Friday, December 31, 2010


I was posting last night's entry, and wondering how I'd managed to write so many posts in earlier years, and so few this year. This year was *such* an amazing one, filled with lots of great trips, experiences and lots and lots of friends. I got to see my favourite band play one of their best shows, had a nephew join the family, eat at some great restaurants, but somehow very little of it made the blog.

I'll try and do better at documenting life next year, but until then, have a great evening, and we'll see you in 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas 2010

This is the first year that I haven't participated in the TWBB (and other BB's) ornament exchange. I think I'd participated in it for 7 years, sending off 2 or 3 or 4 ornaments a year, some with a TW theme, some Christmas, some winter.

This year, the mood didn`t strike me, and, as you can see, the tree is pretty full of stitched stuff. I love the fact that I can look back, and remember opening all of those envelopes stuffed with ornaments (and sometimes other goodies!) each year.

For those of you reading, I hope the holiday season has been filled with family, friends and laughter, and I truly hope you have the best year in 2011!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Egyptian Garden Update....

Seems like slow progress, but I think I'm getting somewhere....

Monday, December 27, 2010

Feeling behind....

Now that the Christmas busy-ness is over, this is what I have to show:

Monday, December 13, 2010

And the last one - December's done!

Here is the December BJP - a little "steampunk", I think. I had the intention of using 12 small black buttons to represent the 12 months of the project, but nothing seemed right. I ran across the grey/silver button, added it to the mix, and all of a sudden, things started jelling. A few more silver things, some matte black beads and just a few of those buttons, and voila, December is done. I've pretty much given up trying to impart deep meaning into each month's piece, and have learned to let the beads take over. This month this is what they wanted to be.

I'm trying to decide what to do for the next BJP. I have a few ideas floating around in my head, and lots of backing fabric, but nothing concrete yet. I liked the buttons, but I'm not sure I'd use them again - they were small enough that I could complete 2 or 3 of them in a month if needed, and were "self finishing", but because you had to press the beads together, everything needed to be somewhat flat and non-breakable.

Monday, December 06, 2010

New BJP - 11 done, one to go

November's BJP turned out much differently than I though - I'd picked the colours for all of the months (and set aside some beads for each one) even before the year began. November was supposed to be gray, but I loved the taupe/grey/brown spiral so much that I wanted to use it. And then other grey/brown beads jumped into my hands, and found their way into the piece. So November is now grey/brown, and not just grey.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Back to the bumps....

I opened back up my Etsy shop after a hiatus, and am starting to list things, including these.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Even more stitched!

This is Egyptian Garden, as of December 2nd, 2010.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On a roll - October Bead Journal Project

We went to the late showing of Harry Potter last night. I knew it was going to be a late night, so took an afternoon nap. I was *so* wide awake when I got home, so took advantage of the time to finish a few things off. I added the last few beads onto October's bead journal project. I'm not sure what it represents or what I was journalling, but I like the way that it turned out. I especially like that I was able to incorporate a larger lampwork piece into the work. (It's the flat disk - not fancy, but it's there)

I also have a new set to share - a couple of large hole beads, a larger focal bead and a couple of smaller spacer beads. I like the way that the large hole beads look sideways, and think they'd be cute on hoops.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More stitched!

I seem to be on an ornament roll lately, and here is the latest. It's from Cherished Stitches in the JCS 2006 Ornament Issue. I replaced the recommended fibres with Kreink Braid, left off the border and added the crystals.

I've also got more bumpy beads - after all, practice makes perfect!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Finally - Stitched!

It's been a year where I just haven't felt like stitching much. I'm not really sure why there's been a lack of inspiration, but the other night, I got the urge to finally stitch. I picked one of my favorite ornaments, a great colour and some lovely beads, and set to work!

This is from the JCS 2008 issue, and it's from the Cat's Whisker's Studio. Stitched entirely from Vicky Clayton's Deep Ocean, with Delica beads. This is the second time I've stitched this ornament - the first can be seen here. To complete either version, stitch everything except the small dot symbol in the same colour thread, and replace the small dot with Delica beads.

