Thursday, December 31, 2009

Goodbye 2009

Can you believe this year is over as of today? In many ways it has been a good year: Sharing with friends and family, going to Retreats and bead shows, and beading.
Unfortunately, it has also been a sad year. Losing family members and friends is always sad. This post is dedicated to those who no longer walk beside us. This piece of bead embroidery has been done since Christmas. I've spent so much time thinking of my friend, Lora, and her fight to overcome Inflammatory Breast Cancer that I decided to call this piece "Lora's Song". She was a friend to many and always positive and upbeat. She will be missed.

I have a good feeling about 2010. I think it will be a creative, productive year for all of us. Tomorrow we start our third year of the Bead Journal Project. What a blessing that has turned out to be for many of us. Robin Atkins has touched so many people with this project and continues to do so.

May all of you have a wonderful New Year, and may you love, laugh and be happy for all your days. Be safe this holiday and be creative, no matter what your chosen medium.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wish It Were Snowing

Merry Christmas everyone!

These pictures were taken in Tahoe during our Retreat there in October. Sure wish it would snow just this much here in Fresno/Clovis for the holidays. Not bad to drive in, yet beautiful to look at.
We have received a good bit of rain, but it's not the same. Guess I should be thankful for the rain. We needed it soooo much.

I'm sitting here listening to Christmas carols and thinking of all of you. For you, I wish a happy, joyful holiday. May you have all your wishes come true and may you enjoy your families in this Blessed season.

I will be spending my Christmas with my family and friends. I am blessed to have them so close by me. Every time I look at my grandsons, they have grown another inch. They are 20, 16, and 10 years old. I am so proud of all three.

I am also fortunate to have a wonderful beady family here. They are my sisters of the heart. Then there are all of you, who I know from the Internet. I've been lucky enough to meet many of you in person and it's as if I have known you all my life. How blessed I am.

Have a wonderful holiday and I'll see you next year.

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Printer is fixed!

Hurrah! I now have a new printer. Once again, I can share pictures. These are two of my favorites from the Tahoe Retreat. Dustin and Beki look like they are having a giggle, don't they? Nikki, Dustin, Sherry and Marcia always add to the fun of a party.

It seems like I have been doing a lot of everything but beading lately. I know I've been buying beads like I was running out of them at home. NOT!

I am working on a new bracelet design right now. Of course, it is bead embroidery, but is not a cuff. I hope to have some pics of it soon.

Is everyone ready for Christmas? For a change, I have most of my shopping done. I started back in September. This is something I never do. I am a world class procrastinator and usually am scrambling to finish at the last minute. I am actually looking forward to the holidays this year, which is something I can't always say.

More soon.......
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving to all

I wanted to wish all of you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I hope you are able to spend it with family and friends. May this holiday find you all well and happy.

A fervent thank you to all our troops for your sacrifices being away from your families and loved ones at this time. You are all in my prayers.

As you can tell, I haven't fixed the picture problem yet, but it will be done soon. My tech support grandson will look at it this weekend for me.

It's been a busy late Summer and Fall for me. We had our local Bead Show in September. Several of us immediately went to Tahoe for a Retreat. What a ball that was! We took three great classes from Beki Haley, Marcia DeCoster and Sherry Serafini. Just as soon as we returned to Clovis, we had a maraton weekend of classes through our Bead Society and our local bead store, Beads, Etc. in Clovis. We topped that off two weeks later with a class from Leslie Frazier. That just about classed me out. LOL. I have way too many patterns running around in my head right now.

We changed our annual trek to the BABE(Bay Area Bead Extravaganza) Show. Instead of going for several days, we took the train up for just one day. Seemed kind of strange to not be staying at the hotel this year, but there is always next year. It sure didn't stop us from shopping! I have been working at our LBS three days a week and teaching classes as needed. I just got permission from the owner to set up an area focused on Bead Embroidery. Just ask me how jazzed I am about that!!!

Have a wonderful holiday.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Two Things

I want to smile every time I think about this last weekend. We returned last evening from the Bead Unique Tahoe Retreat totally exhausted, but replete in all the beadiness we were able to indulge in all weekend. Great classes by even greater teachers made each day a delight. Often, after taking a class, I will neglect to finish the project due to disinterest after learning the technique. Not this time! All three classes were totally interesting and will be finished ASAP. I plan to wear them all proudly.

