Monthly Archives: April 2011

Matching up another glass bead

I bought this handmade glass bead at the first PMC conference I attended in 2006, at Purdue University. I wish I could remember who made it. It has bounced around my studio for 5 years, as I have thought about ways to use it in a necklace. When I started  making more asymmetrical necklaces and had a new supply of drilled beach rocks, I brought out the glass bead for another try.

I’m happy with the way the silver PMC beads, the cream colored beach stones, the patinated copper, and the discs of turquoise echo the colors in the glass bead.

Today’s post is a short one. I’m visiting my friend Susie in New York and we spent the day looking for a dress for me to wear to my son Robin’s wedding in September. (Hey, after watching the royal wedding we were in the mood!) I scored at the third store we tried. But now we are both tired. Tomorrow, some shopping for lamb sausage, fresh mozzarella, etc. on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. We may nip into Manhattan for a few hours at the Museum of Arts and Design. We’ll see….


Filed under Uncategorized

More PMC bead asymmetry

Another of the necklaces I made this week. Another rainy day photograph.

This necklace shows a little history of my bead making with precious metal clay. The toggle clasp and washer beads are from this year, and most of the others were made in previous years. The beautiful round patinated copper beads are from Shannon LeVart of Miss Ficklemedia. Her range of patinas inspired me to find some of my own copper components to try my hand at patina. The smaller, flat oval-shaped beads are from my first attempts with Shannon’s Verdigris patina.

There are beads in this necklace that were formed over a Cheerio core. A round bead formed over a ball of wax, and two beads from the series I made for my entry to the Saul Bell Design Competition in 2006.

Making beads is one of my most favorite things to do!


Filed under Uncategorized

Pod beads hang out together

The center bead is fine silver metal clay, made from a mold taken from a goldenrod stem gall. I call it my pod bead. As I was trying to decide which of my other beads to include in the necklace, Sue Kennedy posted some dark glass pod beads on her blog. I went to her Etsy site and snapped them up right away. I knew they would be the perfect match for my pod bead.

I love finding beads made by other artists to combine with my own. I am drawn to the work of others who like making      beads as much as I do. I made all the silver PMC beads in this necklace. Two are made from molds taken from beach rocks, and four of them are the drape beads I learned to make in Fred Woell’s workshop. The clasp is one I made a while ago for another necklace. The bunch berry leaves I used in the clasp will be coming up again soon, now that it’s spring.

The freshwater coin pearls were just the right color match for Sue’s beads. I’m happy with how everything came together. I wish the sun had been out today for better photos. (I wish the sun would just come back out period.)  I was in an hurry anyway as I took the photos late in the day. I didn’t get everything done today, but I am satisfied with what I accomplished. Clean fridge, sourdough bread made, clean closet, organized dresser, tidied up studio, suitcase packed, and now daily blog post finished!


Filed under Uncategorized

A busy night

On Thursday I’m off to New York to see my friend Susie . I’ll be back for the 5 p.m. boat on Monday. Getting ready to take a trip always throws me into a flurry of activity as I try to get everything done in two days before I go. I like to leave with my studio tidy, checkbooks balanced, bills paid, house clean, refrigerator clean, laundry done (and put away), and cupboards full for Bruce while I’m gone. Heading a little bit south, where the weather might actually feel warm and there might even be leaves on the trees means I need to dig out some clothes that are not geared for cold weather. Which means I’ll try to clean out my closets and drawers before I go too. Of course there is no way to get all this done in two days, but I still think I’m going to accomplish everything when it is the day before the day before I leave.

I worked in the studio today, stringing some necklaces that I hope to photograph tomorrow, and send to Red Dot Gallery on Deer Isle. It wasn’t until dinner time that I tried to address the rest of my list. I made dough for oatmeal bread so it could rise while we ate. After I cleaned up the kitchen I mixed up a triple batch of granola. (Triple because if I have to sit around for an hour stirring one batch every 10 minutes, I might as well have three batches in the oven. Easy enough to do with a convection oven.) While the granola cooked I picked out crabmeat to take to Susie and to have for crab cakes tomorrow night.

This is the first time in a while that I’ve made a yeast bread. I wanted to see if it would cook as well in the dutch oven as the sourdough bread does. I decided to add in some odd ingredients like millet, dried cherries, molasses, and pumpkin seeds. As I did, Bruce commented that he doesn’t really like “that kind of bread.” Well, maybe for toast, he admitted. So, I also mixed up dough to ferment overnight for sourdough bread. It’s okay. Bruce is not a demanding guy, and I really like making bread.

There is one thing I used to hate about making bread until I learned one of the best little tricks ever.  When it comes to wiping up flour from the counter, my sponges used to get like this:

You know those nasty bits of flour and water that are impossible to rinse out of the sponge after you’ve wiped flour off your counter? There is an easy solution to this problem.  Salt!   Sprinkle salt over the flour on your counter and then wipe it with the sponge. The salt even works as an abrasive to get stubborn bits off the counter and when you rinse it under the faucet, all the flour rinses away. I learned this handy trick so long ago that I don’t even remember who told me or where I read it. It is a little trick you will like even more than Bruce like bread with millet.


Filed under Uncategorized

3 friends hatched a plan…

…on yesterday’s early ride home.

The mailboat passed us heading in to Northeast Harbor to pick up passengers for the 3:30 run.  Happily, we were not among those waiting at the dock for their ride to Islesford. We were almost home.

Once home, we all helped unload each other’s stuff by making a chain and passing bags along up the steps.

