Craft Vacuum

kitties and creation from me to you...

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party 7!

The big reveal is here and I am showing up fashionably late! This is my first time doing a blog hop/swap of any kind. The Bead Soup Blog Party has been a great experience. It really does force you out of your comfort zone, with fantastic results.

My partner is Dot Lewallen of Speedie Beadie! The first thing I noticed when visiting her blog is that we are both published in 500 Showcase Beaded Jewelry. After digging a little deeper I discovered that Dot makes really cool beaded art dolls and was published in another Lark gallery book showcasing dolls. Since I am a little behind in posting, I have already seen her fabulous BSBP piece. I highly encourage you all to visit her blog.

The soup I received included a Duane Collins' raku focal piece, a copper toggle, various earth-tone seed beads, Czech glass, buttons, and several Swarovski pieces. Scroll back in my blog to see full shots of both her soup and my soup.

In my finished piece I used the focal, the clasp, and a few special striped seed beads that I sorted from the mix. I used chain, seed beads, and a Lepidolite cabochon from my own stash to complete my piece.

I got started by culling my stash for colors that I saw in the raku finish. Mostly coppers, purples, and oranges. When I pulled out my round cabochon, I had my "A-HA" moment. Whatever planet this owl woman lives on, this is her full moon! So I knew I wanted the raku piece to slightly overlap the "moon." With that in mind I still brainstormed for a week or two, thinking of how to pull it together into something wearable. Totally confounded, I just started beading. As I bezel-ed, using the peyote stitch, I wasn't sure if this was going to be a necklace, an armband, a belt, a headpiece... who knows.

I finished beading around the "moon" and laid down the raku piece. There was a lot of space under the raku focal, which didn't seem strong or secure. So I stuffed a bunch of polymer clay under it, making it a flat back with no space. ...And then I learned a very important lesson. YOU CAN'T BAKE FIRELINE! Polymer clay needs to be baked for 30 minutes at 275 degrees. And I did this, essentially vaporizing the thread. Um wow, talk about a bead bummer. Luckily I had some ben & jerry's in the house. It was a moment where all you can do is laugh to keep from crying. Looking back, hindsight is 20/20. OF COURSE you can't bake fireline, but I've always been an experiential learner.

So anywho, that was a doozy! But I think I rose from the ashes of my fireline and created something even more dynamic than my original plan. I was intending on beading the moon and the focal separately, but my little detour forced me to bead around them all at the same time. I think it came out really cool, and I guess I'm grateful for my epic mistake.

Once I finished with the bezel, I used the brick stitch to attach a leather backing. It was at this point when I decided this would be a lovely pendant. I added copper chain fringe and 30 inches of chain for the necklace part.

Now that I am all done, I LOVE my piece! I never, ever would have come up with this design without BSBP, or Dot's soup. Oddly enough, I met Duane Collins (the maker of the raku focal) several years ago when I was working at my mom's shop, The Bead Garden of Sedona. We bought many of his pieces to sell in the store. I always admired the beautiful finishes, but never added any to my stash. These raku pieces have a lot going on and are beautiful on their own. I think this intimidated me, causing inspiration not to strike. Well this time, there wasn't a choice I HAD to use it. I'm thrilled beyond thrilled. Thank you, Dot!

And thank you to our lovely host, Lori Anderson!

Browse the rest of the party here: BSBP7

Monday, March 18, 2013

"JOSY Totally Did Me!" x SXSW

March has been INSANE so far. South by Southwest (a.k.a. Spring Break for The Music Industry) hits Austin. It is an exciting and exhausting time to be based in ATX. In between working and multiple deadlines for Austin Fashion Week and The Bead Soup Blog Party I was able to squeeze in a little vending! I set up this past Saturday at Hot Mama's Cafe on E. 6th. This SXSW date also corresponded with their regularly scheduled "3rd Saturday Sustainability Swap." Pretty cool timing...

I'm proud to say that some "Jane Michael Originals" will be headed to Japan with the super babes of JOSY, a psychedelic-J-pop-rock guitar-less band. They were performing at an adjacent festival.

With southby behind us, I need to start AND finish my project for the BSBP. I have some solid ideas, but I really just need to get my needle threaded and get to it. Also due at the end of this month is the image for Austin Fashion Week Mash-Up Team. Can't share much about either project until their respective "Reveal dates!"


JOSY and Jane-Michael

Lizard King and JOSY.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Bead Soup Blog Party!

I am participating in The Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. (yay!) My partner is Dot Dewallen of Speedie Beadie

Details on what I'm talking about later. Here are the SOUPS!

The beads and cabochons are awesome! I'm especially stoked about the raku focal made by Duane Collins and the orange striped seed beads.

I sent some of the polymer cabs I made! Along with a funky mix of seed beads. I couldn't decide on what to do for a clasp so I sent a few options, including a snap.

So, what am I talking about? I have been paired seemingly at random with another blogger of the jewelry making variety. We have exchanged bead soups. And then on a certain date, (March 30th for us) we will reveal our grand creations on our blogs. 

Oh wait! The coolest part I forgot to mention, five hundred other beady-bloggers are in on the action! Um, awesome!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Instagram Love

Hey Hey! I recently got a smartphone, which has been amazing. It  allows me to process credit cards wherever I am using Square. Another great feature is having a built in camera. My students have been beading up a storm lately and I love taking pictures of their creations. Instagram is a beautiful photo sharing platform designed especially for phones. Find me and bunch of other really cool beaders! Try searching hashtags powwow, kandi, and peyotestitch to name a few. My username is @uniquebeadwork. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Artisan Handmade Market

Hey Internet! I was invited to participate in this awesome art event. It would be lovely if you came!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Custom Jewelry

This is the dress I mentioned earlier that the "beaded-bead teardrop hybrid" earrings were made to match. This dress is so beautiful in person with many subtle details. A beader's dream to match! I am a huge fan of orange and pink combos and was delighted to combine Swarovski Padparadscha with Swarovski Indian Red. 

