Monday, March 31, 2008


Good has been snowing on and off throughout the day, everyday, since Friday. Not only snow but hail, rain, little bits of blue sky, rainbows, and just plain damp and cold. It is doing the same this morning. Very unusual for Portland at the end of March. They say our weather should start to turn around tomorrow and we should see some sun and a high around 60 by Wednesday. I am so ready to see blue sky and feel some sun on my bones!

My husband left for Minneapolis, for work, this morning for the week. I'm beginning my day making a post, adding links, etc., to my blog and Art, Art, Art...the rest of the week!

Above picture is a sneak peek at one of two new projects I have been working on. The beginning of this doll was quite the learning curve for me since I've always beaded on a flat surface. It is definitely different working on a stuffed 3-D piece. And, Thank You Grace, for your sweet and thoughtful support and heads up on the curved needle! I figured it out when I kept taking my 'winged' needle and trying to wing it even further with my fingers and pliers! ~wink~ I have seen them before but never had bought one, so I went to my LBS and bought two. HUGE difference! Funny too, I find I need the straight beading needle very new and stiff or very curved. "I don't know where you get your curved beading needles from... ~Emeril~"...but I purchased two, John James #10, from my LBS for $3.00. They didn't have the bigger pack of 25, so I started looking around for the bigger pack. I found them on eBay, pack of 25 for $5.55! It was a good deal for me and if you are interested the seller is vintagesuzanne and her store is Hye on Beads.

These are my neglected dolls that I started making last year that are waiting to be brought to life. Grace's beautiful work and stunning dolls were a huge inspiration and driving force for me. I'd look at her beautiful dolls and say I want to make one too! Can you see I couldn't make just ONE! Great thanks go to Monica for sharing her ideas and inspiration on how to make an art doll and to Rhonda Kivett for sharing her free patterns and inspiration! If you don't sew or just want to get down to business trying to bead one or do any mixed media with one, go see both of these very artistic and talented gals. They both sell their doll forms for other artists and they are truly beautiful and unique! I hand stitched these with wool felt. I then proceeded to go and find a book and supplies, to make my own faces. The face molds I used were commercial ones except I made a few molds of some faces in our home. One star is Dante's face and there is another little bird face on one of the dolls too. If you don't want to make faces, I would suggest you look at Linsart Creations in Clay. She makes wonderful faces! I made most of my forms from Rhonda's patterns. I made patterns for the hummingbird, bluebird, singing lady, scuba diver, and bee's.

I made the bee's when my sister was having some difficult times to remind her to be...herself, happy, strong, peaceful, etc. He was turning out so cute, I made one for me too. Sissy has seen him and even though he isn't stuffed or embellished yet, she knows why he was made for her and what he'll remind her of! :-)

In my last post, I mentioned that I'd share my art room. This room is the biggest bedroom of the two downstairs and has the built in desk along one wall. This room was first my oldest son's bedroom and when he went to college my youngest took it over. When our youngest moved out with a friend, less than a year ago, I wanted to have my art room in there but I didn't move anything in there for quite a few months. He left his two pictures, stars, and one huge bulletin board on the other wall. He is sharing a 2 bdrm condo with a friend and just doesn't have the room right now. I
LOVE being in this room! It is bright and there is a cozy feeling that surrounds me here. I haven't taken down his pictures or the photos/ items on his bulletin board either. Maybe pretty soon, just hasn't happened yet. See the "Diva" on the desk, I told you she'd be watching over me! ;) I remembered that I had an old brass easel that I wasn't using and it holds her perfectly!

The one side of the closet is all beads, one drawer in the desk, and a few other baskets and boxes. Yep!!!...have the addiction problem for which I'm not interested in any cure! My husband has said more than ??? times that I have enough beads to open a store! ~SMILE~ In the other drawers are fabric, threads, etc. Sound familiar? The last picture is the utility room where I do laundry and where the rest of my art supplies are stored! I'm just grateful to have an art room now and my storage area! Other than the storage area, my work area and supplies used to be all over the house when the kids were home!

Thank you friends for your support and comments! It means so much to me! To begin to share art with kindred spirits is so AWESOME and ENCOURAGING! Bear with me...this blog and I are certainly learning as we go!

Keep Pursuing Art...Life and Dreams!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Healing Heart...

