Monday, August 24, 2009

wonder and rainbows- traveling dreamcoat #1

She sings of freedom, said one of the artists who worked on her, Kay of On Slender Threads.

After my journey with RubyFruit I had only anticipation for Wonder-- no anxiety. I wasn't worried that I would ruin her but had confidence that we'd work something out.

I pulled her out of her box and admired the fabulous lining and the perfectly dyed and draped ribbons and delicate scrollwork of beading. I slipped her on and admired the unstitched sides and the dyed-paisley patterns. I took a page from Mara's book and found a piece of work that hadn't panned out. Long story short, I had a custom order and the customer changed her mind and exchanged the piece for a different piece leaving us both quite happy and me with a strip of beadwork. I didn't quite know what to do with it-- a two drop peyote strip 13 1/2" x 3" in purples, bronzes and pinks. Like Mara's silk, this matched Wonder perfectly. As if it were made for her.

I began stitching it on with no hesitation then changed my mind about the placement, pulled out the stitching with no hesitation and restitched it elsewhere-- again no hesitation. Freedom indeed!

Saturday I had a jewelry party-- a pretty big event for me as it may be the first time in almost a year that I've ventured into a crowd for social purposes.

Amazingly, my anxiety level was nearly on par with my normal-facing-a-crowd level-- which is quite high, but far below the I'm-going-to-go-mad panic attacks that have been dogging me for awhile now.

On the way home it was pouring! When went back outside after the rain stopped there was the most amazing rainbow I've ever seen adorning the sky. It was a perfect arch, fully formed, from one horizon to the other and the color was prismatic-- amazingly intense and saturated.

According to Genesis the rainbow is a symbol of God's promise to not destroy the world by water again. I've always associated rainbows with freedom from fear.

Sunday I needed something rhythmic to do.

I picked Wonder up. The panel drapes beautifully along the back edge, not showing from the front very much at all. I would have slid her in her box confidently enough, but she's destined to wait with me for her journal. So today I stitched beads along the rest of the edge I embellished with the strip.

I have the freedom to go on, if I choose, and embellish other edges. I have the freedom to stop. I have the freedom to not worry about it tonight!

I think we're done. But I thought we were done Thursday and I'm enjoying the freedom of changing my mind.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


I don't like to think of myself as selfish-- who does? I'd rather be giving and kind, spreading light and love and joy.

This morning someone asked if they could copy something I'd done and I find myself at a loss as to what to say. I think I don't want to think about it.

It's a simple thing-- one of my primitive series pieces. It's freeform so the copy wouldn't be exact. I doubt it's even copyrightable-- silver wires wrapped around each other? If I came across it in a magazine I wouldn't assume someone had stolen the idea.

I also can't claim being exactly original. My primitive series deliberately emulates techniques and forms of ancient jewelry artists. This particular piece came about as a way to use up scrap wire pieces, but the techniques I use are older than wire.

If I said I don't approve of copying-- that's hypocritical right? Just because the styles I'm copying are all by dead people and I'm putting my own spin on them-- I still didn't bibbidibobbidiboo the ideas into existence. In fact I like the series because it's connective and evocative.

But the idea someone emulating this one design leaves me unsettled and I'm not sure why. Fear, of what? Fear that it somehow makes me less of an artist? Less unique? Less original?

Here's the thing. There's not one thing about any of us that is totally unique to the human experience. We're never alone. Someone somewhere somewhen has done it, felt it, thought it or said it. All snowflakes have the same makeup. What's unique is the combination of things no one anywhere at anytime has done, felt, thought or said everything we have. All snowflakes are different. We're all innately special and innately unique-- even if our life's aim is to fit in someplace-- it's hard and we never quite get it right.
So if she copies this one bracelet-- absolutely nothing would happen to me. My world would not end. I would not die, get sick or be forced to wait tables. She'll get a cool bracelet inspired by thebeadedlily and maybe creating it will give her a bit of joy.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Goodbye RubyFruit-- Traveling DreamCoat #4

I know I'm not alone. We never are.

