Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Unwrapping and Warping Delilah

You may remember back in March I helped my friend and old college roommate, Amy, get her loom up and running again.  So, she came out to my house a few weeks ago to give me the kick in the pants I needed to unwrap my loom, Delilah, and start in on my weaving for the Friends of the Porkies donation.  Delilah has been hiding behind boxes in the mess that is currently my studio.  It helped just to have the deadline of Amy coming over to try to have some semblance of organization in my studio.

Amy wound off her warp and balled yarn for her next weaving. (Tencel from Forma)

I wound off my warp and realized that I needed to dye 
at least one of the three to get the color range I wanted.

3 warps, ready for triple weave

Through the reed.

I'm so thankful that my Macomber loom lets the back beam down so 
I can sit close to the heddles to thread them.

Warp all through the heddles.

Once the back is tied on, this is how I pull the warp through and get all the snags out.

Tied up nice and tight, it feels so good!

The test to make sure there's no threading errors. First try, no issues. Yay!

Also, this is my 300th blog post.  Seems crazy, I started blogging 7 years ago, I have received my one google check (ha ha), sold some pieces here and there after posting new work, and I use this as an archive of my own work which comes in handy all of the time. My life has flipped upside down and then right-side up again. I never planned on living back in Michigan after leaving for Colorado in 2004, but here I am, loving Lansing and all the friends I've made here, getting back to my art-focus after ditching it for a bad life-choice. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Fall Form Bracelet

Fall Form Bracelet $120.00

I'm really happy with the finished product of this bracelet.  Outside of just playing with upcoming Fall colors, I decided to go with a form that I've been considering for quite a while.  I originally started thinking about it when I made these yellow tiered pod earrings.  As I stitched pods together, I thought about how they would drape around other forms.

I've worn this piece around a number of times already and I'm really happy about how it maintains its shape around my wrist.  I initially thought about going with a lobster clasp for the bracelet, which is my go-to clasp.  However, it was important to me that this shape maintain all the way around.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy stitching the snap into this was, and how seamless it appears when being worn.

Snap detail

I always leave all my threads on until the pieces is together.

Shaping up.

"Vintage" snaps (36 for 29 cents!)

Friday, August 7, 2015

Fall Colors Bangle Spin-Off

Bangle 1/2 inch wide $75.00
Earrings 1,5 inches long $40.00

When I was working on my first Fall 2015 bangle and earrings, I noticed a colorway at the beginning of one of the earrings that I really loved.  I took note of it and when the first set was done, I started right in on the next bangle.

Bangles $75.00 each

Playing with colors, without drafting a pattern  can help me relax into my work and figure out what I want to make with these particular colors.  I'm happy to be able to create again and slowly get back into my beadweaving and also my handweaving.

This is the beginning of one of the earrings in the first set that led me to the second set.

I've also been thinking I could do a square pendant, much like THIS ONE that I made for Liisa back in 2013.  Or I could do it without the edging like this Peach/White one.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bangle Bracelet with all the Fall Colors

In this summer heat we have been having, I am dreaming of fall and winter.  So naturally I start looking at the fashion forecast for fall and holiday colors.  I then pour through my beads and make a collection of them to work off of for the upcoming season.

Bangle Bracelet 1/2 inch wide

Earrings 2.25 inches long

 I started with the navy and pink from the netting bracelet and earrings that I just made.  I have started making leaves from the various sized seed beads that I have, but I really missed making my beaded bangles.  So last Monday night I pulled color rages from my collection of delicas, poured them into my largest palette and decided to just use all the colors. I wasn't in the mood to graph something out, so I started with small stripes and alternated them.

I know when I decided to move into the alternating, I was thinking of my friend Kathy's beautiful double-weavings that she has been working on.  I was hoping to have a bit of that weaverly feeling in this bangle, which I think was successful.  I'm considering doing this same bangle with a few less colors, wider.

It has also gotten me thinking about what colors to use and some future bangles to graph out.  I may even visit some old patterns with these fresh colors.

And of course it always feels good when you get a magazine in the mail and the colors on the front cover about-match what I'm working on!  Thanks Pottery Barn!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Netting Bracelet and Earrings to match a polka-dot dress

Earrings $30.00

After working for hours on the wedding dress beadwork deadline I needed something simple, basic and colorful to bead. So looking through my closet I picked out a polka-dot dress that I bought during MLH's Conference at my favorite boutique in Holland: Frances Jay.  I'm not usually too big on polka-dots, but this was a cute dress and the cut was different than I usually wear and it actually fit me correctly.  Plus I really like the pop of the bright pink on the dark navy (or black, it's hard to tell in different light).

