Thursday, December 25, 2014

A lovely visit

Santana Row has been a peaceful interlude at the end of our busy year.  It's a really pretty spot...a shop, live, eat community.  It's always lively with walkers and strollers having a nice time.  Not sure I could live in the midst of a shopping center, but a three day visit has been restorative.

There is a lot of pretty here.

The hallways are brilliant.  Plain white walls become patterned by a grid that covers the ceiling lights and are angled to cast shadows that change depending on the angle of the light.  Quite an interesting way to achieve patterned walls.

The elevator foyer has a Spanish dancer painted on the wall, a different one on each floor.

The room is large and nicely appointed so it's been a pleasant stay.  Tomorrow we move onto our next adventure, while we savor the memories of being with family and friends.

Christmas babies!

First we stopped in Santa Cruz for a visit with first grandbaby Sam

then onto to Campbell.....with little Miss Layla

And sister Malayna

A wonderful dinner with friends Char and Rose at Straits in Santana row and then tucked into our fancy Christmas abode, hotel Valencia.

Christmas Eve was spent with our son and his new bride in their new home which they've made warm and inviting.

We've breakfasted, walked, relaxed and I've played with beads and tonight we'll join family for dinner! It's been a peaceful and joyous time with excitement to follow.

Wishing you peace and joy as well!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Design Intuition

As long as I've been beading you would think that I would have certain design principles firmly on board.  I understand them in theory, I can even articulate the ones that appeal to me and why, but somehow I can't seem to always apply them without the aid of seeing them visually.

I for sure wanted to use these unfoiled fancy stones in an earring because I love the way the light flows through them and I wanted to bezel them in crystal which I did, and I was in love.  The bezel is one shown to me by Nancy Joseph and it worked out perfectly for these stones. I've previously dangled earrings from chain to swing from my earlobes and that was my plan, but any chain on hand was to fine for the size of the crystal so I beaded up some diamond weave to suspend them from and attached an ear wire.  Picture the photo below, but upside down with no drop on the bottom and a third diamond.

Here is where the design flaw became apparent….they were much too bottom heavy.  One would think I would have taken a photo for you to compare, but I didn't, sorry.  I got busy with turning them around, using the diamond weave that previously suspended them as a bottom accent and adding my favorite pave teardrops.  Now they are balanced and sparkly and very very fancy pants.  I will be wearing them over the holidays with black velvet and enjoying the glow as the light passes through the stone.

So it turns out I am more of an intuitive designer then one schooled in design principles which I can readily apply. I know, profound observation on my part.  I have to see the piece beaded and then I can recognize color and balance and engineering and all the rest that goes into good design.  But I just can't always see the design flaw coming.  When I think about it, it makes total sense that I design with components because I can visually arrange them all day long.  

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I'm struggling a bit learning how to do this well.  This sign in my studio is a reminder.   Since I've been home eight days now I am actively working on how to have relax.

The first few days I had to unpack, grocery shop, tidy up the studio and do some Christmas shopping.  It turns out that being semi-retired does not eliminate a number of things that still need doing.

But other then beading, which is not work as far as I'm concerned, I have taken time off from the the business of MADDesigns.  As I transition to a different way of conducting business I plan on re-opening the webstore and as you can see, maintain a more active blog.  I will get to those things, but in the meantime I have chosen to totally let go of the business to do list until after the 1st.  Then I will plan what inventory to make and release as kits and what to release as tutorials.  I'll make a schedule of when to do these things and include some illustration and writing time for a couple of new designs.  So stay tuned.

During yesterdays rainstorm I sat in my comfortable chair with a cup of tea and a new Sunset magazine.  It was hard to overcome the feeling that I should be doing something else….I think this whole relaxation thing needs some time to learn it. 

I also got out my big Bead on It Board.  It's my favorite, not only because it's named the DeCoster, but because for a big, long term project I love the amount of real estate it has.  It's great for lap beading and it can store all my active beads.

I do realize this board probably makes at least half of my bead friends crazy, but try as I might I haven't changed my messy beader ways.  This just works for me, spill out a bit of what I want to use and use it, spill out the next thing…..I have learned to spill out fewer crystals, making the eventual clean up a little bit easier.

