Monday, June 30, 2014

Feeling colorful

I do tend to swing back and forth on the color pendulum, although mostly I go for the muted matte metallics, the other side of that equation sometimes shows up.

Party Girl, a collaboration with the Dallas Bead Society, featuring Heather Trimlett glass.

Do you see a connection?

Here is the Pat version of Dream Keeper Vessel Rings, named after friend Pat whose go to colors are Aqua and Gold

Ringlets, I've discontinued the kit, but  it could make a reappearance one of these days….it so so fun and colorful!

I admit that I struggle more with the brights, getting the proportion and values of the different colors seems harder to me…..but my newest design 'sprightly sprockets' really called out out for color.  It's a whimsical piece and in my book at least whimsy equates to color.

A Touch of Whimsy

These beautiful ultra rivolis will be the perfect addition to this whimsical, colorful design.

Although having said that I may give it a go with some beautiful golds or bronzes….At the moment I am in love with these 'sprockets'  So much opportunity for embellishment, and a cool little shape.  This one will turn into a pendant, but I'm anxious to do up some earrings, maybe a bracelet, incorporate some mini spikes, maybe some pearls…..I think this design may keep me busy for a bit.

Also on the design front, I finished my Beading by the Bay piece yesterday and I am totally in love with it.  Seems like  you always want that outcome, I do of course, but in the end some designs resonate more than others, this one, it resonates beautifully!  Reveal coming soon…..

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Earlier this year I filmed a video in the Interweave studios. It's been available for a while now and I must say I am happy with it. I think the Interweave team does a great job. Audio and close up beading shots are very clear making it quite easy to see what is going on.


Initially we had scheduled only RAW instruction but I stepped out some CRAW fundamentals in the event we had time and we did. If you have been struggling with CRAW this may be helpful to you. I go over starting, counting cubes, turning corners, making a join and doing multiple rows.

The video is available for download or on DVD and comes with accompanying illustrations. do be clear though, there are no project instructions, this is a process or skill set video of a project video. having said that you will gain the skills to tackle most any CRAW or RAW project you come across.


The video can be purchased here.


Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Despite the 4:30 a.m. start I had successful plane beading. I carry all of my tools in my JudiPatuti tool tote (she calls them thread catchers but what does she know?) that and a bead mat and I'm good to go.

Today I finished sprightly sprockets!
I'm enamored with the playful colors and all around playfulness of the piece. It's about 2 3/4 inches in circumference and almost 3/4 inch thick so it's a substantial piece.
Lately a lot of my designs don't have a lot of room for changing them up but with the sprightlies I see a whole host of design changes that could be incorporated. For example the two sides of the sprocket circle are done differently, the length of the sprockets can be short or long or alternated, the number of sprockets could be different and I think they will offer an excellent place to play with color. The tips can be embellished with 3 or 4 mm crystals or fire polish or pearls or perhaps baby spikes. The corners could be accented with color or with three bead picots or both.
I can't wait to do a white one with hot pinks and oranges or turquoise and lime or.....or a black one, or a gold one with emerald and fuchsia and sapphire, well you get the idea, this is how it goes when I get excited. Or a cream one with vintage gold pearls and the permanent finish champagne beads, but for now I will be content with this one, and begin the second color for my Beading on the Bay piece, which remains under wraps (sort of, if you were paying attention you may have seen it, and if you were at bead and button, I may have worn it.). I call it test marketing. I like to see how people respond without actually posting about it.

I am enjoying playing in New York, something I hardly ever get to do for more then a day. It's been full of good food and lots of walking and shopping so far. That and enjoying the company of our grand daughter Sam and seeing the city through her eyes. She is certainly enjoying the people watching.

She insists she will get up in time to go with me to the Alexis Bittar sample sale at 8:30 a.m. Tomorrow, we shall see.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

still messy after all these years....

You would think I could pour out little piles and put no longer used beads back in the tube! But then how would anyone know it was my bead board?

Try as I might to be neat, messy is just my way.



Saturday, June 14, 2014

On being a grandma

I had a grandma and a nana....let's just say that it isn't in everyone's make up to be a loving grand parent. My grandma visited infrequently, but she brought m&m's smelled good and was always loving. My nana didn't have quite the same effect. Neither of my grandpas were part of my life, one having died before I was born and the other just not around, altbough I'm quite sure why.


At any rate I take the role on with love and enthusiasm, wanting to be a positive influence in all of my grand children's lives. I think in some ways we get a second chance. When my own child and stepchildren were growing up I didn't have the time patience or skills that I have now. I'd like to use my time and energy to be present in their lives. I love that grandpa takes their little hands In his and always has an ear to listen to their stories and an open heart.


Today's visit included cupcakes and singing and cuddles. We sang I love you forever, I like you for always, As long as I live, My baby you'll be. Being a grandparent fills me up with love in the best way.

Precious Layla photographed by Aimee Poole of Scott's Valley on the ocean in Santa Cruz.


And tomorrow We take our first grandbaby to New York City to celebrate her high school graduation. We look forward to an exciting adventure!


Santa Cruz

Yesterday we went to Santa Cruz High's graduation to watch grand daughter Sam graduate. You may remember this is where I grew my family up and also where I meant Rachel when she was a mere 17. since then our bead careers have kept us in touch and I was delighted to see her and Maryam .
She is the queen of color and her arm full of flat bangles were wonderful.
Tomorrow I will try to get back to the beads as I am excited by where this design is going....remember this
I've continued to play and this is the direction it's going in....I suspect I've been color influenced by my color leaders, Rachel and Sian.

