Minuit's Farewell Party

The day has finally come. Minuit will be on her way to her new home in North Carolina first thing in the morning.

She asked her oldest friend, Soliel, to read the tarot cards for her one last time. All signs indicate she'll have a safe journey and a happy new life.

"I hope you don't mind," says Soliel, "but I invited the girls over for one last night of apple-tinis and karaoke."

After the first round, Minuit and Autumn team up for the classic duet, "I Got You, Babe."

After switching to blackberry mojitos, April cracks everyone up with her rendition of "My Girl."

Soliel starts to sing "We Are Family," but breaks down when she gets to the chorus.

Together or apart, they will always be a family.

Remember, you're never too old to play with dolls.


September Page: Ways of Working/Part 4

The principle beading is finished. Now what?

The piece has bits of cat hair, my hair, pencil marks, and so on - so into its own little bubblebath it goes.

All nice and shiny and almost dry, the corners are trimmed to reduce the bulk.

The corners get whipstitched together as the edges are turned back and pinned into place (a thin line of Gem-Tac is run along the inner creases first).

Meanwhile, the leather backing is prepared by inserting grommets across the top, then slathering it with a very thin coat of Gem-Tac.

The pins get removed and the piece is sandwiched firmly together. The page is left to dry and bond overnight.

The edges are whip-stitched together with beads, and

TA DA!! Another page accompli!

Sorry no poem this time. I've got an APB out for my muse . . .


September Page: Ways of Working/Part 3

I realized after I did the fill-in for the center block that I should have outlined the outer blocks first - trying to bead a straight line along the filled-in edge was trickier than I wanted it to be. But the fill-in for the center came out more beautiful than I expected. I was distracted by the effect it produced (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). The size 15 brass seeds seem to float on the size 11 frosted and opaque blue, and the colors play off of each other to give an impression of softness . . . I do so love the happy accident.

September has always meant 'back to school' to me, no matter how many years it's been since I've walked into a classroom as a student. Each of the gemstone leaves represents a year of formal education, all the little metal leaves represent my more informal, unorthodox episodes of learning. The central figure stands for all my teachers, in school and out, that left such lasting marks on my mind and soul. I've been thinking about all of them, all the stray bits that stuck with me through all the years. The traveling art teacher who convinced us we had "magic hands." My third grade teacher who had all the girls make sun bonnets out of construction paper, because ladies never went hatless into the sunshine.

So many more, so many lessons, so few of which had anything to do with reading, writing or arithmetic; all taken to heart. The title for this month's page is "Sensei," the Japanese word for teacher that carries with it a deep sense of respect and honor.


September Page: Ways of Working/Part 2

I rooted through my bead stash, making choices and decisions. I love these colors - not quite summer,
not yet fall - a palette that trembles on the equinox.

Somewhat committed now to colors, I painted my canvas of interfacing with Sharpies.

I decided to work from the center to the edge, laying in the halo/aura around the citrine cab. Then I laid in the halo/aura around the body, er, agate slab. This stone is so beautiful, so many layers, so much depth. I took my cue from this stone for my colors.

I wanted to cover the background here with something more interesting than the filler stitches I've done before. I decided to work two rows of uneven fringe around the auras, then fill in the rest of the area with the closest thing I could figure out for a French Knot.

This is where I am now, filling in the center panel.


Well, Now - How 'Bout That.

I'm on page 26, "Easy Beaded Bangles." I thought I'd be more excited about having an article published in a national magazine. I guess because the process took so long (March??) and so much else has been happening, I'm not too insufferable about it. And it's not the first time I've been published, just the first time on this kind of scale. I like the way it all turned out and they didn't have to edit me too much.

I just got my contributor copies today, which is why I mention it now - and thanks, beadbabe49, for the lovely compliment on it!


September Page: Ways of Working

This is how I begin.

When I first signed up for the grand adventure that is the Bead Journal Project, I knew I wanted each of my journal pages to have a common, connective element beyond just the size. Once I determined that size (5"x5"), I cut out my twelve pieces of interfacing. I found enough 'orphan stones' and cabochons to create a central figure for each page. I made my margin marks and glued the stones in place. I cut out all my pieces of leather for backing, then stored all the bits out of sight.

When I'm ready, I take out the prepared 'page' and scan it. Then I print out several copies of it and doodle away with colored pencils, letting my mind wander around, stuffing in all sorts of things. Eventually I hit on a sequence or motif that strikes the right chord in me.

I take my sketch and start rooting through the bead stash. This is where things start going wonky. I'll find a handful of beads that just beg to be included, but don't quite fit with my plan. So the plan begins to morph and adapt. This is my favorite part, making it all come back together.

That's my next step, and a blog for another day.



Monet is now finished; or at least, as finished as she's gonna be for a while. I'm not completely satisfied with her mane and tail, but this will work for now.

Time to get back to work on my bead crochet; this gives my fingers a chance to heal and still allow me to muck about with beads.


More Cantering

Here are some progress pics for My Little Beaded Pony; Monet.

