Sunday, September 30, 2012

I forgot to show you the official portraits of Wally, Gualala's walrus. The sun shone, the clouds were small and here he is. Seeing these photos makes me eager to leave the stars to God and get back to beading animals. Vicki did send in the Fire Mountain order early so by the middle of next week I I should have the beads I need for the next three animals - those clear AB clear 11 seed beads.
So the stars appear in the midnight of my beading tray. You can see the pink one and the gold Delicas not yet assembled - that is job for daylight and sunshine at that. I had always thought 8s were too big to use on the stars, but on a Saturday afternoon whim I decided to try them. Not bad. Not bad at all. And this change certainly gives the customer a bigger star for the time spent. Compare with the larger star in the middle that took 15 hours to make. I was so eager to see the star made with 8s that I started sewing the diamonds together as each was made (as you can see in the left-hand corner). When I got to the last diamond I was missing nine beads. So today I will cut that  experiment apart and do a star with different colors on each side.Who knows were this problem will lead me. . .

Friday, September 28, 2012

So back to the stars! When I had the white beads out in order to pick one for the walrus tusks, I just could not find any that 'fit' so I just sat and stared into space. An idea came to mind, kind of like those messages in the Magic 8 balls, the way they drift into view. With it came the memory of promising Barbara more stars for Christmas. So with a terrible inner noise I shifted gears and here we are. The first one took almost fifteen hours to get it this far and my heart sagged with the idea of doing stars for weeks. Then last night I started a smaller star and it went very fast. In addition, while checking out what I needed to order for new beads, I found the bag of very light silver lined pink/whites. Then the old quickening returned as I was eager to see what kind of a star those beads would make. It is is this drive, this eagerness, this desire to discover how something will or can or could look that fuels my beading. Without it the time with the needle is just work and drudgery.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I got this close to finishing the walrus when I turned into a pumpkin and could no longer keep my eyes open. The big question today is whether I should bead the tusks, too. Will probably make an attempt to see how it looks before I find him finished.
While cleaning up the studio I found this tucked in a basket with things to add to the sculpture heads. I am fairly sure it was the first amulet bag I ever made. I remember the beads were given to me by Sherrie Wilcox - the good woman who got me started on this bright and blingy path. After giving away so many of my pots on Sunday, I was very touched to find this bag had stuck to me and was still around.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Gualala Walrus

I love it when the beads give the beast enough stability to stand on its own two feet and back flippers. This is the first time I have done the complete back and all the legs in one continuous line. Usually I do a leg at a time and often only one side of it. This method gives great stability. I am glad I am not doing a pattern as it would be hard for me to hold that in my head as I go around and around the edges. Barbara stopped by to pick up the new jewelry for the net at CHAC and I showed her the Warrior Cat. She smiled but said very little. I hope she had other things on her mind and the silence was not an opinion. I was just glad she asked to see it. I slept an hour after her visit so did not get as much done on this as I had planned.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The latest beaded animal is the walrus. Calm, with none of my wildness, he seems to be just what I need right now. No colors to clash, no weird shapes to cause me to rip out stitches - this is sweet and simple. It will be interesting to see how long I can stay in this zone - before I start to imagine wildness or find the new ideas. For a walrus, the animal is very small. It fits in my hand like a baby. How to bead those tusks may exercise my inventiveness. I am thinking. . .

This is obviously not a beading project but the activity is related to the beads. Here are Mary and Al Rose gathering up my ceramics to make a new effort in finding new homes for the pieces. Some they will try to sell on the patio of the CHAC gallery, some they will use as planters for the plants they have raised and some as garden sculptures in their landscaping business. When I get the last of the dust and spiders cleaned up all the studio space can now go to the beads. Mary kept asking me if I was sad to see the pots go out of my life and I kept insisting I was glad to see them appreciated by someone new and was delighted to see how the pots inspired them to new ideas and projects. Then in the night I felt sad, but the feelings of thankfulness that I could make these things, that they were going to a good new home where there was more energy for them took the sharp edge off the sadness. My gratitude fills up the loss.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Warrior Cat in attack position, just to show you how I did the belly. What fails to show up is the tattoo! At least I know it is there. Finished it on the Equinox! And now to balance my own fears of who I am and what I do, I started on the walrus - all in shades of brown with no pattern. It is as if doing such an outlandish effort is like walking on a tightrope and then to rest, I have to sit flat on the ground to catch my breath. Lucky you! walrus photos in your future.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Surely you can tell, by these several photos, how eager I am to show you how the Warrior Cat is coming along. This work  feels so right. Before while beading I often felt pushed - that I needed to hurry to get the animal done - but now I feel contentment and ease with such a rightfulness that there is no need to hurry. I judge these feelings to be coming from the work and not from my daily emotional status, which is tired, nervous and weepy. The tattooing on the face came out more like metal face protection - as used on the old helmets of jousting armour. Am thinking of how to do the tummy and am considering the solid tattoos of Moari warriors.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I would have gotten the tail done last night but I was so tired by 10:30 that I had to quit. I have no idea what I am going to do next. I did download some photos of face tattoos, but do not want a white cat face showing through the lines. I am eager to repeat the circle on the hip by making a beanie cap (a beanie on a beanie baby - pun-pun) so I may do that and leave the face for further inspiration. I do know I want to put stars in the ears. Maybe I can do that and dispel this weepy mood I am in.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Warrior Cat

