Danse Macabre Blog Hop


Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellry started a challenge: “The challenge?   Pick a spooky or scary or creepy representation from a Halloween type character as your inspiration.   It can be really scary or it can be generic, like “a witch”.  It can be cute, like Mavis, Dracula’s daughter  from Hotel Transylvania.  It can be a zombie or a mummy. It can be Elvira, that Queen of the Night or your favorite vampire.   Make something.  It does not have to be jewelry.   It can be decorations or some other type of craft.  It can be a costume.   Make it, show it off and tell us about it.  How will you celebrate at our dance?”

I chose an owl for my Halloween type character. Old myths claim owls provide transportation for witches if a broom is not available. Myths claim witches can turn into owls and disappear up the chimney. A hooting owl means witches are approaching or a death will occur.

I decided to make a necklace and used a polymer clay cabochon by Sculpted Windows. I beaded around the cabochon with seed beads and made a rope using triple spiral rope stitch.


Please go to Strega Jewellry for a list of participants in this blog hop and do visit their sites.

Posted in Danse Macabre Blog Hop, Halloween, handmade jewelry, necklace | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Fireflies Field Trip to Public Glass to Watch Glassblower David Patchen

The lampworking group I am a member of, Silicon Valley Fireflies, recently traveled to Public Glass in San Francisco to see glassblower David Patchen at work. He made some murrine and a vase. It was fascinating to watch.


David’s first step in making murrine was to make a variety of glass cane. Cane are colored lengths of glass made by stretching molten glass into a long rod (15 to 50 feet).  Cane can be a simple stripe of color or fine woven-looking threads.  According to David: “Murrine is made by precisely layering molten colored glass, then stretching the mass into a long rod.  Once cooled overnight, the rod is cut into slices, exposing the pattern in cross section, kind of like a glass sushi roll. ”

Here is David making murrine.


David’s assistant, Ian, has the cane ready to be rolled around the murrine.


He rolls and tapers it to get out all the air bubbles.


The murrine is being pulled.



Once it has been pulled enough David inserts it into a wooden box, cutting it into pieces.


The murrine is slice with a saw. Here is an example:


According to David, “Pieces are designed by creating a mosaic of murrine & cane (cold). Once complete it’s then heated for blowing.”


David’s pieces are very beautiful and fetch high prices in galleries.






Posted in art glass, David Patchen, gaffer, glassblowing, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Leather Feathers Blog Hop

Rachel Mallis of Mint decided to host a blog hop and offered a pair of her handmade leather feathers for jewelry making. “Cute.” I thought. “Why not?” I thought.

Rachel sent me the following pair:


Of course they are perfect for earrings. Rachel even had pictures of earrings she had made with her feathers. This picture is similar to what I would have made using lampwork beads:


Instead of earrings I decided to make a necklace with my leather feathers. I also used lampwork beads that I had made, a lampwork and copper acorn by Diane Sepanski, and a lampwork leaf by Beau Barrett.



Check out Rachel’s blog to see what other people made using these unusual feathers.

Posted in handmade jewelry, jewelry, lampwork beads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Kansas City and Sara Sally LaGrand class

My friend, Linda Schauble, had been wanting to share her home town, Kansas City, with me. Stephanie Sersich was teaching a beadmaking and jewelry making class there so we decided to go.  A friend of Linda’s, Mollie Maresch, was renting the house that Linda had inherited from her mother in Leawood, Kansas and we were invited to stay with her and her family. They were all lovely and welcoming. It was cold at first and even snowed, but was mostly in the 60s. We got there several days before the class and got some KC barbeque right away.


We did a lot of sightseeing. My favorite place was the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.



