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.  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Creative Continuum ~ September

The Creative Continuum is here once again, as we celebrate Fall :

Alicia ~ April

Therese ~ May

Sally ~ June

Monique ~ August

Cynthia ~ September

Emma ~ October

Me ~ November

Or as Cynthia's photo inspiration is titled, "Indian Summer"  :

I don't know if a day can get any more beautiful than this!  

Here is my interpretation of Cynthia's photo:

Red Picasso beads, gold hex cut beads, rock-looking Czech beads

Lake Michigan Rock

Fleur got a little angry that I covered up her paint for the first few photos

Clearly, I ignored the color pallet and went with the vibe of the photo.  

The weaving is Random Right Angle Weave, which I learned a while back from Karen William's wonderful Lacework Bracelet Pattern tutorial.  I cannot say enough good things about this tutorial and the stitch itself ~  Do check it out! Random RAW is the perfect support for this triangle rock. 

Please check out the above links to the other participants in these small monthly hops.  

Thanks for providing such and inspiring photo, Cynthia! 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Rocks Off On Hump Day

There are a few other posts I have been wanting to get to, but in the meantime...

Lake Michigan Rock

In person, there are shiny flecks on the the dark part of the rock and little pink veining too.

The flecks are slightly visible in this photo of the backside.

The bezel is a circle of RAW, then peyote, in white, grey, pink.

I do love Rocks!  

Friday, August 28, 2015

Back Home Again

Are you singing John Denver now?

Here I sit, after a summer of motion.  And when I say motion, I mean we averaged two nights per week in our own beds.  
The day after school let out, we went to Maine and had a very very very relaxing time at a most wonderful B & B in Southwest Harbor.  More on that another time.  On our way to and from Maine, we visited Hartwick College.  The Bug is at that age.  For the next two months, we were on the road looking at colleges, taking the tours, having interviews with admissions to find out what it will REALLY cost.  When we weren't looking at colleges, we were on my parents' pond, trying to paddle away the college confusion.  Water is good for emptying the mind.  The Bug and Sunshine Girl had a shore getaway without The Bird Man and me. They enjoyed it so much more than if we went.  The upside for me was that I avoided the shore in summer.  The downside is that he decided we would kayak a ten mile stretch of the Upper Delaware that weekend.  I am a pond/lake paddler.  Kayaking in rivers sends fear running through every part of my body.  I don't like the current to take me...I would rather my own strength take me.  But I survived.  And enjoyed small stretches of the river where it was calm.  In mid-August, The Bird Man and I decided to go to Vermont ~ our first vacation alone in 10 years.  We ate fabulous farm to table food, stayed at 3 wonderful B & Bs, collected rocks, hiked, and enjoyed a 2pm beer every day.  More on that another time.  
Now we are back to obligations, new schedules, new routines, a very neglected vegetable garden, and giving care to those that need it.  So here I sit.  I have made a whole unpaid career out of sitting and waiting for those I love while they are at sports, lessons, appointments, and while they heal.  I am not complaining one bit.  Someone needs to do it and my heart tells me it is me. 

This post should be photos of Maine, Vermont, the Pond, and all the abandoned structures in between.  But instead, I am posting some photos of the second to last piece of jewelry I made way back in late May-early June.  I am hoping it will prompt me to pick up a needle again.  

agate focal compliments of Cynthia

matte hematite beads, seed beads 

back side which can also be a front side

Fleur loves this grey spiral

I really need to get back to Me and weave.  A simple peyote bracelet is in my immediate future.  I can feel it in my hands already :-)