Studio Wednesday

Today was not the usual full day in my studio as I was organizing and packing for my trip to Texas tomorrow. I was able to string the necklace for my turquoise cabochon. Originally, I wanted to have each strand directly attached to the beadwork framing the cabochon but the beads didn’t lay right when I tried it. Then I tried adding a bead in between a couple of the caramel picot beads on top. As I did that, I realized that I could peyote stitch a piece coming out of the top. Furthermore, that piece could be built up 3 rows, one for each of my necklace strands. The small oval turquoise beads were purchased at the Whole Bead show a couple of weekends ago. I brought the cab with me to the show so I could match the color of the turquoise. It’s amazing how many different colors turquoise beads can be! I’m still mulling over what to do with the clasp.

I also got a little time in on my September journal bracelet. The turquoise beads on either side of the tree spirit face were also purchased at the Whole Bead show. I love the crackle pattern in them.

I looked on the Weather.com website and saw that it will be 87 degrees down in Texas. It’s a good thing I hadn’t put my summer clothes away just yet. Be back on Sunday!

Studio Wednesday

Today I had 2 goals in my studio. First, to prepare the face cab for my first journal bracelet. Second, to work on my freeform bracelet.

I found some old leaf canes in my polymer clay stash and reduced them to a very small size. Then I framed the porcelain face cab (on the left) with cane slices. Well, I liked the look so much that I took out one of the glazed face cabs I created last January and did the same thing with it. So, I’ve decided to use the 2 face cabs, one for September and one for October. In a previous post, I talked about honoring the trees that were taken down in our backyard last week. There were 2 of them so I’ll create a bracelet to honor each tree. I’ve also created a whole bunch of leaf beads from the canes so I can also use those in my bracelets.

After my polymer clay work, I started balancing out my freeform bracelet by working on the side that was bowing in. I’m hoping to be able to finish with the body of the bracelet soon. Then I’ll document how I create the pearl and loop clasp.

12 months of beading

I am happy to present a year’s worth of beaded journal pages!

The first row (at the top, l to r) is June – September 2007, the second row October 2007- January 2008 and the third row February – May 2008.

When I finished my last page, I was so excited. When I look at this group shot, I am beyond excited and into jumping up and down ecstatic and really amazed that I actually did this.

I want to send a huge thank you and hug to my beady hero and mentor, the creator of the Beaded Journal Project, Robin Atkins. Her vision and inspiration has changed the lives of many artists through this amazing and wonderful project. I feel like my life has changed in an enormous way as I have learned much about myself through my beadwork and also to my commitment to stick with this project.

To all of my fellow BJP participants, bravo to one and all!

My last beaded journal page is done

Well, talk about getting down to the wire! With the 2008-09 Beaded Journal Project poised to begin tomorrow, I have completed my last page of the 2007-08 year, my November 2007 page. With my annual jewelry show in November, that whole month is dedicated to preparing for my show. Instead of creating my November page in December then, I was inspired to jump right into my December page at that time. So, November never got done until now. However, I always had what I wanted to create, a tribute page to my greyhound Buddy, in my mind. It was just a matter of getting the fabric paper to put in my printer, updating my printer cartridges and getting started on it.

I’m so glad to be finished with all of my pages. I feel a great sense of accomplishment even though I finished late. Now it is time to turn my sights to the new year and start on my first bracelet!

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.

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.