Category Archives: beads

BABE! In Oakland…


Six days and counting… for some reason I don’t feel so panicked about it.  I suppose I have learned that you do what you do and if it’s not enough then there’s not much you can do except try harder the next time. 

I am also just looking forward to leaving town… I used to get so home sick… now I look forward to going off and meeting new peeps and seeing the people that I only get to see away from home.  =)

My table number is 416 for those of you showing or shopping… if you’re an LE member please let me know… I’d love to meet you!

Oh… just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about… BABE is the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza in Oakland at the Convention Center on November 12 & 13th…



We are midway between our last anniversary trip to Hawaii and the next one where I actually must work… During our last trip we had new portraits done, just the two of us. The last time we did that, they turned out pretty crappy and I don’t think we purchased any of them. Anyway, here’s a sample of the photographers work:

He really was fantastic.

Right now I’m getting ready for 3 shows and 4 workshops in the next 4 months… Also, my baby sister is getting married, so Vegas! Here I come! One day in, the next day out, then I leave for Hawaii the following day… I may set up a cot in LAX.

Here’s a preview of what I’m making for the Hawaii show:

Cherry Blossoms, super cute! Aloha!

Did you know???


Did you know I have not one but three different websites??  No?  Really?  Well, I do.  Did you know that I own my own brick and mortar store?   No?  I’m shocked!  I don’t think I’ve ever written about any of my websites… Sooo, let’s pick one out of the hat.

Oh look!  Prima Donna Beads!  I make beads and jewelry.  When I’m not carting my wares around the country, I do my best to load my art on to this website.  It’s a pain, I really think people respond better to the work when they can see it person.  I also don’t like having to measure and describe each and every piece.  I do my best but really don’t think writing that a bead is 22x22mm is great, and a photo of a bead next to a ruler is even less so.

However, I do like my website and I have made sales from it… I wish I could be a fly on the wall when someone comes across my home page… what is there that makes them stop?  Were they looking for me and already knew the web address?  Did they happen upon it accidentally?  I never know if it’s rude to get personal and ask when the order comes through. 

I have mostly beads and jewelry there, but I also have some of my other work too… I know how to sew.  I think it’s a dieing art.  I am always surprised when other people are surprised to learn that I know how.  Or maybe it’ just me that they are surprised about.  Hmmmm.

I also know how to draw, I think most people don’t know that.  My family does.  I actually graduated on the Dean’s List from the Art Institute with a 4.0 gpa.  I have a degree in graphic design… I used it only once to get a job… I wound up in a cubicle in warehouse with no windows.  I was sad.  They went bankrupt.  Oops.

So that’s one of my websites… I hope you learned something about me that you didn’t know before.  Have a great day everybody!  I’m late for work!

Peacocks Spacer Beads ~ By Prima Donna Beads


A new listing on Ebay… I have discovered the wonders of Gaia glass by Double Helix… I think I’ve had this stuff in my studio for more than a year now… used it for stringer work once or twice and was just slightly less than impressed.  Then I saw some beads made by another artist and she told me they were made with Gaia. I never would have guessed, so I tried it.  And I liked it.  I didn’t take the reduction as far as she does though, I kinda like being able to see the original color as well as the creamy blues the reduction flame brings out.  The colors remind me of peacock feathers.  So that’s my story and here ya go:

Leah Fairbanks…


I own a glass shop called “The Mandrel” where I host classes taught by well known glass bead makers… This month Leah Fairbanks came down from Ashland, Oregon to teach a 3 day class. 

We’re on day one… this is Leah:

These are Leah beads:

Here’s some close up:

Her beads are stunning.  Please check them out at or you can see them in person if you happen to be in Vegas this April 9-11 where she’ll have booth at the Glass Craft Expo which is held at the South Point Casino. 

I’ll be there Thursday (which means The Mandrel will be closed on Thursday April 8 and Friday April 9) and I’m taking my very first marble class with Josh Mazet… yay!

Step outside the comfort zone…


So, maybe you heard or maybe you haven’t.  I signed up for a marble show a few months ago.  I was so confident I would have a wonderful array of contemporary soft glass marbles for people to choose from.  But alas, I did not.  I had 15 marbles.  Yup, count ’em… 15.

I got discouraged when I dropped a couple and the encasing of opal yellow glass actually cracked off from the clear core inside.  All that work down the drain.  I couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong, I had made several other marbles in the exact same way.  😦

So, I procrastinated, then there was a class to prepare for, and then suddenly I had a bead show coming up.  So I made beads (more procrastination), then I was on vacation in Hawaii with no access to my torch.  We got home, and I had exactly one week left before the show.  In my state of panic, I decided to not worry about it.  “Go with the flow” if you will.  No worries, it is what it is… get my drift?

I managed to crank out 6 more marbles to add to the 8 I already had.  So I took my pathetic inventory of marbles and added some “round round” beads and some jewelry to my table display.  I didn’t stress over it.  I had a good time and met some new people.  No one said, “hey dumb ass, your marble display is pathetic”.  In fact quite the opposite, I was complimented by a fantastic marble maker, Travis Weber, for stepping outside my comfort zone.  Glassy people rock, thanks for letting me be a part of your world!

3 Days…


So, I thought I would post on Mondays (to write about the week-end) and again Fridays (to write about the week).  This time though, I’m going to write on Monday to write about the week ahead…

Most of you probably know I am a glass bead maker/jewelry maker… and I occasionally travel to places to work a trade show… This coming week-end I am going to hawk my wares at a show in Hawaii… Honolulu at the Ward Warehouse, to be specific.

I have nothing packed, laundry to do, beads to clean, sort and price.  I have an appointment to get my hair cut tomorrow at 1.  I need to touch up my grey hair and I’d like to get a pedicure and new pair of sandals.  I have a special order set of beads in the kiln that need to cleaned and photographed so my customer can see if she likes them… Oh, and my dog needs a bath. 

The next time you hear from me, I’ll be done with day one of my show… maybe sportin’ a couple new tattoos.  Well, if that happens you’ll probably hear from me before Friday…  🙂  ALOHA!

UPDATE: 7:35pm pacific time…
I got the flip flops (2 pair!) a cute top and a new dress, got the hair color, and made some more beads and Flower Power pendants, but I forgot my customers beads when I left the studio.