Snippets from a bead artist.


Olympic Beading

Have you been watching the Olympics? I have. As a matter of fact, I think I have been watching way too much of the coverage. There I was this morning, edging a piece of bead embroidery for the huge collar project I have been working on, and I have sports casters running through my head: "...and here comes the favorite of the underdogs, NEDbeads, and I'm just not sure she's going to have the staying power to make it through here, she's been having some shaky stitches in the last few practice runs, no, wait, that was a good stitch there, and again, but NO, there, that was a sloppy one, you have to have much more concentration and determination when you're up against the greats like Sherry Serafini, she's losing ground now... but she may be able to get the bronze if she can get her game on..." And so on.

The collar is coming along. I am creating it in pieces of embroidery, and then linking them together. I only have two components, fringing and a clasp left. So I can almost see the finish line from here! It seems to be taking a very long time, to me, but then I am seeing it come together just as I saw the idea in my mind the first time, and that is a treat. I LOVE being able to come up with a visualization of something and then create it - something I was never really able to do when I was drawing or writing. To me, sculpting something with beads comes much more easily.

I've had a busy week thus far, and forgot several things along the way - calling a friend (oops, still not done), getting the laundry done, staying upright while walking the dogs outside on the ice. However, a skinned and bruised knee is not enough to keep me from beading! (Just put the foot up, angle sideways, and there you go! Not particularly comfy, but it works.) At the very least, I did not fall ON the dog, which is a blessing, as she is a Pomeranian, and would have squished.

Speaking of Olympics and beading (which I was before), I wanted to introduce those of you who aren't familiar with her to Leinaala Mitchell, of BellaBeadjeweled. If there was such a competition, Leinaala would be right there in the top spots. Her work is incredible. She works with deep, rich jewel tones with precise workmanship and produces sumptuous and organic works of art. She is a self taught artist who has been beading for years, and she says that she beads intuitively, letting the pieces grow as they wish. I had to include a few of her works here, my favorites:

Pictured above are her lovely Tango Earrings, the incredibly detailed Mermaid's Ransom, and the gorgeous, organic, and voluptuous Hidden collar. I have such respect for Leinaala as an artist, and she is a wonderful friend, as well, and a member of the Etsy Beadweavers Team. If you have to see more (and I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't want to), you can visit her at, and .

As for me and my collar, keep thinking trees. Lush, dark green leaves and crystals, get the idea! I hope to have another teaser picture soon, but in the meantime, here is a photo of my other favorite tree-related beadwork, Mighty Oak, which features a terrific bead by Lloyd Osborn:

Now, back to the collar. "...and she may make it yet, she only has a couple of curves left to finish this piece..."


Life Lately

I did not have a hard time picking something out to blog about this week; just the reverse, I was only trying to figure out which of the ten things I had on my mind to include!! I was included in Mortira's awesome blog this week, where my Serenity Vessel was featured with a lot of other really wonderful artists, which I thought was pretty exciting, AND I was featured in an Etsy treasury listing, which was terrific! Unfortunately I was not able to figure out how to get a link to show you the treasury, but you can see the blog here:


Please visit Mortira at her shop:


I bought two new beads (of course!!) at Hannah Rachel's shop, Good River Gallery, on Etsy:

Is that not GORGEOUS??!! I love her beads, but especially her florals. The other I purchased is also a flower. But I wanted to include some of her other work. She does amazing and intricate beadwork and I had to include a picture of one of my absolute favorites of hers, Toas Sunset:

I am thinking of which new things I would like to list on Etsy this month, possibly a few more of my vessels. More of my necklaces would be good, too. I have noticed that I don't have very many earrings included anywhere...I haven't made any in ages, so I should be thinking about that, too. And, of course, I am in the middle of two large collar projects as it is, and have three cuffs in mind to start...I don't have enough hands! It would probably be helpful if I would stop shopping Etsy quite so much, as I seem to find something new that I HAVE TO HAVE every week! No, I don't buy them ALL...really. Honestly.

