Thursday, October 18, 2018

PPF 10/18

Hi Everyone!

Wow what a busy week. I am not kidding you. Everyday has been full.  So a big thanks to Eva and Kristin for hosting 

I did some morning drawings, I practiced my watercolors and worked on this leather face. I really like this face. She is so delicate and she feels like she is from another world or another time. 

This is a quick draw about 8 minutes. 

This young girl is saying, " OH come on, really?" LOL
That's it for now.
Wishing everyone a great weekend.

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

PPF 10/11

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited. I have another exhibit for my hanging leather art that begins on March 2, 2019. I have enough pieces to fill the wall but, I have some new designs that I want to make up. 
In the mean time my exhibit that is going on now has reaped some sales. They cannot go through the library they are done privately and that is OK with the library. demARTs was a huge success and I have 5 people who would like classes from me for abstract painting. Watercolor classes are coming along and even though I really like the medium acrylics are still my favorite. Now for some art for this week. I have been doing my early morning draws and here are a few. 
I haven't drawn a scull in awhile so thought it was time.

I do like how the eyes came out on this one.

The neck on this is horrible. There is a lot of tooth to this paper and every time I tried to erase it got worse.  I do like the hand though.
 Who knows where I was going with this. 
A 15 minute quick draw

I really love this one. Gold leaf in the waves really sets it off.  
8x10" gallery canvas.

 Another world is 16x20" gallery canvas. Just through some paint on and this is what came out.

Thanks to Eva and Kristin for hosting Paint Party Friday
Looking forward to seeing all of the art this week too.

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

PPF 10/5

Hi Everyone!

My trip to Id, Wy, and then to MT was absolutely FABULOUS!!!! I so needed to be in my home states. I had the best time with two of my brothers on Flathead Lake. I was able to spend many hours with Pat Lambrecht Hould a family friend who is an amazing and very successful artist. You can see her art here. She gave me some wonderful lessons. Then one night a silent auction was held for the University of MT for the arts department. It was a gala affair and again I was able to meet some amazing artists. I sooo miss these kind of gatherings and comradery found in the inland Northwest. 
Since returning home I have been extremely busy. Monday was my watercolor class. I will tell you I was nervous, especially since I missed the first class. Once I got settled though I instantly fell in love with watercolors. I see why so many of you in PPF also love it. I am just in the very beginnings and as we start painting real pieces I will share. Tuesday I delivered abstract paintings to The Art Supply Store here in Florence for display, Wednesday an hour long full body manipulation by my doc. It is not what you are thinking. More like Reiki treatment. It is so healing. In all of this I am having new floors put into my bathroom. I was so happy when the owner of the floor and counter place came over and raved about the counters I did in the bathroom. He asked that I bring photos in so his wife and crew could see. I am also getting ready for a full day of demARTS on Saturday. From 12-2PM I will be demonstrating with our bead group, then from 2-4PM demonstrating abstract art. Ohhh did I mention that I have home work with my watercolor class that I haven't even started yet. 
Sorry for the lengthy post. 
A huge thanks to Eva and Kristin for hosting Paint Party Friday
I am looking forward to seeing what all of you have created.
For me I only have one piece finished. Hope you enjoy it. I had a terrible time trying to photograph this.

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Paint Party Friday 9/21

Hi Everyone

I have a lot going on including a trip. My leather exhibit is up but the photos haven't turned out to show you just how nice it looks. I have an abstract art exhibit starting Oct. 2 through Oct. 31 at the Art Supply Store here in Florence, Or on Hwy 101. Then on Oct. 6 I will be demonstrating at demArts. Our bead group has a table every year and this year I will also have my own table to demo abstract painting. Each artist gets a 2 hour time frame so beading at noon, painting at 2PM. If you are in Florence, Or. come see me. 
For Paint Party Friday I have some 

Linking to Paint Party Friday
Have a great weekend everyone!
Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Showing my abstract art the month of Oct. Yay

Hi Everyone!

I am so excited. I will be the featured artist at the Art Supply Store here in Florence Oregon, Oct 2 to Oct. 31. What will I be showing? My abstract paintings. I am so happy about this. So if you are in Florence in the month of Oct stop by the Art Supply Store
2285 Highway 101, Suite H  
(Coastal Fitness Plaza)
Florence, Oregon
Here is just one of the pieces I will show.

Then head over to the Siuslaw Library to see my leather sculpt display. I tried to get photos but it is bad lighting and I am shooting through glass. I will keep trying though. 

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Hi Everyone!

