Mosaic Monday – Libra

Libra: Air, Indigo Blue, Rose, and Quicksilver

It is Libra season!

Libra is the 7th of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Those born between September 23rd and October 22nd are Libras. Libra is represented by the element of Air; the colors of Indigo, Ivory, and Rose; gemstones of Green Aventurine, Opal, Agate; the metal of Quicksilver.

Libras are charming, diplomatic, energetic, stylish, and balanced but these positive traits can lead to negative ones where they are indecisive, lazy, strict, vain, and apathetic. Libras are very extroverted and enjoy culture, communication, and beautiful things. Libras are hard workers who want the best for all especially if achieving that outcome utilizes their dedication, decision-making, and creative strength.

https://www.patchworkchickenstudio.com/products/bead-mosaic-libra

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Mosaic Monday – Virgo

Virgo: Navy Blue, Earth, and Quicksilver

It is Virgo season!

Virgo is the 6th of the 12 signs of the Zodiac. Those born between August 23rd and September 22nd are Virgos. Virgo is represented by the element of Earth; the colors of Navy/Sapphire Blue and Earth tones; gemstones of Sapphire, Sardonyx, and Agate; the metals of Silver and Quicksilver.

Virgos are dedicated, resourceful, helpful, hardworking, witty, practical, intelligent, curious, and introverted but these positive traits can lead to negative ones where they are overwhelmed, self-pitying, uptight, critical, and moody. Virgos are deep thinkers with rich inner lives and a passion for life-long learning. They love and are inspired by beauty in all its forms. Ideal hobbies and activities are ones where Virgos can work alone on tasks that bring knowledge and/or beauty into their lives.

Art, Simplicity, and Joys

This week was the release of Written & Whim. I am very excited and grateful to have it done and out there. Still trying to wrap my brain around the fact I have published 23 full-length poetry books since September 13, 2011 aka the day The Heart of Autumn was published.

There are only 8 more books until I complete the A to Z theme. That is a bit baffling too. When I started on the A to Z journey in 2011, I thought it would be crazy to write 2600 poems over 26 books. I have less than 750 poems left to write now. Overall, I have written 2615 poems since 1994-ish. The bulk of which were written since I started publishing my work. Publishing my work has been a powerful motivator to write more which is fantastic.

No rest of the artistic. Already a quarter of the way through on writing the next book, Doll & Discarnate. At the beginning of 2019, I had this grand plan to write and publish 4 books during the year. I didn’t count on, foolishly, life things and other creative pursuits slowing that progress. Despite the error in judgement, I forge ahead with the words.

For several years now, I’ve been work on and toward a more simplistic life so I can spend more time with my passions and joys aka creative pursuits. I neglected my passions and joys quite a bit for many years prior which brought much sorrow into my life so simplicity is very appealing. Never want to feel that destructive, bone-deep sorrow again.

I keep coming to points where it seems I have finally reached a nice level of simplicity to only see it falter later. No. In fact, I have more to work to do. The chaos that ensues has been getting less and less chaotic over time. Yay for progress! But the fact that chaos creeps up and in so quickly tells me I have more work to do.

I’ve been neglecting such work this year. I think this has been to the detriment of my creative process and myself. Have to take time in the coming weeks to really clear out things weighing down my environment and triggering chaos. Cleaning up my apartment on a weekly basis, even though it is a deep clean, just isn’t enough to stop the creeping.

A few months ago, I sat down and wrote down everything that brings me joy no matter how small. The list surprised me. Poetry, painting, and creative things made the list of course. (Simplicity and no clutter also made the list which was surprising yet not surprising.) Some of my joys are not things I can do every day as they are seasonal activities. However, a lot of my joys were little things – like having my fingernails painted black, and the scent of sandalwood – that I could incorporate into my day every day but I wasn’t for some reason. As if I didn’t realize the joy they bring, as if I hadn’t forgotten what joy could be within the little things. Since I’ve done this list and started incorporating the little joys more and more into my daily life, I find myself much calmer and happier. As someone who has suffered from severe depression and wild mood swings for YEARS, it is kind of weird to be calmer and happier but it is growing on me.

