>Bead In Quincy

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This year, I have been looking for new ways to market my work, as well as spread the word about beading in general. Everyone knows that Twitter is the perfect place for that, in more ways than one! A while back, I started following a Massachusetts librarian on Twitter. I asked her how I could get the Bead International 2008 book (that my beaded fire truck was published in) at my public library. I sent her the link to the Ohio University Press. She replied by saying that she would buy it for the Kingston Public Library where she works! Then, she said that I could just ask my library to buy it, too!

So, I sent a friendly email to the Thomas Crane Public Library, and mentioned the book. I got a response from someone who recognized my beadwork from the Quincy ArtsFest! She forwarded my message to the right person, and now there are not 1, but 2 copies of the book in the Old Colony Library Network! Check it out:

Thomas Crane Public Library Old Colony System Quincy MA Bead International book(click to view page)
So, if you live on the South Shore, and you are interested in checking out the book, you can request the library to hold it for you (online). They will deliver it to your library when it becomes available! Since I live walking distance to my library, I put books, CDs, and DVDs on hold all the time. It is a wonderful community service, as well as a great way to save money!

I really appreciate the fact that they took the time to order this book – there is always a need for more beading books in the world! Now, if I could just get the Boston Public Library to order a copy next… ๐Ÿ˜‰

>Nuts & Washers

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After much thought about how to go about building beaded motorcycle wheels, I dug through some hardware that I keep in a junk drawer in my kitchen. There I found some zinc interior tooth lock washers. I don’t really know why I had them, but I thought they might look cool. So, I stitched one onto the center of the wheel on top of the other seed beads.

beaded Buell motorcycle pop art beadwork Boston bead embroidery bike wheels nuts washers
Then, I stitched the hammered sterling silver rings into place. I used some tiny nuts I had to raise up the center ring. I found those at the electronic store when I was working on my beaded Delorean! (In the last photo, you’ll notice that I used even more of these on the rear wheel!)

beaded Buell motorcycle pop art beadwork Boston bead embroidery felt bike fiber art
Also, it was a good thing I used those 3-hole spacers. I needed the center holes to stitch through! Not to mention they stiffen the entire piece, especially after I cut out the excess vinyl! It actually works quite well! Then, I stitched my sterling silver bezel wire to the inside of the tire, and I stitched my black pieces of vinyl to that. I repeated this process for the rear wheel, although the larger outer rings are not stitched on yet. Here’s how it looks:

beaded Buell X1 Lightning motorcycle pop art beadwork Boston bead embroidery bike nuts washers wheels
Semi-beaded Buell motorcycle. 10″wide x 6″. Click to enlarge.

I was nervous about doing this a few days ago, but right now, I’m feelin’ pretty good! Now, time to bead something for my Etsy shop. I also plan to start building yet another Squidoo lens. I built a new one for my Cafepress shop the other day. I do hope you’ll stop by to check it out. Until next time, enjoy your weekend! ๐Ÿ˜€

>Beadwork & the Frozen Economy

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beaded Back to the Future pop art painting Boston Globe newspaper collage US car industry economy Beaded Back to the Future time machine (Part 3).
Paper collage on 16″ x 20″ painting.
Work in progress.

The other day, bead artist Robin Atkins wrote a blog post about her recent experiences with selling her beadwork in this frozen economy. She mentioned how not making sales can damage the artists self-esteem, and she wanted to know how others are handling these tough times. Robin asked “Is the real payoff the creative process? How do you deal emotionally with a disappointing sales experience or being rejected by a gallery or for a show?”

I told her that I recently opened The Lone Beader’s Gallery Shop on Etsy – about 2 months ago – and have not made any sales yet. From what I can see, there are two main reasons for this: 1) Etsy is a very large selling venue, and it’s easy to get buried in the millions of search results. 2) Our nation’s struggling economy is not helping. Less people are searching for something to buy, and if they are, they are probably not looking to invest in original art.

