First of all, tonight our Legend of the Five Rings game was canceled. Our host was having home renovations and forgot to tell us until today, when his home was too chaotic to have a game. Most of the group was under the assumption that we could play at our friend Alex's place... because none of them have listened for the past two or three weeks when he's been going on and on about how he wouldn't be at the game because he'd be in HAWAII! We maybe could have crammed everyone into our apartment, but I wasn't about to go into a panicked cleaning spree on such short notice. So, no game. Bah.
Anyway, Chris had another commitment, which he was going to bow out of early to run the game, so this freed him up to be there as long as he wanted, and I guess that's a good thing, because it was all the way on the opposite side of town as our host's house. The brewery that he was meeting his friends at is in the same mall as the 2-story Barnes and Noble, so I tagged along, with the idea that I would shop and read books, and we'd do dinner when he was done.
I had an AmEx gift card sitting on my desk, so I decided to take it with me and buy a couple more beading books. Ever since gem show I've had this insatiable desire for new books, because I kept hearing how good they were. Today I picked up Diane Fitzgerald's new book on Zulu beadwork, and Sherry Serafini and Heidi Kumli's book on bead embroidery.
The Zulu book was one that I hadn't really heard anything about, but really wanted. There are a lot of really interesting, unique techniques in there that I'm eager to learn. The book has a nice introduction about the Zulu people and the history of their beading tradition, and then lots and lots of tutorials. Each technique has a photograph of a piece made in Africa, and then some photos of examples that the author made. It's cool to see how the stitches and cords can look so different depending on the beads you use.
The bead embroidery book came highly recommended by Betcey (my boss at gem show) and by Charlene (who I had lunch with), and really, I just kept hearing good things about throughout the show. The two authors are both masters of the technique, and I've especially admired Serafini's work because her sense of style and color really appeals to me. There's basic how-tos, an assortment of projects, and lots of information on design and inspiration. Even if I never take advantage of the technical information, the eye candy was definitely worth the price.
I'm really excited to start putting all these new techniques to use! I got a lot of cleaning and organizing done in the beadroom today, which also has me feeling inspired. As long as I'm not coming down with the cold that Chris had (for less than 24 hours), I'm going to be beading like crazy for the next couple of days!