I Made a Vessel...

I know it's not a basket or a vase so it has to be a vessel, right? Actually, I saw a class at bead expo that looked like fun, but I don't happen to have an extra 150 bucks at the moment, so I thought I'd do my version for free...


While Patiently Waiting

for the next topic/colors in the tif challenge and inspiration for february's bjp, I'm playing around with a few leftover beads...I was going to take all my leftovers and put them in a big bag, but then I couldn't do this...combine two colors I like a lot...without a lot of visual sorting.


Playing Around

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous, so I was out taking photos....today it's back to our "normal" winter weather so I played with a little bit of peyote and brick stitch and made a pair of earrings. The technique is in this month's beadwork but the idea (peyote tube with opposite ends closed at 90 degree angle to each other) has been around for quite a while...it makes an interesting 3-D hollow bead...


Basho 26 - Ryushakuji

The cliff hanging temples at Ryushakuji...


Meditation or Patience?

"People who see my work for the first time often say to me, “You must have a lot of patience.” I always have to suppress a grin when I hear this because I am not at all patient. What the viewer may mistake for patience is only the result of my concentrating on sequential small areas over an extended period of time. After focusing intently on a small, highly defined space for many days, I lose sight of the world around me. Patience is not a factor. For me, the experience is more like meditating."

I copied the above paragraph off another fiber/bead artist's website because I could have written it about myself and because I've read the same thing over and over (in slightly different words but the gist is the same) in other beaders' websites, blogs and artist statements all over the web.

Obviously, many of us are experiencing that same sense of focused attention while doing our work that people experience when meditating.

What I find interesting is that you rarely (if at all) ever hear those kind of statements from fine artists in their artist statements and I wonder why? I know that when I am in the process of drawing something, I have that same feeling of focused attention as I have when beading, so I can only imagine that the painters feel it too....I wonder why it's never mentioned?

But my experience is limited...so if you've seen examples of painters and/or sculptors mentioning the meditative aspects of their art making process, please send me a link...I'd love to read it!


Basho Update

I've posted the first 25 pieces finished (mostly) in the Basho series here on my flickr site....this photo is of the first 24, just so I could see how they looked together...I may change this a bit.


Be a Pink Artist

A worthy cause and good excuse to play with a few scraps of fabric and embellishments...check it out here...


Baby It's Cold Outside

But I'm not going to tell you how cold, because everyone except the californians and other southerners would just laugh at me....but it's cold for HERE!
Anyway, now that you've got the weather report, I'm sure you'll be fascinated to know I'm going to be organizing my fabric stash today...now, my beads are organized already (to the point of obsession/compulsion some might say...) but it's only lately I've realized I finally have enough fat quarters to actually organize them...not being a quilter, but only a beader who embroiders on fabric, it's taken me a few years to actually have enough of them to even call them a "stash"...but I'm at that point that all of you will recognize, when I find myself going to the quilt store and buying a fat quarter and coming home to find I already have one exactly like it...soooooo, I need to organize and find some way of storing the little folded bits so I will know what I have!

Photos at 5....well, most of my fat quarters and half and whole yard cotton batiks fit into just 2 drawers...and they're on edge and color coordinated so I can see what I have at a glance...


TIF Done

I whipstitched some mocha colored rattail onto the edge of the "window" with some hand-dyed cotton thread...and my homage to Georgia O'Keeffe is finished.

And having sat with the January bead journal piece for several days, I've about decided it is done...anything I add at this point would be too much, I'm a thinkin'.....

Basho Done

The basho is finished...I think I'll try to finish the bjp this afternoon and maybe I can get the TIF edged too and then I'll be free to play with a few patterns from the latest beadwork that caught my interest...

January BJP

Not quite done, but close....it's called, "Shiloh's Gone and it's Raining Again.

Shiloh is a friend who goes south in january...never sure where she will end up or how she'll get there but that's not important to her, just going south is.


Hiraizumi or Basho Number 23

After a fairly short block, I was able to get a new piece started in the Basho series, and since this is number 23, I'm officially past the half way mark to 44...whew! I was beginning to think this series wasn't going to be done by my show in August, but now I've got hope I might do it after all!
I knew january was going to be the toughest month as this is always my worst for depression, but this year isn't as bad as last year, so I'm encouraged. And next month I have several things to look forward to, so maybe I can get through this winter without too much of a slow down...I hope.
Next up will be my bjp piece which I've not put a single stitch toward. I do have the fabric picked out but have been stumped on the face...maybe I need to make some more from my molds or maybe just make another original....we'll see.



