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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Bit of Poetry

A few weeks ago I blogged about my younger son's sculptures.  Thank you everyone for you nice comments on that post - my son enjoys reading them very much.  I've been wanting to feature my older son too, but he is much more private than my younger son.  Today, I got my wish - my older son wrote some haiku for school.  I love them of course - I am his mom!  After some pleading, I got his permission to blog about two of them.

 He stares in wonder
as the geyser erupts
with steaming waters.

Wrapping paper flies.
Children laugh in pure joy.
This is Christmas Day.

Thanks for letting me share with you :)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Nest" Team Challenge

This year one of my goals is to enter at least 6 of the monthly challenges from the Etsy Beadweavers Team. Here is my entry for this month:  Honeycomb Bracelet

 The theme for the Etsy Beadweavers January Challenge is "Nest".  Here is a description:

“It will still be winter in the Northern hemisphere in February and I believe thinking about nestling could make us feel comfortable. What I would like us to do: If you think about (or google for) "nest", you will find much more than birds building nests. Insects like bees, hornets and others also do.
So let´s get inspired by their pieces of art. Let´s see what ideas nature gives us. I´m sure, everybody will find a way to find their own interpretation of NEST……My intention is NOT building whatever nest in beads. When you think about what associations we have with the term "nest", it´s not necessary to construct a complete copy of a natural item.

For me structures are important. You cut out a certain detail and transform it into beaded art, the main thing is that everybody will have the association NEST!"

You can read more about the challenge here on the Etsy Beadweavers Blog.

When I was a child I spent a lot of time at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, which has tons of great, hands-on learning activities. One of the permanent displays in the museum at that time was a bee hive inside a cylinder of glass. One end of the cylinder was open to the outside of the building so the bees could come and go.  It was fascinating to watch the bees fly in and out of the hive and move around the honey comb. If you touched the glass in an area where the bees were thickly clustered, it felt warm and cozy.  I wanted to capture this feeling in my challenge piece.

I set out to make open hexagon shapes in warm, golden colors.  The first problem I ran into was that the beads tend to pull into a circle on the hexes on the edge of the bracelet, though I do get nice straight hexagon sides where they border each other.

After a little experimentation, I discovered I could give the edge hexagons a better shape if I added an extra bead at the corners.

So I made a golden honeycomb bracelet.  Now I just needed to choose a clasp.  I went down to the fabric store and found some cute honey bee buttons.  The only problem was that they just didn't quite go with the colors in by bracelet.  This was very sad for me because I really did a good job attaching that bee.

So I made a new bracelet in yellow, white and black colors.  I used black drop-shaped beads in the corners.  I think this is a much better match.

Now I just need to decide what to do with my first bracelet.  I'm thinking about folding it into a three dimensional shape and using it as a pendant (after I take the bee off).  What do you think?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Tydying Up

I've been making a mess of my workspace.  It's in a good cause, but when I make snowflakes, I tend to get out lots of different kinds of beads.  I also have lots of left over beads from other projects that I've avoided (I stick them in a little tupperware container for later).  These left overs have been accumulating for months now :(

This last week I've started putting everything away.  It's a time consuming but satisfying process.  Sometimes I have so few left over beads of each color that it is not worth it to separate them out.  I've started collecting these beads into color mixes.  When I get enough of them, I will use them in a project.

Recently Duni posted about how she uses her leftover fabric to make these very cute scrunchies.  I got to thinking, I wonder what all our other crafty friends do with their leftovers?  What do you do with your extra fabric, yarn, beads, thread, paper or other supplies?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Here There Be Monsters

Last summer I went to the Salem Art Fair with my family.  My youngest son was especially excited by all the sculpture on display.  Until we went to that fair, I had not realized how much my son loves sculpture.  He is very gregarious, so he talked to many of the artists and asked them about their art.

One of the artists he met was George Heath of Funker Market.  He makes alien monsters that have completely charmed my son.  My son has saved his allowance to buy George's monsters and has also asked for them for his birthday.  He likes to make up stories about them.  He keeps them in a special place in his room.

Darkness Elemental Wearing Unholy Armor

This weekend, we found polymer clay on sale.  I bought some for the kids and let them go to town.  Both my sons decided to make monsters, inspired by George.  You can kind of see George's work in the background of this picture.

Lava Elemental with Shiny Sharp Rocks

George has a shop on Etsy.  He makes sculptures and cards that are full of character.  My son and I love the funky, funny way he describes his pieces.  This Bombastic Sextipod is one of my son's favorites right now.

 So thank you to George for inspiring my sons and getting them interested in art!

How about you, dear readers?  Have you ever been inspired by anyone?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Thank You, Part 3

I'd like to show my appreciation to the people you have included me in their treasuries these last several weeks.

Mariola of Found300 MVS Glass included my Snowflake in her Winter Joy treasury.  Mariola creates beautiful stained glass panels, fused glass items, wind chimes, jewelery and much more.  I really love her Abstract Art Fused Glass Pendant.  What lovely winter colors!

MaggeeG of Cards by Maggey included my Herringbone Necklace in her Extravagant, Elegant and Essential treasury.  Maggee loves photography.  Her cards feature photos she has taken or watercolor art she has painted.  She also offers prints of some photos.  I just love this photograph: Old Abandoned Shed -  old farm buildings are so picturesque! 

