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A Small Shop Update

Upon returning from the Thanksgiving holiday, I promptly came down with an epic flu. Two weeks later, I am finally moving and functioning again – albeit slowly. Last night I managed to list most of the goodies that I’d been working on before we left.

This includes a variety of handcrafted wooden hair sticks in natural hardwoods and colorful laminates. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to learn that I really enjoy woodworking! These hair sticks reflect some of my simpler early efforts, though I hope to offer a much wider variety in the year ahead. I’ve been experimenting with different types of wood, different lengths, and of course, different shapes. I think that these will make a great addition to my existing line of hair accessories.

But before I get ahead of myself by talking about what I hope to make next, let me tell you a little more about today’s offering: these are small to medium sized hair stick pairs, measure between 5.5″ and 5.75″ long. The shape is a graceful wave that slides easily into a small bun or half up.

The laminated birch options include 3 color variations: burgundy/grey/violet striped, autumn stripes, and summer stripes. The natural hardwoods include walnut, paduk, and cherry. All have been hand sanded down to 600 grit, and finished with a blend of mineral oil and beeswax so the rich color comes through without being too shiny or shellacked.

I’m excited about this new direction, and eager to hear your feedback!

 

Also included in this update are a handful of my jeweled leather feather pendants. There’s a beautiful mixed media barn owl feather pendant necklace with faceted Botswana agate teardrops and a large copper circle, a barred feather in rich earth tones with dark titanium quartz crystal and semiprecious stones, and six of my classic leather peacock feathers.

Each peacock feather is unique, and they range from about 3″ long on up to 4.5″. Some are low key with simple wire work spirals, while others are more ornate with faceted cobalt beads and Swarovski crystal dangles.  For the neckline, you have your choice of an antique copper chain, a glass bead and Swarovski crystal necklace, or a hand dyed ribbon neckline. As always, a portion of every peacock feather sale will be donated to cancer research, in memory of my friend who inspired this series.

These little feather pendants are simple and affordable, but they’re definitely statement pieces! Every time I wear one, it sparks conversation (and compliments).  They are striking worn alone, and you can also layer them for a more dramatic look.

 

Last but not least, I’ve added a smattering of leather and semiprecious stone earrings. There are a couple of new designs, and I’ve also restocked several of my popular favorites.

There are more semiprecious stone briolettes and quartz crystals, along with some blue jays (in three sizes!), green oak leaves, peacock feathers, red rose vines, and owl feathers.

It’s a small sampling, to be sure. If I’m up to it, I may trickle in a few more pieces before the weekend – but I’m not going to push myself. I hope you’ll enjoy these offerings, and thanks so much for your support this season and always!

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Disaster Relief Offerings

 

leather rose hair stick barrettes

These leather rose barrettes , shawl pins, and monarch wing earrings were inspired by my desire to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Before they were completed, disaster touched down in Florida and Puerto Rico as well. Thus, 50% of the proceeds from these pieces will be donated to the American Red Cross.

leather monarch butterfly wing earrings with glass flowers
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August 21st Shop Update (Owls and More)

My Pacific Northwest home is surrounded by old growth maple, cedar and fir. We share these woods with many wild creatures, including a family of owls. For whatever reason, they’ve been far more active (and interactive) these last few months. They sing us to sleep at night, and in the mornings we often find evidence of their hunts. Not surprisingly, owl imagery has been cropping up in my work more and more.

Here’s a little preview of some of the leather owl feathers that I’ve been working on lately. They’ll become hair accessories, and you’ll find them (along with other new work) in my next shop update on Monday 8/21.

 

 

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Show me your hair toys!

Purple Peacock Fan Barrette © 2011-2014 Andrea Adams
Purple Peacock Fan Barrette

I love happy customer photos! In part because it really, really does my heart good to see people out there enjoying my work … and in part because it enables me to show people what my pieces look like when they’re being worn. Right now, I am sorely in need of photos of my hair accessories in action; if you’ve purchased one of my hair toys, might I trouble you for a picture? Better yet, can you send me a photo AND fill out the brief questionnaire below? I’d be ever so grateful!

As many of my long standing customers know, when you share your customer photos with me, I offer a 10% discount off your next order*. This is a standing policy, and it applies to all of my wearable art products (hair accessories, jewelry, costumes). Just to sweeten the deal, if you send a photo of your Beadmask hair accessory in action AND fill out the questionnaire, I will even up that to 15%!!

