Friday, January 29, 2016

Week Two ( I Guess Last Week Was Week One ) : Reflections and Shadows

I am winding down Week Two of the Artist Way by Julia Cameron (if need be, check Week One to see what this is about).  Two Weeks in and I am not behind, so I am already doing better than the first time I did the course!  Go Me!

Among the many tasks this week, I had to come up with 5 MORE dream careers.  Two of my five were Bread Baker and Photographer.  I just didn't have it in me to Bread Fail this week.  I Bread Fail each time I try and make it.  Yeast is not my friend.  I have always had a deep and unwavering love of bread.  If I had to, I suppose I could live without cheese (can you even imagine?!?), avocado, grapefruit, coffee, and yes ~ whiskey.  But I could never be without bread.  When I go to Farmer's Market, I usually have half a loaf finished before I get home.  It is a comfort, a friend, an aphrodisiac, a meal.  NOTHING beats a good loaf of bread.  I was raised on Arnold's Thin White so when I had bakery bread for the first time.....well, use your imagination, then blush.   Someday, I will hit on the recipe that works for me.  This week wasn't going to be that day.
I picked up my camera to play Photographer.  Batteries all dead.  Cards all full.  I only had time to go to the pharmacy for a new memory card.  $35. W.T.Friday?!?  So...I came home, deleted a bunch ( I really have to get back to the "...was..." series because I have hundreds of photos of abandoned structures!) and started taking photos.  I will try and get to Target next week for a card devoted to playing Photographer.  Because I cannot get a series out of my head ~ Reflections and Shadows.  It is probably not very original, but it has been swirling around my brain for a while now.  We'll see how that goes.  Here is a reflection shot with no editing.  I call it : Tree in Coffee (hahahahaha).

I actually took a few photos of my bookshelf reflecting onto my closed computer.  And a grapefruit half reflected onto a spoon.  I was going to post those.  They were eh, but it was a start.  As the photos were opening on the computer, I reached over to the windowsill to get my coffee and saw this.  MUCH better.  The course talks a lot about when you put your wishes out to the universe, opportunities start presenting themselves.  Many things have happened this week to make me believe that.  And this Tree reflection is just a small symbol of that.

Another task was to make a list of 20 things I like to do and the dates I last did them.  Some were 20 years ago!  The follow up task was to pick one and do it.  Due to the weather, I had limited options, so I picked read and write poetry.  Yesterday, I realized I was probably going to fall short of that task.  So instead of reading my treadmill book (Centennial.  Cynthia, one solid year later and I am only a third of the way through.  But I do love it...finally!), I read the first 30 pages of Leonard Cohen's The Book of Longing.  I read it out loud. he could dance me to the end of love.

This week, my Artist Date was The Danish Girl.  What an emotional and beautiful movie!   The self awareness, bravery, love, and trust depicted in this quiet film was a loud shout out to being true to yourself.  The relationships were strong and meaningful, the scenery was sparse and lovely on the water in Copenhagen and decadent in Paris.  I read a bit about Lili/Einar and Gerda Wegener after the movie.  She was so incredibly in touch with who she really was and who she needed to become.  What a spirit and what a pioneer!

Have I bombarded you with enough words and enough "me" "my" "I" ?!  I am sick of myself so you must be too.  So Adios and I am beading a little...simple peyote.  Hopefully the next post will be almost no words, but some jewelry.  Fingers crossed!

Friday, January 22, 2016

I Like The Bearded Look A Lot Better

2016 is not off to a strong start for this lonely little Blog.
There is a lot going on at home (all good, just too much for my preference) and I am too scattered to do much of anything for myself.  When I have a few moment of Me time, I prefer to sit in silence.  But I also am feeling the pull to get back to using my Me time more productively...not that stillness isn't productive, because it sure is needed for recharging.

So I decided to do The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron again.  The last time I did it was probably 5 years ago and it took me 9 full months to do a 12 week course.  This time, I am hoping to do it in 12 weeks, but will allow myself 6 month, if necessary.  Progress ;-)

Each week, there is a chapter to read and tasks to do.
Throughout the whole 12 weeks, and presumably forever, two of the constant tasks are to write Morning Notes and take oneself on an Arist's date.  Morning Notes are 3 full pages of writing before the day begins on anything that pops into the head.  Since my day begins at 5:45, I refuse to get up earlier to write the notes, so I have reset the time to accommodate my schedule rather than the best time to empty my mind for a clean, clear start to the day.  When I did this 5 years ago, I went from resenting the Morning Notes to looking forward to them.  It is a great way to purge.  Feel it...and let it go.

