Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Kate, Marcia and Screwts

Just a brief little note today. Recently, Kate McKinnon taught a class at Marcia DeCoster's studio. I was unable to attend since I was at Heather Trimlett's Garden Studio Friday and Saturday. However, I did get to go for a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon. Kate was generous enough to give me some of her beads and show me what they were working on. The girls were working on Screwts, named after the plant in a Harry Potter book. I have been kind of busy working on my new studio, but try to bead a for little while each morning. My Screwt is pretty cute!
Kate had some of her jewelry with her and I couldn't
resist the tall building ring. The next morning, Kate came by for a little visit. Here she is with Jasmine. Aren't they cute together?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Heather Trimlett's Open Studio

My Beautiful Booth at Heather's
What a nice little show Heather Trimlett puts on each December at her house here in the San Diego area. I arrived early Friday to set up my booth and am very proud of the results. There are only ten artists showing their work. Each of us has to bring cookie dough ready to bake. A pot of soup and a pot of chili are simmering all day on Saturday. Along with the cookies baking throughout the day it is an enticing place to spend a few hours. Heather's home is lovely and her gardens are quite wonderful. Cobalt blue chairs and pots among foliage and rock and brick work make a stroll through the yard very pleasant. The show was well attended and it was so fun to see new as well as old friends.
I look forward to next year's show.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nuno Felting Class with Arlene Watson.

Attending Arlene Watson's Nuno Felting class was really worth while on many levels. We learned the technique of fusing felt with fabric. This technique is one I have wanted to learn for quite some time. Arlene is very talented and a great teacher. Patient and generous. Her studio is large, comfortable and has everything you need to be successful. My fellow students were both very talented women.

This made for two days of stimulating conversation as well a great learning opportunity for Nuno Felt making. I created several pieces of Nuno felt in using different techniques that I will now play with. We'll see what they all morph into. I want more classes now. It is so good to stretch and grow with art! Thanks Arlene.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Behind My Blogs! SJBS & BSGNY

I have been kind of busy lately, so I am going to back up and do some posts from the last few weeks. Below is the first installment.

But first, here is a bit of exciting news for the summer of 2010 -
I am very excited to announce this new retreat. I love beading in the mountains and The Tetons are some of our most spectacular specimens! Join me July 24 - 28, 2010. The Teton Bead Retreat!

The South Jersey Bead Society.
I love teaching for the SJBS! They really treat you right when you come teach for them. How fun to see all these women create individual pieces during class. Each piece is so good. They all got an A+ in my book.

What a great group of bead crazed women! This Bead Society is full of dynamic women who are so productive and have a really a cohesive membership. They team up to make sure everything is perfect. They make it look so easy. But you know it takes a great deal of planning and coordinating to achieve what they do.

Fabulously colorful Fradel on the left, and a shot of some of the class hard at work. Pretty Piper Antonelli with a sequin on her nose, not planned, to make her sparkling personality even brighter!
Thanks everyone for another memorable weekend of classes.

The Bead Society Of Greater New York
I flew home from South New Jersey on Monday, then turned around and went to New York City on Thursday of the same week. Worth the trips back and forth! Carole Horn has chosen my classes for many years and I always go in the Fall when NYC is so beautiful!

Below, Suzanne and I at the Oyster Bar at Grand Central Station, NYC.

I adore New York City. This November, Carole Horn and The Bead Society of Greater New York brought me in to teach workshops for them. They hold classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology in Manhattan. It is such a very exciting place for me. You see, I dreamed of being a costume designer when I was young and just love seeing all the young students hustling to their classes. I think of how fortunate they are to be living their dreams at this time in their lives. Who knows, maybe someday they will have their designs displayed in a fabulous shop in Manhattan, Paris, and Milan... (To the right is the Eileen Fisher window near my hotel. So clever!)
Each time I travel to New York City, I fulfill one tourist destination on my list. My friend Peggy has guided me around NYC for many years. She recently moved to Taos, NM! Wah! I missed seeing her and our wonderful shopping trips and the great food we always had in NYC. This time
my wonderful tour guide was Suzanne Golden. She is one tour de force! We went to the Garment District to shop for beads and sequins. Then we went to the Museum of Art & Design for the amazing exhibition called "Slash" Cut Paper. Astounding and surprising. Then on to window shop at Barney's and browse the amazing wearable art at Bergdorf Goodman. It was my first time. Inspiring fashions, really! I will always remember my first time...

