Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Foundation of Happiness

For my March bead journal, I decided to continue with February's theme of happiness. This month I focused on the foundation of my happiness, my family.

While I worked on the February page, I thought about friends instead of family in relation to happiness. I have to admit that bothered me. It was worse than bothered. I felt guilty. It was almost creepy. I gave myself the heebie-jeebies thinking about it. And by the time I finished February (in the middle of March, I freely admit), I was ready to think about my family.

To me the term "family" is generously inclusive. In addition to the usual suspects, our family includes our other-in-laws, our auxiliary grandson, our daughter-in-law's brother-in-law's father and brother.

Technical Details:

The foundation is Lacy's Stiff Stuff painted with Adirondack Color Wash Spray in Stream.

The beads are various shades of teal, with more than the usual number of metallic beads included. Those metallic beads all have a teal cast, but it doesn't show up in the photo. Sizes are 15/0, 11/0, and 8/0. There are cubes, triangles, hexes, and twisted hexes, with a few bugles and drop beads.

The good old backstitch again dominates. There is a bugle ruffle, some fringe, and a section of wallpaper stitch. There are a couple of nameless (meaning I don't know the names) stitches, too.

The page is 2.75 inches by 2.75 inches.

I used green C-lon thread.

What I Was Thinking:

With the theme of family as the foundation of happiness, I wanted to portray something primarily solid and strong. The teal color immediately came mind as solid but not dreary. The metallic beads are meant to add weight. The vertical columns are pillars, representing how a family holds a member up. In contrast, the sparkly beads and the ruffle and fringe show fun and happiness coming out of the strength.

Issues that Came Up:

The beads are a little squished together. I guess I just had to squeeze a little more family into the piece.

I was surprised at how much contrast there was between the metallic beads and the glass beads. Spread out, the contrast is not so noticeable.

Now I know why I like to have the background the same color as the beads. When it is different, as it is in this piece, I find it a distraction. My attention is drawn to the contrast between the background and the beads. A totally unnecessary waste of valuable brain space.

The ruffle looks like a slithering snake. That's the word from the seven-year-old grandson, and his five-year-old brother agrees.


Loomgirl said...

Just beautiful! I love the movement across your piece - it seems joyous and uplifting. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and looking at the piece to see where they might have influenced your needle. Thanks for sharing.

Robin said...

Beautiful, Marty!!! I saw the strength in this piece immediately, the pillars and the solidity of it... the ruffle looks more like fun than a snake to me... And I agree that the color teal is solid, beautiful and definitely not dreary. There is a sense of flow because of both the color and the way you used the shaped seed beads. It's great! Robin A.

Carol said...

I really love this piece. One of my favorite colors, of course, but the diverse texture is what I am trying to achieve in my beading. After really studying your piece, not only the difference in color of the different beads, but the size and shape of the beads create the effect as well. Why haven't I figured that out by now?

Don't feel too bad about thinking of friends first. I find that now that I am older, other than my grandkids and husband, my closest relationships are with a select few friends.

pam T said...

Oh yeah, this piece makes me happy to look at it - my favorite color! Family to me always means more than just "immediate" family - I like to include friends too in family. Maybe that's why you squeezed so many beads in this piece, you have countless friends in your "family".....? Anyway, really like this piece and can't wait to see all of yours together in particular, because each one has been such an explosion of color...

Plays with Needles said...

One thing I love about your post is its honesty. The one great thing about BJP is that it allows you time to explore your honest feelings as you bead along. I love the single palette and the changes in texture -- but most of all, I like the idea of pillars that give your life structure. Nice job.

purplepaint said...

Oh this is gorgeous!!! You're one of those beaders that got me going on my Valentine heart! Your work is just awesome!!!! I'm feeling another beading attack coming on! :) Marva

Sandy said...

I like your beaded pieces and sampler book. Thanks for visiting my blog.

CC said...

I LOVE your happiness theme! Both February & March are beautiful! Your work cheered me up just seeing it! Good job!
Warmest aloha,

freebird said...

Slithering snakes can be cool - provided they are not in my yard! Very pretty. I'd love to see all your pieces grouped together.