Friday, February 27, 2009

Taking Workshops, Teaching Workshops...

I apologize for not blogging lately, but I've been incredibly busy the last couple of weeks!
Although it's still February, our weather has warmed up a bit and several of my trees have started budding out; the daffodils are coming up, too, and there are signs of spring everywhere, especially in the desert. Amazing how lush and green it is this time of year. I'm looking forward to taking some wildflower walks in the next few weeks—with camera, of course.
Meanwhile, spring has inspired me to clean out my garage, throw out a truckload of garbage, have my trees trimmed and the pine needles raked up and disposed of. So for the past week, that's what I've been up to. No time to blog.
Today, however, I took the day off and drove down to Palm Desert where I participated in a painting workshop with Chris Cozen, sponsored by the Art Colony. We experimented with Golden fluid acrylic paints and mediums, and Chris kept us hopping with one project after another. The objective was not to finish a piece of artwork, but to learn how the different products work on varying types of supports such as watercolor paper and heavy gel mediums and pastes spread out on firm supports.
I enjoyed the class very much and brought home some sample pieces that will remind me of what I learned today. I love the Golden paint colors, especially the fluid acrylics.
Tomorrow I'm taking another workshop with Chris, this time on the brand-new Golden OPEN acrylic paints, which stay wet for a very long time—similar to oil paints—and work quite differently from the usual, fast-drying acrylic paint. I've been wanting to try these paints for quite some time, so it will be a fun class tomorrow.
By the way, Chris Cozen has two art books available that you might be interested in. Her first, Altered Surfaces, is just great. She has a brand-new one out called Transfers and Altered Images that you might want to check out as well. You can find both of these titles at
Next week I'm offering a terrific workshop of my own, the Two Heart Pins (as featured on the cover of the March 2009 issue of Art Jewelry Magazine). The workshop takes place on Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert, California. A really fun and informative class; you'll learn how to work with heavy-gauge wire, forging and texturing techniques, and lots of coiling. I hope you can join us; to register, please call the store:
760 772-2400

Friday, February 20, 2009

Heart-Link Necklace at Monica's Next Week

My next workshop offering is at Monica's Bead & Quilt Creations in Palm Desert, California. The class will be held February 24 from 10 am to 5 pm, and it's going to be a great opportunity to learn how to make uniform links, jump rings, and a unique handmade chain.
To check out the workshop description and a supply list, click here.
Unfortunately my classes scheduled for this weekend at the Bouncing Bead in La Mesa had to be postponed due to low enrollment. It's always a challenge, teaching for a store that is new to me in a new location with customers who aren't yet aware of what I have to offer. But I do believe that by holding the classes later in the year, we'll have more time to promote them and we'll be able to offer them after all.
If you live in the San Diego area and you'd like to attend my workshops at the Bouncing Bead, please be sure to tell your friends so we can get a class together. I'd love to see you all down there!
I'll be offering my Twining Vines, Biker Chick Bangle, and Two Heart Pins workshops the weekend of April 18-19. For information, call:
619 460-2323

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Now Teaching at the Bouncing Bead!

What a cool name for a bead store — the Bouncing Bead!
Located in La Mesa, California (in the San Diego area), this terrific bead store offers a great lineup of beading classes with some top-name beading and metalwork instructors. I'm really honored to have the chance to teach for them, beginning this weekend!
On Saturday (Feb. 21), I'm teaching my Twining Vines technique from 9 am to 12 pm, followed by the Biker Chick Bangles from 1 to 4(ish) or later, depending on how long it takes for everyone to complete their bracelet.
On Sunday (Feb. 22), I'm teaching my Two Big Heart Pins workshop from 9 am to 4 pm. This class includes the beautiful pin featured on the cover of the March 2009 issue of Art Jewelry magazine, plus a double-coil-wrapped variation of the same pin, which I have just recently designed. If you'd like to see a good photo of both pins and a supply list for the class, click here.
You don't want to miss these classes! To register, call the Bouncing Bead:
619 460-2323
Supply lists and more detailed information about each class can be found on the workshop schedule through my Web site:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Power Outage & Squirrels

