Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Beadweaving Master Class

Lark's third entry in the Beadweaving Master Class series, Laura McCabe's Embellished Beadweaving, jewelry lavished with fringe, fronds, lacework & more, has just been released and it is filled with incredibly beautiful beadwork.

Lavished is an excellent word for the beautiful embellishments that adorn Laura's work. Laura's impeccable workmanship and exquisite design aesthetic are apparent throughout this book. Her technical abilities combined with her choice of color and texture give her work a distinct quality.

Laura shares with her reader basic beadwork stitches, a comprehensive guide to her embellishment techniques, and her approach to color and design. This is in preparation for the chapter presenting 18 beautiful pieces of jewelry ranging from earrings, to necklaces, lariats, bracelets and rings.

Photography, layout and illustration are all excellently done and the book is a pleasure to own.

I'm pleased to have worked with Lark and be part of this prestigious series and look forward to many more titles in this series, sharing the love of beadweaving.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Under the Mast

You've seen this, maybe several times now, but the question came up which colors would be available at Bead and Button....and the answer is

These four!

At least that is the plan. The medium vitral fancy stone is back-ordered, scheduled to arrive the 3rd week in May, so if all goes well, all four of these colors will be available.

Unfortunately the class is sold out this year (well change that to fortunately, unless you were still hoping to get a seat) . I am guessing that the simple design aesthetic is appealing. I wanted to add stuff, embellishments, dangles, you know stuff, but as he sometimes does Mark got involved in this one pre-stuff, and informed me it was done. I guess he was right, but, psssttt, you're welcome to add your own 'stuff' if you want. Sometimes more is just more and sometimes it's perfect, you be the judge.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What's on my Bead Table?

Funny, I woke up this morning thinking it would be interesting to pose the question neat or messy? regarding your bead habits of course. I took some photos of various bead trays and sat down at the computer.

But first I visited my morning blogs as I do, and Bev posed the question 'What's on your Beading Table?' Relates rather well don't you think.

Unfortunately there is no great work of progress here. And I can see that Bev is a neater beader then I am.....

Remnants of .....hmmmm...not sure, love those few aqua beads though

Remnants of my pink and orange Diamonds are Forever

Remnants of my last Ripplestiltskin

Fortunately I own a lot of these velvet trays, and when I do run out I do not separate and put away all those little beads. I may pick up an expensive things left behind, but the rest goes in here.

Soon I will need a bigger bowl.....

So are you neat or messy?

Friday, April 23, 2010

My new Camera

Well the camera is a couple of months old, but we are still getting used to one another. I am working on some Craft Edu classes and decided to do some photographic step outs rather then illustration. I'm currently on the fence about which are the better teaching instrument. There are times illustration makes it clearer to see what is actually going on and there are times that the photo adds a lot of visual interest and conveys the step really well. I think I will end up going with a mixture of both.

At any rate, I'm pleased with some of the pictures I managed to take.....This lovely little right angle weave bezeled rivoli is called Vela (thank you Jean)

A lovely soft color combination, I think it must be a mood thing. Sometimes I like strong high contrast colors but at the moment this soft pallette suits me perfectly.

And that is some close up detail. It is much warmer and more personal then an illustration would be.

Craft Edu will be available soon. You can sign up to stay informed and I suggest you do, it's going to be awesome!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Beading by the Bay 2011

I almost forgot! To tell you about next years Beading by the Bay. I did create a new logo, update the website, send email to my contact list, but I forgot to tell all of you...

Next year we will hold the second annual Beading by the Bay retreat on San Francisco Bay. The hotel is the Crowne Plaza in Burlingame, a quick, free shuttle ride from easy to get to San Francisco airport.

Since we had such an amazing, fabulous, fun time last year, we decided to ask out same three teachers to come again. Maggie Meister, Jean Campbell and me!

The retreat is sponsored by myself and Susan Kazarian, owner of the Beading Frenzy in San Mateo.

It was incredible last year, and so we're doing it again. Project details and registration will be available in September!

