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The Lone Beader

The Lone Beader
Adventures in Bead Embroidery -- Lone Beader n. 1. one who creates beadwork without the assistance or company of others. 2. one who prefers solitude while creating beadwork.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7


2008-06-10 07:01:00
I finally started to paint a 24" x 48" wide canvas today! I hope I can decide where to go with it... :o
The T
2008-06-08 20:02:00
Constructing a 3D beaded Boston Green Line trolley is a slow process! Here's what I've accomplished since my last post: First, I used felt to stitch my matte board supports into place. In the past, I used velcro to attach matte board but, it is difficult to stitch velcro into place, so this time I avoided it altogether. I didn't even use any glue, either. I just cut a piece of felt large enough and stitched it right over the piece of matte board. And, since the front end of the train is now almost 2" deep, I also stitched some pieces of gray and black felt to the top and bottom edges of the train to hide the space when it is finally attached to my stretched canvas. Then, I stitched my trolley wheels into place. These are made from a set of rubber washers and T-nuts I found at the hardware store. Turns out, they are perfect because I was able to stitch right through the soft rubber with my beading needle! :DAlso today, I created the T sign for the body of the train. I simply cut o...
Saturday Meme
2008-06-07 06:36:00
While I was busy constructing my beaded Boston trolley, Celticat tagged me! I'll be the first to admit that I hate doing memes, but since she is one of my favourite bead artists (who I would love to meet someday), I will happily oblige:)1. What was I doing 10 years ago? Setting up rock concerts for a living. Drinking a lot of beer.2. What are 5 things on my TO-DO list for today? 1. Drive to Newport, Rhode Island with a friend. 2. Go to the Great Chowder Cook-off Festival. 3. Eat a lot of chowder. 4. Eat a lot of clam cakes. 5. Drink a lot of beer. 3. Snacks I enjoy: Popcorn Cashews Peanut butter right out of the jar.4. Things I would do if I were a billionaire: Open my own bead art gallery.Start collecting hot rods. Travel the country in an Airstream. Travel the world with someone I love.5. Places I have lived: Pennsylvania Massachusetts6. Jobs I have had: cashier telemarketerretail sales live sound engineer stagehand7. B...
More About: Meme , Saturday
MBTA Construction Project
2008-06-06 01:23:00
Last night, I started working on the construction portion of my beaded Boston Green Line trolley. This is the part where my progress slows down, because I have to do a little thinking about how I would like the finished art to look. Also, it is quite tedious, especially since there is no beadwork involved...First, I stitched some strips of felt around the edges to cover the white felt. Then, I cut out some pieces of acid-free matte board. I like to use this material for my 3D structuring because it is strong, yet soft and easy to manipulate when needed.I took two of the pieces I cut out, and actually stitched them to the back of the beadwork. The thin strip will reinforce the trolley door.And, lastly, I flipped the trolley over and put the two large pieces of folded matte board underneath. This will lift one end of the beadwork up by almost 2" and give it a very realistic effect.I first tried this technique when I was creating my beaded fire truck, Engine Co. 6, and it worked pretty...
More About: Project , Construction
Not Quite Wordless Wednesday
2008-06-04 07:03:00
(click to enlarge)And to think - they almost rejected my entry because I haven't purchased beads from them in 2 years! Guess it never hurts to try... :DCheck out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!View More Wordless Wednesday Participants.
