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Showing posts from 2011

Magazine Destash

Well, I've decided I own too much stuff. Why do we as a culture accumulate so much junk? *shrug* Anyway, since I have gleaned all the knowledge I can from these old magazines, I find that I would rather pass them on than throw them out. Please come over to my Vanishing Pearl Facebook page and take a look at my Magazine Destash album.

The rules:

Like my page.

Comment on what you want.

(optional, but much appreciated) Donate $2 per magazine to my Paypal account as a gift for

Wait for your new magazine(s) to arrive in the mail.

Bead to your heart's content!

<3 Tamara


Hello everyone! I missed you.....

I've also missed beading. :-( Thanks to those of you who have kept up with me. I'd like to show you how my senior exhibition turned out. Have a look!

B.F.A. Senior Exhibition by Tamara Allison | Make Your Own Book
Now that college is done with, I will (won't) have time to work on the 240+ projects on my to do list. Wish me luck. :-)

First up, find my bead stash among all the other junk in my apartment. I few trips to Goodwill may be in order.

Well.......I've Been Busy

I know that's a terrible excuse for not posting in exactly a month, but it's the truth! For those of you who might be curious about what I've been up to, I'm going to show you. I decided that while I still had access to the studio at school, I needed to do something about my craft show display.

A while back, I wrote this post about how I have been setting up my booth for roughly the last three years. As glorious, and pretty, and elegant, and nice it all is, I have to admit that the setup is HEAVY. Oh, and it also takes up a lot of space. For once, I'd like to go on a road trip and see out of my rear view mirror.

That, and I'd like my jewelry to be seen instead of my displays.

Soooooo, I packed up most of these displays.............

.........and will shortly be shipping them off to Shalena White of Shalena Designs. Go check out her gorgeous metalsmithing work if you've never seen it! She is a friend of mine and a graduate student at the University of Texas a…

Two for Tuesday: Jasper Lariat

Sorry for missing last week's post. *shrug* I do however have another fabulous sketch and finished piece to show you this week. TADA.......

I made this lariat last September. I originally wanted to make enough freeform peyote circles to make a belt. It fit around my waist, but didn't stay in place to well. (Now I have to find a creative use for the toggle clasp with extra circle, which isn't pictured here.) So I decided to make it a lariat instead!!

Miscellaneous news:
I just recently finished a new Eileen necklace, bracelet, and earring set!!! So excited that this one turned out fabulously well. :-)I have to say that freeform peyote is not usually my thing, but this design always makes me happy. 
And now, Eileen! 

I used a coil inductor for the centerpiece as well as a cathedral bead that has been embellished along the equator.

(Hey I just realized this post was themed around freeform peyote. *accident*)

I was also just recently informed that I won a free Modahaus through P…

Two for Thursday?: Enameled Profile

I apologize for missing my update on Tuesday. I have no excuse except for forgetfulness. The photo mosaic above is what was next on my list. It's a double sided enameled profile of my face. The copper base was a practice piece for my first Two for Tuesday post piece. Since it wasn't textured, I decided to enamel it instead.

I made this in 2009. Wow, how time flies! For some reason, I zipped my mouth together with a picket fence and placed a kokopelli on the other side. *shrug* This was just a practice piece and I had fun making it. I'm happy to say that this is one case where the end product matches the initial sketch. :-)

I've been so busy lately that I've completely lost all track of time. Today was the first time in a week that I've been able to sit down and bead. (1 hour 40 minutes!) Sad, huh? :-( Once school is finished, expect to see me cranking out patterns like there is no tomorrow! Promise.

Two for Tuesday: Casting a Frog

Oooohhhh, a movie! Ah, not quite. Although the 'new' Disney release The Princess and the Frog is really well done.

This two finger ring was made in 2009 I believe. It is my very first attempt at casting anything EVER. It was a lost wax casting with bronze. Pretty proud of myself for carving the frog out of wax. There was a little toy frog this exact size just chilling on top of the chemical cabinet. As far as I know, he'd been there for years without anybody taking notice. Of course after I finished the ring I put the little guy right back where I found him. And he disappeared forever within a week. :-(

As with any new assignment, I was always eager to include beads within my design. In this case, I used a single dyed freshwater pearl, which is nestled inside the water lily. See.....

