Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bijoux Noir in a National Show!

Setting goals and seeking challenges is something that I have been working on for most of this year. I have felt a need to stretch my artistic intentions to find my artistic place among all of the different media that I am attracted to. My mind responds like a magpie towards shiny objects !!!
Is this just the way for me to express myself or is there a big pot of artistic media stew that will suit my style more appropriately? If there is, will I ever know what the ingredients are when I come upon them?? A bit too philosophical for what I need to accomplish today!! SO here it is the short and sweet version!
This summer I challenged myself to work in a very tight and constrained color palette and to submit one of my Beaded Collage Cuffs to a National Show.
The Show would be the Texture and Pattern Art Call from the Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts. (It is so wonderful to have a local venue that puts out National Calls for art and has Legitimate Professional Artists as jurors for the Shows. The only gallery in the Fredericksburg area that does this, I might add!)

Bijoux Noir is the black and white collage cuff that I created and dropped off for consideration , in late July. The juror seemed to like my submission and my piece will be for sale as a part of the texture and Pattern Show that opens this Friday September 2 at FCCA.!!
AS you can see, this piece has a multitude of components. Many of these pieces are one of a kind and make this cuff, like all that I create a totally unique individual! The square white piece in front above is a vintage mother of pearl button. there are other rhinestone and glass vintage buttons sprinkled about along with a vintage rhinestone earring, very old crystal sequins, lots of glass seed beads, a vintage cameo button, and three red glass hearts for a tiny pop of color.
This was not an easy task for me to accomplish. I found it quite difficult to hold to such a limited color palette. My hand and mind constantly needed to be reigned in from going for COLOR!!!
I am very pleased with the result however!! I am looking forward to this Friday evenings opening to see what sort of response the piece is given!!

Have your stretched your artistic mind lately?? I would love to hear what all of you are up to!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flowers On Wisdom Teeth Day!

Becca had her Wisdom teeth extracted yesterday. Mom (as in me) did the duty and drove her up to the Dr. and held her hand and calmed her for as long as the Dr. and Nurse would let me. Then I went out to WAIT!!!
Who is this hard on?????
Becca had Laughing Gas, and a nice trip from it according to her, and then general Anesthesia and woke up 45 minutes later asking if it was over. I sat and waited and stitched in the waiting room and fretted about how it was going. That is my job as a mother and I embrace it, and am grateful for the opportunity to be there and be the first person she sees when she comes off her little trip!!
After she passed her sobriety test ,we were released and stopped to get a chocolate shake (with a spoon ) for the trip home. Then a stop for meds at our wonderful Independently owner pharmacy and arrived home 3 hours after leaving.
tom arrived home from doing some Pro-bonno work for Stafford County Fire (they were running around like crazy trying to inspect all of the buildings after the earthquake). With him he brought these gorgeous flowers!! I could understand the lovely bouquet of his Little girl but I was not sure what was going on with the Dozen Long Stem Reds for me???

He said that they were for me , of course. Because.... he loves me and because he wanted to thank me for doing all of the Dr. visits for shots and vaccinations and tooth extractions and the like for both kids!! He has a very hard time seeing his own kids cry and in pain. At that point I lost it and had a good little cry! How sweet IS THAT!!! How WONDERFUL IS HE!!!!!

One of the best decisions I ever made was saying Yes to this Man!!!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Another New Project

Early this summer I started a project just for myself. I wanted to have a project that I could pick up and work on at any time and that would be easy to transport on trips and to various appointments. I had found a wonderful white cotton jacket that is relatively unstructured at a Thrift shop for $1~~ I dyed it periwinkle, using the parfait method so it would not be solidly colored.

Then I started layering and stitching. I have been building up quite a stash of hand dyed linens and scraps of favorite sun prints and I simply started composing with them on the back of the jacket.
The sleeves were turned up and the cuffs and tacked back and were way to short of r my long arms. I un tacked them and added the orange-pink deep trim with a row of french knots and the sleeves were then perfect and extra special!! Above the cuffs you can see the left front of the jacket which has a central piece of one of my favorite sun prints from last fall.
Since I have taken this picture of the back I have added quite a few more stitches and several more bits of cloth, a few more raggedy roses and several more buttons. When I am not working on the jacket, I have worn it . It has caused a bit of discussion which is always such fun!!

I will post more in process photos soon!

I think that I will be on the lookout for more pieces of clothing like this. They just might start to show up in my ETSY shop as unique one of a kind art garments!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Bead Soup From My Partner

I ma beyond excited about these wonderful beads!!! Christine has made these beauties just for me for this swap!!! HOW COOL IS THAT!!! If you follow my blog at all you may have noticed that I have been loving the Red/light blue or turquoise combo lately!!! Look who else noticed!!! the wonderful MS Christine!!! The name of the soup is delightful as well and I loved her labels and packaging. These so remind me of the 50's era table clothes that are all the rage among collectors these days. I have quite a few of those table cloths tucked away somewhere!!
Then look at these wonderful white ruffly beads that Christine calls her faux milk glass!!! Are they not divine??????? I actually have my Soup resting in a milk glass compote as I mull the myriad of possible design ideas that are streaking across my brain!! I just love the dots and ruffles!!!
She sent some sparkly clear and red #8s to fill in and some wonderful red and blue cord!!
And to hold it all together she made me a fabulous Blue enamel clasp!!! I am in love !!!! I cannot wait to set aside a few hours to play with this oh so special soup and create something for my self. i think that it will be a set of a necklace and at least one pair of companion earrings!!!
Thank you so very much Christine!!!!

