Tuesday, September 28, 2010


Yep, I didn't name it, but I do love it. I have a challenge piece, page 14 of this issue of Beadwork October/November, Peter Sewell piece on the cover....

I love Peter's design aesthetic, clean lines, unfussy, geometric, stunning, and his romantic side. He spoke of designing his favorite piece for his wife on the 19th anniversary of their meeting. Mark and I always celebrate our first date, with a red rose for every year....we're up to 27, it's getting expensive, but worth it.

And my challenge piece

Challenge beads provided by Stony Creek Bead and Gallery, Ypsilanti, Michigan. Liz, the bad Liz teaches there.


Margie Deeb puts together an excellent publication. Over the years I've participated in a few of her books and color reports. I am always pleased with how beautifully she treats each subject. Her graphics are arranged artfully and there is an amazing amount of knowledge to be gained.

One of her latest, Instant Holiday Glam, Color Palettes of Splendor, is no exception.

Many splendid pieces show off the color choices and Margie't text helps you to understand what it takes to develop your own holiday color palettes.

Who knows which one of these beautiful color choices I may choose for the next Rising Sun, or Aurelia, or Carousel.....

sunrise on the veranda

the forecast promises to be cooler then yesterdays 108 but having just
enjoyed the sunrise from the veranda with a temp of 78 degrees at 6:30
a.m. I'm not so sure. The flowers however, are most happy!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Under the Mast Three?!

This weekend I drove North of LA to Newbury Park to teach at Creative Castle. I've taught there for the past ten years so I feel totally at home with lots of returning students, a welcoming store and staff and this weekend several delightful new folks to meet.

We started out on Saturday making Under the Mast. Chris who started taking my classes maybe 5 years ago, always does beautiful work, bringing her own style and eye for color to any piece she does. She was wearing a beautiful version of Descending Nights from last years Beading by the Bay. She started out with a vintage amethyst crystal and proceeded to bead this exquisite version of Under the Mast.

And a beautiful picture of a smiling Chris. She started this Saturday at 10:00 and here she is wearing it Sunday morning.

Day two we moved onto Aurelia and once again there were many beautiful colors. Chris did an antique brass looking bead with black accents, sand opal crystals and loch rosen and an accent of pf470, look for it, it's a beautiful color.

Cheryls' was silver, dark silver and accents of blue,

Cathy's was dark brown with a muted pink and a volcano loch rosen, Michelles was silver and a beautiful blue zircon loch rosen, Hannah was doing black and silver, spectacular....

I want to make them all. Several folks were going to change up the design into a necklace which I'm all for. I think the component will make a beautiful necklace. We discussed several possible variations. For those of you reading who are making Aurelia components and thinking variation, please send pictures!

Someone in the shop, created this gorgeous version of 'Gabriella' a project in the book Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence. This one instead of stone used light gold metallic crystal on one side and pearls on the other. Quite stunning!

Sunday, September 26, 2010


Marlene at Creative Castle owns Bailey. What a love, long haired

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rings of Saturn Special Edition Debut

For those of you whose interest was piqued by the special edition of Rings of Saturn....here it is!

All sparkles with gold and silver, shiny and matte, with 2 mm crystal ab's studded through the ridges, catching the light and twinkling so beautifully. The necklace is size 15 silver metal beads and size 11 gold russian spiral, a tad time consuming but so worth it....oh and the occasional 2 mm crystal ab in place of the gold so that the sparkle extends up your neckline.

It was wonderful to take an older design and bring a fresh perspective to it. I love the little striped ringlet and the touch of dorado loch rosen's on the bail and the Russian spiral necklace.

I hope to be wearing it soon, but the part of the necklace you see in the photo, well that is all there is. It is going to take some serious beading sessions to complete and right now I am in kit production mode. But I do have 5 hours on a plane next week,uninterrupted beading time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Yes, my favorite Gingher limited edition scissors all got jewelry yesterday.

I've gifted some pairs, all bejeweled to match the pattern, while mine were all naked. So yesterday I got out the pliers and wire-wrapped a few color coordinated danglies! Now back to real work...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Beading by the Bay

Mark the Date - Registration opens Friday October 1st for this extraordinary retreat!

