Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pool of a Mother's Tears

It's only the 18th of November and I'm finished. It seems fitting somehow that I finished this page on my daughter Michelle's birthday. She would have been 35 today. I believe working on this has helped me weather my November bout of depression. I can't kid myself that it will never return. I'm more realistic than that, I hope. In actual fact, I enjoyed working on this page.
I borrowed some ideas from all of you and will probably borrow more as time goes by. I included some thread embroidery this time. It's nice to know I haven't forgotten everything my grandmother taught me. Used to do tea towels and pillowcases when I was young. I'm anxious to get on with my next page.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I am in such trouble. Went to BABE in Oakland this past weekend. I took classes from Christie Friesen and Gail Crossman Moore. Christie's class was a blast. My mermaid has a face that belongs on a Harley, with maybe a beard. LOL. I hadn't done PC in a while so it was great fun. Gail's class was more labor intensive, but wow! I actually ended up with something resembling a felted treasure pouch. I'll post it when I get it embellished.

Felting is fun. I work with two guys who love to wear crazy hats. That is my next project. I came home with some great colors of wool. I'll make them some wild hats and reinforce what I learned in class.

Bought my share of beads and then some. I actually spent some money on jewelry for me for a change. What fun. Had dinner Friday night with Beki and Shawn from Whim, Pam(the editor of Beads Unique), Nikia from Buy the Kit, and several other friends as well. Dinner was okay, but the company was great!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pool of a Mother's Tears

This is the start of my November page for BJP. This page is a memorial to my son who passed away in 1979 and my daughter who died 13 1/2 years ago. My daughter's birthday is the 18th. This month is always very difficult for me and I decided to once again make something positive out of a negative. I'm hoping working on this page will allow me to let go of some of my sadness and sorrow. It never hurts to try. This dichroic cab reminded me of a pool, thus the name.
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bead Embroidery class

I am absolutely blown away by a couple of my students where I work. They have been learning basic bead embroidery stitches for just three weeks now. The class is once a week for an hour. One of my young men completed his first project yesterday. He beaded a Dallas Cowboy star for his grandmother. It wasn't perfect, but it was awesome. This young man who cannot sit still for more that a few minutes sat for 3 hours during a thunder and lightning storm beading. When he wasn't quite finished with it, he brought it to our Center yesterday to finish it.

One of the young women is working on a Raiders emblem. Again, she brought it in to work on it at the Center. The simple fact that they enjoy it doesn't surprise me as much as they don't want to quit working on it. These are the same young people who cannot concentrate long enough to take care of themselves properly.

The joy I receive from seeing this makes every minute of preparation and every cent spent so worthwhile. No, they don't catch on as quickly as some might, but to see their faces when they finally "get it" is to know what it is to be a teacher. As they finish their projects I will be taking pictures and posting them here for you all to see. Hope you all enjoy them as much as I do.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Indian Summer

October is done! Thought I would never finish it. I haven't been able to bead much the past three weeks. I loved adding the fiber to this one. I've learned so many new things since starting this project. I rarely want to do anything but bead embroidery anymore.

My class at work is going slowly, but most of my students have learning disabilities so I expected that. The important thing is that they are really enjoying themselves.
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I taught a class this week that brought what beading means to me right to the fore. My students were mental health patients. Age range was 20-50. I've taught a lot of classes, but to see their faces while they were concentrating so hard was enlightening. I explained to them what beading does for me. Both of the young men in my class commented on how relaxing it was for them. All I taught were basic bead embroidery stitches, but you would have thought I'd given them a gold mine. If just one of my ten students gets the enjoyment out of beading that I do, it will be well worth the time and effort.

These are people who have very little in their lives. Minimal family contact, if any and no one who really cares about them other than our staff. To us they are family. A couple of them even call me Grandma. That's okay with me. If it helps them to have an extra Grandma, who am I to complain?

To be able to share with them the joy of beading is phenomenal. As soon as they learn the basic stitches, I will set them free on their first project. I want to photograph them and show them how proud I am of them. There are some things in this world that are so right.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Indian Summer

Apparently my bead block does not apply to the Oct. page. This is not the best of pics, but it will give you an idea where I'm going with this. I just started it last weekend and so far it seems to be going okay. I found this face in San Rafael several years ago and never found the right place for it until now. The addition of the stones made me think of the last warm days before cold weather takes hold. The leaves were a serendipitous thought about fall, but when I added them, it made me think of a feathered shield that an Indian brave might carry. The blank space on the left shows one of the leaves standing on end instead of laying flat as it should. I like making my pieces textural. Besides, it's a good excuse when your beads don't behave. LOL
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Other beading

I am in a slump!!! I love the page I 'm doing for September, but I can't seem to make myself finish it. ??? Guess I'll start October and see if I can get myself going again. In the meantime, here are some of the things I've done in the jewelry range.

