Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blogiversary Giveaway!!!

Comment to Win!

Lusting for beads must certainly have its origins in the garden with Adam and Eve. But, for me it began in 1985 and has grown more acute with each passing year. When I wrote my first post, three years ago today, there was nary a moment of hesitation about naming my baby blog ~ Beadlust!

improvisational bead embroidery by Robin Atkins, Rosie, The Uncaged Hen, detail
Today, in celebration of Beadlust's 3-year blogiversary, I'm having a giveaway! Three weeks from now, I'll find a magic way to select three readers who have written a comment on today's post! (Please be sure I have a way to reach you.) Each winner will receive a gift package containing an archival giclee print (signed & numbered) of Rosie, The Uncaged Hen and a little goodie bag of vintage beads from my stash. Whooo-hoo!

This is just a small way for me to tell you all how much your support and readership means to me. I'm not so clever and entertaining as many blog authors and don't post nearly as often as I'd like... Yet, you check back and make wonderful comments and enrich my life more than I know how to say. Thank you!

BJP Presentation ~ Seattle ~ May 21st

Bead Journal Project, small collage of details of work by a few members
For those of you in the Seattle area, I'll be doing a PowerPoint presentation for the Northwest Bead Society featuring BJP work from our first year! Guests are totally welcome!

Visual Journaling with Beads, Fibers, Threads and Fabric

View over 200 beaded journal pieces by 42 artists participating in the 2007-08 Bead Journal Project! Compelling and inspirational, this unique beadwork tells stories, reveals emotions and follows important events in the lives of the artists who create a visual journal each month during the year-long project. In this presentation, you will see the best of the best!

Date: Thursday, May 21st
Time: 7 pm
Location: Greenwood Masonic Lodge
7910 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle (driving directions here)

If you are in the area and participated in the BJP last year or are participating this year, PLEASE COME and bring your BJP pieces for show and tell!!!!

Allison Aller and Baltimore!

Allison Aller, one of samplers for class in crazy quilting, surface sculpture
Above is one of Allie's samplers for the classes. She offered a choice of kits for curved piecing of the block ~ black, white or green. I chose black because I thought it showed off the flowers beautifully! My block is nearly finished... I'll post a picture of it soon. If you think Allie's sample block is pretty, you'll enjoy regular visits to her blog, Allie's in Stitches, which is tops for gorgeous pictures, tips, tutorials and inspirations!

Susan Elliott (Plays with Needles), with her fabulous photography and way with words, has captured the fun of Allie's visit to Baltimore and our experiences taking her classes much better than I could. So, please check the links! There are even a couple of pictures of me...

Allie is a breath of fresh air on a peaceful spring day, with much more to offer her students than techniques! Here are two important things I learned from her...

"Keep lots of white space on your calendar!" If we want to do our art in any significant way, we must learn to keep our calendars white. Duh! Yes, of course. The difficult thing is doing it. One way that Allie does this is to set aside the hours between 8 am and noon EVERY DAY for herself and her art. Prolific writers and painters are known to keep a schedule like this too. Me? Well, I've never really tried it... Guess it seemed too much like a job. Allie just MAY have converted me to the idea!

Allie calls her work "surface sculpture." I LOVE this term. It applies to our beadwork too.

One reason I went all the way across the country to take Allie's class in Baltimore, is because I taught there last fall and totally love my students, who in turn, totally got it about bead embroidery! They are embroiders, a chapter group of EGA, and very skilled at stitching with threads. Many of them enjoyed my methods of improvisational bead embroidery so much that they've continued making more pieces since the class. It was such a joy to see them again and to see their bead embroidery! Below is a dear-to-my-heart piece by Bobbi Pohl!

improvisational bead embroidery by Bobbi Pohl, Dance,
Wildflower Season!!!

I returned home from Baltimore last week to find our wildflower season in its peak! I adore wildflowers - all of them, from the tiniest little blue ground cover to the rarest of the rare Fairy Slipper Orchid (Calypso bulbosa) shown below! Be still my heart... I'm in heaven!

calypso orchid, fairy slipper orchid, calypso bulbosa
The calypso (fairy slipper) orchid is native to Canada and the Pacific Northwest U.S. However, it is extinct over much of its range and is now quite rare. It does not survive contact with man and readily dies in cultivation. The beautiful flower head is about the size of a quarter. I counted 8 of them on our walk yesterday!!!!

calypso orchid, fairy slipper orchid, calypso bulbosa
shooting star wildflowers
These are Shooting Stars (Dodecatheon meadia). Along with companion butter cups, they grow in abundance on our property. I took the picture below right out our kitchen door! Could we be more blessed?!

shooting star wildflowers and buttercups