Sunday, February 28, 2010

BitterRoot is Blocking!

Yes, I finished BitterRoot Designer Romi Hill created this beautiful design which captured me because of it's use of beads in the lace. Knitty lists the pattern as piquant which is something akin to intermediate I guess and I suppose it is, but lace is just a combination of knits and purls and yarn overs and knit two togethers, it's no harder then knitting and purling really, it just takes a bit of paying attention. I love to get up in the early morning quiet and knit a few rows. Some people do yoga, I knit lace (hhhmmm....betting yoga would be better for my body)

It's in the process of being wet blocked, a step you just can't ignore with lace. In the matter of a few weeks, it went from this

to this

Blocking lace is transformative, it makes it beautiful and it must be done.
Can you see those beautiful blue iris beads that adorn the outer edges of this shawl (after I typed this, I realized, no, you cannot see that level of detail, so tomorrow you shall have a close up, beads and all), the perfect shawl for San Francisco I might add, which is why I was so highly motivated to finish before Beading by the Bay.
And speaking of Beading by the Bay, there are still a few slots open so if you've been waiting to decide if three days of beading fun fits in your schedule, now is the time to sign up!

Mark's office floor has been pressed into action as a blocking mat and I must wait patiently for it to dry, most probably I don't take it up until tomorrow morning. I can hardly stand the wait, which is funny, because I know you've had this happen, you're beading in public and some non-beader approaches you and says 'You must be so patient...' which I so am not, it amuses me every time.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I've always felt Serena was an unappreciated

book piece....

bracelets are sometimes hard to capture, and the colors did not translate as well as they might have. So I'm always encouraging people to give it a try, and Paula, owner of the BeadCage did just that!

She used jet ab, with gold and teal and I would say the result is stunning. Thanks Paula!

What colors would you use?

gold aurum crystal with silver and gold seed, red crystal with black and white seed, turqouise ab2x crystal with gold seed.... and do send pictures!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I'm surrounded by ringlets,

some form the Dallas girls

who are participating in the collaboration, and some from Heather Trimlett who sent more along for some kits I'll be putting togehter

and some from Raquel Fraga, who sent me this lovely rendition

from Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence.

Soon, I will be offering ringlet kits online, bright colors, black and white, all including both Heather rings and the materials to make your very own coordinated seed bead ringlets. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My day off..

I traveled to Georgia to teach at the BeadCage and it was delightful. More and more I find that I need a litle time off after travel, needing to recharge a bit. So I schedule that time and lucky for me Tuesdays is the day that I typically meet up with my friends for a day of knitting and fun.

Here is a typical Tuesday, in my yarn/fabric shop. Ok, it's not mine, but Susan and Judy who bring the fabrics and yarns to the Grove make it seems that way. I'm totally at home here. You may notice the man in the's not an entirely typical day, this was Larry Himmel who interviewed us for a newspot on knitting circles.

I continue knitting on Bitter Root, which is about 12 really long rows from being completed. But they are rows with beads so it's a fun knit.

Mine is a pretty purply blue, but unblocked knitting is not very appealing, so I'll save the final picture until I'm done.

Susan has my next knitting planned for me, after I finish my Churchmouse Cowl and matching handwarmers (cuz I need those in San Diego!)

Look for exciting teaching news for next year, to be announced soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010


Well we know how I like a good storm, Georgia treated me to a 4:30 am
wake up call, complete with thunder and lightning!

Sent from my iphone

Saturday, February 20, 2010


This is a stunning store, owned by the delightful Paula Rosenberg, supported by husband David. The combination is brilliant. The store is beautifully designed, has the most crystals I've ever seen, is bright, flows nicely and also has an array of gifts which are tailored nicely to their customers needs.

And I have a man in my class, for some reason that always tickles me. Meet Eric

who created a beautiful Romantica and is coming back today for Urchin Lariat!

