Feels Better In Here -

There's no reason for that picture - I just like it. I have the Astronomy Picture of the Day website bookmarked to open with my morning mail. Helps me keep things in perspecitive.

Now that I've let the seams out - my son the webwiz helped me to customize my blogger page here by trimming the margins - if anyone has trouble viewing this, please let me know by comment.

I should finish The Far Sunset this afternoon, but right now I need to post yet another of my Cool Dangly Bits to Etsy and lov.li. Oh yeah, and I need to eat something - missed lunch again.

Later that same day . . .

I finished The Far Sunset - pics will be up tomorrow. I just checked things over at Etsy and I'm in a treasury - it's been a while since that happened - I'm delighted to see it's one of my more intricate pieces.


The Far Sunset, In Progress

I began work on this flat peyote band bracelet a few days ago. I had some problems working out exactly how I was going to do this - my customer wants a band in sunset colors. I went through I don't know how many photography and art books, looking for the perfect sunset. I found my inspiration in a Maxfield Parrish painting. I picked out the colors I wanted to use. Now. I really suck at charting designs, and I can't seem to work out how to use beading software. Someday, maybe. So how to do this in a practical way?

Someone emailed a YouTube video to me. It shows a group of monks creating a sand painting mandala on the floor in a roped-off area of a busy airport. The monks leave for the day. A toddler escapes his mother just long enough to - well, you get the idea.

And so did I - I spread the beads out on my work surface like a sand painting, laying out the colors for the sunset just as I wanted them to appear. The first photo came out a bit overexposed. The second one is a somewhat darker, but more representative of the colors. The last picture is a close-up of the band itself as it is emerging.

The fun thing about this piece is that looked at from one direction, it's a sunset over water. From the other direction, it's a sunset over land. I do love the copper tones.


The Bead Journal Project

Ever since I came across the mention of this endeavor, I've been consumed with the concept. Here's what I've decided to do: I'll be making my pages all 5" x 5", the same size as a CD, as it happens. I'm going to embroider the 5x5 pieces and back them with Ultrasuede, inserting a 1" strip of leather between the piece and the backing at the top. There will be three eyelets in the leather strip, and all the pages will be bound together with binder rings, for ease of detachment, and I'll be making a beaded book box to store them in. Since I'm all about the multi-tasking, this will be no different. I'll be making a purse, too, that a single page can be attached to as the front flap. I'm really jazzed about this. I have all the pages plotted as far as space divisions go, but I'm leaving the details to the moment of work. I'm really looking forward to this. Once I get the commissioned bracelets done and gone, I'll really be able to throw myself into this - with the obligatory pauses in the action to get back at the dragon project. I should take a moment to explain about the dragon. I made a doll I named Valeria Gloria, and she is a dragon rider. She needed a dragon to ride, though. I found Melinda's Dragon. I made a few modifications to the pattern and built her form in muslin. I've been staring at this pale cream shape now for a year and a half, waiting for her to tell me what she wants me to do. At last, she's spoken to me and I can get rolling. But first things first. The Far Sunset and The Mountain Sunrise await creation.

La Vida Rosada!

Here is my entry in the Etsy Beads4YouSpring Challenge:

Took me another ten hours to get it right this time. Here are more pics:

I named it La Vida Rosada (The Pink Life) because for the past three weeks my work surface has been this writhing mass of pink glass and pearls. I don't even really like pink. But this, well - this is different.


Robin. Atkins. Rules.

The Bead Journal Project.

This is what I get for surfing the Bead Artists Who Blog ring. I found out about this and as I read more about the project, it was sounding a chord deep within me. Something about this just feels so right for me at this moment, in this space and at this time. The concept of the visual journal has always intrigued me. I've been a diarist since I was a teen but this is a horse of a totally different color. Now that I'm making more time to work on the art aspect of my chosen craft, I can see the value of documenting that phase of the journey in a more tactile way.

I dreamed about this last night. I dreamed my bead journal into being. I also slept like shit. Woke up groggy. And my coffee was so weak it made me mad. I know that's ridiculous, but there it is. I threw it all away and made some horridly strong instant stuff that somehow worked. I should have just thrown on my grandpa sweater and gone next door to the 7-11 in my slippers and jammies and got a decent cuppa joe. As it is, I feel like I'm still half in dream. And I have four more hours of The Other Job to slog through. Oi.

I've stopped accepting commissioned work for a while - I can't seem to get my head into that game. A dragon needs finishing, as well as the Melusine and her Kracken.

I managed to rework the spring challenge piece and I'm finally happy with it. At last I can clear away all this (shudder) pink, get it photographed and posted tomorrow.


My Warm Dangly Bits

This is #1 in the Warm Series. It took me all friggin' morning to get my camera to do what I needed it to do. I'll be putting them on Etsy and lov.li one day at a time, but I'll post the rest here.






The Bead Challenge

So I did this freeform peyote bracelet, using too much of my own bead soup, and I finished it last night. I got up this morning, looked at it, absolutely hated it. Hated everything about it. Tore it apart. Ten hours of work and I tore it apart. I'm going to go at it again this morning.

I've been making some interesting chunky glass single strand bracelets lately, in my "copious spare time." I need to photograph them and get them up on Etsy. I'm hoping to turn them around quickly. I've decided to do an economy line for bead money. This first series is called "My Warm Dangley Bits," then I'll do "My Cool Dangley Bits," to be followed by a necklace series I'll call "My Favorite Dangley Bits." My sketches are a mess or I'd share them here.

Back to work. Or I should say, back to rework.


What I Got For Mothers Day!

Gonna be a little busy for a while - I'm almost done with the first of my entries in the beading challenge, and I'm working on a fairly spectacular bead crochet necklace. I'm still trying to get my workspace and bead storage squared away, at least enough to take pictures of it. And now I have this fabulous Susan Jones lampwork bead to design something around, and these great books to drool over. Yup. Gonna be a little busy.


Calaveras Lariat (At Last)

I finished this almost a week ago but couldn't manage to get a decent photo of it. I ended up just doing a scan, which worked out better than I hoped. Click on it and zoom in to see the whole shebang up close.

I LOVE those skulls. No two alike. Very distinctive.

I'm getting ready to dive into the Spring Beading Challenge over at Etsy. I'm rooting through my beads right now, finding compatibles. Given my proclivity for overcomplicating things, I'll be entering in the "anything goes" category. I haven't done a freeform peyote bracelet in far too long. I'm really looking forward to it!


Earrings For A Swap

I agonized over this - I made all kindsa earrings - little delicate pink things, big chunky gemstone chip things, and at last it came to me. Something a little southwestern, something different.

So here they are - The Calaveras!

Dia de los Muertos - The Day of the Dead - is a very distinctive holiday here in Nuevo Mexico. I thought I should share some of that unique flavor with my swap-mates.

I hope they like them!

And I sold a bracelet on Etsy - one of my embroidered cuffs! This is very heartening. I was losing hope. Here's the one that sold:

Darker Dreams