Monday, November 22, 2010


The weather here has turned grey and snowy, so I thought I'd show off some nice warm coloured beads. I've been playing (alot) with dots, so here is the result:

Sunday, November 21, 2010

September finished!

I finally finished September's Bead Journal Project - I wasn't really sure where this piece was going, but am really pleased about the finished result. September was a month where everything fell into line - I finally got to see the band I'd been waiting months in a series of awesome concerts, I got to see some amazing places and reconnect with some fantastic people. I think the beading reflects that - simple, orderly and more sparkles.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Back to BJP

I'm participating in the Bead Journal Project for the second year. Robin Atkins, who's a genius of all things beaded, is organizing yet another round of the project, and I decided I would give it another go. If you're interested, the homepage for the project is here. I'm still 3 (and a bit) works from finishing the 2010 version, so I need to get my beading needles in gear!

I actually like the BJP quite a bit - it has all of the elements that I really liked about cross-stitch exchanges, but in the end I get to keep all of the work that I have done. I like that this gives me the chance to work on new things, to work within a set of rules, and to stretch myself. I'm excited about meeting new crafty/artsy people and about discovering new things.

Monday, November 15, 2010


New pair of earings and a necklace. The earings were made from beads that I just "had" to have at a sale at one of the beads stores in town. Simple, yet I really like them - I just need a ton more "special" events to wear all my sparkly stuff too.

The necklace is mostly vintage and mostly Parisian market finds. I was lucky enough to get bead shopping at some amazing stalls, and picked up many of the beads and buttons.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

More bead on a bead

and new earings too! Bead on a bead is all strung up, and ready to be taken out.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bead on a Bead

I'd wanted to try this for a while, and finally got myself organized enough to do this recently. This is a bead on a bead - the middle bead is completely free, and spins separatley.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Torch time - Part 2

Pandora (big hole) style beads - from this weekend's torch time.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Bumble Beads

I finally got to torch this weekend - lots of new beads, all with extra dots on them.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

BJP - August

I am months behind, but catching up. I spent almost no time at home this summer, so am feeling very behind on a number of things, including the project.

This year has been mostly defined by trips, and August was no exception. August was a quick trip to Vegas, where I unthawed, shopped, and ate. Mostly in that order. (The summer here was so awful that it seemed like summer never really began. Wool socks in August is no fun).

I also broke out the size 15's on this piece. I promised myself I wasn't going to do that, especially in seed stich, as it just takes too long. But the prospect of many hundreds of little sparkles was just too much for me to resist, and out they came....

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I promised myself I'd post more, but today I don't have much to add.

I do totally appreciate all of the comments that everyone has left. Somedays, that's enough to keep me going

Sunday, August 15, 2010

July BJP

Here's July's Bead Journal Project - inspired by a viewing of "Wicked" in New York, and a reference to my favourite (live) U2 song "City Of Blinding Lights". It's plenty sparkly, and totally random...

Friday, August 13, 2010


One of the reasons I like beads, and making jewelry, is that I can get a quick sense of accomplishment. I love cross-stitching, but even the smallest piece is probably 4 or 5 hours of stitching to finsh, where a pair of earings is 20 minutes or so to finish? These are handmade beads, in a glass colour called Kryptonite, strung up to simple earings.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Practice makes perfect

This is the second little vessle I've made, and although there's still a long way to go, I can definitley see progress.

Monday, August 09, 2010

New bead set

I'm so in love with this new set - it's really amazing what this glass did all on its own. Usually with striking glasses, you need to do special techniques (and hope the glass co-operates). With this glass, it was so easy, and I love the results.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

BJP - June

Here's the June bead journal project (yes, I am behind). June was a month that I had planned out carefully for months, until one day, everything was set at a right angle. I follow a band, and I'd purchased concert tickets months in advance. I'd carefully watched airfares to make sure I was getting the lowest fare, booked hotels, and made all other arrangements, until one day the band postponed their 2010 ticket until 2011. I knew it wasn't anyone's fault, but it still wasn't my favourite, and required a lot of re-arranging. It looks like all will work out, but it was a crazy, topsy turvy month.

