Spicy Marsala!

Yes the cousin of red and brown is Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2015. You can read Pantone Company’s announcement HERE

Marsala is an  interesting choice. It conjures up a tasty dinner on a cold winter night. It’s that color where you need something sophisticated to wear, yet not gold, bronze, silver, or the standard black. It works well with those colors also: a marsala tunic blouse with a gold or silver belt with a gray skirt-perfect for happy hour.

For beading, marsala is one of those colors we don’t often run to. I find myself working with tried and true color families, the blue, red, off-white, lighter browns, and the greens.  While organizing my stash, I came across some cubed delica beads in a bronze, very close to marsala. Hmm…another project for my 2015 list.


In other color news, if you need the perfect gift for the jewelry design artist in your life, RUN to your nearest bookstore (or order online from you know where, or just go to MargieDeeb.com) and get Margie Deeb’s latest: The Beader’s Guide to Jewelry Design (Lark Books).  Margie Deeb is an expert on color theory, and teaches classes around the United States.  She is also an art director, graphic designer and a musician. This book should be one on the must have list for the beader’s library.  I own her other book, The Beader’s Color Palette, and reference it regularly. (I also had the pleasure of taking a class a few years back. If you get the opportunity, take it.)

With the Design Guide, Ms. Deeb posted questions on social media and to her newsletter subscribers. Some of the responses appear in the book. Therefore, it has the feel of a cooperative effort. It also allowed folks to pose the questions/quanderies everyone has, but no one wanted to ask.

The book is set as a pathway. It begins with “Unity” and proceeds through topics such as “Balance”, “Shape”, “Color”  and concludes with “The Creative Journey”. Along the way there are challenges to help the designer understand the chapter and experiment.  I admit I have not finished the book (just getting to “Balance”) but it’s one where I know if I have to set it aside for a bit, or review, it’s okay. I’ll probably discover something new anyway. 🙂

2015 here we come! New color, new reference guide, new year!


I am donating 10% of all December sales from Pond’s Edge Designs to Feeding America.org.

Yes, Tanya Mercado and I will be on the air next Friday 12/19/14. Then off until after the holidays.

Be safe, happy, healthy and creative this season. See you next month!




Holloween is next week. What?! I’m not ready.  I’m looking  for July weather. What happened?

Yes, I admit that denial has set in. It feels summer went too quickly. My hope is winter goes just as fast. To cheer the mood, let’s talk color! For those who follow Pantone’s selections, the 2015 Color hasn’t been named yet. However, if you follow home decor trends, a Color Trend for 2015 is available–for a hefty price. (Visit http://www.pantone.com) for details. To learn how event planners and other interior designers track the trends, check out this article.

Out of curiosity I peeked at Benjamin Moore’s color of the year 2015 – It’s Guilford Green.  BMoore’s color trend guide is a flipbook that’s user friendly. (Take a look here.) Anothther interior color on this trend is Meditarranean Blue. I used Benjamin  Moore’s Chocolate in my studio (as trim color), and I love the no-fume formula.

The one factor regarding Fall I can appreciate is color. The trees go out in a blaze of red, yellow, orange and brown. The reeds near my house transform from green and black spears to almost pastel brown and white:

From green to off-white. A drastic change as the weather turns.

From green to off-white. A drastic change as the weather turns.

Speaking of brown, I challenged myself to use a brown color palette discovered via tumblr. A fellow TopGearist, proposed a color palette based on a scene (click on the photo to visit their blog):

Top Gear Color Palette

Top Gear Color Palette

At the NYC Whole Bead Show, I found several perfect beads/focals that fit. Leaning toward a bracelet. Also found some great ideas for another TG palette, based on the Burma/Myannamar special. Once it’s complete you will see it here first!


Happy New Year!

I’m not going to mention the cold. Not going to talk about the polar wave/swirl/express that roared into half of the United States. Nope, won’t complain about freezing my face waiting for the bus and asking “Is it March yet?”

Instead I will express gratitude for my warm home, quick home heating oil delivery, and the few breaks in between that allowed me to stock up for the next cold snap.

Is it March yet?

Speaking of Spring: Pantone announced their Color of the Year–Radiant Orchid. You can read about it here. It is a wondrous shade of purple, not too dark, and not very light either. Check it out:

From Pantone's website

From Pantone’s website

Have I created anything with this color? Hmm…this is is the family but not quite:

Purple power cufflnks

This is closer to the orchid–but not exact:

Much closer to the orchid tone, one of my classic earrings.

Much closer to the orchid tone, one of my classic earrings.

You can bet there will be more to come using this amazing shade. And when spring returns, it would be a travesty not to find any “radiant orchid”  in the gardens.

