Dear friends, just a quick update ahead of Cyber Monday.. Check out my latest beaded dog pin – a Chinese Chow Chow!! This piece was listed for sale on Etsy and SOLD in just a matter of days! Its unique texture was created by layering tiny glass seed beads using a needle and thread. And the tail was created by sewing beads onto a thin sterling silver wire – the tail actually moves when you touch it. Scroll through my Facebook page to view the progress of this piece.
I am also experimenting with a new product line – minimalist beaded cuff bracelets featuring your favorite dog or animal. This piece was created by stitching a tiny bead-embroidered Yorkshire Terrier to a sterling silver split cuff bracelet. This bracelet is lightweight and adjustable, perfect for those who work typing at a keyboard all day! I think I will have to make this design in other breeds. What do you think?
Check out this item and more at: thelonebeader.etsy.com. Get 20% off any purchase of $135 or more this weekend only! Thanks for looking!
I am so excited to announce the completion of my latest beaded painting on canvas entitled ‘Red Square‘.
This piece consists of extreme bead embroidery which was stitched to an acrylic painted gallery wrapped 30″ x 40″ canvas. It was inspired by my travels to Russia, just days after a blanket of smog covered the city of Moscow in August of 2010. On my final day of visiting Red Square, I sat outside of the Kremlin thinking about how much history took place there and how much change had occurred since then, when a young boy ran by flying a kite. A symbol of freedom. Hope that one day we will all be free to fly where the wind may carry us..
This piece has been a true labor of love as it has taken me several years to complete. Materials used in this piece include tiny glass seed beads, Swarovski crystals, sterling silver (for the crosses), silver wire, felt, and acrylic paint.
For those interested in viewing the progress of this piece, please check my Facebook photo album. St. Basil’s Cathedral is very textural as are the trees. In fact, I have sewn armature wire to the back of the trees to help them stand out a bit more.
The dog in the painting was inspired by an actual dog that I photographed while I was visiting the Cathedral. He had a thick leather collar on, but no leash or chain. He was laying down under the tree watching people walk by. Perhaps he lives near there and went there everyday..
When I decided to create this piece, I immediately thought to work in grayscale because I really wanted the boy’s red kite to be the main focus.
What does its symbolism mean to you?
If you would like to view more photos of ‘Red Square’, please visit my Etsy shop! Thank you for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
I am having fun creating mini beaded dog portraits, and here is my latest: a beaded Shih Tzu!
This little bead-embroidered dog is surrounded in a bed of green beaded grass, and was sewn to a royal purple Ultrasuede backing. Beadwork measures approx. 5.5cm x 8cm and it is framed in an 8×8″ black shadowbox frame.
Royal Shih Tzu
This piece is currently available for sale in my Etsy shop. The perfect gift for any Shih Tzu Mom!!
If you are interested in a custom beaded pin, pendant, or pet portrait, please use the Contact Form above or send me a message via Etsy. Also, please find me on Facebook or Instagram. Thanks for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
Dear friends, I had such an exciting trip to Mexico this year. For two weeks, I traveled off the beaten path to do some swimming in a freshwater lagoon, birdwatching, kayaking, snorkeling, and exploring yet another Mayan ruin site deep in the Jungle. But I also visited some ‘touristy’ destinations. If you have never taken the ferry from Cancun to Isla Mujeres, you are in for a trip. Is is so much fun, and its a quick ride so there’s little chance of getting seasick. Most tourists probably never leave el Centro when they visit, or they are probably on a catamaran trip which also doesn’t allow for much exploration. But if you are a little more adventurous, jump in a taxi and explore the island. Yes, you can also rent a golf cart for the day, but I have found that a taxi is much cheaper and quicker if you are only headed to a few places.
On this trip, I stopped in to visit the Women’s Beading Cooperative on the island. These women make beautiful beaded jewelry – necklaces, earrings, bracelets, belts, and more. Most items are made by weaving tiny glass seed beads with nylon thread. Each piece is marked with the artisan’s name. When you purchase something, that artist receives 80% and the remainder is used for supplies. They also accept donations. I had brought over 1-lb. of Japanese size 15 seed beads as well as some Czech glass drop beads. Size 15 beads are rare in Mexico, so they were very happy to receive them! If you have the chance to visit this little shop, please do so, as you will be supporting the local community. These women work hard at creating some very unique jewelry!
At the end of the day, my companion and I went to Punta Sur. It is the southernmost tip of the island and it was one of my favorite places to visit. It had been very hot inland, so it was nice to catch some seabreeze here! At first, we thought there wasn’t much to explore here except Ixchel Temple and a sculpture garden. But as we made our way toward the tip of the island, we noticed that there were cliffside walking paths near the water’s edge which went in both directions. These paths are amazing and a little adventurous!
Once again, Mexico continues to surprise me. I already can’t wait to return! 🙂
Recently, I received a rather challenging and exciting custom order request for a pair of beaded Turquoise-Browed Motmot earrings! It was a nice surprise to receive a request for a beaded bird. Before I began beading dogs, I started out making beaded birds – both pins & paintings! I have always been interested in birdwatching, so last year I went on my first birding excursion in the Yucatán Peninsula. It was there where I viewed a motmot for the first time in the wild. He was perched in an orange tree as happy as can be!
To properly depict the Motmot in beads, I had to make the earrings in a large size. My customer wanted long statement earrings. These earrings consist of 4 separate pieces of bead embroidery which were linked together using sterling silver components. I beaded the bird’s body, tail, and feathers first, then I added a second layer of beaded fringe to accentuate the bird’s colors.
Once all the beadwork was complete, I stitched sterling silver eye pins, links, and sterling silver posts to the back. Now, the tail and feathers dangle freely. These were a little bit of a challenge to create as the construction of them was fairly time-consuming. Its never easy for me to duplicate one of my own pieces, so for that reason, earrings always take me a little longer to create.
As you can see, the finished earrings are quite long – approx. 4″ x 1″! They definitely attract attention! What do you think?
I liked how these turned out so much that I made a (slightly different) second pair for myself which I plan to wear this month! If you are interested in custom beaded bird jewelry of a different species, please let me know! Currently my Amazon shop is in vacation mode, and I would like to note that any Ready to Ship items purchased in my Etsy shop between Feb. 3 and Feb. 16 will not ship out until the week of February 18. Also, during this time, made to order items have been temporarily deactivated. I will be making my annual journey South of the Border in search of nature, adventure, inspiration. Perhaps I will see another motmot! 😀
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! 🙂
Dear friends, I am back to working on my Russian bead painting. Here is the latest progress – I have finished beading a large tree. The tree was created by first sewing together a felt foundation with several holes in it. I used a combination of bead embroidery and freeform peyote stitch to create a leafy texture which can be seen through when you move them around. Below is a sneak peak of what it might look like in the finished piece. This portion of the beadwork (tree + cathedral) measures approx. 12″x 15″. If you would like to see more photos of the progress of this piece, please visit this Facebook photo album.
Also, I am running a Christmas in July Sale Event on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Save 25% on every purchase in my shop now thru July 23, 2017. This sale is my biggest sale ever as it also includes made-order-items and custom orders, as well! No coupon code needed! Please click the image above to visit my Etsy shop. Thanks for looking and have a safe and happy Fourth of July! 🙂