Friday, November 30, 2012

So the Bird Bear is done. You can almost see the tiny blue bird insignia on his chest. What you cannot see is the better way I did the butt. He sits up right. The Ronald McDonald bear does not. I am thinking of redoing it. Ah if only we all could get a repair butt job!
Thanks to the visit from Sue on Sunday and her suggestion, I am starting the flamingo. I cannot believe I am exposing myself to more of this terrible pink color! After seeing this photo I am thinking that the transparent pink beads are not really strong enough to compete. At this point it looks like a flamingo disease!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Absolutely no beads were used or harmed in this project. Thirty-three members of the AHAforum wanted to make an anthology of their work and we did it! The book did cut into my beading time on a few occasions so I am especially delighted to have this done. Since this is my brag-spot blogspot I can say out loud how marvelous I find the cover. That is the work of my hands. About 15 years ago I was on a roll with this kind of painting. When the guy who was supposed to do the cover pancaked on me (well he did offer a design with three big sperm on the cover and refused to remove them) I dug into the old files and found this unused painting. I loved finding the whimsical characters drawn in among the muck.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The new wings arrived so I gave the evening to the angels. Made a whole tray full of these until I ran out of stars. Maybe I should back up and explain. Last summer when Bill Elmore came to me asking if I would bead limpets so he could glue them to beach rocks. His plan was to do this so kids, and parents, would find these little treasures and have the surprise and fun we used have when we found a penny on the sidewalk. I got the idea of making these angels to be tossed overboard into the sea. When I found out much plastic junk is already floating out there, I changed the plan to plant these in open places on land. Sus at Gualala Arts Center did a whole bagful for summer school and Art in the Redwoods. Recently I sent some to Caran in La Jolla. She was so delighted, and eager to place them with the help of her girl friends. Then she got the idea of making her own gift in a little box. I think we could call this the World Crackerjack Box Project. We are treating our everyday environments like the Crackerjack boxes with the little prize. The plastic boxes are about 1 x 2 inches and just deep enough to hold a teardrop pearl angel.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I am slowly getting rid of that terrible pink! It took a couple of tries before I found the best purple for the pants. One that looked perfect in the tube was too gray next to the yellow and another kind of beads proved too big. I really do like the Preciosa beads. This color gives the feeling of tweed which I find very good. With the rows of beads it seems like tweed corduroy.
Yesterday I revamped my Etsy site. I took down all the jewelry and posted as many of the animals as I could. Have more to do. I also realized that I have not done big photos for many of the latest ones. I tried to photograph them but the sun comes in at such a slant I have about 15 minutes of good light. As Vicki pointed out, it is good to post a new page or two each day, to catch people watching the new items. However, I wanted the page to feel Christmas-like with all the animals and it does.
I had sent some of the guardian angel project boxes to Caran and she was inspired to do some of her own. That excites me very much! She seemed pleased with my angels so I am eager to see what she does.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I decided there was too much pink and yellow on this fellow so I am giving him red rubber boots. I had two rows of yellow done before I changed my mind, but it looks like a cuff and will be helpful in separating the the colors. Here it looks almost golden on the boot but it is the same yellow as on the face. I enjoy seeing colors shift as they are paired up with other colors.
I am pleased with his face even though his smile is more human than bear-like. I do love those tiny glass stars for eyes. I think I ordered more. Today Vicki is busy with the Festival of Trees but surely some time this month I will get my order. This guy will take several more days. Am thinking of using 8s on the scarf so it looks like those knobby knitted ones.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

After doing the long rows across the back of the Garcia bear, the arm went so fast that I was as done  as I could be (I need to see the guitar to see how to finish the elbow) and I had not yet thought of what to do next. I have no idea why I picked this one. He is called Birdie Bear and on the chest was an ugly cartoon bird on a bit of plastic that was sewed down. On the clown bear I worked around it but here it seemed just too ugly to remain. So into the bag it went with the tush and ear tag. I am thinking of either beading in a bird on the spot or attaching a small bird made of glass or stone. I do not understand the significance of the muffler but it is sewn in securely so I will keep it. I doubt my pink beads will repeat the hotness of this pink. We will see.
On a whim, I weighed an unbeaded bear and the Garcia bear. Unbeaded a bear weighed 5 ounces. Beads add exactly another five ounces.

