Thursday, March 25, 2010

February BJP - Side 1 is Done!

Wow, I put so much beading onto this vessel that now it won't stand up!  So rather than call it finished, all I can say is that side 1 is complete.

I didn't want to bead the other side, but it looks as though I will have to.  I didn't realize how heavy these little seedy beads could be - I guess there's quite a mass of them on my vessel.  But that's OK - it's been a very enjoyable process for me to put needle, thread, and beads to work during the late evenings while mom and I are in front of the TV.

Mom sits in her chair with her crochet project, sharing space with Niki.  I sit in my chair with my BJP project, sharing space with Peanut.  Mom's very tiny, so that's not an issue.  I, on the other hand, have a hard time fitting both Peanut and my bottom into a single seat.  Peanut doesn't seem to mind, though - I guess body heat is a good thing.

So tonight, as I watch Project Runway, I will be beading once again.  My dilemma... should I continue on with side 2?  Should I do some beading on the March vessel?  Or should I tackle my tall "galaxy" vessel?  I guess I'll have to wait until then to see which one is calling to me.  I have a feeling it's going to be the tall one.

But for now, I'm heading back into my tech world - business requirements have to get finished pronto!  I hope all of you have a happy and creative day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm usually quite good with color - sometimes I even amaze myself with my color memory.  There have been times when I've had to buy some yarn, fabric, or beads to match the color of something that I had at home.  In my mind, I conjured up the color of that something, and was able to purchase exactly the right color that I was looking for.  Ah, but then there are those occasions when I have some sort of brain fart... it doesn't happen very often - at least not regarding color - but when it does, I just want to scream!  My latest vessel is a perfect example of this.  And the lousy thing about this incident is that I didn't even have to rely on memory - all of the objects were right there in front of me.

In my last post, I talked about one of the new projects I was planning - a galaxy-related vessel that was inspired by a star button that I have, made by Lisa Peters.  I made the vessel Friday night, and I just love the way that it came out.  But what on earth was I thinking?  When I put the star up to the vessel, the colors were SO WRONG!  The star is a nice bright warm silvery pewter color.  The fibers I chose were crisp cold blues, purples, and black.  The warm and the cold just don't play nicely together.  Here's my finished vessel, which now needs a new focal piece.

It just so happens that I have a lovely  pendant, also by Lisa Peters, that does match the new vessel.  And I've already chosen the correct fiber colors for the star vessel.  Perhaps tonight I'll create it - then I'll have two new  vessels to embellish for my Etsy shop.  

But today is a torch day for me - such a luxury!  As soon as lunch is over, I'll head out to the glass lab to make some long-awaited beads.  And you, my friends, go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Building A Tree, Planning New Projects

More progress on the February vessel - the tree is starting to fill out.  I'll spend more time on it tonight for sure, I'm really ready to see this one complete!

I've also got a few more projects in my head and hopefully I can get to at least one of them before next week.  First up will be a vessel in which I will incorporate a button by Lisa Peters Art.  Here's the button...

And here's my fiber palette...

This will be a fun project!  Somewhere in my extensive stash I know I have some galaxy-related beads and charms, and I'm sure some crystals will show up on the piece as well.

The next project that I want to do will be based on a raku tube bead that I recently purchased from MAKU Studio.

I am totally in love with this bead!  I recently found out that the manufacturer of the Merino roving that I use most frequently has come out with some new solid colors - a bunch of them!  Here are two of them, which I will try to incorporate into the vessel for this tube bead.

There are hints of these two colors in the bead, but they don't show up in this picture.  I've also picked out the base color, as well as a few other accents, but I'm going to leave that as a surprise.  This vessel will be very organic.

That's about it for immediate new projects in the wet lab.  I have several projects that I have to complete in the glass lab.  One is for a pair of earrings that my tech-world boss wants me to make for her.  Another is a commission that I've received from a repeat customer for 3 beads.  And I absolutely must make 2 leaf beads for 2 folks who have been waiting for a little while.  Yikes - I'd better fire up that torch this weekend!