Anyway.....the result: one heavy sucker that could do some hefty damage, but look good doing it.

And now for some good news!!!

I have decided to get rid of my entire stash of old magazines. I&…

Giveaway Winner!!

I really meant to have this up by last week, but lately I've spent my time doing nothing but cutting up vegetables it seems. Ah, the hazards of going back to work. I want to give my sincerest apologies.

There were five comments on my original post. And here's the pic for the random generator:

 Our winner is Designs by Dawn Marie. Congratulations Dawn!!!! Please email your address to

*And thank you Kristen for sending her my way. :-)

Here is your bracelet Dawn:

By the way, I have another batch of old magazines I don't need anymore. Do you guys think I should host another Facebook giveaway like I did before?

Two for Tuesday: Roped Into Love

This piece was for the Convergence contest a couple years ago. A jewelry designer was supposed to team up with a lampwork artist to create an earth, fire, water, and air themed piece of art. The International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) was in charge of the project. They grouped people in sets of two and gave each the other's contact information.

I think we had about six months to finish the project. I know for a fact that all I did for the first five of those months was doodle during political science. I had contacted my partner and we had discussed ideas. She never did make anything for me to work with, so I told her no hard feelings and that I was going to find someone else who was still available.

I then contacted Terry Hale, the lady in charge. My mom had recently been Terry's neighbor at a craft show in the Southeast somewhere and said she was personable, friendly, and a good friend of Susan Parry, a good friend of ours from the show circuit. I told Terry the prob…

Two for Tuesday: Flame Ring

Ever since I was nine, I've been making squiggly doodles on scrap paper. I've drawn on lined and unlined paper, in the margins of school notes, on napkins, on my jeans, on myself, on other people, and now in sketch books. 
This ring was made in 2008. Again, this was my first metals class. The assignment was to bezel a cabochon. I think this one is white howlite. I could be totally wrong. Of course, instead of a tiny pendant, I wanted to make something more fun. Here is the result:
It looks like fire! *Totally not the intent, but hey, it works.* I sold the ring earlier this year to the wife of a furniture maker who was set up across from me in Kerrville, TX.

On a side note: I seem to have misplaced the bracelet I planned on giving away for my 150 Facebook likes celebration. I will choose another piece instead, and it will be just as fabulous. The last couple of weeks have been quite hectic and my jewelry likes to run away on occasion (usually in someone's pocket). However,…

Two for Tuesday: Chain of Memories

Good morning Tuesday! Today I have another piece that I started in 2008. This was actually my very first practice piece when I first took metals. It was a piercing and riveting assignment. I decided on a heart with some squiggles and spiky things. Why not? It's challenging, right? Yup. The scrap metal I found for the heart is steel. (My poor saw blades. *sigh*) And the other bits are aluminum.

Until last year, I let the piece sit around and mope until I found something to do with it. I eventually found the Soft Flex: Flex Your Creativity contest where they wanted designers to use their beading wire, but to have it exposed instead of hidden. This was my entry. You might want a picture before I continue:

Photo collage made with
I used one of their trios sets, which is what my local Hobby Lobby carries, to create a mass of squiggles and pearls all over what is now the front of the heart. I also used the beading wire to make a braided cord for one half of the neck strap…

Putting a Face to a Name

All too often I forget what the artist of some of my favorite pieces actually looks like. I can almost instantaneously put a name to a piece with that certain style. However, if I saw any of these people on the street with no label indicating who they are, I wouldn't be able to call them by name or say "Oh! That's so-and-so."
To remedy this problem for my followers, here is a picture of me:

Glasses, pimple, and fever blister included. (Three weeks into a new semester, plus taking my job back. *sigh*)
My logo for all of my online profiles is the same for consistency. Most of my online friends don't know what I actually look like unless they are friends of mine on my personal Facebook page.
I did have a picture of me for my first blog post, but I was 19 when it was taken. This is of me today taken by my computer's camera. I just turned 23 on Monday! I cut most of my hair off this past summer and now have a puff of a pony tail. :-)
I don't know about you, b…

Fan Page Giveaway!

After much deliberating, I have decided to give away a piece of jewelry for my 150 Facebook fan page celebration. I am at 144 likes right now.


