Wednesday, 26 February 2014

The creative continuum of seven artists–reveal two!

My goodness, February sure is flying by without too much sharing in this blog space.  Oops. Are you missing the Olympics?  I love turning on the tv to find these amazing athletes doing things I have never seen before. So inspiring!  Then I step outside and remember I really, really, do not enjoy winter.  I’m trying not to pass on my faults too much so I took Averleigh to Winterlude to enjoy the ice sculptures, exhibits and the infamous BeaverTail.

photo (43)

This wasn’t one of the winners and I missed who carved it, but think they were local.  to give you an idea of scale those horses are pretty much life size.  All the sculptures are impressive. The whole time we could hear the buzz of chainsaws behind that curtain creating more for the rest of the festival.  When we started to feel the cold proper I made the wild suggestion of dessert before lunch and we shared a BeaverTail (a delicious fried pastry usually earned by skating the length of the canal….)

photo (44)

Doesn’t she look frozen?  Taking off your mittens to eat and then licking off all the cinnamon sugar does have its risks.  Does it sound like I’m stalling? Ok, a bit maybe.

It’s time for the second reveal of CC7A! 

This month we were designing with focals from Christine Altmiller of One Kiss Creations.  When we started this journey Christine’s focal was the first to arrive in my mailbox.  I was so excited that this was a beautiful, natural piece outside of my regular palette and materials.  I tend to gravitate to jewel tones and while I quite enjoy a natural, neutral I don’t often reach for them.  What a wonderful challenge.  I had all sorts of ideas for making polymer stones right off the bat.  I thought I might incise them and create fossil type designs to echo the beadwork.  I had another idea at some point too, but I can’t quite make out the scribble on the envelope that was meant to remind me.  So many ideas came forth as I held and enjoyed this beautifully crafted focal that it is with a bit of shame that I show you an unfinished piece.

wide view

I decided to incorporate some Kumihimo to honour Christine’s chosen theme of round and round.  If you are not familiar, Kumihimo is Japanese for tedious braiding torture, or something like that.  I suppose creating the braid in just one shade of beige cotton just doesn’t get me too excited but I thought it would make a great base.  With this first idea still coming together I opted to wire wrap all my little polymer pebbles.

close up

I know there must have been a good reason why I reached for bronze but I’m not so keen on it with the vintage copper chain.  I took these photos the other day hoping that a little bit of distance would help me get this design back on track.

more swag action

Part of me wants to keep the swag going, fiddle with the number of pebbles to make that cascade a bit more smooth and incorporate the cotton strands.

with flying fish

Part of me has been trying to fit in this flying fish pendant, made by Andrew Thornton, since the very start.  I had thoughts of this fish escaping the net that was catching the pebbles and the sea glass.

faux sea glass

Here’s the polymer sea glass I was trying to fit in too.  There is even more I was trying to work in but I’m really indecisive on this one.  It’s a wonderful part of the challenge to stretch your design skills but I think I pulled something.  I need to let this one sit a bit so I can do it proper justice.

Smiling at Christine, I really did have a great time playing with this focal so I hope this doesn’t sound like too much whine.  I think I actually own the same shade of green seed beads but I was afraid to go check since I was trying to focus and calm down all the ideas I was trying to fit in.  In the end, I know I will prevail – just not yet.  I promise to share when it is really complete.  Thank you Christine for such inspiration, as I am sure part of the answer is more than one piece.

Meanwhile I am very excited to see what everyone else came up with.  I know you are all going to make it look so easy!

Here’s the team:
Monique of A Half-Backed Notion
Christine of One Kiss Creations
Cynthia of Antiquity Travelers
Sally of The Studio Sublime
Therese of Therese's Treasures
Alicia of All The Pretty Things
and me makes 7

Friday, 7 February 2014

Catching up!

Things have been a little quiet here while I have been working away to prepare for my first ever February craft show.  Ottawa is home to Winterlude a very special yearly event centered around the Rideau Canal Skateway which is 7.8km long – or kinda a big deal as the world’s longest skating rink!  There are a great number of events across the city to celebrate.  This year the ladies of the Curious Shop are hosting the For the Love of Winter – an art market – TOMORROW!

swirls in ice

I have been busy working on keeping winter in mind while designing.  The ones above remind me of what the ice surface looks like as your skates cut through.  Below are some others that are nearing completion… they will be finished tonight!

photo 2

Since good old February 14th is just around the corner I thought about some romantic type designs too

Romantic 2014

But don’t worry I know spring will be right around the corner I have another project on the go that *fingers crossed* will make it to the show tomorrow. 

tassel love

These tassels (pardon the wacky lighting) have now been banded with a textured polymer and I think will be the perfect “feathering of the nest” for these beautiful birdies from blueberribeads.

blueberribeads birdies

That’s it from me! Gotta tie up all these loose ends and pack ‘em up and bring them to the show with a smile!