Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Bead & Button Show class browsing will open soon!

The Bead & Button web page is open to browse for classes on-line.  I am honoured that B&B invited me to teach again and I have been selected to teach four classes at the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee in June 2015.  Two of my classes are favorites from last year - Tzarina and Princess Maya - many of you saw me at "Meet the Teachers" and mentioned if you realized how pretty they were, that you would have signed up for the class - here is your chance!  Along with two newer classes named Kenilworth Castle and Jeanne d'Arc.

B151076  - June 1:  The Jeanne d'Arc Pendant came to me totally by accident and what a happy accident.  It was mentioned to me that it resembles a Maltese Cross (which wasn't exactly what I had in mind).  That made me think of the only person that I know from Malta, a woman I met while working for the military in Germany, Jeanne d'Arc - of course that is what I will name it.  Techniques:  Netting and RAW with vintage Swarovski crystals in two colors (light sapphire blue and medium vitral - light sapphire is pictured here)


B151045 - June 2:  The Tzarina Pendant is one of my favorite pieces.  I was inspired by a brooch that I saw in a photo of  Queen Elizabeth.  In research I found that this brooch was purchased from Russia collection in the early part of the last century.   Techniques:  Bead embroidery and RAW with gold or silver beads


B151077 - June 1:  The Kenilworth Castle Necklace is so beautiful in person, photos never do justice do they?  The sample is made with a rich red and shining gold, with pearls.   This piece is worked in components and then pieced together.  Named for a castle in England that I have visited, with inspiration from the series "The Tudors."


B151044 - Princess Maya pendant:   The "Princess Maya" pendant (yes, named after Marcia's beloved little dog) really shows how I have been influenced by Marcia.  I really love this pendant and have made several versions of this piece.  "Princess Maya" will be taught on Thursday, June 5th.


Good luck with your browsing - I hope to see you in one of my classes!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

October Part Dieux!

In my excitement, I forgot to mention the release of Amy Katz new book, "Seed Bead Chic", in which I am an invited artist in the gallery (page 125, artist 7 in case you are looking).  This is a book with some great projects - very wearable pieces of art.

Also in October, we had a very beautiful hunters, harvest or blood moon - I was able to capture a couple of decent shots of it.  It was so cool to see this in the early morning sky.

And I spent some time getting the closet in my studio cleared out so that I could move in here.  I had boxes that I hadn't looked at in years!!  Out with it!!  Here is before:
 And then I worked, and worked, and worked and missed a chance to hang out at Stony Creek Bead and I worked and magic happened.  Here is after:

 I moved my bead storage drawers into the now empty closet (there is another stack of these to the left behind the door):
 I even had room to add the secretary that was my mom and dad's.  I don't know if they inherited it, or if they bought it.  I know that it's been in my family as long back as I can remember.  It looks really nice under the window.  Important papers?  Well, if you mean patterns and such, then yes, it has important papers in it.

Now I think that my October is more complete.  Who knows what November will bring?

Friday, October 24, 2014

October has been a good month!

I am happy and proud to announce that I have been selected to teach four classes at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee in June 2015.
Two of the pieces are repeats from last year - Tzarina and Princess Maya - along with two of my newer items - Kenilworth Castle and Jeanne d'Arc,

Kenilworth Catle is directly inspired by a necklace that I saw in the series "The Tudors" - and made with a vintage German  glass piece that is a beautiful ruby red with glass pearls.  I love it.  Also, below, is "Chain of Office" - inspired by the same series.  I would have submitted this piece to Bead & Button also, but I finished is about 2 weeks after the due date!  I will be teaching this at Stony Creek Beads in Ypsilanti in about 3 weeks.

This same week, I found out that Bead & Button magazine has a picture of my tiara on page 17 of the "Your Work" section (page 17) and on line at here.  I've known for sometime that this was going to be published, but I don't know for certain which issue.
Should I create a new tiara?  I have an idea in my mind, but should I?  I mean, how many did I need??

I spent last weekend in Northern Michigan working at a conference (this was the view out the window), 50 hours in 4 days!  Yikes.  But with what I have earned, I am able to hange out with my girlfriends in California for a week without feeling guilty about the money.  My goodness, I love these ladies - they help me stay grounded.

Yes, I am having a good month.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Summer Beading life after Bead and Button

The fun never ends on Planet Bead.  After the first week in June is over, we all rush home and hope to regroup for a time.  Ah, time to relax, pet the dogs, kiss the husband (or pet the husband and kiss the dogs - your call), think about a vacation (because as fun as the Bead & Button show is, it's still work), all the typical summer stuff.  And then...

