Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Initials & Date are ON

So I Guess That Makes it Official...
 I officially need to get my fingers greased up and get to towne on these sides to finish them this year. I like the larger pearls...yes, REAL pearls~ I wanted them to look chunky and in a 'script' that I have seen in pearls on several period caskets~ the small one millimeter pearls I used on the front were just too small to get the look I wanted
If you look to the left, you will see a bit of the evil Satan's Bush on the Swan side panel....ohhh those bushes. Tip: Test your stitches on a practice piece before commiting on the actual panel
And I have an active practice doodle frame set up for such things....but did I use it this time? Nope. I had studied a casket up close at Colonial Williamsburg, and on it, in 4 different places, I found about 1/2" or smaller(I know why) areas with a very fascinating, microscopic stitch that I really loved the look of. It looks exactly like what I was able to execute in beads...but I still havent figured out the stitch in silk yet~ no its not a bullion stitch of any kind...anyways, I was bound and determined to have that on my casket.
Hours upon hours upon hours and a zillion beads later....I had like....literally....half inch of space worked...my eyes were killing me, I could no longer retain focus, my neck hurt....it was torture. 
But me being stubborn as I am, I kept going until I filled in every last space of my bushes, and covered over forever the garbled of overwritten mess of 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018 of dates I had planned on having there....
I moved them over to the Lions side

So, I better get busy on this~ I have all the background roses finished, all that is left that is drawn on the panels now are the grape clusters, so those will be next, then it will be a never ending sea of leaves leaves and leaves...and then most likely, more leaves
To say I cant wait would be an understatement...but...
I cant wait

Thursday, September 12, 2019

This Summer

Where did it go?
  It seems like its been forEver since I was able to work on my casket~ I can't even remember if I have shared my Lion with ya'll?  I got him finished before I left for England...really wanted to give him real teeth...but alas, my tooth drawer did not yield anything his size, or worthy of his stately presence....so he got glass teeth...I hope he doesn't mind.  
For my birthday husband gave me the gift of him cooking supper for an entire month~ I didn't think it would last, but here we are a week and half in, and hes still going, so I have been taking advantage and spending the time I would normally be cooking supper,  working on my casket. It's coming on very slow...a million and one flower petals and leaves...thats where I'm at. 
 I had such a wonderful time in England, words cannot even describe it. I went with my bestie a week early before Summer School and we stayed in London and had a blast.  There was never a dull moment~ the first day, after arriving and getting our things settled at the hotel, we were off to Covent Garden. I wanted to get some paper at Il Papiro....but alas, the Italian Stationer no longer has a store in the Market. The White Lion was beautiful as ever...I think I need to eat supper here the next time I'm in London....

 O.K. now this is a hilarious memory for me that will make me smile until the day I die...and probably afterwards for that matter....anyone who knows me knows I am a morning person and ALWAYS on time...always early...don't ever want to be late~ not me.  Well we had planned on walking across the Thames our first morning in London, and being at the Tower of London a little before 10 am, when it opened. I slept well on my flight, and wasnt feeling any jet laggy at all~ my bestie tho had been up over 24 hours by the time we went to bed....I didn't bother to get out my alarm (you can tell where this is going?) because I wasnt that tired, and well, it was just around 8pm....I would be up in plenty of time, and would wake her up if needed.....so I literally blink my eyes and am jolted awake by a loud slam~ someone had thrust open our door and the little flip lever thingy had caught it so they couldn't come in....about that time, I am wondering what the heck is going on because Im not really awake yet, I see S look at her watch and at the same time she jets out of bed and says 'its 11 o'clock!'  
Oh my golly. I dont think I have ever slept that many hours in a row before! LOLOLOL  I am still laughing about it. So...we were a bit late getting over to the Tower of London, but it was fantabulous, none the less.

 I got to see the crown jewels~ amazing. All the armor in the White Tower....amazing. The Chapel in the White Tower~ Heavenly. It was a beautiful day out, and yes, I even got to see the Ravens. Because we were a bit late, we didnt have time for a proper visit to Westminster Abbey, so I took a quick zip out to Harrods 
 Who knew that LaDuree has a tea salon around the back of Harrods? Well you do now!

 Can you imagine getting to work at this counter? Since when were tea & cakes so blasted gorgeous?
You must make a reservation for Afternoon Tea tho~ if you are thinking of going~ you can reserve online at Harrods' website

I have been plugging away at roses...trying to get all the flowers finished that are drawn on my panel first...then will work on foliages and see if I need more flowers. I am afraid that I will get these sides finished, and then go back and look at the top or the front, and decide they are too sparse and get sucked into a never ending vortex of adding more flowers and leaves until every bead I own is on here somewhere.....

