If there is one movie character I identify with (besides Scarlett O’Hara), it is Sandra Bullock’s Gracie Hart in Miss Congeniality. I don’t mean the FBI agent part, although, I am a gun-toting, do NOT mess with me when I have gel in my hair and lip gloss on kinda girl. I do mean the part about her really wanting world peace and harsher punishment for parole violators. I mean, Hello??? Recidivism?!?! But, I won’t bore you with my political stances, because that is not why I’m here.
So, if you are a regular reader, you know that I participate in the Dry Gulch Beads & Jewelry monthly color challenge each month. This month however, I am back in the saddle, and decided to go in a decidedly different direction. The Chinese New Year is coming up on February 8th, and I decided to combine my January Bead Journal Project and my entry into the challenge into one big ball of well, polymer clay! Wonder upon wonders, I do not just bead and crochet, but I also dabble a bit in polymer clay. I’m still new at it, finding my niche, making a lot of mistakes, but absolutely LOVE it!
2016, “Year of the Fire Red Monkey.” This is a year of adventure, discovery, questions and answers, when luck can strike at bizarre times and fortunes can turn in the blink of an eye. Risk, strategy, learning, change and progress feature prominently in a Monkey Year. Under the influence of elemental Fire and the Monkey’s fixed element of Metal, it’s an era of building, creating and forging ahead. We’re hurdling obstacles with remarkable ease and reaching for the stars. It’s a year of blazing opportunity and wild passions, a roller-coaster ride of the senses, and sometimes all you can do is hang on and surrender to the journey! It’s best to take nothing for granted. The Monkey is wise but also unpredictable, and given to bouts of jealousy, suspicion or temper tantrums. Trust is difficult this year. Nonetheless, you may recall that the Space Age officially began in 1956, a Fire Monkey year. Expect to see innovative developments in the sciences, technology, education, commerce and the performance arts.
Ok, now that you have had your Chinese astrology lesson for the week, without further ado, I will present my piece. I made the yin-yang out of polymer clay, then painted it in metallic pearl blue and gunmetal. It is also adorned on top with flatback Swarovski Crystal AB crystals. I peyote bezeled it in 11/0 matte metallic silver and 15/0 white lined opal seed beads. I surrounded it with 4mm Chinese (duh!) Firepolish beads. The Chinese symbol meaning “Year of the Fire Red Monkey” is hand-stitched in hematite seed beads and twisted and regular bugle beads on powder blue Nicole’s Bead Backing.
Bead embroidery was once described to me as “painting with beads.” You start with a blank canvas (your bead backing) and let your imagination and your artistry guide your needle and color choices. There is no right or wrong colors or bead sizes or shapes. It is literally the most freeform type of beading you can do. It is also the easiest, believe it or not. I’m not saying I could teach a master class, or any class in bead embroidery, but I am comfortable doing it on my own without outside guidance. Now, for me to say something like that is HUGE, because I am never comfortable doing anything without getting 52 opinions about my color choices, techniques, etc. And I realize it may not be your cup of tea, and that’s ok too. I just like to try new and different things. All the time. Which is why I have so freaking many craft supplies in my house. I told a friend the other day that my biggest fear is that when I die my husband will sell my craft supplies for what he thinks I actually paid for them! Ha!
Seriously though, I really do want world peace. I want everyone to just get along. I want everyone to realize the only superior race is the Human race, and that ALL lives matter. Granted, it would be a very generic world if there were no conflict, but wouldn’t it be nice if the only conflicts were among politicians (because we all know they are a joke anyway)? Ok, so rant/lecture over.
So, I’m coming up on 10,000 viewers on this little blog, and I”m thinking about maybe having a contest. It would be open to all of you who subscribe by email (there is a sign-up box floating around this page somewhere), and like my Facebook page, and follow me on Twitter (@beccas_bangles). Don’t have all the details on the prizes yet, but I promise you it will be something good! Also, it looks like I will have a new pattern or two coming out in the next week, so be on the lookout! If you are an email subscriber you will have free access for a limited time once they are released. After that they can be purchased on my website.
Remember how I was whining about the cold weather last week? Yesterday it was 70 freaking degrees and we are expecting tornadoes Tuesday! This is what it’s like to live in the South. If you want to know what the weather is going to be, wait 10 minutes! Anyways, I would really like to hear from you people!!! Hellooooooo, anyone out there??? LEAVE ME COMMENTS PEOPLE!!! Sheesh!
Y’all be good. Until next time, stay smart, or stay smart sassy!