Engineer by day, beadweaver by night (mostly), I like to look for answers to questions.
How do things work? What inspires you? What do you wonder about?
Explore the journey to creativity together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

2 Treasuries in 1 Day

Back in November I made a collection of Christmas ornaments for the Holiday Treasures Challenge. I made beaded candy canes and wreaths and snowflakes and listed them all together as a single entry in my store.
On after thought, I decided that the snowflakes were a different color scheme and should really be a separate collection.

Friday night, I removed the snowflakes from the original collection and listed them by themselves.

When I got on line Saturday morning I discovered the snowflakes had been chosen for 2 difference treasuries. This put me in a good mood all day :)

The two treasuries are:
inen and Ice", and
"Ice Cold".

Please stop by to look and leave a comment - thes
e are both lovely collections!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Voting is Open

Voting for the Simon and Garfunkel Challenge has begun! Click on the link to the Etsy Beadweaver's Blog to see all the entries and cast your vote. Anyone can vote :). voting will remain open from Dec. 9 to Dec. 14

Monday, December 6, 2010

Simon and Garfunkel Challenge

These earrings are my entry in the Etsy Beadweavers Challenge "Simon and Garfunkel - The Songs of Inspiration". I initially felt really challenged by this theme... but then I remembered what I love most about Simon and Garfunkel songs - the vivid descriptions of the lyrics and music.

One of the things I've always found compelling about their music is the way they could set a scene in my mind with only a few words and measures of music.

The song I chose is Patterns. I was especially inspired by the first verse.

The night sets softly
With the hush of falling leaves
Casting shivering shadows
On the houses through the trees
And the light from a street lamp
Paints a pattern on my wall
Like the pieces of a puzzle
Or a child's uneven scrawl

In these earrings, I used black and white to try to capture the starkness of the song. I love the phrase "shivering shadows". I wanted the patterns on the earrings to move, so I made two layers that can swing independently. I tried to give the patterns in the earrings a random look (though I did not really pick up the beads randomly). I was thinking of the shadows that might be cast by leafless trees in winter.

The last picture is my favorite because the earring looks fractured. My youngest son (7 yrs old) set that photo up :)

Please visit our team blog, ( between the 9th and 15th and vote for your favorite entry. You will see some wonderful works of art!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Personal Note

Sometimes life happens, and for a while you lose your motivation/creativity/drive - whatever you want to call it.

5 years ago we adopted a rescue dog named Buddy Boy. He was an adult; he'd come from a divorced family that could no longer keep him.

Buddy was a delightful dog right from the beginning. He loved our kids and we all loved him.

When we adopted a puppy, Buddy helped to show him how to behave. The two dogs became inseparable companions.

On Halloween Buddy died suddenly. We were all devastated. For the next few weeks, I just focused on helping my kids through the grief.

I told my son that someday he would be able to remember Buddy without feeling sad and just be happy to have had the good times with him.

For the last month, I haven't had time or really been motivated to be creative, blog, tweet, or any of the rest of it. I know I've been neglecting this blog - I just wanted to share why. I've got some ideas saved up, though, so hopefully I will be adding entries at a pretty good clip now.

On a positive note, we are in the process of adopting a puppy. He will not replace Buddy, but thinking about him has already helped my kids feel better. We will pick him up tomorrow.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In the Mood for Halloween

Sometimes the stresses of everyday life can make difficult to be in the mood for the holidays. I have a demanding day job, and lately I have been having trouble getting into the spirit. I find that time spent with family can sometimes get me to relax and see the inspiration that is all around me.

My oldest son and I went for a walk and took pictures of some of the neighborhood in autumn. These pictures show two of his favorite discoveries. He liked the flower because it is his favorite color - scarlet. He liked the leaf because it looked rusted to him. We also had a good time playing "camera tag". I would try to take his picture and he would try to dodge.

Later in the week we carved pumpkins at my parents' place. They have a large garden and grow the pumpkins themselves. Spending a little downtime in the country and pumpkin carving really put me in the mood for Halloween. I'd like to share some that mood with you.

