Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today is the big blog hop sponsored by Sarah at Saturday Sequins.  Check out her blog to find other Artist participating in a hop to show you what can be done with those lovely little sequins.  No matter if they are vintage, metal, plastic, big, small, or shaped, sequins are marvelous things that have been used to embellish clothes and bags for ages.  There hasn't been a sequin that I haven't loved.  Please take a moment to look at some of my blast from the past pieces where I've used sequins. You never know where I'll be using those delightful little sequins next.    dot

Please visit the other bloggers who adore sequins as much as I do...Sequin Blog Hop

A pin where tiny plastic sequins make up the body of the owl

Cuff bracelet has sequins used in a stacked stitch to give a fully color texture

Tiny plastic sequins are used to make a helmet for this doll

Shaped sequins embellish this jar cap

Sequins give a different color to the bone rondelles
Sequins hide amide the flat peyote on this doll
Sequins adorn this piece of Scottie shaped jade
Sequins added to back stitch lines can add sparkle and interest

Sequins can attract people to each other to become best friend

Even Dorothy needed a little sparkle to go with her ruby shoes

Thursday, September 27, 2012

More necklaces

I wore my new necklace Cranberry Thirst to Pink Flamingo today.  I decided to use a RAW piece to keep the last two cabs from flipping.  I would still like to do more to it, but after the reception it got at the bead store today, I think I'm just going to keep it the way it is.  I DO need to find my thread zapper which is buried under a pile of fabric/beads/fibers on my work table.  I really need to take some time to clean that place up.  Pink Flamingo is one of our latest bead stores in Columbus Ohio that is closing.  Donna from Pink Flamingo after 14 years is closing her doors in the Powell area.  The first time I went there was with the group Ohio Beaders.  The store is in an old two story house with each room showcasing different beading techniques.  The front room had a class room.  I never bought much from the store as it is a little out of my way and the traffic in Powell is really tight and busy.  But today I went in as they were having a 35% off sale.  I bought a great purse which will eventually be encrusted along with some empty tubes, displays, pearls and of course...seed beads!  Donna told me that there were several people interested in buying the store. 

And yes! I'm still in a manic beading frenzy.  I still have so many ideas wanting to get out.  I have taken a position on the board of Beading for a Cure: Layne's Legacy.  This next year I want to get the word out to as many people as I possibly can as our cause is near to so many hearts.  So many people have been touched by colon cancer through a family member, a friend, a coworker, or personally.  Though a small group, we have managed to send in thousands of dollars for colo-rectal cancer research in the name of our friend who we all met many years ago on All About Beads a Delphi Forum chat group.  I already did the one piece with the raku owl made by Duane Collins, but we had people drop out so I along with several others are working on making a second piece that will be auctioned off next year.  For my second piece, I wanted to do something more feminine so I chose to take the pink out of the color palette.  Next week before I mail this off, I'll take better pictures and share with you my pictures of how it was designed and constructed but for now a quick picture of it on "Louise".
Winner's Circle....still needs a little more work as the chain is too weak

I've met so many wonderful people on Facebook. First and foremost are the bead artist out there who are constantly challenging each other.  My current challenge partner is Rose Thorn.  We were partnered together by Lori Anderson to do the Pantone Fall color bead swap.  Now this is just  a swap and we are not obligated to make anything with what we sent to each other, but my o my...aren't these lovely.  Rose really went out of her way to spoil me.  The lamp works are going to give this seed beader a run for her money in designing.

And just a little personal thing for you who wonder a little about the me behind the beads.  I work in a laboratory that is currently being reconfigured into a regional Medical Center in the Northern quadrant of Columbus.  We are getting a big robotic arm that will run our chemistry department from receiving the specimens in the computer to putting the tubes away in the refrigerator.  Hopefully it will all work.  For now we are extremely cramped and working in very tight quarters.  This is my chair in Chemistry and yes!  I have to squeeze through to get to the instruments in the back.  I know it will all get better but meanwhile, I'm getting use to the bruises. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Adventures of Cranberry Thirst

I love remaking things from items that would automatically be thrown away by other.  Take for example a bunch of very ugly necklaces on display at the thrift store.  I got three separate ones that were probably some of the most atrocious designs I have seen in everything was plastic.  Now, I believe in not being a bead snob, so I told the Muse to help me create something with these horribly plastic beads that caught my attention.  Why you say did they do that, well, they were this luscious matte cranberry covered ovals.  To me they spoke & said...make us worthy of our color.  So here is some progress pictures of one of the necklaces I made with those plastic beads.  It is still in the construction phase as I got it all done, hung it on "Louise" and it looked back to the design board.  Hopefully I can get something a little more pleasing after a few more walks around the block with my Muse.

