Friday, December 17, 2010

I've Been Here Before

Regular readers may have noticed that every once in a while I seem to drop out of Blog Land. This was one of those weeks. Part of it was holiday madness, but only a very small part. Most of it was due to my chronic health issues. They can be such a drag sometimes. Today I finally had to bite the bullet and tell our newspaper to stop delivery. I wish I could convey what a blow this is for me. It's like losing yet another battle in a long drawn-out war. I can read the paper online but I'll miss the color and the advertising supplements and just everything about a physical newspaper (except maybe the ink coming off on my hands). It's been about a month since I realized that by skipping the morning paper in its' physical form I could also skip the daily morning headache. {sigh}

Since "Monkeyshines" there has been another finish but I'm not going to show or talk about it yet because it's a Christmas surprise. Well, I will say that it was not part of my New Year's Eve UFO challenge. As far as the two remaining items on my UFO list are concerned, I'm not thinking about them this week. They may or may not get done before the new year makes its' debut; at this point I don't really care.

With the exception of that one finish for Christmas there hasn't been a lot going on in the Magpie's Nest. I finally got disgusted with the drawer overflowing with scraps of batting. I took out the pieces that were suspect of having polyester content and cut them into narrow strips, essentially shredding them. That didn't take long and before I knew it I was pulling out and cutting up the skinniest strips of cotton batting too. This is what I ended up with:

I'm thinking that eventually I will piece together some of those crumb/liberated log cabin blocks that are piling up and make at least one dog bed, using the shredded batting as filler.

I do have something I haven't shared previously that might make it worth your while to have stopped by today. I've been catching up on my Bead Journal Project for this year. Back in May I was thinking about the cycles of creativity we all go through. I cut my diamond shape, layered it with a piece of cotton batting, and seed stitched all over it with embroidery floss. My goal as I was stitching was to create bands of color to represent the various levels of creativity or inspiration we experience. It may not show well in the pictures but I used magenta, navy blue, sky blue, yellow, and Kelly green. Once I had that step done I set the ornament aside and didn't touch it again until last month. I knew what I wanted to do but wasn't quite sure how to go about it. Then I had that influx of beads and sequins when our local store closed its' doors. That was enough to get the juices flowing again.
. I knew I wanted a representation of the spiral path Julia Cameron talks about in The Artist's Way. It was just a matter of finding the right beads or sequins to create the path. Back in May I was thinking about couching a line of seed beads or back stitching some other small bead in a spiral. Apparently that was too daunting. In November these flat sequins came into my hands and seemed the perfect solution.

I changed out the color of the seed beads I used to tack the sequins down as I worked through the bands of embroidery. The white heart is the pinnacle of our journey up the mountain. As we walk the path we slowly climb the Mountain of Enlightenment. We pass the same "scenery" with each circuit but hopefully at a higher level of understanding each time.

I have yet to mount this ornament on the watercolor paper backing I've been using. There are two other ornaments at this same stage of completion. I'll have to show them to you soon. :- )


  1. Wow. A beautiful ornament, with a great reminder of honoring the creative process. It just glows!

  2. I think it's stunning. And I don't care how many or how few you managed to do this's still stunning ;-) It was so wonderful to have been able to see your work throughout the year!

  3. Oh Sue, I'm so terribly sorry that the newspaper is winning the battle. I can only imagine how each loss of something from the 'norm' affects you. I can see how the impact would color your world for the moment, and I truly understand how hard it is to be 'sidelined' by this terrible creeping stalker. You head on run at your goal is more than a WINNER in my book. And it's not so much about the outcome, as making the attempt. Which is what you are doing everyday. Love the message of your bead journal piece. Sadly, wisdom and enlightenment don't automatically include 'a happy everything life'. So often The Budda comes to mind. Sending big hugs, Finn

  4. I agree with the other comments, it's a real eye-catcher! Now to try and catch up myself...


Due to my health issues I am frequently unable to respond to your comments but please know that I appreciate your thoughtful responses. I cannot respond to 'no-reply' bloggers either, much to my frustration.