Time to finish up Christmas wrapping and mailing tasks and then back to the beads.   It's all I've got planned for the next two weeks!  And of course kissing grand babies!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

More photography

Conversation with some fellow bead artist/photographers suggested that maybe the light tent was not my best option so I decided to compare yesterdays photo (no light tent) with one using the light tent on the same piece.   When I didn't use the light tent, I also had not diffusers on my lights and can see the images of the three lights reflected on the pearls.

I thought perhaps the light tent would diffuse the two big lights enough to make them disappear and the front 'sparkler' light would have more impact.

I did notice that using the same f-stop resulted in a darker picture.  I didn't yet bother to go full manual and increase the shutter speed.  I am sure as time goes by I will get more familiar with how to best utilize this camera's (Canon Power Shot G16) features.  But I remain pretty happy with the level of detail, color and white balance (on auto).

Monday, December 15, 2014


My photos have come a long way in the time I've been beading but it's always nice to improve.  I feel that the bar has been raised in so many different areas of this beady career and I like keeping up.  Many of the artists take not only their own step out photos, but their own beauty shots and the beadwork is artistically presented.

My Canon EOS Rebel Ti, was stolen recently and I had to make a decision on what to replace it with.  I was torn, wanting the T5i with an expensive macro lens but not sure I could really justify that expense.  Mark being Mark started the research process and came up with the CanonPower Shot G16 as a recommendation for taking macro jewelry shots.  This option would be 1/3 of the cost of the DSLR I was considering.  I was still torn but willing to give it a shot.  It's a much better size for taking on travels, even though for the most part it will be dedicated to the studio, it was a consideration.  I never liked traveling with the big EOS rebel.

After reading through the manual and getting familiar enough with the controls, I thought I would shoot a bit of beadwork and see what I got.  I used an Aperture controlled setting as I like to control the depth of field.  I set it to 5.6 and let it determine shutter speed.  I worked without the light tent, laying the piece on some white paper and setting up my 3 lamps.

I'd say I got amazing detail out of this first shot!

Colors are good, white balance good, detail good…..I'm happy and can't wait to shoot a few more jewelry photos.

This necklace is second in the series of birthday necklaces.  This one belongs to Gail and was beaded by myself, Susan, Judy and Gail.  Yes the birthday girl has to bead too.  I contributed two beads so that the necklace would round out at 5.  The large center is a Bellisimo bead from Carol Wilcox Wells, the Art and Elegance of Beadweaving, and the smaller ones are from Beads in Motion, the Peanut Bead Slider bracelet.  The bracelet was also gifted to Gail and was done in these colors so she now has a matching set.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ancient Bells, CRAW, PRAW and semantics

My second Ancient Bells in Lavender and Bronze…..A fun way of using CRAW and PRAW.  What is PRAW?

The two side bells are beaded with cubic right angle weave and the center is prismatic weave with five sides.  The necklace is also prismatic weave using size 8 beads and six sides around.

So what is prismatic weave, it's a term for a stitch which shares the thread path of cubic right angle weave (cross the intersections with thread which squares up the sides) but is done with more or less sides then the four sides which make a cube.  Since according to smarter girls then I, Cindy Holsclaw and Gwen Fisher, that what is being woven is a prism, then the terminology fits and a PRAW-X where X is the number of floor beads (or sides) that are being created.

In the example of my necklace, it would be PRAW-6.  Although it adds another term and may initially cause some confusion, I just couldn't bring myself to call it CRAW when it wasn't a cube I was creating.  This way of referring to it makes sense to me.  We could of course use TRAW for triangle or three sided, CRAW for cubic or four sided, but after that my memory fails me for naming the 5, 6 or 7 sided ropes….so for me PRAW works.

