Saturday, March 30, 2013

I wish I was happier with this little frog. Between the cylinder beads and the sequins, I think I missed the goal here. It feels as if I beaded all his friendliness off of him.
 Started last night to redo the lizard. At least the beads are round although they seem very large next to few 15s that stuck around the nose. The bright green color seems more joyous.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Love the belly on this frog! However, only late last night, when I had a lot more beads on him, did I realize why I was unhappy with them. The color is lovely and I love the frosted look but these beads are cylinder shaped. They don't nestle together nearly as well as the round or more doughnut-shaped beads (like the Precosia beads from Czechoslovakia). I was tempted to cut them all off but instead I stilled my desire to start over by cutting off the beads from the little lizard that came in the mail. With that animal I realized how dark the 15s are. I love using the 15s but I have to have better, brighter colors.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I think of this one as my Liberace bear. I felt he needed fingers but could not figure out how to get them on his stubby arms so I added the feathers. I still feel he needs a hat or something on his head. Thus he sits on my table awaiting inspiration.
In my eagerness to start on the new little creatures that came in the mail, I put aside the just-started frog to begin on the lizard. After several hours of beading I became dissatisfied with the blahness of what I was doing. So I laid it aside and worked on the blahness of the frog. The question today is: will I have to cut off the several hours of beading and start over or can I rescue the lizard?

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Beading brings the most amazing results. Yesterday a small box came in the mail. It was wrapped, as you can see, simply in tablet paper. Inside were these two stuffed animals. They are marvelously made and designed. I cannot wait to start beading them. I have no idea of who thought of me kindly and sent these to me. My Secret Admirer is at Box 282 in Gualala, so at least I know where to send the photos of the finished pieces. This is so exciting. What a lovely way to chase away boredom. I will, I am sure, keep trying to figure out who would have sent these and where did the person get them. Thank you whoever you are for this random act of kindness.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The turtle got his shell with a bit of glitz. I was so pleased with this that I decided to do a complete beanie baby in silver sequins. I worked on it for several hours before deciding that the sequins were too big for the teenie beanie baby bear. I cut them all off and started over beading it with 11s. I really do not like beading the bears (they are soooo boring) but since I had started on this one I felt I had promised him a new life with beads so I had to do it. On my table is one of the new frogs from the 2009 set along with a baby duck. Both have no use for sequins but do go with the season.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Just got the news from Fire Mountain Gems that this entry, "Visiting Snowman" was awarded the Silver Medal (second place) for Home Decor and Dolls in the 2012 Seed Bead Contest. You can see the news on the official Fire Mountain contest site. To be included among so many great beaded pieces is truly an honor. Thanks to Fire Mountain for all the work of sponsoring this contest! I am over the moon and back to the beading tray! 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The ladybug in all her black spots glory. I had intended them to be silver sequins but these square black beads fit so well I stomped on my sequin-madness and let her be herself. Do you think anyone will notice I cut off two of her legs? I hate doing those fiddly little things so let myself do an act of violence on a ladybug.
Then I started on the turtle just so I could put gold sequins on his back. I was not happy with the jade green AB 8s on his underside but I had nothing else in a large enough quantity to cover the whole side. However, here in the photo they do not look so bad. I am so often amazed how different the color of a bead will look in the evening and the next morning. I guess that is why they make those expensive lamps that have gotten such bad reviews on Amazon. I keep thinking of getting one and then the cost and the short life of the bulbs scares me off. This way dawn is its own surprise!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The bumble bee has his glitz in place! The wings are spread and he is ready to fly. I started the matching lady bug thinking I could add sequins as spots but they looked dumb so she is in typical female nature mode - the dowdy housewife syndrome. I am thinking of giving her long fingernails. I have to do something to entertain myself while doing all those tiny black legs.
Just looked at yesterday's photo and thought what a difference a day and a few sequins can make.

Monday, March 18, 2013

The bumble bee before the sequins. Here again I used 8s on the undersides and 10s on the top side so the covering of the bee went fairly fast. Those dinky legs took all afternoon. You might be relieved to know that when the sequins are sewed on the wings, they stand up and back in the proper position. Here it looks like a bee hunter out to grab his dinner.
It is now getting interesting to see how many animals I can put sequins on before people start gagging. I still consider the dachshund but the fabric is so tough it makes my hands ache and my fingers go numb with the pressure I need to get the needle through. I may have to relearn how to use a thimble! Or pick another animal.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Here is the snake with his tongue and belly done. Below he has become a silver snake.  I don't know of any with this coloring in the wild but I have a vivid imagination of the family snake in the story of Helen of Troy. She goes to a temple to pray to a spirit in snakes for her health. She spends the night on the floor in the company of the real snakes. One crawls over her and sticks its tongue in her ear. From this she acquires her ability to see into the future. When she arrives back home she finds a baby snake had hidden in the chariot. She makes a shrine for it and keeps it with her, even when she flees to Troy with Paris.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

