Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lessons Learned

I've learned alot about myself and beading over the last year, I thought I'd write a "Lessons Learned" post. (Oh, btw, I accidently posted this to the main blog and this was meant for my own blog).

I learned:

I'm a mixture of organization and a method to my madness rather than freeform in my beading. Meaning I don't like messy layouts.

Sometimes I draw out what I want and it changes midstream. That is a good thing even tho it makes me wrack my brains trying to come up with something that conveys what I want it to convey.

I am totally a texture person. Love matte with extra shiny. Do not like flat opaque beads on my work.

I love both contrast in color and monocromatic (although mono is difficult to photograph and see pattern).

I prefer fully beaded pages. My daughter even said to me: "You mean June is a finished piece? OMG, it's so bare!" I had to explain the page was done because I could hardly hold a needle at the time due to my elbow surgery. But she is right, it's so bare compared to the rest of the months.

4 x 4 inch squares take a lot of time for me to bead. I amy go smaller to 3 x 3 inches. Or I may play with fabric with pattern, but right now that confuses my eyes and I can't see the beading as well as I'd like. I want the beading to be the focus and for some reason my eyes focus on the fabric and see the beads as the embellishment.

My pages grew on me over the months. Things I didn't like when I finished them now are much more pleasing to me. Maybe because I know how difficult the piece was for me, maybe because I know that's where I was that particular month. Maybe because I learned something from each difficult piece and love it for that very reason.

Straight backstitch embroidery takes a whole lot less time but bead sizes are more apparent than if you use brick or peyote.

I love the streamlined look of brickstitch, not to mention the puzzle of curves and angles.

I hate following a pattern. I will probably never create someone elses patterned jewelry or fill in the blank item.

The daughter needs the computer so I will finish this post up later.

Friday, May 23, 2008

No weather cooperation for photos

I live in Southern California.  For the last week we've had extreme weather from both ends.  Last weekend it was 103 outside, too hot to stand in the sun (or the shade) and get the photos done.  It was blazing and air conditioners all over So. Cal were working overtime.  

Then 2 days ago the temps dropped over 30 degrees and yesterday we had rain, hail and nearby tornados.  Yes, tornados in southern Calif.  Also, thunder, lightning, wind, snow and mudslides.  

It poured today, the wind was blowing and yikes, it was almost as wild as yesterday.  

Tomorrow it's supposed to calm down a little but will probably still be overcast with a chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon.

By hook or by crook I will get those photos done!  For crying out loud I am totally done!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alllllmost done

I hated how the journal was put together. The 2" rings were too small for all 12 pages, I mean they all fit on there but it looked like an overstuffed rolodex. Not good.

Sooooo, I improvised.

I threaded a 2" round metal ring thru June using the right side grommet and then threaded a second 2" in ring thru the left grommet and then slid the July piece onto the same ring. I like the look. All together the 12 hang perfectly (lined those grommets up exactly 2" in between) and if you hang it on 2 hooks it looks like Tibetan prayer flags. It's pretty cool.

Not the easiest thing to display but it allows you to see each piece separately as well as a total collection. I keep looking at it and I know I have to photograph it outside in the sunlight.

Will have to wait for the weekend tho. I am so excited I can almost post everything I have again! Yay

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Finishing my pages

My May page has been done since April 29th. Need a photo, which I'll put here later.

I have to thank my husband for going out and buying me a sewing machine so I could finish up my pages. I borrowed one but it didn't have a regular zig zag stitch (can you imagine?). Target was having a sale on basic machines and I figured I could go with that.

It works fine (even if it's a little slower than I'm used to).

I learned something in trying to figure out how to finish my pages. Have a plan before you have to finish 12 pages at one time. My loose plan was to have a fabric page that was a pocket so I could slide each months written journal page inside. I wanted it with no seams on the outside but that was not going to work unless I hand sewed each page, right sides together and then turn them. Since I beaded almost every page to the edge of the 4 inch square, that wasn't going to work (with a machine).

So I zigzagged. And I decided it needed more body than 2 pieces of faux suede: I added Pellon Peltex 72. Which by the way is pretty heavy: more about this later.

Each page is 3 layers thick. Black faux suede for the back, Peltex 72 in the center and then the beaded brown faux suede.

I bead texturally, so almost all of my pages have some thickness. When I stacked all the pages together, it was about 6 inches I think. (I still have to measure it). I decided to use grommets and D rings.

3 layers of heavy materials is a royal pain in the butt to put a grommet thru. Really, really, really. Just making the holes was difficult. I ended up using a copper wire that I stuck in a flame and then tried to melt a hold big enough for the front side of the grommet. Mostly tha worked but it took a long time. Too bad the grommet are too small for me to have used the danged soldering iron! I could have done it in record time with that!

I sat on the floor and pounded grommets until my back complained so loudly I had to get up. And let me tell you, it's a good thing I have a package of 50, even tho I only need 24! I have 5 more to do. Wish me luck.