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Thursday, February 19, 2015


Luminous Tweed bracelet class at Bead Fest Spring

I thought you might like to see a peak at the issues that we teachers sometimes face as we try to bring you the best classes possible.  As I have mentioned, I will be teaching the Luminous Tweed bracelet class at Bead Fest Spring 2015 on April 11 from 5:30-8:30 pm and at Beaders Best 2015 in Hamburg, Germany.  When I used the etched farfalle beads in this bracelet I had no idea what a merry chase it would be to find more of these seductive beads.

Last year, I grabbed two small hanks of the red etched farfalle beads from York Beads at Bead and Button  2014 and came up with the bracelet design.   This was the first bracelet:
Perry from York Beads (the inventor and sole distributor of the beads) promised us the next shipment of beads was due in October.  Due to circumstances beyond his control, October turned into November, November turned into December, and December turned into January.  Yes, last month.
By the beginning of January, I was getting pretty worried because I had no beads, had no way to get them from anyone else, and didn't want to disappoint the students who had already signed up for the class by cancelling it. 
Non-etched farfalle beads from John F. Allen

As I substitute, I bought some lovely non-etched farfalle beads from John F. Allen, but they turned out to be too shiny for the design Then, sadly for all of us, Perry announced that he had to close York Beads, a family business that had just celebrated its 90th anniversary.  He assured us that he would still be receiving the last shipment of farfalle beads that we had all been awaiting since October.  Then the news came that the order would be transferred to another distributor and should arrive in March.  YIKES, I was in a real panic.

Two weeks ago, like a knight in shining armor, Alfred Dorante (a former employee of York Beads) opened a wholesale bead business called Bon Beads and offered new etched farfalle beads as part of his stock!  "Whew!" does not begin to describe my feelings.  I immediately bought some etched farfalle beads in lovely colors from Alfred and started playing.

new farfalle colors for Luminous Tweed

The photo above shows a few of the additional colors for the Luminous Tweed class.  The original red is on your left, but I also have silver and copper.

aqua color for Luminous Tweed

I grabbed some of this season's aqua/ silver beads, as well.

gold bracelet in progress

Plus, I have a lovely gold kit in progressTo balance my earlier panic, my friend Judith Bertoglio- Giffin even found me some of the remaining red etched farfalle beads at a retail booth at one of the Tuscon shows .  So now I have plenty of color choices and Alfred is tempting us with even more new colors.

Now that my supply drama is over, I can say "come and join me for my class at Bead Fest Spring 2015."  This bracelet, done with a variation of Right Angle Weave with the elusive etched farfalle beads and 8/0 seed beads, is suitable for all levels of beaders.  After you make the basic framework (which could be left unembellished), you add crystal roundels for more glamor.  As the last step, you will learn how to glue on one of the stylish magnetic clasps.  For more information and registration, visit Workshop Registration.  Hope to see you there.

Monday, February 9, 2015


      I have been busy with class samples (more about that later) but I wanted to take a break and tell you that Kalmbach Publishing Co. has announced the release date of Beaded Chains and Ropes.  This  new book has patterns for 27 beadwork ropes and chains that can be worn by themselves or as support for a pendant or special bead.  I am privileged to have 2 patterns in the book, one of which can be seen in the middle of the cover- yes, the pink and white rope.
     Along with two of my patterns, there are also designs by Jill Wiseman, Julia Gerlach, Anna Elizabeth Draeger, and many more talented artists.  The projects employ a variety of stitches including bead crochet, herringbone, RAW, spiral rope, St. Petersburg chain, and kumihimo.
     For more information (including a peak inside  the book) or to pre-order a copy, you can go to the Jewelry and Beading Store.  I know I have my eye on a few patterns from the book.

Sunday, December 28, 2014


Because the weather forecast for Christmas Eve was not good, wind and lots of rain, we did our tour of the wonderful Christmas windows in Manhattan on December 23.  First was Barney's.  The theme was "Baz Dazzled Holiday" created by director Baz Luhrmann and wife Catherine Martin, which meant fantastical woodland scenes.
Barney's exterior

Metallic mushrooms and a giant boombox

The next 2 window could only be captured properly with movies.

Still shot of window 2. 
Movie of window 2. 
Still shot of window 3.
Movie of window 3. 

Then it was off to Bergdorf Goodman's and the nearby building that always displays large candy canes.

Bergdorf's theme this year was the arts.  Here are some of our favorite parts.




The Literature window didn't really grab me until I realized that all of the portraits of the writers were actually done in needlepoint or embroidery.


Plus a soft-sculpture typewriter by Heidi Hilkin of Charles Butterworth

Even the small windows are interesting

The next treat was the window next door at Van Cleef & Arpels.

Van Cleef & Arpels

After that, it was a stop at Tiffany's.

More jewels on Tiffany's building.  The blank spots in the strings of lights are because the lights made patterns.

 One of the windows.

The 2 twirling, skating dogs were my favorite part of this window.

Harry Winston decorated their building with their traditional jewels of light.

Then it was down to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  When we got to the tree, it was dark-no lights!  No one knew why.  We didn't get a photo of the tree without lights because just as Don and I went to take photos of the dark tree, the lights came back on.  Seriously, I pushed the button on my camera and the lights came on.

The Rock Center Tree with lights back on, but the star on top has not been turned on.

I found out later, courtesy of the local news, that the lights had been turned off on the tree as a tribute to Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, who were murdered on the past Saturday.

Saks building

Our next stop was across the street to Saks Fifth Avenue.  The theme was "An Enchanted Experience" and the windows showed fairy tales transplanted to NYC.

The Wicked Witch selling a poisoned apple to Snow White in Times Square

Sleeping Beauty

Rumplestiltskin in the famous, closed City Hall subway stop. 

Red Riding Hood and the wolf


The end windows at Saks displayed 2 costumes made by my friend Janet Bloor.  Sadly, I didn't realize they were hers until we got home so I only took a quick photo of the one costume.

costume by Janet Bloor

A close-up shot

Next on our tour was Lord & Taylor, whose theme was "On Holiday" with human-like animals and fairies.

The Lord & Taylor designer even included Patience and Fortitude, the lions in front of the new York Public Library's research building.

Our last stop was Macy's, whose theme was "Santa's Journey to the Stars"  showing a boy who receives a magical telescope that lets him see Christmas being celebrated across the solar system.

The boy and his telescope

Santa's workshop on Venus

Last minute work under the sleigh

Hmm...a Dalek disguised as a Christmas tree?


Familiar parade


Jupiter and Saturn

Uranus and Neptune

Although Macy's was open for business 24 hours/day, that was the end for us.  As we headed for home, it was so hard to remember that it was only December 23 and that we wouldn't be opening presents the next morning.  Still, our early window tour was a wise decision because the weather on December 24 was not nice!