Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Bead Mat

I've just finished experimenting with making a soft sided bead tray. This is made from vellux. You can tie the corners together to form a one inch side all around to corral the beads.

Working with vellux was a challenge, a sewing lesson I learned long ago but haven't applied in many years. I had a hard time getting the casing sewn down even. Finally I had to go online and find some tips about sewing velvet before I could figure out what I'd done wrong.

Hopefully the next bead tray will be more "perfect". I love this for my lap tray because a flat bead mat on the flat top top of the tray is always tipping and I end up having to pick up the beads from my lap, the chair and the floor.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Project in the Works

The yard has been calling. I've been trying to cut down a couple of shrubs that died due to too much rain last year. It's been taking most of my time and energy and I've still not finished.

The credit card holder is coming along nicely, but I've had quite a few soap orders lately and my table is full of curing soap, making it hard to bead. :(

I finally found some vellux. I've made one soft sided bead tray just as a trial run. It turned out very well. I've got 3 more cut out and hope to have them finished, photographed and put in my Etsy shop soon.

That's all for now. Soap, yard and house work are all becoming adamant that I pay them some attention. Hopefully I'll be back soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Color Theory

If you're a new beader and have problems with colors I hope this will help you in some little way, if only to let you know you're not alone.

When I start a beaded project, I usually look through my stash of beads, lay out several colors, cull through them and start beading using 3 or 4 colors. As I'm a self taught beader with a tiny little background in art (oil paints and charcoal sketch) I really don't have the whole color theory under my belt or firmly planted in my brain.

The problem that I've run into is that even though the colors may go together when I have them in their tubes laying on my beading mat, when I start working with the individual beads I find that some colors just blend in together and there's little or no distinction between shades and sometimes totally different colors won't show up and "shine" like I had intended them to.

I've found that it helps, especially if you're working in peyote or brick, to make a color swatch with the colors to see how they are going to "play" together. It takes time to make these swatches, but can save you the aggravation of having to take out several rows of your project when you find that the colors just don't work together.

To get me started and remind me how colors can work together I have a color wheel that came in one of my bead catalogs, or I go to Color Theory Basics and study it there. If I print it out, my printer doesn't translate the colors properly, so I have better results looking at it on the computer.

Once I get the colors I want to use in my mind, I have to start looking at finishes. Opaque, matte, silverlined, transparent. Sometimes I think the silverlined will stand out among the others, but in some instances, they tend to absorb the colors around them as the transparent ones do.

I know there is a "science" to color theory and maybe someday I'll be able to use that science to it's fullest, but for right now I just have to start with the basics and go by trial and error.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Realatively Calm Day

Finally the wind has calmed to its normal 10 to 15mph today. I've gotten a few things accomplished. I finished the Body Scrubs for the order I'm working on. Now all I need to make are the balms and nail oil.

I finished up one of my repurposed items. It's a small clutch bag crocheted from supermarket produce bags. The closure is an oval lampwork bead with dangles capped with faceted rounds and round lampwork beads. You can see it in my etsy shop. Just click on The Bead Doodler in my shop at the right.

Well back to the "lab" and balm making!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Beads, Beads, Beads

Oh Dear! Beads have taken over my life. Well actually they did that a long time ago. Now they're taking over my whole house! I finished a project and was putting away the remaining beads. I noticed something I'd been oblivious to while focusing on the Spirit Doll.

I have unfinished projects stacked and stashed everywhere! I even found one in the living room. I have a box half full of UFOs (unfinished objects), another box with items awaiting clasps (I can't find just the right one), and 2 beading pads with projects and the beads to go with them stacked. On top of all that is the micro-macrame I'm trying to learn (or relearn with much smaller thread and beads).

As if that wasn't enough I have an order for soaps and other skin care products to get out. I keep telling myself I have to wait for containers, but I know there's only one item that I don't have containers for, so It's just a matter of FOCUS! I wish the wind would stop blowing. It's really messing with my brain!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Spirit Doll

I have finally finished the Fairy Spirit Doll I mentioned earlier. My thoughts have been so scattered it's been hard to work on something like this.

She is embroidered in primary and secondary colors. She wears a crown of quartz crystal chips. The fringe is tipped with quartz crystal chips and features frosted tube beads that I got from DJ Beads. I just love these for fringe. It gives it some weight and adds pinache.

Spirit Dolls in one form or another can be found in many cultures. They provide a focus for meditation for some, visual calming, or tactile soothing for others. They can be made from sticks and bits of cloth, dried flowers, gemstones or whatever the artist has on hand, but I prefer to cover a stuffed cloth figure entirely with bead embroidery, then add gemstones or gemstone chips and some lush fringe.

Whether you believe in the spiritual aspects of these little beauties or not, they can actually work wonders on your mental attitude and your physical being. For some the designs in them focus the mind and, if only briefly, allow troubling thoughts to fade into the background. The hands contain reflex points that govern every part of the body, so just running your fingers over the beaded surface creates a relaxing sensation, and, in some cases, can release blocked energy or blood flow, promoting benefits to physical health.

No two people will ever feel the same effect or see the same flow in the pattern. The spirit doll seems to speak to each individual according to his/her own needs at the time. The same person may experience a different effect or see a different pattern each time they pick the doll up, or look at it.

No two spirit dolls will ever be exactly the same. The designs in the artist's mind flow as the doll is being embroidered.


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