Sunday, October 31, 2010


This month's Art Bead Scene Carnival blog post theme is "Celebrations". As long as I can remember I've not needed a particularly official reason for a celebration. "It's Friday!" could call for meeting friends and raising a glass. "Look at that sunset!" could mean a special opportunity to snuggle with a loved one on a blanket, and a date with my husband could call a special outfit out of the closet. Celebrating life's moments as they come is a no-credit way of living in the moment, and I love it.

But next summer my family will have a celebration of major importance. My grandmother will turn 100, and you can bet we're all going to gather in one Michigan town to honor her. The enormity of this accomplishment is something I'm having a hard time getting my arms around. It bends my neurons just thinking about how the world has changed in this short time since I've grown up, heck, since I've been in grad school. But thinking about what Grandma has seen makes me dizzy.

The same woman who is on Facebook (yes! it's true) and sends email to me was born in the same year that the very first coast to coast airplane flight occurred. It took the pilot 49 days to make the trip, and he suffered 16 crash landings during the voyage.

The year that Grandma was born there was a horrible fire at a garment factory where 146 young women perished, prompting greater attention to factory safety and working conditions. The Giants (while still based in NY) lost the World Series to Philly 4-2, but this year they handily defeated the Texas Rangers in 5 games.

In the year of my Grandmother's birth, the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu was discovered by a U.S. explorer. Her mother could have sent a first class letter to a friend to share the news for a couple of pennies.

Ronald Reagan was born that year, along with Lucille Ball, and Vincent Price, and Madam Curie won a Nobel Prize for discovering the element radium, and women in California earned the right to vote. I proudly exercised my right to vote today.

Grandma has always heartily celebrated the accomplishments of her growing family, which now includes great grandchildren, and now it's our turn to celebrate her life, in a big way. I can't wait!

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's the Weekend!

The weekend is here and all is well. I've got my man back from a far away foreign land, and he's brought me presents! To celebrate his foggy-eyed return there were home made sourdough cinnamon rolls, a new batch of white bean and ham soup, and recorded World Series games, and tonight we're going to see a local comedy show.

This weekend I simply must tidy up my Etsy shop a bit, tweak a few pictures here and there, put up a few more listings and generally prepare for the Huge Throng of visitors my new Facebook ad is going to bring (hee hee). I've never run an ad before and have no idea what to expect. If you happen to see the ad, please do let me know. I think you'll recognize it when you see it.

If you haven't seen it already, I've got a new Facebook page up just for my beads and jewelry, and I hope you'll mosey on over there and give the "Like" button a little love. This is where I'll be posting updates from the studio and Etsy news. Thanks to a bunch of wonderful folks who've already checked it out, I can now have my own spiffy Facebook URL. Or you can just click the box over there on the upper right side of this blog and you'll go right there.

And the most wonderful thing about this weekend? Tomorrow, 3:30 Pacific time is Game 3 of the World Series, to be played in Arlington, Texas. The Giants have won the first two games, and are halfway to winning the World Series for the first time EVER since the team moved to San Francisco in 1958. I enjoyed this wonderful article about how our beloved team of misfits just might be destined to win the series this year. Can you feel the excitement? I can barely stand it.

Fire on the Mountain!

Well, kind of. It's my new multi-strand necklace made from one of my most amazing beads and lots of yummy components. I told you awhile back I was getting into some more modern styles, playing with new materials and all? This one has a lot going on, and just rocks with fabulous pomegranate juiciness, don't you think?

Fire on the Mountain Lampwork and Gemstone Multi-Strand Necklace
This necklace features one of my finest focal beads in firey pomegranate and amber, juicy carnelian, spicy hollow lampwork beads, fossilized coral, honey colored czech glass leaves, and African Yellow Opal, all wrapped up with antiqued brass chain and hand forged metal clasp and links.

Fire on the Mountain Lampwork and Gemstone Multi-Strand Necklace
I've been searching for ages for the best way to honor this bead, and I think this style is up to the challenge.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Earth and Sky

This week is all about beads and baseball. First the beads.

