Friday, April 18, 2008

April Bead Journal Project

April! One more month to go & then we'll be all finished for 2007-2008. How the time has flown & how I've changed my outlook on this project. Once again, I'll need to explain my April leaf.

April 1st is my oldest Scottie, FionaRoseBlossom, birthday. Yes, she's an April Fool Dog! She is a wee blond fool too making me laugh. I originally started wanting to dedicate this to my girl & how much love this little 8 year old Scottie has given me since the very first day I saw her at one week old until now when she's the first to see me when I get home in the mornings. I had this piece of jade shaped as a Scottie for a couple years. I was going to make a pendent out of it, but decided for such a special girl (Fi) I need something special for her page. I used fabric that I'd made from a class I taught at Byzantium on the first Saturday of this month. I secured the jade to the fabric & then reached for a tube of beads to start beading. But, my hands grabbed the kit of beads from Beading For a Cure. I've been working on my doll for next year & they just happened to be sitting close. So I decided to use those colors as they complimented the piece of jade.

Let me stop for a second here & explain BFAC a little more. Beading for a Cure started back in 2002 with a group of talented bead artist from a Delphi Group called All About Beads. This will be my third year participating in this charity for Layne & to do research for colo-rectal cancer. As in other years, I'm working on a doll to be auctioned off. Now back to the BJP leaf. As I was working with the colors that just melt into the piece, I took a break. My eyes wandered over my work bench, but focused back on the fabric I had chosen as the base. I saw little threads of pink & blue that I'd used to embellish the thread. I looked at the Scottie jade piece, and then I shuddered. There before me not only was a piece for my Fiona, but embedded in the fabric was pieces of memory of my other two beloved Scotties who'd passed & now stand at the top of the Rainbow Bridge waiting for me. My other two Scotties were FalaPink and SkyeBlue. My eyes just started to flood with tears & all that freeze dried love I had for my two Scotties was hydrated and pouring down my face.

Scotties had started my journey into beading. Through my first web page which was about my boy, FalaPink, I met Cynthia. Cynthia & I loved our Scotties so much & we corresponded for months until we finally got to met each other face to face at a Wee Scot's convention in Cincinnati. Wee Scots was a haven for Scottie dog antique collectors. We instantly bonded & through Cynthia, I was introduced to beading, and eventually to All About Beads. My Scotties FalaPink and SkyeBlue led me out to CyberLand, where I've evolved to what I've become.

I touched the beads from BFAC & caught my breath. Money collected from auction for this project is for colo-rectal cancer research. My FalaPink died due to complications from his bout with cancer back in 2001. Fala had colon cancer. I'd come in a circle just in that one piece of beading. From my Scottie boy, to beading, to exploring myself through my art, and now back to my beloved FalaPink and SkyeBlue (Skye died from cancer also. She had hepatic cancer). So there I was holding this leaf that started with a whimsy about my funny April Fool's girl, and circled back to those two loving Scotties that caused me to love this breed so fiercely. And through my devotion to Scotties, I've found so many wonderful Scottie owners and to my best friend in the world.

So, to all my beloved Scotties with me now & withing my heart, to all those men and women who I've met on the Internet through Scottie Dog chat groups, to those devoted Scottie people I've got to met at shows or antique conventions, to those people who touched my heart and my soul and made me become an artist, I'm dedicating April to you. To you who have taught me to spread my arms and embrace life.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I've been busy!

I've been a little quiet on the groups I belong to. I have so much to finish in April what with deadlines & challenges, so I haven't left the ArtCave for much more than to go to work, eat & sleep. Why? Well, I'm going to NYC with my friend Cynthia to help her celebrate her 50th birthday. We are then going to a doll maker's conference "Think Pink-It's a Girl Thing" with two other friends. So, I have sewing to do, beading, the Beaded Mask (it is coming along), a magazine article to write, class proposals to finish, and then shopping! Oh yes, there is always time to shop.