While we wait for the thaw, a few announcements:

Raise Your Glass with Tanya Mercado started 2014 with a hot topic: religious intolerance. Friday night’s show was hopping. Catch it in the archive: Raise Your Glass on NDBMedia

NDBMedia has a new up and coming star: Marc B. Lee – host of The Mark on NDBMedia His shows range from the Golden Globes, “The Walking Dead” viewing party, to cosplay, to celebrity chats. Pop over to his Facebook Page for the schedule.

Spring brings change- and it will be celebrated at MrsJaxShop&Sip on April 26 in Elmont NY. The theme is “Metamorphosis” and the charity supported is BASICs International. Tickets are $5.00. Click on flyer to purchase a ticket.


Color of The Year 2013

January 1, 2013

Pantone has announced their 2013 Color of the Year–and it’s a nice one:

Emerald Green

(Click the color to read the announcement.)

Yes, we’re off to see the Wizard.  The Pantone Company announcement explained,

“Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.”

I love working with this color. Interestingly, I have a soon-to-be-offered item with this color:

I just finished this a few weeks ago.

I just finished this a few weeks ago.

Time to dig into the stash and see what other emerald treasures I have.

2011 Year End Wrap Up

December 23, 2011

Well 2011 comes to an end. For some of us, it didn’t come soon enough, for others (like me) we weren’t ready for Spring to end.

So, let me wrap up the year by discussing a few things I discovered both in beading and life.

1. Color of the year: Tangerine. Actually it’s more of a deep orange/red. Can’t wait to do some more with this color.

2. Purchased Margie Deebs “How to Extract a Color Pallette” download. Very helpful guide for how to coordinate a color scheme without the “matchy matchy” feel.  Also got a sneak peek at her upcoming “coloring book” for jewelry artists.  THAT’s gonna be a hit fo sho’. 🙂

3. Purchased some wonderful finds from Singing Cat Studio, Bead My Love, SilverSilk, and the “Cabachon Man” at BeadFest this August. Here’s a piece for sale using SilverSilk and Singing Cat’s art:

Mixing it up, chain, SilverSilk and a beautiful pendant

4. Made a few new “Twitter” friends, including CraftOptics. I’m digging the magnifiers, that might be a New Year’s gift to myself. Can’t wait for BeadFest 2012.

5. Discovered BeadUnique Magazine is now Bead Design Studio. There’s new features, redesigned project pages and more. I love the new look!

6. Totally enjoying using Zibbet for my Mens/Home lines. Had a few sales right away, so it’s promising. And a special “shout out” to Dani Breitwork for tweeting my stuff. Thanks!

7. Personal stuff: Love my new position. Learning more about the business side of having a business while combining with health care experience.  Lost a good friend, but made/found some more.  Made it through a year at NDB Media, can’t believe the fun I’ve had so far. Woot woot!

As for resolutions, I have none. I don’t make them ’cause the end up broken. However, my quest to lose weight will continue. 🙂

Stay safe, stay fun, stay funky fresh.

See you in 2012!!



Welcome! It’s that time of year again. Pantone Corporation has announced their 2012 Color of the Year.  For 2011 it was pink/honeysuckle. The soft cousin in the red family stepped out in home decor and fashion all year long.

For 2012, it’s the hot, vibrant, dare I say “sexy” cousin of red:

Tango Tangerine

(Click on the color to visit Pantone’s website.)

Here’s a brief quote from the site:

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

It’s time to get out those “tangerine” beads you couldn’t figure out what to do with! Embroider a cuff with a dark background, string some with a light brown, or even a light green. Here’s a pair of earrings I worked up a few months back:

Guess I was ahead of the trend. 🙂

Get vibrant and sexy in 2012 with Pantone’s new Color of the Year.

My “back to school” days are over, so it’s “back to beading”.  This time ’round, let’s discuss experiments. We creative types are creative because we have a desire to try new things. Painters look for interesting subjects, or a twist on something they’re comfortable with. Writers keep their ears to the ground for that special bit of dialog and their eyes moving for that scene to spark the next story.

Beaders are no different. We look for interesting patterns, color palettes, textures to see if it can be translated with beads. Then to choose which method: peyote stitch? herringbone? embrodiery? Maybe it should just be strung: wire? cord? macrame?

Sometimes what works on paper doesn’t quite translate. For instance, I had a plan to create a needle holder. While reorganizing my BeadFest stash, I discovered a breath mint tin (no not Altoids(r) ) was the perfect size for my standard beading needles. Why not decorate one with beads? It would be a perfect addition to my home gift line.  After measuring and pondering over the little tin I decided to loom two swatches, adhere them to some ultrasuede squares, then glue to the tin.  Sounds simple, right?

Looming was the easy part. Using a bead mix that sat in my drawer I quickly whipped up the squares. The pattern came to me immediately.

One issue loom work and I have is finishing. For some reason, tying off ends and making them look pretty is not a strength. So I decided to not tie off since the swatch would be adhered to the ultra-suede.

