Thursday, December 7, 2017


My last post suggested a huge studio clean up and I've completed that.  Things look different, a lot more zen (although not at the moment) Turns out I can still make a big old mess very quickly!
The Talenti seed bead wall stayed.  As I moved through the process stating I wanted to cut down on clutter, Mark suggested I put these seed beads behind closed doors!   He doesn't understand my definition of visual clutter, obviously.  This wall I find very appealing.

I curated the stuff to only some very special pieces that I adore.  Purse by the Bad Liz, basket by Marilyn Moore, Egg a gift from Mark, Rooster a purchase in Puerto Vallarta, Owls a gift from Kerrie Slade.  The glass jar  is from a trip to Australia and there is a beaded bead by Martine Nagale and one  by Cindy Holsclaw.  

Beads were all organized on the slat wall in acrylic bins.  These are all the odd shapes.

A few of the Crystals

Drawers organized by category, these are the fancy stones.

A few more of my favorite pieces out and about for me to enjoy them.

and then there is Gertrude.  She's wearing party girl right now waiting to have her.... ahem, padding applied.  My waist no longer looks like hers......

The former shipping department has been re-configured to be a sewing station.

So far I've made 8 reversible napkins

and I've sewed curtains for Layla's room.  She's a girly girl as I guess most three year olds are.  Into pink and polka dots.  I have always loved Prairie points so I gave them a go.

Then I got enamored with Cindy Holsclaw's snowflake pattern and made pendants for my three youngest grand daughters.  They are the perfect size for a pendant.  The smaller one is 1 3/4 inches across and I just eliminated one cube from the point construction.  That's for the littlest grand daughter.

Then I wanted to start getting my feet wet with some artistic sewing so I made this flower (since  Gertrude doesn't have my measurements yet I didn't want to start in on clothes just yet)  I added a Maku button to the center and sewed a pin back on.

I took out a few cabs, some that I've been saving forever and started some bead embroidery.   The back right bauble is a spinner by my  dear friend Miriam.  

The pale pink is the Radiata, a knitted lace shawl with beads.  It's almost done, but as you can see, lace isn't very visually appealing until the transformative step of blocking.  Given my year started with LOVE, followed by PEACE, I quickly cast on the 2017 Peace Shawl by Chrstina Campbell.  I even used stash yarn, unheard of!  

So you can see I am enjoying this time immensely.  It's funny to reflect on how I'm using my time.  I often feel like I'm dilly dallying and not getting much done, and then I put it all in one place and I see that I am!

Tomorrow we're off for our local Airstream Christmas rally and next week we'll visit our Santa Cruz family in San Francisco.  I am beyond grateful that I've been afforded the luxury of time to indulge my need to make things.  It's really all  I've ever wanted, that and love, and peace.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

End of year, new beginnings

I just taught an amazing class at Beads by Blanche with my friend and collaborator on this project, Tracy Stanley.  It was so right up my alley, sharing techniques with students who were then able to bring their own creativity and skills using our techniques to make something uniquely theirs!

I shared different craw techniques including a split and a split join as well as shaping with counts and sizes and the magnet casing I developed for the Bohemian collection.  Tracy shared her safe clean methods for saltwater etching on metal using stamps and pens to create the resist.  Once etched the resist patterns stay and the rest of the metal is etched.  It's magic!

The two techniques were a beautiful blend, and we had loads of fun.

From there Mark and did some travel to New York City and Massachusestts, visiting friends and family.

Arriving home Monday evening, I felt strangely unsettled.  I've finished up teaching until my one engagement in April of next year and I didn't seem to be able to settle down and gain focus on which of my many desired projects to choose. 

I've got my eye on quilting and sewing art to wear clothing.  Fabric, patterns and books have been purchased and await their turn.  I have some beaded projects I want to complete for myself and some lace knitting as well.  But still I was pacing and not being productive.  Yes it's only Thursday but I want to start being creative for myself and I have so many ideas.

I discovered this morning that it was the state of the studio that was holding me back.  It's way to deep with stuff, feeling cluttered and closing in on me.  It was a hard decision  because I want to just dive into my projects, but what I realized I required is a really really deep clean and re-organization so I can function the way I want to.  I'm talking the kind that may take two weeks even.  Being ruthless with decisions to let go of things that need letting go of and taking the time needed to clean out drawers and arrange them in a way that makes sense.  I will kit much less going forward and my 95 bisley drawers could serve me better if 30 are reserved for future kits and the rest can be used for organizing beading supplies.

