The Bead Exchange is Complete

After a week away from home, visiting friends in New York and family in Baltimore, I returned to the island to find my beads from Hannah Rossner had arrived! Woo hoo!

I love getting packages in the mail, don't you?

I love getting packages in the mail, don’t you?

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I think Hannah and I were on the same wavelength when we sent each other some lamp worked beads. Check out Hannah’s blog Good River Beads and Jewelry to see her work and what she said about my contribution. (Remember, we’re participating in Lori Anderson’s Bead Soup Blog Party. It’s the bead hoarder’s edition. We’re to send beads that we’ve been hanging on to for a long time and explain why we’ve hoarded them. Okay, so neither one of us remembered to add that little note. I’d say we’re a match!)

Be sure to check out Hannah’s Etsy Shop to view her amazing work. Our styles are so different. I don’t know how she does all that intricate bead work. It’s quite detailed and beautiful. And she is a lamp work artist. Which means she makes her own beads, holding rods of glass and a steel mandrel  in and out of a gas flame. I took a two day workshop in this once and believe me, I know it takes years to develop that skill.

Click on Hannah’s photo below for a link to her Etsy site. Get a cup of tea, and get ready to take some time for visual stimulation. You won’t be disappointed!


Below is the photo of the beads I sent to Hannah. (It was camouflaged in the last post.)


The lamp work bead was made by Mindy McGregor who sells on Etsy.  The teardrop head pins are made by Jennie Yip, and also purchased on Etsy. The fine silver beads are made by me. (My own Etsy shop is for the jewelry I make, but you would never know because my Etsy shop is bare. Every month I think, “okay, time to remedy that.” And every month something else comes up. I even have the inventory on hand, so what is that all about? Oh. I just remembered. It’s the photography. Something that I can put off as well as I put off cleaning the oven. Once I start, I can totally get into it. I just can’t seem to want to get started.)

Hannah and I and the other participants in the BSBP have until March 25 to reveal our designs with another person’s hoarded beads. That is the big reveal day, now less than 3 weeks away. Not a bad way to jump start my creative process and start to make friends with my own writing.


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Day 2 of renewed blogging

For a year I have paid for a premium subscription to WordPress. I wanted to be able to post videos and remove any ads from my space that I don’t see, but others do. I find after so much time away it is really hard to even remember how to post on my blog and add pictures! If I do this every day for a while maybe it will all come back.

In a week of 4 snowstorms we managed to rack up at least 40 inches of snow on ground that had been bare since last spring. And, I have been recovering for two months from double knee surgery….

Enter my son’s snowshoes, from high school, patiently waiting for me to rediscover them in the attic. I used to be a cracker jack downhill skier, having started the sport at age 4. But in the 40 years I’ve lived on Little Cranberry Island, I’ve managed to go downhill skiing a total of 10 times. It’s just not in the cards. We’re too far from a ski area, we live with a limited ferry schedule in the winter, and my husband has not skied for years either. Cross country skiing is a good option when we get enough snow. But balancing on narrow skis  is not a wise move for me just now.

So yesterday I tried snow shoeing for the first time ever. I LOVED it! I met up with two other island women and off we went to admire the magical snowy woods.

Today I went off on my own to one of my favorite parts of the island. The property owned by jeweler Sam Shaw.

Yes, I am so grateful to live in a quiet magical place! And, at the end of the walk through the woods, the path opens to this view.

Yup. It is totally beautiful here. I try not to ever take it for granted. I love being able to share some of the winter scenes that most of our summer visitors never get to see. I hope they are as quiet and soothing for you as they are for me.


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Maybe I should post on my blog more often

Ya think?

I have really fallen out of the habit of posting on my blog. Once a year is not enough, but that seems to be my routine for the last few years. When did it become so hard? FaceBook has taken up my time, sometimes in a good way and sometimes not. I belong to several private and public FB groups where we post and comment back and forth. The time I spend on FB, now, I used to spend browsing other people’s blogs and posting something on my own.

I’m not alone. For whatever reasons, several people whose blogs I used to follow have not posted anything for 2 years or more. I miss them! It makes me appreciate all the more the people who do take the time to let others get a glimpse of their lives and talents through their blogs. I want to be one of them again.

Many thanks to Lori Anderson and her Pretty Things Blog for bringing back the Bead Soup Blog Party. Click the link to learn a little  history and more about this year’s special twist. The twist is that we are to send a bead or beads that we have hung on to for a long time, but are willing to gift to someone else. Those special beads that we all have. The ones we just can’t quite decide out how to use, but we’ve kept them for one reason or another.

I think it’s a great idea. Lots of fun and I can’t wait to see what people create when the reveal happens on March 25. My partner for the bead swap is Hannah Rosner. She’s a lot more regular about blogging than I have been. Check out her blog: Good River Beads and Jewelry. Hope she likes what I send, or that it inspires her. Per the rules of the blog party, we are not allowed to show a photo of what we sent until our partner reveals their beads after they receive them. But we can do this:


Inside the box…..


Thanks Lori for helping me get back on that horse!


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Memorial Day kicks off a new summer season

A lot of my work goes to Maine galleries that have a busy summer season. Here are some of the pieces headed to Chapter Two Gallery in Corea, Maine. If you have never been there I urge you to take a little drive “downeast” to this beautiful part of the coast. Garry and Rosemary Levin have a wonderful gallery representing many craftspeople and artists from this area. I am so fortunate and honored to be included among them.

