Friday, July 29, 2011

Beading by the Bay

Yes! We've posted all three stunning workshops, being presented by Rachel Nelson Smith, Sherry Serafini and myself.

Rachel's Atlas
Marcia's Aelia
Sherry's Asis

Registration opens September 15th with early registration of September 1st being offered to last years attendees. With only 48 spots you may want to mark your calendar and register early. As an added bonus all registrations received by October 1st will be entered into a drawing to receive all three project kits for free!

We'll be repeating our super fun dessert reception with Swarovski Elements trend presentation by Key Account Manager Ron Rock.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Remodeling the yard

I guess it comes under the term remodeling, or maybe landscaping, or decorating, because we are almost at the decorating stage. As my friend Gail says 'Success is in the details'. Unfortunately Mark and I often debate 'the details' especially when there is an over budget 'detail' I would like to add.

But a visit from Gail and Judy Tuesday yielded some very good ideas. Normally I would approach these slowly, but since the idea of tile on either side of the gate entry would need to be addressed one while the tile guy was still available and two before the stucco guys came, time was of the essence.

You may recall that the sides of the fountain were originally planned to be stuccoed. Mark convinced me that the Balboa park fountain this design was based on was stucco. I let it go until I saw the result at which point I was clear the sides needed tile! Another trip to the tile store, another visit from Manny (our most excellent tile installer).

So here is the now finished fountain. The tiles are from Tierra Y Fuego in San Diego and the fountain is featured on their website here.

And here is the coordinating tile on either side of the gate. Next up stucco, gate and finally the bougainvillea towers that will surround each of these plants. They will form a canopy of bougainvillea flower at the top of each structure.

Now it's time for my fifteen minutes of garden work, followed by a full day of shipping, kitting, illustration and....ok I'm sure Im in denial here....but sometime soon I also need to fit in my proposals for next years Bead and Button. Do I continue to offer the always popular Crystal Collage or 'retire' it? I think I'll let the Bead and Button team decide. I will offer Carousel, my spinny bracelet, the new Dream Keeper Vessel ring and the as yet unnamed geometric necklace with the St Petersburg chain. Given my book schedule I think I will keep it simple this year.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Super Hero Powers

Updated per Helen's request. These are Teresa's photos. I am told my cuffs should arrive today, just in time, they are needed!

I'm needing super hero powers desperately and am quite convinced when my Teresa Sullivan commissioned flame cuffs arrive in a day or two, they will afford me just that.

Aren't they amazing? I hesitated to ask, but in the end I did, if she could scatter a few crystals amidst the netting. The netting is made up of brown iris and hematite charlottes, interspersed with light metallic gold crystal. Do you see the highlights?

I was totally enamored of Kate's red flame cuffs when I met their acquaintance (and Teresa's) at this years Seed Bead Summit. I wore them during my craft tub interview (I declined the tub sitting) and was convinced all was possible while wearing them.

This is especially good at the moment as I continue to struggle my way through the Adobe Illustrator learning curve. I don't want to give the wrong impression, illustrator is a program with huge huge capability. But with that comes huge huge amounts of things to know and the need to unlearn what I knew with my previous drawing package. Who knew for instance when you want to rotate around a circle that you don't drag the center of the object to the new center, you need to option drag it? And then the next time you want to do that same thing you need to remember it's option drag, not command drag, not control drag, but option drag.

But with help from the many bead illustrators who have gone before me I did accomplish a complete set of illustrations for the Victoria earrings.

As I explore the best way to work I understand that each illustrator builds up their own set of tools, their own workflow, their own way of communicating the beads that are woven into a design.

While talking to Florence today she told me that she draws the entire project in it's finished stage and then subtracts beads to get down to the first step. I've been drawing beads in one way or another for the better part of fifteen years and I've always drawn row one, row two....It's going to take some time to determine if this will be a better process for me, but I was struck with how I had never even contemplated that approach. I remain grateful for each of the illustrators who are willing to share with me their time and describe their process. I am a big believer in sharing what you know and I am moved by the people in my life who are willing to do that.

Monday, July 25, 2011


There are many ways to be a designer of beady things. Mine happens to be sharing my designs through teaching. This means that I need to communicate which beads to use and what thread path brings them into the desired design.

