Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Doing it justice

I'm torn because I want to sit down and tell you about all of the pieces I respond to in 500 Beaded Jewelry....and time is not on my side.  I've written the post in my head, but  it's not quite that easy of course.  I want to walk through it again slowly savoring the pieces, examining each one, what it is that draws me in and I want to tell you about it....and time is not on my side.  At the moment I can't do justice to that blog entry and I want to.

I'm working a lot of different things simultaneously it seems, beading beaded beads for a necklace challenge I joined, finishing up reviewing tech edits for Beads in Motion, thinking through designs for the Bead Within, working on the website for the project reveal of Beading by the Bay, ordering supplies for the Southern Bead Retreats Spirit Flight and illustrating my Master Class component selection.

It's all wonderful of course, it's the life I chose, and I did choose it, forgoing my corporate career, always working someone else's agenda for the security of a weekly paycheck.  I chose to work for myself, to get up in the morning, wander down the hall with coffee in hand and spend the day doing things that directly effect my well being.  It's a good way to live and I have no regrets.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2013 Master Class Bead and Button

The news I promised last week, I will be teaching the 2013 Bead and Button Master Class.  I've known for quite some time, having been invited to teach in 2014, but about a month ago I was asked if I might be able to adapt my schedule to teach in 13 instead.  

Since I was first asked I had been developing my concept so I felt quite comfortable saying yes.  

The title Playing with Possibilities is what I always do during any design session.  Even when working up samples of already designed pieces, I am toying with the components, re-arranging them, folding them, twisting them and exploring what might occur if I were to change things a bit.

This will be the essence of the three days, where a design playground of components will be available for folks to arrange into their own design visions.  Tutorials for all of the components will be provided and once a design direction is established, photos will be taken and the beading will begin. 

Just to give you an idea.....none of these pieces have actually been connected into their final format, they have all been arranged with components to show off the 'possibilities'


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Miss Maya, for Jose

When a blog reader advises me of their desires, I like to try to oblige, so when Jose, owner of his own chihuahua dressed in crystal, let me know he hadn't see Maya on the blog in awhile. I found some Maya photos

Is she not the cutest girl?....long haired chihuahua daschund, rescued at one and a half years, now nine, the most loving sweet people companion. we can't imagine life without her. She reminds daily to live in the present, feel the joy, and love those closest to us unconditionally.

Pasadena Bead and Design Show

I had the chance to visit yesterday, running into many friends, finding a few new treasures including this ring

From Robert Lopez

I have a couple of new clothing pieces as well...ahem....they are after all a business expense....

And a few new beads, some pieces of Raku and a bit of chain.

I wasn't around to see the beautiful Katherine, but here she is visiting th Judi Patuti booth

Last night dinner at La Luna Negra on Green street, recommended by friend Susan Blessinger, was very fun. There was an excellent choice of very inventive Tapas, live music and Flamenco dancing. If you are in the mood for a quiet intimate dinner this is not your spot, but the food was full of eclectic flavors and a good time was had by all.

I met my goal of finishing the first half of tech edit reviews for the book on Friday afternoon at 3:57 so I took the weekend off. Next week should complete the rest of book two for now and it's on to book three.

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Janet over at Honey from the Bee, introduced me to Pic Monkey for making photo collages.  I used to do this with Picnik and I can do it with Illustrator, but with multiple formats and an easy upload capability Pic Monkey does the trick beautifully.  It's currently free and I ponder how long this will remain so, but in the meantime I took the opportunity to put together a collage of my photos from the Chihuly exhibit in Seattle.

I've shown you the pictures, at least some of them, but a collage really tells a story.  The lighting and the glass and the installation were all so  compelling it was almost impossible to take a bad photo.

Thanks for the information Janet, I see a few collages in my future....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


As I continue to design I always try to find better ways to finesse the details.  I have a new piece, reveal to be done soon, and I'm in the process of working out a clasp that integrates beautifully and is secure.

