Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The new bed!

Does it work this way of for you?  I decided we needed a new mattress…the current one was old, but really we should have a new bed frame and well if we do that, then maybe a rug would be good beneath it, but the new bed is black so should we get new night stands or should we paint our brown ones black and as long as we are doing this wouldn't it be nice if the walls were dark grey and I really like the new metallic paints and……

You get the picture right?

Well the new bed frame has arrived and I have to say as much as I love it the quality even for a trendy boutiquey type store is not as good as it should be.  The bed I love, but when we took the old mattress and box spring off we discovered that the side rails were put on backwards and the cross boards were too low so they sort of pivoted on the center board.  Mark cut little spacers to accommodate the flaw and now we've put the new memory foam mattress on and tonight we will see how we feel about it.  I sure hope we feel good!

This is our new bed and I'm darn excited.  I love the spindles which Mark refers to as pancakes and is less enamored then I am.  Today he dusted  the 'pancakes' which made me laugh.

I've got pretty new bedding, but so far that is where the remodel has stopped.  I envision this beautiful sanctuary, but there are a few things that need to happen to make that reality.  

and in bead news, tomorrow morning I leave for Tyler Texas where I will teach a Touch of Whimsy for three days.

The lavender is a personal favorite and I love how the Polaris beads have a glow or a light from within.

It's going to be an exiting three days AND I have packed my selfie stick and after all a bead retreat is the ultimate selfie stick venue right?

I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Somehow it always all gets done…...

I fret about a to do list and if there will be time to accomplish it and somehow I always manage, although this stretch has made me a little wearier then usual.

I had a great weekend hosting a bead society class given by Amee Sweet McNamara.  Lots of lovely women making soutache, although I sat out having previously done a pendant I elected to kit a new Touch of Whimsy….a purple one!  Just in time for the Tyler Bead Retreat this weekend.

It was nice to have company with relaxed evenings and lots of bead chat!  Amee had a special fondness for our  San Diego weather as we spent evenings on the veranda.

I also carved out a little time to finish up the 3rd Sprockets color way (or 5th depending on which ones I count, my favorites or all of them!)  This one I am especially fond of as I made it specifically to go with some Miriam soutache earrings.

I also am totally in love with the Swarovski raindrop crystal at the bottom.  This one gets taught in just a couple of more weeks at Beads by Blanche.  It will be it's debut which can sometimes be a daunting class but I am in so in love with this one I can envision nothing but fun…..hope I'm right and so do the girls at Blanches I bet!

Also on the list of treats was an outing with friends  Judipatuti, Gail and Susan.  Between the four of us we have a seriously accomplished knitter, a hugely experienced seamstress, a very talented painter and I've done some beading as well.  We've shared all of our expertise's between one another with the exception of painting  which is our next endeavor.  So following an excellent birthday lunch in Little Italy at the new Ironsides (which had fabulous decor and food) we went to Blicks arts supplies for our painting supplies directed by Gail.  She's busy putting together lesson plans for us which will begin with painting our own color wheel.  I predict we are going to have a lot of fun!  I'll keep you posted!

oh and psssttt…..I almost forgot, the webstore remains closed but we did (well Mark did) make a link to the deco bracelet kits for the project that is in beading all-stars.  You can find it here!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Contemporary Geometric Beadwork

Kate McKinnons Contemporary Geometric Beadwork Volumne II, arrived in yesterdays mail and I've got to say the level of work, the photography, the forms, the creativity…..the colors! All so very well done.

There are so many incredibly unique piece in this book yet they all evolved from a few concepts.

This is the ultimate in process/project, given a few instructions on process, creative genius ensued.

The Mariella Boscetti piece on page 73 captivates me with it's colors, as does the Katherin Kosta piece on page 229.

Laurel Kubbpy's piece on page 134 incorporates pearls in little hidden pockets.

and Rayo Boursier on page 135 incorporated crystals!

JoAnn Baumann's Pagoda Bangle uses grey creams and yellows and the Kate McKinnon bangle shown on page 166 worn by Graham Thompson and photo'd by Ali Megan is perfection.

I don't have a large stash of delica's, having been a RAW girl for most of my beading career I've never developed the delica habit, but I see now I will need to change my ways.  I'll also need to find some time.

This is a book that a needs to be part of any serious bead weavers library!  I'm thinking I may need two as it is sure to be a classic and the pages are sure to be turned many many times…..

Friday, October 17, 2014

Having my morning coffee with you

This one's for Terry in Alaska and Kathy in Massachusetts and all of those beaders I meet who tell me they enjoy the blog. (Apologies to both of you if I didn't spell your names quite correctly, trust that I have your faces and names firmly planted in my heart, I just don't recall the proper spelling)

People continue to tell me they like to start their morning with a cup of coffee and their favorite blogs, so here's me pulling up a chair to join you..  It is truly nice to be reminded that people do read and do enjoy what I have to share.

I've had a busy summer and fall which is a bit of an understatement.  My schedule caught me a bit off guard (yes it was me who booked it!) but I neglected to realize that scheduling too many back to back engagements which also required kits, then throw in some foreign travel and things got a tad hectic here at MadDesigns.

