I created my first bead necklace in the late 1960s, entranced by seed beads, their colors, variety, glitter. I was hooked. To keep myself in beads I started selling long seed bead necklaces for a dollar or two. Then came semi-precious stones, Lucite, vintage glass, buttons. New York City's bead district became my second home. I added chains to my designs and spent hours on 47th Street, the diamond district. Store owners, passionate about the materials they carried, welcomed me.
Friends, family, business contacts, women on the street loved my jewelry. Where did I get my supplies? This led to my first book, the New York Guide to Craft Supplies, for Workman Publishing, followed by the New New York Guide to Craft Supplies. Publishers asked me for crafts books: The National Guide to Craft Supplies, Step by Step Beadcraft, The Sweater Book. I wrote craft articles for The New York Times and New York magazine, and designed sweaters for the Good Housekeeping Needlecraft Institute.
Then came non-fiction books and articles on many subjects, ranging fromThe Year in Music coffee table books to The Cancer Survivors, a study of alternative cancer therapies and will to live. Computer technology hooked me, and for decades I trained and supported large law firms during software changes. The need to create jewelry exploded again in 2001. One winter morning a cold necklace led me to add fiber as a jewelry material. For years I sold to private customers. Jewelry became a true business in 2015, when I made the leap to create my own website.
Arlene is the most amazing woman I know. My beloved sister. There is nobody like her. She is compassionate, generous, and always overflowing with love. Whenever I need support, her spiritual understanding and acceptance lift me up and I feel her embracing spirit as a shield and a shelter. The goodness of her soul is comfort beyond belief. Arla grounds me with her good sense, ability to focus, and practicality. In the past few years I have seen her overcome challenges that would have demolished anyone else, but she has come through them all with bravery, resolve, and remarkable tenacity. Never tell her that she's tough. She won't believe you.
I am so blessed that she is my sister, blessed that she believes in me totally, loves my jewelry, pushes me relentlessly. For years I said, "This year I will do my website." She rolled her eyes and persisted. At the end of 2015 a job was rescheduled at the last minute, conflicting with a long-planned jewelry party. For the first time ever, helped by Arlene's confidence in me, I decided to put my jewelry first.
My Champions hold a very special place in my heart and I want to thank them here. They are dear friends as well as customers and I've known many of them for decades. They have supported me and my work with purchases, introductions to other jewelry lovers, jewelry parties, shrewd and welcome advice. We have worked on custom designs together and they inspired me with ideas that pushed me beyond my comfort level. They wanted bigger stones, color combinations I never would have thought of, radical designs.
One sophisticated jewelry lover wanted a necklace she could wear with any of the different shades of red in her wardrobe. Can all those reds work together in one necklace? I hesitated. She persisted. She was right. The necklace is stunning. Another jewelry collector invariably led me to greater simplicity and design elegance. Other supporters organized joyful and successful jewelry parties for me.
This section is a tonic for me. Champions, you are the best. Seeing your gorgeous faces, radiant smiles, feeling your warmth and support for me and my work, lifts me to the skies. Thank you!
Always full of cheer, sparkle, and terrific ideas, persistently pushing me to this website, Alison is a sophisticated jewelry collector who appreciates subtleties of workmanship and the rhythm of a piece.
Alison loved my pouch of glowing natural coral nuggets. My original design was complex, combining the coral with other stones. She pictured the coral nuggets on a silver chain. I created a long sterling chain studded with the coral nuggets, each flanked by a small pearl. It's classic, understated, and gorgeous. You can see it in the photo, trying hard to be as radiant as Alison's smile.
Linda is a precious high school friend. I have had the privilege of knowing her longer than anyone on this page except Arlene. As Linda puts it, "Your friendship, incredible humor, and can-do spirit have been such a pleasure to have around me over the years … make that decades." The feeling is mutual.
A widely published maverick writer and editor, Linda's curiosity and enthusiasm lead her to subjects as varied as consumer goods, travel, beauty, art, architecture, and health. She has an uncanny sense of what will be hot tomorrow and writes with passion, wit and humor. Her skills and impeccable research have led to articles in magazines, newspapers and ezines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, New York magazine, Monocle and Afar.
Linda is a powerhouse of support for me. She loves the direction I'm taking with my career and has introduced me to photographers at just the right moment, reviewed my web site with an editor's eye - catching typos and asking perceptive questions, and is awed and humbled by my passion for and detailed knowledge about gemstones.
