Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

What a great year 2014 has been!  I can only hope for bigger and BETTER things in 2015.
I DO know that I'll be starting it out with the brand new Feb/March 2015 BEADWORK in my hot little hands - I'm one of the Challenge participants for this issue - and I can't WAIT to see what "Metallique Chique" looks like in PRINT!  I'll be sure to share a photo and details after the issue has been released!

I hope that you and your families and friends experience all the wonders of the holiday season.
If you are a New Years resolution maker - I wish you luck and good results.  I don't usually make them - too much pressure! - but I think I am this year.  My resolution is to have more


for the attitudes of customer service reps and sales clerks.  I have to remember that they are (for the most part) doing their best, and that I've been in their shoes.   I will try to be calmer, nicer, and happier.  EVEN with that ONE impossibly horrible one....

I may have time to 'see you' in the next week or so, but if not - see you next year!  As always....

Peaceful beading,

Friday, December 19, 2014


Flickr slideshow fail!   I've removed the big giant in your face thing until I can figure out how to fix it.  Would love to have the new Enlightened Denim slideshow running.  Hopefully next post....

I don't have a whole lot to blog about - hustling and bustling and getting ready for yet more holiday-ing with family and friends, finishing up the shopping, and preparing for the cooking, the cooking and more cooking.  My deviled eggs are a MUST at family gatherings (I think they want the eggs more than ME sometimes.  LOL.).  The obligatory green bean casserole will be made two days in a row as well, along with munchies and yummies still yet to be determined....

I WILL have a bit of major news in the new year.  WATCH this blog, along with Facebook (while you still can) for information about upcoming CLASSES - one here at my home, and one at the Art Gallery in OWOSSO!  FUN!  Actually - the art gallery gig isn't a class exactly - but it's a chance to get a 'free' look at how my bead embroidery process works.  STAY TUNED!  And I'm all in for entering a BIG BIG bead contest (or two) next year as well.... mums the word until all is said and done!

And for those of you who subscribe to or buy Beadwork magazine - you'll find me in the Feb/March 2015 issue's CHALLENGE section!   :)

Hope you holidays are joyful, merry and bright....

Peaceful beading,

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Bead Hoarders Blog Hop REVEAL!

So here it is, girls - the day you've all been waiting for 
 the REVEAL of our pieces made with our bead HOARD!   

My story may be a bit different than the rest of the hoarders.  I DO admit I have my own hoard.  I've been beading for over 20 years, AND owned a bead shop for about 4 years as well.  
I have a ton of beads, but as EVERY serious bead hoarder knows - there is always room for more.
And that's where this story takes a bittersweet turn.
You see, this blog reveal isn't just about MY hoard - but it's a tribute, story and reveal that includes the hoard of a very special friend and (sort of) family member.
Colleen Beach was one of my bead shop customers.  She was a crafter of ALL things, and as far as beads - she LOVED seed beads, especially Delicas.  Colleen also happened to be the maternal grandmother of two of my husbands nieces, so it was sort of a 'catch up on the kids' friendly get together whenever she came to visit.

Sadly - Colleen passed away early last year.  
Upon taking care of Colleen's things, and cleaning up her home, the girls finally had entry into the room in the house that had once been forbidden - the craft room.
It seems that Colleen was a CRAFT HOARDER.  Of all kinds.  Fabric for quilts. Yarn. Yarn.  More Yarn.  And BEADS.  Glorious, beautiful, unopened tubes and bags of beads.  I know she had a plan in mind for at least some of them, but just as with the rest of us - if not - there could be a use for them someday.
My nieces were given the task of emptying this room.  Finding homes for the fabric. The yarn.  THE BEADS.  And luckily, LOVINGLY - they thought of me.  When they invited me over to give me 'some of Colleen's beads'  - I NEVER expected this

 These boxes, PLUS a shoe box were FULL of bag upon bag upon bag of DELICA beads in every color of the rainbow, as well as bugles, size 15's, vintage CHARLOTTES and some other gloriously delightful items that I didn't think to photograph at the time.

