Friday, December 3, 2010

Marge and Martha's multi strand necklaces

Martha came to class one day and said that she would like to make a necklace like the one worn by an actress she had seen on Oprah. Marge found a picture and sent it to me. I drew up a pattern. They both made the necklace. Martha's is in the silver tones, Marge's is in the bronze colors that she favors. I think that they turned out wonderfully.

Aline's necklace

Aline had come to all four of my classes at the senior center. Early on she fell in love with spiral stitch. Her sisters have fallen in love with the necklaces she has created from spiral stitch, and she has made several versions of her colorways. I love this one that she made to match a blazer she owns. The colors are so very bright and cheery.

Its not crochet bracelet by Nancy

Peaking out from Nancy's jacket was a herringbone bangle. I'd written up this pattern over four years ago, and have never done anything with it, other than give it to my students as a pattern. Nancy came in today with this beautiful version, done it matte colors that matched her sweater. She also had a beautiful necklace made from lampwork beads that I did not get a picture of. Next week hopefully.

Next to Last Class Session at the Senior Center

Necklace by Tannia

One more class at the senior center, and I will be done with another eight week session. I've had a wonderful group of students, and I was just awestruck today at the beautiful things that they have created. The group of women are wonderful too, and we've built some very meaningful friendships. Next week, I'll ask them to bring in all of the things that they have finished. The necklace above was made using six rows of chevron chain. It hangs beautifully, but I could not convince Tannia to let me take a picture of it on her neck. It truly looks spectacular on. I love her use of lampwork beads as a closure, letting her adjust the length of the necklace depending on what she is wearing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Chevron Chain Necklace

I have a copy of "The Art and Elegance of Beadweaving" by Carol Wilcox Well. I had never done chevron chain and decided to make the Ribbon Choker by Dawn Dalto that is in the book. Problem is, chokers don't really look that good on 61 year old necks. (At least this 61 year old neck.)So I extended the choker so that it fit at the base of my neck, added size 15o see beads to the top row of chevron chain to stabilize it, and finished it with a sterling silver clasp rather than ribbon. Very classic and easy to wear.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Inspired by Jane Fonda

Jane Fonda appeared on the Oprah show recently. Of course looking as elegant as ever. And she had this gorgeous necklace on. Simple and elegant, nestling at the base of her neck just perfectly. My class at the Senior Center challenged me to see if I could make something similiar. And it looked like seed beads. And swarovksi crystal. and Pearls. Here is my take on the necklace. Fun and simple to make and it feels wonderful on. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lorelei Michael's Blog Challenge

Lorelei Eurto sponsored a blog challenge for anyone to participate in. Participants were asked to go to Michaels and purchase a set of beads and make a necklace. Additions could be two types of beads, a clasp (which we could make) and a focal.  I went for a multi-strand Chico's type of look. My two types of beads were seed beads in an amber and a cream.  The green pearls were smaller than the rest of the beads, so to make them into larger components, I wove them into margeurite beads and used the amber beads to make a chain. I like the two stranded effect of the amber beads, but will redo this chain and use metal seed beads. I chose not to add a toggle - the necklace is long enough to slip over my head. I have a jade butterfly that I wanted  to use as a focal, but could not find it anywhere.....time to clean!! I absolutely love the colors - they are nice and crisp and clean, and wanted to to the challenge because I do very little stringing - mostly beadweaving. I think there is a trick and a talent to stringing a necklace that is interesting and wearable.  Now you may want to head over to Lorelei's blog - check the necklaces made by people who do not blog, and click on the links to see what other people did.  Thanks Lorelei - this was fun.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Yesterday's Class at the Senior Center

Yesterday I held my first class at the Senior Center. Passed out packets of information: general beading, stringing and fringing packets. I'm converting all my patterns to Open Office from Microsoft and organizing them by type. I'm working on another version of Hera's jewels, which teaches fringing, and we talked about taking a pattern from a designes and recreating it using different supplies. I have one new student, and we pulled beads from her stash to make Hera's jewels as her first project.

