Sunday, December 31, 2006

Spiral beaded Necklaces.

I am so excited about the new beading techniques that I am learning! The primary goal was to create elegant and interesting neck pieces to use to suspend my collage focal beads. Now I am discovering all over again, the fun of beadwork! This pattern is called a Single Spiral. The necklace in a previous post with the SHeep Collage was a double spiral. Each is done with a single stand of beading thread and a beading needle. They are much simpler than they look and they feel wonderful. They are not at all stiff or tight.

I created these two loose chocker length necklaces in about 4 hours, two days ago. They are made using wonderful matte raku seed beads of various sizes and shapes and freshwater pearls in fushia and wonderful lustrous grey.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Round Robin Catch Up !!

I have finally had some time to catch up on my obligations to the True Colors Altered Book Round Robin that I am hosting. There are 20 of us all oer the US and Canada, linked by the internet, that are participating in this group. Each of us picked a color, created a blank book, and sent it off to the next artist on the list. Each book is traveling around from artist to artist having wonderful artwork added to it. By August 2007 each book should be back with it's owner.
I am learning alot from this swap, not the least of which is patience and the fact that life happens to all of us so flexibility and communication are the keys to the success of this project.
I was so excited about working in this Shades of White book. My friend Ruth, who lives in CA, is the most incredible artist. She is so innovative and creative and willing to share and help. She is just a terrifically talented person! She uses her sewing machine in much of her work so I took cues from her and created this layout using only stitching to hold it all together. I used lots of white papers some handmade and lots of "white" vintage fabrics and bits of lace and trim. I embellished it all with pearl seed beads and old white and shell buttons.

I found this wonderful image of an Indian woman praying at the feet of a gigantic Buddha and I copiedit onto a transperancy and then stitched it over handmade paper taht was laced with golden threads. Along the side of the image I stitched down bits of paper that had been stamped with the word Nourish. I am really pleased with this spread and think that Ruth will be as well!

The next spread is in a Red Book that belongs to Kitty in Upstate New YOrk. Her book was much smaller . I knew that it was coming and I had been collecting things for it for awhile.

This spread was great fun to create! It is mostly paper, but I also added red rick-rack, buttons, bits of broken glass reflector (along the bottom under the cardinal) , one of my own floral photos, red vegetable netting, an old red paintbrush and wired to the paintbrush- a cardinal feather that I found in our yard last spring.

The next book that I have to work on is the Aquamarine Book with Copper highlights!1 The fun just keeps on coming!

Today I am off to meet friends in D.C. to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit at the Smithsonian museum of American Art. Joseph Cornell is the father of Assemblage Art- the first "altered Arts " artist who created his pieces 70 years ago!! he was a true innovator and it has taken the art world quite awhile to catch up!1 Can't wait and I will share my experience with y'all in a future post!!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Charm Swap Necklace!!!

Just before Christams my art group met and we exchanged our art charms. It was better than Christmas. We each took turns handing out our charms and then mayhem!!! We all had to examine and analyze and attempt to figure out how each creation had been crafted. We all brought treats to eat so between the art treasures and the edible goodies , we all had a blast! The charms in the following pictures are the results of this exchange. I have made a necklace( actually combined several old necklaces and added some new copper links) for most of them but I have enough left over to create a bracelet.

More Creations

I also made Journals for three of my nieces. Mali lives in tanzania and will be climbing Mt. Kilaminjaro in April with a school group. She needed a journal. Jennifer is a second year art student at Carnegie Melon and every art student needs an Art Journal! Sarah is 14 and ,of course, she needs a journal. I went into full scale journal construction !!!!

For each journal, i used an old book that I deconstructed and recovered with painted, stamped and embellished Tyvek. I did ribbon spines (latching ribbons thru rug hooking canvas) on two of the journals. For the Art Student i did something a bit more edgey. I painted the heavey duty interfacing that the signatures were stitched to . Then instead of rug hooking canvas I used sequin waste or "Punchinella" to work the ribbons through. I also added all sorts of charms and beads and left alot of the punchinella open as it was a wonderful copper color and one could see the blues and greens of the interfacing thru the holes. It added a whole layer of embellishment to the journal.

In this next picture you can see how open the spine is and the decorative element that the squin waste addes to the book.

I started my niece Sarah on an Art Charm bracelet. I will make more art charms for her as occassions come along. To start her off, I made her two charms with her initials in Scrabble tiles with peyote stitched bezels surrounding the tiles.

Two of my wonderful new friends from my art group celebrate birthdays over the next few days. It must be so difficult to have birthdays right in the midst of the major holiday crush of the year!!. So I created extra special collage birthday cards for each!

The colors are much more brilliant in person but each was so sparkly that in order to get a good picture I had to turn off the flash.

