Sunday, December 28, 2008


Finally got a picture of my finished Dec BJP! I think it looks pretty tree-ish. The side view is to show how the ruffles stick out. The left side of the ruffles are tacked down, but not the right. In order to have really curvy ruffles you either need to put lots of beads in between the posts or have a long line - short lines don't do much curving. I put the same number of beads in-between the posts in each row - you can see the bottom row is way more ruffly!

This is the pickings for January. I'm not sure about a subject yet - snow is what keeps coming to mind (It doesn't help that they are calling for more later in the week again!) but January is also about reflections on the past and looking to the future to me. I have a hummingbird feather that I'm fairly certain will make it into this one. I know I need to sit with myself a bit to find it's voice.

I put the crocheted pieces on my green man necklace - all it needs is a clasp. I was thinking magnetic, but it does have some weight so I think I'll put a toggle on it. I'm starting the straps for a silver and blueish piece I did at the same time, but am running into trouble. The thread I used isn't strong enough, and I've already strung the beads! It's ok doubled, and the beads fit, but I'm going to have a heck of a time with it, figuring out how to manage 2 strings. I've started doing a little bit as a Cellini spiral instead, but I'm not sure the 15's I'm using can take the string mass. I strung all the beads I had to make sure I'd have enough for both straps - it's quite the nice mess!
This is a teaser shot of the drawing I did to figure out what I was doing with my doll.
In general, I've been doing less beadwork than I could, but I'm not beating myself over that. I've not been sleeping well, and I'm hoping a check-up will have a simple remedy. I can't focus on beadwork when I'm tired. The girls have been enjoying the snow (which we've gotten more off, but now it's raining instead, until later in the week - more snow!) but until now it's been powder, not good for building much of anything. They've enjoyed helping Daddy shovel the driveway!
I really want to use some of my quiet moments this week to look at how far I've come artistically, and where I want to go, what I want it to mean in my life. The BJP has helped by making me have a concrete example of my beadwork throughout the year - how much will I have changed by the end of this one?

Monday, December 22, 2008

December Snows

I've finished my December BJP piece, but haven't taken a picture of it yet. I do have a pic of what it started as. The colors that were drawn were clear silver-lined bugles, red ab and orange beads. I added a wooden bead, 4 purple ceramic beads, a mother-of-pearl button and a blue star. The material is red and green swirls, very festive. The wooden bead is the trunk of a tree, the four ceramic beads represent my family growing up (orange and purple were my high school colors), the button became a tree star. I've done an off-center pine tree by making ruffles using the bugles and red ab - try to picture it, and see if it's close in reality when I post the picture!
The snow picture is of my front yard, with my oldest. It has since gotten more snow, drifted over, more snow, and they are calling for more snow over the weekend. The icicles coming from the roof are looking like shark teeth - the snow slides, so the icicles start angling towards the house, and another row starts to form in front of them. With all the snow the kids don't want to stay outside long, so we're getting a little cabin crazy. I did manage to finish the other green and brown crochet piece to finish my green man necklace, now to put it together. I've also worked on the doll some, I'm working on the back of the torso. I drew sketches of what I want to do, so I'm not working blind, and that actually speeds me up - otherwise I was spending a lot of time just staring at it, wondering if I was going to get the effect I want.
Hopefully I'll get another post by the end of the week - but Jenna's birthday is tomorrow, and then Christmas, so don't hold your breathe, you may pass out!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Dec BJP start

This is the start of my December BJP piece. The colors selected are clear silver-lined bugles, opaque orange and AB transparent red. The red is actually being used on the doll, so I don't get a break from that! The extra's I've picked are a wooden bead, either a gold or mother of pearl button, a star, a heart, some matte goldish 8's and 4 ceramic purple 8's. The purple beads represent my family. The wood bead will be the trunk of a tree, the button the top of the tree. I'm hoping to do a representative of a pine tree. We'll see - the colors aren't exactly conducive for Christmas!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

December Already?!

