Monday, May 31, 2010

Let's Facebook It...

If you haven't noticed, my last few blog posts have been quite late in the evening or early the next morning, dependent on your perspective. It just so happens that I want to write and share my thoughts on the blog lately, more so than ever. For whatever the reasons, here I am.

It's just about 1 a.m. as I begin typing this post. Maybe I have too much spare time on my hands, have much on my mind or just like to stay up late blabbering on a computer screen to whomever wishes to read from me.

I'm a night owl. Always have been.

I get my best ideas as my mind wanders and a lot of work done when the house is quiet. After a long day at the torch when my hands hurt, generally the last thing I want to do is to type on a keyboard, but some days/nights I have much on my mind that I want to write.

Reverse psychology, you know. And amazingly when my fingers touch this keyboard, the thoughts just flow and I forget how tired I am.

In the past, during my studio breaks I would go flip through a magazine for inspiration, clean beads, have a snack, answer emails or knit a few rows of a project. Believe me there is ALWAYS something to do around here.

Since mid February though, I became more active on this social networking site.

Perhaps you have heard of this place?

Let's Facebook It...

Anyone and everyone it seems is on Facebook which brings me to the topic of this post. I had joined Facebook around late February 2009 only because by then I had already had a handful of invites from friends touting "you gotta get on Facebook". Even my sisters urged me to go on there so we could share family photos, etc. After Tucson of that year, I succumbed to the peer pressures.

I am usually good about resisting peer pressures, really I am.

So here I was on Facebook. The instant I signed on, all the automatic invites were my "friends" and then a bevy of other mutual friends saw the "friending" and the next thing I knew within a few minutes I had 20 friends. From there it continued to escalate.

I didn't know what to do with this Facebook. I mean I had a blog where I shared tidbits of my life as a beadmaker, jewelry designer, writer, etc. I didn't give Facebook much thought and throughout 2009 I visited my account sparingly. I was too busy being a writer and beadmaker traveling to shows to bother with Facebook. I barely had time to blog here.

Maybe I was asleep or just tuning things out but all of a sudden it seemed the whole world was getting on this Facebook. I started seeing mentions of Facebook on electronic trade newsletters. I started noticing more of my artists friends mentioning it on their blogs. I started hearing radio stations mentioning their Facebook fan pages. I mean there was NO escaping.

Facebook was EVERYWHERE taking over my life even though I didn't want it to. It seemed as if Facebook was this growing entity taking over everyone's lives and what was I doing? Was I missing out on being part of a social networking revolution? As an artist can I sit on the sidelines and just ignore Facebook? When would I have time to even participate?

A year went by and then I decided to take a leap. I began to believe that Facebook could help bring awareness of my work to a whole new worldwide audience. That, I as an artist, wanted to give back to a community by sharing more of my experiences and what inspires me to create. That I wanted to BUILD my own community of artists with common interests. So I set forth on this goal.

In mid Feb 2010 after attending the Tucson shows, I was determined to take a more active role on Facebook. As an artist, who is also a techie at heart, I couldn't let the signs of times ride along without me. I was jumping on a HUGE bandwagon even though I generally stride to a different drummer. And, Facebook was GREAT and there to help recommend "friends". And those who were my "friends" were also there to recommend me more friends. And I found some old colleagues from my past life as an engineer, so they too became my "friends".

I was asked by a few if I would start a "FAN" page. No, I was not going to start a "FAN" page because I barely had enough time to keep up with one Facebook page. I wanted Facebook to be a place I could share some photos and another side of myself that is not here or on my website. It was the most feasible method to share many photos in "albums" with a lot of people at once. There was instant feedback on Facebook, which this blog lacks.

Isn't that what we all crave when we are on Facebook, feedback?

I am AMAZED at my newsfeed these days. I can barely keep up with what all my friends are up to and I feel guilty at times that I can not respond to every one of their "news" because I genuinely do care about my friends.

Then I wonder what I could be doing instead of being on Facebook?

EVERY break from the studio since late February 2010, there I was checking Facebook updates. My mailbox was full of responses or requests for "friending". At times, the activity was overwhelming. I had to do something about this.


Hey Lisa!!

Yes YOU, Lisa!!

Have you forgotten your purpose and goals in this life?

You should be CREATING!!

Get off Facebook!


