Monday, May 18, 2015

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Dealing with Bead Finishes

Thanks, Jennifer VanBenschoten, for letting me guest author your Beading Daily blog last week!

Everybody who works with "the little glass beads" has to learn (usually the hard way) how to deal with fancy surface finishes in your designs. Reflective finishes, matte finishes, rainbow finishes, see-through beads, yeah they're pretty, but they can sure cause problems!

Maybe this little write-up will help sort things out...


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grandma Moses Fallen Phrase Word Puzzle

GRANDMA MOSES was an American folk artist who started painting seriously at the age of 78. She had first painted as a child with lemon and grape juice as her pigments! She also created rural and old-timey farm scenes in embroidery before her arthritis made that too difficult. A very hard worker, she worked and lived on farms all of her life. When ask what she would have done had she not become a painter, she gave this reply.

Instructions: Notice that the letters beneath the puzzle are jumbled, but stacked in columns. Each letter must go into a blank square, but it can only go into the column above it. Notice that the letter P in the far left column can only go in one place, because there's only one blank square in the column above it. Same with the letter D in the far right column.

Here's a clue: Notice that the second word in the first line contains only one (1) letter. In English, only two (2) words could possibly go there: A and I. Look in the column below the word. There is no letter A in the column. There is, however, a letter I available. Put the letter I in the blank square. Now, you have a T, R, E, and another I left to use somewhere in that column.


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Thanks Quilting Daily!

A big thank you to Quilting Daily for plugging my online color theory class! I hope to see some quilters in the first session... amazing color opportunities in quilting.

"Take a multi-sensory tour of the fascinating, though sometimes frustrating world or color theory in this instructor-led online course. You'll get comfortable with color terms and concepts, and you'll become an expert at choosing colors for your own work -- in any medium."

Starts May 26... tick tock!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Online Color Theory Class Gearing Up!

Oh yeah! Craft University presents...

Click the image to register, get the supply list, etc.

an online course with Mary Tafoya

May 26 -- June 22, 2015

Four weeks of self-paced guided instruction, downloadable color theory worksheets, and lively online discussions. You can ~post your work, ~contact the instructor, ~discuss with your classmates. All you need are 1. internet access, 2. colored pencils, and 3. a printer.

This class is a little bit ART and a little bit SCIENCE. You'll learn what you need to know about color theory to solve color problems and make creative color choices in your artwork, on the computer, in your photography, etc.

Hands-On Color Theory
for Artisans and Crafty Souls

Here's what we'll cover:
  1. Six Benefits of Studying Color Theory
  2. Color and Human Perception
  3. Color Factoids
  4. Three Amazing Attributes of Color
  5. Riding the Light Waves with Hue, Saturation and Value
  6. Flesh and Bones with Tints, Shades and Tones
  7. To the Color Wheel...and Beyond
  8. Color Guides and Models
  9. The Usual Suspects -- Primaries and Secondaries
  10. Jewel Tones and Earth Tones -- Intermediate and Tertiary Colors
  11. Safe Zones with Neutral Colors
  12. Color Harmonies -- Making Color Sing
  13. The Complements
  14. Analogous Neighbors
  15. Monochromatics
  16. Triads and Tetrads
  17. The Seven Color Contrasts
  18. Color and Culture
  19. Color Symbolism
  20. and other Colorful topics

    Hope you can join us!

    Monday, May 4, 2015

    Bead Embroidery Webinar Tues May 5

    Here we go again! I hope some of you will join me tomorrow midday for another live webinar on bead embroidery tips and techniques.

    Click to see details and/or register.
    Bead Embroidery Techniques and Inspiration, with Mary Tafoya
    Tuesday, May 5, 1 pm Eastern Time (11 am Mountain Time.)

    This webinar is about an hour long and it's basically a live slide presentation where I show lots of closeups of my work and talk about various techniques for blending colors, working with mixed media and found objects, constructing a bead embroidery "sandwich" and more.

    Before the Millennium, USA, by Mary Tafoya

    If you can't attend the live session, don't worry -- the video recording will be available for download after the webinar, from the same link above.

    BUT the advantage to coming to the seminar is you get to ask questions. So if you have problems with bead embroidery, come on by. All questions will be answered during the seminar or, if we run out of time, in an email follow-up!

