Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Smiles, but no Sparkles?

What is this?  How could it be?  No sparkles?

Well, sometimes sparkles are just a bit too much....and instead we can opt for glow!

Yes, I'm talking about the glow of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Crystal Pearls.  I love the warm glow of all the Crystal Pearl colors, and how they add an elegance to everything I make with them.

I was honored recently to have one of my SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS projects on the cover of Bead & Button magazine, and the response has been extraordinary.  BIG smiles worthy!!  The pear-shaped pearls (Article 5821) are among my favorites, although  of course, I continue to "play" with other shapes.  My collection of 3mm round colors grows every day.

Because one is never enough when it comes to Swarovski jewelry...I've made up a variety of new kits for the "Dome of Pearls" (also known as Contessa pendant).  You can take a look at them in my Etsy store: DianeWhitingDesigns

I've been playing with the Baroque shape (Article 5840)  recently also.  It was love at first sight for me and now I'm working on a few new projects, they are a natural for designing with some new filigrees.  Nothing to share yet...but soon.

So, how about you, are you ready to GLOW!  Add some SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS pearls to your designs and you will be smiling too!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Something new to smile about:
Have fun creating some new color schemes using CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS updated Color Wheel.  Even more colors have been added.
This is a great way to step out of your comfort zone with colors....try something new.  I know I' am.
Sparkles & Smiles!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Scarry Stuff....

So, it is almost Haloween....and the ghosts and goblins are appearing everywhere.  Makes me think a bit about fear.   Now I'm only going to get a little philosophical here, I promise.

The other night while channel surfing I ran across "The House on Haunted Hill", the original 1959 Vincent Price classic.  I love this movie....and one of the reasons why I love it is because it scared the you-know-whats out of me when I was around 10 or 11 years old. For some reason skeletons turned me into a snivelling scardy cat hiding my eyes and not ever wanting to go to bed. 

Watching it now I see how simplistic and silly all the effects were..the rat skeleton bubbing up in the acid, fully intact and perfectly bleached.  The completely connected anatomy class human skelaton that emerges from the vat (I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen this chiller thriller....) completely undid me as a child, and causes chuckles now.

So I got to thinking, how different is that from what frightens me now? 

Well, putting myself and my work out for sale at The Heart of California Bead & Design Show had me nearly paralized.  There is so much outlay of money before a show, without any guarantee of income.  I'm still pretty new at selling my instructions and kits, so much of what I do right now is testing the market.  I had similar feelings before BeadFest Texas this past week.

But doing what scares me, and getting to the other side of the fear (a la shutting the lights out and getting to sleep) goes a long, long way to conquering it.  Both shows were very successful, great fun, and worth all the effort.  Looking at the fear from this side I can see that much of what I was afraid of was just as silly and simplistic (and fake) as the 1959 special effects.

I won't tell you to go jumping into doing what scares you the most...our fears can often be good signposts for us....but I can tell you, that for me, looking at the fear from the other side, like watching a campy old horror movie, is a lot more fun!

ps...if you are an architecture fan, the movie was filmed at the Ennis Brown House in L.A. designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  You can read more about it here:, and there are some cool pictures on the official website here:  If you are in the Los Angeles area, it is a fun sight to see.

And also, credit where credit is due...the original HOHH poster image is from the Wikipedia site, and was designed by Reynold Brown -- who did a lot of other iconic horror-movie posters.

Oh...and how about trying some of the very spooky and scary Swarovski Elements designs on the CREATE YOUR STYLE website...scary can be fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Texas Terrific!

Well, I'm on my way home now from BeadFest Texas, and I must say the trip was Terrific!  The show is a small one, but with some very special vendors: Beyond Beadery (once again Betcey gets to go home with much of my money) the ever-so lovely and talented Jill Wiseman (Tapestry Beads), Beth from Kabela Designs (can't wait to get started on some of my new filigree pieces...thank you so much!) and my almost neighbor from San Diego, Jeannette Cook (Beady Eyed Women), to name my favorites.... and some very, very special attendees.  Had great fun at Meet The Teachers, and I must admit I was a bit overwhelmed with everyone's response to what I was offering.  Thank you all for your support and purchases!

Also got some very quick hug and catch-up time with my Sparkle Sisters (fellow Ambassadors) June Beach and Deb Simon.  There is never enough time to spend with them.

I should have taken more pictures...only took 2 from dinner Friday night at Pappadeux (yum!!), and with the lighting we all looked a bit zombie-ish, which is how I must look right now after about 4 hours sleep, and a 5:50am shuttle pick up.

So, my first time BeadFest and first time Dallas experience was wonderful! Dallas people are all so very friendly....and chatty, two of my favorite qualities. I know this won't be my last trip here.

Oh...and of course, we played with lots and lots of Swarovski Elements in my "C'mon Let's Twist" class. The ladies really liked the Rhombus Pendants and Kreinik's Custom Corder.

I do love my life, early morning flights and all.
Sparkles and smiles, ya'll

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Definition of Friendship

I've heard it said that a friend will help you move....but your best friend will help you move a body.
Well, I have a best friend, and she not only meets the definitions, she make a new one!
A little background:  Susan Griffith and I have been best buddies since we met in 1989 and became house-mates.  We rented a 4-bedroom house so that our young boys could live in a good neighborhood and go to good schools in the Poway School District (more about that later).  But we were also a couple of hot single 30-somethings that still wanted to have some fun (well, she was hot...I was OK)
Flash forward a few years, and Sue introduced me to my now husband...seems a friend of her friend had a know how that goes......
Sue and I have seen each other through a lot in the past 23 years...and sometimes we feel more like sisters than friends.  When I was picked for the finals of the very first CREATE YOUR STYLE with SWAROVSKI design competition and the awards ceremony was held in New York, Sue cashed in airline miles and was right there with Cliff and me at Swarovski's big event.  Can you even imagine how much fun that was!
And do you know why I now teach beadwork and jewelry making classes for the Poway Adult School -- Yup, cause Susan pushed me to go to a "So You Want to Be a Teacher" meeting when I didn't believe that I would qualify.
We kid each other that we have to stay friends, because we each have very incriminating photos from our shared past that we might not want to have made public!
Well last weekend Sue completely redefined friendship!  Because I begged her to (oh, and I mean begged!), Sue accompanied me to Fresno and assisted me in my booth at The Heart of California Bead & Design Expo.  Now Sue is a Real Estate Agent in the Escondido/Rancho Bernardo/Poway area of San Diego, and knows nothing of beading or beadwork...other than what I tell her when I'm prattling on about what I'm doing.  And my original idea was that Sue would just be there to back me up and cover the main table while I was doing a couple of ring Make & Takes.  Yeah, that was what I THOUGHT would happen.
What actually happend was that the Sparkle-Ing Sparkle-Rings made with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS were a big hit at the show, and I spent almost all my time making rings.  So there was Sue, not knowing a bicone from a briolette, or a seed bead from a seed pod doing her very best to answer questions and sell my patterns and kits.  And boy did she ever sell!
So, if you have a friend like know how very, very lucky you are!  And if Sue had enough fun to be enticed to help out with a booth at another time and you see her, please tell her how lucky I know I am!  Oh, and if you are looking for a house in North San Diego County....send Sue a note!
Sparkles and smiles!