Friday, May 20, 2011

Be True To Who You Are

The first thing I want to do is share the Mother's Day gift I received from my wonderful granddaughters. I absolutely LOVE IT! Last year they decorated clay pots and the prior year they made stepping stones. They were each rightfully proud and their personalities shined in the pieces they created. I knew which one created which pot and which stepping stone without reading the names. It is so natural for kids to express themselves through their artwork.

You may recall last year I was doing a monthly beading challenge, challenging myself to learn new techniques. The Rivoli surrounded by beads at the top of the photo shown directly below this post is where I started. I made six of these. I was following the directions for a bracelet in one of my bead magazines.

I decided I wanted to do my own thing with these pieces. I visualized them more in a necklace than a bracelet. I set them aside for awhile (OK, months!) as I thought about what I wanted to create with them. Actually, I was trying to pull together a variety of coordinating beads and was missing something that would bring out the colors of the Rivoli. Remember I told you I went to Rings & Things travelling bead show and sale. On one table I found beads I thought might just work. They were perfect! I found the necklace photo shown here and thought perhaps something with that Victorian look would be nice, but how would I achieve it.

Finally, the other day I was having my morning coffee and the thought came to me that I could turn these into more of a triangle shape with just a few beads. So I began to experiment and above is a photo of the result.

I added swags with more beads.

I really liked the drops on the swags in the inspiration photo. So I strung some together just to hold in place. I liked the necklace both ways and couldn't make up my mind. I had plenty of thread left on each end and started to weave back through the necklace. I figured I could pull it out if I didn't like it.

I decided to take a little break and do some cleaning. I set my tray on the table, out of the way, and started to vacuum. Somehow the thread must have been hanging to the floor because the vacuum got hold of it and the necklace, beads and other things on the tray flew everywhere! I never did find the needle, but the thread was wrapped tightly around the vacuum brush. Fortunately the secure thread broke and the necklace didn't get pulled into the vacuum. No wonder my cat is scared to death of that mechanical beast! I decided I like the necklace the way it is. Maybe the drops will be added to my next project. I still have to add the extension and clasp to the necklace, but it is nearly finished.

I received a copy of Artful Blogging from a giveaway over at Liz Loves Vintage. She was very sweet and included the wonderful pin and wrapped it in a beautiful silver ribbon. These are both prizes in themselves. I will make good use of them.

She also included what I thought was a handkerchief, but when I examined it closer it was a nice little pocket for maybe a cosmetic case or something. I then looked at the stitching along the edges and in the design.

Not only was is done so precisely, but it was the tiniest stitching I have EVER seen! Compare the red edging on the pocket to the edge of the postage stamp. It is difficult to demonstrate how tiny the cross-stitching is on this piece. It is incredible! Liz didn't know the history of the piece, but I would love to know how anyone can work that small in counted cross stitch!

It is definitely hand done, but look at the back and how neat it is. I am in awe and this piece will be used for something special.

Thank you so much Liz! The magazine is one I had browsed through in the stores, but never really sat down to read. I really enjoyed the articles and reading about some of the bloggers featured. There was an article in it about being true to yourself and it got me thinking how hard that is to do sometimes. So many of us need the approval of others and can get lost in trying to please everyone but ourselves - even in our artwork.

I will just leave you all with that thought.


Blondie's Journal said...

Very well said, Connie. It's always nice to gain the admiration of others...but we have to be the catalyst and persevere on our own. I love your work and I think you should be featured in Artful Blogger one these days!

I love the beautiful creation your granddaughters must run in the family!


Blondie's Journal said...

I forgot to mention that I love your new blog design!


Caseymini said...

Connie, the new necklace is beautiful. Thank goodness the vac didn't eat it! I will be waiting to see how it turns out. Please keep going on it!

Anonymous said...

So, I'm reading along about your beading. Getting into your thought process and nodding my head. Then the vacuum part starts. My heart is beating two-forty. Is the necklace in the 'beast' or saved. Whew. Saved.

I'd have called it a day, too, Connie! That was too close for comfort.

And the gift you rec'd are so nice. I love that magazine but it's getting to be awfully expensive, so I read it in the store. Bad, me!

Give the cat an extra treat now that you know what 'the beast' can do!

Hope you are having a better day today. We're experiencing rain and wind. And tomorrow is a bike ride from BV to Leadville and back. It's gonna be COLD and nasty. Glad I am not in it!


Kim B said...

Your necklace is gorgeous! Congrats on winning the giveaway. Have a wonderful weekend.