Sunday, January 30, 2011

Trying to get down and dirty

I've had very little incentive to post lately, as my sole known reader has been in Costa Rica. (Welcome back, Patti! [waves]).

But I did spend the weekend working on the Year of Jewelry Project challenge for the week, the theme of which was Down and Dirty. I was trying really hard to get it done, but I have an inch or so more to go, and the last episode of Downton Abbey calls at 9 p.m. I'll take better pics of this gorgeous thing when I get it done--I think it's the most beautiful piece I've made to date. The pattern was created by Alicia Shems and appears in Creative Beading vol. 5

Monday, January 17, 2011

What I did over MLK Weekend

I have photos of only one of my projects. For the Year of Jewelry Project, this week's theme was "eclipse." I attempted two wildly elaborate beadwork designs that did not pan out. (I photographed the attempts, but the photographs--trying to capture natural light from a fading afternoon sky--also did not turn out.) But I did finish a pair of earrings that I dubbed L'il Sputniks and posted to the site.

Although the glass pearls appear greenish on my monitor, they are a lovely pale blue. I called these "L'il Sputniks" because the jet bicone dangles reminded me of a rocket's fiery tail.

I also made a necklace and coordinating earrings from some lovely red and gold beads my daughter bought me for my birthday. I will snap a photo of them at my next photography session.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

What I did over summer vacation

I was delaying posting because I was hoping to have pics of a finished pair of earrings to show off, but they are still UFOs at the moment. I signed up for the Year of Jewelry Project 2011 with the hopes that it would motivate me to finish at least one piece a week, and the weekly themes would provide inspiration. Since Monday I have made three separate attempts to create earrings that fit the Week 2 "eclipse" theme. I'm still hoping to make Saturday's deadline with attempt No. 3.

Meanwhile, the photo above is the bracelet I made at family camp back in August. This is the bracelet I believe I referred to in my very first post. I made sure to snap a picture of it last week when I was photographing jewelry for my ArtFire shop (although this will not be for sale). It is a simple tubular peyote-stitch bangle, but it makes me outrageously happy whenever I wear it.

Why? I love the seawater colors. I love the mix of textures: matte and colored glass-lined size 6's, with that sparkly jolt of chartreuse size 10 or 11s. (I'm not even sure what the real sizes of the beads are--I'm just guessing.) I love the way I was able to size it to fit me precisely--most bangles are too large for my small hands. But mostly, I love how I was able to figure out how to make it while sitting at the crafts table at a camp in the Adirondacks.

I had attempted tubular peyote a few times before but hadn't been pleased with how loose my tension was. I didn't have an instruction manual or anything. I just grabbed some beads from jars in the supply closet and started playing. It felt like the beginning of Something.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Confucius meets King James

Last week I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I snapped my fortune with my iPhone. In case you can't read all of it, it says, "The joyfulness of a man prolongeth his days."

I am not a superstitious person, but I'm betting that I'm like most people in that I always pay at least a microsecond of attention to a fortune-cookie fortune--whether or not it's trying to tell me something, or whether I believe the sentiment expressed. (The only fortune I ever saved long-term was one I got right before leaving for Africa for the Peace Corps. It read, "You are about to go on a long journey.")

I decided, after that microsecond, OK, this is something I believe. But what I gave much more thought to was the "prolongeth." Why the heck is a Chinese fortune trying to sound like the King James edition? When I got back home, I Googled the phrase. It does not appear to be a Bible verse, although I got bogged down trying to determine how an ancient text called "Eccesiasticus" is different from the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes. Several Internet sources cited verse numbers for the phrase, but when I fact-checked using online Bible sources, none proved correct. After a half-hour I decided I didn't care enough about the source to keep researching.

But I am proud of the fact that I thought to snap the photo. When I came upon the "prolongeth," I thought: I'm gonna blog about this.