Saturday, October 27, 2012

October Sequinspiration!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I enjoyed the Sequinspiration posts so much,  I've decided to make them a regular feature.


Here's a sequin and bead-embroidered heart I'm working on.



Here's another, this time with fringe!


  
Here's one in black and white. 




Here's a sequin flower I designed, using sequin pins. More details to come!


More Sequinspiration!

I've added the very first piece to the Reader Gallery. A cuff by Morwyn that you really shouldn't miss!

Here's an adorable tutorial over at Mayi Carles' site on how to make a magic wand with felt, sequins, and glitter paint. Doesn't that felt look luxurious? I may have to buy some... or a ton.

Check out this adorable pumpkin ornament by Dawn at New Leaf Crafts. And here's one for an eyeball!

Here's a beautiful sequin pin from Sweetheartsandroses, one of my new favorite Etsy shops.

Cyndi Lavin finished her Sequintastic September quilt. Behold! It's awesome.

Grace at Stripes and Sequins made this cute sequined cat sweater. 


No sequins, but...



I'm still very fond of this piece! 



It features two more cabochons that are old enough to get learner's permits.


I hope you enjoyed this week's sequinspiration! If you have any to share, I'd love to hear from you. And if you'd like a piece of yours to be included in the reader gallery, let me know!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and thanks for sharing! And of course, have a sequintastic day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Time To Stitch... Two!

Time To Stitch... Two!

(Hosted by Therese and Christine.)

When I signed up for the second A Time To Stitch challenge, I had this idea that I'd make something elaborate and crazy like I did for the previous challenge.

Sure, I'd never successfully tackled Right Angle Weave (RAW) before. I was even a little bit afraid of it, the way I'm afraid of every stitch that isn't peyote. But I figured I could push past the fear. Especially when I took a look at the fantastic instructions by Karen Williams. She has such a knack for explaining and demonstrating beadwork! It's like a superpower.

So I sat down with my beads and my thread and the instructions on my computer screen. At the end of my beading session, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, this was the first time I'd gotten past the first row of RAW. On the other hand, I couldn't get much further than that without my eyes crossing. So much for a big, crazy project!

What I have is this itty bitty swatch. It may not be what I envisioned, but what I've come to realize is that it's something -- which is way better than nothing at all.



This challenge was a lesson to me that when we're starting out, whether it's with RAW, learning a foreign language, or learning to juggle dancing flamingos, even the smallest steps we take are significant.

The important thing isn't to be an instant success at something, but to get as far as we can on that first try and appreciate the result for what it is. Maybe not a masterpiece, but a step in the right direction. And if we keep working and learning, and if we have the right teachers (like Karen), we can make a lot of little steps that will eventually add up to amazing progress.

After all, that's how it worked for me with peyote stitch. My first few projects were painful, and there was a lot of trial and error (and error... and more error) involved. But now it feels easy and comfortable. Maybe with enough practice, I'll feel the same way about RAW.

Thanks to Therese and Christine for this challenge! And thanks to you for reading, commenting, and of course, checking out the other participants. I can't wait to see what they made!


Sarah Sequins <--- here's me!

 

And of course, have a sequintastic day!


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bats on my blog!

Welcome to a very special Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

At this point, it's pretty clear that I love Halloween. The candy. The costumes. The scary stories. The pumpkins, skulls, and witches... and of course, the bats.

 (Who could resist this cute little face???)

What you probably don't know, though, is that I love bats for more than just their association with my favorite holiday. Not only are they super cute, and not only do they do an essential job in the world by eating pesky insects and dispersing seeds/pollinating plants, but bats and I? Well, we have a personal history.


Sarah and the Bats

When I was young, my house was kind of a summer home for bats, whether they were invited or not. I had plenty of close encounters with them, including the time I found one hanging from a magnet on the fridge, the time one of them swooped down on me when I was (seriously!!!) watching a spooky movie about bats, and the time I found one hanging off of our exercise machine, and my first thought was... at least someone's using it. 

I did my very first bat rescue during one of those summers, when a bat who had fallen asleep hanging from the towel rack slipped and fell into a sink full of soapy water. I gently picked him up and dried him off, and then I brought him outside. To his credit, he never tried to bite me.

I continued to save bats by forbidding my folks to call an exterminator and insisting that any bat found in our house be released, safe and sound, outside. Never underestimate the power of a small girl and her Pouty Face.

  
Bat World

 Needless to say, I developed a soft spot for these little guys. I read books and watched videos about them, and for a short time, I dreamed of working with Merlin Tuttle. This is why I was so, so happy to discover Bat World, a place devoted to rescuing and caring for bats of all types. 



