Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I can't believe that the end of 2008 is actually upon us. Looking back, this has been a year full of amazingly exciting events and the toughest of challenges as well! I have learned a lot over the course of these adventures, and feel decidedly blessed to have the life I lead and the freedom to follow my passion each and every day. As I write this, the sun is shining, the snow is melting, and I am getting ready to head out to the studio and flex my creative muscles at the torch! I'm excited to wake up each day and get to work - because my work is play to me and I love every single moment of it! I want to thank each and every one of you who has collected my beads over the course of the year, or simply sent me a note or took the time to drop by my bead booth at one of my shows and say hello! It's because of you that I do what I love to do each day and I couldn't do it without you!
I hope the year ahead brings you all of the things your heart desires, and inspired moments of creative joy that make each day something to look forward to!
See you next year!
Monday, December 29, 2008
Well I guess lately I haven't been living up to the title of my blog........"the daily bead!" lol! Ah well, it's been a hectic holiday season and here on the west coast of BC we've had record amounts of snow the past few weeks. I spent Christmas Day shoveling a path to the studio and was so exhausted by the time I got there that I spent the day on the couch - no energy for beads! Oh well, it was nice to have some much needed down-time and I'm happily back at the torch again and rejoicing in the warmer weather that has arrived to help melt all this white stuff.
Yesterday was so beautifully sunny that I had hopes of an early Spring.........wishful thinking, I know! But with those bright and cheery thoughts I found myself making honeybees again! They always make me happy and even though they are quite challenging to make, they are a lot of fun. So, you will be seeing a few more of these happy little guys in my Etsy store and I hope they make you think of warmer days to come!
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Oh how I love bears! Grizzly bears, polar bears and my all time favorite - black bears! I grew up on a mountain in the interior of BC called Silver Star Mountain. We lived in several places on that mountain and at one point, we lived in a large cabin on 40 acres of which about half was densely wooded forest. As kids, my brother and I would play along the trails and always had to keep a look out for our shy yet curious neighbors - the black bears. They would often wander up to the house, looking to see what offerings we had left them (in the disguise of a garbage can which they perceived as a gift basket) so seeing them was a regular occurence. How I miss seeing the babies in the spring - although when we did we had to make a bee-line in the opposite direction as babies meant that a momma bear was not far behind!
This little curious bear bead is a tribute to my enchanted childhood and all the wonderful bears that still live on Silver Star Mountain.......
Friday, December 12, 2008
A few years ago I started making beads with delicate vine scrollwork inspired by late medieval and early victorian tapestries. I love the ornate look of vintage fabrics and the scrollwork that edged the pages of medieval manuscripts. I use this tapestry design on many of my beads and love the way it looks on it's own or as the backdrop for my dragonflies, ravens and other creatures I depict on my beads. Well, I am finally working on a tutorial that will explain the techniques I use to create my little tapestry beads and other beads too! Hopefully in about a week or so I will have the first tutorial available in my Etsy shop......stay tuned!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
In ancient times, glass was a rare and coveted commodity. It was valued as much as precious stones, for it's color, rarity and for the skill which was necessary to produce it. In ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, glass was used to imitate some of the most precious stones of the day ........turquoise, lapis and agate to name a few. The reason I am writing about the fascinating topic of glass history is because when I took this bead out of the kiln, I was delighted with the mottled colors and stone-like effect I was able to achieve. Once I etched this bead it had the soft weathered feel of something older, something precious......and I wondered that even though our advances in glass seem so astounding, why often the biggest thrill can come from such a simple achievement.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
RED! What a glorious color and good for anytime of year - from candy apples in summer to the fire-red hues of maple trees in autumn, red is also one of the hallmark colors of Christmas. Is it because it brings a touch of warmth at such a chilly time of year? Or is it because of Santa, Poinsettias and the ripe red of holly berries? All good reasons to enjoy a touch of red in my opinion!
Oh how I tried to make a holiday bead this year - but this is as far as I got. My favorite red and one of my favorite themes - dragonflies - all rolled into one big and bold focal bead. OK, so I did manage a few little bead sets and things in red too - I just love this color! But no distinctly classic holiday themes for me this year. Well, maybe if you look closely you'll see some hints of mistletoe leaves in there somewhere............;)
Monday, December 8, 2008
This happy little bee is displayed against a soft antique ivory background and is surrounded by my tapestry scrollwork which also wraps around to the back of this ornate bead. I simply adore honey bees and I hope my little bee beads will help bring awareness to the plight of this amazing little creature.
Now on Etsy.............
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I love how ravens and crows covet shiny, precious things! I seem to have a lot in common with them.......
This is one of the largest raven beads I have ever done and I love the way it turned out! Over 50mm long, this bead is definitely a statement piece. Holding a precious pearl in his claw, he seems particularly delighted with his find! I wonder what other treasures he has collected.........?
