Sunday, September 19, 2021

Playing with Beadographer

In my previous post, I mentioned that I am unable to get EasyBeadPatterns to run on my new Windows 10 computer. I also mentioned that I found an online bead pattern making tool called Beadographer HERE. They also have a lot of video tutorials HERE on their YouTube channel.

Yesterday I spent some time trying it out by copying one of my existing "Russian Leaf Earrings" designs. Beadographer is very nice to use and the patterns come out about the same size as I had been making my color charts. I also like that I can create custom colors as well as choose from a list of Delica bead colors. They even seem to have the latest Delica colors. EasyBeadPatterns is limited to an outdated set of Delica colors. 

One thing that I do miss about Beadographer is the black outline around each bead which makes the individual beads stand out nicely. Beadographer does offer a choice of three background colors and below you can see how the same color chart looks on each of them. 

For comparison, here is the original earring chart that I made with EasyBeadPatterns:

The chart below has the "Auto" background which is a medium gray with a darker gray outline:

The chart below has the "Light" background which is a light gray with white outlines. This is the one that I will use because it is the easiest to remove the background from in Paint Shop Pro using the Color Replacer tool. (see my update at the bottom of this post)

Below you can see the same sample after I've removed the background in Paint Shop Pro:

Lastly, below is the "Dark" background. I like the contrast of it but it would use a horrible amount of ink to print out a chart like that. It would be great if you view your color charts on a tablet or phone but I prefer to print mine out so that I can use a magnetic guide to keep track of which row I am on. It is a thin metal board with two movable magnetic strips that hold the paper pattern in place on the board.

The examples above all used the Brick setting in Beadographer. Below is an example using the Loom setting to create fringe next to my original fringe earring chart that I made with EasyBeadPatterns. 

I wasn't crazy about the lack of contrast with the Light background so I tried the dark background setting. For fringe designs, I like the dark background much better.

While I'm still very sad that I won't be able to use EasyBeadPatterns anymore, I'm happy to have found Beadographer because I can still make color charts for my earring designs.

UPDATE: After typing this post, I watched quite a few of the video tutorials. I learned that you can turn off the excess canvas before taking a screenshot of your color chart by pressing the "U" key on your keyboard.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Thank you everyone for your support

I have been a bit scarce for a while and I apologize for that. This is partly due to lack of motivation during the pandemic but also because my 14 year old Windows XP computer suddenly died a couple weeks ago on August 26. I thought I had better post an update on my situation so that nobody would worry that I had caught Covid-19 or something. My husband and I are both well. We are staying safe and taking every precaution to avoid the virus. He had a liver transplant in 2010 and he is on immunosuppressants. He has had three shots of the Pfizer vaccine but there is no telling how well he is protected so we are being extra careful. While I was shopping for a new Windows 10 computer, I was able to use my husband's computer for email but not much else.

As you can imagine, it was pretty traumatic for me to lose my computer after so many years. I knew for a long time that the day would come when I would have to get a new computer but I was dreading it. You see, I've been using some very old software programs to edit my photos and artwork and also to create my beading patterns. I was worried that those programs would be much too old to run on Windows 10 and I can't afford to buy new software. I don't even know of replacements for some of them. 

My old computer had three hard drives in it and two of them died. The ones that died were the primary drive and the secondary drive which stored most of my data. Thankfully the hard drive that did survive was my backups drive so I really didn't end up losing much. I have been religious about backing up my data weekly and even daily and now I am so glad that I did that. Having said that, when I did the most recent full backup of my files in August, I somehow forgot to backup the folder for my beading blog. Luckily, I still had a previous backup of it and I was able to copy the missing blog posts from the internet and they are now restored to that folder. Whew!

I got my brand new Windows 10 computer on September 3. The good news is that I was able to install most of my old programs! Some of them work just as they should and some have minor glitches but are still mostly usable. These are the relevant programs that I can still use on Windows 10:

Microsoft Publisher 97
Microsoft Publisher 2000
Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 (2003)

Publisher is what I use to create my beading pattern files and my options for doing so would be very limited if I had to make them in WordPad going forward. I also use Publisher 97 to create the blank menu calendars that I post on my website. Unfortunately, the calendar creating feature doesn't work on Windows 10. Thankfully I can still use that feature in Publisher 2000 but it does work differently and not quite as easily. 

Paint Shop Pro is my main graphics and photo editor. I do have several newer versions of PSP but version 8 is my favorite and I'm very happy that I can still use that version. 

The bad news is that I can't install EasyBeadPatterns on my new computer. Unless I can find a free replacement for EasyBeadPatterns, I will no longer be able to create color charts for my peyote and brick stitch earring designs. I'm really bummed out about that. Hopefully they will post an updated version that will run on Windows 10. Windows 7 was the last supported version. 

Having said that, while searching online for a similar bead pattern app, I came across THIS article about an online bead pattern app called Beadographer. I have only had time to take a quick look at it but it looks like I might be able to make it work for making my color charts. Click HERE to take a look at the app. I haven't yet determined which features are available in the free version and which ones aren't.

