Sue wearing her little cactus glass earrings!

I have long had a love affair with beads and fancy colors and styles of glass. It has been a dream to learn (or at least try) glassmaking since I was a young girl and saw people working glass in a blowing demonstration at a Renaissance Fair. I was mesmerized and stunned at the fragile beauty of the amazing pieces they would turn out in-front of gazing spectators every day.

You can imagine though, glass blowing is not an easily picked-up hobby. It’s generally not something you can learn how to do at your home, or just by reading a book, and instructors and facilities are not always available in your immediate area. So when I saw that the Mesa Art Center not only had ongoing glass classes, but instructors in a variety of techniques – I knew I had to at least TRY IT, right?!

It’s been a few months, and I am loving Torchwork/Lampwork bead making. Here is a very quick video of me making a bead to put in the kiln. Its a timelapse, that probably took about 20 min in real time, and I didn’t do a great job of showing the end product, but if you scroll to the bottom, there’s a few pictures of what I’ve been able to produce (that both look like something AND survived without cracking.)

While I still have a LOT to learn, this new journey is sparking the inspirational creative juices, and I hope to be producing some really beautiful components in the years ahead.

I made these fun cactus earrings for my friends and family holiday gifts. They are all so unique and different, this gave me an opportunity to practice making consistent size and shape elements, playing with frit, and embellishing. There are saguaro cacti all around me in AZ, so I wanted to send a little desert love to everyone!

One of my favorite parts of working with glass is seeing how the colors come out after the annealing process (kiln cooling). Sometimes it is hard to see the color and intricate details while the glass is hot. I try to take copious notes on what was mixed together so I make matching beads when something actually stays in tact! Glass is fickle. Air bubbles, temperature changes, and of course – GRAVITY – are all plotting against me!

Interested in lampwork beads and art-glass?! Stay tuned to see what’s next!

Sue goes to Honolulu!

Ahhh!!! The bead shows are starting to show up in public again and I, for one, am ready to play with others!!

If you have never been to a bead show, there are three thing you must know:

1) One can never have “too many” beads

2) There are so many shades to pick from, you simply must get one of each.

3) Don’t worry, you will get to all these projects “eventually”

With that in mind, load up the wallet and set forth on your shopping adventure!

This year, I decided to get back into the bead show arena in style! Adventuring to my favorite state in the union and taking part in the Whole Bead Show in Honolulu Hawaii!!!

The Whole Bead Show(s) are put on by Ava Motherwell and happen all over the country throughout the year. They are a great showcase of both local and traveling vendors, artisans, and sometimes instructors in the bead realm.

So, my family “slummed it” on Oahu while I toiled away at the convention center selling beads and hanging with my peep’s! (We all have to make sacrifices, right?) It was a trip to remember and a great way to reacquaint ones-self with the bead marketplace.

Hope to be coming out to your area in the years ahead!

The Old Dog is Learning New Tricks!

A few months ago I enrolled in a flame-throwing class at the Mesa Art Center in Mesa, AZ. First of all, I have to say WOW! This is one of the coolest places, ever! The level of talent and available instructors there is amazing – we are very fortunate to have this in our community. I’ve been working with instructor JeriLyn Alderman of @FireChilde Glass Studio who is a glass-goddess of the highest degree. She makes these glass galaxy marbles (HUGE FREAKIN MARBLES) that are stunningly gorgeous! You could literally gaze into them for hours on end.

Seriously, aren’t her balls amazing?!?!?!

Anyway, I’ve been plugging along learning how to melt and manipulate hot molten glass, burn myself, shoot glass across a room and occasionally I make something that actually looks like it was on purpose. I’m glad she is patient because I seem to over estimate my abilities quite often. She is encouraging – “You will get there with more practice” – I hope she doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon, because this may take a while.

I love working with the torch and am starting to get a hang of making pendants and cabochons from Borosilicate (hard) Glass. I especially enjoy making swirls and using dichroic glass to add a little shimmer. Glass colors are so fun and unusual to work with, and you are never quite sure what it is going to look like until you get it out of the kiln. (Which totally adds to the suspense!)

