Saturday, March 26, 2011

Three views of the new large peyote stitch necklace in the Copper Collection

OK, so these are the three views of this necklace that I am thinking of using when I put it up for sale on my Etsy shop, Art by Andrea, at  The first view will be the one showing the clasp, then the other two shots will be alternate views, showing how it looks real time with some very basic wardrobe items that most women have in their closet.  You could really jazz up a basic black turtleneck and black jeans, or you could just as easily wear it to work to class up a black suit. 

I'd love to get some feedback from everyone on this one.  So please, leave me a helpful comment, or tell me how much you love it.......!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Gnomes in my garden?

I love my gardens.  And I anxiously await the first signs of spring each year, because here in the Pacific Northwest, winter is long with lots of gray, rainy days. But if I can look out the windows into my gardens and see flowers beginning to pop up, it gives my mood a big lift.

Crocus are one of the first flowers to come up.  It may still be winter, but these little guys are harbingers of the spring to come.  I've planted groups of crocus in several different spots around my yard and gardens, but the ones I love the most are the small bunch by our front door and the large group that encircles the front side of our weeping cherry tree. 

So one day when the rains had stopped for awhile, I decided to talk a walk around the yard and survey my kingdom.  I thought the crocus looked a little thin on flowers for some reason, so I bent down to take a closer look.  This is what I found:
Do you see what I see?  Naked stems with flower blooms all over the ground!  Someone has been beheading my beloved crocus and then leaving the evidence of their dastardly deed right where I could see it.  Surely I must have gnomes in my garden!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Of beads and birds

Well.....  I didn't really need another jewlery project, but ...

...I ran out of the dark copper beads for the last project I told you about, and I'm at a design impass on my other jewelry projects.  And I wanted to do something for the Copper Collection with slightly larger, size 8 seed beads - a piece that would be less delicate, go from casual to office, and have a lower price point.  So, after much deliberation, and consideration of the beads I already had, and wanting to try and use what I already had, rather than going out to buy more beads, which I was already avoiding (!), I came up with the above piece.  I'm thinking of doing an adjustable clasp so that the necklace could be worn a bit shorter or a bit longer, about 20" , plus or minus a bit. 

Personally, I think this necklace will look dynamite with a simple black top and black jeans or pants, or with a classy black suit and white top. 

And I really like the size and feel of size 8 seed beads, despite the fact that they are not widely used.  (Perhaps that is precisely why I do like them.  Conformity is not my strongest suit!)  Sometimes you just don't want a delicate look, but you sure don't want large plastic baubles either!  I find that the size 8 seed beads are a really good solution.  When you use them for tubular peyote stitch, as I have done here, they create a necklace that drapes better than the more rigid shape of the tiny size 11 delicas that pack together so tightly. 

So there I was yesterday morning, stitching away on this necklace, when this strange noise, like pipes groaning in an old home, happened again, and this time my husband was home!  So I muted the tv and we waited.  A few seconds later it happend again, and I asked, "What was that?"  He replied, "It sounds like a bird pecking on top of the metal chimney cover."  So I told him I was betting it was a flicker, and he went out to take a look.  Sure enough, some lovesick fool is up there jackhammering away.  Probably one of those juveniles that Mom and Pop raised right here in our backyard.  Obnoxious teenagers!

Wake up!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's up in the artist's yard

My backyard provides me with endless hours of pleasure.  Simply watching the birds and wildlife, and even my landscape, as it changes and grows through the seasons and years, gives me so much pleasure.  It is a somewhat meditational experience for me, and I recognize many of the birds that come to feed regularly and raise their young in our backyard.  Each new species that finds our little wildlife area is so exciting.  And so.... I share a bit of my little piece of heaven with all of you.