Habitual Habitat of the Amy

I kept reading advice columns for how to bring sales to your etsy shop, and one thing they all said is to get a blog.

I can't say this blog has boosted my etsy sales, but it has given me yet another outlet for talking about myself, and that can't be bad--can it?

The direct link to the Etsy shop is HERE

Monday, November 14, 2011

Long Time No See

Hello the blog readers!

It's been a while, hasn't it? Sorry? And don't get attached to this updating thing, either. I just came by to show off that I've learned a new beading stitch!

Yes! That is correct; I have finally been bothered to learn the peyote stitch.

I also did not make that pattern, but borrowed it from someone on DeviantArt, the link for which I tried to keep track of, but it seems to have vanished. Sorry person who didn't mind if I used their pattern, so long as I gave them proper credit; I can't credit you. Blame pintrest.

Okay, so. My adventures in peyote stitching:

There must be some trick to starting them because my up-row was supposed to be a down-row or something, which threw a few things off, and eventually necessitated me dropping one bead on the left side--resulting in the awkward lump there.  Somehow dropping this one bead made the opposite side of the pattern too short by a row, but only sometimes by a row, other times it was fine.

I also had a hell of a time reading the pattern. First it had those 'realistic' effects that make it so hard to see what you're looking at--like the shine on an apple, but on every single bead, and each bead is smaller than an apple, by the way. So between that and the fact that the original pattern was missing a grid, which I had to create and add, I was already a few hours in, and I hadn't even picked up a needle yet.

But the whole one-off grid, which I'm sure has a real name, but I do not know it, that whole thing was a headache to follow.  You'd think 'oh, you just go to the next bead' but it wasn't the next bead.  It was the bead AFTER the next bead. Yeah.

Eventually I sorted that out, too, and could actually follow the pattern, which allowed me to work pretty fast. I'm not entirely sure it's faster than the square stitch, although I've always assumed it would be. More experimentation is clearly needed on the subject.

And now that the poor thing is finished I can say that I don't really care for the look of the peyote stitch, either. It shines in a weird pattern that I'm not used to, and also the feel of it is stiffer than the square stitch.

So...can't say I'm a huge fan.  I'll give it a few more tries, see if I can figure out what went wrong with my first/second row, but then I'll start trying to work on 3-d peyote, which is really what I want to do. Since my attempt to bypass the flat stitch didn't work all that well for me.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Knot Dragons

Celtic Knot Dragons Beaded Tapestry Pattern
Dragons forming a Celtic knot was one of the very first beaded tapestry ideas that I had. And I actually made one way back when I first started all this beaded nonsense.  It's still one of the largest tapestries I've made (though it's been inching down the list).  I can't sell that pattern because of all those pesky copyright rules and the fact that I based it on someone else's image without altering it a whole lot (some, but probably not enough). Also, the dragons don't really look a whole lot like dragons--they are more like a mutant cross-over between hummingbirds and snakes.

So I decided that I'd make a second Celtic Knot of dragons, this one wholly from my head so that I can sell the pattern.  Although I did end up using a common domain Celtic Knot image for the base, but the heads and tails are ALL MINE.

It's funny, too, because I'd planned to spend a long time working out the heads of the dragons and getting them to be just right, but then I drew something fast so I could remember where the heads went, then I adjusted the size because it was too big--and amazingly the heads were perfect, just the way they were. Which is pretty awesome. The red head is better than the green one, though. Not that I want them to be identical, but it's still better.

The other long debate dealing with this was the colors. I have VERY strong associations with red and green being Christmas Colors, which is fine, but I didn't want this to look like Christmas. It doesn't, and I'm quite pleased that I went with these two colors in the end, since they are acceptably from that region of the world, and also are the more traditional colors for dragons.

The pattern is up for sale. I might put the tapestry up, since it's not too complicated, and is something that I could easily recreate (after buying more cream-colored beads, anyway), but for now I'll keep it to myself.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Follow, follow follow follow, follow the...

Yellow Brick Road Bracelet
This is technically for the EBW Team challenge--but it's the September challenge, and we haven't even made it to August yet, so it's nothing special yet. And if it somehow magically sells between now and then, I might make a second one. Or I might not, since it's not like being in their challenges really does anything for me.

