Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Diamonds are Forever

A little peak of the new Beadwork project

I said it was little....This one will be in the December/January issue of Beadwork. This is the final in the year long series that I've done for Beadwork this year. Thanks to Melinda and Marlene for having me! Previously submitted, Beadwork readers still get to enjoy Aug/Sept, a pretty pearl necklace and bezeled triangular rivoli. Oct/Nov is a gathered fabric cuff with stunning square Swarovski sequins, and Dec/Jan, (sneak peak above is a crystal encrusted bracelet).

I enjoyed the process, the challenge, and being on the cover! Now I need to turn my design energies towards my teaching schedule. I have a new necklace in mind that I'll be working on while vacationing next week. I find new designs have a tendency to show up when I'm most relaxed without the pressures of all that needs doing in my home/studio environment.

It's June 30th and June gloom may be officially over, since I woke up to an actual sunrise out of my east facing bedroom window.

The view from my west facing studio, still a bit gloomy.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The End Result

of the mirror story....

My Engineer made all the measurements, attached a heavy duty bracket between studs and then we waited for manpower, which arrived in the form of Casey's boyfriend Brendan who thankfully was glad to help with the heavy lifting while Casey and I supervised....

Checking the measurements

Casey and Brendan in the mirror

In place, I love it!

On a bead note, the last designer of the year is done (well except for the direction writing, that comes next)Sneak peeks later.

Heather Trimlett is coming over to MY studio. I love Heather and Heathers beads, have forever, and now she lives near me and she's coming over and we're talking collaboration and we're going to exchange some ideas and some beads and begin!

So time to tidy up the studio a bit.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mirror mirror on the wall

When we moved here 3 years ago our realtor gave us a gift certificate to a favorite store and we bought this mirror and hung it over the fireplace. It was never quite right, but you know how you get used to things after awhile.....and so we lived with it and then! I found the perfect mirror.

Having removed the bathroom medicine cabinet about a year and half ago, and covering the unsightly hole with, I kid you not, silver poster board with a mirror drawn on it, it was time for a change. I justified the new mirror by swearing we could use the old one in the bathroom. A 1940's pink and green bath with a now modern twist!

One might think I'd learn when shown the day's efforts not to say, 'you know I'd really like to paint this bathroom white, take the cabinet doors off, install glass shelves and trim with molding.' You'd think....but I can't help vocalizing all my design ideas. So far the man still loves me.

Here's Mark making room for the new one(I didn't marry an engineer for nothing). It's fabulous I can't wait.

The new mirror is too heavy for me to help lift, so we're waiting on a visit from daughter Casey and boyfriend tomorrow. We need muscle power. Monday should bring a picture of the new mirror in place. It is going to be a big dramatic impact.

Jeannette's bringing lamb chops over for dinner and we're going to Verandize. It's a verb she coined for socializing on the Veranda. One of my favorite things about Southern California (as opposed to Northern California) is the ability to enjoy a warm summer evening out of doors.

I bought yellow tulips for the occasion.

And now I best get back to beading my last 'designer of the year' Beadwork project. I'm late, not something I'm accustomed to. They're being patient, but it really is time to get it done and write the directions.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Vacation in the Midwest and Beads Baubles and Jewels.....

Tuesday morning we will travel to White Bear Lake in Minnesota to visit with Mark's family. We were married there on the 4th of July 22 years ago. Every year we have the day off and fireworks, what a great day to be married!

Here's Mark enjoying a canoe trip on the lake

And Maya loving the breeze on the motorboat

And when I leave there I fly to Ohio where I will meet up with Marlene Blessing to shoot a segment of Beads Baubles and Jewels. It's only a tad bit nerve wracking. I'm going to demo how to bezel a rivoli in right angle weave (what else would I do?) I need to start practicing moving between the steps and beading my samples into manageable bits like they do on the food network channel. The disadvantage I have is I've never seen Beads Baubles and Jewels because I don't get the PBS programming here in San Diego.

Jean Campbell is shooting a segment at the same time and I can't wait to be in the presence of both these women. How cool is that? What a lucky girl I am!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Pharaoh's Daughter

This Beadwork cover piece is a favorite of mine. I love the texture created by the change in bead sizes. If you're new to right angle weave this necklace will reinforce all your skills.

Knowing there are folks in the country that don't have access to a fabulous bead store, I put together a kit with all the parts you need. It was going to go on the website but they kept getting sold....I have 3 left, hardly enough for the website, but if you're interested, send me a message and I can set one aside for you. This is beads only, directions are in the Beadwork magazine, June July issue, 2009.

If you're interested in purchasing the beads, www.whimbeads.com , www.beyondbeadery.com both have the color numbers as well as Susan at www.thebeadingfrenzy.com.

