Friday, October 07, 2005

More Beady Stuff

Meet Lady O:

Remember way back in a post in July where I showed you what she looked like "undressed" except for her face and breasts? (Sorry, I'm not going to spend time finding it for you to link it here.) Anyway, this is what she looks like now. Her name is Lady O for Oregon, natch! I managed to finish her on the last evening before we came home from our vacation. To get a better idea of scale, she's about 3-1/4" tall, not including her hair (halo? crown?) The face is one I made from polymer clay using a commercial mold and her breasts are a broken lampwork bead by my husband. Colours are the surf, sand, sea, sky, agate, sun through the fog, and just-turning leaves of our holiday on the coast. Her hood (wimple?) is peyote-stitched and I also used couching, backstitch, lane/lazy stitch and stacked stitch. I think she turned out pretty well, though I like the back better for some reason. I got better at stitching as I went along so the beads are more even and neat and the design is a little more coherent. Nowhere near perfect though, but that's ok. I ended up using a tiny quilting needle, often pulling it through with bent-nosed pliers. My beading needles seemed too long to get in tight places and I wasn't able to find a fine curved needle anywhere. The quilting needle actually became quite comfortable to work with but I guess it helps that I have very small hands!

I couldn't believe how time-consuming the stitching was. She's so small but it still took me two weeks worth of late afternoons. Several hours later I'd have maybe a square inch done max, but I think the results are worth it. I want to do another one now, but I'm not sure I'll have time. I've been pondering Dia de los Muertos images — kind of appropriate since my birthday is All Souls Day. Maybe I need to figure out how to make a skull face. Is there such a thing as a pleasant-looking (but not too cute) skull? Help, Tim Burton! I'm not much of a sculptor.

I got a comment from Elizabeth from Australia on yesterday's blog entry. Hi Elizabeth! Another reader — wow! You commented on my DIL's socks. I hope you realize they aren't real fairisle but are commercially printed with dyes to look what I consider somewhere halfway between fairisle and ikat. All I have to do is knit plain! This type of yarn has sparked a real boom in sock knitting and the exciting part is you are never really sure what the different brands and patterns will look like until you knit them up. This guarantees that knitters won't be able to resist trying every different colourway/brand they can find! The Confetti that I use most often is made in Italy but distributed from Quebec (at least in NA) and it's very reasonably priced for sock yarn and fairly easily available here in Canada compared to some of the other brands.

Oh and as far as wearing wool socks in warm climates goes, I don't have a problem wearing them in summer when walking distances in my boots. Wool absorbs sweat without feeling too wet and can even insulate against heat (think Berbers in the desert in their wool caftans). Of course the hottest day in Vancouver's summer is probably a cool day in winter for you tropical types!

More Oregon next post.

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