Monday, April 17, 2006

Heidi's Iris

I've started a new piece! Well, I actually started it on March 28th--and am just now getting around to blogging about it.
This is the piece I'm making for Heidi--the wonderful Heidi who redesigned my website. It took me a long time to get to this design--I knew I wanted to do something with polka dots because of Heidi's affinity for dots and Heidi had mentioned persimmons as a possibility. I couldn't find persimmons in Colorado though I looked and looked (I'm sure that it has more to do with my timing and forgetfulness than the availablity of persimmons in Colorado). So then I moved onto other ideas--polka dots on my pregnant belly (I've been working on this for a while!), polka dots on a comfy chair, holding fruit against my pregnant belly--but none of these were working for Heidi's piece.
So then when Heidi was visiting in March, we talked and looked at the designs. She mentioned flowers--poppies and iris--and I have lots of photos of those that I've taken from my garden and we looked through those photos. And then after she left, I found more polka dot fabric and took an iris from a beautiful arrangement my sister-in-law gave me, and came up with this design that Heidi liked!
So I was able to start beading (here is the beginning on Thursday March 30th)--and it has been going very quickly. I've learned some things, too.
For many years, I've been telling people that I can bead a square inch in 2 hours with my size 15 Japanese seed beads. Well, I actually started timing myself and the reality is that I can bead a square inch in 2 1/2 hours. While this may not seem like such a big difference--it means that a 5x6 piece that I thought would take about 60 hours (or about two months of beading since I do this in my spare time) will actually take 75 hours.
Here's the piece on 3-30-06 (40 minutes).
This isn't marathon beading, by the way, it is just beading as I normally do for relaxation and enjoyment in the evenings while I hang out with my husband and daughter and watch tv (preferrably something that I've seen a lot, like a lot, doesn't have subtitles, and isn't on a channel with commercials. This is so that I'm not too distracted while beading, but still pleasantly entertained. I really like listening to narrative while I work. Books on tape work really well if I'm on a deadline--then I don't get distracted by the visuals.
Here is the piece on April 2 after 3 hours, 55 minutes.
So far, I've put in an average of an hour a day--I've completed a circle that is 3 inches in diameter--so that means (using the trig math my husband so wonderfully remembers!)--that I've beaded 4.71 square inches in 17:55 hours.
Oh wait a second there! That's 3.82 hours per square inch. What is going on here? I'm sure it has something to do with my math.

Okay--I know that I've spent 17:55 hours on the piece and I know that it measures 3 inches across. So I divide that in 2 to get the radius= 1.5 inches--oops! I see what I did--I forgot to square the radius.
Here is the piece on April 5 after 7 hours, 25 minutes.
Phew--this makes more sense. So the radius squared is 2.25 x 3.14 (pi) = 7.065 inches and that is 2.5 hours per square inch--much better.

I'm glad to have these moments to use math--even though I can really freak myself out.
I forgot to take photos for a bit--so here is the piece this morning after 17 hours and 55 minutes.

The iris on the blue polka dots is a real challenge to bead because the dots are nearly the same color as the iris, except for places where the fabric has a shadow cast across it. It is a wonderful challenge that I'm really enjoying. Posted by Picasa


Martina said...

Amy - I'm fascinated by your beading. Do you bead onto a photograph that's been printed onto fabric?

Amy said...

Dear Martina,
Thanks for asking about how I bead. I bead on a photograph that I've taken that has been printed on archival paper on my inkjet printer. There are directions for doing this in the book I wrote with Robin Atkins, Beaded Embellishment: Tehcniques and designs for embellishing on cloth (Interweave Press, 2002).
Best wishes,