Monday, June 29, 2009

Imagine This...

ANNOUNCEMENT! The winner of our Jodi Horgan Beaded to Wear Giveaway is....drumroll...bellajoya!!! YAY!!! Congratulations!!!! Jodi will be in touch with you.....what an AMAZING piece you will receive.

Thank you to Jodi for the fabulous tutorial and to everyone for entering her fantastic giveaway!!

Now...since we didn't play yesterday, I thought we'd make Tuesday a play day....

Which would you rather be....someone who works at an aquarium or a zookeeper?

Imagine a Monday Filled With Magic...Well, You Don't Have To Imagine For Long Because This Week's Mini-Monthly Makes That Idea a Reality

This is my favorite Mini-Monthly. The pieces that were created are filled with color and an energy that seeps right into the core of you and not only inspires but it makes everything inside of you fill with life....colorful, fiery, pulsing, dancing, celebrating life!!!

These pieces represent the imagination, determination and sheer magic that exists in the hearts, minds, souls and fingertips of these magnificent professionals. After looking at all of these works, I not only want to own each piece, I want to paint, draw, dream and create right now.

Welcome to Monday....a day you won't soon forget as we tour a magic garden of wonderfulness....

Janet, creator of Janetdavies and Lilacwoman, created these two incredibly gorgeous pieces.

"The colors and shapes of this theme sunk deep into my being and followed me everywhere, in dreams both awake and in sleep," said Janet. "The design on this scarf really reminds me of old navigational maps. Wheels and lines are representing past, present, and future terrains. Again the color and round shapes seep into the realm of jewelry and this necklace is really a surrender to whichever way the wind should take me. There is no rhyme or reason here, just what I wanted to add to it now. The necklace is still incomplete but there’s enough of it to get the idea, I think."

Janetdavies shop:

Lilacwoman shop:

Janetdavies on Artfire:

Kaitlin, creator of Colors by K, created these truly spectacular pieces.

"The blue lilies are for Theme 22: Then there was music," said Kaitlin. "This piece is on a huge 30x40" stretched canvas. I'm just calling it 'Clair de Lune' because I played the song almost constantly for a week and then the entire time I painted it! Some spots are thinner than others and dried faster, so it looks kinda crappy at the moment until I varnish it, but... I wanted to share it anyway :)"

"Theme 23: Then I saw red, is the flame colored canvas. This 18x24" piece isn't finished, but I have to wait for it to dry before I can make good on any inspiration I get for it, which will be a while :)," said Kaitlin.

"Theme 24: Whirling Colors in Mid-Flight was purely last minute and a bit of 'bad luck, good luck'! I had a ton of ideas when I first saw the theme but then managed to get a huge blister weed whacking and couldn't hold a paint brush for a few days, which all of my ideas required :( bad luck) It turned around rather unexpectedly with two successful knife paintings, however! Both are 18x24" on stretched canvas. The vertical one I'm calling 'Rise Up' and the other is still untitled," said Kaitlin.

Clair de Lune
Then I Saw Red
Rise Up

Kris, creator of Lisianblue, created this simply phenomenal piece for Theme 24 : Whirling colors in mid-flight.

"A few weeks ago I found a very large mirror in the dumpster, part of a sliding closet door from the apt complex," said Kris. "I walked away. A few hours later, I went back out to get as much of the mirror out as I could. This wasn't as easy as it sounds! This mirror has a very strong plastic backing and it now had a few bags of trash on it. I couldn't just pull the whole thing out of the dumpster. I finally managed to break some off, and came away with a total of about 2 sq ft of mirror - although it's anything but square. When I saw the theme: Whirling colors in mid-flight, I thought oh this is perfect for making a mobile using the mirror. Getting the plastic off the back of the mirror was even more challenging than getting it out of the dumpster! After carefully scraping it , soaking it, rubbing it with alcohol, then paint remover, scraping it some more, I finally succeded in getting the plastic off 2 pieces that would give me enough glass to do something with. I cut the mirror into curved strips, wrapped them with copper foil and soldered, then comes the fun part of balancing the pieces. I debated on painting the backs in different colors or at all, but decided I wanted the colors to come from the mirror. So I painted the back of the pieces silver and let the mirror reflect the surrounding colors - perfect for whirling colors in mid flight! Getting good pictures of a mobile is challenging enough - but one made with mirrors!"

Tell me, are you not completely inspired? Don't you feel alive, alive, alive??