Maggie Meister, Jean Campbell and Marcia DeCoster will be bringing you three fabulous projects in a beautiful venue on San Francisco Bay March 11, 12 and 13th. And we've managed to keep an economy friendly price point so that more of you can join in the fun.

Many of last years participants have already signed up (we've allowed them a two week head start) and on October 1st you can too! In the meantime, click here for more details or to join our mailing list.

New Rising Sun

Hhhmmm....black and gold, maybe it's a rising sun with an eclipse?

I'm busy working on the second Rising Sun in preparation for teaching it at Blanches in a couple of weeks. I always like to make at least two before I write directions. Often times I will find a better thread path or change things up a little bit. After looking at the first, I see that I've done the bezel differently and the second one has a better fit.

The orange and turquoise sample is going in the mail to Blanche today, so if you've been waiting to see it, it should be there by Thursday. Have a look, I think you will like it!

I love the different gold and bronze metallics in this one. I will also be teaching it at Bead and Button in June. Between now and then there will be a third colorway. I'll go button shopping while in Manhattan and the color will be informed by whatever wonderful buttons I find there. I am quite sure that in the garment district I will be able to find exactly the right thing.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


I decided to take the day to experience art at Coronado's artwalk. This was a beautiful venue on the bay side of Coronado at the ferry landing. The weather was picture perfect, with clear skies, a nice breeze and mild temperatures.

I met friends on the ferry ride over, and together we perused the artists booths. First up was my friend Val whose space was really made beautiful by her wonderful artwork and the artful arrangements. Val's specialty is needle felting together with recycled wool. Her work is always finished so beautifully, inside and out.

Look at the car fabric on her top,

and the scooter fabric on the backpack.

The backpack is a work of art and I am pretty sure I need one.

On the way over I ran into Heather who let me know that Cindy Teyro would be there with her teapots, but also her new face collection.....This one came home with me to live in the studio.

There was no way to resist that darling face and those dangling crystals.

Mark and I strolled along the bay and had a sushi lunch at the fish market. It was an excellent day!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

And the verdict is......

The Bad Liz and I will be teaching our very first class together! Tuesday June 7th we will co teach our collaboration 'Under the Mast II'.

I'll also be teaching 'Under the Mast' the original on Friday, so there will plenty of opportunity to create your own personal affirmation necklace. Before bezeling your fancy stone, you may write a personal affirmation, or if your making a gift, an exclamation of love, or a favorite quote, whatever strikes your fancy. When I described this to Mark, he shared the story of a sailboat being built and a coin being placed under the mast for good luck.

Last years class was sold out with 20 students, and every single person had success with many coming close to finishing in class. This is one of my favorite pieces to wear and also to create and gift to dear friends. In my circle of girls, we each made one, and they all say 'celebrating the creative connection'. I love being able to write a message .....now that I think of it, Under the Mast II is in my possession, and I've been wearing it and I have no idea what it says since it belongs to Liz!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Under the Mast II

Several years ago I was fortunate to meet Liz at the Great Lakes Bead Guild. You know when you have that instant connection with someone and you just work seamlessly together. It was like that with Liz. Ever since she has been my competent assistant at Bead and Button and I don't think I would be very good in the classroom without her.

But Liz is also an accomplished bead artist. This year, at pretty much the eleventh hour we came up with this brilliant plan to do a collaboration for a Bead and Button Class.

'Hey Liz, what about my Under the Mast turned on it's side and your tiny litte bezeled rivolis dangling beneath?'

And Liz made one, staggering the demure little sparklies.....and we sent it off

We love it! Will Bead and Button, we hope so! Stay Tuned for a Liz and Marcia class at Bead and Button.

Belgium Beer Dinner

Last night we went for dinner at the Wine Vault and Bistro. The usually do wine pairings, but last night was Belgium Beer and it was excellent. The menu started with cold corn soup, basil oil, red pepper gelee and pickled corn. Next up was an African prawn with asian flavors, a tempura soft shell crab, braised lamb shank, pork tenderloin, all followed by a smoked chocolate mousse and salted caramel. Each dish accompanied by a 4 oz pour of Belgium beer. I was the nights designated driver so I had tastes of each. The food was excellent and the ambiance is nice, although tends toward being a little loud.

