Monday, November 29, 2010


My studio is full of color with seed beads and crystals taking center stage, surrounded by czech glass and lampworked beads, finished jewelry and assorted bobbles.

It's a wonderful room to spend time in, which at the moment is good, since I am returning today to the work of a full time bead artist. I took a week off and it did me a world of good.

This is how I catalog my crystal colors.

And a sampling of the seed bead wall, size 11's, an equal collection is to the left with the 15's and 8's

First up today is to calenderize the to do list, something like a project plan, it lends reality to what is doable, and hopefully provides some relief to the anxiety of what needs to be accomplished. There's a lot, but it's all good work, after all beads are involved.

There are times it can get overwhelming, the number of things that seem to need doing all at once. A good plan helps keep the focus where it needs to be. I don't always follow it, I leave room for adjustments, like an afternoon tea with friends or a stroll on the Ocean with Mark. I use it for a guideline. I'm planning on adjusting my business priorities a bit this next year, more samples, more kit colors, along with my teaching engagements and plans for a new book, the year will be full.

Here is a reminder of how far I've come and how long I've been beading. A brick stitch freeform vessel done in a NanC Meinhardt class at Embellishment, circa 1996 (?)

It's a demure little vessel, perhaps 2 inches, and they are colors I am still drawn to, although I think my techniques have improved over time. It is still a happy little reminder of my bead beginnings.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beaded Earrings

I got on a bit of an earring kick....

Earrings are a great place to experiment with shape and color.

The left pair is a new shape I've been working out and I can definitely see many of these coming together into a stunning necklace or a funky bracelet. The size and colors changing up for a stained glass effect and the repetitive pattern creating many different options.

On the right is another component which is shared between two new projects, including Beading by the Bay's Carousel (the center spins....what could be more fun?) I've worked out the second colorway and I love it! I'll be sharing it just as soon as the sample is finished being beaded. I'm waiting on some cyclamen opal ab2x crystals to arrive.

If you haven't had a look at the website, go have a look now, besides Carousel, Jean Campbell and Maggie Meister have two compelling projects. We've kept the price economy friendly and the venue is an easy ten minute shuttle from San Franciscos airport. Perhaps you deserve a long weekend of beading?

a similar component is used for Dancing Light to be taught on an Alaskan Cruise in September.

It's a clever thread path and I'm excited to teach it. Although there are similarities in the shared component, it is still changed up quite a bit to make two distinctly different pieces, so if you're inclined to come to both Beading by the Bay and the cruise you'll still be learning lots! If you've taken a class with me then you know I am all about sharing different design visions that you might be able to create with the component being taught. At both events I'll be sharing this earring which would be a definite compliment to either of the pieces.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A week to relax

I may have mentioned that I promised myself a week off when I returned from Australia and I'm doing a pretty good job of it. Tuesday found me at the mall casually perusing some of my favorite stores...I bought some needed makeup at MAC and had a wander in Antropologie and Z Gallerie, bought a lime green Nano at the Apple store and finished up with some tea at Teavana.

Mark was in search of a new Rooibos, having used up his current stash. But he's a purist with his tea, no fancy flavors for him, so the tropical rooibos was out as was the chocolate praline tart rooibos, but I thought it sounded nice enough to give it a try...

And the white honey, how is it I never had white honey until now? Beautiful, such a refined flavor, perfect in this tea.

Since I'm celebrating the ritual of tea at the moment, I think it is perfectly fitting that I make a tea cozy. I'm obsessed actually. I bought a copy of Really Wild Tea Cosies while in Australia and I cannot wait to cast one on.

But first there is a baby sweater to be finished, and the sewing up of 3 other baby sweaters and a pair of leggings, and maybe a hat to go with said baby sweaters, and then there are two beaded gifts in progress, and people seem to be ordering kits from the store, so I will be getting back to work soon....

But now I think a cup of tea is in order.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm home

I'm home and rested. It was of course a long journey from Sydney to San Diego, but I can report that I seemed to have dodged the worst of jetlag. I'm feeling well and pleased to be in my home with Miss Maya and Mark, near to my friends and family.

Little Hoot traveled home in the carry one and has since been re-united with brother Hoot at the Grove.

Not that I didn't have a delightful time in Australia, I did, but returning home is always so sweet.

I'm including a few pictures that I didn't get a chance to post

This was a bronze I came across at an outdoor space in Melbourne. I like the whimsy of it.

This reminds me of a plant that Dr. Suess would have created....

And another.....I can't wait to begin the planting of our garden space. It is getting close!

This is the house at Herenswood, a very pretty spot.

I am in slow motion. I've vowed to take the week off and I'm doing a reasonably good job of it, attending only to the most necessary of business related tasks. I did reopen the store, so if you were waiting you may now go shop. In the next few days there will be crystal medallion bracelets available in all three colors.

