Saturday, February 28, 2009

Time for Auctions!

It is time for the Auctions for Beading for a Cure. This is my 4th year contributing. I've repeated the opening of the BFAC website below so those wondering what I'm talking about will understand what this project is all about. For 2009, I did two projects. The one that I have pictured her is from an adapted pattern by Cyndy Sieving called "Jeppo". I enjoyed doing it. The other is a Podling from a kit that another member bought, but due to time constrains couldn't finish. I'm hoping that we do well with our auctions this year. And oh yes...I have my kit for 2010 and am considering a dragonfly doll.


Layne's Legacy is an annual beading challenge dedicated to raising money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association in honor of our friend Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in November 2002. The premise of the challenge is simple: participants purchase a kit which contains a variety of beads. Each kit is identical. At least one of each bead type must be used in the finished project and the beader can only add one other type of bead to the project (but as many non-bead items as they wish). The completed works are as varied as the beaders who created them. In the past we have had jewelry, sculptural work, and decorative items.

When the projects are all finished, they are auctioned off on eBay and all of the proceeds (minus operating costs) go to the NCCRA, donated in Layne's name. This is our way of honoring the memory of a wonderful beader and good friend. Even those who never had the chance to meet Layne have joined into our cause. It's a wonderful feeling to be able to use your artwork to help find a cure for something as insidious and devastating as cancer.

Our goal with Layne's Legacy is three-fold. First, we want to keep Layne's memory and spirit alive in all of us. Second, we want to raise awareness about colorectal cancer and the need to fund research to find a cure for it. Third, we want to raise awareness of beadwork as a serious artform, and beaders as artists with skill and heart. As well, we all want to have fun with this! While we're doing this for a serious reason, we all love to bead, and it's a great challenge working with beads that someone else has picked out. It's very rewarding to see the various projects take shape. Usually, no two projects are anywhere near alike even though we all have the same beads!

Bidding is open to everyone. We will be listing our auctions starting in March. March is National Colorectal Cancer Research month. Any item created for Layne's Legacy would make a wonderful gift for someone special (including YOU), and you know that your money is going to a good place.

Friday, February 27, 2009

FAbulous Faces

Chris collects old 78s records. We love listening to music from the past. He has some that are even older than my Grandmother. Most of them are music that you can tap your toes to, and some I even remember hearing. My Mother would listen to the radio much of the time & there were no car trips without the dashboard radio blaring out song after song. Chris even had to get an old record player so we could listen to our collection. He got this big old Zenith brown bakelite. After some cleaning, polishing & replacing parts, he got it working. Then his friend Leo who goes to auctions with Chris gave him some old albums he didn't want. One of them was of an Incan singer named Yma Sumac. I took one look at the face on that album & fell in love with her. It is so 50s & her face is like a statue with almond eyes, painted on eyebrows, and cheeks that are so chiseled. We tried to play the album but it was scratch, YET...the voice was amazing. I haven't heard such a vocal range on anyone like this. Chris then found her website:

Turn down the volume on your computer or else your dogs will be howling! I mean it! But listen to the music selection & tell me if you've ever heard anything like this before. I love Yma's face. I'm going to have to do something doll related, because she inspires me!!!!

Monday, February 16, 2009

online class 5th week

I'm currently taking two classes from Doll Street. The one class I've been up to date with & have actually been successful in finishing the class assignments as they are presented. For this week which is the 5th week for The Enchanted Tree, we were to cloth/dress the two fairy dolls, Iris & Erin. I followed some of the instructions & managed to dress both of my dolls with some of the scrap materials I've been saving for about a year. (Yes, more recycled!). I mainly used polyester fabrics so when I cut them, I used the technique Michelle taught us to use a flame to actually melt the edges so they don't ravel. I also liked how the material would pucker & look like it had a petticoat underneath. I still don't care for the faces I painted on these wee dolls...and let me tell you....THEY ARE SMALL!!!! Erin is about 4 inches & Iris is 6 inches. I was successful is sewing them both out AND turning the arms and legs without blow outs. It was a first for me with something so small. I didn't even use glue around the seams which Judy S. taught me. So I feel that either my sewing is getting better, or I'm learning how to be a little more gentle while using my hemostats in turning small appendages. I'll never get to the point where I can turn tiny bitty fingers like Cyndy S. does, but who knows. Maybe if I practice & don't go blind with all the beading I'm doing, I'll be able to even sew tiny fingers & turn them successfully some day.