This is a new doll just HOT off the work table. It is one of the challenge dolls I'm making for Think Pink. It is called "Great Stork Factory-Pink Division". The doll is a the Garden Fairy pattern by Allison Marano. And what do you think the "fire" is? Ha! You'll never guess...copper scrubber from the Dollar Store. Emily E. got me interested in using those. Chris did the face. He printed it off onto inkjet paper & then applied 6 layers of gel medium. I stretch the ink embedded face onto a softly needle sculpted face. Then she is all beaded with pink beads. The pot is beaded too! Hope you like her.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Start of Mask

I finally got the energy to start on the challenge by Beadin' Path called the Beaded Mask. I don't know why I kept putting this project off, but here I am less than a month until the deadline with lots of other things to complete plus a vacation thrown in there & I'm just starting. I decided to do mine mainly as a fiber project with beads added. I had a great time sitting at the sewing machine making the fabric that will be draped over the Mask. At first, I wanted the fabric to be stiff enough so that it could be just used as the mask, but it was too flimsy for beads & if I tried to stiffen it anymore, then I could not sew the pieces onto the fabric. So I decided to paint the mask a coppery/ruby mix just so it would be a nice highlight through the fabric. Chris helped me drill holes into the mask after if dried & I'm going to use them to needle sculpt the fabric so the mask will have human features. I picked out several pieces I've made using patterns from Jill Oxton's Cross Stitch & Beading magazine. After taking this picture though, Chris talked me out of using the mermaid. Though she is very cute, she does not really mesh well with the organic look of the fabric. He was so right, so ignore the mermaid. I've already got three seahorses tacked down & am now working on fish. I really don't think I want to really use too many beads on this project as I want the fibers to be the star. I've still got a ways to go before I call it quits. I have to chuckle because this really is hard project for me because I'm NOT going to be covering it with beads. It is harder to only use beads to embellish the fabric & not overwhelm the project.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


My Fiona Rose Blossom is 8 years old today. She is my oldest Scottie who was old when she was born. Yes, she is a wee bit of a crusty soul from the moment we brought her into the house. I have pictures of her from the very first hour she was born & have loved this wee girl for all the 8 years she's been in my life. Fiona is my 3rd Scottie. Back in 1999, I found out my first Scottie, FalaPink, had cancer. My second Scottie, SkyeBlue, could not survive if she was left without a canine pal. She had separation anxiety really bad not for me, but for him. Plus also that Summer, we were robbed when I was upstairs sleeping with both Fala & Skye snoozing next to me. So I was determined to get another Scottie who could be Skye's pal and at least wake up if someone tried to get into the house. She was so full of energy when we got her & OH YES! that dog could bark. When I asked the breeder about Fiona's barking she laughed & told me that was why she was so darn happy to get rid of that pup. Yeppers, Fiona barked. She barked at the cars coming down the road, she barked at the kids playing in the field, she barked at the leaves falling from the tree. Matter of Fact, I told people that if she heard an ant a mile away pass gas, she' come running barking to let me know.

Fiona is a beautiful wheaten color Scottie. At that time, I actually thought about showing her. She loved all the attention with grooming, but get her out in public especially in a ring & that ears go down, tail between the leg, nope! I ain't goin' strut anything. So, no career as a show girl for her. I then decided to breed her as she has a lovely pedigree & is in wonderful health. I studied for a year all the books, talked to breeders, actually got sanctioned as a mentored breeder. Had one litter of puppies, and Fiona hated it. I had to make her sleep with her puppies for the first 3 days. She wanted to sleep upstairs with me and barked all the time whining about having to stay in the whelping box with those puppies. Finally she did become maternal, but just when we the puppies were weened, she wanted nothing to do with them. I could see her holding up her paw & telling to the paw! Thank god, Skye jumped in & became a surrogate Mom or else I would have gone out of my mind with 4 wild Scottie puppies. To make Fiona happy, I had her neutered. No sense making her do something she didn't want to do.

Fiona likes to be alone most of the time. I think she would have been a wonderful only dog. She does play with Frodo & Arwen, but only on her terms and then only for a couple minutes before she takes off to do her own thing. She always waits for me on the stairs sticking her head out waiting for "the stair love" before I let the other two out of their crates. She LOVES BRUSHING. I swear, but she'd rather be brushed than get a cookie. She's slowing down & does sleep a lot. She's still healthy and loves to take long walks that is after she's bitten my foot when I put the leash on her. Oh yeah, she's chewed up about every pair of shoes I own. But I love her so much.

This morning after "stair love", I pulled out the brush and before I went to bed we had a 15 minute brushing session. Now that I'm up, I'm going out to PetSmart to get her some of that new soft Beneful, a cup of Frosty Paws, and a new toy for her birthday. I know. I spoil her so much.

About is a picture of her first birthday. Yes, I actually had a cake made for her & had guest over!