Tuesday, November 30, 2010

There is no photo for the beading I did yesterday. I finally forced myself to take up the tray and try a beading project I thought I knew - the pendragon cuff.
The first two attempts I had to cut up and recycle. At first I thought the weird spaces were due to uneven tension, (since I am out of practice), but after the second attempt I finally looked at the instructions and the bracelets I had made last spring. Now on my tray is the third attempt trying the rounds next to the square beads instead of plopping the hexes on the squares. I hesitate to show you as even this improvement may not be enough to save my sanity! Hopefully tomorrow will produce something I can show you!
Just got the image of our tree from Sharon Nickoderm. It was her idea and now she has made this great photo. She had seen the basic fake bonsai tree for sale somewhere and ordered it. She did not like the pot it was in so she made this one out of clay herself. She then 'planted' the tree in glue, pebbles, and resin to make it stay upright. It was her idea to paint the trunk gold and spray the branches with snow and glitter. I agreed with her that it otherwise it was too dark, especially since we could figure out a good way to add lights without a welter of wires. She then added the 20 1/8th ounce fishing lures that I embellished along with one of my lizards there in the roots.
All the decorated trees offered at the Festival of Trees sold but ours was the first one to reach its 'buy-now' price and to go to its new home by noon on Friday. It was interesting that all the other trees were offered on stands down the middle of the room, but the bonsai tree had to stand alone in the entry way. All the praise we got was well worth the effort. The tree sold for $200 which was a donation to Gualala Arts.
Thanks, Sharon, it was a delight working with you!

Monday, November 29, 2010

These were made by Judy Carr. The nutcrackers are her own design and I loved them! Also I think she did a great job on the angels! Her wire work is so much neater than mine. We did a trade so evidently she found two items from me that she liked.
Yesterday I unloaded the car and put away the stuff from the Festival of Trees. I had planned to take the trees on to Point Arena, but they were so messy it would have meant taking most of the items on them off and rehanging them. It was easier just to take them off and put them into the trays. I did not want to get to PA and find that I should have brought a table. Later Ling-Yen called wondering where I was. She had the table for me. It is still an option to put something on the trees and take them in next weekend. Depends on how much work I have to do this week and if I can get over the voice in my head saying the trees were not a good way to display jewelry.
In the afternoon, instead of beading, I went through all the old magazines marking projects I wanted to try out. Then I went through my beads removing all the silver-lined ones. They tarnish in our salty air and I have decided to clear my palette of them. In the process I found the square beads I had been looking for to do the Pendragon Cuff. In addition, in the odd ends box I found a bracelet with more square beads. So I had the pleasure of recycling that. The capricorn in me really enjoys picking through the beads and getting them into new vials.
In the evening when I sat down to bead, my hand (as if guided by a chocolate impulse) went to the netbook and I played Scabble and watched "Wives and Daughters" instead of beading. This could be serious. . .

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Back again yet today because I forgot to include a shot of Judy's table. I had photographed it the day before and missed it when I did the previous upload. She got the wall and that adds a lot of quiet to the display.

Here are Bruce Jones and his wife looking at Marianne's pendents. Showing them in their boxes certainly made it easy to see them.

Here is a better photo of Vicki still working with the same couple! Here you can see her bead trays - also a good way of showing the work. Because of the changes in the tables, she invited me to put one of my trees on her space.

This is Susan Shaddick, a new member of the group. We really loved her idea of putting her pieces on stones. Laughingly we imagined next year's booth looking like a beach as we all would imitate her! I love her big hammered metal earrings that look like shovels. That is what I want!
This is Debbe's display of her lampwork on necklaces. Next to her, on the wooden rounds, is Lorenzo's earrings. He is very adept with wire and if someone did not buy the C-clef pair of earrings, I will today.
Here is Vicki showing her necklace to someone. Notice how she covered the neck stand displays with fabric to add to the Christmas theme. I heard her taking an order for one of her Tudor bracelets. She had a whole tray full but this woman wanted one special one just to fit her wrist.

