Friday, October 30, 2009


Ok...I have to say it....I am so freakin honored to have Marcia DeCoster following my blog. For anyone who does not know, Marcia is one of THE greats in bead of my heroes, someone who sets the bar I'm working towards. My Eye of the Tiger piece was inspired by all the golden tones Marcia uses in her attempt at beaded opulence.
"Beaded Opulence" is the title of her fabulous book, full of her stunning work. I confess I don't own it...I sneak peeks at it in stores. Marcia also has amazing bead kits available at her Mad Designs web store

Why don't I own this great book? As I've said before I tend to be a sponge and it's really easy for me to not only soak up someone else's style but even create the same exact thing without meaning subconcious can be a copycat so I have to keep a check on it and not give it fodder. It sucks really, because I'd love to own this one so I could drool at the pretty pictures.

Ethics....what ya gonna do?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.....

Well....actually these are maco tubes...a tiny version of a bugle bead. Bugle beads are taking center stage on my bead bench right now. I'm taking a break from working on my book to make something special to wear for the up coming photoshoot. This is part of a collar I'm making and it involves a lot of bugle netting.

I have two pieces for the book completed, so the sample chapter is coming along nicely. It was interesting that Jeni over at BD was trying to find out who made the pyramid bracelet work by Little Boots on her "Remedy" video as I have a lot of little pyramids around me. Don't have anything like the one Jeni is looking for.....but, it did give me some more ideas for what to do with pyramids.

My vent of the day (and it's a quiet, kinda bored vent) is about people who apologise replete with smileys and winks and still come across as insulting. Do they think they are fooling anyone?

Friday, October 23, 2009


I don't know if that's a term known here in the States but in England it means someone sure of themselves almost to the point of conceited.

As I was making my morning latte and reflecting on the response to the first showing of my Petit Paquets piece last night that was the word that came to mind. As in "feeling a little cock-sure are we?" It's funny really because it's like a 180 from the truth. I am chock full of self doubt and it's the self doubt that whispers those things in my ear whenever I get a feeling of being on the right track.

So maybe it's a good thing? A signal that I am on the right track? Gee, I sure hope so because this book idea is not turning out the way I had! I had imagined my first book would be about beaded flowers or Gothic inspired beadwork but it seems Morganna has a different take on it and she wants to see shape and form. She's certainly got me excited and I can't wait to see what she's got cooking for the other chapters. There are six chapters to the book each deal with a different sculptural form and a few projects with that form. Now....I know what the chapters are going to be ~ Petit Paquets, Urchin Spines, Corkscrews, Cathedral Windows, Pyramids and Octapussies but how these all will take shape is ...your guess is as good as mine. I have vague pictures in my mind, I can almost see the pieces but it's not till I actually start beading that they come together.

So, though I am definitely not cock-sure, I think Morganna is. Let's hope she's right.

Doing the blog rounds this morning I was catching up on Rachel's blog and discovered she's working on a new book (I've mentioned her hot new book "Seed Bead Fusion a few times). She's writing the proposal and says she has some of the pieces done for it. That's cool....and I feel kinda connected to know that she's going through the same process I am. Of course the difference is she has publishers who are dying to have her do a new book and no publisher's know I exist. Well, that's not strictly true.....the people over at Interweave Press do know my name and have published some of my work so maybe I have a pinky toe in the door. (Boy that would hurt!)

I'm dreaming big....I'd like to be in that upper echelon of beaders who get to do all the wonderful teaching, retreats, etc. A gal has to have a dream.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

"The Cheap Designer"

That's what I'm thinking of calling myself after checking out a website today.

After following a link from BD about mathematical beads I landed on a very pretty site ( with some gorgeous designs. The beads were mathematically based (IMHO all beads are), I saw something very similar to the one I taught last week and will be reviewing tonight but Oh My! the prices!

I'm sure they make sales because some kits were sold out but who are these buyers? And can I get an introduction? With patterns for a bead starting at $18 and going up to $68 (yes, for just the pattern!) and kits for more than kit for ONE bead is $98! Am I just cheap? Under charging for my patterns and kits? Or do others feel these prices are kinda steep too?

