Bundle Up!

January 22, 2011

Purple + Gold Paper Bundle Banishes the Winter Blues

Created this hot purple and gold paper bundle to hang in the Japanese Garden in an attempt to banish the Winter blahs. So far it’s worked wonders. It such an intense burst of color, especially against the snow and it heats up even more in intensity when the sun strikes it. You can’t beat purple and gold for rich, pure color saturation and satisfaction.

Started in 1998, the Japanese Garden is the masterwork of my husband Paul. It is still a work-in-progress, though to most people it may appear finished. Indeed, it COULD be finished, but then again, creativity knows no bounds and so it continues to grow.

I use the garden as background for many of the photos in my Necklaces for Charity project (Check out: http://BeadyDeeDee.etsy.com) and always receive compliments on the stunning settings that the necklaces appear in. Rain or shine, come snow or May, the Seasonal changes in this tiny New England microcosm never fail to take your breath away and help you keep the perspective on your position on this planet. The garden is a place for you to revel in being humble.

This paper bundle contains a waxed (batik) study for a fabric design class that was obtained at an estate auction. It also has several wide strips of corrugated that came in as packaging material that I want to give a second purpose to. But the real prize is a hand-made paper by Donna Koepp of Whitewolf Studios in Sparks, Nevada. It was made with Plaka Ink on watercolor paper and spells out “Magic” repeatedly in very large calligraphy. And Magic it is, that we create with our little gestures of Art on a Winter’s day. Magic is what our lives are, if we make them that way.

This then, is my gift of the Magic of Art, to my husband, to myself, to my garden, and to you, and I hope you enjoy it and are warmed.

Try, Try Again!

November 1, 2010

Ginko vs Girder

Well, it goes without saying that the Ginko seeds didn’t sprout this Spring. I’m disappointed, yes, but willing to give them another go.

On Wednesday evening in the misty moistness of Fall, I gathered another couple of dozen fruits, which I plunked into my courtyard fountain area in a plastic bag.

A little more research into their propagation had me a bit alarmed. It turns out that they can give you a rash like Poison oak and I had been handling them with complete abandon. I even sniffed my hands and fingers several times because I had heard that the fruits are rather stinky and wanted to see for myself.  Indeed, they smell rather like a good parmesano. Not completely unpleasant. So I fully expected to wake up the next day with my face puffed out like a balloon and red and itchy. But luckily that did not happen.

It doesn’t appear that I did anything wrong in my last attempt to get these seeds (nuts) started. My thoughts ran to “What Ifs”. Like what if the seeds had frozen and that’s why they wouldn’t germinate?  So I consulted with a local nursery and was told that the seeds might not be fertile. It looks like the female trees need males to be planted next to them (like holly bushes) and (I imagine) some bees to do their part. I’m having a hard time imagining Hartford as a busy place for bees, yet where there are flowers. . . .

Now I don’t actually know if these seeds are viable either.  But I am going to go through the whole process again, this time dividing the seeds into two batches. One will get planted directly into the landscape and the other batch will go back into the mini-greenhouses made out of zip-loc bags and peatmoss as suggested by online Ginko propagators.

In the meantime another trip out to the Ginkos to check out whether all of the trees at the Wadsworth Atheneum are females, or what. I never thought to look!

A Tree Grows in Hartford?

May 4, 2010

When I last visited the Wadsworth Atheneum, I happened to have a few extra minutes left on the parking meter. I decided to walk along the side of the building to see what was going on near the stunningly beautiful fountain. This area has become a construction zone due to the renovation projects currently in progress. Still, thinking there might be an interesting photo, I wandered over, looking through my camera lens as I walked.
Suddenly I felt a crunchy-lumpy something underfoot and when I looked down, discovered a whole bunch of interesting botanicals, some of which looked like pistachio nuts and some that looked sort of like plump lichees colored a faded dusty-rose.
After finally looking up, I realized they were Ginko seeds and was pretty delighted. Why not start growing my own Ginko tree? The timing couldn’t have been better. It was early Spring and everything else was getting ready to germinate and burst forth.
So I grabbed a handful and headed for home. This was better than a photo. This was an experiment!
After researching the propagation of Ginko seeds online, I realized that I had more to do that merely sink them into the ground and wait a bit. I picked up a few little peat pots and created the miniature greenhouses in ziplocs bags that the article suggested, watered them in and set them onto the counter in my pantry where they could decide to grow or not. The article mentioned that it could take 3 weeks for germination to occur.
Three weeks passed and only one seed has cracked open, but that was encouraging enough and now the season has progressed to the point where I believed my seeds needed to be out in the real dirt with the real warmth of the sun beaming down on them, sending the signal to their life force. They have been planted out in the Japanese Garden in a specially selected spot chosen as the Ginko Seed Nursery.
And while the Ginko that was planted in the front yard last year in honor of my Mother’s Day begins to leaf out, so begins another little journey in the back garden.
Will I be able to hatch out a brand new crop of baby Ginks? I have no idea really. But if I do, I’ll be sure to write about it. And I will also have to return to the Museum to catch a photo of the “Mother Tree”. In the meantime, here’s a pic of the inspiration for the experiment, my Mother’s Day Ginko Tree, all aglow.

