Thursday, May 31, 2012

So here is Freckles's official portrait. Those beads really make him stiff! I was surprised when he would balance on his tail long enough for a snap. I did not like white whiskers on him, but looking at this I am thinking that maybe yellow would work. Hm. . . It would not be easy to cut him up again, but still those black whiskers bother me. Also I wonder why the gold beads look so pinkish here. . . I was awfully close with the macro lens.

Am wondering whether to put these animals all in CHAC or if I should put some in Etsy. I put the chicken up there and got 185 views the first day. Hard to run that many people through Point Arena in one day.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I stopped long enough while there was still sunshine to get this snap of Freckles the Leopard before I finished the tummy and the ears last night. Today we have a marvelous sun without fog clouds so I hope I can get the official portrait done in the afternoon. Already last night I started on the frog. I am going back to 11s. It took me a week to do this in 15s and with 11s I can get an animal done in five days. Also I do not have enough good colors in 15s. Maybe when the order from FM comes I will be happy with what I have and will go back to 15s. I must say that as I work with these teeny beanie babies I have great admiration for the designers of these little animals. See how perfectly the body slopes to the back feet? It feels as if it is ready to leap. I feel that adding beads adds to the perfection. Now the animal stands and feels solid. True it is not a cuddly toy, but there are enough left in the world for the person who wants that. As far as I know, I am the only one beading beanie babies. Maybe that will change and others can add their rainbows!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I have learned a lot by doing "Freckles the Leopard." One is that 15s are so much better than size 11 beads. You probably cannot see it, but here I have combined dark brown 11s with two shades of 15 (as on the tail). This looks so much better. Already sent off an order for more 15s and more beanie babies so I can redo the cat. Also on this tail I beaded the length instead of circling around as I did on the cat. I did not like the exposed holes revealed on the edges. I am eager to redo the chicken also, but will not get the new shipment and have time to make it by June 5th so I posted the photo of this one in the Etsy contest.
Have enjoyed (too much) being back on Ebay and am now climbing back on the Ebay Verboten wagon.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Still darting between clouds of fog I did manage to get this photo of the chicken. In a moment of sheer inspiration, I ran out to gather the grass. I was amazed how much life it added to the photo. Today the sun is really shining so I plan to see if I can make this photo any better.

I won an auction at Ebay so more animals are already on their way.
I am almost finished doing another entry for Fire Mountain. Again adding all the info from the catalog is driving me nuts. I can only do that mindless work so long. I have until Friday to get the entry in by email so I am hoping this cold / cough misery lets up before.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I started on the leopard last night and feel that perhaps I am showing this to you too soon. I am using 15s so it goes even slower but I feel this is the best size for these smaller animals. I am fascinated how the pattern changes. When you look at it up close one sees different colored beads laid next to each other. Looking from a distance the pattern will jump into being and then disappear if your eyes linger on any spot. I hope I can stick with this one doing the same three colors over and over.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The first snapshot of the chicken taken before the sun even gets to the photo set-up. I was gratified that he sits fairly securely. That tail as balance works better than I am sure the designers ever imagined. I had originally planned to stiffen the legs with wire but I doubt I could have ever gotten him to stand on his own two fat duck-like feet. So much for that idea.

Speaking of ideas. Had such a grand idea for November show at GAC -Memento Mori. "A pillar of Tears." Now need to see if I can show in a place without carpeting. There will be weeping and therefore water. Never got to sleep until after 3 a.m. but am still jazzed by the concept.

After finishing the chicken, but before digging out a new beanie baby, I decided to finish up one of the embroidered necklaces. I had been waiting on my FM order for crystals but now that I have it, I found everything I needed in my brass stash. I am comforting me with the thought that some times it takes a while for a piece to figure out what it wants to be and the kindest action I can take is to be patient.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Okay, so the chicken is shy when it gets squashed into the scanner. At least you can see now all the colors and how they are working. I am pleased that when the wings are beaded they stand up more. Will have to finish beading the back end of the body to see if that tail will stand up. Have thought of adding a fall of fringe beading to make the tail look more realistic and to give it support so it doesn't lean to the left or right. By beading the legs vertically they already seem to get a lot more support. Had always envisioned the chicken straddling an egg to give it enough stability to stand. When I told the bead group about my idea to enter the chicken into the "Mystery" Challenge at Etsy, Judy said, "Which came first? the chicken or the egg?" which is a more of a mystery than "Why did the Chicken Cross the Road? which is actually a riddle. Are riddles mysteries? How much more will I get beaded today? I have a sore throat and feel a cold coming on. . .

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Members meeting for CHAC for a potluck dinner. That's the bunch as of today. Only one missing was the cat. They threw her out for bringing a mouse to the potluck. . .

Rhoda had a birthday so we celebrated at the Beads N' Beyond meeting. Here she is trying on her new (what else?) bracelet. Lots of good food. Judy brought deviled eggs and salami/cheese picks and even Sus brought us strawberries to add to brownies, dips and sun tea. We always have such a great time sharing even when the meeting has no focus. Someone always learns something new.

Friday, May 18, 2012

I picked the rooster as my next project. I was pleased how the comb came out and very happy with the delicate pink of the whites for the body. I felt a pure white would be too harsh for the toy and I liked how the original also used pink to relate to the red, orange and yellow. I left the tape on you can see how I hold down the arms (wings) and legs to keep the thread from catching on protrusions. I am listening to an audio book about two Indian guys (Zeke & Ned) living in Arkansas and they refer to the "amber eye of a rooster." So I am thinking what to use for an eye that is not black as it is here.

