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! 🙂

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! 🙂

Now Accepting Bitcoin on Etsy!

Bitcoin accepted here cryptocurrency thelonebeader Etsy entrepreneur

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! 🙂

Stay Warm and Do Beadwork

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..

Lone Beader Definition Slouchy T shirt Hoodie Dress Zazzle shop beading beadwork beads yoga top introvert

 

Lone Beader Definition Hoodie Dress Zazzle shop beading beadwork beads yoga top introvert

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! 🙂

Labor Day Weekend Tree Hugger

Sadly summer is coming to and end, but there is still a lot to look forward to! I am currently running another huge 20%-off sale on Etsy. Sale runs now through Sept. 5, 2017. Most ready-to-ship beaded dog pins, jewelry, beading kits, patterns, and artwork will be on sale. No coupon code needed!

Freeform Beaded Tree Russian Bead Embroidery painting in progress the lone beader beads Labor Day Sale beading patterns

Also, here is a quick peek at a small beaded tree I just finished. It was created by first doing bead embroidery around a P-shaped piece of felt using several different shades of green seed beads. I did several rows of freeform peyote-stitch across the center of the P. This tree will eventually be stitched to a canvas just a bit behind the larger tree. If you would like to see more progress on my Russian bead-painting, please check out my Facebook photo album. Next, I need to work on the relief aspect of these trees, but I do have a plan..We’ll see if it works.. Stay tuned!

Expressing Gratitude through Bead Embroidery

Dear friends, I have been thinking about the subject of gratitude lately. I often stay up late doing bead embroidery feeling incredibly grateful that I have discovered a craft which brings me so much joy. I am also grateful for all of the amazing friends I have met along my creative journey, all of the places I have traveled, and for each and every opportunity that has come my way.

Sign up for The Lone Beader's Newsletter Free copy of Intro to Extreme Bead EmbroiderySo, to express gratitude, I have decided to provide FREE access to my Intro to Extreme Bead Embroidery tutorial when you sign up for my e-newsletter. Shortly after sign-up, you will receive a link to view the PDF file in the Final Welcome Email. I hope this tutorial will inspire you to try the art of bead embroidery!

PDF: YORKIE Tutorial de bordado con cuentas del prendedor o pendiente de perro - Yorkshire Terrier - etsy beads español

I have also decided to lower prices on all beading patterns and kits on Etsy, Amazon, and Google Books. Beading patterns are now priced at $0.99 and $1.99 across the board, in English and Spanish. Now you can learn how to create some of my most popular beaded dog pins and pendants for a fraction of the original price!

Beaded West Highland White Terrier Westie beading pattern bead embroidery beadwork etsy

If you have just stumbled upon this post and would like to learn more about me, please check out this recent feature on the Caravan Beads blog. Someday I will make it up to Maine to check out their shop..

What are you grateful for and what are some ways you express gratitude? 🙂

Christmas in July Sale Event on Etsy & Amazon!

Dear friends, I am back to working on my Russian bead painting. Here is the latest progress – I have finished beading a large tree. The tree was created by first sewing together a felt foundation with several holes in it. I used a combination of bead embroidery and freeform peyote stitch to create a leafy texture which can be seen through when you move them around. Below is a sneak peak of what it might look like in the finished piece. This portion of the beadwork (tree + cathedral) measures approx. 12″x 15″. If you would like to see more photos of the progress of this piece, please visit this Facebook photo album.

Russian bead painting Red Square Moscow beaded bead embroidery art Etsy Amazon 25% off Christmas in July Sale

Also, I am running a Christmas in July Sale Event on Etsy and Amazon Handmade. Save 25% on every purchase in my shop now thru July 23, 2017. This sale is my biggest sale ever as it also includes made-order-items and custom orders, as well! No coupon code needed! Please click the image above to visit my Etsy shop. Thanks for looking and have a safe and happy Fourth of July! 🙂