I am following a colour wheel for the 2010 BJP - if you want to see the progression, all of the finished works are at the side of my blog.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

New set

I have a new earing/pendant set - my photography skills still aren't the best, so in the interests of posting something that's actually in focus (and getting something up on the blog more than once a month), I have photos of each separatley.

Monday, August 02, 2010

New Necklace

It feels like forever since I've posted. It seems like a lot happened, but then again, maybe not a lot of it was noteworthy. I designed this necklace for a charity function in the next few months, and figured I would share here as well.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

May Bead Journal Project

When I started to bead the May piece, it came together as a collection of items - some from here, some from there. I'd had the large flower for a while - it came from a beadshop in Portland, which means it's about 5 years old. And the smaller flowers are new - purchased at a bead sale earlier in the year. Some of the beads (and certainly the buttons) are vintage, but new to me, so the button is a real mix of different things. It's also the first work to incorporate my own lampwork beads, even if it's a tiny, tiny spacer. I guess the work really does mirror how the month has gone - some good, some bad, somethings that just have to be dealt with.

I wanted to follow up on my colour wheel comments from the last post. In some respects, the colour wheel is limiting, but it is also forcing me to use and look at beads that I wouldn't have otherwise. The small yellow flowers are like that - I don't usually use flowers in my work, and I'm not a huge yellow fan, but they showed up when I was browsing beads at the bead sale, and I knew I had to have a few for this piece.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

April Bead Journal Project

Here, and only a little late, is April's bead journal project. I'm enjoying the aspect of "journaling" through beads. I hadn't really thought much about representing my life, and the year, through beads. This month I think I've caught on to the concept, and the April piece, with its one blue dot against a background of orange, is about feeling alone in a lot of ways. My work situation changed drastically in the last year, and I'm still trying to figure out if the changes are good or bad.

Now that I'm 4 (almost 5 months) in, I don't know if I'd choose to do a colour wheel again. It gives me a chance to work in a lot of colours that I don't normally use, but there are colours I really don't like, such as orange, and having to put together a whole piece with that colour is sometimes tough.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Baking - Buche de Noel

A friend hosted a turkey dinner this past weekend - a chance to catch up, enjoy good company and some good food. I wouldn't have normally attempted this, but it was nice to be able to put this together at a time that wasn't crazy with the rest of Christmas celebrations.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sunday, April 04, 2010

March Bead Journal Project

This is perhaps the most literal of my Bead Journal pieces to date, in that it actually represents an event that took place in the month. The idea of a fish swiming in water is to commemorate a cruise taken early in the month. The cruise was the perfect holiday - too much food, a little good wine, very little connectivity to the outside world, and the company of good friends.

About the red fish ....I received the fish many years ago as a "treat" in a secret swap program, and decided that the fish would fit this month's chosen colour of "red" perfectly. (For those of you who are reading my blog for the first time, or more hopefully, are enjoying too much BJP eye candy and can't keep up with what everyone is up to, I decided to do form all of my BJP on button covers, for a 1 7/8" round shape, and decided to complete a colour wheel during the year. It seemed like a good idea at the time....)

