Sunday, January 31, 2010

Time Got Away From Me!

If you're looking for my OWOH post, it's HERE.  And I've had so many comments on it that I've added a 3rd giveaway item - go check it out!

Wow, this last week or so has been a strange one.  I was supposed to have been down in LA last week for a 3-day business meeting.  I did a bit of scrambling to get stuff done before I was to leave on Tuesday.  On Monday evening I got a phone call telling me that the trip had to be postponed due to illness.  I was teaching a class when I got the call - when I got home that night I did a bunch of schedule rearranging and now here I am, needing to get a bunch of stuff done before I head down to LA on Tuesday.  Deja-vu all over again!

Since I was home I managed to do a bunch of project "stuff".  I completed the little vessel I was beading, and it's in my Etsy shop.  Here's my Tropicana Vessel.

The color on the beadwoven collar really pops!  I've often been asked whether I make the bead - usually a leaf bead - to go with the vessel or if I make the vessel to go with the bead.  I made this vessel based entirely on the leaf.  Sometimes I make a leaf to go with a vessel.  And other times, it's just serendipity - I make a vessel and happen to have the perfect bead to go with it!

I've made a tiny bit of progress on my Bead Journal January Vessel.  I plan on taking it and my beads down to LA with me in case I have time in the evenings to work on it.  Here's the latest addition.

I'm finding that I bit off a lot more than I can chew on this one - way too ambitious!  I think February's vessel will be a bit lower key in the beading department.  But I think part of the issue is all the things I have going on in my life right now.  I'm working on another felting project that's been very time-consuming and it has a deadline!  All of the wet-felted parts are done now - I just have to make some glass objects to go with it, then assemble the piece.  I can't show it to you yet - it's a special project that I'll talk about more at a later time.

If you know anything about my work, you know that I love trees and leaves.  I take mom to Starbucks fairly often during the week.  There's a tree that I can see way at the end of the parking lot when we sit in the window, and it caught my eye awhile back.  I'm going to use it for inspiration - maybe on a felted item, maybe on a bead... maybe both!  Here's the tree - you just might see something like it showing up in one of my Etsy shops.  (I think I'll leave off the BevMo sign, though...)

And now I'm going to go add more beads to my BJP January Vessel while I'm plunked down in front of the Grammy Awards.  Have yourselves a happy and creative week!

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart is Here!!

Comments Are Now Closed For This Event On My Blog
      There may still be some blogs open for comments - click on the Magic Carpet logo to find out

Thanks to all of you who participated - and thanks for all the new follows!  I'll be getting those random numbers shortly - stay tuned for the 3 winners!

Welcome to my blog - today is the day!  Do you know about One World One Heart?  This is an international event that was created in 2007 by Lisa Swifka. It's a way for bloggers to meet and get to know each other a bit.  Curious?  Click on the One World One Heart logo to find out more.


Now that you're here, I have a couple of creations that I'm giving away for this wonderful event.  I'm going green!  The first item is one of my lampwork leaf beads which was made on a 1/8 inch mandrel.  It's 2 inches long (51mm) and just shy of 1 1/2 inches wide (38mm).

And the second item is a short strand of my lampwork beads along with a Hilltribe silver bead and charm.  These beads were made on an ivory base, encased with amber, gray, and peridot glass, trailed with silvered ivory, and lightly etched.  Yum!

How can you win one of these items?  Leave a comment on this post along with a way for me to contact you in the event that your comment is chosen in my random drawing.  That would be either a link to your blog or your email address.  Now, how exciting is that?!  We'll be drawing for these giveaway items on February 15th.  Make sure you post your comments here by 10 a.m. Pacific Standard Time on February 15th to be eligible for the giveaway!

On February 15th I will announce the winners of the giveaway on my blog.  Thank you for visiting me and leaving your comments.  Good luck to you, and enjoy your Magic Carpet Ride!

>>> Wow!  I've had such a great response to this event that I've decided to add another item to my giveaway.  In keeping with my "going green" theme, I'm adding this small set of my leaf beads that were made of a creamy yellow glass with patches of green added here and there.  Now you'll have another chance to win some of my beads!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some Beads are Showing Up On My BJP Vessel

Today is the 3rd day of our winter storm week.  We actually had some thunder and lightning, which is rare in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I love thunderstorms - when I lived back in Connecticut, I would often stop whatever I was doing when a thunderstorm arrived just so I could watch the lightning.

Ah yes, winter in this area is our rainy season - and some of the trees are just loving it!  Don't they know  it's not spring yet?  With all these blooms, I think they're confused.

