Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Beaded Bag Progress

After I posted this, I knuckled down and got to work on Mikkey's "Venus" amulet bag. The first few rows were a complete nightmare. I had trouble reading the pattern - there are so many rows, and the peyote stitch creates half-step rows to make things worse. I remembered a magnet board I used when I did cross stitch many years ago. I dug that out, and it made life so much easier! By late Saturday night, I'd reached this point:

After I finish a row, I skootch the magnet bars up about 1/8 of inch to line up with the next row. Be very careful! Too far, and you've got a mess!

I always work a little faster when facial features start appearing - the piece starts to come alive for me then. This is where I am with it right now:

There's been a great deal of experimentation with my work environment during this project. The intricate pattern requires total involvement: body and brain. Any less, and mistakes start to happen, which means the household swear jar gets an infusion of quarters.

I've tried silence, but then I talk out loud to myself as I count the bead sequence for each row - very wearing. I found my mind wandering every couple of rows and I'd go get a snack, walk to the mailbox, read some email, not really wanting to go back to work.

Next I tried some instrumental music and found it works for this setting. My favorite: Ottmar Liebert and his Luna Negra band. Here's a little sample of his phenomenal classical guitar work:

It's a pleasant background, and surprisingly, the repetitive nature of it keeps me focused. Then, every four or five rows, my back and shoulders cramp up and my brain freezes. I switch over to some Billy Idol. It gives me a chance to get up and dance around my studio like a crazy person. Ahhh, now I'm loosened up and can get back to work. BUT, before I can get up, I need to leave all sorts of notes to myself reminding me of where I am in the project. If I don't, I get hopelessly lost.

I'm very nearly done with the main cylinder of the bag. Once that's done, I need to go to my local bead emporium for some lessons on the next step. The pattern designer assumed a great deal of knowledge on the part of the beader - just a reminder for me that I've overstepped my skill level this time.

Stay tuned...


ElegantSnobbery said...

Holy Toledo, you are so talented!

Snap said...

Oh, but look how far you've gotten! This is great. I KNEW you could do it! YeeeeHaaawww!

lori vliegen said...

i can't believe how much you've gotten done already!! you go girl!! you might have time to whip up that
4-piece luggage set for me after all.....


rochambeau said...

Wow Kate,
Your beaded bag (in the works) is AMAZING! You have fairy fingers, for sure and you use them! This is TURLY looking BeaUTIFUL! THank you for sharing part of the process!!!

TattingChic said...

Oh, I really like your method there for going row-by-row. That seems much more manageable! I'm so glad you are showing the progress of this amazingly beautiful bag! I cannot wait to see it finished. Those bags are inspirational I went to the link you had provided and it really makes me want to try one...someday!

KINHA said...

I think you have a nice blog, beatiful photos and smart posts.I'm wating your visit.

3rdEyeMuse said...

you are totally and completely rising to this challenge! I am AMAZED (and certain I would have been a mush-ball of tears before making through even the first couple of rows).

somepinkflowers said...

totally agree with

you cook,



{{ if i did not like you so
i might be jealous...}}

Gabriela said...

Hello Kate,

This project already looks awesome!

~ Gabriela ~

SweetbriarStudio (Christie) said...

Wow, it's coming along great! And I like that Ottmar sound - fun. Hope your body doesn't completely rebel at all this talent oozing from it :).

Isabel said...

WOW...that is a PROJECT! I can't believe how far along you are...truly magic hands. Yes you have!