Skip to main content


Showing posts from 2012

Tamara's Magazine Horrors and Triumphs

Hello again.....

2012 is almost over and I feel like I've gotten nowhere. Somewhere along the line of the past couple years, I've stopped entering beading competitions. Discouraging, I know, but I just got tired of expending all of my energy on them. So, I threw myself into making tutorial for magazines instead!! Last year I did great with this; I got published three or four times (one of those being BEADWORK on the first attempt ever!)

However, this year I've been in kind of a slump. My good editors have been sending back rejections. No hard feelings on my end, I promise. I'm used to the sting after having entered so many competitions. Maybe they were just practice for the things that really count? I also had a virtually done deal fall through. The contract was signed and everything when the editor contacted me two months before the publication date to tell me my article wouldn't fit. Boo.

On top of the lack of printed material in my life I had an emotional setbac…

Not Dead Yet

I'm not dead yet, and neither is my blog. As you may or may not have noticed, I have not posted on here or anywhere else in three months. I have, however, been contemplating the direction my work should take. I've got plenty of NEW pieces to show you guys soon.

I had an epiphany after about the fifth or sixth failed art/craft show this year! My target market (you guys) aren't there. I don't know where you're hiding, but it's not outside. Therefore, I'm taking a minute to pause, re-brand my work, and search elsewhere. You have to admit that the couple thousand dollars in show costs is an expensive way to learn a lesson.

I'm getting better.

Look for new work, new presentation, new web presentation, and a new outlook from me! And tell me a little bit more about yourselves so I know what to look for? What do you guys do for a living? Are you teachers? White water rafters? Outdoorsy types? Hermits? Gamers? Or super human mutant heroes? I want to know!

I fee…

And the Winner is........


Congratulations! Please email me your shipping information to

I will mail the necklace and earrings the first chance I get. Probably on my lunch break or between jobs sometime this week. :-)

Thanks to those who entered. I am still/always taking advice and tips from anyone willing to share and will share what I know in return. Until next time.

Constructive Criticism (and a Giveaway)


I am in some sore need of criticism. Specifically speaking, I need to revamp my Etsy shop and am almost clueless as to how to go about doing it. What I would like from my readers is honest suggestions of what I could do to improve the overall look of the thing.

Please pop over and have a look. For everyone who leaves a comment, I'll put you in a draw for this simple button necklace in a recent color scheme. I have earrings to match, but no photo to show. (sorry) They will be included as well. Lookie!

Here is what I'm looking for. (I already had my banner redone a few weeks ago and am currently happy with it, but also welcome new ideas.)

1. Photo quality.
2. Background preference: solid or props? or other?
3. Overall feel.
4. Quality of description of pieces.
5. Tips on other information. Ex. shipping, repairs, etc.
6. Shop Sections.
7. Should I have a crap ton of tutorials for sale?
8. Anything else you can think of! The more info, the better.

Vintage Style

Tada! I have recently decided to drag myself to the grocery store to mooch internet every chance I get. The reason: to show you guys the wonderful, yet sometimes many months old pieces I have recently made and finally edited. This one I know for sure made it on Facebook right when I completed it, but did  not earn a blog to the best of my knowledge. So, here is Baroque Heart!

Alas, I cannot duplicate the earrings, for I have forgotten where I bought the findings and cannot find them locally. Plus, internet ordering is not something I participate in unless absolutely hounded by someone to finish a certain project with no exceptions. If you would like to purchase the necklace or see more pictures, you can traipse on over to my Etsy listing for a closer look.
In regards to my bead stash, it keeps growing even without the help of monetary assistance on my part. Over the years, I meet a variety of people who, for one reason or another, give up beading as a hobby or prioritize their jewelry…

Diamond in the Rough

Matching earrings to a necklace that is being published in a magazine in December!!! And here I was thinking that 2012 was going to pass by uneventful. These little guys didn't make it into the box, and since the publication had only seen the necklace, I figured I'd post them here and in my Etsy shop. Diamond earrings anyone?

