December 31, 2011

Hello 2012!

It's hard to say goodbye to the old year sometimes. I have a hard time looking forward, but I'm working on it. I don't do resolutions, never stick. I do have a few goals that I would like to accomplish this year. Getting more exercise is always on the list. Taking more time with my family is too. A tidy studio and fresh website are on the list as well this year! It was a challenge to get my finger to actually press the button on the camera to take the picture to capture the state of hell it is actually in! Ah! So conflicted!

Heart: "Go ahead. It will be good for you! It needs to be done."

I'm not quite ready to share that bit of shame....

Sooo.... here are a few things that are much more sane to look at. (I know. I know. You win this time brain.)

What new things are you working on for the new year?


P.S. Thanks to all the lovely comments this year! It made me feel swell!

December 20, 2011

Seasons Greetings - Free Winter Card Garland Tutorial

One of my favorite memories of the holidays was visiting my grandparents in Northern California. My grandma and grandpa moved around quite a bit in their time and had gathered many friends, far and wide. As the family and their circle of friends grew so did the season's greetings they would receive each year. Grandma Betty would hang a wide silk ribbon on each doorway and pin each card up as it arrived. This Season's Greetings Card Garland is in remembrance of those lovely times together. All of the beads used were gathered from around the studio, which makes it great for orphans beads and left overs! This project can be as simple or elaborate as you like!

4 feet heavy stringing wire. (you could also use 22 gauge copper wire in a pinch!)
several hundred loose beads.
1 gingerbread ceramic snowflake
8 to 10 hanging clips (available at Michael's. OH! And checkout the fantastic Michael's coupon app for your smart phone! Coupons with out the clipping!)
15 to 20 art beads
crimp beads

Round nose  pliers
Wire cutters

1. Layout your beads in a pattern with the snowflake pendant in the middle.

2. Loop one end and close with a crimp bead.

3. String beads and add hanging clips at 5 to 6 inch lengths. Make sure to pinch closed the clips hanging ring.
4. Loop end and crimp.
5. Run to the mail box!
6. Hang and enjoy!


Ceramic Beads :

December 19, 2011

Is It Too Early...

I know we are just entering winter, a season I truly adore, but my creative thoughts are turning to the brighter colors of spring. With this busy season, I haven't had much time to list things in my etsy shop but here is a preview of the spring to come....

December 17, 2011

Tis The Season To...

Sit in by the fire with a nice cup of coffee and enjoy a few new publications!

It is my dream to let my hands be idle for a moment and just sit and read a few of the new books and magazines that are piling up around the house! Recently, the post office gods smiled on me with a few new books and magazines. The winter issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry showed up and I was so excited to see the projects sent in were featured in this issue! I was inspired by the lovely "Turning Leaves" tutorial from missficklemedia artist Shannon Levart and you can find her tutorials (and beautiful metal work) on her blog

The kissing birds project features a beautiful egg charm from Earthenwood Studios. It's a good egg!

The necklace above was made with a bundle from my etsy shop and an amazing lamp work bead from the lovely Amanda of SeaShoreGlass! It looks like a swirling ocean captured in glass.

Ok! Everyone grab a cup of something warm and a bit of inspiration! Time to refuel the creative fires!

December 14, 2011

Goodbye Kitty.

Moggy was the exact opposite of the sweet cartoon kitty you see in every store. He could be surly and mean if you got in his way or between him and his kibble. He wasn't particularly fond of young children and did not like it if you interrupted a nice nap on your lap for a potty break. He purred loudly and often though and was mostly sweet. We found him abandoned at the Home Depot by an arguing couple who dumped him in the lot. I wasn't sure about bringing this hissing ball of black fur home, but Robert was not leaving with out him. Once at home he would occasionally hiss and screech out of a dark corner and jump onto your legs biting and clawing. "THAT CAT HAS TO GO!!!" I would scream in reply. Robert would calm me down and bring out the band-aids and long pants. Some how he stayed long enough for us to have him fixed which mellowed him considerably. He got to know us and our home and eventually burrowed his way into our hearts. He was large and warm and loved to sit in the sun, even in the summer. We spent 16 years with him and will miss him awfully. Goodbye Moggy.

