Sunday, August 30, 2009

Whitby Earring

These earring are my version of Marcia DeCoster's "Whitby" earring from her new book Beaded Opulence and they are also for Margie's upcoming Fall 2009 Color Report.

Fortunately the book came in the mail while I was still casting about for one last project. After I snuggled my daughter into bed for the night, I settled myself down with a cup of lavender chamomile tea and looked through the book.

It was easy enough to choose a project, the criteria being that it had to be quick and not require a copious amount of crystals. Not that I object to all that wonderful Swarovski sparkly goodness. Those of you who know me well know of my obsession with Swarovski. It was my decision that rose pink be the dominant color that put a limit on what I could make.

The choices were quickly narrowed down to either the "Whitby" earrings or the "Quetzal" ring. I decided in favor of the earring because I didn't have enough of the 2mm crystals that are needed for the ring, and most of the pink and/or rose pink seed beads that I have are dyed, so it wouldn't have been a good idea to use them in a ring.

Again, I apologize for the poor quality of the photo. I will replace it with a better one once Margie has photographed it, as well as the other 2 projects for the report.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Color Report Project-Pandora

I am pleased to present to you Pandora. She is one of four projects that I created for Margie Deeb's Color Report.

I found the lovely chartreuse green & rose pink polymer clay face cabachon, made by Jen Martin, on Etsy and was the only thing I actually purchased for this particular color report.

For Margie's color reports I challenge myself in two ways. The first is to work with some unusual color combinations, and the second is to use only the materials that I have on hand.

I used variations of peyote stitch for the bezel around the face cab & for the necklace bail, which is embellished with 4mm aqua brandy Swarovski bicones. Her pendant is made of components from the La Boquita necklace kit that I bought from Marcia DeCoster.

Beading and embellishing the face cab was easy. Using olive, chartreuse, rose pink, and deep rich red together makes a dramatic color statement so I deliberately kept the pendant simple to keep the whole piece from becoming garish.

It was the neck strap that gave me fits. My first thought was to use tubular right angle weave with 11'0 triangles, but upon checking my inventory I saw that I didn't have enough of the colors that I had decided to work with, so I scrapped that idea. Next I tried tubular herringbone which looked too industrial, a thin strip of flat right angle weave looked too insignificant, and tubular right angle weave with only seed beads looked too bland.

As a last resort I decided to try a spiral rope and the success was immediate! Normally I dismiss spiral ropes, even if they are heavily embellished with crystals, as being too simple. But simple elegance is exactly what was needed.

So, in my quest to produce more complicated and intricate bead art I've learned a valuable lesson in that simple can sometimes be better. And in some cases "simple" can be more difficult to produce.

Moving on......

Why the name Pandora?

My first choice was Endora in honor of the hilariously meddling mother-in-law from "Bewitched" that was originally created by the superb character actress Agnes Moorehead, who named her character after the biblical Witch of Endor. But, then I found out that Endora means "fountain". A witch as a fountain of knowledge certainly makes sense but I see a different palette of colors for "fountain".

After Endora on the list of name definitions that I was looking at I saw Pandora, which means "all gifted" or "talented one". Being aware of the myth of Pandora and her infamous box I chose the name anyway because along with all the nastiness that she unleashed so found the strength to nurture hope.

I apologize for the lousy image. After Margie photographs this and send me a better pic I will post it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Floofy cuteness

I took a break from my color report projects to get my daily dose of floofy cuteness and here's what I found at Cute Overload; Japanese Dwarf Flying Squirrels.

They're so cute I want to fill my whole house with them. My daughter would love that & so would my dogs, but for two very different reasons.

I wonder what the second one from the left is smiling about? And what's the little guy in the background up to? Is he plotting a well timed pounce? Has he been raiding someone's cache of nuts?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Still Here-Just Busy

"I like deadlines. I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." (I have no clue as to who said this.)

Going silent for a while. I have a date with a deadline. Early mornings & late nights here I come.

It's a bead deadline. It's colorful & it's pretty darn freakin' cool. Think olivine, siam, rose.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dance For Those Who Can't

Let's dance for those who can't and be grateful that we can do so without the fear that someone will try to stop us, forcing us to pay the ultimate price for that privilege.

Click here to read about Shabana. She paid that price.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Someting's Gotta Give-Internal Musings

Earlier this week I received an invitation to submit some more projects for next year's issue of "Creative Jewelry" magazine. I was so excited and mentally began to plan my projects with the idea of spending some time this weekend putting together an order for whatever materials I would need.

Along with the project planning I also spent a few days thinking about when I could start working on these projects, which led me the realization that I need to seriously scale back on the amount of things that I have going on in my life.

My 17 month old daughter is obviously my A1 priority. And after that I have:

-writing & journaling
-3 unfinished cross-stitch projects
-2 unfinished afghans
-an embarrassing number of unfinished bead projects, including the '08 Bead Journal Project
-my color journey with Margie
-Abby Cadabby decorations for my daughters room
-flash cards for my daughter
-at least 3 belly dance costumes that need to be finished or tailored to fit
-massive closet cleaning & re-organizing
-Halloween is just around the corner & I need to get ready for that
-added rehearsals, etc. that go along with being in a dance troupe
-weekly duties as personal assistant to Margie
-the day to day running of a household that includes an energetic and curious toddler
-Sparkly Wheels for Nikias book

All of these things are staring me in the face and they are not happy about being ignored. I feel so overwhelmed that I don't know what to do first so I'm doing nothing but doing a lot of thinking.