There are two small caveats to this offer ~ the first is that your discount can only be used for ready made/in stock items (no custom work), and the second is that the photo must be of a hair accessory that I made (this may seem obvious, but just trust me that it’s worth clarifying!). That’s pretty simple – and hopefully pretty fair, right? Now show me your hair toys!

questionnaire

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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A word (or three) about my pricing…

handcrafted leather hair accessories

I was recently asked why the prices of my hair accessories are higher than those of a copycat competitor. It’s difficult to find a polite answer that doesn’t sound defensive or snarky, but I’ll give it my best attempt … First off, I can’t tell you why another artist charges as much – or as little – as they do. What I can tell you is why I charge what I do:

My original designs have evolved over many years of trial and error – so my work is not only beautiful, it’s functional. I actually use these products in my own (thick, waist length) hair, so I have a good sense of sizing, comfort and durability. My designs have been refined by my own experience, and the knowledge that has been shared by my customers over the years. As such, my work is the evolution of many years of experimentation and experience.

My pieces are made using top quality supplies, because I can see the difference and the results are worth it. I strive to create heirloom quality work that will make you feel beautiful and elicit compliments whenever you wear it. So when you compare my pricing to those of other artisans, please be sure that you’re comparing cost and value. My work uses premium tooling leather and high quality dyes, as well as artisan quality acrylic paints and sealer. Color is applied in many layers, and sealed to be water resistant; this process takes more time and materials than a quick dye job, but it also results in richer, more complex color that won’t bleed if it gets wet.

Similarly, I like to collaborate with artisan woodworkers and wireworkers who create high quality, handcrafted sticks. While their work is pricier than some of the simple sticks out there, it’s also sturdier and more attractive. Even my low end hair toys use well made commercially crafted wooden sticks, which work nicely for fine hair, partial updo’s and/or ponytail holders. Please consider this when comparing my hair slides to those that simply use sharpened pieces of dowel or flimsy metal sticks from China, which are not sturdy or good for your hair.

Last but not least: in order to keep producing high quality craftsmanship, I must pay myself a livable wage. This is not a hobby for me, it’s my livelihood. If I want to be able to continue creating this caliber of work, I have to pay myself a fair wage that reflects my time, expenses and skill level.

With that said, I understand that my prices are higher than some of my competitors’. Please trust that you get what you pay for! When you purchase my work, you are empowering me to keep creating and expanding my craft; in return, you’ll receive a well made item that is beautiful, functional, and worth every penny.

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An assortment of leather circlets

beadmask-circlets-2015Here’s an assortment of filigree leather circlets that I recently completed. They’re fun little costume (or everyday) accessories, especially nice for folks who wear glasses. The smaller ones work nicely as chokers, too.

I’ll be adding them to the site over the next few days; you’ll find them listed with my leather crowns.

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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.

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Full Circle?

I’m a bit hesitant to post this, simply because my creative work has been moving so slowly of late. There’s a superstitious (?) side of me that fears that sharing this idea before it’s complete will somehow “jinx” it… but I’m pretty excited about it, so I’m choosing to let my enthusiasm outweigh my fear.

For some time now, I’ve been wanting to play with purse designs again. Those of you who have followed my work for a very long time will remember that I used to create a variety of purses and bags. In the late 90’s, the demand for my leather masks grew, and I sort of meandered away from making purses. Another big factor in this was the fact that all of my purse patterns (and several works in progress) were destroyed by water damage… or so I thought.

The other day, I was rummaging through an old box of beads that I’d packed up long ago. I thought I knew what was in there (and for the most part, I did) but there was a surprise! At the bottom of the box, I found 4 purses that had been cut out and partially sewn, as well as a folder full of my old patterns! I’m not sure how these pieces survived the flood, but I’m so glad they did.

Hand sewn and braided leather purses, circa 1997-ish.
Hand sewn and braided leather purses, circa 1997-ish.

The purses shown here are in various stages of completion. They were probably created some time between 1995 and 1997. There are two light brown cow hide purses (one small, one medium) as well as a medium sized black buckskin purse and a larger buffalo hide purse with cowskin lacing. All are entirely hand cut, sewn and braided. The one on top has holes punched for some leather braiding, which was going to outline a beaded mandala. Not sure if I still have that piece of beadwork, but I’ll probably create something similar for it.

These are quite a bit different than what I’d like to make today, but finding them seemed like a little sign from the universe that I should pursue the purse idea. I’m not sure how soon I’ll finish these, or when I’ll start introducing new designs… but I’ll definitely keep everyone posted as I roll them out!