Please Don’t Buy Plastic Beads!

Please don't buy plastic beads zero waste plastic free beads

Earlier this year, I watched the film A Plastic Ocean and immediately became sick to my stomach. I couldn’t bear to watch the birds and fish eat so much plastic and ultimately dying as a result. These images are disturbing reminders of the damage that humans do the environment every single day.

So, all year, I have been trying to change the types of products I purchase. I no longer buy plastic water bottles if I can avoid them. I try to buy things like sunscreen, toothpaste, dental floss, and vitamins in a glass jar. I buy shampoo bars instead of plastic bottles. I also got a stainless steel drinking straw to use when I’m out and about. And, of course I carry a reusable shopping bag with me at all times. Overall, I have been trying to consume less plastic whenever possible.

However, it is not easy and I am not perfect. I do bring reusable cotton produce bags to the veggie market, but occasionally I find myself using a plastic produce bag or two. And, of course almost every type of food and beverage is packaged in plastic. I do reuse a lot of the plastic bags and containers and I do compost and recycle, but I feel it’s not enough.

All this got me thinking about the different types of industries that could and should use more sustainable products. The beading industry is definitely one of them. How many plastic ziploc bags do bead retailers and beadwork artists use? And how many plastic tube containers are filled with beads each day all around the world? What happens when we are finished with these containers? Bags end up in the trash, and the small tube containers most likely end up in the ocean, just like straws. So, what can business owners and consumers do? Personally, I have been searching for a bio-plastic manufacturer who would be interested in creating clear bio-plastic tubes which will eventually biodegrade in the landfill, but I haven’t found one yet. In the meantime, we must vote with our dollars. I will order biodegradable plastic baggies the next time I need them. I will purchase compostable shipping supplies whenever possible. I will boycott plastic beads and any products that contain them. I will ask my favorite bead shops and retailers to use more eco-friendly packaging supplies as well as implement better recycling programs & incentives. And, I will support businesses who make environmental sustainability a priority.

If you have any ideas on how to use less plastic, you may leave a comment below or use the Contact Form.

Please be kind to the planet – we are all in this together! 🙂

Beaded Birthday Beagle

Dear friends, I have been thinking about parties for pets recently. Apparently they are all the rage! People all over the world are having dog Birthday Parties, Bark Mitzvahs, and Yappy Hour events for their dogs. You can buy all sorts of fancy party favors and dog treats for these events on Amazon and Etsy, too! So, I decided to tap into the excitement, and start offering beaded doggie pins wearing party hats.

Beading a Birthday Beagle Pin Pendant Beadwork Bead embroidery Beads dogs etsy amazon the lone beader

Here you can see the progress of my first pin, a Birthday Beagle. I added a felt hat to my original Beagle design and embroidered tiny blue glass beads to it. Please click the pic below to view the finished item for sale on EtsyBirthday Beagle Puppy Pin pendant Etsy Bead embroidery dog jewelry Amazon Handmade The Lone Beader

If you are interested in a different breed of dog (or cat) pin wearing a birthday party hat, please send me a message via Etsy! Framed 8″ x 8″ mini portraits are also available. Anything is possible with beads! 🙂

Receive 10% off any order w/ coupon code YAPPYHOUR18!

Now Accepting Bitcoin on Etsy!

Bitcoin accepted here cryptocurrency thelonebeader Etsy entrepreneur

Dear friends, just a quick announcement to let you know that I now accept Bitcoin as payment on Etsy and for customer orders via my website. I have been doing some research on this subject and I feel that cryptocurrency is here to stay and may eventually become the way of the future. Also there seems to be little risk for sellers to accept this form of payment. So, if you are a Bitcoin enthusiast looking for a custom hand- beaded animal pin pendant, dog jewelry, or bead-embroidered pet portrait, you have come to the right place. If you would like to purchase from my Etsy store, please use ‘Other’ as your payment method when checking out, and write that you’d like to pay with Bitcoin in the “Note to Seller” field. Once the order has been placed, I will send an invoice to your Etsy email address. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL FEES WHEN PAYING WITH BITCOIN. NO RETURNS or REFUNDS WHEN PAYING WITH BITCOIN, however I would be happy to work out an exchange if needed. 🙂 If you have any other questions, please ask. Thanks for looking! 🙂

Rare Beaded Blue-Winged Amazon Parrot

Dear friends, recently, I returned from my annual trip to Mexico and had an amazing vacation! This was my fifth visit to the Yucatán Peninsula. On this trip, my compañero and I travelled like locals to really experience this beautiful country. We swam in the ocean, rode bikes on Cozumel, went snorkeling with barracudas, visited a Mayan Jungle Spa, and ate a lot of guavas and guacamole!

Yucatan Mexico Uxmal Ruins Pyramid of the Magician

We then took a bus to the west side of the peninsula where we visited the ruins at Uxmal. This was one of my favorite days and definitely worth the trip. This is a very important Mayan site. The best part is that it’s not very crowded, so you can really explore and enjoy the architecture at your own pace. The artistic detail of the stones used to build these majestic pyramids is mind-blowing! This is also a good place to go birdwatching as well as admire iguanas in their statuesque poses:)


We also visited the northern tip of the peninsula the day we went on a birdwatching excursion. We went Birding with Steven, and had a wonderful time. Steven picked us up before dawn. We drove north to a tiny village where we saw many hawks, vultures, falcons, mockingbirds, parakeets, flycatchers, woodpeckers, grosbeaks, and my favorite bird, the Turquoise Motmot. It was a very peaceful way to spend the morning.