Thursday, September 05, 2019

2019 Ltd Edition Ornament Kit

 Is Just About Gone gone Gone!
He has been a popular fellow this one....  If you have been pondering getting this years limited edition ornament kit, Ort King,  I have just a scant 12 kits left, and then he will be history!  You can click the link to learn more about him~ hes worked in silks and real gold on linen...there are 32 pages of step by step, full color photo & written instruction...4 pages of stitch and pattern guides...all threads & material are included save for a few things like scissors and embroidery hoop~
Next year will be the 5th year of my limited edition ornament series....I got somethin pretty special planned!

Thursday, August 22, 2019

What A Time!

 2019 Bath Textile Summer School
  Have just arrived back home to Colorado from spending the past few weeks in England.  I had a fabulous time, and want to send a big Thank You to all of my students at the Bath Textile Summer School for taking my classes and being such enthusiastic learners!  Bookings open on August 24th for next years summer school~ click the link above to go check out the new website and see the classes on offer.  I am honored to have been asked to return in 2022, and will be designing a special piece(s) to commemorate the Great, Beautiful, city of Bath, as seen above, looking on from Prior Park.

  This year's classes were held at the Bath Royal Literary & Scientific Institution situated in the heart of Bath alongside the Queen's Square.

  In my first class, Pretty Ladye, we focused on surface bead techniques and how to build up a figure

 The BRLSI has gorgeous classroom spaces~ they are large & bright,with ample lighting. My room directly overlooked Queen's Square...and yes, that's a dinosaur casting on the wall. It's easy to see why the Lonsdale Room is referred to as the Dinosaur Room!

  Not bad for a single day's progress~ the beads do work up so much faster than silk

 My second class, Bath Bunny, focused on more detached techniques, and specifically how to build beaded stumpwork animals~

 It was an absolute joy to have two of my prior students visit and bring with them their completed Bath Arbor Baskets~ It's great to see them side by side to see how different & unique they are~ I love them!

  I never require my students to have any prior knowledge of beadwork to take my classes. Some work fast, some work slow~ it doesnt matter. I always provide step by step written instructions so that they can be referred to at a later time~ but just look what these girls were able to get finished in class...makes me super happy! 

Thankyou so much to Lynne & Michael Roche for inviting me to come and teach~ they both work so hard to make sure everything runs smoothly. It was and honor to be in such fine company with fellow tutors Jenny Adin Christie and  Janet Bolton again. Ah! Such. A. Wonderful . Time.

If you have placed an order whilst I have been away, thankyou for waiting! I am on my way to the post today to ship them all out, so look for a ship notice email later on this evening.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Flat Casket Progress

Not Much...
The last day I worked on my casket was April 19th....work has been heavy with orders and getting ready for Bath Textile Summer School and such, so I set it aside for a bit. Too blasted hot to do anything outside...about had a heat stroke yesterday mowing the yard...so inside today working on wings for Msr. Swan...now on to m'Ladye's demure wing. They're so difficult to get to look 'right'. I have a picture in my mind, and when what I make doesn't match it, is very frustrating. He had several wings made and unpicked...feathers made for a different part...didn't look good, so repurposed into a different area...that sort of thing. It's very time consuming, but keeps my mind occupied.
Weather it likes it or not...this casket 

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Yellowstone National Park

SO ...Much....to See

  The second day we were in the park Josh & I had a day hike planned to see the Petrified Forest. I have been to the single petrified tree several times...but never the forest. The hike is a 'strenuous' level of hike, so Josh was the only one who would go with me. All I can say, is,  it was worth it, it was awesome.
 I took about a zillion pictures of buffalo~ they were all shedding..but still looking quite majestic. 
 I love the Buffalo! This time of year, in June, all the mommys had their little babies by their sides~ they are affectionately called 'red dogs', because they're so red. 

  Last time we were at Yellowstone, they were working on a new parking area at Fairy Falls, for the new trail they made up to the 'Grand Prismatic Overlook'. It opened the day after we left, so it was a must go to. FINALLY! To be able to see and appreciate the entire Grand Prismatic Spring! I could never really see anything from the boardwalk~ between all the people on it, and all the steam, it was never one of my favorite spots. Its beautiful from the overlook tho~ it's a great trail that IS handicap accessible. If your planning a trip...it's a must see.

 So Josh & I got up early in the morning for our hike...had to make the drive from Madison campground to the Lamar Valley....it was great~ didn't pass a single car on the way. Matter of fact, we had Tower Falls all to ourselves at 6am...not another soul there!

