Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bead Soup Party...

The REVEAL is coming up soon, on February 10!  I made something delicious out of the beads that Norma, my swapping partner sent to me all the way from Oregon.  I can't wait to show you!  Anywho, I'm planning on auctioning off my piece and sending the money in aid of Haiti.  Not that many people hang out on my blog, but I'll announce it on Facebook as well, and Twitter, and hopefully people will bid. I got all excited about that!   We had to use the focal and the clasp, but I actually used most of the beads, and added on a few of my own.   Check in for sure on the 10th.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

My mom is turning 92 in February...

It is true, I don't know where the time went!  I get a lot of my creative ability from her.  She always had a great eye for color and form.  She's of that generation (and growing up on a farm) that knew how to shear sheep, make roving, spin yarn, and then either knit or crochet something useful.  She even made linen from flax, and knew how to weave.  They wove their towels (which lasted forever), their tablecloths, their rugs from old clothes that we used to sit and cut into long strips and ball up when I was a kid.  The destruction was fun.  She even taught me how to weave, but I had no patience weaving that thin linen thread into towels.
My grandmother even wove sheets, and they had a seam down the middle (the loom wasn't large enough.)  They had a loom always set up in a big part of the upstairs bedroom at my grandmother's.  Mom never had a loom in the places where we lived, but she always wove rugs when we spent the summers with my grandparents.  She still has some of these brightly colored rag rugs on her floors, and if I peer closely, I  might recognize the rag line from one of the dresses from my youth.  I do have a lot of her things that she embroidered in the "old days," things that are truly vintage now.
In her youth, she was pretty much self-sufficient in making her clothing, and later those of my dad, but with modernization, she stopped those habits, though her hands were always busy.  During the 2nd World War the women used to knit hundreds of mittens and socks for the soldiers.  That was before my time.

I asked her if she remembers some of my fave sweaters she made for me when I was a kid, but she doesn't.  I had a really comfy gray and blue patterned sweater that I wore ALL the time; I still remember it clearly.

She loved to sew clothes, made fabric collages, embroider, needlepoint, cross stitch, knit; she even dabbled in porcelain painting, but my dad complained about the fumes.  She could knit and crochet anything.  We used to get excited about some new pattern; I would start it and she would finish it because I always got bored somewhere in the middle.

I have the patience now, however.  I don't know how that happened--with age maybe.  I have been more of a dabbler than making something "useful," though.   In one of the pictures below I made a fabric collage from a picture in a book about Medieval life.  I now marvel at how large the horse is compared to the women, but I didn't think of that at the time.  I could never finish it since I couldn't decide whether to frame it or make it into a pillow.  It now lives with my mom's things in a plastic bin.

My mom's hands are twisted and stiff due to Parkinson's these days, but she can read without glasses, so that's how she spends her days.  She has all her marbles still. :)  She's the kindest person you could ever meet!

I haven't worked with fabric for a long time,  but I'm following some really cool fabric art blogs, and getting more inspired to get out those bins.  Check out this great blog, Spirit Cloth, by Jude Hill.  It's a whole different feel to explore creativity through fabric.  (Though I usually prefer paint--get my hands down and dirty as they say...! :)

 This is a really old piece, possibly embroidered by Mom in her youth, or Grandmother might have made it.  I don't remember.  But look at the needle work!  These cloths were hung on decorative rods to hide the everyday towels used in the kitchen.

I have two tablecloths like this.  Mom crocheted those from a very fine cotton yarn, then patiently crocheted the flowers/snowflakes together.  It's fine like a glorious spiderweb!
This is a newer tablecloth; possibly one of the last ones she embroidered before her hands gave out.  She sent it to me.  My brother who is an artist always wanted the same pieces, so she often made two of the same pattern.  You would think a man wouldn't care, but he does.

This is a tray tablecloth that is meant for a birthday cake placed in the middle of the wreath.  The word "Gratulerar" is Swedish for Happy Birthday (sort of, more like "Congratulation" if you want to be picky.)  A gift for one of my birthdays.  I use some of these things, but I worry about getting them dirty.

My foray into Medieval art (must've been in the 90s.)  I loved combining daring fabric patterns into a cohesive look.  Even the birds wore armor in my picture.  The fabric was mostly machine stitched even though I'm not very good on the sewing machine, or my machine isn't very good...