This was just ONE bag of seed beads, czech glass and pearls purchased from our local bead store - T&T Trading - all of them brand new, never opened.

I also found some absolutely spectacular semi precious stone - jasper, a gi-NORMOUS piece of Lapis, and some other lovely bead related items as well.


I could not believe that those girls (and probably Colleen herself) had chosen to gift me with these wonderful beads.
There was so much beauty in this gesture, that I felt I needed to share my good fortune - I put together a box full of items from Colleen's hoard, as well as my own - and had a 'Pay it Forward' give away a few months back, giving some of them to another passionate beader,whom I hope in turn, chose to pass some on to yet another.
THEN - to TOP this - a wonderful fellow beader Renetha of Lamplight Crafts, asked if I would like more for the hoard, as she was destashing as well.  WELL, What kind of a hoarder would I be to say NO to a bead? NEVER did I think I would receive such beautiful things from Renetha as well - much much more than I ever expected.  So beautiful.  
So I've included a few things - mostly seed beads - from Renetha's 'hoard' as well.

SO - without further ado -
Here are the pieces that I have created for the 
"Bead Hoarders Blog Hop"
BOTH are my "Enlightened Denim" bracelets - each with a very different style:

The centerpiece of this one - "Olive Branch"  is from MY hoard, as well as the teardrop piece at the bottom (the 'newest' member of the hoard-those were purchased this past October).  The gorgeous pearls, and all of the seed beads came from Colleen's hoard.  The denim I seem to have a hoard of as well; once my friends and family started seeing what I was doing with them - they contributed piles and piles!

This next one is by far one of my favorites that I've done in my "Enlightened Denim" line.  Walking on Sunshine.  Bright.  Colorful.  SUNNY.  Again, the focal - the Cubic Zirconium dragonfly, is from MY bead store hoard, as well as the yellow quartz flowers, and the button closure.  The seed beads are a mixture of both Colleen's and Renetha's, all peachy and perfect.  The Shibori ribbon was given by Renetha, and the zipper was also among the items from Colleen.
 But I think the ULTIMATE hoarded item I used in this piece is the little VINTAGE sterling silver
and flower pendant from our local favorite antique shop The Little Red Schoolhouse.  Circa probably the 50's or 60's.  :)  

The pieces that I make that include the little zippers are my most popular pieces.  I have just ONE zipper of about a dozen left.  I've found fun and creativity in creating with each and every one.

I am going to refer you to Lori Anderson's blog for the list of other bloggers.  I hope you can visit them all over the next few days.  I KNOW there will be some magnificent art work in there....

Here's Lori's blog address:

Pretty Things

Peaceful beading,

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mother Nature (and the twins) pay a visit

Whew.  I'm glad that's over.  I can't believe that it's been a WEEK since our annual Holiday Craft Show here in Holt.  Still in the process of putting the house back together, and making room for the Christmas-ing...Our sales weren't nearly as good as in years past, thanks to the little tiff between Mother Nature and Old Man Winter, who dumped about 4 inches of snow on us the night BEFORE the show, making travel difficult for the first few hours of the day on Thursday.  Then they decided once wasn't enough - and added ICE to that on SATURDAY morning - typically one of our busiest times.

Despite the snow and blow on Thursday, though, it seemed to be our busiest day.  It certainly was MY favorite day, because it included a visit from our favorite returning customers - "THE TWINS and DEEDEE".  Sounds like a music group or something, right?
The twins are Sammi and Andrea - first friends with my vendor friend Tracy, and now, as the years have passed, with me too.  They are young college coeds, who both work as bartenders at the same popular eatery in town.  They even have a 'twin bartender night', filling the place and having a blast!
The DeeDee part is their beloved aunt, who seems to follow them everywhere.  She calls them 'my beauties', and together that trio is an absolute HAPPY bubble of fun.  You can't help but laugh when they're around.  They just have that THING about them that throws off positive vibes everywhere they go.
So happy they love us, and keep coming back every year.

