Monday, October 31, 2011

2001 a Bead Odyssey

Last week I decided to review the artists who had participated in 2001 A Bead Odyssey, a calendar I produced with Dona Anderson and Linda Parker. I updated what I knew about each artists status for January through December.

It was an 18 month calendar (a decision which really did not serve us well, but ah well....)so today I will review the next six months, starting with Frieda Bates. Frieda is best known for her loomwork and as evidenced by her site she continues to do beautiful loomwork.

Mary Fraser was February and presents a beautiful square stitch purse named Deco Lady. Mary was a local friend from my San Mateo days of teaching at The Beading Frenzy. I can report that Mary is still a dedicated and excellent beader and still attends my classes at The Beading Frenzy.

March was David Dean with his Native American Fans and Rattles. I didn't find a website for David Dean, but did find a reference to a class he taught at the blog 'Allie's in stitches'. Pictures of both David and his work were part of the blogpost in 2009.

Catherine Harris's Mikado garden vessel purse was the image for April. I met Catherine at a Carol Wilcox Wells retreat and at the time she was doing beautiful patterned work and sold her patterns. Her and friend Patty were always a hoot to be around. A google search revealed that Catherine does have a website and does still sell her lovely patterns.

Margie Deeb's 'The Heart of Her' was the image for May. Margie remains a huge and active influence on contemporary beadwork with several books, magazine columns and her bi-annual color report.

The Terrestrial Star was June's freeform piece by Maria Tverdostup. I couldn't find a website, but I will follow up with a facebook friend request to see if I can find out Maria's current bead endeavors.

The making of the calendar was a fun undertaking and it's rewarding to know that so many of the participants have continued to do amazing things in the beadworld.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


If you've taken a class from me recently I may have gone on and on about how Serena is an unsung hero in Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence.

Well here is why!

Made by my VBFF Susan with help from Becky, I've been gifted this amazing version, all black and shiny and double wide. And I love it!

Hot tub sunrise

What a way to start the day!

And in other news I ordered two yarn kits from Earth Faire, both lace, one a collar and the other a shawlette with beads. You know, in case I run out of projects.....

Pretty, heh?

Friday, October 28, 2011

2001 A Bead Odyssey

Ten years ago I embarked on creating a bead calendar with then bead partner Linda and Dona Anderson of Beading Hearts. Sadly Dona passed away in March of 2009.

Recently I gave a talk for the Portland Bead Society and noted the calendar as part of my bead history. I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the calendars participating artists and see with the help of google what they might be up to now.

January was Dona's Anderson's Tom Cruise purse which she gifted to Rosie O'Donnell.

February was a vessel by Carol Wilcox Wells, my first ever bead teacher. Carol still teaches at Beads on the Vine annually, was the 2011 Designer of the Year in Beadwork magazine, wrote what many of us consider to be the go to Bead Weaving book, "Creative Beadweaving', followed by 'The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving' and most recently curated Lark's Masters Beadweaving book.

The far right piece is Urchin Lariat made by me!

March was Poppies and Thistles by Margo Field. A quick look at Margo's website and it is clear she is still a very active Bead Artist and has continued to create beautiful floral pieces. These rings have always been a favorite of mine.

April was School of Fishes a loom worked piece by Don Pierce.

This is not school of fishes but another loomworked piece by Don Pierce. Don wrote two book about Beading on a Loom. His website lists workshops in 2008, so his current status is not clear to me.

May was Paula Walter. Paula won first place in one of the early Bead Dreams competitions. Her main body of work was bead embroidery and over the years we ran into one another at events like BABE in Oakland California. I wasn't able to find any current information.

June was Cynthia Rutledge with a piece called Vessel IV. This is not the vessel in the calendar but a similar concept from her site. Cynthia continues to be an incredible bead artist, with bookings all over the world, joined by husband Mark in a successful bead business. Cynthia was also part of Beadwork Magazine's designer of the year series and one of Bead and Buttons Top Ten teachers.

July was David Chatt with his bag 'Hanging on By a Thread'

David continued to bead and in February of 2005 was the artist featured in the show at the Bellevue art museum called 2 Hands, 20 Years, and a Billion Beads. Shortly after David moved to North Carolina to the prestigious Penland School of Crafts as an Artist in Residence, where he is studying glass.

August was Lisa Niven Kelly with her sculptural women Gaia.

Lisa, an accomplished seed bead artist, also became an accomplished lampwork artist. Then motherhood came and with two young daughters Lisa chose to stay closer to home, founding the very successful,Beaducation, with online classes, tools and supplies. With all this she continued to teach and was named one of Bead and Buttons Top Ten teachers in 2010.

