Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sweet Little Bits and Pieces

I remember a day long, long ago when I was sitting at my Grandmother's table (the same table I am writing from right now) going through my cigar box full of odds and ends that I had collected. Grandma looked over my shoulder and said "What sweet little bits and pieces".
I have been collecting sweet little bits and pieces for my whole life. And I have found a new outlet that I use for making my beaded jewelry. It's FILLED with SLBAP's.
Check out Dime Store Emporium ( ). The verdigris centerpiece in the necklace above is from this great shop.
The silver componants from the "Dreaded Pink" brooch came from there also. Wish I had used these with a color other than pink (I hate pink). They would have been fabulous if I had done it all in green.

The mask from my "Masquarade" pin and the wings and key from "Little Wings" all came from the Dimestore Emporium.

More SLBAP's to bead with.
If you like their store, check out their blog here.

Happy Creating!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

6th Photo Game

Naomi's Fertility Doll

Cindy from Artful Living on the Bluff issued an open invitation for other bloggers to join in the "6th Photo Game".
 What you do is upload the 6th photo you loaded onto your blog when it was first started and then comment on how you would change or improve it. I'm not sure whether we are to comment on how to change and improve the photo or the subject in the photo. So I will comment on both.
My friends, Naomi and Joe want a baby. They've been trying without success for a while and needed a little "Good Juju". So I created this fertility doll for them. It is made of seed beads, jade, ruby zoisite, adventurine and a big green belly stone that I have no idea what it is. It's all bead embroidered onto ultra suede and sewn together.
What would I do differantly to improve it? I'd make it more 3 dimensional and doll-like, but I am not too talented in that aspect of sewing. Also, I wanted to get it done quickly so I could get it to her pronto.
As for the photograph, a better background would have been nice and some close-up shots.
I was a little distressed that this was my 6th photo because my 7th photo was much groovier.

This is my Art Deco Beaded Brooch. The 7th Photo.
See! Isn't this way cooler than the fertility doll? (Sorry, Naomi).
Anyway, trot on over to Cindy's site (above) if you haven't already and see what nifty creation SHE came up with. It's awesome.

Work Space - Closet or Studio?

I have spent the last week trying to figure out the best way to utilize my work space. I have a 10' x 14' bedroom-turned-studio that also houses 3 huge bookshelves (filled with books), my grandmother's ancient refridgerator (filled with magazines), my great-grandmother's trunk that was brought from Russia  (filled with quilts), a closet filled with art supplies, and 2 tables - one for paperwork (and the computer) and one for beadwork. Throw in a couple of bulletin boards, some stacking storage containers, an antique tea table and boxes full of all of my belongings I brought home from my office when I was laid off....You get the picture. It's a little crowded in here.
I drool at the magazine photos of perfectly appointed studios with their high-efficiency layout. I yearn for a full cabinet of wide architect drawers for storing my finished beadwork. Geez, I'd be happy with a small desk to put my office supplies in.
Instead I store my finished beadwork in a small antique suitcase. My office supplies are in a plastic box under the table, and my idea of high efficiency is if I can find what I'm looking for before I forget what it was.
How do I cope with such a set-up? Humor....and a bit of denial. If I keep my mind on my beading table, all the clutter is behind me and I don't have to look at it. I can bead happily, dreaming of the day that my kids move out and I can have their rooms to spread out in.
What is your work space like? Is it cozy chaos or efficient ergonomics? Do you work out of a closet or do you have elbow room? How do you utilize your space to get the best use from it?
Go ahead - give me your opinions. I welcome them all. I may even print them out and file them for future use....if I can remember where I put them.....

Saturday, April 17, 2010

It's a Beading Frenzy!

I don't think I'm jaded, but I realized that my Etsy site was a bit boring since all I had on there was brooches. So I started making necklaces - one of which I have posted on here already. And today I started making earrings. I need to be a well-rounded beader. So I've been in a beading frenzy.
Here's a couple of new pieces.
I have a couple of other pieces that I haven't photographed yet. Maybe tomorrow.

On a totally unrelated note - I've been visiting lots of art blogs and I must say that there are a lot of incredibly talented people out there. I've tucked most of them, lovingly, into my bloglist. Please check them out and be inspired!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Multi-Dimensional Me

You all thought that I only did beadwork, didn't you! But I actually do a lot of differant art. Here's a page from one of my altered books. If you turn the dial at the bottom, it shows 4 differant pictures of the seasons in the little window.
I also dabble in Photography. This is a photo of a headstone I took at Stourhead in England. Looks like a tapestry, doesn't it.

And I'm also a Garden Designer. Here's a before and after shot of the Courtyard at The Village Green Resort where I worked for 9 years designing gardens.
I've also done Stained Glass professionally, painted in watercolors and dabbled in pottery. I like to think that I am a Sampler in life. I try everything and I stay with the few that I really love.
I have many artist friends who inspire me and I plan to put some of their art on this blog as soon as I can get pictures of it. Are you an artist? Please send me a picture of what you create and I'll post it to inspire other artists.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dark of Night and Fertility Dolls

I've been busy at the beading table and have just posted a couple of my favorite pieces on my Etsy site.  This is a necklace I created called "Dark of Night".

This one is an Art Deco Brooch and is one of my favorites. (How many of these can I justify keeping?). The Czech Glass leaves have a beautiful fire-burnished finish.

I also made this fertility doll for friends who are trying to have a baby.
Speaking of fertility, I finally took off my healing bracelet that I had made when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer. It was made with Cat's Eye, Citrons and Garnets. I'm finished with all of my treatments now and feeling fine, so I gave it to a friend who is going through some health issues. Hopefully it will calm her fears. In place of my healing bracelet, I'm now wearing a fertility bracelet made of Ruby Zoisite and Peridots. It's not that I want to become pregnant (no chance of that anymore), but because I want to have a fertile imagination so that my beaded creations will transcend the mundane ideas I used to have. I want to create WONDEROUS beadwork. I'll keep posting my work and you can judge whether it's working or not.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pink 2

I promised I'd post a picture of what the dreaded pink brooch looked like when it was finished. So here it is. I still don't like pink, but a couple of people have commented on it, so I guess not everyone is as jaded as I am. Will see if it sells. I think it should have had more green in it, but I do like the little flowers and I love the silver leaves.

Here's a couple that I like more. I'm working on one tonight that is all bronze and cream. Yummy. I've developed quite a stock of Czech glass beads and buttons and so I'm trying to figure out a way to use more of them. All of these are available on my Etsy site. The link is in my sidebar.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mermaids and the Dreaded Pink

Late last night I was in my studio frantically finishing a brooch I created for a friend who has been making some life changes. She loves Mermaids, so I made her this "Mermaid Pool" with pearls and a starfish and little sea danglies at the bottom.
The other photo is of a brooch I started last night. I really don't like the color pink that much, but I know many people do, so I thought I should do some pink brooches for Spring. This is the beginning of it. I'll post a finished picture in a day or two. I love the silver leaves. Seems a waste to use them on something pink....

Monday, April 5, 2010

Welcome and Step Inside...

...Have a cup of tea, sit in the comfy chair and put your feet up. Now tell me what you do to get your creative ya-yas going. Are you a painter? A sculptor, a jewelry maker? Do you mosaic, sew or saw? Stained Glass, Birdhouses or clay? Or do you create with words? Do you conjure poetry or regale fairytales?
This blogsite is dedicated to art and artists. My art, your art, Aunt Sophie's art. So let me know what fills the belly of your soul. E-mail me at or and let's get this ball rolling.