Monday, June 21, 2021

6th Book Club meeting on July 16th

 Hey book club buddies,

Join me on July 16th at 10:00 am mountain time to talk about John Connolly's  The Book of Lost Things.

Not sure what the book club is about? Peruse the blog for previous posts about it. This one is the 6th one, so there is plenty of info here on my blog about the concept from the previous zoom get togethers.

Here is your login info:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book Club July 16th
Time: Jul 16, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89441776509?pwd=TlhiMHd4N0tWS3grWGUyUERFQXR2Zz09

Meeting ID: 894 4177 6509
Passcode: 314772
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See you there!

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Nibette Cuff kit in Spicy Mami and Cool Girl Blue Colorways coming to Etsy June 10th at 1:00 pm mountain time

Nibette is named after Nikia and Babette, my friends who provided me with some of the materials that make up this beautiful bracelet. Babette's family has been in the jewelry business for generations and the glass cabs and enameled bugs and glass pink elephants were from her. At this point, they are about a hundred years old and have seen at least one world war and traveled an awful lot to get to me. They are irreplaceable, precious and beautiful. Nikia gave me the delicate but sturdy brass cuff blanks that give the piece its shape and form. She found them at the wholesale warehouse while she was traveling through Rhode Island's land of plenty (of beads). The red colorway pictured here is called Spicy Mami.
Realizing that oftentimes one size does not fit all, for those lovely beaders whose wrists aren't between 6 and 7 inches, this bracelet is offered with a clasp too. This option is instead of the metal cuff. If your wrist is under 6 inches or bigger than 7, pick the clasp option.
The "Cool Blue Girl" colorway is all bronze and teal and aqua and it features wee enameled bugs. These precious itty bitty critters appear to be hand enameled and most of them were one of a kind. I had a bagful of them and to my surprise most did not match at all. With all my samples I try not to single out a most outstanding focal or the best looking stone or in this case the one matching set of bugs. I picked a mismatched pair to show you that the overall feel is beautiful even if the bugs are not exactly alike. The focals which are the vintage German cabs are all beautiful. They are all striated with sparkly bronze and blue. The same goes for the red ones, which are red and bronze and white.
Such a pretty, pretty bracelet. I could not pick a favorite. I like both colorways equally, I think.
Agent Nancy Mayhem clearly prefers the blue. ( Not actually true: the red wasn't ready yet when I took this picture.😏)
          Gratuitous pug pictures that don't even have the bracelet in focus. I can not help myself.

                                                            My pug is just way too cute.


Here we have them side by side. Do note that the red one has a clasp and no brass cuff blank inside, so if their shapes are not the same, it's because of that. The red kit comes with dark purple metallic leather for the inside lining while the blue has a bronze- teal lining.

 This lovely kit is available in very limited quantities due to the fact that the Weimar Republic no longer makes glass cabs or tiny enameled bugs or delirium tremens inspired mirror like tiny pink elephants. Neither can I get more cuff blanks. Life is such. Some of the nicest things are rare.

The kit will be posted on Etsy on the 10th of June at 1:00pm mountain time.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Summer 2021 Inspiration Box (Volume 19) is coming to Etsy on June 1st at 10:00 am, MT

 As time goes by and all sorts of color combinations I love have been visited and revisited again, the inspiration boxes become harder to curate. What haven't I done yet?  This time the starting point was a gorgeous focal from an artist who I just discovered.

Ruzanna Carter is the name of the artist. So far she has only made components for her own gorgeous finished jewelry, but she kindly agreed to make me a couple hundreds of these lavender and bumble bee tiles.

These are such delicate wonders. The polymer clay has a warm, almost alive like feel to it. The busy little bumblebee on the sprig of lavender served as the idea the rest of the box was built around. 

Because Ruzanna hasn't made these in large quantities before, there is a small glitch, which did not bother me a bit and hopefully, dear beader if you are reading this, you will agree that it is a small matter. The back of the tiles is hand painted. This paint might peel away when you pull the tile off the card it's attached to. 


