Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas ornaments from the Art Bead Scene Blog hop

Here's the list for the Art Bead Scene ornament hop:

Art Bead Scene Blog

I've been making lots of pendants these days (or experimenting anyway...), and somehow along the way they became ornaments for my tree!  There are 4 pointed and 5 pointed stars, discs, a tree and a slightly spirally leaf.  All of these have textures from my own texture plates and color from alcohol inks and metallic rubs.  They are really quite simple, but I love the glowing colors.  Guess I'm trying to reproduce in these the wonderful glowy Christmas tree light colors I remember from my youth...I think that the ecologically correct LED lights just aren't the same.  Sigh.

Excuse the  overabundance of pictures, no time to make a mosaic today!  Enjoy the hop!

Going to get my tree soon, the kids have been asking....

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Virtual Craft Fair and a giveaway for someone!

Just in time for the Holidays!

I'm participating in a really interesting virtual craft fair sponsored by the amazing Lori Anderson of  Pretty Things.  This is actually Day 6 of a showcase featuring lots of incredible artists.  The drawing will be done next week for all the lucky winners.  If you are coming to this show for the first day, don't forget to look at all the other days (1-5) so you can comment for a chance to win there too!

This is my giveaway - 1 set of patchwork  beads
                                 1 Christmas star
                                 1 hollow double-sided pendant

The lucky winner will get all this.  But, in order to get your name in the draw, you must comment on Lori's blog - not on this one!  (Well, comment here too, cause I love to hear what you have to say....)

So, go on over to Lori's wonderful blog and put your name in.  Be sure to read the 'how to' at the top of the page to see how to score extra points by using your blog, Facebook and Twitter!

Just some close-ups so you can see what you'll be getting!  Can't wait to read your comments!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just a baking fool....

Yup, the rush to the 25th day has begun!  Somewhere back before Halloween, I agreed to put forth my labour for a fundraiser run by my neighbour.  Because, I like to bake, right? My neighbour and her mother have been running this charity for 30 years, which supports women and children in need in the Ottawa area.  It appeals to my thinking about the way  a charity can work well - that is to say, locally donated and administered, with lots of volunteer labour.  I can't donate a lot of money because I can't actually spare it, but I can give my time.  Especially to a cause that supports women.

It's been interesting working out the kinks with making perfect shortbreads (and this group has an army of other volunteers squirrelled away making goodies, so it is very profitable) in a ceramic pan from the Brown Bag cookie company.  I finally have it down ( and I'm writing it down so I don't forget how to do it) so just ask me if you ever need to know.

So, if I've seemed a little distant and uncommunicative, this is why.  It has taken much longer than I thought it would (doesn't everything - when will I ever learn? ) and I still have 20 left to make out of 70.  They are pretty though, and they taste wonderful!  Hasn't helped my tendency to pack on pounds, either.  The good news is that I am, for the moment, officially sick of shortbread!  But the testing was brutal.....

Must be done and packed by Dec. 1st.

Well, if you can't have texture in polymer, then have it in shortbread, I say....

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Archambault sculpture garden

'The Family'    ( with Parliament Hill in the background across the Ottawa River )

In the three years that we've lived here in the National Capital region ( Ottawa/Gatineau) one of the great joys has been to re-discover the joys of living in a city with many fantastic museums.  Our family has a joint membership to the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Canadian War Museum.  Both are fabulous - and the membership gives us free access to the special shows at the Museum of Civilization - most recently, a show about design in Japan.  The War Museum also has special shows, most recently, War and Medicine, which was grisly but fascinating.  There is also a  permanent exhibit at the Museum of Civilization which has become very dear to me.  Part of my everyday life, you might say....

This region is also known for its amazing bike paths (not beside/on main roads, although there are bike lanes there too..) which wind for hundreds of kilometers through park land with 2 perfectly paved lanes.  Great for going fast, although the  speed limit is 20 kph!  In trying to keep healthy this past summer, I devised a circle starting and ending at my house of 20 kilometers which took me down to the Ottawa river, along the river front past the Museum of Civilization and then returning home.  (All downhill to the river and all slogging home...)  And another big reason for this route was so that I could stop and have a drink of water at the Archambault sculpture garden, look at the river and the endless people flowing by, and finally to stare at these wonderful sculptures.

the view of the the whole, nestled between 2 wings of the Museum.

The sculptor Louis Archambault was originally commissioned to make this grouping for Expo 67  in Montreal, and they were enjoyed by millions of people who visited this fantastic event that was held to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday (1867-1967). This could account for why I find these figures to be so comforting and familiar.  I visited Expo 67 with my family for 2 weeks that summer - I was 10.  It made a huge impression on me.  After seeing this fair, I believed I knew what the future held for Canada, the world ( and probably me personally...) - all was fun, invention, joy and optimism.  Ah, the future beckoned in the most seductive way in the 60ties and all was considered possible!  Do young people feel that way now?  I'm not so sure that their hope has not been erased by cynicism about almost everything.  But I hope some do feel as full of possibilites as I did that summer so long ago.

