•July 19, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I could have taken the easy and speedy path by using crimp covers to hide the crimp beads used in this bracelet project, but I was not at all pleased with the results. It may be a perfectly fine solution for some projects, but it detracted from the geometric beaded beads and toggle-clasp that I’ve put so much effort into designing. My solution…weave a geometric cover bead!  Because the holes in the beaded beads are too small to slide over the crimps, I began this triangle “cover bead” with extra beads. It will blend seamlessly with the other triangle beads used in this project because it will be the same size as they are. I truly had hoped to have the bracelet finished by now, but when designing one is exploring all possibilities and that process just can’t be rushed! So it will take a while longer, but will definitely be worth the wait! I’ll lose a few working days this weekend as I’m taking a workshop taught by Richard Salley…he’s a wonderful teacher!  I’ll return to the studio with fresh ideas and ready to finish the bracelet!

I’m Almost There…

•July 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Granted, I haven’t had a lot of time to bead lately. With our summer weather being so hot and humid, weeds have taken over and general summer chores seem to be never-ending.  But, I’m almost finished with the geometric beaded beads bracelet that I started a while back and my next post will feature the finished bracelet! The clasp had been a conundrum for me…I was undecided as to whether it should be made from polymer clay or perhaps wire-worked. After debating this issue for some time, I decided a beaded clasp was the best option and one that would enhance the design most.  While pondering which type of clasp to create, I started work on the tutorial so hopefully, once the bracelet is finished it will not be long before the tutorial and kits are ready…stay tuned!


•July 7, 2018 • Leave a Comment

That’s an acronym for Dubuque Museum of Art. It’s an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution located in downtown Dubuque, IA. Several months ago I was invited to participate in the “Handmade Craft Invitational” exhibition running June 2 – September 9, 2018.  Having been in Ireland, I missed the opening, but I finally had a chance to view the show last week!  Wonderfully innovative and masterly works by twenty-two artists are on exhibition. I am honored to have three of my beadwoven wraps included in the show; “Loch Ness Sea Dragon“, “Sea Dragon Variation“, and my “Fire Dragon“, which is featured in the DuMA 2018 Summer Newsletter! Beading tutorials for all three designs are available in my Etsy shop. If you are in the area, do stop at DuMA and see the show!

In Progress…

•July 1, 2018 • 8 Comments

I started working on these geometric beads several months ago and as often happens, they were placed in the UFO bin while I worked on other projects and then went on vacation.  I’ve decided that these multi-colored dimensional triangle, square, and pentagonal beads (each measuring just slightly under an inch in size and composed of eight to twelve different colors) will be used in a bracelet.  Brightly colored Czech 6mm Druk beads will be implemented as well.  At this point I haven’t decided on the clasp treatment.  I’m leaning towards creating a sterling silver wire-wrapped toggle-clasp upon which I may or may not float several color-coordinated beads. Or I may use polymer clay to create a brightly colored multi-layered clasp.  I’ll decide after I have completed all the beads.  When the project is finished, I’ll begin writing the step-by-step project tutorial.  I’ve already taken well over fifty photos showing the progress of a triangle, square, and pentagonal bead from start to finish.  When the tutorial is finished, I’ll be assembling beading kits…I’m guessing another three to four weeks will be required before the tutorials and kits are listed in my Etsy shop, but I guarantee the end result will be worth the wait!

Thank You, FMG!

•June 25, 2018 • 2 Comments

Aside from intense heat and far more rain than wanted or needed, June has certainly been an excellent month for me!  Not only did I spend two relaxing weeks on the west coast of Ireland, but upon my return home, a package from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads that I had eagerly looked forward to was awaiting me. It contained “Elements” (the silver-gold-gemstone necklace I had submitted to FMG’s 2018 “Metals Jewelry” contest), a framed photo of the necklace and Honorable Mention Award plus a gift certificate!  Additionally, the July 2018 FMG catalog was tucked in the stack of mail that had accumulated during my absence.  Upon paging through the catalog, I discovered a full-page showing the “Fleurs et Papillons” bead-embroidered polymer clay collar, my winning entry in the 2017 “Creative Clays” contest. What a super surprise to come home to!  Now I’d better get my shopping list together…more colorful Delica beads and jewelry-making goodies are in my future! Thank you so much Fire Mountain Gems and Beads!


•June 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

After I’ve spent a month or two designing with beads and writing tutorials or having been immersed in resin and/or polymer clay or metal work, I need to step back and let my “inner child” emerge. That usually means getting out paper, crayons, inks, embossing powders, markers, stencils, and stamping supplies to create collage art. Playing with these materials is a refreshing change of pace. While I love the structure of geometric beading, working with paper craft materials unleashes a freedom to create a tiny world of images juxtaposed against text and script using an array of colors. These finished works just make me smile! It is also a great way to up-cycle boxes and containers that might otherwise be discarded…I’d much rather bestow new life on them!

Pictured here are two small round boxes that once housed bottles of perfume. Their original deep yellow color is shown at left on the unaltered lid in the forefront. Obviously, the collaged boxes are far more interesting and also the perfect size for holding pens and pencils or my collection of Distress Crayons. It’s truly fun to abandon my adult self temporarily and play like a kid!



A Perfect Day…

•June 14, 2018 • 4 Comments

After a week of severe storms, high humidity, and a miserable deluge of biting gnats, we finally have a glorious day…the sort of idyllic day one wishes would last all year long! So, I’ve taken the opportunity to do more geometric beadwork (more triangles!) on the screened-in porch in the company of cats. Peekaboo is lying on the floor in a sunny corner where she can view any critters that should pass by or emerge from the dense growth of the prairie that surrounds our home. The heady fragrance of milkweed that dominates our prairie this year permeates the air…so delightful! Cooper is blissfully asleep on a chair cushion and Jackson is lying at the perfect vantage point for watching every stitch I take! Life is good!

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