Posted on Leave a comment

Halloween Ordering Info 2016 (or “he who hesitates is lost”)

leather masks in progress
leather masks in progress

As this photo suggests, I’m already up to my elbows in Halloween prep! I’ve had several requests for custom costumes, so it seems like a good time to let everyone know that commission spots will be very limited this year. Like, extremely limited. So if you’re hoping to have something made from scratch to your specifications, you should definitely contact me soon! To order a one of a kind costume piece, please visit the “Custom Work” section of my website, and fill out the inquiry form there. This form outlines the info that I’ll need in order to understand your project, and it will really streamline the process for both of us. My commission spots fill up quickly, so please don’t put this off!

If you’re simply hoping to have one of my existing designs painted in your colors, I can usually be a bit more flexible. My turn around time for these types of orders is generally around two weeks before shipping, though that wait time gets longer the closer we get to Halloween. You can check out my “Made to Order” section to find mask styles that can be made in your choice of colors.

If you’re in a hurry, please visit my “Ready to Ship” section, for a selection of masks that are in stock and ready to ship quickly. 

Last but not least, I’ll be adding a small selection of unique, one of a kind masks and costume accessories this year. Keep an eye on my website, as well as my Facebook fan page, in order to see these pieces as they’re added.

And just to reiterate: Halloween commissions will be very limited this year. If you’d like a custom costume, now’s the time to get in touch. Please don’t be one of those silly people who contacts me three days (or even 3 weeks) before Halloween in hopes of commissioning a one of a kind piece!

Posted on Leave a comment

Halloween 2015 Deadlines

To help with your planning, here are some important dates and information for Halloween costume orders:

Ordering and Availability –

Ready to Ship” items are in stock and ready to ship quickly

Made to Order” listings can take 1- 2 weeks bench time before they can be shipped.
These listings will be available for order until October 1st, 2015.

Custom Work” can take 2-4 weeks bench time before shipping. An estimated timeline will be provided when you submit your request. Commissions will be open from 8/21/2015 – 9/15/2015; for the first 10 days (August 21- 31) past customers will have priority for commission spots.


 

Shipping and Deadlines –

US orders ship via USPS priority mail. The transit time for domestic orders is typically 2-3 days. Please place domestic orders no later than 10/26/15

International orders ship via USPS 1st class international. The transit time can be 10-30 days. Please place international orders no later than 9/30/15

Shipping upgrades are available for an additional fee.

Posted on Leave a comment

Opening up commissions soon!

Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!
Halloween 2015 Commission Info Coming Soon!

Hello friends! I’m already getting quite a few requests for custom work for Halloween. On that note, I have good news and bad news:

* The bad news (just to get it out of the way) is that commission slots will be very limited this season. My apologies in advance, but I’m taking on several new commitments this fall, and I know that I’ll need to be protective of my health and sanity if I’m to accomplish all that I hope to!

* The GOOD news is that I’ll start accepting custom orders again very soon, and past customers will get first dibs on those commission slots. If we’ve worked together before – and especially if we have already discussed your idea – your project will have priority.

Stay tuned, as I’ll be posting more details soon!

Posted on Leave a comment

Fall Tidings

fall leaves - leather leaf pile

Autumn is my favorite time of year. It is also my busiest time of year, and as much as I love it, there are moments when the flurry of activity and change begin to feel a bit overwhelming. I notice a lot of friends feeling this way as well. Maybe some of this is just an awkward response to the shifting season? Everyone is going back to school or work, and adjusting to changing light and weather. So many changing rhythms at once!

In the midst of all that change, there’s a lot of beauty too; I’d like to remind everyone (especially myself) to stop and breathe it all in. The gorgeous colors of changing leaves, the smell of autumn on the wind, the spectacular quality of light this time of year and of course… pumpkin flavored everything.

May autumn’s blessings surround you, and may everything fall gently in to place.

fall leaves - leather leaf pile
fall leaves – leather leaf pile

 

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Season’s close…

Wow, what a great Halloween season! I know it sounds weird to call it a “season” since Halloween is really just a “day” — but I prepare for this far in advance, so it feels like a full season to me. 

