Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Rhoda wrote to me about Happy Mango's Fourth of July Bead contest (happymangobeads.com) and I had the top two items already done in red/white/blue but when I sat down to bead other things started happening.
When I cut apart the AB blue rivoli I showed you in the turqoise sparkly wheel yesterday I suddenly realized that it would look better in blue bicones so I did that. As I looked at it it in my hand it began to look like a small exploding fire cracker that was flashing lights in the night sky. A firecracker, the work needed a firecracker. From the work on the 'scotum series' I already knew how to make the tube. Then the lacing for the neck, what to do? Stars! The night sky had to have stars. Which stitch to do? My current favorite is the spiral chain stitch. Perfect! I could use the stars between the loops of blue.
The jury (Rhoda) is still out. I can only send one entry so I have asked her to pick the best one. If she goes with the necklace I will re-photograph it on a form and not use this crooked scan. I have until the end of the 4th. Maybe you too would like to enter the contest? A 1 lb bag of beads is up for grabs!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Watch without Hands

Finally got the Sparkly Wheels to go around. They are a neato way to do a bezel in a clunky sort of way. I had a bunch of Swarovski Rivoli sew-ons leftover from a project for which they did not work. So this method of making a bezel covers the holes and sets the rivoli up. I still do not know what to do with the others, but am thinking.

Got the 'go ahead' from Gualala Arts for the Dolled Up show in January, 2011. Do not know yet if I will use beads. Nanette wants an installation in the center of the room

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I think the word is "budkas" - assorted junk - my efforts to learn something new from a magazine! I have some hope for the sparkly wheels but it is taking many tries to get what I can. I do not have the crystal rounds in the size the instructions indicate so I am substituting bicones which I have, at the moment, in abundance. I do have some hope in being able to find a use for some extra and leftovers in my stash if I can ever get the beads to mesh. Mine do not look at all like the photos in the pictures in BeadWork.
Got a notice from Fire Mountain that two of my necklaces are in the finalist round at for the Gemstones Contest. I know I have those photos in my computer somewhere, but for some reason I cannot find them today. Will wait and let the far better photographers at Fire Mountain make a picture for you. Or hope I find where I filed them. It is that kind of day. Beautiful summer day!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The green bracelet is done in the stitch I learned from Sue at the bead meeting on Saturday - a peyote with two delicas laid between small iris cut bugles. She was using square beads (which I have more of but cannot find!) so I switched to the the tiny bugles and really liked them because no so much thread shows between them and the delicas. The bracelet is very flexible and feels great but I was bothered by the flat edge. By coloring the thread with ink pens it can be okay but I still feel the bracelet needs more - some kind of embellishing. That may still happen if inspiration hits.
In the meantime I tried doing the same stitch vertically. The edge is much more interesting but the bracelet is much stiffer. It does bend to the wrist but acts more like a cuff. I set the bar for the toggle clasp back up the bracelet so when it is closed the two edges come together so the clasp lays on a field of blue. Looks better than it does here!
Werner brought home a copy of BeadWork he bought at the grocery store and I started to try one of the beaded projects in it. Did two samples and still need to make adjustments for variations in bead sizes. Love the idea.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One more idea that came out of the bead meeting on Saturday. Judy had brought a compound - the name begins with F and I cannot find it on the Fire Mountain site. The idea was that one kneaded the two parts together and then rolled the bead in gemstone chips. It cost about $25 for the two postage-sized lumps. Judy made beads of the polyclay and rolled those in the chips and the stones seemed to stick very well. I tried a few on the end of this bead. I think that if the polyclay bead was waxed or fixed with a floor polish solution, one could use the polyclay instead of the expensive stuff that began with F.

Have been doing fish and have one yet to do. Need to order more!

Monday, June 21, 2010

One of the persons also not making doll faces was Sue who had learned this new stitch during her stop at Legendary Beads in Santa Rosa on her way home for the class she taught on embellishing fish lures.