Friday, November 23, 2012

After I shut down most of the computer stuff I realized that the photo I posted yesterday did not really tell the story. It looked so much like an earlier photo. So I took another one. Here you can see the backside. Late in the afternoon I got tired of doing butt work and started on the arm. It is not done so it is not worth a new photo today. Am 'after a holiday' tired and I have already spent so much time today on the anthology. Need to bead to get myself back into rows of color.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Just a bit on the butt and the right arm to do on the Garcia bear. I have found that on the regular sized beanie babies, the plush is too thick and has a tendency to fluff out between the rows. On each row I have to run the needle down the channel to push it down under the beads. Bummer. That means I will not being another of these 10-inch beasts that take forever. I am pleased with the hint of mouth in a smile that I got here. Those bears have way too much chin which makes one miss the mouth even more.
Ah, yes! it is Thanksgiving and time for me to get off the computer to celebrate. One of the things I am thankful for is the discovery of beading the teenie beanie babies. They have given me so many hours of pleasure. Thanks to you, too, for following the journey. May all who read this be blessed!

Monday, November 19, 2012

For waiting for photos you get two today. That sounds like an equation in algebra.  I wanted to record how close the colors on the backside are to the beads. I am using Preciosa's copper-lined clear and the slight pinkish, brownish hue is exactly right. Also that right arm has almost no color changes in it at all. Hm. . . I may have to invent a tye-dye pattern. Because the left arm was in such a dark green, I decided to ignore reality and go with this lovely olive green that I love. On the top of each bead is deep gold glow spot. I have been mixing Preciosa 11s with other size 11 from Dynamite and the smaller Preciosa bead is much better in the way the beads nestle together. The bigger beads crowd and pop up no matter how carefully I place the rows.

Having done the back of the head, it now holds up properly and the bear looks a lot more intelligent. You can barely see the Jerry Garcia hair-do. That happened by accident. When I got to the top of the head, I had started beading at the neck, there was a gap where the rows did not meet. It was so hard to get the needle in and out between the ears I was at my wit's end. Then I turned to my old technique of the three-bead picot and while searching for a color, I remembered the photos of Garcia in his later years when his hair had gone white.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This photo is already several days behind how the bear actually looks but it is the best I have. I'm pressing hard to get the book on the life of AHA Forum done and off my desk. It seems that when I finish chasing its errors at the computer there is no time for photos. However I do have time to bead! The legs are done on the front side, that other ear is now pink and orange and I am delighted with the bead colors I have found for the backside.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Yep, I made the editorial page of Bead & Button! My project is the magazine's Christmas present to its readers. This is quite an honor so I am boasting today! You can go to it on the web.  I see they say it has been up since October 22. I guess Bead & Button does its Christmas shopping early!
This news eclipses the progress on the Garcia bear which is going forward - slowly as this is a full-sized animal. The good news about that is  that it is easier to work under the chin and ears on this size rather than the smaller Happy Meals creatures.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Vicki got stars in her crown today. After staffing the gallery all day (and making several sales) she took the time to gather up all tof my stuff that had accumulated in the back room and delivered it to me. She even gave me compliments on the cheese I had brought to the opening. Thank goodness Jody had bought too many packages of the cheese so I was able to share some with Vicki. Having her here allowed me to give her the ornaments I had made for the tree to be donated by the bead group which means I do not have to go to the bead meeting and hobble around in front of friends. She was also kind enough to offer to sell my beaded animals along with her things which saves me the huge job of setting up at Festival of Trees. I felt so relieved and elated to get all these delivery jobs taken care of, and the package for Fire Mountain with the snowman done, that I finished up the gold star I was working on and, with great jubulation! started beading on Sus's Garcia bear.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

I hope the judges at Fire Mountain see this as "interesting' and not as an example of bad beading. At least the piece looks less raggedy with the holes filled. Ran out of room with the word 'snow man' and ended up with the phonic version. The little pile of snow by the snowman circle is a marker so they get the snow man turned correctly. On his base are two little snow piles that 'key in' to position it absolutely. Repaired the torn off mitten (what ever did the folks at the gallery do to this?) and got the wand to keep its crystal on straight (more glue and a needled down the center) and now need to pack it all up so it goes out on Monday. It has to be in Oregon by Nov. 20th.
Last night I returned to making stars. Vicki wrote that they may want some for the tree for the Festival of Trees. The animals call to me and at any moment there are going to be flying beads as I toss the star-making tray into the air and liberate myself.
Have gotten a couple e-mails from persons doing them from the instructions in Bead & Button. So far I think the instructions are correct. Not everyone can read!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

