Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to a much warmer climate – I went to Mexico! This was my first time visiting the country and it is just beautiful. It is very much like the paradise I imagined!!
I stayed in Playa del Carmen just south of Cancun. Of course, I went to the beach and did a few touristy excursions (Tulum, Xel-Ha, and snorkeling in Cozumel), but I also did a little shopping on 5th Avenue. Anyone who has already been there knows this is not easy. Bargaining is the name of the game, and everyone is trying to sell you something whether you need it or not. I was shopping for local handmade goods. I found quite a few shops selling many beaded jewelry items! I asked permission to take this photo of some beaded bracelets I saw:
Women who live in the tiny villages of Mexico make this beaded jewelry to support themselves and their families. Any purchase you make helps support the local economy, and is greatly appreciated. So, of course I picked up a few bracelets to take home. Which one do you like best?
On your next visit to Mexico, stop and look at the beadwork. Perhaps you will find something special to take home, too:)
Several months ago, a package of Tagua beads came in the mail from Ecuador! Tagua beads are made from the nut of a palm tree in South America. They can be carved or cut into many different shapes. The Tagua nut’s best known quality is that in its natural state, it looks very much like Ivory, but can be dyed any color of the rainbow. Tagua beads are light weight and eco-friendly!
My favourite Tagua beads are called potato chip beads or slices. They are very thin with one hole on the top. I wanted to try using them as a cabochon, so I glued 3 of them to small pieces of Ultrasuede. Then, I beaded around them using peyote-stitch. I used orange and turquoise blue glass seed beads in size 11 and 15.
After I finished beading my bezels, I decided to utilize the holes at the top of the beads by making my own bails. I did this by peyote-stitching a few rows of beads through the hole and the Ultrasuede at the back of the piece. After creating a second beaded link, I was able to attach sterling silver ear wires. For the third pendant, I stitched an 18″ blue spiral rope chain to match.
These pieces are very lightweight in comparison to a beaded stone or glass cabachon. If you like big earrings, but don’t like them weighing your ear down, these are perfect! This set is now available for sale in my Etsy shop. You can also find a fabulous selection of Tagua Beads at EcuadorianHands.com. Thanks for looking!
*Please note: I have received the Tagua Beads used in these pieces free of charge from EcuadorianHands.com. This is my honest review of the product and I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.
Last week, I beaded a new doggie pin – a Basset Hound – inspired by a Facebook friend’s dog named Bunjy!
This beaded dog was made by stitching several felt layers onto a piece of stiff beading foundation. I used size 15 seed beads for the entire dog, layering them to accentuate his wrinkles. His ears were made using a freeform peyote stitch technique. They are 2cm long and floppy! Finished piece measures 4cm x 4cm.
This piece can be worn as a pin and a pendant. Click the pics to view more photos in my Etsy shop. What kind of dog should I bead next?😀
Boston Bead Company is offering an exclusive bead embroidery workshop with me on Saturday, February 9! Learn how to do basic bead embroidery and peyote stitch while making this hot pink cameo pendant. This project uses size 8 & size 11 Czech glass seed beads, so it is suitable for beginners, although any prior needlework experience you may have had will be helpful.. This 5-hour workshop will be held at the Cambridge, MA store. Please click the pic for more details or register HERE. Hope to see you there!
Over the long holiday weekend, I got a chance to work on a small project for Artbeads.com‘s blogging challenge entitled ‘What’s Old is New Again‘. Artbeads was kind enough to send me a piece of 16g sterling silver half hard wire and some new Toho seed beads! My challenge was to incorporate something old into the design. So, I chose an antique watch face! A few years ago, I picked up a bag full of old watch parts at an antique market in London. I love to use these because, to me, they add a bit of mystery. I always wonder what the watch might have looked like, who wore it, and where they had to be at any given time…
Fairy Tale Flower Pendant (detail). 2.75" (7cm)
For this piece, first I formed a flower shape out of the wire. I stitched the watch face onto a piece of Ultrasuede, and began beading around it. I then used a freeform peyote stitch technique to fill in the flowers’ petals with seed beads. I stitched white beads onto the front of the flower, and a green seed bead mix onto the reverse side. This really adds visual depth to the piece! After I completed the beadwork, I added a brown leather cord. This is definitely one of the more unique art pieces I have ever created. It almost looks like something out of Alice in Wonderland, but not quite.. So, I decided to call it a Fairy Tale Flower Pendant, and I listed it in my Etsy shop. What does it remind you of? :D
Fairy Tale Flower Pedant on Leather Cord
*Please note: I have received the above mentioned products free of charge from Artbeads.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.