Friday, July 30, 2010

NanC Meinhardt

In my studio!

Could I be anymore excited......It's happening Oct 8, 9 and 10 of this year. Which makes our final day 10/10/10, which I think must be a good omen of some sort.

The setting is my home studio, but all will have access to the wonderful places this house has to offer. Need a quiet spot, perhaps a place in the corner of the living room,

need fresh air, outside on the veranda,

a sunlit table, the dining room will be your spot.

NanC will guide us through her process but much of the beading time can be done where and as it suits you and you will find lots of beautiful light filled space to work on your creations.

There is one spot left, is it yours? Details can be found here. I predict the weekend is going to be magic!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A new Aurelila

Third in the series, this one is destined for a Bead and Button proposal. And oh by the way....not right angle weave, well, there is a little circular right angle weave, but the rest ndbele and peyote...just to prove I can....

The first is at The Beading Frenzy in San Mateo where I will be teaching it on August 14th. Susan and I go way way back and I count many there as my friends, so I look forward to this Aurelia debut class. For some reason the timing always works out that many of my new pieces are debuted in San Mateo!

The second is in the mail to Creative Castle where I will teach it along with Under the mast the weekend of September 25th. Carole and I determined that this was my tenth year of teaching at Creative Castle, imagine! I also have many friends that I look forward to seeing!

And then the fourth will be on it's way to Beads By Blanche where I will teach October 1-3rd. The second project will be Queen Anne's Lace and the third unnamed as of sort of a surprise. It's a lovely piece but I may not unveil it until the end of August when it will be featured as a Beadwork Challenge piece. Suffice it to say, it's very feminine, incredibly wearable and a new favorite!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The speed beaders among us

It seems in every class there are one, sometimes two 'speed beaders'. Nothing wrong with not being a speed beader, but I am always curious as to what makes some folks super fast. If you ask around in the class, everyone will know who the speed beader is because they are consistently the first to finish. It's not always the quiet ones either, but it does take sheer focus, continuing to pick up one bead after the other with little in between time.

What are their secrets? Are you a speed beader? Do you notice what you do differently?

I have a few theories and observations....

-keeping the beads close to you
-keeping the piles you will use next to one another in the order of use
-using shorter thread (the time you take weaving in new thread is negated by the amount of time you aren't doing 2 or 3 thread pulls per bead)
-passing through multiple beads before completing the thread pull
-having an intuitive color sense so your not slowed down by color angst

Do you have theories and observations to share?

There are times I want to bead meditatively and enjoy the zen of the stitch, but there are definitely times a little speed would help. Like in completing two aurelia samples in the next couple of days!

In knitting there are 'the fastest knitter' competitions. I have a few folks I might nominate for the fastest beader. Not naming names....but 4 urchin beads....

well that is pretty much a record!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Full Moon over Niagara

Sunday night Debi of Beads of Colour and husband David graciously offered to drive us to Niagara Falls, the Canadian side. We took the QEW and noticed some significant traffic on the outbound route, while driving in, but chose to stay in denial.

We blissfully viewed the falls from several vantage points, witnessing a rainbow as well as the full moon rising over the falls. It was truly awe inspiring and we loved it.

Here are two pictures shot by Mark of the falls
and Debi and I enjoying the falls.

We then returned to the car for the 45 minute drive home.....however that was not to be, three separate traffic jams, all due to roadwork

and three hours and twenty minutes later we arrived back at our B&B. Thanks David, you chauffeured us beautifully and never lost your cool.

Niagra Falls!

Here is Chrisina, a beautiful shot I think,
And Barbara who has signed up for all 6 days of class, great shot and look at that gorgeous necklace
And my breakfast! Ton is a delightful host and good cook. Breakfast was a traditional Dutch pancake complete with chocolate shavings.

Another wonderful day at Beads of Colour. Debi made a wonderful lunch of carrot soup, greek salad and various side dishes and desserts. The weather broke and we enjoyed lunching outside with much less humidity.

Success was had by many as the urchin beads came together, and much more fun today.

The evening consisted of a nice meal, of which I've had many in my travels, and then a ride out to Niagra Falls where we watched first a rainbow and then a full moon rise over the falls. The power of the falls, the color, the smell, all were breathtaking and I'm so glad that Dave and Debi were gracious enough to take us on the long ride. Thank you!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Beads of Colour

I'm in Dundas now, about an hour outside of Toronto and it is charming. Old houses, lovely gardens, much greenery, beads and yarn, could it get better (well it could be less humid) Although having said that, and as uncomfortable as it is for us Californians, my skin is all's not usually dewey in California.

The store, Beads of Colour, is wonderfully eclectic with treasure to be found in all kinds of nooks and crannies. The classroom is in the midst of the store so the nooks and crannies call me and distract me while I'm teaching. The vintage chain is especially amazing, much chain that I've never seen the likes of before. Debi has a great eye for bringing together a wonderful mix of components and has a stellar selection of seed beads as well. See how distracted I am, I meant to tell you about the teaching. Yesterday was Portico pendant and everyone enjoyed great success.

