Monday, December 28, 2009

Skeletons in my closet

Last year I was given a hand. Literally, it was a hand and lower arm.
What was I going to do with it? I have been debating about it for a while and even posted on Facebook about it.
Over the holiday, I started doing something about it.

One finger completed at first - did I like it? I did, I did.
As of this morning, I have three fingers worth completed. Two more fingers, a ring, the hand and arm bones need to be completed....


Why not?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Holidays

What a nice holiday.

Gift certificate to my favorite local bead store, Stony Creek Bead,

pedicure from my brother

new Birkenstock's from my brother and his

girlfriend, and new jammies from

Joe Boxer!

We have very quiet holidays.

Today, lunch with friends;

Tomorrow, a date with my husband.

Below, a picture of my niece, Isabel who told me that

my beads were a mess and I need to straighten them.

So she did.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

December Gathering of Beaders

December found our merry gang of beaders in Southfield, Michigan
at Jeanette's home. I don't know how much beading we did,
but we did a lot of laughing and talking.
Here's most of our gang:
front: Sharon, Joanne, Madeline, Sharon and Susie
back: Jeanette, Linda, Liz, Diane and Deb
missing: Sandy, Kate and Joan
Last year we worked on our Round Robin Bead Embroidery project.
This year we are working on Beaded Beads for each other.
Ladies - it's been a fun year! I hope that we all have a great
holiday season and a fantastic 2010!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Rings of Saturn

I've been working on Rings of Saturn (designed by Marcia DeCoster) most of the summer and through the fall. I made the base once and didn't like the way that I was doing it and took it out. Then out again. This last time, it came together nicely. I adapted the chain for a Russian Spiral - time consuming but well worth the results. This is a wonderful kit - nice mix of RAW, peyote and embellishing.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Combination Bracelet!

I was playing with beads the other day, and I do love this turquoise and brown combo, when I started making the modified right angle weave stitch that Marcia Decoster used in her Romantica Lariat. Using two strips of units, with one thrown in with crystals, and a clasp from the Quadrille Medaglia to make this bracelet. It has an unexpected and cool curve in the bracelet that I wasn't expecting, and I do love it.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Black Romantica

Here is my version of Marcia's Romantica Lariat. I used mostly black 8/0, 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads. I bezeled around a vintage snap that I bought at Bead & Button this year, added a vintage round and a Swarovski button. Below is a close up.
I might have to make one of these for my ID badge holder at work. I will just have to determine what colour will go with most of my clothes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Marie Dressler - finished!

Finished it! Here is my inspiration: a movie still from "Dinner at Eight" with Marie Dressler. I noticed this necklace on her and said to myself "Hmmmm, that looks interesting. I found the movie still and enlarged the necklace (don't you love the computer some days?) to study it.
Here is my completed piece - completed with 10 large rivoli's and seven smaller ones. I used a combination of right angle weave (Thank you Marcia), peyote and herringbone spirals (thank you Amy Katz). Don't adjust your colours - the background is black, and the necklace is all in silver and crystal.
For those who have known me a long time, you know that this is so outside of my comfort zone. I am thrilled with the feel and look of this piece. Isn't it regal??

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Starfish and Stuff

It's a hazy, autumn day in Michigan.
I didn't have anything new to update, so I thought that I would show how I am
displaying my beaded starfish. It's a a beautiful piece of amethyst which I
pulled out of the rocky soil of northern Ontario, Canada.
The starfish drapes nicely over the sides of the rock.
Above is a group photo of the Beady Friends from our Alaskan Cruise 2009
This isn't the whole group, but a good portion of it.
Aren't we a good looking bunch?
Work on my mystery necklace is progressing - working on the clasp now.
Should finish over the weekend (with luck) to show it off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mystery necklace progresses

Look Marcia - components!
See? I was listening even though my lips might have been talking!
Some serious bling happening
Starts to take shape, but it's missing something..... That's right - more components and sparkle.
Although what made me believe that I could bezel a small rivoli like that?
Oh, yes, it was a third margarita. That's what did it.
More to come now that I have only one other deadline piece to make.
Well, two.
Instructions for Sunday's class at Stony Creek Bead Gallery &
Use the Muse.
(which I have started and might actually finish)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Liz and Denise go to the Beach