I will say the bar has been seriously raised by many a good bead illustrator and no long will a hand drawn or crudely computer drawn illustration do. There are quite a number of really good bead illustrators and fortunately I count some among my friends

I will say though even with huge support, the challenge to learn Adobe illustrator for drawing beads has been tough. I'm not sure what amount of time or effort I should deem reasonable on my way towards proficiency, but I've probably put in close to 50 hours at this point, ok that is only slightly more then a week, and I am feeling ill prepared for the task ahead of me.

Today though I accomplished this, painstakingly and probably with a lot more brute force then necessary

That is what I am finding most difficult, establishing an appropriate workflow. Should I learn to blend along a path (unreliable at best) or drag bead groups manually into a curve? Should I turn a group of beads into a symbol, or a group or lock prior bead layers or? Will I learn a clumsy way to do something and keep on doing it because that is what I know and finding the easy way seems too daunting?

I had help learning to color a crystal so that each facet changes color but retains the percent of saturation, and it works reliably every time, as long as I uses the 5 color swatches available to me. If I try to add a swatch, my previously successful merge swatches fails.

I don't mean for you to keep up with details here, just absorb the flavor of my challenges. Florence took the time to make me samples of how to rotate evenly spaced beads around a polygon (she's a math girl). Rachel spent an entire day with me which was truly invaluable and Bonnie is always an email a way with a helpful suggestion and when all else fails, she colored the crystal for me!

I know I'll get through this challenge, but at the moment, it's a lot! I'm grateful to be cheered on by so many, thanks to all of you.

And while I face this learning curve, Mark is busy with Beading by the Bay, soon really really soon, we'll be sharing the three stellar workshops with you. Sign ups? September 15th, unless you joined us last year and then September 1st you'll be able to register to join us again.

Fifteen minutes a day

The new backyard is coming along, but I have come to the realization, frighteningly, that it is not self maintaining. I'm not sure how I didn't see this coming, but in my defense yard work has never been my territory. However with Mark continuing work on the bougainvillea towers, the hot tub deck, the stucco fence, new gate and the plumbing of the fountain, I woke up to the idea I was going to need to partner with him on this. Oh and he's working on the website for Beading by the Bay!

So my plan is to go out every morning with the intention of spending fifteen minutes. Once I'm in to it, I usually end up spending more time, but knowing I only have to stay for fifteen minutes helps. I'm weeding, pruning, raking leaves, picking up after Maya and generally keeping things tidy.

I picked up the Heather beads to put together ringlet kits. I have 12 sets of each color. Since I'm heavily into my Adobe illustrator learning curve at the moment, I need to count on Mark for updating my website.....maybe later this week, maybe next week. Here's a photo with all three kits worth worn together. Maybe in 15 minutes a day I can make enough to complete the choker. What can you do in fifteen minutes a day?

In other bead news, we will be revealing the three beadwork projects for Beading by the Bay this week.

Petra of Das-Perlament beadstore in Bonn will be posting my classes at midnight (German time) tonight. I'll be teaching there in October. Petra's enthusiasm is infectious and she's whipped up quite the frenzy so if you're interested in being there you might want to have a look tomorrow.

I'm getting ready to travel to Fusion Beads in August followed the next weekend by a trip to the Beading Frenzy. Somehow I usually end up debuting classes at the beading frenzy and this year is no exception. Both the Dream Keeper Vessel Ring and En Pointe are new exciting classes! And Susan and I have planned a fun day of visiting the San Francisco ACC show.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A new Victoria

First there was a special edition Rings of Saturn, and then Romantica and now


Victoria has long been a favorite and I decided it was still a vital design and would be well received in a new color. I know many of you are still waiting for Romantica to be kitted and it's in process. This Victoria having far fewer beads to be sourced will be a bit quicker, but it still all takes time.

I'll be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, isn't it pretty?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I found a week

Yep, I had a weak grasp on this months calendar, being sure this weekend was the 29th and I would leave for Seattle the following week, but to my absolute delight, it is only the 21st today and so I have gained myself a whole week.

Which is great news because I am making amazing progress with Adobe Illustrator, having drawn my first beautifully shaped and gradiated beads today. I then grouped them and duplicated them and added a thread path and played with the pen tool.

I cannot say enough good things about It is software learning site which is so well organized, into really specialized topics, so if for example you wanted to understand gradients within Adobe illustrator you could go to the course on CS5 advanced one to one, and find 3 or 4 different 5 minute segments (which works really well with my attention span) discussing how to use gradients.

With that knowledge I built a beautiful bead today. I'd totally show it to you, but my effort to export it to a jpg failed, that will need to be tomorrow's lesson. But I am encouraged.