The realms above and below my feet are captured in this asymmetric, earthy necklace featuring one of my Tortuga series beads, some of my sparkly cool orbs, hand forged brass components, and some very unique spiral cut wood beads.

Asymmetric Brown and Blue Lampwork, Wood, and Brass Adjustable Length Necklace

Asymmetric Brown and Blue Lampwork, Wood, and Brass Adjustable Length Necklace

P.S. One down, 3 to go (baseball). The Giants played one heckuva game last night, even if it wasn't the low-scoring pitching duel the announcers forecasted. The errors made by the Rangers made it more entertaining and less of a yawner, but I expect they'll be more focused tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hail to the Mayor!

The mayor of our section (when we go) at AT&T park is featured in today's fabulous SF Gate article on the Giants! Yay Mike!! The article is all about the family and camaraderie fostered by the ballpark. We love sitting in Mike's section, and he's a great mayor.

Game's on in 25 minutes. Go Giants!! Arrest the Rangers!

My new best friend

Meet my new best friend: Mr. Sven Jotul, one of the finest Norwegian stoves ever made. With cooler, wetter weather becoming a more regular visitor to these parts, I have just called Sven into service for the winter. A warmer environment for bread dough to rise is important. Sven is incredibly efficient, and heats a room in no time. You thought I was going to say my dog is my best friend, which is usually a good guess with me but he's on my shit list now for bolting off to chase deer during our walks. He's also in detention since I caught him lounging on our bed this morning. Sven does neither of these. Clearly some roles need to be re-established around here, as my leadership status is only honored periodically, when He feels inclined.

Anyway, Sven's warm touch has skillfully returned the feeling to my toes and fingers, the sourdough starter is warming up on the counter for a feeding and a new tasker: sourdough cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing. The beans for this week's soup (white bean and ham hock) are soaking, and by the time the World Series starts tonight it might even be ready to eat.

Set of 4 coordinating fall-inspired beads

I've started listing some of my new beads and jewelry on Etsy - have you seen them? They're inspired by nature (and some glass objects and fixtures around my home, to be honest), and I've grouped them by color. Do these groupings seem right to you jewelry designers, or should I mix them up more? Are the sets too large, or sized right?

Set of 5 coordinating nature-inspired beads
Set of 5 Coordinating Nature Inspired Lampwork Glass Beads

Let me know what you think. I've got more coming in earthy groupings of rust, brown and lavender, and another in golds and greens, plus an absolutely killer mix of green themed lampwork, African Opal, turquoise, and czech leaves that you won't believe (like my Moody Blues mix, only bigger and better).

Gotta run - looks like Sven needs me for something.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sweetest Day Yet

How could the past few days have been any better? I just don't know. Perhaps a special in-person visit from Gerald Posey III, or a Fed Ex delivery of a giant time stopping machine that would let me get caught up on all of my tasks, or maybe the DIY House Crashers team pulling up in our driveway.

The Ultimate Sweet Treat was the San Francisco Giants clinching a win in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series last night against the Philadelphia Phillies on their home turf. A nail biter for sure (more for the must-win Phillies), but our beloved Gigantes pulled it out and are now flying back here for the first game of the World Series, to be played on Wednesday here at home. It's just freaking fantastic.

We enjoyed the game in the company of good friends here at home, with a yummy dinner of their recently caught spiny lobsters, and homemade sourdough bread. I made a tactical error and planned a spinach souffle with our dinner, so we had to put the 8th inning on pause in order to enjoy the souffle at its best. Can you imagine? The phone even rang off the hook during dinner, but we ignored it so we could enjoy the game outcome for ourselves. I guess our priorities go something like, 1. Puffy egg whites, 2. Giants NLCS baseball, 3.Outside communication . What can I say? A fresh caramelized upside down pear tart (it's sweeter with pilfered pears from a neighbor's unattended tree) with vanilla ice cream capped off the meal wonderfully.

