Monday, September 11, 2023

Staying Sharp

Inquiring Minds

I've been asked how I found French beading or why I even considered the challenge of it. Of course, the saying "to each her own" comes to mind. With very few responsibilities other than laundry and occasional house cleaning (and I do mean occasional) I have completely retired from all things I do not favor. Hey, it's time.

I didn't know anything about French beading until I joined a Facebook Group that does monthly projects with everyone following the same pattern and an instructor who presents the techniques involved. My most recent Group experience was from "Learn how to make French Beaded Flowers" which is co-hosted by Fen Li and Lauren Harpster. See my last blog post for links to their valuable & substantial social media presence. Their background stories as designers, instructors, and authors are fascinating! If you are interested in the history of French beading --which may have begun in the 1500's or even earlier-- Lauren has done some incredible research on the subject. I cannot get wait to get back to another project. This month, another Group called "Seeds Beads and More" is working on tiny succulents!

Speaking of Time

Two weeks ago my beading activity was brought to a halt by minor wrist surgery. It was not unexpected but so untimely--and highly inconvenient-- for any artist. Just when I was starting to think that I was superhuman. LOL I have found ways to keep busy reconciling four months of bank statements. NOT beading is SO boring. 😁🌵👍 However, I did find a vase for my French Beaded Asiatic Lily! It is nicely heavy and I paid just $2 for it at a thrift shop where they thought it might be Carnival Glass. The base is stamped "Federal Law Prohibits the Sale and Re-Use of This Bottle". My boredom generated curiosity so I visited and found some theorizing on the stamp as an "effort to discourage the reuse of empty bottles for bottling and selling homemade... distilled liquor ("moonshine")" during a 29-year period between 1935 and 1964. There is even a way to hopefully decipher the numbers stamped on the base. Temporarily lured by my curiosity, I quickly exited that rabbit hole. But YOU might have some fun checking your vintage bottles...

At Last! I'm A Calendar Girl

This year's annual calendar, to be published sometime in October by the Feminine Mystique Art Gallery in Tubac, Arizona, will include photographs of a number of the artists whose works adorn this mesmerizing Gallery. Starting with five artists 25 years ago, the Gallery now represents the works of over 85 talented women. Each month of the calendar focuses on one artist, reflecting some of their best work. As one of those artists--and included in the calendar-- I'm going to have a number of these 6 x 9 wall calendars (aka stocking stuffers) selling for $12 each with free shipping. You can reserve one or several! Simply email me your postal address and how many you want to reserve, and I'll contact you for prepayment.


Do you know that I found my Tribe two years ago when I joined the Tucson Handweavers & Spinners Guild? I have met nothing but kindness and I've even learned how to use a small loom. How nice it is to be part of -- and supported by -- a community of accomplished artists. The Guild will hold its Annual Fiber Arts Sales Event on October 20th and 21st, 2023, at St Francis in the Foothills. There will be lots of unique handmade artistry for you to choose from! Outstanding fiber related items will reflect Guild Member skills in weaving, basketry, braiding, beading, spinning, needle felting, wet felting, sewing / wearable art, surface design, tapestry, knitting, crocheting, textile dying, and rug making. It is all a great span of beautiful creations. I bought this colorful woven shawl at the last sale. Thank you, Gail Rochlin.

So... get crafting for the Season ahead. It provides a great distraction and is healthier for your brain than worrying. It works for me and I am planning to get my hands back into beads very soon! Let me know where your artistry lies and if I can offer any support. I mean it.

Goodbye Summer! (...I sure hope)
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