Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I’m not sure if any of you have seen my candid portrait, taken  by Kate McKinnon outside of The Hub, a great eatery in Tucson.  You may even remember my shot of Kate in her Angel Wings.  Oddly enough, the bad guy stuff was painted low on the wall for those of us who are vertically-challenged, while the good guy stuff was painted high on the wall – I’m not sure if that was for the vertically-endowed or a comment upon aspiration…  Sorry I haven’t had time to write / photo anything for you.  We’re into the final home stretch of the book, then it goes to print.  The eBook will be delivered on December 15th, so those who have pre-ordered will have it in hand on that date (get your Wish Lists going for the holidays and make sure you have a Kindle, Kobo, tablet or laptop on it!) with the print copy to follow when it’s back from the press.  I am practically incandescent with anticipation;  I know you’re going to love it and I just can’t wait to share!  Remember, the eBook and various swag goes out ONLY to those who pre-order the book.  Don't miss out! *G*

Happy Beadsday!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


What a beautiful day it is today.  The sun is shining brightly, and it’s just overcast enough my eyes don’t hurt…lovely whispy clouds over the escarpment.  Have you seen this bracelet yet?  It’s on Jean Powers’ FaceBook page since it uses triangles and dimensional triangle-based shapes in ways very similar to those she does.  You'll have to scroll down the page - Jean is a PROLIFIC communicator; all the better for us bead-addicted souls....  My bracelet has a hidden clasp that I am absolutely DELIGHTED to state has been hard for even my best beady buddies to locate.  Hehehehe….  Isn't it great to see what little moments, such as throwing in a continuous green accent line, can bring out of a piece?  It's much easier to appreciate the colours and shapes when the green leads your eye about the piece, isn't it?

Happy Beadsday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

POWERfully Happy Today!

What a lovely day!  The fog gave a clean, white cover to a grubby industrial city and I'm finally close to catching up at the office.  To make things good, better, BEST the gorgeous (and oh! so generous) Jean Power sent me a lovely note and a copy of her new book!  Have you ordered yours yet?  You will definitely want to add this to your bead book collection.  It's a wonderful companion volume to the book we have coming out soon.  "Geometric Beadwork" encompasses a completely satisfying and thorough exploration of geometric possibilities explored by Jean Power for an extended period.  There are wonderful projects, clear and concise illustrations, beautiful gallery photographs and endless inspiration.  You can find the link to order Jean's book on my Shop page.

Happy Beadsday!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Home, Sweet Home

I'm safely home after another marathon session of aircraft; this time I viewed the (internal only) delights of Dallas, Texas and Washington DC International Airports.  Great views out the airplane window leaving Tucson... I'll post some when I get time.  Right now I'm just glad to say I am home with a gajillion new ideas percolating, a new zest for life and the living of it, several paradigm shifts to my mindset and a great new profile picture, courtesy of the photographer-savant-en-iPhone, Kate McKinnon.  Thanks, Kate, for the best time EVER and a current photo, too!  You ROCK!

Happy Beadsday, everyone! *G*

Sunday, November 11, 2012


The only word to even begin the pathway to what I feel today is "privileged".  Kate McKinnon has welcomed me into her sanctum sanctorum and allowed me to feel at home.  I have enjoyed every single cup of coffee during this time in a beyond-words-gorgeous owl mug by the talented Allison Shock.  The detail and beauty of this clay creation moves me profoundly and unexpectedly.

Kate has also shared her acupuncture and although I have long had an interest in this, it's not something you'd undertake without a personal recommendation of practitioner.  Larry was personable and open and made my first experience of acupuncture not only painless (utterly - never even felt the needles go in OR out!), but profound.  I now know so much better, so much CLEARER, what Kate has been saying about the effects on her.

Those who know me know how much I crave a chill, the opportunity to cozy up in a sweater and curl up in a comforter, but I can never do this as my personal thermostat seems to be perma-set on "BOIL".  Well, to illustrate just one of the myriad small changes accumulating for me, I was COLD in bed last night and actually pulled up extra covers!  The real kicker, however, is that it is currently 61 degrees in Tucson, which for me is a balmy summer day - usually!  However, I am actually sitting here in jeans wearing a SWEATER for heaven's sake!

Not only is my corporeal being working more correctly and efficiently to design, but the book work has been a JOY.  It's incredibly easy to work with Kate; she has so many of the same perceptions that I do and it's so stimulating to discuss any differences or concerns.  We've worked long, LONG days and things are coming together so beautifully. I know this book will be one for the ages; long after a beader masters a concept they'll still be referencing it for details and inspiration.  I am so utterly humbled by the generosity of spirit and calibre of design people have so wonderfully contributed to make this book.  Thank you all!

Happy Beadsday!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Coffee at the Casa di Kate

Morning is gorgeous today - it rained quite hard last night (wonderful soundscape to fall asleep with) and everything this morning is newly bathed and brilliant.  A cup of fabulous coffee, a cushioned seat with a view of the loveliness that Kate is growing....*sigh*.  Take a look at the variety of fruiting trees and bushes, there are umpteen kinds of vines and cactus, bird feeders, hummingbird feeds, pretty charms and pieces of whimsy.  After this start to the day it's not hard to get back to work on such an exciting endeavour as the book - how can you NOT appreciate the infinite variety and variation of the beadwork everyone is creating.  We had a conversation this morning and have agreed that the possibilities are only limited by the global bead supply... when you have finally used the last bead available or able to be created over the entire world, only THEN will you have to stop.  Which does not include the fact that the IDEAS can still continue to develop!  Ain't life grand?

Happy Beadsday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


Kate took me out tonight to show me a bit of her 'hood, and it was great!  I brought the rain with me, it appears, so we had a lovely rainshower, too; whoduthunkit?  She obviously loves her chosen home and  it isn't hard to see why.  They have gorgeous street art and wonderful old buildings.  There was a great walkway made to look like a rattlesnake, safely conveying pedestrians over the through street.  My folks would LOVE the cactus growing all about....Hey, Dad - Kate has grapefruit, lemons, tangelo, limequats and umpteen other fruiting trees and bushes.  You'd go mad for her garden.  Mom, you'd just go MAD...the profusion of different cactus varieties out front AND back is really beautiful.  I love the scrubby trunks of the desert trees and the amusing squat, spindly or majestic date palms all about.

I made a friend with a little critter just before we ducked into The Hub for supper; now would you call him a Butterbil or a Gerbfly?  He's quite cute and friendly and not a bit shy!

Yes, my beading buddies, we DID work on the book today - I am absolutely in AWE of what's been accomplished by people all over the world, just from our pre-release patterns posted for those who've preordered the book - if you haven't already ordered it, YOU ARE MISSING OUT.  It's going to be AMAZING.  

The photos Kate is taking are breathtakingly clear and beautiful.  Advanced beaders will be able to work from those alone!  Beginners will be able to see how each and every bead places in context to be able to learn the techniques with real clarity and comprehension.

Simon came to keep me on task, so back to work I go...

Happy Beadsday!

At Last!

I finally made it to Kate's place in Tucson a bit after 3:30 this morning (local time - more like 6AM hometime!).  After running for 24 hours hitting the hay has never seemed so appealing!  Kate McKinnon is definitely the hostess with the mostest, as she has me off in a whole WING of my own - lavatory, bed to-die-for comfortable, tons of space...*sigh*.  So extra welcome as when we finally landed about 2:40 AM, there weren't any taxis!  Several folks who had cellphones called taxi companies, who didn't seem to think they were serious that there were a dozen people just into Tucson International who needed cabs...the people with phones were eventually picked up by friends and a couple of taxi stalwarts eventually came for the rest of us.  Being a bit of a crocus, rather than Kate's desert rose, I was worried that despite exhaustion I wouldn't sleep because of heat - wrong!  I was out like a light as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Got up this morning to find Kate enjoying the morning in her personal paradise, tucked up on a swinging seat under an arbour... she has a whole FLOCK of doves and others tweeting and chirping and whistling and beating their wings en masse - a truly "flocking" sight!  Her home is a lovely piece of Katefulness - little whimsies and happinesses at every turn.  It's hard to decide if the fabulousness of gilt walls or vintage furnishings and fabrics are more eye-catching.  Her utilitarian pieces (cups, bowls, etc.) are almost entirely handcrafted or strikingly vintage (think circa-1950's, the space age).  Delicious, all of it!

