"The Cream Puff"

"The Cream Puff"
"The Cream Puff" was shown by request @ Liberty Art Gallery, Long Beach Ca. April '12

Friday, January 10, 2020

Dust Up


     Anybody here?  



  Man it's dusty in here.

     It's a new year, and I'm trying to start it off with a clean slate. I've been cleaning house. Emptying out closets and cupboards. Getting rid of the duplicates. The broken. The unused. The unloved.
     I fear for the environment. There's guilt in disposal. I have a need to find ways to reuse, recycle, reinvent, EVERYTHING!
     That has created a bit of a clutter problem. Given enough hours in my day/week/month/year/life, and unlimited storage space, I might ultimately invent new uses for it all. Sadly my 550 Sq. foot one bedroom apartment / art studio is busting at the seems.
    It's been a long process. I actually started this overhaul a little over 2 years ago. After 13 years in this apartment I'm pretty entrenched. My furniture is growing roots and I've acquired quite a bit of STUFF.
     My bedroom had become a walk in closet that I slept in, so I started there. Completely gutted the closet. Reevaluated my wardrobe. All 42 sizes. Made some realistic decisions about what I might actually fit into again someday. Got rid of the rest. Some things I'd had since high school. and the good news, I do fit into the twenty year old jeans again. WooHoo!
     My mom hauled two van loads of clothing back to Phoenix.. Fancy things went to consignment. Business attire went to women's shelters. Practical things went to the San Carlos Apache reservation. My mom's best friend helps coordinate all the donations to the reservation and shelters, to make sure everything ends up in an appropriate place. You wouldn't believe some of the ridiculous things that end up in the bin, like ice skates and and a random bowling pin.
     I've been reading Marie Kondo's "Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up". She says we donate things to alleviate our guilt. Makes sense. Though I'm not sure what the alternative is.
     Some of her methods are working for me. Others, not so much.
     For instance, she talks about an object having served it's purpose in your life. If not in it's use, then perhaps in a lesson it taught you. Even that dress that hangs in the closet with the tag still on it. Perhaps it taught you that the style or color doesn't look good on you.
     One of the things I have the most trouble parting with are gifts. I feel terrible getting rid of something that was given to me. Marie Kondo points out that it's already served it's purpose of showing me they care about me. It feels ok to let it go now.
     Some methods are just too extreme for me. Her idea of putting every item of a certain type in one pile to deal with all at once. And if you've forgotten an item and find it later you have to dispose of it cause it wasn't important enough to remember in the first place. I call Bullshit on that one. Some of my most treasured possessions are buried deeply for safe keeping. Just because they weren't immediately thought of doesn't mean they aren't very much loved.
     And as for that mound, it's my textile collection that has been terrorizing me for close to 2 years. The "all at one"-ness of it is unsurmountable! My sofa is buried somewhere under all those fabrics and I do hope to find it again someday.
     In the meantime, I'm focusing on the smaller projects I feel like I actually can accomplish. I just completed the kitchen overhaul. All the dusty old dishes have been washed, shelves wiped, counters cleared, dry goods rearranged. The last corner of my kitchen is the art supplies and projects I'm working on organizing now.
     There is light at the end of the tunnel.

     I've cleared my bench and have room to work. I even found my Muse on the kitchen counter, buried under all that dust. And I thought she'd been on sabbatical for the past year?! I'm off like a rocket with the creativity this year. I've been working all through the night stitching, soldering, hammering, weaving, wiring, and all the fun things.
     I've reopened my etsy shop. Though there's much work to do still. Better take my allergy pills before I go dust off Pinterest and Instagram as well.
     I've got a show coming up next Monday & Tuesday, January 13th & 14th in LBA Designers Galleria Showcase starting at 4pm PST.  I've got lot's of fabulous new jewelry to dazzle with. Hope to see you there.
     As always, until next time (which hopefully won't be too long), Peace, Love, & PyxeeDust

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Mining the Motherlode

    Welcome to the 3rd annual Bead Peeps Swap-n-Hop!

