Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Boxing It Out

I have finished Wayne's box but need to catch up on posts about it. This one will show getting the main box sides finished.   The last post I had finished up the bottom edges and just had areas around the top that needed to be finished to get the sides finished.  

I brought the really cool metallic hex beads up from the bottom edge and added their glow to the top edge.  I brought some red hex beads up to the top so that the red would carry even more through the piece.  A bit of blue and then just because I love purple a dark blue purple in 1.5 mm cub beads which were really great for doing the lazy stitch in,  worked up great and they look like a section of the night sky in front of the planes flying across the top of the box.

The last picture is just to show what the inside looks like with all of that thread.  I must admit my spool of Silamide thread is much thinner than it used to be.  With all of the work going into this piece the EZ Felt has gotten less stiff.  I really do enjoy working with it as a support,  especially for things that I want to have a bit more body for or are going to be a bit heavy.

My next post will include some of the details of the piece as well as a look at what I chose for the feet to support it.  If you just can't wait all of the photos of the piece are on my Web Gallery.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thinking Outside The Box

Time for another update on how Wayne's box is going. I am having such fun working on this project and it is coming along great. Sometimes I have not added on to it for a while but as I have more time now with our schedule falling into place I have worked on the piece recently. I wasn't sure when I started how much of the outside of the box would be beaded; it appears on at least the sides, that they will be completely beaded.  Wayne loves how it is looking although he thinks it is almost too much.  I am a 'more is better' girl sometimes.  He did ask why use the great fabric if you weren't going to see it.  (I did point out that you could see it here and there in spots around some of the beading.)  I told him the fabric was for inspiration.  It will also show when I make the bottom, lining and at least the inside of the top.  

Since the last time I posted I have added a ton to the bottom of the box edge. I added more to my circles area and a couple of other goodies.  Then I started doing some fill.  The lazy stitch that I tried for the first time in my class with Robin Atkins works great for filling in larger areas and works up pretty quickly.  I am really liking the look of areas filled with solid beads, such wonderful texture.  I liked how it looked when I added the blue beads to the bottom but really loved it when I added the metallic hex beads after that.  They make me think of the rays of the sun and something like an ancient shield that is somewhat tarnished but still is strong and is more beautiful for it's age and having weathered life.  

The first 4 photos show how the box looks showing 2 sides at a time all of the way around. The beading wraps around the box so showing just one side at a time you would lose so much of the feel and the flow of the piece. The last two photos show some of the detail of the piece.  One of his planes flying by is dropping a heart charm that says Made With Love.  

The next step is to work on the top edge of the box and to start looking for some of the stuff I need to finish the box up.  I am going to look at drawer pulls to see if I can find some that I like, since Wayne does woodworking I thought they would be appropriate.  I will probably try to find one for the top as well.  I am going to make a removable lid for the box.  I was thinking of hinging one but like the idea of a removable one better.  Oh goodie, another surface to bead on.  

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Glowing Pathways

This past weekend Wayne and I headed up to Philly again. This time we had the pleasure of helping hang the quilt Renee commissioned from Wayne's Mom. The photos show the quilt once it was up. Wayne and Dave used a laser level so we know it it is level but when I was taking some of the pictures I realized that I was holding the camera just off level and it made it look like the quilt wasn't quite hung straight, I liked the idea and so took a photo that was intentionally crooked. Since I was making fun of their hanging job Renee and Wayne thought this was funny.
The quilt was a huge success and everyone really liked it. With the photos it is hard to appreciate how much the quilting adds to the piece and that the buildings have screen printed texture on them. We saw the original photo, the to scale drawings and fabric choices along the way so it was neat being able to see the finished piece. If you would like to see more of Wayne's Mom's quilts check out her website. ( Marti Plager )

Speaking of websites I spent some time and have totally revamped my website. There are still some things I need to do to it but the new and improved version is up and running. I have added my class lists and will be adding to that as I develop new classes and get photos of some of my other classes. All of the classes that I teach at Bead Boutique currently are up with their descriptions.

Another thing we did during our trip to Philly was to visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Cezanne and Beyond exhibit. It was very much worth the money and a trip to see.  I really want to go back and spend more time there since of the main exhibits we barely scratched the surface.  I always felt I could take or leave most of Cezanne's work before but seeing his watercolors and some of his landscapes I found a new appreciation for his work. I even saw a Matisse I actually liked (a geranium not a person). It was really fascinating to see how other artists were inspired by Cezanne and yet many of them took that inspiration and made pieces that were very much their own.  I found pieces by quite a few of the 18 other artists that I really liked. I really liked pretty much all of the pieces by Charles Demuth whom I had never seen before. He has some wonderful watercolors. Over all although the show was full of more modern and abstract art which I don't always appreciate as much.  I could have taken quite a few pieces home quite happily. I was tempted to buy the show catalog but was trying to be prudent since it was $50 and unless I used it a fair amount wasn't sure I would get my moneys worth out of it. One of Cezanne's pieces that could probably most readily inspire me was "The Forest". The way it was painted with his distinct brush marks and the feel of the piece I could easily envision something along those lines done with thread embroidery or other fibers. All of the watercolors make me want to take some time to play with watercolor since I haven't done much with watercolors for a while. Very much an inspirational show.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wayne's Box

Hard to believe I started this project in October and I am still not finished but life has been crazy and it is getting squeezed in between my BJP and other projects. Each photo show 2 sides of the box so that you can see how the sides relate and the pattern move across the sides of the box.

I have added a fair amount since the last time I blogged about the box. I added snowy hills for the penguins. Using the lazy stitch to fill in those spaces worked really well and filled a fair amount of space fairly quickly. I added more patriotic and plane buttons and also recycled some foil from a scotch bottle and wine bottle.

Wayne's friend Renee gave me a couple of things to include on his box. I took one of his swimming ribbons and cut it up so that I could include it. She also had one of his old swim medals. I put the ribbon part of that above the wood rectangle and the medal part below the wood where it worked really well next to the circles that I already had near there.

I am really enjoying how the box is coming out and I think about Wayne a lot while I am working on it so it has lots of my love for him in it, every stitch contains my love for him. I think he is looking forward to it actually getting done so he can use it. I think it will end up being mostly covered when I finish it with bits of fabric peaking out here and there.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fit for a Queen

For Christmas Wayne commissioned me to make a necklace and bracelet for a friend of his who he had recently gotten reconnected with. We have visited Renee and her family several times since his return from Iraq.

Blue is Renee's favorite color so it had to be blue. It took a bit of back and forth to figure out what to make but Wayne had all of my other jewelry to look at to get ideas on what he wanted. Swarovski had just come out with a new color "Indigo Blue" which is a nice deep blue and we both decided would be perfect.
Wayne liked the single spiral ropes that I had made using 3mm crystals so we decided on that and to make the front the spiral rope and the back with stones and other beads. After auditioning several stones we both picked lapis. That led to gold filled beads for the spiral ropes and accents with the stones.

Wayne inspired me to try something a bit new and I used crystals in the core of the spiral rope as well as for the accent beads. The bracelet in a flat double spiral rope with Dk Sapphire crystals for the core and the Indigo Blue for the edges. Once the set was finished I picked the name for it. Being made with gold and lapis it was really easy to choose a name since in the past only royalty could afford them.
Renee wore her set for the first time at their Christmas party that we went to and got lots of compliments on it and has gotten several since then. She really likes both pieces. Wayne was also very happy with his commission.

The picture to the left shows some of the other flat double spiral bracelets that I made for Christmas gifts or for myself. The flat double spiral is one of my most popular classes.