Since CRAW and PRAW stitch present a lot of visible thread I decided to use the thread color to my advantage, using a dark purple thread with the bronze beads.  It adds a nice dimension to the finished piece.  In most cases I use double thread and forego the extra pass around the top or ceiling beads of the prism, however in the case of the necklace I found that extra pass pulled in the top nicely and the side beads create a ridge.  Here I wanted the one color but I think this would be especially fun with floor and ceiling beads of one color and a high contrast for the side beads.  The ridge created would be so much more visible in that scenarios and someday soon I will be trying that!

In the meantime I am working the second color way for Layla, my beading by the bay piece, and just this morning I woke up with a vision for a Bead Dreams piece that I'd love to complete.  Colors have been decided, stash beads have been assemble, additional beads have been ordered…..and I want to bead it now.  But Layla needs it's turn to be finished first!  I have a week of mostly at home time, with just a few holiday related outings required.  The rest of the time I'll be beading!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Aaaahhhhh retirement!

Funny, I thought I would take time off this week, but I am having a hard time finding the 'how not to be productive' mode of life.  It's true I do not need to travel, or pack for awhile now, but I still have to unpack, the studio remains in the aftermath of a busy fall and needs some order restored, and then there is Christmas, and wrapping and mailing.  Throw in some necessary beading and some desired beading and finishing up Ms. Layla's second sweater (she is well behind her sister in Grandma knits, but then she can wear her sisters first knits so she's not entirely without options)

I also decided that the all white Christmas tree with white lights did not look good with previous handblown ornaments so I undecorated it and redecorated it with all white and silver and now it's pretty.

I think it's going to take some time to settle in.  But I'm home for weeks and weeks now.  I am taking a class with David Chatt in January, in February I film the sequel to the Interweave RAW video, I'll be doing one on CRAW and PRAW and then there is Beading by the Bay in March.

All in all an easy schedule, totally doable.  I've also recommitted to walking and need to get on with an Ocean walk today (high surf is reported and I love to experience the Ocean during high surf, from the shore of course!)

I came a cross a little series of bags that I did in the photo album today and was re-inspired to do something like this again.  They were all done with a Turkish cast on and wool which I felted, then embellished the purses.  It was great fun.  I'm thinking the little ones would make a great cell phone/evening purse for carrying a lipstick a phone and a credit card.  Sadly I sold all these and I don't even have one.

The aqua one and the hot pink and orange were done from Cat Bordhi's magical knits and had a moebius cast on.  The straps were hard to predit and cam tout a little larger then I would have liked.  If I did it again, I think I'd stick to the little cute ones!  I'd love to make up a bunch and then spend a couple of days embellishing them.  What creative fun can you cook up?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Heavy Beading

What do I have planned?

I'm working on the second and third color ways of Layla, my Beading by the Bay piece.  It's called Layla as it was designed while air streaming in the Santa Cruz mountains waiting for Layla's birth.

Newest colorway is bright silver and muted metallic blues with a blue shade fancy stone.  I haven't decided on the outer edge color yet.  In this color way you see a hint of bright pink on the back of the CRAW petals.  I will say this one is challenging to bead as it is size 15 craw with 14 turns and joins.  There is also a back structure which gives a three dimensional quality to the piece.  I love the chain finish and my next challenge will be to find an equivalently good chain in a bright silver.  I think the third color way will call for a bronze chain.

I've also ordered the lemon fancy stone for the Deco Bracelet in Beading All Stars so that I can do up a bronze and amethyst sample.  First up will be the third Layla color which has yet to be decided.

I also just finished a second ancient Bells design in bronze and Lavender and ordered the beads to kit it for when the webstore re-opens sometime in January.  I'll take a photo for you soon!  Here it is in the original color.

When I'm not beading I have a rectangular lace shawl, and an adorable sweater for Layla on the needles.  Layla's is almost done which is the bonus of knitting for little ones.  The lace shawl is on size 3 needles and has a ton of repeats yet to finish it.  It will be very ethereal when it's completed.

Monday, December 8, 2014

I'm retired!

Well perhaps we will call it semi-retired.  I am home from the last engagement of 2014.  For 2015 I have three engagements planned and a lot of downtime.  That is what is required at the moment.

