Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Art Show News

Here's the link to the 'Little Things' art show.
A little part of my beaded doll Not Quite Pink is in the middle row, third column.

And here's the link to the State Street Gallery.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Telephone Talked!

An almost completely, virtually, practically, literally true play, in four acts.

It takes place in an ordinary kitchen.

Characters: (In order of appearance)

The Telephone--Ordinary gray model
Homeowner--Beautiful, energetic, youthful-looking grandma who doubles as a football player
Associate Homeowner--Brilliant grandpa, frequently hidden behind a computer

Act I

Spooky music starts.
Telephone rings.
Telephone rings again.
Homeowner enters from stage left.
Spooky music gets louder.

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner looks on in horror!

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner: What the????

Telephone: Call from wireless source.

Homeowner: (tentatively picking up receiver) Hello?

Telephone: This is Grandma Ann.

Act II A few minutes later.

Homeowner: Where is that telephone instruction manual? Aha! Here.

Homeowner rifles through booklet, pushes buttons on telephone receiver, and hangs it up.

Homeowner: I stopped it.

Act III Later that day.

Homeowner walks into kitchen.

Associate Homeowner: (from behind a computer) It’s still talking.

Homeowner: I stopped it.

Associate Homeowner: It’s still talking.

Act IV The next day.

Associate Homeowner: Maybe you didn’t really stop it.

Homeowner: (Picks up receiver and pushes buttons.) See, it says ‘Off.’

Associate Homeowner: Maybe it has two voices.

Associate Homeowner picks up instruction manual and begins reading instructions.

Associate Homeowner: You have to turn the base unit off, too.

Homeowner picks up receiver and pushes more buttons.

Homeowner: Now I stopped both of them!

Victorious music begins.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blue Abundance Completed!

I finished my November Bead Journal Project page this weekend. It is Blue Abundance. That seemed like a good theme for November. I chose to express abundance by “overbeading”–using more beads than there was room for on the page. Trying to make the work more three-dimensional was a challenge. But that’s a big part of the fun. Because I really love the color blue, I loved making this page.

Technical Details:

I used Lacy’s Stiff Stuff as a foundation. I painted it blue with Dye-na-Flow.

The beads are 11/0s, Delicas, 13/0 Charlottes, 15/0s, 6/0s, 8/0s, bugles, cubes, drops, and a few odd shaped beads.

There are several types of fringe, a ruffle, and some volcanoes. (What’s the real name for that stitch?) There are also a couple of stitches that came from a book written in Japanese that my daughter gave me. Neither of us could read the directions, but the diagrams were great!

It is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches.

I used both Nymo and C-lon thread.

What I Was Thinking:
I am fortunate to have an abundance of wonderful family and friends. My material needs are met. I want to remember at Thanksgiving to be grateful for all I have and to remember to share with those in need.

Issues That Came Up:

  • This page showed both the advantages and disadvantages of the small size.
  • I had a few other things to do during November so the small size gave me time.
  • But I wish I had had more space to include more beads and more stitches.
  • I was surprised to see so many dark blue beads on the page when it was finished.
  • I still have a rather abundant stash of blue beads, but I have identified a need for more 15/0 medium blue beads.

Now it’s on to Christmas projects!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blue Abundance in Progress

I decided to focus on the theme of Abundance for my November BJP. I want to be thankful for the abundance that I have and I want to remember to share that abundance with others.

To show abundance, I decided to "overbead" the page--putting more beads on the page than there is actually space for. I've been a flat beader, and showing dimension and texture has been an interesting challenge. I've admired the work of the many BJPers who do so well with texture and dimension, and I just had to try it. I'm learning a lot!

I chose blue because I have an abundance of blue beads, as opposed to an abundance of "the blues." Ok, ok, ok, I hear the voices in the background. (You know who you are) I'll 'fess up. Blue is my favorite color and that's why I have so many blue beads. Blue makes me happy!

Like my other BJP pages, this one is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches. It is on Lacy's Stiff Stuff that I painted with Dye-na-Flow.

I may not finish this by the end of November because we are expecting an abundance of fun and family next week. Our big job (besides the turkey) will be to babyproof the place. The 14-month-old Walking Man is coming !

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sending Off the Spirit Dolls

I found out this afternoon that my two Spirit Dolls, Snowflake and Not Quite Pink, were accepted into the "Little Things" show at the State Street Gallery in Madison, Wisconsin. They will go out in the mail tomorrow morning.

I wish I could get there to see the exhibit. I'll deputize my crackpot associate in Madison to take some pictures.

My first show... Very exciting!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Finished Hope Stone

Here is the finished Hope Stone. I'll send it off this week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Hope Stone

Glass stones with HOPE inscribed on the top are given to survivors at the Relay for Life. Survivors are invited to pass the stones along to someone else affected by cancer to share the hope. I am embellishing the stone to add more good wishes before I send it to a friend of my daughter.

