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.
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!
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!
Once again, Mexico continues to surprise me. I already can’t wait to return! 🙂
Dear friends, I have received several orders for custom beaded pet pins recently. One was a request for a bead- embroidered Havanese dog pin. After receiving a few photos of my customer’s dog, I worked on a quick sketch which I converted into a felt foundation. And here is the design I came up with:
I began beading the dog’s cute little face by using a small glass drop bead for the nose and two tiny glass doll eyes. The rest was done in Japanese size size 15 seed beads.
Once I finished the first layer of beadwork, I added a second layer of tiny beaded fringe all over the dog’s body. This layer adds texture and movement to the dog’s hair and almost looks ‘real’! What do you think?
If you are interested in adopting your own beaded Havanese pin pendant, earrings, or even framed pet portrait, please use the Contact form above or check out my Etsy shop. Thank you for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
Dear friends, I would like to share with you the progress of my latest custom order. This is a new animal pin for me, one of which has been on my list for awhile now.. A beaded horse – in this case a majestic Anheuser-Busch bred Clydesdale horse:) This animal is much larger than the usual dogs & cats that I create, so the size of the pin must be larger as well, otherwise the details will be lost. So, I worked on a drawing based on the photo below and resized it to about 3″ x 3″.. This is usually a good size for a large brooch.
Next, I created a paper template which I used to cut out several layers of felt. The first layer is a stiff beading foundation, and the top layers or shapes were cut from felt. I can use any felt that I have on hand, either acrylic or wool. I stitched the layers of felt to the stiff stuff to create my overall foundation.
Next, I began by stitching a special 2mm glass eye onto the horse’s face, then I began beading. I always start with the animal’s face and work from there. In this case, I worked on the face, then legs as I outlined the horse’s body with Japanese size 15 seed beads.
Following those lines, I continued doing bead embroidery by simply filling in the rest of the legs and body. I used several different colors of seed beads to achieve the shading I wanted. Once the first layer of beadwork was complete, I began the second layer. I added tiny beaded fringe on the horse’s mane and legs. I also added some more lines to accentuate the animal’s features. Lastly, I stitched many long beaded fringes for the tail. I sort of stitched these together at the top so they sit right, but that was easier said than done.
This piece required a bit more time and patience than usual, but I think the results are worth the effort. I am really proud of how this piece turned out! What do you think? If you are an equestrian and are interested in a custom beaded horse pin or framed mini pet portrait, please use the Contact form above or message me through Etsy! I appreciate your interest in my beadwork! 🙂
Dear friends, the New Year has already been busy! I have been receiving Etsy and Amazon orders ever since the holidays so I haven’t had time to blog! Here is what I have been working on..
The first is a new design – a tiny beaded Pitbull pendant. I actually made 2 of these, a brindle and a gray and white one. These bead-embroidered pendants are very small – they measure less than 1″ and they hang from an 18″ sterling silver 1.3mm diamond cut bead chain with lobster claw clasp. They also feature a tiny sterling silver heart charm.
Above, you can see how these look when worn. Of course, matching earrings can always be made upon request:) This design is listed as made to order on Etsy and Amazon Handmade.
And recently, I received my first international order through Amazon – an Orange Roan Italian Spinone brooch! I used nearly 10 different colors of seed beads for this piece, mainly a combination of whites, topaz, and gold. I have listed this as a new color choice in my online shops.
This piece has made its way across the pond! Hope it arrives safely. If you are interested in a custom beaded pin or pendant, please send me a message! Also I would like to note that all Ready to Ship items purchased after January 30 will not ship out until the week of February 13, and processing times for made to order items will be adjusted accordingly.. I will be off on another adventure searching for beads:)
Dear friends, two new items have been listed in my Etsy and Amazon Handmade shops. The first, a bead-embroidered German Shepherd police dog! I have been wanting to make one of these for awhile, because I feel we owe so much to these amazing dogs. They put their lives on the line every single day. If you are interested in a custom beaded Police Dog pin or framed portrait in a different breed, please use the Contact form to send photos of your dog.
If you would like to help buy a police dog a bulletproof vest, consider donating to Massachusetts Vest-a-Dog this holiday season. This is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to support Massachusetts police dogs, by helping provide bulletproof vests, essential equipment, training, & dogs. Vests cost over $1000 each, but they are worth every penny considering how many lives these dogs save.
Also, check out my latest customized Miniature Schnauzer pin pendant. This dog is Black and Silver. I used at least 6 different colors of seed beads for this piece as well as a drop bead for the nose. This design is currently available for sale on Etsy and Amazon.. Enter coupon code HOLIDAY16 to save 15% on any purchase of $10 or more in my Etsy shop. Coupon expires December 15, 2016.. Perhaps I should make matching earrings next?
Dear friends, I have been busy working on yet another custom order! Here is my latest – a large beaded Leopard brooch.. This is my first wild cat pin!
After working on a sketch, I transferred the image to a piece of stiff beading foundation and cut it out. Then, I cut out several more pieces of felt which would make the body of the cat appear to be in relief. After stitching these felt pieces together, I began beading the cat’s face. This piece is larger than usual, so it was a bit easier to get some detail in the cat’s face and nose. I used at least 8 different color seed beads as well as tiny glass eyes for the face.
By the time I started the body, I was using just 5 colors of seed beads. Two different shades of gold, black, transparent black, and a transparent cream color. When the Leopard’s body was beaded, I layered some matte brown beads to mimic the spots on the animal’s back.
I stitched wire to the back of the Leopard to stiffen his legs and tail, then I stitched Ultrasuede and a pin back to reverse side of the piece..
This piece is oversized. It measures approx. 3.5″ wide x 2.25″ tall… What do you think? 😀
Dear friends, last week a customer sent me a photo of her beautiful Borzoi named Duma. She asked me to create a custom beaded pin which looks like her dog.
First, I cut out several layers of felt and stitched them together. Then, I added a tiny glass nose and eyes.
Then, I began stitching tiny Japanese size 15 glass seed beads to the felt 2-3 at a time. When the majority of the bead embroidery was complete, I added beaded fringe and a leather collar with sterling silver heart charm. A pin finding is sewn to the back and beadwork is backed with Ultrasuede.
6.5cm x 6cm
Now this beaded dog brooch is complete and on its way to my customer! If you are interested in a custom beaded dog pin, jewelry or pet portrait, please use the Contact form, or check out my Etsy and Amazon Handmade shops online. Thank you for your interest in my beadwork! 🙂