Saturday, December 31, 2011

Amazing weather

Which worries me, quite a is that? Well it's predicted to be clear and 79 tomorrow and the next day and the day after 74, beautiful yes. Well for some of us, we have been through this before, I prefer a little more seasonably appropriate weather. But the real reason is my East Coast friend who will come for a visit. I feel duty bound to provide some California sunshine (I do understand that it is not within my control) to be able to sit on the veranda, enjoy the beach, you know California things.

The last time she visited there was an epic storm, one like we seldom see, thunder, lightening, huge wind gusts, cold pouring rain and even hail.

So I am hoping that the weather will hold for next weeks visit and we'll frolic in the sunshine. Frolic, now there is a good word, I could use some more frolic in my life right now.

The computer has been my constant companion and I continue to learn Adobe Illustrator, each new project bringing with it a new learning challenge. I swear I won't design simpler projects with the thought of simpler illustrations challenges, but it is tempting....

I did draw this anodized aluminum jumping yesterday

Using 3 d even, I like it.

I put my sneakers on for the morning walk before the blog writing and Maya sits at my feet whining, her way of saying let's get going, so I'm off! See you all next year!

Friday, December 30, 2011


Yesterday I posted that my outing included a trip to retrieve a second candlestick, as in 'we've decided we need two ...'. Can't get away with anything here, as Kate so rightly points out that it was entirely unlikely that 'we' decided that. Knowing Mark she knows his tendency towards minimalism and lack of cluttery stuff.

However he was enamored with this candlestick I bought him for Christmas.

The conversation went a little more like, 'you know there were two but I couldn't decide if we really needed two, but if the second one were still there, it might look nice to have two, don't you think' to which he probably said 'uh huh' which I took to mean yes and not no, and so off I went and yes! The second one was still available and now there are two.

They look beautiful on either side of this glass wall sconce and at night when lit, they highlight the glass beautifully. I'm sure they will also grace the dining room, and the top of the bar....I like to move my minimal things around and enjoy them in different vantage points.

And while we are on yesterday's post, where I unfairly said Susan wouldn't give me her brand new shawl....It was said in jest of course, although had she been willing to part with it, well, I would have been hard pressed to say no. But truly Susan is kind and generous beyond measure. I enjoyed a small interrupt to the drawing of beads to visit the Grove and purchase some of the beautiful wool to make my own owl shawl which I cast on last night. The yarn Zauberwolle has subtle changes of color throughout and it is a pleasure to work on. The first 2/3 is garter stitch with an increase each end, mindless knitting, the kind I can do without thinking, the kind I need right now. Then there are 20 rows of owl making which involves a few cables, some purling and the placement of beads for eyes.

Susan gifted me these paperwhites, which have started to bloom just in time for New Years.

This is a bowl of glittery ornaments, bowl by Annie Glass (you can't see much bowl, but it is one of my favorites), just the perfect small touches to create a bit of festiveness.

and now back to the business of making the house clean, buying a lovely dinner for tomorrow night ,when Mark and I will quietly observe the New Year.....or fall asleep, we'll see.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


My friend Susan finished knitting this a couple of weeks ago. I guess it is a testament to how much she really likes it because she was unwilling to immediately gift it to me.....and I need one

So it looks like I may have to knit it myself. Not that I'm not capable, well we'll see, I suspect I can. I'm off right now to get the yarn, because I need a distraction from drawing beads. And a visit with my friend.

I'll let you know what yarn I get. I think I have the beady eyes covered.

I know nothing about where the pattern came from, but if you too need one, I will be finding out.

Update: Well that didn't take long...with the help of revelry and a search of owl shawl, I found this link. The pattern is 3 euros which I find totally reasonable. Ah yes, the instant gratification of the internet.

Mark will join me as we go off for a little mid day outing, lunch at the Station (the best black bean burger), a stop in Junque, to see if the matching candlestick is still there, I only bought one, we've decided we need two, and then onto the Grove for yarn. Then back to the computer and drawing beads.

