Monday, February 28, 2011

Beading by the Bay readiness....

One slot has opened up as one of our attendees had to cancel. It's short notice, but if you can make it work the details are here.

Next week on Thursday evening we start a beautiful three day retreat by treating the attendees to a night of crystal

and dessert

How wonderful is that? We'll open our gift bags,

enjoy socializing for a bit, indulge in some dessert all followed by a Swarovski trend presentation given by Ron Rock. Last years was great fun so I'm sure this will be a treat.

We have lots of things to give away during our three days together.....

These cute little owls contributed by Georgie of Jawjee, who I met in Australia need a good home.

I'm in love with them, but I already have a serious collection myself.

A really good weekend

On Thursday we drove up to Northern California awaiting the birth of our granddaughter Malayna. She was born early Friday morning, healthy and adorable.

There is nothing like a baby granddaughter to bring out the knitting in a Grandma.

Here is her first outfit, the one she came home from the hospital in. I have many more knitting plans for this wee adorable baby girl.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

green velvet hills

we had a beautiful and uneventful trip home, it would be awfully hard to take the glow off this weekend.

magical sky

the ride home is beautiful!

Malayna Krain

born 5:52 am Friday February 25th

Thursday, February 24, 2011

first date

27 years ago in March we had our first date at La Maison du Cafe in Los Gatos. Seemed like the perfect place to lunch while we wait is resting, baby is taking her time

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Hair

I made time for a long overdue haircut yesterday with my stylist daughter Casey. She moved to Roots hair salon, owned by good friend Jamie and much closer to her home. The salon has a really nice feel to it, well it has a modern contemporary vibe which is kind of my design taste, so it's a nice comfortable spot for me.

They are having their grand opening on Sunday and they'll be putting feathers in hair. I so want some, but I think my hair is a bit too short.

Here's a picture in the salon. Do you see the family resemblance?

Casey gave me a most excellent cut, as always, but this one seems to be a standout for some reason.

It appears

That tomorrow is most likely the day I will become a Grandma (again, I've had the pleasure before). You might say I'm looking forward to it, being a grandma is pretty darn special. I'm packing at the moment for the drive, making sure we have the camera's (there'll be pictures of course), batteries charged, gas in the car, food for life's moments, the birth of a new baby is one of the best. Congratulations to Lucia and Ethan who share such a huge love for one another, and have lots to give to this new little girl.

So if I'm out of touch for a day or two you'll understand, have fun while I'm gone.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Another Kiri finished....

A quick soak and some blocking wires were on the agenda last night. Blocking lace is transformative and this Kiri definitely benefited. Isn't the color amazing? It was a Cascade yarn, silk mohair and so pretty. Although not as soft as the one I made using Habu. If only Habu silk mohair would come in more saturated colors.

I finished this one to take along on the Bead Cruise in March. I'm thinking it needs a pretty white dress and some strappy little sandals. I have a dress in mind.....

And I wanted to follow up on an email from an Australian reader whose email I sadly lost track of. She asked about the ruffle scarf. The pattern is Barb's Koigu ruffle by Churchmouse.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Medici Drop Earrings

Look at this stunning pair put together by Sharon Wegner.

I was at the Great Lakes Bead Guild this past week and had a lot of the drops and some pretty little 2 mm crystals. They add such a sophisticated touch of sparkle to the Medici, and Sharon put together the perfect set of colors to show them off. The crystal was aqua purple haze, pretty!

Sunday, February 20, 2011


At least I think that is what it is called. I don't have a copy of my book handy.

Lynn showed up in class wearing this great example of the layered beaded bead in Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence.

Her color choices are excellent!

And on Aurelia day Wendy made this lovely color way

and Jacquelin made this one

The pale aqua and grey seed is likely a Toho hybrid bead but I didn't write down the number....sigh. It was so soft with the Pacific blue opal crystal.

I just noticed they both used a bronze accent, likely why I was drawn to them.

It was a great few days and now off to the next adventure, which is the birth of our grand daughter, most likely to occur during this week.

