California artists..

Many of you may know that we have been travelling around the country for the past 6 months..I keep saying I will journal and scrapbook, but so far the journal is not as fat as it should be and the scrapbook has not been started.. I have however, been documenting much of what we've seen with small video clips. so small pat on my back for that. (those can be seen on facebook, for those interested)
But I resolve..yep...to do better in year 11.
We're packing and preparing this week to drive from Lompoc, California to my home town Fort St John in northern BC, Canada. It's a 34 hour drive so I'm fairly sure there will be some time to write in my journal then... I am looking forward to seeing everyone, even if its just for a couple of days.
I will be bringing back to California with me my beloved torch and glass. Yes! So I can begin again to melt glass.

So many talented artists here in California ..sharing here just a couple from the Santa Barbara and area.

SunFire Gallery We met the artist, Lawrence Newsum in a small shop of collectibles on State st in Santa Barbara. Nice guy..talented artist. Love the blown lampshades and light fixtures, mmhmm... this one would look fabuloso in our some day bedroom.

Julie Dunn..oh my. As soon as I am standing in one spot long enough I will get the materials needed to give this art a try. Its called Tempera Batik painting.. a procedure that involves outlined chalk drawing, block painting and a wash of india ink.

This womans work is stunning. We found her through a small gallery in San Luis Obispo~

and lastly ..for the moment anyway..Sarah John Afana, an artistic soul who lives in central California. It was the blown ornaments in a gallery that turned my head ~

but she is proficient in painting, photography and knitting as well. Of her work she says this:

"My images are expressive and colorful. I use top quality artists materials in all my creations. Acid-free papers or fine stretched canvases are always used as platforms for my paintings and drawings." ~Sarah John Afana

and if it may be a while before you get to troll the galleries in California, Miss Sarah has a shop on Etsy. so go give her work a gander. It's soulful and colorful and ..well really, with a name like Sarah John Afana..she must do art, don't you think?

!A most merry Christmas to you all..enjoy your holidays..and stay safe!


Lampwork bracelet..'Castleberry'


Handcrafted with my own flameworked glass beads, this bold bracelet is one of a kind. Strung with fresh water pearls and tiny seed beads and all in shades of muted ochres and organic greens..

Findings and toggle clasp are 925 Sterling Silver..fits the average wrist at 7"

Available only on Etsy

and the winner is~

Thanks to randomizer.org the winner of the draw for the lampwork bracelet OR earrings is Jen! of Blue Desert Rose.

Thank you all for you support and participation..much much more to come in the New Year, so stay tuned.

And congratulations to Jen..I will be sending you and email for your preference and your address.


Reminder ~ draw for lampwork bracelet or earrings..

Don't forget to enter the draw and remember that I have extended it to the 15th..which is Wednesday. AND I have added a choice for those who would rather have the earrings..


Needle felted silk Cuff

Brilliant turquoise silk threads needle felted cuff backed with soft faded re-cycled leather. Lampworked button style closure.
~~$48 available here
Comes to your house gift boxed and tagged with artist signed card


Musical notes to move your creative energies~

Do you use music to inspire your work?
I have a love for a wide range of music...Chevelle, Diana Krull, Tom Cochrane, Bruce Springsteen, Kenny Chesney, Joss Stone..Sara Bareilles has one of the purest voices I've ever listened to and Adelle is new to me but will be on my playlist for a long time...I really love it all, depending upon my mood!

I have a challenge for you:

LiSten to mUsic, {preferably something new..new always tweaks the creative muscle}, while you are creating today.

This set of lampwork beads was sold long ago but as I was taking a look at some of my older work I noticed that this one was entitled, 'Songs from the Wood', so I know that they must've been inspired by Jethro Tull~ they do look a wee bit primal don't you think?

Give it a go and then come back and tell us about your experience in the comments.

I'm extending the draw a couple of days (15th) so you will be entered to win either this! free bracelet or these! free earrings~


Omnium-gatherum...(it just rolls off of your tongue, doesn't it?)
n : a miscellaneous collection (as of things or persons)..eclectic gathering of artistic endevours.

