Saturday, July 30, 2011

kits, kits, and more kits

First off, I just wanted to say that I usually am not the kind of person who buys kits from other bead artist, or at least I thought I wasn't. Being there in on Met the Artist night at the Bead and Button conference changed my ideas. I bought so many kits! I think I came home with a dozen different kits from 6 different artist. I've been working my way through them and have only completed 3 of them. I wish I didn't work full time so I can devote more hours each day to learning new bead weaving techniques.

This first picture is not of a kit purchase on Met the Artist night, but from the kit from Carol Wilcox Well's Master class. This is the third necklace in the series and by far the most time consuming one. I have completed the first two partially in class and finishing in my hotel room in the evenings. But this third necklace was a bit more exact with right angle weave techniques I had to stop and take my time to master. I love the look of this necklace and have worn it many times, but now the ring has stretched out so that it will not properly fasten. I'm going to have to either go back and tighten up the ring or figure out a way to secure a hidden snap into this lovely design.

Speaking of lovely, I just adore the kit I bought from Beki called Julz Spiral Cuff. All the crystals and pearls just add to the beauty of this design. Here is a LINK to some of Beki's kits. Aren't they lovely??? I've been lucky enough to have taken two previous classes with Beki so while I'm reading her instructions, I can actually hear her voice.

The other two kits that I completed were Nikia Angel from BuyTheKit. Here is the LINK to see all of marvelous kits Nikia has to offer. I had so much fun doing the Kaleidoscope bracelet with all those crystals that are my favorite colors. I've never had the opportunity to take a class with Nikia, but I'm sure it would just be so much fun.

Right now I'm working on another kit that I bought from Melanie Potter. Here is the LINK to her kits. I have taken this one bracelet apart so many times, that I don't even have to look at her fantastic instructions to repeat it over and over again until I get it to look just right. Hopefully, I can get that one figured out soon so I can dig into the bag and pull out another kit to work on.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


IT is so hot...the crowd says "how hot is it Dot?". Well it is so hot in Ohio that the corn is popping out in the fields. Bring your own bowl and pat of butter. Yes, it is HOT. We are having a heat wave. Temperatures are above 90 during the day & only get down to 75 at night. Every afternoon the pop up storms go racing through here making the ground saturated so the humidity is high. This afternoon the heat index is well above 100. So yes, it is hot.

My poor A/C is working overtime. Our neighborhood Cardinals had a late start on raising their family in the bush surrounding the A/C. Those babies scream all the time. I feel so sorry for them, but I can't leave it off just because of them. So I have a feeling we'll have deaf birds next year. I keep cringing every time the unit turns on as it is ancient & wonder will this be the last gasp? But since I have Asthma I need it cool and therefore, I live inside. Now it would be cooler in the house if we didn't have an air condition hog. Fiona has decided to park herself on top the the register. I pick her up & her belly is chilly. Move her, turn your head, and there is is BACK! So nothing to do but turn the registers on in the other part of the house & let the old dog lay! Do you have an old dog that enjoys register sleeping???

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Beautiful weeken in the area

Sometimes I think we all have this thought that we have to drive hundreds of miles to have a good time. Or we must pay lots of money to be entertained so that we can admit to all our friends that it was a great experience. But then there is the truth. Sometimes all you have to do is drive a couple miles down the road to a community Art and Music Festival to find something new, interesting, and inspiring. Or an hour drive outside of the big city will find you in a garden filled with beautiful flowers and art to make you laugh. True! Since I got back from Milwaukee's Bead and Button show, I haven't had two days off in a row at work. So I've had a work schedule where I'll have one day off, work three, one day off, work four all in that order or any other combination of off/on days. It is hard to get anything done when you sleep most of the day because you are so exhausted, then have the next day to go back to the same grind. I thought I couldn't "recharge" my batteries this way, but this weekend with just Saturday off I was able to have a great time and met some other amazing artist and walk in a lovely garden on a hillside.