(Including fruit bats! One of my favorite kinds of bat.)

Bat World rescues bats from the illegal pet trade and takes in bats from research facilities and zoos that have closed down. They rehabilitate many bats every year, and any bat who isn't well enough to be released into the wild gets a permanent, comfy home. Bat world is also a leader in bat care and education.

(Insert high-pitched squealing here. So cute!!!)


Help Us Help Bats!

I realize it's a little off topic, talking about bat conservation on a sequin blog, but it's a cause that's near and dear to my heart. This October, I'm going to make a donation to Bat World, and I'd be so, so happy if you'd do the same!

One of the best ways you can support Bat World and all the amazing things they do is by sponsoring a bat. There are several to pick from, and each one has his or her own story and charming little personality. 

(Like this guy. What a face!)

You can also buy Bat World merchandise, including t-shirts, key chains, or your very own bat house -- that way, bats will stay outside and away from your towel racks and elliptical machines.

And if you're strapped for cash, you can help by spreading the word about Bat World. Mention them on your favorite social networking sites. Buy books on bats for the kids in your life to give them an early start on bat appreciation. Make your own bat house. 

And if you're scared of bats, give them another chance. Learn as much as you can about them and realize that a lot of what people think they know about bats is misinformation.

I hope you've enjoyed today's bat-tastic post! Special thanks to Amanda of Bat World for the use of the photos, and for everything she and Bat World do.

And of course, special thanks to you for reading, commenting, and doing your part to help bats.

Have a sequintastic day!

 (PS: Look! I found a way to tie this post to sequins. Here's a sequined bat necklace I'm working on.)



Friday, October 19, 2012

Revenge of the Rainy Day Links!

Rainy Day Links are back! I have a fairly eclectic mix for you to check out -- everything from business to baking.

If you can't get around to all of them, that's OK! Just start with the ones that look the most interesting and work your way from there. That's how I tend to handle long list posts, so I won't pout if you do the same thing.


Eye Candy

From The Lone Beader... a necklace of tiny beaded poodles!!! So cute.

From Arbumillia Floriferous... a gorgeous red flower necklace. Definitely drool-worthy!

Websites

I can't say enough about Expert Enough! If you're interested in becoming an expert in an area, or you're interested in expertise and learning, in general, make time to browse this site. Starting with this article on how to fail successfully.

Business

From Tela Formosa... a look at how much labor really goes into a piece.

From Megan's Beaded Creations... on pricing for labor-intensive pieces. 

New: Vanessa Walilko adds to the pricing discussion!

Link
From Think Traffic... getting your finances in order before you take the big leap with your business. I usually post things because they inspire me, but I'm posting this one because it scares me.

From ThinkTraffic... what Lady Gaga can teach us about spreading influence. How can you not love a woman who says she's changing the world one sequin at a time?

From Handmade Success... one of my favorite posts ever, ever, ever -- this post asserts that we don't need to use all social media sites all the time and helps us figure out which ones we should use. 

Link

Blogging

From Copyblogger... how to be interesting. This is one of my favorite posts on blogging advice.


Food for Thought

Gala Darling explores the pursuit of happiness and concludes that it needs to be paired with purpose. I couldn't agree more!

From Skool of Life... Guest poster Natalie Sisson talks about breaking the rules in business and in life.


Just Plain Food!

My favorite cookie ever is the Samoa. Here's a recipe from Once Upon a Plate!

And if you don't want to make individual cookies... here they are in bar form!


Productivity

From Dumb Little Man... seven ways to beat procrastination! The one that works the best for me is the second one -- I've used the old I'll just open the document trick on myself for years, and it never fails!

On Marie Forleo's site... an awesome interview with Brendon Burchard on how to stay enthusiastic about your life, your work, and your goals.

Also from Dumb Little Man... six tips for improving your to-do list!


Sewing

From Craftiness Is Not Optional... ways to make simple Barbie clothes. As my collection of rescued dolls continues to grow, thanks to my local creative reuse store, I realize that I need to justify my obsession by making the girls some lovely sequined party dresses. And jewelry, of course.


I hope you've enjoyed this edition of Rainy Day Links! If you have any links to share, I'd love to see them, and if you have a funny movie-related title for Rainy Day Link, I'd love to hear it! Some titles I've been toying with are I Was A Teenage Rainy Day Link, Back To The Rainy Day Links, and Water for Rainy Day Links.

