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Wednesday, April 9, 2014


Samples of felt work by Gail Crosman Moore

Another reason that I haven't had time to blog is because I had the great pleasure of spending 2 days taking classes with Gail Crosman Moore here in NYC.  The first class, as you can tell from the photos, was a felting class.

Some of Gail's felted pods

One of her needle-felted pieces

Here are some of the lovely colors of wool that were available for our projects.

Some of our felted flowers, pods, and ropes drying on the heater for the room.

We accomplished a lot of felting and had a good time along the way. Gail also explained how to sew beads onto the felt but my felted pieces are still waiting for me to add beads.

The second day-long class was an introduction to Goldie bronze clay.  Like silver clay, you mold the clay, fire it in a kiln, and come out with a bronze item.  I have never done any sculpting and wasn't particularly enthused about the class beforehand (sorry Gail), but I am so  glad that I took it.

Gail showed us how to work with the clay, how to make a silicone mold to shape the clay, how to make an impression of something (like a button) with the clay, how to dry the piece, and how to fire items in the kiln.  Here are my 3 experiments:

From top left, clockwise: a mushroom, impression of a crocheted circle, and a piece made from a silicone mold that I made using a section of coral, a penny for size comparison.

Here is a shot of the whole mushroom.  There are 2 holes in the cap so that I can hang it as a pendant.

While we were waiting for the bronze clay pieces to fire, Gail taught us how to color metal components with inks.
The two leaves and a big bug that I painted.

I was reluctant to take the bronze clay class because I have never done anything like it and I am not good at thinking on my feet--we only had about 1.5 hours to make our clay items because they had to go in the kiln at a certain time to be done before the end of class.  It turns out that I was reluctant for no reason because Gail gave us a lot of support as we  experimented and I produced 3 decent items.

The two classes also broke through a creative block.  I was having a hard time starting on a bead embroidery project because I spend a lot of time trying to figure out all of the aspects of a project before I start--necessary for a theater costume but potentially frustrating for a beading project.  I had so much fun experimenting in both classes that my attitude afterwards was just "do it and see what happens."  The new approach worked pretty well on the bead-embroidered necklace, reminding me that sometimes being out of your comfort zone is a good thing.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Did you enter  Bead Dreams 214 in the Ms. Maddie's Fabulous Florals  category?  Was it rejected by Bead Dreams?  Mine was, as were entries from some talented friends.  We came up with the idea of making a blog post into an online exhibit with the floral creations that didn't make it to the finals so that the Berlowitz family can see the lovely beadwork created in honor of Merle.

If you would like to have your beadwork included in the blog post, send me a photo with your name and name of the item to me at  If you know of someone who entered the contest, pass on the request.   Thank you.

Sunday, April 6, 2014


I have the bittersweet pleasure of seeing my bracelet Pinkalicious  included in the  Your Work section of the April 2014 issue Bead & Button.  

It's bittersweet because I submitted the bracelet as a tribute to my friend Merle Berelowitz, a whiz with acrylic flowers who died last year.  here is the description: I admired Merle's work with acrylic flowers.  After collecting Lucite and acrylic flowers for two years, including some from Merle, I decided to make something from them.  I got so carried away with the fringe that I had to rip it apart and scale it back.  Every time I wear my bracelet, it reminds me of Merle.


Friday, April 4, 2014


Allrighty, I am back online.  Luckily, I don't have any sad story about the death, illness, or disaster that has kept me from blogging.  I was just busy with some beading deadlines and 2 fun classes.

Remember last year when I posted a photo of the diamond shapes that I made for the Bead Pals 4th challenge?  The guidelines were that we had to make a geometric shape in jewel-toned colors that measured 2 inches or less.   My entry was the 23 diamonds below--1 for each person in the challenge. 

Diamond shapes for Bead Pals shapes challenge

We sent out shapes off to the organizers and eventually each participant received 23 shapes to play with.  The photo below shows the selection I received.

