Monday, November 9, 2009

Away for Awhile

I had no idea that I had not posted in my blog in so long. Its been a time of transition for me and I make changes to my daily pattern of life and living - small steps, but good ones. I'm going to have to put a schedule together so I make sure I don't let too much time go by between posts. I've started another class at the Senior Center. Last Friday we worked on Brick stitch and I worked up a quick bracelet and pair of earrings for class samples

Friday, August 14, 2009

UFO Rescue

What is a UFO? - well its an Unfinished Object in beader's terminology. I have several drawers and working boxes full of UFOs. A UFO can be something I was not super happy with, or something that is taking hours and hours worth of beading, and I just have not had the fortitude to continue with the project. Today I rescued a UFO and I'm pretty happy with it. The UFO in question started life as a pendant, but when I beaded rows of peyote around the bead, the center bead twisted and turned. I've solved the problem since, but I kept my original. I liked the colors and the herringbone shape that extended around the bead.

The UFO has found new life as an applique on a bag. The bag came to my mom as a freebie from AARP. Of course it had AARP initials on the front of the bag. I used some tacky tape to hold my UFO in place and appliqued it onto a piece of ultrasuede. The ultrasuede was appliqued on to the bag. I now have a small bag that will fit around my waist and will hold essentials (keys, pen, etc) for my trip to Kripalu this coming Sunday!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kripalu and Use the Muse

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day in Connecticut. For those of you who do not know, we have been having a rainy summer in New England. The country side is lush and verdant from all the rain, but the sky is often misty, grey and cloudy. We have had thunderstorms and lightning and heavy rain that has beaten a constant percussion of timpani against our rooftops. So we need to take advantage of the beautiful, warm sunny days.

I picked up Mom at 10:30 and we drove to the Bershires, to the Kripalu Yoga Institute. After a wrong turn and a trip through downtown Springfield we drove through Lenox Mass and up the winding driveway to Kripalu. The approach to Kripalu is beautiful, with huge trees lining the driveway and gardens full of lilies and other blooming summer perennials. People were walking, biking, and sitting and chatting as we approached. There is a tremendous atmosphere of peace and quiet and you enter the building. Mom and I had lunch in the cafeteria - tempeh chili burgers, which were delicious, salad full of herbs, and mint tea. We stopped at the bookstore and I bought the Kripalu cookbook an Eckhardt Tolle CD (Finding Your Life's Purpose) and two other CDs - Ultra Metabolism and Ultra-Prevention. And I hope to go back in the middle of August for a five day retreat. :-)

I wore my Use the Muse necklace and received many compliments on it. I was happy to have finished it. It is a variation of an old familiar design that I have done before. (I can't show the muse yet)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Creative Beading Volume IV

We actually had another sunny, beautiful day yesterday. My sister-in-law, Judi Dixon and I went to Hillcrest Museum on a butterfly walk, shopped a bit at Design Forum in Farmington (yes, another frog), ate lunch at the Copper Mill Bistro (outstanding).

I came home to a box with a book : "Creative Beading Volume IV" and a thank you note from their editor. My design for a three-tiered necklace was included! The necklace shown is in browns and plums and belongs to my sister Rachel

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hoopla 2

This is the second version of the hoops - a variation on a theme. They measure an inch in diameter.

I'm on to working up new samples of the third variation.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I've been making these earrings, and a few variations on them, for close to two years now, and am in the process of writing instructions. And...then I think I will finally dip my toes into Etsy and see what happens.
The trouble (or good thing) about these earrings is that they never seem to stay around for very long. If they are are my work table and a niece happens to come along they go home with a happy recipient, and I know that I have given my nieces something they like :-)
Hoops petite coming next.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

A Beautiful Day

Every once in a while a day comes along where everything seems to turn out absolutely right. For me, Thursday was that type of day.

