Give Away Beads

These beads are some that I’ve had in reserve for a while. The largest, the tangerine, is difficult to photograph. It is a bit lighter in color than the photo suggests, but I’ve combined it with other beads which I think complement it nicely.

Would you like them? If so, please find an item in my NKPBEADS bead store on Etsy and simply link it to your facebook or twitter or blog, or whatever social media you choose, then leave a comment here.

I’m leaving this open for two weeks, then I’ll use the random number generator located on the bottom right hand side of this blog and let it pick a winner. Then I’ll send these beads to the winner at no cost to them (i.e., free shipping). This is open to those living outside of the USA, too.

Thanks for participating (and the shout outs) and good luck to everyone!

So Many Beads So Little Time

The last couple of weeks I’ve had beads spread from one end of the carpet to the other, sorting, taking photos, and generally just being in a bit of bead heaven. I’m putting together something of a to do list. I’ve sorted beads into little baggies for photographing and organized containers into three categories. The first container holds beads that I’m planning on photographing. The second holds beads that I have photographed, but haven’t processed the photos yet. And the third holds beads that have been photographed and processed.

Many beads don’t make it from the second container to the third container because they don’t look like they ought to in the photos, or I see some flaw with the macro lens that wasn’t apparent to my naked eye. That bead will go into yet another container. It will go into the trash if it can’t be refired (say there is a chip on it I didn’t see), or it will go into a container for another glazing if I see a place where the glaze didn’t take nicely. Sometimes the bead looks much prettier in the photos than they do in real life. These beads get set into my give away beads container. I also make a note not to use that particular glaze again with that particular clay. They are truly treasures.

However, most of the beads that don’t make it into the third container go back into the first container to be rephotographed because they were blurry.

In my bead store I have about 20 listings that are expired, but they need to be rephotographed. So there they sit.  I have been rephotographing most of my store since early last year — when I started rephotographing these I had a bit over 200 listings, so I’ve been steadily redoing my entire stock for almost a year, plus trying to put in new listings as well.  It’s been a long haul. 

Sometimes the simplest beads are the most fun to photograph.  The bead in the photo above has some good memories.  It is the last one in that series. It’s just a plain Mayco turquoise cone 6 glaze on a white stoneware body. I don’t know why they didn’t come out shiny. They came out this wonderful matte color.  I think I had about a dozen to start with.  Some I put decals on, others I added a coat of clear to and refired.  It’s all fun.

After I actually list the beads, I place them in huge hatboxes. I have ziplock bags of “2s” and “3’s” and “4s”, etc … up to 12.   If I have similar beads, I write their listing numbers on a slip of paper and include it in their little baggy.  Then I can be certain I am sending the correct beads.

I love making beads. Thanks for letting me share my working day with you.

Prize Beads

I was the lucky winner of the Beads of Clay giveaway between the bead artists. These arrived a few days ago and Ooooo I must exclaim that they are even more beautiful in person!

They are simply gorgeous! I’m so glad to be able to hoard them all to myself. 😉 Thanks for your beautiful work, and thanks also to Mary for the beautiful packaging! You are a gift to our entire Beads of Clay group!

Patterns and Zentangles

Marsha Neal has been blogging lately about Zentangles (see her blog here:

I love fractals and repetitive patterns so these caught my eyes immediately. I read a few websites, got out my black sharpies and began doodling. So here is one of my doodles. I plan to make these into iron oxide decals and put them on beads and pottery.

Announcing the Winner

Congratulations to my two winners! The random number generator picked #2 and #11.

#2 is RockCreekCreations and #11 is Gbkoru!

(whistles, clapping, fanfare, confetti)

Please send me an email to and include the address you’d like your beads sent to.

Whilst everyone was blog hopping here I was on a road trip to The Land of the Mouse (Disney Land). I’d never been there before and it sure was fun. We drove all day Sunday and Monday went to the park.

The weather was slightly overcast on the day we went and rain was in the forecast. That must have kept people home because the park was not crowded. We walked right up to rides and had a blast. The most we waited was a mere 20 minutes.

BUT the characters were missing. We saw one character: Goofy. That was it though. The only Disney princesses we spied were little girls in full royal regalia. Adorable!

The rest of the week was spent sightseeing, most notable was my favorite spot: Santa Monica Pier. I rode that fantastic roller coaster! That was probably the best $5 I’ve spent in a long time. Happy sigh.

