Fabulous Batik Fabric

I love the yummy fall colors of the batik fabric I recently purchased at Joann Fabric’s. Originally, I purchased it for my 2008 beaded journal pages but now I’m thinking of creating journal bracelets instead so I won’t need it for that. The one above on the right reminds me of Brian Froud’s fairy world.

Hmmmm, now what can I use all of this fabric for? Cloth art dolls?

Aren’t those seed pods in the fabric on the right just great?

When I was at the cutting station, I had the most interesting conversation with the sales clerk about the colors and patterns in these fabrics. I told her that I loved how your mind and imagination could play with the dots and swirls and see all sorts of interesting things in those patterns. It’s always changing everytime you look at it. She agreed and said that they all reminded her of dreams. That thought positively captivated me. Fabric dreams…

Studio Wednesday

I had to go in to my day job for 3 hours right in the middle of the day so, unfortunately, I didn’t get too much work done in my studio today. I was able to get a little beadwork done around this cabochon though. It’s one of my mokume gane polymer clay pieces. The background is one of 6 different fabulous fall color batiked fabrics I purchased on sale at Joann Fabric’s last week. I wanted to get a start with my 2008 beaded journal pages by purchasing some fabric for them. However, after giving some thought about the shape and size of the pages, I’ve decided to do something entirely different from this past year’s format and make either bead embroidered cuff bracelets or some small dolls. If I decide to go ahead with the bracelets, I won’t need the fabric but I’m sure I’ll find something fun to do with them. Right now I’m getting really inspired by just looking at them!

I’ve decided to keep the beading very simple for this cabochon pendant. For the necklace, I’m thinking of multiple strands of seed beads. I love the color of the framing row of seed beads. The photo doesn’t do it justice. It’s an opaque pale green. There’s something about a very pale green that I find so beautiful and yummy.

On the way home from work, I stopped at Staples to get new printer cartridges. When I did a test print of Buddy’s picture the other day, I discovered that I was almost out of ink. Boy, ink cartridges are super expensive! It’s been awhile since I purchased some. Now that I have them, I’m trying to think of what else I can print and create. When I got home, I printed Buddy’s picture on a sheet of Jacquard Inkjet cotton fabric. I’m thrilled at how clear the photo printed and am so excited to finally get started on my final page for the 2007 BJP.

Saturday Morning Tea

I’m up very early for a Saturday morning because I’m preparing to go down the Cape to Hyannis to visit a very dear friend. We’ve known each other since freshman year in high school (many moons ago!) and have experienced many significant life events together – weddings, births, deaths, divorces, moves. As our kids have gotten older, our visits have become more and more infrequent, I’m sad to say. It has now been a whole year since we’ve last seen each other so I’m really looking forward to our visit. And Hyannis has a wonderful bead shop, too.

After the stormy weather of the past few days, today has dawned clear and bright. And quiet. No rumble of thunder in the distance. The birds are even quiet this morning. Speaking of birds, this morning’s tea is a China green called Phoenix Eyebrow. Harvested very early in the spring, the leaves are processed and shaped into tight points on either side and curved to resemble eyebrows.

I found some intact leaf sets. Gorgeous!

With a fresh vegetal aroma, the liquor is very light in color and taste. It tastes smooth and full with a slight sweetness in the finish. As the tea cooled, more sweetness was revealed in its flavor. I think this would make a very nice iced tea. Mmmm…

A Wonderful Surprise

Last Friday afternoon I visited a dear friend who, as I arrived at her house, revealed that she was taking me somewhere special and that it was a surprise. Oooo, I love surprises so we got in the car and drove to the next town. The surprise was a hidden gem of a store called “Second Look Books”, located in Plainville, MA. They sell second hand books but what captivated me as I walked through the front door was the abundance of crystals and gemstones on display in every nook and cranny of the place. Laura took one look at my face and said, “I knew you’d really like it here!”

Tumbled and rough stones were placed all around the room on windowsills, on tabletops, in overflowing baskets and hidden inside small spice drawer cabinets. When we arrived, the proprietor Sue, was busily making little stone cairns by gluing small stones, one on top of another. She was very helpful in sharing information about the metaphysical properties of the various stones as we delighted in one treasure after another. Above is my little cache of carefully chosen objects.

The goddess and polar bear are both carved of bone. The rectangular cabochon in the middle is a septarian nodule containing yellow calcite crystals. I was very drawn to its unusual formation and color combination. The jade piece on the right is called the Knot of Eternity or endless knot, being described as “representing the interweaving of the Spiritual Path.” I have always loved this symbol and thought it would go well with my faux jade bracelet just completed.

I decided to put a magnetic clasp on my bracelet with a couple of brass Chinese coins on either side. Originally, I imagined making a toggle clasp with one of the coins but the inner square is too small for a toggle. Has anyone had any experience with magnetic clasps coming undone? I thought a safety chain might be a good idea but then there will be a fair amount of chain hanging from the clasp area because it would have to be long enough to get the bracelet over someone’s hand. I’ve worn the bracelet several times to test it out and it has stayed firmly clasped. The other idea I had was to place a hook and eye on either side of the magnet clasp so one could hook it after the bracelet was clasped. I was also thinking about dipping the clasp into some liver of sulfur to darken it a bit.

Yesterday was a wild weather day with severe thunderstorms moving through the area most of the afternoon. We even lost power for a couple of hours. Our black lab Jack, was glued to my side while I sat and started the beadwork around one of my mokume gane polymer clay cabochons.

Studio Wednesday

Today was a dark and dreary rainy day, a good day to spend time inside in my studio with a cup of tea by my side. I started out the day by cleaning and organizing the studio and then set to work on my May beaded journal page.

My first journal page, entitled “A Garden in my Heart”, was completed in June 2007. When I moved out of my house 4 1/2 years ago and into my apartment, I had to give up my physical garden but it’s wonderful memory always remained in my heart, forever a part of me. Now that I live in a house again with a beautiful garden, I am able to open my heart to my new garden and let my flowers take root here. So, this is what my May page symbolizes. It’s not quite done yet. I have the next couple of days off from work and I hope to finish it by this weekend. Then I will just need to create a November page. My original idea was to create a page in memory of my beloved greyhound, Buddy. He passed away in August of 2001 so I feel it’s right that I create his page during the month of the 7th anniversary of his death. He was a loyal and lovable companion and I still miss him everyday.