Despite this, I am grateful for all the wonderful things that have been happening with my art lately. I am also trying to be realistic & optimistic about the situation. I am doing what I have always done in the past. I am using this time to complete my current piece, make business connections, enter shows, get my work published & plan future pieces. If people like my work, and want to buy something I am happy, although I will admit that it is painful for me to sell – perhaps because only I know how much effort I put into each piece. And, regarding shows, if I get accepted to one, I am thrilled! But, if not, it really doesn’t bother me. I know that it is not the same as being rejected, and I know that not everyone will like my beadwork. So, for me, yes, the real payoff IS the creative process. Finishing one of my bead paintings is always an accomplishment – one which looks great hanging on the wall in my studio!

With that in mind, I had an interesting experience yesterday. I noticed a new contemporary art gallery near Downtown Crossing in Boston called Alternate Currents. I stopped in to look at all the art. Then, I signed up for the mailing list, and the director noticed my email address. She said “The Lone Beader?? I know that name! I have seen you somewhere!…” Turns out I was following her on Twitter! We spoke about my beadwork for a bit, then she said “I’d love to carry your work!” I don’t know if that will actually happen or not, but I was thrilled that she knew my artist name! I think that means I am accomplishing something! So whether I am selling anything at the moment or not, I feel that I am still moving forward with my art on a daily basis, although it is not an easy path to follow! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

>Post Full of Thanks

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Back to the Future car DeLorean Einstein pop art beaded bead embroidered clock watch faces bead embroidery time travel
Beaded Back to the Future trilogy. Parts 1 & 2 of 3.
Bead embroidery on (2) 16″ x 20″ painted canvas. Work in progress.

First, thank you for all your comments and messages regarding my last post! Everyone’s thoughts and ideas were pretty much the same, so I removed all of the antique clock parts from my 2nd Back to the Future painting. Then, I had to paint over the holes that showed through the canvas! I think I like this painting much better! You can see Part 1 and Part 2 side by side in the photo above. Please remember that Part 2 and Part 3 are not finished yet…

The second thank you goes to Beadexplorer. She surprised me by sending me this beautiful little wall hanging! It is a bead-knitted version of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album cover! Thank you, Nina! You are so sweet – I love it! I will hang it near my ‘puter where I will see it everyday! ๐Ÿ™‚

beaded Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon wall hanging pop art beadexplorer
Finally, the last thank you goes to each and everyone of you who continue to stop by my blog everyday to see what I’m beading. I really appreciate your interest in my beadwork. Sometimes I think that if it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t dare try to bead the things I bead!

With that said, the Thanksgiving season is now upon us. I plan to spend the weekend with my family in Erie, PA. I hope to eat a lot of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and jellied cranberry sauce! But, I also hope to get some beading done. Believe it or not, but I haven’t done any beadwork in awhile since I’ve been busy painting! So, I packed up quite a few of my seed beads, as well as some Czech glass beads. You can see a photo of them HERE. I also packed my painted canvas and beaded DeLoreans – just in case I am inspired! We’ll see what I can accomplish…

Even though I won’t be on Blogger for a week, I will be posting to Twitter, so please stop by and Follow Me! Also, don’t forget to stop by The Lone Beader’s Gallery Shop! Have a great week, don’t eat too much, and I’ll see you when I return!

Happy Thanksgiving! ๐Ÿ˜€

>Beaded Back to the Future – Part 1

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Yesterday, I worked on my Twin Pines Mall painting a bit more.
Can you see what changes I made?

Back to the Future car DeLorean acrylics Einstein dog pop art beaded Twin Pines Mall
Beaded Back to the Future DeLorean time machine.
Bead embroidery on felt & painted 16″ x 20″ canvas. Part 1 of 3.

I think I might be finished with this canvas. I have stitched my beadwork to the canvas, and I added the hanging hardware to the back… Today, I plan to start working on the second canvas. Wish me luck! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Also today, I would like to let you know about a new internet tool I added to the sidebar of my blog. It is the Lijit Wijit. This tool allows you to search for all things Lone Beader right on my blog! If you type in search terms such as “freeform peyote” or “Prague”, you’ll find all the blog posts I have written about that subject. Also, if a person lands on a my blog because they Google-searched “fire truck”, the widget will offer more posts about that subject. You’ll also notice some buttons to my other sites, as well as ‘Surprise Me’ & ‘Explore’ buttons. ‘Surprise Me’ will take you to a random page from any of the sites in my network, including my Etsy shop. And, if you click ‘Explore’ you will view my entire network. There is also a little map which shows where my visitors came from, and how they got here. Basically, this tool was designed to give you more reasons to keep reading my blog, and it will offer you more opportunities to learn about me! I’m still learning how to use it, but so far, I think it rocks! Play around with it, and see what you discover about me! ๐Ÿ˜€