    My partner, Inge Von Roos, sent me the absolute motherlode of lampwork glass beads! I'm in heaven! I love lampwork glass, but it's usually beyond my budget. 

    Within an hour of opening the box, my table look like this.

    I had 17 different projects laid out before evening's end! The hardest part, not touching them until I could photograph them the next day! 

    Needless to say I barely made a dent in the stash, but I did manage to get quite a few pieces done! 

A few of her beads fit perfectly into projects I already had planned, that we're just missing that special something to complete them. This was the first pair. 

"Steel Magnolias"
The "Steel Magnolias" and my "Pirouette" earrings were initially one pair of earrings, with the large dark amoeba lampwork glass beads right on top of B Marie's ruffles on the Pirouettes. They were quite spectacular! But ridiculously heavy, to the point that no one would ever be able to wear them. I knew that I needed to split them into two different pairs of earrings, but I didn't have the right components in my stash. 
    The violet check glass flower blossoms that Inge sent turned out to be to be the perfect thing I had been looking for. With violet pearl drops, and topped with bronze stick pearls. I had fun playing with the double balled headpins, for a finishing touch. 


"I am following nature without being able to grasp her, I perhaps owe becoming a painter to flowers."   - Claude Monet

This was another set I had partially compiled, and Inge's lampwork glass floral beads turned out to be the perfect fit.
    Matched with a pair of my own rustic enameled charms, and Venetian blown glass beads.
    A Lepidolite gemstone bead, and some colorful decorative trim balances it all out. 
Inspired by Claude Monet's paintings of his beloved garden estate in Giverny. The founder of the impressionist style, it's rumored that his cataracts may have been the root of this style and that he painted the grounds as he actually saw them.

"Star Spangled" 

"Why dost thou gaze upon the sky? O that I were yon spangled sphere! Then every star should be an eye, to wander over thy beauties here " - Thomas Moore 

Next I paired up a mismatched set of Inge's lampwork beads with polymer clay stars by Tracy Lockhart to dazzle the night skies. Topped with swirly lampwork glass space beads, and accented with rainbow fairy ribbon and metallic seed beads these gals really shine!  


    My "Lazidaisical" earrings were inspired by warm summer days and picnics in the park. Mismatch sets of Inge's lampwork glass beads were paired with Joanne Louvaine Bell's dazzling gold polymer clay blossoms, and rough cut citrine nuggets. 
"Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell

"Love Is All You Need"

"Like the tiny spark of fire that consumes the forest, the spark of love is all that you need to experience love and it's full power and glory, in all it's aspects, earthly and divine." - Deepak Chopra

Inge's fun orange lamp work glass beads paired perfect with the swirly polymer clay heart by Staci Louis Smith. I corset laced a pair of Joanne Louvaine Bell's fabulous butterfly wings. Strung on waxed linen and sari silk in a rich palette of saffron and spice tones. It also contains lampwork glass beads by Leza Harary, B Marie Washington, and yet a fourth Artist I can't recall. The bronze flower medallion is stamped "love is all you need", and it closes with an ornate hand forged carnival style scrolled hammered brass hook and loop clasp.


"Let us dream of evanescence, and linger in the beautiful foolishness of things" - Okakura Kakuzo

Last but not least.....

"You know I'm such a fool for you, you've got me wrapped around your finger." .....or your wrist anyway.
I paired Inge's cranberry glass beads with sterling silver Chinese lanterns, and vintage hot pink rhinestones. A bit of intricately embroidered hot pink sari silk, and some metallic raspberry pink eyelash add a little bit of texture and bling. 
    I used the hammered silver toggle clasp that Inge sent me in this bracelet as well. Finished with miniature Sterling silver lantern charms, with faceted Ruby Jade, and a tumbled Ruby nugget. 
    I'm quite smitten with how this turned out! I'm usually not a pink person, and it's a bit more blingy than I normally do, but I managed to take the style and make it my own nonetheless! 