The Ultimate Harvester
The Ultimate Harvester with his biggest catch

A huge round of applause for the wonderful King Arthur Flour website, where I found this simple, kick butt recipe for sourdough bread. I made the extra tangy version, using my own vigorous 2 week old starter, which is threatening to get up off the counter and walk out the door on its own.

My sourdough bread success!
My first sourdough bread success. The crust was crispy, and the inside nice and chewy. I'm going to do this in whole wheat this winter, and I think it's going to be killer with my soups.

Spiny Lobster in Crazy Water
Spiny Lobster in Crazy Water, from Epicurious, and using Candi's lovely late cherry tomato harvest. With all the foodies millling smartly about in Southern California, where these bugs come from, it amazes me that there is only one spiny lobster recipe on Epicurious, my favorite recipe site. This must be fixed.

My domestic urges satisfied, I'm going to spend the rest of the day fondling some recent antique store finds, cleaning up my disaster of a work bench, photographing new work, and hopefully listing some new items on Etsy. I'm thinking some fallish bead mixes might be fun. I certainly have loads of potential beads.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

Dear Buster,

Thank you for stopping by my dreams last night. I know you had a pretty busy day (you had a game, right?), so it really meant a lot to me that you took the time to do that. I'll be home tonight if you're still in town...


P.S. I can't get this one song out of my head, it's so weird.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hey, Guess What?

The other day I promised that I had some news to share. Well, the news is that I've just joined a wonderful group of women who love to make jewelry with handmade components, and it's called "Love My Art Jewelry". I'm flattered to be in the company of one of my favorite jewelry artists and bloggers, Maire Dodd, along with Kelli Pope, Maryann Carroll, Shannon Levart (MissFickleMedia), Leann Weih, and Barbara Lewis (Painting With Fire), and I'm really looking forward to getting to know them better and contributing to an active community of creators. Each of us works with different media, so I'm happy about the possibility of some cross fertilization of ideas.

Visit our website here, and the blog is here. I've already submitted my first post, and will be posting regularly there, in addition to participating in regular giveaways. My first post is an introduction of sorts that tells the story of how I happened to become infatuated with hot glass. It's more than I've probably shared on my own blog about this topic, including a photo of the very first beads I ever made.

Anyway, that's one bit of news. I do want to share some pictures and stories about some wonderful components I recently made using new materials (for me), probably in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Splendor in the Grass

Fall River

Where to start? I'm entering smoother water for a while now, after an extreme bout of traveling and communing with nature, and no beads or jewelry. But that's soon to change. Look for a big announcement from me in a day or two - I've got wonderful news to share, plus lots of work in progress images to share. I've been playing with metal more than glass lately, and have some fun stuff to show you.

Oh yeah, even with the lower resolution photos I've been using I'm close to maxing out my Blogger quota, so in this post I'm just using links to some photos on my Flickr site. I think you should be able to see them in a larger size by clicking on the images. Let me know if there are any problems.

Meanwhile, enjoy some of the sights I've enjoyed the past several weeks since my show in Sacramento. Lots of sleeping on the ground and keeping warm by a fire at night, and incredible fall beauty everywhere we looked. My birthday was rather a birth week, and I had fun with friends from all over the place at two different weekend gatherings - it was restful and beautiful and my nature tank is full.

Fall Foliage

Fall River in the Mist

Bow Wow

OK, I'll just warn you now that I go a little crazy with the kelp. I just find it incredibly detailed and fascinating, and could honestly spend the day on my belly on the beach with my camera capturing all of the great color and textures. If you're into kelp too, there are more shots on my Flickr site.

More Roots


Abalone divers

Near Ocean Cove

I could show you some shots of all the great stuff my better half harvested on these trips, but I'll save that for another time. Let's just say that we've eaten well, and no Food Inc. companies profited.