I went into the wet lab to take a picture of my January bead journal "page" progress.  I had to teach last night, so no bead work for me.  Tonight I'll make great progress, though.  Wow, black/gray/white is really difficult to photograph - especially when the lighting is lousy.  But here's where I am so far.  I need to make a slight modification to this - I'm finding it a bit difficult to "draw" with needle, thread, and beads without a picture on the base.  But for the most part, it's going well.

As soon as I walked into the wet lab, my Niki dog flew out there with me, then out her doggie door.  She had been barking all morning at the sound of the wind and rain pounding on the windows.  I looked out the window and saw what used to be our lawn umbrella creeping up on the house.  So again, I'll have to buy another one for the summer months - it will be our third one!  This one broke quite awhile ago - the crank to collapse it stopped working.  Our winter winds picked it up right out of its stand and sent it sailing across the yard - yikes!

Peanut, on the other hand, doesn't much care what it's doing outside.  As long as she can be with her peeps, she's a happy camper.  When "dad" is home, the best place to be is under his office chair - as long as nobody is in the kitchen doing foodie things.  And yes, "dad" is wearing yellow socks - he has a large collection of them!

My final comment for the day will be on how radically things have changed in the advertising world.  Years ago, you would NEVER have seen something like this out in the public eye.  This flier came in the mail a few weeks back, and I just couldn't resist posting a picture from it.  OMGosh, how did this pass "corporate inspection"?  LOL!

Now it's time to go have yourselves a happy and creative day - that's just what I'm going to do!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday, Monday

Wow, we started the "work week" on a very rainy note!  I was out in the wet lab this morning, and between the rain and the wind, it was very noisy in there.  I actually like those sounds - it brings back some nice memories of college camping trips in New Hampshire and vacation camping trips in Oregon.  When you're sitting in a small tent, the sound of the rain can be almost overwhelming!

Speaking of the wet lab, my January journal vessel is dry and waiting for its coat of beads.  I made a run to my local bead store yesterday to get the few colors I was missing, and stocked up on some bugle beads while I was there.  I've been patronizing this place for many years now - actually, since 1996 - and I always enjoy spending time there visiting with Joanie, the owner.  I mean, how could anyone NOT have a good time in a place called The Bead Asylum?

Here's my little January, just before I felted it.

And here, it's ready for some fancy clothes.

Last night I decided to make another small vessel.  This was not on my list of must-do projects, but I couldn't help myself.  I came across a small leaf bead that I made a few years ago that had gone into a jewelry project with 2 other matching leaves and a flower made by my buddy Nanette.  I had taken the finished piece to BAGI where I teach bead making classes.  One of the other instructors picked up the cord it was hanging on, thinking the clasp was closed, and the piece slid off the cord and onto the concrete floor.  The flower and one leaf broke, and I've had the other 2 leaves hanging around just waiting to be placed into another project.  I decided that one of those leaves had to go on a vessel, so now the vessel is drying.  I think this one will probably go into my Etsy shop.

The leaf...

And the vessel (bad lighting, bad picture - but will have a dynamite picture when it's finished)...

When I came in from the wet lab yesterday, Peanut was hanging out in my TV-watching chair.  She was probably attracted to the book I had on the arm of the chair - I sure don't blame her! "Masters: Beadweaving: Major Works by Leading Artists" is chock full of wonderful eye candy and inspiration!

Gosh, if only Peanut had thumbs...
And now I'm off to start beading my January vessel.  Have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Journal Progress and Friday Favorites

Ah yes, it's Friday again - already!!  I did manage to make a bit of progress on my January journal page for the Bead Journal Project.  These are the colors I've chosen for the vessel.  I mean, hey, it's January.  And rumor has it that we're going to get smacked with 4 major storms over the next several days .  These colors look pretty stormy to me.

And here's the first layer of fiber.

As I build the layers, I'll blend the lines between the colors a bit so that they aren't quite as distinct.  It will be a bit challenging because I'm using different types of fibers.  Some colors are Merino wool, another is Harrisville fleece, and another is Columbia/Lincoln.  I can't wait to see how this one turns out!

And since it's Friday, I consulted Google's little "Random Color Scheme" that appears at the bottom of my posts and found some Etsy items that I just love!  Today's color scheme is called "spruce blue", and under that is a group of items I found that fit into that scheme.  The shop names correspond to the pictures from left to right.  Enjoy your shopping trip!

1.  Sand Fibers
2.  Do-Rah! Designs

3.  Artisan Clay
4.  Lucky Lather Soaps

5.  Joolz by Lisa
6.  The Millinery Shop

7.  JMN Pottery
8.  lisa peters ART

9.  frank IDEAS
10. house of beci

Here are some pieces that I've done that have some hints of that color scheme.  Perhaps the next color scheme that comes up on the little color inspiration gadget will send me off in a direction I haven't pursued yet.

