Monday, December 31, 2012

Those duck wings look better in the photo than they did in the lamplight of last night. That is the effect I wanted. The nearly transparent glass chips allow the yellow of the original wing to show up as the color but the shape of the chip, outlined in AB glitz, adds depth and interest. What you are thinking are eyes are actually the eyebrows. Have not yet found the perfect bead for the beady eyes of a duck. Go figure! Need to check on duck faces. I thought the nose holes where in the beak. . .
Happy New Year to you!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Quack the baby duckling has the job of cheering me up and keeping my hands busy. Good luck with that one, Duck. The fabric on the tops of the wings has a longer nap than the rest of the creature. I may have to use larger beads. I am hoping they will look like feathers. Will try it out in the sunshine of a wintery afternoon.
Big news scoop. Smoochy the Frog sold on my Etsy site. I had no hopes of selling any of the entries there, so this is a lovely surprise and huge gratification. Am almost eager to get the holidays over so I can mail him out!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Finished Steg yesterday. I see now there was no way this could have been made into a dragon! He is actually kind of sweet and in real life looks as if he is leaping when he is balanced on his tail. I do like the variation in the direction of the rows on his back leg. I see I need to get to buying more glass chips. I used every last of these and was holding my breath the whole way. Just hobbled to the studio to see if I had any but found all of the chips too had gone to B. Get to go shopping! after I get all the rest of my web work done.
Started on Quack the baby duck in the evening. Was surprised at myself that I was able to so easily make changes in the design. He sits in the grass with eggs around him. I had had such a rotten day with new meds so I was thankful for any positive changes.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Steg looks like he is running away! I want to made something different on his back legs and not yet sure what it will be. Maybe have the rows go sideways? I am now thinking of something blue; maybe lapis chips on his spine ruffle? This is the only one of the animals beaded to Christmas music!
Got lots of praise from my kids for the animals I gave them for Christmas. A good warm, fuzzy feeling. My granddaughter, Caitlin, who is getting her Masters in Psychology told me how she was able to help one girl with nervous hands by teaching her to bead! What a lovely thought.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Meet Steg the stegosaurus. I started him yesterday afternoon, partly because I still have the dream of finding an animal I can make into a dragon. However I seem to lack the drive to try the wild stuff to make him into something other than what he is. Maybe it is Christmas coming, lots of pain because the new meds are not working, or just the need to relax and enjoy beading whatever is under my hand.
Vicki came by to discuss the new necklaces she is working on so I hoped it would inspire me to return to jewelry. No luck. I even gave her the Beadwork magazine Werner had gotten for me. Just sitting here looking at this, I got the idea of working on two of these at once. One I could do the calm stuff and on the other try out the dragon ideas. I need to start with the head as I form it into the elongated dragon face.  Hmmm. . .

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The lion is now a beaded lion. I still need to fix his groin problem and I feel he needs a red heart. Maybe as a necklace? Or maybe not. Last night as I was preparing to make the necklace, Bu the cat jumped up on my bead tray scattering stuff everywhere. I am most concerned because I still cannot find one of the needles. I do not wear shoes in the house and am very afraid of stepping on it. Hopefully it flew into the drawer or another tray.
Back to the lion. I love how the new paper for the photo set up works in the indirect light. Maybe by losing my usual set up under the window, which depends on direct sunlight, is a good thing and is showing me the way to get better photos.
Time to find a new animal to bead!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I wanted you to see the original color of the lion before I got it all covered with beads. Yesterday I tried to find an image of the original Boyds creation but there were none. I bought this one in Gualala in 1998.
You cannot see it here, but the ears and the body are of a slightly darker yellow, which I think will relieve the eye from too much of the other yellow. I see I do need to tear out and fix that goofy that occurred on the right groin. Interesting that the lion had this bead foul up exactly where it seems I have torn a muscle. Maybe if I redo his leg my own will be less painful! I will try anything at this point, including voo-doo dolls as lions.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Birdie Bear is in his new home with Caran. The dear lady refuses to wait for Christmas to open her packages so here she is first to report in that a bear has arrived in her life. I love how she gave him the company of her nephrew's drawing. I was thrilled to learn she preferred to keep him at work where she spends more of her waking hours. I wish the two of them a long and happy life together!
I am still working on the lion. He really soaks up the beads! I tried to find any of his cousins online and found nothing. Am beginning to wish I had photographed him officially before beginning.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Work goes on even when the photo set-up has gone Christmassy on me. With a bit of sun today I am trying to get an official portrait of the Garcia bear. Tomorrow we have appointments at the Doctor's so I am trusting that we will have energy afterwards to take the bear to Sus. Got to find help with my aches and pains. Beading on the lion and listening to Christmas carols keeps my mind off of them - until I try to stand up or walk.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Here is the lion I am working on now. His exaggerated nose reminds me of the Beanie Baby hound dog's muzzle. This beast has movable arms and legs so I need to keep moving the leg to make sure the beads are not stopping the movement. I cannot believe how happy I am when working on these stuffed animals. I was thinking back to my girlhood and remembered that my bed usually had twenty or so stuffed animals on it. I thought nothing of the work taking them off at night and replacing them in the morning. Even after I had children I still kept a stuffed animal on the bed. It was a huge, 3 foot long tiger we called Unga. I had gotten her cheap after Greggs in Lima had used her as decoration for Christmas and my Aunt Evelyn, who worked in the glove department, helped me buy her. Went online looking for Unga and here she is on ebay  Thanks ebay for keeping the memory alive!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The guitar arrived so I was able to finish the Garcia bear. I had forgotten the possibility of putting a strap on it to hold it in place. I thought I would have to sew down both arms to secure it. The little instrument was accurate right up to having tiny metal buttons for the strap. So I beaded one in purple and lavender beads which I then sewed in place. The ability of the strap to hold the guitar in the right position works for this miniature as well as the real thing. The guitar is a bit too big but since the bear is a caricature, I feel it works. Am very eager to give this to Sus to see what he thinks of it. The whole venture as many of the same feelings I had when I made toys for the kids for Christmas and then found it hard to wait to give them something I was very excited about. It is too cloudy today (another storm on its way in to us) to take an official photograph. Besides I took down the backdrop and put the Christmas tree in its place. In December the sun comes in at such an extreme slant there is not enough light for a whole photograph. I'd rather look at a tree than work waiting to be done.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

