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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

At Year's End.......

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

Too much snow!

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

Canadian Bears

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

Tapestry Beads

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

For the love of Red........

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

A Honey of a Bead!

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

Raven's Pearl

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

Heron's Moon

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! 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

Heron and Swan

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!