Tackle that stash - Bead embroidered "Elizabethan" lady

In early November, I have told you why I have been missing from my blog for a while. One of the reasons was der Dekan, my kitten. He has grown to be a little less demonic, but of course still needs a lot of attention, so the only way to get creative is to shut him out or wait until he is very tired and then be prepared for that moment.
If I'm working on something, it can take me a few hours, and at this point, I would really feel bad about locking myself in for that long leaving the little demon outside waiting, especially since Gundel has demanded alone time of her own for some hours of undisturbed sleep. So I tried for the sleep mode time instead. It turned out that I'm never prepared because, well, I never know what I'm going to need when going on a creative adventure. Standing up, however, means that der Dekan is going from sleep mode to "let's play, throw that ball, can I attack you, no, don't pet me, here's the ball back, look what I found, can we play some more" mode.
Of course it's not just a matter of attention. Der Dekan is obsessed with my beads and thread and wire, just as any kitten would be, and he's so fast that I don't trust him around my stuff unless I can tell he's too tired to move. This is a matter of safety, that of the beads, but much more his own.

Yesterday, though, the unthinkable happened. Not only did der Dekan decide to give me hours to play by passing out cold next to me in a way only cats can do it, but I had everything I needed.
It was great. I hadn't even known how much I had missed my beads and the calming effect that playing with them has on me. I have been quite stressed out lately and while beading doesn't make the stress appear, it gave me a much needed timeout.
Not knowing at all where a design will be going can mess things up if you get stuck, but seeing something finished and not having the slightest idea where that design has come from is what I love most about being creative.

This lady started out with a carved face glued to a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff and a peyote bezel. This particular transparent dark red with AB finish has become a huge favorite of mine, especially in a combination with the metallic bronze.
I think my first idea was to give her hair, but with the red bezel all around her face it turned into some kind of embellished headdress instead that reminded me of an Elizabethan hairstyle which probably inspired the collar like part which led to the sequins - in a different color in order to add a bit more depth to the design - and pearls in the end.
Is she a little over the top? She sure is, but I guess she - and I ;-) - needed that!


Oldies but Goodies - Neutral colors

Before this Jewelry Artisans Community Oldies but Goodies Challenge, I had never been wondering about neutral colors much. I wear a lot of black and I love grey which are two of them, but beige, taupe, cream, brown, ivory, even white are not on my personal list of colors at all. I even have a very difficult relationship with beige, for example, which is just putting it nicely that I avoid it at all costs.

The definition of neutral colors is that they are not on the color wheel. They are muted shades that look calming and complement the colors well that are on the color wheel, in fashion, but also in interior design.
What about jewelry, though? For me, it's much easier to use neutral colors in jewelry than bright colors because I always feel they can be worn with anything that way.
Let's see what the JAC members have come up with, and don't forget, this is just a small selection.

1 My Bijou Life
2 RioRita Jewelry
3 Jewelry Art by Dawn
4 Cat's Wire


Do you like my decorations?

I'll admit it, it's hard to get into the mood this year. The years before I had always set up my tree by this time, put up the hallway decorations, hung my Moravian stars in the window. This year, however, everything is a little different.

Of course one reason is der Dekan. I still haven't quite decided what to put on the tree, windows, etc. that the little feline brat won't kill, even more important, though, that won't kill him.
The Moravian stars, for example, have long cords. Do I trust him not to try and strangle himself? Not really. And since there are no sockets way up high, there will always be cords in reach for him.
The ball chain around the tree is probably not a good idea then, either. Even Gundel likes to tug on that one every, now and then. The same is with the lights, more cords. Just the tree with the wire ornaments - as the glass ones are definitely out this year ;-) - and the other non-breakable charms? Maybe. Somehow I couldn't muster the energy and motivation for that yet, though.

The other reason is that it's sometimes hard to keep up any motivation for anything at the moment if you feel the world has gone completely crazy now. Who cares, for example, if I haven't cut up my cardboard boxes lately (for which I use den Dekan as an excuse although he's not even that interested in most boxes :-P)? No one will see it these days, anyway, except my family.
Oh no, am I turning into an Ebenezer? :-O Bah, Humbug!

To fight that, I took a deep breath and went decorating my hallway today (and as a bonus I decluttered the cupboard a little where I store my usual hallway decorations while the Christmas ones are out).
Hard to believe, I know, but it actually does look a little different this year!
Of course there are still all the beloved ornaments, those that I made and those that friends gave me.

Where there were always just two little Steiff mice with their Christmas tree and a ball before, however, a whole Steiff crowd has gathered this time, thanks to my dear friend Jennifer.
The ball got hung up, instead a big repro Santa took its place and brought along Gingerbread Teddy, Christmas Tree Teddy, The Little Drummer Teddy, and Teddy in a Gift Box. Aren't they adorable?
They graciously invited my felted and bead embroidered little snowman as well.

As I moved some of the items from here to the sideshow (aka the window sill), there was more space to scatter the gift boxes of the advent calendar. The mice and teddies are already so excited to see what will be coming out of them to hang on the "advent tree" made by Paul from Phoenix Glass!


P.S. The title, by the way, is hinting to this video ;-)