Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Workshop Series in Texas this October

I have great news for anyone living in the vicinity of Grapevine, Texas: I'll be teaching in the fully equipped, beautiful studio of Wired Up Beads this October 9-11!
I just recently made arrangements with storeowner Patti Bullard, who has scheduled me to teach a series of fun and informative classes in her store this Autumn. Here's the lineup:
Friday, October 9, 10 am to 1 pm: Biker Chick Bangles
Friday, October 9, 2 to 5 pm: Embellished Copper Washer Bracelets (pictured above)
Saturday, October 10, 10 am to 5 pm: Etruscan Spiral Necklace
Sunday, October 11, 10 am to 5 pm: Ethnic Coin Necklace
If you're interested in seeing workshop descriptions and supply lists, click on any of the highlighted words above and it will take you to a page with all the info. I hope to see some of y'all Texans in my workshops! And Patti is offering a terrific discount to anyone who signs up for all three...
For information, contact the store at 817-937-8500.
Or email:

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Leaf Bracelet

I always enjoy teaching at Brea Bead Works in Brea, California, and last Saturday was no exception. The store held a "meet the teachers" event that drew lots of customers in; it was a great opportunity to see the latest jewelry designs and workshops offered at the store and to meet the designers behind them. I was teaching two half-day workshops on Saturday myself, so I barely had time to sneak a quick peek in the store during my lunch hour before I was back at work in my classroom.
It was fun seeing the other teachers and their stunning jewelry. If you're interested in signing up for a workshop held at BBW this July-September, signups begin June 20.
One of the fun classes I taught on Saturday was the Chunky Leaf Bracelet, which can be made with either sterling silver or copper wire. Amazing how beautiful a piece of jewelry made with cheap copper wire can be--especially if you artificially age it in liver of sulfur, as we did in class. If you'd like to learn how to make the bracelet yourself, it's just one of four bracelets demonstrated in close-up detail on my latest DVD, Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop. You'll also learn two of my most popular necklace designs and a variety of techniques for working with wire and found objects.
The DVD is currently on sale for $24.95; for information, click here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

All DVDs on sale, just $24.95 each!

For a limited time, all of my instructional DVDs are on sale! If you order through, you'll find that all of my DVDs, which normally range in price from $29.95 to $39.95, are currently on sale for just $24.95 each.
Tribal Treasures Bracelet Workshop (pictured above) is a 2-1/2-hour instructional DVD on all the basics-and-beyond wire techniques that you need to get started in this art form. Learn to make jump rings, coiled wire embellishments, caged beads, eye-pin loops, a hook and eye clasp, and ear wires—plus more. I also demonstrate using liver of sulfur to artificially age wire jewelry, and the use of the tumbler. This DVD features a navigable menu with chapters, allowing you to watch the same chapter repeatedly as often as needed until you master each technique.
Normally $29.95, now on sale for $24.95. To order, click here.
Bohemian Bangles Workshop (pictured above) is a 4-hour-long DVD that takes you through all the techniques you need to make beaded bangles, spiral wrapped-wire bangles, my popular Biker-Chick Bangle, and the Half-Bangle Bracelet. You'll also learn a variety of techniques that can be applied to different wire-jewelry projects besides bangles; the easy link, bead dangles, coiling and spiraling wire, using copper tubing and a tubing cutter to make beads, using liver of sulfur, polishing in a tumbler, and more.
Like Tribal Treasures, this DVD features a navigable menu with chapters, allowing you to watch the same chapter repeatedly as often as needed until you master each technique.
Normally $39.95, now on sale for $24.95. To order, click here.
Rings of Beauty Workshop (pictured above) is a 2-1/2-hour long DVD providing instruction on eight different wire rings, with numerous potential variations, plus a chapter on using the electric bead reamer to enlarge and smooth holes in your beads and pearls, using liver of sulfur, and polishing rings in a tumbler. You'll be an expert at designing your own rings, including sizing them properly, after watching this instructional DVD.
Like Tribal Treasures and Bohemian Bangles, this DVD features a navigable menu with chapters, allowing you to watch the same chapter repeatedly as often as needed until you master each technique.
Normally $29.95, now on sale for $24.95. To order, click here.
Ethnic Style Jewelry Workshop is my latest release and one of my most popular DVDs to date. It provides 3-1/2 hours of instruction on a variety of ethnic-style jewelry making techniques plus a step-by-step demonstration on making four bracelets and two necklaces, using liver of sulfur, and polishing techniques not involving a tumbler. This is a fun DVD, and you really won't believe the beautiful jewelry pieces you can make with simple hand tools and the expertise provided. Learn to hammer, rivet, punch holes, cut and texture copper tubing, wrap wire, twist it in a drill... and so much more!
Like Tribal Treasures, Rings of Beauty and Bohemian Bangles, this DVD features a navigable menu with chapters, allowing you to watch the same chapter repeatedly as often as needed until you master each technique.
Normally $39.95, now on sale for $24.95. To order, click here.
If you'd like to know more about my DVDs before ordering them, please visit my Web site,, where I provide large photos and detailed descriptions plus links to a site where you can view free clips taken from each title.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

