Wednesday, December 27, 2017


Have y'all seen the 100 Years Show? Painter Carmen Herrera's work simply sings. The way she uses color and proportion really speaks to me, and I think you can see her influence reflected in some of my square designs.

I love the way she can make stripes vibrate with each other, and I am experimenting with how to make the beads do that. This week's square doesn't quite get there. But I do think it is a good framework upon which to try different color and finish combinations to see what happens.  For example, for this one I used black/light gray matte AB, and white/dark gray; what would happen if I used three colors for each set of stripes? Notice that with this stripe layout, the center square of stripes will always be assymetrical, that is, it's color A on one edge and B on the other.

I think I got closer to the kind of effect I'm interested in with Square 8, below. The colored stripes appear to float above the concentric squares. Maybe it's time to bring back Sour Puss. 
Speaking of Sour Pusses, Clio got a  new Scratchie for Christmas, and she clearly loves it. 
Behind her is not a paper bag. That is her tunnel.

We've reached the last square of 2017, and it also marks the beginning of new explorations.
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017


When I set out to do this blog, I hoped I could keep it up for a full year. Amazingly, we are halfway there! With one more week to go in 2017, here's a square that's all dressed up for a holiday party--Black Tie requested!
I discovered the bow tie while working out some stripes that will appear in future squares. While making it, I noticed that even though the center 'knot' stays the same size, the design overall scales quite nicely.
While the square above and the pattern are 19 rounds, a smaller square reads just as clearly. I dressed this 13-round square up even more with sparkling metallic beads and a 3-color 'tweed' background.  It would work in a wide variety of color combinations, too. 

Happy Holidays from me and Clio here at WSW and I hope everyone has a wonderfully Happy New Year!
You may also notice that I have figured out how to make the pattern bigger, I think it's much easier to read.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


SnowTime  Continues!

Spring 2015

Well, we are still waiting for it to come down in earnest here at Lake Tahoe, but the lifts are spinning and everybody is taking the chance to get in shape before the first real powder day. Seriously, I'll take what I can get.

I think this week's flake square was more successful than the last one. although I really love the subtlety of Rear Window, with its hint of frosty iridescence, Stranger Danger, a translucent matte light blue, shows off the pattern better.

...and what, you might ask, has become of our erstwhile Adventure Cat mascot, Clio?
Well, what she may lack in true intrepitude, she makes up for in smarts.
She knows where it's cozy:  on the sheepskin in front of the heater!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Snow At Last!

We took our first turns of the season yesterday, and it was wonderful!
To celebrate the start of snow season here at Lake Tahoe, I've decided to use a snowflake motif for December's squares. I think they'll make delightful earrings!

Don't worry if the fields in the pattern look hard to follow; it's the white lines that count. I placed clear and frosted beads randomly in between. And a photo showing the lines clearly is below the pattern.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Okay, this week's square really looks quite orderly, right?

Kind of a ribbon motif, the clear beads with white thread down the center is really beautiful, the thread shows up almost like quilled paper.

But I improvised this thing, working without a pattern or a sketch, and it is essentially working a bacon stripe in two directions. The first few rows after the clear center were really confusing! As I created the pattern, I told myself, "This is a CRAZY ribbon!" And so immediately the song Crazy Rhythm jumped into my head, specifically this version, by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.
So as a special bonus this week, you get a pattern and a song!

There are just a couple of Pylos Plus kits available left in the shop, with their bonus tube of Peep Show. Next week we'll be moving on to a new colorway for December. I want to come up with something festive and fun to wear for the holidays. No idea what it will be yet!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017



Tomorrow is Thanksgiving here in the US, and that crazy cat thinks she's going to swallow her turkey leg whole.

Well at any rate, the weather has been beautiful here at Lake Tahoe, with many clear days and cooling temperatures. Some of the local ski resorts have already opened!

This week's square makes good use of the month's bonus color, crystal clear
Peep Show. I love how the colors seem to float. As in last week's square, I used Hana thread in Goldfish. To keep the threadpath looking clean, I don't do any switchbacks when I'm weaving in my ends, rather I follow the existing path for an extra long ways. In the center, I do hop up to round 2 when weaving in that tail.

