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


  1. Ooh, you're such a good mom - trying to get Averleigh to experience everything, even if you don't like it: good for you! I **love** the ice sculptures... maybe next year we'll try to incorporate the Winterlude in our crazy winter schedules somehow, I always wanted to skate on the canal!
    I feel your dilemma ~ you have endless possibilities with Christine's piece. For the kumi - it's gorgeous, you can play with just one strand of colour in there (something to match the aqua in Christine's beads). If you don't like the copper shine, try to antique it, it will dull it a little bit, keeping the shine to contrast the darker shade.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how you decide to finish it (fish or no fish?) - but so far I like where it's taking you. Thank you for being part of this lovely group, and for challenging yourself (which I didn't do this month, although I had the perfect excuse).

  2. Hi Emma,
    That is one cool ice sculpture. Living in the Southeastern part of the United States I do not get the opportunities to see ice sculptures or ice skating outside.
    I love what you are doing so far with Christine's component. I think you should go with the fish charm somehow in your design.

  3. "...tedious braiding torture..." HaHa, you crack me up, Emma; it's even funnier because I was contemplating some tedious braiding torture for another CC7A design. But planning on going with bigger cords and more contrasty to reduce the torture aspect :)

    You got a "sister" rock to mine, girl. Aren't they the coolest? I love what I'm seeing so far in your design, the natural elements and the possibility of storytelling with that fish. Definitely include that faux sea glass. After all, the shores of Lake Michigan are bound to offer up a few extra goodies if we take the time to look :)

  4. Emma~enjoying winter is a hard thing to do! I admire you for taking your daughter to the festival. Mine have decided that after experiencing over a dozen winters, it is too much work. LOL
    You Kumi definition made me laugh so hard!
    I love what you have done so far with it~the kumi, the polymer pebbles, the wire. I was really excited when I saw your hand full of polymer sea glass! Sometimes these projects just have to come in their own time. It's beads~No worries! I cannot wait to see what you decide and how it all comes together! Rock On Emma! And thank you :-)

  5. i love your necklace! I'm not sure I'd change a thing, but that green sure is tempting. Maybe a 2nd necklace using the net idea and those pieces?

  6. I love your swag! This has so much movement and flow to it! I can't wait to see how you finish it. Fish or no fish I LOVE this!

  7. I love the design and the kimo is exquisite, I was in the same boat as you, Emma, I kept going "round and round" :) about the design I want to use with the components I received, I have to say that I like the fiber from the kimo hanging down the only thing I would change is actually not a change, I would have to put a few random beads of polymer sea glass (they are so cool) on the fibers. I love the way you laid out your thought process! Thanks for giving us a glance of how you work.

  8. Very cool ice sculpture. Your piece is beautiful. Your description of kumihimo made me laugh. I would add the sea glass and fish to bring out that color in the pendant. I will come back to see the completed design.


I'd love to hear what you think, thanks for taking the time to join in the conversation