Showing posts from 2011

Doll Journey: Not just Beads

The week has slipped by without any beading being done but the inspiration is still swirling inside. Taking a passive role by just looking at magazines and books instead of creating, keeps me going.  I may still get to bead today  but I will save the progress photos to share next week.  While looking through magazines and previous journal entries, I discovered  that this has been brewing for a lot longer than I thought. I came across a journal entry created several months ago during a worship service.  It is an awesome experience! You look at the photo...seem like a coincidence to you? I used water soluble oil pastes and pen to create this journal page.

I love how you can work in one medium and it inspires your direction in another. If you work with multi-media, be sure to play with them all as your inspiration allows. You will find that it fuels a much bigger fire than you had dreamed. Uhh, no pun intended ( I think). I wonder what they were saying to each other? Blessings.

Doll Journey: The Unexpected

As I envision a phoenix rising from the ashes I see scrolls or swirls of movement. This is one of my favorite design elements and  I especially love it in architecture and furniture. Being one of my favorite things, it shouldn't be unexpected when I incorporate it into the bead work. It really wasn't but what was not expected would be my reaction to its presence and what it added . I began the scroll work after using a moss/ bocce stitch under the flames to transition the lower half of the doll to ashes. Selecting  a matte black 11 bead for the scroll outline. I wasn't completely settled on this bead or the scrolls from the beginning,  but I made myself push through and commit to the decision that was made. I set the doll down at this point, still not certain of the direction is was taking. Later I came back to her,  looked at the black scroll of bead work and picked her up, I felt an intensity that wasn't there before. A depth of meaning. Now I am certain that it belon…

Doll Journey: One Step at a Time

Whenever you work on a doll  you don't always have all the pieces together. I usually have more of the big picture than I did with this doll. What it has taught me is to "Take it one Step at a Time". While I worked on the flames, more and more things revealed themselves to me. I knew this doll was to have wings. What I didn't know was why. Now I DO! Follow along my thought process for a  minute. As a flame burns, there is a change created. We are left with Ashes. I remembered "beauty for ashes" and had to go find out why it sounded like I was trading beauty for a pile of ashes- when I knew it was supposed to be the other way around. When I found it,  it smacked me. I mean it resonated deep within me. Isaiah 61:3 "To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.…

Doll Journey:Sweet Spot

After focusing on the flames, more inspiration has welled up in my spirit. This is what so many artist search for before they create. For me, it comes as I get quiet, busy my hands and meditate on what is in front of me as well as what is pouring out of me. The inspiration isn't just for what I am working on at the time, it overflows into everything. I mean EVERYTHING. I begin to create in the still moments before I sleep, in my dreams I am fulfilling the  promises of future appointments.  It is:  THE SWEET SPOT! The place where you know that you are doing exactly what you are called to do. Where you are fulfilling your greatest desires and drawing on wisdom that rests within. When you are led by the creative spirit instead of a  thwarted body and confused mind. Your eyes are on the prize and you can feel the hope it carries into your life.
There is nothing else like it- To be exactly where you are supposed to be- No Questions asked-
No Doubts remain.

Doll Journey: Faithfulness

The  biggest challenge I face when I create a large project (of any kind) is faithfulness. I allow myself to toy with different ideas within the project but I am a stickler for being faithful to the vision. If it doesn't fit- it gets tossed to the side. This process is actually the part that I love. I think you might  call it problem solving but I like to refer to it as creative engineering.  When I began this doll,  I felt like I was working with a foreign medium, one never explored before. It sounds strange even to me, especially as I had my previous pieces right under my nose to contradict that feeling of inadequacy. I haven't made a doll in quite some time. I was completely disinterested with anything that had to do with bead embroidery. The last doll I completed took such a chunk of my soul to complete, I am still struggling getting over it and the events of my life that occured while creating her. So, I started to embroider on the arms of this doll and I thought,  "Yu…

Doll Journey: Focus

After trying to work on the arms a few times, I did not like what I saw. It was not the right texture and  I realized that the mixes needed to be refined a little. I can do that, and I can find the right texture too.
But  I decided that I just need to focus on what is really driving this doll, the flames. The idea is to stitch the shaped memory wire onto the fabric, bead it then cut around the edges. After all of that is done I may decide to paint the backside instead of beading it. Then I will attach it to the doll--and shoot myself in the foot for adding another element that will make beading the rest of the doll a nightmare. Maybe not...I don't have a really good track record for taking the easy way maybe. Here is a small mock up that set me to stitching. I learned how to do this (only she does it much better!) from  Susan Elliot. I am not even going to pretend that I know exactly how she did it, but I am making my attempt at doing it my own way and I am sure it will serv…