Sandy came to class with a lovely necklace that he had finished and given to her niece for her birthday. Her niece wanted the necklace longer, so she worked on lengthening it. I designed this project to teach flat peyote and used metallic beads for the bar that holds the pendant. Sandy used beautiful blue delica beads for her bar. I think it is a lovely interpretation - once its longer, I hope her niece wears it often

Friday, October 15, 2010

First class at Senior Center and new patterns

I woke up this morning to pitch dark and the steady timpanny of rain. Its light out now, and I am packing for the first class at the senior center. Seven old friends, and one new student, who sounds excited and happy to be at class.

I am redoing all my patterns in Open Office - my computer is one its last legs, and I do not want to pay for the Microsoft Office Suite (Yankee). I am loving the drawing program.

Class today will cover design, color, stringing and fringing. Nine patterns to choose from - including the two new patterns for a dragonfly and Hera's Jewels - a new necklace I designed this summer.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Summer Drop in and Bead - Marge's Laura McCabe Necklace

A few members of my class have joined me on Fridays this summer, working on their own projects. My friend Marge completed this lovely necklace based on an early pattern by Laura McCabe. I love her use of color. 

Class begins on Friday and runs for eight weeks. All the students are "returns" and one new member. I've been busy this summer designing new patterns and am looking forward to the weeks ahead  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Painting with Laura J. Eden

I was about ready to hang up my paintbrushes and John Pike palette, but that has all changed. Yesterday Mom and I went to our first painting class with Laura Eden Laura is a great friend and a fellow artist of Granby Artist's Association. I'd taken a class from Laura years ago and learned so much from her style of teaching. The painting I created in that class is one of my favorites. The first class was a demo and it was wonderful. The class was held at Holcomb Farm in Granby, the perfect venue for enjoying the local scenery. Both Mom and I came away with copious notes, new skills, and renewed enthusiasm for painting.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

ArtBeads Giveaway ends Thursday

Just so you know: Artbeads  biggest sale of the year, ‘The Summer Spectacular Sale’ will be ending this Thursday, July 29th at 9am PT. Tomorrow is the last full day to take advantage of great savings storewide. You can save 20% on orders over $60!  Enter coupon code ZZW20P-60 at checkout to take advantage of these savings

Saturday, July 24, 2010

My First Pattern

I am fortunate enough to live near Manchester Connecticut, near Beads East, a wonderful beading store owned and operated by Ann Benson. The store has a wonderful collection of seed beads and czech glass, as well as an amazing assortment of kits and patterns. Ann published my first pattern, the Pearlfest necklace, over four years ago. The pattern is available at http://www.beadpatterncentral/. Beads East is moving to newer, larger quarters and is having a rather awesome sale right now. The new store will be open some time in August. Exciting, no?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Windsong Earring - New pattern

I'm working on a new pattern. Two of my Friday beading friends offerred to test the instructions for me. Marge's version of the Windsong Earrings in green is first. Ann's in blues is second. I enjoyed seeing their color combinations, and how different color choices result in different earrings. I am working on incorporating the changes to the instructions that they suggested. I hope to publish the patten on my esty site: later on today!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sandy's Progress on the Pansy Bracelet

Sandy has ber bracelet partly done, and I think that she is doing a beautiful job. (Sandy, if you remember, is one of the people I bead with at the Senior Center on Fridays during the summer. ) The bracelet is single stitch peyote. The pattern is not done with a graph or a word chart, and the technique is working well. I'm hoping to create a pattern once the piece is finished.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sandy and the Pansy Bracelet

Its summer, and my senior center classes are officially not in session.....but several of the people who took the beading class wanted to continue beading over the summer. Sandy is one of the beaders, and did not have a project for the summer. I took a watercolor painting that my mother had done and matched some of the colors with delica beads. I then came home, drew a band of pansies, scanned the picture and colored it in Photoshop. Sandy is now beading away, and doing an absolutely beautiful job. I can't wait for the finished project!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Organizing beads.

Heather Pyle of the blog My Muse posted a contest with the question How do you organize your supplies? The prize is a fabulous pair of beads.

I work a short note in reply this morning, but wanted to expand on my thoughts.