In some other exciting beady news, Kristi Bowman over at Dream Some Designs is offering a wonderful 400th post giveaway of some of her amazing hand made jewelry components!! Pop on over to her blog and see what she creates and enter her give away, you will not be sorry that you did!!!! I am working with several of her wonderful ammonite pieces in my next Ocean Treasures beaded cuff.

One more thing to share!! My Ocean Treasures Beaded Cuff was chosen for an Etsy Treasury today!! This is so exciting and only the second treasury that I have ever had work included in!! it is such an honor. Here is the link to the treasury if you would like to check it out!!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bead Soup for My Partner Christine.

Now that I know that my partner Christine has recieved her Bead Soup, I can reveal what I sent to her!! I had such fun putting this mix together for Christine and I do hope that she finds some things to kick her creativity up a notch!!! At first I thought that I should not send Christine a glass focal bead but then I read about her "likes" in the database and the first thing that she mentioned was her love of glass. She does make beautiful glass lamp work beads but no two beader's styles are exactly the same. When I came across this wonderful focal created by a local VA artist named Linda Campbell, I knew it had to be the main stone in this Stone Soup!! ( Do you Remember reading that book as a child- It is still one of my favorite books about faith and believing in oneself, that I know of!!)
So with the focal bead chosen I added some of my own fabric/paper beads, some wonderful big cream colored and smaller blue, fresh water pearls, some glass drops in both matte and ab finishes in various blues and greens, some wonderful glass rounds made by TB patients in Tanzania that come with an extra splash of good karma ( my brother brings me a bunch of these wonderful beauties almost every year when he comes for a home visit), and some found critter drilled Quahog shell fragments that have been tumbled in the cold Atlantic ocean.
From what I have heard, Christine is very excited and inspired by her soup. Hurrah!!! that makes me so very happy!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bead Soup Party!!!!

Any excuse for a party and I can't think of a better one than BEADS ,at the moment !! this year I am so excited to a be a part of the Bead Soup Blog Party that is the brain child of the amazing Lori Anderson. the sign up took place in early August and there are over 300 of us form all parts of the globe participating!! We each have blogs and Lori has assigned each of us a partner who we will be mailing Bead Soups to . Then we are each to create a piece of jewelry form our soup and post the pictures and story on our blogs.
I have been paired with the lovely and talented Bead artist Christine Brandel. I have an extra bonus as Christine lives in Richmond , VA about an hour away from me!!! So the potential exists for us to meet in person at some point in our futures!!! How COOL is THAT??!!!???
Christine has a wonderful Blog and I hope that you will all take a moment to pop by and see some of her bead work that she combines with metal work and and her glorious lamp work beads!! It is amazing that I have been paired with another artist who has a metal smithing background!! I have not gone back to my metal smithing skills in along time, but I do work with wire much more often of late.
I have been rummaging thru my stash and seeking treasures to send off to Christine and plan to get her special soup in the mail tomorrow!! Our task is to send off Soups that will stretch each other out of our Comfort zones! I just hope that she is pleased with what a have chosen for her! I am trying not to fret about it too much!!!!

hen we all have till September 17 to create a work from our soups and blog about our creations and REVEAL those Creations on our blogs!!!

Bring on the BEAD PARTY!!!!!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Roasting Romas!!

I was inspired to try this recipe after talking to a friend who was on a big canning kick!! These sounded so yummy I was almost drooling. !!
On Saturday i set off for the local Farmers Market, there is a smll market taking hold right here in Stafford which thrills me because I do not have to negotiate I-95 to get to the otherwise closest market. I plan on giving these wonderful local farmers all sorts of support so the market keeps going and possibly grows!! So I set off to buy Roma tomatoes. My tomatoes really pooped out- it just got too hot , too quickly and for too long a stretch, they got sun scald and are gone. SIGH!!
This pan above is about three pounds of roma's sliced in half and drizzled with Good Extra Virgin olive oil mixed with lots of crushed garlic (about 6 lg cloves), a teaspoon and a half of freshly cracked black pepper , a teaspoon and a half of kosher salt. I should have added Fresh Rosemary but I lost my plant last winter and I was not going to pay grocery store prices for a few old sprigs. (Note to self: Get a new Rosemary plant and put it in a different spot!!)
Once the 'maters were well slathered, I popped them in the oven at 200 degrees for 10 (yes!TEN) hours!!!! Once they cooled, I put them in covered container drizzled on a bit more fresh olive oil and popped them in the fridge.
These little jewels taste like candy to me!!! There is no strong garlic taste after the slow roast. The process brings out an intensely sweet tomato flavor that is just scrumptious!!! I have been eating them plain and also putting them atop a freshly toasted multi grain bagel covered with low fat Garlic and chive creamed cheese for lunch!! DELISH!!!!!
Well tomorrow is Saturday and I am heading back to the Farmers Market to get ..... you guessed it..... More Roma's!!!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Playing with Color

