Sunday, November 29, 2009

Short North Holiday Hop!

I am happy to say that Marianne Lannan, owner of The Lamp Shade, has invited me back to be her featured artist for the Short North's Holiday Hop on Saturday, December 5.  The Short North Gallery Hop is celebrating 25 years this year and I know a lot of shops will be having special events during the month of December.

I stopped in to set up my display on the day after Thanksgiving and it will be up for a week or two after the Hop on December 5.

I'd love to see you if you plan to attend the Holiday Hop, stop in at The Lamp Shade during your stroll along High Street to say 'hi'!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Button Fan Update

I am so excited!

I received an email late last week from Bead & Button telling me that my Button Fan bracelet project, published in the August Bead & Button magazine, has been selected to be part of Bead & Button's Annual "Creative Beading", Volume 5, to be published next summer!!!

My bracelet (center detail shown left) was included to illustrate a color option in the article and the bracelet made by the B&B Editor for the step-by-step illustrations featured a very striking gold-green colored Czech button.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Convergence Exhibit at Bead & Button

For those of you unable to attend the Convergence Exhibit at the Ohio Glass Museum or the recent Bead & Button show, Sara Hardin has made a video showing all of the pieces that are part of the traveling exhibit. Thank you, Sarah, for sharing via Youtube!

The exhibit is now on it's way to Florida where it will be a feature exhibit at the Windisch-Hunt Fine Arts Gallery in Coconut Grove, Florida from June 20 until the ISGB Gathering ends on July 24, 2009.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Art Bead Scene Blog: Monthly Challenge - Monet's Water Lilies

Do you love using photo inspired challenges in order to get the creative juices flowing? If the answer is yes, then Art Bead Scene's May challenge is for you. The inspiration photograph is Monet's Water Lilies. Criteria includes that an art bead be used in your piece. Click on the link below to see other requirements and the deadline. Good luck!

I love photo inspired challeges. I participated in a photo inspired jewelry challenge last year while on an online beader's group and loved it ... I ended up selecting three photographs and making three pieces of jewelry! I definitely took the challenge part to heart, because I selected photographs and color palette outside of what I typically use in my jewerly. I've included photographs from two of the pieces submitted during that challenge. My 'Orange Bird Wing' pendant (shown left) ended up placing second from a very worthy group of entries.
The focal for this piece was a calcite flat bead drilled for stringing ... but you know me, I made it into a cabochon! I had purchased some vintage blue and orange flower beads several years ago and knew they would be the ideal transition accents for this pendant. Blue is not a color that I typically use in my jewelry (I'm more of a green type of gal), but I love the way this turned out. Detail of the pendant is shown on right.

For some reason the photograph of the white bird with the colorfull bill really intrigued me (pictured left). I had purchased a white stone cabochon a while back and even though I usually like 'colors' in my stones, I liked the unusual markings and shape of the cabochon. When the photographs were posted for the challenge, I remembered the striations of solid banding on the stone and pulled it to compare to the photograph. The stone markings reminded me of bird feathers and I immediately knew it would be the perfect start for my white bird photograph inspiration piece.

Because I have a reaction to plated metal, I really like using glass beads as closures instead of metal toggles or clasps. And, the additional benefit is that the clasp will blend in (if you choose) or serve as the special finishing touch to your piece.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Custom Glass Beads to Match Focals ... Why Not?

Here you are, working with your latest favorite focal (for me, it's usually a cabochon), and you can't find the right glass beads to compliment and complete your piece. Sometimes Lady Luck is on your side and you can find what you need already made and ready to purchase, but other times it's not quite that easy.

In the case of my Lily Pad Jasper necklace (pictured right), I had purchased a set of multi-colored glass beads from Mother Beads and then they sat on my work table ... for months. Every once in a while I would pick them up and roll them around in my fingers, but then ultimately set them aside because I didn't want to waste them on something that I didn't consider to be the ideal project for them. Probably a year later, I added a gorgeous Lily Pad Jasper cabochon from Designer Cabochons to my cabochon collection. As I was going through my stash to gather up beads to start my necklace, I pulled the Mother Beads set over to audition them with my gorgeous new cabochon and knew they were the perfect accent for my necklace.

What happens when things don't work out quite that easy? What do you do then? Well, have you ever thought about having beads custom made to match? It's not as hard to do or as expensive as you may think. My friend, Hannah Rosner of Good River Gallery, has made several sets of custom beads for me to go with my cabochons. Hannah has told me that she loves creating glass beads to compliment my stones and, in the case of a wonderful Spectrolite cabochon, it gave her the opportunity to experiment with a glass bead making technique in order to create just the right effect. (Pictured Left: Hannah Rosner beads made to compliment a Green Adventurine cabochon.)

The next time you have that special focal and are having a hard time trying to find exactly the right complimentary beads to go with it, why not consider having some custom beads made to match. Not only will you end up with unique beads made special for YOU, but your jewelry will become even more distinctive with its one-of-a-kind components. (Pictured Right: Hannah Rosner beads made to compliment a Chinese Pietersite cabochon.)

Mother Beads website:

Hannah Rosner, Good River Gallery website:

Designer Cabochons website:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Convergence Exhibit opens at the Ohio Glass Museum on Friday

The Convergence Exhibit opens at the Ohio Glass Museum on Friday, May 1. This traveling exhibit is the culmination of a joint venture competition of Bead & Button magazine and the International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB).

