Checking off my bucket list for 2011.

My new studio

2011 is a new start to a new life if you are consistent. Change doesn’t happen just because you have a desire to change; it has to be followed up with action one foot in front of the other. As I look back on last year and what I have accomplished I know it didn’t happen without a lot of work and perseverance which has great rewards in the end.

I have made great strides in achieving some long awaited dreams. I finally have my own studio where I can now do my silversmith work and conduct workshops. I also finished several years of jewelry courses at Harrisburg Area Community College. I have also worked for a long time towards achieving state jury status from the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, which is a life time award for a body of work by an artist in their field of art. I am very proud of this award and to be recognized for years of hard work.

I am looking forward to what this New Year has to offer me and the growth that it will bring. I hope you will join me in a prosperous new year and knocking some new things off your bucket list.
Happy New Year.


Why Should I Join a Guild?

The Mona Lisa would love this one

Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen

I will be featured along with Linda Billet’s art glass and Christine Goldbeck’s photography from the Yellow Breeches Chapter of the Pa. Guild of Craftsmen and eight other Reading Berks guild members. This event will be held at the Guild’s Lancaster Store  for Lancaster’s first Friday on Aug 6th. Come out and see the beautiful art available from some very talented artists.

This is a perfect example why as an artist you need to join a good guild that can give enormous help building your business. If you ever want to succeed in your trade you need the help of others. By supporting your local guild and becoming active, you will get opportunities never available on your own. Since I joined the guild and became a juried members I have had doors open that were not open to me before, plus I have gotten more exposure for my work. I hope you will take the time to check out the opportunities available from a guild or society in your area and get involved.

Roxan O’Brien’s website

Christine Goldbeck’s website

Linda Billet’s website

Hot, Hot, Hot

We are having one of the hottest summer I can remember, so rather than complain and wish we had winter back, turn up the AC, fire up the fan and go to work. For those of us who my feel guilty about not being able to get out and mow the lawn, it gives us a good excuse to do our creative muse. Happy musing.

The Five T’s, the cornerstone for great beadwork

If you want to do great beadwork follow what I call the 5 T’s. These are the cornerstones to doing better work and the difference between good and exceptional work.

The 5 T’s are technique, terrific design, tri colors, texture, and top quality supplies.  When I apply the 5 T’s while doing my work I find I have a better all over project in the end.  While I cover this subject in-depth  in a workshop setting, I will address each one of the T’s in brief here. 

1. Technique

 The very first cornerstone is good technique, learn to do the stitch with good technique, study and practice the stitch you are going to use before attempting to do a project.  Think about thread tension, proper knotting, where to add more thread, and bead placement. Sloppy work will be evident even to the untrained eye of a potential buyer.

2. Terrific Design

Take the time to sketch out a general plan for what you want to make. This is the time to correct any design flaws not after you have gotten yourself into a problem. Plan ahead but allow room for the piece to grow and change.  Make it interesting with changes in direction for your beads and embellishments.  Odd numbers (1,3,or 5,) of focal or embellishments help balance a good design.

3. Tri colors

I find that working with three colors of beads makes for a more interesting piece.  If you don’t know what colors work together, use a color wheel to help you.  Using three colors makes it easy to add interesting features in your work. It can be three colors of the same value or three complimentary colors. I find that only working with 2 colors can be boring and hard to make the piece very interesting.

4. Texture

This is the one thing I find missing in a lot of otherwise good beadwork I see. Adding texture to your work just builds another level of interest and makes your work stand out above the rest. Think in levels of design to avoid a flat look to your work.

5. Top quality supplies

By using only the best supplies in your work, allows it to last a life time. Using good evenly matched beads, focal beads that have been annealed, high quality threads, good crystals and findings will make your work look outstanding. Nothing is worse than spending hours on a piece only to find that the bead color is wearing off as you handle them or the uneven seed beads don’t look right no matter how good your technique is. Remember that you are only as good as the products you use.

You can see my some of my work at

Please feel free to add you hints and ideas to this post. I love hearing from all of you.

My beaded collars

This beautiful necklace was inspired by the Czech button I found and is the focal point of this piece. I love the color purple and try to add it in my creations whenever I can. This collar has antique glass and Swarovski crystals cabochons surrounded by seed beads in purple, green and gold colors. Fringe in seed beads, amethyst chips and Swarovski crystals has been added to give this necklace it’s final touch. I have included matching earrings.  

The neck opening is 17 inches ending with a beaded toggle closure. The back is finished in faux leather for ease in cleaning.

The Pa. Guild of Craftsmen

Since I have joined the Pa. Guild  of Craftsmen, I have met so many great people and connections to further my art.

Last night we had a great meeting with a wonderful presentation by Linda Billet and Diane Troutman on what they learned from the workshop with Alyson Stanfield which was held by the Pa. Guild of Craftsmen. I learned so much from this that I am getting Alyson’s book I’D RATHER BE IN THE STUDIO to learn more on this subject.

The Pa. Guild of Craftsmen rocks.

My first blog post

This is the beginning of a new experience for me. Since I have never been all that good at using the computer I have plunged myself into the abyss so bare with me till I learn how to use this new forum.
I am so much better at creating beautiful pieces of jewelry than doing this left brain process.