Monthly Archives: March 2014

Work in progress

Necklace sections, soon to be assembled.

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Islesford beach rocks, English sea glass (Seaham Beach), handmade fine silver beads, 3mm sterling silver round beads, polymer clay, lampworked glass beads…



Holly, I couldn’t reply to your comment with a photo, so I’ll edit the post. I’ll use these groupings to make some necklaces similar to this one:IMGP7976


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The beads have arrived!

I signed up to participate in the 8th annual Bead Soup Blog Party. My partner, Barbara Mason lives in Ashland, Oregon, where she divides her time between being a hospice nurse and making jewelry. her website is called Adorningly Yours, and she makes some very cool things. Be sure to check it out! This is her second time participating in the BSBP and my third time.

The rules are that when you are paired with your partner, you get in touch and exchange beads. You must include a focal piece and a clasp along with whatever other beads you want to send. Participants create something with the beads they receive, adding from their own stock if they wish. The only requirement is that you use the clasp and the focal piece in your creations. But you will likely use most, if not all, of the beads you received.

We take photos of the pieces we have made and May 3 is the big reveal date. On that day, everyone posts their photos on their own blog and you can hop from blog to blog to see what others have made. It’s a lot of fun, really gets the creative juices going, and you meet people from all over the world.

This is what I received:

IMGP6357It feels like a birthday having all these little packages to unwrap!



IMGP6359 I’m not sure what this focal stone is, but it looks like it might be rhyolite. Also, this quick photo I took does not do justice to how pretty these beads are. In the top are 5 beads that are translucent green with dark stripy inclusions. Rutilated quartz? They really have me inspired today!

IMGP6363 The two striped beads below look like some kind of agate. The silver toggle claps are great. I’m wondering if Barbara made them herself?

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And, because she knows I work a lot with beach rocks from the east coast where I live, Barbara sent me a few rocks from the west coast!



I’m off to the studio right now!


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One of the best things about going away…

…is coming home. Especially yesterday when I had four packages waiting for me. (4! And I had only been away for 2 days!) All of them were jewelry-related which made it even better since I plan to spend the next week locked in my studio, creating.

In my excitement, I took photos late in the day, some with a flash and some without, but I wanted to show you what will inspire me this week. These cool little blue/green sea urchin beads made by Kathi  Mohlman, purchased on Etsy. I know they will find their way onto some future necklace that combines beach rocks, pearls and sea glass. Or maybe they will be set apart with just silver beads…



Next was a package from Sue Kennedy. You already know I am a big fan of her work. I love how well her etched glass beads combine with the colors of the beach rocks I use. I really appreciate that she posts on FaceBook when she adds to her Etsy shop. It reminds me that I need more of her glass beads!

IMGP6349     The late day photography does not do these beads justice. They are gorgeous. (Thanks Sue for the gift of the two little swirly guys!)

The third box was from my Bead Soup Blog Party partner, Barbara Mason. Here’s the box, and what was inside. But, I’ll wait until tomorrow to post the pictures because I think the Bead Soup stuff should have a post of its own. IMGP6355 IMGP6357

Last AND least exciting was the 4th box, from Amazon. I couldn’t remember what I had ordered which amazed my husband. I opened it today and now I know why it was so forgettable. A huge box of hot glue sticks. Necessary for all of the rock drilling I do. Woo hoo. Good times!


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Quick trip to Boston

On Sunday, the day after Town Meeting, we got a windy ride off the island with Ted Spurling and a group of hardy souls who were headed off to church and for various other reasons. (There is no morning ferry on Sundays.) Thanks Ted!

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We had time enough on the way to the Bangor bus station for Bruce to check on his boat. Soon it will go inside to be cleaned and have the bottom painted and then another season of lobstering starts for Bruce.


We stayed with our friends Miklos and Clare who have a big apartment that is a 10 minute walk from where the seafood show is. How handy! But first, we went out for a great dinner at Spiedo on Sunday night.


The Seafood Expo North America is a pretty huge event  set up at the Boston Convention Center.


Everyone wants to talk to you about their product. There were seafood business from all over the world. (Including people who market Maine lobster.) You pretty much walk around and eat samples of all kinds of things and there are plenty of photo ops!

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Miklos is good at photo bombing!

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The favorite booth for all of us was a brand new product from Israel. Pasta made from pollack. There is almost no flour in it, so very little carbohydrates, lots of protein, and an incredible flavor. We had several samples and hope that there were many interested U.S. buyers so that we might see it in the grocery stores before too long.

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Bruce chatted with a babe who worked for a web based advertising group.



I met a few interesting characters myself.




There was so much to see it was  all a bit overwhelming. We kind of wondered what this was for. Even when it was explained to us I’m still not sure. But I don’t think I’ll need one any time soon.

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When we’d had out fill of salmon and shrimp, we snuck into the Boston Food show next door and sampled plenty of prosciutto, parmesan, and all manner of other foods. No need for lunch. Bruce heads back for an industry cocktail party at 5:30, but I’ll just put my feet up. Tomorrow afternoon we’ll be back on the island and I’ll get back to work in the studio.



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It’s Town Meeting day in the town of Cranberry Isles

I’m ready to head out the door soon with a Maine Moderator’s Manual in hand in case I am nominated to run the meeting. We alternate between the two islands as to who holds the meeting. This year it is our turn, so I have a few extra minutes at home.

It is also Bead Soup season. Once again the amazing Lori Anderson has paired up almost 500 participants to exchange beads with each other for the annual Bead Soup Blog Party. My partner this year is Barbara Mason from Adorningly Yours.  I’ll be telling you more about her and the beads we exchange this week.  I can’t show you what I sent off  yesterday because I want her to be surprised when she receives them. But here is a clue:

Bead Soup secret


Cool kaleidoscope filter eh?   Now I’m off, with hopes of a peacefully progressive meeting….



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Quietly keeping busy….

…how would you know? I don’t think I’ve ever gone so long without paying attention to my blog. I’ve been busy, but that’s not really an excuse. So, I’m jumping back in with a few photos of some things I have been doing the last 2 months. Now blogging will once again be one of them.

Things like drilling LOTS of rocks for future necklaces and bracelets. (Way more than these!)IMGP6264


I’ve been keeping up with writing my column in the Working Waterfront.IMGP6265

I’ve worked on a lot of beads made from fine silver Precious metal clay.IMGP4296

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And, I’ve tried to get comfortable with drawing. Trying everything from drawing from real life, to drawing from a photo, to drawing from scribbles to drawing with my left hand. I joined a FB group of (mostly) metal clay artists who are trying to draw every day. We post our drawings and encourage each other. It seems like we have made the transition from feeling embarrassed by our attempts to having fun with them. And that was the whole point!

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So there’s a bit of a catching up on my winter events. Tomorrow (March 15) is our annual Town Meeting for the Town of Cranberry Isles. School budgets, road budget, all the money the town will borrow, raise and spend in the next year will be decided on by voters tomorrow. In the past few years I have served as the moderator for the meeting. I will be spending the rest of this evening brushing up on some rules of procedure and the priority of motions; that sort of thing, to be ready in case I am nominated to serve again tomorrow. It’s a wicked stressful good time!


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