Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Is What I Have Been Beading

Back in mid-November, I took a great class from Beki Haley(Out on a Whim) at the BABE Show in Oakland. It was about working with chain and beads. Being predominately a bead embroiderer, this was fairly new to me. Little did I know what I was getting myself in to. It has become a bit of an obsession. Since Thanksgiving, I have made over 50, yes I said 50, pieces. Those who know me, know I rarely go more than a few days without working on bead embroidery. I haven't done any since I took this class. Can you believe it?

I made up a few pieces to show the family at Thanksgiving and all the ladies put their orders in for Christmas gifts. I bought what I thought would be a sufficient supply of different chains while at BABE. Boy was I wrong. You know how you hate it when you are just lacking a few beads to finish a project? It's just as bad when you need just a couple of more inches of chain. I won't tell you how much I've spent on chain since BABE..........

Each piece of chain suggests a new design. Every bead I see, must be combined with just the right chain to make a beautiful necklace, earring or bracelet. In addition to making a multitude of gifts, I must have almost doubled my own jewelry stash.

How was your Christmas? Mine has been terrific! We have a good sized extended family who celebrates holidays together. We traditionally open our gifts on Christmas Eve to allow time to visit other friends and family on Christmas Day. The food is good, the company even better. The age ranges from about 10 months to those even older than me( and we all know I'm getting up there. lol). As little as I like the grandsons growing up, they have become wonderful young men. They are 21, 17 and 11 years old now, and are a pure pleasure to be around. They are funny, articulate and well mannered.

In addition to our family party, the LBS (Beads, Etc. in Clovis, CA) where I teach always has a party for staff and close friends. The food was yummy and plentiful. We exchange gifts with each other and this year I received wonderful baked goodies, candy and some great beady gifts that I will put to good use.

This time of year lends itself to reflecting on our blessings. I have a multitude of them. I have a wonderful family and friends I can call on for help and encouragement. They are always there for me. A retired RN, beading has become an obsession to me. It has literally opened up the world for me. It is such fun to go online and exchange ideas with beaders all over the world. I am truly blessed.

No matter how you celebrate this holiday season, I hope you find joy and happiness in your life for the coming year.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Finished this one

This is the cuff Sherry Serafini taught at the Beads Unique Tahoe Retreat this year. Isn't it yummy? I finished it yesterday. Obviously, I was in a hurry to get a picture of it. Can you see my reflection in the cab? LOL I will eventually take a better picture, but I wanted to blog about this class and the others we took while in Tahoe City. The weather was glorious and the company wonderful. Five of us went from Clovis/Fresno. We had a great two bedroom condo with a full kitchen and two baths. Rose, Rhonda, BJ, Billie and I drove up on Wednesday a week ago. On Thursday we had some marvelous classes with Linda Hartung and her daughter and Laura Timmons. Very talented ladies all. We (all the students) received a huge bagful of free goodies. Linda showed us another way to use Wire lace and Laura taught us how to make a beautiful crocheted wire necklace. Thursday night we had a Dessert Social, met our teachers for the weekend and bought our kits for the classes.
We had three groups of students and rotated the classes each day. We were in the Lake Group and started the weekend with Sherry Serafini, a very good place to start. Unlike other classes with Sherry, this cuff is not all bead embroidery. It has RAW with embellishments in it and is attached to the metal cuff after all beading is done. It has bling to die for and is stunning! She will have a new book coming out in 2011. Can't be too soon for me.
Saturday found us in Jeannette Cook's class. What a challenging piece she offered us. It has RAW, brick stitch, and netting in it. It has many parts, each of which is fun to work on. I will post it when I get it finished.
Jeannette is a super teacher and very patient. I wonder where she heard about the Clovis girls???? Could it be from MDC?
Sunday we had a class with Jean Campbell, beader and editor extraordinaire. What a fun class she had for us. Makes you wonder how her mind works with the pieces fitting inside other pieces to make a stunning gold cuff. We got a sneak peek at her new book! Absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to get it.
We had get togethers every evening, with drawing for more free treats and contests. Iris and I won the Challenge this year. Not bad with Clovis girls winning two years in a row.
I will blog about Jeanette's necklace and Jean's cuff as I get them finished.
It seems I am going to have some work to do over the next months. I have to finish my BJP project by January and you may be seeing me in Beads Unique soon. I also have a number of Christmas gifts to make yet.
I have to admit I am behind in my Bead Journal pages this year. I went on a major crystal binge over the summer. Can't seem to stop using those sparkly little things. lol I would feel guilty about being so far behind, but I've been having way too much fun.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

