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Saturday, July 14, 2007

New Beaded Brooch

I made this beaded brooch last week and got a bit carried away with it - it's bigger than the ones I usually make but I still love it!
Edited to add: Yes, they are freshwater pearls in the third row out, I love using them in bead embroidery!

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

FO's at last!

Some people think that I never knit any more and I would like to prove them wrong. Here are recent fruits of my labours with knitting needles. From top : Fetchings from, in Patons Jet (took about 1 1/3 balls on smallish needles to make a dense fabric); socks in one of the Opal Hundertwasser range (deliberately non-matching as he never wore matched socks); and socks in another Opal yarn. There is another pair of Opal socks on the needles at present, just about ready to do the first heel on the first one, and I hope to have finished the Norah Gaughan 'capecho' soon as I am just over halfway through the neckband and then all I have to do is block it within an inch of its life, work out how to sew the sleeves (harder than it sounds, but I think I have worked out where the seam should be) and finally, decide whether it is long enough or needs more modules and, if so, do I have any more yarn tucked away with which to do so?
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Monday, July 02, 2007

2007 Bead Journal Project, and my piece for June

I was very excited to hear about, and to be accepted into, the 2007 Bead Journal Project, set up by the amazing and wonderful Robin Atkins, who just happens to be my favorite bead embroidery artist in the world.
The idea is to create a piece of bead embroidery per month for twelve months, done any way we like, but with the stipulation that each piece be the same size (as our other ones, not the same size as the other 249 people's pieces!)
After eighteen months of having design principles drummed into my head, I wanted to use a totally intuitive approach to this project. After some thought I decided that each month I would buy a piece of felt (I discovered last year that felt is fantastic to bead onto), choosing the colour that leapt out at me at the time, which would depend on how my mood at that point. I would then choose a colour palette that I liked with that colour, tip it all into a tray, and start beading. No design planning, just let the beads speak to me. (OK, so those design lessons haven't gone completely to waste - I now instinctively choose colours based on my studies of colour theory! Though the intuitive choosing of the felt is genuinely intuitive - in fact for July I picked a colour I never use, it just jumped out at me and matched my mood at the time).
Another sign that the design lessons have sunk in - I decided that the various pieces would need an integrating element, so each one will have a small tag with a word emgraved on it, again suiting my mood for the month. I bought a whole pile of them at the beginning and so I have plenty to choose from.
June's piece was called, in my head, 'I'd Rather be Shopping'. I am not necessarily going to give each piece a title so I will wait and see what happens before committing myself to that in the long term. The engraved charm says 'Wish'. June was a BAD MONTH, for reasons I won't go into but revolving mostly around Wombat's problems which have got dramatically worse recently. Many a time I found I had to cancel fun things I had planned, like going to art exhibitions, to stay at home, either with him, or just in case he tried to do something awful at school and needed immediate removal. I just about managed to get to my classes on Fridays, and that took dramatic interstate juggling (given that George spent part of the time squelching around Newcastle and other damp places nowhere near us). Other than that I spent much of the month feeling trapped and frustrated and very fearful of the future. All those emotions went into that piece but I couldn't resist trying to keep it a bit light in mood otherwise I would have slashed my wrists!
Edited to add: I forgot to say that each piece is about A5 in size and at the moment I have no idea whether I am going to make them into a book or a wall hanging or what at the end of twleve months. That will also be down to intuition! And Sue H - I have made beaded brooches and must make some more, but no, these pieces aren't for wearing - at least not yet, who knows what will happen in a year!