Please share your thoughts, ask the artists questions, leave a comment and some love here. Then, go visit them at their shops and blogs, share some more and tell a friend! Thanks so much for visiting!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Theme 25: There was a line, then a splash of color and suddenly...

REMINDER: The Mini-Monthly showcase is Monday, June 29th. Please send your submissions in by the end of the day, Sunday, June 28th...YAY! Can't wait to see it all!

Every act of creation is first an act of destruction.
-Pablo Picasso

How you choose to interpret the theme is completely up to you. It simply needs to be tasteful – no pornography or messages of hate here. When you sit down to create, you cannot think about how people will or will not receive your work. You are required to simply enjoy the act of creating.

Everything starts from a dot. ~Wassily Kandinsky

This week, take whatever material you are working on and do something to it across the room, turn it upside down, lay it on the floor and dance around it. Chances are when you first looked at it you had an idea. Let's see it with fresh eyes to see how many more ideas are generated.

Then, place a dot somewhere on the piece and begin from that point. Using line and color simply explore and play .... trust that your creation will emerge.

Willem de Kooning

"I think I'm painting a picture of two women but it may turn out to be a landscape." ~Willem de Kooning

The Fall of Icarus by Henri Matisse

“When I put colors together, they have to join a living chord, like a musical chord or harmony.” ~Matisse

Yellow, Red, and Blue by Wassily Kandinsky

"In their pursuit of the same supreme end, Matisse and Picasso stand side by side, Matisse representing color and Picasso form." ~Wassily Kandinsky

Dove of Peace by Pablo Picasso

"Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions." ~Pablo Picasso

Important Guidelines

The work submitted must be something you have created and/or worked on between the time the theme was revealed and the Thursday unveiling. Please submit your response to no later than end of day Wednesday, July 1st if you would like it to be posted on Thursday, July 2nd. OR send me a link to your response to include in the comments section of the post.

With your response please include:

1. Your name - either first name, shop name or both.

2. The name of your piece (if you choose to give it one)

3. The name of the theme you chose

4. Something you'd like to share (process of creation, idea behind piece) if you'd like to share anything

5. The shop and/or blog links you'd like to include

6. Two photos of your piece or of each of the pieces (3x5 or 4x6 and 72dpi or a max of 96dpi - if you need any help with that please don't worry I'd be happy to help!)

Most importantly, push against your own limits, draw, let color fly, be wild...enjoy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Sensational Artists Invite You to Delight In the Colors Found When We Stop...In Mid-Flight


1. I am sorry for not being around in the comments or on email. I got caught up in two projects but will be resurfacing :) I LOVE everything you guys share...truly, truly!

2. There were folks who were working hard to submit this week but ran out of time. In answer to your questions, there will be a mini-Monthly. In fact, let's make this an official call for the Mini-Monthly. Please have your pieces in no later than the end of the day on Sunday, June 28th for the Mini-Monthly on Monday, June 29th.

This week felt like ...magic. The pieces created not only radiate a sense of fun, there is a clear sense of freedom here. Each artist allowed themselves the time to play and let color move them. They reached inside themselves and brought out true joy. What amazes me even more is that there is a feeling of movement in every piece. The colors, the joy, the celebration in each work made this one of my favorite weeks here, by far! These creative, amazing, giving, talented, professional artists turned the colors within their soul into a present for you to carry in your heart and there anything better?

Grab my hand, let's dance among the colors......

Kittydesigns created this truly stunning piece.

"It is conceivable that some great unexpected mass of matter should presently rush upon us out of space, whirl sun and planets aside like dead leaves before the breeze, and collide with and utterly destroy every spark of life upon this earth... It is conceivable, too, that some pestilence may presently appear, some new disease, that will destroy not 10 or 15 or 20 per cent of the earth's inhabitants as pestilences have done in the past, but 100 per cent, and so end our race... And finally there is the reasonable certainty that this sun of ours must some day radiate itself toward extinction... There surely man must end. That of all such nightmares is the most insistently convincing. And yet one doesn't believe it. At least I do not. And I do not believe in these things because I have come to believe in certain other things--in the coherency and purpose in the world and in the greatness of human destiny. Worlds may freeze and suns may perish, but there stirs something within us now that can never die again."

H. G. Wells, lecture at Royal Institution of London, 1902

Amanda, creator of Persistent Green, created this spectacular 8x8 watercolor and ink on canvas board titled, "Celebrate Today."

