Sunday, July 31, 2011

OOAK!!!! Really!! No More!! LOL

Really!! This bracelet took over 10 hours to make. Sure it's the first one but I can't see shaving more than 2-3 hours off over time. I did it for me as a challenge to see what I could come up with. No books, no patterns, just my brain, eyes and hands. I'm happy with the results but certainly not practical for me to make to sell.

#28 wire, #5 double pointed knitting needles and the finished wire mesh
#26 wire to bind the edges. The mesh rectangle was unstable and wouldn't have supported beading without this edge. 

Wire mesh rectangle with finished edge

Let the beading begin. End clasps have been added already

Finished bracelet; about 7 1/2" long x 2 1/2" wide

Gold earwires wrapped in silver with dangle to match bracelet

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Beta Fish with Beads

Beaded Beta Fish on Fold-up Back Pack

Just finished!! Hot off the press!! A stylized Beta Fish with waves and beads! Made for a private customer.

I have a couple more unpainted fold-up back packs just waiting for you to design and for me to paint. Base price $30 plain; with beading $35.

without beading

back side, shoulder straps zip up for shoulder bag or unzip for backpack

close up of beaded bubbles

close up of waves with beads

finished and folded up, a small purse

Monday, July 11, 2011

Update on the Upcycled Messenger Bag

You know how you make something and look at it and you know something is not exactly right but you don't know what? That's what was happening to me with the Messenger Bag. I couldn't get out of my head that I wanted to put the 'vintage' pin* that I had found at the flea market a couple weeks ago on this bag but it would be too much with the gold pins already there. (Check the June 11, 2011 blog for original story.)

*probably not vintage as I look closely at it. LOL

I dug out the yucky feathers and made a place for some new feathers. After the glue set and the pin was moveable, it positioned it on the front flap of the bag. Moved it around some to find the right place and then voilà, sewed it on. Gold pins are saved for another project.

Next were the beads. In the meantime one of the glass beads had worn through the thread and a couple beads were dangling. I had some new plastic thread, like fishline but very thin, that I used to sew alllllll the beads back on. I added some medium sized and some quite small black seed beads and extended the area a bit

Now it feels finished. Take a look.

Completed version

Lower left side of flap with spaces filled in with the seed beads
"Vintage" pin with new feathers. It's probably made from filo dough but it is just right for this purse

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

4th of July

July 4th always gave our household a great feeling of celebration.

It was midway through our summer vacation and just when things were getting boring, boom!, came July 4. Our family, plus Mom's sisters and their families, and sometimes the more extended family of cousins twice removed etc would all get together at Stony Lake for a huge pot luck picnic. After the food was gone and the visiting done, we all headed to our favorite 'secret spot' with hundreds of others to watch the FiReWoRkS!! As a kid these seemed pretty anticlimactic after all the build-up hype. They were over in 20 min or so and it took much longer than that to get out of the traffic jam and to get home. 

And then there was Mom's birthday. The story goes that she was born on July 4, 1913 in the kitchen of their house. BUT the doctor was PO'd that he had to deliver a baby on July 4 so he didn't file the birth certificate til several days later.  She eventually got it changed to her rightful birthday and we, plus the entire populace of the US, celebrated her birthday on the nation's holiday ever since. She never failed to remind us of that fact either. Hahaha!

I am looking forward to seeing fireworks on 4th of July for the first time in many years. I hear that Gulfport has magnificent fireworks. I'm already planning my 'secret' spot from which to watch. Probably will have to get there early though.

My new July 4th cards:

Using wet-on-wet technique for a softer look
Fireworks at night; wet-on-wet

Saturday, June 11, 2011


What do you do when your brother gives you boxes of your mother's things that he saved from her house when she died? Well... sort it out of course...keep what you can use...keep some things because you can't bear to throw them out...sell or give away the rest right!!

I found lots of broken necklaces and other jewelry, lace doilies, crochet collars, and other items I thought might be used on my cards or ...

Here's the first creation, a nice sized Messenger Bag with extra features like a cell phone pocket on the outside and a place for pens, business cards and check book just under the flap and a full, large interior.

I love the Egyptian motif with the eyes. But the flap needed something more. A broken black bead necklace from my bead box plus some old buttons I also found in my mom's things were added at random on the lower left side. The gold pins were also a find among my mom's things.

There are 5 buttons and the rest are black beads - maybe glass mottled with white.

I have used the purse for a while now and think I'll add some more beads but I'm not just sure where yet.
The top pin is part of a  larger piece  but was intact as a separate unit. It is pink gold. I sewed it on the back side to prevent it from coming loose. The bottom pin is yellow gold and is complete. Since they were so similar I decided to use both of them.
What suggestions would you make?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Beaded T Shirts

So Sunday a friend and I went to a larrrrrge flea market. I hadn't ever been to this one. Because it would be HOT later in the day, we went at 8 AM. Fooey! It was already hot! Much of what we wanted to look at was in full sun. Lucky for me I had a wide-brimmed straw hat. 

She wanted to look for vintage jewelry from which she makes upscaled jewelry. Her work is outstanding. I just wanted to look. I was somewhat interested in beads, like seed beads, or other interesting beads that I could sew on to T shirts or accessories after I'd painted them. But mainly I just wanted to look. 

I found the necklace of black glass that I will put on the T shirt as mentioned in the previous blog. Also I found a vintage pin which is a bit ugly but perfect for a purse I'm creating for myself. 

Later in the morning my friend gave me about 25 little bags of seed beads which she doesn't use in her art. And boy did the juices start to flow. Ideas were whirling around and I realized that everything I had beaded when I lived in Germany had sold. The bead bug has bit again. 

Below are the three T shirts painted this week. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's in a T Shirt?

From a white woman's T Shirt, a bottle of black fabric paint, a brush and a delicate black beaded necklace what can be made?

My original idea was to paint a tribal design on the back center, sew black glass beads around the neckline, and then sew the center motif of the black bead necklace to the front center. Then embellish with other small black beads as necessary. 

But when I began painting, I realized the quality of this t shirt was not good enough to warrant all that bead work. So I changed my mind a bit and did the entire design in paint with just a few beads to make it unique.  This accomplished two things: 1. I can see how the design worked out (and if I want to change it), and 2. This t shirt can be sold at a lesser price.  

Back of shirt

Front of shirt
Dots were made with a special paint liner that I brought back with me from my recent trip to Germany.

I like the looks of this and am now anxious to get to the store to get a 'just right' shirt to put my original design on.

When the other shirt is finished, I'll include a picture so you can see the comparison.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Back in the Swing of Things

Can handmade art/crafts be profitable these days?

In this depressed economy I find most of my art/craft only sells "on sale". My prices are good and I try to have things at all price points. Lots of lookers, lots of good comments, few sales. Tis also true of other vendors this season.

So what makes you buy at an Art Walk or an Art Fair? 

I'd love to hear your comments. Be brutally honest, please.