I joined a Collaboration Project with Glass Act (Southeastern Michigan Glass Beadmakers Guild) and the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. The theme, being that this is Michigan, "Water All Around Us." I was paired up with a wonderful bead artist, Denise Billups-Walker. We met at Bead and Button in Milwaukee in June and played some ideas off each other. Denise ran with the ideas and created these wonderful glass bathing beauties and other wonderful pieces (above are some of the little cuties - little flip-flops, clam shells, starfish, fish, palm tree and lighthouse - and bathing beauty below!).

I turned in my piece on Sunday, at the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild Fall Bead Bonanza, and while I was happy with the piece, I was pleased to see that others loved it also. So here is the first peak of "Liz and Denise go to the Beach" which will displayed at the Lawrence Street Gallery in Ferndale, MI from November 1 to 30th. Opening night reception and announcement of awards is on November 13. See you there!

Friday, October 02, 2009

I confess.....

....I did it. I threw beads away.

Yup. I was so pissed at these size 11 beads that I didn't even feel like taking them apart. I was working on a "frame" about 3x5 inches, about 1/2 inch thick and it just wasn't doing what I wanted it to. It kept warping out of square. Figures that it's for a project that was due yesterday and it's now overdue. I started "debeading" and decided, bump it - toss. Naturally, anyone who knows me, knows that I didn't say "bump" but a much worse word. Yes, keeping it clean for family viewing.

Do I feel bad for throwing away about 15 hours of work? Work I did while sitting on the patio during my Fridays off during the summer? Yes, I do. Damn.

Back to the drawing board. Late.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

More progress.....

I've been working on this almost exclusively all week and look what's happening....

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday morning....

I am getting ready for class this morning in a couple of hours, but find time to post here:

My necklace is moving along - I am pretty happy with the way that it's turning out. This is the front center of it. I have more rivoli's going along each end - I know there will be two more, maybe three. The 15/0 seed bead is exactly the color that I was looking for - an antiqued silver color. Below is a close up of the rivoli's and connection. I have used RAW and peyote stitches.

Finally, I think the next picture would make a great tattoo, since I have been dreaming about one for a while.....I love the simplicity of the Pacific NW Native American designs and this one By Ben Houstie is really beautiful. Anyone who knows me well would know that something flowery or "pretty" just isn't Liz - but this is really quietly beautiful.

Now I need to shower and dress, drive to class, and thank my mentor for helping me with my skills.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Newest Project

I know, I know, I have been ignoring my blog and that's not a good thing to do. But I have been writing directions for a large project - that I am keeping under wraps for now, and I have been working on directions for the classes that I will start teaching soon at Stony Creek Bead Gallery. Yikes, that's on Sunday.

But here is something that I have started working on in the last weeks. It's based on a necklace that I saw in an old movie - you know, the Barrymore era - an old movie. When I get closer to the finished project, I will show the inspiration photo still from the movie and my necklace. Proto-type one didn't work so well. Good idea, but the scale was way off so it's been renovated and restarted. As you can see from my two teaser pictures, large rivoli's and 15/0 seed beads are involved.

What else is going on? Hmmmmmm, hubby is in California for an extended weekend as his cousin from NYC is getting married. I'm home letting the dogs out and in and out. I know several friends that would care for the dogs, but it's just my excuse. It's not the easiest time to leave work.

Summer is coming to a close, I have time for one more pedicure before I give up my Birkie's for the summer. Now, on a quiet Thursday evening, I am going to watch one more episode of "True Blood" (which isn't half bad) before calling it a night. Maybe I can get one more rivoli finished...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Since when.....

.....did stop signs and traffic signals become a suggestion instead of the law? And turning right from the left lane?

Inquiring minds want to know.