Now I do get that they are putting lots of pictures into their instructions and if they have to pay a photographer and a graphic artist on top of printing costs (though if the patterns are downloadable this is mute) that they would have to charge a fair amount for their patterns but it still seems awfully high. As a former graphic designer I do everything for my patterns and kits.....the photos, the illustrations, the typographic design and at the moment I even print them. This enables me to keep my prices down.
Their beads are very pretty and their fringe technique is excellent, especially for beginners...they have a free pattern for this technique. If you have the money to buy their patterns or kits then you'll be delighted with the site, me? I'm just glad I can design anything I want to make.
My lesson learned today is that I'm not going to underprice my new designs and I need to do some more research on what other designers are charging.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009 is almost Halloween.

So....I'm working on my Petit Paquet piece and I have an off-the-wall idea for it. BUT...could I find the right beads? I guess so because I just bought these two crazies from I really like what I've seen of Jamie's work and anyone who loves Halloween that much is cool by me.

I can't wait to get the beads to see if what I have in mind will actually work, if it does Jamie will see a lot more of me!

I'm almost finished with the first Petit Paquet bracelet. I thought I would get bored with the repitition but not at all, in fact, I think this is a really fun one to make. It has a great drape, it's like it hugs your wrist all on it's own. And, I have to say I cannot stop coming up with alternate versions of it which usually is a sign of a good design.

I did some work on my catalogue of kits but it's not going to be ready this week, mainly because I decided I want to rework the samples in different beads. I had done the samples of my 'Learn-A-Stitch' kits in spring/summer colors because that's what they needed to be at the time I submitted them to the craft store. Plus, I had used less expensive beads as the idea was for me to sell them to the store at wholesale prices, but if I'm selling them directly I want the kits to have top of the line beads in them and that means Swarovski which puts them out of range for doing wholesale and still having them at a marketable price.

Update on 'Twin Roses'.
The only color that has been mentioned twice for my second version is 'purples', so it's in the lead right now. I will do a coral/celery version that just shouts "spring" to me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sneak Peek!

Beadwork magazine's "The Challenge" challenged me recently and as the magazine should hit the newstands any day now I'm giving everyone a sneak peek at what I came up with.
"Twin Roses" is my answer to The Challenge. For anyone not familiar with the Challenge, Beadwork magazine sends the same pack of beads to three designers and a reader chosen at random. I was honored to be selected as a designer and loved being challenged with beading components I wouldn't normally use. The heavy Lucite flowers are not something I would have thought of including but I love how this turned out. I just submitted "Twin Roses" as a project for Beadwork magazine and if they accept it I'll be making it up in another colorway to send in with the instructions. I'd love to hear what colorway people would like to see so if you have a preference please let me know by leaving a comment.

My next submission is my Swarovski tile bracelet which I'm planning on submitting to Bead & Button.

Monday, October 19, 2009

A Fresh Week

Yep, time to peel the wrapper off a brand new week.

I got back to some designing over the weekend, another new main design. Not the one seen in the photo...that's a freeform lariat I'm working's a long one, 50"+ when it's done so I keep taking breaks from it.
I really wanted to do something very new and different for me so I started working with right angle bases, done with seed beads 4 x 2 and 4 x 3 bead squares. my first play with it turned out like Rachel Nelson-Smith's Ootheca cuff...well, we couldn't have that...I'm no plagerist. It was interesting though because I haven't seen the pattern for the Ootheca cuff but now I know how she came up with it...what I came up with wasn't exactly the same more of an "Ootheca Lite" version. Of course I scrapped it, lol! I kindly requested Rachel step out of my mind and I started over.

