Saturday, November 29, 2014

I am gradually working on creating 'paradise' in my back patio area here in San Diego. In a city neighborhood where all the yards are the size of a postage stamp it is a relaxing getaway.

Monday, June 23, 2014

A pastel drawing of my sweet girlfriend and I
She loves square shapes
I love circles and curves
So I found this perfect frame...

Saturday, April 2, 2011


I have piles of beads, bags, trays, tubes, hanks, bowls, drawers, packets... I have them arranged by color and size, by type of stone. I have a tray of all reds and oranges, natural stones, corals, garnets, agate, jasper, crystal, pipe stone, clay, tourmaline, wonder stone, glass, Basha beads, lampwork beads, rosary beads made of pure rose petals and acacia root.
For blues and purples and greens I have collections of turquoise, amethyst, adventurine, jade, apetite, amazonite, swarovski, oxidized copper, sodalite, glass...

Labradorite and moonstone are my favorite.
I walked the aisles of the 2011 annual San Diego Gem Fair searching for the ultimate labradorite. Of the thousands of specimens, my companion found the most PERFECT stone. Shopping for beads, wandering the shores for rocks and shells, perusing gem and mineral collections, surfing the internet for treasures, is all akin to the wide-eyed journeys of my childhood curiosity and sheer delight at colorful sparkly beauty.

I am working on several pieces right now. As I am finishing a bracelet I am becoming more and more pleased with the results. The clasp is unique and original and as I am attaching this clasp I manage to to seriously damage the bracelet. now I must find a way to repair this. So much effort... I love beads... to me it is all so worth the time and effort. I will post pictures of this bracelt when I am done.

I am still in love with beading. Yes. No doubt.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

British Tea at the Westgate Hotel

I not only found a better job, I found work that parallels my desire to provide more holistic care. I LOVE being an RN. My blog here is not about my work so I will move on however just wanted to share that I have good changes happening in my work and I am happy and grateful.

Happy and grateful = motivated to be be creative
so maybe I will get moving on my beadwork projects soon... soon...

I gardened tonight in my front yard after meeting my friend Chaana and her friends at the Westgate Hotel for a full-on British Tea complete with finger sandwiches and scones and creme. Should have taken some pictures. It was fun!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gathering bones

Here I am halfway into February and I have yet to get January's Bead Journal piece finished. This is typical of my procrastination. I am looking at perhaps another couple of hours of beading to finish it and there it sits. Partly because I have a lot going on - looking for a place and moving - and partly because I am not in love with this month's project, and yet also because it is such a personal statement that putting it out there feels a tad bit humbling. I shall finish.

It is with art and beads that I am starting to collect bones, to collect stories. I love how the author Clarissa Estes Pinkola emphasizes our stories in such mythical ways drawn from a medley of indigenous tubers. We are each our own gatherer of bones. The word "bones" is my word of the year. Or perhaps a lifetime.

Now on a macabre note:

This is a bit morbid. This is a cemetery in Hallstatt, Austria. Its not like any other… it’s really small. When they run out of room, they simply dig you up, paint your name on your skull and stack it with the rest of the overcrowded population. Now, I did hear if you have the money to pay for the spot, your bones will not be moved, well, until you can no longer pay the bill that is.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Chicano art and my Irish bones

"Art is a record , a document, that you leave behind showing what you saw and felt when you were alive, that's all."
Carlos Almaraz, sketchbook entry
March 4, 1969

I fell in love with Chicano art about 5 years ago when I went to an exhibit in the midwest of Cheech Marins personal collection. I loved the dualistic documentary aspect of much of the art. I love the idea of just putting it out there! For all the world to see! The dark, and very real everyday tragedy, and the lightness of joy and beauty that is peristantly intertwined, both given their rightful place.

That probably explains more of why I chose to begin January with such a piece. This Chicano influence, especially with living in socal near the border now, is seeping into my Irish bones.

Patssi Valdez's use of symbolism has lured me to explore my own desire for visual imagery as expression.

Culturally I fell in love with this art that reveals the deeply instilled love for Catholic iconry and story mixed in with ancient indigenous wisdom. It speaks to my Irish heritage.






Thursday, January 14, 2010

January's 'Legacy of Sorrow' project is about compassion

Here is the start of my January bead journal page. I begin with a very personal piece of myself, a looming ghost of a memory that exists from before I even had a vocabulary. This has been buried in my psyche all these years and living stubbornly nestled in my soul, annoyingly comfortable, a persistent shadow. It made sense several years ago at age 45 when my mother decided to tell me a story. A really tragic story. I cried for a week. It was like the missing puzzle piece snapped into place and I could finally see and make sense of the ethereal feelings I had been carrying with me all my life. I will share it later when (and even if) I finish. Who knows. It might be getting too heavy for my mood this winter... ...awww, it's not too much. It is bittersweet, and real, and it is mine. When I pay attention things reveal themselves.

This piece is about the legacy of sorrow my father left me, and how that sorrow has transformed into compassion.