My to-do list is still hanging around:

  • write instructions (two projects done, two more left)
  • finish my items for a gallery show in August (done June 14, 2009)
  • frame above items (done July 20th)
  • write an artist statement (done)
  • loose 100 pounds (well, 2.4 pounds gone)
  • become taller
  • catch up on the Bead Journal Project - only 5 months behind, but I did find all the pieces when I started clearing off my work bench...
  • clean up my work bench (started)
  • determine what beads that I have I will never use and do something to get them out of my way (this is too funny)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Teaching? Me??

Okay - I have been approached (coerced, blackmailed) by my local bead store and asked to teach a simple RAW project. Moi? Teach? Seriously, girls - you want me to teach? Me? I'm called "The Bad Liz" for a reason, you know. Okay, I have been helping Marcia teach for several years (more than two is several, nicht wahr?) and I really enjoy it. It's helped me learn alot about teaching styles, my teaching capacity, patient but am I ready?

I have an idea for just a simple RAW bracelet and I am started to write instructions without looking at anyone else's on-line or printed samples, coming up with diagrams, ideas, etc. as that would be unethical. Diagrams in powerpoint, export them into Word and putting it all together. What a process. A very important learning experience for me, and it gives me newfound appreciation for all that the "Rock Star Bead Artists" do with their instructions.

I will never know if I am ready unless I try, right? What's the worse that can happen? They will fire me and I will have learned something about myself. Learning something about ones self might be a good idea.

I might have to drive out there after work one night and see if I can make it for a 6pm class .start.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild show at the BBAC

Last night was the opening reception at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center in Birmingham, MI. Several pieces of my bead embroidery and other items were selected to be in this show. It was really nice to see the volume of beadwork that our guild produces - and the quality of all the artists involved. Photos were not allowed, but I didn't know if I was going to get back up to the show (it's about 45 minutes north of where I live), so I took some. I guess I really can't follow the rules.

I was completely blown away when I saw that my Soraksan Dragon was selected to be in the show poster at the entrance to the DeSalle gallery. What an honour!

The collection of religious icons looks stunning arranged this way on this wall. I might have to rethink the arrangement that I have at home - although they look good in a row over the sofa.
This is the starfish that was chosen by the editors of the 2010 Beading Calendars as first-place submission. It looks wonderful on a piece of amythest that was brought back from Ontario, Canada.

MySchloss Neuschwanstein looked so tiny in my eyes, but several people came up and told me that they loved the castle - the way I did the background with the canvas, etc.
Casie on the Rocks is the bead embroidery piece of my oldest Rat Terrier(ist) - Casie is just now starting to show her age and this piece captures her in her youth when climbing over rocks was not a big deal.

And a closeup of Soraksan on the wall. The way that they light is poised above it really makes the colours in the dragon pop. I love this piece.

I took a few other pictures and hope to get back and take a few more before the show ends on August 21st. I didn't join this show to sell anything, but if I do, that's a bonus. It's exciting to have things that I have in my home arranged professionally in a gallery. It was exciting to hear people talk about my pieces, how well they liked them, how the execution is wonderful, etc.

Friday, July 17, 2009

New Stuff

I have finished a couple of projects recently. The first being the Davida Bracelet by Amy Katz. Amy did a wonderful job of putting this kit together, the instructions were easy to read and understand and the finished project is stunning. Knowing me, I made one adaptation - I changed the pale green rivolis for an olivine rivoli that goes with more of my wardrobe. The bracelet is a spiraling herringbone. It's stunning. My other piece is this necklace - an adaptation of a Maria Rypan lariat. Actually and honestly, take the word "adaptation" out and insert "Liz can't read patterns" I was adding 6 beads instead of 5 and I really do like the way it works. Add a focal bead that I purchased at Stony Creek Beads in Ypsilanti (note to self - find artist name) and a new necklace was born.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Convo me.....

...what does this me? When googling the phrase, I learned that it means to have a conversation with someone - on line, text or a call back...

But "Convo me if you need more information"? No - I don't conversation you but:

  • I will call you

  • I will email you

  • I will text you

  • I will meet you

But I won't convo you.

(Or do I just need to get with the program?)