Another lifetime, but everything runs in cycles.
BTW, I love my Mom. :D  My dad could've been a painter, but never really pursued it.  He passed on in 2004, at ninety.  I do have a couple of his beautiful paintings.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sea Mist...

From frost to thunderstorms...we had a mist hanging over the blue blue sea and it inspired me to dig out those trusty sea inspired charms that I like so much.  Blues, greens, turquoises, pale lavenders, and what the hey, throw in some pink as well, and you have all my fave colors.  I made one of those dangly charm bracelets that get in your way when you wear it, but as my mother used to say: you have to suffer to be beautiful.  I never bought into that though, and now I can see the fashion police coming, but Comfort is my key word when it comes to fashion.  I happily supply someone else with the bling though...  Some Swarovski clear crystals hold in the copper torch-fired enamel tubes.  I have to buy some more beads to fire!  Too many interests; I have artistic ADD.  I'm also knitting a pair of wool socks, don't ask me why.  We had 75 degrees here today...  I've been following some fabric artist blogs and now I'm tempted to dig out my huge plastic bins with fabric. They are living in the farthest reaches of my closet where only spiders live.  I used to be into fabric art big time, in one of my life times (we're talking 80s and 90s.)  The era of the leg warmers, followed by moth-eaten leg warmers.  They were comfy though.  Speaking of the 80s, I could never get the right poof in my hair, no matter how much I permed it.  Not enough there to work with.  And I never had to wear shoulder pads since I'm graced with impressive shoulders, (I'm 5'10").  Remember those jackets with massive shoulder pads?  Dynasty size pads... I used to cut them out and give them away. :)  A strange decade... but I think of it fondly.

Keep creating!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The devastation of Mr. Frost...

We had an unprecedented cold snap here in Florida recently.  We might have 1 or 2 nights a year of frost, but we had ten nights in a row with frost, some heavy.  Brrrr... Today was a balmy 70 and you can barely remember the cold.  My plants (that were) reminded me.  My spider plants are a sad group.  Maybe they will come back?? 
I put some of my faves inside, and they are vibrant in comparison.  Well anyway, out of death comes life, and spring is around the corner!!! 
The citrus and strawberry farmers around here sprayed water so heavily to protect the crops that the aqua fer got so low we now have sink holes cropping up everywhere, some on major highways.  Strange world...  The aqua fer has been low already due to droughts.  Sometimes I think FL is just a floating island of sand.  My soil is all sand in the garden unless I fortify it. 
Check out the picture of my Christmas cactus!  Isn't she gorgeous.  She lived in my bay window during the cold snap, and so did the Burro's Tail.  Love those plants...




Monday, January 11, 2010

I'm taking part in a bead swap party!

This is going to be fun!  I'm taking part in a bead swap party, and when everyone posts their creations, we hop around to each other's blogs to check them out.  This invite came from Lori Anderson.  Her blog is lots of  fun!


Friday, January 8, 2010

Copper wire bracelet with BEADS! :)

Another bracelet creation, this one with coppery bling!  I uploaded it to my etsy shop, but one of my local friends laid eyes on it and said "it's mine!"  So, what do you think?  Copper is .... shiny to say the least!

Florida has been under a cold weather blanket lately and it's hard to live with it.  I know I shouldn't complain, but my blood is thin and I don't like the cold.  I'm wearing Canadian winter boots, leftovers from my life in Upstate NY some years back.  They don't often come out of the closet, but they've been out for a week now... :(

Friday, January 1, 2010

My knitted and felted purse is done....waaay later than I thought...

I took pictures along the way of this knitting project.  I have several purses like this in different colors, and they all turn out unique even though the pattern is the same.  They are knitted on round needles, very simple really, with three strands of yarn.  This last purse I washed and washed, and it didn't want to felt, and then it almost felted too much.  Very tricky process that you have to watch like a hawk.  I love the purple/blue/green/burgundy color scheme.  It was to have been a Christmas present...  I did give away some polymer clay mosaic items as part of my handmade Christmas this year.  They were well received.



Bailey is wishing y'all a Happy New Year!

Have a happy and healthy and creative and prosperous 2010 my dear blogging friends!  You are a continous fountain of inspiration. :)