I'm loving the pearls and how they compliment the design...A teardrop Swarovski glass pearl in antique brass with a volcano loch rosen

and I've made it secure with a little lasso

But it's still a bit awkward.  I have another idea in my head and possibly some time today to explore it.

In the meantime I am responding to technical edits for Beads in Motion, reviewing all text and illustrations.  I might have been a little off my game as I am finding some crazy errors, six repeats instead of five, a peyote tube illustrated when the piece is actually done in right angle weave, that sort of thing.  All pretty easy fixes so far.

We're headed for the Pasadena show this weekend.  I've never been and besides beads they have some of my favorite wearable art designers, and by the weekend I suspect I will feel in need of a treat.

Oh and sometime this week I'll have news to share, reasonably exciting news, so stay tuned.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Beady Life

I must sit down and schedule out the next few weeks, it's the only thing that keeps me on track.  Otherwise I can tend to float through the days not accomplishing what needs to be accomplished.  First up is reviewing all of the technical edits for Beads in Motion.  There will undoubtedly be some illustration changes so we'll so how much of my learning curve I retained!

On the beady front I finished a third color way for Spirit Flight my Southern Bead Retreat piece.

Originally Spirit flight was designed with a felted ball, but since exact sizing was imperative and I had created the ball myself in a non standard size, the impracticality of kitting over 50 of these became pretty apparent to me.  The calipers revealed a need for a 1 1/4  inch ball which happens to be a standard wooden ball size.  It sounds heavy but it's not at all, wooden balls are surprising light.  So although I don't need to roll over 50 evenly sized felt balls I do need to gesso and paint over 50 wooden balls. This one is done with a new line of metallic paints from Christi Friesen named Swellegant.http://store.cforiginals.net/swmecoco.html  It has a beautiful richness to it.  This is the brass metal coating.  There is also a line of colored dyes and patinas that can be applied, but for this one I like it as is.

I am also working out some clasp decisions on my Beading by the Bay piece.  For those of you waiting, the goal is August 1st so share with you next  years projects by Sabine Lippert, Huib Petersen and myself!

and....each day I wait for the UPS lady to see if she's brought my copy of 500 Beaded Jewelry.  The reviews are starting to come in and they are all glowing.  How could it not be a gorgeous book, 500 examples of contemporary Beaded Jewelry? And as I looked for a review to link I noticed that Jean Yates called out my Party Girl necklace, how exciting is that?   I think how far the art has advanced over the 20 years I've been doing it and I can't wait to see so many different pieces created with beads.  I'll be sure to share the minute I get it, well when I get done drinking in the pages.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Trading Spaces

Yesterday we left the sweeping and dramatic vistas of the Pacific Northwest for the 

 sunny palm tree studded views of San Diego.

The weather was welcoming, clear and sunny with just enough cloudiness to make for a a pretty sky.We returned to our back yard, grilling fish and dining outdoors as we do almost every summer evening.
Miss Maya is always well cared for in our absence, but still spins happy circles at our return!

Re-entry is always a bit of an adjustment.  This was a nice long rejuvenating vacation and getting back to things with a more hurried pace is going to take a little bit of time.  Today I'm off to an appointment, perhaps a stop at my favorite seaside town on the way home....and maybe a little reckoning with the calendar later today.

I'm contemplating some new equipment for my photo capabilities.  I think I have determined that a horizontal tripod is in order.  I have an excellent macro lens but struggle to take a shot of a piece which requires a top down viewpoint.  So the research has begun.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Southern Bead Retreat

October 14th to 20th in Pine Mountain Georgia is the Southern Bead retreat.

Sherry Serafini, Huib Petersen, Diane Fitzgerald, Cynthia Rutledge, Kimberly Stathis and myself will be giving classes. Fall on the East Coast is a magic time for me so I look forward it. My project, Spirit Flight is a fanciful pendant.

and I love it. the wooden ball is painted with metallics and pearlescents and a crystallized beaded netting captures it. The bail is studded with crystal sequin and a whimsical collar with crystal tips sits on top of the ball. A silk ribbon makes it immediately wearable and compliments the colors beautifully.

