Burnt Rose

“Romance Retold”

Going through Drawer 16, the pink drawer in my Chinese Apothecary Chest, produced several packets of these odd-colored beads.  Neither pink nor rose, I found I had enough for two necklaces and not until I was writing up the tags did I realize I didn’t know what color to call them.  Obviously, I had to make up a new name:  Burnt Rose.

The first necklace I made, “Romance Retold” has three distinct types of glass beads:  the flat oblongs seen near the clasp and elsewhere; round beads blending clear glass and burnt rose; and specialty flower beads, also two-colored.  The centerpiece I chose is multi-colored with a small amount of burnt rose.  It is the work of Jenny Friske-Baer (CA), whose beads I used to buy when I lived in San Luis Obispo, CA.

This necklace is 21” plus the centerpiece of 2”.  The clasp and earrings are hammered gold metal.  The earrings measure 1 3/8” long and feature a flower bead.  The necklace weighs 1.9 ounces. The set is $99 plus $8 shipping.

Burnt Rose #2

“A Smashing Good Time”

My foray into Burnt Rose continued with Czech glass square beads in this new color plus two colors (black and pale beige) blended in with burnt rose clearly the predominant tone.  The centerpiece glass bead created by Louise Erskine (MA) pulls you to look closely at layers of burnt rose and gold deeply embedded to make this transparent bead almost opaque.  The lampwork glass beads next to the centerpiece are proudly pink with white and gold.  Four beads away are two more artisan beads in rose and gold.

This necklace, which I named “A Smashing Good Time”, is 19” with a gold metal toggle and circle clasp.  It weighs 4.4 ounces.  The earrings feature the proudly pink glass beads and drop 1 5/8” from the ear lobe. The set is $99 plus $8 shipping.

A Max Moment

One of Max’s endearing characteristics is his curiosity. I have previously pictured him looking up at airplanes, watching the road as we drive, and now, at home, here he is watching what is happening on the street and at the neighbor’s houses. He jumps on the chair more than once a day, searching for perpetrators who get too close to his territory. Dogs are often guilty of this infraction and they get loud barks which, of course, only I can hear. Max is now 3 1/4 years old.

Tiger Stripes

“Tiger Stripes”

This centerpiece is one of a half dozen blown glass pieces I purchased in Venice on my grand bead shopping visit to the magical island in 201. I was also celebrating a nostalgic return to my most favorite place in Europe.

The centerpiece bead struck me as a very original design, especially since four of the others I bought were one color only and the fifth was a wavy, watery blue and white which I featured in the blog of July 1, 2020.

It was pure luck that I had these smoky orangey polka dot beads to act as transitions from larger to medium sized beads. But my bead storage drawers overflow with resplendent beads guaranteed to provide just the right design highlight to any necklace. The black beads are vintage plastic which also serve the purpose of keeping the necklace light. It only weighs 4.6 ounces.

The tassel is short and speaks to the smoky colors in the hand-made glass beads. The necklace is 20″ long and the focal bead and dangle are 4″ long. I did not make any earrings as the black beads seemed too boring so I recommend wearing your favorite gold earrings–any size will do. The price is $105 and shipping is $9.

A Max Moment

The Dish Towel Routine”The Grocery List Routine”

We all have routines. Max too. His morning routine (right) occurs when I am settled in with my newspaper and coffee and he disappears from the living room. In a few minutes, he comes running back in with something in his mouth, screeches to a halt in front of me and stares until I look at him. I am then expected to tell him to drop it which he does, leaving it on the carpet. I am to say “Good Boy”, retrieve the object, and go back to reading the news. He finds a comfy spot near me and snoozes, his job done.

On the left is what happens later in the day if he feels like playing the game again. More drama, enjoying his loot on his bed, until I show up and a “how can you scold me for just wanting to have fun?” look covers his face.