The Marie-Antoinette, A Real Person, A Real Award

And last but not least, I would like mention that yesterday, Bev bestowed the above blog award upon me! Thank you so much! I am honoured! For those of you who aren’t sure if I’m a real person or not, check the Lijit Wijit to see that indeed I am. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here are the Rules for the Award:

1. Please put the logo on your blog.
2. Place a link to the person from whom you received the award.
3. Nominate at least 7 or more blogs.
4. Put the links of those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message on their blogs to tell them.

Here are my nominations. These are bloggers I have either met or have known so long that I feel like I know them, therefore they are real!

Beadexplorer
Honza
Japanese Masshole
Mo
Zoya
Phoenix
Pink

I hope you’ll check out their blogs, and have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

>Promo Time

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I have been busy beading my DeLorean time machine, but I would like to complete a little more before I show you. So, today I thought I’d show you a couple of my latest promotional tools – Facebook & AboutUs.org.

You all know that I have a Facebook Visual Artist page, but I have recently created a Facebook store page for my Etsy shop. There I will show all my latest beaded paintings and wearable art that is available for sale. I have also synced my blog up to it which means anyone who stumbles upon The Lone Beader’s Gallery Shop will easily be able to learn a little more about my bead embroidery. So, if you’re on Facebook, please stop by and take a peek! You’ll see that I added my beaded Einstein sheepdog pin to my shop! ๐Ÿ˜€

Beaded Back to the Future Trilogy DeLorean car pop art bead embroidery artist
I recently discovered the second promotional tool, AboutUs.org. AboutUs is a wiki for businesses and organizations, and it contains millions of editable pages about websites. According to their home page, approx. 6 million people visit the site per month. So, I decided to edit my page for TheLoneBeader.com. I figure it can’t hurt. Check it out:

Beaded Back to the Future Trilogy DeLorean car pop art bead embroidery artist

AboutUs is a little tricky to edit, but it’s kinda fun at the same time. My page has really only existed for about a week, and already 2 others have edited my page to improve it, which means people are looking at it! And, if you click around, you’ll notice my link on both the Blogger & Etsy page. I don’t mind being the only one listed on those pages, but it would be nice to have some others join in. If you have your own website, consider editing your AboutUs page. Afterall, you never know who will find it! ๐Ÿ˜€

And, speaking of promoting, it is always nice when someone else helps you promote your work. Today, I received a message stating that Flamingo Moon has been featured in yet another Treasury! And, just when I thought no one was looking at my beadwork! Thanks so much, CustomizedJust4You!

Beaded Back to the Future Trilogy DeLorean car pop art bead embroidery artist
Promoting is not easy. It takes time, and dedication, but I think it eventually pays off. What are you doing to promote yourself today?? ๐Ÿ˜€

>Promoting Beaded Art on the Web

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Since I’ve opened my new Etsy shop, I’ve been busy promoting it.

I sent an email to my family & friends asking them to forward it.
I included the link to my shop in my email signatures.
I added the link to my EBSQ profile.
I posted bulletins on Myspace.
I posted it on Facebook.
I posted the link on Squidoo.
I posted a note on the Bead & Button Magazine forum.
I created a Flickr photo album just for my Etsy shop items.
And, I contributed to the Etsy forums a bit just to get my link out there.

Is there anything I’m forgetting??? ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

After doing all that, I realized that Heart-A-Day commented on my beaded wolf artist trading card on Flickr! She said she featured my beaded ACEO on her Squidoo lens today! Check out Artist Trading Card Ideas:

beaded ACEO ATC artist trading card Etsy shop The Lone Beader bead embroidery wolf art(click to enlarge)

BTW, my artist trading cards are available for sale at The Lone Beader’s Gallery Shop, and I do ship overseas!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

A little self-promotion never hurts!
How do you promote your artwork?? ๐Ÿ˜€