I am slowed down, not by the intricacies of the patterning but from a general exhaustion after finishing Lynx. Beading is so relaxing for me that often I do not even let go of the needle before I drop off to sleep. I wake up refreshed and in a new part of the story on the audiobook with my hand angled for the next stitch. I am practicing dying. This is how I want to go. . . work in my hand and I just nod off am gone. However, I want to stick around long enough to see how I am going to resolve this one. The white fabric is thicker than usual so it feels like flannel. That makes the beads press down into slight grooves that holds them in place.Am trying to feature how the face shall be done. Think I need to study some tribes that do face tattoo. I think this is turning into a warrior cat.

Monday, September 17, 2012

I do not know from where the idea for this piece came. I was attempting to make a bracelet B had left for me. It was done all in Preciosa beads so before I could get around to attempting it I had to order the beads because their look was so much the part of the bracelet. I really love the beads and thought the idea of B's bracelet was so easy I could duplicate it without trying. Not so! my work looked nothing like hers. Still I liked how the beads and their colors eased together. Almost without decision I gravitated to this white cat and wanted to do designs on it. Finally I am able to think of one of these beanie babies as a surface instead of the animal. For me, this seems a huge break-through.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Sorry the scan looks so horrible. I am racing to finish Lynx and can't take the time to do a photo. Anyhow, meet "Goochie" the octopus. I am going to regret picking this one when I get to those legs. Last night I used some transparent pink AB 11s on the underside of the skirt and they block out too much of the color so I will soon have to quit on this to wait for the order to come.
I know now the bug is a Pine Sawyer beetle. He is only active at night so last evening I put him in a large glass vase with a sponge full of water and now he is sleeping off all his attempts to get out. At this point I am waiting on someone to tell me what to do with him. I read on the Internet that they make good pets. . . Anyone that lonely? I prefer beanie babies!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

So not a beanie baby! Found this in my studio this morning lying on its back on the floor. It is about 2 1/2 inches long so I am very glad it is so tame /shocked/ resting. Finally found a good use for the too-small crystal boxes! have written to the local bug lady to find out its name and if anyone wants to give it a good home. Other wise I will release it. The many cobwebs on the antenna tell me it was deep under the shelves shopping for gourmet foods.
Did finish the coral fish just minutes before Barbara arrived yesterday afternoon. We got everything decided quickly without much debate. Our minds are good on one track. I was so tired afterward I started on the jellyfish (how I felt) and then discovered I am almost out of the beads I wanted to use. Am wondering if I need a new method of displaying the pound bags so I can see at a glance when I am low on a bead kind / color. Bending over to scrounge through basket is too much bending. I might get my waistline back!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My 'error' led me to make spots by sewing two 15s on top of every other one of the 11s. the beading was so tight it was hard to get the needle in. I broke three in one evening. You cannot see, from here, the little area on the tail that still needs its green spots, but I hope you can deduce how much better taming down the fin colors works. I am surprised how greenish the yellow and white pearl beads look among the pink ones on the gill fins. Worked a long time to get the right eye for this fish. Some were too bright and some not visible at all. My main purpose in beading this fish was to try out the colors for the dragon. Now I am less sure than ever. I am greatly tempted to try another color combination on another fish. However I must stop today to prepare jewelry items so Barbara Fast can decide what she wants, or doesn't want, to put in the Coast Highway Art Collective gallery in Point Arena.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

As you can see, from this unfinished side, why I thought the color for the fins was a good one.

However when I got all the chips on, it seemed to me (late last night) that the difference in hues between body and fins was too great. The fins are just too light. In the photo they do not seem quite so terrible. I will finish the other side and then make a decision. I thought of adding a line of green beads on top of and between each of the lines on the fins. I have never done that so this 'error' may be leading me into bright new terror-tory. I do love these peridot chips. You can see, behind the fin, the size and color I had before - much bigger, not at all clear, and a much more of a yellow green. I am again amazed how many beads or chips it takes. Just to get to this point I have used over two 36 inch strands of chips. No more timid purchasing!
I was greatly relieved to find out that the front fins and pellets in the belly were able to support the fish upright. I had visions of having to suspend it with crystal 'bubbles'. . .

Monday, September 10, 2012

I have not been showing you the progress on the butterfly because I kept feeling that to look its best it had to be suspended. So yesterday, after adding the face and antenna, I hung it before the backdrop. I do not know what others will think, but I was completely enchanted. I took gobs of photos - I had to as it kept spinning - and this morning I feel none of them capture the charm of the work. The colors seem way off in the photos (those beads underneath are surely not that green!) and the beads on the top of the wings I saw as 'blue' and the box called 'cobalt' look very purple here. I am pleased with the way the front wings turn upward on the tips. I had not counted on that. I was aware of having to curl the wing backward to get the needle where I wanted it.
I did start on a small fish named "Coral" because I had gotten the order from Fire Mountain and the peridot chips arrived. They are really tiny but that is exactly right for scales. I thought I would practice using them on this fish before using them on my last seahorse that I want to make into a dragon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

The butterfly's wings are "drying" and the colors are brightening as I bead. I love the velvety plush look of the blue. The matt finish adds to the impression. Am off to work on Lynx so I have time to bead this afternoon.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The turtle helped me finish it off last night. Thank goodness the stone chips made the shell hump up the way I had the finished piece in my mind. I was worried that the droop in the original shell would not pop into shape, but it did. I love the green beads here so I just ordered a pound of them. I finally figured out how to manage the favorites list on Fire Mountain. Maybe with my next order I will be unable to confuse Vicki so much.

