Wednesday, May 23, 2012


MY BLOG HAS MOVED!!! I will no longer be posting to this Blogger blog.
You can now find me at

Please come see me at the new blog and update your blog reader programs with the new address.
I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Black & White Moments

I have been loving the prompts in Picture Black & White with Tracey Clark. Just LOVING it! More than the prompts though, I am loving the reminder to desaturate the color once in a while and take things back to just black & white. I thought I'd share a few of the photos I have taken so far. All of them were created using Instagram on my iPhone. (I have been soooo lazy about using my Nikon lately...)

Some homework in a sun pool #picturebw

A few months ago, I purchased a refurbished Polaroid camera and film from The Impossible Project. I started learning to use the camera with color film, and unfortunately, 5 out of the 8 images I took had sever damage to the images. The developer didn't spread across the entire frame. I think that is something that just comes with the Polaroid territory. Before Jacob's injury, when I was last in the studio, I switched to my one pack of black & white film... every image has been perfect. I keep the Polaroid camera in my studio, and I love seeing those old style images of my happy place. Someday, I'll share them with you...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


In the ER with the lacrosse player. Hip injury. Long night ahead.

If you are a friend on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter, you might already know what is going on. To my close friends that I haven't been able to talk to yet, I'm sorry I haven't been able to let you know what is going on in a more personal way. A quick tweet that automatically updates everything is all I have been able to muster. It has been a long few days.

On Monday night, Jacob was injured while playing in a lacrosse game that was more than an hour and a half away from home. I wasn't at the game and I couldn't possibly be more thankful for the caring families that supported and cared for him until he was with me. After a long ride back to civilization (the game was in the boonies), we spent a very long night in the local pediatric emergency room. What was initially thought to be a muscle tear turned out to be much worse. It was determined that Jacob has suffered an avulsion fracture in his hip on his upper thigh bone. If you are like me you are probably wondering what the heck an avulsion fracture is. It means that his leg muscle contracted in a way that pulled very very hard on his ligament. Young and strong as his ligament is, instead of tearing, the ligament pulled a chunk out his femur bone. So, it isn't a fracture that goes through the bone, it is a piece pulled right out of the bone. The location of the break is such that it can't be cast or bandaged.

We have been referred to a local sports surgeon that will assess when Jacob can return to regular activities. He can't bare weight for 7-10 days and he is out of sports for 6-8 weeks. If you know my boy, you know that there isn't a more devastating thing in the world for him than being told he can't play. The doctors have him on some major narcotics for the pain and it would seem he may be having a reaction to them. He has had vomiting after two out of the last 3 doses. Poor guy. We are hopeful that he won't need surgery though, and that's a good thing.

We will continue to take things very slow and day by day I know he will heal. Keep him in your thoughts...


Monday, May 14, 2012

Unobligated Random Bits

Inviting studio view
All wrapped up!

:: it would seem I've been readily adopting the Blogging Without Obligations mentality the past couple of weeks... and I'm okay with that
:: Ron and I had a lovely anniversary last week, even if the pink champagne we bought was overly sticky sweet
:: filled with relief that Andrew's IEP review for the 2012-2013 school year went off with out a hitch, though we are still struggling finding the right meds for him
:: Jacob scored a goal in a lacrosse game last week... it's a rare thing for a defensive player... he is playing long pole middie these days
:: played in the studio with a wrapped bracelet design... I really kinda like it... still in the experimental stages though
:: I wonder if I will ever be able to find the drive/determination/motivation that had me running regularly last summer again for this summer... I really think I need it
:: an hour and a half long yoga class on Friday morning with my friend Lindsey led to a constant reminder of my out of shape state via my smarting muscles all weekend
:: the new Step By Step Wire magazine is out with my latest Color Canvas piece... I'm looking forward to sharing that with you soon
:: it took nearly 20mins to comb Lauren's wet hair before school this morning... I think it might be time she had a hair cut

