Saturday, November 17, 2007

November Preview

It has been kind of an insane month so far and I have done no beading except while I taught 2 classes at Bead Boutique my LBS. I have not been good about my exercise program in the last 2 weeks although I have done some pilates. I will have to see if I can't get better once I get on the road.

Here is the start of my page but nary a bead in sight, actually some of them have been shipped off to my first stop on my trip. It is interesting trying to pick out all of the beads I think I may want for the next couple of months before I have added one bead to the piece. I think it would be even harder if I was doing the intuitive pieces where I just put down one bead and go with the flow. At least I can look at the photos and decide I need this color or might want this bead etc.

I have all of the pages for the rest of the months at this point so if you would like to see them go to the Bead Journal part of my website and check out the photo albums for the upcoming months. It will give you an idea of where my journey is headed. I have updated a few other things on my website as well including adding a section for the collages that I have been making to turn in to greeting cards.

I will try to post updates as I go and will try to include photos if I can. The really good news is that Wayne should be home very soon after I get back from my trip. I expect January to be a wonderful month.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Journals, Keeping Track of the Journey

Here there are 3 months of journals all worked on at the same time. I also made the cards for these months at the same time. Since I will be traveling for 1/2 of Nov and all of Dec and hopefully getting a husband back sometime in January I have a feeling that my next 3 journals may likewise get worked on as a group. I will take my camera along so I will have during photos although it will be interesting to see how easy or hard it is to keep up on the blogs while I am traveling. The writing shouldn't be hard I am just not sure about the photos. will see how it works out when the time goes. I am learning new tricks on the Mac and with it my tags are a good place to try new things.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

August Finished

It had it's own pace to get finished and has provided me with many hours of enjoyment and contemplation. It is my perfect place to sit and be quiet.

This page is my most dimensional month and is fun to touch and you can move the plant around a little bit. Maybe someday I will be lucky enough to have a porch something like this one where I can sit out and just be.

October Finished

It was quite the Bead Vortex that I fell into, even in a week with several nighs where I was tossing and turning I still managed to get both October and August's pages done.

It is interesting how things turned out with October's page. I had several ideas that changed and the look definitely changed as I went. With all of my pages having photos taken outside you are now beginning to see a bit of the effect of the change of seasons with October's page. The page feels much like Fall feels to me , earthy with rich colors and a sense of calm.

My original idea with wrap around the edge leaves got scrapped and so did it's follow on idea and the original leaves that I made for this page will show up somewhere else in a project I am sure. I am so glad that I used the Russian leaves from my class at Bead Fest and then made more to go with them. They had the right amount of detail and were not so heavy as to weigh down the look of the page.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Growth Happens

On Tuesday last week I had a body wrap done at The Studio the gym I have been going to . For the wrap they put a series of heating pads around your body and then your job is to relax for the first 30 min. Then Gail comes in and gives you a hand and foot massage, mmmmm... wonderful. It makes a nice treat and the heat helps relax you and burns a lot of calories etc.

As I was laying there relaxing in the dim room with the soft music my plants from August's page decided that they were ready to grow and that the idea of a trellis that I had been toying with was a really good idea. That afternoon and evening I made 2 trellis and got them attached and since these photos were taken some growing has definitely been happening. With both August and October's pages clambering for my attention I have sort of fallen into a bead vortex and have fallen a bit behind in blogging and e-mails. Beading is more fun anyway, for those I owe e-nails to I promise I will do my best to eventually catch up on them.

Fall Is So Natural

This months page has come so naturally to me, it has been almost easy and quick to do. It is quickly nearing completion. For those who read about my September page you might remember me mentioning a vine that I was thinking of using made with Herringbone stitch, somehow it decided that it wanted to be around October's page instead. I combined the couple of pieces that I had made for that and the piece I had started for my Fall leaves class at Bead Fest and added to them until I had enough to go around the page as the border. It was then tacked onto the front and when the piece is done it will be tacked onto the back as well.

For all that this piece has been relatively fast and felt very natural it has undergone some significant changes in ideas. I was going to use beaded leaves and wrap them around the edges of the piece but when I tried this I realized that the leaves became unidentifiable as leaves once they were wrapped around the edge.

The next idea was to just set them around the edge on the front as a border but then I thought the edge might need something and since my "vines where on my table they said try us and what do you know I really liked how they looked. After joining my sections together and adding to them I played with the peyote leaves that I had already made and they just didn't feel quite right, too heavy for the piece. The Russian leaves that I had made for the Fall Leaves class however were more delicate looking so I made more of them playing with size and colors and decided they were perfect. (the pictures with the leaves will be in the next post.)