I picked up Vogue over the weekend and I turned to that for inspiration...what came out was (insert drumroll).... pyramids! Liked that...haven't seen anything like it...this is good. Then the pyramids turned into "Petits Paquets" (small packages), for some reason the name popped up in French (gee...all those years of school French and look what I do with it). I'm not going to go into this too much because I don't want to give it After stumbling into Rachel's design I see how easy it can be to not be original. Anyway, the Petit Paquets have my mind a-popping.

I have the idea to come up with six to ten original design bases and then explore different things to do with them....sounds like a book, huh? That's what I'm thinking. I'm totally inspired by Ms. Nelson-Smith's book that is doing so well and Ms. Lisa over at A Bead A Day whose first book is already available for pre-order on Amazon...WTG Ladies! Lisa is being awesome as usual and encouraging me to write my own. It's in my plan and has been for a outline for a book proposal has center stage on my magnet board. Problem is I actually have ideas for at least three books and I have to decide and focus...but.....maybe I'm getting there. Shape and form seems to be a theme I'm working with...that's what the original stuff I'm coming up with is telling me anyhoo.

My goals for this week are a teaching catalogue of my people can choose what they want to learn and book me accordingly. I want to really offer a service with the kits too, so I'm going to include a color chart so an overall color can be chosen too. The kits are a bit more expensive this way because it means not ordering in bulk but thankfully allow me to order exactly what I want without minimums or shipping.....don't you just love them?
Ok...the second goal is to put together a project submission for one of the beading magazines.
The third is to head down to Mesquite to set up some classes (catalogues in hand) and join the Virgin Valley Arts Association and see if I can get some things in their gallery.

My evenings need to be filled with beading because I'm excited to work on the new designs and see where they can go. To be honest my head is spilling out ideas as I type. It's so exciting to come up with something muse Morganna is definitely on a roll. It would be nice to start actually getting things down on paper for the book proposal too.....damn...this would be a productive week if I managed to get that far.

Friday, October 16, 2009

November Classes

I just sent in the classes for November.

The Thursday evening classes will be ~

11/5 Peyote Urchin Bangle

11/12 RAW/Peyote Toggle Clasp

11/19 Bezel Pendant

Tuesday Classes will be ~

11/3 Wire Bangle

11/10 Cellini Spiral necklace Part 1~ Tubular Peyote

11/17 Cellini Spiral Necklace Part 2 ~ Cellini Spiral

Tired Out & Knocked Out

I did in fact survive the art fair last weekend but, boy, did it take some recovering from.
The bruised nose was only half of it...I managed to sustain some pretty severe bruising on my legs too...weird I can't even remember banging into anything. I'm not sure if I got some kind of bug too because I've had to spend a couple of days in bed...and with this piggy flu flying around it's better to be safe than sowwy (obviously I'm feeling better because my bad puns are back).

Last night I taught a class on how to use right angle weave to make a beaded bead. All the students got one beaded bead earring made, Selina managed both, however, they didn't think they did so good. I thought they did well....I know when there are three stages to a project people can get intimidated and I think that happened last night. I'm sure that given a bit of quiet time and really following the instructions (which never happens in class) they'll realise that it's really not that difficult to do.
I've been watching Rachel Nelson-Smith's beading activities on Facebook this week. She's been giving us an eagle eye view of her 'beading bench' as she creates a new piece. Very interesting. I love to see someone else's creative process (why I'm addicted to Project Runway) and this has been fascinating because we work very much alike. She seems to break her projects down in the same way I do, sometimes that means you end up with sections you don't use but they can then inspire another project. Rachel had some components made earlier in the week that haven't shown up since....but she's not done yet so we'll see if they do get incorporated. Rachel is also inspiring me to get mobile with my beading....she has posted pictures of her bead bench at a coffee shop and on the would be nice to get out and it's great networking. I think I may take my show on the road too....gets me out of the house!
I recieved my blogger program beads from and boy are they ever gorgeous! I got a few Swarovski rivolis and I really am falling in love with them....I'll have to take some photos so you can see why. I'm excited to get back to creating something new....maybe tonight I can get down to business after I've put samples together for next month's classes. I really want to create a showstopper. I also need to get a book deal....I've got to get focused on that and get a proposal done. Always so much to do and so little time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Survived!

