Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome 2010

I can't say 'out with the old, in with the new' because I am perfectly happy with the 'old' and hope to maintain it throughout this coming year!! But, it is a new year so I'll try to think ahead.  This is what I want for the coming year (at least in the 'art' part of my world):  Beading every day; being a part of BJP for the first time; joining our local Fiber Alliance group; working with InspiredArts (a small local guild) to present a major art/craft show in May; the annual Studio Tour in September. 

Then there are the near to me/dear to me things: Being grateful for my life and everything that fills it; loving and sharing life with my husband; loving and sharing life with my family and friends; enjoying my natural world each and every day.

And there are the hoped for things: safety for my eldest grandson in his far away place; connecting as often as possible with friends and family; living each day as if it is the 'best day of the year'.   While I am hoping, perhaps I can extend those hopes and dreams for everyone - the whole world - why not?  That tears be dried and laughter felt; that hunger dies and fullness reigns; that everyone, everywhere may reach their full potential for good.  If all my hopes and wishes and dreams come true -- this will be a wonderful year!

"Dreams are wishes your heart makes." - American Proverb

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Noel, Noel

Each day is a gift -- but some days delightfully come wrapped in bright ribbon accompanied by silver bells and song.  Because we are far from family, most of my holiday efforts must be done early on.  No last minute shopping for this little elf.  So these are the gifts that I give myself for Christmas:  Sending and receiving Christmas cards -- many times to and from people with whom we have no other communication.  Receiving their notes brings memories of past times shared.  Collecting items to go into boxes, one of which this year will find its way to Iraq and our eldest grandson. Putting money in the Salvation Army bucket to the tinkle of bells.  Going to holiday luncheons with friends - somehow the food and drink at these Yule gatherings always tastes a little bit richer and sweeter.  Enjoying the little bit of snow we have left after our storm earlier in the week.  Watching for the red cardinals who quite unaware of themselves decorate the trees outside my studio.

I leave you with this picture of a large wooden bear who lives in our neighborhood.  His owners deck him out for every season and here he is in all his Christmas finery. 

I hope this day (and every day) is one of glory and peace for each of you.

Have you seen the mistletoe, it fills the night with kisses
Have you seen the bright new star, it fills your heart with wishes
Have you seen the candlelight that shines from every window
Have you seen the moon above that lights the sky in silver.
"White is in the Winter Night" - Enya

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

Winter Solstice - the shortest, darkest day of the year.  To me winter feels like the most creative season.  It is a time when life slows down and more time is spent indoors where it is warm and cozy.  Because those waterfalls of summer aren't beckoning me I must search inward for my inspiration and muse.  Because I can't really hike the hills at this time of the year (my goodness just getting in my daily walk can be a challenge) - I seem to have time to work with my hands.  The shadows outside, the bare branches brushing the house, the full moon which I can see through those branches - these are my guides during this time of the year.

The above figure started out as a concept in deep blue colors and was to be called 'Nocturne' -- but for some reason the beads that lept onto my needle were not deep blue but were grey, grey blue and silver (unfortunately this picture shows the colors as pale green but they are not - sorry about that).  And so "Winter Solstice" was born and is being created during this month of the solstice.  Soft, wintery colors -- shiny silvers -- pieces of ribbon and fibers -- beads upon beads -- these are the beauties that will find themselves onto the surface of this figure.  She will become my winter memories for this 2009/2010 winter.  Stay tuned to see more of her as she comes fully to life.

"Wisdom comes with winters". - Oscar Wilde

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snowy, Snowy Day

What a wonderful sight this morning - snow lightly covering everything.  We don't get much snow here in Western North Carolina so it is alway a treat to see its softness covering the ground, making everything look magical and wonderous.  As the day went on it continued snowing -- eventually making a record for this day of 7" - 9".  A perfect day to stay inside and bead - and occasionally pop out to take a picture or two.  Of course for the shoveler in the family it was not such a leisurely day -- for a walk was no sooner cleared off than it was covered again.  It is supposed to snow a bit more tomorrow and then start clearing.  I can hardly wait until the sun shines on the snow whereupon I'll take my camera in hand and take bunches of pictures. 

