Wednesday 29 February 2012

Challenge Of Music - A very Heavy Post

Ok. Here we go. Challenge of Music. This is how it all happened for me. Be prepared for a lot of text here. And many images. I hope you will want to read it all, because it is a good example of how my creative process works when it is at it's best. For me that is! I mean when I get the most out of it on a personal satisfaction level. :-)

I saw Erin's call out in the afternoon of the last day you could sign up. And honestly, I have quite a few other take-on's this month so I really shouldn't volunteer for another one, should I. BUT I just couldn't resist it.

Here's the story. The very same morning my daughter, 8 years old, had come to me with a Lego construction she had built saying "Titta Mamma, jag har byggt en mackapar" Which translated means "Look Mum, I have built a gadget". It was a little machine type thing which if you pulled that lever, via coggs and bars, made that wheel turn in the end. For no use at all, but oh so wonderful as technical experimentation. And it was the word mackapar that had me going. Really it is spelled with the last a with two dots over.
It is just a fantastic word. It brings me right back to my own childhood. It feels old-fashioned. And so full of possibilities. A device, a machine, a gizmo that does something, but it is not specified what exactly. So promising. So fun. So exciting! It awakes my curiosity and lust. I even went and looked it up and wrote about it on my wall on FaceBook. All in Swedish though.

Then I also came to think of a song, that has the word "mackapar" in it. It is a song that was playing everywhere and always back in 1986 here in Sweden. I did not like it then, it drove me crazy at the time to be honest. But now, well, I just had to play it to my children. It is part of our cultural heritage as I see it. So we found it on YouTube and basically it was going over and over again for the rest of the day. It is a slightly annoying, funny, crazy, witty and very entertaining piece that just makes me happy the same way as the word "mackapar" does.

Guess if I felt it was just meant for me to sign up for the Challenge of Music. And with that particular song of course. You guessed right! :-) I don't recall Erin saying we had to be inspired by our favorite song or piece of music, just A piece of music. So there you go.

One more thing. I had been making some rings for a couple of days. In bead work. A pattern I just came up with myself when I was playing around like I do sometimes with seed beads and thread. This day I was making one for my daughter to take along to her friend who was arranging a film gathering with a group of girls the very same evening. These rings you could say looks like coggs. I had just taken some photos of the rings when I read Erin's call out for the challenge. They are all slightly different in the making.

So, I instantly knew which song I would choose. I have placed a YouTube-clip of the song at the end of this post with a translated version of the lyrics below. I certainly hope you will be able to hear it where ever you are in the world. I know there are sometimes issues with songs playing in different countries. If you have a problem, please let me know and I will try to sort it out for you.

I also instantly knew which technique I would mainly use. I got this idea I could just use this project to play around with bead stitching and make many different little parts that I would put together in the end to a necklace. A perpetual motion machine necklace. And that is basically what I did. It was all a very liberating approach, because I didn't feel I HAD to make something beautiful or attractive for the end product. I mean the song is not a beautiful piece exactly. IF what I did would become beautiful I would be totally fine with it, but it was not important. It was the experimenting playing around that was the important for me. And I got all the satisfaction I wanted from this project. It has been going on parallell to everything else during a whole month. And I have enjoyed it greatly. Thanks Erin!

I started off trying to make a funnel. In the style of what Kate McKinnon and Dustin Wedekind are doing for their new book that is coming out later in the year. (Yes, I have already bought and paid for my copy. You should do that too, if you are the least into bead stitching. Here's the link. Of course I had to guess how it was made, because I don't have the instructions yet. And I am happy with how it turned out (even if it doesn't look as lovely as the ones by Kate and Dustin), but in the end I didn't use it in my necklace. In the future I would like to make one where it feels like a liquid has been poured into it, the illusion all executed by the choice of colors and textures of the seed beads.

Next, I wanted to make a ring using drops. I haven't used drops too much in bead stitching before. Check this one out. Pretty nice effect ey. But I have to tell you I started over about 5 or 6 times before I finally got the hang of it.

So, the ring I could see being used in a clasp. Time for a toggle! Oh my, I struggled with this one too. How many times did I take apart what I did and started all over again? At least 6. Am I stubburn? Yes sometimes. When I have a vision. He he. These are the smallest size available of Miuyki cubes.

Ok, now I wanted to make something more bold for the machine. Something with the feel of it turning. Like a piston or a giant screw or a turning axis of some kind. I wanted to make a peyote Cellini Spiral thingy. In yellow, grey, black and white. I was sure I wanted a spiral in stripey black and white spiral it's way around the tube/rope. Oh so many tries using the beads I have in my stash have been taken apart. It just didn't turn out good enough for me. In the end I had to accept I just didn't have the supplies I needed for what I had envisioned. So I used what I had to make something that worked anyway. And here it is, the spiral piston bead in yellow black and white.

Time to put it all together then. Voila! Here it is my necklace. The Perpetual Motion Machine necklace.

Is it beautiful? Pretty? I don't know to be honest. But I know I have loved to work on this project. It has brought me back to my childhood, to my teens, and my twenties, when I used to do a lot of painting and used to often have the same approach of just experimenting and playing around with the paints, colors and techniques.

I hope you have enjoyed my journey as much as I have myself. And I hope it has inspired you. It has definetely inspired me. I shall try to keep the same approach in many more of my future projects.

