Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Summer Sunset in Arizona

This one has been a long time coming, hasn't it?  It seems to me like I have been working on this one forever, and frankly I am tired of looking at it.  Did you ever get that way about a project?  The obvious thing to do would be to put it down and come back to it, but with deadlines looming for the BJP and wanting to get my Artbeads Blogger project finished, I knew I had to work on it straight through until it was done.

My challenge this month was to come up with a project for both the BJP and for the Artbeads Blogger project.  Artbeads gave me the theme of summer and I had 3 product categories to choose from:  charms, pendants and glass beads.  Living in Arizona, I hate summer.  With a passion.  I had to dig very deep to find any redeeming quality about summer in Arizona.  Finally I thought of something...our sunsets.  Summer sunsets in Arizona are absolutely glorious.  The array of colors you will see is amazing.  yellows, oranges, reds, pinks, blues, purples...in all varying shades and levels of vibrancy.  Some are subdued and some are shockingly bright.  I had it in my head to try to do my best to depict a sunset using beads.  My end result was pretty close to what I had imagined.  Not exactly, but close...closer than on some other projects, that's for sure!

This piece was quite a challenge for me.  I had to choose colors that realistically show those of a sunset and also blend them sufficiently so they didn't just look like stripes across my fabric.  I chose to use Toho beads from Artbeads.  I find that they look much nicer in embroidery projects than the delicas.  Toho has just about any color you can imagine!  I like them, too, because they are much more economical than delicas and the rounded edges seem to lay better around turns and curves than the delicas.  The only thing I was disappointed in when looking for my Tohos for this project was that Artbeads was completely out of stock on all solid colored black beads in any finish.  : (  I needed black for the shadowed cactus and ground area.  What I found was a hybrid called Jet Picasso.  It is mottled gray and black.  For this project I thought it was too gray, so I added in some solid black beads that I had in my stash.  If you are looking for something a little more interesting than just plain black, though, I would recommend this color.  It is very different.

(Jet Picasso with black mixed in.)

Arizona Sunset
(I think it looks best smaller so you can really see all the colors together.)
(But here it is a little bigger.)

There are different 10 colors in the sunset, all in Tohos and all blended together.  It got very tricky for me especially when I had 3 colors all converging at the same points.  For a little whimsy I added some sparkling Swarovski stars in the sky.  I just love how they twinkle on the page.  Then, I added some awesome little antique silver charms.  There is a cactus, boot and cowboy hat.  As if the large cactus in the center didn't say Southwest enough...had to add the cowboy elements for a little fun.  Here are some close-ups of the charms:




Here is a closer pic of the stars:

And here you can also see my very favorite Toho color of all...Frosted Silver-Lined Cobalt!  It is the most vibrant color I have ever come across in a bead, and I just love it!!!  Electric is a word I would use to describe it.  I would use it in every project if I could get away with it!


Whew!  Now that this one is done, I'm feeling a little lost! lol  I've got a cuff half finished that I started when my beads arrived for my Sunset project, so I guess I will be off finishing that one.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get back to it.  I have terrible carpal tunnel, and I've been working my poor hands numb and stiff to get this one done. 

'Til next time...Bead happy!!!

(As always, comments and critiques are very welcome!)

FTC Disclosure:  Artbeads.com provided products to me free of charge.  I am not being compensated in any way to give my honest opinions of their products.

21 comments:

Craftymoose Crafts said...

Big Wow! Gorgeous! I think you did a wonderful job of blending the colors and the charms add such a fun touch! Do you have plans for the finished piece?

Robbie said...

Thanks for info on Toho's..I've seen where these are called for but never used them. I'll have to check them out. I just love your sunset piece. It's just wonderful!!! May I ask, do you just use backstitch for laying your beads or do you couch them?? I have an upcoming larger project (17" x 20") that I want to lay LOTS of beads on but not sure the best method to use. Thanks!!!

Bellesanbeaus said...

just as i imagine your real sunsets are...this piece is stunning! you did such a great job blending the colors...its truly just stunning sweetie!!!!

Bobbi said...

Wowww Sweetie, this turned out fantastic! Your blending of all the colors is just incredible! Awesome piece! Lisa you truly are a outstanding, phenomenal designer and artist...way to go girl! A wonderful piece and a gorgeous and beautiful Arizona Sunset!
I love everything about this piece and it's one of my favorites now that you've made. Bravo Sweetie!
Giant hugs to you...
Bobbi

Cyndi L said...

Oh how stunning! I want to come and sit on your porch and sip liquid refreshments while we watch the sunset!!

Barbara said...

OH MY! This is awesome! :)Every bead (and charm) is perfectly placed, congratulations on a masterpiece!

Beadwright said...

Great job. I haven't even started my project. But I have only been home a few days.
Hey I will be in Scottsdale starting June 13. We still getting together???
Nicole/Beadwright

Tracey N. said...

This is absolutely stunning! Ive never been to Arizona and this sure makes me want to go! I think you did a fabulous job on your blending of colors. Amazing! I too love Toho beads. I just ordered some of the hybrids and cant wait to get them! There are some really amazing colors that I cant wait to see in person.

robin michelle said...

This is amazing! I love the colors and you've blended them so well! I've never been to Arizona but now I think I want to see your sunsets. And I love the sparkling stars!

Robin said...

Totally awesome blending job, Lisa!!!!! I clicked to enlarge, clicked the little + button and made it fill my monitor. Then I went back farther in the room and had one of those experiences I'll never forget. I wanted, actually longed, to leave my comfortable, cool NW home and come immediately back to AZ so I could see this in person. You can take high credit for that because I'm allergic to heat over 70 degrees (dry or humid)! Congratulations!

I often feel very stuck and a little sad immediately after finishing a piece. My antidote is to root through my beads and find some favorites to put in a project box for the next piece. No matter if I use them or not... Just doing that much gets me motivated again.

Robin A.

jacqui boyd said...

WOW !!!

Carol said...

Lisa
This is gorgeous! Your blending is perfect. I also like the direction of flow, which can be seen even better in the larger picture.

Wonderful work.

Stacy Hurt said...

Oh ya! That electric blue is what I call it too & it's just fabulous! Your piece is quite astoundingly beautiful! Congrats!

Birgit said...

Great bead picture -- you can't do anything wrong with such an image from the Southwest. :)

Happy creating,
Birgit

怡潔向霖 said...
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Dees said...

I can see I don't spend enough time following your blog! You have done so much since my last visit. I hope to catch up soon...
This piece is pretty. I like the way you blended the colours. The cactus appears to me as a human figure with his/her arms reaching to the sky. But then again, that's just my imagination.
Hope you are doing well.

廖淑凡 said...
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Christina J. said...

It's amazing! Lovely work.

hernande said...
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Kelly said...

Amazing! I really love this piece and the way you did the sunset!

韻枝 said...
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