Also, tomorrow I talk about one of my favorite charities! Stay tuned for spooky, but cute, photos of some critters near and dear to my heart. And of course, have a sequintastic day!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Sequintastic September... revisited!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

In honor of Halloween, I'm grinning like a Jack-O-Lantern at the success of our Sequintastic September blog hop. You all made such awesome things and left such wonderful comments for each other, and for me! I couldn't be happier.

Some Sparkly Samples

Here's just a small sample of the awesome work people did. I've also updated the participant list with links to everyone's reveal posts! I'll revisit this list again and again, you can be sure.

 Here's a necklace by Debbie. Look at all that sparkle! And the texture. The feather adds a nice, elegant touch.


Here's a cuff bracelet by Therese. Such an intricate design! An awesome clasp, too -- check out her post for more photos.  


This necklace by Maryanne was perfect for the Fall theme. Beautiful design! Delicious fabric.


This is a wall hanging by Lisa.  Check out all those fabulous colors and textures! 


Here's an art journal page by Jeannie. I love the girl in the sequin dress -- I wish my prom dress had looked like that!


I tried to email all of you about using your images, but in all my excitement... I lost track! So if you don't want your piece featured, let me know, and I'll take it down -- but I'll leave the link to your blog post up.

Honorary Hop Member

I mentioned in the previous post that I made someone an honorary member of the hop. Because right around the time we were hopping, one of my favorite people, Vanessa Walilko, was participating in Passion for Fashion and making a black and red dress... with sequins!

The dress is beautiful, and the article, itself, is worth a read. Very inspiring.


Reader Gallery

 The blog hop gave me an idea. I have a mini-gallery of my own work, which is nice. But wouldn't it be super duper awesome to have a reader gallery? If you've made something fun with sequins, whether you participated or not, I'd love to feature you! Just let me know in an email or in the comments. I'll feature your work, your name, and a link to your blog/website/shop.

I'm seriously jazzed about this. I hope you'll be a part of it!


Sequins in April!
 
So many of you were excited about another hop in April. The more I think about it, the more I want to have one! Probably on the last Saturday of April. What do you think? Shall we make it a date?

I'll do an official signup post in February, but if you want to start on your piece now, that's completely fine.


And that's all I have to say for now! But stay tuned for a very special post next Saturday, where I promote one of my favorite, and very Halloween-appropriate, charities.

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



Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cabs, cabs, cabs!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I'd like to start this off by thanking everyone who left such wonderful comments on the Sequintastic September reveal posts. And, once again, everyone who participated. You made this such a fun event!

(One of my Sequintastic projects, in case you missed it.)

I'm in the process of writing a special highlights post about the hop and updating the participants' links so they go to the actual Sequintastic posts. I'll even have a link to an honorary member, who didn't technically sign up, but who ended up creating a beautiful sequiny project for a contest!

I should have everything ready by next week, and until then, here are some of the other bead and sequin-embroidered cabochons I'm working on. 

(Note: all cabs have been backed with Nicole's BeadBacking, which I love, and which I reviewed here.)


 Here's one I did using one of my favorite stones. I bought it at a bead show in Chicago years ago and had no idea how to do it justice -- until now! I'm happy with this project so far, and I can't wait to see what it looks like when I add the beaded edging and bail. And... maybe more fringe?


 Here's another one I made with a stone I bought at the bead show. It has such an icy, wintery feel to it!


I liked the look of the white and grey so much, I had to make another one. It's plainer than the others, but the simple look is perfect for the stone, which deserves to be the center of attention.


 And finally, here's one I finished beading on Thursday. It's one of my favorites because of the colors, the beading across the cabochon, and the fact that the poor cab had been a part of my modest collection for 15 years. It's old enough to get a learner's permit! I have three more just like it, which I might use in the same necklace -- but like most of my projects, it all depends on how things turn out.

At this point, I'm close to exhausting my supply of cabs, so I'm on the hunt for new ones. We'll see how that goes. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Does this mean I'm done playing with bright colors? No way! In fact, I have two other works in progress that are very wild, and I can't wait to share them when they're finished. But the neutral colors and subtle variations have become interesting to me, and I can see myself exploring them some more. It's kind of like I'm honoring two parts of my personality; the loud, boingy, bouncy side that loves to entertain and the reserved, pensive side that's happy sitting in silence with some deep thoughts and a good book.

(Both sides love pie. I'm just sayin'.)


And that's all I have to say for now, but stay tuned for the highlights post, as well as a very special post in which I discuss something awesome the Sequintastic hop has taught me. And in the meantime, thanks for reading, thanks so much for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!