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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

So Much!

I have been a neglectful blogger this summer, and find there are several things I should address before I move on to new work. 

First, I want to mention the Battle of the Beadsmith, still going on as I write.  We are down to three "semi-finalists" and there is a final battle yet to come.  I managed to get into the top 20, but my "Missing" lost the battle with this splendid "Armadillo Blossom Purse" by Mikki Ferrugiaro.

It was structurally complex and elegant, featured beautiful color and unusual details (Butt hairs?  That really made me smile!) all of which came together to to make a spirited and beautiful bit of beaded art.  I am super fond of the tail/strap... I love it's connection to the bag and artful way it contrives to be the strap.  I also think that the title of artwork should help me understand how to see it, and "Armadillo Blossom" is super descriptive!

Congratulations to Mikki!

The final battle is scheduled to begin next week, so stay tuned and check it out.  For participating, each artist was given dog tags.  I LOVE this!  Battle of the Beadsmith has been a fantastic celebration of beaded art, and I look forward to next year's battle!

I remember that I was thinking about my work as a sort of "demonstration of competency," the kind of thing that might have been required a few hundred years ago to get into a professional guild.  I can't claim I made a masterpiece, BUT,  I managed to complete my work in the midst of personal chaos.  It was not exactly what I planned to make, but I am trememdously proud of the results!

"Missing," honoring the absence of my mother in my life, with her death in June.
Moving on...

When I arrived back in Minneapolis after over a month of my mother's funeral and the cleaning out of her house in preparation for sale, I needed some theraputic beading to do.  I chose some Aquamarine nuggets and chips, and participated in the Etsy Beadweavers "Lunar Obsession" challenge.  I visited a bead shop I had not been in before, J Ring Glass, and the Aquamarine just seemed to fall into my basket for purchase. I highly reccommend this shop, by the way.  I believe they have the BEST SELECTION OF SEMI-PRECIOUS BEADS in the Twin Cities. I later looked up the metaphysical properties of Aquamarine:

     "Aquamarine stones are beautiful crystals that heighten courage... and aid clear communication with the Divine source of all that is.
     They have strong metaphysical properties that help you to let go of old emotional issues you may be holding on to. By assisting you to release anger and reduce stress... it may help you to make positive changes in your life.
     These lovely stones help to heighten your courage when you are handling grief, and are powerful to assist self healing."

They were the perfect thing to be fondling in August!  Here's the result of that bead therapy.

"If Crystals were Craters, and Turquoise, Blue Cheese"
With the Aquamarine, a few tiny turquoise chips, and a little Swarovski Crystal, I embroidered four moon phases, and then created a interchangable system of three neck straps, each with a unique and interesting clasp.

Waning Gibbous Moon

Full Moon
Waxing Crescent
And my personal favorite the Quarter Moon.
Conveniently, August 2012 contained an official Blue Moon, a rare occurrence with two full moons in a month, which make the Aquamarine doubly effective! 
These little pieces were excellent and inexpensive therapy; a perfect anodyne for dragging 940 pounds of wine boxes, bottles, and magazines (belonging to my sister, and filling, literally, my mother's lower level) to the Helena recycling plant.  I'd love to show you pictures... but I think that might count as slander... or maybe libel.  I'm never sure which is which.  Or maybe, defamation of character?  Well, whatever the really good reason, I will just not do that. 
With all that behind me, I was ready to pick up my needle seriously again, for the Beadweaver's October challenge, "Misty Winter's Dawn."  You can see the results in my next post. 


  1. An eventful summer. Isn't that great how when we really need something, it finds us, like the aquamarine found you?

    1. Yes Kinga, absolutely! I have a friend who is really into metaphysical properties of gem stones, and this kinda makes a believer of me. I had no plan when I walked into the store, and this piece assembled itself in my mind as I held and contemplated your theme. THANKS!

  2. Thanks Marsha for your kind words and compliments. When we were slated for battle I felt for sure my battle time was over...for yours is a beautiful piece with a fantastic story and meaning. So I was stunned when I got through and you didn't....don't think I've ever been as surprised. We're all winners in this Battle and it was a fantastic opportunity to show the world what we can definitely showed a wide range of styles and creativity. Kudos to you for a magnificent piece which I find to be one of the most memorable of the Battle.

  3. I thought I had a 50/50 chance against you, until my husband perferred your purse to my necklace. THEN, I knew I was in trouble! Although, maybe not as much trouble as my husband...

  4. The wonderful thing about beading is that it requires concentration yet still gives the mind time to wander. What better therapy is there than that? I am looking forward to all of your upcoming creations.

    1. Absolutely! Beading is like a meditation of sorts. It requires careful attention, but the repetitive nature of it allows for parallel thought. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. I'm so glad you were moved to blog again. And so happy to see what a lovely, graceful and complimentary bow you gave to Mikki's lovely purse. Your piece is just incredible, but I do believe we are all winners in our pursuit of the beady dream!! I agree with what Kinga said too - so glad that the stones found you when you needed them.

    1. Thanks so much Nancy. I appreciate your friendship and support!

  6. Unglaubliche Arbeit! Bin Fasciniert!!!

  7. Marsha, these designs of the moon phase are just beautiful. The metaphysical help you received from the aquamarine was in perfect timing for you. Gemstones have a tendency to do that, speaking from personal experience.
    I also like the symbolism of the lunar phases. The moon is so feminine, so 'mother', as the sun is so masculine, so 'father'. Not only the aquamarine but also a symbol for Mother has assisted you through your loss and on your journey.

    1. Wow, Patrick. An aspect of this work I had not considered, and one that pleases me. Thank you!