Here's a look at my current project. It's for my husband, Robert. Somehow, I'll mount it on (or in) a wooden, treasure box.
It began with these pebbles, which I collected from a beach on our island. I think of them as stepping stones... crossing a river maybe or going to another place (both intrepretations have spiritual implications). I made bezels for them by surrounding them with "tall stacks" and then joining the tops of the stacks. They are not glued in place.
It's about 2/3 finished now and, if you look at the click-to-enlarge version, you'll see
- a bear and beaver (his totem animals) to help and guide him on his journey
- a heart (mine, of course)
- precious, itty-bitty, faceted tourmaline stones (extremely small holes, character building for me to sew them on using the smallest size 16 needle I have) for healing and unifying spirit, body and intellect
- labradorite chips because it stimulates intuition
- a beautiful, man-made, faceted ruby (a gift from a student in Phoenix), the stone of passion
- a cat (we both love cats)
- three little brass bells (to attract fairies)
- a piece of shell or barnacle I picked up at the beach
- branch angel-coral (to attract angels)
- leaves (we both love many different types of trees) because it's Fall and the leaves are so pretty this year
If you're in the Seattle area, or wish to travel to this currently very lush and green part of the country, you may want to come to the Bellevue Bead Festival! Organized by the Bead Factory, the same folks who do the Puget Sound Bead Festival in July, this one promises to have great classes and shopping opportunities!
I will be teaching two classes...
- Techniques of Bead Embroidery, an all-day class on Friday, Nov. 20. This is a wonderful introductory class for learning the four basic bead embroidery stitches, many fanciful variations (such as the bezels in my piece above), plus edging and fringing techniques. Students will make a sampler of these techniques to take home along with a comprehensive handout.
- Beaded Buttons, a half-day class on Saturday morning, Nov. 21. This is the best way to see if you like bead embroidery and to experiment with working improvisationally. I teach three basic techniques and several nice variations. Most students leave class with a finished button and a very good start to learning bead embroidery.
On display in my classroom, I will have all of my Bead Journal Project pieces along with many other examples shown in my books. Both classes still had openings as of a week ago. If you're a Beadlust reader and decide to take one of these classes, please come and introduce yourself before the class.
Oh boy, oh boy!!! My bead/quilt friend, Lunnette, and I took a field trip off-island yesterday!
In addition to shopping the quilt/fabric shops in Anacortes, the primary purpose of the trip was to go to Penn Cove Pottery, a gallery near Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Here's an artist's interpretation of how the place looks. And, yep, that's almost how dismal/cloudy/rainy it was yesterday... outside.... INSIDE it was grand!
Yeah, it's a pottery place representing 9 very gifted and artistic potters. But through Nov. 28th, they also have an exciting exhibit of 18 art quilts and 2 wall hangings. Very worth our time (and expense of the ferry trip) to go see this work! Below are my favorites.
This one is Evolving Sampler by Myrna Giesbrecht. I especially liked the way she mounted the quilt on a stretched canvas, painted black... a very dramatic effect.
I also liked the way she blended her colors in the non-focal area.
This one is Somewhere by Judie Hoyman.
Judie printed (world maps and lettering) and hand-dyed the fabrics. Around the border are phrases which describe some of the positive and some of the negative things going on in the world, especially for girls and women.
"Somewhere... a child is exploring the internet". "Somewhere... a little girl is being denied an education". It touched me and made me think about the importance of global awareness and sharing.
This one is A Clearing in the Woods by Cinda Langjahr.
The quilting details and patterns really appeal to me in this quilt! I've never been very interested in learning machine quilting until I saw all the possibilities Cinda uses.
This weekend is our annual Quilt Retreat at Camp Orkila on Orcas Island. There will be about 40 of us stitching for four days! I'll be working on a graduation quilt for my niece, Margaret. You'll see!