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Thursday, March 5, 2015

And the beat (or bead!) goes on!

Making progress and nice to be working in a different color than brown on my beaded bird!  Hard to see but now I'm onto his belly....working in pale yellows/Topaz beads.
On my post about 'unbeading', I had some questions from Nancy that I thought I'd post about today.  And who knows...others might be curious or someone may have a better way to 'unbead'!

Nancy's questions were:  "Do you knot off fairly frequently in order to isolate a section so that you can unbead if you have to? Or how to you start and stop unbeading is what I'm asking I guess. What happens to the beads next door to the unbeaded section?"

So to answer the first question, no I don't knot off frequently.  I start by sewing 2-3 beads on at a time and secure with a back stitch...rather than reinvent the wheel by doing a demo or tutorial, you can search online for 'beaded back stitch' and find lots of video's or tutorials.  Or just go to this link on the Beading Daily web site.

After I've sewn a line of beads about 2" (using back stitch method) I take my thread back through the entire 2" of beads then I'll knot off and start adding new beads.   I  always take my thread back through the line of beads just to help straighten them out and secure them.  Sometimes I may couch a bead or two if the line got distorted....this is due to my fault inserting the needle too far to the right or left when I come out of the bead(s).

Nancy's 2nd question "how to you start and stop unbeading" is what I'm asking I guess. What happens to the beads next door to the unbeaded section?"

When it comes time to 'remove'or 'unbead', I just take my seam ripper or cut the threads in between the beads I want to remove.  Yep,  sometimes you might end up removing a bead or two you wanted to keep, but at this point, you're UNBEADING!  So what's another bead or two to add on again!  Put smiley face here!!!!  If you click on this picture to enlarge, you can see the threads to the right of the seam ripper from my 'unbeading'.  I cut these as close to the background as I can.

Because I back stitch and sew back through lines of my beads,  the beads "next door" to where I've removed will be stopped and held in place.  Yes, there are times where the 'row' may seem a little loose next to where I removed beads...but..when I start to add the new beads to an existing "line" (for example, just to the right of the red ball on the seam ripper),  I would start in about 1/2" to 3/4" of an inch back stitching through those existing beads, coming out the last bead and now start to add the removed beads.  When I finish adding the beads, then I come back through the entire row/line, which secures any beads that still might be loose.
I have 'unbeaded' just about every piece I've worked on at some point and haven't lost any beads yet! AND I do allow  my pieces to be 'rubbed' and touched, so they are handled quite a bit but so far so good!!  So that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!

If this is "clear as mud" and you need further explanation, please let me know!  If you have any suggestions of words of wisdom, do share!!!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Eaton Beach

Yesterday, Nancy,  Kay and I met up for our 1st visit this winter.

 Nancy and I arrived at Kay's with show and tell in hand!  First up was Nancy showing some of the  pieces she painted  at a Mickey Lawler's workshop!  I took pictures of almost every piece but can't show them here are some of my favorites...I think Nancy did a great job and can't wait to see what she does with some of these!  They are wonderful!

 Yes, I tried to steal them but she was quick to wrap them up and take them with her!  Was it my drool that made her suspicious!?

Next, we got to see some of Kay's pieces she's been working on.
This piece Kay painted on silk then machine quilted...that's a piece of her shibori on the border around the painting.  Very nice!

Also, Kay had some pieces all sandwiched and waiting to be quilted!  I forgot to take a picture but I think she had at least five, six or more waiting!  In fact, there was one under the presser foot on her machine! Yep, I forgot to take that picture too!!   But here are some of Kay's recent pieces (you can go to her blog  to see what she's always been up to!)

I love the quilting Kay did on this piece and check out the border!  Love that...

Kay satin stitched this piece and the one above...neat effect isn't it!

I've always enjoyed Kay's work and seeing them in person is always so much better than on her blog.  Guess you'll just have to make Kay your new best friend so you can visit her in Florida and see her work...past, present and future projects!

I brought some of my recent and past pieces...but "ya all" reading my blog have seen these so I'm not posting here.  Anyway, after our show and tell  off went drove to have lunch at Eaton Beach Sandbar and Grill!  After a long....long...wait (and we even did the 'call ahead') we had a great lunch.  It's an open restaurant and lucky for us, a beautiful day!!

I walked down to steps to the area below where we had lunch. Really nice beach...great looking isn't it!  Talk about relaxing!  And check out that sky!

So, the 3 Amigo's ate, talked, laughed and will get together again this winter!  Nancy is off to Guatemala this next week!  Talk about exciting!  Then upon her return she and hubby will be off to a Tiger baseball game here in Florida for spring training!  Kay and I will be sitting by our machines and beads working away...waiting for Nancy to show pics of her trip and the baseball she'll catch at the game!

Monday, March 2, 2015


Who knew there's such a thing as 'unbeading'?  Well, this gal sure knows that even in bead embroidery there are times things just don't look right!  Although, it's a lot easier to "unbead" then to be painting with the heck do you "unpaint"?!

So this is my little (hmmmmmm) bird when I picked it up today to bead, I didn't like the way the beads were, what's a gal to do but "unbead".

