Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lots to do getting ready for the show on Saturday but before  I forget I wanted to show how great the spiny back came out on the lizard. He still does not look like a dinosaur but at least he is a more interesting lizard.
Last night as I finished the legs of the crab I would think, three more to do, only 2 and 1/2 more. two done and one to go and at the same time another part of me was wonder what the next crab would look like in reds and yellow. Some days I wonder who lives in my mind? A glutton for punishment?

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just got the news that the Visiting Snowman made finalist in the Fire Mountain Seed Bead Contest! The letter with the good news went astray and returned to Fire Mountain so only today did Susan Phelps send an email. Just yesterday I gave up hearing from them and let Barbara carry it off for the big bead show that opens this Saturday.
Yeah, I made the poster.
And yeah, I am back to beading crab legs.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Adding the golden under color really added a lot to this poor animal. The thin thigh area let the leg make that amazing twist. It was 12:30 last night when I got this far and was too sleepy to make a decision about whether to do the dinosaur back. I can make it off-animal and try it on before sewing it down. Maybe I should make a whole Halloween 'costume' for it. . . At this point it seems finished and I could live with it as it is. Since I still have the greens on my tray I may go back to the crab to see if my new idea for the tops of the claws work.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I wish I liked this little lizard better. If this was 1992 and I was boss of the division creating these animals I would be sending the designer back to Google images for a better look at lizard legs. However even though  head is poorly made it engages me. I created the bug-eyes by using the biggest fringe beads I had and then making peyote stitched rims around them. Still the head structure does not flow around the eye sockets properly.  I have the head and tail and one leg beaded on the underside which makes that color easier to take. If I get a quiet afternoon (no phone calls) I have hopes of finishing him. Last night I did consider making a zig-zag spine as dinosaurs have. Maybe if I made him into a dinosaur, something no one has actually seen, he will be more believable.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Last night I was so tired from too much typing that I felt I simply could not go on with the crab. I had three more of the legs done but that done was done so poorly I found myself reading instead of beading. However beading relaxes and restores me while often reading lets me lie down but whips up my mind. So I reached blindly (the sun had set and I was too lazy to turn on another light) into the box of new animals and my hand found this lizard. It was copyrighted in 1993 but used in the 1996 collection. I had not seen it before so was glad to start a new animal and even more happy to find it so straight forward to bead. I found the colors on the original to be totally weird so that gave me incentive to change them with beads. I had a lovely evening working on this and was so clear and rested that this morning I saw in my mind how to get the tops of the crab's legs done. I really hate to 'give up' on an animal, so I was relieved to find out that I only need a change to open me up to the solution. Next time I will not waste time with calling myself "Quitter," and a few other choice names.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You can count Claude the Crab's legs but there is one more! Last night I did one of the back legs (I think the one with the yellow spot) and it looked so bad after it was finished that I celebrated the midnight hour by taking it out. That means I have done three legs and still have eight to go. Math was never my best subject.
I had gotten a box of my latest auction wins on Ebay ($15.01 for 50 animals) and was very tempted several times to toss this crabby crab aside and dig into the many new animals. Chocolate the Moose and the raccoon bear call to me as surely as chocolate can call me from the fridge.
I reclaimed my cedar chest (Werner had used it to store kindling) and have put all my animals in it. How good to find them smelling of cedar instead of the various homes where the packages had been stored.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Bad cookie? Halloween nightmare? Trick or treater's bad joke?
It is Claude the Crab! I did his tummy in white pearls and his back in glass chips and am now working on the front pincher. This, at least, shows how I tame the many protrusions of these animals as I work on each leg. I use tape on the parts before they are beaded but never use tape on the glass beads as it can leave them sticky. I cannot believe I have started another 10-legged animal. These have to be done on the animal as they are very ingeniously formed. The scanned color of the greenish beads is closer to my imagination than the beads looked to be in artificial light last night.
Before the first rain of the season on Sunday I was able to photograph the seahorse. I love how this came out. The glass chips on wing and head seem so perfect and the eye, a small pressed glass star, seems inspired. Even while touching up the photo, I found this pink cloud happening. So why when this animal can manifest so delightfully do I have to also, in the same week, made such a dud as this below?