Jill is a well-known designer for a host of top crochet magazines, including Interweave Crochet, Crochet! Magazine, Annie’s, Crochetscene, and Love of Crochet. Look for her on Ravelry, where you can see her delectable patterns. Some are available in the original magazine issues; others can be downloaded. Check Custom Design for a couple of necklaces that Jill inspired.
That light-up-the-planet glow gleaming from this photo? It's pure Jill.
Diane possesses the world's greatest laugh and sense of humor. Ditto energy, joy, determination, strength, toughness, loyalty, generosity. She has been a great fan and supporter of my work since Day One!
Diane and I spent many giggly hours together on Amtrak, traveling to and from Boston on a major technology project. She would bring mouthwatering Diane-made food. I brought beads I thought she would like. We would eat and then we would play - designing, laying out, stringing, enjoying blissful moments of "Ooh! Ooh! How about we try this..."
Michele wanted a black necklace using emphatic stones. I found one strand of rainbow obsidian, not long enough for a necklace, so I combined the obsidian with pearls and gold fill beads for a simple, classic look.
Michele gave me a memorable jewelry party, overflowing with home-cooked food, super people, and lots of sales.
I would bring Linda many beautiful finished necklaces that she would order. I also showed off unusual stones. One day I had some spectacular Technicolor blue Peruvian Blue Opal nuggets. Eyes open wide, she gasped. I wanted to combine them with paler Peruvian blues, also lovely. Strong-minded Linda, known as the General, insisted on a necklace that was all vivid blue with touches of 14K. She was right. The necklace stops traffic.
In this photo she's wearing a piece we worked on together, a crocheted lariat in Blue Heron Rayon Metallic with sterling silver and lapis lazuli beads. The piece is beautiful, but what I see is Linda's warm, glowing smile.
Author, McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
To learn more about Carol's books, see Computer Accounting textbooks for QuickBooks Online ©2017, QuickBooks Desktop ©2002-2016, and Sage 50 (fomerly Peachtree) ©1994-2017
When I first met Carol in Jerome, Arizona, she was juggling college teaching with a burgeoning writing career, creating computer accounting textbooks for McGraw-Hill. Her persistence, dedication, practicality and brilliance made her writing career take off. She travels the country as a sought-after presenter at education conferences. If you attend one of her sessions you may find a piece of my jewelry around her neck.
Pat has been a longtime friend and collaborator during many support and training projects at a leading law firm. Everything Pat does shines with her rare combination of warmth and compassion, toughness and high level organizing and motivating skills. Her advice and positive energy are always practical, useful and encouraging. In November, 2015 she hosted a memorable jewelry party for me. She made sure it was impeccably organized and super fun. It was brilliantly successful as well.
Linda was the Systems Administrator I worked for on many software training projects. We communicated well, shared a lot of laughs, and became good friends. In addition to buying many finished pieces from me, Linda asked me to create several necklaces and earrings that she wanted in particular colors and styles. I contributed ideas and executed these concepts. Linda's creativity is dazzling. Her apartment is full of her paintings and she also designs beautiful interiors. Her impeccable, dramatic color sense has stretched my color combination vocabulary.
Janet answered all my technical questions when I developed documentation for a major software upgrade at her firm. She also loves a wide range of jewelry, including leather cords, delicate fibers, a wide range of materials. She shares my love of patterned semi-precious stones. She will tell me that she needs a fancy necklace for a party, or something casual in a certain color. I will design, send her photos or show them in person. I have created many beautiful pieces with Janet's input.
Fran creates out of this world accessories that resonate with color and originality. Their novelty enhances their beauty. I always feel honored when Fran is excited about something I have created.
I am grateful to so many people who have helped me establish my business and my website. Thank you all!
Janette Caldera at MA WebCenters has been my cherished lifeline throughout the creation of this website. I have worked with superb trainers and tech support staff since the early 90s, and I have never met anyone with Janette's knowledge, experience, professionalism, tenacity, patience, and unflagging good humor. She has answered questions, solved problems, rephrased and rethought explanations, created cheat sheets, escalated when necessary to get questions answered, and always guided me to the most efficient way to accomplish my goals. Thank you Janette!
Yes, peonies are my favorite flowers, particularly the gorgeous, early season whites, with the deep red/blue centers. Thank you 4Peonies, for selling these beautiful flowers and for allowing me to use this photo.