Monday, October 29, 2018

Can U Believe it!?

More Glorious New Threads from Access Commodities Are Here!

New Colors of Wired Silk Facette Gimp
New threads just got in from Access Commodities today and they are BEEEEEEAAA UUU TI Ful! In addition to the 12 colors of silk facette gimp in the historical color line,  there are 5 more, long! If you are not familiar with facette, it is a filament silk wrapped over a kinky wired silk core.  Just about the same size as silk serpentine gimp, but with a wired core.

New! Size 4 Silk Wrapped Purls
 Yet another size of silk wrapped purls is now at our command, and in some great new fantabulous colors as well. The colors shown are currently in stock at the warehouse~ there are a couple not shown that are on backorder.  I love to see the colors together~ one can get a good idea how they compare to each other, within their own color grouping, if you are not familiar with the color numbers.

 We get a black in this size of purls as well~ which is super exciting because it is often left out of color groups...but is needed! My favorite color of these is 41046, a deep wine claret red ~ not purple. Do enlarge the pictures~ I left them big
 So with all these sizes of silk wrapped purls, its easy to get confused as to what size is what, and how they compare to each other~ so I have taken a picture of all 4 sizes above, and below~ for you to compare. The Tiny SWP is the smallest, at the upper right above. The Standard size 2 SWP is upper left. Lower right is the new size 4 SWP, and lower left, you can see the new size 8 SWP, which is used to make the silk scallop trim~ all you do it stretch it out and press it flat.

This picture is a closer view of how they compare...why so many sizes you ask? Well why on earth not???!!! Not only can they be used in the traditional way, couched down flat or louped up off the surface,  they can be pulled apart, like the size 8, and used as a trim, or pulled straight and used to edge detached needle lace pieces used in stumpwork and so much more!
I am working on a special order threads page on the Diamond K Folk Art blog, but until I get that done, you can special order any of the above threads from me now if  you need them, just drop me an email at 

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Grotto back end

Beautiful, Amazing 'Margarites'

I have been motoring along on the back panel of my casket, and finished the grotto & fountain this weekend. I have always been fascinated with the idea of a grotto~ so mystical and fantastic~  and very popular in 17th c embroideries. My back panel contains the back side of my grotto, with the beautiful fountain and cute fishies frolicing about and the opposite end of the grotto is on my front panel. I have been dreaming of this grotto for years, literally, and it has been exciting and fun to actually get to finally make it happen. I have been hoarding these particular blue cut beads for the falling water for as long as I have dreamt about this grotto!
I have scoured museum databases and the internet for 17th c worked examples, and have so many ideas zooming around in my head~ every time I find a new piece, there is something wonderful on there I want to try! Grottos are alot of fun because there is alot going on in a tiny amount of space~ lots of colors and lots of movement.
 During a study session last year at the Clothworkers Center I had the chance to study one of my all time favorite mirrors from the Victoria & Albert Museum up close and personal, 
 you can see it here T-17.1955 
One of the reasons I love 17th c embroidery, is that the longer one stands and looks, the closer one gets to the piece, the more fine, amazing, details one sees. Looking from afar, its just another 17th c embroidered mirror...right? Next...moving on~ but wait!  Go check out the link above and look at it, BEFORE you watch my little video I took here~

It is impossible to capture the essence of this piece in a still, flat photograph. The maker wanted their grotto rocks to sparkle, like they were wet~ so using an animal based glue, they smothered the embroidery with a mixture of glue and crushed mica flakes. There looks to be glue over the surface of the mica, so perhaps they applied the glue first, sprinkled the mica over, and then pushed it into the glue with their fingers.... in any case~ just take in that sparkle! I LOVE it and from the moment I saw it,  I was trying to figure out how I could do that with beads on my casket.( I am seriously excited to start my silk embroidered casket...cant wait!!!!)
To get a wet, sparkly effect using beads, I worked my grotto rocks, or mounds, in antique Margarite beads. The creme de la creme of all antique seed beads. 
 They are often referred to using the French term, Charlottes,  but I prefer to use the term the Venetians called them when they made them, which is Margarites
Margarites were not made until the early 1830's, but I know if they would have been around in the 17th c, they would have adored the subtle sparkle they have.  Venetians first made regular seed beads, then sent the beads to Bohemia where they were strung on a wire, and held onto a grinding stone to add a single facet, or cut, into each and every tiny bead. Once they were 'cut', they were sent back to Venice to be packaged and sold, making them the most expensive of all seed beads, regardless of color.  Of the over 800 different colors of antique seed beads that I have, I have just around 30 colors of Margarites...they are wonderous little gems!
I left this picture large so you can click on it to see the single ground facets in each bead. 

The dimmer the light, the more my grotto sparkles! Am super loving how it came out.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


Weekend Madness~
 Many have been asking me how my casket is coming on~I have been so busy its been really hard to work on it... Earlier this year, I had a thought that wouldnt it be nice to get the back panel done this year....well, I am making it officially public! I want to get this back panel finished by the end of the year.  I have set aside my weekends for no 'work' if I am not watching one daughter cheer for football, or the other play volleyball...I am all out hog wild on this panel.
I've actually managed a fair bit, and am now working on the fountain in the center. It is certainly a challenge to make a fountain out of nothing but seed beads...

The top of the fountain is a bit hard to see, but it is one of my prized treasures~ a geode crystal given to me by my son. I spent an entire day just drilling a hole thru it...a trip to the hardware store was needed, to get a smaller diamond tip drill bit, its the only thing that would make a dent in it!  I am on to the serpents, which are challenging working this small in hand...I think he will look pretty good tho, I still need to make his wings....and then get to do it alllllllll over again for his mate!

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Check your eMails!

For Your 2018 Kit Tracking numbers!

If you have ordered a kit for this years ornament, and live in the USA, your kit is on the way and shipping notice has been sent~ if you dont see it, check your junk box, Ill be there!
I will be tackling the International mailings on Tuesday, since Monday is a holiday here~ thankyou all so much for waiting so patiently on me~
And if you are up here in the Rockies, yes, it could be snowing, so get to sewing!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Swimming in a Sea of Beautiful Brass
Looky what has finally arrived. My entire shop has been taken over by a sea of precious brass music box movements
I can literally stand in the middle of my shop and in every direction, this is what I see. I will be mounting them to their soundboards and finishing packing up the kits and hopefully all will be ready to ship by Monday at the latest~ so if you have purchased a kit,  be watching then for your shipping confirmations.  Each and every movement gets tested, the lid switch removed, mounted onto its particular soundboard, and then tested its not the quickest process, but I am diligently making a dent in them.
All this listening to really getting me in the Christmas mood...a snap of the fingers and the Season of Merriment will be upon us....too bad its not that way all year round.