My favorite hotel when I am visiting NYC is the Hotel Beacon. It is 4 blocks from Central Park, has a fabulous theatre attached. They have great concerts right next door to "my" hotel! Someday I will plan to see a show while I am there. The Hotel Beacon is across the street from an amazing gourmet grocery store called the Fairway Market. I bought some yummy gourmet cheeses and coffee while I was there and brought them home to enjoy. Monday morning, I had a few hours until my 4:00 pm flight home so I took my camera and walked the neighborhood near my hotel. I love the beautiful brownstones!

Here I am in front of a window at Barney's. The Cone Heads in PJ's display was being put together as we walked up to the store. Cracks me up! Cone Heads!!!!

I can't wait to return to NYC, teach for the very talented women of the BSGNY and explore more of one of the most exciting cities in the world.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My Kit "Cave" is Actually Bright & Beautifu!

Inspired Blogging?
For some time now, I just haven't been able think of what I should blog about. I wonder if anyone is interested in my daily life when it seems so mundane to me. Building kits isn't the most interesting activity I can think of. Uninspired, I stopped blogging for a couple of weeks. Then, this morning, on Facebook, Marcia DeCoster said she had blogged before coffee. Before coffee??? Wow, I am impressed, Marcia.
Every chair and table holds finished kits and
parts for making more kits!

My storage cupboard from IKEA.
Full of boxes of crystals!

So, I just had to go to Marcia's blog and see what she had to say. What a wonderful blog! She talks about her workspace and new beadwork finds and her students' work. Marcia got me into blogging in the first place, so now she is inspiring me to keep going. Thanks, my friend.
When I am making kits with Julie, my helper and friend, I refer to it as being in the Kit "Cave". Really, the space we work in is anything but a cave! It is really beautiful in my sun room. The couch and chairs are full of plastic bins with kits and project tutorials in them, but it is bright and beautiful and we are surrounded by all the colors I love most! When the weather is warm, which is most of the time here, we open the windows and can hear the waterfall just outside the sun room. Not exactly a "cave"!

I'm Ready to Play With FELT!!!
I am very excited to be signed up for Arlene Watson's Nuno Felt Workshop coming up at the end of November. I need to play with fibers for a while. It is so good to take a break from the usual and step outside my comfort zone sometimes. This is the perfect opportunity. I have been collecting roving for a few years now. I think it is high time I used some of it up! I have done a little bit of felting, but not much. Below is a little handbag I felted and beaded. Michele Goldstein's flower bead is perfect at the bottom with my Berry Delightful beaded silk dangle. The flower at the top is done with Right Angle Weave.

I have lots to learn about felting, but I still love this little bag. I am excited to see what happens after the workshop with Arlene. More possibilities await me!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Classes and Trunk Sale at 1 Stop Bead Shop

This Thursday I fly to Columbus, Ohio to teach at 1Stop Bead Shop. Classes begin on Friday morning, with the Third Eye Pendant, and Femme Florets Ring, in the evening.

Saturday's Classes are The Tiles of Antoni Gaudi Cuff, pictured above,
with Enchanting Chains Bracelet, a fun little 3 hour class, that evening.
I love this shop. It is really well stocked with enticing goodies and Lisa, the owner is a very dynamic woman. Full of energy and fun. I will be bringing my trunk sale of kits and instructions, so come on over if you are in the area.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Kit Making!