I just like the feel of the word. If it were tangible I would roll it around in my hand all day..Omnium-gatherum-m-m...

I believe I have an omnium-gatherum happening.

I have a suitcase ~a fabulous one too I might add..it rolls and spins cleanly in any direction, the outershell is hard and you can snug everything in tightly with elastic belts and best of all; every bit of my omnium-gatherum fits neatly and precisely within its confines..Love that.

This beloved suitcase travels with me chock full of beads and tools, leather bits, fabric and silk threads. Finished pieces of jewelry, unfinished pieces of jewelry, drawings of jewelry yet to be born. Magazines with pictures that instruct and inspire, you know the ones..artists and their work, artists and their studios...(ahhh, that's a whole other day dream that one.)

I would be lost without my superb little grey case that spins obediently in any direction, brimming with my crafting treasures.

My sweet omnium-gatherum.


Hello Texas!...and a choice for the Giveaway :-)

It's good-bye to the very lovely Boston for now.

We've enjoyed Boston to the fullest..its a city chock full of history and grand structures and sturdy, seemingly wise trees that graze these structures and even look down on some them they're so immense. Trees that look like they've been standing as guardians for hundreds of years. I think its the trees and the architecture that have impressed me the most here~
At every turn in Boston there are ghosts from the past. Many battles were fought here and many poets and writers and artists have lived here. Names that we know... Henry Longfellow, David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Paul Revere. The city exudes a sort of quiet and well placed pride in its history. This is where Harvard University has its home,so of course there are many many great minds here now as well.
We went to the Castleberry Fair in Wilmington before we left..that was fun. Not a whole lot of glass there..always room for more. I met a glass blower ~Henry Duquette, his business name is Wildfire Glass. Great booth set up with large professional photos overhead of him at his craft. Beautiful work..I bought a pendant of course!..well, I bought a few things~ :-) but it was lovely lovely to talk glass with someone for a little bit.
We're in El Paso until Saturday and then on to Santa Barbara, California ...We will be there longer so I'll have time to get my supplies and tools out and set up.
Yes, I am a blessed lady. I know.
I wore my flip flops out for supper last night, its so warm. Sun is shining this morning and I am headed out the door to explore my neighbourhood. Don't forget to enter for the bracelet giveaway...

I'm going to give the winner a choice actually.. a pair of earrings like this, or the braclet~

Enjoy your day everyone!


Bracelet Giveaway..in time for the Holidays!

I love GIVEAWAYS..oh yes. I think it must be high time Sweetwater Designs had one.. I think the last time I had one I gave away entrecard credits or something like that..This giveaway will be a little more exciting.

Very simple to enter..all you must do is 'Like' my fan page or suggest me to your friends and then leave me a comment either here or on my fb page and you will be entered to win a seed bead/lampwork bracelet like this one!

simple right? :-)

All of your names will be duly noted and entered into a draw and I will pull the winning name on the 12th of December.
I will even gift box it for you...so you can cross someone off of your gift list or even better.. you can put it under the tree for yourself. :-)
HaPpy HOlidAys!


Artisan made Lampwork earrings..

Each piece of handmade jewelry
has been crafted with my own lampwork glass beads. Each bead is individually unique and one of a kind. Due to the nature of glass there are no two beads that are exactly alike.

Therein lies the pleasure of glass.

All components and ear wires are sterling silver.

These earrings and more can be
viewed here at my Etsy shop.


A look at Boston

A quick look at the Boston downtown Beacon Hill area... we stopped and did a quick tour of the antiques...yes, all 5 floors. We had lunch at Cheers, the same pub from the long running sitcom.

The more we see of Boston the more we like~


Giving your work Names..do you do it?

I don't always, but sometimes it just seems appropriate.

We've been enjoying the scenic beauty of the Boston area and last weekend we trekked out to Cape Elizabeth, a town in Cumberland, Maine.