I've had a peak at a lot of gorgeous beadwork by people inspired by our work on Contemporary Geometric Beadwork, and a chance to show Kate some beautiful samples beaded by a friend of mine, Tiena Habing, Beadweaver Extraordinaire and Teacher Par Excellence.

I've seen the gorgeous little kits being prepared for mailing to those fortunate few who managed to get one ordered before her shop ran out (those cigar boxes, by the way, are BEAUTIFUL - not the ticky-tacky balsa wood ones, but the real deal!).  Kate was right - the Japanese puzzle erasers and too-cool-for-school pushpins she's putting into certain items are super cute and really fun!

I have so far been overwhelmed by all the eye candy and have only managed to decide that THIS is the lampshade I'll wear, should I have occasion to do so....heheheheheeeeeee.

All this and while I've been packing and flying and sleeping and playing, Jean Power has put some of my beadwork on her facebook page - what an honour!  Thanks, Jean.  I'm happy to be there!

Happy Beadsday!

Good Things

Well, if all good things come to (s)he who waits, I kinda think I'm due some serious good times!

I should have known something was up when I found out with about 20 hours notice that the first leg of my tripod journey to Tucson was cancelled!  I managed to rebook for a flight leaving only an hour later, which was fine although it involved a layover at a different airport, time added to trip, etc.  Still, not bad.  I even enjoyed a pretty start of the sunset as we left Buffalo.

Once in Chicago it was a breeze, just a long walk to the specific gate - no problem, right? Hah!

Land in Los Angeles to find my leg to Tucson has been delayed - from 10:18 PM to 12:04 AM!!!  Poor Kate - I sent her an email to let her know NOT to wait up.  At least they added enough time to the layover to make it worthwhile unpacking the old computer - there really ARE advantages to having no checked luggage!  I just put my feet up, powered up the old laptop and here I am, updating you already!

Happy Beadsday!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Teetering On The Brink...

...of adventure!!! *G*  Despite Sandy having forced a cancellation of all flights through Newark and a rejigging of the ol' travel arrangements the countdown to Tucson has begun!  I'll be hopscotching almost as much as the Presidential candidates have lately - Buffalo to Chicago to Los Angeles to Tucson!  The early results of closing polls are starting to be called and it looks like a possible rout for Romney - go Obama! *G*  It's lovely to be a Canadian and safely out of this hard-fought battle.

I heard from Jean Power today; she's finally taking a VERY well-earned break to have a bit of a lie-in...then off on her next adventure!  Does this talented powerhouse (pun unavoidable) EVER slow down?  I swear she must have been born in overdrive and is still pushing the pedal to the metal!

I can't wait to see Kate - it's been so long!  What could be more fun that seeing Kate McKinnon in her home territory?  We know how she loves her desert abode and now I'll finally be able to see her in her natural element.  Too cool!

Happy Beadsday!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lovely Happy Beadiness

I am so busy every day, all day.... if I could only be spending all the time on the book!  I've got a  teaser pic for you here for another piece I've recently completed.  I have so many ideas and never enough time or beads with which to work.  What a wonderful dilemma.

Every single day brings new delights and views of yet another interpretation of a design born in my mind and fingers... it's better than Christmas, better than birthdays!

Can you think of anything more humbling or a greater honour than to have other artists want to play with your ideas?  It's a roller coaster ride of joy with every image that unfolds in my email.  Thank you all for sharing.

Happy Beadsday!