IMG_7673 IMG_7671 IMG_7672IMG_7670

We also attended Marble Crazy, a contemporary art glass marble show at Moon Marble Co. in Bonner Springs, KS. The show included artists from around the country, glass working demos, and a marble machine. It was great hanging out with other glass artists, shopping, and watching the demos. This is what I bought. The large marble is by Geoffry Beetem:


We also enjoyed the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art


and the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio


and the National World War 1 Museum and Memorial


One day we visited Parkville, Missouri, a historic town on the Missouri River about 5 miles north of Kansas City. There were unique shops and restaurants including antique stores and art galleries. There was a park on the river and Park University.

IMG_7714 IMG_7715 IMG_7721 IMG_7717

I was looking forward to Stephanie’s class, but it was cancelled at the last minute. There had been many snow storms on the eastern seaboard and Stephanie’s flight was cancelled. The class sponsored by Sara Sally LaGrand through Public GlassWorks Kansas City. Sara offered to teach me an individual class in making a lampworked corsage. Was I interested? Of course!

Here are some examples of Sara’s corsages:



The class was awesome! The first day  and morning of the second day was the lampworking portion. I learned to make glass pods, leaves, seeds, etc. at the end of wire. This was followed by wire working and assemblage. Sara also taught me some interesting reactions using silver glass.



Here is the corsage I made.


I stopped at Heartland Bead Market in Overland Park, Kansas on my way home and they helped me fashion it into a necklace.


If you have the opportunity to take Sara’s class – do it!  I highly recommend it.

On our last night in Kansas City we had barbeque.


Posted in beadmaking, beadmaking class, handmade beads, Kansas City, lampwork beads, lampworking, lampworking class, Sara Sally LaGrand | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Bead Peeps Swap n Hop

Welcome to the first Bead Peeps Swap n Hop. Linda Anderson organized it and there are around 200 people participating.  Linda matched all of us up with partners. We sent each other beads to create jewelry. My partner is Deb Fortin of Mhoti Studio (formally Studio 24).  Here is my post about what she sent me.

Deb sent me a gorgeous soup including a metal focal bead and clasp she made herself.  I did not realize how generous she had been until I started creating my pieces. I made three necklaces and still have some beautiful beads left over.

For my first necklace I used the beautiful handmade pendant, square shell beads, and branch coral from Deb. I added some of my own lampwork beads, a copper clasp, and brass spacer beads. I love this necklace and plan to wear it often.


For my second necklace I made a focal pendant out of a green semiprecious stone bead from Deb. I also used her beautiful handmade copper toggle clasp. The other bead I used from Deb were branch coral, serpentine and other green semiprecious stones. I added lampwork beads that I had made and glass spacer beads from the Czech Republic.


I thought I was done, but there were many beads left and they called to me. For the third necklace I used a lampwork bead from Deb by a Canadian artist. I also used round semiprecious stones and labradorite coin-shaped beads that Deb had sent. I added some lampwork beads I had made a few years ago, some chain, and a clasp.

IMG_8287 IMG_8286

Thank you Deb for these wonderful beads.

Please hop over to Mhoti Studio to see what Deb made with the beads I sent her. I can’t wait to see what she has made.

Please visit the other first Swap n Hop participants to see their wonderful creations by clicking here.

Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

My Swap n Hop beads have arrived.

Last week a package arrived in the mail. Inside were lots of items in small zip-lock bags wrapped in colorful tissue paper.

My Swap n Hop beads from Deb Fortin! Inside were a wonderful variety of beads, including 7 possible focal beads, semiprecious stone beads, lampwork beads, pearls, shell beads, branch coral, and a handmade clasp by Deb. Deb formed the clasp out of copper. The possible focal beads were of bronze (from bronze clay) made by Deb, lampwork, and semiprecious stone.  The beads I received are great and I am thinking about a number of different combinations.


This is the first Bead Peeps Swap n Hop. There are around 200 participants. We participants got paired with each other and put together and swapped some beads including a special focal bead, some coordinating beads, possibly some components, and a special clasp. Now Deb and I and the other participants will make a special piece of jewelry from the swap items. Our creations will be shared on our blogs on May 2.

