Oodles of Felt Poodles

This week, I began working on something that has been sitting on my worktable for quite awhile – more felt poodles!  😀

felt poodle bead embroidery dog collar beadwork beading etsy jewelry work in progress

 At some point, I realized that beaded poodle possibilities are endless. My plan for this project is to create a ‘dog collar’ (so to speak) featuring 7 beaded poodles.

felt poodle beadwork in progress dog collar etsy jewelry custom wearable art

I started working on the first one, which measures 6cm x 6cm. So far, I have used 4 different shades of gray seed beads in size 11 and 15.

felt poodle bead embroidery seed beads beadwork dog collar etsy jewelry work in progress

Next I will add some beaded fringe.. Just wait ’til you see! 😀

My Bead Embroidery Tutorial, Tried & True!

I am so thrilled – one of my customers in the UK made her own beaded Jack Russell Terrier pin by following my tutorial! Then, she blogged about her experience! I am very impressed with her perseverance in this project – she told me she had only tried bead embroidery once before.. Please click the pic below to take a peek. I think she did a wonderful job! 🙂

beaded Jack Russell pin brooch bead embroidery tutorial for sale on etsy

My Jack Russell bead embroidery tutorial is available for sale at my Etsy shop. I hope you’re inspired to try making your own little beaded Rudy:)

Sophie the Beaded Lhasa Apso

Soon after I sold my first beaded Lhasa Apso pin, I received a custom order request for another one! I was asked to create a bead-embroidered likeness of an adorable little dog named Sophie.

Sophie beaded Lhasa Apso akc dog pin custom jewelry etsy

My customer sent me quite a few photos of Sophie so that I could see her beautiful coat from all angles, but I really only worked from two – a profile photo & a close-up of her face. (What a cute face she has:)

Sophie beaded Lhasa Apso pin pendant bead embroidery jewelry etsy

Next, I dug through my bead stash and picked out 10 different colors of mainly  Japanese size 15/o seed beads. The main color which I felt represents Sophie best is a matte silvery-gold – a rather difficult color to find. You can see them in the pic above the pink seed beads. These are actually Czech 13/0 charlottes, which means there is one facet on each bead. The transparent gray beads I used on her body are also charlottes. They really sparkle in the light!

Sophie custom beaded Lhasa Apso pin pendant bead embroidery jewelry etsy

Above, you can see the first layer of bead embroidery I did. I used a combination of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff & felt to create the foundation. Then, I stitched on a glass eye for the nose, seed beads for eyes, and a little pink tongue. Working from the pics, I slowly beaded the rest of the dog’s face and body. When this layer was complete, I stitched a 2nd layer of beaded fringe onto her face and tail. And here is the finished piece. How do you think she looks? 😀

custom beaded Lhasa Apso dog pin pendant bead embroidery jewelry etsy

Sophie. Custom beaded Lhasa Apso pin/ pendant. (3.5cm x 4cm)

If you are interested in a custom beaded pet pin, please contact me for more details. Also, check out the new CLEARANCE section in my Etsy shop for beaded items now available at 50% off original price. Once they’re gone, they’re gone! Thanks for looking! 😀

The Making of a Beaded American Eskimo Dog Pin

This week, a Facebook friend suggested that I make a beaded American Eskimo Dog pin and I was up for the challenge!

beaded american eskimo samoyed Japanese spitz dog pin pendant bead embroidery

First, I traced my sketch onto a piece of Lacy’s Stiff Stuff. I don’t usually use Lacy’s, but I have begun to use it for the first layer of my beading foundation when working on something very small & detailed. I actually prefer to use felt because it’s easier to manipulate, but for details, such as the tiny legs on this dog, Lacy’s is easier to cut to shape. Then, I cut a few more layers of felt and stitched them altogether.

beaded american eskimo dog pin pendant samoyed japanese spitz bead embroidery

Next, I stitched a tiny glass taxidermy eye for the nose. Then, I stitched tiny size 15 Japanese glass seed beads to the foundation. I always start with the face, as that is the most difficult part. It gets easier from there, but still time-consuming!

beaded american eskimo samoyed dog japanese spitz bead embroidery

As you can see, this requires quite a lot of stitches using needle and thread in a very small space (3cm x 4cm)! After I completed the first layer of beadwork, I stitched on a layer of beaded fringe (over the other seed beads) to add movement and realism to this tiny canine. Then, I stitched eye pins to the backs of the legs for added support. When the process was complete, I added an Ultrasuede backing.

beaded American Eskimo dog jewelry pin pendant Etsy Samoyed bead embroidery

This piece is now listed for sale on Etsy. You can see detailed photos by clicking the photo above. How do you think it looks? What kind of dog should I bead next? 😀

Weekend Bead Shopper: Russian Dolls

Recently, BeadCrafty.com sent me some shiny new beads! Check out these cute hand-painted  porcelain Russian doll beads! These measure 26mm – a bit larger than most beads I use, but I absolutely love them, especially since I visited Russia last year. What do you think I should I make with them? 😀

Beadcrafty.com Porcelain Russian Doll Beads

If you have not shopped BeadCrafty.com, I will say that they offer a wonderful assortment beads of all types, their customer service is outstanding, and shipment from the UK is very fast. I’m sure I will return to order more Russian Dolls in the future:)

