Creative Studios

It's that time of year again.........I'm frantically busy making things..and the holidays have yet again snuck up on me...the time just seems to get shorter and shorter these days. My studio is always in need of cleaning and organizing, and I wanted to mention that I have been reading Where Women Create blog for a while now. I'm hoping they do a where women would like to create the same feeling as "Move that bus" show, Home Makeover does. I need that soooo bad. My studio is a studio in motion. My husband and I are always anticipating moving and nothing seems to be permanent in our lives. One our final Dream House that will happen, but for studio is a piece of work waiting to be finished. Where women Create magazine has so much inspiration. One of my favorites was the Marie Osmond issue, I just really do not know how this woman does it and with all the kids she has..Dancing with the Stars and she is a business woman/crafter. Have you seen her dolls? She has a fabulous studio which anyone would love to have and which the magazine featured in a few issues back. They are having a contest now too if you click here you can enter as well...


Lots o' Crystals

The new Palace Green Opal roundel peeks out of these beaded beads
I love using Swarovski roundels in my designs
For this beaded wheel I used the 5305 Swarovski Roundels
Beautiful shades of Indian Pink rondels were used for these beaded beads
I used the 5305 roundels in sapphire blue and topaz

I love shopping at Whenever I want to use crystals they always have what I need. Crystallized Swarovski elements are what I'm looking for. I love making beaded beads and components too, which make their way to becoming bracelets or necklaces. This week I decided to design some fun beaded beads using 5040 style Swarovski Rondels and Autumn earrings using the 3700 margaritas. As you can see lots can be done with a little imagination and Swarovski crystals.

Swarovski roundels so many possibilities!
Swarovski 3700 Margaritas Autumn Margarita Angels
I'm all about crystals in many of my designs. Art Beads has wholesale prices on Crystallized Swarovski Elements in shapes like Margaritas and Roundels . The main thing I enjoy about using the roundels is they are faceted and they are like little saucers! Just those small facets attract the light at all angles. The shape lends itself to use as a spacer and it is PERFECT! Many of my designs incorporate beaded beads so that saucer shape works well in molding and shaping little works of art! I have many many patterns I have designed, including the beaded beads shown above using roundels. For one of my beaded beads, I decided on one of the newer colors in "Palace green opal" it just looks regal when used with topaz and ruby colors. The green peeks through the little windows on the beads. I love it! Roundels can be used for spacers between beads or topping off components for sparkly highlights. Notice on my bracelet design, the spacers are used as a finishing sparkle on top of the squares. Did I say I love sparkle? The roundels come in a great assortment of colors too.

If you have ever wondered what to do with those crystal Margaritas besides just hanging them from an earring, they're perfect to integrate into shapes! A few days ago my shipment of crystals from Artbeads came. Yeeaaae! I've been waiting anxiously 'cause as you can see I had many designs in mind. Autumn is a'comin and even though here in sunny California it's still 100 degrees I'm thinking of fall. It's my time of year. It's the perfect opportunity to use all the fall colors of Margaritas which Art beads carries. I have found they are one of the few companies who offer margaritas in an assortment of colors too. For these angels I used graduated sizes of margaritas from 4mm to 12mm in fall colors like crystal ab, sun, peach, topaz, topaz ab, erinite and light siam. These can be made into a variety of gift items. I made a bookmark, a pair of earrings and an angel pendant using the same general idea. Great gift ideas for holidays. I've used the green shades for Christmas trees too! Try adding roundels for that added sparkle to any design.


Journal project 2010

One of Robin Atkins beadwork pieces
I think she captured this waterfall so perfectly
This year has flown by and although I haven't finished up my years worth of journals, it has been fun and something to look forward to each day. I encourage anyone who loves writing or journaling and doing beadwork or embroidery of any kind to join this years Bead Journal Project for 2010. It is the brainchild of Robin Atkins, an internationally published author and amazing beadwork artist. There's no pressure to finish your one of a kind, same size piece each month. There is simply the wish for you to spread your creative wings and do what you love, and in the meantime share it to a wonderful group of cyber-friends. Yes, these same cyber-friends will sometimes become your most encouraging group of people with words of advice, and commentary. They are each talented in their own right and you will learn an amazing amount of things and that includes life lessons. I've decided to join the Bead Journal Project for 2010 once again and maybe kick it up a notch, because some of the best talent you've seen is on this project. As Robin would say, "Will you join me? We'll journey together"



By accident I found a posting on a fellow bjp members blog. I had never visited her blog and found a surprise there. Along with robin atkins, and other bjp members were my tags. Thank you Sara for featuring my tags on your blog, Perline di Saggzza. After neglecting my BJP for a while this was what I needed to get going again...just a little pat on the back is always good for the soul. I do create every day but when I'm holed up alone in the house with no feedback I tend to be the hard critic that I am, on my work, and let some things go by the wayside. Sara's blog is in Italian, but a translator bar is on there. Her pieces are beautiful and full of color and texture. Although translating a blog can be funny at times...some words and sentences just don't translate... the photos say it all.


