Wednesday, December 25, 2013


One of my favorite things to do in beadwork is to collaborate with other artists.  I've gotten to do that with one of my all time favorite artists the talented sherry Serafini.  Our collaborative piece Oz was accepted into Bead dreams.

tomorrow I will visit the Santa Cruz studio of one of my all time favorite lampwork artists Wayne Robbins where we will plan the flock of glass birds that will adorn my Robbins nest cuff and ring.

Photos to follow!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Easily Elegant Earrings

Last year I made 29 pair of the easily elegant earrings and a few more pair through 2013 and I don't own a single pair myself!   This year they are my gift to you!  Dig out some pearls and crystals or some metal beads if you prefer, and have some fun.  I prefer mine to dangle from chain but if you rather subtle you can just add a headpin and ear wire and wear them short.

 You can find a link to the pdf on my sidebar!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Visual Planning, a year in beads!

I'm on a mission today to get the studio in order and ready for next year.  First up was a date with the calendar, having a look at the years engagements.

Next I created a visual plan by hanging the samples for each engagement together.   Here for example is Bead and Button.

Each project is grouped and I now visually know that I need a third Touch of Whimsy on the left, two more bird cuffs and a third sundial pendant.  Then I will work on supply lists for each in for a few directions still need to be fine tuned.  Each project/color gets a drawer to store the supply list and supplies, ready to be kitted.

 This is Beading by the Bay and the Bead Cruise.  One more Santa Lucia is in the works in Grey and Tanzanite.

There is a third board with some non essential kits, things I am not teaching but would be nice to provide kits for.

What organizational tools to you use to keep your beading world organized?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Bead Camp, Bead and Button Show 2014

 I am a component designer by nature….I like to make a component and then decide how to use it in jewelry.

I took that concept seriously when designing the content for last years Master Class.  Three full days of playing with a large playground of components, with each of 32 people making their own unique creations.  We explored a number of design considerations, examined flow, color placement, and connections, and expanded on each component with a chapter on 'what if?'  You will be able to see many of the excellent projects in the February issue of Bead and Button Magazine.

This year Marlene's request was that I consider the second annual 'bead camp' format of classes.  Many of my pieces do use the style of re-usable components I am known for.  Unlike the master class, we will be working on the specific project featured on that day and not on combining multiple components into unique designs.  We will however have time in this all day, early evening format to explore how else one might use the components in the project at hand.

Bead camp registration will open today, December 10th and be available for sign ups. Click on the Caption to go right to the Bead Camp listing!  You may choose any number of the bead camp classes, 1, 2, 3 or all 4!  If you happen to be fairly local to Milwaukee this may be an ideal way to fit in a class without conflicting with any of your show week selections.  I will however teach two show week classes as well, so look for Duomos Romanticos on Wednesday the 4th and Robbins Nest Cuff on Tuesday June 3rd.

Duomos Romanticos
Robbins Nest Cuff

The beautiful Pacific Morning Glory makes an excellent ring, necklace or earring.  Kits will be available for the project as shown in the catalog, but if you think camp is for you, you might plan on bringing an assortment of seed beads, crystals and pearls to further your nighttime explorations.  Should you wish to relax and continue your beading, it will be possible for most of you to take home a finished project and perhaps a complimentary design.

The Pacific Morning Glory below is by far my favorite, but that may be because it is my newest one….I also have fuchsia and bronze, black and silver, pale green and lavender, and blue and silver.  Quite a nice assortment.

Pacific Morning Glory Saturday May 31st B141161
Pacific Morning Glory Ring (variation which may be explored, not kitted)

 Touch of Whimsy also comes in hot pink and turquoise with touches of gold and a yellow and pale grey is in the works.
Touch of Whimsy Friday May 30th B141163
Sundial Pendant is seen here in a soft aqua with bronze accents.  I believe I will also be doing it with silvers and pacific opal.  This pieces seems to call for soft and romantic.
Sundial Pendant Wednesday May 28 B141160

One of my classic favorites, Cassandra also lends itself to being changed into a ring, pendant or earrings.  It is also a fun color play….Stay tuned to see more variations.

Cassandra Thursday May 29th B141164

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

color prototyping

Once a design is perfected, the next thing I need to do is make it in multiple colors.  Some projects are easier then others to envision.  Beads that look great together in tubes do not always make up the way you expect.

This one in soft gold with lilac shadow and a volcano loch rosen with fuchsia accents is ok, but I think the gold should be substituted with a reddish bronze and the loch rosen should maybe be gold.

In the meantime though, I decided not to waste the prototype!  So I made a second and now I have more earrings!

Should my next color idea not pan out I'll be making a coordinated ring!  Another idea would be to make the seven components for a bracelet all slightly different which would give it a very victorian flair but make it very difficult to kit!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Webstore is now open!

Between travel, and the need to change out shopping carts, you may have noticed the online store has been unavailable.

Well we finally got a bit of time this past weekend and we've now switched at least some of the inventory over to the new paypal shopping cart.

International orders can now be placed without having to wait for an invoice, and…..I've released Aelia, one of my all time favorite pendants.

The reverse side is a large czech glass button making the pendant fully reversible.  The right angle weave bezel is easily accomplished and the medallion is also a fairly quick bead.  A layered beaded bead creates the perfect bail.  This one is soft and romantic, but there is also a dramatic black and dark silver as well as an opulent metallic blue.  This is one of those pieces I wear often!

Beading by the Bay

I'm in beading mode and this weeks projects include the third Santa Lucia.  I was asked if I always match my project to my beading board.  The answer is if I can, yes.  I have a variety to choose from so the odds are good that I will have one that coordinates.

This color way with large purple pearls, light grey smaller pearls and Tanzanite crystals is designed to appeal to those who prefer silver tones to the bronze or vintage gold used in the first two.  I am so enamored with this design that it is possible I may go on to create one more variation.  I'm thinking perhaps my beloved platinum pearl with a chrysolite opal or since I happen to have a fuchsia fancy stone on hand, maybe fuchsia.

Off to see what other colors this stone comes in….It may be that I need to order a few more samples!