All in all - it was fun, and I'm happy with my profit.   We all laughed and ate, and shared stories.  
Girl time, done differently!

Here's a few shots of the house at it's Holiday Sampler show best:

The sun came out for just a bit on Friday; I wish I could say the same for the people. :(  Sadly, Friday was our slowest day - and the day that ALL THREE of my vendors were available to greet customers.  You just never know how to plan for those crowds...

My holiday jewelry and ornament display....

The front porch.  Tracy does good vintage.....

Judy upcycles old sweaters into new accessories: hats, 'texting' gloves, and more.

Michelle offered delicious soy candles.  The chocolate 'flavor' was the most popular! Could be because we had one burning in the kitchen for everyone to smell!

Now on with the rest of the SHOW - decorating for Christmas, AND creating my piece for NEXT SATURDAY'S "Bead Hoarders Blog Hop".  I have a bit different hoarding story to tell - some of you may have an inkling of what it might be if you've been following and reading the blog this year.
Be sure you stop back next Saturday for the reveal....
Off to enjoy a somewhat warmer day, and enjoy the company of relatives from out of town. THEN
Venison lasagna for dinner.
Life is good.
Peaceful beading,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Things are hoppin'!

Getting down to the wire.  THIS is the week.  Tables being covered, and set up for the show.  Holiday decor being put here and there to help with the holiday 'mood'.  Still lots to do - but that doesn't mean there isn't time for MORE!   Look over on the left and you'll see another new adventure....another blog hop!  I won't tell you too much about it right now - I'll want you to come back on the reveal date and read all about it - but let's just say it will fit right in with what many call the 'season of giving'.   I won't have a hard time writing the blog to fit the topic - but I MAY have trouble squeezing in time to CREATE my pieces!  I'll be glad if I can do ONE piece for this one!   Hope you can stop back on December 6th for this hop reveal!

Moving right along....  ;)    ;)  wink wink 

Beads were again in the spotlight yesterday as I was able to commandeer the Jeep and have the afternoon to myself.  Sale at T&T Trading you say?   Don't mind if I DOOOO!   So off I went - into the on again off again snow squalls (man, I hate that 4 letter word) and into a world crazy with beads!

If you've never been - T&T Trading  has been located way out yonder between Mulliken and Grand Ledge Michigan since WaAAaAY before I was introduced to beads - which was over 20 years ago. So YOU do the math.   They've always been the go-to bead store for EVERYTHING - huge selection of seed beads - and they work directly with Swarovski for their crystals.    This is the weekend of the big annual sale - Tom even bakes us cookies!  - but I did try to control myself.  Operative word being TRY.  :)   Let's just say they have the proper marketing skills in putting the $1.99 pewter findings on the aisle by the check out. 
Got home so late after picking up hubby and doing dinner that I didn't think to take a photo of the entire 'hoard' - which does consist mostly of pewter clasps and findings, as well as two hole czech glass.  BUT - I did find a pretty mix of seed beads that will come together to be the next Enlightened Denim zipper cuff.  Even though those tend to be pricier than the rest of the ones I make - I can't seem to keep them in stock!
Gonna need more ZIPPERS!

That's all for now - I hope you have a ZIPPY weekend!  Enjoy whatever it is you find yourself doing - to the fullest!

Peaceful beading,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cleaning the castle

When I was a kid, Cinderella was my favorite movie.

Maybe I identify with that movie - because I would much rather dance with a prince than CLEAN anything.  Just not my favorite thing.

Which is what makes participating in this big 3 day home to home holiday show such a stressful experience beforehand.   

I just hate housework.  Spiders need homes.  Dustbunnies do too.    

This cartoon was perfect for depicting our vacuum - which is not just loud, but also decides to pop open and deposit all the yuck you just swept up right back on the floor again.
EVIL.   No wonder the dogs run and hide.

