Friday, February 27, 2009

Introducing the New Wraps

I am warning you... if you don't like visual stimuli... then

Don't look...

I mean...


Please look...


What happens when the Robert Kaufman fabrics below get into the hands of the Kan sisters?




Bang! Abra ca dabra (Lisa waving a magic wand... towards Sandy)


Simply magical... hocus pocus

Whoopee! can I have more fun than this?

So folks, here you see a sampling of the new fabric wraps we are introducing at BeadFest Santa Fe. We decided not to kill ourselves with introducing too many selections at one time even though we have some secret stash of more fabrics. So for each show, we will introduce new fabrics in both a small and medium size. This way attendees will get first dibs for coming to visit my booth and chat with me.

Come chat with me! Yay! (yakkity yak!)

The two sized wraps should cover all the different sized tools everyone has. The wraps are great gift ideas and we're doing a special when you buy two in the same purchase transaction. Come check the new wraps out at the show.

Just look at all the beautiful fabrics!! Ordering for the general public will be available after March 16th on my website. You can email to reserve the pattern but to give Sandy time to "pump up the volume" she needs time to make these.

So introducing...
Wisterias and mums
Marrakesh Kaleidoscope (perfect for the guys!)
Iris, Japanese Maple, Sakura, Fans and Ribbons (black)
Iris, Japanese Maple, Sakura, Fans and Ribbons (green)
Iris, Japanese Maple, Sakura, Fans and Ribbons (burgundy)
Mum Burst in Fuchsia, Magenta, Rose, and Gold
Mum/Kiku Garden (returning for second debut due to popular sell out)
Take a bow Sandy.
You did good sis!
You did GREAT! Excellente!
See all the goodies you can fit into the medium wrap!!!
The hard part of it all is which fabric do you like more!
Decisions. Decisions.
And if you buy an extra wrap for a gift, do you really want to gift it away?
I have one for each day of the week and one on each hand
(teasing) Pssst...
(wink left, wink right)
(nudge nudge)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Thursday Tease


Delicioso.... muy bueno... aaaaaaaaye, mi amor!

Colors. Lots of beautiful colors. My eyes are melting and hands are reaching for the screen. I want all those YARN cones!

Could this be a peep into my yarn stash?


Not yet...

...But daydreams are great for my escape. I live in my dreams some days.

This week's Thursday Tease not only teases you with color but also with fiber. A tribute to those beaders who are also knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners.

This winter I was reading up on yarn cones and actually purchased some nice selection of wool cones for future indulgence. Sometimes you can get fabulous colors not available in commercial skeins. The only thing is that you have to rinse the binder off the yarn to allow the yarn to "bloom". The binder added allows the yarn to compress and spun into cones for ease. Generally these cones are used by weavers but hey, it's all yarn, right?

Danger zone. Danger zone. (beep beep)

(Smash... Crash... )

Fibers are as dangerous as beads. You want to have it ALL! When do you say "no" or do you? Yikes!

I'm drowning here folks with color, texture and absolutely loving it. The photo does not only show you beautiful fibers but if you look carefully there are variations of tones that can assist you in designing with color.


Perfecto maestro...

picture was borrowed from Photovox from Flickr

Friday, February 20, 2009

Developing the Tri-Fold Tool and Bead Wraps

The Story Behind the Tri-Fold Tool and Bead Wraps
The classy logo above was designed with the help of my friend, Michael Brown, a man with many artistic talents, one of which is being an award winning graphic artist. He is currently studying at the University of California at Berkley and took time out of his schedule to help me create our signature logo.

I selected the colors for the final label and here is what they represent to me. The red color for "Kan" symbolizes good fortune and prosperity in many Asian cultures. While the gold color for "designs" symbolizes the richness of the Japanese culture and aesthethics that influence many of my designs. The gold also compliments the many gold outlined fabrics we select for our wraps. The white color for "made in the usa" represents purity and the fact that these wraps are made proudly in the USA. The black color for the label background represents the visual balance when the three other colors are combined. These colors are also represented in my show display with similar meanings.

What do we "Kan"s know about manufacturing these tool and bead wraps? Am I not a jewelry designer, glass bead maker, and writer with an ex-engineer status? What else do I have up these sleeves of mine. (looking up sleeves)

Uhmmm... I won't tell if you won't!

