Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

Twenty Seven Years

I met Mark 27 years ago today! I guess at the time I had no idea how fateful a meeting that would be. It's been a good 27 years, full of family, work, friendship and travel. This week being no exception as we fly to Galveston in the morning and board our Royal Caribbean cruise ship on Sunday morning.

Which brings me to the fact that you won't be hearing from me.....the phone will be off, the internet will be silent. I'm hoping to do some serious design work but we'll see what happens.

In the meantime, bead happy, be well and I'll be back in April!

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Caribbean cruise...that is what is in store this week. The getting ready always keeps me fully occupied and I forget to get excited until it's almost time, and since we leave Saturday, it's almost time!

The clothes are packed, the beads are packed, I'm off to get a haircut in the morning and then I will be fully ready.

I love the way the motion of a ship lulls me to sleep at night. I wish I could have some kind of ocean rocking installed in my home bed so that I could have that wonderful sensation more often. Back in our sailboat days I loved it when the wind blew and rocked me gently into slumber.

Here are a few memories from a previous beadcruise....looking forward to more of the same!

Wish I could have brought home these inviting chairs!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birds of Paradise

This is a little bit of whimsical beadwork the at I'll be teaching on next weeks Bead Cruise. It turns out to be the most popular of the three classes, who knew? It is a nice doable little bit of beadwork, with the ndebele tube creating the bail which is suspended from a ball chain. I predict many finished pieces being worn, which is always nice for a seed bead project.

Now to predict the favorite colorway......

Silver and Copper?
Black and Purple, love that cyclamen opal crystal sequin....

Or with it be a more Caribbean lime and teal?

Let me know you're favorite and I'll report back on the choice the cruisers make.

I'm continuing on with preparations, pulling out bathing suits, beach hats, suntan lotion and the like....This is not my usual bead outing and requires slightly different prep work.

I've reserved Friday as a play day being the 28th anniversary of our first date I prefer not to be working. We have a date to have hair done by daughter Casey followed by a lunch out and a hopefully relaxing evening.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Smiling Faces

of Beading by the Bay 2011
Lavinia and Peggy, Gail, Lori, Daeng
Liz, Patty, Lisa, Kathleen
Victoria, Suzanne, Deborah, Trisha
Sue, Mandi, Mike and Shannon, Mary

Now I call that a good looking bunch of happy people! Next year I will make it my mission to have an awesome picture of every attendee.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Baby Knitting

I fell in love with this pretty minty green aqua wool in Australia late last year. I love the simplicity of garter stitch for babies, and the simple construction of this sweater.

The one change I made was the picot bind off on the collar to girly it up a bit. It's a 6 to 9 month size so I have time to look for some matching fabric and pair it with some overalls, or perhaps a dress.

Had I thought of it in time I might have used a picot cast on and picot bind off on the bottom edges and perhaps a little pocket. Not that babies have much use for pockets I suppose, but it would seem like a nice design detail. It may be that I'll make this one again, one size bigger. I think it's going to be a nice practical Northern California layer for those fall months.

The pattern called 'garter stitch baby jacket' is from They are in Sydney Australia so a search of Ravelry might turn up a more available pattern.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Northern California Bead Society

You may remember that I was asked to speak at the Northern California Bead Society last Tuesday. Mark and I decided based on the weather (heavy rain) that we best head over to Emeryville very early to avoid any traffic disasters. I don't do well with the anxiety of thinking I could be late.

We had a nice dinner at California Pizza kitchen and then wandered over to the Marriott for the meeting. Given the weather I was not expecting many folks to attend, but I was pleasantly surprised by a good number of members who braved the nasty weather.

In general I don't mind public speaking. I had a two year stint as the President of the San Diego Bead Society and I'm often in front of a classroom, so I'm comfortable, but I had never given this talk before. Thankfully as soon as I started, the love of beads and desire to share whatever knowledge I could helped to calm any nerves.

I had friends in the audience, with Rachel Nelson Smith and Patty Lakinsmith traveling all way from Santa Cruz. I also met two facebook friends Terri Dannenberg and Cynthia Holsclaw (Bead Origami).

