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Friday, May 4, 2007

Paper Beads

A while back Dragonstar and I wandered in to our local coffeehouse to spend the evening with Troubadours of Divine Bliss, a most-aptly named duo from the Louisville area.

While Dragonstar went to sit with friends up front near the stage, I set up camp at a table with two fellow artists, Beth and Jane.

Now, Beth and Jane are much like me in that we don't spend much money on our art materials. We typically work with what we have, and much of what we do is experimental. Also, none of us can sit long without pulling some craft or other from our bag. Beth usually has her knitting sticks. I often have collage ephemera to sort and trim. This time it was Jane who came prepared. She set out a bottle of glue, a handful of plastic coffee-stirrers, and small strips of paper torn from pages of an old book. As the Troubadours serenaded, she took a strip, spread some glue, and rolled the paper neatly around a coffee-stirrer.

Well, call me intrigued. Like the hundredth monkey and the sweet potato, I watched for awhile, then I picked up a strip, dipped it into the glue and rolled. Then Beth took a pile of strips, and the next thing you know we have an impromptu paper-bead-making party going on. We made dozens of stir-sticks full of little beads. Talk about Divine Bliss. The time flew by. The music was sublime. Our fingers were coated with Elmer's. And during the liveliest version of Somewhere Over the Rainbow you could ever hope to hear, Jane looked up from her work and said, "It really doesn't get any better than this." C'est bon.

Over the next two days I made the handful of paper beads shown above. The paper I used was cut from two experimental pencil drawings I made using the set of Prismacolor pencils my boyfriend gave me this past Christmas. The drawings were terrible, but I think the beads are kinda pretty. They're coated with Mod Podge gloss, which makes them nice and shiny. Sort of like that evening.

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