My last engagement was Beadjoux in Georgia and it was truly wonderful.  I met a whole bunch of students I hadn't met before and a few that I had and Stephanie and her Mom Monica who own Beadjoux.  I also met Jimmy Boatwright (?sp) so sorry  Jimmy.  I've admired her work, often published in Bead and Button for a long while and now I've met her, always a treat.

See that big old 'Bead on It Board' on the bottom,  it is called the DeCoster.  Deidre who  IS Bead on it Boards felt that the yarn fabric represented me well and named it after me.  I love it as it has enough real estate for me to work on my lap and keep all of my tools and beads handy.  This weekend Beadjoux had a stack of the DeCoster boards and as people decided it was right for them, they purchased and asked me to sign their purchase.  I am a big believer in the best tools, so it was a pleasure to do that.  It was also a first.  Hope you all enjoy your boards as much as I do mine!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beadjoux....What a lovely store

Monica and Stephanie, the mother and daughter behind Beadjoux in Braselton Georgia are both so lovely and enthusiastic.  They first contacted me two years ago and we scheduled a May date, but weddings and babies caused a conflict and they graciously offered to reschedule me.

I'm so glad they waited for me and that I'm here now.   They have all the right beads, a great location, big comfortable classroom and many accomplished and happy Beaders wanting to take classes!

I've also been nicely hosted with great meals and friendly company.  Many beautiful pacific morning glorys were built.  Tomorrow a similar crowd will work on quattro cupole followed by Santa Lucia on Sunday.

I've also met a couple of formerly, facebook only friends who are now  in real life friends, always nice!

I'll try to give you some more photos of the experience tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I mentioned that we started a tradition of making a beaded bead necklace for the birthday girl and December brings us a second birthday, so on Monday we spent a day of beading together.  I elected to do a Bellisimo for this necklace (I did an Amphora for the first one)  The rest of the gals did a layered bead from beads in motion, the peanut slider bracelet.  

We completed this but she doesn't get to have it until her official birthday celebration lunch next friday so I had an opportunity to take a photo.

I love the combination of dark blue, silver and platinum pearls that Gail chose for her beads.  We'll make a proper necklace in time, but the ribbon is a nice interim so it can be worn.

Bellisimo if you are curious was first done in 1999 or there about and is published in the Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells.

Funny I just noticed the cover beads would fit nicely with this theme, although they have smaller center holes, making them harder to put on a wider necklace.

Judy has decided rather then beaded beads we will make a cuff on which we all do a bit of bead embroidery.  That should be fun!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Beaded Beads

Climatic beading, what a funny thought, and what I mean is there are times or year or weather conditions during which the activity of beading fits into my day so much better.  It also means I probably live in the wrong place, because what I really love is a rainy grey day with some chill in the air.  I would prefer snow even but I live in San Diego so I'm not delusional, I know snow is never going to happen.

Fortunately for me today is overcast and lots of rain is predicted for tomorrow.  I do need to prepare a bit for my last bead engagement of the year (I leave Thursday) but I also have some solid bead time tucked into these two days.

You may remember me saying we have a new birthday tradition among my friends and that is for each of us to make a beaded bead for a necklace for the birthday girl.

So far I've made an Amphora from Beaded Opulence for Susan and am working on a large Bellisimo for Gail's upcoming birthday.  The girls, while enthusiastic and multi talented are just beginning their bead  journeys so I kept their beads simple by beading a base of raw, which then they layer and embellish, like the beaded beads in Beads in Motion.


Victorian Slider


Who knows maybe we'll step up to an urchin  bead in time!

Do have a favorite beaded bead?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The evolution of MadDesigns beadwork

I had an opportunity to consider my own personal evolution when asked the question in an online forum.

My first forays into bead weaving were amulet purses and although I made several I neither still have them or any photos.  Such is the early beading life when I wasn't teaching and didn't have to record everything I did.

I don't even know if these are represented in order, but I do know the top one, a bubble blower was very very early in my teaching career as were most of these pieces.  This whimsical little piece had a diachroic cab on the top which was glued to the top of a glass bottle cap.  On the inside of the cap I used my rudimentary wire skills to make a spiral at the top of the wire and a loop at the bottom.  The spiral was glued to the inside of the cap and became the bubble blower.  If you didn't get the pivot point of the connection quite right it would have a tendency to tip forward.  I would have been a better engineer today, but it's a fun piece.

