Friday, May 30, 2008


Yes, the Japanese Professional Precision Tools are indeed in my living room NOW. All TWENTY boxes. My worker ants and I will be diligently packing ALL preorders to ship out this Saturday before I leave for Milwaukee.

It has been a HUGE learning experience getting these tools from Japan to the USA. There were material shortages that delayed production of our flush cutter and after two months of waiting, I am so relieved the first shipment is finally here and has safely arrived. Now I can say I am officially an importer registered with US Customs and Treasury Departments. I even have my own freight forwarder and customs broker. With that being said, I am still one woman, with very supportive family members, running this operation. So, I don't want to hear from those who say "I can't do this or that". Persistence, anything can be done if you put your mind to it. I'm not saying everything will be easy but hard work never killed anyone. So put some muscle into your next project, small or large.

We'll it's time for this girl to get some much deserved rest - a good night's sleep - for a busy tomorrow. Tomorrow the sun will shine even brighter!

P.S. And if I can get that "evil" bracelet woman taken care of, I will be that much more happier! Thanks S.K. (if you are reading) for helping me in that endeavor. I'm counting on you! (wink)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Thursday Tease

Peeling paint can be beautiful, no?

I find inspiration in decay and rust, at times. Doesn't anyone? Or am I just "odd" to see beauty in most things. I love the colors on this brick wall, peeling or not. But because the paint IS peeling, makes me want to reach out and help the paint peel faster. (My fingers are reaching at the photo now.)

Blues and purples always blend well together! (Except in a bruise! ha!) The splash of black breaks up the monotony but does it really? An intentional composition or just a happy accident? I say, just make it work and anything will work for you. Jump in with confidence. Anything can and will become my inspirational visual stimuli, so bring on some rusted surfaces, found objects and vintage goodies. Enjoy the peeling paint on this brick wall as this week's Thursday Tease!

Photo borrowed from Stager 57 from Flickr

Flourish, Inspire, and Create

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

PPT is Almost Here ...

Countdown, the first shipment of the Japanese Professional Precision tools are being delivered from my freight forwarder TOMORROW. In the past week and a half, I have learned a LOT about fluctuating exchange rates, wiring money, US Customs, freight forwarding, duty fees and how extremely expensive it is to import product into the USA. Custom fees are where the US government gets it's revenue, second only to income taxes from the IRS. Woohoo. Yes indeed, I feel GREAT being able to help the US government and economy in my own special way!!

When I first got my hands on the round nose and chain nose pliers in late February, thanks to a gift from my friends at Ezel Findings, I NEVER imagined I would become the exclusive importer of these Japanese tools. I'm a beadmaker, jewelry designer, beader, metalsmith and author but tool importer? Well I am an ex-electrical engineer so I knew good tools when I felt these in my hands. It was instant LOVE at first touch! I KNEW I had to have them ALL and thus launched my quest to complete my set of five tools with the missing three pliers (bent nose, flat nose and flush cutter). I tracked down a Japanese friend who happened to know the factory manager. What a small world full of connections. I truly believe these RED handled tools FOUND ME as I didn't look for them.

In order to get a good price to complete my own set, I had to order a small sampling of these tools which I originally intended to gift to good friends, selling the remainder few extra sets. I didn't WANT to become a tool importer but the tools wanted me to! I began to realize that although I knew NOTHING about importing product, MORE designers would benefit from these tools than just me and a mere 24 others! (my original sample order arrived right before Bead Expo Portland in March). So within a few short weeks through my Japanese friend we were able to negotiate the exclusive US distribution. I still had NO idea what I was getting myself into. I had to forecast possible future sales. This is why I decided to take pre-orders at the recent bead shows, beginning at Bead Expo Portland. I needed to gauge how popular these would be by just demoing the pliers and letting people feel them.

Once you feel these pliers in your hands you will instantly realize why they are indeed special. Once you see them in person, you will note the ultra fine jaws that are not available in any other pliers in the market today. So, the orders came from these show demos with NO real notification to the industry and half of the first shipment has sold. I still have a nice quantity for Bead and Button orders and forecasting for the next 6 months will happen very soon. So, this is how fast everything happened and why you did not read about these tools in my book, Bead Romantique. Now the real work begins.

In future months, you will start seeing product features on these innovative tools in key magazines. The first feature will appear in the August issue of Step by Step Wire. I will post the feature on the blog later as this is SO EXCITING. My first official ad for the PPT will also appear in this issue. The Interweave team has been playing with the tools for the last few weeks and I'm sitting on the edge of my seat waiting to read what they think!

With this feature and ad, I hope more will come to know how special indeed these tools are and how hard I've worked to bring them to the U.S. Having NEVER imported anything until now and because of my recent experiences, I appreciate all those Suppliers whom I know import more products than I. Wowza! So here's to these tools and let's see them ROCK the wire artist community. Don't forget to think about these tools for gifts to anyone who loves to use fine tools as they are not limited to jewelry designers only! Xmas is going to be here faster than you know.

I only sell these in kit form but will be offering the pliers to bead stores soon, who will offer them individually. If you can't find these tools at your local beadstore (have them contact me to bring them there!) and don't need the whole set, you can find them at the San Gabriel Bead Company who can ship them to you. You really CAN use every single one of these tools, so if you are a completist like me, then you'll want them ALL eventually. The introductory price ($125) may not last after the first shipment sells out. I will have to gauge the exchange rate situation and make a judgment how long the promotional price can last. I believe in bringing a great value to everyone and do not promote any product I don't believe in or use personally. So you know I will try my best to keep prices reasonable. And, even at the retail price of $150, you will find that these five tools are a bargain in this quality which can't be beat. If you can find similar ultra fine tools for lower prices - SHOW ME! I do not know of ANY pliers like these, available in the US, which are made with Japanese cutlery grade Stainless Steel.

In the next few days, my family (THANK GOODNESS, I need all the help I can get!) will help pack ALL the pre-orders to ship out by this Saturday. Then I am off to the Bead and Button Show to demo these in person! I won't have computer access all next week but I'll be armed with my Powershot G9, so I'll report on all my adventures when I return through my camera! It's a crazy time here, as you can well imagine.

In Anticipation and Relief
The Shipment is Finally
Here at last! Here at last!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Haiku on Specialty Beads and Bead and Button 2008!

Show Location:
Midwest Airlines Center

400 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Downtown Milwaukee.

June 5 - Private Shopping Preview - Exhibit halls open to registrants from 4-9 p.m.

June 6 - Bead Marketplace - Exhibit halls open to general public.

Shopping Hours for the Bead Marketplace:
Friday, June 6, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday, June 7, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
Sunday, June 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Location Map and Parking

I'll be leaving for Bead and Button on June 2nd, which is fast approaching. There are still many beads to be made in between now and then. I've been torching and torching (maybe not as hard as I should have, since I've been having too much fun writing poetry! Ooops).