Friday, February 19, 2010

There's a chill in the air!

and I like it! Off to teach Romantica, dreamt I forgot the
directions....let's hope not.

Sent from my iphone

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fly Day!

On my way to Georgia, to teach , see friends and as I understand it,
revel in an amazing crystal selection! Rumor has it, or so I've been
told, Paula's store, the Beadcage in Columbus Georgia, has lots and
lots of crystals, my kind of store!

Sent from my iphone

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Miriam Cielo wrote me to say she was inspired by Terracita

This is a most beautiful use of the component, one of the reasons I love component design. Although that little bit of beading may have been mine, Miriam has made this gorgeous necklace totally her own. Miriam has amazing style, an eye for color and shape and overall beautiful design sense. You will want to take a wander through her Etsy shop and see more of her pieces.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Craft Edu

Craft Edu is a new platform for presenting instruction by a number of incredibly talented artists. It's debut is still in progress, but you'll be interested to have a look at the talented group of artists across a multitude of mediums.

Here is a slideshow of their collective work. There is also a 'stay informed' option on the slideshow so you can sign up for more information.

The group under the guidance of Donna Kato, incredible polymer artist, is also blogging. You're apt to hear from any one of the artists on any given day. The link is also in my Reading List to the right. Check back often as each new day brings an introduction of one of the artists with a slide show of some spectacular work.

There's also a Craft Edu page over on Facebook, Become a Fan and keep up with the excitement!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loving these colors!

Here are the first few ringlets to arrive for the collaboration that I am doing with the Dallas Bead Society. And in the background some wonderful glass by Heather Trimlett, my other collaborator in this project. Now it's my turn and I have a number of ideas, waiting to see which one takes shape as I get out the beads and make some samples.

First though I am finishing up my third 'Beading by the Bay' piece in this soothing grey and pink, with purple haze accents.

The seed bead I've chosen for the picots could not be anymore of a compliment to the purple haze crystals. This could be my favorite, but then.....I really like them all!

You Make My Life Bright

I've never rubber stamped before but it turns out there is a cute little store just blocks from my house. Weekly they create a card and this weeks was Valentines Day. Their version had red sticker hearts and red metallic paper, but I of course required a bit more sparkle. So I switched out the hearts for these pretty pink crystals and the metallic paper for pink glitter paper and made this sweet card.

Which reminds me how Bright My Life is and how much I enjoy sharing it with all of you.

Celebrate all of your loves today and especially yourself!

Friday, February 12, 2010

the studio is clean

The studio is clean and with a clean studio comes 'design time'.

Which I guess is why the design for the Dallas Bead Society collaborative project roled around in my head during much of the night. Unfortunately, a definitive direction did not present itself. I will need to make up some samples before I decide.....

but here are the accent beads lying in wait.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Unfortunately being surrounded by Chaos makes me feel chaotic. Remodeling is like that, multiple days of a new French Door install. When you're house was built in 1940 it can be full of surprises. Removing the threshold of the old door revealed uneven cement from the foundation. The previous door was suspended between it's frame with nails and did not rest on the floor as one would expect with today's standards. Mark has been painstakingly shaping a new board around the old cement, chipping away as necessary to get a level support for the new door. The dining room table and chairs are in the living room and the dust and noise level are high. The blue tarp hung in the doorway while he works creates an eerie blue glow and it is impossible to turn the heat on. I know I will love this new door, the first element of our total veranda and side yard remodel, but at the get the picture.

I am once again wrangling the mess in the studio to a tolerable level in order to instill the sense of peace I crave. I find it difficult to be productive in a mess and difficult to take the time to clean the mess in order to be productive. A bit of a catch 22 there.

Perhaps a return to a pretty blog tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some days

Some days are like this, where things seem just a little out of reach.....

But I'm trying to get caught up to the calenderized task list, and if I work hard I just may make it by weeks end. A weekend off would be nice, maybe a Valentine's day stroll somewhere pretty.

