Saturday, May 30, 2009

NEW Mini-Retreats in Idyllwild, California

This is a picture taken last February, with the pine trees near my house laden in fresh snow. Believe me, it doesn't often look like this! We only had two snowfalls this year, and both were magnificent. I was housebound for a while, and my electricity cut out for a day, but my kitties and I weathered it all just fine.
Most of the year it's perfectly gorgeous, and easily accessible to my house from the nearby cities of Palm Desert/Palm Springs, Hemet, San Jacinto, and the Temecula/Fallbrook/San Diego areas of Southern California. That's one of the reasons that I decided to open up my home to more students by offering economical "mini retreats" for Wild Wire Women.
If you'd like to get away for the weekend and take a couple of full-day workshops (mostly on Saturday-Sunday, but some Friday-Saturday dates as well), consider joining me here in Idyllwild, California.
I'm offering two full days of workshop with handouts and use of studio tools, morning coffee, and salad-bar lunches each day, along with beverages and snacks. The fee is $180 for the weekend.
This is a bargain, because the workshop fee includes two lunches and classes are limited to just SIX students. You won't find a better deal than this anywhere!
What's not included: wire, beads, dinners, lodging.
Idyllwild has many fine restaurants to choose from and some cute cabins, B&Bs and hotels to rent for the night. Those living within a short distance can simply commute back and forth to my home each day.
Which workshops are offered? I let my participating students choose the classes we'll take, rather than choosing them myself. Once you register with a $100 deposit, I'll ask you to send me a list of your top-three workshop choices taken from my Web site,, or my books, or my DVDs. My minimum enrollment for a retreat is two, maximum six, so it depends on how many students enroll how likely you are to get exactly the class you are most interested in taking.
Your chances are very good, however. I've never had a disappointed student at one of my retreats in the past three years of holding them here.
Why do I require a non-refundable deposit? Simply to make students commit to the particular date they've signed up for. I can't have students signing up and then canceling on a casual basis, because this wrecks havoc with my schedule and makes things difficult for other participating students. So, please don't sign up unless you are absolutely committed to a particular retreat date.
If you have any questions at all, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'd love to see you at my next retreat!
Mini Retreat Dates in 2009:
Aug 1-2
Aug 8-9
Aug 14-15
Oct 3-4
Oct 24-25
Nov 7-8
Nov 14-15
Nov 21-22
Nov 28-29
Dec 5-6
Dec 12-13
Dec 19-20

Friday, May 29, 2009

I've reclaimed my identity!
I've reclaimed my identity this morning—what a relief!
What happened is this: Logging onto my Web site ( today, instead of finding the usual page popping up with soothing familiarity, I was confronted with a strange domain that I didn't recognize and a picture of some blonde lady smiling inanely at me.
"Who is that?" I wondered, and checked the URL I had logged onto. It was correct, but I refreshed the page anyway because obviously I had blundered onto someone else's Web page somehow. No, the blonde lady was back. Tried refreshing again. Still there, flashing big white teeth at me. By now, I was in a panic! Where is my Web site??????? What happened to me? (Note to self: I am not my Web site URL, even though it does carry my name. Of course I know this. Of course.)
So at this point I was really upset. I decided to visit my site host, which is where I originally built my site back in 2002 and continue to manage and edit it to this day— A terrific place to build a Web site, by the way. I don't know html code from astrophysics, but I was able to quickly and easily assemble a beautiful site that I continue to maintain myself, keeping it up to date without having to consult a page designer. I promise you, a 5-year-old could do this if I can.
So as soon as I logged into my personal account at, I discovered what had happened: My domain name had expired as of May 29. Oh, that's all! A quick phone call to and I was up and running again. Whew! HUGE sigh of relief. I've renewed my domain name and locked it in for the next 10 years, so I'm here to stay.
Of course, I am not my Web site. I know this! Of course I know this.
Still, it's great to be back.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

