Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Thursday Tease

The color of Spring, in the flowering vines, is juxtaposed on a rusted aluminum siding of a structure/building, somewhat ironically beautiful. The living (flowers) next to the dying (painted rust surface) together in this composition clearly displays that what is "beautiful" is left to one's imagination. I see beauty in this photo. What do you see?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Craft Gossip Reviews Bead Romantique

Barbe Saint John is your CraftGossip Jewelry Making Editor.

Get your Sparkle on with Bead Romantique

"Bead Romantique (released April 1, 2008)... is full of gorgeous, antique inspired beadwork utilizing seedbeads, vintage buttons, pearls, crystals and gorgeous findings..."

"...there are lots of illustrations showing you which way the threads should be going, so you never feel ‘lost’..."


Friday, March 21, 2008

Beading Daily Interview and FREE project until March 28th!

V Scallop Necklace, Plus Interview with Lisa Kan

Meet Designer and Dreamer Lisa Kan

Have you ever dreamed about quitting your job and beading full time? Lampwork artist and bead designer Lisa Kan had the same dream. In 2001, she was a quality assurance engineer when she began lampworking. Now she sells her handcrafted beads at shows across the U.S. and just finished her first book, Bead Romantique, an art history-inspired beadweaving book for the intermediate and advanced beader. Learn how Lisa made the leap to full-time beading and what's next for one of the most creative and hardest working ("Who need sleep?") beader in the business. Read the interview.

One Week Only
Preview This Free Project: V Scallop Necklace

The votes are in! More than 7,000 Beading Daily readers voted on a free project from Bead Romantique, the new book by Lisa Kan. More than 50% of the votes were for the V-Scallop Necklace! (Instructions for the other two projects--Ndebele Pearl Medallion Earrings and Mesh Pearl Bracelet--are in Bead Romantique.)

Here's what Lisa had to say about the V Scallop Necklace:

"The V Scallop Necklace was inspired by the gem-encrusted collars that Hollywood mavens wore on the red carpet. The base of the necklace is a standard right-angle weave pattern which is embellished with a mix of Swarovski and rondelle pearls, in a diagonal orientation. The V shaping is a beautiful silhouette when worn with a V neckline dress or blouse. The crystals were used to add a little pizzazz, the pearls for elegance, and the scalloped edging (size 15s) for a soft touch of femininity. I used a vintage button as the closure, but you can use a commercial clasp, too.

Although colors have been suggested for this project, I can imagine the design in creams and crystal AB for a wedding look, too. You should not lock yourself to only colors I used. Play, have fun, and explore."

V Scallop Necklace
by Lisa Kan
Free for one week only:
March 21-28, 2008

Meet Lisa Kan

Lisa Kan will be signing copies of Bead Romantique at her booth (#218) at Bead Expo Portland. Stop by at noon on March 28-30, 2008 to meet Lisa and get your book autographed. Be sure to check out her beautiful beads while you are there!


An Interview with Lisa Kan

Is there anything that Lisa Kan cannot do? I'm sure there must be something, but I couldn't think of anything! A jewelry designer, lampwork artist, and metalworker, Lisa's beads and finished jewelry can be found in Beadwork, Stringing, and other beading magazines. She regularly sells her beads at shows across the U.S. Plus, she recently published her first book (Bead Romantique) and can now add "author" to her list of accomplishments. Lisa is delightfully passionate about everything she does and generous about sharing her knowledge and spirit. The bead world is lucky to have her!--Michelle Mach, Beading Daily

Michelle: Your website describes your transition from an electrical engineer to a bead and lampwork artist. I think many readers can relate to the struggle between wanting to be practical and wanting a creative life at the same time. How did you make that transition?

Lisa: I was a senior quality assurance engineer for a consumer electronics company specializing in LCD and Plasma monitor technologies back when I started lampworking. At the time, I traveled quite extensively to Europe (Norway and Austria) and all over Asia (Thailand, Malaysia, China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan) for my work, so lampworking became my outlet of creative expression which began in late April 2001. Traveling so often meant I didn't have much time to torch nor take additional lampworking classes. Because of this isolation, I was able to create and develop my own unique style, perhaps even developing unconventional methods of working glass. I think creating a unique voice is very important in any art medium. I believe taking too many workshops, at the early stages of development, will and can influence one to mimic their instructor's work. I have seen that in other lampworkers. At around the same time, I picked up metalsmithing since I enjoyed playing with fire so much.

