Friday, February 28, 2014

Don't worry....BEE happy

Now that I'm done with my ZNet designs, and patiently (well, ok, IMPATIENTLY) waiting for Hope to complete the Creative Spark issue and REVEAL, I was able to complete one of the pieces I started just before receiving all those lovely ZNet beads...

This is The Queen Bee.  I had no idea when I started this piece during a bead group fun day, that it would BEE this:

 As I was completing the beaded bail (a bone rice oval covered in embellished RAW) I remember thinking that it sort of looked like a honeycomb.....and the QUEEN was born.  I actually had some little pewter bees in stock, and JUST got those pretty orange lucite flowers on my girls day out trip on Saturday.  Add a few more leaves, and a citrine flower that didn't make it to Etsy listing (oops) and I think she's kinda pretty.
I don't know where she's bound yet - Etsy, Shiawassee gallery or shows.... one of my FB friends pointed out that she is very WARM looking - works for me!

And in case you are wondering - I haven't forgotten about the give away I promised.  I've decided that the JEWELRY portion of the give away is going to be a pair of the ZNet Challenge earrings I just made.  So I have to wait for the reveal to show them to you.  The bead portion (remember - the winner will get to choose which they want-the jewelry or the beads) will be a mix of a little bit of everything - and probably way bigger than I plan when I start - that's just how I roll!  LOL!  So keep checking back - I'm hoping the reveal will be before mid month - so let's make it in honor of SPRING.... which I'm not sure is ever going to get here.   I am dreaming of THIS:

And instead we're getting this - with just a bit of sun thrown in to tease us:

(all nature images courtesy of Google Images)

WARM & peaceful beading,

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Just a quickie

Well rats!  I wanted to have that giveaway contest to coincide with reaching the 26,000 visitors mark.  I MISSED IT!  I guess it's a GOOD thing that people seem to be stopping by, even more now than ever before - but now I have to come up with another plan.  As soon as I'm done with my ZNet challenge, I'll work harder on getting that ready for you all.  Maybe it will simply be to coincide with SPPPPPRRRRING!  I don't think there's one person that lives in a winter climate that isn't looking forward to spring this year.  I'm so done with snow....and so are they!

(No, Zeus doesn't have an ear issue.  It's the reflection of the lamp in the patio door glass!)

All of my ZNet designs revolve around the spring theme - so just playing with this bright and happy color scheme is keeping me warm and toasty...

I've done so much with them so far - that I'm actually putting down the beading needle and heading out of town for the day - there's a "Garage Sale Art Fair" going on in Kalamazoo today - artists such as myself, as well as painters, sculptors, all sorts of art forms - destashing their WORK at garage sale prices!  Not sure I'll be actually purchasing any art, but it will be fun to go, be OUT and about for a change, spend time with fellow artists and friends.  GIRLS DAY OUT!  YAHOOOO!  I am hoping to get my hands on some found objects and items that can be upcycled into cool new designs... so stay tuned.  You never know where my designs will go from here....ME NEITHER!  And watch for the ZNet Challenge reveal in a few weeks too. My deadline is next weekend - plenty of time to squeeze in another design or two!  Until then....

Peaceful beading,

And P.S.  I also meant to blog (and brag, sorry) about Mariposa again - I still, STILL cannot believe that I placed as a fnalist in FMG's seed bead contest.  The satisfaction, the pride of seeing MY necklace on one of their models, and appearing in their gallery of designs.  Well.  I'm crossing that one off the bucket list, for sure.  An accomplishment.  DONE.  YAY ME!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An exciting new adventure!

Just LOOOK at what I got in the mail today!  A beautiful selection of sea glass, chinese crystal and BEADS, BEADS, BEADS from ZNetshows!

One of the first things that I noticed about these beads - was SPRING!
And then I realized that there were actually beads that could be used to design for all four seasons!

So that's what I HOPE to accomplish before my deadline date - just a mere 10 days away!

Aren't they beautiful?

While I'm not allowed to show you what I actually MAKE with them until after they appear in their quarterly Glossi mag - I can show you all the lovelies I have to play with and create with - and drool over.  

These just scream Halloween!