Under the Mast

I'm teaching Under the Mast at Bead and Button, so I am photographing, buying supplies and preparing to kit the multiple colorways. There is exactly one spot left in this class, is it yours?

This one is stunning, medium vitral fancy stone, surrounded by olive green faceted seed bead with a simple yet elegant chain. I love it. Brilliantly named by Mark, Under the Mast refers to the practice of putting a coin Under the Mast during ship building for luck. In this case, an affirmation is placed under the stone before bezeling it. This one says 'Celebrating the Creative Connection' and is one of five. The original is mine, and four of my near and dear friends own the other four. What would yours say?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The best ever oatmeal cookies!

As promised, I thought you might all like this recipe. They are called 'vanishing oatmeal cookies' well actually they are called 'vanishing oatmeal raisin cookies' but since I don't happen to like raisins in my oatmeal cookies I leave them out. You know how when the lights not good and you think the raisins are chocolate chips and then you get all disappointed because they're not they're raisins, me too...

Vanishing Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 c firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 c granulated sugar
2 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups uncooked oatmeal

and my own personal addition 1/3 c crushed walnuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt. Stir in oats and in my case walnuts. Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire rack. Makes about 4 dozen.

These are buttery crisp, not soft and chewy. They are really really good. You might want to make a 1/2 recipe, or share with your co-workers or neighbors or knitting circle as the case may be.

Monday, April 19, 2010


I'm trying to appreciate the nuances in my life.


nuance (plural nuances)

A minor distinction.
Subtlety or fine detail.
Understanding the basics is easy; appreciating the nuances takes years.

Those small subtle details that I've gone racing by and missed. I tend towards being hyper and I'm always in a rush to move one. I'm recognizing a need to slow down more and live in the present.

I'm settling into a long stretch of being at home and I am totally loving it. I'm sure when it's time to travel again I'll be longing for it, but right now I'm quite content and loving all the moments.

Yesterday I walked at the zoo

and then spent the day beading outside. I forget to do that and with the new awnings which can be rolled in and out as required the veranda is a beautiful comfortable place to bead.

I've just finished one set of directions and will move onto a couple of more today, appreciating the gentle breeze which moves around the graceful pepper tree branches while the birds chirp mightily.

Then I'll be gathering up ingredients for the best ever oatmeal cookies and making a batch with Mark for gifting to a friend. I'll post the recipe tomorrow, but be warned, they are called disappearing cookies for their tendency to disappear quickly. They're good!

Bead well and smell the flowers, or fondle the beads or sip fragrant tea or take a bubble bath, curl up with a book, take a walk, enjoy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Funny name, yes? Mark named it and at the time I thought it was cute, deadlines do that to you, mess with your good it kind of makes me cringe but ah well, too late to change. But, name aside, I finished the third colorway today and I am totally, completely in love with it's subtle softness.

The firepolish is a pale aqua lined with gold and was probably expensive, but sometimes I fall in love and forget to track these things. I also couldn't help but to add the pretty little sahara crystal sequin to the face of this rivoli embellishment. This kit will cost the same as the other two, which by the way are also pretty.

Aside from naming things lamely at times, I also have the trait of falling in love with the latest piece, so I am sure the other two colors will also be appealing, but just in case, I'm going to bring more of this one.

If you're going and still have some room in your schedule, Ripplestiltskin is available on Wednesday June 9th!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

An artistic outing to Los Angeles

I sometimes forget to take a break, go rejuvenate, smell the thank goodness for Mark who decided that we really needed to go the LA County Museum and see the Renoir exhibit. Happens it is near to one of my suppliers and I needed a few we set out early Thursday morning and only had to tolerate about 1/2hour of bumper to bumper (How do people live in LA?) before arriving at our first destination. While I filled up the bead inventory, Mark set out to a foundry that he had discovered to see a bronze that interested him.

We then stopped for a charming lunch, and headed over to the museum. The exhibit was wonderful, many many of Renoir's post impressionism portraits, so compelling. I didn't realize how crippled he was by arthritis but still continued to paint.

