A blog about change and whatever medium I'm currently expressing my creativity through....


Whatta Distraction!

I haven't been getting much beading done and here's my reason why! My 5 pound chihuahua mix, Willie and I have added another member to our family.

This is Sophie, who weighs about a pound and is almost 8 weeks old. She's a shih tzu/poodle cross and was the runt of her litter. We expect her to be about the same size as Willie. She's keeping me pretty busy while I make my best effort to get her house broken. Because we've got a smattering of snow covering the grass, I've been working with her on a puppy training pad strategically placed beside the door. Amazing to me that in four short days, she has learned her name, responds to "come" and does her business on the training pad. I'm grateful that Willie has gone from completely ignoring her to playing with her and even sharing chewie treats.

If you are interested, I've put a few videos taken of Sophie on YouTube.

My son is arriving for Christmas today so...who knows when I'll get back to my beading!


Gift for Granddaughter

This first photo is my beautiful granddaughter Hazel. We'd just spent a day together shopping and she is about to get on a ferry to go home.

This is a bracelet that I recently made for Hazel.

Pink is her favourite colour so of course I had to make her a pair of earrings to wear with the bracelet!


Still on the Planet

No post for over a week now. That's not like me. I was away from home for five days, taking a trip to see my son perform in a play. I took no beading, no knitting, nothing with me and it's a good thing. The schedule was pretty full and by the time I headed to my hotel room each evening, the only thing I was ready for was sleep (in a strange bed that put my back out). Today I cut up a bracelet that I was working on. Decided it wasn't what I'd hoped for. Found a rock and bead store while I was away and made a few purchases. Just not "feelin' it" the last while. Soon....I hope.


Variation on Scalloped Triangle Pendant on Spiral Rope

I really loved the silver and black version of this but I was thinking that not everyone prefers silver jewelry to gold as I do so I decided to make the necklace again using gold in place of silver. The rope is slightly different as is the triangle. Might just be me, but I still prefer the silver one!

Two Quick Bracelets

I enjoy doing both the Russian Spiral and the Spiral Rope and often when I need something simple to work on, I make a bracelet using those stitches. Here are the latest couple of results.

There are three different shades of blue in this one, combining with the silver center spine.

Too bad I wasn't able to photograph well, the shine of the silver lined grey toho beads in this one.


Scalloped Triangle Pendant on Spiral Rope

Because I really enjoy beading the spiral rope stitch, I've made another necklace, this one with a triangle pendant.  The rope has been done for a week or more and I was uninspired about making a pendant for it.  Last night I began to visualize a triangle pendant that I'd intended to embellish.  I had the triangle mostly done before I went to bed last night and got up this morning, ready to complete it and get started on the embellishment.  The first three or four things I tried I pulled out before I finally stumbled upon using the rondelles and creating a scallop to encase them.  I'm very happy with the result.  As always, the pendant can be removed to wear the rope alone.  This piece is listed for sale in my Etsy shop with more views of the piece.


Etsy BeadWeavers' November Challenge

It's that time again! The voting has opened and we need your votes. Please visit the EBW Blog, check out all of the amazing entries and cast your vote for your favourite!

EBWC Nov Mosaic


Black and Silver Necklace

This necklace and pendant were created while I was away. The last detail for completion had to wait until I got home so this morning I added the Swarovski crystals to the ends of the toggle closure. The necklace is Russian spiral and the pendant has a netting stitch base that was then embellished with rondelles, bugle beads and seed beads all in black and silver. The technique was shown to me by my friend who has completed several bracelets this way.

The pendant can be removed so that the necklace can be worn alone for added versatility.


Just A Quick Update!

I'm still away from home and have been since Friday, October 10th. At the moment I'm in a cafe with free wireless internet. After spending a week with a girlfriend in Manitoba, I flew back to British Columbia and bought a car. I haven't been driving for three years (while recovering from a bad car accident) and my #1 priority was to get something I'd feel safe in. What did I buy? It's a 2005 Nissan Pathfinder LE. And I'm loving it! It's got all of the bells and whistles, including heated leather seats (feels so good on my pain racked body) and a sun roof. There are airbags all around and I'm feeling very comfortable in my new toy.

I'm in a small town on the ocean in BC, called Powell River, where I'm hoping to buy a house. Even though there is just me and my little five pound dog, I'm making an offer on a five bedroom, three bathroom home with a wonderful view of the ocean and outlying islands. I'll be able to watch the ferry coming and going and the sunsets will be spectacular. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

I spent the last two nights in a most charming hotel - The Old Courthouse Inn. Lovely place! Tonight, I'm going over to the island my son lives on - Texada. We're having dinner at The Tree Frog Bistro and it's also a lodge so I'm going to stay there overnight.