New Work

Well, our CCBS Bead Show has come and gone once again. It seemed to be successful. All the vendors looked busy most of the day. Putting on a bead show takes many people and the cooperation of all. Our CCBS President, Jennifer, headed up the show committee this year. In addition to our annual raffle, this year we also had a silent auction. There were some beautiful pieces of artwork in it. I must say, I'm glad it's over for another year, but will look forward to next year's show.

This first picture is a pendant I made for a friend's birthday. It started out to be a bracelet. lol. It just wasn't working for me so I turned it into a pendant. I haven't done any brickstitch for a while, but it made a nice bale with a little embellishment.

This is also a pendant. It was hung on a Kumihimo cord I made using the colors in the pendant. This work was part of a Kit Challenge in CCBS. We each buy a kit with all of the same beads and go from there. It's always fun. This year's kit was a bit too pastel for me, but, oh well. It's good to get out of your box once in a while.
This last picture is a soft bead embroidered cuff. Jamie Cloud Eakin challenged me to do one with just seedbeads. This is the result. The major lines are done with back stitch and the rest with moss stitch (or random picots). It was kind of fun to do this one.

Now to get back to my BJP pages. I haven't totally neglected them, but they had to take a back seat for a while.
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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Summer Vacation- Not

I didn't really have a summer vacation, per se. I did spend three days up in the Sierras on a Bead Retreat with the Central California Bead Society. It was great having Marcia DeCoster all to ourselves. As always, she was a delight. The weather was warm, but beautiful and the food was wonderful. Joy brought up some awesome wooden cigar boxes for those of us with a fetish for boxes. We also had an impromptu bead sale. All in all, a great Retreat.
This first picture is a necklace similar to one seen in a UK beading magazine. I fell in love with it and made it. Haven't decided yet whether to embellish it.

These are just a few of the earrings I have made this summer, so far. I have been on a roll with them, for sure. Many of them are made with Peacock Beads. They come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. Definitely a find for earrings.
The bracelets are a recent addiction. Russian Spiral isn't new, of course, but me working with this many crystals certainly is. LOL I remember a time when I thought crystals were "the dark side". I would seldom use them in my work. Ha! Boy, has that changed! The top bracelet is in multi shades of green. Had to go buy a top to wear with it. LOL
The second bracelet is in pinks, teals, and purples. These are colors I wear a lot.
The next one is in two shades of purple. Couldn't pass them up.
The fourth one is in all the fall colors. This one and the above were made using only two stitches around instead of three. Love the way they feel.

The last bracelet is done with three stitches around, but I found it tends to stretch a bit even when using double thread. I reinforced it by going through the spirals of seed beads. It was done with Fuchsia crystals and #648 seed beads. Gorgeous combination!

Have tons of plans for the next few months, including three bead shows, and a Retreat in Tahoe. Going to be a busy Fall.
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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Victorian Elegance

I finally quit procrastinating and took the pictures for my BFAC (Beading For a Cure) project. Just have to package it up and get it in the mail on Friday. I loved the kit this year. I knew the second I got it just what I was going to do with it. I have seen pictures of some beautiful projects with this kit. Beki Haley from Out on a Whim did a great job picking the colors this year.