The Pylos Plus bead kit is still available, including its free bonus tube of Peep Show, in The Shop.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Above, the view from Lela's Taverna, Kardamyli, Mani, Greece.

I'm delighted with what the addition of Peep Show is doing for this month's colorway. I mentioned last week that I hoped it would bring some air into the designs, and it has--fresh air, like a sea breeze!

Hence the name of this week's square, Lela's View. I really like the sort of shadow cast by Stormy Lilac opposed to Very Peri, like a gently overcast sky. Am I being romantic? Ah well, so be it!

There are still kits available for November's colorway, Pylos Plus, available in the shop.
And as always,  you can refresh your memory with the Warped Square threadpath here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


For November I have chosen to work with the kit titled 'Pylos'.  When I picked out these colors they reminded me of a sunny beach day, so I named it after 'Sandy Pylos', the coastal home of King Nestor in the Iliad and Odyssey.

I added crystal-clear Peep Show to add some visual air to the combination, and I think it's going to be great. Yes, 'going to be'--I'm off to bead my square right now!

OK! Here's the photo. I left the edging of 15's off to show how you could line up a pair of these with a connected spiral. Pretty cool I think. I have done a key-style square that can be joined continuously, and I'll try to work one up in this colorway this month.

You'll want to consider thread color with this one, with the clear beads in the design. I chose Hana's beautiful Pool blue. Artbeads carries all 12 luscious colors of Hana thread!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Wanna hear something really scary?
It's 5pm on Halloween, the shadows are long, and I haven't beaded my square yet!!

Clio's sense of urgency here is underwhelming. Sometimes I think she's not that interested in this whole project!

I went ahead and drew up the pattern, though, and we'll see how long it takes me to post a photo. If I don't get it done tonight, I bet one of you will have it finished before me. Y'all are scary fast!!

Last week when I did the cat face, I became interested in the many ways to 'draw' an eye within the weave of our peyote stitch square. So this week's square is all eyes, peeking out of the shadows. It will make a nice companion earring to Meowlloween, too.

This will be the last week I'm offering Persephone Plus, with its free tube of beautiful silver-lined purple Posh. I think, in fact, that there are only two kits left.

This square was (uh, will be) made using size 11/0 Delica beads, with an edge of size 15/0 rocailles.
Basic Warped Square threadpath may be viewed HERE.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017


As you've likely noticed, I don't typically do this sort of pixelated design in my beadwork. But when This idea came to me I just had to try it for Halloween. Oh sorry, make that Meowlloween!
I think it turned out pretty well!
 Again I've used Persephone Plus, October's darkly lovely color scheme. There's just one more Wednesday in October to go, and I have a few kits left. LOVE that Posh Purple in there.
Clio and I wish everyone a Happy Meowlloween!

This square is worked in size 11 Delica beads, with an edging of size 15 rocailles.
Review the basic Warped Square threadpath HERE.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Still working with the deep dark Persephone Plus colorway this week, with a spooky-romantic Halloween in mind.

The center focus of this design lends itself to a 'flick', where I snipped the thread between the two gray beads in the top corner and pulled half the round out. Then I reinforced the edges and finished them with size 15 rocailles.

It's a fun way to reach out into a new dimension with the squares, and plus it looks like a little cat tongue!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Home at Last

We really enjoyed our trip to Montana, and it was fun seeing Clio's world expand. She spent her first 16 years as an indoor cat, and now finds herself an interstate traveler. Check her out, she really enjoyed scanning the countryside:
Clearly, though, she's glad to be home:

Morgan held her on his lap like this for a couple of hours this morning. She was totally zonked!

October's colorway is based on my Persephone kit, a dark and broodily romantic set. I added Posh, a silver-lined purple, for this month's bonus color, and it really adds some glamour:

I'm not totally satisfied with this pattern; I was going for something reminiscent of a fleur de lis at the  corners. But there just wasn't time to rework it.  That's one of the things I've set myself to learn from the WSW project:  that I can't always make things perfect. This square has some good elements, and I hope that you can take those and make something you enjoy.

