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Tip #3: Stay Tightly Wound

Paper bobbins

You might have to go out and purchase this one, but it's worth it.

For years I struggled with keeping my leftover bits of thread labeled and available for use in future projects. Of course I want to use up everything that is over a foot long, but it got tangled a lot or I forgot what type of thread it was.

I feel kind of dumb for not realizing this storage solution earlier. I'm not much of a seamstress or embroider-ER. I never really owned much actual sewing thread or DMC floss until recently, so completely forgot paper thread bobbins were a thing.

Don't they just do a beautiful job of keeping my beading threads organized?

I hope this easy tip was useuful. Happy beading!!

Tamara Allison

Viewing recommendation: Go watch the Amazon Prime version of the Tick. Right now. You won't be disappointed (except maybe that Patrick Warburton had a slightly better physique for the part).
Recent posts

Tip #2: Keep it Sharp (and out of the way).

Pencil lead case: This one is pretty straightforward. It's an easy needle storage solution.

I don't sew much and never had need of a pin cushion. However, I've seen a few patterns that I'd like to make, like this adorable cactus! Side note: the sheer amount of succulent themed art out there makes my little gardening heart happy. <3

Pin cushions aside, students always have lead for mechanical pencils, or at least they do now. And I was a student for the normal amount of time during my earliest crafty years. This little bit of recycling is handy for keeping your needles all in one accessible location, like I do. Or you could even have several on hand if you're the type that's super into labeling and keeping your sizes in different containers.

Supplementary tip: I have a magnetic tool strip on my desk for keeping all my tools. My needle case conveniently is full of magnetic material, so it can easily hang out with the others. See?

Just hammer that strip right i…

Tip #1: Use a Yogurt Lid

Strange title for a post, you ask? Why sure. And here's why:

I've been intending to write a MEGA POST OF ALL MY SECRETS for quite a while. However, at the outset I did not realize how huge an undertaking that really is. So now, I'm going to just share one at a time (before I get lost in the internet archive for another five hours).
If any of you are anything like me, then your beading hobby and your wallet probably don't get along. Ever. I fall into the category of 'young crafty person in her 20's who barely makes enough for living expenses and food.' For the foreseeable future, I will be sharing with you all my beading hacks and budget friendly alternatives that I use in my design process. Hopefully it will be a good way to trick myself into blogging more. (No promises. We all know I'm bad at this!) :-) Yogurt lids:
Not the first thing you think of a craft supply, huh? These are my best friends. 
I've never ever ever ever used a beading mat, mostly …

Busy Year Update: WIPs and Other Suff

Well, it's been quite a busy beading year for me. My poor,  nelected blog is probably dying for some love right about now. The following are all images taken straight from my phone. Please excuse the poor quality. I decided to be insane this Christmas and make stitched ornaments for all of my co-workers. Three down, approximately twenty five to go:
I also stumbled upon this color scheme while experimenting with brick stitched buttons and Tila beads:

My succulent arranging skills have improved:
(Definitely not beads.)
My attempts at asymmetrical composition are still moderately awful. I'm going to give up on this one for a bit. Not enough contrast and too much going on here:

Wichita Falls has been having several art walks lately. Here is what all I added to my inventory for the last one. Too bad there are no more until April, but this more than anything kept me making more work this year!

New loom work design that I'm super proud of! Only the front is pictured here, but th…

Spring Beading


I've been in quite a productive mood lately! Lots of lovely things have been happening.

I COMPLETELY FORGOT TO MENTION THAT BEAD & BUTTON PUBLISHED ME!!! It was just the loom finishing tip that I've been yammering on about here, but still...they've been so elusive thus far. Or maybe I've been too intimidated. And now I have something in the works with Facet Jewelry as well! *smug Tamara face* Khalambach is my new favorite publishing company nonetheless.

In my normal drudging life I have discovered that gardening is my new hobby. Never in my life had I actually cared about plants...until living in a house. Here are my geranium/zinnia/calibrachoa arrangements:

Hopefully I've given them enough space to thrive. So far they're doing okay, but some of the leaves are drying out fast. Could be the glaring hot Texas sun. *shrug*

Next up: fake flowers. Getting some ideas for resin and metal flowers since I'm in a colorful mood.

Lastly, this is a loomed desi…

New Listing and a Painting and a Mug Shot

Hi. I got a new phone for Christmas! This will be the second post I've made with it. I couldn't successfully do that on my old one, which is a bummer since it's such a convenient blogging and everything thing else imaginable miniature computer. Asimov would be proud.

So, using my fancy new phone, I've skipped the middleman of using the desktop for photo editing and listed something new to you in my Etsy shop:

 And I also made a painting the other day:

Conversation between me and my assistant manager the other day.

ASM: What have you been doing lately, Tamara?
Me: I just painted a lady being pelted by coffee beans and hiding under an umbrella.
ASM: I would have been using a bucket to collect them instead.

Maybe she's right. I used old gift cards for the background and based the composition off of a couple artists, one of them being Aaron Kraten. If you've never heard of him, check out his website. He's one of the few artists whose work I would love to own. ♡…

New Year, Late Blog

Ouch, did the holiday season hurt. Worse than the year before even. I think I marathon trained at least ten new employees and spent all of January recuperating.

I have, however, made over a dozen pieces in that time. I want to share one of them with you today.

Anybody who loves micro macrame may or may not have heard of Joan Babcock. If you have, you have probably seen this piece. It's a classic. It also happens to be a necklace that JD's penal Tanya thinks is something she would like to wear.

Now, I don't think I have made many pieces for complete strangers, but this was fun! Tanya was an exchange student at JD's high school. She recently sent us a Christmas gift box, so I decided to make her something in return.

Let me know what you think. I'm pretty proud of it. *Pats self on back.*

If you had told me several years ago that I would be duplicating this piece in beads, I would not have believed you. I'm glad I did though.

Viewing pleasure during the creation o…