The Convergence competition started with an announcement and invitation extended to jewelry artists and ISGB glass beadmakers last October to team together to create a collaborative exhibition piece of jewelry focusing on the four elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

Pam Wolfersberger, ISGB member, and I signed up as a team for this competition. As a starting point for colors, Pam invited me to go through her finished beads and select several that spoke to me. One in particular was gorgeous; cream with highlights of browns, burgundy, and ochre. Earthtones are definitely my artistic color palette of choice and it was my favorite bead out of all the ones I looked at that day. Pam used it as a starting point for creating the outstanding beads that served as the focal points of the bead embroidered collar.

I prefer organic designs and like my jewelry to have a flow to it so I knew from the start that I wanted to use a series of circles that bounced one onto the other to represent the "air" component of the competition theme. As Pam and I talked about the form of the collar, she encouraged me to not limit my vision to something small, but to think big. I drew up several different sizes of circles and then just started laying them out to find a pleasing flow and pattern. We met several times during this time frame to talk about how the design was progressing and so I could make my final selection of the beads I wanted to use from the ones she had made.

Then it became time to start putting it all together. I wanted the collar base to be one piece so it would lay smoothly and hug the body without creases where a base "joint" would occur so auditioned a couple of different types of bases that would be suitable for beadwork. Working with the collar as one continuous piece did create a bit of a bead embroidery challenge.

When I began working on the collar, I ended up revising how I wanted to surround the focal beads. I originally thought about using meandering lines from focal to focal to represent the air part of the theme, but I am not a "meandering line" kind of beader. I really liked how the surrounding beaded lines looked like radiating lines from the focal bead core so continued with that "pattern" for the remainder of the collar.

The final colors of the glass focal beads were very vibrant and I wanted them to be the focal point of the circle "islands" so I ended up using a combination of various sizes and sheen (some matte, some gloss) of glass seed beads, Swarovski pearls, and some gorgeous AB2X Swarovski bicones to form the surrounding terra. Altogether, I think I used 18 to 19 different bead colors and types of beads in creating the pools that radiated out from the focal beads and that didn't include at least 5 or 6 additional pearls and seed beads that I had purchased and ultimately set aside because I didn't like the color combination when using them.

I am quite proud of how the collar hugs the body when worn and, although large in size, does not feel heavy because of how it lays. Additionally, it is well balanced when on the body and only requires one small hidden ball and socket clasp to serve as the closure!

At the end of February, Pam and I received notification that our collar collaboration had been accepted as a finalist in the Convergence competition and would be part of the traveling exhibit. I think I must have used almost a whole roll of tape and bubble wrap to make sure the collar was adequately protected when it was shipped to Bead & Button to be photographed for the exhibition catalog! Then, at the end of March, the letter arrived with the notification that the collar had also been accepted for inclusion in a special Bead & Button publication that will be available in October 2009. In addition to sending my circle pattern that I used to layout the original collar, I needed to write up the instructions for creating the collar and provide a supply list of the beads that I had used and the quantity of each. I had actually created a matrix while I was working on the collar that gave a letter designation to each color/style of bead, the color name and number, its size, the approximate quantity used, and where I purchased it from if it wasn't something typically found. A much different process from how I normally work as I usually pull everything I think I'm going to need from my stash and then use and supplement as needed without worrying about quantity and source (except to buy additional beads of course).

I'm really looking forward to visiting the Ohio Glass Museum on Friday, May 1, so I can see all of the beautiful and outstanding collaborations that are part of the Convergence exhibit. The traveling exhibit will be at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, OH from May 1 to May 24, then it leaves for the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, Wi from June 3 to June 7, with the final stop at the Windisch-Hunt Fine Arts Gallery in Coconut Grove, FL from June 20 until the ISGB Gathering closes on July 24, 2009.

If you are interested in purchasing focal beads or scepter beads similar to what was used in the Convergence collar, I've included a link to Pam Wolfersberger's website below. Pam's work encompasses a wide range of colors so I'm sure you will be able to find the right lampwork beads for you!

Pam Wolfersberger's website:

Bead & Button's announcement of artist teams included in the October publication:

"Jewelry Designs with Art Glass Beads":

ISGB Convergence Page:

Gallery Hop Featured Artist

Marianne Lannan, owner of the Lamp Shade ( located in the Short North neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio has invited me to again be her featured artist for the May 2 Gallery Hop ... Thank You, Marianne!!!

I will be setting up my display on Friday (May 1) and hope to see some of you during the Hop. The Lamp Shade is located at the corner of 2nd Avenue and High Streets (across from the Flower Child vintage store and a public parking lot).

The photo included with this post is of a pendant featuring a beautiful high fire ceramic cabochon made by Helen O'Donnell ( who used fresh sage to create the imprint. I used a combination of glass Japanese seed beads, ceramic Greek rounds, and Czech faceted glass beads to create the pendant piece. A combination of unglazed Bulgarian and Greek ceramic beads were used to create the necklace.

Bracelet project will be published!

Incorporating beadwoven cabochons into jewelry is my most favorite form of beading and, as my beading friends will tell you, I will make just about anything into a cabochon. I had purchased a beautiful square-ish Czech glass button from the 1 Stop Bead Shop in Dublin, OH ( and knew I wanted to make something special with it. The detail in the button reminded me of art deco styling and I decided to mimic it in a bead embroidered band.

With encouragement from my friend, Helen O'Donnell (, I submitted a photograph of the completed bracelet to Bead & Button magazine last fall and they indicated they wanted to include it as a project in the August 2009 issue! So, get ready to get your bling on and let me know how you like the project.