Saturday, November 10, 2012

Something new to smile about:
Have fun creating some new color schemes using CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS updated Color Wheel.  Even more colors have been added.
This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone with colors....try something new.  I know I' am.
Sparkles & Smiles!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scarry Stuff....

So, it is almost Haloween....and the ghosts and goblins are appearing everywhere.  Makes me think a bit about fear.   Now I'm only going to get a little philosophical here, I promise.

The other night while channel surfing I ran across "The House on Haunted Hill", the original 1959 Vincent Price classic.  I love this movie....and one of the reasons why I love it is because it scared the you-know-whats out of me when I was around 10 or 11 years old. For some reason skeletons turned me into a snivelling scardy cat hiding my eyes and not ever wanting to go to bed. 

Watching it now I see how simplistic and silly all the effects were..the rat skeleton bubbing up in the acid, fully intact and perfectly bleached.  The completely connected anatomy class human skelaton that emerges from the vat (I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen this chiller thriller....) completely undid me as a child, and causes chuckles now.

So I got to thinking, how different is that from what frightens me now? 

Well, putting myself and my work out for sale at The Heart of California Bead & Design Show had me nearly paralized.  There is so much outlay of money before a show, without any guarantee of income.  I'm still pretty new at selling my instructions and kits, so much of what I do right now is testing the market.  I had similar feelings before BeadFest Texas this past week.

But doing what scares me, and getting to the other side of the fear (a la shutting the lights out and getting to sleep) goes a long, long way to conquering it.  Both shows were very successful, great fun, and worth all the effort.  Looking at the fear from this side I can see that much of what I was afraid of was just as silly and simplistic (and fake) as the 1959 special effects.

I won't tell you to go jumping into doing what scares you the most...our fears can often be good signposts for us....but I can tell you, that for me, looking at the fear from the other side, like watching a campy old horror movie, is a lot more fun!

ps...if you are an architecture fan, the movie was filmed at the Ennis Brown House in L.A. designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  You can read more about it here:, and there are some cool pictures on the official website here:  If you are in the Los Angeles area, it is a fun sight to see.

And also, credit where credit is due...the original HOHH poster image is from the Wikipedia site, and was designed by Reynold Brown -- who did a lot of other iconic horror-movie posters.

Oh...and how about trying some of the very spooky and scary Swarovski Elements designs on the CREATE YOUR STYLE website...scary can be fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Texas Terrific!

Well, I'm on my way home now from BeadFest Texas, and I must say the trip was Terrific!  The show is a small one, but with some very special vendors: Beyond Beadery (once again Betcey gets to go home with much of my money) the ever-so lovely and talented Jill Wiseman (Tapestry Beads), Beth from Kabela Designs (can't wait to get started on some of my new filigree pieces...thank you so much!) and my almost neighbor from San Diego, Jeannette Cook (Beady Eyed Women), to name my favorites.... and some very, very special attendees.  Had great fun at Meet The Teachers, and I must admit I was a bit overwhelmed with everyone's response to what I was offering.  Thank you all for your support and purchases!

Also got some very quick hug and catch-up time with my Sparkle Sisters (fellow Ambassadors) June Beach and Deb Simon.  There is never enough time to spend with them.

I should have taken more pictures...only took 2 from dinner Friday night at Pappadeux (yum!!), and with the lighting we all looked a bit zombie-ish, which is how I must look right now after about 4 hours sleep, and a 5:50am shuttle pick up.

So, my first time BeadFest and first time Dallas experience was wonderful! Dallas people are all so very friendly....and chatty, two of my favorite qualities. I know this won't be my last trip here.

Oh...and of course, we played with lots and lots of Swarovski Elements in my "C'mon Let's Twist" class. The ladies really liked the Rhombus Pendants and Kreinik's Custom Corder.