Lunch time

:: Saturday Lauren, my sister, my Mom and I ventured down to the Finger Lakes to visit the antiques barn we found last summer while visiting Keuka Lake
:: I picked up a beautiful hand sewn quilt facing made of lovely vintage fabrics... it needs a backing but I'm nervous about sewing it by hand myself... I'm more of a machine quilter but can't help but feel a machine would ruin the quilt's beauty
:: I'm pretty sure my Mom nearly peed her pants laughing too hard, more than once, while out and about on our adventure
:: speaking of Mother's... I hope all the wonderful women in my life had a splendid Mother's Day... I did
:: super sad that the first season of Once Upon A Time came to an end last night... Lauren and I have absolutely loved watching every episode together... what will we watch this summer
:: irked that I woke up to a sink full of our dinner dishes from last night and two loads of laundry in the living room for me to fold this morning... can't Mother's Day be longer than 24 hours
:: I've gotten some really lovely emails recently that I have been lax in replying to... I'm thinking about them though, and the people that sent them...
:: wondering when my desire to pick up my "real" camera (instead of my iPhone) will return
:: oh goodness... we are taking part in the street wide garage sale this coming weekend... I hope we survive

Wild goose chase antiques
Mothers Day

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

fourteen years

fall walk61
keuka weds 70
date night 1

Fourteen years ago today, I married my Ronboy. And oh how I love him so...

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Picture Black & White

First plates of my new collection

I've joined another Big Picture Class by the lovely Tracey Clark. This time it's Picture Black & White. I signed up what feels like ages ago and was so pleasantly surprised this morning when the first prompt email was in my inbox. It really couldn't be coming at a better time. I've been feeling a little lost for inspiration lately, a little knotted up in my head, and a little off-center/detached/disconnected. These Picture Series classes of Tracey's always open my eyes up to the beauty in my everyday. I need those kinds of reminders sometimes. (Or else my blog might turn into a constant steam of random Monday drivel and too must self promotion about up coming classes.)

Today I popped into an estate sale that was just around the corner from my studio. It was the second day of the sale, so everything under $25 was half off. I love the second day of estate sales around here! I really liked this one because I found a first for my new collection. (Insert a giant girly grin and hand clapping and tip toe dancing here.) Remember I said I decided to collect lovely, lonely, vintage dishes? I picked myself up a dinner plate and a 3 piece tea setting. The tea set matches itself, but the dinner plate is completely different. I love each and everyone of them and I can't wait to hunt down more!!

When I got home this afternoon, following a few humid hours on the torch that left my cheeks bright pink, I made myself lunch. I knew that a beautiful dish would make lunch worlds more satisfying. I had rosemary olive oil bread with a dollop of fresh ricotta drizzled with honey and cracked black pepper. On the side was a sweet yellow tomato that had a splash of olive oil and vinegar dressing. Now, I am quite convinced every meal needs to be served on a pretty plate.

Wouldn't you agree? And...

Did you see my eyes open up just a little bit there? Did you feel that little wisp of inspiration float by? Did you sense the ease in my shoulders and calm to my heartbeat? I did.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Lessons Learned

Color combos that didn't work this week.

:: last week, I tried in vain to make some glass colors act like my favorite colors... lesson learned: you can't make colors be something they are not.

:: last week, there was an afternoon where I thought I just needed to close my eyes for a few minutes, I slept for an hour and a half... lesson learned: sometimes I just need a nap... heck, I'm sure we all could use one from time to time!

:: last week, not once, but two times I had packages NOT delivered to my house because the seller put signature confirmation on the postage... lesson learned: I will warn people if I ever decide to put signature requirements on stuff.

Yep, just 3 little lessons learned last week. I'm sure there are more that I am forgetting, but these are really sticking with me. What do you remember learning last week?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Chances To Learn!

I was pretty excited to share last week what classes I'll be teaching on the Bead Cruise next year. I'm just as excited to share what I'll be teaching at this year's artBLISS!! This will be my 3rd year teaching at this wonderful event put on by my very dear friend, Cindy Wimmer, and her partner in work-shopping, Jeanette Blix Ryan. These two really know how to put on a retreat that is not only fun and educational but that also builds a sense of community and camaraderie. It's happening this September 21-23, 2012 in Sterling VA, just outside of Washington DC.