 It was my idea to attach the tiles to the card with balloon tape, but the paint on the back can't entirely handle it. However, since we are using it for bead embroidery and that side is glued to a piece of foundation, this will not effect the quality of the beadwork or the focal itself.


 


Once I settled on going with the bee and lavender feel of the box, I got very excited. Because bumblebees and honeybees are super fun components to shop for. Take the above pave set CZ encrusted 24K plated component. It's chonky and sweet and elegant too. Has so much potential for cool bead embroidery designs!


Then I got some enameled honeybees too. These are a bit less detailed and sort of cute. Everyone will get 5 of these in their box, and they will be a random assortment.

 There is one more bee in the stash as you see:  a brass stamping. Really fun. This looks like a queen bee.  The seed beads are color coordinated to go with the honey-lavender feel. there are 3 colors in size 11 and one size 15. Besides the 5 tubes pictured here you will get an additional tube which is the repeat of one of the 5 you see on the picture. There is a tube of lentils (one hole) that I mixed myself. The inspiration was golden honey. Everyone will have two clasps. Either the type pictured here which is a gunmetal colored box clasp and you will get two of these. Or, the other type is the same color but a trailer hitch type clasp. They are randomly distributed into the boxes, so you can't pick which one, but both are really nice quality.

The vintage German glass cabochon in glacier blue is another remarkable focal in this stash. So pretty. Even though it is glacier blue on jet, in person it looks really purple.


The sea sediment jaspers are nice too, they vary a great deal though in color.  Mine on the picture (one before the above) which I randomly picked is on the lighter side. Some are much darker and have more depth. I try to avoid picking the prettiest natural stones for my own sample when I include such items in the box. It would be unfair to pick one out of almost 200 that is prettier than all the rest and set people up for disappointment. Mine was pretty average. Here is a good picture of the rest, as you can see some are much more purple.


You will also get the pretty glass rings, the resin focal , the Czech rounds and beyond what you see on these pics, you will have gorgeous purple leather and pretty velvet.

The box will have this pretty picture on the front and another one on the inside. A note from my Sammy Dog as usual too. 

If you have been getting these from me in the past, you know that the box does not come with instructions on what to make with the components. This saves me time and keeps the cost down for you, as the assortment contains a lot more than you would get in any kit. 

However I tend to have inspiration pieces to go with each box. I keep a random box to myself and see what I can make with it. Sometimes I have more time, sometimes I have less. This time around- lucky me- I had time to make not one but three inspiration pieces for you.


Here is the smallest thing. A tiny bracelet. I like wearing smaller bead embroidered pieces like this. It's easy for everyday stuff, pretty and goes well with everything. This piece also showcases the lentil assortment really well. It's a mix of 3 colors and they go so well together. I used them as petals around the  bezeled  German glass focal.  All the beads and the chonker bee are from the box. The draw string cord is from my own stash. This would be really pretty on a leather cord too.


Here is what I have done with Ruzanna's tile. It's a very simple little bracelet too. I covered my foundation in one of the velvets you will be getting in your box. This is such a beautiful fabric: easy to work with because it does not fray. It changes colors from a greenish greyish shape to a red. I did not want to cover much of the velvet up and did not go crazy with embellishing it; instead kept it simple. Used 2 of the enameled bees on the side and just two glass rings to symbolize flowers and stitched down some size 11 purple opal like seed beads individually all the way around the bracelet.  Simple and sweet. Besides this pretty velvet, you will also be getting a color changing purple velvet piece too.


Here we have a necklace on which I have used my brass stamping queen bee and the pretty floral resin cabochon. I glued a piece of leather behind the bee and also behind the resin cab. Please keep in mind that your box will have 1 of 4 different shades of metallic purple leather I have on hand, so your leather may be a little different. All of them would look good used this way.  Those light, minty opal looking Chinese crystals above and to the sides of the bee add such a lovely splash of color. 

All the beads and focals for this came from the box, however the silk ribbon and the toggle clasp were from my own stash.

