is a sought-after pattern by armies of beaders called: Dress Up a Chevron Chain with Flowers from the April 2007 Bead and Button Issue.  

The more you bead, and get better with your beadwork, the more you want to try your hand at complicated patterns.  The problem is ... they are normally unwearable by the average Joe who wears a suit into the office each day.  Basically when you're done with the project it can look like you've recreated the equivalent of a quilt and strapped it to your wrist.  

What makes it worse is that your fellow beaders tend to applaud you for the more intricate, complicated pieces.  The Chevron pattern (above blue bracelet) is one of my pieces that has some of the highest 'views' from fellow beaders with the highest of ratings ... 5 out of 5 stars on Beading Daily.com

Meanwhile the ones I find more wearable, that I can pull off with a work blouse, get low scores. Such as the right angle weave to the left here.  Top scores on this one only got 3 out of 5 on Beading Daily.com

Even this slightly more complicated pattern with jasper and a slide clasp only managed to get a 4 out of 5 on Beading Daily.com

I have started taking apart the complicated patterns and recycling the beads. I just have too many pieces laying around getting no use.

So my question is ... Who do you design for?  Accolades from fellow beaders, or the simple patterns that sell better on Etsy?


Duni said...

What a lovely, tranquil place - I would feel right at home there!
And yay on the bead classes :)
Actually I like all of the bracelets!!

AntiquityTravelers said...

Thanks Duni! Always hard to pull apart a project you put so much time into, but sometimes ... when it just isn't getting any wear it seems for the best

Miss Val's Creations said...

This bead shop sounds fun! One of my friends is in a book club that sounds similar...a bunch of ladies getting together to bitch and drink wine. I have not tried bead weaving since I am not patient enough! The smallest bead I will work with is 6/0. The blue bracelet is gorgeous but I see what you mean about wearability. I love the look of the yellow piece. That can be worn with anything!

AntiquityTravelers said...

Thanks Val - it was fun! I'll be back next summer for sure. Too bad all of us blogging gals don't live closer ... that could be a lot of fun!

Marcela Gmd said...

Hi lovely, I love these bracelets!!!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Besos, desde EspaƱa, Marcela♥

DeeBee L. said...

Lovely pieces! Great patterns and I love the name of the beading club!Very funny! :) DeeBee

AntiquityTravelers said...

Thanks Marcela and DeeBee!

AntiquityTravelers on Etsy