I didn't get blown away!
I did get a bruised nose!
I made a bit of money.
I met a lot of interestimng people and made some good contacts.

That was my weekend. The Mesquite Arts Festival was pretty successful...compared to the last few I've done. Ok....explanations....the winds stayed away till about 2pm on Sunday...Yay! I managed to hit myself on the bridge of my nose with the back of my car...ouchie! Stars, woozie, swollen nose...inside and out...hard to breathe....nose ice pack and finally a bruised nose.
Sales were slow but not bad considering....weirdly enough Selina and I made almost exactly the same. I was invited to do a craft fair to raise funds for! I was asked if I would teach at a retirement community.....nice! Other offers of galleries and co-ops....we'll see. I'm going to join Virgin Valley Artists Association....maybe show some art and jewelry in their gallery and teach some classes.

Did I buy anything? Oh word....gourds! Don't ask me why but I think I want to bead some. Not to mention beading a vase....not around anything....just beads and won't hold water....but who cares?

My brain is fried from the desert sun....I need sleep.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Can't Live Without

I frequently talk to my class about my fave tools....and these are they. I recently lost my tweezer/scoop and boy did I miss it. It has to be the thing I use most and after turning my studio upside down to no avail I just had to buy a new set. For about $3 and so much less with a coupon these are a steal.

I need to get the trunk of my car sorted out today ready to load up tonight so I'll just be ready to go in the morning. At least with the one hour time difference we don't have to be up at the crack of dawn. I'm getting a twinge of panic so I really need to sit down, make a list and start checking things off....I know I'm ready but there's always that deal with last minute stuff.

I do need to take some work down with me....I find if I'm actually beading and people see that I'm doing one bead at a time they appreciate my work so much more.

These are three of the bracelets that will be on sale this weekend.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


As I was reading the day's postings on my bead blogger reading list today Jean Campbell's post registered She is giving her blog readers a sneak preview of one of her necklace designs that will be in her new book due out December 2010. I can't say the necklace is one of my favorites but I do really like the ruffled circles she uses for the back of the necklace. It's also interesting to see her blend of bead weaving and wirework, fusion definitely is interesting.
I hope to have a book myself one day and the guidelines for writing a proposal (given to me by a wonderful woman at the craft store) are on my whiteboard just waiting for me to find some time. I am definitely feeling inspired to write a book....whether it's on beaded flowers or Gothic Style is something I need to decide. Maybe it should be Gothic beaded!

I'm still getting ready for the show. I met with Selina yesterday and helped her price things, that actually helped me price mine. I'm often told I anyone who does bead weaving I'm ALWAYS told I underprice. Why do I do that? The sad thing is I think it's deep rooted and comes down to feelings of unworthiness.....I can actually hear one of my old therapists saying that. Things to work on.

We will be going to Mesquite tomorrow to do the check-in for the show and see exactly where we are going to be and how open to the winds we are. The winds are my chief worry. Weighting the canopy down sufficiently is crucial.

I've kind of been at a standstill with beading....I have a piece I'm working on that I pick up and do a bit here and there but I seem to be too distracted to get anything done. Once the show is over I should be able to concentrate and get some new designs done. I need to start submitting projects to the magazines and decide what I want to do about a book. I also need to get some alternative things done and in my store. Of course there is the Bead Society meeting next Tuesday so I have to get through that too.
So much to do and so little time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Check and Check!

I managed to get a few things crossed off my "Things to do for the Show" list. I made a stack of business cards and painted my sign, bought price tags and organza bags for sales.

I didn't sleep well last night and finally caved and took a sleeping pill at 2am...which of course means I didn't wake up at my usual 7am....eek...actually woke up at 11am! But at least I feel well rested and that should help me tackle the day. I just need to remember to take a sleeping pill earlier tonight as it seems excitement and stress are going to hinder sleep.

Selina and I have a meet this afternoon to check we have everything we need for the show.

