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Thursday, December 31, 2009


As is our tradition, Don and I went out Christmas Eve to look at the store windows and decorations around the city. So as we get ready to celebrate 2010, here are some of the photos that we took.

We start at Tiffany's with their cut-paper window scenes.

Close-up of the jewelry.

Next to Bergdorff''s, who always have the best windows.

Close-up shot. There is always such a crowd at these windows that it is difficult to take photos of the whole windows.

Close shot of the sweater on the manequin to the right. The decoration is fur and beads.

The polar bears had crystal-incrusted heads and chainette fringe for fur.

This beauty was surrounded by horses covered in natural materials.

Some ofthe natural materials that covered the horses.

A dress that caught my eye; the white decoration is done as cutouts with white fabric behind the spaces.

A second story shop window along Fifth Avenue.

Bands made of metal and lights wrap around a store--forgotten which one.

Cartier's is wrapped in their usual Christmas bow.

Saks had their facade rigged with snowflakes made of lights that came on and off in time to music. Quite a show!

The tree at Rockefeller Center; not one of the largest ones the city has seen.

One of the windows at Lord & Taylor. If I had know that my little camera would do such a good job with moving figures, I would have taken more photos of these window.

The other half of the Lord & Taylor window.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


I will be teaching a second basic embroidery class for those who couldn't take the class the first time around. The class will be held at That Yarn Tree in Williamsburg on 5 consecutive Tuesdays from 7-9 PM starting on January 5. So the class will be January 5, 12, 19, 26, and February 2. The classes at the Yarn Tree are limited to 6 people so students get a lot of individual attention. Here are the 4 projects that we will make:

A pair of embroidered felt mittens that can be used as knitting needle point protectors or ornaments.

An applique and embroidered felt needle book to hold your needles, pins, buttons, scissors, and other notions.

A bead embroidered silk pin or ornament.

A napkin embroidered with satin stitch peppers.

For more information, visit

Thursday, December 3, 2009


I like the button and loop closure but was never crazy about the amount of "dead" space that the closure creates. So I am in the midst of experimenting with embellish the loop portion of the closure. Here is my first experiment:
A Turkish Loops bracelet with an embellished loop of leaves and flowers.
A detail photo of the closure; the lady bug is the button.
Now to try some other ideas, maybe something geometric...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I am so excited that my design for the Turkish Loops bead crochet bracelet has been published in the December, 2009 issue of Bead & Button. It was an intersting experience working with the Julia Gerlach, the editor for the article. Left is the first page of my article and Right is the cover with the beautiful design by Melissa Grakowsky.
I submitted two bracelets with more color but Julia took the design in different directions, one a more Twilight/goth look and the other more casual. It is alway interesting to see what individual spin other beaders put on your design.

Here were my original designs:

Saturday, November 28, 2009

cutting Power Pro thread

I bought some 10 lb. test, Power Pro braided bead thread for a project that I was working on; it is similar to Fireline. While trying to get a clean cut on the thread end I took a good chunk out of one finger with my sharp embroidery scissors. This was Wednesday night--yep, the night before Thanksgiving. What fun fixing dinner with a bandaged finger.
I have now learned that the thread cuts cleaner if you put a little tension on it. I am using my tiny, stork embroidery scissors to cut the thread but that may not be a good idea because I read that you shouldn't use good scissors to cut Fireline.
If anyone has any othe tips, feel free to share.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


The new computer arrived yesterday and we started loading our programs on to it. Now we are finding out which programs--like our photo editing ones--are too old to work on the new operating system. It is always something, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


RATS! After a flying visit to Florida to surprise my father with an 80th birthday celebration, we returned home only to have our computer die. So I have news to share but am stuck using my husband's little laptop until our new computer arrives.

One big piece of news is that my friend Zoya Gutina was kind enough to do a very nice profile of my work and Bead Crochet Snakes in her October 2009 newsletter for My Lovely Beads, her website. Zoya is a very talented beadwork artist and puts together a very interesting newsletter--I have been working my way through past issues. Check out October's issue at

Saturday, October 31, 2009


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Pictured are a pair of pumpkin earrings that I made years ago--they still make people smile. Later today will be the neighborhood Halloween Parade for the kids. Trick or Treating is different here in New York--the kids dress up and visit the merchants along the major shopping streets. It is such fun to shop at that point and see all of the princesses, ghosts, goblins, etc.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


At the recent Softflex show in Manhattan, I bought some of the new magatama drop beads from Jane of Jane's Fibers and Beads.
I tried crocheting the drop beads in a 6-around tube using a bead single crochet stitch. I tried the slip stitch but wasn't sure that it made much differnce in the look. The photo on the right shows the tube with beads crocheted in 3 different ways: two section were strung with the beads going in the same direction and 1 section was strung randomly.

Here is a detail of one of the section with the beads strung in the same direction.

Here is another section that was strung randomly. I am not convinced that bead crochet is the way to go with the new magatama drops; it is just kind of a variation of crocheting with dagger beads. They looked so great on the cord before I crocheted them that I am going to keep playing with them. They are fun beads!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Last night was the final session of the Basic Embroidery class at the Yarn Tree that started in September. My students did so well that I added an embroidered napkin to make a fourth project.
We had a great time and the class proved to be so popular that Linda is offering it again starting on November 10, 2009. The class will run on Tuesdays from 6:30-8:30 PM on Novmerber 10, 17. 24, and December 1, 8, 2009.
The class is limited to 6 students so you will get plenty of individual attention. For more information, click here:

Sunday, October 11, 2009


A friend of mine gave me this machine. It is called a linking machine and is used to sew two pieces of knitting together. It was made by a company named Erika and she bought it sometime in the 1980s. My friend explained in general terms how the machine works, but doesn't really remember the details and no longer has the manual. An online search has not turned up any information. If anyone can give me any help, I would appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Before I finish gathering things for my embroidery class tonight, I thought I would post a few photos of the garden because the toad lillies are blooming. These strange little plants are an example of finding the right plant for the right spot. Thanks to our neighbor's mulberry tree, we have a lot of shade in the yard and that limits what I can grow successfully. These are a winner.

