Here's Shannon and Shera who very nicely color coordinated their outfits for the photo shoot.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I saw a Lion!
Here's Shannon and Shera who very nicely color coordinated their outfits for the photo shoot.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I saw a Moose!
Andrew is always posting pictures of luscious plates of food, well look at this one!
Maple and chipotle glazed pork roast on top of herbed polenta with a side of olive oil marinated asparagus, baked with parmesan and drizzled with lemon. This was one fantastic meal!
who was responsble for my room with a view.
What an amazing day! Thank you Linda, thank you Cheryl, it was truly lovely.
Monday, April 27, 2009
A room with a view!
When I arrived last night the darling Roberta , a very customer service oriented young women was at the front desk and I inquired if there just might be a room available with a view (I'm not usually so high maintenance, ok maybe a little) but I'm here for ten days and it seemed worth asking and Roberta came up with my new room and this view!
Sunday was another great teaching day with many familiar faces from Saturday and a few new ones. Many fabulous Romanticas are in progress.
I've yet to see my first real moose (it's on the list of things to do) but here are the Alaska Bead Company store windows. I took these for you Liz. I'll spare you the Moose poop earrings, but I'll find some other moosey trinket in my travels. Requests?
Last night Linda, my lovely hostess for the week took me to sushi and we were joined by Cheryl Frasca of Beadventures. I met her once previously and find her delightful to be with. We're having dinner at her house tonight!
I have some deadline beading to get done this morning and then Linda will pick me up for a day of shopping. Thanks to my friend Arlene who lived in Anchorage for many years, I have the list of places to shop and eat. I'm starting out at the Skinny Raven and though the website looks sports oriented I've been informed they have hand painted Dansko's. I may get in trouble....
Jeannette facebooked that Color Creek will be another good destination. I'll report on my shopping success tomorrow!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
History is made in Alaska
I arrived to the beautiful view of mountains. Since I was sitting in the aisle my first glimpses of the Alaskan landscape were from a distance out a 10 x 12 inch window and I was still wowed. Lest you think the plane was about to crash, these pictures were actually taken on my morning walk. It is breathatkingly beautiful here.
And now the man story....Wanda came to class accompanied by husband Byron. I commented that in ten years of teaching I had never had a man in class and Byron signed up then and there! He was not new to seed beading, he'd done other classes in both metal and seed beads. What a guy. We were making the tiny La Boquita medallion and with a little guidance from me and a little from very accomplished wife Wanda, Byron was off. In fact at the end of the day he had four beautiful medallions complete!
Wanda was making a bridal piece and the wedding is taking place on a Hawaiin beach. With her pearl and crystal pallete she introduced the tiniest little seashells. I loved it! If only I had gotten a good picture I would share. It was really really pretty.
Sian was in class. She had taken a ringlets class from me ten years ago in San Ramon, wow! First I noticed her really fun socks.
Then decided you might like to see more of her! Sian's pallette was Hyacinth, frosted drops and gold seeds. Again, beautiful.
Shannon and Beth came to class prepared to laugh and have a great time and I think they did. Both had amazing colors and lots of good ideas for changing things up.
Karen was somewhat new to beading but was a quick study and left with several medallions. Karen number two is a painter who arrived in class with an amazing freeform piece!
And Shampagne tied last week's record with Amy of Minnesota with 9 completed medallions at the end of the day. Look at the smile, what a cutie!
Everyone was a delight and I look forward to my next classes.
Mark the store owner was warm, friendly and funny and Linda the store manager is making sure that I am well hosted. We're going on a yarn outing on Tuesday and a roadtrip on Thursday. She's the best!
Loving it here.....more as the week progresses
Oh and Arlene, I had my first cup of Kalidi coffee, really good, thanks for the tip.
Friday, April 24, 2009
My Bags are Packed, I'm ready to go!
The clothes part of packing I have down, I pack black, with a few colorful accessories and of course beadwork. My electronics all live in their cleverly designed neoprene case by Built, easy, and there is an extra set of all toiletries which live in their Maruca toiletry case. I have packing down, except for....
What to bead, what to knit? I'm bringing along beads for a ring trade with Kate (she's ahead of me), and beads for my final 'designer of the year' Beadwork project, and beads for my next Queen Anne's Lace Sample (Tahoe retreat), and beads for a little design that's been nagging at me....are you getting that I have a delusional view of time here? Alaska is not a vacation, I'm working....but I do have a few days off....
