Las Vegas, get ready for us!

Come meet Mr. Froggie Grey in person! Yes, riding on the success of Shades of Grey, I have made a naughty frog...a black mask (just for drama!) and tiny handcuffs adorn his little body, which is settled comfortably on a dazzling, silver dicro bead! Would look great on a silver chain and a few sparkly crystals. How about that for a conversation piece!Froggie2 grey

As mentioned above, I’ll be in Las Vegas for the annual Glasscraft & Bead Expo taking place April 10th through the 12th. Remember the show closes early on Sunday, 3 pm, so be sure to get there early. See website for more details.

Just beyond Vegas, I’ll be at the Orange County Bead Society show at the Bower’s museum for one day only, April 25th. So if you can’t make it to Vegas, I hope to see you at Bower’s during the hours of 9 to 4pm. We’ll be in our usual spot on the lawn, under the tree. Lot’s of goodies this year including my new whale beads.

And if just shopping for beads isn’t enough, why not join me at Pacific Art Glass in May for classes on how to make fish (and other critter) beads! Basic bead making is required. Check out their website for more info.
Looking ahead to June, it’s my biggest jewelry show of the year, the SCUBA show on June 6th & 7th. Needless to say I am pretty busy the next few I better be going, the torch awaits!

Whale Fever!

I have always been a lover of the sea and everything that lives in it! (yes, even sharks!) And this past week has been no different, maybe even more for whales! This time of year the grey whales are migrating from Alaska to Mexico to mate and give birth. It happens every year...and their journey to and from takes them right along our coastline. For me, it is always exciting to see a whale, whether you are on a boat or from the land. But having humpback whales is not the norm around here, so I am taking FULL advantage of the opportunity! We have 3 humpbacks hanging out in the Redondo canyon bay, sometimes so close you can see them from the beach. But the real treat is going out on my paddle board and being right there with them! I have been out several times this past week and have seen them breach, wave with their big pectoral fin, “chomp” at the surface and lots of tail! It is incredible and I feel extremely lucky to have these moments with these magnificent creatures!
a chompy
This week has inspired me to make these beads which has been on my to-do list for years! They are a bit challenging due to the long skinny shape and all the details. I plan on making more, even some greys, which we have seen from the boat a few times. I am sharing a humpback fluke photo (above) taken by my friend Margaret Webb (amazing photographer, both above & below the surface!) last Sunday, which was the first day I went out on my SUP to see the whales up close. I love the ocean! I hope you like my new beads!

Happy 2015 New Year!

I know how I am...I post here every couple of months and say “wow, how time flies! I’ve been so busy!” Well, here it is, another few months has passed by and I have posted nothing. Where have I been? October was busy getting ready for a home show early November as well as preparing for our vacation. Our trip began in Waikiki where we tried to surf on SUP’s, which was LOTS of fun! We then spent a week on the Odyssey in Truk Lagoon diving the WWII wrecks which was even more fun! We wrapped things up on the island of Kosrae, where we dove among some of the beautiful hard corals we’ve ever seen.

SUP paradeparade2We go home and immediately had family visit for Thanksgiving, which was very pleasant and busy! Christmas decos went up, shopping began and cookies were on my mind.. I took part in the King Harbor boat and paddle parade for the 2nd time. And this year, I won a trophy for “Most Creative”. I have posted a photo of me on my board....the whole thing lit up! That was a fun night!

Our eldest kitty, Sebastian’s health had been failing during all of this. Unfortunately, we lost him the week before Christmas. It was very, very sad...he was a most handsome and awesome kitty. He is greatly missed.

Christmas came along and the rest of the Carlson kitty clan enjoyed more presents than ever! Orbit is seen here with his score! Mom stayed with us for a few days too. So it was a very busy holiday season.
dolphin nk
We move on to another new year. A big change for me this year...I will not be doing the Tucson Best Bead Show this year. There are just too many shows in Tucson and it’s diluting the customer traffic. My next show will be the Las Vegas Glass Craft April 10th - 12th at the South Point Hotel. Seems so far away, but between making lots of new beads and a few home projects, I know it will be here fast. Wishing you a very happy new year and I hope to see you at one of my shows.

September in Sunny So Cal

I have finally come up for air! No, I have not been diving, but in deep with house projects. But I am beginning to breath again as I slowly un-pack the last few boxes. We re-did our floors, going from carpet to a beautiful dark hardwood and what a difference it makes. The cats are not quite sure how to begin running from a standing still position....not sure they will ever figure that out. AND it has been HOT too. We are lucky to live close to the ocean (temps are typically lower) because the inland areas were in the triple digits. But it’s been cooling off and today is a gorgeous almost autumn day...pleasantly warm with a nice cool breeze.

