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Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Goal is a Dream with a Deadline

I should begin by crediting Napoleon Hill for the title.  They are his words.

Well, I did it.  I was afraid to voice my New Years resolution for 2015, because I has doubting both my ability, and my willingness to devote the time and money to learning to illustrate. But I did it!

See??  Diagrams and everything!!

Kassie Shaw Inman showed me the way.  Kassie, author Beadweaving Beyond the Basics, has written a tutorial teaching the use of Microsoft Word to create beadwork diagrams.  If you have ever considered learning to work with vector graphics, but were hesitant to commit to paying Adobe a monthly fee of $19 for the rest of your life for the pleasure of working with Illustrator, (a daunting thought to a 62 year old hoping to retire sometime soon) this tutorial might just be for you.

Kassie's tutorial is written specifically for Microsoft Word, but I applied her information to Apple Pages with reasonably good results.  Her ease and relaxed confidence is infectious.  Whenever I could not find a way to solve a problem, I went back and watched the tutorial again, sometimes only for a few minutes, and with her encouraging attitude in my head, went back and FOUND A WAY.  I highly recommend this tutorial.  And Kassie, for that matter, because her simple, Can-Do attitude is an anodyne for all things on which you think it might be best to give up.

And before I leave this topic, Cynthia Newcomer Daniel has an equally fine tutorial introducing the basics of Adobe Illustrator for beady purposes.  But I just could not make a commitment to the monthly "membership".  Plus, I bought a fancy pants Mac Book Pro, and I am trying to make it earn its keep.

I also used Pages for layout, instead of Adobe Publisher, (thus avoiding another monthly fee) and while it was not without its problems, I conquered enough of them to manage to mostly get it to do what I wanted.  One Apple Genius suggested that I plan better before starting the document, when I went in for help with why the document parts jumped freely from section to section without my permission.  I am really proud that the guy is still alive.  I did try to explain that it is hard to know if you are going to need an explanatory image to go with your words until on second final edit, when it seems clear.  I have just one word of advice.  LOCK.  "Stay on page" and "no text wrap" although important, are not sufficient to the task.

Also in Pages, when starting your document Begin with a NEW DOCUMENT, and in the file menu, before you do ANYTHING, "Convert to Page Layout".  Put all your text in text blocks and size them to the size of your text.  Otherwise, things jump about at will.

SO, here it is!

And it has a friend too...

And as you can see, while I was having the tutorial experience, I thought I would also try making a kit.  And that was a VERY BIG learning experience too.

You can see this tutorial in my Etsy shop.  The 12 Volcano kits sold out, although I have more dragon scale beads on order that will enable me to create one final kit in that colorway.  There are still a few Chili Pepper kits to be sold. and the listing is HERE.  (Note: these kits sold out fairly quickly, but I am working on a new set of Volcano ones for late this year, 2016)

I am so deeply thankful for the support for these, my first kits.  If you purchased one, THANK YOU! Please let me know if you have any problems or questions, and show me how it turned out when you are finished.

Note the publication date.  December 10, 2015.  I think a 2015 resolution needs a 2015 deadline, and I think I sneaked in under the wire.  :)  Dream fulfilled!


  1. I think the whole thing is UTTERLY fabulous, from your incredible amount of learning and dedication to the final, stunning result. I am going to take your advice and plunge into Kassie's tutorial in the new year and I really appreciate your one word advice, as well - because I do all of mine in Pages and will have to translate word to pages, too. Thank you!! Can't wait to see your next beautiful design.

    1. Thank you Nancy! I will offer a couple more words of advice. Pages does not size complex illustrations well. My son the geek says the program has a memory leak, whatever that means. In any case, I have learned to draw what I want in a separate file, and then copy the diagram into my tutorial text, and to save related diagrams together. I have also learned to draw it the size I want it, and use the zoom feature to enable me to see to put in thread paths, etc. You will get better and better as you go along. Good luck to you!!!

  2. You have learned really fast! I wish that Kassie had published this when I started writing tutorials. Your fast learning and progress is evidence that her tut is really helpful. I wish you the best of success with your tutorials and kits.

    1. Thank you Cath! Seeing your book in progress, and the beautiful work you did with if gave me courage as well, and I appreciate your kind answers to my questions too!

  3. I laughed that your Apple Genius helper is still alive- good job!

    Even better job at finding less expensive alternatives to Adobe. I am always looking for less expensive alternatives.

    Thank you for the link for the graphics tutorial. I may never use it but it is good to know there are alternatives.

    1. I am so happy to recommend Kassie's tutorial! And yup, I laughed after the fact too, but at the time, I had to bite my tongue to keep from giving the poor guy a serious lashing. :) Thanks for reading as always, KJ!

  4. Congratulations!
    Holiday Greetings,
    -Eva Maria

    1. Eva Maria, thank you, and thank you for all the lovely support you show the entire beady community! Happy Holidays to you too, my friend. -Marsha