The Artst's Date was not what I was hoping for, especially not for week one.  I was hoping to go see The Danish Girl.  My schedule for the week could not accommodate this.  By last night, it was looking like Week One would have me fall short already.  And then this Gordon Lightfoot concert came up in my Facebook feed.  And I decided this would be my Artist Date for the week.  I will not make a habit of it, because the dog was a nudge and the phone kept ringing and it was easy to get distracted while I tried to have a home based Artist Date with myself.  All that being said, it was time well spent with Gordon and the nuances of his voice and those words that just transport me to another time and place in my life.  Shallow me misses his beard in this one, but he is in fine voice.

Have you ever done The Artist's Way?  More than once?  I am thinking it might be just what I need to feel inspired about beading again.  And Blogging for that matter.  I remember it helped a lot the last time I did it.  But like most things that require optional dedication, I let the Morning Notes and Artist's Dates fall by the wayside.  
We'll see how it goes this time around!  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Skylar ~ Beauty All Around

Today is the first day of winter.  And it doesn't feel that way.  We are expecting temps near 70 this week.  I do not like snow and cold, but if I had my choice, winter would hold steady between 30 and 40 degrees all season long (with no snow!).  This 60+ degree weather is unsettling.  I wonder what Mother Nature has up her sleeve?

Appropriately enough, today is partially about my dear pain in the ass friend Gaia.  I first introduced you to her here.  But you didn't catch a glimpse of her until here.  After that post, I asked Skylar of Brising Beads if she wanted to have a go at her.  She was willing so I put Gaia, the bouquet of flowers, and the sari ribbon in a padded  mailer and sent her off to Skylar.  I figured once Skylar was done creating some magic with her, she would keep her, gift her, donate her.  To my surprise, Gaia showed up at my house once again.  She settled into her new look beautifully and seems to have finally found herself!  Skylar must have had a long talk with her before she began embellishing.  Maybe that was my problem.  I wasn't hearing who Gaia wanted to be.  I was forcing her into what I wanted her to be.  She clearly is not the quiet type!  I adore every detail of this necklace and  her story.  Skylar truly brought her to life.  Thank You Skylar :-)

I may just have to wear her for all the upcoming Winter Holidays.  She is sheer joy, abundance, and a good reminder that Winter ~ no matter the temperatures ~ always gives way to Spring and Summer.

If you don't follow Skylar at Brising Beads Designs, you really should go over and see what she creates.  She does a lot of bead embroidery and felting and enjoys making necklaces, brooches, bracelets, belts, and scarves.  Her colors blow me away.  There is warmth, richness, vibrancy, and a feeling of having been there in everything she makes.  I greatly admire her lush style.  Her friend J makes the jewelry with her and they sell together at shows and on Etsy.

The following photos are from her Etsy Page :

Bead Embroidery

Spiral Raku Necklace

Vintage Brooch Necklace

Bead Embroidery Pin

Felted Beaded Bracelet

Felted Beaded Belt

Thanks for taking a few moments out of your day to go visit Brising Beads and for being here.  My blog community holds a very dear place in my heart.
 I love you all ~ Have a Wonderful Holiday Season!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November ~ The Final CC7A

This is the final CC7A post...

I was picked to provide the photo for November.  
I took this photo in my front yard years ago.
I like the feel of it. 
A lot. 

The vegetation in the photo is a Rose of Sharon.  Also in the front yard is a Red Maple that was a Mother's Day gift from the Bird Man and The Bug when Bug was two years old.  I have watched both The Bug and my Red Maple grow bright and strong over the years.  Once Sunshine Girl came along, she wanted her own tree.  We transplanted the Rose of Sharon from elsewhere in the yard and called it hers.  

 The twigs are from the Red Maple.  Brittle brown older twigs and a more supple red newer twig.

November casts a long shadow.....

Love Birds hanging out in the tree...there are always a few nests in the Red Maple ~ new life and the occasional one we find dead under the tree.  Circle of life, I suppose.

The round beads are gorgeous agates.  The netting is seed beads in sizes 8, 11, and 15, the love birds were a gift, and the pendant is from Kabela Design.  I picked it up at the last bead show Cynthia and I went to.  Maybe someday there will be flowers in it, or lace, or a haiku.  The possibilities are endless.

Thanks to the other CC7A members for all their months of inspiration :

Alicia ~ April

Therese ~ May

Sally ~ June

Monique ~ August

Cynthia ~ September

Emma ~ October

Me ~ November

Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Time To Stitch EIGHT ~ What's Your Bag? Tote, Purse, Clutch, or Amulet?

November seemed so far away when Therese and I had the sign ups in June, didn't it?  But here we are...Hopping!

Our Eighth A Time To Stitch Hop is all about beaded bags ~ Amulet bags, Clutches, Purses, Totes.  I am so excited about this one!  Amulet bags are what inspired me to beadweave in the first place, even though it took me twentysomething years to finally make one (you can see it HERE).  I am curious about what got you interested in beading?  And did you make it right away or did it simmer for a couple decades?  