And if you make it in a different pallette, I'd love to see the results!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Business is Good

Thanks everyone for shopping, business is good. I spent yesterday in the shipping department

(well with a break for my favorite yarn store) and will spend today in the manufacturing department

and then more time in the shipping department.

I also need some time in the development department

and then the graphic art department.

The web development team needs my assistance and the purchasing department has some orders to place.

The marketing team ought to let the mailing list know there's a new website, but first must ramp up the inventory. And the team for book promotion has a few things on the to do list.

I jest, but there are so many facets to keeping a bead business going. And for the most part I am the team. Although I have website help from dear husband and manufacturing help from many friends.

I'm glad my background in Manufacturing systems helped prepare me with many of the required skills. Now I best get to work, there's beading to be done, and kitting and invoicing and shipping....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Moving Forward

Remember the post 'Do I have this backwards?' where I started preparing for an outfit to wear to my daughter's wedding with first a knitted shawl and then the jewelry?

Well as time got closer, July 17th to be exact, more folks were getting worried about my preparedness 'What are you going to wear?' I was sure it would sort itself out and this weekend it did.

After two days of visiting with Mom, Grandaughter Sam, a 13 year old wise fashion advisor, accompanied me to Smith Alder in San Jose. Paula who owns Smith Alder and I have a history, I'll tell you another time. The clothes are all of my favorite designs, timeless, classic, eclectic, elegant....I knew I would find what I needed and I did. I already owned a beautiful black Carol Brown skirt with large black taffeta flowers at it's hem, perfect. And at Smith Alder I found a simple pale grey asymmetrical top with a large mandarin neck and a sheen to the fabric. More perfection.

And then! Wandering around Danville, not even considering shoe shoppping I found these!

Hartz and Soles, a shoe store with fashionable and comfortable shoes....unheard of. Aren't they pretty? Now I'm set, well once I finish the shawl, 61 out of 72 inches knit, 13inches to go!

Now I must go to the shipping department! There are kits to be shipped....many of them and some to be kitted and a Beadwork project to be finished and some knitting to be done and some friends to visit. See you all tomorrow!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Beaded Bliss

And it's just that! Julie who owned the Place to Bead for many years, has opened a beautiful new store called Beaded Bliss in Danville. The decor is stellar and sets off the inventory so nicely. It is calm and serene and inviting and intriquing and it sparkles! You'll definitely want to go check it out. And the same really nice people are there to help you.

Yesterday was the classrooms inaugral day and it worked. Being in the middle of Danville there were lots of lunching options including Lunardi's a gourmet grocery with lots of great lunch options.

After I remembered to change my settings on my camera so as not to overexpose everyone, I was able to get pictures of Julie

who goes way back with me and Irene

who has never been in my class but was a treat. She had just been to a Henna party and her hands were impressively henna'd, too bad I didn't get a shot.

Laura another regular was there and Grace and Elonda and Joy and Karen. And we had a baby to pass around, always a good thing in my book. Darling little 2 week old Jason, Julie's baby came to work with Momma and we got a snuggle.

I get to have Joy and Elonda again today for Romantica and Pam who also goes waaay back with me and I don't know who else, but I know it will be fun.

Great job Julie, I love the new space!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

I Love Capitola

One town south of Santa Cruz, Capitola by the Sea is a charming spot. We stopped by in the morning for some driftwood gathering, some coffee and some Ocean time.

The sea wall is faced with these tiles, there were maybe 100's of them, and here were a few that captured me in their artfulness.

I don't know the history, behind them, but the last tile was this one...

I'm teaching today and tomorrow, then driving home on Monday.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A lovely evening

The drive to Santa Cruz was uneventful and we arrived for a dinner date with Rachel Nelson Smith and husband Colin. The evening started with a refreshing mojito
compliments of Rachel and a tray of assorted goodies, including a peppered dry salami that was wonderful. We then ventured off walking to the Santa Cruz wharf which is full of so many memories. I met Mark and we grew our family up in Santa Cruz. On our way Rachel ran into a band she knows playing for the outside diners at Ideal Fish on the wharf. The most wonderful treat I could have had was Rachel singing Summertime with with group.

Then we continued on to dinner upstairs at Stagnaros, visiting with the sea lions on the way. Stagnaros is where my granddaughter Sam and I first ate oysters on the half shell when she was five.

After dinner a trip into Marini's candy store for sweet reinforcements.

Such a good evening! Thank you Rachel and Colin we loved it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On the Road Again

The books for sale, you can pre-order your signed copy by clicking on the book

Well it was quite a day of getting use to all my new shipping procedures...Book orders go in one pile to be fulfilled when they arrive in September, Orders with inventory get filled, orders needing inventory get kitted, international orders get invoiced, all orders get usps online priority mail postage, all fulfilled orders get filed....I'm working it out. Mark was pressed into action once again at the kitting table

We kitted a few of these fun bangles

And when we get back a few of these will be available, so if you've been wanting to bead it and haven't gotten your beads yet, and you like this color, look for it next week.