I had a really nice evening and I am thankful to Patty who captured the essence of the talk 'The Road to Opulence' and took some great photos on her blog. Patty is a hugely talented lampwork artist who has an interest in dabbling in the seed beads. I totally support that, I love people who can embrace multiple mediums, although I will leave the glass to Patty.


It appears that my body is giving me a message that I can no longer jet around the world with no rest time in between, and so I've had a really mellow week of sipping tea, knitting baby things and generally doing some serious resting before my next trip coming up.

I am so looking forward to meeting back up with so many past cruisers, along with Tracy Stanley, Dallas Lovett, Jean Campbell, Heather Powers, Beverly Herman, and the Bad Liz! Sounds like my kind of fun.

My previous experience with this cruise means, although I teach 2 1/2 days I also have 4 1/2 days of some serious downtime. Mark will be with me and I look forward to nights being gently rocked to sleep by the woosh of the ocean surrounding us. I guess that gives away my state of mind a bit. I've never really been a nightlife party girl, more of a morning welcome the day ahead girl. I look forward to walking the promenade deck with friend Liz, playing with beads, catching up with friends, and quiet evenings with my honey.

The timing is good, on Friday we celebrate the 28th anniversary of our first date, and on Saturday we leave for some excellent travel.

In the next couple of days I want to bring you a montage of all the smiling faces I captured at Beading by the Bay. I really got some excellent portraits of happy people.

And I have a pretty new colorway of the Birds of Paradise to share. That will be my fullest class on the cruise and I'm always interested to see what the favorite colorway is. Carousel, my Beading by the Bay piece, was almost evenly split, with no clear winner, guess that means they were all good.

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures, could even be a baby sweater in the mix....and I'll update all week since next week you'll be on your own, no phone, no internet, yikes.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rachel kisses Hoot

Apparently kissing Hoot is now in vogue. Ms Rachel kindly obliged.

Sadly Rachel's jacket is obscuring the incredible necklace that she wore.

Ceramic Totem

I have a love affair with the whimsical work of Leslie Codina. I first saw her work when visiting Liz Smith, as husband Grant an avid gardener has a significant collection of her work. You can read the story of my first piece here.

Last spring I bought my first colorful totem and since the garden was not yet ready I assembled it inside. Apparently husband Steve warns against this strategy, although I don't remember hearing it. But sure enough, I have become very attached to the totem in the living room and would miss the spot of color and eclectic decor it offers, so....

Now the garden is ready I had to buy my second totem. Leslie is so gracious, amid her busy schedule she allowed us to come to her studio and choose our next totem as we made the drive from San Francisco back to San Diego this week.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Beading by the Bay 2012

Our inaugural and second Beading by the Bay were met with much enthusiasm thanks to the graciousness, humor and talent of Jean Campbell and Maggie Meister.

(pppssssttttt....look at the great earrings on both of these gals!)

Save the date for next years Beading by the Bay event March 9-11, 2012

and the artists are........

Sherry Serafini, Rachel Nelson Smith and Marcia DeCoster! Registration opens September 15th with early registration being offered to this years participants, so mark your calendars, you won't want to delay!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


braised short ribs.


This beautiful version of Aurelia with black, bronze and light grey opal was beaded by Chris and shared with me at Beading by the Bay. Chris finesses every design she makes and has a very sophisticated sense of color. Her work is always Impeccable and I love seeing it. Thanks Chris.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Beautiful Tracy

From Tierra Cast who attended my Carousel class!


Suzanne and Suzanne's exquisite necklace at Beading by the Bay.

Dang cute!

Mike and Shannon sharing their Beading by the Bay experience. Aaaawwwww....cute.


Lavania and Peggy sharing the moment at Beading by the Bay

Little Hoot

Jean, showing Little Hoot some love!

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Maggie and Jean at Beading by the Bay!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


That is a big sigh of relief, I did it, I'm ready. Beading by the Bay is about to begin! Well not really, it begins Thursday night with our dessert reception and ends Sunday night with a good bye to old and new friends and an announcement of next years dates and festivities. (website to be updated on our return, stay tuned) In between will be so much fun, with loads of friends who I just can't wait to see.