The pumpkins in the garden

and after they've been picked and cleaned:

Mums and turning leaves...

...the neighbors' giant pumpkins...

... giant mushrooms in the yard...

... and the main event! Pumpkin carving!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Crater Lake

Well, I promised to post some more pictures from our camping trip, and now I will finally deliver. We spent one day up at Crater Lake, one of the most spectacular, spiritual places I have ever been.

Crater Lake is the remnant of a mountain that erupted about 7700 years ago. After the eruption, the mountain collapsed and the lake formed. Wizard Island is a cinder cone that rises up from the floor of the lake, which is almost 2000 feet deep. Wizard Island is on the western edge of the lake.

The water in Crater Lake is extremely pure. It is an absolutely brilliant blue color, as you can see in the picture above. Access to the lake is limited to protect the water purity. The color and clarity of the water is amazing.

The water was smooth and clear in the morning, reflecting white fluffy clouds in the sky. As a rain front began to move in, the lake formed ripples in the breeze, making it less reflective. The blue color became more grey.

The sheer scale of Crater Lake is amazing. In post places, the rim towers about 1000 ft above the surface of the lake. The lake itself is 4 to 6 miles across.

To see something so pure and beautiful on such a large scale is sublime. Very inspiring!

These last few pictures show one of my favorite features on Crater Lake - the Phantom Ship. These rocks are actually the remnants of of a very old lava dike that survived when the mountain collapsed. They are the oldest rocks visible above the surface of the lake.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Etsy Beadweavers October Challenge is out! The theme is "autumn falling of leaves".

There are 59 entries - stop by to vote for your favorite. Voting is open until September 15.

Even if you choose not to vote, please stop by to see the entries. This is some fabulous beadwork!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Rainy Day

It is an overcast, rainy day where I live. This is the kind of day that makes you believe the winter rains have come to stay, and you will not see the sun again for several months.

This is actually really good weather for photographing my jewelry because the light is bright, but diffuse. I can get good, well-lit pictures without sharp shadows. It's also a good day to enjoy a quiet, hot cup of tea.

I grew up with this kind of weather; I usually find it relaxing. But sometimes I'm a little wistful for summer.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What to do with my last bunch of grapes?

This autumn the grapes growing on my back porch inspired me to design a beaded bunch of grapes. I had enough 4 mm round purple beads to make 3 bunches of grapes. I used 2 of them to make a pair of earrings. Now I have one bunch of grapes left.

I thought maybe I would make them into a necklace. But what kind of necklace? Something simple? An elaborate stitch? How wide should it be?

After some thought, I decided to try spiral stitch, using the colors in the grapes. Spiral stitch works best with 5 colors, so I added a darker purple and a darker green.

I took some pictures of the necklace in progress. I'm glad I went with darker shades instead of lighter. I think I also like the little gold cube beads at the center of the necklace. What do you think?

Monday, September 27, 2010

My Mother's Necklace

These are pictures of a necklace you will never see for sale. My mother, who is my greatest fan, wanted this one. It was a little long for her, so I took out two star-flower shapes from each end and made them into earrings.

It is truly wonderful to have someone who loves me and supports my dreams like my mother does.

Thank you so much, Mom!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

OT: Frogs!

While we were camping this summer, my youngest son found some little frogs living near the boat ramp. They lived in a pile of broken asphalt on the lake shore, and when it was warm enough they came out to... well I guess I don't know exactly what they do. Frog things? They didn't seem to go far from the asphalt pile.

The frogs really delighted my son - he spent hours watching them move around. He was especially pleased that he was the one who discovered them.

I had one picture of 3 frogs together, but the exposure was bad, so I won't make you suffer through it :)

These little guys are really well camouflaged, so I had to zoom in really close and then crop the picture so they would be visible. It was a little bit like photographing jewelry, except these guys kept hopping around!

Saturday, September 18, 2010