Almost but not quite


Did I mention I barely passed geometry in high school? The ultra-suede is a little short. The pattern looks awesome, (love how the colors worked) but the ends need to be cleaned up somehow.  So back to the drawing board.

This isn’t the first “swing and a miss”. Last year was the wide cuff experiment. Again, created a hot loom pattern with a red based palette.

Pattern is hot, finishing is not.

Again, the finishing was not what I planned. I stitched the ultra-suede around the cuff, instead of using adhesive, so the underside didn’t look as clean.

Some experiments I break down and reassemble. Usually, the second go-round turns out better and it’s a go to offer for sale. Some, as with the cuff, won’t be. While I could reuse the materials, they serve as examples of what doesn’t work. Inspiration comes from flawed places too.


This is the year of the mobile office. I write this from BeadFest in Pennsylvania. This time I didn’t have the extra day as last year, so no class. Also, the venue changed. The Expo Center at Oaks was chosen due to construction at the old space (Valley Forge Convention Center).  But there was plenty of room for all the vendors. One nice feature – everything is on one level, much easier on the knees. The room map came in very handy.  I was a little disappointed however: some of the vendors I patronized last year didn’t return. You & Me Findings–I missed you! Really needed some of those magnetic 3-strand slide clasps. Chain Gallery—missed you too!

For the vendors I missed, I found others that did return: Bead My Love –that ultrasuede looks nice and funky, Singing Cat Studio–love my new pieces!

Discovered some new sources also: The Queens Beads, Unicorn Beads and a few others.

What’s impressed me the most is the kindness of strangers.

The hotel clerk that gave me a pack of AA batteries when the ones in my camera died.

Sue, the lady who was lost looking for the Expo building. She pulled up to me as I walked through the enormous Lowes/BJ’s parking lot and offered a ride. We found the center, she dropped me off at the entrance then went to find parking. I didn’t see her the rest of the day.

My fellow passenger in the shuttle on Friday: he was from the area, and provided a wealth of information on where to eat. Turns out his wife was attending BeadFest also.

The flirtatious and funny shuttle driver: adding to the fun of my only vacation for the year.

BeadFest can be–okay, is–overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. I never go into the venue without a list, a budget (and I always go over), good sneakers, and a good breakfast. My shopping list is first. BeadFest is where I collect most of my basic supplies for the year. Sometimes I can’t get everything. As with this year, some of the vendors weren’t here, so I have to source it elsewhere. After my main list, then the fun starts!

I look for reasonably priced, yet different items. Sometimes pendants speak to me. Sometimes cabachons/stones do, sometimes new wire and thread. This year all of the above I found. But I had a budget.

What did I get? I can’t say of course! You’ll have to stay tuned and see the new items as they’re ready. 😀

But here is a sneak peek:

The Hampton Inn at Oaks was the perfect place to stay. As promised, it was walking distance from the event. A long walk, but hey  I needed the workout.  The staff welcomed me, checked in to make sure my room was okay, and called tonight to make sure I had a good stay before I checked out. My room is bigger than my old apartment. King size bed, huge living/dining area (with kitchenette, full fridge, and dishwasher!), flat screen televisions.

Beautiful Downtown Oaks PA

All in all, another sucessful trip! Now to rest my tired legs. 😀

Hello hello! As mentioned earlier, I’m working on my first–and hopefully not last–mandala. A mandala is, in a nutshell, a beaded meditation. Usually it’s a geometric pattern in different colors. The beauty of a mandala is that it can be any pattern you wish.

In my case, I took a ceramic Buddha found at a show, and beaded an aura around it. The colors are lovely. Fortunately I had complimentary beads. They fit perfectly.

This is the beginning of the process:

This is the start of the project.

I felt the blue and green made the best foundation. Then the red was added.

Started the surrounding patterns

As you can see, smaller patterns will surround the larger one.

It’s been interesting. I’ve attempted other embroidered pieces, but this is the first one that’s come together as hoped.

In other news, my next radio show is Health Insurance 101-how to navigate the health insurance maze-scheduled for July 27 10pm Eastern on BlogTalk Radio. When the link is ready, I’ll post it here.

Color of The Year for 2011

December 26, 2010

Pantone has chosen its Color of the Year for 2011. It’s honeysuckle, or as I like to say, PINK!  Thank goodness, since we are experiencing a blizzard, I needed something bright and spring-like to focus on.

You can click the link above to read Pantone’s press release in full. Here are a few highlights:

Honeysuckle can go with black, gray, even brown.  Either a HS top with a dark pant or skirt, or a pop of color as an accessory.

For the home, HS can add vibrancy to a kitchen with table linens. Or as an accent color in an entryway.

I’m currently working on a necklace with the focal piece is a dark shade of HS. The plan is to accent with small gold beads and a gold clasp.

Stay warm and dry. Think PINK! 😀