Break On Through

This piece originated as a "spirit of the greenwood" thing, but - as so often happens - it morphed as it progressed into something else. Everything is laid out nice and neat before the figure, and as it passes through everything becomes chaotic and definitely more interesting.

Click to see bigger.

It's time to play with mookaite. YAY

So, more later.



Something that happened to Darcy just struck a chord in me.
ETA: This was a copyright infringement issue that caused her to severely limit access to photos of her work.

I've reset this blog to private again. I've reset my Flickr photos to private. I've deleted my DeviantArt account - I never really belonged there anyway - and I'm giving some serious thought to how I want to proceed as an artist, a bead artist.
ETA: I've re-opened the blog, but I'm still trying to understand why I want to maintain it. The Flickr account remains private (with a few exceptions), and I did delete the DeviantArt account. When I started this blog, it was as a marketing tool to go along with my Etsy account, to give my work more visibility and to certify its handmade bona fides, the same with the DeviantArt and Flickr accounts. Then the blog became an interesting way of sharing my progress in the Bead Journal Project. When that ended and I stopped selling on Etsy, switching to ArtFire, I still thought it was a viable marketing tool. After a year of no sales I should have closed it all then. So what's my reason now to maintain this blog? It may be to document my need to create, how the process is helping me get through my husband's terminal illness, possibly to track my growth (or lack thereof) as an artist/crafter/beader/human. And I am considering selling on Etsy again. So I could be coming full circle here.

I can understand the wisdom of not sharing.
ETA: Some of my early jewelry designs were simplistic - and easy for anyone with a background in beadweaving to copy just by looking at the photos. When I began creating more complicated pieces it never occurred to me that anyone would try to profit from my designs, and I don't believe they have. When I look at someone else's work, I find myself inspired to translate their vision into my own. I honestly thought that's how everyone else did it. That whole "steal like an artist" concept. I know better now, having seen some pretty flagrant copyright issues flare up even with large companies - like Urban Outfitters* - so what's to stop some lazy-assed wannabe-crafter from straight-up copying what you've made? And profit from your years of experience, education, style, and hard work? Almost nothing. For me, proceeding in this climate won't be so hard - because what I do is labor intensive, very individuated, and hardly profitable. For others, a whole different story. Best of luck to us all.

*a brief internet search yields a frightening amount of litigation going on with these guys.


Dark Hopes

Just finished this one last night. Focal bead is a blue goldstone cabochon, and the other elements include a pewter charm, silver plated rounds, coated hematite cubes, dyed freshwater pearls, and Japanese glass seed beads.

Wanna see it closer?

And here's the collage of different angles and such:

I've got all the fixins for my next one - so that would mean more later.


The Rule of Darkness is No More

The final box in the series of three is finished - and I've already got a strange little one going with a large blue sandstone cab smack in the middle.

It's still overcast here, and it's been snowing off and on - the photos were taken in the kitchen, so the light is not all that great.  But here it is:

And this is what it looks like open:

The summing up:

Wanna see it up close?

Like I said, I'm already at work on this gorgeous cabochon-centric piece, so there will be more later.

So here are the three pieces, side by side, and that inspirational quote one more time:

The full quote has been attributed to "The Holy Book of Destiny,"
"And when they seek to oppress you
And when they try to destroy you,
Rise and Rise again and again
Like The Phoenix from the ashes
Until the Lambs have become Lions
and the Rule of Darkness 
is no more"


Like the Phoenix

I finished the second one yesterday morning, but I wanted to wait until I could get some decent photos - but I think we're in for a long period of overcast, drizzly days. So here we go.

Here's a collage of some different views:

Wanna see that close-up?

Working on the third one now, which means there will be more. Later.


Rise & Rise Again

The first one is finished. The pearls for wisdom, the hearts for love, the star for hope - below the surface, love and wisdom form the basis, tangling roots, genesis for what is to come. Hope for love and wisdom realized.

Wanna see it up close?

More later.


Back to Work and YAY!

So I have my tiny canvases and I've already got my focus and theme for my next series. I really thought it was going to be Mookaite Angels, but they will have to wait.

Influenced by Maureen Murdock's excellent book, "The Heroine's Journey," seen through the lens of the events of my life at present, I became fixed on the following quote from Russell Crowe's Robin Hood movie - "Rise and rise again."*

That's what we do. Over and over. We rise and rise again. It's rarely as epic as overthrowing a tyrant - it's often as small (and huge) as overcoming doubt. It's every day stuff. We revisit the same themes in our lives, in a continuous spiral, a dance of life passing through joy and pain and love and loss and putting our heads down and just bulling through, getting each job done and moving to the next with as much grace and grit as we can pull together.

