Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I've been cross stitching a lot hoping to get a few things finished before I leave. I'm already packing up my craft books and some supplies. Europe has been fun, but it will be nice to be home again. I'm not fond of living in rental quarters. I owned my own house for over 20 yrs and I prefer it to being paranoidly careful at home. Anyhow...onward and upward!
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Close-up of the bottom of the piece. Fire-polished bead dangles, fabric beads and a yo-yo.
This next piece is a quilt I made and then beaded. I stitched freeform beaded flowers. The last picture shows how I "tied" the quilt with beads.
This is a piece I did to experiment with using used dryer sheets which I painted.
I used flowers that I had used watercolors on and after placing on the quilt top, I thread-painted and beaded the flowers. More of these are to come.
This piece is done on a stretched, painted canvas. I used layered painted and melted Lutrador. I added a string of beads for sparkle and texture. I call it: "The DNA of Life."
This piece is also done on canvas. I used some painted, melted Lutrador, Angelina film, polymer clay beads, glass beads and a copper metal sun charm.
I call this: "Sunrise On The Beach."
This piece is on painted canvas with painted and melted Lutrador, Angelina film, glass leave beads and polymer clay beads. I call this one: "Sunlight Through the Leaves."
That's it for now. I do have some experiments that I've been working on. I'll be posting them in the next few days.
Thanks for visiting!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The Beaded Cat . I have also delved into making peyote amulet bags. I want to think up an idea for these bags that don't involve necklaces. I'm thinking about making them a bit bigger and making beaded evening bags. I don't know anyone who wears the amulet bags as necklaces anyway. I think I may make smaller peyote bags for keepsakes and storing earrings or even gift pouchs.....hmmmmm...
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I've got a list of projects to finish before I go, so I'll be busy, busy. Also, we've got a couple of trips planned around Europe. It's been fun and we'll have lived in Europe for 2 years by the time we go. That's not too bad.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
As for seed beads, for size 11 I use Delicas and Matsuno beads almost exclusively. I also use Matsuno size 8 and size 6. I am happy with my choices and will change only if I find a superior bead.
To any other proprietors of bead supplies, please do not post comments for the purpose of advertising your products on my blog. I will delete them and definitely will not patronize your business.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Saturday, October 25, 2008
However, I digress. I was transfixed by the art in Florence. Sure, they have paintings by the Masters and sculptures...some wonderful, some which make you wonder:
But nothing that struck my fancy like: mosaics. They sparked my imagination and delighted my eyes.
Since then, I've been trying to recreate mosiacs in materials other than stone or glass. Naturally, I turned to seed beads. So far, I've created the following:
This is the top of a paper mache box. I'm working on the sides now. I used some round beads square stitched together and some square beads stitched together to make "tile. That worked pretty well. Between and around the "tiles" I glued rows of black square beads as "grout." I intend to perfect the techniques for bead mosaics and create more.
Here I am beading the roof of a paper mache house box. I started out with twisted bugle beads, but realized they were not flexible enough or big enough to do the entire job.
Here I am using peacock-colored square beads to cover the roof. I did square stitch some of the beads into tiles, but it was just as fast to glue them on one at a time. This portion took me about 4 hours. Not a fast process, but it is rather relaxing.
The bottom picture is Jazzmyn checking out my latest creation.
When I want to buy in bulk, there is nothing like Fire Mountain Gems . For large quantities of seed beads, especially square beads, they are the best. But, sometimes I don't want large quantities. For smaller quantities, I like to buy my beads from an Ebay store called:
Miyuki Gal Beads . The first thing that caught my eye about MGB is that you can buy beads in groups of coordinated colors. You can also buy the beads in mixes of fringe, cubes, round and cylinder seed beads. And Sue at MGB provides great service. Whether I'm living in Hawaii or overseas, I get my MGB packages in a week or less.
