Sunday, April 20, 2008

Book Reviews

I often get asked for book recommendations. Occasionally I write a book review. In February or March I wrote about Marie Le Sueur's book on micro macrame (posted in the news section on the online jewels in fiber store).

One of my website visitor wrote me upset about her purchase based on my recommendation, feeling she had wasted $45.00. I offered to trade with her. Several days later I got her copy, she got a package of supplies as trade, and one of my student asked me about books, saw it and took it off my hand, really happy not to have to order it. So problem solved, right...

Others have emailed me pictures of pieces they have made based on the book. Here is a copy of an email I got:

Marie le Sueur’s book Micro-macrame de la dentelle aux bijoux is beautifully illustrated with step-by-step instructions that inspired me to create a piece in her style immediately. I do not speak or read French but found most of the directions easy to follow because of the detailed, clear illustrations. My husband did translate a few steps that were confusing at first glance, but I think that with some trial and error even those would have worked out fine.

I did not follow any one project exactly because I have not been able to locate a source for the findings or crystal settings that she uses. But it is very easy to adapt the techniques to the stones and beads on hand. Notice on my bracelet that the end is longer than the ribbon end crimp but I could not find a longer one and wanted to wear it immediately so I used what was available. In the future I’ll use Marion’s techniques for starting and ending to avoid this problem or make my own findings; as I plan to do for this piece. Even with the not so perfect end, compliments are plentiful when it is worn! ~ Fran/Ohio

Feedjit Map

A Feedjit map was added to this blog and my websites. See it in the left column. It shows a world map and tracks the latest visitors on a map by red dots and if you click on the map, it will take you to larger map with little flags for the towns where the visitors are from and it shows the pages they visited. It adds a cookie to your visit to my sites, but the sites will function even if you refuse the cookies from Feedjit. The info they collect is general enough not be intrusive to your privacy. I find it fun as it illustrates the global reach of the internet. Please post your thoughts about the map!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Special Order

Occasionally I get a special order. A customer requests a piece for a special occasion or a specific dress...

In this instance, a very special customer needed jewelry for a Bar Mitzvah. She had found the dress, and we designed together this dramatic set for her special event.
Imagine this piece worn by a tall statuesque blond, in a long black dress with a very low back decolleté (and she speaks French as she is Parisian).

We also wanted this neckpiece to be wearable beyond this one occasion, thus the removable back tassel... making this piece more casual. The idea was to wear it in winter with a turtle neck sweater and black pants, and in summer with a dress or a light suit. The bracelet shown below completes this jewelry set.

Neckpiece and Earrings. Braided and knotted nylon thread, satin cord as the core for the braid, dyed coral and black onyx rings and toggles. Designed, handmade and © 2007 by Marion Hunziker-Larsen

Photography by George Post © 2008

The Bracelet

Bracelet (shown framed with the neckpiece braid). Knotted nylon thread, dyed coral, black onyx rings and toggle.

Designed, handmade and © 2007 by Marion Hunziker-Larsen

Photography by George Post © 2008

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

New Blog!

marion jewels in fiber has an official blog!!! It is just in its infancy... as I just set it up tonight. We will see how it evolves, tonight I posted some pictures, landscapes/cityscape mostly in a slide format from my trip to New England. I am waiting for additional pictures from the Lexington workshop before another posting regarding the workshop... More to come soon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Somedays are meant to be rescheduled. Tuesday, I started out the day with the best laid plans. Work on Cabochon projects... Then a friend of mine calls me with news of a common friend in the hospital awaiting major surgery. We decide to go do some Reiki work in person (hands-on healing), so everything else got put aside, for a little while.

I reflect later on on how lucky I am to have a flexible schedule!
My Wednesday morning, for example, are dedicated to a yoga group practice, but by now most of the group is also doing Reiki, so it is intermingled at times during the meditation with yoga.

Namaste, ~ Marion (I started yoga 22 years ago as a restorative practice)

On the Road to New England

Occasionally I leave my studio and go on a trip to show work or to teach.

After a number of emails with the workshop coordinator of Bead Designer International/Bead Society of New England, we were ready with a clear curriculum, manuals to be printed, bead kits to prepare and bags to be packed, supplies to be ordered and shipped to the workshop location and most importantly students signed up. In the meantime I had forgotten about Spring Break, taking time away from work, so of course I scrambled to prepare all the bead and pre-cut thread kits. Then I was off in the plane with 90 pounds of supplies and 8 pounds of personal stuff and a heavy carry-on. 5 boxes had already been shipped from various locations.

The trip to New England went amazingly well. The lecture about my personal journey as an artist went well, I believe. Public speaking used to make me very nervous. But several years ago, I decided that speaking about my work should be easy as no one else knew the subject better than I. Yoga centering and grounding techniques have been a great help as well...

A side trip by train took me to Portland, Maine, just in time for a last Spring snow fall. Downtown was deserted as everyone there was so sick of snow, but I had a great time waking around until my return back to the Boston area.

Back in the Boston area, the BDI coordinator took me on a short visit of Concord, MA. We spent some time walking around the Concord Greens with the Old North Bridge and the Minute Man sculpture memorialized by Emerson's words 'the shot heard around the world'. As a fairly new citizen of this land, I got touched by being there at the very spot were the revolution began more than 200 years ago. As we were ready to leave, after being the only visitors during our visit so far, a Minute Man in full regalia materialized for us (his umbrella gave him away).

We went to warm up at the Concord Library. What a spot, a jewel. It is about 200 years old, a grand place to spent time, and still a public library. If I lived in this area I would hang there... As we walked around: a young kid was sitting in an alcove in the stairs reading Star Wars, what a contrast!

Then out for diner at the old Colonial Inn, and the Minute Man was already sitting at the next table...

In the meantime, I understand better the colors of New England in winter or early spring. The land is buff, the tree truck gray bare of leaves, with a few dark green pine here and there. The sky is either grey or a gorgeous blue when the skies are clear. The shadows are completely different than the shadows in California or Europe... Back in California, the land is quite green right now in early spring, whereas it will be buff in summer when all the grasses dry off, and the shadows have a hint of purple here. The earth is really a beautiful precious jewel.