But clean I must.  The show must go on...

Here is a peak at shows past....
The holiday table - holiday jewelry, ornaments and sparkle

This one was before I asked my friend Tracy to join in the fun.  She now occupies this space with her beautiful linens, pillows, and vintage Christmas treasures.  I also have 2 other girls joining in - sharing the family room space in the back of the house - so there are FOUR of us to share the fun and the wealth!

Last but not least - here's a big pile of LOVE for all you bead loving followers!  I love Bead Haven.  And as much as I manage to spend every time I go, I bet Bead Haven loves ME!

Peaceful beading,

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Beads, beads, BEADS!

This time of year especially - it's ALL about the beads.  Not only do I have that big 3 day show coming up, but I've got TWO private shows for friends, AND, as I mentioned in my last post - I've reopened the Etsy shop.  You'll see the little Etsy mini shop and link over on the left - there will be many more pieces added over the course of the next few weeks - I think I've discovered a way to keep things in the shop and offer them at shows at the same time!  That would make my life easier (except for the photo taking part.  That still takes up a BIG chunk of time).

My fireplace display in years past....

I made the trip to Bronners in Frankenmuth this week, to give myself a little tweak into the Christmas spirit.  I used to decorate my ENTIRE house, in and out with Christmas cheer - now I'm lucky if there's a wreath on the door, lights on the railing and a tree.  Is it an age thing?   Just haven't been able to get that holiday spirit going the last few years.  Hoping to change that THIS year 

My tree is tiny - but full of crystal and purple decorations and lights.  Cuz as many of you know - purple is how I roll....

I've also made the trip to Shiawassee Art Center to deliver my Holiday Market pieces for this year.

These are just two of the creations delivered to them this week.  I hope you've had an opportunity to check them out.  

Hope I get a chance to check in and blog again soon - but with the big days drawing near - may be too busy cleaning, shining, and preparing.  I will TRY to remember to take photos during the show to post DURING and afterward - but honestly - sometimes it's just TOO busy!  

If you're local, or want to road trip! - here's the flyer and map:

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, October 30, 2014

FOURTH time the charm...

It popped into my head over the weekend.  Then it kinda got lost among the beads.  But a friend messaged me with questions about opening a shop of her own - and there it was again.  ETSY.  Should I?  Or Shouldn't I?  I've tried on three separate occasions to sell items through Etsy - listed mostly beads.  Sold a few.  Listed some jewelry. SOLD NONE.  And therein lies the rub.  Will it be different this time?  Etsy has changed things.  Rules.  Regulations.  Shop pages. and more.

But what the heck.  They're not going anywhere sitting in their boxes on a shelf either.  So......

With November 1 coming on Saturday - there's no time like the present.  THE SHOP IS OPEN!

There's nothing in it right now - just a few teaser pics on the 'about' page, and info on the profile page.  So head over and make it a favorite - shescool on Etsy -   and then check back soon.  Not sure what all will appear right away - still have 2 private shows and then the big 3 day comin' up.  But since they've made it so easy to put the shop in vacation mode (probably for that very reason), I can 'take a break' as they call it, and still have the inventory when needed.
Now I just have to find time for photos.  And come up with keywords.  Man, I hate keywords...

And in other bead news...  :)    If you subscribe to Beadwork magazine - watch your mailbox in DECEMBER for the issue that features ME as a challenge participant!  So exciting.

I'm also considering entering Bead Dreams.  Yup.  One of the biggest and brightest.  And - I was keeping this one a secret - but I've spilled it to a few people, so if you read the blog you get to hear too - I've also submitted to Battle of the BeadSmith for next year.  So I could have some BIG HUGE giant projects - WITH DEADLINES - coming up.

Big beady goodness -- here, there, and everywhere!