There were moments when I thought I would get this done before the light faded for the day but a long telephone conversation put an end to that idea. So before the sunlight slide into the sea I got this photo of the butterfly. In a way it highlights the difference between the beaded wing and the original. Also it shows how much larger the beaded parts become. In the evening I was able to finish the butterfly. In order to not have to get out of my chair, I started on a snake that was lying on the table. I want to use the silver sequins on it. I started with a sparkly blue underbelly. Just looked up sequins and found this on Wikipedia: "Evidence exists that gold sequins were being used as decoration on clothing or paraphernalia in the Indus Valley as early as 2500BC, during the Kot Diji phase." Originally coins were used to spangle the light. Plastic money comes to us today as sequins. Now there is a thought to brighten your day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

This is the underside of the butterfly. Those are size 8 beads so they go down very fast (and are getting very heavy - this is going to be one lead-assed butterfly!) It is one of the biggest of the animals in the teenie beanie babies.
Here you can see the top side before I start adding the sequins. I will be glad to get rid of that pink and the blue. I am eager to see if changing bead colors - on the beads used to anchor the sequins, will give a feeling of the change of color in the pattern of butterfly wings. Today will answer that question, and probably a lot I have not yet asked!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The minnow! A silver fish done with the sequins. One fish - one day. These I could sell for $25 at that rate. I was fairly pleased with the outcome. I had no idea how much patterning the lines of sequins would impart to the fish, but they do blend in. I was able to cover the whole fish without having to stop and start a new row of the sequins - not a job I like to do. The liberated sequins, from the ends, are now floating about the room. I love seeing the sparkles on the carpeting. When I open the door to let the cat out, the wind blows in, picks up the loose sequins and decorates my room with flashing lights.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meet the snake! This is the year of the snake. I was very pleased with how the sequins worked out as snake scales! They go on so fast! I think I could sell this one for $25. My lack of sales at CHAC is pushing me to lower my prices. It is easier to do that when I can no longer recall exactly how many hours of beading went into a piece. The snake only took about 16. When I figure 1/3 of the price of an item is for gallery rent, boxing, and gallery staffing that means I am now making about $1 an hour. That is up considerably with the other animals. For them I figured I was making about 25 cents an hour. I am working on a fish now so I can try out the silver sequins.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Here is the promised head shot of the giraffe. In the close-up the spots turn back into beads of different colors. . .
This is not a great photo either. I need more energy to force the camera to see what I see in him. It is easier to start a new animal. The order from Paper Mart came and I got the sequins! Have to do a snake with sequin scales. Feel I must add the sequins last so I am doing the belly and then the tongue and only then - finally the fun stuff!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Probably this is the last time you can see the giraffe with a patch of original skin showing. If I could  have a good day of beading I could get him done today. I have little hope, however.Yesterday, in a fit a madness (desire to find some photographs) I cleaned out the big closet under the stairs. It was good to find so many things I forgot I had (the photos of Heidi and Bambi when they were 16 - 17 which are now framed over the table), pictures of the old studio in Dinuba, and the pictures of rocks in the desert for which I was looking. As result of a coming storm, and all that bending and lifting, I am aching mightily. I do not know how long I can sit and bead. I see this photo does not show off his charming ears and horns. Must remember to get those in his official protrait.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I know that if I am going to use 15s, and I do love the way they nestle together, I have no right to gripe when the work goes so slowly. I do not mind the time the 15s take, but when I look at my pages here on the blog and see so little progress I seriously wonder if I should take a photo and report so little progress.  I still have the ears to do - always hard fiddly work AND the horns! For some reason I decided to do the hooves after the legs were done so that means anchoring four threads - a job I dislike - to do each little hoof. In hind sight it would have been easier to do a couple rounds on the legs, drop back down to do the hoof and then continue up the leg. I love looking at the way the pattern goes over the body. I hope that beauty stays there when it is beaded.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The giraffe at sunset, just before the light goes a deep gold. By evening that leg was done and the other back leg had about that much beaded. I was so tired I was not doing good work so stopped, turned on the little computer and searched the web for the acrylic boxes I like so much. I found out that Paper Mart offered them at less than half the cost of Clear Bags so put in a big order this morning. Now I have to stay with the animals to fill up all those boxes. Truthfully I adore doing the animals so much the call of jewelry projects from the beading magazines falls on deaf ears. I figure I have 3 - 4 normal working days to finish this guy. Good that he keeps me entertained with the development of his spots.
I keep thinking that the Mello's are raising giraffes just outside of Point Arena and I feel I should go take a look at the real thing but getting in and out of a car makes me ache for hours afterward. So I continue in my make-believe world.