I have not been terribly busy with my beadwork but that will change. Here is what I have on my bench right now. I have tentatively named it “Arizona Sunrise”.
I love working with Shibori ribbon and, of course, lots of crystals and bling. My new bling love is Swarovski Elements cup chain. I scored the orange in gunmetal one in the picture from http://www.grainofsand.com and it was a closeout. They are my go to site for vintage sequins too.
My other piece is finished. It is a tribute to my beloved Congo African Grey parrot, Oliver, who died on November 14th. My heart is still broken and I miss him terribly. I had Oliver for 36 years, most of my adult life. The “container” is glass with antiqued sterling silver top and bottom. The top unscrews and I put in some of Oliver’s beautiful feathers and two 6 mm Swarovski elements red crystal hearts along with some smaller red crystals. It is strung on an antique silver chain. The container and the chain came from http://www.limabeads.com
AND ABOUT THE BIRDS:
My little African Grey, Charlie is getting used to being alone. He and Oliver were good buddies. The good news he is becoming friendlier to me. Tuce, the Blue and Gold Macaw is kind of oblivious and my precious Blue Front Amazon, Murphy, appears to be happy. Murphy, aka Green Bird, is now #1 bird in the flock. A much coveted position. And finally, Rita, our guest eclectus, seemed the most affected by Oliver’s death. She went silent for 4 days after he died. And she is never, ever silent. She talks almost constantly. She has since resumed her conversations, but I thought it was a strange reaction from her, she knew Oliver only 5 months. No telling with animals. Our black lab, Rudy, sniffed Oliver’s body and became very very upset.
OK, enough about death. Life goes on. My heart will always be sore for my Oliver and I have not finished grieving by a long run. But we move on, one day at a time, always moving and looking forward.
This blog is about “beads” and “birds”. Mostly MY beading efforts and about my precious companion parrots. They are Oliver, Murphy, Tuce and Charlie. And we have a guest named Rita.
As for the beading:
I have been making some interesting pieces. The cuff below, soutache on shibori ribbon, is from a class given by Amee Runs With Scissors. http://ameerunswithscissors.com Amee is a fantastic teacher who not only writes excellent instructions, but also uses the latest technology to teach her classes. Everyone can see the close up of a technique on her screen as she is doing it. Amee provides the kit (I could never have put these colors together) and teaches the basic and some advanced soutache techniques and you make it your own with your filling in around the soutache. Some of my soutache is a bit wiggly, but I made a second cuff for a friend and it came out perfect. Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the second one. I call this “Kaleidoscope.” I used some vintage beads from www.agrainofsand.com/ for the extra embellishment.
Now this cuff is my design and was a donation to a wonderful parrot sanctuary in Louisa, VA called Project Perry http://www.projectperry.com/ They had a fundraiser in the spring and I made this cuff for their auction. I called it “50 Shades of African Grey.” The Shibori ribbon name is Ashes and the center stone is a howlite. Lots of bling with Swarovski elements including a Swarovski red crystal heart and pearls and embroidered “feathers”. This has a wonderful clasp that I bought from Beads Gone Wild in W. Palm Beach, FL.
With these two projects, I believe I finally found my “element” in bead embroidery.
And as for the birds:
This precious fellow is my 40ish year old Congo African Grey named Oliver. Grey Bird Studio is his namesake. He came into my life in January of 1980, almost 36 years ago, and stole my heart. He is my best friend and has seen me through all sorts of life events, happy and sad. It is with heartbreaking sadness to write that he is dying of congestive heart failure. He was “hospitalized” for five days and my vet didn’t think he would ever be coming home but last Monday we did just that, brought him home. I have put him into home hospice care on my own. (I was a hospice nurse for people so I figure I am somewhat qualified) We have oxygen for him and modified his cage and play gym to accommodate his weakness. I cannot imagine my life without this precious guy and as he worsens, I will need to consider euthanasia. Right now his quality of life is less than good, but he eats and drinks and takes his medications and responds to me and my husband. He is such an easy patient. Many nights I prop myself up on the couch and he sleeps on my chest, over my breaking heart. It is this life event that motivated me to re-start my blog. In honor of my friend, Oliver.