a complex twistie

Here are some photos that Anne Lindsay took while Heather Trimlett made a complex twistie at Bead Camp.

A complex twistie is multiple layers of glass that are stretched and twisted around each other making a spectacular spiral of colour.

This is an overhead view of Heather starting to layer the colours of glass.

Layers and layers of glass, very neatly stacked.

Encased in clear, without trapping any air.

Here you see the magnifying properties of glass.

Heather likes to transfer the encased layers of glass to steel punties for the thorough heating, then twisting and pulling stages of the process.

Twist like crazy while gently pulling. The fine lines of opaque colour help you see that you’re twisting evenly.

Heather’s twists are always even and the diameter is always consistant.

Here it is, annealed. Fascinating!



newly branded blacksmith

Morgan recently spent 4 days at the New England School of Metalwork, and learned a TON, and has the blisters and scares to prove it.

He branded his palm and fingers with the “not cold” end of a rod,

and was still smiling when I picked him up.

An extremely rewarding experience.



I’ve never been comfortable soldering, but this week I knew I had to solder some rings for the Cluster necklaces. I only fried 3 and after awhile, I got pretty slick at it.

Circle the ring 3 times SLOWLY with the flame, then focus the heat on the tiny ball of solder. After the solder flows quickly turn the ring over with tweezer and draw the solder through the seam with focused heat. TaDa!

Then I used a file to clean up the excess solder. When I started using less solder, the clean up was easier.

A nice tumble in the polisher, and 200 more to go…



more mailboxes

After our early morning walk on the beach, Anne and I drove along Casey Key admiring where some of “The 1%” spend some of their time, but most of all we delighted in their mailboxes!

The Manatee…


The Dolphins…



The Pelican…



and my favourite, the Westie…



I’d love to show you their “cottages”, but I’m just not comfortable with that,

but this might be the Pearly Gates…


a crunchy beach

The beach along Casey Key, in Nokomis Florida, is very different from a PEI beach. It is entirely made of shells, in whole and in part, but not finely ground. It crunches beneath your feet and I felt very badly about breaking all those BEAUTIFUL shells!





This guy gave me the creeps. He’s a horseshoe crab. Very prehistoric!




This crab was beautifully coloured with highlights of cerulean blue.



Hula Anne enjoying a sunrise walk before Bead Camp.


She gave me great joy. What a wonderful roommate! Thank you Anne!!!


I whizzed by this spectacular mailbox while I was out for an early morning power-walk, in the Bead Camp neighbourhood, in Nokomis Florida. My wonderful roommate Anne and I went back to take these photos on our lunch break. I was so excited, I’m afraid they are all a bit out of focus.

This mailbox would make a perfect subject for the “I Spy” books that my kids and I poured over for hours and hours.



Shells, buttons, beads, bits of jewellery, a compass and a watch, a key and some belt buckles.



A flameworked glass bird in my 2 favourite transparent glass colours, turquoise and green.


our tree!

This year we’re experimenting with a real tree. I’m allergic to coniferous trees, so it’s been years since I’ve vacuumed up needles.

Mark and Megan brought home a “free range” tree, one that was cut from the forest, not intensely pruned for years. I sat beside it and my lips went numb and I was itchy all over. I thought “Oh boy, here we go, we’re going to have to toss this tree out, or me.” The next day was better, and now it doesn’t bother me at all. I think the trick is that the branches are open and airy and the what-ever-it-is that makes me sick, dispersed quickly, and it really is a very small tree.

I especially love that you can hang the ornaments deep into the tree and still see them. It’s like they’re framed by the branches.

Handmade ornaments only on this 3 feet of wild tree.



Happy Solstice! Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays!





Tangerine and Lady Bug beads, ready for removal and cleaning, then made into jewellery!



The mystery of cane cut marbles has begun to unravel for me, thanks to glass artist Francis Coupal.

I met Francis at Salon Des Métiers D’Art when I was in Montreal on Sunday. These photos don’t even come close to showing you the magnificence of these hand made marbles, but they might inspire you to check out Francis’ blog and a series of photos of him making marbles.






I call this the Candy Jar Collection. I could just eat them!

bracelets – left to right…

Lady Bug, Seaweed, Daffodil, Candy Jar, Tangerine, Sky

The whole feast – a necklace!