Friday, April 23, 2010

Butterflies, Tiger Lilies and Dogwoods

This week I was inspired by the idea of metamorphosis, new beginnings, and good friends.

This butterfly came to me from two sources. Initially I was trying to think of a way to create a butterly brooch to give as a birthday gift to one of my mom's dearest friends. I played with different shades of beads and different twisting techniques from French flower beading, but wasn't satisfied. So, I looked around online for other images of beaded butterflies as well. I'd like to send a shout out to Fen at BeadFloraJewels

because although I did not use her exact pattern or technique she had some butterflies in her shop that I was able to use as inspiration for my creations. Plus all of her pieces are just so beautiful to me, I love to see what she has been working on.

I finally came up with a pattern for how I wanted the butterflies to look and then popped out a few samples. Here's one that I attached to a headband and I was so pleased with the way it came out that I expect you will see more headbands like this one from me in the future.

I think that an exchange of ideas between crafters who use the same medium is so important for the craft to continue on and grow. It's a great way to support each other, foster new creativity, and bring new pieces into being.

Onto other project notes. After I finished the brief foray into the world of butterflies this week, I realized that I really need to get crackin' (or get sea kraken as my son would say) on the parts for my friend's wedding bouquet. In past posts you've been shown the petal layers for the asters that will be mixed into it. But currently I shifted my focus to the tiger lilies. Since I am planning for the bouquet to have between 9 and 12 lilies, that means I have to create about 72 petals.

Each petal is made with Czech glass seed beads and colored copper wire. It takes approximately 1 hank or 12 strands of beads to make one lily. Here you can see the pile I have created so far. It's encouraging to see them begin to add up but between the rest of the bouquet flowers and the additional flowers needed I still have plenty of work to go.

The other challenge I had before me was to find a pattern for a dogwood flower. For many of the flowers I create I am able to simply look at a flower and come up with my own patterns that resemble them pretty closely. I was a little stumped with the dogwood because they have an indentation on the outside of the petal. A few weeks ago I finally purchased a new beaded flower book that had a dogwood pattern in it.

I am so pleased with the way this pink dogwood bloom looks. I attached it to hair pin and think it would be lovely in bride's hair or for a spring formal. Of course for Anna's bouquet I want to use a creamy white and the beads I previously ordered were not exactly the color I hoped. New beads have now been ordered and are on the way. Should give me plenty of time to keep working on the lilies before I have to switch over.

One more thing a plug for a great event happening this weekend. It's the Southern Seed Legacy's 13th Annual Seed Swap. This is a great venue to trade your old plant/veggie/flower/herb seeds and get some new ones or just come and get some new ones if you happen to be a beginner. There will be seed traders, crafters, bbq and potluck, music and more. Find all the info at the website

I know I'll be there with my beads enjoying the day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Spring Brooches

Just thought I would share some images from my spring brooch collection. I have more colors and styles available and a few new designs in the works as well.

Dark purple orchid brooch.

Bright yellow daisy.

Little blue

Pink lotus style

Blue too

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bloomin' Faeries

Well, it is many an artist I know who have been deeply inspired by crankiness and moodiness. Just look at the works of Picasso during the Blue period. For me, I had been having a heck of week just feeling out of sorts and fairly ill-tempered. That is until yesterday morning. While I have been preparing to create my friend's bouquet, my beading for personal release has sort of gone by the wayside. It's ok, I mean I am super thrilled to make a beautiful one-of-a-kind keepsake and appreciate the challenge invloved in creating exactly what she wants, at least as close as I can. But I sort of lost my joy for the desire to create new things, just for the sake of creating them.

Well the other night in the midst of my moodiness Jim and I happened to catch a special on GBP (Georgia Public Broadcasting) about the Buddha. It was interesting to watch and listen to. I have read a little about the Buddha in the past like the assigned reading in college of Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, as well as the Tao Te Ching, and have briefed various other readings. However I couldn't have known that watching that special would effect me deeply so immediately. Yesterday morning at my most cranky and while twisting up some of same ole flowers for my clips, I was struck by some of the words I had heard on the special. I can't remember them exactly but the basic gist was that it takes so much energy to stay upset and cranky and that it is up to us to make the choice to let go of those emotions and to not let them rule our day.

It just so happened that I was also looking at a small bag of beautiful quartz crystal points that I had been gifted in Hot Springs, AR. An aha moment swept over me as I busily searched though my "made parts" bags and before I even realized it, the little lady pictured below was brought into being.

A lovely little crystal holding faery (or angel if you prefer) was sitting before me on my work mat. I loved the way she looked, the way the light caught the crystal and the beads and the smile I felt while looking at her. And so it began. A new series of pieces, different from what I have been making the past few years. A collection of sculptural pendants and brooches that I hope will foster smiles and well wishes. More are on their way.

It's amazing the power of the human mind. We are in control of channeling our energy. It is up to us wheter we allow harshness and bad feelings to rule us or whether we choose to use that energy and turn it into something good. This is not just about beads but about everything in life, at least the way I see it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

project bouquet

My new bead order just arrived the other day. I have been waiting and thinking and planning while they were in transit. These beads are spoken for, there is a plan for them. They will become the flowers of my friend's wedding bouquet and I am getting more excited about it all the time.

After I opened the box and checked out my hanks, I pretty much went to work immediately. Pictured are the petals of what will become 7 asters. That's what I had finished this morning. I spent a good part of today basking outside in the sun and making more flower petals and am up to about 15. Next step, making centers and assembling. Then onto lilies and dogwoods.
One bummer is that now there is no good bead shop here in Athens where I can reasonbly priced hanks and I have to order them online. Becasue of that, the colors aren't always true and the beads I ordered for the dogwoods are simply not the right color. Oh well, I guess I'll have to order some more beads.