Springtime Reverie

March 24, 2010

Portrait in the Trees

As sure as the earth turns, the return of the warm Spring weather always gets me a bit dreamy, but imbues me with something akin to being supercharged. I just think of it as the return of the Life Force after a long hibernation and incubation period, also known as Winter.
Anyway, the juices have been flowing and after an intense 4 week bead-a-thon, my BeadyDeeDee necklaces have made their debut at the Wadsworth Atheneum, where they will hopefully find new homes around the necks of people who love them and will wear them often, and in good health, with my well wishes.
I am always enthusiastic about the Creation Process and love to tap into its magical mystery. But I also have to admit that I really enjoy it when someone else becomes excited and enjoys looking at my designs and that is exactly what happened when I brought the new Spring necklaces up to the Museum.
First of all, they sold four of the original pieces that I dropped off in November, which was exciting in itself. Stacey, the Museum Shop Manager, is a lot like a little kid in a candy store with her enthusiasm for looking at new baubles and that made it all the more encouraging for me. If anyone has the opportunity to visit the Museum they must make a point to stop in at the shop, for it is filled with gorgeous, unique things that are perfect for gifts, even if they’re just a little sumthin-sumthin for yourself!
And so the busy-ness continues. I must take that palpable Springtime energy and run with it, posting photos to the Etsy Shop and getting word out there that the new Spring Line of BeadyDeeDee’s are available. Hope all will take a look now and then to see what’s newly hatched in my little nest.
Enjoy the heady feeling of Spring Fever. Don’t deny it. Travel at warp speed and be giddy. It’s perfectly allright.

A Donation for Art through Art

January 5, 2010

Wadsworth Against Winter Sky

On Wednesday, December 30th I met with Jeffrey Wolfman at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum to drop off my donation. The money came from the sales of my beaded necklaces, many through word of mouth, many from an online shop called BeadyDeeDee that I started in September on Etsy. I certainly was pleased that I was able to write a check for $683. My personal goal had been $500, so you can imagine how happy it made me to surpass it.
I also met Lee Oliver, the Group Visitor Coordinator, who was only too happy to show me the Studio Space which was located immediately adjacent to the Modern Collection. It’s a pretty impressive space, with plenty of elbowroom and cubbies for storage and I could imagine the excitement that would be generated by a group of kids who had just returned from being inspired by the Masters in the Galleries of the Wadsworth as they worked on creating their own masterpieces.
Mr. Wolfman is a gracious guy, so knowledgeable and generous with his enthusiasm and love for Art. I fully realize that my little check really won’t go very far in terms of sponsoring a fully developed outreach Art Program, but it’s a little something they didn’t have before, and I must say that I was not made to feel that it wasn’t a big deal, in fact they made me feel just the opposite…that every contribution helps and is greatly appreciated.
And I would like to thank each and every one who purchased one of my necklaces because you were instrumental in helping me to make this donation a reality. I am so grateful to you. I hope you all enjoy the pieces that you now own and that you or the recipient of the gift you chose wears the piece in the best of health.
In the Spirit of Creativity, All things are Possible!
Yours through the Magic of Art -D. Ruch

Sloggin through the Blogoshere / Reportcard on Progress

December 19, 2009

25 Necklaces sold, 18 Bracelets sold

$840 Earmarked so far

-Rooms available at the Broken Beads Hospital: Yes! Send us your tired, your poor, your unraveled beadstrands and they will be restored to their former splendor

-One patient currently scheduled for surgery. Vintage amber glass with a torn ligament. Visitors allowed.