Needless to say, with all that has been going on in the house, I have not been on my torch in some time. I can’t wait to get back out there as the ideas swirl through my head. I do not have any more shows for the year due to other projects going on this year. I will still be making beads & jewelry and I will try to get a few things listed on my etsy page so there will be goodies for your holiday shopping. And always feel free to email me with any questions or requests.

If you are interested in a witchy-poo frog for Halloween, email me asap!

Nikki tries to stay cool on a warm day...

Back from the Gathering!

For those of you who are not familiar with the Gathering, it is a 4 day conference put on by the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers). The conference moves around the US each year and this year it was held in Houston, TX. Yep, nice and humid. But we didn't care, we were indoors most of the time watching presentations, demos and of course, the one day bead bazaar. This is THE most prestigious bead show in the world! Glass bead makers from around the world attend this show and there is nothing but glass beads! This year I decided not to have a booth (more goodies for San Diego!) It was wonderful as I finally had the chance to walk around and gawk at everyone else's amazing work. I just returned last night and haven't had a chance to fire up the torch, but my head is spinning with ideas. I am hoping ot have some newly inspired items for the San Diego Bead Society Bead Bazaar on August 2nd & 3rd. I did get this cute little snorkel frog made up before the conference. He will be making his debut in San Diego....unless he gets scooped up here first! Click HERE for a $2 off the $5 admission price. See you in San Diego!

Oh when the shark bites...OW! what to do now?

Well, I went and made shark beads! I’m sure you all have heard by now that a juvenile great white shark bit a man in Manhattan Beach last weekend. If not, you can read more HERE. I was actually on my paddle board, on the ocean, at the time of the incident, but several miles south. Like most people, I feel sorry for the shark...and of course, the guy who got bit. It wasn’t his fault at all. I throw blame at the fisherman and how he handled the situation. But that’s all I’m going to gets too close to politics to discuss here. BUT, I did go and make a few shark beads. Sharks are amazing, beautiful animals and it was fun to make 3 different species in one sitting. A hammer head, a black tip reef shark and my fav, the biggest fish in the sea, the gorgeous whale shark. These are all available....just send me an email at and I will respond with a paypal invoice.
What else is going on, you ask? Well, next week is the Gathering in Houston. Looking forward to seeing lots of bead buddies there and TONS of gorgeous beads! I will not be selling at the bead bazaar (but may have a few in my pocket) because I have my big San Diego Bead Society show on August 2nd & 3rd. And believe it or not, that is my LAST show of the year! Except for maybe a home show for the locals.

Roger and I are having some work done on the house and that will require my attention. However, I WILL still be making beads! Fortunatley my studio is in the garage and that is not being worked on. I have also been selling on a couple of the FaceBook pages. You will have to join the group, but you will have access to LOTS of pretty beads! Quick little auctions and Buy It Now opportunities. Check it out!
Artisan Lampwork Beads For Sale OR Lampwork Beads For Sale

I do wish I had all the time in the world to post all my beads here, but like most of us....too much to do. I will try my best to get more up here and on etsy, or FB pages. Feel free to email me with any bead questions. I always have a stock of beads and jewelry on hand and I’m happy to send photos.

Psssst! It's finally SCUBA time!

Join me and all my little fishy friends at the Long Beach SCUBA show this weekend, Saturday & Sunday. More info HERE!

NEW Frogs on Etsy!

You’ve been asking for it, so here are five frogs available now on Etsy! And, only 2 weeks left until the 2014 SCUBA Show in Long Beach! I am going to try (very hard) to get a few SCUBA frogs made for the show. I have been getting several requests, so I will see what I can do. Hope to see you soon, either at the show or in my Etsy shop!

It's May and it is hot, hot HOT!!

Here in Southern CA, a typical May is pleasant temperatures mixed with sun and fog. But it is now SO HOT! 90 today! And the wind is blowing, but the wind is hot too!
The weather sometimes dictates what I’m going to work on, so as you may have guessed, I have not been on the torch lately. But I have been inside where it’s cooler, working on new jewelry designs for the SCUBA show. I am always excited for this time of year. I love taking my beads and creating new styles of wearable art! The SCUBA show is my biggest finished jewelry show, so I get a lot put together this time of year. If you are a diver, this is the biggest SCUBA show on the west coast and it’s a really fun show. Check out the show details HERE. I will try to post a few more photos as I get more made.

My next show after the SCUBA show will be the San Diego Bead Society Bazaar on August 2nd & 3rd. I will be attending the Gathering, but will not have a booth, just going for fun! I hope to see you at one of my shows. Can’t make the shows but interested in my beads? Email any questions at