February 23, 2013

Freeform Peyote Challenge Bloghop


 Two wonderful ladies who certainly know a lot about beads and beautiful beadwork set up a challenge for Freeform Peyote - Choose Your Own Adventure.   Mandi Ainsworth and Karen Williams are dedicated to sharing knowledge and helping Beadweavers learn and grow.  Check out their blogs/websites for lots of helpful information on this fascinating and beautiful craft.

This is my freeform peyote bracelet that took many many hours and many seed and complimentary beads.  The focal lampwork bead is made by a Vancouver Island glass artist, Jane Perela.  I have bought many of her beautiful beads.  The colors of this one are my favorite in aqua, teals and greens.
I caged the lampwork bead on the back side with "vines" of peyote so it wouldn't twirl .
When I heard about this challenge - I knew I had to join.  Freeform peyote happens to be the  first type of beadwork I ever created and for me it is meditative and very rewarding.  I started making freeform bracelets about 4 years ago and it appeals to my non-conforming personality.  I admit....I don't like following directions or rules and freeform is the perfect way for me to bead weave.  

Sometimes I work the rows horizontally and sometimes vertically depending on the focal bead.
For this particular one, I started by partially bezeling the lampwork bead and then worked outward.  I never pre-plan my designs I just figure out what colors I want to use based on the focal bead.  I normally have way too many beads laid out on my table but that adds to the mystery.
I used a black wooden clasp with inlaid silver decoration and I like the pop of black that it adds.
I use Czech glass, pearls, gemstones and any other coordinating colored beads to add texture and interest.  I tend to get carried away with the number of color variations I use, but that is just how my mind likes to work.  

Thanks for stopping by - I have really enjoyed getting back into my beads again.  Here is the list of other participants.  Please stop by their blogs and see the wonder of bead work.  Enjoy the hop!

Many thanks to Mandi and Karen for all your hard work and encouragement.  You rock!
Mandi Ainsworth
Karen Williams

Bobbie Rafferty
Sarah Meadows
Katherine Gale - you are here!
Mandy Duffy
Leanne Kirsch
Jean Hutter
Nancy Dale
Judy Riley
Natasha Wiegelman
Pam Chesbro
Stephanie Woods
Romana Tschunko
Bette Greenfield
Deborah Humphrey
Mary Harding
Melody Marie Murray
Shirley Moore
Sally Russick
Therese Frank
Tanya Goodwin
Christine Altmiller
Lea Paličková
Ivona Šuchmannová
Jennifer Chasalow VanBenschoten
Kay Haynes
Tammy Bowman  
Alisa Lehman
Lori Callahan 
Tami Norris
Jane Kettley
SaraBeth Cullinan 
Tami Norris
Julie Schmidt Bowen

February 22, 2013

Week 8 - Focus on Life - Monochromatic

I am double posting today so just scroll up to see my Freeform Peyote Challenge.

 This week we were to take pictures in monochromatic tones.  I didn't go too wild with my pictures but did some editing in Picasa which I like and it's super duper easy to use too!

We had several foggy days here this week so the trees were covered in hoar frost ... it was beautiful to look at.  This is a picture of my driveway.


I am so excited to say that I got a new Boxer dog last week.  We named her Rosie and she is 3 yrs old - almost 4.  We rescued her from a breeder that didn't want her anymore.  She recently had 8 babies and 5 of them died so to a breeder that means she isn't useful anymore as she can't produce pups.  We are happy to have her.  She is a beautiful dog and so friendly and good natured.  She has fit right in to our home and is such a sweetheart.  We found out she has a heart problem as well so we are lavishing her with love and attention.  
Lucy, my American Eskimo dog in the snow - her favorite place.  She loves her new sister too.

Rosie on our walk just today.  She loves to chase and play with Lucy and I'm glad they get along well.  She has so many exact traits that our previous Boxer (Cassius) had.  I told my husband that if dogs reincarnate - then he has come back in her body.  She looks identical to him and so many of her daily habits are the same.  It is crazy!

Rosie and Lucy looking at something that caught their attention.  Nope wasn't a squirrel!

I live in Oil country so had to take a picture of this pump jack located right beside our acreage.  It is not pumping at the moment but this is a very common sight where we live.  

That's all from here so go on over and check out the other photos at The Studio Sublime

February 16, 2013

Focus on Life - Week 7 - Flowers

Here in my world there is no evidence of anything blooming or coming to life.  Snow everywhere....and I was stumped as to what I could take a picture of.  I thought of going to the grocery store - but didn't.  I wasn't going to post but suddenly this AM I thought of an Art Journal page I made a few days ago.  Our assignment was to make flowers out of anything you have on hand so I gathered up tissue paper and began to form three different flowers.  The dimension compared to the other three which are stenciled and painted give them realistic qualities which I like.  This certainly brightened my surroundings since there are no real blooms outside.

 Here are my flowers for this week.  I hope this qualifies

An Art Journal page I made with tissue flowers

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such nice comments every week.  Now head over to see more at Sally Russick's Blog

Enjoy the weekend!

February 08, 2013

Focus on Life - Feel the LOVE

This is week six and Sally gave us the prompt - "Feel the Love"

There are two things in my life that I feel the love from and the first is my grandchildren.  All five give me such joy and I love them more than anything.  My grand daughter stayed with me a couple days ago and she said, "Grandma, I love staying here - it makes me feel good".   So sweet!

 These are my daughter's three beautiful kids when they were smaller but it is a favorite picture of mine.  This is a reminder that sometimes even kisses don't make it better!   But if you look hard you can certainly feel the love.
 Here are my son's two precious little boys and they really do adore each other.
The second thing that I love is my dogs and I have had a few over the years.  Each one was special and at the moment we are looking to get another Boxer.  I think Lucy wants a friend - we had a Boxer before and he was such a wonderful guy.  I am a hopeless dog lover and my ultimate wish is to have a rescue or foster home for dogs that are facing euthanasia because of shelters that can't house them.  This picture is a gentle reminder that dogs love us unconditionally.  

Thanks for stopping by for a visit and continue to feel the love by seeing the links over at Sally's Blog

February 01, 2013

Focus on Life 5 - Capture a Heart

This week Sally asked us to capture a heart and we were told to think outside the box.  That made sense to me since I knew I could quickly go capture a beautiful heart shaped bead  made by an artisan.  I have a few on my beading table but no, that is too simple....I definitely wanted a challenge.  I am always inspired by nature so I went for a walk, camera in hand.  Since everything is covered in snow, I really wondered if I would find anything.  Normally I probably wouldn't have seen any hearts because I wouldn't be looking for them.  I believe that nature is the best teacher and this is what I learned today...

 I learned that fungus (or whatever it is) on a tree with a layer of snow makes a heart shape.  At least that is what my imagination saw.

 When my driveway got cleared and the clumps melted a little and then it snowed over top, it creates heart shapes.  I couldn't believe how many there were!  Any other day, they wouldn't have appeared in my mind as hearts!

I looked out my window and saw this huge knot on the side of a tree.  It is likely where a branch was cut off many years ago.  I swear it resembles  a heart...?

When I go for a walk, my little dog Lucy loves to dive into the snow and bury her head and then roll in the snow.  She doesn't like to pose but I suppose you could say her head is shaped a bit like a heart.  

I love this quote:
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”  
― Albert Einstein

If you want to see what everyone else's imagination saw - then head over to Sally's blog and take a look.  Thanks for stopping by.