Female Mexican Sheartail Hummingbird Rio Lagartos Birding with Steven Playa del Carmen
Steven then took us on a 2- hour boat ride at Río Lagartos (aka. alligator river). Río Lagartos is a fishing village located on a lagoon which is part of a natural biosphere. There we saw so many beautiful waterbirds: one pink flamingo (all by himself!), a huge hawk, an osprey catching a fish, tons of herons, a stork, a kingfisher, tons of pelicans, and a mangrove warbler. And back in the village we also spotted a Mexican Sheartail hummingbird! This species can only be found in the Yucatán. I managed to take the above photo before she flew away. Overall, we saw over 70 species – not bad for one day!

Rare blue winged Amazon Parrot bead embroidery pin Yucatan Mexico Etsy sale beaded animal beadwork jewelry brooch tropical bird beads

While I was studying Mexican birds, I also learned that a new species of parrot has recently been discovered deep in the jungles of Yucatán. This bird is a Blue-Winged Amazon Parrot! Those who have discovered them estimate that only about 100 of the birds exist, which would make them rare and endangered. So, I decided to create a bead-embroidered pin to give this bird some attention!  Rare blue winged Amazon Parrot bead embroidery pin Yucatan Mexico Etsy sale beaded animal beadwork jewelry brooch tropical bird beads

This piece is currently available for sale in my Etsy shop. Please click the pics to take a peek and share. If you are interested in a custom beaded bird pin or portrait of a different species, please send me a message! Until then, I will be dreaming about my next trip South of the Border. 🙂

Upcycle a Vintage Filigree Locket

If you’ve ever wondered what to do with an old filigree locket or other jewelry piece, here is a little inspiration! Recently, one of my customers wrote to ask if I had ever made a beaded locket before. I had not, but was intrigued by the idea. My customer wanted a ‘mourning’ locket which featured a beaded portrait of her beloved pet Papillon named Star. Star had passed away as a result of bladder surgery. The locket was meant to hold a lock of her dog’s hair.

At the time, my customer did not have a locket in hand, but after an lengthy search (and a bit of trial and error) we found a vintage one which would work on Etsy. So, I cut out a piece of beading foundation roughly the same diameter as the locket. Then, I created a felt foundation in the shape of the dog’s head which I stitched to the beading foundation. Using size 15 Japanese seed beads, I carefully beaded a tiny portrait in black, gray, and white. I also stitched on a tiny star-shaped stone bead just below her nose. After I completed the first layer of beadwork (above), I added a second layer of beaded fringe to accentuate her beautiful hair (below).

After I completed the portrait, I peyote- stitched a silver and gray frame around the beadwork. This extended beyond the edge of the beading foundation and added some visual interest to the piece.


Once everything was complete, I opened the locket and carefully stitched my beadwork to the front of the piece. This took a bit of time and very tiny stitches in between the rows off beads. I stitched around the inside of the locket a few times to ensure that the piece was secure. Below, you can see – the stitches are barely visible!


I hope this unique bead embroidery piece will provide some comfort to my customer as she remembers her dog for many years to come. I think it will also be quite a conversation piece! What do you think? 🙂


Custom orders are always fun and challenging. If you have an idea for a custom bead- embroidered piece, please send me an email using the Contact form above or message me via Etsy. Due to another travel adventure, all Ready-to-Ship items purchased in my Etsy shop between Feb. 2 – Feb. 14, 2018 will ship out no later than Feb. 16, 2018. Most Made to Order items will ship according to production time stated in listing. All PDF beading patterns (English & Spanish language) will be 15% off Feb. 3 – Feb. 18, 2018 only. Thanks for looking! 🙂

Spanish Beading Patterns Now at the Tienda Kindle!

Dear friends, just a quick note to let you know that several of my bead embroidery patterns are now available in Spanish language at the Amazon Kindle store. Learn how to make your own beaded dog jewelry en español! Please note: these are single patterns, not books, and they are priced accordingly. Please click the screenshot below to check it out. Descriptions are in Spanish as well, just as they are in my Etsy store.

Beading Patterns Tienda Kindle the Lone Beader Bordados a mano con cuentas bead embrodiery beading Spanish español pattern tutorial

 

I hope to have a couple more patterns translated in the near future, so please check back or follow me on Facebook and Instagram! Thanks for looking! Chao! 🙂

Stay Warm and Do Beadwork

Dear friends, I hope your New Year is off to a great start! We received quite a lot of snow here in Boston so I have been staying in and doing beadwork! I have also added a few new items in  The Lone Beader’s Boutique on Zazzle. Check out my new Lone Beader Definition slouchy t-shirt and hoodie dress! I have had this ‘definition’ posted on my website for over 10 years now. After reading many comments and emails, I have realized that many of you can relate..

Lone Beader Definition Slouchy T shirt Hoodie Dress Zazzle shop beading beadwork beads yoga top introvert

 

Lone Beader Definition Hoodie Dress Zazzle shop beading beadwork beads yoga top introvert

Now, you can express yourself and tell the world that you love to do beadwork without saying a word. Wear (alone or with leggings) to bead shows, bead retreats, and definitely while beading! Also, please check my Facebook and/or Instagram pages for more items coming soon! Thanks for looking! 🙂