I caught Lorenzo admiring my Christmas scene. He was so cute and so hard-working. He actually took over the selling of Marianne's diachronic glass pendants because she was not there.
About noon Sus came to tell me that the bonsai tree Sharon and I made had already reached it's sell-price - $200. in the silent auction. That started a flurry of activity of people wanting fish and in 1/2 hour five of them swam away

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Was able to get back to The Dolphin to photograph the Big Bead Bird and see that already several items have sold! I guess it was good Carrie made me do a paper inventory since my photo inventory was already out-of-date.
Officially the gift shop opened on Tuesday but the team decorating the room who did a fantastic job this year were still adding touches when I was there.

Here is the set up in the Burnett Gallery at Gualala Arts. I left before Sus got the lights set up so the photo looks a bit dreary. However, in real life the room was glowing. Nearly everyone had brought their work by the time I got there. I was glad I got the extra space for the pedestal for the Christmas scene. Even before I left people were coming into the gallery asking to see it, saying others were saying they had to see it, etc. Very nice!

Well everything is out of the studio, in the right places, looking as good as I can make them and I am very thankful. Much to be thankful for today. I hope you can add me to your list!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Yesterday Ling-Yen had the gallery open in the afternoon in Point Arena so I went in thinking I would only get the net and the lights up, but the work went really well and I finished at 5:02. It was such a joy to see the empty gallery filling up with the colors and shapes of things my friends and neighbors had made. Having people there again, felt so good and hopeful. Again babies and dogs added their excitement. A marvelous afternoon. The other good thing is the fact that I do not have to go back today so I get an extra day in this too-short week.
Ling-Yen is saving me a trip by picking up the light bulb one of my lamps needed.
This is not a shot of the full display. Only about half. Need to go back in the daytime for a better photo.
On Saturday we had our bead meeting and I thought the meeting would all be about the Festival of Trees, but we are a much richer and diverse group than that. Vicki delivered the orders from Fire Mountain. It is so much fun when we have and take the time to look over each person's shipment. We get to see things we never thought of ordering. That's all we need; more ideas of what to buy!
Rhoda actually worked on a necklace during the hubbub and picked up the bags and boxes of beads and findings we all donated to her 4-H group.
Sharon Nickodem had brought the bonsai tree she made with my embellished fish. I am sorry I did not get a photo of it but it was sitting on a table with a bunch of weird stuff behind it. I will try to get a better one when it is on actual display.
The Show N' Tell table was crowded with all the new things we had been making. Lorenzo is moving beyond earrings into bracelets and showed us his first efforts. Rhoda brought not only her newest (she is making her own glazed beads with a marvelous gold on them - you can see your face in them) but also a marvelous necklace made in the sixties that I wish I had photographed.
While Vicki and Judy discussed how to manage the money end of the booth, Debbe, Lorenzo and I went to the gallery and set up the tables, covered them with green tableclothes (thanks Gualala Arts!) and added pedestals on the corners. It worked great because back in the meeting they had been trying to assign table space according to a drawing. By seeing the space in the real it was so much easier to find our places.
I had planned to booth-sit the first session so I could take my trees and be there to save a trip to Gualala, but now I am thinking I will go on Wednesday to set up my stuff. Maybe I can get some photos for you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I finished up all the UFOs, got the last of the things ready for the Christmas craft shows, cleaned up all the trays and then had nothing to do. Even worse, there was nothing I wanted to do. All those lovely beads and there was nothing that interested me enough to start a new project! I truly wondered if I had outgrown beading or if having so much unsold work simply acted as a dam to stop me from adding to the sins of my disasters. I even wondered if my recent sleepless nights meant I was skidding into a holidays depression a bit early.
Not wanting to do that I forced myself to find a little project. Then I remembered these marvelous wire combs I had found in Japan. So I made these. Not very exciting and just too sweet and ho-hum. I thought of embellishing them, but felt those could get too heavy.
I want to make something big! Beads that fill a room! or at least a small box. I did order an acrylic lock box so I can have my own box to display the beaded Christmas scene at the Festival of Trees. Another $70 into my hopeless addiction to beads.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This project has given me a great deal of pleasure! I started out trying to make the single beads according to the instructions. The originals used 15s at the 'joints' and no matter how hard I tried the various directions the beads needed to go, I could not get the five tiny beads to look good, and hide enough thread in the middle.
So I got the idea of using an #8 at the junction. This made starting the bead a totally different way. But in the end, it was a much easier method.