Two Necklaces for Spring

“Makes the Heart Leap”

This necklace features the soft pastels of Spring inspired by a handmade glass heart centerpiece by Lori Engel, Massachusetts. The beads are Czech glass. I selected these beads last winter to make for Spring 2020 but we were all robbed of our plans for that particular Spring. It feels good to present them this Spring as we march forward with renewed hope!

Matching earrings on silver-filled wires. The necklace measures 20″. The set is $85.

“Twinkle, Twinkle”

The lilacs are just blooming on the South Shore of Boston, as celebrated by these sparkling amethysts, faceted and set off with a glass seed bead separating each semi-precious gemstone. A Swarovski crystal star continues the sparkle with its well-placed facets. I found a star clasp in my stash with two extra stars serving as matching earrings with silver-filled earwires.

The necklace measures 19″. The set is $99.

A Max Moment

To satisfy Max’s need to release energy, he plays five hours a day, five days a week, at Sunshine Pet Place in Hull. On Wednesdays and Sundays, it’s Max and Me. Fortunately there is some residual fatigue from playing, so he does sleep a lot, but I try to find fun things for him to do.

One thing is this lengthy bully stick which makes me laugh when he goes around corners or through a doorway with the extra-long bully stick in his mouth, and he is stopped dead, so he has to figure it out, which he does easily. Part of that treat is making the trip to the Pet Store which is full of such wondrous things to smell, see and lick (like the open boxes of small bully sticks).

Another challenge for me was to find a place where he can run that is safe and interesting. Last October I had my second knee replacement, so I needed a flat and safe place for me and my cane. It turned out to be the commuter rail parking lot. Monstrously big, it parks 400 cars, with nary a half dozen cars in sight due to Covid. One side has ~20′ wide strip with trees, weeds and a fence that runs the whole length–perfect for a male dog always in search of a tree! Max loves it and runs up, down, and around.

Happy Third Birthday, Max!

Max on April 9, 2021

Every April, I take a picture of Max and Mom. Last year I did a cock-eyed selfie of us featuring mostly ceiling. This year, luck had it that his groomer, Jen of “Groom with Me”, was here and took a great shot of us!

I like to include myself so my distant friends can see my face again. This is taken in my studio which I have been readying for my new normal life, but haven’t gotten to displays which show empty right now. New normal for me is an expectation of Open Studios in August and September as well as studio space for beading, acrylic painting and watercolor painting. The latter two are hobbies which I spent the last 13 months improving with Zoom classes and lots of daily practice. So I have two dedicated hobby spaces which I can keep as cluttered as I like! My bead space is the same Corian work area with side shelves for beading tools as I had built in 2000 in San Luis Obispo, CA. And, yes, my 52-drawer Chinese Apothecary Chest still holds my beads!

As for Max, he weighs 42 lbs, all muscle, and is healthy and active. And comical. His unwritten job description is to make me laugh at least once a day. Officially, he is responsible to be my faithful companion and he does that well, listening to me as I babble on. He is still mischievous, runs instead of walking, follows me around the house but thinks he is a free spirit outdoors! He still spends five days a week at Sunshine Pet Parlor, Hull, t play with Ralphie and his other pals.

That’s it for another year. May you also enjoy a good laugh every day!!!

Favorite Titian

“Favorite Titian”

Welcome back, dear Readers! A word of explanation is in order. I said Au Revoir on November 30, 2020, telling you I couldn’t cope with WordPress.com changes and upgrades. In January, I searched for new platforms but none were a fit for me due to advertisements, complexity, transferring readers’ emails, etc. So I drifted into inertia, too overwhelmed by technology.

Enter my Rescuer! Yulia Shea, my nephew’s wife and talented IT consultant! She and my nephew are here in Hull on a house-hunting trip, hoping to soon relocate from New York City. She suggested I stay on the WP.com platform and offered to train me. Contact her at yulia@yuliashea.com. She did an excellent job! Thank you, Yulia!