Look here is a gizmo that looks pretty weird
It is a huge gadget with a nickel-plated funnel
Here's cogs and propellers as far as I can see
Maybe you can be so kind to explain what it is?

Verse 1:
Yes, well the power comes in through that hole there
And continues through it all up to the engine here
Which drives the piston of this bicycle pump
Which then in turn blows on the propeller so that the propeller starts

It goes here, it goes there, it goes around a little bit
It starts in a flash, it is an amazing gadget

Ok, I think I get it, but what does it do, this machine?

Verse 2:
Well, the propeller is turning a small unit
Which pumps water through the funnel into a thermostat
Which in turn leads the water to a paddle wheel
That is connected to a mast on our bike shed


Ok, thanks, thanks, but what is it for a machine, what is it for?

Verse 3:
Well, at the end of the mast there is a pedal
And it pedals an old bicycle of the brand National
And then you get power from the bicycle generator there
About ten, twelve amps, is what you get, in a round about measure


Ok, thanks, thanks dear professor, but I want to know what the device is for?


Professor, professor, we want to know what it is?

Verse 4:
Well, the power that you get from the generator
That is just enough for the gizmo to starts to go
Because, the power goes back to the beginning all the time
And so it goes by itself, it is a perpetual motion machine


Ok, I understand, but what is this appliance for?

It is a perpetual motion machine (repeats 26 times)

It's a perpetual motion machine, but what's the idea?
You mean it just runs and runs by itself? But for what purpose?
I mean if it doesn't do anything?

If it does something, of course it does something
In the summer it may well be that it runs hot
And then you can cook porridge in the funnel up there

So you have this big machine just to cook porridge sometimes?
In the middle of summer?

Look, at least Charlie is admiring my work. Hope you enjoyed it too.

Here are the other participants in the Challenge of Music Blog Hop. I am so much looking forward to check out what you all have done.:

All my best,

Saturday 25 February 2012

Echo Creative Club February

This is the first time I participate in Jeannie K Dukic's Echo Creative Club. It will be three more times this year. :-)

I picked her black Peeled Paint beads 16 mm, to work with. Slightly out of my normal range, but I was really in the mood to make something different from what I normally do. These beads are super nice with their golden and copper leaf layers. Very light weight of course. And they also come in other colors, check Jeannie's blog for more info.

I decided to work with the black as a dominant color. The result is hopefully both dramatic and classy. I myself would wear these pieces with a black turtleneck jumper and all black clothes. The double pyramid glass beads in the necklace are shiny on the one side of the pendant, and matte on the other one. On the matte side I also used matte rounds, nearer to the clasp. In my stash I found the large vintage shiny bakelite type button, perfect for the closure. The hand made copper hoops for the earrings are really big.

Here's Jeannie's design team for February. Have a look.

Cindy Cima Edwards
Malin de Koning - You are here!

All my best,

Tuesday 21 February 2012

Coincidental surprises and a Sign of Longing

I have a few new things to present in the week to come. And during my preparations supplies and beads have been moved back and forth on my table. Check that vintage red button. It was an early possibility for the Challenge of Music, but it ended up not being used. Don't you agree it is very very yummie. Then last Friday an order I had made from arrived in the mail. Included was a gift. Those large Czech Tri-cut red beads. Super nice, and especially so as I don't think I would have thought about buying them myself. I really like nice surprises of that kind. "Oh, they make me want to make a bracelet!"

I have a feeling I am longing very much for spring now. Bird tweeting, flowers, leaf buds, colors, sunshine, and driving around in a white vintage cabriolet Mercedes with red interior and a red stearing wheel.

Yellow flower by ChelleV2, bird by Floridity, spring green round by Gaea, czech glass, vintage plastic button, seed beads and FireLine.

Please check back for Echo Creative Club blog hop on Saturday, Challenge of Music blog hop on the 29th of February and my FusionBeads Affiliate Blog Partner project on the 1st of March.

All my best,

Monday 13 February 2012

A few pieces of art that inspire me

I thought I'd share with you just a few random art pieces that I really like. And I assume that since I like them I am also inspired and influenced by them in my own work. In one way or another. I think I might come back to posting more art in the future. These happen to all be paintings. But I might as well post sculpture. Or architecture. Or illustration. Graphic design. Industrial design. And so on.

Swedish artist Birgit Broms - the Skaters.

Karel Appel, one of the front figures of the Cobra group.

Nicolas de Staël.

Jean Michel Basquiat.

Robert Motherwell.

Hope you like them too.

All my best,

Tuesday 7 February 2012

New Bracelet - Rodgersia

Another multi strand bracelet. I call it Rodgersia, because I feel like I am walking around in the shadowy region of a lush garden. Unfortunately I don't have such a one in my own garden, but I wish I would. I would definitely have a few of these plants. And other versions of Rodgersia with their huge leaves. And do you see the little primula at the bottom. So cute.

  • Stamped resin bead by Susan K. Nestor
  • Facetted Erudite nugget bead by Floridity
  • Wing Ding lampwork bead by Genea
  • Lampwork spacer bead by Genea
  • Leaf charm by Karen Totten
  • Silk cord, waxed linen, butterfly charm, seed seads, czech glass, Vintaj clasp

All my best,