UPDATE: Someone posted in the comments that they are able to run EasyBeadPatterns on their Windows 10 computer. I have tried everything that I can think of to make it work but I just get these error messages. If you know how to fix this, please let me know. The program actually installs and shows up in the programs list but I get some of these errors during installation and some when I try to run the program. I have uninstalled and re-installed it several times with the same results.

Thankfully my scanner and camera both seem to be working fine on Windows 10. I'm very pleased that the internet is so much faster on my new computer and websites actually work as they should. I can once again use PayPal correctly and I can log into my Blogger accounts once again. On my old computer I could edit my blogs with Firefox but not in any other browser.

Anyway, I want to thank all of you for your continued support over the years. I wouldn't have been able to buy a new computer without that support.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Paypal Donations Problems

I was starting to wonder what was up when I realized that I had gotten virtually no donations since the beginning of July. I thought I'd better check to see if there was a problem with PayPal. It turns out that PayPal updated the donation page in July and it has some issues. First of all, I am no longer able to access the donations page at all from my ancient Windows XP computer. Thankfully, I have an Android tablet where I was able to open that page to see what was going on there. I don't have any Mac devices but I assume that the new donation page works pretty much the same on them.

Besides the access issue on Windows XP, I found another issue which I think is the main reason for the lack of donations in the past month and a half. It appears that there is no way to enter a dollar amount and at first glance I thought that the page was broken. If you try to highlight and delete the zeros that are there by default, nothing happens. After trying a few things to try and get it work, I stumbled upon the secret. You should see a flashing cursor bar to the far right of the $0.00 (see the screenshot below). If you are on a computer, simply start typing a dollar amount and it will replace the zeros. If you are using a phone or tablet, click on the $0.00 to bring up the keyboard and begin typing the amount that you want to donate.

After buying a new Android tablet last month, I noticed another issue that might be preventing people from making donations on my blog. If you are using the Chrome browser, my blog should appear correctly by default with a side bar on the right side of the page. That's where the Donate button is as well as the links to all of my free beading patterns and other useful links. In that browser, there is an option to view my blog as a "Desktop site". This makes the page fit better on the screen with slightly larger text. I have circled that option in the settings for Chrome below. Make sure that the box is checked for this mode.

However, if you are using Firefox my blog will display all wrong by default. The side bar will be missing and everything will look really bad. What you need to do is scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "View web version" (see the screenshot below where I have circled that option). By default it is set to "View mobile version".

Here is how my blog will look once you switch to web view:


Thursday, July 1, 2021

Peyote & Brick Stitch Empress Earrings - Aqua & Dark Gold

  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Dark Gold" (4203)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Dark Gold" (DB1833)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque Turquoise Green Luster" (DB217)
  • 4mm Chinese bicones "Opaque Aqua" (no longer available)

Read THIS post for more information about Bronze Pony's video tutorial for making these earrings.

Below you can see a sample of this colorway made with black thread on the left and one of today's earrings, which was made with gold thread, on the right.


Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Peyote & Brick Stitch Empress Earrings - Pink & Pewter


  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Galvanized Light Pewter" (4221)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Galvanized Light Pewter" (DB1850)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Opaque Dyed Lychee" (DB2113)
  • 4mm Czech bicones "Opaque Rosanine"

I blogged about this colorway once before HERE. As I mentioned in that post, I wasn't happy with the shape of those earrings so I remade them. This time instead of using black thread, I used some grayish blue thread which I think makes them look nicer.

This time I was more careful to keep my beadwork slightly relaxed which kept the sides looking straighter and neater. Here is the photo of the earrings with black thread and wonky sides from my other post for comparison:

Read my earlier post HERE for more information about THIS video tutorial by Bronze Pony.   


Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Peyote & Brick Stitch Empress Earrings - Mistletoe & Gold


  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Gold" (DB1832)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Silver Lined Matte Dyed Mistletoe" (DB2190)
  • 4mm Chinese bicones "Seafoam AB" (no longer available)

Back in May, I blogged HERE about a sample earring in a similar colorway. For this pair, I used different bicones and a different color of Delica beads. I actually made this colorway twice. The first time I used black thread but later decided that I should have used gold thread with these gold beads. I went ahead and took photos of both pairs so that you can see them side-by-side. The earrings made with gold thread have a cleaner appearance and the difference is more obvious in real life. The pair above was made with gold thread and below you can see the pair with black thread.

In the photo below, the earrings with gold thread are on the left and the ones with black thread are on the right:


Watch THIS video by Bronze Pony to learn how to make these earrings.


Monday, June 28, 2021

Peyote & Brick Stitch Empress Earrings - White & Gold

  • 8/0 seed beads Miyuki "Duracoat Gold" (4202)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Duracoat Gold" (DB1832)
  • 11/0 Miyuki Delica beads "Opaque White Luster" (DB201)
  • 4mm Chinese bicones "White AB"

I made several pairs of these Empress earrings in different colorways recently and I accidentally took photos of this pair again yesterday along with the others. Oops! I was able to edit the photos better this time and that the colors look closer reality so I decided to post them today anyway. Click HERE to see my original post and photos.

Read THIS post for more information about THIS video tutorial by Bronze Pony.