Doll Journey: Beady Beginnings

Students and onlookers usually have two questions. The first one is, " How long did it take you to make that?" I am hoping you will have the diligence (or endurance) to follow these weekly posts to see just how long it really takes to make this particular doll. Second question is, "Where do you start?" This question always comes up in classes. The answer is still not an easy one becauset here is no wrong answer. Folks often let their dolls tell them where to begin and it can be a way for many to just jump in. I tend to be very stategic and analytical about where I start beading, sometimes to a fault.  Every thing I do must adhere to the visioin, either it must support it or make it better.  In this case, a focal bead gave us our beady beginnings. In my last post, I shared with you what turned out to be the  foundational focals for this doll. I even shared the strategy of using them to correct a short coming in the dollform. This doll had sloping shoulders until I add…

Doll Journey: Nesting

Whenever a momma of any kind births, she begins to nest. She gathers things needed for a  time when little else gets done besides the nurturing of a new creature. Whenever we craft or create we do the same thing. We gather things close to us that we feel are necessary for some serious time spent on our project. On a grander scale, some may refer to it as "hoarding" but I prefer to call it nesting. It allows us to focus on the task at hand without interruption or distraction.
It makes sense, doesn't it?
My collecting usually starts with seed beads. I hunt down every possible color that I may want to include. For this doll I have put together 3 different mixes of flesh tones in different intensities.If you know me, you would think I am really crazy because I do NOT like my beads mixed. However, the idea is to see the glow of a flame reflecting off of a natural skin tone.  "Flesh to flames".
When I gather my materials, I leave no bin untouched. I search every draw…

Doll Journey, Vision

Whenever I start a large doll, I have a specific vision. I encourage my students to create this way too. What is a vision? A vision is something you see, it doens't have to really be there and it doesn't have to really be seen with your  physical eyes. It doesn't even have to be the whole thing- just a part. It can be a hope or a dream that you envision. It could be real or imagined, so long as you "see" it. My visions usually come from experiences that are unique to me. I may have shared events with others but the links to each event are my own. Hearing a band play a song, seeing the hawks floating on the wind, wanting to free that rooster of his beautiful neck feathers, even finding feathers on the driveway. Each of these events led to the vision of this doll. The song started it all. The lyrics say: Come be the fire inside of me, Come be the flame inside my heart, Until you and I are one. I see this part of the vision as a pose or a body position- which I have been a…

Creative Funk?!

Sometimes we all find ourselves in a creative funk. My funk began before I taught my class at Bead Fest. I had a difficult time getting it together to be productive. My preparations ahead of time really saved my keester. My class was successful, I had a lot of fun too. There was a lot of love in that room!
But, it vanished almost as soon as I got into the car to go home. We all deal with this problem in different ways. When I am in a mild funk, I like to look at magazines, books or blogs for inspiration. I love to look at Etsy too. This funk was different, it couldn't be shaken so easily. I made myself create something- anything. I started with quick projects like ATCs. I have over a dozen new ones now. Then I fell back on the fun project and made a fish with some new beads I bought at Bead Fest. I even sewed  two new jackets, a skirt and a vest that is still half done.... The funk was still there. I knew it was something deep seated...  I needed to get to the bottom of this, this th…

Bead Fest Texas 2011

Bead Fest this year was a benchmark for me. I was privileged to be chosen to teach a class. I posted before the class listing that appeared on the registrations site.  It was my first "national" class. I did have a familiar face amongst my students, Geri Moya- owner of Bead Heaven in Wautaga, TX but more importantly- my BEAD MOM. The lady at the second table from the front. One of my students even told me that she follows my blog (Thank you and I am sorry for not being consistent.).
All of my students did really well. They were very studious and worked very hard on their bracelets. After class, Mandi and I almost made a bee-line for Jeanette! What a talented and kind lady (not to mention beautiful- okay I will mention it.) After I finished shopping, I was so tired that I just sat on the floor and talked to her. Mandi had to come and find me after she shopped at Beyond Beadery.  Bead Fest was great but these two chicks made it fabulous for me.
Sorry my eyes were closed! Thanks …

Contests Anyone?

I gained so much confidence in my ability to create great bead art by doing well in competitions. Just that little boost encouraged me to keep going. Maybe something from this list will inspire you to enter and stretch your imagination.
Rings and Things : Rock N Roll Challenge
Entries accepted Dec 1- Jan 31st.

Land of Odds : Ugly Necklace Contest
Deadline March 15, 2012

Land of Odds :All Dolled Up Competition
Deadline Oct 31, 2013

More contests are sure to pop up at the beginning of the year, but be sure to remember those that happen every year like Bead Dreams (deadline March 6, 2012).

If these don't catch your fancy, then maybe the articles below will encourage you to keep looking for one that does interest you.
Here is a link to a podcast on Bead Circle about the "Top 7 Reasons to Enter a Beading Contest".
I also like the article I found on Seed Bead Smarts.

So what happens in a month?