When I signed up for the class I did not understand the differences in types of glass and how they are worked. I was bummed that I got into a hard glass class because I really wanted to learn to make beads. BUT – it turned out to be a happy accident in that Boro is a little more forgiving material and my pendants and cabochons are starting to really take shape and be more consistent. I was even able to utilize a floral-implosion cab in the bead embroidery piece in the middle.

The new class session has started and I am in a soda-lime (soft) glass class that will be about bead making. As you can see, my very first beads were at lease useable (pic on right) though very wonky. I am looking forward to learning more about and developing my glass skills. Working in the studio with other creative people has give me a boost too! It is so much fun to be around other creative goof-balls and trying not to impale each other with hot shrapnel.

Dahlia Half-Cellini Lands in Europe!

It seems Ive had a run of good-luck across the pond lately, and it is such a wonderful feeling! The Dahlia Half-Cellini Necklace pattern is printed in the latest Bead &Jewellery Magazine (Issue 115) that has just hit shelves in Europe and at your local Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

The Dahlia Half-Cellini is a challenging piece that is not quite round and not quite flat either! This design is worked in flat peyote stitch, but because of the variety of bead sizes in the pattern it curls upward to form a half-round structure! Giving the overall look of a rope necklace, with only half the diameter. Best of all, the pattern is repeatable you are able to make the necklace as long as you like for best fit with your favorite outfit.

If you’d like to make one of your own, the full pattern is printed in the magazine and I have four (4) different color kits available in the ETSY shop!

Bead & Jewellery Issue 114

There is certainly no shortage of beaders and jewelry crafters who enjoy a good magazine but it seems our options are getting fewer by the day. Call me old fashioned, but I really like a crafting magazine. I like the paper, the advertisements, the show notices, and the oohing and ahhing over the delicious projects and ideas within the pages.

In the land of online media it seems our favorite publications are all disappearing. Everyone is looking at Pinterest, YouTube, and a variety of online video and pattern suppliers. That is all great and fun, but I have a head time learning that way. Maybe I am old-fashioned, LOL!

Cover of the Bead and Jewelry Magazine #114 from Spring 2022

One magazine I am really enjoying lately is Bead & Jewellery that comes out of the UK. This is a great publication that has a larger print format, great articles and interviews with artists, and a real variety of beadwork and jewelry techniques that aren’t all the same looking. This mag is also available at your local Barnes & Noble Booksellers, which is where I first saw them long before becoming a contributing designer.

While the subscription cost may seem a little on the high side, its important to note that this magazine comes out with these great large format booklets EIGHT (8) times a year! So it is really about $9 per issue, and a great value overall (and they usually have some type of new subscriber gift that is nice too!

This Spring’s latest issue (#114) was a real surprise and total honor to be included in not 1, but 3 sections!!! The magazine showed off our fun Beading is Contagious COVID Molecule project – sale of kits and patterns help to support my local food-bank, and my NEW Faux Cellini beading Pattern, but also a fun interview about my process and inspiration! I was like WOAH! I feel like such a celebrity! LOL!!!

I hope you will take a look at my new projects and this great magazine publisher for all of the other beautiful designers they discover around the world. It’s not everyday you get to see your face in print, and I feel so honored to be included with the world class designers that grace their pages. In a world where print media is harder to come by, it feels great to be recognized in this way and I hope others still enjoy the hard-copy printed magazines as much as I do.

Advanced Twisted Herringbone Design with variety of seed beads sizes

Captured Pearls Published in BEADWORK Magazine!

Beginner Friendly Netting Pattern CAPTURED PEARLS!

Learn to make these light weight and versatile earrings even if you are a beginning beader! So unique and sparkly, this same is a real unique pattern and full of flexibility.

For a more casual look, skip the pearl and mount the net facing backwards, for an equally lovely design! The options are endless!