The various shapes
Now the challenge was to make something with the shapes.  I played around with combinations but nothing really resonated until I remembered a fun game that some of us had played on Facebook.  We posted photos of what was on our beading board and I made a face of my projects. 

My photo for the What's on Your Beading Board game

 Hmm...could I make a face using the geometric shapes?  Here is the result of my bead embroidery experiment.

The finished face

I glued the shapes down to interfacing but then found that I would have to sew them down as well.  Then I added rows of seed beads to fill in the space in between.  I had planned to cut out the face and mount it on something else but a) I ran out of time and b) it would have been very difficult to so.  My desperate solution was to paint the backing with acrylic paint.  The color could be a little lighter but, after 3 tries (another learning experience), I decided to leave well-enough alone.

Diane Fitzgerald put together a fun booklet of the finished beadwork and will be posting it on her website at some point. It was fun to see how everyone had approached the shapes in a different way.  In the meantime, you can check out the booklets for previous challenges at Diane Fitzgerald. 

Now to make 22 embellished found objects.

Sunday, February 23, 2014



I am busy sorting and pricing beads, findings, and fiber because it is that time of year, again.   Join us on Wednesday, February 26 from 6:00 pm-7:30pm for the Bead Society of Greater New York's Annual Garage Sale.

 More than 40 members will be selling at this event and its not just beads. Find everything from jewelry (new and vintage), accessories, beads, findings, craft books and much, much more!

As the saying goes, "One person’s trash is another person’s treasure." At BSGNY’s Garage Sale, its all treasure and absolutely fabulous. Come join us for this fun-filled shopping extravaganza and find yourself a real New York bargain!
Fashion Institute of Technology
   THE GREAT HALL    West 28th St. (Between 7th & 8th Avenue)      New York City
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Doors open at 6:00pm

This event is FREE and open to the public.

Friday, February 7, 2014


I am so excited that the Bead Society of Greater New York has arranged for Gail Crosman Moore to teach 2 classes here in NYC on March 1 and 2, 2014. 

Felt Making
The March 1 class will be Felt Making and runs from 10am-4pm at FIT. Covered will be coil, flat and needle felting. Many bits and parts will be created that we will turn into brooches, lariats, etc. Students need only to bring a shoe box size Tupperware-type container, a cookie sheet, a bath size towel and your favorite seed beads. A kit will be available for $35 containing: wool fleece, felting needles, sequins and findings.
Fee: $95 members ($105 non-members) - ONLY PAID RESERVATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED

Goldie Bronze Clay Components

The March 4 class with introduce us to bronze clay and will also run from 10am-4pm at FIT.  In this class we will explore the working qualities of Goldie Bronze clay. It can be carved, textured, molded and sculpted. The color of the clay is warm. Focus will be on toggles, connectors, finials, buttons, etc. This will keep your work unique from now on! Kit fee: $45 100 grams of dry clay. Class includes use of tools, if you don't have them, modeling compound, kiln and materials.
Fee: $95 members ($105 non-members) - ONLY PAID RESERVATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED

I have signed up for both classes.  I am particularly intrigued by the bronze clay session because it is a chance to play with a new medium without having to invest in any tools.

If you are lucky enough to live in the NYC area and would like to join us, here are the registration instructions  Click on the link to the PDF listing. Hope to see you that weekend--it promises to be a creative and fun time.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


     I have been busy beading on a project that I can't show you yet, but I can share the news that Bead & Button has announced that there is a new BeadDreams category for 2014 called Ms. Maddie's Fabulous Florals.  This category has been added in honor of our friend Merle Berelowitz, who was renowned for her work with Lucite and acrylic flowers.  As many of you know, Merle passed away on July 18, 2013.
      You can find the announcement in the February 2014 issue of Bead & Button.  The category is sponsored by CJS Sales, one of our favorite bead suppliers, and the Berelowitz family.  You can see some of Merle's work at Ms Maddie's Beads and view the contest rules at Bead and Button Show.  The deadline for submission is March 25, 2014.  I can' wait to see the beadwork inspired by Merle's love of flowers.