Saturday, May 30, 2009

Sam's 13!

My grandaughter Sam and I have been sharing oysters since she was 5!

Friday, May 29, 2009

lunch with my sweetie

I love my UPS Girl....

She's friendly and amazingly strong and she brings me things all the time. Yesterday it was two very important packaging material and my new business cards. Both rather integral to my Bead and Button trip.

I had staged 70 or 80 kits waiting for the packaging (I got a little late on the ordering and they come from Canada) So yesterday I finished, every little last thing on the to do list checked off.

I'm going up to Santa Cruz for the weekend to visit Mom and family before heading off on Tuesday morning.

And here is what else I've been up to...

When I return, a new venture I've been working on.....Beads at The Grove! The Grove is a wonderfully eclectic store in South Park San Diego filled with yarns and books and baskets and jewelry and now there will also be beads!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Do I have it backwards?

I have a wedding to attend, a rather important daughter Lucia is getting married this summer....She will be an incredibly beautiful bride marrying her handsome prince in a romantic garden setting.

People seem to be asking what I will wear and I don't know. I started with Remembrance, a Shibori knitted wrap out of silk mohair that I fell in love with. The knitting is going well, 1/3 of the way done with 7 weeks to go.

Next I picked some jewelry which works well with the subdued charcoal grey of the wrap.

I love motion in my jewelry and the pearls on these bangles move delicately around the wrist while wearing. I have matching pearl earrings suspended from chain, a design I favor. Both were done by Carol Brown whose studio is at the Grove.

I love the detail of the bead caps she used here

I've never been a department store kind of gal, no Macy's or Nordstroms for me. My hope is that I'll have time to make a trip to Kati Koos in San Francisco. I know Kati can help me put together the perfect outfit to compliment my shawl and jewelry.

It's Lucia's day to shine and she will. I'm sure I'll work out something to wear.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

getting there

multi-tasking here, sending blog via the mobile to refresh the memory

So....this part of the post required signing on to blogger on a real computer...but I did learn that to send via mobile only the text before the picture is posted. I wanted to be ready to post some impromptu pictures of the fun from the B&B show. The kind that don't require the camera, the uploading to the computer, the login to blogspot, the upload of the photo to blogspot, well you get the idea. Just some quick capturing of fun moments.

Haven't sorted out multiple pictures by post or by SMS, just emailing the photo to my mobile blogging email address. So much to keep up with, sigh. Now back to finishing the printing of handouts and then packing!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Urban Trees

For several years now the San Diego Port District has promoted a Public Art program called Urban Trees on the waterfront of San Diego Bay. There have been many beautiful 'trees' by accomplished artists over the years, but this year I came upon my all time favorite.

I'm especially drawn to the interactiveness of this entry. The name, "Californiascope" by artists Harmon Nelson, Vicki Leon and Steve Riggs. 'This interactive, giant kaleidoscope is a cornucopia of light, color, pattern and movement. Constructed of welded steel, carved glass and uniquely designed fixtures and surfaces. The sculpture also includes control knobs that allow the viewer to rotate three of the scopes lenses.'

Solar powered so you can still see it at night!

Beautiful glass, and beads, controlled by the gears for never ending designs. The color wheel is powered by the wind so on a breezy day is constantly shifting.

Here are just two designs I captured through the viewfinder. I could do this for hours except for the number of other viewers waiting their turn....

This tree impresses me in how well both the art, functionality and engineering have come together to make a truly exceptional design. I'd love to have this in my backyard! I hope when the season is over this piece will become a public installation.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Book Arrived

Did I mention it? I've been a bit busy, but I think that I may had this converstaion previously....I now have my very own copy. And this is how it looks among my other books.

When Nicole from Lark first contacted me she wondered if I had heard of Lark? I had to laugh, perhaps I had, since I think I own about every beading book they've produced.

I like the spine and that cute little earring, and I'm kind of fond of the title too.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

May Gray....

Yep, no beautiful sunrise to greet my mornings, just an overcast sky. When I first moved to San Diego I thought it odd that we had so many overcast days in a row, then I became familiar with the name May Gray, which is followed by June Gloom. Then I knew, if it was a named weather phenomenem then it probably was a frequent occurrence. Yep, every year you can count on it. I miss my mornining's being greeted by a beautiful sunrise silhouetting the palm tree in my window. But as the day moves on the sun reveals itself, the temperature is San Diego perfect, the nights are cool but not too cool, the birds chirp, the flowers thrive and it's a nice prelude to the hotter days of summer. For a girl who likes drama in her weather I have to take whatever differentiation in conditions I can get.

In celebration of May Gray

Mother of Pearl Rose Garden

MoonLit Rising
Les Perles de la Mer

And now back to the previously scheduled plan for the day, kitting. Such a familiar refrain, it will be nice to do something a little different. But for now, the Bead and Button preparation continues. Soon however I will be there among many friends and a large quantity of awe inspiring beadwork.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today I was able to be a little more leisurely about picking my purples and since purple is a favorite color of mine, I did come across quite a few lovely photos. The two sunrises one taken in Mexico and the other in England astound me in their purpleness.

It's been a fun week of exploring color and I thank Curious Girl Lisa for putting it together. It's been great fun to explore the blogging of other participants. Go have a look, Curious Girl has them all posted in her sidebar.

Many more days of preparation remain, but today I am going to take things a tad bit slower, maybe even an outing to my favorite knitting spot, a pleasant afternoon among friends, an intimate dinner with my husband, a little reveling in the beauty of my life.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Red and Pink

Although I love pink and it is often the color of my hair, I find very little red surrounds me. I do have a love of red shoes, but no great ones in the wardrobe at the moment, having worn out my lace up red Kenneth Coles after endless wearings.

Today, I show you Kiri, another of my lace shawls, in Rowan's silk mohair

And Spun Crystal a piece in the fabric chapter of 'Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence'It is light Siam 2x ab, because what's a crystal if itn's not 2x ab!

No fancy mosaics today, husband Mark required some serious one on one time if we're to get the new website up and running, a decidedly good goal for the coming days.

I continue the steps necessary to show up at Bead and Button prepared. Although I occassionally dream that not only did I forget to take instructions to a teaching engagement, but I forgot to write them, as of yet, that has never happened.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


What an interesting exercise to go through photos and see relationships between colors which show up in my work and photos that may have even subliminally inspired them.

Here's orange

A big thank you to Curious Girl Lisa who encouraged this color exercise!

Back to Bead and Button preparation! It's a show I love to attend. So many good friends to see, and so many great works of art to experience. I love to meet my students, to share with them the special bond of beads, and be inspired by them. It is always the greatest of weeks.

And I have the ring trade with Kate that I am totally looking forward to. It is time for me to look past the last few days of this preparation and see the joy that will be at the end of it.

See you tomorrow for pinks and reds!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I'm participating in Color Week, with Curious Girl Lisa and today is green. Well that was an easy one, lot's of green in my life, beautiful photos from the Keukenhoff gardens in Holland, the sweetest little bird napkin ring, fresh spring greens on my walk yesterday AND, look at that -

the cover of my book 'Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence' Elegant jewelry projects with right angle weave....Green! can pre-order on Amazon, or you can wait just a little tiny bit more and order from me. Then you'll receive a signed copy and an additional pattern. I'll keep you posted.

See you tomorrow for more color!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Blue Monday

So I said I wouldn', definitely I don't have the time to participate in COLOR week, I just can't, but then I had to go look and see what Beverly did and what Lisa did and then on Lisa's site I found something I'd been looking to make photo mosaics, so I just had to try it

So I searched my photos for some random blue and here is what I came up with....

Way more learning curve will be required, this is a mix of things that were already in my flicker account and some I uploaded from my computer. There is apparently the ability to put 36 images into a mosaic, but adding more then 3 from my computer stumped me. I do think this whole process deserves some attention when I have a bit more time to spare.

But for now, I need to finish writing some directions, sew up some table displays, pack up some kits and remember to take some time and truly appreciate how fortunate I am to be doing this work that I love.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It occurred to me to write about color today, using my little random color generator gadget on the sidebar and thinking about all the color masters and colorful influences....

And I logged onto Blogspot and because I follow Beverly Gilbert I saw that she posted about color (and she's really good at it) and then she talked about color week with Lisa, so I of course had to click over and wow, such color, can't wait for next week! I'd love to participate but if you read yesterday's post, you'll understand why I am going to let reason prevail and skip this one....but I'd really really like to. I will be checking Lisa's blog regularly from now on.

and then there is Margie Deeb whose insights on color helped me to expand my bead color inventory, the wall is more well rounded because of Margie.

But for now, I'll make do with a few clicks on the random color generator. Type a word into the search category, here's spring


Or just click Another! and surprise yourself. Have fun!

Saturday, May 16, 2009


Perhaps I have a few too many things going on at once....I often talk about 'focus and finish' but these past few weeks too many things seem to need doing at the same time....

There is a beadwork project to finish for the designer of the year series in Beadwork magazine, beading done, but they do usually require directions as well

The Tahoe Bead Retreat, two samples done, need directions written and a third color sample

Then there is
Bead and Button, that little show that is always on my schedule in June, let's not even talk about 4 weeks later putting together proposals for the next year....I'm still making kits for this year

I am knitting Remembrance, a shibori mohair and silk shawl. I need some non bead diversion in my life....

There's a retreat I haven't even told you about yet, and I'm co-promoting it and I need to get a logo done and a website up, and I need to finish up a project for it so I can tell you about it, it's good, you're going to love it, I'll tell you more soon, it involves Beading by the Bay.

My husband is doing the work on my re-designed website which needs to be completed so that people can buy kits and the BOOK!

It is requiring my attention for some photo shoots, some text, some testing and then it can go live

And probably when it does I should tell a few folks who have joined my mailing list and are waiting for the news, so I will need to revisit my email marketing software and get that done

The scary part about all that is what if people want to buy stuff? Yeah, I know it's nuts, that is what I'm supposed to want them to do, but's a lot to consider.

And I've re-designed my business cards to match my new website colors, and what I'd really like to do is to bead a new business card case to match the new cards, yes I am delusional.

I of course have to bead now and then

AND, I've decided to have a small bead presence at the Grove in North Park, San Diego. It's exciting, something I've always envisioned, a destination for yarn, fabric, beads, books, jewelry and more all under one roof. With women who I adore, who are artistic and creative and smart and fun. So on the 'to do list' I added 'package beads' and all the required systems to go along with having even a small bead store...

I may be crazy?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Moo, Book, Crystals and plans

So cute, the little Moo cards, I couldn't resist. I decided to use them for projects from the book. On the back you'll find the book title, lest you forget 'Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence' and my website.

And while on I'm on book news, the editor called today and I will have a copy in my hands the first of next week! Which is great news because I'll be able to take that book to Bead and Button and those of you going will be able to have a look! I'm pretty darn excited. And you'll be able to order one of your very own! Ok, I think I'm overboard on the exclamation points, so I'll move on.....but more details on book ordering are coming soon.

And if you should look for it on amazon, search decoster and you'll see 'frequently bought together' my book next to Rachel Nelson Smiths.

I've known and loved Rachel forever and I think it's amazing timing and a great honor for our books to be featured together.

Today's mail brought these.

I bought one back in March when I visited Blanche at Beads by Blanche, and I've had them on my mind ever since. So I decided that I must own them and I called and she still had them and she mailed them. I like that. And I have a plan which involves bezeling 30 or so of these in charlottes, which may need to come after Bead and Button, and the Beadwork project and the Tahoe project and the Remembrance shawl, but now I own them and they can wait their turn, happily in my possesion where I can gaze upon and fondle them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Quiet Spaces

Yesterday's Daily Om reminded me to find some solace and enjoy the peacefulness in my own space. And I have the perfect place. I only need to walk up a flight of stairs and settle into the yarn room for a bit. That is how I started my day today and I feel much better for it.

The room is a peaceful sage green color with a cushy couch, lot's of colorful fiber, many favorite knitting books and great natural light.