A Day at the Museum

November 15, 2009

IMG_1065On Thursday morning I brought my beadwork to the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT to meet with Jeffrey Wolfman, Director of Institutional Advancement and Stacey Stachow, the Manager of the Museum store. They were kind enough to let me display and sell my necklaces, as I am earmarking the proceeds from these sales for the “Art Matters” educational program that the Museum sponsors.
Besides being utterly delightful people, they were both so knowledgeable and very willing to share their love of Art and the museum with me, which was what really made my day. In just a short time, I was briefed on the architecture of the gallery we entered through, informed of the upcoming plans for some major renovations throughout the museum and, as we passed through some updated gallery space, they also shared information about an upcoming exhibit in which companion paintings will be reunited, most notably the first couple, Adam and Eve. It sounds like it will be a very exciting and intriguing event. Target date, Valentine’s Day, of course!
After Stacey had made her selection for the store, she graciously offered to let me take a peek at the beautiful Rembrandt paintings that they are currently showing and when I say that everyone should get up to the Wadsworth to view them, I mean that wholeheartedly. For just a few short moments I was absolutely transfixed and transported by the most arresting portraits on the walls. They were almost breathing the life and times that Rembrandt lived and when I left the room there was no doubt in my mind what Great Art is. I had just stood in its presence and Stacey, I thank you so much for that.
As the Grand Opening of the Holiday Shop of BeadyDeeDee takes place, I am hopeful of great things. I hope you will visit my online shop and choose to purchase a gift for a friend, knowing that the proceeds from the sale will all be donated to a very worthwhile cause, the art education of the newest generation of students. I also hope you will visit the museum and soak up some of the splendor of the marvellous Art that they so lovingly display.

Broken Beads Hospital

October 2, 2009
The patient has fallen to pieces

The patient has fallen to pieces

Able to sit up and take nourishment

Able to sit up and take nourishment

Everyone has them.  A cherished set of beads that has come undone. If you managed to pick them all up off the floor and get them into a ziploc bag, you’re lucky.  They can be saved! Send them off to the Broken Beads Hospital with a convo to me on http://BeadyDeeDee.etsy.com and I will repair them for you for a nominal fee.  Each case will have to be assessed individually though because sometimes it’s just a simple restringing and sometimes it means replacing clasps and lost beads or even a complete overhaul in the Redesign Dept. You know, Nip-Tuck.

But I’ll be glad to take a look and try to help you out.  And make the boo-boo all better.  So the necklace can live again, quality of life restored!

A recent patient was all disassembled after a night of wild abandon as you can see in the first photo. What a trainwreck! But after a week of rehab at the BBH, this exotic piece was as good as new and ready to get out there and tango again. What a difference a little TLC makes. And all for $7.00.  Not bad, huh?

Necklaces for Charity

October 1, 2009

I have too many beads and not enough necks. What’s a girl to do? Thought I’d try selling them (at reasonable prices) to both support my secret beading addiction and to raise money for a very interesting project sponsored by a local Art Museum in Hartford, CT.

Oh, sure. I could just write them a check once a year in the name of making a charitable contribution, but what fun would that be?  Since I like to make things, I decided to throw caution to the wind and get online and boogie…trying to get the word out there that BeadyDeeDee exists, what I’m trying to accomplish and hopefully drum up a little support.

Anyway, a bit more about the museum program.  The Wadsworth Atheneum provides an opportunity for young artists to explore the museum and to use the museum as a place to learn and work. The “Art Matters”  program provides elementary school aged children (Grades K-5) with a guided museum tours and then the use of the workshop space for creating their own works of art, thereby sparking the candle of creative fire and encouraging the flame to grow.

I personally think this is a fantastic concept, especially for young artists who would otherwise not be able to access this kind of up-close-and- personal connection with famous and wondrous works of Art. Not to mention providing a supportive community to nurture the budding artists within.

And so this is why I have chosen to sell my work.  I would like to raise $500 by year’s end to donate to the “Art Matters” program at the Wadsworth.

If you would like to help and want to check the BeadyDeeDee necklaces out, please visit: http://www.BeadyDeeDee.etsy.com and thank you so much!