Here are the swap items I sent to Deb:



I sent a variety of focal beads and smaller beads, all lampwork made by me. I also sent Deb crystals, Czech beads, a sterling silver clasp, and other glass beads. I hope Deb likes them as much as I like hers.

Thank you, Deb, for your generosity and wonderful variety.


Posted in Bead Peeps Swap n Hop, beadmaking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Amy Waldman-Smith Workshop at the Melting Point in Arizona

I took a beadmaking workshop on raking and masking with Amy Waldman-Smith on January 24 and 25, 2015 and I learned some new techniques. The workshop was at a new studio, the Melting Point, in Sedona, Arizona. IMG_7240 IMG_7251 Amy Waldman-Smith resides near Toronto, Canada and began making glass beads in 2001.  Amy was 2014 Commemorative Bead Artist for the Bead and Button Show: img2411951eb414bdd570 Amy’s work has been featured in many craft publications. She is known for her intricate beads with stacked dots and raked lines and dots. In our 2-day workshop Amy shared her beadmaking techniques for creating these tiny details. She broke down the process of making finely detailed beads into small steps, so that we learned to build up the details, layer by layer, to create our own intricate beads. First we practiced layering dots, marvering to retain a barrel shape, and making strips with stringers. We then made a folk art bead and learned working with large stringers to make thick stripes. We also learned Amy’s technique for raking. Here is Amy’s demo bead: IMG_7253 The second day we learned how to make “Ottoman” beads. We applied thick stringers of ivory starting at the end of the bead working towards the center. We then added dots to the center of the bead and raked them. We raked the lines between the thick ivory lines and then continued to add dots and raking. We also learned Here are some of Amy’s demo beads: IMG_7302 IMG_7259 IMG_7262 IMG_7274

It is well worth it to travel to the Melting Point for classes. My husband and I spent a whole week in the Sedona Verde Valley area and still did not go on all the hikes or see everything.



Tuzigoot National Monument


Hiking in SedonaIMG_7320

Cliff dwelling at Montezuma Well National Monument


Montezuma Well National Monument




Verde Canyon


Verde Canyon Railroad


Verde River, Cottonwood


Montezuma Castle National Monument


Posted in Amy Waldman Smith, Amy Waldman Smith workshop, beadmaking, beadmaking class, lampworking, Melting Point, Sedona | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Bead Peeps Swap ‘n’ Hop- About my Partner


Linda Anderson took on the enormous task of organizing and hosting this blog hop, which is similar to Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party  that is now on a hiatus. Participants have been paired up with other jewellery designers (from all over the world) and each will send the other a package of beads, a clasp, and a focal piece. Participants then create one or more pieces of jewellery with the goodies. Thank you Linda!

My partner is Deb Fortin of Studio 24. Deb lives in Jasper, Ontario, Canada, a small hamlet on the Rideau Canal. She started making jewelry when she was a young child making a pop ‘n’ snap necklace and a stretch candy necklace. She became interested in jewelry making again when, as an adult, she got a job at a local bead and art supply store. She decided that to sell the products she should learn what to do with them. This resulted in spending some of her pay check on beads. She now has a large stash of beads and findings and will share some with me. Yah!

Deb started out stringing beads. She still enjoys stringing and also now loves wirework. She makes all types of jewellery: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, anklets, etc. She enjoys making sets of coordinating items (called PARURE), but sells them individually because not everyone likes to wear matching sets.

Here are some gorgeous examples of Deb’s work:

DSCN5099 DSCN5102DSCN5017

Be sure to check Deb’s blog for more examples of her jewelry. http://studiok24.blogspot.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Kristen Franzten Orr class at Snow Farm

Last March I took a class with Kristen Franzten Orr at Graceful Customs. I liked this class  so much that I decided to take another longer one in September, 2014 at Snow Farm- the New England Craft Program.

Snow Farm is located in Williamsburg, Massachusetts in the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. According to their website, “Snow Farm is a special place where students come for solace and rejuvenation through learning a craft from master craftspeople.”

