Tuesday, April 30, 2013

It is really amazing how often I finish an animal between 5 and 6 o'clock. It was true again yesterday with this new ladybug called "Maiden"  from the revised 2009 collection. I had done two other ladybugs but they were from the 1996 versions. One had 7 spots and the other, more rare one I think, had 12. I liked this one because the back had some shape in it. The red beads look better here than in real life. Because of all the black beads, I used a black thread and the beads which were the Precosia transparents left the black visible so the actual color of the bead is more of a purple and the covering on the bead, the AB finish, shines up more.

I started working on the Hamburger bear from the 2004 series - he looks more like a raccoon, but was unhappy with the size of the white beads in relation to the black beads so I set him aside late in the evening and started on this the Duck-billed Platypus. Needless to say I have plans for that fuchsia color!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Stellar (star!) Jay is done. Even though chips are bigger than beads they are harder to fasten down, keep the thread from tangling and filling in an area. So it takes about as long to do an animal in chips as in beads. This is the first one that I have done all the body in chips. It was worth the effort to get the marvelous lapis blue jay feathers.

When I brought the jay bird to the photo set-up I found these two doing this. Since Barbara was here on Friday and doing such a good job of encouraging me to enter the June show at Gualala Arts Center saying I should enter the crab I have been letting these two see if they can play together peaceably for a whole month. I am really pleased with Claude's eyes! Think the lobster needs a cornea transplant.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Not much done on the Stellar Jay. Got my eyes checked and the house cleaned and after two events back to back I was unfit for beading. I can show you how great the lapis lazuli looks on the wing. It is certainly better than that turquoise on the original. The eye on this side looks better than the other one. I may have to put bigger eyes to hold back those big chips.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

This is the photo of Claude that I wished was in the application. Here he feels more crab-like and less like a tarantula. He is really quite charming when you get to know him!

And already the Stellar jay bird is this far along. With him comes a story. On Sunday night Vicki called me to talk to me about my sales at CHAC. Yes they are down now that I am no longer doing jewelry and only the animals. So she gave me a pep talk about taking some time away from the animals to replenish the jewelry. She even offered books with ideas. I had just gone through my findings and beads looking for items to give to Rhoda to use for her summer camp classes and saw how much I had unused. From that I was already thinking of returning to jewelry  to make good use of what I had and then with Vicki's call I began to listen more closely to the urge. Monday afternoon I finished the crab and had the sunshine to photograph him. At that moment I could have easily made the switch to jewelry.
However, I turned my chair to search through the animals for a new one. All I really wanted to do was to get started on the next one. Here you see him. I had had the idea of using stone chips on him ever since I found in my stash a 'lost' bag of lapis lazuli. So there will be at least one more animal. Oh, I also found a new style ladybug so I suspect I will have to that next.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The photo of Claude the Crab below was that I sent in the application to LPCH. I really regretted not having the back legs done but I got tired and could not continue doing them. After a few days of thinking  I found a better way of starting the rows - on the outside seam of the leg. Last night I got them finished and here is how the animal looks today.

As I see it now I get the creeps! it feels like a tarantula crawling over my bead tray. I did not realize how lucky I was that I could not finish this in time to submit this photo. I still have to sew down the eyes completely, add some antennae. Maybe a shot straight in the face will minimize the spidery feel. In real life crabs do look like water spiders which could explain why I have never eaten crab or lobster.

Just for the record, here is a photo of the underside of the Manta Ray - also not the image of a cuddly creature.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

