Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Bead Journal Pieces

Okay, some new Bead Journal Pieces! For a while, my muse was on vacation. Then my (un)friendly and uninvited critic decided to pay a visit, saying my work wasn't very good, especially compared to what it was seeing on the BJP Blogs. So...having to wait out those two intervals, creativity suddenly struck. It didn't matter if I was good enough or not, I was simply bead inspired and thankful.

Above is a piece I'm calling: Not everything is black and white. This theme is a recurring one in my life. That life has lots of hues and shades to it, and that I personally do better when I can be flexible and open about what is going on. The black and white parts are actually a piece of ribbon. I have added colors in different sections - browns for murkiness, blues for shades of blue (feeling "blue"), yellow for the sun, pinks and oranges for the sun rising and setting, white for crystal clear (because sometimes life is very clear). And then I added color all jumbled together, because that's what I like best - color, energy, happiness.

Above is my May piece. One day I was taking a walk. I looked over at a lawn that had an all orange garden. I loved it! Orange is a color that represents happiness. A whole garden of happiness, I liked that idea and tried to recreate that in my piece.

You have already seen a version of the above piece for April. It is a yin/yang interpretation of the shift from winter to spring. The more I looked at it, the more I didn't like it. My critic was still present and telling me it could be better. But I still liked the idea, so I just changed around the flowers on the right, added a few green leaves to the tree, and a butterfly in between, signifying the transition from winter to spring. I like this piece and feel content with it now.

Beading for a Cure 2010

Beading for a Cure is a project that has become very dear to me. The goal of the project is to raise money for colorectal cancer. Cancer is indiscriminate, it can happen to anyone at anytime.

I see this more as I get older and my friends are being diagnosed with various kinds of cancer.

Also, my dad died of cancer, ten years ago this summer. Six weeks before he died, my father-in-law died after an operation to determine the "stage" of stomach cancer he had. He never regained consciousness after the surgery. A few years later my mother-in-law died of lung cancer. So I have lost 3 of my family to cancer. Therefore, it is a great privilege to participate in the Beading for a Cure project and hope that the money we raise contributes to treatment and healing.
The way the project works is that participants purchase a kit, at a minimum price, and bead something using the beads in the kit. Everyone receives the exact same kit. What is amazing is the beading that results from the chosen colors and beads.
The projects are auctioned on eBay beginning in March, which is National Colorectal Cancer month. If you want to see the amazing pieces that were auctioned this year, go to Beading for a Cure and look at the gallery.

My piece, as you can see above, is a necklace. It is designed with a herringbone strap, peyote tubes, right angle weave, and crystal fringe! The lampwork bead was lovingly made by one of the participants. I believe she made about 80 of these beads, and they are gorgeous!

So look for this necklace to be auctioned in 2010. Mark it in your calendars now so you don't forget...BFAC eBay auctions, March, 2010.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Variety is the spice of life, so it's said, and this blog entry has a lot of variety! Above is a beautiful bracelet my friend Wendy designed and made for a bridesmaid in her daughter's wedding. The bracelet is made with a right angle weave base, 4mm crystal ab bicones, and pearls. It is stunning!

Below is a detail from a necklace to be auctioned off for charity.

And here is the complete necklace. I got the pattern from Bead magazine, a British publication. I used a czech drop I found at Bead's Galore in Arizona and used a chain for an adjustable fit. The auction is for an organization called Food Gatherer's, which does just what it says, and distributes food to shelters and other places that need it.

Next is a photo of one of my favorite gardens in my neighborhood. I just love walking by this peaceful garden.

And finally, the baby robins hatched! Here they are with their beaks open and waiting to be fed. The grew so much every day it was amazing. When they started flapping their wings we knew they were getting ready to leave. Then one day, first one baby, then the next, and then the third, all flew away. Talk about empty nest! The next itself was exquisitely made. It was solid on the sides and bottom, but the inside was layered with soft grass. Those birds were well protected. Now that they are gone my husband and I can sit on the front porch again.

Variety is the spice of life, so they say, and this blog entry has a wide range of variety.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Rivoli donuts

A while ago I showed some photos of rivoli donuts I had made in winter colors. Here are some in more spring and summer combinations. I just love making these! And I can't pick a favorite, I love them all!

April BJP

This is my April BJP. It is a yin-yang composition showing the snow still on trees and the bareness of the branches on one side, and the flowers that are starting to push up through the group that represent spring. It seems like the process from one season to the next takes so long, and then suddenly it's here. Spring is a season that helps me wake up again from the winter freeze. It gives me hope - for many things - that I made it through another winter, that our world is still intact, as battered as it is...and it fills me with beauty and awe of what nature can create.

Baby Birds

It's the season for baby birds. Above are birds nesting in a cactus in Arizona. My sister and I saw them when we were hiking. Below, a robin's nest on our front porch. The babies hatched last week, but it's really hard to get a photo of them. Their beaks barely rise above the nest. And mama robin is very protective. She must have been off looking for food when I snapped this photo.
Watching the nest being built was very interesting. First, we noticed lots of the dried leaves arriving on our porch. We didn't know what was happening at that time, and both my husband and I thought that the other had done some weeding and just left the leaves on the porch. Soon, we noticed the leaves were hanging from the column, and suddenly there was a nest. Every day we would look through the front door window to watch the robin sitting in the nest. We know there are at least 2 babies. I imagine they'll take off someday soon.

New Work - Yay!!!

I have some new work! I had the pleasure of taking 2 classes with Christi Friesen and I loved them! I had never worked with polymer clay before, but I thought it was time to branch out just a little, and did I ever! First, above, is my mermaid. Notice the short dark hair - that's what I have. However, the blue nipples are just for fun.

Above and below are two garden pieces, at least that's what I call them. First we made a bunch of leaves, then put them together similar to a collage, added beads (of course!), lots of mica powders (Pearl Ex), which I fell in love with. Everyone teased me that I just could have painted the powders on the clay all day, and they're right.
All 3 pieces can be strung - although it may take a while to come up the perfect strap.

Thank you, Christi, for the inspiration and stimulation that you and your classes provide!