Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Lisa from A Bead A Day

One of my favorite blogs in the Beadosphere is A Bead A Day. It's a daily dose of cheer, with shiny beads tossed in! Lisa, the author of the blog, has also been a steadfast commenter here, bringing her enthusiasm and support to my blog and efforts to become better at my craft. I am so grateful for that and her generous feature of my work not that long ago on A Bead A Day.

On February 5, 2008 Lisa said in her first post "This is a new site geared toward all beaders who appreciate the individual beauty of beads and the unique works of art they are used to create." And indeed, each day since she's done just that.

You can also follow Lisa on Twitter. Now, let's hear what Lisa has to say!

Dawno: How did you get started blogging about a bead a day on A Bead A Day? It's a great idea!
Lisa: Thank you! I am working on a jewelry book that is being published by North Light Books at the end of the year. Prior to the Acquisitions Editor presenting my proposal, she suggested that I begin a website or blog. I wanted to get something up and running that day and the first thought I had was to talk about beads since they make me so happy. I didn't realize then how much joy this blog would provide and how many friends I would make in the process. It has been a wonderful experience!
Dawno: Did you have any goals or hopes for your blog when you started? Has that changed? How?
Lisa: I wanted to maintain consistency and produce something the publishing company would think was appropriate. I never dreamed I would get to know so many talented and wonderfully encouraging and kind beaders and crafters! I also had no idea of my potential for rambling on about beads!! : )
Dawno: Have you always been interested in beading and are there other crafts you like to do?
Lisa: I've always loved crafts, but until I started to bead, I had no idea of the wide variety of crafts and products available. I started to bead in 1990 after a vacation to San Francisco where I purchased my first piece of beaded jewelry from a street vendor. It was a strung bracelet using all the same hematite beads. It dawned on me when we got home that I could probably do something like that and I started buying beads at Joann Fabrics and Hancock Fabrics. I didn't have any awareness of swarovski and glass designers, etc. until much later. Several years later I got hooked on memory wire. In the last 8 or 9 years, I have taken classes and started reading every book and magazine I could find about beading techniques.

I also enjoy decopauge and anything having to do with hot melt glue and glitter!
Dawno: What has been your most challenging project?
Lisa: Good question! Sometimes I find projects challenging that do not even appear to be challenging. That's when I know I need to step back and realize this is supposed to be fun! That usually happens when I know I am making something for a specific person or purpose. Otherwise, since I'm not doing craft shows right now, most of my beading is for fun or gift giving.

Several years ago I made a woven bracelet using hemp cord and wooden beads that required every bead to be reamed in order to get 2 strands through each bead. That was definitely a tad challenging, but it wasn't until a couple of craft night friends admired it and I decided to teach them how to make it that the challenge began! I then had to ream beads and prepare kits for 5 other people. That was a bit of a challenge and my fingers were pretty sore afterwards. The reward was that they all turned out great and everyone was happy!
Dawno: What kind of beading do you like best?
Lisa: I have a love for memory wire. It is easy to use and has so many possibilities. You can make formal or informal pieces with it and technically just need one pair of pliers to turn the ends as long as you have a heavy duty pair of scissors to cut the wire. If you plan to use a lot of it, definitely invest in a memory wire cutter! It's a wonderful medium to teach because it is not intimidating to most people. It is usually adding a clasp and crimping that many people are concerned about learning. With memory wire, you can focus more on your design.
Dawno: You have a great eye for colors - any idea how that developed or if there was an early influence?
Lisa: That is very nice of you to say, thank you! I haven't thought of myself in that way, I just sort of go with things.
Dawno: If I were just starting to think about getting into making my own crafty jewelry, but was on a hugely limited budget, what "must have's" would you suggest starting with?
Lisa: Memory wire!! As I mentioned above, especially if funds are limited, you can get away with using a $2.00 pair of pliers and some kind of cutting tool you might have around the house, if you begin by using memory wire. Once you buy a package of memory wire, all you need are beads! As many or as few as you like. There are just a few limitations regarding beads. If they are too long or too fragile, they might not produce the results you are looking for on memory wire. However, most beads work great and if you are looking for immediate gratification, most projects are quick and easy!
Dawno: Sort of a "desert island" kind of question - you're going away somewhere and you can't buy any supplies while you're gone. You can only take a small tote full of stuff to work with to keep you sane, but you can also use anything you might find in your hotel, as well as your tote stuff to craft with. I'll be kind and let you come back to the world in one week :-) What is in your tote?
Lisa: Lots and lots of crystals!! They don't take up much space, but they provide lots of sparkly happiness wherever they go. You don't even have to make anything with them really, just LOOK AT THEM! I promise your mood will improve!

What do you think you could find to use? Gosh, I'm stumped! All I can think of is taking the laundry bags to put more stuff in! : )
Dawno: You can buy $500 worth of only one type of stone or bead to use in your jewelry - what would you pick and why?
Lisa: How funny, as I just mentioned above, I would buy crystals and for the simplest reason of all, the happiness factor. I don't know how you could look at even $10 worth of them and not become happier. Looking at $500 worth of all shapes, sizes and colors would be heavenly!
Dawno: As a beader/crafter, why is blogging and/or social networking important?
Lisa: Up until a year ago, my world was so much more limited. Once I began blogging I was able to better communicate my thoughts and feelings associated with beading/crafting. I have learned about many more techniques and products available. I have had the privilege to "meet" some of the brightest, and most popular, jewelry designers who are all so encouraging and willing to share what they have learned.

Once you begin meeting others on blogs or through facebook and twitter, you just can't go back! It restores your faith in humanity because everyone who is out there doing self promotion is also willing to take a minute to help you do the same. I would definitely encourage individuals hoping to promote either their craft, their art of themselves in general, to get on twitter and facebook and begin building relationships.

Thank you so much, Lisa, for letting us get to know you better. I hope everyone will bookmark or subscribe to ABeadADay and enjoy her fun and fascinating posts every day!

PS: There are no pictures of Lisa on her blog, so I thought I'd share pictures of her adorable pups, who you can also read about in: "The Magical Doggie Bead"

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