I needed a knitting project as well, and with Satine finished I went looking for some yarn and a project, (Yes Lynne, I am going to get back to Mark's vest, I am, but right now I'm having a love affair with lace) and I found this!
On the needles, started pre-book and languishing. I'm taking it with me to Alaska, it will make for good plane knitting.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tahoe and Beads!
I am loving my project, Queen Anne's Lace, over 200 sparkly little crystals to catch the light, finished with a large Swarovski button.
Visit the retreat website for details, it's going to be a grand time!
and they were on sale!
A visit to my friend Val's house this week introduced me to another of the mall's offerings. Teavana....have you been? Beautiful fragrant teas, many many varieties, but since I'm easily influenced I settled on an African Roobois for Mark and the Jasmine dragon pearls that Val had served earlier in the day.
Little pearl like balls of tea which unfurl when they are steeped. A lovely interlude in a busy day.
Yesterdays total walking only 7700 steps, somehow sitting at the computer doesn't count, darn.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Miss Princess Maya Angelina DeCoster
The talented Paula Best is making among many other things the cutest ever dog collars. I knew that Miss Maya must have one....and so she will, because she is of course 'The Best Dog'
My initials are MAD, which is why I am MaDDesigns, just in case you ever wondered. And my husbands initials are MAD, which of course meant that darling Miss Maya must also have the initials MAD and so that is how she became Maya Angelina DeCoster. The Miss Princess is just because she is.....
I've been a knitter for much longer then a beader, much....and I can knit lace and cable and make socks, I'm reasonably accomplished even; but somehow gauge, fit, style, often escapes me and I end up with a not so wearable garment.
Which has turned me into more of an accessory knitter, hard to go wrong with a scarf or shawl. So I had low expectations for my success rate here. I was knitting gauge and had measured, but somehow on the needles I couldn't quite tell if I was knitting a 3x or a size 2. Well yesterday I bound it off, tried it on and it fit! And it looks good. Of course now I have the dilemma of the perfect outfit to wear it with....
I must thank my knitting friends for their encouragement and most especially Susan from the Grove whose gentle guidance has helped me to pick better and knit better.
And on the bead front, want to See what 10 gross of Air Blue Opal Bi-cone Swarovski crystals look like, me too....
And here is Maya, back from a Lake Chollas walk, 4900 steps...yesterday's Lake Murray walk and ensuing day ended up tallying 11,289 steps.
She's getting ready to supervise a really busy day in the studio, really busy, much to do before leaving Friday a.m. and I'm planning some playtime with Mark tomorrow which means it must all be done today. I'm on it.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
A small world
A picture of James accompanied by this text.... "James. He works at the desk at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma, he's a handsome devil, made only more attractive by his charm, his ability to get Tina into the hotel room she very adeptly locked herself out of in the wee hours, his willingness to discuss the politics of nuclear energy with Eugene, and his knitting. He's got friends in Toronto, and this one's for them. (He knit on my sweater a bit.) "
Two years ago I taught at the Puget Sound Bead Festival, stayed at this very hotel and was charmed by the very same James. It is a testament to his great customer service and charm that both myself, an over 50 year old women (note James youth) and the 30 year old gay man at my dinner table, were both quite sure that James was only smitten with ourselves and no one else. I of course know the fantasy of this, but still, he was definitely a charmer.
And I see he continues to charm....
Monday, April 20, 2009
The previous post's picture, Hotel Art, was taken on my iphone, and then sent to my blog with my iphone! No computer required. Things like this totally blow me away. I started my career using an ibm selectric typewriter. When the white correction tape was integrated into the machine it was a big day.....
Stop laughing Rachel, I know that you can't even imagine the day that was true...You probably don't even remember when you stored you word files on floppy discs because there was no room on the hard drive. When you wanted to work on a document you had to get the right floppy disk and insert it.
And to think, I sent a blog post, complete with pictures from my iphone, sigh...
A very nice weekend indeed
The Bead Monkey in Minneapolis, Minnesota is a large beautifully stocked store with a well equipped light filled classroom. We had two fun filled days making La Boquita and Ringlets.
There was Tana and Doreen and Ceceila and Deb and Sarah and Amy, all making beautiful versions of La Boquita.
Here is Doreen, a fairly new beader who was doing an exellent job
And Amy, the speed beader of the group who was most of the way through the necklace at the end of the day
And Tana, notice the stunning necklace with Dustin and Stephanie beads
Most stores have their specialities and the Bead Monkey has an amazing offering of glass beads, here are just two shots, the whole wall is 5 or 6 shots...