Sometimes I think that all of us artists live for a time in a dreamworld where everyone is perfect-- except us, all art is wondrous and beautiful, except ours and it doesn't matter what the world says, how many awards we've won, how many contests we've made the finals in, how many people buy our jewelry, how many fellow artists admire it-- it's not good enough.

I say we live there for a time, because I do believe that the art wins eventually. That it looks us dead in the eye and says, "I'm here because I was meant to be here-- it's not always about you." I believe that there is peace then, and confidence, when we realize that the art is strong, that the artist in us is worthy.

I'm not there yet. I'm still in the dreamworld where everyone else is perfect and the only thing that keeps me going is my need to create.

When the Bohemia Espirit Market told me I could join their artistic ranks I was blown away happy. When they told me that, yes, I could have a dreamcoat for a couple of weeks and do with it what I would I was over the moon happy.

Then it got here 8 days ago, and whoa, it was beautiful just as it was. The responsibility! What was I supposed to do with it? The trust! What if I messed it up? The fear! What if what I did wasn't good enough? What if everyone suddenly discovered that I wasn't the artist they think I am?

These beliefs don't disappear overnight. But every now and then we're allowed to give them a good kick in the teeth that diminishes them a bit. That's what RubyFruit helped me to do.

When I pulled things from my stash I really had no idea what I'd do, or where. It was more of a 'this looks like it might work. Work as what? Well, you know, work. Somehow.'

And everything sat in the box. I'd pull it all out every now and again, discard that, add this.

The day before yesterday I just started. First, I decided not to use the MAKUstudio cab I wanted to use. Mak's tile looked better. I like the shape more, so I wanted to keep it-- but no-- RubyFruit said it was going with her. OK-- so how to attach it?

I did a backless bezel-- my second bezel and my first backless bezel-- not in safe black but in a really cool burgandy-lined amber. I started the bezel and just got lost in the beads. It got dark and stormy. There were lightning strikes on both sides of our home and the power went out-- there was just barely enough light to keep beading, so I did.

Here's the back of the tile with Mak's (Mariannne Kasparian's) signature.
I stitched the tile on by going through the bezel to the fabric. The needle didn't want to go back through the glass beads because they were tightly woven. The knit fabric is also tightly woven and I had to overcome my fear of messing the fabric up by stitching through it. Then I ran some garnet chips around the edge.

I liked it, but wasn't done. Yesterday I attached a clay button by Lisa Peters Russ up above the tile. Both of these pieces were gifts with the purchase of other beads.

Then came a sterling silver Isis pendant that I picked up in Alexandria, Egypt years ago. When you spend enormous amounts of money sometimes you get free stuff. Note, being all wide-eyed and young and mannerly probably doesn't hurt.

I still liked it-- and still wasn't done. I wanted to include a polymer clay bird skull replica by Dee Wilder of Malodora-- another gift with purchase. I told Dee they were all wonderful, but I liked the free one the best. So there it was, the last of 6, and I had to use it.

Arrangement became an issue and I decided on an arrangement of four other pieces around the three that I had already-- something that was part game pieces and part medicine wheel-- though everything I know about them came from Chakotay.

More stash raiding ensued and I unearthed a fossilized shark tooth that I bought off a Florida diver and a piece of kyanite that I acquired through more conventional channels.
Kyanite is a personal favorite of mine, since I first laid eyes on it a few years ago. It's a soothing, healing blue and nicely earthy. I attached it today.

Then I attached the bird skull.

At this point I still didn't have a plan for the fourth piece. Nothing satisfied.

I started looking at every artisan piece that I have-- but none of them were right. Then I remembered a baggie of Paula Radke glass that I acquired in Tuscon in February. Out it came and there, on Paula's business card, was a free dichroic bead in a lovely lavender shade. I wrapped it with copper, hammered the spirals flat and stitched it on.

I'm done.

Out of curiousity I looked up medicine wheels and I found out they they usually have four points, but can have six. North is earth/wisdom-- well represented by clay. South is passion/fire-- well represented by Isis. East is air/flight-- well represented by blue and a bird skull. West is water/emotions-- well represented by the prismatic color of the glass and a shark tooth.

