Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Art of Fashion

This years teaming up of the Fashion Career College and the Timken Museum, The Art of Fashion occurred on August 28th and for the first time I was lucky to be home! Several Fashion Career College students are invited to create a costume inspired by the art at the Timken Museum in San Diego's Balboa park.

I haven't been able to attend previous years, but I was in awe of this years entries.

Here is one beautiful example. Everything was done impeccably, fashion, shoes, jewelry and hair.

In this case by designer Jesus Estrada.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Queen Annes Lace

A new colorway for Queen Annes Lace. My friend Susan finished this beautiful version.

The colors are absolutely stunning, with 232 crystal copper 3 mm bi-cones and the gorgeous volcano button. I love this one!

I'll be teaching Queen Annes Lace at Beads by Blanche the first weekend in October. Blanche has all the other samples, but I will begging Susan to borrow this one so you can all see how pretty it is!

I'm in one of those moods where all I want to do is bead (or knit), anything to do with using my hands to create.....unfortunately there are other things that need doing as well. Today I need to get a handle on the past due kitting, shipping, direction writing, reservation making and the like so I can get back to the beads. There is a Rings of Saturn waiting for some attention, and a few new ideas brewing.

Friday, August 27, 2010

JoAnna fabric

in Lemon Grove.....my home town, carrying Marcia DeCoster's Beaded

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rings of Saturn is Ten!

Rings of Saturn graced the cover of the 18 month calendar 2001 a Bead Odyssey.

But the piece was designed and taught in the year 2000. At the time I was bead partners with Linda and together we became MarLin beads. Those were our early early days of teaching.

Now ten years later Rings of Saturn remains a favorite, with the rings revolving around the center core.

I decided it was time for an update. I think quite possibly my skills and color sense have improved in ten years. I am doing a silver and gold, ten year anniversary, special edition Rings of Saturn.

When it is complete I will offer the Rings of Saturn Special Edition Kit!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Lark book giveaway!

This is one you most definitely want to try to win. The entire 500 jewelry series! Click here to be transported to Lark's link for this giveaway. You need only comment to win, and what an amazing win it would be. The books contain exceptional photos of consistently excellent work by todays leading artists in many different mediums.

Good luck!

Amalfi Coast Beadventure, Oh my Gosh

You have no idea how much I wish I were available to do this trip. The Amalfi Coast with two of my favorite people, Maggie Meister and Gail Crosman Moore, in one of my all time favorite places.

In the late 1990's I traveled from Naples to Siciliy along the Amalfi coast on a sailboat. It is one of my all time favorite memories. The people of Italy are so passionate, the architecture so pure, the weather was temperate and the scenery magnificent.

This is a Beadventure trip with Maggie and Gail. And if you didn't know Maggie is practically a native of Naples having lived there for many years forming relationships and becoming fluent in the language. She is the perfect guide not to mention being huge fun. Oh I want to go so badly.....but sadly given that I plan my committments months in advance I am not available.

It is short notice, but perhaps spontaneity will strike you. I expect it will be a lifetime memory if you were to go!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Studio shots

I cleaned up the studio last week. Picked up everything off the counters, washed them all down and re-arranged the vignettes.

This one is a favorite with my Jonathan Adler (Mark is not a fan so they live happily in my studio) and my cool greens. Notice my cute little dragon ala Christi Friesen over on the right! And my Marilyn Moore wire basket, a treat from last years Beadfest.

Jet ab2x

I use a lot of these......I do not want to run out.....I think I have it covered for awhile....

there are 232 in Queen Annes Lace

and 144 in Crystal medallion bracelet,

and I am thinking that the new Alaskan Cruise design 'Dancing Light' will have a black and jet ab2x version. Wait, maybe I need more.

Perhaps Katie, I do need those large containers from the container store!

Same crystal, different batches. You never know if you are going to get the yellow green jet ab2x or the blue one. Either way, it's a magic crystal, I love it!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Yes that was my weekend! I seem to be rebelling against the to do list and took some time to bead for beadsake. Not to worry though, I made substantial progress on my Alaskan cruise piece. No previews until Carole has seen it, but it should make it's debut sometime this week. It is done in purply and bronze metallics and colorado topaz ab2x, surprise! There are lots of crystals and lots of sparkle.

But I did take a minor Sunday morning break to make this ring

and then add this outer layer, for those events when I feel the need to wear an over the top ring!