There hasn't been a lot for me to talk about lately. Staying home and putting together kits isn't too exciting. I have been in the "kit making cave" for days and days. Fortunately, I've decided to bead for a while first thing in the morning. This always helps me have a good day! I can't show you what I have been working on because it is my project for the "Use The Muse" beading contest. It is a secret until the big reveal. Wish me luck!
Kits really are a wonderful thing, but making them is tedious. Good thing I have a helper/friend, Julie. She is smart, organized and a fast worker. She likes the same music I do and we share philosophical views about many things. This makes for some pretty stimulating kit making days despite the tediousness of putting little beads in little baggies, taping them together, then taping them to instruction booklets and putting the whole thing into a bigger baggie. Hundreds of them! Thanks Julie.
Today, I needed a break so I went to the San Diego Zoo for a morning walk. I love walking in our zoo. As you may have noticed, I talk about the zoo a lot. It is very cool. This morning at about 11:00 am, they released ten macaws from a box that is elevated about 15 feet off the ground. I got a good shot of it just as they flew out of the box. Cool!!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Hacienda San Diego Beach Retreat!

January 16 - 22, 2010

Basketry in Beads

A Master Class

in Self-Supporting

Freeform Basket


This retreat will now be held

at a lovely Beach House in San Diego!

Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to stay

and bead for a week inspired by a fabulous ocean view.

This retreat is being run solely by Jeannette Cook

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beaded Bliss!

What a perfect name Beaded Bliss is! I am heading up to Julie's new store in Danville, CA tomorrow to teach workshops and have a trunk sale of my kits and instructions. Please come by and visit me. We still have room in both Friday Evening's 3 hour class,

Femme Florets Ring as well as Saturday's class,
The Third Eye Pendant.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Day of Art and Family

Last weekend, I spent Saturday morning with my granddaughter, Rita. It was her 15th birthday. We went shoe shopping, then she had a beautiful Henna design put on her hand while I had my eyebrows threaded. The design was so beautiful on her. A small work of art to wear on your skin! Rita took me to sushi for lunch after. What a great kid! It is no wonder, my daughter, Jenni is her mom. She is a wonderful artist and an all around amazing person!

San Diego is rich with beauty and inspiration. Sunday, my daughter, Jenni and eldest granddaughter, Chloe' and I spent the entire day taking in art! We went to the San Diego Museum of Art to see the Calder Jewelry exhibit. I love how he used swirling shapes of hammered wire to create quite large and bold pieces. I am crazy about swirls and
large jewelry does not frighten me at all as many of you know from seeing me wear my own wearable art pieces.
Chloe' put the camera on black & white to capture the shadows cast
by this amazing Calder sculpture just outside the museum doors.
She had her mom and me pose with the sculptures and shot some really great pictures!
Lunch in the Sculpture Garden Restaraunt, next door to the museum was great! After Balboa Park, we were off to Dick Blick in the Little Italy section of San Diego to shop for art supplies. Jenni is working on her MFA at Cuyamacha College while her daughter is working on general ed classes at the same college. I love that my daughter and granddaughter are going to college together.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Passion for Passion Flowers!

Before I left for vacation, my Passion vines had a lot of buds on them and a couple of flowers in bloom. Ten days later, the flowers are bursting forth! Here are a few pictures. They look kind of otherworldly, don't they?