I typed up all my joys into a word file on my computer. I go back and look at it to remind myself from time to time, especially if I am feeling sad or lonely or upset, then go and do one of things on the list.

So I leave you with this…

What are your joys? Do you involve as many as you can into your day?

Mosaic Monday – Leo

This week’s bead mosaic is Leo. Happy Birthday Leos!

Leo is represented by Fire, Orange, and Gold.

This mosaic ended up, surprisingly, being one of the most challenging Zodiac mosaics to make. The beads were uncooperative as they kept sliding around the box, and I struggled to come up with initial design. In the end, I ended up delighted by the finished design.

Leo

The 5 inch by 3 inch by 3/4 inch wood tray was painted with orange acrylic paint. It features assorted glass beads, assorted acrylic beads, metal charms, and a metal Leo charm. The finished box was sealed with a gloss acrylic sealant.

https://www.patchworkchickenstudio.com/products/bead-mosaic-leo

I Blinked And…

…it is August. Not sure where June and July went but August is here. Think I blinked in May and, boom, August. I do have vague memories of June and July – most pertaining to dental appointments and pain that followed said appointments. Not the greatest of months for functionality but they have come and gone. I look forward to August and all the things I would like to do.

I haven’t been very attentive to my online presence in the past few weeks. Need to work on that some more. I get busy with and distracted by tasks then forget other things. One track mind, maybe?

I finished Written & Whim in July. That was a big undertaking. It should be published sometime this month – doesn’t have an exact publication date yet as I’m still trying to figure out what the description/back cover should say. Yes, a description is all that stands between me and the publication of my 23rd full-length book of poetry. It breaks my heart just a little to be so close yet so far from the finish line with Written & Whim.

Aside from work on Written & Whim, I’ve been working on inventory for Patchwork Chicken Studio. We have several multi-day Art, Craft, & Gift shows coming up so all of us at Patchwork Chicken Studio have been busy creating in order to bolster our inventory for these shows. Patchwork Chicken Studio is, also, currently running a giveaway. Soon, we’re going to be giving a fabulous denim tote bag that was made by the very talented Susabelle and features a lovely rainbow-colored batik that came from my fabric stash.

My inventory work has primarily involved creating drawstring bags/backpacks in different prints & colors. I had enough fabric on hand for 24 unique one-of-a-kind bags. I have 14 done. 4 more sitting by my sewing machine to finish up this weekend. The rest are waiting to start final assembly. There are so many that I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of what fabric elements go where and such since each bag features 3 to 4 different fabrics divided among 15 pieces to put together. I typically only make 6 to 8 bags at a time. 24 bags in an assembly line of bag awesomeness has proven to be a significant and, occasionally, overwhelming but worthwhile undertaking.

I have ten mosaic and six painting ideas awaiting my attention too but I’ve been kind of ignoring them. I couldn’t figure out why until this morning. I was gathering my things to come to the coffee shop as I wanted to get out of the house for awhile. I just HAD to get out. This ‘HAD‘ attitude is what tipped me off to my artistic plight. While my home is fairly clean, despite being in the creative trenches, it is just disorganized enough where I am agitated and unproductive among the chaos.

For someone that lived in much worse states of chaos for years and has taken massive strides in correcting such issues, this agitation speaks volumes about the progress I’ve made in improving my surroundings and negative behaviors. Very proud of myself though I am sad I will be spending the rest of today on cleaning. Still not a fan of cleaning. I can think of a million things I’d rather do even though I wouldn’t actually do any of them given the current state of my home. Irony perhaps?

