I fell in love with the transparent sea green AB sequins -- you should have seen them in the bright indirect light under the tent!
Friday, July 31, 2009
I fell in love with the transparent sea green AB sequins -- you should have seen them in the bright indirect light under the tent!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I'll be teaching several styles during a two-hour session at OFFCenter in Albuquerque, on Saturday, August 15, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Cost is $20.00. Please call OFFCenter to register soon -- class size is limited to 12 people. 505-247-1172.
Here's more info from the official class description:
Come and learn how to make your own no-solder earring wires!
You'll learn several styles that will help you save money and give your earring designs a spe-cial, handmade finish.
We'll practice with brass and sterling silver wire and learn to make basic French wires with loops, beaded loops, little nooses, cobras, cosmic spirals, long V's, and variations on those techniques.
You'll learn all the hand shaping and finishing techniques you need to make professional looking earring wires, and once you get the hang of that we'll also cover hammering and oxidizing the wire.
The class fee covers all of your materials, but it is highly recommended that you bring these tools with you as there are a limited number of tools to share:
- Small round nose jewelry pliers
- Small flat nose jewelry pliers
- Small jewelry wire cutters
- Small bench block or anvil
- Small jeweler's hammer
- Jeweler's file
- Assorted beads with holes large enough to accommodate 20 ga. wire
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
This week at Summerfest I finally remembered to bring an actual camera instead of just a cell phone. Much better results! I loved photographing our visitors, and they seemed to enjoy being photographed (adults, and kids with parents' permission of course).
As I was editing the photos I especially noticed the eyes and the hands. Most adults hate having their picture taken -- but the kids looked right into the camera and seemed to smile straight from the heart. How joyous and proud artmaking makes them feel!
The hand gestures -- I actually noticed those while I was shooting because it's one way you can tell how engaged a child is in their work. See how these sisters hold their butterflies? Like mudras? I just love the unselfconscious gestures and all the others I witnessed Saturday night. (See OFFCenter's blog for more photos.)
By the way, did you notice how perfectly these girls' butterflies coordinate with their face paint and outfits? OMG, fashionistas in the making!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This medium-sized Haitian vodou flag depicts La Sirene, with her comb and mirror. Pardon my angle, this piece was laying on the table in the front of the booth.
Most of this flag was executed in spot stitch, with the cupped sequins facing down, attached with seed beads in the same colors as the sequins. It looked to me as though the seed bead outlines were sewn on after the sequins.
Recently I found this nice blog article about Haitian sequined flags, as well as a link to an exhibition of Vodou-related artwork at the American Museum of Natural History, so check them out to learn more about the flags (drapo). And you can even purchase George Valris' very reasonably priced work at the sister site of the SFIFAM.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I got the template from Mirkwood Designs. (It's called the "postage stamp" envelope.) I printed it onto sturdy index stock and cut it out and I've used the template for a few years already!
- I just draw around the template lightly with a pencil (which can be lightly erased later), then cut with scissors.
- The papers I used here won't scratch easily because they're coated, so I creased the folds with the help of a plastic hotel room access card.
- Then I unfolded the orange sheets and stamped them with gray solvent ink (dries fast and works better than most other inks on coated papers).
Friday, July 24, 2009
I took this shot last night outside the OFFCenter studio to help Marcia Sednek (our lovely model) show off a new fundraising item for this hoppin' little community arts project. The bags are made of recycled plastic shopping bags and each one is unique. You can read more about them on the OFFCenter blog.
Also, I probably should mention that Marcie's show, "Frock On," at Mariposa is coming down soon, so get on over there quickly if you haven't seen it. She does fashionable things with recycled metal -- and by that I mean she makes doll sized dresses out of old tins and such. Yes, the dresses in the photo below are made of metal.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Let's not get too metaphysical or too biological, ok? LOL! I was looking for a concise way to ask how often you sit down to make stuff, write stuff, whatever it is you do.
(Look in the left column. You can check more than one box, by the way.)
As for me, I've been in school and working full-time for way too long, so my creative time is severely limited. Not good. I can only go so long folding paper or stringing a simple necklace, and then I feel at odds with myself and the world. So for the past several months, I've been scheduling time away from work, in the middle of the week, to go to OFFCenter and make stuff, my stuff, get messy, spread out, you know, holla from the inside out. And I've also been signing up for more classes than usual this year -- the all-day or all-weekend kind, even though I do not have time, and I work my tushie off in them, because I know I won't get another chance to bury myself in it for awhile.
So, my answers were -- I create 3 or 4 days a week (for a very short time or longer on weekends if I'm lucky), and it's not enough! 8-)
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
I also organized all my old photos, and vintage labels. Plus I set aside a cardboard box for journals to cover and old books to alter. I think I have about 1,000 vintage cigar bands. I bought them in lots so I could get the dozen or so I love and use all the time, LOL.
Among the other odd little items I gave their own small containers? Little plastic skull buckets, artificial flowers, and broken old dolls. Don't ask. They are neatly labelled so you can look for yourself if you ever come over. ;-)
The sad part is, when you walk into the studio and look around, you can't even tell! I have some serious reorganizing yet to do.
I need another couple of containers for rubber stamps that have somehow mated and spawned offspring in there in the past couple of years...
And then, I know I have several small boxes of weird electrical parts and metal things I picked up off the ground, stuffed under my worktable but I haven't gotten to that layer of excavation yet. (I do feel like an archaeologist, digging through my own past...)