As time and inventory permit I will try to keep the shop well stocked, but you will occassionally see a sold out sign next to a kit, check back, I'm working as fast as I can!

and now quite late in the day I am uploading some Audible books for our road trip to Northern California.

I could be out of practice

It's been awhile since a part of the studio was pressed into action as the shipping department. Now that kits on-line are back, I am boxing up, labeling and shipping product.

A trip to the post office is next.

If you ordered, it's on it's way!

This weeks flowers, arent' they lovely?

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Santa Cruz for a visit with Mom, dinner with family and then a trip to Beaded Bliss in Danville where I will be teaching.

Mark will be travelling with me which makes the dreaded trek through LA a bit more manageable. Not that he is coming just to make the car pool lane available, but it does help a lot. And fortunately for me, little Miss Maya will happily travel to Jeannette's where she'll be pampered, most likely take a trip to dog beach and play with friend Jasmine. She won't miss her parents for a minute!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Hooray for Bollywood

Wasn't there a jingle like that? About a million years ago.

I shouldn't make light though, Bollywood is a beautiful serious piece beaded by my friend Tina Hauer. It was a finalist in Bead Dreams at Bead and Button this year and was beautiful.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's here!

The new website is live, at http://www.marciadecoster.com/ and it looks like this!

For those of you who have visited the old site, you may find the change from a purple background refreshing. I certainly do!

The color purple

You've heard me complain about may grey and june gloom, and it remains overcast and rather gloomy here, but one consolation, the Jacaranda's are in bloom. Brilliant dots of color all over the San Diego landscape.

And while we're on a purple theme, the beautiful disco squares that Mary Ann Harder had on at Bead and Button.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Loving my home

My husband had the eye for this house, I did not really see it's beauty through it's flaws the way that he did. It's an art deco home built in 1940 and when we first saw it, it required a lot of work, not something I had thought he was up for.

Not that he wasn't capable, the man can do most anything, I just thought he had passed the stage of wanting to. Not so. For a man who needs a spreadsheet to examine most any purchase, he decided on this house really quickly.

Unbeknownst to me at the time, his grandfather had built an art deco house in St. Paul and it was a childhood memory.

We've (I use the term We loosely here) taken popcorn off the ceiling, carpeted and painted my studio, fixed flaws in the walls, painted, tiled, remodeled the kitchen down to bare studs and soon we're going to start on a big landscape project.

Living room, love the black floors, but not keeping them clean...

dining room, one of my favorite spots the walls are painted Ralph Lauren's artist brown. It's a really intimate room and French doors lead to the verandah, where the landscaping will begin.

A shot of the studio, beautiful natural light

I'm very at home here, I love this house and I am so glad he saw the potential. Time to go bead!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Managing multiple blogs....

Those of you who do it, it's admirable. I can barely manage this one, and I have one other, a shared private blog with some friends. I logged on incorrectly and almost invited all of you to waffles at my house. Not that I wouldn't have liked to have all of you, that would truly be a wonderful party, but I don't think the waffle maker is big enough.

So in spite of the risk of posting incorrectly, having a private blog among friends and family is a great way to share photos, stories, document events and capture your history.

I continue work on the website, followed by kitting. Again a deadline has snuck up on me, but I'll be ready with more Romantica

and Portico pendant kits for teaching in Danville next weekend.

Julie who owned the Place to Bead (first place I ever taught!) has moved the store to Danville and it's called Beaded Bliss. I look forward to seeing this new space and design concept. She'll continue to have great classes and offer assistance and unique components for creating your own designs.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Getting ready for....

The new website, it's almost here.

Just counted and put away inventory.....

And the new website with online sales is just days away, maybe hours, just a few last minute tweaks and you'll be able to shop once again!

And you're the first to know....we're going to roll things out slowly, a few kits at a time, so stay tuned.
Now I best get busy!

Doll week at Bead and Button

It was my week for dolls. I showed you my Annie doll, but here she is again in her new home and she is looking most comfortable in her new surroundings.

And Ellen made me this doll, well I sort of begged, first bead begging and now doll begging....I'm shameless I tell you. Ellen was wearing one when I saw her in Kentucky and I loved it. The pattern is from Patti Culea.

And then Barbara Fry (unsolicited, I didn't beg) brought me this little cutie.

How lucky am I? Very.

And yesterday I picked up the new yarn room chairs. A splash of welcome color in my room of tranquility.

Maya likes it in the yarn room too!

She is very good at making herself at home where ever there is a parent she can be found nearby. She's such a little lovergirl.