Sunday, October 31, 2010

Salamanca Place

This morning Jane showed me a circular,layered right angle weave that she had done quite a bit of playing with and I spent the morning playing with it myself. Big possibilities!

I showed her some Corel draw bead drawing tips in return. Then we got ready for an outing to Salamanca place where there are a number of galleries and even more restaurants. While wandering through we came across a quaint spot called the Tricycle Cafe. It looked small and inviting with an intriguing menu so we found a table and settled in. What a treat!

A neighboring table was served tea with honey, milk and a little antique teapot. Sadly, I thought, I had ordered chai and would not be receiving my own tray of goodies. But I was wrong, the chai came served on it's own tray, completely charming.

And the spoon was from Portland!

Cakes and pastries lined the counter

but I chose a white chili bean bruschetta of sorts...and it was incredibly excellent. The mix of flavors was perfection, with an olive oil coated toasted bread, a white bean chili delicately spiced and mixed with some fennel and avocado, all topped with a nicely dressed arugula.

We then continued to traipse through some galleries and peruse a wearable art show, before heading home for some more beading and knitting.

I discovered last evening that I have a heated mattress pad beneath my sheets, oh heaven! I'd like to go to bed now, but I suspect I will wait for a normal bedtime.

Workshop in Tasmania

The weekends design workshop on diamond and ellipses was held at the Moonah art center. This mosaic was commission in the 1990's for the re-opening of the center. They invited Little Hoot along for a ride.

Here is Andrea shopping for fire polish, when I interrupted for a photo op. You can see Helen on the left and Allysa looking on waiting for their turn in the bin.

Here is a better shot of Alyssa with a beautiful rendition of a Laura McCabe design around her neck and Maureen in the background who was busy concentrating on her beading.

Andrea was doing a pendant for her Mom, who loves bright colors. She was experimenting with some right angle weave chain for a necklace, and we decided that the bronze base added a lot of depth and made the chain come alive.

Maureen has been beading for around a year, but the mathematician in her must really help because she was a really quick study. She brought in this opalescent stone to set as her center. She was approaching complete as we finished up the day on Sunday.

I'll see if I can get a picture of Jane's piece before I fly off for Melbourne's quite lovely, all purple and blue zircon ab2x, and we know how I feel about ab2x!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Organ Recital

This for my sweetie, who loves an Organ Recital. This made me smile and think of him....but I didn't attend.

and for Kate who I expect will be enamored of this owl, I was.

And for no one in particular, just a photo of a hat. Apparently one would wear this to the derby, which will be held on Tuesday.

Salamanca Market

Jane graciously took me to visit the market before class began yesterday. It was reminiscent of the Grote Markt we visited regularly when we lived in Holland.

There were handcrafts, food, fruits and vegetables, flowers, cheese and wine.

The first stop was at Jemma Clements who makes hand blown glass beads.

I suspect the holes in these are large enough for the fire polish embellished right angle weave rope used in Shimmer Queen a book project. I'll have to get home to tell for sure, but they are beautiful regardless of how I might use them.

As we wandered through the various stalls I came across Ollie Bollen.

This is a Dutch treat usually only available in December in the Nederlands. They are served warm with powdered sugar and melt in your mouth. These were not quite up to Dutch standards but I did manage to enjoy it.

Then it was on to the workshop which I am teaching as a project class. We all looked at various samples using the diamond and ellipse patterns and plans were made.

There will be pendants and bracelets and double double ellipses and diamonds with ellipses and layered diamond ellipses. They're turning out nicely and today as visions are realized I will be taking pictures.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Sidewalk Gallery

Yesterday Jane took me to the Sidewalk gallery where I met owner Ann.

This was by far the most amazing collection of African artifacts and tribal jewelry that I have ever seen.

At the front entry was this exotic black cockatoo. What a beautiful bird.

I have to marvel at the passion, fortitude, and knowledge it takes to amass the type of collection that was at this gallery. It must also require the ability to build cross cultural trusted relationships to have access to the be able to purchase such goods. It was a wonderful outing.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Trippen shoes, handmade in Germany, comfort and style, although I'm pretty sure my daughters would disagree, I love them...