Find the Persephone Plus Bonus bead kit in the shop.

And as always, the basic Warped Square threadpath can be viewed Here.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


We are road-tripping this week, and had a wonderful drive through Yellowstone National Park:

Hey wait, what??
Clio, get back in the car!!

Weather was on our side all the way, with snow on the pass as we left Tahoe, and we could see it on the mountains, with dramatic clouds, all the way up through Nevada.

At first I was stumped to find one more way to use this colorway, but I think I was just trying too hard. I decided to keep it simple, following one of my favorite patterns, which I think of as a tweed. Typically I just use a three-color repeat, but here I used a progression:

Using an odd-count repeat jogs the color placement, giving the composition some energy, and the Creem really opens it up and lightens the effect of these colors which can be a little dense when used up against each other. With that in mind, and thinking of our destination, I've called it Big Sky.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017


ME:  Clio, you're not helping.

CLIO: Is ok, I'm not trying to help.

I did manage to get my square done this week, despite Clio's assistance:

It's a particularly tasty 'bacon'-style stripe, in Prism Plus, September's featured palette.
I'm so inspired by textiles in my beadweaving, I really enjoy creating patterns that I feel honor the 'weaving' part of that word. One year ago, I was in Greece and I met a delightful woman with whom I connected immediately. She's a weaver in the charming city of Nafplio, and we had such fun sharing our work and ideas about experimenting with color and surface. She combines vivid silk with matte cotton to create wonderfully luminous stripes. I've named this square Gonidou, after her, and I hope you'll visit her website, too.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


She's back!
Thanks Clio, for popping up to introduce this week's square. Again I've used our PrismPlus Colorway, with lovely bronze edging beads.
I'm delighted with the design and its interlocking X's. I wasn't quite sure how the black and cream stripes were going to come out. I think that's a very cool effect and I'll be using it again! I also kept last week's square in mind as I approached the edge. I added the orange outline while I was working, which wasn't going to resolve into points at Round 19 as intended. A little weaving through solved that and made the whole thing more interesting. Gotta go with the flow!

You can find the basic Warped Square threadpath directions here. It is actually illustrated in these colors! 
 In case you missed it, I wrote a bit about my color palette here on Friday, and posted the full list of my colors.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Kits, anyone??

I'm jumping in here between squares to tell you about the bead colors I'm choosing from. A couple of years ago when I first joined the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork team, I made this piece, under the directive to 'think Eames'. Choosing from the beads I had on hand I made this:

You might recognize the Pierced Arrow coming off the pentagon.  I took this piece to Tucson, where I exploded it (you can see the video HERE).

From these colors we added some to create a palette to use throughout the upcoming CGB Pattern Book. We ended up with 35 Delica colors and 4 size 15 rocaille colors. It makes a pretty exciting, if pricey, kit.
Shoot, that doesn't even have the 15's!
I have been pretty happy with it so far. All of the patterns and kits in the Shop are drawn from the Pattern Book Palette, and the Prism and Primer kits will have several projects based upon them in the book.

I plan to stick with the palette here on the blog, as well as with existing kits I've already made from it (Prism, Primer, Persephone, etc.), to maximize the usefulness of having these particular colors. It's fun adding a wild card to pre-made kits, like we did with Sour Puss and this month's Ares, so I'll keep adding a wild card bonus free tube of beads to existing kits when I can.

Below is the Pattern Book Palette. It's hard to source all these beads from one place (ask me how I know, omg), so if there appears to be demand, I'll put some full sets together for the shop. Please comment or email if you would be interested in one!  It's a big investment for me, so I need to know I can sell them once I've ordered all those beads. The kits will cost $240, including Priority Mail shipping within the United States.
The beads are size 11 Delicas and size 15 rocailles. Many of the patterns in the upcoming CGB Pattern Book will use beads from this palette.

And while I don't have any bananas to add, there will be a few little gifts in each package of course!