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Here is another heron that I am very pleased with. Gazing up at the full moon against a midnight sky, this is my version of a watercolor painting done with molten glass! I have been playing with enamels and love the way I can achieve dappled layers of color with them. I have always wanted to paint with watercolors and it's even more fun to be able to "paint" with a flame!
..................now on Etsy!
Friday, December 5, 2008
Ravens are one of my favorite birds that I depict on my beads.....they are such characters! Ravens are featured in many myths throughout the world - they are linked to creation, the afterlife, are said to foretell the future and are also known to be tricksters.
This bead I called "The Trickster". Set against a haunting forest background inspired by our Canadian winters, this raven looks over his shoulder to laugh at the moon -who knows what mischief he will be up to before the dawn?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
New beads to show today! I'm very excited about the herons and have been having fun lately exploring the theme. I have also been working on swans..........this is my first and is in my Etsy store! The backgrounds of these beads are achieved with the use of enamels melted right onto the bead. I love how they look a bit like watercolor paintings......... enjoy!
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Here we are at the end of November already and Christmas is just around the corner! Where did this year go? It's been a blur, really although for the most part a pretty terrific year! I have been very busy in the studio once again after taking a bit of time off since the middle of October. No more shows now until the New Year so I can focus on getting some new beads done for my Etsy store and catch up on orders. Here is a theme I am revisiting as of late......herons! These were made for a gallery called the Upstart Crow, in Ladner. I was so happy with how they turned out that I am making more and will have them available in my Etsy store this week! Other new designs coming soon as well as more ravens too! Also..........I'm working on my first tutorial! More to be revealed soon.........shhhhhhhhhh! ;)
Monday, October 13, 2008
Ahhh I LOVE fall! The rich colors, the cool crisp air and my favorite fall ritual of all..........the Fraser Valley Bead Show! This show is very close to my heart - I have been a vendor since it first started 5 years ago and it's almost in my backyard - right in downtown Langley! Only a few days away and I am doing my typical last minute scramble to fill my table with an abundance of new beads - no matter how hard I try to prepare ahead of time, I am always beading up a storm right before the show! Ah well, each year this show is more exciting than the last and the girls and I have some fun new surprises in store so I hope if you are in town this weekend, that you will drop in and say hello!
Details of the show can be found on my "shows" page or you can go directly to the show site at www.fraservalleybeadshow.ca. Here is a fabulous new color I am playing with and wanted to share.......a perfect shade for the season, don't you think? ;)
Friday, July 18, 2008
Have you ever gotten to a point where you are just toooooo busy? I've been feeling like that all spring and summer! I'm not complaining, mind you. This has been a fabulous year and the wonderful opportunities coming my way have all been too good to pass up! The Bead and Button Show was amazing, and I'm so glad I went. Shortly thereafter I took a 3 day class with Andrea Guarino (which I highly, highly recommend!) then it was off to the Puget Sound Bead Festival in Tacoma last weekend. Whew! That's a lot of travel for lil' 'ol me! I'm now trying to stay put for a bit and focus on getting some beads made and just enjoy being at home for a while. That said, there is one more trip just around the corner..........this August I am going to the Gathering in Oakland, California! "What is the Gathering", you ask? Well, it's the annual educational conference for ISGB (International Society for Glass Beadmakers) members and is held in a different location each year. I have wanted to go for ages but they are generally in far off places beyond the scope of my little travel comfort zone. This year however, it's just a hop, skip and a jump away in northern California. The main reason I am attending though, is because I have been asked to teach a demo on one of my dragonfly beads! Such an honor to be asked and too good of an opportunity to miss! Not just an opportunity to "get my name out there" a bit, but more of an opportunity to meet some of the most amazing bead makers from around the world that I have admired for sooooo long!
So here is a photo of my humble little bead that I will demo to these illustrious beadmakers.....I hope they get a little something useful out of my presentation and that I'm able to make them smile!:)
Hope to see you there!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Hello and welcome to my new blog! I have to confess that I am very new at this but hope that my little musings are somewhat entertaining and helpful in updating you with what is new in and around my life and studio.
I have just returned from the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee (my first time there) and I had the time of my life! My fellow booth mates (Stephanie Ann and Michelle Lusk) and I had a blast and we are excited to return to the show next year. We met the most fantastic people and many adventures befell us at the show - most of them good and all exciting! One thing I was not prepared for was the weather. Multiple tornado warnings with several "lock ins" happening on the show floor. Not a bad place to be "stuck" during a storm and I'm sure all the beads helped keep our fabulous customers calm! lol! Hopefully next year will favor us with some sunshine but I'm bringing my ruby slippers with me - just in case!
The purpose of my blog (if, indeed, a blog needs a purpose), is to share with you my inspirations, newest work and upcoming shows and events I will be at. I rarely journal on paper so you may also get some rambling thoughts that spill from my ever creative mind as well as perhaps some photos of my studio or of my beloved dogs who keep me company there.
Please drop in often as I will have news to share a few times a week and if you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear from you!