She kindly offered me a copy of the instructions, which I thought I did not need until I got the bracelet done and did not know how to finish the sides. Being a peyote 2-bead up the outer edges are raw. On the wide one I tried sewing down more 11s along the edge to cover the holes and threads and with the narrower one (below) I used a three-bead picot. It is interesting to see how the 11 bead color changes from being within the pattern and off the edges (top one).

Thanks Sue for the new idea and the return of my fish. One of the drop in visitors bought one and is coming by this week for another one. Our 'show 'n tell' table very often brings sales as people visiting the arts center see our open door and stop by.

Sus, the Executive Director, invited the group to have a table for sales at the Big Car Event on July 17. Already he has over 80 special cars register to be shown. The crafty among us is thinking men, cars, jewelry. . .

We had our bead meeting at Gualala Arts in the Board Room with 10 people in chairs and about that many who wandered in and out. I had brought the above projects, but among my stuff was a bunch of molds of doll heads, and it was decided that we would do that. Thank goodness I had watched a tutorial on You Tube on how to make doll faces more realistic by cutting open the mouth, poking in nostrils and setting beads in the eyes. Nearly every one got at least one head done and a couple people are interested in making molds of more dolls.
Mike Henderson wanted to make canes (not dolls!) so we discussed various techniques and decided that we would each study up on the process and have a 'cane contest' by the next meeting. Stay tuned.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

While doing the 15th fish in these series I suddenly felt like I could not do another one. I had been thinking about a necklace with amber and turquoise. From one moment to another I had switched trays and was back to stringing. I made the ugliest necklace with the most clumsy closure! I was amazed. I had tried to make a double strand but the wire was showing all over. I had no idea I could be so bad!
I went back to the fish, but just could not let the necklace stay like it was. I cut it apart and started it all over. I felt the amber got mushed by the turquoise so I put in tiny gold crimp beads between them. Debbe had given me a stash of them when she decided to work only in silver so I have gobs. Was glad to have them as gold balls looked too big and pulled the attention from the beads. The tiny crimps gave just the right distance.
As I look at the scan here, I am still not satisfied. I wanted to do something with this combination but it is not clear in my head. I want it more asymmetrical, too. Maybe I have given too much energy this week to the two books that went off to the printers! I think I am being told to take a break!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Catch of the Day- yesterday.
I had wondered what I would do with these fish with the Day-glo orange, but I feel this works. Started a second one to try out a different pattern. Lactos-intolerance ended my evening early.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Have gone back to doing the fish and have these tiny ones that will go on a Christmas tree. I think the ones with stripes will do better than ones with patterns, but it may be that I will get tired of the stripes and switch before I am done. I still need more beads in 15s but these fish go so slowly (about one a day) that I will really need the beads in the order by the time it arrives.
In reading Making Jewelry I found out "rocailles" - the name for size 15 beads - is pronounced "rock i." Pardon my French! Need to learn to run that through my nose.
Am thinking of Sue and Bobbie who are off in the Bay Area today teaching how to embellish fish lure!
And remember to feed the fish above this by pointing your cursor in the pond and giving it a click.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Arbel Shemesh, the Advertising Designer at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, sent this copy of Make Jewelry to me because it has a full-page glossy ad with my "To Jane From Tarzan" necklace on page 11. It was fascinating to see how beads are shown in England. So many more faces! They really go for a fashion magazine look with Japanese-style typography. So much to read and absorb! My beading hours are going to be reduced while I check out all the web sites.
I was especially interested in a section on four aspiring jewelry designers. The big, bold look is alive and well with them! The pearl pieces on page 51 are super! That is all I need to raise my bill at Fire Mountain!
Make Jewelry really covers all the bases with ideas for polyclay, felting, PMC and even wood carving on beads in addition to all the stringing ideas. As gift, each magazine comes with a packet of beads to jumpstart even the most hesitant. I am greatly impressed! Off to investigate a 'contest' they offer with prizes of products from their advertisers. Excellent idea! Energy seems to radiate from this magazine!
Now to see if I get emails from England asking for the flower pattern. In the past, every week or so brought requests from people across USA as the distribution of Bead Work progressed. I pass the pattern on for free and get over-paid in compliments and kindness.