As much as I love a snowstorm and there is one forecasted for later today, in this case I sincerely hope to fly out before any delays....there is a grandbaby due to be born any day now!

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Saturday, February 19, 2011

A fine example

Of an oothecal bede necklace, design by Ms Rachel, beaded by Linda Frechen of the great lakes bead guild.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bead Daze

Lil Hoot hangs out at the blackboard!

There is something quite nice about a good old fashioned blackboard.

Class was excellent, with most finishing the focal bezeled button of the Rising Sun and moving onto their bumpy bracelet. The day was actually quite warm and an early evening Middle Eastern dinner was enjoyed by guild members and teachers. It is always a beautifully hosted event at the Great Lakes Bead Guild.

Here are Sherry and Barb with the now requisite 'Little Hoot' pose.

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Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I arrived safely and on time with an almost uneventful day of travel.After posting on a facebook comment of Sabine's that I've never forgot anything important yet.....I forgot my phone.

Could I live without it? Well perhaps, but it did have my credit card application on it, pretty key when you're selling kits, and......

It had specially set up ringtones for my daughter and husband, in case there is grand baby news......

So Mark gave me his phone. I was able to download and set up the credit card ap and reset the ringtones. It's only slightly disorienting to have no contacts and no scrabble! But I have the iPad with me as well so I have email and

Today....the Rising Sun

And a big bunch of well accomplished beaders. A nice crisp 30 degree start to the day, bbbbrrrrr.....I'll save my walk for lunchtime, since with the 3 hour time change it feels like the middle of the night.

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Monday, February 14, 2011


Tomorrow is a travel day, a really early one. I'll land, arrive at the venue for the Great Lakes Bead Guild event and then to the hotel later in the evening, so it is entirely likely you won't receive an update tomorrow.

I'll be thinking of you however, wishing you all well with lot's of bead goodness in your lives.

And I will update regularly once classes start on Wednesday.

See you soon!


Seems I'm always late to the party or the Picnik as the case may be. I know my friend Val was going on about Picnik but there wasn't time, then today I'm over at Heather's blog and there it is Picnik, and the ability to make photo collages....and I was hooked....and I definitely don't have time, but I want to play with this!

I'm giving a talk for the Northern California Bead Society and this will be the perfect tool for bringing together some interesting shots.

Here is my 'purple collection'

I can't wait to try my hand at this! But for now, I need to turn my attention to getting ready for fly off tomorrow.

Crack of dark

I leave tomorrow morning at the crack of dark, as Kate McKinnon would say. She has the most colorful of descriptions. I thought I had sworn off of 6:25 a.m. flights, but sometimes that is the only way to get across the country in time.

There is a meet the teachers event at 6:30 p.m. for the Great Lakes Bead Guild and so I must leave early to get there in time. But I so look forward to being with all my friends and my bead colleagues.

I'll be teaching Aurelia.

Liz made her version into a necklace.

Today will be about all those last minute details that go into bead travel. Which jewelry to take, do I have business cards, enough change, receipt books....

It's also the day that the plants arrive for the yard. They will be planted while I'm away. So I will return to an instant yard! Pretty darn exciting.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

New kit, Queen Anne's Lace

Finally I got around to kitting one of my favorite color ways for Queen Anne's Lace.

The volcano button and 232 crystal copper bi-cones are a delectable combination.

My friend Susan made this back last fall and I've been meaning to kit it up. The quantity is limited at the moment, I'm bringing a few to the Great Lakes Bead Guild with me and another few to the Bead Cruise.


There was a day when I didn't like to make beaded earrings, now they are all I wear. While in Tucson I bought some beautiful cubic zirconia drops. This topaz color was particularly lovely.

Then I went into my 2 mm swarovski stash and found these rose volcano crystals. The 2mm crystals are sometimes hard to use because they can tend to get lost in the design But here they add just the right touch of sparkle.

