Friday, December 03, 2010

Rivoli teaser....

...Back to my typical silver madness, I have been working on this.....

Just a little sparkly, eh? Just enough to peak your interest? Again this is part Marcia DeCoster and part me....and all sparkle.

And just to show you that I still have color in my life, here is my version of "Rings of Saturn" (designed by Marcia DeCoster).

Sadly, I have still been looking for inspiration in all sorts of places. I was looking at coronation jewels from around the world and saw this - wouldn't it be stunning??

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements

As many of you know, I don't often purchase many beading books. Much of my inspiration comes from watching Turner Classic Movies and seeing old films that produce new ideas in my head.

I ordered Jean Campbell's book "Creating Glamorous Jewelry with Swarovski Elements" with some hesitation in my mind. What if she saw the same movie that I did and she came up with something better? What if I liked hers better than what I was working on? What if, what if, what it?

What if I just throughly enjoyed reading the bios, looking at the pictures and saying "wow, I never thought of doing it like that." Which is what happened. I just leafed through the book, getting more ideas than I thought of before, "what if I mix that with this idea?"

Jean, I enjoyed it completely, I will continue to read and study what you have done and see what I can do to make an idea "ours" - I like this book.

(And happily, she's teaching for the Great Lakes Guild in the spring and I can learn more!! And on the Bead Cruise in March - Hollywood necklace swap anyone??)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

New Idea!

I love watching old movies and having a new idea...and I love that every time I play with the graphics program, things look a little better.

Off to bead.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Am I in a rut??

I just noticed/realized that the last three projects that I have written about all have the same size and colour of seed bead. Almost looks like I don't have any other seed bead in my stash/collection. This can't be correct. Am I in a rut? This can't be true. Oh wait! Dalal's dream which I will be teaching at Stony Creek Bead and Gallery on October 24th has colour and delicas. Whew.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

All Sparkle teaser

It's part Marcia, it's part Liz
and it's all sparkle.....
here's a teaser of what I have been working on lately.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My wildly exciting news....

It started with an idea in really late July. I was toying with the idea of dressing up Marcia's "Under the Mast" (which really didn't need dressing up because it is wonderfully elegant, but I don't follow direction well). I was playing with little 8mm rivolis that I purchased a year ago...hmmm.

Through a series of conversations, Marcia and I decided IF we could do this fast enough, we would propose it to the Bead and Button show and let's see if it's gets accepted. With last minute design changes and ideas with a flurry of emails between San Diego and Detroit (what did we do without the internet and cheap cell phone rates??), my Over the Mast was mailed to B&B with fingers crossed.

And what do you know? They liked it. I was still in a little shock - somewhat in a little denial. Me? Teaching at Bead and Button with Marcia. Of course, I have helped her in class for a number of years (telling her what to do, etc), helped out when I can, and shared a cocktail or two (not many, this is business...) I've taught in the metro Detroit area for a number of years - Henry Ford Community College Enrichment education classes, Bohemian Beads (now closed) in Dearborn and currently at Stony Creek Beads and Gallery in Ypsilanti, MI.

So when I received an email from Marcia yesterday telling me that I had to read the email from the B&B show today - I was floored. It was featured in the 9/24/10 upcoming classes. WHAT?? I squealed with delight (that's the only word that is appropriate - squealed). My co-workers thought that I saw a ...palmetto bug - but I quickly assured them that it was better than that - look!! My necklace and name on an email.

Thank you Marcia for an awesome opportunity! I know that we will have a blast working together as we have over the last years.

Four words: Thank you very much or Lobster Mac and Cheese!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Friday - clean the studio day.

My desk is a mess. A big old messy mess. And I was confusing myself. What did I need to do? Supposed to do? What was I working on? Should I have finished that piece (what piece? Where did I put it?) before starting another piece?

STOP! Liz, you are driving me crazy! And although it's not a long trip, it's time that I cleaned it up. It's insanity to have a counter that's 5 feet long and bead in a 8x10inch square.

Thursday, I emptied two boxes from work and schlepped them home. On Friday, I have a day off work. No appointments, nothing to do until the late afternoon. I'll get up as if I was going to work, dressed and make coffee....and get started. Three categories:

  • Keep

  • Donate

  • Toss

Questions for myself:

  • Do I need to keep those patterns that I had bought when I first started beading? Will I ever do any of those again?

  • The ultra suede petal/tulip bag? Will I ever make another? Will I ever wear the ones that I do have?

  • Patterns printed on the internet from the mid-late 90's and never made? Will I ever make it if I haven't by now? Toss?

  • Interesting beads that some of the doctors have brought me from overseas during the last 10 years and I have never done anything with? Will I ever? Do I want to keep them even though my space is limited?

