On My Beading Table…

•January 13, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I’ll give you a hint…this bead-embroidered piece is not a bracelet. I’ve been working off and on, stitching around each of the various stones and other components. But I’m in no rush to finish it. Rather, I’m taking my time and enjoying the process. These days I sometimes feel as if I’m moving in slow motion. There has been so much chaos in our country recently and I find it stabilizing to approach my work in a meditative way. Mindful of taking deep breaths when I start feeling tense or anxious, I find that taking my time to select just the right bead size, shape, and color helps me to relax and focus on the moment instead of worrying about the future. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Peace in body, peace in mind, peace in spirit).

What a Nice Surprise!

•January 7, 2021 • 3 Comments

The latest Fire Mountain Gems and Beads catalog arrived last week, but I hadn’t had time to look through it until today and to my surprise, there it was on page 28…my silver and cloisonné enameled “Eat Your Vegetables” necklace! I had entered the necklace in their 2020 Metal Jewelry Making contest last year and it won the Grand Prize Silver Medal Award. Which reminds me…I still haven’t used the gift certificate I won. Guess I’ll be perusing the FMG catalog and website and do some bead and baubles shopping this week! Squee!

How Are You Spending This First Day of 2021?

•January 1, 2021 • Leave a Comment

I’m repairing a Xmas present today. I have no idea how this Johnny Was scarf came to have inch-long tears in four equal corners, but I do love this scarf and am attempting to salvage it. I tried a fusible backing at each torn area, but that didn’t work very well as the silk is so delicate. I finally came up with a solution, which somewhat alters the design, but it is still functional and now truly-one-of-a-kind. Gathering each torn area and twisting into a small knot, I’m stitching tiny color-coordinated beads that anchor the knots in place, which hides each tear and protects the fabric from further destruction. I’m rather liking the uniqueness of the scarf and think it will be splendid tied in turban-like fashion on bad hair days, or draped as a mini-shawl and it will certainly be eye-catching housed in a wicker basket when not being worn. I collect JW scarves and consider them works of art so they are never hidden away in drawers. Instead, they grace baskets and decorative containers and serve as a constant source of delightful eye-candy!

A Very Special Gift!

•December 28, 2020 • Leave a Comment

I was gifted this tiny antique Chinese sewing basket. I believe it is over 100 years old and I ponder its history…wondering how many have loved and used it, what sort of garments were mended by hand with the needles and thread it contained, how many hands have passed it from one generation to the next, how many miles across continents from it’s origin with stops along the way in different countries did it travel until it landed among the gifts underneath our Xmas tree. If this basket could talk, what tales it could tell! I will use and care for it lovingly until the day I pass it along for another to enjoy. It measures a petite 6” across and 2” in height and it came with an assortment of wonderful old buttons that I can use in bead embroidered works!

Happy Xmas!

•December 25, 2020 • Leave a Comment

From our home to yours, we wish you a safe, happy, and healthy Xmas!

Cooper and Jackson reveled in the wrapping paper as we opened our presents. What better present can one give a cat than lots of boxes to sit in. As I write this, my husband just commented that the photo of Jackson looks like a coyote box lunch… perish the thought! That’s one reason out of many why we have indoor cats!





•December 24, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Sometimes one just has to gift one’s self! I’ve recently started to bead embroider again so I’ve given myself an early Xmas present of some new bead embroidery accoutrements. I found this remnant of beautiful crinkle metallic lamb skin that I will use to line the backside of bead embroidered work. The vintage 4mm lavender crystal chain and 14mm x 18mm crystals shown above are preset in pronged findings that will become elegant additions to a “bejeweled” finished work, which I’ve yet to conceive. It’s all eye candy that stimulates my “creative juices” to flow.  I believe that one component of happiness is having something to look forward to and for me that translates to developing new designs and having the materials with which to bring them into fruition. I only wish I had a multitude of lifetimes ahead so I could continue to explore my craft interests and forever partake in the joy of making!

