Wednesday, May 30, 2007


woooo hooo!!!!! I've been working on and off on the Universal Soul project for months now!! A little background: I decided last fall that I needed to get new slides done. Now to date I've taken my own photos, and for being a complete amateur, I don't think my photos are too bad. But I am an Amateur!! I, Kat admit I cannot take photos as well as a professional. Now that is out of the way, I decided that 2007 was the year of professional slides. The problem was what to photograph. I figured a pro would cost $300-$500, and if I'm spending that kind of money then it's going to be something worthy of that kind of money. Now I like my stuff, but I'm sort of all over the map style wise. By September, I really don't have much inventory left, certainly nothing that I consider my best or most creative. And all the advise I've read about slides is you should have a theme or tie all the slides together somehow if possible. So it made sense to me that I needed to make a whole series based on the same idea or concept. I didn't have any "big ideas" right at that moment, but I figured I would run across the prefect idea, and just expand it out in 4-5 pieces. Then in October I practically stole these great, galaxy beads ( at first glance I was thinking big- galaxy, universe, etc, they really said to me space scenes!) from my friend and lampworker Tera.( ) Then in March, I was getting something else out, ran across Tera's beads, and again they shouted out to me! I sat down and started to work on Universal Soul. It speaks to me how everything in this life is connected... once I got it down, I realized I just got the first piece of what would be the series for slides. And it features my favorite colors, what could be more perfect!!!! So the big pendant was renamed Universal Soul I, and quickly it followed Universal Soul II ( earrings) and Universal Soul III (bracelet) And then I stalled for a month or so. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do next. I sketched out several ideas, and didn't like them. After some debate, I decided I would make a spiral chain, and use one of the beads as a pendant on it. My two beg loves are seedbeading and wireworking, what better to combine the two in once piece? I started the spiral chain you see below, but I didn't like how it was working up. I started thinking again on what Universal Soul means to me, how it's all connected, and life recycles. Next thing I knew I'd made this great big giant spiral out of wire, and then I mounted the bead and the seed chained I'd started, and added a few crystals and a few more spirals, and I had US IV: Earth Spiral. Last piece I finished about 2 weeks ago. I'm calling it US V: Cloud. I was thinking about the milky way, how it always looks like this cloud with sparkies in it. Anyway, Last week I had all five pieces photographed by a professional in my area: All the photos today are from the shoot, I think she did an outstanding job. And she's quick.. The shoot was on 5/22/07 and I got them back today. Thanks Carolyn!

YOJ: week 21 Coral Reef

I'm running behind again darn it. This was due on Sunday, I actually started the piece on Sunday, and got it done on Monday but finally got the pics taken and posted. This is my version of a coral reef. It's 5 strands of chips and mini spikes, pearls, seed beads and 3 charms representing the wildlife that would be teeming at a real coral reef. (And of course the reef would also be alive! ) Originally I was going to make it 7 strands, but I thought it looked full enough at 5 strands. Overall I'm pleased with it, but I had some grand ideas for the other possible topic for the week, Beach Scene. Didn't have the time though. I've got several sketches that might someday be really kewl jewelry!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

YOJ: Week 20: On the pond

OK running alittle late this week, and definitely running low on inspiration. "On the Pond" didn't really do much for me. I decided last week I needed to get some pendants done for inventory, so I did a bunch of these.. but this one made me think of the theme. It's a dyed Paula shell cab, a lovely dark blue w/ green hi-lights. what better for a pond? Of the 3 I made in "Reuther style" I think this one turned out the best! Even the back is neater than I usually manage on this style!!
Here are pics of the other 2 I made. Both the pink and the blue are vintage Japanese cabs, and I used gold filled wire on them. I made "on the pond" last, so maybe I have to do 3 to warm up or something.....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Week 19: Sacred Rites, Birth ---- "Possibilities"

I had a rotten day at the $$ job.. so what better way to work it off than bead!! And what better way than to work on week 19: Sacred Rites, Birth. I have been toying with this idea for a few weeks... and the wonderful hollow bead that Jodie Marshall (check her out in links!) made for me was in today mail.. it seemed to be a royal command to work on the challenge early. Besides, all I had to do otherwise was bills, dishes, bathroom toilet etc... ugh!! I've named it Possibilities, because when your pregnant, all you can think of is possibilities. Boy? Girl? Tall? Short? Uncle Erma's chin? Will I be her best friend when she's an adult? What will be her favorite color? What will her eye color be? Will she grow up loving to sing like I do? Will she be a daddy's girl like I was? Can I raise a happy healthy child with at least fewer maladjustment's than I have? Who will be the first person to hurt her? Will it be me? I hope it won't be me!! Can I really do this? Bring another life into the world? Who will give her her first kiss? Will I always be able to protect her? Will she be a better person than I am?

There are a bunch of darker thoughts too.. but through it all, you sit there thinking, wondering, what-ifing, enough to drive anyone crazy, but you have this big, silly grin on your face all the time!
Possibilities is a pendant constructed in 24, 22, 18 & 16 gauge sterling silver. The bead is full of some of my favorite crystal colors, to represent the swirling mass of constant what ifs. The mouth is red seed beads. I had a bunch of fun making this, an evening well spent!! Below is one of the concept drawings I've made over the last few weeks.. I just got the idea of using the hollow bead last week, and put in an emergency bead order to Jodie (Thanks again Jodie!! it's perfect!!) Also is the copper mock-up I made to figure out the correct bends... with silver so expensive I've been doing more and more mock-ups.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Week 18: Gods and myths yields "Odin's Path"

I love myths... in mythology you find the arch types for just about every possible story plot known to man.. and in myths Gods are just as human and have as many foibles as , well, we humans do. I've had this idea for this week's challenge playing around in my head for a month! I knew I wanted to do Norse mythology, and almost immediately I thought of the rainbow bridge. 1st, it's colorful! which I love, and 2nd, I"ve just always loved the idea of the bridge between our world and the gods. The transition between the godly and the mundane; the spiritual and the literally down to earth. In Norse tradition the bridge is guarded by Heimdall, so I probably should have called it "Heimdall's path" but I figured few would get the reference. Or I could have called it Bifrost which is the Norse name for the bridge. But I call it "Odin's Path" because as I made it I could imagine Odin striding along the beams of light, to visit Midguard aka momma Earth. What would the god be thinking, as he left his godly place to visit earth?

Notes on the construction: Odin's path is a pin with 2 pin backs, 1 on the "earth" side and 1 on the Asgard side. The rainbow bridge is strung crystals hanging between the 2 realms. In wearing the pin you can change which realm is higher, creating slightly different looks. I used sterling wire in 21 gauge square to form the clouds of Asgard. The Earth is a vintage cab from the early 50's, it's one of those great glass cabs from occupied Japan. The detail on it is 2 flowers and leaves.. I picked it because from the distance the details just show up as texture. I wrapped the cab using a modified Eni Oken wrap. It's alittle more uneven than I like but in this case I think it adds to the charm of the piece.. after all earth cannot be prefect, not with the heavens just over the bridge! I loved how the clouds turned out!