I had been putting off starting on the butterfly because I knew this animal /bug was going to take some time. Having found out how great 8s work on the underside of the turtle, I think I can get the bling I want on the undersides of the butterfly the same way. This idea gave me the impetus to pick it up as the next project. I am pleased with how the transparent yellow look on top of that hot pink. What you cannot see here is the underside of the body which I was able to complete last night. The angle of this photo is all wrong. The butterfly needs to fly!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

At this point I ran out of day. I will not be running out of beads though. Vicki called to say she was sending in my order early so I should have them by Saturday. I am very happy with the Preciosa beads from Czechoslovakia. Have many more in the order which I am eager to get. They are smaller than 11s - closer to being 15s - maybe we could call them 13s? Anyhow they offer a good option for when 11s are too big and I am too impatient to sew down all those 15s. The colors are excellent but I do find several that are too small for the needle to pass through. However, by being smaller than 11s, I get more beads per ounce. When I started the green on the turtle I was worried that I would not have enough to finish it, but I still had 1/2 box left over.
Good news from Barbara Fast at CHAC. This is the first month that everyone in the co-op has sold something and gets a check. She only opened in March so I think this is fantastic success. This also shows how art events at Gualala and around spill over into Point Arena. I am hoping that soon our art events will create spill over back to them!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A marvelous sunny afternoon gave me lots of excellent photos. Here is the snake in all his striking beauty. You can even see his crystal baby rattle. The way the beads line up on the underside really give the feel of a snake belly. Eager to try a different color on the belly. I tried to cut the spikes on the tongue but the material would not hold its shape so I just beaded the ends. By using 15s I could get them this thin. If I did this again I would cut down the tongue so it is not so fat. Adding beads to the animals adds not only weight, but also size. In this case the size of the tongue with the beads is slightly off for the size of the snake's head. I was surprised, and pleased, that I could work on this animal/reptile, could handle it with complete ease and calm. There is also a spider in the collection but I think I could not be so open to touching it for hours. Besides those 8 long skinny legs would be a b* to bead.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Got the snake done and had sunshine enough for a photograph, but also company during the 30 minutes of optimum light! Sue came by to share fresh blackberries she had just picked and tales of her trip to Japan. She bought the very first animal I ever beaded - the big teddy bear that I had entered in Fire Mountain's contest (still no word!). Thanks Sue and I hope grandbaby Hannah will appreciate it and you and your sense of art taste!
Last night I had started on this, a rather rare 1993 tennie beanie baby. At about 10:30 as I was four rows from finishing the underside, I found out the other box of green iris 8s were actually blue. I searched high and low for more. I found the same color in 6s, though. Nothing to do but to cut off all those beads and nine hours of work. Started all over with these yellow ones. I guess that is what the turtle wanted - a brighter, lighter look underneath.
I am still tearing the house apart looking for the bag of fish lures. At the opening at CHAC on Saturday night Arna Means said she wanted one of my fish lures as a key chain. There was only one on a necklace so I decided to make a new one for her. I know that only a week or so ago, while looking for something else I found the bag of fish lures. I was surprised I had so many and thought, "I must put these where I can find them as I do not need to order more." And I put them in a very secure new place, not where they had been, and now I cannot find them. A candle and prayer to St. Anthony is on my afternoon agenda.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The snake is moving right along. There I wrote it. That line has been in my head all morning and it was so ridiculous that I could not get rid of it - like those tunes that bore into your mind. Germans call them "Ohrwurm" = ear worms! Maybe this little snake is an ear worm. That thought will make me squirm as I work on it.
Oh, I did find many excellent images of the tongues of snakes on Google and I will re cut this one to match. The remake is not done because my very best and sharpest scissors have disappeared. I have about 20 pairs of scissors in my work room alone so it is no wonder that they appear and disappear on a regular basis. As soon as I knew what had to be done to reshape the tongue, I got an image in my mind of a certain pair of scissors that are "always" in the thread cup. Yep. Now they are gone. If I could just get rid of those images of mutilated human tongues I also found online. Yipes!
The snake takes lot of chips. I am glad I started with these - the only ones of which I had about 2 cups. Can see a snake made with crystals. That would make Mr. Swarosky happy!
I got the stars back from the Bead N' Button photo team and will take them to the gallery tonight for the opening of Brenda and Jim's show. The sun is already shining so I should be able to photograph the bumble bee so it can go along also. Someday Barbara will start screaming, "Enough of those animals."