IMG_5994 IMG_6003 IMG_6004 IMG_6007IMG_6077IMG_6008

My sister, Angelika, joined me.


We had a great class. We practiced holding both ends of the mandrel for better control. We made multi-layered striped cane for flowers, stems, and leaves. We made both round cane and flat cane. We also learned to make some interesting base beads. The week-long class provided plenty of time for practice. Here is Kristen demonstrating:

IMG_6014 IMG_6013

Here are the class members:


We had an afternoon free and visited a local garden, Three Sisters Sanctuary, in Goshen, Massachusetts.

IMG_6027 IMG_6032 IMG_6046 IMG_6047 IMG_6050 IMG_6057 IMG_6059 IMG_6062  IMG_6066

We also visited Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts.

IMG_6107 IMG_6109 IMG_6110  IMG_6112 IMG_6113  IMG_6133IMG_6117


Here is the lampwork studio where we spent our time. Snow Farm was a wonderful place to be immersed in beadmaking.


Here are the beads I made:


Posted in beadmaking, beadmaking class, handmade beads, Kristen Frantzen Orr, lampwork beads, lampworking class, Snow Farm | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Second Annual Bead Hoarder’s Blog Hop


Laurie Anderson  challenged us again to use some of the beads we have been hoarding and make some jewelry.

Since last year I still enjoy shopping for beads, but have been spending more time making lampwork beads. I have also been collecting more beads by my favorite beadmakers.

Last July I attended the Gathering of The International Society of Glass Beadmakers in Houston. While there, I purchased a beautiful focal bead by Stephanie Sersich, whose work I have long admired. The bead is very large and did not look right on a chain. I decided to make matching lampwork spacer beads for a necklace. I made the beads out of Bullseye glass, which Stephanie also uses.


I felt such a substantial necklace needed a large clasp. Luckily I had been hoarding a beautiful handmade clasp by Cheri Reed. I received the clasp in a handmade gift exchange two years ago.


Here is the list of the other artists participating. Be sure to visit the other blogs in this hop to see their handmade jewelry:

