Studio Wednesday

In my studio today, I worked on my last 2007 beaded journal page, my November page. Well, truth be told, it was such a gorgeous day weather-wise that I brought my beadwork out on my deck in the sunshine and enjoyed the fresh air. This is a photo of my greyhound, Buddy, who passed away in August 2001. We adopted him from Greyhound Friends in Hopkinton, MA, a non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to rescue greyhounds, take care of them and find forever homes for them. Also, to spread the word about them and their plight.

Greyhounds are such amazing dogs, enduring the hard and challenging life of racing at the track. They are usually “retired” after a couple of years of racing because it is so strenuous on their body. Very sadly, most of them are destroyed after they can’t race anymore. In ancient times, greyhounds were the revered pets and hunting dogs in Greece, Italy and Egypt, not used for how much money they could make for their owner.

Buddy, whose racing name was “Paris Boy”, was retired at age 2 1/2 and soon after came to live with my family. The first week he lived with us, we discovered that he had absolutely no idea what stairs were. We lived in a ranch house and it wasn’t until we visited my in-laws down the street and he got excited and walked up their deck stairs to greet them that we discovered he didn’t know how to get back down. My SIL got his front and I got his back and together we lifted him gently down the stairs. Poor guy was petrified. He also was afraid of rubber balls which we found out when we tried to play catch with him and he ran away in the opposite direction of the ball. One thing that he greatly enjoyed was to go into my daughter’s room and methodically take all of the stuffed animals off her bed back to his “nest” of blankets in the living room. We discovered this upon returning to the house one day to find him in a pile of stuffed animals. He was very happy that day.

I’m not really planning my beadwork ahead of time with this page. I was just going with the flow of the beads in the moment and found myself creating a pair of wings for Buddy’s heart. Well, they’re supposed to be wings. There’s some white space at the top and bottom of the photo so I’ll fill that in with some beads. I’m hoping to be finished with this page in the next day or two as the 2008-2009 BJP starts on September 1st.

For this new BJP year, I’ve decided to create journal bracelets, probably 1-1 1/2 inches wide x 6 inches long. With an ultrasuede backing, I’ll secure each one over a metal bracelet blank. I haven’t chosen a theme other than to make each one into a bracelet. My intention is to create a piece based on whatever I’m feeling at the moment. I’ll sew on one bead at a time and see where it takes me.

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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.

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.

Studio Wednesday

It worked! Here are the earrings that I used the epoxy on. After setting for 24 hours, the wire is holding solidly in the polymer clay. Sometimes I think that I have the tendency to get too complicated with my designs so I didn’t add any beads to these earrings. I just wanted a simple design of mokume gane and silver wire. I experimented with just a simple loop and a free-form wrapped loop.

Which do you like better?

I also picked up my May beaded journal page today and started beading again. I’ve been involved in working on other projects lately and, after a year of working on my pages, I feel that I am also reluctant to let the project go and be finished. So, I put it aside for awhile but it’s now time to get it finished and put together. I have set a goal to at least be finished with all of my pages by the time the 2008-09 BJP starts September 1st. Once my pages are complete, the next step is to put them all together into a wall hanging. I would like to sew 4 pages to a backing, the pages lined up one on top of another with some sort of strapping sandwiched between the pages and the backing. Then I will hang the 3 separate pieces of 4 pages from a dowel. By having the 3 separate pieces not sewed to one another, this will give me the freedom to rearrange them according to my mood or the season.

April Beaded Journal Page

My April Beaded Journal Page is complete. It is entitled “Home is where my Heart Grows”, representing the move to my new home at the end of April. As I have unpacked and settled in to my new home, my heart grows in layers of joy and love and experiences. My heart is sprouting some roots and from those roots, my garden is starting to bloom. The sun and moon watch over all, marking the passage of my journey.

There are some who move often and are able to do so with ease. I am not one of those people. After moving 8 times (5 states) as a child and teenager, loss became a part of my life as I connected and let go many times. So, there are issues there. As an adult, I did settle down and live 18 years in one house where I had my family and raised my kids. A divorce 4 years ago brought about a period of traumatic changes and another move for me and a lot of those issues returned. So, as I beaded this page, I concentrated on all the wonderful things I was gaining and welcoming into my life with this new move – living with someone I love, creating space for a garden and studio, bringing more creativity and color into my life, a space to welcome family and friends for tea and conversation. I read somewhere that the challenging times and losses in your life carve out crevices in your heart that leave plenty of room to be filled with love and positive joyful things. I had contemplated on whether I wanted to fill in the space in the middle of the heart in my piece. I decided to leave it open to symbolize my own crevice that is now welcoming and filling up with all of the joyful moments of my life.

Bracelets and April BJP

I’m so excited to announce that my bracelets have been posted to my website! You may view them here.

I’ve been diligently working on my April journal page. It represents my moving and settling in to my new home journey. As the garden has been blooming in bright colors, I decided to use a vibrant color palette to reflect that and my blooming happiness. I’m hoping to finish it this week.

My camera renders oranges and reds so intensely that I had to really tone down this photo quite a bit in Photoshop. It still appears like the background color is overtaking the colors of my beadwork. I don’t know how I feel about the empty part in the middle of my heart. I’m thinking of filling it up with something, possibly pearls. I may leave it empty though to represent an open heart which I aspire to have. What do you think?

I’m starting to meditate about my May page. I want it to represent a link to my very first page from last year called “The Garden in my Heart”. Now that I have a physical garden once again, there will be a connection with that. I’m still thinking about it…