Showing posts from 2010

Its beginning to look alot like Christmas...

What a wonderful Christmas season I have been experiencing. All around me, people are pouring out their hearts to others in need. I know, many of them do it every year, but this year I am not walking around in a funk missing my mother so much that it blinds me to what is going on around me. THIS year may be the first Christmas since she has passed that I may be able to carry on even half of her Christmas cheer.
I had the privilege of putting my sewing skills to work for the Christmas Play. This is not just any play, this is Starry Night, Noisy Night a  Suessical Musical about the Christmas story told from the perspective of the animals. Our sheep look like Little Bo Peep sheep, and our cows are a smashing hit with hot pink and black costumes. The greatest moment came when I fitted our little "rooster" in his costume. I don't have a picture of him in it but I do have a picture of my son filling in for the alterations.

Even with that great moment, my favorite costume is wor…

Break is over!

My little break from beading didn't last long at all!  I had volunteered to teach a class at the first ever Bead Heaven Bead Retreat at A Day Away Retreat in Boyd, Texas (just a hop on the farm to market road from me). The ladies  were disbelieving of how far I drive to spend time with them on Tuesday evenings. It does take all of 45 minutes to get there but the route is very easy and worry free. They had a little trouble with the backroads (they are fortunate the roads  were paved)  but that was not an issue for me since I grew up on them.  Kids in the area are often accused of "burning up the backroads" after they get their permits. There is alot of nostalgia for me that goes hand in hand with these tangled country roads  but I digress....lets just save that for another time. I taught a beaded toggle and loop and Geri, the owner of Bead Heaven in Watauga, provided kits for the ladies free of charge (the class I offered for free as well). This is Geri working away.
We took…

Not beads?!

I have been busy doing other things that do NOT require beads. I am taking a break. There has been a bit of cleaning going on and a whole lot of sewing and knitting.
I made a hat last year that was a ski cap with earflaps and sent it to my Father in Law and it was confiscated by my nephew with the promise of making another to replace it. I just finshed the replacement... I figure it is just in time for the cold weather too.
I took a gamble and glanced through a  knitting magazine and found the cutest squirrel and hedgehog pattern that I fell in love with. I decided I better try my hand as something easier to get a feel for making a plushy before I tried one that turned inside out to be another critter. In this same issue there was a pattern for a little owl.  Being fond of the gray variegated yarn I used for the ski hat I thought -- why not?
He is sittting on a quilt I am re-tying and is very patiently waiting for his other foot. He has been waiting all day... maybe he will get it be…

How did I do?

Possibly the cutest Megaman I have ever known! No, of course I am not at all biased.

Can't slow down...

I am trying to finish a Megaman costume for my son for the Fall Festival- he really wants to win the costume contest. Here is a photo I am using as a guide. So far I have the basic suit with the arm bands- no gloves (you can't unwrap candy with gloves on!) and I made a pair of spats for the boots, but I need to sew in the fasteners to keep them on. I taped a plastic bag on my son's head to make a form for the helmet but no fabric mock up yet. There are the ear "muffs" to make, the helmet, epaulets and a few other little details- like painting the white zipper navy. I have also decided that is will be a long cold winter and I am shoveling out the contents of my house so that there is lots of room for me to climb the walls. It is always sad to see the warmth of summer disappear. I even cleaned a window in the kitchen today and I just wanted to stand at the sink and look out that shiny clear glass it was a bit cool to really want to go out. My next goal is to get the rest…

Neck Corset

Never heard of such a thing? Be careful googling it... I got an eyeful myself.  I guess that is what happens when you like odd things. This one is very tame and I think I have hit upon a design I want to revisit- I am talking of this one not the eyeful. I started on this the Sunday before Bead Fest Texas. If you really know then you would  know I  just had to have something uniquely me to wear. As the commercial says, "Nailed it."  It took 6 days to  bead those little cogs and  to create some larger ones with an interesting shape (just to see if I could do it).  To make the corset, I used the same geometry application to draft a pattern for a neck corset as you would for an underbust. It worked and it gave me an exquisite foundation to sew all the cogs.
There are a total of 33 cogs! A few of them are stacked on top of one another for dimension. There is a necklace design  like this only without the neck corset  brewing, I can feel it.  I love the neck corsets and I want to make m…

Stuck like Chuck

Sometimes you hear the all familiar, "Mom come help me, I'm stuck!" You never know what you will see when you arrive. I like to set my laundry basket at the end of the couch until all the wash is dried and then I take over the couch with a folding party of one. My youngest also likes to use this same place to plug his DSI into the power strip....  What happened this time was priceless.   I wished I had realized I could use the video button while he was flailing his arms and legs trying to get out.  Instead, all you get are these still photos. I just watched as he figured out how to get out by himself. I laughed so hard because it was funny and  he really knows how to put on a show.
Each one of my kids have one night a week that they do something without the other. He insisted that he wear my latest creation...

  After a year long break, we are back to Scouting on Monday nights. He  is a second year Webelo scout and I am very proud of how he pays attention- then again sometimes n…

New Designs!