I've been working for the last few years to find a way to organize my beads. I work primarily with seed beads. At first, I had the seed beads organized by size in plastic boxes. The boxes were labeled with the size, and I kept the boxes in a rolling cart in my work room. This didn't work. Every time I went to complete a project, I had to go through several of the boxes before I hit the size of beads that I needed in the color tone I wanted. The beads were in their original containers - long and short tubes, tic tac boxes etc., and I really couldn't get them to be neat. Last year, I moved everything out of the tubes, etc. that they came in and organized by color. I took the beads out of their original containers and put them in 4mml zip top bags that I labeled with size and supplier. Didn't work. I had to go through each color to find the sizes I needed. I now have my seed beads in hardware store containers that have 8 drawers across and 8 drawers down. The beads are still in their zip top bags that I converted to last year Row one goes vertically by size with size 15 beads in the first row. The horizantal rows are organized by color, white first, with sizes ranging from 15 to six across . Works!!!!! I have two of these bins. They are on a ledge in my work room and I can get at the bins easilyThe rest of the beads, are still being put in zip top bags if I have several - labeled with size and where I purchased the beads. Drops, cubes pearls, crystals and bugles will go in their own bozes. Larger beads and random beads will still be stored by color in large flat fishing tackle boxes. I can pull the tops off of these and line them up so I can see what I have. When things are a bit neater, I will take pictures.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Aphrodite's Smile for the Bride and Bridesmaid

Summer seems to have arrived early. It is August warm today, over 90 degrees. The Mountain Laurel that is so abundant on our land is about to burst into bloom and carpet the landscape in light pink flowers. The temperature and time of year makes me think of the abundance of Mother Nature and June weddings in all their beauty

A few months ago, I designed a pattern I called Aphrodite's Smile because I thought the design would be perfect for a June Bride. I made a few changes and then created a necklace that I thought would be perfect for the bridesmaids and flower girl. When Artbeads contacted me as a part of their blogging partner program I ordered Swarovski pearls and complementary beads to create the two styles of necklace. The Swarovski pearls can be found here on Artbeads site.

HTML Link: Swarovski pearls
I also had an idea for a necklace for the mother of the bride using my Marguerite pattern.

My major concern when ordering online is ordering beads that will be the same color and finish as I see on my computer screen. I was thrilled when I opened my packages. What I thought would go together well went together perfectly. The soft green of the Swarovksi pearls is creamy and gorgeous and the bridal pearls have just the lightest and most perfect tinge of creamrose.
It took me an evening to stitch up each of the three necklaces shown. The bridal necklace uses the Swarovski pearls I ordered as part of the blogging program. I added rainbow crystal seed beads (TBRD11-994) and a clasp (CLASP18-GP) from Artbeads that blend perfectly with the creamrose pearls. I added TBMT3-457 -3mm Gold-Lustered Green megatamas and - TOHO Bead 3-Cut 12/0 Olive Gold-Lined seed beads TBTC12-C262 to the bridesmaids necklace and the same clasp. The patterns to make these necklaces are on my ETSY site.

Disclaimer: sometimes sends me products to review on this blog. I am free to choose from designated beads/findings and whatever I choose. I do not receive any compensation from Artbeads and am expected to review their products honestly.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Muse Missed Her Target Date

It used to be that I was meticulous about meeting deadlines and dates. I worked writing procedures at an Insurance Company in Hartford and did not miss one deadline in 1 1/2 years. Not one. Since retiring, the days often run in to each other. I have to remind myself what day of the week it is. Some days, the whole day will pass by in a wink. Not that this is bad - but I missed the deadline for "Use the Muse" by a day. In spite of having the time set aside. In spite of having the project almost done.

This time, I made a choice to make something totally for me. Not a really complex item, but something simple and wearable. I used the wooden muse as a setting for a leaf and three trillium. They were created using lacemaking techniques that I learned from a pattern purchased from the immensely talented Cynthia Newcomer Daniel. The neckband uses the beautiful and tiny tiger eye beads and was completed using Russian Spiral. Its sits nicely on the neck. I am happy.

