Friday, April 27, 2012

Catching Up and Catching My Breath

Y'all, it's been crazy here.

Aside from the normal wacky, there have been big heaping doses of super-wacky on almost every front.  Add all of that to the doctor determining that I have mono.  Again.  Actually, for the sixth time -- did you know that could happen?  Yep.

So now I know why I haven't been my normal, sparkly self, firing on all cylinders of activity for about six weeks.  But I have been getting some work done on my One Crayon Color Challenge piece, and  here's a sneak peek of my RED creation.

Tomorrow morning there will be 30,000 people running past my house as part of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon.  Needless to say, I will be staying inside, using this as a perfect excuse to catch up on both my sleep and my beading!

Do you have any fun plans for the weekend?

Monday, April 16, 2012

If You Weren't Born In The South, You Can Now Consider Yourself Bilingual

By: Grammerly
(This is going around on various social networks,
but I had to share it!)

I did my grad school internship in New York City. I lived in Milwaukee for five years. If I had had a copy of this then, it would have saved so much time and explanation. I'd have just taped a copy to my forehead. Bless their hearts.

Learn this rule, accept that all iced tea comes sweetened, and understand that for many people all sodas are "Co-Cola", and you'll be fine on your next southern vacation.

Love all y'all!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Inspiration, Realization, and Variation

Although you would NEVER guess it from the epic piles of beading magazines I have in my house, I am not really one to see a project in a book and recreate it bead for bead.

That's not to say I don't use the creations in the pages of these magazines as inspiration.  I am all about the eye candy and its power to get my creative brain clicking.  The influence of parts and pieces and components will show up in my final pieces, often mutated from the original after I've wrestled with them for a while.

One night, while surfing around on pinterest (like I needed another online pastime to suck hours out of the day...), I found these fabulous bracelets by Gina Dunlap.  

The bracelets were featured in the October 2009  issue of Bead and Button, which I know I have, buried somewhere in the epic piles of magazines I talked about earlier. Not being brave enough to excavate the epic piles (seriously, people, it's ridiculous) I looked at the photo and dove in to figure it out myself.

Here is attempt #1:

Boy, howdy, it wasn't quite what I expected.  I love it, but it was narrower than I anticipated.  It really did capture the undulation of the inspiration with the different sizes of beads.  In fact, the undulations are pretty significant - almost spiky.

So I tried again.

That was different - the undulation is gentler.  I love it, too.  But with the gentler waves came fewer peaks and valleys.

Neither one is a direct copy of the original inspiration, but they do echo its spirit, and the process of creating both has been great learning fun.  As I look back at the original inspiration photo, I now see lots of little things that she did differently. I didn't notice them at first glance, but they are really obvious now that I've worked through my own versions.  

The final bracelets are stiff enough to hold their shapes like good bangles.  This is going to be a fun one to go back to again and again - I've already got lots of ideas of variations on the bead sizes, the combinations, etc, etc.  Thanks, Gina, for the inspiration!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Break Out The Crayolas!

When you were little, was there anything more exciting than getting a new box of crayons?  Remember the rush when you broke the seal and opened the box to see those glowing, vibrant crayons with their beautiful pointy tips, just begging you to create something fantastic (hopefully on your drawing paper, not on your bedroom wall...)?

I can almost smell the aroma of fresh Crayola wax, just thinking about it.

And now Sally Russick of The Studio Sublime has created a big-kid opportunity to play in the crayon box again  -- the One Color Crayon Challenge!

The challenge is to choose one of the colors in the original crayon box -- red, orange, yellow, blue, green, purple, black, or brown -- and create a monochromatic piece using only tints and shades of your color.

Yep, no accent colors.  No gold or silver beads.  No multi-color beads that happen to contain your color.  It's a deceptive little challenge, but it's turning out to be a lot of fun!

I chose red.  And I set myself an extra challenge of only using beads in my stash.  (What was I thinking?!?) 

The reveal date is May 5.  I can't wait to share what comes off of my drawing beading table, and see what the other 66 people in the hop create as well.

When I'm done, I may have to go buy myself a big ol' 64 box and play.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Conudrum At The Chinese Restaurant

Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, and this was in my fortune cookie:

Optimistic me tends to be elated, because everything will now come my way.

Paranoid me feels that this is a warning to duck, because EVERYTHING will now come my way...

Would you like a conundrum with your hunan chicken today?  An enigma with your eggroll?  Why yes, I think I would!

(And no, I don't believe in fortune cookies.  But if those numbers hit the MegaMillions next time, I may reconsider.)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fresh Off the Beading Table

Slowly but surely, new pieces are finding their completed selves coming off the bead table.

This lovely sodalite chunk is not really a cabochon, but it also has no hole, so I couldn't fall back to the default mode and string it.  My wire wrapping skills (beyond the fairly basic) are relatively tragic, so that was out.  Ta da - it had to be in an embroidered piece.

I had these beautiful seed beads, which are palest sky blue lined with fresh spring green -- really a delicious combination, especially at this time of year.  The blue/green combo invited the inclusion of the malachite drop, which was another lovely purchase that had languished whle I figured out what the heck to do with it.  And who can argue with pearls (especially when they fill in the gap caused by the sodalite's irregular sides)?

See?  The pearls are kind of like a proper lady's petticoat, hiding what doesn't need to be seen underneath!  And this picture gives you a better look at the yummy lined seed beads.

I'd love to have a great name for this one, but my brain's on vacation.  Any thoughts?