Ah yes! Thirteen days left until our pieces are due to be sent in for judging by the esteemed Battle of the Beadsmith judges! Who, me? Panic? Not at all... much. I have had such a block lately when it comes to this that it isn't even funny (or at least, not to me) and have scrapped my first choice of project because no MATTER what I did with it, it refused to talk to me. Which just blew my mind, really, as it has been something I was looking forward to making for almost a year now. After three weeks of staring at it grimly and two weeks of having it stare back even more grimly, I finally put it aside (after chopping it up and putting it into a pile in a baggie for later reference, or possibly to be thrown at something) and sulked for a few days. I couldn't think of a thing - not one single lonesome idea came to my head. At last I decided to make something small and easy, something I had done before successfully, to see if it would help. I grabbed my gorgeous Beverly Ash Gilbert Golden Raspberry bead soup and... Ah-hah! At least I was able to feel like I had accomplished a little bit, and it surely felt wonderful to have needle in hand again - I had literally been in tears when I spent five days Notbeading - I am not a happy person, or even much like myself at all, when I'm Notbeading. I must bead like sharks must swim, and am completely at a loss without it. So now I had Rose, my little fringy and fun bracelet.
After Rose, or actually near the end of Rose, I had another idea - it didn't seem large or grand enough for BoB, but it was still an Idea, and so I set to work on it and tried realllllllly hard not to think about BoB at ALL. During the time I made Between, I spent a lot of time thinking about my friend, Peter Sewell, who has recently passed away from an aggressive form of cancer. Peter was a brilliant bead artist, and made the most lovely and architecturally sound pieces of beadwork, and had such an incredible sense of balance in his work. I think that because of him, this piece came to be - I hardly ever work with straight lines and the kind of symmetry that Between has, and even more amazing, I did not once break a bead while making the peyote bits - I am positive Peter helped with that because I always break a bead while doing peyote stitch in the ditch, so thank you Peter - for your inspiring work, your fabulous sense of humor, and your help and love, everything you were to everyone who loved you back.
Between is named as it is because for me it embodied my dilemma - between wanting to bead and needing to make something for a specific reason - so in my head it is Between Want and Need. I left it at Between because I hope that the viewer can fill in the blanks with their own version of what it is that's 'between.' The awesome focal bead is by Amber Ballard of thatbeadgirl, and I highly encourage you to check out her website and her work... I have quite a collection of it, and drool over more of them almost every day.
I also wanted to plant a shameless self-promotion out here, hoping that you will all run right out and buy a copy of this book that features some of my work, and some INSANELY talented bead artists from around the globe - I can't wait to get this, not to see my things in print, but because it is sure to be one of the most inspiring and beautiful books this year. Lark is also doing a giveaway on the book, where you could possibly grab yourself a signed (by Ray, the editor!) copy and be the very first one to have a copy! Check out the book on Amazon HERE and if you like what you see, click on Like!
Last but not least, my very good friends David and Jo Tong have been able to open their store front on the web now, and it would be wonderful if you could take a second to stop by there and check it out. If you do, and want to leave some feedback here on my blog, that would be awesome, as it's a brandy-new set up, and they would love to have some tips on how they could make it better for their customers. They are also having their Grand Opening sale until June 30th with some products at 50% off and some at 25% off... check out their blog HERE for the discount codes and here's the link to the new store: New England Beads. :)
I am hoping, once I finish my BoB piece (cross your fingers for me that I finish in time!!) and my Beading For a Cure piece, that I will be able to work on a tutorial for my Juliet necklace/bracelet/earrings....