I would like to say more beading, but really I haven't been beading much since the first week of August when I went to the Shreveport Bead retreat. I did bead another fish before I left, when I should have been more focused on making kits. But in my defense,  the work seems to go much easier when you allow yourself to take a deep breath and play before you begin. Then again' it may be because I am such an impressive procrastinator that I behave this way. Either way, it works for me and it might work for you but if it doesn't....I am not  responsible, it was just a suggestion! Below are photos of  the remaining Dragonfly Cuff kits. In essence, you bead a flat doll and stitch it to a cuff. The photos on the kits depicts  the prototype  and the actual kits are various colors and bead combos you could use to create a similar cuff  (instructions are inside too).
I went to Shreveport with a business goal in mind. Having wonderful business-minded cohorts in crime giving me the nud…

Been Beading....

Have You?

Hmmm, I think I am detecting a color theme...maybe it is just a coincidence- NAHHH! Blessings!


Not only does my 11 year old think it is cool to say " We have chicks at our house" as if he is this major "chick" magnet. He finds even more humor in telling folks that we have "two black chicks".  Well, we do. Of all the cute little chicks that have hatched two were black (so far). He sure does know how to test his momma's patience with his toot. Below is "Hawk" and her brood. (she may peck you for looking too closely)
Two of them needed a little rescuing and my hubby and I were all too eager to help( except for the pecking part).  It is wonderful to see new life. It keeps us positive and always looking for the better things life has to offer. It gives us hope. New chickie, just hatched with a little help.
Birth naturally leads to growth, and maturity. Whether a creature is born or a new piece of beadwork or other form of art, it all helps us grow and mature as artists. Take time to think of all the new births you have experiences…

Bead Circle

I want to take the time to Thank Mandi from BEAD CIRCLE for posting a podcast conversation between the two of us about 7 Reasons to Enter a Beading Contest.  It is an awesome resource to listen too while you bead. I also have used it to encourage me to push to the finish on a competion piece for the  Fashion Colorworks Contest hosted by My Lovely Beads.  Photos of  my piece will be posted after the finalist are chosen, so stay tuned. Until I can share with you the new design, how about a couple of pictures of last years entry taken by Bradford Bosher? This one did make it to the final 10. I call it Steampunk Style Beaded Cogs. A tutorial kit of a more basic version can be purchased on my side bar. 
It was also very cool to see an entry for this years contest with similar components. I love the look of thread over metal! It adds a design element you don't ordinarily think of when beading. Always looking to hide the thread would make you miss the opportunity to use it as a feature.

New Beginnings

Most of my work has been acknowledged for its merit as bead work. I am very thankful for all the opportunities I have been given in the "bead community". I came to beading several years ago as a way to pace how many creations I spill out. You see, I wanted something that took longer to complete. I had developed a speed in sewing that was just ridiculous and I didn't know what to do with the many items that came to occupy the much needed space in my home (errr closet). I also learned that I love to work on small projects adding a lot of detail. I now find myself coming full circle, but with a new beginning. I suppose it just spreads my artistry over many mediums. Choosing just one and sticking to it is a very frightening concept to me, so bear with me when the mood or need strikes to venture through another medium for a while.
This then leads us to  the second achievement stemming from the new beginnings in sewing, the first being the published article in "Altered Co…

Bead Fest Texas

2081, Waves of Grace 10/23/2011 $135.00

Ralonda Patterson
Bead Fest Texas WorkshopClass Date: Sunday, October 23, 2011
Time: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Level: All Levels
Technique: Bead Stitching
Classroom: Super Bowl II
Students will learn how to combine vintage or Swarovski buttons, solid ring and basic bead weaving to create a refined bracelet. Waves of Grace is a deceptively simple design that is versatile and rewarding. All skill levels are encouraged.
Some knowledge of brick stitch and herringbone and their terms is helpful but not required.
Materials List
Materials Included in Kit: Vintage or Swarovski rivoli 3015 buttons, metal o-rings, two colors of size 11 seed beads, one color size 15 seed bead and complete instructions.

Students must bring these REQUIRED MATERIALS to class: 6 or 8lb Fireline, size 10 beading sharps, size 11 beading needles, scissors, bead mat, needle puller

Dallas Bead Society

The ladies at the Dallas Bead Society are awesome people! Everytime I go to a meeting I leave encouraged and refreshed. At the  last meeting,  I taught  a class that was requested by one of the board members. She had come around during a previous meeting and spotted a flower on my mat  made from dagger beads and drops. IExplaining to her that it was inspired by a design I had found online but  it  was at an unobtainable  rate and  I then set out to teach myself another new trick. My flower looked different than the inspiration but it was lovely anyhow. After creating a handout for the ladies, it seemed to be a nice thought to offer a kit for a minimal fee to those who wanted one. Little did I know that so many of these precious ladies would want a kit and more than one! It was scramble but I discovered that I am good at it. I knew I could make kits but organizing who wants which color took a little bit more than just making kits. It is a blessing to see the excitement stirred by a proj…