Thursday, November 02, 2006

Middle of the Week Blues...

Well, technically it's after the middle of the week, but it feels like the middle of the week for me. I feel as if I've been running a marathon all week. Worked for the Historical Society on Monday, spent Tuesday working at Ann's house, then had to make an emergency trip to the vet at 9:00 p.m. because Moose ate a mouthful of glass shards from the dish of maple-roasted nuts he pulled off the counter while we were having dinner at my in-laws'. Worked half the day for the Historical Society yesterday, then worked the other half at the Village, trying to finish their records management project. Came home, cooked dinner, and tried to get some beading done. Almost done with another necklace, I'm working on what may be the last component now. (Unless I decide that it needs one or two more to lengthen it.) Still no word on the X Marks the Spot Bracelet, but I did manage to submit five projects to BeadFest for their various shows around the country. As I develop more projects, I'll submit those, too.

Feeling completely unorganized this week. Have to sit down and make some lists: supplies that I am running out of, beads I need for projects, and I somehow have to get in touch with Designer's Findings!

Made some changes to the website the other night, but they were sort of accidental. I was trying to upload the newly finished Sounds of the Northway website on my account, but kept putting the files in the wrong folder, so I had to keep re-sending MY website! Finally got it all worked out around 11:30 p.m. Tom and I were so exhausted, we took Moose up to bed and didn't open our eyes until 7 the next morning. Yikes.

Okay, here's one of my favorite pieces and the history behind it. (She's also for sale at!)

Lady in the Lake, completed August of 2006

There is a story in Lake Placid about Mabel Douglas, the famed educator and founder of Douglas College of Rutgers University. For years, Mabel had a camp on Placid Lake. One day in the late fall of 1933, Mabel's daughter went to town to run errands, and Mabel took her St. Lawrence skiff (boat) out for a row on the lake. What happened next has never been clear, but several hours later, her overturned skiff was spotted and towed back to the boathouse on the lake. Her daughter identified it as belonging to Mabel, but Mabel was never found. Fast forward thirty years to a few divers who were looking for logs at the bottom of Placid Lake near Pulpit Rock, where the water in the lake is upwards of 150 feet deep. One of the divers, walking along the lake bottom, thinks he spots a clothing-shop mannequin, and reaches over to pick up its arm. It's apparent right away that it was not a mannequin. Due to the chemistry of the lake bottom and the relatively constant temperature of the water, the body had never decomposed, and the outer two inches or so had turned into a kind of soap. Unfortunately, as the body was brought to the surface, the movement of the water across the face caused the face to dissolve, so identification was difficult. However, it was determined that this was indeed Mabel Douglas, who had disappeared on the lake thirty years prior. At this time, an investigation was opened by the New York State Troopers. A witness came forward and said that he had seen Mabel rowing that afternoon from a distance, and that he had also seen her throw something into the water and then dive in after it. (She was found with a rope tied around her neck that was attached to an anchor.) However, the case was filed as "unsolved". It was never determined if foul play was involved, or if Mabel simply took her own life.

I read about the story several years ago, and seeing this ceramic face by Diane Briglieb amongst my bead collection, I knew she was The Lady in the Lake. I created the piece to honor the memory of Mabel Douglas who was a pioneer in women's education, and who earned countless awards and honors for her work in the field of education.

The Lady in the Lake was created with a combination of techniques. First, the ceramic face was glued to a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff, and allowed to dry. Then, I beaded a bezel around her using size 11 Delica beads. I then worked around the face with bead embroidery, embellishing here and there, using a variety of Japanese seed beads and pressed glass beads. After that was finished, I stitched on a backing of suede-like fabric in a coordinating color. After the main piece was finished, I created a beaded rope using spiral rope stitch and embellishing the rope with a huge variety of freshwater perals, seed beads, and pressed glass leaves and flowers. After I attached the rope, I went back and added short fringes to the top and bottom of the piece. All said and done, she took me more than 40 hours to complete. I entered her in the Lake Placid Center for the Arts Annual Juried Adirondack Art Show, but she was not selected. (Oh, well, can't win 'em all!)

The Lady in the Lake is for sale on my website. While I am very attached to her, I would like to see her go to a good home.

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