"At the southern tip of the promontory, Richmond Island was visited about 1605 by Samuel de Champlain and was the site of a trading post in 1628. John Smith explored and mapped New England in 1615, and gave names to places mainly based on the names used by Native Americans. When Smith presented his map to King Charles I he suggested that the king should feel free to change any of the "barbarous names" for "English" ones. The king made many such changes, but only four survive today, one of which is Cape Elizabeth, which Charles named in honor of his sister, Elizabeth of Bohemia.[1]"

Extending 12 miles into open ocean, rimmed by craggy shores and sandy beaches, Cape Elizabeth marks the entrance to spectacular Casco Bay..

These photos do not for one second capture the wild electricity of this shoreline. It was wonderfully energizing and utterly magnificent. The rock alone was so beautiful I took several macro shots of just the stone, which but for the sheer size of it, you would easily mistake for petrified wood. It's not possibe for trees to be that massive..

Very very beautiful corner of our earth~

This double strand bracelet was constructed using some of my lampwork beads reminiscent of oceanic whirls and roils of capping waves..

Thus the name, 'Elizabeth'

Etsy ~ $ 85

This weekend we are headed to the 5 story (oh my heart) antique market in Cambridge.. we'll see what that inspires~ :-) Enjoy your weekend!



Jewelry trends for 2011

I am personally loving where the jewelry trends are headed for Spring 2011. Wired News gives us all the skinny in bullet form for those designers in left brain mode :

-Massive, Dramatic and Heavy Metals
- Antique, Vintage, Retro & New Combinations
- Dramatic, unique, unusual necklaces
- Ornamented & Bold Bracelets
- Eclectic Natural Look
- Crystal, Rhinestone & Venetian Art Glass
- Black, Grey and Neutrals
- 2010-2011 Color Predictions
- Faux & Real Pearls
- Over-The-Top Rings
- Enormous Hoops and Chandelier Earrings
-Green Eco Aware Movement

and for the more visually inclined I scoured the web for some pics to tantalize and inspire.


and let's not leave out the men~

I think Susan of Hot Rocks might take on that one.. ;-0 what do you think, Susan??



Organic Lampwork Bracelet in blues and nutmeg

In the organic style I like best,
this bracelet is bold and chunky and ethereal
in blues, purples and russet browns.

Etsy ~ $125


Lampwork Bracelet...Blueberry Slate

I know as a serious jewelry designer one should pay close attention to the color of the season, but I confess to you..I usually don't. I like to design with the colors that stir me at the moment..

However, I was pointed to the Pantone colors the other day by these ladies (who never fail to inspire and lift me, by the way) and I noticed that the colors I've been working with are the precise colors that are being selected as the palette for Spring/Summer 2011.
So the question is, was I unconciously being influenced/inspired...or is it simply an example of serendipitous conincidence?

This bracelet is available on Etsy.. chunky bold organic ..no one else will be wearing one like it...AND in the colors of the upcoming season~


Raisin Oatmeal cookies on a Rainy day.♥♥

Once when I was a very young girl ~many moons ago and in a far away land~ my mother and I found mysterious tufts of hair and fuzzy things in a box we were unpacking that had been stored in the shed. Mom laughed and told me all about the habits of pack rats..sort of a sweeter country cousin to the city gutter rats..
It's their practice to steal things..glittery things, bits of fabric for their nests.. but they're honorable thieves. They will always leave something of their own behind in exchange.
So yes, we have great use for hair and fuzz and grass... thank you little generous pack rat. May we have the cutlery back please?

It seems I am a bit of a pack rat. I can't go for a walk without bringing back a bit of something with me in my pocket. Not sure what to leave in its place~

My husband looked at my gatherings from my walk yesterday and said, "Where's the frog?"

Funny man.

Enjoy your day today everyone! Its raining where I am and the day seems like a baking day.

Hmm..warm raisin cookies.
The ones with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Recipe to follow~

This recipe seems closest to mine. It's on the Quaker Oat site so I'm betting it's good....I would add my own little hint. Well its not really mine, its my Moms and my Grandmothers.
Cover the raisins in just enough water to cover ..I add some of the spices here as well..about half of what is called for so that half is also used in the dry ingredients. Bring to a boil and cool before adding ..makes for fat plump juicy raisins and a moister and more flavorfull cookie~

Let me know if you try these..


Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 cup raisins


Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

  • Prep Time: 20 min
  • Cook Time Time: 08 min


We went for a drive yesterday to enjoy the beautiful weather before all of the leaves have fallen~ there were so many lovely old Bostonian homes dressed for Hallowe'en that I thought I'd share a couple of them with you.

Stay safe tonight all of you ghosties and goblins~


Be'er Sheva from our hotel window..that pinkish hue that you see on the horizon is the color of the ever present desert sand in the air. Surprisingly you do not feel this on your skin or in your eyes.

It is good-bye to Israel for a period of time. I have thoroughly enjoyed every experience here...it is an interesting little country and the people are as unique as Israel.
The flight from Tel Aviv to Atlanta in the US is 13 hours in the air...that is at least 10 hours of misery I have to say...there is just not enough room for your limbs and yes, all that you've heard about airline food is the truth. It is not to be consumed~
Somewhere over the Atlantic I managed to pretzel my body into a modicum of comfort..shift my foot slightly, tilt my neck at just the right angle...and blissfully, lost consciousness for a *sigh* much too brief period of time.
We took a connecting flight from Atlanta to Boston and 15 hours later we are here. Make that 15 hours of fly time ...add to that the time it takes for security and customs checks, our travel time was almost 26 hours. Yes, traveling has become a test of patience and endurance skills.

We were was most thrilled to get to our hotel by the next day.

The city of Boston is exciting looking...easy on the eyes and promises much to see and do.

I will keep you all in my pocket.. and if you are in Canada a most Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving to you.. have some turkey for me.

White meat ~hold the cranberries.


A taste of Old Jerusalem from the top of Mount Zion..we will be back with hiking shoes on and I will get some knarly old olive tree shots. The history, the stones, the trees..all of it, is quite something and I am not nearly portraying it adequately here.

We will be back.


Me in the Dead Sea 9.2010

This poor blog has taken a beating hasn't it.

I am here in Israel where my husbands work has brought us for a time. Together we are drinking in the smells, sights, tastes and spirit of this small country in the Negev desert..The entire width of the country, from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Dead Sea in the east, can be crossed in 90 minutes~ It is dry, foreign and hot...it was 110 the day we floated in the Dead Sea..(which was fantastic, by the way.) But it is also scenic, beautiful and wonderful.
In one breath you are seeing utter desert wasteland..nothing but sand dunes and blue sky and by the time it takes you to draw in another breath there are mountains and cypress trees.

If the hotel buffets are an indication of diet here, Israelis are very healthy eaters. Fish, chicken and lamb seem to be consumed the most, so not a lot of red meat. Chick peas (hummus) flavored in many different ways, ~so far roasted red pepper is my favorite. I see salads in an entire new category now. Here, salads are any mix of cold foods served with your choice of dressings..really delicious.
Grocery shopping is interesting since most all print is in Hebrew. We tend to choose foods that have some english some where on them but we try to adventure out as well. We always choose at least one item that is entirely foreign...
So far we've stayed in the cookie aisle for this show of bravery so maybe the word adventure is a little far flung.

We have a few months more here and I'm looking forward to all of it..I will keep you posted!

Meanwhile,..with the Mediterranean on one side of Israel and the Dead Sea on the other...well, you know where I will be~

~much peace love joy and happiness to you~


Dog days..

Summer rolls on and I'm getting brown and yes I'll admit it, a wee bit lazy.

I've set up a little work station on the only place a work station should be when you're in an Inn on St Georges Island...on the balcony overlooking the St James river~

and I have been on repeat making these teeny little bracelets using seed beads with just one of my smallest of the small handmade glass beads...

Wristlets I'm calling them because they are so small and delicate and almost not there...

Available now in my etsy shop.
and since we are here for at least 3 more blissful weeks...more to come!