Some of you have contacted me to say "Lisa, I don't have a nice bead store near me and I can't make it to the big shows, how do I buy some of your work?" Well, I'm glad you wrote to ask. My friend Jannell Botto, owner of Specialty Beads has a nice selection of Haiku beads up on her web store NOW!

I am actually going to be at Bead and Button because of Jannell, helping represent the Italian Mesh at this grand event, while she attends her youngest son's graduation. So THANK YOU Jannell for sending me to the MidWest! It's my first time at this huge show, can you believe? I'm looking forward to the experience as well as meeting up with many friends for some great food and excellent company!

I really feel tremendously bad (wish you truly knew how much!) that I am unable to open up the show stock in between shows like I normally do. Is it good to be this busy? Yes and no. It's not like I'm making beads every waking moment but there is SO much to take care of in a bead business. It's not always fun and games playing with beads all the time. There are loads of emails, piles of paperwork, people to call back, research to do, purchases to be made, tools to import, Customs to clear, packages to ship, website to update, blog to write poetry for, photos to snap - you get it. So I'm thankful that my friend Jannell is doing a promotion and special feature on the Haiku bead on her site! YAY! Jannell also carries the Ginkgo leaves too but those will be added to the website later.

What I'm trying to do is lure you over to her website to order a Haiku bead or two. She has a nice selection of colors in stock now (if they last!) and her photos are true to the actual bead colors. While you are there on her website, take a look at the wonderful Murano glass and of course the Italian mesh.

If you are coming to Bead and Button, don't forget to visit me in booth #822 where I'll be representing Specialty Beads, offering a nice selection of the 6mm mesh and findings, as well as a PLETHORA of my own work (with Bead Romantique in tow and the innovative Japanese Professional Precision Tool Kit to make you drool in my DAILY Pearl Mesh Bracelet demo. ) I'm taking orders for the tool kits by offering FREE first class shipping on retail orders. These tools are only sold as a kit through me but soon beadstores will offer them loose. Come see and feel the difference of why you really can't do without these tools if you are a wire artist. Now would I lie to you? Just look below at how BEAUTIFUL the tools are, Tools All Red! (wink)

chain nose, round nose, flat nose, bent nose, flush cutter

on profile, these highly polished
and ultra fine tools are pure MAGIC
Made in Japan
with CUTLERY grade Stainless Steel



See everyone in Milwaukee soon!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Like It or Not ...

I've been cycling the INXS CD, shown above, in the studio recently over and over again. To some it may be a bit ad nauseam. It's beautiful music to my ears and I can't get enough of the songs and belting out the lyrics while torching! (Lisa sings? I didn't say "good" belting. wink.)

Two cycles through the CD and I take a break from the torch. I enjoy listening to J.D. Fortune's wonderful voice almost as much as Marty Casey's. I feel somewhat a bit unfaithful to Marty but since J.D. is his pal, maybe I am alright to be enjoying this CD SO much. Ooops, I will cycle Marty's CD today at the torch to make up for my "wandering ears". You won't blame me either if you have the INXS CD.

My feeling earlier this afternoon as depicted by part of the lyrics of:

Like It or Not
(INXS, Switch 2006)

I can't believe
I'm seeing the world come
tumbling, crumbling down
Yeah, this love the world's receiving,
more chance of it on shutting down
Shutting down, yeah, yeah

Like it or not, love is the God
Love is the, love is the God
Like it or not, love is the God
Love is the God

So put your guns
down on the ground, yeah, peace,
it makes such a pretty sound
I can't believe
I'm seeing the world come
tumbling, crumbling down
You won't believe the feeling
when it's all coming back around
Coming 'round, yeah, yeah

The rest is repetitive, but you get the picture. I felt this way earlier (but no more) because I had to deal with a certain situation this morning that gave me an ULTIMATE headache. Things have come full circle and "Love is the God" meaning I've moved forward! Now that I have figured things out and a great customer (hi Ms. B.C.!) has solved the riddle for me, I can move back to making beads. There are just some situations that I come across and wonder "why" as in "tumbling, crumbling down"? Anyhow, no need to get into the finer details as it is not my intentions for this blog. I am letting my "steam" out in this post, my way. Whew.. Lisa talks to herself "must focus on making MORE beads for Bead and Button".

On a more positive note, this morning as part of my Breast Cancer Walk (donate please!) training, I attempted Kenpo X with Tony Horton. I have been dying to try this program out and maybe it will help me build the stamina I need to walk SIXTY miles in November! Yikes, what was I thinking when I signed up? You know what I was thinking? I was thinking with MY HEART and not my feet. Hahaha. I will do it, don't you worry! I am one determined chickadee and will be muscle bound by the end of this year! Maybe?

I still need to get some gear to be fully prepared for P90X but thus far, Kenpo X is EXCELLENT. The sequences remind me of when I was in college taking Tae Kwon Do. Yes, you did not read wrong. This little girl DID do 'some' martial arts in her time but never pursued the art form beyond recreational exercising! I love punching and kicking. Someday maybe I'll even get a colored belt if I find time to join a dojo. I just love martial arts, the discipline, the focus, the determination and will train myself back to my flexible college years (sigh!). I just love exhausting myself, sweating, kicking and punching. (Disclaimer: No harm was done to ANY humans or animals while Lisa was performing Kenpo X!)

Next I will be back on the torch for a few sessions for the remainder of the day. What? You thought I was going to take the rest of the night off? Think again. (Lisa is thinking... just kidding!)

Kicking and Punching
Lisa X

Friday, May 23, 2008

Lips All Red...

Lips All Red

Clock strikes midnight
Tick, tick, tickity-tock
Time is slowly passing
I'm losing my mind
No one here to know

In this crowded room
A sea of people buzzing
With their noisy chatter
Burst of sudden laughter
I was just about to leave

When I see you standing
Looking into a mirror
Brown hair, hiding your face
Your luscious lips all red,
Cheeks flushed a rosy pink

You sense me admiring
Glancing up, we meet
Then an alluring smile
A motion to escape out
Moving through this crowd

Under the moon we stand
Your face glows, so divine
Scent of sweet daydreams
I give my first daring kiss
On those luscious red lips

My mind starts spinning
Heartbeat quickly racing
I catch my breath to realize
I didn't even ask your name
What should I say or do next?

Tick, tick, tickity-tock

(written 5/22/08)

Photo borrowed from Ali K (Ali Karagoz) from Flickr

P.S. This escapade was inspired by the photo from Ali Karagoz. This electronics student lives in Tours, France and has a keen eye for capturing the beautiful, in the simple. I am fortunate to have found him on I thought I would give an interesting story to Ali's photo with this poem! Thank you Ali for the inspiration. It was nice to have met you through your photography.