I've already created TWO designs - with at least 2 more that I hope I have time for rolling around in my head.  I am so glad I heard about this wonderful opportunity!
If you'd like to check out previous issues of their Glossi mag - Creative Spark - here's the link to the last one:

I'll be sure to blog again and let you know when my feature appears in the newest issue!  Until then....
Peaceful beading,

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Givin' it up

Ha.  Scared ya, didn't I?  No, not THAT kind of giving up.  The kind that has ME giving it up as in giving things AWAY!  So who's up for a contest?  I plan to have a give away to celebrate another visitor milestone to the blog - 26,000!  I did a little inquiry on Facebook, and think I will offer the winner a choice of either a finished piece of jewelry, or a surprise bag of beads.  I realized that I have fans and followers that are some of both - jewelry lovers, and bead lovers.  Now comes figuring out the contest part - trivia?  Puzzle? Random draw from comments?  And then decide on the prize - especially the jewelry part.  I'm thinking probably earrings - but that's as far as I've gotten.  I will probably wait until closer to the end of the month - until Mercury -
our planet of communication, gadgetry and all things internet-y - goes back direct.  I know.  I know.  Many of you are saying HUH?   I can't help it.  The astrologer person in me just pours out sometimes.   It's another love of mine that even flows out into my jewelry AND my babble from time to, anyway - it does this crazy, wonky backward thing called Retrograde a few times a year - and can make all things communication and decision making a little weird for a few weeks.  Phone died?  Blame Mercury.  Laptop fizzled?  Yup.  Mercury.  We blame him. ALOT.  :)  He goes back the right way again at the end of the month...whew.

So stay tuned.  I will keep thinking on that contest, and how to offer what will surely be awesome prizes!

For a sneak peek at some of my jewelry - hit the Etsy link up at the left and check out the shop.  And for beads - here's just a teaser of some of the beads that I still have left in my inventory:

And speaking of inventory; it's part of the reason you haven't had a new post from me in awhile.  Gotta count them babies....  :/  ugh.   Almost done.  For another year....

Peaceful beading.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Hot off the presses....

What a beautiful publication.  Beautifully written.  Beautifully photographed.  Seriously.  If you don't have it yet - dig deep into your Bead and Button show money (there's still time to save more!) and ORDER IT!
My copy came yesterday - so I bundled up, trudged through the snow in the driveway, streeeeetched myself way over the snowbank, almost slipping and giving all the passers by something to laugh at.  Finally.  At last it was in my hands.  I grabbed something to drink, a cozy blanket and a pillow and curled up for two hours of amazing photos and interviews.  One of my favorite parts of this book is that it showcases work from a few artists that aren't as well known, along with those that we know and love everyday.   There are features on some of my favorite peeps - Cynthia Newcomer-Daniel, Nancy Dale and Betty Stephan!

Another wonderful feature, and a great tribute - Marcia's interview with the late Linda Jones.

So much COLOR! in this book.  My favorite colorful page:

Here's more of Sian's uniquely BRIGHT beadwork:
 These little guys were one of the first things I OOOOHED over when I saw the back cover.  Aren't they cute?  Just a few of the beaded miniature creatures by Heather Kingsley-Heath:

There are also TWO MEN featured as designers in this book.  It amazes me that their work is so detailed.  So full of supple shapes and sleek design.   My instincts tell me that they each have great respect for women, and WHAT WOMEN WANT.

Another favorite thing in the book - the admission by at least two of the designers that they still have not mastered BEAD CROCHET.  You mean I'm not alone?  I have not been able to master it, or even get the hang of it for that matter - and I CROCHET!  I laughed out loud at the admission by the first one, and clapped for joy at the admission of the second.   

After reading the interviews on each uniquely talented designer, I realize that we are all on this big beading journey together-garnering fame, overcoming obstacles and meeting challenges on different levels, for the same reason - to create a thing of beauty with beads.   I love that everyone is so into using the Internet, and Facebook in particular to market themselves and network, just as I do.

My thanks again to Marcia DeCoster (and her husband Mark for picking MY NAME from the "hat") for sending me this lovely autographed book.  Can't wait to see what you have in store for us next, Marcia!

Hope you're doing some peaceful beading where ever you may be.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Book learnin'

As I sit here (im) patiently waiting for my copy of Marcia DeCoster Presents to arrive, it occurred to me that I may never have (or at least in a loooooooong time) mentioned the fact that I had self published a couple of books myself.  And something else you may not know, the humble quiet beader that I am (  wink, wink ) - I have had two necklaces published in the WORD (What Our Readers Did) section of Beadwork magazine, had a project published, and have appeared in a beautiful inspiration book as well.  This all happened a few years ago - during the time - and even a bit before - that I owned the bead store.  Wasn't blogging as much.  Facebook didn't exist.  Just a few of those accomplishments that came, went - and life went on.
But -  NOW is as good a time as any to reminisce a bit - let me take you back to the very first thing that I ever had appear in a magazine:   Beadwork's What Our Readers Did section.  I believe it was 2004ish (please don't make me dig out the magazine again!)  It was a unique piece of Selenite, fringed and accented with STERLING silver, with a dragonfly theme.  Dustin Wedekind himself called me regarding sending them this piece to be photographed, and asked me to 'submit more'.  It took me a few years to do so, and alas - this particular piece was STOLEN from the bead shop not long after it was returned.  :(  (Notice that they spelled my name wrong!)

