Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken. - Oscar Wilde

Sunday, September 30, 2012

I can be so forgetful at times

Yesterday I went to what I consider the best bead show held in our area each year, the Northwest Bead Society Bead Bazaar.  I just don't say that because in the past my Polymer Clay Guild has had a table there, but because it features local artists.  It is a joy to purchase a OOAK bead from the maker  ... I get a thrill from talking to them, finding common ground, comparing notes, delving into their thought processes and feeding a little off their energy and love for their art (in a good way, like a root beer float on a warm day).
   I work mostly in polymer, but that doesn't mean that I don't like, and to be truthful, some what crave other medias, esp. glass.  I was just starting to learn glasswork beads when I had what the Dr referred to as a venous occlusion in my right eye (in other words, a mini stroke).  That blew my depth perception as now I have a "bumpy" retina and I can no longer focus well enough to see where to add stringers, etc to the glass.  Big Bummer..... as I LOVED working in glass, and so I am reduced to admiring the work of others and bringing it home with me whenever I find anything I can't live without.
   And so it comes to the title of today's blog .... While at the NWBS show I found the table set up by Fire and Rain, a local glass bead group.  There were 17 artists represented and I spent quite some time talking and ohhing at all the pretties.  I bought a few but I totally SPACED on getting names or business cards of any of the artists.  All I have is their initials on the tags attached to the beads.  I went to their website hoping to find names to match the initials, but no luck there. Here is what I brought home, with apologies to the makers for not being able to give them credit
This reminds me of Van Gogh's Starry Night, even if.the
color's aren't the same. Bead by D.P.

The color of this glass is called Krytonite.  Reminds me of
Jade.  Beads by E.H.

These guys are just too cute for words.  By C.M,
But my favorite bead was by F.W.  I fell in love with the color, the texture and flow of the design.  After purchasing it, I had to find coordinating beads as I wanted to string it right away. That was another delightful hour going from table to table (like I really needed an excuse! ya, right).  I found the lovely Vera Wieland of Cave Dweller Beads who helped me pick the colors for the companion beads (this time I got a name ... still don't know why I spaced at Fire and Rain). Vera specializes in making well priced beads to compliment focals and does a great job at it.
I wish I knew who F.W. is.  I love her work.

Temporary stringing job,  just to see how they play out.
Don't Vera's beads go great, like they were made for it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mould Give Away

I just love the Blogosphere.  How else would I have found out about Moulds by Mel?  I read the blog this morning from Davinia (Deez News - see sidebar) and from it followed the link to Mel the Mould Maker.  She is giving away 8 (yes 8!) moulds and the rules are so easy.

So, if you are interested, check it out here. I just love the color she used to make them, don't you?  (if the link doesn't work, go to Deez News and follow her link ... I know it works!!!)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Finding Nino

I have not been playing with clay since the cruise, so I decided to spend Saturday in my studio. But first I had to clean it a bit .... mistake!!!!!  I found some beads that I bought recently and decided that I would string them instead.  Since doing the Bead Soup and hopping all over the blogosphere getting inspired, I have been thinking more about how present beads than feeling the need to make them.
   Of course, my studio is not set up for stringing, so I have to hunt through bins looking for wire, crimps, hooks, etc.  Can find them all except the crimps.  So off to the friendly local bead store ... another MISTAKE.  It is their anniversary and everything in the store is 20% off.  I tried to be good, really I did, but I found these lovely abalone beads in all sorts of shiny colors ..., they are kinda like potato chips to me.
  Got the crimps and was finally able to finish the necklace and earrings to match.  I had found another set of beads that I also made up.  Now, I am no great shakes at design, so these are rather simple, but I am pleased none the less.
Finding Nino
 I know that one is not supposed to take pictures in sunlight where shadows are being cast, etc. Not professional. But I kinda like the shadow play where it makes ripples on the bottom left.  It shows the texture of the beads.

The second set I don't like as much, but it was a learning experience.
Sunrise Sonata
And here are some of the Abalone  beads I was telling you about.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Hidden Treasure - Wm Spear Design

While walking down the streets of Juneau, I  happened to see a bunch of pins displayed in the window of a small eatery.  I was very excited as one of the pins was a platypus.  I have liking for weird and unusual  critters (being one myself), so I excitedly went in.  I was told to take the stairs around the corner.

A bit daunting, but the walk up the flight was made more enjoyable by all the positive messages posted along the way.
I got to the top, were a very nice lady greeted me.  I was a bit disappointed to discover that what I thought was a platypus was actually a mole (I must get my eyes checked soon).  But I was NOT disappointed in what I did find!  I had discovered the shop of William Spear, a very talented designer who has produced hundreds of enameled pins.  Each pin is enameled by hand, each glaze having been placed and fired separately on copper which has been electroplated with gold.  I was totally blown away by his creativity and the fact that the prices were SOOOO reasonable.

Those that know me in real life, know that I work in a clinical laboratory, so that can explain why I was so excited to find pins that had been designed with the lab in mind. Of course, I could not decide which I like best, so bought several (did I mention that the prices were good?).
My favorite pin. This is how I feel most days LOL!!

I plan on wearing this one on my lab coat.

Some people might think this kinda gross, but I LOVE it!
Lest you all think that I am totally bonkers about my work, I did buy something "normal". The colors in these earrings are gorgeous.
And I found my penguin!  Every trip that DH and I make, we make a real effort to bring back a penguin for the collection.  Sometimes it is a real challenge, but this time I found a lovely addition

  More of Mr Spears work can be found on line at if you are interested.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Our second port of call on the Clayditarod Cruise was Juneau, Alaska's capital city.  Once again the area the ship docked in was full of jewelry stores all designed to part us from our money.  I thought that Skagway had  way too many jewelry stores for its size, but Juneau had it beat.

The reddish building is where one could catch a tram to the top of the mountain. Lord Opuson was all for trying it, but I am chicken when it comes to high places.  Besides, the mountain top was covered in clouds that day so the view would not have been worth it.  Had it been a clear day, he *might* have talked me into it.  

Me in all my glory.   I really liked the decorations on the building behind me.  The metal pieces were installed in such a way that the shadows they cast produced the totem images you see.

Remember the TV show M*A*S*H?

The shop behind this sign post sells the best smelling soap.  It is so pretty and smell  yummy that I don't want to use it.

The biggest thing I got in Juneau was Diet Pepsi!!! I had to pay almost $3 a bottle but it was worth it. The ship only carried Coke products and I just couldn't stand not having my Pepsi fix!