"Linger" - The Cranberries

    Next stop, Inge's Blog! Go see what she made with that amazing Raku Barnacles cabochon by Wonderous Strange. 
    Then don't forget to check back next weekend when I will reveal my own design with a Raku Barnacles Cabochon, and compare the designs interpretations of 3 different artists made with the same bead swap kit! Should be interesting! 

A huge thank you to our hostess Linda Anderson for all of her hard work! You can find the list of all of the swap participants here on her blog, Cherry on Top Design. Make sure you thank her while you're there. 

    Thanks to all of you for stopping by. Leave a comment and let us know what you think. 

Until next time, Peace, Love, & PyxeeDust! 😊💗

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Share the Hoard!

    Welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party! The ninth edition, with a very special twist. I had to share my hoard! Eek!

To recap, here's the hoarded beads my partner Heather Canepa sent to me.

    Initially I was at a complete loss for ideas. The colors were too random to mix up into a single piece without something to tie them all together. 
    And there was nothing in my stash that fit the bill! 

    It was just a few days ago that the light bulb finally went off! 


    First off I used the turquoise Howlite trapezoid beads in a pair of earrings. Rubbed with African bronze Gilder's Paste and sealed, to soften the brightness of the blue and add a bit of shimmer. It settled into the crackle pattern perfectly!
    Paired with Helen Backhouse's polymer clay blooms in rich peacock tones. Topped with blue luster glass beads, and faceted metallic Czech glass, and wrapped with rainbow fairy ribbon. Wisps of peacock feather frill below, the luscious luminescence dancing violet and gold in the light in dramatic fashion.

    Next I set my sights on that ceramic teal green flower focal. This was also treated with African bronze Gilder's paste and sealed to shimmer and soften.
    The bracelet design was inspired by a pair of earrings I recently completed. I carried the theme over into the bracelet.

                "When in Rome" 
    Ruby Zoisite nestled in a seashell, holds a hand scrolled antiqued brass hook on one side. A ribbed artisan ceramic bead by Robin Cove, an African bronze trade bead, a fire Agate, and a rustic lampwork glass "stone" hoop by Julia Hay complete the other.
    The back side drapes 4 strands of mixed beads and chain in a dramatic scallop.
    One strand of heavy antique brass chain, and three beaded strands. Ancient Roman glass discs, another artisan ceramic nugget by Robin Cove, Ruby Zoisite, African bronze, vintage trade beads, and striped Czech glass seed beads, all strung on knotted twine, hand waxed in a heavy grungy fashion to make it appear ancient.
    A Ruby Zoisite bead dangles off the end of the extension chain to adjust the fit.
    The earrings don't include any of the beads from my kit. I'm simply sharing them as the inspiration for the bracelet design.

    Then I focused on that purple composite stone. I'm not sure what it's made of. Heather didn't know either. Does anyone have any ideas? 
    I set out to wire wrap it into an unfolding lotus blossom. But I don't have much experience in that department and was totally winging it.
    My first attempt was a bit sloppy. I couldn't figure out what to do with all those loose ends!  
    After a bit of rethinking, I changed my approach.

    I formed 3 separate crowns of petals , to solder together onto a backing plate, and then fold the inner circle down to prong set the stone
    Now that's more my speed!  

    Now we're talking! 

    Unfortunately, when I was just about done, I dropped my setting and completely mangled it. 😕 No time to fix the damage I did today, so it's been put on the back burner til I can get to it to redo it again. 

    I also have those creamy glass pearls and apricot stones set aside for a lovely butterfly theme necklace. and I have an idea for a handwoven bag, utilizing that large brown bead as the closure, and the ivory glass and terracotta plastics on the fringe. So stay tuned for those. I'll post when I get time to make the rest of them. 

Now, head on over to my partner Heather's blog Desert Jewelry Designs next, to see what she made with that fabulous Raku Cabochon from Wondrous Strange and my signature hammered copper key I sent her.

    A special thank you to our gracious hostess Lori McDaniel Anderson for all her hard work in organizing this epic event! She deserves some pie!😉💗
    You'll find the list to all the participants' blog links here on her blog Pretty Things

    Thanks for stopping by! I'd love to hear what you think! 
    If you see anything you're interested in, they'll all be available at my show in the LBA Designers Galleria Showcase, starting this Tuesday evening at 4pm PT / 7pm ET! 
    Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Swap & Hop, Til You Drop!

    I love a good challenge! And swap and hops are the best! They serve you up something unexpected, take you outside your comfort zone, and make you think outside the box.

    One of the most famous is the Bead Soup Blog Party. Created by Lori McDaniel Anderson, of Pretty Things, and the Bead Soup Cafe. (She's back! Yay!) Now in its 9th run! Anybody who is anybody has played at one point or another! She's even had a book published about it!
    This year's swap has a little bit of a twist on it...... a hoarders version. I'm to send my partner something special that I've been keeping for a long time. Something too precious to use. And I had to give it away! Eek!

    The second hop was sort of a spin off of the first, designed to fill the needs of the artists, during a time when Lori was under the weather and unable to continue hosting. With crowds of over 500 people participating in her hops, you can't even begin to imagine how much work is involved in coordinating one of these events! 
    So Linda Anderson, of Cherry On Top Designs, graciously gave all of us beady people a safe haven in our time of need, when she founded the Bead Peeps group during Lori's hiatus, and the Bead Peeps Swap & Hop sprung from there. (Those were some big shoes to fill! Thank you Linda) 

    The requirements for this hop, I send a focal, clasp, and/or coordinating beads to my partner. My choice of 2 of those 3, with one of the items being artisan made. 

    For the first time, these two hops are running side by side, with reveal dates being just a few weeks apart! So I thought it would be really fun to mix them up a bit! 

    Here's the kit that I sent to my Bead Soup swap partner, Heather Canepa.

    And here's the kit I sent to my Bead Peeps swap partner, Inge Von Roos

    But wait! There's more! I also have a third kit to play with myself! (sorry, can't show you, work already in progress)

        OOh! Now it's getting juicy! 

    The focal is a Raku cabochon by Wondrous Strange called "Pacific Seas Raku Barnacles". I bought several of them years ago, because I thought they were so cool! But I still haven't figured out how to set a cabochon. LOL! Both of my partners do wire work and bead weaving. So they should have no problem figuring out what to do with it. I however have a challenge ahead of me! 
    One of my signature hammered copper keys (Keys to the Kingdom), some "old ballet slipper" sari silk to bring out the pinks, and iridescent grey pearls accompany. 

   Since the reveal dates are a few weeks apart........ and I also have beads from my partners to design with.... I will have a third, and final reveal, for my coordinating piece, and a comparison of the 3 different design concepts, by 3 different artists, done with the same design kit!  

    First up, this Saturday, March 28th, is the Bead Soup Blog Party. I will be revealing what I made with this kit, that my partner Heather Canepa sent to me for the Hoarders' Edition. 

    Then 2 weeks later, on Saturday, April 8, I will be revealing what I made with these beads, sent to me by my partner, Inge Von Roos, for the Bead Peeps Swap & Hop.

    Then the following Saturday, April 15, I will do that special reveal to show the comparison of what three different Artist did with the same design kit! Ooooh! Awwww! 

           This is gonna be fun! 

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Exotic Bead Swap - Meet my Peep!

Welcome to the 2nd annual Bead Peeps Swap & Hop!

   My partner is Divya Narasimhan of Jewels of Sayuri.
    She lives a very colorful and culturally rich life in Chennai, India, where she teaches design at the University.

    Her work has the appeal of classical tradition with a bit of a contemporary twist.
    She's influenced by her own culture, as well as others around the world.
(a kindred roving spirit!)

    She's quite the multi faceted talent, making everything from hand molded leather flowers and soap sculptures, to drawing, as well as designing jewelry and fashion.

Sayuri is a OWB (One woman brand) that believes in creating contemporary and fashionable pieces by incorporating recycling and reusing.                The tagline says it all - "Designed to please your soul".

    So here's the kit I sent Divya to work with.

    A little bit of everything really.
    When we had initially talked, I had the idea to send each other regional items, that the other might not have easy access to.
    I suggested sending her things like sea glass and seashells, because I live near a beach. and that she might send me things like sari silks and the kind of beads and findings she could get locally.
    Divya pointed out that most of those items are export from the country and not easily accessible to her. She also said she couldn't get ceramic and stoneware components.
    I never got a chance to go scour the beach for sea glass, but did stick with my original beach theme.
    She did request some of my "metal bits", so I made her a sea urchin. Hand formed from copper sheet using repousse technique. I gave it a lovely verdigris patina to blend with the color palette, and then buffed with steel wool to highlight the copper.
    I also forged her a copper hook clasp using a vintage brass button. The original inlay was missing from the button, so I set the crown of a sea urchin into the bezel, and sealed it in lacquer.
    I included several focals, besides the sea urchin.
    A siren face ceramic art bead pendant by Michelle Ann McCarthy of Firefly Design Studio.
    An Italian silver glass lampwork seahorse pendant (artist unknown).
    Also an artisan ceramic bracelet bar embossed with a beautiful lace pattern. Originally bisque, I did the patina work with Verdigris Rub-n-Buff and African Bronze Gilder's paste, leaving them with a soft Mediterranean sun kissed sheen. 
    I never got a chance to collect sea glass from the beach, so I included a selection of cultured sea glass from ZnetShows collection, in a sea of marine jewel tones.

Also included:
-a selection of Turquoise, Howlite, and Magnesite coins
-Prehnite Nuggets
-Lampwork glass lentils
-a pair of large Italian siver glass lentils
-a pair of rare Green Coral wheels
-Venetian blown glass baubles
-Sponge Coral, hand dyed Navy blue
-a pair of long faceted teal blue variegated Chalcedony drops
-deep teal blue ceramic art beads by Natalie Pappas of NKP Designs
-bright lime green flower shaped fresh water pearls
-a sea urchin spine
-a few glittery seashell buttons
-a pair of sea urchins
-a mini faux enamel seahorse
-sea shells
-fisherman's netting
-hand painted silk
-sari silk
-hand spun seaweed art yarn
-a pair of Chysocolla gemstone rounds

    I wrapped it up real pretty, sticking with the beach theme. Using shimmery water blue paper, and some of the fibers as the wrap itself.
    I also included some extras for fun!
    A lavender mint creme filled dark chocolate bar. I picked this one not just because I thought the lavender was interesting, but because this series of chocolate bars support endangered species. This one happens to support conservation of the sea otter.
    A package of my favorite Auroshika brand, orange blossom scent incense. One of my favorite Indian exports. Thought it would be fun to send some of those hard to come by exports back to her. ;)
    Last, but certainly not least, I included a soundtrack! 3 compilation CD's, each fitting a different mood, designed to inspire her creativity.

    Divya sent me 2 kits to work with. She presented me with a color challenge. To use a combination she couldn't find on my page, blue and silver.
    I actually had an entire blue an silver jewelry collection called "Blue Jean Blues", but most of it sold fairly quickly.

    The second challenge was to use green. Yet another color void in my collection, as I routinely sell out. ;)

    She also included some sari pieces.

    So the colors weren't really a challenge for me, but some of the components were.

    I started with the blue and silver kit, using her region of the world for inspiration.

    I have a vintage hand carved wooden stamp from India with a Paisley motif. Originally used for indigo block dying textiles, but I've been wanting to translate it into a jewelry design.
    I chose to make a molten solder stamping to create a medallion for part of my focal. The solder color matches quite well with the large lacey bead cap earring finding Divya sent me to work with.
    I actually did the solder stamping as a Tutorial Tuesdays feature in the Lampwork Bead Addicts Talk-Learn-Share group. If you've missed those, they're always accessible in the photo album for future reference.
    I drilled lots of holes and wire wrapped my solder stamping, embellishing it with lustrous blue crystals to frame the paisley medallion.