It hits you......

The deadline for Bead & Button 2015 (51 weeks from that moment in time) is just 6 weeks away.
  • What am I going to submit?
  • Am I going to submit?
  • What projects do I have that are worthy?
  • What do I have that would go another year?
Oh, nuts!  I don't even have time to unpack my kits to see what I need to reorder for these kits, let alone think about a new pattern!

I went through some of the items that I had been beading on since the beginning of 2014 and determined that three of them would be B&B worthy.  Many people commented on two of my projects that didn't photograph well, but they wished they signed up for them because they were "stunning" (not my word) - so I will submit those three projects.  Whew!  With a few weeks to spare, I have some really nice pieces, and time to camp with the husband for a week.
The beading studio is a great set-up.  Plenty of natural light and fresh air.
Hard Apple Cider DOES count as a fruit, you know.

Late July - Early August: Now comes the time to right the description, figure out the items needed, the price of kit, photograph taken (in good light, simple background, etc.), hours needed to hit all the teaching points involved in the project, and to write up the instructions.  Jeesh!  That's all?  Yup.  For all five projects.

Boom - submitted.  Samples packed up, ready for mailing.   Done.  That monkey is off my back.  Beginning of August - life is good.  Summer is still here.

And we wait.  And wait.  And wait.  The jury process has to be so hard for the B&B Show staff.  How to decide?  Are evaluations for the 2014 show looked at in conjunction with the 2015 submissions?  Did the students like me enough from last year to write good stuff?  What about that one person who didn't?  Was I nice enough to the show staff?  Did my Meet the Teachers table look good enough?  My students seemed happy

And we wait.  But soon (mid-October to late November), artists and instructors will slowly start to hear if they have been accepted for next year.

Maybe, just maybe "I'll be back"!

 My Tzarina pendant was inspired by the center medallion in the piece on the right, which is part of the British royal jewels.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

Bead & Button 2014 - Part 2

I won’t be hushed, I won’t be shushed.
But what I say I saw I saw.
I know my rights, I know the law!

I love it when I walk through the hotel corridors and see people that I have met through the years due to assisting Marcia – and they seem happy to see me.  I invaded breakfast one morning with Nancy and Mary – both from Chicago.   Mary even signed up for one of my classes – Princess Maya.

Later that evening there was a small gathering of mostly seed bead instructors, which was a huge blast.  We laughed and cried, shared secrets and lies; and told stories.  For me it was one of the highlights of the week.  Shout out to Jayshree Paramesh who brought henna “paint” for us!  So cool!

Saturday evening was the coveted TOHO party where I was Marcia’s guest.  It’s held at the Intercontinental Hotel, just a short walk away.  It’s a very nice event, with nice goodie bags.  What a nice group of people are at this event.

And Julie (you know who you are) wants the down and dirty gossip from Bead and Button – let’s see:  

·        I was called into the principal’s office
·        I called someone a bad name
·        I called someone else a bad name
·        I ate roasted garlic the night before a class.  No one complained (they could be all dead, though)
·        I swore in Arabic and Ming (from California) tried to teach me bad words in Chinese
·         I introduced myself to someone who I am FB friends with and he looked at me like I was from another planet and had no clue who I was (okay, lets me know that he doesn’t read my FB posts cause I do look like my pictures)
·        I was introduced to the same woman for about the 6th time and I still don’t think she knows who I am (I have given up saying that we have met before)
·        I (along with two other beaders who I was chatting with) witnessed a woman tripping over the power cord taped to the floor of the second floor convention center to turn on one light bulb in a display (she went down hard). Fortunately one of the women I was with is a nurse and took control until security showed up. 
·        Even better?  Security tripped over the same cord!!  We made certain she was okay, filled out my witness report (including the fact that the guard tripped on the same cord).  The next day, the cord was GONE.

All of my classes went extremely well, my students were great, took my sense of humor with a grain of salt.  Projects went well with only a few little hiccups in the instructions.And then it was over.  I can’t wait for next year!

This might be the best picture from the show!

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Bead and Button Week – June 2014 – part 1

Bead and Button Week – June 2014 – part 1

This year Bead &Button was a whirlwind of activity as I was a faculty member for the first time!  That was exciting enough for me, but I decided to take the journey to Milwaukee early so that I could have some good girlfriend time with Janice, Tracy and Marcia.