I expect to head for home, later this week. Haven't been doing much beading and I'm looking forward to getting back to it and sleeping in my own bed!


Etsy BeadWeavers' October Challenge - Animal Instinct

And...yes I'm participating again this month. I'm number 16 in the mosaic below and I'd appreciate it if you'd drop in there and VOTE VOTE VOTE for me! I've entered my necklace "Where's The Orca" and the competition is amazing! Voting is open until midnight on the 15th of October.



Odds and Ends

I'm leaving home this week and won't be back for a while so there may be a lapse in posts. I may be able to get a post up somewhere along the way, but I can't be certain.

Anyway, here are two items I finished in the last few days. The bracelet is another Russian Spiral and is a gift for a friend. The earrings are additions to my inventory as I've been selling earrings lately and stock was dwindling.


Where's The Orca - Necklace

This one-of-a-kind piece was created for the Etsy BeadWeavers' October Challenge with the theme Animal Instinct. So "Where's The Orca" necklace was created with Orcas in mind. I live in the Broughton Archipelago off of the west coast of Canada and it's home to both Resident and Transient Orca. I've been out whale watching several times and never lose the thrill of seeing these magnificent animals in their natural habitat.

My colour choice for the necklace is meant to represent the Orca's colouring of black and white. My representation is black and silver because when you see them in the ocean with the sun dancing on the water as they frolic in a group, there always seem to be flashes of silver glancing off of their shining flesh.

Check out my Etsy shop to see more views of the necklace.

And if you're interested here are some photos I took on a whale watching trip.


More Russian Spirals

The first Russian spiral I made went very well. No hitches at all. Then I tried again about six times, each attempt ended with being unbeaded about five times until I gave up and ripped the whole thing out. Finally, I sat down with the book one more time and closely followed the directions. And...found where I'd been making the error. The stitch starts with loading on 2 size 11 beads and one size 8, three times and forming a circle. From that point, the beads are loaded the reverse, one size 8 followed by two size 11s. The mistake I'd been making was loading the order of the base round!

Anyway, having finally gotten it figured out, I made the following two pieces with beads in my stash. The gold one is actually 8's and 10's.

This one is made with size 11 triangles (the silver beads) and size 11 seed beads in three different shades of blue. The colour goes from dark to light and back to dark again. I love how it turned out.

Now if I could just decide on what the pendant will be for them. In the meantime, I think I'll start another spiral. I have to...I just received another new order of beads!!


Pendant For The Russian Spiral

A while ago I purchased some natural beads that are called mother of pearl blister pearls. They are absolutely beautiful and unique and I've been anxious to find ways to use them. It seemed to me that they'd make a stunning addition to the Russian Spiral necklace I made and I'm so pleased with the result. The piece sits high on the chest, more or less right between and just below the collarbone. And the pendant can be removed so that the neck piece can still be worn alone. It's so much fun to create something like this that's more versatile.


Russian Spiral

This necklace is my first foray into the new book I bought. I found the instructions very easy to follow and the stitch itself is fairly simple and straight forward once you get going on it. I did have to unbead it a couple of times but that's no big deal. I really like how it feels. It has a bit of stretch to it and it's very supple and soft. I'm working on a bead order to get myself a stash of different beads to work this stitch. And, there is a pendant in progress to go with it. But there's also a different version of the rope brewing in my head that I may have to work on next. Oh, and there is a freeform peyote bracelet in progress too.

Hockey starts tonight! So I'll be knitting during the game.


Summer On My Arm Bracelet

This pretty little bracelet was the result of wanting to experiment with the spiral rope stitch. I have a collection of glass beads that I haven't been using so I sorted through them and decided that some of the bell flowers and leaves could create a summer garden feeling. There were also some bright green seed beads that I've been trying to find a use for and I love the viney look they give to the bracelet. The other elements that I couldn't resist using are Swarovski crystals in a variety of colours just to give the piece a bit of sparkle. The bracelet is for sale in my Etsy store.

This bracelet has been sold.


Bead Shopping in the Big City

I'm away from home this week and today I went to a bead shop that I enjoy, hoping to find some interesting and/or exciting beads to inspire me. What I ended up doing was buying a couple of tubes of seed beads, a gorgeous oval jasper donut and a new beading book. I bought Seed Bead Stitching - Creative Variations on Traditional Techniques which is published by Bead & Button Magazine.