I thought I was doing a repeat of the seahorse and this fish came out so weird. Every time I have tried to do these fish, my color sense just swims away. At this point I am debating whether to cut off all the offending colors or to just do another fish or even, give up trying to bead a wiggly fish.
A Monday morning and I am in serious catch-up mode. Saturday I did make it to the Beads N' Beyond meeting, mostly because I wanted to be there for Barbara Fast and to get in on her project of making bead garlands for the Holiday Bead Extravaganza at CHAC. Since I was able to pick up the work "On the Edge of a Cloud" from Gualala Arts Center and strip off the beads, I had lots to work with. However someone had purchased these silverish stars so when the meeting was over and no one else had taken or used them, I globbed on to them. Saturday evening was given over to stringing beads. At the meeting I had done one garland and wondered why it took so long to do. Was talking slowing me down that much? At home I figured it out! When I string beads like this I use one of those big-eyed 4 inch needles. It is so much easier to scoop up a bead on the flexible needle than to pick up each bead, turning it while searching for the hole and trying to noodle the fish line through it. I wished, afterwards, that I had photographed the garlands others were making. Theirs were colorful far beyond just green and red. Will try to remember to photograph the display so you can see them all.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The official portrait of the Lavender Rabbit, complete with wired whiskers and flowers. I loved working on him and the colors fit as if someone else planned them!
And now the seahorse stands alone. I want to put the glass chips on the 'wing' and perhaps on the bottom to give him a weighted center for more stability. By nightfall the body was covered and I was beginning to spiral a row around the tail. I had cleaned up some in the studio and was actually too tired to bead later.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

So you can see the remake. I took out the fuzzy white stuff on the face and redid it with just rows. This allowed me to remake the nose and mouth to make them more prominent. I still find that white area too big so am tempted to take out the edges to make it smaller. At the last moment I decided to do the tummy in pink - an attempt to add importance to the nose. This morning I had the idea of putting a bunch of roses in its hands. The original had the hands sewn together which would cover up some of the expanse of that belly but if there are roses, they would get in the way of the face. Maybe just roses in the left hand? I see I am not completely done with this as I thought I was last night. Also those whiskers need some wire in them to cure the droop.
It was handy to photograph the seahorse in a box to get him to stand up. The glass chips, as mane, make him top-heavy at this point. You can almost see the tiny nostrils I added. I am still thinking of making him part dragon.
These are the acrylic boxes I got to  hold  all the finished animals. I have them in three sizes.I feel they are well worth the cost to keep the animals dust-free and to give them a cared-for feeling.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

There is going to be a time of snipped threads and a shower of beads in my life. I am not happy with that white fuzzy area on the face and even the 'hand' looks less than acceptable. I stopped working on the tummy last night so I could think about how to fill it. I am leaning toward using the lavender beads with the picot stitch so it looks like a fuzzy tummy. I had thought that because the pellets are in the po and lower belly I could use bead rows but it got so hard to maneuver the needle inside the arms and legs that I reached my limits of patience. Now that I see the photo, I see other things I want to change. It is a good practice to photograph the work since it puts some distance between me and what I have done. Hopefully it allows me to be more critical.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Lavender Rabbit is hopping right along. The tiny tail makes a perfect brace to make it sit securely. Somehow the head never feels 'rabbit-like' enough. It will catch my eye and I will think 'donkey.' Perhaps the political scene is too much with me.
Am finally getting up my courage and steam to do the seahorse. I do not think it will be easy or wise to make a dragon out of it. I looked at the dragons the Ty Company made and they were so scary I lost my courage. I am eager to use the clear 11s to let the colors shine through and to put the glass chips on as scales to make a funky sea horse. We will see what the animal wants to be.
Dare I admit it? I won another auction at eBay yesterday so a new box of 50 more are on their way. . .