Every day I learn more and am now firmly ensconced in symbol libraries, building a library of all the various bead shapes I use on a regular basis. Then I can just open the symbol library, break the link, change the color to the ones I need for the current project and then save the new symbol. That was my morning, this afternoon, I need to finish up the third project, well actually I need to start it and finishing would be good. I have that and one more for tomorrow to stay on track with the plan.

But I know if I don't take time out it won't be good for me, so a little time out is in order.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I was after all a corporate girl for many years of my life, and I learned terms like workflow....I'm fine-tuning the workflow for my second book.

You may remember I made a switch to a Mac and to Adobe Illustrator earlier this year. At times I thought the learning curve was sure to get the best of me, but I'm making progress, although it's not entirely natural yet. I still have trepidation every time I sit down to start a new project. The calendar I've set out for myself says I will do that every day this week, and given a mistake I discovered yesterday I may still not be on track with the calendar.

I have a Moleskine notebook, black, hardcover, 5 x 8 1/4, unlined pages, where I sketch my conceptual ideas. The one I have is called the large painting notebook, but I find it an excellent format for sketching.

Then as I bead I take notes. When I'm ready to illustrate I refer to those notes and to the completed piece (well I should at least) Because in this case the notes were wrong, I missed an entire row, which means that at least 4 of my illustrations are missing that row as well. As I went to put text to illustration yesterday, looking at the actual piece I discovered the mistake, at 5:00, when I was within a half hour of meeting the days goal. It is one of the things I have found about aging, or is it just maturity to know when to quit...I can't push past a certain point anymore. It used to be if a Halloween costume needed finishing, or a project needed completing, all stops could be pulled out, finishing up at midnight. and continuing to function the next day. I don't have that kind of stamina anymore which is why I plan carefully.

Here is a shot of all the pieces coming together on the screen.

See the two rows of bronze 11's? Needs to be three, best to catch those things now rather then later, but still.....I am vowing to be more careful.

And by the way for the curious, Command shift 4 lets you draw a box around any portion of the screen you wish to screenshot and the jpg ends up on your desktop, quite handy. It is part of my workflow. When I am done with an illustration I screen shot the symbol box and photo insert it into my word supply list.

I'm such a morning girl, my plan is to fix the illustrations early, finish up the text and move onto the next project in line, hopefully keeping to the schedule. We've made a plan to go to the Getty Villa on Saturday for the Modern Antiquity Exhibition. It will be a nice outing and a relaxed day, which will fortify me for next weeks schedule....more illustration.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Calendar of Commitments

Sylvie has the blackboard of bossiness and I have the calendar of commitments. The commitments this week are to illustrate and write text for four of the book projects. I've laid out every day that is available to work on the book, taking into account other commitments, then I've detailed out exactly what must get done in those days. It keeps me focused....sometimes.

If I get done early I can go play, and I need that bit of playtime. Saturday we are toying with going to the Getty Villa and enjoying an early dinner on our way home.

In the meantime I am walking regularly which helps with energy and stamina, staying connected with friends here and on Facebook, and then heads down on illustration and text writing.

I will turn in the first set of projects at the end of January in time to go off for a few days of rest and relaxation (well that part is really unlikely) but a few days away with friend Susan in Tucson. I'll teach two classes, attend my first Swarovski ambassador meeting, visit with friends and shop!

This is one of the two projects I will teach in Tucson.

I love it draped on my lime green Jonathan Adler vase.

Also in Tucson will be Jeanette of Beady Eyed Women with a booth at To Bead True Blue, and Judi Patuti who has added a scrap catcher and tote to the bead mat collection. All in the same bright, fanciful, coordinated fabrics she does so well.

Will I see you in Tucson?

Monday, December 26, 2011


I write for a lot of reasons, one very good one is that I have created my history here. I love being able to go back in time and look at past blog entries, photos, recipes, stories of my life. It's not all here of course, I try to keep it to highlights, and it does have a bead and yarn theme in most of the posts, thrown in with some family and some travel, and some home, and friends.

But I also write to interact with you....all of those who for the most part I've come acquainted with through the bead world, but also some non bead friends, who keep track of my travels. So I love to read your comments. If I have met you I can see your smiling face in my mind, and if I haven't but I see you're photo, I can picture your smiling face as I get to know you.

