Monday, December 24, 2012

Gifts from the heart

Today is Christmas Eve.  I will be working tonight so that others can spend time with their families.  I hope you don't feel sorry for me, as I like doing this for others.  I did have lots of warmth and caring these past few days.   Lori Anderson started the Bead Soup Cafe over on Facebook.  We have many members who do everything jewelry from wire, bead weaving, stringing, mixed media, and about anything else you can think of. She thought it would be fun to match people up to do a Christmas gift sharing.  I was lucky to get Andra Weber as my partner.  Andra & I wrote a couple times to get to know each other and both were so excited that we were both bead weavers and bead embroidery girls.  I had a great time getting a package of things for her.  We decided that we'd open our gifts on the 23rd.  I worked last night, so I waited until this morning.  What a delight it was to open her box filled with all kinds of goodies.  Did you hear me laugh and shout with joy?  First off she had lots of tins of coffee for me.  Then there was a bundle of beautiful batiks is all the colors I adore.  Then a box filled with beading delight with everything from beads, cabochon, lampwork, and a wonderful piece of ultra suede.  Now this is the fun part, as Andra called me yesterday right before I went to work & we were discussing things we make.  I told her I don't make earrings & would declare 2013 the year of the earring for me.  Well...guess what?  she sent me THREE pairs of wonderful earrings.  I just love them!  And I'm going to wear the angel ones this afternoon when I go to work.  I have to say that these swaps are not to get things...but to met people and build a relationship with them.  We have a wonderful community of beaders on Facebook, and now I've added another new friend to my list to share my life with.

Also last night at work, the three guys I work with every other weekend wanted to do something special for me for my retirement.  We have the best time laughing and telling stories all night long.  They got dinner from Olive Garden for all 4 of us.  It was delicious, and they made me so happy.  Our laughter and fun feeds my soul...and last night they fed my tummy too.  I'll miss these three guys.

Harry, Mesfin, and Zak

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Review: Necklaceology by Candie Cooper

 Today I wanted to share with you a review from one of Lark Craft's Jewelry and Beading's books.  This book came out in September, but I was having such a time trying to sort out things with my personal life, that I didn't get a chance to spend quality time with this new book by Candie Cooper.  The book is Necklaceology: How to make Chokers, Lariats, Ropes & More.

Along with the 40 projects, Candie has small tidbits to help you become successful with your necklace making weather you use wire, fibers, beads, or found objects.
Loaded with lots of pictures from Candie's sketchbook.  This picture actually answered so many questions I'd had while designing necklaces.  Mostly, I wondered about lengths.  Here Candie, show the different lengths with common names.  She also gives out lots of information on tools and techniques even giving a short demonstration of bead crochet and suggesting that possibly a homemade pendents using apoxie sculpt might be something unique.
Harvest Moon.  Candie writes: I love how the copper bead caps pick up the rust color in my ribbon yarn!  I brought the yarn with me to the bead shop so I could choose beads that would bring out the purple tones in the fiber".  I'm a fiber girl so this necklace really attracted my attention.  I know a whole lot of fiber artist out there who have bins and bins of wonderful yarn that would make a lovely necklace

Candie calls this necklace "GumBalls" and describes it as playful.  I bought three bags of felted balls several years ago while at the Bead and Button show.  I've played around with them, but this project really made my Muse dance.  I love the idea of using black elastic cording along with the colorful felted balls along with a little thread to make a delightful necklace that anyone from 6-96 would find a joy to wear.

Christmas is just days away. This would be a perfect book for your jewelry loving friend.  If you can't get it to them in time, why not send them a note saying that this fabulous book is on its way and meanwhile a link from our friends at Lark of three necklace projects from Necklaceology to  give them something to play with on Christmas Day. 

Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I have been making my way through I CAN Herringbone a little more.  I can't tell you enough what a marvelous book this is.  Click below to find the link to buy this book on Amazon for 1/2 price.  You will NOT regret it:

I Can Herringbone: From Basic Stitch to Advanced Techniques, a Comprehensive Workbook for Beaders

Mish Mash Delight using one of the fused glass pieces from Roxanne's class
One of the lesson's in Mellisa's book where you add to the herringbone chain.  In this experiment, I added a different colored seed bead and then a 4mm pearl giving the chain "bumps
The fused glass piece has a peyote bezel and the crystal has a RAW bevel embellished with glass drops.  I added a few pearls to pop out the color of the crystal and then added a bone rondelles.  