I focus on this not at all in woe is me or self-pity or wallowing. I prefer to see it as awake, a humble visionary searching for... and finding... compassion... and not even searching but rather being, in my reality, in my story, my truth...

Speaking of awake, ha! I have been up for over 24 hours (15 hours at work) and I am so outta here. The hospital where I work has been washed away in a wonderfully hot shower and I am ready for bed in the middle of the day.

Friday, January 8, 2010


Here is the bracelet I made that was designed by Melanie Dorman. It is so intricate and detailed. Most people gasp when they see it and comment on how incrediblly beautiful it is. I say this as a tribute in admiration to Melanie, not to brag. Although it did take skill to make it (here's my brag). Definately not for a beginning beader.

Patssi Valdez

Another favorite artist
Patssi Valdez
I love her use of color and symbolism.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beginning my journey with the Bead Journal Project 2010

So this Bead Journal Project is a group of artists that have made a committment to creating one visual journal piece per month, and the only rules basically are that each piece be the same size and have beadwork as part of the design. This project draws a lot of textile and fiber artists. Most of the beadwork is embroidered and generally 2 dimensional. While I have been yearning to explore sculptural form with beads I am deciding to go with more flat pieces and generally use embroidery.

Last week I was feeling utterly creatively despondent. of course with my tendancy toward self-criticism and deprecation I was all over the place. I was remembering being a child and coloring and realized I was that child who always colored IN the lines. Plus all my colors were true to life. The tree trunk HAD to be brown, the sun yellow or orange. I am DOOMED!!! I am mulling over how and where to start with January's piece, what size, should there be a theme and so on and kept coming up empty. This went on for a day or so when I remembered a book I have on my shelf. Tess gave me a copy last year. 'Women Who Run With the Wolves' by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. I thought just what I need. All these years and I have NEVER read 'Women Who Run With the Wolves'. I have friends who have raved about this book. I really thought it was just another one of those acadamia type manuscripts culled from a doctoral thesis chock full of reference notes etc. so I just avoided it all these years.

After a few pages I was not only hooked, I was creatively reinspired and quite miraculously feeling hopeful about life again. Dramatic? Yes. But true. Reality as it exists in my head has usually been on the dramatic side. But that's a whole other story. From the first page she has a way lighting up the brain tissue in the right hemisphere, re-inviting you into your own soul. I have only read a handful of pages so far. I am in love with her words, her mind, her reality. That is enough. I know it is there. I shall take months to revel in it and I am happy about this.. So the last day I have been doodling with a pencil and have actually started my first beadjournal page.

Having never embroidered with beads before I started out cautious and thoughtful. My drawing was detailed. I learned quickly that when transferring the initial images to the felt, all I need to render is some basic lines... the beads take over with their own lines, they have their own way of being expressed and they are refusing to be boxed in by my desire for order and PLANNING.

and I have never realized until recently the extent at which fear governs my life and stifles my creativity. yet another whole other topic...


only another artist will understand this crazy talk

did I connect my REAL name with this blog - gulp

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Luna Calls Water to Nourish Green Families

I love her work!
Here is a link to her website. She does a lot of multimedia.

I will post pics of my latest project in the next few days. I completed a very elaborate bracelet designed by Melanie Dorman. I learned a lot doing it. Tess said "oh my! it looks like something freida kahlo would wear". That to me is a huge compliment to Melanie, and me too as the one who constructed it.

I joined the 'Bead Journal Project 2010'. There is a link to it under my profile. I look forward to contributing to this community and being a part of it. We are all committing to creating one piece per month with the intention of making each piece the same size. Which of course helps bring the whole thing together as a series at the end of the year. I guess it doesn't have to be a series...

I just set up an art space along the side of our living room. It feels so good to be in that space.

Namaste, lisa

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My meandering dorkiness

I took a workshop by Melanie Doerman a few weekends ago. It was offered through the San Diego Bead Society. I had been looking forward to meeting Melanie. I had a great day! I have mainly learned through books and experimenting on my own. It was very exciting to learn so much in one day. Already I can see where learning just a few sharp techniques is opening up my horizon tenfold. I am going to kick back and take some workshops for a while. Melanie's work and instructions are impeccable. I had been admiring her work on her blog and website for a while but to see it in person I see that photographs (no matter how well done) don't quite live up to seeing a piece in person. I marveled over seeing all her treasures she brought to the class for display. She has some pieces that are so playful and interactive. If your into beads don't hesitate to check out her site and buy some kits. The cost is well worth it because you will learn sooo much. Plus you support artists to continue making art.

Check out her website
Melanie Doerman

It was so funny when, at the class, I shared that I don't work with crystals and never have and often prefer more matte finishes. I could hear breaths sucking in and you could hear a pin drop. Some of the ladies then belted out " oh no! your talking to the swarovsky embassy here!!!" Something like that. I am afraid I immediately went to the bottom of their social ladder and blackballed myself!!! Chuckle. We had a laugh about that. I appreciate the diversity of every ones passion. One day I showed a picture of a beaded ring to Tess (my spouse) and her response was "oh how gaudy!" I was shocked and told her how beautiful I thought it was and that I wanted to make one. Funny.