In 2003, a local bead store, the San Gabriel Bead Company (SGBC) organized a glass bead trunk show. While exhibiting at SGBC, many people asked me how I would use my own beads in jewelry designs. Always up for a challenge, I quickly learned beadweaving, absorbing much information from books, magazine articles, as well as attending key workshops. Then in 2004, I joined the Los Angeles Bead Society and have exhibited at their bi-annual bazaar ever since. This was my first "big" show. Next, the SGBC started carrying a selection of my extra glass beads.

Two beads in the Haiku series

On November 17, 2004 I made my first big decision as a glass artist. It was then that I signed on to exhibit in Tucson at the Manning House To Bead True Blue Show. Remember, I was still working as an engineer, but I wanted so much to see if my work was good enough to be in Tucson. Always up for a challenge, I had saved up my vacation days to take two weeks off for Tucson 2005: one week to make as many beads as possible and the other to exhibit.

For the Tucson show, I created several bead series, Serenity, Haiku, and Mesa. I also developed my signature black and red show display, which emanates the Japanese aesthetics prominent in my work. Red is a predominant color in my Chinese culture as well, symbolizing good fortune, luck, and prosperity

When I returned from Tucson, I could not stop bothering my husband, Nick, on when I could quit my engineering job. He told me I could pursue my dream in 2007 or 2008 with some preparation to our family finances. The decision was made for me on April 20, 2005. My company decided to eliminate the ENTIRE quality department, so I was laid off on the second round of layoffs. It was the HAPPIEST day of my life and I truly believe this was meant to be!

Michelle: One thing that makes you unique as a designer--at least to me--is that you work in many mediums. You began in lampwork, but also explored metalwork and beadweaving. What's your current favorite technique and why?

Lisa: My main focus will always be lampwork because I am constantly mesmerized by what beauty one can create from simple glass rods. The glass continues to teach me and excite me to create. At times, working glass can be frustrating as it has a mind of its own. I am a bewildered child full of wonderment every turn I take with my glass explorations.

Fusion bead series

Metalsmithing and beadweaving are equal loves. I simply enjoy every aspect of the creative process. It is so rewarding to see the birth of an idea and the transformation of that idea into reality. I don't know how many lifetimes I must live in order to create what's in my mind.

Bead Romantique
by Lisa Kan

Michelle: Some of the designs in Bead Romantique were inspired by art history. In the book, you specifically mention enjoying museum books and auction catalogs. Did anything surprise you during the research process? Do you have any specific resources you recommend?

Lisa: Surprised me? Not really. I am always gathering information, researching and learning, even if I don't have specific projects in mind. When I was working on Bead Romantique, I already had all the research in my library as well as designs floating in my mind. I study and absorb a lot of visual stimuli from my books, catalogs, and magazines. This constant "homework" allowed me to have endless resources and inspirations for my various mediums. My dreams fill in the rest.

I especially focus on jewelry by Rene Lalique as well as Victorian/Nouveau/Japonisme jewelry in general. Nothing much is safe from me. Often times, what I study has NOTHING to do with jewelry because I can stare at the twists of a tree branch and in my mind, I see seed beads, a glass bead design, or even a metalsmith project! I have a very vivid imagination.

In regards to resources I recommend, last year I wrote three articles that cover some of my inspirations and resources:

What I encourage beaders to do is to look through a different lens when viewing any subject. Soon you will begin to see everything covered with beads. Visit your library and used bookstores often for inspiration. Look at books with plenty of pictures that tease your color and visual acuity. Even the catalogs you get in the mail can be used for your inspirations. The skies are the limit!

Michelle: Many of your designs in Bead Romantique use size 15 beads. Why do you like working with that size? What can you do with them that you can't do with other sizes?

Lisa: The three main reasons I enjoy using size 15 beads:

  • You can create subtle color transitions in beadwork. It's like a miniature canvas!
  • You just need a few here and there to give your work a punch. They are much more affordable than other materials, like semi-precious stones, crystals, or precious metal findings.
  • It is challenging to build a larger piece of work. It's like completing a bigger puzzle. I like to challenge myself when I design and also challenge my fellow beaders who attempt one of my patterns.

