Tuesday, December 17, 2013

{Rolling Blog Hop Challenge} Erin of Elysian Studios

A short while back, I asked some creative and inspiring women if they would like to participate in a loose kind of blog hop.  Instead of everyone posting on the same day, we will post as we get our projects done, with an end of November deadline.  I send them each a package containing vintage wooden spools like you see on the upper left of the blog (badge compliments of Hope's wonderful photography and Janet's tweaking...thanks ladies~it looks great!).  I found them while antiquing in NJ.

With a mix of excitement and sadness, our Rolling Hop is wrapping up today.  All you ladies have  made this so much more thrilling than I could have ever imagined.  I am in awe of the talent, the minds, and the genuine kindness you all have within you.  You made this fun and easy and I really enjoyed featuring each one of you :-)  Thank You!!!

Our Baker's Dozen is now complete.

Erin of Elysian Studios has posted her spool art!  Yay!  So without delay, here's what Erin made:

                                                  (photo from Elysian Studios Blog)

I knew there was a strong possibility Erin would do a painting, but I have no intelligent words for this!  What a beautiful, vivid, happy, painting showing objects from the past and what remains of their story.  Erin calls this piece "Stitched in Time".  She has some really lovely things to say about the spools themselves, as well as the thread they held.  She also has fond memories of her Grandmother, whose spools she has in her collection too.   Please go over to Elysian Studios and read for yourselves...Erin's art is bound to keep you there for a while.  It has kept me coming back for a few years now.

I came across Erin's blog during a 7000 Bracelets for Hope Hop in 2011.  It was my first hop ever, and less than a month after I started my blog.   I liked her style and I really liked that she lives in Colorado.  I silently visited her blog for a while, too intimidated to comment.  Erin is a professional artist so I wasn't sure I could say anything worthwhile.  I was new to blogging and had a lot to learn about commenting.  I was more a blog lurker at the time.  Several months in to my silent visits,  Erin did a DIY post on how to put fabric on a notebook.  She was using notebooks for her Morning Pages~an exercise from Julia Cameron's workbook, The Artist's Way.  I became interested in it and commented to Erin and it wasn't long before she commented back!  She and I started a semi-regular dialogue that is still going strong not quite 3 years later.  She convinced me to give the Artist's Way and Morning Pages a try.  The workbook is designed to take 12 weeks.  I took 9 months, but am glad I went on that journey.  And more importantly, it kept Erin and I talking.  We decided to co-host our own 7000 Bracelets for Hope Blog Hop and from that, I made even more friends.  Erin is a huge reason why I am still here blogging.

Erin is an Artist~specializing in modern abstract/modern still life/modern landscape paintings, jewelry, handmade polymer beads,  DIY tutorials, and much much more.  Elysian Studios : The Artful Life really is an wonderful, educational place to spend some time and is pleasing on the eyes too.  When I go, I pour a coffee, pop a chocolate, and settle in.  I know I am staying for a bit and want to be cozy and happy.
Not only does she continually have her work featured in galleries in Colorado and elsewhere in the Mid-West, but she also has her paintings in Calico Home (a custom decor and fabric store in Denver) and in the Grand Lodge on Peak Seven in Breckenridge.
Erin was selected to help launch a product for Martha Stewart Paints by Plaid Paints.  You can find the projects she came up with for the launch on her blog, along with many other great DIY projects.  A lot of her DIY projects are great for kids too!
Erin made a gorgeous line of polymer beads she calls Gypsy Trade beads.  I had the pleasure of working with these and some cabs she made.  What a lovely feel and what vivid, cheerful colors!

Please take some time to explore Elysian Studios and all Erin has to offer.  Her work is some of the finest I have seen.  Here is a sampling to get you started:


This is currently in Erin's shop, as is one of its partners in this painting series.
The third partner in the series is currently part of the 2013 Nature's Patterns Art Exhibition at the PACE Center in Parker, Colorado.
The colors, openness, and instant outside smell and feel from seeing this are a real comfort in this piece.

(photo from Elysian Studio's Indie Made Shop)

Crop Fields

Farms.  Fields.  Crops.  Unobstructed views.  So much unseen in the fields.  A mystery out in the open.

(photo from Elysian Studio's Indie Made Shop)

Precipitation to Subsurface Flow

The colors and shapes in a 3 part Hydrology Series Erin painted are so captivating.  This was the first painting I saw at Elysian and I was instantly hooked.
This is available as a print or greeting cards at Fine Art America.

Jewelry makes me want to talk and use a lot of flowery words.  Paintings make me want to just shut up and Feel them.