Blooming Designs

"Blooming Skies" Bracelet
I've been so busy I've neglected my blog for a while, but the truth is I have been busy making up lots of jewelry, traveling a bit here and there teaching jewelry, and now my sisters got me addicted to facebook! I promised myself I would make a huge effort to write in my blog as I used to at least twice a week and cut down on the facebook, we'll see how that all pans out! lol Here are a few designs I've made up lately. This is a design I made up in keeping with my "Tudors" theme of jewelry. I have quite a few 'tudor pieces' on my website, with more to come, and if you've ever seen the show you know they have amazing jewels on there. I love the rich, regal, opulent colors and designs from that time period. My newest design was really fun to make and although it has no genuine jewels, it does have the same feel as if you were wearing them. Lots of crystals, pearls, and seed beads make up this bracelet. It's called "Blooming Skies". Pale aqua shades of blue with earthtone accents in browns and taupes. In some of the shapes I used oval centers rather than rounds.

I've been on this medallion kick for a long while now, and having just got back from Albuquerque and Santa Fe I was in the mood to make something a little more earthy and casual. This makes me think of New Mexico. Not sure why this picture keeps loading sideways since I have it saved the opposite way, but you get the idea of what the bracelet looks like. Made with genuine turquoise strands and a beaded medallion of czech glass and swarovski crystals.


Twitting along

No, I haven't really fallen off the face of the earth, sorry for not posting for so long. I have really been busy beading. Photos of everything will be taken after I finish up quite a few projects. Most of the things I'm working on are in progress waiting for toggle ends, or chains or whatever and I had so many ideas floating about that I guess I wanted to work on several things at the same time and finish the ends off later. Hence my not blogging. I confess I have been twittering around playing with all that nonsense and there are only so many hours in a day. My new twitter page has a lighter look with photos and I like that very much. I have lots of new people to follow. I'm not an every minute twitterer (twit?) but I do like to read up on current things and comment every so often. The days of newsworthy stories are loooong gone I think. In any case, yes my guilt over not working on and posting comments, of my bead journal project is eating at me, but it only takes the right moment to get me caught up with that. Classes are at a halt for the summer as well, and that has freed up a lot of time for me to do whatever I will, and it seems today I just want to do nothing at all...(what a concept)! Think I will mosey over to my friend Marias store today, she got the basic line of Vintaj findings in, (brass pretty stuff, love them)and I'll take a look at their catalog to see what I want to order from her.


New Life!

The weather yesterday and today has been so beautiful! We even had a cool breeze last night, and I know the major heat is coming so I'm taking advantage of leaving the windows and doors open before the dreaded heat comes again. Putting together kits is what I've been doing this past week, and counting all the beads, making sure each has same number of beads etc..and all the 'fun' things that go with photos, patterns etc., has taken a lot of my time lately. Hopefully it will be worth it. My friend Maria agreed to put the kits in her store since she sells all the great stones that I use for them. If you're ever in the Selma, Fresno area I highly recommend visiting her store (Bead Central). I have managed to fit in making some cute little beaded beads that I'm now addicted to. They take a while to complete, but I think they're worth the effort. Haven't decided how I will use they yet however.


In addition to all my beady things, I have a new grand-niece! Or is that great niece? My nephew and his wife have a new baby...! Peyton Elyse. Isn't that a pretty name? She is a teeny one, only 4 lbs. 12 oz or so, but I saw pics on facebook, which I shared on my wall, and of course her eyes are closed 'cause she needs her beauty sleep for her new life! Just wish I didn't live so dang far away, I miss everything. Thankfully we have email, facebook, for all those precious photos.



