December 3, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Hello everyone! I know it's been awhile! What can I say? I've got the holiday lazies. I've also done a ton of weatherproofing around our old house, which has been a fun learning experience. It makes me feel very handy! I'm also attempting to seriously organize the dreaded back bedroom- the stuffed-to-the-gills room that is full of both mine and my husband's hobbies and collections of junk. It looks a little like a hoarder room, but I swear we aren't actually hoarders!

So! On to the pictures!

Osiris again!

Because I obviously needed another project, I'm making myself a version of Hansel and Gretel because I loved it so much. This one is just for me though! Not going on Etsy.

This one is a Christmas gift! It may very well be seen by the recipient, but since she's pretty super busy right now I doubt she will. I'm not good at keeping secrets. It's my mom. That's the secret! They're busy trying to get their new house built in time to move in by the 15th, so I think it's probably safe that I put this up. Also, I am bad at waiting to give people presents, so I'll probably finish it and give it to her for her birthday on the 7th. See? Foolproof. She'll never see it. (Mom, don't read this.) She requested blues and greens, and I have already changed out the little side shell beads with green stone beads. Maybe turquoise, I can't remember what they are! As you can tell, I'm incredibly official about the materials I use. A stone snob, if you will. The big cab in the middle is... mother of pearl? It's pretty, is what it is! I never claimed to have any lapidary skills. That's probably not even the right word.

This one is also a Christmas gift, and another I hope the recipient doesn't see. It just happens to be the colors from her alma mater, and I happen to know that she has lots of team spirit. This cab is called Bluey-Purple Crackly Stone. I think we can officially shorten that to Blurple. Blurple Crackly Stone. Such a graceful name!

This is totally unrelated, but it's the start of a rag rug that I'm now having trouble with. Zilla likes it, though!

And now, even MORE than totally unrelated (and yet so wonderful): the beautiful upside-down Henry dog!

Look at those kissable lips!

Henry signs us off today with a big XOXO!

November 11, 2010

Continuing Our Walk Through the Egyptian Underworld


Osiris is moving along nicely. I added some raised beading around the first triangle-zig-zags, which to me looks very Egyptian, for some reason. The geometric-themed beading will continue in the boxes to the right and left of the zig-zags, but I haven't quite decided what to do with the negative space around the scarab yet.

Scarab butt.

November 7, 2010

Let Me Show You My Skillz

It's been getting colder and colder for our daily dog walks! Last week when we pulled out their winter coats we discovered that Henry's, at least, no longer fit. They were just babies last winter! So I decided to make some dog coats, because how hard could it be?? The hardest part was getting the dogs to agree to sit still for fittings.

Henry's new coat is a fleece-lined camo hoodie. Camo isn't really our style, but I found this remnant which is super warm jacket material and I thought it would make him look extra manly. The lining is printed with dinosaurs! It does not get manlier than that!!!

Henry and I stood over his hoodie for this photo so our shadows would make it look creepy.

Henry investigating the dinosaurs.

Zilla, who is named for Godzilla (of course!), got a dinosaur coat complete with stegosaurus back-spikes. The hole in the middle is where the leash attaches to her harness. I went back later and added a hole to Henry's too. She seems to like it! I sewed the lining to the outside (there's also a layer of flannel padding sandwiched in the middle) with some very turtle-shell-looking quilting; the bright yellow definitely adds to the turtle belly look.

Here's Zilla expressing her dino-confidence on Henry.


I was able to put in a little (very little) work on Atlantis- I added some thread embroidery. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to continue on as planned, reversing and flipping the waves for the other side, or if I'm going to do something else. I've been thinking of maybe continuing the waves in the same direction but lower on the left side of the center bead, then adding some sort of thread embroidery to the upper left side- maybe storm clouds? I have to say that I've never done any embroidered lightning! And I do have some metallic silver thread...

The only problem is that changing plans midway through the cuff could make it crash and burn. I guess there's a second problem, though, which is that I like to be able to change the plan as I see fit. And maybe I see fit to add lightning, hmm??

