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January 2007
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June 2007

My Cache-Pots

Cache_pot_1_2 I have been having the most fun making these little earrings that I am calling CACHE POTS (pronounced 'cash-po'). Translated from French, it means ornamental pots for flowers.

I begin with two wonderful focal beads (one for each earring) which may be pieces of Murano glass I bought when we were in Venice, or some great handmade torch-fired beads which I have collected in every color of the rainbow.Cache_pot_2

These are then put on a silver, gold or copper headpin and I carefully sew a tiny bit of fiber above and around the headpin.  I embroider easily 100 or so smaller beads:  flowers, leaves, seed beads, charms, on this tiny bit of fiber and then may add other fringing or embellishing to top it off.

The result is a terrific bit of whimsy that is sure to bring  smiles.

Prices are generally $70-$85.  (Click on each photograph to see a larger version.)

Open Studio Tour

Donna_open_studio We had beautiful spring weather on Saturday, when I opened the door of the Jewelworx Studio for people to see how I spent the winter.  Fiberworx was a big part of it. 

About a dozen people (all women!) visited and I was able to talk about how I get inspiration and showed some children how I put pieces together.

It was great fun.  I'll do it again and alert you via this Web site.

Fiberworx: Marrying my love of fiber with beads

Having been a knitter for oh-so-many years and a designer yarn shop owner for 15 years, I will never outgrow my love of fiber. 

Many of my jewelry pieces reflect this.  Sterling wire crocheted or knitted earrings, bead crocheted necklaces, needle-felted earrings, pins and buttons and fiber and bead necklaces.  The last is a class which I teach perhaps once a year at Star's Beads in Vienna, Va. (called Froth and Glitz Necklace).  It is both fun and a challenge to put together funky yarns with hundreds of beads in a pleasing combination. 

I currently have four pieces, well really three as one was just sold.  Professional photographer Greg Staley has taken pictures of them.  (Click on the photos to see a close up.)

Carnival_7Mardigras_2 Rocky_road_3

(Black, magenta, purple, olive and burnt orange)

(Black, aqua, lime)
(Taupe, black, cream).
Rocky Road's been sold but can be recreated in similar colors. Please allow room for artistic freedom. :)

Each is priced at $250 and contains many special beads including vintage, handmade, copper, brass, sterling. 

A fourth piece is on loan to a gallery.

Good times at Bead Expo

Last month I spent a glorious week at the Marriott in Oakland, California taking classes at the Bead Expo.  (

With my beading buddy, Joy Newton, of Tucson, AZ, we spent four days straining our eyes as we learned new techniques in advanced beading and wire work. 

Every day we'd skip lunch and run down to the exhibit hall marketplace and tour the rows of 200 vendors who were selling silver findings, gazillions of handmade beads in glass and ceramic, gorgeous, unusual clasps and every color, size, and shape of seed bead that you could ever desire. 

Donna_tray_2 Here is some of my booty and the two "works in progress" from my classes.  Click on the photo to see more detail.

Each night we'd find a nearby restaurant, have a glass of wine and recount our daytime adventures.  Later, we'd have show and tell in our room...what we'd accomplished in class, what we'd bought and what we planned on buying for the next day! 

Neither of us needs to add to our inventory but it is at shows like this where you find unusual and unique beads, findings and clasps, all of which can make your (my) finished piece a one-of-a-kind collector's item. 

Off to Ireland, again

Ireland_2 Our third knitting workshop will take place October 23-November 3, 2007. 

The tour costs have been kept very low....this year's cost is $2380 and includes a visit to Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Isles and a two-day stay in Dublin where we will attend the enormous and exciting Knit and Stitch Show

Tour cost includes most everything except round trip airfare to Dublin and some lunches and a dinner or two.  Some of my favorite memories are of our evenings spent at the wonderful Mulloc Fraoig residence, sitting before the fire with a glass of wine and knitting in hand and dinner served by our own private chef, Marcus, who is a hoot as well as a good cook!Ireland_4

The project I've designed for this tour is a long, dramatic vest, which I've named Chartres after the cathedral in France.  The vest and stitches used with its counter play of black and jewel tones reminded me of stained glass windows found in so many European churches.  For materials, I've used black mohair and many colors of Noro Kureon and Silk Garden as well as a half dozen solids. 

Much of the yarn was from my stash (all worsted weight).  The varieties of stitches and techniques I've incorporated will keep us busy and entertained for the whole trip.  These include a modular square which forms the front and back yoke with slip stitch pattern; chevron shapes which form the underarm gussets; the Entrelac technique, which makes up most of the front and also found on the back.  (We will learn to knit backwards in undertaking entrelac).  Finally I have used corrugated ribbing and knit-on I-cord for finishing. 

There is also a bias knit scarf which can be worn several ways. For those who prefer a sweater, I'll have directions for sleeves as well. To top it all off, we will needle felt the buttons and embellish them with beads and trim.  All in all, lots to sustain your interest over the length of the tour.  I'll always be available to help and tutor, not just on the workshop days. 

Here is a brief summary of the tour.  For a more detailed itinerary with photos, please go to:  E-mail me if you'd like to get on the waiting list.  [email protected].

Donna does a Demo

Demo_day_2 Our hardy group of about 65 artists in Great Falls, Va. showed the creative process live and in color Saturday at a day-long exhibition at the Great Falls Library. 

Painters set up their easels, beginning the day with an empty canvas, and ending with new works.  Laura Nichols, the president of Making_jewelry Great Falls Studios and an accomplished potter (as well as the brood mother to 70 egg-laying chickens on her farm) showed how to make clay masks.

I set up a table and made jewelry.  Lots of kids watched, holding and feeling many of my 'raw materials.' They saw how I weigh the various beads, findings, metals and wire to make a necklace or bracelet or pin. 

Demo_day_1 A few people who gathered round also asked to be on my mailing list so I can alert them to things like the Open Studio event at my studio in Great Falls next Saturday, May 19.  E-mail me if you'd like directions.

(For larger versions of the photos here, click on the picture.)

Elan magazine: 'Mesmerizing'

Magazine Elan magazine, published in North Virginia, recently interviewed.  A generous and kind article explained how I get inspiration from materials I have gathered during my international travels. 

Donna Cedar-Southworth, the author, wrote: "The beads - a sea of color -are strung onto thin-gauge wire ... then stitched together in ... elegant patterns-herringbone, net, peyote, web, crochet-whatever the piece calls for."

Well, I don't know about THAT! But they sure are fun to do, and challenging.

Click here to read the Elan article

Where/when you can see my jewelry

Special events:

  • Open House Studio Tour, May 19, 11am-4pm.  See my new spring "collection"
  • Great Falls Studios Tour, October 20-21, 10-4 each day.  My third year of participating in our artists' group open studios weekend.
  • Great Falls Studios Holiday Sale, December 8-9 at Great Falls Library.  A great time to shop for Christmas and holiday gifts!

Continuing showings:

  • Ingram Gallery, Wiscasset, Maine.  A wonderful, eclectic gallery of ancient and contemporary art and artifacts.  Owner  Larry Ingram carries a number of my Tibetan and tribal pieces.  On the main street of Wiscasset (Route #1) a half block from Red's Eats (best lobster rolls around).  Tel. 207 882-7790.
  • Mongoose Junction, St John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bougainvillea, carries "summer-y pieces" in bright colors.  Tel. 340 693-7190.
  • Westin Resort, St John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Bougainvillea. Ditto as above and some Murano glass pieces.  Tel. 340 703-8000 x1784.

I am also generally available from the end of September ‘til the end of May for private visits and instruction. I am also happy to work with you if you have special beads you've inherited or acquired in some exotic place. Just email me:  [email protected]