Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sunday, January 26, 2014

To Be Continued

This is all the energy I have, after my trip.

I. Am. Exhausted.

But home.  Sweet sweet home.

Friday, January 17, 2014

AZ bound!

Oh, yes I am!

Flying away today, to the bright blue skies and towering mountains and WARM(er) Arizona.

A view of Quartzsite bead and gem show tents, 2013.
Jaynee and I saved all the money we made last year from bead sales in order to return to AZ this January.  This year, we may not lose our beady minds with the plethora of stones.  (Maybe.)  But I know we'll enjoy the blue skies and clear air and the stars in the big ole night sky.  And the coyotes calling to each other.

And, the beads.  And rocks.

But mostly, I need my Sally and Jim time.

Even the beads are secondary (a distant second) to Sally and Jim time.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Inspiration: Hands

I have a thing for hands.

Maybe it's because I rely on my hands so much, to do my heart work.  To make art and also, to teach.  Apparently (according to student feedback), I talk with my hands.

But, really, hands have so much to say.

google image
And they are so individual.

So, in the interest of adding hands to my beadwork, I've started collecting hamsas.

The hamsa is a common symbol for protection in Middle Eastern countries.  Often, a hamsa will feature an eye in its design.  

In the Jewish tradition, a hamsa often displays fish, a symbol of luck and prosperity.

I like that hamsa also means "five," a number of change (in numerology).  'Cause change = yes.

With change, anything is possible.  And, this is my year of change.

Friday, January 10, 2014


Glue.  I can't do bead embroidery without it.

I've tried.  Trust me, I've tried.  I don't like the idea of adding something potentially toxic to a piece of art.

When I first started doing bead embroidery over twenty years ago, there weren't very many options on the market.  I tried E-6000, which held cabochons to the felt well.  But, the smell!  When I had a customer return an expensive piece because of the smell of the glue, I threw out all of the E-6000. 

That's when I first tried 527 glue.  Less smelly, just as powerful of an adhesive.

I've stuck with 527 glue since, even though the tubes have gotten smaller and the price has doubled.  (Sigh.) 

This summer, I decided to try some of the other products on the market.  First, I tried double-stick tape.  LOL.  What a pain.  Trimming the excess from the cabochons ruined two pairs of good scissors with stickiness that didn't come off.  So, I tried glue dots.  Ehh.  These work okay for basic cabs, if there's not lots of bending to bezel.

I also tried Aleene's Tacky Glue.

I'm undecided.  I like that this glue is waterbased and therefore less toxic.  But, it doesn't always hold what I need it to hold.  It's not felt friendly, as it seems to soak into the felt rather than adhering to whatever component I'm trying to glue.

So, barring any other suggestions, it's back to 527 for me.

Monday, January 6, 2014


A picture really is worth a thousand words, especially when it's a classic.

Eiffel Tower art print
Since so many women have themselves convinced that they couldn't possibly, ever, never wear anything "that big," I made up a dozen or so one inch square art cabochons for my recent shows.

Alphonse Mucha art print
I figure it's an easy way to introduce women to the wonders of bead embroidery.  Some of my repeat customers this year talked about buying a piece of embroidery last year and getting so many compliments that they wanted more.  Several of them bought two or more pieces this year.  Encouraging, huh?

Leopard skin jasper
I also have a lot of smallish stone cabochons, between 30mm and 40mm.  Some of these are beautiful enough to make quite a statement, without being included in larger, more elaborate pieces.  

Turquoise and crystals = yum.
I think, in my joy of creating the big collage pieces, I forget to keep things simple, sometimes.  This is true in my life, too.

Flapper art print
As I start a new semester, one in which I'll begin writing my four comprehensive exams that will test everything I know, as part of my PhD process, I've got to remember to keep things simple.  Focus on the classics, the basics.  Then, later, work up to the fancy.

Arizona druzy
Art really does imitate life.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Why I Want Red Glasses

Flickr image

Frankly, I strive to have this much fashion panache (which Wikipedia defines as: a French word that carries the connotation of a flamboyant manner and reckless courage).

I don't know about reckless, 'cause let's face it, this much style takes planning.  And, a strong sense of the I AM FABULOUS, aren't I?  That isn't so much a question as a statement of confirmation.

Can you imagine walking out into the world, feeling this gorgeous, this powerful?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014