Here are the 10 names I drew....remember, this is just a small fraction of the bloggers I'd like to give this award to!
Morwyn of Another Country...fantastic beader and member of the BJP.
Leslie, of Art Heart, who is not only a great mixed media artist but just wrote the most moving series of posts about her mother's death last month.
Jackie of Beading Gram, who is a wonderful supportive friend and fellow fiber/bead artist.
Robin of Beadlust, who has been my major inspiration for bead embroidery since I found her book, One Bead at a Time years ago.
Linda of Born Under a Bead Sign, another friend and incredibly talented bead artist who just had a beaded bracelet pattern published in the current Bead and Button magazine. Way to go, linda!
Diana, of The Lone Beader, whose beadwork just keeps getting bigger and better....YGG!
Janet of Life in Westcliffe, yet another friend and wonderful photographer who is primarily responsible for my being able to put my own photo at the top of this blog...thanks, janet!
Nina of Ornamental who is a wonderful artist, but it's her words that usually touch me deeply and I hope someday she can find the time to write a whole book about her artistic process....it would be a best seller!
SuzyQ of Beadweaver who finds the most fantastic beaders on the web for all of us to enjoy...and is a pretty darn good artist herself, although where she finds the time to bead is beyond me!
Sara of The Fabric of Meditation who has been an inspiration for doing more fiber work and who's studio is to die for...
I also have to add all the other participants in the Bead Journal Project and the Take It Further Challenge....all you foks just blow me away on a daily basis and I almost wish you'd stop, as you are all cutting into my beading time!
Or maybe I just need to develop some discipline...LOL!

You All Make My Day

After being a bit down, it was so nice to find that Paula of The Beauty of Life gave me a you make my day award, thanks, paula.....great timing!
The hard part is that you're supposed to give it to ten folks who make your day and I don't see how I can keep it down to ten! This past year has seen my blogroll go from 20 to about 90 and there isn't a one of them that doesn't make my day sooner or later!
So, I'm going to put all the names into a hat and just draw out the first 10...there's just no other way to do it, so if you don't see your name here, it's not because you don't make my day...just the luck of the draw!


Beaded Hand Portrait Shot Down

I'm a little bit sad today....the class I submitted for the Puget Sound Bead Festival was turned down. I have such a good time making these little hand portraits and they are certainly noticed when I wear them so I thought other beaders might enjoy making them too.

But, rejection is a major part of any art process, so I'll just get busy on another piece and by tomorrow I'll be back up again.

(I will be very interested in seeing the classes that were accepted for the festival, though!)


Done Except for Binding or Edging

Well, it came together pretty quickly once I figured out what I wanted to do...I "framed" the window with tiny abalone beads in several shapes, round, square, oblong, and then added a small net pocket in the center with tiny pearl glass beads....after that I made a tiny accordian book of O'Keeffe prints with the photo of her at the back and slipped it into the pocket...and finally added an unusual MOP button to hold the book shut while it's in the pocket.
Now to figure out how to finish it and it's done!


January TIF

It took a couple of days to come up with the direction I want to take this challenge but I decided I liked the idea of a window or an altar...I sketched out several shapes and decided I like this shape and it will work throughout the year....or something similar....
The theme for this month is Who Do You Admire and it was a tough one, as I have lots of people I admire but I finally decided on Georgia O'Keeffe as she was my first major inspiration and hope that a woman could make it in the "serious" art world. Plus her work just blew me away back in 1976 when I saw my first copy of the book on her work just published.
She's well known for her flowers and her landscapes but I couldn't pick just one of her pieces to incorporate into the TIF piece, so here's a photo of her, taken around 1920 by her not-yet-husband, Alfred Stieglitz. I also wanted to go with a more muted color scheme than you might expect and somehow this batik reminded me of the sand and hills of the desert where she made her home in her later years, Abiqui, New Mexico.


Take It Further Challenge

I've just joined Sharon B's Take It Further Challenge and it looks like great fun. It's a bit more structured than the Bead Journal Project, but not enough to be constricting, more of a challenge, I think. I seem to work better with a bit of a deadline and this will give me another one to shoot for. Plus it starts this month and goes for a year, so when the bjp is finished in May, I'll still have something else to work on.

I've gotten a bit done on the next piece in the basho series but not enough to post yet...I think this afternoon will be spent doodling ideas for the TIF challenge.


First New Year Post

Decks all cleared for tomorrow's beginning of the january BJP and (finally!) next piece in the Basho series!