P.P.S. No, poetry DOES NOT have to rhyme. Who told you so? I beg to differ. My poetry generally tells a story with imagery (sometimes with an inflection of humor! ha!). I'll just tell it the way I like and write it my way. (smile) I hope you enjoyed the read and the mystery! So what happens next to this story? Your guess is as good as mine. Let's wish "him" good luck getting out of this one!! Yikes!

Writing, Writing
Never Stop Creating
with Words


Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Thursday Tease

Happy Roses. Feel Good. Feel Happy.

A very colorful Thursday Tease. I will let the photo above and the attached article tell the story. Personally, I'm not quite sure what the market is for these roses. Colorful they are but I would like to leave the paintbrush and palette to mother nature instead. Thank you very much!

(from the Happy Rose website)

What is and how does a Happy Rose get its special colours?
The Happy Rose is an especially colourful rose, which will immediately cheer you up! Due to a unique colouring application, every rose petal receives its own cheerful colour.

The Happy Roses are placed in special water. Different substances are dissolved in this water. The rose branch absorbs this water as part of a natural process. This is what changes the colour of the petals. What makes Happy Roses unique is that the inventor has managed to colour a few petals, for example, yellow, whilst at the same time other petals colour differently, for example, blue, orange or lilac. It even proved possible to achieve a range of different colourings in the flower, which as it were fan around one another. This resulted in these unique, colourful and cheerful roses.

Who cultivates the Happy Roses?
Happy Roses is the result of an alliance between the companies River Flowers and F.J. Zandbergen & Zn. The firm of Zandbergen is specialised in everything to do with roses. They know exactly which roses are suitable for Happy Roses, who are the best cultivators of these roses and how, together with these rose cultivators, they can acquire the nicest and finest roses for River Flowers. River Flowers is specialised in the cultivation and colouring of chrysanthemums and the making of Happy Colors. They devised this process, developed it and then applied for an international patent. Initially this process was developed for the River Flowers chrysanthemums, but River Flowers happened to come into contact with the firm of F.J. Zandbergen and the process was tried on roses. This proved extremely successful and from that moment on the rose has been included in the development process.

So at this moment there are Happy Roses and Happy Chrysanthemums, both under the name Happy Colors.

Read about all the excitement of Happy Roses as featured on the front page of Chronica Horticulturae (2-04-08)

Photo borrowed from JerikoJosh from Flickr

So are you Happy
and Feeling Good yet?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bead Romantique Project Seed Colors

Bead Romantique Project Seed Colors

Many of you have emailed me to ask me for the EXACT colors I used in Bead Romantique. While I was designing, beading and compiling the thirty project submissions (yes, THIRTY projects) for the book last year, I actually made multiple samples of most of the projects you see. Generally my first sample, I just bead. If I make a second sample, I tweak and fine-tune the design further. I have a lot of seed beads at my disposal but I generally use a select few colors always to project the feeling of vintage beadwork. The reason we did not include the numbers to the seed beads in the book (and you will note this in most books and magazine projects) is to not favor one seed bead company over another but also because beadstores/online retailers have different nomenclature. We used descriptive words instead to be more generic and to also encourage you to select your own colors.

Although I've listed all the colors here for EVERY project which utilized seed beads, my hope is that you discover your own "inner Color Goddess" to find colors that you enjoy working with. If you visit me at beadshows, you may also see alternative samples with colors different to those listed below. Also my friends SpecialtyBeads, Vintaj and Ezel Findings will also showcase alternate colors to the samples you see in the book at their booths too. I was a busy girl beading, let's just say. Please note only projects from the book are listed below. Thank you again for purchasing my FIRST (and hopefully not last, if I can find more time in the day) book.

With no further delays, here is the info that you have been waiting for! I have made suggestions for optional substitutes that are close in color to the original, to be more flexible to you, in case you can't locate one color or another. Please note that the San Gabriel Bead Company, Out on a Whim and Jane's Fiber and Beads will have these colors in stock between all three of them. You can find a wonderful selection of Czech charlottes from Charlotte Silverstein of Garden of Beadin'. All these folks are MY sources for most of my seed bead needs.

If you have a hard time finding any of the seed beads, the San Gabriel Bead Company is offering to ship them to you. Most often the exact seed beads are available but substitutes may occur. I work with them closely so can provide color consultation. All you have to do is email me with your contact info and the projects you want to recreate. I will work with the store to get as many of the beads in a semi-kit to you.

Project 1: Scalloped Chain Necklace (pages 14-17) - No seed beads used

Project 2: Ndebele Pearl Medallion Earrings and Bracelet (pages 18-23)
a. Topaz AB 15/o = 377B (or 377 or 377L)
b. Bronze Metallic 15/o = 457
c. Brown Iris 11/o = 458

Project 3: Netted Rivoli Chain Earrings (pages 24-29)
a. Matte silver lined amethyst 15/o = F639
b. Topaz Rose AB 15/o = 301
c. Fuchsia crystal lines 15/o = 395A
d. Amethyst AB 11/o = 356E (or 384 or 928)

Project 4: Pearl Cascade Necklace (pages 30-33) - No seed beads used

Project 5: V Scalloped Necklace (pages 34-39)
a. Matte Sage Iris 11/o = F460H (or F460G)
b. Matte amethyst AB 11/o = F460N
c. Bronze metallic 15/o = 457
d. Silver Lined Lt. Olive cubes = IC991

Project 6: Mesh Pearl Bracelet (pages 40-43) - No seed beads used

Project 7: Ndebele Twist Band with Flower Center (pages 44-53)
a. Amethyst AB 11/o = 928 (or 384 or 356E)
b. Bronze metallic 11/o = 457
c. Perwinkle AB 11/o = 387
d. Bronze metallic 15/o = 457

Project 8: Bohemian Drop Earrings (pages 54-58)
a. Bronze metallic 15/o = 457
b. Chartreuse AB 11/o = 318Q
(page 58 earrings)
a. 15/o = 638
b. 11/o = 319H or 318E
(page 59 earrings - from left to right)
1a. 15/o = F460E
1b. 11/o = 318Q
2a. 15/o = 457
2b. 11/o 318Q
3a. 15/o = 299A
3b. 11/o = 399L

Project 9: Rivoli Y Drop Necklace (pages 60-67)
a. Matte Cranberry Fuchsia 11/o = 299J (some may call this F299J)
b. Purple Luster 15/o = 430I
c. Bronze metallic 15/o = 457
d. Cranberry fuchsia AB 15/o = 299J
e. Dark Purple Iris 15/o = 454

