Queen Bee

Ready to fly off and start her own colony, a new Queen Bee.  Do you think she’ll be successful?  Are there flowers nearby to feed the hive?  She’s sure to pick a good spot.

This brooch is a study in greys, with a bright spot of yellow from the bumblebee jasper.  Colorfully lively without being riotous.

Carved and stained bone face, bumblebee jasper from Mount Papandayan in Indonesia, matte grey rondelles, hematite and seed beads.

She’s ready to buzz!



Sometimes it’s nice to try something different; work with materials you don’t usually use.

That’s the case with this brooch.  The resin rose is very dimensional, almost an inch high, and maybe an inch and a half wide.  Pretty.  Pretty Big.

I knew when I started I wanted to bead some leaves around it, and was first thinking of three dimensional leaves, but they just weren’t happening.  Then the idea changed into the rose emerging from it’s leafy bower, growing out of the painting, if you will.  So, bead embroidered leaves in various shades of green, and some bugles to define the leaf veins.

This one is a keeper.  It will be just the thing on my red winter coat.

At the Lake

Dangling bare feet off the dock.  Naps in the sunshine.  Trout just under the water, their shadows darting.

Even though we are in the throes of winter, this brooch reminds me of a summer’s day at the lake.  The cabochon is carracite jasper, with a hole in it.  I know there’s probably some proper geological name for that, but I have no idea what it is.  The hole is what drew me to this stone.

Straw colored seed beads reminiscent of a weathered dock complete the brooch.

The Woodsman

There’s a different sense of being, when one is a Woodsman.

Attention to detail, certainly, but it’s much, much more.  Awareness of surroundings, the slight sounds animals make, the shift in the wind, a different tang in the air.  Becoming one with the environment  on every level.

Fallen trees, dappled shade and lichen came to mind when I saw this cabochon.  It just needed a face to bring it alive.

A brooch with a Montana Butte Jasper cabochon, carved and dyed bone face, bugle beads and seed beads.

Aunt Phoebe

She was your favorite Aunt, even though you always knew her to be prim and proper.  Everything done just a certain way, making it so.  Slipshod workmanship was not tolerated.  Nor were bad manners.

It wasn’t until she passed away, and the herculean task of clearing out the house fell to you that you discovered what caused that perpetual twinkle in her eye.

Under the eaves, the box of photos.  A very young Aunt Phoebe, cigarette dangling from her lips, astride her motorcycle.*

The colors of this brooch remind me of days long past, a bit musty but with a back story you wouldn’t believe.  The cabochon is rhodochrosite (or something like that, I think).  Dusky grey and peach seed beads complete the piece.

*This image is of Fay Taylour, who was a premier dirt track racer, holding speedway records in Australia, New Zealand and the UK during the 1920s.  She did not compete in women-only events, but open races with her male counterparts.

Falling Leaves

Another beaded brooch using the lovely hand painted silk from silk artist Louise Noel.

The silk flows through an apple jade donut, encircled with seed beads.  A little russet, still some green, it reminds me of leaves turning in the Fall, not yet sure if they want to drop from the tree or hold on for another day.

Can you hear them rustling in the breeze?


Every so often life gets out of balance and we feel like we’re rolling downhill at a furious pace.

One has lost the fulcrum – the element that plays an essential role in situations, activities, events.  That special something that keeps life balanced.

This brooch is my attempt to capture that feeling.  The cabochon is Apache Gold.  The face carved bone (not ivory) surrounded by a halo of bugle beads.  While this is a departure from my usual bright colors, I find the piece rather haunting.

That face stays with you – perhaps a talisman that all will soon be right.