While out to dinner with Lindsey and Katie, the Fusion Bead girls, I admired Lindsey's hoop earrings made for her by Katie, and asked permission to recreate them for myself. Lindsey's were red and stunning, although I forget the exact crystal used. I had these gold hoops that belonged to my mother. She loved her jewelry and so they were special to her, but I would never wear a gold hoop. This seemed the perfect way to honor them and keep them close to me. Some might argue it is like painting wood, to cover up the gold when I could have just bought some inexpensive hoops. But I'm happy that I get to wear them.

Since I wear a lot of black and grey (some of you have pointed that out....Pat) I chose the medium vitrail crystal which has a grey cast to it with a hint of color. I also added a 2 mm black diamond crystal between the 3 mm on the front two edges, subtle but a nice touch I think.


The yard project continues to come along. In fact a lot of different elements are coming together now and we're on the home stretch. When we first conceived of the project, the landscape architect, Greg Hebert, drew a curved masonry wall that would be the entrance to the side yard. The curves echo those of the house and it was the perfect detail.

This of course is not it's final look,

it will be stuccoed and have a gate, but the curves look beautiful. In the nook of each curve will be a bougainvillea tower. I first saw the design at the Getty Museum and knew I wanted it. Our version will be scaled down standing 8 feet tall. Mark is busy practicing with his new welding machine and will build the rebar towers that house the bougainvillea.

Plants have been ordered and should arrive tomorrow. The drip irrigation is in place, so the planting will occur and the plants will be cared for while they get established. We chose plants for their low water requirements, but some water will of course be required.

Next on the list is finalizing the surface treatments for the hottub surround and the fountain. It is getting quite exciting as we add an outdoor room to our home.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I count this beading as my second 'career by accident'. My first in Information Technology was a right place at the right time kind of thing as the industry was just being born when I was new to the work force. Degrees in IT didn't really exist and I happened to have an affinity for the project management side of things and an understanding of systems analysis. It kind of all worked out in my favor.

My darling husband encouraged me to quit that work and pursue an artistic career while I was still young (young being relative, but I was 51 for the record). It seems again that timing added to my good fortune as beading and bead teachers enjoyed a surge in popularity during the 90's when I began having an interest.

So much to my surprise my name showed up on Facebook as an Beadwork finalist in two categories. Beaded Opulence appears along with Seed Bead Fusion, The Jewelry Architect, Mastering Beadwork, and Totally Twisted. That is some mighty awesome company and I'm honored. I was also a finalist in the Best Beadwork teacher category, again along with many of my favorite colleagues.

There are ten categories, including best on line bead store, best Swarovski source, best retail bead store, and a few more. I know all my favorite stores showed up! If you're inclined to vote the link is here.

Ellie Mac!

Every year I come across Ellie Mac at the Best Bead Show in Tucson. Her beads are so bright and fun and colorful and she is delightful.

Some people just have the whole booth display thing down, I need to take is a photo of Ellie's cupcakes...apparently there is a whole fake food industry, who knew?

And her absolutely fanciful cupcake bead spoons.

AND! She was gracious enough to contribute one of her creations to our Beading by the Bay giveaways.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love is in the Air

I'm feeling so content, the days are lovely with cool breezes, I'm in love,

my time is spent with artistic endeavors and good friends, nothing seems too hard. I'm cooking good food effortlessly,moving my body regularly. The yard is coming together, plants to be planted soon which will certainly round out the oasis we've been working so hard to get to.

The year is filled with wonderful plans all of which I look forward to with excitement. A grandchild will be born,and I watch with admiration and happiness in my heart as my children form their own lives.

Life is good, noticing is good.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Walk

You may have noticed on my right sidebar 'walk with me' a picture, time and mileage. I've been quiet about it, not liking to go public before the commitment is solidified. But I've been walking now since January 1st. They say 30 days makes a habit so I think I'm safe and anyways going public is like having a walking buddy waiting for you to walk.

I'm not being obsessive. I did walk in Central Park when it was 8 degrees, but I was dressed for it. I did not walk in Tucson when it was 15 degrees. I plan to walk most every day. I change it up, sometimes to the Ocean, sometimes the zoo, sometimes a hiking trail and sometimes like today out the front door. I used the opportunity to walk to our local healthy grocery store and pick up a sweet potato and two apples to round out tonights dinner. I really like destination walking, so that worked out. is my new matching ipad and iphone case,

crystallized by the amazing Kellie DeFries of Crystal Ninja. Kellie is the best in the industry because she is an artist first and then a crystallizer.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Zoo Walk Tuesdays

Tuesday is the day I walk at the zoo with friend Susan Blessinger and husband Mark.