I'm planning on retiring the Venetian, but have a few remaining kits. And I will try to get to the gold and silver rings of saturn soon....

For now I am going to go knit!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

More fun in Cessnock

Here is Patrick who came up from Sydney to take this class. Patrick is an accomplished beader who won first prize in the Melbourne bead expo exhibition last week.

You can't read it but the tee-shirt featuring the black sheep says, 'Every family has one', love it.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Fun in Cessnock

Best friends Sandy, Tish and Yvonne having fun in freeform class.

Yvonne has divided loyalties announcing her new best friend Amanda.

Emma kicked here shoes off

Aren't they divine? I love the sparkly bows!


One more day of teaching in Australia and then flying home to my sweetie pie on Monday! I'll be taking the week off but I'll probably do a little blogging. see you Tuesday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, November 19, 2010


One more time for Romantica, I'll be teaching it today in Cessnock. Then tomorrow will be the freeform collar ' collared elegance' . I look forward to the freeform. It seems to have lost some of it's attraction in recent years, but I think the technique still has much to offer for making a piece of beadwork that is uniquely your own.

Yesterday Amanda, who is totally delightful, picked me up along with Claudette and Barbara and we drove to Patonga to visit Sue Austin. I met Sue at the Bead Expo last week. She sells beads, pretty czech charlottes and a nice selection of other beads. Her home on the water was warm and inviting, an obvious artists home.

And she's a great cook treating us to a beautiful lunch, which was also picture pretty. A delicate piece of banana bread, with some clotted cream, but the highlight, that beautiful fork!

And on a completely unrelated note, the leggings are maybe an hour from being done now and this lays in wait.

washable soft merino, I so want to cast it on! Isn't it delicious? This will be my treat for the plane, who knows in 15 hours I could complete a baby sweater, if I don't sleep that is.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

A day in Sydney

My 'borrowed' internet connection from the MacDonalds across the street is being temperamental and agreeing to upload only some of my photos so I've removed a few for the time being, leaving you with half of the story of my excellent day in Sydney. I'll add them back when I have a better connection.

I started my day with a breakfast croissant and a cup of coffee.

I meandered along the main shopping street and various arcades and side streets ducking in as the mood struck me. I found feathers and I am totally going to be making the feathered wrist warmers from my Melbourne post.
Mine are a muted purple.

I also bought more yarn, yes a soft aqua for a baby jacket and hat. The cashmere sweater is complete and the leggings are one and one half legs done. It's everything I can do not to put the remaining half leg on a stitch holder and cast on the new yarn. I won't but I want to. I best get finishing the leg which could be done in a two or three hour session, so perhaps that is tonights job.

I took the ferry across to Manley, the view was of this....
pretty good.....

and then in Manley I went to the beach, had a nice lunch and ferried back. A women approached me on the ferry and asked if I had made my earrings, then asked if I might be Marcia DeCoster. How crazy is that? I swear if I didn't have white hair and black bangs no one would know me. She was looking for a beading opportunity for next year, I mentioned that Beading by the Bay just might be a good one.

Next was the Royal Botanical gardens which was a beautiful spot. Lot's of shaded park benches and gorgeous flowers. I was enchanted with this angel sculpture. (unable to post the blog with this picture....)

It was time to head back and I decided a ferry would be a nice way to travel and it was, but...I can tell you the Holiday Inn Darling harbour is a loooong way from the ferry stop called Darling Harbour. My feet are in need of a serious rest.

Tomorrow someone I've been emailing with for quite some time has offered to pick me up and drive me up to Cessnock where I will teach for the weekend. I'm anxious to meet her, it's always nice to meet in person someone you've corresponded with. At last weekends Bead Expo first prize went to Patrick, I'm sorry, I don't have a last name...but I am sincerely hoping to meet Patrick this weekend. We spoke on the phone and there is some possibility he will make the trip to Cessnock. I look forward to it

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

perfume bottles

These are technically perfume bottles, but really they are art made of glass and I love them! These are the three I didn't buy, and I'm regretting that lapse into fiscal responsibility. The memory of them has stayed with me....perhaps there is still time....

They looked exceptionally well together. These are from Richard Clements, father to Jemma who made me the most gorgeous beads. I was fortunate enough to visit their studio when I was in Tasmania.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

On to Sydney

I've moved onto Sydney, I'll be exploring more tomorrow, but for today let me introduce the friends of Little Hoot, distant cousins I imagine...

here is Little Hoot at the bead expo...

And the cousins (admittedly not all of them)

This darling girl was inspired by Frieda Kahlo

I love the eyes

these were made by the adorable Georgie, of jawjee beads. You know how there are people you meet and you like them instantly and you wish they didn't live half a world away because you know you would be friends...that was Georgie. I liked her even before she lent me her iPad with 3 g so that I could have a little midday Internet browse.

I'm thinking owl charm bracelet!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bead Expo in Victoria

I left you last week with a blogging void. Turns out that the ipad becomes rather useless when all the hotel offered was an ethernet cable connection. I'm now staying with Ruth, Vice President of the Bead Society and my new hostess. The ipad is still not a useful tool, but Ruth has kindly lent me her computer with internet connection and I've loaded up a few pictures for your viewing pleasure.

The group of students I had over the week were very proficient beaders. Many finishing up projects in class or that evening at home, returning to show me the next day.

Here is the accomplished Paula wearing her Under the Mast, before the end of class!

I had to share this great picture of Neva, who kindly invited me to join the Bead Forum dinner at the Brown Cow.

My last day of teaching was on Saturday and on Sunday I had kits available at the EXPO. The Bead Society of Victoria knows how to put on a bead expo. Everything was beautifully executed. Just under 100 challenge entries were presented for the attendees viewing pleausre and the opportunity to vote for their favorite. There were cases of exhibition showcases including some for designer inspired work. I found several pieces inspired by Marcia DeCoster's beaded opulence!

I did a bit of shopping, most notably a few lampworked owls that I was totally unable to resist, each one cuter then the last. Perhaps there will be photos tomorrow.

I have two days off before travelling to Sydney and today is a bead day. I am finishing up the third colorway for Rings of Saturn and I'm loving it. Next up is another Carousel for Beading by the Bay....have you reserved your spot? The retreat is approaching full, so you may want to put it in to your holiday request list!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

ferny creek

I'm up in the mountains! Through the miracle of the Internet, I'm visiting with Arlene's friend Joni. Arlene and Joni met online, both being felters and living a half a world apart, they've forged an internet friendship.

When I announced my plans to teach in Melbourne, Arlene suggested we should meet.

Joni and partner Phillip picked me up and transported me to their mountaintop home among the ferns and the birds.

This is one of the King parrots who came to feast on the feeding trough.

Here is Joni in the fabulous felted coat. The coat is a collaboration of several different artists. You might notice that I had a bit of a play with the colorsplash application.

A fine example of a waratah in the beautiful gardens that surround their home.

It's been a lovely day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Ring of Saturn

Well I am still photoless, but will try Andrews suggestion tomorrow. Am currently typing on a wired microsoft keyboard that makes me insane, with its lack of key connectivity, exasperating to say the least.

We finished a two day class today with everyone doing an amazing job.

I continue to learn the expressions, as in 'the too hard basket'

and Margaret obliged my request for a bottle of wine with a stop at the drive through bottle shop.

I will seek out a wireless connection tomorrow at Mac'ers (MacDonalds) which I am told has wireless connectivity.....I'm quite excited, easily please I guess.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Photoless blogging....

Well the ipad was a really good idea, until that is, I moved to the hotel....All of my hostesses have had wireless access....the hotel has good old fashioned network cable. There is no place to plug in a network cable to the ipad.

I'm telling you this so you will know not to expect too much in the coming days. I'm still having Australian fun. Yesterday I was treated to a ride along the coast and a delightful lunch at Fork to Fork where all the vegetables are grown on site.

Today I taught for the first of 3 days. Much success was had.

I'm using the lobby computer to tell you this and it may be the worst keyboard I have ever typed on!

I'll check in here and there until wireless access is again available. Until then be well!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

I love these!

My shopping trip to Melbournes yesterday entailed a lot of window shopping

I'm going to look into making a pair, first I need to find some feathers!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I've been beading a lot of round motifs at the moment. This one a bezeled button with crystal of course

And a drop edging

it's destined to be a brooch which doubles as a closure for the felted clutches that will be made at the second annual Beady Eyed Women beach retreat in San Diego.

I'm quite excited to be teaching at the retreat. Both Jeanette and Arlene are good friends and the project brings together an element of design from each of us!

Go have a look, the beach in San Diego in January may be just the post holiday treat you need.

I've got access to a stash of wonderful buttons so you'll be sure to find one that coordinates with you nuno felted purse. I love the combination of felt and beads. You'll let your imagination roam free and come away with a one of a kind art to wear purse which will be a highlight of your wardrobe.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lampwork in Tasmania

On Sunday I introduced you to Jemma

who made these beautiful beads which I bought at Salamanca Market.

Today Jane took me to Franklin where Jemma's dad Richard has a glass studio where both he and Jemma were making glass.

Richard's studio was full of really unique perfume bottles

but also
all manner of whimsical animals

and fanciful glass

It was a treat to spend time there. If there was any way at all I thought I could have gotten this home I would have!

I'm back in Melbourne now enjoying the company of Joanne, the President of the Bead Society of Victoria. It turns out we have our Information Technology backgrounds in common. It's been a nice visit, both with Joanne and Daisy the resident cat.