The birth of a new logo!

 It has been some time since I've journaled online, but if anything warrants an entry, it is the birth of a new logo, right? 

Since it was my grand-daughter, MacKenzie who drew the charming ruffle tailed black bird originally, it was only natural that she be the designer to update. 

This is what she came up with!


I love the new grown up blackbird! She's grown out her tail feathers and she has lots of curiosity for the world around her. And you know she loves those jewels.

 As usual, I have a hard time just saying good bye to something so it will be a slow integration..๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„ Baby black bird is not going too far away. 

How wonderfully talented is this young lady? She shines so bright I can see her from here.

Love you long time and forever MacKenzie Lillian. 


The art of the bead

Looking back post

My creative journey began many years ago. White walls and Crayolas, misted windows and fingers were my favorite materials to work with. I dabbled in pastel when my beloved grandmother gave me a small wooden box filled with skinny sticks of coloured chalk and a sketch pad.

I discovered the art of lampwork beads in early 2005 and fell head over heels in love.

Ask anyone who melts glass...it is a strong addiction that rapidly becomes an integral part of your life.

I began to sell loose beads to jewelry designers online and named my little business 'SweetWater' Designs as a tribute to my beloved Dad who we lost to cancer in 1995.

The year I turned 14 my father did something many people just think about doing. He left a secure 9-5 job and a house he'd built with his own sweat on the very lovely Vancouver Island to follow his lifelong dream of becoming a rancher.
Promising us adventure and lots of 'crunchy' snow, he packed up his family of 8 and moved us from our home to 2400 acres of pristine land on a remote northern corner of British Columbia, ~a land known for its Prairie, the Boreal Forest the Rocky Mountains and the mighty Peace River, one of the longest river systems in Canada.

I never did take to the crunchy snow.

There was an underground stream of crystal clear water that bubbled year round out of the earth and because of that Dad named his ranch, the 'SweetWater'. (He was an avid Louis L'Amour reader.)

My father was a constant encouragement to his children and I like to imagine that he continues to watch over and take pride in our accomplishments and adventures!

Dad..about 12 riding a [very tame] bull on their farm in Manitoba, Canada

Dad in his later years with his favorite riding horse, Carson. [named for Kit Carson]

I miss him still.

I am in the ever evolving process of learning this wonderful art called Lampwork or flamework and I still love every single minute of it.

the birth of a bead ..from raw glass in the form of a long rod, melted in the flame and then wrapped..rather like capturing liquid honey..onto a clay coated steel mandrel..gravity and design play...
.it is pure magic and unsung music
all in the form of a drip of glass frozen forever into a tiny work of art to be worn and treasured~

I've begun to add metals to the mix and my little studio is over flowing with solder, glass, hammers and torches..it's amazing and wonderful and I hope to be melting glass and creating jewelry well 
into my old lady years. :-)

My work is ever evolving and shifting.  I now design under my own name but there will always be a remnant of Sweetwater if you look.
 Those are my roots.

Beach combing in Ireland. Life is a bombardment of inspiration!

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Thank you for dropping by ๐Ÿ’™


Finding your style, as an artist.

Many years ago when I first began to create flame worked glass beads and jewelry I worried that as a new artist, I didn't have a 'style'. I could not yet show a body of work that when seen, someone might say 'oh, I know that artist!'  I did not yet have a collection of pieces with an identity or a discernible similarity in each piece. A cohesiveness.
I needn't have worried. I've since learned that acquiring a style of your own as an artist is a natural evolution.

I spent some of my growing up years on a ranch in the Upper Halfway area of the Peace country in British Columbia, Canada. I wasn't really crazy about being there at the time, yet there were things about it that I loved. 
We lived on 2400 acres of pristine land that sat next to the long and winding Halfway River.  There was a natural spring of water that bubbled ..happily, it seemed to me,  up out the ground on a hill above our house, even in the dead of winter! Like some great amazing life force.
Some days I would sneak away with my battery operated radio [have I mentioned that I am 100?] on the back of Brumbee..a gentle gelding who was happiest when his nose was pointed toward the barn. Until then, he could only muster a plod, or if he was feeling magnanimous, a [resentful] trot.
I would find a pretty spot, tie Brumbee to a close bush, and lay listening to the birds and the music on the transistor radio, watching the treetops move with the drifting clouds. Plotting and Day dreaming.