I was feeling mighty slow today, although we managed a good walk.

Last night's Sarah McClachlan was well past my usual bedtime. She played at the Spreckles theater in downtown San Diego and was joined by musicians and songwriters Butterfly Boucher and Melissa McClelland

The format was excellent with no pre-show just an integration of all three artists each sharing the spotlight. The sound quality was excellent, and even though we were in the mezzanine we could see the stage clearly. Sarah took written questions from the audience including a marriage proposal (with an email address) and her responses were very genuine. She also thanked her audience for attending and making her life possible with a sincereness that I think many artists lack. It was all in all a very good evening with the exception of today's excessive tiredness.

My girls came to help kit so I tried to be at least semi organized and on top of things.....I'm not sure how well I succeeded.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Travel Day

Not really, I don't travel to the Great Lakes Bead Guild until next week, but it is the day to be on top of planning. I've passed on my dates for my German trip in October, made my hotel reservations for my pre bead cruise stay in Galveston (where I've never been before by the way) love seeing new places, although we don't land until 4:00 and likely won't arrive at the resort hotel until 6:00 ish.

Bead Cruising is wonderful and this year I get to play with Heather, Bev, Tracy, Dallas, Jean, Beki and Shawn! Mark is coming with me, making it an extra special trip.

I need to pass on supply lists for my Creative Castle trip in April, and I just extended my San Francicso reservation after Beading by the Bay. I will be speaking at the Northern California Bead Society meeting on Tuesday night March 15th. Which is kind of perfect, not only because I'll be visiting with all of the Bead Society ladies but because I'll be in Northern California and will be visiting with our new granddaughter, who is due to make her appearance at the end of this month, making March a perfect time for an extended visit.

It takes a lot to stay on top of all the details. I've never missed making a reservation or sending a sample or writing a supply list yet, but keeping up with it all is demanding. I'm noticing lately that I haven't planned creative time into the schedule and need to work out a system for making sure I do that. I have new crystal clay and Lilly Pilly metal and all sorts of ideas and at the moment not much time. My girls are coming to help kit tomorrow and catch up. We'll have lots of laughs and get some work done.

Today's walk is postponed until this evening when we will attend a Sarah McLaughlin concert downtown San Diego. The plan is to arrive early and walk the Embarcadero in the cool of the evening.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Taking time for Encouragement

If you keep track you know I just returned from Tucson. I spent a fair amount of time at the Swarovski Create Your Own Style venue since I'm such a crystally girl I loved being surrounded by all that sparkle.

I was perusing the workshops and Make and Take projects that were available and came across a Beads and Buttons bracelet that I thought was beautifully designed by Diane Hertzler.

Photo by husband Bob

I made a note that I must look her up and compliment her on the bracelet (along with a stunning necklace by Val Hirata).

As I sat chatting with a delightful (and patient) man he explained that his wife, Diane Hertzler was teaching a workshop. I waited for a lull in the demo audience and went to introduce myself and say Hello.

The beautiful, smiling Diane told me this story. We had taken a Carol Wilcox Wells workshop together which means it was at least ten years ago and probably more. She had a piece of beadwork which I had commented on, expressing my admiration of her talent. She found that bit of encouragement really spurred on her determination and desire to continue with the beads. I was so touched that something I said mattered and that she went on to create such beautiful pieces. I am truly sorry that I didn't have Diane and Bob pose for me, they are such a nice couple.

Home from Tucson

We just took a nice long walk in Mission Trails

The sun glinted on this dewey spider web

and now I have an entire day ahead of me to do whatever I want. Well in theory at least. I'm thinking unpacking would be good, putting away my Tucson goodies, washing some clothes for the next outing and a few groceries may be in order.

