Friday, April 21, 2017

It's Not Such An Uncomfortable Place

To invest in a new form we need to get rid of the old one. We need to try to reach into the unknown and drag it into our space so that it will be useful to us. At first, this unknown place is uncomfortable. We tend not to like this kind of surprise or risk and we fear failure. The more we practice reaching into and prodding the unknown, the more we see that it is the only place to be and the most rewarding for us as creators. We even may grow to like it. - Mary Todd Beam - Celebrate your Creative Self





Our entire family was here for the Easter weekend which was wonderful. With living in different cities and varied work schedules, it can be hard to find a weekend that works for all of us but I definitely want at least one a year. Christmas is difficult with winter travel but Easter may be entirely possible. It's something to discuss.





We had an Easter egg hunt with the boys - meaning my adult boys and my grandsons. The piles of three were for the adults and were not as easy to find and the piles of two were for the small boys and were much easier to find. It was a very chocolate weekend.





I sewed two pairs of black and white pajama pants and hate both of them. They're woven and it seems I much prefer knit pajama pants so I'll take these apart and use the fabric for bags and sew new ones from a knit. - - - - The rolls are 2 1/2" strips of a cotton/polyester blend that is either purple or dark blue on one side and grey on the other. I prepped the strips for the two bedside rugs that my friend Rosmarie is weaving for my bedroom. She'll also include a colourful yarn in the weft. I used the rotary cutter to cut the strips and yes, polyester dulls the blade very quickly. I was asked but I don't remember cutting polyester before so I wasn't sure.





Everyone left before the couch and the - unbelievably heavy - and still unfinished - thrift store table were taken back down to the studio so I slid the couch into the kitchen where I could sit and watch the pond and the morning sun and the table into the corner of the living room to use as a wire weaving station. My order of wire and tools came on Wednesday so I'm redoing the workshop and practicing the samples again with the correct supplies. I'm really enjoying learning this new art form and...






... earlier this week, I went to a friend's to learn about creating polymer clay shapes free-form. I'm hoping to combine polymer and wire wrapping in some way. My friend doesn't bother with different colours of clay or with rolling and sanding the pieces she makes. She simply forms them by hand, bakes them, and then paints them with acrylic paint.

It's interesting to look at the pieces in my photo as opposed to looking at them in-person. In the photo, I can see fluff and rougher details than I'd want in a finished piece so I imagine if I think polymer will work with the wire, I'll be sanding off some of those edges although the thing that attracted me to try again with polymer was the less labour intensive approach so I'll need to find a happy medium. I can also see now how these free-form shapes could have a textile piece adhered to them whereas before I was overthinking the idea.

The quote at the start of this post was from yesterday's journal time. It reminded me not to cling too tightly to how I think a thing should be done and to instead let it evolve. When I first started wanting to make textile jewelry, I wanted it to be all fabric and now I see that if I'll shift my desire from textile jewelry to making jewelry - and in particular statement necklaces - and pull into that journey whatever it is that I know and can learn and that works, it'll be far more enjoyable. I'm making progress and - having learned to like the mystery of the unknown - it's not such an uncomfortable place.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - family & fun

Monday, April 10, 2017

When The Time Is Right

It's no secret that I like statement necklaces. I'm also rather fond of rings with bling. One of the waitresses who works at my favourite breakfast restaurant is equally fond of them. We're constantly sharing what we're wearing and yesterday, we were comparing notes on consignment stores in neighbouring communities as well as the new one downtown where...





... I found this Silpada Designs ring called Queen For A Day. The shop owner said she could have sold it a dozen times over only it's so small it doesn't fit anyone... except it fit me... YES YES.





I've been working on one of the assignments Diane gave me in our last coaching session which was to take three different jewelry starts and work on each one for an hour to see what develops. I chose three that have been tickling for a while. The first was a metal disc picked up in the clearance bin at Michaels quite a few years ago. There were a dozen in the bag for a couple bucks which makes it a great element to practice and perfect.






The necklace is a combination of fabric strips, plastic tubing, the metal disc, a bail, buttons, black primer, and silver paint put together with glue.





The magnetic closure I wanted to recycle didn't fit onto the wrapped cord so I created a button and loop closure by wrapping the ends.





I've worn the piece several times and it's getting great review. A few people have even stopped me walking by to ask questions about it. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out.





The second piece started with the inside core of a thread spool and some scraps of painted fabric. I zigzagged the fabric edges with metallic thread and then glued the strip to the spool. That's as far as the piece has come for now.





If I use five spools, it will be about the same size as the pendant on another necklace. Right now, I'm debating using three spools and some spacer beads only...





... I think some wire wrapped elements would be wonderful only that's a journey I'm just beginning. Finally. I've been talking about wire wrapping for quite a while with little bits of research here and there and nothing really happening until now. It could have been frustrating except that I've learned from past experience that this is my way. I talk and talk and wish and wish and gather and research and then - when the time is right - I begin. This weekend, I started working through Wire Weaving Bracelets: Basics and Beyond with Sarah Thompson. I'm on lesson three and it's VERY well done.





The first practice piece is a multi-coloured bracelet using a modified soumak weave. The supplies I have are whatever I could find that may work at the hardware store and not the right stuff however, they're good for getting going. I started practicing with a copper wire that was too thick and wouldn't straighten and then...





... tried again using stainless steel wire wrapped with brass wire. They are closer to what the supply list calls for however, the shape is all wibbly wobbly. In the pictures, I can see my mistakes although, up close it wasn't so easy. I'll need better lighting and perhaps a magnifying glass and even so... this is fun... and definitely addictive... and all sorts of ideas are brewing in my brain for combining other elements. It seems... just maybe... that I have finally found my jewelry form. I'm planning to finish the lessons and make the different practice projects - all bracelets - and then look at necklace possibilities. Perhaps by then I'll have an idea for thread spools and wire wrapping.

Talk soon - Myrna

Grateful - beginning