Friday, May 31, 2013

Introducing you to the Mountain Beaver of Point Arena. I love his cheeky grin! What you cannot see is the great new brownish color of Precosia beads - it is like a better root beer. It is on the bottom of the left foot. Unfortunately it is too small to use on the brown part of the animal as that fabric has a higher nap so it needs the 8s. I can use the regular rootbeer there. Thank goodness the paws and feet have the lower napped fabric. I do not know if you can see the extra glow the golden amber beads have on that creme color when compared to the same beads on the dachshund's brown. The dog's coat is  made from a slightly lighter shade of brownish tan, but you can easily see the difference in bead color.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Finished the dachshund last night. You will notice he is even wearing dog tags! I had thought of making him a red beaded leather-like collar but decided on a chain. Then I found this ball chain as is used in the military for idenification tags.
Afterwards I started on the beaver - Point Arena is the only home of the Mountain Beaver which is on the endangered species list - and started using these same golden beads on the cream chest. I was amazed how much better the color of the beads is with a light background. Will show you tomorrow.
While deciding whether to do a white cat or the beaver I was surprised how small the miniature animals are compared to the full sized ones. I had the feeling I could do one of the little ones in a couple of days since I have done the big ones in the same amount of time. The difference is the bead size.

Monday, May 27, 2013

I wanted to let you see what was happening on the photoshoot set-up while I was not looking! I got such a laugh from these two. Fake camel shows real camel how to do the splits while keeping his cool. Even having pink feet does not stop him from showing off.

Real camel with his new blanket. I had figured out a complicated bird's eye pattern for it but then found out it was too complicated for size of the beast. I love how the white beads in the blanket (the same white as on the fringe) looks camel-colored. I have had great fun in doing this pair. I learned alot which is always 9/10s of any thrill for me in artwork.

On Wednesday Werner went to Vicki's to pick up the new order from Fire Mountain. Here are the AB amber 8s I was missing. This puppy is really getting heavy! I noticed that my wrist was aching by the end of the evening. When I first started on this, I was very unsure about the idea of covering him with beads, but now as I look at the unfinished parts I am even more delighted with the beads. I see I did only one ear inside. I was eager to get to doing the body and skimmed right over that. As I get older I find myself letting things slide that I do not enjoy doing or want to do and just go for the good stuff.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I found out the name for this guy is Hamburgler, not hamburger as I thought. Changing his name does not correct my mistaken idea of how to do the stripes. The original had a red necktie but I wanted to pick up the blue lights in the white beads so I grabbed a tube of blue beads instead.. I see a bit of the original black nose shows through and gives him a very tight lipped mouth. I think I just learned where to add a mouth if I want to do that. I had been putting the mouth down lower and it was rather weird - more like a wrinkle in a double chin!

Here is Humphrey II with his hump nicely padded up and out. I learned something here also. Often I have been unhappy with the way the beads laid on the belly. I could pull the fabric taunt to bead it but when the animal stood up that loose belly area would make the rows of beads go wonky. If I would open the animal and pad out the body, those lines of beads stay firm and straight even when it stands. Big improvement! Thanks Bead Universe for that tip. Here you can see how much better I did the nose / mouth part of a camel.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I did cut open the camel and found that the way they get the pellets into the animal is to put a packet of pellets into a gauzy bag. Not knowing this I had sewed the beads to the outer fur and to the bag so there was no way to get the stuffing in around it to the hump. I did have another camel so I cut the belly open (where it had been closed) and stuffed in cotton to fill out the hump.
After a visit from Rhoda and too much bead talk I did not feel up to starting a new animal so picked up this one to continue it. Now that I see the photograph I realized that I followed too faithfully the color changes and they look just awful. Also those eyes are too small and will have to be replaced. It is interesting that the lack of a mouth on the bears is not a problem until the beads go on. It looks as if he has white tape over his mouth. . . So much to learn.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The camel lost his hump! I saw it happening as I worked and tried to pull the fabric up but the weight of the beads pushed it back down. Only later in bed, when I could not sleep, did I get the idea of opening the creature and adding stuffing. That would have worked! I am thinking that many of the beanie babies could be improved by adding stuffing. Hmmm.
While I am not adverse to cutting away beads and redoing something, I am thinking that in this case I might be ahead to start with another one. I also realized the problem with his face is that I got carried away with those teeth (you can see a bit of them) and put in too many. Camels muzzles are fairly pointed and this has a very broad nose. So if this one is not a camel what is he? It is definitely male. Up under the tail a size 8 bead from the belly extended into the smaller beads and looks like one pale pink ball.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

