Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Here's a picture of all 48 contiguous states. Alaska and Hawaii to follow.... sometime.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

(48) South Carolina

Capitol: Columbia

Coming up with an idea for South Carolina was a real struggle, which explains it's position in the pin project. I have been to and through SC, but couldn't think of anything special. I did find some information on basket making being a traditional South Carolina art form that has been passed on from generation to generation. Not a bad idea. But then I discovered "Messie".

Every now and then, Irmo, SC, has a sighting of some kind of water monster that inhabits Lake Murray. The monster [Messie] first 'surfaced' in 1933 when residents of Irmo and Ballentine (the famous Gilbert Little sighting) saw a cousin of the Loch Ness Monster. (A cousin of the Loch Ness Monster!!! Top that!). Sightings have continued almost every year since then.

It was described in The Independent News in 1980 as "a cross between a snake and something prehistoric." Many folks around Lake Murray claimed to have seen it and, to make matters worse, the Lake Murray Monster was said to be very aggressive. Bingo!

So, I give to you "Messie", beaded as a grainy, black and white photograph.

(47) Virginia

Capitol: Richmond

Despite living in Maryland for 10 years, right next to Virginia, I didn't have any idea what to do for VA. The only thing that popped into my head was that insidious ad campaign, "Virginia is for Lovers". Wasn't really inspiring. So I thought and thought and thought.

Then I started thinking about my dad, who we lost January 4th. From there I thought about how the Navy sent 2 guys to play taps and present the flag to my mom at the funeral, because my dad was in the Navy in WWII. It was so moving. From there my mind wandered to Arlington National Cemetery, where we could have had my dad buried, if we hadn't cremated him and decided to spread his ashes in his favorite place, Conesus Lake. WAIT! Back up... Arlington National Cemetery, isn't that in Virginia!?!? It takes awhile, but eventually I get there!

So, I decided to pay tribute to all those who served our country, and in particular, my dad, by beading a view of Arlington National Cemetery...the rows of stark, white gravestones.

(46) New Hampshire

Capitol: Concord

New Hampshire, another tough one. Small, and mostly known for trees and scenery.

The main thing I think of is "The Old Man of the Mountain", also known as the Great Stone Face or the Profile. It was a series of five granite cliff ledges on Cannon Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, that, when viewed from the north, appeared to be the jagged profile of a face. The rock formation was 1,200 feet above Profile Lake, in the town of Franconia.

The first recorded mention of the Old Man was in 1805. It collapsed on May 3, 2003.

How to bead this on a 3/4" x 1/2" canvas? Well, as luck would have it, New Hampshire chose to put the Old Man on the back of the New Hampshire state quarter. So, I sharpened up my metal sawing skills and cut the Man in the Mountain out of a quarter. I guess you could say the Old Man collapsed twice!

Monday, February 11, 2013

(45) Michigan

Capitol: Lansing

I was soliciting ideas for Michigan and got an earful of ideas about the car industry. Since I already beaded a camper on Iowa, I had no desire to bead a car on Michigan. My daughter's boyfriend hails from Michigan, so she suggested I bead his face. Uh, no.

I found several fun facts about Michigan. For instance, the Kellogg Company has made Battle Creek the Cereal Capital of the World. The Kellogg brothers accidentally discovered the process for producing flaked cereal products and sparked the beginning of the dry cereal industry. Interesting, but not really beadable. Another interesting fact, Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. Trouble is, Maine won the beaded lighthouse contest.

Then I discovered that Colon, Michigan is home to the world's largest manufacturer of magic supplies. Whoa! The possibilities are endless! Hence, a rabbit in a hat!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

(44) Missouri

Capitol: Jefferson City

Getting down to the wire here, and the ideas are few and far between! Still struggling with ideas for Virginia, South Carolina, Michigan and New Hampshire. (Alaska and Hawaii are on "hold", while I finish the contiguous states and their display).

I had always planned on doing the Gateway Arch (construction started in 1963) for Missouri, but I needed something else too. Then I discovered that the first Olympic Games hosted in the United States were the 1904 Summer Olympics, held in St. Louis, Missouri. So I paired the Olympic rings with the Gateway Arch.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

(43) Minnesota

Capitol: St. Paul

OK, this is a weird one. My husband says this is too obscure, but this is what I think about when I think about Minnesota. So, let me try to explain.

David Lefkowitz is my husband's cousin. David is an Associate Professor of Art at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, so naturally, he is an artist. I searched David's website ( for a piece of art that I could represent in my project. There is lots of wonderful art on David's site, but most is much to complicated to reduce to this size. Then I found "The Best Painting of Its Kind". This painting immediately made me smile, first for its simplicity, and second because it truly is the best painting of its kind! Also, it's simplicity lent itself to beadwork.

So, I present to you, "The Best Beadwork of the Best Painting of Its Kind" (above), and "The Best Painting of Its Kind" (below).

Monday, February 4, 2013

(42) Maryland

Capitol: Annapolis

Wow, this was a hard one. First, size and shape made cutting out the base and working with this piece incredibly challenging. In this scale, MD is about 3/4" tall, and 1/2" - 1" wide, including the Chesapeake Bay. Normally I wouldn't include a body of water in the piece, but every time I tried to cut the state out without the bay it fell apart. So, bay included.

Second, I spent almost 10 years living in Maryland, so naturally I have many fond memories that could be represented. I worked at IBM, met my husband, got my first dog, 2nd and 3rd cats, bought our first house, learned to mountain bike, started beading, the list goes on and on. All very hard to bead on a mostly 3/4" x 1/2" canvas, split by the Chesapeake! So, off to research.

An interesting fact about Maryland, and one that really lent itself to "bead interpretation" is: "On the morning of August 10, 1813 residents of St. Michaels, having been forewarned of a British attack, hoisted lanterns to the masts of ships and in the tops of the trees. The height of the light caused cannons to overshoot the town. This first known blackout was effective and only one house was struck, and is now known as the "Cannonball House". The town has been know as the town that fooled the British since this historic event".

I beaded the Chesapeake blue, and the rest of the state black, to represent nighttime. Then I added some upright black bugle beads with sparkly crystals on top to represent the raised lights.