Friday, December 21, 2012


So, the end, or the new beginning or just as far as the Mayans went with their calendar. I have a feeling that I will be in the middle of a piece of beadwork when my time comes, I guess this would be an appropriate piece, (the owl is calling my name), but I'm a skeptic and I feel confident that I'll be sewing tomorrow. It is the winter solstice.The days are short and the clear night skies are filled with brilliant, sparkling cold stars. I think this piece I'm working on is fitting for just such an occasion. I've done a lot of cut glass black night skies, but this time I added more and more stars and some dark silver in places to get that milky way effect.  For some reason this picture doesn't capture the look. There has been a lot of hemming and hawing over the color of the water in the background. It's penciled in as a gray silver blue but I may still use something darker to keep the night mood, the color choices are on the table. What do you think?
As far as working at the down stairs table, it's okay. I get to enjoy the Christmas tree and be in the middle of all the things going on. One small draw back, there is cat hair all over my bead stuff. Oh well, today I finish the ivy leaves...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I finished the hawk bag. Thank you for your input on the black or brown options, I went with the brown, Robbie's choice, mainly because I was just in the mood for it. The fringe turned out very luxurious and invites you to touch.  This piece is very mellow with not many colors which gives it a distinct feeling, (of a gray day). The whole time I was working on the clouds I didn't think they were going to look right but now I like them. Believe it or not clouds are always a big challenge for me...

Monday, November 5, 2012


In Alaska winter comes early. We have always had two wood stoves, one upstairs in the gallery/studio and one downstairs. This year I decided to move the bead table down to the living room. No more view of Cook Inlet and smoking volcanos. The trade off is not having to make two fires, it's always warm downstairs and we decided to conserve on fuel. I set up a bead table by a window, (not the huge view windows of the studio), just a modest window with a view of the back yard. I have to share with Crazy the cat, it's one of her favorite hang-outs. I've only been sewing down here for a week or so. I'm happy with the way the "Dock Ravens" piece is turning out. That's what I'm working on right now, but the jury is still out on the new bead table location...

Sunday, October 14, 2012


So, I've just finished this hawk  piece of beadwork. It's going to be a bag with the feather being the flap.( the whip stitch and lazy stitch will complete the look.) I'm debating on a couple of things. Should I use black or brown leather? Also, I'm thinking of adding fringe. I haven't made one like that in a long time but I think the gusset style bag would lend itself to a luxurious look if I had a double thickness of fringe. So what do you think? Opinions please...    Thank you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

10 11 12

Today is 10 11 12. I wonder how many times something like this happens. You always hear about numerology, I'm sure this must have some kind of story to be told about it. It feels like a pretty ordinary day to me. I've been working on a couple of new necklaces. I bought these most beautiful beads. A gorgeous strand Citrine and two exquisite stands of Labradorite. They inspired me, I love beads.  I'm very partial to the gray tones and think that just silver and gold beads work well to show them off.  Here are the necklaces I came up with to complement their wonderfulness.  

Monday, September 10, 2012


Sitting in the dark, there's a big wind storm and the power is out. I use to live the cabin life style with no  electricity but now I'm spoiled and I miss it when it's gone. Good grief, what a wimp I am! No beading by kerosene lanterns anymore. Hey, where is that kerosene lantern anyway? Out in the shed I guess. Candles and the light of the ever faithful laptop will work.  In honor of the black out I posting some pictures of past black velvet pieces...

Saturday, August 11, 2012


The Coco Bag is finished! This one was a struggle with the crazy but sweet looking dog, the beadwork on the strap, (it's hard beading directly on the deer hide) and the time deadline. Whew, it's in the mail with only a week to spare and I'm on to other things.

Thursday, June 28, 2012


It's been a crazy couple of weeks.We've had out of town company so there has been fishing, beach combing and even gold panning. The bead table is in a controlled chaos state, three different projects going on at once. This is Coco, a dog portrait order. She has been a real challenge, she's brown with a brown nose, brown eyes, and even a brown collar. This is my third try, the first was hopeless, in the second one she looked like a yak, but this one is turning out okay. The second order is these Tlingit lovebirds for motorcycle gloves.The pattern is from the customers family so I don't have to sweat the design, just do the beading. Sometimes that easier.
Finally, I'm working on some more seagulls for my series. Found a old copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull that I've been wanting to re-read but can't seem to find the time. And it's a short book!