New Bracelet from Yesterday's Workshop

This is the finished bracelet that I made in the process of teaching my Celtic Knot Necklace workshop yesterday, at Monica's Quilt & Bead Creations in Palm Desert.
I always feel a bit sorry for anyone who missed a workshop after it's over. It's so much fun to get together with a group of creative ladies who enjoy making jewelry, and are willing to invest the necessary time and effort it takes to make it beautiful.
We do some chatting, of course, but it's amazing how silent it can be when everyone suddenly concentrates on making her jewelry piece. At one point, Monica strolled into our classroom and commented on how quiet it was. I think this is actually a good sign.
There's a time to socialize, and a time to concentrate on making
perfect jumprings—both are needed in a good class. I sure enjoyed teaching at Monica's yesterday, and hope to repeat the experience someday soon.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At the mercy of Sparkle

I just had to share this photo that I took of Sparkle today. She always seems to know when I need my photo cube to take still shots or step-by-step photos for a tutorial I'm posting on my other blog, Wire Jewelry Lessons. She waits, I believe, for just the right moment to take up residence in my cube—after I've carefully arranged the fabrics and other props I intend to use in the shoot.
Sparkle is so pretty, and so sweet-tempered and loving, that I have a hard time getting upset with her no matter what she does. It's almost impossible for me to say "no" to her. Even more difficult to "shoo" her out of her favorite residence.
But eventually I did persuade her to depart, and took some photos of the Wrap-a-Rock pendant demonstrated last week illustrating a couple of ways to suspend the pendant using ball-chain or various types of cording. I hope you enjoy visiting my blogs, and I especially hope that you feel encouraged to be creative with your jewelry.
Send me jpgs of your work, I'd love to see it!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Update on my new book..

I haven't blogged in a few days because I've been so incredibly busy proofreading the printouts from my new book, Contemporary Copper Jewelry, which releases September 1, 2009.
It's going to be a beautiful book—as you can see from the photo above featuring just a few of the spreads. I think you'll enjoy the projects, especially since they're stepped out in detail with photos and text showing you how to make each one.
Fans of sterling silver or gold-filled wire can make their projects out of their chosen metals, too, but the premise of this text is that with the high price of precious metals, copper (and brass, and dark annealed steel wire) can be a viable alternative. The emphasis is on creativity and good craftsmanship, of course, so no matter what materials you use, the end result is bound to be beautiful.
I'll post more details on the release date of this new book as soon as they become available.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Two bits of good news!

I have two wonderful bits of good news to share: First, Celia has found her pet bearded dragon, Bam-Bam. Apparently the errant dragon had crawled down a gopher hole, which then collapsed on her. She was found this morning, shaken and a bit cold, but she's back in her cage now sitting under a heat lamp on a heated rock, basking in her good fortune!
The other bit of good news I have to share is that I've just now posted another tutorial to my other blog, Wire Jewelry Lessons. The tutorial is on making a single wrapped eyepin loop on a headpin, which results in a bead dangle like the one pictured. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Missing Dragon!

Some of you might remember when I posted on January 9 of this year about my friend Celia and her pet bearded dragon, Bam-Bam. Celia just called me a moment ago to report that her dear pet went missing this afternoon.
If there is anyone living in Idyllwild, California who reads this blog and knows anything at all about the missing Bam-Bam, please email me at Celia loves her pet and is very upset about her loss. She has always taken very good care of her pet dragon, who is about 8 years old now (bearded dragons typically live much shorter lives).
Thank you, everybody!
Hoping for a positive outcome,

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A new day, a new blog...

It's a new day, and a gorgeous one in Idyllwild (the manzanita pictured above is blooming, turning my hillside pink). I feel so fortunate to live here, and I'm very, very grateful.
So, since it's a new day, I thought I'd start up a new blog!!!
Am I crazy? I find it difficult enough to post here more than twice a week, so why start a new blog? Well, many of my students and readers of my book, Bead on a Wire, have asked me to provide them with step-by-step tutorials, articles, a bit of advice now and then (regarding wire jewelry tools, etc.), and more information on wire-art jewelry making in general. It didn't seem quite right to do all that here, on my personal blog, so I decided to create a brand-new blog that is much more jewelry-arts oriented.
The new blog is called Wire Jewelry Lessons, and I invite you to visit by clicking here.
I'll be posting some new articles on it soon, and I hope that you all enjoy it. Feel free to email me with your suggestions for content.
See you in the workshop!