Monday, December 28, 2009

This is only test

J.P. got me a Flip video camera for Christmas and I wanted to try to upload a video just to see how it worked. Bear with me.

I'm so excited to have gotten this. It will come in handy on trips for people watching.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I suppose it's safe to show this now

I didn't get the best photos of my sister's gift. Just imagine it with a pink border along the outside. She seemed to really like it and that's all I could ask for.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Greeting from my Kindle

So I got a kindle for christmas from my boss this year. Talk about getting something you didn't know you need. I didn't know you could get on the internet! And now I know I can up-date my blog. Cool.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I have one more gift to buy and then I'm done getting ready for Christmas and can start enjoying Christmas. Hooray!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been playing around in the studio and catching up on "Lost" before the next season begins. But now I need to get to work and finishing Christmas gifts. There's not a lot to do, but I know if I don't start this weekend I'll never get it done in time.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


While I was on Bainbridge I got the chance to stop into Beads of Bainbridge, the local bead store.

Here is a picture of the sun shinning through the mist in the trees this morning.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Day With Zelo and Jack

We had a guest this weekend, so we decided to get out of the house and go somewhere new. Somewhere ended up being Bainbridge Island and Fort Ward.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clearing out my head

I guess I would call this a prototype for my bead journal that I start in January. Not sure if I will turn them all into small wall hangings or find some other way to display. But I feel pretty confident I can keep up as the months go by with this size.

I also used this as an opportunity to try out stuff that's been floating around in my head.

Solid color spaces are not really something I do a lot of.

I love these cup like pearls and wanted to try them in bead embroidery

I recently bought these tear drops from work and tried them out as edging and fringe.
We spent the day in Seattle yesterday, of course it wasn't until half way through that I remembered to take pictures. So I don't have any pictures of Fremont.

Jack loves a good walk through the city.
Here is a cool door handle.
It was a surprisingly nice weather day.
Always have fun at the market.
Jack had so much fun, he fell a sleep with a smile on his face.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Jumping in with both feet

After some not so gentle peer pressure I signed up for the 2010 Bead Journal Project. I have been interested in joining this since first hearing about this during the 2007 go-round, but didn't remember to sign up until after the deadline ended this last year.

This will be my first foray into any challenge/group project and I'm really not sure what I plan on getting out of this. I am excited to see what comes from trying to use beads as method of journaling. Hopefully I will also be able to experiment with different techniques and explore different color pallets. Mostly I just hope I can keep up every month. My ability to stay focused and on track will be a main hurdle.

I have already put some thought into what shape and size I want to work on for a year and have decided to go with a 3" circle. In an effort to challenge myself I wanted to try a shape I had only worked with on a small scale. Now what I'm going to do with them once the beading is done I have yet to decide.

Hear is a sample i started just to get an idea of how it would look. It is like making beaded buttons just on a larger scale. I'm actually further along with this just haven't gotten around to taking a picture.

So that's whats been going on here. Gathering supplies, brain storming, general preparation in order to be ready when January rolls around.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Goodbye Summer...

Well not officially, but around here you can feel fall coming on. The sun rises latter and goes down earlier every day, there is a crispness in the air and the leaves on the trees are starting to turn. The days of sleeping with the windows open are winding down for sure.

This summer has been particularly nice. I can't remember the last time we had such a long stretch of nice weather. This would explain my long absence from writing and beading. Being a native of the Pacific Northwest, I know to enjoy good weather while it lasts because there are at least 9 months of dreariness coming.

That being said, it has been all fun in the sun. I did find time to work in the studio. I finished the border on the hand quilt. I decided not to do to much just some out-lining on the border.

I also finished the block for my sister. Next will be the quilting. I just have to find some more pink fabric. This piece turned out a lot better than I thought it would. Hope Meg likes it.

I've spent this past weekend cleaning and reorganizing in the studio. This is always helped me to rediscover supplies and beads and in turn, lead to inspiration for new projects.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

So in the midst of all the non-bead related activity going on the last couple of weeks, Jen happened to finish quilting "The Hand" and passed it back to me.
I don't think at the time I really expressed my delight at the work she had done. I love this. From the zig-zags to the shape to the texture on the the front and back, her design allows for more surface embellishment, which I find very inspiring.