A few cancellations have provided more opportunities to join in. Registration information can be found here.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation is drawing to a close

And I am trying to decide what last things to fit in, although truly its been magical so far and no more really needs doing.

The weather has been exceptional most every day, throwing in just one thunder and lightening storm and one brief rolling thunder and downpour, both of which I of course loved.

The natural beauty here is breathtaking.

I've had beading success, finishing up my Beading by the Bay piece and a number of odd components....and no I am not showing you BBTB until we do the project reveal in a couple of weeks.....but I am most happy with it.

Today we went to the Museum of flight and Mark took a bi-plane ride....I took photos

I am thinking of a favorite Thai restaurant followed up by a visit to Molly Moons and perhaps Fusion Beads, we'll see how the day unfolds.

Friday, July 13, 2012

More Chihuluy

I wanted to show you this series of outdoor hanging glass sculpteres

I thought you might appreciate the visual....


Inspiration comes from everywhere.....pretty sure I want to bead this in some form, not the reindeer, but the bauble.

Could be a piece for the next title I am working on, 'the Bead Within'

I came across it in a Seattle hat store, while Mark was buying a new cap...he looks great in a cap, wouldn't you agree?

And I am up to some more beading.....
Two Spirit Flights,almost ready for their test beader who has been waiting patiently ....

Playing with possibilities

More bead play Sunday, tomorrow an outing!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tearfully Beautiful

Yes there was a point I cried over the sheer beauty of this installation. Every corner rounded more incredible artistic vision was displayed. The glass while incredible was really only a part of the story. The way each piece was displayed to advantageously be part of it's environment was a huge part of the experience.
I have over 60 glorious photos of our day at the Chihuly exhibit at the Seattle Center, which is on the grounds of the space needle.
The sky was the perfect blue, Seattle's weather has been good to us.

As we approached we saw this through the bent spokes of the fence.

this was part of a ceiling exhibition similar to the one at Bellagio in Las Vegas

A boat filled with globes on black glass that reflected the image

One of several hanging installations

An outdoor installation, one of several similar in size and structure, each a different color.

An entry table, beautifully lighted

The outdoor garden

Orbs perfectly positioned to reflect the space needle.

One of the many outdoor sculptures

it was a magical day, if you are able to go I think you will find it to be an exceptional experience.

Vacation continues

And so does the beading. Today I will finish up the second of my Spirit Flight pieces and continue onto finishing my Beaded by the Bay piece, but yesterday we had an outing...

We drove North to Mukilteo and took the car ferry across to Whidby island where we visited a few shops, had coffee at the Useless Bay Cafe, have to love that name, and then were treated to lunch at Beverly Gilbert's beachside home.

You may have noticed that Beverly is pretty good with a camera, so we headed off for an afternoon of viewing the island, camera in hand.

Unusual vegetation was everywhere on Whidby Island.

this plant in particular was fascinating. Beverly reports that in fall it is bright orange.

I loved the late afternoon sun on this planter and how the color stood out against the shiny backdrop.

Unlike yesterday, where the sun didn't show up until midday, it is already in full evidence today and I suspect that means a beautiful day is in store.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Southern Bead Retreat

This will be my first year teaching, but the Southern Bead retreat is it's third year. Hosted by Paula, who owns fine Beadcage in Columbus Georgia, the retreat features classes from Cynthia Rutledge, Sherry Serafini, Huib Petersen, Diane Fitzgerald, Kimberly Stathis and myself.

My original Spirit Flight, beaded way back when I was asked over a year ago, was needing some additional colorways and so this week I got busy beading. I am technically on vacation but one of the things that I find relaxing to do, is to bead of course. So in this beautiful Pacific Northwest environment, I managed a new version of Spirit Flight that I am loving. I changed up the felt ball to a painted wooden ball which gives me control over consistent size, important for the math of the netting to work out every time, which of course is important in a classroom setting. It is also a painted in a pearlescent paint with subtle hints of silvery glitter.

