Thursday, May 19, 2011

Endurance and Encouragement

This is a non-beading post.  I hope you don't mind.  Much to the chagrin of my eldest, I need to brag a little.  I won't be offended if you quit reading right now.  My oldest son has always enjoyed sports, watching, playing and competing in them.  He has played soccer since he was old enough to join the local league (my younger son as well.) He is in 6th grade this year and was able to sign up for the middle school sports teams.  Of course he wanted to play in everything but we told him he could do two this year. 

So in the fall he played soccer.  He decided that he wanted to do track in the spring as his other sport.  This was all new to him, the different events that there are.  He thought that he wanted to be a sprinter but coach thought that he would be a better distance runner.  So he practiced and practiced.  The first time that he did a timed mile his time was 7:56, which was good.  Coach said his time should be about 8 minutes.  He was happy to beat that goal.  His coach is a great encourager, explaining that in track you are competing against yourself to improve your own stats.  Everyone has different talents and some are going to be faster or throw better or that may be you but the important thing is to beat your own personal scores.  I think this is an awesome attitude to have because to me, just getting out there and trying is winning.

They had a total of four meets that they competed in.  In every meet in at least one event, he beat one of his personal bests.  By the last event, he had shaved over a minute off his time for the mile.  His other main event was the half mile and he took 24 seconds off his time.  There were lots of other events that he did once because the coach needed him to.  In everything, I could tell that he tried his best.

The picture below is one of my favorites from all that I took.  During one of the meets, my youngest decided to run along to encourage his brother.  I just happened to hit the shutter at the right time (dumb luck, couldn't do it if I tried) to catch them running together.

I think that there is a very valuable lesson in this that applies to beading and life in general.  Often I hear people in classes say "Oh I couldn't make that" or "I don't think that I could ever come up with a design on my own" or "How lucky that you were published but I couldn't do that".  I find that attitude disheartening.  Everyone has something that they excel at, something that they can do better than someone else.  I have a dear friend who sings beautifully.  I can sing ok, but I will never be able to sing like she can.  That is ok though because that is the talent that she has been given.  She will be the first to tell you that she doesn't have a creative bone in her body.  She makes beautiful things if someone shows her how but not coming up with it on her own.  The point is this... Each of us needs to just compete with ourselves, to work to beat our personal bests.  We each have talents that were given to us and we need to put our time and energy into what we do do well instead of using that energy on wishing for what we don't.  Today take the time to enjoy doing something that you do well.  Encourage someone in what they do well.  Let go of the need to compete in something that is not your strength.  Be yourself and do it well!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Elspeth's Collar

Happy Mother's Day!  I hope that you are having a wonderful day.  My oldest son and I are spending a quiet afternoon at home while my husband and younger son helps some dear friends who are moving from a rented house to their own. 

I am honored to have one of my necklaces featured in the current issue Beadwork Magazine (June/July 2011).  It is a lovely collar necklace.  It has such a nice curve to it that lays beautifully!  For the first time, I also have made available kits using the colors featured in the magazine.  They are available at or click here for a direct link.

There is also a pattern set that coordinates with the necklace.  Here they are shown in a soft green and aqua.  The pattern includes detailed diagrams and directions for making earrings, a ring and bracelet.  They are available at as well (click here)

Have a wonderful week!  ~Nancy

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

BEADWORK Favorite Bead Stitches

Yesterday I spent a lovely spring day at Messiah College watching my older son compete with his school at the MASCA track meet.  They did great!  I am so proud of all of them.  My son took 6 seconds off his best time for the 800m.  The girls team took first place.  Watching how fast these kids can run was just amazing.  Today I am struggling a little as I did not apply sunscreen quite often enough.  Fortunately I can stay out of the sun for a few days which will help.

When I got home yesterday, I found a package in the mail from Interweave.  To my surprise and delight, I found the special edition of Beadwork's Favorite Bead Stitches inside.  Even more to my surprise I found my "Pretty Picots" necklace had been included in this special edition.  I am so honored to be included!  I also see that my dear friend Lanai Kinsky had her beautiful Royal Amethyst Collar included as well.  This is truly a lovely special edition with little advertising and LOTS(!!) of great beading projects.  I love that it is divided into sections by bead stitch (hence the name, duh).  I hope you will check it out and maybe learn a new stitch in the process.

Have a great day.