  • Dorky patterns that I did myself and never did anything with. Save because one day they might be worth money? Toss because even I never beaded them?
Stay tuned to before and after pictures...

Monday, August 09, 2010


There is a great movie (at least in my eyes) out there called "Indiscreet" starring Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant - both not young lovers, but still very much in love. She believes that he is married and he lets her believe this and both are very happy....until...

I'm not going to be a plot wrecker in case you decide to rent this movie - it's just a wonderful love story. In this movie, Deborah Kerr wears a necklace very similar to my version here. This necklace is made with 18mm vintage Swarovski aquamarine rivolis - a full dozen of them. I bezeled them (is bezeled a word?) using RAW the way that I learned from my friend, Marcia Decoster taught me.

I give to you - "Indiscreet"

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Aquamarine Crystals

Back in April 2010, I posted "Another Teaser" about a necklace that I was attempting. It's based on a movie that I was watching and so pretty. This is how it started:
My previous version picture was posted, and I was liking what it was doing to a degree. But by the time I had 8 crystals put together - I didn't care for it. I wanted it to curve, and it wasn't curving enough. I took apart at B&B and started putting it back together again. Now I have a piece that is curving better and should lay the way that I want it to. Whew - that was a PITA (pain in the, abdomen)!
When I look at the piece, I didn't notice that the thread shows through on the front of the rivoli. I might have to add another bead to the last row on the top. Yes, of course, it's still RAW (you knew the answer to that...)
I now have the crystals put together and I am working on the back of the necklace. I knew that I shouldn't have sold some of these crystals until I had a clear idea of what I was going to do. But, it still will be wonderful!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Look who's famous now?

Casie, my oldest Rat Terrier(ist) is famous now. She made Marcia DeCoster's blog post today!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bead and Button Show Report 2010

Better late than never, here is my thoughts on the B&B Show this year (last years report is here and 2008 is here). I love coming to this show. This year, I drove with my friend Joanne, and two new friends Tricia and Rana (sp?) through Chicago (that took 2 hours!! Two hours?! Why didn't I take the train? Oh, yes, fun with the girls - that's why. But seriously - two hours? Don't you people in Chicago work? Or take the subway, etc??).

But that's negative thoughts and I don't want to be negative! Once I got to Milwaukee, and unloaded my wares into the hotel room, I started my search for my buddies: Marcia, Janice, Tracy and found them right where I knew that they wouldn't disappoint me! It was a fun evening with laughs, giggles and almost musical chairs as we were joined by Dallas Lovett and his trusty side-kick, Sam Mayo. What a wonderful welcome to Milwaukee!

My duties in Milwaukee are so easy: I do my best to make Marcia shine as she teaches for 4 full days. Her classes are full of so many nice, interesting and fun students that it's something that I really love to help with. It also helps me with my teaching skills and learning how to help students better. How can I miss with the great projects that she has to help with?
I thought that the show floor wasn't as crowded as in some years past, but it was far from empty. Just look at all these vendors! Many booths had lines around them with happy customers parting with their cash...that's a good thing.

My stash this year is different than it has been in some years. A couple of kits - Marcia's (of course) and Jill Wiseman's "Night at the Opera" bracelet, along with a few crystals. Just a few mind you. The hat was in the B&B bag (and I will never wear it), a Toho mug, some samples that I was lucky enough to get handed as I walked through the show floor. What am I going to do with all these crystals? I don't exactly know, but I know that Lafaye from Virginia was happy to see me (multiple times)...

How's this for a find? The long crystals were $7.00 a piece and I splurged on them. The rest of the crystals in this picture cost me ....$5.00! They were in a grab bag at the John Allen booth (and I bought 5 grab bags) and they are stunning. There are a few scratch and dents, but for the most part are pieces that I can use in bead embroidery or capturing with a bezel.

To close out this story, here is a picture of my good friends during out last dinner in Milwaukee (liberated the picture from Marcia's blog, thank you very much): Tracy Stanley, Marcia DeCoster, Jeannette Cook, Janice Berkebile, and me! Even better is that I will be on a bead cruise with Tracy and Marcia next March (see my previous post about this). I have even signed up for Tracy class so that I can play with hammers - does that mean that I am going to the dark side?And I am looking forward to next year's show already!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Beading Across America

During the 2009 Bead and Button show, I met with Amy Katz and briefly with Paulette Baron and was invited to join them in a book that they were editing with Sherry Serafini called "Beading Across America." I had a project that they were interested in the book, that I blogged about last April called Spring.