A friend of mine, Carol-Anne, designed this bracelet and handed me the beads to bead it. It is called the "Queen's Crown Bracelet".  I imagine the Queen of Hearts would love to get her hands on this jewel.  Carol-Anne  trusted me to test her instructions and I found them to be very well written and illustrated! WAY TO GO, Carol-Anne!  It was such a priviledge to stitch this and of course it always great when you get new beads! It took me several days to finish it but even my son had to try it on. While I was making it I would look over at him,  he was supposed to be doing schoolwork.  Instead,  he would be staring at me, mezmerized by the color and sparkle.
I did add a few bits here and there but the overall design is definitely true to her instructions. Her design lends itself to some great variations.  I have seen a couple from her and her first students that were just stunning. I used this peyote cirlce  instead of the loop in her instructions, she had one like this for…

The learning curve

I won a book at the Shreveport Bead Retreat and I have been challenging myself to learn about "Shaped Beadwork".  I love being able to apply what I have learned to so many things. Here is a better shot of the diamond shapes and now they have a purpose too! The flower is a "Trillium" from Diane Fitzgerald's book (Shaped Beadwork). And the bracelet band is the diagonal striped chain ( only my colors aren't striped AND it is 3 segments wide.) This trillium has added embellishments that were not covered by the book ( in other words- I made them up).
I have another project I am working on but "MUMS" the word. We all have to have some secrets- right? Keep on Beading my beady friends!

I HAVE been beading

SEE A gift for a special lady
First "Shaped Beadwork" looks like a rodent's head :(
Second "Shaped Beadwork"

Shreveport Bead Retreat

I had a terrific time at my very first bead retreat.  I don't think I ever got into bed before 1 :30 am and never slept past 8 am. We took daily trips to Starbuck's (Mandi is a superstar and gets an employee discount). I acquired a new nickname, one that is a quite common reference in my house- "Groceries". I guess I really do eat a lot, though it is not my favorite past time.
Even though it was a bead retreat I did not bead very much at all. I spent most of my time sharing with others and peddling kits and doll forms. All my peeps thought they were at the "popular table" with so many flocking to purchase kits and check out my beaded dolls too.
The cogs class I taught  was a big hit, my friend Carol-Anne did a logical thing and counted heads for me. I had 26 students, a teacher's aide, and a heckler. Mandi offered to help me, she collected money and announced my class was about to begin to any stragglers left in the ballroom. Another friend,  Julie the …

Fourth of July

I had the best Fourth ever. I was not looking forward to it. Two years ago, on July 4th,  my brother and I were on a whirlwind trip to Mississippi to see my mother who was in the hospital. Only to come home a week and half later with no mother at all. This memory being so fresh, I really didn't want to think about it. We were going to go and do the very thing I was supposed to have done instead of going on that trip. My niece was supposed to come for the first time since her Dad's funeral (locally) and my mom's too. I wasn't sure what to expect as she has had a real tough go. Her mother passed away in March 2007, then an aunt (my sister's closest friend) three months later, then her Dad in Feb. 2008, then of all things my Mom (who has always provided for her and was now her legal guardian) in July of 2008.  I wasn't sure what to expect. I have always wanted to be close to this young lady and my sister wouldn't really come around unless she had her act toget…

Still Standing

This is such a beautiful place, I love to look for it every time. I think the owner too had treasured it for the memories it shares with all who pass this way. I also look for it to disappear one day when someone decides that the space could be used differently. I just know that it will happen- someday. I am thankful that I remembered to photograph it before they did so the memory will live on a little longer.
There are a lot of memories that  are still standing.
I cannot post photos of it because most are protected by copyright laws, but it brings me back to 9-11. It brings me back to the moment that my mother called me a week later and said, "I am okay." A flood of emotion came over me in that brief moment. I knew my mother often worked across the street from the Pentagon and  stayed in a hotel in Fairfax, but I had NO idea she was there when this occurred. So the remembrance of watching these events unfold at the dealership while my care was getting a tune up flooded back…

Other things

There are times in your life when "other things" keep you from doing what you think you want to do. I have been so blessed with the harvest this year. My family members have sent many bags containing squash, okra, zucchini, and tomatoes to us. That is not all, we  have had so much rain this spring that there are bumper crops of  blackberries, plums, peaches, grapes and pears. I have never canned or frozen so much food before. Yesterday alone I canned 19 quarts and 2 pints of peaches (just from 2 trees and there are many more). There will be plenty to freeze and make preserves out of too. Many people have even given me their jars. More than providing food, it has provided and opportunity to save money, and  learning opportunities for  my kids.  Growing, picking, canning,  and/ or freezing isn't something most folks learn, there is an art to it all. My oldest helped skin the peaches yesterday (after they were scalded) and felt real proud of himself, and so he should have. I…

It is a finalist!!!

The over the top Beaded Cogs Steampunk Style necklace I created for the Fashion Colorworks 2010 Beading Contest made it to the finals. You can go and rate the top ten from 1-5 here. Here are the fabulous photos my wonderful photographer (Thanks again BRAD!!!) took and while it was at his house his wonderful wife and president of the Dallas Bead Society got to prance around and wear it for the day. I told her she had to wear it for a whole day before she sent it home to me!
He takes awesome photos!!!
It wasn't the first time my beady friends have snagged it to wear for the day. One of them still claims it is a birthday gift that I haven't given to them yet.
Thanks for stopping by!