Project 10: Quatrefoil Nouveau Festoon Necklace (pages 68-75)
a. Bronze Metallic 15/o = 457 (color is noted as Brown Iris which you can also use, 458)
b. Chartreuse AB 11/o = 318Q

Project 11: Double-Sided Maiden Necklace (pages 76-83)
a. Matte sage iris 15/o = F460H (or F460G)
b. Silver lined topaz AB 15/o = 377 (or 377B or 377L)
c. Amethyst gold luster 15/o = 319
d. Cranberry luster 15/o = 313
e. Purple luster 15/o = 319H (or use optional flower seed colors listed below)
f. Chartreuse luster 15/o = 318J
g. Sage iris 11/o = F460H (or F460G)
Optional flower seed colors: 275 and 395A

Project 12: Medici Rhinestone Necklace (pages 84-72)
a. Silver lined topaz cranberry AB 15/o = 638
b. Cranberry Luster 15/o = 318E
c. Matte cranberry 11/o = 318E (some may label this F318E)
(page 93, Rivoli version necklace)
a. 15/o back of rivoli and also the loops = 729 (or 229 or 375A)
b. 11/o = 729 (or 229 or 375A)
c. 15/o encasing front of rivoli = 318B
Optional: use 13/o marcasite charlottes for last row to contrast

Project 13: Deco Collar with Gemstones (pages 94-99)
a. Matte rose gold 11/o triangle = F460S
b. Cranberry bronze 11/o triangle = 502 (or 460F or 460H)
c. Matte cabernet 11/o triangle = 703 (or F460A)
d. Fuchsia crystal lined 15/o = 395A (or 395B or 2247)
e. 24kt Gold 13/o charlottes (the expensive versions!)

Project 14: Black Lace Lariat (pages 100-107)
a. Black 13/o charlottes
b. Black 11/o charlottes
c. 11/o triangles = 49

Project 15: Quatrefoil Renaissance Bracelet (pages 108-115)
a. Brown iris 15/o = 458
b. Chartreuse AB 11/o = 318Q

Project 16: Victorian Diamond Cuff (pages 116-123)
a. Brown iris 15/o = 458
b. Bronze metallic 15/o = 457
c. Brown iris 11/o = 458
d. Matte cranberry bronze = F460A

Project 17: Triple Spiral Garden Lariat (pages 124-130)
a. Chartreuse lined aqua 15/o and 11/o = 229 (or 375A or 729 or 284)
b. Chartreuse luster 15/o and 11/o = 318J
c. Dark sage luster 15/o and 11/o = 307 (or 459)
d. Teal lined topaz 11/o triangle = 729 (or 1825 10/o Miyuki alternate)
e. Chartreuse luster 8/o = 318J
f. Fuchsia lined 15/o = 395A (or 395B or 2247)
g. Cranberry AB 15/o = 299J
h. Silver lined Berry Topaz AB = 301 (or 638)
i. Chartreuse lined aqua 15/o = 375A (or 729 or 229)

Enjoy beading!
Back to the torch

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Random Thoughts...

Random Thoughts

When things come undone
I use this magical string
To bind and sew
The pieces together
Making me whole again
As thoughts flow freely
Time for contemplation
Of laughter and smiles
Consider the possibility
Of everything in nothing
If you could hear my thoughts
Live as me in dreams
In a wealth of experiences
A life with no regrets
Where tomorrow is today
I can't stop, stop singing
This song in my head
The words come alive
My mind is consumed
With visions of a dream
Life is quite simple, no?
We eat, drink and be merry
Sing a song or two
Give hugs and kisses
To love and be loved
If I could capture every star
In the night sky this eve
To bring you some light
Of hope, peace and happiness
You will be living the life
In the eyes of the child
Who gazes in wonderment
To all that surrounds
Why is the sky blue?
And the clouds a fluffy white?
Money can buy a lot of things
But it can't buy you love
Or happiness and joy
When you stop searching
Everything comes naturally
In the fields out yonder
Wild flowers are blooming
A river flows through
In the solitary serenity
Is where I buried my heart
Why ask why?
Things are just as is
As real as real can be
So just accept thyself
What can be, will
Never give up, shooting star
Aim high, don't look back
Think ahead, play smart
Remember who you are
To not become who you're not
Empty stares, attention fading
Looks away, turn this way
Come and go, to and fro
Speak no more, hear no less
In your life, then out the door
Random thoughts

Flow through my mind
As I sit to write today
Making no real sense
But to me, myself and I

(written 5/20/08)

P.S. Tomorrow I post the seed bead colors to projects from Bead Romantique. I need to verify a few more things tonight at the San Gabriel Bead Company and then it shall be up, as you wished and have asked from me. Ask and you shall receive (not always but in this case, you will receive the info).

P.P.S. Thirteen random thoughts listed above. More to come in the future, when the mood strikes. I never know what I will write when I come to post some days. But when I come here, I will always write. If I write poetry, the words and ideas flow freely from within. I do sometimes "clean up" the thoughts afterwards but for the most part all the poetry you read is adlib - on the spot - genuine as only I know how to write and project myself here on this blog. Read it, feel it and know it. Understand all of my words? Now maybe that is too much to ask of anyone. Even *I* sometimes don't know why I select to think nor write or even design with a certain mindset. Just let it be, let it be to become so much more than what was intended. Step one, step two and three steps later - moving forward always.

Photo borrowed from Raindawn from Flickr

Ms. Random Thoughts

Monday, May 19, 2008

Brain Damaging Habits...

Things that make you go HMMM...

Hmmm... I received this as part of a list of damaging habits that may cause a number of ailments from my sister, Sandy. In this case, this is a list that will cause me BRAIN DAMAGE. OH MY GAWD! I thought it interesting so I am sharing it with the rest of you.


1. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.

2. Overeating
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High Sugar consumption
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5. Air Pollution
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Head covered while sleeping
Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Working your brain during illness
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

10. Talking Rarely
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain


Based on the 10 top habits that can cause brain damage, well.. uhmmmm... I have to admit to:

#1 No Breakfast - I normally don't have a full breakfast unless I'm traveling for shows. This means at home I have brain damage but at shows, I don't. We'll at least in public I am somewhat sane, that's all that counts to me. How I behave at home, well that's my private time. HA!

#5 Air Pollution - Well, since I do live in the LA area I am SUFFOCATING in air pollution all the time. I can't escape this one. That is why I lock myself in my hot studio most days and ONLY leave the house if I have to.

#6 Sleep Deprivation - I do sleep but not much! Now how am I going to get what I need done, write poetry, post on the blog, make beads, make jewelry, and a whole slew of other tasks if I have to bother with SLEEP. Who needs sleep anyways? Obviously I am more brain damage than I thought. How would I know any better? EEEEyah....