My sister Sandy and I have combined our knowledge to develop these wraps. Sandy loves to sew and I love COLOR/texture/textiles. It was very clear that the introduction of this line would have the influence of Japanese print fabrics and aesthetics which has come to greatly influence my work. We may also venture into Victorian and Art Nouveau fabric prints. These historical eras also influence my design sensibilities. And it is with these influences that we present the Kan Designs signature "look". It is all about quality and functionality as well as the careful balance between price and affordability. These wraps are cut and sewn one at a time by ONE person, Sandy. I warned her that she will need to bring along a staff soon once the line takes off. We have many ideas of other wrap ideas to introduce this year. There are so many beautiful fabrics we have yet to explore! How utterly exciting to see the product being created from start to finish. By manufacturing in house, we have more control on the quality.

We learned our skills from our master sensei - otherwise known as Dad. My parents operated textile manufacturing facilities throughout the 80's to late 90's for a few Los Angeles based clothing design firms. These firms supplied high end fashions and ready to wear designs to fine department stores. My father is a master tailor who is mostly self-taught. He can look at any outfit and recreate it. His skills were highly sought after for creating production samples for the showroom. My parents have since retired from production work and operating the manufacturing facility. However, we still have access to much of the machinery required.



Of course... huh?

Now do you see how we came to design these tool wraps... let me summarize the events of the last few years culminating to where we are now!

The engineer becomes a glass bead maker... who begins to do silversmithing and wireworking...who begins to seed bead on a challenge from a customer... who gives up engineering... then begins to write... writes a book... continues to write articles... then uncovers precision engineering tools that will make everyone's wirework even more EXCELLENT... next becomes the exclusive distributor of said tools to the bead and jewelry field...

Uhmmm... there's more...

Then goes back into time and rediscovers her family's roots in textile manufacturing to introduce an innovative beautiful tool and bead wrap design with her sister. The connection is finally clear... (this girl gets herself in a lot of trouble it seems!)

Maybe the Kan sisters DO know something about manufacturing and developing beautiful tool and bead wraps. Do you see the progression of events?


Below is a sampling of the new Robert Kaufman fabrics for our next wrap launch in Santa Fe. Seven of the fabrics below will be converted to both the small and medium wraps. Ooooh...

Also, check out the five new fabrics from Kona Bay waiting to be converted to beautiful tool wraps too but will be launched in May or April. Sandy does need time off to sleep you know.

In Santa Fe we will have more of the small and less of the medium size so if you come early you get first dibs. The fabrics in the launch will be on the website catalog. So as to not kill Sandy from sewing, sewing and sewing... we are launching select fabrics each month or show. She can only sew so fast and makes every one of the wraps on her "off" hours while holding a full time job working for the City of Los Angeles. How does she do that?

Well, we inherited our extreme work ethic from our parents!. I handle all other logistics for the wraps like ordering and selecting the beautiful fabrics. I get to work directly with the manufacturers, research and ogle lots of beautiful textiles! I also serve as the "slave driver" to ensure we have sufficient stock for the online store, the shows and wholesale accounts.

Five new fabrics from Kona Bay with closeups

(with more on the way!)


Why yes...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Thursday Tease

I've had some requests to bring back the Thursday Tease posts now that I am again actively blogging. The above photo are waterdrops captured on top of a rainbow-like background most likely thru glass. The water drops create mini-worlds of many miniature rainbows. Makes me smile just to look at all that color.

While driving back from Tucson, it was raining a bit. I saw FOUR rainbows on my trip back home driving 7 hours with TWO stops this time around. One rainbow was a full arch. Dazzling... simply miraculous... I love mother nature. Beautiful...utterly and plainly beautiful. The simple things in life. Seeing rainbows and driving in the rain. Smiling and singing songs from the INXS CD. It doesn't take much to satisfy me... just to be alive and to live life.

Life is great even with it's many challenges, the ups and downs, the happiness with the sorrows... the successes and the failures... there are always polar opposites in life. I take it all in and know that in the sum of all that life throws me... I am fortunate to be me and you ... you. We are unique individuals in this vast world of many simple things that when combined makes up the more complex things.