Now it's time for me to get a start on my other Friday activities.  And it's time for you to go have a happy and creative day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Thoughts About the January Journal "Page"

Whenever I have a project to do but no specific design in mind, thoughts come into my head at the strangest times.  I usually keep some sort of writing material with me so I can jot down notes or sketches.  Awhile ago I decided that my format for the Bead Journal Project would be a small felted vessel but I wasn't sure if I'd have a specific theme or if I would just play it by ear each month.  The ear thing won out, so I'm just letting ideas float into my head about my life, feelings, concerns, goals, etc. while I try to visualize translating those ideas into bead work.  I don't know when I'll be able to make my first vessel - it had better be soon though, since I will still have to bead it after it's dry.

I didn't want to lose track of the thoughts I had about my January piece so I made a few sketches.  This probably isn't the final sketch - version 2 replaced version 1 rather quickly.  But I thought I would document my process here.  There may not even be a final sketch on paper, as I may change my mind while I'm in the beading process itself.

I had every intention of making the vessel today.  But I was having a strong feeling about organizing my office, so rather than spend the day in the wet lab, I started attacking the piles of stuff that have prevented me from working efficiently for ages.  Here's the first part that I tackled.  How on earth does a person let things get as out of control as this?!  Well, at least now I can walk into my office without tripping on something - yay!

I still have a very long way to go, since I kept finding distractions such as laundry, the need to eat, mom wanting to go out for a cappuccino, and marveling at discovering things that I thought had been "lost" forever. Like a bag full of Czech pressed glass leaf beads...

Since I started this post I got interrupted with making and eating dinner, sorting through more stuff that was in the piles that I removed, watching a bit of TV, discarding more stuff, and now it's time to hit the sack.  Maybe I'll dream about another design for January's journal vessel.

Until next time, have a happy and creative week!

Friday, January 08, 2010

Friday Favorites

See that little gizmo down at the bottom of the page?  The one that says "Random Color Scheme".  I've decided to use it in several different ways.  I enjoy looking at folks' Etsy treasuries, I often find new favorite artisans.  Today I used the random color scheme gadget to find some Etsy items that caught my eye.  This is the color scheme that was on my blog when I first came out here today, called Boysenberry.  And underneath that is the group of items I found in this color scheme that I wouldn't mind seeing in my mailbox.  I've included the names of the shops whose items I've listed, from left to right.

1.  Butterfly Girl Designs
2.  WondersMohair

3.  Suus Keramiek
4.  jd wolfe pottery

5.  Prince Design UK
6.  Fired and Fused

7.  Madeleine's Mud Pie Studio
8.  tago Design & Crafts

9.  Jamn Glass
10. Goldspun Designs

Perhaps I'll use this color scheme to inspire my next creation - although it seems that I've made quite a few items that are similar to this group of colors.

While I ponder on my next color scheme, I'm going to put together a bit of late lunch.  Now, YOU go have a happy and creative day!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Some Nuno, Some Treasuries, and a Whole Lotta Shakin'

Quite some time ago I went on a "girls' day out" trip with a couple of my friends.  We ended up in San Francisco at a fascinating place where you can drop off "stuff" that you no longer want that could be used for artsy kinds of projects.  You can also fill up a shopping bag with "stuff" that catches your eye for some of your own projects, and when you check out you'll be amazed at how little money you've spent.  I came home with various sorts of trinkets along with a length of fabric that I would never have given a second look before I started felting.  The fabric is synthetic, is very stretchy, and has a very open weave to it.  And it cost me less than a buck - how could I resist?  I decided that before I spend a large time investment working with it, I'd make a sample piece to see how it works as a base for nuno felting.  My sample ended up being a bit larger than I had anticipated, and I like it so much that I'm going to wear it as a collar, or scarflet if you will, so now I need to make some kind of felted brooch to pin it together in the center.  Here's the test piece that for me passed with flying colors (pun intended).

The reddish colored fibers are alpaca and this was the first time I had ever used alpaca in a project.  It's very interesting - the fibers are very long, and the straight ones really migrated a lot over the surface of the piece.  I'm quite excited about using this stuff in a vessel now!

Well, I've done it once more. Life has gotten in the way of me keeping on top of the Etsy treasuries in which my work has appeared.  Without further ado, here they are - going back in time quite a bit!

tootsytwo included my Embers Felted Vessel in her lovely treasury "Ashen Embers".

Thank you Tootsy Two! Be sure to visit her store to see her vintage items and hand-crafted works such as this lovely "Mini Quilt Art".

 enchantedbeas included my Showy Autumn Leaf Bead in her lovely treasury "COLORS (2)".

