Inspiration #21

This is a quarterly publication; however, Vol. 22 No. 3 is their annual juried edition. Every page holds a treasure trove of color combinations and the mysterious allure of the hand-lettered object. I'm lucky enough to be within walking distance of one of the best independent newsstands in the country (Newsland), where Roger, the owner, carries over 4,000 different magazines in addition to hundreds of newspapers from around the world. I came across this one as I was doing my weekly rummage for items of interest in his arts section.

If you're too far from such a great resource, here's a link to the publication's website, www.letterarts.com. The link actually redirects to the John Neal Bookseller page.


April BJP: Page Accompli!

The page for April is titled Air/The Sylph:

The design of this one came about all of a sudden - I knew I wanted to create a sylph, a spirit of the air, using my own conception of what one would look like if you could actually see one. In my mind's eye I pictured wings of gold, soaring the creature up into a cloud filled sky, borne aloft by the spice winds. I began the piece by chosing my focal pieces for their color and effect. I've always associated yellow with light and air, and while the head is a glass bead and the body a piece of agate, they both seem to be streaked with clouds.

I centered the figure within the alchemical symbol for air. The wings sprouted out in a sort of art deco kind of way, then the big, puffy clouds moved in. The spice winds flowed in out of nowhere, swirling around through a deepening twilight.

The page for May, Beltane, is underway and already I'm loving it. Don't want to jinx myself by saying too much.


Racing to Catch Up

With inspirations, challenges, commissions and the Bead Journal Project. By the end of this month, I wanted to post inspirations up through #20, get SOME beading done on my dragon, finish a bracelet for one friend and a choker for another as well as complete the Bead Journal Project.

I may have overestimated my abilities. As always, the dragon will go to the bottom of the list. The page for April has about 17% of the beading left to do, but the May page hasn't even seen the preliminary stage of color choices.

Inspiration #19 is Susan Seddon Boulet.

This is the image on my mousepad; I fell in love with her work years ago when I got my first deck of goddess knowledge cards. I recently found a deck of animal spirits knowledge cards and I've been lost in the beauty of each and every one (no wonder I've fallen so far behind on everything). I've been inspired by her life and her work, integrating much of her influence in my book arts. Her palette and technique translate very well to bead making as well.

Inspiration #20 is a place. My partner Asa and I just celebrated 11 years of Big Fun Together by treating ourselves to a mini-vacation. We spent one night in the biggest suite at Casas de Suenos, a local bed and breakfast. In the 30's and 40's, the compound of casitas was an art colony. The grounds are gorgeous, full of objects d'art and gardens. This was the perfect time of year for this, too.

The front gate:

One of the garden art features:

The front door to our casita:

This was just a small sampling of our environs there - I realized at one point I'd taken pictures of over 30 different doorways and gates, each one a work of art. If you're ever in Albuquerque and money's no object, I can't recommend this place highly enough.

And there! At least one goal was met!!


Inspirations and Observations from Miss Congeniality

This was the result in the Spring Challenge 07:
"Special Mentions for...
Color Mixology
Another Country . . . The subtle merging of color is impressive here, lots of detail too." 07 Flickr page

Here's the result in the Spring Challenge 08:
"lchandler says:
Another Honorable Mention goes to morwynskya. This beaded cuff is beautifully made and shows a flair for color and design. It's eye-catching and evokes a joyful feeling of Spring and renewal. " 08 Flickr page

So two years running I'm Miss Congeniality. *sigh* It's fun, though, to enter these challenges - I wish there were more of them like this, wherein all the contestants are using the same set of elements, stretching their design skills - and seeing the results at the end of all the different visions is really interesting.

NanC Meinhardt is Inspiration #18 for this year.

Every little thing she does is Magic, from her gorgeous wearable art to her sculpture, she makes me think all over new, pushing the limits of what I thought could be done and making me dream of what I might yet do.


Inspiration #17

I may have to model one of my beaded ponies on this one:

I recently came across a collection of blank note cards on watercolor paper bearing the watercolor art of Carol Grigg. I was so taken by them, before I knew what was happening, I'd bought a bundle of them. I'm especially fond of her horses. The colors are singing to me right now, lifting me away from my usual neutrals and filling me with wonderful new notions. After finding these, I found a gemshop with a veritable horde of pink jasper cabochons that echo many of the warmer tones in Ms Grigg's paintings.


Summer Sisters

I just finished this bracelet for myself. I call it "Summer Sisters." When I was growing up in California, every summer for a few weeks I'd get to stay with my cousins, most especially my cousin Lola. I had two brothers, so having a sister - even for that short space of time - was like heaven to me. It's a bead embroidered cuff worked in Japanese glass seed beads, dichroic glass, flower jade, lucite butterflies and Czech pressed glass ladybugs, flowers and stars. It's lined with chamois and has two snap closures. It's about 2 1/4" wide.


Brassy Bubbles Spiral

Over at The Bead Circle some of us are participating in a spiral bracelet swap. I opted to do a bead crochet spiral, but I was stunned to see just how many different kinds of spiral bead stitch exists! I'm going to have to try that Cellini stitch - some of the examples I've seen are breathtaking. A quick image search on Google netted some spectacular results.

We're kicking around some theme ideas for our next challenge at The Bead Circle, and one of them is Georgia O'Keeffe, whose work is my Inspiration #16.

We recently acquired this poster and it's now hanging in our bookstore. We have several books of her work and I never tire of leafing through them. I'm especially fond of this one: