Monday, November 30, 2009

Aurora Borealis in San Diego?

I hadn't previously noticed this phenomenon in the house....yesterday while making my way into the front room to do a little knitting I was greeted by this Aurora Borealis like display

I suspect it was created by this, a large beveled mirror on the opposing wall

I must say it created a winter like scene

I'd like to experience these lights in the Northern sky some time, but for now, I think these will have to do.

Shibori Ribbon

I first saw this beautiful silk ribbon at the Grove in San Diego, brought in by my friend JudiPatuti. Shortly after in Miami, my host Myriam was wearing a beaded button pendant suspended from the ribbon.

I stitched this gold one into a tube, brick stitched a little bail, encrusted it with volcano sequins and make peyote end caps. A loop and margarita complete the design and I love it.

This is one of the pieces that will be for sale at Saturday night's Walkabout in South Park. It is a rare day when I sell what I make, and there's more....bracelets, earrings and few more felted bauble necklaces.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

On being productive or not.....

I posted to facebook that I was procrastinating....Liz asked on what? Nothing specific really, and everything specific....going to the bank, filing paperwork, making the big To Do list with everything I should be doing....I'm telling myself it's ok to take some time off, I wonder why I don't really believe that.

I'm making earrings for next Saturday night's walkabout, and since I almost never sell my work it feels like kind of a big deal. So why is that yesterday's bit of beading has now progressed to this...and I have no idea what it is, or where it's going and it's using up time I don't have and.....

Sigh....I think I need to relax and see what shows up. The truth is I love this little bauble, wherever it's going. It's time to spend some time beading for beadings sake, and that is just what I'm going to do!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Visions of beading danced in my head....

Much of the night was spent in that odd place between sleep and wakefulness while my mind worked out thread paths for untried projects. One was crystal clear in my mind and was going to be brilliant, but when I finally got up at 5:00 a.m. to put the beads into actual practice, that particular thread path was gone.

There was another in it's place however and I've beaded it up.

It's a clever bit of beading in that it starts with a 3 bead high ladder stitch and then right angle is worked off the two edge beads. I'm just not sure of it's potential yet....

Do you bead in your sleep?

Friday, November 27, 2009


Computers are fickle, the 47th try of pushing the memory stick into the slot yielded results! So here are today's earrings....

Thwarted by Technology!

My computer is not recognizing my memory stick....which will mean finding the usb connector for the camera......or buying a new computer.....or a new camera, things to consider.

At any rate, it means I won't be showing you the fabulous earrings I just made. They are really really pretty. I'm on a bit of an earring kick here. I almost never sell my finished work, but the exception to the rule will be Saturday Dec 5th at the Grove's Walkabout. If you haven't been it's a really fun event in South Park San Diego. All of the stores are decked out for the holiday with lot's of good shopping potential and festivity. It's the way I love to do my Christmas shopping, looking for unique goods, handmade or artistic or both and the Walkabout is a fine place to do it.

Now on to look for that usb connector....

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Itty Bitty Knitting

Through the power of facebook, my itty bitty knitting desires became reality. I was lamenting the fact that I had seen a bead knitting cuff on Bead and Button and was thwarted by my perle cotton size 8 search.....Susan read my post, realized we were in the same class in New Jersey and offered to bring me perle cotton pre-strung with beads! How cool is that? She had them leftover from the days of amulet purses and brought me a nice selection along with the most adorable knitting needles. Thanks Susan!

I like the entire concept of bead knitting and would like to explore it more. We'll see.....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I'm thankful to be in my comfortable home, with my loving husband, enjoying a relaxing day. My niece visited from the midwest and together we made earrings. She is so far the only one of her generation that I can interest in the beads so it was fun. She described wanting to make disco ball earrings, and so she did!

I made these ones and I love the rich metallic colors with the touch of amethyst. I think this may be a new colorway for a Terracita bracelet, stay tuned.

Tomorrow we'll have a low key day, perhaps with a walk on the beach, and some studio time. Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I finished! My beautiful star from the Jean Power class I took at Beads by Blanche last Thursday night. At first I thought I might make another and make earrings, but it's just a little bit big for an earring, we'll see....

Here are the promised class pictures from the Portico bracelet class; this is the lovely Diane...

and Cathy who works in IT, which just suits her....the glasses are battery powered and light up

Here's Ludmilla on the left and Blanche having a color consult

And totally unrelated, but oh so cute, my Michelle Goldstein beads I got at BABE last weekend

I had an excellent flight yesterday, exit row, window seat, middle seat empty, Mark in the aisle....if flying could always be like that, sigh....