"When there's snow on the ground, I like to pretend I'm walking on clouds." Takayuki Ikkaku

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Cup of Tea

Do you find yourself going through rituals each time you sit down to do your art?  I've been thinking about this lately.  My goal when beading is to devote myself as completely as possible to the task at hand.  I know there are artists who can watch television, listen to a taped book or talk on their cell phone all while their hands are moving through the piece in front of them.  For the most part I cannot do that!  Whether that is a personality fault of mine or just an acquired way of doing things I don't know.  Perhaps it is my ingrained attempt to live 'in the moment' so that if the 'moment' happens to be beading then that is what I focus on.  I like to think of it another way -- beading is a gift I give myself.  I take the time given me to bead as a treasure.  This is my very own time to not only let my hands do the work, but to delve into my own depth of spirit and bring up whatever lies there.  And so I have some rituals that I go through before beading -- like a hot cup of fragrant tea, setting the scene with favorite music in the background, looking at my inspiration trays or going through beads to make sure that I have what I'll want for the work ahead.  I am preparing my mind and heart to take up needle and thread.  Yes, I'll admit that there are plenty of times when I only have a little bit of time in the day and I'll pick up my work to get as much done as that allotted time allows -- after all I can get quite a bit of background work done in a short stint of time.  But for those precious days when I get up in the morning knowing that I have hours of beading time ahead of me -- ahhh that is bliss, that requires attention to the details, that requires just the right ambience and I love it!

"Each day provides its own gifts." - American Proverb

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Man in the Moon

Hanging high in the night sky is our moon -- sending light into the darkness -- thrilling us with its mystery -- moving tides against our shores.  Sometimes it is a big orb above us and other times it is but a sliver in the sky.  I often open the blinds on full moon nights --hoping that the light will awaken me so that I can enjoy it.  

I'd like to share with you my version of 'The Man in the Moon'.  His face came to me quite by accident on a jacket that I found at a thrift store. He is beaded in shades of white and grey.  I very much enjoyed using beads to apply moon features to him -- signs of the water that has been recently found upon the moon, moon rocks, glittery beads that represent moonlight and crowning his head are moonstone beads.  This was my very own lunar exploration and I invite you to join me as I 'dance by the light of the moon'.

"Tis the witching hour of night,
Oer bed is the moon and bright,
And the stars they glisten, glisten,
Seeming with bright eyes to listen.
For what listen they"?
- John Keats   

Friday, December 4, 2009

Light and Shadow

This time of the year -- the end of fall, the beginning of winter -- is the time when shadows come out to play.  Here in western North Carolina all the leaves have left the trees -- so their bare branches stand out against the late fall sky.  During the summer there are few shadows - mostly shade from all of the leafed out trees.  But now those bare branches and the clear golden sunshine combine to give me shadows when I walk.

I love this time of the year.  I love being able to see the mountains in the distance because they are no longer hidden in the denseness of the leafy trees.  I love the sunshine which often appears in all its glory after we've suffered through some grey, cloudy days.  I love the fact that the shadows of the trees are before me on the pavement as I walk up the hill and that I can walk over the shadows and marvel at the shapes that they take.

Even though this is the 'shadow time' I feel that I can see more clearly at this time of year than at any other.

"Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides." - Junichiro Tanizaki 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Zen Beading

I'm sure every beader knows the art of 'Zen beading'.  That's where you put the beads on, take them off and put them on again.  Its impossible to 'layout' an encrusted beading piece prior to beading - and so we take that leap of faith, put the beads on the needle and hope for the best.  In my past life as a book artist I was able to layout a page before committing to it -- before the stitches went in I knew exactly what would go where and how I would do it.  A whole new learning curve developed for me when beaded embroidery entered my life.  I found that many times the beads had a mind of their own - while I thought they should go one way they quickly (or not so quickly) convinced me that they should go another way.  'Patience' is my most often used tool when beading. It is true -- there is no guarantee after an hour's (or more) work that I won't end up stripping out all of the beads I've just so carefully laid down and then there's nothing to do but start over.  This was a tremendous learning tool for me when I began beading as it happened many more times than not and it allowed me to practice, practice, practice.  These days I don't seem to have to take as many beads off as I once did - but it does happen.  There is never frustration in it, I just sigh and start removing beads.  I know that whatever I am removing I will be able to replace and that I will end up very much happier with the end result.  And so it goes -- one bead at a time and all beads in good time.

"With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown". - Chinese Proverb

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Its the Little Things

In my humble way I try to celebrate Thanksgiving every day -- after all I have so very much to be thankful for.  As the 'formal' day of thanksgiving approached I got to thinking about the 'little' things in my life that I'm thankful for - the very little things!  What brings joy and delight to me each day in small, easy to overlook ways.  So here are a few that I've come up with. 