“Natasha's lovely theme of whirling colors immediately made me think of joy and celebration (even before I saw her post about the Celebration Revolution!). I created this cheerful, colorful painting in an attempt to mirror those feelings," said Amanda. "Are you celebrating today? Why not? :)”

Agathe, creator of Meherio68, created this gorgeous piece with a fabulous name.

"I have long wanted to use these large, vintage beads and I thought of them the minute I read your post about the colour theme," said Agathe. "Hence the large but lofty, colourful earrings that I called "Great Balls of Colour".

Online Shops:
Blog :

Steph, creator of A Paper Buffet, created this simply wonderful piece.

"Fairy Belle reminds me of a fire fly; I picture her flying through the night, illuminating the dark blue sky and lighting our way to happiness," said Steph.

"Over an hour of colouring to get her colours perfect, and using nail scissors to make sure each detail was captured, Fairy Belle will be for sale in my Etsy store: and her tag can be personalized for your own little Belle."

Kelly, creator of Backward Glances, created this sensational piece.

"What do you do?" is a common enough question. Imagine being able to answer,"I fly kites." Every summer, a few young people here have the job of flying huge fanciful kites with all matters of added adornments - flashes of color and movement against the blue of sky and water and my inspiration for this challenge," said Kelly.

"I started with a photo of a multi-colored tail that had been attached to a huge kite. I've been experimenting with computer enhancing/altering of photos - here's a couple different versions of the same image."

Marja, creator of Glass Elements, created this truly phenomenal piece titled, Sunrise over Melbourne.

"I just knew I had to find time to participate this week - the photos posted for this theme immediately brought back memories of living in Melbourne, Australia last year," said Marja. "We were staying in an apartment on the 10th floor with no other large buildings blocking our view. One early morning, before I was fully caffeinated, I was shocked to see these gorgeous and colorful hot air balloons wafting toward our building. They were rising out of the horizon and marching toward us – on there way to take in the gorgeous sunrise on a beautiful day. After the initial shock, it was a glorious thing to witness – and to look for on all the following early mornings.

This pendant captures those memories with its color – swirling pinks and golds of a beautiful sunrise over a bright blue sky – and its balloon like shape."

Felicia Kramer, creator of Another Bright Idea, created this magnificent piece titled, “Kaleidoscope of Color”.

"When I first heard this theme I was a little stumped for ideas," said Felicia. "Then I remembered a line from one of Natasha’s poems (“And There Were Wings”) that has stuck with me since I read it: “That’s when I saw you balancing on a high wire without a net while painting the sky in a kaleidoscope of color …” (I’m beginning to think that Natasha is my muse!) This is a digital collage print using my background images in layers and then applying Photoshop effects."

Bird, creator of KittyHawke, created this fabulous piece.

"I did in fact manage to create a piece this week. Many thanks to my wonderful hubby, Mike, for taking the pics for me. :-)"

"Okay, I admit it. I'm a coloraholic," said Bird. "And I don't plan on stopping any time soon. :-D This piece reflects that sometimes excessive love of color that I have. A lady in her best summer hat goes to the market to shop. What colors will she choose? There is such a lovely selection of them from which to choose. But how can she choose? And why does she need to choose? :-P So... she will happily take them all into her life. :-)"

In all the time that I have been playing on the TST, I have lived dream after dream. Armed with your creative inspiration, support and love, I have jumped headfirst into making lifelong dreams come to life. For that, I am so very thankful.

This week something happened. Let me backtrack for a moment..about a month ago I was at a benefit for children with learning differences. One of the things they had setup for people was a table to make a bag. You took a blank tote and covered it in all sorts of wonderful things. I was in the middle of making one for my daughter when I stopped, looked around the room and thought, "This is what I want." In that moment I found myself and I knew that deep down in the core of me I wanted to write and create art. I've always known it but for the first time, I let it really sink in and make a home in my heart, mind, body and soul.

When it came to the "how" part, I was still at a bit of a loss. Then this week, it clicked. Choosing to play as part of Rowena's 100 of 100 and responding to this theme I lept into the creative abyss ....and I found me. This is what I want to do. I want to create journals - blank and inspirational - and portable creative playgrounds for people.

I'm sorry for writing so much but it is important for me to share this with you. Without all of you, without this place I might not have made it here. This is the first in a series of journals. This one is filled with inspirational thoughts, prompts for writing AND creating art and it's sealed with lots of love. This is me ....this is where my heart is...who knew?

