Moon web

"Your January/February challenge is to make something that depicts your zodiac sign." Thank you, JAC challenge mistress. I had made a crab before once, but not with signs as inspiration, and a quick search on my blog informed me that I was indeed never inspired by my zodiac sign.

I had no idea at all at first, but then I found a piece of blue fabric that has been around since I first started selling jewelry. A friend of mine who sewed visited and we went to the "Sewing World" in town, a shop for fabric, sewing machines, haberdashery, picked a dark blue fabric with big golden stars, and she made me a bunch of jewelry bags from it. I used part of the fabric for backgrounds in photos and as a "shawl" for Jo, my manikin head, then eventually it got stashed away.
When I found it now, the backside without the stars screamed night sky at me and inspired me to go look for one of my metal curtain rings.
I thought I had shown my first bead embroidery piece using one of those rings, but obviously I only did on the gallery page, so here it is. It was a new interpretation of one of my favorite HeatherCats, Silhouette Cat.

I glued the curtain ring on, beaded the bezel, and embroidered the scene which sounds a lot easier than it was because the ring is quite massive. Let me assure you that I learned nothing from that for the challenge piece.
It would be smarter to embroider the scene without the ring getting in the way and then glue it on and do the bezel, but the scene would have to be perfect in size for that to work. Maybe I will think of trying that the next time.

My plan had been to embroider the constellation for Cancer using a star bead for the biggest star, a bigger seed bead for the smaller one, and crystals for the others.
When I had finished that, however, I hated every bit of it. It looked like a weird clock, squeezed into the space. I cut it up again and thought I'd just use the ring for another night scene and start a completely new challenge piece.

Choosing a bigger cat eye cab for the full moon is a nod to the most beautiful perigee I ever experienced, when the moon on our way to work was so big that it felt as if we could drive right into it. It was really magic.
What next?
I decided on a spider web, something else I have been fascinated with forever. With spider, of course.
Then it struck me. How about a tiny cancer constellation next to the moon that Cancerians are so often drawn to ...

Voilà, my challenge pendant.
My muse works in mysterious ways sometimes.


Another bead soup story

"Bead soup doesn't scare me." I wrote that in the post about the winter comet ornament in my advent calendar.
Not even if it's ten years old, actually probably even older because I mixed it in my early bead looming days,
for a project that never happened.
Every, now and then I picked beads from it, for the winter comet and for a pair of white elephant earrings, for example.

It was time to empty that little tin and I did it.
I had already had the plan to try out folded peyote earrings in a bead soup and a smaller size than the last ones, and I managed to use up the whole soup with the addition of a few more of the silver lined crystal beads.
I made four folded peyote components in two different sizes and turned one pair into earrings by hanging them from little beaded hearts.

Then I started playing with the second pair. I thought I could do something new with them (new to me, just because I haven't seen it doesn't mean it doesn't exist). After breaking off a few end beads I could join the two components with beads and turn it into a folded peyote diamond.
Now what?
Well, in the same tin there was a little spike thingy with crystals that I improvised a few months ago and had just turned into a dangle with some crystal rondelles a few days before.
I attached it to the diamond and actually like it. It has a kind of archaic fantasy look to me now. What do you see in it?


Erm, Happy New Year?

I know, I know, I'm a bit late. I can only hope you'll forgive me - happy New Year to all of you!
Have you already broken the first of your resolutions for 2024?
I haven't, but that's simply because I have given up on resolutions a long time ago. I don't like setting myself up for failure like that ;-)

It's hard enough for me to start into this year after my time off work. As usual when having more time to myself than just my weekends, I snapped right back into my normal rhythm, meaning staying awake into the wee hours of the morning, sleeping as long as the cats allowed me to, maybe going back to bed after their first, second, and third breakfasts - obviously they are hobbit cats - or having a glorious nap in the middle of the day. I only needed my alarm clock, so I would take out the trash out in time or for one of my rare morning appointments. It was a sad moment when I turned on the alarm clock on Sunday night before I had to start working again, and after more than a week I am still struggling with it.