To honor those passages, this particular series is "Rise, and Rise Again."

I love the first stages of putting a piece together - going through all my beads - and I mean ALL my beads - Asa says it's like watching a child at Christmas plundering presents. Letting the elements come together, making conscious and unconscious choices, refining the selection to something manageable, then letting the whole thing tell me what to do. Then the real fun/work begins.

So here's the Fun In Progress pictures.
 This is after the first culling.

Second culling.

Current piece:

The joy is in the doing, the making, the realizing. I am joyous today.

So, more later.

*The full quote has been attributed to "The Holy Book of Destiny,"
"And when they seek to oppress you
And when they try to destroy you,
Rise and Rise again and again
Like The Phoenix from the ashes
Until the Lambs have become Lions
and the Rule of Darkness 
is no more"


YAY! Boxes! YAY!

A few years ago I had an Etsy shop, from which I sold lots of goodies. Near the end of my time with Etsy, I wasn't selling much at all. One of the things I sold, and sold very well, were these little trinket/treasure boxes.
(click to embiggen)

I had a finite number of boxes to decorate - I had found them at a thrift store - and I couldn't find their like on the internets to save my soul. I had two left, and agonized over which of my embroidered pieces I should use to finish them. And so they sat on my project shelf. For about two years now.

Then, on a whim, I went image-surfing and I FOUND THEM!!  The very boxes!! I'm so happy I could squeak!! I had to order $50 worth, but that wasn't hard for me - I got two dozen velvety black and one dozen so-soft dove grey - and I am beyond jazzed!!

So now I have 38 little canvases on which to splash my beady imagination - and a decision to make. Should I brave the waters of Etsy again, or strike out in another direction, with my own website or perhaps a Square Market shop . . .

But first, to the drawing board!

Which means, of course, more later.


Project Runway Season 12 Finale

The last two episodes of Project Runway's twelfth season, the big finale, have concluded, and big congrats to Dom Streater, who proved her mastery of textile AND clothing design with her interesting and wide-ranging collection.

I had my problems, though, trying to narrow in on inspiration for this one. There were only two things I knew for sure. One, it would be a bracelet, and two, it would be patterned.

Now, with pattern work you have a few options: loom work, square stitich, flat peyote, two-, three-, or four-drop peyote. I started off thinking I would work with one of Dom's more colorful textiles - I tried charting it six ways to Sunday and didn't like anything I came up with. I started looming a piece, got about an inch loomed and hated it. I started a flat peyote piece but the colors just weren't working for me.

I pushed it all aside and gave myself a few days off. I came back and looked at Dom's collection with fresh eyes. I found myself drawn to her black and white prints. Once I honed in on my inspiration, the rest was easy. I charted out a pattern and by the next evening I had it finished. Worked in just two colors of gilt-lined opalescent seed beads, the strength of the graphic really pops.

So here it is.

Now here's that inspiration:

Summing this one up:

I decided to give the runway a rest - even though Runway All Stars is doing a third season. I've got some art beads to make, and some bead embroidered Mookaite angels to birth.

That would mean more later.


The Finale Will Have to Wait

I'm working on that last piece to wrap up Season 12 of our Embellishing the Runway thing, but some other stuff is coming up I'd like to share.

It's time for The Jade Dog's Fall/Winter beadwork challenge! If you're not a beader, maybe you know someone who would be interested - so spread the word! Friday, November 1st, is the deadline to reserve your kit(s)!!

From the Facebook post:

Good morning, fans and friends! You've got all day today and Friday until 5pm to place a reserve on the kit of your choice for The Jade Dog Designs 2013 Fall/Winter Design Challenge.

**Retail value on the $10 kit is estimated at $13-$15.

**Price of each kit is $10, $3 shipping in the US and $7 shipping international.

**I made the polymer cabs included in each kit. I've paired them with vintage Czech glass cabs, seed beads, base metal beads, and assorted Czech glass and/or stone chips and/or Japanese seed beads.

**Before shipping, I'll throw in some extra seed beads or vintage components.

**If you'd like to see past winners, you can find them if you click on the 'Notes' tab located below the cover photo on the main page for The Jade Dog.


**All rules can be seen in the album description found if you click on the 'Photos' tab located below the cover photo on the main page for The Jade Dog.

**If you have any questions, shoot me a message.

**Kits can be purchased over on my website. If I put a link here, FB has an interesting way of hiding posts with outside links. Not as many of you have been seeing my posts about the contest.

**If you can't join this time around, would you please share the info with interested parties? It sure would help out!

Thanks!  D

Where to find these amazing kits, you ask?  
Well, right here -> JADE DOG DESIGNS

$13, people!!  

