Tuesday, June 24, 2008

First completely beaded doll!

Kathy's Doll
Originally uploaded by edwards6202004

I made this beaded art doll for a good friend of mine in Alaska. (Click the picture to see a bigger version and a picture of the back). This is my second art doll, but my first that is completely 100% beaded. I had so much fun working on her, and I feel that I have finally found the medium that I could work in forever! It is so perfect because I enjoy it and you can't really mess up, it always turns out beautiful. There were so many times in the middle that I thought that she was going to turn out so ugly, but she didn't! I really enjoy the process of making these dolls which is something I have never had before. In fact, I enjoy the process of making all art now better than ever. I have always loved art and making things, but before usually I would get frustrated and only make art for the finished product. When you do that, the finished product either doesn't happen or doesn't turn out. I guess I learned from this doll to have confidence in myself and just be patient. I also free formed the design, and I learned that while I am a compulsive planner in most of my life, in my art I need to be more spontaneous. That way there are no expectations which usually just cramp the creative process.

She is going to be the first in a series that I hope to make in the future for sale and possibly donation to the local abused women's shelter. I want to call them "Every Woman is a Goddess" beaded art dolls, and their intention is to be a comfort for women in their tough times. Most of them will be small like this one (around 3 inches) so they can be held, because the feeling of the beads is so soothing. And not only will they be a comfort for those who buy them, but for me as well. The free form design process is so therapeutic and takes a life of its own. With this doll, it was almost like something was guiding me because she still turned out perfect for Kathy for many, many reasons. For example, the back looks like she is wearing a knitted shawl and floppy hat. Kathy is an avid knitter, so this worked out great! The fact that it got kindof bunchy in that area didn't even matter because it makes it look even more like a knitted garment. Just another reason to be patient because I was getting really worried when working on this part.

I want to thank Grace (http://gracebeading.blogspot.com/) for the inspiration for this doll as well as the spiral on the back of the head. I also want to thank Dot for posting a picture of one of Grace's dolls which lead me to this journey.

I also want to point out that the polymer clay faces I have been using (this doll and the pastel icicle doll) are not my own creation. They are made from a mold by, I think, Sculpey. I plan on in the future making my own, but I need a little more practice first!

I also found a new technique for coloring these faces. I don't have any paints right now so I was looking for something else. I have a sample Mary Kay bronzer that is way too dark for me, so I rubbed that on the face with the little brush it came with. Then, I sprayed it with a charcoal fixative. This was just an experiment but it worked wonders! I will definitely do it before attaching the face in the future though, because its a pain to have to cover up the doll before doing this. What a great way to make beautiful faces and recycle old or off color bronzers and eyeshadows!

I have quite a few practice dolls in mind that I will be working on in the next few months so I can get good enough to make high quality dolls. I will keep you posted.

Healing amulet bag

I made this amulet bag for my partner in one of my craft swaps. She has a chronic illness so I decided to make it a healing bag and included crystal quartz (a healing stone) inside. I got the pattern from a wonderful book called "Crafts for the Spirit" by Ronni Lundy, but I modified it quite a bit. The outside is black suede (left over from curtains I made a while back), and the lining is felt. I embroidered the bead pattern, and the focal bead is genuine turquoise.

I really enjoyed making this, and it was quick to put together. I plan on making one for myself to hang in my car to protect against anxiety since driving is one place I have alot of it!

B-17 at our airport...

B-17 front
Originally uploaded by edwards6202004

Ok, so I'm done with the impossible uploading feature here on Blogger and am using flickr to post entries instead. This takes care of my editing issues, but I can only post one picture at a time (I think, if anyone knows how to post more leave a comment!). Just click on the picture and it will take you to my other flickr photos. Sorry, they are not organized at all because I can't use the organize feature yet until I get a new monitor.

This week we took Aidric to see a B-17 bomber that was on display at our local airport. It is amazing that they built 12,700 of these, but now only 50 are left with only 8 in flying condition, including this one. For $450, you could go up for a flight in it, but we opted for just looking at it as this was free! This was an amazing sight, even for someone like me who has no real interest in war machines. There was something very majestic and ominous about it as so many men have went down and died in these planes. Only one of them had no crew members die, and this was not that plane. We even heard that one of the visitors to this plane was a WWII vet who flew in these, and his plane had went down during one of his last missions.

