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!

Friday, August 10, 2018

New 2019 Classes

Dogs & Berries in Beads!
 I have literally been working my tuccass off this year designing new classes for next year~ these two I will be teaching at a private needlework seminar in Williamsburg next spring. Both are based on 17th c beaded raised work techniques~ this one, is D.O.G.....which stands for Duke of Gloucester, after Main street in Williamsburg. I affectionately just call him  'Duke'.  It is a fun challenge to see how many different techniques I can fit into a small project like this. 

  I am also teaching with modern beads this next year, to show that one can still get detail in a small space, with larger beads. They also are awesome to teach with, as they are easily obtainable...unlike the antique ones I usually use. Its easy to get enough beads for working something once...but when you have to make several of those over and over again for kits, its nearly impossible with antique beads.
This class focuses on surface techniques, and somewhat different from those I am teaching at the Bath Textile Summer School. I love how his tail is totally free from the ground!

 The other class I designed is 'Fruit of Thy Hands', which focuses on totally detached techniques, like those that would be used to embellish a basket frame. Students will learn the challenges of twilling over a shaped form, leaf techniques and how to assemble all the little pieces into something cohesive and pretty.

 Looks like something I would put in one of my casket drawers.....

I designed Duke to fit on a Thistle Threads Trinket Box top, but I framed mine....he looks like he may need something else around the outside edges to cover all that blank space....maybe some lace or something.... 

If your group is interested in having me come teach my techniques at your special event, just drop me a line~ my email is in the sidebar. 

Monday, August 06, 2018

Available Now for Preorder!

2018 Ltd. Edition Heirloom Music Box Casket Ornament Kit~
 Peaceful Kingdom
 I am super happy to introduce the new limited edition Christmas ornament kit for this year~ Peaceful Kingdom. It is a combination of two of my favorite things~ stumpwork caskets, and music boxes!
It will only be available for purchase from now until Dec. 31, 2018.  
If you would like to read more about it, all of the ornament and kit information is on my Diamond K Folk Art blog, just look for it in the header at the top of the page, or you can click here.

Friday, August 03, 2018

Blessed Beads!

Expanding my Flat Top Casket's Colour Palette

   My Flat Top Casket has been gently tugging at my heartstrings all summer....poor thing had to be set aside for me to get my class workups done....and the new 2018 ornament done.  (so be watching for it!!!!) ...but.....even tho I had to set it aside, it has still be on my mind....just about every day I would say.  I did finally decide what panel to work next....I think....maybe I will end up working on them all at the same time and skip any case, I cant wait to get my bead needles out in, my tiny. weensie. teensie. bead needles!!!! WOO HOO 
Just look at these beads! I have had a banner summer this year for finding beads....after years literally, of not finding anything. I do love the tiny beads for stumpwork, because they are so tiny, one can get great details. I prefer the microscopic sable beads....40-50 per inch, of which nearly all of these above are that tiny. The whole bead will fit thru the hole in the size 15 Miyuki beads I am using for my classes next year! 

   The only negative aspect of working with beads, is that one is limited to the colors of beads that they have on hand. I have been collecting beads for at least 35 years....perhaps a little longer, so I do have quite a few colors...but it always amazes me how I will have a thought in my head of what I want something to look like, and I still will not have just the right color. Husband says it all the time..."more beads? you need more beads??"    He also calls me a hoarder, to which I vehemently deny...unless of course, we are talking about beads, and then the answer would have to be a huge yes. I cannot pass up tiny beads. no I just cant!  The more colors I can find, the free-er I am to be with my designs and ideas. My casket is going to be awesome!
I was ecstatic earlier this year when I got this box of beads from a yard sale down in Placitas NM....couldn't believe it! There are pounds of weensies here! 

 These beads, from the top picture,  I have been truly blessed to find this year. I go years, literally, without finding any new beads...I think I said that already, but its true.  The little buggers are so blasted expensive now days, I literally spend all my pennies on beads! I have had to pick and choose, and have been focusing on colors that I was void of in my palette.

  There is just something about these little balls of molten sand that make my  heart skip a beat when I see them. And some of these, break my record for tiny. 
The reds next to my finger here...count 65+ to the inch!

 Both my front and back, and well, one side panel too on my casket, have water on I have been searching for different watery colors of blues....

  I got my lil mudhead out...he is lounging in a sea of beads...but I like to think of him as me...I would love to swim in an ocean of beads! I see endless opportunities with all of these colors, I cant wait to see what I can make from them.! I got some really nice skin tones and fleshy colors, so much so that my mind is racing on a new beadwork box...but I have to get my flat top done first!