Here's a close-up- you can click the photo to make it even larger- that may make the embroidery easier to see. I really haven't done much!

I am incredibly excited to roll out my X-TREME photoshopping skills here. With this utterly perfect image, I'm attempting to show you what my original thought was for this cuff. If I'm being completely honest, the two sides will never ever match up perfectly, and I'm not even going to try to make them. But you can at least see the original idea! I like the look of the whole cuff laid flat; my hesitation is in picturing this worn- you'll only see the middle third or so, which I have cleverly illustrated here:

Why am I even doing anything else?!? I could be making millions off of my 'shop skills!!! It's like the bracelet is already finished! Ta-da! I'm done!

November 3, 2010

Hansel and Gretel Go Home

Hansel and Gretel's Dark Forest

The time has come for me to part with another cuff-baby! Hansel and Gretel's Dark Forest is going to a good home. I made another small ink drawing for its new owner, and this time I remembered to photograph it! I'm not being too abstract with the gift drawings, this one is just a dark forest with a creepy path. Poor Hansel and Gretel. I wouldn't walk into that.

I am actually planning to bead tonight! I should be able to update on something by the end of the week.

October 31, 2010

Lofty Sewing Aspirations

Okay. So I still haven't beaded. I'm still on sewing-obsessed hiatus, which has led me to register on Ebay solely for the purpose of bidding on one amazing lot of vintage patterns. Which I won. I am really, really trying not to get too excited, because I am afraid something will go wrong! Since I haven't been busy beading, I thought I would update on my possible victory (still trying not to get my hopes up, just in case!). It was a lot of 126 - yes, you read that right- 126 patterns from the 40s through the 70s, all complete, and I won the lot for $25. Can you see why I am nervous? It seems too good to be true. Now the item description had lots of pictures and a full list of the patterns, which I've been looking up while trying not to get even more excited. I'm posting some of the included patterns so you can share in my joy!

Now I will have to read all of those tutorials about re-sizing patterns to fit and doing different fitting adjustments... and then get some pattern paper... and some material and thread... On the plus side, I found some bags of zippers (still in their old packaging) at the thrift store, so notions-wise I'm pretty set. Some day... some day I will be a master of sewing. For now I can dream.

Ahahahaha! That was so corny!

More realistically, for now I can gather the necessary materials, study sewing with vintage patterns and tailoring, practice with easier patterns and just generally try not to muck it up beyond wearability.

October 26, 2010

A Disorder Which Leaves Me With a Deficit of Attention

Osiris cuff

Okay, so here's the thing. Or more like one of the many things. Here's one of the things: I don't actually have attention-deficit disorder, but I do have a sort of hobby-related skip-around-y-ness. That was absolute gibberish. For the past few weeks, I've been in a sewing mode rather than a beading mode, so I've sorely neglected beading projects and this blog! Instead, I managed to pile all of my sewing patterns (new and vintage both) and a pretty good selection of material (also new and vintage) on the dinner table, where it still lingers untouched.

Here is another thing: I really like to know all about what I'm doing before I jump into doing it. Like bead embroidery! I read and scoured blogs and photo sites and tutorials for forever before I put needle to faux-suede. So the sewing projects have been more about sketching out ideas, cutting out patterns and then waffling on which fabric to use and just generally planning on sewing rather than actually sewing! It seems a little silly now that I say it.

Anyhow! To continue with this theme of hobby-skippery, I was compelled to start two new cuffs instead of finishing Atlantis. Yikes. I have, thanks to our friend M, started on Osiris- I am sorry M; I had to start Osiris first- I blame Halloween, it's an Underworldly time. I was able to find a really awesome central bead for this- it's a scarab! Yayyyy!

Creepy scarab close-up

I plan to continue with the sort of pattern-heavy look of Osiris; lots of geometric pattern, lots of dark colors.

