Saturday, March 27, 2010

It's Springtime

Here is my BJP piece for April.  It is definitely a departure from what I normally do.  I had two challenges this month.  One was, of course, April for the BJP and the second was the theme "Spring" for my Artbeads' Blogger Community order.  The very first thing that popped into my head was a meadow--a lush, green meadow with wildflowers in a spring rain.  That's what I tried to create.  I didn't try to get complicated and fancy with it.  I did almost a childlike approach to it.  Very simple and understated.  I have been wondering about my pieces being too complicated, so I wanted to go the other direction with this one.  My pieces are always encrusted without a speck of fabric showing, and I wanted to try to leave a little open this time.  It was VERY difficult for me!!! 

At the bottom I used Kiwi Organza that I swished across the bottom.  I have never used anything other than beads in my projects, so this was something new.  It made me think of big, sweeping watercolor strokes.  In between the ribbon I used a little bit of seed beads to show some lines, but I left some of the fabric showing.  Hard for me!  In the grass there are little clumps of, oh, I don't know, maybe moss covered stones?  I simply fell in love with the 6mm Emerald Isle Mix Glass Pearls!!!  They have the most luscious luster to them!  (I can't wait to use them in another project and my mind is swirling with ideas on how to feature just those beads.)  Here is a shot of them, so you can see them close comes with 3 shades in the mix...just yummy!

I also used several different kinds of flowers.  I used Czech glass lily flowers in turquoise, Czech glass hole star flowers in light blue/amber and pink/white silkCzech glass large flat flower in sapphire/white/coral, and a matte amethyst resin buttercup flower.  I think they made a nice mix of wildflowers that I saw in my mind.  I wish the Swarovski butterflies came in a little bigger size.  They did get swallowed up a little bit in my big project, which is a shame because they are very pretty. 

(oh, enlarged pics really shows my crooked lines!  lol.  oh well.  They looked pretty straight when I was doing them.)

And the last thing I absolutely fell in love with are the 9mm Swarovski teardrops that I used as big raindrops.  They are so sparkly and a beautiful shape.  I saw them and immediately thought of rain!

So, here is my imagined meadow,
Springtime in Heaven

(you can click for a larger view)

Oh, my gosh!  the grass border became a big problem!  I did the grass before I did the sky, and I really shouldn't have done that!  Every pass I made while beading the sky, the thread got wrapped up and tangled in the grass.  Ugh!  I was going to pull my hair out by the end.   Not only did the organza ribbon remind me of watercolors, but I was thinking last night as I was looking at it how the sky made me think of a sky blue Crayola crayon.  :) 

And I cheated a little bit.  My BJP pieces are 5x7.  On this one I put on the ribbon first and put it all the way to the edge of my limits, and added the flowers.  But I couldn't help but think it was missing something.  That's when I added the grass border.  Now this piece actually comes out to 6x8 because of my poor planning.  But the picture part is still 5x7!  So, do I get a slap on the hand for breaking the rules?  lol.  Sorry.  It really needed the border, and I wasn't going to tear it all apart and start over.

This piece really speaks to me in what I think Spring should be.  I don't get these kinds of springs in the desert of Phoenix, Arizona, and I really miss them.  On this one I practiced simplification, a literal interpretation rather than the abstract that I normally do, showing some fabric, and using something other than beads.  Even though the design is a simple one, it was a huge challenge!

Happy Spring to you!

p.s.  after I posted this, Robin Atkins at Beadlust posted some commentary and tips that I struggled with in this piece.  I recommend reading it.  Thanks Robin!

Disclaimer: has sent me product free of charge.  I am not being compensated for my honest opinion of their products.


Tracey N. said...

This is lovely Lisa! You definetly represented spring in your piece. Isnt it fun to work outside the box sometimes? I love the grass border you did, in fact I love everything!

Bellesanbeaus said...

Miss Lisa...this is just so gorgeous!!! I love the simple lines and lovely colors you used. It just sings spring time! You are so talented and now you know you can push yourself in a differant direction and have fun with it!!! Simply an awesome piece!!! Beth

Bobbi said...

OMG Lisa, I just loveeee this piece! Way to go girl! Wowww, it's so different from your other pieces and very awesome! I love everything about this piece!
It's a gorgeous, green meadow in the Spring while it's raining...very beautiful!
I love the grass, the beads, the ribbon...gosh, everything about your piece! Very nice're very talented!
I was so excited to see this months piece and Wow Lisa, it's just incredible!
I hope that you have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
Hugs and happy beading...

Robbie said...

I love it! and the border is fantastic!! Very cool piece!

Carol Creech said...

Happy spring to you, too, Lisa! This piece is so wonderful. The grass is fantastic - and the spring scene with raindrops and all is just delicious. Love that you incorporated the ribbon, too.

Cyndi L said...

Oh Lisa, I want to come play in YOUR garden! What a delightful piece :-)

Kaite said...

it's delightful Lisa, just sooo Spring and fresh. Love the grass. K.

sydsider said...

What a delightful and original piece!

Lisa Criswell / Indigo's Beads said...

i tried to send everyone a personal message, but some of you had a "noreply" in your return email, so i'll thank you here.

beth, you are always so enthusiastic, you make me smile. kaite and carol, thanks for the comments on the took so much time, but i hope you think it adds a nice touch. and thanks carol for commenting on the ribbon and raindrops too...i really enjoyed using those elements.

thanks everyone!!!

robin michelle said...

This is so pretty! Definitely very spring looking. I love that grass border! I'll bet it was a lot of work!

jacqui boyd said...

Wow, having just looked at your previous months, you have definitely gone out of the box with this one and to be honest its your best ever. The colours are beautiful and so vibrant, just like spring is. I love the freedom this piece seems to have because despite the grassy border, it doesn't seem to constrained but the exact opposite, as if wanting break away form the page. Well done :)

Carol said...

This is certainly a Happy Springtime piece. It depicts everything we think when we say Spring has Sprung. Love it!

Beadwright said...

This is really a lovely piece. You cracked me up about all the "poor" planning aspects.

Have a great Sunday

Robin said...

I'm sorry everybody can't run their fingers through and over your fabulous beaded grass border the way I did a week ago!!! It's so lovely and such a pleasing way to recall childhood delight in running my fingers through the new grass of springtime!

Lisa, I hope you don't mind... I wrote a post about a couple of the issues you had with this piece (here) and included your pictures of it. If that bothers you in any way, please let me know and I'll remove the post...

Love your work, as you know!

Robin A.

Whytefeather said...

A great Spring page! I saw all that grass and thought to myself, wow I bet that took a long time! Isn't it great to try something different that what we usually do?!! I think you did fantastic with this piece and I love it.

Lynn said...

Oh, so sweet this is. Just adorable. I feel your pain on the grass fringe - I've done that too. just once. A lesson I didn't forget -- fringe last!