I do love my life, early morning flights and all.
Sparkles and smiles, ya'll

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Definition of Friendship

I've heard it said that a friend will help you move....but your best friend will help you move a body.
Well, I have a best friend, and she not only meets the definitions, she make a new one!
A little background:  Susan Griffith and I have been best buddies since we met in 1989 and became house-mates.  We rented a 4-bedroom house so that our young boys could live in a good neighborhood and go to good schools in the Poway School District (more about that later).  But we were also a couple of hot single 30-somethings that still wanted to have some fun (well, she was hot...I was OK)
Flash forward a few years, and Sue introduced me to my now husband...seems a friend of her friend had a know how that goes......
Sue and I have seen each other through a lot in the past 23 years...and sometimes we feel more like sisters than friends.  When I was picked for the finals of the very first CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI design competition and the awards ceremony was held in New York, Sue cashed in airline miles and was right there with Cliff and me at Swarovski's big event.  Can you even imagine how much fun that was!
And do you know why I now teach beadwork and jewelry making classes for the Poway Adult School -- Yup, cause Susan pushed me to go to a "So You Want to Be a Teacher" meeting when I didn't believe that I would qualify.
We kid each other that we have to stay friends, because we each have very incriminating photos from our shared past that we might not want to have made public!
Well last weekend Sue completely redefined friendship!  Because I begged her to (oh, and I mean begged!), Sue accompanied me to Fresno and assisted me in my booth at The Heart of California Bead & Design Expo.  Now Sue is a Real Estate Agent in the Escondido/Rancho Bernardo/Poway area of San Diego, and knows nothing of beading or beadwork...other than what I tell her when I'm prattling on about what I'm doing.  And my original idea was that Sue would just be there to back me up and cover the main table while I was doing a couple of ring Make & Takes.  Yeah, that was what I THOUGHT would happen.
What actually happend was that the Sparkle-Ing Sparkle-Rings made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS were a big hit at the show, and I spent almost all my time making rings.  So there was Sue, not knowing a bicone from a briolette, or a seed bead from a seed pod doing her very best to answer questions and sell my patterns and kits.  And boy did she ever sell!
So, if you have a friend like know how very, very lucky you are!  And if Sue had enough fun to be enticed to help out with a booth at another time and you see her, please tell her how lucky I know I am!  Oh, and if you are looking for a house in North San Diego County....send Sue a note!
Sparkles and smiles!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Heart of California

Well, I'm off to Central California  next week, specifically to Fresno,
and it is a little like going home...but more about that later.

I'm participating in the very first "Heart of California Bead and Adornment Expo" smack-dab in the middle of the state.  This is a first for me, I'm going there as an exhibiter, not just as a teacher.  I'll be selling instructions, kits and filigree components.
I'm also holding my SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS "Sparkle-ing Sparkle-ring" make & take which has been very popular at the Pasadena Bead & Design shows over the past year.   I just love introducing people to new SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS that they might not have though about incorporating into their beadwork or jewelry making before.
I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new friends in the Central California area....I understand there is a very healthy beading community there.  And as I'm coming back next spring to teach for the Central California Bead Society, I'm really looking forward to meeting as many of the members as I can.

The show is being organized by Stephanie Harrell, owner of Bead Artistry.  I am definitely going to stop by her store while I'm there....I promise to take pictures and share!  This show is a brilliant idea and fills a very large need for that part of our state.  The closest bead shows to this area are either the Bead & Design Shows in Pasadena or BABE in Oakland, a long drive in either direction.  So all you beaders in Fresno, Clovis, Visalia, Hanford, Merced, Tulare, Dinuba, Selma, Madera and even Bakersfield, come on into Fresno, to the Ramada Inn at 324 E. Shaw (right off the 41 Freeway) next Saturday and Sunday, September 22 and 23 from 10:00am till 5:00pm each day.  Stop by and say "Hello" when you do, OK?

Many, many years ago, I lived in Hanord, a little more than 35 miles from Fresno.  While I lived there I drove to Visalia (about 25 miles) every day through pure farm country to attend college classes at College of the Sequoias.  Told you it was many years ago!  As I had moved there after living and working in downtown San Francisco this was a bit of culture shock for this city girl to be that far into California's heartland, and farmland.  The area made quite an impression on me though, and a lot of good memories were made in the 1-1/2 years I lived there.  Ahhh...there are some smells you never forget!  When I lived in Hanford, the closest movie theater with new movies was in Fresno.  So guess where I stood in line to see the first Star Wars... yup, told you it was a long time ago!

So now I'm heading to the Heart of California, and bringing my best friend Sue with me.  Wonder how many cows we'll see along the way?  Wish us luck on our new adventure!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exciting New Tucson Show Coming!


Garan-Beadagio shows is expanding The Tucson Bead Show for 2013 to include the Windmill Inn at St. Philips’s Plaza (former site of the Whole Bead Show.) This event will include teachers and bead artisans in their own classroom/showroom settings.

I am honored to be sharing my suite with Diane Fitzgerald, so stop by beginning February 5th and see us both!  Come for a class or stop by and snap up kits, books or finished jewelry and beads.  Free Shuttle will run between the 2 shows.