And experiencing a huge sigh of relief. As much as I can't wait for Seattle that extra week is going to serve me well!

And tomorrow, I pick up 12 sets of three colors of Heather beads for new ringlet kits!

There is still some work to source all the necessary seeds and crystals, but can buy a beautiful set of ringlets. Tomorrow, perhaps I can show you the stellar picture of wearing all three sets on one necklace...It's good!

Learning Curve

I'm learning and learning and's hard to keep up with technology these days. We just installed a network drive which allows us to share data and all of the computers in the house. That's a very good thing. It also provides me with a backup drive, but the time machine install (Mac's backup software) hasn't been quite so seamless.

I did manage to recalibrate my Wacom tablet to my new monitor which is really handy for drawing. I haven't decided yet if I like gripping a pen to do all of my former mouse or trackpad commands. And if I want to I can program all kinds of keys for doing different things with the tablet.

But most immediately I am trying quite desperately to come up to speed with using Adobe Illustrator to illustrate my directions. I got quite accomplished doing this with Corel Draw, but when I decided to go MAC, that was no longer an option and I decided since Illustrator is the defacto standard I should make the switch.

I'm still hoping that wasn't ill advised as my retention for all these new commands seems low. I'm using and watching videos. It's an excellent resource for learning with very targeted and useful information.

It's going to take quite a lot of concentration and my usual short attention span will not do. So my posts could be a little sparse over the next week. I leave for Fusion Beads next Thursday. I'm darn excited about seeing Katie and Lyndsay and Tracy and Janice and Cyn and Jules and Connie.....I know a lot of people in Seattle it turns out. And I've never been to Fusion Beads so that is exciting in itself. I hear it's a wonderful store.

I'll pop by of course in the next week, I'll share my progress and hopefully I'll have illustration success, (Susan certainly hopes so) I've never shown up without directions yet.....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A tradition in the making?

Could be.....this is starting to be a habit. You see Leslie Codina, extraordinary ceramic artist lives in Ontario California. That is about 2/3 of the way between Santa Cruz and San Diego. There is logic here, really it's coming. With new grandbaby Malayna and first grandbaby Sam, and their parents all living in Santa Cruz/ Campbell, we are having a fair amount of opportunity to visit up north.

The ride home offers the perfect time to stop into Leslie's studio and pick out a ceramic totem, or in this case two.

As the yard continues to progress I continue to want to adorn it with art. I think these two coordinate nicely with my previous yard totem. The first got 'stored' in the living room and now I am unable to part with it in that location.

Design Variations

I first put together this shape with some cubic right angle weave and a design element of a right angle weave beaded bead.

The necklace is also raw, but I wanted to change it up a bit.

Something besides raw. And so....

I used double St. Petersburg to form the bail and then split it to create the necklace. It's really pretty on. And now I have all kinds of ideas for St. Petersburg. A bezel? A bracelet? Who knows, but I'm excited with the possibility.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Another in the series....the dream keeper vessel ring uses shrink plastic to capture your dreams safely inside.

This one uses three colors of crystal in a beautiful summer palette.

Should you need a vessel to hold your dreams I'll be teaching this on Sunday August 14th at the Beading Frenzy in San Mateo.

I'll also be teaching En Pointe a clever use of a geometric component joined at the edges with 2 mm crystals ( at least in mine, although seed beads are an option.) I think En Pointe is best one in a 2 to 3 color high contrast palette. the necklace version is done in size 15, although I think size 11 would make a nice bracelet.

Sadly I don't have an available photo of En Pointe but head over to the Beading Frenzy site for a visual (or the link for en pointe above)and consider joining us.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Patty cakes

Patty cakes, Miss Malayna and me!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 15, 2011

Miss Malayna Pies

A visit with the grand baby!

Giggling at the Grandma

Playing with the toes

Rocked to sleep by the Grandma

Aaaaahhhhh....grandchildren are the sweetest!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yarn Bombing!

After dinner in San Jose this week, while wandering back to the car we came across urban knitting

A utility pole

A bike rack

It's a newish trend in the last few of years, apparently attributed to a group of knitters in Houston, Texas, called Knitta.
I'm apparently late to the party, there has apparently already been a global yarn bombing day on June 11th of this year. I wonder how I didn't know this? You can read more about Knitta on their blog here.

I came across references to gangsta yarn, street knitting and yarn bombing.

