Monday, November 24, 2014

New Video: Your Basic Bead Embroidery Sandwich

Check out my new YouTube video about how to construct a bead embroidery project. It covers the basic materials: beading surface, backing, reinforcement and findings. I hope you find this helpful, especially you beginners out there.

NOTE: To view this in a larger size, click the YouTube or 
Full Screen icons at the bottom of the video screen.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Bead Embroidery Live Webinar Tuesday, Nov. 25

Bead Embroidery: Techniques &
Inspiration from Mary Tafoya
Here's some exciting teaching news! Early next week, on Tuesday, November 25, I'll be presenting a webinar for Interweave Press on my favorite bead embroidery tips and tricks! We start at 11:00 a.m. my time (Mountain) and 1:00 p.m. EST.

Jennifer from Beading Daily and the other folks have done a great job with the registration page, bio and PR, so I'll just link to them below...

...but KEEP READING to get some top secret info (shhh!) down below, just for the readers of my foolish bloggishness.

Bead Embroidery: Techniques and Inspiration from Mary Tafoya -- Register here, or purchase the download (If you attend the live webinar, you also get the download! Plus you get to ask questions during the webinar.) Also a nice long description of everything we'll cover.

Meet ... Mary Tafoya (a quick interview at Beading Daily) Read this and decide. Ha!

Ok, dear readers, here's a sneak peek at what we'll cover:
Road Trip detail, glass beads,
sequins, mixed media
  • First, I'll show you a couple of basic bead embroidery stitches you can use to create just about any design you want. Then, when the shock wears off at how simple they are, we'll move on to some basic materials and how to stack them.
  • Next, I get to brainwash inundate persuade blather show you some examples of things like how to get your lines really straight, or not! And, what circles look like. No, seriously, you'll get to see super closeups of various techniques with lines, including layering them for a bit of dimension.
  • After that we'll jump onto my favorite topic: COLOR and how not go to too crazy with it, Unless you want to...
  • The real meat and potatoes of the webinar (or beans and rice if you're vegan) are probably the sections on dimensional effects and working with found objects. I think everyone will like them, but especially the experienced beaders. I hope!
  • Finally, I'll show you some of my fancy finishing techniques, and explain how I constructed a wall hanging.
  • Once I've talked your ear off, it will (finally) be time for you to ask questions! The great folks at Interweave will make sure that No Question Goes Unanswered. If we don't get to you, we'll collect your Q's and send everyone the A's after the session.
Again, if you attend the live webinar, you also get the download.
Hope to see you in virtual beadland next Tuesday!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recycled Photo Frames

I love to pick up used picture frames at the thrift store and decorate them with buttons, game pieces, and other odds and ends. They make nice mirrors, and bulletin boards, too, to sell or give as gifts. Recently I decorated a couple of frames using goodies our friends gave us...

These two old tins were given to us by two different friends.
Both full of priceless treasures...

My fictional fiddlin' forebear, Otis Ham Waddle!
Found this school-themed wooden frame with rulers
along the edges, and added a heaping helping of vintage
buttons, buckles, and fossils all the way from Ohio.

Here's a sweet vintage frame of silver leafed wood, 
decorated simply with shell buttons from the flowered button tin.
I'll leave it to my friend to add a photo of her own.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Brilliant Idea No. .0002 -- Cork Stands!

Click the image for a closeup!
These wee cabinet-photo cutout folk were lying around (literally) and I wanted to prop them up so I could play with them. But I didn't feel like cutting, folding, and gluing card stock for little stands. Which is when I spied my jar of corks...

So here you go. Find a big cork and set it on the table, wide end down. Saw through the center of the narrow end, back and forth, using a sharp knife or craft blade (Kids, ask a parent. Knives are sharp). Squeeze the sides together to stabilize the cork and saw gently. Cut a slit about halfway down the cork.

And voila! Slip in the cabinet photo (or other creation), and it stands up just right.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wild Hair Jewelry Fixin's

It all started when I innocently got out my jewelry tools, thinking to make some earrings with my new carved animal beads. Next thing I knew...

Carved buffalo bone beads, faceted coral, turquoise heishi, sterling silver
Got the carved horse and buffalo fetish beads at New Mexico Bead and Fetish in Old Town. They're Zuni made -- I misplaced the card with the carver's name, but in addition to these beads made from buffalo bone, he also makes dragonflies and other fetishes from mussel shell! (See my previous post.)

Everything else below (except the skull beads) is made from vintage jewelry components, including the rhinestones.
Click the image for a closer look!
Love my precious little violin charm stampings! They're made from one piece of metal, die cut and then folded, held in place by little tabs! My Novia (sweetheart) brooches were a rare find -- think they'll do well down at OFFCenter. Set the various rhinestones into the skulls and butterflies, too.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mussel Shells and Vintage Buttons

Gift mussel shells from the Little Miami River...
...and old buttons made from the same type of shell.
The purple ones are rare! Beautiful, lustrous lavender plum,
ranging to opalescent dusty pink.

Freshwater mussel shells were used in the U.S. from the 1800's to produce millions and millions of buttons, as well as cutlery handles, inlay and other products. (Before that, I guess the shells were mostly used as tools by indigenous North Americans.) But by the 1930's, over-harvesting, decline in mussel habitat, and eventually, alternative technology and materials put an end to the river-based shell industries all along the Mississippi and other eastern waterways.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Vintage Beaded Purse To Dive For

Look what the MOTH found at the bottom of a huge bin at Goodwill:

This vintage bead crochet purse is huge! 8" wide and 12" tall.
And it's not in bad condition considering where it was found...

The beads are SO tiny, I would estimate they're about size 16-0.

More photos to come!
(These old patterns convert well to loomwork and square stitch.)