Sad story...big lessons learned! Have you ever opened your mouth and from the gland under your tongue...out squirts some saliva? This has happened a couple times in my life, not very often, gratefully, but it has happened. I know, disgusting but true! I was literally finishing the last of my beading around the boys picture when out of my mouth saliva spurted right on Spencer's shirt! I about had heart failure and my poor husband was tip-toeing around for awhile! I attempted to stay calm and let it dry. Once dry, it was still there. So I got some Q-tips wet and moistened the area and when it was dry, I thought I had saved it! Little did I know or see until I was proof reading my post Sunday...that the spot was still there!!! Oh, my heart just sank. I sat down, cut it out, and redid it again. I included both photos so that you could see...and I know in my heart it was for the best! I wasn't very sold on the ink jet fabric sheets I was using in the first place. The picture seemed so washed out and their faces were lacking color, the fabric was very thin and hard to keep smooth, and it certainly didn't hold up to a drop of saliva hitting it! But after reprinting the pictures on a different brand of printable fabric the second time around...what a huge difference! Believe me, I am totally ready to start my October page and I stitch with my lips sealed now!!! ~wink~
The theme I chose for the 2008 Bead Journal Project is 'Fragments of My Life' and what lies within my heart each month and every year that passes. I named my September page, "I Pledge Allegiance." Every September I can't help but think of fall and school starting and remembering my boys school days. There are many memories that live in my heart that relate to their school days and learning. They had so many happy days, so much growth, and many life lessons were learned during those years. There were the crazy and hectic schedules that we all kept between work, school, family, sports, and other activities. The new school clothes, shoes, and supplies that were needed each year. I often wonder how many backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils were bought through those years! ~wink~ I knew with a photo of my boys that I didn't want the page to be too busy, so I thought I'd bead a flag. I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning when I was a young girl and the big flag that flew in front of the school. My boys remember those same flag memories of their school days. I also thought it appropriate because I pledged my allegiance 'loyalty' to them as their mom.
My pages are 5"x7" and I stitched ultrasuede to Pellon. The flag is stitched with vintage 9/0 venetian beads and was stitched on a separate piece of ultrasuede and then stitched down to my page. I tried to get the flag to have movement and be waving in the wind. I'm not sure that I captured what I was trying to convey, but I did the best I could. I inserted a small amount of batting under the flag as I stitched it down and when I was done I made a few tiny tack stitches in between some rows of beads to give it some movement. The flag pole is stitched over a bamboo skewer that I painted silver with french faceted steel cuts that I have been hoarding for some future day. These were either my grandmother's or great-grandmother's beads from a crochet/beaded bag that was in sad shape. The photo was edged with vintage stressed silver nailheads and steel cuts.
*This is the sad photo that was torn out...can you see the spot on Spencer's shirt? And see how washed out and faded the picture is compared to the other!*
I learned some things stitching this page. First and foremost, to keep my lips zipped while stitching! I did not enjoy trying to stitch through the corners (four layers of ultrasuede)! My fingers have some holes in them even though I used a thimble at times and my pliers too. I folded an inch over on the back and my future pages will be a half inch or so. Since the ultrasuede doesn't ravel, I feel confident that a smaller amount will work out better and I will attempt to stay away from the corners while beading if I can. *ADDENDUM... after thoughtful consideration...it 'finally' occurred to me that I could use pellon or paper and do my beading (no layers) and then whip stitch the fabric to the back when I'm done!!! H e l l o...Lisa!!! ~wink~* I wasn't sure if the flag would turn out and be the size that I wanted it to be, so I stitched it on a piece of ultrasuede first and used Japanese Sumi painting paper for stabilizer. I was amazed how stable and supportive the paper felt to use and how soft it became as I beaded along. I will certainly be open to using paper again as a stabilizer and I'm glad I tried it. The other thing I am not totally sold on yet is the fabric sheets! The first (sad) photo was printed on Printed Treasures by Milliken, from a local fabric shop (Pendleton Woolen Mills), because I thought the pima cotton seemed a little finer (smoother) than the Avery printable fabric that I had. The final photo was printed on Avery Ink Jet printable fabric and it certainly turned out better. I would like to try the Jacquard cotton fabric too. I do know that I won't be using the Printed Treasures. Since all my pages will have photographs, this is an important decision to me. The other thing I remembered, at the last minute, was to clean my vintage nailheads. As I was handling them and taking them off their strings, my fingers were dirty/dusty and I realized that I hadn't cleaned these yet. The lady I purchase some of my vintage nailheads from forewarned me about cleaning them as she learned the hard way. I am grateful I didn't have to learn that lesson too!!!
I am going to finish the back by stitching another piece of ultrasuede to the page. I think I will insert a piece of mat board for a little more support, as the flag is heavy. Now, onto October, thankfully! I need to catch up with friends and visit the other BJP members that I haven't taken the time to do yet!
My sister and I just got home from the beach last Tuesday evening after spending three fun days together! The weather was so beautiful for the last couple days of September! It was a sunny and fun filled trip with lots of laughter and catching up!!! I thought you might enjoy a couple pictures.
This is a shot looking south from Ecola State Park in Oregon.
And this gorgeous fall sunset and Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach. The next trip to the coast will either be in the stormy weather or next spring!
Keep Pursuing Art...Life and Dreams! ~Lisa ;-)