Monday, October 11, 2010


I'm not missing ER so much any more. Or Miami Medical. Or any other show for that matter. It's not like I'm a TV-holic, at all. I find a scant few shows that I resonate with, and some I end up following faithfully. Jon Stewart is an almost daily fix, and when So You Think You Can Dance is in season, well, you better clear the couch and be careful not to disturb me. ER was a distinct part of my life for over a decade, and I grew to really appreciate the value of good writing with that show, and suffered a few crushes along the way. Anthony Edwards' portrayal of Dr. Green had me swooning over his geeky, pure hearted healer character, and bawling my eyes out when his fate became shockingly familiar to how I lost my own father to brain cancer a little over 20 years ago.

But now there's a new kid in town, and his name is Glee. Oh. My. God. You want writing, you got it. You want a reminder of how volatile teenage emotions can be, you got it. You want amazing vocal performances in both classic, old school, and contemporary music, you are there. You want a female antagonist who utters some of the most profanely cutting comments you have ever heard, Sue Sylvester delivers. Weekly.

So, ok, this is my new show, and if you call or otherwise attempt to reach me while it's on, or while I'm catching up on a week or more of recorded episodes, forget it. I know it's some kind of insane calculated marketing brain child, a mix of clever writing and scary product placement where the only thing I can do is rush over to iTunes when it's over and grab the latest songs, and I'm kind of ashamed of that. But the music rocks, for sure. I like some of their renditions better than the originals.

Anyway, if you haven't happened to see this award winning show yet, you gotta check it out. If only for Jane Lynch's performance of Sue Sylvester, who amazingly enough, has her own wiki.

The only thing that's deeply troubling me lately about my TV viewing habits is how my only favorite shows happen to be on the FOX network, the evil of all evil enterprises. Perhaps I can just watch them on hulu for spite.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blue Framed Slide

I've got a few new listings up in my newly rearranged Etsy shop now. Here's one of my newer etched beads in a textured fine silver frame. The top loop is large enough to slide over any of your favorite chains.

See if you like my new shop arrangement better than the old one.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

It's officially here

The Big Leaf Maples are among the first to lose their leaves around here.

Fall, that is. It's the most beautiful time in Northern California, I think, and I welcome it. Usually it's nice to escape the heat of the summer in favor of cooler days, but this year it seems like we went from spring right to fall without any summer in between.

Nonetheless I still welcome the change. Lots of people think that in California we don't have any seasons, but it's just not true. The leaves change color, the weather gets colder, some plants die and some spring to life, and we get rain and wind instead of snow.

To me fall has always held special meaning. I turn older this time of year, and I used to look forward to the school year beginning, which meant shopping trips for new clothes and school supplies, trick or treating, and chilly nights at the homecoming parade.

Now it means preparing for winter by making soup to freeze, putting the garden to bed (as if it ever gets out of bed at all these days), and preparing the house and yard for the deluges. It also seems to be the time of year when every rodent in the county decides they want to come and stay with us for the winter, which creeps me out and makes me very irritable when I hear their chewing and scurrying in the middle of the night.

The days are balmy and the nights have a chill in the air, and in the morning the spider webs are everywhere, bejeweled with dew.

The other day I saw a squirrel in the lawn, hiding a nut for winter. I swear to you once the treasure was in the ground and dirt patted on top, he straightened a few blades of grass above his secret stash. He actually used both paws to tug them this way and that until they looked sufficiently undisturbed, then went on his way. It was shocking.

Time to get out the crock pot, and light a fire.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Plug It In!

Would you like to get a sneak preview of the new electric cars coming soon to the showrooms? How about a chance to bend the ear of folks who have driven these cars already for years, and know firsthand how they work? Your chance is coming up on Saturday, October 23, at a fantastic fundraiser near Los Angeles with fabulous wine and food on top of all the electric car goodness.

Remember the documentary by Chris Paine, "Who Killed the Electric Car"? Well, the fundraiser is taking place at his beautiful hilltop home in Culver City, and you just know there will be some amazing people there.

