Queen Bee

Ready to fly off and start her own colony, a new Queen Bee.  Do you think she’ll be successful?  Are there flowers nearby to feed the hive?  She’s sure to pick a good spot.

This brooch is a study in greys, with a bright spot of yellow from the bumblebee jasper.  Colorfully lively without being riotous.

Carved and stained bone face, bumblebee jasper from Mount Papandayan in Indonesia, matte grey rondelles, hematite and seed beads.

She’s ready to buzz!

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Rosarita

Sometimes it’s nice to try something different; work with materials you don’t usually use.

That’s the case with this brooch.  The resin rose is very dimensional, almost an inch high, and maybe an inch and a half wide.  Pretty.  Pretty Big.

I knew when I started I wanted to bead some leaves around it, and was first thinking of three dimensional leaves, but they just weren’t happening.  Then the idea changed into the rose emerging from it’s leafy bower, growing out of the painting, if you will.  So, bead embroidered leaves in various shades of green, and some bugles to define the leaf veins.

This one is a keeper.  It will be just the thing on my red winter coat.

At the Lake

Dangling bare feet off the dock.  Naps in the sunshine.  Trout just under the water, their shadows darting.

Even though we are in the throes of winter, this brooch reminds me of a summer’s day at the lake.  The cabochon is carracite jasper, with a hole in it.  I know there’s probably some proper geological name for that, but I have no idea what it is.  The hole is what drew me to this stone.

Straw colored seed beads reminiscent of a weathered dock complete the brooch.

Eclipse

The sun is blotted from the sky.  The air grows colder.  Colors are twisted into  not-quite-right hues.

The hair on your arms stands on end, and deep in the animal-brain part of your psyche thoughts of flight and hiding flicker.

A total eclipse of the sun.

There was one of those back in 2017, and I was fortunate enough to see it.  Quite something!  Those feelings have stuck with me all this time.  This brooch is an homage to that day.

Hand dyed silk ribbon from artist L. Noel combined with an antique glass cabochon from American occupied Japan (WWII) and a sprinkling of seed beads, all folded and stitched together into a primal whole.

Aunt Phoebe

She was your favorite Aunt, even though you always knew her to be prim and proper.  Everything done just a certain way, making it so.  Slipshod workmanship was not tolerated.  Nor were bad manners.

It wasn’t until she passed away, and the herculean task of clearing out the house fell to you that you discovered what caused that perpetual twinkle in her eye.

Under the eaves, the box of photos.  A very young Aunt Phoebe, cigarette dangling from her lips, astride her motorcycle.*

The colors of this brooch remind me of days long past, a bit musty but with a back story you wouldn’t believe.  The cabochon is rhodochrosite (or something like that, I think).  Dusky grey and peach seed beads complete the piece.

*This image is of Fay Taylour, who was a premier dirt track racer, holding speedway records in Australia, New Zealand and the UK during the 1920s.  She did not compete in women-only events, but open races with her male counterparts.

Moon over Oyster Bay

This brooch reminds me of oysters on the half shell.  Or perhaps the clumps of bivalves one sees when diving in a bay.  Then there’s that full moon, so perhaps it’s really one of those magical, metaphysical dreams that opens doors to the new and fantastic.

This is also a collaboration with the wonderful silk artist, L. Noel. I picked up some silk ribbon, which she very graciously agreed to dye.  She uses French silk dyes, so the colors are vibrant and intense.

The full moon cabochon is an antique, made during the US occupation of Japan after World War II.  The whole pin is edged with gold 15° seed beads.  There’s also some square gold beads; moonlight reflected on the bay.

Golden Ore

Not exactly flashy, not exactly demure.  Somewhere in the middle, wouldn’t you say?

I think the golden magatamas would glint in the beam of a miner’s lantern, showing the way to riches buried deep under the earth.

Thankfully, this bracelet is right here in the open, no digging necessary.

Stitching this makes one pay attention.  Those magatamas are very directional.  Thankfully the center druks and the joining 8°s are not.

Everything is held together with a nice strong clasp.  Click!