I look forward to see what develops. I'll let you know!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Learning curve

So much technology to learn these days, Blogsy was recommended to me by a colleague in Milwaukee. Since blogspot has not functioned for the last few months I thought I'd give it a try. Not quite sure yet how it works but I did manage a blogpost so perhaps you will hear from me in New York!

In the meantime and in the interest of learning how photos upload I'll leave you with this fun image!


New Design

Getting ready to make it's debut.......although it will be exclusive for awhile.



testing blogsy!


It seems I've turned to whimsy

It's a bit of a design aesthetic departure for me to go all 'cute' but somehow that's what showed up when I began beading this little piece. 

To be fair the inspiration was whimsical…..a birdcage.  This is an image from a fabric designed by Tina Givens.  I've been carrying it around for along time now with this idea in mind.

I love the new raindrop Swarovski crystal and the tiny tiny wire wraps.  There is also a hidden surprise when you open the top which slides up and down on a CRAW strap.

At Bead and Button I came across these batik ribbons from Jennifer of Urban Raku.  I loved the colors and picked some seed beads to go with them for a new project.

I also did my fair share at Maku Raku, and bought a pretty clasp from Kim at Handfast Designs, and some intriguing chain.

A couple of druzzy's from  Gary Wilson….and a vase from Stuart Abelman which I will show you when I manage to put some flowers in it.

I'm off again, this time on vacation to New York City with grand daughter Sam who graduates from High School tomorrow.  Can't wait to show her around one of my favorite cities! Before New York we'll attend the graduation and leave time for hugging grand babies Malayna and Layla.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

and in non bead news

In May in the midst of Bead and Button Preparations, we took a twelve day trip in the airstream to attend our son's wedding and wait for our grand daughters birth.  Both were momentous occasions…..

and here is Layla Joy, born May 20th.  We were lucky enough to arrive at the hospital just as she was being born and I held her when she was about twenty minutes old.  I also got to witness her sister Malayna meeting her for the first time….a magical moment for sure!

Designing in the cracks….

Very often for me some little bit of time will result in an idea that gets developed in a moment.  Being at the Bead and Button show provides so much creative stimulation but provides little or no time to actually sit down with the beads, at least for me.

After twelve days I got on the plane to come home, happy, satisfied and exhausted.  I had two colors of beads, a size 15 and a size 11 in my carryon, plus needles and thread and scissors.  I had a what if moment, tried out my idea and a tiny bit of beadwork started to take shape.

I'm not sure where it's going, I have two different ideas and am waiting to see which one I want to develop further.  I call these moments, designing in the cracks.  Taking advantage of that crack in the schedule to create.

I also have times of solitude and more time where I sit down specifically to design, but if it weren't for the 'cracks' a lot of my design ideas would go unrealized.

How about you?  Do you take advantage of small bits of time to fit in a little design work?

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Post Bead and Button

The show is always a whirlwind, teaching classes, visiting with friends, walking the show floor, appreciating all the talent shown in the Bead Dreams cases….it's a lot and one of the few times a year I burn the candle at both ends far too many days in a row, but I wouldn't have it any other way  of course.

Duomos Romantics was my largest class with 19 people joining me that day including multi talented Betty Stephan and International artist Helena Tang Lim.  The Bad Liz who didn't teach until that evening came by to assist and good friend Gabriella van Diepen came in from Chicago so I had lots of help.

The class was relaxed and fun and everyone had success.  I'll be actively teaching this a few more times, so not website sales yet, but look for it sometime next year.  In the meantime I will teach it at Creative Castle in July, in Alaska in September, and the earring version at the Loose Bead Society in October.  I will teach the necklace version Quattro Cupole in December at Beadjoux beads in Georgia.

More photo highlights from the show

Nico Tismer, son of Petra who owns Das Perlament in Bad Godesberg Germany.  Trained as a carpenter, Nico is able to build equally well in beads.  Here he helps me to further my size 15 craw rope which is now done….Thanks Nico!

Here is Pat with her beautiful version of Santa Lucia, perfectly complementing her green top.

I took a day out to do a soutache class with Amy Sweet McNamara who's a great teacher and made my first piece of soutache ever a success.

The wild hair girls, although I must say mine is pretty tame in comparison to Jean's bright blue and Sabine's hot pink and orange.

Here is Nico enjoying a last hug with Sherry Serafini.  All the girls want to hug Nico!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Project vs process design

I have to say, I love many of my most recent projects and was thrilled to teach them at this years Bead and Button, but I also truly love a process class.

This years camp format gave me an extended day and folks who wanted to engage a bit beyond the actual project.

SunYoung  and sister Sue, of Ezel designs made variations to their sundial pendants and wore then home from class.  I love seeing that!

Laurel Kubbie took the time to show me her Dream Keeper vessel ring pattern, repeated 20 times and turned into a bracelet. 

I also got to see a lot of finished projects from last years master class which was a huge treat.  I continue to think of it as one of my best experiences and welcome the opportunity to do more of it.

This fall I will give my Component Design talk at the Loose Bead Society and in July of this year I will be offering a three day process format class at Creative Castle in Newbury Park.  If you've wanted to take your beadwork to a more personal level and create your own designs this class will fully engage  you in that process.  We do start with five components which are already designed and a robust playground of those components for you to play with and arrange.  I'll also provide a booklet with ideas for variations, and present a slide show each day which will explore some of the ways I design. My hope for this class is that you will come away with many new ideas for designing your own pieces and a process which allows you to continue on the path of making your own unique wearable art.

If you don't know Carole, she is one of the most welcoming bead hostesses I know and will be sure to make you comfortable.