Post Christmas Calm and Quiet

Christams 2006. All of the gifts have been given all the wrappings ripped off and most of my Christams Projects for this year are complete! i am still putting together Christmas cards that will continue to be sent out over the next week.I made quite a few gifts this year and now I can share pictures of all of them with you.
I createde these Christams pins for a swap. I made the mini collages using different papers and painted paper towels and an old Christams postage stamp. Postage stamps have such wonderful art on them, I love adding them to my work! These were backed with heavy watercolor paper and then a pin back was added. i also stitched on red glass beads and handcut vlevet holly leaves for some dimension.
I created this journal for my dear friend Rebecca. I took out the pages of an old book and recovered the covers with a sheet of fusion paper that i created using tissue paper, stamed images, napkin tops and painted paper towels. I put plain paper signatures inside and attached them to the spine via grometts and vintage buttons. I had never used this method for binding before and I am very pleased with how this project turned out!
I have been making Found Object Collage Jewelry for quite awhile now. I really love making these pieces as they are totally unique often containing unique , one of a kind items with in their construction. I have picked up a new technique to use to create the neckpiece for each focal collage. In this piece I created a Double Spiral from various matte finish seed beads. The clasp for this piece was hand made and is placed behind thevintage domino that holds the postage stamp collage. i created this piece for my Mom who is a spinner, weaver and knitter.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Creative Crush!

Yes, it is that time of year again!! the time of year that I take on every project that comes into my head thinking that it would be a great gift for so and so! Every surface in the house , at one time cleared and dusted for THanksgiving guests, is now covered with partially completed Christmas cards, trays of beading projects, semi- complete Art Journals, ribbons, wrapping paper, various bottles of glues and sealers, loaves of bread, batches of cupcakes, gingersnap cookies ready to be delivered and teacher gifts ready to be wrapped. Not to mention supplies for the 4th Graders ornament making party that I thought would be so much fun (that happens today at 2pm) and preparations for the 4th graders Holiday party that takes place on the 20th! Are you beginning to get the picture????
Ok, it is time to go back to bed!!!!
Actually, I have a lot to do today!
I will be back to my blog on the 26th to post pictures of my latest creations. you do not see them here now as they are gifts for many of YOU!!!!!!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, to Alll!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Buddy Bliss!

Our wonderful little Rat Terrier, Buddy, has a verry cute habit. When he is tired or stressed, he fetches one of his toys, finds a quiet spot and gnaws or sucks on the toys head. (In one case , he found that a gooses rear end worked best!) He lapses into dreamland with his eyes closed in a trance like state. We call it "Buddy Bliss"

That is one contented dog!!

Becca's 10th Birthday Party!

We decided to celebrate Becca's 10th birthday early this year. Her actual birthday falls on the 17th of December. In the past, that has proven to be avery difficult time to gather friends. It is the last weekendbefore Christmas and there are usually many competing events. So, this year we went for an earlier date. The small party was a smashing success!

We held the party at a wonderful new bead store in town called the Whistlestop Bead Shop. Becca invited four friends and they made wonderfulbeaded bracelets and were taught howto make glass bead flower charms to hang from their bracelets! Everyone was thrilled with their creations and I didn't have to clean the house!!!!!!

Becca and good friend Megan, working away!

The final glorious creations! the shop owner, Jan, wentway above and beyond and had the girls make as many charms as they wanted!

Well Fed Cousins!

It has taken me awhile to snatch some time out of thin air to write this entry. The holiday creative pace is picking up just a bit!!!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving Feast despite the nasty, rainy raw weather. The Woodford Clan traveled down to Stafford from Northern Virgina and I put on our first Thanksgiving for all of us. In the past , we were always far away at the Holidays or we came to other's homes when we were in town. It was about time that we were actually the hosts. Everytime that we gather we try to get family pictures. As the kids grow up , that simple task becomes more and more difficult and less and less predictable! The eldest cousin, Jennifer Kennedy is a Sophomore at Carnegie Mellon Art School. The youngest is my Becca at age "almost-10." The other three are somewhere in between, we are not always sure just were. When it was time for pictures all of the kids were sacked out on the floor, and not very willing or able to move- I am a prety good cook, if I do say so myself! So we adults decided to work with what we had . Here are the results of our labors!

Micheal and Matthew couldn't quite believe that we would actually stand on the coffee table to get pictures of them!

Tryptophan stuppor and too much pie eventually won out , except for Becca, she was having too much fun!!

Friday, December 1, 2006

Creating Art Journals

I have just finished work on a project that pushed me way out of my warm and cozy comfort zone! I entered an Art Journal Swap that is based on the book Collage Unleashed By artist Traci Bautista. After looking thru her books and checking out her web sites, I was hooked. I really feel like I have become artistically "unleashed", perhaps unrestrained is a better word. Anyway, I had a lot of fun creating this journal and i have gone on to make several more to be given as Christmas gifts. (The gift journals will be filled with mostly blank pages so recipients can use the pages more freely for art or writing.

This is the front cover. I made the cover using covers from a discarded library book. I did all of the painting techniques on Tyvek. The spine was made using rug hooking canvas with ribbons, yarn and even painted tyvek strips hooked thru it. All of the following pictures are interior pages.

Inside front cover with fibers hooked thru sequin waste and a pocket for keeping treasures.

This is the back cover. This journal contains about 20 different pages, not all shown here. I think that I will me making more of htese journals, several people have asked if they could buy one or two!


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