The jewelry blog world is going to be on fire today with all things artBLISS. Already my blog reader is over flowing with posts! I love it!! It just goes to show how much people truly connect with this event. You really really won't want to miss it. I could go on and on about it, really, but who has the time to read babble. Let's sum it up...

10. I'm bringing back my K.reating A.rt B.eads class! I taught this at the event in 2010 and I'm thrilled to be doing it again. Don't be intimidated by the flame! YOU CAN MAKE ART GLASS BEADS!! I'll teach you how. 

9. Oh my stars... Cindy gets the best desserts for the Meet & Greet party on Friday night and this year instructors will be doing demos. (Students get in for FREE, the general public can buy a ticket!) Plus there are giveaways during the gathering too. PLUS, this year there will be AUTHOR SIGNINGS!! Both Erin Siegel and myself will be signing copies of our new books. 

8. All new for 2013, the Don't Trash It, Destash It Social is happening Saturday night!! It's like a swap.  Bring beads from your stash that just aren't igniting your inspiration, drop them off at a set time (to be determined), and then, all the beads collected will be sorted/mixed into great packages that will picked up during the social! The more people that attend, the bigger the assortment that you get to take home. 

7. I'll be teaching the fast paced 3 hour version of Snaptastic Saturday night (after the Destash Social). Now, I realized that not everyone wants to take digital photos to sell there work. So maybe you have passed on Snaptastic in the past. BUT, look at it this way, even if you aren't selling your work, you want to be able to take great photos of the things you make to share with family and friends. This class is an opportunity to learn to do that. You can even take photos of the things you make at artBLISS to show off. 

6. EEEKKK!! I'm registered for Christine Damm's Color Your World class on Sunday! So you should totally come just to see me make a complete fool of myself trying to make polymer beads. HA!

5. You definitely want to learn my technique for making cold worked bezels and adding embossed color to metal in my all new True Colors class. I am so incredibly proud of this class. I want you there!

4. I'm driving down this year instead of flying so I will have so much more stuff with me!! That means more beads to sell, people... and kits... and books... without the restrictions of airline baggage weight limits. You want a good selection, right? You don't want to wait for me to post leftover when I get home, right? Be there.  

3. THE artBLISS ANNEX! I am so freaking stinking excited that Cindy is doing this!! That girl has an amazing eye for vintage goodies and antique treasures. She is going to be making her finds available for you to buy. Seriously, I would travel to DC for the weekend, even if I wasn't teaching, just to get my hands on some of the things she is bringing. 

2. The other instructors lined up are out of this world! There are classes from April Bowles-OlinDiane CookChristine DammStacie FlorerErin Siegel, and Beth Taylor. Frankly, you are going to have a hard time choosing which class NOT to take. There are 13 workshops packed into 3 days!



1. You can win free stuff!! Cindy and Jeanette are giving away 4 of the gorgeous artBLISS canvas totes loaded up with goodies. Visit Cindy's blog to learn more about how you can win a new jewelry saw, blades, DVD, and some gel liver of sulfur. The giveaway ends May 2, 2012... so get on it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Getting There

studio monday 1 studio monday 2 studio monday 3 studio monday 4 studio monday 5 studio monday 6

It's getting there.
Slowly, but surely, I'm learning the new ways of the new studio.
It had been too long since I last made beads. What was it, a month, or more?
Well before the Bead Cruise (don't forget early bird registration for returning cruisers opens at noon today!), that's for sure.
I have some new ideas stirring that I want to bring to life. Beads are definitely required.
So the studio was christened yesterday and my first beads here have been made.
Nothing fancy. The learning curve coming back to the flame after so many weeks is a steep one.
I am eager to get in this morning and see how things worked out. There are a couple of pretty cabochons (or should I say Kabochons) waiting for me.
Who knows? Maybe I'll have a few new goodies to post on my website by the end of the week... we'll see.

