A Life of Varied Endeavors

February Little Altars

The Olympics from Ebey's Landing

The Olympics from Ebey’s Landing – digital photo and watercolor on watercolor paper with vintage glass beads

For my February Little Altars Full Moon project, I was hungry to do some bead embroidery.  An initial attempt at this less than 3″x3″ space left me feeling stuck in a rut and dissatisfied.  It was going to be a fully-bead-embroidered piece on ultrasuade.When I was about a third of the way done, I told myself this was not right.

Instead, I looked to my photo collection for my beach-and-ocean desired visual. The image at left was taken a few years ago at Ebey’s Landing on Whidbey Island, looking across to the Olympic Mountains.

I printed the photo on watercolor paper using my Canon MG6220 printer (not a high-end photo printer by any stretch of the imagination.)  With water brushed over them, the dye-based digital inks liquify quite interestingly on the watercolor paper, and can then be nicely enhanced by watercolors over them.  After a few practice attempts I got happy with the results.    After “watering” and coloring the photo, I sealed the image with archival varnish.

I wanted a little sparkle, and was still hunrgy for some bead embroidery.  I happily found some vintage two-hole glass beads – when I was looking for some other beads – and they just seemed to hit the spot.  With an awl, I made individual holes one-by-one in the 140 lb. watercolor paper, and stitched each bead on. Make a hole, stitch one end, make a second custom hole, stitch the other end.  Broke a few beads with that awl. Hanakokolele on me!

You might call it embellishment, but I’m calling it embroidery!

This is one of the practice pieces, and I like it well enough to call it my keeper.  The final piece for the Little Altars February spot can be seen (when posted) on Peg’s Getting a “Wild Hair” … Studio blogsite.

I’m happy that this is a lighter, simpler, and more fanciful solution to my original desires for this month’s project. For me, it’s a sign of progress in the letting-go arena.

Leave a reply