The sun is out today, and I'm grateful to see it!
On Monday, we had a huge snowstorm (for Idyllwild) and in the afternoon my electricity went out. My land phone did not work, but thankfully my cell phone was charged up and I was able to call my parents. SOS! Yes, Mom and 88-year-old Dad came to the rescue, driving their 4wd Jeep to my house and picking up me with my two cats to spend the night at their place.
Although my parents live higher up the mountain than I do, they have power and (more importantly) a wood-burning fireplace to keep the house warm. I'm on propane at my house, so if the power goes out, I have no heat and it gets chilly real fast. So, my parents really did come to the rescue for me! I'm so blessed to have them.
Before departing, I took this quick photo of a squirrel on my back deck digging for sunflower seeds that I had spread out on the snow about an hour before even more snow covered them up. He and several Bluejays and other birds worked hard at digging out the seeds, and it was fun watching them at it. The snow continued to fall until it was about knee-deep in my driveway. Because my Honda is only 2wd and low to the ground, it was impossible to get it out onto the street. And the snowplows did not even get to my street until yesterday afternoon.
Thankfully, power has been restored and I'm back home again with Sparkle and Rosie. It took four guys about two hours to shovel out the snow on my driveway and deck, but I'm mobile again (for the time being) and very thankful to look out on a beautiful white vista and deep-blue skies, with few clouds. It's incredibly beautiful up here in Idyllwild right now, but such beauty can be treacherous, as I have recently discovered.
Time to think about buying a used 4wd vehicle...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Aaack! I'm snowed in!

Well, I'm snowed-in folks!
Unfortunately this means that my Two Heart Pins workshop, that was to take place tomorrow, has been rescheduled to March 3. It will be held from 10 am to 4 pm at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert, California.
I am so sorry about this, but even with chains I don't believe I would be able to get my car down the mountain to Palm Desert by tomorrow morning. The store has rescheduled my class at their earliest opportunity, and that is March 3. I hope you can make it, the workshop is terrific!
To see a sample of the beautiful pins we will make in this class, click here.
To contact the store and register, call:
760 772-2400.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Snowy, Snowy Day

Today we've had the first real snowfall of 2009 in Idyllwild, and I had to share one of the many photos I've taken this morning after trying (and failing!) to shovel my driveway.
In fact, I was going to title this post "An Exercise in Futility," but decided that sounded much too negative. I'm a positive person by nature, always thinking of the possibilities in life and believing for good things no matter what else is going on in the world, but when it came to shoveling my driveway this morning, I had to admit defeat.
It snowed all night and what a glorious sight it was to wake up to a gorgeous, white winter after enjoying an entire month (January) of spring-like weather. While the rest of our country has been struggling with heavy snowstorms, icy temperatures, and the loss of electrical power, we in Southern California have been enjoying springtime with temps in the 70s and low 80s most days, even warmer in nearby Palm Desert (my favorite getaway). Although I do appreciate how fortunate we are to live in such a beautiful place and enjoy the balmy weather, at the same time it's a bit disappointing to not get any real snow at this time of year. That's why I was so thrilled to wake up this morning to the sight of white, white, everywhere a blanket of pure, pristine beauty!
But snow does present a few practical challenges, such as getting my NON-four-wheel-drive car out of the driveway tomorrow. I can stay snowed-in today, but tomorrow I need to have my nails done and do some other errands in Hemet, in preparation for my Heart Pins Workshop which takes place this Tuesday at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert. So I decided to go outside this morning and do some shoveling. Ha!
I actually made quite a bit of progress, shoveled out the walkway to my house, shoveled about half of my driveway, and then, you guessed it, it started snowing again. So, back into the house for a cup of hot tea and to regroup. I went out onto my deck and filled the bird feeders, spread out some peanuts for the squirrels, filled the automatic waterer (yes, for birds and squirrels) and brushed some accumulated snow off my satellite dish. Then back inside.
Camera time! When in doubt, take some photos and capture the moment. So, it's still snowing and my driveway remains un-shoveled, but I have no regrets. I'm just happy and very grateful to live in such a beautiful place as Idyllwild, California!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Two Heart Pins workshop offered at Monica's...

Great workshop coming up!
If you liked the article on my Big Heart Pin project in the March 2009 issue of Art Jewelry magazine, consider attending my workshop on Tuesday (Feb. 10) featuring two Big Heart Pins! Just for fun, I recently created a coil-wrapped variation on my original design, which gives you more options for decorating your own pin. And Monica has scheduled the class just in time for Valentine's Day.
The workshop runs from 10 am to 4 pm at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert, California. If you've never been to her store, you simply must check it out. As soon as you enter the doors, you're surrounded by beautiful colors, textures, and amazingly creative ideas in quilting, fabric arts, funky purses, and (of course), jewelry. Spending time in this beautiful store and classroom will lift your spirits.
During the workshop taking place this Tuesday, we'll work with heavy-gauge wire and learn to forge and texture it with our hammers, create a pin stem and spring, and a clever catch. In addition, we'll double-coil wrap silver wire to make an ornate wire embellishment. The end result is two heirloom-quality pieces of jewelry.
For a supply list, click here.
To contact the store, call 760 772-2400.
Hope to see you there!