It turns out that Touch of Whimsy is one of my favorite things to teach, which is a great thing because I'm teaching it for three days in Tyler Texas next weekend.  This was the formerly maligned yellow polaris bead (or bon bon bead depending on your source!) At first glance it took some imagination to develop a set of colors that suited it, but Liz did it beautifully here and at the end of the day yellow became the new favorite!

I look forward to my next set of engagements and then I look forward to an airstream trip to Santa Cruz and lots of grand baby hugs and walks on the beach and visits with family and friends.

My recent trip to New Hampshire was a treat.  Having grown up in Massachusetts I often crave the cool fall days and the beautiful colors, especially given that we were having an unseasonal 100 degree heat wave here in San Diego.  I ate lots of  'Lobstah'  (have you ever seen a lobster roll or taco that looked so good?!)

and enjoyed the company of the many who joined me in classes.  My flight was scheduled late in the day on Monday so Judy offered to take me on an outing up the coast to some of her favorite ocean spots and then to Stonewall Kitchen for lunch and shopping.  I'm excited to make the pumpkin  layer cake that I purchased for guests on Sunday.

This is one of the beautiful spots where one can have lunch at Stonewall kitchen.  Kathy instructed me to be sure to pick up there recipe cards which I did so now when I start to cook I will have lots of inspiration!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Beading All Stars - Deco Bracelet

Obtaining the un 'obtainables'  I had to laugh when I saw this reference recently….yes occasionally we inadvertently design with a piece that ends up being hard to get.   Sometimes there is a long lead time between design and a publication.

This was the case with the Deco bracelet that I designed for the Beading All Stars book published by Lark this September.  It is a compilation of ten artists who each designed two piece for the book.  If you haven't had a look you may want to as there are some beautiful designs in this book.

The 'lemon' fancy stone had just been released and I couldn't resist the allure of it's checkerboard racets and it's tapered shape.  The foiled silver night stone was just so darn pretty and surrounded with a size 15 raw bezel really stood out as the focal piece.

As it turns out not everyone store is carrying the lemon fancy stone….but a few are!  I know that if you give Beads by Blanche a call she has some to sell you.  Also Isabella Lam is carrying it in her Etsy store here….and here

And in a bit of time I will have kits available for the version seen here.  Although the webstore remains closed until the end of my travels this year, I will keep you posted when the Deco Bracelet kit is available, or you can use the contact us form on the web site to let me know if you interested.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

I've missed you….

I've gotten so busy with life that I've not shared with you for along while.  Today I was looking for something that I thought I had written on the blog (which sadly I haven't yet found) but as I perused through many old posts and comments I realized how much history and thoughts on family and friendship and of course beads and knitting were all stored here in these pages.

Then I realized that it was time for me to start collecting those memories again.  Busy is all relative anyways, there are people much busier then I am who live magnificently large and accomplish great things, and there are those who are less busy in a way that suits them.

Right now I'm too busy for my peace of mind, but I have arranged for that to be less so next year.

In the meantime, I think it's important for me to take some time outs, the work will wait (usually) or I will re-prioritize and let go of some  things that I thought absolutely must be done.

This morning we drove to Coronado, a beautiful semi island on the coast directly opposite the downtown city of  San Diego.  What the heck is a semi island?  One approaches  Coronado from a long bridge which carries you over the bay water and out to the land of downtown Coronado.  If you were to drive towards the ocean and then south for quite a few miles the 'strand' re-connects you the mainland.

At any rate, it is a pretty place to walk along the bay or along the ocean.  It is home of the iconic Del Coronado hotel.  Maya of course loves an outing where she comes along.  We followed up our breakfast at the dog friendly outside patio of Tartine with a bay walk.  We're both morning people so arriving prior to 8:00 a.m. means it's easy to get seated and since it's  October I chose a most excellent moist, crusted with sugar, pumpkin scone.  Decadent but oh so good.

We also had a dinner and movie date night and saw the 100 foot journey which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Although I love to eat and to put a good meal on the table I am far from an accomplished cook, never mind chef, but the story was endearing and who doesn't love Helen Mirren?

On the bead front, I have a new Santa Lucia using the Swarovski coin pearls which I've wanted to try in this design ever since I saw them.  My friend Tracy Stanley made a platinum version to wear to her daughters wedding this past summer.  It was stunning so I asked if she minded if I borrowed her palette.

Friend Karen Firnberg an accomplished beader offered to bead up the sample for me, and so here you have my design, Tracy's colors and Karens beadwork.  I am very pleased with the result.  The only thing I changed up from Tracy's version is using coin pearls and the new rose patina on the Swarvoski fancy stone.

While I was in Alaska, Shampagne beaded up a Touch of Whimsy and added a wild heart to the bottom which was a great addition.  We both thought that adding a Swarovski skull might be another fun adornment and I hope to find some time to achieve that as well.  I promise to show you when I do.

Next week I'm off to Bead Creative in Hampton New Hampshire.  I am looking forward to some fall air, fall foliage and Maine lobster!  

I follow that trip up with some more Touch of Whimsy at the Tyler Bead Retreat in Tyler  Texas, then on to Blanches where there will be the brand new sprockets! the fanciful Touch of Whimsy and the elegant Santa Lucia.