Thursday, January 28, 2010

The sun was shining today. So that is a very good thing. It was waaaaayyyy cold here though. Michigan can have such fierce winds. I managed to get a few earrings made. Worked on a pastel. Didn't finish though. Worked on another pastel. A landscape. Of a cold winter day in the Upper Peninsula. I can't seem to get it "right". So I am not going to show you. I am quite happy with my little oranges however so here they are.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Beads, Painting, Beads

My intended submission for BOC's monochromatic design challenge. Based on the color chart though, I am wondering if it will fly or if it would be better suited for the analogous scheme. What do you think?
Signed up for a pastel class at the art center. This was the first still life. Love pastel!
Color is a little washed out on this. I am fascinated with the "landscapes" that emerge when the clay is folded in on itself! I thought this might make an interesting pendant.
Made a couple of little owls. I like this guy the best. His eyes are vintage Swarovski. I was reading my copy of Enchanted Adornments and tried out one of the recipes. Note: If you don't have this book you need to treat yourself.
Pretty happy with this guy! This is one of those cases where what I thought I had in mind just wasn't working - for a good hour. Tried something new as an afterthought and there it was. Reminds me of carved wood or chocolate.
Not sanded or glazed yet.
Nice "little" loot stash arrived from Beads and Pieces. I am VERY Happy with them. These are lovely and perfectly packaged! This is my first order with them and I will definitely shop with them again. I love natural elements!
These are my new Basha Beads from Andrew Thornton. They are a lovely orange/amber/pink/gold - there is a lot of color in these! I love how earthy and tactile they are. The onion shape is my favorite. I think.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Yummy Soup Ingredients

Melanie from Earthenwood Studio is my Bead Soup Swap Party partner. She has been very very good to me. Check out the lovely beads she sent! And the color - I am swooning!!! Oh how I love turquoise!! Click here to visit her blog.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Wonderful things came to me today. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and got a bit teary-eyed. I really have no words.
From Gardanne Beads. (Now do you see why I got out of bed to order these?)
From Summers Studio Etc. Amazing!

Dirt Cookies

Before Christmas Mr. Pearl and Pebble and I watched Julie And Julia. I thought the movie was fabulous- Meryl Streep can play anybody! He thought it was OK, but was very impressed with the Beef Bourguignon. Consequently, I received Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, for Christmas. I made the Beef Bourguignon for dinner last night. It turned out wonderfully and I was thrilled. We ate it in front of the tube, watching NCIS reruns. (We call this our "Gibbs Fix".) Anyway, because a man is incapable of enduring a commercial and must control the remote, we flipped to a segment featuring Haiti. The focus at the moment was on dirt cookies which are apparently a main staple. They are as they sound. Dirt and water. Dried in the sun into a big cookie. As I couldn't finish my beef stew and potatoes because I was stuffed, I watched kids eating dried mud. This wasn't a result of the earthquake. I can imagine (actually I can't) that food is even more scarce now. So my little tiny way of trying to help for now, is to donate 50% of each sale in my Etsy shop to the Red Cross. Sue over at Sue Beads kindly posted a link if anybody wants to donate directly. Thanks Sue!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Look what I found in my bead box. I don't even remember when and where I got it!!
And look how well it matches beads from my new stash!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

You Never Know Where You May Find Inspiration

We have very hard water here. These are pictures of the calcium buildup inside the tea kettle. It doesn't gross me out anymore because the water boils and is safe, but usually I am annoyed. Today however, I found it to be quite beautiful and could "translate" it into a composition rendered in charcoal, pastel, crayon, using impasto and scrafitto techniques. I mean really there are endless possibilities.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Oh I have just done a naughty naughty thing! I got out of bed and came downstairs and ordered beads. I just couldn't help it. For over a week now I have been lurking around Gardanne's shop. I tucked a few items into my Etsy favorites folder telling myself "you have to produce more with what you have - you just "pigged out" at Kelley's shop." Well now, don't ya just know that today Gardanne posted something fabulously fun for a lucky someone. Check it out. The heart focal she pictured looked soooo close to the ones I had been coveting. I know I sound so childish(?) but I had to buy them before someone else did!!!!! One of the many things I want to do this year is submit something to Stringing Magazine. (My sister-in-law gave me a subscription for Christmas-and the cool vintage bag!) So anyhow, maybe I can rationalize my behavior here somewhat. I mean this is to work towards a goal after all. And then maybe it will be a gift ...... so there self. Go back to bed.
So I added more to the oil pastel today. I tightened up a bit-which I don't know if I like better or not. I also added more color which changed the pallet from basic ultramarine and yellow ochre and made the background turquoise. I'm still not calling it done and I'll probably really trash it, but I need to find out what will happen if I do a few more things to it, namely adding some soft pastel. What I know I know so far is that I DO NOT care for the canvas board as a support. It is rigid enough, but I feel I need something smoother. I am not sure what is causing the "boogers" but I think it might be the canvas surface. Any oil pastelists out there who might know? It could also be the combination of pastel and paintstick. It could be the Galkyd gel with the paintsticks and pastels. As far as the subject matter, I am digging the rocks. I love stones, rocks, sticks, pods, nuts etc. My show is in March which is not that far away and I need to order frames. So I need to make some final decisions by the weekend.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