This view out my kitchen window, into the forest, and on the window sill three old bottles.  One of the bottles has been stamped with this quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson: "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year."  I love that -- as I start out on my early morning walks I recite that quote to myself, under my breath, like a whisper to start the day.  Each and every day.

This 'wall' of ribbons.  These ribbons and fibers grace my studio.  Everytime I walk by they dance in the slightest breeze.  I sometimes think they are reaching out to me - 'use me in your next project', 'no, pick me'.  Their colors, their ephemeral beauty speak to me each day.

These simple 'tools of the trade' - small, sharp scissors - an old spoon, very small, to scoop up recalitrant beads and my lovely 'thread catching bowl.

Oh yes, there are many, many 'big' blessings in my life - family, friends, home, health, the natural world around me and there are the not so visible blessings for which I am very thankful - tranquility, time, joy... too many to list.  But I never want to forget those small, very small joys that please me each day in their own way.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

"One single grateful thought raised to heaven is the most perfect prayer." - G. E. Lessing

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Desert Dreamer

I am a desert dreamer!  I love living here in the western North Carolina mountains - but my heart is split between here and the desert.  We spent many years in the deserts of Nevada and my son and his family still live there.  These days both my desert longings and my homesickness for family are soothed with all too brief trips spent out west. 

Recently I've gotten interested in the idea of creating beaded figures and after finding the most perfect desert-like button/cab I decided to try my hand at a beaded figure to honor the desert that I love.  And so, "Desert Dreamer" was born.  This was truly a learning experience.  How would I bead her?  How would I 'stuff' her to make her dimensional? How would I mount this abstract figure?  The beading was the 'easy' part and of course the very most fun part.  After some trial and error with finishes I was able to prepare the stand (with the help of my DH).  Before attaching the dowel to the base however I had to put it inside the figure and then stuff around it.  After I had it suitably stuffed I stitched across the bottom of the figure and I was able to put the dowel into the stand and voila - Desert Dreamer was born. 

Now I have my very own desert spirit -- looking at her will bring the rock formations, sage, mountains and mysteries of the desert back into my life.

"The phoenix hope, can wing her way trhough the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from the ashes and rise". - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra 

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bare Trees

We are having the most 'delicious' days.  Bright sunshine, deep blue sky and warm weather.  After all the rain we've had lately these days are truly a treasure.  As I walked today the change in the trees became very apparent. All of the leaves are gone (which is a blessing for those who have to mulch them) and now their bare branches stand out against a vivid blue sky.  I love this time of the year.  I feel like I am surrounded by magical, mystical sculptures.  Old trees that have occupied these hills longer than I have serve to guard these forests and I can only walk among them in wonder.

"If you would know about strength and patience, welcome to the company of trees." - Hal Borland

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seeing is Believing

Hanging above my work table is this lovely pendant created by Nina Bagley. Don't you think beading enhances our ability to see? Working with tiny beads to create an intricate design brings my 'seeing' into focus.

Using that beading state of mind, when not beading, allows me to look at a leaf and really see it, to feel the weight and shape of a small rock, to spot a bird's feather along the path. This 'beading gift' begs me to pay attention to the smallest, seemingly least significant things that surround me.

I have noticed that I now look at so many things with the thought "could I bead that?" I see forms that I can imagine covered in beads, I see a spider web dotted with dew and think 'beads'. I see a color combination that I would like to put into beading - I am seeing everything in a new light!

Each day Nina's pendant serves as a gentle reminder to 'see' -- see everything and everyone and soak in whatever is in front of me at the time. Being able to fill each moment by noticing even the smallest of things - now that would create a full and artful life.
"It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision." - Helen Keller

Monday, November 9, 2009

Three Trays Working

I have always been focused on finishing one thing at a time.  When I was 'trapped' in a cubicle I had, out of necessity, to multitask.  Being out of the cubicle and in my studio I revert back to my true self - the one who 'plods' on until the task at hand is done.  All was well until I began beading.  I soon found that it was 'fun' to multitask.  Tired of beaded sculpture?  Move onto to creating an abstract picture.  Tired of the art doll figure in front of me?  Move onto another one.  Hey, this is fun!!  This is a tray made up and in process for "Desert Dreamer".

This next tray is the beginning of "The Man in the Moon".  The most exciting part is that after moving between pieces one of them turns up finished and I almost have to ask myself 'now how did that happen?