I do like the idea of some pieces that are made separately and then can be added because it is so easy to play with ideas that way and I know that all of the pieces that don't get used on the page they were made for might just show up somewhere else. Who knew when I took the class in August that I wouldn't end up making the class project but use the pieces on a BJP page. I took the class to learn the technique so am quite pleased that the pieces are ending up on an "Angie" piece instead of a copy of the teacher's piece.

Thanks to those of you who left your opinion on whether or not to bead the fallen leaf. It was unanimous to not bead it, I know I just have to trust my own instinct which was saying not to bead it.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Fall Harvest

I had a lot of fun at Bead Boutique teaching and spending some time beading at the end of September and while I was there I bought all of the cords and most of the berries for this page.
I really like the very earthy feel this page has. I wasn't sure if I would lose that once I started adding more beads to it.

This page feels right on a different level than some of the other pages have. I find that each page has me thinking and feeling different things. I am thinking of naming my pages for this year "Nature's Moods."

I am not sure what I want to do with the leaf that looks like it floated down and landed on my page. Part of me is tempted to leave it unbeaded so that it keeps that just landed on the page look. I am looking for opinions, as Wayne knows I take opinions and then may ignore them but I like them since they make me think.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Earthy October

I haven't figured out what all I will be expressing and exploring personally with this page yet. It feels very earthy to me and because of that I felt that the leather and cotton cords to represent some of the branches felt right, more earthy than beaded branches. Maybe my journey this month has to do with my connection to the earth? Although my birthday is this month I don't feel that it is overtly going to show up in my page but maybe I don't see it yet. I think that the page is going to be pretty quick to bead but I feel that the edging is where this page will shine. The plan at the moment is an edge of beaded leaves that wrap around the edge. Going with that plan will mean that a lot more time will be spent on the edges of this page. I love the colors and patterns that you find on fall leaves and that like snowflakes that no two are ever exactly the same.

If you are interested in my exciting news for the beginning of this month please check out my Artistic Kreations and Passions Blog.

Slow Growth

Although it is moving very slowly August periodically says today and like a plant growing little changes happen. It is interesting on how comfortable I am with the pace this page is going. I don't feel at all like it needs to be done by a certain time. This page has it's own pace and sort of like my personal growth it takes energy for the new leaves and eventually flowers to grow. Here the first leaves are starting to show up.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Free to Fly

'So come with me, where dreams are born, and time is never planned. Just think of happy things, and your heart will fly on wings, forever, in Never Never Land! - Peter Pan

Finished on time, my September page fills me full of happiness and sets my heart to flying. Full of light and love my Spirit Guides are helping me with my transformation and giving me wings to soar.

If you want to see the photo albums for my finished pages and inspiration photos for my upcoming months visit my Bead Journal Project section of my new website Artistic Kreations and Passions.

The 13th Dragonfly

In she flies, full of fun and excitement ready to lead me on the path my life is following. She encourages my transformations reminding me how beautiful I am inside and out and that I can do and be anything I want to. I am not surprised by her wonderful crystal wings glittering in purples. The color of creativity and royalty (and my favorite) she is the queen dragonfly. She stands out from the rest of the crowd ready to share her wisdom and love with those who need her.
Our 13th beauty has wings made with right angle weave in 3 mm Swarovski Crystals. I love the bling and sparkle of crystals. She has wire through the edges of her wings and joining her body sections together. After all of the pieces were together I made small slits in my page and fed her legs to the back so they could be tacked down. For once I remembered to photograph the back of my piece before putting it together so you can see what one looks like.

Spiral Vines

For those of you who have been reading my previous posts you may look at the photos and say 'Hey weren't there going to be herringbone vines on this page?' Yes there were but when I laid one of my vines on the page the dragonflies rebelled and threatened to fly off the page. The herringbone vining was to heavy for the page and visually weighed it down and changed the mood.

The day before my Inner Child had been doodling and made one of our favorite doodles curly cue vines with leaves and flowers and the dragonflies decided that those where a much better choice fun and fanciful without weighing down the mood of the page. So sharpie in hand we added spiraling vines and then beaded them . The herringbone stitch made it onto the page in a different way. I added a backstitched border to the page and off of that I added herringbone strips that will be wrapped around the edges to the back.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Creating on the Fly

They seem to like the attention and more progress is made. I guess we will have to play to figure out the next step. mmmm.....

Monday, September 17, 2007

Flitting, flighty and Fun.

This page is moving right along for me. The dragonflies know what they want and tell me. They are happy that I am including them in the journey. The mood of this piece is more carefree than any of my previous pages. I have beaded bezels for each of my dragonfly "cabochons." The next step will be to edge come of the yellow flower petals from the large photo. I am working on making some herringbone vines that I will add on to the page. I love texture and dimension and it is showing some in all of my pages. You can see why my original theme was "Details" I have always loved taking photos and sketching the details around me. I adore detail work which is probably why beading is such a good fit, and why I love 15/0 seed beads.