Monday, April 23, 2012

random stuff

My inspiration board is hung. Lots of love here! Setting sun

:: friday it was in the 80s, today we woke to an inch of slushy snow... with more on the way
:: i've been automatically switched to the new blogger and i can't say i like it... argh... let's hope this post looks alright!
:: my inspiration board is up in the studio, it's different in the new space, but i love it
:: it's time to start making some beads
:: dang snow has me wanting to curl into a sleeping ball on the couch with a book next to the fire
:: i spent saturday out antiquing with a friend from high school... we had mexican cuisine for lunch
:: while i was gone, ron made a fantastic pot of beef stroganoff, it was so so good
:: i was spoiled with food all weekend and my tummy shows it

Restaurant art

:: yesterday we were lazy most of the day
:: as we watched movies and folded laundry, i embroidered a fabric cover for my sister's nook case... i want it for myself
:: i'm so so inspired by embroidery lately, probably because i'm finally sharing it with y'all as part of the new book... good things are cooking... or should i said good things are stitching... or waiting to be stitched...
:: there is an interesting phone call happening tomorrow at 10am... things are in the works peps
:: oh, i should mention, i decided to start a new collection... old, pretty, china, dinner plates... i didn't find any on saturday, but i'll keep looking
:: this morning i put pepper jack cheese on a bagel with a scrambled egg... i highly recommend it
:: i really really don't recommend this new blogger... it's been a pain all morning
:: time to get the day rolling... what's on your agenda?

My poor dogwood Snowy feet

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Bead Cruise 2013

I can hardly believe I'm about to say this. Hang on to your hats, kids!! This is exciting!! Can you guess what it is by the post title?!?

I'm teaching at/on Bead Cruise 2013!!

YEE HAW!! I know, it's crazy right? It feels like I just got home from the trip yesterday!! Committing to a cruise is a big deal though, so planning starts early. In fact, one of my deadlines last week was to submit my class proposals to our fearless leader, Heather Powers. I really was so so excited, and honored, to be asked back. On March 3rd of next year, we'll be sailing out of New Orleans, Louisiana, for a 7 night adventure on the high seas, visiting Cozumel, Grand Cayman, and Jamaica. The instructors are all AMAZING!! I can't wait to hang with me new teaching BFF, Tracy Stanley. I can't wait to give a big hug to our Mom away from home, Beverly Herman. Plus, I get to meet polymer guru, Ronna Sarvas Weltman, too!! Plus, not only is she our leader, but Heather will be an instructor as well. AWESOME!!

I'm rather eager to share the classes I'll be teaching. I've kept these kind of on the down low for a while, waiting for the release of Rustic Wrappings. But, the time for waiting is over! I told you in a video a few weeks ago that I really can't wait to share this with you and I am even more excited to be teaching these. So, here goes...

(new class #1... EEEKKKK!!)

True Colors: Cold-Worked Bezels & Colorful Camouflage

This is a class based on a wire embroidery technique I teach in my new book... with an added twist. Instead of using rustic patinas that take a little extra time to develop, we'll play around with adding fun embossed color patinas. This technique can translate into all sorts of components for jewelry be they pendants, links, or clasps. To read more about the class, pop over to the Bead Cruise Classes page. I soooo can.not.wait to teach this!! I'll be making my glass cabochons for students (though you could use any cabochon for the technique), and we'll be cutting metal, dapping washers, sewing with wire, and creating one of a kind finished pieces.

(new class #2... whoop whoop!)

Sweet Tweeter: Embroider A Flock

Does this little guy look familiar? You might be thinking of his brother shown on the cover project of Rustic Wrappings!!  As a little back story, I had an aha moment a couple of years ago while in the sewing section of the book store. I then spent months working on developing a technique for embroidering with wire before adding it to the new book. I'm good at keeping secrets, yes? I am so excited that I can finally put it all out there and I hope you'll join me for the fun that will be exploring the possibilities that this new technique has to offer. I can't not even begin to explain the peaceful feeling that washes over me when I work on wire embroidered projects. This is going to fantastic, I know it!! Again, all the details are over on the Bead Cruise Classes page.

Finally, I'll also be teaching a 3rd, optional, class. I'm bringing back Snaptastic for cruisers again! The seven students I had in class absolutely loved what they learned. (So much so, I really need to ask them to write some reviews for me!!) So, I decided I needed to give others a chance to get in on the experience. I taught this in a kind of lecture style way with lots of hands on stuff too. Being on the cruise gets you into the class for half the cost of the online ecourse too, which is a total bonus!

