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


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...