Aidric liked it until they brought out an old fire truck from 1912 and turned on the siren. He doesn't like loud noises. I think my husband, John, enjoyed it the most as WWII planes have been an interest of his since childhood.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Icicle Doll update

I received a nice surprise in the mail today...my pastel icicle doll swap from Alphenstamp in the Netherlands! She is actually the swap coordinator and I had seen the doll before I received it, but she is so much prettier in person so I didn't care! I was not at all expecting her this early so I was very excited. Sorry about some of the photos being turned. The bottom half of my computer screen doesn't work so it is a little too hard for me to edit pics right now! Here is the front:

And the back (the tag says Imagine):

I also finished the icicle doll I made for this swap (acutally about a week ago, I just didn't feel like uploading pics until today). She turned out amazing, especially for my first stab at one of these. I really enjoyed beading the circles, and now I am getting a book on beading so I can learn more!
Here is her front:

And a close up of her polymer clay face:

Lastly, a few days ago I took these great pictures of Aidric (my 3 year old) by the tree that he always wants to climb after he saw a friend of ours do it. I tried lifting him up, but he got too scared.

And here is a picture of him with a sticker on his nose. He loved that.I had quite a few other pictures of him, but they were all sideways!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Giving up TV challenge...

My husband and I have been living without TV for about a year now (we still watch movies and TV on DVD though). We made the decision first to save money, but it has turned into a boycott of mindless shows and advertising. It is funny how when I mention not having TV to people, they look at me like I'm crazy, but after going this long I don't even think about it anymore. Actually, now when I visit someone and watch their TV, I find myself disgusted with the advertising and how it encourages materialism, stereotypes, and hysteria for things we do not need. One response I get alot is "So you don't watch the news!?", but I get my news from the internet and besides, most news channels are so biased anyway and they only report what they want people to hear. I feel that knowing what is going on in the world is important, but the news can cause us to see the world as a more horrible place than it actually is since they only really report on the negative things that happen, not the positive. But you can't really blame them, that is what get ratings. Nobody cares about the loving things people do for others, just who got shot and what natural disaster is occuring in the world, ya know the juicy stuff.

Anyway, I am extending this challenge to those who read this: Seriously try living without TV for a while. Even if you don't care about the things I said above, you will still benefit by having more time for more important things and save a little money as well.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Sunday Workshop

Last week I worked on getting my business in the paper, and for once it worked out. I was able to get my business in the new business column of my local paper. It felt like a real triumph for me since I was able to work up the nerve to contact the necessary people and did a good phone interview. Here is a link to the story. My business is the third one in the column.

I also had a workshop today with Michelle, a friend from my astronomy class. Her mother, sister, and grandma were there, and we had a lot of fun chatting and making beautiful jewelry. I was especially excited because Michelle bought the bracelet that I made a while ago. I really loved this bracelet, but I think she will get more use out of it.

She also made a matching necklace and earrings. I didn't have much of the hessonite garnet left(the small orange-brown ovals) so she had to use some slightly different stones, but I think it turned out amazing. I LOVE that fire agate pendant!Michelle's mom made this lovely necklace with an amethyst drop. Sorry, the picture is quite crappy, so it doesn't look nearly as beautiful as it did in person.And finally, Michelle's sister made this adorable necklace for her 2-year-old daughter. She also booked a workshop in July. I'm ecstatic.Michelle kept saying how much fun she had; I think I spread the beading fever!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Gemstone Therapy

Today Kate (one of my best friend's from high school) and I went to lunch to belatedly celebrate both of our birthdays. One thing that is so easy for others but so hard for me with my anxiety is going out with ANYONE, even friends that I have known for a very long time. Today was a real triumph because we had made these plans earlier in the week and I did not agonize about them. I just did it, and it was fun as always!

This was also a great time because I got to give her the gift I made back in April. It is what is called jeans jewelry, and I made it because she has polycystic ovaries and hormone problems which cause her quite a bit of pain. I chose certain gemstones that are supposed to ease problems of this nature: Tourmaline for empowering the feminine and to ease cramps, rhodochrosite for reproductive health, smokey quartz for alleviating cramps, blue lace agate for stress, moonstone for internal hormone balance, and crystal quartz to amplify the other stones. All of these stones are made from Gems to Jewels components.

We also got to finish her ankle bracelet she and her little brother started in March at one of my workshops. It is made with labradorite and sleeping beauty turquoise, and what a gorgeous combination that is! We also weaved the beads letting them be free to move. This picture definitely does not show the beauty of this piece. The turquoise is so much brighter and the labradorite so much sparklier.