I've been working on Remembrance to wear to my daughter Lucia's wedding. She is getting married in July at Hakone Gardens in Saratoga. There tends to be a chill in the air on summer evenings in Northern California and I think this wrap will be beautiful. Itis from the book Alchemy Lost and Found.

I'm making it in Habu's silk mohair in charcoal grey. The task is soothing and is just what I need right now. The silk mohair feels so luxurious in my hands.

I'll be continuing to kit today and tomorrow and .....probably up until I leave for Bead and Button. There is a certain methodical calming to the kitting process as well, and I have lot's of great help. Mark even sat at the kitting table for mulitple hours yesterday. He did take a couple of unscheduled breaks, and he's still learning the difference between size 15, 11 and 8's, but he was a big help.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

M is for Marcia

and Mother, and Mark and Maya, turns out I have a lot of M's in my life. I've always been enamored with monogram beads so when sent me a list of beads for blogging, I chose this bronze pendant.

It has a nice heft and color to it and with a large bail is easy to string for a simple necklace. I've put it together with some 2 mm firepolish and beautiful green pearls which both compliment the patina. Artbeads has a nice selction of beading supplies across a broad range of products.

M is for marriage and marigolds and margaritas and......Liz reminds me, M is also for Martinis, who knows how I missed that one.....Yeah, I better go to work now!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Snow Dreams

Admittedly naming pieces is not my strong suit, 'Snow Dreams', hhhhmmmm....not sure, it just came to me. This piece has a wintry feel to me, and it's slated to be published in the December/January issue of Beadwork. It was inspired by a piece of fine jewelry done in golds, rhinestones and pearls. I like the simple asymmetry of it. Since this is only a sneak peak, the asymmetry probably escapes you at the moment.

The seed is an icy blue 3 cut, right up there with my current favorites.

It's the last in the Designer of the Year series that I did for Beadwork this year. I was pleased to be asked and I enjoyed the challenge of a new design every two months. My goal in the series was to provide some more complex projects for the experienced beadweaver. The third in the series was just published, so you have three more to look forward to and I hope that you enjoy them.

Now off to write directions....There are people waiting....

Monday, May 11, 2009

A sense of humor helps....

Thank you to all the well wishers. My Mom is doing physically well but is experiencing dementia brought on by the medications and trauma. I spent the entire night at the hospital in order to continually reorient her through her confusion and avoid further drugs. The evening consisted of responding to 'Why is there a monkey on your head?', 'You shouldn't be naked', 'please move the cow, I don't like it' and many more non reality based conversations.

You have to laugh while fervently hoping that a return to routines will restore normal functioning. A move to rehab with more staff and better routines is expected to be helpful and we're planning that.

I knew that having fiber on the needles would be helpful for me, but for some reason I hadn't travelled with any appropriate knitting. A quick trip to the yarn store, The Golden Fleece in Santa Cruz, yielded a lovely deep red variegated hand dyed sock yarn and a pair of addi-turbos in size 5 (note to self, ALWAYS travel with yarn and needles). A quick search of ravelry, I needed something interesting beyond straight knitting, but not a full on lace pattern.

This Feather and Fan scarf pattern did the trick.

For right now I am back in San Diego getting ready to put together kits for Bead and Button. I need to double up on getting things done since more time will be devoted to getting Mom settled somewhere comfortable for her recovery.

Today a much needed haircut and a little rest are on the schedule.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Blog Absence

My Mom broke her hip and I'm on my way to Santa Cruz to spend time with her. I appreciate my Northern California family and friends who have taken their time to visit her and be my support system. All is expected to be well but I think she needs all the loving care she can get right now.

In the meantime, enjoy your Mother's Day. I'll have the unexpected pleasure and side benefit of seeing two of my three children and my grandaughter.

The plan next week is to get ready for Bead and Button, we'll see how the plan unfolds.

Best Dog!

A picture of the very Best Dog going, Miss Maya, in her new Best Dog Collar, from Paula Best!

