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A little help from my (long haired) friends?

peacock fan hair slide
peacock fan hair slide

I have a great collection of customer photos of my masks and costume accessories, but I don’t have very many “action shots” of people wearing my hair toys. With your help, I’d love to correct that! I’d like to put together a nice little gallery of  my hair accessories in action, and while I’m at it, I want to develop a general sizing guideline.

There’s a simple questionnaire below, with a spot to upload photos. It should take 5 minutes or less to complete. As a thank you, you’ll get 10% off your next purchase from my website or Etsy shop. Please understand that this offer is only open to MY customers, since obviously, it would be really inappropriate for me to include photos of other artisans’ work in my website gallery.

The 10% discount is a standing offer, open to anyone who has purchased one of my hair accessories and is willing to share their photos and feedback … but just to sweeten the deal, anyone who participates between now and December 23rd, 2014 can also get two extra entries in my Winter Giveaway!

Please feel free to share this promotion on the forums, and with your friends and family members who own my hair accessories 🙂

Hair Slide Questionnaire
  • Please describe the hair slide that you purchased from me, including the hole spacing if known. If you purchased from my Etsy shop, you can simply link to the transaction.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif.
    Please include a photo showing how YOU use your Beadmask hairslide 🙂
  • Please feel free to share any additional ideas or information that you think might be helpful

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Time Flies

I’ve been busy lately, so time seems to be flying at warp speed! So much so, that I haven’t had time to blog. For a quick recap, here are some of the projects that have been keeping me busy of late:

leather-feather-barretteshair accessories galore

and a few new and unusual jewelry designs

Skull & Rose Leather pendant
Skull & Rose Leather pendant
sculpted leather octopus necklace with lapis & kyanite
sculpted leather octopus necklace with lapis & kyanite

I’m working to get it all photographed and added to the site … wish me good luck!

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New Hair Toys Incoming!

Oak Leaf Leather Hairslides
Oak Leaf Leather Hairslides

I love to incorporate artisan made sticks into my hair accessory designs. Since I have no talent for wood or wireworking, I prefer to buy or barter with other artisans who have actually honed those skills. The resulting works are fun little collaborations of their handwork and my own.

Over the last few months, I’ve acquired some fabulous handcrafted cedar driftwood sticks, as well as copper, brass and aluminum wire sticks from GypsyMoon Art and Nicholas and Felice. Last but not least, I’ve reconnected with Morgan Reed of Morgan’s Mane.

Long story short, I’ve got some fun pieces to show you in the coming weeks! Stay tuned…

Elvish Leaf Leather Hair Slides
Elvish Leaf Leather Hair Slides

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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



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Mostly Rippit

Nov 5th – a beaded hair stick and a single earring

Last night’s NaSeBeMo results are rather slim. My first project — or rather, attempt at a project — was to turn one of my UFO’s into a bracelet. The piece features bead embroidery around a vintage brass filigree and I thought it would make a lovely little bangle. Unfortunately, the filigree was too rigid to work well for a bracelet. I fought with it for far too long, stitching beads and then ripping them back out (for the uninitiated, this is known as “rippit stitch” 😉 before accepting my defeat. That piece will have to be a pendant or barrette.

I did manage to work on a couple of smaller pieces before the night was through. One is a beaded hair stick with a vintage WG glass cab; I’m on the fence as to whether or not to add dangles to this one. The other will be an earring. It features a stunning titanium coated quartz crystal and a faceted iolite. Maybe I’ll make the mate tonight.

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November 2nd seed beading efforts

Now that Halloween is over, I just want to hibernate with my beads for awhile. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mask making and leatherworking in general; but the pace of Halloween can be very intense for me, and usually once it’s over I find myself drawn to the slower more meditative pace of beadwork. With that being said, this post from Dulcey Heller about NaSeBeMo seemed too timely to ignore. The premise is similar to that of NaNoWriMo (or National Novel Writing Month) in that participants are encouraged to practice their craft every day for one month. I think that NaNoWriMo has a specific goal for how many words one should write, whereas NaSeBeMo is a bit more open ended — the goal is simply to bead every single day during the month of November.

