Monday, December 30, 2013

SmartCar Adventure

 Here's my new baby! She is so cute and we just love her!

Dewman and I went on an adventure yesterday in the new SmartCar E-Drive. I packed his walker, Christmas feast and Christmas presents for the 2 Grandkids, our son and Daughter-in-Law into the back of the SmartCar.

Fully charged and ready to go we headed for Shady Cove, Oregon. It is 38 miles one way. Drove on
I-5 with the big boys, no problems. Gave rides around the block to 5 people in family and got it plugged in around 2:30 PM. After a few hours we realized the charger wasn't set on the highest charge setting. After we got it set properly it charged up much faster. We had a nice Ham dinner with our oldest son and his family. Dew and Tyler(the oldest son) played music in the "Chicken Shack", Tyler's garage music room. It is lined with egg crates for acoustics, hence the name.

I kept checking on the progress of the charging and we were getting there slow but sure. It was cold. The warmest temp was 32 degrees when we got there. It was 26 by the time we got enough charge to feel confident we would get home. We would need the defroster and the heater, so we had to compensate for that power expense.
We knew we would encounter fog on the way through Sam's Valley and maybe icy roads in a few places.
We had a great time visiting with the kids. Our 15 yr. old Granddaughter was there and we so enjoyed her company. The family all stayed up with us while we waited for the car to charge. We watched a movie the kids found hilarious: Grown Ups 2. It was great to see them rolling in laughter at the movie. I was laughing at the laughing kids. Our Grandson is 10 so he gets the juvenile humor.

Finally at about 1:15 AM we had enough charge to take us 48 miles. So that would get us home with the heater and defroster.
Dew was my co-pilot and was in charge of the energy expense of the heater and defroster. He did a great job managing those throughout the trip. He would turn them on and off as needed. When we got 5 miles from home and had 16 miles of charge left he cranked the heater fan up. We knew we had enough to get home.
We pulled into the garage with 10 miles left on the charge! Whoo-Hoo!! We probably won't take that trip again unless we have a quick charge station at the other end of the trip. But, I wanted the kids to see the new car and give everyone a ride. It was so worth staying up until 2:30 AM to do that!

My little SmartCar is a dream come true. I have wanted an electric car since 1972-ish. I never really thought there would be one I could afford in my lifetime. Mercedes/Daimler has made a car that is affordable and practical for in town driving and I am so proud to have one parked in my garage!

Join the revolution! Let's get more of these on the road to push the technology further!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

A few photos.....

Here are those first characters created from Maureen Carlson's books.

Me and Polymer clay

More on me and polymer clay:
After my hands were rehabbed and I could start testing what I could do and not do, I got my clay out and started exploring what I would do with it. There is something so internal about the kneading of clay. There is an internal memory, one of which I am not aware. But, just touching the clay and holding the clay is comforting and inspiring.

In 1993 there were two kinds of  clay available to me: Fimo Classic and Sculpey III. I tried them both. I struggled with Fima Classic clay and Sculpey III was too soft. I used the Sculpey III at first because it was easy to condition. I kept trying the Fimo Classic. I bought a food chopper to chop the Fimo into bits. That was a big help! I bought a pasta machine. That helped more and helped keep from re-injuring my hands.
When I found the New Clay book, I also bought 2 Maureen Carlson books with characters to sculpt. My first clay creation was her little Elf in the Sea Shell. I made the Singing Monk, the Monk carrying a Pie, a Dragon, a pumpkin, the Unicorn..... I had discovered what I would do with polymer clay! Sculpt!
At the Embellishment Show in 1999 in Portland, Oregon my hubby, Dew, and I took a class from Debbie Krueger. A basic caning class. Dew, Debbie and I hit it off. We felt as if we had known each other forever. It was a blast! The next day I took Debbie's Turtle cane class. In 2000 I taught a Bead Knitting class and took another one of Debbie's classes with my friends Kathy and Leslie. Debbie's Fish cane class. That was fun! I made a clown fish cane. I found myself only creating canes. In creating canes you also create lots of "waste". And I mean LOTS!
By this time I was using Fimo Classic exclusively. I had figured the conditioning regimen. I learned to make what are called now Natasha beads or In-Side-Out beads. I have a Chewbaca bead made from some of the Fish cane leftovers.