There are a lot of little things and quite a few big ones to get done this week...and it's going to be hot. I knew it was coming, we had a really mild 70 degree summer so far and then last week the inevitable high 90 weather arrived. I truly don't prefer to be hot, I do not look forward to the studio being 80, it is currently 77 at 9:00 a.m. We don't run the air until the inside of the house gets to 79, but my studio was a once open air room, since closed in. The roof is tin and it has lots of windows. Did I mention it gets hot and I don't like being hot? Yes I think I did.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bead Studio Deep Clean

It's due, the studio that is, for a really deep clean. The kind that ferrets out unused bits in the backs of cabinets and makes room to put away everything that is currently cluttering up the counter tops.

I think it will be day long, maybe weekend long and the impetus to start is not quite with me, but yet I know I won't return to my creative self until there is room and openess and a huge desire to be in the studio.

I've been taking my beads and going to the family room or the veranda....it's not really conducive to design considerations, as each new bead decision requires a trip into the studio to retrieve the new bead.

I seem to have too much stuff to put it all away and surely some of it is not required to be taking up space.

My plan is to pick up everything that is on a cabinet top and put it on the big table. Then clean out spaces that have gotten clogged with unused stuff, then put away everything on the big table with the newfound space.

If all goes as planned I will then return to the calenderized to do list, not too far behind and I will design and bead and kit and keep the studio in some semblance of order.

Oh and did I mention Beki of Out on a Whim is coming by tomorrow for a bit of play. That just may add a tiny bit of motivation to having things a tad more in order....

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Design Dilemna

I'm working on a new piece. It is component oriented, with the same component in various sizes and I love it! The component that is.......now how to make it all come together. I have a pleasing arrangement, but so far the technical aspect of the connections so that the components lay correctly and maintain their shape is escaping me. I know several ways that don't work.....and it would be really good if today I found the way that does work. Deadlines have a way of insuring that.

And speaking of deadlines, very soon, likely by Aug 31st, the second annual Beading by the Bay will be open for registration. There will be a two week window where people who attended last year will be able to register. After that general registration will occur! I can tell you the pieces are wonderful, Jean Campbell, Maggie Meister and myself will be teaching. Stay tuned to the blog....or go join the mailing list and I'll keep you informed.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Color Sense

Some folks just have an innate sense of color. I think such is the case for Barb, who I first met last year at BeadFest and again at Beads of Colour in Dundas. Barb showed me this exquisite bracelet which takes it's color cues from the beautiful lampwork bead featured at it's center.

It's a pallette different then my ususal matte and shiny metallics, or my bright fun colors. It is one I am definitely drawn to, and I need to spend some time examining how I might move in that direction.

I think help is at hand since I just came across Margie Deeb's '7 Strategies for Extracting Pallettes' I haven't had a look yet, but each of Margie's color publications has a lot to offer.

Thanks to Barb for letting me photo her beautiful piece!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Home, sweet home.....

I've been on the road forever, or so it seems.....I left July 7th for vacation in Nantucket, followed by teaching in Toronto and Dundas, breezed home for seven days during which I submitted my Bead and Button proposals,

put together a few kits, packed up the car and drove to Oakhurst where I taught for three days. Off to Santa Cruz for visiting and a little respite with friends and family and then onto San Mateo where I taught for one day.

I finally was able to download all of my pictures and have picked out some highlights to share.

Here is a Nantucket doorway. I love the color and the scrollwork. It is about as opposite from my home as is possible....I live in an art deco home with modern contemporary furnishings....but I also love the other end of the spectrum and could easily imagine myseslf living here.

Petunias, a sure sign of an East Coast summer with the sun streaming through them.

Bunches of colorful carrots taken at Volante Farms in Needham.

Our last travel evening was dinner with the family, and my camera failed me. Turns out I had accidently moved the lens switch from auto to manual focus, so you won't see my beautiful family this time around.

Time to bead! I have an excellent start on my Alaskan cruise piece. A component I love, waiting to be strung into a beautiful necklace....coming soon....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bead Classes

I had an excellent week last week. Bracketed by two weekends of teaching with a week of visiting friends and family in between. I love Northern California, the rocky coastline, crashing waves and even the fog. It's been a cold summer there, apparently the coldest in the last 40 years with days on end without sunshine. But since Southern California where I live is filled with sunshine a few days visit into overcast days was welcome.