It makes sense and I'm hoping it will solve the restlessness I am feeling and free me up to begin new projects with a fresh perspective.  

Wish me luck.  I'm going to give myself the gift of time to get this done without feeling pressured to do it in a certain time frame.  It will take what it takes.  I suppose I should take a few 'before photos' so I can appreciate the difference when I'm done!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Bead Bombing with Peace

On the lovebeadlove blog,  Laura Zeiner wrote a post about her bead bombing, and that inspired Erika Sandor to do some of her own bead bombing and that inspired her friend to comment that bead bombing peace signs would be a great way to focus on peace, and so.....

Here is Laura attaching her beads to a park bench.

and another bead bombing of a beaded rock left among some unbeaded ones

Inspired by Laura's post Erika Sandor, the Storytelling Jeweler left this beautiful beaded medallion  while visiting Istanbul.

I had the great pleasure of meeting Erika a few years back at a German bead show.  It is a wonderful thing how beads brings us together worldwide.

She posted this on Facebook, LET'S BEAD MORE PEACE!

Several days ago I showed you the result of my "guerrilla beading" in Istanbul. My friend Char Reese-oxford had an idea to take bead bombing to the next level: let's bead peace signs (pattern by Marcia DeCoster - thank you ❤️) and hang them at schools, parks, playgrounds etc. all around the world.
This is my embellished peace sign. Tomorrow I will make a rope for it, and take measurements at the place where I would like to hang it.
We need to spread more positive thoughts all around the world! If you would like to join, get Marcia's pattern , bead a sign around something in your city and take a picture!
Please use the hashtag #beadmorepeace, so we can all see each other's photos. I am counting on you 

Erika would like to collect the peace-signs from all over the world to an album, so they can be admired in one place. Beaders can message her through Facebook or through the Contact form on her website.

I totally want to join this movement.

At first I thought perhaps the intent was for someone to find the beaded object and take it as their own, but wouldn't it be wonderful if it stayed in it's location for many to enjoy?

So I'll be making me first bead bombing peace sign to take with me to NYC where I will find a suitable place to 'install' it.

Thank you Laura and Erika for sharing your inspiration and contributing to a movement for more peace in the world!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Walking to end Alzheimers - The raffle

On August 1st we launched our three pronged effort to raise money for Alzheimers research. We made and sold Peace signs, we sold the tutorial so others could make peace signs (and man have they, so many beautiful ones!) and Mark beaded two Peace signs to raffle off in return for a donation to team DeeDee.  DeeDee is Mark's Mom who passed away last April from the effects of Alzheimers.

Between these three efforts, together with all of you, we raised $12,040!  Today we walked, and as promised we picked the two winners of the raffle!

Mark, being Mark and if you know him you know what I mean, developed a spreadsheet wth a built in random number generator.

This morning he hit the button and the winning ticket numbers were 119 and 227.  Given the brilliance of his spread sheet we have the following result.

Sandy and Glynna your Peace signs are on their way to you!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Artistic Collaboration and a process class, exactly what I want to do!

Yes, It is true that I am nearing retirement.  I've been hinting at it for years and it is starting to be a reality for me.

I am cutting back my schedule significantly and spending more time with family, friends and travel.

But occasionally an opportunity comes along that combines those things.

So what kind of opportunities still entice me?  Those that combine a process class with a collaboration with one of my dear friends and an opportunity to teach again at Beads by Blanche.  We've shared a long history as I love the store, the classroom and all the amazing students I've come to know over the years and oh, Blanche and Wendy of course!

So a couple of years back we started discussing how much fun it would be if we could do a class with both me and Tracy.  Being a bead artist one of my very favorite things has been to spend time with other artists and the opportunity to combine our two very different styles into one collection of work, well that was incredible.

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to spend time together while I was developing the Bohemian Collection, a body of work with inter-changeable elements that relied on magnet casings to change out the parts.  Tracy was exploring salt water etching with her metal pieces.  We both arrived at that aha moment of combining the two different mediums into two bodies of learning which could come together brilliantly into really diverse pieces.

Tracy both taught me salt water etching and provided me with a collection of her finished pieces.  I incorporated the magnet casing from the Bohemian collection and incorporated the etched pieces.  I was instantly in love!