I tied the thread to an 8, strung a cystal and another 8, passed back through the crystal to the original 8. Passing through that I added a crystal and another 8 and passed back through the crystal to the original #8 bead. I repeated this process until there were 5 'ribs sticking out from the original #8. Each of the ends of the ribs had an 8. First I tucked the tail of my thread through one of the 'ribs' so it dangled at the outer edge. Then I passed through a cystal to get the needle at the outside edge of the ribs and through one of the #8s. Stringing on 1 cyrstal, the needle passed through the next 8, continuing this until all five ribs were joined. Pulling this tight and securing it with a knot made a complete unit.
From one of the #8s I repeated the process of stringing a crystal and a #8 and then passing back through the crystal to the original #8. This is repeated until again there are five ribs. These are then connected with crystals between them. Continue this process, drawing up the units tightly at each complition. At the end there is a unit with three connected ribs. Instead of adding ribs, one makes the connection back to the rib unit on the other side of the hole and the bead is complete.
I have surely just reinvented the wheel. The best part is how much I enjoyed doing it!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I seem to be on a binge of finishing up. That is a good thing because so often such UFOs are forever abandoned in my world.
The top piece is a cabochon I prepared and took to Japan because B said she wanted to learn how to do one. We were so busy there we never got around to beading and the Tennessee river stone came back home with me. All the tubes of pink beads were out on the trays so it was a 'natural' that I should find a way to finish this. I was pleased with my ability to stop the crystal spikes when I did. I was not pleased with the 'errors' in my peyote stitches.
The next one I had made while learning to do 'sparkly wheels' and used up one of the raviolis I had gotten for the hair barrettes I was doing months ago. I had cut up the bracelet for which it was like a watch without hands, for more bicones, and had the it left over. Was fiddling with the brooch findings, after doing the piece below, and inspired by that work, was able to attach and use bicones to anchor it. Again those pink beads found their way into this piece.
This reminds me that members of the group should remember to bring your extras and unwanted beads to the meeting on November 20 for Rhoda's 4-H group. Think 10 year olds and pink.
The bottom piece was an idea for using up the these marvelous green leaves I got from Debbe. The piece is much more exciting in the real than in this photograph. I will be adding it to the big velvet bird for The Dolphin.
Spent some time last night trying to learn how to make an icosahedron bead (BEADWORK Dec 2008/Jan 2009) but that did not go well. Will give it one more try with my daytime brain or maybe I will go out to the studio and actually get the rice pearls they recommend! Following instructions. . . how hard it is. (sigh)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It is not often that it takes me a year to make a necklace, but this one has been in the tray for at least that long. First of all I had to find the really fine invisible cord filament (at Legendary Beads in Santa Rosa I could touch it and see that it was fine enough) where I also got some crimp tubes. When I tried them they seemed too big so I ordered some from Fire Mountain and was able to start the piece.

Then I found out this necklace takes a lot of crimp tubes so I quickly ran out. I thought I knew which ones I had ordered previously, but when the package came, it contained the larger crimps.

Because I order through our bead group, that meant waiting another month for another order. Finally I got the right size, but again had not ordered enough Another month, another order using the inventory numbers from Fire Mountain. When I got all my ducks in a row I was no longer interested in the necklace. How often has that happened?

However, by doing the earrings the other day I was inspired to get this out to finish it. The work on the earrings had taught me the value of putting only a single bead between crimps and the necklace was done with combinations of pearls and crystals. So in a burst of confidence, I cup off the hanging part. Then I discovered that the invisible cord material stretches and now the necklace was too long. So I began all over and finally got this piece out of my UFOs. I like it so much I am thinking of keeping it - something I rarely do. Now I need a new dress and surely new shoes, and I can just see the purse it needs. . .
In Japan, in one of the myriad shops we visited that day, I saw a grand display of at least 75 different purse closures. I was so overwhelmed by the huge selection that I got none of them but today I feel I could walk in that store and find the perfect one.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Just could not give up and put away all the pink beads, so I tried this idea also for the Circle of Hope Project from Fire Mountain. Now I am thinking this could be an interesting (to me) necklace with many small beads strung together. Dread thinking of having to fill out the form two more times, but I suspect I will be having a moment when nothing else interests me and I do it.