Start with plastic beads along with some complimentary seeds and Nicole's Bead Backing

I knew there was a reason I still had my BeadSmith bead board.  Trying out a design element
Another design experiment ripped out
OH NO!  Look at the connectors and how they kink out.  Not very attractive so another rip out
Inspiration for the name Cranberry Thirst
 Please join me later to see if I finally got this  piece to look and hang right.  My next try is Right Angle Weave connectors for the upper two medallions

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Review: Sabine Lippert

Before I start my review of Sabine's luscious book, I want to take a moment to thank all of you who have written me, left me comments or sent me cards.  We are slowly getting our lives back to normal after Frodo & Arwen's death.  We only have Fiona left now, and she's a pretty old sluggish dog whose normal day consist of 20 hours of napping.  It is so quiet around here.  We've always had pretty energetic dogs since 1989, so it seems something is missing.  Thank you everyone.

Last Saturday, I got myself up bright and early waiting at my computer so I could register for Beading by the Bay.  They only have limited spaces left, and I'm happy to say that I was able to get a space for next year.  The best part is that I'll be joining some of my friends in San Francisco who I haven't seen in a couple of years though we text or e-mail frequently, it is fun to hug and laugh at the moment.  I can't wait. Susan Kazarian and Marcia DeCoster partner to bring three teachers a year to the beautiful Bay area in March.   2013 teachers are Marcia DeCoster, Huib Petersen, and Sabine Lippert.  Now aren't I the luckiest girl?  I know I am especially since this year I'll be able to take all the things I've learned from Sabine's newest book and see them up close and personal in the class she'll be teaching. 

Sabine Lippert's book Beaded Fantasies: 30 Romantic Jewelry Projects came out in May of 2012 to much acclaim for this wonderful addition to the Lark Jewelry& Beading Beadweaver Master Class series.  You have to be sitting down when you open this book and turn from page to page with twitching fingers.  Each image will make you faint with delight, and the context page filled with little snippets of what the book holds entices you inside this rich book.  Sabine's introduction tells that "from the moment I first touched beads, I became totally addicted".  Sound familiar?  She confesses to bring beading projects with her every where.  Again, doesn't that sound like something you do also?  She tells the reader to "Be Brave and Confident.  Use this book as a starting point, then try your own designs" and to "listen to the sound of your beads".  I believe Sabine is talking directly to my Muse, and my Muse after devouring this new book is very well pleased. 

Isn't this a very clever design using bugle beads?
What a rich and delicious necklace to wear to a party

Each project takes the reader further into the journey of making rich romantic pieces of Art.  Sabine's highly detailed graphics and up close photographs of each portion of the project helps guide the reader.  Her use of rivolis and pearls are mind bending as you go from one highly textured exciting project to the next.  And if you want to feel even more faint, then leaf through all the projects and spend time going through the gallery viewing pieces from some of today's most talented bead weavers.  I think smelling salts might be needed near by.

Wonderfully detailed close ups of project

All and all, I was extremely pleased to be able to review this book. And I am beyond excited getting to fly out to San Francisco next March and take a class with Sabine.  Who knows, maybe I'll get my Muse to stop looking at this book and actually guide me to make a couple of these projects to wear on the plane heading to Beading by the Bay.

And she even gives you a view of what the back of the project looks like

Here is a link to go to the Lark webpage and download Les Fleurs Necklace.  Thank you so much Lark.

Les Fleurs: photo borrowed from Lark Website 

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.

Friday, September 14, 2012

More loss

My Baby Arwen ( June 2004-September 2012)

Hot dog!  helping grilling out

Napping or sleeping, Arwen always loved the bed spread Cynthia sent me

She just always had this sad little face

But she never had a sad day in her life. She was always filled with love and joy

She always had to be near me no matter what.  She definitely was a Mommy's girl

And she always let Frodo know who was boss!

And she always loved Mr. Frodo

So when Frodo called her, she followed him and is with her life long companion
Yes we've had more loss in our house.  Twelve days after Frodo's death, we had to let our little Arwen go too.  She was fine until about a week after Frodo's death when she started to stop eating no matter what I gave her.  Friends all over Facebook told me to try this and try that...Cesars, fried eggs, steak, name it.  I tried to feed her everything that I could think of, and she refused it all.  Then she began to show the signs of renal failure.  Our hearts were just breaking because we were just not ready to let another beloved Scottie go.  But she told us that she could not stay with us anymore, so on the 10th in the afternoon, we had to make that last trip to the Vet with her and say good bye.  It was the hardest thing I have ever had to do.  Only because Chris was there with me, was I able to handle it without totally falling apart.  We were just numb coming home to only Fiona.  We still are numb, but so many people have reached out to us with cards, e-mails, flowers, cookies, and even a St. Francis medal to keep Fiona safe.  Each day we have so many memories of each of our darling Scotties.  Each day I miss them both.  They were so innocent, so loving, so devoted.  Now we have to move along living our lives with just Fiona.  She's 12 1/2 so we decided to be fair to her, we were not bringing another Scottie into our house.  We are going to spoil our old girl while remembering all those that we've loved so much. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Finding the Light Within

