Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Auditioning Beads

Look at all those dishes of beads!
I fear I haven't made much progress on adding beads to Masks. There have been distractions aplenty, and some days when I just didn't have it in me to decide on the next steps and methodically start sewing. But there have been days as well when I stood and stared, tried to envision, scattered a few beads here and there, consulted my beading books for ideas, tried to think my way to proper solutions. The mask on the right is starting to look like it is receding to me - standing just a little back from the one on the left and I like this, want to capitalize on that. I also thought to pick up the bit of green in the fabric by using green beads to outline what I see as the hat at the top of the mask. And don't forget, there may be a need to pull a few red beads up into this area too for overall balance.

When you merely scatter beads, particularly over a quilted surface, you really can't get the feel of what those same beads will look like stitched down. I finally admitted I must start "stringing" beads, trying various combinations and repeat sequences. In this case, I stacked the beads on a long glass-head pin. These will probably outline the "chin" area on each mask.

The hats have an oval "center" that calls out for a bigger decorative element. Could only find one such thing in my stash - an antler button with a turquoise center bead that I originally bought to add to a tote flap but now want to use on the forward mask. It is the perfect size and stylistic feel. Was not originally planning on giving that mask a green hat, but going blue seemed like too much since the rest of the mask will be outlined in a blue trade bead. Also thinking I don't want a solid line of green so am considering breaking up the line with an off-white bead as you see with these beads stacked on a long straw needle.

The upper receding mask was becoming a puzzling problem, suddenly solved when it occurred to me to try mixing in red beads instead of off-white. Was interesting to feel my whole body spontaneously relax when viewing how this new thought looked in place. (One of my meditation classes had us focusing on how different emotions make our bodies feel physically - otherwise, I might not have noticed the connection between satisfied in my mind and my body backing that up.) And I may be able to "build" a bigger decorative object for this hat with an old yellowed button that reminds me of aged ivory (or I suppose it could be bone as it comes out of my grandmother's button box). It has unusually large holes for attaching which emphasizes the effect of looking like a face. I think I will secure it with a red bead over each hole and add more red beads around it, perhaps creating a slightly oval shape. I'm also considering dangles along the front edge of the hats, but again - which colors, which sequence? I'll probably have them copy what I do in outlining the hats. The rest of the outlining of the mask on this one will probably be what you see strung on some thread on the left, an alternating of small groups of the blue and off-white trade beads. I did a quick estimate of how many it will take to go around that section and there aren't enough of either color so mixing is my only option. Don't really want to buy more beads even if they are still available.

I feel the most sure about those green and red beads to outline the hat, so that is where I'm going to start, this very minute. Yes I am...

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