Thursday, April 29, 2010


Last week I was asked to bring some completed necklaces to the Senior Center tomorrow for a potential birthday present for one of the staff - "nothing too fancy". I decided at the last minute to make one of my Margeurite necklaces in neutral colors. I love making this necklace. It incorporates small beaded beads that are created as you string your beads, rather than making the beads individually and tying off the threads. The necklace takes about 1 1/2 hours to make. The pattern is available on my ETSY site:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Honey Chicken

I don't cook as much as I used to. Part of the problem is the fact that I like my own cooking too much. The other part of the problem is - I like my own cooking too much. But, one of my nieces is interested in cooking, and I thought my blog would be a great way to share some of the family favorites. I made Honey chicken with my neighbor Celeste yesterday. The sauce is easy to put together and includes ingredients likely (for me at least) to be on hand.

4 TBSP butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup prepared mustard
1 tsp salt
t tsp curry powder

Combine above ingredients and Melt sauce in a saucepan

The original recipe, which I used, called for boneless breast of chicken. You preheat your over to 375, roll the chicken in the sauce and throw it in the oven for an hour until the chicken is tender and glazed. The sauce is ample enough for 10 servings. To shorten the time for this recipe, I've pounded my breasts thin and sauteed them with cooking spray or grilled them in a George Foremen, then poured the sauce on top. Sometime I will try refrigerating the sauce, stirring well, and putting a tablespoon of the sauce under the chicken's skin. I may try making stips out of the uncooked breast, rolling in the sauce, then rolling in panko bread crumbs for chicken fingers......

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Aphrodite's Smile

I spent most of the weekend working on a new design to teach this Friday. Its a quick pattern, and I am seeing it in pearls and in cream colors for the bride, and in the palest of pearls for the bridal party. There are 3 variations of the design, and I plan on publishing the pattern in the next few days to my ETSY site:

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tutorial: No Headpin, No problem. Using Fireline to make a pair of earrings

Earring instructions normally specify that you use headpins and wire working tools. I’ve found that you can make simple earrings using your needle and Fireline!

What you’ll need:
Fireline Thread 6 lb
Beading Needles - I usually use size 11 or 12
Beads of choice (I used turqoise chips and nuggets, sterling nugget beads, bali silver beads and bali silver earwires and thread guards for the sample.
thread guards (item # H20-4050FY in Fire Mountain catalog
Something to bead on (beading mat)
Good lighting

1. Cut a two foot length of Fireline and place a needle of both ends of the thread
2. Center a bead on the thread. The bead should be large enough so that it will not slip through the hole of the next bead that you use.

3. Place your two needles together and slip the remaining beads on your thread.

4. Using your right needle, thread through the right side of your thread guard. Use your left needle to thread through the left side of you thread guard. If you don’t have a thread guard, thread 4 size 11o seed beads on each needle.

5. Tie a square knot, and pass both threads down the length of your earring. Make some half hitches if you can and trim closely.

6. Attach your earring finding.

7. Repeat for a second earring.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Beaded Fishy?

Have you ever been in one of those mellow moods where you are ready and happy to try something new? At a recent meeting of the Granby Artist's Association, fish to benefit the Farmington Valley Watershed Association (FVWA) were offered to members to paint. The fish would then be autioned off to benefit the FVWA. As soon as I got mine, one of my friends said "Oh Anne, you will have to bead yours!" I knew that to bead it sculpturally would take a few hundred hours, so I thought I would try beads and glue...After I started gluing the beads on, I thought that I should have underpainted the fish I bought some glitter....and glued the glitter on after the beads were glued down. Impatient to see the fish before the glue dried, I took hairdryer to it. The glitter flew everywhere - in my hair, up my nose, all over my clothers....Ah well. The fish was finally modpodged to seal the glitter, and here is a picture, in all its fishy glory. Now he(or she) just needs a name. Sparkle Plenty, Liberace Fishy? Haven't decided yet.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ArtBeads Giveaway ends tomorrow

Don't miss art beads giveaway, which ends on March forth. Its a wonderful place to shop. Its a $1000 shopping spree. Oh, think of the beads you could receive!!! $1,000 Shopping Spree Sweepstakes

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homage to Horace R. Goodhue and Ruby

Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns. Its not a very big book, only 80 pages long. The last update was 1989. None of the pictures are in color, and all the diagrams are handwritten. There is a photograph of Horace, the author, in the front of the book. He's 78, tall and lean, dressed in buckskin in the Delaware Style at a Narragansett Tribal Gathering. It is still one of my favorite beading books, in part for the lack of detail and the lack of color. When you follow a pattern its like finding a treasure; you never know exactly what you are going to get until the beading is done.