We sorted out a format for a joint class and while four days is a big commitment it will also provide the optimal creative environment allowing  everyone to explore the techniques in enough depth.  Each person will end up with a wonderful one of a kind piece of bead art and new skills to create a collection of their own.

I think the photos below will give you an idea of what you can create using the techniques we will be providing.  For each piece presented below there are another multitude of ways you could inter-change the pieces.

New England in the crisp fall, me and Tracy, an outstanding bead store and we promise you a great experience.  If you'd like to join us, you can find details here.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017


PEACE for those with Alzheimers and for their caretakers and loved ones.  I hope one day that will be achieved.

It's been personal for us, having watched Mark's Mom DeeDee succumb to the memory loss and finally losing her life last year.  DeeDee was accomplished in so many ways and it was a painful decline. She was a young ice skating star when she gave up an Olympic opportunity to begin her family, Mark being the first of five children.  She was a skilled and prolific knitter, sewer and quilter making beautiful garments, sweaters and quilts for all of her many grand children.  She lived on a lake and raced sailboats well into her 70's.  Yet she still fell victim to the effects of this devastating disease.

In her memory and for so many others who have or will get this disease we want to improve the funding of Alzheimers research.  Last year we walked and we asked for donations and we saw people's generosity.  This year we wanted to do more so we developed a plan!

It's probably not a secret I like to bead and I like to make stuff.  I created a beaded peace sign for a friend who has collected them for years.  It seems a fitting symbol, peace in all things is a positive goal.  

I've been married to Mark for thirty years and he has a tender heart.  He wanted to help too.  So much in fact he learned to bead and he made peace signs.   

So here's our plan.

There are three ways to help and 100% of the proceeds for each of the three ways will be donated to the Alzheimers Organization.  We have supplied all the materials and time that have gone into our peace project.

We will have finished peace signs for sale in my Etsy store.  Some made be me, some made by Mark.  The money we are paid will be donated to the Alzheimers organization as we receive it.  Peace signs may or may not become an ongoing sale item in the store. If we do make more or if some are sold after the 9th, we will donate the proceeds of any peace sign sales monthly.

For those who wish to make their own peace sign there will be a downloadable tutorial available for sale in my Etsy store.  Sales well be donated as we receive them.

If you prefer to donate directly to Alzheimers research, you may donate to Team DeeDee here.  For each $10 you will be placed into a raffle to win a finished peace sign. (A $10 donation = 1 raffle chance, $20 = 2 raffle chances, etc).  We will be pulling the name of the winning entry during our walk on September 9th and notifying the winner via this blog on September 10th.   Mark picked this peace sign to raffle off.  It's one of his. Don't forget to check back on September 10th and we'll arrange for the winner to be mailed this very beautiful peace sign.

Mark made his peace sign reversible.  One side is embellished with a 2mm crystal and the other with black seed beads.  He thinks of it as having a feminine and a masculine side!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Love Letters

So after my whirlwind travel post, I've been home for awhile and this is what I've been up to.

You can read all about that project on !  I've had so much fun creating and embellishing these letters and from the looks of it so have others.  If you're so inclined, have a go, the letters are great fun and who can't use a little more love in their lives!

Where have I been?

I've been all over!  After leaving Nice on our November trip we continued on down the coast of Italy, up to Croatia, then Bay of Kotor, many Greek islands and finished in Athens.  Wow, that was a magical trip with so many highlights!  The Seaborne Sojourn Mediterranean cruise.

The Acropolis was amazing!  Such  presence against the blue sky.

The new Acropolis museum was so excellently curated it was quite a treat.  We spent a peaceful two days just wandering the city.

Then off to our local San Diego Airstream groups rally in Chula Vista, always a treat.

I busied myself with beading the alphabet....just because.

Next up a day trip with the grandkids to visit Disneyland....18,000 steps, this grandma was tired!

Parked in the Santa Cruz redwoods for the holidays.  I love this spot, although it can get dreary in the sunless days of winter.

So I busied myself with peace, this one is reversible and a gift for a dear friend.

Seems that LOVE is everywhere if you look close.  We got to see the Rose Bowl parade floats being built while joining another airstream rally in Pasadena.

We had front row seats for the parade and it was wonderful.  Look at this fanciful guy!

Finally some time to relax!  A moebius scarf for a friend I love. If you measure love by the number of cast off stitches this one was huge!