The fish is joined by lots of seed stitches in opaque and transparent red, along with some off-centre/bubble/magatama beads to form the ground. I think the off-centre beads are actually amber, but look slightly red, and when combined with red background fabric, seem to be a perfect garnet colour. I also threw in to the mix 3 red circles purchased in New York last fall (again, while on holiday). I'm not entirely sure of the significance of three, other than it felt right, and it fell into my new mantra of trying to edit less and bead more.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I'd heard about a new bakery near where I lived that was planning to create and sell proper french macarons. As you can see, they do make them, and more than a few accompanied me on the way home today. Macarons are by far the fussiest cookies I've ever come across - for the shells, you need to stir dry ingredients into a meringue, pipe out little circles, let the whole thing set up, give the cookie sheet a good bang on the counter and then bake the cookies. Hopefully, if you've done everything right, and there's not too much humidity, you get glossy little cookies with a little ridge at the bottom. After creating the filling and sandwiching the cookies together, you have macarons. I've created quite a few batches of macarons, and only one really worked out the way it was supposed to. They are my favourite cookie, however, and so I'm glad that that I found them.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Apparently I'm a much better gardener when I go on holidays and ignore the houseplants. My Christmas cactus is flowering for the second time this year. More pictures from vacation shortly....

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Wow - long time!

I didn't mean for a month to go by with no posts - it's been a long time. At any rate, I'm currently working on the March edition of the BJP. I also got some torch time in recently, and came up with these fibula - style pins with the lampwork beads. They're made out of copper wire and lampwork beads, and I'll donate them to assist African grandmothers who are supporting themselves and their grandchildren. Fibula pins do best on loosely woven or knitted material, so they'll be perfect for adding to the knitted scarves and shawls that the other ladies are making.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Ootheca Bracelet Progress

Here's the finish of side 1, plus a little over half of side 2 done. The other picture shows how the two sides will sit together when done. There will be small crystals to bind the two sides together, and I'm looking forward to seeing it all come together. I like the look, as it doesn't "look" like a bracelet that's made out of seed beads, even though it's entirely beads. The project is from "Seed Bead Fusion" by Rachel Nelson-Smith. I used a transparent blue with a luster finish for the darker colour and a colour-lined medium blue for the lighter colour.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

The original January BJP

I found this picture when I was cleaning out my photos the other day - this was the "too busy" version of the January Bead Journal Project. It had dimensional flowers, buttons, a few pressed glass beads and who knows what else on it. I liked the colour scheme, but ended up being much happier with my finished product instead.

Ort Jar - Totally Useless Stitch-a-long

This is the end result of January's work - mostly lights from St. Petes, with a few other odds and ends thrown in.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


After spending most of the month of January sick, I'm starting to have more energy, and more motivation to get things done. I've been working on these socks for a while - they're in Indigo Rose's "Rhapsody" colourway, which I fell in love with the moment I saw it at the knitting store.

Monday, February 01, 2010

New Project

I picked up my "Ootheca Cuff" this weekend. When finished, there will be two sides, which will be joined by hundreds of tiny crystals. Right now, I'm about 2/3 the way through side one. In all, there will be 29 rows of little bumps, and the second side will have bumps alternating with the first, so that each hole will be filled. I love the way that this is coming togther, just wish that it didn't take so long to bead!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bead Journal Project - February

I finished the February Bead Journal Project piece, which I'm pretty happy with. I think it looks like detail from a belly dancer's costume. On this project, I'm working through a colour wheel, which means this month's colour is pink. I didn't really know what I would bead about, but I was inspired by parallel bugle beads arranged in a wave shape that I'd seen somewhere along the way in looking at other BJP member's blogs.

I'm also taking the opportunity to use up little bits of beads in my collection - ones that wouldn't be suitable for loomwork or peyote stitch, or that I don't have enough of to make a whole piece out of. The pink beads on the top are certainly some of those - I know that they were purchased when I worked at the bead store (which was ...well... close to 20 years ago). They're a little smaller than the size 10's usually available, and I only have a few colours. They were perfect for the pink on this piece though, and so joined some delicas, bugles and four pressed glass coins that I picked up in New York in the fall.

I learned a few things along the way this month. I wish I'd extended the beading just a bit further out, so you wouldn't see so much background fabric around the edges. I also wish I'd taken into account how much time seed stitch takes, especially when it's that close together. The top and bottom of this piece took quite a while to do, but I love the result.