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. ~ Kahlil Gibran

We are truly empty-nesters now. I haven't posted for a longer period than I would have liked, but we have been caring for our remaining dog, Ruby. She has had paralysis of her back legs since last fall and started having grand mal seizures in December. She had been doing okay until these past two weeks when she began having cluster seizures every day that we weren't able to get under control. She had not been her true self for quite awhile. This Tuesday, March 17th, she went to be with her sister and best friend. It is unbelievable that she would leave us this soon. It has been six weeks to the day of her older sister leaving. If I didn't truly know of her illness, I'd say she was dying of a broken heart and missing her best friend. I hope that they are running and playing together at Rainbow Bridge. They have been such a huge part of our family and the adjustment of such a quiet house is really difficult. After loving and caring for them all these years...I feel very empty and a little lost right now. I have had such a heavy heart and shed so many tears these past few days.! Today I feel stronger and hope the puffiness around my eyes returns to normal soon. I'm going to miss my two little best friends...immensely! Today I felt like sharing and getting back into a routine. After I post, I'm going to go in my bright art room, turn on some music and do some beading. Today...I am ready for that. Enough sorrow to share...on a happier note...

On March 5th, I received from a new friend, Monica, 'OUT OF THE BLUE', a piece of art that is so awesome! This 'Epigram' and 'DIVA' is STUNNING and I feel so honored to have her! I have to explain that I sent Monica some treats when I sent her my squares for Pink Artist. I did this from my heart because of the friend she was to me...reaching out, guiding and pushing me forward to blog and share. I told her to PROMISE ME, as a friend, NOT to do anything in return! I was so grateful and flattered that she thanked me by bundling something up and paying it forward. It brought a huge smile to my face and heart that she was truly going to keep this promise. However, one dear friend, did NOT keep her promise! She wrote and said ~Smile~...I just wanted you to have something from me! To say I was beside myself is an understatement! I couldn't believe that she would share something so treasured with me. She knows who Made My Day!!! I just love her, the colors, the texture, the words she has to say... has Monica written all over it. She's looking over me in my art room to remind me to keep exploring, that art equals identity, that my feathers will shed periodically and be replaced by new growth, that the clock says tick-tock, that sometimes while working I may have an epiphany, and that I do have a pulse. But mostly she will be right there to remind me of Monica and her cheerful, endless supply of encouragement and support she shares with all! She has the biggest heart! I can't thank her enough and the 'Diva' will be forever cherished. Talk about smiling and warming your heart and soul! With that, I have started to make something for her. I am not the fastest beader, so it will take a little time, but something is in progress and I will share it sometime soon.

Here she is in all her Glory...

I will have to take a picture of her in my art room to share soon!

The other thing I was going to share was the first piece of bead embroidery I started in the fall of 2005 and am still working on. I haven't worked on it in quite awhile and am anxious to get back to it soon. It is 22" x 22" and was inspired from Margaret Ball's book Embeadery. There is a quilt of two hands that are beaded with different stitches and background was, I believe, free-motion quilted. I thought it would be neat to trace my family's hands and bead a small quilt for us. I started with a heart in the center of the sun and the sun's rays spiraling out from that. It is our hearts (love), warmth, and hands all together that symbolizes all of us...our family and our friendship. With our hands in each corner I thought I would bead things in each of our hands that represented each of us. I sketched everything that was going to go into their hands and then did a lot of research to come up with the correct insignias, symbols, colors, etc. Researching took quite a bit of time. It is a kind of wild piece, but I like it and it means a lot to me! The scraps of blue material that is basted around the edges is not a part of this piece, it is temporary, my thread kept catching on the batting and getting fuzzies on the black cotton. Spencer's hand was done until I took a picture to share. I decided to take out his Capricorn sign and redo it because it looked like a blob and you couldn't really define what it was. I need to redo it a little slimmer than I had before. As you can see, Spencer our youngest, is a gamer and always has been since he was little. The golden triangle is the Triforce symbol from the game Legend of Zelda one of his favorites. Each triangle represents power, wisdom, and courage. He loves Halo and poker night with his friends, swimming, is a certified scuba diver, is VERY bright, loves having bucks ;-), drives a jeep, loves music, gives to the red cross and uses his thumb on the cross button of his controller, and is a Capricorn. Blake, our oldest, has a teddy bear because he is a big teddy bear and hugging him is like hugging one...6'4" - 265 lbs. His t-shirt has his fraternity initiation number. He graduated from O.S.U. (Oregon) and the beaver is the mascot. He is a Scorpio. He was in the Phi Delta Theta fraternity in college and has that insignia on his thumb. After graduation he was hired and works for Jeld-Wen (doors and windows) and now lives in El Serrito near San Francisco. Need to finish up his hand, then on to dad's and then mine.

