Friday, January 24, 2014

I have been attending the Pasadena Bead and Design Show for 4 years now, and it is an event I look forward to twice a year. It takes place mid January and mid June or July. For the past two years, I have met up with my friend Cova-Lee, of  Cobalt & Copper , and we have a blast shopping together! This time, I went alone on opening day as Cova-Lee had to work. 

I am making several pieces for an event in June, and I went to the bead show with a pretty small budget and very specific needs. I found a few things right away from vendors I love to support.  Crystal Basica was the first person I visited and bought a few crystals and a tiny crown. (Upper right corner) She has delightful treasures in her shop Vintage Fairy Finds.

The buttons, triangular beads and string of rondells are from A Bead Carnival, and the strings to the left of them are from a few of the many vendors.

I have a some of Michelle Davis's beads from past shows. I found 5 beads that I think are going to make a stellar necklace! Her work can be found here: Tangible Light

I also have a few of Jan Petek's beads. She and I got to talking about one of my projects, and she is going to custom make a few beads for me! I can hardly wait to see them! 

This is one of my favorite rooms to visit, and I usually do most of my shopping here, but like I mentioned earlier, I had a small budget. Tomas and Susan Smith at Bead Carnival are always a pleasure to chat with, and I always find something vintage I must add to my stash!

Cova-Lee and I had a hard time letting go of these wonderful dagger beads. There were so many in a bundle, the tactile experience was delightful! I am sure that $25.00 a bundle was a good price, but I only wanted a few of several colors. Aren't they luscious?


I'd like one of each, please!

Here are some vintage pellet beads

Labradorite. Sigh. So lovely!

We didn't find out what kind of stone this was, or if it was dyed, (probably) but we loved it!



Sapphire and Ruby

So many gems! This is our favorite room, as we get to touch, and hold many very expensive beads.

This gentleman, Robert Lopez, designs some of the most innovative and beautiful jewelry I have ever seen. I have fallen in love with a few of his pieces, and I am determined to own one. He is now teaching classes on many metal techniques from basic soldering and silversmithing to stone cutting and setting and mixed media. Contact him about his class schedule here:

Here are a few of his stunning pieces.

Cova and I spent some time chatting with Sandra Perry from Cultures, From Africa to your Home. She thought we were sisters! In spirit, we are. :) Sandra had a large collection of Zulu beaded necklaces, and wire wrapped baskets. 

What intrigued me the most, were these Zulu Love Letter necklaces. When a woman is too shy to come right out and declare her feelings for a man, she can give him a necklace with a beaded panel or panels, as a sign of her affections. If accepted and worn, it shows other women that he is interested in someone and is not available. This one is simple, but they can also be colorful, and have complex patterns.

We took a break in the middle of our shopping to rest and snack. Both of us had achy ankles! I went home after 5 hours of walking around, my head filled with future plans and  inspiration, my heart lifted by all the wonderful smiling faces and hugs given and received, and best of all, a day spent with a dear friend, laughing and sharing our passion for beads.

When I got home, I found this box of assorted home baked goodies from our new neighbors up the street. They won't actually be moving into their home until the end of the school year for the their teen daughter, so I bring in their mail and the occasional sale papers for them. This was their "Thank You." A sweet ending to a wonderful day.

What's next? I'll be posting pictures of the projects I am working on for the Evolution Expo

Sunday, October 20, 2013

In Space, No One Can Bead

It's rare for me to want to see a film in the theater twice. Mainly for the economic aspect, but also because for me, once on the big screen is usually enough. If I loved it and want to see it again,  I can wait for Netflix and watch from the comfort of my couch, in my pajamas if I so choose. 

The Mr. and I are going to see Gravity again today. We went last week and saw it in Real3D. I also usually don't want to see 3D films as I already wear glasses and putting the "one size fits all" 3D glasses in front of them is not always comfortable. I had heard this was a film that was best experienced in 3D, so we were willing to be uncomfortable for 90 minutes. Truth is, the movie was so good, I forgot about them. The effects were perfect, giving the right amount of depth without being too "in your face." 

Perhaps one of the reasons I am so taken by this movie is the fact that both the Mr. and I have set alarms on our phones when the ISS will be flying overhead and will be on a path where it is visible to us. We stand out on our driveway and watch for it rising above the roofs of the houses across the street, or in our back yard, waiting to see that glimmer moving steadily and shining through the leaves of the trees until it is visible in the open sky. We watch it until it is out of sight. Sometimes in silence, sometimes sharing some space tidbit we have recently learned. 