[My own] photo of the Peace River in northern British Columbia, Canada

The countryside in the wilds of British Columbia are compelling and beautiful. The colors of the earth are always changing. There is a distinct perfume to each of the seasons. The the new sap running through the birch in the Spring, the heady, sweet scent of fuchsia colored rose hips in the Summer, the slightly acrid smell of the decomposing undergrowth in the Fall.. and somewhere, always a faint smell of smoke hanging in the dense, icy air of Winter.
All of these elements have somehow carved their way into my bones and no matter how far I travel or how many years pass, they will forever be a part of me.

In time, the basic process of bead making became second nature and I found that as I relaxed my own unique style began to emerge.  The simple things that brought me joy began to show up in the jewelry. I used rods of glass in the same subdued earth colors you might find in nature..rich ochres, sage greens, the tender robin egg colored blues. I designed using texture and movement, petal and leaf curved line...always including a dark to play amidst the lights.

Deborah JLambson bracelet Sterling and Glass

While living in the Middle East, I took a small silversmithing class. The teacher is a master who has designed jewelry for some of the wealthiest Sheiks there in Qatar.  He told us stories of rooms built solely for the purpose of holding row upon row of cufflinks.
I enjoyed the class and began to take great satisfaction in the construction of my own organic style clasps that mimiced the curved petals that I love to design in the glass. The act of hand fabricating the closure lent another layer of crafting to each piece.  I love that added element, and recognize that learning to expand my skills in this way has helped to make my work even more recognizable.

As unique as your own fingerprint
In my opinion, it's not necessary to struggle with finding 'our style' as it lies within each of us as unique and as hard to abandon as our own fingerprint. As someone else recently pointed out, each of us has a style as unique as our own handwriting!
Our style is simply an outward expression of those things that interest us, bring a smile, perk our curiosity or add joy to our day. The struggle may be to freely and fearlessly express ourselves, without any editing. Once we learn to do that,  we'll quickly see our own unique fingerprint of work, identifiable and unmistakably yours.

Paul Coelho in the Alchemist says it this way,

" You will never be able to escape from your heart. So it is better to listen to what it has to say."


Thoughts from a privileged white woman

I grew up one of 6 kids, the daughter of a stay at home mother and my father who worked as a heavy duty mechanic. I realized somewhere in middle grade that we were not as well off as some of my friends were. That knowledge served to shape me at a young age, and so the term ‘privileged’ seemed to speak to someone else. Not me. 

When I was young I can remember reading an essay reprinted in some women’s magazine my mother had. The title was, ‘What it’s like to be Black’ That got my attention. I read it eagerly, curious about what the writer might have to tell me.. I’d never even met a Black person at that point in my life. I can’t recall much of what she wrote about, but I do remember her parting comment. 

At the end of her essay she wrote, ‘I look forward to a day when no well meaning white teacher will ask a person of color what it’s like to be Black. Then she asked this question that brought be up by my young proverbial bootstraps, She asked, ’What would you think if I asked you to write an essay on what it means to be White?’
For a small moment back then I think I almost got it.

Fast forward almost 5 decades and God help us, we are still standing in the same spot. White privileged, well meaning people are still struggling to understand. 
Who has a satisfactory answer on why racism exists? Nothing reasonable. I can’t begin to imagine what it might be like to be singled out for no act on my part except that my skin is a different color.  
When I first heard the phrase ‘Black lives matter.’ I was almost irritated, thinking how ridiculous is that..Well, of course. And also, ALL lives matter.  

I’m ashamed to say that I have ignored news stories like the young girl who was shot by a store owner because she ‘thought’ she was stealing orange juice. I turn away because, how can that be true? I think the story is embellished, made up in some way. Details changed by the media for incendiary effect. 
How is it possible to shoot another human in that way and not spend years behind bars? How is it possible for such inhumanity for NO valid reason. I have imagined that something there must be made up. 

I was wrong.

I feel there is nothing a white woman of privilege might offer a community that has suffered in these ways for too long. Anything that means Anything. All I have is that I believe you. I am trying to understand. I want to understand. 

Black lives matter.


Wrist love.

Personally, I love to layer bracelets..I like jangle. I don't know why it never occurred to me to offer this little layer of texture before but they're available now!

