Thursday, August 20, 2009

April 2009 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Fire Element

I recently read two very interesting books by Katherine Neville -- The Eight and The Fire. The Eight was written twenty years ago and it's sequel, The Fire, was published earlier this year -- imagine waiting that many years for a sequel!

The ultimate point of the stories is the quest for eternal life, hence the use of the Phoenix bird on this month's memory book. The bird's head and neck were embroidered in satin stitch with cotton perle and metallic thread. The focal stone is a piece of Sunset Calcite from Mexico. I used size 15 beads for the wings and Robin Atkins' method of "bezeling" a cabochon for the first time.

March 2009 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Water Element

Ten years ago this summer, Jim and I spent the night in a cabin at Yellowstone National Park. We were driving from southern New Mexico to Spokane, Washington for our son's wedding. Before we left Yellowstone, we covered as many of the highlights as possible. Unfortunately, time did not permit to visit the most impressive area -- the Grand Prismatic Spring.

My grandson, Marcus, gave me a marvelous polished stone slice several years ago. It has sat on my desk begging to be used in a project. When I saw the issue of National Geographic featuring the Grand Prismatic Spring, I knew I had finally found the perfect use for this object.

The stone slice is surrounded by seed beads. The rocky, stony areas are made up of fossil nuggets. Can't wait for Mr. Marcus to see what I have done with his gifty!

February 2009 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Air Element

Oboy, this was a fun book to make! And it is destined to become the property of my little granddaughter, Phoebe, some day.

The focal point of the design is the back of a card from a deck made by ArtChix. The fabric is very old and has an abstract butterfly design.

Many sequins of various sizes were used on the largest butterfly's wings. The crystals are acrylic -- remnants from the play bead stash of our youngest two daughters when they were still in their crafty play mode.

A piece of pink tulle was stretched over the beadwork before the binding edge was worked in pink pearls and iridescent seed beads.

January 2009 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Earth Element

My ancestral heritage lies in the Mediterranean. All of my grandparents emigrated to the United States from Greece during the early 1900's. My thought for this memory book was to emulate a shard of Minoan art.

The focal piece is a large coral fossil stone and the smaller focal stones are picture jasper. I vainly tried to create a feeling of mosaic tiles. Since I am still not entirely comfortable using bugle beads, I made myself practice by including them in the borders. The fabric choice was made because it reminded me of the color of the Aegean Sea.

December 2008 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Fire Element

December is a special month -- all told we have seven birthdays in our immediate family. But this month's memory book has been specifically created for my husband, Jim. And, yes, his birthday is the week before Christmas!

The dragon's eye (gotta use your imagination here, folks!) was created with a vintage crystal stone, matte finish bugles, matte and metallic triangle beads, and seed beads of every size. The three fire opal crystals at the tear duct just seemed to belong there.

The spiral rope trim on the book binding edge was an attempt on my part to represent the upward glow of a flame.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kara's Bracelet Commission

I can finally post about this commissioned bracelet. Way back in February, a lovely young woman in Knoxville, Tennessee emailed me and asked if I would make her an earth/sky theme bracelet. Unfortunately, I was smack dab in the middle of publishing my novel and this wonderful project got put on hold for quite a while.

After five false starts, I finally settled on these two designs. Somehow, in between
proofreading the galleys for the book and life in general, I started work on both
bracelets at once.

Kara had her heart set on turquoise as a focal stone and the most beautiful piece I had was a bit too large for the cuff size. But, she asked me to go ahead and try it anyway. To make a long story short, Kara chose the bracelet with the larger piece of turquoise pictured here in the last two photos. Guess who gets to keep the other one? And guess which one was my favorite in the bargain?

The bracelet in the upper photos was made with antique Egyptian turquoise,
adventurine, jasper, amazonite, carnelian, cultured pearls, vintage crystals, and assorted sizes of glass beads.

Kara's choice was made with turquoise, carnelian, petrified jasper, fossil stone, antique Egyptian turquoise nuggets, sunsitara beads, cultured pearls, vintage crystals, carnelian beads, and assorted sizes of seed beads.

Kara's bracelet is on it's way to her!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

November 2008 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

The Great Lakes

This particular little book is destined to become a true memory book! I grew up on Lake Erie and lived there until I moved to New Mexico in 1979. When the History Channel ran a segment of How The Earth Was Made featuring the Great Lakes, so many memories surfaced for me.

The beadwork features antique crystal stones of various sizes, Swarovski crystals, cultured pearls, seaweed agate chips, and a large variety of seed beads.

The charms dangling from the center design are a dragonfly, a turtle, and fossilized fish.

Now all I have to do is find time to fill this book up with lots of little treasures . . . .

October 2008 BJP

(My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project is based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.)

Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip

What stitcher or beader could resist this marvelous book? The story revolves around a Fiber Guild whose chief occupation is to stitch and weave threads to keep the Fairies from entering Lynn Hall. Their fear of the Fairies has been founded in ages-old stories passed down from the previous owners of Lynn Hall. But wondrous things occur to bring the two worlds of human and fairy together in the end.

This piece is based on the element of Air. The Fairy charm is covered with silk lavender threads which are embellished with crystals. The tiny crystals in the background are meant to be fireflies
(or perhaps fairies) in the evening time.

The enchanted flower was made with an antique ruby crystal stone. Pale pink flower beads, silver leaf charms, and a pearlized clear heart bead dangle from the scene.