I am still grieving for Mr. Frodo.  If I see a picture of him, I break down and let the tears flow.  Also, we are facing the fact that it is time to let Arwen go too.  She's suffering from her bladder cancer, and we know the time is drawing close when we have to say good bye to her too.  But it is so close to losing Frodo that we just can't make ourselves do it.  She won't eat except Milk Bones an an occasional piece of meat.  Her tumor has grown enough to cause her problems and now her Cushings has kicked in so she's got a double dose of disease making our little clown close down.  Every once in awhile, her normal self is back, but it then gets hidden away from us.  We are just taking it one day at a time, but it is going to be soon.  And I think about my Grandma daily.  She was such a big part of our lives once we moved from California back to Southern Ohio.  I can hear her laugh all the time which was one of her favorite things to do. 

So with all this striking me at once, I have felt my heart heavy and broken.  I asked myself what do I done when so heart sick with grief. Do I drown my heart with tears?  Do I build a wall up around it so no one or nothing can penetrate it?  Do I attack it leaving it even more sore and weak?  Do I stab it with an icy pick filling it with holes so the pain can leak out?  I don't think any of these things are healthy.  I believe that all these people and animals and places we have cherished are inside our heart.  They are never truly gone. We carry them with us on this long journey through life.  And when we miss them or want to feel their love again all we really need to do is reach inside and Find the light of their love within ourselves. 

They day after Frodo died which was exactly two weeks after Grandma died, I sat at my work table with a piece of fused glass that a new friend had sent me.  I stared into the glass through teary eyes looking deep into the colors fused into that piece.  I looked up and mysteriously my hands began to find beads and other pieces of glass and vintage crystals to compliment the fused glass.  Then I reached for a bright yellow piece of Nicole's Bead Backing and glued the focal glass piece on it.  Oh my heart soared with the colors forming there on my work table.  In almost a frantic pace, I sewed each bead, each bugle, each spacer, each drop onto the collar not stopping for rest.  At the end of the day, I would lay it down, but as soon as my eyes would open or I had time, I would pick it up working away letting all my grief drain from me.  The bright colors wrapped me with healing powers and the dark metallic spacers with drops of green light poking out through them were there to remind me that there still was a few pieces of dark left for me.  For can we really let all that grief out?  Small pieces cling to the love of that person, animal, place forever because that is just how we have to keep the memory. But that one piece of dark memory is so small that it has become comfortable and easy to comprehend.  I still can touch the dark memory surrounded by the light of losing my Great Grandmother many years ago, or our beloved Lady who we had a funeral for when I was only 8, or the gigantic elm tree blighted by disease and cut down.  It is still there ready to be re-hydrated with our tears.  But the light...oh the light calms us and brings back the smile and the memories.

So when I finished this collar in what I was told a record time, I decided that it would be called: Find the Light Within.  I wore it yesterday even though is clashed horribly with the shirt I had on, but reaching down and stroking the cool glass as I sat calmed me and made me once again smile.  My heart is going to be broken and sore so many more times, and I know soon it will be once again attacked when we lose our little clown, our little Arwen.  But I have delved down and brought the light up once...I know it is there.  And when the time comes, I'll find it again and let it sooth me.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review Jill Wiseman

If you've ever gotten a chance to met a very high energy Bead Artist with lots of enthusiasm, then you MUST get to know Jill Wiseman.

Lark Jewelry and Beading: Beadweaving Master Class series has added Jill's new book which is a must for any bead weaver's library.  Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes has 24 exciting projects aimed at the beginner and intermediate bead weaver.  With clear and concise graphics and instructions, anyone can pick up this book and dive into the world of ropes.  With Jill's instructions you can use each of the designs to help showcase any other beaded focal piece be it a lovely piece of lampwork glass or a woven/embroidered project of your own. But the most amazing part is that all these project are just as lush and complete worn by themselves.  Having this book as a reference is on my list of suggested books.  And no bead weaving technique is left out.  Jill starts with a complete section on supplies and techniques. Then she goes from one individual bead weaving technique to another each section enticing your figures to pick up a needle and follow along turning page after page.  She starts with the often miss looked spiral finding ways to make it more luxurious and complex.  Next is the peyote ropes dancing across the pages with rich examples.  Netted ropes are just amazing.  Each of the projects is a work of art engaging your brain to think twist and turns.  Herribone ropes are simple, but Jill makes them spectacular.  My favorite are the RAW (Right Angle Weave) ropes which can just stand alone with variation of colors.  She ends the bead weaving chapters with alternative stitches that work well together, and the very last is the gallery with pieces from some of the best know Bead Weaving Artist out there.  The only thing that wish Jill would have included was at least one or two advanced projects to further stimulate those who want to do more with ropes, but I've heard that she's working on her second book with Lark at this time. 

If you want to really start making lovely ropes before you get this book into your mail box or from the book store, Lark has downloads of two of Jill's projects from the book.  You can click HERE to take you to Lark's page to download the projects.

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.