Dear friends, long time no post! I have been off exploring the Yucatán and I have so much to share with you. This was my 4th trip to Mexico which officially makes it the country I have traveled the most. After visiting Mérida for a few nights (an amazing city!), my compañero and I took a bus to Valladolid. This is a small city in the center of the Yucatán, but it is very important to Mexico’s history. It is also very warm there as it is completely surrounded by jungle.
We arrived in Valladolid just in time to visit Casa de los Venados (House of the Deer). This is a private home which contains the largest museum quality collection of Mexican folk art in the country. There are more than 3,000+ pieces in this collection. The owners are kind enough to open their home every morning for a free tour (donations welcome!).
I had read a lot about this collection of folk art and I was very happy to have the opportunity to visit! This 18,000 square foot home is really a palace complete with beautiful open spaces, fountains, gardens, and a swimming pool.
I was amazed at the amount of art which was displayed in every room (there is even an entire room dedicated to Frida Kahlo). It is really a grand example of how one can make art appreciation a part of their daily lives. Of course, I was on the lookout for beadwork and I did find several pieces of Huichol bead art. Last year, I wrote a blog post about this art form which you can read HERE.
Folk art acknowledges the importance of what is sacred as a unique expression of a people’s perception of the universe. These works of art are primarily handcrafted for utilitarian or decorative purposes. A folk artist might be self-taught, or learn from other folk artists to create their own authentic works of art. This is different from ‘fine art’ which is generally taught and legitimized in academies.
At Casa de los Venados, the goal is to share with the community and teach that folk art is indeed something which the Mexican people should view with pride. They now conduct organized school tours to teach children about the art and handicrafts of their country. This is wonderful because in many cases the local children might never make it to a big city to view fine artworks. They now have the opportunity to learn about and appreciate the art that is all around them.
If you take a trip to Valladolid, definitely make time to visit Casa de los Venados as well as other historical sites around the city. Take lots of photos and keep an eye out for the Catrinas! :O
Dear friends, the New Year has already been busy! I have been receiving Etsy and Amazon orders ever since the holidays so I haven’t had time to blog! Here is what I have been working on..
The first is a new design – a tiny beaded Pitbull pendant. I actually made 2 of these, a brindle and a gray and white one. These bead-embroidered pendants are very small – they measure less than 1″ and they hang from an 18″ sterling silver 1.3mm diamond cut bead chain with lobster claw clasp. They also feature a tiny sterling silver heart charm.
Above, you can see how these look when worn. Of course, matching earrings can always be made upon request:) This design is listed as made to order on Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
And recently, I received my first international order through Amazon – an Orange Roan Italian Spinone brooch! I used nearly 10 different colors of seed beads for this piece, mainly a combination of whites, topaz, and gold. I have listed this as a new color choice in my online shops.
This piece has made its way across the pond! Hope it arrives safely. If you are interested in a custom beaded pin or pendant, please send me a message! Also I would like to note that all Ready to Ship items purchased after January 30 will not ship out until the week of February 13, and processing times for made to order items will be adjusted accordingly.. I will be off on another adventure searching for beads:)
Dear friends, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. I took a few days off, but now I’m back to working on new ideas for 2017.. Here is the latest – tiny beaded doggie pendants hanging from a dainty Italian sterling silver chain!
So far, I have created a couple of tiny Yorkie pendants, and a new Westie pendant. These feature a tiny sterling silver heart charm. They hang from a sterling silver bail and 18″ sterling silver 1.3mm diamond cut bead chain with lobster claw clasp. This is the perfect Valentine gift for yourself or for a friend who enjoys wearing sterling as well as one-of-a-kind beaded jewelry.
If you are interested in a tiny beaded dog pendant of a different breed, please message me using the Contact form above, or contact me via Etsy. Also, check out my New Year Sale. Nearly ALL Ready-to-Ship items will be 15% off, no coupon code needed. Sale runs Now – January 15, 2017 on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Enjoy and Happy New Year! 🙂
Dear friends, ‘Tis the season for beaded holiday gifts! During the past couple of weeks, I have been super busy beading Etsy orders! Here is the latest custom order I have created – a chocolate Cocker Spaniel pin pendant.
This piece was created by stitching tiny Japanese glass seed beads to felt 2-3 at a time. Once I beaded the entire piece of felt, I did some layering on the dogs ears and legs. I basically just added long beaded loops which really add movement to the piece! The dog’s ‘hair’ really moves when you touch it, too! Do you like it?
I also created a fawn-colored English Bulldog pin.. This one is a bit more sparkly than usual. I used a mix of Japanese size 15 seed beads and size 11 Delicas. I also used special tiny brown doll eyes. Don’t you just think he’s the cutest? 😀
Besides that, I have been trying to prepare for the holidays: shopping, shipping, cooking, jotting down ideas and goals for the New Year… Until then, I will be running a HUGE Year End Sale on both Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Nearly ALL Ready-to-Ship items will be 15% off, no coupon code needed. Sale runs December 25 – January 15, 2017. Enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas!
Dear friends, two new items have been listed in my Etsy and Amazon Handmade shops. The first, a bead-embroidered German Shepherd police dog! I have been wanting to make one of these for awhile, because I feel we owe so much to these amazing dogs. They put their lives on the line every single day. If you are interested in a custom beaded Police Dog pin or framed portrait in a different breed, please use the Contact form to send photos of your dog.
If you would like to help buy a police dog a bulletproof vest, consider donating to Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog this holiday season. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support Massachusetts police dogs, by helping provide bulletproof vests, essential equipment, training, & dogs. Vests cost over $1000 each, but they are worth every penny considering how many lives these dogs save.
Also, check out my latest customized Miniature Schnauzer pin pendant. This dog is Black and Silver. I used at least 6 different colors of seed beads for this piece as well as a drop bead for the nose. This design is currently available for sale on Etsy and Amazon.. Enter coupon code HOLIDAY16 to save 15% on any purchase of $10 or more in my Etsy shop. Coupon expires December 15, 2016.. Perhaps I should make matching earrings next?
Dear friends, I have just created a new tiny beaded poodle pendant! This piece has a sterling silver split ring attached at the top so you can wear it on your favorite necklace chain.
Click the pic below to view this listing on Etsy.
Enter coupon code HOLIDAY16 to save 15% on any purchase of $10 or more in my Etsy shop! Coupon expires December 16, 2016.
Thanks for looking! 🙂
Dear friends, I have been busy working on yet another custom order! Here is my latest – a large beaded Leopard brooch.. This is my first wild cat pin!
After working on a sketch, I transferred the image to a piece of stiff beading foundation and cut it out. Then, I cut out several more pieces of felt which would make the body of the cat appear to be in relief. After stitching these felt pieces together, I began beading the cat’s face. This piece is larger than usual, so it was a bit easier to get some detail in the cat’s face and nose. I used at least 8 different color seed beads as well as tiny glass eyes for the face.
By the time I started the body, I was using just 5 colors of seed beads. Two different shades of gold, black, transparent black, and a transparent cream color. When the Leopard’s body was beaded, I layered some matte brown beads to mimic the spots on the animal’s back.
I stitched wire to the back of the Leopard to stiffen his legs and tail, then I stitched Ultrasuede and a pin back to reverse side of the piece..
This piece is oversized. It measures approx. 3.5″ wide x 2.25″ tall… What do you think? 😀