Tuesday, March 31, 2009

a much needed break

i decided to take a much needed and deserved personal day off work today.
yesterday was my regular day off and i ran an errand and worked on some beaded pendants. watched some CSI and made dinner (which i never ever do).

today i am doing the laundry i didn't do yesterday, am hanging out with patches and working on my embroidery techniques. it is soooooooooooooooooooooooo nice to hang out on the couch, watching HGTV and embroidering rather than being stuck at my work bench. it's definitely a nice change.

here's a little sampling of my day so far....

original sketch i am practicing with. i got tired of working just a sampler of various stitches, so i decided to lay down a sketch from my design journal and actually try to complete it. i bought some appleton wool yesterday

and have been working on this most of the morning. i see where i am making mistakes, but i am definitely learning.

these circles are HARD! but fun

i would be farther along with this project if i hadn't had to stop this morning and do this:

this is my work bench.
i had to put this tape (sticky side up of course) on top to keep patches off of it. although it is closed to keep all the goodness/dangerousness away from my little one, she has taken to jumping up on it and...

chewing the push pins that i keep all my inspirations pinned to the wall with, out of the wall and then batting them around. if i had been a little quicker on the uptake this morning, you could all watch a video on the push pin extraction as well as the tape reaction.

she jumped back up only twice since the tape went up and has been sitting in the window looking cute, intelligent, and innocent for the rest of the morning.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

almost finished




now for the ultrasuede and the bail.

but, first i have to make some marveen and mondrian pendants AND some earrings for the gallery in houston.

and tomorrow i am hoping to go pick up the appleton wool i need for my crewel work.

yay. new stuff!!!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

just a reminder...




just a reminder to, if you haven't already, stop by my march 12th post and leave a comment to win each of the lovely earrings pictured above.
yes, they will BOTH go to ONE lucky winner.
the drawing will be april 2nd with the lovely miss patches presiding.
thanks to everyone who has already stopped by and commented.
i can't wait to see whose name comes out of the hat!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

embroidery sample - first look


my new tools... wool and cotton thread, round seed beads (which i have been doing bead embroidery with), and a large, colorful stash of 4x4 ultrasuede squares for backing my beaded embroidery pendants. yummy.

i wanted to share a few shots of what i have been working on today. although i bought a book on traditional embroidery techniques (the embroiderer's handbook) and one on crewel work (the new crewel), it didn't take me long to figure out i was pretty much interested only in crewel or crewel type embroidery.

i did find it a little frightening and bit disconcerting to discover that several of my ideas were very similar to the ones in the new crewel by katherine shaughnessy. oh well. there's another gal on etsy stacking vintage sequins too. of course, she's probaly actually SELLING hers, but let's not go there today, ok!

i guess i can't have everything. but i think my work stands on it's own and anyone who sees it - if i ever master the techniques - will be able to tell it's my work. i really can't wait to transfer some of my beading patterns to this new medium.

i am still not 100% sure exactly what crewel refers to - is it the wool, the style, or the stitch? if anyone knows, please feel free to explain it to me. the lady who tried to help me at the needlepoint shop near where i work just confused the beejaysus out of me. and she was a little condescending. reason # 15 why i don't play well with others.

i found her reaction to me utterly fascinating, and yet somewhat annoying as i attempted to explain to her that i was not interested in following patterns or learning every stitch in the book - that i had my own designs which i was interested in making.

she was a very "by - the - book" type who, you could tell had studied all types of needlepoint thoroughly and was very knowledgeable, but.... she just didn't "get" someone like me walking in off the street with a head full of ideas and just wanting to make sure i had loads of thread and fabric to play with until i figured out a way to do what i wanted.

she kept trying to explain to me the difference between crewel work and "regular" embroidery. i was there for 20 minutes and i still don't understand the difference. perhaps i just don't care.

i want to fill circles and squares with thread. whatever that's called - that's what i want to do.

so here are a few shots of the sampler which i worked on for a few hours today:


satin stitch in wool over split stitch. the lady at the needlepoint shop told me this was one of the hardest stitches to master, but i found it very easy and
fulfilling. all pun intended. this is the reason i wanted to start embroidering and then found crewel work - all because i wanted to make this circle! har! go figure.
i don't think it's too bad for a first try.


french knot ( black wool). sooooooo much fun to make. i didn't think it would be, but it was. i can't wait to fill an entire space with these in different colors!