In the back of the book there is an essay on beads that helps me to understand why I bead. It tells me that the Obiibwa name for seed beads is Manido Minensug, meaning "god's little berries". I also found out that the word bead comes from the Middle English word "bede" meaning to pray.
So when a woman on one of the Yahoo groups wanted to know what stitch was used in a picture of a necklace on Ruby's beadwork page I went to Horace's book and found the pattern for circle bar daisy chain, and stitched up a quick necklace. I thanked Horace for all the work that he did documenting and recreating the native beading patterns. And I thanked Ruby for her use of color and design when interpreting these traditional patterns you can see her necklace here labeled gold and silver necklace :

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Driving Miss Daisy

Another class project for my group of beaders at the senior center. This pattern was developed for students that had gone through the class once. Its now been made in plums, in pinks, in blues, in reds & golds, and in black, grey and taupe.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Donut with curved bail

Every Friday I bead with several of the women who took my beading class at the Senior Center. I look forward to this time and getting together. I don't really teach - I do problem solve with them and we all get a chance to bead. A few weeks ago one of the women asked my about gemstone donuts. I have a stash of them, and always wanted to play with creating a bail for them. This is what I came up with - its a work in progress. I like the curve of the bail and the way it follows the shape of the donut. I plan on finishing it this weekend - so wish me some beading time.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Marguerite by Day and Night

Well, I finished updating the pattern I talked about in my post yesterday. I found 101 other things to do in between, so it took me hours to complete. The picture shows all the samples that I have created to date. Meanwhile, I started on another idea in Friday's "drop in and bead" session at the Senior Center. My sample is coming along really well. I'm excited and can feel a new pattern in the works!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Goals for 2010 and Margeurite by Day or Night

I finally dipped my toes in to the wonderful world of ETSY and published my first pattern. I really don't know why I procrastinate so much???? I'm working on getting the second pattern fine tuned and put on ETSY. I sold all three necklaces that are pictured at a Christmas Show in Connecticut and ended up working up more samples. The women in my class have made several of these necklaces, so the pattern has been tested and works well for a beginning beader. My husband stopped by and thought one of them could be masculine - which I think is his code that he wanted I made another sample for him. And of course the samples had to be made out of supplies that anyone could obtain easily. Maybe this is not procrastination, but a never ending quest to do what I do a bit better? In any event, this will be pattern #2 for ETSY

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Moroccan Fan Earrings

The Moroccan Fan earrings first came in to being in 2008 when I designed a pair of earrings using 7mm and 4mm glass beads. They reminded me of the beautiful fretwork on buildings in Morocco. After making a few pairs, I wondered what would happen if I turned the earrings up side down and added a drop for a fancier earring. As soon as a “flipped” the earring it was transformed from an every day earring in to an elegant night on the town earring.

I wanted to work up the earring and offer the design in a pattern that would use materials that beaders could locate easily, I went to, where I knew I could order just the amount of supplies I needed for the earrings. I chose Swarovski crystals and pearls, and was delighted with my package when it came in the mail in less than a week. Then, to add to my joy, Artbeads invited me to become a member of their blogging community, and I was able to order more beads for another version of the earrings.

I was delighted with how well my color choices worked, and how easy it is to order from the site, and to find compatible colors using a description, such as Montana, in the search field. The first picture shows the earrings I made from the Swarovski crytals and pearls that I ordered from artbeads, as well as two pair of earrings that I made by going through my "stash" of beads.
The single pair of earrings you see in the second picture highlights the earrings that were made using materials I ordered as part of the blogging program. I used swarovski crystal, olivine cz pendants, tarnished silver delica beads, and montana blue crystal ab beads. I love the ear wires, sterling silver shield back earrings, and plan on ordering more.
You can find the specific supplies at Artbeads: Link:

If you are interested in the pattern, you can find it on my ETSY shop:
All the materials for the Olivine and Montana Sapphire Moroccan Fan earrings (except thread and needles) were provided by, as part of their blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The information in this post is my opinion of the materials offerred.