This Bellisimo bead was done probably in 2000 or so on an Italian sail boat cruise down the coast of Italy.  It was also my first published piece in the Art and Elegance of Beadweaving by Carol Wilcox Wells.

Here you can see my freeform stage.  I was fond of making tendrils and folds and creating  really soft and fluid pieces.  I wish my illustration skills had been up to par at the time and I sometimes think I'd like to revisit these directions and share my techniques for this soft, fluid freeform work.

I especially love the colors and the dangles on this one.  It has a lot of movement when worn and I love that.

This piece belongs to daughter Casey and was designed to wear to a fancy opening of an eyebrow salon in Los Angeles.  She still has it and wears it!

Here is one of the original rings of saturn which became a favorite piece of mine and was the impetus for writing Beads in Motion.  Each of the rings spins around the center core.  And proves once and for all that I do know how to do peyote stitch.  And you thought I only knew right angle weave.

This piece amused me because I actually taught it and by todays standards it is pretty simple, but it was fun in it's day.  This you may recognize as the element from Romantica which I've used a lot in my design work.  It was first developed for Victoria to join the fans.

Victoria I know dates to 2003 because I remember designing it when I was sitting on a couch in my Haarlem apartment in the Netherlands.  I was trying to do ndbele with some picots sticking out from the rope, but it didn't work out so I embellished the resulting points and this little four pointed shape was born.

That's todays walk down memory lane!   Some of my designs have stood the test of time and some had short life spans.  If I had to pick one to repeat here, I wouldn't mind making a new, modern, fresh version of Victoria.  I can see it in dark silvers with indigo crystals, and someday I may do that!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Once again because they are so good, Vanishing oatmeal cookies!

I first posted this in 2010, but rather then linking back I thought I'd just give you the recipe once again because it's so good.

The best part is I almost always have the ingredients on hand, even when I'm desperate and can barely pull together a meal, much less a dessert, I usually have sugar, flour, egg, oatmeal and some form of nuts.  Making this the go to recipe when I am craving something sweet and did not plan in advance.  I hardly ever plan sweet in advance as I've struggled with weight my entire life and therefore don't usually have trigger foods in the cupboard.

Tonight I had to use the leftover pecans from the butternut squash, black rice salad.

So here it is….

The best ever oatmeal cookies!

As promised, I thought you might all like this recipe. They are called 'vanishing oatmeal cookies' well actually they are called 'vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies' but since I don't happen to like raisins in my oatmeal cookies I leave them out. You know how when the lights not good and you think the raisins are chocolate chips and then you get all disappointed because they're not they're raisins, me too...

Vanishing Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
2 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups uncooked oatmeal

and my own personal addition 1/3 c crushed walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir in oats and in my case walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

These are buttery crisp, not soft and chewy. They are really really good. You might want to make a 1/2 recipe, or share with your co-workers or neighbors or knitting circle as the case may be.

and the winners are!

I've decided to give two of these away so we have two winners!  Thank you so much for participating.

Blogger Patsy Buccy said...
What a nice thing to do, thank you! I very comfortable with raw, but have not played with craw yet.... Would love to win...
November 24, 2014 at 5:20 PM

Blogger Lissa Davis Block said...
I would love to win this! It would be an awesome holiday gift to me! I'm still a beginner and I consume the work I see on these Facebook pages like a mad woman. I am always looking to learn new stitches and techniques and adding CRAW would be a bonus! Presents for the holidays! I love telling people I make my own jewelry when they ask where I get my pieces. So...winning this would simply be one of the best presents for the holidays. Thank you!
November 24, 2014 at 2:30 PM

So happy to be able to share the love of bead weaving and most especially raw and craw with you.  Please go to my website and use the contact us link to send me email letting me know your address details so I can send  your videos on their way!  If you are still inclined to watch this video the Interweave store has it on sale at the moment, not sure for how long so you may want to visit today.  

