Jody Phillips has been beading for about three years. She and a friend bought a pattern for a beaded ornament, finishing just the one and she was hooked!
"Actually it was a very complicated pattern," she said, "too complicated but I guess that's what held my attention. Every row is different and you can't tell how it will look until well into the piece — not until it's finished."
Jody said that she probably has made about 100 of the beaded ornaments over the last three years. She has given most of them away and has only recently been selling them . . . "to help pay for my hobby."
She sells them for the cost of materials plus more that could be figured toward some of the time spent making them. If she charged for all the time spent on beading most of her ornaments, no one would buy them. So far her market has been craft sales in the local area. This year, she sold at the Montrose Craft Fair, Altrusa Sugar Plum Festival at Bill Heddles Recreation Center in Delta, the Cedaredge Craft Fair at the community center and the recent show at Blue Sage in Paonia. Many are purchased to give as gifts.
Jody enjoys working the shows. She likes meeting and talking with people. She worked as a receptionist for years, and served on a ways and means committee for PTA fund raisers when her kids were in school. She was always involved in crafty things including cake decorating from age 19 until recently. Jody often frequented craft shows before she had anything to sell.
"It takes about a week to make one ornament at the pace that I want to work on it. It's a hobby, not a job. I want to enjoy without pressure." She does not intend to expand her market.
Some ornaments are made using available purchased patterns though she varies the designs using other colored beads than those called for in the directions, and often makes changes in the pattern. She is not afraid to deviate from a pattern a bit or a lot depending on desired results. It also means a lot of taking out and doing over.
Using a computer program and a grid on paper designed for the purpose, Jody has been experimenting with designing her own patterns. Recently, when someone asked for an ornament with sunflowers, she located a picture with multiple sunflowers. Using her printer, she made an enlarged copy on grid paper then rearranged the image in a strip that she could follow with beads. The pattern needed to be adjusted to surround the ball and an accurate bead count for the size of beads being used. This band of beaded sunflowers that she's working on now uses a peyote stitch. Most ornaments are Christmas oriented though sometimes a special request or an idea results in an unconventional design. She trusts her instincts to make truly unique ornaments.
Jody has made some jewelry, also some beaded patches that can be attached to nightlights, light switches, and even sewn onto fabric handbags. Another idea she said she might try is beaded magnets.
The patch (about 3"x3") is made to look like Marilyn Monroe required about one week to complete. It appears to be done in black and white though was actually made up of seven shades of gray ranging from almost white to black with a few sparklers added. Marilyn was worked from a pattern, but when a young person thought it was Madonna, Jody revamped the pattern, narrowed the face, removed the dimple and it' s true, the finished piece did look like Madonna.
Jody has beaded some tiny lady bugs, as yet not certain how she will use them. Someone requested lady bug earrings. Now they need to be mounted on something, perhaps a leaf background. The project requires more thought.
One of the problems with beading is that though some designs can be completed with few colors, others may require as many as 20 or even 30 colors, requiring a large stock of materials. Other ornaments use larger beads. You have to buy an entire tube, not just five beads if that's all you need. So she has lots of beads. (Beginners might start with a kit . . . all supplies needed are included.) Many of the beads she uses are delicas (size 11 — a size 15 is even smaller), they are tube beads that snug right up to each other, unlike rounded seed beads. Larger sizes are used for what she calls "drops." She purchases most of her supplies from a catalog and from THAT Little Shop, located south of Montrose on Highway 550 (antique row). "Here," she said, "you will find more stock than in all but one store in Denver . . . more beads than any I have found on the Western Slope."
A close friend, living in Denver, also does bead work. They get together whenever possible. They talk some, watch TV some, but mostly sit and bead together.
She has always been into crafting, following in her mother's footsteps. "I cannot believe some of the things she created. I'm sure that I got not only the talent from her but also the desire."
Jody would like to draw patternsfor herself and for others to use. With holiday craft shows completed, she will begin creating more ornaments. Watch for her at local craft shows, especially prior to the Christmas season.blog comments powered by Disqus