Monday, March 29, 2010

Color for My Mother

My mother has an awesome sense of color, and I'm not the only one who thinks so ... a number of decorating magazines over the years have been delighted to photograph her homes! Anyone who has looked at the pictures on this blog knows that I really like to play with color and mix it and generally enjoy myself with it - that all comes from my mother. So this necklace is for her ...

Here is that pile of rectangle beads in all sorts of colors that showed up at the beginning of the month. It took time to sort all those beads out, and these kept calling my name. I took the pile and sorted all the beads into color families, and there were enough for two necklaces, so I divided each family in half and started to work with the two groups. I like this kind of project - the distribution of colors, which I have no control over, helps to give structure to the project. And this project was going to be one necklace for my mother and one for me, related but not identical. Each necklace is over 60" long, meaning that it can be worn doubled or tripled. (In my younger days, I never wore shorter necklaces, and in my older days, I often do.)


This version of the necklace takes the color families and keeps them together in blocks. The look is not the same doubled and tripled, because the color blocks fall differently. Between the rectangle beads are golden seed beads.


This version of the necklace mixes the colors randomly (well, not completely randomly - random looks better with a little structure). The look is pretty much the same doubled and tripled. Between the rectangle beads are silvery seed beads.

As I was beading these necklaces, I had time to think about my mother and color. When I was a kid, my bedroom was a pale green called celery - I really did not like it (although I loved my dust ruffles, which were dark olive green with dark pink in the box pleats). My bedroom is due to be painted this year, and 40 years later, celery is looking like my first choice. My mother is usually about five years ahead of fashion in color, but I'm a slow learner about some things ...

I think I know which necklace my mother will choose ... I've already put her preferred clasp on it, so we'll see if I'm right!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Delivery from the Czech Republic!

This week, the post lady delivered a small box that was stuffed to the brim with beads from the Czech Republic, almost 6 kilos of them, which is over 12 pounds! There were four lots of mixed beads, which means that they have to be sorted, and it is such an entrancing task that even Marcel spent some time separating different colors and shapes. He does colors and then shapes; I do shapes and then colors. (Each of us organizes according to our own lights. I did graduate work at the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis, and one night, one of our profs brought in a bag full of things which she dumped out on the table; our task was to group them in some way we found coherent. I don't remember what was in that bag, but I do remember that no two arrangements were even remotely similar!) And the more time I spend sorting the beads, the longer I can postpone the inevitable stressful moment when I have to actually put them into as-yet-unidentified storage boxes.


As I'm handing this mass of glass beads, of course all sorts of ideas are coming to mind, and I'm also discovering some new shapes and techniques. There is one bead that seems to be a slice, glossy on the flat sides, matte on the outside edge. There are also some big-hole beads which will go with the chain mail. There is a terrific assortment of crystals (which I almost never buy - the Swarovski craze has completely passed me by) which has serious possibilities. I really like these mixes, because I get to see some new things that I might not order otherwise.

This batch of glass rectangles would make a super long necklace designed to be worn twice or three times around the neck ... a lot of the transparent ones are two-tone ... 

And this is a kilo (2.2 pound) of black glass beads - they only have to be sorted by shape, and it appears at first view that a lot of the shapes are crystals ... black is one color that never seems to have very interesting bead forms (or maybe I just don't know where to find them!)

These are the beads that I ordered individually by color and shape - because of the plastic bags, you can't really see much, can you! However, I don't want to open the bags until I'm ready to log the beads in to my database and put them in their plastic boxes, particularly since the invoice only has numbers and no description. But I think it's obvious that there are interesting colors in the bunch ... the two that strike my fancy right away are in the photo below - on the left, those are Baroque Balls in red, black, and gray, and on the right, black glass hearts with copper dots on them (I bought a number of heart beads - it is one of my favorite shapes).