Friday, September 21, 2018

Peaceful Kingdom Kit Update

Going Fast!
 For those who have preordered the special limited edition ornament kit for this year, they are just about ready to ship. I am still waiting on the Greensleeves movements to arrive from Japan. They have made it here to the US, and should be clearing customs any time now. Once they arrive, I still need to mount the movements to their soundboards~ it shouldn't take long. I have them made, but cannot drill the boards until I have the movement sitting here, as they are all a bit different. 
If you are on the fence, I  "plan" to have this kit available to order until the end of the year, BUT,  preorders have been so brisk, I only have 8....yes, just 8!!  kits left of my original planned edition here ready to go. As long as these movements have taken to get here, I cannot guarantee that if you order a kit later on, I will have one for you.    
If you would like one, best not wait!  I have had alot of questions re the perceived difficulty, and I can honestly say, I think anyone could work this kit. There is a whopping 56 pages of step by step photograph instructions, along with another 7 pattern pages!!...and I am always here to answer any questions you may have!
If you would like to order a kit, you can do so here

Monday, September 03, 2018

An Exhilarating NEW Read!

The Glory of Beads by Nicole Anderson
   So this book has been in the works for some time now...Nicole has been sharing little bits and bobs here and there....its coming, its coming~ well. IT is finally here and is amazing! I feel absolutely comfortable saying that beads have been a lifelong passion for Nicole, just as they have been for me~ but she has gone light years farther and beyond what I ever could dream of doing, to share her love of them with us all.  I have had great difficulty researching the history of seed beads and how they were made in the 17th century~ I wish wish wish wish this would have been out years ago!  Nicole's book focuses on a particular factory in Venice...hence the title,  'The Glory of Beads, The Rise and Fall of the Societa Veneziana per l'Industria delle Conterie' ....and in the 19th c, but in 17th c was basically the same process, just without the few machines that were being used later.  If you have ever had any question or interest in how glass beads, and in particular, seed beads, were made, you  m.u.s.t.  r.e.a.d.  t.h.i.s.  b.o.o.k!

 It is paperback, 230 GLORIOUS pages including a glossary of terms at the back.  Most photos are in black and white, but there are some in color. And lets talk about these photos..... Not only does Nicole go in depth as to how beads were made, she provides proof in original period photographs taken at the factory. Everyone has seen the early engravings of the 'runners' who draw out the hot glass into long canes....but have you ever actually seen a photograph of the process????(seen above)  I know I hadn't, not until I read this book!
Nicole gives faces to the workers needed for each and every step of the process~ so we can appreciate the hand work actually involved in making everything from seed beads, lampwork beads, beaded fringes used on the elaborate lampshades of the times....there is even an entire chapter devoted to Aldo Bullo, who hand made the needles for stringing the beads~ from pg. 146~

"The term 'hair-thin needles' has an actual mathematical basis. Using a caliper, one strand of hair measures approximately 0.7mm, and the thinnest known needle made by Bullo measured 0.5mm"

 So many of my questions have been answered by this book, and I have learned so much about the SVC that I did not know~ for some reason I thought it went out of business in the 1930's...but not so! The Societa Veneziana per l'Industria delle Conterie did not shut its doors until 1992, after years of valiantly trying to keep up with the changing times & circumstances. Who knew a factory that could produce such gorgeous little beads, also produced glass pellets for encapsulating nuclear waste? 
 On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, I give Nicole's passionate book, The Glory of Beads, at least a 20 on the must read & own scale. 
If you would like to order a copy you can send Nicole a message on facebook here , or email her at  Books are 65.00 each, plus shipping, and worth every penny

Friday, August 31, 2018

Registration now open for BTSS 2019 
 Can you believe tomorrow is Sept 1st? I will admit time has got away from me and it wasn't until a few folks   emailed me to tell me they had signed up for class, that I realized registration was even open! There are 15 seats in each class, and Lynne has told me both classes booked to a little over half full already~ so if you are thinking about it~ I would love to see you in class next year!
Click the link above to go to the home page of Summer School~ there you can see all of the different tutors and classes~ not just mine! There is something for everyone!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Wonderful NEW Threads Available!

 Size 8 Silk Wrapped Purl in 17 Colors~

Did you know that I am a retailer for Access Commodities & all of their wonderful threads & Legacy Linens? Well, I am and look what new threads just arrived! I am in the middle of kitting up the Peaceful Kingdom ornament (Just over half of my quantity has sold already in preorders, so if you want one, put it on your list for sooner than later!), and just had to take a break to share these with ya'll.
This new size of silk wrapped purl seems HUGE compared to the others we are used to, but I can imagine the possibilities for its use endless, and not just for embroidery either. So far, it is available in 17 gorgeous colors, and retails for 9.00 per meter. If you enlarge the picture above, the color numbers are marked on the picture~ you will see some new colors for purls if you are a fan of them~ the 3414 is my ultimate favorite and a color I have longed for for some time. Its an aged taupey dusty purple that is just gorgeous and I have seen on so many caskets!