Monday, July 13, 2009

July Camping and another dog story

How many of you remember this Stinky Dog Story?

Guess who found a skunk again? One guess. Yup, Chloe.....

What we learned:
1. Tawas, Michigan is still in the wilds. It's not the city of Tawas.
2. Dogs don't remember what happened the last time they chased the black and white kitty.
3. Husbands don't remember what happened the last time they let Chloe out at night without a leash.
4. Chloe is on a leash before the doors open.
5. You don't get used to the smell of skunks.
6. Dawn dishwashing pads, vinegar and water douche, and baking soda do a damn good job of getting the stink out of the dog.

Vacation photos are on Facebook

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bead and Button Booty....

...a friend asked what I bought when I was in Milwaukee so I thought I'd share part of it...I bought a few crystals. Just a few mind you - some vintage, some have small scratches, some snaps, but all beautiful..Just a few little pretties to keep busy with...
Just enough to do a project or two or three...a month...for about a year....And this I just couldn't resist.....Chloe was sound asleep when I
took this picture of just her little nose peeking out of the blankets.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Religious Icons - Part 5

I just added the final stitches just a couple of minutes ago.
With this cross, I have beaded a total of five religious icons.
I entered this into a gallery show later this summer and
needed to finish it.
There's one thing off my to-do list from yesterday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Catching up....

Haven't had a lot of time between my vacation on the Beady Friends Bead Cruise to Alaska, going to Bead and Button in Milwaukee and work. Above is the link to my pictures. This year's cruise was awesome - the group is a really nice group of beaders and family. I'm ready for Alaska again....

Following Alaska, I repacked my bags and took the train to Bead and Button in Milwaukee, where I assisted Marcia Decoster for four days of classes. I really love going to Bead and Button, and although I didn't see any of my Iowa friends lurking around, I caught up with many people that I haven't seen since last year.

Marcia and Liz giggling about something.

My to-do list is getting longer:

  • write instructions
  • teach RAW to a couple of friends here
  • finish my items for a gallery show in August (done June 14, 2009)
  • frame above items
  • write an artist statement
  • loose 100 pounds
  • become taller
  • catch up on the Bead Journal Project - only 3 months behind...
  • clean up my work bench
  • determine what beads that I have I will never use and do something to get them out of my way

Back to reality - today's project is to wash that grey right out of my hair.....

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Beaded Opulence.......

Beaded Opulence

This book is a MUST HAVE (yes, I yelled) for your collection. While I was at Bead and Button, I was able to caress Marcia's copy of Beaded Opulence. Run, do not walk, to Marcia's web site,MAD Designs to check when you can preorder your copy! It's stunning - many projects, all beautiful, inspirational photos.

You heard it hear first!!!

Thursday, May 07, 2009


I don't purchase many beading books, but I have just recently bought these three: "Masters in Beadweaving" - with many of my personal beading goddesses/gods included in this book, I had to have this in my collection.

When I was in Ohio recently for a beading girly weekend, I had the opportunity to look through these books. Ohmygoodness! What stunning eye candy in "The Beaded Sphere" by Judy Walker. I can't wait to try some of these items.

Also, Diane Fitzgerald's "Shaped Beadwork" shook me out of my non-book buying behavior! Some of the pieces in this book look like cast metal items - it's fabulous.

Finally, I am waiting with "bated breath*" for the release these two books. The first from my personal bead mentor, Marcia Decoster's, book - "Beaded Opulence" and Rachel Nelson-Smith's "Seed Bead Fusion"

{*Bated here is a contraction of abated through loss of the unstressed first vowel (a process called aphesis); it means “reduced, lessened, lowered in force”. So bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion, such as terror or awe.}

What to post.....

I just finished my newest necklace the other day and I'm wearing it today: a Crystal Collage beauty. Of course I don't have a picture of it, but it's featured on Marcia's website.

It might be a little "showy" for an office look, but it matches my tank top and I had to do, here's the picture from Marcia's web pageMarcia Decoster's Crystal Collage Necklace

The woman in the cafeteria asked me how much....Nuff said.