I've been working on my doll, and doing some bead crochet for a necklace. I managed to finish the other leg for the doll, and make the armature for the legs. I am so looking forward to being able to put the body and legs together, and see her stand! The bead crochet is a nice thing to work on while I'm watching TV with DH - I can't do embroidery while I watch TV. It's my first attempt at a patterned crochet, using various sizes of beads from 15's to 8's. I bought a bracelet from Another Country for my sister's birthday, and it inspired me to try it.
The other picture is of my haul from Peacock & Periwinkle. Robin mentioned them in her blog, and it turns out they are next to the Boy Scout office in Everett, which I occasionally need to visit! The left side are cotton batiks, the right Dupoini silks. There's also a green felted wool and 2 cool buttons that I can readily see being clasps for freeform peyote bracelets.
My Christmas present this year is a new computer monitor. The old one is a 17" CRT, clunky and slow. The new one is a 19" LCD, thin and speedy and much easier on the eyes, since it can sit back much farther on the desk. Now I can really see the details in the pictures on everyone's blogs! Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving, and wishing you a Christmas season full of grace.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This is a piece of crocheted rope I made this week, as part of a strap for a pendant I've made. It's the first time I've done the crochet bit with a pattern and with different size beads. These range from 15's to 8's. I have the other half strung, just need to crochet it. That's one of the few beading activities I can do while watching TV - everything else, I need to pay attention to what I'm doing, and the TV just gets in the way. I used Gutermann top-stitching thread, and it works nicely, except for stringing on a needle to thread on the beads. The brown beads I used did not like the needle that was big enough for the thread - oddly enough, they are 11's, the 15's had no problem (also they are Czech versus the 15's are not). I'm slowly making progress on the second leg. I bent the armature for the legs from a wire hanger, and I'll need to open the sewing a bit more to get it in, so I'll probably do more beading now that I'll be able to reach it! I'd feel better if I could just figure out what to use for weight in her feet!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

November BJP done

November's BJP piece is done - it's supposed to look like swirling winds, which we have a lot of this time of year. We also have swirling water, as this is the start of flood season, with a flood watch having already happened. The colors picked were 2 kinds of red and pearl white. I stitched black felt strips on the ends, and did not follow those lines with the beading. It's hard to see, but the beading bulges in places from the felt underneath, adding another element.

I'm still learning to use my new camera - the first picture isn't focused well, but the detail shots of the top and bottom are! I'm considering taking pictures of some of my stuff for art print - my friend Sue (see website here) made me some cards with pictures of some of my BJP pieces from last year. It's definitely cheaper than buying the actual artwork that takes a really long time to make, and it's another way to get something for your work! I'd like to get a really good picture of my split salmon cuff to sell as a print.
I've gotten behind on my doll - life keeps getting in the way! I'm hoping in a few weeks things will calm down again so I can make better progress. I'm also working on neck straps to go with some pendants I've made. I received one of Carol Wilcox Well's books for my birthday, and it was hard deciding which technique I wanted to use! What I have ready to start is a crocheted rope using different size beads for a curve, and a more complicated patterned crochet is probably looming on the horizon!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I haven't done much beading these last 2 weeks. I've made 3 pinatas, a gingerbread haunted house, and had a Halloween party with 11 kids!

The gingerbread house was a first for me. I got it constructed ok, but when we went to decorate it I made the icing too runny. I was too tired to mess with it, so everything I put on it ran! It's supposed to be frightful anyway, and the kids had fun helping.

The pinatas turned out great again. This is the 2nd time I've made pull pinatas, versus bash'em ups. I don't like the idea of teaching little kids it's ok to beat anything! So the streamers are attached to the strips holding the bottom on, and one string is actually tied to the bottom, so as the kids pull them off, the bottom lets go, and out come the goodies! The one for our party didn't open, but it's easy enough to poke a finger in and pull it apart. The oldest kid there wanted to keep it, he might try and make a body for the alien chicken!