In this project, I made another herringbone chain from Melissa's book and used the twisted version of it.  When Liz was visiting, I found a bag of taxidermy glass eyes so I decided it was time to use one of them on a project.  It was glued down on a piece of Nicole's Bead Backing which is my favorite.
The Eye of the Beholder:  To finish this up, I did a RAW bezel around the eye and embellished with a few glass drops.  To keep it simple, I only did one row of back stitch using seed beads and pearls.  I wore this the other night to work, and no one guessed it was a glass eye looking at them.  

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

2013 a Very New Year

I've posted my announcement on Facebook, but have forgotten to post anything here about the new change that is coming for me in 2013.  I will be leaving Mount Carmel Health on December 27th 2012.  I have been at Mount Carmel West for 23 years and at Mount Carmel St. Anns for 6 years.  It was a very hard decisions for me to make as I'd always thought that I would retire from Mount Carmel Health, but there have been many changes in the past years that has led me to this decisions.  I remember back in July of 1983, when I was asked to sign a 2 year commitment.  I thought to myself back then who would ever stay in a job for THAT LONG!  Needless to say that was 29 years and 5 months ago.  It is going to be hard to leave all my coworkers and friends from all the years I've worked at West and St. Ann's, but it is time for me to move on. 

Nationwide Children's Hospital Main Campus with Downtown Columbus in the background 

I have accepted a position in the Core Laboratory at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus.  I'll be working the third shift which I'm so use to that the current evening shift is wrecking havoc with my sleeping patterns.  I'll start Children's on January 7th.  I decided to give myself these 10 days off between jobs to relax and get myself geared up for a whole new phase of my life.  I'm really looking forward to something different with better benefits and working conditions.  It is going to be a big change for me, but I know I'm ready for that.  I am very excited and proud to be working at one of the leading Pediatric hospitals in the United States where research and commitment to help children is first priority. 

(I took these images off the internet to share with you my new place of employment which starts in 2013)

Friday, December 14, 2012


I was looking through some of my old back up CDs and found pictures of my beloved Scotties that made me smile.  No tears as I've come to the realization that they have really never left me.  The good times will always be there no matter what.  I love them still.  They love me always.  So here are a few pictures I found of SkyeBlue, Fiona, Frodo, and Arwen.  I'm going to have to find a few of my first Scottie FalaPink to share with you later.  He was my lover boy. Not even Arwen was as much a velcro dog as FalaPink was. 

SkyeBlue, Fiona, and Frodo.  This was taken about 2004

Frodo with SkyeBlue.  Skye loved wearing jewelry. She'd prance around the house like she was a princess. 

Arwen is on the top step with Fiona under her. This was taken the first week Arwen came to live with us.  She was about 6 months old when this was taken. 

Arwen would not come down the steps.  We tried everything to get her to come back down.  So finally we offered he a cookie if she came all the way down.  Well, Fiona and Frodo here the "C" word and had to find out what was going on themselves.  So there the three were watching me standing down in the front room trying to make Arwen come down the steps.  Everyone had their eyes on that cookie.
This is Arwen on the second day she came to live with us.  We picked her up on New Years' Day.  I loved the name Beatrice, so that was her name for two weeks.  I would call her Bea, and she'd come running to me.  But Fiona would come too and then look very confused when I'd reach down to pick up Arwen.  Finally I realized that BEA and FI sounded too much alike. So after much consideration, Chris and I decided to call her Arwen.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I (REALLY) CAN herringbone review

Can a book make you just jump up and down with joy with each and every turn of the page?  Well, I have to tell you that the answer to that question is a 100% YES! it CAN!  Lark Jewelry & Beading's second offering in the I CAN series is a big hit with me.  Melissa Grakowsky's I CAN herringbone is one of those books that you've always dreamed of when you are tackling learning herringbone bead weaving.  Each of the 26 projects will launch you onto the journey of successfully admitting that you LOVE Herringbone.  Wither 360 illustrations and word directions, you will find yourself wanting to make multiple samples of each project as you work your way from very beginner to advanced projects.