Which would be a great use of a photo mosaic, but alas, I have not yet put the energy into learning an easy way to do that.
I finished the weekend off by having dinner with Jean Campbell. I'd have taken a picture, but we were way too busy talking about all things bead related. Dinner was delicious and the company was the best!
Time for travel home and spending a couple of days regrouping before heading off to the Alaska Bead Company in Anchorage on Friday.
Friday, April 17, 2009
As much as I travel I try to stay organized. I found this neoprene zippered case with 6 pockets for carrying all the necessary electronics. I have the iphone charger, the camera, the cameras battery charger, an extra memory stick, the ipod, the swarovski ear bud headphones, power cord for the laptop, and mouse. I love it when I find a really useful product, and this one is great.
Also along on it's maiden voyage is the lavender sachet that Susan knit for me. I was touched by her thoughtfulness, giving me a bit of home and comfort to take on the road with me. Thank you Susan! It is well loved and will be well used.
Across the street is the chophouse in the Hilton hotel. I've been known to frequent the Chophouse while at Bead and Button in Milwauke so I'm hoping this one is as good. I'm planning a nice dinner, some beading time and an early bedtime.
I look forward to meeting everyone in tomorrow's class!
I couldn't resist finishing off this post with this beautiful art glass. I've photo'd her for the blog before, but I've moved her to this table in the bedroom where the light creates magic.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The Power of Beads
Here's a new Terracita colorway, turns out I'm still having a love affair with pale aqua's and muted greens. (Coming your way soon Michelle....)
And look at these Cathedral beads, a finish I've not seen before, aren't they pretty?
And here's a beauty that I got from Heather to be worked into a new piece.
And a non bead photo of beauty, yesterdays sky with big puffy white clouds
I'm off early tomorrow morning for a flight to the Bead Monkey in Minneapolis so you may not hear from me for a day or two, although I am thinking about traveling with laptop, so we'll see.....
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Playing with sequins
This bit of beadwork has been done for quite awhile and perhaps some day it will become wearable....In the meantime the ? seemed appropriate to me today as I question how to work smarter, where to put my focus, how to keep engaged in the artistic while struggling with the schedule and to do list.
Also on the list is a piece for Bead Unique magazine to go along with a retreat that I'll be doing in Tahoe this year. The retreat is the first weekend in October and the instructors will be myself, Beki Haley and Sherry Serafini. The website with details should be available soon and I'll keep you posted.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Wanna take a walk?
Unfortunately I am much more motivated by destination walking, but there are few destinations that merit walking to from my house. So I've decided that at least twice a week I will drive somewhere pretty to walk and explore, 3 more days I will walk out the front door and the other two, who knows, maybe a beach walk or a hike, or a rest. That's the plan right now at least.
Maya is very excited about my new plan. A walk is the highlight of her day and when the sneakers go on and the leash comes out she spins circles all the way to the door.
Here are some pictures from todays walk. The pedometer only reads 3653 steps for my walk, so a slow start, but we'll see what the rest of the day brings.
An interesting cactus about to bloom, will need to walk by this again...
Pretty in pink...
I'm off to the Grove for a knitting session with Satine, my lace tunic from French Girl Knits. With not too much effort it could be done, which would be nice, then I can start my purple February Lady Sweater.
Monday, April 13, 2009
I am going to try to carve out some time today between cleaning, walking, and making some semblance of order in the studio. There remains a rather substantial to do list for some of my other endeavors, such as finish up my last designer of the year project, write directions for my Tahoe project, order beads for my bead and button kits, mail off some beads for sample making......
I might not have called it that, but then I gave it some totally unoriginal last minute name like square medallion bracelet, so I can't complain, but I can take a note to get better at naming. Despite the name I love this bracelet, and judging by the mail I have gotten, others are having fun with it as well. I haven't taken it off for the last 5 days despite several people trying to persuade me to give it to them.
Off to the airport (Mark is returning to North Carolina for one week) and then a walk and then.....perhaps some beading!
Friday, April 10, 2009
And in Bead News...
First quintessential Santa Cruz, the light house at the harbor.
This is the view from the Crow's Nest, the place of the surprise birthday party and reunion with family and friends.
Mom was surprised and pleased to celebrate her birthday with so many.
Here is friend Char with Mom
And then on to downtown Santa Cruz and my visit with Rachel.