I simply must add that making this little book brought back so many pleasurable memories of my paternal grandmother and her "magical" gardens. Many wonderful moments of "fairy sightings" were made there when I was a little girl . . . .

Playing Catch-up with BJP 2008-9

My selected theme of memory books for this year's Bead Journal Project was to have been based on the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.

September 2008 BJP

Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Three rings for the Elven-Kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-Lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne,
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all.
One Ring to find them.
One Ring to bring them all and
in the darkness bind them.
In the Land of Mordor where
the shadows lie.

September begins with Earth and what better representation of that element could there be
than Tolkien's masterpiece.

The symbol representing Tolkien's initials was
painted on this earthy batik fabric. An old bronze bangle bracelet was covered with bronze metal beads in peyote stitch, then attached to the fabric background with metallic thread.

The border was worked with seed beads and
carnelian crystals.

This is the only memory book to date that has completed pages within. (All books are 4 3/4 x 6 1/2 inches)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Creative People are Adventurous!

So, if you would like to participate, please leave me a comment and your email.
Here are the rules, and happy posting!
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations, so please read carefully.
1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. This is an adventure!
2. What I create will be just for you with love and good wishes. It will be made of actual materials, not of cyberspace.
3. It will be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it's going to be!
5. In return, all you need to do is post this text on your blog and create five things for the first 5 people to respond to your post.
6. Send your mailing address after I contact you.
IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if you do not post on your own blog to pay this forward. This text was used from
Thank you and spread the love!

Monday, March 9, 2009

TIERRA RED was published this past week . . .

Although my novel has nothing to do with my beadwork, in a way it has become quite connected to it. When Robin Atkins started the Bead Journal Project in 2007, I had just completed the seventh and final (we thought) edit of Tierra Red and submitted it to the Tony Hillerman Competition. Learning the results of that competition would be six months away. And I needed something to keep my hands busy!

My first BJP piece was done for the book (June 2007 post). I used that wonderful Dover art clip of a beautiful Gibson Girl and had a whale of a time learning how to make a beaded page. Dover Publications was so very gracious in permitting me to use that same image in my book.

The BJP has also become an extended family for me. So many wonderful online friendships have come about because of this fabulous project. Even though I am so far behind in finishing this year's pieces, many have been started and will be showing up here soon.

In the meantime, for those of you who have expressed an interest in Tierra Red, you can click on the book cover to go to my author's blog or go directly to to check out it's availability -- it is even available in ebook format for those who enjoy that method of reading.

Incidentally, I will be posting character studies and historical points on my author's blog every week. And there will be a contest or two (or perhaps three or four) coming along in the next few weeks and months. Can't have all work and no play, right?

This is going to be one heck of a busy time . . . .

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


If anyone had even suggested that this little ol' blog would receive nearly 300 visitors for this event, I would not have believed them!

I so appreciate each and everyone of those visitors and their comments -- it has been quite a humbling experience to receive so many compliments and good wishes.

So, without further ado, we have TWO winners:

Lisa Jurist of Mud Hound Primitives


Robin Atkins of Beadlust!

I know Robin will be astounded to win something. In her post she asked if I would tell how my winners were chosen. As always, I employed some rather unorthodox methods to determine them. For the first winner, I added together all the numbers in my heroine's birthday and Lisa was that post number.

Then I averaged all the ages of our six children, eight grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren, and -- guess what? Robin's post was that number!!!

This was so much fun. I don't know how we will ever be able to adequately thank Lisa Swifka for initiating and maintaining this remarkable project. I have visited nearly all of the blogs of my visitors and hope to visit the rest and then revisit those blogs again and again in the future. So many talented folks and so much eye candy to be found.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

One World One Heart Giveaway

2/11 Addendum: I am so amazed at the wonderful response my blog has received through this giveaway! So, I am adding another purse charm and book offer to make TWO giveaways. Winners will be posted this evening at 11pm MST (that's New Mexico time, y'all).

Although I am knee-deep in proofing the galleys for the publication of my novel, I so wanted to participate in this exciting project this year.

This purse charm or key fob is composed of Russian Picture Jasper and Australian Jade -- an unorthodox color scheme for a Valentine theme to say the least.

When the winner is drawn for this item on February 12, they will also have the option of receiving a free copy of my novel, TIERRA RED, which should be published sometime in mid to late March.

Looking forward to seeing who wins this treat!
2/5 Addendum:
Many folks have asked about the novel -- if you just click your mouse on the book cover in the right-hand column it will take you to the book's back cover blurb. Still working away 0n those galleys!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My, how time does fly!

No, I did not fall of the edge of the world. But I sure feel like I have been around it a time or two or three over the past five months!
As a matter of fact, there were times when I felt pretty much like our granddaughter, Phoebe, in this photo -- enough, already!
We had the busiest Fall that I can ever remember having which then extended into the busiest holiday season on record. Aside from all the hustle and bustle of making holiday gifties and traveling, there never was a moment to photograph even one single project.
The most exciting end result of all these busy months, though, is that we are finally in the process of publishing my novel. Wanna talk about something eating up all of your time? My beads have been screaming loudly from the worktable -- such neglect!
All kidding aside, stay tuned -- beading projects will be turning up shortly, just as soon as I get my head out of this publishing process . . .