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


The Winning Christmas Tree

There is quite a story behind my Christmas tree this year.

It began when I asked my son to go out into the forest and get me a tree. Not too tall. Not too big around. Maybe even a Charlie Brown tree. When the tree arrived it was about 8 feet across and 8 feet high. Too big for my living room. But my son assured me that when he was finished with it, it would be great.

There was quite a struggle between my son and the tree. It refused to stand up straight in the stand. He had to go before the job was done but assured me that he'd be back another day. Round two between the tree and my son and the tree won again. He assured me that he only had to stop that time because he'd run out of cuss words.

I had a go with it on my own...twice. The second time ended with me throwing it out the front door, over the railing, complete with the stand and the tree top angel that got broken in the first struggle with my son so it was now zap strapped on and I wasn't about to put any energy into removing a broken angel. Sigh.

After much thought about what I'd do, later that day I went out and bought an artificial tree that came complete with lights. It was easy to put together. Three sections with plugs between them for the lights. Plugged it in and it looked great. Turned my back to get the rest of the ornaments and when I faced it again...the top section had gone out! I wiggled and juggled the plug. Nothing! So I sat to contemplate what would be next. And the lights came on. And went out again. And came on again. And went out. With no one and nothing touching the tree! Packed it up and took it back. Checked elsewhere and managed to get the same tree six inches taller and $50 less expensive.

Fortunately, the second tree I brought home worked perfectly and looks absolutely lovely covered in my (mostly) hand made ornaments! So...here is the winning tree....


Three Piece Dark Denim Set

The inspiration for this set was the colours of the beads themselves. When I looked at them together, I envisioned them worn with jeans, heels, a tailored wool or leather jacket and a mannish white shirt. The juxtaposition of the feminine and masculine elements feels balanced to me. You couldn't wear this set and not be feminine, no matter what you wear with it.

I've been toying with other sets of beads and thinking about another set.

The closure button is a 10mm Swarovski crystal button in a colour called Montana Sapphire that I bought online at Artbeads. The way it finishes the necklace and bracelet is exactly what I wanted.

Three types of beads make up the spiral rope; triangles, Toho hex beads and seed beads.


Finally Back to Beads!

Colour me happy! Happy to get back to my beads! The bezel for this stone had been done for a while. In between all of the other things I've been working on I took little snatches of time to work on finishing the pendant. Then the neck piece got done and today I started the day with finishing the toggle for it. It's going into a Christmas sale this weekend.

Being in my studio with the beads has all kinds of things running through my head. I'm happy to say that after Sunday, I'll be able to indulge myself in making whatever the spirits move me to make.


Warning - Not Beading

It's true - that I haven't been beading. I've been really wanting to get back to beads but I'm working on some other things for the PR Fine Arts Christmas sale. It's the last weekend of the month. I also have the opportunity to display my 'wares' at an evening market on Thursdays. My main concern is that I don't have enough inventory. Anyway, I've been working on mini quilts and I have these ten completed.

Too bad you can't see the hand quilting on them. It's there, but the camera doesn't seem to have caught it.

I'm working on another four that are about half way done. I'm sure I'll finish them tomorrow. Then I can get back to the beading. There are so many things that are rolling around in my brain that I want to try. I'm really feeling the urge to experiment with a new direction for both my beading and my quilting.

That's it for now.


Fiery Inspiration

I often watch programs on the National Geographic channel. A week or two ago I watched a fascinating program about volcanos where the host took groups on tours across active lava beds. Cracks in the upper crust of cooled lava often reveal glowing rivers of flowing magma and that was my inspiration for this third amulet bag.

The branch fringe dangling at the bottom of the bag is meant to be reminescent of the movement of the flowing lava.


Another Amulet Bag

If you decide to try this kind of thing...be warned...they are like peanuts...You can't eat/make just one! Here is the second one I've made and I've got ideas and plans for more. In fact, I just prepared three more sets of fabric for beading. I'm starting as soon as I'm done here!

Really, the photos just don't do it justice!


Beads on Fabric

My life has been so crazy busy for a few weeks now and I'm not getting much time to bead...however...

There is a group I've joined in town. It's the PR Fine Arts and the division I'm involved with is quilting. Because I'm a beader, they asked me to do a class introducing them to beads on fabric. This photo is the "sampler" that I worked on in the class while I showed them some basic things they could do. We also did a beaded button as it's such a fun, quick and easy project.

The following two photos are a project I've been working at for a few days. It's actually a small amulet bag, big enough for a credit card and maybe a bit of money. I haven't yet decided what I'm doing for the necklace part, but I have to say that I'm really having fun playing with sewing beads to fabric.


Just Done & Sold

I've been working on this necklace for a while and a friend saw it while it was in progress. She said it would be a perfect birthday gift for her daughter. The necklace portion includes fresh water pearls that I picked up while on my road trip this past summer along with the gold charlotte beads. The pendant is different on both sides and can be removed from the necklace giving it lots of versatility for ways to wear it.


Is it really October?

Nobody told my roses! I just took this photo of them.