I encouraged you to write with the blog hop this month, and then I realized.......I often read and don't comment.......and so now I am making a point to let those people whose moments I get to share through their blog know that I am reading and I appreciate their writings.

Yesterday I spent the day beading on the veranda. The weather was a perfect 72 degrees with a warm, soft breeze. I brought the speakers and listened to soothing music.

The design I envisioned in my head is not the design I ended up with, but sometimes being able to let go of the vision and see what shows up is a good trait. It's a really pretty piece, and it has the all important 'motion' in it. When you have a theme of 'Beads in Motion' it tends to drive the design decisions! I'm waiting on the perfect clasp so I can wear this classic piece.

If I see you in Tucson I will most likely be wearing some of the book pieces, taking them out for their marketing debut and their wearability test run. Do you do this? I know some pieces wear better then others and sometimes you don't see the design flaw until you've worn the piece awhile.

I've decided goal setting is a must, monthly, weekly and daily at this point. So today the calendar comes out for review of the week. I have a schedule of illustration and beading which must be done on time for everything to be completed by it's deadline. So far the calendar says it is doable with no unforeseen interrupts.......

and forgive the personal shout out, but I need to communicate, @ Jamie, I have drops for you, but my email appears not to be getting to you, drop me a note with your address.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas princess

This is my lovely grand daughter, who in her mothers words 'stole the show' in her Christmas finery!

Mark and I had a nice day, and as much as I sometimes miss snow....the 70 degree weather with the perfect gentle breeze made a day of beading on the veranda, well perfect.

I had made the goal of finishing one of the book pieces, and I did! It was a tough one, something seemingly simple to execute when I started, but it wasn't turning out according to my vision. And so I changed my vision....and I am very happy with the result. I've got a query out for an excellent clasp and hope to make the piece complete soon.

And yes, I wish I had more beady photos to share with you, but it's pretty much all book, all the time right now. So bear with me, I'll find a way to share some beady goodness when I can.,

Merry Christmas!

Although we no longer go all out, I did manage a few Christmasy touches.

There was a day we had both a Hummel manger and a full on Department 56 Christmas village, complete with lampposts, peppermint candy lanes, snow and the like. Perhaps some day when grand babies are old enough to enjoy it, we'll revisit those days.

For now I keep things simple.

The stockings are hung on the drawers with care...

Presents are wrapped under the tree

Ornaments adorn this unconventional tree
and an ornament garland rests before the reindeers of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas...'

Mark will be making a Christmas breakfast of German pancake, and we'll have a relaxing day. Wishing each of you the day and year of your dreams!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Aunt Holly's Cookies

I have no idea who Aunt Holly is, and I'm quite sure I never met her....maybe a great aunt on Mark's side. Mark doesn't know either, but we have always thought it was a family recipe. I do know she left us a legacy of great cookies. We've been making these for at least twenty years.

This year Mark came home from the store with only red cherries, they were out of the green.....oh no I said, we need to find green, there really is no choice, it's not Aunt Holly's until there are red and green cherries!

Cream together 3/4 pound of butter and 1 cup of sugar.
Add 3 egg yolks and 1 tsp vanilla
Mix in 4 cups of flour

Shape into small balls by rolling in your hands. Roll the finished ball in sugar and place on a cookie sheet. Use your thumb to form an indent and place one half of a dried maraschino cherry on top (1/2 red and 1/2 green!).

Cook in a 350 oven for ten minutes or until lightly golden on the bottom.

Makes 3 to 4 dozen depending on how large you roll them.

Merry Christmas, Happy holidays, and may the season be kind to you however you celebrate it.

The year of the owl

It seems like owls are everywhere, or perhaps it is that I am noticing them more. Susan started it all with the gift of little hoot to keep me company when I traveled. Hoots first outing was to Australia last year and he's been well traveled since.

Here is Susan, prolific knitter in her owl themed shawlette. Susan is the fast knitter among us, creating this whimsical neck scarf in a day or two. I see one in my future, although it may need to wait awhile.