That's the manta ray - my least favorite beaded animal. What you cannot see is the white underneath. I should have taken the time to line up the rows of beads before photographing him but the sun was shining on my back and I was too hot and only wanted to shoot and run.
Yesterday I did get the folder off to LPCH! While looking for something else I happened to see two compressed folders at the bottom of my document's list. That had been my trouble. I did not know how to find and send a folder. Files yes but folders are in folders. Duh!
Computer was down all morning so I took a vacation and - yeah I beaded. I figured out how to do the little legs on the crab. By starting on the straight side at the outside I could get a line of beads laid down perfectly to start with. It looks very good so far but I have put in several hours and the first leg is still not finished.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I got this far with the crab - only 8 more legs to go - and was just too tired to hassle the beading of those tiny legs that are so tight against the stones. I decided to enter it in the LP Children's Hospital call to artists even in its unfinished state. Then this morning I finished up the packet - 2.5 hours of making files fit their specifications - and now the web site will not allow me to up the file. I can send a file but not a whole folder as they want.
Am frustrated and very crabby!
Last night I felt I had to bead even though I was not up to fighting with the crab so I started the manta ray which I thought I would never bead because it is so boring - all black. To my amazement it was just the amount of challenge I needed - 0!
Now looking at the photo I am very pleased with the trick with the ruby 8s and amber 11s. That blends so perfectly with the stones that it appears as an arch. Very good. Now if I could only show the folks at LPCH.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Am working on the front claws of the crab and I fear I have gotten too fancy. I looked at some real crabs, it is the season here, and I think I got sensory overload. I have so many ideas of how to do this leg/claw that I am tempted to try something else on the second one. I suppose they should be somewhat alike - always a problem for me.Now that I see the photograph, I do like the pattern at the top. The combination of a ruby red 8 with three small amber beads inside of it does make a closer approximation of the actual color and is closer to the red jasper than anything in my bead box.

Monday, April 15, 2013

All day Saturday, it seemed, I worked on the photos and application for the children's hospital call to artists. In the evening I finished my newest frog. I got the idea of suspending him so it would look as if he was leaping off the shell. By afternoon, when the sun reached my set up, the summer fog had already rolled in so there was no more photographing.

I did start a new crab. The other ones I did in greens but I looked at some for sale on the wharf in Point Arena and found they had more red. When I looked for stone chips I found these red jasper in my stash so I got this far yesterday. I had planned to send off my application with a photo of one of the green crabs, but am thinking I might be able to get this new one done in time to add to the assortment.It is due in a week.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

A very poor photograph but it proves to you I redid the standing frog and I think he looks a lot better without the sequins!

While I still have green beads rolling on all my trays I decided to do a new Smoochy frog with the copper-lined darker green beads. I think he will look a lot more froggie-like.
Finally we have sunny days again so I can take official portraits of the lobster and other water animals. Each day I am so tired by the time I stop working on the book, A Dictionary of Haiku, on the computer I just sit and stare numbly as the sun creeps into place and goes away without the click of a shutter.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I think this is the first time I have cut all the beads off an animal and started over completely. I must say I am enjoying the feelings of seeing how much better these beads work. I have forgotten the several day's work that were destroyed to get to this point. Most of my reason for redoing the frog is the idea of using him in the LPCH images and I have only one of this kind. He is from the 2009 collection and to buy the whole set again would cost $70 or a lot of searching on Ebay. It was easier, for me, to cut off the beads and have the pleasure of beading this little again.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A couple of progress photos of the lobster. This is how he looked at noon on Tuesday.

And then on Wednesday. Last night I closed up the open part, added eyes and marvelous feelers. I want to wait for sunshine to make an official portrait of the finished work. I want to send this as one of my images to the LPCH call to artists project. In fact I have lined up on the shelf all the possible animals I could offer them. Now, as soon as we get another sunny day, I can make photos of them with the Sony camera. Late last night, when I was too tired to start a new animal I cut off ALL the beads on the latest frog as you can see below. I did not like the cylinder beads nor the way the sequins sat on his chest. Today he is back to the original. Only with beads could there be so much forgiveness!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Got very little done on this lizard over the weekend. I was unhappy with the size of the feet. The larger beads add so much to the size of the beast. they seem much too big for the animal. So I am putting him aside for a bit.
The other day Rhoda sent me a call to artists for the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in Palo Alto that wanted small works of art for a coastal scene. At first, I thought "no way!" knowing how much work entering such a competition is, but the longer I thought about it, the more it seemed my beaded animals might fit in. So here I am chasing rainbows again. It did get me to unearth the teenie beanie baby lobsters that I had dumped in with animals I did not ever want to bead because they were so big! To my surprise I am really enjoying sewing red beads instead of green ones. I have several lobsters so I started one with 8s on the underside. Even they look good, but I will not have enough for even one animal. So even though yesterday was the last day to order I made up my list at Fire Mountain with the hope Vicki gets it in time.