We are having our Bead Society Annual Bead Show this Sunday. It promised to be fun. Two rooms full of goodies. I'm sure to find something I like. Maybe it will trigger my muse once again.
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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

September beginnings

This is the beginning of my page for September. It's called "I-5". I-5 is the major interstate freeway running the length of California. In the spring it has beautiful wild flowers in the center divider. As you drive through the state you can see many of the crops grown in the Central San Joaquin Valley. There are many vineyards, hay fields, cottonfields, tomatoes, corn and thousands of orchards growing fruit and nuts of many kinds. What was once a dry wasteland is now productive farmland thanks to the canals and aquaducts crisscrossing the valley floor. This page is representational of all these things. It has been fun trying to duplicate the different crops to make them identifiable. I still need to finish the freeway, and add the corn, tomatoes and orchards.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Bead Retreat

Just got back from a Bead Retreat in the mountains with my fellow Bead Society members. What a fun weekend. We had teachers Paula Walter and CR Radding providing classes. The retreat took place at a hostel outside Yosemite. The food was good and the company outstanding. My 64 year old muscles defintely know they were walking up and down hills. Ouch. It was a treat to spend all our time beading and relaxing. Having access to great teachers for 48 hours was pretty cool too. Got a great start on my September page for BJP. I'm really happy with the way it looks so far.
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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Morro Memories

After I asked for suggestions for a name for this page, I really started looking at what I had done. I realized that I had unconsciously beaded a favorite place of mine. Morro Bay, CA is on the central coast. As you can see by the bottom picture, it has a huge rock in the bay with sand dunes creating a breakwater for the harbor. The three pearls in the gold cirlces represent the three smokestacks which are a focus of the beach skyline. This page was great fun to do. I used some of my favorite colors and also completed a bead challenge for our Bead Society. I love going to the ocean. It is sooo soothing to me. Somehow it renews my soul.
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Monday, July 23, 2007

August Update

I am having too much fun with this. I'm sure it must be illegal, immoral or fattening. With my luck it's all three. LOL. As you can see I made some progress this weekend. Took my oldest grandson to the coast and we kicked back, relaxed and had fun with each other. He's 17 and very artistic himself. He's even been known to bead a few things and worked in our LBS last summer. Haven't found the right name for this page yet. At least it's still speaking to me.
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Sunday, July 15, 2007

August start

I know, I know, July is not over yet. Can't help it. I have so many ideas running around in my head that I just have to get them beaded. LOL This page is done with most of the beads in our Bead Society challenge for this year. I wanted to do something in these colors anyway. This page will be displayed at our County Fair in October as part of our challenge. 75% of it must be from beads in the kit. It's only about a third finished.
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July- "Swinging Summer"

Finished it this weekend. So many of you guessed correctly. After all the trauma in June, It was pure pleasure to do this page. Wish I was swinging here. Had a great weekend at the coast. Took a class, bought too many beads, and just enjoyed myself.
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Thursday, July 12, 2007

July page for BJP

This is an update on my July page. I still have a few key elemnts to add. This is really outside the box for me, but it's been a fun experience. Almost like painting with beads. Outside of a few flowers, it's done in 15's. The concept has grown since I first pictured it. Can anyone guess where I'm going with this?
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Sunday, July 08, 2007


I just posted my start on my July page on my blog: It's very unusual for me to start a project with a specific picture in mind. I guess that's what this project is all about-stretching ourselves. I'll update next week.

BJP July start

Told you this one would be different for me. This picture just wouldn't leave my head so I guess I was meant to do it. Have lots to do on it yet. I keep thinking of new things to add.

It just seems to express how I feel right now. I'll be working on it hard the next two weekends at the coast. My girlfriend and I are taking a class at Kandra's this weekend. Should be fun. Next weekend I am taking my oldest grandson (17) to the coast as part of his graduation present. He's the one most like me (poor boy), and we always have a good time together. We'll probably hit every bookstore we can find.
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Sunday, July 01, 2007

"Rage" is done

My June page for Bead Journal Project is done. This has been a learning experience for me. I used this page as some serious therapy to rid myself of some anger and frustration. I wasn't sure it would work, but it did. These colors are an unusual selection for me, but they seemed to express my feelings. Who knows what next month will bring.
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Sunday, June 24, 2007

June BJP "Rage"

This is what I have done so far on my June page. This past month or so has brought many frustrations to me. Rather than explode from trying to keep them all inside, I decided to express them in colors I rarely use. The title "Rage" says it all.

I look forward to working on the pages for the rest of the year.
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Friday, June 15, 2007


Soon I will be escaping to the Central California coast. Yea! My 17 year old grandson will be going with me. It's a part of his graduation gift. I used to take him there when he was small. I know we'll have a great time. I really need to get away for a while. Both work and life in general have not been kind recently. I find myself angry and frustrated much of the time. Sometimes the pressure gets to be too much. So, instead of whining about it anymore, I'm going to do something constructive. My June page for Bead Journal Project is going to express all the rage I can put into it. I'm not sure why this is so important to me right now, but it seems to be the right thing to do. I don't know that the rest of my pages will follow this theme, but maybe I'll just express the emotions I'm feeling each month. Maybe not. My page is about half done. I'll post as soon as it's finished. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy the ocean waves.
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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Scheherezade's Garden

This is a piece I've been working on for a couple of months now. The inspiration was the beautiful face by RAMA. She made me think of Arabian nights and jewels. It was fun trying new techniques and is by far the most extensive thing I've done in bead embroidery. I'll post a better picture when I get it framed.
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Monday, May 28, 2007

New Project

No posts for a while now. I am joining the Bead Journal Project starting in June. We will each do a page for the journal each month for a year. It will be a challenge to see what I can come up with each month. I've had such inspiration from people like Robin Atkins, Barb McLean, Larkin Jean Van Horn and others that I just had to make the commitment.