My Class Schedule

Friday, February 8, 2013
         10:00am – 4:00pm 
                (with ½ hour lunch break)
Double Lattice Bracelet
Why make just one pretty bracelet, when you can make two at the same time!  

This pretty bracelet begins as an easy Right Angle Weave (perfect for beginners) in SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Crystal Pearls and then uses a variety of netting techniques to embellish both sides in different colors and different designs. The innovative clasp works on both sides.

All SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, beads and other materials are included in kit.   Please bring reading glasses or magnifiers.

6 hours   $60.00 (all inclusive)

Saturday, February 9, 2013
    10:00am – 1:00 pm

Crystal Garden Path Bracelet & Earrings

Take a walk in an enchanted garden; SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal cobblestones are edged with seed beads and Xillion bead "flowers"; a bracelet and earrings fit for an elfin princess. 

You'll love learning this innovative use of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS 2-hole square beads.  Beginning and experienced beaders will be equally enchanted with the delicate stitching and the clasp attachment techniques.  All SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and supplies are included.  Please bring reading glasses or magnifiers.

3 hours   $65.00 all inclusive

Saturday, February 9, 2013
       3:00pm – 6:00pm

La Virreina Necklace

Her Galas in old Barcelona were legendary and attended by the highest of society…. yet she never turned down an invitation to dance with the flower vendors in the square….
More innovative usage of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and filigree findings make a lively and colorful necklace that will have you dancing. All SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and supplies are included.  Please bring reading glasses or magnifiers.

3 hours   Special “Happy Hour” price, $40.00 all inclusive

Sunday, February 10, 2013
       9:00am – 4:00pm
          (with ½ hour lunch break)

Princepessa II Pendant
She has a wardrobe of romantic jewelry, as every Princess should!  And so can you when you learn the basics of bead weaving on filigree components.
SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Crystal Chessboard Flatback, Crystal Pearls and Xilion (bicone) beads are combined with filigree components make up this ornate and romantic pendant.  You will learn the techniques and then learn how you can design your ownAll SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS beads and other materials are included in kit. Please bring reading glasses or magnifiers.
6 hours   $80.00 (all inclusive)

Reserve your seat and color choices by e-mail:
or call 619-665-1504
Multiple color and metal choices will be available.
Advance payment accepted by credit card or check.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Burger Babes and Beads!

Well, Donna and I were at it again. This time we visited Slater's 50/50 Burger in the Liberty Station area of San Diego. First....I LOVE Liberty Station, I love the location, the layout, and the idea of it. This is the former Naval Training Center (aka San Diego Boot Camp)that has been redeveloped and now is a compilation of retail shops, restaurants, art and community centers and housing. This is prime San Diego real estate, and very close to the water, so there are gorgeous views and cool breezes. That said, I don't love the location of Slater's 50/50. It is well hidden behind the area that my GPS says it is located, so on one of the hottest days of the summer (when there were no aforementioned breezes) I was hiking around in circles looking for the front door. However, the crowds indicated that perhaps I was the only location-challenged person -- the place was full by 11:45!

There has been a lot of local buzz about this new place that makes their burgers with 50% bacon. There is a small drawback to the bacon burger, though, they must be cooked to the well-done stage, so I passed on one, and opted instead for their standard ground beef burger, cause I really like mine medium-rare. So...burger was tasty but I opted for the bacon mayonnaise, and it was a bit burger literally slipped out of the bun on the first bite! Very funny to everyone watching, just not so funny from my perspective ;-) Donna opted for the same burger, but didn't get the mayo, so her's at least stayed in the bun. So this is definitely a good burger place, but not a great burger place. A bit up there on the $$$ scale, and a little too far away from most everything to be a work-week lunch destination unless you have more than 1 hour to spare.

And with their wall of beer taps, I'd much rather go here in the evening, or on the weekend!

So, the beads this time belonged to me. I wore my Swarovski Elements Disk Pendant necklace in gorgeous Bermuda Blue...and got lots and lots of attention.
Stopped at Macy's on the way home, and one of the salesladies is now a new customer!

Now that's what I call Sparkles and Smiles!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Things to smile about

My dear friend, and very good customer, Donna and I get together every month or so to have burgers -- we started this a couple of years ago with the goal of finding the best burger in San Diego.  Over the past 2 years we've covered a lot of burger joints, disagreed on what makes the best burger (she likes Swiss Cheese, I'm all American)  designed some cool jewelry, shared the ups and downs of two very different marriages, families and points of view.
Our most recent find rates in both our Top unassuming little place inside the Days Inn (of all places) in Hotel Circle.  These are GOOD burgers! Fresh meat, cooked with just the right amount of pink in the middle.  Not too many bells and whistles on the All American go-to burger and measuring stick for all the places we visit.  Oh...and the fries are worth the visit all by themselves.
If you live in or around San Diego -- or come for a visit, this is a worthwhile stop for lunch or a very inexpensive alternate for dinner.