Though the book is pretty much beginner level, there are several variations on stitches that I haven't yet managed to teach myself. There are chapters on peyote stitch, brick stitch, right-angle weave, daisy chain, spiral rope stitch and Russian stitches which include three fabulous rope type stitches. I've been getting a little bored with only having the spiral rope to make necklaces out of, so this will provide a welcome change! I can hardly wait to get home (tomorrow) and get beading again!


Just Two More Days...

...left to vote on the Etsy BeadWeavers Challenge for September! If you haven't already voted, please do so now! I need all of the votes I can get on this bracelet of mine which is entered!

 Click HERE to vote!

For more views of the bracelet (or to buy it) CLICK HERE.


Blog Award...and...

I received a blog award from Linda at Hammelman Art. I really appreciate being given this award, but I'm not going to pick seven blogs to pass it on to. If you are interested in having the award, help yourself at Linda's blog. There are just too many wonderful blogs out there for me to single out seven! Again, thanks Linda.

Abrupt change of topic:

Looks like cruise season isn't over yet! This ship is on it's way to Alaska, past my front door!


Three Day Pendant Necklace

The three day pendant necklace is so named for obvious reasons.  It's taken me three days to complete it.  It's labour intensive, yes, but certainly not three days worth.  I needed to take it easy on my neck.  Anyway, I was absolutely driven to make it happen.  It was in my head and I had gotten some new beads in and knew I wanted to do something in navy and copper.  And I'd also been wanting to make a pendant size triangle.  

Though the photos are showing the colours pretty accurately, the sparkle is not revealed.  In the evening under lowered light, it catches and reflects the light.  In other words, it sparkles.

Not to be forgotten that today is 9/11 and I would be remiss to not mention that I too remember that day and the shocking events, for I have a son who is a volunteer fire fighter.  I gratefully remember the heroes of 9/11.


Entrecard and Me

So I've been doing the Entrecard thing for a while now and I have a couple of lists I'd like to share.

Blogs I Only Go To Once
  • Blogs with music - I have my own music happening thank you very much
  • Blogs with lots of animated "stuff" - It just takes too darn long to load
  • Blogs that are heavily weighted with advertising - Goes without saying; I want content
  • Blogs that hide their Entrecard drop spot near the bottom of the page - Time spent searching for it is time I could be reading your blog.
Working the Entrecard System
  • Cultivate loyal traffic by returning all drops to your card
  • Comment when you read something that interests you and to which you have a real response 
  • Place your Entrecard drop spot "above the fold"- near the top of the page so that your droppers are reading, not searching
  • Don't decide it's not working too soon
I can't really judge how effective Entrecard is at marketing my blog unless I work the system to it's limit.  That's what I'm doing and so far so good!  


EBW Challenge Voting Open

It's that time again! And I've entered a piece in the challenge again! So please head over to the Etsy BeadWeavers' Blog and check out the entries and choose your favourite and VOTE!

EBW September Challenge Mosaic


Earrings and Bracelet To Match

Ever since I made this necklace for the Etsy BeadWeavers' Challenge, I've felt it needed matching bracelet and earrings. I finally got them done and here they are for you to see. I'm happy with how they turned out and now I feel like I'm 'finished' with the design. Now, on to another freeform bracelet. I've got the beads all picked out and ready to go!


The Big Bear In My Front Yard

Life is never dull, living in the boonies!

This guy dropped in for a visit. My neighbour threw him some apples. You can see that he's eating one.

He hung around for about 10 minutes and at one point he was on my deck, looking in my patio glass doors. I was upstairs in the window above him.

After some of the comments left, I thought I'd clarify a couple of things. Yes it's interesting to see these guys up close, but it's also very dangerous to feed them. Lots of bears get lazy and go after the "easy pickins" rather that forage in the bush as they are meant to. They'll keep coming back to where they found food easily and they have been known to break into homes to go after food, once they know it's there. The town I live in is very small (about 2500 people) and it's about 100 miles from the closest large center so we are really in the bear's territory. I have a lot of respect for them and a healthy dose of fear!


Freeform Peyote Bracelet in Black, Grey and Silver

First thing on my agenda today is to wish my daughter Rainey a very happy 41st birthday! Here is a recent photo of her just hanging around!

I'm very happy to say that I've finished the bracelet that I have been working on! I'm pleased with how it looks finished though I have to say that the photos do not do it justice! Of course, it's for sale and I'll be listing it in my Etsy store very soon. It's made of a combination of beads, including seed beads, triangle beads, bugle beads and even a couple of gorgeous Swarovski rondelles.