Beaded Boston Citgo Sign
2008-06-03 07:02:00
(10.5" x 10.5"w)Today, I finished beading my Citgo letters. Then, I stuffed the triangle before stitching it into place. The beadwork is stitched onto a reversed piece of black vinyl simply because I like its gray 'fuzzy' look. Hopefully, it resembles the real Citgo sign after they turn it off at midnight, which is (by the way) not too bright... :/
More About: Boston , Sign
Beaded Letters
2008-06-02 16:31:00
I hope everyone had a great weekend. I was busy working on the beaded letters for my Boston Citgo sign. Each letter only measures approx. 1.5" - 2" wide, but for some reason they take a long time to bead! I am using 4 different blues - 3 transparent ones and one silver-lined blue. I'm also using several grays and black. Altogether, I counted 11 different types of seed beads! I chose these colours because I want the sign to look dark. Like a neon sign that is not lit. I'm stitching the beads onto felt with backstitch in the same direction of the LED tubing that is on the real Citgo sign in Kenmore Square. Hopefully, when I put everything together (including my beaded Boston trolley) it will all make sense. But, first I have to figure out how to do that. Wish me luck! :D
More About: Letters
Number One Place
2008-05-31 16:36:00
Every time I see the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square, it makes me think of how long I've lived in Boston, Massachusetts - almost half my life! I think how many things have changed, yet some things still remain the same. Like how the entire city is a construction zone, but that pothole down the street never seems to get repaired. Like how they spent decades and billions of dollars working on the Big Dig, but the traffic still sucks. And, even though they built new MBTA stations and updated many of the subway cars, it still takes forever for the damn train to come. I also think about how they spent a fortune restoring the 60' x 60' Citgo sign with super-bright LEDs, yet they continue to turn it off at midnight. And, when you leave the pub at 2am, you still have to hail a taxi in the darkness because the last train has already come and gone.Kinda makes me question all of this development. We have the technology to make things run faster, longer, and more efficiently, but that will only...
More About: Place , Number
Fire Trucks are Hot
2008-05-30 14:19:00
In the past couple of weeks, I have had several people ask me about my beaded antique fire truck, Engine Co. 6. They all asked the same question - how much is it? Currently, Engine Co. 6 is listed as 'Not for Sale' at the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center in Athens, Ohio. The reason for this is because it is very special to me. I created the 1943 replica Chevy fire engine in memory of a childhood friend who perished in a fire many years ago. I may decide to part with it in the future, but I just haven't decided on that yet. So for now, just for fun, I have decided to add the image to my CafePress shop for a LIMITED TIME ONLY.(Click to visit The Lone Beader's Boutique.)The fire truck image is available on postcards, a totebag, a coffee mug, a mousepad, and a magnet. This offer will run for the duration of the Bead International 2008 exhibit-through Sept 1, 2008 ONLY. If you are interested in the actual beaded fire truck, please remember that I do accept commissions. Contact me thro...
More About: Trucks , Fire
Layering 101
2008-05-29 13:56:00
I have been beading my Citgo sign, but first, I want to show you what I worked on all day yesterday.You guessed it- more layering on my beaded Boston Green Line train! I used size 15 clear seed beads with gray and black thread. I backstitched the beads right over top of the white beads. It took me a whole day to do that, and I don't even think I'm done with it! I'm hoping the different grays will 'darken' the white body of the trolley just a bit because I want it to look like the night train. :D(19" x 7". Click images to enlarge.)Layering seed beads like this is not easy. It does take a lot of patience. I try to pull the thread gently on each stitch so that the beads do not fall in between the bottom rows of beads. And, sometimes the bottom rows do not sit properly, so I have to go back and stitch through those again. That is probably what I'll be doing today. Here are some close-up pics. Also, compare it with a previous photo of the trolley. Does it look like this technique ...
Artists Hate Labels...
2008-05-28 06:05:00
...but I LOVED this one! LOL! :D(My name tag from the Bead International 2008 opening night.)Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!View More Wordless Wednesday Participants.
More About: Hate , Labels , Artists
Cultural Weekend
2008-05-27 08:03:00
I'm always sad when the weekend comes to an end - especially this one! I spent some quality time with family and friends, and I had a great time attending the Bead International 2008 opening night. The event took place at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens, OH. This was my first time visiting the Dairy Barn, and I must say that I am very impressed! Here are a few pics from the show so you can see. :DThis exhibit contains extraordinary examples of both traditional and contemporary beadwork. There were a few beaded handbags, a gourd, a couple of dolls, some wearable art, a large number of bead-paintings, some jewelry, a few indescribable pieces, and way too many quilts. Here are a few of my favourites:Beastby Betsy YoungquistOn The Townby Colleen O'RourkeLynxby Jean ApgarDay & Evening Bagby Valerie NicklowLichtenstein Teapotby Kate Anderson(part of the Beyond Basketry exhibit)and....Engine Co. 6by Yours Truly :DAlso, here's a peek in the gallery shop. There, you can buy or...