*Please note: I have received the above mentioned products free of charge from BeadCrafty.com. This is my honest review of the products and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

>Seed Bead Shopping in NYC

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It’s amazing to me how fast time flies! My weekend in New York City went by so quickly, but it was so much fun!! My sister and I went to the Kandinsky exhibit at the Guggenheim on Friday (fascinating) , and the Statue of Liberty on Saturday. Then, we went to see Jersey Boys on Saturday night (fantastic!). And, finally, on Sunday, I went bead shopping! 🙂 

Since I only had a few hours for bead shopping, I didn’t get the chance to go everywhere I wanted. Also, since it was Sunday, several shops weren’t even open. But, I did happen to find two great shops that were open. The first was Toho Shoji located at the edge of the Garment District on 990 Sixth Avenue.

 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
In addition to their New York location, Toho Shoji also has several shops in Japan and two shops in China. They carry Japanese seed beads in both large and small quantities, as well as an acrylic & metal beads, crystals, sequins, and an abundance of findings to make just about anything your heart desires. 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
I was a little overwhelmed with the selection here – it was much like bead heaven! (Boston could use a bead shop like this!)  

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
This shop sells retail & wholesale, and their prices are very reasonable! 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
I found some Matsuno size 12/o seed beads (which my local bead shops do not carry), and I also picked up a few boxes of Delicas

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
The next shop I visited was Beads World located on 1384 Broadway between 37th & 38th Street. 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
I thought I had seen it all when I went to Toho Shoji, but I was even more impressed with Beads World. They have quite an assortment of seed beads available in every colour of the rainbow! 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
I enjoyed Beads World because they also sold tiny size 15 Japanese seed beads in large quantities. They were a little hard to find because they were mixed in with the size 12s, but they are there. There are also many packages of seed beads which originate in Hong Kong. I normally will not buy Chinese beads because they are generally poor quality, but these seemed to be different. I picked up one package of gray beads just to try them out. I also found some fascinating 1x 4mm bugle beads in black and white. (I had never seen bugle beads that small before in my life!) I also found some cool metal beads which I hope to use on my beaded cars & vehicles at some point. 

traveling beads bead shops NYC Manhattan New York City thelonebeader bead shopping Toho seed beads
Beads World also had excellent service. They were very happy to help me find what I needed, and the store clerk told me that they also do mail orders! Just email them with product code and the quantity that you desire, and they will be happy to ship to you! I might just take them up on that offer! 🙂 That’s all for now. Can’t wait until my next trip to NYC. There are many more bead shops there to explore! Which shop is your favourite?? 🙂 

>Bead Shopping in Venice, Italy

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Before I went to Venice & the island of Murano, I was warned that real Murano glass beads are hard to find. I also read that many shops were selling imported beads from China which were labeled as Venetian or Murano-style glass beads. But, I wanted to go see for myself. After about a day or so, I located a bead shop which was not far from my hotel on the main island of Venice.

 

beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection blown glass shop
The above shop, Perle e Dintorni, is not far from Campo San Stefano. I spoke with the store clerk who pointed out which beads were Murano glass and which beads weren’t. Beads in jars along the back of the store were Venetian or Murano glass, and strands in the windows came from Czech Republic, France, Germany, or Africa. Materials included glass, paper, stone, or wood. Most prices were per bead, but there was also a mixed selection of beads which were sold by weight. This shop was lovely. I bought a few beads there, but I really wanted to wait until I went to Murano. 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop
Bead shopping on Murano was tough at first. Most shops on the island only sell artist-made Murano glass beaded jewelry, but I wanted to find loose beads! I asked around on the island, but I found it best to just look in every shop. I quickly learned that many jewelry shops also had a drawer or two filled with loose pendants & beads. Many of these shops also had signs up which stated that they did not sell Chinese beads. Then, finally, just around the corner from the Glass Museum, I found a shop which was lined from top to bottom with containers full of Murano glass beads! 

beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection blown glass shop
Large & small, beads are priced per piece. Given the exchange rate, many of these beads are quite expensive, but they are genuinely beautiful. Here, I marveled at all of the large beads, but I bought mostly small ones that I could use in my bead embroidery projects. 

beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection blown glass shop
Back on the main island, I noticed the same thing. Many small jewelry shops also sold a few loose beads and pendants. I also found one shop near the Accademia Bridge which sold jewelry made from antique mille fiori glass beads, but these pieces were quite pricey! And then there were shops which showed off their collection of antique Murano glass beads, but stated that they were not for sale. 😦 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop
Since I spent almost 2 weeks in Venice, I had time to shop. Here are some of the beads I brought home. Do they look like Venetian or Murano glass beads to you? 😉 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop
mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop 

mille fiori beads murano bead shopping venice venezia travel stash collection italian blown glass shop
Bead shopping in Venice is a bit like going on a treasure hunt. It’s fun & exciting to wander the skinny streets along the canals looking for beads. When you do find a bead shop, buy the beads you like then, because you may never find your way back! I may not find my way back to the same shops, but I will find my way back to Venice, because the bead shopping experience there is like none other! =:D