The staff who planned and executed the retreat are to be commended for their diligence and unfailing good grace. They were cheerful and helpful in all ways. There were so many sponsors it would be impossible to name them all. To say a mere thank you is not enough. We all received a goodie bag filled with beads, tools and patterns and I, personally plan to make good use of them. Then to provide snow was a bonus we hadn't anticipated. How nice of you. It was a beautiful venue and endlessly entertaining.

Of course, no thank you would be complete without mentioning Pam, Beki and Shawn. Pam, I know you and Beki worked unceasingly to provide us with the ultimate in retreats. You succeeded very well. Beki, thank you for sharing your beloved Shawn with all of us. I don't know what we would have done without him. It was so nice to touch bases with Russell again and to get to know Joanna and all the rest of the retreat planners. You all gave us a rare treat and deserve our thanks.

While at the retreat, I was able to share with others about one of my other passions. The Bead
Journal Project. I've been a part of it for two years now and have signed up for a third year. It is such a fun way to share with others and make them a part of your life. Robin Atkins started it in 2007 to encourage beaders to share their feelings and work with others. I hope she knows how much good it has been for so many of us. I can't encourage you enough to look into joining us in January. Go to: to learn about it and sign up for next year. Whether you are a beginning beader or an expert, there is something for all in the BJP.

Just as soon as I get my new printer up and running, I will post pics from the retreat.

Happy Beading!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kit Work

These four pictures are the pieces I did from our Bead Society kit this year. There were many beautiful and diverse art pieces made from this kit. Of course, the colors were right up my alley.

This first piece had an odd shaped donut that cried out for fringe. Did I ever tell you I hate fringe? It never seems to lay right for me. Oh well.

This necklace includes three lampwork discs made by one of our local bead makers, Vicki Cedarquist. I love using them in my work.
This piece is one of my "hats". Apparently, viewed from the top, it looks like an old fashioned decorated hat. I must be getting in a rut as several people have made the same comment about some of my pin/pendants.
You can never go wrong making a freeform peyote bracelet from a kit. There are always lots of options for embellishments.

It's been a busy week for me. I helped our LBS owner, Becky, in her booth at the Woman's Conference on Tuesday last. It was tiring, but fun. Robin Roberts from Good Morning America was an inspiring speaker. We were able to talk to hundreds of women about the shop and how much fun beading is.

The above pieces were displayed at our annual CCBS Bead Show on Sunday along with those of other members. It was a nice display and will be at our County Fair in October as well.

A week from tomorrow we leave for the Bead Unique Bead Retreat in Tahoe. I'm really getting excited about it
. I need to get Marcia's book out and brush up on RAW. I do use it often, but practice never hurts. Beki Haley's class will give me a really blingy necklace when finished. Hope it goes with my jeans and teeshirts. LOL. I know I will get a lot from Sherry's class. I feel like my work is a bit static right now and I'm hoping she can give me some suggestions to improve it.

I took some pictures at our show and of some of my newer works, but Picasa is being stubborn today and won't take them. I'll try again later. Have a great beady day!
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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Swap Pins

Here are two of the pins I will swap while in Tahoe for the Bead Unique Retreat. It's getting closer all the time and we are all getting excited about our trip. There are six of us coming from the Fresno/Clovis area. We'll be sharing a two bedroom suite and even have a full kitchen. All reports state the Retreat site is beautiful and will be perfect for our purposes. I still have to finish my UGLY project but it is coming along nicely. Have to make a run to Michael's before I can finish it. I can't wait to see everyone else's work.

I have admired the work of many of the attendees for years. It will be such fun to finally meet them all and be able to exchange ideas and techniques. The Internet made it possible for so many of us to get to know one another over the years. Now BU has made it possible for us to get together in person. The classes scheduled should be loads of fun.

I'd best get back to work now. Have lots to do for our Women's Conference on Tuesday and then our CCBS Bead Show on Sunday. Then only 10 days until we go to Tahoe.
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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Last Two BJP Pages

Finished on time! Yay! Talk about leaving it until the last minute. This first page is called Summer Flair. I got the fabric in a scrap bag a couple of years ago and couldn't resist using for my July page. It's a flannel fabric, but just seemed to be perfect for a velvety summer night sky. Following through on using texture, it was fun finding the right beads to show off the flaring fireworks.
My last page comes from a class I recently took from Annie Hesse. She came to our LBS to teach a doll class. Once started, it was difficult to put the face down until it was finished. I just had to show her off on my August page. Annie's class was pure, unadulterated fun. She is funny and knowledgeable and oh so patient. She is a doll herself. I call this page Bad Hair Day. LOL

This ends the BJP for this year, but you can bet I will be signing up for another year come October 1st. Knowing I have this project ongoing all year keeps me focused. I can plan my other projects around it and make better use of my time. Part of me wants to change sizes for this next year, but then again, I do like working in the 4x6" size. Not sure what I will do yet. Lots of time to make up my mind.