I could be doing a lot of other things but I also know that Facebook is an "investment" - as far as *I* want to take it - on being an artist and sharing my ideas. So I MUST be on Facebook to some degree but I must also not let Facebook take over MY life.

So these are my conclusions after actively spending 3 months on Facebook:

I've decided I don't want to go on Facebook to tell the world the minute details of my life. Who really cares? I will just visit now and then to share photos from my trips that I believe may inspire other artists. I will just visit again if I happen to be on a trip and had the most amazing meal at "so and so" restaurant so that YOU can visit too. Or I will post about an article I've written so you'll know what magazine to pick up next, if you enjoy and follow my work.

The day to day activities of me working hard in the studio... well that is really boring news.

Do you really need to know if I am happy, sad, tired, inquisitive, philosophical, etc.?

Really? (Said in a tone, as on SNL)

There is living and then there is LIVING.

It seems we are stuck in the mode of "reality shows" where we desire to get a snippet of others' lives. Facebook feeds this in each of us. I admit some people live quite interesting lives. There are so many photos that are not secured, you can see EVERYTHING on Facebook unless you know how to tweak the privacy settings and navigate safely. There lies one of the biggest problems people are lackadaisical about, the ability to secure their own privacy and learn Facebook.


Tune in hourly and on a busy day my newsfeed is 300+ long. How can you really get to know a person from news feeds (unless they are already your friend in real life). It's just a slice of their life.

So if you are a "friend" on Facebook and start noticing that I'm not really there or why you don't hear from me much, come back here to read this post.

I'm LIVING, not living.

I have a gazillion things I'd like to do with the time I have spent on Facebook. Yes, Facebook is time consuming but I won't say all of it was a waste of time. I've enjoyed looking at my friends photos and seeing art being created. That is the best part of Facebook, connecting with like-minded artists, whom you would never otherwise meet in real life from ALL over the WORLD!! But I definitely don't want to contribute to the news feed clutter. I can only guess what some of you folks think about perhaps MY past news entries.

Besides between my website, this blog and Facebook, you'll know this girl is always up to something. There is only so much time in a day even if I don't sleep to get things done. Also, if you really miss hearing from me there is always email or the phone.

(Although I am generally in the middle of torching in the studio to answer phones. Nevermind, email me to call YOU back instead.)

Lately there's been so much news about how Facebook is disregarding their user's privacy, etc. etc. stepping over the bounds. But you know, YOU are in control here and are responsible for what you post in a PUBLIC forum. NOTHING is truly private on the Internet. What you share on Facebook is for all your "friends" to see and read whether you know them well or not. Even private emails and photos can be forwarded.

There is even a "quit Facebook day" (TODAY! 5/31/2010) proposed but of the few thousands that might quit, how many come back later? Facebook is like a drug. Does the loss of ten, twenty, thirty thousand or more members make a difference to the over half a billion people in this world that is on Facebook today? No matter the weaknesses of Facebook, it serves one major purpose. It brings people together and provides them an "audience".

What is ultimately sad about Facebook is not the privacy infringements on their users but that some of their users don't know how to communicate outside of Facebook in REAL life. The computer screen is their facade to create an identity which they wish to believe. I'm just saying this is the case of "some" not ALL people. I have really great friends I know in person on Facebook.

I have always loved the face to face interactions where you can see the other person's facial expressions and hear the inflection of their voice. I mean when I tell a joke, a "hahah" or "LOL" can only go so far online. And I *DO* have an excellent sense of humor.

But on the other hand, I've met a few wonderful people (quite unexpectedly) that I would not otherwise have had the pleasure of meeting if I was not on Facebook. Because in real life, our paths would most likely not have crossed, so Facebook has it's pluses. But on this other hand, I've met a few interesting characters that I wished I never came across too. I've dealt with those situations the "Lisa way".

So "Let's Facebook It" is a balance of time and in moderation Facebook will not take over your life (unless you want it to). Facebook should never take over anyone's life. If it has, then it's up to you to change that.

I'm making some conscious changes and tweaking my own behavior.

Facebook will not take over THIS girl's life.

No way, Jose!

Yes, NO way!

I'll have more to share about the business aspects and positives of Facebook from some industry leaders...

... but on a future post.


This girl has to get some sleep!

Time for these fingers to get some rest....
Good night/Good morning

P.S. I bet you wondered when Lisa would stop typing this post. If I type this much, imagine how much I talk at these hours. Yep blabber mouth here!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lariats You Will Love: Knotted Treasures

Yesterday, Beading Daily did a writeup on lariats. Here is the link to read the newsletter.

