Sunday, September 23, 2007

Remember

That necklace my coworker gave me to 'refurbish'?
This one:
Well, I was very careful to take notes while performing the frog stitch on it - along with photos for visual aid - in the hopes that I could re-create something like it. But I was inspired to use something more than seeds for my piece. I used freshwater pearls and dark chocolate/copper Swarovski bicones. It was great fun to make this necklace, and I have a feeling I might try this again. I had so many different color schemes ideas while working on it.

The sides are basically made the same way, but for the fact that I decided to leave the back portions bare. So instead of crocheting to the end, I finished in a nice 'figure-8' finger weave technique.

And then I used the extra long thread ends, attached them to the silver heart toggle, and then made a lovely cascade of branch fringes, incorporating more of the pearls. A good 'counter' weight for the heavy fringing at the front.
(and boy is this necklace weighty!)


The front tassel hangs from a large, chocolate brown, gold foil lampwork heart, and I varied the techniques in the fringes. A few are crocheted, like the main strands in the necklace, a few more branched fringes, and some simple strands, accented with more pearls, and more bicones.

Sadly, the photos do not do this piece justice. I tried to photograph is in ambient sunlight, but the pearls just gave off this bright glare. In the shade, and I lose a bit of the color's richness. (The pearls are golden yellow with coffee brown edges). Oh, but you should have seen the crystals shining in the sunlight. Nothing short of spectacular. Okay, it seems that my darling pearls might be finding themselves in a bit of a competition for my affection regarding these little sparklies... ;)

Well, I sure hope this is just the beginning of setting the muse in motion. My next endeavor: Finishing a few U.F.O.s that have been lying around for a while. I hate seeing them floundering on my table or in a box, just waiting to be completed. That, or the myriad other pieces that just need to be put out of their misery... Hopefully I'm pulling out of this funky haze that invaded my cranium in the most recent weeks. Hopefully.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Grimsby Festival of Arts

Sucked this year! I came prepared, with plenty of ammunition, but there just weren't any takers. I had the right attitude too. I didn't expect too much, just wanted to cover my costs, and then maybe double that so that I had a nice little sum to take home and take my friend to dinner, but no. This year, the GFA was filled with Lolly Gaggers! Not just that, but once again, I was faced with the fact that at least a quarter of the exhibitors were of the B&S variety: Buy and Sell. These numb skulls will buy some fifth-rate piece of crap, made by some poor beggar working for pennies a day in China or India, and then pass it off as their own at shows. Trust that a person like myself, who's been working at this craft for nearly 3 decades, can certainly tell the difference between an artisan/artist created piece, and a pennies piece. Trust... Besides, no artist worth her salt in the 'Americas' would even consider selling something that certainly took hours to make for a mere $5. (Not that the pieces are worth much more when you take the quality of the materials and the shoddy workmanship into account). But I gotta tell ya: It burns my ASS that I work so hard to offer quality pieces that just aren't recognized as such. In this day and age of Mass Consumption, the good folks have been tricked into thinking that quantity has become more important.

Just finished setting up. Still on cup of coffee #1.


However, the day was beautiful, and I got to spend it with my BFF M. No kids, and no moms. Just the two of us, hanging out, eating, and people watching. I think M might have the makings of a sales person. She was the best helper I ever had at one of these shows! Sadly, I don't think she'll be doing any more, since the results of this one were so disappointing. We certainly expected a bit more. But we had fun together, and that's what matters.



This last shot should get a chuckle out of you, certainly got one out of me:

Guess that's one way for Peepaw to make some extra cash, eh? ;)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dissassembly line

In preparation for an outdoor art show I was participating in this past weekend, I spent most of the week manufacturing. I knew I had more than enough stuff to sell, but I still went crazy making new pieces. I don't know where this habit of mine comes from, where I feel the need to make more pieces than necessary; as if my older creations weren't good enough, or I was going to run out of items to sell (Oh the HORROR! LOL!)... But, my hubby will always sensitively remind me: "It might be old to you, but it's new to them!" So from now on, I'm going to try not to overdo it. (Yeah RIGHT!)

So during my trip, I finally figured out how to sew a near invisible join on my crochet tubes, and so I've been crocheting bangles like a mad woman! I've found these bangles to be an excellent way to use up all those odds and ends size 6/0 beads that I just had too few of, so I made some lovely bead soups with them. Also good for those beads where I loved their color, but they only seemed to work well by themselves. (You know the ones! The ones you just HAD to buy, 'cause they were such an interesting color, but three years later, you still haven't used them, because no other bead suits them.) Like the white heart, root beer colored ones in the forefront of this photo.

But, what this also means, is that I've been running out of beads, real FAST! What does this mean? Why, a short trip to the R.R.R. box of course! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! The triple R box holds all those old projects that I didn't like as much once they were done, or only stopped halfway in the project, knowing full well I wouldn't like it completed (see, live and learn!), and countless practice pieces. I found two Dutch Spiral sets that had been laying in the box for years, and decided it was time to part with them. As luck would have it, they both contained a copious amount of Gunmetal size 6/0, which I was in sudden need of. ;)

It's a bitter sweet feeling, dismantling old pieces. Some I don't think I ever will take apart, but others, such as these practice pieces, will eventually bite the dust, so to speak. I couldn't help but dwell on the amount of hours I'd spent making these pieces. How I'd loved them once they were completed. How excited I felt at learning this new technique. But, I still took the scissors to them, and tried not to cringe too much at all the little bits of precious thread that were being sacrificed in order for me to reclaim a few beads.

One hour later, one set down, one to go:

Alright: Now, time to separate the 6/0's from the 11/0's!

30 minutes later: Two neat piles.
I think these will look really cool done in Crochet. I have quite a bit of the 11/0's soup. No clue what to make with those yet. But I'm sure I'll think of something, especially now that I just got MORE BEADS!

Hee! Hee! Hee!

Oh, the show, well, that's a whole 'nother post.