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How is this for a rest for your eyes from looking at too many of my animals? Sus, David Susalla, the Director of Gualala Arts Center, was part of a delegation that took a trip to Russia to celebrate the founding of Fort Ross (just down the coast from us). In a museum in Russia he snapped these photos of beadwork which his wife Harmony forwarded to me with the comment that my work, too, should be in a museum, Is there a museum in USA for beaded works? I found it interesting that all three pieces used the same diamond pattern with hex-cut beads. . .
Decided to answer my own question and found the Washington DC Bead Museum closed in 2008. The Glendale AZ Bead Museum closed recently (beautiful building) and gave their collection to the San Diego's  Mingei International Collection. It looks as if they only collect "historical" beads - nothing contemporary.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

With the last bit of sunshine I finished the squid. The legs/tentacles turned out better than I had hoped. It was certainly a lot easier to do the tubes in my lap and then add them. I had some crystal roundels that worked well as toes. or at least closures. I have not yet found a neat way to make the Russian spiral come to points (what I would have preferred). I was pleased that those tiny glass daggers fell into my hands as I was searching for eyes and they make great eyelashes. This beast does not have much else going for it but the eyes. I am also pleased at how the colors of the original come through the transparent beads. I think I was moving so fast last night I failed to really look at and enjoy all this little creature taught me.Thank goodness that edge of pink beads under the skirt show up.

In looking through my latest auction win from Ebay I found this "Lavender Bunny." I had not see this before so immediately wanted to try it out. The weird pinkish color is a different fabric than the Beanie Babies usually use. It is smooth and has a tiny print in it. I love tea-stained dolls but this fake simply does not do it for me. The paws and cheeks are done with the normal Beanie Baby fabric. It is a lot easier to sew through than the smooth fabric. However I must say the head is marvelous and is sewed on crooked so the animal has a lively sense. I was relieved to see that in ordering all those pounds of Preciosa beads there was this kind in lavender. The beads are each different in the amount of color in them. It looks like the kettle of color was not stirred enough. It gives a super mottled look that is perfect for this bunny. I had to try out some tan pearls to see how they work and so far so good.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

While having four heart attacks and three strokes on the same day (so it feels) I also worked a little  on the legs. To the left you can see how I beaded around the leg but this was very time consuming and clumsy so I got the idea of making the Russian spiral (as a tube) and then slipping it up the leg. Works like a charm. Adds a nice new texture. It is so much easier to bead these tiny parts off the animal and then slide them on and sew into place. I remembered the trick from the time I was beading tree branches

Friday, October 5, 2012

Are you as glad to see me back to doing the animals as I am? Whew! What a relief. I had started on this squid several weeks ago and then ran out of the clear AB 11s. It was well worth the wait. See how nicely the color comes through the beading on the body? Perfect! You will probably have to put up with some whining when I get to the one jillion legs (not all are showing on this photo). I tried using the scanner but the squid squashed looked like nothing at all so I plopped it on the corner of my letter rack. It seems to be smiling for the picture! This is certainly a picture of my face today!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Still stars but with a lot more color! I had forgotten how I love doing these. The colors, and their combinations, feed something very deep within me. I must have some need to share them. In my baby book my Mother wrote that when I was four I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. My answer: To show the whole world the rainbow in my heart. When I make these I feel I am coming closest to that goal.
Vicki did deliver the order and even the three pounds of white beads does not move me to stop these. Will do a few more before I go back to the animals. I got an Etsy order for a lizard bracelet. Will check on the weekend to see if it is still at CHAC. If not, I will be making a lizard bracelet before I get back on track.
PS From the photo you can see at what point I glue the backs on the pins. Everything up to this stage is done on a single piece of Ultra-suede. When I get to the points of the stars I glue the cardboard stiffening and the back piece of Ultra-suede with the pin back set inside. True one cannot get the needle up and down through the work any more but the grade of Ultra-suede I use (upholstery) is thick enough and the glue is not placed in the points so I can slide the needle along the cardboard.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

This is probably not the last photo of stars you will have to look at for a few weeks but I will give your eyes a rest. When I got these closed and with crystals and hanger added I cleared the mess away to starte on this necklace which I had been putting off finishing since last winter. It is always hard for me to completely stop a series. I often leave the last one unfinished with the hope that I will return with new and better ideas later.
It felt so good to be doing one of these again. There is so much potential in them. I really enjoy watching things come to my hands asking to be in the necklace. Perhaps the fact that The Dolphin in Gualala sold two of them last month will get me back to doing them.

With that done far too quickly, I started on the star pins. I have about ten of these cut out and ready to go. It could be the new Preciosa beads, and their gorgeous colors will keep me going on these.

However Vicki called that the new order is in and she will bring it when she and Tom bring the new display case she and I bought for CHAC. We will store it here until the gallery is ready for it.