These will come in two forms - blank journal and mini-playground journals (they are filled with fun inspiration similar to what you see here only a bit more expanded.)

(Insert smile right here)

Intro Page

It reads: "To stop and marvel at the wild, electric colors all around you is to be present in life....Be present now...PLAY!"

Sample Fun Prompt

It reads: "BLUE What's the first thing that comes to mind? Draw or write it."
There are tons this is just a silly little one.

Copyright © Natasha Reilly 2009.

Don't you feel like you just ran through a waterfall of color??

Please share your thoughts, ask the artists questions, leave a comment and some love here. Then, go visit them at their shops and blogs, share some more and tell a friend! Thanks so much for visiting!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Artist PlayDate: A Sensational Tutorial & Incredible Giveaway From a Fabulous Artist Who Proves Time and Again That True Beauty Is In The Details

Jodi, creator of the shop Jodi Horgan, is a talented, warm, dedicated, creative artist who specializes in creating handmade beaded art to wear. When you visit her store, you cannot help but to be dazzled by the striking colors or sheer sense of joy in her work.

There is much to love about Jodi but my favorite thing is the way she handles details. From the loving way she looks after and enjoys her family (she attends to every detail of their lives with such care) to the intricate designs that make her work magnificent, Jodi proves time and again that life is to be celebrated and that celebration begins by giving special attention to the little things.

Today, this phenomenal artist shares a tutorial that will make you want to sit down and make your own pendant as well as a stellar giveaway you won't believe!!

Bead Embroidered Bullseye Pendant Tutorial

- beading foundation - Lacy’s Stiff Stuff or stiffened felt (approximately 2” x 2” square)
- beading needles (size 12 sharps)
- beading mat (useful, but not necessary)
- E6000 glue
- Nymo thread or Fireline
- thin cardboard (like cereal boxes)
- ultrasuede or leather
- seed beads (various sizes, I used size 11’s and 8’s for this project)
- cabochon or other flat back bead or stone
- leather cord or ribbon
- sharp scissors

1. Glue your cabochon or flat back bead or stone to the middle of the beading foundation. Wait at least 20 minutes for the glue to set. E6000 has a strong odor so make sure you are in a well ventilated room.

2. While you are waiting for the glue to dry, you can begin to decide the order in which you will sew the beads.

3. Cut a comfortable length of beading thread. Thread the needle and knot one end. I use about a yard of thread. If you are new to sewing or beading, don’t use too much because it just gets tangled. Using a Simple Beaded Back Stitch, begin stitching the first row of beads.

Simple Beaded Back Stitch

Press the needle up from the bottom of the beading foundation next to the cabochon and pull thread up until the knot meets the foundation.

Pick up two seed beads with your needle. Slide the beads down the thread and place them against the cabochon. Insert your needle into the foundation right after the second bead and pull the thread down. Make sure that your beads are sitting right next to each other and that there is no space between the beads and the cabochon.

Now bring your needle back up in front of the first bead. Slide the needle through both beads.

Pick up two more beads. Slide the third and fourth beads up against the first two beads. Insert the needle into the foundation after the fourth bead and pull thread down securing the beads in place.

Insert the needle back up through foundation between the first and second bead.

Slide the needle through the second, third, and fourth beads and pull thread tight.

Once again, pick up two more seed beads. Insert the needle after the sixth bead and pull thread tight.

Bring the needle back up between the third and fourth bead and slide the needle through the fourth, fifth, and sixth bead and pull the thread tight.

Continue doing Simple Beaded Back Stitch the rest of the way around the cabochon.

When you get all the way around the cabochon, you may or may not pick up two beads. Don’t force two beads into the opening if they won’t fit. The beads should sit comfortably next to each other and next to the cabochon. As you can see from my example I added only one bead.

Pick up the necessary beads and slide needle through the very first bead. Then push the needle down between the first and second bead. Push your needle back up behind the last bead you picked up. Slide the needle through the last bead and the first bead and pull the thread down tight. You’re now ready to start the second round of beads.

Push your needle up through the foundation outside the first row of seed beads. Make sure that is not right next to the first row. Allow a beads worth of space so that the next row of seed beads will fit comfortable against the first row.

Following the same Simple Beaded Back Stitch, continue to add as many seed bead rows as you choose. You can switch between size 11 and size 8 seed beads to give the beadwork some texture.

At some point, you will need to start a new thread. As you reach the end of the thread, bring the needle and thread to the back side of the beadwork. Sew a few small stitches on the back side of the beadwork and then trim the thread. Be careful not to cut any of the stitches on the backside.

4. Once you have finished beading, sew a few small stitches on the back side of the bead work and trim the thread. You are now ready to trim off the extra beading foundation. Using a sharp pair of scissors, trim the extra foundation away from the beadwork. You’ll want to leave approximately 1/8” to a 1/4” of foundation on the outside edge. It is a good idea to check the back side of your beadwork when you are cutting away the foundation. You don’t want to cut any of the stitches on the outside row, otherwise your beads may come loose and fall off.

5. Once you’ve trimmed the bead work, place it on top of the cardboard and draw a line around the outside edge. Cut the piece of card board on the inside edge of your line making the card board approximately a 1/4” smaller than the piece of bead work. Set the piece of card board to the side.

6. Next, you’ll want cut a piece of ultrasuede or leather about 1/2” larger than the beadwork.

7. Now start gluing the pieces together using the sandwich technique. Spread glue on the back of the beadwork, place card board on top of glue. Allow the glue to dry. Next spread glue on the back of the card board and center the card board/beadwork piece on top of the piece of ultrasuede or leather. Allow to dry.

8. Next trim the ultrasuede to approximately 1/4” away from the beadwork.

9. Now it’s time to sew the edge of the beadwork. You’ll be doing a Brick Stitch Edge to finish the piece.

Brick Stitch Edging

Start with a new piece of thread. Make sure your thread is long enough so that you won’t have to start a new thread while doing the Brick Stitch Edging or adding the bail. I’d estimate about 1 to 1 1/2 yards of beading thread. Thread the needle and knot one end. You’ll want to start the brick stitch edging where you want your bail to start. Basically, start at the top. Insert the needle from the underside of the foundation bringing the needle up next the last row of beads. This will hide the knot between the foundation and the ultrasuede.

Pull the knot up tight against the foundation. Pick up two size 10 seed beads and slide them down the thread and up against the beadwork. Insert the needle after the second bead and pull the needle and thread through both the foundation and the ultrasuede.

Bring your needle up and through the second bead. The thread will be on the outside edge. This time you want the seed beads to lay on their backs (the opening should be facing up).

Pick up one seed bead, slide it down the thread and insert the needle through the foundation and ultrasuede. Bring the needle back up through the seed bead making sure that bead opening is facing up.

Continue sewing one bead at a time all the way around the beadwork.

When you attach the last bead, the needle should be exiting the last bead you added. Bring the needle down through the first bead.

10. Now, you’ll be adding beads to make a bail for your pendant. Make sure that your thread is exiting where you want to have the bail. Pick up ten size 11 seed beads and slide them down the thread. Insert the needle through the opposite side of the seed bead on the edging.

Pull the thread through making a circle of seed beads against the edge. Insert the needle back through the ten seed beads and coming through the same seed bead on the edging. Pull the thread tight.

Insert the needle through the next edge bead and pull thread through. Pick up another ten size 11 seed beads, push needle through the edge seed bead making another circle of beads. Sew through the ten seed beads again. Repeat this process until you have three circles of seed beads for the bail.

Weave your needle and thread through a couple of edge seed beads so that it is exiting out the back of the pendant. Pull the thread tight. Now carefully insert your needle up through the ultrasuede into the edge of the last row of seed beads.

Pull the thread up tight against the bead work. Push the needle through about eight or ten seed beads on the last row of seed beads.

Pull the thread tight. Insert the needle down through the foundation and ultrasuede.

Pull the thread tight and snip the thread as close to the ultrasuede you can without cutting ultrasuede.

10. FINALLY, cut a piece of leather or ribbon and slide it through the bail. Your pendant is complete. Congratulations and enjoy!

AND NOW, drumroll please......our incredible Giveaway!!

Today, we have a very special giveaway! Jodi is giving away the gorgeous Bead Embroidered Bullseye Pendant featured in this tutorial!!

To enter:

1. Please visit Jodi's shop at and then in the comments section of this post tell me what item you love most.

2. Be sure to leave your name and email address so that I can contact the winner!

This giveaway begins today, Wednesday, June 24th and ends at midnight on Monday, June 29th. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 30th!

Need more Beaded Art to Wear? Please check out Jodi's shop -

and her fantastic blog

Thank you, Jodi for this sensational tutorial and giveaway! You are a true inspiration. Please keep creating, creating and creating some more!