Petit Fiore Earrings
by Lisa Kan

Also, because my designs are mostly inspired by art history, by utilizing size 15s I can create more intricate designs. The larger size seed beads would look too bulky otherwise. I use all sizes, shapes, and colors of seed beads. Like books, no bead is safe from me, either! I prefer Japanese seed beads (Miyuki or Toho) for their uniform shape because I like precision (the engineer in me!). I prefer Czech charlottes (size 13) for subtle highlights and a little "flash". I don't use regular Czech seeds at this time in my work, but they are excellent candidates for embellishing.

Sandstorm bead series

Michelle: Your show schedule is intense! What have you learned by doing so many shows?

Lisa: This year my show schedule is VERY intense. In previous years, I had more local shows. This year I am so jazzed about sharing my first book, Bead Romantique, with as many beaders as possible, I have scheduled a key show every month of the year in a different state. I am a multi-tasker and what is sleep anyways? I can't sit still for the life of me and always have to be busy!

I enjoy speaking to beaders at shows because the feedback is invaluable. What I teach in Bead Romantique is by no means the only way to create. Please keep that in mind when you attempt the projects. There are many ways to achieve similar looks and my way is only one of many options. This is what makes creating and beading so rewarding. What I am thrilled about the most is that by giving away my techniques in this book and in my articles, I am able to not only share my passion for designing and beading, but that I am able to reach more beaders than I would in a classroom setting. I do not teach in any other platform currently and I so enjoy writing!

Michelle: What's next for you?

Lisa: Bead Expo Portland will be immediately next. I have a lot of collaboration projects lined up, with especially my great friend and fellow designer, Jean Yates. I'm also working with other collaborations, as building a community of artisans, is so very important to me. But, whatever else my new endeavors lead me, be assured that I will always give everyone my best because I can't imagine doing any less. I have lots of surprises ahead.

While being active in the bead community is great, I think what my most challenging mission this year will be my Susan G. Komen Walk for a Cure. After all my shows are over, I will be walking 60 miles in three days in San Diego. I would love to share the details:

Serenity Blossoms
by Lisa Kan

Sara Hardin (of "Ask Sara" from Softflex Company), her cousin Virginia Barrera, and Lisa Kan make up Team Beadalicious! The three have taken on the mission and challenge of walking three days and 60 miles from November 21-23, 2008 in San Diego. This endeavor supports the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, which funds important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment. With your help, the team hopes to show the world what beady folks can do to help a worthy cause. The team hopes to raise $10,000 or more by the time they walk, to not only help those afflicted with breast cancer now, but those that will be diagnosed this year, and those that will unfortunately be afflicted in the future. All donations are tax deductible. Lisa has also offered to send the top five donors by the time she walks, a one-of-a-kind glass bead, just in time for Christmas. You must donate under her name to qualify, so she can track this. Thank you for your support.


I'd like to add that International donors are welcomed to donate to my Walk for the Cure. I will handle shipping to anyone, worldwide! No dollar amount is too small and I appreciate anything you can lend to support me in my mission! My goal is to help my team raise $10,000 by November 21st! Thank you in advance.

Happy Easter everyone. I'm actually taking Saturday 3/22 off to celebrate my Mom's birthday. Hopefully I don't fall behind getting ready for Bead Expo Portland but my Mom deserves a full day with her three daughters!

See you all at Bead Expo, Portland. I still have much to do. I'll post the Thursday Tease early Wednesday morning before I fly off.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Thursday Tease

The animal kingdom joins you this thursday for some laughs and smiles. This lovely ostrich shows how I'm so excited about the new opportunities that have surfaced recently. I have so many surprises and great news in store for you all. I must keep them a secret a bit longer, so I can surprise you, but you will read it on the blog when the time is right. There is always a right time for everything.

Although, I've been putting in 16+ hours for the last two weeks, having a marathon week of creating beads and writing articles too, I am having the TIME of MY LIFE (Wikipedia). I'm loving every moment of this busy life I lead and I hope to wow you in Portland soon.

Here's to the cheek-to-cheek grin of this lovely happy ostrich which is EXACTLY how I look now despite my lack of sleep! Wouldn't you love to have eyelashes like THIS? Forget the facial hair for the moment. LOL. Animal humor to the rescue and as a pick me up!