I drove an all-electric car for 3 years and loved it, and am really excited about the new ones coming out from Nissan and Chevy.

Hurry and sign up if you want to attend - this event sold out last year and tickets are limited. The event details are here at the Plug In America website.

Tortuga Choker

Tortuga Choker
Originally uploaded by Patty Lakinsmith
Freshly added to my Etsy shop, here's another one of my Tortuga series pendants on a 15" 2mm Omega chain, with my own textured fine silver bead caps. The bottom of the bead is transparent, and it's cool to look into it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Should Have Known

that if you get two crazy friends together for a long weekend show there's bound to be trouble. It started when we arrived at the Sacramento Convention Center's loading dock and I discovered I didn't have the key to unlock the shell on the back of the pickup. Ouch. You'd think after all these shows I'd have it down to a science. But no. I am completely and totally indebted to my tiny, agile friend Heidi, who was able to slip through the window in the cab to the back and open the hatch so that we could unload and set up.

We enjoyed some busy times and some not so busy times during the 3 day show, and despite how agile Heidi was at slithering through the bowels of a fully loaded Tundra she apparently had a few senior moments where she forgot how to make her way into the booth from the back.

Fortunately she fought her way through the curtain and made her way back. I am so glad, because she was so fun to be with, and so wonderful with all of the fantastic shoppers who came to see me. I have never had such fun at a show before.

I have to say, the Sacramento area has the most loyal art show fans! They come year after year, and I enjoyed seeing many of last year's customers return. Elena, it was so nice of you to come by before your big Open Studio weekend. And Stacie, Marchia, Patti, Wendi, Elizabeth, Kathleen, Joan, Linnea, Linda, Margaret, Shannon, Tami, Ruthann, Donna, Kandie, Joan, Michele, Barbara, Debbie, and Leslie and many more whose names are escaping me - it was so nice talking with you. Unfortunately, I did sell my favorite new necklace right off my own neck, and now I am forced to create another (sniff!). My next events are a private winery event in early November (Dancing Creek Winery), and my favorite holiday show of all at Bargetto Winery in Soquel in early December. Guess I'd better get busy.

I was excited to meet many new artists at the Sacramento Arts Festival and had a chance to learn more about what they do. I get so fired up meeting artists who work in entirely different media than me, and do things that I know I never could.

My next door neighbor was Richard Borashan, an actual ninja artist who interprets the world in pencil and charcoal sketches that have a dark theme. Dudes with needles coming out of their heads or in ski masks with evil, smashed grins, and women who have lived life hard. His work is engaging, and so was he. Visit his site to see why people were so excited to talk with him about his work. I am excited about maybe helping this guy get booked somewhere for his dream gig: a blank room and a sharpie. I want to be there when that happens, because it will be magic.

I also met a photographer new to the show named David Budinski, and it was his first show ever. I loved his images on metal, in particular one of a glass bottle adorned fence somewhere in Nevada. Check out his site to see some of his work. His wife was there the whole time with him, bless her heart, and I kick myself for not getting a shot of her awesome hair.

Bruce Salinger of was there again, and his kinetic sculptures and machines always make me smile. Heidi now owns one of his pieces, much to her delight.

I chatted with a number of glass artists at the show, naturally, including Kliszewski Glass, James Stone of Stone and Glass (look for him at the new San Diego Holiday Arts Festival in late November), and my favorite, Bryan Goldenberg of Slow Burn Glass in Oakland. I want to own some of his pendant lights (the ruffled ones) some day. They are amazing.

I'm tired, and not even unpacked yet, but it was a great time and I really, really enjoyed being with so many creative people all in one place for the weekend. Warren, you rock, and I loved being part of your event. Sorry about the little pile of sand I left in my spot, but one of my sandbag weights broke as we were packing up. I'm just glad Heidi restrained herself on the gyros and was able to squeeze into the back once again so we could load up on Sunday night. Thank you Heidi, for your wonderful friendship and your generous help!


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