Am cleaning up all the trays and putting things away.

Started sticking stuff on the big velvet bird to take to The Dolphin and still have some spots to fill. I suspect that my immediate future projects will be ones that will fill in the gaps on the hips. Still might add the amulet bags to the hips (like human saddle-bags).

About a year ago I had an idea / image of not buying any more beads but using up what I have on hand. I had a vision of not buying another bead until I sewed the last two together!

Anyhow I was trying to finish the necklace that matches the Peterson catalog earrings when I discovered I was running out of the clear crystal bicones. I solved the problem by yanking a bracelet off the bird and cutting off the crystals. I had never liked how that one bracelet had turned out and now it no longer bothers me.

I had been thinking that after the Christmas sales are over I would recycle the left-overs. But now I think I will only do any recycling when I have a need for the beads in the project.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Just as I get back to beading and able to post something here, our cable internet connection went out for two days, so I am doing catch up here.
These earrings, $49. a pair in the Peterson catalog, were the first thing that sparked my interest. I was surprised that I had to search for my clip-on magnifiers and found them in a tray with the unfinished white flower I had started to make for the hat to take to Japan. (The hat did not go with me - instead I used a less fashionable one that collapses and I did use it)
Anyhow! it felt so great to be beading again. In two days I had whizzed through all of these. Think I can add them to the crystal bearing Christmas tree for the Festival of Trees. Tomorrow night is a meeting of The Janes* and I am planning what I can wear that will go with my earrings from this batch.
*At the opening of Heidi Endamen's art opening, six of us discovered our names were Jane. They put our picture in the paper and tomorrow night we are having a potluck. Will lose an evening of beading but hope to be able to strut my stuff instead.
I got an annoucement from Susan at Fire Mountain about their Circle of Hope project to raise money for breast cancer research. I sent it along to the rest of the bead group and already Debbe has responded that she was sending off beadSSS (plural).
I made a list of the kinds of beads that I could make and came up with 6 or 7. However the longer I thought about my feelings for people and families who have faced this or any other cancer, I felt the rainbows that come from these prisms best illustrated my idea of hope. So I embellished the biggest prism crystal ball I had. It has pink roses on it, but in the scan the one ivory one shows up.
I just downloaded the entry form - ten pages of questions! I am glad to do that work too for my bead, but I wonder how many more I will make.

With the trees done and decorated for the Festival of Trees, I found I had enough pieces left over to take to The Dolphin, the artists' co-op Gualala Arts maintains in downtown Gualala (behind the post office). I got out the big bead bird I had made a couple of years ago and started decorating him. I think this will make an interesting display, but I have been wrong about this before.
Usually the things taken to The Dolphin are arranged, always artfully, by the staff, but for the Christmas bash each is on his own. With over 20 artists in one tiny room it takes some doing to get oneself noticed.
Almost every month I get a check for items sold at the The Dolphin. By the way, this is the only store I leave things on consignment. The place is so well run and Liz does such a good job of keeping books that I can depend on them to track and pay for every piece. This is the only place I have found in over 40 years that makes consignment work properly. Hats off to the volunteer staff! and thanks!
Last year they sold one of the other large stuffed birds, so maybe if the jewelry doesn't go the bird will find a new home.
I opened his throat and added a stick of wood to make him more stable. Also this year I sewed his wings to his toes and that too helps balance him. It is surprising how much all that jewelry weighs.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Finally, and joyfully, back to working with beads. Did this as my set up for the Festival of Trees at Gualala Arts on the days after Thanksgiving. The display probably does not scream 'buy me; I am a jewel' as loud as velvet busts and leather neck pieces would, but I should get points for sticking to the theme of decorated trees. We each get 1/2 of a table so I figure this gets the most stuff out there in the minimum of space. Also I solved the problem of getting the wares up to eye level. We will see how it goes.
I know how hectic this event can get for the sales people in the booths so I tried to make their job easier by using only items that cost $15. If Jane made it; the price is $15. Due to this decision, I have decided to take the higher priced items to the Dolphin and am now 'decorating' the big velvet bird with things for that outlet.