#7 Head Covered While Sleeping - Possibly, very possibly I cover my head with the blanket when I sleep. I am not 100% sure on this one since when I wake up, the blanket is all thrashed around the bed and sometimes end up on the floor. Since I am not sure, I will just say I am "guilty" on this account too. Maybe by hiding under the sheets from the boogie man, I am hurting my poor brain. Okay... these are good things to keep in mind.

#8 Working Your Brain During Illness - I am constantly working 24/7 since I also dream about beads. I figure that accounts for the time during illness too. If your brain is not working during illness, I think you have a serious problem. How are you supposed to fight all the bad germies to get better? Your brain should ALWAYS be working, no?

I AM 50% guilty, so I am at least partially brain damaged? OH NO!! Help!

What I am not guilty of is the following:

#2 Overeating - unless you count the extra scoop of Breyer's No Sugar Added Chocolate ice cream I had on Sunday night. Or the THREE Claro's Italian fresh baked almond biscotti cookies (with NO anise, thank you) I had this morning with my coffee saturated with Hazelnut creamer. Ooops.

#3 Smoking - I am actually allergic to smoke. I will bear it if you are a good friend but please note that I really don't like it. I am sensitive and can spot cigarette smoking in people's hair or clothes. I am born in the year of the DOG you know. I can sniff it out so you can't lie to me that you didn't smoke, even if you chew some minty gum - it's all over your clothes and even your hair people.

#4 High Sugar Consumption - I am diabetic so although I am innocent of this one, I may be guilty of eating and drinking foods with too many artificial sugars. So I guess I am guilty in the OPPOSITE direction. I consume Diet Mountain Dew and Splenda infested goodies often. YIKES! What was I thinking... must be the brain damage at work. Goodness, I'm NOT doing anything right!

#9 Lack of Stimulating Thoughts - Uhmmm why do you think I've been writing poetry on the blog? I'm trying to stimulate my imagination and creativity. I make up a lot of scenarios and adventures from my Show and Food Stops but really everything I write here is TRUE. (wink) I even listen to "More Stimulating Talk Radio" daily (KFI 640AM)

#10 Talking Rarely - Well I am definitely not guilty on this account. I can be found talking to my dogs during the day. Talking to the radio in response to something inane. Talking to myself... well sometimes... not often. Well OKAY if you have to know, I talk and sing to myself ALL the time while I work in the studio. And for those who visit me at shows, you know I can't STOP talking so maybe this is what will save me in the saga of breaking free from being afflicted with BRAIN DAMAGE. Woooo... I may be saved after all. If I keep on talking, talking and talking I will either drive everyone around me insane or I will be brain damage FREE. Let me think about it over a good night's sleep with my head uncovered as I think of stimulating thoughts but only after I have a good chat with myself AND the boogie man!

Aaaaahh... it's gonna be a fun night tonight! (wink)

Photos borrowed from PBO31 and Marta Potoczek from Flickr


Here's testing your brain power
Tickling your Funny Bones

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Do You Remember When?

Do You Remember When?

I close my eyes for a moment
Resting this weary mind and body
To drift back towards a time
When it was just you and I
Together as one singular "us"

Or so you whispered to me then
and as a lonesome dove searching
I believed every word you spoke
Each day and every day, I listened
This heart I gave away completely

Then one hot Summer day
You came to my door, standing there
Your face, THAT look, and your voice
Your eyes told me "goodbye", no more
I KNEW the truth without words

Do you remember
The sunsets and the moonlit skies
When we danced into the night
With only the rhythm of our hearts
Beating together in tight embraces

Remember? You don't remember.
You broke this heart, MY heart
Shattering everything that was me
All I could do was watch you leave
Walk away, as quickly as you came

For many days and nights after
All around me was aflamed
I hid my sorrows with anger
The tears no one saw, I cried
The agony no one heard, I screamed

In the solitude of those moments
Like a Phoenix who perishes in flames
I began to emerge from my ashes
Happiness was all that I would be
It was what I needed to stay SANE

I shake out from the momentary trance
Realizing these thoughts were a dream
How my mind plays tricks on me
But I better play it safe, just in case
This memory is NOT deceiving me

(Written 5/17/08)

P.S. In case you're wondering, no all this NEVER happened to me (I just have a vivid imagination) but I wanted to write this poem, tonight for whatever reason, after listening to my new INXS CD, Switch (2006). The CD is new to me as I just got it, even though it came out in 2006. J.D. Fortune is a FANTASTIC singer, by the way. I like every song on the CD which is sometimes difficult!

Photo borrowed from self portrait by Ali K (Ali Karagoz) from Flickr

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The Thursday Tease

The color gradation of the photo above showcases what light transmitted through a plastic medium can create. Fascinating art form and photography, I say. For this Thursday Tease, I can imagine using some of the colors in perhaps a peyote cuff bracelet. And then where the lines come towards the center, you can place an interesting focal, as a suggestion. Oooh, I want to go bead NOW but must continue to prepare for Bead and Button. My fingers are itching for tiny beads, but I must contain myself.

I'll let you know that yesterday I went a bit crazy for a weekday in my walk training. I'm still recovering from my 7 mile walk Wednesday morning. It is getting a bit warmer these days in SoCal so if I am to continue with my training, I'll have to wake up at the crack of dawn and start training at 6 a.m. If I train in the heat, it will only be fruitless, resulting in early exhaustion. I have decided to walk every other day instead of every day to give my body rest. Don't want to overdo things over here. Yikes!

Or maybe instead of training or torching, I can just stare at beautiful photos like the above. Here's to this week's Thursday Tease to energize you to go create. So GO Create!

Back to work!

P.S. I have compiled a preliminary list of all the seed bead colors I used in the book and will be posting the info before I leave for Bead and Button, June 2nd.

Photo borrowed from Reciprocity from Flickr

Monday, May 12, 2008

How to be TRULY Happy...

Some good points on Happiness from Shape Magazine

How To Be Truly Happy
You don't have to win the lottery or meet your soul mate. You simply have to make a few small changes to the way you approach your day.

By Melissa Chessher

Though we all know what happiness is, achieving it remains a mystery to most of us. At best it's elusive, a joyful state that crops up when the circumstances are right. But the latest research shows that happiness is right at your fingertips. You can strengthen and develop it, much like a muscle, until you can summon it anytime-even if you generally tend toward a glass-half-empty outlook. "Research shows that our ability to experience happiness is 50 percent influenced by genetics, 10 percent by events, and 40 percent by intention," says Dan Baker, Ph.D., founding director of the Life Enhancement Program at Canyon Ranch, in Tucson, Arizona. "It's a side effect of living purposefully, standing up for what you believe in, and developing your full potential." By doing so, you can elevate not only your state of mind, but your health too. Fortunately, one of the easiest ways to achieve happiness is to break free of daily stressors and focus on the little things in life that bring you joy. To make it even easier for you, we've put together 10 simple steps to follow.