Between puffs of afternoon fog I did get the photos of the cat done yesterday. Somehow the images do not look cat-like to me, but what do I want from a beanie baby and a bunch of beads? In defence of doing these, I can say that I am learning a lot about bead embroidery and the soft bodies make it very easy to squeeze up the path for the needle. Even the thickness of the seams is not too much to get the needle through. Also the small size of the animal lets me do one about every 5 days which is a nice attention span for a beader!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Wanted to show you the new and impoved eyeballs on the crab. Don't you love his beady little eyes and those big rusty teeth? Official portraits are now done right. Yesterday the macro button was somehow not pushed hard enough.
Am still working on the cat. I am tempted not to bead the belly as the whole cat stands so well now with the legs and tail done. Will do the head today. Have one ear done and one to go. . .

Monday, May 14, 2012

One day later and the cat in the scanner looks even worse! I am happy with the butterscotch color even these beads are slightly smaller than the root beer. I love how the beads, following the curve of the cut in the fabric create shapes. At one point I thought I should sew the beads on in curves to show cat body as a shaped thing, but the lines of beads do it beautifully. I am getting a great deal of pleasure embroidering these animals.
I talked to B. yesterday and she said the eyes of the crab were not defined enough (she actually came to this site while we talked) so I redid them and was really pleased how some glass flower forms made eyelids. Ha! I just downloaded all the photos I took yesterday between breaks in clouds of fog and found out the macro setting was off and all the photos were fog fuzzy! At least the sun today is bright and steady. Will try again. Could already see in the blurry images that the eyes were much better. At least that worked well.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

This photo could look like I am into torturing animals, but actually I am making him better. This is the cat from the beanie babies done for McDonald's. Already, with only one side done, the cat stands up better and looks more life-like. As you can see from the face, the original colors were black and butterscotch. I am using root beer AB and here it does look like black.
Am off to prepare entries for the Fire Mountain Seed Bead Contest. I really hate making a materials list but discovered yesterday that using their web site to locate and list the various beads is a lot easier than flipping through the catalog and then writing out the info. I change my mind about three times a day on what to send? what to send? what to send?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Got Claude the Crab done last night and was able to photograph him in the last rays of the setting sun. You can see that last bit of sunlight in the top photo. As I finished taking the snapshots I saw how the fairy angel was still hanging above it so snapped that image, too. While I was working on the piece I would have many moments of thinking This is not working;this is not worth doing, but now that it is done I am quite happy with it. I started it Monday afternoon as soon as I got done looking at the many treasures. I figure I have 58 hours in it. Too bad I got started on this so late or I could have entered it in the current Etsy Challenge. The theme was "Nautical" and I took that as meaning 'about boats' and knew there was no way I was going to bead a boat! Evidently others were equally uninspired by the theme as there were not many entries and those that were did not inspire me to vote. Many beaders expanded the theme to mean anything associated with the sea and Claude (clawed) would have been right at home.

Already last night I started to bead the Beanie Baby cat. I saw when I cut the paper label off that it was copyrighted in 1993.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The miniature Beanie Babies, made for McDonald's in 1996, arrived and were better than I had even anticipated. Each was factory sealed and thus brand new with no funny smells or suggestive spots.
Here is Claude the Crab (with clauws). I started on him on Monday and by last night I had only gotten this far. I think I picked the hardest one to do - he has ten legs! What you cannot see is the plastic bag I tape him into with only one leg exposed at a time. That tames the time I need to untangle my thread from him. There are 12 more of the various animals, plus four bears, so I am feeling very rich at the moment.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Did this sketch of the gallery from my photo that is happily now on the CHAC website. Showed it to Barbara and she liked it so today when Vistaprint put an ad for a $5 t-shirt on my Japanese translation site I was prepared. Naturally there was $5 shipping but still that makes a custom t-shirt for $10. Was shocked how wobbly my drawing hand was. It has been so many years since I have tried to do this kind of drawing. Was pleased, though, that my feeling for line was still intact!

Worked on a couple of these beaded bails for various unused pendents with holes. I got a very fine "chain" by using 15s with Delica hex cuts. Have ordered more of the crystal marquis cuts so am making bails ahead of getting the order on the 19th. Need some more / new things for the summer at CHAC and the booth they will be having at the Gualala Arts May Fair.
I broke my homemade rule of not going on Ebay and went looking for Beanie Babies. I found a bunch of new, still sealed in packaging, McDonald's beanie babies for $7 and was the only bidder. So I got them all, with postage, for less than $.75 each. Am rather biding my time waiting on them to do more embroidered animals.
I did not enter the Etsy challenge as the theme was nautical and I had no good ideas in that direction - or maybe I was tired of losing?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sus called yesterday to say they would keep my cloud piece up for the May Show. I was so thrilled I found the energy to want to add the threads. So I began a marathon unreeling of thread. Even though I had 7000 yards of white thread I was afraid the mass was too little to show up at the distance and with the size of the piece. So today, on the way there, I stopped off to buy up all the poly batting the local fabric shop had. In the lower photo you can one bag there and Sue and Scott on their way up with two more. I think I could add even more but for now, the cloud has a smoother bottom than before. Sue, gem that she is, got more and better lighting for me also. The piece looks better than it did, but it still is not as good as the image I had in my head.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Was able to make and finish this one because accidentally (but there are no accidents!) last week I had tried out this combination of ivory Delicas and transparent pale pink 8s in a Russian spiral so that was all done. The lacing was even the perfect length. All I had to do was put on a clasp. Thank goodness I still had two of these copper S-hooks. Again the bail was a joy and I was able to do it better than the white one I made for myself. Am thinking of redoing it. I would like to do more of these so I got out my catalog and started my order for May already.