This tray holds an as yet unnamed figure. I've found that focusing too much on one beading piece may give it too much importance.  It means that if I make a mistake, or start getting stale, or can't figure out what stitch to use next I'm trapped because I have only committed to one piece at a time.  Moving from piece to piece gives me a fresh look at each one as I pick it up after it has been resting.  It puts the work into perspective for me because there are others waiting for me when I tire of this one.   So perhaps multitasking isn't nearly the bug-a-boo that I once thought it to be.

"You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star." - Fredrich Nietzsche

Friday, November 6, 2009

Art Mart!

A week from today  (Friday, November 13th) I will be participating in Art Mart.  This is an annual show hosted by the Transylvania County Arts Council (TCAC) located in Brevard, North Carolina.  I love this show.  It is short - Friday night wine and cheese reception and all day Saturday (the 14th).  Artists are in attendance on Friday night - and its always a festive event. 

One of the things that I like about it -- all of the artwork is sold at significantly discounted prices.  Now why oh why would I like that?  Well - first of all its an opportunity to put pieces that either the artist has had 'hanging' around for awhile, or pieces that while good didn't quite meet your self-critical artist requirements, or pieces that haven't sold in other places (so they get a second chance at this show).  The discounted prices appeal to me for another reason -- there are people who would like to buy something of mine but can't afford it or justify the expense and I love it that I can offer them some of my work at more affordable prices.  Many people buy my pieces as gifts (another thing I absolutely love) and here's a chance to do so within a budget. 

I have to admit pricing has always been a bug-a-boo for me.  Perhaps it is because I enjoy what I do so much it almost seems 'wrong' to charge too much and I have to literally force myself to put market prices on my work.  I know that I am truly blessed to have the time, the energy and the inspiration to create whatever I want, when I want to.  I am fortunate that I am not 'living on my art earnings' (I'd be quite hungry right now) and know that if I were, my whole price thinking would have to be adjusted. 

This year at Art Mart I will be offering book arts and little scenic tins that I made ever so long ago.  If you are near the Brevard area stop in for a little wine, a little cheese and a lot of art.  We'll be waiting for you!

"Sometimes creativity is a compulsion, not an ambition." - Ed Norton

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Not long ago I decided to make a series of beaded pictures whereby I created a beaded piece, mounted it on fabric and framed it.  Here are some thoughts I had as I created these two first pieces.

"Shadow Play" -- a piece that reflects the light and dark, the shadows and glimmer that appear each day.  Sliding into the colors in this piece I let the beads speak for themselves and they seemed to know what they were doing, where they should go.  This piece was stitched 'on the flat' which was a joy to me after completing "RSVP", the hand sculpture.  Beading 'on the flat' allows so much more latitude as to the various stitches that can be used and where the beads go.  I love a piece where I can let the beads flow - as if you come upon a form and shape in nature and it takes on a life of its own.

"On Gossamer Wings" -- this piece was a 'natural'.  I had found the dragonfly button and just had to use it.  As I beaded this piece it was late summer, a perfect time to be using these colors and this theme.  I was able to allow the summer light to creep into the work by using some beads that sparkled - much like the sun on a small pond.  As I've been in a 'learning' mode this past year I hadn't done much about adding bits and bobs on top of the beads but this time I found a stick which had some green lichen on it to attach on top of the beads.  I immediately fell in love with this idea and I know I'll try to layer more in the future. 

I know that a 'series' is not made up of just two pieces so there will be more (and more and more) of these to come -- aren't the opportunities, the inspiration and the creative freedom of encrusted beading just the most wonderful experience?

“Make visible what without you might perhaps never have been seen.” Robert Bresson

Friday, October 30, 2009

An Inspired Collection

Do you keep little things around that inspire you? I certainly do - in fact I have not one, but three dishes on my work table into which go items that please me, that help to stir my creative juices.

The first is a ceramic dish which I happily bought from a local potter during a studio tour. This dish holds all of my 'natural' wonders. A shell picked up at the beach on our last trip to Charleston; acorns picked up on my walks last fall; a feather also picked up on one of my walks. Then there is a piece of quartz with its shiny pointy things (obviously this is not a scientific definition) and more shells.

The next dish is wooden, part of a set picked up at a thrift shop. This smallest of the dishes holds little metal pieces that I have picked up along the way. In the back of my mind one or more of them will become part of a beaded piece but for now they sit there teasing me with their presence.