You will find my Knotted Treasure Lariat featured with a limited time free download. This project was originally published in the February/March issue of Beadwork Magazine in 2007. It was my first article for Beadwork, thus began my long association with the magazine as well as Interweave Press. I have written MANY articles since then.

It was later that year (August 2007), even before I ever wrote a seed beaded project for Beadwork Magazine, the editors trusted in my abilities and offered me the opportunity to write my book, Bead Romantique. As they say,"The rest is history...." I have Interweave Press to thank for having faith in my abilities, not only as a writer but as a designer.

In the meantime, the Knotted Treasure design was missing an important part that I later discovered when I designed the Pearl Mesh Bracelet for Bead Romantique. In order for the mesh not to fray, you need to twist the ends and add a dab of GS Hypo Cement. Let dry and spread the mesh embellishments into little leaf shapes.

If you need Italian Mesh, I do carry 100" spools in 28 colors of the 6mm mesh. Just visit my website to order. If you will be at Bead and Button or any show I exhibit at, you will see this necklace up close and personal.

Here's the link to download the "Knotted Treasures" project absolutely FREE from Beading Daily.

Enjoy this project!!!


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bead Trends June 2010: Designer Highlight

I want to take this opportunity to share with all of you, Bead Trend Magazine's June 2010 feature of my work.

As many of you know, I not only work in glass but I also design jewelry for publication through my articles for many industry magazines, both in the US and abroad. It is my hope that my writing and designs will inspire beaders (and stringers) old and new into the art of craft.

I do not teach in any other medium than through my writing. Through my writing, I can reach many more people and artists than I can in a classroom setting. This is why I write SO much!!

I don't have an opportunity to bead as much as I used to but when I do, most likely an article will result. Although my specialty is designing intricate beadwork for the seed beader, at times I am invited to share my design techniques in other mediums. I look forward to each of these challenges.

This feature on my romantic and vintage design sensibilities has been over ONE year in the works. I would like to first thank Tatia Meyer, editor of the wonderful idea book Bead Trends, for inviting me in late 2008 to be part of the Designer Highlight after her invitation to design the cover of Bead Trends' December 2008 issue.

At the time, I had accepted the invitation from Beadwork Magazine to be one of four Designers of The Year 2009. That commitment was a wonderful experience as well, designing six exclusive projects for the readers in every 2009 Beadwork issue. Writing kept me busy in between my glass and exhibits! It was a challenging time not in designing but to switch hats from glass to seed beads in between all my shows.

So when my commitments were completed, Tatia was so nice to offer me again to be part of the Romance June 2010 issue as the Designer Highlight. She asked me to think romance, love and weddings.

(click the image for a larger view)

Hey, I'm the romantic and that is one of my trademarks.

It was not difficult to create the story of Victoria and a love story behind the pieces. I hope you will be encouraged to pick up this issue of Bead Trends to create a love story of your own.

In this issue you will find the following, 23 pages of my work with my story of why I do what I do and why I work so hard in doing it. Most pieces have complimentary designs that can be worn interchangeably or in a multitude of ways. Just use your imagination and go....

1. On the cover, Blushing Blossoms: pages 1 and 8

2. Designer Highlight Feature: page 41

3. Victoria's Spiral: pages 42-45

4. Midnight in the Garden: pages 46-49

5. The Secret Garden: pages 50-53

6. The Damsel and the Dragonfly: pages 54-57

7. Capture Thy Heart: pages 58-61

8. Water Lilies: pages 62-63

I also want to thank Vintaj and Kim Fox for their support in this feature. Without their wonderful findings, my designs would not be what they became. Also thanks to K. Gottfried Inc for some of the lovely crystals used in the projects! Thank you SO VERY much to all three!

Get a sneak peak at some of the designs on Vintaj's blog!!

About Bead Trends Magazine from their website:

From the novice to the professional, the art of beading and jewelry design is a craft that anyone can enjoy. It is a world of beauty filled with color, pattern, design, texture, and style. It provides a satisfying outlet to create something that is a unique expression of yourself.

Because we have a passion for creating and believe that everyone has within them the talent and vision to make beautiful things with their hands, Bead Trends has introduced a beautifully photographed series of idea books designed to inspire. Every issue is filled with a variety of styles and techniques that showcase the work of many talented crafters. A favorite section of mine is our “Designer Highlight.” In this section we are introduced to a single artist, who is then given the opportunity to express him/herself and showcase their personal style in their designs.

