Antiquarius Becoming

Or more correctly, in a state of becoming. I wired the vessel to a crossbar bead, adding loops for fringe and to attach to the necklace, which is being worked in a spiral stitch. I'm liking the raku coloring. I find myself drawn to the more distressed finishes, the more subtle colors these days.



This absolutely gorgeous PMC vessel bead was made by my madskillz beading pro daughter, The Jade Dog. I bought this from her several months ago, and just recently decided what to do with it. I'll post some progress pics later, but I just wanted to share her incredible beads with everyone. Like Xena, she has many skills.


BJP Progress Report: Page Accompli!

summer solstice

the feather winds from the morning stars smell of lime and ginger
and stir and lift the desert floor in dusty clouds of pink and mauve
the sun rises, quickly, like a maiden from a pool, shimmering with reflections
and swiftly, swiftly these winds push us with insistence through the longest day.

the curtain falls in coppered indigo folds and a cinnamon breeze
settles us in heaps along a mountainside beneath reluctant starlight and
the world breathes out a waning energy; gravity claims us, bearing down,
preparing the landscape for dreaming, and being in dreams.

this shortest night will not be still; it swirls with stars & worlds as yet undreamt of,
and we, though seeming still, are wild alive and as we spin create the madness
and the beauty of our hearts' visions, placing them like points of light
along our ink dark journey's path, finding our way to the morning yet again.

© Morwyn 2007

In the language of the petroglyphs, the spiral tells the ones who follow that our journey continues from here.


Inching My Way

I am now almost 3/4 of the way done with the June page. I deliberated over the sunset in the top right corner, making a few false starts (as you can tell by all the scribbles on the Pellon). I finally decided that it would be best represented by a sort of curtain effect, but still carrying some of the movement from the sunrise panel into the hills beneath the sunset sky. I should finish this bit and move on the the midnight part in the lower right by the end of the day, although I still have no clear idea what to do there.

It'll come to me, I'm sure.


My Friend Flickr, Part The Second

I was at my Other Job all day yesterday, and since I have to wear sunglasses the whole time so as not to frighten the children, I can't wear my magnifiers and do any beading. So in my rare moments of spare time I managed to finish another Flickr set. It's a grouping of my bead embroidered and bead crochet pieces and it's here. Now I need to figure out how to put these slideshows in the sidebar . . .

Oh well. A larger task for another time. Back to the beads!


My Friend Flickr

At the dawn of the ice age, when the world and I were young, I participated in juried craft shows. Back then, you had to provide the judges with slides of your work. I agonized over those pictures. I begged for photograpy advice from everyone - I got my little portfolio together after weeks of fussing and fidgeting. I guarded it zealously, using those same slides as my passport to making sales. The last show I did must have been over seven years ago. I have no idea what happened to those slides. I stopped making a record of the things I created - I just made them and sold them out of my bookstore.

When I got a website for the bookstore, I worked with my web guy to make a page there for my jewelry, dolls, and handbound journals. No shopping cart or anything like that - just a tidy little showcase of my stuff. I didn't have a digital camera then, just a really good scanner. As things sold, I'd just delete the photos from my computer, losing the record of what I did and how I did it.

These days I find myself remembering different pieces and wishing I'd scanned them, kept them. Beads hold memories. Where I was, who I lived with, where I'd been, who loved me and who and what I loved - it would all be reflected in the way I'd put these little bits of glass and stone together. The older I get, the more meaningful it becomes to keep a record of my time and art.

My Madskillz beading pro daughter, The Jade Dog, introduced me to Etsy, then later to lov.li. Taking pictures became more important - the scans were okay, but when I got my little digital camera I saw the difference immediately. I've had a photobucket account for a while, but I just recently got a Flickr account. The free version. Just to see if I like it.

This is what I've managed so far: Peyote Stitch Exemplar

I'm working on two other sets, but it may take a while. Only so many hours in the day, and right now I need to bead.


BJP Progress Report #2

I continue to continue. The obsession is taking a firmer hold. I want to get to the sunset part in the top right corner, but I don't want to rush the sunrise segment, either. It's coming together - bit by bit and somehow in spite of me. The thing I noticed is that as I'm working so closely with the piece, I don't grasp the whole of it until I take a picture of it. Then I find myself surprised, as though the piece were coming into being all on its own. I think it has a lot to do with getting out of my own way.


BJP Progress Report #1

I can't wait to see where this is leading. Most of the black marks were ideas I had at various points before I set bead to cloth - you never know which way you'll be blown when you set sail at last.

I had a small accident yesterday - I managed to punch myself in the right eye. I hit it just in the right place to rupture a blood vessel in the white part of my eye. I went to the hospital and was reassured all was well, and the blood will be reabsorbed in about a week, maybe two. It doesn't hurt and my vision is fine. In the meantime, I have this demon-from-hell bloody eyeball that's enough to give the casual observer weeks of nightmares. Don't worry - I won't post pictures (although I DO have some).

