Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I feel a need... a need to bead!

 About a week ago, we had six inches of snow fall. Usually, our snow goes away in a day or two, but this time it arrived with an arctic blast of cold air and hung around for a while.

There are two things I like to do when I'm snowed in for a few days, BAKE and BEAD. Baking didn't fit in well with my New Year's Resolutions so I dragged out the bead loom and spent a glorious few days laying out colors and trying different ideas and patterns. I have a pretty decent collection of Delica beads, size 11, which work great my loom and give me a wonderful palette from which to choose.

The catch for these two bracelets is a new idea that was inspired by something I saw on Etsy. It's made of 14 gauge copper wire and two copper beads which I had on hand. It slides through pockets which I created on the ends of the bracelet and it appears to function well. I like that it's a little different from everything else I've been trying.

The snow has since melted and it's quite spring-like outside, prompting me to put away my bead loom now for another day. Come back, winter. I was just starting to enjoy you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Light me up!

I'm getting so excited for the class that I'm teaching this weekend at Asheville Bookworks. It's advertised as a Linoleum block class with hand coloring techniques but I have a surprise in store for my students. I've just finished the prototype for a lamp project that I've been thinking about for a while. Thanks to my sweet husband who has put countless hours into building these things, I have made this more than cool linocut covered shoji lamp. The paper is real Japanese shoji screen paper so it will never yellow. It was easy to print on and took the watercolor well, too. You can actually mist it with water when you're finished and it will shrink onto the wooden frame but I don't want to risk smearing my watercolor. The wood is repurposed cherry that came off our wall and was original to our house so it's about 75 years old. The light fixture and cord is courtesy of Home Depot.
Tomorrow I will clean up the week long mess that we have made trying to get these little gems ready but for now, I think I'll just turn off all the lights and bask in the glow of my little lamp.

Bead you to it

My new toy is bead loom, built by yours truly, my dear husband. It's just another form of painting for me, tiny little colorful beads which you can string together to make beautiful patterns. You can even get carried away and start trying to reproduce famous works of art. Not that I would let that happen to me.

Gyotaku, anyone?

I like fish in any form. I love to catch and release them, eat them, decorate with their likenesses, and I especially enjoy printing them. I was a natural fit to teach a Gyotaku class at Asheville Bookworks. 
Collecting specimens for my class was not particularly difficult, except for the day that I was out on a few mile walk with a friend and we happened to spot this large bluefish on sale at the local market. I had them wrap it extra carefully with ice (which is heavy, I discovered) but carrying it home, dripping fish smell all through my neighborhood which is frequented by black bears in the summer, I must say I was a little nervous. My plan of action in my mind was to throw the fish at the bear and run! I'm sure it would have worked.

Thanks to Asheville Bookworks and the creative wonderful people in my class who weren't afraid to get a little slimy that day!

Johnny in full technicolor

True to my usual style, I had to try painting my steamroller print just to give it that extra pop. When, I designed and cut it, I really did it with the color in mind. Here is the finished print, hanging in Asheville Bookworks. Can't be Irish without a little bit of green.

Johnny, we hardly knew you...

Odd's Cafe in Asheville graciously offered to let us show our recent Steamroller/Toyota prints in their coffee shop. John and I made the sign. He cut it out of masonite and thanks to the fantastic ideas from Pinterest, I figured out how to make it look old and rusty. It worked a charm.
Hanging the show was a bit of a challenge. We had to temporarily relocate the faithful laptop clientele who were sucking up some free wi-fi with their coffee but they were very understanding. The show was beautiful in that space and the opening, complete with peanuts, slim jims and PBR was a bit hit.

"You don't eat meat? I make lamb."

This is how we do it
What happens when your steamroller breaks down just as you are beginning to make giant prints at your public "Colossal Prints" event? You use your Toyota, of course!

That's what happened at our most recent steamroller event at Asheville Bookworks. Thanks to the quick thinking of my sweet husband who also ended up driving for about 8 straight hours at five miles per hour, we were able to make all our prints and the event was a smashing success.

Anyone who asks about our gas mileage now is told that we get about 8 prints to the gallon.

Laurie Corral, inking her block

Jason Krekel's wonderful print
Johnny Patterson (this one's mine)