Robin of Once Upon a Time Crafts for included my Natural Beauty Dragonfly Necklace and Horsetail Falls Bracelet in her Poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for... treasury.  Robin is a third generation quilter.  She has been selling her handmade quilts, dolls, and woven paper hearts at craft shows for 30 years; now we can find her on-line.  I really love this Embroidered Garden Angel.  She makes me look forward to spring!

As always, thank you to all of you for being a great community!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thank You, Part 2

I'd like to show my appreciation to the people you have included me in their treasuries in December.

Sheryl of Sher Hasting Designs included my Dance of the Veils Bracelet in her Fun Fun Fun treasury.   Sheryl is a talented professional designer.  She is also one of my blogging friends.  Her blog is called My Creative Space and is always fun and interesting to read.  Sheryl offers PDF digital images for crafters to use in scrapbooking, card making and other craft projects.  I am really drawn to these images of tea pots in her Tea Time Graphic Art and Clipart Set - I love to drink tea, especially in the winter!  Sheryl has a tea pot for every occasion here:

Vanessa of Vanessa Story Designs included my Dance of the Veils Bracelet in her I'll Have a Blue Etsy on Christmas Inspired by Nature Gift Ideas treasury.  Vanessa was an assistant silversmith to her mother as a child, and as a young adult she was a colorist for her mother's  illustrations. These days, Vanessa makes jewelry, jewelry boxes and paintings.  She is deeply inspired by nature in her art and jewelry.  I really love this Turquoise Necklace with Spider Web Design - Vanessa has such an interesting story to go with it; be sure to check it out!

Kalyn of Kalyn Designs included my Beaded Snowflake Ornament in her Snowflakes Keep Falling! treasury.  Kalyn makes lovely wedding accessories.  I especially like her Red Hydrangea and Berries Hair Comb.  It is so pretty!

Pylly of Sending Love Gallery included my Icy Snowflake Ornament in her Midnight Snow treasury.  Phylly makes beautiful jewelry from precious metals, gemstones, pearls and art glass.  I really love the dark iridescence of her Black Pearl Bracelet.  I think this bracelet would dress up any outfit.

Candan of Candan Imrak included my White Snowflake Ornament in her Mother of Pearl Holiday Gift Ideas treasury.  Candan lives on a beautiful peninsula in Turkey, where she makes wonderful lampwork beads.  As a beader, lampwork beads have a special place in my heart.   I really love the deep, rich organic colors in her Kilim Lampwork Glass Earrings.
I have more thank you features to post.  Stay tuned for another update.  In the meantime, I would like to thank all of you for being a great community.  I hope you are having an awesome new year!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thank You, Part 1

I'd like to show my appreciation to the people you have included me in their treasuries in December.

Jeanne of Bling Things Originals included my Beaded Snowflake Ornament in her Cool Finds treasury.  Jeanne makes original, beautiful,  knotted beadwork.  Her pieces included jewelry, bookmarks and key chains.  I particularly like this Glass Heart Key Chain - pretty for Valentine's Day!

 Heavenly Treasures 123 included my Sparkling Snowflake Ornament in their very sweet Christmas is a Magical Time of the Year treasury.  Heavenly Treasures123 offers fun and original gifts for children.  Their Girl's Sugar and Spice Tutu is so cute!

Melissa of May Flower Market included my Intricate Beadwork Snowflake in her Crafty Christmas! treasury.  Melissa makes fresh, beautiful jewelry that incorporates buttons.  Melissa's daughter Rebecca  contributes charming crochet hair accessories, dish cloths and amigurumi animals to their shop.  (I learned a new vocabulary word writing this post - learn more about amigurumi).  I really love this Valentine Button Bracelet.  It has such a polished, stylish look!

Rock Candy Jewellery Studio included my Sparkling Snowflake Ornament in her Let it Snow... treasury.  Rock Candy Jewellery makes beautiful jewelry featuring natural stones.  One of my favorites is Mystical...Sterling Silver Rainbow Moonstone Necklace.  I love the iridescence in this necklace!

Gidget of Full of Light Photography included my Beaded Snowflake Ornament in her Ice Blue treasury.  Gidget uses the process of Natural Illumination to capture the heart, light and essence of what she is photographing.  This print... Fine Art 8 x 10 Print - Plants - Balance is just beautiful!

 I have many more people to thank, but I think 5 features in one blog post is enough.  I will continue with more thank you features in a few days.

As always, thanks to all of you for being a fantastic community.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

How NOT to Take a Blogging Break

OK, I did it all wrong.  I took a break, but I did not let anyone know I was taking a break.   I didn't really plan on stepping away from my blog, but in December I went into a creative overdrive that consumed my free time.  I made tons of snowflakes and did a lot of creative writing.  Everyone got a snowflake for Christmas this year :)

I found a nice discussion about a better way to take blogging breaks here at Productive Writers.  I thought the article had some good suggestions.  The people who commented on it also had some interesting thoughts.

I have a lot of catching up to do - people to feature, stories and photos to share... and I am looking forward to catching up on all of your posts!

I hope you all had a great holiday and new year!