An earlier call to my friend Liz Smith and we made a plan to get together. Her home, gardens and studio are all beautiful and her and husband Grant are very gracious hosts. Grant is also owner of Mr. Toots, my all time favorite cat, could you help but love that cat?

I've long admired Grants gardening abililties and have wanted one of the whimsical ceramic totems that are a sprinkled liberally through his landscape.

This has been a years long quest and finally it was time. With the yard remodeling that we are undertaking I have a place. A quick phone call determined that Leslie Codina was/is showing her totems at the Fullerton University Aboretum this weekend.

First though we had to return to the Foundry where owner Ian gave us the tour of wax casting, coating with ceramic, firing and finally pouring the bronze. Well, we now have two, both destined for the garden when it's ready. Here's the whimsical one....

Then onto Fullerton where Leslie, husband Steve and adorable 6 month old Corbin were setting up for the show. And I now own my first ceramic totem, but I know like Grant this is the beginning of a collection. Nothing if not impulsive, I came home and set it up in the living room, since it's final installation is not yet ready.

Isn't it great fun? Oh I'm such a happy girl. Our two day outing was magical and just what I needed. This morning was spent doing a deep clean of the house and now I can dive into B&B preparation feeling quite good.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A stellarevening....

Jeannette came over for a photo session where I got to practice with the new Rebel and Mark made an excellent dinner and we got ready to set off on an adventure.

The LA County Museum and then dinner and lodging with a friend who has known me since the beginning of my bead career. Lot's of wonderful catching up to do.

See you soon!

Design Ideas Abound

Well not 'abound' really, but a darn good one just popped into my head yesterday and I'm wanting to carve out some time to see if it's as good as the vision in my head. It is one of those that came fully formed, but experience tells me that sometimes in the execution that connections or scale or some other element may present challenges unseen in the design in my mind.

That isn't really too problematic since as they show up I mull over solutions and new ideas present themselves. But it does all take time, so today I shall try to carve out a little slice just for this new design idea.

If all goes well, it could be the new Beading by the Bay design. It's official, the date is set, next March 10, 11th and 12th we will once again come together in San Francisco for our second annual bead retreat.

And back by popular demand will be Jean Campbell and Maggie Meister.

New projects will be unveiled in the August time frame and registration will begin September 'ish'.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Charm bracelet

I'm settling into a a good long stretch of being at home and loving it. I'm not idle, I'm making classes for Craft Edu and preparing for Bead and Button, but I am sipping tea, listening to audio books, knitting, and generally finding a rhythm which is soothing.

Yesterday in between writing supply lists and kitting up some Queen Anne's Lace

(which will be available on the website this week!) I sat down and added some charms to the orange and pink Diamonds are Forever bracelet.

I love when bracelets have motion and this is the perfect addition to this piece.

I'm also working on the NanC Meinhardt art stick workshop which will be held in my studio Oct 8th, 9th and 10th. Stay tuned for details....It's going to be spectacular!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I cast on Liesl today,

Maya helped.

For those of you keeping track, and I know you're out there.....I put away the lace shawl for the time being. It had a 44 row repeat, each row different, and not just yarn over knit two together different - slip two stitches to the cable and hold in back, knit one, knit two from cable and pass third over the next two kind of different. It is not the time for me to be doing that kind of knitting. Not that I can't, but I require a different level of uninterrupted time for that kind of knitting. The yarn is pretty, I may find a different project, or I may find a different space of time. But for now Liesl will be my companion.

Bead Cruise!

Yes, my life is pretty darn good. One of the things I worried about when 'retiring' from my corporate job, was if I'd still be able to travel. I can certainly put that fear to rest! I get to travel far and wide, including next March's Bead Cruise.This will be my third time and I can't wait. And you shouldn't either. Have you seen this years projects, wow! It is going to be hard to choose between Dallas, Bev, Tracy, Heather and myself! The pieces are all gorgeous.

I get to teach Aurelia, among other things. This piece looks like it belongs on the ocean.