I travelled to Hobart this morning, making good progress on the Cashmere baby sweater. The views here are amazing. The sunlight is pure, the climate is temperate, and there is a gentle breeze. It's very San Diego like in fact.

Here's an apricot tree on Janes property

and the view from her front yard. A view is expansive in so many ways, I find my mind expands with the view. There is rain in the forecast and I was hoping to witness a storm from these windows, but apparently Tasmania has about the same amount of weather drama as San Diego, so what I will get is some drizzly rain. Oh well, I'm sure it will be a cozy pleasant evening.

Oh and here's Little Hoot hanging out in a tree enjoying the weather....

Tomorrow is the first day of class!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A trip to Melbourne

I love cities and I especially love exploring a new one, getting a feel for the shops, the people, the art, the culture of a city

There were photo opportunities everywhere, flowers and architecture...floral arrangements were exotic and unique

This was the most excellent Haupton tea shop in Block arcade. The arcades were plentiful in the City Centre, with tall arched ceilings and mosaic floors, and intriguing shops.

This one's for Mark who would have delighted in all the fruited treats offered here.

A carved owl that I found intriguing, along with several others in a shop window.

And a restaurant for chocolate and sweets, this was only one page on the menu marquee. I think I will visit on my next trip into the city.

Tomorrow I will fly to Hobart and have my first teaching engagement on Saturday and Sunday. I'll be teaching a process class with diamonds and ellipses so that should be fun.

Until then, Cheers!

An early morning bird walk

Directly behind Margaret's home is a lovely walking path full of nature. This is when I wish I had brought the big camera, but unfortunately with as heavy as I was already traveling I brought the little Canon point and shoot instead.

Here are a group of very happy Lorakeets, which apparently have a good source of food on this balcony.

And further on a wood duck in a Eucalyptus tree.

The air is fresh and clear and the weather report predicts a high of 82 degrees. We're off for a visit to Mel'bin.

I slept soundly, a full nights sleep (I was spared the dreaded wide awake at midnight which often accompanies significant time changes, perhaps the no jet lag homeopathic remedy worked, or perhaps it was exhaustion) had a handmade blend of muesli for breakfast with Greek yogurt and French Press coffee. I'm looking forward to this day of new sites and exploring shops.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Arrived in Australia

After an uneventful 15 hour flight I arrived into the very efficient immigrations and custom hall at 8:30 Wednesday morning and was on my way with hostess Margaret having met me for the ride out to Dandenong.

I'm sipping green tea accompanied by lemon cookies and working on acclimating.

The sky is a beautiful blue with big white puffy clouds.

this sweet orchid flower greets one on the path to the front door

A pretty pink bud surrounded by fuzzy green leaves

And little hoot at home in the vegetation

my job today is to stay awake until an early bedtime and then tomorrow we'll take a ride into the city and I get to go to button mania which sounds like quite a good outing,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bead Mats

I almost forgot to tell you and I know several of you have been waiting....Judy of Judi Patuti has bead mats. Visit her blog and click on her email to order one. They are the best designed mat I've seen and the fabrics are wonderfully paired.

I blogged them here, so go have a look if you're interested in how they're made, then go see Judy and order one of your own!

And we're off

Little Hoot is poised to come along on the journey to Australia!

Most unfortunately, Little Hoot had no baggage allowance of his own, and it quite likely that both of my suitcases are overweight....

We have a winner

Thanks to everyone who generously bid on the beadwork challenge piece that I auctioned off to help with Andrews medical bills.

There is a winner and she has been notified! As in the case of my Bellmabel freeform bracelet, the winner is someone I know, so I am thrilled with this piece going to a good home. Update, and the winner is Jamie Poorman Dulski! I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie first when I taught for the Kentucky girls and again in Lake Tahoe at last years Bead Unique retreat. I am honored that she liked the necklace and of course thrilled to be passing on the very generous proceeds to Andrew.

Another bidder, wishing to remain anonymous, graciously gave me the amount of her bid whether or not she won, and I will be sending her a kit from my collection with the balance going to Andrew.