My next appearance was an actual project submission - again, in Beadwork.  Dec/January 2005/6, it was when Swarovski first came out with the SQUARE pendants:
The project was for a bracelet, surrounding the squares with a figure 8 of seed beads.  I still have that piece around here, somewhere.....

About that same time came the "Call for Artists" from Penelope Diamonti for an inspirational 'coffee table' type book, to be published to coincide with the D.C. Bead Museum "Spirited Away" Gala.  I was stunned and excited to actually be included (along side ZOYA GOTINA among others!)- and even more excited to have SOLD my piece at the museum gala event.  I WISH that I had been able to be in attendance - Washington D.C. was just a bit of a commute for me.  :)

Quite prestigious, wouldn't you say?

But my most exciting foray into the book world was self publishing a book - well, two actually.  First came
Beading Zen - Finding Yourself Among your Beads
At the time, I was not only running my little store, but I also worked part time at a new age shop here in town.  Metaphysical teachings had come into my life - and helped change my life - just 8 or so years before - I learned so much - and felt this urge to share my knowledge of beads, and the new age energies, and how they sometimes related to each other.  This is also a book with much basic knowledge of all things beading- selling, displaying, organizing - and a bit of a history lesson too. 

 This was SO much fun, that I decided to publish yet another book - My Life in Beads.  It is more of a photo journal, and was a way for me to keep a 'portfolio' of sorts available for showing to potential gallery and shop owners.  Obviously, this was before IPads and NookColors were invented.   I can do that digitally now!  This book also has some beautiful quotes inside; I keep this one on my bead table for daily inspiration.  I would LOVE to publish yet another book - one on doing displays and shows - and I have TONS of info filed and photographed and ready - but I'm not sure that self publishing is the way to go this time.  When the time is right - it will happen.  BOTH of these books - Beading Zen and My Life in Beads - are STILL available by visiting  I believe each were about $25 for hardcover, less for a soft cover version.  Their prices may have changed since I published them, however.

There was one more W.O.R.D. appearance, but that magazine has gone into a pile with many others - I think it was winter of 2010.....a blue and silver circle 'mandala' type necklace that was returned just in time for me to gift it to my mother for Christmas.  Shew!

In 2012 - I submitted a biography and photos to be featured online through The Great Lakes Bead Guild, of which I am a member.  I believe the feature is still available on their website -

And of course - we fast forward to 2014.  Mariposa appears already in the online gallery for Fire Mountain Gems, and will be in the new big whopping spring catalog everyone gets every spring.  Along with other appearances to come, it's my greatest accomplishment yet.

I hope I haven't bored you with my trip down memory(book) lane.
I'll be blogging again soon about Marcia's book, and all the beautiful people and pieces inside.  

Many events and plans in the works for 2014!  It's gonna be my YEAR!
Peaceful beading,

Monday, February 3, 2014

Just a bit of babble

Not really much worth blogging about today.  It's a rare SUNNY day here in Michigan, so errands were easily run and accomplished.  Now comes TWO tasks at home that I've been dreading - taking an inventory of unsold goods (the beads are the hard part), and getting the paperwork in piles for including in the taxes.  I think I know exactly ONE person who enjoys doing those tasks.  It's always fun to procrastinate and find OTHER things to fill my day.  I could easily do so a bit more this week:  another task, though not so dreaded - is getting that extra living space that we've never used turned into a workable, functional space for classes, bead group gathering, photo taking and just plain bead related STUFF.   So watch the blog and FB for photos of my before and after transformation - I've only just begun!

Still trying to decide if I want to take part in this year's Bead Soup Blog Challenge.  I had written a previous post about 'sitting it out' because the design elements of my blog weren't working properly.  Now that the glitch seems to have been fixed - well, I have 6 days to decide.  Sign up is SUNDAY.

I may also be participating in another challenge this spring - something new that I'm taking on involving ZNet shows.  I haven't worked with them or their products yet - so time will tell if it will be a good venture.

And oh - I may not have posted since THIS happened:  I SOLD THIS PIECE on ETSY on Saturday!  HOORAY!

It's winging it's way to North Carolina as we speak!  I hope the new owner enjoys it.  Those leaves gave me fits! But it was SOOOOO worth it!

Make your Monday a good day!  Mine will be filled with Downton Abbey, functional furniture, food and the newest Lisa Scottoline novel!  And probably a bit of that dreaded paperwork, too.....

Peaceful beading,