I did hit The Wall yesterday. That's what I call it anyway. It's when I slump down and get a bit depressed, usually something unpleasant's like a foreboding thing. So, this morning I discover what it is....the place where I teach missed paying me for seven students. They missed two last month so it seems like we're entering a game of catch-up. It's frustrating because it means juggling money again to pay bills. Let's just hope the show this weekend surprises me and brings in some money.

I think everyone who starts a business knows there are constant set-backs and a whole lot of ups and downs. With a creative business I think this is exaggerated because we artists tend to put heart and soul into the things we sell and so are more connected than to say, a box of t-shirts. You kind of have to distance yourself and not take it personally when things don't go well. Then you have to rally, pull every ounce of positivity you have inside you and keep going.
I know I'm doing well with this business, it's building and a lot of great things are happening I just wish the money would come a little quicker.

Me and a zillion others, right?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I've started getting all my stock onto the display boards so I can see just where I'm at and what I'm lacking. This is one of the two bracelet boards I have and amazingly they are both full. Any extras will have to go on the bracelet stand. I have a 30 x 40 board for necklaces and that's almost full too.
This being an outdoor event I'm concerned about the winds....the last two outdoor shows I went to we had to leave early after being blown out. At one, in the aptly named Hurricane, someone's booth took off as if in a tornado. I'm always careful to weight the canopy but my display stands would never stay upright. This time I'm taking my box easel for the large board so I can anchor it and I think the weight of the box will stop it from going anywhere. The bracelet boards will lay flat on the table, so no worries there....though I may velcro them onto wedges yet. Still some things to think about.
So, errands to run, class this afternoon and beading this evening. Hopefully the day will see me accomplish a couple more things for the show.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I'm Baaaacck!

Finally migraine free and feeling more like myself.

Despite the pain and being out of it things still went on....exciting things at that.
I had a few sales from my webstore (always good) and most exciting, I was invited to join's blogger program. This is a program where bead bloggers are selected to promote products available at

It's a no brainer for me as I love this company. Their prices are great, inventory is huge and they do free shipping. I also appreciate that they take the time to wrap your order in pretty purple's the little things that make a company special!

This month the product line is Swarovski and I can't wait to get my products so I can put them into my latest designs and show you how Swarovski can make your jewelry pop. One of the Swarovski products stocks that even the Vegas bead stores don't is the pear shaped pearl ( ....these are gorgeous! I have some in creamrose and the gorgeously rich dark purple...both for works in progress. Of course I think we all know Swarovski pearls are the best and I try to use them whenever I need pearls....though sometimes I fall back on Cultura for certain colors or if I need to use hundreds. One of my recent pieces with Swarovski pearls is my Fall Ruffled Dots I used the copper pearls in 4mm and 8mm sizes.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Out for the Count

I totally got knocked out yesterday....the worst migraine I've had in a long time. A day when my stomach couldn't hold onto anything and the scales showed it this morning...two pounds lighter but not in a good way. Today I feel like I went through an elephant's digestive system ...chewed up and pooped out.

No demo for me today. I feel like Linus from Peanuts....wandering around with my blankie and sucking my thumb (well....not actually sucking my thumb). I'm kind of bummed because I had just started working on a wedding choker but I am too out of it to concentrate.

Thankfully I was way ahead of myself so I don't feel too stressed out by not doing anything. It's a goood book and naps for me today. I'm getting hungry too...which is a good sign. I guess the good thing's just a migraine and not swine flu.....always a silver lining.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Is it October Already?

After last night's class I noticed a poster for the "Ladies Night" and mentioned I was glad for the reminder for next week....I got sweet smiles and "It's tomorrow" OOps!

Ladies Night at the craft store I teach at is a big night for demos and I'm usually there beading away. I better get my act together and make sure they have a table for me....I was chatting with the studio manager last week and she never mentioned it. I need reminding these days.

At least I'll have lots of things to show....because I've been busy. Since my last post I've made four new bracelets and I have a choker started. I also put out the society newletter .