In other news, I'm 100% free of my student loans! I paid that sucker off three days before my grace period ended. It's possible if you pretend that you don't have any money for a stretch of nine months straight. Granted, it was under $5,000 to start with, but I'm still pretty stoked! :-)

New Booth Shot


So, so, sorry that I've been busy. That's a good thing, right? Anyway......I'm going to be debt free on Thursday!!!!!! My student loan is going to kick the bucket in one fell swoop. Maybe I can start buying things for myself again, such as.....beads??

Nah. I have to pay off my Trimline first. I love it! Ish. The heavy contraption takes me an hour and a half of pure sweat and torture to put up, and then another five hours for my display. Here's a recent booth shot, albeit minus the Trimline because my sister has my camera and memory cards with current photos at the moment.

Nice, huh? I am SO relieved all the clutter is gone and my work can be seen. No more fighting with the displays. Unfortunately, this was an indoor show with pipe and drape. My current curtains tend to conflict a little. Still working on a solution for that and thinking about wall displays with shelving. (An artist is never satisfied.)

And this is my newest listing! Made it last fall. Eileen Bra…

New Listing!!

Again. I love this shape. I've been on an asymmetrical necklace kick lately. Somehow I managed to forget to show you guys the last one, but this is my most recent. It also conveniently matches the OTTBS color scheme for May! Lookie......

I will admit that this is the first time in a LONG time that I have actually turned to my beading magazines for help. The reason being: well, I just don't feel like I'm caught up on recent techniques. Therefore, I dug through last year's projects for inspiration!!
You can find it listed here in my Etsy shop!!!
I've also been on a beaded washer kick. (Duh, since they're on my inventory list for this year. I've made 24ish pendants w/matching earrings so far!) And this is the first of my beaded CRAW washers. Yes, I have finally tackled cubic right angle weave. Not sure what the fuss is about. I didn't find it too difficult, but maybe my brain works different. OR maybe it was because I wasn't following any directions, p…

Beware of Needle

High Strung

January BJP Finished!

I finished one! Granted, it was two weeks ago, but I did finish. :-) One piece down, eleven to go, and two months behind. *sigh* Have a look!

Please excuse the poor quality photos?
February's project is already planned out. Hopefully it will go faster once I get down to beading it. Here's the pattern....

And the template....

I tried to keep in mind that each side will be a different composition and that the center line will cut design elements off if I don't watch my placement. Wish me luck! I also have the pieces for March and April all drawn out, too!
Things I've learned since last post:
1. I lost some design appeal when folding the focal in half. The onion shaped element doesn't look as cool as it did at first.
2. I want to use brighter colors on the next piece!
3. Waitressing is not so splendid after all. I did get the job. :-)
4. I fear I will never stop procrastinating and/or ever catch up.
5. A tutorial a week is out of the question. I'm hoping for one a…

First 'Professional' Tutorial

I'm really excited to announce that I have my first 'professional' tutorial up for sale in my Etsy shop!!! I've written for magazines in the past, held a small class or two for friends, and uploaded freebies on my blog, but nothing feels quite as good as having a well put together set of instructions for sale!

The piece in question is my Scallop Stitched Double Washer Pendant. You can see the original post here, where I initially wanted to show just half of the process. However, I got a request from a friend to do a full tutorial, which is where my work needs to head if I'm going to make a productive living.

I never thought it would feel this great to share my knowledge this way! *HUGE sigh of relief for completing a promise to myself* I hope you guys enjoy!

Olympics 2012: Bead Threading

Revisiting Old Ideas

One amazing aspect of having a significant other that's also an artist is being given creative input on things you shove under their nose. I was sorting through my bead stash the other day and managed to get rid of six containers by condensing everything I still want down into three compartmentalized boxes! In the process JD tells me that one of my Wal-Mart clearance finds looks a lot like this piece I made and sold a while back.

And that's why I made this necklace yesterday. The color scheme of brown/purple/silver was also a suggestion. And of course I couldn't help but put a small beaded gear in the center.

You can find it listed for sale in my Etsy shop. :-)
I plan on making another with turquoise and copper accents soon, which is whenever I pop another disc of Farscape into the computer. The design is fairly simple, while the execution takes time in determining the proper balance of elements. Enjoy!

