The Design Process : Using your favorite beads.

Yesterday , my design juices where flowing like never before and I decided to really exploit my creative skills. I needed a story, and I had a craving for a hefty necklace.

After stringing my African beads , I added these ancient silver links acquired as my “going away” present from my friend Leah.
I tried channeling her aesthetic because it is really clean and she is brilliant at layering components to create these luscious pieces (She has a great eye and great sources for wonderful ancient beads and components). Leah is the main designer of fantastical silver and gold components at NINA DESIGNS. I use many of Nina Designs components in all my designs.
After trying on the simple strand I had just finished stringing, I realized it made a great layering piece but it needed “Je ne sais quoi”. I knew I wanted a strong focal centerpiece and my story was incomplete so I wrote the following:

Those who know me well also know that I LOVE bats. I fell in love with them when I traveled throughout Bali, Indonesia. Bats are considered holy in Bali and their “drippings” are medicinal. I love how cute their faces are. Despite their scary appearance they are wonderful creatures that are remarkably human like.

I relate to bats because despite my “Scary” appearance, I am kind and seek to heal those around me. Additionally, I am most alive late at Night!

It became clear that the necklace would be one that could be worn at night; say to a concert or to a party so I decided to add some chain.

AHA! a tassel of chain (very me )! Then it all came to me, perfect time to resurrect my little Bat Netsuke bead presented to me a few years ago by Leah. I added some ancient glass beads and as a little inside joke, I added a little bead cap to the top of the bat’s head.Laying out my story

Making a tassel

Making a tassel

wirewrapping the tassel
Adding a bead cap and Roman Glass

Adding a bead cap and Roman Glass

Viola! Here’s my Netsuke Tassel Fantastical Necklace. Now I need to figure out how to attach a clasp to the silk string I am using. For now a super tight knot will do , any suggestions?
I need a hand please

I need a hand please



Filed under How Jewelery is made

My New Home in Seattle

On February 2010, my boyfriend was offered a job at Amazon Seattle. As a software engineer, this was an awesome opportunity so we decided to make Seattle our new home. March 31 , 2010 was my last day in Oakland, CA and it was a sad day indeed. On April 2, 2010, I drove up to Seattle . Tired and hungry, I arrived to Capitol Hill and to an adorable big yellow house! Immediately
, we unloaded a car full of my beads and  two kitties. My wonderful brother,who helped me do the ten hour drive, confirmed the loveliness of this neighborhood which I now call home!  It took me five days to decorate and organize a plethora of funky old stuff hauled from Oakland to Seattle! Here is our little home.

Painting of a Coffee Bean Goddess by Tony Machado

Makeshift - Bookcase and Sofa table squeezed into a nook . Our place is too small to fit all our furniture.

Trees! My view while I post Etsy stuff!

Bedroom Wall -A nice little arrangement of my favorite black and white pictures and artwork.

Cabinet of Curiosities AKA Liquor cabinet - My kitties fight for this corner.

"New" Persian Rug : Just a little something I aquired from my brother JR. He is now a Rug Dealer's apprentice and scored this beauty for my Birthday!

Our "New" Teal leather couch. A local used furniture store in Capito Hill supplied this cutie!

My new "beading" corner! Time to make some stuff!!!!


Filed under Home Decor

Fall Pasta A’ La Chez Panisse

farmers market 004This Saturday my boyfriend Andrew and I went to the Grand Lake Farmers Market in Oakland, California once again (a favorite Saturday ritual of mine).  A recent purchase of a used “ Chez Panisse Pasta, Pizza and Calzone” recipe book by Alice Waters that I bought at the local used furniture store inspired yet another “Yolanda and Drew cook off  duel” .

We love Alice Waters’ recipes because they are simple and down to earth. If you like French or Italian country style – her recipes require only a few ingredients often found in your pantry. farmers market 008 In other words, you don’t have to drive to end of the world to find that esoteric spice or vegetable to make a delicious and unique dish.  The big plus is that her dishes are vegetable heavy (I’m a Veggie) and she encourages seasonal cooking. Her book inspires us to shop at the local farmers market down the street which usually carries seasonal produce and gives me the opportunity to cook with a vegetable new to me. For example, I have never cooked fresh artichokes and my new fall pasta dish calls for it so this gives me the opportunity to face a nice challenge.

With an Alice Waters dish, you can never “mess up” trust me, that is why I lover her. Besides, I LOVE her aesthetics just take a look at her website for her Chez Panisse  restaurant and you’ll know what I mean.

In conclusion, I made the artichoke hearts, prosciutto and fettuccine dish and I substituted the mushrooms for the prosciutto and it was light and market 005

farmers market 014This dish and the adventure in making it got me thinking of how the farmers market reminds me of when I was a child visiting my Granny Margarita in Cuernavaca, Morelos Mexico. She used to drag me to the market to pick up cheese, sour cream, meat, nuts, and produce. She would buy me corn on the cob with lemon and chili, or a seasonal fruit treat.Mexican Market - Mexican MarketMexican Market

As I write this I realize that I have to praise the local farmers and our local chefs even though I have to forgo going to the movies or other costly attractions in order to afford good organic and local foods that will feed me throughout the week! Where you live, do you recommend a local restaurant or do you have a favorite recipe book? Do you know your local Chefs? What do you sacrifice for good food?farmers market 003

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Filed under Epicure

Elsie de Wolfe – First American Decorator

This is Elsie de Wolfe – I just bought her Book, “the House in Good Taste” 1913. She was America’s first professional Interior Designer and I am fascinated by her aesthetic. She emulated Old World homes and Castles and brought a sense of Regality to Hollywood and the rest of the U.S. Not only was her work elegant and beautiful but it was amusing and a bit eccentric, going beyond the conventions of her time. She was always well groomed and her style was very feminine but avant garde. Elise did yoga everyday and lived beautifully into her mid- eighties. I had only heard of her because Anais Nin names her on a couple of occasions in her diaries and whilst reading other early works on Home Decor and good tastes of a by-gone era,  I hunted her down and here we are obsessed again.

Elsie de Wolfe

America's fisrt Interior Decorator

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Flappery disaster – Cleaning of the closet / cabinet de toilette

This morning drinking Coffee and reading the New Yorker, an article about Kelly Wearstler birthed a fascination for Elsie de wolfe. Pumpkin pie and a lukewarm beverage in hand, I scrolled through the pages of her book , The House in Good Taste, The Century Company, 1913. Elsie mentions the necessity of a personal closet or a “Cabinet de Toilette”.

I am lucky enough to have a walking closet so I attempted to organize it as such. She implores clean white walls and simplicty. Instead, I recomend color and an assortment of all the things that inspire you. I immediately placed hooks everywhere and hung my plethora of necklaces and scarves. I dug out an old miniture armoire and turned it into a jewelry display. I hung pictures of flappers and stashed journals and a 1920’s book on flappery stuff under my mirror. Lastly, I junked all things gross: old ugly “loungy comfy clothes”, christmas gifts that never fit, and once too cute shoes that have gone aray!  From under all my mess, out came my flapper dress, my cloche, and more eccentricities to treasure! Hurray, I now have a boudoir where I can prepare for a flappery night.


Filed under Home Decore

Edgar Allan Poe – How an artist compromises with the “economy”

In the latest edition of the New Yorker April 27, 2009, there is a fascinating article about Poe

Edgar Allan Poe and the Economy of Horror.

by Jill Lepore

This is a great example of the artists negotiating economical crisis and art, all the while inventing new arenas for futures artists!  Check it out here:

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Filed under Literature and Art, Uncategorized