And now I'm off to finish up all the last minute details for my trip to Australia! Mark will be staying home with Miss Maya so it will be along time apart. We hope to be able to Skype a few times during the stay, although I can tell you Miss Maya is not one of those dogs who watches TV or reacts to her owners voice on the phone. So she is unlikely to be impressed by my presence on the computer screen, however I suspect Mark and I will enjoy being in touch.

I leave tonight, I land Wednesday morning in Australia. I'll be in touch!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Please dont panic...

The bead kit store will be down while I am in Australia, but it will be back as soon as I get home in time for your day after Thanksgiving shopping. And...I just may have some Crystal Medallion Bracelets and perhaps an Under the Mast or two.

I'm taking beads with me, two more Carousels for Beading by the Bay and one more Rising Sun for Bead and Button and the Great Lakes Bead Guild.

It just occurred to me that perhaps I should be taking directions....otherwise that is how variations occur, when I think I remember!

Off to finish up the very last kit that is going with me to Australia. Then I'll see how many clothes I can pack between the beads.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Little Hoot travels!

Well I'm on the final stretch of getting ready to leave for Australia where I will be teaching for the Victoria Bead Society as well as venues in Hobart and Cessnock. The trip will be longer then my average teaching engagement, with 4 weeks away from home and from family, friends and Miss Maya.

I have no doubt that I will make lots of new friends in Australia, but I'm sure there will be moments of missing home as well.

Wanting to make sure I had the 'home' connection, friend Susan made me this owl, fondly named 'Little Hoot' to travel with me.

The blue one on the right is mine! His companion will live at the shop waiting for little hoot's return.

Look for photos of Little Hoot as he travels with me through Australia.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Yarn at the grove

Pretty Schaeffer yarns at the Grove!

Last night Susan kept the Grove open late for a KAL (knitalong). It was clear that knitters enjoyed the experience of knitting together, and of purchasing the beautiful yarns available.

I couldn't resist bringing home this soft green yarn. Having learned that much of my stash is the one skein variety I decided that I best have two since there is no telling at the moment what I will be knitting with this.

I do love how the colorways are named, this one being 'Memorable Writers'

For the Love of Andrew

'for the love of Andrew' So nicely put. There are a group of artists over on Etsy who have donated their artwork to contribute to the payment of Andrews medical bills. The work is in a treasury called 'for the love of Andrew'. It is a testament to how well loved Andrew is and to the good nature of this artistic community that many artists are doing what they can to contribute.

If it were possible I'd put this beautiful bouquet of flowers in the mail for Andrew.

Click here to see how to bid on this beautiful beadwoven necklace that was my challenge piece in this issue of Beadwork Magazine.

Or here to read the blogpost about the auction. I have had many inquiries asking the current status of the auction. I have decided to maintain it as a silent auction, however I will say I have a number of very generous bids. The winner will be announced Monday morning!

There are Etsy Treasuries, ebay auctions, private auctions, everyone doing their part, their way. Andrew is doing a good job over at his blog keeping track of the various auctions, so if you are interested in seeing all the wonderful art being contributed, that would be a good place to start.

Over on Kate's site you will find two workshops that Kate and Andrew will be giving in Tucson this February. Having taken multiple workshops from Kate I can guarantee that this workshop with both Kate and Andrew will be one of your cherished life experiences.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

An auction to help

I read Andrew Thornton's thoughtful blog regularly and wanted to be a part of our wonderful artist community who finds a way to help their fellow artist when needed.

Andrew has been facing mounting medical bills and less then the normal time to devote to his art and could use a little help. If you don't know Andrew, he is a kind, gentle, thoughtful and artistic soul. I've been fortunate to meet him and be gifted one of his whimsical drawings.

I've decided to auction off my latest challenge piece in this issue of Beadwork. All proceeds will go directly to Andrew, so please bid accordingly.

You may know that I seldom sell my work so this is a rare opportunity to own a piece. The last piece I auctioned for a good cause went to a most appropriate home. I'm sure this piece will be that way as well.

