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 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.
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 Etsy.
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!
Dear friends, just a quick announcement to let you know that I now accept Bitcoin as payment on Etsy and for customer orders via my website. I have been doing some research on this subject and I feel that cryptocurrency is here to stay and may eventually become the way of the future. Also there seems to be little risk for sellers to accept this form of payment. So, if you are a Bitcoin enthusiast looking for a custom hand- beaded animal pin pendant, dog jewelry, or bead-embroidered pet portrait, you have come to the right place. If you would like to purchase from my Etsy store, please use ‘Other’ as your payment method when checking out, and write that you’d like to pay with Bitcoin in the “Note to Seller” field. Once the order has been placed, I will send an invoice to your Etsy email address. I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL FEES WHEN PAYING WITH BITCOIN. NO RETURNS or REFUNDS WHEN PAYING WITH BITCOIN, however I would be happy to work out an exchange if needed. 🙂 If you have any other questions, please ask. Thanks for looking! 🙂
If you’ve ever wondered what to do with an old filigree locket or other jewelry piece, here is a little inspiration! Recently, one of my customers wrote to ask if I had ever made a beaded locket before. I had not, but was intrigued by the idea. My customer wanted a ‘mourning’ locket which featured a beaded portrait of her beloved pet Papillon named Star. Star had passed away as a result of bladder surgery. The locket was meant to hold a lock of her dog’s hair.
At the time, my customer did not have a locket in hand, but after an lengthy search (and a bit of trial and error) we found a vintage one which would work on Etsy. So, I cut out a piece of beading foundation roughly the same diameter as the locket. Then, I created a felt foundation in the shape of the dog’s head which I stitched to the beading foundation. Using size 15 Japanese seed beads, I carefully beaded a tiny portrait in black, gray, and white. I also stitched on a tiny star-shaped stone bead just below her nose. After I completed the first layer of beadwork (above), I added a second layer of beaded fringe to accentuate her beautiful hair (below).
After I completed the portrait, I peyote- stitched a silver and gray frame around the beadwork. This extended beyond the edge of the beading foundation and added some visual interest to the piece.
Once everything was complete, I opened the locket and carefully stitched my beadwork to the front of the piece. This took a bit of time and very tiny stitches in between the rows off beads. I stitched around the inside of the locket a few times to ensure that the piece was secure. Below, you can see – the stitches are barely visible!
I hope this unique bead embroidery piece will provide some comfort to my customer as she remembers her dog for many years to come. I think it will also be quite a conversation piece! What do you think? 🙂
Custom orders are always fun and challenging. If you have an idea for a custom bead- embroidered piece, please send me an email using the Contact form above or message me via Etsy. Due to another travel adventure, all Ready-to-Ship items purchased in my Etsy shop between Feb. 2 – Feb. 14, 2018 will ship out no later than Feb. 16, 2018. Most Made to Order items will ship according to production time stated in listing. All PDF beading patterns (English & Spanish language) will be 15% off Feb. 3 – Feb. 18, 2018 only. Thanks for looking! 🙂
Dear friends, just a quick note to let you know that several of my bead embroidery patterns are now available in Spanish language at the Amazon Kindle store. Learn how to make your own beaded dog jewelry en español! Please note: these are single patterns, not books, and they are priced accordingly. Please click the screenshot below to check it out. Descriptions are in Spanish as well, just as they are in my Etsy store.
I hope to have a couple more patterns translated in the near future, so please check back or follow me on Facebook and Instagram! Thanks for looking! Chao! 🙂
Dear friends, I hope your New Year is off to a great start! We received quite a lot of snow here in Boston so I have been staying in and doing beadwork! I have also added a few new items in The Lone Beader’s Boutique on Zazzle. Check out my new Lone Beader Definition slouchy t-shirt and hoodie dress! I have had this ‘definition’ posted on my website for over 10 years now. After reading many comments and emails, I have realized that many of you can relate..
Now, you can express yourself and tell the world that you love to do beadwork without saying a word. Wear (alone or with leggings) to bead shows, bead retreats, and definitely while beading! Also, please check my Facebook and/or Instagram pages for more items coming soon! Thanks for looking! 🙂
Dear friends, I hope you are enjoying the holiday season! I have been so busy beading holiday orders for my Etsy shop this month, that I haven’t had much time for anything else. Today, I would like to share with you one of my recent custom orders. This dog pin was inspired by an adorable Havanese named Nacho.
My customer sent me a photo which I used to create the sketch below:
Here is the finished product. It is not an exact replica, but I feel it is a pretty good likeness. Beadwork always makes the piece seem a bit larger, especially when I add layered beaded fringe as I did on the dog’s face. I think this effect adds to the whimsy of the piece.. Here, I used several different shades of black, gray, and white 15/o seed beads. I also used gray 13/o Charlottes on the dog’s front legs to add a bit more dimension. The dog’s owner was pleased with the outcome. What do you think?
I still have a few more beadwork orders to catch up on this week. Please stop by my Facebook or Instagram pages to view any updates. Also, I would like to mention that my New Year Sale is now happening on Etsy! All ready-to-ship beaded dog jewelry, beading patterns, bead kits, and art will be 20% off now through January 5, 2018! No coupon needed! Thanks for looking and have a safe and Happy 2018!!