SPRING 2021 Issue of BEADWORK magazine

shows all the sides to Captured Pearl Earrings!

My first design published overseas!

This past year has been really tricky to not only stay in business, stay encouraged, and keep creating. The obvious challenges on not being able to hold conventions, teach in person classes, and participate in art shows has left me rather “un-inspired”. For many, beading is a creative outlet and our own personal therapy. Playing with colors, creating new and intricate shapes, and interacting with others is a big part of the creative process.

When the Bead & Button Show and Bead and Button Magazine announced bankruptcy, many of us were discouraged and even a bit depressed at the loss of this great publication and annual event that bring so many of us together for the love and camaraderie in beading.

@BeadandJewellery Magazine out of the UK accepted one of my designs for publication just in time! Designing is a process for me. I like to create projects that hone in on a specific bead-stitch and then add in a few variables so the beader gets a nice wearable piece AND learns something about tension, direction, and technique.

LOCHS OF LUCK is a great beginner friendly pendant and earring set. The brick-stitch rope is a bit more advanced, but a beader with brick stitch experience or who has completed a few projects on their own will be able to work it without much trouble. I like that the project uses seed beads and crystals that are usually in nay crafters stash and easy to find at most craft shops. This is important to me. In an era when shopping isn’t easy, shops are closed, and shopping online can be difficult – I try very hard to create projects with easy to find materials that many beaders will have on hand.

Image of the Lochs of Luck Necklace


A beginner friendly pendant and earring set. The brick-stitch rope is a bit more advanced, but a beader with brick stitch experience or who has completed a few projects on their own will be able to work it without much trouble. I like that the project uses seed beads and crystals that are usually in nay crafters stash and easy to find at most craft shops. This is important to me. In an era when shopping isn’t easy, shops are closed, and shopping online can be difficult – I try very hard to create projects with easy to find materials that many beaders will have on hand.

Classes available at

Bead and Jewellery Magazine Issue #106 - where my international story starts!
Issue #106 February 2021

Bead and Jewellery Magazine has a beautiful large format layout, with easy to follow instructions for many types of bead techniques. I love that they have so many ideas in every issue, for seed beads, shaped beads, kumi, polymer, leather and more. There’s something for everyone and great for those of us who enjoy multiple types of bead and jewelry making . Best of all, they put out 8 issues a year! There is never seems to be a lull between issues. You will also enjoy the many resources they provide, from apps, websites, and YouTube videos to books and shops carrying specialty items we drool over. You can find them at Barnes & Noble Bookstores or subscribe at

I hope you enjoy this project and give Bead & Jewellery a try. I will be holding classes for this project from February – May 2021. Take a look at for current listings and details.

Lochs of Luck by Arcabeadies Designs

Buttercup Wins an Award!

So excited that the adorable Buttercup has won an Honorable Mention in the Jewelry, Bead, and Gem Arts competition by Interweave!

Buttercup was my first non-jewelry competition piece, and my first award! Someone asked me how long it took to make, and I totally laughed. You mean I’m supposed to keep track?!?! I worked on her pretty exclusively for 3 months, but the number of hours are somewhere in the “ridiculous” category. Let’s just say – she was worth it. Buttercup sits proudly on my fireplace mantle in the living room and will always be a reminder that stepping outside the box is a risk worth taking.

Galactic Pearls Published in BEADWORK magazine!

BEADWORK magazine is a great resource for beaders of all skill levels. This magazine helps to highlight our craft, provide resources for supplies and features artist and designers from all over the world.

It is such an honor to have my work shown here! For one thing, there are very few periodical beading resources that highlight so many styles and original works. I love reading about bead history, how artisans got “inspired” and fell in love with beadwork, and about the general uses of beadwork all over the world. There are such beautiful pieces of art, traditional ceremonies where beads play a key role, and unusual materials that can be used to form beads in this new and “recycled” environment. Every issue is a learning about these tiny little bits that have me totally addicted to creating!

Thank you Beadwork magazine!