Sunday, November 29, 2009


Got a treasury last night! It was down to 333 with 8 minutes left when I logged in, so I didn't have a chance to pick anything out before snagging one, and therefore titling it. :p So what do I come up with on the spur of the moment? cantankerous. Not sure these items fit that word, but hey.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Holiday Sale!

The Beadweaving Emporium on 1000 Markets is having a holiday sale! Merchants are providing discounts, free shipping, gift wrap, or other promotions. You can find all the offerings here!

My participation is with free shipping on select beadwoven items. That's right, folks, free shipping here!

Some of the items I'm offering free shipping on are:

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Branching out...

Okay, not really. I've actually been crocheting WAY longer than beading, but I haven't tried selling any of it yet. Lots of friends and family have blankets I've made down through the years, and I keep my own head warm in the winter with a hat I made. It has earflaps and a poofball, I should share a picture sometime. There have also been scarves, sweaters, slippers, and even a sock in my crocheting past. (Yes, just one sock. And the toe of the second, but that's it.)

Last winter, I started using some leftover bits of yarn, plus some that was given to me a while back, to make hats. I was just having a ball crocheting hats in my spare time, thinking maybe I should try to sell them. But then, it was summer. And who wants to buy a nice warm crocheted hat in the summer? So these hats have been sitting around all lonely until NOW, when I finally pulled them out again and did a little photoshoot. They're all listed on 1000 Markets, just waiting for a cold head to wander by and find them.

Monday, November 2, 2009

In progress

Of course I have multiple pieces in progress at any given time! Who doesn't? Here's a little glimpse into that world....

First, some polymer clay cabs that I just worked up to bead around for a necklace. Some beads are even on the way to go with them... BRIGHT!

Then, a WIDE cuff. Once I finish the blue base, I still need to figure out what colors and pattern to add to the top of it... I bet it'll turn out pretty fun. You can see some bits of polymer clay in the background - colors I mixed for the cabs shown above, now leftover to be used for more fun things!

These, I've had in progress for several months. They'll end up side by side as a cuff. I could have sworn I've beaded more of the beige ones... hmmm, I'll have to have a look around for those.

...and then, a shot of my workspace for good measure. :) This 2x2 ft table is where the magic happens! And yes, there is rarely a square inch to be found clear. All around the table in various shoe boxes and other containers you can find my bead stash. That is, whatever's not on the table at the time....
What do YOU have in progress?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Beachcombing the Indian Ocean

Are you guys getting sick of hearing about my travels this summer? ;)
Too bad, 'cause here we go again!
While on the coast in Kenya, I went out to the beach with a bag to do a little collecting. NOTHING live, of course! I only collect empty shells that have washed up onto the beach. Well, this one type of shell caught my attention. The shell is some sort of spiral, and most pieces you find on the beach have broken in such a way that you have a small cupped shape with a bridge from one side to another, creating a large hole. Of course, everything with a hole can become a bead, so I collected several of these.
It just so happened that, a couple months after returning, it was announced that the November challenge theme for the Beadweaving Emporium on 1000 Markets is "Beachcombing Memories."
What a perfect use for these shells! I found a mix of beads to match the colors in the speckled shells, created 14 lengths of tubular peyote, and added a shell to the base of each. I used some wooden beads from South Africa to connect each tube to the small length of tubular herringbone.
Two lengths of faux suede cord are strung through the tubular peyote, and tied off with two sliding knots to make the necklace fully adjustable.

AND I finally received my display bust in the mail yesterday, just in time to photograph my entry! I'm pleased, but I do need to find another background to photograph in front of... My go-to white cloth wrinkles too easily, and I can't see myself ironing it every time I need to do a photoshoot. Maybe a large piece of white paper would help... Any suggestions?

Check out the Beadweaving Emporium blog from November 9th - 15th to vote for your favorite entry!

You can find my "Beachcombing the Indian Ocean" in my 1000 Markets store.

Monday, October 19, 2009


While in Kenya this summer, I was inspired by kangas, a cloth used for anything and everything in many parts of East Africa. Kangas are all comprised of a border and an inner section with different patters, and a Swahili phrase at the bottom of the inner section. Apart from the basic structure, kangas vary widely in colors and patterns. Their uses are multiple, from clothing to baby slings to tablecloths, and more.
photo borrow from

In this picture, I'm wearing a kanga for a skirt.