September was Diane Fitzgerald and featured the Gingko Leaf Necklace II.

Diane has contributed a huge selection of beading books to the beading community including Shaped Beadwork, the first in the Beadweaving Master Class Series by Lark. Diane was also named a top ten teacher by Bead and Button in 2010.

October was NanC Meinhardt with Head of Household a right angle weave free form mask

NanC created a beautiful store in Illinois, since closed, created the Master Class concept which she taught internationally and has supported many bead artists through her teachings. She also conducts smaller workshops titled 'Art Sticks: I'm Not an Artist, I Can't Draw,I Can Only Draw Stick Figures' I had the good fortune for NanC to teach her workshop at my home studio in October of 2010.

November was Delinda Vannebrightyn Amura. Delinda was a bright star in the beading world, creating many wonderful pieces and teaching. Sadly I find no current information for Delinda.

December was 'Santa Claus' by Ann Paxton who was a San Diego judge turned bead artist who did graphed amulet purses and completed them with stunning fringe.

I did not find a current site for Ann, but did find a link selling her patterns here and here.

This was an 18 month calendar so we go on, but I will leave the rest for another post.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Best Friends

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hosting Stephney and Rachel in my studio. They are visiting from England and contacted me via email a few months back when they were making there plans. They've rented an apartment for their one week stay, over looking San Diego Bay and the airport.

We started out the day with my picking them up and suggesting a bead store outing, to which they were very receptive. This is dangerous for me, as I decided that it really was time to own some of my very own Basha Beads. I'll photo them for you soon....We stopped by Lost Cities and the Shepherdess picking up some treasures at both.

Then onto the studio, where they delighted me with their beadwork, their stories, humor and their friendship. They had such an easy sense between them, teasing one another, but you could see the shared interest in beads and the deep support of one another. They've traveled together often and I marvel at how they sort out meeting beaders and having the best adventures in each of their trips.

I unfortunately did not capture the best picture as I waited too late in the day and the sun streaming in was in issue. Rachel is on the left and Stephney on the right.

They were so generous, gifting me many thoughtful items, each with it's own story that will make me smile each time I use them.

When Stephney proudly showed Mark her Basha bead, realizing I had just shown my six, and Mark stated 'they must be very expensive' without missing a beat, she answered 'no not really...' You've got to admire that quick thinking.

I am also once again reminded of this connected world of beaders. As Stephney opened the Beaded Pal Project on Diane Fitzgerald's site and scrolled through the projects and names, I more then once said, hey, I know that person! It was nice to see the smiling faces of both Mary Ann Harder and Sandy Houk and admire the beaded bead necklaces they created.

We've plans on Saturday evening and on Sunday and I've given them suggestions for fun artsy things to do. Their off to the world famous San Diego Zoo with Jeannette this morning where they will undoubtedly have a wonderful time.

I started this post 'Best Friends' thinking about the many people I count as friends and feeling very fortunate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cheating on my beads

That is what Sabine Lippert posted about her recent foray with alpaca and knitting needles! If that is the case, I cheat a lot, using yarn and knitting needles to relax after a day of beading. I also believe (with no scientific basis whatsoever mind you) that using the different motion required for knitting is good for my hands. This may be completely untrue, but my hands seldom sit idly, so I thinking choosing a different repetitive motion is the best I can offer them.

Sweet Miss Malayna Pies is eight months old. She still has two sweaters and a pair of cashmere leggings in her 12 month wardrobe, but I didn't want to get behind, so I've cast on this tiered baby coat.

In pink with grey buttons....

The pink ugg like boots were purchased in Germany and yesterday I went to the Grove to find the perfect yarn and I did, even getting gauge with the yarn I wanted to use! A blue sky organic multi cotton.

I found this bag by Midori when I was up in Portland and what could be better to tote around baby girl knitting in?

This bag I found in Seattle and it is perfect for plane knitting. Especially when in a fit of impulsiveness, without my winder, I found it necessary to roll these two balls of artyarns by hand. A rolled ball will roll neatly down the aisle of a plane if not contained, and this bag works perfectly. The only label on it, says Walker, San Francisco if you are inclined to find one (Lisa).

And here is the gorgeous art yarns and the lacy scarf I am creating with them. I bought the yarn in Cologne at Maschenkunst, where there is a huge selection of art yarns. The one on the right is a one ply hand painted cashmere and it's heavenly. The one on the left has both size 11 seed beads and 3 mm sequins and is knitted in every 14 rows

As is usually the case with lace knitting, this will be transformed when blocked, but it's pretty even now.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Monday

and time to get to's going to be a rainy one, or at least I hope, funny how it's all relative. Rain when you need to be out and about is not so good, especially walking, but a nice rainy day in the studio, my first this season, I love. So here's hoping for some rain.