Traveling is always an experience that I enjoy.  This year was no different.  Leaving the train station in Dearborn (thanks Tom for dropping me off at an ungodly early hour), I was very excited.  Remind me next year (should I be selected for classes) that I need to only travel with ONE suitcase!  The train pulled into Chicago when things became interesting.  The train that was earlier than mine was missing!!  Short version – I was put on a tour bus, very comfy, and took the bus north to Milwaukee.  The best part of it was that I was able to snooze on the bus!

I loved rooming with Janice and Tracy – I don’t think that we could stop talking if we had to.  It had been a year since we were together and it worked really well.  Of course, Tracy and I had seen each other at Beading by the Bay in March – that was our practice rooming together!  Dinner that evening with our Marcia made it even better!  We were joined by Anne Mitchell and Beki and Shawn Haley of Whim Beads.

Photo by Anne Mitchell
Tuesday was my hang out and relax day.  I didn’t have any classes scheduled so I had breakfast with Beki and Shawn, I surprised Marcia with coffee (we talked about it last night with Tracy and Janice).  Marcia sent me a text with her order as a joke, so of course I had to get it for her.  Love my Marcia.  While in her classroom, I met several beaders that I have known over the years through her classes and some new friends, including Helena Tang-Lim from Manek-Manek Beads.  She has a great eye for color and has designed some awesome pieces of beadwork.  While chatting with Helena, I met Sunyoung Park-Hoffman (of Ezel Findings, maker of a great new travel bead mat) and her sister (who traveled from Korea!).

I was able to hang out with many friends for a while at the “Gathering Place” and see Mandi and her friend Ralonda, spend some quality time with Nikia and view the fabulous Crown Rings – they are stunning and I can’t wait for the pattern to be released!  Stunning, stunning, stunning (Should I say that again?).  I was a little disconcerted to see what appeared to be someone teaching one of her kits in the Gathering Place.  I hope what I saw was that they just decided to all do the same kit at the same time, but that’s certainly not what it looked like. 

Janice sketching at lunch.
I ran into Sabine Lippert and Claudia Schumann who invited me to lunch with them.  We had a nice time chatting about everything and nothing (and thank you again for my soda!).  Janice and I both had some free time during the day and managed to meet for a late lunch/early dinner and we decided on sushi from Kiku – which is walking distance from the convention center and the hotel.  It’s so good there!!  Unfortunately, it’s not the best looking place, but the food is good, it was quiet and cool.

My first B&B teaching of Dalal’s Dream was that late afternoon and I had 9 students.  It was a really good experience for me to have such good students; everyone was having a good time and looking forward to “Meet the Teachers” that evening.  It was a rush to break down class at 7am, rush to the convention center, and set up by 8pm.  I managed to do it quickly, steal some hugs from friends, and be back in place.  Since I didn’t have a stock of items to sell, I didn’t try and just have things to sell – I made the conscious decision to just meet people.  It was a great experience - I met so many people, received hugs and good wishes - it was so nic.

Amy Blevins rocking out with the tiara

Meet the Teachers exhibit with the Taj Mahal, bead embroidered purse,
along with the Tiara and matching necklace

Beading by the Bay 2014 - Part 2

We woke again in San Francisco, and this was going to be a great day!  Major site seeing was planned.  After a nice breakfast and packing, we once again figure how to pack our mini van and off we drove.  Dot did an excellent job of maneuvering through the streets of San Francisco and over the bridge we went.  Our first stop was Marin Headlands on the north side of the Golden Gate bridge!

This was a great spot for photos of the San Fran skylines and the bridge.  Well, except that the sun was shining when we got there, but the fog rolled in.  And FAST.

Dot is looking for the top of this monster tree.  This picture really shows how large they are.
Following our quick stop at the bridge, we drove north to Muirwoods National Forest to see the Redwoods!  This has been a great visit for me and crossing off items of the bucket list (crossing Golden Gate Bridge – Check!  Redwood Forest – Check!).  We waited in the parking lot for our last member to join us! Beki Haley of Whim Beads, who doesn't live very far from Muirwoods.  
Front: Liz, Sue, Tracy
Back: Cyn, Dot, Sharon
Not seen:  Beki (taking picture)
We wandered down the meandering path in awe of these beautiful giant trees.  The further removed from the parking lot, the quieter the noises became almost as if the trees were absorbing the sound.  These trees are massive, and not even the largest redwoods in California.  If my Dawn Redwood in the garden grows to 1/5 of their size, that is going to be a large tree.

