Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Cuffs and a Trip Up the Coast

It's been a fun and exciting week!

As you can see, I'm posting about some of my jewelry for the first time.   This first cuff is just first bead embroidery cuff! 

My inspiration came from the beautiful glass cabochon made by my talented friend, Allison Byrd of Vortex Glassworks.  The deep glass cab reminded me so much of a sea anemone in a tidepool on a sunny day.

I'm very fortunate to have learned the beaded bezel cabochon technique from another talented artist, Kelly Angeley (Kelly Angeley Beadologie). Kelly has been my beading mentor for several years and is a true inspiration in both beadwork design and execution.   I was also fortunate to have Nicole Campanella of Beadwright give me tips on  attaching the beaded embroidery to the leather lining.  Now, if I can only get some tips on taking better photographs!

Next, I want to share with you the second bead embroidery cuff I've made.  This piece was designed for a special friend who graduated high school in June.  It has five small glass cabochon that wrap around the cuff encased in blue and purple seed beads and a few fire polish beads.  This was a special project for a very special young lady.

Personally, I can see this bracelet with a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black leather jacket.  What do you think?  The beaded embroidery is attached to a black leather lining over a flexible brass cuff.  It only took a couple of projects for me to become hooked on bead embroidery.  As with most beading techniques I've learned, I would just as soon be doing bead embroidery as just about anything.  Fortunately, I have a tolerant husband, although we joke about his having brought a friend home to visit while I was beading, and when my husband asked, "What's for dinner?", I responded with, "Dinner, what do you mean dinner?  Don't you remember that I feed you yesterday!"  That's a joke, but very close to the truth, smile.
Speaking of my tolerant husband, this past Wednesday we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  It had been awhile since we had been to the Northern Oregon coast, so we took a drive to the Cape Mears and Tillamook areas.  It is undoubtedly some of the most rugged and scenic country to be found anywhere.  Fall is my favorite season on the Oregon coast and Wednesday was a perfect day.  We started our journey with fog hoovering right over the surf and a couple groups of pelicans gliding over the waves.  By the time we reached Tillamook, we had sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's.  Perfect, right?  To entice you more, I'm including some pictures from the Cape Mears lighthouse and the surrounding ocean.  I feel so blessed to live in such incredible country.

Vaya con dios!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

She Doesn't Know She's a Dog

It's true...Gracie doesn't know she's a dog.  I've heard other dog owners say that their dogs believe they are people, not dogs.  Owners of English Bull Terriers have another saying about their dogs, "They KNOW they are people" and Gracie Rose is true to her breed.  I had been beading all morning (and probably into the afternoon) when I took a short break.  In the five minutes I was out of my studio, Gracie made herself at home and was in no hurry to relinquish my chair.  Two of her strongest traits, her inquisitiveness and her stubborness, probably had a lot to do with that.  She frequently is interested in what I'm beading, standing on her hind legs to look on top of my desk or climbing up next to me on the sofa.  I have to admit that her interest in my beadwork centers more on her wanting to get ahold of my beeswax than having anything to do with my creations.  With a nose like hers, she can't help but enjoy the sweet scent of beeswax....or, to occasionally breath too hard and scatter my seed beads, smile.  This picture also gives you an honest look at my studio. Yes, it usually is at least this cluttered.  It's such a fun place to hang out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

South Jetty Harvest

Great morning today....Pete and I took Gracie Rose (that's her in the photo) down to the South Jetty on the spur of the moment.  While it was sunny here at the house, the inversion layer was in full force and we had foggy, overcast weather at the South Jetty.  While there were a few surfers arriving and one in the surf, nobody at all was walking the beach.  That's absolutely amazing to me, as was the beach and Amazing Gracie Rose (yes, that is her registered AKC name, smile).  

The last couple of trips to the Jetty, we found a few treasures, but nothing compared with the harvest the sea provided today!  We walked for nearly two hours today and both Pete and I came home with all of our pockets stuffed with sea treasures.   The biggest surprise was the sand dollar harvest, about 25 total (in one day!).  We collect them for the Membership Team at our church, the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw.  They are given to visitors and new members along with the story telling how the five marks of the flower on top of each sand dollar represents the five wounds Christ suffered at the cross.  I can never get the sand dollars home without breaking them, so Pete carries all of them.  This was good because it left my pockets free to hold a couple of "jingle" shells, a piece of brown beach glass, lots of orange and white stripped smoothed pieces of clam shell (I'm going to use them as fringe on a beachy beaded project one day), two big beautiful agates, and an assortment of other shells I couldn't resist bringing home.  Besides all the treasures we found, we had a seal swimming in the surf follow us down the beach for quite a ways.  No orcas, bald eagles or pelicans today, but there were a few ducks that I couldn't identify.  And, of course, there was Gracie and her antics.

After a couple of days of having to hang around the house while Pete and I repainted the backyard deck, Gracie was ready for a good beach outing.  True to form, she spent about half the time chasing her ball, and the rest of the time looking for her own treasures by the sand dunes, spinning in circles at our feet (a great means to get our attention), running away from the surf and visiting with two basset hounds, Frankie and Johnny, who also had the good fortune to spend some time in the sand. 

As for running away from the surf, Pete and I also got a couple of good sprints in today when some fast moving sneaker waves had us running to keep dry.   While they weren't the biggest of waves, the undertow is treacherous here and the water is cold year round (I know from personal experience from a previous beach walk when I tripped over Gracie and fell face first into about six inches of surf that did it's best to pull me out to sea.  Pete was my knight in shinning armour that day grabbing my belt and hanging onto me until the wave went out and I could get up, scary).  Anyway, we stayed dry today and got plenty of exercise.

I've got a couple of bead embroidery pieces finished and, as soon as I can figure out how, I will share pictures of them with you.  I'm anxious to add photos to my blogs.  

Vaya con Dios!