Monday, March 1, 2010

Paradise Lost

Our family was lucky to escape winter for a few days last week. We made our way to the warm and sunny beaches of Grand Cayman Island. My husband goes for business meetings and we all tag along. My kids were obviously thrilled because they got out of school for a week. I think we all needed the escape. The ever increasing amounts of snow and gray was taking its toll on all of us.

We swam, lounged, and drank virgin daiquiris by the pool. We ate and ate and ate enough for many weeks, but it is hard to resist the wonderful fish and sticky toffee pudding. If you've never tried it, you must. I recommend it paired with vanilla ice cream.

(image from chtiryworld)

(image from

I was hoping to share some of my own photos, but my camera decided it wanted to take a dip in the ocean too. So I'm off to buy a new camera this week.

Now that I'm relaxed and refreshed, I'll be starting some new beading projects and will start sharing as soon as I've gotten a new camera.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Yellow Sunflower Cuff

Last weekend I needed a pick me up from all the snow that is now piled up around me.

I've had this beautiful yellow flower cabochon from Lisa Peters Art. This cabochon reminded me of the sunflowers we grow each summer. However, yellow is a really difficult color for me to incorporate into my pieces so this beautiful cabochon has been waiting to be used. I pulled out my trusty color wheel and decided to pair the yellow cabochon with purple. The color combination provided me with that color pick me up.

I decided to embroider the yellow cabochon with bronze seed beads. I wanted to mimic the feel of flower petals so I added the two rows of fringe beads in bronze and rainbow opaque. The centerpiece is attached to a metal cuff that was covered with genuine purple leather. The underside of the cuff is lined with lavender ultrasuede. You can see more pictures of the cuff here.

If you'd like to see more of Lisa's work, you can find more of her lovely beads, buttons, and cabochons here.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Continuing Explorations in Silk

I'm continuing to play with silk soutache braid. Here's my most recent creation. I made these for the Thursday Sweet Treat Weekly Challenge. You can see more pictures of these earrings here. Head on over to Thursday Sweet Treat to see what others made this week.

Etsy BeadWeavers February Challenge

Voting has started at the Etsy BeadWeavers blog. The theme was the ocean, which provided a wealth of creative directions. Obviously, this appealed to many team members because there were an incredible 46 entries. Voting goes until February 15.

My entry was my bead embroidered purse "Bottom of the Ocean". Please take a moment to stop by the blog and enter your vote.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Few Snow Photos

Just a few photos of our snow adventure the last few days.

Juno swimming in the snow.

The imprint of a bird taking off or landing, not sure which.

The window in the tree house.

One of the apple trees.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Beading Marathon

On the eve of my 30th birthday, I took up running. As a stay at home mom of two (at the time), I felt like I needed something to focus on, besides the kids and getting the laundry done. I signed up for a 5 K and started training. Fortunately, I have a good friend who was a runner and she provided some good training advice. I was off and running. I carved a little time out every other day to run. It did my mind and body good.

Many years later I still run, sometimes not as much as I'd like. I've run countless 5K races and have now completed two half marathons. What have I learned? Consistency is key and you just have to do it (even when you don't feel like it). Some days the run will be great. You'll feel incredible afterwards. Then, there will be days when it takes every ounce of effort to get your butt out the door and you'll still feel crappy at the end of the run. Fortunately, most of the runs are good and I did feel pretty good afterwards.

I applied these same techniques while working on my bead embroidered purse. Bead a little bit each day and the project didn't seem too overwhelming. But like training for a marathon, you have to listen to your body and mind. There were days when I felt like I'd never complete all the beading. There were days when got into a groove and the beads seem to sew themselves. Sometimes I sat there staring at the piece not knowing direction I was headed. But like running, consistency is the key and I kept at it even when I didn't feel like.

I hope you come take a look at the result of my beading marathon here.

I feel exhausted and proud now that it done. I'll do another purse, but maybe after a few shorter projects. But I will be back and I will do another half marathon in the future too.

Happy beading and running!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Earthy Green Earrings

I just listed these new earrings in my etsy shop.

I've been doing a lot of experimenting with silk soutache trim the last few weeks. I ordered many yards of the trim for an on-line supplier. They had the most beautiful colors.

I love earthy colors especially greens. The trim was a perfect match to these ceramic beads I found.

I have a number of pieces to photograph and post, but here's the first pair. The center is a ceramic bead. Four layers of silk trim surround the bead and curls around two pyrite beads. The earrings are backed in black ultrasuede. You can see more pictures here.

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