Friday, July 04, 2014

Bead...Sew...Knit...Sand...Hammer...Life

Hi Readers,
Sorry I haven't posted for a while. My mom passed away and all the wind left my sails... I seem to be slowly catching up, trying to get my Beading MoJo back. And as many of you already know, I also lost my job. My company finally succumb to aggressive takeovers and downsizing. Hello Wall Street and Insurance Conglomerates and Bottom Lines and Profit Margins... (The darker, much less talked about, side of Obama Care).

On a more positive note, I am grateful I lost my job. Because I have wanted to pursue my artistic vision for years. Being caught up in the cycle of "I paid, I trained, I spent half my life..." it was difficult to leave on my own. But now that I've been "Walmarted" and ejected out of the comfort of my spacecraft into a free fall... I am ready to pull my parachute.

And so, here I am... Our economy sucks and I want to sell beadwork? Really? What sinister daemon has possessed me? Well, I've kindof always been a bit possessed - or at least obsessed - so nothing new there.

I've been busy working at designs and making things. I have three businesses waiting for my work. Sometimes it's hard to stay focused because I also suddenly have a house that needs more attention than I ever gave it. But somehow, that seems to balance me a bit so my eyes and hands and head don't get too tired from doing beadwork (And as you know, beadwork requires a lot of sitting - not something I do well unless I've absolutely tired myself out).

So what to expect from my blog in the future? I really don't know. Stay tuned :)  I would like to expand the topic beyond just beadwork. I knit, I sew, I paint, I solder, rivet and hammer, I sand, I stain, sometimes I cook... I like to run with my dog and I like to fix things in my house. I'm blessed with a new neighbor who works as a designer for high end clients and so far, we've had some fun working on ideas and building a floor. Okay, he builds, I glue and nail. Here's the floor I helped him with. Isn't it beautiful? :)



And if you look closely at the knots, you'll see the eyes of the Forest Spirits. Can you find them? (Hint: look at the lower left of the lower photo!)

Well, I need to get back to reorganizing my studio and sorting through my boxes of office stuff (what to keep?).... but first I'll leave you with an inspiring link. I took a class in dyeing using natural plant materials with Darlene Hayes a few years ago. She's fabulous. Did you know - she worked as a researcher in Microbiology, then went back to school and got a law degree and worked as a Patent Attorney, and then took up dyeing wool fibers and started a business selling her skeins? Now she sells her patterns and cooks and... She also built her own home with her own two hands. Pretty amazing woman. So head on over to her website to see what she's up to these days, you just might find something you can't live without :)


See Ya Soon!

Susan


Monday, March 24, 2014

Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork




The Autry in Griffith Park: Norman F. Sprague, Jr. Gallery

March 15, 2014–April 26, 2015
Art and spirituality converge with trade and commerce in Floral Journey: Native North American Beadwork, a groundbreaking exhibition opening March 15, 2014. Through 250 unique objects and personal stories, the exhibition is the first of its kind to explore how beaded floral designs became a remarkable art form as well as a means of economic and cultural survival for the Native North American people. 
Floral Journey presents moccasins, bags, dresses, hats, jackets, and other exquisitely beaded and quilled items selected from multiple private collections and fifteen cultural institutions, including the Autry's Southwest Museum of the American Indian Collection. Many of the objects will be displayed to the public for the first time.
To find out more about this exciting new exhibit, click HERE

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Beads Back To Back To Africa

Join JOYCE SCOTT as she gives back to Africa! You can donate to her project by clicking here: 
BEADS BACK TO BACK TO AFRICA

Thursday, January 16, 2014

#Beadwork and the Art of Independence


South Africa stories woven with creativity as traditions become high art

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Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum, Washington

  • Guardian Weekly
beadart africa washingtonView larger picture
Detail from Cherry Tree, one of the pieces in the Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence. Photograph: Susana Raab/Anacostia Community Museum
The Anacostia Community Museum's exhibition Ubuhle Women: #Beadwork and the Art of Independence recognises the powerful cultural currents and backstories from the artists as central to their every stitch. The 31-piece exhibition of bead art – what the artists call ndwango, which means cloth or rag – features religious, metaphysical and earthbound themes rendered both literally and through various stages of abstraction. The tiny glass beads densely hand-sewn on to black fabric canvases showcase both #Xhosa and #Zulu traditions. And they display a partnership that began in 1999 on a former sugar plantation north of Durban and that now includes the five featured artists, who live and work together in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and others.