End of Year

Well, it's the last weekend of the year and I'm doing my end of the year reckoning...one of the major reasons I started this blog was to get some idea of how much work I was actually getting done. Beadwork, especially seed bead work, is a very slow process compared with most other art mediums and I sometimes felt like I was working at the pace of a three-toed sloth.
But, I've been revisiting this blog and realizing that despite tendonitis and two carpal tunnel surgeries, I've still managed to get a lot done!
I've also got the studio rearranged a bit, the walk-in art closet re-organized and the decks cleared for next year's work.
And I have big plans. This is the year I will be taking my work to some galleries in Portland to see if I can find a fit for my, admittedly unusual, work. The "art" galleries have a hard time thinking of beadwork as "art" and the fine craft/jewelry galleries prefer artists who have some sort of production items that they can sell for a quick 30 or 40 bucks....my one-of-a-kind work is a hard fit for most of them. I do have several smaller galleries that carry my smaller pieces but the major gallery here on the coast that carried my work for many years changed hands and the new owners did not want to continue carrying my work. So, it's time to put on the marketing hat and start making the rounds.
I've also been gifted (thank you universe) with an idea for a major piece for next year, so I'm looking forward to starting work on that next week.
You'll hear more about that in the new year.
My single new years resolution is to walk every single day...rain, shine, hail, sleet, ice...keep walking until I shed some of the very unnecessary poundage I've put on the past few years! And then keep walking!
Thanks to everyone who has dropped by this year....your comments have meant a great deal to me...I hope some of mine have been what you needed to hear too!
The photos today are of my fairly clean and organized studio and art closet and some of the work I've done the past 18 months...
Oh, and one quick question....I'm considering moving over to beta blogger....any comments pro or con?



Happy Holidays!
One of the things I love the most about doing the work improvisationally is that "the piece" often surprises me! I start out with a general idea....and then it takes off from there! The bottom photo is pretty much what I had in mind when I started the piece...then I came to where I needed to finish it and I started the edging and realized I wanted to give an idea of the light rising and more light, so I started with silver-lined bugles and an occasional tiny swarovski crystal thrown in....by the time I got to the bottom, (a few larger swarovski's snuck in) a whole story had evolved in my head (while beading) and I wanted to add the idea of spring coming to it...so I fringed it with some very old silver nailheads in the shape of wings and hearts...the center fringe also has the only colored crystals...green for leaves and violet for flowers and a single flower-shaped nailhead.
And now it feels done.
Oh, it's a pin/pendant...



Old and New
I'm working this week on a face I started a week or so ago...it's coming together very slowly for some reason and I'm not real fond of it right now...but it seems if I keep going and finish it, I usually like it when it's done...usually.
The other piece I started yesterday, as a solstice piece, so I hope to have it done by the winter solstice tonight...you won't see any of the back ground material, but it was just what I wanted to work on.



yet another face

Faces, faces, faces...
along with hands, they just fascinate me. When my fingers get a bit more nimble, I think I may try some manipulation of the face molds and then maybe sculpt some faces of my own...


I can hardly believe it but...

It's our 35th anniversary...
and although it's been my intention to only post my beadwork here, I thought today I'd post a couple of my photos of our "neighborhood", which has been my major inspiration for the beadwork for many years....(think colors and feelings, not direct representation)...
and a picture of the two of us thirty-five years ago.


Back with the needle again

She's almost done, but I didn't want to over do last night...


Much Better

Should be beading
although a bit slowly at first, by next week...I'm typing two-handed, slowly, now...


Need I say more?

I hope not!
cause I'm doing this left handed....s l o w l y...


She's Done

Another one done
although I'm getting slower and slower, I notice. Well, the carpal tunnel surgery is for the 29th and then the other hand about a month later...


Storm's Over

Now that our wind/rain storm seems to have passed...
I can get back to beading...this one is almost done, but I got sidetracked with doc. appts., making a movie of the storm and playing with some new push molds...I don't know how many there are, but I'm sure getting a bunch of them! fun!


Polymer clay face cabs

I've been playing with polymer clay face cabs having been introduced to maureen carlson's face molds made by amaco....the package says you can make as many as you want to use in your own original creations, which is just what I'm going to use them for...


One Christmas present done...

This one is for my mom...
I think she'll like it, especially since the cab is vintage German glass and my mom was born in Germany...


Still Playing

I'm still having fun with these little polymer clay faces...but I see I have a long way to go. Not being a painter, it's going to take me a while to do something interesting to the faces to help the beading along...


Almost Done

I've been working on this piece for months...years really, if you count how long it took me to collect all the vintage pieces in it. The pin/pendant to one side was supposed to hang from the bottom of the necklace, but it doesn't seem to work, so it may turn out to be two pieces instead of a single large one...oh well, that's how it goes...you plan, but the piece does what it wants to in the end...