It is mounted on stiff interfacing that I painted to match the stone. To hold the stone on the backing while I stitched the beads on, I stitched it temporarily to the interfacing by crisscrossing it with thread–stitching from one side to another. First the row of large (6/0) beads was stitched to the interfacing. Then I added one row of 11/0 transparent aqua beads. The next step was to build the spokes that go up toward the center of the bead. Finally, I added the tiny 15/0 gold beads. I ran the thread through the gold beads several times so the stone (cabochon) would be held firm to the interfacing.

I glued some aqua Ultrasuede to the back to cover the previous stitching. I had to get over my glue with beads aversion in order to do this. Then I stitched the Ultrasuede to the interfacing using a beaded picot stitch.

Now I’m adding some fringe to the bottom. I sure wish I could remember how I added fringe to the one I made last year. I’m pretty sure I didn’t do it the way I am doing this one. It’s about half done, but I won’t be able to post the next photo till next week.

A great reference book for this sort of thing is Beading With Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Two New Spirit Dolls!

I finished two new Spirit Dolls this weekend. The first is Not Quite Pink. It is 5 inches high and 3.5 inches across. It is beaded on cotton fabric backed with a stable-in-all-directions lightweight interfacing. I used paper backing for the first Spirit Doll I made, and I found it to be a little floppy. The extra stability of the interfacing seems to be easier for me to handle. The doll has a ribbon on the top so she can be hung up.

I used the same beads that are in the October BJP page. It was fun to use the beads in another project. There are more than 25 different kinds of beads in this doll. Why, exactly, does an otherwise reasonable and frugal person need so many different beads that are almost the same in color? Don't answer that question! And forget that I had to order more beads to do the picot edging.

I decided to try hair on this doll. I like the effect. I also put teardrop beads on the bottom as a kind of fringe on the bottom. You can't see it well on the photos, but the teardrop beads go all along the lower edge, with no spaces in between.

This is the back of the doll. I painted the light peach colored fabric with Lumiere Halo Pink Gold so it would be a better match with the beaded front.

Here's the white Spirit Doll. I think of her as Snowflake. She is made in the same way as Not Quite Pink. There are at least 28 different kinds of beads on her. I am very pleased with the way she turned out. To make hair, I used tiny teardrop beads as part of the picot stitch edging. If you click on the photo, it will enlarge and you will be able to see the details a little better.

Here's the back. Creating it was a multi-step process. I didn't think a stark white back would look good with the fancy front so I decided to try paint. First I painted the white fabric with Pearl White Lumiere. It needed more so I tried a little Silver Lumiere on the edges of the fabric. The silver looked very gray and dirty. So I tried Metallic Gold Lumiere. I used a stamp, but my technique was lacking and it blurred. But the gold was better. After it dried and was heat-set and washed, it still didn't look right. So I put a coat of dilute Glittering Crystal Scribbles paint on it. Still not right. I then used Misty Fuse to fuse some slightly glittery polyester organza on the top. That did it.

With all of this paint and fusing, the backing fabric was a little stiff and difficult to push the needle through. I needed to use a thimble when I put the picot edging on.
I really enjoyed making these dolls, but now it's on to other projects.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

White Spirit Doll

This is the White Spirit Doll--at least it's the front. It is made the same way I made the Not Quite Pink one--on fabric with stable-in-all-directions interfacing under it. It is 4.75 inches tall and 3.5 inches across the arms. I think there are 28 different kinds of beads on this doll.

When I thought of making a white doll, I didn't know whether there would be enough difference in the beads to show a pattern. But I think it turned out pretty well. Who knew there were so many kinds of white? The Yarn Harlot, that's who.

It actually looks quite lacy in spots. The bottom part of the doll is covered with sequins, with a tiny gilt-lined bead on top. This is the first time I put sequins on any of my beaded pieces. I will try that again.

This is the most organized or planned beading I've ever done. (I'll try that again, too!) It's interesting to compare it to the Not Quite Pink Spirit Doll (previous post) and to the October BJP page. See the October 24 post and the October 1 rant for my mixed feelings about pink and the reason my pink is not quite.

Next will be stitching back to front, stuffing, and putting the beaded edging around it.

So now I've got this humongous stash of white beads. What to do? What to do?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Christmas Tree Decorations

Our sewing guild is decorating a tree for the local Free Health Clinic. We are using, of course, a sewing theme. Everyone is contributing decorations. These are the ones I made yesterday. They are my own design, from an idea that came early not that early one morning as I was trying to decide whether to get up.

As always with crackpot projects, there were a few engineering issues to be dealt with, most prominently how to keep the spools in the assigned places on the ribbons. For future reference, the holes in the spools are larger than you might think. I ended up putting a tiny safety pin through the knot below the yellow spool. I put buttons on the top and bottom of the spool on the left. The spool on the right is held in place by extra beads on the top and the bottom.