We are so fortunate to live in this time... OUR TIME, where moments become the experiences of our lifetime. To see rainbows. To dream of rainbows. Don't you think so?

(I don't see you smiling!!)
You too will start seeing rainbows too!
picture was borrowed from Asadbabil from Flickr

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Knitting Interlude ...

Okay, so I've been blabbing about how I am teaching myself how to knit and you're wondering "where's the goods"? I have been dabbling for the last few years but really did not knit seriously until this winter. I really dove in by indulging myself in my favorite yarns, Noro Kureyon, Silk Garden and Silk Garden Lite. I've outgrowned the craft store brands and actually started giving those away to clear room for the good stuff. Yep, this girl has a serious yarn addiction. If yarn was my drug, I would be overdosed many times over. Fortunately, Nick is a very supportive husband and does not "question" why a girl needs a walk-in closet full of yarn (well I'm exaggerating but one can dream, can't they?)

So I thought for my first official sharing of the "finished objects" I would show you the scarf that I knitted for my sister Tina (I have two sisters) in January 2009 which I borrowed to wear in Tucson this year before I actually "gave" it to her. Hey, I need to test out these woolies for durability before gifting them and boy did this warm scarf come in handy in the chilly mornings and evenings.
I wanted to teach myself a smaller entrelac project before diving into Lady Eleanor from Scarf Style (Interweave). Entrelac is REALLY easy folks. It just looks hard. I love the concept of short row knitting. I decided NOT to knit backwards so did a lot of flipping back and forth. Check out the photos below! I'll be knitting Lady Eleanor shawl/scarf soon when I determine the colorway.
  • Pattern: Entrelac Scarf from Knitty Otter (free)
  • Yarn: Noro Kureyon, Color #92, 4 skeins
  • Needles: US 8

Noro, Noro, yum yum. This yarn teases me with color every time I knit. Most of my wools and wool silks in my stash are from Noro. If a yarn variegates and the colors make me salivate, I know I have to get it. Yes I said SALIVATE! I do drool sometimes when viewing yarn photos. I love COLOR!!! and Noro always packs a punch. I usually buy my yarn online because I'm afraid I may embarrass myself in a yarn shop. I have NEVER entered in a real yarn shop because I would spend all my bead money. EEEEEK!! I love Ebay for my yarns and have my favorite yarn purveyors.

I'm bad, when I returned from Tucson, instead of continuing my hexagon blanket in all Noro Kureyon (Colors #147 and #163), I decided to cast-on for the Rambling Rows blanket from Cottage Creations. I found this pattern while goofing around looking at other folks blanket and afghan projects on Ravelry.

Why yes, how did you guess? You know me sooooooooooooo... well.

The new blanket project is indeed using ALL Noro Kureyon - Color #157, knitted from the outside and inside of the skein to add more visual interest. I have a habit of discovering a new color when it's been discontinued so I've been searching and googling for sources of this highly coveted yarn.


I am always successful because I am on a quest to work with these beautiful woolies. I don't give up easily. And, I have NO trouble having yarn shipped across the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans either. Sometimes yarn from overseas is actually cheaper per skein than purchasing from the States even with shipping included. I always have the trusty calculator on hand before I make a final decision. Lots of folks also clean out their stash and that's great for someone like me. Give me... give me! I do spend a lot in materials when using Noro with these bigger blanket projects but I figured just like beading, quality first. I am spending a lot of time with each project so why not use a yarn I love even if I have to buy 30 to 50 skeins! Yikes, don't tell Nick okay? hahah These will be heirloom pieces that I will "possibly" give away or donate eventually. I'm 1/6th done with the Rambling Rows blanket (sized approx 65" x 80" unless I decide to make it bigger) but am on a quest for more of the colorway (I "only" have 25 skeins and have knitted 7 thus far!). I will share photos later. So far the project is quite straightforward and easy.