And, they kick off the summer season with a party!

Without further ado, please take a look at some of my new work getting sent to Chapter Two tomorrow:

Let the summer fun begin!!

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Mother’s Day is coming…

…and so is the annual sale at the Center for Maine Craft.

Annual Mother’s Day Sale:

May 1 – 8, 2016
25% OFF ALL Jewelry & Pottery! 
The Center for Maine Craft’s annual week-long Mother’s Day Sale is this Sunday May 1st through Mother’s Day Sunday May 8th.  All Jewelry and Pottery are 25% Off!
Make your mom, mama, mum or yourself happy with a Maine made handcrafted gift.  This sale happens only once a year!
Open 7 days a week 9am – 6pm


Please note, no other discounts may be applied.

Image: Covered Pot by  Barbara Walch Pottery, Pendant by Maggie Bokor Jewelry
This means I’ll be dropping off quite a few pieces of new work when I drive through Gardiner on my way to Greenwich, CT.
Here’s some of the work that will be there by Tuesday noon:
You’ve just got to love the location of the Center for Maine Craft. It’s in a service plaza! Where else could you go to make a pee stop, buy gas, get something to eat, AND see some really great Maine Crafts? I’ll be on my way to Connecticut and New York, but I’ll also be making a stop at the Center for Maine Craft to check out some pottery and other jewelry! 25% off…Woo Hoo!!


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This is what one of my work benches looks like when I am in the midst of making necklaces from rocks I have drilled, sea glass, and handmade silver beads. I have had my nose to the grindstone, spending most of the month of April in my studio. This looks like a confusing mess, but the more things I have out, the more I see to be designing the next necklace even as I am still working on the current one.


Why so busy? Most of my work is in galleries that are seasonal. (I wish I’d remembered to take some photos before I dropped off work for the fresh new season at KoT Gallery, in Ellsworth, Maine. The work is already there, waiting for the May 5 opening.) I’m lining everything up for May deliveries.

Another reason for this early push is an upcoming show on May 4th and 5th in Greenwich, CT. The show is a fund raiser for local non-profits. If you live in the area please stop by and check it out. It looks like I will be in some very good company.

Barny's Greenwich

(I added a few of my business cards on the back before scanning the list of vendors.) Barny's vendors

Nothing like having my name at the top of a list to finally get myself back to posting on my blog. I hope it gets me back in the habit of taking photos of my work. Today is a good start.

Below is the finished necklace that was sitting in the mess in the middle of my bench.IMGP1523

Sea glass found by Jane Milburn in Seaham, England. White stones from Gilley Beach (just down the street) and fine silver bead handmade by me.


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What draws you back to blogging…

…after almost 9 months away? For me it was reading that Genevieve Williamson, whose blog I follow regularly, was going to spend some time in Maine. “Where?” I asked, in her comment section, hoping that a trip to my little island might be in the cards. I have admired Genevieve’s polymer clay work for years, starting with finding her Etsy site, Jibby and Juna, and then finding and reading her blog.

I started working with polymer clay over 20 years ago, learning a lot about making my own canes and beads from a book called “The New Clay” by Nan Roche. Once I got my hands on metal clay, I left most of my polymer work behind, but I never stopped looking at it.  The polymer clay world has progressed and expanded in amazing ways. Check out some of Genevieve’s work from her Etsy shop:



I love her colors, her carvings, her design….her whole approach to the medium.

When Genevieve responded to my query, it turned out they were planning to stay in Friendship, about a 2 1/2 hour drive away. Her family has a history of visiting Maine islands and they thought it would be a manageable day trip to spend a day on Little Cranberry. Yippee!       For so many reasons.

The first being that I finally cleaned up my studio. I’m always curious about another artist’s studio space, and I wanted to be able to show Genevieve my tiny studio without all of the clutter. (When my creative energy was renewed from her visit, I benefitted myself with an organized spot to get back to work.)  The second reason the visit was a plus is that I got to see my island through new eyes. I live in one of the most beautiful spots in the world, but it is still the place where I do my laundry, pay bills, plan meals, and work. It’s easy to lose sight of so many wonders, until I have a chance to start showing it off to someone who is appreciating it all for the first time.

We fit a lot into a short number of hours. Starting with a prearranged visit to Ashley Bryan to see his studio, his dahlia paintings, and hear how he makes his stained glass window panels from sea glass and paper mache.


Ashley spoke of starting his dahlia paintings last October.) He showed his stained glass windows in progress:IMGP2621

And talked about making his puppets.IMGP0322 IMGP0323

(I can’t believe this is the only picture I have of you guys! None of Genevieve, but here is her husband Kyle, and sons Ben and Samuel, before we headed back to the dock for some lunch.)


The very best reason to have Genevieve come to Islesford for a visit, is that we opened the door on a new friendship. It felt like I had known her before, and I know we will keep in touch. As I introduced her to friends at the restaurant or people we met on our walks, they asked, “How did you meet?” We laughed and responded, “We met on the internet!” Thank you for your visit and for inspiring me to get back to blogging. You are welcome to come back any time. I hope we meet up again before too long.



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