Cindy Thomas, Stefanie Alley and I all happened to be on David Thomas’ boat yesterday. We are 3 of the 4 die-hard members of Dip of the Month Club. The air was 60 degrees, the tide was pretty high, there was no wind, and none of us had gone for our April dip. It was a no brainer. Though we tried and were unable to locate Joy Sprague, our fourth member, we agreed to meet at 4 p.m. for our dip. The water temperature was 41 degrees. We’ve been running into the water and getting horizontal at least once every single month for over 8 years. We have no plans to stop anytime soon.

Yesterday it felt so good to get out of the water and stand in the warm air (60 degrees is very warm for us this April) in our bathing suits, that we went in for the dip 3 times. A rare triple Easter dip! We know the water will only get warmer between now and November.

Why am I writing today about yesterday? Because today I was off island again, getting groceries and visiting my mom. Our planned stop at the grocery store yesterday was foiled by the fact the the stores were all closed for Easter. Tomorrow I’m hoping for some studio time.


Filed under Uncategorized

Why do people groan when I say….

…let’s take a group picture!!!

Standing: Me, Kelly, Meghan, Fritz       Seated: Bruce, Robin, Stephanie

With the seven of us distributed among two cities and one island, it’s rare to get the opportunity  for a group photo. Before Bruce and I left to catch the ferry in Northeast Harbor, I gathered up “the kids” and Bruce’s sister Kelly  for a timed photograph. Everyone was actually pretty cooperative. The groans came when I wanted to take the third and fourth shots. (Hey, somebody’s got to do it right?  And this was shot #3.)

Of course, once I got the group shot, I really wanted one of Robin, Stephanie, Meg and Fritz. Thanks you guys. Now, even though we can’t be with you, we get to see you whenever we want.

Meghan was wearing a pretty cool apron as she rustled up some Italian scrambled eggs. Bruce posed happily for a photo. He said, Meg needed a six gun to go with her apron. She was fast on the draw with her weapon.

We got back to Northeast Harbor at the same time as our neighbors David and Cindy, so we caught a ride home with them. (Earlier than the mailboat.)

So did several others.


Filed under Uncategorized

Spending a night in Portland

We drove to Portland today to see our son Fritz and his girlfriend Meg, and our son Robin and his fiancée Stephanie, who flew up from Baltimore on Thursday night. We had a fantastic dinner at Caiola’s with our sons, their girls, and Bruce’s sister Kelly and her partner Allison. Along with the delicious food,  we had a dining room all to ourselves.

“Ask about our best kept secret, thewine cellar.  Its brick lined walls, intimate lighting and rows of wine that host a long handmade harvest table seating up to 12 guests would be perfect for any occasion. For more booking information and menu options, please contact Lisa at (207) 772- 1110.”

And check out this cute sommelier!

Bruce and I are staying over night at the luxurious Portland Harbor Hotel.  Usually we stay on the garden side, which is quiet, with a view of their pretty little interior courtyard. Spring is here (on it’s way) which means the rates have gone up, so we reserved a room on the “city side” of the hotel, figuring we would save some money.  (The rooms are $30 to $40 less than the rooms on the garden side.)

The hotel’s Web site features these rooms with the words: “Views of Portland’s popular bars and nightclubs.”  Note that the operative word is views not sounds.  Today was especially cold and rainy and we figured, “How noisy can it be?” We were thinking of the noise of  Saturday night revelers. Street noise. What we did not think about was the steady bass coming through the walls of the night clubs and up to our room on the fourth floor. Right about now we’re thinking that paying the extra $30 would have been smart. Live and learn. (and pass the Ambien please!)

Tomorrow morning, Sunday brunch with the same group at Fritz and Meg’s apartment. I love my family.


Filed under Uncategorized

Copper, brass, patina, enameled head pins, and a bit of silver

That’s what I was working on today.


Filed under Uncategorized

Photo op

My editor from the Working Waterfront called today to say she had room for a photo to go with my recently written column, to be published on May 1. Since the article is about social networking, on the island and on the water, she asked my husband to take a picture of me working (checking FaceBook?) at the computer.

The smile on my face is because I wasn’t really writing as I posed. I was playing Text Twist!


Filed under Uncategorized

Rocks, rocks, and more rocks

I never get tired of them. I can’t walk on the beach without looking down. I just don’t want to miss the next special rock. I’ve been spending a lot of time this week drilling beach rocks for necklaces. It sounds monotonous but it’s really not, for me. I finished one book and started another today (on CD), all while drilling rocks.

I have containers and boxes and bowls of little rocks all over the house. Next to our front steps, outside, there are rocks. Many of them ended up there when they were replaced, inside, by other special rocks. I would be shocked to think there is anyone who has visited our island who has not taken home a small rock or two. They don’t call it “the rocky coast of Maine” for nothing! Tonight, when I went to take a shower, a few more rocks fell out of my pockets.

Rocks from today, drilled 3/4 through, waiting to be marked to drill from the other side.

Rocks drilled all the way through, waiting to be waxed.

Wax off, wax on.

Sea glass does not benefit from waxing. It would lose some of its weathered frostiness.

This morning I got up early, again, and left the house for a quick walk to the station and back. I did not take the beach for the first part of the walk, but did walk on the sand on the way back. I didn’t plan to even look for rocks, but I managed to find a few more to bring home. I mixed up some dough for sourdough bread, and patted myself on the back as it started to rain, then thunder, then hail within 20 minutes of getting back from my walk!

Man can not live by rocks alone.


Filed under Uncategorized