To read more, visit Bead Trends website


Thank you for everyone's continual support and enjoyment of my work. You make my dreams come true.

I will continually give you my VERY best


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Things I MISS!

Lately it has been one show after another. If you have stopped by here or Facebook you'd know my crazy schedule for the last few months. It's been never ending.

As an artist, its great to be busy so I'm not really complaining.

Well not too much.



I'm the one who scheduled all these shows last year knowing that there would only be two weeks in between four shows back to back to prep for each of the shows. And then after the fourth show there would only be three weeks to get ready for the largest consumer bead show in the U.S. - Bead and Button.

What was I thinking?

Sure, I am crazy because most people take nearly 2-3 months to get ready for this show.

So you heard it from me personally... I am crazy.

Lisa is CRAZY!

(about sharing her art with as many folks as possible)

Well, I'll be in Milwaukee by June 5th, next Saturday.

I had the bright idea of going early so I can do some photography in Chicago and visit around Wisconsin before the big show. What I should have done instead was to schedule extra days AFTER the show which would have given me a few more days of studio time.

These are my mini-vacations, extra days before or after a show. I don't have time to vacation in exotic places otherwise.

Live and learn.

So I live...

And learn...

I can be very focused and have been diligent in the studio but even a determined Lisa can humanly only work so many hours each day. I make the most of the time still remaining. My hands can only sculpt so many Botanicals before they ache each evening.

My poor right hand has two callouses from sculpting each flower petal. It can not be avoided. It is how I do my magic to create this series to share with the world... the story of the Ume...the plum blossom folklore. It is the cost of creating my art which I wholeheartedly understand and welcome.

So bring it ON! Bring it on.

Please don't ask me at a show if I make every one of my beads and if I use a mold?

It is a question I get at least once every show. I can't assume that everyone is familiar with my work in the vast bead world. But I hope when people look at my glass work you will notice that NO mass production facility can create beads of this quality, color depth and personal detail.

What factory would put this much heart into their work?

But I will answer those who ask me each and every time with a smile. And then show you my right hand, which I sculpt glass with. If you want to touch my callouses to feel if they are real, please do. Just know that it does bother me a bit when someone questions whether I am the beadmaker. I work long hours and suffer callous hands for a reason. The meticulous details, small and large, I place in my work is the reason why you may think I use a mold. If you can find a mold that does what I do, PLEASE let me know.

With My Hands, I Create.

I create from my HEART.

I create with a vision and dream of the possibilities.

I dream.

So what I was REALLY trying to get at with this post was the schedule has been SO crazy that I miss the things I used to do more often when I had more time.

Do you know that I have two eight foot tall bookshelves full of books which I have not had time to read? I miss that. Those books have been sitting on the shelves for many years and there is dust collecting on them. I know I can pick any book out and read it any day but exhaustion encompasses me at the end of most days to do much more than manage the day to day activities of being an "entrepreneur".

You know what though?

I am a proponent that you have to make time for the things you love. I should listen to my own advice. So soon, after I tackle Bead and Button I will indulge again in some of the things I have missed. I'll have nearly seven weeks of no shows but that doesn't mean I'll be taking a break from the studio. The beads don't make themselves folks. I have a bevy of Summer and Fall shows to prep for too. So things will remain busy for this girl but just not as crazy.

I will give myself the need to escape, perhaps in one of those books on my bookshelves. Authors like Patricia Cromwell, Robert Tannebaum, Richard North Patterson, James Patterson, etc. sit in dust waiting for me, calling to me. I have so many favorite authors I used to visit with time and time again.

The good or bad thing about my reading habits is that if I like a book I can finish a 500+ page book in one day. I am (or was) a voracious reader. I will give up sleeping to finish a good book.

Yes, I am fanatic about reading and that is why I have not read a book in a LONG time, not because I didn't enjoy the process but because I knew if I read, I would only read. My glass and studio time would suffer.

Of course, there is the knitting too. My fiber addiction and a walk in closet full of wonderful yarns! I have taught myself many things over the years and knitting is one of them. The satisfaction of finishing a project!! The feeling of excitement to wear something I made with these hands and the wonderful yarns I select for each project. There is also a sense of pride when I have the time to make a gift for a love one. I miss this! I MISS!