Twin speed beaders Tiena and Christina both finished pendants and started on variations of their own (Their not really twins, but man are they both fast). Portico pendant is like that, once you finish one, there are so many thought processes for different combinations of the diamond and ellipse.

Barbara used a color lined etched bead in a denimy blue that I had never seen and the results were amazing (where was that camera, well I was distracted as I said) There is a nice feeling in the store, a lot of love and sharing.

Barb comes today. You can't help but love Barb she is an artist and full of enthusiasm. I met her last year with the rest of the ladies at Beadfest.

My I'm chatty today.....well here is a promised picture of our beautiful B&B.

Yesterday we had a buffet breakfast with fruit, yogurt, bagels, scones, fresh bread, cereal and then we were served apple cinnamon french toast, fresh squeezed orange juice and coffee. Yes there are only two of us!

And Debi took me out to the Needle Emporium on our lunch break. I'm afraid there were more yarn purchases involved.....The store was very well stocked and owner Julie was delightful to talk with.

Today, day one of Urchin Lariat, tonight Niagra falls. I didn't mention but Debi's husband David is a wonderful host who has offered to take us to the falls. Mark is taking his own self guided tour of the many smaller waterfalls in Dundas today. We're both hoping for cooler weather!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

On to Dundas

But first, a couple of photos from BeadFX and Toronto

Here are friends Susan and Sandy

who showed up all sparkly and ready to bead. It's no wonder they chose Queen Annes Lace with the 232 crystals. I also had in class the prolific Tiena who showed me two beautiful pair of medici drop earrings and a Quetzal ring from the book. And Louise who arrived wearing a perfectly done Rings of Saturn. The very accomplished Jo-Ann, the super helpful Janice,

and Barbara who will be joining me in Dundas as well. Even Marg got to sit and bead with us!

Friday we perused Queen Street East and King street where Mark and I both enjoyed Lee Valley Tools and then I enjoyed yarn and ribbon shopping while Mark enjoyed ice cream.

Beads of Colour owner Debi and husband David picked us up and we enjoyed the pretty ride out to Dundas. They've put us up in a lovely B&B where I surprised the Dutch host with greeting him in Dutch 'Goede Avonds'. The place is charming all over and I will take pictures for you, soon.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beautifully hosted

I've been at BeadFX for two days and today is the third. I have been beautifully hosted by Marg with assistance from Cynthia, Janice, Sola and Stephanie. I've eaten the most amazing food, in fact I should stop, but it is all so good. Below are photos from last nights Indian meal at Amaya. I've been weak at photos this week, but the food photos are for Rachel. Stephanie pointed out Rachel's penchant for taking food photos.

Stephanie Dixon, the Dixon Chick joined us and we had lots of laughs and good catching up. This is a funny job where I have people I totally love in my life and I only get a few minutes once or twice a year. But then that makes them really good intense minutes.

The previous night Cynthia joined Mark and I and shepherded us to a great meal at Milestones Grill where Mark tried their signature Bellini. Personally I don't go in for frufru drinks, think peach slushie....but it was quite pretty. You should have a look at Cynthia's blog (although if you do that today you will be seeing pictures of me) but Cynthia is a prolific and dedicated blogger with lots of interesting posts.

BeadFX is a well stocked store for the bead enthusiast, and is especially good for multiple disciplines. Me..... being the seed bead, crystal girl I am, I was in heaven. But there are lots of findings, Vintaj, tools, lampwork, chain and such. And the store is light and bright with lots of room, including a full lampwork classroom.

Tomorrow I have my one day off between venues and will visit Queen street. Janice who works at BeadFx drew me a map of all the spots I should fit in. I'm looking forward to vintage beads and ribbon and Lee Valley tools and Camper shoes and....I do like my shopping, thanks Janice!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Teaching in Toronto

We arrived after an uneventful travel day and were greeted by the lovely Marg who drove through the city with ease (something I'm always in awe of, tending towards neurosis in my driving style) and checked us into the downtown Chelsea Delta hotel.

After an early Thai dinner which was excellent, I retired for a little rest, after all vacation can be hard work!

Today I will teach the Bellisimo beaded bead at BeadFX. I'm beside myself with excitement, can't wait to see the large crystal and seed bead selections! Bellisimo is great fun because of the endless variation that can be accomplished.

The original was beaded on a sailing vacation down the Aeolian coast of Italy, with a new bead completed each day in each port. That was an excellent trip full of wonderful memories. We started in Naples, stopped in Amalfi, Capris, Cefalu, Santorini and ended in Sicily. We did a night sail to see the erupting volcano Stromboli. We viewed the eruptions for 20 minutes when we heard mayday, mayday, batten down the hatches and head to Santorini, there is a huge storm coming. Not being the sailor in the family, that was not my idea of a good time, but we made it into port just in time and were 'stranded' for 3 days. What a place to be stranded, it was excellent.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lark Book giveaway

A chance to win not one, but all three of the master class series books, signed by their respective authors.

That would be Diane Fitzgerald's Shaped Beadwork, Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence and Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving.

What do you have to do? It's pretty darn simple, click here and leave a comment...

and have a look around while you're there, lot's of good information on Lark's new craftblog. Hurry, you know you'd love to have a signed trilogy!