Saturday afternoon, I got up early enough for us to make it to the Westerville (Ohio) Art and Music festival. It is literally only 2 miles from my house. We walked among the stalls looking at the usual stands from jewelry (which I rarely look at), wooden vessels, paintings (about 50% of most art shows), to funky clothes. Two stands caught my attention. In one was an elderly woman who was making bowls and other items from pine needles. Her fingers were all gnarled up, but there she was weaving those pine needles into lovely patterns. I stopped and spoke with her about keeping those finger nimble. She laughed and agreed that it was the only thing that kept her from being crippled (hello! that is why I bead so much). I was tempted to buy a bowl from her, but nothing didn't caught my attention. I also stopped & said hello to a wood worker who use to be a pathologist over at Riverside when I was doing the H-1 User group. I see him at all the festivals and show and I enjoy talking to him about what he's been doing new. There was another tent that I traveled into as I thought the images were just amazing. I looked around then as usual, I walked on. I think I only got 100 feet from her tent, when I turned around and went back. I was intrigued with her images of women. They all had elongated limbs and were posed in amazing positions. We struck up a conversation, and I just KNEW I had to have one of her pieces to put in my studio. Her name is Kate Morgan. She did photography and now is doing image designs. She said that she gets her inspiration from the times she was a swimmer. Watching people in the water gave her idea for how to pose her human subjects, but with photograph she couldn't get a real person do those she got into drawing and image transfers. She has really inspired me to making dolls that aren't traditional posed. Oh thank you Kate!

Sunday morning we decided to head down to Hocking Hills in south eastern Ohio to attend the LilyFest. LilyFest is a sort of homemade festival started by this woman who just wanted to share her love of gardening to others in her lovely home situated in the hills. It has grown and is a haven for arts, gardeners, and a group of Vikings who set up camp every year. Oh, and it is all about the day lilys which are in full bloom here in Ohio. Years ago, I saw a painting in one of the gallery booths there by Joseph A. Greene. I feel in love with Joe's paintings. He has a humorous look at the world that just tickles my funny bone. This year I bought one of his pieces that is his view of Alice in Wonderland. He also has thrown in a little blurb about Humpty Dumpty in this painting. I would love to actually met Joe someday. I always just miss him at the LilyFest. We also purchased a new lawn ornament for the backyard. Every year we buy one more to go with the original iron lady bug. This year's purchase was a hummingbird post. I think the birds that like to visit our yard really enjoy our sitting post. I know Fiona use to enjoy them too as they were perfect for her version of bird watching.

Well, enough. Hope you enjoy some of these pictures from my one day off in lovely Ohio

Friday, July 8, 2011

beading away

Sometimes I wish I had a window in my studio, but since it is in the basement, that would be kinda hard to do. I guess I could always make my own window to look out of, but what kind of world would I put in my window? Would it be a mountain view, ocean view, or some science fiction landscape? So instead, I just have all my beaded creations sitting on the shelf looking down at me or hanging on the walls.

I've been quiet in the blog world, but that doesn't mean I haven't been creating. I've been working on the Land of Odds-Illustrated Tapestry challenge for the past three months. Really, I have been working on it longer than that as first I had to chose a mystery book and then read it. I hate to confess, but I never read any mysteries ever until I came upon this challenge. I did read a couple back in my high school days but I could always guess the ending before I even got one quarter through. I found the book I wanted after about two chapters of a Patricia Cornwell book. I was hooked. So then with the help my my multi talented husband, I dived into the project.

Unfortunately at this point, I can't share anything visually about it or else be disqualified from the competition. Needless to say, doing a flat tapestry of such a large scale was a true challenge to me. I can do the most convoluted three dimensional doll ever, but flat...flat...flat. Wow, that was something. I didn't lay out too much of the design except to convert the cartoon (image) onto fabric. Then I began to just let the pattern unfold under my fingers. I used tons of blue seed beads and crystal and pearls and even have a dimensional doll embedded into the design. I finished with tons of time to spare, then realized it didn't look right. I measured the finish piece again and began to panic. The dimensions of the tapestry were all off. I couldn't figure out what happened! I printed the pattern out & transferred it onto the wool, but still it was off by my calculations by 2 inches. As usually, I went to Chris & he came to my rescue. He first asked me if I measured before I started. And my reply was "no, should I?" Well, indeed I should have before I started on such a mammoth project. I have a really bad habit of just plowing into a project and then realize I misread or miscalculated some vital information when I'm at least 3/4 done. Well, seems that I'm short two inches on the length of this tapestry. Thank goodness, I'd learned my lessons from the past and gave myself more material to work with. So, thinking I was done, I now have two more inches to complete. At least I found out this before I got too close to that August 30th deadline. Oh, and I have to write an artist statement for this piece too. This time, I'm not going to worry as I'm going to just write about how I created this humongous flat piece of art. So I'm now in the finishing stages. I still got to figure out how to mount it with the over 10 pounds of beads on it. We are thinking of mounting it in a frame just for strength.

Well, Bead Club tonight at 1 Stop Bead Shop in Dublin. And yes, not being a fan of blue, this has really truly be a unique challenge for me.