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, recently I finished beading my first house portrait. This piece was a special commission.
The house still stands in Steubenville, Ohio – a former steel town where my father’s family lived and worked. My father’s uncle actually built this house many years ago..
This piece was created by stitching tiny glass seed beads to felt 2-3 at a time using strong nylon thread. Miyuki Tila beads were used for the sidewalk, Swarovski crystals were used for the yard light, and tiny seashells were sewn at the edge of the driveway.. The beadwork itself measures approx. 5″ x 7″.. It was carefully mounted and framed in an 8″ x 10″ shadowbox frame.
You can view an enlarged photo of this piece HERE. You may also view progress photos to see how this piece was made HERE as well as on my Facebook and Instagram pages. If you are interested in a commissioned beaded portrait, please Contact me for more details. Thank you for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
Dear friends, I have made some progress on my latest commission – a beaded house portrait.
First, I stitched in some beaded greenery around the yard light. Then, I began to bead the tree..
In real life, this tree is very large, but my portrait is sort of limited by the size of the canvas, so this only represents a portion of the tree. Using size 15 seed beads in at least 6 shades of green, I stitched very small loops for leaves. There are many leaves, so this took quite a while to do!
Next, I stitched the house to the larger 5″x 7″ piece of stiff stuff that is shown behind it.. (Yes, the house was a separate piece of beadwork, as is the tree!) Then, I continued stitching the grass to the edge of the stiff stuff.
I also stitched size 11 black, gray, and brown seed beads for the street, and tiny size 15 Delica beads for the driveway. I thought I might run out of the color I was using, but turns out I had just enough! 🙂
Next, I will stitch in a bit more grass.. Please check my Facebook and/or Instagram pages for more updates. Thank you for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
Dear friends, I have been making a little progress on my beaded house portrait. Check it out..
First, I have stitched Miyuki Tila and half-Tila beads for the sidewalk and the wall near the driveway. Then, I created a tiny mailbox and yard light by stringing beads onto eye pins and attaching them at the back of the piece. I used Preciosa rose montee rhinestones for the yard light. It really sparkles!
Next, I began working on the large tree. Tiny glass seed beads make it look larger than it really is!
In the photo above, I began beading the grass. Stitching in several directions, I used 4 different shades of green for visual interest.
When I finished the lawn, I peyote-stitched tiny bits of greenery around the yard light. And, I added bead -embroidered shrubs or yews along the front of the house.. How do you think it looks so far?
For those who have just stumbled upon this post, this portrait has been commissioned as a gift for mother of the bride. This is her mother’s childhood home. This house still stands in Southeastern Ohio. Please check my Facebook or Instagram pages for more updates. Thanks for looking! 🙂
Dear friends, these days, I am working on a special commission – a bead-embroidered house portrait!
First, I completed a sketch which I used to create a paper template. I used the template to create several different felt shapes of the house. I layered the felt cutouts and stitched them together.
I began beading the garage and windows using size 15 seed beads and Miyuki Tila beads. I am using several browns and grays so far.
Above, you can see that I finished beading the rest of the house. And, below, I have layered some seed beads over the house to create visual interest (although I don’t think the camera can pick up this detail).
I have also begun to work on the yard. I stitched half-Tila beads along the wall next to the driveway, as well as up the stairs. How do you think it looks so far? Please check my Facebook and Instagram pages for more updates. Thanks for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