Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Gift Arrived Down Under. . .

Many of you know that I have been working on a special gift for my friend, Dot, of Dot's Life and Art, in Australia. I finally received word that her gift survived it's journey and arrived! I did share some sneak peek pictures in a prior post, but am delighted to share what I've been working on for awhile. Dot wanted to do a Dotee swap with me ages ago...longer than I care to admit! She has patiently waited a long time and I wanted to do something extra special for her.

I started with the Dotee doll! As I began to pull fabric and beads to begin...all of a sudden I froze! I have made 17 Dotee dolls before, but I seriously realized that I was stitching a Dotee for *THE* Dot and I knew in my heart that it better be special and unique. I decided that it definitely needed to have a bird! So I cut a little bird out of Ultrasuede. I used vintage opaque black seed beads...16/0 for the eye and 18/0 for the body. I used vintage green matte iridescent seed beads on the leaves and lots of 2 mm amethyst Swarovski crystal beads for the flowers. Her hair is loaded with green leaf beads and amethyst flower beads with Swarovski crystal beads in the center and a Swarovski butterfly bead near the flowers. Her hanger and tail are amethyst 4mm and 6mm Swarovski bicones with a sterling silver bird charm hanging at the end. All pictures are clickable to enlarge.

She had her photo shoot outside on a beautiful day and she is hanging from one of my hanging flower baskets.

Here is a close up of the little bird and one side of the charm. I love the saying!
Here is the embroidered back and the other side of the charm!

I made a brooch/pendant from a Czech glass butterfly button. It is lacy glass and 1-1/16". It is iridescent blue/purple with a dash of pink, has a silvered mirror back with gold lustered butterflies. I used beautiful vintage facet cut blue beads with a purple luster that went perfectly with the button, vintage gold lined clear beads and new 15/0 seed beads.

I knew I wanted to bead a small doll for Dot too. In looking through my doll forms, I spotted the perfect one. It is my most favorite art doll form that Monica makes, although I love them all! But what was so perfect is that it was orange fabric with *dots*! ~wink~

When I started to teach myself to bead embroider in 2005/2006, I fell in love with a beaded face that I kept seeing. It was started by Gabe Cyr and she taught it to Anne Hesse (doll makers). So I bought the instructions for "No Rules Face Beading" by Anne Hesse. I have wanted to bead a face for years now and haven't taken the time. Well, I realized it was time and would be great for this doll. The doll sits about 5-1/2" tall and her face is about 1-1/2". Her face is pretty small and I knew to get good detail I needed to use small beads. So I decided to use my vintage 16/0 seed beads for her face. The only new beads were the gold bugle beads for her eyelashes. I started bead fringe for her hair but got worried that she may topple backwards from the weight of it when I restarted again with beaded loops and short hair. I beaded her hair and body with 15/0 seed beads and matte black sequins. I used vintage beads for bosooms...thought she needed a bit of a feminine touch. I had so much fun beading this doll..she turned out a bit funky and wild...but I really like her! I don't know what it is about beaded art dolls...but they really turn my crank...I just love them!

Here is a close up of her face...

As I started finishing her, I knew she needed one more thing...a beading tray. I was intending to have her hold the beading tray in her lap and stitch it to her hands or leg. But when I finished it, I felt it just covered up too much of her body and took away from the charm of her crossed legs. So her beading tray sits before her instead.

I painted a wooden matchstick box black and then cut out a pattern to line it with. I cut some black Ultrasuede and stitched Dot's name and added some beads to the front. Then I cut out a piece for the inside of the box and beaded little piles of beads and a *tiny* little bird...representing one of Dot's famous little beaded birds. I used vintage 18/0 seed beads. I included a needle threaded with Fireline beading thread.

Here is a shot looking down into the beading tray...

And, here is a final side shot of her...

I've been learning to run my sewing machine again and have tried two different bird patterns to begin with. I thought they would be fun to bead or embellish. So I've stitched and stuffed a little flock of birds and have another batch cut and ready to sew too. It has been fun and refreshing to work on something a bit different and get the feel for sewing again.

It was such a pleasure to stitch up some love and smiles for Dot! She is a sweetheart and has been an inspiration to me for a long time!!! Did you hear the latest that the girls (Dot and Amelia) have been published in the new issue of Stuffed?!! It is such exciting news and she's so deserving!

