Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The bedroom remodel

Non beady content, but a fun project.

Seems that somehow in all the homes we've lived in, the bedroom decor gets done in the beginning and never really evolves.  Other rooms, you know the public rooms that people see take precedence and the yard projects and years go by and the bedroom is dull and boring.

We had white walls, a bed that I never really liked, a dresser that came with the house and a mirror that was much too small in scale.  The wood slat blinds that are throughout the house are in a level of disrepair requiring new tapes and the mattress needed replacing.

And so the remodel began.  I decided on this bed!  I had seen it a two or three years ago and was pretty sure Mark would not see the same charm that I did.  I'm not sure he does, but he agreed that I should buy it and I did.



We have black hardwood floors throughout the house so this is a really good fit with the decor.  I chose bedding from  Restoration hardware in shades of grey.  I chose two greys for the walls, one really dark grey for the wall behind the bed and the rest medium grey.  It's still in process so the room is chaotic, but I must say the change is totally amazing.  I go to sleep and wake up feeling like I'm being hugged by the warmth of the room.

I've bought new lampshades for existing lamps and this morning decided that I shall bead the round ball  finials with a touch of whimsy in silver and golds!  I'm very excited for that.  Bringing more whimsical touches into the room.  The top would look like this with little bands of raw coming around the clear ball of the finial.  



I still need to pick the perfect rug, take the blinds to be re-taped and paint the back of the built in book case with some shiny metallic paint.  I'd also like to replace the heavy sliding closet doors with sumptuous dark grey velvet curtains….we'll see if time and money allows that extra bit of luxury.

I hope soon to have the bedroom sanctuary that I've always dreamed of and then I will show you pictures!




Bead and Button Santa Lucia!

As promised, here is a look at my Santa Lucia that I will teach on Thursday of Bead and Button. I've taught this enough times to understand that it is a really doable project that results in a really pretty necklace.

I've seen many different color combinations and I'd love to make them all!  For now there are these four with the intent to do one or two more colors, we'll see.

There are only a few of the Topaz left as both the antique brass and dark green pearls have been discontinued.  But I've got a really pretty light green and vintage gold one in the works  (the green is also discontinued, but I have some inventory!)






Occasionally there is a design which I want to make in every possible color combination, this is one of those!  When I originally designed it the Swarovski coin pearls did not exist….my friend Tracy who took this class at Beading by the Bay made the platinum color way to wear to her daughters wedding.  It is truly a wedding piece done in these colors perfect for the mother of the bride or the bride!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Bead and Button 2015

The online and in print catalogs start arriving mid December for us to see all the beautiful class offerings.  I know for many of us the ability to go is a dream not easily obtainable.  For others who save for many months to be able to attend and use precious vacation time, it's a highlight.  I wish I had a magic wand so that everyone who wanted to experience the show could, but alas I do not.

I do know that 2015 will mark my tenth year of teaching there and I love being immersed in so many beads, so many beautiful pieces of beaded art, so many beady people and I love the chance to be surrounded by dear friends some of whom I only get to see this one time a year.

Like the rest of my bead life I have also scaled back the number of days I will teach at Bead and Button and to that end I have offered all brand new classes so that people that I've been fortunate enough to have in class year over year will have good choices.

First up is Tuesday, and I'll be teaching Sprockets!  Man how I love sprockets, a truly fun project to make, and totally wearable, on either of it's reversible sides.  I will have these three colors at a minimum!  It's a lot of beading though, so I've offered it in the slightly longer workshop format.





Tomorrow I'll share with you the current Santa Lucia choices and then we'll see what happens with the sprocket earrings!  You will notice if you are paying attention that the sprocket earring is the bottom of the sprocket pendant, so you wouldn't want to take both.  Sprocket earrings will be a 3 hour class on Wedneday before Meet the Teachers which may fit nicely into your schedule.  It's a bit of shaped beadwork with a sprocket on the tip just for fun.  I haven't created all the color ways yet, but these three will probably make the list and a couple of others if I'm productive.

Psst….I've also limited the number of students I take from 20 to 16.  Since I lost my assistant the Bad Liz to her own well deserved teaching career I've decided to make things a tad easier on myself.  Having said that I do have some excellent help lined up as I like to make sure to have an assistant in the classroom making sure that everyone gets what they need.  And…..there is a rumor that Liz may return to help a bit on her day off!  Last year I tried to steer her in the direction of embracing her own teacherhood, this year I said I'd love to have you if you're available.  Cuz pretty much I miss her and I bet you do to!

Do you RAW…..CRAW?

I'm giving away one DVD which will be randomly selected from comments to this blog post from now through Friday midnight.

Even if you're friends with right angle weave and cubic right angle weave this video may have some tips for you.  If either is a stitch you've been wanting to master I think you'll find this a pretty comprehensive guide with up close and personal demonstrations of many techniques.



I'm proud of the job that Interweave did in filming and editing this 90 minute video and I'd like to share it with you so if you'd like the opportunity to win this dvd please leave me a comment on your RAW CRAW desires!

While the focus is on RAW with all it's variations, flat, tubular, increases, decreases, embellished, armatures and layers, I did manage to work in 30 minutes of some CRAW fundamentals, including starting, turning corners, joining and doing multiple rows.

Should you not be the lucky winner, it appears that it is currently on sale in the Interweave store.  I'm never sure when it will be on sale or for how much, but I just noticed that at the moment it is a particularly good price!