I only mention it because this little fright gave me some time off work - enough time to make the progress I made. Enough of this - back to the beads.


A Sunrise (Or Two)

The final work in The Sky Series is now done and will be in the mail to my customer today. I won't be accepting any more commissions until early fall. I'm turning my attention now to the Bead Journal Project.

You may be wondering whatever happened to all that fuss and bother about a charted bead design? Well, this is how it turned out:
Completely unsuitable as a bracelet, but Just Perfect for the topside of my new eyeglass case. I'll show that off once it's mounted to the suede.


I'm In A Beta Treasury

It's called "Eat Your Greens."

It's nice to get the visibility, I just wish it would translate into sales. Ya know?

So then I got to make a treasury of my own. This new beta treasury is very easy to use, less cumbersome for the curator anyway.


I felt like I was dog-paddling in molasses for the past week or so, trying to settle in to this sunrise bracelet. I made false start after false start. I realized the fault lay in myself, not in my stars. In order to create a sunrise, I'd need to take a true zen-like approach and be the sunrise. In other words, I had to acquire a sunnier disposish if I was going to make any headway.

Whenever I feel low, need a bit of balm for the soul, I turn to Mr. Wodehouse and his brainchildren, Jeeves and Wooster.

I came across the complete set of DVDs at the local Goodwill (for an obscenely good price) some while back and have used them almost as one would take an antidepressant. They never fail to cheer me up - they totally peg my silliness meter. It doesn't hurt that I am a major fan of Stephen Fry, either. I've been watching them back to back and it's done the trick. I've kicked back into gear and should have the last commissioned bracelet completed by Sunday at the latest, tomorrow afternoon at the earliest.

Then it's full steam ahead on the Bead Journal Project for June!!


Step By Step

Hey! Remember back in March I mentioned being contacted by Step By Step Beads magazine? Well, I got my final approval and notification of publication yesterday! So my little project will finally see the light of day in the Sept/Oct issue - WOOHOO!!

They asked for a picture of me, and it occurred to me that I don't have one up here on the blog, either. So here it is, a little over a year since I broke my face:

Yours truly.

If you're morbidly curious, there's a video of me right after I broke my face over at my other blog, Birdsong From Another Country. Scroll down to the bottom of the post to see the little video screen. WARNING: It really is awful.


I Watched The Sunrise This Morning

This was not it.

Obsessing is what I do best. Naturally I've been obsessing over sunrises. This morning I woke at 5 am. I looked out the "rumpus room" window and watched as the light grew in streaks across the thin, wispy white clouds. The window is a limited southern exposure so I couldn't get a good view, but it did drive me to continue my quest for the perfect sunrise to use as my inspiration.

I realized that I was complicating things more than necessary. I needed to take a step back and simplify. I came up with this outline, using the BeadTool I spoke of the other day.

Now I know this looks like a page from a coloring book, but the palette I'll be using has 29 different seed beads in various colors, shades and finishes. Because I have so much going on with the colors I needed to keep the shapes more simple.

And as usual, it looks like I'll have a big ol' pile of leftovers when this is done. When I decided to participate in the Bead Journal Project, I thought this will be a great way to use up my leftover bead mixes. My most recent work has given me my theme for this month - Day Into Night.

I revel in the serendipity of art.


The Sunrise Begins

But first: I'm in another Treasury on Etsy. And again, I'm so pleased that some of my older items are getting a bit of play these days.

Some of my new stuff is being noticed as well - I'm in this Treasury as well.

I'd like to take a moment to reflect on a subject I had never really fully understood, which is the healing power of craft, of art. I recently suffered the loss of my dear animal companion of 14 years, my cat Dauphne. As I struggled to work through my grief and help the rest of the family deal with theirs, I still had responsibilities and commitments to meet, among them some commissioned beadwork. From the many pieces I had to deal with, I realized that the Sunset bracelet was begun as Dauphne entered her own sunset. After her passing, I chose to complete it. Working on it gave me the time to remember, to reflect, and eventually to celebrate the time I shared with my little friend. The act of creation, particularly the creation of art, gave me such a great release from my sorrow as I had not expected possible. My spirit is lighter now, and I can move on with all the facets of my life.

Most germane to this blog is moving forward in my craft. I'm gladly anticipating working with over 200 bead artists in the Bead Journal Project - I have never taken on a long-term project before and I'm happy for the opportunity to develop a better, more disciplined, work ethic. I'm equally excited about working on the dragon piece - it's been too long since I made a piece just for me, investing myself completely and for no other reason than the joy of the doing.

But first, to The Sunrise. I'm going to learn how to use this beading software while I plot this one out. BeadTool here I come.


The Far Sunset, Complete

At last! I have the scan up - and it is as close to perfect as I can get it - be sure and click on the first photo to get all the glorious detail!!

First one way and then the other.

I just couldn't get the lighting right. The pictures do not do it justice.