In the Spring of 2000 Dew and I sold our house and bought a 34' Bounder RV. We have all seen a RV/camper fridge and how tiny they are. Well, ours also accomodated my clay! There were times when we were traveling through hot weather that there was more clay in the fridge than food! No kidding!

To be conintued..........

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Me and Polymer Clay

Nearly exactly 20 years ago I discovered polymer clay and more specifically Fimo Classic polymer clay and a most amazing book: The New Clay by Nan Roche.
We had just moved to a new town and were looking for a house to buy. I found this new toy and it helped me deal with the stress of this move. We had lived for 13 years in what I thought would be my home for the rest of my life. But, my husband, 2 sons and I decided to move to Grants Pass, Oregon, 110 miles west. There was a better school. We would be closer to town. We were living 31 miles from the nearest big town, Klamath Falls, and 1.5 miles down a washboard dirt road in the summer and a mud pit dirt road in the winter. Yes, we chose to live there. I loved it there. I could ski out my back door in the winter and ride my horses in the forest anytime.

Now, back to the clay story.....
Nan Roche's book was the only book on polymer clay in 1993, at least the only one I knew of. I was fascinated by what CityZen Cane and others were doing with this stuff! Amazing!! I struggled to get the clay conditioned, but kept at it. And while I was excited to explore this new medium, my hands were rebelling.
In the meantime we found a house on 3 acres of pasture. This time it was my husband's turn to have his dream place, a mini hay farm. One of the bedrooms became my studio, we all settled in and I went to hand therapy. My hands had gotten so bad I couldn't pick up a glass and could barely hold utensils.

I had 3 months of no beading, no playing with clay, no using my hands for anything but the essentials. I learned what would make them hurt and how to do that task without hurting them. I played flute for my own entertainment and took a lesson to learn how to play without hurting my hands. Basically I learned that I was holding my flute all wrong to start with!

Sorry.... I get sidetracked... this story is about me and polymer clay.

So, on Thurs. this week I got my clay out to take a break from the beady Dragon patterns. Once I get clay out it is out for a while. For some reason it takes me a day or two to find my groove. To decide what I want to do. I rarely know when I start. I only know I want to play with clay!
When I look at what I make I am happy with some of it and disappointed with most of my work. After 20 years I think I should be better at knowing what I want to do and carrying out a technique. My end product tends to be accidental. I have written before about wanting to create a clay project with "intention". Something I intend to have happen, not the accidents of rolling up all the scrap I create and making a few interesting beads.
Which brings to me to the point of all this rambling:
I decided to mix up colors. More specifically, Julie Picarello colors. I love her book: Patterns in Polymer Clay: Imprint and Accent Bead techniques. If I could only keep one polymer clay book (I can't imagine why that would happen. And WHAT A NIGHTMARE!), this is the book I would keep. The book has wonderful creative projects and great ways to create unique beads and pieces to use in your beadwork. But, the best thing about his book is that Julie gives you specific color recipes for the colors represented in each project. She also has information about the different clays and how to adjust for the different color qualities of each or where to find information on how to make a Premo color with Kato clay (the clay I use).

Yesterday I ordered more clay and as usual I discover after I have placed the order that there a about 4 more colors I should have gotten. I get primary colors and mix from there, but I forgot to get the metallics I need as my metallic bases. Sigh. So, guess what I am doing after I post this!?!?? Yep. To order those metallics I didn't yesterday.

Now, once I get all these colors mixed up, then what will I do with them? Uh-Oh! I dont' have a clue.