For the last week I have been beading frantically, and not on my bjp unfortunately. I'm still in my "Tudors" phase and worked on three beaded pearl and crystal heart bridal necklaces. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love component beading. That is making small beaded beads, or anything that is less than an inch in size, and then putting those pieces together for a finished jewelry piece. I'm almost finished with this silver rope bracelet using metallic charlotte seed beads. My charlottes are kind of a prized seed bead because they are not easy to find. I actually found them in a little shop in Albuquerque two years ago and have never seen them sold anywhere since. I save them for special designs for sparkle and when I truly want the look of metal in seed beading projects. The bracelet has three floating beaded bead components on it. I just need to put on the clasp portion. Beaded beads are my thing...just love them, and when I have leftovers from a project I try to make a teeny beaded bead with those leftovers and add it to my stash of beaded beads in waiting. In the evening I like to take my beading tray and put it on a tv table tray while I'm watching tv. Lots of baggies of beads, loose beads, seed beads and finished things etc... are in this little container on this convenient little tv table. Sunday night I managed to pop the tray just perfect so that it went flying up and on the floor, not a nice carpet area where the beads would at least stay, but a wood floor! Beads roll and roll and scatter they don't just sit there like on a carpet Nooooooo! Yeah, that was my response a loud echo-ing Nooooooo! Kind of a blood curdling Noooooooo! Everything seemed to be in slow motion like it is when you're in an accident. The dogs ears are up and afraid to move. People are staring, my arms are in the air and grabbing, and all I could do was look at my husband who had a "I knew this would happen someday" look and I started the non enviable task of picking up all the !@#!@! beads! I'm staring at teeny 15's everywhere, my prized metallic charlottes, still rolling and rolling now into the kitchen area..and last night, guess what, I did it again!! Two nights in one week! I think I got them all picked up except for the ones under the darn sofa, which will be there until I move the sofa. This morning I found more under the kitchen table...I know some of you have had this same experience and it is one of the hazards we have to bear isn't it? My response, Oops!


Art Machine

Momma and baby bird a few years ago nested in my fake fig tree on the porch
Happy Mothers Day! Today Freebird (Timmarree) made a comment that struck a chord with me. She was commenting on my website bio and how I had cut class in high school so I could be in another class (which was art). Even though I never received a grade for this class, I loved it and took it whenever I could. During my 'independent study time class", lunchtime, and even cutting a bookkeeping class I enjoyed the wonderful world of art. One of those art pieces was making a small wooden loom so we could create yarn loomed belts. I made a zillion of them, (maybe not a zillion) but you get the idea. Timarree commented "I had to have it or I would quit school" referring to art or crafts class. I know that feeling all too well. She too had the passion for art at that time. Getting across the fact that my passion takes over my brain sometimes, is difficult to relate to a non artist. When I am not creating I really do get what I call creative overload. This is the sense that so many ideas and juices are flowing that they have to come out someway and if they don't, you don't want to be around me because I get a little grumpy. Working on beading, cooking, painting, stamping or whatever I can to release this energy is what makes me tick. I really feel that my 'defining moment' was in that art class so many years ago. How could I have known then that it would lead me to knowing what my true path in life would be. Does anyone else remember a defining moment in their lives that decided for them that they should be an artist, artistic, creative art machine?


Tudor on the brain

I haven't posted in a while, but I have been busy, busy, busy. Finally my new website updates are taking shape and I just need to put the shopping cart on it. I don't have a fraction of things on there that I that will require more time this week. baby steps baby steps Not enough time for my bjp, but (this week I promise!) Between beadweaving jewelry, taking photos for the website, classes and the re-working of my website I'm slowly burning out...something has to give and I think I may take a break from classes for a while. (not to mention I need to clean my house once in a while!) I have had the Tudor jewelry collection on my brain and completed Six new pieces plus earrings to match. Three of the pieces are bracelets inspired by that wonderful show The Tudors on showtime. One is a bridal white, while the other is in brassy and tanzanite shades with plum undertones. I also did a netted white pearly bracelet with dots of teeny flowers on it, I'm still deliberating on what the center piece is going to be though. I also made up a black/brass/topaz necklace with a center rivoli, and I love the way it came out, just need to put on the clasp. Yesterday I did take a trip to my friend Marias store in Selma. I always get inspired by her 'mecca' of semi-precious stones. I met a new beader there, Mary. She was so excited and eager to get learning new things and wants to take a class. I love it! We talked about setting up a basic beadwork class at her store for the beginners, but I don't know when I am going to find the time!!! Like I said I'm burning out, but hopefully when I complete a few more things I can get back on track again.


Just a Test

Well....every day there is a 'new fangled' way for me to sit my butt at the computer...I'm emailing to my blog from my email and I wonder why there are not enough hours in the day to do my beading....Hope this works! testing testing..


Good Day!

