I've hesitated to write this down, I'm not sure why except that it feels like you are exposing some dark secret or something. I'm sure that's how many of the women of the "Me Too" movement also feel, but I wanted to add my voice in solidarity. So without going into detail, ( because that would be way too weird ) sexual abuse affected my adolescence. In many ways it actually shaped my life and sent me to my refuge, Alaska. I feel like sewing beads was another refuge of sorts. When all else fails, get out the beadwork and plug in. We were going through some old pictures of our younger years, and in all the photos the cloth with the beads on the table is a constant companion. Life at the bead table has had it's ups and down but I'm always grateful for it and feel lucky to have found my calling.
Thursday, November 23, 2017
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Wow! It is the most beautiful halloween day I think I have ever seen around here. Almost balmy, so great for the kids to have green grass and no frigid winds for their candy trek. On to the beadwork. Thank you to everyone for giving an opinion on the pond water. It turns out I did go with the majority. The clear turquoise won by a hair, it was close but it ultimately came down to the the mood I wanted to create and I felt the darker shades had a more watery pond feeling. If that makes any sense. The beadwork has been turned over to Robert and you can see he is working on making it into a bag. We decided on the camo leather. Also, a picture of my current project ( the dark underbelly of beadwork in honor of halloween ). Yes it is another lynx order, they are very popular this year. I remember when people were all about the wolves. Thank goodness fur doesn't intimidate me anymore.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Last piece of the puzzle on my "Our Lady of the Pond and her cat Bob" piece. I went a little crazy. It started with the idea of a turtle dress, and then gold turtle earrings, a turtle head band and a swimming turtle. Fun to just relax with a no pressure/ not an order piece. So I need your opinions, what color should the pond water be? Do you like the pale blues on the left or the clear turquoise shades on the right?
Monday, August 7, 2017
Tuesday, July 11, 2017
I've just sent the first box off to Santa Fe. If you are going to be there for Indian Market (August 18,19,20 ) Vivi will have my work at the Hotel ELDORADO. I'm working away on my Lynx and hope to have him go out with the second wave of stuff going down. It is so hard not to get distracted by summer though...
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Monday, April 3, 2017
I was in Anchorage this weekend teaching a class at the Alaska Bead Company. It never ceases to amaze me how warm and fuzzy I feel after a long day with fellow beaders. The common love of beads and the need to create art is strong among us. It was a great group of talented individual. I really appreciate everyone who signed up, we had some people who traveled very long distances to be there! Thank you Mark for inviting me to teach and especially thank you Linda Meyers for arranging everything, and I mean everything! You are a force.
Sunday, February 12, 2017
All of the beaders in my neck of the woods know that last fall Gig's Beads and Things went out of business. She and her husband Robert moved to Colorado. We all miss Gig personally, she is a wonderful, warm and inspiring person, with a new project always on the craft table. Also, if you're like me, I miss being able to run down and grab some beading needles or a certain color when I need it! So I've decided to take up the bead store mantle and sell some beads and supplies from Kate's gallery. It won't be like Gigs which had everything under the sun, but will have all my favorite seed beads! Specifically tons and tons of 13 cut charlottes, white hearts, cut glass black, which come from the Czech Republic. I'll have lots of beading needles and thread, ( fireline and nymo). My question to you is, what would you like see in the tubes of japanese seed beads? I'm a huge fan of the powder coated colors and the color lined. Do you want the Miyuki Delicas or the regular round style. Size 15 or 11? I would really appreciate your input. This is a new adventure for me and I'm hoping to somewhat fill the big gap that Gig left when they moved, even if there won't be whippets greeting you at the door.
|Bead boxes arriving|
|Gig, Robert and the whippets!|
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Okay, I'm having a really hard time deciding on a background color for my octopus. I love him so I want it to be right. It's drawn in a green/blue turquoise but I think I might like the navy. Or the sparkle antique blue. Or the Montana blue. Please let me know what you like! I'm starting on my next piece and putting this on hold until I get some feed back. Thank you!!!
|1. antique cut glass blue|
|2.dark green turquoise|
|3. montana blue|
|4. medium transparent blue|
|5. navy blue|
Saturday, January 14, 2017
Robert said to me" Take a break, you've been working awfully long hours."
I do tend to put the nose to the grindstone when I have a show coming up. I had to get some big orders out of the way and now I'm concentrating on my new line. " What kind of life is this, sewing, sewing, sewing?" he asked.
It got me to thinking that, in a way, it is exactly what I wished for. In the 1970's in Juneau, I would walk to the B.M. Berands Bank where I worked as a key puncher. Everyday I passed this place and I would peer in the window of Nina's Originals. She made fantastical coats and hat out of leather that was laced together and trimmed with fur and feathers. You could see her work station with all the leather laid out, her desk with day to day business and her small tv. I thought that must be a pretty fine way to go. And it is. It turns out after many years of the broke artist life, living in ramshackle cabins, hauling water and wood and no electricity, I'm finally living the high life like Nina. A dynamite work environment where I can create my pieces and I even have the little tv to keep myself entertained while I do it. Funny how things turn out. Anyhow, it got me curious so I did some poking around and this is what I found. There was one picture of a coat she made at a Juneau Museum site but( not allowed to share.) If anyone out there has a photo of her work or store, it would be brilliant to see! Here is the loon dress that I did way back in the Juneau days, and I realize I was experimenting around with the lacing techniques she used. I don't know if her work was an influence but her work life did make me target a goal.
End of the Trail
Notices in this section are limited to names of those who have achieved pioneer status through many years in the North, or who are otherwise of unquestioned importance in the daily scene.
Nina Emily Chapman, 76,a Juneau businesswoman since 1946. died there January 30. She designed and patented Nina's Originals. Alaska coats and accessories sold throughout the United States, Her daughter. Nina Dawn Baldwin, now runs the Nina's Originals shop In Juneau. [June1981]
|Ronda Mann modeling Loon Dress|
|cabin at 9 mile|
|young me at the cabin|
Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Happy New Year to all! I can't believe how quickly 2016 went by, it seems that what people always say about the older you get, the fastest it goes is true. I put the "Our Lady" bag in the mail today. It feels good to have a clean slate on the bead table. These big bags that take a while to make are a fantastic finished project but I can never see them with a fresh eye. I put a picture of me with the bag so you can see just how big it is. I know it's good and I hope my customer will love it, but it would be nice to appreciate the work without the "I'm sick of it" factor involved. One thing I was truly happy with was her expression. It only takes one bead to make the difference in a smile, and I think she has just the right look. Almost Mona Lisa...