I'm sure Mark will be interested in watching the Super Bowl so I think knitting is going to be the right activity for me. A few more repeats of the Kiri lace pattern and I will be done. It's a luscious aqua silk mohair and I can't wait to wear it.

And our expected Grandbaby needs a little hoot. She's due to meet the world (and us) shortly so that may make today's agenda as well. She's bound to be a stylish baby, her room is decked out in black and white with touches of yellow and her curtains are a nice home decor fabric that Lucia and I picked out at Beverly's when I was there in December. So I'm thinking a yellow and white hoot.

I'm well ahead of the curve, having shipped all my Bead Daze kits to Detroit before I left for Tucson. Those that I'm teaching at least. A few more will get kitted up this week for the meet the teacher event. The Great Lakes Bead Guild is an amazing organization and I can't wait to be there! Save me some snow.

Friday, February 4, 2011

I am so blessed!

A couple of years ago I met the gals from Ontario, Beth, Barb, Debi and Christine at Beadfest in Philadelphia. They were quickly my new best friends when offering to bead the sample for my class which I had forgotten at home.

So during this summers teaching engagement at the Beads of Colour, owner Debi, another fiber enthusiast, took me yarn shopping. I bought a ruffled scarf pattern and yarn. Barb, who I adore, offered to knit it up for me. Now I can knit, but time often escapes me and I was baby knitting at the time. Well!

Debi delivered my knit up scarf at dinner last night.

And can I tell you I'm in love! With Barb and my scarf.....thank you so much Barb. Can't wait to see you and Beth in June.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Little Hoot Explores Bead Shows

Before heading out for a day of shopping, Little Hoot found a cousin in the Marriott Starr Pass Resort gift shop

Susan and I at the Best Bead Show

Where we visited the Lilly Pilly girls, Heidi and Jodi. I've always loved their pendants and now they are doing their amazing designs on metal. And for you Beading by the Bay gals, they donated one of their spectacular pendants for our daily raffles. And I bought a bit of metal.....I'm excited to try my hand at it. Heidi's hat is protecting her from the crazy bitter cold weather that Tucson is experiencing. A predicted low of 15 degrees tonight, crazy!

Here's Andrew graciously posing with Little Hoot. Andrew also donated a lovely selection of Green Girl Studios charms for Beading by the Bay. I want to keep it a surprise for now but will post the pictures once we have the event. Trust me....their good.

We left the Best Bead show where I captured this serene shot of trees on the sunlit horizon.

Per Kate's 'A Pirate's Guide to Tucson' we had dinner at Caruso's. The Wired Art girls Tracy

and Janice

joined us as did Debi and husband David from Beads of Colour in Dundas Ontario. Many laughs later we headed back to the Marriott for a bit of rest before tomorrow adventures.

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More Tucson!

Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend time at the Swarovski venue where all the classes are being held. I got hugs from Kellie DeFries, Stephanie Dixon and Debra Saucier. Oh, I also got to pick up my new iphone and ipad cover from Kellie. Photos soon, they are wonderful!

While there I was able to see the new Swarovski trends and there are some amazing new colors and shapes. I can't wait to use some of them, design ideas abound.

It is record record cold here, but fortunately I thought to bring my new winter coat, so I'm toasty.

I had dinner with Ron Rock, Swarovski's key account manager for the West Coast, Marshall and Walt from Blue Mud and the Fusion girls Katie and Lyndsay. Aren't they beautiful, and full of fun!

And.....Little Hoot found a playmate

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Day one I drove from San Diego and arrived within 5 minutes of Susan's San Francisco flight. Pretty good timing. We spent the rest of the day at To Bead True Blue. I found some wonderful leather cord in amazing colors and a new to me product called Silversilk. I'm really anxious to spend some time with it. for sure there is a Carribean anklet in my future with some Swarovski dangles.

The evening was spent at the Tucson Museum of Art where Interweave hosts a fabulous party every year.

Here's Tracy and I in 'the pose'

Margot Potter and I, we'd never met in person before!

And here's Little Hoot suggesting it's well past my bedtime and I should call it a night.

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