'Pregnant woman' with 'Poet' in the backgound

'The Poet'

'The Moon'

'The  Philosopher'  ( with the federal government intruding again at the side...)

Three children (with a view of the fabulous curvy shape of the the Museum)

'The Angel' with the one whose name escapes me....(behind)

'The Sun'
 Just looking at these shapes clears my head and helps me find new ideas.  Of course, this is seriously helped by the effort/exercise involved in riding my bike.  New beads down the line, I'm sure, once they have percolated through my thought process.  Could take months.....

Do visit this gem if you are ever in Ottawa...but remember, you have to cross the river to Quebec to see it!

'The family', detail of top

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bead table Wednesday

I 've had a long absence from bead table Wednesday, but I love to look every week.  I'm still working my way through the Bead Soup Blog Party.  I am almost two thirds of the way many interesting components and solutions to be seen.  I know it will take me a while longer as I'm doing about 10 a day - pairs, that is!

Here's what's going on my table,  a whole lot of photography!  I've given up on the natural light setup except in desperate circumstances and have decided to do a  little permanent photography 'cave' with these tiles.  I can use light colored backdrops in the 'cave' when I get sick of the dark, but for now, it's working and it's quick and easy...I can also use a custom light reading on the camera that reads the contrast fairly well and is, of course, not as fickle as sunlight (or lack thereof).

There  in my cave are the recently finished sets and singles to be listed on Etsy, Zibbet etc.  This has been a fairly productive week and I am pleased to get stuff moving along.  I love to look at the colours all together and notice that this week, red and pink with blue featured prominently.  Some stuff has been sitting around while I thought about it, some for quite a while.

Some flat connectors which have been popular....

More pod sets, I'm still loving the exploration of surface...
Will soon vary the forms a little...

Some sculptural 3 dimensional pods - not every one's cup of tea, but fun to look at!

And rough, but also moving along, is my prototype toggle, very rough and it hasn't been colored yet, but I'm going to finish and use it myself to see how it functions - the first shot is together, obviously ,and the second shows the independent bits.

Have some more ideas along this line - I guess I'll see what happens!
Off the the bead table  Wednesday group on Flickr to see what's happening.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The most incredible party....Bead Soup Blog Party , that is!

 Welcome!  Get ready to be sucked inside, there are more than 300 hundred blogs to check out - is that not truly amazing?  Actually, the amazing part is the feat of organisation and patience performed by our lovely hostess Lori Anderson of Pretty Things blog. Thanks Lori!   There are links to every blog here - once you get past my contribution.

My partner this time was Cherrie Fick of  En la lumiĆ©re in California.  My soup arrived very promptly and I stared and pondered for a good long while.  These were lovely beads indeed, but very far away from what I`ve been working with lately - the whole point of this exercise, so worthwhile, indeed.  In fact, I should say, I`ve mostly been making supplies for other artists this past while, so making a necklace seemed really challenging!  Here's my soup....

I started with the idea of making a hollow branching sculptural tube, designed specifically for that challenging area where the focal joins onto the necklace. This is an idea I've been working on for while and I have a few of them lying around in my studio while I decide what I think of them.  So, I figured I'd better use one myself to see if they worked.  They provide a rigid separator where the focal joins in and hide joining 'clutter'.  That is, of course, if you are like me and not confident with connections.  This worked well with the simple ceramic focal - it allowed some breathing space for the simplicity of that quiet focal, particularly as I realized that the rest of the necklace would have lots going on.

After this hurdle, I decided that the tiny beads needed a setting, a kind of rigid organic bezel which would allow them to be displayed at a different orientation to normal stringing.  Naturally, the bezel is out of polymer, naturally! ( what else, my metal skills are fairly pathetic!)  The idea with this was to unify, display and  provide a rigid element in the necklace that would never drape or sag.  It will always have this curve on your neck, while the other side drapes.  Just an idea I'm pursuing with polymer necklaces...interesting, but requires more work and trial - isn't that just the great thing about this hop?  I try it to see if it works and find that it has potential.

The other larger beads got strung between knots on the other side of the necklace.  I used paper yarn from PaperPhine on etsy (one of my current favourite supply shops on etsy).  I used her fine yarn and twined it for strength.  Then I individually coloured the knots with alcohol pens for fun.  I made a polymer frame for the beautiful carnelian stone as it really deserved to stand out.

Here is a look at the lovely quiet clasp from missficklemedia.  Just perfect for this, I think.

Yes, that was really  mean and sneaky.  I made you look at all the details before I showed you the WHOLE, so if you've come this far, you can see these disparate parts put together.  It's quite a mess o'details... and I'm still looking at it with those eyes that ask desperately "What have I done, does it work?"  I'll have to live with it and wear it for a while to find out, as the proof is in the pudding, as they say.

Pleeease be sure to check out Cherrie's blog to see what she made with the soup I sent her!

Can't wait to see what the hop has to offer, many beautiful pieces and much inspiration...

These are the partner pairs.

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

For a total of 362 people making jewelry!