French pumpkin herringbone options and 2017

I still love to bead – and/but I’m developing more interests. I’ve tried a lot of things this summer and onward, and they generally are still textile arts; I stitched a tiny bit of sashiko embroidery noodling around in an embroidery class. Not complete. I took a class on coiled basketry (from Sandra Brick!). Not complete. I will finish these two projects, but I haven’t yet done so – it truly wouldn’t take much time. Both are projects I can see repeating if the fancy strikes, or if I want to make a gift for someone who would like one of these projects.

I took a class on flameworking beads, which I don’t think is something I want to explore further. The time and equipment (and money and space) needed to learn how to make something even close to good would be significant. Hats off to those who work with glass! I took a class on block printing where I carved a block of dense foam (vs. the linoleum blocks from high school art) into a really goofy-looking beaded daisy chain. Fun, but I believe I threw the block away.

Just this month, I made a modified accordion book in a class, which was pretty successful and enjoyable, and something I can see repeating on my own in a modified fashion. In another class, I created a paper collage design, then manipulated it with a computer, and that was printed on fabric. The fabric is in the mail, and I will get to use it soon. I’ve started to consistently do more sewing, and I’m really pleased with my last project, a heavy wool casual winter coat. I could design more fabric and have it printed, combining these last two items.

I took a SAORI class (I’ll get back to weaving in a minute). Also, I do a fair amount of cooking and baking. I read books. I work two professional jobs which usually adds up to four days of paid employment per week. So where does this leave beading? Good question. I have to figure this out – setting some 2017 plans seems a good time to start. I want to make all the things!

There has been some beading done. I made some Christmas presents, did a restringing project for a friend, and made earrings for others and myself. And every once in a while, I go back to these herringbone ropes with the French pumpkin beads that I love.

I’m not completely happy with this. While I like the center rope, I’m not convinced it goes with the other two.

I think this is better. Using all wider stripes would work as well, but my current thinking is that this eventual necklace is going to be all about the pumpkin. Also, I’ve completed more inches with the heavy-on-the-pumpkin theme.

Now: weaving. I’ve ordered a SAORI loom, to arrive shortly after the first of the year. This is a significant investment in both money and my future time. Since I took that class this summer, I have really been wanting one. This is a plain weave loom only, with the process of weaving as its purpose.  Typically, there isn’t pattern and design; a weaver just picks the next color, weaving beauty with the lack of intention.

So, considering how I want to use my time and creative energy is what I need to do. What do I truly want to make, and how much time can I spend on each? The main contenders are beading, weaving, and sewing (plus cooking, reading, etc.). Do I want to see if I can find an outlet for selling things that I make, and do all the non-creating work that goes along with sales? I also need to overhaul this website. I think 2017 has lots of possibility. I’m registered for three classes for next year already – tapestry weaving, tin thread braiding, and making a leather tote. It’s a wonderful life…

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