Sunday, October 27, 2013

beads and a paper bowl

I'm developing an intuitive bead embroidery class, so thought that I could combine it with my totally neglected 2013 BJP series. I loved the process and the original intent, but life and work got in the way this year. Now that I've been gifted with more time (I'm no longer working), I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to dust off my original plan. I wanted to make 12 leaves of the same size and shape and turn them into a necklace. Well, now I've got a new plan! The necklace would have been weighty, just a bit distracting and impractical to wear. Now I'm more attracted to the idea of making different leaf shapes and turning them into individual pendants (that I'm more likely to wear). I'm not sure how many I will make, so will only commit to the last three of the 2013 series. I don't want to work backwards, so I say onwards and upwards!! The backing is Lacey's Stiff Stuff and the piece contains a lovely stone cabochon (some type of turquoise), a mix of beads, crystals and pearls, old jewelry findings, button, watch parts and a copper spring (that I wound myself on a very small knitting needle). This leaf is 1 1/2" wide and 3 1/2" long, so you can see that I could not go as wild as I like to with my embellishments. Stitches used are back , peyote, stacked, flower and bocce/boucle. I'm very happy to be back in the game again and cannot wait to start my second leaf. I have not had any journal type thoughts yet, but if I continue for a while, I'm sure that the leaves will start whispering.
Now on to the second part. I made another bowl a couple of weeks ago, but never got around to posting. It's made from Gelli Printed tissue paper, teabags (on the inside) and skeleton leaves (craft store ones). The tissue was too thin and left the bowl a little unstable, so I needed to strengthen it with varnish. I'm not sure that I like the shiny look, but I do like the bowl and love the marks that were made with the Gelli print. In addition, I find the colour scheme to be quite soothing.
The chicken is in the pot and the sun is shining. I think it's time to play for a while........

Thursday, October 24, 2013

dominos and brickworks

I've been altering dominos again, with the hope of teaching this technique at my local bead store next year. Talks have been encouraging, so I'll let you know as soon as I have more information. I'm also considering setting up an on-line Etsy shop,but I'm just starting to explore this option. This will be just a quick post, as it's supper time and my stomach is rumbling. LOL! I'll leave you with photos I took at the Evergreen Brickworks last week. I think that I walked for at least two and a half hours!!!
I could have walked for a couple more hours, if I didn't have something else to do that day. I think that it's amazing to be able to get totally lost in nature, even in the largest city in Canada! If you get a chance, do yourself a favour.....get your camera out and go explore a park or a nature trail. You won't regret it!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

paper collage and paper beads

More paper fodder for your eyes. Yes, I'm still playing with paper, but confess that I'm really getting the urge to crank up the sewing machine again. The postcard almost tempted me off my paper path, but I expect that you'll be seeing a mix of paper, fibre and possibly even beads in the near future. I have some pretty wacky ideas running around in my head, so that bodes well for my creative side. The postcard is my contribution to The Great Big Stitched Postcard swap and I'm trading with Lien in Belgium. I mailed the piece to her naked (no, I wasn't naked, I sent it without an envelope, sillies!). Included in the collage are paper bits from previous swaps (thanks, Ines!), old pattern tissue, vintage lace and used Tetley teabags (the round ones). I used wallpaper paste to glue it all together and it stitches like a dream! Thread sketched 'weeds' were added as a focal point.
Now on to the paper beads! Two batches, both made with the same process. Scrap paper core (1"), topped with small pieces of Gelli printed backgrounds. The green ones seemed a little boring, so they were wrapped with bits of Gelli printed packing tape. I do like the effect and it's a great way to clean your plate (let it dry completely, add the tape and then pull it off)! The dark beads (a mix of black/grey/green/white)have been accented with a middle stripe of silvery Distress Glitter (in Pumice Stone)and then wrapped with Sulky, Sliver thread in dark green. Let me tell you, this mylar thread (? I think that's what it is) is a real pain to stick down, so I don't really recommend it!!!!
Of course you know what all this means, don't you? Now I'll be forced to make something out of all those beads. My work never ends! LOL!! Any ideas?

Saturday, October 12, 2013


Photos from a walk in the park! The wild trail, right next to Edwards Gardens in Toronto. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from my home! There's something about autumn reflections that makes me want to click and keep on clicking the shutter. In many of these shots, you are just seeing the actual reflection in the water (that's why they look like they're upside down). I'm also fascinated by fallen red leaves, so you'll see many of these as well. Enjoy! More photos to follow as the season progresses. By the way, the colours are as given by nature, and the only editing was selective cropping. As for my other creative pursuits, I'm still making paper beads and will post some photos after I finish with my least favourite varnish step. Sigh! Somewhere at the back of my brain, I must have known that dip varnishing 60 or so beads, would not be any fun!!! Sigh! I'm impatient to start stiching again and would also like to make a couple more paper bowls. Soon, I promise you, soon......

Friday, October 11, 2013

colours of the season

Well, you haven't had any nature shots from me for a while,so here goes.....The fall colours, in and around the Sault Ste Marie, Ontario area, including Skookum Lake and the Chapleau Highway, are absolutely spectacular! This year I decided to visit my family and try to capture the experience. I had to return home for a wedding, so I actually missed the peak by about a week, but there's always next year. I was more than satisfied with the show! Toronto is a little further behind, so expect more photos in a couple of days. For Skookum, watch for the absolutely still lake and shots of the dock, the mist and the boathouse.....that's Skookum! The first five photos are Skookum Lake and also the last one.


Friday, October 4, 2013

more gelli printing

Photos from Day 3 of my Carla Sonheim, Gelli Printmaking class. A couple of pieces are finished, others need more work and two need a coat of white paint!! Carla says that there's a high miss rate on this type of printing. Out of a batch of 8 prints, you might only be satisfied with two or three. Others might need a little more work and the rest, relegated to an ever growing pile of collage fodder. Of course, she says that you could always start again on the back of the print, and if it turns out, and you end up selling it (as if!!), the buyer will get two prints for one. I'm still having a lot of fun by focusing on the process and not sweating the outcome. Today is the last day (Day 5) of the class and I'll be missing it terribly. Carla has given us a few more hints and suggestions on how to complete some of the pieces that still need work. One is quite radical and I can hardly wait to try it!!! I'll let you know how it all turns out in my next blog post.
By the way, did I ever tell you that I LOVE paint? There's something soothing about working with it in such a serendipity fashion. I literally zone out of the real world, by immersing myself in a sea of colour. It's a very sexy way to work!! Working nekkid is also a real option, but I'm conservative and prefer to work in my PJ's. Giggle! Did I tell you that I'm a morning person? No PJ's after noon for me, no siree Bob!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

gelli printing and paper beads

What a fun week! I'm taking an on-line Gelli Printing class from Carla Sonheim (of Silly Class fame. If you haven't taken one of her classes before, I highly recommend them. The class runs all week and we have three video sessions and two blog chats. I'm going to show you the photos from Day 1 to start and I'll follow it up with a couple more posts as the prints progress. We started out with 8 separate prints and I confess, mine are quite dark. I'm not sure if that was my mood, or just the colours I selected to work with. There's definitely more work to be done, so I'll just show the photos, which are two to a page due to restrictions on the GP Flicker site (sorry, I tried to provide a link, but it didn't work). Honest, some people used brighter colours!
I've also been working on paper beads. The first set (the ones in the photo)already have a home, but I will definitely be making more soon. I'm thinking of setting up either an Etsy or Big Cartel shop to sell some bits and pieces. I'm not sure when, but I am trying to come up with interesting small items. More about this later.