Sunday, January 29, 2012

Copper Leafing II

I decided my Copper Leafing necklace needed a coordinating bracelet, but I was lacking a focal and a clasp. So I had to make do with what I did have available - the beads and copper discs.

I started with the same right angle weave "trellis" and embellished it with yet another trellis design. I used the copper discs to create both a simple focal and clasp. 

While the necklace and bracelet certainly don't "match" but they do play well together or apart. 

Available for purchase here.

I received a pleasant surprise earlier this week - I was chosen as "Designer of the Week" by the Art Bead Scene editors for my Copper Leafing necklace!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Drum Roll, Please!

I actually finished my 365 Project!!!

What's a 365 Project?

It can be whatever you want it to be - all you need to do is take a photo everyday and post it - some people do daily self portraits, some concentrate on birds or squirrels, etc. Big surprise, I decided to focus on Mackinac. But not the Mackinac you see in the tourist brochures, I focused on the small, hidden beauties that the casual visitor never notices.

I thought it would be easy, after all, I already take photos everyday - except that while I was already shooting many. many photos, I really didn't come close to shooting every day.  You find that out when it's been raining for six days straight and you're desperate to find something, anything that might be interesting for a photo.

If you visit my blog regularly, you've seen some of the shots, if you're interested, you can see them all at the project site

To celebrate completing my project, I created a photo mosaic using all 365 photos, here's a closeup, showing just the number six:

It was really simple to do, using EasyMoza. I choose the main image, in my case the turtle block print. Then I selected the small images (you need at least 300) and the program did the rest!

I can see using this in so many creative ways - what about a Civil War era dress made up of images of other dresses? Or one of my beaded pieces made from photos of the inspiration? Just too much fun!

I've committed to another year of 365, but I'm changing the focus a bit this time - less emphasis on Mackinac and more emphasis on experimenting. I'm sure the Island will still be a large component - after all, it influences all my work, even if it's a bit obscure sometimes!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Copper Leafing

"Copper Leafing" is my submission for the January Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. The inspiration for this challenge is a wallpaper, "Trellis" by William Morris.

The design dates to 1862, and is a dramatic departure from the typical designs of that period.

William Morris had trained as an architect and had early unfulfilled ambitions to be a painter. As a student at Oxford he met the artist Edward Burne-Jones, and through this friendship he came into contact with the Pre-Raphaelite painters, such as Rossetti, and others in their circle. In 1859 Morris married Jane Burden, an unconventional beauty and a favourite model for the Pre-Raphaelites. He immediately commissioned his friend, the architect Philip Webb, to build them a new home on land he had bought in Bexleyheath, Kent. Now a suburb of London, Bexleyheath was then a rural area. Morris wanted a modern home which would nevertheless be ‘very medieval in spirit'. This is exactly what Webb gave him.

Trellis was Morris’s first attempt at designing a wallpaper. Its pattern is said to have been inspired by the gardens at Red House, which were organised on a medieval plan with square flowerbeds enclosed by wattle trellises for roses. The birds were drawn by Philip Webb. The design itself certainly has a medieval character – the motifs are drawn in a slightly na├»ve style reminiscent of the woodcut images in 16th- and 17th-century herbals. Morris collected these early printed books and often took his inspiration from their simple stylised illustrations. Although his later wallpaper designs were more complex and sophisticated, his first efforts – Trellis, Daisy and Fruit – have had an enduring appeal. Trellis remained a personal favourite for Morris and he chose it for his bedroom at Kelmscott House, his London home for the last 18 years of this life.

I love the English Arts & Crafts style, in fact, it has greatly influenced the choices I've made in furnishing my own home - and I've used both orange and green extensively

I knew I wanted to incorporate the trellis pattern and right angle weave was the perfect stitch to form my base. Each side is different by yet complementary. One side picks up the browns in the focal pendent and the other side features copper beads that match the copper clasp.

I love the details in the pendent, which I purchased from Etsy artist JulesCeramics. I picked up a couple others at the same time; they're waiting for just the right project.

I think it's a modern, wearable interpretation of the Morris design - just right for the women comfortable with her style.

Available for purchase here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Bead Journal Project - June 2011

No, you haven't entered a time warp - it's really is January 2012!

But I'm far behind on last year's BJP, I've just finished June, 2011. This month the technique is bead embroidery. Here's the inspiration photo, yet again:

It's starting to become a bit tedious, working the same image over and over - maybe that's why I'm so far behind.

I added a small snail shaped cabochon, just to break up the background and I do often find snail shells when walking in the woods.

I used all size 11/0's for this piece, in a large variety of colors, some matte, some shiny, some opaque and some not. I'm pleased with the final result and I'm now officially half way done with 2011!

