Saturday, October 24, 2009

New Pieces and a Case of the Sads

Number one daughter is out with her dad after me being home with her almost completely 24/7 for 8 days while she had chicken pox. I had a small window when I could take her out, but then she turned up with lice. I think everything is ok now (crossing fingers).

 I finally finished this piece I've been working on for a month. It came together fairly quickly, but I needed to end it and I had a hard time finding gunmetal cones, particularly when I was laid up with a broken ankle.  But it's done!!! I like the feeling of finishing a piece. Sometimes it comes out exactly as I expected, sometimes it shows me something else. This time I wasn't sure what was going to happen, though I loved the color and texture combinations, and I'm happy with what did.

There's a lot going on here, so allow me to be your guide. It's a 3-strand necklace. For one strand, I took a length of chain and wove iridescent rose/purple size 11(ish - they were pretty irregular, which is fine) seed beads through it. I really like the effect and I may make a piece with only that some time. The other strands are made up of a relatively random combination of plastic purple/pink bicones of varying sizes, size 11 charlottes (one side is cut for added sparkle), #2 purple bugle beads (those are the short tubes), 20mm black bugles, the iridescent rose/purple size 11, and 10mm black bugles. I finished with gunmetal cones.

I don't remember using cones to finish a piece. I decided that instead of doing it "my way," which historically involved a lot of hidden glue, I looked up other beaders' ways of doing it. I modified it a little, but not at any cost of form or sturdiness. Most beaders use 20-22 gauge wire, but since I was using gunmetal colored findings (clasp & cones) and all I had was gunmetal headpins that were probably 18 gauge, didn't bend well and dented easily, I thought I was going to have to put off finishing until I went back to the bead store. Ever the resourceful lass, I pawed through my supplies and found black nylon coated stainless steel. Eureka! It worked beautifully and I'm really happy with the result. 
The other piece I'm excited about is also purple(ish). This one came out pretty cool, too. I didn't have enough of the faceted beads to make even a decent length choker, so I ransacked my collection to see what I could do to extend the piece. When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but size 6 yellow lined black diamond opaque beads. I bought them for a small project and only needed fewer than 5, but I figured I'd use them eventually. Voila:

The top pic shows the green, but the white background washes out the purple, so I took a pic on my gigantic woodstove. It was another piece that took longer to make than conceive - one of those moments when I rushed a little because I was excited to see the finished product.
Now that I've finished these two, I feel a little empty. I have to fool around with a bunch of stuff before the next piece suggests itself to me. I realize I sound a little hippy-dippy when I refer to pieces materializing, but that's really how it happens for me. Trial and error and then something pops out of the background. 

So, my case of the sads. Today is a beautiful fall day in OR and I'm almost motivated to put on big girl clothes and go take some pictures. But my sweet kitty, Ginger, has had a tumor on her jaw and it's starting to cause problems. Her "dad" and I knew we were going to have to put her down because of it, that she isn't going to die relatively comfortably of old age. I thought she might make it until the end of the month, but it looks like we might have to do it this week. My heart is breaking. I've had this cat for 14 of her 15 years. I've had a LOT of other cats, many of whom I've raised from kittens. Ginger is one of the best and losing her is going to tear a hole in our little family.

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