In the meantime, some new projects on the horizon, more news soon.....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I love fun earrings and with short hair I get to show them off, so I've been playing. The first pair is destined to be gifted, but I really like the coloration.

I also have a dagger obsession, especially these spotted daggers, so I am always looking for fun things to do with daggers. These are capturing daggers on the top and bottom of a right angle weave stitch which is then sewed into a tube and slipped over the top of the cz. There is some perfecting which needs to be done, but all in all I like them. Can't wait to make a second pair.....but not today.

Today I go on my weekly Tuesday outing with friends, and most likely will be knitting on Bitter Root, a lace shawl which has been neglected. In about ten more rows (really long rows) I get to the fun part of placing the beads.

Time to get ready!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Beaded Beads

I love that through the world of social media we connect with others we might never get to, miles away....This morning I was having a look at Rachel Nelson Smith's wall and saw this picture, so I had to go have a look

Isn't that a stunning display of red beads? The top right is an urchin bead! And top left is Rachels Oothecal Bede. The large red and black bead to the right of the urchin is Divinity by Claudio Cattaneo. I know because the original picture on facebook cleverly listed the designer when the bead was moused over, pretty darn smart. I don't think I know how to do that. I love the 'snowflake' bead, they are all lovely. And the bottom row of beads were designed by Cindy of Beadorigami.

and Disco Squares by Sian Nolan in England! I'll be teaching Disco Squares, otherwise known as the Square Medallion Bracelet, at the Bead and Button Show this year.

At least I think she is in England, sadly I could not find a site,but I did find some flickr pictures, so Sian if you're listening, and you have a site, please let me know.

Yesterday Amina asked in the comments how the 'golden' necklace which shows in my banner was done. It was done one urchin bead at a time and the urchin bead is in my book, 'Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence'

The necklace was conceived during a teaching trip to the Dallas Bead Society. Each member who wanted to participate made one or several urchin beads. I then designed and constructed the necklace. The beads were strung on a rubber cord, and a small peyote tube separated each of the beads. The necklace titled, 'Chorus of Urchins' was accepted into Bead Dreams 2008 and was on the cover of the Bead and Button Show catalog in 2009. A new challenge is being worked on with the Dallas girls, due to arrive in my mailbox this weekend. The component this time is ringlets and the design will evolve as I see them. The beaded ringlets will come together with the glass of Heather Trimlett and the seed bead work of moi!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Swarovski Party

I love this party, everyone dressed so nicely, all the glitz and glamour, all the old friends I get to catch up with and the new ones I get to meet. Once again I did not capture all the images I would have liked to, but here are a few I did get.

Here is Katie from EH Ashley, in her well adorned leather jacket!

Marg from BeadFx and Jeannette Cook, Jeannette looking all colorful with her shibori scarves backlit by that lime green crystallized pillow!

Marlene Blessing Inteweave (isn't she lovely?) and Jean, who looks gorgeous (but I didn't capture the stunning necklace she had on)psst, that's Beki Haley (Whimbeads) they're talking to. I love getting to spend time with these folks.

Here is Laura Timmons looking beautiful in her red/black and silver. She was wearing my earrings which I gifted her when I first met her back in Lake Tahoe in the fall. She gifted me a beautiful wire crocheted necklace with lots of Swarovski.

And Kate, getting her girl on! I think glamour is the right word
and I love the felted, feathered necklace!

And Melinda Barta,Beadwork editor, also wearing an earring I made, and looking totally adorable. With a profile like that, the no profile rule can be broken.

More Glamour....Pat from Access Crystal and friend Monica. Pat had on an amazing felted cuff with embedded crystal which I didn't capture, but look at that necklace. And Monica was equally lovely in her red dress.

Sigh....until next year. I'm home now, needing to clean house, pick up the doggies, perhaps swing by the grocery store....and then unpack and fondle Tucson stash. I think there is a game on today that dh will be watching..... Next up getting ready for Studio Beads and then BEADING BY THE BAY!

