Cone Shaped Mandrels & Beads

I have had these cone shaped mandrels for quite a while now. I was very excited when I got them. But my first, and later, second attempt were less than desirable, so I put them aside… There are a handful of bead artists that I admire, and one of them is Vickie Miller of Hipkitty Beads . Vickie makes the most wonderful beads, one style being cone shaped beads. I recently checked in on her blog, and I was yet, once again inspired to make a cone shaped bead. Here is my latest attempt, a Christmas tree – now, if only I could get the darn bead off the mandrel!, I would make myself a cute Christmas pendant:

Holiday Art Show

It’s time again for a new art show at the Redlands Art Association. The show theme is “Holiday”. Here are some of the pieces I will be submitting:


Christmas Beads

I finally got a chance to get on the torch yesterday. Here are some Christmassy beads; I call the gold ones Christmas Stars –  they are made with 24k gold leaf and gold dichroic glass encased in light amber glass. Aren’t they pretty?

The Old Alma Mater

We visited my old alma mater this weekend to see the Bruins/Trojans women’s volleyball game. It felt strange being there since I graduated nearly three decades ago – yikes! There were a lot of new buildings driving into campus through Westwood Village. I hardly recognized the engineering area since there were so many new buildings. But, there were of course the areas unchanged by time. I took some pics of Royce Hall and Powell Library:

Oh, UCLA lost in the 5th.

On Going Cross Stitch Project

Every year around this time, I think of my yet unfinished “Harvest” cross stitch project. When we first returned from Europe 20+ years ago, my sister was doing cross stitching. I’m always game for something new to me , so I dived right in. My husband was baffled and at a loss for words, since he couldn’t fathom how anyone could just sit there and make “x”s over and over again – I found it to be therapeutic. Anyway, the “Harvest” project is from designer Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum at Told In A Garden.  Here is my work in progress. I only have the area to the left to finish – one day…

This is how it should look when finished:

Fall And Persimmons

There are no other fruits that represent the fall season to me as persimmons do – well, pomegranates are a close second. My sweet elderly neighbor gave me a bunch of hachiyas. I have been figuring out the best way to ripen them: the “window sill method”, the “persimmons in a brown bag with a banana method”, and “the persimmons with cotton balls dunked in vodka method”:


So far, the window sill method is the most ineffective, but that may be since I have a patio overhang that limits direct sunlight. The banana method seems to be working. I am waiting on the vodka bunch. What will I do if/when they all ripen at the same time? I found a recipe for persimmon pudding I am itching to try. I can always freeze them too. Here are some photos from my young back grove. I have a fuyu and a hachiya tree. I planted them about five years ago, but the hachiya had a setback. I thought I lost it after the second year, but two little sprouts grew, and this year, it even bore fruit – three to be exact :-):


And here is my fuyu tree & fruits – they are sweet, crunchy, delicious, and best of all can be eaten right off the tree.


Harry Potter Anyone?

Wow, I am just getting too old for this:  A friend and I accompanied our daughters to the premiere showing of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at midnight. It was loud, crowded, hectic, and full of young energetic people with vocals to match. The movie was ok considering I hadn’t seen the last one or read the book.  I was waxing nostalgic of the days when we would take the boys to watch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – at least then, it was during the day, and I could usually sleep through a good part of it 🙂

Izannah Walker Workshop

It has been many many years since I last made a doll … But, I do still love them. In fact, my blog/business name “lutka” means “dolls” in my husbands native Croatian. I dabbled in making dolls and selling them under lutkaandco over twenty years ago – whew! how time flies. The name kind of stuck, and I use it to this day.  Oh, I am rambling on, I just wanted to share a neat on-line workshop I stumbled upon:  The Izannah Walker Workshop – Like I really need another project, but I couldn’t resist. My daughter and I have decided to do it together – it should be fun! Here are some photos of Izannah Walker dolls:


Oh, and I have listed a few more items in my Etsy store. Here are a couple of them:

My First Etsy Sale!

Well, life has been pretty busy lately. Between my daughter’s volleyball tryouts and getting ready for The Artists for a Cause show, I haven’t had much time to update my blog. Anyway, I just made my very first Etsy sale! And to commemorate the event :-), here is a picture of the package going to my very first Etsy customer – Thank you Shoshana!

Happy Halloween!!!

I have been having fun with my new Wacom Bamboo pen and pad. Yes, it does look like a kindergartner job:

And here is Koko’s alter ego. Red eyes and all 🙂 :

Autumn Color

A new show at the Redlands Art Association themed “Autumn Color” started today. Here are some of the pieces I am displaying:


I can’t seem to resist making more acorns:


And some “Wild Things”…


Working with Copper

I was inspired by the Sep/Oct/Nov Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine to make these earrings. I incorporated  tiny lampwork beads I made – didn’t they come out beautifully! It was fun working on them as copper is not my usual medium. I put a patina on the one to the right: