Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas 2008 found us at Lisa's house for a delightful collaboration brunch. This year I created puppets for the gals for their presents. Well, they started out to be puppets, but then evolved into dolls that could be sat or hung from a loop on their backs. I personalized each doll by their interests. Here is the gang this year:

More fun at Lisa's - Ellen showing off her puppet and the bracelet that Vicki made. Lisa with her dog, Roxy & her puppet.

I guess before I post about Christmas 2008, I should show Christmas 2007 first. A group of four of my artist friends and myself make gifts each year for each other and get together for a brunch during the holidays to exchange them. We started doing this in 2006, but unfortunately I don't have pictures from our first year, where we got together at Tricia's house.

Last year we met at a restaurant in McKinney for our brunch exchange. I did each of them a Jester-in-a-Box. I sculpted the faces, hats and neck ruffs from polymer clay. The boxes were gift boxed from Michaels that I covered with handmade papers. I added each person's initials using chipboard letters. They were a big hit.

This year I also created more art dolls. While the majority of them were collaboration efforts, this one that I created for my friend Tricia for her birthday was not. Tricia loves Native American style and she doesn't care for necklaces unless they are long pendants, so a freeform necklace was out for her birthday. I decided to sculpt an Indian for her. This art doll is a stump-type doll, using an aluminum foil base covered with nylon hose. The Indian is dressed in ostrich skin and rabbit fur. The headdress is axis deer skin and the feathers are wild turkey. The adornments are sea urchin spines and carved bone beads. Needless to say, Tricia was thrilled with her birthday present this year.
Wow, where has the year gone? it seems like each year flies by faster than the last one. I've had good intentions of keeping my blog more up-to-date, however when given the choice between blogging or being in my studio creating, obviously creating has won out. I've narrowed my focus artistically to two mediums recently - art dolls (sculpting) and beading.

I was able to take several art related trips this year. The first, with Vicki in January to the Texas Beader's Retreat. In July, Lisa & I attended the Enchanted Doll Artist Conference in Albequerque, NM, after which Vicki & I went to the Shreveport Beader's Retreat. October found Lisa, Vicki & I journeying to Houston to the Quilt Show. It has been a fun year, art-wise.

I recently saw an article on bead/jewelry trends that "statement" necklaces are going to be the latest "thing". I guess I'll be all set, as my freeform necklaces definately fit the statement style. Most of these I've created within the last couple of years - the except being this first one - which features raku face beads I bought at a bead convention 3 - 4 years ago.

The frog bracelet & necklace set and the mermaid necklace were both inspired by imported handcarved beads that I found a a bead convention 3 years ago.

Since I also love sculpting (mainly with polymer clay), my next necklace featured a polymer clay dragon that I sculpted and more beads that I found to inspire me. The coordinating bracelet has pewter dragon charms.

Those necklaces evolved into this year's creations using my lampwork stash of beads. The first one had turquoise, green and brown tones and is a very versatile necklace. I wear it with many outfits. This is the necklace that my friend Lisa says is hers when I die (assuming I die first).

The blue jean necklace was created from lampwork and blue coral beads. I had made a simple strung necklace out of them several years ago when I found the coral, but I took apart that necklace to make this one that coordinated perfectly with denium.

It became such a joke between Lisa & I about "her" necklace (the one that would be hers when I died), that I thought I should create her one of her very own to enjoy while I'm still alive, so I made this one for her for her birthday. The lampwork beads have grey, brown, copper and black, so this necklace will coordinate beautifully with many of Lisa's outfits. The surprise and joy on her face when I gave the necklace to her, made the time I spent on it very worthwhile.