So out came my little seam ripper and beads were removed...LOTS of beads...

And this is what I beaded this afternoon...I like the flow of the beads much better! I still might remove some of the white beads on his 'bottom' but the drawing did show white there....hmmmmmm

This isn't the first bead embroidery project that I've removed beads on.  You just kinda have to go with the flow and see what you like...I actually was debating starting totally over on this piece!  Reason being.....I was mixing both 11 & 15 seed and Delica beads and wasn't sue the look was what I wanted.  But thanks to my 'mentor', the fab Mary Stori!, she encouraged me to not remove the beads!  Whew!  Especially since I had to remove so many to get this far today!  Thanks, Mary!

Bob and I had a great breakfast out this a.m.  We always get the 'grandma's special' at Cracker Barrel which has their famous pecan pancakes!  And I have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow!  Actually, we haven't had breakfast out in 2 years so it was a nice change!  Another beautiful day today...temp is 80 right now and the air is on!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Getting ready for another week!

The weather is going to start getting warmer...for me it's been perfect (50-60's) but guess not if you're a golfer!  Lots of wind and this is the least amount of sun we've seen since coming to Florida 11 years ago.  But of course the weather doesn't stop me!

Peggy and I headed to Michael's as there was a 40% discount on artist supplies plus we each had another 20% on our total purchase (sale and regular items!).  We each picked up some Liquitex paints for 60% off and some photo boxes, which ended up costing under $2!  I did need to stop at the bead shop (no surprise there, right!) on the way home and found these beads which will be perfect for the Cactus Wren's cactus he'll be sitting on!
Speaking of Cactus Wren....I'm making progress but it sure is slow...and I'm getting bored working in browns!  I'm going to switch to his belly area since it's a pale yellow/peach...that should be a nice change!  Let's hope...

So last Thursday 3 couples in the 'gang' headed to see The Jersey Boys perform.. one couple (actually Patricia) wasn't feeling well as she came down with the nasty cold) and the other three of us headed off to Longhorn's for a great dinner and a fun night!  Nothing better to share time and laughter with friends!!

I had another picture of Bob and I that wasn't blurry but he liked this one of

Bob and John

Larry & his room mate Jan!

Yep, Larry sat between two women!  Go figure!  Marilyn had to pose with Larry too!

So this will be another busy week...Monday Bob and I are dropping Kalee of for a grooming appointment; then we are headed to breakfast out!; then some shopping; home for Bob to start taxes (thank goodness for Internet!).  Tuesday I'm meeting up with Kay and Nancy at Eaton Beach for lunch....Wed. is 99cent margarita night with friends then the Art Fair in Gainesville this weekend!   And in between I need to bead!  I'm tired already!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Honest I have been busy!

Can't believe I haven't posted in days!!  I know I have been busy at home and on the road!  I'm working - slowly but surely! - on my beaded bird!  I forgot how much time sewing on tiny beads takes!

This is the bird, which I printed onto a Wash-Away Applique sheet. I forgot to add this step in my original post:  The Wash-away sheet has a fusible on the back of the sheet.  After I print (using my ink jet printer) I then fuse this onto a piece of pellon -( medium weight I think!)...same pellon I use for my fiber cards.   Then I stitched it onto a piece of fabric so I can work from my Q snap frame.  This keeps the beaded piece from being distorted when all the beading is complete.

And this is what I have finished so far!  I do enjoy 'painting' with beads!  That's how I look at it...just because I can't paint with normal paints!

I'm going to try and keep track of the hours on this one.  Yep...we are always asked, aren't we!  Does it it's fun to look back on and it's a good gauge for project deadlines, which I have on this piece!

Sunday was a beautiful day so off to Rainbow Springs for Cracker Days!  What fun!!!  And Kalee came along too!!  She loved all the dogs and people...yes, she thought they were there to see her!

It was a wonderful day and I love just walking around the park.  I also met up with Annie, who is a weaver I met the 1st year we came to Ocala.  She was doing a demo at a festival and invited me to a 'weavers guild meeting' back in 2005.  No, I don't weave but the group was very diverse - quilters, knitters, etc.  The group is now disbanded but it was fun to see what everyone was working on.  And it was fun to meet up with Annie again!

The waterfalls are wonderful and there are several of them around the park.

Just a fun time....but now it's back to beading and of course dinner out!!  It's Thursday, which means "the gangs all here"!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

So hard to stop.....

So, as I was sitting and beading my bird....I happened to see my beaded leaf....and I remembered to bring  with me a piece of rust fabric I made about five years ago!  And guess what!  This background will be perfect for the leaf!

I'm not going to leave the areas white but will be over dyeing with greens/blue.

 Joan and I were shopping this past summer and she noticed a blouse that had the perfect colors for a background!

I took this picture and I think if I can perhaps tray dye I might get some of the same colors or at least close to the same colors.  I know the rust will show through and hope the leaf will work well with this background....although, the lone leaf may look lonely!  Will I have to make more than one!!  Yikes!  Let's hope not.....

Friday, February 20, 2015

A little of this...a little of that!