Peaceful beading,

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tuesday intentions

I've had every intention of writing this blog today.  While waiting for the words - I've updated the background (leafy) and updated the Creative Spark Issue photo.  The new fall issue is up and ready, and even though I don't have a piece appearing in it this time - several of the design team members have knocked themselves out with awesome fall designs.  So go HERE and enjoy....

I've had every intention of starting to get my house ready for the big three day show coming up next month.  Alas - the beads, the books, the puzzles, the ZenTangle AND a new season of Sons of Anarchy on Netflix! all have a stronger appeal.  I KNOW it must get done, but as usual - will probably wait until the week before.

I keep justifying it in my mind by looking at my beautiful Bella - and all her hair.  I'll just have to clean again next week, right?  And the week after that - and the week after that....  well, you get the idea.  I blame the dog for the house not getting cleaned....  :)

I DID intend to bead - and actually completed a piece that's had several different beginnings over the course of the last few weeks.  Ever heard of the frog stitch?  As in "RIP IT. RIP IT."  Much beading and unbeading before this piece was through:   "The Golden Season" Necklace.  I think it was worth the effort, don't you?

The beautiful focal leaf is a handmade ceramic piece made by a friend and fellow beader;  she beads for fun - but her passion is ceramics.  This is just one small piece of her art.  I hope I did it - and her -- proud.

There are other things that I intend to do this week too - but hey - it's ONLY Tuesday....

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Tangled up

Oh boy.  As if my beads didn't keep me busy 24/7.   I've been officially introduced to Zen Tangle.

I have recently become acquainted with the "other Sheryl" in the area - Sheryl Lamarand.  She's a beader, a Wire Knitz enthusiast, and a certified ZenTangle instructor.  She's also a lover of my Enlightened Denim bracelets - and already owns several!  Turns out we have many things in common besides beads - right down to our golden retrievers!

We took a trip to the Great Lakes Bead Guild monthly meeting in Detroit on Tuesday,  She was the featured speaker - introducing everyone to ZenTangle.  I think I wasn't the only person hooked.  It's a very 'zen' way to relax and let creativity flow. I plan to use some of the strokes and patterns in creating my detailed embroidery pieces - and may even venture into tangling on the denim.... later. Still playing with it - I USED to work crossword puzzles and the like during my TV/down time. NOW I tangle!

And since I can't come up with a good segue into my update on last weekend - here it is!

Birthday was quiet.  Hubby had to work a day shift, which left our plans in limbo.  We opted for a simple quiet dinner at a local steak house that offers free steak on your birthday (how can you resist?) and then home afterward - after all - getting up at 5:15 the next morning was not the kind of 'day after' birthday morning everyone really wants!  BUT -  rise I did.  The annual Holidays in Haslett show day had arrived.  And wow!  What a day!  WHEW!    I LOVE my new location - although a bit smaller - So I had to choose my merchandise wisely.

  I was on the main concourse - people, people everywhere!  It was definitely one of my best shows this year - and to think I almost didn't do it!  I am still debating on whether or not to participate NEXT year - after all - it will be ON my birthday - but I'm thinking maybe that will HELP the sales even more!

Next up - my Shiawassee Art Gallery Holiday Market inventory.  It's ready - only sold 2 of the pieces I had planned to take there; just need to write it up, and take it up.  The fun thing about the location of THAT gallery is that it's half way between here and Frankenmuth - the home of my favorite bead store in all the land - Bead Haven!  So mom and I (and maybe even my mother in law) will be making a day of it, and doing some shopping too.  FUN!

Looking forward to not one but TWO completely free weekends in a row before I have to knuckle down - stop the beading and the Tangling long enough to clean for the NEXT big event - the Holt Holiday Sampler show!  HERE!  IN ONE MONTH!  WHEEE!
Peaceful beading,

Friday, October 17, 2014

I can't drive 55

Today's the day.  The big FIVE FIVE.  55.  Fifty five. 

I am now officially old enough to get SENIOR CITIZEN discounts in several retail and fast food establishments around town,
and could legally live in a senior community should I desire.