A closeup shot of the individual flowers.

Here is a photo of more of our little garden. For those lucky gardeners who are not familiar with New York growing, those wire cages are part of our squirrel-proof growing strategy. The cages go over whole plants to keep the little critters from eating the plants or digging up the roots. Don hates the look, but at least we still have plants.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Last night's meeting of the Bead Society of Greater New York included a very entertaining talk by Cody Harjo entitled "Blending History and the Contemporary in Indian Beadwork." Cody is a contemporary beadwork artist of Seminole, Otoe, Creek, Cherokee, and Iowa heritage. She was raised in Oklahoma, but now works for the National Museum of the American Indian in the George Gustav Heye Center in Manhattan ( and resides in Brooklyn.

Cody gave us a brief history of beadwork in relation to the Native American life but concentrated on her life as a beadwork artist working within tradition but also striving to add a personal stamp to her pieces. The most stunning example of the mixture of tradition and modernity was her version of the bandolier bag shown at the left and below. She depicts her environment of the city and adds a cat with an umbrella, a polar bear, clouds, and a turtle.

The strap contains images of snakes and alligators. I won't attempt to go through the symbolism but it is an outstanding example of mixing the old and the personal in her artwork.

Cody brought actual examples of her work for us to examine and the crowd around the table with her beadwork never abated. I managed to snap these few photos around the crowd.

The next two photos are pendants.

This last photo is another example of Cody's mixing old an new elements. The pattern is a traditional Otoe pattern that Cody has modified and the new is the purple beads that cover a lot of the surface.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Yesterday my friend Yoshie and I braved the rain to attend the kickoff event of "Turkish Days in New York", a week-long festival of Turkish and Balkan cutltures. Sunday's event was a festival with food vendors, educational exhibits, Turkish items for sale, and performances from Mehter, the famous Ottoman band (pictured to the left), and a variety of folk dance troupes.
Unfortunately, it rained almost the whole time, which put a huge damper on the festivities and prevented some of the merchants from showing up.
Yoshie and I spent most of our time under the tent for the spectators, watching the performances. I didn't take many photos because I didn't want to leave my dry seat and many people stood in our sightline to get a beter view of the stage. For thiose of you Brooklynites, even Marty Markowitz showed up with his usual cheery words and official certificate.
Brooklyn borough president Marty Markowitz (in the tan raincoat).
For those readers in New York, there is a 4-hour parade of Anatolian Civilizations in Times Square today from 12-4, Turkish movies at the New York Film Academy from September 29-October 1, performances and a bazaar at Grand Central on October 2 from 9am-6pm, and a Street Festival/Grand Bazaar on 41 st Street on October 4. For more information, visit Turkish Days in New York

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Teaching my embroidery class at The Yarn Tree ( on Tuesday reminded me that I had never gotten around to writing about the interesting fundraiser for an international student that Linda LaBelle arranged on Septenber 12. A group of us first gathered at The Yarn Tree, her store, for wine, cheese, and samples of the farm-raised lamb that Linda in now carrying.

After some pleasant coversation and good food, we moved to the studio to hear a talks by the two Lindas and look at a lot of slides. Linda Cortwright, publisher and editor, of Wild Fibers magazine ( about her experience chasing escaped, woolie sheep in the Southern Alps of New Zealand (it involved a helicopter) and her travels to Mongolia to explore felt making and camel raising. Linda is an entertaining speaker and I marveled at her adventerous spirit!

Linda LaBelle then told us about her June trip to Rawande to work with 10 genocide widows to improve their wool spinning and learn to dye with natural materials. It was a fun time and I got to hear two geat talks.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I have finished designing the last of the three projects for the Beginning Embroidery class at the yarn Tree, here in Brooklyn. The class will teach how to set up fabric in an embroidery hoop, how to mark out a pattern, embroidery stitches such as running stitch, lazy daisy, French knots, bottonhole, straight stitch, lines of beads, individual beads, lines of sequins, and individual sequins.

The first project will be this cute, mitten-shaped knitting needle protector.

The second project is a needle book, to hold your needles, buttons, pins, and other embroidery supplies.

The last project is this sparkly heart that can be used as an ornament or pin.
There are 1 or 2 spaces left in the class that starts on September 15, 2009. If you are interested, visit

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


No time to write because I am designing a beginner embroidery class for The Yarn Tree ( that starts September 15. I will post samples and details later.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I have finally finished my contribution for The Milkweed Project (, a collaborative art installation based on the inside of a milkweed pod conceived by Shan Bryan-Hanson. The guidelines were to knit or crochet a strip using a white or off-white yarn or soft fiber.
I got carried away--my piece measures 26 feet x 6 inches (7.92 m x 15.2 cm). Working on the image of the hither and yon path that the little seeds take, I machine knit a lacy base, crocheted a meandering line of chain stitches with mohair and textured rayon yarn. After that, I threaded a yarn with clumps that look like the hairs of a milkweed seed through the chain stitch. To finish the ends, I added fringe of mohair and the textured rayon yarn.
It was a fun project and gives me ideas for other fiber work.