Monday, June 7, 2010

On Saturday I finished the fish I was making so Sue would have a wider choice (she did come on Sunday and took a bunch off to her class; none of the new ones :-)*) and I was wondering what to start next. I need more beads of the 15s to start the tiny fish for the Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees in December so will wait until the new order comes.

Then I remembered watching an "Auntie's Beads" You-tube demonstration of the "flat spiral stitch" and to my amazement I was able to remember it and do it. It was so easy and worked up so nicely that I made all of these. I have one still going that is lovely with light greens and clear ABx2 crystals. The crystals have opal-like fire that is very exciting, but what to put with those bright orange 'flames' that doesn't look like Halloween?

*I have do often noticed that when I make up something for a certain event, or in this case, many fish examples for Sue, people will not pick the newest made items, but pick out the older ones. I have wondered if the new pieces have not yet 'jelled' or combined themselves into a unified unit - a state that only comes when the beads have had time to get acquainted.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I finished that last of the silver silver-lined 8s last night just as I finished the sections for the long branches. At the moment they feel done. The effect, I think, is like looking at a fountain - which is what was in my head when I started all of this. I do appreciate the places where the darkness of the branch starts and stops the illusion of water.
At the top I had started to add a white strip to the larger base branch and for some reason, stopped working on it and never finished zipping it up. Now today I see that I do not want the bright, light silver on that part. If I do anything beady up there, to work in the hanging device, it will beads with a matt finish and greenish blues in a medium shade.
Sue called to say she wanted to pick up some of the embellished fish for her class next week. I realized that many of my best ones were gone, so I used up the last bit of my energy to start a new fish in white and reds.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Still stitching strip/tubes. Have two more to do. If you are bored reading about this, imagine how it feels for me. Each tube takes about 9 hours to make.

Did get a lovely note from Jeanne telling me of the experiences of my donation to the "Off the Wall" dinner; it went early and the person getting it immediately put it on and wore it with a smile. It was a relief to find out it wasn't the last piece to be chosen. The nightmare of nightmares of donated works.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I took the afternoon off - my whole summer vacation - to read the book, Bijoux by Meredith Rich. It is the story of a jewelry designer in New York who studies in Pfortzheim and Rastatt, Germany where both Werner and I have had shows. That felt good to read!
The parts about how she establishes stores for her designs was also interesting as that is what I would be doing if I were 40 years younger. As it is, I am thinking of making a web site of my beaded works.
I nixed the stuff on Etsy. That was not working for me and I had no great ideas on what to do that would attract attention out of that mass of offerings.
In the evening I did go back to stitching up strips. Sometimes I look at the work hanging there in the corner of the living room and wonder why I am doing this. It has no earthly purpose and probably will never sell, and yet it excites me and fills me with determination to finish it even when the phases I am now in are rather boring.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

After blogging - putting into actual words - my unease about how the smaller branches looked attached to the main stem, I realized how much that process was bothering me. So when I had shut down the computer and was off to work on the piece, the first thing I did was to cut the strings and remove the five smaller branch parts that I had covered first. I laid them on the desk and just then the phone rang.
While I sat and listened to a local author's woes in hoisting her book up to a website so others could download it, I was idly staring at the work across the room with about 1/2 of my brain.
To my amazement, like a special effect in a movie, I saw the yellow, green and blue beads rise up and move to the top of the main branch that was still hanging. At first I though I was getting the message that the piece really did need those colors at the top, as I had first visualized it. Maybe I had been too hasty in removing them because the piece really needed them. Then, like a slap on the side of the head, I realized that the day before I had found out how easy it was to slip the tubes of beads over the branches.
I barely got the phone hung up before I was slipping the bead tubes off the little branches and finding similar sized branches to fit them on. Because of the smaller twigs on the little branches these tubes best fit on the smaller branches at the top of the main one. As I stepped back I could see that the colors were all arching out over the top just the way I had wanted them to look. Perfect! No more of those awkward places of branch over branch. The arrangement of the twigs had the natural look of having grown there just like that.
I still have four of the long straight lower limbs to cover but I am quiet knowing that I can do what I want to do.