So far, I've designed two bracelets based on the basic structure of kangas - minus the Swahili phrase. I haven't yet figured out a way to write something in one row of beads. ;)
If you like, you can imagine this says "Haraka, haraka, haina baraka." - one of my favorite Swahili proverbs, which roughly translates into "hurrying brings no blessings." (haraka: hurry, baraka: blessing, haina: there is no)

This one I've kept for myself. I miscounted the squares while working up the pattern, and I ended up with an odd number of beads for the width. Since I was planning to work in herringbone, this was slightly problematic. I did find a work-around that makes it look more like square stitch than herringbone, but there's a number of places in the red section where you can see some of the crystal fireline showing through. Okay, so it's not terrible, but I had to have some excuse to keep it, right?

I've finally gotten the beads to work up the second kanga pattern I created, so once I have a little time, I'll work on that next project!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Power Goblet

It's been a while (think May) since I last submitted a piece to the Etsy Beadweaver's monthly challenge. What with travelling and inconsistent internet access, it just didn't happen this summer.

When this month's challenge rolled around, though, I decided it was time to enter again. The October theme is "Super Powers" and I decided to bead around a goblet to make it worthy for any superhero.

Here's a snippet from my item description:
"A white streak splits through a background of purple fading to blue and then green. The streak is lined with a bold red, and this all comes together to create a POWER GOBLET. You want super powers? Then drink from THIS goblet. Okay, okay, I know it's all make-believe (and I do not recommend using the goblet for beverages), but if I were a superhero, I would darn better have a goblet like this one! And you can feel like a superhero with this goblet on display, possibly even as a candleholder."

Voting is open for the October challenge, and we'd love to have you help choose a winner! Head on over to to vote for your favorite by the 16th.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I've mentioned my trip to Kenya several times on this blog (mostly before the trip!), so I thought you all might like to see a few pictures of my trip back home - and my husband's first time to see it.

This is the boarding school where I attended from grades 6 - 12, in the highlands on the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.
We took a game drive in Lake Nakuru game park. The lake is full of flamingos. Here, a hyena has been hunting them (hyena's do a lot more hunting than they're given credit for).

There were one or two places we were able to get out of the tour van. Not sure what I'm pointing out in this picture...

We pretty much got around by public transportation - matatus, to be precise. They're these 14 or so passenger mini vans (actually regulated these days!), and get you anywhere you want to go. In southern Kenya, at least, where the roads are good. Above is a matatu stand in one of the towns we went through.

Stephen was surprised when the turn-boy (driver's assistant who collects money and finds passengers) jumped into the already moving van, slid the door shut, and nearly sat on his lap. Personal space isn't nearly as important as it is in the US.

Yup, we crossed the equator! The matatu didn't stop, so we had to take a drive-by picture.

Yes, I got some beading in there too! This is on the farm my family lived on from the time I was in 6th grade on.

Joseph, the project manager, gave us a tour of the farm, pointing out all sorts of improvements and changes since my family left. That place is taking off! You can see a new storehouse for feed being built behind us.

The Kerio River, 5 km from the farm. It flows northward into Lake Turkana.

The mud was slippery... I was trying to wash Stephen's flipflop off after his foot had sunk it, and ended up sitting in the mud! Whoops.

We also spent a couple days down at the coast. There's the Indian Ocean!

We went out onto the reef at low tide one morning. Snorkels, tennis shoes (to ward off the sea urchins) and all. Good times.

Ft. Jesus, and old Portuguese fort in the town of Mombasa on the Indian ocean.

Then we headed up to northern Kenya. Here's the town of Logologo that I lived in for about 7 years as a kid.

This is the inside of a Rendille hut where we took a nap during our visit to Logologo. Note the beaded bracelet and necklace that a friend there gave me!

Amina, a good family friend, made the dress for me.

Many of the folks who live in Northern Kenya live off of their animals, mainly camels. We don't have too many pictures of people up north (other than friends) because they don't like having their pictures taken and we were trying to be respectful.