This is my first casting of my plaster bust mold. It stuck a little, I need to seal the plaster more, but it's ok - I'm going to put thin cardboard strips on the back stiffen it, close the neck area off, and probably put some expanding foam in the back. You at least get the idea that it's not flat chested! It's really going to help check the lay of my neck pieces without having to continually getting up to look in a mirror - I've already started using it!
I didn't finish my installment on the doll this month - I ran out of brown Nymo! So I should be getting some tomorrow (I ordered from CCBeads) - I have about 10 more hours on the leg to finish, then start the front or back. I need to get armature wire to start constructing her legs and torso, and I still haven't figured out a good small but heavy weight to put in her feet to give her ballast. Hopefully next week I'll have my BJP to share too!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Life-time To-Do List Got Shorter

These pictures are of the moon and sunrise over the San Juan islands. Wednesday I got to meet Robin Atkins - that was one of the things on my professional to-do/wish list! She was gracious enough to meet me at 7:30 am - the best time for me to take the ferry (why is it that every time I try to plan something, everyone else's world is already topsy-turvy?). After a scone and hot chocolate, we went to Lime Kiln Point so I could scramble on the rocks to peek in the tidal pools. Then I got to see her studio - it's amazing! Everywhere I looked there was something else that begged a closer inspection! Her work has a texture to it that gets lost in pictures - to be able to see it in person was wonderful. I'm working on the next part of my doll, so I did get some beading done on the ferry ride over, and a little at her studio - I could have spent a few more hours just looking at her work. The moon on the ride over was glorious, just calling me outside to look at it. The ride back the boat was vibrating a bit much to bead, so I plunked myself in a seat to enjoy the scenery, and saw a pair of Dall's porpoises! So I truly was blessed in every part of that journey (and that Sue agreed to get the kids to school for me!). It's amazing to me that, having decided to pursue something to an art form, one of the top people doing that art form lives so close! My life can be very hectic sometimes, but that day was just so awesome!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Crafty Strikes Again

So, I may not have gotten a huge amount of beadwork done this week, but I have been busy, and sick, and (how much whining can I do?).

This is my Nov BJP base, the bead colors that were chosen are 2 shades of red and pearl white - I'm going for swirling wind, which we tend to have a lot of in these parts.

This is a project I'm starting for when I need a break from the doll - it's African turquoise, I'll put it on black with probably lots of silver. The grey pieces are actually chipboard, I got a couple packs of them from a scrapbook store.

Ok, ugly mug time! It's very hard to take a picture of yourself when there's plaster hardening on you. Yep, plaster! I'm trying to make a mold, so I can cast (probably in paper) an actual "bust" to display necklaces and collars on. How will I know what it's going to lay like if I don't have something that I can check it on - especially for length? And let potential costumers see as well? It needs to be lightweight, transportable and cheap! So for $5 (I may have also used a coupon) I put gauze with plaster on it on myself. The mold is actually pretty good - I need to seal it so I can cast on it. I did not put the plaster around my neck, so I could peel it off, and then used a can the right size to re-create a neck. I cut the back of the neck while still flexible and patched it together. The mold is very light weight once dry. So once the 3 pinatas for Halloween are done, I'll try making some mini-mes!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I managed to get my Oct BJP page done this week - finally something I can show! The chosen colors were matte amethyst, AB lime green 8's, and turquoise 15's. I picked out beads that went with the colors, and came up with "Things that go bump in the night" for a theme. The glass bead in the lower left has fringes around it, and the one on the right has little picots on the bottom, and fringes with sequins on top. It was fun to do, especially since I've been using only a few colors for about 24 hours of beadwork, and now I'm going back to that project. Next months colors are 2 shades of red and pearl white - all 11's.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Once again, no pictures. I got outbid in the last 30 seconds on the camera I want to get on Ebay. So tomorrow I will be receiving the tripod and case for a camera I have yet to get! I can't believe what people are paying on Ebay - the camera retails for less than what they're paying, not even including shipping. And I'm still working on my un-publishable doll. I almost have the first leg done, I'll have about 30 hours in it, and I want to have it done by the end of the month to stay on track. I still haven't figured out what to use as a weight in the foot - it needs to be small, so I can pack it around the dowel in her foot, and really heavy to give her a solid base to keep her standing. Maybe instead of dowels I should use armature wire? Then I could extend it from her legs to her neck, and bend it the length of her feet. This is such a new format for me, it will definitely take some experimenting!