Btw, this morning FEDEX dropped off THE book. I am SO thrilled I finally get to touch Bead Romantique and my hands shook when I opened the package. I swelled up with emotion and tears of joy streamed down my face. Up to this point, I had not realize what I had accomplished by writing this book and have been SO very fortunate (THANKS INTERWEAVE, Tricia Waddell and Marlene Blessing!) to be given this opportunity to share my dreams with you all through the projects in this book!

My mom's birthday is THIS Saturday and she will be so proud to see the book too.
She still doesn't believe her daughter wrote an entire book. Geez! Even *I* can't believe I wrote a book. But it's here and I am so THRILLED to share this book with you all. Interweave Press and all the talented folks there ROCKS!

At Bead Expo Portland next week, I'll be dancing around the booth demoing the Mesh Pearl Bracelet at noon every day Friday to Sunday! Come see me!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Beadwork Magazine: Apr/May 2008

The April/May issue of Beadwork offers more than just your garden variety beading projects. This issue is packed with 20+ designs for spring that will have your inner creative voice singing like a robin when you see the gorgeous palette of colors, textures, and inspired variations of your favorite beadwork techniques.

You will not be able to resist making one of these 5 botanical beauties from this delightful Bracelet Bouquet arrangement featured in the April/May issue of Beadwork.
Bracelet Bouquet

From left to right –
• Cathi Tessier’s Flirty Fringe is a two-drop peyote stitch with fringe and is quick to make.
• Lisa Kan’s right angle weave Petit Fiore Trellis Bracelet features a rainbow of picot-based flowers.
• Lucie’s Daisy Patch by Kelli Burns offers a great way to practice the daisy chain stitch.
• Tender Buds by Julie Walker uses peyote stitch and a daisy chain variation with pressed-glass and crystal beads for a sparking garland with a touch of shimmer.
• Blossoming Vine by Laina Goodman is a nature-inspired spiral rope bracelet, fusing glass flowers, leaves and crystals.


Yes I don't sleep.
In the latest issue of Beadwork Magazine you will find the Petit Fiore Trellis Bracelet. The matching earrings is a web-exclusive FREE project. More info on these projects and other photos in a future post.

I must return to getting ready for Portland! Time is running out! Yikes...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Special Offer at Bead Expo Portland

A Special Offer from Interweave for Bead Expo Portland

This is a Special Offer at Bead Expo Portland for our customers! Come to the Meet the Instructors Reception on Thursday, March 27, 2008 and receive a free pass to the Bazaar for the rest of the weekend! At the Instructors Reception, you can see all of the incredible class projects being offered at Bead Expo and meet our world-class teachers. Also taking place Thursday night is the Bead Bazaar Preview, so you can shop, too! Be the first to see what’s new and exciting in our booth. Make plans to come to these two great events on Thursday night:

Meet the Instructors Reception: 6 – 8 PM

Bazaar Preview Night : 5 – 9 PM Admission for Thursday night will be $10 (cash).

Be sure to go online and print out a $2.00 coupon off of this price:

You can pick up your free pass for the rest of the weekend at the Reception.

Hope to see you at Bead Expo Portland!

The Thursday Tease

Spin Spin Spin.

I'm spinning my mandrel as I continue to have marathon studio days, making beads for Bead Expo Portland.

Hard at work these days, 12+ hours, but life is good. I can't complain. New projects and opportunities to share with you all later but for now I must focus on "da beads!"

So today's Thursday Tease shows off an interesting art installation featuring spinning wheels.

Ooooh... Aaaah... I can see this in glass, in seed beads, in metals, in chain and in all that is creative. Can you see what I see, as this latest image teases your senses and your visual acumen?

Let's spin, spin, spin TOGETHER and dance with the wind. (and flame, in my case - smile)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Thursday Tease

Droplets... Tiny Droplets of water... See the reflection... See the glow... See how it glistens

Ah! How visually stimulating imagining this as a glass bead.

Double Ah! Or maybe even a seed-beaded sphere.

Triple Ah! Or maybe as a patina fine silver PMC hollow bead.

Isn't having a vivid imagination grand, when you can stare upon such beautiful imagery, to inspire you?

I'm such a tease. Welcome to the latest Thursday Tease photo!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

San Diego 3-Day 60-Mile Walk for a Cure

Please support me as I take an amazing journey in the fight against breast cancer! The Breast Cancer 3-Day is a 60-mile walk over the course of three days, from November 21-23, 2008. Net proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust, funding important breast cancer research, education, screening, and treatment.