Friday, November 28, 2014

How did you come to beading?

I ask because I find that most people who show up in a beading class have arrived through some other path.  Often they have cross stitched or done embroidery or otherwise have worked with needle and thread.

I've knitted, crocheted, embroidered and sewed.  Sewing is being revisited at the moment as I have a desire to make a table cloth for our newly acquired Airstream table.  I like to do fancy, just in case you missed that personality trait of mine.  When I 'camp' in the airstream I take my nespresso, I have cloth tablecloths and napkins, china coffee cups and crystal cocktail glasses.  Yes, that is my definition of camping.

Today I visited the fabric store of JudiPatuti and bought three retro and co-ordinated fabrics which will create a tablecloth for the new dining table.  My sewing skills may be rusty, but I did have them, often making my young children pants and tops sewn by me.  I spent a period of time doing freeform quilting and I love fabric.  I still own a very old, by todays standards, Bernina sewing machine.  To own todays would cost a small fortune and not one I can justify.  But the one I have will service me just fine….I hope.

So tomorrow's job is to complete the table cloth which will have one fabric on top, a different coordinating one for the piping and a third for the 3 inch stop around each side.  The 18 inch b y 24 inch table is the perfect compliment between our low swivel chairs.  Since we are about to 'retire' and embark on one our longer airstream outings we want our space to be wonderful.

We'll be parked in the redwoods of Felton, near Santa Cruz where we met and grew up our family.  It should be a wonderful adventure!  Perhaps tomorrow I can show you the table cloth I've created!

Black Rice salad

Thanksgiving is full of traditional foods so when asked to bring a salad to a Thanksgiving dinner I wasn't quite sure what kind of salad would be right.  Then I remembered the Black Rice Salad that I had at a dinner party a couple of years back.

It was such a hit that the recipe was emailed to many who attended and I promptly made it, a little too often for Mark's taste I think, so it because one of those recipes that falls by the wayside.  For some reason it popped into my head as the perfect Thanksgiving salad and the small miracle was that I could actually find the recipe.

I suspect that my hosts had salad in mind, like something green with lettuce and tomato.  Though called salad, this one really is more of a hearty side dish or a vegetarian main course.

It was  originally published in Sunset magazine but typing the name into a search window and I found the recipe at  The black rice gives an earthy flavor, roasted butternut squash adds a sweet flavor along with a tiny bit of maple syrup and the pomegranate seeds and roasted pecan provide crunch and color.  It's a festive looking salad and a great one to take to a pot luck.  I had my first experience with de-seeding a pomegranate (I usually take the lazy way out and buy the seeds at Trader Joes, but if you wait until Thanksgiving morning to shop that is not an option)  It wasn't hard but I did lose my grip and send half a pomegranate skittering across the kitchen floor splashing red all over the hem of Mark's pants.  He did not find it quite as humorous as I did.  Maya ever hopeful for the dropping of food tried a taste and was unimpressed.

Don't forget a winner will be chosen to win Marcia DeCoster's Right Angle Weave video.  Enter to win by commenting on the post here.  Tune in tomorrow to see if you're a winner!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I have much thanks!

Thanks that in 2004 I left my corporate job, encouraged by my husband to explore my creative roots and be with the beads full time.

Thanks that many of the relationships I had made saw something in me and gave me the opportunity to teach in their stores.  Thank you Susan, Carole, Blanche, Julie, Lisa and Kathy, you believed in me when I was less sure.

Thank you to Bead and Button who also took a chance on my skills...I always tried to do my best, but a class or two fell short, and I was given the opportunity by students and staff to make up for that failure.

Thanks to the magazines, Jean Cox, Marlene Blessing and Leslie Rogalski who have showcased my work.

Thanks to Lark books, who helped to develop and promote the books that I wrote and curated, and special thanks to Ray Hemachandra, Bonnie Brooks, Nathalie Mornu and Jean Cox who were all instrumental in their success.  Also thanks to the many artists who trusted me with their work in Marcia DeCoster presents.