I did get to stamp some fabric for the Mary Beckwith inspiration piece I want to make.  This is one of the stamps I made last summer.  It's just a piece of cardboard with pieces of sticky foam I cut out and attached.  I have another stamp using spike(s) cut out the same way but you don't need to see pics of can see how that stamp printed out on the first few pieces of fabric.


This was a fat quarter of fabric I purchased from Laura Kemshall's Fingerprint web site a few years ago.  I have another piece that is more intense that will be included in this project.  This piece was pretty faded and I think the stamping using the spike stamp added some add'l texture it needed.

This picture shows both stamps printed.

I am really happy with the way these turned out and I know they'll be perfect in a patchwork piece but.....

 I think this will have to be put on hold!!  Yea, I decided on another project to work on...back to bead embroidery.  One of my friends from our fiber group is part of  the Spring Needlework Seminar at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island each spring.  Chris is a wonderful machine quilter and she dyes her own fabrics and vends at the conference (she also does samples of quilting for major thread companies!).  Chris approached our small fiber group to put quilts at the conference for sale this coming spring.  We each have several pieces already made that we can give to Chris but she'll need them by the end of April so....I thought I would create another beaded piece and this is "now" what I'm working on!

I jut started outlining the top of his body and part of the wing.  Now I'm stitching his tail and will work my way up.  I'm hoping I have enough brown beads for this piece!  There is a wonderful bead shop here in Ocala (see my sidebar) but I really don't want to have to purchase any more beads.  I'm trying to use up both my bead and fabric stash!  OK, OK, I'm sure I'll head to the bead shop at some point in time!  I'm just like an addict!

I know...I must be nuts...the bird is roughly 9" x 3.5" and is called a cactus wren.  He'll be sitting ontop of a cactus plant that I'll make out of fabric.  Now to get busy so I can finish in time and mail off to Chris for her to take with her!  My bud, Carol T., has some of my older pieces from our last Master's Exhibit that Chris can take to the seminar but I wanted something new.   And now that I've committed to having this piece finished!!!!  I better get off the computer!!!  Beading calls!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I need 3 sets of hands!

It's a wonder that I don't lose my mind...or  maybe I have!  There is so much going on "up there"  that at times I think my head will explode!  I keep thinking it's a good thing to keep my mind busy but, seriously, there has to be a stopping point, doesn't there!

Anyway, I've been working on sewing a few (I may need up to or more than 100!) hexes!

The hex background needs to be at least 18" by 22" but I don't have to put them behind the horse.  I'll just use a piece of muslin/fabric and build around a shape of a horse.

At least sewing the hex pieces, which are around 3/4" are portable so I can go from the lanai to the couch and just keep on sewing.

 I did see where a 'blog buddy', Beth, from Quilters Beth's Blog,  has been working on her hex project  (check it out!!) and I love how she has her hexes separated in containers!  I'm going to use her idea and separate my hexes by their fabrics.  Sure will make it easier when I go to lay out my pieces!  When I was creating the fabric for my hex horse, I would just grab pieces...sorting through as I went.  Using containers would make it so much easier!  Great idea, Beth!  So glad you showed this on your blog.    Beth calls making the hexes "slow work", which it is but good for keeping our hands busy!!
Which brings me to my  next project buzzing in my brain!!  I was thinking of stamping some of my dyed fabric (the blue pieces) as well as the commercial oranges but....

I need to create a patchwork background because of all the hand stitching I want to do....this will stabilize the piece as I hand stitch (I'll stitch in the ditch on each square/rectangle/etc. by machine).   My hand stitching design is line stitching and I'm not sure if the stamping will interfere with the design or not!  Decisions...see why my little brain gets so taxed!!!  I may stamp just a few squares/pieces and start laying out.

And speaking of stamping /etc.  I did purchase from ProChem some Pebeo Suede paints. 

What for you ask??  Heck if I know!!  Actually, I'm thinking I'd like to use them for the online challenge piece (theme 'garden').  But who knows.  They looked interesting and a cheap enough price.  Only problem...don't know what I was thinking...but I usually get primary colors and then mix...well, duh, I didn't this time.....I also got yellow, not pictured above, and a lightening medium!

Oh, and I'm also working in between on another shrug...I did take back the worsted yarn and purchased a finer weight, similar to the yarn I made the other shrug in.  I liked the heavier weight but....this yarn will be so much better.  And yes, I went back to my newest, favorite shop, Yards N' Yarn!
I was going to add either white or black for the ribbing but decided to just keep it all one color. Anyway, it's also good TV work.  The shrug pattern is by Sally Melville's daughter, Caddy, which I've shown on my blog before.  It's in their book, Mother Daughter Knits...I also forgot (go figure!) to mention I'm taking an online knitting class from Sally and its FANTASTIC!!!  I have learned so much and her demo's are great.  You can ask questions and her turnaround time is perfect!  There's lots of discussion on the site, which is good.  Someone else can ask he dumb question for you!  The class if through and the class is called Essential Techniques.

Now do you know why I have so many headaches!!!  Too, too, too much going on up there!