Nor were the Dahlias infomed.

I love this Mallow plant.

In case you haven't figured it out for yourself yet...I don't have any new beading to show so I'm showing you my garden instead. I'm working on things. I have a necklace in progress that is already sold as well as a bracelet in progress that is sold as well.

Later, I may get the camera out again because I've been working on samples for a class I'm teaching next weekend. Be kind to me though as I'm horribly under the weather too. (Translation = sick...by doze ids all stuffed ub.)


On A Roll!

It looks like I'm on a roll! I'd done the bezel on the glass pendant some time ago and it's been waiting for inspiration to finish it. A couple of days ago, I finally came up with a design for it and started working away at it. The rope part was pretty simple and straight forward. When I got to the time to work on the branch fringe I prepared to be at it for a while. Since the last branch fringe pendant I did took a whole day, I was expecting this one to take as long or longer. As it turned out, I discovered a technique that made the whole process a lot quicker. And I finished it last night.


Finally Finished Necklace

This necklace was originally mentioned here and I'm very happy to say that it's finally finished. Before today, I had the stone bezeled and had part of the rope done and the finishing touches done today took me all day. I now have a lot more respect for beaders that do a full fringe on their designs. It's very time consuming.

This necklace is available for sale in my Etsy Shop.


Still Nothing Beaded to Show

The past several weeks have been hectic and crazy and I just haven't been inclined to sit down and bead. By the time I'm able to sit down, I'm too tired to bead. I've been going to bed by 9:30 every night. Usually, I read for 1/2 to an hour before I turn out the light but I also get up pretty early. As early as 6:30 but as late as 8am.

Today was the local Farmer's Market. As I'm participating in the "50 mile Food Challenge", (where I've committed to trying to eat at least 50% of my food from local producers) I head to the market looking for some fresh produce. Today, I didn't get there until late but I managed to get some gorgeous veggies!

The kale, zuchinni and yellow plum tomatoes came from the market.

Those yellow tomatoes are so delicious! I had to taste one as soon as I got home. The red one came from my son's tomato plant. Another beautiful and delicious tomato!

The prune plums came from the tree in my son's backyard. I'd already eaten the few I'd picked from my tree so they are not pictured here. I'm looking forward to the kale. There were three different kinds in the bunch I bought.

And of course I had to leave you with another beautiful sunset photo. This is the only shot I got of this one as my camera's battery died right after I snapped it.

There are a few beaded pieces brewing in my brain. Maybe I'll start one today.


Back From Vacation

There have been no posts to my bead blog as I was away on a road trip with my granddaughter. Here is a small peek at where we went and what we saw.

Hoodoos in Dinosaur Provincial Park

Back in the Rocky Mountains

Looking out over Osooyos

And finally, home for a beautiful sunset!

And now...back to beading. I'm hoping to have some finished projects to post soon!


Swarovski Crystals

Look at this gorgeous collection of Swarovski that just arrived from Artbeads!

The largest piece is a Fancy Oval. It will be the focal point in the piece I have planned.

The other beads I have are two Triangle Rings, Teardrop Pendants and finally some Faceted Roundelles. Since I'm about to leave on vacation, it will be a while till I get to beading with them but I can hardly wait. With such a beautiful collection of crystals waiting for me, I'm going to look forward to getting home again!

Where Does The Time Go?

it's hard to believe that it's been almost a month since I last posted here. It's been crazy busy in my life. I'm had either friends or family staying with me for the last three weeks. In the same timeframe, I purchased and investment property, coordinated the trades to get it ready for my new tennant for the first of the month. I've also been working like a slave in my garden and I'm really happy with how it's coming along.

I have been doing some beading, but nothing has been completed except for a few of earrings that I managed to squeeze in. Anyway, here is the piece I've been working on. Those are glass pearls I'm using.

The stone is captured in peyote stitch and it's the first time I've had a success at it. Though I did rip out the first version as it didn't fit the stone properly. There are two secrets to success with doing a peyote bezel...first, use a strip of paper and wrap it around the stone to find out the exact length of beads to string to start. I've been using a strip out of my shredder. Secondly, size 15 beads. The bezel needs no decreases when you start with a larger bead and decrease the bead size. I started with #11 Toho seed beads then went down to #11 Delicas and finally down to the #15 Toho seed beads.

The necklace is in progress and it's taking a lot longer than I expected it would. I'll be taking it with me when I leave for holidays on Wednesday. (Another thing to make my life hectic!)


More Gold!

Earlier in my blog, I posted photos of a gold and pearl necklace and earring set made using 24k gold Delica beads. I absolutely fell in love with them and decided to order more so that I could "play" with them a little. This bracelet is the result of the first "experiment". I just felt that the beads themselves were so beautiful that they could stand alone in a simple peyote stitch bracelet. The vintage button was purchased in June and I had no idea how I was going to use it. When I placed it with the gold bracelet, it was a match made in heaven.

Oh...and there is another bracelet brewing in my head now! I just might need more of those beads.

This bracelet is available for sale in my Etsy Shop.