Play up your strengths
"As you're seeking contentment, it's better to focus on your assets rather than try to compensate for your weaknesses," says M.J. Ryan, author of 365 Health and Happiness Boosters. If you're not sure where your talents lie, pay attention to the compliments you receive. Do people at work say you have a knack for reports? If so, look for opportunities to write. Also, get comfortable discussing the expertise you do have. If your community board wants to advertise an event and you studied communications in college, speak up! Showing confidence-and backing it up with action-allows others to see you in your best light, which creates a positive cycle, says Canyon Ranch's Baker. The more you talk about your strong points, the more real they become, the better you feel, and the more likely you are to continue putting your best foot forward.

Get a hobby
If you've realized a creative pastime can make you content but you have difficulty fitting one into your packed schedule, consider this: "Creativity helps people adapt to life by making them more flexible and open to experiences," says Dean Keith Simonton, Ph.D. "This, in turn, fosters self-esteem and satisfaction." Since the benefits come from the process rather than the product, you don't have to paint like Picasso to feel the effect. If a drawing class seems too ambitious, add an "openness hour" to your day several times a week, suggests Simonton. During that time, try something that sparks your curiosity; perhaps cooking a new recipe or reading poetry. Another way to broaden your horizons is to change your routine. Try a different restaurant or take in a concert rather than a movie. Break from the daily grind and watch as your mind expands-and your happiness level rises.

Simplify your life
Money doesn't buy happiness. In fact, extra dough not only fails to bring joy after basic needs are met, it actually prevents it. "People who say making a lot of money is important to them are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and headaches-and less likely to report being satisfied with their lives," says Tim Kasser, Ph.D., author of The High Price of Materialism. According to Kasser's research, time affluence- feeling you have enough time to pursue the things you want to-is a better predictor of a satisfied life than income. To avoid thinking about material possessions, drop catalogs into the recycling bin before flipping through them, or suggest to a friend that you catch up over tea rather than at the mall. And if that rush you get from buying a new outfit intervenes, just remember: "Those pleasures only bring the kind of happiness that disappears quickly," says Kasser. "To achieve lasting contentment, you need to focus on experiences, not things."

Decide, and then move on

Less is truly more when it comes to choices. Too many options can paralyze you, prompt you to make a poor decision, or leave you second-guessing yourself. A recent study published in the Journal of Consumer Research found that the fewer stores people went to, the easier it was for them to make decisions-and the more content they felt. "When we think there's a more attractive alternative out there, even our good decisions leave us unsatisfied," says Barry Schwartz, Ph.D., author of The Paradox of Choice. "People who continually seek out the best of everything-be it a job, a mate, or a laptop-are more stressed and less fulfilled." To reduce anxiety, don't revisit a decision once it's made. "Say to yourself that good enough is good enough," suggests Schwartz. "Keep repeating the mantra until you believe it. At first it will be unsettling, but after a few weeks, you'll feel liberated." Finally, arbitrarily limit your options-whether you're searching for a soul mate or a sole mate. "Make a rule: 'Three online profiles and I pick, or two stores and I decide.' End of story." Accept the fact that some people won't like you.

Accept the fact that some people won't like you
No, it's not easy to cope with the idea that the woman three cubicles over can't seem to warm to you. But if you continue to fret over it, it'll bring you down-and it won't change her opinion. While friendship buffers stress, negative relationships can pose real roadblocks to happiness. "If you take everyone's judgment to heart, you surrender your own ability to view yourself clearly," says Baker. Next time you find yourself thinking about your office nemesis or worrying over a comment made against you, pause for a moment and recall the last compliment you received from someone you trust. Remind yourself that he or she has a good sense of your character. Then think of the things you've accomplished that mirror that compliment. This simple act will turn you into your own biggest ally and make you feel powerful and in control.

Widen your circle of friends
"Relationships with close friends are one of the best vehicles to happiness," says author M.J. Ryan. "These bonds give us a sense of purpose and come with just as many emotional benefits as a romantic partner does." Additionally, research shows that friends keep us healthy, reduce anxiety, and even foster longevity. In fact, friendships are so critical to a woman's well-being that the opposite of friendship-social isolation-has been found to be as damaging to one's health as heavy smoking is, according to the Nurses' Health Study from Harvard Medical School. To make the most of your ties to others, put the same energy into your relationships with your friends as you would into a relationship with a significant other. Be enthusiastic, set aside time for special activities together, and keep each other updated on your daily lives. Your reward? Your pals will do the same for you, which will create feelings of support, belonging, and gratification.

Accentuate the good
There's a reason people tell you to stop and smell the roses: It's not just the flower's perfume that makes life better, but also the appreciation of it. "Gratitude is the cornerstone of happiness. It's all about noticing what's right in our lives instead of what's wrong," says Ryan. In a study from the Universities of Miami and California, Davis, people who were instructed to keep gratitude journals, recording every instance in which they were thankful, reported higher levels of enthusiasm, optimism, and energy than those who did not keep such diaries. The lesson? "Don't wait for something big to happen to you to feel happy," says Ryan. "Make yourself happy by noticing the good that's already there." To do so, start a simple ritual. Write a phrase like "Be grateful" on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket or another place you'll notice it. Each time you touch or see the note, name one thing you appreciate. Before you know it, gratitude-and daily bliss-will become automatic.

Match your intentions to your actions

You have goals, both big and small; you make to-do lists and set priorities. So why don't you feel fulfilled? "We find happiness when we derive pleasure as well as meaning from what we do," says Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D., who teaches Harvard's popular positive-psychology class. In other words, you may say family comes first, but if you work 14-hour days, you're creating an internal conflict that chips away at your chances of happiness. When researchers from the University of Georgia examined the lives of people who reached 100, they found one of the most common things the centenarians shared was a sense of purpose they continued to pursue. If you work long hours but want to spend more time at home, start by leaving the office 15 minutes earlier each day until you're there for just eight hours. And instead of saving all of your vacation days for one trip, set a few aside for your kids' school events or for spending an afternoon lounging with your partner.

Silence toxic self-talk

When your boss called on you at the big meeting this morning and you mangled your answer, did you replay the scene in your mind for the rest of the day? If so, you probably have a habit of ruminating on your shortcomings-as do most women, says Susan Nolen- Hoeksema, Ph.D., author of Women Who Think Too Much: How to Break Free of Overthinking and Reclaim Your Life. "My research shows that thinking about your mistakes obsessively drags you down and gives you an increasingly negative disposition. One problem leads to another and then another, and all of a sudden it seems as if your whole life is a mess," says Nolen-Hoeksema. "Over time, this pattern makes you vulnerable to depression and anxiety." But it's easier than it seems to break the cycle. Do something active and you'll be forced to refocus: Go for a jog, pop in one of your favorite Pilates DVDs, or clean out those cabinets you've been neglecting. After you've cleared your mind, take a small step toward easing your concern, rather than dwelling on it. Still thinking about your morning goof-up at the office? Send a short e-mail to your boss with a correction. Worried about a rattle in your car or the state of your savings account? Make an appointment with a mechanic or a financial advisor. Just one small action can pop the bubble of worry surrounding you.