The Open Life - On The Road

Gone Camping With My Brother!
I am working on a brand new open life. I promised myself that from now on, I would say yes more often and open myself to new adventures. For about six months now, there has been a little voice in my head that keeps saying, "I need a camping trip, I need a camping trip". Well, I finally listened and went to Northern California for the Russian River Jazz and Blues Festival. (The photograph on the left is the view from the dock at our campgrounds. Just past the bridge on the beach is where the festival is held.) My brother, Ken loves music and we hadn't seen each other in about 5 years. (Here we are waiting to have breakfast together on the way out of town after the festival.) We've talked on the phone occasionally, but no face to face. I called him and asked if he was ready to have some fun together. Want to go to the RR Jazz & Blues Festival? Yes? We can camp just up the road. We grew up camping, so I knew he would love it. He said yes, I will meet you there on Thursday before the festival. Cool!!! He lives in Idaho, so his drive down would be about as far as my drive up. We had a wonderful reunion. I just loved spending time with my brother. He is a great person. Very knowledgeable about music, relaxed and easy going to hang out with. He brought his guitar and played a little while we sat around the campfire at night.
Originally, I had planned on leaving the Wednesday before the festival. Then my friend Rachel said, why don't you come up on Labor day and stay at my newly finished house in the Santa Cruz mountains on the way. (Look at the beautiful color of her place. Teal blue stain!) Why not, I said? I am the boss of this business. Ok! I will be up on Labor Day. Well, my car was all packed and ready to roll by Sunday at 10:00am. My other friend Nancy, whom I have known since 4th grade recently moved to Paso Robles. She wanted me to visit her on the way too. I called her and asked if I could spend Sunday night at her house. Of course she said yes, come on up, we're having a BBQ tonight. Wooo Hoooo! I rolled out the driveway by noon. A 10 day vacation is so much better than a 7 day vacation, don't you think? After all, I had promised myself I would be open to new adventures, new people and new inspirations. Nancy's boyfriend, Kevin, is a musician and Nancy plays dulcimer. In their living room were about 10 guitars and a couple of Ukuleles along with her lovely dulcimer sitting on stands, beautifully displayed. The neighbor, Bones is a poet and their friend Bill was there from Fresno. What a great evening we all had. Drinking wine, hanging around the kitchen cutting and chopping and cooking while Bones recited his wonderful poetry to us. Great people, new inspiration, good food and lots of laughing. My promise to myself was happening in a huge way. Cool! I wondered what would be next on this great adventure? In the morning, I headed out for Santa Cruz to have lunch with Rachel Nelson Smith and see her new studio. It is a tiny space but so cool! A great skylight keeps things bright along with her Chartreuse curtains hiding the shelves full of kit makings. I picked up her new book which I had pre-ordered and off we went to lunch in downtown Santa Cruz. (I am sorry I didn't get a good picture of her studio and us together.) Then to the other Rachel's to spend the rest of the day. She is in Felton, a mountain community above Santa Cruz. We walked in the redwood forest down the road from her place, then cooked dinner together and sat on the porch. That's Rachel sitting on the porch of her new home in the picture above. Inside her new home it is spacious and serene. Ahhhhh. Thanks Rachel!

I arrived at the Campgrounds Tuesday at 12:30 pm. There are only about 15 campsites at the private campground with a beautiful lodge out front. It is called The Guerneville Lodge. I had the entire place to myself and was able to choose the very best campsite in the place! Yes!!! A full view of the Russian River about 15' below my site, plenty of trees for shade and I am a
happy camper. I set up my tent, placed my chair and little table on the "Veranda" and sat beading for a while. Will, the caretaker came over and offered to loan me his kayak. Yes! I have never been kayaking before. Yet another new adventure awaits. Meanwhile, I got a new camping neighbor, Mike. I introduced myself to him and met his dog, River. I learned that he just happens to live in San Diego too! We had both borrowed kayaks from Will and rowed down the river together, chatting like old friends. When we got back, we had two new neighbors. I walked over, introduced myself and Mike to them. Cheryl and Laurel are great women to hang out with! Both creative and interesting women. I invited them and Mike to come over and "Verandize". This means we sit in our chairs at the edge of a drop off or ledge. Even a 4" ledge will do, and drink wine or beer and munch on cheeses, fruits, chips or whatever you have. They all said yes and we pooled our food and drinks and looked out over the river. Meanwhile, two new neighbors were moving in. Michael and Stanley. Come on over, we said. And the party got even better! For the rest of the week and into the weekend, any new campers were invited to Verandize. The campgrounds were full by Friday night. On Saturday night, we had a huge pot luck dinner at Michael and Stanley's campsite with almost all the other campers. Was my life opening up in a big way or what? The original 6 campers exchanged email addresses and phone numbers and vowed we would be back next year for the 2010 Festival.

