Saturday, November 5, 2011


First snow of the season. So neat to live in the desert and still get to enjoy the snow covered mountains.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chopsticks and Sanding Sticks

Have become my new best friend in the world of tubular bead stitches!

I've been having a lot of fun with the November Etsy Beadweavers challenge, Totally Twisted! However, I realized while creating different bead samples that using the recommended dowel, pencil or whatever you can find around the house would be in my best interest.  I'm just learning these stitches and I've found that they come out much more "perfect" if you use the tool for assistance.

So I had to give in, I looked all around the house and I came up with a few different ideas I thought I would share with you all.

Metal chopsticks are perfect for this. 
My boyfriend picked up this set on his last trip to Korea and they WERE perfect....... for a slightly larger project. 
I love that they are tapered so you could use this one tool for many size projects. 
However, I had to continue my search for the perfect tapered tool...

I tried the paintbrush but it was still to large for the teeny tiny beads I'm working with.

Then I found one of the sanding sticks that was given to me as a gift long ago. 
I occasionally use it to boar my beads a touch. In this case it worked perfectly for the
tubular netting I was working on.  I did not notice that the sanding tool had any
negative effect on the beads (in case you were wondering).

A couple samples of what I've been up to for Novembers Etsy Beadweavers challenge.
I'm keeping the good stuff under wraps. ;)

I hope this helps my fellow beadweaving friends as you all might bee looking around for the perfect dowel, pencil, or whatever you have around the house to create that perfect tubular stitch

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

de Young Musem

My first memories of the Golden Gate Bridge are from when I was a small child.  My mom would tell me that we were going to the Golden Gate Bridge, and I took that literally.  In my mind, at that time I thought of the Golden Gate Bridge as some sort of Indiana Jones-style wood-planked bridge that happened to be painted gold.  The idea of driving a car across a bridge like that did not sound safe or fun. I have always been a like-to-keep-my-feet-firmly-planted-on-the-ground kind of a child.  No roller coasters for this kid.

That child is long gone. Now I know exactly what to expect every time I cross the Golden Gate... San FranCISCOOOOO!!! Yes, I get excited. Extremely exicted, I love that town. This was an especially exicting trip to San Francisco because my Grandma decided that instead of taking me on the 49-Mile Scenic Drive we were going to the Picasso exhibit at the de Young Museum.

After a short drive from G-ma's house in Petaluma, CA, we made it to the good 'ole Golden Gate Bridge.  It wasn't the best day for taking photos, and it was pretty chilly for July in San Fran, but that did not cloud my excitement for the de Young.

Driving across the Golden Gate bridge, no I wasn't driving... thankfully.

Standing in front of the de Young taking a photo of the California Academy of Sciences.

Close-up of The Living Roof: California Academy of Sciences

Mom and I goofing off before going into the de Young.

We had a bit of time to kill before the Picasso exhibit which gave me a great excuse to check out the rest of the museum. The artwork below is by Gerhard Richter. Finished in 2004, this piece was commissioned as the central focus at the heart of the public entrance to the museum. This photo mural is one of the largest and most significant projects Gerhard Richter has ever accomplished.

Gerhard Richter (b. 1932) Strontium, 2004 
130 C-Print photographs mounted on aluminum

Cribbage board (fish), ca. 1920
Alaska, Nome, Eskimo (Walrus tusk, pigment, and baleen)
...and I thought bead-weaving was tedious, can you imagine carving that?

Pottery from New Mexico

Reflections... (I'm taking the photo and grandma is on my right)

Dale Chihuly (b.1941), Green Leaf Venetian, 1990 (Blown Glass)

I didn't realize I had taken so many unintentional photos of our reflections. 
(That's my dress and shiny sandals in the middle and grandma on my right, again.)

Mary Ann (Toots) Aynsky (b. 1951) Sopratutto, 2007
(Fused and thermoformed glass threads)

Mom pointed out the reflection on the ceiling; do you see it?

Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) Italo Scanga (b. 1932) 
Rover's Garden Grows, 1991 (mixed media)

A view from the top

Honda Syoryu (b.1951) Aurora, 2006 (Madake, rattan)
A kind of weaving I can not wrap my head around. I think I'll stick to beads.

Mosaic figure - Peru, Huari culture, A.D. 600-900 
(Wood, bitumen, various shells, bone, hammered silver, jadeite)
This extraordinary object was a burial offering for a high-ranking individual.

