Just Beneath the Surface

In the end, as you can see, I chose to put this page/badge on this leather camera case.

When I did my journal pages back in '07-'08, I spent a lot of time explaining all the elements, symbolism, and imagery I wanted to convey.  This time around, I'm going to keep all that to myself and let the piece speak for itself.

EDIT:  I made a collage to illustrate this piece from inception to finale, so here's that recap:


More Progress on the January Piece

I should be finished with January's page by tomorrow afternoon.  I was thinking I wanted to put this on my sketchbook cover, but now I'm waffling.  It may go on a leather camera case.


Making Earrings

I'm trying to expand my Etsy shop inventory, and it was pointed out to me that I have a dearth of earrings.  So after a trip to Mama's Minerals, where I found some gorgous little jasper tile beads, I've set to with a will.

Work continues on the January badge, and I'm still working my way through the reworks stash.  Now that all the financial stuff for the bookstore is with the accountants, I feel like I can breathe, dream, make stuff more freely again.



Goddess Study No. 3

I'm pawing through my long-neglected bag of unfinished projects, and since I'm back into bead embroidery mode, I got these two finished up and listed on Etsy.


January BJP Progress & "Process"

This is where things are at the moment:

Since I took this picture, I realized the placement of the leaves made the figure resemble a turtle, and while that's really cute it wasn't exactly what I was going for.  I've since repositioned them.

Robin Atkins asked a question in her comment on my last post.  "Will you "talk" a little about your process, the materials and steps you go through to begin one of the badges? "  This stopped me dead in my tracks.  So much of what I do in this arena is instinctual and while part of my process is most definitely mindful, it's a whole 'nother animal to try and communicate how you do what you do.

So I'll bore everyone for a while with what I understand of the five stages of work.  I read "A Way of Working" a long time ago and can't give proper credit to the specific author that spoke to this, but as I recall, it breaks down like this:

The Dreaming
......This is Getting the Big Idea; whether the concept springs from a need, a dream,  or sifting through a box of rocks.  It comes fully formed or teases the imagination with faint glimmerings.  This is the stage where you recognize the spark of creation.
The Gathering
.....This refers to collecting up the tools and materials needed to manifest the dream - and this can include not just the tangibles like cloth, beads, needles and thread but also skills and techniques.

The Reforming
.....Every act of creation is at first an act of destruction.  You're taking the materials and changing their form from bits and disparate pieces (destroying their individuality) and making them into something new - with any luck something cohesive, creating one object out of the many.  This is the actual Doing, the Making.

The Refining
.....The finishing stages - the time to stand back and get a sense of what you've made and how you feel about it.  Last bit of spit and polish, 11th hour adjustments, final tweeks - and I have to confess, sometimes this is where you yell, "What was I thinking?", tear it all apart and start all over again.

The Realization
.....The Big Wah-Lah.  For some folks, this is the very hardest part.  This is when you let it go.  There it is - on display.  Your little brainchild, out there for all the world to see.  For some of us, this is when we hang a price tag on it and put it up for sale.  For some, this is when we wrap it carefully and hide it in the back of the closet.  The thing is, you HAVE to let it go.  And start all over again.

Every month I'll go through each of these stages for the BJP, and at the end of the year I'll have one big socko Realization.

You know, you do this stuff without even thinking about it all through your day.  When you make a meal, or clean a shed, run errands or write a report, you're making something and the process is exactly the same.  And if you're aware of it, and honor that process by filling it with intention and all your very unique talents, you end up with an incredibly rich life.

Next time I'll be more specific about this particular piece since it's nearly done.


The Bead Journal Project 2011

In 2007 I participated in the first Bead Journal Project.  My motive for doing so was pretty straightforward.  I wanted to challenge myself; to make a commitment to myself and honor it by meeting the monthly deadlines, and in the process perfect my skills as a designer, artist and craftsperson.  When we came to the end I had my sense of completion and accomplishment.  I heard no inner to call to make that journey again.

Now, 3 1/2 years later, I find myself on the shore of that sea of possibilities and once more I am hearing that call.  I can't really describe it any better than that. 

And so we go again.

The main focal is a small agate slice of unknown origin.  I love its layers of color and differing textures.

The second element is a jasper oval - I chose it for its dreamlike colors.

I want to keep the color palette very simple for this piece - brass, black, white, and garnet.

I thought about what I wanted to express and sketched out some preliminary ideas.  Once I start the embroidery, it remains to be seen how close or far I am from this beginning.

My idea for this year is to make "badges," 3.5 inch square bead embroidered pieces which I can use in several different ways.  The January piece, "Just Below the Surface," will decorate a leather sketchbook cover.

Moving to a Brighter Day

It's been a while since I've done any bead embroidery and I'm happy to see I can still accomplish something I set out to do.  Available on Etsy HERE


T'was Beauty Killed Poor Spike

Esty listing HERE

Getting things squared away in preparation for the 2011 Bead Journal Project - I've been thinking about what my main goal will be.  More later on that.


Death By Turquoise

I'm having way too much fun with the photography.  Matter of fact, I should have some new models to work with by next week.  Squee!


The Painted Sunrise

Etsy listing HERE.   I wanted to showcase the lampwork bead I acquired from Jones Art Glass a few years ago - I tried different things, but finally landed on this - a bead crochet rope lariat in gradient sunny shades with a beaded bead pendant as counterweight.  I have to say these are the BEST beaded beads I've ever done.