This wooden dish is much larger and it holds precious cabochons. Oh the inspiration in this dish! Some of these cabs are simply flat stones that I have collected, others are 'real' cabochons purchased at favorite bead shops. All of them whisper to me as I go about my daily beading.

Is there a bit of the magpie in each of us, the part of us which cannot imagine leaving a penny on the ground? Perhaps the love of beads and beading fulfills that need to capture the shiny and hold it in our hands.

I constantly add to these collections, and hope that I always will. Sometimes I even take one of these beauties and incorporate it into my beading -- but if I never did that, if they lay there forever just for my pleasure that would be okay too.

"Observe the wonders as they occur around us." - Rumi

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Falling for Fall

I'm reveling in the beauty that surrounds me at this time of the year.  Fall brings with it colors and scents and sounds and feelings so particular to this time of year. 

Color - how many colors are seen during a walk in the woods?  Colors that only appear for a short time each year.  Colors to savor and remember later on when the trees have lost their leaves and the colors are mostly grey, black and white. 

Scents - the scent of stew cooking in the crockpot, of freshly poured tea awaiting its first sip, of cider and pumpkins and cinnamon and every manner of warm smells.

Pictures - because I know that fall won't last as long as I would like it to I must take picture after picture.  Pictures of the changes in the woods, of the blue sky peeking through coloring leaves. 

Sounds - the crunch of leaves underfoot as they pile up everywhere.  This is a Fraser Magnolia leaf - at least 15" long.  Its HUGE!  During the spring and summer we are blessed with beautiful white flowers - during the fall we find these large leaves on the ground, dwarfing all the leaves around it.

Feelings - who can resist the feeling of a cool, crisp October day.  This is a day to wear my favorite sweater, to sit with a cup of tea on the porch looking out over the ever changing woods beyond. 

This is fall!!
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus

Friday, October 23, 2009


After completion of the white glove I had to decide how to display it. Display was never a problem for me when I was creating book art -- finish the book, stand it up and voila!! However for beaded pieces the display is a whole new world for me. As I beaded the hand I had the thought that this was a bride's glove and I wanted to display it to portray that kind of image. I had pictured the glove laying on top of a vintage wedding invitation which was in turn atop a vintage plate. I was never able to find a vintage wedding invitation - but I did find an old photograph of a bride and groom. The bride is wearing white gloves and holding a bouquet of pink flowers.

Now to the plate -- which I found at a local shop "Honeysuckle Hollow". The owner makes these serving plates by affixing old plates to glass bases. The one I found had pink flowers on it which was perfect. While in the shop the owner suggested that I might want to make a small beaded heart to place in the palm of the hand - good idea!

What started out as a vague idea of what to do with this long term project became a romantic assemblage. Don't you love it when your art takes on a life of its own and becomes what it wants to be?

"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." - Plautus

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Give Me A Hand

At long last my white glove/beaded hand project has come to an end. For this particularly monumental project I did count the hours - 96 from start to finish. I began this project on January 26, 2009. Of course after the first 46 hours when I had only finished the fingers and my own fingers were raw, it sat on its tray for a long while.

As a learning experience this one was a 'pip'!! I certainly learned a lot about beading on a sculptured object. I stuffed the hand as I went along but working on a piece that is already stuffed can be limiting to the kinds and styles of stitches you can create. Stitching through the kid leather was a little difficult at times but not as bad as I had thought it might be. Using all white beads was another challenge. At times my eyes felt like they were crossing trying to decide which white beads I'd already used, which white beads I wanted to use next and heaven forbid any 'bead soup' because it was impossible to separate them out if they got mixed up (and I have to admit that at times they did get mixed up).

Since beginning the work on this project I have received several kid gloves as gifts but I have to tell anyone who has given them to me that I probably won't be doing another one of these for a long, long time!

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work." - Emile Zola

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time to Ponder

As I enter into this 'quiet' time of the year I find that prioritizing is definitely a 'must' for the coming year.  Having just completed the Studio Tour my inventory is a little lower and there is a major show coming up in May.  How to get many pieces done before that date?  It seems daunting at 4 am when my eyes snap open and my mind starts churning.  I have made up a list of types of pieces that I want to have finished by that 'deadline' and it will mean that I will have to focus, focus, focus.  At the same time I want each piece to reflect my inner self - not an arbitrary deadline. 