It feels good to showcase my work again even though I haven’t beaded for a while. I actually shut down my beading on July 28, 2020, since all my selling opportunities were Covid-cancelled. I stayed busy, however. I became a serial Zoom art student: watercolor, abstracts in acrylic, image transfer portraiture, and fun with metallic acrylics which reminded me of the colorful poster paints one uses as a kid. It has made me happy to dedicate eight months to my hobby of painting; it has challenged me intellectually (watercolors require a lot of mental engagement!) and artistically.

But now I am back to beading, my first love since 1995, and still resplendent 26 years later!

Today’s necklace features etched copper beads and rock crystal nuggets with a magnificent centerpiece of rock crystal shards encased in sculpted metal electroplated in copper. A word about copper. It and sterling silver vie for first place in my beading heart. Sterling doesn’t need an explanation since it is universally loved and appreciated. Copper is sort of a color to me: rusty, orange-y, Hermes-y and peach. Yet it is a metal which is an excellent partner and counterbalance for beads. The clasp is also copper, crafted in Mexico, as are the spacer beads close to it.

I named it after Titian who was the significant artist of his era (High Renaissance) because my bias for copper considers this a significant necklace of my hand. Priced at $99 for the set which includes earrings. $9 shipping or contact me at priscilla@beadleful.com to pick up. It weighs 7.1 ounces, less than half a pound.

A Max Moment

Max too has been missing sharing his adventures with you or so I intuit. I shall pick up where I left off–with his blankie (security blanket), which I pictured in the September 1, 2020 blog (and here, below right) as 20′ long and falling apart. I asked for help in how to get rid of it. Thanks for your advice–I kept cutting off a foot or two until there was nothing and swapped in a new fleece sofa throw during the holidays. Here it is mere months later, still providing him comfort and the forbidden bite when I am not looking.

Final Thought

How naive I was in 2020 regarding the Coronavirus-19, as I called it. In July of that year, I said the posted necklace was probably the last one I would make during Covid, as I call it now. I actually thought it was ending. It wasn’t and I have no idea when it will. As I did then, and do now, I offer my condolences to everyone who has lost a loved one to Covid. Let us pray it will end soon.

Au Revoir

Dear Readers,

I’m an artist, not a technical genius.  WordPress upgraded to a new platform while retaining their “classic” platform.  In the past day and a half, I’ve been frustrating myself trying to get either platform to perform for me.  I have engaged their chat help line, but when I solo, it drops copy and tells me I’m not authorized to upload images.  Even Max is offended!

So I shall search out an easier platform and hope the New Year will be kinder to this artist’s blog.  WordPress tells me I’ve posted 117 blogs (that amazed me!) and I have 127 followers.  Thank you, brave readers, for sticking with me, and may you have a superb 2021.

Best regards,

Priscilla

Clairvoyant

This is the first time in my three years of monthly posts that I missed my First Day of the Month posting deadline. Excuses range from technical to physical reasons. But here I am presenting a calming ethereal necklace in amethyst with a lampwork glass centerpiece.

“Clairvoyant”

Most of the amethyst are nuggets, nicely polished, with a wide range of color and striation which I have arranged with darker tones at the top and lighter near the centerpiece. I also added a few medium range round amethysts next to the centerpiece and at the clasp.

The centerpiece is 1.5″ diameter. The base color of the sphere appears to be amethyst and it is. The artist, Louise Erskine (MA), added some iridescence to the amethyst to make it interesting. The small bumps atop the sphere have a multitude of colors–beige, amethyst, brass–all shimmering with pearlescence!

This 21″ necklace has a gold metal clasp. $79.

I made the earrings a while ago and was pleasantly surprised at how well they compliment each other. Sterling silver earwires with lavender and beige opaque glass circles plus the larger one has the same colors in lampwork that the sphere has. This was all predestined! They are 1 1/4″ from ear lobe to the bottom of the large circle. $30.

A Max Moment

This is the dance Max does as a greeting when I come home. So funny. He makes me laugh a lot!

