Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Trying to get things done is not easy with my little helper around.

Lots going on around here. I'm amazed by how fast the summer is flying by. The garden is humming along. The tomato plants are about 9 feet high (I kid you not!) and I will need a ladder to pick them. I guess they like the heat wave we've been having (I'm glad someone does). I'll get some photos sometime this week. I've been doing a bunch of new work which I'll tell you about later. I wish I had a clone. If I did, I'd probably not like how she did things and I'd end up doing it myself anyway. : )

Sunday, July 3, 2011


A Spider Web Jasper Cabochon set into a sterling silver bezel.

The back of the bezel with my little hallmark tag soldered onto it.

A fossil coral ring that I made in Joe Silvera's class at the Bead and Button Show. The cabochon is from Gary Wilson.

A Lapis Lazuli cabochon set into a sterling bezel with a sterling ring shank. I love how the pyrite makes this stone look like sparkly stars in a night sky.

A bronze pendant with faceted Lapis rondelles . I was going for a somewhat Moroccan flair.

A hammered sun shield pendant with carved bronze beads, bronze chain and Roman glass beads from Bead Paradise.

I haven't blogged much since I got back from Bead and Button. I came back with a lot of fresh ideas, like I always do. Some of that is the inspiration found in being surrounded by a bunch of wildly creative people for a whole week. Some of the ideas come from the show it's self. When you walk through the show, it's hard not to be inspired by the shear volume of exotic materials available there. A lot of it of course, are the great classes that one can take there. I took another class from Joe Silvera. It was a bezel setting class. I have already made bezels before, but I really needed a bit more hand holding I guess, given the price of silver to get me to a place where I felt comfortable. Since coming home I seem to have hit my stride and it seems almost easy now. Thanks to Joe and his wife Anat (Anat helps out a lot in class, she's very talented in her own right). Joe is an awesome instructor with a new soldering book and DVD. Check them out here. I took some other classes with Richard Salley, one of the kings of assemblege, found object art. His work is really cool and I love how he thinks outside of the box. I'll post some pictures of what we did in his classes later on. It was fun, lots of acids and scorching plastic and nasty things like that, all of the stuff I love! Lets just say I'll never look at a Starbucks Frappuccino lid in the same way ever again. Check out Richard's website here.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


An ammonite fossil and many spectacular cabs by the amazing lapidarist, Gary Wilson.

Masses of round and rondelle-shaped stones for wrapped leather bracelets. Lapis, Red Creek Jasper, Chrysoprase, Jade, Rain Forest Jasper, And a couple others that have escaped my memory at the moment.

Lapis nuggets, carved tubes, coin shapes, and malachite nuggets from one of my very favorite vendors, Abe from Afghan Tribal Arts (He's a terrible flirt!)

Amazing finds from Bead Paradise located in Oberlin, Ohio. I first learned of them from my awesome friend Gail. The owners, Ruth and Ibrema are so knowledgeable and always have such unique things. This both is one of my three must stops and is hard for me (and Gail too,I think) to control myself in! Shells, Roman glass, recycled bottle beads from West Africa, and a really special vintage Czech glass bead.

A huge drilled ammonite pendant (350-400 million years old from Morocco) from Gary Wilson.

A close up of 2000 year old Roman glass beads. I love these.

Beautiful disc lampwork by Angi Graham

A beautiful metal amulet from Hands of the Hills, I think. I'm not sure because it was a sweet gift from my sweet friend, Gail.

Another amulet from Gail.

It's been weeks since Bead and Button, and I still hadn't shared my loot with you all. This is only part of what I got. I got a few tools and odds and ends and an awesome burnishing tool by Bob Burkett that was a gift from my friend Anne (a fellow tool fiend). I'll share my other stuff and some close ups of some of the Gary Wilson cabs in another post. It was such a great time. So many laughs, great food, great classes (thank you Joe and Anat Silvera and Richard Salley!). It was fantastic spending time with all of my far-flung friends. We spent every evening after dinner in the Hyatt bar laughing. I think the poor staff there was happy to see us go. The Bead and Button attendees must be way rowdier that most of the conventions that they have at the Frontier Airlines Center. Only 334 days until Bead and Button 2012 and I can't wait!