Friday, February 27, 2009

BJP So Far!

Robin, our fearless leader in the BJP group, asked if I'd show where I'm at so far with my beading for this year's project. I haven't finished February yet, but this is how it looks so far. You can compare where I'm at with my original sketch. I think it's gonna be very colorful in the end. The center "All Seeing Eye" will have some of all the colors of each of the runes. You can see more about the BJP project here. There are actually 3 blogs of beautiful beadwork you can check out if you'd like.

Secret Project Revealed!

So, a year ago, I promised to Pay It Forward to the first 3 bloggers who signed up to also PIF. I wasn't sure what I'd make, & then I saw "Friendship Dolls" online. The pattern was developed by Jill Maas, & you can find it here. She lets you use the pattern for free.
But I know myself & I had to change things up! First I had to make some faces from molds & paint them. Then of course there's the beading around the face. I also wanted to do a funky rolled edge instead of turning the dolls. And I wanted to put a pocket on the back for wishes!
Now that all 3 of my blogger pals have told me they got their dolls, I can finally let you in on that secret project. Here's some of the process as I made them.

I hope they enjoy their dolls. I stuffed 'em with natural cotton & a little lavender for comfort. There's a little saying that goes with the doll, & I think I included them all. Here it is:

Hearts for Love
Kisses for Wishes
Beads for Joys
Flowers for Growth
Colors for Happiness
Gold thread for Health
Stitched with Friendship and
Wrapped with Love.

Raku Pot

A long time ago in Seattle, I had the opportunity to try out raku at a local pottery shop. We each got our slab, & I decided to make a handkerchief pot! The teacher thought I was nuts! She said for sure it would break in the firing! But I REALLY wanted it, so I went for it. And it survived! I can't remember the glaze I used, but I loved all the different colors that came out after it came out of the trashcan! So many colors & textures. I had made a hole in the side 'cuz I knew I'd want to embellish it later with beads & feathers. I just love it!
The reason I'm posting this is 'cuz my pal in Malaysia & I talked the other day. She is a card maker in Kuala Lumpur. You can see her at her site here. Anyway, she'd gone to school to learn ceramics & misses working with it. I told her I'd only done raku once & loved it. I promised I'd post a pic for her, so this one's for you, Lin!!! Check out all the different colors!!!

Sunsets and Photography

There have been some incredible sunsets lately. I know pictures just don't do them justice, especially when you are an amateur photographer!!! I took the above one evening, but the wires, & the bugs on the plumeria leaves, just didn't do it justice.
So I tried again on another evening. I just couldn't get away from those wires! So I hid behind some palm trees & tried to get a shot thru' the branches. I kinda like how it turned out, but I need way more practice! Any advice?

Scarf for a Pal

Now who would think that in Hawaii you sometimes might like to have a warm scarf around your neck? Well, in winter time, up in the mountains of Koke'e, it can get kinda chilly! So I crocheted this for her birthday! I hope it keeps her warm on those chilly evenings in one of her favorite places in the world!

Artisan Bread in a Dutch Oven

My husband just redeemed my faith in his creative, talented cooking! OMG! We got this recipe out of a Mother Earth News catalog, & it is the BEST!!! It's cooked in a dutch oven, & has the texture of ciabatta bread! Ooooo, can't wait to get some in dipping sauce...a little extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar....ahhhhhhhhhhhh! Yummm! I think he needs to start his own blog!!!

If you're squeamish, DO NOT LOOK!!!

When husbands retire, they learn all sorts of new things! Mine has decided to become a gourmet cook! Just ask anyone about his famous pot roast! But there are some things that he sees on the food networks that I'm not so sure of. This was one of them. It's called Beer Can Chicken. Now for various reasons, I had my doubts about this one. And I think I was right. It wasn't just that it was cooked over a 1/2 can of beer in an aluminum can, but the flavors were, well, different! But the next day, when we used the leftovers in pasta, well, it was redeemed!!!

Thank You!

This is a little thank you card I made for a pal. I used some handmade paper from my DH, & a tiny pipe cleaner heart that a pal in Malaysia made for me. I stitched it on the paper & added some card stock inside to write on. I am so blessed to have such creative friends & family!!!

Mini Tag Book

So my pal & I have still been doing our bi-monthly swapping. This time I decided to make some mini tag books...or at least get 'em started. We can add more to them as we want to. We usually make 2 items for each of us. One to keep & one to give away. This time I made 2 tags in each mini book to get it started. I wanted these to be positive little books for whoever gets them!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

January BJP

While working on the January BJP rune called Star, I made a big mistake! I'm not sure if you can tell in this picture, but I started the off-loom beading with my size D bead thread! I just couldn't figure out why the thread wouldn't go thru' a gazillion times like it normally does! I was pulling it thru' with my pliers! Then it hit me...I use size 0 bead thread for my off-loom square stitch!!! ACK! And the weird thing is that I had just made the same error in a crochet project I'm working on! Wrong size hook!!! Must've been Mercury Retrograde! :) See if you can tell the difference in the size of thread! And remember to always check your supplies before you start a project!

So, I switched over to size 0 to finish the project below.

The Star Rune

I don't have time to go into such depth on this one as I'm behind on projects, so I'll just give a quick summary of the meaning behind this one. The Star Rune represents the realization of a dream or wish. It speaks of hope, a prize, a huge achievement as well as the presence of higher guides, spirituality, angels & the immediate future. It's a promise of fortunate developments in your life. It also speaks of financial and material gains, assets, prosperous ventures, wishes granted, etc. So I guess we all should be wishing on those stars out there! :)
OH, and the birthstone for January was garnet, so the background was done with the beads that I had that were closest in color! I chose a complementary color for the symbol. I'm really trying to use just the beads I have set aside for this project!
Again, all info adapted from "A Witch's Runes" by, Susan Sheppard.

Valentine's Day is coming!

Below are some doodles I did while at the dentist waiting for my DH who had to have some fillings done. I always carry this small sketchbook with me for ideas, phone numbers, recipes, etc. It's amazing how much you can fit onto a small page. All you need is a tiny sketch so that you can remember what your idea was.
And below are a few of the cards I ended up making. They don't show up real well on the white background. But then I'm learning what works with this photography thing!

Paulie, I said no peeking!!

Some people just can't quit peeking!!! Jeez! It's still a SECRET PROJECT!!! But hopefully I should be able to LYK what it is soon!

She earned her wings!

Back in mid September, when I started up with the new BJP, I showed a pal how I do the off-loom square stitch. She had never beaded off-loom before. By our next meeting, she had finished pieces on her own! And just around the holidays, she started on a really intensive piece! I'd NEVER attempt a pattern that complicated! So I figured she'd earned her wings rather quickly...and so, for Christmas, I made her this ornament I'd designed just for her. I forgot to take a pic of it until after I gave it to her. Hence the late post. But it's just amazing to me what some people can do with a little help! Yikes!!!