(pumpkin bead by Jennifer Heynen)
Saturday, October 31, 2009
(pumpkin bead by Jennifer Heynen)
Friday, October 30, 2009
Of course, as usual, Dwyn's photos on the Beadfx website are much more flattering so I would urge you to follow the link below to take a peek. http://www.beadfx.com/inspirations/inspirations.php?id=284
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Here's a picture of what the finished stamps look like:
and a design that one of my fellow students, Katherine, made with hers. She had the very clever idea to mark the pieces of styrofoam with squiggly lines by drawing on them with a pencil, to add texture to the stamp. I was so impressed, I immediately copied this idea!!
Then we took thicker pieces of styrofoam and carved designs into them, again with a pencil. We painted those pieces and pressed them onto paper. The results were equally intriguing - here's a picture of one of my designs:
This next photo shows our teacher, Toni, demonstrating the process, followed by a shot showing the different looks achieved from stamping the same design over and over without adding any more paint - you can see what I mean about the 2nd and 3rd images being the best, depending on the result you are looking for. The 4th image is very light but would also be good to use on an art journal page, as the design is very faint and could easily be embellished by adding layers over top of it.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
By the way, as I just discovered after checking out that link, did you know the clocks are turning back this weekend? Where did the time go? Doesn't it seem like we just finished turning them ahead? (those of you who never did figure out how to change the time on your VCR or dashboard clock - yes, you know who you are - can now take comfort in the fact that once again, you'll be back in the groove). It's already dark so early in the evening and in the morning when I wake up, I'm not looking forward to emphasizing that process by switching the clock but I suppose it is inevitable. Time waits for no one, as they say. Or, if you prefer, "time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana." Thank you, Groucho Marx for that witty remark.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
This past Friday night was Art a la Mode, a dinner and silent auction event to raise money for the Lindsay Art Gallery. This year, I donated the freeform bead embroidered pendant that I made after taking Sherry Serafini's class at the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee in June (which I finally finished last weekend!)
Here's are some photos of the pendant, which I call "Serafina" in Sherry's honour. Because, let's face it, it's her design, it's just my interpretation thereof. She put the kit together, picked all the beads, made the sample, included the photos for us to follow in the instruction booklet, all of which made it quite easy for me to give away this pendant. I quite like the design but it's not mine, so hopefully the new owner will enjoy wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it and together we raised some money for the gallery, so it's all good.
I've included some photos to show what the piece looked like after all the beads were sewn on, both front and back, before I cut it down to size and added the edging and the Ultrasuede backing. The last two photos show the finished pendant, strung on a spiral rope with a sterling silver clasp.
Speaking of Sherry, my friend Colleen is off to New York this week on a Beadventure tour with Sherry. It's sounds like it will be a great trip - 5 days of museums visits and shopping for beading supplies and workshop sessions to design a bead-embroidered cuff. Have fun, Colleen! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get back.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
And here's a picture of Michael and me, just so I can say, hey, I met Michael David Sturlin!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
Oh sure, we get wind and rain and dark in the summertime too but somehow, it's harder to take in October and November because it's starting to get so darned cold. Cold and wet is not good. Cold and wet and in your face is worse. And no, I didn't have my umbrella because of course, you can't carry groceries and an umbrella, it simply can't be done.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
They had posted this link by mistake: http://cynfulcreations.blogspot.com/. It's the blog of a woman more than half my age with a young child who only has about a month worth of blog topics (which mostly seem to be about the topic of blogging and her efforts to find a part time job) and she hasn't blogged anything new since April 2008.
I knew this blog existed when I created mine, which is why my name includes the word "Canada" in it. Knowing we were focused on different subjects (I'm not sure what it is she is creating but it doesn't appear to be jewellery related), I didn't think she would mind if I shared the name.
I have since found another blogger with "our" name: http://cynful-creations.com/blog/. She is a photographer named Cynthia Fletcher, who appears to have set her blog up since I did, but she too hasn't blogged for a while (since March of this year) and she only has 2 blog postings in total, so again, probably not too much of a conflict.
As far as the TBS mixup, it was an easy fix. I just emailed the TBS website editor to let her know there was a problem and they corrected it right away.
I had someone send me a message the other day through Facebook, asking me if I had lived in New Rochelle, NY in 1969 and attended a certain high school. Needless to say, that isn't me either (I hadn't even graduated from public school in 1969!) but it's interesting to know there are other people out there in the world with your name, living completely different lives. Sometimes I Google my name to see who they are and what they're doing in their alternate universe, just for fun. You should try it, you might find the results to be very entertaining.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Maria had her first design published in Bead & Button magazine in 2003 and has been featured in several publications since then. She is currently appearing in the October/November 2009 issue of Beadwork magazine with a design call "scythian gold" (must be a typo, should be "Cynthia's Gold", don't you think?!!! Actually, "the name relates to one of the original habitants of the Ukraine, the Scythians, and draws inspiration from troves of ancient gold jewelry excavated in the country's royal burial mounds", according to the write up.) Her comments on the panel were very informative from a designer's perspective.
Carla, as an actual editor of a magazine, gave pointers from the perspective of the people who receive submissions from artists and consider them for inclusion in their magazine.
Marilyn is a jewellery designer and teacher who has done quite a bit of self-publication, mostly of her own patterns and designs.