I'm home and my niece is visiting until Thursday, so some San Diego sight seeing is in order. possibilities include Balboa Park, Hotel Del Coronado, Mission Beach......

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm on my way home

1/2 hour left of New York and I wanted to bring you a nice picturesque blog post to tide you over until tomorrow, however the internet connection is painfully slow, so tomorrow you'll get to see photos.....Suffice it to say it was a wonderful trip, loved the class. As always there were many beautiful colors being done.

I've been teaching at Blanches for 9 years now and consider that I have many friends in the classroom, and this time around I met some new folks, one a facebook friend and now real life, Peggy, and another a blog reader Anita who I hadn't had in class before. And Cathy whose glasses had little lightbulbs run by batteries to light up her work....and Lynda who made an amazing cheesecake, and Dawn, Hillary and Eileen who traveled together to take my class and Mary and Mary and Lisa and Lisa, another Cathy, and Beth who I know from San Diego before she moved to New York and Nancy who I hadn't met before but who had beaded shimmer queen from the book, and Anh who quietly learned right angle weave on an advanced project! and Karen whose blue silver pallete was beautiful and Lydia and Diane who both do beautiful work and Jane who just flew home from India and took the class and almost finished,and Ludmilla who does two needle right angle weave and lovely designs, and if that's 21 then I remembered everyone, I hope so!

It was a blast gals, same time next year, well different time actually, I think it will be October in time to experience my favorite fall foliage.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More NYC....

Yesterdays trip into the city was spent at the Museum of Art and Design where the two traveling exhibitions were on Paper and the pins of Madeline Albright, both excellent. From there we went onto SOHO and visited the Swarovski Crystallized which was a lovely showroom with little lighted drawers showing the crystal and pulling out the drawer gave you boxed retail packaged crystals. The presentation was beautiful, and it was fun to see all the shapes and colors displayed.

As promised some more photos of Thursday nights class.....

Jean Powers, talented, fun and an excellent teacher!

Suzanne and Stacy, quite the fun pair and not to be missed, their jewelry, always innovative and fun

Teaching today to a full class, just the way I like it.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New York!

Well we arrived Wednesday night, which based on Thursdays news was a good thing as a computer malfunction apparently shut down much of the East Coast air traffic. I'm glad to not have been a part of that chaos.

Yesterday we spent the day in Manhattan bead shopping and wandering around Bryant Park. Despite the rain it was a fun day, followed by a fun evening.

I joined a Jean Power class at Beads by Blanche where I made a beautiful geometric star.

I was happy to get through it easily (being peyote and all) although it's not done, I do have the required skills. These could be troublesome as I want to make several more and ....well yeah, time is still an issue. Jean was delightful, and young which for some crazy reason I hadn't realized. And being British she has that charming accent and says things like 'fussy bits' love it!

I was in class with many folks I know and I will hopefully have more pictures tomorrow, but for today I give you a previously taken picture of the most talented and fun 'Suzanne Golden' seen here with one of her demure bracelets.

Manhattan again today with some possible museum visits, before teaching Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bead Knitting

Seems like a natural, I like to bead, I like to knit and I have done some bead knitting in the past....remember those bead/knit amulet purses in the late 90's. So yesterday I was over having a look at Beadweaver's blog and the subject is bead knitting, and then I followed the links which took me to this on the Bead and Button site

and I'm obsessed and I want one, now....but it is not to be as I have not located the required perle cotton. I've had to resort to mail order from EarthFaire, which is fine, except that I won't have it today and I'm leaving tomorrow. I guess I will need to practice some patience.

The cuff is by Marge Giralte and a visit to her Etsy page will show you lots of different colors.

I'm pretty darn excited, however, tomorrow a.m. I fly to New Jersey for my last teaching engagement of the year. And! I'm taking a class with Jean Powers. So it is likely I wont' be visiting with you tomorrow, but promise to have tales of New York city and classes at Blanches over the weekend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

San Francisco Bay!

This weekend I flew up to San Francisco for a visit to the Crowne Plaza where we (Susan Kazarian, the Beading Frenzy and myself) will be having our first Beading by the Bay retreat. Susan selected the hotel but I hadn't had a chance to visit yet.

I may have mentioned before that I am a tad bit of a hotel snob. I like a nice lobby, a good restaurant helps a lot, and I love a contemporary room, with nice linens, flat panel tv and granite in the bathroom.