Organic leather wrist wraps in distressed grey/brown and at 22" these are long enough to wrap your wrist 3 times or just wear accompanying any pendant.

Buy singly at 18.00 US or for 9 with any other purchase.

Shown with my favorite bracelet

and with new listing..you can find it here

'Jetsam' was created with pieces left over from other work. Still, there is a cohesiveness. Lots of organic brass and sterling silver. A knotted leather loop drawing them to a close. One little square swarovski to bounce the light around. The brass & stone charm comes from the Bazaar in Istanbul. 

Uniquely feminine with lots of colorful energy ~❤︎ 


Buddah pendants for some positive vibes in your day..

Traipsing back and forth between Turkey and Texas has a few downsides. One of them being I'm having a hard time staying on task. The plan was to have my glass making studio in Turkey..churn out the glass beads and on the trips back to the home base in Texas, create and list online the jewelry. So while that's still a great plan..the making part in Turkey was not overly productive.  I'm easily distracted. It's true. 
Anyway..the yield was just a few long cigerello type of bead which became these lovely long swing jazzy budda style necklaces.. 

Also, by way of NEWS..I have opened my own shop..no Etsy, no Facebook. Check the link below. We shall see how this goes..

๐ŸŒบ Available pendants are here  ๐ŸŒบ

                                             ~๐ŸŒบ~ 75US each with free ship ~๐ŸŒบ~

Buddah pendants! Tiny stones are Black spinel, Aquamarine, African green Turquoise, and some red Jasper stone. Sterling hook clasp..all are a swinging 24 to 35" in length. More to come!

with Black Spinel [Sold]

with African green Turquoise SOLD

with Aquamarine SOLD

with red Jasper


Recycling...Glass beads from Olive bottle

Journal entry
our time in Israel ๐Ÿ’™ [from fall of 2010 to summer of 2014]

The olives in Israel are outstanding! Fat and Tart. Salty and sumptuous.

I was surprised to see so many groves in the Negev desert area! Thriving, lush groves.

Israel has become masterful at managing their water.

We do go through our share of olive oil here. The last bottle we emptied was particularly handsome. As I was about to discard, I had to consider what the beads might look like...


I wrapped the scrubbed bottle in a towel and smashed with a good heavy hammer. I got a few great shards. Washed and dried them and set them on my kiln to warm so that they would be easier to melt in the flame without too much shocking.

Turned on my oxygen concentrator and torch and proceeded to make a gather of glass on the bare end of my mandrel.

Pulled a nice fat stringer.. 

and wound some small beads with this very delicous green glass.

It seems to me the COE [Coefficient of Expansion or the rate of expansion] might be 90 or close to it, like pyrex..just because it's so stiff ~ but I make no assumptions.

I made little beads with this pure glass..no decorating or crushed glass added since the COE is unknown to me I don't want to mix the glasses and so take a chance of them cracking later..also..they sort of look like wee olives. Purity.

Kiln annealed as for boro glass.


What to make!


Hand fabricated Clasps

In frustration of never really finding a clasp for my work that seemed cohesive, I took a small silversmithing class while living in the Middle East..my teacher a master who has designed jewelry for some of the wealthiest Sheiks in Doha.  He told stories of rooms built solely for the purpose of holding rows and rows of cufflinks.

Shopping at the Souq while in Doha, Qatar:

I enjoyed the class and have been taking great satisfaction in constructing my own organic style clasps that mimic the curved petals that I love to design in the glass. Each are hand fabricated using mixed metals of sterling silver, copper or brass with a simple hook making them easy to do up. 
While these connectors are worked to be comfortable on your wrist, they are also rough hewn and earthen by design. I like to age them further with a patina so that they might look like they may have been buried somewhere for some time.
My makers mark the raven, is either stamped on the back or stamped on a small dot of sterling as a charm. 

These are highly organic and nature inspired..like the glass beads. They are hand forged of mixed metals.. copper and sterling and pure silver. Easy to do up by yourself and very much at one with the glass beads. ~❀

Below are examples of some of those clasps on my jewelry..while some have sold there are still one or two left til I'm back to work again!  xox


'Of the Heart'


Single strand Kingman Turquoise and floral flame worked glass beads

'Short Stories'