A quick drive north and west of there brings us out to the coast and Stin, where Beki prepared a wonderful picnic lunch.  It's funny - the northern girls (Dot, Sue and I) thought the weather was wonderful.  Sharon, who now lives in Tucson, was freezing.  And Cyn, Beki and Tracy (California and Seattle) thought "Oh, jeesh, rain again"!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

I give you the "Taj Mahal"

Well, I certainly took my time with this piece.  From what I can tell I have been working on the Taj Mahal on and off for just under 5 years, yes - 5 years.  Why so long?  Other pieces kept getting in the way, but I needed to finish this.

I love the pictures I have seen of the Taj Mahal and was inspired to work on it from those pictures.  Several of my favorite residents from over the years are originally from India (giving me the inspiration also for Ganesha, another bead embroidered piece) and what better way to acknowledge the changes in my life due to them.

August 2009 through May 2014
I shouldn't feel so bad that it took so long.  The original Taj Mahal took over 20 years to build, and includes marble from around the world.

You can see progress photos of this work through time by visiting the link here:

The Taj Mahal started construction in 1632 after Mumtaz Mahal died during the birth of her 14th child.  The Emperor Shah Jahan described the Taj Mahal:

Should guilty seek asylum here,

Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.

Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator's glory.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Beading by the Bay 2014 - Part 1

On March 3rd, the San Francisco area was invaded by G’nomes from around the country:  Sue and Liz from SE Michigan, Dot from southern Ohio, Tracy and Cyn from Seattle, and Sharon from Tucson (joined later in the week by Beki from California and Lisa from Chicago).  Of course, I wore my tiara on a leg of the flight as I was "tempted" by friends to do it.
Liz and Sue en flight
Caught me coming out of the ladies room

As flights from the country were coming at different times, the first wave of G’nomes had lunch in a lovely little restaurant in Burlingame by the SFO airport.  Liz introduced Bibimbap to Sharon, and a wonderful luncheon (who uses that word any more?) was had by all, with promises to have dinner here later in the week.

Once Tracy (who flew from Seattle via Las Vegas - not a very direct flight) arrived, we drove our rental G'nome-mobil (which has a wine cellar or "Stow and Go" seating)
to downtown San Francisco to the Opal Hotel, which is on the border of two neighborhoods – the Tenderloin and Japan Town.  It was a nice, older hotel; small rooms, but enough for our group of six to share two rooms.  Our room did not have a closet, but a nice wardrobe which looked like something out of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” books.  I didn't venture into it to see if it went to another world.  The room was on the front of the hotel, which is on Van Ness street and not unnecessarily noisy.  Beds were clean and comfy, although the pillows could stand an upgrade.  The lobby was clean and spacious, and the provided breakfast was more than adequate.   Secure parking was a great find in the city!
The Wine Cellar in the rental

True, the hotel is in a less than savory part of town, but if you keep your senses about you, walk in groups and just be aware of your surroundings, you should be fine.  Polk Street looked a little less desirable than Geary, so we avoided it.  Parking lot was small, but just at the back of the hotel, but locked and secure.
Our first day, we walked from the hotel down to Union Square (and right passed the Hotel California) to Britex fabrics which was Dot’s dream fabric store.  I found a bin of leathers for clearance prices which was great.  Following that, we tried to get on the cable cars, but they weren't in service (found out later, they were down all day – what a disappointment).  
Dot and Cyn get in the spirit!

We managed to get on the correct street car and get down to Fisherman’s wharf where most of the day was spent walking around.  Lunch was at Fog Harbor and it was wonderful!  
Lunch at Fog Harbor on Fishermans Wharf
Sue, Liz, Tracy, Cyn, Dot and Sharon

Sharon had an ice cream sundae at Ghirardelli’s which was not shared (don’t get between Sharon and her ice cream).  After trying to determine to get back uptown without the cable car, we managed to get on the correct street car going back up the hills of San Francisco, and to the downtown shopping area.  Sharon, Dot and Sue did some damage in the Unicol store for themselves and family 

Walking back to the hotel was not going to be an option for us in an unsavory neighborhood (why be stupid - we could have walked, but that wasn't the smart thing to do), but I managed to figure out the correct bus, confirm it with a woman who was getting on the bus and it dropped us right at the corner of Geary and Van Ness (bus 32L if you need to know).  Brava!

Stay Tuned for part 2!