Saturday, February 13, 2010

What I did in the Blizzard!

Living in the mid-Atlantic means we only get large snow storms about every 8-10  years.  But, when the storms do hit they really knock us out.  Snow removal equipment isn't the best, nor is there a lot of it. People don't know how to drive and don't understand what "stay inside and off the roads" means.  Well, this winter has really been unusual.  Not only did we have a major snow storm in December, but we've had two major storms within 5 days! 

This is our back yard after the second blizzard.  The fence is 6 feet tall!  So, you have some indication of what our world looks like.  But, even though we had no way of getting out for a few days, and no where to go because mostly everything was closed, I managed to keep busy.  Besides cooking and baking, which I always want to do when it snows, I also was busy in the studio. 

I had been working on a bead embroidered pendant before the storm, and I had plenty of time to finish it and it's necklace once the first storm hit.   I love doing bead embroidery, mostly because I like doing embroidery!  I try to let the beads tell me what to do.  I used a photograph from a catalog as the color inspiration for this piece.  The cabochon is one I had in my stash and it was the perfect color for what I wanted to do. 
Once I finished the embroidery I had to decide on a necklace for it.  I was going to stitch a spiral rope and make a bail for the pendant, but that seemed too busy.  What I decided to do was just string some of the seed beads and attach the necklace to the top  of the pendant.
The necklace I ended up making is fun to stitch.  You begin by stringing a given number of beads, in this case 34, and then stringing 4 more.  You pick up 4 beads in a contrasting color and go through the last 4 beads again.  You repeat that sequence 5 more times to create the barrel, then string another 34 beads.  By repeating that pattern, you can create a necklace any length you desire.  Once again, living by my motto of "life's too short not to embellish", I went back and put some fringe on the bottom of each barrel, using seed beads and drop beads.  I attached it to the pendant by stringing into two of the pendants edging beads on each side. 
I like the finished product.  The barrels add some weight to the necklace so that it supports the pendant, without competing with it. 

One project finished.  But, there was still almost 30 inches of snow on the ground and this was only the first blizzard!  After snow blowing and shoveling ourselves out of that one, the second one arrived 5 days later!  Well, no problem, because I always have more projects than time!  I was knitting a pair of fingerless gloves for a friend of mine.   They were a combination of two patterns and I liked them so much I knit myself a pair in a different color!  But, I needed a neat way to present them to her.  I love to come up with fun, interesting presentations, and  since I wasn't going to see her for a while I took the time to play.  I made a pillow box out of cardstock covered with fabric which I ultimately tied with a bow.  Notice the snow flake fabric!Then I decided to make a tag (more on tags  at a later time).   I wanted a way of reminding her to hand wash the gloves and making a tag seemed like a good idea since I love making them, and any excuse works!

 So, I created a tag that coordinates with the box.  The reverse side tells her to "Hand Wash Only".  The front uses some of Tim Holtz' techniques and some of his products.   My daughter, Carrie, and I are big fans of Tim Holtz.  His ideas and techniques for paper art are really cool.  A new one I tried for this tag is the "frosted" snowflake charm in the center of the tag. 
It's a fun and  easy way of modifing an acrylic charm.  The technique can be found on his website.  I learned it from his  "12 Tags of Christmas" tutorials.

I've enjoyed the time that these storms have given me.  I won't say I'm not fantasizing about spring and being out in my garden again, because I am.  But, it's been wonderful to be able to spend time in my studio without worrying about having somewhere else I needed to be. 
I hope those of you who have been snowed in have enjoyed the gift of creative time also.


  1. Fabulous, as I've said. I definitely enjoyed the time for creativeness!

  2. Oh, wow - that necklace is absolutely stunning! I really love the way the pendant and chain work together.

    The gift box and tag are wonderful, too. Clearly the storm was good for you. :)

  3. Wow great productivity! Love the necklace, and I like the tip on the acrylic charm!


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