Monday, March 22, 2021

Two Tone Double Weave Look Beaded Bangle and Earrings


This bangle started out with the idea of checkers (which I'm so excited they are coming back in to fashion)...then different sizes of checkers. A I beaded the design it ended up moving into looking more like a double weave draft and, frankly, I was thinking of it as one would weave a plaid as I stitched and decided on colors.  

I'm not surprised that after the very involved Fancy Evil Eye bangle that I made last year that something a little more simple is what came to mind to make next. 

 This didn't come out looking at all like the checker pattern I had originally thought about when producing this design, but I'm very pleased with the final piece. I must be in a black/white/grey phase right now since that's what's on my loom at the moment too.  

 As I was beading this piece I kept extending it longer than the initial design. I decided to quit when it started to become cumbersome and too long to hold comfortably while I worked on it.  The bangle ended up being 2 5/8in long. The earrings are 2 1/2 inches long and 5/8 inches wide. I'll get them up on my shop sooner than later. *Edit, the Bangle is HERE and the earrings can be found HERE.*

 Now that spring is here I'm starting to get a little distracted...I plan on finishing our garage roof, planting and cleaning up gardens and continuing to add to the privacy fence of doors. I try to put in some sort of time beading, weaving, sewing every day...some days I'm better at it than others but I am getting much better at understanding that I can only do so much within each 24 hours that I have in a day. I still burn myself out sometimes, but I'm catching it before it happens more often.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Leaf Me Alone Art-Mask

 I was skiing last Monday for my last runs this season. I find that one of the most relaxing places to be is on a chairlift alone in the sun when Mt. Holly is just open and barely anyone is around.  I was listening to my music and thinking about what work I had finished to enter into the Small Expressions 2021. I didn't enter last year and consequently I missed the deadline by a day so I didn't enter this year either!

Still, this new piece struck me out of nowhere and I just had to make it.  I've been working on the Leaf Me Alone series which has begun to have even more meaning through this pandemic. I feel like wearing my masks 40+ hours a week should have a little bit of a "6-feet, back off, leave me alone" resonance.  Why...I should make a Leaf Me Alone Mask to go along with the series.

I wanted to use the original draft of the Leaf Me Alone weavings for the interior fabric. I knew exactly where the fabric that I could run through my printer was in my studio but I had never used it before.  I created a blue and green version of the pattern in Photoshop. While reading all the directions for the printable fabric in great detail, I printed it out while gritting my teeth and waiting for my printer to jamb up and screw up the fabric.  It didn't mess up at all, it printed out great!  

I thought i was done with my mask patterns but there I was stitching another mask lining together, with my newly printed fabric.  I wanted to make the words pop in the fabric, so I spent my free time during my lunch breaks and evenings embroidering the Leave Me Alone. I made sure it looked good from the opposite side also, I knew I'd want parts of it to show through the leaves.

I already had the beaded leaves made; I've been making a lot of them in preparation for the leaf panel on the large Leaf Me Alone panel. Making beaded leaves is really never-ending. I just had to create the fabric leaves to give it an even combination and lots of texture.  The stitched leaves go faster than the beaded leaves, but not by a while lot.  I went through my fabric scraps and all of the sheer fabric pieces that I found were part of the installation I did for River Terrace Church, "Hope Flows."

I had Sunday off and I thought that I'd get the leaves all stitched together and the piece finished that day. I pushed and stitched all day. I didn't realize that the exhibit entries due April 15 was actually April 14, midnight (this is why I usually send in work a week ahead so I don't screw up the deadlines).  I finished at 2am, slept for 5 hours, got up and took photos now that I had the daylight. My heart sank a little when I realized that the exhibit had closed already, but it'll be done for next year.  And I can send it in to other exhibits. 

Honestly if I had realized that i missed the deadline I may not have kept going so late and it may have gotten thrown into a bag to be finished later...which I then sometimes loose interest. I was very tired at work the next day but I'm glad it got done and it's good to know that I can still pull a late-nighter if I'm really inspired to do so. 

*Sidenote, this is not a protective mask, it's only one layer of printed cotton fabric and the top layer is open, sheers and beads.

Monday, March 8, 2021

Video: Beading a Russian Leaf Earring


Yesterday all I wanted to do was bead. Which is a change of pace; I haven't felt like beading for a while. I knew I would eventually want to again, might as well work on some video for it. I've been working a new large bangle also, but I'm not sure if it's done yet so I defaulted to leaves.  Above is a 5x sped up time lapse of making one Russian leaf earring from my You Tube channel. 

I've had some requests for leaves on my website's shop, I'm working on it. This leaf set is available HERE.  I picked these seed beads up on Bryan and I's last camping trip in Wisconsin 2 summers ago. We stopped in to Madison where I lived at one point in my life and I was excited to see that one of the two the bead shops, Tropic Jewel, was still there. 

I had other things I thought I was going to get done on my day off yesterday. I was pretty distracted by the sunshine and a desire to go skiing but I was waiting until today because it was going to be warmer and sunny all day.

Rare images of me modeling new earrings.

Today I got some spring skiing in. Mt. Holly opened at 10am and I was there early to jump on these freshly groomed runs:

As with my tradition for spring skiing, its tank top or bathing suit weather.  I skied until my legs hurt; it might be my last chance this season.  Now I'm playing catch-up at home before I get back to work tomorrow.

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Sweatershirt to Pillow for Mom

Mom's Photo from the Texas Ranch

This winter I mentioned to my parents that my sewing skills have gotten much better with all the mask making I was doing. I had finally made "Halloween" (they're pretty permanent) pillow covers for our couch.  Mom then produced an old sweatshirt that I remember both of my parents wearing growing up and said she was hanging on to it to make a pillow but hadn't gotten around to.

I was happy to do it, and really this was the first thing I made on my sewing machine after finishing and packing up all of my mask making stuff.  It's for a 17 x 17 pillow which seems standard? I'm used to starting with a pillow and creating one to fit, but it looks like it worked without knowing for sure what size pillow was going to go into it. 

I had originally thought I'd do a brown or green piping for this piece, but when I took it to the store maroon seemed to be the obvious color to go with. I had no idea that it would also match the couch it was going to live on!

I needed to use as much of the length left of the back of the sweatshirt for the pocket overlap. I decided  it would be a fun detail if I kept the very top back of the sweatshirt as a nod to its previous life.  The above photo is a detail of the top back of the pillow which was at the top back neck of the sweatshirt. 

I think I'm getting much more confident in my sewing because I am usually much more nervous to cut into something that I cannot reproduce.  I didn't really have that issue here, and it came together pretty easily. 

The sweatshirt was a little thick in areas (like that top neck portion), so the back piece sewn to the piping was a little bit of a struggle.  In my world I don't worry too much about the back as long as it holds and looks pretty good.  This is good practice for something else I need to work on for our bedroom.  I'm glad to have to piping practice and it looks so great at my parents' place down in Texas. 


Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...