Need to rethink the glue storage. And absolutely rework the polymer clay (dis)organization. And did you know that those little plastic bottles of acrylic paint dry out in a couple of years??? What a rip off, my fabric paints from 20 years ago are mostly still good. They are in glass jars.
Among my most organized things are my beads. Years ago, when I got tired of spending twenty minutes looking for the beads I wanted and I only had 30 minutes to bead in the first place, I got compulsive and organized everything into labelled drawers and compartment trays. To this day, I can still walk into the studio and find the beads I need. So that is my motivation to KEEP GOING! I can do this! . . . kerthunk.
P.S. To keep myself totally honest, I took "before" photos of my studio. But there is no way I'm posting them here! Maybe alongside the "after" photos. Maybe. Until then, the MOTH can always blackmail me with them, LOL!
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sometimes vintage sequins smell kind of vinegar-ish. This is not a good thing. It means the celluloid is breaking down. I do have some sequins that smell funny, like plastic, but that's not the same as the dreaded "vinegar syndrome."
I would recommend isolating those sequins from your other sequins, thread and cloth. I would also recommend not using them in heirloom-intended handwork. In other words, have fun with them while they last. But don't let them play with their friends. They're apparently contagious.
I couldn't find much on the net specifically on sequins and vinegar syndrome, but other collectors of celluloid stuff, such as old film, had some information that may be useful to us hand-stitchers who like to use vintage materials, especially sequins:
- Vinegar Syndrome seems to scare film collectors half to death, and odd treatments probably not appropriate for sequins:
- "Mere presence of the odor does not mean the film has degraded, but rather that the reaction is taking place. The reaction is continuous, and once started, it cannot be stopped or reversed. In fact, the reaction is autocatalytic, that means it feeds on itself and speeds up over time."
- A kind of interesting PowerPoint presentation that has nothing to do with sequins but shows how all kinds of other old celluloid things break down:
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Margie's free newsletter can be downloaded here: http://www.margiedeeb.com/html/muse.php
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Take a look at these images from Seeds of Change if you don't know what I'm talking about:
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
She was standing at the edge of her booth "shooting" people's pictures as they walked by and she was really cracking herself up! There was, of course, no shortage of new victims for her prank as the place was packed. We shared a good laugh and then we walked on but then I saw she was entertaining herself so much -- she could probably go on for hours! (tears were nearly rolling down her face) I finally went back and took her picture. I said, "uno, dos . . ." and she popped the camera, LOL!
Monday, July 13, 2009
This is the awesome booth of designs from the cooperative of , I think Ann said, about a dozen women. I noticed that both young women and older women were trying on the collars, each one finding just the perfect design for their wardrobe and personality.
Ann (above) is one of two beaders that I know of (there may be more, if so let me know and I'll link to them here) who do not just reverse engineer the Saraguro designs and techniques for their own benefit, but who contribute significantly to the Saraguro cooperatives. Ann teaches some of the Saraguro designs and patterns, and sends a portion of her income from that back to the Saraguro cooperatives.
Chris Prussing from Juneau, Alaska, sells her tutorials (last I checked there were about 15 of them!) of Saraguro designs on bead-patterns.com and donates half the money from sales directly back to the four Saraguro beading cooperatives.
(FYI, there are now patterns and designs available that mention "Saraguro" but they are only "inspired by" the designs and they don't use the traditional stitching. Not being fussy, I just mention this because the above designers have been to Ecuador and taken classes from the women, use their very unique stitching techniques, and donate directly back to the coops.)
Income from the Folk Art Market and donations from Chris and Ann (among others I'm sure) have had a significant impact on the Saraguro women's lives. They have literally built housing for their cooperative, maintain a healthy bank account which is used for micro-loans to themselves, so that they can get bulk pricing on beads and supplies, and of course derive an income for their families.
I might never get to Ecuador, but I was happy to meet Zoila and see how she and her coop partners are taking control of their craft, on an international scale.
P.S. If I got any info wrong in this post, it's all my fault, LOL! Ann shared a lot of info with me but I wasn't exactly taking notes. ;-)
Sunday, July 12, 2009
So, can you spot the volunteer in these photos? ;-) Just kidding -- she was such a sweetheart, and so willing, I couldn't resist taking her picture too. The two women artisans are from different places in Bolivia. The woman sitting on the ground is an Ayoreo Indian. She is making clothing and purses by needle weaving pounded bromeliad fibers.
The volunteer, I was told when I paid for a little plate from Uzbekistan, was one of a whopping 1,400 who help at the event, handling everything from parking to payments to assisting artists in their booths, an especially gracious touch that helps to bridge cultural and language barriers.
Saturday, July 11, 2009
The guitar is, yes, petite. My DH found it at Goodwill for Sarah because she had a vision of covering a guitar with beads. Better to start with a small one eh? (The guy coming into the hotel at the same time as me said, "Is that a camp guitar?" and I just said, "Yeah, I think so." Whatever a camp guitar is...)
Sarah's friend in the northwest sent her a huge box of beads. That is what's on the table. We are pawing through them to see who gets what. The arm wrestling commences tomorrow . . .
Thursday, July 9, 2009
But it is a commodious cage, and thanks to my friend Buffy, aka Bethany Nelson, it's like a little altar to beautiful things. She built it on vashtu and feng shui, and I'm slowly injecting it with that Himalayan altitude. ;-)
Ya know, it's tricky to get a picture of your own cubicle. Somehow I feel like an aerial view would be nice. Or at least a view from the door. Stay tuned, I guess . . .
Monday, July 6, 2009
Sunday, July 5, 2009