Circles of life

While writing and drawing patterns recently in order to teach and share my beady designs, it dawned on me just how life at times comes full circle. I've often told my children that they are the sum of all their life experiences, and this certainly applies to me too!

In my very early working days I was a studio artist and designer in Dublin and absolutely loved the work! I worked with my hands and acquired many skills and most of all I loved working with color.

Years later, having spent time rearing our five children, I returned to college, this time in Texas, and learned to apply these same skills all over again using the computer. I eventually worked in the publishing industry and ultimately as a graphic designer I enjoyed designing books and book-covers, among other things. Once again I loved what I was doing. I totally loved working with color and loved what I always thought of as the mathematical discipline of it all. I also enjoyed the fast pace and constant challenges that each day brought.

Today I find myself once again using those same graphic design skills, but this time I'm producing my own patterns for bead designs I've enjoyed creating. These same skills are today helping me to share my passion.

I don't think I ever saw this current application for the skills I've acquired over the years, but somehow I believe that all of my life experiences have led to where I am today:- I'm still working with color, and loving the discipline and at times the mathematical precision of the beadweaving stitches I now design with.

Isn't life amazing? Life has certainly come full circle for me!

Another Year!

Well here we are already most of the way through the first month of 2011! I'm blessed to be here and still enjoying my beading to the max! I figured after neglecting this blog for most of last year, that this would constitute at least ONE post for this new year! I don't like to make 'resolutions' . . . but this year it is my greatest hope to teach more and share the love of beads that has kept me going for the last few years.

Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the Texas Bead Retreat -- TBR -- my second time to attend. It was just wonderful to catch up with beady friends and enjoy the great laughter that always prevails at these events. And this year I taught my Diamonds and Pearls

bracelet which turned out to be one of the most popular classes. I designed the bracelet specially for this event -- I wanted something that was suitable for beginners, yet would attract the more experienced beader, and I was successful in doing just that. This project can be completed in an evening.

I was thrilled to have so many students complete the bracelet and wear it AT the Retreat! Still more have contacted me with photos of their completed projects and all are pleased. So overall, it was a very successful experience.

I was happy with the pattern directions that are very clear and easy to follow, and I am looking forward to completing another half dozen patterns over the next few months and teaching more this coming year.

Fingers crossed my health will allow me to do this!


It is truly amazing to me as I look back on the last year or so, just how far I've come with my beading endeavors.

This time a year ago I was getting ready to attend my first ever bead retreat -- in Shreveport, Louisiana. I eagerly signed up for every class I was able to take, and honestly learned a lot! I met some terrific people there and thoroughly enjoyed the sharing and general camaraderie. Last year, I took part in the bead challenge, where various bits and pieces are numbered and laid out and you choose one of these little groups of odds and ends and make what you can of it all. I remember distinctly getting some copper wire that looked like it was part of an old coat hanger! But I enjoyed the challenge and was just tickled to come in second -- the prize was a bead tote which I lovingly use to this day.

And so here I am again, packing last minute bits and bobs and preparing to set off for Shreveport in the morning with my friend, Ralonda. I know I'll enjoy the retreat and the opportunity to connect with friends, but this year I'm less likely to take the classes, as they won't be as challenging for me as things were a year ago.

I'm feeling blessed that I'm well enough to attend and can't wait to see what the weekend has in store!

August 2010

Hard to believe I've neglected my blog for so long. At one point I thought I'd just forget it -- yet another thing needing attention when my energies were limited. However, I've been feeling well for a couple of weeks now and with my latest beading endeavors, I have decided to try to update it a LITTLE more often!!! (smiling)

Use the Muse III Big Reveal!

I have to admit that despite a very busy day with all sorts of calls on my time I took 'time out' to drool over all the fabulous entries for the Use the Muse contest! I just love SO many of the entries and have to say that I already have a couple of favorites -- not necessarily the ones deemed 'winners.' I aspire to being more creative in the future and I'm not short of inspiration when perusing these wonderful creations. It never ceases to amaze me how different the entries can be when each bead artist begins with the exact same 'kit' of beads. This is the part of the contest I enjoy the most, and the skill level here is just daunting. Congratulations to EVERYone who entered -- I feel every entry is a winner in one way or another. I can now reveal my own humble entry and must state that the photos do not do it justice.