Somehow that also put a bit of a damper on my creativity. That doesn't mean I haven't done anything this year yet.
A new little chicken, Friedrun, picked a nest for herself and her triplets Huey, Dewey, and Louie (yes, named after ducks).

Two bead embroidered autumn suns made me dig into my old stash once again, this time for the beautiful frosted carnelian beads.

Then, however, I started working again and, creatively seen, took a very easy way out by beading more folded peyote earrings in different color combinations. Actually, I surprised myself by having the patience for so many, but they were the perfect "background beading" (meaning I only had to concentrate on the colors, not so much on the technique which seems to have made its way into my brain at last) while I am contemplating my next big project for which I have an idea, but am still looking for the best way to do it.

There would even have been a blue version that had been suggested, but I didn't have enough blue beads left for a pair of earrings. I do have a lot of grey ...
What do you think, how many more folded peyote earrings will there be before my muse will finally give me that spark that I need to get started on the next biggie? ;-)


Waiting for pizza

They could hatch anytime now and they would definitely be hungry. Where was that guy with the pizza??
Merlinde congratulated herself on her choice of the little swing basket up in the tree as a nest. From here, you had a really good view over to the driveway and the soft swinging in the breeze calmed down the eggs.

I sure hope the pizza will turn up soon before Merlinde falls out of her nest! But wait, chicken can fly a short distance ... I almost forgot ;-)


Little Angel Sunshine

Oh Sweets, you are just a little too late to be in the Nativity play, but that's okay, there's always next year.
No, actually this is NOT another advent calendar door although you could think that.
Which reminds me, thank you if you have been following this year's advent calendar. I hope you had some fun with it.

Now where does this little angel come from?
This is Sweets from Mattel's Sunshine Fun Family. I was a little confused at first because I knew the Sunshine Family which had a father, a mother, and baby Sweets (and later there were also grandparents and an African American family). I had not been aware that later there was also the Sunshine Fun Family in which Sweets had been older and there was a new baby.

If you have been following me for a while, here, on Facebook, on Instagram, you may have noticed that there are a few themes that keep turning up. Cats, tentacles, and wings. Be prepared for this not to change anytime soon (or ever).
After I had finished the Christ Child, I remembered that my sister had a small collection of vintage Mattel children, Tutti, Todd, Chris, and Carla, Barbie's siblings and their friends, and I thought they would nice little angels with smaller wings, so I asked her if she would give me one of them.
That's how Sweets Sunshine made her way to me. My sister thought with that face she would make a pretty angel and I had to agree.

I beaded a white gown with short puffy sleeves for her and gave her bead embroidered wings.
Someone gave Sweets a haircut on top, but as her long hair had originally been in ponytails and was hard to tame anyway, I made a golden star embellished headband.

For a spontaneous idea, she turned out pretty well, don't you think?


Santa Claus and Rudolph - The twenty-fifth door

Has Santa Claus come by your house today and left you something from his sack of gifts? If not, I have a little Santa Claus and Rudolph here who are more than happy to step in - if they can find their sleigh.
Well, actually, there wasn't enough space for a sleigh.

I won't tell you a long story this time (please stop cheering ;-)) and let those two speak for themselves instead.
Merry Christmas!


Christ Child Dawn - The twenty-fourth door

Happy Christmas Eve!

In last year's advent calendar I told you about the tradition of the Christkind (Christ Child) who is the gift bringer in my area of Germany - an angelic figure with wings and golden locks, sometimes with a halo, sometimes with a crown.
The idea to turn a Topper Dawn into an angel eventually, obsessed with making wings as I am, just had to come to mind when I first thought about projects for this year's calendar, but not before I finally started working on her in November, it came to me that she wouldn't just be an angel, she would be the Christ Child on Christmas Eve which of course is the gift bringing day here in Germany.

P.S. I know that I usually talk a little about how I made an outfit, but it's Christmas and it doesn't seem the time for detailed descriptions.
If you have questions, let me know in the comments!

Dawn was a registered trademark of the Topper Company. I am not affiliated with Topper in any way.