I'm so loving doing all the seagulls! It's fun to be excited about your projects. Of course it doesn't always correspond with how others feel about your work.  I sent an application off to the Juneau Museum for a solo show there. I didn't get it, just can't seem to break into the museum scene. Maybe the beadwork doesn't fit the criteria. Oh well, I'll keep trying...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Let's be honest, getting old is not for the faint of heart. I've just gotten home from a two week trip where I was helping my brother and sister with my 89 year old Dad. He had fallen and had broken his hip and he is not in good shape. Of all the the things that come with getting older, watching your parents ultimate decline is one of the hardest. Nothing you can do... As always with these family gatherings there was a lot of going through old photos and I snagged a few to share with you. These are of a young me, living in a ramshackle cabin in Haines Alaska and yes, doing beadwork. I see that I was beading on Smoked moose hide, red felt, and canvas. Looks like this was before I figured out the drawing on paper method and I was putting my design right on the canvas / felt / smoked moosehide. My little critters look so amateurish but still have a whimsy that is appealing. I suppose my point in all this rambling is that it's nice to know that getting old also has it's perks. The beadwork has matured to a place where I am challenged every day but I also seem to know what I'm doing. You have to be grateful for the good things...

Friday, April 13, 2012


Working on #3. I really like the little girl and the dog, and of course the seagull yelling for more fish! The sky is coming along and when thats done, sigh, more sand. I'm resigned.
I took a break from the beadwork and made some jewelry for the shop. Had some fun working with the abalone, it is such a beautiful shell, nature at it's best!

Met a new beader ( Miri Agassi ) via the web who is from Israel.This is her blog. She does some really cool jewelry and writes about all things beadwork. It really is exciting to be part of the international bead world. So weird how that wouldn't have been possible awhile back...

Saturday, March 17, 2012


So here is the finished piece. I'm pleased, the seagulls are a little meaner looking than my last ones, but they can get that way when they are after a fish head. I love the water color, and I have to thank my good friend and fellow beader Susan Anniskett because at Christmas time when I told her I was looking for dirty water colors she came through big time. She sent me some antique bugle beads that really make the piece! Thank you Susan!!! The little touch of whimsy in this one is the plastic shovel in the corner...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012


When I took on this project I knew it was going to be a lot of work. But now I'm back beading more sand. I really feel bored beading the small tan and grey beads on the rather large area because I just finished doing that. I know it has to be done for the sake of uniformity but it's no fun. I liked beading the seagulls because they were a challenge and the fish head was cool because I did it upraised, but now the drudgery of the sand has got me down. Nothing to do but force myself to stay at the table and do the work. I took a break and beaded this seagull feather and made it into a simple necklace on a silver chain. It looks good.
It's a new idea, so I don't
know how well they will sell. Any how, it was a fun distraction from the endless sand. Sigh...

Monday, January 23, 2012


The year of the dragon, hope that's a good thing. Here's a dragon teapot that belonged to the grandmother of my husband and I thought it would make a good piece of beadwork. The color of the tablecloth is that periwinkle blue that I really like and use a lot. It's a little washed out in this picture. So anyhow the other day I found this vase ( at Salvation Army ) that is the periwinkle color, I thought that was unusual so I grabbed it. When I cleaned it up and got all the many stickers off the bottom, it said Yalos Casa Murano on the bottom. I know Murano is the famous town in Italy that is known for glass making. Does anyone recognize this vase or know anything about it. I bought it because it reminded me of a favorite bead color but now I think it might be a find! FUN

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Here's the finish piece. One down and five to go! This is because I'm doing three pieces that are looking east (up river) and three pieces looking west (towards the mouth of the river). The east looking sides will be the morning high tide and the west looking sides will be the evening high tide. These pieces will be free standing two sided bags but will be viewed all together. I'm very excited to be making an installation piece and feel like it's going to come together quite well.  The one thing I wanted to say about this piece is about the net. I'm a Nymo bead thread user from way back, but with the net I used the Fireline. Really good stuff, you can get a sculptural quality with it. Unfortunately it's to expensive to use all the time.
I wanted to put a little whimsy in each piece so in this one I did the little seagull fisherman. It feels good to have one under my belt, I'll start beading a new one tomorrow...