More Knitting Interludes to follow in the future...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Journey to and from Tucson Part II

Watercolor Painting of the Manning House used for the show ads

The Welcome
So it's opening day at the Manning House Beadshow. I'm at the same booth in the Silverbell Gallery as I have been in the last three years. The show's name has changed with the new management but with that came a smaller, more intimate show and many welcomed improvements.
My booth and old photos on gallery walls
First of all, for those who had visited this show in previous years, one of the inconveniences was the lack of parking. Because the previous show grew too rapidly and too large for my tastes, I heartily welcomed the removal of the Redondo Pavilion (aka fondly "The Tent") for more customer parking. Sometimes too much is too much. Too large is too exhausting. And... I believe in the concept of "less is more" or "quality over quantity". I use these same concepts when I design jewelry too. We had less vendors this premiere year but all of them were quality exhibitors.
Some booth photos before opening on Sunday. I am always the early bird, otherwise I don't get out of my booth during the day!

As a new show, there were a sprinkling of vendors spreadout in several rooms with one wing of the mansion left unoccupied for future expansion in 2010. The show had about 43 vendors this year which made remembering everyone's names much easier. It was great, like the tv show Cheers, you're at the Manning House where "everyone knows your name". The Manning House is a beautiful venue where one "experiences" the ambiance, not to just shop. The relaxed environment is welcoming, unlike the cold floors of a cemented exhibit hall or the white-washed tents that dot the streets of Tucson this time of the year. With so many shows in Tucson offering a litany of commercial goods, walking through the Manning House is like a stroll back through history. For instance the Silverbell Gallery which I exhibit contains historical photos of the mansion and surrounding area. I don't know about you but I'm all for paying tribute to those who came before me and honoring the past. The Victorian decor compliments my beadwork so well that I can not imagine exhibiting anywhere else in Tucson except the Manning House.

Architectural elements around the Manning House taking you back into time. A show to be "experienced" not just to shop in this historical Tucson landmark.

Looking out the three french doors of the gallery, you get a view of the garden with a lovely gazebo. If time was no issue, you could order a glass of wine and stroll around the garden then come inside to shop. The leisure takes the stress out, the comfort a welcome and the beautiful architectural elements harkens back to a bygone era as you daydream strolling through the rooms. For this first show, we wanted to have some fun. Each of the vendors donated a prize for a superb raffle. Upon registration each attendee had a chance to win some fabulous prizes with a raffle ticket. I donated a copy of Bead Romantique to the prize pool. And as you made your purchases throughout the week, each time you would get another opportunity to win a prize. I sensed the excitement in the air but wanted to participate in the fun also but exhibitors were not allowed to. Did you see the loot in those display cases at registration?

One of two cases showing the "loot"

I always like to launch something new in Tucson to start the year rolling. It seemed everyone loved our Japanese tool wraps and if you were wondering, the wraps also fit other tools besides the PPT. I will compile a list of other brands of tools in the near future. Because of the feedback on just the first day, my sister Sandy and I are jump starting on prototyping the larger wrap with the same basic design concept. We anticipate launching that at the Santa Fe Beadfest in March. Another new item to Tucson was my triangle borosilicate beads. It is a new shape I am working on and color selection will expand over time. Unfortunately these are generally offered at shows and not on the website due to the difficulty of replicating the colors. Lastly, another new offering which will be added to my website is Italian Wire Mesh. Because many of you asked for kits of the Pearl Mesh Bracelet from Bead Romantique, I have partnered with my friend Jannell Botto of SpecialtyBeads to represent her product at select shows. Each 6mm wire mesh spool is 100" which is perfect for two bracelets or a matching ensemble when you select two colors. I hope to have the selection of colors on my site after Santa Fe. All mesh are the same price per spool, unlike "other" suppliers that mark prices based on color.

The first day was a busy one and I was extremely exhausted but that didn't stop me from partying with my friends at the Interweave bash, at the Tucson Museum of Art, down the street. But... before I could go enjoy myself, I checked into my new hotel. I love the casita I reserved at the Starpass Golf Resorts because it is away from the hustle and bustle. I also love the locale for the view I get each morning driving down to the Manning House. I get to experience the Tucson sunrise and breathe in the mountain air!

The morning viewMy casita!

So I quickly donned on my silver metallic leather jacket over my daywear, flung on my blue velvet ruched scarf and slide on my black boots in lieu of those Nike running shoes I wear during show hours. Comfort during the day but at night it's time to get fiercely stylish (wink). I am mostly seen as a very conservative and serious person (oh if you really only knew me...hahah)because of my "ex-engineer" status so me wearing a leather jacket is "letting loose". Hey I honestly have NEVER owned a pocket protector but I do wear glasses sometimes.