Fact & Fiction: Suzhou Jade

“Fact & Fiction”

For 5000 years, Imperial China used the word jade as something precious and beautiful.  Today, more jade comes from Burma than China, but the Chinese are considered the master carvers.  However, jade (think the green kind), became expensive and that engendered more affordable and clever uses of the word jade.

Such is today’s necklace made of ”Soochow” jade.  It is not jade but serpentine named after the city of Suzhou, 60 miles NW of Shanghai.  I’ve bought it for years in earthy shades of green, brown, tan and cream.  But I always put it in the serpentine drawer, placed next to the drawer holding the shimmering green real jade.  I always thought of serpentine as jade’s first cousin.  And after all the research I did for this blog, I shall continue to hold that opinion because serpentine is nice on its own and doesn’t require the false tag of jade to be attractive.

Actually, naming it after Suzhou was a big compliment to serpentine when you consider the city is called the Venice of China.  There are images of gondoliers pushing their boats through the narrow waterways of the Yangtze River Delta.  But no research revealed serpentine was ever mined in Suzhou.  Pure Marketing BS!!!

Fact and fiction aside, this two-strand necklace is made from two different strands and three sizes of brown-tone serpentine beads…note the earrings contain the three sizes.  Try to find two beads of the exact same tone and markings; nearly impossible.  For me that is the charm of serpentine–it’s mixable and matchable.  The centerpiece is made from an archer’s ring [worn to protect the finger against the pullback of the arrow.  When I first touched one , asked what is this, and hearing the answer, I bought a dozen of the nicest ones.  Two decades ago, I thought they were so cool.  Still do.]

My drawer of carved serpentine revealed this nice carved arrowhead and I used gold plated wire to attach it to the archer’s ring.  Brass clasp.  19″ necklace with 3″dangle.  Earrings included.  $90 plus $7 shipping.

A Max Moment


Just two years ago, I started reporting Max was growing attached to his “blankie”, a 50″ x 60″ throw I put on the sofa to protect it from him.  He loved it, snuggled into it, licked it, soft-jawed it, ran with it.  So cute.  Then came the destruction:  chewing, tearing, and swallowing it.

He stills runs with it except it is a 20′ long trailing fleece mess.

HELP!  I need advice from doggie Moms and kiddie Moms:  how do I get rid of it????

A Gau Box and a Tibetan Bead Adventure

“Tibetan Gau Box”

 

In 1993-4, Don and I lived in Hong Kong.  I discovered ethnic beads at the fabulous bazaars located in alleys and byways and became enamored of the giant orange and yellow beads that were described as those worn by Tibetan nomads.  I asked Don to take me to Tibet on one of his business trips to Beijing.  Ha!  Impossible since it is located on a 5000’ high plateau in distant southwest China.

So I convinced him to have an adventure travel vacation in Tibet.  Be informed adventure travel translates as difficult travel, as in one-star or no-star accommodations, toilets that range from pots under the bed to blackened porcelain with no seat, mattresses that feel like plywood, walking a lot, crossing the Himalayan mountains with a view of Everest in a jitney without any shock absorbers…a trip to Katmandu, Nepal, that took 24 hours including the overnight accommodations described above.

The pleasures of adventure travel are close-ups of the native population, interesting food, cultural immersion, different religions.  And beads.  No bead shops, just go to the village square and the traders find you.  Whew.  The first lesson is to push away the crowds, establish some control, and patiently look, point, and bargain.  What wild memories!

These Gau boxes were my most unusual finds!  Today’s necklace features an excellent specimen.  I paid $100 for it and it is $490 on Etsy as I looked for one today.  As you know, I don’t mark up the original price I paid.  No need to, since you, my dear readers, are looking for an interesting necklace, not a collector’s item for a display case.