I am sending out a notice to all my loyal customers that will be closed from Sept. 20 to Oct 1, 2018. You may still place orders, however, shipping will begin on Oct. 2. So if you need Nicole's BeadBacking, Ultrasuede, Novasuede, Sensuede, beads, Looms by Mike, beading patterns, and of course art right away then please order now.
All 17 colors of Nicole's BeadBacking are in 

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Paint Party Friday 9/14

Hi Everyone! 
I'm posting early for Paint Party Friday because I am busy getting my leather exhibit ready to display.  If you are in Florence, Oregon From Sept 15 to Nov 14, 2018  please come by the Siuslaw Library to see my Sculpted Leather Art. SL 1460 9th St, Florence, OR. I will also be demonstrating abstract painting for demARTS at the library on Oct. 6th. demARTS is a huge gathering for artists and the public. Artists get a two hour space to demonstrate what type of art they create. My bead group has a space each year too, so I will show there as well. It is so much fun, again if you are in Florence, Oregon on that day come in. There are make and takes at some tables and door prizes.   
I want to thank Eva and Kristen for hosting PPF and to all the artist who take the time to leave me a comment. I know it takes time and I appreciate it. For me I leave a comment for everyone who shows at PPF. I do 10 at a time until I have seen and commented on everyone. So if you have stopped here, even if you don't like my art, leave a comment to say, "Hello"
Now for some art.
Because I am going to demo abstract art I have been playing with different things so I am prepared. 
Click on the photos to see more detail

I have been trying to get some drawing in. If I do it first thing in the morning and give myself 20 minutes that works for me. LOL

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Paint Party Friday 9/7

Hi Everyone!

It has been a tough week but there is always a bright side and I was given some brightness today. I was awarded a scholarship to attend two different classes at our Lane Community College for water color.  I am so excited about this. Most of you know that water color just eludes me and these two classes will help me get on the right track. Thank you to Jo the owner of our 
Art Supply Store here in Florence. 
I managed to get a painting and another leather piece made. With all of that I have decided to have my yard sale tomorrow. I have most everything priced and ready but am feeling like too much is on my plate to do this. LOL Oh well have to get it done.  A big thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting
Now for the art.
I am still trying to work with blues. I actually liked doing this one. I painted on some thick gesso and then scribbled through it before painting. I really like the effect. Hope you can see it in the photo.
16x20" gallery canvas. I started this painting to relax myself and it did. "Something to ease my mind".

I am very much liking these leather unicorn horns. I don't know how the photos show up for you but in real life they are quite striking.

 Last but not least is my finished bathroom. I painted the walls, ceiling, cabinets, and my favorite counter top. Husband made a shelf for me and we put in new faucet and plumbing.
I have had a few friends over to tell me the truth about my count top. Everyone loves it. Waiting for my landlord to come over to see it. Hope he loves it too. LOL

I painted the first coat with a brush to make the top have the feel of grain wood then I went for the design and topped it with 5 coast of Polyacrylic. It is awesome!
That is it for tonight. Wishing all of you a happy weekend.

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Yay Paint Party Friday

Hi Everyone!

I have had a very prolific week.  My exhibit leather art is finished and just making extra pieces just in case. LOL.  Sooo I have been able to paint a bit.  Just a bit. All of these are what I call paint-overs. You know painted canvases that I just didn't like and painted over them.  First though a big thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting  Paint Party Friday. To all of the artist I look forward to seeing what you have created. Now for the fun. Click on the photos to see a better view.
This first piece is 24x48" gallery canvas
"Splintered Sun"

 This is a 12x12x3" deep gallery canvas
"The Gathering" Start in the middle.
 Now many of you know that blue is my least favorite color. I have a hard time working with it in any venue. The color blue is a strong color that tends to float. An equally strong but not overpowering color needs to be added to hold it down. A lesson from my Grandmother when I was young.
This is a 16x12" gallery canvas. I posted all of these to get friends to help name the paintings. This one had a lot of entries but nothing connected with me. If you have a name let me know in your comment.
 Trying to work with blue is very difficult for me. 
The umber and yellows helped me figure this one out.
 After this one I felt like I was making progress 
with working with blue. 
We will see the next time I paint. LOL
This is 16x20" gallery canvas.
"Flying Through The Blue"
 So that is what I was able to accomplish I think I did pretty well. Leave a comment, let me know what you think and if you have a name for the third painting. Have a great weekend!

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Paint Party Friday 8/23

Hi Everyone!

