Friday, March 19, 2021

A Crafty Day In: Spring Fling: March 19-20, 2021

 Hi all!

Have I told you before that I'm a participant in A Crafty Day In? What is A Crafty Day In, you say? It's a community over competition virtual event (a craft show of sorts) that stemmed from the creative lovelies in the Twitch crafting community! It features various vendors of all types, ranging from beading to basketweaving, cross stitch to crochet, and much more. To see all of the amazing vendors, please visit their website and peruse all the amazingly talented artists who are participating.

Also, guess what? Some of these artist will also be participating in a raid train live on I will be one of them! My stream slot is near the end at 9:00PM EST. To see the whole schedule, consult below and feel free to drop in and chat with vendors and viewers alike!

In celebration of this event, I am holding a 25% off sale when you use the code CRAFTY at checkout here on the website. Hope over to the shop to browse my offerings. I'm still transitioning my listings from Etsy to here, so feel free to message me within the weekend if something hasn't made it over by the time you're ready to purchase. I will make sure you get that discount, commissions included, if you contact me by Sunday night at midnight CST. Promise.

In the meantime, please enjoy the fact that I have managed to get my shop upgraded and can now offer digital PDF tutorials here on the site! (Finally, geez.)

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Glowing Rocket Ship

Need I say anything else? Nah, not today.

To purchase, see here:

I'm slowly migrating all of my pieces to the shop here, easily accessible for everyone. My made to order and easily reproducible pieces, as well as tutorials will remain on Etsy in addition to here. All one of a kind pieces will be exclusive to the website. More to come!

Saturday, September 19, 2020

It's Glowing To Be a Good Time

 I've been working on a new thing with my pieces. Black light reactive beadwork!

For a bit of a back track, I must first tell how this idea came about. Immediately after graduating from college, circa late 2011-early 2012, I had picked up a second job at an indoor glow in the dark putt-putt place in my local mall. It was a low effort and somewhat slow job. After tiring of the selection of books I had to read, I decided to bring small projects to work on and make utilizing the small desk light by the register.

Lo and behold I learned that some of my beads glowed under the overhead black lights in the room! This opened up quite a few possibilities for me. Unfortunately I do not have photographs of those early pieces, but I have purchased new lights for my home and oh boy, do some of my pieces glow! 

My reversible King of All Cosmos/Robo King loom woven bracelet is one such piece:

It's available here for purchase here:

As far as other pieces go, I have recently completed this intentionally designed glow flower necklace, the entirety of which I streamed live on Twitch:

This piece was such a blast to make! To watch me make similar works in future, please do consider following me at It is also the first piece that I made for the express purpose of glowing under the black light. One day I hope to have a body of work to display in such a setting. This is a great start!

How can I source my own glow beads, you ask? Easy! Just search for beads that have either neon or luminous in the title or description when ordering. Or go through what you already have on hand. You'd be surprised what materials light up. Occasionally color lined and ceylon finishes also glow. Oddly enough, white does not unless it's acrylic. But a variety of my compressed felts do, as well as some coiled French wire/bouillon. These will all be interesting to experiment with in future. I'll leave you with comparison images of a recent purchase:

Happy beading! I hope this post was informative. Let me know if you make any black light discoveries of your own.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Piano Hammer Necklace and Some Other Work

Hello all! I've been working on new pieces recently. I have recently created a new piano hammer necklace from doing some color picking for My Lovely Beads' Fashion Colorworks Contest. I had thought I was choosing colors for the 2020 gold/green/blush pink combo. It turns out that those had been for 2019 instead. Oops! Regardless, after abandoning the pink in the mix, and playing with beads for a few days, I had the inspiration to create this piece:

If you remember from what feels like eons ago, probably 2011-2012 or so, I had made a similar piece that JD had drawn up for me. 

I was very thrilled to be able to recreate the design, as the rubberized leaf beads have been in short supply as of late. They're pretty impossible for me to track down and I would like to continue this composition up in the future. If you know of/own any, please do let me know!

My other recent finish was this braid stitch necklace designed by Virgina Jensen. I was in a low brain power mood the other night, but wanted to bead still. Why not learn something new where all the really hard parts have already been done for you? I think it turned out nice and has a lovely drape. However, beadwork of a solid stitch tends to get repetitive for my brain, and it begins to lack a challenge. Regardless, I did manage to finish and list it, for which I am very proud of myself!

*pats self on back*

I am also extremely happy to have figured out the Buy Now button option for my EcWid store plugin. Whoo!!! Have a lovely weekend.

I'll 'bead' around.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

My Work is Changing and I'm Learning Things

Check it out! I figured out how to import shoppable items directly into my blog posts. Sweetness!