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm seeing Red!

No new pictures this week - I've been beading a storm, but it's on the doll, which can't be publicly seen (competition rules). That kinda sucks, cause it's great beadwork! I usually don't think my work is great, but some of this is really good! I figure I have about 10 hours left to finish the first leg, already put in around 16 hours. I'm glad I joined the BJP again, at least that will give me a break from working with the same colors all the time - red and brown (hence the title). I've pulled any beads that remind me of Oct, so as soon as it's Oct 1, I can get that rolling. I've also been working on other creative pursuits - starting 3 pinatas for Halloween, adding fabric to the hems on some jeans for Meghan, altering a blazer for my pirate jacket! Now if I could just win the camera I want on Ebay, I could take better pictures of it all!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept Done

All I got done this week was my Sept BJP piece, but at least it's done. Now I have the rest of the month to catch up on the rest of my work. The photo isn't the greatest, I forgot to take it during the day, so it's awful lighting, sitting on my cut-up kitchen counter. The crystals are for my daughters, watching them go back to school. The angel charm is for a miscarriage in the family, as well as the spikes in the lower left corner, my thoughts were spiky. The irid purple, navy and black worked out pretty well. Oct will be tricky - matte amethyst, lime green (limited supply too!) and turquoise 15s.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gearing up for BJP

Well I've got lots of photos for the week, none of which have actual beadwork! I'm done gearing up for this year of BJP - I selected fabrics, planned my pieces, have all of my paper sewn to the fabrics. I have a picture of Sept's fabric and a cool raku leaf I bought. I'm doing a drawing to see which beads I will use each month. Since my storage cases have 7 lines, I'm using a deck of crazy eight cards, minus the eights. I draw 3 numbers to correspond to a bead - which case, which line, which space. Sept is trans AB purple, navy and black 15's. It has nothing to do with the fabric, which for some reason the buttons make me think back to school. I usually encrust my pieces, so that's ok - hardly any of the material will show.

The other pictures are of my workspace - a dilapidated student desk that had a painted, glued, sticky, dented top until we put a piece of laminate on top. We got the laminate at the ReStore (great place!) for under $3 and I have enough yet to possibly do the door and some edges. The shelf above is also laminated on top, and I made a "banner" of the sample pictures from Robin Atkins newest book to remind me of the different techniques. I just need to get an Ott light to replace my ugly desk light!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Split Salmon finished

I finished the split salmon bracelet this week. One side is go with the flow, smooth currents; the other is against the flow, swirly currents - like the salmon swimming out to ocean and back upriver. I like it, wore it part of the day Sat. The person who inspired it said it was too wide for her taste, I guess I like chunky stuff! Now to start my Bead Journal Project pages. I bought a raku leaf, more than I would normally pay for just a bead, but I know it is for my BJP, so it will be for me. My copy of Robin Atkin's newest book arrived, so I'm raring to go and see what I come up with!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Salmon bracelet

I had a chance to do some beadwork this week, finally! The lid for the CWC bowl is almost done, just 2 more strands of wire to weave in. The other project Ive been working on is a split salmon bracelet. I'm working on the background now. One side will be smooth lines, the

other side swirls (with or against the flow). The smooth side is almost finished. Hopefully this week Robin Atkin's new book will arrive, so I can plan a little more for the new BJP. My size is dictated by the area left in the middle of last year's pages, and I've decided to challenge myself with new color combinations and new stitches (which is why I need Robin's book!). I also received my bead order that I placed for the doll challenge, so that may start soon as well! So many ideas, so little time!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Story time

I don't have any new pictures this week - I didn't have time to bead. And then we got sick. Yuck. That's my story. I'm working on the doll's story for the doll challenge, so her story is sounding better. I want to do the story before I bead her so I include everything I need to. I'm starting to second guess myself on my idea (if it's right for the challenge) but I still like it the best, so even if it doesn't win, it will be a joy to behold for me.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