Since I'm busy baby knitting I don't think it's time to turn my attention to urban knitting in Lemon Grove, but the future. I see a knitted palm tree, and I would love a fair isle lamp post and perhaps felted flowers on a hanging basket.

I think the bicycle shaped bicycle stands outside the Grove would be a perfect first project. Maybe before the next walkabout. What about it Susan?

Have you seen any urban knitting? Done any?

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Walking in the Redwoods

Mark convinced me to forgo my second West Cliff walk for a walk in Henry Cowell State Park instead. The air was cool and we enjoyed the beautiful fragrance of the redwoods.

The entrance of the park documents the size of a redwood 1934 years old!

I love walking the Ocean, especially with yesterday's high surf and the many morning surfers, but the redwoods were a nice addition to the walking venues.

Next I need to do some beading.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Waking up in the redwoods

Santa Cruz has the most majestic redwoods. A beautiful backdrop for the mountain homes of Ben Lomond where I'm staying with Rose, my friend of 30 plus years.

Yesterday was full of nostalgia with a walk on West Cliff, dinner at Takara

and ice cream at Marianne's, a Santa Cruz institution.

Baby Coconut ice cream!

I'm going to spend some time reviewing my Illustrator notes and trying to re-enforce all the knowledge Rachel so graciously spent her day imparting. Since I don't have Illustrator with me, re-writing my notes and trying to grasp all of the bead drawing concepts is the best I can do. However I feel newly confident of my ability to draw pretty beads which is great because I have a number of projects waiting to bel illustrated.

In the meantime I'll be playing with my beads.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Visiting in Santa Cruz

Little Hoot enjoying the morning sun and flowers on a friends veranda.

The day was followed up with a visit to Rachel's studio where she shared with me her vast knowledge of drawing beads with Adobe Illustrator. If I can manage to retain half of it I'll be brilliant. It was exciting.

We lunched at Mobo Sushi and then back to the studio. Rachel's studio is full of visual stimulation,

including all the pieces from her newest book Bead Riffs. Have you ordered your copy yet?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 11, 2011

A ticket to Tokyo?

The bathroom shower was out of soap so I opened this pretty package which had been gifted to me. I'm partial to Trader Joe's Verbena soap but since I haven't organized myself to purchase one, I had to make do.

The packaging was so pretty I really hated to open it and it is a little over perfumed for my taste. As I unwrapped the beautifully creamy bar of soap this ticket fell out. Without glasses I had no idea what it said but it did appear to be a used rail ticket. London to Tokyo Milk station. I thought perhaps I had opened the millionth bar of soap and was being rewarded with the golden travel ticket. I think however it is just a bit of marketing, a fun one and one that invoked at least a few minutes fantasy. Sigh, I guess I'm not going to London.

In my corporate life I traveled to London at least twice a year and sometimes more and I miss it. And then I didn't even know Jean Power and I totally want to go to London and meet Jean.

I'll leave you with a photo of me wearing 'My Own Necklace'

Off to Santa Cruz in the very early morning, where I'll celebrate a 60th birthday (not mine, a friends), visit with Ms. Rachel, have dinner with Beading by the Bay partner Susan and spend some time with Ms Malayna Pies. I'll meet you back here on Wednesday!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My very own necklace

Ok, they are all technically mine, I make them and I own them, but this one started out as a potential class sample.

During the design process I decided on a totally different (and really cool bail) and so I'm busy working on that. But I didn't want to abandon this one, so I decided to finish it up so that I could wear it. It doesn't have a name, we've been through this. I still think my cataloging scheme of' necklace 014.1a gold red', would serve me well. But since this one is not destined for the classroom I can skip the naming part.

I finished it up yesterday while Kate gave instruction to a number of beaders in my studio. It was nice to sit and bead among like minded folks. A really enjoyable day.

We're off to walk dog beach in Coronado on this beautiful summer day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A Good Day

Life is pretty amazing at the moment and I am trying to take it all in. I am being presented with really exceptional opportunities. I am enjoying the company of nice friends. I am exploring new beadwork. Next week I go to Northern California and visit grandbabies, old friends, eat in favorite restaurants and enjoy my dear husband.

Today I spent tine in the studio with Susan Blessinger, who I've been fortunate to know for the past several years. Could she be any cuter?.

and she is a major talent.

Kate was teaching a number of gals who I thoroughly enjoyed

I had some success in the studio today,

And then we spent time in the hottub....oh yeah, it's all so good.

