Red Square -Extreme Bead Embroidery on Canvas- Complete!

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! 🙂

Tux in Spring Flowers

My latest custom beaded pet portrait is complete! This piece was inspired by a dear cat named Tux.

Bead embroidery Tuxedo Cat Czech Glass Beaded Spring Flowers by The Lone Beader

She was created by stitching tiny glass 15/o seed beads to layered felt. I used several different shades of black, gray, and white to create her. After she was completed, I stitched her to a bright turquoise blue Ultrasuede background. And finally, I stitched tiny glass leaves and Czech glass flowers all around her as if she were laying in a spring garden. This beadwork was mounted in an 8″ x 8″ shadowbox frame.

Custom Beaded Tuxedo Cat Portrait for Facebook Etsy Shop Beadwork by The Lone Beader

Tux was a special companion to a man who recently passed away as a result of Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS. May they both be remembered forever. ❤

If you are interested in a custom beaded pin, pendant, or pet portrait, please use the Contact Form above or send me a message through my Etsy shop. Also, please find me on Facebook or follow @thelonebeader on Instagram. Thanks for your interest in my beadwork! 😀

Visit a Women’s Beading Cooperative in Mexico

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.

the lone beader women's beading cooperative isla mujeres yucatan peninsula mexico beadwork

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!

Punta Sur the lone beader Isla Mujeres travel adventures Mexico day trip Cancun nature eco-travel cliffside trails Women's Bead Cooperative

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!

Punta Sur Isla Mujeres Cliffside trail travel Women's Beading Cooperative Beadwork Artist day trip adventures

Once again, Mexico continues to surprise me. I already can’t wait to return! 🙂

Exotic Beaded Motmot Earrings

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!

Custom Beaded Turquoise Browed Motmot earrings the lone beader mexico

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.

Beaded Turquoise Browed Motmot bird earrings brooch bead embroidery Etsy art jewelry beadwork wildlife beads

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.

Custom Beaded Turquoise Browed Motmot earrings the lone beader mexico

As you can see, the finished earrings are quite long – approx. 4″ x 1″! They definitely attract attention! What do you think?

Custom Beaded Turquoise Browed Motmot earrings the lone beader mexico

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! 😀

New Year, New Custom Orders!

Happy New Year! Due to the high volume of orders which I have experienced recently, I have temporarily put my Amazon Handmade shop on vacation. However, my Etsy shop is still open for business. There you will find only ready to ship items, beading patterns and bead embroidery kits.

the lone beader Happy New Year 2019 Etsy custom order dog pins jewelry pendants bird pajaro parrot Yucatan

It seems to be the season of custom orders, as I have completed many of them lately. Some of my favorite items from 2018 are shown above, a few of which are still available for sale on Etsy.. Receive 10% off any order w/ coupon code YAPPYHOUR18! Please check out my Facebook and/or Instagram pages to see the progress of my latest custom work. I appreciate your interest in my beadwork!! Have a happy & healthy 2019!!

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!