Monday, May 28, 2007

... at a snail's pace...

I have no photos today. ... sigh... I AM creating, but nothing has been finished for what seems like an age. It has now been almost 3 weeks since I have had a day to myself. Me, who is completely used to having EVERY day to myself. It is all good, but the freedom to lose myself in my Right Brain is now going to have to be planned for MUCH more carefully. I thought I knew that already, but the challenge is in keeping up the effort at organization.

I HAVE completed 2 more round robin projects, and am deep in a dressmaking endeavor for DD#2 who has a figure which needs some intensive fitting. (Tall slim dancers are NOT the type for whom pattern companies grade their patterns!!) I have also completed a fascinating experiment with some denim and a Clorox Bleach Pen. A fun playtime with some very interesting results -- stay tuned for a project to come! So, yes, things are happening, but nothing that will photograph well... alas for blogging!

I have also been doing my level best to be a Source of strength, rather than yet another who needs *his* strength to my DH, who is facing some serious challenges on the farm. Nothing major... just a string of odd coincidences and bad luck that add up I don't know how successful I have been, but I don't know what else I have to offer. He's not the kind of man who will ask for anything, and my intuition has run out of ideas. Maybe there really isn't anything else TO do. I wish I knew...

In the meantime, if you who read this are the praying kind, please remember us. I am becoming quite afraid of the next "little thing" which just might be the one thing too many for a good and strong man to bear. He would probably tell you I worry too much. I hope he's right.

Monday, May 14, 2007

A Busy Week

There is nothing like being busy to prod one into getting things done. Thanks to my new job, my days are no longer entirely my own, so I need to work on my various projects in a much more organized and efficient manner.

This is "Lily Ann", an all-cloth doll from a pattern by Kezi Matthews. I have been trying to put her on my Etsy site, but I haven't been able to get a decent photo of her in my little light tent. I popped over to the hardward store this weekend for another length of PVC pipe to make longer legs for the frame, so now she fits inside and I can photograph her at last.

All her features are hand embroidered using cotton floss.

This little darling is my first completed "Reborn" doll. She started out as a "Lots to Love" doll by Berengeur. I took her apart, painted more realistic features and skin colors on all the vinyl parts, and gave her a rooted mohair wig instead of the textured vinyl she started out with. Then I sewed a new and more proportionate body for her out of cuddly soft doe suede, jointed her parts back together, and weighted her body for a more realistic heft. Her romper is made of Hoffman cotton and trimmed with lace.

I enjoyed the painting part a great deal, but sewing the body and clothes was rather boring. I may make another one some day, but not any time soon.

Last but not least, I finished weaving the prayer blanket I began for my brother-in-law last autumn. I stopped work on it for a while when I found out that his church had already made him one. I need the loom for another project though, so I got this one off, sewed up the center seam (my loom isn't wide enough to make a full-width blanket in a single swath) and bound it this morning with the coolest irridescent silk duipioni. It has a few quirks so I don't think it's nice enough to give as a gift or sell, but it is a wonderfully heavy fuzzy thing and will be pleasant to have on hand next winter.

"Magik" the cat likes the corner where the yarn has noticibly more mohair spun into it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by 4 different people this week... which pretty much leaves me with nobody else to tag, LOL! Anyway, I am supposed to list 7 random facts about myself.

1. When I was young, I wanted to grow up to be a star of the Grand Ol' Opry.

2. I like sparkly beads better than diamonds.

3. I do not understand the appeal of professional sports.

4. I like silk better than any other fabric. If I could, I would dress in silk from head to toe every day.

5. My favorite comfort food is a thick slice of warm bread slathered with real butter and topped with a thin slice of sharp cheddar cheese.

6. I think I could live without any given body part except for my hands. If for some reason I were to lose the use of my hands, I believe I would pine away and die.

7. My favorite way to waste time is puzzles. Give me a good sudoku or crossword and I am a happy camper.

I have been as busy as the proverbial one-armed paper hanger this week. I just started a new job in the business office of our public library, and while it is a very nice job, it will take me a little while to pick up on all the ins and outs. So, while I have gotten lots accomplished in the studio, I haven't managed to take any pictures yet.

Stay tuned!

Friday, May 04, 2007

I got to go into the city by myself on Monday evening to take a wire wrapping class with Emily Start, one of my favorite jewelry artists. She works primarily with heavy gauge wire and large-ish stones and I think her work is almost alive, it exudes so much energy. Now that I have tried some of her techniques, I know why. Ittakes a LOT of energy to make thick wire do your bidding, even if it is labled "dead soft".

Here are 2 views of the piece I made in class. I started with an amethyst crystal point about 2" long that I got on eBay, (you won't find THESE at Wal-Mart, LOL!) which I wrapped with 16 g wire, then accented with more silver beads on 22 g wire. I absolutely love it, but think I still want to add a dangle from the little curlicue at the bottom. I just need to get a chain for it and it's ready to wear.

Then I have these 3 pieces waiting to be wrapped, now that I have a clue as to what I'm doing. The brown one is smoky quartz, the purple is amethyst (of course), and the green one is zoisite. The red spots are ruby crystals embedded in the matrix. Isn't that one cool??

The photo on the right shows the neck ring that started it all. The ring itself is of 12 g wire (my mind boggles trying to imagine how much strength she has in her hands to shape such heavy stuff) and the stone is kyanite embellished with aqua aura and more silver. A very dramatic piece.

I wish I had a link to include so that I could share more of her wonderful work, but she doesn't have an internet presence. If you want to see Emily's jewelry you have to come to Oregon and tour the galleries and bead shops where her work is displayed. Let me know if you do... I'd love to go shopping with you.