Then a short walk to a trail along the bay or a pedestrian bridge over to a selection of restaurants, and a free shuttle to and from the airport. Well the Crowne Plaza has it all. I also visited the meeting rooms which were roomy and comfortable and the fireside room where lunch will be served.

Speaking of which we stayed for lunch and the food was excellent. I had a beautifully dressed salad with a lightly fried calamari, and it was nicely presented, always a plus.

But of course you wouldn't come just for the nice hotel, there will also be beading!

Three really compelling projects by three really competent artists, Jean Campbell, Maggie Meister and Me! The projects will be offered in three colorways and a supply list will be available should you wish to bring your own beads. Go have a look at the details...we'd love to have you!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Friday I signed books at the Beading Frenzy where I saw many old friends....Here is Nancy, Susan, me, Janet, Peita and daughter Lucy.

Owner and friend Susan and I

I didn't get a picture of Becky but I did get this spectacular fanfare cuff that she completed from the book using jet black and medium vitral crystals. Very sparkly and pretty.

and then on Saturday Rachel picked me up and we went to the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza, where I saw many more friends.

And shopped, a little,

I loved these hollow glass beads by Aja Vaz of Wandering Spirit Designs. I immediately wandered over to Out on a Whim to pick a complimentary pallette.

I'd love to feature these beads in a necklace combined with beadwoven beaded beads. And hopefully a little time will present itself when I return from New York next week.

and I added this frog to my Wayne Robbins collection

Isn't he the cutest? The frog that is, although Wayne and Judy are pretty cute too. I would love for him to be destined for a piece of amazing beadwork, but the reality is I usually just 'collect' lampwork and fondle it from time to time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Book Signing

I'm off to The Beading Frenzy where Susan will pick me up and we'll go to visit the venue for next March's Beading by the Bay. I'll take lots of pictures sure to entice you....sign ups are going well, so you may want to stay tuned and decide to join us!

Tonight I'll be at The Beading Frenzy where I will be signing copies of Marcia DeCoster's Beaded Opulence tonight.

This is one of my favorite images from the book and these are so easy yet so Opulent. They make an exceptional gift and The Beading Frenzy has some of these sparkly CZ drops.

Should you live closer to San Diego then San Mateo, then supplies for these as well as signed copies of the book can be found at the Grove on 30th and Juniper.

Speaking of the book, I had my first live sighting last night when I stopped into the local Barnes and Nobles, and there it was on the shelf. Definitely made me smile.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza with Rachel and then flying home tomorrow night to spend the rare Sunday at home. It's going to be a treat to wander through BABE, visit with friends, fondle beads, and generally have a leisurely day surrounded by beady treasures.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Ok, perhaps now I can get back to packing and the like, those things I have been neglecting since casting on Felicity, the hat I just had to have. It's finished now and it's all soft and slouchy and comfortable and I really really like it. And considering I started yesterday at 4:00 p.m. I guess you'd call it a rather fast and easy knit. Lisa pointed out my use of addi-turbos and not knitpicks.....I was in a yarn store without my knitpicks and being as impulsive as I am, I purchased the 16" size 5 required needle so that I could cast on, immediately.

I am really happy with the Kashmir Baby yarn I used, but I would probably cast on less stitches next time. I have a smallish head. The color is blue but I don't have the patience at the moment to retake the picture.....There are other things that have been ignored all day while this was knit...

I guess I must have liked this color a lot, because I found two additional balls of it in my stash and now I think I will cast on a pair of Fetching to match.


Well I can pretend at least, in reality it was 80 degrees yesterday, hardly the chill in the air that suggests it's time to pick up the needles and make hats.

We awoke to this beautiful sunrise

and I spent the day knitting Felicity, a slouchy hat in a beautiful aqua. It's a free Ravelry download. If you're a knitter and you don't know Ravelry, then you'll want to have a look. It is an amazing knitter's resource site.

Susan at the Grove led the way with a modified stitch count using a Louisa Harding Kashmir Baby. Since hers fit perfectly (and she wasn't ready to gift it to me yet) I cast on my own and spent the day knitting. Too late I realized that the 7 stitch multiple would have lent itself very nicely to including a size 8 bead on every 7th stitch and every 3rd row, staggering the beads on alternate rows. So as soon as this one is finished I think I'll be making a second. I like having a simple, tried and true project on the needles. It makes for good travel knitting, so I think a trip to the Grove may be in order today!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Black and White with a punch of Red!