Next year I will be filming the sequel, Cubic Right Angle Weave and Prismatic Weave (which shares a thread path with cubic right angle weave but has more or less sides than a cube.)

It's been a whirlwind!

First off a big thanks to Kathy who yesterday reminded me that she missed reading the blog.  It's always interesting when I travel to run into so many people who have enjoyed spending time here.  Thanks to all of you for spending a few moments with me.

I've been so many places this year I can hardly keep track and I've one more engagement in a couple of weeks, and then onto 'retirement' or sort of at least.

I realized after this year of travel that I don't bounce back as well as I used to and so serious cutting down on the schedule is in order.

As I've traveled, many  have asked me what retirement looks like and honestly I am not entirely sure.  One thing I do know, it is very unlikely that I will stop beading, I have way too many ideas and too many beads for that.

I will be releasing some previously unreleased kits on the website, but most likely in small lots. I'm going to have a look at a few of my past favorites and think about re-inventing them.

Did you have a favorite you'd like to see come back?  I'm considering the bangles, crystal medallion bracelet, and perhaps another new Romantica.  Coming soon will be a Touch of Whimsy and you can still buy the few remaining Deco Bracelets.  I also ordered some amethyst stones for that one so I can do a bronze amethyst version.

Currently I have all three of these and will add them to the website (ahem, Mark actually adds them to the website and he's now painting the bedroom!) But stay tuned, it won't be too long.



Sadly you can't actually purchase this kit but I wanted to show it to you.  It's a Harold Cooney bead from my collection.  It worked nicely with this design.   This one was a gift to a special friend.


The Deco bracelet is currently available….and hopefully there will be an amethyst/bronze version in the not too distant future.


 Here are two I am considering bringing back….we'll see!



I'd like to revisit the crystal medallion bracelet in true craw instead of just raw with joined edges.  Which will of course require some sample making.


I am very grateful for the many bead stores and bead groups and the many many students who have entrusted me with their time and enabled me to share my knowledge and love of beading.  I hope to continue on the path of sharing by creating videos, writing tutorials, making a few kits here and there and accepting the odd engagement.  This year I will be at Beading by the Bay, Bead and Button and in England.  The second half of the year will be devoted to grand babies, travels and some much needed R&R!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The new bed!

Does it work this way of for you?  I decided we needed a new mattress…the current one was old, but really we should have a new bed frame and well if we do that, then maybe a rug would be good beneath it, but the new bed is black so should we get new night stands or should we paint our brown ones black and as long as we are doing this wouldn't it be nice if the walls were dark grey and I really like the new metallic paints and……

You get the picture right?

Well the new bed frame has arrived and I have to say as much as I love it the quality even for a trendy boutiquey type store is not as good as it should be.  The bed I love, but when we took the old mattress and box spring off we discovered that the side rails were put on backwards and the cross boards were too low so they sort of pivoted on the center board.  Mark cut little spacers to accommodate the flaw and now we've put the new memory foam mattress on and tonight we will see how we feel about it.  I sure hope we feel good!


This is our new bed and I'm darn excited.  I love the spindles which Mark refers to as pancakes and is less enamored then I am.  Today he dusted  the 'pancakes' which made me laugh.

I've got pretty new bedding, but so far that is where the remodel has stopped.  I envision this beautiful sanctuary, but there are a few things that need to happen to make that reality.  

and in bead news, tomorrow morning I leave for Tyler Texas where I will teach a Touch of Whimsy for three days.


The lavender is a personal favorite and I love how the Polaris beads have a glow or a light from within.

It's going to be an exiting three days AND I have packed my selfie stick and after all a bead retreat is the ultimate selfie stick venue right?

I'll keep you posted!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Somehow it always all gets done…...

I fret about a to do list and if there will be time to accomplish it and somehow I always manage, although this stretch has made me a little wearier then usual.

I had a great weekend hosting a bead society class given by Amee Sweet McNamara.  Lots of lovely women making soutache, although I sat out having previously done a pendant I elected to kit a new Touch of Whimsy….a purple one!  Just in time for the Tyler Bead Retreat this weekend.

It was nice to have company with relaxed evenings and lots of bead chat!  Amee had a special fondness for our  San Diego weather as we spent evenings on the veranda.





I also carved out a little time to finish up the 3rd Sprockets color way (or 5th depending on which ones I count, my favorites or all of them!)  This one I am especially fond of as I made it specifically to go with some Miriam soutache earrings.

I also am totally in love with the Swarovski raindrop crystal at the bottom.  This one gets taught in just a couple of more weeks at Beads by Blanche.  It will be it's debut which can sometimes be a daunting class but I am in so in love with this one I can envision nothing but fun…..hope I'm right and so do the girls at Blanches I bet!



Also on the list of treats was an outing with friends  Judipatuti, Gail and Susan.  Between the four of us we have a seriously accomplished knitter, a hugely experienced seamstress, a very talented painter and I've done some beading as well.  We've shared all of our expertise's between one another with the exception of painting  which is our next endeavor.  So following an excellent birthday lunch in Little Italy at the new Ironsides (which had fabulous decor and food) we went to Blicks arts supplies for our painting supplies directed by Gail.  She's busy putting together lesson plans for us which will begin with painting our own color wheel.  I predict we are going to have a lot of fun!  I'll keep you posted!


oh and psssttt…..I almost forgot, the webstore remains closed but we did (well Mark did) make a link to the deco bracelet kits for the project that is in beading all-stars.  You can find it here!