Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Been keeping the old hands busy

So, seems the sun has brought back this fantastic renewal of energy, and I've been a busy little bee. Well, I think bees might like these last creations of mine, if I do say so myself.

While packing (again!), I found yet another forgotten bead stash (again!). This time, drops, leaves, and 'petals'. They didn't look like leaves to me, as they have this slight curve to them, but they did look like flower petals, so petals they'll be. :)

Here is a lovely little bouquet for your viewing pleasure. Great for the allergy sufferer who loves flowers, but can't stand their pollen, LOL! Also great for anyone who might have metal allergies. Also a fantastic way to accessorize your ensemble, without breaking the bank.

The black and white one on the tip of my pinkie there was custom made for my Mimi, and boy oh boy, did she ever love it!
We went out on the town today, and she proudly showed it off to anyone who'd ask.
My little Princess. :)

I also found a stash of size 6/0 triangle beads that I just did not know what to do with. I was going to try a reversible bracelet, 'cause they look so darn neat, but for some reason, just went with Ndebele instead. Still looks pretty good. Hubby thinks that this might make a nice band for a man, but I'm not sure that he'd actually wear it himself...
Perhaps if I played around with clasps and used something a bit more rugged looking... Or leather lacing. I don't know! I know girlie, not guy-y... ;)

So, that's what I've been up to. That, and I've found an avid student at the shop. Her name is Sarah, and she just came in one day, looking to learn, so I sat right there with her and taught her stringing. The next week was wire wrapping. And the following visit was Peyote. And the girl just wants to learn more, and more, and more. LOVE IT! It's done wonders for my recent lackluster efforts in the bead foray. I swear, I thought I was on my way to selling my beads off... I don't know where it came from, but it seems to have gone away now. And I hope it stays that way too...

Hope you're all enjoying a fantastic summer, and that you're wearing lots of sunscreen, 'cause I don't know about you, but I'm finding the sun incredibly hot nowadays. SPF 50, re-applied twice in as many hours, and I STILL got a sunburn... OUCH! :(

K. Back to the old beading table!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New stuff

In the midst of packing in the event of our imminent move (we're house hunting, and I don't want to be caught off guard, so I've already started packing, even though we haven't bought the house yet... LOL), I found another nice stash of wooden beads.
Smaller ones this time, that I'd set aside for something. An idea I'd had of mixing these wooden beads with glass beads in a crocheting project. Well, that idea kinda was put on the back burner - sort of like everything else around here these days.... - and since I've been in this incredible 3-D mode lately, I thought I'd make more forms with them, but once I started playing, something else happened. Something wild and natural, and so I just went with it.

I was going to make a series of beaded beads with these, but after I finished the first one, I decided to keep playing, and to see what it would look like if I just kept constructing more segments, but keeping them all attached. And as if that wasn't enough, I went ahead and did a little surface embellishing with some 4 mm Swarovski bicones in Jonquil (nice light yellow). And here is the result:

Now, this angle doesn't really do the piece justice, but each of those segments are three dimensional. Or as Mimi likes to say, they're "Puffy".

The only problem I had was that I hadn't realized just how fragile these beads are! Too much thread and BAM! the beads exploded. No seriously, they just shattered. And as [my] luck would have it, the very last pass I was going for, the very last bead, was just about to finish my thread, just gonna pass through this last one bead, and there you have it. It shattered. Darn it! Darn! Drat! Darn!
See it? Right there, the missing bead. Nothing but thread left behind. I decided to skip taking the piece apart and redoing it. Something that I would SO have done in the past. Instead, the new me has chosen to keep this bangle for herself, and now calls it her 'prototype'. So, I wrapped more thread around the thread left behind by the missing bead so keep it nice and neat. I might add something there in the future, like a charm or something, just to make it more covered, but for now, it's staying as-is. To be honest, I've never seen a piece like this, and I'm quite proud of its design. I will be looking for beads in different materials to make them, since I'm not sure I'd want to sell these if they're liable to break so easily. However, I've worn it quite a few times, and so far so good.