There is no picture today. Yesterday I finished up so many little jobs. Got the stars ready to take to the gallery, finished up the Christmas tree earrings and sent them off to Bethel AK, organized beads for the bead meeting, and finally started to prepare the Visiting Snowman to send to Fire Mountain.
If I were a true crafts person I would make a wooden base with spindle supports for the snowman and the tree but I am not. I felt that no matter how securely I sewed them to the snowy base, they would part company during transport or during their handling in the FM photo studio. I realized I had to find someway so a stranger could easily reassemble the work if I sent it in three separate parts. Originally I had left holes in the snow section so I could either make or hire someone to make a supporting base. Yesterday as I was sewing the holes shut I got the idea of beading in the word 'tree' and 'snowman' so it would be clear where they go. Looks very nice! I don't feel so bad about not having other skills.
I even got an idea how to make a 'snowdrift' with part at the base of the snowman and part on the snow surface so the snowman will have to be positioned perfectly for it to fit together. Today the whole thing is wrapped in a plastic bag so I can handle it without destroying the little animals already sewed down and looks like nothing at all.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

How is this for being appropriate? Bring on the clowns. It is election day! and I finished this last night. All the time I worked on it I hated the eyes so at the end of the job I took some time to find the best ones. Somehow a red-eyed clown felt like he was a drunk. I really wanted to use some small glass stars in gold but could not find them anywhere. These were also used on the seahorse and I think I have no more. Time to make up a new order.
At the Holiday Bead Extravaganza Lena bought five of my stars but needed to have one a different size so now I am making stars. When I get a special order I lose all my self-confidence. I am unable to made just the one that was ordered, but need to make several in different sizes and bead colors to make sure the customer gets exactly what she wants.
Today I found out that of the swags / tree chains mine was the first to go. Now Vicki wants to make a tree of swags for the Festival of Trees. Good thing I had so many crystal beads left over from the "Edge of the Cloud" piece.
Saturday when they called from the gallery asking for more Christmas tree earrings I wondered why I had so many tucked away. That was not like me but I was happy to be able to supply them. Today I found out why I had stashed those tree earrings. I had them listed on Etsy and today one pair sold. I hope the customer will give me the weekend to either get a new pair made or find a pair yet unsold in the gallery.
Sunday, when I went in to pick up the snowman piece, to get it ready to send to Fire Mountain, a friend came in and started shopping. We were having so much fun trying necklaces on her, making choices, running back and forth, it was only when I got home did I realize my left knee was not enjoying the day as much as I was. Hobbling around with a cane now. Happy to sit and bead instead of taking out the garbage.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Here is Barbara Fast inviting  you in to see the show "Holiday Bead Extravaganza." She is even holding out a glass of wine for you. Behind her you can see the new case we got to display our jewely in. One probablem - my necklaces are so thick, so full of stuff that they can barely get the glass doors to open and shut. One necklace had to be displayed elsewhere.
Here is just one side of the show.You can see the Christmas tree that has my stars on it. Under it are all my beaded animals. The beaded swags on the tree were made by members of our bead group. We are donating all the profits from them to the local Theater. The event was well attended and I had several sales. In fact in the morning before the show officially opened Brenda called to say all my beaded Christmas earrings had sold and did I have more and could I bring them? While we talked a woman bought and paid for a pair that was still in my house. I got to meet her in the evening and she had brought a friend who also bought a pair. Even though there were stars and star pins, as well as all the suncatchers on the tree, people missed the net and asked where it was.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Here is the Ronald McDonald clown bear that I am practicing on. Only as I finished the head did I see his nose is not on straight after I had covered with red beads! That ugly rubber stripe down his tummy is, I think, supposed to be a neck tie. Will make a real beaded one and try to get that ugly stuff covered with yellow beads. The clown picture on his chest is vinyl and ugly so I am thinking of beading a frame around it. This is from the 2005 series and the natural world had passed away.
Stopped by the gallery yesterday where Barbara and Vicki were making great progress. However when I got out the camera there were mild screams of "We aren't ready yet." so I put it away and got no work in progress photos for you.
Does the lack of a mouth on these Beanie Babies bother you? Ah, you have other things to worry about.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Done! He looks better than I thought he would. I wish I did not want to do one in yellows and wine-reds! I found out today that Vicki bought the other one at CHAC. She was there installing the bead show and decided she had better buy it before the show opens. Knowing an animal is 'gone' makes me want to do it again and here I was avoiding the urge to do the new colors. I hope this project, below, keeps me off the idea of doing a crab again.

I wanted to start on this bear, the Garcia bear, made in honor of Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. It is advertised as being tie-dye.  David Susalla asked me to bead it (to add to its present worth of $19. on Ebay)and I just did not feel up to starting in on some one's loved pet so I am doing a small one  to learn the best way to go. I wanted to photograph the bear in his original colors and then there was this attack on the photo shoot set-up. Tomorrow I will show you the practice bear.