Sian, who has been my on-line friend for over a year, but whom I've now met in person, posted some lovely pictures of our time together. This is one of my favorites.

It was our last day and Petra had just taken us on a lovely outing to a garden center with many fanciful goodies and Christmas decor. A small cafe served coffee and a delectable selection of cakes. Elke who lived nearby surprised us with a visit and we all enjoyed some quiet relaxed time together. And then all too quick it was time to say goodbye, and Petra took our picture. I will keep such fond memories our this trip.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Back at home

But not quite back in the studio. Although I am beading, the 4th book project is taking shape and will be complete this week.

I'm also having beady visitors today, a visit from Najat who attended last years Beading by the Bay and is an excellent beader. Then sometime this week, when Stephney arrives from England. We haven't met, but have corresponded through email. Meeting in person is always wonderful and I look forward to it. Originally her and friend Rachel were interested in the Beadventure originally scheduled for Santa Barbara. When that got moved in favor of New York next October, they decided to plan a Califorina trip anyways. It seems that beads are going global!

I uploaded a few more German photos for your viewing pleasure.

From the train window the German countryside, between Cologne and Frankfurt, charming. I often think I could live here.
A tree lined walking path along the River Rhine in Frankfurt, where we enjoyed a lovely stroll in crisp fall air and I was reminded of how much I miss a proper fall.

The modern decor at Pearl, our hotel for our pre-flight evening in Frankfort

and finally, as I settled into my 'cozy' window seat next to Mark and beaded for several hours, I happened to glance out the window in time to see the snow covered mountains of Greenland beneath us.

I'll be getting serious about finishing up some projects and beginning illustration for the book over the next couple of weeks, but I'll check in. And now the studio needs some tidying up for my beady guests.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Homeward Bound

It's been a great trip but going home is always nice. Yesterday we took my favorite mode of travel, train! to Frankfurt. The train runs along the River Rhine past villages with churches and through fall foliage. I sat quietly, no beads, no yarn and watched the scenery go by. It was a two hour ride, but I could have done it for hours.

I angsted over a hotel choice as I always do in a new city, wanting to find a nice hotel at a not crazy price. Apparently high level finance meetings are being held here, which pushed the four and five star hotels into the ridiculous range. I fortunately made an excellent choice in the Pearl Hotel, modern, good location, great customer service and a two minute walk to the river where a tree lined walking road hugged the river and took us into town and museums. Unfortunately the permanent collections was closed but we had a wander through a special exhibition which was to neither of our tastes.

Besides being in our space (and my need to be in the studio) Maya is one of our favorite reasons for returning home!

photo by Brendan Reif, (Casey's boyfriend, where Maya is happily staying)

A long day of travel awaits, and then we'll enjoy a weekend of settling in and on Monday vacation will be officially over. See you then!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Well, yes, it has been vacation in Holland, and then in Germany I 'worked', well I taught four designs to lovely ladies, had a lot of fun, shopped for beads, had dinner out and enjoyed the glorious fall weather.

And yesterday I met with Andrea and Freddie from Perlen Poesie in the morning. I think an issue coming up very soon will tell the story! It has been a dream of mine since looking through the first issue of Perlen Poesie to some day be part of such an excellent publication, so it was a very exciting meeting.

And then today the train to Cologne, or Koln as it is spelled in Germany. The train lets off in front of the huge Cathedral, the Dom, which is certainly impressive. I was armed with the address of a yarn store ,Maschenkunst, that I wanted to visit.
Here are the two lovely ladies,Isabel on the left and very talented owner Daniella who helped me to make a very good selection. There is a rectangular lace scarf in hot pink in my future.

And here is a selection of the artyarns I came to see. I chose one with beads and sequins and a matching color of cashmere!

On Sunday the entire downtown of Bad Godesberg turned into a fabric mart (Judy you would have loved it!) and Sian bought this owl fabric. I couldn't help but to pose littler hoot with his cousin.

and here is the lovely Petra and bead sister Sian posing with a fanciful bauble that Sian had just gifted to Petra. There's an urchin bead in that bauble. Great colors!

And finally a beautiful fountain in a shopping mall at the Neumarkt in Cologne. It was a wonderful spot for a nice lunch of mussels and ravioli.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A look inside Das Perlament

Creating magic in a bead store is definitely the forte of owner Petra Tismer. Her sparkly personality, along with her knowledge of beadwork and well stocked store make it a favorite European bead destination. Das Perlamanet is in Bonn, Bad Godesberg, a nice small and welcoming town outside of the main Bonn in the south of Germany and not too far from the Eastern Netherlands. If you are close at all, it is definitely worth a visit.