To read details and bid, click here

the dot

This gift from a dear friend arrived on the doorstep a couple of days before the big artstick workshop. I brought it inside, set it in the studio and waited dutifully until it was my birthday. (My mother and I opened Christmas presents before Christmas and then re-wrapped them, I'm not proud, but I've matured since then)

I didn't actually wait all way until my birthday, on Saturday morning I opened the outside box. One gift was tied with a ribbon, but the other was clearly a book...wrapped in was only one day early, I was savoring my workshop experience, the love of my family and I opened, the dot

Do you know it? It is an excellent book, and coincided with the message of the workshop beautifully. The essence of the message 'if you don't feel like an artist, just start somewhere, own your work, continue to build a body of work and encourage the next future artist'....all put more eloquently by Peter H. Reynolds.

On my actual birthday I untied the ribbon and found these beautiful salt and pepper shakers, with dots of course!

I happen to have a bit of an obsession with salt and pepper and the color orange and the reference to the book, it is a much loved gift.

Monday, October 18, 2010


I do still bead...but these sweet lace and ruffled handwarmers caught my attention and I knew I needed a pair.

They were designed by Melissa, a knitter who kindly extended her friendship when I was new to San Diego and didn't know a soul. Knitters are like that. Since I gave up my corporate job and lifestyle, all of my friendships have developed through a common interest in making art.

Melissa moved away, but we've kept an eye on each others career developments, so I had a look at her endeavor called 'Krafti-kits' and was immediately enamored with Florentina.

The yarn is a beautiful hand-dyed fingering wool from PicoAccuardi Dyeworks. I chose the grey pink color. The kit arrived nicely packaged and included the size 5 wooden double pointed needles required. I tried using them, as I do love small wooden needles, but.... I'm uncomfortable with all those pointy ends, and I changed to using 2 size 2 circular needles instead. I'm so happy I had them on hand so I could persist in my impulsive need to begin knitting these.

Thanks Melissa, I'm happily knitting

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Starting them young

New beaders! The plan was to go to the zoo...

But the rain was decidedly unpleasant, so instead we made Halloween cookies and then we beaded!

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I'm beading of course and getting ready for Australia, but knitting is my other pastime. I've knit since I was ten when a neighbor taught me to cast on, and patiently helped me to pick up dropped stitches.

That first project was done with green and white acrylic yarn. It was stockinette so the edges rolled, but I was so proud of that scarf. It is my first memory of creating something where nothing existed. I'm sure there were play doh sculptures prior to that first scarf, but that was the beginning of a life long love of knitting.

There is a baby in the future, my second grandchild and so the knitting has begun! I'm knitting in cashmere....impractical? Perhaps, but oh so beautiful.

The sweater is accompanied by leggings, and then there will be booties...It's good knitting, filled with love.

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Friday, October 15, 2010

Miss Maya Princess Angelina DeCoster

we didn't rescue her because she matched the decor....but she does it nicely.

Mark and I both have MAD initials (which explains MADDesigns) so naturally Maya needed MAD initials as well!

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Portico pendant

I will be teaching Portico pendant in Australia in just a couple of weeks. I decided a new color way was in order, something lighter and brighter then it's predecessors....

And I'm happy with the result, now a supply list and a new kit!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Craving Color

My house tends to be the backdrop for color. Walls, rugs and even furnishings tend to be a touch mono-chromatic. The kitchen is no exception, marble, stainless steel and black tile. My formerly black teakettle, well, it was time for some color. It wasn't intentional, accidental shopping (in that I didn't go out with the plan to buy a teakettle) I was using up some time on my extended birthday weekend in between dropping NanC at the airport and meeting my dear ones for lunch. There is a shop I dearly love on G street in San Diego called Pannikin Coffee and Tea. There are all manners of wonderful dish ware, a passion for me, and there I found color! It was hard to decide between the lime green and bright aqua, but this is the one I got.

I seem to be drawn to bright colors these days, somewhat of a departure from my matte metallics. I'm not sure if I'm at the end of an era or having a temporary exploratory period...

On the stick front, I managed a few rows last night of fish scales. I've also been exploring a new thread path for right angle weave, one where the units are all beaded in the same direction. In the past I've referred to this as 'wrong angle weave' but in this case it works, adding the embellishment bead to move from one unit to the next. It has some intriguing possibilities.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Aaaah, thank you Gabriella, a pretty photo of my artstick bead tray!

which means I can officially keep my iPad, since I am now capable of using it for my stated blogging.

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