Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Book Plans

At about 5am this morning I had a great idea for a book.
My plan is to make 3 smallish things a week for the next 20 weeks. Two will be for the book and one to send to magazines to keep myself visible as a designer. Then in just under 6 months the book should be ready. I plan to pitch it to publishers before it's finished to save some time. Publishers are notorious for taking time to decide on things, and then it could take 6 months to a year for the final publication to hit the bookstands. Yeah! It's a slow way to make money!

So the web site will wait until next Christmas. While I'm waiting for the book to be published (do you hear that optimisim?) I'll start making projects for the website.

Well, that's my year planned. I'm a little tired just looking at this post. :)

Monday, 26 December 2011

Did you have a Merry Christmas?

I had a lovely day (apart from when I told my husband he was clear of the garden wall and then he backed into it leaving a scratch on the car -ooops).

My dear son gave me a bead loom. I just had to try it out last night. In 3 hours I made my first cuff. It's pretty dodgy. The beads that came with the loom were just practice beads (low quality) so they are of varying sizes. And I'm not sure I used the right weight of crochet thread for the warpd threads (I just had to use what I had in the house obviously). I also need to work on my tension and beginning and ending threads.
here it is on my meaty fist

Anna (my daughter) plays the keyboard, so she is more than happy to have this first attempt. And now James (my son) wants me to make him one too. I'd rather not do the key board pattern again, though that's what James wants me to do. He said he'd be happy if I made him one that looks like a circuit board (electronics is his favourite elective at school). I'll have to see what I can do.

I also received some semi precious stones for beading, a small cross stitch kit and a book on embroidering native Australian flowers, and a CD of classical music to stitch to.

My husband thought the gift I made for him was brilliant. In secret I've been working on some alien Terrain for his table top games. He said he'd take some pics and put them on his blog, so I'll post a link when he does.

Hope your Christmas was a lovely.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011


I've decided to be known as Jennidee for all my design work. There are quite a few artists and authors with the name Jenni Mills. To avoid confusion 'Jennidee' will be the name I publish under from here on in.

I've also got a new design to show you; Mermaid's Gift.
I called it that because of the mop shell, coin beads used as focal beads.
It's currently on it's way to the Beading Magazine editor for her approval. I'll update you on it's progress as soon as I know.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Waves Head band and Little Mermaid wall hanging

I've been given permission to show photos of beaded works prior to their publication in 'Beading' magazine. So at last I can show you what I've been up to.

The 'Waves' headband was inspired by the sea. The curling spirals of the beads represent the rolling of the waves as they crash onto the beach.
 I used blues, aqua and purple as these colours remind me of the ocean. The Alice band in covered in a sea green fabric. It's worn on top of the head and the sparkles of sequins and faceted beads add pizazz to any hair do.

The blackline pattern and instructions for Waves will appear in 'Beading' magazine early 2012.

The Little Mermaid wall hanging was finished yesterday. She's found a string of beads on the ocean floor and come up to see them sparkle in the sun.
Instructions and a blackline pattern for Little Mermaid will appear in 'Beading' magazine early 2012.

Thanks for sitting through my show and tell.

Friday, 16 December 2011

100 and a good start

This is my 100th post. Just thought I'd let you know :)

Yesterday I made a good start for my full time designing move. I dyed 12 pieces of cotton to be stencilled wiht mermaids and beaded. I also made a stencil for the mermaid, but it was too flimsy, so I went back to the drawing fluid method. I've printed one of the mermaids already. I have to fix up a few spots where the screen fill blocked the lines, but I'm happy with this attempt. It's all a learning curve at the moment anyway.

I also beaded a headband for my son's girlfriend. It's all finished, I just need to put it on the head band today. I'll put up a photo when it's done as it was never intended for magazine use.

As soon as this mermaid is beaded (hopefully today) I will go back to finishing Butterfly Princess. I'm loving being so busy and yet so content in my work. And it's only going to get busier as my first craft book is just around the corner. It will probably be a beading book at this stage (as beading is quicker than cross stitch). But the cross stitch and applique books will follow too I'm sure.

Happy happy

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Its Over!!!!! and new beginnings

I'm suffering from project exhaustion. Not from any craft related project I'm happy to say - but from Teaching. Today was my last day. I came home at 3:45 and told my husband (who was working from home) that I was taking some painkillers and going to bed. Then I slept for three hours.

I woke up much happier. I had a few dreams about saying goodbye to teaching, which I feel were very healthy.

From this moment on, I am a full time designer.
It feels very strange. I'm very happy, yet there is just a little seed of doubt.

But I'm sure it's going to be fine.

I finished a beaded headband yesterday. The editor of 'Beading' likes my work so I'm sure we'll be working together for a while there.

I have the screen printed mermaid to work on tomorrow (as I'm working to a deadline). And then it's back to finishing off Butterfly Princess.

I might have a few days off for Christmas ... maybe. LOL

Thursday, 1 December 2011

More Ideas

My copy of Embroidery and Cross Stitch came in the mail a few days ago and as I sat down to look through it today, my mind was buzzing with ideas.
One of the projects is an embroidered fairy which started life as a silk print.

Now, I won't be printing on silk ... but I'd like to do some prints on cotton and calico to embellish. I can't do many stitches (back stitch, satin stitch, lazy daizies and stem stitch) but I could learn some more. I could even print on aida for cross stitchers to embelish.

I finished my school reports today, so tomorrow I'll have some time to play with these ideas ... wish me luck!