So, Mz. D is a bit camera shy, but she was wearing this cool shell and Swarovski Pearl necklace.
And her Sister-In-Law just received these flirty, dangle-y, confetti Swarovski earrings for her birthday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Jill said it better than I ever could....
AND she has a book cover to here she is:

Sunday, March 11, 2012

People I love....
From time to time I would like to share a bit of info about some of the amazing people I've met and become friends with in my sparklie world.  I'll be doing a lot of this, 'cause this sparklie trek I've taken has led me to a lot of really spectacular people!
And, because she convinced/coerced me into blogging again, I'm starting with Pat Reisenberger.  Pat is a serious over-achiever...she has more than one blog - and she keeps up with them regularly in a fun, chatty, manner that makes you feel you are just on the phone with her.  My favorite is her Crafty Retailer Blog:  It is full of cool info about running your own business in the arts & crafts field.  Pat has tons of experience, she began marketing her business in the days before it was easy (with Facebook and LinkedIn and all the other social media sites) and has managed her own retail brick & mortar art/craft store.
Pat and I have been chatting and posting to each other for more than a year through our CYS Ambassador connection, but we met "IRL" at the CREATE YOUR STYLE in Tucson Ambassador Showroom last month.  She is as bright and warm as the sun from her Florida home!  Pat is also stunningly beautiful, and if this were Junior High I'd hate her.  But Pat is such a full kettle of bubbling goodness it was impossible to not be enchanted with her.  She designs primarily in felt and embellishes with Swarovski Elements in the most creative and innovative ways.  I can imagine her students are just spellbound by her, and some day I'm going to treat myself to one of her classes.
So...go over and read her blogs, The Crafty Retailer (above) and her really fun Urban Stitch Studio:  The woman is now RAISING GOATS!
I really regret that Pat and I didn't get our picture taken together...except this one.  Pat is on the far right and she is wearing one of her amazing felted and embellished scarves....I've got to get one of those...

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back to Blogging

OK, so like a large percentage of Bloggers, I started with the best intentions to write on a regular basis, and then...well, stuff happens.
So, I'm re-committing myself to keeping my blog up to date.

The good news is, I have good news to share.
I've been a busy lady over the past year or so, and now have a teaching schedule I can post up here, both Southern California and National.  I'll be putting that calendar up soon.

I also have projects published recently:
Wirework, Fall 2011
Bead & Button December 2011
Bead Design Studio December 2011
And...I'll have more projects coming, one in Bead Design Studio (Date TBD) and another project in Bead & Button magazine October 2012

And if looks like I've written 3 new blog posts all today...well, I just transferred a couple of my CREATE YOUR STYLE with Swarovski Sparkling Community Ambassador blogs over here.  In the future I'll be able to link my blogging to have everything appear at one time...ah, yes, as soon as I learn how!

Website is actually almost finished...will link to it soon.  I'd love to have your feedback.
So lots and lots of Sparkles and Smiles in my neighborhood - and I promise to share them!

Well, the suitcase is almost packed, and I'll be heading out to the Bead & Button show in Milwaukee for my very first time in just a few hours.  I've been remembering my first major bead show....about 6 years ago now, when I went to Tucson for the first time and I took my first 2 classes. 
It was February 2006 -- and among my goals for attending the show I wanted to meet Linda Hartung.  Many of you know Linda and her fabulous WireLace and AlaCarte Clasps.  I had read about her company, and I just had to see the products and her in real life!  Well, I took her class and I just loved every minute of it -- I was completely hooked on WireLace, and of course, I loved Linda from the first minute I met her.  BTW, I met Val Hirata in that class, Mimi from Mimi's Gems, and another good friend, Sara from 
I was so impressed with Linda's was one of the most professional set-ups I've ever seen.  And on one end of the booth were all these fabulous pieces of jewelry using WireLace and AlaCarte Clasps.  Linda was there, and told me she didn't design them all, some of the pieces were other designers work.  Well, at that moment I said to myself: "Someday...some day, my work will be on display in Linda's booth also". 
Folks, someday is HERE!
Linda has some of my work displayed in her booth now (the Chocolate River Lariat) AND I'm doing demo's at the Bead & Button show for her!  Somebody pinch me and reassure me that I'm awake, please!  This is truly a dream come true for me....and something else, something I think about every day.  Dreams DO come true, and we can make them happen!  We just don't ever know when, or how, or where.  We just need to dream the dreams, believe they will come true, and do everything we can to make them come true, and then......then....well....somehow, someday, they will.
I'll be living one of my dreams this Friday and Saturday!
Sparkles and smiles,  Diane