I feel kinda bad about the other class I'm taking. It is the Embellisher class & I've only done the first 3 weeks of assignments. For some reason, I just don't seem to want to get the machine out & work with it. I did break down & went to Westerville Sew & Save to get a new attachment for the felter machine so when I break more needles I don't have to buy a whole other cartridge, but can just replace the needles as needed. I was thinking of taking the felter with me to the Retreat this weekend, but think the other Lilies would be mad at me. So this week, I'm going to put my beads away & spend a couple hours trying to catch up on my class. What made me think of this? Well, on Doll Street, teachers were talking about how some times while teaching an online class they do not get feedback from students as the classes are progressing on. Some of them said that they don't feel that they might not be getting through to people who aren't posting. Made me think about the classes I've taken online. One of them, I didn't even join the Yahoo Group & only download the class assignments. MOF, I still haven't even started that class. I guess I wanted it for future time when I'm skilled enough to do that class. With the other class, I felt intimidated & didn't even share anything, but read the comments. I did learn from them, but I was too afraid of the rejections I would get from showing my poor work. Oh, I lost that fear real fast. Now I figure if anyone can learn from my foolish mistakes besides myself, I'm going to share. But I have learned that I should only take one class at a time. I do not have the time to fully work with the assignments along with current beading projects & then that awful thing called THE JOB! So I'm going to limited myself on my online classes since I've realized something valuable about myself...I'm not a super girl & can't do everything I want to at the same time. Think we all should realize this. dot

Monday, February 9, 2009

Moon & noticed

This morning when I got off of work & was driving out of the hospital parking lot, I looked up over the trees of Sharon Woods & saw an amazing Moon. It was luminous white with a halo around it. There must have been fog in the upper atmosphere from all the snow/ice finally melted. The whole sky was lit up, but the image of that Moon shining with an almost pulsating beat just took my breath away. Also, today was the first day this year that I've been able to walk Fiona when I get home. She was so darn excited that her tail was buzzing. It took twice as long this morning to walk because she had to stop & sniff everything. Such a funky old girl. I forgot how much I missed our little walks in the morning. She gets ignored a lot because she likes to be by herself. Frodo & Arwen are constantly wanting attention, but Fiona is quiet. Sometimes I can't find her for hours, and then I'll come across her laying in the middle of the staircase in the dark just looking out the window. I talk to her when we are walking & she "huffs" back at me. I was also thinking this morning that Fiona will almost be 9. Her birthday is on April Fools' Day. Her sister passed away over 18 months ago from a heart problem & my beloved SkyeBlue died at 8, so Fiona is a pretty special old girl. She's healthy except for her heart condition, and I'm always aware of her physical activity. She's pretty chubby right now (so am I), so we're going to slowly get her in shape.

Also, I just saw that I've gotten noticed by a doll collecting/maker blog. I was just thrilled to pieces to see my Feb BJP bear on that site with dolls of other famous doll makers. It made my afternoon so thrilling. Here is where it is shown

One more thing. Today is my anniversary. We've been together 32 years! Can't believe that so many years have gone by so quick. I'd asked for tonight off so we could go out, but someone forgot & scheduled a colonscopy for liquid diet for him & sneak eating for me. I told one of the girls this morning at work that I was going to sneak out & get a Big Mac for my anniversary. She laughed & said wouldn't that be horrible to come home with Big Mac breath & he can't eat nothing but jello & broth. Oh well, I really wouldn't do that, but I hear some cookies calling my name.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Vanilla Oreo

Last night, I was working down in the Art Cave working on a few fairy dolls for the Enchanted Tree online class I'm doing with Michelle Munzone. I heard this frenzied dog frapping going on upstairs. It seemed that they must have chased each other up & down the stairs at least three times. I even heard them jumping off & on the couch. Then quiet. I just thought they were sleeping or napping, but then there was this pathetic whine coming from the top of the stairs. Let me regress a moment here. My Art Cave is in the basement. Chris got tired of my beads and fabric being strewn all through the house. He asked me if he made a place in the basement for my stuff would I agree to keep it all down there. YES! It took him a month, but he converted our basement into a work shop with part for me, part for him & then a large section for painting & other wet type of art. We decided to call our basement studio the Art Cave. He even boxed in the staircase. Scotties DO NOT like to walk down an open staircase, or at least I've never had one. So I thought when the basement stairs got boxed in, they would use the stairs & come down to stay with us when we were working. NOT AT ALL! Even though we carpet the steps & made it easier for them to use, they hate coming down to the basement. So back to my story. I walked over & there all three were sitting at the top of the stairs whining. They wanted me to play with them, but they didn't want to come upstairs & I didn't want to go upstairs, so they were so upset with us. Chris took the camera we use to photograph our projects & caught the three of them in what we call a "vanilla oreo". Fiona is on the left, Frodo in the middle & Arwen on the right. They are all sooooo fuzzy! I haven't given them a haircut since August. Hummm...maybe they hate the basement because that is where the grooming table is? But this was a nice picture with all three having their tongue hanging out. Too bad about the "zombie" eyes, but it is pretty dark in the staircase.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Feb BJP 09