December 12, 2011

Sweet Clover.

This sweet little set is on it's way to a lovely lady who makes beaded purses. She had sent me a beautiful brown leaf batik fabric sample and ask that I create a whimsical set for her. I think they came out sweet and fun and will pop on the fabric. I just had to share them!

Are you ready for the holidays?

Me? Not completely! Getting there!

December 8, 2011

Happy Birthday Caitriona!

Here is why I love my friend Caitriona.... (In no particular order)

Her intelligence and her fantastic Irish accent makes any cursing rant she may go on sound like a song.

If I run to her crying about my latest F&%K up, she has an even more hideously funny tale to tell you about her own F&%K up.

She is tough like steel from having 3 teenage boys but she is sweet and kind through and through.

Her amazing art makes me squeal like a 1st grader high on candy!

Did I mention her fantastic cursing. (I just love that)

Happy Birthday Caitriona!

How amazing is this...

December 5, 2011

Bowled Over...

It seems like the minutes tick by faster and faster to the point where it feels like whole hours have blurred into whole days. This weekend went by with the blink of an eye. I do like to get myself behind schedule...

We had dinner with my mom for her birthday on Friday. Nothing fancy but the visit was good! Pizza and coffee at BJ's Brewery. Saturday was a blur of glazing and decided that I had to just push through and loaded up and fired! Sunday was the Ojai and Beyond Artist Fair (NO "E"!!!) which Roberta made quite clear! It. Was. Cold. I could not feel my feet. It was not a busy day and I think people are not ready to get ready for the holidays but I had a great time catching up with friends. Andre and I chatted about our kids and travel and tried to catch a few warming rays of the sun that crept through the giant oak trees. Kristen and I laughed about how we have become "those people" with our phones! Her love life is looking up!

Sunday was invoice day and we watched Paul. Possibly my favorite alien movie. Can Simon Pegg do wrong? I think not. I may have to call that thing Tom Cruise is in  Mission Simon Pegg. With out him, it means nothing.

I accidentally grabbed the wrong glaze and had a few surprises when I opened the lid this morning...

They aren't what I was expecting. They are wrong in the best possible way!

November 30, 2011

All I Want For Christmas...! Giveaway at Vintaj!

Turns out Vintaj is having a holiday giveaway on their blog with my ceramic pendants and their elements! Just leave a comment on their blog letting them know what you want for the holidays. You don't have to say "World peace!" to win... (We know you want that too...)


November 27, 2011

Went a Little Postal...

I don't know about you but loooooong weekends and holidays get me a bit batty and a bit out of sorts. When the kids start to get a bit bored and hubby is home from work and it just isn't our usual schedule, I go a bit nutty! I had a mini melt down and had a bit of a temper tantrum. I was nicely asked to take a brake and so I  took myself out for a walk and some alone time. Sometimes I forget that it's ok to take a minute or two for me. I feel much better now. How are you holding up? Now that I am used to the "everyone-at-home" schedule, I'll have another mini melt down tomorrow when everyone heads off to work and school. UGH! I don't always weather change well. What can I say, I'm a creature of habit!

Before my melt down, these got made....

I ran off to mail them and wouldn't you know it! THE POST OFFICE WAS CLOSED!!!! I figured they would be closed for Thanksgiving but they are closed from Thursday through Sunday. Part of me was irked but then I thought of Reba and Barbara and the other post office gals and how they are always so hard working and kind and, even when the line is long and the natives are hostile, they do their very best to get everyone through. They deserve a LONG weekend! Let's all remember to show those hard working folks at the post office (as well as other folks behind a counter) our best behavior this holiday season and maybe they will do the same!

If you have little ones (heck even if you don't) get out to see Arthur Christmas. Great message and a good laugh around every turn. I loved it!