My Mom got a digital camera from my sister for her 90th birthday. We've been taking baby steps as she gets used to it: (a) turn it on (b) look at the mini screen to see what your picture is going to look like (c) push the button for a picture...and on. We took a picture of the pansies in the front of her apartment. Then went to Target, then lunch and back home. I am so greatful for the companiable times we share together.

Home to find the bathing suit I had ordered from Lands End. It fit, which at my size and age is all I ask for!!!!
I went to a meeting at six, full of friends and a wonderful discussion

Later my husband came home, full of happiness from a wonderful discussion at the meeting he had attended.

The weather was beautiful, the cats behaved, all in all a pretty nice day!!! The necklace at the top of this post has happy colors in it. Its made using just one strand of Fireline, and no it goes on quickly and you are out the dooe!

Friday, May 22, 2009

What Inspires You?

I live in Granby Connecticut. Granby is a small town in Northern Connecticut, in the foothills of the Berkshires. The landscape is stitched with rock walls, put in place by early farmers, and gently rolling hills that are colored in muted greens as Spring makes its way for summer weather and brighter shades.

I am lucky enough to belong to Granby Artists Association, a group of about 35 artists in a variety of mediums. Last night we talked about what inspires us. We brought food and wine, and items that inspire. It was a wonderful discussion. Things brought: a beautiful bowl with warm glazes that moved in circles, pictures of glass sculptures that showed the amazing characteristics and tranformative abilities of glass, and a strange doohickey that no one knew the purpose of...

And of course we talked about what inspires us: color, gardening, light, the tactile experience of carving or potting. We talked about time wasters, the economy, blogging, whay people expect artists to work for free, inspirational quotes, who moved my cheese.....and more. A wonderful two hours.

I've included a picture of a bracelet I made last year as my entry in to what inspires me. Its a bracelet done in random right angle weave, inspired by Nanc Meinhardts Izzy and Lucy bracelet....and also inspired by those wonderful rock walls that stitch the landscape here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Color Play & Pattern Play

Have you ever brought a piece of fabric to the bead store to help you pick out beads for a design? Have you ever wanted to play with variations of a stitch and combine them into a cohesive piece? I picked one of my favorite pieces of fabric, a beautiful piece of celadon green with oriental symbols and brought it with me to a local bead store. I picked the beads, then played with spiral weave, and this is the result. The necklace is both a study in pushing color, and pushing pattern. I still need to write up the pattern, but that will wait until after Mom's birthday party

Friday, April 17, 2009

What my students did

I've been a bit busy lately. My Mom turns 90 and there is a party in the works. My class of students finished last week, complete with diplomas and and show and tell of the items they had finished during the eight-week class. Here are finished projects from two of the students. Classy, I think. Makes me feel so good to see the creativity and style.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Family Fun Day

Last Saturday was full of fun and hectic activity. Over 300 people attended a Family Fun Day at Holcomb Farm in West Granby Connecticut. They tried to make paper and fabric beads, brangles, watercolor, oil painting, weaving, and cartooning. Teachers were from Granby Artists Association, and I taught the fabric beads session. It was great fun to see hands of all ages make a bead with fabric wrapped in yarn and strung with wire.

Monday, March 23, 2009

More classes

I'm still working on classes at the local senior center. This class has been a bit different than the first, but they have both been fun. This group finishes their projects between classes, the last class only beaded in class. I am working on a write up for right angle weave tomorrow. I did the necklace pictured, and I am working on one right now that is in black, lime green and turquoise for a more informal look. Only three classes to go, and the eight-week session will be complete

Thursday, February 19, 2009


It snowed again yesterday. Today it is warm enough so that the snow and detritus is melting and hitting the skylights in clinks and clanks . Tuesday's class went well, and I have a nice group of students. I wondered how things would go with both new and returning students, but it was just fine. The new students listened, and the returning students got right in to their projects. This week was learning how to string. Next week we will do chains, then peyote, then brick. I taught brick medallions last time, so this time I put together a simple bracelet in brick stitch. Seems I am working with browns and golds lately. The necklace I should finish today is in the same color tones.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Getting Ready for Class