Here is the current gang, gifted from all over the world. The lovely and talented Sian from England made me the crystal owl scissor fob which I adore.

I'm off for a long walk today, on Coronado island. There is sandy beach with the iconic Hotel Del Coronado, and the end of the walk is dog beach where Maya can romp leash less, a nice treat for her.

We've had our family Christmas and last evening I had a beautiful time with dear friends. I'll most likely bead, followed by some cookie baking and a quiet Christmas Eve dinner with Mark. The house is clean and beautiful and candlelit and although it will be in the seventies today, the evening will have a bit of chill and the early darkness will make things cozy.

I miss the days of traveling to Minnesota with all of our kids to Mark's family home, and all of his brothers and sisters and their kids. There was always tomato aspic 'for Markie' his brothers and sisters teased, and schnecken, also 'for Markie' and oysters rocker feller. Mark's family home was on White Bear Lake and we would sometimes skate, or sled, or cross country ski. I have fond memories of those times. But I am happy to be creating new memories traveling to Santa Cruz, spending time with grand baby Malayna and grand daughter Sam, walking on the beach, visiting with family and friends. It is so nice to take the time to appreciate the special people in our lives.

May your holidays be spent with people you love appreciating life's blessings.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snowing in Santa Cruz?

No, not really, but tonight it will be cold enough to. If there were precipitation in the forecast it would snow, since the predicted low is 26 degrees. Yikes that is cold.

We're back in Southern California where the predicted low is a balmy 39.

I was excited to show you a new ocean picture from our trip, but photo stream appears to have stopped working, which means a trouble shooting session is in order, sigh. It was magical while it worked, but for inexplicable reasons it has stopped working so my photos imported from the iPad or taken on my phone did not magically appear on the iMac as expected.

I'm unpacking crystal at the moment and I must say that a 6 mm rose montee in silver night is amazing and I can't wait to think up a way to use them!

There would be pictures, but I feel a bit on overwhelm as I often do during the re-entry phase. The house needed cleaning, the car needs unpacking, sheets need washing, groceries need getting, gardens need weeding, trash needs emptying and there is shipping to be done. And for those lucky blog winners, don't despair today or tomorrow you will be receiving your directions.

Tomorrow with re-entry complete and a day of relaxation (and walking) planned, I'll find some pictures for you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Big walks

I've been walking...a lot. You see my friend Rachel has been posting her walking achievements, 5, 5.5 and 6 mile walks. I had convinced myself that 3 was really the walk I could do, and then, walking with Rachel, on the most beautiful walk in the world, West Cliff Santa Cruz, I walked 5 miles!

And then on our second walk, I asked to go further, not a lot further, but further, and we did 5.4 that day .....I could probably do 6.

This morning Mark and I did a Capitola walk, 3.8 miles to be exact. I'm using the free ap, 'map my walk' which saves the history for me.

Already our Santa Cruz week is coming to an end. We visited with baby Malayna once more and had a family dinner with our son at a family favorite spot, the Crows Nest.

We'll enjoy a last ocean walk on East Cliff tomorrow, before packing and heading to our San Diego home.

I get to come back in March for Beading by the Bay, but for now it will be all book, all the time...

Lundberg Studios

I met Mark in 1984 and in that year on my birthday he gave a vase from Lundberg studios in Davenport California.

27 years later we have made many visits to Lundberg, this year included. This years vase is one of my favorite shapes for flowers and I love the coloration and frosted glass between the decorative stripes.

And the beautiful purple and turquoise luster that changes in different light and at different viewing angles.

I'm trying to think of what flowers would suit this vase best? Although it will also look beautiful on it's own.

Today is my sparkly nail party with granddaughter's Sam and Oli. I've got some new dark blue with silver glitter! or should I do gold nails with red glitter for Christmas and save the blue for New Years?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Baby time

Grandma and Grandpa had some serious baby time yesterday as we watched Malayna while her parents worked. What a special treat that was.