If not a beautiful day, then a beautiful deer...

The weather has been so chilly and strange here in Idyllwild for the past few days, it's hard not to complain. Where's our beautiful sun? Our deep-blue skies? T-shirt weather, anyone? Just when I've packed away all of my heavy sweaters and coats in an abundance of mothballs, the weather has to turn cool and overcast. It's downright chilly, dark, and dreary, and it feels like rain. Uck!
But then, you know, it always happens. Just when I'm settled into my (justifiably) bad mood, something beautiful wanders my way and chases away the blues in an instant. In this case, it was a beautiful young deer who wandered alone down my driveway, hopped into the shrubbery area and posed for me. Lovely! How lucky I am to live here in the mountains, amongst an abundance of wildlife and beautiful scenery visible through every window. I wish you all could enjoy it with me.
Well, I'm sharing my deer with you, anyway.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Update: Wire-Art Jewelry Adventure in Cortona, Italy

I have an update for our little Italian Adventure taking place September 1-11, 2010!
For a limited time, you can save $200 if you register for this workshop retreat by June 26, 2009. And if you bring a non-participating friend or relative along for the trip, he or she also gets $200 off the fee as a special thank-you for registering by the deadline.
We have two options planned for you:
Option 1: Arrive in Cortona on Sept. 1, 2010 and join the "pre-trip extension" group. We'll have three days to explore the Tuscany region, including day-trips to Siena, Orvieto, and a wine tour. On Sept. 4, the main group will join us for...
Option 2: Arrive in Cortona on Sept. 4, 2010 in time to join the pre-trip extension group for a lovely welcome dinner and wine tasting. Our workshops begin the following day.
Throughout Sept. 5-11, we'll have plenty of time to take in the beauties of Tuscany while we also spend time in the workshop making beautiful jewelry inspired by the ancient Etruscans. We'll have a guided tour of the local Etruscan museum with an expert who will tell us about this ancient civilization and their jewelry making techniques.
We will also participate in an Italian cooking class, spend one day in Florence for shopping, museum hopping, and visiting the David.
Organized by Patrick Mahoney of Toscana Americana, this workshop retreat includes five days of wire-art jewelry making instruction with me, workshop handouts, all meals (Italian breakfast, gourmet lunches and dinners with wine), the day-trip to Florence, Italian cooking class, local transportation, and accommodations (private rooms or shared, your choice).
The prices are still being settled, but for more information please click here.
The tour price does not include transportation to/from Cortona, tools or materials. You will need to bring a few simple hand tools (pliers, cutters, hammers) and predominantly copper wire to save money (silver is outrageously expensive right now), as well as beads. More information on this will be available in the near future.
I have taught two workshop retreats for Patrick so far, and in each case I have been amazed at the beautiful and comfortable accommodations he arranges for us and the incredibly delicious food and wine provided at every meal. I promise, you will not be disappointed in your room and you will enjoy every single meal throughout your stay. Patrick takes us to the best restaurants in Italy where we order from an unrestricted menu; he also provides some of the finest wines in the Tuscany region.
As for the scenery, well, just rent or buy Under the Tuscan Sun! This movie was filmed in Cortona, and the town is even more beautiful than the movie. The townspeople are very friendly, and it is a quiet, peaceful town with lovely surroundings and plenty of shopping opportunities as well as places to walk and take photographs.
This trip is suited to jewelry artists of varying skill levels; I will teach beginning through advanced techniques. More on that in the future...
I hope you can join us in Tuscany next year. September is the ideal time to visit, with fewer tourists, warm (but not too hot) days and cool evenings—it doesn't get any better than this!
Be sure to check my Web site regularly for updates.