Saturday, August 25, 2012

Night of the Rainy Day Links!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I was going to write about something else completely. I'd locked my Rainy Day Links away where they couldn't get out and cause trouble. But as it happens in any scary movie (or blog post), they found their way out, and now they're stumbling around, moaning and groaning, and chomping on innocent bystanders like tiny handheld pies.

Eeeek!!!!

Yes, it's the Night of the Rainy Day Links. And the only way to put them to rest is to read them -- which I hope you'll do, because they're really quite excellent, in spite of their strange eating habits.


Business

Here's a link I've been hoarding since 2011! Incidentally, it's one of my favorites. Jessica Swift writes that when it comes to your business, you know best for you.

Finally, a Search Engine Optimization article that makes sense! Michelle Mach gives some awesome examples of SEO for jewelry makers and sellers.

Learning


This isn't an article or blog entry, so much as an awesome website. Did you know that Joan Babcock has an entire site devoted to supplies, books and classes on micro-macrame?

Speaking of learning, I've always thought that the best way to do so is to experiment and fail a lot. Well, I'm not alone! This article on Scoutie Girl puts it perfectly.


Blogging/Writing

From Think Traffic... 7 ways to produce epic blog content!

From Copyblogger... how to be a prolific writer.

Here's one from the Saturday Sequins archives: the ten most important things I've learned about blogging.
Link

Food For Thought

On 99u.com... how to create remarkable things.Link

Also on 99u.com... why great ideas get rejected, and what we can do to make sure ours won't.

Another one from the archives: the super awesome sparkly secret to moving on after a rejection.

And another one from the archives: what to do about artistic burnout.

One last post from the archives: what to do when you're feeling overwhelmed.


And there we have it! Sometimes it amazes me how much awesome content there is on the Internet these days. I hope you'll have a look at these and share your own with me -- I'm always on the lookout for new things to read.

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!

Coming soon: more sequinspiration, the winner of the embossed sequin giveaway, and much more!


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Beady Books!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'd like to start off with a reminder that there are only a few days left to sign up for Sequintastic September! If you're still deciding, check out my Sequinspiration post and my list of Sequin Sources, which I've expanded since last Monday. There, you'll find more temptation than one person can resist. In a good way.

I'd also like to thank everyone who's signed up. Your participation and enthusiasm mean so much to me! I wish I could send a herd of cuddly puppies to snuggle each and every one of you, because that's how happy I am.

And now...


Beady Books!

Thanks to my awesome library and the generosity of friends, I've gotten my sparkly little fingers on some awesome books lately. Here are some of my favorites:



Sensational Bead Embroidery

(Sherry Serafini)

I was so, so excited to see that my library had a copy of this book! As you know, I'm a huge fan of Sherry as an artist and as a person. I checked this book out, renewed it twice, and then ended up buying my own copy -- which is high praise, coming from someone who's notoriously picky about books.

This book is worth reading for the eye candy, alone. The pieces are absolutely stunning, and yes, sequins make a few appearances. It's also worth reading for the techniques and for the actual-sized design templates she shares.

That said, I'd say this is more of an intermediate/advanced book. Before you tackle any of the projects, check out my Bead Embroidery Resources post to make sure you have the basics down.


Bead and Sequin Embroidery Stitches

(Stanley Levy)

I've mentioned this book before. This was another one I checked out of the library and kept forever. I'm happy to announce that I finally have my own copy to read and snuggle and drool over!

I love this book because Stanley is very thorough in describing his techniques, including the way he picks up beads. His section on design transfer is especially useful, and he has some ideas I'd never considered before. He also has a wonderful selection of patterns and a gallery section featuring student work.

And... it's a book about sequins. Need I say more?


Beading on Fabric

(Larkin Van Horn)

Here's another one I checked out of the library. A copy may very soon find its way into my private collection.

If you're looking to add beads to your fabric art, then this is the book for you. It's very, very thorough, there's plenty of eye candy, and there are a few techniques I haven't found in other books -- and I've read a lot of them by now! I also love that it's more technique than project-based.

I'd recommend this more for fabric art like wall hangings and garments than jewelry, although Larkin does some fantastic jewelry work. One of her pieces in Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry made my jaw drop.


Freeform Peyote Beading

(Karen Williams)

I'd wanted this book for months and months, and Karen gave me one as a gift (!!!). I plan to post a more detailed review here and on Amazon, where it's for sale, so I'll just say that I love it, it's taught me so much, and Karen is a talented book designer and writer.

Seriously, you want this book. Even if you already know how to do freeform.


Handcrafted Wire Findings

(Denise Peck, Jane Dickerson)

I'm a DIY kind of girl. I figure, why buy clasps, earring wires and connectors when I can just buy lots of wire? It's been awhile since I've worked with wire or made findings, and this book inspired me to go right down to my basement and start playing again.

Even if you work mostly with seed beads, like I do, you'll enjoy this book. It's a great introduction to working with metal, and there's nothing like a gorgeous handmade clasp to really make a design stand out.


Handheld Pies

(Sarah Billingsley)

If you want to get technical, this isn't a book about jewelry or beading. But it is a book about tiny pies, and at the moment, it's at the tippity top of my Want List. I've looked through it twice, and each time, I've squealed and bounced up and down and declared that I will become a tiny pie expert.

There are three crust recipes in this book, and at least three different types of pies -- including one that's called freeform! There are sweet pies, and there are savory pies. And did I mention it's about little pies?

Little pies. Little Pies.


And that's what I've been reading. I hope you'll consider adopting these books into your home, or at the very least, looking for them at your local library. Now, it's your turn: What have you been reading?

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a handheld pie!

Oops. I mean, have a sequintastic day.


PS: We have another participant, Toltec Jewelry, who has blogged about Sequintastic September!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Sequin Sources!

