Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Even More Hope!

I made another Hope Stone. This one, the fourth or fifth I've made, was for the door prize drawing for survivors at our local Relay for Life.

Glass stones with "HOPE" inscribed are given at the end of the Survivors' Victory Lap at the Relay for Life. The idea is that one survivor can pass the stone on to another person who is in special need of hope. I think that most cancer survivors will agree that immediately after diagnosis and during active treatment, any extra hope is welcome.

You'll have to look hard to find the word "HOPE" on this stone, but it's there. The stone is mounted on Lacy's Stiff Stuff that I painted with Dye-na-Flow. Since the stone is translucent, I didn't want to use glue. I stitch back and forth across the stone to temporarily hold it to the backing. Then I attach the beads to the backing to bezel the stone on.

The method for bezelling (Is that a word?) the stone on has varied from item to item, mostly because I never remember how I did it before. It's pretty much reinventing the wheel. Our library has a couple of books that show how to attach the stones, but they never seem to be in when I'm ready to use them. One is Beading with Cabochons by Jamie Cloud Eakin and the other is Beading on Fabric by Larkin Van Horn. The two authors use different methods, so I figure that gives me the opportunity to invent my own.

One issue with these Hope Stones is that they are relatively thick with a somewhat straight edge. That needs to be taken into account when attaching them to the backing.

I then attach an ultrasuede backing with a picot stitch and add fringe at the bottom. I used to find keeping my fringe symmetrical a fussy task. Then I invented a way to keep the beads organized. I got a piece of cardboard--like a cereal box--and cut it about 5" by 8". Then I made elongated "donuts" of masking tape* and stuck them on the cardboard. Voila! A 5" by 8" piece of sticky stuff. I found that I could lay out rows of beads for each fringe, and they wouldn't move around. I could put the whole thing in a plastic bag and press the bag onto the tape, and the beads would stay in place if I had to stop before finishing.

I'm working on another Hope Stone now for the mother of a friend. If you want to see the second one I made, look here.

*If you don't know what masking tape donuts are, ask someone who taught school before there was poster putty.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Remembering Morocco--May BJP

My May BJP Remembering Morocco is finally finished. It seemed to take forever. While I worked on it, I wondered why that was. I have several reasons:

1. I didn't start on it until mid-May. We got home from the trip to Spain and Morocco in early May, but I needed to get over jet lag before I operated dangerous machinery, such as needles and scissors.
2. I needed some time to process the experiences of the trip before I could begin to interpret them in beads.
3. Things got busy--Tulip Time, the grandsons, all the meetings left over from April, all the May meetings, and all the end of the year grand finale meetings and celebrations. Whew! It was a wild month!
4. I wasn't crazy about anything but the memories and the color of blue. Don't try to talk me out of it! I know what I like. And what I don't like. I'm a strong-minded woman. When I'm not crazy about it, it takes longer.
5. I had to order beads for the background and had to wait for them to arrive.
6. Beading the background to go around the swirls took much too long. And it wasn't that much fun.

Those are my excuses for tardiness.

But I finished it. At last.

Technical Details:

The foundation is Lacy's Stiff Stuff painted with watered down blue Dye-na-Flow.

This page contains the usual combination of 15/0s and 11/0s plus some hexes, cubes, charlottes, one lentil, some long tubes, and some vintage spherical beads about size 6/0.

In addition to the backstitch, I used couching and the picot stitch.

The page is 2.5 inches by 3.5 inches.

The thread is blue Nymo D.

What I Was Thinking:

I was thinking about Morocco. Our time in Morocco was a stimulating and challenging sensory, intellectual and emotional experience. There is no way I could represent all of that. The blue sky in Asilah was absolutely stunning (see photo in previous post), so that sky became my little beaded memory. It was very windy, and we had sand in our clothes and hair that evening. The beaded swirls represent the wind. The two upright columns are Moroccan doorways. I'd love to go back to Morocco. I'd even love to go back and do everything we did again.

Issues That Came Up:

Ok, this blue is my favorite color. My really, really favorite color.

The more representational the beading is, the less I like doing it. The same thing happened with the BJP from April 2009. And I made a similar comment then, although I didn't read it until I went back to put the link in this post.

And I don't like doing backgrounds, either.

But now that I'm finished, I like this page. Especially the color. And remembering Morocco.