Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sharon's Cuff

With so much going on this time of year with Thanksgiving just past and Christmas and a new year looming ahead, I find it difficult to keep track of everything I want to get done...or maybe it's an age thing (I am facing a new decade in the next few weeks, smile).  Anyway, before I let it go by without commenting, I just want to share with you the generosity of my friend, Sharon.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned to Sharon that members of my extended family had lost their home to a fire.  With the exception of Mark's set of golf clubs, they lost all their personal belongings.  Yes, there is good news as both Mark and Vienna survived the fire and their insurance will cover their home and some of their lost property.  It's what wasn't covered that brings me to share this blog.   Vienna is beading and all of her supplies were lost in the fire.  I decided to send a "care package" of beading goodies and I asked Sharon if she would be interested in contributing to the package.  Was she ever!!  Sharon's generosity was amazing and Vienna was thrilled to receive a box stuffed with beads, tools and  other beading goodies.  So, I decided I wanted to show Sharon my appreciation and, since beading is my favorite art form, you guessed thank you gift was this embroidered cuff.

Inspiration for this piece came from two directions.  First, Sharon loves and looks beautiful in blues, so the color scheme came easy.  Secondly, in my stash I found the intriguing center focal bead, a dichroic glass cabochon in deepest blue from the very talented Allison Byrd of Vortex Glassworks.

There are two additional dichroic glass cabs, one on either side of the center.  These cabs have a mosaic pattern in blues, lavender, purples and teal.  They began their life as links in another bracelet, but they seem to have been made especially for this cuff.


Kind of a fuzzy shot of the flatwork detail on one side.

I love being a part of the local beading scene here on the Oregon Coast.  So many talented and very generous friends....thank you Sharon.  I can't help but feel blessed, especially as Christmas approaches.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Last Taste of Fall

I don't know about where you are at, but here on the Pacific Northwest Coast we have definitely moved into winter.  So, before I get too wrapped up in winter's wetness, I want to share with you some of the fall  color and beauty I'm so blessed to live with.   


My father made this cozy bird house.  It's empty right now, but every spring for nine years a family of Jinko's has taken up residence.  I look forward to  watching the babies learn to fly this coming spring.


With such earthy and vibrant colors, and so many falling leaves,
I had great inspiration for a few new pairs of fall earrings.

                                                             AMBER GLASS

                                                      CZECH GLASS LEAVES




Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Cuffs and a Trip Up the Coast

It's been a fun and exciting week!

As you can see, I'm posting about some of my jewelry for the first time.   This first cuff is just first bead embroidery cuff! 

My inspiration came from the beautiful glass cabochon made by my talented friend, Allison Byrd of Vortex Glassworks.  The deep glass cab reminded me so much of a sea anemone in a tidepool on a sunny day.

I'm very fortunate to have learned the beaded bezel cabochon technique from another talented artist, Kelly Angeley (Kelly Angeley Beadologie). Kelly has been my beading mentor for several years and is a true inspiration in both beadwork design and execution.   I was also fortunate to have Nicole Campanella of Beadwright give me tips on  attaching the beaded embroidery to the leather lining.  Now, if I can only get some tips on taking better photographs!

Next, I want to share with you the second bead embroidery cuff I've made.  This piece was designed for a special friend who graduated high school in June.  It has five small glass cabochon that wrap around the cuff encased in blue and purple seed beads and a few fire polish beads.  This was a special project for a very special young lady.

Personally, I can see this bracelet with a pair of jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black leather jacket.  What do you think?  The beaded embroidery is attached to a black leather lining over a flexible brass cuff.  It only took a couple of projects for me to become hooked on bead embroidery.  As with most beading techniques I've learned, I would just as soon be doing bead embroidery as just about anything.  Fortunately, I have a tolerant husband, although we joke about his having brought a friend home to visit while I was beading, and when my husband asked, "What's for dinner?", I responded with, "Dinner, what do you mean dinner?  Don't you remember that I feed you yesterday!"  That's a joke, but very close to the truth, smile.
Speaking of my tolerant husband, this past Wednesday we celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary.  It had been awhile since we had been to the Northern Oregon coast, so we took a drive to the Cape Mears and Tillamook areas.  It is undoubtedly some of the most rugged and scenic country to be found anywhere.  Fall is my favorite season on the Oregon coast and Wednesday was a perfect day.  We started our journey with fog hoovering right over the surf and a couple groups of pelicans gliding over the waves.  By the time we reached Tillamook, we had sunshine and temperatures in the high 70's.  Perfect, right?  To entice you more, I'm including some pictures from the Cape Mears lighthouse and the surrounding ocean.  I feel so blessed to live in such incredible country.