When I was preparing for the Lake Tahoe retreat I had two offers to help with testing the directions for Queen Anne's Lace. Both Liz and Lexi beaded up a sample and when I was recently in Dallas, I brought Lexi the button to make her version complete. I think the results are pretty amazing. I love it when someone beads my design in a totally unexpected (to me) colorway. So fun! I didnt get quite the detail needed for you to see that there are 230 size 3mm crystal ab bi-cones in this design for plenty of sparkle!

And when I was in Seattle this past weekend at Quiltworks Northwest, I came across this 'Tuffet' design by Instructor Myra Mitchell.

I had to buy the pattern because I definitely need one. I can't for the life of me see how it fits into my entirely modern contemporary house, but I love it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Magic Bed

I am fortunate to be a good sleeper. Given my travel schedule it is a wonderful thing that I am able to sleep in strange places and somehow always wake up knowing where I am and finding the bathroom in the middle of the night.

But occassionally I have that off night where sleep escapes me and the minutes from 1:00 or 2:00 am. tick by sleeplessly. And those times I give in and retreat to the guest room, where it is peacefully quiet, the bed is beautifully dressed and the mattress is tempurpedic and oh so comfortable. And sleep comes immediately in this bed and I awake happy and rested and home!

I'm off to meet with creative friends today, recharge a bit, enjoy the gorgeous fall weather, and rest. I'll come home early to the reading of Jane Eyre which a friend gifted me prior to my Seattle trip and which I am enjoying immensely.

Have a grand day everyone! See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 9, 2009


Could he be any cuter? This is Kathy and Peters rescue dog, pretty
darn adorable....

What If?

Imagine it!

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Kathy thinks of everything, this vibrant fall bouquet is in my room,


I had a great time signing books and meeting people yesterday,
complete with a great big thunder and lightening storm, my favorite. I
spent the most delightful hour talking with folks who read the blog
who I hadn't met before.

Karen, JoAnn, ElJean and SJC, it was so nice to meet all of you!

Today ringlets then dinner with Kathy and the wired arts girls, lucky

Sent from my iphone

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beadwork Cover...

It appears this....

Became this....on sale November 19th

Love those matte metallics!

Beading by the Bay!

I have an affinity for Northern California. I spent 30 years in Santa Cruz, meeting my husband and raising our family. It's also where I started to bead, and started teaching for 'The Beading Frenzy' in San Mateo, where owner Susan and I became friends. Susan is 1/2 of the team that has brought you 'Hooked on Wire' the last six years. We decided on a Tucson trip last year that the Beadweavers needed equal time, and the concept of Beading by the Bay became reality.

Mark and I had a sailboat moored under the San Francisco Bay Bridge for many years and I have fond memories of weekends spent there. So it was great pleasure that I look forward to the inaugral retreat of Beading By the Bay which will be held in Burlingame, south of the San Francisco airport, and on the San Francisco Bay.

I also look forward to the company I will be in, Maggie Meister and Jean Campbell, two incredibly talented bead artists. If you're thinking that three days of beading fun might suit your spring plans go visit and consider joining us!

I'll be visiting Northern California next weekend and will have more to report on this exciting event.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Won't you come visit?

For some reason 'Won't you be my neighbor' kept coming to mind, I raised my children in the Mr. Rogers era.

I'm off Friday a.m. to Quiltworks Northwest on Friday morning where I will be selling kits and signing books on Friday afternoon, followed by a Saturday and Sunday class teaching ringlets and romantica. I love a good crisp fall day so I suspect I will enjoy the weather. I'll also be visiting with Kathy Dannerbeck, former owner of Beads and Beyond.....always a treat. If I'm lucky and they're in town I may catch a glimpse of the Wired Arts Girls, Tracy and Janice.

And next weekend I'm off to the Beading Frenzy in San Mateo for a Friday night book signing followed by a visit to the BABE show (Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) with Ms. Rachel (of Seed Bead Fusion fame), where I will likely see all sorts of friends.

If you're close to either venue, come say hello!

Book Inspired!

Mikki sent me this photo of 'Chocolate Box Landscape', have to love that name.

Look close and you will see a component inspired by the Quetzal ring in Beaded Opulence. Quetzal is perhaps the piece I have seen the most of since the book's release and this is certainly a nice use of the component. Thanks Mikki! Mikki was reminded of Quetzal when she saw Mari's version on Monday's blog, but the components were actually beaded after making Disco Squares in Beadwork magazine.

Of all the 'Designer of the Year' projects for Beadwork, Disco Squares is the one I have received the most mail about. I'll be teaching Disco Squares at the Bead and Button Show next year,

along with 'Under the Mast'


and 'Crystal Collage'

Registration opens January 12th, perhaps it's your year to come!