Interesting, no?

Goodbye RubyFruit, and thank you. I'll pack you and your gifts up and send you to our Wild Woman PattyMara tomorrow. I'm begging Wonder off of Kay (On Slender Threads) now-- certain that we'll come up with something together.

For more on the DreamCoat Project checkout the Bohemia Espirit blog on 1000Markets.

Check out the Bead Art Originals Items of the Week!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I'm headed off the bead, but wanted to post these pretty treasuries first!
I'm pretty much done with my article for the Art Bead Scene Blog-- and nervous about it of course. I expect edits, I fear being totally written off. Note-- I don't actually believe that that will happen, but it's my worst case scenario.
Also on tomorrow's to do list, RubyFruit, the travelling dreamcoat and I have some quality time scheduled.
Peace will come

Friday, August 7, 2009

grey, gray day

I love the colors blue, gray and black. They can be calming, but the flip side of that is where we get the terms 'feeling blue' and 'black mood'.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

off with the old, on with the new-- project that is

Here's a shot of my earrings on my business cards for the party.
Necklaces and bracelets got 1/4 of a card!
And sistermine talked me into offering sale prices on a few older pieces.
Now the new!
The coat reached me today!
I opened the box and just sat with her on my lap for a few minutes feeling daunted and overwhelmed by how beautiful it already is!

Then I started pulling stuff out of my stash and piling it on. I rejected several bits and didn't totally decide on any of them. I don't want to jump the gun, so they're marinating a bit.

One thing that did strike me is that I have a few pieces that were gifts from artists (Dee Wilder or Malodora, Lisa Peters of LisaPetersArt and Marianne (Mak) Kasparian of MAKUstudio) whose beads I purchased. The idea of adding these elements pleases me greatly as it's a way to actually get more artists involved. Because the beads were not purchased but given to me it feels right to pass the bounty on-- almost like I was just holding them for awhile.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

rainy day progress

It's been dark and rainey here today. I did finish my inventory up for the party and I resumed making and listing new pieces. Sweet relief!
Tomorrow I'll get some shots of that and my tagged pieces. It was so dreary that I only took the shots I had to have to list the new pieces.

Views seem really slow today so I was ecstatic to find my work in three new treasuries! That helps a bunch.
Since I'm done with the prep work for the party till much closer to the date, I'm beating back the mess I've been working in a bit.
I'm so right brained. I *like* organized, but I find it impossible to maintain.

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm shocked that it's been so long since I've blogged!
Thinking about it, I shouldn't be. I wasn't feeling will Friday and I had a jam packed Saturday and Sunday-- right up to the point where I fell into bed at 9pm last night because I was that exhausted.

My inventory for the upcoming party is tagged. That was a Project with a capital P. I'm considering just keeping things tagged as I make them from now on. I used my colorful business cards and simply wrote the name of the piece and the price-- GA sales tax included-- on the backs. The prices I wrote on tape, so I can peel them off when a piece goes someplace where no tax is charge-- anyplace besides Georgia!

The Primitive Series inventory is close to complete. I usually make those pieces to order and I wanted several of each for the party and I need some in stock for November. I'm going Hawaii for about 10 days and to avoid closing down I make up and package the pieces and sistermine does the mailing/extra packaging for me. She's handy!

The party is on the 22nd. So I've got, in theory, loads of time! But the bookmarks and magnets for freebies and the rest of the Primitve Series Inventory need to be done, and I'm still stressing about display space.

And would you believe I went and volunteered to write an article for the Art Bead Scene blog?!?! The subject is one that is close to my heart and I thought 'ooh, I can do that and it'll be fun to guest post!' Now I'm thinking 'ooh, what were you thinking?!? Fun? You can do this? HA!'

I am, however, determined that I will not under any circumstances welsh on Heather. No matter how badly I want to!

Good things to report!
I was accepted to the Bohemia Esprit Market on 1000Markets! Which means I get to help with The Coats. Very exciting stuff!

And I was linked to from the Ganoskin Daily Jewel blog of all things! That's exciting too!