Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 26, 2011
It is so satisfying to put a jumble of bits and pieces of treasures and chain together to create a unique collection of personal jewelry. Each piece was so very different and spoke of the character of it's creator.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
But Monday was the day that we were going to meet each other in person, in the flesh , for real!!!
I first learned of Susan's amazing needlework, bead work and embroidery thru the Bead Journal Project, and artist Robin Atkins. You can see Susan's Bead Journal pieces here.
This was the first Plays With Needles blog post that I read. This was the post that told me that I would become great friends with Susan. Read this post and look at Susan's glorious photos, her wonderful beadwork and you will understand!! I got to see this exact piece in person, in the Bead, so to speak, at the Needlework Show at Woodlawn.
The personal stories that Susan tells are represented in the exquisite pieces that she creates. Her writing is amazing and her medium is beads ,stitch and textiles. Susan and I connected on many levels thru our blogs and knew that we would have the love of stitch and beadwork in common. But there are so many other things that we discovered that we have in common!
So, we met at Woodlawn Plantation to view the Needle Work Show. Susan had submitted seven of her Journal pieces and I was beyond thrilled to see them in person! Susan leads her readers thru the construction of many of the unique eleemnts of her Journal pieces on her blog- yet another delight!!! We viewed the show, and settled in for a wonderful lunch at the delightful tea room and then headed out to my favorite bead store in Alexandria.
I was delighted to be able to introduce Susan to this amazing jewel box of a bead store, owned and opperated by my dear friend Rosalie Lamana , or as we know her Ro! this truley is a hidden jewel of a bead store and MUST be added to your "To Visit" list if you are ever in the DC area and you love beads. Beads Limited!!!
Every surface of this shop is covered, draped and ladden with beads, many of them vintage and rare!
The back of the entrance is coverd with hanks of beads.
Very quickly one decides that in order to see everything, one must crawl around on the floor and open every drawer that is filled with 20-30 compartments each holding treasure. There is NO other way!!!
And of course all of the walls are laden with rows of beads from the tip top to the very floor!!
Susan and I spent several hours in Ro's delightful company and left her clutching our wonderful satchels of beady luciousness. She won't have to worry about expenses for a couple of months! (Not quite, but close) If you go , remember to bring your checkbook or cash, Ro does not take credit cards!
We left each other to join the hordes leaving Washington on the long trip home, with plans to meet up again at the Maryland Sheep Show in May. I am going to work very hard to save my pennies! Perhaps we will carry each other purses so we can afford to drive home!!!!
I had the most delightful, inspiring and wonderful day and know that I will continue to be inspired by Susan's amazing prose, needle work and wonderful friendship for many many years to come. I am so very grateful to have found her!
Saturday, March 12, 2011
I think that Many of you that know my wonderful friend and amazingly talented artist Leslie Brier, would have little trouble identifying this work in progress as Leslie's work!! You are so right!!
Here you see Leslie's incredible collage of found bits and beads all sewn down on to the ulta suede fabric , ready for attachment to the cuff form.
Yes, you Can see various gears, metal battleships from a vintage Monopoly set, an amazing tiny sparkplug charm that was an advertizing give away, way back when, old buttons, all surrounding a wonderful info label from a small motor!! Fantastic!!! Leslie shared that she has been known to buy small motors just to pry the labeling tags from the carcass!!! Brilliant and so LESLIE!!!
This next piece glows with wonderful soft colors and exudes the lovely, calm and beautiful spirit of it's maker , the lovely Liana! I would never have put this combination of colors together, but this cuff is so shimmeringly gorgeous, I sure do wish that I had!!!
You See, I learn so very much from my students!!
The lovely coral colored bits on this cuff were loving pryed from a vintage buckle that had lost several of it's parts. We are not sure if the lilies are real coral or fabulous Bakelite plastic. No matter, they are divine and became the centerpiece for Liana's fabulous work.
The liliies set the bar for a stunning 3 dimensional garden themed display of color and light play and resulted in a stunning cuff of Artistic beauty!!!
Remember, that the vast majority of my students have never done any work like this before and several have never worked with beads before.!! Yet each and every student that has enrolled in this class has departed with an incredibly unique piece of bead embroidered jewelry!!! It really is stunning and it is NOT all due to my teaching- this comes form inside each person who opens themselves up to the artistic possiblities. I pass on tips and a few simple techniques and several well learned pit falls to avoid, but everything else comes from the hand that passes the needle and thread thru the bead and the cloth!!
This is the cuff that I used as my teaching sample and that I finished off as we dove into the challenges of attaching the beaded cuffs to the cuff blanks. It serves as a reminder to always Laugh and to NEVER take ones self too seriously!!! (This cuff is now for sale at Sophia Street Studios in downtown Fredericksburg!!!)
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Here is the front cover. I tried to use lots of bits of fabrics that I ahd designed myself. On the cover you can see several pieces that I monoprinted from a gelatin plate.
This is the back cover. I added this sweet little partially finished needlepoint canvas that I ahd found in a thrift store. You all know how much I love anything floral!!
Inside front cover lined with a piece of a vintage linen tea towel that I hand stitched in with a button hole stitch.
The following pages are a small sampling of the kinds of bits that I included in the book. The book has three signatures presently with room to insert one more.
I often include papers that had been work surface covers. They often have wonderful random color and pattern that I simply can't resist!!
This page was the surface protector for a bunch of papers that I decorated with gesso resist and acrylic paint washes.