A couple of nights after I began Osiris, I watched Fargo with my husband and BAM! I was like, I need to start a Babe the Blue Ox! How could I have neglected you, tall tales?! So I chose to use several blues on a tan cuff. And I like it! I just need to, you know, finish it.

Babe the Blue Ox

In super exciting news, I have now sold- in addition to Hansel and Gretel's Dark Forest- Dracula!!! Huzzah! I shipped it off this morning. I couldn't decide what to do as a "freebie" with a purchase like that, but I eventually settled on making a little drawing to go with the package. I made a pen-and-ink drawing of Vlad Tepes' castle at night, stars and all. I meant to take a picture of it, but in all of my shipping excitement, I sealed it all up before I remembered! Whoops.

October 7, 2010

Finished FeeJee, Atlantis Re-visited

FeeJee Mermaid cuff

Oh my goodness! This felt like it took forever. It was difficult to forge ahead, but I finally got through it. Overall, I'm pretty happy with it! I will never ever try to do another filled-in netting stitch on a cuff. Lesson learned.

I think it looks like dinosaur skin.

Should be posted to Etsy tonight!

On to Atlantis!

I've started doing some raised beading for the waves, and I think it looks super cool! I'm also thinking about doing some thread embroidery on the background. I liked the idea of leaving the negative space. I'm only just realizing that I didn't post any pictures that aren't close-up. Whoops! And some of the gaps in the first image will be filled in eventually; they look pretty weird right now.

September 30, 2010

The FeeJee Mermaid Meets the Sunken City

Alright! So here is all of the progress I've made on the FeeJee Mermaid cuff. I love the fish-scaley look of filled-in netting-work, but the chartreuse of the cab was not represented well enough in any of the rest of the beadwork. The solution, of course, was another trip to the bead store! I found this Kermit-green for the edging, which I hope will be enough to tie it all together. I think part of the problem is that I like the colors to be matchy, so I have a hard time leaving this color palette alone; it's too cool against the yellow in the stone.

Also, I love a good excuse to visit the bead store.

And here we have the start of a new cuff, Atlantis. I'm excited about making waves! BECAUSE I'M A REBEL, GET IT?! [Insert rim-shot sound here.] Anyway, I'm in love with the shell cabochon in this! I need to take a close up of it... and then make a quick run to the bead store to pick up a few more...

The idea is to repeat the waves on the other side, just flipped upside down (though it's hard to tell from the sketching) - similar to the trees from Hansel and Gretel.

Well! That's all the update I've got! I've promised myself I'm going to work on these today, so I'm off. Wish me luck(-slash-willpower)!

September 14, 2010

A Peacock Pendant and a Mythical Monster

This is my stepmom's finished pendant! I ended up making a second one for her because the first was too big. This is maybe 2.5 inches (not including the fringe). I also very un-cleverly added a lace-y edging to the bottom of the first pendant which made the fringe hang all wrong. So this is the re-do! I like it.

And this is the beginning of the Feejee Mermaid cuff. I'm not totally sure of it yet- I need to finish filling in the "scales" before I decide. I just don't know what I think of the colors together. I do really love the cabochon though! I picked it up at the bead store the other day for this very project. I thought the neon green said creepy sea creature or possibly man-made monkey-fish hybrid monster.

I like it a bit better when it's draped like it's being worn, though, so maybe it will be alright.

I was going to include a photo of the original Feejee mermaid, but I discovered that they are all disturbing. Feel free to google it, but if I were you I'd wait 'til it was closer to Halloween (you'll be more mentally prepared for the spooky).

September 1, 2010

I Hereby Declare This Blog... Re-Alive?

Snow White cuff

Finished at last! Snow White is ready to make her debut. I edged her in sky blue beads for a touch of something blue. I would really be delighted if someone wanted to wear this for a wedding, but I would still be tickled if someone wore it any ol' day of the week, you know?

Here it is being modeled by my left arm. I have my camera to thank for making me look so tan, I can promise you that this is not the case. Thank you camera!