One of the other things I like so much about this cruise, is the number of students who come back every year. It is wonderful to be able to reconnect with so many wonderful friends. I heard a rumor that this year my very own Liz (she's not really my very own, but we've been working together for quite a few years now and I love Liz) will be coming.

I also sleep like a baby when I'm cruising, the ships gentle motion is like a big cradle. And there are so many nooks and crannies on a boat to tuck yourself away and well bead of course. That and tropical destinations, warm weather, cool breezes and well beads of course....It's going to be an incredible amount of fun!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Perfect Day!

These are my all time favorite Gail Crosman Moore earrings. I thought I had lost one, turned the house upside down....looked and looked, and was incredibly sad....

and then I stopped looking and the second one showed up. Apparently had fallen out of it's unzipped case and got left behind on a shelf. One of things I love about Gail is her constant evolution, but it also meant there was probably no replacing this favorite pair. I am over the moon happy to have found it's mate!

Bead Dreams is complete!

I finished the Bead Dreams competition piece on Monday and I love it. Which is always a nice bonus at the end of a lot of work. I wish I could show you, but it needs to remain under wraps until it's acceptance status has been decided.

You may remember the piece was a collaboration with the Dallas Bead Society, who made ringlets, lots of ringlets. I chose a set of coordinated rings to put together into the necklace, developed a connection scheme that I thought was fitting....structurally sound, aesthetically pleasing, with a nice overall flow. I wanted the connections to fade to the background, letting the ringlets be the stars that they are. The creativity that went into each one is amazing.

Heather Trimlett made the glass, Kate McKinnon made some cool metal clay discs and posts to anchor the glass and Jay Whaley helped out with some posts and rings for the dangly bits of glass.

It was nice that I had access to the kinds of artists whose expertise made this piece come together beautifully. I'm hoping that it will be accepted....I'll let you know.

Monday, April 5, 2010

A little bit of pretty

I stopped for a minute in the midst of kit making and deadlines and tax preparation to do a little tiny bit of beadwork for beadwork's sake. Something I don't get to do too often. I have these pretty rock crystal pendants, and I decided the palest of blues, air blue opal and silvery whites, white opal and crystal cal ab, with some grey blue pearls would all go nicely.

I started with an 11 bead wide ladder stitch and brick stitched each side down to one bead. I then connected those two end beads through the hole of the rock crystal to form a bail. Lot's of pearlescent and sparkly embellishments, and a sweet little necklace of strung pearls and crystal and voila!

In this photo it sits a top a romantic sweater that I made last year and it just so happens they look beautiful together. Since the week calls for 60 ish spring weather, I think they'll be seeing a lot of each other....

And now back to the deadline beading. The deadline is today, so finishing is imperative and I'm really really close.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Hunt!

The Easter Egg hunt has begun

17 'children' under 40, 4 eggs per 'child', a well thought out egg hunt! And a beautiful brunch.

All on an excellent spring day, glorious sunshine, the gentlest of breezes.....Nice!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Twitpic'ing' from the iphone....

Really,it's a bit crazy....I've resisted twitter, but then lately I've had reason to peek occassionally, and then I found I could post a picture, and not only from my computer, but I can take an iphone picture and then post it to twitter by emailing it to a twitpic address specifically for me....

Yeah, I'm probably way behind the times, and I don't even know quite why it seems so wonderful, but man all this technology, at my fingertips

So it you want to see my tweeted twitpic that I took while jetting home from Boston on Tuesday, here it is, straight from twitpic

homeward bound from New Hampshire, window seat! on Twitpic

click for the bigger twitpic version

Cool, heh?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Beads Baubles and Jewels

Last summer I flew to Ohio to film a segment of Beads Baubles and Jewels. It is a PBS program and my segment will be aired this week! My local PBS does not carry the show, but have a look at your program listings, you might just get to see me on tv!

My segment showed how to bezel and embellish a stone with a right angle weave bezel. If you get to see the program or if you don't you may still enjoy this free project download for these fun earrings!

Just in time for spring!