I made a few strung pieces for my "Sticks & Stones" collection a little while back, but only got to photographing them a few days ago. They're not my usual style, since I'm more into the weaving than the stringing, but I really like them. I think what I like most about making these is that they're incredible gratifying. Almost instantly so. ;) Stringing is actually difficult for me. I have more vision for the larger, constructed pieces than stringing.

This one is made of glass, wooden beads, and large seeds. Or beans, they could be beans. They're perfectly round, and look so earthy.

Jade, bone, wood and hematite

Carved glass cubes, wood, glass and seeds (beans)

Carnelian, wood, sandalwood seeds, and czeck glass rondelles.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

More forms.

I've decided to make these into little sets. I call them my little "Executive Sets". You know, those guys we love who just don't do jewelery. Well, they might not totally be into these executive sets, but they might think they look cool.

The white set is much smaller than the other three, by a third actually, but since I didn't put anything in the photo to scale them by, you'll have to take my word for it. ;)

The Sphere, the Star, and the Cube.

Aren't they cool???????

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Garden bracelet

School's out for summer!
No more paper, no more books, no more teacher's loving looks. (Yeah, I know, it's dirty, but Mme. Line was a fantastic teacher.)

Sadly, our beloved principal got the notice that she was being transferred to another school in the area, as her 6 year contract was up. We knew that her contract was coming to an end, but we thought that since she had settled in so nicely, and had done such a fantastic job with this school, that they would have let her stay. But no. Mme Muriel was a fantastic principal, and was definitely one of the deciding factors in choosing St. Marguerite Bourgeoys for our daughter.

We met with her when Jaimée was just 3 years old, and preparing to enter J.K., and from the moment we met her, she reached out and held my daughter's hand. She personally gave us the full tour of the school, and even went to far as to introduce Jaimée to her future little classmates. During our walk, she greeted every child that crossed our paths by name, like every one was her own. And she treated her whole crew like family. She will be missed terribly, and more than one person, grown-up and child alike, cried during her going away ceremony.

I was unable to contribute to the pot for her present, but I was able to make her something entirely unique, and made just for her. Frankly, it wasn't too dificult to design. I knew already that Mme. Muriel was [overly] fond of purple, so the color scheme was easy. Then, while searching around for the right beads, I stumbled on a few drawers filled with pressed glass flowers: Trumpets, cups, and drops, oh my! ;)
I had a small length of sterling silver chain, the kind with all the extra links attached to it, and a nice little sterling silver toggle. And then? Then I realized I was out of HEADPINS!


Good thing I work in a bead store, and was able to pick some up. And so, I got to work on this gorgeous (if I do say so myself) 'ChaCha' bracelet. While I was working, I happened to glance at the dining room table, and spied these cute little pressed nickle leaves. Ooooh, and a few peackock pearls that were previously discarded as too 'wonky' for my tripple-strand necklace, but were perfect for this project!
And here it is!

dark amethyst trumpet flowers, light purply/blue cup flowers, light (not white, not clear...) drop flowers, pressed leaves, and pearls.

The card was written in French of course, but I'll translate it for you:

Voici un petit jardin pour encercler votre poignet Muriel,
Pour vous rapeller de toutes vos petites fleurs à S.M.B.

"Here is a little garden to encircle your wrist Muriel,
To remind you of all of your little flowers at S.M.B."

I would have loved to see her reaciton personally when I delivered the gift to her, but as luck would have it, she was absent that day. However, I had quite a few teachers and teacher's aids come up to me to tell me of her reaction, and I guess she was beyond touched. She certainly seemed so when I had the chance to see her last Monday, and she just wouldn't stop hugging me, and told me that she had shown it to absolutely EVERYONE, and even made them read the note I'd written.
Then it was my turn to be touched.

You know, I've got to admit, as an artist, regardless of the medium I use, one of my greatest pleasures is bringing such joy to people by gifting them with something I made of my own two hands. I just love making people happy, and this was certainly one of those times.