Wednesday, December 24, 2014


            The year I was 15 I was living in Connecticut and not having a very good time. My family life was tense and unhappy and school was not good. At Christmas time my sister came home and when she left I went with her. She was 19 and working at the teenage club in Juneau Alaska. I remember the jet coming in for a landing, seeing the mountains and water so close. I was feeling nervous but exhilarated. In the beginning we were living downtown in the Senate apartments with Mag's two roommates. It was pretty tight quarters and most of the time Mag slept across the hall with her boyfriend and gave me her closet of a bedroom. In the dark I would walk to school along streets where the snow plows had piled 10 foot burms of hard, icy crusted snow. All the while I was telling myself "don't blow it, climb out of your shell and enjoy your new life." There were some trials and tribulations but the gist of the story is that I managed to do that and I have Maggie to thank for it. You couldn't ask for a better sister, she's kind and loving and an extremely fun compadre to go on adventures with!  So Mag, I didn't manage to finish your bag for Christmas,(I had to get the leopard order out of the way) but it's almost done. Robert is finishing up the lining and zipper and then I'll whip stitch it together and it will be all yours. Thank you sister, for taking me under your teenage wing and letting me fly. Merry Christmas to all!
maggie's night ravens bag

robert working on the lining


Tuesday, December 9, 2014


I rarely cut it this close on orders but these darn leopards were just taking longer than I thought they would. All those little spots and intricate detail had me working late every night!  But the bag is in the mail and I met my Christmas deadline, whew. At one point I had to take some beadwork out on this piece. In the floral border I used some red in the flowers and it was really bugging me. I could have left it but I didn't think it went with the rest of flowers, so now the red is gone. It's tricky taking beadwork out and I try to avoid it, but sometimes you just have to because your vision for the finished piece is more important than a couple of extra hours. Hopefully all the angst and worrying I did over this one will pay off and it will be just what my patron had in mind.
     She wanted leopard parents on the front and cubs on sides. This is what I came up with...

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I'm super excited! My Dipnet wall pockets were chosen to be in the All Alaska Juried XXXV show at the Anchorage museum.
They picked only 40 pieces (out of 600) to be exhibited, so it's a wonderful feeling. Also I was given one out of five $500.00 merit awards.  It's really great to be acknowledged for something that I worked long and hard on.
When I was in Juneau my brother dug out this old piece of beadwork that I had made him many, many years ago. It's funny to see my early attempts, but also nice to know that long hours at the bead table and lots and lots of practice can really pay off!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I'm sharing a sneak peek of the order I'm working on right now. Here's your bag in progress, Mag. Hope it's what you had in mind!

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Sitting down this morning rehashing the trip in my mind. Leading up to the show was a little nerve wracking, but it turned out that the radio interviews were kind of fun and having Annie to do it with was the best! The opening was packed and Annie and I both sold some stuff right off the bat so the terror of the skunk was off. I was able to see many old friends and gab late into the night with my family until I literally lost my voice. The road trip home was a ferry ride out of Juneau to Haines and then a 1000 mile road trip thru Canada and some of the loneliest stretches of road in Alaska you ever want to see. No one out there but me blasting the Dixie Chicks with my moon roof open, dodging ground squirrels and ravens eating dead ground squirrels. Gives you a good feeling to know that mankind's foot print isn't everywhere. When I was in Haines Junction I saw this little church that said Our Lady of ON THE WAY. When I looked back at the pictures it was Our Lady of the way but I guess I saw what I wanted to see...
first sale!
annie and her work


entering canada

destruction bag

the pass

Sunday, July 6, 2014


LESS THAN A MONTH AND I'LL BE IN JUNEAU! Annie Dennis and I will be getting together to  wow them with our work  at:
The first friday opening is August 1st.  It's right downtown Juneau. ( 244 front street)
 I understand they serve wine at these openings, that always helps with the show opening jitters. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, June 22, 2014


It's a rainy sunday day so I thought I would catch up with some picture taking of things in the gallery. The first day of summer was fun and eventful around here, we had a birthday party for my friend Angela and some great customers who come by every year came in and we had a chance to catch up. I remember when I decided to open the gallery, I thought because I was always sitting here sewing it would be nice to have some people to talk to and the truth is, it is. So thank you to everyone who stops in with their visiting summer relatives year after year. I appreciate it.
So, here are some pictures of the finished projects, the Eagle Bag with all of the colorful flowers added and the salmon skin and butterfly cuffs.

Monday, May 26, 2014


My current project on the bead table. The flags and eagle were not planned to coincide with Memorial Day but it feels appropriate. Working on this piece made me realize that I enjoy the freedom the black velvet gives you with the flowers. You just rough the design out with a white Pentel gel marker and then just play with the colors and design as you go. When I first started being interested in beadwork, those many moons ago, I really loved the contrast of the bright colors on the black velvet. Can't wait to get started on the vines, gray blue or clear, which do you like?

Thursday, May 15, 2014


I finished the bag today. It's been a long haul and especially hard to stay put at the bead table when the weather has been so gorgeous. After coming off a long alaskan winter, (even an easy one like this year) you feel the need to be outside gobbling up the warm breezes and watching green thing grow. So I was very happy to tie the last knot and put this in the mail. It's going to Milan Italy, which is cool and also makes me happy. Time to give the wrist a rest and start planting and weeding. I love this time of year!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


MAY FIRST! We are up and running. Had my first customers, first sale, and first bulbs coming up in the yard of 2014...
 Working on finishing up the beadwork for the "Butterfly Suitcase Bag". I'm really happy with the way it's turning out. Day light is now cooperating with long bead hours and loads of time working in the yard. Spring, sigh, just when you need it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014


Spring has sprung and the motorhomes are showing up at the pull off. They take pictures of the inlet sunsets and snow capped volcanoes, then glance over and see that we are still closed… So we decided to put a fresh coat of paint on the gallery, always a good way to start the season. We flipped the colors on the display boxes. Last year I thought that the black on the inside would be good but it turned out to just sap all the light, so now it's white inside/black outside. I like it. The upper part is still unfinished, total chaos, but we are getting there. Then, just a good window washing, set things up and price everything, hang the signs and we are open for business. May 1st! I always feel so much energy this time of year. P.S. here's the little hummingbird that did not make the cut for the big suitcase bag. Now he's going to be a little postcard bag...

Monday, February 24, 2014


I'm working on that big butterfly suitcase bag. I think I'll do a little semi 3-D effect, that's why I beaded part of the back wing. But, my mind and sketch pad kept going back to the cuffs. So I snuck in another bracelet. I love this moth piece and the silver background makes it seem even more jewelry like.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Today I realized that it's time to dive in to another big project. I have really been enjoying working on some small items like stringing some necklaces and these cuff bracelets. It's relaxing to work on things that don't need much thought or intricate detail. But now I have another suitcase bag order to fill. It's for a customer in Italy (which is very cool) but she wants it by the end of May. If I start now, that will give me just enough time to get it done. So back to the design table and then on to beading butterflies. Yes another butterfly bag, what can I say, they are very popular...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


I'm so glad to have finished this bag. These suitcase bags are so much work and then the last thing you do too finish it is a massive amount of whip stitch! It really is my least favorite part of doing beadwork but it is the only way to add the final spectacular look. The side hummingbirds have lots of personality and I decided on columbine as the flower. I have so many of these in the yard and they are one of my favorites.

So the bag is in the mail. I hope you love it Diana!