I had the best day with a visit from one on my Facebook friends.  She was driving home along the Oregon coast from a visit to her brother's I was thrilled she had called a few days earlier so we could meet up. We had the best visit. I made dinner, we talked family, beads, art and much more. 
So easy like we have known each other for life or a past life. 
I also managed to get two more leather pieces done this week for my exhibit. It is just a few weeks away. In addition it is my SIL's birthday today. I sent off his gifts and wanted to share one that I made for him.  I also did a quick draw but when I took the photo I saw waayyyyy to many flaws and decided not to show it tonight. LOL
First though a big thanks to Eva and Kristen for hosting 
Paint Party Friday. I am looking forward 
to seeing all the art this week. 
Leather first. Most of you know I live on the beach in OR. I don't like it. I don't like sea art, I don't like nautical things in my house and I really don't like making ocean art. With that said, I figured for my exhibit I should make at least 
one or two piece that reflect the area. 
So abstract leather Whale
 And Sail Boat

 This is a cigar box that I sanded then did this layered painting to get this wonderful effect.
This is one of my SIL's birthday gifts.

The inside is lined with Nicole's BeadBacking Then a silver turquoise piece that actually belonged to  my SIL's mother. So I know when he opens the box he will be happy.

This is my friend who came to visit me. When I saw this photo my thought was, "I feel so short"  and then I remembered, "OH I am short." LOLOLOLOL 

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Paint Party Friday 8/17

Hi Everyone!

Here it is Paint Party Friday already. My life is so busy that days just fly by. I know, you have heard me say this before but it is true. LOL  Tonight I have a mix bag of art. The last is a portrait started in graphite and then finished up with charcoal. I have a lovely set of charcoal supplies and thought I should try it. It is not as easy as graphite, anyway in this first stage of learning. 
Any tips I will gladly accept. 

So first here is another piece for my exhibit. I have just under a month to get it all together. I still have to trim 
Nicole's BeadBacking off the sides. I use it to make a soft bottom on the wooden base.

I have been making yarn balls. Only I have used other materials like this one with Nicole's BeadBacking, (NBB). It was a bit tricky because NBB is a dense fabric. But it worked.
Start with a balloon paint it with glue water. Then dip strips of NBB into the glue water and place on balloon and allow to dry.

Repeat the process until you have what you like.

Now here is the portrait. Not one of my best but learning always produces some that I will look back on and say.... What was I thinking? LOL

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Hi Everyone!

Everyday I eat an apple. I peal my apples, cut them in half and then core them. Yesterday I got to the cut-in-half part and found that the seeds in the core had germinated!!! Now I wasn't sure if I should have thought, "Ohhh this is cool" or " OMG! when was this apple picked and how long has it been in cold storage?" Apples are in cold storage 14 months and longer. Sooo I planted it. We will see how this turns out.

Honor and integrity in art, in life.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

An Introduction

Hi Everyone!

Today I would like to introduce Tracey Levandoski a wonderful bead artists that honors me by using my Nicole's BeadBacking for the foundation of her beautiful beading.

My name is Tracey Levandoski. I live in Valparaiso, Indiana, with my husband of 30+ years, Jeffrey, and my dog of 14+ years, Bo. I work as a regulatory compliance auditor/consultant for the financial services industry – mostly banks, mortgage companies, and fintech lenders. I only do that to pay the bills though. That’s my professional photo. 


 My preferred method of spending time is beading. That’s (the real, unpolished) me trying to capture a photo of the collar that I finally finished in March 2017 after working on it sporadically for about two years. I never did get a good picture of it. It’s loosely based on Sherri Serafini’s Nicole Beaded Collar pattern, and it’s beaded on Nicole’s Bead Backing.

Like most beaders, I started crafting at a very young age – making potholders with the little square loom and those stretchy loops, knitting long tubes with the little knitting spool tool. I even remember learning how to make paper beads in bible school one summer. My paternal grandmother taught me to shuttle tat when I was around 8 years old, and my maternal grandmother taught me to crochet lace edging on pillowcases with a steel crochet hook at around the same time. Both grandmothers had giant quilt frames set up in their living rooms (you know – those big wooden contraptions that took up the whole room?), and everyone in the family (even my dad and uncles) worked on quilting those quilts while watching football on Sunday afternoons. My mom taught me to embroider on pillowcases (for the crocheted edgings, of course). Somewhere along the line, I taught myself to knit. When I was about 18, I happened upon counted cross stitch, and that became my craft of choice for the next 13 or so years. If you know anything about counted cross stitch, you know that a lot of pattern designers incorporate Mill Hill seed beads into their designs, and I have accumulated thousands of those beads!
I think it was sometime in 2005 that I ran across Bead and Button magazine while perusing the shelves of my local bookstore. As I flipped through it, all I could think was – wow, something else to do with all those beads – so I bought the magazine. I tried out all the bead stitches using my collection of Mill Hills: peyote, brick, right angle weave, herringbone. I was immediately hooked. I jumped in with both feet. Even though I was not very adept yet, I decided to take Laura McCabe’s three-day workshop at the Bead and Button show. I can’t remember if that was 2006 or 2007, but the project was her Infinity necklace. It was a lot of peyote geometric shapes and spiral rope with cylinder beads, bicones, and chaton stones, none of which I had prior experience using. I was in way over my head, but I think I eventually did all right. I still love the click of the cylinder beads in a geometric peyote pattern or bezel. Here is my finished Infinity necklace, designed by Laura McCabe and beaded by me.