Now I'm heading back to the tech world.  And you folks go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Journal Progress

I've been doing a bit more beading on my BJP February and March vessels.  Here's a quick look at how I've started beading the tree on February.  These trees have a gray-brownish sort of bark, so I've chosen to have this side look a bit sunny.  As I move toward the right, the branches will get darker.  I'll also be putting more "blossoms" in the tree as I progress.  I'm going to have to make another trip to my local bead store to looks for seed beads in just the right colors.

As far as March goes, I've managed to place some leaves on the vessel - that's about it.  It looks really funky right now but after I do some bead embroidery it will start to fall into place.  That leaf that's hanging down on the right won't be hanging once I finish with it.  It's a pleasure working on this vessel - after learning my lesson on the February piece, I made the opening large enough to fit my whole hand in there.

I have to say, I am really in love with this vessel (the "virgin" part, i.e., just the felted vessel without any adornments).  I think I'm going to make another one similar to put into my Etsy shop.  Then again, I've got ideas for at least 5 different vessels floating around in my brain that I want to get out before I lose track of what I want to do.  I know, I need to write this stuff down.  Well... I think I'll go do that now, then head over to the bead store.  And you, my friends, go have a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Allowing Myself Time to Bead

Things have been a bit hectic this week.  My tech job is heating up, I've got a bunch of stuff that's overdue, we have a house guest coming tonight, etc. etc.  But I'm finding solace in the evening when I sit down in the family room, a.k.a. the "bead lab", and work on my BJP projects.  I've been beading my February tree scene and I also started beading around the cabochon for the March vessel.  It's kind of nice having two of them going at once - if I get tired of one "scene", switching to the other is a nice change and it keeps me from quitting for the evening.

Here's what I've got done for February - not a whole lot, but that's OK.  I haven't imposed a deadline on myself.  I'm really looking forward to beading the tree!

March is barely started - but I'm really happy about how the vessel turned out.  Here it is with the cab on it and my first attempt to bezel the cab.  I had to quit last night at 11:00 p.m. because I had more computer work to do.  Tonight I'll finish the bezel and probably work more on February's tree.

But now it's time for a very late lunch - I'm a hungry puppy.  Hope you're all having a happy and creative day!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Another Day In the Wet Lab

I had so much fun "painting" my February vessel yesterday that I spent today in the wet lab as well.  March's vessel will once again be different.  This Bead Journal Project has been really good for me - I get to experiment with new techniques in both fiber and beading.  Before I talk about my inspiration for March, I'm going to show you the teeny tiny vessel that February has turned out to be.  No beading yet - it just finished drying.  And wow, does it look different in felted form than it did on the table!

As usual, once it's beaded I'll get some much better pix of this piece.  I'll probably be working on it tonight in front of the TV.  That is, after I felt and full my March vessel.  Nice segue, eh?

So March... I'm looking at the calendar thinking that the Bead & Button Show is going to be here in a flash, and I have almost NO bead inventory.  My leaf stash is WAY down, and my friend Nanette has asked me for enough leaves to make about 35 of our jewelry kits.  That's 105 leaves, just for kits!  That doesn't include any beads for MY booth at the show, and I know that some folks will be looking for leaves.  Suddenly I'm feeling overwhelmed again - the attack of the leaves!  I was looking at some shops out on Etsy, and I found the perfect focal piece for my March BJP vessel.  Kristie-Lou from sculptedwindows had this fabulous cabochon and now it is mine. It sure does reflect how I feel!

And here is the March vessel at the wet and soapy fiber stage. First picture is the top, second picture is the bottom.

Right now, I'm very happy with it.  But who knows what it will look like after I full it?  Since this one is completely abstract, I don't think I'll have the same issues with it as I had with my February "page".  I'll have more pix and progress to report later in the week, but now it's time for a caffeine break - cappuccino is calling me!  And it's time for you to go have a happy and creative day!

