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Saturday, April 30, 2011

New Collars

Summer is coming.  I have been promised that by the weather man.  I sort of believe it.  We had a taste the other day.

And I got inspired.  I sat down at my computer and designed several new collar motifs for Tanner to show off this summer.


This one is named “Stars and Stripes”.  It has a real, patriotic, Americana feel.  I love the two shades of blue in the spinning stars and the red and white stripes in the background.  I attached it to a 1 inch wide collar because Tanner growing so fast.


And this one is named “Summer Picnic”.  I must confess, I used a collar that Tanner had been wearing until he grew into his leather collar that I gave him for his birthday.  But, I must say, I think it really dressed the collar up.  I think he will wear this one for our next summer picnic.  I can taste the watermelon already.


The third one that I finished recently is named “Gabe”.  It is inspired by a beautiful, athletic Golden Retriever who is owned by Tanner’s and my favorite dog trainer.  I designed this collar motif to match a hand braided leather leash that Gabe wears when he competes.  It was a big hit with his owner.

I have a few more designs coming.  I want Tanner to have something special to wear for every occasion.  If you have any ideas, be sure to share them with me.  I would love to hear from you.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Beading time

Tanner and I had a busy weekend with family.  He was pretty tired on Monday, so I had some time to bead.

002 (2)

Here’s how he spent most of the day!

And here’s what I did:


I worked on beading some new dog collars!  I have the beaded bands glued to the collars.  They need to set up overnight.  Tomorrow, I will stitch them.  Then I need to get the patterns ready to publish.  I can’t wait to see Tanner wearing these.  He looks so cute in his birthday collar.  Everyone loves seeing his name when they meet him.


I have several more ideas that I want to set up and bead.  I want him to have a collar for every season!!! 

Thanks for bouncing by.



Remember, my patterns can be found here:

Ready-to-Wear pieced can be found here:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peanut Butter Eggs

Yes, I did do some beading today.  But nothing “exciting”.  I have been remaking the piece that I had the accident with earlier this week.  The band is done, now I am attaching the backing.

To take a break, I decided to fulfill a promise to my family and revive an old tradition.  I made home-made peanut butter eggs.


Here is the gooey filling.  It is just cream cheese, butter, chunky peanut butter and powdered sugar.  Lots and lots of calories.  Luckily enough, my stand mixer is strong enough to blend all of that together.  Could you imagine mixing that by hand.


Cookie scoops are not just for cookies.  I use mine to portion cupcakes/muffins and also to portion out the filling for the peanut butter eggs.


The scooped portions get rolled into egg shapes and then they go into the freezer.  If I am in a hurry, they only need about two hours to freeze.  But I had time, so they stayed in the freezer over night.


This morning, I got out my chocolate melter and …. well you know what that does.


And with Tanner looking on anxiously, (the last thing I made was cookies for him) I began to dip the eggs. 


I took me just over an hour to dip all 56.  I started by dipping them from the end.  As you can see here, those are not as pretty.  But my daughter taste tested for me and said they still taste good.

Then I remembered to dip them from the top and they finished great.  Hope your weekend is a sweet as mine is going to be.  Give into a little temptation this weekend and enjoy.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Be Careful Where you Cut

I have been working on a new dog collar band.  It was inspired by a beautiful hand-made leather leash that Tanner’s trainer uses for her Golden Retriever when he competes.

Gabe's leash 002

The color is made from braided leather thong in a beautiful shade of green with black as in interwoven accent.  I tried to mimic the pattern for a coordinating collar, and this is what I came up with.


I had the strip all beaded and was working on applying the backing yesterday.  I used a heavy weight interfacing and black Nymo 0 thread.


As I was trimming away the excess backing, that is when “tragedy” happened.  I trimmed too close and caught the warp thread!! Yikes!!


This is the side view.


And, here it is from the top.

Needless to say, I will be remaking this piece.  I tried to reinforce it, but I am just not comfortable with the idea.  I want it to be perfect!!  But I think this piece will get set aside to be taken apart a bit later.  I think I’ll just start from scratch today!

The moral of the story:  Be careful where you Cut!!



Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Using my Embroidery Machine

I know that most of you drop by to see what I am beading or creating with my beads.  But today, I want to share another of my creative pursuits with you.  I actually am lucky enough to own two sewing machines with embroidery capabilities.  They are older machines, but the both still work very well.  My first and oldest is a Viking Designer 1.  I use that one primarily for sewing because it just seems to do that best. 

My other machines is a Brother Pacesetter ULT2003D.  Yes, it is one that came with the built in Disney designs and handles the Disney cards.  I have done a lot of Disney stuff for my family on it.


As many of you also know, I adopted a Golden Retriever puppy three months ago.  He has been taking a lot of my time to train.  But it has been worth it.  Now, I want to show him and my love for him to the world.  And I also want him to get used to the noises that happen in my work room.  I decided it was time to run the embroidery machine.

I got a GREAT buy on some sweatshirts and t-shirts on the clearance rack, and this is what I did with them.

New Sweatshirt 003

I found this blue hooded sweatshirt for $3.00.  I decided to do the same design on the front and on the back.  Luckily, I was able to get it in two sizes.

