The first thing I remember about Dona was when she beaded her Tom Cruise purse as a gift for Rosie O'Donnell. Soon after that Nancy of SuzaBeads (my local bead store until it closed)brought Dona to Sugar Land, Texas for classes. I think I took them all, or at least a good number. The kaleidoscope class was my favorite, although the dolls heads were a close second. Somehow, I couldn't see me in a necklace with heads dangling, so I thought of mine more as a mannequin than a doll. I gave the only other class project I finished, the beaded kaleidoscope, to a friend without taking a picture of it, but I still have five waiting to be adorned.
Dona's work was always innovative, colorful, and fun to work. She encouraged me to add my own interpretations to her designs, as well as to use my own colors. Classes with her were always a time to banter ideas and tips back and forth, to laugh a lot, and to participate in her joy of our craft.
We spent time this past weekend at the Shreveport Bead Retreat reliving some of our favorite moments with her and being thankful that we had crossed paths during her all-too-brief life.
Kris Self, a close friend of Dona's, was our bead supplier at the retreat. She had a large selection of Dona's patterns and also a good supply of the fork handles that feature in one of her last projects. So now I have those to add to the kaleidoscopes, the ceramic faces, the wooden balls, the metal pieces, and the beads from the peacock feather lariat! I could just feel her chuckle as I went up to buy one more set of handles.
Please visit Dona's site to see what all of these raw materials can metamorphose into someday.