Monday, January 26, 2009

January BJP

Well, I didn't get the necklaces posted to Etsy. I wore the blue one Sat, and the one circle keeps flipping over - seems I twisted the crocheted part when I put that half the clasp on, so it doesn't want to stay put. I'll need to take off the clasp and re-do it. I also want to check the green one for the same problem before I post it as well. I am half-way done with the matching bracelet for the blue one.

I did manage to finish my December BJP piece! I took pictures of the whole process, so pardon if it takes a while to load. I started off with the theme, and it took me a while to figure out how I wanted to do it. This area was hit with lots of creeks flooding and mud slides at the beginning of the month. I wanted to portray the mud slides, with rocks and trees being swept away, the water, and the snow that made things worse. This is the finished piece, with a side view to help show the texture.

I started by layering felt and tacking it down for height . The chosen colors for the month were a shimmery blue, translucent AB orange and some sequins. I started with the orange, adding stone chips and some larger beads. I used various lengths of stitches, inspired by Robin's latest book. Each picture shows another thread finished (yes, I use long pieces!). I added the sequins to show the water splashing up from the mudslide, using varying fringes. Next came rows of the blue, following the mudslide, which helped the fringe stand up more. I was worried it would be hard to work next to the fringe, but it wasn't that bad.

I used plastic pearls that I won't let myself use in jewelry (way too cheap!) but worked in this case since they won't get any wear. I put them in rows, and added green sequins on the one side. The green sequins are the footsteps my daughters and I took through our neighbor's pastures to make sure they were ok after their driveway flooded unexpectedly. Over 2 gates and a barbed wire fence - it was an adventure!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Necklace Series

Well, this week didn't go as planned (do they ever?), so I didn't get any work on my BJP. I did manage to finish 2 necklaces. I purchased some chip board circles and ovals from a specialty scrap book store a while ago, intending to cover them with beadwork of some kind. These are my first 2 creations using that chipboard. I did the beadwork on fabric, which was gathered around the chipboard and backed with material that had been gathered around poster board. The edges were then sewn together. The necklace straps are bead crocheted and have a magnetic clasp. The beadwork went pretty quickly, and I'm looking forward to making more. I have a silver and African turquoise one in the works, but I'm not liking it so far - I'm either going to embellish over the silver, or frog-stitch most of it (frog-stitch is take it out (rip-it, rip-it)). Hopefully these pictures will enlarge when you click on them - if not, check out my Etsy site in a few days, I intend to post them with some detail pictures as well. The face on the green necklace is made from air-dry clay, painted with acrylic paint and coated in 2-part epoxy for a glassy finish.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Soup Anyone?

My work space has been under construction lately. The wall behind my desk had to be opened to deal with some leaky pipes, so my stuff was put in the living room while the work was done. It's now back in place mostly - the desk is back but my stacking drawers are still MIA. Since the wall was under construction, and the window next to it needed re-doing (we are replacing all the inside casings and trim with real wood) both projects got started. Unfortunately, it hasn't been warm enough to stain the trim pieces, so we still need access to the window, which my desk usually sits right up against. In the midst of moving, this bead soup was created on my bead pad. I am not one for creating bead soup. I have my beads in little piles so that any extras can be scooped back into their containers. I hate the thought of sorting out soup - not enough patience/time. I also don't want to stash it away to never be used again - not enough money. This time, I know that all those beads (plus many,many more) will be used, so I don't mind the mixing. Actually, looking at it is pretty cool, and gives me some more ideas about using them (hence, I took a picture). It's got me thinking that maybe mixing soups isn't bad, leading to more creative results. But I still can't get over having to sort out leftovers! I've even considered buying other artist's soups to use for free-form peyote (something I really want to try). It's definitely a love-hate thing - I love the combinations, hate having to deal with left-overs. Anybody else have strong opinions about soup?

I've actually gotten a little beading done - I've crocheted straps for my other chipboard pendant, with just enough beads left to do a matching bracelet. I was having problems with the thread not being strong enough, so I doubled it. It didn't make the crocheting much harder, and I don't have any worries about it's strength. I'll post pictures when it's put together. I haven't put a bead on my January BJP, but it will definitely be about swirling water. Our area had a lot of creeks overflowing and mudslides last week - my girls only went to school 2 days because of it. This picture was in the newspaper - it's one end of my access to the highway into town. The other end had water in places as well. The snow clogged drainage ditches and diverted water in weird ways. It's back to normal now, so maybe I'll be able to post a finished BJP next week!