Setting Priorities

Lately, life has decided to throw a lot of unfamiliar stuff at me. Many of them are great opportunities but some of them are very mind consuming. Mostly, I have been taking one step at a time. On top of traveling this new ground it is summer time, school is out and there is no real structure to speak of at my house at the moment. No one getting up and off to work, no one having to complete important tasks before going off to play or to fish. The only constant activity is meal time. I am wondering where all that energy came from to school,  keep up with the house hold chores and bead? All I seem to be doing lately is house hold chores. One day is running into another and I don't "feel" as if much is getting done. I guess that is why we all love summer. The days just pass by without a whole lot of fuss, or restraint a semblance of freedom. I have read other post that have talked about making their art/craft a priority so that the summer doesn't leave them without someth…

Tips for messy artists....

In my last post,  I shared with you how my need to clean. I did do alot of cleaning but now I am back to myself again and all I want to do is create! Typical! Well I didn't, and never will, get it all cleaned up but I did make one heck of a dent in things. I also discovered something about my habits that allow me to work even when things are in some form of disarray. I made this discovery when I decided  NOT to spit shine my house before a brand new visitor came for tutoring in the creative process.
Let's say that you crave an organized space  in order to "work" but you are not disciplined to maintain that order. Anyone here like that? I know I am!  Here is my suggestion: Use a place mat or in my case a cutting mat to block off a bit of "working" space and make everything on it as organized as you need to function at maximum productivity. Narrow your focus to this area. The world will tell you that everything else is still a mess, but  train your eyes to focus…

New Design Ideas

New Design ideas are flying in my head. They are all fighting for attention. In the book (Art and Fear) I am reading, I have learned that we tend to lean (or should lean)  towards practices that make us more productive. My productivity has come at a great cost to my environment. I am in a dire need to CLEAN. I know you hear it all the time that artists are naturally messy and live in certain state of chaos. This is largely true for me though I can only take so much chaos before my production is shot in the foot by irritation. I get into this "super mode" where everything I see and touch must be cleaned and reorganized. It is only then that I can rest and create. The only other time this mode surfaces is when I am in a calms me down. I am on the downside of this mode and am taking a little break to share the last thing I created before I went into this  frenzy.

I introduce to you Mr. Praze, my newest beaded "doll". He prefers to be called a necklace. He is …

New Camera photos...

I do miss my old camera, especially since I don't have the hang of this one yet.  I purchased an inexpensive Kodac C190 12 megapixel- 5X digital zoom. It is too soon to tell if I will love it just as much. I am hoping I will love it more! Here are photos of the necklace I tried to photograph with me webcam. Tell me, do you think the pictures are clear? Be honest!
Do you think it is a keeper? These are honestly the first photos I have tried to take with it.

Do Cameras have legs?

I finished the afore mentioned necklace and went to get my camera and now I have spent an hour cleaning out my car and ransacking my house in order to lay my hands on it. Bad thing is-- I haven't found it. I fear that it may have disappeared from my car. It doesn't make complete sense as my Tom Tom was in the same spot and it is on my table in clear view. I have tried to capture an image with our webcam- not the same but here it is.
I call this necklace Painterly because the end tubes look like paint brushes and the rest of the tubes look like oil paints on an artists tray. They are horrible photos  but it just goes to show how nice my little camera is- even if it was obsolete.

Finishing up

I am ready to finish the Deneen's necklace tomorrow- well actually today. It has taken up far too much head space and I will have a nice new necklace that will match everything denim and then some. I have fringe to do on the ends and then I will post pics for all to see that it is very different than the "Deneen's Necklace" class that I took from NanC last month. I am sure no one will mind that I -yet again- chunked the directions and just did my own thing. In my defense- not like I need to defend a deep seated tendency to be different- I did follow the instructions and came out with the desired results, according to the directions given, however, it simply did not appeal to me as it was. It  didn't feel right for me. It lacked a bit of fluidity to appeal to my senses.  Oh well you will see it soon...

Editorial staff.

I would like to thank my editorial staff for checking out my blog and helping me reword things when they seem a little more critical than I would like. Thanks for the FRESH EYES- you rock!


Here are two of my "students" at Bead Heaven. The one on the left took the class on the 11th and was not relishing the project at all. You may have guessed that from her expression. Perhaps she will view it with fresh eyes at a later date and enjoy it more then.
The lady on the right took the class two weeks before and showed me her own color-way she had put together. She loved making the cogs and allowed me to take photos of them.
I have learned loads about people in general from teaching this class and it has been an invaluable experience. I have taught children for a very long time but teaching adults is a whole new ball game and can be quite intimidating. Learning different ways to cope with different types of students is going to be one fast learning curve. I have seen other ladies do wonderful things with this kit and its instructions. I could kick myself for not getting pictures of  one lady's cogs. She vowed to use every bead in the kit and every ring. She did it a…