Thank you Enchanted Bitz! Be sure to visit her store to see her whimsical jewelry creations such as these sweet "Poppy Love Earrings".  They work quite well with the COLOR theme of her treasury!

vilte included my Aqueous Fossil Bead in her lovely treasury "Peonies and stars".

Thank you VK Felt! Be sure to visit her store to see her fabulous felt work such as her "Treasure" felted cuff.  I'd wear this in a heartbeat!

This morning as I was sitting in my office catching up on the happenings with my Facebook friends, the house gave a sudden hard jolt, the windows started rattling, and then the whole room was shaking.  It had been quite awhile since I had felt an earthquake and it sure took me by surprise!  It wasn't bad, only a 4.1 on the Richter scale, but it was centered rather close to my house.  It felt as if my chair was going to go through the floor!  Here's where it happened, on the Calaveras fault right near the Calaveras dam.  That's about 10 miles or so from my house.  Ka-boom!

After that incident, I really didn't need a 2nd cup of coffee!

Speaking of coffee, I'm about to head out for a Starbucks break, then back to my accounting work.  You folks go have a happy and creative day!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

One World One Heart Coming Soon!

Do you blog? Would you like to get to know other bloggers? Perhaps find kindred spirits? Do you know about One World One Heart? Gosh, all these questions I have. If you've answered "yes" to more than one of these questions, check out the big event coming soon.


I'll be participating in this event this year, so come on back. It starts on January 25, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Give It Away Give It Away Give It Away Now...

My friend Carol of Sand Fibers is about to achieve a major milestone. She's on the brink of having 1000 sales in her Etsy shop - woohoo!! She might even be there by the time you read this blog post.

To celebrate this event, she's having a major giveaway. Yep, a bona fide freebie! Well, almost free. You have to visit her blog and "do stuff" in order to participate. But hey, how can you possibly live without a Sand Fibers original? I love my Hugs & Kisses cuff! Without further ado, here is where you'll find Carol...

Go ahead, click on it! You know you want to... Get yourself over there and join in the celebration!

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Projects, More Projects, and Where I've Been

Well, I've taken on a big project for 2010 - a small vessel a month for the Bead Journal Project. At first I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with the idea of committing to one beaded vessel a month, but then I took a look at the fiber work that I did in 2009 and realized that yes, I can do this! Here's a wrap-up of my 2009 fiber work - not too bad for having done 4 bead shows and a gallery show along with this work. Now granted, a few of these are pix of a different side of the same piece, but I still accomplished a fair amount. And I've sold 12 of them!

1. Milky Way Vessel, 2. Breeze Vessel Redone, 3. Grove Vessel, 4. Lush Vessel, 5. Bird Vessel Side 1, 6. Morning Light Vessel, 7. Horizon Vessel, 8. Night and Day Goddess Pin, 9. Meadow Vessel, 10. Tweet Pin, 11. Bird Vessel Side 2, 12. Bird's Eye View, 13. Garden Vessel, 14. Sonoma Vessel Side 2, 15. Twig Pin, 16. Raku Vessel, 17. Kimberly's Vessel Side 1, 18. Napa Vessel, 19. Color Challenge Vessel - Side B, 20. Kimberly's Vessel Side 1, 21. Sonoma Vessel Side 1, 22. Color Challenge Vessel - Side A, 23. Solar Vessel, 24. Sunset Sentinel, 25. Sunset Vessel Side 1, 26. Maya Vessel, 27. Autumn Vessel, 28. Currents Vessel, 29. Samburu Vessel, 30. Sunset Vessel Side 2, 31. Zen Vessel, 32. Valley Vessel, 33. Umber Vessel, 34. Sunrise Vessel, 35. Night and Day Goddess Pin, 36. Fissure Vessel

I'm also going to create a few fiber works for a particular "call for entries", but I'm not going to get into any detail about that one right now. I'm still in the brainstorming stage... I have until some time in February to submit my work. I don't want to wait too long, though - it'll sneak up on me for sure!

My most recent project was a vessel that I created because Pam from The Blue Between saw the bird pin that I created and requested something similar in vessel form. Here's a picture of it on my work table in the wet stage.

And here is each side of the completed vessel. I needle felted the front side after it was dry to enhance the tree. I left the tree on the back side alone.

I used a different technique to felt this vessel than I've used with my other vessels and the shape came out different. I rather like the way it almost takes the form of the trees.

Here's the project I completed just before the bird/tree vessel. It was a commission, and I shipped it out this morning - yay!

That's today's news. I have two more vessels to make that are NOT part of any call for entries or year-long project. I guess I'd better go and get busy. And on that note, how about YOU go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

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