    Road Trip, by Mary Tafoya


    Thursday, April 23, 2015

    Colored Pencils on Sale!

    Hey folks,

    I just noticed that the colored pencil set I'm recommending for my May/June color theory class is on sale big time at the online Interweave store. This set retails for about $40.00 everywhere, but right now it's on sale for under $18.00, which is better than most of your big box store will get you, even with a coupon. Plus, this set comes with lots of accessories, including the pencil sharpener and blending stick I recommend for the class.

    Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 24 set
    I do not know how long this sale will last...

    But these are the best pencils I know of for rich color pigment, easy sharpening,
    and for shading and blending. Especially with the accessories included.

    Saturday, April 11, 2015

    Online Color Theory Class Registration Open! May-June 2015

    Some of you know I've been teaching color theory since the dark ages. (Ha, that's a color joke.) I published my first article on the subject in Beadwork, Winter 1999. And now, starting May 26, I'll be teaching color theory online for Craft University.

    The course lasts four weeks and will consist of downloadable worksheets, lecture notes, discussions, games, and the occasional video. With yours truly. You log in whenever you want. The supply list is short -- you just need artist-quality colored pencils, access to a black and white printer, and some white paper. The price is good too...check out all the details here:


    Tuesday, March 17, 2015

    Guest Column in Beadwork -- Bead Embroidery Primer

    Wow, just got my advance copy of the latest Beadwork magazine. Thanks, Jean Cox, for letting me guest-host your "Stitch Pro" column this (April/May 2015) issue!

    Lookie! Bead Embroidery Primer...
    The two-page spread covers a couple of basic stitches, starting and ending threads, and some tips about materials. And some nice illustrations. And... a humongous photo!

    I do believe this is the largest photo ever published of my beadwork. I love it! You can just about see every bead. This piece is called Road Trip and I talk about it a lot in my recent webinar for Interweave called Bead Embroidery: Techniques & Inspiration. (HINT: Sometimes the download goes on sale for $14.99...)

    Sunday, February 15, 2015

    Rustic Elegance Jewelry by Diane Marie

    I always enjoy seeing what my customers make with their purchases. Here's a necklace by Diane Marie, on Etsy as Rustic Elegance Jewelry.

    She purchased one of my copper-themed bead packs and used the Dutch East Indies coin as part of the pendant.

    Nice work! Looks earthy, unique, and very wearable!

    Monday, January 12, 2015

    Welcome to My Shop!

    On the home improvement shows, they always say, "A room should have a purpose." Well, in my small house, most rooms need to have more than one. Our dining room, for example, is also my Etsy jewelry supply shop. I thought some folks would like to see where I process your orders. Others might enjoy seeing how I cram all this stuff in here!

     My supply shop (on a clean day). This is a nice room in the winter, thanks to the large skylight and deep south-facing window. When company comes, we can put an extra leaf in the table.
    See? I'm an organized hoarder. In front of the shelves I have a rolling cart that acts like a shipping station (bottom right). It rolls out of the room and into my studio when a bunch of people come over.

    This awesome antique desk is crammed with inventory. The top shelf holds vintage beads and findings that are all counted and ready to photograph.

    And this is where everything goes that's listed in my shop. These carts also roll out of the room when it needs to be a dining room again.

    Monday, January 5, 2015

    Antique Children's Book Illustrations

    What a great find by the MOTH over the holidays! He came home with an old mailing envelope full of little children's books from the 1880's! Most are basically in comic book format -- and hand sewn.

    Copyright 1889 by McLoughlin Bros. New York

    Some of the thin books are incredibly fragile, and one is torn clear through. This looks like a great scanning/restoration project for digital images!

    I love the old detailed illustrations. They are printed in just two ink colors -- black and red. And there are no halftone screens as in today's photolithography. All the gradations are made with stippling, so I wonder if these might be some kind of etchings?

    Then again, this image (from a series called "Mama Lovechild's Series"), sure looks like a woodcut, which was a popular technique in the years before the turn of the century (according to this exhibit).

    Did you know there were Five Little Pigs? Or that Mother Goose has a son named Jack??? I really enjoyed flipping through the quaint titles.

    There were other cool books in the envelope too, which I'm still going through...oh heaven! Including a Christmas storybook in full color.