Sunday, November 22, 2009

Snowdrifts and Christmas

Well, my Christmas colored beads came in and I decided why waste time to get started.  I picked a fabric I had on hand, an off white material with a thin, black outlined flower/leaves pattern.  I set out some beads and got started.  But it just was not happening for me.  I would start something and tear it out because I was distracted by the pattern of the material and feeling uninspired.  This material was just not going to work for me.

I went to JoAnn's and found their Christmas prints that were on sale, and there were a lot to choose from!  Now I had to decide which one was going to be best for me.  I remember in class Robin saying that you need to start with a fabric that you love.  How true that is!  I discovered that using a "whatever" material was not the way to get creative juices flowing.  So I started thinking back to my childhood memories and what made them so memorable and special.  There were reindeer, snowflakes, stripes, plaids, name it, they had it.  But I kept going back to one particular material that has candy canes all over it.  The thing that made this fabric so special and the one that I chose was that it reminded me of the Christmas trees we used to decorate as kids.  My very favorite year was one that we had teddy bears and candy canes with beautiful red velvet bows tied around them.  Now, the material that I picked didn't have any teddy bears or any red velvet bows, but it brought me back to that place...exactly where I wanted to be to start my project.

The next thing I remember about Christmas growing up was snow.  How I miss the snow and the changing seasons.  Here in Phoenix, AZ we don't have the pleasure of changing leaves, the first snowfall, snow days from school, the warming up and greening trees of spring.  I remember going Christmas shopping in the evening when it was dark, the lights lining the streets, the decorations on the stores and light posts, even the red tail lights of the cars seemed to add to the colorful magic of Christmas in the midwest.  And then there was the snow.  Sparkly, drifting, crisp and cold.  I loved it.  And I miss it so much!  So, snow is where I started.

I started with white bugle beads to make a shape for my "snowdrift".  Then I added rows of various kinds of white and silver to represent the layers, the "fluffiness" of the snow with the silver ruffle on top.  (You'll have to excuse my poor camera doesn't take photos very well indoors.  I usually take them in the shade on my back patio during the daytime for the best lighting, but I wasn't patient enough to wait.)  So here is my first snow.

You can see the wonderful, colorful candy canes surrounded by the evergreen that first put me "in the mood".  Some of the beads are translucent so you can see a hint of the candy canes beneath them.  The piece will cover the material, so I decided that a hint of my inspiration showing through was all right. I realize it doesn't look exactly like snow, but it's my interpretation, so I'm going with it.  And it made my daughter think of snow before I told her, so I must have done something right.  Then I got stuck.  I have a lot of ideas going through my head that I didn't know where to go next.  So I remembered another thing Robin said.  When you get stuck, make another pathway.  So that's what I did!  I used the white bugle beads and made another snowdrift shape and then just repeated the layers.

Now, I have started one more small snowdrift in the upper right hand corner (last one for sure...I think lol).  I have other Christmas colors I want to add...I just don't know how I want to do them yet.  I think I want to do evergreen kinky fringe with red "holly berries" and Christmas tree bulbs.  But I also want to do (can't remember what it's called offhand for sure) a twisted chain to outline some of the areas.  And a little gold would be nice.  But I have to pick and choose, because I want this to be "simple" like my childhood memories and not chaotic how Christmas seems now.

And I want to say also that special people come into your life and bring blessings at the most unexpected times.  I don't know if she wants to be public, so I will just say that a "bead angel" came and is bestowing on me some of her beads to help me with this project as well as some coming up.  How thankful I am!!!

I will post more of my "Snowdrifts and Christmas" as I go along.


Sweetpea said...

Really, REALLY pretty! Robin has such a way of getting us all *unstuck*...we are soooo lucky to have her mentoring us.

I look forward to seeing all of your creations in the upcoming BJP - you are sure off to a roaring start!!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

yes, we are so VERY lucky to have robin as an artist, a teacher, and i think i may even call her a friend :)

thank you for your compliments...i hope you come back to visit and see the progress!

Bobbi said...

Thanks so much Lisa for showing and explaining this piece, it's really helping me get a picture in my mind of what I need to do! Also, I think it looks like snow drifts myself, very beautiful so far, can't wait to see your finished piece.
Hugs and happy beading...