The Seeds Have Been Planted

I have been mainly focused on Septembers page this month so far but I did plant seeds in my flower pot and you can see here that they have started to grow. I wonder if this is symbolic of the growth I am experiencing or just my love of plants (even if I have a brown thumb)? It is interesting how different my two pages feel to me. This page is calming, slow paced, and meditative while September's is more carefree, festive, fun and ever changing. Which page I work on depends slightly on my mood at the moment. This page is coming along slowly but I don't feel that it is ready for me to finish it yet. It already speaks volumes to me, what all will it have to say when it is finished.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Birthing a Dragonfly

My pages until this point have only included photos taken during the month they represent, they could be from any year. September started out this way but from the start I had bugs on the brain. As the Dragonflies flew into my consciousness they also decided that they were claim this page as there own and thus they appear to one and all ready to guide us through our transformations.

I chose one photo to be my 4"x6" photo and while I was figuring out how I wanted to do the others and how many others where going to visit I remembered the 2" x 2" glass slides I had bought for this as well as the clear round slightly domed stickers that I had gotten at Jo-Ann's Fabrics and Crafts. I had printed out all of my choices in 2" x 3" size so that I could think about them and realized that they were already the correct size for what I wanted to do. I ended up with more dragonflies than I might have originally chosen but they all clamored to be on the page.

For the moment there are 12 dragonflies but I have a feeling a 13th one will show up before the page is through. When you are born on Friday the 13th in October it is hard to feel that 13 is an unlucky number. Since my 40th is just over a month away maybe this page has significance. Maybe this transformation is my form of midlife crisis, not so much a crisis as a taking stock of where I am at and finding my way into my future.

As for the title of this post it comes from the photo of the dragonfly in the upper right hand corner. When we were in New England camping one time, we were taking down our tent where we had been near a lake and right next to the tent was a brand new dragonfly. They live for 2 years in the water before becoming the winged wonders we so enjoy. On a weed was this dragonfly just free from it's casing with new untried wings waiting to dry in the sunlight. I think that in many ways I am at that point in my life brand new wings that I am getting ready to try out.

Blessings to you all and remember to fly high and reach for your dreams. Love Angie

Ready to Plant

I have added some more details to my August page and am now ready to start planting my flowers. I am not sure if it will need any thing else once the flowers are added but they will take awhile to do. I am not sure what they will look like but I am sure they will be wonderfully luxurious and happy plants full of blooms. I have not worked on the page much this last week as I have been getting a start on September's page.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Needing a place of calm

Life has been a bit hectic of late and so I am running behind on my August page but I am fine with that. Since this is my place of calm maybe it was appropriate that I was working on it as life got hectic with good and bad news (see my Artistic Kreations and Passions blog for details). Since this is an important page I want it to feel right and don't want to rush it. I will probably see about starting September's page and work on both of them this month. I am thrilled with how my page is coming along.

The photo above shows one of the pots I made in the stages it went through (yes there are 3 pots in different stages in the photo) I wanted to add a couple of pots of flowers to my porch since I love flowers, I was unsure of how I wanted to do the pots although I wanted them somewhat dimensional. I found the 1/2 pots made of wood at Michaels and decided try them. I covered them with double stick tape and added EZ-felt to that. I colored them with a permanent marker so if you could see between the beads it wouldn't stand out as stark white. On top of this I added peyote stitch using the felt as a place to anchor threads and the first row of beads. I occasionally ran the thread along the back to help keep the beading tight to the shape and supported. Now that they are stitched onto the main piece you can only see the ones near the opening and those will be covered once I add my beaded plant.

This photo shows the pots stitched on and bricks and flooring that I added. I want to add more to the brick wall but haven't decided what yet. I am definitely letting this piece guide me and tell me where it wants to go. I have a feeling this page will be one of my more elaborate and time consuming which is fine. Dragonflies are coming out to play for September and I expect that page to be a bit quicker and more flighty.
This last picture is how the page looks as I write this.

An update on my "Physical Enablement" I am sticking to my goals and am still not fighting the exercise which is a refreshing change of pace for me. I am putting in around 40 minutes on the treadmill 4-5 days most weeks at this point and have recently added some strength training to that. I can't honestly say that I feel more energized afterward but I know that I am improving my health and endurance. A nice bi-product of the changes I have made since the beginning of the month is that for August I lost 5 lbs. Although weight loss is not specifically one of my goals I am more than happy to accept as a bi-product of the changes I am making.

I want to say thanks to all of the people who are supporting me on my changes and to those of you who are also going through this kind of change and who are taking charge of your life, your health and your happiness keep up the good work.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Place of Calm and a Bit of Blitz

I can't seem to escape my love of a bit of blitz and bling. Even though this is a place for a bit of calm and contemplation I wouldn't want it to be boring.