bad stem stitch (black)- wool - before i figured out exactly how to place the needle.
better stem stitch (orange) but in cotton floss. still needs work. i think that is the hardest stitch i tried today. reminded me of mending pants. not as much fun as i thought it would be, but great for swirls and curves.



the whole kit and kaboodle. it's only about 3" round. so i was working small. i had a lot of difficulty near the edges, so i guess i will experiment with either moving the hoop or working bigger. since i an not that interested in working bigger, it'll probably be moving the hoop.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

lookie what i got...





this BEA-U-TIFUL necklace arrived friday from the multi talented carol dean sharpe of sand fibers.

it is my first sand fibers piece - but probably not my last - and it was made just for me! yay! how fabulous is that?! you know that copper and turquoise are my fave color combo - and carol dean knew that too!

there is nothing like coming home after a long, gruelling day at work and finding a slice of beauty waiting for you in your mailbox.

i think every day needs to have more beauty in it, and thanks to carol dean and her innovative, gorgeous, wearable designs, there is.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

pretty things

if you are looking for fun, cheerful, colorful jewelry
stop by lori anderson's blog and website.
you know i am a bitch for vintage lucite and, girl,she has it.
along with pretty much something for every event and mood in your life.
fun stuff. but, you know me - it's all about the vintage!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

sugar bowl



my dear friend, penelope sent me this darling sugar bowl for my birthday!
such a surprise! she is always so thoughtful. i love it!
and i am keeping her safe from patches.
which is not easy, i must say...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

bead embroidery pendant





this is my first real attempt at making a bead embroidery pendant.
i thought it looked pretty good until i got up close and personal with it.
hmmmm... a little on the rough side, still.
guess this one will be for me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

a happy picture for a dreary monday



this painting by jason hawkins along with where the wild things are figures ( a gift from my friend, adrienne) hangs above the mantel in our living room. it is one of my favorite things in the house.
i thought it would be nice to post such a happy picture today, since here in new orleans it is dreary and rainy and just blahhhh.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

TiLT your head



thanks to jill at livngoodjewelry i recently discovered tilt creations.
theresa hand crafts wonderful totes and evening bags ( like the one above - i totally dig the texture and the retro colors of this little gem) AND she publishes some pretty tasty recipes on her blog. i have searched the food network website until i am blue in the face, and i find the black beans and rice recipe i want to make on a fellow crafter's blog.
life is full of surprises...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

a birthday give a way

it's my birthday and i'll give away jewelry if i want to...

yes,you heard me correctly. today, instead of receiving gifts, i have decided to GIVE.

this is my first blog give a way, and i am as excited as i can be.

in fact, i have decided to give a way not one - but TWO pairs of earrings, to one lucky reader.

since we're not fancy schmancy over at the leilani household, this is how it'll go:

just leave a comment on this post - you can say anything, as long as it's nice, and on april 2nd ( we'll bypass april fool's day) i will let miss patches pick the winner. she's very fond of paper, so we'll do this the old fashioned way.

i have included pics below of the two pairs of earrings i would like for you to have.

the first pair is hand woven 22kt gold seed beads in what i am calling my deco diamond pattern. there is a small, faceted orange garnet at the bottom.

the second pair is part of my new vintage sequin line. there are silver 4mm sequins at the bottom and gold 3mm at the top.

i have attached photos of what they look like on the ears as well.

so, i hope that everyone will have a happy day today and i will announce the winner on april 2nd.




Saturday, March 7, 2009

something in common, something to think on

let me be frank.
i LOVE my blog.
i LOVE blogging. i would do it full time, if i could.

and i love reading the myriad of other blogs that i follow,
and finding a new one is always a thrill, especially if that blog not only inspires you creatively but also gives you something to think about.

that's how i felt after finding and reading the last two posts on the magical beadstalk's blog.

terry is a fellow beader, who, unlike yours truly actually has a real studio and makes a living off of her work. but, it seems she does have some trouble getting going some days(see her "not enough time in the day" post) and i can totally and completely relate to that! pretty much every monday i wonder where my day off to make jewelry went!?!

she also put up a beautiful post about nourishment in all it's many forms that left me sitting here - again - thinking that i really need to appreciate everything i have every day and treat each day like a work of art.

well, i guess i better go be creative and stop blogging....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

etsy shop finally updated!



you've seen these pieces before, but- these are better pictures - and i finally listed them in my etsy shop (along with the pieces i posted here yesterday).
yippee.
i feel productive.

Monday, March 2, 2009

new work





i finally had some time AND a sunny day to take pictures of some of my new pieces.
will be posting to etsy tonight and tomorrow