During this Bead and Button show, I saw a poster of the cover of the book - and it suddenly became real to me! It's really going to happen, and I am in the book. OMG.

Preorders for the book are available on the Kalmbach Bookstore!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Less than 300 days from now...

This is be my 5th bead themed cruise and my third with Heather Powers, Bev Herman and Bead Cruise. I really enjoy cruising (which I never thought that I enjoy). This next March will be extra special since we will be cruising with my favorite instructors: Dallas Lovett, Tracy Stanley and Marcia DeCoster!

But while I still have quite a wait for this Bead Cruise - another great bead thing is happening next week, it's time for the Bead and Button Show! I leave on Tuesday, driving to Milwaukee with a few bead friends from the Great Lakes Guild. I will be assisting Marcia DeCoster for four days in class, reconnecting with friends from past years, shopping and just generally having fun.

I wonder what kind of great things I will find this year?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little embarrassed...

I'm posting my little heart off over the last month or so, and can't understand why I am not getting any comments. NONE!! I thought for certain that the tattoo would have prompted some comments - even if it was that people thought that I was insane (not too far from the truth). Nothing.

Then, I was posting this mornings post when I noticed something in settings. It was set so that I had to approve all the comments. Hell? When did I turn that setting on? I don't remember doing that. Was I drinking? Was I smoking crack?

I had a lot. LOT. of comments to approve. And only one to be deleted (I can't read Chinese).

My bad....


Finally finished with this bracelet. Having a chubby wrist means that I needed to make more components than the directions called for, but I finally had enough over the weekend. I strung them together and took photos in the early morning light.
The sparkle on mine is very, very nice, but not as sparkly as the original. Marcia's has BLING, while mine has bling. I didn't have access to double AB jet bicones, but I had a lot of plain AB jet bicones, which is what I used. I still love it.
Is there anyone else out there that hears "Fanfare" and automatically puts in "for the common man" which was on an Emerson, Lake and Palmer recording?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I did it...

After years and years of thinking about and threatening to get a tattoo, I finally did it. I have thought about moose (of course), teddy bears, Korean script and more - but I never did commit to anything over the years. That was until last year when I saw Ben Houstie's print of a flock of hummingbirds. I just love the stylized hummingbirds that he has drawn.

Well, I committed Friday night and had my lower leg tattoed. I love it. Learning how to take care of it was interesting - none of the web pages tells you exactly what to do and for how long - just bits and pieces and lots of conflicting information. So, I'll do what Mark from Liquid Chaos suggested. This picture was from this morning - about 12 hours after the tattoo was done. The colours will even out as it heals.

I love it. Yes, it hurt - but not as much as a root canal. It was more of an annoyance for about an hour, if the pain scale was a 10 total, I might have hit 5 a couple of times. It's almost completely impossible to describe.

Am I glad that I did it? Yup? And would I get another tattoo? Most likely - but I won't just jump into one - it's got to speak to me as this hummingbird did.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

OMG!! Found it!

A zillion years ago, I posted that I had to remake Marica DeCoster's business card case because I lost it and couldn't find it anywhere? Guess what I found today?

I put on a jacket that I don't wear very often (over the head, no zipper, but does block the wind well and I bought it in Korea in 1999 so I am sentimental over it), and there it was in the pocket. Go figure!!

What am I doing?

  • Beading another necklace piece
  • Earrings from an Ann Benson kit (I don't like peyote bezels around a large crystal so I modified it to RAW)
  • Spring gardening (if this rain would stop)
  • Zentangles
  • Saving for a tattoo and checking out shops and different artists work.
  • Work

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another teaser

Working on another movie inspired necklace - just the beginnings to make certain that my "ah-ha" moment from last weekend really does work. So far there has been several take out and put back together moments to see that the spacing between these wonderful crystals (a find from Bead and Button show last year) really does work and the curvature (I just googled this word to ensure that it is a word and I did spell it correctly, but the definition is making my brain bleed) lays correctly.

More on the movie lately, but it does star two well known actors, but I don't believe that the movie is widely known....If I continue finding jewelry from old movies to emulate, will I become rich and famous? I doubt it....

Friday, March 26, 2010

African Record

Recently I won some really cool sequins from Judith at BeadLine - I love them. I started this record the other day and it's progressed really nicely. There are some cupped sequins that were pretty dirty in this bunch, but a little water and a q-tip - viola! Clean.

I won't have enough to fill the entire space, which is fine as I have a plan (you know, one of those things that comes to you with the lightbulb over the head? Yes, it was one of those moments). I am going to finish the rest of the record with size 11 seed beads in black, alternating rows of matte black and shiny black; like the grooves of a record. Brilliant if I must say so myself.

