Friday, December 26, 2014

Bead and Button Magazine!

My friend and business customer Meg Mullen owns the company Bead My Love.  Bead My Love sells supplies for bead embroidery and carries polymer cabochons made by me.  This summer Meg asked me to design a scarab cabochon for her.  She was designing a bead embroidery piece.  I will tell you that her work is stunningly gorgeous!  I was honored to do this design for her! She made me proud!  Not only does she do awesome bead design and bead work but she is a really sweet person. 

Scarab Kit
The Scarab Bead Embroidery Design by Meg Mullen

The bead embroidery piece (with my scarab cab)  and the tutorial designed by Meg is in the February 2015 issue of Bead and Button  magazine!  For those of us in the jewelry making business Bead and Button is one of the best publications in the industry. It is exciting for me to see my artwork and name in Bead and Button magazine!  I am also so proud of Meg and that her design is being showcased.

The scarab beetle is an ancient Egyptian symbol for "rebirth".   A perfect project for bringing in the New Year! If you are interested in making this project Bead My Love has the complete Bead and Button Scarab Design Kit on their website.  They also carry seed beads and have the smaller stone cabs that are in the project.  I have the scarab cabochons in my Etsy shop MsPlace.  

Thanks for stopping by and happy beading!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Drop Earrings

Loving the look of white clay with chalk and guilders paste.  Made these this week. 
 Green Drop Earrings
Had some fun wire wrapping too!
Hope you have a very Merry Christmas week!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Shopping is So Much Fun

Shopping is so much fun!  I bought some new molds from MasterMolds on Etsy to use for polymer cabochons.  I think they are quite interesting!

I am still having fun with chalks and guilders paste!  So many colors and combinations! 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A New Direction

Our lives  took a new direction this summer.  We have been campers for the last 20 years.  During that time we have had 10 different camping rigs. Number 10 has been lived in for the last four months as full time volunteer campground hosts at Trap Pond State Park in Laurel, DE.  Surprising to both of us we were very comfortable.  Amazing how much space you really need or don't need to be comfortable.

It has been quite an adventure and an awesome re-acquaintance with nature for my husband and I both.  Living in the woods and near a pond have been soul food for us.  The pond is the northern most natural bald cypress swamp in the US.  The cypress trees grow in the water and are quite beautiful.

I was also fascinated with the different kinds of mushrooms that we saw in the woods around the park.

I have no clue if they are safe to eat.  They were just so pretty to look at and they don't live for very long. The fall leaves and crisp air have also been a joy to experience.

 Delaware is most known for boardwalks and beaches on the Atlantic Ocean.  The secret gem of our state is Trap Pond State Park.  There are bike and hiking trails, a disc golf course, kayak and canoe rentals, and pontoon boat tours.  If you get over this way spending a day or a week at Trap Pond is worth it.  There are 148 camping sites, 8 cabins and 2 yurts.  There is also a beautiful Nature Center with interactive information and history of the area situated near a playground and picnic area.

I am having a hard time adjusting to the fact that winter is almost here.  Living in the motorhome makes me think it is still summer!  Hope you are having a great autumn... it feels more like winter here today!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Etsy Shop Again

Msplace on Etsy is again open for business.  I have been making cabochons for bead embroiderers.  They have been selling at bead shows through Bead My Love beads.  I decided I would open my Etsy venue again and stock it with my polymer cabachons. I made a mold from a belt buckle with a horse head on it and added some flowers.  I have been having fun with chalk and guilders paste.

Stop by MsPlace and check out the other cabs I have listed!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Finished the First One!

I finally finished the first bead embroidery project that I started!  My friend Meg from Bead My Love gave me a lesson in bead embroidery several months ago.  I make polymer cabochons and they use them in the bead embroidery kits that they sell. 

I cannot of course do what everyone else does and make a circle with a nice little circle of beads around it.  It was very pretty and simple with just beads around the cab.  I always have add some gypsy to my work!

Check out the bird dangling from the top.  I also added polymer tube beads on the bottom mixed with check glass rondelles.

Lots of fun going on here!
Hope you are enjoying your summer!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Heads Up in Felt

Last Saturday I was invited to be part of a needle felting "Heads Up" class.   My friend Carol Messick of Flat Mountain Studio is an award winning and amazing doll artist. 

Our day started with looking at all of Carol's creations.  She makes dolls, animals and all kinds of amazing things out of needle felted wool from alpacas and sheep. 

Please check out the rest of her creations in her  Gallery of photos!

We decided to make a head like the one Carol is holding here called Aunt Grace.
After a few lessons on face and head anatomy we started our needle felted heads!


Her nose looks really big to start with.

There were three of us in the class and this is a picture of our noses.  We all decided that maybe we could actually do this!
Glasses help position the head and face anatomy! Somehow I am thinking I won't be having an Aunt Grace.  Looks more like  my brother Dave right now or my dad! So now we are all talking about our men we are making!

Gotta get some fat cheeks on there!

Definitely not a female so I made the eyebrows heavier! 

Well I'd say we have some gentlemen friends for Aunt Grace.  We all ended up with men doll heads not women! Carol did say they take on a personality of their own as you go.  And because this was our first "felted head" she wanted us to make them big to learn the concept.  She also said if we continue to condense the felt they could get more feminine.
I really enjoyed spending the day with other creative women!  If you are interested in taking a class check out Carol's website for more information about her classes.  Now to decide if I am going to make a body for him...  I think he needs a cap like this one:
What do you think?  I also need a name for him.  Any ideas?  I am thinking I may call him Henry.  That was my dads name and he makes me smile and think of him!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Downton Abbey in Person

Yesterday was a fairy tale kind of day.  I enjoyed the day with two friends at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. We viewed the Downton Abbey costume display and also toured the 5th and 6th floor of the museum.

