Maximalist – 14 Long Boho Necklaces

JuanitaTortilla Maximalist Necklaces (1)

These are just a bunch of beads, but to me, this is an armful of memories. Each little bead comes with its own unique memory from all over the world.

I started playing with beads in 2004, collecting and hand-picking beads from my travels to India, Malaysia, and Nepal. Friends trickled into my life and contributed to this bead stash. There are beads in here that remind me of Michela, Sandra, Janet, Ann, Jess, Allison and Rachel, in chronological order, spanning the globe from Europe, the US and Australia. Thank you for your friendship and our shared memories.

It’s amazing how the brain tissue allows us to attach a sentiment or a small fleeting moment in life to an inanimate object as tiny as a bead.

On a lighter note, these beads have also been through cycles of beady projects, because I tend to get restless and love to repurpose. My entire bead stash is represented here on these 14 necklaces; no bead left behind!

#maximalist #maximalistnecklace #JuanitaTortilla


My Submissions to 6X6NW, Shoreline – Lake Forest Park Arts Council

A little adventure in repurposing a cardboard box for the Shoreline – Lake Forest Park fundraising art show, 6X6NW, proved more addictive than I’d expect. Who knew that holding a paintbrush would be my happy place?

This will be my first time participating in an art show.

These are the 10 pieces that I have selected to show. All pieces for 6X6NW are priced at $36 each.

[03] Down by the Riverside (4) [04] I Wake in the Morning (3)

[05] Pitching in with Great Glee (6) [06] She Laid an Egg (5)

[07] Mia's Mirth (5) [08] Wild Goburra's Rhyme (2)

[09] Pickle Dreams of Fish (6) [10] Patiently Pickle Waits (6)

[11] With Whisky in One Hand (5) [12] To Sing to You a Song (6)

About 6X6NW,


6X6NW is a unique community-based art exhibition. The show will feature over 700 works of art, all sized 6 x 6 inches.

Shoreline Community College
16101 Greenwood Ave North Bldg. 9000
Student Union Building
Shoreline, WA 98133

Tickets can be purchased here for $10 a ticket:

Gathering Trinkets in Concrete / Mosaic Session with Friends at The Adelaide Remakery


While decluttering and packing up for this impending move out of Australia, it occurred to me that I could (or should) compile all the little trinkets — cracked ceramic bowls from past travels and gifted jewellery — into a memento. A simple and useable object.


The lovely friends and crew of The Adelaide Remakery rallied together and organised a it’s-not-a-farewell party at their shop one evening.


It was as wild as a craft party could get: kitty cupcakes and lamingtons and chocolate-covered licorice were involved. I loaded most of my glass beads onto the tray of cement. They aren’t visible in these pictures as they all sank!


In a careless hurry, and in order to make it for the mover’s visit in a couple of days, I thought it would’ve been fine to take my wet tray home. Lesson learnt: Never transport a wet tray of cement.


Trying to salvage the situation, a late night of digging my claws into wet cement ensued. Half of the cement was lost (washed down the drain) as I picked out the hundreds of itty-bitty sunken beads.


The thin concrete block of pretty mosaic pieces looked promising the next morning.


But alas, the ridges at the bottom of the plastic tray made the concrete piece less solid than it looked. This effort crumbled into 500 pieces the moment I picked the tray up to set it into my packing box for the movers.

We shall re-visit this concrete mosaic the next time we are in Seattle!

Pickle and Her Old Crate

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So Long Adelaide, Hello Seattle

Packing our lives into boxes again (but now with a house to sell). We are relocating to #Seattle.

It’s that time again. Time to dust off this figurative old journal to document something of significance. But is anybody reading this?