Here it is February in Ohio. Oh joy! Unfortunately Buckeye Chuck saw his shadow on Ground Hog's Day (2.2.09) so that means more Winter. I've already had it with the cold temperatures. We've had so many nights of below zero that I can scream. And my Scotties don't like it either as they are forced to wear their coats, and believe me when I say they HATE wearing coats. Each has their own color. Frodo wears a yellow coat, Fiona has a navy blue coat, and Arwen has a sage green. If by accident I try to put the wrong coat on the wrong dog, they let me know of my blunder really fast. Today it is suppose to get warmer and all this ice from weeks and weeks of accumulation is suppose to melt. Fiona is happy with that as she really got in the habit of our morning walks when I got home from work. So hopefully, she & I can get a little bit more exercise before we both outgrow our coats. But being Feb in Ohio, we still have snow to look forward to. Last year, the last weekend of Feb when I was at the Guilded Lilies Retreat in Hocking Hills, we had a blizzard with record snow fall. I leave on the 20th for another Retreat in Hocking Hills & I'm shuddering to think it will snow snow snow again!

Okay back to my post about the BJP. This is another one of my "Dumpster Dolls" and my goal to do only recycled pieces for the 2009 Bead Journal Project. This time, I've taken another bear from the Happy Meal give outs from McDonalds. I decided a Valentine's theme might be appropriate here with some hearts and pink beads. Now this doll is not here in my house right now. It is in Wisconsin being photographed with a few others for my article on Trash to Treasure which will be in Doll Crafter and Costuming. I still need to get some pictures of a couple of my Dumpster Dolls and send to a bead magazine at least for their gallery. I have a new one also from these Happy Meals that is a rabbit. I have to get the photography set up & get more pictures of the newer pieces I've been doing this month.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

haven't been too successful at taking & completing online courses up until now. I'm taking two classes from the Doll Street Dreamers. Janet Clark is teaching an 8 week class on using the Embellisher. I bought my Janome Xpression over a year ago on a whim & never used it. I tried to sell it this Summer, but no one wanted it. Thank goodness I didn't as I'm really enjoying this class. Nothing nice enough to share yet, but I'm having a ball. Only thing is that the noise of the machine sometimes makes my Vertigo "shake me to the core". They are pretty noisy so if you don't like the sound of bang, bang,bang...don't get one. can make some really fantastic fabric with it. We are into our 3rd week & already this class is making my MUSE jump out of her skin with things to do with the pieces I've created.

The second class is this Michelle Munzone's Enchanted Tree. I LOVE IT! She has a very creative way to make a tree with wire armature. I've done wire trees before, but this is so creative and has limitless possibilities. I've posted the tree that I've made. I did do a couple things different from the class instructions. Michele had us sewing a head and then doing needle sculpting on the doll. Now, I do confess that I really don't like to sew much, so I was looking around my table to see what I had for a face & this ugly yellow clay face was staring at me. I'd done a face from a mold by Pearl Moon a couple years ago at MM&M. Okay, I only had yellow clay so that is why it was yellow. But I always liked this. So then I looked again & it spoke to me. I took the face & put a cloth overlay that matches the tree fabric. Then I painted the cloth with gel pens and a micro pigment pen. I like how it looks. Then for our 3rd week instructions, we made leaves with organzas & open flame. I was in my element. Chris yelled to make sure I didn't burn the house down, but I do know something & had a bowl of water next to where I was burning leaves. It was FUN! I made way more than we were suppose to for this class. I then decided to frame the face on my tree with the burnt fabric vines. So there you go. I can't wait until Thursday so I can download the instructions on how to make the fairies that go with the tree.