Judith - was this what you pictured when you selected me?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bead Journal Project - March 2010

It's a chilly and blustery March day - rain, wind and dreary. I sit here and watch the fountain grass out the window blowing back and forth and but I'm staying warm in my old man sweater and having fun beading. So I worked today on my March knob - painted with bright green nail polish and beaded with brown, lime and turquiose.
March is complete, being installed in a couple of minutes.
I like it.
It's a good day.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

And I am....

....a Winner!!

Judith posted on her site about what we would do with these heshi beads from record albums if we had them. I wrote that I would do a bead embroidered record - I thought it would be interesting to turn them back into a record, eh? I received a message from Judith telling me that I had a great idea and I won!

And more "Lovett"

Designed by Dallas Lovett
Finally, after a year, I had the courage to
start and complete it.
I wonder what other kits I have laying around that I need to complete?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Classes over...

...and back to work in the morning. It was a wonderful four days of classes with the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild. I was actually class assistant for Dallas Lovett for those days, but with the inspiration (and jokes) flying through the building - it was awesome. Above Dallas is giving a demonstration of what is the correct technique. Below is a photo of the masters' hands and several attentive students.

I managed to make one project in the class and purchase a couple more - I'm going to be a walking billboard for Dallas in the Metro Detroit area. The La Fiesta earrings below were made in a couple of evenings at home and the pendant "Time Beads On" was made during class
It was fun to meet and spend some time talking with all the instructors - Nancy Cain, Huib Peterson, and of course - Tracy Stanley. What a talented group of artists to be assembled in Michigand and I got to be part of it. Wow - I am so lucky.

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's going to be a good week...

I work Monday and Tuesday, then I have a guild meeting with the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild on Tuesday evening - with our Bead Daze instructors! This year, the GLBG has brought in Dallas Lovett, Nancy Cain, Huib Petersen and Tracy Stanley to teach for four days - February 17th through the 20th.

The GLBG is a great group of beaders - and I have been a member for over 10 years now. I remember going to my first bead show hosted by the guild - and being stunned that there were more bead-crazy people out there. I joined the guild, volunteered at many of our Bead Bonanza Shows and have since become the webmaster for the guild and attend many of the board meetings.

I have made some really good friends that are in this guild and
people I have met because of this guild.

I mean, without the guild - could I have done much of the beadwork that I have learned? I don't think so. We, as a guild, ROCK!!

(I'll be back next week, hopefully with some pictures!)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Happy Birthday!

I was commissioned to make a business card case for one of the physicians that I work with. For the last couple of weeks, I have been been working on this for Zahraa - hoping to finish it for her birthday! I made my deadline of today and will be able to give this her tomorrow! Of course this is a pattern by Marcia DeCoster - in right angle weave. I used a rectangle Swarovski button with the two colors of silver beads. Love it!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm a winner!!

That's winner, not whiner! Look what I won! Isn't it just me!?

(I know, I know; it's me and just a little over the top! But it's a sassy passport cover - that's why I had to try to win on Ebay!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Better late than never

I am a member of two bead guilds in Michigan - the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild and Saginaw Valley Bead Society. Last November, three beading buddies and I travelled five hours north to Traverse City, MI and the Saginaw Valley "Beading Fantasy Weekend." What a nice weekend. We have done this three years in a row and each year is a lot of fun. Sharon, Jeanette, Diane and myself share a hotel room overlooking Grand Traverse Bay.

On Friday, the program begins in the evening and we spent the day visiting downtown Traverse City where Sharon found these great "S.L.U.T" cups - it stands for "Stressed-out Ladies Unwinding Together" - which were great for the hard cider and wine that we bought.
We also went to several of the local wineries - which are wonderful! While leaving one of the vineyards, I asked Jeanette to stop the car so that I could take a photo of the wonderful grapes on the vine.
Awesome! And the woman at Chateau Chantel was nice enough to take a photo of the four of us.

The Saginaw Valley Bead Society does a really nice job putting this small retreat (55 persons) together. The "goodie" bag is wonderful and full of great items. They have small classes for all levels of beading, sell their kits, have an open beading area from 11am to 6pm - then a group project for everyone to enjoy. It's a nice group of ladies to know.

We found a great place for carryout for dinner on Saturday - it was a small market on the main road into town - and they had shrimp - boiled shrimp - OMG! The Bayside Market also has jerky, cheese, a deli, wine, spirits; on certain days they have BBQ ribs and chicken - grilled right in front of the store. We had the shrimp on Saturday and received some jealous glances from the other beaders!!
And all good times must come to an end - on Sunday, we packed up the car, Jeanette waved goodby to the Bay and we drove home...can't wait for next year