Beading for a Cure was started some years ago after a fellow beader, Layne Shilling died of colorectal cancer. It's a tribute to her and a joy to see how it has grown over the years. There were 75 kits sold this year. In March and April, all the projects made with this kit will be auctioned off on eBay with the funds earned going to Colorectal Cancer Research. I'm proud to be a part of this group.

In other news, I am happy to announce that some of my bead embroidery work is going to be included in Jamie Cloud Eakin's new book which is due out in October 2011. Jamie is a prolific beader and wonderful teacher. She is one of those people who shares her knowledge of bead embroidery freely and you can tell it brings her much joy.
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Sunday, June 13, 2010

What I have been doing

Well, as usual, I have been staying busy beading. The top picture is my Red Cuff. I'm trying to make each cuff as different as possible even though I'm using the same techniques. Sometimes it's a bit of a challenge. Working with all red is definitely not my favorite color palette.
I used shell ovals as my centers in this cuff. I call it Beach. It was originally supposed to be straight on the sides, but it called for me to accent the oval shapes so the scissors came out. Working on cuffs is a great way to try new color combinations to see how they work together.

I have to give the cuffs a rest for a bit and catch up on my other beading obligations. Never fear, there will be more of them. LOL.

My friend, Sandy, and I went to an Indian Pow Wow this morning. This picture was taken there shortly before the battery in my camera died. The regalia was out of this world. The beading was exquisite. It was a treat to see whole families participating in the parade, chants, and dancing. It was pretty warm so we only stayed a couple of hours, but managed to at least get a wonderful Indian Taco for lunch. I want to go again so I can get pictures of the beautiful beadwork. It was astounding.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Latest Cuffs

These are the latest cuffs I've finished. The top one is called Southwestern Nights. I am continuing to try new patterns of beading. I want to learn to use each bead in as many ways as possible. I particularly like the beading around the cabochon. It's just one of many ways to capture a cabochon. I hope to get to all of them eventually.

Purple Shimmer was just fun to make. I needed something to wear with all the purple I own. It was also a great way to use these gorgeous 3-cuts.

Mother's Day was a bit sad for me this year. Staying busy with my beads helps a lot. I call it my therapy. Much cheaper than seeing a doctor. And at least I have something to show for it afterwards.

Taught a fun class in beading around a cabochon today. We had lots of giggles and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.
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Sunday, May 16, 2010

Copper Lace

Well, here it is. Copper Lace in its entirety. I had sooo much fun working on this cuff. I don't usually work in monochromatic color schemes, but it was fun and I will do it again. With just the one cab, it fits like a dream.

These are the seedbeads I rescued from Out on a Whim. Can you believe they had them just sitting out there for anyone to see them? I knew they were mine immediately. Beki and Shawn, along with Shawna, Nikki, Tracy and the rest of their crew were not fast enough to stop me. It was wonderful to see everyone there and have the chance to visit with them. It is always like old home week when we get together.
This picture shows the strands of small gemstones, etc. that I love to use in my bead embroidery. I just can't seem to get enough of them. I also picked up some earring findings and a few cabs to play with.

This last picture makes me drool. They are all either charlottes or 3cuts. Makes the work and the world sparkle.

All in all, the train trip to NorCal was a blast. Eight of us went on the train and we met a couple more CCBS members who had driven up. They were on their way to Camp Paradise for a retreat. Hope they have fun. There were lots of good vendors, but the crowds weren't as dense as usual. Those who were there seemed to be buying though. I was able to talk to Janet Farris for a bit. She's so busy these days, I only get to see her at shows. Had a nice visit with Lisa Kan at her booth. Her work is incredible. It was a good kind of tired I was feeling by the time we got home last night.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sneek Peek at new cuff

Here is a peek at my newest cuff. Those who know me, know I am not a monochromatic girl. Usually I go for brights and lots of contrasts. When I started pulling beads for this cuff, I kept putting back all the sharply contrasting beads. They didn't satisfy me somehow. I also tend to work in color blocks, but I am working out some new (for me) patterns with this cuff. What do you think?