Gau (sometimes Gao) boxes are antiques today, less than 30 years after our first visit.  We returned again in the late 90’s and the change was sad—China had infiltrated Han Chinese into Tibet in a massive relocation program to dilute Tibetan culture.  As a result, many Tibetans have crossed the mountains into Nepal where they are respected in their enclaves

These boxes contain Buddhist paper prayers and relics folded into the box, and worn around the neck, near one’s heart, by Tibetan nomads or travelers.  It also is an amulet to ward off negative energy and attract blessings (just like those fluttering strings of flags placed in the mountains).  Like any antique, they have patina, the fancy word for wear marks and nicks over time.

This necklace is 24” from clasp to bottom of box which is 2.5” diameter and 5/8” thick.   The clasp is hammered pewter.  The necklace weighs 7.7 ounces.  The set is $195.

The beads are dyed coral shell pearls.  These pearls are made from the lining of oyster shells, ground, shaped, dyed, and coated with a lustrous shine.  They do not lose color or shine due to sweat or perfume.  I also like them because they come in large sizes for a reasonable price.

At the beginning and end of the necklace and in the earrings are other Tibetan beads with silver decorative endcaps.  The beads in those endcaps and the center of the Gao Box are the same orange beads I first saw in Hong Kong…seems they come in all sizes. 

These are two other Gau Boxes I bought on that trip.  They are shaped like shrines which is another use of the Gau Box.  The large one is a wonderful speciman with many cultural icons carved in the silver and a wonderful polychromed deity in the window.

The small one is so old the silver plate wore off to its copper base.

 

 

 

 

 

A Max Moment

I dare not disappoint Max’s followers.  Here he is trying to dismember his stuffed  toy, but his smart Mom bought him a leather toy and it takes a really long time for him to destroy it.  Approaching 28 months.

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Postscript:  I imagine there are prayers and relics still in these boxes but I am afraid of ruining them if I attempt to open/close the boxes, so I don’t.  I just imagine.  I encourage readers to use their imagination also.

Dreaming the Dream

Greetings!  This is the fourth, and maybe the last, necklace I will have made in the Era of Coronavirus-19.  Let us pray this virus ends soon.

The shutdown is mostly over in Boston.  Some people are thrilled to be liberated;  most practice social distancing and/or wearing masks; some prefer to remain inside; others are elsewhere on the Bell Curve.  It’s all OK.  My motto throughout has been “Be informed and carry on.”  But I am fortunate that I have no underlying conditions except my age.

Speaking of age, in one week I shall wake up and be 78 years old and embrace the beginning of another year of my existence.  I wonder if Max understands he is responsible for keeping my life full of laughter?  The crazy Doodles are most capable of that task!

The Necklace:  “Dreaming the Dream”

“Dreaming the Dream”

This necklace will always make me smile because I remember buying the eight large blown glass beads in a beautiful plaza directly on a canal in my beloved Venice in spring 2019.  The cobalt blue and azure aqua are such refreshing watery signs of summer that I wanted this necklace to be July’s choice, my birth month.  We Cancers are water signs as personified in the Hermit Crab (as well as nesters as personified by the home they carry on their backs).

All the beads I used are glass in those two colors; the 4-sided ones near the top are vintage as are the curvaceous ones under them.  The clasp supports the watery theme with its sand design (as I interpret it…) and a well-crafted starfish in pewter.  Matching earrings using the vintage beads and silverplate earwires.  The necklace is 21” long.  $119 the set plus $10 shipping since it will need to be double boxed.

A Max Moment

Max is happy and almost 2 ¼ years old.  He is calmer each month.  A charmer.  Very cooperative. And indulgent of his septuagenarian Mom.

I have told you he is a curious dog and zeros in on what attracts his attention.   I have featured him focusing on a plane in the sky, watching TV, and here he is, intent on the road as I drive him to playtime.  There he will meet up with bro Ralphie.  Oh, the latest news is the two bros have let a third Doodle bro, Milo, into the play-pack.  They both greeted him after our short ride and dashed out to play.

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Last month I made some edits after I published and when my blog appeared in your inbox, it was messed up.  If you want a glimpse of what last month’s necklace looked like, it is available on http://www.priscillabeadle.com.