I dressed appropriately witih my Stella Artois earrings beaded for me by Kelly Angeley. Aren't they excellent!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Electric Beads

I spent the weekend in Nashville Tennesee where I was beautifully hosted by owners of Be Dazzled, Warren and James. Each day a group of accomplished beaders were busy with Victoria and Les Perles de la Mer and each evening was accompanied by great food and excellent conversation.

Warren fascinated me with his thoughtfulness about all aspects of the design process. I wish I were close enough to participate in the twice monthly study group.

Kathleen Lyman
, a puppeteer and a stellar bead artist is a teacher at Be Dazzled. Her designs are well thought out and her workmanship is impeccable. So when she wore this incredible bracelet to class,

I decided that I would need to own it. Well, this or one of 5 others that were at the store. I narrowed it down to two, one a purple iris on lime green, which is what I may have chosen, had it not seemed so predictably me.

The bracelet is crochet and the daggers stand at full attention. It's not always easy to work with daggers so that they stand out so perfectly, but it seems crocheting them works well.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy Birthday

To my dear sweet husband, who still looks like a baby face

and is still the love of my life! We wandered along the bay last night and had a leisurely dinner, followed by presents. Today he'll drive me to the airport and work on the backyard....but I did leave him a present for opening tonight!

Off to the Land of Odds

I'm intrigued, it has been a long while since I've shown up somewhere to teach that I've never been before. I'm excited to be going to the Land of Odss in Nashville Tennesee. Through the magic of social networking, I will meet someone that I 'know' on line and I love that. It's great to travel oall over this country and to reconnect with so many I beaders that I know from years of interaction, and it is equally great to travel somewhere totally new and meet beaders I've never met before.

I am traveling light, sans computer, but will keep up with the occassional iphone post for your reading pleasure.

Have fun!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Gingher Scissors

I have a weakness for these Gingher special edition scissors. (Link included for Lisa, but feel free to order your own pair)

Ahem, if we're counting, this could be my 5th pair....but they make me so incredibly happy, and it's a reasonably small price to pay. My local JoAnn's fabrics has taken to carrying them, and with the 40% off coupons that abound (you really don't even need to have one with you, just pick up a paper flyer on your way in the door, there is bound to be one in there)

Previous pairs have suggested palettes, wonder what I will do with black and white. They have a rather Zentangle feel to them.....

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Beading by the Bay 2011

2010 was our inaugral Beading by the Bay in San Francisco. Susan Kazarian, owner of the The Beading Frenzy in San Mateo and I dreamed up this wonderful concept while driving together to Tucson a couple of years ago.

Our first event was wildly successful so we look forward with much anticipation to the Beading by the Bay in March of 2011.

Here are some happy faces of the 2010 attendees.

Read about the fun we had here

And not ones to argue with success we invited Jean and Maggie to join us again. I'll be the third teacher and drumroll.....here are the projects.

in order of appearance

Carousel by Marcia, Sakura by Jean and Olivia by Maggie

Aren't they magical? We've extended exclusive registration to our first year's students, but not to worry, general registration will be open October 1st. Based on last year's success and our economy friendly price point, we are expecting a sell out event. I'll be sure to remind you again on October 1st when registration opens!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Zentangle anyone?

Last year Liz gifted me a zentangle box and that was my first zentangle experience....what is it? Meditative doodling, one stroke at a time art, I'm not entirely sure what defines it, but there is a website, so go have a look.

I came across it again, when I noticed Carole Ohl's blog. Carole is one of Beadworks Designer of the Years for 2010 and I have been following her work.

It turns out she has had some inspiration from her 'tangles' as they are called. As she explores with pen and ink and writes about life, she is inspired to bead some of the drawings she develops.