As a side note, I hope to be sharing lots more samples of the types of finished projects here on the blog. So, visit often to see the goodies as I finish them up!

Okay... so who is coming along this time?!? You have 11 months to save your pennies, treat yourself to the beading experience of a lifetime, and make some incredible memories while learning some really cool new techniques.

Monday, April 16, 2012


Fencing 1
Fencing 2

:: remember when I told you a while back that my cousin was moving in just 5 houses down the street and she is bringing her 2 horses with her... we helped work on the pasture fences this weekend
:: I love watching Lauren and Amber (my cousin's daughter, aka my 2nd cousin) together... it's like watching Charity (my cousin) and Bonnie (my little sister) all over again... there is going to be an incredible bond between them, despite the 4yr age difference
:: it's hard to work in a field in rain boots all day... it makes one's feet quite sore the next day
:: I was part of the rail crew and I now know what a ratcheting cordless screwdriver is... and yes, it is supposed to make that noise, I wasn't stripping the screws
:: picnic lunches and pizza dinners
:: oh so many HUGE rocks to unearth before setting too many posts
:: when it's said and done, Clover & Shamrock (the horses), will have nearly 3 full acres to roam

Fencing 3
Fencing 4

:: I'm going to learn to care for the horses and stables to help when they're out of town... I'm too excited about it
:: there is something so easy about being around family as neighbors instead of regular neighbors... they know you... it's okay
:: a few beers and a bonfire is the best way to end a long day of hard work... forget baths and bedtimes
:: I could feel where the sun kissed my nose and cheeks, the few times it came out from behind the clouds, when I finally made it to bed
:: and then... Spring break was over... the kids are all in school and I can find my routine again
:: it's balmy today... a whopping 80 degrees
:: my sister has finally seen the studio and we ended up rearranging the furniture... I like it
:: I picked up fresh rolls for burgers for dinner and something cold to drink tonight... perfect combination

Fencing 5
Long day of work should always end in a bonfire.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pretty Pictures

Way back in October when I was in NYC shooting the process photos for Rustic Wrappings, my editor said in passing "Oh, you need new headshots." Really? I didn't think I needed new headshots. Didn't I just have those taken? Okay, so it was three years ago. I suppose new professional shots were in order. When I got home, I marked the calendar for a date with the amazingly talented Kelli Marsh of Kelli Marsh Photography.

She did such an incredible job with the photos the first time around! I was excited to have her take my photos again, this time in my living, breathing, working, art studio... not my little ole basement. When I saw the proofs I was amazed! She captured images that were professional, pretty, bright, colorful, and I just can't tell you how much I love them!!

kelli marsh photography
copyright Kelli Marsh Photography

kelli marsh photography
copyright Kelli Marsh Photography

kelli marsh photography
copyright Kelli Marsh Photography

kelli marsh photography
copyright Kelli Marsh Photography

If you are local (or even not local, Kelli travels!) and you need photos done, for any reason (she specializes in kids and family portraits), get on Kelli's calendar. You will be so happy you did. You can see Kelli's portfolio at Kelli Marsh Photography, like her page on Facebook, or catch her updates on Twitter.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

At Sunrise

sunrise 1
sunrise 2

Yesterday, one of my projects had me quite literally banging my head against a table in frustration and lack of inspiration. The beads just weren't speaking to me, so I had to walk away. I couldn't ignore it for long though, deadlines are deadlines after all. So, in light of kids that did not want to be dragged to the studio for the fourth day in a row, I made my way to work in the wee morning hours, alone for the first time, before anyone was awake. I'm oh so very glad I did. Not only did I find the inspiration I needed to finish my project, I witnessed my space glow in the most brilliant of ways. The honey colored hues only lasted for a new minutes before the sun moved past that magical angle that sets off colors like these. It totally filled me up, eased the tension in my shoulders, and made me relax a bit. I needed that. All I had on my plate for this week seems so much more manageable now. It's all getting done. Phew.   

sunrise 3
sunrise 4
sunrise 5