More About: Weekend , Cultural
Bead International 2008
2008-05-22 13:58:00
Today marks the start of a busy weekend for me. I packed my Citgo sign and all my seed beads into my little travel case because I'm off to Pittsburgh, PA to visit my sister. On Friday, she and I are headed to the Dairy Barn Cultural Arts Center in Athens, OH for the Bead International 2008 opening night! I am very excited! If you happen to be in the Southeastern Ohio area anytime this summer, please stop by and check it out!Come see an assortment of beaded artworks, from fine jewelry to loom weaving to sculpture, at Bead International 2008, a biennial international juried exhibition on display from May 23 to September 1. There are 68 artworks on display, representing 53 contemporary artists (including me!) from across the United States and beyond. Pieces range in style from the traditional to the whimsical as they incorporate a variety of colors and materials. This exhibition will spark your creativity and broaden your perspective, as it considers any pierced object to be a bead. W...
Sign of a Different Colour
2008-05-21 06:33:00
Here is today's progress on my beaded Citgo sign. When finished, it will accompany my beaded Boston Green Line trolley. :D(10.5" x 10.5". Click to enlarge)Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!View More Wordless Wednesday Participants.
More About: Sign , Colour
Landmark Felt
2008-05-19 18:10:00
I hope everyone got a laugh out of yesterday's post. I had to do it. LOL. And, I am basically finished with the beadwork on my Boston trolley car. The only thing I have left to do is edge the felt with beads. For some reason, I always save that for last. Here are some detail photos:(Bead-embroidered Boston trolley - 19" wide x 7") I used at least 7 different shades of green and white Czech glass seed beads. I also used gray-lined clear hex-cut beads and Toho charcoal 1/2 bugle beads. The wheels are made from a set of rubber washers and T-nuts I found at the hardware store awhile back. They are not attached yet.(click images to enlarge)Also, the sign on the trolley says 'No Service'. The reason for this is because the T does not run all night. It stops running around 12:30am and starts again at 5am. So, for about 4 hours per day, the MBTA is actually providing a disservice to the community, especially since the bars are open until 2am... No one likes to leave the pub early because...
More About: Felt , Landmark
New Kids on the T
2008-05-18 07:28:00
(19" x 7 " - click to enlarge)Well, the New Kids on the Block are back. They're taking my beaded Boston trolley car to tonite's gig. Thankfully, I'm getting off at a different stop... :0
Czech Glass Gallery
2008-05-16 15:35:00
For those of you who have never been to Prague, I will tell you that it is a tourist mecca. Everywhere you turn there is someone with a camera and a map of the city. There are also hundreds of jewelry stores and shops with 'Czech Glass ' signs in the windows. Many stores specialize in either Czech Garnet (Cesky Granat) or Bohemian Crystal. The city has so many of these shops that it is overwhelming! Most of the Czech Garnet shops sold the same kinds of jewelry, and while I did marvel at the Bohemian Crystal, it was a bit heavy for me to bring back on the plane. Furthermore, most of the shops who advertised Czech Glass Jewelry in the window sold only simply strung necklaces or bracelets. In this type of environment, a jewelry shop would have to carry very unique/artistic items to interest me. I don't know if I mentioned this before, but my blogger friend Pink flew from London to Praha for the weekend to explore the city with me. I was so glad she did, too! It was nice to have an En...
More About: Gallery
Crown Purse
2008-05-15 13:30:00
I still have some more beadwork to show you before I get back to my regularly scheduled blog... Like this beautiful antique beaded coin purse I also found in Prague:(front)I found this at the shop right next door to the one where I found my beaded handbag! And, to think - I almost didn't go into this shop... I'm glad I did! This little coin purse measures 3.25" in diameter and it is most definitely either bead-knitted or crocheted. I assume this piece was also created in the mid-late 1800's. The seed beads used are size 18/o. The front is a rose pattern, and the back is a leaf pattern. I cannot see any missing beads. Also, the metal frame still works properly, and the purse is lined with leather. I have seen beaded coin purses like this before on ebay, and I have always wanted to own one. This would be the perfect place to keep the crowns I didn't spend:)(back)After finding these two examples of antique beadwork in one day, I was very happy with my search for all things beaded i...