Time, time, time - that's what I need! Perhaps the answer to the dilemma of working under a time constraint and still putting my heart and soul into my work is to take it one day, one hour, one bead at a time.  I may fret and worry when I'm not beading but I won't allow myself to fret and worry when I am beading.  That is my time - time to wrap myself in my studio sanctuary, to study the beads and listen to what they say to me, to savor the colors that surround me and take each stitch carefully.  And so I tell myself that everything will get done - but the most important thing for me to remember is that each finished piece be a representation of my dreams and aspirations.

"Events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order the continuous thread of revelation". - Eudora Welty

Monday, October 12, 2009

New Beading Year

After many months of preparation the 2009 Open Studio Tour is over. Two days of magic, when visitors came to visit my studio and to see what my busy hands have been creating. It was great fun to see friends and to welcome strangers. The weather could have been much better – apparently my ‘sun’ dance didn’t work - but it was dry and cozy inside. It is always such fun to introduce people to my work. I had a few pieces of my book art from previous years on display for those who were not familiar with book art. But for me the most exciting part was to share my beading of this past year. It was a year ago that I began bead art and as you know from reading here, once started I didn’t look back. I’ve gone from the first picture that I created to trying jewelry, other pictures and even beaded sculpture.

Now is a good time to sit back and reflect on the past year, the pieces that I’m proud of (I know that because I want them to sit in my studio forever) to those that I’m not quite as enthralled with. This past year has been a wonderful journey – sometimes frustrating, sometimes thrilling – and all of the time just what I wanted to do. As I’ve gone through a year-long learning curve I’ve also felt that I was just where I was meant to be. It has been that feeling that has pushed me forward and tempted me to try things that I never dreamt I could try.

And for the coming year? I have the BJP to look forward to and I’m currently working on a new-to-me beading project. I have another sculpture waiting for me and who knows what else this coming year will bring. I hope you will walk this art journey with me and learn about each piece and its inspiration as I go along.

"Feel yourself being quietly drawn by the deeper pull of what you truly love". - Rumi

Friday, October 9, 2009

Ready, Set, Go!

These have been hectic days for me.  As a matter of fact, the last six months have been pretty hectic as it pertains to the Open Studio Tour for artists in Henderson County (North Carolina).  I was on the steering team which meant that meetings and preparation began last March.  Finally, things settled down after the brochure had gone to the printer and I could focus more on my own studio which would be part of the overall tour. 

I completed a couple of the larger projects I'd been working on and started some less time consuming pieces to place on the shelves.  As I was finishing up the last of these I decided that perhaps I should have some even less time consuming (translate lower priced to the visitor) pieces.  And so I created these 'trinkets'.  They are beaded front and back and then hung on silk ribbon.  Thanks to the instructions in "Beaded Embellishment" I was able to use the spiral stitch on each piece.  I made a variety by choosing three different shapes and several different colors.  I admit that when I started my goal was to make 12 -- just to have them hanging and as an option to the more expensive pieces -- but time, my finger tips and the fact that I'd spiral stitched my way through 8 pieces I decided that it was time to say 'enough'.  So I only ended up with eight.  Perhaps the next 'brilliant' idea I come up with won't be at the last minute.

Here is a picture of one of my shelf units -- I have hung the 'trinkets' from pegs and have set out some of my beading.  My most precious collection of silk ribbons and other fibers takes up the bottom area.

The nice side effect to all of this hullabaloo is that my studio is quite neat and tidy now with everything 'in its place' (for now) and I'm ready to greet visitors this weekend. 

"Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now." - Alan Lakein

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Taking The First Steps

Each journey begins with the first step. What better symbol of this thought than to create a bead sculpture baby shoe. The first shoe was an infant size 2 cloth shoe in the form of a ‘sneaker’. This project was one of the first almost all Delica bead pieces that I have made. I did bead the sole of the shoe using seed beads because they seem to work better in a larger beading area.

Of course once I had created one shoe I had to make a second one. Not matching shoes mind you – that would be no fun! This time I chose a Mary Jane shape. The original shoe had a ribbon across the top instead of a strap. Off came the ribbon and a strap was made . Stitching through all the layers to hold the strap onto the shoe was 'interesting' (not so to my fingers however).

When I make several of the same type of piece I like to make odd numbers – don’t know why, but they seem to show better if the numbers are odd. So I’m sure number 3 shoe will be on my work table any day now...
            "The distance is nothing, it is only the first step that is difficult."- Madame Marie deu Deffand


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