Some days are bad, some are sad, some are redundant, and some are just darn good! Yesterday was a 'darn good' day. Although my stone garden bracelet has been in production for a long while now, the Bead Unique article came out finally. In todays mail I received a letter stating what my payment would be for the article! I only had a guess as to what I would get paid, but it was a surprise worth waiting for! Not huuuge or anything, but it was more than expected and that makes it a darn good and pleasant surprise in this economy. It made my day and my beading efforts worthwhile. This bracelet design came about a long 5 years ago, so I guess it has held up its' fashion appeal. I love making fringe, and this bracelet has a lot of it. Using a pretty focal stone is sometimes a challenge as to how best to show it off. Faceted slab stones are all the rage now in the fashion magazines, and I have seen whole strands of them in chunky type necklaces. My stone is amazonite and serpentine jade for the other featured bracelet. It was purchased at Bead Central in Selma. They have a huge variety of stones which you can buy by the strand or individually. My instructions used fireline thread, however since some stones are heavier than others you can string it with soft flex first and attach your toggle with crimps. Then use your fireline to do the fringing.


Luscious Tudors

The Tudors on Showtime
I just found a link to watch the Tudors streamline, it is free! The Tudors my latest inspiration for beadwork is in the form of a tv show. Although I have watched other previous tv series like Big Love, or the Sopranos, no tv series has inspired me like The Tudors on Showtime. It's FREE until April 9th and can be found in the 'top picks' section of "On Demand" It has me hooked and wanting more and I was able to watch several episodes one after another this way(when hubbys out of town I have a tudor fest while beading) I love making anything which looks like the queens jewels, 'cause let's face it, I'm not a queen and I'm never gonna' be one! Making beadwork reproductions and using glass and crystal rather than diamonds, rubies, emeralds is my thing. I'm only viewing season 1 on comcast On Demand, and meanwhile the season 3 season has premiered. I have a lot of catching up to do, but if you've seen it, surely you have noticed all the fantastic jewelry in this show? All the jewelry has been reproduced using portraits as reference. It was the time period of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Thomas Moore....etc. In addition to being an interesting time period, and great show, the actores are exceptional, Johnathan Rys Meyers plays King Henry (he played Elvis years ago). In each episode my eye immediately focuses on the beadwork and jewels they have on the actresses and actors. Each piece is just absolutely stunning. Talk about inspiring, I look forward each week to seeing what they are going to be wearing next. The mens collars, the womens necklaces, the bodices, their necklines on their gowns, the coronets and crowns all just to die for. A particularly stunning piece I noticed was a crown which Anne Boleyn wore of spiky pearls that rose at least 6 inches in the center and gradually shortened on the ends from the crown of her head. I am so envious of the actress playing Katherine of Aragon, she has the most beautiful head pieces, crowns, and necklaces. Amazing! Each piece made based on the historical portraits from centuries ago. Not everyone was privy to wearing jewels in those days, because of certain laws and they weren't even allowed to wear purple velvet. Can you imagine? In one of the first episodes, King Henry chooses between three beautiful brooches to give to his mistress Anne Boleyn, each stunning in their own right. Onyx, rubies, gold lockets, pearls....I had to know more and immediately web surfed what I could find for some inspiration of my own. If you haven't seen The Tudors yet, you can view bits of Katherine of Aragons costumes here TUDORS and other info HERE and if you have showtime all episodes are online at the showtime site as well as ON Demand on Comcast tv. I'm on a roll right now and am working on a necklace inspired by 'the tudors' and I'll post it will have lots of crystals and pearls and hopefully make anyone look a little regal!!!


Le Bleu Inspiration!

