I love the hunt for beads: odd, large, ethnic, contrary beads; antique or contemporary glass beads; rare and unusual colors; textures that lead to touching. Successful hunting inspires bold eclectic designs that result in my unique necklaces and bracelets.
I offer my necklaces to discerning buyers who love the sparks my pieces create and the adornment they give!
Vintage pieces are such fun! These five molded flowers (See below where I turned one over so you can see evidence of the mold) are very well crafted in a buttery shade of yellow with nice aqua lines that pop the flower and bring your attention to it! I acquired them just a few years ago but the vendor didn’t know their story. My title suggests they do have stories to tell…
The beads are Indian recycled glass in exactly the right aqua shade separated by faceted plastic spacers, again in the matching color. The clasp is a glass circle in “that” color. Earrings are the spacer beads with vintage plastic flowers to relate to the yellow ones. I suspect only in my mind do beads have relationships with one another.
The necklace is 22″ long and is priced at $69 for the set. The yellow vintage beads are approximately 1 3/4″ in diameter.
A Max Moment
Attention, South Shore locals!
The second and last Open Studio of this season Saturday & Sunday, September 18 & 19, 2021 at my studio in Hull Village. For more info, visit http://www.hullartists.com
The nautilus shape has always fascinated me, mostly for its infinity circle which in my mind goes on endlessly and offers a myriad of secrets in its center, invisible to the naked eye. I also have a collection of nautilus shells, tucked away in a glass cabinet in my studio, and only remembered at this very moment. I collected them over the years at visits to great beaches in Hawaii, Indonesia, Bali, and a real gem on a snorkeling trip in Baja, Mexico. No I did not encounter it in the transparent blue waters, but when an enterprising local pulled his put-put up to our boat and offered large ones for sale.
This necklace has a certain mystery to it too. I was rummaging through Drawer # 50, one of the three large ones across the bottom, and pulled out a large plastic bag with interesting pieces of shell beads. Therein was this necklace, completely made except for the clasp. Easy. Meant to be this month’s showpiece.
The necklace features antique pieces of “Acra” shell, as I understood the vendor when I purchased them at a big California bead show, probably 15-20 years ago. I did my homework, as I always do for my dear Readers, and the shells are found, carved and drilled in Ghana, on the Atlantic coast of Africa, and named for Accra, its capital. The centerpiece shell is from the Naga tribe, a landlocked people in the Himalayas who traded with shells in lieu of money. Traders bought their beads and sold them at bead shows. The sterling silver melon beads are from one of my favorite Indian vendors of that era, as are the spacer beads and the nautilus sterling silver piece. I have a larger nautilus in my stash for a future necklace.
This neckpiece sits nicely on the neck at 19″ long plus the 3″ of the center shell. I recommend your silver earrings to accompany this striking necklace. $99 plus $8 shipping.
A Max Moment
Max enjoys his naps, especially when he can cuddle his blankie. Well, here he is preferring my garden shoe over his blankie. My stinky shoe smell wins over his stinky blankie smell!!!
OPEN STUDIOS IN MY HULL STUDIO
Calling all locals. Open Studio details in sidebar on the right side of this blog. See you this weekend! Open 10-4.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.