A highlight was the American Craft Council show where there were many accomplished artists in many different mediums. Dear friends Rachel Nelson Smith and Maggie Meister were both exhibiting. I took public transportation into the city from Burlingame and walked past Ghiradelli Square, and along the water.

Susan and I had dinner in a San Mateo wine bar. Sadly I don't remember the name, but they had the most excellent bruschetta. We split four, gorgonzola with honey, marscapone with proscuitto and figs, ricotta with dates and pistachio, and basil, tomatoe and mozzarella. Enjoyed with a glass of wine and a three piece jazz trio. A very lovely evening.

Saturday I taught Aurelia

for the first time. I've taught for the Beading Frenzy every year for the past ten years so I walked into to a classroom full of people that I know. I love meeting new folks, but there is also something incredibly special walking in and knowing every single person by name and by history. Fae, Judy and Lynn we're all met at Tahoe last year, or Beading by the Bay or both. (pssstt....I've seen Maggies and Jean's Beading by the Bay pieces and you are going to love them! More later this week, when I'll give you details!) Karin has taken classes with me in Clovis and last weekend in Oakhurst and again this past weekend. And the rest of the class are all old friends from the beginning of my beading career.

One of the great joys of teaching a new piece is seeing all of the different color combinations and Aurelia was no exception. Here are a few....

This is Fae's. If you start with the pinky gold metallic bead and then add some turquoise and jet ab2x, well pretty much I'm going to love it.

And Karin's, with a volcano sequin and a turquoise ab2x. The matte 'spine' bead sets it all off beautifully. Karen later decided to change to a sage sequin which made the medallion a more analagous and beautiful colorway.

Next up we have Mary and it wouldn't be Mary if there weren't pink. The blueish/pinkish/purplish matte seed bead was the perfect backdrop. Other excellent colorways were also underway. (I have no idea why Mary's upload took the landscape photo and made it portrait!)

Friday, August 13, 2010

salt and pepper

it's true. I have a weakness for salt and pepper shakers. I have quite
a lot of them. This pair was just gifted to me and I am totally in
love! They are brilliant for the veranda. perhaps a crab bake?

Miss Maya

We're lucky that when we travel there are any number of people who like to look after Miss Maya. Often my daughter Casey will take her but Jeannette likes to have her turn as well. Miss Maya is an easy girl, she's happy anywhere there are people to pay attention, and at Jeannette's house she has Jasmine, Hisser and GE to play with.

Here is Miss Maya being all studious....Jeannette captioned this, Maya picking out beads, but she kind of looks like she's at a poker table to me......Thanks Jeannette, she's having so much fun I wonder if she'll want to come live with her parents again!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

my latest

My latest Kate McKinnon ring which I haven't taken off for two weeks.
Perhaps you want one of your own? www.katemckinnon.com

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Santa Cruz!

It feels wonderful to be 'home' in Santa Cruz. This is where I met Mark, grew up our family together, worked in my corporate career and began my beading career. Two of my children still live in the area and my grandchildren live here. I have dear friends and many memories.

I'm staying in Ben Lomond, and yesterday we had lunch at Takara, visited Annie Glass in Watsonville (Yes Susan, there was more dishware involved) and Wisteria in Soquel. First on todays list is to write directions, but then I'm off to meet a friend. In my early forays into bead artistry, Paula was instrumental in encouraging me to believe in myself as an artist. She guided me in exercises to strengthen my beliefs and quiet my doubts and I grew into the artist I am today from that beginning. It will be a joy to meet up with her for lunch.

In Ben Lomond I have enjoyed the daily visiting of the deer! Not something I see a lot of in San Diego and not quite the Moose sighting in Alaska, but delightful to watch.

Tomorrow I visit Rachel for a walk on West Cliff, one of my all time favorite walks!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Oh My...

Blogless and no photos! Internet has been sparse to non existent and we've been busy girls! I arrived Thursday night after a 7 hour drive up the mostly boring highway 99, turning onto highway 41 for the last bit and winding through mountains towards Yosemite.

Friday, 20 eager gals from the Central California Bead Society joined me in a comfortable, well lit, air conditioned meeting room and made the medallions of Descending Nights. Karen made a stunning color combination with Dorado fire polish and turquoise ab2x crystals with a crystal ab center briolette. Beautiful! And Anya (another in my series of Dutch influences this last month and half, have I posted? perhaps not, I should) made a wonderful variation of the medallion which was worn on a simple chain to dinner. Many returned after dinner to a night of beading, me I curled up in bed with my current book on tape and knitted!

