Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I'm working on a lanyard which attaches to one's glasses, I'm sure there's a real name for them but I don't know it. It's a cord, and I'm spiraling up around the cord with peyote stitch. It's taking much longer than I thought it would. Last night I had to un-bead about an inch and a half when I discovered a mistake. Maddening!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tolk, Part 2

After I wrote the earlier entry about the piece inspired by Le Guin's A Wizard of Earthsea, I got an email from Powell's Books reminding me that Ursula K. Le Guin was reading from her new book on April 22nd. It seemed to me that the piece had come together with suspiciously fortuitous timing. I looked at it and almost felt like it was looking back at me, challengingly. What, me anthropomorphize a rock? Maybe so.

I thought about how pretentious it was, to think that a brilliant author would want a piece of beadwork made by me. Then I thought -- why wouldn't she? It's a sweet little thing, I'd want it, especially if I was the inspiration for it. So I wrote a note, slipped the rock into a little clamshell box, went to the reading (which was awesome), stood in line for 45 minutes... and gave her the little rock. She was very gracious and appeared to be pleased.

I got home and told my teenager what I'd done, and he brought me right back to earth with, "Gee, mom, I'm sure she will put it with all the bags and bags of crap her fans send her." He's very helpful in keeping me from taking myself too seriously.

It felt good to give the piece away. It felt a little silly, a little pushy, a little sycophantic- but mostly it felt right. I'm glad I did it.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Here's my newest piece. It's a small rock that I picked up a long time ago at the Oregon coast. I had in mind to bead it entirely, but it had some say in the matter once we got underway, and as we worked our way through this project together, I kept thinking of Ged.

Before Harry Potter, there was Ged. Ged was a young student dreamed up by the peerless Ursula K. Le Guin in what is perhaps the quintessential wizarding book, A Wizard of Earthsea. Ged had a chip on his shoulder, a swagger he hadn't quite earned. Some short time before he gets his comeuppance, he has this conversation with one of his teachers:

"Sir, all these charms are much the same; knowing one, you know them all. And as soon as the spell-weaving ceases, the illusion vanishes. Now if I make a pebble into a diamond-" and he did so with a word and a flick of his wrist- "what must I do to make that diamond remain diamond? How is the changing-spell locked, and made to last?"

The Master Hand looked at the jewel that glittered on Ged's palm, bright as the prize of a dragon's hoard. The old Master murmured one word, "Tolk," and there lay the pebble, no jewel but a rough grey bit of rock. The Master took it and held it out on his own hand. "This is a rock, tolk in the True Speech," he said, looking mildly up at Ged now. "A bit of the stone of which Roke Isle is made, a little bit of the dry land on which men live. It is itself. It is part of the world. By the Illusion-Change you can make it look like a diamond -- or a flower or a fly or an eye or a flame--" The rock flickered from shape to shape as he named them, and returned to rock. "But that is mere seeming. Illusion fools the beholder's senses; it makes him see and hear and feel that the thing is changed. But it does not change the thing. To change the rock into a jewel, you must change its true name. And to do that, my son, even to so small a scrap of the world, is to change the world. It can be done. Indeed it can be done. It is the art of the Master Changer, and you will learn it, when you are the ready to learn it. But you must not change one thing, one pebble, one grain of sand, until you know what good and evil will follow on that act. The world is in balance, in Equilibrium. A wizard's power of Changing and of Summoning can shake the balance of the world. It is dangerous, that power. It is most perilous. It must follow knowledge, and serve need. To light a candle is to cast a shadow....

He looked down at the pebble again. "A rock is a good thing, too, you know," he said, speaking less gravely.

So, Tolk. A small rock with a bit of iridescent lichen, and the essential rockness exposed.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

BeadTool 3

I bought BeadTool 3 last night. It's such a great program, I already love it. I was able to create a pattern from a bracelet I made. The bracelet looks on purpose now, instead of totally random. I don't work from patterns, but it is sure nice to be able to go back and make a pattern from an already finished piece. The software is intuitive and very forgiving. I'm a fan.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fire & Flowers- Etsy Beadweavers Challenge

It's that time again! The Etsy Beadweavers have come up with some amazing creations for the April challenge, Fire & Flowers. Voting starts April 7, please stop by the blog and make your voice heard!

1. Flaming Roses by artzilla
2. Hades Garden Beadwoven Bracelet by myfairladyvt4
3. The Flower of Fire Brooch by enchantedbeads
4. Flames and Flowers by enchantedbeads
5. Le Sacre du Printemps- Blue Flame by SalamanderHouse
6. Slave Bracelet- Blue Flames on Rose Buds by valhallaforge
7. Hana-Bi by thebeadedlily
8. Blaze - Peyote Cuff Bracelet by totallytwisted
9. Flame Flower Necklace by clairecreations
10. Fire Daisy Choker by nemeton
11. Mephaestus and Pan by ThreeFatesDesign
12. Fire and Flowers Bracelet by Emarah
13. Blazing Blossoms Amulet Necklace Waiting Room Series 2 by cigarboxbeads
14. Tattoo Flames Bracelet by PinkPoochDesigns
15. Firewheel by SweetFreedom
16. LUCIFER'S TONGUE Beaded Lariat by dawnchastain
17. Flower of Fire's Heart by DantesSpirit
18. Huang by SilverDragon
19. Flamboyant Flower Brooch by enchantedbeads
20. Mi Cala en Llamas by lolos
21. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire by jstinson
22. Petals of Flame Bracelet by AmethystRavenstar
23. Fire and Flowers by BeadedKeepsakes
24. Blazing Flowers by triz
25. Fire Lotus by hands2heal
26. Fire Blossom by playnwithbeads
27. Flower of Flame by onathousandhills
28. A Moth to Fire and Flowers by PFordCustomJewelry
29. Ring of Fire by ThePreciousBeads
30. Summer Flame by SandFibers

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bead Dreams

So I have this idea for a huge involved beading project. I've been kicking it around for a while, doing a few trial runs at it. I think it's worth doing as a submission for next year's Bead Dreams contest. But I don't know if I'm willing to commit the time it would take. I'm thinking about it seriously enough that I ordered all the beads I need to do it, though.

In the meantime, I made a bracelet last week, and I'm starting a spiral rope to match one or two of the lampwork beads I made at the Bullseye class.