On our way back, we flew over Marsabit game park on Marsabit mountain in Marsabit district, before we stopped in Marsabit town to pick up a passenger. You can see the lodge in the park in the upper left of the picture, next to what used to be a very full lake when I was little. The drought in Northern Kenya has been very bad for the past several years.

This is what we got a ride on from Northern Kenya back to Nairobi - a 6 seater cessna. I ended up in the co-pilot seat, because the pilot thought I was short enough that my knees wouldn't bump the controls. :D

It was a great trip! Hope you enjoyed the pictures. :) Maybe at some point I'll pull out a picture or two from our stop in Spain on the way back to the US.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Well, the summer adventures are over, and I'm back in our apartment getting ready to start school next week. I've got several beadweaving pieces that I did throughout the summer that I plan to photograph tomorrow (and then share with YOU!).

But for now, I'll share a little project from this past weekend, some greeting cards. Essentially, it was me playing with acrylic paint, but I will have some of these for sale on Etsy at some point (let me know if you have any special requests!) I used for these both watercolor paper and some banana paper from Costa Rica. Anyhow, enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's up with the silence?

It's true.  You haven't been hearing from me much lately....  
Well, it's the summer!  School got out in May, and since then we've done the following:
May 21: Indiana - Cincinnati
May 22: Cincinnati - Bryson City, NC (we took the scenic route)
May 23: Poke around the Smoky Mts, and end up in Knoxville, TN
May 24: Knoxville
May 25: Knoxville - Nashville
May 26: Nashville
May 27: Nashville - St. Louis, MO (through the land b/t the lakes)
May 28: St. Louis
May 29th: St. Louis - Dallas, we cut through a corner of Arkansas, because we haven't been there before.
May 30th: Dallas
May 31st: Dallas - ALBUQUERQUE, NM!!
Since then, we've been in New Mexico, everywhere from ABQ to the Jemez Mountains, camping in the Pecos wilderness, waaaay down to Las Cruces, to Socorro, Magdalena, Manzano mountains, etc.

And coming up next:
June 17th: to Florida
June 20-something: into New York, rent a car, drive around New England (never been there before!)
June 25-28: Near DC for a wedding
June 29: DC - New York - London (for 12 hrs)
July 1-15: go all over Kenya.  To the coast, to the North, to the west, etc....
July 15: Nairobi - London
July 16: London - Barcelona
July 16-21: Barcelona - Santander, hang out in the Pyrenees in between!
July 21: Santander - London
July 22: London - New York
July 23: New York - ABQ
then, up to Yellowstone/Grand Tetons (Wyoming), across to South Dakota, and eventually wind up back in Indiana mid-August.

Sometimes I have good internet, and sometimes I don't.  Sometimes I don't have more than a couple minutes to spend on the good internet.  Soooooo....  I've been a little quieter.  I think you can forgive?  :D

In other news, I just found out last week that this necklace has been accepted into the second round of judging for the Fire Mountain Gems contest!  Woooooot.  I need to get it in the mail soon.  Like Monday.  That's chips of tourmaline I used in it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

A bowl

It's a bowl!
I created 18 individual peyote triangles, and then sewed them together to form the little bowl. You could use it to hold a few special large beads, shells, little wrapped candies, your rings while you sleep, or a myriad of other small and precious items.  

I liked making something different, something not typically made with beads.  No two triangles are the same in this little bowl.  In fact, no single color was used in more than one triangle (though the gold beads in the rim were used in a triangle).  It was fun watching this come together, and experimenting with joining the pieces.  

This is, as always, available for sale at my 1000 Markets store and my Etsy store.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This is my entry for the first Colorworks challenge, "Tertiary triad."  The challenge was to use shades of green, purple, and orange to create a piece (though, if I remember my elementary school art classes correctly, green, purple, and orange are secondary colors... )

However it is, I love how the colors work together and jumped at the chance to use them!  Here's my entry, "Entangled," which features a mix of purple beads in a three-drop peyote base, and embellished with mixes of green and orange beads.  I created a polymer clay button to work as the closure.  

I like it, and I guess we'll find out if they do too sometime next month! :)