I'm getting ready for my first class - a new session at the Senior Center in Granby. Because I have three new students and five returning students, I decided to add eight new projects, or one for each week of class. Week I is basic stringing and color, and there are actually three new classes. This is one of the projects, a continuous necklace with three strands of beads. A bit different for those returning to class

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Its been snowing in New England today, followed by a light and steady rain. At 24 degrees out, the rain will form a sheet of ice that will make for fun traveling. I'm trying not to dwell on travel because I don't need to go out today. I've finished a write up for my senior center class, and will be including instructions for three pair of earrings in the class. These earrings all start the same, but have variations in the way they are completed so you have three different styles of earrings from the same basic design.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sets of Metallic Beads

It took me quite a while to build a collection of metal tone beads. I use them in the majority or items I make. This means that when I've finished a necklace or bracelet I can coordinate the item with gold or silver jewelry. I’ve tried to collect coordinating sets of beads in size 15o, 11o, 8o, and delicas. Makes and sizes and where I purchased the beads follow:

Bright gold
15o – Toho 15o #557
Size 11o – 11SB851
Delica DB 410 –
Size 8o – Toho 8o #559 –

Size 15o – Metallic Antique Gold SDB-15-4570
Size 110 Toho #11 221
Delica DB- 22
Size 80 – Miyuki #457

Bright Silver
Size 15o – Galvanized Metallic Hex beads SDB15-470Hex –
Size 11o - 11SB – 812
Delica – DB 035
Size 8o 8SB812 –metallic silver or
Galvanized metallic silver SDB8-470

Silver lined grey beads
Size 15o – Silver Lined Shadow SDB-15-21 –
Size 11o Silver Lined Grey Japanese Seed beads SDB 11-21
Delica – DB 048 –
Size 8o – SDB8 -21# Silver Lined Gunmetal

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pearl Vine and Peyote Woes

I'm working on handouts for the next class at the senior center. The class will run for eight weeks, and I am giving them eight new patterns and expanding on some of the initial information I'd given them. I'd designed the pattern for the Pearl Vine almost two years ago, but did not write it up until last week. Its a fun pattern to make and looks elegant when worn.
I'm also struggle with reading a charted peyote pattern. My eyes just don't seem to want to pick up the correct rows across the page. Very frustrating and today I'll start my forth attempt at the pattern. I have an idea for a way to make it easier to read. It it works, you will hear me shouting with joy.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Beader's Chatelaine and Getting Organized

Its quiet here today. A few inches of snow fell last night and we were just plowed. Its beautiful, but I am getting tired of winter and its only January.

I just ordered 1000 plastic bags so that I can organize all my beads. I've been thinking about doing this for awhile. The containers that I have are an amazing assortment of sizes and shapes, and although they are organized by size, I would like them to be a little neater. My treat to myself when done will be to go to Beads East in Manchester to fill in sizes and colors. I have a gift certificate that I earned when I won honorable mention at Beads East for their annual contest. I'm a wee bit embarassed to go in. My husband stood in front of the entries and announced that they were the ugliest pieces of beadwork he had ever seen! The colors and beads were challenging to work with.....but.

Anyway, my honorable mention was for a chatelaine that I can use to hold scissors, needle, a scoop and my tape measure. All things that I keep on hand all the time. Here is a picture of the chatelaine

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A New Year

Well this was easier then I thought. I spent the morning working on a newsletter for an Association that I belong to, and the rest of the day is devoted to working on a handout for a class at the Senior Center in Granby Ct. I taught my first class in beading to women in their 60s - 70s. I almost gave up at the third class, but by the end I was hooked on teaching. I think I have hooked a few of them on beading too, six of the eight have signed up for the next class. I was totally enchanted by the beautiful things these women created after they got going, and it was pure joy to get to class and see what new things they have worked on. The picture shows the sample designs they were given to work with.