At the party I had a fun time mingling. I spotted one of my good friends Andrew Thornton of Green Girl Studios near the FOOD. Mind you, I hadn't eaten all day so was famish. The food selection was great but as I was a little late from checking into Starpass the selection was a bit picked over. I gather up some curry chicken skewers with apricot and a few chicken tortilla wraps. Andrew saw me too and I knew I had to "run". (See photo above where I am trying to escape from his camera!) He is famous for carrying his camera everywhere he goes. He is DANGEROUS! I avoid that guy when I see his camera. No photos! I am very camera shy. I think I managed to make him dizzy. hahah.

Then the drink bar called my name. I succumbed to having a diet coke. I had cut out all diet sodas while training for the 60 mile walk last November. I do not consume alcohols when traveling as a general rule unless Nick is around to vouch for me.

Interweave knows how to put on a great party and I had an excellent time with friends while making new ones. It was great of Interweave to not break from tradition and still put on this party despite the economy. They always know how to take care of their writers and advertisers. I appreciate them more than they know. What a great team of people! I especially enjoyed David Pyle's encouraging speech! I snucked away and made it back to the room to check-in with Nick. The ringer on the phone was broken or I never figured out how to enable it. So I watched for the flashing light instead to determine someone was calling. I didn't bother complaining to the management about the phone. I spoke to my sister Sandy also to make sure she was making more tool wraps. (What can I say, I'm a slave driver!! haha). That night I actually slept "a bit". I had brought some knitting to work on, but who was I kidding, I was EXHAUSTED!

(story to be continued, maybe)

Have a great Valentine's with the one you love tomorrow!
Fight less and love more

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Journey to and from Tucson Part I

Hello everyone,

I thought I would write a bit about my trip to and from Tucson. Since I can be rather verbose, I'm splitting the story into several posts!

You know... I should have regretted spending more time on knitting this winter and not enough on making more beads ... but I don't. It was just the renewal I needed to give me a color pick me up. I love knitting with wools and am teaching myself slowly to be able to eventually knit that dream sweater. I am sure I can just jump in but I want to enjoy the process of learning....


Knitting is so much like beading and jewelry design. It also feeds my love of fibers and textiles. As you work more intricate patterns, the project becomes longer to complete, selecting colors are fun, and the material choices are important. I have been spoiling myself for the past few months with beautiful fibers and knitting paraphernalia. Before I left for Tucson, I decided to reward myself with a handcrafted oak yarn swift made by Hornshaw Woodworks', Timothy Hornshaw.
Boy, I came home and found it waiting for me. It is BEAUTIFUL!! (see above). Hey I deserve it. DON'T I? I have a tendency of buying myself these little treats. As a matter of fact, I tell Nick to never buy me presents because I can handle the purchasing myself. This way he never knows how much I pay for something. heheh.. (more knitting and yarn talk later...)

So... the night before leaving for Tucson, I was up until 3 a.m. That was not smart but I managed to take a 1.5 hour nap before leaving for the LONG drive. If I had been working on stringing beads instead of knitting then I would have had more rest. But NO... temptation is not always bad now. So with little sleep I drove 7 hours with one break to Tucson. I had goofed up on my hotel reservations so had to find a hotel for the first night, which ended up in Oro Valley (35 minutes away from downtown Tucson).

After checking in, I went immediately to the historical Manning House Mansion to setup. And this goofball while unloading the car I spotted a friend (T-Beads) pulling up to park her car. And here I am hauling a big wide box with my special show lights.. I turn my head to smile but decided to start walking. OOOPS... I tripped over the center parking island and fell. A few bruises later, a fellow vendor ran out to the parking lot to check on me. Did I tell you that I am a BIG KLUTZ, sometimes?!!!

So, do you think you need more than 1.5 hours of sleep before driving 7 hours with one stop? I think so... but I don't learn these lessons well. HAHAH. At most shows, I exhibit solo because Nick has a full time job. These days, with the banking industry the way it is, he is very lucky to be employed. He is also the last man standing in his department so they depend on him. I'm saving his vacation time for Bead and Button and New York! If I can walk 60 miles in 3 days, I can carry a few boxes --- and TRIP --- with a few bruises to exhibit for 6 days by myself.