And speaking of Sue at MGB, she was kind enough to feature my beading efforts on her blog: Seed Bead Sue . You should check out her blog. There are other really talented bead people featured there.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I work on several projects at once because sometimes I run out of creative ideas for one, but I know it's not finished. I don't know what's next, but I know there is a "next." For some people their projects speak to them. The project tells the artist what it wants next. That doesn't happen for me. Objects tell me things. I can pick up a button, a piece of polymer clay, fragment of fabric and it occurs to me that it would be perfect for that little piece I started two months ago and put aside for lack of inspiration. My projects WILL tell me when they want to be left alone; when they want to rest and be what they are for a while. At that point, I put them aside and leave them until something tells me to pick them up again.
I guess I am envious of people who can get inspiration that goes from beginning to end uninterrupted. My inspiration doesn't work like that. That's ok with me. I think I'd be frustrated if my inspiration got interrupted because I have to go to work 5 days a week. For now it comes in spurts and that suits my time to be able to create. It does, however, mean I don't finish as much as those with continuous inspiration. I'm ok with that, too. :)
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
With the colder weather, my thoughts turn to quilting. I've finished more quilts in the first year I've been here than I did in 4 years in Hawaii. Bob finally has his very own BIG quilt and I pin-basted a smaller quilt for him yesterday. Shouldn't be too long before that quilt is finished.
I have a HUGE quilt to pin-baste and and quilt in a month or two. It's a bed-sized monster.
Maybe I'll have a quilt basting party and get some help doing that.
I have more wall-quilts to work on, too. I'm going to bead some and applique pretty flowers on others. Hopefully, I have some pretty flower wall quilts to decorate the house for spring :)
Saturday, September 27, 2008
I used one of my polymer clay heads and daisy doily thingies (don't even know if they have a real name). I painted the daisy dollie thingies with textile paint and used some dichroic glass cabochons as the middle. I added gold leaf trim for stems and leaves and flower and butterfly beads. I thought I was finished with the quilt when I realized that Adelaide needed some jewelry. I added a multiple strand necklace and some "buttons." As you can see Adelaide looks very proud of her flower garden which grows on a background of painted fabric.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Saturday, August 23, 2008
I'm working on an original design of sunflowers. I think this one will be a beaded purse !
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Since I was around I started to learn beadweaving on a loom. I also began to do peyote, right angle, and spiral techiques, too. I began learning beadweaving a couple of years ago, but quit because I had my jewelry store on Ruby Lane and that store was too expensive to let just sit around; I had to get string items made. Now, with my Etsy store, I can put in what I want when I want and only incur expenses when I list or sell something. It makes things much more flexible so I can learn new techniques and expand my creativity.
I am almost finished with my first loomed bead tapestry that I designed myself. I'm pretty exicted! I'm not going to divulge much about it until I can actually post pictures.
Later today, I hope to get some pictures of some bracelets I've make this summer.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
And Village Sampler by Prairie Schooler:
I started this in 2005 and finished it two weeks ago. It's my favorite PS piece and I am so happy to have it not only finished, but framed and hanging in my living room as well.
Monday, June 2, 2008
I decided that there are some traditional patterns that I probably will never make. I'm out of the " cut little pieces and precise sew them together" realm of quilting. I like to use simple shapes and let the color and texture of the fabric speak for itself. Having taken that decision, I've been checking around for some of my favorite quilt patterns already made up into quilts. I thought I'd collect them and maybe use some of them to augment my own quilts.
So, I turned to the place where all things can be found....Ebay. I found several sellers who had good feedback and seemed reputable. I started collecting. I've collected 7 so far. Including a gorgeous 1930's wedding ring and a couple really nice lone star quilts.
I also collected one that is called Stars at the Crossroads. I love star blocks! This quilt is in colors of rose, blue and green. The pattern and age of this quilt is not so much as to make me unwilling to put it on my bed for the summer.
I washed the quilt, repaired a few loose seams and prepared it to grace my nicely made bed. I no sooner got the quilt smoothed over my chenille bedspread when my almost 12yr old Oriental Shorthair cat, Boo Boo, hopped on the bed and rolled on the new quilt like he'd never in his life laid on anything so comfortable! It was if he knew the quilt was new to the house and he had to make sure it had an appropriate amount of his cat hair on the new addition.