Last year I wrote about the CREATE YOUR STYLE in TUCSON experience, the showroom, the classes, the parties, and by all means they were there again this year, just as sparkling and exciting. 
This year, I want to write about something else that happens in Tucson.   Something that happens to my heart.
It starts the moment I arrive.  Maybe it is the dryness of the air, the golden sunsets and layered blues of the sky, I feel energized, all the waiting is over and the magic is happening and I want to breathe it all in.
Then I go to the CREATE YOUR STYLE in TUCSON showroom.  This clean, crisp, sparkling room wipes away all my cares and transports me into a new world.  And there, there in that new world is Nicole and Krissie, and the hugging starts and happy tears are shed.  It has only been since October we saw each other last, but it both feels like forever and like yesterday...just the way you feel when you see family. 
Then one after another after another, a familiar face, a welcome hug:  from Kansas City, Pennsylvania, Milwaukee, and even from Northern and Southern California, and of course, from Austria....shrieks, yelps, joyful sounds fill the showroom, and fill my heart.
All the beautiful crystal sample pieces for the workshops are laid out in the showroom and I finally see up close and personal what everyone else is teaching...Darn!  I want to take them all. But I'm not a student here anymore, I'm a teacher, a Swarovski Ambassador, and a featured designer in the new CREATE YOUR STYLE Magazine.  My heart does a backward flip and simultaneous cartwheel when I see the pieces I had kissed good-bye so many months ago -- the displays are stunning, everthing glistens in the light.  How did I ever get here?  I'm pinching can this be real? How can this be possible? Don't they know I'm just a little girl who likes to play with my mom's sparklie "jewels" and draw pictures of dresses and shoes and handbags and pretend they are all mine, pretend I have parties to go to where I can wear the dresses and shoes and carry the pretty handbags?  And then, in a little corner of my heart is a glow, and warm realization that yes, this IS real, these are my accomplishments -- these are my realized goals, it IS possible, for me, for all of us.
Sparkling Showroom 2011          
And it goes on, as the week goes on.  Reconnecting with my darling friends...friends who I have met in Tucson over the years now (OMG, has it really been 6 years!) I've omitted most of the last names, cause after reading this it sounded like I was name-dropping something awful, but these are friends I could only dream of having, like Laura Timmons (one of the most amazing souls anyone could meet -- I remember I asked Andreas a few years ago to introduce us....little did I dream we would become such soul-sisters), and Lisa, Leslie, Deb & Deb, Brenda, my dearest June, Jamie, Kristal, Val, Monica, Katie, Lilian, Tammy, Diane, my absolute darling Linda Hartung  -- everyone one of these ladies has increased the size of my heart, and they keep blowing it up like it is some gigantic balloon.  And then...hearing about weather problems and flight cancellations, and my heart deflates a bit.  Peg, Sandy, and Anna won't be there...oh no, I was so looking forward to seeing them also. Jubilation later in the week when Anna WAS able to get to Tucson...lots more hugging, and boucing up and down while hugging happend then!  And Fernando...Nick, Christian, Walter....Tucson isn't just about the ladies!
                                      Christian Makes Us All Sparkle!
All of this happens because of Swarovski, because of CREATE YOUR STYLE.
And so many new friends, Heather, Marlene, Pam, Rae, Kelly & Vivian, Anne, Dana, Kim & Kim, Paula & Paula, Jill & Jill, and Theresa, -- my heart just keeps stretching as all these lovely people jump in.  And of course, my roomie Stephanie; shared experiences, shared laughs and shared love enlarges my heart even more. 
There are favorite vendors to revisit -- Beckie, Nikia, Kay, Cindy, Rosalyn, Lisa and many new ones to meet.  Parties and more introductions, more reconnections, more hugs, even sightings of a few San Diego neighbors...a few slightly embarrasing photos taken; more friends and more memories made.  I never thought there was room inside me for my heart to grow this big.
Next year and in years to come there will be shrieks and hugs as we see each other again...and our hearts grow even bigger.
In Tucson.
Sparkles and smiles!