Vaya con dios!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

She Doesn't Know She's a Dog

It's true...Gracie doesn't know she's a dog.  I've heard other dog owners say that their dogs believe they are people, not dogs.  Owners of English Bull Terriers have another saying about their dogs, "They KNOW they are people" and Gracie Rose is true to her breed.  I had been beading all morning (and probably into the afternoon) when I took a short break.  In the five minutes I was out of my studio, Gracie made herself at home and was in no hurry to relinquish my chair.  Two of her strongest traits, her inquisitiveness and her stubborness, probably had a lot to do with that.  She frequently is interested in what I'm beading, standing on her hind legs to look on top of my desk or climbing up next to me on the sofa.  I have to admit that her interest in my beadwork centers more on her wanting to get ahold of my beeswax than having anything to do with my creations.  With a nose like hers, she can't help but enjoy the sweet scent of beeswax....or, to occasionally breath too hard and scatter my seed beads, smile.  This picture also gives you an honest look at my studio. Yes, it usually is at least this cluttered.  It's such a fun place to hang out!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

South Jetty Harvest

Great morning today....Pete and I took Gracie Rose (that's her in the photo) down to the South Jetty on the spur of the moment.  While it was sunny here at the house, the inversion layer was in full force and we had foggy, overcast weather at the South Jetty.  While there were a few surfers arriving and one in the surf, nobody at all was walking the beach.  That's absolutely amazing to me, as was the beach and Amazing Gracie Rose (yes, that is her registered AKC name, smile).  

The last couple of trips to the Jetty, we found a few treasures, but nothing compared with the harvest the sea provided today!  We walked for nearly two hours today and both Pete and I came home with all of our pockets stuffed with sea treasures.   The biggest surprise was the sand dollar harvest, about 25 total (in one day!).  We collect them for the Membership Team at our church, the Presbyterian Church of the Siuslaw.  They are given to visitors and new members along with the story telling how the five marks of the flower on top of each sand dollar represents the five wounds Christ suffered at the cross.  I can never get the sand dollars home without breaking them, so Pete carries all of them.  This was good because it left my pockets free to hold a couple of "jingle" shells, a piece of brown beach glass, lots of orange and white stripped smoothed pieces of clam shell (I'm going to use them as fringe on a beachy beaded project one day), two big beautiful agates, and an assortment of other shells I couldn't resist bringing home.  Besides all the treasures we found, we had a seal swimming in the surf follow us down the beach for quite a ways.  No orcas, bald eagles or pelicans today, but there were a few ducks that I couldn't identify.  And, of course, there was Gracie and her antics.

After a couple of days of having to hang around the house while Pete and I repainted the backyard deck, Gracie was ready for a good beach outing.  True to form, she spent about half the time chasing her ball, and the rest of the time looking for her own treasures by the sand dunes, spinning in circles at our feet (a great means to get our attention), running away from the surf and visiting with two basset hounds, Frankie and Johnny, who also had the good fortune to spend some time in the sand. 

As for running away from the surf, Pete and I also got a couple of good sprints in today when some fast moving sneaker waves had us running to keep dry.   While they weren't the biggest of waves, the undertow is treacherous here and the water is cold year round (I know from personal experience from a previous beach walk when I tripped over Gracie and fell face first into about six inches of surf that did it's best to pull me out to sea.  Pete was my knight in shinning armour that day grabbing my belt and hanging onto me until the wave went out and I could get up, scary).  Anyway, we stayed dry today and got plenty of exercise.

I've got a couple of bead embroidery pieces finished and, as soon as I can figure out how, I will share pictures of them with you.  I'm anxious to add photos to my blogs.  

Vaya con Dios!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lost in Blogland

Wow! What a journey I've been on since my first post!!  Somehow, I managed to get lost in Blogland for about 36 hours and couldn't access my own account to post again.  Let me just say I had been up very late Monday night (into early Tuesday morning) finishing off canning pickled vegetables from a generous friend's enormous garden, so I wasn't too clear headed when I tried to access my account.  That explained, fortunately I have a tenacious nature (which reminds me of a license plate I once saw on an expensive car....tnaciti......yes, tenacity which I exhibited by following the expensive car about fifteen mintues/miles until I had figured out the meaning of the plate....but, that's a different journey). 

 Two important things I want to share with you this morning.  The first is the wonderful sites, yes sites, I saw during my journey into Blogland.  I was so impressed with the blog sites I encountered yesterday, especially those belonging to you who read my first post.  Truly inspirational, well written and full of information, not to mention artistically beautiful.   In addition to seeing what can be accomplished with a blog site, knowing that someone actually read my first post had a lot to do with my continued pursuit of the way back to my own site, smile.

Secondly, and most important (in fact the reason I started blogging), is the contest Nicole Campanella/Beadwright had to win Sherry Serafini's new book, Sensational Bead Embroidery.  I won the drawing!!!  I am so excited and must say that sharing the news with you all was another incentive for my recent Blogland journey.  I can hardly wait to get some new bead embroidery projects started and share the results with you.  I'm sure Sherry's book will be most inspirational.  So glad Nicole plans to have more drawings, too.

I hope to have more to post later today.  It's date day and I'm headed down the Oregon Coast with my husband for a day of fun and adventure.  We plan to do a lot of beachcombing and I hope to be able to share with you about the treasures I have found.  So, until later......

Monday, August 22, 2011

Joining the Cyber Generation

Thanks to my beading friend and guru, Nicole Campanella, my jewelry design business, Beach Baby Baubles, has finally joined the rest of the cyber world by opening this blogsite!  It's an exciting step for me, which will be followed by my next cyber experience when I open my Etsy shop, hopefully by the end of October.