Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hats Off Challenge


Welcome!  I'm excited to be participating in the Hats Off Challenge.  Bobbie is our talented and lovely hostess, her blog is Beadsong Jewelry.  Basically we were supposed to pick a hat (or hats for those over achievers in the group) as inspiration and make something.

Well, I wanted to use this hat.  Really I did.  I mean, is it a hat?  A badly built bird nest?  Pick-up sticks game?  New way to store fireplace matches?

I loved the orange color and the angular nature of it.  So wacky. I use fluidity in my bead work, so I thought here is a challenge, straight lines and geometric angles. Full of excitement I stitched a few beads down. Then, my Muse, fickle girl that she is, turned her back on me and walked out the door. "Wait!" I pleaded "Please come back!"   But she was gone.  
Bear with me here.  Ever since I read the book My Stroke of Insight by Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor I've been thinking more about my brain and how it works, specifically which half is working harder.  The left side is traditionally more centered on logic, critical thinking, facts, numbers and reasoning.  The right side is more dominant for feelings, images, color, emotion, intuition, and creativity.  Of course both sides work together, but often one side takes the lead. 
Back to the story.  Once my Muse fled, my brain became very active.  The two sides had a bit of a discussion. 
Left Brain: "We can go on without her."
Right Brain: "Uhhhhh what?"
Left Brain: "C'mon, suck it up, we don't need her, I can measure all distances and the angles, we can do an accurate 2-dimensional reproduction of that stick hat in beads that matches the exact color and contrast values shown in the photo."
Right Brain: "Ugh.  No way."

Well, when my Muse abandons me, and my right brain goes quiet, I know it's time to move on.  After all, I only have so much control over my artistic endeavors.  Instead of completely abandoning the project, because it is a great project after all, I decided to look at more hats.  More hats!  After just a few minutes I found it.  THE PERFECT HAT. 

Isn't it gorgeous?  The colors, the textures, the lines.  Ooooh yea!

Newly inspired, here is what I made.  I started with a pair of earrings. 

Then I wanted to do a little bead embroidery. 


Lastly I felt some peyote calling.  This piece didn't want to be finished yet, so its "in progress".   It may turn into a necklace or it may just sit in a drawer, hard to tell.

A HUMONGOUS THANK YOU to Bobbie, who had the good sense to appreciate all those derby hats.  She also has a very pretty smile.  I second her motion that we need hat week.  Heck, we could even make it hat month.
I can't wait to see what hats have been chosen and what delightful goodies all these lovely ladies made.  I'm having such fun with blog hops, if anyone knows of a good one coming up, please let me know. 
Here is the list of the participants: 
Bobbie Rafferty
 You are here   ----->  Liz E
Susan Nelson Bowie


  1. Love your earrings and your sense of humour! It's fun to hear how your brain(s) work. I too really liked that pencil hat but when it came to this challenge it was just too much for me.
    Your peyote stitched piece is stunning. I sooo admire seed beaders......awe inspiring! I have a new challenge/blog hop posted on my blog so please hop on over and join in!

  2. Ooooh, I love what you created, and I love the hat you found for inspiration! the embroidery is fantastic, and really captures the fluidity of the feathers in the swirling beadwork. I'm glad left brain, right brain and muse came together - they can be such a fickle bunch!

    Thanks for being part of the challenge!

  3. Oh my gosh you absolutely crack me up--and you are also, incidentally, soooooooooooooooo DARN GOOD at what you do!
    I am so glad I visited your site and got a chance to see your brain fight it out and then got to see your expresive and flipping gorgeous work! Love what you wrote and did! In fact my brain has begun speaking in French to me (that is what it does when it goes into overdrive) -- Ces bijoux sont meveilleuses!
    Hey, don't ask me why. But the French section of my brain is always right!
    Thanks for the delight you send out to the world!

    jean yates

  4. LOVED your post - too funny! but that beaded focal ... holy cats that is gorgeous! WOW, just wow! stunning

  5. It was hard to tear my eyes off Johnny to look at what you made, but when I finally moved on down the page and read and saw the jewelry, I repeated over and over "Oh My Goodness. Oh My Goodness. Oh My Goodness!" only MANY more times than that! Your bead embroidery piece is exquisite!!! No words, just completely drawn in by the colors and and swirl.

  6. Your work is stunning. Oh and thank you for the eye candy, Johnny!!!

  7. What a beautiful piece of work...Oh and the beading was nice too....just kidding....Your piece is absolutely beautiful.

  8. Love all your pieces, perfect accompaniments for the gorgeous Johnny!

  9. I really love your pieces. You choose a beautiful hat, my favorite is the bead embroidery piece, I hope you make a necklace with the peyote.

  10. Hi Liz,
    Well I guess your muse was just trying to tell you to pick another hat. I love what you finally came up with and that bead embroidered piece is gorgeous at first I thought it was a Czech glass button.

  11. Beautiful embroidery! Love the pattern you picked.
    And of course, you get extra points for Johnny Depp :)

  12. Liz, you had me at Johhny Depp and then bowled me over with your amazing designs, especially that bead embroidered piece! Love your style and your sense of humor!

  13. Very good story-love it! Your pieces arre really neat-love the bead embroidery. Hope you finish your piece "in progress", it's looking kind of fun and interesting!

  14. Loved your story and then seeing the gorgeous jewelry you created. The earrings are my favorite although I would love to see how you finish your embroidered piece.

  15. You had me giggling at the badly constructed bird nest! Your bead embroidery is beautiful, and please don't let that final piece lay in a drawer, its lovely even half finished!

  16. What a sweet♥ and gorgeous color combination! That black and pink embroidery - not finished- will turn out lovely, I'm sure! So will the last piece too! And say hello to Johnny please :-)

    Dini, co-participant, you find me @ instead of @ the FB address in the list :-)

    1. Thanks for the updated link to your post!

  17. A post that begins with Johnny Depp, references Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, and then gets even better...I wouldn't have thought that was possible! Love the earrings...adore the range of colors in the bead embroidery...and please promise the work in progress will NOT live out its life in a drawer!

  18. Your bead embroidery is very beautiful! I love how it swirls and the different shades of grey used together is great.


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