Sunday, July 22, 2007

Somewhere over the Rainbow

My BJP theme is sevens. With July being the seventh month, there were many possible directions to go with this. I chose my male lab/golden retriever mix Cody to be one of the main elements. Cody was born in July of 2000. As of the seventh month of 2007 he is now 7 years old. That would be a great representation of seven, but there is more to this month’s page.

Traditionally a rainbow is considered to have seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, Indigo, and violet. Rainbows mean different things to each person. They are very special to me because they remind me of the wonderful pets that have shared my life and are now waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. If you haven’t heard of the Rainbow Bridge, you can read the whole story here. I warn you it might bring a tear to your eye as it does mine every time I read it. I also found a nice Flash presentation of the story here (this one is not good on slow connections). Steve & Diane Bodofsky have rewritten the story into a true poem format here. I’m not sure, but I think I like the original better.

I added the rainbow to my July page as a tribute to all the wonderful furry friends that have been in my life and are now waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. Cody is watching the rainbow because he has a couple of very good furry friends waiting there for him. I'll tell you about them another day.

To make the rainbow I used clear size 11 seed beads strung with embroidery floss. I was afraid that I would not be able to find the perfect colors for the rainbow all in the same size of beads. The embroidery floss has the right colors. I used two strands of the six strand floss and backstitched two beads on at a time. After the row was finished, I used a thinner needle with one thread of floss and went back through the whole row to add more color and to smooth out the row. I had to use the thinner needle because the beads were already pretty full of thread. I really like how the rainbow looks. The picture is farther down.

The next element of my page is turning out to be much more difficult than I first thought. That could be because I really wasn’t thinking of how to do it, but how it should look. Cody is a black dog with a black nose and dark brown eyes.

This is the first picture I used to get an outline of Cody on black felt. I even cut out a extra pair of little front legs out to add dimension to him just as I had saw on the blog of The Lone Beader. I have to confess that she is someone I greatly admire. I follow her different bead projects on her blog which you can get to by clicking here. She is so talented.

You are probably way ahead of me by now. There is no easy way to show the details of a black on black on black dog with black beads on felt. Even using extra pieces of felt to add dimension weren’t going to make that pose of Cody work. Isn’t if funny how the mind plays little tricks and makes you see what really isn‘t there? After many lousy sketches, I finally settled on a side view of Cody sitting with his head looking up just a bit. Now I have an outline that looks like a dog and I am hoping the lines of the beads inside the dog will add enough detail to make this work. I still don’t know how I am going to get his eyes to show up. I may need to use the clear beads with white thread.

Below is what I have at this point. A beaded rainbow and a felt dog.


Actually I have started beading the dog but don’t have a newer picture. Every two beads goes on after much thought and with care. I have never beaded this slowly, nor I have ever been pushed this far out of my comfort zone. I want to add more to the page, but that will have to wait until Cody is finished. Right now I can’t seem to plan past the next two black beads.

Thank you to all who commented on my work. It is so exciting to read them and know others are looking at my work. I also enjoy looking at everyone else’s work and reading about the projects. Thank you to all who share the techniques they are using. I am learning so much. Even describing simple things teach me so much.

18 comments:

Morwyn said...

This is wonderful, and what a loving tribute. Great colors and composition - thanks for sharing!

Jacqui said...

I love the story behind this page, I had never heard of the rainbow bridge.

Beautiful composition.

a2susan said...

Stunning!

mountainsaltstudio said...

I love this and am especially impressed with your ability showing detail on the dog - I have a black lab/great dane mix and have tried many times, unsuccessfully, to do some art representative of her.

Robin said...

What a fabulous idea for how to do the rainbow! The slight shimmer of the clear glass beads would give it such a realistic look. I also love the design of your piece, and I think Cody looks great in a side view. I too admire the LoneBeader's work... it must be quite a challenge to try to emulate her techniques for creating dimension and realism. If you think about it, though... this journal page is for you, and no matter what, you'll know it's your beloved Cody. That's what is most important. Thanks for this wonderful post! Robin

Brenda said...

That rainbow was ingenious! I would have never thought of using embroidery floss. Interesting that even though you think you are out of your comfort zone, the page looks like you are very comfortable.
Make sure to let us know when Cody is done!

Sacredartist said...

I love your thinking out loud and letting us all in on it!! Thanks for the new link to the Lone Beader, her work is very exciting. Keep beadin, and posting about your progress.
Becky

sammy said...

I am so touched by this months page... I look forward to seeing it when it is finished! Isn't the Lone Beader such a inspiration to all of us! And now you are also!

KV said...

Aw, this page is really, really nice . . .


Kathy V in NM

CC said...

Oh, I really like this page. It is so sweet! I'm glad that you are sharing your process with us all. I also like the composition & can't wait to see Cody beaded! What a tribute!
With aloha,
CC

The Lone Beader said...

Wow! You're gonna bead the little dog? So cute! What are the measurements??

I'll be watchin... :)

vivage said...

Great page, great out of the box thinking. Love that. Love that you're journaling the challenges (and opportunities) of getting out of your comfort zone.

Love Cody!

freebird said...

Your page is looking great. Bet your dog is enjoying all that grass he's in.

Lillian said...

Your piece is such a tribute to Cody and your love for him! I've always loved rainbows also, for so many reasons. Thanks for sharing your process and stories, Lillian

Pearl said...

Well I can't even start to read that poem about the Rainbow Bridge. I'll have to save that for later. But thanks for sharing that. My dogs hold a very special place in our family. Your piece is beautiful I can't wait to see it completed. Your lab is beautiful. I have one, too--they are the most loving dogs!

Judi D said...

What a fantastic page, I have a black german shepherd. I can't wait to see it finished!!!

Bejeweled said...

What a great idea for doing the rainbow! Thanks for sharing your techniques with us!

I thought it was the rainbow bridge the moment I saw your pic. Then I read the text ... it was the rainbow brige! That poem always touches me no matter how many times I read it.

ACey said...

love, love, love. Beautiful symbolism and personal significance - wonderful focal points.