I have learned a lot working on this piece. The sun, heart, rays, and outline of hands are all done with 11/0's. I learned very quickly that I needed 15/0's to do the detail work on the hands. I have ripped out a few times! ;-) I maybe should have put pellon underneath for more stabilizing, even though, cotton-batting-cotton is fairly stable. It already feels very heavy and I can imagine how heavy it will be when it is done. I thought I would hand quilt between the sun-rays, and in the beginning thought I would bead the entire hands. But I am contemplating finishing the background in the hands with embroidered french knots. I don't know yet, it is still a work in progress...slow progress...but it is the one piece I always come back too. I told my husband that I am going to start working on it during the day for an allotted period of time.

Hope you are well and I will share again soon. Keep pursuing and dreams! Lisa

Monday, March 10, 2008

Totally flying on the seat of my pants!!!

I wanted to post on Friday or Saturday, however, I'm still FLYING on the seat of my pants! I don't have my youngest holding my hand, so I'm needing my husband to help me and not as if we don't have a zillion other things to do. I started to take pictures outside, pictures outside seem to bring the clearest and truest color I've found so far (when it isn't raining in Oregon), and the batteries went dead half way through. So, another seven hours of charging batteries and waiting for daylight before I could finish. So, with a lot of hand-holding from my husband, I think I'm ready. I'm beginning to get the drift on my own, how to do it, so hopefully I'll be able to present pictures totally on my own someday soon. I'm comfortable with the posting part, but being able to download pictures and present them in a half humane way is my biggest challenge! Mark taught me to download my pictures and get them in my file and I feel confident about that. I am beginning my post while he is mowing our yard and as you can see, on my own, I don't know quite how to get my pictures and words in a nice pattern like everybody else! LOL!!! and almost ready to cry!!! I'm trying really hard right not to swear profoundly with my fingers, like I'd like to, but this is a public place. I keep telling myself this blog will evolve and get better as I learn, so please bear with me. I know I'll laugh a year from now when I look back at my first posts!

My squares will be off to Jeanette in Alaska, tomorrow, for Bead-It-Forward. This is my second year to send squares to her. Last year's theme was a butterfly. This years theme is a rose. I started my squares last fall and just leisurely worked on them through the holidays until Monica's 'Pink Artist' project came about and I put this on hold to do squares for her because her due date was March 1st. I then came back and finished my squares for Jeanette that are due April 1st. I quickly found out the rose was not my forte. Especially because her squares are to be beaded 1-1/2" x 1-1/2". I bead almost all my work with 15/0's to get the best definition but, even then, it was difficult. So I began looking on eBay for cabochons, vintage buttons, pendants, brooches, or anything to help me fulfill my commitment...and these are my contributions:

1) German gold foil cabochon with 8/0 and 13/0 24K gold plated charlottes.
2) Vintage metal rose wreath brooch found on eBay with 15/0 seed beads.
3) Vintage gold tone brooch w/dozen aluminum red roses found at Goodwill, with 8/0 black beads.
4) Antique 16/0 & 18/0 beads with 1/4" ribbon roses w/shrink plastic sign.
5) Vintage embroidered rose with antique watermelon colored beads.
6) Vintage German glass cabochon set in gold filigree brooch, found on eBay; 15/0 burgundy gold luster beads.
7) Vintage Czech Glass button with 6/0 & 8/0 iridescent beads.
8) Wild rose; 15/0 ceylon pearl and 15/0 translucent rainbow beads.
9) 11/0 burgundy, rose, and green silver lined beads.
10) 11/0 & 15/0 white ceylon pearl beads with a carved pink river shell rose.

The title of this years project is "Life is beautiful like the rose, but beware of thorns." This project is for Bead Artists against Breast Cancer for their annual auction at the Bead & Button Show on June 7th, 2008, in Wisconsin.

I am such a novice at this whole picture thing and blogging. I am SO learning! Time to... SAVE NOW (for the umpteenth time) or PUBLISH POST! Happy Laughing and Happy Week!!! I am a behinder!

I said in my last post that I wouldn't be so long-winded on my next post, well, I guess I have the gift of GAB!!!

Keep Pursuing Art...Life and Dreams!