No picture, no work. It is so very rare that there is a day that I do not bead, unless really, really sick, that the event deserves a note in my bead blog. Yesterday after grabbing the news on Google, I somehow ended up in You Tube and found out they now have complete operas. Over two hours of  performances I never would have otherwise seen. It all came in without delays to load, beautifully streamed, images as sharp as any DVD. I was amazed. All for free. So I watched three and one-half versions of "La Traviata" in one day.
First was a French production with Christine Schaffer. Her voice is marvelous but she seemed unable to move any thing but her hands. She was not sexy from behavior in spite of a tiny perfect figure. French sets were awful and the costumes were worse.
Next was an English production from Covenant Gardens with Renee Fleming. She had the body and the movements (from the waist up - when will opera costumers realize that in those huge dresses half of the actress's body is unable to emote) of a courtesan, and the looks. The sets were gorgeous and opulent and set in the 1850s. This version alone closely followed the original score so it was easy to image that this the premier performance except the soprano was TB-thin.
After watching half of this again to show it to Werner, we dug out our DVD of the 2005 Festspiel version with Anna Netrebko and Roland Villezon and we could not stop looking until the last note of joy. This is still my favorite version. The voices, the set, the ideas, the theater - all were just right.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Here is Bronty wearing her green glass slippers and wanting to meet you! The attitude of this little animal was a delight to find each time I picked it up to work on it. After finishing this, I returned to making the Santa Claus with a fuzzy bead beard earrings and now have three or four pairs. I did take the lion from under my monitor and laid it on my bead tray so I can see what I will do next and to give me encouragement that fuzzy face Santa earrings are not my complete future.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Isn't she charming? I love how her head is turned in question. I made a new discovery with this animal. I did the belly first. It is my least favorite section so it usually gets done last. By doing it first I could maneuver the legs outward and flat as I work. None of that bending the needle to do armpits.
Did you notice her diamond necklace? I have no idea why I stopped working, went to the studio for those time Swarovski crystals to sew them down under her chin. Perhaps it was because a few days ago, while putting away the crystals I discovered a tube of these very tiny crystals and wondered how I would ever use them again.
I just went to the gallery to pick up one of my animals. I have decided to give them to my children as Christmas presents  - oh joy - a beaded gift from mom. . . I saw that only two of the Christmas earrings were left so I imagine that when I get Bronty here finished I should go back to making Santa Claus earrings.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Ah, the lion is done. Doesn't he look  ready to pounce? That hair is really wild. When I took the last of the plastic bags off of him it was ruinously flattened. Without thinking I grabbed up Bu's cat brush and whoosh! there was this. What I forgot to show you in the photo is his lion-hearted chest. As I was finishing up this very last section, I suddenly got the idea to add a red heart and it fit in perfectly. I think I had hearts on my mind as on Friday my oldest daughter, Heidi is having a heart ablation. She is a lot more calm about it all than I am.
When I finished and was searching for the next animal I kept feeling I had made this decision but could not remember what it was. So I started this brontosaurus with the hope I could make him into a dragon but his face is all wrong. He has such a sweet attitude that I do not think he has the spirit to be dragon material.
Now, at my computer in the light of day I see the lion from the Boyd's collection that has sat beside me for over 15 years. I wanted to give him a beaded life. Maybe next time! if I can survive the days of not having him by my monitor.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The way the lion leans it looks as if he is enjoying getting his back scratched with a needle. Normally I do not like to follow the spine with the bead rows (it is hard to maneuver the needle at the neck and often at the tail) but this guy's butt is so cute I felt I had no choice.  I will show you when I get it done. Never have I had to use the plastic bags so long but between catching the mane fur and the ears and the pads on the front feet, I am very thankful to have found this way of keeping them out of the way of the thread.
The shipment of my latest EBay win arrived so now I have 7 of the dinosaur animals which I am hoping to be able to make into dragons. I tried making a dragon with the seahorse but it had no legs. I thought of beading legs but gave up on that idea so I am glad to have these. There are also a couple of camels in the box. . . a beaded nativity set?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

That pink on the flamingo stopped me so much yesterday that I actually tore up and redid the butt on the Ronald McDonald clown before going back to it. I really hate cutting apart a finished character so I realized how much more I was hating that pink if it could bring me to this job.That gave me the courage to set the flamingo aside and let myself go with this lion. The great thing here, on a 2000 animal, is the fact that they used a smooth material for the body. That is so much easier to bead than it was fighting with the plush on the Garcia bear. However that long fuzzy mane was problematic until I resorted to the old plastic sandwich bag trick. I did not want to stick it down with tape for fear of pulling it out. I feel the bead color is better than the fabric color so I am happy to relax with this beast. A rainy day and the highway is closed because the Garcia River is flooded so I can sit by the fire and bead on a happy lion that gives me courage and happy thoughts.