I stayed awake most of the night mulling over how much time is need on a daily or weekly basis for the ongoing things like writing or rehearsals, how close is each project to being finished, and how much time do I think I may need for each one. And, of course, the big question; is it really feasible for me to be starting anything new right now? Obvious answer: No. Why?

"Jack of all trades, master of none." I've always thought of this saying as a warning against mediocrity. That's what I'm afraid of; that as
I'm dashing about frantically trying to complete each project the quality of what I'm working on will be severely diminished.

So in looking at my list I see that there are a few things that I need to let go of, as in, not all of those beading UFO's really need to finished, and then I'm going to give myself one full year to complete the rest of the listed projects before starting anything new.

Then I'll be back to submitting beadwork for publication with a bang!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Troy Necklace-Finished!

Actually, I finished this last Friday night to wear to Cirque Du Soliel on Saturday.

I wore it with a grape colored silk sheath dress and kept the rest of the jewelry fairly simple; a few gold bangles with gold, amethyst, & moldavite stud earrings.

This is one of the projects from "The Beader's Color Palette", by Margie Deeb.

Margie's Troy collar, done with topaz AZ Czech glass and pale gold metallic fire polish, is based on a gilt silver collar dating from about 2300 B.C.E. that was discovered in Troy.

I wonder who wore it. And where & why? Was it a gift?

Crazy me, I'm thinking of making another one, this time using Swarovski crystals in place of the fire polish. Since purples, violets, & pinks are my top-of-the-list favorites those are the colors I'm thinking of using.

I also need to find a box or something that is big enough to store this. I can't casually toss this in the jewelry armoire.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Facebook Photos

I finally had a bit of time to upload some photos of my beadwork over on Facebook. Click here to see them.

My non beading friends & family aren't very likely to visit me on Bead Space or Beaders' Showcase so I ultimately decided to play on Facebook & my blog.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Too Damned Hot!!!

I'm a Zonie. I'm a native. And by that I mean a true native, not some one who has been here for 10+ years. I was born here. My Mother was born here. My Grandfather was born here. His mother was born here and her people have been here since the dawn of time.

Oops! The heat caused me to veer off the subject.

You'd think I'd be used to the heat.

Well, I'm not.

It's too damned hot!!! I'm ready for cooler temps. NOW!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Random Facts About Me

I've got to do this quick before my little tadpole wakes up. Here's a few random little known facts about me.

1. I have a weakness for Little Debbie Cakes.
2. I'm afraid of clowns & alligators, clowns dressed as alligators, & alligators dressed as clowns.
3. I like spiders because they eat all the nasty bugs I don't like.
4. I am a proficient toad wrangler.
5. I can drive a back hoe.
6. I don't like scorpions. It freakin' hurts when one stings you.
7. I am not so good with math & science eludes me.
8. I like the way Shakira sings, but not the way she dances.
9. I spent a whole year trying to learn to juggle and failed miserably.
10. I watched approximately 10 minutes of a soap opera once in my life and that was more than enough. And I have never seen any of those night time soaps like Dallas or Dynasty.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Follow The Bouncing Butt

"Follow the bouncing butt!" That's just one of the cute quips I heard Willow Chang say this weekend while she was here in the Valley to teach 3 belly dance workshops past weekend. There were more; they were coming at us like tennis balls, but that's the one that stuck in my mind.

Not only is Willow full of vivacious, chatty, goofy, energy, she's full of belly dance knowledge. I personally would like to see all that wonderful knowledge in a book, or a documentary, or something! Belly dance history, past & present, who's who and what's what needs to be preserved for posterity.

Oops! I'm digressing.

The workshops, each of which were 2 hours long, were a delightful combination of dancing, lecture, trivia, & history. During the lunch break some of us hung out in the lobby and snacked on fruit & Snickerdoodles while we talked about the belly dance scene in Arizona, the various types of belly dance, the healing power of yoga, Reiki..... We covered oh so many topics!

One of the things that Willow talked about was the importance of growth as a dancer by taking workshops, studying performance & instructional DVDs, going to as many live performances or haflas as possible, and mining the belly dance gold in your own communities. Coming from Hawaii, which was at one time a veritable belly dance wasteland she appreciates the amount of talent that is available here in Arizona. Amen, sister! To name just a few we have Helena Vlahos, Ava Fleming, Carrie Konyha, Kathryn Ferguson, Danah Stedman, Jazmine, Mahin, Dahlena, Melissa, Myryka, Amanda Rose, Yasmina, Katayna, Neena Nour, & Cari of Plaza De Anaya. I've been lucky enough to either take classes or workshops from the first 9 ladies and hope to be able to study from the final 6.

Going back to what she said about studying performance and instructional DVD's; she advised watching dancers, troupes, or styles that aren't necessarily your favorites. Spend a bit of time asking yourself what it is that you don't like. The costume? The music or how it is interpreted? The quality of the dance (ie. technique or facial expressions)? But, she stressed, don't watch what you don't like too much, lest it worm it's way into your brain and subconsciously & negatively influence the way you dance.

So....tonight is class with Ava. We are done with "Sultry Sharqi" and are moving on to "Traveling Combos With Arms and Zils." That means I need to get my bouncing little butt in gear and fix the loose elastic on one of my zils.