Saturday, May 28, 2022

MLH 21st Biennial Exhibit at LowellArt Gallery

It's starting to feel like I'm getting back into my old pre-pandemic-groove. Art-wise at least. Everything else in my life seems to be changing but submitting work to exhibits, going to receptions, seeing my weaver-friends feels a bit more like what normal was.  

On Thursday Bryan and I went to The LowellArts Gallery for the opening reception of the Michigan League of Handweavers 21st Biennial  Exhibition. What a beautiful space they have over there!  This show is always great sampling of what the Michigan fiber arts community has to offer.  I didn't get many photos. I'm really working on being more present with less having my phone out. 

I was pleasantly surprised when the awards were announced that I had received an honorable mention for my Evil Eye Bangle. Thank you Barbra Bushey for the award!

Also thank you Helen for purchasing the necklace that I entered. She already has a number of my pieces so I know the Copper Daphne Necklace will be going to a good home when this show is over. 

I'm reminded and humbled that even though I'm not currently producing a ton of my usual artwork, I still have just enough in rotation to feel like I'm staying relevant and keeping my art career going despite my full-time day job, my big personal yard projects and getting ready for our wedding. Life is busy but very very good. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Spike Stripe Earrings

Lately I feel like I've been knitting more than beading, but when I was between 2 dresses for a baby shower I decided to come up with a new earring design that would work for them. Both dresses have stripes. I have been searching the internet for spike and punk designs a LOT while getting wedding ideas so I figured it was time to try my hand at a large spike drop.  


This isn't a great photo put it shows the rainbow 
sheen in the white beads a bit better.


The black and white dress is the one I ended up wearing, it's been a while since I've worn it and it was fun to have these as a new matching piece of jewelry.


I've never really had a good piece of jewelry to match the other dress which is navy with white and orange-red stripes.  It's been really hard to find a real navy seed bead in the past and Miyuki seed beads has this wonderful deep navy color now.


Between these earrings and someone posting a selfie on social media wearing an older earring design I've been inspired to get into my jewelry pieces again. I have some fun new bead colors that are calling to me now that the weather is turning warm and bright with our gardens.

Monday, May 9, 2022

My First Toe-up Socks, Maybe My Last

Sock knitting. I've recently decided to make the switch to smaller needles (1's) which made my tight cast-on even more problematic.  I spent a lot of time talking to my friends Jenn and Sarah about different ways to get my cast-on looser, I've watched "stretchy" cast-on YouTube videos....nothing seems to be helping. Everything I stitch is so darn tight. 

I noticed that when I cast-off it tends to be a little looser or at least a little stretchier, so, I decided at 20 pairs of socks it was time to learn how to knit socks from the toe-up rather than from the top down. I found knitting from the toe-up to be very different, maybe even awkward. I completely understand the  reasons why some prefer it... but... it didn't help my problem. Moving down to size 1 needles is really the issue here (beyond my tight knitting). I also, finally, have the hang of knitting socks from the top-down, 20 pairs of practice will do that.  I can change, but this is a relaxation-thing so I don't really want to change how I'm knitting socks.  I keep socks as small, portable projects to keep my hands busy during meetings, to find some calm on my lunch break and while I find a little down-time while waiting in a line. I dream of one day having a sock drawer full of hand-knit socks for myself and Bryan. 

Now I can at least say that I've tried it and compared top-down to toe-up sock knitting. I will also mention that the difference between the slipped stitch heel vs picking up the stitch heel is very noticeable to me and I prefer the look of the heel shaping on my top-downs.  

As for my too-tight-cast-on issue, I decided to cast-on with my #2 needles and knit 1 round, then switch to the #1's.  I think this is going to work for me, I'm well into my 22nd pair of socks (to go with a pair of leather platform Converse for this summer). 

I keep saying no more projects but I may have started sampling for another crop-top. Apparently I'm thinking ahead to summer concerts and honeymoon/RiotFest outfits.


Sunday, May 1, 2022

#MyBeadingYear How it's Going

At the beginning of this year I made sure to talk about how I try to make very loose plans and goals because I'm so hard on myself when I don't finish things "in time" or "fast enough" so I only hoped to get my current weaving off the loom this year, maybe finished. 

How's that going? 

I stitch a little on the beaded netting which will be the weaving's edge (this portion of the project sits in a 9mm case by the couch for evenings in front of the TV). I haven't been weaving a whole lot since it's been getting nice enough to work outside but I did notice that I'm just past half-way on "Is There a Thing to Which Brings Us Less Joy Yet We Devote More Time."  I've been feeling like I may be playing "yarn chicken" but at the end I'm sure I'll have enough rayon in the colors I had dyed.  Trying to match a dye years later never really works and I designed this so that the "Wi-Fi" pick-up design is repeated on the beginning and ending of the piece.


I'm also beading some ideas for wedding stuff. Lets face it, wedding planning if going to be the big part of my summer which will force me to finish the garage, reroof the shed, cleanup and add-to the door fence and get our gardens under control. My beading has turned to jewelry with spikes and leopard print for bridesmaid ideas; fishnet is also becoming more prominent in my styling process.

I am falling madly in love with the spikes that Swarovski offers. The bangles and dress details are really giving me that dressy-punk look that we're looking for.

So wish me luck on playing yarn chicken this year and getting all the beading done for our upcoming nuptials!

Retro Fade Earrings and Bracelet, 2 versions

I picked up a new dress for Brian and Rion's 20th anniversary party so, as usual, I decided to make something to go with it. I was plann...