After setting up, my buddies Marsha Neal Studio, Specialty Beads and I went to La Fuente, a Mexican restaurant nearby. (Ms. Kelly Russell was still working on her display boards so decided not to join us for dinner!) I ordered the carnitas, one of my favorites! It was a long day and I made it back to the Best Western in Oro Valley in one piece. But....

Did I sleep? No because for most shows, my mind is still winding around whether I remembered to bring this or that. Instead, I slept a few hours and then woke up.. repeatly. I was finally up at 5 a.m. and then woohoo... the first day of the debut of the Manning House Beadshow. It was exciting!!

(to be continued)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Interesting comments on ...

I am still working on stringing and pricing beads for Tucson but wanted to write here a bit to share some of my thoughts.

When I was approached by Interweave in mid-2006 to write a book, it was one of those opportunities that you wished for but never thought you would have so quickly. First of all, I had just started writing projects for Beadwork and Bead Unique magazines in winter of 2005. I had just "entered" into the bead world officially in early 2005 so technically had a lot to "prove" and show the world. Writing a book was an eventual goal of mine but "with time". Like fine wine, with time I would be able to fine tune my craft. When you are approached with this opportunity, you think about it but you know your answer would be "yes" no matter how, you would get it done.

Not many people at that time knew that I could seed bead. Not many people except those at the local beadstore, San Gabriel Bead Company. I didn't have a repetriore of designs waiting in the wings to submit for a book. I didn't have a book proposal ready to pitch to an editor. I didn't have ANY designs. What I had was a sampling of my work of a few classes I took while still working as an engineer, to show my color sense and a "promise" that I had a great passion to share my ideas with the world. I don't teach workshops and had never written seed beaded instructions. My only training in instruction writing was writing step by step "standard operation procedures" (SOPs) for my department. I am the most critical person of my work. What you see in Bead Romantique was designed in an amazing timeframe. All the designs were beaded and written in three month intervals, less than a year's time. What you see in the pages were not the only designs submitted. What you see is what was selected. There were a total of thirty projects. And those that were not used in the book, have since appeared in Beadwork magazine (and two other magazines).

The book is a culmination of the designs in my dreams... this head of mine... and no one expected what would come out for the pages of Bead Romantique... not even me. I generally don't know what I will design when I sit down to work on an assignment. Sure, I collect ideas from images and sketch here and there. However, the best designs are the ones I least expect.. where one stitch moves surprisingly in a different direction to yield a fabulously exciting new shape or component.. Aha moments. I love those. No one knew me as a seed beader therefore there should be "no expectations" of me, right? The only expectations were my own - to write projects that would challenge me and my fellow beaders.

I must admit that when Bead Romantique was just about to release, I told Tricia, my editorial director at Interweave, that I had some trepidation. (paraphrasing) "Will people love my work or will they say "who does she think she is?" I have welcomed all criticism, good and bad. A majority of the responses have been positive. As a bibliophile, I buy lots of books so have an opportunity to wander around Amazon quite a bit. Amazon is the place that has the most open method of criticism for an author's work. You don't even have to own the book or have bought it from Amazon to comment. You can even add pictures of non-related items to a book's page. This leaves a LOT of freedom and POWER to a potential reviewer! Frankly, I have never written a review on any book. I don't depend on someone else's criticism of a book to purchase a book. It is interesting though some of the comments you read.

I found two interesting comments made on Bead Romantique that I thought I would share on the blog with commentary. You can read more on Amazon if you wish...

Not What I thought..., September 17, 2008
(Janesville, Wisconsin United States) - The book had nice designs, but a lot of variations of the same thing. Not what I expected from this author.

Lisa's Comment: This particular review was interesting to me because the reviewer stated "Not what I expected from this author". I didn't know what to make of that statement since I felt no one expected anything from me due to me being an "unknown" in the seed bead world. Was it positive as in I surprised them with exciting projects or they expected much more from me? Hmmmm... I found the comments interesting nonetheless.