Nothing like a baby to bring lots of smiles as they experience the wonder of learning. Yesterday she spent time holding grandmas hands and moving them together to make them clap. From there we progressed to the word clap and then to her excitedly clapping her own hands together.

we read stories, we sang, we giggled, and cuddled, it was a pretty good day.

I've been walking along the ocean every day, proving to myself that 5 miles is not unachievable as I thought, thanks to Rachel, I stretched my distance and today was 5.49. I will be tasked with finding some pretty spots at home. The crashing waves and rocky coastline in Northern California are so beautiful, walking here is easy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunrise, flora and fauna

I walked again this morning, this time along East Cliff, where the waves crash onto sandy shores.

The sunrise was beautiful and the surfers were out in abundance.

the ocean holds magic for me. I love the dramatic skies, the sounds of the waves and the force with which they break. I always feel most at peace with and ocean nearby.

A few other photos from our aquarium trip seem worthy of sharing. The organic shapes and color play of these ocean specimens captured my attention.

Off to visit my Beading by the Bay partner Susan for a leisurely afternoon. And hopefully some bead time.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Monterey Bay Aquarium

What a beautiful day we had. The aquarium is exquisite. It seems almost everywhere I pointed the camera there was an astounding picture.

I haven't been since the sea horse exhibit opened, and it was breathtaking.

I had never
seen a forest sea horse, those eyes look like stage make-up, with long false eyelashes

And then there was this whimsical species

And the jellyfish never cease to amaze me.

And the sea turtles.....

I have 100 more photos I could share with you, I'll be sorting out the best ones and creating another aquarium filled post.

this morning I started my day with a favorite walk along West Cliff with a favorite friend Rachel. We saw the sunrise over the ocean and we walked 5 miles! Followed by a frittata and latte. Now perhaps some beading before our family Christmas festivities begin.

Friday, December 16, 2011

What's in a bag?

My new favorite bead bag...the perfect size for carrying everything you need for several projects. Each fun print is lined with 4 interior pockets

And 4 exterior pockets. I use these to tuck in my tools. Always a bead triangle, a thread bobbin, a needle case (this one from friends Stephney and Rachel) and my gingher special edition embroidery scissors. I also have a notebook and pencil for jotting down the finer points of a design.

The tag is the name of one of the four palettes I'm using for the next book. So yes there are three more of these bags, all different prints, all filled with the same tools. it's nice to be able to pick up a bag and have everything I need wherever I am.

The best part, the bags are made in California by Atenti company. They have overnight bags, knitting bags, pursed and a cute little pouch, perfect for jewelry, cosmetics, or in my case, glitter nail polish!

Maya thinks it's time for me to pay attention to her!

Such a cute girl. She's so happy to be able to come with us!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Santa Cruz

We are in the process of creating new traditions.....this is second year of renting a beach cottage in Santa Cruz where Mark and I met and raised our three children.

It's a light filled and nicely amenity'd place to stay, although I do bring a few things from home...cloth napkins, plates, my favorite coffee cup, my favorite cocktail glass, a down comforter with duvet....just so I feel at home.

We had an uneventful drive, leaving at 4:30 a.m. and arriving at lunch time. We settled in, grocery shopped, had a wander downtown and walked on the ocean. The ocean is more powerful here, and it's cold, different from the mild climate in San Diego.

Now we're tucked in for the evening, Miss Maya cuddled up next to me on the couch and salmon marinating in teriyaki sauce (one of the Santa Cruz memories from the Fish Lady in Capitola)

I'm surrounded by beads which I'll show you in the morning...I have a new favorite bag, and I've brought four of them along, filled with all my favorite tools and beads and my sketchbook filled with ideas.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

And the winners are......

Grand Prize winner

Terry from Alaska said...
Shibori ribbon and the bumpy textured lampwork-neither have I experienced; I shall brag if I should win!

‪Dream Keeper Vessel Ring Instructions

Tia Dalma said...
Well I am glad you survived the trip to the Mall! And it sounds like you found everything you were looking for too!

I love those sparkly nail polish colors you found and they do match the well as today's addition to the gift box! 