All things beady,

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The latest Tutorial: Dragon's Tail Talisman and Ring

I am finally getting this Dragon's Tail Talisman Tutorial posted! The last I wrote I was trying to do the whole Dragon in one tutorial. The tutorial was waaaaaay too big so I am breaking it down into two tutorials: Dragon Tail Talisman and Ring and then the Dragon Head Tutorial soon.
You can find them in PDF format for instant download at:
You can contact me via email. I keep more of the money if you go through me.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dragon 2

HI! Folks!
I am working on a new Dragon Tutorial. It is Dragon 2 right now, but the name will change before I am done. This Dragon is black and dangerous. I can't decide if you will be making trophies from this Dragon or if you will be making talisman. Possible titles are: Dragonslayer, Dragon Master, Black Dragon.
Here is a tease picture:
Since working this first tail piece I have decided NOT to use the big drops. I am using Spikes and Daggers.
This will be a project for experianced beaders. You will need a working knowledge of Tubular Herringbone and Peyote Stitch. I am nearly done and tiring of the photo steps, but I am stitcking with it! It has been my experience that the harder and longer it takes to put a pattern/tutorial is together, the fewer I sell of them. I am hoping that is not the case this time!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Here is my entry in the Battle of the Beadsmith 2013 International competition.
 Bear is my favorite model to use. He is cute, works cheap but gets out of hand when I am not looking, as you can see by the photo! He is the "bear-friend" of my doll, Willow. I have to keep my eyes on him. He can get...well you know..... anyway.....
 Here is the bag next to it's inspriration: a flowering Saguaro. The Saguaro flowers are so beautiful. They are a heavy waxy flower with shades of white, subtle lavender and greens. I used 33 colors of size 15 seed beads to re-create this flower in beads. This is an intense process for me. I can't watch TV or a movie or carry on a conversation while working on these. I can put in an audio book but even that is more than I can handle sometimes. It takes alot of concentration.
 I bead over a photograph taken by my friend Leslie Lederer Bohm. The photograph is printed onto silk. I bond layers together to make a stable imovable base to bead on. The beads stay exactly where I put them. I stitch down 2, back through 3 in a circular pattern. I will post close up photos once I know if I am moving to the next round. I can only post the photos used for the competition at this point.
I will know soon if my bag is moving on to the next round. I will keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This is the plan for the necklace. I have already changed a few of the componenets, but this is a good representation of where it is going. I am thinking a rainbow of seed beads for the other side and to finish off the right side.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Battle is on!!

Svetlana Sametis is a wonderful artist. I am honored to be competing against her in this round.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

In a time long ago.....

It was 1999 and the traveling Embellishment Show was coming to Portland, Oregon, local for me living in southern Oregon. Bead and Button magazine and the Embellishment quilting group were partners in the show then. I had never been to a gathering so large of like minded folks all addicted to creating with beads.
The first day was spent ooooooo-ing and aaaaaaahhhh-ing over everyone's beautiful work and everyone was wearing their best. We were all so comfortable with each other we would just walk up, with a moment of polite hesitation, reach out and touch, admire and oggle over what another was wearing and had created. After a few days of this a woman said,"My chest has never gotten so much attention!"

That is my most memorable B&B moment.

Have fun at the show!


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The first Roses

I love the color of the Pat Austin English roses. The blooms do not last long but they are gorgeous! The third picture is of a Sisters at Heart rose. Most of the roses I buy tend to be on the Orange-Yellow range. The original owner of this house had mostly reds.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The mental health bowl of relaxation

HI! All,
I will not repeat the story behind the bowl of beads. I have told it too many times in too many places online. Here is my current Mental Health Bowl of Relaxation. The feel of the beads carressing and rolling over my hand is soothing to me. There is a "where's Waldo bead" in there, a matte purple. Not as hard to find as one might think.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Battle Bio

HI! All,
Steven requested a little Bio from those of us participating in the BOTB 2013 challenge. Heeeeere it is!
I started playing with seed beads in 1969ish. My friend and I bought a pound of seed beads with our allowance, me half she half, poured them into a large wine goblet and dove in with our hands. We were hooked. We then saved up to buy looms, needles, beads and started drawing out patterns on graph paper. Size 10 seed beads in about 6 colors was all we could get back then.
We were hooked from that first moment of bliss when those wonderful tiny pieces of glass caressed our skin and massaged our hands. Several years ago I sent her a pound of black seed beads and a large wine goblet for her birthday. When she is stressed she gets out the goblet, pours the beads in and de-stresses by plunging her hand into the beads and gently massaging away the stress.

