Sunday, July 28, 2013

Opening Night Gala at FIDM!

It was another wonderful event at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in downtown Los Angeles last night! As always the gala opening of the Museum's annual exhibit for the Television Academy's nominated costume display for the Emmy Awards was beautifully done and a great time was had by all.

Well, I got the stance right, but the sun was in my eyes!

Here are just a few images from this fabulous display:

Costumes from NBC's musical drama "SMASH"
Netflix's "HOUSE OF CARDS"

For more information on the Emmy Awards check out

And, if you have the chance to stop in and see these works of art for yourself be sure you don't miss the gorgeous display from their permanent collection of evening dresses from the 1920's that is there as well.

Little Black Dress from none other than Coco Chanel
Can you imagine wearing this? Stunning! 
This looks like something that would easily be worn today!

For more information on this terrific exhibit, check out FIDM's site at

Hope you've enjoyed this small sampling from this wonderful event. Congrats to the Academy and to FIDM!



Sunday, July 14, 2013

Unique LA Inspiration

Unique LA
This weekend there is a fabulous event happening in Santa Monica at the airport. In one of the airplane hangars there are locally handmade artisan items of all kinds on display for purchase and it is a feast for the senses.

I went with a girlfriend - of course! - and we had the best time ever. There was jewelry, purses, hats, scented candles, delicious food, shoes, scarves, home decor, and yes, even handcrafted spirits. With a terrific DJ spinning tunes and creativity everywhere you looked it was very inspiring. 

Here are links to just a sampling of all the wonderful vendors who were fantastic: 

Kyle Chan Design
JakiMac Accessories
Selina Vaughn Studios
LeRenard Totes
Soiyl Shoes
Presh Socks
Lumen Candle Co.
Home & accessories:

Rais Case Designs
Pooka Queen
Una Millinery

When I got home I had to make something and I felt inspired by the beautiful delicate necklaces I was seeing made with seeds beads and tiny faceted stones in a number of booths. So, Fifi has a couple of new necklaces to sport - at least for a little while... 
Gold & White Necklace
Gold & Midnight Blue Necklace
This month's charity is The Rescue Train, an animal rescue group that is a unique, non-profit, no-kill organization dedicated to eliminating animal suffering and euthanasia through hands-on rescue work, education and awareness. For more info, to donate directly, or to adopt a pet:

Much love! 


Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Little Necklace Love

Photo by ©2013 Chris Randall. All Rights Reserved.
It was a busy June making my Gatsby inspired necklaces and the responses have been terrific! I'm happy to say that 100% of the "sales" of these gems were all donated to Not for Sale - a charity organization that works to end human trafficking worldwide. 

My heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported this effort!

Much love, 


Saturday, June 15, 2013

Celebration & Some Sadness

 Last weekend our lovely neighbors of many years threw a big party for all their friends to finish up the emptying of their home. They have been having estate sales, and garage sales, and yard sales for months now to reduce their accumulation of (wonderful) stuff so that they can move to Houston and bid LA a fond farewell. I'm devastated and cannot wrap my mind around the fact that at this time next week they will not be here in our tight knit 2 building four plex community.

We are, of course, all of us in our circle of caring neighbors, so really sad to see them go. They have been our bedrock and the foundation of our community! But, as well, we are really happy for them because they are going back to a home town with lots of family and old friends and familiar places.

So here's my shout out:
You have given all of us so much and my husband and I are truly honored to be the recipients of a tremendously special piece of yours (among so many others too that you have so generously gifted us with!) that we will cherish for all the days of our lives.

WE LOVE YOU BOTH. We will miss you every day. Thank you so much for leaving us with some of your most treasured items, especially this incredibly beautiful antique vanity. 

It's been a privilege and it's been a gift to be a part of your lives for the last 14 years and because of the marvel of modern communication technology I know that we will remind friends over time and space for the rest of our lives! God bless and God speed you safely to your new home.

xoxo - "Coco"

Sunday, June 9, 2013

BeadPro, pt. 2 - A Beautiful Idea is Born

BeadPro creations at rest with hat block - just because ; )

I was going to create one of my "Gatsby" like necklaces and photograph the process using The BeadPro board that I got at Bohemian Crystal (downtown LA) a few weeks ago... but then I realized I should go to the source! Denise Stevens, the creator of this wonderful production tool has a YouTube video ( ) and a web site where you can see and read all about how it works ( )

Friends immediately responded to my Facebook posted photos of the first batch that I made from last weekend and five necklaces have already flown off of "Fifi" - my gorgeous mannequin - and into the hands of some very happy women.

"Fifi" my lovely model

So it got me to thinking... I'm going to be making these (and so many other things) no matter what. Why not give back to the world while doing what I love? There are so many worthy causes that do good and really need support. I've been searching my heart and I've decided that I'm going to "sell" the necklaces but all the profit will go to charity. Now I'm in the process of researching groups to pick the most effective of organizations to create a roster of non-profits that I will cycle through on a monthly basis.

It's hard to see my Beadalon wire going through the hank here,
but this is an attempt at showing the magic of the BeadPro.

First cause? It's not pretty but it is a cause that moves me to my core. Human trafficking seems to me to be one of the most horrible situations imaginable and so, as uncomfortable, gritty, and disturbing as it is, that is where I want to start.

Please watch this NOT FOR SALE video for more education on modern slavery:

If you have any recommendations about other great organizations who deal with this issue I would love to hear about them! July will be my official kick-off and all the "sales" from these necklaces will be rolled into the battling trafficking fund.

Thanks and lots of love - "Coco"

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Latest Find - BeadPro, part 1

The first few Gatsby inspired necklaces.
Even though I haven't seen Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, just seeing the billboards all over town has gotten me way into a Jazz Age kind of mood. So it was a happy coincidence that I happened to find myself in Bohemian Crystal downtown a few weekends ago and there was a demo going on for a great new tool - the BeadPro.

If you're like me you have an endless stash of seed beads that just keeps growing, while your time to use them seems to keep getting shorter and shorter. They always look so beautiful hanging there in their hanks glittering and tempting you to buy, but actually making them into necklaces is so labor intensive! Enter Denise...  She was doing the demo in the shop.

I stood there watching her from the sidelines pondering exactly how this BeadPro board worked for a while. When the light bulb over my head went on I immediately had to pick one up to take home. As I continued to look around the store I realized that I knew at least a couple of other people in my life that "needed" this too. Back to Denise, pick up two more boards.

Now, I'm still getting the hang of this great new production tool and I'm loving it more and more every time I use it.

The BeadPro at rest after a full day of creating.

But, unfortunately, I haven't got enough bandwidth this morning to do a full explanation of how it works, so this is just a visual introduction to this very cool new tool that will help you make that seed bead stash into the necklaces of your dreams in no time! (To purchase: )
So check back next week for a pictorial on how to use this fun and highly productive tool.

Close up on the beads...