I have been busy getting ready for our annual Bead Show here in Fresno. We will have 30 vendors this year. It will be held on September 20th, a Sunday. If anyone wants directions, let me know. It's always lots of work, but lots of fun too.

Almost immediately after the show, six of us from here will head for Tahoe and the Bead Unique Retreat. Can't wait! I'll finally have a chance to meet some of my online friends in person. Lots of swaps, and interesting projects to finish before then. One of them is an Ugly Beaded Object. Have you ever tried to make something ugly on purpose? Not as easy as one might think.
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Monday, August 03, 2009

June BJP Page

One more done! I was given this beautiful example of polymer clay work a couple of years ago. I could never decide exactly what to do with it. It just seemed to fit a June wedding theme. The background fabric is a lovely piece of silk I had in my stash. I love the color combinations in the clay. It made choosing colors for the page very easy. Once again, texture is all. I have July's page almost done as well. I'll post it when it's finished. You never know, I just may get done on time after all.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

May BJP Page

This is my May BJP page. It's called "Friends". I found these wonderful gemstone faces online and knew I had to do something with them. They represent my beady friends who have become my family. I have been trying to add more texture to my pages this year. Small keishi pearls and gemstone chips have added a new dimension I think. I can't believe we are so close to the end of the year. I still have three pages to do, but expect to be done soon. I had to get some "real life" things out of my way so I could concentrate on my pages.
This cuff was inspired by the beautiful cabs I bought recently in San Mateo. I love turquoise and copper together. I enjoy making cuffs so much I am toying with the idea of doing them for BJP next year. Kelly's beautiful cuffs have made me want more of them.
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Saturday, July 04, 2009

Celebrate our Youth

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Being the patriotic soul that I am, this has always been a favorite holiday for me. Many years ago, I was married to an Army Officer. I got first-hand experience with wondering if my husband would make it home safely from Viet Nam. I can surely appreciate the angst families go through when their young people are in a war zone. These young men and women sacrifice their all to keep us a free nation.

It behooves us to think often and long about these young people who guard our freedom. Where would we be without their sacrifices? They fought for us at Pearl Harbor, on the beaches of Normandy, in the jungles of Viet Nam and now in the desert sands. They give their lives that we may live in freedom.

When you see a young man or woman in uniform, say thank you. Thank you for standing between us and the possibility of tyrannical dictators who have no concern for human life. Thank you for allowing us to vote for our leaders and to change that vote when necessary.

You are the lifeblood of our nation. Without you, we couldn't survive. Bless you and your families who give so much.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Just Coasting Lately

I have just been coasting for the past month or so. I have little motivation to do anything. I'm hoping it's just an accumulation of sad events that have happened recently. We had an unexpected death in the family, one of my best friends was seriously ill and I received bad news from another relative. This all happened within a two week period. I'm not sitting around crying or anything, but find myself strangely apathetic. I'm finding it difficult to stick to any one thing long enough to finish it.
I find myself doing things that are relatively mindless, such as making 52 pair of earrings, and spending my time tagging things for our LBS, etc. I'm being productive, but not creative, if you know what I mean. I need a jump start to get my engine running full speed again. Does anyone have any suggestions? I can think of all kinds of things I want to do, but starting them is something else again.

Friday, May 22, 2009

April BJP and Extras

One more page done! This is my April page and it's called "Awakening" The inspiration for this page is a raku bead by RAMA. With her soft leaves just unfurling, it seemed the perfect focal for April. Of course, here in the West, the heat has come on with a bang this year, while other parts of the country are still almost in winter. My background fabric is a batik of frangiapani. I have been trying to do some new (to me) techniques this year instead of covering every inch of fabric with beads. Sometimes, it's harder this way.

Since I blogged last, I've been staying busy. Had a ball doing a Car Show here in Clovis. Sold a little bit, but was able to advertise for our LBS classes, so it was a good day. The best part, is that it was a benefit for the Shriner's. These folks do so much good for children who are ill. I hope I can always lend my time to projects like this.

I fell in love with these heart beads by Grace Ma . They lend themselves to being used as charms on a simple spiral bracelet. Grace's lampwork beads work well in bead embroidery projects as well as focals in other jewelry projects.
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Friday, May 01, 2009

Spring Pond

Is it raining where you live? We just got a storm in from the coast and the rain is pouring, the eves are dripping on the patio and I wish I had a fire going. It's not cold, but a fire would be cozy, don't you think? I know we need the rain as much as ever. If we're lucky we may get some snow in the higher elevations. That would be even better. I know we sure don't want another fire season like last year.