This is a camel with attitude! He looks as grumpy/humpy as I found the real animals to be. What I missed in the photo are his wooden looking teeth that give him a evil smile! I loved how I was able to re-form (but not reform) his face. I see the toe jobs do not show up here as much as they are in real-life. You can see on the one back leg/foot the difference. Maybe that is what makes him grumpy.
I do not know if I will sleep or bead this afternoon. I have over 25 spots on my face and hands that are in various stages of healing after the second nitrogen freeze-off treatment yesterday.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I did get Doby done days ago. Then I floundered. Working on Lynx, getting a godzillion spots burned off my face and hands, and too much marvelous May weather to enjoy so this feature got the short end of the thread of my mornings.
Before that I had started this one called Hamburger (dumb name for a dumpster diver) and quit because I did not like the white beads I was using. I cut them off and used these transparent ABs which made me a lot happier. I do love those Precosia beads. Still I did not like the animal, so I laid it aside and started on the Humpfry the camel. I loved doing his face but the long legs are wearing me down. I suspect that when I get the camel done I will be glad to go back to using black and white beads again.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I have been so wiped out by simple trips to the art center or a doctor that I am barely able to bead in the evenings. Added to the fatigue, I did the face and ears of this "Doby" - who looks more like a Swiss Mountain Dog (Heidi don't you see Awanhee here?) than a nasty howling Doberman - with matt black beads and the edges showed more than the bead. So late yesterday I cut them all off and used the shiny black beads. Here the light bounces off the center of the rounded bead instead of the edges which would not always lie straight. Something to remember. . . I do love how the magatamas work as eyes. Even the gold fits here.

The box of 70 beannie babies arrived from Tennessee. I entered the auction because the items were going so cheap because they were no longer in their bags. I paid less than 25 cents an animal. But to my surprise many of the unbagged were not the teenie beannie babies but about 20 of the full sized ones normally costing 5 -8 dollars! I had this idea to fill a jar with unbeaded animals with the beaded ones popping out the top. I took this snapshot today to see what needed to be fixed before a sunny day came by so I could make an official portrait of the work. The title of the show is "Art for Art's Sake" so this is as close to Duchamp's urinal as I could get with my toys!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

So we have here a long-lost duck-billed platypus - the kind with really orange feet. There are two kind of chipped glass on the body. The ones around the head are more gold-pink and the ones farther on the back are bluish. I was lucky they worked so well because I had failed to check the strands of chips to make sure they matched. Most of them do not, but if I work from several strands at once I can make a mix that gives me enough to cover the animal.

I  had started the dachshund (you can see them on the belly) with AB rootbeer because I had so many and thought it to be the best color. However when I started to do the head I found them too dark. So I switched to the gold AB and found out I only had one box them. Suddenly in the middle of the forehead I felt there should be crystal and found this one. I will have to wait for a new order because  I then switched to Doby the Rottweiler and decided, after several attempts that I needed the light gold for him also/

No picture yet, but my third great grand baby - Abigali Christine Vetter arrived last night at 7:30. Congratulations to Shaun and Jackie and brother Jasper.

And this morning my haiku stone arrived in Gualala Arts Center to be placed on the path.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I had some thread left over after doing the duck-bill so I kept beading on the face to try out my choice of glass chips. I was very pleased with the way they covered the fuchsia and yet let the warmth of that pink shine through. Also I was pleased to find a new kind of eye bead. It is hard to see here, because it fits so perfectly, but I used magatamas. They are so good since the large side of the bead makes a good eyelid and the hole, filled with a black 11, makes a good eyeball. My favorite ones, here, blend in with the glass so closely I may have to remove those and add plain bronze or gold ones. Lynx is calling and it is time to start the next issue.