Sunday, June 28, 2009

It's Official

Big Thank You Hug to my newest cyber-friend, Lisa. I was one of the ultra-lucky winners of her recent share-the-love giveaway. I was overwhelmed by the beautiful package and heartfelt note that arrived in my mailbox on Saturday. Here's the inspiration she has bestowed upon me.

Not only did I receive the promised gift of an art doll and cab face, but Lisa, in her kindhearted way, also sent along some amazing vintage goodies!

I have been putting off making an art doll for probably 2 years or so now. I promised myself I would finish my beaded beany baby "Twigs" before I attempted one. Well, you know what they say, promises are made to be broken, so who am I to break with that tradition?!

As soon as I held her, I was smitten. She fits right in the palm of my hand so perfectly. I immediately attached her lovely face and as soon as I did, I could here my little bare naked art babe whispering into my head - bead me. I couldn't resist. I knew exactly what she would become.

Now, wait, I have to back up a minute--included in my package from Lisa were some prints of poppies from her yard. Why poppies? Well, funny story about that. On her giveaway post was a picture of her poppies and I commented on how I also had poppies in my garden, until my neighbor 'helped' me weed one day while I was at work. She told me she got rid of that giant pricker push for me. Hmm, pricker push? Didn't quite know what she was talking about, but I thanked her and later that evening went out to check the beds. Then it hit me--the pricker bush, wasn't a pricker bush at all--it was my poppies! Oh, she felt soooo bad. I really truly wasn't mad. How could I be, poor girl was just trying to help a very pregnant friend. Ok, so now you can probably figure out what my art babe was telling me .....

So, it's official - I have beading A D D. I now have twigs, my life box, my Kiss cuff, earrings for my mom, and this purple cuff below all competing for my attention.

My guess is that Poppy is going to win. ;)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kiss Me

I can't keep this under wraps any longer. Even though I haven't used this bead (yet), every time I look at it, I am amazed at how beautiful it is. It is an artist reproduction pendant available through and it is so gorgeous.

How this Russian artist can paint in such teeny-tiny detail is beyond me. The tiny little eyelashes and her perfect lips are captivating. And it's even signed on the back of the bead!

The bead is styled after my favorite work of Gustav Klimt "The Kiss." I am studying the full painting for inspiration. I have it as my desktop background and I have a print that I keep on my work table too.

I know I want to make a large cuff bracelet, simply so I can see the bead, as opposed to it hanging around my neck or making a brooch. I know I want to keep the cuff somewhat simple, so as not to distract from the bead itself. I assemble a collection of seed beads and other glass beads I've bought through and then I lay the bead in the middle and walk away and come back and then swap out colors. Oh boy. I think I'm over-thinking this as usual!

But - before I can indulge my muse on this project, I've been asked to make a cuff in purple hues, so I've collected a basket of purples and will see what becomes of that. I never realized how many purple beads I have in my stash! It took me no time at all to amass this selection and I hadn't even gone through a 1/4 of all my beads! I think I'll find a cuff in here somewhere.......

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Timing is Everything

Friday was just one of those crazy hectic work days and I was beat by the time I walked in the door; 2 1/2 hours later than I usually do. I was cranky. I admit that. Cranky; until I saw this envelope on my table.........

Hmm, what's this? Addressed to me. I didn't remember ordering anything. And then I saw the return address and smiled from ear to ear. Grace, an amazingly talented bead artist was sending me one of her fab creations-just because she likes me!

In the envelope was the nicest card and an inspiring poem (sonnet?) called "Imagine a Woman." As I read each line, I could just feel the tension release and my breath become slower. Cool. The power of the written word. Magic.

Now onto the Grace Creation. I was so excited, I just knew it was going to be wonderful! As I peeled through the bubble wrap, my anticipation mounting-a hint of purple peeking through and then - ta da! LOVE IT!!!!

Pinned that baby on my shirt and couldn't remember why I was so frazzled less than 3 minutes before. Bead Magic. Can't beat it.