November 3rd’s beading efforts yielded this dragonfly slide

In a sense, I am starting from behind since I didn’t even learn about it until November 2nd; but that’s cool, I’ll just extend my commitment by a day and strive to bead something every day from November 2nd- December 2nd. My first two days worth of projects are relatively small, but they were still very satisfying. On November 2nd, I bead embroidered 2 cabochons, one was used on the blue birch leaf hair slide shown here, and the second was used on the leather owl feather that is sitting next to it (this will be a component in a larger project).

My beading projects for Nov 3rd included the bead embroidered beetle wing on the dragonfly barrette shown here, along with the some nominal beading on the maple leaf slides shown below. In the realm of seed beadwork, these are small simple projects, but I’m happy just to be beading again! I still have quite a few custom orders for masks and leathercraft that require my attention, but I should still be able to carve out a little time for my beads each day. Hopefully I’ll be able to “ramp up” from little projects such as these, and on to more ambitious efforts once I clear out some of my commission work.

Nov 3rd beaded maple leaf barrettes

Jennifer VanBenSchoten’s recent blog post on the subject gives some very practical tips for participants.  The first idea is my favorite. She suggests finishing up UFO’s… that’s bead jargon for “unfinished objects, and I have plenty of those flying about. I’m hoping that this will motivate me to finish them off as I ease back into the practice of beading more often. Wish me good luck!

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The lovely Aquariann is hosting a giveaway for one of my peacock feather hair slides. These pieces are hand cut from high quality tooling leather, and then carved, shaped and painted. The colors are shimmering hues of green, bronze, turquoise and cobalt.

I cut these pieces freehand, so each one is a bit different. The winner will receive a hand crafted hair toy very similar to the one shown, but the stick length and hole spacing will be tailored to their preference.

Please head on over to her blog to enter before May 30th, 2012.

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Clearing Out the Clutter….

some of the hair toys that I’ve completed since last week 🙂

After last week’s post about the state of my studio, I decided to take action. My time is still limited, and I’m still not able to tackle some of the bigger projects that I’d like to, but I did make a dent in the UFO (“unfinished objects” 😉 pile.

As you can see, my tile overfloweth. Everything shown is finished, meaning that all hair slides have sticks and all barrettes have findings. Believe it or not, I still have MORE hair toys in progress. There are a few magpies, a couple of owls, a firebird (notice a theme?) more oak leaves and a couple of faeries. But before I tackle those, I think that I will make an effort to list these on my website and on Etsy, and also try to make a little headway on the masks and wings that need to be finished.

So, I haven’t finished everything that I showed last week, but I have made some progress. I feel better already!

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Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine

A pile of leather masks & wings in progress…

School has been taking a lot of my focus and energy of late, so my creative time has been very limited. It’s somewhat uncomfortable, since being creative is really how I process the things that are going on in my life. I tend to think a lot (sometimes to the point of over thinking) so making is a very soothing process for me; my hands get moving and my mind begins to still. It helps me to relax, to sift out my ideas and to find solutions.

Without this outlet, I get a little high strung. That feeling has been hitting critical mass lately, and I’ve been out of sorts. Irritable, restless and generally feeling unproductive and uninspired. I was really starting to get stressed out about this, when I took a second look at my studio.

I began to realize that I haven’t stopped being creative, I just haven’t been able to complete as much with the limited studio time. I’m able to peck away at a variety of projects here and there, I’m just not finishing as many of them. As you can see by the photos here, I have quite a lot of  pieces “in progress” that are piling up. The masks above and the hair toys below represent just a fraction of the projects in my studio right now.

Assorted hair toys awaiting completion

A quick count tells me that my unfinished projects include at least 12 odd masks, 7 pair of wings, 6 or 7 crowns and headdresses, and more hair toys than I can count. That’s not even counting beadwork or leather jewelry (let’s not even go there). It’s typical for me to have several projects going on at once, since I tend to group things in “stages”. For example, I’ll cut out several patterns at once, then shape, then paint, then embellish them in “groups”. Groups of this size are unusual, though. I’m thinking this may be where some of my restlessness and dissatisfaction is coming from.

It’s ironic how often the state of my studio parallels the state of my head and heart 😉 I think that the clutter in my creative space is cluttering up my head! So I’m making a commitment to whittle this pile down by at least half within the next month. It’ll clear up some work space, and hopefully open up room for some fresh attitudes and ideas as well.

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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!