Why is it that cats are so drawn to quilts? Mine aren't drawn to tablecloths or placemats or even towels. Is it because they grew up in a household where quilts are lovingly made? Are they attracted by the good energy to comfort and warm that quilts possess? I don't know.
What do you think? Post a comment and let me know.
Saturday, May 3, 2008
At first I didn't like it at all and had half decided to dunk the gauze in my paint-dye (which is just paint diluted with water) instead of painting it. I put it aside to dry and didn't think about it too much. I took it out today and decided I really do like the way it looks. I used a bit of it in my newest project covered with layer of organza. I'm sure I'll find more uses for painted gauze.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
We were in Florence, Italy from Sunday to Thursday last week. Florence is a beautiful city and we had a lot of fun. The food, the wine and the people were exceptional!
I have been working on a few projects. I decided to paint some used dryer sheets just for the heck of it. I used Lumiere paint and I LOVED the result that I got. I took some black and white flowers that I had cut from other fabric and painted them with watercolors. They came out good, too. I decided to combine the dryer sheets and flowers into small quilts; they are about 12x10 or so.
I used metallic paint on the dry sheets, so they contrast nicely with the softer colors of the flowers. I have four quilts planned. I am fairly far along with one of the four. I did some thread painting on one of the flowers, did some fancy machine stitching and then did a bit of machine quilting. I decided the piece needed beads, so I beaded the inside of one flower and beaded a border around the whole piece with bugle and seed beads. The piece is crying out for more beads, but I haven't decided if I should do leaves or just abstract designs.
Once again I need to take pictures, which I will try to take and post tomorrow night. Given the choice between working on a project and taking pictures, I'm almost always tempted to work on the project.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
The background fabric is something I painted and posted in an early entry. I added a photo that was a piece of clipart which I tinted sepia in my photo manipulation software and printed out on fabric. I fused it and the piece of fabric beneath it to the painted fabric. I added lace and sewed beads to the piece. It does have a piece of fusible batting between the piece and the backing.
I'm beginning to think about embellishing more small quilts for wall hangings. This piece is going to my mom.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Three weeks ago, we took in a friend's cat. The friend was going out of country for a month or so and needed a place to stash her 5 yr old red tabby female cat named "Kitty." Kitty has stayed with us before, but it still required an adjustment period to get the Gruesome Twosome (my remaining cats) used to having a guest.
Kitty stays in the spare room with Bob at night. She is used to sleeping with people, and the Twosome always sleeps in the bedroom with me. Kitty has her own food and own "facilities" in her room. During the day, she has the run of the house. The house is so large that the three feline inhabitants could easily avoide each other all day long. But, you know they don't.
Kitty has developed an attachment to Bob. She sits next to him on the couch and walks past me to hop on his lap when she wakes up from a nap and just wants to see what "her Bob" is up to. This 8lb. cat has stolen Bob's heart. Bob has teased me about rearranging my stitching or laptop to accomodate one of the cats that wants to be petted or to take a nap on my lap.
Well, tonight, Bob is BUSTED. Little Miss Kitty Princess-Thang, as she has been nicknamed, hopped on the couch next to Bob. He immediately shifted so she could sit next to him. When it appeared that she wanted to sit on his lap, he moved his laptop. Of course, she just walked over his lap. She was just passing through, but hadn't checked him out in 30 minutes or so. Not only has Miss Kitty developed an attachment to Bob, he's developed an attachment to her!
In case anyone doesn't believe me...here are the pictures to prove it!
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Back to arts and crafts! I painted fabric yesterday....again. This is what I came up with:
I painted my already painted fabric with Lumiere metallic paints in gold, copper and silver. Then I used Shiva Paintsticks to do a rubbing of a rubber stamp of roses and one that turned out to look like a cool circle. This piece feels kind of stiff, more like paper than fabric. I still have to iron the piece.