Everywhere one looks there are clever displays, many of which Petra has made herself.. It all works to make a fun, eclectic environment for bead shopping. Here crystals are strung, all the better to admire their colors.

Playful color is evident everywhere

and whimsical touches add to the fun

add to that a huge selection of color, a seed beaders dream

more whimsy as Petra presses candle holders into action to hold, what else, more beads

and if you're looking for loose beads to add to a design there is no shortage of trays beckoning you with interesting shapes and colors

Every day before class I go into the shop and everyday I find things I hadn't seen before. Add to that all of the really nice and knowledgeable people who greet you, and it's a pretty amazing store!

Petra is also the author of Das Perlenfest der Rose Montees, showcasing these sparklies in a myriad of designs. I don't read German, but it's still a book that can be well enjoyed.

I had the pleasure of seeing her wear this beautiful cover piece yesterday.

Off to my last day of class, where I will be teaching Romantica. It's been a blast!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fabulous, Fabulous Germany

I have so many good pictures I don't know where to start. This has been the most amazing experiences, everyone's enthusiasm is such a treat, and the quality of beadwork is exceptional.

Here is Ute, who is not only wearing a beautiful version of Fanfare, but baked a cheesecake for our afternoon treat. I've never attempted cheesecake but this was the real thing, complete with spring pan (I don't even own a spring pan), a beautiful crust, and creamy cheesecake. Thank you Ute!

Here is Nicole wearing urchin beads and working on a fantastic teal and silver rings of saturn.

This is entwined circles beaded by Katarina, who came from Berlin to take the class. I was so happy to see this one done, as in the book, the bracelet ended up backwards on the model and does not show to it's best advantage. It turns out Katarina has beaded many of the book pieces. In the afternoon, I ran out of camera battery and was without my outlet adapter to charge it, so sadly I did not get a picture of Katarina.
I couldn't resist the fall foliage which is along the cobblestoned road on the way to the classroom.

Here is Elvira (isn't she cute?) who came from quite aways up North. Her and friend Martine (my assistant and translator for the day) were well on their way to completing Rings of Saturn in dark blues, gunmetal and silver. Martine used 2 mm crystals to 'polka-dot' her ring. I can't wait to see the finished versions and they've been given that job today. So perhaps photos later this week.
The next set of photos were all beautifully beaded by Katarina, Urchin beads

Beaded bangle in luscious purple iris and green
Quetzal ring in a soft analogous colorway.
and an Amphora pendant, also beautifully colored and finished with a nice rope necklace.
and Sian with her fun colored urchin used artistically in this whimsical pendant she put together.
Today is the Dream Keeper Vessel ring and Sabine Lippert will be the translator for today's class, imagine! I'm thinking it will be a fun day.

I have an excellent set of photos to give you a sense of the wonders of Das Perlament, but that needs to wait, as I get ready for another great day of fun.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Das Perlament

I'm in Bad Godesberg Germany and it couldn't be more wonderful. The sun started shining after 7 days of rain, the air is crisp, the way I like fall to be, and the store.....magnificent.

I met Petra and all of her cohorts, Elke, Sabine, Martine, and Kathrin two years ago at Bead and Button. Her love of beads, sense of color, and fun, oh and her love of crystals (she is also a Swarovski ambassador)are all infectious. Her store reflects all of that and more. There are treasures to behold everywhere I look and many things I haven't seen.

The stories of connections in the bead world continue to amaze me and I'm feeling very connected here. It's a long story, well sort of, starting with Cladia, a customer coming to ask Petra about a 'Disco bracelet' that she had seen somewhere but couldn't locate the pattern. Petra turned to google and came up with a photo on Sian Nolan's flicker account. She wrote to Sian who lived in England about the design and discovered it was one of mine published in Beadwork magazine. I discovered Sian as well, in a totally unrelated way here and wrote about it back in February of 2010.

Sian who is on the left here and Petra became great friends through this connection, and now finally I have gotten to meet Sian as well! and Claudia (the blond two down from Sian) who started it all and brought her Disco Squares, and Petra made one as well, so we'll have a disco squares photo session sometime later this week.

Elke(at the head of the table) who I met previously was my translator for the day and everything went beautifully.

Sian brought me a gift of a "littler hoot" made of crystal. Since Little Hoot left the suitcase after Portland and forgot to hop back in, littler hoot will have his own photo opportunities this week.

Below is some of the outstanding work done in yesterdays Crystal Collage class. It was all outstanding, these were just some of the ones the camera caught the best.

Today Rings of Saturn! An old favorite which I've taught twice in the last three weeks, a testament to it's design staying power.