My personal message to my family, friends and customers

Hello, everyone.

I don't have breast cancer. I don't know anyone directly that has breast cancer. I decided to join the 60-Mile San Diego Walk to support my friend Sara Hardin in spreading the word and help a worthy cause, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure and National Philanthropic Trust. I also wanted to do something for myself, to get healthy and moving again. I used to be a sprinter in my younger years. I used to win medals too, but eventually these Chinese legs were no match to faster ones, so I moved forward with other endeavors.

Sara and I are very active members in the bead and jewelry field. We have become friends through our love of beads. If you don't know Sara, she is the Marketing Manager and the "Ask Sara" Product Specialist for the Softflex Company. Besides being a great friend, Sara has a very generous heart and led the way by walking in 2006, in Arizona, suffering blisters but never giving up on her goal. It has come time for me to join my friend in spreading the good word. (I was working on my book during this time!) One can talk and talk but I am a person of actions. We will do it together, Sara and I, with YOUR generous help.

I may not have breast cancer but I do have Type II Diabetes, non-insulin dependent. Not many people know this, except my close friends and family, but now you all know. I don't see having this disease as a handicap so please don't feel sorry for me. Instead it is the driving force for me to get as much done in my lifetime as possible, because life is short! So no need to feel sorry for me because I do have a full life. Just read my website and my blog. This crazy girl is all over the place and now you know partly why. I am just like you but I just eat differently and need to keep exercising to keep the blood sugars in manageable levels!

I was diagnosed with diabetes in July 1998 a few weeks after I married my sweetheart, Nick. At the time, I wondered and asked "why me?" like anyone would. I cried and cried for several weeks but realized life has a way of dealing you cards to challenge you. Reflecting back now, having diabetes has me more aware of how precious life is indeed. I treasure every moment and day I have to spend with my family and friends. And I have a mission to share this philosophy with anyone willing to listen to me (and oh boy! can I write long novels!)

With my loving family, I've been able to just stay on management medications and to date am not insulin dependent. If you saw me in person, with my energy level and "can do" attitude, you would NEVER guess that I am diabetic. Diabetes partly runs in my family! Looks can be deceiving because I don't let on! However, I've been careful to watch myself and eat as healthy as possible, trying to exercise when I can (which hasn't been much in recent years, but I'm about to change that with my training program!) What you don't see is that some days I do feel "weak" and don't get much done, but my family and friends keep me going, going and going! I'm an Energizer Bunny.

So I have a new outlook on life and am committed to see this through, returning to my old active self. I used to be in martial arts, run, cycle, play basketball, etc. By sharing this goal with you all, in a very public way, I will be guaranteed not to let you, breast cancer patients, their families, my family, myself and Sara down. I WILL DO IT! And if you see me in the bead world getting all that I get done, you know that I'm one MOTIVATED gal. I do what I say and I say what I'll do! And joining Sara on this walk, we hope to raise as much money as possible to not only help those afflicted with breast cancer now, but those that will be diagnosed this year, and those that will unfortunately be afflicted in the future. Please help us in this Walk for a Cure and be VERY generous with your donations.

I hope that no matter how much you are able to donate, that you consider supporting us by just giving up a cup of Starbucks coffee a week or a meal out. You may not want to walk 60 miles yourself but Sara and I will do it for you. In order for me to even walk and participate, I will need to raise a minimum of $2200. However, I hope between all my friends in the bead world, my family, and all of you in my extended family, I will be able to raise twice, three times or even four times this amount. I know that everyone has a generous heart and I will meet this goal. Whatever I raise, I WILL still walk in November. I will make sure it happens even if I donate all the $2200 myself. I am DETERMINED!

Join me with my friend Sara Hardin! Let's show the world what MAGIC bead folks can do to help a worthy cause. I will make you all proud and in the end, also make myself stronger and healthier bodywise to continue fighting my Type II Diabetes!

Please HELP Sara and I, in our mission

(click links to donate to either Sara or me!)

Lisa Kan or Sara Hardin

The largest five amounts donated to my name, by the time I walk in November, will get a free one of a kind bead from me as my way of thanking you for your support! Not that you need this encouragement!

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