Move it!

Although it's been proven time and again that working out lifts your mood, builds muscle, bolsters metabolism, and improves sleep quality, we often let our gym time slide. If a tight schedule is keeping you from lacing up your sneaks, keep this in mind: A study from Northern Arizona University found that energy levels, fatigue, and mood improved after just 10 minutes of moderate exercise. After 20, the effects were even greater. This means just two or three short bouts of exercise each day are enough to improve your attitude. A good way to squeeze them in? Start walking every day, says Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. If you know you won't go out on your own, form a walking group with colleagues and take two 10-minute breaks during the day to stroll around the building. Talk with friends while walking or jogging instead of over meals, or walk your dog a few extra blocks. Bonus: Your interactions with others will increase, which will give your mood a double boost.


So BE Happy!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

A View of Phoenix: The Story of the Trees

Saint Mary's Basilica Perimeter
Saturday, May 3 2008
Approximately 9:00 to 9:30 P.M.

The Story of the Trees

(Trees captured near the perimeter of the St. Mary's Basilica, on Saturday May 3, approximately 9:30 p.m. The trees are only lit by the Canon Powershot G9's flash)

For the Love of Trees

Twist this way, twist that way
Intertwined loveliness
The branches reach out
Calling me to come hither

In the darkness of night
Capturing the minute light
The evening draws late
As the city begins to sleep

Listening intently and quietly
I am the eager student of life
The trees are speaking to me
All at once, in unison

Each has a different perspective
It is overwhelming, their murmurs
To listen to their voices together
Of both happiness and sorrow

They cry out, a few in agony
Begging me to share their stories
For the love of trees
Please honor and hear us speak

Listen to our prayers and whispers
Open your eyes to truly SEE
What man is doing to us, trees
Think before you do, do as you speak

All trees are LIFE, many lives
Giving us the ability to survive
Breathe in their gift to mankind
Cherish them close to your heart

Repeat the telling of these stories
To ANY man, woman or child
Willing to listen or not
Make them STOP, THINK and HEAR!

For the love of trees.



Spooky but BEAUTIFUL huh?


Marty Casey and the Lovehammers
(one of my favorite songs)


I don't wanna go through this life
Without you by my side
And I got it all worked out
In my head here's how it's got to be

It'll be you and me
Up in the trees
And the forest will give us the answer
It'll be you and I
Up in the sky
It's a combination for disaster

We, we make believe
In a world we rule together
We can build our dreams
With a knot tied tight to last forever

It'll be you and me
Up in the trees
And the forest will give us the answer
It'll be you and I
Up in the sky
It's a combination for disaster

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
We got one shot
So let's use our imaginations
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah yeah, yeah
You're all that I got
So where do we go from here

It'll be you and me
Up in the trees
And the forest will give us the answer
It'll be you and I
Up in the sky
It's a combination for disaster

I know there's more for us in this life
If we hold on, if we hold strong
I know there's more for us in this life
Can we hold on, can we hold on


For the love of trees,
Take care of and cherish our trees


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to the Original Walk for the Cure Goal

(from my Walk for the Cure, 3-Day Blog)

Hello everyone,

I thought I'd reduce my fundraising goal back down to the $2200 needed to walk. This way you can see how close I am indeed to raising the amount for my "entry fee" to walk. I will boost the donation goal higher later. I am pretty sure you all will surprise me towards the end. Like the race between the hare and tortoise? I know you guys will come through with flying colors.

I will be sending emails to all my bead buddies after Bead and Button as I know most of us are getting ready for the big show. Then afterwards, you have NO excuse why you haven't even donated $5 to this cause. Spread the love, I say.

Today, I went for it. I walked 8 miles through the trail here in the mountains that leads to the Santa Fe Dam. Boy am I exhausted but in the walk, based on my pedometer (I have an excellent one too!) it noted that I walked 23,000+ steps and burned over 1000 calories. This is just the beginning. I am exhausted but I would have to walk about THREE times this amount to make up only ONE 20 mile leg in the 3 DAY. You know what? even though I was exhausted for the rest of the day and did not work in the studio, it was a very productive day. I am training and it feels GOOD to be THIS tired. It's a bit crazy that even my toes and toenails ache! HAHA!

Bring it on. Bring it on, I say. Work my muscles and let my muscles work for me. After these aching muscles recover, I plan to walk a standard 3 miles daily ("plan") and then on the weekends, when available to walk, 10 miles is the next target. Whew. I CAN do it! I know I can! Think strong, be strong and I AM STRONG. Half of all this is training your mind to persevere in the midst of AGONY.

Here's looking at all of you. Take me to the top of my initial goal with your generous donation!

Thanks everyone!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Bead Expo Phoenix: The Booth

Bead Expo Phoenix Booth
Friday to Sunday, May 2 - 4 2008
Approximately 9:00 to 10:00 A.M.

I was representing my friend Ezel Findings at this venue, so had three tables to fill. Normally I have my corner booth and that's that. However, my friend Sun Young had to take a trip to Paris (lucky her) and asked me to help out, so I brought Tina along. Tina stayed until Saturday and then Nick flew in to help the rest of the time. We spent some time with Uncle Joe and Aunt Dee, my first time meeting Nick's family. I hope they had as good of a time as I did getting to know them/me.

(click on any of the photos below for an enlarged view)

Walk around my booth to see what goodies I've filled it with. It was challenging to fill THREE tables but I brought along ALL of the project samples from Bead Romantique to help me out.

Lots of Freshwater Pearls in exotic colors for just $5 a strand!

There's the book and Digital Frame frozen in time with the Medici Rhinestone Necklace shown

And as you walk around, you'll notice the BEAUTIFUL Japanese pliers. I only had two sets at the show so am taking pre-orders before the shipment arrives after Bead and Button

This table showcases my glass work, you will find Ginkgos, Mesa, Strata, Fusion, Sandstorm, Haiku, Le Fiore Vive, Luft and Serenity amongst the selection. I try to have a nice assortment at teach show but this was the third show back to back so I had very little time in the studio.

Another Bead Romantique book and the Quatrefoil Nouveau Festoon Necklace, V Scallop, Triple Spiral Lariat, alternate Medici Necklace with 1122 Rivolis and the Double Sided Garden Maiden Necklace. Ezel Findings business cards to the side too.