AND....cuz our new grand baby also lives in the bay area, we'll be stopping for some grandparently love on the way (spell check does not approve, but how could grandparently not be a word?) . I've got the good camera, good lens and tripod with for a family photo session.

The Bay area (silicon valley) is home for me, having moved there when I was 28 and growing up my own family there, so it's an exciting time.

I'll be making a trip into San Francisco on Monday, one of my very most favorite cities in the world.

There will be some live blogging, so stay tuned, but it may be Thursday or Friday until you hear from me again.

Be well!


I do love a good hat and my previous post reminded me of my 50th birthday tea at the San Francisco Ritz Carlton. The invitation requested that each invitee wear a hat....It was a charming day

I have a couple of years to decide a fitting celebration for the next decade party...

Monday, March 7, 2011


Now if that isn't the best verb ever! And I used to think Jeannette's 'verandizing' was good.

Are you coming to the Glitterganza? The imagination of Kate McKinnon, the attendance of Kyle Cassidy and Dustin Wedekind and Joyce Rooks and all manner of exciting Balboa park, in the gardens of the Mingei, how could you not? Well maybe if you don't live in some proximity to San Diego, it might seem like a stretch, but I'm pretty sure this is going to be an event to attend. Saturday, April 16th, San Diego, 10 am – 3 pm, starting out with a talk by Kate for the Bead Society of San Diego.

Even my Mark is planning his wardrobe, and there will be a hat involved, he's got a significant hat collection and he wears them well.

I've plans for some ostrich feathers and some jewelry and I have an amazing hat myself.

Go check out Kate's link. I love the photo that Kyle took of us last year (be sure not to miss the levitating dog). I wouldn't want to ever miss the opportunity to take part in Kyle's thoughtful orchestration of a photo.

Cruising to Alaska

Wanna Come?

Time, it's a bit of a funny commodity in this business. On the one hand I plan a year to a year and half out (actually I have one commitment in 2014 already)I prepare a project, write a supply list, take photos and then.....I turn around and focus on what is right in front of me.

This week that would be Beading by the Bay, next week it will be my talk at the Northern California Bead Society and then the Bead Cruise.

But, I mustn't forget to share with you one of those plans I made way back when. I'm going to Alaska! And you can come, we're cruising.

I had never traveled to Alaska prior to 2009 when I was invited by the Alaska Bead Company to come teach. It was beyond gorgeous, a natural beauty that had never been in my experience before. Snow capped mountains, crystal clear waters, blue blue skies, and crisp air. I spent a week, but one of my magical days was a trip to Seward which I describe here.

So when Carole of Creative Castle asked me if I would like to cruise there, I didn't hesitate for a minute. Now I love a nice tropical destination as well, but I think there will be something wonderful about cruising in the cool, pure air of Alaska, surrounded by all that amazing scenery. I like the idea of trading in a bathing suit for a fleece vest and drinking tea while my cheeks get properly pinked.

I tell you all this now because although we set sail in September, there is a bit of a price incentive to sign up by May 1st.

Did I mention that I love the project I designed exclusively for this cruise. It's called 'Dancing Light' and it's quite glittery and very elegant. Like many of my projects it is component based, so it can be changed up and as always I'll share options. September is the perfect month to be creating a show stopping piece with the wintry holidays providing lot's of occasions to enjoy such a stunning necklace.

For details click here, I'd love for you to join in the fun!

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Paint is so transformational. I've had the idea forever to paint this wall in the dining room the same shade of green that can be seen in the carpet. The wall has the double doors which lead out onto the veranda and the new yard (still in progress). But somehow I just never got around to it.

A couple of weeks back Marlene Blessing posted how she had finally gotten around to painting an accent wall, and I just knew it was time to make it happen.

Funny how in the midst of huge amounts to do, it is still possible to get more done. I got up this morning, ready to paint. We assembled the necessary stuff, laid down tarp, prepped the walls with tape and got to it.

