Sunday, March 28, 2010
I'm in love with Saguaro cactus (above... this one may have been just a wee tyke when my Mom was born 93 years ago) and all the desert cacti and wildflowers in March!!!!! But our adventures in Arizona will have to be the subject of my next post. We took thousands of pictures... really, no exaggeration! So, it will take a bit of time to sort through them and find a few gems to post here.
In the meantime, I was reading Lisa's blog (Indigo's Beads) and decided to comment here on a couple of the issues she had with her March BJP bead embroidery... Here's her very beautiful piece... called Springtime in Heaven.
In her post, here, she wrote about making the fringed "grass" border before filling in the background sky and about how the thread caught on the fringe over and over again, making it quite challenging (and time-consuming) to bead the sky.
Tip #1. It makes sense to wait to add fringy things to my bead embroidery until AFTER I've completed everything else. But often that's just not the way it goes. Often the fringe just needs to happen and I can't resist the urge. Generally I curse the tangles and keep beading, just as I imagine Lisa did. However, when it really gets to be a problem, I take the time to cover the fringe so that it doesn't keep catching my thread. There are two ways to do this. One is with tin foil. Tear a small piece of tin foil and scrunch it around the fringe. If a larger area of fringe is involved, as in Lisa's piece, I stitch a piece of netting or fabric over the fringe, temporarily containing it. The netting is nice, because you can still see the fringe through it.
Lisa also mentioned that she had to break the Bead Journal Project rule of maintaining the same size for all of her pieces. This is because she started with the ribbon meadow, working from edge to edge of her predetermined size. After creating most of the design, she decided it needed a grass border. That would either mean starting over or making the piece larger than the others in her BJP series for the year. Lisa chose to break the rules and go for the larger size. I say, "Bravo!"
Tip #2. Always break the rules of any art project when it enables you to create your art in a way that works for you. I really believe this! Rules are good guidelines. But don't let them hold you back when it comes to the flow of your creativity!
Then, showing a closeup picture of her beading, Lisa wrote, "oh, wow...my enlarged pics really shows my crooked lines! lol. oh well. They looked pretty straight when I was doing them." Yup, Lisa, I certainly know that feeling well!
Tip #3. This issue always reminds me of looking at my cuticles under magnification. They look fine until I peer into the magnifying glass. Akkkk! The truth is this: it's the same for all of us. Any flat beading (back stitch, couching and/or weaving) can look smooth and straight... even when we examine our work with a critical eye. But when we take a photo of our work in macro or enlarge a high resolution photo to greater than twice the actual size, suddenly we see the thread between the beads and the beads appear to be crooked and unevenly spaced. Our work looks flawed. This is even more pronounced because of the nature of digital photography and scanners, which are designed to capture even slight differences in value. When I find myself feeling harsh about an enlarged picture of my beading, I try to remember to look at the whole, the un-enlarged picture and the original work, to regain proper perspective.
Hope these tips help...
I'm glad to be back on the computer, even though I have lots of catching up to do and oodles of pictures from our trip to sort through. I'll be around to your blogs as soon as I can... Oh yeah, and I'd better get started on my March BJP piece too... YIKES... the month is nearly gone!