Speaking of those beads...I love them! Seed beads are my true love! And the pinks and golds are just beautiful...those bugles are awesome too! I've been wanting to use more bugles lately but only have them in a few basic colors so far!

! But I love it...and it is so inspiring! I have been beading everyday because of it so that is wonderful!

‪cw said..., love, love seed beads! 'would love to own more! pick me, pick me!
and, love the new sparkleeee nail colors! good for you, have fun with those. 
'love seeing your designs, you are a bead-master!

‪Ingrid said...
Hi Marcia,
Congratulations on your 1002nd post !
I never win anything so usually I don't enter any competition or lottery but this time I have to ! I'd love to win the instructions for the dreamkeeper vessel so I'm in ! I love it so much like every design of yours,
Thank you !

‪Ellen Yunker said...
Marcia, another day of fabulous stuff; this is really fun!
I love your knit stuff and yuor bead stuff - it's truly inspirational in both categories.
I actually learned how to knit, because my friend had made a darling little scarf, and now I've made my own!I'm still a rank beginner, and beads will be number one, but it sure is fun!

‪Claire Kimble said...
Are you going to add goodies every day? This just gets better and better!
So there you have it! Please contact me here. I need to hear from you within one week, otherwise I will have to look for runner ups.

And thank you so much to each one of you, I had a blast getting to know you. And a big thank you to all of my blog hopping friends, Val, Jeannette, Lori, Carol, Beverly and Cynthia!

If you missed yesterdays post, I've put a little blog hop thank you over there on the side bar, a touch of whimsy!

And as this giveaway ends another will begin....once a month, AND a fabulous beginning to that just arrived on my doorstep in the form of eight little Lark books from the studio series.

So stay tuned....sometime in January someone will win these!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Geez I have a lot to share....

I think it may be that the bloghop put me in touch with all of you, but I find myself having all sort of things I want to share.

And I find myself feeling bad that you can't ALL win. I know that is not how it works, but I'm feeling bad about it anyway. So I've put up a little pdf file for 'A Touch of Whimsy' up in the sidebar. Nothing like a few felt balls and a pile of beads to come up with some fanciful, fast and fun little baubles.

Here a just a few of my forays into beading with felt.

Feel free to ignore the copyright and share with friends. I didn't notice it until after Mark uploaded the file and I didn't want to rattle his good nature since he is busy getting ready for out 4:00 a.m. departure as well.

It is fitting that my first introduction to Cynthia and Ornamentea came through my search of felt balls. I was fortunate enough to visit the store in Raleigh one day and it is an eclectic mix of beady treasures. If you can, go visit, but her on-line store is awesome as well.


I had a sit down with my 'calendars' this week and passed on the Maddesigns calendar to Mark so the website could be updated. You'll find the link here

I broke things down into Home (birthdays, personal travel, hair appointments and the like) MadDesigns (teaching engagements, call for entries and the like) and Book Milestones (design, bead, illustrate, ship) They are color coded and I can at any moment look at 1, 2 or all 3 of them to see who it all works together.

And through the brilliance of iCloud, I can update on my phone, iPad, or iMac and all of my calendars are in synch. I still however keep the cute little snow and graham desk calendar for a visual and artistic reference to the date.


Do you have some? Every year since Mark and I, Lucia, Casey and Brian became a family in 1984, we shopped for blown glass ornaments. Each one of us taking care to pick the best one, coming home, dating and initialing them and hanging them on the tree. There are many good memories of that time.

I find many memories are food related. My mother was an excellent cook and loved to entertain. Her peanut butter marshmallow fudge was an annual treat, made only at Christmas time. Daughter Casey is especially fond of it, and so I've picked up the tradition of 'Nanny's fudge'. It really is wonderful and totally easy, almost to the point of fool proof, although it helps immensely to have a candy thermometer to accurately measure the soft ball stage. And it does take some close attention for the ten or so minutes it is on the stove. It would be a very messy thing if it were to boil over the pot.

Nanny's Peanut Butter Fudge (international measures included!)