One of my goals this year is to create jewelry pieces with beads that I already have. I do so love to hoard my stash but it's time to "circulate" things a bit otherwise there will not be any more accumulation! I was looking at these this afternoon. I just love them. They are simple wood beads that have been painted or screen printed or something. They are a bead that I had acquired two or four of at one time and couldn't bear to use them lest I have none. My solution to this dilemma is to then buy two hundred. Of course I'm sure the original two or four are in there somewhere. So now I have one of my own little challenges. What should I make with these?
Here is the beginnings of a new oil pastel painting. I sketched it out the other day and today I filled in with Shiva Paintsticks thinned with Galkyd Gel. Next I'll go over with Sennelier oil pastels. The support is a Fredrix canvas board. Everything is a bit experimental at this point. The lines are not in the painting, must be the light.
My "painiting-a-day" has been neglected. We have been sick here and this "head thing" is making me crazy! Really not much energy although It's allowed me to bead a little bit more.
So many things I want to do this year and I am so inspired by everyone. I'm having trouble organizing all my thoughts and frustrated that the year started off putting me behind schedule!
Now, that said, as I was telling a friend the other day, actually I am a "self employed" artist. No seriously I will keep telling myself that. Have too. Positive thinking you know. So being self employed means that I am the boss and I decide on the benefits. So my job you see, offers me two to three weeks vacation, unlimited (legitimate) sick days and a certain amount of personal days-which we are negotiating on at the moment. So really I am OK at this point. Just broke.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Here is my submission to Art Bead Scene's January challenge. I really loved this one. The challenge is to create a piece of jewelry based on Monet's painting "The Magpie". His impasto looks like frosting to me and I love the subtle shades of blues, golds and white. So for my focal bead I used a stoneware connector bead from Lisa Peters. When I saw the painting I immediately chose this bead as my starting point. The glaze is so yummy and has the same frosted look with soft blue grey and yellow ochre. Deciding on the other beads took me a little longer, but that is always the case and it is the aspect of beading that I love the most. Final answer: citrine(um hum, oh yeah), sterling, peruvian opal, terra jasper, and a few seed pearls. (The light again was inappropriate so maybe I'll try to post a better picture if the sun ever comes out again.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A bracelet to compliment the earrings created yesterday. Today's design time was considerably less as a result of all the pairing I did yesterday. I am happy with it and am pleased with how well the kids are playing with each other. I used the remaining lentil beads from Kelley and incorporated another from my special order - the little guy with the vanilla chocolate swirls. This is the bead that matches the one I received in her bead naming contest. It was love at first sight. The colors are really amazing. The browns are really a deep deep amber so there are underlying tones of gold and red. The ivory has an almost mottled effect like slightly burnt sugar. They are silky smooth however and feel wonderfully cool to the touch. I stuck in a few carnelian beads in both brown and orange - L-O-V-E carnelian! I also put in two of my last attempts with polymer clay. I did these when I was trying to figure out my design for the ABS challenge inspired by Dadd's painting. Dangling is a double sided carved resin sunflower and a tiny leopard jasper nugget. Oh and a few swarovski crystals, a smooth wood oval and little seed pearls. Bound and determined to get those pearls in there.

Monday, January 4, 2010

So here is the first design using my new beads. TAKES ME FOREVER to make up my mind. I figure if they sell, my hourly wage is about what it was when I was 15 working at the Tastee Freeze way back in 1980 something. Did you know (if you are the same age) our clothes we wore are now vintage? I found this out because when I was working at a resale shop a few years ago, the manager was hanging "one of my dresses" on the vintage rack. Blah, blah, blah....
Anyway, the hang-up was the bead between the lampwork and the leverback. I was originally thinking seed pearl, but that wasn't working. Carnelian did work, but for some reason I couldn't commit. I think because I wanted something smaller, and when I found a chip with the right tones, I couldn't find a mate. I LOVED what happened with amber. The terra cotta tones in these beads are subtle and complex and all sorts of "layers" started to emerge. But size again was the issue. The last little beads I found were these little Czech glass picassos. My last two. I have two more of these beads and I think I might do a matching necklace or bracelet. Or just hoard them.

Fodder For The New Year

Trying to get back into the swing of things here. We went out of town over Christmas to celebrate with Mr. Pearl and Pebble's family and brought back a little sumptin that had us out of commission for the week. Kind of tired of soup and tea. Anyhow we are feeling a bit brighter this morning so I thought I'd post a picture of a yummy stash from Kelley at Kelley's Bead Studio. I special ordered these just before the holiday and they were waiting for me when I got home. Now I must seriously try and create with all my accumulations from 2009. Really now. Easier said than done; that's a hard thing for those of us who are collectors by nature.