Aqua and Silver Necklace

Another necklace is finished! This one has been sitting on my livingroom coffee table for quite a long time. I started it and when I got about half way through it, I decided that I wanted to include some Swarovski crystals and I kept forgetting to order them. Finally they arrived and have been waiting for me to get back to the necklace. At last, I put my mind to it and got it finished in the last few days, little by little, bit by bit.

The Russian Spiral stitch that I used is one of my favourites to play around with and see how it comes out with all different sorts of seed beads. This one is basically bugle beads (I always have trouble remembering the name of these - "trumpet" kept popping into my head!) and Toho seed beads. I love the sparkle that the silver lined beads create and it's just the thing to go with the crystals. It's for sale in my Etsy shop if you take a fancy to it. You'll also find more details about it, length and such, there. You'll see a couple of other photos of the necklace as well.

If you scroll down a couple of posts here to the batch of earrings I recently posted, there is a pair that would go perfectly with this necklace. It's in the bottom photo of the post, in the bottom left hand corner.

The necklace is for sale in my Etsy shop.


Creating for Friends

These are the last two pieces that I worked on. Both of them are for friends.

This copper and black Russian spiral necklace is for a friend who came to visit me from about 1500 miles away. While she was here, we went into a glass shop and she bought a gorgeous glass pendant in coppery tones. It should look great on this necklace.

This bracelet is made up of odds and ends of keepsakes and favourite earrings and bits and bobs which was mailed to me with the request for a charm type bracelet. This friend lives in the small town I moved from in February and I've asked her to come to pick up the bracelet and visit so that I can size it perfectly to her arm.


What The Heck?

Wondering what I've been up to?

I've been busy, that's for sure. The #1 thing that is keeping me busy is my garden. There is so much clean up to do. I have what is certainly the biggest cherry tree I've ever seen. So big in fact that none of the cherries can be reached. Even with a ladder, unless of course I call the fire department! The tree is now slated to be cut down and I'm planting a new one. For the amount of mess a cherry tree creates, it's just not worth it when I can't harvest the cherries. First there are the blossoms that cover my lawn, then there are all of the debris from cherries not forming as well as cherries dropping off of the tree before they are ripe. And finally, I have the leaves falling to look forward to in autumn.

The new cherry tree is standing in a pot in my front yard along with a pear tree that is a gift from friends. They are not in the ground yet as I haven't decided where they are going. Soon though...I have to get them planted!

I've been beading like crazy too, working on stock for the Studio Tour of Artists which takes place late August. You may recall seeing some of these posted here earlier. Well, this dozen is the most recently completed project.

Thought you might enjoy a closer view, though the colour isn't great.


Mystery Revealed

The project I was working on is complete and I'm happy to share it here now.

It's my entry into the Etsy BeadWeavers July Challenge - "Here comes the bride...". What bride wouldn't enjoy wearing gold and pearls with her lovely white dress?

Unfortunately, the photographs of this piece just don't do it justice. There is an airiness to it and both the pearls and the gold are beautifully set against the other. The necklace falls just below the collar bone and will draw attention to the bride's face. It's a beautiful combination of necklace and earrings that I'm proud to have created. Both the pearls and the gold plated Delica beads came from Artbeads. When it was almost done I realized that it really deserved a more special clasp and that is what caused the delay in finishing it.

No, these are not the shells of the oyster that produced the pearls in these pieces. They're fresh water pearls.


What's On The Drawing Board?

I don't want to say too much about the project yet, but in the triangle pans (left to right) are opalescent triangles, 24 karat gold plated delicas and freshwater potato pearls. Who doesn't love gold and pearls? It's actually finished but I'm waiting for some gold findings before I reveal it.

I have to say that those 24 karat gold plated delicas are absolutely gorgeous. Everything I hoped they'd be with a depth to the finish that can't be captured any way but with gold. I've been wanting to work with them for a while and all I can say is I've got to have more. I have ideas!

Bzzzzz...Not For Sale

This necklace is a gift for a friend. I know she loves the colour yellow and I just couldn't resist pairing it with black. Reminds me of bumble bees.

I delayed finishing it for a while as I couldn't decide whether it would have a beaded toggle or not.

I picture it with a nice crisp yellow shirt, top two buttons undone.


Let It Be - Turquoise

There is no denying that I'm loving the combination of the colours turquoise and copper. Not long ago I posted a necklace that I thought might be mine. When it was finished, I had yet another turquoise stone that I wanted to do something with. This is the "something" that I did. I named it Let It Be for two reasons. It's one of my favourite Beatle songs and also, I was thinking, "if I could have only one necklace - Let It Be Turquoise!" And it's quite an accomplishment for me to be completing things now as summer is here full force with temperatures up to 38C on my deck late afternoon. I just want to be out in the sunshine, working in my garden!

This necklace is available for sale in my Etsy Shop.


Not Your Granny's Purple

I just completed this necklace and listed it for sale in my Etsy Shop. The name for the necklace kept running through my head as I thought of the poem "When I'm An Old Woman, I Shall Wear Purple". And then I'd think that this necklace isn't that kind of purple!