But regardless of that, this bracelet was fun to make, and even more fun to photograph.  See that lego walking down it? So awesome. No sea stones for this bracelet, no sir, just a mossy lump and some tiny plants.

I fear that it's not all that clearly a bracelet in the picture, and that worries me a little bit, but when I think about how often people do, rather do not buy things from me, I don't think an artsy photo is going to make one lick of difference.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Whole Wide World

Planet Earth Pattern
Have I mentioned that I was making this one? This is the pattern that I made that I actually had the beads to make when I made the pattern. It used up most of my blue, too.

I should be able to pair this particular tapestry with a moon tapestry--they are exactly the same size for exactly this purpose--to make a nifty bag.  And by "nifty" I mean "amazing and beautifully crafted."  There are a few puzzles left to work on with it, of course.  For example; the strap. And closure. Closure is always good.

And after I've made it into a bag, then I need to make a second Earth so I can just have one hanging out on my wall.  Along with everything else.  I also will choose my colors with a bit more care before making that second one, hopefully so that the land and sea colors are more distinct.

Now that I have this lovely little tapestry finished, I also have the rather odd problem of mixing it with the World Map tapestry in my head.  They are very different, but I cannot call this one the 'world' and I cannot call the other one the 'earth,' which doesn't seem like it would be a big deal, but I usually consider the two words to be synonymous, but in this case they are not.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Don't You Forget my Unicorn

Unicorn Beaded Tapestry Pattern
I once recited the entire Irish Rover's Unicorn song from memory. I do know a lot of songs, but I hadn't realized I knew that one quite so well.

I'm making a second unicorn/lion triptych. So far I just have the unicorn finished because I needed a different red to make the lion. I have the red now, so I am planning to start that later today, but I put the unicorn up as its own pattern listing today.  I don't know if I'm going to sell the (attempt to sell the) finished triptych, although I do have one already, so maybe I will.

What I do plan to do is list the triptych as one pattern listing, and maybe suggest that people can turn it into an amulet bag as well.  Or just a fancy bag, but at 3x4 inches, it wouldn't be able to hold much--and it'll be a lot smaller if you use Delica beads, which, of course, everyone and their Aunt Gertrude does.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mechanical Dreams

SteamPunk Dream Catcher

This isn't for sale yet because it's not quite finished, I just wanted to share it with the world. It's a little bit more colorful in person, I think this picture was taken with the flash, but none of the pictures I got tonight were very good.

I dissected an old clock to make this, and I now have another clock to take apart, although it's a wind-up one, since I'm waiting for it to wind down before I do that.  It's in solitary until it stops ticking.

Once that clock is in pieces, then I will make a second one of these (I also need to track down more chain), hopefully finish off both with bits hanging on the bottom, and then whichever one I don't want to keep will go up for sale. Not sure I should admit that, but they'll both be about the same in terms of quality and construction, although I plan to use all the same chain for the second one, instead of switching it up like on this.  If I ever get a third clock (or if the second one has enough bits), then I will try to make one using the coil of copper wire from the first clock to make the webbing.

And here you thought all I did was bead.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Viking Longboat Pattern
I said I was going to try and remake this one.  Well, just recently I ran out of things to bead, and my one attempt to scrounge up inspiration failed, so I started re-making some of the old patterns I've been intending to remake.

I made this one, and another unicorn, but then I realized I needed another color of bead to make the lion that goes with the unicorn (it's going to be a remake of my triptych), so I couldn't do that.  I ordered new beads, and then I made another pattern, which I also need the ordered beads to make.  So I made another pattern, this time one that I currently have all the beads for and started on that.

Oh, and there's a third pattern that I made a few weeks ago, but have been putting off making because it's more than 50% black.  Also, I need some of the ordered beads to make it.  BUT! once those beads arrive, I will have even more new things.

I put this longboat up as a pattern, because there's no way I'll ever be able to part with it, even if I could remake it easily enough.  I priced it lower than the others, though, since it's smaller than most.

Plus, no one buys the tapestries, so I'm just going to try selling the patterns for awhile.  I've sold what, three of those? as opposed to one tapestry.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Turtle Bracelet
I've been reading a lot of fairy tales.  I've always wanted to read tons and tons of them, but the library only had books of the same old popular ones, told over and over and over and over, so I held off on my love of them, and settled for reading everything else.