Thanks Grace - You're the best!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ugh - Earrings

Yikes. Earrings. Not fun. Not pretty. Not sure if I will even give them to my mom, or start again.

Hannah (the 14 year old) told me these looked like turkeys. Great. Thanks honey.
Back to the drawing board...........

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Iris Purse

Ironically, my newest iris bloom is similar in coloring to a purse I made a few years ago in an Iroquois raised beadwork class.

The freshwater pearls were meant to represent water droplets. The stem is made of porcupine quills, which are really neat to work with. You actually insert a very long, thin, needle right up through the center of the quill. A seed bead at the top and bottom of the quill prevents the thread from being cut by the sharp quill tips.

Here's the reverse side - just a bud.

Both the full bloom and the bud were beaded first on poster board covered in pellon, edged, and then sewn on like an applique.

Like every other purse I've made from a class, it's not very practical. I think I've used it only a few times. The wool felt from a distance looks just like leather. It's lined with a cotton print in the almost identical colors of the beadwork.

Here's my newest iris-I swear it smells like orange to me. Yum.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

From Chaos to Iris

I was asked to make up another cuff bracelet as a 'display' piece for a bead embroidery class. I hunted through my stash of cabachons and came across a gray one with just a fleck or two of royal blue. Back on the hunt, I gathered up way too many possibilities of blues and grays, which is pretty typical of how I bead. I guess I like to keep my options open as I work through a piece.

Anyway, here's the final result. Not real crazy about the colors, but I think it would look really cute with jeans and a white shirt. I kept the two sides somewhat symmetrical, which is something I don't usually do.

And now for something completely unrelated to beading: My ORCHIDS ARE FINALLY BLOOMING!!

Two years ago my mom and I went on a bus trip to the Finger Lakes region of NY and stopped at a yarn and iris farm. I was really along for the yarn and knew nothing about iris. It was $5 for a clump of iris, so I plunked down $20 and walked away with a plastic bag full of plants.

I put them in the sunniest spot I could find in my yard, which is not really all that sunny thanks to the 100+ year old trees in my yard and hoped for the best. Last year, nothing. But I was happy the stalks were still alive and let them be. A week or so ago, I was heading back to the shed and barely even looked at the iris on my way until something caught my eye. Wait! Could it be? A --- BUD????

Are you kidding me? I was thrilled! Patiently I waited day after day; checking morning, noon, and night for the first sign of color. My gosh, iris take a long time to burst open. And then -- viola -

a little bloom. So sweet. Just one of about a dozen that are now in full bloom. I couldn't be happier!

And then another stalk started to bud. This one really tall and larger than the first. Amazing!

The blossom is huge - and there are at least 6 ready to open.

And now I see yet another clump is getting ready to show me what she's got. Its so much fun to see what colors they are and the blooms smell fantastic. I which I could bottle their scent. I love the way each variety is opening at a different time. The yellow ones are just about done, and now these periwinkle ones are all showy and who knows what's going to be next. Oh! That reminds me--I made a purse with a beaded iris on it. Hmm, I'll have to get some pics of that piece ....

Monday, June 1, 2009

A fair trade

My mom just loved her bracelet and earrings and they looked great on her! So we were knitting away and she says "oh I found some more beads" (she 'gave up' beading for paper arts) and she then pulls out this huge carrying case loaded with all kinds of beads - all color coordinated! It was like Christmas!

Here it is opened - its huge!

Just one of the 4 compartments - this one is all earth tones and black/white. Awesome.

The other compartments are filled with pinks/purples, greens and blues.
All different shapes and sizes. Such fun!

But here's the 'catch':
She then pulls out some necklaces that she made and asks me to make her some earrings to go with them.

. . . . . Of course I will - just as soon as I get better at it.

I worked up this pair from an earring pattern on The directions were very precise and easy to follow and all the earring supplies needed are listed right under the instructions.

I am really bad at the whole loop making wire wrapping bit. I love the earrings themselves, its the workmanship that could use some help.

Luckily my mom told me she's not in any hurry, because it may be awhile until I get the technique under control.