 So what is a size 8?  Just how big is it? In the picture above I have all 3 sizes of silk wrapped purls ~ the tiny on the top, regular on the right, and size 8 on the left.

What is great about this huge size 8, is that in addition to cutting, chipping and louping, it can be easily pulled apart and flattened to form a loupey trim~ much like the silver and gilt metal loupey trim on so many 17th c stumpwork pieces...but now we can have it in colored silk! Think of it for edges of clothing...flower petals and curtains. I am really loving it for its the perfect scale to use as a sub for soutache in tiny dolly clothes~ think Civil War jackets with all of the applied braids. I love it! If you are interested in purchasing, just drop me a line at  For that matter, as long as what you need is in stock at Access Commodities, I can order your hearts desire and have it to you in a jiffy!

Now I am back to sorting threads for Peaceful Kingdom, I am about half way through the spools....just look at those beautiful colors!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

2018 Santa Fe Indian Market

Sensory Overload
 Got up at 0330 and drove down to Santa fe Indian Market yesterday~ if you are close and have not yet gone, you still have today! It was absolutely amazing, as always~ the best of the best Native American artists. I am always in awe of their talents, and willingness to share their history

 In addition to the hundreds of amazing vendors, of coarse I had to visit my fav spots along the Plaza~ Andrea Fisher has an amazing selection of super rare pottery by Maria Martinez & family...including this piece~ one of only 6 Maria made in this humongous size. I have never ever seen one so large up for sale, e.v.e.r.

One of the things I love about going to Market is that the person sitting behind the table, is the person who made what you were looking at. They are all great people to talk to, and are all so passionate about what they do~ its so fascinating to hear their stories and why they made what they brought to share. It was while talking to Thomas Haukaas that I learned he had some of his work in one of the Museums...I assumed, wrongly of course, they were at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture....and he corrected me that they were in the current running exhibit at the International Folk Art Museum

 Beadwork Adorns the World  Runs until Feb of next year, and is a fantabulous exhibit of worldwide beadwork~
 Much is Native American, like these cradles made by Thomas, but there are examples of amazing things from all around the globe~ Romania, China, Africa...along with running shorts from the Corning Museum of Glass on how beads are made. Of coarse my favorites were the Native American pieces....a fully beaded saddle and blanket....all the beautiful was all just making my head spin! There was an unbelievably intricate tunic from China made from microscopically thin bamboo beads....but two pieces in particular stood out to me~ both made in the 1880s, and both toys.

 This little Lakota doll is too precious for words.

But this one, this is my favorite....oh my golly, a tipi. Made from tanned hide, with beads and quills for decoration, it was made for a young girl to play with, and still has its original poles so that it can be set up correctly. 
The exhibit runs until first week Feb, 2019, at the International Folk Art Museum in Santa Fe , NM

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Particularly Fun Stuff

Hectic Summer Days
  Have you ever heard the saying...why put off things until tomorrow that you could be doing today?  Well this summer, I threw that out the window and went for....'lets do it right now....lets do it alllllllll right now, at the same time!
I dont think I could possibly cram anything more into a day than I have been...but then again, there is always room for improvement.  I found this cutie patootie pair of antique bottles the other day, and thought they looked like they would fit my casket.....
 And they did! They are hand painted porcelain, with little butterflies on the tops~ I have another flat top, a short flat top and a double that all need I am always keeping my eyes peeled for anything that will fit. They are hard to find in least the short flat casket only needs one bottle.....

 Its starting to get dark earlier is my work counter at the moment....trying to pick colors for what I want to work next....but not in this dark of a space...had to wait for the sun to come up today

Aren't these beautiful colors?!  Can you guess what they will become?

Monday, August 13, 2018

Flirty Eyes

Hilarious! the video, you will get a chuckle! Many of you know I collect dolls, and in the 1850-60s, certain mache dolls were made with eyes that moved from side to side, instead of the usual up/down sleep mechanism. These side to side moving eyes are referred to as 'Flirty Eyes'.  Keeping this in the back of my mind, when I made my trinket box so many years ago now, I gave my lion side to side moving Flirty Eyes, and decided that Handsome on this year's ornament needed them as well....only, because he is snuggling his lil bff....the effect is quite perhaps he is having a moment of weakness and maybe thinking of just nibbling a bit.....maybe on a ear....just a little.  I do love making eyes this way tho, as the effect is quite startling to someone who doesn't realize you are moving the eyes when they're not looking, and the embroidery's eyes  follows them round the room.....
I show how to make them in the kit!