But then I got my kindle.  My lovely, delicious kindle, whereupon I can buy hundreds of fairy tale books--for free.  And I do mean hundreds, too. I have just over two hundred fairy tales books, all sorted neatly be length.  I'm reading from shortest to longest, so I doubt I'll ever really make it to Arabian Nights, but it's good to have goals.

Anyway, the book I'm currently reading is Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew by Josephine Peabody. It's as if the author knew the stories and wrote them down, but without any care for actually getting them right--not that they are wrong, just, they aren't exactly faithful translations of the original Greek myths.

But that's not why I brought the book up (no, indeedy, that all goes in the review I'll be writing as soon as I finish it...). I actually wanted to discuss hubris a bit.

All these Greek tales--or at least more than a few of them--deal with the idea of hubris, or of arrogance which leads to a fall, also known as overconfidence or pride.  And this is an oddly important idea to me, since I'm surprisingly humble, so I like to see the arrogant ones getting taken down a peg of three.  But the Greek idea of hubris is entirely different from that which we have today.

See, in the Greek, the heroes will be arrogant, claim they are better than any other mortal, that they are, in fact, better than the gods--which they often ARE.  The gods, of course, take offense to this, challenge the mortal, and then, whether they win or lose, usually enact some sort of revenge which ultimately lowers the mortal far below others.

But in our moralizing tales--and I don't mean fairy tales (not even Disney-ified ones), but rather the wholesome children's TV shows and such--in those tales the closest they get to hubris is when the hero claims that they are really good at something that they are not good at.  The lie then gets out of hand, and the hero finds himself in over his head, admits that he was lying all along (or otherwise gets help which turns the lie into truth), and then he looses and receives psychiatric help.

So when you finish hearing the modern tales, you think, I should not lie about my abilities because I cannot control that lie.  But after one of the Greek stories you learn, I should not brag because there will always be someone better than me, or someone I piss off by doing so.  Quite possibly someone who can kick my ass to the stars if they so choose

The two are very, very different lessons.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Dragon Braclet
I actually listed some brand-new things a few days ago.  Be happy for me.

I was working on a bigger project, which is now finished (and also not for sharing), the pattern I used for this bracelet was a part of that. It's based on the scrolling dragon I've used for other things, but since that was too long to look like anything, I shortened the pattern, flipped one dragon over so it's a two-part pattern, and then added feet. I think he looks pretty good, although I'm not too sure about the red I used here as a background. I should really go find a weathered piece of 'barn wood' in the garage or something. Then it could be flat AND a good background at the same time. A novel idea.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


I've been meaning to catch up here--or to start again, rather, since catching up would be very, very silly at this point.

Let's see. I've changed the shop-listing to doing a bunch once a week, and then if I have anything interesting to list I'll go ahead and do so whenever.

Etsy has a new set-up for listing things, which I actually like quite a bit, except that I cannot save the changes I make to 'expired' listings--I either need to renew them Right Then, or I lose my changes. This seems like a rather silly way to run things, but that's pretty much how Etsy rolls, so whatever.

I've been making lots of things, but aside from a few earrings and pendants, nothing has gone up for sale. My older sister requested a ...series of four fairy tapestries for her birthday, which sounds like a lot, but they were small.  It took me forever to finish them, if only because I don't like to put the hanging rods onto the tapestries, and I put that off for as long as possible.  The panels themselves only took about three hours apiece. (12 hours isn't very long, right?).

I'm also working on a something that won't go up for sale, and a while back I made something that I don't think ever got mentioned here: The Turtle Beaded Tapestry
Turtle Beaded Tapestry
I've always liked turtles. Even after I got bit by a snapping turtle, which wasn't very fun at all.  This guy is more a frame work for a geometric design than an actual turtle, but I still think he's awesome.  I'm still debating putting him up, and delaying on putting his pattern up, although I should go on that. The background is beads chosen at random, which I would not use if I were to make this turtle again--certainly the light blue is far too strong.

Actually, I'm hoping to make him again soon, but using the Czech beads, rather than the Japanese ones, so I can pick from the colors I like and not the colors I have, although he turned out quite well, and he helped me lower the number of Japanese seed beads in my life significantly, which was nice.