I want to share the happy with everyone and am having a 20% off my Bead store this week on Etsy. At checkout, simply enter the following code: bocstudioevent2011

Thanks for stopping by and participating!

Beads of Clay Open Studio Event

Welcome to my blog and my First Beads of Clay Open Studio Event.

Take a deep breath, bookmark this blog and come back to it later in the day or week. Because of family obligations I am opening up comments to last
until the 11th. I will be announcing a winner on the 13th. There will be two giveaways, so I will hold two random drawings via the Random Number Drawing widget on the bottom right hand side of this page. That means you are leaving one comment but you have TWO chances to win!

If you subscribe to this blog via Feedburner (on the right side column), you will receive an email on the 13th and know right away if you are a winner. But I will also announce it here on this blog.


I work in all types of clay, from earthenware to porcelain. I also throw on the pottery wheel and also handbuild as well as create beads. Lately I seem to be interested in attaching sprigs to my beads. Form is important and surface decoration is just as important. I enjoy creating both sides of this coin. When I am making beads I think to myself, “Whatever you can do to a pot you can do to a bead” and when I am making pots I think to myself, “Whatever you can do to a bead you can do to a pot”. This helps keep me focused.


Here is a photo of my 1st giveaway beads.

I do not use any toxic glazes on any of my pottery or beads. All glazes which are commercial are labeled non-toxic by the manufacturer. When I mix my own glazes I do not use toxic materials. Toxic glazes are are stable and perfectly safe once fired, if fired properly. I, however, decided that I didn’t want the additional task of being careful because I am quite clumsy at times and I could see myself accidentally dropping something mega-toxic all over the floor and making my entire studio off limits for 6 zillion years… okay that’s an exaggeration … maybe it is just too difficult to clean up.

I’ve taken some photos of my studio to share with you all. I don’t drink or eat in my studio. I usually work in silence without music or noise. It’s calming and
easier to concentrate. For the first few years I didn’t have a studio. I stored everything in plastic tubs in closets and such. When my son went to college I immediately claimed his room. I ripped out the rug and installed a snap-in wood floor. Next my husband helped me build shelves all along one side and part of two other walls. It looks spacious but it is not. I barely fit in here and usually the tables are completely covered with projects.

Instead I take a small foldaway table out to the living room and create and glaze beads there. The pottery I make exclusively in the studio, because that’s where the wheel and slab roller are located.

Because my studio is in my house, I am careful with the dust. If it gets in the lungs can be very dangerous. I never sweep, only mop. If I am sanding beads or pots, I go outside and wear a special mask. I also have a special air filter which runs 24/7 in the studio and I rinse out the filter every two weeks.

If I didn’t have my studio in my home perhaps I wouldn’t be such a worry wart, but I am a worry wart and I accept that about myself. So the most dangerous thing about my studio is the dust and I do my best to limit that with wet clean ups, air filters, and such.

2nd Giveaway:
Here is a photo of my 2nd giveaway beads.

Here in North Central Texas we enjoyed summer right up into mid-December. It was warm and balmy, in the 70s and mostly 80s. January came and went, same thing.
Then about Super Bowl time, WHAM, we got hit by snow and ice. We were buried for days. It’s a miracle the Super Bowl happened at all. We even had rolling blackouts
because the electric companies didn’t anticipate the cold weather and they were not equipped to handle the extra output needed. Now at the end of February as I prepare
this blog post, we are up to the 80s again. It’s like living in Florida but without the beach. Personally, I would prefer the beach.

I suppose that is why I’ve been enjoying making beads and pottery so much the last few months. I’ve been doing more creating than marketing. My favorite thing about
spring is the crispness of the air and the excitement of knowing that summer is right around the corner, and with summer comes heat, and with heat comes bike riding,and I love to ride my road bike. I didn’t do much of that last year but this year I hope to ride much more often.

When I ride I mull things over in my head and this is a good time for me to think about new ways to design beads and how to implement those same designs into the pottery side of it all. Beads amaze me in their complexity and simplicity. They are all such simple things, a lump of something with a hole, and yet when I look at all the beads I see being created around me I am in wonder at how each bead artist is able to put so much of themselves into each one.

I hope everyone enjoys looking at all these ceramic bead artists’ blogs and their beads. I know when I am able to get back online I will be making the same rounds you are able to make today. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a bit more about me. Don’t forget to bookmark the official Beads of Clay blog (, because we are always giving away something beautiful! Also, stop by our Etsy Beads of Clay team store (

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to leave a comment for two chances to win!