2 c. (400 g) sugar
2/3 c. (1 1/2 dL) milk ( I only had 1% on hand and it worked out fine)
1 c. (1/4 L) marshmallow cream
1 c. (1/4 L) peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla

Oil (I used soft butter) a jelly-roll pan or a 9 x 9 inch pan. Combine the sugar and milk in a 3- quart heavy pot. Stir to mix well and place over moderate heat. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil over medium heat, without stirring, to the soft ball stage (235 degrees). Remove from the heat and stir in the marshmallow cream, peanut butter and vanilla. Mix well and spread in the oiled pan. Cool and cut into squares. Store airtight. 2 pounds.

Next up are the famed Aunt Holly's cookies. I have no idea who Aunt Holly is, but these came from Mark's side of the family and have become another tradition. These are daughter Lucia's favorites. I'll share a photo later, they're quite festive.

All together now

Well first today's addition. The One G, pony needles and daggers I have lot's and lot's of, so I'm sharing. The volcano briolette's can't really go in the category of de-stash since they just arrived, but they are so incredible that I had to share a few. Mini-daggers I collect, what can I say. And the chunky ball chain makes a great impromptu necklace for most any pendant.

Each day I've collected the days offerings into a bag, making sure I wouldn't forget anything, so here it is, all together! It would be nice had I gotten rid of the reflection from the crinkly plastic, but there is much to be done today and I'm sure you get the idea.

So....yesterday's post 'I'm going to miss you' may have missed the mark. I feel that I may have guilted you for not commenting and that wasn't my intent, so I apologize. I wanted to share that it has been lovely getting to know you, but I don't want to add a layer of burden for coming to read. So continue to enjoy, I do know you're there, and if you feel like commenting please do.

And remember, tomorrow is the day! One lucky person will have a box full of beady wonders in their mailbox by next week, and five more will get a copy of the Dream Keeper Vessel Ring.

Hope you are staying stress free in your holiday readiness. I've never been stressed by it. I pick up things for special people as I go, mostly in small boutiques (although there was one Williams of Sonoma visit this year). Yesterday Mark and I had a wrapping marathon, and today there will be cookie baking, followed by packing and then a trip to have my hair colored....I'm thinking pink.

All next week I will be next to the ocean, visiting with family and friends, cuddling Malayna, and doing some of the design work for Beads in Motion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I'm going to miss you!

Dreaming up what was going to go in the box each day was fun, arranging and photographing it was fun, knowing I was going to share it with you was fun, but the really fun part was getting to know you,....and I'm going to miss that.

So my plea is don't stop checking in once the blog hop is over, because I've really loved hearing from you. 604 comments in a week! A record. And you took the time to make thoughtful comments. I loved hearing that some of you read every day. See you know me, but I don't always know you, and I want to. Fatima wrote for the first time I think, and of course I recognize a few regulars and some of you who've shared the classroom.

And because it has all been so much fun, I think I'll do it again. Probably not for sevens days, but I will be posting once a month a mini give day a month I'll pick something from the studio to share with you, after all, we all have the love of the bead in common.

Come by tomorrow to see what the last day holds, and don't forget to check on Thursday to see who the lucky winner of the grand prize will be. And if you missed it, I will also be giving away 5 sets of instructions to the Dream Keeper Vessel ring.

Thank you for visiting me here!

Today Plus One

I have what one might possibly consider an embarrassingly large collection of Swarovski crystal. I have a tendency to always think factory pack when perhaps a gross would do, but a gross of crystal looks small to me these days..... I like my crystal containers to be full....

I put together this selection of medium green vitrail 16 mm rivolis, some bermuda blue squares and a huge volcano Swarovski button, with a few purply irisy czech beads because I liked them and thought you might too.

The picture is not excellent, I went with the iPhone this morning to try out it's capabilities for jewelry, and the neat new feature of photo stream where a picture automatically ends up on all my devices. I find this quite handy, but the iPhone just doesn't do white balance well under the bright lights, and since it's raining, there was no natural light.

But I think the sparkle comes through nicely.

