Friday, April 27, 2012


I must admit, I AM the Queen of Denial (though my husband would probably argue it's the Queen of the Damned) this past week, in having spent time finishing up this bracelet, while refusing to believe my house needed dusting...but look what I finished!  Look with your special eyes!
This was the finished beadwork piece, before being attached to the brass cuff last evening, since I was showing you the piece as it progressed...
Beadwork alone weighed 1.4 oz.  Beads were all sewn down two at a time, and secured with a back stitch (in some instances, one at a time).  Vanity prohibited me showing the back of the unfinished piece - it was all very neat...just a lot of tiny stitches.  Lots and lots...and lots.
Attached to a 2" wide brass cuff, and backed with Ultrasuede, total weight now is 2.6 oz. - a substantial cuff, for sure.

That's denying...the dust was WELL worth the effort (actually I worked mostly in the evenings, so I probably need another excuse for not dusting). Dust will always be there - the Queen of the Nile waits for no one!
The rest of these vintage pieces of Egyptian Revival brass are on my radar for future projects - the second Cleo will become a bracelet for my favorite Mom, next (the Pharaoh is an old scarf slide).  Horrors! More dust!
As a long-time seamstress, bead embroidery is one of the things I most love to do with my quiet time - just an extension of my sewing.  I know I have a few who have been after me on just how to get started with something like this (if not a smaller project) - one in Canada that might be interested, and a couple of friends in MO, if I can drag them away from soldering long enough.  If I can create enough of a "spark" I might be persuaded to give up mopping too, and show you, step-by-step in an easy to follow tutorial, how you can do this too?!  Yes, you can!  It's amazing what you can do with some fishing line and a few beads...and I promise the dust isn't that bad!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

JUST MY CUP OF TEA and The Evolution of a Favorite...

My friend, Chris, is an incredible friend.  My friend, Chris, is an incredible artist (she also paints, and has a new cookie baking venture).  My friend, Chris, has discovered a love for beads and shiny baubles, and is turning it all into incredible jewelry.  My friend, Chris, is now sharing the love.
When she finished and posted this set recently, it lasted just until I spied it on her facebook post about 20 seconds later, and it now resides on my arm and neck.  It was just my "cup of tea".
The rhinestone pieces are vintage earrings, encased in glass and soldered impeccably (everything she does is well as incredible...Chris is also a painter).  Sari silk ribbons are tied onto both pieces, and those blue glass beads just sparkle and shine, like all get-out. 
She has a new facebook page HERE (just click, like Dorothy in Oz) where most of her work shows up, as it's finished.  You can also find her on her blog at  The Antique Pallet; and The Antique Pallet.Etsy has a few of her pieces that actually made it into the shop before being swooped up.
And now, the evolution of something that I am sure is going to become a favorite piece.  I started this a few months back and, not having time or the creative inclination to finish it at that point, it was put aside until a few evenings this past week.  Definitely a work in progress, with more photos to follow...
An old brass piece (with a bit of a "ginger brass" patina) of a beautiful Egyptian woman, 2-1/4" tall.  I am assuming she is probably Cleopatra, but will be researching her further, based on the headdress.  Malachite (a favorite among the Ancient Egyptians) stones set on either side of her, surrounded by seed beads, glass Czech Fire Polish beads, and glass Eye of Providence/Eye of Horus beads (and they laughed at me when I purchased them at a bead show a few years back, not knowing what I would do with them, but knowing I needed them).
This will be transformed into a 2" cuff bracelet, when all is said and done...a few more evenings of beading to stay awake while watching movies, and I just might have a new favorite.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A BUZZ IN THE AIR - Double Dutch at the Bellagio Conservatory - Spring 2012

A HUGE buzz, as a matter of fact...
Easter weekend brought about a change in the air at the Bellagio Hotel/Casino Conservatory - the new Spring 2012 display.  Spring flowers as far as the eye could see...8,283 flowers, as a matter of fact.  Tulips, Hydrangeas, Poppies, Daffodils, Lilies...add to that a full-sized windmill, OVERsized Dutch wooden shoes, a gorgeous carousel, large "umbrella flowers", and beautiful, gigantic bumblebees - everyone was ABUZZ!

A bed of Poppies that would have made the Wicked Witch of the East proud...
I do think that the upper right photo of ruffled edge Tulips, before blooming, are slightly reminiscent of the carnivorous Audrey from "Little Shop of Horrors"...
A chocolate waterfall, and it could have almost been Wonkaland...

All this splendor will be on display through May 13 - did I mention FREE? It IS, and not to be missed if you're out Vegas way...we're not all sand and slot machines.  Happy Spring!

Monday, April 9, 2012


As promised, more shots from the Year of the Dragon Botanical Display at the Bellagio, this past month.  These flowers are maintained and changed out on a daily basis (stock coming from the huge on-site greenhouse), as they wither and turn brown. They changed out this entire display just about a week ago, and my daughter and I drove down and took in the new one, yesterday.  Spring at the Bellagio has brought gorgeous tulips, a large windmill, and huge wooden shoes - pictures to follow in a few days.  For now, enjoy the rest of the lovely Chinese New Year display...

Above the 18-foot ceiling of the hotel registration lobby is a coffer filled with the most extraordinary glass sculpture, a chandelier called Fiori di Como by glass sculptor Dale Chihuly.  This stunning piece is comprised of 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms.  The red lantern and fan displays sat behind the registration desk.

No attention to detail has been overlooked at this fabulous attraction...from the gorgeous hand painted bouquets gracing the ceiling above the chandeliers in the hallway leading from the Conservatory, to the larger than life, equally fabulous poster in the window of the ritzy Omega store on my way out.

Saturday, April 7, 2012


While renowned for gambling establishments and pure, unadulterated decadance (ah, how we love our Sin City shenanigans), there are a few lovely, and inspiringly serene spots to be found right on the Las Vegas Strip, believe it or not.  One of those is nestled away inside of the beautiful Bellagio Hotel and Casino, famed for its spectacular Fountains of Bellagio that so many of you are familiar with from television commercials, if nothing else.
Inspired by the Lake Como resort of Bellagio in Italy, Bellagio is famed for its elegance.  The hotel also contains a Conservatory and SPECTACULAR Botanical Gardens…and it’s one of the totally free attractions in the city, leaving more cash in your pockets for the tables – win win!
There are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes, each and every year: Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter.  From January to mid-March, Chinese New Year is celebrated with a display dominated by gorgeous flowers (Bromeliads, Orchids, & Mandarin Oranges, to name a few), as well as the animal of that particular year that the Chinese Zodiac celebrates.
This year’s display featured six large fire-breathing dragons, two entwined in the center of the display; a large pond of beautiful Koi fish, huge pots of burning incense; and six delightful Chinese children statues, adorned in vibrant, floral clothing.  A second set of photos will follow in a few days…no more narrative, just enjoy the colors here...Happy Easter!