Those of you that follow this blog, and my work, know that I am enchanted by watercolors. I love the free-flowing, unexpected nature of the medium and the way the colors interact and behave. My paintings have become a near-daily discipline. And I love painting each day.

While on a run yesterday, I was hit by a “lightbulb moment” and had the idea of combining my beadwork with my watercolors. I love the irregular, and capricious nature of color placement with paint and wanted to try to combine this nature with beads. Like pointillist dots on a canvas, the little seed beads sit tightly embroidered next to each other, but interact with the eye to create colors in the viewers’ mind.

I have never considered beading this way. I have always worked with blocks and shapes of color, and while I have varied the colors within these shapes, I never thought about combining them as loose brush strokes across the canvas.

I made this piece very quickly. I couldn’t stop. I was obsessed and excited to see how it would emerge. I think that the fact that I didn’t really plan it, helped in its spontaneity. That is, if you can ever explain bead embroidery as “spontaneous!”

Happy New Year!  2018 has begun with new work and a new perspective! I just finished this embroidered cuff, featuring a Prehnite cabochon, coral, silver and Czech fire polished glass. After finishing the border and backing I stretched it over a Sterling Silver frame and wrapped it with fine silver wire, through the beads onto the frame. It’s finished with a wrapped silver clasp. In the past, I have always kept my embroidered cuffs soft, but this is a new idea. It gives it some weight and feels a little more like serious jewelry.

I also have big plans for 2018 and beyond- to add new pieces to my shop and new work each day. Please visit often and let me know what you think!

I created this cuff, based on floral patterns of the Arts & Crafts English master, William Morris about 8 years ago. It was one of the first cuffs I made, and while I love it, there are some technical issues that I learned to conquer through experience over these last 8 years.  I kept this cuff for myself and wear it constantly. I love it. At my last show, in Kansas City, many people asked if I would re-create something like it for them and I left the show with two orders for the same piece. One was for a very tiny woman who wanted it narrower and without the border, but including the fringe.  The other order was for a close replica of the original. This weekend I started to work on them, and while I was not looking forward to cloning the same piece, I still have been enjoying the process of making this cuff. As you can see, the process starts with a drawing directly on fabric which I have dyed so it will not show under the embroidery. Next I bead, very closely, many many seed beads, size 11 and 15 to “fill in” and create a rhythmic pattern. After this step, I bind and finish the edges, backing the cuff in Ultrasuede. Later, I will add ribbons of peyote borders, or fringe (or both),to complete the piece.