This page is called Spring Pond. It's my March page for BJP. I found the cute bone carvings at BABE this past November and couldn't resist them. Of course I had no idea what I would do with them, but when has that ever mattered? Now I'm only one month behind. Yay for me!

What are all of you working on right now? Besides my BJP pages, I continue to work on my BFAC project. A friend of mine asked the other day if I was ever going to do anything but bead embroidery again. It made me laugh. I still do a fair amount of beadweaving and of course, I am still teaching both at Beads,Etc. in Clovis. I can't help it if the embroidery calls to me. I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction out of finishing each piece.

I am officially signed up for the Retreat at Tahoe. I can't wait. Several of us from here are planning to go. I've taken Marcia DeCoster's classes before and they are a treat! She makes even RAW fun. I know I will enjoy Beki Haley's class as well. Her work is always so meticulous. For me though, the big draw this trip will be Sherry Serefini's class. I have admired her work for years and never thought I would be lucky enough to take one of her classes. I will be in heaven for sure. LOL

On to my April and May pages now.
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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

January and February BJP

I am slowly, but surely catching up with my BJP pages. This first one is for February. I loved the plummy colors in the batik fabric and found a bead from Grace Ma that fit perfectly. This page kind of symbolizes a new growth to me. Seeds are planted and lo and behold we see the flowers starting to appear. I've been experimenting this year, trying to get out of the habit of totally encrusting my pages. Sometimes that is difficult for me. I have a tendency to think more beads is always better. I'm trying to break that habit. Of course, working with focals such as this one is such a pleasure. Grace's beads are exquisite.

This page is for January. It is called Shadow of Winter. The focal face cabochon is by Klew. The swirled lampwork bead is by Vicki Cedarquist who belongs to our Central California Bead Society and always participates in our CCBS Bead Show each September. I love the subtle color changes in this batik and it was so perfect for this face cab.

Eventually I will get caught up with my pages. I 'm currently working on March and am already thinking about April's page. Procrastination is one of my most prolific habits and I do it very well. I continue to work on my BFAC project for this year.

I am finally beginning to see progress in my goal to spread the joy of bead embroidery. This week has been very special in that I have had some of my students bring me finished or nearly finished works of their art. I'm so pleased to see that they have enjoyed working on
them. Some of them even plan to do more. This makes teaching worthwhile.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Items

A few weeks ago I was contacted by to use and evaluate a new product for them. I chose this decorative bead. It is an onyx bead with a painted decal on it. I loved the design immediately. As I do predominately bead embroidery these days, it was important to me to have a focal that would compliment my work. This bead lived up to my expectations. The intricate design made it easy to choose colors for my work. My piece is a pin/pendant which makes it more versatile in your jewelry wardrobe. The mix of blues and greens makes it perfect for spring and summer. I would recommend checking out the many items available at You're sure to find something you like there.
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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A New Era

Well, I officially consider myself a Senior Citizen now. I turned 66 years old today. This past year and a half has been a real experience for me. I retired from nursing and have had to discover a whole new way of living. Some of it has not been fun, but the majority of it has been a blast. Initially, I learned that I can exist on a very tight budget. Fortunately for me, I don't have to do that. Once I got myself and my finances organized, I'm in much better shape than I thought I would be. Just knowing that has made the past year more enjoyable.

What am I doing with myself? I volunteer at our local bead store which is owned by one of my dearest friends. I work 2-3 days a week for her and love doing it. I teach, run the register occasionally and help the customers. What a joy it is to share my love of beading with others. Each day is a new experience. We have everything from new beaders, to fishermen making lures coming in on a regular basis. What fun it is to talk to them and learn about their beading experiences.

When I'm not at the shop, I bead and read a lot. Both things bring me enjoyment. While I do beadweaving and teach the same, my obsession is bead embroidery. From the moment I learned to sew beads on a piece of fabric, I was hooked. Having such bead embroiderers as Robin Atkins, Larkin Van Horn and Sherry Serefini to emulate is wonderful. Through them and blogging, I have met so many wonderful beaders and learned so much from each of them. I love the work of my fellow Bead Journal Project beaders. I've discovered how to put myself into my bead work and find that very satisfying. I can always tell when my emotions are not involved in my work. It is usually very pedestrian and I find I don't enjoy working on it nearly as much.