I actually took this book with me on vacation making sure it was tucked away in my carry on bag as I was afraid I would lose it.  As I sat by the pool working on herringbone chains, I would look out at the Gulf of Mexico as pelicans swooped and coasted over the waves thinking about the undulating patterns in Mellisa's final project Sinusoidal necklace.  I still have a few more weeks of practice before I can attempt this tantalizing project.

Now for the good new...I CAN herringbone by Melissa Grakowsy is 1/2 price at Barnes & Nobles!  What a fabulous gift and don't you think it would make the beader in your life extremely happy if they unwrapped with wonderful book on Christmas day?  Don't forget to add a little bag of beads with it.

These are a couple projects that got me all excited abouth Melissa's new book.  And I'm dreaming of even more before I tackle the Sinusoidal Necklace.

Vacation project

Herringbone meets Right Angle Weaving

Herringbone chain
Current Herringbone project

Experimenting with some ideas from I CAN herringbone
Disclosure...As a reviewer of  products from Lark Books, I receive the book above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by Lark Books for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A special message from Lark Craft

I'm happy to report a very special opportunity this week: most Lark Jewelry
& Beading books are on sale at half price on until Dec. 11, and also is matching most of the sale prices.

We've listed all the titles available at half-price on our blog at:

Or, full URL:

The sale includes our best-selling 500 and Masters gallery gift books,
including Publishers Weekly Book of the Year Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry. It
includes beading books by Sabine Lippert (an Amazon Top 10 Craft Book of the
Year), Jill Wiseman, Sonoko Nozue, Diane Fitzgerald, Marcia DeCoster, Sherry
Serafini, Rachel Nelson-Smith, Melissa Grakowsky, Mabeline Gidez, Jamie
Cloud Eakin, Laura McCabe, Ann Benson, Janice Berkebile and Tracy Stanley,
Candie Cooper, and so many other wonderful teachers and designers. And it
includes jewelry technique books by Gordon Uyehara, Mary Hettmansperger,
Carles Codina, Joanna Gollberg, Linda Darty, Dylon Whyte, Lisa Bluhm,
Barbara Becker Simon, Brenda Schweder, Nathalie Mornu, Kathy Sheldon, and,
again, many, many of our top authors.

We hope you'll share the links above, or direct links to specific books, via
your own preferred social media channels. It's a great opportunity for your
friends, colleagues, and the community, and I'm so pleased to share it with

Happy holidays,

Ray Hemachandra

Stress break

Chris and I decided to get away from Columbus for awhile and chose one of our favorite places to go for a quick vacation.  We stayed at the Song of the Sea on Sanibel Island.  It was so relaxing and each day we felt more and more of the stress from these past two years just melt away.  There actually were a couple days when we only drove to the Lighthouse Cafe for a lunch, and then back to the beach to enjoy the Sunshine and the peace.  I feel so much better now as does Chris.  We enjoyed every quiet moment walking the beach looking for treasures in the sand, relaxing around the pool, and just making each moment stretch into the next with no agendas, worries, or future plans.  We truly were just being in the present and enjoying every second of it.

Here I am looking at the birds at the Ding Darling Wildlife Reserve

My friends always take pictures of their view from the lounge chair, so here is my turn to share

Migrant Birds.  Someone told us these were called Black Skimmers

No trip to Florida is complete unless you have a piece of homemade Key Lime Pie

Sunset on Sanibel Island

American White Pelicans roosting on a mud flat at Ding Darling

Mangrove tunnels

Bright Sunny day on Sanibel Island

A few rejects washed up on the shore

Chris doing the Sanibel Stoop

And yes, I had time to bead by the pool side at Song of the Sea
This little girls was enjoying herself in the surf as the Sun set

Brown Pelican flies overhead
Chris and I enjoying a romantic dinner
Bird at Ding Darling
A tiny shell the size of my pinkie finger nail.