This year, I got to work with some of the coolest customers ! I also learned a lot. I’ve been doing this for well over a decade now, and there have been quite a few years where Halloween kicked my ass and totally wrecked my hands, too. I love the flurry of sales, but it’s still harsh when I’m bandaging my wrists and alternating heat and ice packs on my hands by the end of October; and of course, my family doesn’t enjoy seeing me babbling incoherently amidst a pile of leather scraps and glitter. They may find it amusing, but they don’t enjoy it.  I guess I can get a little mean…

With that said, I was determined to pace myself this year. For the most part, I think I did a pretty good job — as evidenced by the fact that I am even capable of writing this. There’s still room for improvement,  and I see several things that I can do differently next year. So there was a learning curve, but it wasn’t as steep as years past. I’m extremely happy about that.

My customers were amazingly positive, patient and encouraging, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. The closest I can come is to offer you all a 15% discount off all orders in my Etsy shop from now through Friday, November 4th, 2011. To take advantage of this offer, simply use the code “thankyou” at check out.
 
I’ve posted a few of my awesome customers’ costumes here. If you’d like to see more, please visit my 2011 Virtual Costume Contest on facebook (don’t forget to vote for your favorites by “liking” them!) 

Now that Halloween is over, I think I’ll take a brief respite from mask making so that I can focus on hair accessories and beaded jewelry. My beads have been calling to me for months now, and I’m more than ready to listen. Beadwork is slow and meditative — perfect for winter, and for unwinding after the bustle of Halloween madness.
Posted on Leave a comment

Leaf Piles

There are little piles of leather leaves all over my studio right now. Oak leaves, maple leaves, sycamore and even a few fairy and elf leaves … all in a riot of autumn color.

Eventually they’ll be fashioned into hair accessories, such as hair slides, barrettes, clips and pins. Most likely, I won’t be able to work on these too much until November. “Mask season” is going full tilt right now, so (almost) all of my energy is going toward mask and costume design.

In truth, I probably should not have been working on leaves at all. If I were a more disciplined artisan, I would focus exclusively on masks this time of year … but I do love these little leaves, and it’s hard to resist making them when there’s so much inspiration around me!

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Fall Flurries

My world has been crazy busy for the last few weeks! The pace is intense, but I am grateful for it — and for the most part, I actually enjoy it. Over the years, I have had to learn to pace myself… while a truly bustling Halloween season is great for my wallet, it can be murder on my hands and my stress level. So despite the flurry of activity, I am trying to be conscious to take time out to relax and take care of myself too.

Today is a movie day with my sweetie, and if I can talk him into it, maybe a drive to the country to enjoy the fall colors. I’d love to say that I’ll take the whole day off, but that’s unlikely. There are a few custom orders that I’d like to peck at, as well as some fun designs that I want to play with… More bat wings, more sugar skulls, and another variation on the headdress pictured here. Yeah, that’s a slow day at Casa de Beadmask this time of year 😉

Oh! And I’ve also created a new Artfire shop, just to check out what that venue is like. I don’t have a whole lot listed there yet, but I’ll probably add more stuff in the coming week. Cause y’know, I just don’t have enough on my plate already 😛

Posted on Leave a comment

Still alive!

Fall was a flurry of activity. Somewhere between going back to school for the first time in many (many!) years, and mask making, and family stuff … things got SO busy that blogging fell to the wayside.

I’d like to try to pick it back up again, but I predict that it may be slow going. Winter quarter started today (more business classes, marketing & writing) and Mardi Gras is around the corner. And of course, I’m still trying to get all my beads & cabs photo’d so I can premiere the beautiful site that Julia has designed for me.

That said, I’m still hanging in and doing well (just a little frayed around the edges from so many projects ;o). I’ll try to post a bit more frequently when I can, but it may stay quiet around here till spring-ish.

.