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,


Courtney Breul said...

I loved every word! I love your "machine". I can see each part as you describe the process. Great piece!!! :)

Unknown said...

Yay I learned the coolest Swedish word and have a fabulous memory to go with it. Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cece Cormier said...

Oh MaLin! REaLlY SwELL!! You have outdone yourself here. I have a new fun song to hula hoop along to. Great design. Love that word too.

Alice said...

Oh yes, Malin, it's a beautiful and fun piece! I love all the different colors and textures here, which represent the mood of your chosen song quite well.

Thanks for showing us a song from your past.

Christine Altmiller said...

Love this necklace!!! Every part of it is wonderful and all flows together. And those rings are so sweet. This song is so funky---love it!

Sarah Sequins said...

I love the necklace, Malin! The bright yellow and the purplish beads are an unexpected, but pretty, combination, and I love all the different textures.

The song is adorable. It reminds me of American music from the 1980's.

-- Sarah

Lori Anderson said...

My favorites are those cheerful little pieces in the first photos -- but of course ALL your work is completely awesome. Love you!

steufel said...

That is stunning! Love that necklace, the rings are adorable and than,s for sharing your design progress - that was a cool read:-)

Heidi Post said...

That was very cool reading about your thought process/journey. I don't know how you can do all that seed beading - well a lot of people do. It seems way too much work! I like the little funnel. All your elements were cool, and they came together to make an interesting piece with a really fun story. That song did sound totally 80s. I can see being annoyed by it back then ;)

Holly said...

Malin, what a great story! I can totally see it. And the song sort of reminds me of a favorite song of my own kids. It's a Peter Paul & Mary classic, "The Marvelous Toy" - - about a toy that wasn't easy to figure out :)

And what you've created? Just lovely! And perfect for this song, with it's colors and sense of movement and experimentation.

lunedreams said...

I love how it turned out! Both impressed by your "engineering" (with seed beads no less!) and how it looks--it's actually quite attractive, in a clean, urban kind of way. I like the yellow with the gray and black.

Stephani Gorman said...

So Cool! Really like your music and your design is spectacular!

Maneki said...

"Det går hit, det går dit, det går runt en liten bit." Ja, jag var ju i rätt ålder för att uppskatta en sån sång i mitten av 80-talet. En sån där refräng man kommer i håg -- ibland vare sig man vill eller ej (syrran o jag sjöng den när vi nostalgisurfade efter barnprogramsintro på YouTube.)

Gillar speciellt toggleringen med pärlorna (skulle vara intressant att se ett smycke med flera sådana ringar) och även sektionen med de trädda dropsen och diamantformade pärlorna, men också halsbandet som helhet. Sofistikerade färger, balanserad symmetri, blandade former som gör de enkla linjerna intressanta. Lyckad tolkning av sången!

Amy S. said...

Malin - I really love this story (especially being the mom of a 10yo Lego lover here in Maryland!). The song you picked for your inspiration was perfect. The piece really has a feel for the song - amazing!!! I love the rings too - they remind me of gears, but also have a very Dr. Suess-ical feel!

EB Bead and Metal Works, LLC said...

Love the explanation of how it all came together. The rings are fun and fantastic and the necklace is fabulous!

Cynthia said...

I'll bet Charlie batted those rings around right after the picture was taken!! Great story! Love the necklace - it has a whimsical feel.

Shai Williams said...

I very much enjoyed reading your thought processes. And I found your necklace to be darling. Very fitting for the song.

Karyn B said...

Oh, boy, this song is SO 80s. LOL. Loved following your experiments and the stories behind each little beaded component. Love that toggle! The end result is very modern and bold. And a little bit 80s!

SoulsFireDesigns said...

Ok, this is just FUN. I love the piece, the song made me giggle and my kids dance. Your necklace is amazing and I LOVED seeing your thought process, just wonderful! Love it all, Malin!!!!

Marcie Abney Carroll said...

This is awesome! These are how the best ideas develop, just playing around with beads and thread! Malin, this really is a special piece, it's hard to combine beadweaving with other things, but you've done a great job and it looks so fun and funky! Congrats (and thanks for the Swedish lesson!)

Jenny said...

Love it! The flashback to the 80's! The necklace captures a sense of fun, and whimsy perfectly. The colors are contrasty and bold, very lively. But most of all I loved to hear how you worked through the design process. Glad your playfulness led to true creative freedom!

Beth Hikes said...

What fun! I love the energy in the song and your piece. It's got real spunk. Thanks for sharing your creative process :) xoxo Beth

Elysian Studios said...

You are such a genius- what a cool song to pick.... totally unique! And then your writing was so engaging, and, of course, your necklace and rings are beautiful. I have no idea how you just play with seed beads and thread- that is amazing! Beautiful work, my friend!

Tanya said...

Malin, I love your necklace. It is very pretty and beautiful and just fun and wonderful. I think it captures the spirit of the song very well and I love your peyote spiral. The design is just perfect. And the drop toggle is awesome. The other beads you chose compliment your beadwork so well. Great work!

Therese's Treasures said...

Malin, I love your necklace and yes it is a perpetual machine it goes round and round, very pretty.

beautifullybrokenme said...

Malin - I LOVE these!!! What fantastic designs that suit your inspiration song perfectly. I think your choice of colors and shapes have a bold and graphic quality that gives a huge visual impact - well done my friend!

:) Molly

TesoriTrovati said...

Incredible! Miss Malin, I love the way your mind works! That song is quite quirky and goofy but your necklace with the big yellow piston in particular embodies the spirit of this fun song totally! And I would argue that it is truly beautiful. There is no random part in this piece, each is carefully laid out and works in harmony with every other piece. I think this is magnificent and truly embodies the spirit of this challenge. I am so happy that you could take the time to join me on this journey. I am having a blast!
Enjoy the day, sweet Malin!

Lola said...

It's beautiful and pretty ... or pretty beautiful! Either way, I love the colors and shapes ... stunning!

Mary Harding said...

A truly delightful post Malin. I think your necklace is wonderful. I love to see seed bead work combined with other techniques as you have done. It is also a great color combo. And I love the story about how your daughter inspired you. Thanks so for sharing.

stacilouise said...

It looks like a great gadget, love the little rings, but that necklace is wonderful- i am always a fan of your modern style and your ingenuity!!!!!!!

Ema Kilroy said...

Fabulous!!! I love your everything just sort of came into being, beginning with your daughter and ending with a truly unique piece of art. Your necklace is beautiful. It is not at all in my color scheme but I find myself admiring it so. Just wonderful.

Shannon Chomanczuk said...

Love it! I always struggle with yellow but have been embracing it lately and your piece is fantastic.

Kathleen Lange Klik said...

Stunning necklace! I love the design you created; all of the colors and elements work beautifully together. The toggle you created is really wonderful.

I enjoyed reading the story along with it as well. Love that your daughter's words set the inspiration in motion!

Bobbie said...

Malin, as always, I love what you created. The color combination is great, but the chance to follow along in your process was great fun - and the necklace is a terrific expression of the inspiration. Bravo!

Rebecca said...

I think it's definitely pretty - I love the ring cogs but the necklace is supremely elegant, which contrasts nicely with the bold colour scheme. Love the clasp you have made there too. you're making me want to pull out the seed beads again...!

mairedodd said...

wonderful malin! i love your beadwork...

Amy F said...

Love the colors you used!!

CraftyHope said...

Yes, it is very pretty. I like it a lot...and even better YOU like it and enjoyed making it!

Briggssubc said...

I loved every word! I love your "machine". I can see each part as you describe the process. Great piece!!! :)