Friday, May 30, 2008

Etsy Store: Up with LISTINGS!!!

Well that feels good!
At long last, after much work and anticipation, I can tell you that I've finally got items up in my Etsy Shop!

The next step will be to get some photos and descriptions from Tish so that I can get her knitting up in our "Wearable Wool Art Collective"...

In the meantime, I invite you to wander on over to : and take a look at all the hand-made felt pins, necklaces and earrings that I've been working so hard on. If you feel like buying something I won't mind at all!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mehendi: Celebrating Life

While I was up in Toronto visiting with my friend, Tish, she asked me if I would do some Mehendi on her the same night that Shelna was coming over to have her "bump" painted.

We picked up a few tubes of ready-made henna and I started while we waited for our other friend to arrive. I created spirally designs on her feet and legs and then later on her hands.

In the end, it turned out like I had vaguely remembered it would-- the sole of the feet and the palm of the hand hold the Mehendi best and go the darkest. The designs on Tish's legs and wrists didn't end up coming out as dark, but were still lovely.

Mehendi is a very old traditional body artform and is often used to help to celebrate special occasions in Life.

Tish has a lot to celebrate with the big changes that she's been making in her life over the last few years.

She has lost 136 lbs in the past year after undergoing a gastric bypass surgery (see her blog "Adventured in Gastric Bypass" in my links to read more about it) and had gotten her breasts reduced two weeks ago as part of the whole process. There are two more surgeries ahead for her and I hope that they are all successful and not *too* painful.

I came up to spend some time with her on the 2nd week of her recovery and to do some things together that we weren't able to do over the march break since I wasn't able to get up there as we had planned.

One of the things that we did this week was to put together a collective shop on Etsy called: "WoolTwoGo".

Etsy is a website where Artists can sell their own Creations directly to buyers. We're going to use our Shop to sell our fiber arts like Tish's baby booties, hats, sets and patterns, and I am going to sell my felted beads and jewellery there.
Here's a link to the shop:
(You can also see a link on the right side of my blog)

We're still in the process of listing items and I'm going to be doing a lot of that "clerical" work, but I have high hopes that Tish can raise a lot of money to go towards her surgeries with this shop and share with others her hand-knitting, a Creative process that gives her much pleasure.

I hope you'll come and check out our shop!

Bodypainting: "Precious Koi"

My friend, Shelna, agreed to let me paint her "baby bump" while I was in Toronto visiting with another mutual friend of ours named 'Tish.

Shelna is about 7 months along and she and her husband know that they are going to be having a baby girl.

Other than sharing what her middle name will be (Kathleen), they are keeping their mouths shut until their baby is born.

I asked Shelna what she would like to have painted on her "bump" and told her about things that other artists had painted in this situation. She chose Koi (large, fancy japanese goldfish), and since we are both the Pieces star sign, I thought that featuring the Koi in that pose would be appropriate.

It was a very relaxing session and I got to hear all about the trials and tribulations of this first time pregnancy -- something that I very much enjoyed since I don't get to see Shelna very often. I don't know if I will make it up for the birth, but I know how much Shelna has wanted a baby, so I hope that everything goes well.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Felt Beads: Gift for the Graduate!

Congratulations Jodi! My cousin just got her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Georgia and I couldn't be prouder!

We just saw her this weekend and I gave her a necklace that I created with one of my felt beads embroidered especially for her and a new lampwork glass bead that I made.

I always associate the colour combination of orange and green with Jodi since she knitted up these crazy striped leggings for herself when we were studying textiles together in the Bealart program...

Jodi is such an artistic inspiration to me and I am so glad that she achieved her goal through hard work and talent! Here's to your future as a "Self Employed Artist"!!! Cheers

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Felt Beads: May Creations

Out of bad things can come some good...
My computer "blew up" last weekend and I was without it for a good week.
While I was twiddling my thumbs going quietly insane, I worked on more felt projects.

I created more beads in several styles and further explored my idea of "Geek Chic" Brooches featuring cute and colourful micro-organisms. A couple of those brooches I had started before, but I finished them up and did a couple more.

I like the "Have a Heart" Brooch idea...that definitely invites more exploration and I am rather partial to the "Wings of Love" idea.

The "Pod Bead" at the bottom where I've shown several views uses a number of my favourite design motifs like the spiral, paramecium shape and retro stars. I love the colours and was playing around with distorting the motifs on a marbled bead.

Once I get back on the torch, I'm going to try and re-create some of these looks in Lampworked Glass Beads.

(Now if I can just get my computer tech guy to come back today and put in my video card before we leave for the long weekend, I'll be really happy...)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Hot Glass: 2nd Session Lampworking

My 2nd session lampworking went well today.

I tried a few things differently. For one, I decided to try making smaller beads so that I could get more control over their shape.

I tested out plain ol' propane on the first and second bead. They turned out fine with no "muddiness" on their colours. I don't know if this means I will go with your garden variety propane for my bulk gas solution, but it certainly bears more research...

The encasing with clear and transparent turned out okay, and really adds dimension to the beads.

I made my own aventurine stringer with a transparent aqua blue rod and goldstone chip frit. It turned out reasonably well and I used it on several beads (gorgeous!).This stringer was inspired by a gloriously sparkly stringer given to me by Mark P. (I'm going to have to ask him how he made that!)
I'll probably take a break on bead making until I get the whole fuel issue figured out next week. I pretty much used up my second 1 lb. tank of MPS gas today...
*sigh* I'm really enjoying getting back into the swing of this artform.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Hot Glass: First Beads in a looong time...

Finally! I bought my starter Lampworking kit last friday at "Artistry in Glass" (in London, ON) and got set up today in my friend's garage!

I spent most of the day re-acquainting myself with the Art of glass bead making.

My skills are sooooo rusty, but I'm sure they'll come back to me with a little work.

It's clear to me that I'll have to figure out a bulk MPS gas situation since I used up the whole 1 lb. container today and only got 8 viable beads out of it (that is if they survive the annealing process in the kiln!).

I'm using COE 104 Effetre (for the most part) glass and there were a few surprises. My "silver" wire that I wrapped on the ivory glass to get a reaction turned out not to be a particularly pure silver and it looks rather "fugly".

What I thought was "sky blue" turned out to be a gorgeous silvered reduction blue. It came from the "Gambler Pack" of glass that I had bought at the very reasonable price of $4.50 for the lb. It has a variety of glasses that are un-marked and sometimes a little broken. (I figure that I need to pinch a few pennies while I re-learn the basics.)

Still struggling with getting a nice round bead, but that said, I'm pretty happy with how the day's beads turned out.