Prague in a Handbag
2008-05-14 07:10:00
(8" x 6.5"wide)While I was on holiday in the Czech Republic, I discovered this beautiful beaded handbag at an antique shop near the Prague Castle. I don't know where the bag was made, nor do I know the age of the bag, although I suspect it was created in the mid to late 1800's. I also don't know the proper value of it, but the price was right, so I brought it home. The body of the purse is completely intact with almost no beads missing and the rose pattern continues all around the bag. There is a long chain attached which is used for closure. The beads appear to be embroidered, and the seed beads are very small- size 15 or smaller. Many of the beads are charlottes, and they really sparkle in the light. There are a few beads missing on the blue tassel at the bottom, but other than that, this bag is still in excellent condition. I marvel at the artistry it took to create this. :DI thought this was the perfect souvenir from Praha. Have a look for yourself. How old do you think it is...
More About: Handbag
Beautiful Czech Republic
2008-05-13 15:46:00
This isn't the post I had originally planned, but I thought some of you might be interested... I have finally started to upload some of my travel photos to my Flickr. It is time-consuming to organize, upload, and label them, but since I love sharing, I think it is worth the effort. So far, I have uploaded photos from my day trips to Terezin Memorial and Kutna Hora, home of the famous Bone Church. I will add more Prague photos to my Czech Republic collection within the next couple of days, so please check back! of The Lone Beader's stuff tagged with czech
More About: Beautiful
The Hunt for Czech Glass Beads
2008-05-12 13:09:00
The Lone Beader is now back in Boston, MA - safe and sound. I really missed everyone, and I enjoyed reading all your comments. It was a long three weeks, but it sure went by quickly! I spent the first two weeks of my holiday in Prague, Czech Republic, and I made a quick stop in London, England on the way home. Prague is a beautiful city - probably the most mystical I've seen thus far, and its history is dark and intriguing. I can't wait to share with you all of my photos... My main reason for traveling to the Czech Republic was to learn a little more about the making of glass beads, as well as to search for some to bring home. After a few days of general sightseeing, I went out to search for beads.Above is a photo of the first shop I found located on Ujezd in Mala Strana. This shop sells a few lampworked beads, as well as seed beads, but it is really a beaded jewelry store. I enjoyed looking around here, but it really wasn't what I was looking for...The next day, I took a bus tr...
More About: Glass , Beads , Hunt
The Traveling Widget
2008-04-20 18:12:00
In case you miss me while I'm on holiday in Prague & London, here's a sneak peek at my mobile blog. I hope you'll check back to see where I've been... To see larger photos, click the link on the widget. Leave many comments, and I'll see you when I return... :DNa shledanou! :D
More About: Widget , Traveling
Flight of the Seed Beads
2008-04-20 10:00:00
Two years of blogging is hard work! I need a vacation! So, today, I'm headed to Prague, Czech Republic. Prague, or Praha, is a city I've always wanted to visit ever since I saw that INXS video. And, when I heard they made beads there, I knew I had to go.... So, all day yesterday, I did a little preparing for my trip. One thing I was thinking about was bringing some beadwork with me to do on the flight or in the hotel. I have packed beads to go before, but usually only on road trips. I read Jean Campbell's Tips For Beading on Vacation, and was amazed at all the different ideas people had. I'm actually amazed at how many people bring beadwork to do on vacation. It seems there's so much sightseeing to do and beer to drink - when would there ever be time??I thought about this, then I remembered Celticat. I thought, if she can make beaded dolls on the NYC subway, I can try this, too! I'm going to be away for 3 weeks, and that's a long time to go without doing any beadwork. I can'...