1. You must "Like" my Vanishing Pearl Facebook page.

2. Please leave a comment on this blog post.

3. (Optional for those of you who don't use Facebook): tell your friends and spread the word!

Only those who have liked my page and left a comment will be eligible to win THIS!

A memory wire bracelet with Botswana Agate, a vintage glass button, E beads, bugle beads, and swivel hooks! (Wait, swivel hooks? Kinda odd to use fishing equipment in a bracelet, huh? Not at all!) One size fits all.

This is honestly the first bracelet image I came across that I know for sure hasn't sold yet. I will host more giveaways at each 50 like mark, or spontaneously. So check back often and always tell your friends.

Please leave an email in your comment so I can contact you if you win. :-) Good luck!


Okay, so I happened to misplace/l…

Two for Tuesday: Asymmetry

This necklace was a complete surprise to me. I received a text from JD with a message saying, "You have me drawing jewelry designs at work. :-/" And this was the sketch:
After deciding that this design was too fabulous to pass up, I promptly began making the piece with materials I had on hand. I eventually ended up giving it to JD's mom as a Christmas present. Here's the two of them together with Linda wearing the necklace:

I don't have a better view of the necklace itself, but I think it's nice to see a happy recipient of my work on occasion. This was my first piece of beadwork created from the sketch of another person. Thanks JD. <3

Sorry that I got to this update a little late, but I'm proud of having kept to my self imposed deadline thus far. Stay tuned for next week's sketch vs. finished piece.

By the way, once my Facebook Vanishing Pearl page receives 150 likes, I'm going to announce a giveaway of one of my pieces! Tell your friends and I'…

Two for Tuesday: 3x3 Square

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been absent for over a week. I got a chance to visit my grandmother right before school started, went to my first week of classes, and *sigh* took my old job back. However, I've come up with something to keep me posting at least once a week for most of the next year.

I'm going to start a series of blog posts called Two for Tuesday. (If you have a better name, please share). You will see a minimum of one sketch and one photo of the finished piece made from the sketch. Our ideas have to come from somewhere don't they?

I seem to find myself stuck somewhere in the middle when it comes to designing jewelry (or anything else). One one hand, there are people who never put pen to paper before creating a piece. They record their ideas during the creation process. On the other, there are those that plan out every single detail before even picking up a tool. I do both, or neither, or even sometimes one or the other.

For today's piece I planned out t…

FREE: Beaded Washer with Scallop Stitched Edging Tutorial

Hello on this fine middle of the night/morning! Blogging in the AM. Look at me being productive! I wanted to share my latest design:

I made this last night while trying to tell myself that I can make new designs with old ideas. (Trying not to beat a dead horse here). It turned out vastly better than expected! I almost always forget that scallop stitch provides such a pretty edging. I learned it years ago and have since applied it to my work only a handful of times. *shame on you Tamara* Never fear! I will promise to use it more in the future. This is the reverse of my newly created beaded washer pendant:

If you would like to purchase this little beauty, then please visit my Etsy store. I just finished listing it (among updating almost everything on my web pages).

However, if you would like to learn how to create the turquoise washer, read on:

Beaded Washer with Scallop Stitched Edging Tutorial
Materials:·Size 11° seed beads in two colors
·Size 8° seed beads·Fireline·Needle·Scissors·Was…

Tamara Spills Her Show Secrets

The secret is I have no secrets. I have an ever changing conglomeration of ideas. I am constantly on the lookout for new and interesting jewelry display ideas. Here are some of mine. I suppose you could call this a tutorial, but in creative display rather than jewelry making. Here goes!

*******Please note that this is my one day show setup. I would never leave my stuff overnight anywhere unprotected.*******

Everybody, these are Bob, Sue, and Joe. Bob, Sue, and Joe, meet everybody!

These are Bob's legs. Use short lengths of PVC to elevate the table about six inches above the ground. This allows the items displayed on the table to be seen better without having customers bend over too far. We don't want to promote bad posture, do we? No slumping!

Next, we're going to take some adhesive velcro and cut out little squares. Peel off the back of one side and stick it to one of the tables. Use three or four squares for the long side of one table. Use one square on each of the short si…