Saturday and today were or will be spent working on various itierations of portico/aberge bracelet/pendants. They were done during a period of particularly fickle design time when every diamond and ellipse had a different idea of how it might be used. It gives eveyone lots of options, but takes me a couple of minutes to wrap my brain around every question since there are subtle variations depending on which design one is doing. It keeps things exciting though!

Tonight I drive to Santa Cruz to visit with old friends (I was 30 when we met, that is an incredibly long time to know someone) and I'm looking forward to catching up. And walks on West Cliff, and crashing waves and drives through the redwoods.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

I won $3.00

Yep, I'm a really big gambler....I'm staying at a casino hotel outside of Oakhurst where I'm teaching tomorrow. It was this or the comfort inn for twice as much money, so I chose Chukchansi resort and casino. The room is totally up to my standards, but I find casinos odd....Although I did gamble a whole $10.00 and when it became $13.00, I cashed out.

I dont know what has happened to the cost of hotel rooms, but I find them totally unreasonable these days. Over $200 for a basic room, crazy! So I opted for hotwire which I've had success with before and scored a 4 start SF airport hotel for under $100....very good.

Hotels don't lend themselves to beading with their notoriously poor light, so I've spent the evening with mindless TV and my latest Kiri, a beautiful bright aqua silk mohair.

Live blogging from the classroom tomorrow! Stay tuned.

Maya is hopeful

However she is about to be evicted by the Papa!

Off to teach!

I'm off to the Central California Bead Society's annual retreat, this one in Oakhurst (near Yosemite) I'm teaching Descending Nights on Friday

and Aberge or Portico on Saturday and Sunday.

It's not that I don't know which one, it's that I offered a choice. Both are part of the diamond and ellipse series and Aberge requires just a tad more, shall we say focus, then portico. Eight people have chosen 'focus' and 12 have chosen Portico....

In Aberge, the tip of one ellipse becomes the interior of the next which just requires some due diligence to insure all beads are in their proper place.

I'll leave from Oakhurst for a trip to Santa Cruz, visiting with friends and family, including MsRachel. I'll walk on West Cliff, shop at Sock Shop Santa Cruz and Annie Glass and eat at Mobo Sushi.

On Friday I'll meet Susan my Beading by the Bay partner and owner of the Beading Frenzy and we'll travel up to the American Craft Council show at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Both Maggie Meister and Rachel Nelson Smith will have their amazing beadwork there.

And on Saturday I finish up by teaching Aurelia (it's teaching debut!) at The Beading Frenzy in San Mateo.

It's going to be a grand week!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I'm busy finishing up my Bead and Button proposals for next years show. Every year right around this time, proposals are due. The original piece is required to be sent which I think is a good thing because more care can go into the jurying process, but.....it does mean you need to have an original to spare.....not always easy when you are working with brand new pieces which are also required to be store samples. So I found myself beading both a new Aurelia colorway and the Rising Sun over the past few days.

Here is the new Aurelia color.

Aurelia was designed in January while on an outing to Ojai. I think lots of my best design work is done while vacationing. Not traveling, since I do that so often to beading engagements, and more often then not I don't bead while I'm on that kind of travel. But give me a few days to relax somewhere and design almost always happens.

My Alaska piece was like that (Alaskan Cruise with Carole Tripp of Creative Castle), designed during my Nantucket vacation. Well the components were designed that is, and now it is time for the 'rest of the story' which means the components now need to present themselves into some of wearable jewelry. The trouble is I can see many possible outcomes and I have to decide on the best one soon! That will be my next challenge once the applications are done and my preparation for the Central California Bead Society retreat is finished.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Rising Sun

A brand new design (yes you got the iphone shot yesterday when it was newly finished, below are the better photos).....The Bead and Button proposal deadline is close and although I have two new bracelets, I decided on Friday I wanted a third new option and began beading.....Friday afternoon at the Grove, Saturday on the veranda, finishing up with a shorter beading session Sunday afternoon.

I love the texture of the band,the staggered bumps, the colorplay, and the bezel is a clever bit of beadweaving which nicely captures the button.

It's a rare day when Mark says stunning, but that is what he said and then he named it the Rising Sun. He enjoys having input. He was responsible for the decision to go with a round focal medallion and the center button. I must say I think he had a good design aesthetic here, the bracelet looks really really pretty on. I hate the thoughts of mailing it off so soon, but I must.