As in my last couple of cuffs, I am using no peyote, or other conventional stitches. I'm also only using one stone. Very different for me. I am going to explore using different techniques for a while and see where it takes me.

I'm looking forward to taking the train with friends up to Oakland for the NorCal Bead Bazaar this Saturday. It's sure to be a wonderful show. I know Out on a Whim will have all kinds of new goodies to buy and I'll be looking for some different kinds of focal pieces for my bead embroidery. I'll be sure to take pictures of my stash when I get back so I can share them.
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Just Cuff Me

I have been on a bead embroidery binge lately. Does that surprise anyone? I didn't think so. These are two cuffs I recently finished. I am working on a pendant to go with the top one. I have recently learned some new techniques which are improving my work. The top cuff is called Ocean Deep and the bottom one is called Forest Pools. Have you ever noticed that it is sometimes harder to name a piece than it is to make it?

I just got back from a week at the coast. It was heaven! I went with a friend and we had such a good time. Rested a a lot..... shopped a lot.... and of course, beaded a lot. Was able to have dinner with my oldest grandson and his girlfriend. That is always a treat. They are working and going to college in San Luis Obispo. I'm very proud of them.

Went right back to work at Beads, Etc in Clovis when I got back to town. My middle grandson and his other grandmother came in to see me. He's 16. The youngest grandson is almost 11 now and very busy into sports. I love them all dearly.

Well, back to work now. I have to do some writing for the Central California Bead Society newsletter. It's a very active group and I enjoy it immensely.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

And there is a winner!

I am officially a lucky, lucky person. I have managed to win both of these wonderful examples of exquisite beadwork from the Beading for a Cure Auctions so far this year. Not sure I've stopped bidding yet. LOL. The top picture is a mermaid by Dale Subitch and the Dragonfly is by Ellen Chasse. The auctions are still going on so take a look and make a bid or two. You might be as lucky too. Go to and click on the Auction button. That will take you to the eBay site. Good luck!
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Just finished

I just finished this necklace about an hour ago. It's called Bohemian Lace and is one of the classes I took a couple of weeks ago from Melanie Doerman. If you ever get a chance to take a class from her, jump on it. She's terrific! This is way outside my normal box. As most of you know, I'm very in to bead embroidery. It was so much fun making all the components for this necklace. Now I need to make a bracelet to match.

In other news, I am working hard to finish my BFAC pieces for next year's auction. I made a hard cuff (see last blog entry) and am currently making a necklace to match it.

Don't forget this year's auctions are still going on. See . I won a gorgeous 22" mermaid doll a couple of weeks ago. Haven't taken a picture yet, as it's currently at our LBS, Beads, Etc. in Clovis being admired by everyone. Must take my camera in tomorrow. The doll maker is Dale Subitch. She did a beautiful piece of art there.
I love bidding on the auction items. The money goes to Colorectal Cancer research. You can pick up some stunning artwork for not too much money.

I was privileged to take another class recently. The teacher was Jamie Cloud Eakin. She is writing an new book and tried out her new technique on a small group of beaders. It was such fun and soooo inspirational. I have so many ideas buzzing around in my head right now. Too little time to do all of them, even if I beaded all day, every day.

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BFAC Preview

I just couldn't stand not to share this with someone. This cuff is from the current BFAC kit. I fell in love with the colors immediately and knew right away what I wanted to do with it. These pictures are not the ones which will accompany my entry this year, but just some I took at home today.
This is the first time I have made a cuff on a metal blank. I did it specifically so it would fit more wrists. I prefer to make what I call soft cuffs that wrap easily around the wrist, but they must be made to fit a specific size wrist. The blank makes it more versatile. I am also going to make a matching pendant necklace to wear with it. It may be that it will be auctioned off separately. I'm not sure yet. In any
case, it was a pure pleasure to work with these colors. While I immediately thought of black, this kit lends itself to many different color combinations. I can't wait to see what everyone else does with it.

