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December 13th shop update + year end SALE!

leather raven necklace with iridescent gemstones

New work just added ~

I’ve just posted a small shop update, which includes a small collection of necklaces, leather pendants, and hair accessories!

While I’d hoped to have more to share tonight, it just wasn’t in the cards. As is typical for the Pacific Northwest this time of year, it has been dark and gloomy and dumping rain all week. Not ideal weather for photography (in fact, I’ll likely go back and re-photograph many of these pieces the next time that the weather is favorable). Perhaps I’ll trickle in a few more pieces over the weekend if time and light allows.

In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy the pieces that I’ve shared tonight! Also, just a friendly reminder that my holiday ordering dates are coming up quickly. If you’re in the US, there’s still time to order for the holidays, though I’d urge you not to procrastinate too much!

Year end Sale  (*added 12/15) ~

Enjoy tiered discounts through the end of 2018:

* Orders of $50+ enjoy 10% off

* Orders of $100+ enjoy 15% off

* Orders of $200+ enjoy 25% off

Hopefully, this helps you with your holiday shopping, and it certainly helps me to clear the way for new work in the year ahead! Thank you for empowering me to do what I love for a living!

Sale runs from 12/15/18 – 12/31/18

Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar on Sunday 12/16 ~

Last but not least, I mentioned in my last post that my November giveaway winner is choosing to donate her prize to the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar this Sunday 12/16 at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in San Francisco. The proceeds from this event will go to benefit the families who are working to rebuild their lives after the #Campfire in Paradise, CA last month. Two of my friends’ families lost their home in that fire, so this event is near and dear to my heart. With that said, I am choosing to match Angel’s donation of my Sacred Heart sugar skull mask, by adding a second “Abuelita” sugar skull mask. If you’re in the Bay Area this weekend, please consider attending and supporting this special cause!

leather sugar skull masks

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December Giveaway and new work soon.

leather christmas ornaments

A small celebration of kindness ~

For December’s Giveaway, I’m offering a $50 gift certificate good for any ready made item at my website or my Etsy shop.  To enter,  simply share a comment about a random act of kindness that lifted your spirits! Did someone surprise you with a free coffee, or did you have a chance to pay it forward for someone else? Tell me your tales of kindness and goodwill, and I’ll choose a winner at random on Friday, December 21st at 6 pm PST.

As is often the case this time of year, I’m noticing a lot of sad, angry people out there! Maybe they’re stretched too thin with year end goals and holiday commitments, or they’re stressed out by all of the pressure to shop and consume. Perhaps these folks are grieving over loved ones who are no longer here to take part in holiday traditions, or maybe they’re worried about the state of the world. Whatever the cause, winter just seems to dredge that stuff up for a lot of us. The weight of it can be heavy enough to make the best of us act poorly. With that said, I’d like to offer a little bit of light this holiday season – just a small celebration of kindness to remind us of what’s really important.

Shop update on 12/13 ~

I’ll be adding a small shop update on the evening of Thursday, December 13th. It will include a few unique jewelry pieces and hair accessories. I was shooting to have it ready today, but honestly? My creative work has been happening very slowly of late. While I really wish that I could be more prolific, for the sake of my health and wellbeing, I just need to honor that pace. Hopefully this weekend will give me time to finish up a few special pieces and get some better photos! Thanks so much for your patience, and for understanding.

Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar ~

And in keeping with the theme of kindness, the woman who won last month’s giveaway will be donating her prize to help raise money for the people of Paradise CA, who lost their homes in last month’s #Campfire. The mask below will be available at the Cali Love Fire Benefit Tattoo & Holiday Gift Bazaar at Eye of the Tiger Tattoo in SF, CA on Sunday 12/16. If you’re in the Bay Area, this will be an excellent opportunity to do some holiday shopping AND do some good for others! I’ll post another reminder as the event date draws closer.

leather sugar skull mask
Sacred Heart Mask

 

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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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Winter Solstice 2016 – Hibernation

leather-ornaments-peacock2

Happy Solstice, and many thanks to all who’ve supported my craft!

If you’ve purchased something from me, liked or shared my work, or offered feedback or encouragement along the way, YOU have helped to support my creative process and I’m deeply grateful. It occurred to me the other day that some of you have been cheering me on and collecting my work for anywhere from 5 to 30 years! I am honored and humbled by this – may your kindness come back to you tenfold.

Winter is officially here, and this quiet time seems ideal for rest and restoration. I’ve been feeling rather burnt out for some time now, and it feels like a good time to slow down and reflect on what I’d like to do differently in the year ahead. With that said, my Christmas gift to myself will be to put my Etsy shop in vacation mode as of December 31st.

I’ve not yet decided how long that vacation will last, I’m simply going to hibernate until I feel ready to share new work again. It could be a few weeks, it could be longer. We’ll see how that goes. My personal website will remain open, but I do intend to retire quite a few items at the start of 2017. So if you’ve had your eye on one of my pieces or if you only wish to purchase via Etsy, now’s a good time to do so.