 Our journey started with a discussion of the Downton Abbey show a few weeks ago.  We all had gotten the DA bug just in the past year.  We have not seen all of the seasons yet but have seen enough to fall in love with the show.  What is it about the show?  They are taking a survey at the DA exhibit as to what is it that intrigues you about the show?  The history?  The costumes?  The plot?

The exhibit was well presented as is everything at Winterthur.  The staff and accommodations are incredible.  Everyone was very welcoming and knowledgeable about what they are presenting.  They have trams and shuttles to take you from the Visitors Center to the Museum and offer cafes and cafeterias in both locations.  I want to go back again to see the gardens when in bloom and the other exhibits. 

Back to Downton Abbey.  The costumes are made from period fabrics when possible and have a tremendous amount of handwork on them.   My favorite costume from the shows that I have watched is in the following picture.  Not my favorite because of its beauty but because of the sassiness of Sybil when she first wore it! You can see a clip of her in the background.

I can't decide on a favorite of the other costumes because they all have an amazing story and lots of creative handwork behind them.  I was surprised at the gauziness of the fabric that had beads sewn to it.  It is amazing that the beads stayed on the dresses. We use Nicoles Beadbacking  or  Lacys Stiff Stuff to keep our beads high and tight!  These dresses our made with wisps of fabric.  It would seem to be difficult to do the beading on them.  Yes that is all beads decorating this dress! 
The backs of the dresses are as decorated as the fronts of the dresses. 
The costume designers have 7 weeks to complete all of the costumes for each season.  They use some vintage fabrics and add to or design with them to create the fabulous dresses that are worn on this show.  I was very surprised at the authenticity they use.  When you view the show on TV you don't realized the detailed beading and embroidery that is part of these dresses.  Even the Housekeepers dress!
The chains hanging from the clip on her waist have skeleton keys on them.  The "V" in the bodice is embroidered and trimmed with lace.
In today's world I can get beads on the internet.  There are some options at the major arts and craft stores but anything unusual can only be found online or at a local bead store if you still have one in your area.  My question is where did their beads and fabrics come from?  How much time did it take to make one dress?  By the way, they were expected to change 4 times a day.  Ha!  We decided we may have 4 different colors of sweatpants but really... who wants to do all of that laundry. Of course most of us don't have a staff to wait on us so they didn't concern themselves with the care of things.  It is understandable that tussie-mussies were a necessity.  How could you launder these dresses?
They also had the men's costumes.  Many of them don't look much different from what is worn today.  Functional and tailored.  I did learn what a "club tie" is.  Have you heard of them?
A gift shop is open near the exhibit with teas, cookbooks, hats, jewelry, velvet shawls and lace coats!
If you are in the Wilmington, Delaware area I would encourage you to go to Winterthur.  The Downton Abbey exhibit will be there until January of 2015.  The tickets are a reasonable price and the walk back in time is enchanting!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Boho Bead Embroidery

I think I have a bead embroidery virus.... I keep wanting to bead around everything! More polymer cabs keep coming out of my clay oven!  This cab is colored with chalks as the cabs in my last few blog posts. I also used the lovely dyed lace doilies.  Love boho... yes I do!
Vintage with a twist...
I drilled a hole in the center and beaded in it!
 Fringe is flirty!
So ready for Spring... one more snow they say!  I am hoping the bright colors will cheer you up! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

From Clay to Bead Embroidery

Lately my muse has been following handwork with a needle and thread and some beads.   I made some cabochons from polymer that I blogged about here. I decided to use one of the chalked cabochons to make a bead embroidered piece.

I have a love of old doilies and have dyed some in pretty spring colors.   I wanted to make something pretty to wear using a mixture of the bits and bobs I have on hand.

I came up with the idea of using the dyed doilies behind my cabochon worked in with some bead embroidery.

I love this and yes I did make it asymmetrical on purpose.  I know that drives some of you crazy but I like the offset as it grabs your eye.  It also gives it a tattered look. 

This is my first finished bead embroidery piece.  I really enjoyed working with these pretty colors.  They make me ready for Spring!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Polymer and Chalk

I have been working with all kinds of different medias but I always come back to clay.  I am attempting to do some bead embroidery and have been working on some cabochons.  Somehow I always come up with blues and purples....


I really had some fun with white polymer clay and chalks.  I purchased this Cosmic Ceramic tutorial from Iris Mishly. She introduced me to using chalks with polymer. This piece doesn't resemble anything from that tutorial but I came away from it with a whole new avenue to explore.  The chalks are easy to apply but can turn to a mess if you get too much going on with them.

I used some inexpensive artist pastels and also some chalk dust from this box of blackboard chalks.

This box of chalk was a treasure we found when cleaning out my dh's family home.  His mom was an artist and had some art supplies that I brought home.  I certainly wasn't sure what I would do with chalk but the colors spoke to me and I couldn't let them go!  I am so glad I kept them because the colors are intense and beautiful.

I really have enjoyed experimenting and encourage you to check out the many tutorials out there. Even if you don't make exactly what they are making you can definitely learn so much. There are a few others that I have purchased recently that I will tell you about soon.

Thanks for stopping by!  m