I have been having fun watching this piece evolve. Although I got a bit of a slow start this month it is really keeping pace with the changes that I am making to my life. Slow gradual changes to my life. I have been exercising 4-5 days each week and have made some improvements to my diet. I have still got improvements to make but have felt very positive with this process so far. It looks like I may have even lost my first few pounds.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

There Be Dragons Here

I meant to take photos and post them a couple of days ago but haven't gotten a lot of beading done in the last few days. Part of that is instructions for a class I was supposed to teach at Bead Boutique ( class canceled but instructions now complete) and part was that I have added physical activities and writing in my morning pages to my day. I haven't quite found the proper balance for all things in my life yet. It will come I am sure. I am trying to keep the changes slow so that I don't push myself into frustration or hurt anything. Unlike a car I can't go from 0-60 in seconds. Ooh, did I just say that? Too many years living with a man who loves his cars.

I have my small dragon beaded and will just need to sew it on. I have a start on the larger dragon. Beading through the main support and fabric and 1 layer of the canvas paper is not hard. It is a bit more challenging to go through 2 layers of canvas paper along with the main support. A thimble is a good thing. I use one a lot with my bead embroidery anyway, otherwise I end up with the needle going into my finger eye first just a little bit too often and my finger tip gets sore. I stab myself with needles often enough as it is.

I liked the fact that the dragons in the photos looked like the edges of their scales and other bits were gilded so I took some silver sequins and used a permanent metallic gold marker and colored half of the edge with it. I really like how it looks. With my silver 15s and my gold charlottes they look sort of regal and blingy. I am definitely a glitter girl I love crystals and AB and metallic finishes. I have worked with crystal sequins before but this is my first time with regular sequins. You can't overlap the crystal ones and need doubled Fireline.

I am working on my columns at the moment because the adhesive I used is not holding them down real well and I don't want to risk them tearing. After that I will work on attaching the border ribbon to the front. It will be easier to know where some of the beading goes after I get that on.

I have added the ability for people to sign up to receive e-mails when I update my blogs so if you are interested feel free to do that. Just look on the side where it asks you to sign-up.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

A Place of Calm and Contemplation

I am sort of looking at my August page a place for calm and contemplation. While in Japan I fell in love with the idea of a covered porch where you could sit and enjoy nature.

I didn't have any digital photos of the wonderful wood porches we sat on in Japan looking at gardens or relaxing as we waited for the rain to stop. The sense of peace and rightness of those settings still offers it's calmness through my memories.

The porch I chose as my calm spot for this piece was from one of the smaller mansions in Newport. The Dragon roof supports are from the front porch of the same house. The pond with it's rainbow are from Sisson Pond that I visited almost weekly for the entire year of 2005 documenting the changes as the seasons changed.

I combined them to make a dream porch where I could go mentally to find calm and contemplate the transformation that I am embarking on. As I add more physical activity and other changes in my life I have a feeling that a place that I can mentally go to just "be" will hold a certain appeal. I am not sure what else this piece will mean to me as I begin working on it but am looking forward to finding out.

Now to the how's and what's of the piece. The pond is printed onto Cre8 fabric "paper" The porch and the dragon supports are printed onto an paper by Canson that is designed for acrylic painting that I got from Michaels. It came as 9" x 12" and I cut it down to fit the printer. It looks a little like canvas but is cheaper than "canvas paper". It was easy to print on and I don't think it will be hard to bead through. I sprayed the printed pages of "canvas" with poly-acrylic to protect the surface. I cut away the sections I didn't want (the background on the porch etc) and glued the layers together. I made the second dragon support a separate piece that I will bead and then add so that it will add a little more dimension to the piece. You can see the piece with and with out the 2nd dragon in the photos. I added a bit of added color with markers although most of it will be covered up with beads and/or sequins.

Did I mention that I am going to try using sequins for the first time? I have seen some really neat pages that people are doing using sequins and thought that they would make really great scales for my dragon.

I changed the photos out for the end of July so that you can see them better and that they will actually enlarge so that you can see the details better. I am still working out how big the photos files should be. Hope that they work better now.

As for the first day of the new plan, life or however you want to look at it; the day went well, the gym went well and my mental outlook is very positive. To read more check out my Artistic Kreations and Passions Blog For everyone who is cheering me on Thanks and for those of you who are joining from afar good luck as we set out to transform our lives.

Love and Blessings to you all, Angie

July Journal

I finished the journal that gos with my July bead journal project page. Learning things doing the journals as well. I think it will be interesting at the end of the year to go back and look at these. It is the same information that is in my blog although arranged differently and my blog has more information but is a much different experience to reading the information on the tags, pulling them out of their pockets etc.