Now it's back to working on the BJP, beading up something for the Pink Artists Drawing Part 2 and starting on another gift. My blueberries are calling me too...they are loaded this year and I want to get some picked to freeze before the birds get to them this year! :)

Here are a few snaps from our yard...

Campanula Gomerata Clustered Bellflower...

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly...
Beautiful brown dragonfly...

Hope you are all well and enjoying all that summer has to offer...~Lisa

Friday, July 3, 2009

aDRESSing the Situation!'s been awhile, but I haven't been sitting around and eating chocolates (although that doesn't sound bad)! I've been winding up projects and shipping out boxes at the Post Office and I do have to say that I need to quit visiting there for awhile because the nice lady is greeting me by my name now...which is really nice but not necessarily a good sign! ;-)

When Monica asked for help with aDRESSING the Situation, I jumped in. I had heard about the situation before, but I did not realize it was still going on today! These dresses were made to call attention to the horrifying murders of the women in Juarez, Mexico. In researching the situation, reading lots of articles and revisiting the movie Bordertown and understanding the atrocities, I felt the need to contribute. It makes me sick and so sad to know this is going on in our world today. I hope you will visit Monica's blog and see the beautiful dresses that have been created in hopes that Stampington and Company will consider writing an article to bring more attention to the situation.

This was a stretch for me but, if nothing else, it did my heart good to create some dresses and express my feelings. The dresses could be made from anything as long as they resembled a dress. Unfortunately, my pictures did not turn out very well...especially the shattered mirror dress...that was a bit beyond my photography capabilities even trying to hold up a piece of poster board. I found out that it's not easy taking a photo of a mirror and not have it reflect anything. I had some great shots that included my petunias in the dress, but not one shot turned out perfect. I did my best to lighten all my photos in Photosmart (which I don't normally do) and they are just the best I could do this time. Why some pictures turn out great and others are just a flop...I don't know. I'm still living and learning!

My first dress is "Shattered Lives"...My first thoughts were about all the shattered lives! Not only the women that have been murdered, but their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents and friends lives also. The picture is horrible and much prettier in person. It is totally black and silver. I had fun taking an old mirror and shattering it and grouting between the pieces on a wooden dress shape.

My second dress is "It's All About Money"...There has been no justice for the families of the victims. No one will listen...not the Police, not the Corporations that take their profits and not the governments of the U.S. or Mexico who benefit from the free trade agreement (NAFTA). I'll stop there because I'm sure this piece may be a bit controversial. I made this dress from foam core board and red serviettes. I used a real torn piece of a dollar bill that I've had for years and always thought I would do something with and realized it was the time. I used two $100 pesos and five real one dollar bills. It was important to me to show both American and Mexican currency. It is easily taken apart as I stitched the bills for the skirt through the middle of the foam core and used a water soluble glue to keep the folds of the skirt together. I tied a satin ribbon around the waste.

This is a close up of the Mexican pesos as they were a bit worn.

My third dress is "Silent in the Sand"...Many of the atrocities happened in the desert sand. Their remains continue to be found scattered in the sand and others have never been found. We may never know the truth...if only the sand could talk! I again cut out a dress from foam core board and glued tan and black sand on the front and back of the dress.

Thank you again, Monica, for spearheading this project. I hope it will bring more awareness and help in some way!

I've been wanting to share a special gift I received from Grace, Gracebeading, for her 2nd Blogiversary. Again, not the best photo...good grief...what is my problem!?! She shared this beautiful clam shell covered in gorgeous purple beads with a lovely dragonfly on the top. She told me it reminded her of my garden! Grace bought a kit years ago that included everything to bead the shell. However, it is not stitched. It was beaded with glue! I'm telling you...she glues beads as *beautifully* as she stitches them!!! Thank you again, Grace, I just absolutely adore it!!!

Thought I would share a photo that I snapped recently...a good one...hmmmmmm! :) We've had a lot of butterflies and different dragonflies in our yard this year and they are so beautiful!!! I'll share more photos with you later...

I hope you have a nice weekend and a safe and happy 4th of July!!! I'll finally be swinging by to catch up with you! ~Lisa