So here's a pretty picture to entice and ensnare you:
Definitely worth clicking the pic to embiggen.

And, naturally, more later.


Project Runway Season 12, Episode 12

"The Butterfly Effect." The winner of this avante garde challenge was Bradon McDonald. I knew when I started the piece that it was going to eat my lunch, and I was right.  3 full tubes of seed beads, 36 hours of work, the devising of an oh-so-clever closure, and WAH LAH:

Here we have Sluggo modeling the piece:

Click on the photos to embiggen.

My daughter said the inspiration piece made her think of a spiky cream puff.  I thought it was somewhere between a swan and a reed embankment drained of color. It has a fantasy quality to it I find interesting. It was a lot of work, I don't know how soon I'll be doing this technique again, but I do love the results.

So to sum up:

One last piece to make and this season of Embellishing the Runway is put to bed. Looking forward to this one - I get to use my NEW LOOM!  

So that would mean, of course, more later.


Slight Delay

So I'm still working on the challenge piece for Embellishing the Runway, based on Project Runway's Season 12, Episode 12, the avante garde one called "The Butterfly Effect." I KNEW this one would eat my lunch.

Here's the inspiration:

So . . . here's the tease pic I put on my Facebook page:
It's almost done, I swear.
So. More later.


Project Runway Season 12, Episode 11

"The Next Generation." The title of the episode referred to the designers' muses for the HP fabric design challenge - next generation thinkers, artists, entrepreneurs, and activists. The winner was Dom Streater, and a well-deserved win it was.

This week I went with a seed beaded fringe bracelet, weighted with onyx hearts.

Here's a closer look:

So, to sum up:

Not many more episodes left, but once this season ends, we'll have another Project Runway All Stars coming up to keep us inspired (or appalled). 

So. More later.


Embellishing the Runway, Season 12 Episode 10

This was the "real woman" challenge for the designers, and in this case the real women were Project Runway's "Super Fans." The winner was Helen Castillo.  When I first saw the winning design, my heart sank. There's just nothing about a black dress (even if it's midnight blue) I find inspiring. I started to make one thing, and I was so Ho Hum about it, I couldn't work up any enthusiasm. After two crappy nights' sleep in a row I was frustrated and cranky. I sat down with my copy of "500 Bracelets,"  and BAM. The idea hit me.

So here's how that evolved.

Here's a closer look:

So, summing up:

More later. Just 'cuz.


Embellishing the Runway Season 12 Episode 9

Let's Do Brunch. Those poor designers. Faced with a really screwy challenge this week, they were told to design something for the "modern Southern woman." What the hell does that even MEAN? No one knows, so they went with a kind of updated country girl look. I was shocked no one went with gingham and calico. But the winner, Bradon McDonald, did go with a pastel plaid shirting fabric, and I did love the colors, so I took that for my inspiration.

And here's what I came up with: a set of three right angle weave bangle bracelets, in gradient pastels and opaque white.

Here's a closer look:

So, to sum up:

Just watched Episode 10 and believe it or not, I'm stumped as to what I'll do. Hmm.

More later. Don't know how much later, but later.


Embellishing the Runway, Season 12 Ep 8

"Field Day." This is the episode where Heidi gets the designers to work for her for free. She has them design athletic wear to be produced in her New Balance line. Helen won again - and good for her - but I did like Kate Pankoke's design the best - it was so much more colorful. But O well - this is about the winners, not my personal preferences.  At least until they all break down and no one makes anything inspiring. Then we scramble.

Helen used a black mesh over a muted green jersey for her pants, and this was the design detail I picked up on for my cue:

I made a simple wide bangle, in a lace stitch, or filled mesh stitch bangle, using 8º seed beads, with a mix of black matte and black opaque over a transparent muted olive:
This was so cute - but it turned out just a little too small for me. I gave it to a friend who cut my hair last week. But I loved it so much I made another - in the right size -to wear myself. Here's a closer look:

And summing up:

So that's it for now -time to get back to work on my challenge piece for Episode 9. It's a fun one. So, inevitably, more later.

Embellishing the Runway, Season 12 Ep 7

"Shoes First!" The designers were tasked with creating a look to go with their choice of shoes. Helen Castillo took the win with a shroud-like cape and LBD (Little Black Dress). The shoes were crazy cool - the toes were studded with diagonal rows of silver - they're kind of hard to see in the photo:

I took that design detail as my cue for this little bracelet, in 6º beads of black and brushed silver, with a patterned pewter toggle:

Here's a closer look:

And summing up:

More later, in just a few minutes. Maybe.