Instagram came along and I abandoned my poor little blog. For the next little while, I'll be updating it into a full fledged website. Stay tuned!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Watermelon Cool Down Time

It's been a HOT summer.

But no more than usual. I did have the foresight to limit my daily yard work hours so that I finish by 11AM. It can still get hot by then though.

So guess what I've been making???

Wait....I spy a pizza. Hmm.....

None of them actually cool anybody down, but they do make you smile! You can purchase the red pendants from my Etsy shop as of now. The rest have yet to be listed, but just let me know if you want any. As of this writing, all are available.

These incredibly fun triangle motifs are indeed my actual designs. I couldn't find suitable patterns for a kaleidocycle I was attempting to make, so I just made my own! Aren't they just delectable?

Happy Beading!


P.S. Today's listening pleasure is Musical Starstreams, an old ambiance music broadcast I found playing on UNT's college radio while in DFW yesterday. So....relaxing.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Tip #9: Fuze Your Photos

I recently found this tool. is a freeware (with optional upgrades) tool that can be used to make the whitest of white backgrounds for your product photographs. See? Edit. 
Photoshop Edit

I'm fairly pleased with today's experiments. The Photoshop edit is pretty decent, but I sometimes have a hard time getting a nice enough background. However, FotoFuze does a better job. Not on everything mind you, but well enough. And it's super fast too!

Typically, I use colored backgrounds to counteract the difficulty in getting clear white. That will probably change in the future after this!

Coincidentally, this necklace was just listed in my Etsy Store

The necklace, too, was an experiment in new things. I used triangle seed beads and bead quilled them together around the box chain circles. That part I'm happy with. The iridescent purple drops? Not so much. But hey, I made a thing and learned from it. :-)

Go try FotoFuze to improve your Etsy photos! It is the number 1 or 2 piece of advice you always hear. HAVE GOOD PHOTOS. I'm doing my best and going as fast as I can. One step at a time.

Happy Beading!

Tamara Allison

P.S. Today's listening: How to Steal a Dragon's Sword (Audiobook. Performed by David Tennant.)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

My Mother Always Said Ideas Come in Waves

I remember it clearly. Two of my sisters and I were sitting down to watch the first Gremlins movie. Once again. It's great, that movie is. During the commercial break, my mom said that she'd once had the idea for almost the exact same plot. It was a couple years prior to the release date for the film, but she'd never gotten much further than thinking up the plot, and maybe scribbling it down. She'd long stopped writing stories by that point and had moved on to other forms of art.

Somebody in Hollywood hadn't passed up the idea though. And thus a classic film was born.

I'm 100% positive that there are other people out there, like my mother, who wish they'd been able to get the story out there first. I've seen it happen in beadweaving as well.

In 2008, I made this necklace out of a plumbing repair kit:

Fire Powered Plumbing. 2008.

I've also made many many other similar pieces in the years since. This one got published in Bead Magazine in 2011 I think. It was part of a Winter Sparkle Special.

Ice Circles. 2010.

And now, my brick stitched and embellished washers look more like this:

Pastel Teardrop. 2018.

Okay, so it's not a washer, but I'll bead around anything with a hole or holes in it. See:

Acrylic Beaded Fan Pendant. 2015.

Embellished Gears. 2015.

Brick Stitched Box Chain Pendant. 2016.

Button Ring Pendant. 2018.

The button piece above is closely inspired by a piece made by Leslie Rogalski, which appeared in Bead Unique in early 2009 or late 2008. However, both of us came up with very similar brick stitched and embellished washers and o rings. Coincidence? I think not. Ideas come in waves. 

The two of us have continued to create variations on a theme all this time as well. My pieces have evolved some, and so have hers I'm sure. The difference? She's been published many many times and I have not. I got one in, but I wasn't the first. And I won't be the last. Neither will I get the credit for starting that trend, because who can make a claim to that?

A simple Google search for 'beaded washers' will produce thousands of results now. At the time? Not so much. If I'd been smart, I could have busted my butt to be THE person known for it. But alas, the time for that is long gone. 

Yet, I still greatly enjoy making these pieces. Not quite as ambitions as my first few, mind you, but enjoy them I do. And so do many many other artists long after the appeal of the technique has caught on. Plenty of brick stitched circular designs exist. Because we've all been riding this wave. Some of us just caught it first. Others, like myself, didn't make it but never gave up. I enjoy the swim just as well.

What fantastic ideas have you had that passed you up?

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Farmer's Market on the Horizon

Why had I never set up at my local Farmer's Market before? Oh, I know! My sleep schedule used to be awful. The thought of waking up before the sun was not appealing. Not that it is now, either, but it is much easier now that I have a night time routine before bed. I can actually go to sleep at a reasonable hour! And wake up at unbelievable ones.....