Back to the workshop. I learned how to make Melanie's 'Wheel of Fortune' bracelet. Very interactive and opens up the doors for a lot of creativity. It will take a while to complete and already I have ideas for other versions. I will post a pic of the bracelet when I am done. I bought a few design kits from her and am excited to tackle them too.

You know, I think Melanie is so cool. We have a lot in common. Motorcycles, yoga, creativity, no kids, chuckle. I look forward to taking more workshops of hers.

I recall back to when I moved to Newport beach for a short while as a kid and I didn't know anybody. I would go to the beach with the deliberate intention of finding girls my age and I went up to them and would say "Do you want to be friends? Do you want to play?" How we often outgrow that forward willingness to put ourselves out there with such authenticity.

Time to dig in the dirt

Our name came up for the ocean Beach Community Garden plot. Ahhhh my taurus earth-loving nature is revved up. I am enchanted with the place. There is a quaint little greenhouse in the middle, and a chicken coop all surrounded by pathways meandering amidst gardens full of veggies, fruit, flowers, cactus, ducks, art.

Tess and I have been diggin in lot's of soil ammendment and nutrients. I have been reading and planning. Starting with the winter growing season we are going to start carrots, beets, spinach, sugar peas, leeks, parsley, basil, garlic, squash. That's a start. There is already established lavendar, fennel, sage, asparagus that we kept and dug around.

I will post more pics.

I never quite realized how much I miss having a patch of earth. Where we live now there is a cement backyard surrounding a pool, which is very lovely, but now we have a garden...skippideedooda. We live with my in-laws, Tess's parents. I love living with extended family. They are the most gracious kindest people I have ever met, really. I have to share Tess with her parents as she dotes on them endlessly and sometimes forgets about me (hey what about meeee) but for the most part I truly am grateful.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My piles of stones give me great joy just to have them laying around so I can look at them. The colors and striations... I love seed beads and when shopping always look for the matte finish earth tones. Not easy to find in a bead world where many artists gravitate towards sparkle, shine, and lot's of crystal as the focal.

among other things...
I bring my camera to dog beach as there are always moments worth capturing...

The last picture here is Brunie our little Japanese Chin. He is full of sweetness and kindness... and oodles of personality. He is so happy and inquisitive. I will definitely do a portrait of him (in beads) someday.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Discovering the world

While perusing the internet I just discovered another inspiring bead artist.

In an interview with bead historian and artist Valerie Hector she said this about beads

"Wow! This is a way to discover the world, and I want to discover the world in this way"

Check her out. Her passion and work is incredible.

Valerie Hector

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Basha beads The "Red" Series

Artist Barbara Metzger creates these beautiful beads. I bought 3 and I cherish their color and fire. I just wear them on a silk cord waiting to discover how I might use them someday in my work.

A few of my bracelets

"Northshore" Green glass seed beads, amber, polished agate, turquoise, green jasper, lepedilite

Rainbow Moonstone and Red Glass

Monday, August 31, 2009

This pendant of the Dahli llama was made with amber, red coral, carnelian, clay beads and 22K matte gold seed beads. Very simple.

Here's a pic of my work tray in the middle of making a bracelet which is still not finished. I tend to jump around and project-hop.

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Now it's time to get busy and start photographing all of my work so I can start posting. I am excited about this! I think the name of my blog is very fitting. I am learning by making jewelry for family and friends, and now finally for myself. But I envision myself moving towards sculptural elements and find myself getting very introspective with my ideas. I see my interest in beads not only as an expression of beauty and culture but also as an opportunity for transition, growth, catharsis even. I am so in love with beads and their colors that sometimes I feel a loss of words to describe it all. One woman in the The Shepherdess bead group said this about bead shopping "when you see a bowl of beautiful beads don't you just want to jump in a wiggle around?" Chuckle. It is only natural that I would gravitate toward beads. I have always loved stones and earthy elements. I dabbled as a mosaic artist but found the materials and space required aren't conducive to life on the coast. Space=money. Lot's of it. Hell, even my little bead studio is set up on our balconey with a bamboo overhang. More space isn't worth going inland.

Being an artist engrossed in projects it is easy to be alone for long periods of time. I get so energized and inspired by others and am always open to meeting other bead artists. There is a meeting and workshop coming up in September with the San Diego Bead Society. They are highlighting Melanie Doerman. I look forward to meeting her. For a while I participated in the open classroom get togethers on various Tuesdays at The Shepherdess. Life gets busy and I get pulled in so many directions that I haven't gone there in a while.

Beadwork has woven it's way into all cultures across the earth for thousands of years. I am never bored exploring the ways people use beads to express themselves. In a way we ALL have beaded lives. Namaste.