I have been teaching everything seed beady since 1995. I have taught at the Embellishment show when it was partnered with Bead & Button magazine in 2001 and 2002. I teach locally through my studio. I sell my own patterns in book, single pattern and all in PDF form online.
My Bee-Art 1 piece was juried into the Bead and Button Bead Dreams Competition in 2009.

I am addicted to creating with seed beads. I dabble in other areas: cloth dolls, polymer clay, Soutache, the list goes on......
I am all about the line. I think that is why Bead Knitting: knit and slide method was the focus of my work since 1998. But, Bead Applique'/Embroidery is my passion. The line is the focus for me. With my Bead-Art/Bee-Art pieces, recreating a photograph in beads, it is still about the line of those circles. I refer to it as Crop-Circle beadwork. Amy Clark-Moore is the master at this technique. I was inspired by her work and thank her for giving me the courage to pursue this technique.

Good luck one and all. may we all rise to the occasion and create beautiful wearable art!
All things beady,

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The final

I decided to put loops on the Butterfly piece so any neckstrap could be used. And I didn't have to make all those decisions!! I also decided to add fringe, although I liked it just fine without.

I will put this up on my Etsy shop as soon as I get more gooder pictures of it! I really need some lessons in how to take better pictures of my beadwork.

Butterfly piece

I am working on this necklace:

I am waiting to do the finish stitching on the backing until I decide on the type of necklace strap the piece will have. This is the point where I would love to hand it off to someone else to make those decisions. I love doing the Bead Embroidery/Applique' but do NOT like making straps! But... I will soldier on!
I am thinking of making a Herringbone strap. Soutache is tempting but doens't seem right for  this piece, as there is no Soutache in the pendant.

I really love the Joan Tucker porcelain piece and have a couple of others of hers to use. Her business is called: Off Center Productions. Thank you for the pieces Joan. It has taken me waaaay to long to use them!!

All things beady,


Sunday, March 17, 2013

An oldie

HI! Everyone,
Here is an oldie but a goodie. I think I made this bracelet in 2002. It has lost some twigs and few flowers fell off, but it is still a good bracelet. I am going to look it over good today to be sure it doesn't need anymore repairs. Then, back on my dresser it will go.
It is a little on the heavy side for me. I designed a simpler, lighter version, although not as intense. I still like this one better.
I am putting my felted display hand to use here!
So....... I went into a big box craft store recently and guess what they had?!? Plastic display hands! When I was looking the Christmas decorations were in their place and there wasn't a display hand to be found! That's OK. I like mine better anyway and it was free!!

Many beady things,

Friday, February 22, 2013

The ever Evolving hand display

HI! Again,
Here is what I decided to do: I needled down a pieces of wool yarn. I like it. I may add to it. But for now it is what it is.


Beads and yarny stuff,

The Evolution of a Hand display

HI! Everyone!
Here is the hand display after wetting it lightly putting in Dewman's (my hubby) Isotoner glove, wetting the glove lightly, then tossing it in the dryer for 40 minutes.
I think it needs decoration. I don't want to detract from whatever I am displaying for photographing but, it needs something; beads, or needlefelted vines or something. Suggestions are appreciated and considered.

Beady things,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Making of a Hand display

Yesterday was "make a hand display" day for rings and bracelets. I started by tracing my hand on a piece of paper. Transfering that to freezer paper, ironing that to the muslin cloth, then stitching around the outline. I cut out the hand and turned it right side out and stuffed it. This is how much stuffing it took to stuff that one hand!

I felt the hand was too small. My ring had at least 1/4" space on the ring finger. So, I made another pattern. Prepped it in the same way as the other one and stuffed it. I put a wire armature in this one so I could pose the fingers. I did a little needlesculpting to define the knuckles and palm. I put red nails on it with a colored pencil. I put a few knuckle lines with a special brown pen I use on dolls.