4 Star General

The first picture is a ring I made using aquamarine and blue zircon Swark. crystals. The ring band is done using elastic thread, so it fits really comfortable, but I'm not happy how the top turned out, and the metal finish is already wearing off the beads on the band - it will get redone after a while, but it's cool to wear for now. The other picture is a pin that's in progress - it's for a town volunteer who has gone above and beyond. Someone said she deserved a gold star, and she replied she wanted four - so here is her four star general's pin. It's about 1"x3" on blue cotton fabric. The background in these pictures is the formica that will soon (I hope!) be covering my work desk - the surface now is covered in paint, sticker residue, you name it. I got the formica at the Re Store, where they sell recyclable building supplies, for under $3!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Doll Challenge

This is a bracelet I'm working on. It's a split salmon design. The fish are matte reds, the white is pearl, the background will be shiny blues.

What I can't show you is that I've started a doll for the Beaded Doll challenge. We're not supposed to show pictures of it, so you'll have to wait until it's done to see it. I'm really psyched about this, that I feel my skills and artwork are up to that level. Once my girls are back in school, I should have more time to work on it. The deadline is Oct 2009, so I should have plenty of time. I have so many ideas, I may need that long to decide what to do!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

CCW Bowl Lid

Well, I've started the lid for the gourd bowl, using the wires the necklace was strung on and the last of the beads. I only have 1/3 of the wires in. It's interesting weaving the wires in, very free-form. I'll use the chain from the necklace for the hinge when the weaving is done.

This pendant is done with a chipboard base. It's pale blues and silver with a touch of purple - it makes me think of denim. There are jump rings sewn on the ends. It's backed with the material the front is sewn on, a beige slightly batiked cotton. I want to make a silver chain for it. I liked how fast this worked up - there's something to be said for instant gratification. I put some black rat tail cording on and wore it this week - it feels nice at the base of the neck, looks great in a v-neck shirt.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


This goddess is second in a series of planned goddesses. I finished her a little while ago. She has stone chips on short fringe for hair, a heart on her abdomen and fringes on the bottom. I tend to bead to the edge on this type of projects, and hand sew the back on afterwards. The bead for her mouth is a short milliflori(sp?) tube. She's browns and reds with turquoise accents. The necklace is a triple strand, with an additional piece to make it longer to adapt to different necklines.

My pictures may be sparse for a little while - I've misplaced my camera, and am relying on the capabilities of my video camera for now. We'll see, maybe it will take better pictures!

I'm currently working on 2 pendants that use scrap booking chipboard pieces for the structure - one is a leafy face, one bluesy. I'm hoping to use viking knit chains for them. It will be a series of pieces using circles and ovals in different ways.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The picture I'm using for my banner is from a bowl that I am making for my mother. She couldn't find anything she liked in one of her favorite stores while visiting me, so I told her to buy a necklace and I would make a bowl out of it.
The bowl is done over a gourd, with the section that was sawed off for the top used for the foot and side pieces. I only threw away a little nubbin of gourd. The beads on the bottom are leather disks done mostly in brick stitch. It's not done yet, as I intend to take the wires it was strung on and weave a top for it! I only have a few beads left, and hopefully they will be included. The idea is for the necklace clasp to be able to close the top, with it hinged using the bars that held the strands.

This is the original necklace, the pieces of the gourd and a tube of beads I thought I would need (I haven't used them yet). I'm waiting to do the lid until I get a good pair of crimping pliers!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beginning Again

This is the new home for my artful musings. The name is because I can see fairies dancing when I'm really quiet and happy. I wish I could dance like they do! I hope to post about once a week on whatever projects are in progress, or on inspirations as I find them. In case any one sees this in time, if you bead, please join the Bead Journal Project 2008. Doing the BJP 2007 has changed my beading, and I hope for more of the same this time around (but I have decided this will be the last year). I have created another blog for news about my family, Snyder Current.