It was an interesting discussion covering a variety of topics, from the importance of good photographs to send with your submissions to the need to be multi-tasking (teaching, designing, operating a website, blogging) and networking all the time in order to keep your product (i.e., you) in the public eye to the necessity of creating instructions that are easy to follow. It was interesting to hear that your design doesn't have to be complicated to be chosen but it does need to be unique. It is very important to read the submission guidelines for each magazine (often found on their website) but often, it just boils down to the fact that you happen to submit something at a certain point in time that matches the criteria of what the editors are looking for at that time.
Some of the key tips were: don't submit the same piece to more than one magazine at a time, don't be discouraged if your piece isn't accepted (it doesn't mean it's not fabulous, it's just not what they need right then), submit work that is different, unique, innovative and well put together, play with designs and always, make pieces you truly believe in instead of just something you think will "sell".
Speaking of being published, I am incredibly excited to advise that I am featured in the latest issue (Winter 2010) of Bead Unique magazine. A photo of yours truly making glass beads at the torch (taken by Dwyn Tomlinson) appears on page 41 of the magazine, as part of an article written by Jennifer Keil about one of my favourite beading stores, Beadfx in Toronto, as the topic of their regular column, "I Could Just Live Here!". I look a bit like a bug with my protective didymium glasses but as Marg Yamanaka, owner of Beadfx, describes it, I am grinning like a cheshire cat, obviously happy to be making beads!!
As far as being published in a beading magazine, hey, a girl's got to start somewhere!! :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The first two photos show the ring made by our teacher, Katherine. The second photo is especially good for seeing the side detail of the pattern. The third photo shows how dynamic this design looks in a blue colourway. The fourth photo shows the ring I made in class - yes, I actually finished the project! I'm not overly keen on the colour combination or the beads themselves but my selection was limited at the time. As I say, the future possibilities are endless and will hopefully be much more striking.
This ring makes up very quickly, using both ends of the 28 gauge wire on which the beads are strung. However, I'd also like to try making it with thread and two needles, or possibly with that super fine beading wire called Soft Touch that is thin enough to be threaded onto a needle.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to track down the source of this pattern. The instructions we received don't show what magazine it came from, but I can tell you that the designer's name is Martine van den Bussche of France and that the article appeared with this very funky photo (which unfortunately is not very well reproduced in the photocopy we were given) of two Barbie dolls wearing several of these rings on their various limbs. Rather an unusual photo choice for a beading magazine, but also rather clever, if you ask me!
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Arrived at the cottage to find that leaves covered the ground everywhere you looked - here's what we saw:
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I would like to try this technique again. Our teacher told us they let you do rubbings at the Royal Ontario Museum on some of the exhibits, that would be something I'd like to do.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Our teacher, whose name is Toni Calderone, handed us all shoe box lids and instructed us in how to cut our paper to fit inside the lid. (She's very organized, probably because she teaches kids a lot so has to be totally prepared, and she either brings everything we need and/or gives us a list of supplies the week before.)
She laid out a variety of colours of acrylic paints (ratio 3:1 paint to water, the full concentrate would be too thick) and explained the technique - you scoop a couple of marbles up with a spoon and drop them into the show box lid and tip and shake the lid to make the marbles roll around and leave a trail of paint on your paper. It couldn't be simpler.
Here's a picture of my finished result. I haven't quite decided what to do with it. As you can see from the line in the photo, there is a top sheet and a bottom sheet of paper. When you peel the top away, you are left with a cleaner space in the centre, with the painted design acting as a border. She also showed us how to do this in reverse, so you have a white border and the colour framed in the centre. Although a couple of my marbles got loose and travelled under the top layer, so the plain white isn't so plain on my piece, which is not such a bad thing. There are no rules, that's what makes it so fun.
This last photo is a closeup of one of the swirls of colour within my painting, taken while the paint was still wet. It's like looking at ink blots - can you see the shape in the centre that (I think) looks like a butterfly's wing? I like this photo the best. By comparison, the finished painting doesn't look quite as exciting as the photo, now that the paint has dried. But that's okay.
It was all so much fun! Like being a kid again and doing what you want with the paint, smooshing things around to see what effect you get. I know, I know, half the battle of being an artist is letting go, not listening to that inner critic, doing things spontaneously and without judgment. Not to worry, I'm learning!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The first week, we made a seed bead chain necklace. Here is a photo of the demo piece that Katherine made. It is based on a pattern called "Beachy Bangle" by Barbara L. Grainger, as featured in Beadwork magazine.
Week 2, we made a wire wrapped pendant. We used 28 gauge wire to wrap various beads around a circular armature. Once again, a photo of Katherine's piece.
Where are the photos of my finished pieces? Er, um, ah, I'll have to get back to you on that, they're not done yet! :)
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
So today on this day of giving thanks, among many other things, I am grateful for our cottage neighbours who brought over homemade cranberry sauce and offered the use of their washroom, hot water in the tap and a heated apartment, electricity to light up the rooms on an otherwise grey and dreary day, and the affection of a purring cat who was glad to have me back early. And for the reminder (not that I really needed one) that it doesn't really matter where you are or what conditions you're coping with, it's who you're with and the fun you can make just by being together that makes any day special.