Over the years, I took several more classes at the Bead and Button show, but they were all bead weaving. I started noticing bead embroidery projects a few years later and was curious about a class advertised at Funky Hannah’s in Racine, Wisconsin – Sherry Serafini was going to teach her Rockin’ Wavy Cuff, so I signed up. I should also back up and say that I purchased Jamie Cloud Eakin’s Beading with Cabochons book when it first came out in 2005. It was the first beading book I purchased before I even knew what beading really was. I knew nothing about bead embroidery at the time, but that book eventually found its place in my heart. After Sherry’s class and armed with Jamie’s book, I have been hooked on bead embroidery ever since. Here is my Rockin’ Wavy Cuff, designed by Sherry Serafini and beaded by me.

After Sherry’s Rockin’ Wavy Cuff class, I have taken many more of her classes, and I always learn something new to incorporate into my own designs. One of my favorite of her classes was titled Monster Bags, I think – don’t quote me on that. It was not a structured project with an expected outcome; instead Sherry gave us the initial idea which was to create a small handbag from the template she provided and using the purse frame she provided. From there, it was pretty much up to the students. Here is my finished product from that class.

In addition to learning TONS from Sherry, I have purchased many bead embroidery kits over the years from Ann Benson/Beads East and have learned a lot from those also – including incorporating sequins into my designs. One of my favorite Beads East kits has been this purse – I think it’s suitable for a wedding:


In 2015, on a fluke, I decided to participate in a bead challenge offered by Mandy Bugatti of Bead Circle. Mandy provided an assortment of beads, and the theme was ‘Fierce.’ Here is my entry:

It’s weird and completely out of my wheelhouse, but it was a challenge, so I went with it. If you want to read more about the challenge and my entry, here’s the link:

I don’t remember when or how I learned of Nicole’s Bead Backing, but I have bought a lot of it over the years. I think I have a lifetime supply in my stash right now. My first purchase from Nicole’s shop was some NBB and the blue lace agate stone that I used in this bracelet: 

This is necklace I stitched from another stone set that I bought from Nicole on Nicole's BeadBacking 

As I’ve become more skilled with my embroidery art, my beading friends have asked me to teach them. I created the following designs which I have taught to my bead group.


While visiting my local quilting shop last year, the ladies working there were taken with my jewelry – I don’t even remember what I was wearing that day now! But they asked to see more of my work. I brought back a box of stuff to show them, and they asked me to teach a class to their quilting group. This is the design I created for them – it is a simple piece of filigree with not a lot of beading and something that could be completed in an afternoon by someone with no beading knowledge

It was a big hit. They have asked me to come back and teach them my scissors case design shown above.
I almost always bead on NBB because I can match the color to my project, and it holds up very well to the punishment I give it as I wrangle my beads into place. Here are some other projects that I have created in the past year or so. I do a lot of playing and almost never have a finished piece in mind when I start. I have a basic idea but just freeform and see where it goes. Sometimes I like it; sometimes I don’t.
Here is another scissor case I designed. I call it ‘Starry Night’ because of the effect of the purple and crystal seed beads I used in the three-bead picots that cover most of the surface. The focal on the front is the focal component from the Deco Darling bracelet pattern by Laura McCabe.

This is just one of those balsa wood boxes you can buy at a craft store – covered in beads of course. I call it ‘Sherbet’ because it looks good enough to eat.

This is a project from a retreat I attended in San Diego with Jody Young and Betty Cox in 2016. It was a lot of fun. This is called ‘Shell Upon a Shell’ designed by Jody using her raised texture technique and beaded be me. (That’s my husband’s hand! 😊)


This is a piece I created using Jody’s raised texture technique. My husband found this huge piece of rose quartz in our yard when he was doing some landscaping, and I thought it would be perfect to showcase a beaded piece. It’s beaded on pink NBB (of course) and glued on to the quartz with E6000.

I had the basic ‘dripping’ heart shape in mind but not much else when I started this piece. It includes fish leather, shibori silk, sequins, crystals, and feathers – a true multi-media piece.

And finally, my favorite piece (so far) that I just completed in August 2018. I was inspired by Apollinariya Koprivnik and Teresa Gorecki to make this piece using purple flower jasper and a druzy I bought while in Sacramento working at a client for my ‘real’ job. I always try to find time to bead and/or shop for beads even while traveling for work. 

Thank you to Nicole for showcasing my work, and thank you to you for taking the time to look!
Honor and Integrity in Art in Life