This week I have also spent a lot of time grooming and caring for my dogs (Nikki, Teddy, Sunny & Sydney) . I realized that I had not added photos of them in my blog, and so planned to correct that today. So, here are a few of my favorite ones:

This is Teddy (Theodore H. Bear), who just turned 4 today!

This is Nikki (Nikita Bean)

This is Sunny Bear

And this is Sydney Belle

These guys are such a huge part of my everyday life that I had to include them this time. Teddy is my shadow, Nikki is the Princess, Sydney is very much like a huge cat ("Pat me when I ask, otherwise LEAVE ME ALONE, thanks."), and Sunny is my husband's dog. The chows like to hang out, the pomeranians want nothing but playing and attention at ALL times - including beading times! It is a challenge to bead with a Pomeranian on your lap...

Dogs, beads, shopping, laundry, goes on!!


Beading Away and a Few Favorites

Hello again! Here I am, sitting at my kitchen table, watching the rain fall from the gutters onto my deck. I am surrounded by beads, and had to make a place for the laptop. Pearls, gemstone chips and beads, seed beads in all sizes, bugles, crystals, flip tops and strands and baggies and a huge pile of bead soup in glorious hues of green, bronze, gold, browns and topaz, with a tiny hint of Montana Blue here and there. Coffee sits at my elbow. Doesn't it sound fantastic?! But instead of beading, I am the moment!

I am working on a long project now, something that I expect to take me about a month to finish, as long as my muse doesn't desert me. It will be a collar, eventually, but right now it sits in separate components. I have one component almost finished and have started the second. There are at least five more to go, before assembly will begin. Whew!! The photo at left is the one that I have posted on my Facebook page, as a teaser - it shows part of one component in the middle of its creation. (At least that is the largest one, and the one that is almost all done!!)

This particular design came to my mind about eight months ago and has been percolating ever since. It all started with a pendant made by the wonderful Chris Kapono at MandarinMoon on Etsy. I was browsing her amazing shop, which is chock full of her polymer clay art, and there, low and behold, was a leaf pendant! I HAD to have it, but wanted to know if she could remove the bail, as I desperately wanted to use it as a cabochon. And off it went!! Pretty soon I was begging Chris to make me cabochons of all kinds, and asking her (nagging her, I think) if she would make me some more leaves. Fabulous being that she is, she some really wonderful ones for me...I hope you will be able to see the results soon - in about a month!

I am also in the middle of a different choker, more on the lines of Honeybutter, but in different colors and with a quite different feel to it. That one hasn't got any teaser photos, yet, but as soon as I can get my beautiful cabochon (it's on its way now!) attached to it, I will do some.

For anyone who checks this out and isn't familiar with her, I wanted to include Carol Dean Sharpe in my blog today. Carol Dean has been creating art her whole life, and started beadweaving in 2004. An amazingly talented artist, she is consistently prolific and turns out peyote stitched cuffs and patterns at an astounding rate, given the amount of work involved in just one of her pieces. She creates all of her own original patterns, and has a crisp, yet flowing style. I have added two of my absolute favorites here, with Carol Dean's gracious permission:

Her Red Bargello Hearts Cuff, and:

Her Golden Scrolls Cuff, which includes a gorgeous hand made button. Carol has been an incredible friend for me since I have been on Facebook, and she is so supportive and generous. Please visit her shop at She is having a 3 for 2 pattern sale right now in both her Etsy and Artfire stores, and for anyone who wants to weave themselves a stunning cuff, this is an excellent opportunity to grab some really beautiful patterns!!!

I also wanted to include here two cabochons that I just purchased (and they came in the mail yesterday!!). I LOVE them, and HAVE to show them off:

These were handmade by Cindy at ccvalenzo, also on Etsy. (Can you tell that I am a huge fan of the artists on Etsy??!) She produces gorgeous pendants, earrings, cufflinks, barrettes and more with her dichroic glass, and graciously agreed to remove the bails and make these two into cabochons for me! I got onto Cindy from Sandy Spivey, who made this stunning necklace with her cabochon:

And, I just barely realized that I bought the same cabochon as Sandy did!!! So that one will have to be for me or for a gift, and I will just have to make something for sale with the other one!! (POOOOOOOR me!!)