If you want to laugh yourself silly, go see the Twilight movie. I'm sorry if you are a big fan but it is the kind of  movie that has me in fits of laughter. A guilty pleasure. My apologies to the other movie patrons if my quietly shuddering with laughter interrupted your movie experience! It was the perfect antidote for a squabble with my hubby!

I got a note from jewelry designer Cilla that she is part of the Virtual Craft Show and is offering 35% off on her fantastic jewelry with the code "Thanksgiving"! You can find her here... 

The whole event was organized by the lovely Lori Anderson, of Bead Soup fame. You can see more about the event here...

November 25, 2011

Staying In For Black Friday!

While I am tempted by all the lovely sales, to run out and do some early morning "Black Friday" shopping, my need for warm and cozy (as well as my need for a flu shot) is winning out! It is  great to support independent artists and I am staying home and doing a cyber Black Friday, where I can find some great deals from some wonderful etsy shops!

Here are some shops that are catching my eye...

Marsha Neal Studio: Amazing ceramics use "BOCCYBER" for 20% off
Earthenwood Studio: Delish art pendants "HOLIDAY2011" for 25% off
Humblebeads: Fantastic art beads, enter "Holiday2011" for 20% off
Jennifer Jangles: Ceramic pendants and beads "cyber10" for 10% off
Lorelei Eurto: Amazing jewelry blackfriday" to recieve 25% off

My etsy shop will have 10% off through Sunday with check-out code "STAYWARM" as well as gift with purchase!

I had my kids writing a list of things they want for the holidays and was surprised that what they wanted most was family time. It would be great to honor that with a small trip together. Planning.... Ok! Stay warm!

November 23, 2011

So Thankful...

I have to say that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is the one day I don't feel stressed (usually) and I enjoy spending time with family and friends, appreciating them and all they are! This year is a little hard with the loss of family. It feels good to reflect on them and appreciate the times we had together. Sad, but not overwhelming.

I find it hard to put work completely aside, even on a holiday, because it isn't really work, for me it is always play. But I do make an effort to ignore a few "work" related things and just be. Right there with them. Enjoying. I hope everyone that passes by this post has something to be thankful for...

November 22, 2011


It has been cold! At least cold for typically sunny Southern California! I don't think the season has changed for some of us, as I saw more than a few people shopping in shorts and flip flops (even one gentleman was bare foot, double burrr!) in our last rain storm! I am taking this weather as the opportunity it is to drink in loads of hot tea, coffee, and cocoa (and maybe even float a few mini marshmallows in there)! The few trees that turn a pretty color in these parts are doing so now. I am LOVING it! It also makes the task of unloading the kiln, a task normally dreaded in the heat of any other season, a cozy and inviting affair. I was pleased to unload a few open heart dishes from this firing! They made my day!

Next up... Stuffing and giving thanks...

November 21, 2011

Holiday Home Look In

This weekend was the Holiday Home Look In marketplace and home tour. Twenty percent of the sales in artist market go to support the Bravo Music program. There was live music all weekend and great shopping. My table set up was new and that is always exciting. I found these adorable wooden milk crates at Target to add height and freshen up my display!

I got to catch up with a few local artist friends and learn a bit about our newest Made In Ojai member Borbala Arvai. Bori makes the most beautiful felted dolls and ornaments! Together, we sat side by side at the marketplace, working like Santa's elves, she with her doll work and I with my jewelry!

We had much needed rain over the weekend and I'm patiently waiting for the kiln to cool!

What did you do this weekend?

November 17, 2011

Super Proud!

I was super excited and super proud to have the design team at Vintaj ask me to be their December Art Bead Partner! You can check out my nearly grammar mistake free interview here...

Vintaj Art Bead Partner

I had a great time exploring their elements and created some new pieces as well as revamped some older designs! I'm hoping to play more with their fun elements over the weekend!