Another experiment: I painted...er...already painted fabric and then used an oil paintstick to rub a checked rubber stamp. Then I painted two other textured stamps with Lumiere paint and stamped as much a I could. This piece came out softer than the one above. Not sure why. Both are nice and very useable. Both need to be ironed
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The red piece will have things added to it. I may add it to a piece of fabric and embellish it. The black and white pieces will probably stand on their own with embellishments.
I used a white on white fabric and painted with acrylic paint and water. After the fabric was dry, I used oil paintsticks for rubbings. I'll probably cut this apart and use pieces of it. I think I'll use smaller pieces of fabric and use my Lumiere paints.
This piece was painted with acrylic paint and water. I dried it hanging over the heating element in the bathroom, which left darker ridges in the fabrics. Rather intriguing....
Anyway, on to my artistic pursuits: I finally finished and bound my first embellished quilt. It's black and white with beaded flowers on it. I am horrible about taking pictures of things, but tomorrow is going to be picture day, I promise! I also worked on another black and white quilt that I'm going to give to Bob. It's only going to be about 54x60 or so. Just enough to cover him up.
I also painted some fabric, which was very messy. Probably didn't have to be so messy, but I'm messy when I'm happily creating stuff. I painted some white on white and then used oil paintsticks to do rubbings with some of my patterned rubber stamps. I did a bunch of different rubbings just to test out the technique. I like it and think I will incorporate it into some wall quilts. I'll post pictures of that, too.
Finally, I just got done playing with another technique that I am really liking a lot. I got the idea from the book Stitch, Dissolve, Distort With Machine Embroidery . I've been keeping a lot of my tiny scraps, thread ends, strings, things too small to be used to construct a quilt. I sandwiched all these goodies between water soluble stablizer sheets and free motion machine stitched all around. Then I soaked the pieces in water and came out with very interesting freeform pieces that I can embellish further and use to decorate wall quilts or use for wall quilts themselves. It's definitely something I want to experiment with more. Right now, I'm using Aquafilm as the stablizer, but I'm going to experiment with some Solvy stablizers next time. I like Aquafilm, but it is a little goopy when I'm trying to wash it out of my pieces.
That's it for tonight. Gotta get my beauty sleep. Tomorrow I need to do my mountain of laundry, but otherwise the house is clean. That means more time for play time!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Today I spend a fair amount of time making jewelry. First, of course, I cleaned the bathroom and swept the stairs. After I finished those chores and a few others, I felt grand sitting upstairs stringing and making earrings. I was on a natural material kick and worked with turquiose, lapis lazuli, serpentine and various quartz. I have to admit I was never fond of bracelets made with elastic cording. However, after making a few for me to wear, I can see that they have a place in my jewelry wardrobe. Sometimes after I have worked with fabric for weeks and weeks, I need some time with my beads :) I really liked combining my beads with fabric. That's the best of both worlds :)
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Sunday, March 2, 2008
It was cold, but at least on our first full day, it wasn't cold enough to keep us from stomping around the Colloseum and Palatine Hill. We were some of the first people to get out to Palatine Hill, where the ruins of the Roman Forum are as well as several temples dedicated to Roman gods. It was great to walk around such ancient fragments without hordes of people to trip over. We had the place to ourselves for an hour before the tour groups and school groups descended. From the Forum ruins you can walk upstairs to see Caesar's Forum. That was really interesting. Lots of columns remained and there was some active archeological activity going on. As you walk around Caesar's Forum, traffic whizzes by as present-day Romans go work or about their errands. And in the middle of it all are columns, statues and other remnants of "other" Romans who probably went about their business the same, only in different conveyances.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Got a log cabin in mind for Bob's next quilt. It will use some more of the coffee related fabric I bought for his first quilt, but didn't use. I think I'll call it Bob's Coffee Log Cabin.
As soon as I figure out a way to take a picture, I'll post one here.