I so wish I could find years of doodles that I did during meetings and business calls in my corporate life. It is hard to imagine I would have thrown these away, but so far I have not uncovered their whereabouts. I think if I could find them they would bear a marked resemblance to Zentangle. I am intrigued and I suspect I will be using pen and paper to draw a few tangles of my own. I'm interested to see how this might inform my beadweaving.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


That is what I am up to.....I had a couple of samples that were a little too tired to take out in public anymore....I tend towards being a little irreverent with my jewelry and it travels a lot, sometimes getting a little beat up in the process.

That along with how much I've learned since some of those first samples were beaded. In this case I'm using the same colors because there are already kits based on those colors, but I did change up the way of doing things a bit, so I had to go in and revise directions.

But what this all brings me to, is that all of sudden I want to re-bead everything! Well not everything, but I am having color inspirations for many projects. I would love to make a new Romantica

in golds, with touches of pink and turquoise, and I would love to make another Victoria

with the gold metallic crystal and mauve (that sounds like such an old fashioned color) ok maybe a faded matte pink. And I would love to make a new Les Perles de la Mer

with the Antique brass pears as the accent bead and perhaps green crystals, although since light olivine was discontinued I don't know what green, maybe olivine ab....

And I am making a new gold and silver Rings of Saturn, and I need to make two more carousels, two more Rising Sun's

and I'm about half way through a new colorway of Crystal Collage with a 5th color planned....

Now if I just had some more time to bead!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Crystal Ring

I've been having fun with these rings. A first version went to friend Holli. It was silver b i-cones and a deep cobalt blue rectangular stone, and I didn't take a photo, but it looked amazing on her.

The second I wore sans collar, the large crystal studded outer ring which is removable. I had been going to make one for Val's birthday, but the colors didn't turn out as I hoped so I didn't bring it.....Val gushed over mine, and well what could I do but give it to her, it was her birthday afterall, and I loved that she loved it.

Val tends towards a bit more daintiness, so I still have the larger outer part, and a different inner, one made with volcano and bezeled with dorado. I love that I can change up the collar, and even flip it over for a non crystallized side (you know in case I would ever want to do that........)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Dancing Light!

A new piece, exclusively for next September's Alaskan Cruise with Carole Tripp of Creative Castle.

This piece's graceful movement comes from the cascading half circles, tipped with Swarovski crystal and nested into one another. The tearshaped toggle is a nice finish for the right angle weave rope. The main component is a clever bit of beadweaving, a surprise cicular ladder stitch.

There will be two more colors, one likely in black with perhaps jetab2x and one in crystal and white with air blue opal, at least that is the current plan!

I've been to Anchorage, but never on an inland passage cruise. This is a definite highlight for me. So far I've only done tropical cruises, and I look forward to a bit of chill in the air, some cozy beading and some spectacular scenery.

Artist Date in San Juan Capistrano

Julia Cameron, in an The Artists Way, recommends taking yourself on an artist date once a week. My artist date was long overdue and I decided to take an entire day off for rest, relaxation and beauty.

Mark and I headed up the coast to San Juan Capistrano, stopping first in downtown, having a quick wander through some shops. We found a great old piece of black marble that we will use for a coffee table in the garden.

Next we wandered across the train tracks to the historic district. A signpost claims that this is the oldest continually residential street in California.

It was full of quaint cottages, picket fences and brambling flowers.

We stopped for lunch at Ramos House Cafe which was a charming spot tucked into a shaded alcove, with lots of vegetation and an excellent menu. Flannel hash was a mix of gold and red roasted beads ( it has been pointed out that this should pr obably not say beads, and that is correct, it was beets! spell check can only do so much.....) with potatoes and a touch of creme fraiche to hold it all together. It was topped with two 'fried poached eggs' and a pinch of fresh herbs. It was delightful.

Among the cottage flowers I found this Leonotis. I am sure I need some of these in our garden.

And on a visit to the local nursery, we came upon this Monarch, resting in the sun.

After lunch we headed up the coast for a stroll along Dana Point Harbor and further along to Laguna Beach. A casual stroll brought back memories of when my Dad lived there in the late 1980's.

Not wanting our day to end we drove the coast highway back for a scenic ocean view. It was a really nice day.