November 14, 2011

Eggs With a Side of Banjo, Please! (and a bundle winner!)

Why do the long weekends go by the fastest? Friday, well who can remember Friday? Saturday we watched Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows part 2 (beads in hand). I cried like a baby. Again. Robert and I decided that Voldemort really could have died a more gruesome death. He deserved it. Our friend Karen is a musical talent if ever there was one! Karen and her husband play live music at a local diner on Sunday mornings so we had the best veggie Eggs Benedict with a side of banjo and upright bass. Very cool! In the afternoon I helped my friend Caitriona with her new etsy shop. Caitriona is such a talented artist who has her hands busy with many things. While raising 3 boys she manages to find time to whip up silver and gold creations as well as put pen to paper for these fantastic line drawings which she has turned into t-shirts. Today we are working on getting our etsy shops in gear for the holidays....

Thanks to everyone for leaving comments about the season bundles over at Lima Beads! The winner is...

Blogger kat said...
The red birdie bundle is my favorite but all are really lovely!!
November 11, 2011 9:20 AM
Please email your address to (gaea (at) gaea (dot) cc) and I will get your bundle out toot sweet!

November 10, 2011

Tis The Season! And a Gift!

Typically, I am hard pressed to think about things that are not right in front of my nose. I guess that's a nice way of saying I don't plan ahead. Holidays inspire me while they are happening, not 2 to 3 months before, so it was nice to get a nudge from Ali over at Lima Beads. Ali asked, so I a made 5 new holiday bundles! I am so happy with how they turned out! There is something vintage and rustic about them... You can see them at the Lima Beads site! Let me know which is your favorite by Sunday evening and I'll pick a random winner to send a Candy Cane bundle to! Share it on Twitter and Facebook to enter extra times! Happy (almost) holidays!

November 9, 2011

Looking For Some Fun.

This last week was a big push and just full to the brim with work. I am so elated to be busy but it has worn me down and tt just dawned on me after two days of on and off crying fits, that maybe I need to find some fun and lighten things up a bit. The mail person has been kind to me and brought so many treasures but I had to put off play time over and over again. It feels like I haven't seen my family or friends in ages so I am really looking forward to giving thanks with them at the end of the month. These beautiful Green Girl Studios bead and pendants arrived for play time. The kids faces lit up like a klieg light when they saw all the pretties! Calder chose the octopus bead and a robot. Magnolia chose a heart pendant with a Helen Keller quote on the back and a panda baby...

And yes! That is a disco pumpkin you are looking at, compliments of Miss Magnolia!

There might be new items in my etsy shop. There also might be a few gifts involved. Maybe.

OK! Play time!

November 6, 2011


This has been a week dedicated to beads. I have done nothing else but make beads. It is good to be busy and I am so glad to be taking at least one afternoon this weekend to got see Puss In Boots with the kids. The mail has brought some amazing things and I haven't had a chance to covet them yet. I got a hand full of silks, some new double flush cutters (My fingers are happy for that! YAY!), a few books, and a MESS of Green Girl Studios beauties (more on the books and GGS later)!

To sum this week up... Beads. Puss In Boots. Cinnamon toast. Beads. Rain. Coffee. Coffee. Beads. Glaze. The Tooth Fairy. Beads. Coffee. Green Girls Studio. Beads. Beads. Beads. Glaze. Beads.

This is my dream morning...

October 27, 2011

Fall At Lima Beads

It is fall and Lima Beads just busted out a ton of new fall love in the form of crystal, tools, and ARTIST BEADS! If anybody asks.... I'm out shopping!

October 25, 2011

Winter Wonderland...

It has been in the mid to upper 80s for the last few weeks but today is overcast and gray and I'm enjoying it, completely! I've got my cuppa joe and the tunes cranked up and am dreaming of the colder days to come. I guess I've had to trick my mind a bit to get into the coming season or maybe the work I've been doing did the tricking! These are on their way to a place that actually gets snow, and that seems funny to me! How are you getting ready for the coming season!