 It was first week of June, and yes, still snow in spots.  It snowed the day before we got there actually....but most of the park was snow free and in full spring wildflower bloom~ just beautiful.

 Did you know that the Petrified Forest in Yellowstone is the only place in the entire world that trees  have been petrified standing, with their root systems intact? Yep~ it's amazing. Along the trail, they are everywhere~ big small, some on their sides....it's a hard place to find, so if you want to go , definitely recommend a guide book. When it says the level is 'strenuous' and describes parts of the trail as 'inhumanely steep'..(yes, that is a quote from the guidebook!) ....they're not kidding...but its soooo worth it!

 The trees are huge

 At the top, is this giant redwood~ 26 feet in circumference! What is really great tho, is that you can walk around down underneath it, and see the petrified roots.

 Also on the low side of it, are these two towering trees

  As if that wasn't great enough...on the way back to the campground, we saw a mamma bear and two cubs.  I have been to Yellowstone so many times, and rarely see any bears...this trip...NINE bears!  

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Yellowstone National Park

A Glorious First Day!
Yellowstone National Park is one of my favorite places. I never ever get tired of  it~ it's just a magical place, each and every time we visit. One of husbands favorite stops along the way, is the Fountain of Youth RV Park in Thermopolis, Wyoming. We drive up from southern Colorado, and get there around 2ish pm, to enjoy a nice quiet afternoon in the hot springs. From here, it's just about a 2 hour drive to Cody, about 45 minutes from the East entrance to Yellowstone.

 Of coarse my little mini me is with me~ she loves riding in the car~ outside of the car, she could be found in the hood of my sweatshirt. I wear it backwards and she just fits in her little hammock perfectly!

 There is actually a HOt Springs State Park in Thermopolis, as well as a really awesome Dinosaur Museum that you can even go help participate on the active dinosaur digs in the area, if that's your thing. This particular hot spring at the RV park is knows as Sacajawea Well~ they were actually drilling for oil here in 1918, and hit the mineral spring instead.

 They have the water separated into three different pools~ the pool closest to the spring is off limits, as it is just about boiling hot, as the water reaches the far end, its still pretty warm!  I cant remember the exact amount of gallons it flows, but it flows freely thru the pools, with enough volume to fully replace all the water you see in less than a 24 hour period.

 After our overnight in Thermopolis we were off to Yellowstone. We usually go in later July, early August...but this year, because of Emma graduating and my teaching schedule, we scheduled our trip to begin the first week of June.  Halfway across the park on the way to check in at our campground, Josh & I peeled off from the family group for a very special trip to the Old Faithful Inn.
Not many folks know that you can make reservations (well ahead of time mind you, as in a year before when you make your Yellowstone reservations!) to be part of the 'Flag Ceremony'. Simply put, you can actually make the trek up to the roof of the Inn with a Bellhop to take down the flags~ The National flag, and then the three state flags, one for each of the states Yellowstone is located in~ Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. The tour is limited, they only go up once a day in the evening, and only allow 8 people.

 A trip to Yellowstone is not complete without a visit to the inside of Old Faithful Inn. Its absolutely spectacular~ the first 3 floors are open to the public. In the above picture, you can see the stairs leading upwards from the third floor, and then a very tree house looking...well...tree house!, way at the very top. This is known as the 'Crow's Nest', and when the Inn was built, the orchestra would play music from here.

As many times as I have been to the Inn...too many to count....I have never been allowed past the locked gate on the third floor. This is Zach, the Bellhop unlocking the gate for us!

 Up a flight of stairs, there is a spacious landing that provides a bird's eye view of the entire Inn.

 After climbing up several more flights of stairs, we arrive at the tree house~ it is said the Inn's architect had always wanted to build a treehouse and never had the chance, so he built one into the Inn.

Up yet another little flight of stairs from the tree house, are the doors leading out onto the roof

 It was just amazing, is all I can say. Amazing views I never thought I would see

 Josh got to take down the Wyoming flag

 And it just so happened, Old Faithful erupted while we were still up on the roof~ best seat 'on' the house!

 We watched a group of buffalo wander around the Inn afterward and then trekked back down the stairs on the roof. Theyre pretty steep~ I don't think I would really like going up and down them in the winter

And in perfect Yellowstone fashion, Josh and I had to mill about smartly for a little while longer, waiting for this buffalo get away from behind my car so we could leave! LOL it was an AWESOME first day...could things get any better than this? Well...actually yes they can...just wait