(photo from Elysian Studio's Indie Made Portfolio)

Connected Twilight

Hands down,  my absolute favorite.  This is from another series Erin did.  It also comes in Midday and Sunset.  But Twilight taps into my lust for those classic Starry Night colors (oh Vincent!) and has a nighttime, quiet, lonesome feel to it.
Prints and cards are available at Fine Art America.

(photo from Elysian Studio's Indie Made Prints)

Purple Mystic

This Gorgeous bracelet features Erin's Gypsy Trade Beads.  These beads are so much fun to work with!  It is surprising how many things you can pair them up with...keeping it bohemian or pairing them with crystals and pearls.  They work with anything!
This bracelet is such a beauty with its strong purples and the contrasting copper.

(photo from Elysian Studios Etsy Shop)

What a Hoot

Just look at the detail of this little guy!
His coloring, markings, crystal eyes...the dangling branch he is sitting upon, the beads in the chain that give him all his support.  The blend of beads in this piece is exquisite  It is enough but not too much for the eye.  A perfect balance...Erin seems to know all about that :-)

(photo from Elysian Studios Etsy Shop)

A ginormous Thank You to Erin ~ she was the first blogger I shared e-mails with; the first one I texted with; she encouraged me to try the Artist's Way and because of her, I followed through to the end of the course; she knows when to give kind words of cheer and support and also knows how to support with  constructive criticism; and she was my first blog hop co-host.  She is so much more.  So very much more.  But I know she knows that.

Thank You Erin...I love you, My Friend :-)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

{Rolling Blog Hop Challenge} Therese of Therese's Treasures

A short while back, I asked some creative and inspiring women if they would like to participate in a loose kind of blog hop.  Instead of everyone posting on the same day, we will post as we get our projects done, with an end of November deadline.  I send them each a package containing vintage wooden spools like you see on the upper left of the blog (badge compliments of Hope's wonderful photography and Janet's tweaking...thanks ladies~it looks great!).  I found them while antiquing in NJ.

Therese of Therese's Treasures posted her Vintage Wooden Spools. Take a peek!

                                                    (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

The story she tells before she reveals her Hop piece is such a lovely and warm family story.  She grew up with a lot of love and busy, creative hands guiding her.  That explains a lot :-D
As for her spool, she seized the opportunity to try a few new techniques and she executed them so well!  This is a beautiful piece, and a really cool design with metals, stones, glass, wood, and fibers.  It has it all, Baby!  It represents what I love about Therese's work~willingness to explore something new.  Go over to Therese's Treasures to read her story and see some close ups of this piece.  What a copper beauty!

Therese and I met at some early point in my blogging life.  I am not sure exactly when but that doesn't matter.  What matters is where we have been with each other since then.  We co-host A Time To Stitch hops that focus on beadweaving stitches; we are involved in several small hops hosted by her or me or other friends; she was the first blogger I met in person on a rainy July day in 2012; and she calls me to chat about beads and life.  AND, she is my two woman She Made~She Made Monthly Challenge partner.  When we met that July day, we gave each other beads and this challenge sprung from that.  It is a lot of fun!

Therese's beadweaving skills are first rate.  Her pieces have that effortless look to them and her work is elegant and romantic.  In addition to her beadweaving, she is learning how to make fused glass cabochons.  These are colorful, beautiful pieces of art all their own.  For her birthday this year, she gifted some bloggers with her cabs so we could make something and celebrate with her in a Birthday Hop.  She is also learning Precious Metal Clay.  She does So Many Things So Well!

Here is some of her gorgeous work:

Therese's Birthday Hop piece

This is from Therese's recent 2013 birthday.  She made that glass cab then did the bead embroidery around that.  A quality piece all around~soft, curvy, romantic.  She says we will be seeing this cab again in a finished piece.  Yay!

 (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

Another Birthday Challenge

This is from Therese's 2012 Birthday Hop.  She sent out Golem beads and cabs and this is what she made.  The colors are just so tropical and happy :-D

 (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

Summer Lovin'

Therese made this necklace for a hop hosted by Amy of Amybeads.
Elegance and  Romance all the way!
Therese at her finest!

 (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

Illuminated by Candlelight 

Here is an embroidery piece Therese did for a challenge.  The center quartz is the base of the candle, the crystals on top are the flame, and the pearls are the light radiating from the candle.  It is an exquisite and creative bracelet.

 (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

By The Seashore

Therese made this piece as part of a Do Over challenge.  So much to love about this piece~organics, seed beads, turquoise howlites, beadweaving, FRINGE.

