Friday, May 31, 2013

Strike a Light Bag

I was asked earlier this evening if I did beadwork on leather, yes I do... this is one of my earlier strike-a-light bags.

11/0 beads on brain tan, this was my first attempt and the flap is too small but stubborn is as stubborn does and while I could unstitch the bag and add a larger flap/back I've refused to do so thus far... but did learn my lesson for future bags!

WIP - Crow on Yellow

Now with a beaded edge that needs some attention, mostly the upper right hand corner.

I'll work on the corner a bit tomorrow to "square" it up, add a few filler beads here and there, and then the center panel is finished.

Somewhere in Story County

Somewhere in northern Story County, Iowa, summer is finally taking hold!



Thursday, May 30, 2013

WIP - Crow on Yellow

I have a quarter of the edging to finish and then it's time to contemplate the niche in which this panel shall live. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another View of Crow on Yellow

In the vertical position, as it would be seen once it's finally installed inside of the niche.

The finished corner, now it's time to bead the edge and then finish the niche.

WIP - Crown on Yellow 052913

Almost done, I have a few spots that need beads on the main body and then I'll bead the edge with black beads.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Crow on Yellow 052813

Just one small section left to bead and the main body is done!

The back is more interesting than the front, lol.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Crow on Yellow 052713

A little bit more of the right side has been beaded, I'm thinking the body should be done by Friday, and then to decide on finishing the border.

In other news... the splint is off, sorta.  I had it off for most of the day but then had to put it back on again. It's amazing how one little itty bitty artery is position in such a place so as to see all sorts of activity during the course of the day. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crow on Yellow 052613

Can barely type, or hold a pen to write, or hold a fork to eat... but discovered that I can indeed still stitch by hand! The splint goes bye bye tomorrow and none too soon! 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WIP - Crow on Yellow 052313

I worked a bit more on the crows feet last night and started this side of the branch it is perched upon. 

Today it's all about finishing the app, which is taking longer than I anticipated simply because as I go through my old natural dye nots I find myself adding more plants and more categories about the colors, fastness, etc.  Phew... that was a long sentence! 

It's starting to look like a bird!

Natural Dye App

I'm still working on the natural dye app!!!  I've added more plants and more characteristics about the dye plants to the database and it's taking a bit longer than I anticipated to put together.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rabbitbrush and Sage Dyed Wool

Rabbitbrush and sage dyed wool, 2007, in an iron pot.

Dried rabbitbrush from western Nebraska eastern Wyoming area.

Sage in bloom from western Nebraska.

Rabbitbrush and Sage

Rabbitbrush and Sage in a cast iron pot ~ 2007

I have studio visitors coming May 7th, the designer wants to learn how to dye with natural dyes and see some of my natural dyed fabrics.  My plans are to show her some of the dyestuffs that are native to the plains states.

WIP- Crow on Yellow 052213

Crow body almost completed.

My crow had a red spot, so I decided to preserve this bit with some rose to reddish coloured beads.

Detail showing the contrast between the black matte beads, black beads, and irridescent beads.

Saturday, May 18, 2013


I love how the blossoms droop on this variety.

A gift from the neighbor's daughter, they trimmed his lilac bushes back and she brought me this huge bouquet of blossoms! 

American Robin

Robin taking advantage of the freshly tilled ground, hunting up worms I'm sure.  I love how it's plummage blends in with the ground.


The neighbor's daughter brought me a huge bouquet of these lilacs, he's 94 and they came by to do some yard work for him.  The heady smell of lilac now wafts throughout the house.  Not much in the way of studio work today, it's the rush to get the gardens planted before the rain falls.  Check out my other blog Survival Kitchen, linky in the right column, to see what we've planted.

Spring has Finally Sprung in Central Iowa

The trees are finally leafing out, now to find something to plant in my hanging pots.

The neighbors crabapple is stunning this year, mine has lost most of it's blossoms already.

John tilling the east garden, most of which will be planted with native prairie plants that are useful for my natural dye plants.

Lettuce, strawberries, chard, basil, tom thumb peas, and arugula in this raised bed.

Various herbs along with three cabbage plants that I"m thinking of moving elsewhere, so I can plant more dill in this bed.

Friday, May 17, 2013

I was Beading Away

finishing the crows tail and now working on it's underbelly...

One view of the tail feathers in matte, iridescent, and shiney black pony beads.
Another view of the tail.

And... then I realized I forgot to finish the wing!  Other than this minor mishap it's coming along and beautifully.

WIP - Crow on Yellow 0514713

I need to finish the left side of the crow, and then the small piece in the lower left hand corner, and then it's off to finish the right side of the piece.

Closer detail of the beading.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Beading Resumes

Was starting to make mistakes so decided to take the rest of the day off from writing and started beading instead.  Am working on the branch portion now, trying to integrate it as part of the whole piece.

More bead soups, this time greens, browns, and brownish purples so as to look like an actual branch in my crabapple tree.

Ok I know I've shown this last one before, multiple times actually, but I sooooooo love this color combination!  The only colors that make me even more happy are sage greens, purple sages, and golden greens.  It's hard to explain... except to tell you to go hang out on the open prairie in the fall.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Natural Dye App Update

The new natural dye app is taking way longer than I had anticipated, I thought I would be done with it this afternoon but that isn't happening.  The good news is I discovered, thanks to my best friend Brenda, a much better way to present the app that will make it compeletely searchable, so the experience for the end usuer will be enjoyable, instead of a headache! 

Coming Soon ~ Natural Dye App

Bloodroot - Sanguinaria canadensis ~  just one of the many plants and plant images in the new app, in addition to parts to use, colors obtained, methods of extraction AND whether it's fast or fugitive!

The new natural dye app is taking a few days longer to finish than I anticipated, the good news is I currently have 120 plants in the database and there's room for about another 50-100 plants before all is said and done.  There are many wonderful things about this new database that excite me to no end, thanks to my best friend Brenda showing me how to set up filters!

If you'd like to be a beta tester for the new app please let me know :-)