Thanks to my wonderful children who continue to excel and make me proud.  Thanks to my first grandbaby Sam who has and has always had my heart.  Thanks to all my children for keeping me in their and their children's lives.   It is my most important time.  Photos of Layla and Malayna always brighten my day and capture my heart.

Thanks to the group of friends I've kept through my corporate life, my early life, created in my bead life and spend time with in my home life, I love  you all.  Dearest Just Me, you are in my thoughts always.

Thanks especially to my husband who supports me and makes my life special in every way.

It's been a magical few years.

I  have much to give thanks for.  May you all have a wonderful day, however you spend it.

Beading for the home

My main beading has always been jewelry as I love personal adornment and it was my impetus to begin beading in the early 90's.   But lately I'd like to use those skills to bring a few personal touches to home decor.  We've been working on the bedroom and I bought new lampshades to update and freshen up the lamps we have.

When at the lamp store I was given two resin ball finials and had the thought that a Touch of Whimsy would be a fun treatment.  I also wanted to bring the silver and gold of the shade to the top.  I've finished the one and the jury is out.  I can't decide if it meets the goal of whimsical, or is just the wrong scale and looks silly.

I always get disappointed with unrealized visions….it was so perfect in my mind.  Ah well….I suspect I'll do the second and will come to appreciate them.  We shall see.

Have you beaded any home decor?  Vessels?  Wall hangings?  Finials?  Wondering how to bring a bit of beadwork to the rest of the home and not just the jewelry in the studio.  This was my last foray, although hardly a noticeable statement.

On the other had I am loving the dark grey wall behind the bed and the new lampshades add a touch of modern.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The bedroom remodel

Non beady content, but a fun project.

Seems that somehow in all the homes we've lived in, the bedroom decor gets done in the beginning and never really evolves.  Other rooms, you know the public rooms that people see take precedence and the yard projects and years go by and the bedroom is dull and boring.

We had white walls, a bed that I never really liked, a dresser that came with the house and a mirror that was much too small in scale.  The wood slat blinds that are throughout the house are in a level of disrepair requiring new tapes and the mattress needed replacing.

And so the remodel began.  I decided on this bed!  I had seen it a two or three years ago and was pretty sure Mark would not see the same charm that I did.  I'm not sure he does, but he agreed that I should buy it and I did.

We have black hardwood floors throughout the house so this is a really good fit with the decor.  I chose bedding from  Restoration hardware in shades of grey.  I chose two greys for the walls, one really dark grey for the wall behind the bed and the rest medium grey.  It's still in process so the room is chaotic, but I must say the change is totally amazing.  I go to sleep and wake up feeling like I'm being hugged by the warmth of the room.

I've bought new lampshades for existing lamps and this morning decided that I shall bead the round ball  finials with a touch of whimsy in silver and golds!  I'm very excited for that.  Bringing more whimsical touches into the room.  The top would look like this with little bands of raw coming around the clear ball of the finial.  

I still need to pick the perfect rug, take the blinds to be re-taped and paint the back of the built in book case with some shiny metallic paint.  I'd also like to replace the heavy sliding closet doors with sumptuous dark grey velvet curtains….we'll see if time and money allows that extra bit of luxury.

I hope soon to have the bedroom sanctuary that I've always dreamed of and then I will show you pictures!

Bead and Button Santa Lucia!

As promised, here is a look at my Santa Lucia that I will teach on Thursday of Bead and Button. I've taught this enough times to understand that it is a really doable project that results in a really pretty necklace.

I've seen many different color combinations and I'd love to make them all!  For now there are these four with the intent to do one or two more colors, we'll see.

There are only a few of the Topaz left as both the antique brass and dark green pearls have been discontinued.  But I've got a really pretty light green and vintage gold one in the works  (the green is also discontinued, but I have some inventory!)

Occasionally there is a design which I want to make in every possible color combination, this is one of those!  When I originally designed it the Swarovski coin pearls did not exist….my friend Tracy who took this class at Beading by the Bay made the platinum color way to wear to her daughters wedding.  It is truly a wedding piece done in these colors perfect for the mother of the bride or the bride!