Monday, January 16, 2012

It's Just Wrong!

Just checking - it is January, isn't it?

I am still on Mackinac Island? And that's still in Northern Michigan, right?

Yes, it is and yes, I am - but it sure doesn't seem like it this winter.

This trail would usually have feet of snow covering it and it would be groomed for skiing; we're all beginning to wonder if it will ever happen this year.

We have had some small amounts of snow intermittently - just enough to make things slippery and hard to get around and then it's gone!

Right this moment, we actually have some real snow - let's hope it lasts!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Ice - January 2012 Bead Journal Project

Some of you may be wondering "what IS she thinking, starting yet another project when she can't manage to finish 2011?" - well, it's true, I am still working on 2011 and for for me, that's the key: I AM still working on it and I will finish!

I've decided to go in a very different direction with my 2012 Bead Journal Project: I will be creating a series of personal runes. My format is going to be much smaller this year, using beach stones as a base.

I've collected stones from the beach here on Mackinac and each will be adorned with an actual object or representation that has personal significance to me. I plan to create a beaded bag to hold my runes at the end. I hope to also write an interpretation for each rune and create an accompanying hand bound book, but I bead better than I write, so that may not end up happening!

I started with a piece of lake glass, collected at British Landing here on the Island and created a beaded bezel using peyote stitch. I attached this to the stone using freeform netting, which allowed peeks of the underlying stone to be visible.


I chose to represent ice for many reasons, some personal and some universal.

 Living on a small island in northern Michigan, the formation of ice transforms life for all of us living here,primarily by preventing the ferry from running to the mainland. If weather prevents the planes from flying, we are completely cut off, completely self reliant. Some years, there is another transformation - if the lake freezes over completely, an "ice bridge" forms and we are no longer an island; we have the ability to come and go at will, without being held to the schedule of ferry or plane.

Thus far this year, there is no ice at all. If the weather continues as it has, we may have ferries running all winter, which has only happened once before.

Ice in the form of snow transforms the landscape and ice can do this in more powerful ways - I live in a area of the world formed by the power of ice in the form of glaciers.

Ice is cold and hard - great when it's in your glass cooling your beverage, not so great when you've just tumbled down upon it's slippery surface.

So here's the first for 2012, I'm looking forward to creating eleven more!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Turtle Drop

Take one very large fiberglass turtle, recycled from the "Turtles Around Town" project from several years back: 

Tidy him up a bit and outfit him with a custom made felt shell studded with LED lights. Suspend him from the ladder of the new firetruck on Main St. on New Year's Eve:

What do you end up with? The Great Turtle Drop, of course!

Who needs the ball at Times Square!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

When Simple Isn't

Living on Mackinac is so rewarding, but at times frustrating - and no more so then when what would be very simple in the "real world", is so very complicated to accomplish here on Island.

For example, we really wanted to see the movie "Warhorse" in the theatre:

It just seemed to be one of those films that would not be quite the same viewed at home on the TV (and that turned out to be true). I'd highly recommend the film, while there are some scenes that are bit cliche and heavy handed, we really enjoyed it immensely - just be sure to bring your hanky, you'll need it.

So step one: Find out if it's playing anywhere in the area. Petoskey, not quite an hour away, was the closest showing AND they had a matinee - so no need to stay overnight.

Step two: Find a couple people to cover my on-call time at the Med Center - I'm on-call 24/7 in the winter, for both lab and radiology - it took a little arm twisting, but managed.

Step three: Consider the ferry schedule - the movie is at 11:45 am, that means leaving on the 8:15 am ferry, which means getting up at 6:30 am on my day off - YUCK! We walked down the hill, while there was a little snow on the roads, based on the forecast there might not be when we returned.

But I must admit, being up for sunrise wasn't all bad:

And we discovered that a bit of scim ice is starting to form on the St. Ignace side:

So we arrive in St. Ignace around 9:00 am; we scrape off the car and head for Petoskey. Fog had started to move in and the towers of the Mackinac Bridge were hidden as we crossed - very eerie looking!

We arrive in Petoskey just before 10:00 am (remember the movie isn't until 11:45am), so we went out to brunch at the Twisted Olive - great food and an incredible view of the harbor. Picked up a few minor things not available on Island and them off to the show!

The movie ended about 2:15 pm and last ferry home is at 4:15pm, so we took the "scenic route" home - just wandering the back roads, heading north.

Arrived back in St. Ignace, noticed most of the ice had disappeared, boarded for our 40 minute trip back to the Island and hiked back up the hill, arriving back home about 5:15 pm.

All this just to see a movie!