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Tuesday, September 11, 2012


My life was saved on 29th August 2012
Life is so very precious and it can be taken away within a blink of an eye....I know cos it nearly happened to me.

I had spent the whole day (Sat 25th) making my Batty Hat for the Fancy dress party that Dave and I were going to. I loved how it looked and could not wait to start with my make up. It took me a while to put it all together but it looked pretty good from this side of the mirror. Dave came home from golf and I started with his make up, adding boils and scars etc and the results were pretty scary!. 

I had already started feeling offish but just put it down to a bit of wind trapped in my gut and left it at that. We arrived at the party and I even managed to walk around and take a few pics of the other folks, all the while becoming increasingly aware of the discomfort I was feeling. Within an hour I was man down writhing on the floor and the decision was made to rush me to the hospital. By the time we arrived, I could not walk and had to be rushed through the hospiutal on a wheel chair. What a sight!!! Me writhing and groaning looking like goodness knows what and Dave pushing me looking like Fester gone wrong.....they  were not to sure who to help, me or him.

Well, at the end of the day, not even Morphine took the pain away and we all thought it was a spider  (I had a small bite from the day before)  that was causing all the mayhem. Nothing was working and I was admitted to the High Care ward. By now I was completely out of it and only came round again the next day. I spent the next 4 days being drained of my blood and x - rayed to death to find out what was going on. I in the meantime was so doped up on Morphine and having the most awful fever filled dreams/nightmares that I did not really know what was going on or just how ill I really was - I had developed Peritinitus and they could not work out why. Eventually a Dr. Steven Davis insisted that I be cut open (against all the other doctors wishes) and so it was that I was operated on at 10:40pm Wednesday night. 30cm of my bowel had died and had to be removed and as it turns out, had it not been for Dr. Davis being so insistent....I would have lost my life. My total stay in hospital was 11 days and I never, ever want to go through that again.

One good thing...actually 2 good things came from this ordeal. I have stopped smoking and lost 5kg in weight. I had basicaly gone through major detox whilst in high care, been on oxygen 24/7, nebulized twice a day and had a physio therapist play the drums on my back and lungs to clear them out......never would there be a better opportunity to stop smoking with little or no withdrawl symptoms. I even had a dietitian come see me and put me on a special diet to help with the healing of my bowels and....make sure I do not put on any weight now that I no longer am a smoker (up to 40 a day!!)

To celebrate my good fortune, I am giving you 29% off all my patterns. The discount code 1LIFE  is valid in my Etsy and Artfire shops as well as my own website. Why 29%? it was the 29th August that my life was saved :)

Friday, April 27, 2012

My MoJo!

Okay settle down.....I have not risen from from my grave! Yes, I knoooow I take forever to write on my blog but, well, I get side tracked okay. Like by Gerlinde and I sitting down and planning our trip to Europe in Fall a bead meet up with Marcia DeCoster at Das Perlament and other beaders as well. We even have a name for our trip - EBL  Eat, Bead, Laugh.....mmm, maybe they make a movie....:)

We sat over a few coffee's and worked our overall budget requirements out. We pushed it as far as we could, given we have 17 months to save and intend having a healthy amount of  spending money at hand when we get there. We were so thrilled to have made this decision and working on current prices (and adding a percentage for the 17months), we have a good idea of costs of flights, accomodation and food. SORTED!

Weeeeeell, we had to change our plans. There is a well known bead shop in Bonn, owned by Petra Zimmer, whom I had contacted about the bead show called Das Perlament. It turns out, Das Perlament is the name of Petra's bead shop and not a bead show. We had to make a decision now. We want to go and experience the thrill of a Beadgasm when confronted with all things shiny and with holes in them. So, where else but The Bead & Button Show, June 2013. Yikes, The flights are more expensive but.....we need to do our EBL trip. 

We got onto the web, researched hotels (B&B discounts taken into account), food and the flights. We now have a confirmed budget and have started our countdown. Passports are both in order and we know how much our Visa's are going to cost us. We have also started listing what it is we are specifically looking for and watched the B&B Show for beginners video. Excellent advice given on how to get past the first row of vendours and not go crazy.

I managed to list my new pattern MoJo.  
Buy Pattern

It is a fun and versatile pattern, teaching you how to create intersting shapes. This one resulted from me not being very happy with the main piece. So, I played around, adding extra frames on the sides and...VOILA. Something unique :)


The Mechanics of CRAW
I have also started working on my E-Book on Cubic Right Angle weave techniques.

The first technique in the series is Connecting Frames and I have opted to make it FREE. Many of my patterns require this step and is therefore a "Good to Know" technique.

Click here to download the FREE Pattern 

My new pattern logo showing skill levels required

Have fun

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A feather in my Cap

I was super thrilled when Marcia DeCoster said she would like to do a blog on me. It's one of those things that happen to you, that makes you feel really great about what you do....and then a touch anxiety creeps in because you are also being "exposed" to people who have not heard of you before! But, it is very exciting because I do know, this is the next big "Push" in my life, in a series of pushes I have embraced in the last 14 months. 