It looks different from every vantage point and has a huge sense of whimsy that I like, while still remaining elegant.

From this angle you can see the sparkling vintage crystal which is hidden while wearing, but revealed when you tip it up to enjoy.

The collar slips over the bail and a simple ribbon sets it off beautifully.

And here the top down view.

The collar could be inter changeable as well, a darker one for more drama, or a vibrant one for more fun......but before I go beading more collars I need to bead up Spirit flight in a couple of more colors.

Friends Janice and Tracy will join me today for a long relaxed visit where none of us are running off to a classroom. Not that we don't love that, but almost always when we get to spend time, we're also needing to keep a
schedule. Now that I'm visiting in their neighborhood we get to enjoy a day of leisure.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


We had a lovely Seattle day, a trip to Lake Union and a perfect table at Chandlers on the lake. Asking if it was a special occasion we explained the entire holiday was special given it was our 25th anniversary.
After a wonderful brunch they delighted us with a creme brûlée served with pineapple coconut sorbet.

We sat side by side to best enjoy the view, while we watched endless boats enjoy the water. We found a large trawler in really bad repair for $25,000 and I tried to convince Mark we should buy it and live on the water.....but he wasn't so keen on my idea.
I've been beading and have photos to share once I borrow the gizmo which will take my photos from the camera to the iPad...I seem to have brought two of the wrong one..
so much yet to do, tomorrow visit with friends and Tuesday, Whitby Island.
And hopefully a visit to the
Chihuly exhibit at the space needle.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Coogee Bay birthday dress

Well for someone who hasn't crocheted since the starched snowflake ornaments of the 1980's, it seems it adheres to the bicycle principle, you don't forget how.

I did have to work at the choice of fiber as the pattern called for a Chinese yarn that I was unable to source in this country, at least in my limited google and Ravelry attempts. However discussion with the Australian designer yielded the information that the original dress was done with number 3 Aunt Lydia's crochet thread. I've got the appropriate amount on order, and am currently working on the third square.
It will take 40, and luckily for me a few accomplished crocheters have volunteered to help. The plan is to wear it for my 60th birthday, which gives me about two and one half months, or New Years.....with the volunteer help it will be a bigger responsibility to finish since I wouldn't want their efforts to go unrewarded with the vision of the finished dress.
I'm also toying with dyeing it, maybe a tea dye to create a more vintagey look. Some experimentation is in order.
Today's ferry ride will see the finish of the 3rd square and the start of the fourth. I haven't timed a square yet since I am still getting familiar with the pattern and I'm sneaking in a few stitches at odd moments, but I will. I like to know these things.....If I can do one in two hours let's say then 40 is only 80 hours, totally doable, right? If it's three hours well then that is different math and then there are the joining rows which I predict will be 1/2 hour apiece.....and I have help.

Thursday, July 5, 2012


It's been a nice trip, lovely meals, beautiful views, artistic outings. The views of the Olympic mountains were incredible. It's been a mixture of relaxation and outings ... Including shoe shopping.

Off tomorrow to check on some silver rings that we liked...perhaps a 25th anniversary set of rings....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

the Pacific Northwest

I am pretty sure I could have lived here. The natural beauty is so exceptional, the greenery so refreshing, the cool air so invigorating. the days are perfect for exploring and the evenings which remain light until late are perfect for retreating into a cozy environment and beading or crocheting or just gazing at the idyllic view.

Could it be more gorgeous? Yes I do think I would be happy here, but it's not in the cards, so instead I am going to soak in every bit of this visit. Tomorrow we are off to Victoria for a two days, which begin with a ferry ride. I am hoping to see whales!

Monday, July 2, 2012

The Poser

Miss Malayna showing off her latest Grandma knit.

Pretty precious!