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Monday, September 3, 2012

I have been SOOO bad about posting blogs lately.  Actually- all summer!! It seems like I am always so busy, and I just don't take the time to do it.  I have lots of ideas for posts, so that's not it!  Oh well, I guess it is what it is.

First things first.  When we got home from our Maine trip this spring, a box was waiting at the door with my copy of "Showcase 500 beaded jewelry".  You remember.... THE ONE WITH MY NECKLACE ON THE COVER!!!! (sorry for shouting- excited)  I couldn't wait to open it- and I was definitely NOT disappointed.

It is awesome!  If you love beadwork- you will love this book.  So much inspiration.  Almost all of my favorite beaders are included- all with beautiful clear pictures of their work. The beadwork  goes from simple to outrageous.  I can't say I like every single piece in this book...but really, if they were all my taste- it wouldn't be half as interesting!!  I am truly amazed how many talented beaders are out there- it is certainly humbling.

Anyhow- here are my 3 pieces that were included..
"Cathedral Windows"- page 15
I made this piece for Bead Dreams in 2010  It was a finalist.  I remember I finished it in the camper when we were on vacation (right up against the deadline!) and took the submission photo right on the counter of the camper.  (different picture)  It actually turned out pretty well, natural light coming from the "kitchen" window. I have made numerous brooches using the design of the individual components and even sell kits for them.

                                                  Blue Cathedral windows kit
                        Brown Cathedral Window Brooch kit            

"Butterfly Dreams"- page 159
This piece was created for the 2011 Bead Dreams contest.  It was not accepted, but definitely gets the most attention at shows!  It is made with real butterfly wings that I have encased in acrylic.  One of the things I love about this necklace is that it is so large, yet weighs hardly anything!  I am often asked where I got the butterfly wings. Years ago I bought about 20 small square metal containers at an estate sale.  I wanted them for storing small items. (beads?)  When I got them home and opened them, they all contained different things.  Some were nuts, some were stones etc.  and one contained a bunch of mounted butterfly wings.  I kept them for a long time, but never could figure out a use for them.  Then one day I remembered a necklace my father brought home from Hawaii during WW2 for my mother.  You have probably seen them- it was a blue butterfly wing under a glass cabochon with a black silhouette of palm trees and ocean painted on it.  That was it!!  I have included butterfly wings in a lot of my jewelry since then, purchasing more wings when the originals ran out.

"Twilight"- page 422
This necklace sold at the first show I took it to.  Although I love the look of all the seed beads in the fringe and in the neck chain- let me tell you they were a pain!  Especially the neck chain- joining 2 rounded shapes with several strands of beads, and trying to get the right number so it all lays flat.  Not so it lays flat when it is on the table, but when it is on a neck...which is entirely different!  Lots of trial and error in this one.
So there is the backstory on the pieces included in the book. I am so excited and proud to be included with all the wonderful artists in this beautiful book.  And hopefully, I will find the umph to blog more often!  Till then......


  1. Here's to more umph!! Glad you're writing again!!! I loved the bead book and that you're in it, BTW! Congrats again! Rhonda

    1. Thanks Rhonda!! We'll see how long my umph lasts!!

  2. Hooray! I'm excited for you. All three are gorgeous.

  3. Betty, I have a copy of the Showcase 500 book, and your pieces (especially the one on the cover!) were some of my favorites. How cool that you used butterfly wings!

    -- Sarah

    1. Thank you Sarah! It really is a beautiful book and I have spent hours drooling over all the amazing work in it!

  4. I love these pieces and they are seriously in depth works! A real challenge. And surely no small feat to complete! Love that book!