As far as bead embroidery necklaces go, this is a good size too. Not too big, fits nice. I am happy with all three of these pieces. My aim with the inspiration pieces is to show you some cool, simple ways of using the beads in the box. If you like them, please, by all means, feel free to make your own version of these from your box. 

Or, perhaps join the challenge making your own design out of these components. I have a dedicated Facebook group for the whole inspiration box idea. With every box there is a challenge. The challenge is always in a spirit of mutual support and sharing. It's not a contest. Not a battle. While I do have prizes that vary every time depending on what I can hustle up from my stash, the best part is just to think outside your own box by thinking from within my box.  To participate, you have to be in the group , link here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/167448567218765

As to what the challenge is, well, your piece needs to be mostly bead embroidered. And with every box, I pick a component that must be used. Very simple rules. In this case, the component will be Ruzanna's  tile. There is always a deadline. just before the next box comes out. In this case I don't have the deadline  just yet, but will post it in the group soon. Then you have to add your pictures of your entry to the challenge album. Then you vote. Every member in the group can vote, but to keep it fair, the votes of the participants themselves count towards winning. And everyone has three votes, but they can't use them to vote for themselves, because after all ,the idea is to uplift each other and share and care like the good beady care bears we are.

So that's that. This box will be available on Etsy on June 1st at 10:00 am mountain time. Right here: 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/crimsonfrog?ref=si_shop

 







Tuesday, April 27, 2021

5th Book Club meeting info with zoom invite

 Ahoy lovely Friend! I can't believe we have read 4 books together! When I started this effort at the end of last year to offer companionship and something uplifting to do that doesn't cost you a thing, I was afraid it would fizzle out and become obsolete quick. But as the pandemic keeps on draggin' butt, it turns out we still need each other's virtual presence, thoughts, kindness and hugs.

Our next book is Victor LaValle's  The Changeling. A magnificent piece of literary fiction with elements of wonder. The story sucks you in and there is so much to it, I am not going to give anything away, go get your copy. I have read this once and listened to it twice on Audible.

Here is a link to the book on amazon.

Our meeting will take place on June 4th at 10:00am mountain time. Bring whatever you are working on, or not. Beads, knitting, cupcakes.... Please feel free to join even if you will have not finished/started the book. All are welcome. We end up talking about a lot of other things besides to book. It's a very nice place to spend some quality time with friends who you may have not met yet.

In case this is the first time you read about this book club thing, it started last year, right here

Well, I hope to see you on June 4th, Friend. Here is your zoom invite:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book Club
Time: Jun 4, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83028250976?pwd=dXZwMW0wSWRyRzNFMFhhTU9rYUpNdz09

Meeting ID: 830 2825 0976
Passcode: 359594
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Meeting ID: 830 2825 0976
Passcode: 359594
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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Ode to the Night Pond Necklace

 If there ever was an introverted, shy necklace, this would be it. 

Every time I take my camera out, it looks away. It looks sort of glum on pictures while in person it lights up with mysterious blue glow. 

I don't feel like pictures today, it says. Stop it, it says.

In person it's a completely different story.  It's blue of the bluest kind. It's deep and so saturated, if it was candy, its sweetness would make your teeth ache while your mouth would melt  with joy at the same time.  It's green comes in waves. From the jade leaves to the grassy green  of its other elements, the green, like light on water, shifts.

It is a curious amalgamation of elements that never thought they would meet in person. Wayne Robbins is the man to mostly blame for this piece's existence. He created the charming fishy froggy dude,the foundation upon which the rest of the design was built. I fell hard for fishy froggy dude's enigmatic, Mona Lisa like smile and Wayne kindly enabled me by making a small army of them. 

A good friend bestowed a large bag of vintage jade leaf cabochons on me. These are very old. Maybe a hundred years, maybe a little less. I am not sure. Initially I thought they were from France, but she said they are from Germany. Either way, these jade leaves have seen the better part of the 20th century and could they speak; they would have bittersweet tales to tell. 