The bottom picture is a close up of the sides toward the back of the cuff.

Be sure to check out our current auctions on Beading for a Cure. You can reach them by going to and clicking on the auction button. You can also see the Galleries for years past. Check it out. I know you will enjoy the variety of beaded objects done by some wonderful bead artists.

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Suddenly It's Spring

We are having a warm spell here . No rain for a change and in the mid 70's. I could live with this year around.

This top picture is of one of the headlands in Cambria. It's right across the street from where I stayed last week. It was a little bit of heaven. I was able to spend a good bit of time with my oldest grandson, David, and his girlfriend, Brittany. They are the greatest kids.

The last two pictures I took at the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo. Brittany and I had lunch there. Good food and beautiful surroundings. Aren't those tulips gorgeous?

I actually took the train and bus over there which was quite comfortable and inexpensive. Now that I know that, you can bet I will be going more often. It had been way too long since I had seen and heard the ocean.

I've been working on my BFAC kit project. It's coming along nicely. Hope to have a picture to show you soon.

Speaking of BFAC, the auctions are going on now in ebay. Go to our website at: and click on Auctions. There are some wonderful works of art being auctioned each week. Check it out.

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Have you ever made one?

Have you ever made a Bottle of Hope? Do you know what that is? I first became aware of BOH when I started doing polymer clay many years ago. I can remember several of us sitting around a big table with swirling mixes of PC in front of us. We decided to do BOH as a project. We covered small medication bottles with clay and decorated them to our hearts content. Some time later one of our teachers (Rhonda) taught us how to bead around them. The variations are infinite, depending on the beads you use. You can do peyote, netting, etc. or even, as in the above case, in bead embroidery. These bottles are then given to cancer patients as a symbol of hope for their recovery. It is a very worthwhile project. It is understood that these bottles are never to be sold, but are to be given as gifts. I have seldom found a more satisfying way to provide encouragement to those suffering from this dreaded disease. Try making one. Give it away. You will see what I mean.
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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Quick Peek at May

Just a quick peek at my May page. Can you guess what it is? Most of it is done in 15/0's with a few 11/0's thrown in. This one is very labor intensive, but I think it will be worth it. I found out it's hard to photograph all those off white beads. I'm off to teach a Freeform Peyote bracelet at Beads, Etc. today. Should be fun.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Well, I just sent off my payment for my BFAC (Beading for a Cure) kit for this year. I can't wait to get it and see what colors we'll be working with. I'm not sure exactly what I'll be doing this year. Have to wait until I get the kit. I know it will be gorgeous as Beki Haley is making up the kits this year. Do you think it might have a rivoli in it? LOL.

The proceeds from the auction, which starts in March , will go to Colorectal Cancer research. Watch my blog for further info about the auctions. This is done in memory of a friend of our group named Layne. She succumbed to this kind of cancer several years ago.

In other news, I am about a third of the way finished with my May page. Once again, it will be different from the others. I am trying for a more dimensional look on this page. It will include some beautiful little star flowers I learned from Beki Haley while at the Tahoe Retreat this past October.

More later.......

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tropic Carnival

Finished this a few minutes ago. Is it bright enough for you? I started out with the large square bead with the stripes. Does anyone know what it is? It's known as Fordite. In truth, it is made up of many colors of automotive paint. I pulled all my colors from this bead. As I worked, I realized it made me think of all the Carnival celebrations in Rio and the Caribbean islands. The ruffles made me think of the beautiful costumes. If you look closely, you will see some of the irridescent sequins that you might find on those costumes.

This page is for April and is called Tropic Carnival. I don't usually work with such a variety of hot colors, but it just seemed to call for it. It was a fun page to work on. Guess I'll have to start thinking about the next one. LOL.
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