Vintage crystal at left, my bead haul purchase right

What do you do when someone brings out an amazing assortment of vintage swarovski crystal rivolis in pretty colors? Buy them of course. I was on my way out the door, when Kandra showed me these vintage 10mm rivolis I couldn't resist. With one color named Le Bleu.....packaged in Paris and wrapped very carefully in parisian parment and cotton, I could not resist. I have never seen this color ever!!!! She also had 23 mm triangles and squares...Yeaaaa!!! That's what I'm talkin' about. Had to have them even though I thought I was finished with my selection of bead haul. Now, where did I get them? Well, I found out through the 'bead grapevine' that there was a lady selling beads from her garage locally, so I had to find out who and where. I'm always wanting to check out new merchandise and Kandra was the person. She actually has an online shop. I had gone to her store in San Luis Obispo last year, but the store was closed. I only knew the name of the shop, but this year I found out she had closed the store and moved out to our town. I don't know her, however I found out by accident that she is a member of the BJP (bead journal project) which I belong to. Her name is unique and I thought it might be her. I made an appointment to check out all her 'stuff' and boy am I glad I went out there!! After meeting her I see she is another one of us who likes to learn, create, and stay busy with beading. A very nice lady, and her friend was also very nice (I'm so sorry I can't remember her name). It was nice to talk with them both about what we all love to do, beading!! I saw her bead journal pieces up close and personal as well. She does very nice work, and by the time I left my head was spinning with ideas because of all the interesting beads and crystals she carried and the wonderful curio cabinet full of many of the items she had beaded. I thought that was very cool to have that displayed in her living room. My finished beaded things are all hidden away in cases away from my main rooms and I'm thinking I may have to integrate them somehow...(why do I keep them hidden??) I guess I'm so worried that my beadwork will take over my house that I try very hard to keep it separate from my living space. Now don't get me wrong, I have my fair share of beadwork which I'm working on in full view, but for the most part finished items are all put away. My plan was to buy crystal rivolis, and maybe some more triangles, cubes, 15's in more colors, but I came out of there with a lot more than I planned. Fun!A little beaded mermaid I thought was so cute




Spirals have been in the air locally and just lately (AGAIN). Maybe it's because teaching these different versions locally creates a domino effect with one person after another. People cannot get enough of them. Anyone new to beading should learn at least a few basic spiral stitches and there are a lot of them. Right now I'm teaching a basic seed bead spiral at Bead Artistry. One of the first spiral classes I taught locally, was 4 years ago using CRYSTALS in a necklace, this class then graduated to a bracelet class called CRYSTAL SPIRAL photo at bottom right. Everyone went nuts making these bracelets. Students would tell me they make 6 7, 8 of them in a week! Wow. The spiral went away for a while, 'cause of burnout maybe, but now again I'm teaching 3 more spirals. I have found that students made so many pretty versions of interesting colors that everyone wanted to make one of each color and there you go...the domino effect again. Color Blend Spiral at left Friends of friends all making the spiral was inevitable, and now this month a different version of a spiral using color blending techniques. This will be lots of fun!!!! Just using 4 colors students will create a bracelet which looks like 8 colors!! Everyone is excited about this blending technique. It's not new, but it is a new class here, and a fun one for beginners. There are so many different versions of spiral stitches and I have taught many many many different ones in town at both BEAD ARTISTRY and BELLA BEAD, our local bead stores. I've even noticed after not seeing the spiral for a while, that the other local bead stores in town are teaching them again. The domino effect!!! They are fun, easy, and look impressively difficult to make. Wearing a spiral and showing off your new created design just makes people happy and want to make one!! Why not, they are fun and easy!!!! Here's a link to a basic DUTCH SPIRAL this is a tried and true basic spiral stitch. Use different beads rather than the size 8's for a completely different look! Make a spiral and just watch what happens!!! Everyone will want to make one and another and another...


Buttons Buttons

Friday I visited my friend Maria in Selma. I've had a 'beading block' for a while now regarding my BJP and can't seem to get out of my funk. She has a bead store (Bead Central) which she has totally revamped and added so many amazing semi-precious stones and beads to. She also has very large selections of buttons, fibers, hats, and cloth purses. She is the type of person who will take old vintage clothing and clothes from her own closet and cut those buttons off if they are unique and interesting. She had an array of interesting buttons when I visited this past week. I love using these as closures in my beadwork. We decided that I will teach a class using some of her cool buttons. A button bracelet would be a fun class to have. There are lots of versions out there in bead world, of button bracelets. To have a source for so many pretty buttons at our fingertips will be fun. She told me many of her buttons are from old clothes from guatemala or brazil so you can imagine how unique they might be. Great prices too. She makes amazing mosaic mirrors too, which you will see when you are in her store. I talked her into putting them all up behind her register where everyone could see them. She had them all hidden behind in the back. They are so beautiful I thought, "show them off". When we get together the wheels start turning. We bounce ideas off each other left and right and by the time I get back to her store she has changed up all her displays and merchandise to what we've spoken about. She gives me tons of ideas too for my jewelry and I go home with a head full of things I want to make using her stones. She likes big and bold and chunky and I tend to like smaller round and polished things, so we tend to compliment each other. Neither one of us is afraid of color! The brighter the better. We also enjoy going to bead shows together! From the minute we met I felt a connection to her, don't know why, but it was almost as if we had known each other for a long time and we just gab and gab away the hours. Although we don't see each other a whole lot it's fun to catch up when we do.


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