I spent yesterday afternoon beading her legs - I'm hoping to finish her up by the end of the week, so I can get rocking with the next one - I'm trying to choose which one to do next; Van Gogh (Cafe Terrace), Klimt (The Sunflower) or Rosetti (La Pia de' Tolomei). I use the paintings to loosely base my color palette.

I'm still working on my grandson's blanket, my crocheted rope and prepping my September page for the BJP. But first, time for breakfast.

(I must have edited this post seven times now - that'll teach me to blog before coffee!)


Have You Seen This??!!?

I just SumbledUpon Tina Koyama - I've seen her work in magazines over the years, but I'd never been to her website until this morning.

Holy rolly pollies.

Unbelievable - amazing - jaw dropping WOWZERS. Be sure to check out her sculpture page. She's taken the summer camp macaroni necklace to heights somewhere out Beyond the Rim.

Makes me wish I lived near Seattle - I could take classes . . .


BJP Progress Report: Page Accompli! (#3)

Lughnasadh Haiku

First golden harvest
Soft sunlight on the new field
Warm scent of apples

Plow under all past hurts
Plant only what is wished for
Warm scent of turned earth

Speak hope to the stars
Feed black fears to the hearth fire
Warm scent of cornbread

One hand in one hand
A reaching, stretching, giving
Warm scent of ginger

Open your own book
Fill up every page with you
Warm scent of leather

© Morwyn 2007

This month's page is a scan instead of a photograph, and I didn't take the time to document my progress this month - actually, I was surprised with a gift of some unexpected free time and was able to finish this month's page much sooner than I had anticipated. This is a good thing, as I realized NaNoWriMo is rapidly approaching and I'll be concentrating on that through the month of November. With any kind of luck I'll be at least one beaded journal page ahead by then.


The August Page (in progress)

Lughnasadh. The first harvest of the year. I've been meditating on this concept, what it means and has meant to me, for some time now.

Fourteen years ago this month I made a number of rather large life changes. I chose to leave my job, friends, home and husband half way around the world to come to a place where I didn't know a soul and had to start my life over and from scratch. Within a year I had a great apartment, a decent job and a new lease on life. Every year since, in August, I take stock of how far I've come.

I've depicted on the lower half of this month's page my concept of that very first harvest. Reading right to left; turning over of several new leaves, my concept of the harvest goddess, then the symbols of what I gleaned. When the plane touched down here in Albuquerque for the first time, there was a double rainbow on the runway. As omens go, that's a real doozy, so I'll put in two rainbows. I got my first cat-as-pet that year so there's a kitty. A book charm (it's my own invention) represents the start of my shift in careers. There's a star for hope and a heart for love, which also relate back to my involvement in the book world.

The upper half of the page is a tribute to the most wonderful relationship I have ever enjoyed - and the main reason I celebrate my choice so many years ago. It deals specifically with one of the associated rites of Lughnasadh, handfasting. My partner Asa and I were handfasted, and our year-and-a-day has stretched out to over ten years now. I decided to use the face beads to show that while we are much the same in many respects, we still have our differences (identical beads, different finishes). I used the Celtic knot motif (eternity) as a background in shades of grain (harvest). I've accented this section with variegated tulips, which in the Language of Flowers, celebrate his beautiful eyes.

Now, to catch up on some questions (and I do apologize if I missed any - I swear I'm trying to keep up with this):

@ jacqui: I took a year of art appreciation classes back in the Dark Ages (high school) and I had one of the best teachers of all time. He made such an impact, I can still remember much of what he taught us. One of the things he said was that if the art meant something to the artist, that it would come through no matter what symbolism was imployed - without meaning, it's just wallpaper. Or something like that. The symbols in my pieces, the images, pop in there from my subconscious. I don't really know what they mean until I sit back and look at the whole piece and then the meaning kind of jumps up and slaps me in the kisser.

@ beadbabe49 & bejweled: I LOVED the final Harry Potter book - IMNSHO, it was perfect in every way.

@ kiwi ellen re: My Little Painted Ponies - I'm projecting a herd of at least four, maybe as many as seven if I can sustain my enthusiasm for them!

And again, to everyone who takes the time to stop by and to all who leave their comments and questions, thank you so much!


Cantering Along

I'm still waffling about some of the things I want to do with my Bead Journal page for August, so I'm doing a few other projects in the between time. The pony is only one of them.

But here's where things stand with Monet here. I went a little mental last night after working on it for too many hours straight. I wanted to punk her out some so I gave her a temporary hair-do.

I took the hair away this morning, upon sober reflection, and I've got a better idea for engineering her mane and tail. I spent 6 hours on beading her today and things have progressed so that all I have left are the legs. My crocheted rope-y thing is about half-done. I have preliminary sketches for the book bag I'm designing for My Other Job. Oh, and the blanket I've been knitting for my grandson for the last 6 months suffered a terrible accident and had to be abandoned as it was, but reborn in a new form. Hard to explain. Pictures maybe later.

Where's my glass of Shiraz?