My luck is turning and I need to cash in on it while the getting is good. I won the bug-bracelet challenge hosted by KJ at Silver Parrot.
My Bindweed Beetle Bracelet was selected to win a stash of beads and some art books, including GreenGirls Studio’s new Enchanted Adornments. I am so excited I can hardly see straight. And what is more, the company was pretty impressive, Lorelei Eurto did a couple of bracelets, Cindy Wimmer, and . . . well, the list is long and bracelets are gorgeous, so check out KJ’s blogto see the contenders.
This luck comes on the heels of an intense weekend. I was hostess for the regional chapter of Studio Art Quilt Associates . I was nervous about this because I am a relatively new member and I was concerned that we would have a light turn-out. We did, but it was great because several of my fellow guild members showed up and filled out the ranks.
After the meeting I went to the local arts center to hear an artist talk about her show she just installed. The artist is Susan Lenz, and she is one to watch! Her installation is titled “Blues Chapel” and it is a mixed media installation piece (the whole exhibit is considered a work of art in and of itself). Textiles, graphics, sculptures, found-objects all represent some aspect of the early female blues singers who, for the most part, are forgotten. It is a very moving show.
In her talk, Susan also showed us another body of work that is taken from an unusual source. She makes small, beautiful, hand-embroidered quilts that began their lives as silk fabric grave-rubbings. I saw her blog and read every word about this second series and was just over the moon to get to see it in person in her artist’s talk. She has been kind enough to let me use this image here in this blog.
One of the loveliest things about this weekend is the openness and encouraging spirit I have encountered from KJ, my guild friends, the SAQA members, and Susan Lenz. I feel the “reveal” for the next part of my life/career is just around the corner and it is going to be artistic and wonderful.
When I saw KJ’s Bracelet Challenge with the beautiful bug photos I knew in an instant that the bracelet I was going to make would have to be from those beautiful beads. I purchased these beads over a year ago because their colors took my breath away. The round beads are resin and the ovals are stone, but I never found out what kind. The golden beads are AB faceted Czech glass and the leaves are dyed mother of pearl.
I choice this photograph for my inspiration.
Not only was I thoroughly inspired by these really cool bugs, I found more information about them. They are called Tortoise Beetles or Bindweed Beetles and this particular variety is found in Nicaragua (LINK ).
I love this time of year, when the leave change colors and the air is crisp. In North Texas, we don’t get a real fall, but I will gladly accept this brief transition.
I was washing dishes the other morning and looked out to our vine-covered arbor. Our backyard is a wild mess, but the arbor is beautifully decked out in its fall colors. I went out and snapped a couple of photos and was reminded of my first visit to the UK, to York, specifically. There I visited a woolen shop and was told that both sides of my family had surnames that were “septs” or protected families under Clan Buchanan. I also was told that the tartan for clan Buchanan was “one of the jazzy ones”.
Well, it is.
Don't know why it is rotated. Go figure!
That was 25 years ago. Since that time, I have visited the UK about seven or eight times and at least four of those times were month-long stays in Scotland. You might say I have fallen for Scotland in a big way!
In the Woolen Shops, especially in Scotland, there is always a wide array of tartans made up in several different forms: Kilts (for men), Kilted Skirts (for women), scarves, ties, caps, jackets, vests and so on. Some of the tartans are “jazzy” – even more so than the Buchanan tartan! And some are rather muted.
What most non-Scots do not know is that most tartans actually come in three forms: ancient, modern, and hunting. Ancient tartans tend to have a more muted tone because of the use of natural dye-stuff. Modern tartans have clearer, bolder colors because of the use of synthetic dyes. And Hunting tartans are a lot like the ancient tartans in that the colors are muted – sort of Scottish camo, if you can imagine that.
I have seen the “Bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond” – Buchanan stomping ground -- adorned in the colors found in my tartan. The Buchanan tartan is no more jazzy than Mother Nature herself.
From my earliest memories, I've been a creative person. I'm fascinated with the Middle Ages and find the artistic history and religion tend to feed my spirit -- except the Inquisition. No one expects the Spanish Inquisistion. (I also love British humor, if you couldn't already tell.)
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