Saturday, January 7, 2012

day of the dead...part two.

i just ran out of time to act like a grown up and follow through in a timely manner.
my plans went all sorts of sideways. 
what was i doing? 
i dunno. 
i got problems. 

*i watch too much tv. 
*i have a toothache. 
*my son wants winter boots and textbooks at the same time.
*my blog is stuck, the format is wonky;
wonkier than i set it up to look like
and i can't fix it. 
*i want to take photoshop lessons and they cost $695.oo at RISD.
*i can make anyone else's line of creations a little better, 
why not my own?
*if i leave the dog home alone, will he use that time to have a seizure?
i will be sick if anything more happens to him.
fancy mutts are supposed to not have so many problems...
cause they are MUTTS after all.
not highly strung pure breeds... my story that i am sticking to. 
 *how come with all 5 of us in this house,
 we can't seem to get our prescriptions all lined up for one 
trip to the pharmacy?
*why don't the dishes get washed all by themselves?
*i only wear one pair of jeans and have been in my jammies for a couple of days. 
*why is there a pile of laundry that  could eat Cincinnati
and WHY it is invisible to everyone here? 
*how can i improve upon my mislabeling my pins on my boards
 within my now very public addiction to PINTEREST?
*how come i am now suddenly unable to eat a whole cup of ice cream?
at least without feeling it is too rich for my tummy?
and how come,
 even if i want a cup of that lethal ice cream,
 it is always gone the day after i buy it?

sheesh like i said, i got problems. 

so back to reality of the competition that i unwittingly entered for good or for better. 
"the day of the dead"
where was i???

i guess last time, i described the list of the parts included in the kit. 
mostly there were lots of seed beads. 
you may remember how much terror they strike in my heart. 
i looked up on the interwebs how to do some wired flowers. 
when i was a kid, i made flowers from seed beads. 
i learned how to do these from the wife of my parents' lawyer. 
{my parents were happy to let me follow the hell out of her anywhere,
 since they wanted me to date her middle son. 
the date happened only once at my senior prom 
cause, let's face it, i was too weird then to be asked to the prom by a classmate. 
i had to import one from a nearby town.
and he was it. he had a bullseye on him that my parents painted... 
so i took advantage of that. 
somehow, i was always a little more pathetic than i liked.} 

so i thought perhaps it would be a good choice to make some flowers 
from the plethora of seed beads. 
these flowers are made with a french wire technique. 
equally importantly, they use up a lot of seed beads. 
i used to know how to make them, so how hard could this be?

after a few false starts, 
and accepting that i am less able to follow directions now than i ever have been,
i gave the old style a go. 
did not work out too well. 
instead, i took a page from another thing i did a few years ago. 

i found some cute polymer baby faces and made a couple of fun things with them. 
i glued those baby faces to some filigrees;
one per each. 
surrounding the faces, i wired on a bunch of vintage, little, tiny vintage seed beads,
fresh water pearls and other small bitties. 
adding the sugar skull to a filigree to surround with some flowers and leafy bits, 
was the starting point for the day of the dead project. 

i just wired as many of the little seedy green beads to the filigree as i could. 
this of course is an unbelievably time consuming process. 
it took nearly two days doing this without any other activity.
{did you really think that i would do the dishes or fold the mountain of laundry during this period?}
 i took a bunch of the cute little mixed enamel flowers in my stash 
and nearly all of the lucite flowers in the kit to start the filigree with. 
i riveted and wired almost all of them to the filigree, 
then set to filling in the open spaces with 
the seed bead greens. 
the centers were filled in with black beads. 

i used some of the clay raku beads, the ones with a burnished semi-matte finish, 
some of the tiny 1/4" lucite flowers, 
some black seed beads,
and other small black center elements. 
once done, and all of those little pieces were attached, 
i glued a second filigree to the back of the fully wired piece. 
this was the centerpiece of my necklace. 
the second filigree was a nod to Miriam Haskell, 
well known for the extra beautiful line of jewelry. 
since a lot of her pieces are wired to filigrees as well, 
 and the wire is protected while hidden with a second matching fili, 
i emulated the technique. 
it is not a success unless the back of something looks almost as pretty as its front. 
that is what they taught me in girl scouts on the subject of needlework. 
this was similar enough technically, that it seemed a good thing to do.

from this point, some flowers were pulled from my own stash again. 
they were arranged and larger lucite blossoms were nestled in amongst the metal ones. 
once the bright colors were arranged, 
riveted together and combined, 
the focal green and sugar skull filigree was attached in the center. 
the two strands of black faceted beads from the kit were then hand wired together to make some chain. 
i swagged them together to surround the skull element.
once i had a little tassel started, 
i added the lucite leaves from my kit. 

before they were hung from the beady chains, 
i drilled them, put in eyelets and glued in some sparkly rhinestones. 
the dark long leaves provided some beautiful backdrop to the rhinestones. 
glittering against the nearly black green, they added a smidge of weight too. 
this is useful for weighting the featherweight lucite leaves into place. 
since the entire conflagration of things was looking a little saturated, 
i added a few brass leaves. 
these tied into the brass chain i used to suspend the entire necklace 
and reinforce other glints of brass within the composition. 

since the premise of the kit was that 75% of its contents would be used,
 i added a lot of other stuff.
i tend to go overboard, rather than under embellish. 
i knew that i would need to balance my feeling of sewing inadequacy with 
lots of traditional color usage and floral expression. 

one of my fave style icons is Iris Apfel. 
she follows the beat of her own drummer. 
always has and is never at a risk for not being just a little over the top. 
now one of my 'go-to' considerations when making stuff is the phrase:
What Would Iris Do?
for those of you who haven't met this icon of fashion, wit and common sense, 
here is a link to a recent interview with her. 
i think it speaks volumes to her character. 

i double check most of my designs with this question. 
it allows me to use 75% of anything planned on
and then get to 100%.
well, maybe you know what i mean.

anyways, i used up a lot of my kit provided components. 
what i couldn't figure out was how to add in some specific things. 
i did not use the little silver and brass charms that were included. 
also i neglected to incorporate the blister pearls. 
the dagger beads were again, over my potential. 
so i left them out. 

as i was fiddling with some of the last details, 
i wound up sort the pearls by color. 
there were roughly 8 pearls of varying sizes of each color. 
as i lined them up, i realized that there were nearly two of each oddly shaped piece. 
so i made some earrings from them. 
it seemed that something less intrusive would work nicely with the necklace. 
they also are fun enough to wear standing alone. 

{photo to be added in the morning, when the light for picture taking returns}.

so that is my story morning glory. 
how my "day of the dead" composition, 
"20 flowers for Catrina "
came to be. 

hopefully, you will not drown in a puddle of drool created while i told this story. 


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