Friday, July 17, 2009

Wild Goose Chase

Time to be a stage mother!
 My daughter is Dot, the lead lady goose in this number from the show, "Honk!" a version of the ugly duckling tale. In this number, Greylag and Dot and their goose squadron have taken Ugly under their wings and are offering to help him find his lost Mum.  Danger from a human duck hunt is in the air, however. As they prepare to go off on this "Wild Goose Chase" the Cat sneaks in and tries to trick them into thinking the duck hunt is over. Watch for the spot on heel clicking of the Dot and Greylag, and the final airplane formation in this number--Dot gives a flight attendant speech. Hard to understand their words in this video, but definitely Jenna's years of watching Monty Python have paid off in her character!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Beads, Baubles and Jewels, July 2009

July 10 2009

Have you ever been
completely energized and totally fried at the same time? That's how I feel coming from the latest taping session for the PBS show Beads, Baubles and Jewels.

First, muchas gracias
to Kim Tamarin from Tambrook Bead & Trade ( for providing me with a glorious excess of Toho beads for the "doodlebead" bead stitching lessons I did for the show. Treasures, Aikos, hexes and triangles, rounds in every size, metallics and mattes... ahh, heaven!

If there's ever been a way to share my complete passion for seed beads in every size, color and shape, these little glass treasures gave me that power. So many beads, so little time! Good thing I am the Sleepless Beader, so I can squeeze in extra hours to make stuff!

So many talented people were at the Beads, Baubles & Jewels taping sessions this past week, I have to drop some names and share some pix:
It's always fun to connect with the galactically talented and hip bead artist Marcia DeCoster ( who is teaching this cool RAW project, "Rio Dulce" in August at Bead Fest Philly (

I don't often get to have face time with my Colorado based, uber-inspiring Interweave colleague Marlene Blessing ( whose segments on design you can see laid out and ready-to-go on the trays here in the studio green

I also wish my path more frequently crossed that of the truly gifted author, artist and columnist Jean Campbell (jeancampbellink
.com). She's teaching this stunning peyote button project in September at Bead Fest, Portland.

World traveler, entrepreneurial goddess and designer par excellance Nina ( Cooper, shared
photos (like this one) of her silver charms in exotic Indonesian water gardens. What a great way to enchant us with her designs!

Also joining us were the incredibly versatile in metal, felt and more, Candie Cooper (, and three artists whose work in glass, metal, porcelain and stoneware are just too delish for words: Diane Hawkey ( whose work contains words of wisdom as well as whimsey.

It was fun to meet for the first time in person, a couple contributors to Interweave titles I helm:
Kerry Bogert (, whose work can be seen in the current issue of Creative Jewelry and who just won Honorable Mention in the 2009 Bead Star contest (can't show that piece here, sorry!)

and Melanie Brooks (www.earthenwood whose steampunk work graced the September 2008 cover of Step by Step Beads!

It was full house. Mark Nelson brought all sorts of cool tools from Rio Grande.
Mike and Barbara Hartnett (Creative Leisure News, came and went in a blur after Barb shared work by disadvantaged women, a business she initiated through a higher calling. Denise Couling, winner of the 2008 Microsoft Business Breakthrough Challenge, showed us her line of Just So! jewelry ( and, like Nina Cooper, revealed an entrepreneurial spirit that can be nurtured along with creativity

I have to send a special shout out to the crew at the studio in Beechwood, Ohio where we lived this past week. These folks rock! They're patient, professional, friendly but unobtrusive, and know how to clip a mic onto any garment without having it click against a piece of jewelry. Katherine L. is an absolute gem as the producers assistant, wrangling us with such a gentle push to keep us happy, hydrated and on schedule--no easy feat! What keeps her so cheerful? I want what she's having!

Producer Kathy Stull really knows how to keep us on track and tries to help us remember everything we have to say. This is harder to do than it sounds when you're facing cameras and have mere minutes to impart a universe of information! The tendancy is to try and break the sound barrier with speed talking, jamming everything in. Kathy keeps us at a human level. I'd say the amount of segments we complete in a single day is almost... biblical. Along with host Katina Forte, seen here talking with Marlene Blessing before a segment on design, Kathy makes things happen!

My only regret... four times in Cleveland and I've yet to get to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

But the bead goes on!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The secret of a tidy stash

"You're so organized!" said my friend, admiring my neat stacks of labeled bead bins. 

Little did she know that before she'd arrived,  I... CLEANED UP! Believe me, my bead area does not always look tidy and orderly. Usually it is a dumping ground for a few days mail, several projects in various stages, and my most recent purchases, which I HAVE to have out so I can look at them. For weeks. 

But I do have a secret way to keep things under control. I have a SYSTEM. I learned that if I stack and stash my stuff in containers, no matter how messy the interior of those containers get, my environment stays more or less serene. 

I need to see everything so I use the same clear containers, same brand, same type. I label them neatly and consistently. (Okay, so I did get a bit compulsive, printing color coded labels. ) I discovered that by using the same containers--like the metal loaf pans on my messy shelves-- even when piled high, it gives the ILLUSION of being organized. My friend thought so.

Sometimes I even fall for it myself.

Great storage tips coming in July with the next issue of Creative Jewelry. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

DOODLEBEADS video teaches peyote stitch!

There are many video tutorials online, but none like DOODLEBEADS as featured in the how-to section of I consider it edutainment!

This one is will teach you odd count peyote--even if you never did it before. There's another on even count peyote, and more coming on other stitches. Nothing beats seeing a little animation, and the music is fun, too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Jewelry show display

Using folding panels from MD displays, I hung my work for sale during a home party.  This is only about half my inventory! 

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Just DO it


Teaching vs. Creating
It's hard to be a teacher. Most of the time I just make things without thinking. If I stop to analyze how I attach one bead to another, or how I make a design come together, I am stopped in my tracks. Just do it. 

Easier said than done? 

My best advice  is to build your best vocabulary, learn the basics... first the alphabet then the words, first the notes, then the scales... every technique, until you find the ones you like best, the ones that click. Then, like the commercial says, just DO it.