Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The July theme for my group in the Art Bead Scene Carnival Blog is "Commitment".

I have been committed to my exploration of glass beadmaking since 2003. In the beginning it truly was just an exploration. I was intrigued, and determined (ok, committed) to improve my skills. In that sense, it was a personal commitment. But along the way it has blossomed into so much more than that, and I find that I have made many commitments to myself and to others along the way. I now sell my work on Etsy, and a slew of commitments come from that. I am committed to:
  • offering the highest quality hand crafted beads I can produce.
  • offering the fastest turnaround time possible when filling orders.
  • ensuring that people who buy my work are thrilled with their purchases.
  • responding to inquiries about existing and custom orders as fast as I can.
  • using attractive, but earth friendly packaging options.
I also do shows on a local and national level, and this also comes with a number of commitments to myself and to others. I enter into contracts with the show promoters to show up at a certain time and place, and to offer the same type of artwork for sale that I submitted for the jurying process. In the days and weeks leading up to the show I am committed to creating as much inventory as possible for the show, and it keeps me up late most times.

As part of my beadmaking ventures I have also made commitments to a number of groups along the way, to perform certain functions to help them. These groups have included Etsy street teams, professional organizations like ISGB, and Beads of Courage. I also try to regularly donate jewelry to local groups who have events with raffles, like our wonderful local volunteer firefighters, Beads of Courage, and my former Art Guild. Most of the time I'm able to fulfil my commitments to these groups, although occasionally life becomes a bit hectic and not everything gets done. I had a great ideas for a statement necklace for last month's Blog Carnival challenge, and it just didn't happen in time. It will, eventually.

Yes, this fascination with fire and color has grown into something much, much bigger than I ever expected it would. Do I find that burdensome? Not at all. The commitments I have made in my journey have enabled me to learn so much, and to meet lots of wonderful people, so it's been worth it.

The Fog is Back!

The mini heat wave is over and we've returned to our typical summer weather pattern here in the coastal mountains of Northern California. Pleasant temps during the day, and a cooling marine layer invasion overnight. A visual gift greets me when I walk outside in my robe, enjoying my coffee.

I wish the camera had captured the swirling droplets of water as they fell from the fir trees. This time of year it's often "raining" underneath the trees, and nowhere else. It's nature's way of feeding the big trees along the coast.

This has got to be one of the most beautiful places on earth. I think I'll get my hands dirty in the garden today.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Come on In - The Wine is Fine!

Wine tasting building at Rancho Don Bosco.

I'm so excited - today is the set-up day for this weekend's Santa Cruz Mountains Vintner's Festival. The estate where it's being held is just...amazing. A sprinkling of artists will be tucked into the most beautiful spots in the garden, and you can sip and stroll at your leisure. I'll have my latest jewelry, plus a small serving of loose beads.

I normally don't do much "theme" jewelry, but this time I decided to pay homage to the wine in a special way. Thanks to my friend Elena for reminding me of the beautiful connection that lampwork bead makers and vintners share. The beads are made with recycled wine bottles, and are available in two delicious shades of green. The inscription on the bead caps brings it around full circle to include the taster: In Vino Veritas, or, "In Wine, There is Truth".

The generous opening in the cored and capped bead will allow you to wear it on your favorite chain or even a leather cord. In addition to a selection of these I'll have earrings and bracelets in the same theme.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Etsy Does it Again

There are some very clever minds on Etsy, but I seem to be sensing a trend. I may just have to pick up a few of these for gifts.

Enjoy your day!

Another Great Hike!

It's been wonderful hiking lately with the balmy temps and clear skies.

It will all be dry and dusty soon, and the creek will be just a trickle.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Love is in the Air

My favorite character on my favorite show just got married, and I couldn't be happier. Jane Lynch, who plays the inimitable Cheerios cheerleading coach Sue Sylvester on "Glee", apparently got married to her sweetie recently. The description of what they ate at the reception is making me drool! I look forward every week to the brilliance she brings to the most interesting character on TV.

Simply Charming

It's time to turn beads into jewelry around here, and I'm on a roll. It seems like ages since I've had anything blue in the bracelet department, so I thought I'd use a mix I came up with a while back. Lampwork, some delicious kyanite beads, shimmery blue-grey freshwater pearls, and pressed czech glass leaves. Fortunately I had several of my handmade fine silver chains and clasps pre-made, so all I had to do was wire up the elements, all 46 of them.

When it came time to name this collection of sky blue, grey, and lavender pretties I could come up with nothing but Moody Blues. Seemed to fit.

I've got several sets of these beads (lampwork, gemstones, pearls and leaves) waiting in the wings - would you be interested in some?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Something New in the Garden

Finally, one of my special irises has bloomed, and in a spectacular way. As usual, I can't recall the proper name of it. Is it Chinese New Year, or should it be called "Clio"? You decide. I know what I'm going to call it. Thanks for pointing that out, Pam.


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