Friday, July 8, 2011

We're Celebrating

The quietness....the last of the chainsawing was completed today. A few weeks back we took down three large pepper trees that had outgrown their space. We hired tree guys for the heavy lifting, but we're left with large 400 lb slabs of wood that was not hauled away. It needed to be cut into manageable pieces and Mark has been working away at each morning for a few hours until today the last piece of wood was cut!

And my studio was returned to peacefulness. I function better in quiet and even with noise canceling headphones it was distracting.

In the quietness I am beading, a new piece featuring cubic right angle weave. It's a nice strong geometric piece and I wanted a non competing but feminine chain. St. Petersburg chain came to mind and I remember doing it years and years ago, but it isn't a stitch I had committed to memory. A quick search and I found instructions on Mortira's Inspirational Beading Blog. The directions were well written with large photos so I could see what to do. There are quite a few nice tutorials there. It's quite nice when someone takes the time to share their knowledge.

In a little bit of time I came up with this.

I was toying with the idea of putting a crystal on each point and then I came to my senses when I realized how many crystals that would be!

I want to finish up the double chain and decide if it's the right width. Tomorrow is slated to be a bead all day kind of day, with the second of Kate's workshops being held in my studio, I'll have beading company.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Metal Class

Yes, yesterday I took time out and turned my attention to learning a few things about working with metal. Fine silver to be exact, in various gauges worked into various findings.

I made these....and more, they need finishing, some liver of sulphur and a tumble with silver shot....but they are acceptable.

It is sometimes hard to realize during the course of the day how much you are actually learning. I have a character trait that makes me always want to start out at the top, just skip the whole learning process. Unfortunately for me it never works that way. I really can't think of something where I didn't have to pay long dues to arrive at some level of proficiency.

With Kate's guidance I learned how to fill my butane torch, turn it on, and aim it appropriately at the silver, not the table, not my to use a rotation of the wrist to move the flame away from the silver when it was complete.

I learned to wrap and cut a jumpring using the rap and tap and a flush cutter, to flow the silver across the cut and close the jump ring and to work harden it with a hammer held at it's end for leverage. I learned to solder one ring to another by cutting a groove in my kiln brick, holding the previously soldered ring and presenting the join of the new ring.

I learned to ball up and end, and then to flatten that end into a paddle and cut a hole. I learned to smooth the interior of the hole and solder a jumpring into it.

I learned how to rivet something onto that paddle and how to make an s clasp and an earring finding and to pull my jumpring into an oval or a rectangle.

All in all, that was a lot of learning for one day, dontcha think? It all needs re-enforcing, so I added a couple of tools I didn't have to the arsenal and a little more silver. I'm less intimidated but also far from a professional result. My mind doesn't think metal, so I'm not entirely sure how to use it design wise yet, but learning new skills is always a positive.

Kate has a way of being passionate but low key, always watching, jumping in with the right information as necessary while letting one learn from their own process. I had a great day.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Playing with Fire

Kate is in town and will be giving a metals class tomorrow in my studio, which means I will be in attendance!

I got triple filtered butane for my torch (as instructed) and got out my anvil and steel and my pretty Fretz hammer. Wouldn't that be nice if I got to use it? I bought it from Janice years ago just to be able to fondle it.

I'm looking forward to a day learning new stuff. Well technically not new because Kate has previously shown me how to work with fine silver and a torch....but that was years ago and I didn't practice. But now, now I could be ready.....I'll let you know!

On Saturday there will be a seed bead class. I don't honestly know if there is room, but if you are in San Diego and you are interested you could let Kate or me know, by then I should know if there is room.

Oh and guess what? On a totally unrelated note. WE WENT IN THE HOTTUB TONIGHT! And it was awesome!

And, it just made me incredibly happy to click on Kate an Janice's links and see their beautiful smiling faces. Kate I see in person tomorrow and Janice in person in August. Life is good.

Creative Time

Do you find it hard to carve out enough time for creativity? I'm in that struggle at the moment. Having started a new piece this weekend I am am anxious to try a few different ideas I have for a bail. I want to change it up, perhaps use some St Petersburg chain, or maybe a rectangular bail done with embellished peyote. I have a vision but I'm not entirely sure where the beads will lead me when I have a few moments to sit with them.

It's a constant dilemma when running one's own small business. There are things that need doing, and what I want to do today, all day is bead. Can I? Perhaps if I work hard and fast getting through all the various tasks like shipping off samples, emailing supply lists, filing sales tax reports.

I know many of you either run your own business or leave your house several days a week to earn a living. How do you manage your creative time?

I'm not complaining, I did manage several hours of beading over the holiday weekend. It seems holidays and vacations are my hotbed of creativity. I sat down with an amulet purse for a round robin I'm particpating in. The beaded amulet was provided by Nancy Dale and embellished by Laura Zeiner and my job was to add fringe. I had a plan, a solid one I thought, until I didn't like how it looked......and I did something entirely different, and I might add that I love it. And I can't show you.....but I did crop out this part of the photo for you.

I think the light and level of detail on this little group of beads is amazing. I'm more and more pleased every day with the results I am getting in my little photo booth.

I'm having a grand time with the round robin. First I made my amulet to send off, then I received Laura's to embellish. Working on someone else's piece seems to me a huge responsibility and I want to do my best work. Fortunately Laura's purse provided plenty of opportunity for embellishment, (I used crystal, are you surprised?). On Nancy's my job was fringe and I had fun with it and was really pleased with the result. I'll receive one more to add a necklace to, and then I will get my amulet back with the work of three other people added to it. It's been a really fun process.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dancing Light

I've been working on this one for awhile. The colors and components came together easily, but the engineering of the connections on this piece were a challenge.

Sometimes that is the hardest part of the design. Getting balance in composition, and having the piece lay correctly when worn. I designed Dancing Light exclusively for the Alaskan cruise that I'll be teaching on in September. The first one was completed last year, but I wanted to fine tune the details with this one. I made a few changes including the size of the pearl necklace and the attachment points.

The teardrop clasp which I love remains the same as do the main components.

The large Swarovski pendant in Crystal Silver Night is a stunningly beautiful color which works perfectly with the antique zinc metal beads and the palest of lavender seed bead tips.

The lacy circles fold in half showing just a peak at their glittery underside.

I spent a long time on pictures this morning, getting the perfect lighting and shots of a Beading by the Bay piece only to realize I had the file capture set to small.....and I wanted a large pixel photo work with.....back to the photo studio.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The American Trade Bead

Today I received a letter of gratitude for my purchase of a Harold Cooney bead at Bead and Button. You can read about and see my purchase here.

I was very moved by the letter as it described the really hard fought battle to make a living with ones hands. What struck me so much was that I find Harold to be a really huge talent. The glass work he is creating is incredibly unique, breathtakingly beautiful and complex in both shape and color. The skill required is so apparent, and yet earning a living while being true to the creative process has been so hard.

Over the years I have collected pieces of Harold's, often it being one my Bead and Button or Tucson treat. With Harold's letter came the good news that his beads are now available on Etsy. This of course means that I have access to his beads more then twice a year, perfect.

The letter describes a move to the Pacific Northwest to find a better environment for continuing his work. I wish him all the best in that endeavor, and look forward to his continually evolving work.

Update: you can also keep up with Harold on his facebook page.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Crazy brilliant!

These earrings by Maggie Meister are crazy good. Structural, interesting, inventive, sophisticated AND a free download at

Maggie's book, Classical Elegance, part of the Beadweaving Master Class series promises many more exquisite projects.

Two new pretties!

These are simple but effective. These are a variation of the green pearl Cassiopea necklace in my book. I turned it into a bracelet, took the crystal size up from 4's to 6's and added some 2 mm's in the clasp and the hugs and kisses embellishment. I like the luster of the Swarovski pearl with the sparkle of the 4 mm round crystal, the 3 mm bi-cione running up each side, and the itty bitty 2 mm's for a little extra shine.

Every once in a while it is nice to sit down and put together something simple. These will both be great with summer clothes and I'm thinking of an antique brass one for fall and winter holiday season. I'm also thinking a looser and triple wide one would be a great chunky cuff, but really as fast as these are, it's time to get a few other things complete.

It's the simplest of clasps, a peyote loop embellished with 2 mm crystal sized perfectly to slide over the pearl.

I took advice from the table top studio site and put the sparkler light overhead for a shadow that really shows off the roundness of the pearls.

It's the first of July and the day is already sparkling with sunshine. It must be that June Gloom is behind us. It's kind of a big weekend here, celebrating 24 years of marriage on the 4th. It think it was brilliant to get married on the 4th of July, every year our anniversary is a holiday and every year we watch fireworks. This year we'll be watching from the roofdeck, where the absence of the pepper trees will give us a full on view of several cities worth of celebration.