Here is a closer look at the texture around the bead work. I plan to add some beads around the bead work it's self and some around fuchsia fabric to give it a pop. I may also add some sort of dangle. The possibilities are endless.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Oh Dear!

It's been awhile hasn't it? Between the in-laws' two week visit, work, and the weather being fantastic, this blog has fallen to the wayside. It really doesn't matter, with all the things going I haven't had much time for beads.

here is a picture of the clematis blooming in the back garden. These blossoms are so strange and beautiful. I hope I get more than two flowers on it this year.

Today is my birthday. So far it has gone exactly how I wanted it to. Slept in late, long bike ride with J.P. and Jackson, felafel and strawberry shot cake for dinner.

I did get some lovely gifts from friends and family. A great summer dress and gift certificate from my mum, the Wii from J.P., and this gorgeous bag from Jennifer.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Swimming in a Sea of Pink

In an effort this year to make more Christmas gifts than buy them, I wanted to get a good head start. This is what one of my sisters is getting this year. She loves turtles and the color pink is her favorite. Which made it easy to pick out a theme for her piece.

Here are some pictures taken over the last few day to show the progress. I have to say I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out. Again, sorry about the pictures.

The enamel turtle beads I've had for years but I found my collection of pinks to be laking. It was more of a fuchsia to be honest. So after a mad dash through work and down to the local bead store I collected enough pink seed beads and was ready to start.
I'm going to fill in the right hand corner but I'm leaving the rest as it is. Hoping to be done soon, so I can get it off to Jen. I dont need the border to be anything fancey or wide. And I already have pink fabric, so no waiting to go the the store.

In other news my cat, Goldberry, has been stuck in a cedar tree in the front yard for two days now. I keep going out and calling to her but she dosnt seem to see any way down. And no, I cnt get her my self. She is about 50 ft. up and we have no ladder tall enough. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This is a gift for my good friend Connie in Tulsa. She is a fellow Gemini and a true kindred spirit. Unfortunately I don't get to see her as often as I would like, being so far away and all.

I used size 11 seed beads and some beige pearls that have a nice luster, the cab is a ceramic piece I picked up at The Bead & Button Show last year. After all the bright colors I've been using it was nice to work with a more subtle color pallet.

The chain is spiral rope chain with my first peyote stitch toggle clasp. This chain is great to use for so many reasons. It's very strong for one thing, your needle passes through the center so many times that even if there is a break some were the whole thing won't fall apart. But even with all the thread running through it, it still feels light and supple. Stronger than it appears is a good way to describe it.

In other news, "The Hand" has officially been handed over to Jen. We talked a little about what to do with it, but I'm leaving it up to Jen to work her magic for the most part. I'm sure we'll see what wonderful thing she comes up with in the near future

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spring and my sinuses

We've had a nice stretch of gorgeous spring days and I am loving the warmer weather and all the blooming going on. However, my sinuses hate it. I have been sneezing, blowing my nose and netti potting my face for a week now. It makes it hard to really enjoy the spring when your eye are so itchy and watery that every thing is a blur. Okay, I'm done bitching.

Here is a picture of a double trillium I came across a year or so ago on a walk. If your not familiar with trilliums, they generally only have three pettals. So this was a rare find. I went back to the spot I found this the next year but I did not find it. So glad the picture turned out good and that I have a memento of this strange beauty.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A Little Splurge

I finally went to the fabric store today to get stuff for "The Hand". I decided to pat myself on the back for paying off my car loan last month and letting myself go a little crazy. The brown and orange fall fabrics really called to me. Funny that we're entering into spring and all I wanted were the fall palettes. I also tried to pick up some colors I knew I didn't have, but mainly bought what ever tickled my fancy.