    I bought a batch of gypsy bells.
    The bells came a very bright shiny silver and didn't really match the paisley medallion and the bead cap. I dipped them all into a black patina to antique them. Then brushed with steel wool to highlight, giving them the perfect "aged" look.
    I also bought some Irish waxed linen in a deep slate blue.
    I went with a 2 ply so it was fine enough to string crystals and pearls. I did have to bore out the holes a bit more on the pearls with a reamer, but I made it work.
    I pulled all I could find in this color palette from my own stash and got to work.

    Going with a knotted cord beaded rosary style chain, I started from the medallion, working my way up.
    I tried to use the beads Divya sent, front and center.
    Using the trapezoid shaped crystals close together right in the front, turned on their sides, they form almost a winged breastplate.
    Spaced with the large mercury glass finish beads, and framed with the frosted gray glass rounds.
    I continued working my way up, randomly placing beads as they felt right, but matching the two sides symmetrically.
    I ended up using a mix of small smokey blue crystals, vintage Chinese silk knot buttons, Hand dyed navy blue sponge coral, iridescent gray fresh water pearls, Titanium coated Quarts crystal nuggets, and pewter flower medallions.

    Next I embellished the bead cap, adding lots of individual lustrous smokey blue crystal dangles.

    Gathering all the ribbons, yarns, sari silks, and fibers I could find in this color palette, I made a fabulously textural tassel.
    Originally I had intended to stick the tassel right into the bead cap, but when I did, it stunt the movement of all the crystal dangles. All that shimmer and dazzle I made the effort to create, was completely lost.
    Plan B! I needed to figure out how to elevate that bead cap above the tassel.

    I made 2 felted wool pom poms, in consecutive sizes, and dyed them deep blue. One fit perfectly inside the bead cap, giving all those dangles room to dance. The larger one fitting just below, I embellished it with pewter flower and crystal medallions to blend with the overall look. Then attached the tassel to the bottom.

    Finishing it off by attaching all those jingly gypsy bells to the tassel threads.

    "Namaste" was the only piece I managed to finish in time for the reveal, but I have big plans for those greens too.
    I was really stumped by that black and green polymer clay focal. I tend to do a lot of layering, but it was too large to add much more to it. Yet it didn't have a whole lot of interest to stand on it's own in one of my designs.
    I really had to think outside the box for this one!
    It reminded me a bit of a pod. So I made it one!

    Just a little sneak peak of where this project is headed. You'll have to check back for the results in my next post though. If this one gets any longer I'll have to publish this novel! ;)

    Thank you all for coming and visiting. Please make sure your next stop is my partner's blog, Jewels of Sayuri, to see what Divya did with her stash. Then you'll find the links to all the other participants below.

   A huge thank you to our very gracious hostess, Linda Anderson of Cherry on Top Designs, who organized and coordinated all the participants from around the world. Please give her a huge round of applause! and a little love for her blog wouldn't hurt either.

Linda Anderson
Natalie Davidson

Marcy Lamberson
Kathy Lindemer

Dita Basu
Andrea Glick

Kristina Peck
Shaiha Williams

Catherina LaVite
Christina Hickman

Gloria Allen
Teresa Schurter

Maria Rosa Sharrow
Susan Kelly

Jenny Kyrlach
Michelle McCarthy

Terry Jeanet Carter
Lee Koopman

Laurie Vyselaar
Marianne Baxter

Divya Narasimhan
Kelly Hosford Patterson           <--- you are here

Johana Nunez
Kari Asbury

Robin Kae Reed
Kristina Hahn Eleniak

Robin Showstack
Rosantia Petkova

Claire Fabian
Inge von Roos

Rachel Mallis
Sam Waghorn

Lori Schneider
Fay Wolfenden

Seed Beaders

Suse Stelljes
Ginger Bishop

Nelly May
Rebecca White

Sheila Prosterman
Marianne Baxter

Pallavi Asher
Krafty Max

Renetha Sanziano
Becky Pancake

Katy Heider
Deborah Apodaca

Heather Richter
Tami Norris

Brandy Scozzari
Catherine King

Kathleen Breeding
Veralynne Malone

Bobbie Rafferty
Lori Blanchard