One of the things I have enjoyed most lately is corresponding with the friends I have made online. It's great to learn more about each of them and share beading stories. Sometimes they make me laugh and sometimes they make me cry, but I wouldn't trade these friends for anything. Each one of them adds joy to my life. You can't ask for better than that.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rainbow Gold

Had to take a few minutes to post my March doll for BAD. She is called "Rainbow Gold". I do enjoy making these little dolls. I love trying to make each one different.
I've been busy this month except for last week. I fell victim to the dreaded flu bug. Much better now except for my voice and cough. At least I feel like I will live. LOL. I discovered one bad thing about being home everyday. It leaves you way too much time to play and buy on the internet. My poor bank balance will never be the same. I continue to add to my faceted gemstone collection. I'm learning a lot and
really enjoying the collection.
I worked Monday and Wednesday at our LBS. Today I was doing my civic duty on jury duty. It's not always fun, but is necessary. Looks like I will spend tomorrow there as well. (Sigh!) Saturday looks to be fun though. Our local Bead Society is having their annual potluck and sale. It's not really a bead show as such, but a way for us to sell off unwanted beads and finished jewelry. I love this sale as I always find something I want or need. And just think! It was in a friend's stash all along.
I'm working hard on my BFAC project for 2010. The kit this year is wonderful and includes a beautiful lampwork bead. I'll take some progress pics soon and post them. I love working on projects like this. There is always the challenge of working with beads that I didn't select and knowing the profits go to a worthy cause such as Colorectal Cancer Research makes it that much better. Our 2009 Auction is going on now on Ebay. Just go to and click on the currant auction button. All the items were made from last year's kit. Lots of great eye candy there. Be sure to look at the previous years Galleries too. You will get a ton of ideas.
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Sunday, March 01, 2009

BJP Pages

Better late, than never. I have become a behinder this year.
This first page is for November. It was inspired by the historic election that took place in November. I have always been proud to be an American, but never more so than now. To see our country rally and stand behind a man of vision, no matter the color of his skin was wondrous to behold. I'm not a particularly political person, but it did my heart good to see the USA step out of a dark part of our past, and embrace the future together.

The second page is for December. This has always been a month for reflection for me; looking back over the past year and learning from it. I have officially been retired for a year now. My life is good. I have a loving family, the best of friends and last, but not least, my beady family. What more could a person ask?

Now on to my January, February and March pages.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Busy Month so far

Have I been on a spiral kick? You bet I have. Just can't seem to get enough of them all of a sudden. I also have one with pearls that I don't have a picture of yet.

top three are bracelets I made with crystals.

The necklace is made with turquoise chips. I love the organic look.

This last piece is one I made after taking a class with Kandra of Kandra's Beads. She has been a guest teacher at our LBS, Beads, Etc. in Clovis several times now. Her classes are always interesting and fun.

I am trying to catch up on all my projects, but am spending three days a week at Beads, Etc. now. I have way too much fun there playing with beads and meeting so many interesting people. I continue to teach there as often as possible. I find that every class I teach, I learn something new as well. I feel very fortunate to have a group of beady friends that have become more like family to me. We share not only beading, but our daily lives. What a wonderful sisterhood.

My friend called me last week and invited me to a bead session at her house. Three of us had dinner and beaded for hours. I spent the night at her place and we beaded until after 3am. Was I tired? Of course. Was it worth it? Way beyond worth it. I'm inspired by the interaction of our group and the constant bombardment of ideas when we get together. Who could ask for more?
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Thursday, January 29, 2009

New Items

Here are two of the newest things I have been working on. The doll is my entry for the January Challenge on Beaded Art Dolls on Yahoo. I am finding it great fun to come up with different designs each month using the same doll pattern. I wear them frequently as pendants, but they can also be worn as pins.

I went on a face making kick recently. I supply faces for my LBS, Beads, Etc. in Clovis, CA. The owner of the shop has made it into a fun, comfortable place to shop, learn and bead. She is always bringing something new for us. Her regular customers and teachers have
become more like a family and frequently just go to the shop to hang out and bead.

The second picture is of a piece I did in a class by Kandra of Kandra's Beads. She brings an energy and enthusiasm to her classes that make them lots of fun. Even those beaders who had never done bead embroidery before produced spectacular results. We all immediately started thinking about doing another piece.

Other than that, I have been continuing to work on more pendants and have plans for a collar soon. I just finished teaching a class on brooches for our local Bead Society. It was a blast! We had 25 women beading like crazy. We'll all turn in our brooches for a Challenge next month. I continue to teach various classes at Beads, Etc. as well.

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