Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Sparkling tree
Family and friends gathered together
Voices raised in song

I hope your Christmas is full of delicious food, beautiful music, sparkly lights and your favorite people!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thank you

for all of your e-mails and wonderful praise of my book. Your words fill my heart!

And those of you who took the time to comment on Amazon - how can I thank you enough for telling me (and the whole world!) that you are drawing inspiration from my work? Your words mean so much more than you could ever know!

Thank you, thank you, thank you dear readers -
you make me feel all warm and tingly inside!

And for all of you who pre-ordered from my website - and therefore entered your name to win a package full of color...

I have had so much fun filling a cute box with bead soups and fiber bundles
and I wish I could send all of you a big present full of beads and fibers and color... however, I had to pick one. So I mixed all of your names together and drew...

Lisa Choplo
Congratulations Lisa!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009


My dear friend Dagmar posted a wonderful message about Hope - a very brave, wise and beautiful girl of 14 fighting cancer. My heart goes out to her. Please visit Hope's blog and leave her a comment, a prayer, a blanket of warmth from around the world.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A few days left to win!

Samples from my Bead Soup Collection and Fiber Bouquets

Order Beaded Colorways from my website by December 21 and your name will be entered to win a big package of color!

Look for the drawing on December 21!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

On the naming of things

If you are offended by, grossed out by, or in any other way turned off by potty talk, then I recommend you read no further.

However for those made of stronger stuff, I offer this.

As many of you know, we have a little cottage on Whidbey Island - see here for a tame blog post (with no mention of potties). It was built over the last 6 months and is ready… or nearly ready for us. Only problem is – we can’t use the toilets. Oh yes the toilets are brand new, in place, work just fine and yes our septic system is in place. However our septic contractor – the one who holds the coveted programming code in the palm of his hand – can’t seem to schedule us in for an inspection. Problem is we already paid him. Yes, I know, fatal mistake. But he required it to start work and he is the only one around with the licensing for our very elaborate, specialized, expensive system (so the water is pure enough to flow directly into the wetlands). He is a monopoly on the island and holds not only that little code, but our bowels in the palm of his hand.

Now a portable toilet is kind-of okay for awhile, but gets (and smells) old very fast. Not to mention the bright blue box in front of the house – a very welcoming gesture don’t you think?

But there is a bit of humor to that bright blue can. The name. Now you have your Sani-Cans, Porta Potties, Honey Buckets (how disgusting) – but none of their founding fathers had the vision (or enough beers) to evoke a laugh out of everyone who, after holding it for as long as possible, finally squinches up their nose, approaches the big blue box and enters the ‘Wizard of Ooze’. Yep. ‘Wizard of Ooze’. After a trip into the big blue box, there is more reason than one why people walk away with a big smile.

Hopefully the septic god will bless us with his appearance before Christmas, or I’ll be forced to put up a string of lights on the Wizard. In the meantime please keep your fingers (and legs) crossed for us that he will show up soon.

P.S. Sorry I didn’t include any photos this time – but thought perhaps there are times for photos and well… times not for photos.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Beaded Colorways has arrived!

Surrounded by books and beads, Joie and I toasted to a milestone (with a great Whidbey Island wine), then I grabbed a pen and started signing!

The first armfuls will go to the post office late tonight!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Beads, fibers, sunsets

A day full of color makes me happy!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My first Newsletter

and here is my gorgeous banner thanks to my dear, talented, friend Joie who took my photos, juggled them in with the portrait taken by Diane Ahern and worked her artistic magic. Can you find my old rusty door and the grasses at our beach house?

Sign up for my newsletter
and receive...
notice of special discounts on beads and fibers
information about classes, book signings and trunk shows
color inspirations and challenges
recipes, musings etc.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Beaded Colorways Countdown!

Beaded Colorways will be released in just days!

I can hardly wait to receive the first cartons of books from my publisher, then sign and send them off to all of you! Thank you so much for such an overwhelming response and all of your wonderful words of encouragement now and throughout the entire process. I can't believe that almost 2 years of planning, writing, creating, photographing, color wheels, beads, bead soups... is all wrapped up in this book!

Thank you North Light Books for pulling it all together - I think it is gorgeous!!

