11.10.2016

My Big Fat Art Project

I gave up on National Novel Writing Month after only three days - a new record for me. There were just too many other projects piled up to give it the kind of attention I have in the past.

My favorite project at the moment is My Big Fat Art Project. It's underway, and the first tile is finished!


Playing with techniques and a minimalist palette is proving more challenging than I originally thought, as well as being interesting, and strangely compelling, work.

Only nineteen left to go -



WooHoo!

More later -

10.29.2016

I Should Get Dressed

I'm still in my soft pants and it's 10:30 on a Saturday. I woke at about 7 - did some stretches, checked the mail, made coffee, stared at my work table for a while, read a chapter of "Demelza," rode my bike half an hour, thought about - but did not have - breakfast, did some beading, got all dreamy about my Big Project (more on that in a minute), and came to the rude awakening that I desperately need to structure my days more effectively.

Here's why. A few days ago I got this brilliant idea for a beaded art piece. I looked around, and the whole house was knee-deep in at least a dozen projects I wasn't working on, due to sensory overload. I cleaned off the table and all the horizontal surfaces in the main living area. Next thing I know I'm experiencing Craft Creep. I took some photos of my table.



First, there's this Cubic Right Angle Weave bangle cuff I felt compelled to make - something about the combination of matte chocolate and matte turquoise - makes me think of striped socks on witches. It *is* that time of year, you know. CRAW is time-consuming, intensive, has great texture, and is very, very durable. I love the weaving of it. It's meditative. I NEED TO DO THIS.



Also, I need to get going on the next piece for Embellishing the Runway - inspired by the winner of Episode 7. Calling it the Skull Island Challenge. 
The sketch doesn't really tell the whole story. 
But then, it's a very, very short story. 
More like Flash Fiction, actually.



Then last but not least, the Big Art Project, still in the gathering and plotting stage. All I'm going to say about this right now is that it is destined to be wall art, and it involves a lot of mookaite, matte and semi-glaze finish seed beads, and a bunch of pewter stars.


I predict I'll be working on this over the next four to six months, since there are other things that need doing. Like making holiday gifts and ornaments. And baking. And National Novel Writing Month. And other beading projects as they crop up. Hence the desperate need to get seriously organized.

First, though, I should get dressed. And get some breakfast.

Obviously - as time allows -  more later.

10.25.2016

Embellishing the 15th Runway

I'm caught up on all the episodes to date, so here they are.

From Episode 4, the winner of the design challenge was Rik Villa - this was the "Heidi's Sweatshop/Create Your Own Textile" combo challenge. I made a two-sided pendant with Japanese seed beads in a harlequin pattern, accented with orange/red glass crow beads



From Episode 5, the dreaded "team challenge." This wasn't too bad - there were multiple looks to draw inspiration from. I had to dig for it, but I finally found mine in the embellishment that was slapped onto that *shudder* coat. I was happy for Dexter Simmons to get the win that week as the leader of the team. Good for him.



And now here we are, all caught up with Episode 6, the cocktail dress competition. I really liked Laurence's design the best, but OH WELL. The winner, Jenni Riccetti, used the Absolut vodka copper pineapple as her inspiration, so I did the same. I used copper lined Czech seed beads, accenting the pendant with glass crow beads and copper metal rounds.


Now it's back to my regularly scheduled beadwork - I'm taking a short break from barrettes and exploring the wonders of herringbone stitch. I saw a wonderful hand crocheted autumn blanket in fabulous muted tones, and I thought - I can re-interpret that into some nice cuff bracelets. I bet.

So more later!

10.20.2016

Staying Busy

I finished my fourth piece for Embellishing the Runway, and the fifth challenge is on the drawing board - I'm shockingly behind this week - because in the meantime I've been making some other things.

First off, I'm obsessed with those delica beads I got a few weeks ago. I've been making barrettes.

I created this pattern, Rebecca's Ribbons, as a gift for my daughter-in-law, and just loved it so much, I had to make more and more and more. And there are more on the worktable. 
Here's some close-ups:


The design is based on a traditional quilt pattern.

I'm also working on a bead crochet lanyard for a friend - she requested an ombre effect, which I have done before - I just forgot how long it takes to plot one out and then string it. Two days. Fortunately, the crochet itself just whips right along, so here's that work in progress, just past the half-way mark.


So that's what I've been up to.

And I really am working on that fifth design for Embellishing the Runway. See?

So obviously, more later!

10.02.2016

Time Again: Embellishing the Runway

Project Runway is once again serving as inspiration for our small but mighty band of intrepid artisans over on Facebook:

Embellishing the Runway

And aside from making a super-long bead crochet rope for myself,


and making Chinese lantern beads for the Jade Dog,

(I stole this pic from the Jade Dog, since hers came out better than mine)

I've been making pendants in response to the current "Embellishing the Runway" design challenge. So far there have been three episodes/challenges, and here are my results.

From Episode One: 

This was the "unconventional" challenge. The winner was Erin Robertson.

A closer look.
In this challenge, I took elements from Erin's design - the color, the fringe, the ball candies, and came up with this pendant using a beaded bamboo tile, Japanese glass seed beads, and a beaded fringe bead. I hung it on a copper chain.

From Episode Two:

This was the 'design for actual people' challenge. The winner was Laurence Basse.

A closer look.
Again, I went with elements from the original design - the color and the suede band, but looked to the accessories for more detail, using Japanese glass seed beads, antiqued copper metal beads, and vintage black sequins. I hung it on a black ball chain.

From Episode Three:

This was the technology challenge - all the outfits had to 'transform' under black light. Erin Robertson was the winner again. I 'shopped in a detail pic to get a better look at the embellishment.

A closer look.
I used the embellishments Erin created for the dress as my inspiration, specifically the color palette, fringe elements, and the big blue dot (from her 'nipple covers'). I used Japanese glass seed beads, a black glass crow bead, a silver colored ball bead, and a few tiny freshwater pearls.  It's hung it on multiple strands of black/white ombre rayon ribbon.

My time is currently consumed with these gorgeous picasso and delicious semi-glazed seed beads from the Jade Dog - sketching like a mad thing and generally having fun with different pattern concepts.

With more episodes of the Runway ahead, and all these perfect-for-fall colors of beads on hand, there will definitely be more later.

8.18.2016

Obsessive? Compulsive?

I might just be. I get a concept in my head and I just work it and work it until I've either exhausted the beads necessary, or myself. And with this bangle idea, I haven't even come close on either score.

With the black & white cuff, I used three different sizes of drops and magatamas, giving it a playful texture.



I can't decide what this reminds me of more strongly - bubbles or dew drops on the lawn: 



Right now I'm working on one that's a mix of drops and spikes.

More later!

8.15.2016

Listing the Pendants

After much hemming, hawing, redesigning and re-designating, I got myself in gear and listed the pendants I've shared here over the past few weeks.  You can find them in my Etsy shop's Necklaces section HERE.

This is what you'll find:
Click to embiggen!

I have a tenuous schedule for listing some other stuff I've been working on lately, but the making of stuff is more enticing. I'm determined to find that balance between the crafting and the business of crafting. It's a struggle for sure.

More later!