The Anna Bronze focal was a natural choice here. I wanted to portray a pondling, arising from his lair. Is he a fish? Is he a frog? Who knows. That's not exactly a water lily, but it's a good approximation and those jade leaves are not quite lily pads, but in this context they shall become lily pads. 

The way I see it, the sun is going down. The gentle breeze plays with the reed and tangles with the  willow's coif. I can't see that far because I have been staring at beads for so long, my eyesight is not what it used to be, making the world in general a lot more mysterious and endearing at times than it has any right to be after the shit it pulled last year. 

So here we are, the air smells green with the scent of fresh cut grass. The pond smells somewhat fishy, as any self respecting pond should without question, and we just sit here and exist for a while in the mysterious glow of the setting sun, the bastard who over saturates every scenery with her glorious golden light to the extent, that any attempt at catching it through a lens always ends up looking way too cheesy, way to kitschy, over the top. 

You know the kind of sunset: unrepeatable and glorious and makes you feel very much alive for the sake of witnessing its glory, when you become nothing but the faculty to perceive its magnificent opulence, and if you try to arrest its passing, it will laugh at you and your phone, chiding you for ever  trying to arrest its passing, reminding you that some things ought to wash over you without you trying to catch them by their tail.

That's the kind of light I envisioned when I made this piece. And maybe that's why it refuses to behave for the camera. Of course it's not like that sunset in reality, nothing that magnificent about it. But it likes to hide its own, more human made and humbly glowing nature. 




That's great, you might say. But what does this even look like on a hooman bean? Good question, wise beady peep.

This is what it looks like on me. Very impromptu affair of a  picture. Observe the artiste in her natural habitat, no makeup, au naturale. Deer in headlights moment in all of its own glory.

Good thing I have friends in high places, since it's pandemicky  out there, and I haven't taken pictures on human models for a long time now. My multi talented artist friend, Dusty Paik is the queen of many things, one of them makeup of the stage kind. She is an accomplished performer and model as well, a costume designer too, and these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Dusty. She is a woman blessed with great many talents indeed. She designed this look for the project:

All the colors of the necklace make an appearance on the fishy froggy makeup. I love what she has done with her lips to accentuate the fishy- froggy, pescaphibian feel of the piece.

I think her pictures are the bee's knees. She brings "fierce" to this strange party of "enchanted" and "whimsical".

So yeah, this is about how this necklace fits, its utmost usefulness duly demonstrated.

 I hope this blog post will entice You, Dear Reader to come and join me in the merry  necklace making of this fine piece at the end of May. The project is being offered as a one day class through Socialbeadia. While the May 28th session is sold out, there is room for you to join me on the 29th or the 30th. Right here: https://www.socialbeadia.com/kinga-nichols

Thank you for your kind consideration.


Tuesday, March 9, 2021

April Book Club: Consider the Fork by Bee Wilson

 In case you feel like learning about culinary history and you want to be  entertained and  you wish to participate in the next book club, the next selection for April 23rd is Bee Wilson's  Consider the Fork.

It's the most fun, informative non fiction book that I have gifted so many copies of, every time I buy a new one Amazon tells me when it was the last time I bought it. I guess I have given 5 copies away so far.

This is not your cup of tea? Please feel free to join  even you will not have read the book. Bring your project and yourself and we will have a grand time.

 Here is the link to our zoom meeting:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Kinga's Book club- Bee Wilson: Consider the fork, April 23rd
Time: Apr 23, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 854 0590 8615
Passcode: 142443
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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Book Club postponed due to me being sick, new zoom link for March 5th

 I got swooped off my feet by something. I don't think it's Covid, but it surely kicked my butt. No book club today, it's postponed to the 5th. Here is your link:

Kinga Nichols is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: My Meeting
Time: Mar 5, 2021 10:00 AM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
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Meeting ID: 853 2564 6074
Passcode: 204930
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Meeting ID: 853 2564 6074
Passcode: 204930
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kciJdidPdm