I am mulling something over at the moment, but it needs some very careful concideration for me to make the right decision. If I decide to go ahead, there is then whether I downsize the idea or not........curious? Me too!

Thank you Marcia. Your philosophy of sharing knowledge is the same by which I try to live my own life. These are the keys that lead to true joy, happiness and great success :)
                                     Read Marcia's Blog

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hindia, the changelling

(C) Heather Collin, Studio183 and Dreamweavers Studio

(C) Erika Phister, Eliana Maniero and Sabine Ferrandino

(C) Gerlinde Fromont
When I finally got to list my newest pattern Hindia, I certainly hoped for, but was super delighted at the fabulous response it received. I love how colors can transform the feel of the piece and how each beader has put their own stamp on it.
(C) Birgit Bergemann, Kirsten Biermann and Nicole Blandin
(C) Sophie Jerez, Myriam Cheny and Nicole Vandenreydt

(C) Kimcap Beads, Peggy Heidrich and Sabine Ferrandino
Find this pattern on Etsy and Artfire

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beading Pantry

Being properly organized - what works for you?

It has taken a few years and some serious cash for me to to find that happy place and it all started in a hardware store. 

You know those upright plastic, pull out draws type of storage - the type meant for nuts bolts etc? I just about bought the place out when I embarked on my journey to organization. I loved the fact that colors and sizes where given their respective places and that I could pull a draw out at whim..........Hah!

It did not long for me to realize that the drawers were unstable and opaque, making them redundant! I had lost my feelings of deep love for them and realized that we had to part ways. The next step was to use clear plastic peanut butter jars (and some smaller ones) to hold my stock, which from the get go, I bought in bulk. Needless to say,  we parted ways as well and I know have a system that works for me and my erroneous purchases have been passed on.

My recent Aha! purchase was these wonderful pill containers. They are not those silly little small ones - these are meant for buttons etc. I have packed all my crystals and findings in these but the best part is my PALETTE BOXES!! The bulk of my stock is packed away in big roll around drawers but working stock is in smaller round containers, in division boxes on my shelves.


We all have a tendency to work in certain color ways and when I had to stay in the vicinity of my bed for 3 weeks (hysterectomy), I could not just walk out to my studio to get a bit of this or that. I had to get organized so I grabbed a few of the boxes and packed beads, thread and findings according to what I was going to make. It worked so well for me that I have never unpacked those boxes. They are the Flour, eggs and milk part of my beading pantry. Black and white? I grab that palette box and then add the extra bits required for that project. The beauty is, I already have 7 "Ingredients"" at hand but I do still manage to gather a lot of nonsense around me :)

So, back to the hardware store to find some more treasures! Beside buying various sizes of Circlips and washers (for my beading stash), I happened upon these small spring loaded clamps at the checkout counter.......I knew they would come in handy and sure enough, they are clamped to the top of my info board and house my chain and big reels of Nymo thread.  Let me tell you, THAT in itself has made a massive difference to my life. The thread is right there for me to pull off a wingspan without it tangling and snipping off a piece of chain with out having to do a Houdini on BLISS :))

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pattern Value

Perlen Poesie asked me to design something for their 11th edition and I went........BLANK! 

My design process is not a planned event. I sort of have an idea which color pallet/direction I want to play in and I tend to go to Cubic Right Angle Weave because I love the stitch so much......and then I wait, bead a bit, gather things I might use and stack them on my table....try this or that until I have a pile of UFO's in front of me. I then play with them, squint my eyes "see" what's happening until an idea or thought sets in.

By then I will have smoked (yes, yes....I know) the packet that my cigs came in and semi watched, or rather, listened to a TV program on Ancient Aliens, backwards, because I can see reflected  glimpses in the mirror next to me.....subtitles are a bit of a challenge but it keeps me looking in the direction I should be focusing on.                                                
                                                 So, when at last an idea becomes evident, another pile of UFO's join the first as I work things out and then, finally, It Happens. A design evolves and becomes reality. The thing is, I want "Pattern Value". 

More than 1 design must emerge from this process and so it was with Boleyn Cuff. Whilst beading the cuff, I saw/thought about how to create a 3D Cube and a Medieval Cross. The beauty is, once the cuff pattern had been written, I had the basics for the other 2 designs and all they needed were the extra bits to become 2 extra patterns....Pattern Value!!!!


The same thing happened 
when Steve Weiss of the Bead Smith approached myself and 27 other Designers to create something to showcase their stunning new  

I am not known for delicate and dainty work so, Thistle Cuff surprised me when it emerged.......and of course, the initial attempt, which curved too much became the Fan Pull. These 2 patterns are next in line for being written up and again, as I write up Thistle Cuff, the pattern for the Fan Pull will be done almost at the same time and I just know...there is a ring in there as well but by then, I will need to get a Bull Dozer to remove the residue of my Design Process!!!!!

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