I thought 50 was going to be hard.  50 washed away in the Gulf of Mexico (went to Florida for the big 5-0) with nary a whisper.
But this one's hittin' me.
Maybe because I'm feeling my age more often than not.  I'm letting my hair get grayer between coloring sessions.

My heart says let's go out and shake it tonight!

My body says let's just go have dinner and come home and SLEEP.

I'm spending my day mostly solo today - a little beading, a little reading.  And then
there WILL be dinner.  

And maybe a little shaking.  

After my NAP.

Peaceful Beading,

(All images courtesy of Google Images)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Multi beading

Are you a multi tasker?   I've always been one of those people that could do - or tried to do - more than one thing at a time.  

But as I get older (I'll be 55 NEXT Friday! GASP!), I find it harder to accomplish.  I start out doing one thing, and stop to get started on the second thing, and pretty soon - the second thing has consumed my time. 

Take yesterday for instance.  Looking for some 3mm firepolish beads turned into a sorting session that had me forgetting what I was looking for - but the drawers are now clean and organized!

 I used to be able to have more than one bead project going at once; work on one for awhile, put it down, rest a bit, brew more coffee, let the dogs in/out, and off to bead on the second.   

People have sometimes asked me if I draw out or write down my project plans as they pour out of my head faster than I can bead them - and I always answered NO.

 Lately I've had to change that answer.   If I don't at least write down the concept, or even pull out a few beads in the right size, style or color - I may never recall that little spark again.
I'm trying to wrap up the projects that have pouring out of my head lately - and hope to only have ONE thing to concentrate on for the winter months.  Unless there's a custom request or two - or three....  ;)

I don't want to reveal my big "winter project" quite yet - I don't want to jinx it.   If it pans out - it will definitely need to consume ALL of my beady time.  No multi tasking allowed.

Peaceful beading,

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Fall Fun

It's in the air.  The smells.  The colors.  It's really here.  FALL.  It  IS my favorite time of year, since it's also my birthday time of year.  I have NOT stopped celebrating that day yet  -  but I may soon. They're creepin' up there into higher numbers than I should care to admit.

Anyway - hoping for a bit more fall color than we actually found - my mom and I set out on a mini adventure to the Shiawassee Art Center in Owosso yesterday to check my current inventory -

(One of about a dozen selections currently on display)

Pay my yearly dues, pay my fee for the upcoming special holiday market, and enjoy the beautiful gallery.  Always so many beautiful pieces on display.  I wish I lived a tad closer so that I could enjoy it more often, and participate in more events.    It really is lovely...

The only part of the gallery experience I didn't get a photo of myself is the Curwood Castle, which is located on the grounds directly behind the gallery;
I found this one in a Flickr photo share file, courtesy of Brandon Bartoszek:

Built in 1922 and completed in 1923, the castle was the dream of author James Oliver Curwood, who used one of the turrets as a writing studio.  Click here if you want to read more.  

It was a nice day, and good to chat with mom again during the drive.  We took the 'long way' home, but not before a detour to our favorite antique mall  
 (and my former shop space) - The Little Red Schoolhouse.  

(Photo courtesy of Ann Hackler, owner, LRSH.  From Facebook page)

 Mom was looking for a vintage type tablecloth, and I saw something interesting in a Facebook post earlier in the day.  What an excuse to explore!   The store really has never looked better and brighter.  Several new dealers - lots of new items!    MY find was a success - this matches all of my displays perfectly - no paint or changes required!

SEE!  It's gonna look FABULOUS!

Mom even found her tablecloth, and we had a nice chat with Ann, Pat, and Jan.

A little more fall color would have made the day even better, but it was still a pretty nice one.

Thanks, MOM!

Now off to make a final decision on that special market inventory for the gallery, and to TRY to pare down the inventory for my smaller space at next week's Holidays in Haslett show.  Wish me luck!  So hard to leave pieces behind.  They all scream TAKE ME!  TAKE ME!   LOL.

Peaceful beading,