And here is my newest project! My stepmom requested a peacock-feather pendant, and I thought it was a great idea! I've decided to make an extra for the store. It will have fringe on the bottom when it's finished. Last night I handed it to Mr. MythicalAntiquity and said, "Can you tell what this is?" He gave it a long, slightly panic-stricken look before asking, "A cherry?"

That's right! A cherry. To be fair, he followed that up with, "Like a black cherry?" I'm not sure who's to blame here. Maybe it doesn't look exceptionally peacocky yet, but I certainly don't see a cherry. I thought it was a hilarious guess.

August 31, 2010

I am still alive...

I swear, I am still alive! We are all moved in and our tiny new house is busting at the seams. All of my fabric, art supplies, beads, sewing gear and crafty things are put away and ready to get to business; Etsy stuff is being sorted and readied for photographs, and beading will ensue tonight. Which means, with any luck, that I should be able to post pics tomorrow of some wrapped-up projects!!! I hope!

Also, I've been considering subscribing to Netflix so that I can have some form of entertainment for the countless hours spent working on jewelry. I've tried listening to music, but sometimes that's just not enough. "Watching" (really just sort of looking up now and again) movies helps me spend more time happily beading, though it does mean it probably takes me longer to do the work. The issue is that I'm a multi-tasker. I don't like to do just one thing at a time, and I like to be doing something with my hands almost constantly. This means that I try to read books while cooking and eating, read books in bed, read books while beading (don't even try, doesn't work) and listen to music while painting and drawing. I really do read a lot! Aside from movies and music, though, are there any other ways you keep your mind and hands busy at the same time? I feel like artistic purists out there are going to say "just concentrate on what you're doing! No distractions!" -- but really, that's so much easier said than done.

Ideas are welcome!

August 12, 2010

A Brief Hiatus During Which You Should Enjoy This Puppy-Sized Entertainment

Well, in all of four days we'll be moving back to Oklahoma (we've been living elsewhere for a summer internship); until then, we'll be packing, cleaning and cross-country driving! So I'll be away from beading and blogging for a bit. I thought I should do a quick update before we leave and I am incommunicado- but mostly I've just been dabbling. The image above is the start of an experiment in raised beadwork, inspired by Lynn's (BeadingHeartArt) Tuscarora Tuesdays.

I also went bead shopping, where I clearly was stuck on cool colors, although that was entirely unintentional. The ropes of beads were a gift from my very sweet Mother-in-law. I've already started putting these beads to use as:

BAM! Beadweaving trial-and-error. I've never tried this before, either, and it's been fun- I'm definitely not doing it super-perfectly by-the-book, though. I just wanted to see if I enjoyed it by trying a simple project first! It's been very different from bead embroidery. I don't like following directions! I actually have a fine arts degree with an emphasis in printmaking, and that was the one thing that caused me so many problems. I'm not very process-minded or orderly and I hate prep-work. I don't even like to follow recipes exactly! So beadweaving may be a serious challenge.

Also- the gradations in that photo are what the necklace really looks like, it's not the lighting. It goes from bluey-purple to pinky-purple.

NOW! On to the puppies!

(Handsome) Henry
Henry is really more my baby than my husband's. He basically acts like a toddler. I have no idea if he'll outgrow that as he gets older.

(Dangerous[ly adorable]) Zilla
Zilla was named after Godzilla- I realize that this photo makes her look like a sweet little darling baby, but she is completely insane. She plays rough, isn't scared of anything but precipitation and treats Henry like any older sister treats their younger sibling. She's a daddy's girl.

Now I know you're thinking, Oh my gosh! Are they always that adorable and normal-looking? And the answer is no. They are hardly ever normal-looking or -acting, even. And they love to fight (they really are like kids, biting, nap time, sibling rivalry and all). Let's look at some of their scarier faces.



Note the demon-fire in her eyes
(click photo to enlarge)

I especially like Henry's dumb face in this photo

That's right! Even with her leg in a cast, Zilla is vicious. Don't underestimate.
You've been warned.