Also, the book does have several variations using similar components but in different projects to show you that you can expand from the basics. I can not assume that everyone who purchases Bead Romantique is intermediate to advanced level so there are matching earrings to the larger projects for those who are just starting out with beads. This was one of the premises of the book which was covered in the introduction. It is how I design - modular components. I enjoy seeing what one component can become in expanded designs. To say that the book had "a lot" of variations of the same thing I believe is not really paying attention. I am glad to read that the reviewer found the book had "nice designs". Thank you very much. I worked hard to create every one of those and tried to be unique in my design approach. I hope you enjoy the projects if indeed you really purchased my book and definitely looked through the projects carefully.

An OK read with enough projects to keep you busy, October 23, 2008
(Victoria, Australia) I liked the diagrams showing the progress of steps, the tips and pictures of the designs in different colours. I would have liked to see a sample of at least five projects (pictures only) before buying.

Lisa's Comments: For the next review, the beader noted that the book was "OK" and they would have liked to have seen photos of the projects. I'm not sure why she rated the book a "three" though given her comments above were quite positive. Amazon has a feature that allows you to see select pages from the book. If that is not enough you can also view additional pages from Interweave's site which can be linked from this blog or my website. There are obvious reasons why not all the pictures are shown for every project of the book on Amazon.

Rating systems are a personal evaluation. I ask anyone considering my book to judge for yourself whether the projects interest you. If you are up for a challenge, even if you are a begineer, I promise that I will take you on a journey through history. And take the components that I teach you into a different direction to make a design your own. Bead creatively and your work will speak your own voice.


I want to take the time now to thank those who emailed me directly and shared their comments about their impressions of this book. Many of you have also shared photos of your finished projects. You have also visited my booth at shows to proudly wear your finished projects. Thank you and keep 'em coming. This response and feedback encourages me to continue designing and writing for publication. Please note that I do not teach at this time and don't know if I can find time to do so in the future since I get myself involved in lots of different projects. As to kits, I am still thinking about it. I may just write new projects and create kits based on those in the future.

I have also received many requests from teachers wanting to teach Bead Romantique designs at their local beadstores. Please note that generally this violates the copyright infringement laws. Although some teachers have contacted me to ask permission, I also know that there may be others who will not and I can't do anything about that. I will grant any teacher who wants to teach Bead Romantique designs permission with two criteria

1. That you have the courtesy to email me, let me know which project and what store you wish to teach the project. I want to have a record so you don't get in trouble with copyrights.
2. That you sell a copy of Bead Romantique with the class fee. This ensures that I get "credit" for the original design even if you are selecting your own colors or changing out some components.

I hope that everyone realizes writing a book is a LOT of work. Writing a book with all new projects is even more difficult. The challenge of compiling this book was actually more on the balance of time between my glass work, exhibit schedule, and other things in life. I placed a lot of energy and heart into writing Bead Romantique. I give my techniques in this book and in my articles freely. I write and share because I want to elevate beading to an art form so that many others can continue to enjoy this traditional craft. I don't ask for much in return. Besides, there are many other hobbies I could be doing besides writing/designing for publication. For instance, I could be knitting that dream sweater or finishing my hexagon blanket.

For projects appearing in bead magazines please only use those for "personal use" as one can get carried away with copyright infringement. One thing I encourage beaders to do is to take ideas from the projects to make it "YOUR OWN". I write because I want to "teach" through my writing... not so that someone can take my design to sell it or teach it as their own. Once I write for publication, it is the risk that I take. I take the risks knowing that there are "ripoff artists" out there which is unavoidable as there are always unscrupulous folks in every walk of life and in every industry. I only "hope" that I don't meet any one like that in person. (There is no knowing what I'd do to you! haha)

Thank you for reading my thoughts for today... With your encouraging emails I continue to design with my heart and from my dreams, which are plentiful. I hope to continue to share many more designs with you as one of the Designers of the Year in Beadwork 2009. I am honored to have been chosen as one of four designers for this new feature! I don't design for contests or exhibits and probably never will. I design for wearability, feminity and romanticism not for show. I hope you enjoy and will be excited to see what is yet to come... there are many more dreams in this head of mine.

Back to getting ready for Tucson
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