There are several in process projects that have suffered from completion. I have a habit of selecting huge projects that take months or years to complete.

I love knitting blankets!! Yeah, I'm crazy. But think of ALL the love in every single stitch of the blanket. Love it.

Well, I started back knitting a few days ago. The particular project was at the foot of my bed, in a plastic bin of chosen yarns. Over SIXTY skeins will complete this project!!

I picked the project up and found the modular blanket pattern I had started late last year on my night stand. My notes carefully scribbled with alterations and stitch counts to spice things up a bit. My hands remembered easily the pattern after glancing at the instructions. It was as though the project never left my hands, these fingers. The needles flowed with each stitch and the knitting brought comfort to me, working on a project that I missed. Working with my hands, creating something from simple components, I love it.

So, hello again, Blythe Blanket!


(My blanket is blue, purple and green and has black borders around each square. It will be slightly different than the photo below.)

I've missed you.

Even though it will take me months to finish you, I will.

Then there is my beading. I see my Facebook friends uploading beautiful finished projects into their photo albums and then I think to myself why I only bead these days if I am writing an article.

It is true.

I have not really beaded for FUN since before writing Bead Romantique! My main focus has been my glass work and prepping for shows. My beading has always been another comforting craft I indulge in between the busyness. Many people think that since I write about beading and create projects for magazines, I must also teach and have kits. I bead and write because I want to share with the world my love of beading. That's why I write so much but I have been taking a break to focus back on my glass work. And many of the projects you see in magazines are usually created the same week before a deadline.

Designing. Creating. Writing. All in a two week duration while working in the glass studio too. Now do you realize why I have little time to do the things I miss?

I suppose having an assignment and beading last minute challenges me. I so miss beading but I will get a chance to bead soon after Bead and Button. Yes, it is for a special assignment that I will talk more about later. I wish it was for pleasure but I can only justify so much indulgence without feeling guilty.

At least not TOO guilty.

So I'm looking forward to June and July for the things that I miss. I miss doing them and I will make time (somehow) each day to do one of the things I miss. I miss doing many things. The sacrifices of an artist. It's what I must do. I will miss less things soon. Doing many things keeps me sane and creating. That is why I have so many interests. Good or bad.

Thank you for dropping by to read from time to time. I know we are all busy so I appreciate the time you spend on my blog or on my Facebook. And, I'll try to be here more often to share my thoughts. I should be better about blogging even if these hands ache from a long day in the studio.

I should.

No more excuses.

P.S. Yes, yesterday, I finally started decorating this blog a bit with a new banner. After starting this blog on 07/07/07 it was about time!! There was a reason for starting the blog back then... to write to you...share with you a bit about ME. Thank you for being interested in my work and allowing me into your lives.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Bead Society of Norcal Bazaar: May 15, 2010

Yes, it is almost SHOWTIME again.

Seems like I've been on the road non-stop with a show every two weeks apart for the last few shows and you know what? yes, I have

I am making beads as fast as I can and so my fingers are crossed I'll have a nice selection of the Botanicals for my Norcal beader friends.

From the Bead Society of Norcal website:

Please join us again this year for the BSNC Bead Bazaar, Saturday May 15, 2010

The BSNC Bead Bazaar is the LARGEST one day show in the US. With over 115 studio artists and bead exhibitors, selling ancient/vintage/modern beads, finished jewelry, findings, books, and more, this is a show not to be missed.

Centrally located at the Oakland Marriott Civic Center
10th and Broadway, Oakland, CA.

click the map to get detailed driving directions

Public Transportation: Consider taking BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit ) or an AC Transit bus, saving the $22.00 parking fee (which you could spend on beads!).

The Oakland Convention Center is located across the street from the 12th Street BART station and is within easy walking distance of a number of AC Transit Bus Lines. Remember that free, convenient parking is available at many East Bay BART stations on weekends. You can park your car at the station and take BART to the Convention Center. (For weekday parking, be sure to check the rules at the station you park at)

An easy to use trip planner for BART, Muni, and AC Transit is available at:

Save some money on the entrance fee and spend it at MY booth! (Right click on the image below and save to your desktop to print out the $2 coupon)

See everyone at the show soon!
I CAN'T wait to visit the Bay area again!
And spend time with good friends

There are many MORE beads to make in the next few days
so I better get busy

Flame On
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