Shiny things!!!! (from various locations and time periods in Peru, Columbia, and Panama)

300 B.C. - A.D. 300??? What beauty our ancient civilizations 
were capable of! I can only imagine the minimal amount 
of tools they had to complete something like this.

It was finally time to go into the Picasso exhibit! Photos were not allowed and I didn't think to take photos of the entrance, but I thought I would give you guys a visual thanks to the sites listed below.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

What an INSPIRING exhibit! while in the exhibit I learned that there were many African masks on display elsewhere in the de Young that heavily influenced Picasso's style. Then I was off to find them!

A few things I found along the way:

Wayne Thiebaud (b. 1920) Three Machines, 1963 (Oil on canvas)
I had a bubble gum machine as a little girl that reminded me of the one in this photo.

George Herms (b. 1935) The Meat Market 1960-1961 (mixed media)

Cornelia Parker (b. 1956) Anti-Mass, 2005 (Charcoal and Wire)
This sculpture, Anti-Mass, is constructed from the charred remains of an African American
Baptist Church in Alabama that was destroyed by arsonists. A companion piece entitled Mass
was fabricated from a church in Texas destroyed by lightning.

Al Farrow (b. 1943) The Spine and Tooth of Santo Guerro, 2007
(guns, bullets, shots, steel, glass, tooth, bone and 15th-century fabric)

Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1943) Table Lamp ca. 1905

 Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) Rainy Season in the Tropics, 1866
Double RAINBOW!!!!!!  If you haven't seen this video, WATCH IT! :D
I knew I was getting closer to those Baga Nimba and Makonde masks... I could just feel it!

Slit-drum - Papau New Guinea, Malenesia, East Sepick,
Maramba people 20th Century (Wood, pigment)

Finally, I found the African masks! The few pictures you saw above does not represent the hour or two I spent looking while my grandma was patiently waiting on the benches you saw in the Richter photo earlier.

Headdress - Guinea, Baga People
Early 20th Century (Wood)
Weighing more than fifty pounds, the Baga Nimba mask is worn on the shoulders of a Simo society dancer in celebration of the rice harvest.

By the look on Mom's face I would say she is appalled by those breasts.
I can definitely see where Picasso gets the inspiration for his paintings.

Helmet mask - Mozambique, Makonde people
Early 20th Century (Wood, beeswax, hair)

Ceremonial fan for Oshun - Nigeria, Yoruba people
Early 20th century (Cloth, beads, cowrie shells)

Dance Panel - Nigeria, Ibadan or Ifa, Yoruba people
Early 20th century (Textile, glass beads)

Robert Doisneau, Pablo Picasso in a peplos (classical costume)
Chateau de Vauvenargues, 1963

Unidentified photographer, Display of sculptures on the stairs at La Califonie
Cannes, ca. 1955

Bye for now San Francisco!
Back to Grandma's house we go.

Many thanks go to my Grandma Breese for a wonderful day at the museum. I had an awesome time and was (and still am) inspired by that day. I started to include my notes from the audio tour while at the Picasso exhibit, but this post woudl just be way too long (it's already a bit long... eek!).

Before too much longer there will be a new post "Inspired by Picasso" that will include notes and links to the different art I saw while at the Picasso exhibit. Check back soon!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

What kind of girl is a Boho Dame?

She is a girl who is out there doing her own thing. She likes quality, but doesn't care about designer handbags or labels. She is happy carrying her magenta bag with the yarn fringe and large embroidered flowers. Her clothing is simple, but she likes to accessorize with comfortable and easy-to-wear jewelry that doesn't get in her way – like bracelets she forgets she’s wearing while typing away at the keyboard. She believes style doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort or practicality.

Sometimes she is unconventional, but most of the time she wants to go with the flow. She doesn't care to be the center of attention, but she likes to be in the middle of the action. This girl isn't afraid to get her hands dirty. Her tastes are broad in all facets of life, including music, fashion, art, literature and many other hobbies.

She tries to live her life with the ideals of truth, freedom, love, and generosity in mind, but she isn't gullible enough to believe that everyone in the world tries to live the same way.

In case you're wondering... yes I'm talking about me. That's my magenta yarn fringe bag that I'm talking about and I love seed bead bracelets. They wear so well and never get in my way. Though they are the most time consuming thing to make I think they are what I love most.