Today, I get to show my second beaded amulet bag!  I really love the way it turned out :-) 

Lovely Blue Quartz Bead holds the buckle in place...the weight of the buckle holds the fabric flap down.

Flap open, revealing more of the pocket and the beadweaving.  

The beadweaving stitch I used is called Hubble.  The woman who created it is Melanie de Miguel.  I found the tutorial in Beadwork Magazine October/November 2015.  The irony of this is known only to me, but in brief...after over a decade of receiving the Beadwork Magazine, I decided not to renew my subscription.  I never make projects from is mostly a reference for certain stitches I am still needing help with and a source of some inspiration.  When Hubble presented itself, I thought it was a sign to renew again. But after the Hubble settled, I decided to stick to my plan.  I still have all my issues, so I decided that come January, when there is no new Beadwork in my mailbox, I will go to the workshop and get the very first few issues and treat them all as new again. I secured that front Hubble pocket on to the fabric.  The fabric was from an upholstery store sample book that the owner was getting rid of...she gave it to me and I have all these little fabric squares for projects.

The fringe is a smattering of a gifts from two special people ~ my brother gave me all the copper beads a long long long time ago.  And my friend Wyndy gave me those garnets, pearls, and crystals.

It might be a bit blurry but I like the effect of this zoomed up picture of the Hubble.

It isn't quite as long on me as it is on Fleur, because...boobs. 
A funny thing about the Hubble Stitch and me...this bag was my very first attempt at it.  I didn't have one problem doing the stitch.  It was a breeze!  I thought, "I am going to Hubble EVERYTHING from now on!!!"  
And since then...I cannot get the damn stitch to work at all for me.  I am not sure what happened.  I think it might be connected to cancelling my Beadwork Magazine.  
But I am going to try and try again and even buy the book.  It seems so versatile.  And I think it would look great bezeled around rocks.  Whatever my one-and-done block with this is, I have to get through it and Hubble again!  

Thank you to all the participants, readers, and Therese.  You all make ATTS an event to look forward to and enjoy! 

Here's the list of all the creative people that took part in the Hop.  Please go see what they made!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Amy!!! and Jackson!!!

Way back in April (!), my family and I had the pleasure of meetings Amy of Amybeads and her son Jackson.  They were passing through our area and we all met for dinner, stories, laughing, and farm fresh ice cream.  All six of us instantly got along and there were no awkward silences...not even with the three teenagers!  After that too brief meeting, I look forward to a much longer visit with Amy...a beadathon weekend is what I am thinking...and maybe a little birding thrown in to stretch our legs.

Amy gave me the book, The Art of Beadwork by Jane Lock.  It is a beautiful book with wonderful projects and vivid colors.

Amy has a pair of earrings in this book!  They are from a music hop we both participated in several years ago.  That was the first time I saw Amy's beadwork and I became a follower of Amybeads that very day.  I mean, check out these gorgeous earrings!!! How could I stay away after seeing these?!?  Amy also made me a bookmark out of a butterfly wing she made for a butterfly hop we were in.  I was so in love with her colors and her butterfly, so I was THRILLED to receive this bookmark charm.

Amy is in charge of Bead-It-Forward.  Beaders send in a 2"x 2" square of beadwork based on the year's theme.  These squares are turned into wall hangings, ornaments, quilts, shadowboxes and are auctioned off.  Proceeds go to breast cancer charities.  2016's theme is Space : Out There Somewhere, There's A Cure.  Check out the details on the website and make a square or two!

Here are a few of the highlights of Amy's work.  Her style is so everyday wearable and even her more elaborate statement pieces are completely wearable.  This is why I love her beading.  It is beautiful and accessible. 
All the jewelry shown here are Amy's photos and Amy's beading from her Gallery page (but there is so much more to see so click and go over there!) :

Amy's Beauteous Bangle Tutorial on Etsy

Thank you Amy ~ for your beady goodness, your kayaking and birding photos, your friendship :-D 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rocks Off On Hump Day

Sporadic posting here on the Blog.  I do have a couple of Beaders I have wanted to feature since Late Spring/Early Summer, but I cannot seem to clear my mind enough to write the post they both deserve.  I was stressing about this until I came to the conclusion that everything has a season.  And my heavy blogging season is Late Fall, Winter, Winter, Winter, Early Spring, Winter, Winter, Early Spring.  

In the meantime...ROCKS!

Lake Michigan...that Lake really does have the best rocks!!!)

Lake Michigan...beads were a bitch to photograph ~ metallic dark blue AB charlottes.  The rock is smoooooooth.

Lake Michigan...had to keep the bezel area exposed so that strip of pink on the rock could be seen.

Lake Michigan...the chain on this was really cool but impossible to is all teardrops that are clear AB with a Touch of Grey.  I also threw in a few fish beads for fun.  These bugles were hard to photograph too!  But at least with the bugles, you get the idea.  The teardrops just were a blurry blobby nightmare.