Saturday, September 9, 2017

Walking to end Alzheimers - The raffle

On August 1st we launched our three pronged effort to raise money for Alzheimers research. We made and sold Peace signs, we sold the tutorial so others could make peace signs (and man have they, so many beautiful ones!) and Mark beaded two Peace signs to raffle off in return for a donation to team DeeDee.  DeeDee is Mark's Mom who passed away last April from the effects of Alzheimers.

Between these three efforts, together with all of you, we raised $12,040!  Today we walked, and as promised we picked the two winners of the raffle!

Mark, being Mark and if you know him you know what I mean, developed a spreadsheet wth a built in random number generator.

This morning he hit the button and the winning ticket numbers were 119 and 227.  Given the brilliance of his spread sheet we have the following result.



Sandy and Glynna your Peace signs are on their way to you!


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Artistic Collaboration and a process class, exactly what I want to do!

Yes, It is true that I am nearing retirement.  I've been hinting at it for years and it is starting to be a reality for me.

I am cutting back my schedule significantly and spending more time with family, friends and travel.

But occasionally an opportunity comes along that combines those things.

So what kind of opportunities still entice me?  Those that combine a process class with a collaboration with one of my dear friends and an opportunity to teach again at Beads by Blanche.  We've shared a long history as I love the store, the classroom and all the amazing students I've come to know over the years and oh, Blanche and Wendy of course!

So a couple of years back we started discussing how much fun it would be if we could do a class with both me and Tracy.  Being a bead artist one of my very favorite things has been to spend time with other artists and the opportunity to combine our two very different styles into one collection of work, well that was incredible.

Earlier this year we had the opportunity to spend time together while I was developing the Bohemian Collection, a body of work with inter-changeable elements that relied on magnet casings to change out the parts.  Tracy was exploring salt water etching with her metal pieces.  We both arrived at that aha moment of combining the two different mediums into two bodies of learning which could come together brilliantly into really diverse pieces.

Tracy both taught me salt water etching and provided me with a collection of her finished pieces.  I incorporated the magnet casing from the Bohemian collection and incorporated the etched pieces.  I was instantly in love!

We sorted out a format for a joint class and while four days is a big commitment it will also provide the optimal creative environment allowing  everyone to explore the techniques in enough depth.  Each person will end up with a wonderful one of a kind piece of bead art and new skills to create a collection of their own.

I think the photos below will give you an idea of what you can create using the techniques we will be providing.  For each piece presented below there are another multitude of ways you could inter-change the pieces.

New England in the crisp fall, me and Tracy, an outstanding bead store and we promise you a great experience.  If you'd like to join us, you can find details here.














Tuesday, August 1, 2017

PEACE

PEACE for those with Alzheimers and for their caretakers and loved ones.  I hope one day that will be achieved.





It's been personal for us, having watched Mark's Mom DeeDee succumb to the memory loss and finally losing her life last year.  DeeDee was accomplished in so many ways and it was a painful decline. She was a young ice skating star when she gave up an Olympic opportunity to begin her family, Mark being the first of five children.  She was a skilled and prolific knitter, sewer and quilter making beautiful garments, sweaters and quilts for all of her many grand children.  She lived on a lake and raced sailboats well into her 70's.  Yet she still fell victim to the effects of this devastating disease.

In her memory and for so many others who have or will get this disease we want to improve the funding of Alzheimers research.  Last year we walked and we asked for donations and we saw people's generosity.  This year we wanted to do more so we developed a plan!

It's probably not a secret I like to bead and I like to make stuff.  I created a beaded peace sign for a friend who has collected them for years.  It seems a fitting symbol, peace in all things is a positive goal.  

I've been married to Mark for thirty years and he has a tender heart.  He wanted to help too.  So much in fact he learned to bead and he made peace signs.   

So here's our plan.

There are three ways to help and 100% of the proceeds for each of the three ways will be donated to the Alzheimers Organization.  We have supplied all the materials and time that have gone into our peace project.

We will have finished peace signs for sale in my Etsy store.  Some made be me, some made by Mark.  The money we are paid will be donated to the Alzheimers organization as we receive it.  Peace signs may or may not become an ongoing sale item in the store. If we do make more or if some are sold after the 9th, we will donate the proceeds of any peace sign sales monthly.

For those who wish to make their own peace sign there will be a downloadable tutorial available for sale in my Etsy store.  Sales well be donated as we receive them.

If you prefer to donate directly to Alzheimers research, you may donate to Team DeeDee here.  For each $10 you will be placed into a raffle to win a finished peace sign. (A $10 donation = 1 raffle chance, $20 = 2 raffle chances, etc).  We will be pulling the name of the winning entry during our walk on September 9th and notifying the winner via this blog on September 10th.   Mark picked this peace sign to raffle off.  It's one of his. Don't forget to check back on September 10th and we'll arrange for the winner to be mailed this very beautiful peace sign.






Mark made his peace sign reversible.  One side is embellished with a 2mm crystal and the other with black seed beads.  He thinks of it as having a feminine and a masculine side!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Love Letters

So after my whirlwind travel post, I've been home for awhile and this is what I've been up to.



You can read all about that project on lovebeadlove.blogspot.com !  I've had so much fun creating and embellishing these letters and from the looks of it so have others.  If you're so inclined, have a go, the letters are great fun and who can't use a little more love in their lives!

Where have I been?

I've been all over!  After leaving Nice on our November trip we continued on down the coast of Italy, up to Croatia, then Bay of Kotor, many Greek islands and finished in Athens.  Wow, that was a magical trip with so many highlights!  The Seaborne Sojourn Mediterranean cruise.

The Acropolis was amazing!  Such  presence against the blue sky.


The new Acropolis museum was so excellently curated it was quite a treat.  We spent a peaceful two days just wandering the city.



Then off to our local San Diego Airstream groups rally in Chula Vista, always a treat.




I busied myself with beading the alphabet....just because.


Next up a day trip with the grandkids to visit Disneyland....18,000 steps, this grandma was tired!




Parked in the Santa Cruz redwoods for the holidays.  I love this spot, although it can get dreary in the sunless days of winter.



So I busied myself with peace, this one is reversible and a gift for a dear friend.


Seems that LOVE is everywhere if you look close.  We got to see the Rose Bowl parade floats being built while joining another airstream rally in Pasadena.





We had front row seats for the parade and it was wonderful.  Look at this fanciful guy!








































Finally some time to relax!  A moebius scarf for a friend I love. If you measure love by the number of cast off stitches this one was huge!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

IT's Nice in Nice

Yes corny I know.......we arrived in Nice France on Tuesday afternoon.  It was our job to stay up until early evening to try to minimize the effects of jet lag.  a quick shower and change of clothes and we set off to explore the city.

The weather has been an exceptional 70 degrees with gentle breezes.  We wandered through the interior streets looking to gain some euros from an ATM.  Eventually we came on a bank postale and acquired some cash with which we promptly bought our first french pastry.

While I'd love to bring you photos to go along with this blog at the moment I am technically challenged as to how to accomplish this.

So far we've had perfect weather, perfect food, great company and nice sight seeing.  We drove the coast to arrive for a visit in Cannes and a walk along the port there.

Today we'll drive to Monaco and board the Seabourn Sojourn for a 14 day Mediterranean cruise.  Hopefully there will be updates and photos!




Tuesday, August 23, 2016

AND my Etsy shop is open!

Funny that all the years that Etsy has been around, I haven't been tempted.  The website was serving me well, and I was too busy to sit down and give it any attention, and then......

As we decide what our new life is going to look like I decided that the convenience of Etsy and the ability to maintain it myself would be a huge bonus.

It's not that I couldn't maintain the website, but over the years Mark took it over and it was convenient, until it wasn't.  Often I leave a show with 2 or 3 of a kit and I'd love to be able to offer them to you, but the overhead of putting it on the website and announcing it, for it to be sold out within hours, and then needing to update the website again, well, the onesie, twosies, languished.  This was too bad because there is some pretty things that I may or may not build again but that you may like.  There's also some new things, like the very pretty duomos bracelet in 7 different opal colors, and the sweet little hidden paradise vessel.


So things they are a changing here at MADDesigns.   You can find the Etsy store under MarciaDeCoster.  Since it's easy to update you will see more inventory AND as I move forward I will begin to offer some tutorials of projects that may interest you.


There's a silver version too, but I love the way these opal colors really show themselves off against the gold.