Lori Anderson www.PrettyThingsBlog.com  (Hostess)
Audrey Belanger esperianterra.blogspot.com
Jenny Kyrlach http://anafiassa.blogspot.com/
Kathy Lindemer http://bay-moon-design.blogspot.com/
Lori Schneider http://beadaddicted.blogspot.com/
Dee Elgie http://cherryobsidia.blogspot.co.uk
Dolores Raml http://craftydscreations.wordpress.com
Rebecca Ednie Http://eclecticendeavours.blogspot.com
Lili Krist http://emjestudio.blogspot.com/
Marybeth Rich http://forestofjewels.blogspot.com/
Hannah Rosner http://goodrivergallery.wordpress.com/blog/
Nicole Prince http://healingbeading.blogspot.com/
Deana Hager http://justdeesarts.blogspot.com/
Jackie Ryan http://kydojewellery.blogspot.co.uk/
Elsie Deliz-Fonseca http://ladelizchica.blogspot.com/
Mowse Doyle http://mowsemadethis.blogspot.com/
Evelyn Shelby http://raindropcreationsbyevelyn.blogspot.com
Lisa Johnson http://spudandmrsbutters.blogspot.com/
Terri Gauthier http://terrisbloomingideas.blogspot.com/
Patti Pruhs http://threebeadsandastring.blogspot.com
Shai Williams http://www.shaihasramblings.com/
Andrea Glick http://zenithjade.blogspot.com/
K Hutchinson https://jumbledhutch.wordpress.com
Marci Brooks https://thatnothingbewasted.wordpress.com/
Jo-Ann Woolverton itsabeadifulcreation.blogspot.ca
Jasvanti Patel Jewelrybyjasvanti.blogspot.com
Laurie Vyselaar Lefthandjewelry.wordpress.com
Lisa Knappenberger LIRaysaDesigns.blogspot.com
Mary Lindell marylindell.com
Niky Sayers silverniknats.blogspot.co.uk
Sandra McGriff skyescreativechaos.blogspot.com
Patricia Handschuh thecolorofdreams.blogspot.com
Erin Prais-Hintz treasures-found.blogspot.com
Maria Rosa Sharrow willowstreetshops.blogspot.com
Kathleen Breeding www.99bobotw.blogspot.com
Monique Urquhart www.ahalfbakednotion.blogspot.com
Jackie Locantore www.artfire.com/ext/shop/blog/MorningStar
Sheryl Stephens www.babblebead.blogspot.com
Becky Pancake www.beckypancakebeaddesigns.blogspot.com
Mona Arnott www.bijouxgemsjoy.blogspot.ca
Michelle Escano www.cabbycraft.com
Denise McCabe www.cabewoman.blogspot.com
Carolyn Lawson www.carolynscreationswa.blogspot.com
Sheila Prose www.catswithbeads.blogspot.com
Kim Dworak www.cianciblue.blogspot.com
Iveth Caruso www.CreativeAtelier.net/blog
Deborah Apodaca www.deborahapodacadesigns.blogspot.com/
Elizabeth Bunn www.elizabethbeads.blogspot.com
Janine Lucas www.esfera.me/travel/blog/travel-stories
Kari Asbury www.hippiechickdesign.blogspot.com
Inge von Roos www.ingetraud.wordpress.com
Divya N www.jewelsofsayuri.com
Debbie Rasmussen www.kepirasmussen.blogspot.com
KJ www.kjsbeadaciousbeads.blogspot.com/
Klaudete Koon www.klaudetekoon.blogspot.com
Ghislaine Kruse-van Erp www.kruseartllc.com
Ginger Bishop www.lilmummylikes.blogspot.com
Kelly Schermerhorn www.meanderingwithkelly.blogspot.com
Mischelle Andrade www.micheladasmusings.blogspot.com 
Sue Kelly www.midlifegreaterexpectations.blogspot.com
Rachel Mallis www.mintmonarch.com/#!Blog/c1jlz
Susan McClelland www.mistheword12.com
Mary K McGraw www.mkaymac.blogspot.com
Tania Spivey www.moobiegracedesigns.blogspot.com
Stephanie Perry www.mustardbeadbystephanieperry.blogspot.com
Mitzie Crider www.NeedfulLuxuries.Blogspot.com
Nicole Rennell Www.nicolerennell.com/blog
Nicole Valentine www.nvalentine.blogspot.com
Karen Mitchell www.overthemoon-design.com
Tammy Adams www.paisleylizard.com/blog/
Patty Miller www.pattymillerbeads.blogspot.com
Blanca Medina www.peru-medesigns.com
Stephanie Haussler www.pixybugdesigns.blogspot.com
Roxanne Mendoza www.roxidesigns.blogspot.com
Claire Fabian www.saraccino.blogspot.com
Bridget Torres www.shears58.net
Donetta Farrington www.simplygorgeous-donetta.blogspot.com
Lee Koopman www.stregajewellry.wordpress.com
Deb Fortin www.studiok24.blogspot.ca
Susan Walls Www.susansartcircus.com/blog
Cece Cormier www.thebeadingyogini.com
Heather Otto www.thecrafthopper.com
Lizzie Clarke www.theneedtobead.blogspot.co.uk
Elizabeth Hodges www.thewhisperingseas.blogspot.com
Fay Wolfenden www.torchfairy.blogspot.com
Kelly Hosford Patterson www.TravelingSideShow.blogspot.com
Nan Smith www.wirednan.blogspot.ca
Jayne Capps wwwww.mamasgototdoodle.blogspot.com
Robin Kae Reed                                          http://www.willowdragon.blogspot.com/
Melissa Trudinger                                      https://beadrecipes.wordpress.com/
Regina Wood                                                  http://gina-design.blogspot.com/
Posted in beadmaking, handmade beads, handmade jewelry, jewelry, lampwork beads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments