Class registration was a party! A small intimate party! With a pot of soup, timbits and coffee. Great conversation, lots of laughs and amazing beads! I am so sorry the weather kept so many of you away but although a poor turnout, it was absolutely a wonderful day. Nothing like spending a snow day with a small group of friends held up in a bead store with new beads!

Today I am tired and so I am having another intimate day. I am going to have a long bath with Neil Gaiman. Ok not him but one of his smaller books I have been saving for such an occasion, Neil Gaiman’s   Fortunately the Milk .  Just a silly read, that I have kept under my pillow. For me a book like this is similar to a piece of real short bread, delicious, rare and to be savoured.

Here is a little insight into Gaiman.  I find everything he writes has his depth and exoticness. Yes even when he writes for children.

4.leather-bezels-lezlie 14.tutu-amber 31.Lets-get-started-Bead-embroSpring registration is this Saturday February 21, doesn’t that sound wonderful. SPRING REGISTRATION, SPRING REGISTRATION, SPRING REGISTRATION!!!

Ok everyone knows I  love  registration day, Just like all the events at the shop it has a party atmosphere. And who doesn’t like a good party particularly at  this time of year!! A little colour, good friends, beads and anticipation of some new adventures all those things are much appreciated in my life.

I know Canadians always talk about the weather, but… you believe this WEATHER!!   My son who lives in Whitehorse, texted me and asked if I was considering moving up there, They have been warmer all week, every single day. So SPRING!! registration is sounding like robins and tulips. I can’t promise spring weather but the atmosphere will be warm and inviting. So bundle up and come in and start registration with some laughs, beads and warm smiles from friends.13.Sculptured-vintage-cuff.-we

We have an outstanding line up of both classes and teachers, actually 39 out of the 49 classes are new. The beginning of any project  is filled with potential, it is  like sunrise or new art supplies exciting, revitalizing and full of hope. This particular term is bubbling over with potential.  We have some exciting classes with the new shapes of beads, we have some really exciting new leather classes and metal classes to spark your interest in the hidden qualities of metal. So check out the website or come in and have a look at the samples.


Our guest artist is also pretty amazing. She is worth the trip alone.

If that isn’t enough some of the finds from Tucson are already priced and in the shop. So mark your calendar…bundle up and come and get the spring session off to a warm, colourful, joyous start.19.The-bracelet-Monrena-Lise-2

Bernadette Rule and me before the interview July 22/12

What fun! I hate preparing or even thinking about going live on Radio or TV (I have done both).  Yet 9 times out of 10, it goes well and sometimes fantastic. Yesterday was one of those times, it was fantastic. It was just so natural. Bernadette has an easy interview style and manages to fill in the gaps or correct any errors you may have made. If she knew, they were errors. You are talking to someone with whom you have a history, who can see your facial expressions and your hand jesters . The audience doesn’t have those same advantages. I noticed how Bernadette would gently fill in the gaps. She is great!  I was going to tell you before hand but it was one of those should have, could have, would have days. So here is the link to the pod cast.  Please post it everywhere you think people who are interested might see it. She does a great job of supporting artist in the Hamilton area, so lets support her. Thanks Bernadette it was fun!

In the booth ready to go live!


Today is  my last dentist’s appointment to deal with this abscessed tooth . I will be so happy to see this whole thing  behind me.  I am thrilled they where able to save the tooth, (it works well for eating a lot of my favourite foods). I hate to think about what is in store for me, so let’s get on to much more happy thoughts..

On the weekend, Laura Dowling brought  home-made  Fig and Walnut Bread  to share with the Bronze Clay Sliders Class and it was scrumptious. The recipe comes from a bakery in Burlington The picture below is from their web-site. 

 PaneFresco, and is now on my “To Do” list. The bread looks a little fussy to make, but trust me it will be a hit. It was so good, Gail and I hoped some would be left to toast with peanut butter spread on it for breakfast. Not to be … every crumb disappeared.

Fig and Walnut Bread


3 cups flour(15 ounces), plus additional for dusting work surface

1/4 instant dry yeast (1g)

1 1/2 tsp table salt (8g)

1/2 dry figs

1/2 cup of chopped walnuts

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water (ounces), at room temperature

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons mild flavoured lager(ounces)

1 tbsp white  vinegar

1 tbsp honey


Whisk flour, yeast, salt, figs, and walnuts in a large bowl. Add water, beer, vinegar and honey to the mixture. Using rubber spatula, fold the mixture, scraping up dry flour from bottom of bowl until it forms a shaggy ball. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 8 to 18 hours.

Lay a 12 by 18 inch sheet of parchment paper inside a 10 inch stainless-steel bowl and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead 10 to 15 times. Shape the dough into a ball by folding the edges into the middle. Transfer the dough to the bowl with the parchment paper. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature until the dough has doubled in size and does not readily spring back when poked with finger, about 2 hours.

About 3o minutes before baking, adjust oven rack to lowest position, place a 6 to 8 quart heavy-bottomed Dutch oven (with a lid ) on the rack, and heat the oven & pot to 500 degrees. Lightly flour tip of dough and , using razor blade or sharp knife, make one inch long, 1/2 inch deep slit, along the top of the dough. Carefully remove pot from oven and remove the lid. Pick up dough by lifting parchment overhang and lower it into pot (let any excess parchment hang over pot edge). Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees and bake covered for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to bake until loaf is deep brown and instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 210 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes longer. Carefully remove bread from pot: transfer to wire rack and cool to room temperature about 2 hours.

Slice the loaf into generous portions and enjoy. I know we did!



old friends,

new friends, ,

 forever friends; 

 good food,

 great conversation,



memories shared,

memories made,


good byes

until the next time

It was awesome. What a wonderful, wonderful weekend. It was full to the brim. I still need time to absorb everything that happened.

I am just so thrilled to have spent so much quality time with Gail Crosman Moore. It was such a privilege, thank-you Gail, for leading and guiding the group.

Gail was so very generous. Those of you who came out  Friday night  (and it was a packed house) you got a small taste of the whole  weekend. The guest  were treated to a mini-class on wet felting.  Gails work a feast for the eyes,and an opportunity to purchase some of her carefully selected  treasures. She not only had some of her amazing pieces to drool over, she  also had an amazing collection of unique sequences, exciting brass stampings and some rare vintage lucite beads. After Gail filled our minds and opened our souls we filled our tummies.

 Barb did a peanut butter ball that was yummy. I did a date tart (with help) that disappeared first. Wendy, they were a hit. Nobody believed we made the cream puffs. I, of course loved them as they were served with memories from my childhood.  I cut the chocolate brownies small but that didn’t fool anyone, they just came back for another and another. Thanks, Lise they were extremely well received. My mother’s butter tart receipt was chocked full of raisins, thanks to my sister. There were people who had never had a butter tart like that and were not sure what they were. ( the best)   Wendy (that is my sister, Wendy if you haven’t figured that out) did this amazing lemon and raspberry tart. Our body, mind and spirit was fed. It was up to the individuals to keep it in balance.

That was just Friday night.

Saturday was spent at the cottage making bronze clay sliders. It takes a gentle hand and  as is often the case not as easy as it looks. The excitement level in the room was unbelievable. I had to open every window in the cottage just to try to get a little balance. I am so thankful Dave was there most of the time, it could not have been accomplished without him. Again Gail was so generous with her tips on mold building, and texture choices as well as the handling and firing of bronze clay.It is not easy to settle 12 excited ladies down into the creative zone. She did it, with a gentle hand and the result where fabulous.  She is one classy lady.

I want to tell more but the world is calling. I have recipes to share, I hope I got a few pictures I haven’t even looked at the result of the few I snapped. I did get my son to the airport on time, with two bikes in two very large boxes. Lots of tears of happiness as he and his special friend went off on a new adventure. I did not see my Mother on Mothers day and I really want to see her and share everything with her. Thanks for reading, I love having all of you in my life. It means a lot to me.