Then I headed over to one of my local bead stores, The Bead Garden, to see what was new. I ended up picking out some "vintage" beads. I tend to be sceptical when stores make the claim of vintage. It's also quite likely that these beads could be new, but made from molds that have been out of production for many years. Either way I love them and what does it matter when they were made? If you like them buy them. That has been my bead shopping motto for awhile now, because you never know if you'll see them again. I also found these adorable coral flowers and lovely cloisonne butterflies.

So that was my treat to myself. Tomorrow is my day to stay home, do laundry and bead. I have been working on something for someones birthday, but I don't want to show it just yet, in case that person happen to read this. I will just have to wait until it's given and post pictures latter.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Rainbow Block Wall Quilt

I've been meaning to post about this wall hanging for awhile now, but I can't seem to get very good pictures. So I'm just going to post what I have and be done with it.

This was started in the winter of 2007 and finished in the summer of 2008. This will give you an idea of how long it can take me to finish a project. Sometimes it takes a long time.

I got the inspiration for this from a set of magnets I made for my sister's birthday one year. They were a set of covered buttons, in the colors of the rainbow, that I converted into magnets. I found the challenge of working with one color interesting and wanted to try it on a slightly larger scale. I knew I wanted to turn these into a wall hanging from the very start. So I turned to my friend Jennifer, the one with the quilting know-how, to see if she would be up for a collaboration. Thankfully she was because I don't know how to sew. And so it was on.

The blocks themselves measure 3"x3", not huge but a little bigger than the buttons. Some colors worked themselves out really quick, others not so much.

The red block was one that came easy. I like red and I like how this block turned out. I don't usually use bugle beads, I don't really have a good selection of them to use anyway. But this project let me use what bugles I have and now I'm on the hunt for more bugles for future projects.

I had a lot harder of a time with the orange block. First I found that I had
a pretty paltry collection of orange beads, so I had to make a special trip to the local bead store just for orange beads. Then when it finally came time to, you know bead, I could not get into this color and when I looked at it, the whole thing looked and felt forced. I don't know, it's not my favorite.

I am the most surprised with the yellow block. After the orange one I started to worry that the yellow one would be the same. But I am really happy with how it turned out. I also found a new appreciation for this color.

When people see this for the first time they usually like the green block the best. I was pretty confident about this color at first. Green is probably my favorite color and I have a great collection of green beads. But I found my self one third of the way through and hated it. So much so, I made the decision to pull it out and start over. I will admit this sat on my table for some time. It probably took the longest, but in the end it really turned out good.

If you were to ask me what my favorite block is, it would be the blue block. It came together really smoothly and, like the yellow block, I found a renewed appreciation for the color and all the shades it comes in.

Like green I love purple and have a good selection of beads. Unlike the green block the purple block took the shortest amount of time to make. I used the pattern on the fabric for the design and just mixed all different shades of purple. This one reminds me of ferns in the spring time.

Once I was done I gave the squares to Jennifer. We talked about how we wanted this to hang and what the border fabric should be. I also wanted Jennifer to leave her mark. She decided to try out squiggles (I can't remember what the stitch is called) on the black fabric border. Unfortunately I can't get a good picture to really show it off. But it gives the border texture and interest that really complements the bead work. She was even clever enough to put our names in the border.

We were both happy with how this turned out. So much so, that we entered it in the county fair for giggles. For some reason we couldn't be entered in a bead work category and ended up in the wall art/quilt category. It didn't seem to matter though, we took home the blue ribbon and a whopping $1.37 in prize money, which made me laugh.

The rainbow wall hanging now has a home on my living room wall, under the clock and over Jack's bed. I see it everyday and it inspires me to do more work like this. Collaborating with Jen opened up a whole new world as far as what can be done with beads and fabric. So I have a lot of ideas and I hope to find the time to make some of these to come to life.
That's it for now. Again, sorry about the pictures. I haven't spent as much time beading lately, the urge to get outside and soak up any good weather has trump all other projects.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Were I want to be

I've been going through our pictures of Thailand and really wish we were back there. I could also go for a good plate of Pad Thai and a beer.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

I don't know about were you live, but around here it has started to fell like spring. Maybe it's the day light savings time or the tender little buds popping out on the greenery, either way I am so ready for old man winter to go away. It's time for longer, warmer days.

