Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dot's Book case: Diane Fitzgerald

 Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork & Beyond

Have you ever experienced a mental block?  I'm sure you have. We are human and sometimes this phenomenon disrupts our happy go lucky life.  I must be very human as I've had many of these.  What is a "mental block" you say?  Here is one definition from Wikipedia:

A mental block is either a repression of painful thoughts, or an inability to continue a train of thought, like in the case of writer's block. A similar phenomenon occurs when one cannot solve a problem in mathematics which one would normally consider simple. In the case of writer's block, many find it helpful to take a break and revisit their topic. Another tactic that is used when people with mental blocks are learning new information is repetition. Mental blocks can be caused by physical disabilities or simply a lack of focus. Mental blocks are also often used to describe a temporary inability to recall a name or other information.[1]

 My mental block has been with the bead stitch peyote.  I've taken many classes with so talented teachers hoping that the intense focus of class would help me get over my mental block to enjoy and embrace peyote stitch.  I CAN do peyote, but it does not come naturally for me.  I stumble, I focus, and then I just find myself putting it aside.  I tell myself "oh it is years of doing cross stitch and viewing charts that are straight up and down instead of charts and angles".  I've tried tools to help me read charts.  I've bought patterns with word descriptions along with the charts.  And finally, I've just told myself "I CANNOT do this".  I gave up and politely find myself struggling with peyote stitch while other stitches just come naturally to me.  I've had friends and teachers scratch their heads as they see me doing peyote and wonder why I can't learn to just relax and just enjoy it as much as they do.  It is a block and nothing can make me feel relaxed and successful doing peyote stitch.

That is until NOW.  What has broken through the block and made my fingers dance and twirl as I construct intricate designs with peyote stitch?  A book has been my driven through the block and let in the bright creative light behind the sculpted peyote stitch.  Diane Fitzgerald's latest master piece has been that tool that has given me the insight and joy of being able to understand, appreciate and enjoy peyote stitch.  Diane's newest book, Shaped Beadwork & Beyond: Dimensional Jewelry in Peyote Stitch by Lark Jewerly and Beading, has opened up a new world of sculpting and creating pieces of art that before I'd only pushed away due to my thinking I could not understand it.  I embrace this book and am working my way through the projects learning and enjoying each and every chapter.  

I've decided to do something a little different with my newest book review and show my own work of her projects.  It is still slow going as I have to constantly push back that nagging voice that tells me I'm going to fail.  So I just push that voice back and push on discovering that I can.  Shaped Beadwork and Beyond's chapters take me closer with each project built upon the other and then expanding for more dimensional peyote challenges.  The book starts out with understanding the basics then moves on to succeeding with Triangles, Teardrops, Beaded Beads, Bezels, Pointed Ovals, and then to a combination of Potpourri.  Each chapter and project has excellent bead diagrams and written word instructions to help succeed in completing the work.  If you follow me on my Facebook page you will have already seen some of these projects and my joy in learning them and conquering my block.  

I first learned to make triangles and zipped them together

This project is from the Bezels chapter and Pointed Ovals
After feeling confident in making triangles and peyote bezels, I went on to create the Temari beaded bead and create a little fun sparkly flower.

A close up view of half a Temari beaded bead with peyote bezel to create a flower type structure

My version of the Eye to Triangle Necklace piece using techniques in the Pointed Oval chapter and the Bezel chapter.  I actually had a friend on Facebook tell me this looks like something a Star Fleet officer would wear (you have to be a Trekkie to get this).

Here is two of the Pointed Oval projects on my beading board.  The blue pointed ovals are from the Pirate Eye Bracelet turned into a necklace.

Each of these projects have made me feel so confident that I can really say I'm over my mental block with peyote.  I haven't mastered this stitch, and I still have so many more projects to attempt and succeed, but I know now that I CAN do this with Diane's book on my work table being my go to book and Muse in learning to master and enjoy peyote stitch.  Theses next are projects that I have on my to do list. 

Diane taught this at 1 Stop Bead Shop in Dublin.   Because I was so afraid of Peyote, I did not take this class when I had the opportunity to learn it from Diane, but now I KNOW I can do this after completing the other projects and throwing over my mental block.  

I'm amused now that I actually think in peyote.  Imagine that?  My brain has decided to throw out the block and embrace the intricate patterns and projects that can only be accomplished with needle, thread, and peyote.   Next time I see Diane anywhere, I'm going to give her the biggest smile and thank you for helping me break off the yoke of "I CANNOT do this".  I'm not done with this book and a journey of discovering and creating with sculpted peyote.  I can't wait to see what I can do now that I have a firm grip on this stitch.  

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed. 

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