Bracelet $65.00

I originally thought I might make the bracelet all black/blue with some circles of the pink here and there, but I really preferred the pick as a smaller accent.  So the circles in the "netting" stitch alternate navy cut 15/0s and black 15/0s. I usually make this bracelet four circle wide, this time I figured I'd see how three wide felt.

(The dress inspiration)

The bracelet and earrings match and were fun to get into some new colors. This is a little sampling of the colors I'll be using for fall this year.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Wedding Dress Bead Embroidery Details

Doing the beadwork on Katie's wedding dress has been my beading focus over the past 2 and a half months. You've probably noticed photos of it in progress on my Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.  I'm really really happy about how the embroidered pieces turned out. Above is the focal pieces on the empire waist. (3 pieces all together).

The front of one shoulder.

The front of the other shoulder.

The back piece.

The back and should strands made me the most nervous, bead stringing isn't my forte.  Luckily Katie and her mom came over one afternoon and strung beads for 4 hours or so, which helped a lot.  Above isn't the greatest photo of the back, however, when the photos started coming through on Facebook yesterday evening, I was SO happy with how lovely the back and should strands turned out.

There was a lot of pinning and re-pinning.

At first I only made the shoulder pieces 4 inches long, 
I had to add another 2 inches to each side.

Should piece in progress.

Katie said she'd share some of the real photos of her in the dress with me, so more to come on the final look of the piece.  I wanted to get the details up before I forgot!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Home, Friends and Family abound...

Knitting circle with the bridal bead embroidery.

I've been picking up more hours at work and I feel a bit lost as far as getting any artwork done.  Luckily I have a bridal commission that I'm working on, which is keeping me beading.  Otherwise I might just stay in the bath tub with a book on nights I don't have anything going.  Which I'm trying to cut back some and stay in more, my house is starting to settle and feel more and more like home.

Measuring the beads for the dress.

I am getting at least one box unpacked per day, sometimes more. I just haven't the slightest clue where some stuff should go.  The interior house projects can be too overwhelming, so I have 2 focuses: 1) Fix the railing on my balcony and 2) trim all trees/bushes away from my house and garage so my homeowners insurance doesn't drop me.

(those cedars behind me are being cut back...)

Roof on the garage is not safe,  it's a good thing 
I was excellent at balance beam back in my gymnastics days...

I have a cool grill in my back yard...it needs cleaning out...

The pile of drywall, plaster and lathe and linoleum in my garage that I'm 
topping my garbage can with every Sunday evening.

As I keep reminding myself, my house is livable as-is, so house projects will be picked at.  I can. not. wait. to get back to my loom.  It's still wrapped up, but Amy coming over will give me the kick in the pants to have an unwrapping party and get a sample weaving on for my Porkies donation. 

So to keep myself in line, current art-pieces are:

1) Bridal Commission

2) Porkies Weaving (it might not be just a sample, I may end up just putting the piece on!)

3) Holiday Jewelry for galleries and the Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild Show

I am always up for taking on beading classes too.  I now have space in my dining room to teach and would love to do small private groups.  My base-rate is, per person, $20 for the first hour, $10 for every hour thereafter. Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends are my most-flexible days.  I'd prefer 2-weeks advanced notice so I can plan around work. You'll just have to ignore the boxes still floating around.

In the meantime, I have been having lots of fun and had friends in town more than I can remember.  I love having my own place. We celebrated Megan's Birthday then the next weekend Em came to visit from Colorado and I got to show her around Old Town and downtown Lansing.

Happy Birthday Megan!

Me and Em

Meat BBQ with Em on our Old Town day.
Because I want both my sides to be creamed corn with my brisket.

Abigail has invited me for the past 4 years to go charter fishing with her family on the weekend of the 4th.  I didn't have anyone to tell me they didn't want to do that, so I did, and I caught my first HUGE lake trout!

Me and Abigail

I couldn't stop staring at how beautiful the lures are. 
Definite inspiration for future jewelry.

And this past weekend, July 18th my second niece was born, Luna Lin.  My mom, dad and cousin Ky went to the hospital to visit. (After I played catchup with my dear friend Erin while I was in Fenton).

(No photos of the baby, that's the parents prerogative, 
I know some people are touchy about that)