Speaking of the Festival, it was amazing! Saturday, Jazz day, was warm and sunny. You bring your blanket, lawn chairs, ice chest and whatever else you want and stake out a spot on Johnson's Beach, where the stage is set up. Right there on the banks of the Russian River. How wonderful!
The music was great, our festival neighbors were so fun and about halfway through the day, I walked back to our campsite, about a 10 minute walk away, grabbed a blow up boat and paddled back down the river to the festival. I found Stanley and Michael floating on inner tubes. We visited a while and I left them with my float and swam to shore to join my brother on the beach again. Sunday was the Blues day of the festival. There was a light rain all day. No one minded. We had umbrellas or ponchos or just a piece of plastic tarp. Some just got wet. It was like Woodstock for old farts! Too fun. We danced in the rain, walked around the vendor booths, grabbed a bite to eat from the food vendors, my favorite had huge oysters on the grill. I mean huge! one oyster had to be cut into 3 or 4 pieces to be eaten. They were topped with salsa, garlic and lemon juice. I had them both days with a tall beer. Mmmmmm. Should have gotten a picture of that! I didn't take too many pictures at the festival. I was too busy having fun! I can't wait until next year. I AM going back. It is on my 2010 calendar.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sea Spirit Driftwood Sculpture

It all started with a piece of driftwood I picked up at the beach on Whidbey Island, WA in July. I was planning to use the driftwood for a new basket. Nearby was a little bag of ancient Roman glass pieces. I took one of the pieces that I had bezeled with beads and set it on one end of the wood. It fit perfectly! It even looked like a head! Hey!!! Then there was a piece that literally snapped into place in the center of the wood where there was very nice crevasse with a hole that goes through to the other side. That's it! Let the beading begin. She mostly needed a beautiful crown of bead work on her head. I decided the body needed more color. Why must I leave the driftwood in it's natural color? This is my sculpture, I can do what ever I want! I have lots of Sharpie markers and some beautiful gel writing pens. Coloring the driftwood was really, really fun! I back lit the sculpture so the glass pieces would glow. Very cool. My muse was the piece of driftwood from the sea. Therefore, the name of this piece has to be Sea Spirit.

Traveling North!

I travel a lot to teach classes all over the country. Sometimes, out of the country. Travel has been a passion for me since childhood. Our dad took us camping every chance he got. I have a great picture of me and my sister watching our father shave in front of a little mirror that is nailed to a tree in our campsite in Sequoia National Park. I am about 4 years old. We went to Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier and so many other places, it would take too long to name. In 1967 we went on a 3 month trip around the US and across Canada. Once I grew up, I took my kids on a few camping trips, but not many. Too busy working. During my second marriage, we both had kids and took them to the desert in the winter to camp and ride motocross. So fun! Then I bought a Hobie Cat, a 16' catamaran and we began sailing and camping with that boat. It was wonderful. Life went on and the kids grew up and the marriage broke up. I kept the boat and continued to sail and camp with a group of Hobie sailors for many years after that. However, life got busy and I used the boat less and less. Finally, after owning it for 20 years, I sold it. I really miss that boat and the companionship of all my sailing buddies

For the past 15 years or so I have traveled mostly to work. The fun trips were happening less and less. Now that I have been single for a little over a year it is time to head out and have an adventure again. I am taking off by myself on a road trip to Northern California. I used to live in Cotati, CA, (Near Santa Rosa). That's where Out On A Whim or Whimbeads is now. I lived there in 1981 & '82. It is a beautiful part of California located in Sonoma County. Wine country. I really like wine! The Russian River Jazz Festival has been held in Guerneville, which is very close to Santa Rosa right on the Russian River. Follow the river and you end up at the ocean in Jenner by the Sea. Just south is Bodega Bay where The Birds was filmed. I am learning to be single again. I traveled very little with my husband and really missed having someone to go camping with. Now I am going alone for a few days, but my brother, Ken is joining me for four days including the Jazz Festival weekend. He lives in Idaho. We rarely see each other. It will be so great to bead, hike, float on the river and listen to music. I leave early tomorrow, Labor Day, and won't be back until about the 15th. I am not bringing my computer. It's camping and I plan to really escape! Never from Beads, though!!! I will have my camera, so will post some pictures when I come home. I am staying at The Willows.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Thankful & Happy!

