Friday, February 29, 2008


I decided that for my February and upcoming March pages that I would include some of my "treasures" on the pages. While out and about hiking, walking along beaches etc I like to pick up interesting rocks, shells, glass and other little treasures. I have a table in our bedroom that is my "Sacred Space". I have my art doll Arabella who acts as my muse on it as well as other pieces that I have made and purchased that are beautiful, inspiring, or otherwise caught my eye. On this table I keep my treasures that I have found over the years.

The close up of the rocks and moss seemed like the perfect place to include some of the smaller rocks and bits of glass. All of them were glued on and then secured with some 15/0 seed beads. Finally some seed beads made it onto the page. The piece is actually almost finished I just need to work on the border and take some more photos. I have added many more beads but haven't lost the feel of the page. I think it may be one of my favorites so far. I should finish the piece today or tomorrow and then I will try to get my finished piece up here.

I finished my 3-D Iris for my Pond Necklace if you want to check it out.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Nary a Bead in Sight

The month of February is over half over and so far not a single bead has made it on to my page.

The top photo is the piece before any embellishments were added. One of my many pond photos this was a close up to capture the details that so fascinate me. I have added a lot of stitching to add texture to the piece. I am really enjoying how the piece is coming along.

My next step is to add the small rocks and bits of glass that are going on and then add the beaded embellishments. I am thinking of adding an Ndebele vine to the edge, sort of like the one I used for October.

A few cord twigs made their way onto this page as well as all of the stitching, the last few pieces definitely have things in common. It is very interesting to see how I approach each page because I picked out most of these images months ago. I picked pieces that I thought I could embellish with beads but didn't have specific plans for most of them.

Besides this page I have also started a new piece so that I can enter it for Bead Dreams, If you wish to see the start of it visit my main blog. (Artistic Kreations and Passions Blog)

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Cold and Barren Place/ Winter's Details

January got an early start because I knew I would be flying back to Maryland on Jan 2nd and then Wayne would be coming back from Iraq on the 5th. With 6 weeks of mail, a husband home, and a vacation to spend time together I knew that I would have 2-3 weeks where I would have little or no time to work on my page. I got a decent start on it while I was still in Iowa and then didn't get back to it for at least a couple of weeks.

January started with 2 large stones to go with the picture of the pile of rocks. I put them in first because I wanted to know where I was putting them for the design but realized as I worked that maybe it would have been better to pencil them in and add them at the end. They are a bit heavy and made the page a bit awkward to work on.

I chose the background fabric because it looked like ice cracking on a pond to me, I chose to accentuate that by outlining the edges of the patterns with the Sulky Sliver thread that I used on December's page.

Like the previous months January has cord branches to be couched down. I like that in most of these pieces that the cord branches join the parts of the page together, they help move the eye around the piece.

I used very small star shaped sequins for my flowers and surprisingly enough Wayne was suggesting I use more of them. He liked the way they looked. Wayne is always reminding me that "More is not always Better." I used the wrap around beaded border that I had used for my July page picking up the gold/amber and blue colors of the page. Having a solidly beaded border works really well with a page that doesn't have a lot of other beads on it.

Cold and Snow/ And the World Glistens

December found me still on my journeys away from Maryland. I spent the the entire month with my folks and got to spend time seeing my family. I went shopping with my Mom, went to several musical productions, sang with the church choir, visited both Grandmas in their Nursing homes and had 4 Christmases (that doesn't include the one with Wayne when I got home).

I started my December once I got to Iowa. I manged to have really good timing weather wise. I got there 2 days after and ice storm and before more bad weather the next day. The photo I had chosen for the month seemed so appropriate with ice and snow all around. We had typical Midwest winter weather, snow, ice, and somewhat unusual lots of fog some of it lasting all day long. Although the weather is challenging to live in and travel in it is still pretty. The whole word glistens with ice and snow and hoar frost.

I wanted to use lots of stitching to portray the texture and accentuate the branches. I used Sulky sliver thread in a translucent white the capture the glistening of the light on the ice and snow on the pond. I thought it would be challenging to do hand stitching with this thread but it actually was great. The only slight catch was that if you pulled to tight the thread would break. In the right light the effect is perfect. The snowflakes I found as accents at Michaels. They are just plastic and not a button or bead but with some sliver thread they are invisibly attached.

The photo was so striking that I didn't want to distract from it too much so I kept the beading and accents somewhat minimalistic for me (I tend to be a more is better kind of girl).
The foot prints along the bottom right of the photo where mine as I was the first person who had walked here after the snow. I tried beading them but I lost the fact that they were foot prints and I undid them.

The border I kept fairly simple as well and just used a cord/branch to surround the page. The page has the least amount of beading of any of my pages thus far but the effect was really good for winter when the whole world feels much more stark and bare and yet has a beauty all its own.

Connecting To The Earth

November got printed up and the front and back ready to be worked on as were all of the rest of my upcoming pages but after that it sat for a few weeks. Early November found me working on getting my Christmas cards far enough along that I could send them to my parents where I would finish them. I also had to get ready to leave for the holidays. I decided that since Wayne would be gone for the holidays and I have no family in the area that I would go spend the holidays with family. I spent 2 weeks with Wayne's folks and then a month with mine.

Being gone from home that long meant that I had to figure out what all I was going to want to use on my pages for November through Jan. That was very challenging.

I flew to Kentucky the 19th of November and after getting in safe and sound started on my November page. I worked on it around a trip to Chicago and all of the other activities that I did with Wayne's folks. I had a great time with them and since Wayne's Mom Marti is a Quilt Artist she was very helpful with advice and lots of encouragement. She also gave me some supplies that I could use including the metallic ribbons that make up the border of this page.

November I continued using leather and cotton cords couched down for branches, it is actually a trend you will see in the next months as well. November also sees the start of another trend that will continue into the next months and I think into some of my future work and that is including more hand stitching to add texture and details to my pages. It is harder to see from a distance but up close I think it really does add to the piece(s).

When I first start picking out photos for Novembers pages I realized that I had several interesting photos of milk weed pods opening up to disperse their seeds. Immediately the idea of using feathers to portray the fluffy part of the seed came to mind. This provided a challenge in how to do it but I love the way it looks. The seeds had a bit of a do-over because I tried something I ended up not liking so that came out and seed beads, French knots and a bit of other stitches went in.

Even though I didn't start my November page until the 20th I still managed to get it finished before I headed to Iowa on the 3rd of December.

Where It's At

Although most of my life is behind and I have a long list of things I really need to catch up on I have been keeping on track with my BJP pages. The picture is how they look up through January. February is right on track for the time being. Currently I have them hanging chronologically Left-Right but may change that to Top-Bottom, we will see which I like better when they are all done. I am still loving the process and think that you can see changes to how I am approaching the pages and my art as you look through the pages.