One more day of blog hopping tomorrow, and one more addition to the package, so leave a comment, and don't forget to check back on Thursday to see the name of the winner(s). Yep, I'd like to give each and every one of you something, but that is not going to be practical, however what I am going to do, considering the popularity, is to choose 5 additional names after the grand prize winner and each of them will receive a copy of the dream keeper vessel ring instructions. I'll be sending them email so you will need to provide your own shrink plastic (or go dreamless.....which works but is not half as much fun).

Today is the fourth birthday in a string of five. These are the girls I met when I had a brief stint as a knitting/felting teacher in 2006. We bonded over wool and have been friends ever since. (pssstttt, Val (bloghop) began her love of needle felting in that class) Our birthdays fall the very end of August, then October, November, December and January, nicely spaced out. We always go to C level lounge on Harbor Island and we always have a wonderful visit. Susan is from Boston as am I, and although the rest of the girls are native California girls, we can all talk at once, having multiple cross conversations and keeping up with all of them. I guess I think of that as an East Coast trait, but maybe not, at least not in this crowd.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rainy Monday Blog Hop

Yep, it's raining, and in general I am a fan of rain, well of weather in general, but I prefer a little wind and some steady rain, this is just dismal and gray. But it is a good day to stay in and bead. I'm midway through a book project that I am loving, always nice. I've started kitting my Tucson projects and am finishing up the Beading by the Bay projects, and at the moment I don't have any knitting on the needles, how is that? Well I do actually, I have a bright pink lace scarf with sequins and beads, but I can't find the pattern....

For today I've added a really pretty lamp work bead. I love all my lamp work beads, but I have a tendency to fondle them rather then use them in beadwork. Part of it is the need for repeatability in designs. Something that is necessary when you are teaching classes, writing books and making kits available. So for now my lamp work goes unused so I thought I would share this fun piece. I am so sorry, it's been with me so long I don't recall the artist. Update! Kim f rom not Just Beads wrote to remind me the bead is by Robert Jennick.

I have paired it up with a pretty piece of shibori ribbon from shibori girl. It is a beautiful hand dyed piece of silk which can be sewn into a tube for a wonderful necklace.

As promised last week, The Rising Sun and the Bird of Paradise have both made it to the shop this week and there is plenty of inventory for both. I will only be able to ship through Wednesday of this week however, so if you need a Christmas present you'll want to decide today or tomorrow.

This is a whimsical bit of bead weaving I first designed for the Carribean cruise I did last March.

The Rising Sun was named by Mark, the first one having a bright orange button at it's center. The teal and silver piece doesn't invoke the thought of the rising sun as much, the rising moon perhaps. I love the offset textured bumps on this one.

Two more days for this giveaway! And then I'm off. We'll leave the house in the capable hands of our house sitter, and travel up to Santa Cruz where for the first time in two years all of my children and their families will be together!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beading by the Bay

This years event which will be held in March of 2012 was sold out the first day it opened in September. While I don't mean to tease you...I have been busy working on color two and color three of my Aelia project. (now would not be a bad time to add a reminder to your calendar for September 15th 2012, the day registration will open for March of 2013)

The piece is reversible, with a starburst Czech button on one side and a crystal studded medallion on the other. I think this one is quite pretty!

I may change up the strap to more of a bronze blue, although I kind of like the bright contrast of this one. Thoughts? I know, I know, some of you are enamored of the ribbon I first showed this piece on. I don't want to disappoint, so what I will be doing is bringing along the ribbons for any of you who would like to have that option, along with the directions for the pretty little beaded end caps. But the kits will have beads to make the spiral strap. I like the simplicity of it.

The third color way is almost complete, I'm waiting on an appropriate dangle to set off the bottom bit of laciness. I'm tempted by the silver night 6106 pendant

In other news I am also teaching at the Swarovski Create Your Own Style event in Tucson this year. February 1st and 2nd to be exact. The link can be found here on my home page. There are a lot of pretty projects in the catalog so if you're going to Tucson and you have time for a little creative break you may want to peruse the schedule.

Wednesday Feb 1st 5:30 to 8:30 $52 materials included!

Thursday Feb 2nd 4:00 to 5:30 $36 Materials included!