For August: the publishing of Written & Whim, art & inventory (drawstring bags, flannel blankets, mosaics, abstract art, mixed media art, beaded ornaments [maybe]), tagging inventory with the spiffy new logo price tags recently obtained, packing up inventory for the shows, marketing work, writing poems, being more consistent in my online presence, and – most importantly – keep my home from sliding into the chaos again so I can remain productive.

Off I go to do battle with the evils of chaos…..

Mosaic Monday – Gold Seahorse

This mosaic started with a poll over at Patchwork Chicken Studio‘s Facebook page asking which creature should be the subject of my next mosaic. The seahorse won. I decided to documented the steps of the process for this one though I almost forgot.

whichcreature

The seahorse is laser cut chipboard. It came from a collection of sea-themed designs I unearthed at my local craft store. I painted it with bright gold acrylic ink. It took two coats as chipboard accepts the ink different than wood or paper would.

seahorse2

While the seahorse’s paint cured, I stained the mosaic’s wood tray with a turquoise acrylic ink. I used the ink as a stain to give the tray a distressed weather/water worn appearance.

After the tray was dry, I edged the base in beads of the primary palette – “water”. Once the edges were dry, I traced out a coral design onto the bottom. Rainbow glass beads were used for the coral.

seahorse3

After the coral was dry, I applied my custom mix of glass seed beads to create the water. The mix consists of seeds beads in 14 different shades & styles of blue, green, and turquoise. Some are translucent, some opaque, some with cores of other colors, etc. to give depth and dimension to the “water”.

Real mini seashells were placed along the bottom edge while the water was being placed. The seashells are difficult to work with because their proportions and angles so they cannot be placed before the beads surrounding them go in. Everything must be done together which leads to the seashells sliding all over the place until they are forced into place by the other beads.

seahorse4

After the water and seashells were secure and dry, they received a coat of varnish. While the varnish was still wet, the gold seahorse was placed on top. I felt the seahorse needed something more so I added a flat back resin gem for its eye. The seahorse received a coat of varnish to seal it and fully attach it to the rest of the mosaic. Normally, a large design element like this would be placed first then the rest of the design and beads go around it but it was placed on top because of the cut outs in the design. I wanted the water and coral to peek through.

seahorse5

The mosaic was allowed to dry for a week before receiving its hanger.

seahorse6

Once the hanger was applied, the mosaic was taken outside to get its final varnish coat. It takes about two weeks for the final varnish to fully cure which means the scent is gone from it. Once it is applied and cured, it leaves a nice, sturdy, and glossy finish.

seahorse7

The final product can be found at https://www.patchworkchickenstudio.com/collections/bead-mosaics.

Which creature should I feature next? The scorpion? The Elephant? The Moose? The Owl? Some other creature?

Fridays In The Studio – The Art Knew

It is Friday in The Studio with Patchwork Chicken Studio!

This week will feature something brand new (not even listed on https://www.patchworkchickenstudio.com/ yet!), and it comes with a little story…

Wednesday night, I was prepping canvases for my morning routine of painting despite paintings rapidly taking over my apartment. I was going to give a base coat of white to several of the canvases. At the last minute, I decided to go with an indigo color instead.

While applying the color to the first canvas, two thoughts occurred, “It looks so streaky, it is going to need a second coat” and “It looks like denim and would look amazing with an array of pinks”.

The second thought gave way to the thought, “That is SO Susabelle!” Susabelle is one of my closest friends, a fellow writer, and the founder of Patchwork Chicken Studio.

I ended up painting three canvases with the base effect of denim because the effect has potential.

Yesterday morning, I created a lovely pink abstract flower upon one of the denim canvases. One of the two other denim canvases had an unfortunate mishap with the array of paint tubes covering 85% of the main work desk in my studio and will be repurposed/reused with a different, much darker, base color.

Susabelle is away, visiting her hometown, and has been gone barely a week. Even so, it would seem that I miss my friend. While I did not realize this consciously until after I completed the painting, the art knew.

Art always knows.

flowerpinkphoto