Thanks again for your support and encouragement. May you be surrounded with love and comfort this holiday season.

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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!

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Halloween 2014 Shipping Deadlines

I’m getting lots of panicked emails and phone calls asking if masks will make it in time for Halloween. The abridged answer is:

Maybe – it depends on where you live and how much you want to pay for shipping…

US customers should be fine for Halloween delivery, as long as you order by Sunday October 26th and you select priority mail. If you’re on the west coast, you can probably even push that to Monday the 27th. If you’re overseas, or planning to order after that, I strongly suggest upgrading to express mail.

I ship very quickly, via USPS. This is an approximate outline of transit times for their different tiers of service — they’re usually pretty good about these timelines, but express mail is the only service that offers a guaranteed delivery date:

  • 1st Class Mail typically takes 3-7 days within the US, and 10-30 days internationally
  • Priority Mail usually takes 2-3 days within the US, and 7-10 days internationally
  • Express Mail takes 24-48 hours within the US, and 3-5 business days internationally

Last but not least, I’m sorry, but I’m not able to accommodate custom orders at this time (my deadlines for Halloween commissions were in September this time of year really is that busy). Similarly, I have disabled all “Made to Order” listings until after Halloween 2014. Selections are now limited to in stock items only. On the plus side, I have some great items in stock and I’ll continue to add new and wonderful items all the way through this weekend. Orders will be mailed very quickly, via the shipping method of your choice, and I am happy to help if you have questions — just ask!

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Custom work and current production times…

Custom work is a mainstay of my business, but I had to take a break earlier this year since I had so much going on. It wouldn’t have been realistic to try to juggle commissions while my schedule was so intense. Things mellowed out a bit when spring quarter ended, and I began accepting custom orders again on June 10th.

A week later, I was a vendor at the Fremont Fair . When we were unloading our booth into the house afterward, I took a pretty nasty fall. I was exhausted and my arms were full, so I didn’t notice the tangle of cords at my feet. Needless to say, I went flying onto the concrete, banging up my right (dominant) arm and shoulder pretty bad in the process. Thankfully, I did not do any permanent damage, but it has definitely slowed me down. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor twice a week since then, and diligently icing and using an arnica rub. These things have helped tremendously, and I’m healing relatively quickly, but I certainly have to pace myself. My shoulder is quick to let me know when I overdo it. 


With that being said, it’s been challenging to complete custom work as quickly as usual. I’m very grateful to  my customers for being so understanding about this. I appreciate it more than I can say, and I’m doing my best to keep delays to a minimum. Everyone who has placed custom orders since my injury has been forewarned that my production time is a bit slower than usual, and I’ve “padded” my work time a bit to allow for this. Hopefully I’ll return to full speed very soon, but I’m being very gentle with my arm until it is completely healed. 


As of today, I am booked through mid August. While I am still happy to accept new commissions, please understand that I will not be able to begin your project for about a month. From there, completion time depends on the complexity of your order. Also, commissions are completed in the order received. The clock starts once we have agreed on a design and you have placed your deposit — NOT from the date of our first contact. What I’m saying here (nicely, I hope) is that I cannot reserve a spot on my calendar until you’ve placed a deposit, and it’s not fair to my other customers for me to “bump” you ahead to the front of the line. 

Hopefully, that doesn’t scare anyone off. I just want to be very clear about my policies and timelines, so that nobody gets their feelers hurt. You can view my policies regarding custom work here on my website (just click on the “commissions” link on the left hand menu) and orders placed now will be started in mid-August. After that, my world starts to get pretty crazy with Halloween, and my schedule fills up FAST. If you have an idea in mind, now is probably a good time to discuss it with me.

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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 😛

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Fast times…

Life is moving at high velocity this week; things are going well, it’s just very very busy. School projects, show dates, family visiting — and most importantly, my daughter’s graduation!! I’m so proud of her, and I really want her celebration to be special. To that end, I just might be making myself a little nuts…

Despite the kinetic pace, I’ve been able to get a bit of creative work in. I’m playing with a new style of hair wear — funky beaded and feathered leather hair forks (say that 10 times fast! 😉 as well as a handful of other new hair toys that I hope to unveil soon. My dream goal is to get to the point where I have something for all hair types.

I’ve also been getting a bit more beading time in, which is something that I’ve really needed. As much as I love mask making (and leatherwork in general), beadwork satisfies me on an entirely different level. Even my most elaborate leather pieces work up quickly compared to beadwork. With my crazy schedule, I don’t get nearly as much studio time as I’d like, and it’s so gratifying to be able to actually complete something. If you’ve ever done beadwork, you know that it just doesn’t give you that kind of instant gratification! It’s a very slooow art form — but also very soothing and very meditative. Maybe that’s why I’m so drawn to it right now? Maybe it’s what my heart needs in order to find a little stillness in the midst of all the movement in my life.

My other big creative project lately has been to finish off the website overhaul. Go check it out! I still have a few more tweaks to make, and plenty of content to add … but I’m pleased to finally have the basic framework up there 🙂