I think the men and women who venture into space are among the bravest individuals in the world. After seeing Gravity, I am in such awe of their willingness to disconnect from Earth's bonds and travel, work and live in such a hostile environment. This film shows the risks that they are facing by being in space. It could happen, and it will be catastrophic. Consider the graphic below. That's a lot of stuff flying around us. I think it's a miracle that there hasn't yet been a major collision with space junk and astronauts.

Personally, I don't have any interest in space travel. It has been said that, "In space, no one can hear you scream." It can also be said that in space, no one can bead! Can you imagine all those beads floating around? 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Trubute to Cal Cotton, "The Moor Tarik" The Black King

I was inspired by the art and architecture of the Moors, and made this one of a kind art necklace as a tribute to a man who is a gentleman in every aspect of the word.  We were both vendors at Wyrdcon last year, and I was touched by Cal's generous spirit and kindness. When I learned of his fight with inoperable brain cancer, I wanted to do something to express my admiration for him, and help raise money for his expenses. This piece was made with love for one of the kindest people I have ever met.

Using a variety of different size beads, I stitched them one at a time using right angle weave and peyote stitch inside and around the edge of the composite stone donut. I then embellished the outer edge with amber glass discs, Czech glass, and seed beads. The triangular drop is a vintage German glass button, peyote stitched and secured to reclaimed black kid leather. It is embellished with small glass drops, seed beads, a textured pressed glass bead, and is hanging from a cubic right angle weave bar that is attached to the donut with glass discs and Czech beads. The necklace is also stitched using cubic right angle weave, and fastens with a double toggle and pinched loop closure, all embellished with glass discs and Czech glass beads. Over 30 hours of work are represented in this piece.

The necklace is sized as a choker, measuring 14". The pendant is 5 3/8" from the top to bottom, and is 3 3/8" across.

If you want to join in the bidding for this one of a kind art necklace, you have two options. You can come by the Hilton Orange County at 3050 Bristol Street in Costa Mesa. The hours are posted below.

Or, you can visit and LIKE Cal Cotton on Facebook. There is a post there where concurrent bidding will be taking place.

I will be updating bids on FB and at the hotel throughout the day.

Bidding hours are:

Friday, the 13th 2:00PM to 9:00PM 
Saturday the 14th, 9:00AM to 9:00PM  
Sunday the 15th, 10:00AM to 3:00PM.

The winner will be announced on FB, and notified either in person, or by email. Payment must be made within 24 hours, or the bid prior to the winning bid will be the winner.

There is a minimum bid reserve. If the reserve is not met the necklace will be held over for another auction.

This is a fundraiser for Cal, so please bid generously!

I will pay the shipping and insurance for the winning bidder, inside the USA.

If you have any questions, please contact me. I'll be traveling for a bit tomorrow afternoon, and getting set up, but I'll have some time early Friday to get back to you. :)

Please feel free to share this far and wide. <3


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Let's play "catch up!!"

Wow, it has been a long time since I updated my blog!! Well, here is a recap so far.
The holidays were uneventful, but a bit more stressful traveling with one aging dog and a very exuberant puppy.

Doshi and Tomo. Let me tell you, walking two Shiba Inu's can be quite a challenge!

This is a necklace designed by Melanie Doerman. I purchased the kit at last year's Pasadena Bead show. I found a small picture of her that fits perfectly! I still miss seeing her at the shows. 

We attended a memorial service in early January for a woman who was one of the most fearless people I have ever met. R.I.P. Karen Johnson.

  Doshi was neutered. It calmed his exuberance only a little bit.

My Mr. and I went to see the Hawaiian Chieftan and the Lady Washington tall ships in Ventura harbor in February. We stayed and watched them sail out to sea, heading back North to Seattle and Oregon.

In early March, I pretzeled myself on the stairs at 12:30 in the morning going to take Tomo out for a pee. It was a life changing event. I broke my ankle in three places, and now have a plate and a total of 7 screws in me. 6 months later and I am still unable to walk without a slight limp. :(

By far the most difficult thing I experienced this year was having to say farewell to Tomo. After nearly 13 years, he was worn out. We had a vet come and he took his last breath in front of a warm fire with me holding him.
7/10/1999 ~ 5/5/2013

Custom beadwork.

New beadwork.

 Last month, my in-laws, a friend of theirs, and the three of us took a very relaxing cruise to Alaska. I spent as much time as possible doing nothing. (OK, I did bring a few beading projects!)

This is a piece I just finished this last week. It is a tribute piece to Cal Cotton, a gentleman I met last year at Wyrdcon3. He was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, and will not be attending this year. His treatments are helping, but it is a hard fight. This piece will be auctioned off at Wyrdcon4 this weekend, and concurrently on a FaceBook page. The proceeds will be donated to Cal to help with his hospital bills. I'll post the details before I head to the con this Thursday.

So, now you are caught up. :)