In the mean time I have been fighting the March blahs by keeping myself busy with beads. I have been dying to try this tree trunk technique ever since I saw it in Robin Atkins's book "Heart to Hand Bead Embroidery". I mixed up some brown seed beads and once I figured out what I wanted it went really fast.

This next picture is what I have been able to get done today. Adding leaves and branches has made it look more tree-like. I want to keep the background simple but before I can start that I need to finish with the tree first. Those branches still need a little something.

Well that's all for now, I'll try to get better pictures the next time I update. In the mean time I'll be in my studio waiting for spring.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Lovely Things

So, I sent $20 with my good friend Jennifer to the The Sew Expo in Puyallup, WA. She asked before she left if there was anything I needed. I told her "pink and turtles". Boy did she deliver. And she also picked up some gorgeous Autumn fabric that I absolutely love.

Jennifer is a dear old friend who just so happens to quilt. We have collaborated on one piece (that I have yet to post here) so far. I still need to go to the fabric store for fabric for the hand. Then it's off to Jen's to get quilted up. It's nice to have some one to bounce ideas off of and as a quilter, Jen sees things in a different way that opens up a whole other way of doing things. And shes a good little shopper!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Eight is Enough

Well, for now at least, these are my last buttons. After making these for awhile I've started to wish they didn't end so soon. So I'm taking that as a sign that it's time to start a large project.

But in the mean time here are some pictures of the rest of the buttons. A fine little collection if I do say so myself.

Now at least I have some last minute gifts if I need them. Just cut the shanks out and glue a magnet or a pin back on and voila! instant gift.

Here we have the copper and purple button. I am really happy with how this one turned out. The matte copper, apollo gold and matte crystal picasso beads are all SuperNova Hybrids from Starman Inc. I have had these beads since last fall but haven't had a chance to use them until now. I thought the purple and copper was a lovely combination.

The blue and yellow button was my attempt at a pattern. It came out of a doodle I drew and I just wanted to see how it would look in beads. I also love blue and yellow together. This button uses Czech and Japanese seed beads.

The orange and blue button turned out petty good. I sometimes forget what colors orange looks good with, and I end up not using it at all. But when I do use it I really like it. This button uses Czech and Japanese seed beads

So that's all for now. Not much else going on around here. Just waiting for winter to go away and stop snowing every two weeks. Jack is doing good and J.P. is as busy as ever. We have started biking again, it's nice to get out of the house and breath some fresh air, but that's it. Good bye for now, B.


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Button It Up

Lately I have been spending what spare time I have in my bead room. Mostly making button and marathon watching HBO's Rome on DVD (thank you work for the Christmas gift of a portable DVD player). Here are a few pictures of the button collection so far:

So I will admit that this is not my best work, but that's not really the point of making these. For me these buttons are a way of trying out different color combinations and a way to try out and perfect different embroidery techniques. They are also a perfect little respite from larger projects.

This jet & silver one turned out pretty well. The beads used are Japanese seeds with a nice Czech transparent grey rainbow tri-cut for sparkle and a lovely coin pearl.

I love teal and green and purple. When I'm in a rut this is my go to color combination. I'll also admit that this button was a work in progress when I decided to finish it. This button uses all Japanese seeds.

With this pink and grey button I went over board with the beaded ruffle. It turned out a little more messy than I set out to make it. However, I loved playing with pink and grey and I would expect to see a bigger project with this color combination. Again with the Japanese seed beads.

Ah, the red and pink button. There are something I really like about this and others that I considered pulling out and redoing. In truth this button suffers from "too much going on". I wanted to try out too much and as much as I like red and pink together, I have a hard time with it. This button uses Czech glass flowers, Czech seeds and Japanese seeds.

So this is what I've been up to, in fact I already have one more button to photograph and post. But I need to start a wall hanging for someone that I've been putting off for awhile now. I will probably get started on this with in the next week. Latter B.