Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Ok, I am a sucker for textures...

More Sammy

Here are a few new pictures of Light of my life Samantha. On the first here she is in a tired doggie position wearing her signature red hoodie. (Yes, I have a matching one!) Then a Why did you wake me up face followed by an I am going back to sleep face and last but not least the Good Girl wants cookies positions. If only I could get her to sit like that with my jewelry on....

More Textures

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


The beauty of working with beads and creating jewelry with them, is that unlike with paintings, You can touch them, hold them in your hands, feel them against you skin.

It's not only a visual , but a tactile experience as well, art for you fingers not only your eyes.

So it is the best part of bead embroidery that you can create your own landscapes, dream up a new world.
With a bunch of beads, that are nothing, but themselves, teeny little entities, You can create a new universe, a disorderly order, if you please, out of chaos.

A world that has not existed before, where you are the creator, calling things into being as you wish, where every stitch is a new creation myth unwinding.

I always wanted to make things that don't exist in this world yet, that might be a window between our world and something different, something enchanted.

I think I am an escapist. Not in a bad way though. The balance is in being grounded in this world to dream of an other one....

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The garden of live flowers

I am ever so tempted to put up more and more doggie pictures, but this blog should be about my jewelry too, so here is a detailed view of my necklace called "The garden of live flowers".
If you like Alice in Wonderland as much as I do, then You surely know that it is from Through the looking glass, and it's the chapter in Which Alice meets the talking flowers. I usually use mostly bright colors, so this is something new for me ,a bunch of muted earthy tones balanced by purples and oranges. I love the textures on this piece, it really comes alive. It's also one of the most wearable necklaces I have... That is not to say that my jewelry is not wearable, it's simply, mostly not for everyday wear. Some of them should be worn on occasions only, may it be a ball or a goth cruise. This is however a piece , that one could wear with just about anything .

Doggie Funnies

Priceless pictures . Boxer lovers, Unite!

Oldies but goodies....

These are all older works of mine, that I shall never part with, or I already gave away to good friends. But I figured I would put them up here, so You can still see them...

Glorious moments of being a dog mother.

On the continental divide with Samatha. Then her first sniff of violets last spring. Followed by the PLAY WITH ME, NOW! face , and last but not least is Sammy swimming.

A Painting of Sammy

I was on a vacation when I felt like painting. As The Lord of the Rings is one of my favorite books, I thought about depicting Samantha as the ring bearer. You can see the ring around her neck and the dark tower in the background. Well, I don't think the world will be changed by my painting,
but it was fun. Now it hangs in our living room .
Just look at the glorious underbite, the determination of the royal chin, the gaze. If dogs could run for president, this would be her campaign poster.

What I do when I don't bead...

Well, I do have a day job. I sell shoes. Who would have thought, right? But I also make other things, such as these lovely shadow boxes that currently hang in my bathroom. I am considering making these for sale, so keep checking my etsy store.
But for now, a few words on these beauties: I just play around with light and dark, whatever comes to mind. Like the first one: Sammy lost in the woods, listening to two old crows talking on the tree. Second one:
A girl contemplating her image with her little dog for company. I used to have a doggie just like this when I was a kid, her name was Little Alice.
Then the third , this one is pretty clear, a which stirring her cauldron in a deep dark forest.
Is she wicked, is she nice?
That is up to You dear viewer.
I think with a lot of things I do, that is the main question.

These three are done in smaller frames, then I use a knife to cut out the paper, and that takes a while ,as one has to be careful, then put it in the frame. I usually use three different layers, there might be more.
I am thinking about making these in full color next, it has been on my mind for a while ,might as well give it a try as soon as I have time for it.

The way I hung these and three more was alternating black and white frames in two rows of three. But I think they would be really nice individually too.

I think I like to make shadow boxes for how easy it is to create a contrast, to create visual interest and tell a story.
Compared to my jewelry, this hardly takes any time....

Here You can see the inside of that box and a closeup from a necklace. Almost everything You see here is available on etsy.com

A mix of things

Here you can see a few things:
Samantha sleeping, this time without jewelry, gloriously in her birthday suit.
Then the decoupaged box where I keep all my jewelry.

My brand new necklace modeled by lovely Samantha Regina

Sunday, April 4, 2010

On the nature of bead embroidery...

I stumbled upon bead embroidery by an accident about 5 years ago, as I picked up a Bead and Button magazine at a local craft store looking for something fun to try.

There was a bead embroidered cuff bracelet featured and it seemed challenging and fun, so I gave it a try, and that, My Friend, was the beginning of an avalanche! The first piece only contained one dichroic glass cabochon and all seed beads and had a really simple backing with no finish on the edges. I used this new technique to make more bracelets, all different designs and ended up giving them away for family and friends who loved the new pieces and encouraged me to make more.

Throughout the years I learned new stuff and experienced with different additions to my work, such as Swarovski crystals and gemstones, polymer clay face cabs and whatever I could lay my hands on.

I got more efficient at the actual process, when I first started out it took me 35 hours to make a cuff, now days, I can sometimes complete a necklace in that time. The design of course takes longer and some of the more intricate pieces take far longer, I only write about time here because that's the most commonly asked question concerning my work, and so just to give You an idea.

I , however think, that putting in all the time is simply not enough to make great bead embroidered jewelry:

One has to have a great design, so the finished piece sits where it should, is comfortable , but also, and this might be the most important part, the composition has to be right.

I dislike symmetry. Indeed very much so. I have yet to create something that is symmetric. More important then that, to me, is organic flow. It has to be balanced.It has to have life , and life is imperfect, and that makes is unrepeatable and precious.

Colors are important: If one was to use colors that are all on the same scale between dark and light, the outcome will be a muddy mess. On this I mean, is that if You were to take a black and white picture of a bead embroidered necklace , the different colors should be different sorts of grey , if it's all the same, the visual effect in the color world will not be pleasing. Sort of like with drawing or painting.

The way I chose my colors is first thinking about the jewelry, getting a mental image of what the finished piece should feel like, then going through all my beads and picking different shades of the chosen colors. It's a good idea to only pick about three colors, You can always use different shades of these colors.

Two years ago....
Here is Samantha Regina Shaub, best boxer pup in the whole world, modeling "I watch You dream" for You. She is my muse and inspiration and so this blog will follow her adventures as well my artistic wonderings. It was exactly two years ago,on Easter Sunday ,that she bit herself into my life. She was outside with her 10 siblings in a playpen on their family's front lawn in Windsor, CO, I picked her up and she bit me. It was love at first bite...

Here is a closer look at I watch You dream. I used some taxidermy alligator eyes for the center pieces here, and wanted to create something a bit creepy but alluring. I am a huge fan of Tim Burton, and I like the dark twisted and fairytale like quality of his movies. Dark and twisted,but not evil, just a bit strange and unusal. I hope one day it gets to someone who is going to love it as much as I loved making it...