Saturday, March 06, 2010

February BJP Progress

I was nose-to-the-grindstone this week, working at my tech job.  And when I spend an entire week without creating something new, I get really antsy.  Well, I took care of THAT today!  After spending last Sunday at the knitting show immersed in all that fiber, I had to work on my latest vessel.  It was like therapy - and I got my February Bead Journal Project "page" all laid out and pre-felted.  Tonight I will felt and full it, and hopefully tomorrow it will be dry so I can start beading it.  I don't know what it will look like when it has shrunken down, but here's what it looks like all wet and soapy on my work table.  I decorated both sides, so I'll have lots of beading to do.

My head was in a rather different place last month than it was in January.  I was very much influenced by all the blossoming pink trees around me, so I just knew that my February vessel would represent the pink month.  It was great - while I was laying out the fibers for this vessel today, my guy was in the yard mowing the lawn.  Ah yes, working on a nature-inspired vessel with the smell of sweet freshly cut grass wafting through the wet lab... life is good!

I'm going back out there now to do a bit more work on this piece before I head out for supper.  I hope that you are having a happy and creative day!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

January Is Over - Waaaay Over!

Last night I finally finished my January "page" of my Bead Journal Project.  During a break in the clouds today I hauled the little vessel outside, plunked it down on a wrought iron plant stand, and snapped a few pix.  Of course, I'll have much better photos taken at some point, but I wanted to get this little guy out here for all the world to see.  There are so many things wrong with this one, from a beading point of view, and that's OK.  I learned a whole lot by beading this vessel!

Without further blah blah blah, here's January.

This is how I was feeling in January - my once-organized life has been spiraling out of control, and I had this very strong desire to get it all back to "normal".  This includes my technical work life, my work as an artist, the business side of my art world, the organization of my physical surroundings, and the task of getting mom's "stuff" in order.  Thus the 5 red lines coming up one end of the vessel - sort of rising up from the journey from chaos.  I did the collar in peyote stitch, in a rather unconventional way - I won't do THAT again - and on the chaos side I added branched fringe to the collar.  I've very fond of that side of the vessel.  Unfortunately, I still seem to be "living" on that side of the vessel.  It seems that I take one step forward and two or three back.  One of these days...

But right now, I'm going to take mom out to Starbucks.  Time for a hit of caffeine after a rather unusual day.  We had an earthquake early this afternoon, then a few hours later a thunderstorm (unusual for this area), and then my toilets backed up.  I could have done without the latter... still waiting for a call from the plumbing folks.  I definitely need that caffeine.  Now, YOU go have yourselves a happy and creative day!

Monday, March 01, 2010

Another Teaser From My Stitches West Stash

Here are more fibers that I brought home from the Stitches West Marketplace yesterday.  My first stop was a visit to Lisa Souza.  I had purchased some of her hand-dyed roving last year, from which I made my all-time favorite vessel.  I donated that vessel to BAGI, where I teach glass bead making, for their annual fundraiser - the Great Glass Auction.  And my student and friend Lisa C. got it in the auction - yay!  Here's the vessel made from fibers by Lisa Souza.

This year my shopping trip in Lisa's booth resulted in some merino/silk blends in 2 different colorways as well as some Blue Faced Leicester.

Merino - Bombyx Silk 50/50


I stopped at Chameleon Colorworks and spent a fair amount of time drooling over their products.  After I wiped my face, I came away with some silk caps.  I already had some ideas about how I'm going to use the earth-tone caps.  But I just couldn't resist adding those gorgeous reds to my bag - yum!

By this time, those deep saturated silks were really speaking to me, and I picked up a skein of recycled silk sari yarn from Leilani Arts.  Love these jewel tones!

That's all I'm going to tempt you with today.  I still have more fiber to show you, but it will have to wait.  I'm heading for the bead lab to get that collar firmly attached to my BJP vessel.  Have yourselves a happy and creative day!
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