The second one is too big and not as refined as I would like. I would need to remake it with more precision. The other hand in that picture is the first cloth hand I made that was on the small side. I added wool roving to it by needlefelting it onto the cloth hand, layer by layer. It is good but still not as smooth as  I would like. I am sondering if I should glue black velvet to it. Hmmmmm. Yes I did think of just making the hand out of black velvet but..... I got a better shaped hand by needlefelting the cloth hand with the wool roving. I have made legs for dolls with silk velvet but hands are a whole other animal. Hard enough with muslin.


I could spray some hot water on the wool and try wet felting it a little bit to get rid of all the fuzz.
My adventure into making a display hand. Interesting and close to what I want. I still need to refine it though. I could needlefelt some vines and designs on it. again....Hmmmm. I will spend some time this afternoon needling it some more to get it smoother.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My first Applique'/Bead Embroidery

HI! Everyone!
In the 1970's I Bead Embroidered on the pant legs of friends and the shirts of my Spanish teacher, Sr. Urquides. I do not have any pictures of those but here is the first Bead Applique'/Bead Embroidery as a piece of jewelry in the mid 1980's, around 1985-ish.

There is a lot wrong with my work on these but let me give you a little background, cue the violins. Before the Bead Revolution of the 1990's, there were very few beading books. No beading magazines and seed beads were almost non existent. No bead shops. No place to get supplies. PahShaw you say! Yes. It is true. You could find the obscure Western/Indian/Cowboy shop that would have a few size 10 seed beads in primary colors, no purple or aqua or paparadacha! NOOOOOOOO! And you can't put a red glass bead beside a blue glass bead and get purple. Although they did have Peggy Sue Henry's Beads To Buckskins series books and I bought the new one whenever it got to that shop on 6th street in Klamath Falls, Oregon.....what was the name of that shop..... Oh! Well.... I am getting off track....

What everyone now calls Bead Embroidery I called Bead Applique' (and still do), as I said there were no books to explain these things so I called it what made sense to me: I am applying beads to fabric.. hmmmmm Bead Applique' it is!

Now, to move on with what is wrong with this first attempt:
1. I stitched to felt.
2. I did not use any backing or stabilizer to help stiffen it and hold it's shape.
3. I did not put any stabilizer inside ie: plastic or even an index card. (It used to be suggested to use an index card as a stabilizer on the back side of the felt. Which worked, but I did not like it because what if the piece got wet?)
4. My what I call dangles, you call "fringe", weren't done evenly.
5. My edge stitching isn't the most even either.

I am sure there is more wrong, but those are the major issues. I am a stickler about these things now. I developed my own process which I have modified slightly but stick to the basics of to this day. I use this process in all my Bead Applique' work and my Bead Art/Bee-ead Art pieces. Many Thanks to those who came before me like: Peggy Sue  Henry and Sadie Starr. Their books helped me tremendously. Thanks also to my parents for giving me the spirit of independence and teaching me to use my brain.

Many Beady Days,


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Going through the ringer

This photo was taken at a mining museum by my bestest friend  Leslie B. bohm. She saw this old ringer washer and had to stage this picture.
The story behind this photo to the best of my recollection from hearing this story told over the years is:

When I was about 2 yrs old my family lived in a two story house in Bellefontaine, Ohio.The upstairs floor had a huge bathroom that echoed when you walked in, with a small closet back and to the right and window on the east facing wall. On the north side of the room was a claw foot tub that was so much fun to bathe in!
Well, this bathroom was big enough to also be the laudryroom and in there stood the ringer washer. The washer was very modern, it had an electric motor on the ringer. One day I was standing on a chair or stool helping my Mom do laundry, handing her the next item. We were working on towels. The phone rings. Mom rushes downstairs to answer it. She hears me screaming. She comes running back up the stairs to find me being eaten by the ringer on the washer. It was up to my tiny little shoulder chomping away at me! She turned off the ringer and gently pulled my arm from the jaws of the ringer. I was putting a wash rag into the ringer and must gotten my fingers a little too close.
I think I remember screaming and crying and my arm being a little flattened for a few days. Otherwise I was unhurt and do not have any lasting scars either physically or mentally. Hmmmmm. Let me think about that last one......