Two for Tuesday: Josephine's Garden Necklace


.....hello. I've been in kind of a bum mood lately. I've been fully enjoying being able to bead all I want between jobs. However, I know that it's not going to last. I think this is the reason I've been way too lax on producing the tutorials I promised myself I'd make. I think I'm too much of a flake for my own good. I am a work in progress. Thank you all for being here to encourage me onward.

Today I've decided to post a Two for Tuesday, mostly because I spent yesterday ripping apart really old projects to recycle the beads. I should have been working on the BJP instead, but hey, plans change right?

This piece is called Josephine's Garden. I sketched the centerpiece while looking for Victorian inspiration on the internet in early 2010. I had a Victorian craft show I was going to that December and wanted some ideas. I finished this piece last summer after having created the centerpiece in the spring of 2011.

I hand cut the copper with my jeweler…

January BJP progress II

Hello all! I've made a little progress since last week. To be exact, 4 hours of embroidery yesterday afternoon while watching Farscape on DVD. :-)

First of all, I want to give credit to the inspiration for the type of bead embroidery I'm using for this piece. Joanne Teague of ThistleDew for you has what I consider a unique technique of attaching beads to a base. I know techniques aren't copyrighted, but giving a shout out is always appreciated.

So, here's what I did......

Attach the beads one at a time along the center edge of the desired shape. I had a black like as well, so included that before doing the outer edge of the shape.

Outline the outer edge of the shape and begin to fill in the interior. Basically, coloring with beads! 

Look at the back! It looks totally different than the short line segments I'm used to.

This is as far as I got. It's more ambitious than I intended, but I like the results so far.
Things I've learned this time:
1. Joanne Teague …

January BJP progress

Welcome to the wonderful world of Allison's Antics, where procrastination abounds and new ideas are constantly left in the dust! This should be the new tag line for my life. (Shame on yourself, Tamara.)

I can't believe it's been four years since my last attempt at the Bead Journal Project. Wow. Let's get started shall we.

First of all, you might want to know what I've chosen for my bead embroidered theme. Well, I wanted to go small-ish. I have been sorely neglecting bead embroidery for the last couple years and want to ease back into the process. Sooooo.......always with a usable end product in mind, I chose to do an Art Deco styled necklace each month with three pendants. Each will depict a portion of one of Henry Moore's textile designs from the early 20th century. I just love the patterns and have wanted to make inspirational pieces for quite some....months.

Here is the piece I chose as inspiration for January. Why not just start with my favorite and go from…

Two for Tuesday: Victorian Mourning

Hey look, I remembered!

All the Two for Tuesday sketches I've shown you so far have been from the same sketch book. And I found another one I think might interest my readers.

Victorian Mourning came about when I was planning on going to a Victorian craft show in Galveston, TX. I roamed around the internet for inspiration and came up with this design...

Early last year I got around to making the nickel silver centerpiece. Then I beaded it with black and off white seed beads. Who says plastic cameos aren't just as gorgeous as the real thing? The necklace is part of my senior exhibition and remains one of the most recent pieces I'm proud of.

It Looks So Good You Could Eat It! Free Candy Beadwork Tutorial. can eat it.

New for 2012! Edible beadwork! :-)

I have decided this year to take on a tutorial every week. This will be a huge undertaking for me, but I hope to have a good selection of patterns for sale, freebies, and magazine submissions by the end of it. Therefore, for the first Sunday of every month my readers (you wonderful friends who follow this blog) will get a totally, 100% free photo tutorial to work on. Personal use only, please.

Feel free to submit any images of your creations to I will create a reader gallery (once I figure out how to do it) for everyone to see. :-)

Now, down to business.....

Beaded Gummi Ring

Candy necklaces. Your little niece bounding home on Valentine's Day, covered in glitter and stickers and childhood joy and enough sugar to induce a coma or two. C'mon, admit it: you've eyed them with curiosity, and then dismissed what essentially boils down to nasty sweethearts on a string.
For shame, crafty beader, …