Today has truely been an amazing weather gift, here in Central VA!! The sky is clear blue with fluffy white clouds , a bit of a breeze and temps in the mid 80's. We don't get many days like this at this time of year!! After taking care of the neighbors dogs and cats, I spent an hour in the garden, dead heading Daisy's, Brown Eyed Susan's and roses while drinking my morning cup of coffee. The birds were keeping me company as I put fresh water in their bath and the hum of the Cicadas had not even begun!!
As I ahd started my day with color I decided to stick with the game plan. Out came the sunpaints and the fabric. I have finally chosen a theme and idea for a Quilt Challenge that I am participating in. This is for the Power Suit Challenge being run by Textile Artists Judy Gula and Cindy Souder . The 18 x 18 quilt is due at Artistic Artifacts by the end of August so my decisions are bordering on last minute!!! I will be using a sunprinted background and altering the shirting fabrics that were provided to create my piece. I am going to hold off on more details as we have been asked to not talk too much about this before the celebratory Reveal at Artistic Artifacts in October. But I will share a few crumbs here and there. (Yah, I thought that would make you all just so happy!!) Part of this finished sun print will become my quilts background.
In the top most picture you can see that I had golden rod, basil blossom spikes, verbeana, daisies, clover and grassy weeds covering the painted damask table cloth piece. I am really happy with the results so far. Now for the shirting.

All of these pieces are from a sample book that I took apart and painted with the paints. I used palstic doilies and a cut up onion bag to cover the fabric while it dried in the sun.
I used all sorts of samples here many have plaids and stripes that are so common in men's dress shirts. They all came out really well and, with the weather, they dried in about 20 minutes!!

Now on to the cutting and construction!!

I hope that wherever you are you are having wonderful weather as well!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A Semi- Presentable Studio!!!

I have decided to share some images of my art mess as I call my studio. This is as good as it has been for several months! I work on too many projects concurrently, for my s mess to ever achieve Capital S studio status, like those that appear in the magazines. It is MY space and I love it, and it inspires me !
The reason for the big sort and clean was my First Formal in Studio Class. A good friend who I has been a student of mine int he past was bringing her girls over for some collage jewelry fun. Long story short, the teenagers stayed at home and Ann and I had a lovely afternoon of creating!
I was able to open this chapter of my teaching experience with swept floors, a clean covered table top and plenty of leg room to accommodate 4 people at the first work table!
the second worktable is till under a small hill of supplies and fabric and stuff and the sewing area floor is still covered with fabrics and projects to be sorted , however there are now negotiable paths form here to there and a welcoming place to create !! This is a huge step for my space and my usual method of creating in the midst of clutter.

Beads and Bead storage area including found objects and stones.

The fabric storage and dye area still needs some work and larger sorting bins, but there is a clear path!!!

this one bench behind the table needs some attention and my stamp wall needs some serious weeding out. I just don't seem to use my stamps anymore and they take up a very large amount of space. I need to figure what to do with them- a need to pass many of them on to others who will use them, as I now use mostly those that I have carved myself! Perhaps They will find their way to my Etsy site??

Sea Treasures beaded collage 1 inch wide cuff.

Sea Foam Free form beaded bracelet.

Besides having a lovely afternoon working on a collage creation with my friend, she informed me that it was her intention to purchase two of my Beaded Ocean Themed pieces that were featured in my Etsy Shop. She left with both of the pieces that you see above!! banner day for my bead work and now I have a clean space to work in as I design and create more of my free form beaded collage jewelry. Perhaps it was a reward for finally getting the majority of my work space under control?? What ever, i am thrilled that the pieces are now owned by someone who treasures them and that they will find some wonderful new homes with my students dear friends!!!! It does not get better than that, for this artist anyway!!!

Last but not least I wanted to share some pictures of a small bit of the found object treasure that I gathered on my recent trip to Cape Cod.

I am planning on trying my hand a t drilling small holes in these lovely smooth stones so I can incorporate them into some of my new bead work designs.
I had lots of luck finding sea glass this year and I also found a very old piece of tumbled china (not Pictured) . I will be working on incorporating these bits either with wire wrapping or treating as components in some resin pieces. The clam shell bits with holes (Quahog shells) will be added into the free form beaded work.
Guess I need to get busy beading!!
I hope that everyone has a very creative couple of days !! Try to find a cool spot to follow your creative muse!


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