Harvest Moon

I finished this second moon yesterday...
I'm finding they take about 3 hours from start to finish, not including the making and baking of the moon faces themselves. I'm also going to be making some sun faces from the same artist, Maureen Carlson...the company that puts out the molds is Amaco, if anyone else is interested in playing with them. I owe Bonnie Anderson a big thanks for turning me on to this artists' face molds!


Egyptian Moon

I was so intrigued by Bonnie Anderson's Man in the Moon,
I had to do one too...except I don't usually do just one of anything...so I've got a whole series coming very slowly down the pike...this first one is called, Egyptian Moon...


At My Desk

My desk
is rather neat today...you can see the black support cuff lying next to the monitor...I'm still beading, but just a bit. My surgery for the carpal tunnel is Nov. 29th for the right hand and two months later for the left, so I don't think I'll be doing any christmas presents this year, unless they're strung...
Anyway, my desk is huge...my son gave it to me when he moved into a smaller place. The left side is all beads and fabric (in the drawers under the desk and the right side is mostly business, computer and digital camera supplies along with my 3-in-one printer, scanner, copier. I have a miniature cat collection on top of the bead drawers and a tiny bunny collection on the base of the lamp...this 9x10 room and the walk-in closet is my studio and where I spend the better part of my days. I do love working at home!


Face Swap

These are the two
face pins I received in the swap...the man in the moon by Bonnie Anderson and an unnamed face byMieke Bronckers...

Photo Day

I'm taking today
to photograph all the bead embroidery I have here in the studio...I've been looking for a gallery that specialized in fiber arts, but now I'm going to get serious about it! None of the galleries that carry my jewelry are really knowlegable about beadwork or any of the fiber arts really, so I'd rather not put my bead embroidered work in them.


Class Bust

Two faces..
several months ago I was approached about teaching a couple of classes at a day-long workshop put on by my local bead shop. I was happy to be asked and decided I'd teach how to bead around a face bead...yeah, the face swap came along a month or so later and the synchronicity blew me away...

anyway...I beaded a couple of faces (made by a friend of mine) and put them in the shop as class samples....as it turned out no one signed up for that class which was just as well, since by then the carpal tunnel made beading problematic!

But it got me to thinking about beading and teaching and what a small subgroup of beaders I belong to - people who not only have the patience to spend 50+ hours on one piece but actually love to do it! There isn't really any kind of beading I don't like to do (well, maybe loom work..;), but starting a piece of bead embroidery with some small idea of where it's going and then just following along until it's finished is one of the major joys of my life.

And that's number one on my list of 5 weird things about me....I'm still tying to find the other 4!


2 Fish

These two fish
are finally done and going to the gallery next week....I'll put a silk cord on them and they'll be ready to wear...their purchase price will go into the gallery's scholarship fund for art students since so much of the public funds for the arts have been cut.
The faces got sent off on friday for the beaded face swap...I love surprises and can hardly wait to see the two faces that will be living with me...


Face Swap

All Done
with the 2 face cabs I'm doing for a swap...not as much beading as I usually do, but I figured it was pretty good for someone with carpal tunnel in both hands! The faces are polymer clay from a purchased mold, the beads around them are tiny nailheads with a small swarovski crystal at the top...they have ultrasuede backs and a pin/pendant finding...



Color choices...
Robin's blog, Beadlust, has gotten me thinking about my color choices...I'm realizing I use a lot of greens...and then I looked up from the computer out one of my studio windows and saw this....well, duh...looks like I'm echoing my environment! Also, I live here in Oregon because I love greens and blues (and greys too) and that's what we have a lot of, especially here on the coast!

I also realized, after talking to some other local artists, that in the winter...when it can get a bit dreary with many days of rain...we all switch to brighter colors, as if to add some cheer to our lives and studios...

Little bits

A few small UFO's
I'm getting a number of my smaller UFO's done...I can work on them a short time and take a break and still finish them in a day, since most of the work is done...makes me wonder what took me so long!



Totem animals
are being discussed on robin atkin's bead blog, beadlust, and it reminded me of one of my earlier bead embroidery pieces...it was a study in mostly whites and it had a small MOP button and bear and I called it, Land of the Midnight Sun or Polar Bear's Journey...robin also did a post on polar bears which is what brought this to mind in the first place...now I've dug it out I think I'll see if it can finally be finished!


Not Quite Dones

A few small things I've been working on that are in various stages of done/undone...


another amulet done...

This has been a fun challenge for me...thanks so much!



The Amulet is done...
I managed to make a couple of tiny wire attachments and then beaded the edge of the back opening....the bag is two layers of ultrasuede, beaded together along the edge. The necklace has small clasps on both ends of the softflex, so I can use it for several pieces in that color grouping...


Picture This

Just a shot of my workspace
to keep me encouraged while I continue my battle with carpal tunnel and keep my mother entertained (she's visiting from Washington)...in the meantime I'll be checking out all my favorite bead blogs...thanks to you all (and you know who you are...).