Part 2 of this job is a cuff bracelet. So far, I have a base of 2-drop peyote with size 8 copper-lined clear AB seed beads. It is about 2.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches long. My first idea was to totally cover the base with bronze keishi pearls in the style of Laura Mccabe. However, I think the cool tones need to be brought out more. My next idea is to create a sort of minimal flower vine with some silver, rice shaped pearls. 

Stay tuned to see what I conjure up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


2012 seems like the year of the earring around here. I never really gave much thought to designing earrings until about 4.5 months ago. Since then, my imagination has gone wild with the endless possibilities. I have been mostly fixated with the teardrop shape,  At the right length, it flatters any face. 

The opaque multi mix promotes happiness!

These earrings made it on Beading Daily!

I love these "garnet flames!"

This pair of earrings was created to match a dress for a future "mother of the groom." I am currently making a second pair for another client in the same color combo. On this pair, I am especially proud of the handmade wire teardrops. I usually don't combine wirework and beadwork. I think the combo is quite nice.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


It is South By Southwest here in Austin. It's a pretty big deal and Austin is filled to the brim with travelers from all over the world. In other words, a great time to be a vendor. You can find my beads and I in the following places for SXSW:

Thursday: Emerald City Limits (at The Spiderhouse)
Friday: You can pop in to Lapis Lane Beads and say "what's up!"
Saturday: Soco Food Trailers (by Hey Cupcake)
Sunday: If I'm still awake, I will be at Ruta Maya 

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Simple R.A.W. Beaded Bead

I want to share this diagram. I created it for a class I taught last summer at The Austin Bead Society. I think it worked out pretty well. Most students finished their beads without any further instructions. 

I'm interested in making more tutorials. I have realized the more I teach, the better my own work becomes. Each student requires me to find a new way to explain certain methods... which makes my own understanding and skill set stronger every time. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"Portlandia" Strikes Again!

This time a little closer to home! I hope I don't start singing this song in my head while beading.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crazy Busy

I have so much good news to report.

First off,  I'm super-duper stoked to be typing up this blog entry on my new (used) mac mini. I was devastated after my mischievous kitty broke my macbook pro by knocking it off my desk. But now I'm back in the blogosphere.

Even better news... I bought my new (used) computer with money from jewelry sales. Slowly but surely I am making a living off all things beads. This is most definitely a dream come true.

Lastly, speaking of good news and dreams coming true, I WAS JURIED INTO LARK'S SHOWCASE 500 BEADED JEWELRY! Sorry...for the "screaming caps" but really, I'm excited. When I read the two emails saying that my "Rolly Chain" and my "Sacred Heart Lei" were excepted into the book I was truly exstatic. Hopefully my downstairs neighbor wasn't too disturbed by my epic fit of squealing and jumping up and down.

This is my first time being included in a book or magazine.... or anything. I have been beading for 10 years and have always admired the beautiful books put out by Lark. And now... I am in one, alongside almost every "bead hero" I've ever had. 

wow...... I may have to start jumping up and down again.

Sacred Heart Lei, 2009

Rolly Chain, 2010

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Big, Big Spiral Rope Necklaces

Check out Lauren Hill's jewelry! This is from her 6/14/11 appearance on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

This photo is circa July 2008. It has been a full time love affair with this silhouette, ever since. Both men and women look very commanding wearing a necklace in this style. 
"Global Chic" perhaps?


austin Jane Michael art I like JaneMichael Stallings statement jewelry unique beadwork ebw team Ruta Maya etsy love 2010 Art Austin Bead Society Bead Bazaar Bead Soup Blog Party Earrings First Thursday Guero's Jane Michael Beads Mohawk Renegade Craft Fair SXSW Tim Doyle aural pleasure fiber art free fun kitties smile teacher vagary 8 points Adventures in Sound Arizona Austin Public Library BSBP7 Barbara Kruger Barbie Beading Daily Bollywood Brandon Camino Cats Christmas Damien Hirst Deep in the Art of Texas Diaper Man Donny Miller Dot Lewallen Duane Collins El Michels Affair Emerald City Limits Erin Currier Essence Frida Kahlo GLBTQ Garry Shider Hinton Harrison Holbrook Hot Mama's Cafe JOSY Jason Thompson Jean Malin Jessica's Daily Affirmation KOOP Radio Knitta Please Kolaches Lark Books Lori Anderson Magda Sayek Margaux Lange Michael D Knight Mike D NFS NYT Naughty Bits New Mexico Nick Cave Open Mic P. Terry's Pablo Picasso Portlandia RCF RIP Route 66 September Challenge She's Making Jewelry Now Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry Sound Suits South By Southwest Star Child Suede Suede Magazine Taos Tribute UFO Universe WINNING WIP Weight Watchers Westlake High Whitney Weiss adidas art city austin art jewelry art week bathroom graffiti bead challenge bead soup beaded bead beads bike colorful creative crochet custom custom beadwork dead cow diy dutch spiral edie brickell events exuberant performance fast food fire fly fruit full moon gayday graffiti graphite drawing green thumb hand earrings hand pulled print hands icons inspiration instagram jewelry I wear lauren hill lei lightening bug modern dance music necklace new beadwork new music ooak orange painting peyote stitch photo sharing pink raku rope selective-hearing sneaker freaker sneakers social media stubb's synchronicity t is for teaching texas big band thong tutorial two step vegetarian veggie burger vending watermark wedding