What a Treat!

•December 18, 2020 • Leave a Comment

It seems like forever since I’ve done any bead embroidery, but I’m taking time now to pursue all the ideas I’ve had on the back burner! Rather than creating a design that commands the use of a precise type of bead, I’m so enjoying the freedom that bead embroidery offers…it’s like painting on a blank canvas where one gets to decide which types of beads to use and where to stitch them! I’m starting by bezeling a collection of interesting cabochons, beads, buttons and components that will become integral to larger pieces. It’s really nice to have these little treasures lying around when one is designing new work..I never know when I will need a certain component as a focal and if I have one at the ready in my stash I’m a happy camper! Shown above is a lovely coral-resin Buddha Head bead that personifies serenity! I’ve started with a base of Delica Beads, added one row of Toho 11/0 metallic bronze seed beads topped with a row of Toho 15/0 seed beads. The brick stitch edging is being worked with Toho 11/0 semi-glazed dark red seed beads. I have an idea of how I want to use this component and am able visualize how it will work with a finished piece…stay tuned for the results!

Just for Fun!

•December 10, 2020 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a long time coming, but after spending countless hours, weeks, months, and years creating projects for others to make and enjoy, it’s important that I take time to create just for fun with no tutorials to write or kits to assemble. I’m presently sorting through my collection of beads and components that I have acquired throughout the years. Many were purchased at bead shows, some online, some were gifted and others are found objects. I’ve had the large carved cinnabar bead forever, but it wasn’t until I found the laughing Buddha bead that I finally had impetus to use it. The detail of the Buddha is incredible! I wove a beaded cylinder, added beads of alabaster, shrink plastic, carved bone, and a faux coral bead made of polymer clay. All are strung on a plush tassel to comprise the pendant, which I can wear on a leather cord, chain, or as shown on a beaded neck ring. I’ve titled this piece “Tripple Happiness” because the bone bead has three carved smiling faces. I have Plush Tassels with Buddha beads in my Etsy shop. Laughing Buddahs are supposed to bring one good luck…I think we could all use some of that nowadays!

You Know…

•December 5, 2020 • Leave a Comment

Buddha beads are great earring components, but they are also wonderful when used as little charms. I couldn’t resist using a faux jade Buddha in this talisman necklace! I’ve had the carved bone beads in my bead stash for well over twenty years and knew I would use them someday and that day has finally arrived! Using alcohol ink, I colored the plush tassel a darker shade of ivory to match the bone beads. A large faceted aventurine bead and a faux coral chunky bead made of polymer clay sit beneath a 35mm carved bone bead that I bought at a bead store while on vacation in Maui years ago. The faux jade Buddha bead rests in a beaded enclosure of Delica and seed beads (directions for the beaded enclosure can be found in my “Tranquility” Earrings tutorial). Above the Buddha is a small jade donut and a 4mm coral bead. It is attached to the necklace by a ring of 15/0 seed beads. The many small bone beads are carved with little faces. This necklace will go so well with my collection of Johnny Was kimonos and because I wear them every day (I don’t save them for “special 
occasions” because I consider every day special!), this necklace will get a lot of use!

The Beading Kit is Listed!

•December 2, 2020 • Leave a Comment

The “Tranquility” Earring Kit is now listed in my Etsy shop! These little beauties measure 2.5″ in length. That’s the length I consider to be “just right”…not so long as to be shoulder sweeping and not so short as to seem like after thoughts. The little Buddha beads remind me to be mindful of my surroundings, to relax and think positive thoughts…much needed nowadays!  I have just twenty of the 10mm x 14mm emerald green Swarovski crystal cabochons in stock…enough for ten earring kits. So if you’ve been waiting in anticipation for this kit, don’t hesitate! Wouldn’t this make a lovely gift for your favorite beader? And there is time to bead a pair of earrings to gift to someone that doesn’t bead, but who appreciates the love that imbues a handmade gift!

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