A closeup of the lovely Digital Frame

There are those Japanese tools amongst my glasswork

This Mother of Pearl necklace was made for the Mother of the Bride in mind. It was the key necklace showcased on Sonoran Living LIVE

A closeup of how beautifully the festoon necklace would hang when worn.

The graduation project, as I'd would like to call it, the Triple Spiral Garden Lariat, is not difficult - it just takes a LONG time to finish. You will learn so many techniques from this project alone.

There is Jane of Jane's Fibers and Beads getting her booth ready. A view of my booth from a distance and right across all those seed beads. Jane tempts me at most shows with all those tiny beads!! If you ever seen Jane at a show, she carries signed copies of Bead Romantique.


Smile for the Camera, will you?

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Thursday Tease

Aaaahhhh...So many possibilities can be made with simple lines and dots. I found the above image on Flickr a long time ago. It could be some fancy tilework but whatever it was, I think it is simply GORGEOUS. For this week's Thursday Tease, study the photo above and what does the imagery lead you to create?

I can see the above in an intricate glass bead where the ENTIRE design is created with overlaying dots. You would have to be very meticulous with a steady hand but it can be done. OR what about a sculptural beaded flower? Then you can also use this pattern for a loomed design by adding your own colors? If you are at a loss still, how about transferring this image to metal clay, with the tear away technique from Gwen Gibson. Or just go scribbling as that usually leads to another innovative design. Oh my goodness, stop me now as I need to work on other projects instead of staring at this lovely photo.

I'd like to invite anyone who creates art based on a Thursday Tease post to email me the result! I'd love to see what you folks create from these Thursday Tease images. Aren't they fun?

Until next time,
Create with a Vision

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Show Stop: May 2-4, 2008: Bead Expo Phoenix

Bead Expo Phoenix

By day, the Bead Expo sign at the Phoenix Convention Center

By night, the Bead Expo sign at the Phoenix Convention Center

The Setup and Registration

This way to the show floor

The showguide and bags filled with goodies for shoppers.

Check in and last minute signups for classes.

Everything related to classes is managed and coordinated by the guy in blue. Well that's none other than Brian Stathopoulos, in action.

The Interweave Booth

A banner of the new Spring Books, see Bead Romantique?

Mardi Gras beads to make things fun next to the Bead Romantique display at the Interweave booth.

I only caught Laura Levaas at the Interweave booth as Leigh Trotter hadn't come to the show yet. I'll have to snap a photo of Leigh at the next show. These two gals really made the launching of book go smoothly. Laura also helped immensely by escorting me to Sonoran Living LIVE on Friday morning.

Some of My Friends on the Show Floor

Susan K. Nestor Studios

The BEAUTIFUL and vivacious Susan Nestor! A photo of this girl finally after missing out in Miami to show her off to all of you. My Canon did an excellent job!

Beyond Beads LLC.

Paul is striking the male model's pose while poor Rajeev is working hard getting the booth setup. These two crazy guys drove all the way from New York nonstop (about 42 hours). I respect their hard work, but guys don't work SO hard! I thought I was a hard worker until I met these two! They put me to SHAME! Deepak was in India and couldn't make it. I spoke to Deepak on Friday night to wish him well. Paul had to leave early Sunday so I hope all is well at home for him. Write back will you, either one of you? I give up ever hoping to receive an email from either Paul or Rajeev. (sigh) Some people are better talkers than writers. I write better than I talk! For sure!

Indus Valley

Zarif Khan striking his own male model's pose. This fellow is a funny guy. He and I have the same last name even though we spell it differently. Zarif has an energetic personality and I bet he's a lady's man too. Just look at Zarif posing. Just kidding Zarif.

One of Indus Valley's specialty is beautiful Roman Glass. I got my hands finally on some strands and am looking forward to designing with my collection. It was the ONLY item I bought in Phoenix. I was being VERY good. Thank you Zarif for the birthday present. I will design something beautiful with the Roman Glass.

Teresa Harkins, a new friend I met in Phoenix through Dee Perry. We all had breakfast together Saturday morning. Well, I sort of invited myself when I spotted Dee sitting by herself. We found out all of our birthdays were in consecutive days. Now how often does that happen? I think this is beyond coincidence and we were meant to celebrate Saturday morning, together! YAY to May babies! Teresa's birthday is May 2nd, Dee's is May 3rd and mine is May 4th. On Sunday I found out my friend Lala Fischer, who was also exhibiting at the show, was also having a birthday on May 5th. Woohoo for Taurus women!

Just look at all the beautiful creations on Teresa's booth. She definitely has a style her own. Lovely color sense too but what do you expect from a Taurus woman. haha.

Eager shoppers were perusing Teresa's booth while I snuck in a a few more photos to capture her lovely designs to share with you all.

Dee Perry of Clasp on Clasp Off, another Taurus! Dee's dragonfly clasp is used for the opening photo to my website. Dee has a nice selection of clasps that are not meant to be hidden. Show off your clasps! I hope to work with some of her new creations soon.

Laura Bittner of Antelope Beads is the retail seller of Vintaj Natural Brass components as well as Kazuri, Clay River, and Metalcraft lines of beads/pendants. If you see Laura at any show and want to make the three designs I have in Bead Romantique, utilizing Vintaj, she is the TO GO Girl. Drop by to see all the wonderful offerings in her booth.

Jane Overman's booth is always huge full of wonderful goodies and I am sometimes lucky to be right across from Jane at Bead Expo/Bead Fest venues. Just look at all that temptation. All those colors teasing me but I restrained myself and held strong. I didn't buy anything THIS time. Can I restrain myself at Philly? If you see Jane at any show, she will have signed copies of Bead Romantique if I am out or not around. Have fun shopping at Jane's.

Sara Hardin, my buddy and walking partner of Team Beadalicious in the Walk for the Cure, giving me a big hearty warm smile.

What didn't belong at Bead Expo
(Just my Point of View)

Hmmm, if I wanted to be a model or actor/actress, would I go to a BEAD show? Just some thoughts on what really didn't belong at Bead Expo. I know sometimes shows give out booth space to local businesses to promote the show but I'm really not sure why this booth was there?

Perhaps worse than the acting/modeling booth was the above. Uhmmm, I'm just speaking my mind out loud here but why are there belly dancers (at least that is what they called themselves) at a bead show? I'm just wondering you know. And also why did they have to perform twice RIGHT behind my booth. I started getting a headache with the music so loud and I couldn't hear myself nor the customers speak while I was conducting a demo. I hope the Bead Expo folks realize that this was a distraction more than an attraction. Thank you for letting me speak out loud.

Just Jiggle then Wiggle,
Follow the Rhythm
I suppose


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