The dogs are looking forlornly into the living room where I am
knitting on Kiri.

On the bead front I've worked out a great new design for my Alaskan
cruise with Creative Castle next year!

Today I'm off to Toronto to teach at Bead FX, followed by Beads of

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Friday, July 16, 2010


just makes you want to enter!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Another Kiri

yep, couldn't resist this gorgeous color in silk mohair, pretty!

pretty in pink

flowers are everywhere! thriving in this moist heat.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fashionable Dog collar

Casie, (owned by the Bad Liz) sports a crystallized dog collar,
fanfare from Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence, beaded by Liz! Maya
is going to be jealous.....Doesn't Casie look fabulous? Doesn't your
dog deserve a 14 gross of crystal dog collar? Casie's is jet and jet can tell she loves it!

yarn store!

Mark plays with the store dog at Sheep to Shore while he waits for the
yarn shopping to be done.

Monday, July 12, 2010

beautiful skies

cool breezes......madaket is the name of our cottage which I find
fitting.....maddesigns... mark and I each have MAD initials, perfect!

a sweet ride!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jeanette Ahlgren

I've seen her work in print, never in person. Breathtaking! Dane
Gallery in Nantucket.

Quintessential Nantucket

brambling roses and weathered picket fences....

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Off to Nantucket

We're taking the ferry, I'm taking my Dramamine......

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

upright suitcases...or

I'm not sure the name for the upright suitcases, there is one, but it escapes me at the moment. What I really want to point out is how far we've come. It used to be, not that very long ago that we carried suitcases, then there was the wheels with the strap that pulled them along, but they tended to tip over, then we got the rollaboards....much better, but as they got bigger they tended to really drag on that shoulder and the heavier they were, the more drag....

The uprights, spinners, well, they are brilliant. I can manage two large ones, two large heavy ones myself, well Liz helps at times.

Which all brings me to remembering.......

stockings with garters
ibm selectric typewriter with whiteout tape
whiteout tape
punch cards
floppy discs
panty hose
knee highs

oh my gosh, am I old? What outdated things do you remember? video stores? vhs tape, beta max, compuserve, walkman, palm pilot.....

I'm packed into my new medium size Samsonite upright with 4 wheels, off to Nantucket on vacation!

Will update you all on my trip. First up, Norwood, my growing up town. I'll be showing Mark around, he's never been.

And a warm farewell to my girls, I'll be back soon. Love you all. Susan, you'll be fine, I'll bring you a Boston present.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

4th of July on the Bay

San Diego Bay.....and the high rise Hilton hotel, very modern contemporary, beautiful lobby, and fireworks from the 19th floor! This is where we stayed on the 4th.

Prior to our outing we went to party where the host built a Jenga game out of 2 x 4's.

Here is my engineer studying the problem.....

He was not the one to knock down the game.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Victoria Earrings

Another pair, yes! I am currently enamored with my pink bronze orange palette and needed a new pair of earrings...I finished these beading on the veranda in the early morning.

And yes I am still being influenced by the scissors!

I happen to love wearing these earrings. When your hair is short and white, a little sparkle helps.

I am almost caught up on shipping and will be 'closing' the store during my trip to the East Coast and Toronto. There is entirely no need to panic, the store will be open again at the end of July, I will tell you when, and there will be plenty of kits.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

23 years!

How is that possible. I've been married to Mark for 23 years. They've been good years......married in White Bear Lake, Minnesota on the 4th of July l987. Our three children were 7, 9 an 10, looking adorable in their wedding finery. They're grown now of course, having their own children and weddings.

We spent their growing up years in Santa Cruz, California, a place I am still incredibly enamored of. West Cliff and East Cliff ocean walks are among the most beautiful in the world.

2003 brought us to San Diego and post children and post corporate lives, and BEADS of course. Our move to a downtown condo proved to be not what we imagined and we've since bought our home and continue to work to make it ours.

Life is good and I wouldn't have done it any differently......... I love you honey!

Friday, July 2, 2010


This post is for Susan, who expected yard pictures! Progress is being made. Our son Brian came to help last week and finally it was time to pour concrete into our backyard hardscape.

I decided, although our house was built in 1940, being art deco it has a very modern look and we've furnished and decorated accordingly. I love modern contemporary so it all works out. I like the concrete aggregate with nice strong clean geometric lines. There will of course be much landscaping around this softening up the look, along with some color, maybe umbrellas, maybe lounge chairs, maybe big colorful pots, all that remains to be seen.

The frames were built

The cement truck arrived

And here is the result

Next up will be the landscaping.....oh and the big cement pad with no stone....that will hold the hot tub, and two firepits, all with a sunset view!


Should your scissors match your beadwork?

When at all possible yes! And I'm working on that. Here are my latest pair of special edition Ghingers.

And my first pair

and I've others as well (four to be exact). I love a nice tool and these pretty little patterned scissors make me smile. If your lucky your local JoAnns Fabrics sometimes carries them and you can use your 40% off coupon making them a more affordable little luxury.

Do you have a favorite beading luxury? One that makes you smile? A needlcase perhaps (mine pictured here from Debra Smith) or a beading mat or....?