Mark did the edges, he's more exacting then I am, and I rollered the rest.

Here the formerly dull white wall

Maya supervised, always right in the middle of things.

Admittedly it's a small wall, what with those big double doors in the middle of it. In under two hours we prepped, painted and cleaned up.

Thanks Marlene, for the push....The wall looks great.

I used table runners to add a whimsical and colorful touch to the somewhat sedate and boring dining room chairs.

Mark declared the accent akin to toilet seat covers, I think he's wrong.

It occurs to me when looking at this photo, that the style of the fabric on the chairs and my touch of whimsy are decidely at odds with one another, my defense, when the chairs are neatly tucked into the table, it doesn't show. So I'm sticking with it.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I love that I live in every room in this house including the outdoor room we are creating. We eat in the intimate dining room many evenings, but occasionally we choose the kitchen as we did tonight.

We collaborated on an ahi tuna nicoise, with Mark prepping the potatoes, green beans, and hardboiled eggs. I arranged the above with the Kalmata olives and olive oil while he grilled the tuna.

The meal was lovely. After days of kitting and writing instructions, it was nice to relax into the evening.

I have such a sense of well being and peace these days. A new grandbaby, a man I'm in love with, a home I am at home in, travel, weather, new books on the horizon, it's all really wonderful.

I have a few days of work to get ready for Beading by the Bay. Mark and I created new postcards announcing next years teachers, stay posted.....We'll visit with our children and new grandbaby and we'll visit San Francisco, one of my all time favorite cities.

It's going to be a grand week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Road to Opulence

My Journey with Beads....That is the name of the talk I will be giving Tuesday March 15th at the Northern California Bead Society.

I hope to do it justice! Although I was never a member since the trip from Santa Cruz to Emeryville at night seemed daunting, I consider the San Francicso Bay Area home so I am honored to be asked to be a part of the meeting.

It has been interesting contemplating my journey.....I think of it as my second accidental career. My first in information technology was good timing and an affinity for systems and project management that was natural, not planned or learned.

I did leave that career to explore being an artist at my husbands urging, so I guess in that respect it was not that accidental, but arriving at a place where I've enjoyed the ability to earn a living working with beads, I don't think I planned that part. But it's working out and I'm grateful.

So the next three weeks are huge for me, first Beading by the Bay, our second annual, with full enrollment! So many friends from last year to visit with, so many new ones to meet, and my co-teachers Maggie and Jean!

And then.....there is a baby to visit. I can barely stand waiting to hold little Malayna in my arms again. You see daughter Lucia remained in the Bay Area so any visit there is going to be special. Did I show you this picture already, I might have, but it touches my heart so, her little fingers with her Grandpa's hand.

Through the miracle of Skype I just got to see her!

We'll be taking the good camera, portrait lens and tripod and take some family pictures.

After my talk we'll drive back to San Diego and get ready for our Bead Cruise, where more friends await.

Life is good.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Spring Color Report

Margie Deeb creates an excellent publication, twice a year bringing us the Pantone color report, complete with inspiration,projects, and a lot of color theory. Her graphic art background is apparent, as the layout of this publication is always compelling.

I was once again honored to be in her gallery, showcasing two of this years colors in this 'original' My Secret Garden.

It was later re-designed to overcome some design flaws as well as availability of supplies, but I always loved this combination of colors!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Finkelhoo Fashions

Fabulously Funky! That's her byline.....along with Peace Love and Patches I met Betsy of Finkelhoo at Sunday's Talmadge art show at Liberty Station. She herself was fabulously funky and had a design aesthetic I totally enjoyed. She has created a line of up-cycled accessories and clothing.

This is the detail from a belt I bought. It has two fabulous pockets, and lots of funky detailing. It will be excellent at shows for keeping money close at hand and making a fashion statement at the same time.

The feathers were a separate little clip on accent with chain, charm and more feathers. A great piece to put in one's hair, use for a shawl clip or as here, add a touch more detail to my amazing belt.

I wish you much success Betsy!