Friday, February 5, 2010

I continue to experience the Tucson shows, yesterday at The Whole Bead Show at the Windmill where I visited with Gail Crosman Moore, and Karen Ovington, shopped for Fire Polish with Da Beads and had a generally good time. I met up with Cathi from Bead Creative in New Hampshire where I'll be teaching in March.

All followed by a party at Kate McKinnon's house which is wonderful and eclectic as you might expect. The Barbie coach/writers cottage/guest room was just as it should be, all cozy, tucked under the arbor. The walls of the house were brightly painted and the vintage decor perfect. Two large glass china cabinets stored colored glass of various shapes and sizes and as each guest was encouraged to select their favorite, it was easy to remember which was your wine glass.

Here's the cutest ever picture of Joyce Rooks, maker of beautiful beads!

And a find! For those of you who have asked, 'Where do I get the bead like you used in Shimmer Queen?' (Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence) here is a source. My bead was done by John Curtis, however since his retirement they are being made by William Birth. They can be found at Alana's Unique Beads.

Today's adventures, the Holidome, dinner with the Wired Arts Girls and the Swarovski party!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Medici Drop

Daniella sent me this stellar picture of the Medici Drop earrings. The drop, cz's in the book, she substituted with these excellent polymer beads which she made! Aren't they pretty?

More Tucson news tomorrow, tonight party at Kate's, lot's of fun people are involved, and tomorrow the Swarovski party! I've crystallized the pedicure to match the crystallized Birkenstocks.....yeah, it's going to be fun!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


You may remember the visual shopping list, and I do have one this year, but occasionally I stray from the list for personal pleasure, and such was the case today at the Best Bead Show.

I ran into Joyce Rooks and Kate McKinnon, side by side and then I had a love affair with this heart.....Besides the fact that it is bright and fun and whimsical and exquisite, I love that it is a piece of artwork all by itself. I can adorn the studio with no thoughts of using it further. Unlike the rest of my lampwork collection which sometimes calls to me to design a piece of jewelry fitting for it's beauty.

And then......I have a reasonably, ok, possibly embarrassingly large collection of Kate McKinnon's rings. They always speak to me, but I was going to resist, until! Well can you see how it matches Queen Anne's Lace bracelet and that I really had no choice. I'm going out on a limb saying that is a Sarah Moran bead because I didn't confirm that, so I hope I'm right....Kate? (A check of Sarah's site seems to indicate I am correct)

More photos tomorrow, I have one of Betcey, Beyond Beadery wearing a Queen Anne's Lace, with her own bezeled fancy stone clasp, beautiful!

Star Studded!

Yep, that was last nights Interweave party, and did I capture all the bead stars, no I was too busy having fun, but here are a few pictures from the event! It is held at Tucson's museum of art, a fine venue for such an artistic group.

Here's Andrew Thornton...I get to sample his cooking this week after being enamored with his mouth watering descriptions on his blog, it's going to be a treat!

And Kelly Angeley with husband Barry

And the one and only Jean Campbell, looking sparkly

and Leslie Rogalski your Beading Daily hostess

and looky here, Ms Rachel's cover on a big poster!

Today the shopping begins in earnest, although I did a bit yesterday after our 6 hour drive and before the party.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Oooh, the goodies we'll have!

I'm starting to collect goodies for 'The Beading by the Bay' giveaways...and they're good ones!

My friend Val contributed this really cute pincushion, perfect for your beading needles.

And my friend Judy is making a custom beading mat for some lucky winner. I picked out fabrics, and they are so wonderful, I want one! Ok, I already have one, but this new one is really wonderful.

And there will be a copy of my book, and a copy of Jean's new Steampunk Style Jewelry book and a couple of other titles as well....

I'm off to Tucson where I'll be rounding out the supplies to kit Descending Nights in three different colors!