What a great weekend! Thank you everyone who made my Special Sale a success. There's going to be lots of beautiful beadwork out there!

My friend, Pennie and I spent the day and evening together yesterday. We found a little Hummingbird fluttering around on the back porch. It was missing all of it's tail feathers and half of one wing's feathers. We made it comfortable and I fed it sugar water from a dropper. All I had to keep it in
was my salad spinner basket. It kept trying to fly out of the little box I had it in. It could fly a little. This morning, I took it to Project Wildlife. I made a donation, I like to call it "child support", to this great volunteer organization.

On to the art supply store to buy myself some nice papers to play with. I put them on the deck and took this picture. Then my friend Ginger said, "Look at the reflection in the pot!" So I took a shot of that! What an inspiring day I am having.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Final Day of Special Kit Sale

Saturday & Sunday
August 29 & 30
$10 OFF
AND I'll Pay The Shipping!
(Domestic, Flat Rate Priority)

Brand New!
(Pictured Above Leftt)
The Crystal Cube Kit contains 240 - 3mm Bicone crystals and 4 larger crystals which vary in shape depending on color availability. I have 4 color combinations. The finished cube is 1 1/4" X 1 1/4" and is quite elegant and really sparkly, of course!

I still have a few Color Combinations
left from last week's Special Kit Sale
Pictured Above Right
Also available are Towering Bling Ring Kits. A collaboration between fabulous lampwork artist Heather Trimlett and me. This wildly colorful and fun ring can be made really tall like the ring in the photo. Or shorter to suit your taste. Three color combinations are available. Fuchsias/Chartreuse, Dark Olive/Purple & Aqua/Lavender.

Another collabroation. This time with Lampwork artist Sharon Peters. A really fun and easy to make project, Happiness is a Warm Bead Cuff combines Sharon's swirl beads with my beaded bracelet base gives you a Happy, whimsical bracelet. I like to wear three at a time. Triple Happiness!

I have a few It's Hip To Be Square Kits left as well. This has been a very popular kit through all my shows this year. Now there are just a few left. These are now on the Limited Edition list as well.

I have some wonderful kits left from my summer shows. Two colors of Blings and Rings Bracelets from The Bead & Button Show are available this weekend at a nice discount.
There are 10 Bronze and Black kits and 8 Aqua and Fuchsia kits left. Then I will be out! Get them while they last!
Happy Beading!!!

Beading Buddies and Black & Purple Jewelry!

Beading Buddies!
Today, I'm going to spend the day with my friend, Pennie Cook. We met at the airport in Denver after the Rocky Mountain Bead Society Bazaar. Both of us were teaching and never saw each other until we were at the airport heading to San Diego. I saw her sitting there doing kumihimo and went to ask about it. We sat together all the way to San Diego laughing and talking. Aside from our names, we have a love of beads, fibers, plants and gardening in common. She lives in the northern San Diego area, so we try to get together as often as our schedules allow.

I thought this Black & Purple grouping of new jewelry would make a great picture!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

People Beach at Coronado!

It was a beautiful morning at Coronado People Beach. Still cool at 7:45 am. Jasmin went back to David's last night, so I took myself to People Beach rather than Dog Beach, early this morning. I saw dolphins swimming along the wave line, kayakers near them, along with pelicans and seagulls who were following the dolphins hoping for leftovers. I did try to get a shot of the dolphins, but my camera doesn't have a long enough lens to catch them. However, there was a large flock of early bird seagulls standing around on the sand as I made my way to the water, so I took a picture of them. As I walked along, I noticet a really nice, large rock with a very long piece of seaweed clinging to it. The rock anchors the seaweed to the ocean floor. (Until a storm or rough tides uproot it and sling it onto the shore, that is!) The ocean has been my anchor for my entire life. I try to go there any time I need peace and serenity as well as some exercise. Beads have also been a thread of stability for me. Many of my days have been spent beading at the beach.
Actually, I'll bead just about anywhere!