 (photo from Therese's Treasures Blog)

I am realizing just now that while I have tried to show each bloggers' diversity in skills, I picked all embroidery for Therese's feature.  I could change it, as it was totally subconscious until this very moment.  But I think I will leave it.  She is so damn good at that embroidery.  And it does show her diversity in the Objects she chooses to embroider:  her own glass cabs, clay cab, metal, quartz, shell.
I think we should all send Therese something to embroider around and see what she does with them!

Thank you, Therese ~ for always being a fun, loving, easy, caring friend and partner.  You are generous with your time and goods.  I always look forward to your company and your pushes.  You have opened my eyes to new stitches and challenges and people.  I do appreciate your commitment to this Rolling Hop and I appreciate You.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

4th of July...Shooter Style (with a little George Jones)

I wanna be sitting shotgun in my nightgown right about now.  

How about you?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

{Rolling Blog Hop Challenge} Christine of One Kiss Creations

A short while back, I asked some creative and inspiring women if they would like to participate in a loose kind of blog hop.  Instead of everyone posting on the same day, we will post as we get our projects done, with an end of November deadline.  I send them each a package containing vintage wooden spools like you see on the upper left of the blog (badge compliments of Hope's wonderful photography and Janet's tweaking...thanks ladies~it looks great!).  I found them while antiquing in NJ.

It's my turn!
My spool ideas were all over the place.  Eventually, I had it narrowed down to two ideas and did a little sketching.  Normally, I do not sketch, but have found that when I do, I can stay on track.  I think I need to do it more often.

The first idea was to saw the spool into rounds.  I was hoping to get 4 rounds out of a spool.  I was lucky enough to get two rounds.  These suckers, as we have heard, like to break and fly.  I wanted them not completely even but even enough.  I gave them a quick sand to take away the roundness and give them subtle angles.  I used ladybugs Liz from Bead Contagion gave me, orange and yellow seed beads Cynthia from Antiquity Travelers gave me, dyed howlite flowers I picked up at Michael's, red twin holes and purple seed beads I had in my stash, and green fireline I found at Cabela's on clearance.  I ran my thumb nail down it a few times to stretch it out and it softened it up nicely.  These have the flowers on both sides of the round.

Then came the second piece.
This gave me fits.
I worked up the spools just how I wanted them.  Turning it into a necklace was another story.  I seriously considered a shadow box.  Then I decided on a necklace.  I should have stuck with shadow box.  I might still do it.  We'll see.  Anyway...initially, it was strung on bamboo cord with big wooden beads.  Serious kindergarten art.  I live with it for 2 weeks and cut it all up.  Then I did what you see here.

It was when I was making the sari beads from my last post that I decided to make these cloth beads.  I was at the hardware store and picked up some annealed stainless steel wire.  I used the thicker gauge as the core of the bead, wrapped some free fabric samples I scored at an upholstery shop around the core wire, and wrapped some thinner wire around that.  The buttons are from my Gram's stash.  And some other people's Grandmas' stashes as well.  The back braided cord was from Cynthia.  I was at a loss as to what to do for the back.  This piece quite literally fell from a pile of fabric scraps and landed on my shoe.  Perfect!

The spools were the first part I completed.  They turned out just like I pictured them.

I used red size 13 charlotte beads.  For the three spools, I used more of the upholstery fabric.  I sorted through my stash until I found the blue fabric.  I wanted it to be frayed and a constant fluid piece.
Spools, needles, fabric, sewing...finding stray threads and scraps everywhere.
The other two samples don't fray quite as much.  One spool of chaos is enough.
The needles are porcupine quills Liz gifted me.  Go here to read how she found them and cleaned them so they can be used in jewelry and other art pieces.  I love these!!!
I did keep some of the bamboo cord to lace these spools together and added some buttons for a dangle.


                                                                     The whole of it.

This was so much more of a challenge than I thought it would be.  I thought about bowing out and just hosting a few dozen times.  But I am glad I saw it through.

If you haven't already, please go see the other spools that are posted:

Janet  ~  Hope  ~  Tanya  ~  Maryanne  ~  Bobbie  ~  Cynthia  ~  Lisa  ~  Liz  ~  Kim  ~  Cynthia again  ~  Karin

Erin  and  Therese   will post theirs in the next week or so.  I really cannot wait to see what they came up with, but it will also be a little sad knowing when they do,  this Rolling Hop is over.  You all have made this so much fun!  That is what this is all about.  Fun, smiles, with a little bit of drool here and there.  Thank you Ladies ~ this turned out better than I could have imagined :-D