Welcome to another Miscellaneous Monday at Saturday Sequins!


In my Sequinspiration post, I shared some of the ways sequins can be used to create fantastic art. Now that you know what to make with sequins, here are some places to buy them!Link


Sequin Suppliers

Michelle Mach is selling sequins that she embossed. I have her Ocean Shore set, and it's gorgeous!

Cartwright's Sequins. This is the place where yours truly buys most of her sparklies. I love the variety.

Paillettes & Broderie. This is a French sequin supplier!

M&J Trimming.


A Grain of Sand.

Mary Tafoya.

Sandy Schor.

Berger Beads.

Accessories of Old.

Fried.

Sequins Direct.


Other Sources

As I've said, I buy most of my sequins from Cartwright. There are a few other places I've found sequins, though, and these include:

Creative Reuse Centers. I go to mine at least once a week, and most of the time, I find sequins to bring home. Just this week, I found a large stash from none other than... Cartwright. Some of the packages hadn't even been opened! I don't know who in her right mind would give up a treasure like that, but whoever she was, I'm glad she did.

Thrift/Secondhand stores. I love the idea of harvesting sequins from used clothing. In my trips to Goodwill, Salvation Army, and various thrift stores, I've seen clothing that can be upcycled into fabulous art. I've even seen an item or two I've wanted to put right into my closet.



A Giveaway!

Just in case you need another reason to participate in Sequintastic September, Michelle and I have some exciting news. On August 20th, the last day of sign-ups, I'll choose a winner at random, who will get a set of Michelle's embossed sequins!

Only people who sign up can win, so sign up, and then head on over to Michelle's Etsy shop and check out the fantastic variety.


And of course... have a sequintastic day!



Saturday, August 11, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Today is the second reveal date for the Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by the wonderful Lori Anderson.

My partner, Mary Ellen Parker, sent me a beautiful bead soup. There were fiber beads, sparkly agate beads, and some very pretty silver oval beads. There was also a handmade clasp and some ribbon.


My favorite part, though, was this little guy -- a polymer clay owl pendant she made:

(Norbert the owl, official Saturday Sequins mascot!)

I wanted to make him the perfect necklace to nest in. What better home for an owl than a tree?



I combined matte gold sequins and silver seed beads with glass leaves to make a series of branches. I suspended him from a seed bead loop I made, and I used some repurposed chain to attach the beadwork to the clasp.


After I made Norbert's necklace, I had plenty of gorgeous beads left over. I started another piece, a colorful, crazy freeform necklace that incorporated the agate and fiber beads, but I didn't finish it. With class proposals, preparations for Sequintastic September, a visit from Mama Sequin, and submissions for Lark's 500 Necklaces book, I let things get out of control, and my priorities got mixed up.

(I mean, who in her right mind would choose cleaning the house over beading???)

Still, I love Norbert's nest! It was fun working with polymer clay components, which was something new for me, and I like the more subtle colors -- they give the necklace a mysterious, magical kind of feel. Norbert seems to like it, too.

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for commenting! And extra special thanks with glitter on top to my wonderful partner and to Lori, for hosting another awesome blog hop.

And of course... have a sequintastic day! <3

PS: And here's where you can find all of the other BSBP participants!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sequinspiration!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

If you've already signed up for Sequintastic September, or you're considering it but not sure what make, I have a treat for you! I've put together a list, complete with links and pictures, of some of the many things you can do with sequins.

Hopefully, this will inspire you to create your own unique work of sequintastic art.

Link(New and improved version by Lori Anderson -- feel free to add it to your sidebar!)

Jewelry


  • Sequins and bead-embroidered jewelry go together like chocolate and peanut butter -- just delicious!

Here's one of my sequin cuff bracelets:


Here's one by the talented Jean Campbell, made years before yours truly even started blogging! Great minds, eh?



Here's an adorable brooch by Diane Watson!

Here's a link to a gorgeous bracelet that Mary Tafoya started.

And here's a spectacular necklace by Debbie Rasmussen:



  • So do sequins and chain! Whether that chain is handmade or store-bought.
Here's a sequin and chain maille necklace I made:



And here's a pair of earrings:



Here's a gorgeous flapper dress by Vanessa Walilko, where aluminum discs look like sequins:



  • Sequins are also a great addition to other types of beadwork:

They dress up bead weaving.

They're terrific on the ends of plain, or branched, fringe:


You can string 'em like disc beads!

They're gorgeous in resin, too, as Carmi demonstrates.Link

Fabric Art:

  • Sequins take your quilting to a new, sparkly level. As you can see in Shirlee's tambour-embroidered quilting:


And Susan's piece:



And Pam's crazy quilting!

  • You could also make pillows or stuffed ornaments!
Here's an ornament I made last December:




Fashion:

  • They also give clothing some serious pizazz:
Tambour embroidery by Robert Haven:



  • Use glue to attach sequins to accessories:
Like Grace did with these sneakers.

And Kristen did with this camera strap.

As Erin did with this collar, using sequin trim instead of individual sequins!

You could also glue them to barrettes, headbands, sunglasses, and anything else you can think of!


Painting/Paper Art:

  • Use them in a collage!
  • Or a greeting card.
  • Or scrapbook page.
  • Or in your next painting project -- you can glue or sew them to the canvas.
  • In fact, sequins love any kind of mixed media art!


Additional Sequinspiration:

Looking for more inspiration and eye candy? Check out...

  • This Flickr group all about sequins.

Also, check out Maneki's post on her sequin stash! I love it when participants blog about the blog hop, and I encourage all of you to do the same. :)

And here's a post by one of my favoritest people, Audrey!


I hope these links and photos have given you some ideas! Or at the very least, shown you that sequins are, indeed, very versatile. Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and of course, have a sequintastic day!