So will you think less of me if I tell you I didn't get the Best Dog/Paula Best connection until well after I placed the order and received my Best Dog collar? She's clever that Paula, of course it helps that her name is Best.

If you too have a Best Dog, you'll want to check out these collars for the well dressed dog.

There will be a point in time that Maya will sport a swarovski crystal right angle weave collar, but until her mother makes it, her new collar suits her beautifully.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Plane time.....

I have lots of it and some days it works make up for the middle seat a few weeks back, I had 3 seats to myself on my Alaska to San Diego flights. I had time and space to complete this little pretty!

It's the second colorway for the Bead Unique Tahoe Retreat and I'm loving the combination. The golden shadow crystal button is the perfect accent. The bronze colored bead is a new favorite 3 cut with red undertones and a light golden glaze.

I need to get really really serious about time and productivity. Lot's to do before bead and button. First up, clear the decks. I need zen like orderliness to begin such a busy time and that's on today's schedule.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pharoah's Daughter

Jennifer alerted me to the fact that Beadwork previewed the June July cover.

Pharoah's Daughter, a fitting name...done in my usual matte metallics this one is fun to bead and very wearable.

I'm off for a playdate, see you all tomorrow!

Reality Beckons

Yes, the good and bad of it is that I leave Alaska today and it's been such great fun. The good, I get to sleep next to my husband in my own bed, always nice. The bad, I must face the reality of the scary to do list. But first a few more Alaskan highlights.

Wanda made me an urchin. I might have been saying how I always envisioned a pink and orange one, but hadn't had the time.....and Wanda said I'll make you one...Shameless as it may have been I didn't hesitate a minute, I picked out those beads! And here is what Wanda did.

And here's Wanda.

She's fast and she loved the urchin so I only have mild guilt. And I gifted her the beads to make one for herself.

I told you there were color whizzes, here is Sian's, so beautiful with the old jet ab2x coated beads, more green then today's blue color. She was saving them for a special occasion.

And then the jellyfish by Shannon, brilliant. She had one of those what if moments and went home and beaded an urchin with clear beads. She then beaded a second small urchin in bright blue and placed it inside of the first urchin so you can see peeks of color through.....oh the possibilities.

Parked outside the door I kept glimpsing this license plate, and yep it did belong to a student, Vivien. Loved it.

I also spotted another beautiful needle case, this one belonging to Sian. Made by the multi-talented Debra Smith.

Linda the wonder hostess made it a very special week! I hope there is day I'll be asked to come back.

And Roberta, the every smiling and cheerful young women at the front desk of the Dimond Hotel....left me a thank you card for being a nice guest. Now how often does that happen? The people are really really nice here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The fun continues....

What a week it has been. Today, we began urchin lariat and many a fine color combination was done. Tomorrow I'll try to provide some photos. There were some speed demons in class!

Previous class projects were shown, here is Shannon's ringlets, love those fun colors

And Honores one ringlet. She took my 'focus and finish' message to heart and finished her ringlet. Honore is in the carpet industry and called this 'a color story' from this years home decor colors. Isn't it stunning?

So during the course of my week, I kept noticing these needle cases....and I tracked down the source, Deborah Smith. Deborah was invited to be featured artist of the year at the Anchorage Museum. I had the pleasure of her company on my Seward trip. Turns out Deborah has a cozy home in Seward.

Her needle cases are amazing and each one has the personality of the artist it was created for.

Here is Vivian's who owns a 'flower power' painted volkswagen. It's perfect.

And here is Linda's, bright fun colors,

and the reverse side is signed with Deborah's initials.

I'm trying to work out a way to own one of these...

We had a dinner outing this evening, joined by Cheryl Frasca (Beadventures) and Linda and Vivian and Terry. It was a very nice meal. Cheryl ordered Osso Bucco and I was concerned abut having menu envy, so I had to follow suit.

The restaurant, Orso, had lovely ambiance

and here is a picture of Cheryl and Linda enjoying that ambiance.

Tomorrow I finish up Urchin Lariat and on Monday I head home to reality ....well, I have a playdate with the Grove girls on Tuesday and then reality.