More About: Flight , Beads , Seed
Freeze Train
2008-04-18 09:49:00
It amazes me how fast time goes by! Two years ago on this day, I wrote my first blog post - 590 posts ago! Today is my 2nd blogaversary! So to celebrate, here's a quick glimpse into the history of The Lone Beader. Each of the images below are documented works of beaded art in progress. I chose pics from blog posts over the last year that I thought were the most important, as well as the most fun. I feel that these are some of the posts that have really helped me develop my own artistic style. Click the pic to flash back to the original web page, and to see my finished bead-paintings, please visit Thank you for your interest in my beadwork:)Freeze Frame
More About: Train
Math Word Problem
2008-04-17 10:03:00
(Semi-beaded Boston Green Line trolley car. 19" x 7". Work in progress.)Can you believe I'm still working on the same section of this beaded trolley?? I wanted to be done with this yesterday, but no such luck. I guess my mind works faster than my beading needle does...Anyways, here's one for all you MIT Math ematics majors out there. I'm stitching 5 white seed beads at a time. When strung, five Czech seed beads measure approx. 0.25"... I've already stitched approx. 9 horizontal rows at 16" apiece, and 45 vertical rows (in between the windows) at 1" apiece, and 21 vertical rows at 1.25" apiece. The empty space I need to finish beading measures approx. 14" long by 3/8" at the center (please refer to the photo). Calculate that, then tell me how many white seed beads I will have stitched by the time I am finished with this section of my beaded trolley car... And, if you happen to get that right, I believe there will be a keg with your name on it somewhere in the dorm later tonight....
More About: Word , Problem
Feelin' Good
2008-04-16 08:55:00
A few days ago, singer-songwriter/author Jen Trynin, wrote me a note. She complimented me by saying she checked out my beadwork - and she's not the least into beads!Thanks, Jen! That really made me feel good! :DSemi-beaded Boston trolley car. 19" x 7". A work in progress... jhtml?artist=1178025&vid=46806Check out the new Wordless Wednesday HQ!!View More Wordless Wednesday Participants.
More About: Good
Top 500 Hits
2008-04-15 09:34:00
Yesterday afternoon, I looked at my blog stats, and realized that a significant number of people were viewing one of my posts directly from their email inbox. I wasn't sure why this was until I received a message from a Myspace friend. Turns out, my psychedelic blue beaded bus, The End, was featured on Interweave Press' Beading Daily blog! Editor Michelle Mach wrote a post entitled "Music to Bead By". Approx. 500 people who read the article clicked the link to see my finished blue British bus. I do believe that this is a record number of hits for me in one day!! If you missed this, click to the screen shot below to view the article, then think about how music inspires your creativity. :DYou must know by now that everything I do/create is heavily inspired by music. I used to be a musician, and I studied it at a well-known jazz school here in Boston. I discovered that I enjoy listening to music much more than I enjoy playing it, so I studied recording while working in a theatre for...
More About: Hits
Distant Highway
2008-04-14 09:05:00
Semi-beaded Boston trolley car: 19" x 7". Click to enlarge.Boston: Long TimeIn memory of Brad Delp. Nous sommes tous des ames solitaires...
More About: Highway
Bead News & Review
2008-04-12 09:34:00
(photo snagged from Side Show Studios)It's a busy weekend for The Lone Beader!! And, I made the press!! Above is the photo of my beadwork which was recently printed by the Sacramento News & Review in an article which announces Side Show Studios' Taking Textiles Seriously art show!! (Krissi from Krissi's Stitchery was kind enough to send along the news! :) This Second Saturday Reception opens tonight at 6pm PST and it is free to attend. There will be all kinds of fun happening including a fashion show, music, and live demonstrations of sewing techniques. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres will also be served. (Please check Evie Turner's blog for the complete run-down of events.) A limited number of my original bead-paintings will be available for sale, and artwork will be on display through May 7th. If you happen to be in the area, please stop by and check it out! :D (photo snagged from EVIEā™„LOVE)Side Show Studios Tattoo & Fine Art Gallery is located at 5635 Freeport Blvd., ...
Behind Clear Doors
2008-04-11 08:40:00
One thing I've learned is that it's not easy to do bead embroidery on clear vinyl. Vinyl is kind of a flimsy material, so it's tough to stitch the seed beads in a straight line. Also, precise needlework is necessary to make sure you don't end up with a million tiny holes in the vinyl when you are finished. And, even though it is clear vinyl, you will still manage to stab yourself in the finger once or twice while beading. :o(click images to enlarge)It's a slow process but, it's all good. My beaded Boston trolley is finally starting to take shape. :D
More About: Clear , Doors
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