Work in Progress

Today I'm working on this freeform peyote bracelet. It's been a while since I've done freeform so I'm really enjoying it. As I bead away, I'm being inspired to create some other pieces and I've been taking breaks and surfing the net looking for a few different kinds of focals. Something that I haven't had much success finding is raku beads. If anyone out there knows of a raku bead maker, please let me know. Anyway, I have a lot more to add to the piece.

This pair of bracelets were completed yesterday. I'm not yet sure whether there will or won't be a third bracelet in the set. It's my intention to sell them together. They can be worn individually, together or linked to create a princess length necklace. I'm also considering making a pendant to go with them to make them even more versatile.


Book Review - Exquisite Beaded Jewelry

This book has been in my library for a while; about six months. I read it cover to cover when I first got it to help to teach myself freeform peyote. I hadn't picked it up in at least a couple of months, but there is a whole lot more than freeform in it as I rediscovered today.

In the Introduction, the author, Lynda Musante says: "I hope to help you build and expand your skills; find your own voice in your beadwork -- to discover your "look" and, perhaps, challenge you to look at your beadwork differently." The book will certainly challenge you on more than one level.

For the beginner, it covers basics on beads, tools, materials and findings. There is a fairly comprehensive section on the basics of wire work. It also explains stringing with six projects and then moves on to beadweaving.

Chapter six, Stitched Bead Basics, includes detailed instructions with excellent photos for peyote stitch, tubular peyote and brick stitch. The instructions are very thorough and the accompanying gallery provides wonderful inspiration.

The final chapter is titled Sculptural Beading and explains and teaches the techniques of freeform. There are five projects and a gorgeous gallery. Throughout the book there are plenty of detailed close-up photos on almost every page, so there is plenty of eye candy.


Rainbow Time...

Though I don't have anything finished to share, I'm beading. Working on a necklace right now that features a couple of pretty glass beads.

What I do have to share is a photo taken this afternoon. I live on the ocean and the weather here often changes very quickly. That means we see a lot of rainbows. This is the first one that I'm seeing in about 6 weeks.


Silver & Gold Necklace

This necklace was actually started a while ago but I hadn't come up with a pendant for it. I finally managed to find this gorgeous piece of glass and made a spiral rope loop to hang it from the spiral rope neck piece. It was back here that I first posted it, with the earring.

Right now I'm working on a bracelet to match this necklace which is just a couple of posts down. It sold and the bracelet was requested by the purchaser. Of course, I'm more than happy to make it!


EBW Challenge Winner

Etsy BeadWeavers August Challenge has a winner! Search Light Art Deco Bracelet - GemsbyJules received the most votes and took first place.

My necklace entry which was my first time in the challenge, came in 6th. That's a pretty respectable position, I think! A big thank you to everyone who voted for me! Now if I could just find a happy home for it!

I realized today that I haven't done any beading for four days. I was away from home and came home completely exhausted. Hopefully, I'll be better rested and ready to pick up the beads again tomorrow.


This One's for Me!

Turquoise is one of my favourite stones. Probably because it's my birth stone. I've got quite a collection of turquoise stones and I've been surprised to learn that they come in so many different shades. I've been collecting beads to go with them and finally decided to sit down and do something for myself with them. This bracelet in freeform peyote stitch is the result. I chose to add in some beads that pick up on the dark lines through the turquoise stones.


Glass Leaf Pendant Necklace and...

I've gotten over my inspiration block and completed a couple of new pieces. The first one was inspired when I was looking through my supplies. I'd forgotten that I had the glass leaf and when I found it, POOF - inspiration! Taking my cue from the colours in the leaf, I created a princess length spiral rope neck piece in two shades of blue beads and added gold triangle beads to pick up on the gold in the leaf. The leaf pendant can be removed so that the necklace can stand alone.

The second piece was inspired by the turquoise chips. Turquoise is my favourite stone and I thought I'd use them in a bracelet for myself. Again, using the spiral rope stitch, I included the turquoise chips in the center of the bracelet.


It's Time To Vote

This month I'm participating in the Etsy BeadWeavers' August Challenge with the theme "Art Deco". The piece that I've entered is here and is number 17 in the mosaic below.

I'd love it if you voted for me, but no matter who you choose to vote for, please visit the Etsy BeadWeavers' Blog and VOTE!!

August EBWC Mosaic



I'm stuck at the moment. Nothing is inspiring the next piece. I've got two sets of beads laid out and have started something that I'm thinking about pulling apart. Something will come along soon enough. For now, I'm practicing living in the moment.