By the way - there is still time to enter your name to win this:

Preorder Beaded Colorways from my website prior to December 21, 2009 and your name will be entered to win the following colorful package:

10 colorways from my Bead Soup Collection
10 colorways from my Seed Bead Medley
5 colorways from my Fiber Bouquets
5 pieces of colorized metal
(a $400 value)

I expect to receive cartons of books around December 21 and will send them off to you as soon as I can sign and package them. With holiday shipping craziness, I'm not sure how long it will take to get to you though... all the flying reindeer are busy!

P.S. To my dear blog friends - so sorry I haven't visited in awhile. I miss your lovely blogs! Things have been crazy around here and I look forward to sitting down with a good cup of coffee and reading all that you have been up to in the last few weeks!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Escape to the island for a day

My girlfriend and I raced up to the 'Beach House' yesterday to bring up furniture, meet with our site contractor, spread straw for erosion control - need I list any more excuses?

Over the weekend 2 bald eagles swooped around our house picking up straw for their nest and today a pheasant sauntered across the property quite unconcerned with the hammering, skill saw and 2 women stalking him with cameras.

A gorgeous day - clear, crisp, cold in the shade, warm huddled against the house on our new deck! The sunroom so inviting... a cup of tea, a cozy chat...

We could hardly pull ourselves away.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Water and Sky

Dancing, swirling
Reflect light and dark
Peaceful, stormy
Change in an instant

Holds me entranced
A natural movie screen

Out of hundreds (perhaps thousands) of pictures I have taken of sky and water, none convey the experience of leaning over the edge of a ferry and watching the dance of light on the water, streaks of gold and pink at sunrise, seagulls drafting off the side of the boat, or a bank across the water peeking in and out of the fog. So many textures and colors always changing and moving. I never get tired of watching, and yes, taking more pictures.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

These turkeys have a lot to be thankful for - despite initial intentions, they will bypass the Thanksgiving table and live to old age!

I was greeted by this friendly bunch (gaggle, group, flock?) as I pulled up to a log cabin in search of native plants. The 'Tree Guy' is a family-run business on Whidbey Island nestled into acres of woods where native shrubs and trees are propagated in their natural habitat then potted up for sale. The owner told me he first came to Whidbey as a kid in 6th grade camp, fell in love with the island and vowed to return. It didn't take him long - after high school, he saved up enough money to buy a chunk of land and has lived deep in the woods for 30 years.

Seems to be a common story among the islanders.

Now he shares his dream home with his family, 4 turkeys, 2 donkeys, numerous dogs and cats and chickens.

So here is to happy turkeys...

and a peaceful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Landscaping and Muddy Feet

Photo of our lot as seen by our neighbor above, Nancy

Our new beach house is located in an area known for wild winter storms and high wind. And we got it over the weekend! 75 mph gusts, thunder and lightning, torrential rains, even hail. Our neighbor captured the sunny aftermath of water flowing across our property.

While the builders make their final touches on the house, I am designing berms and paths and planting schemes. Our mission: only Island County native plants, self sustaining, no maintenance, let the grasses grow wild, protect from deer, and make it look natural. Bonus boulders are unearthed and plopped on top of the berms. Perfect perching spots for kids and dreamers.

In contrast to Kenda's elegant purple pumps... here is what my feet are up to!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Grey Skies

but still so much color everywhere.

p.s. Dagmar says purple is haute couture this fall!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rainy Days

Good books
Time for beading
Colorful mixes on the dining room table
Cup of Earl Grey with a splash of cream (soy of course)
Bright yellow ponchos and boots
Muddy soccer fields

Monday, November 2, 2009

Beaded Colorways is in print!!!

Advanced copies of my new book have arrived at North Light Books!!

Click here to pre-order a signed copy, receive a tube from my Seed Bead Medley, and be entered to win a basket of beads and fibers worth over $400! (details here)!

Beaded Colorways: Freeform Beadweaving Projects and Palettes details my journey from inspiration, to color mixing to freeform expression in beads.

In the first part of the book, I share insights and techniques in working with color to help you gain color confidence. There is even a package at the back with 2 color wheels and 6 templates to help you enhance your color palettes! Follow along with me as I go from inspiration to color wheel relationship to creating bead soups with depth and movement.

The 2nd part of the book launches into freeform beadweaving, with over 20 step-by-step projects sectioned into techniques that build on each other. By the end I hope you will feel like throwing out all of the rules and designing your own freeform works of art!

(the pages shown are pre-print images)