Last week, I set up for Peach Day. I had a great time! Saw lots of friends. Sold a few things. Even had produce type things for sale. See:

Current Setup

I keep saying that I have to change out these drapes. They're just too busy. Time to spend way too much time in Hobbly Lobby again...

Orange/Blue Watermelon Pendant and Earrings

Orange/Blue Watermelon Bracelet

In Progress Loomed Peach

Square Stitched Peach Pendant

All the fun fruits! No veggies yet, but I'm working up a plum design. And I have to make peach/plum bracelets and earrings before moving on to the next edible. I probably have to make lots of red watermelon. They're selling better than I could have hoped! Thanks Wichita Falls! I love them too.

Wish me luck tomorrow. Or come say hello. Wichita Falls Farmer's Market from 7:30am-1:00pm. I'm gonna need some coffee.

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Way Back Machine Internet Archive:  "Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more."

This is a strange one, I know, but it comes in handy for expired websites, and also has a function for downloading old free books. If I'm not mistaken, you can hunt for out of print magazines as well! (Creative Beading Australia, anyone?) :-)

The heck is this even?

The above example was apparently a special issue of BeadStyle. Raise your hand if you remember that magazine. I do! I also remember when it went out of print. This issue was published in November of 2007. Freshman semester in college, that. Over a decade old. And the archive preserved it in all of it's outdated layout glory!!! I love it. Might be good for a stroll through memory lane and maybe even some inspiration when I get stuck.

The good news? There are dozens! Courtesy of a profile named the Magazine Rack. Forget Google preview, this is the bomb! You can view entire books and magazines here. You can even borrow them digitally if you create an account. I will never not use this. 

As with most non-profit sites, there is the ability to donate funds for the continual upkeep of the site. 

Maybe you too can find some nostalgia inducing beading references, or even something new/old to try out.

Happy beading!

Tamara Allison

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Tip #7: DMC to Delica Conversion Chart

Do you consistently come across beautiful cross-stitch patterns? Would you like to duplicate the intricate pattern into beads, present color scheme included?

Well, Caravan Beads and Fiber have created a conversion chart specifically for this purpose! Check it out. It's by no means complete, but serves as a great starting off point to help you round out the desired color set.

Now, if I could find the color chart for this beautiful Manny Calavera, I could loom him up, right?

Originally by Jsutcliffe, found on mrxstitch!

Isn't he AWESOME?!?!?! I highly recommend getting a copy and playing Grim Fandango if you haven't yet. Right now. I'll wait for your gushing comments.....

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Hello all!

I've been quietly staying busy in my home studio. I think I need to get out more. Hopefully, the Dance Dance Revolution pad at my local barcade isn't still broken. *fingers crossed* DDR is a great way to get a workout and boost your coordination. I don't care how much you think you suck. Go find an arcade and play. You'll be glad you did!

On to what I've actually been doing:

New vinyl stickers from JD!
The reverse side of my suitcase got a makeover! I like them. Thanks, babe.

Embarrasingly dull booth setup. :-/

Yeesh. No wonder my day was a bust. I don't fill out 10x10 booth spaces as well as I used to. I definitely need to rethink my display. Again. The layout was comfortable for me to move around in, but didn't do me any favors in attracting.....crickets.....people to talk to. Art & Soul wasn't a very good event for me. The weather was awfully hot, but the event staff kept us very well hydrated!

In other news, I've been relearning how to consistently list pieces on Etsy. You just list stuff. Having a daily routine helps. I took these photos yesterday, uploaded two then, then just finished the third today. Yay me!

Viking Knit and Shaped Beads Cuff

Click here to purchase. This cuff was an experiment in trying to embellish viking knit. I succeeded, mostly in making it way too big for my personal taste. But it was great fun to make!

Flared Hubble Stitch Sampler Bracelet

Click here to purchase. This was my first foray into hubble stitch. I think. I'm pretty sure I've never tried it before. Anyhow, the other night I just felt like trying it out with what was left of my favorite blue/orange combo. I'm really going to miss those bead colors, but I have a nice dainty bracelet for everyday wear!

Twyla Harbick's Dragonfly Bracelet in Red and Brown

Click here to purchase. At some point last year, I was in a creative rut. The best thing to do? Make somebody else's pattern! I was flipping through the August/September issue of BEADWORK Magazine for inspiration and thought I'd give this bracelet a try. It came out...okay. It's much too big for me to wear, despite following the directions to a T. Okay, well not to a T, but close. I swapped the O beads for hematite heishis and the Delicas for 11/0s. Oh wait, that's why it's not small enough. Tamara, when will you learn? 11/0s are always bigger than Delicas, duh.

That's about all for today! It's almost time for me to head out and have an away from the house night.

Happy Beading