New Sweatshirt 001

This is the larger design on the back of the sweatshirt.

New Sweatshirt 002

A close-up of the design.


I put this beautiful face on the front of a grey sweatshirt.  I wore this one to puppy class already.

I have several more designs that I am hoping to find the right garments to display them.  And I have several more grey sweat shirts waiting to be made into custom garments.  So, guaranteed, Tanner will hear the embroidery machine a lot more.

By the way, if you are wondering how he did.  I don’t think he even noticed that it was running.

Easter Bunny photo

Just wanted to share a photo of Tanner that I had taken yesterday at the local pet shop.  They do these to benefit local animal charities.  I think he did really well for being only 5 months old.  I know it will be a memory that I will treasure forever.



Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Fling At Bead Pattern Boutique


Sorry I haven’t posted for the past week.  I have been busy filling some customer orders. 

I just wanted to drop by and let you know that we are having a special this weekend at Bead Patterns Boutique.

Here are the details:

Hello to all our beading friends!

Spring has sprung at the Boutique. New patterns are springing up in every category. The spring colors are in full bloom. So why not stop by and have a look?

This weekend through Monday, you can save 15% site-wide on any and all patterns at the Just add them to your cart and enter the code BPBSave during check out. The discount will be deducted from your total when you click apply. Don't forget to register as a member! All shoppers at receive a credit of 2% of their purchase that can be applied to future orders. This cash back never expires & has no waiting periods or restrictions.

While your in town, don't forget to stop by the all new Shop Directory! Now it's easier than ever to browse through your favorite Designer's work.
The Spring Fling Special Savings is available Saturday, April 16 through Monday April 18. So don't delay. Save some green today!
Click here to shop now!

Marie Starr
&The BPB Design Team

If you are looking to add some new patterns to your collection, this would be a great opportunity to save some green. 



Monday, April 11, 2011


Many of you know that one of the other beading techniques that I enjoy is bead embroidery.  I love to start with some focal pieces and bead bezels around them.  Then, I add patterns and other fun pieces to make a great pin or medallion for a bag.

This is a brooch that I made for my daughter.
It all started with a wooden peace sign button.
This is a cuff that I worked on last year.  It features some great Halloween buttons that I found.
cab closeup
And this is a bag that I started with the beautiful stone and allowed the pieces to speak to me.  The back of the bag and the flap are one piece of leather and the front is rabbit fur.

While I have been able to find a lot of great stones and buttons, I have not been able to find nice cameos to work with.  While I was checking out some of my friends’ blogs the other day, I came across some beautiful cameos that had been bezeled by Lori Cook.  You can check them out here:

I asked here where she was getting them and she was nice enough to share her source.

I decided to start small and only order a few to check them out.


cameos 001 My package arrived yesterday and these are my new Cameo’s.  I am very pleased with what I got.  My daughter has already laid claim to the butterfly cameo.  But, in true teen-age fashion, she is leaving it up to me to make it into a piece of jewelry for her.

Now, all I have to do if figure out what to do with them.  Stay tuned and see what happens. 

Back to Beading!



Thursday, April 7, 2011

Contemplating Cat Collars


I will freely admit that I know almost nothing about cats.  In fact, I am allergic to them.  That being said, I have been asked by some fellow beaders to design cat collars.  So today I started doing some research.

I do know that cat collars need to be “break away”.  I am not 100% sure why.  I just know they do.  So, I can’t use a dog collar for a cat. 

I started at the dollar store.  I found some really ugly cheap things there.  Most of them were covered with rhinestones.  I knew I could not use those to bead on, so I kept looking. 

Then, I found these:


The bell on the collar gave me a clue that it was supposed to be for a cat.  That seems to be the other thing that all cat collars have in common.  This one is 9/16th inches wide and can adjust from 7 inches to 12 inches.  I bought this one and one in black.

Then I went to the grocery store.  I know, a crazy place to look for a cat collar, but we have some pretty well stocked shops around here and I have found some unique items in them.

I found this one there:


This one is 7/16th inches wide and can be adjusted from 8 inches long to 12 inches long.  And it says right on the buckle “Safe Cat”.  Oh, and it has the bell too.

So, now I need to figure out which size is used more commonly by cat owners.  If you have a cat, I would appreciate a comment with the width that you use.  It would really help me with my research.

I have some design ideas in the works, but I just need to get the width right before I start to bead.

Thanks in advance,



Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Dog Collars

I know I have been very quite to a while.  Life and loss have really hit me hard.  But through it all, I have come out with a new beading obsession. 

I have a new puppy.


This is Tanner Charles Rudy.  He is an AKC Golden Retriever.  As of Saturday, he will be 20-weeks old.  He came into my life at a very dark time, and brought a lot of sunshine and inspiration.

With my last dog, I was obsessed with bandannas.  But with Tanner, I wanted something different.  For Tanner, I have been designing and making beaded Dog Collars.  Here are some of my designs to date.




Four Color Diamonds
(loom & Peyote options)

Patriotic Puppy




Bailey – A Flower Power Collar

“Nala Dog Collar Motif with Alphabet”



“Paw Prints in My Heart”

“Cactus Flower Dog Collar Motif”

The patterns for these collar are all available at and  I tried to design patterns with a motif that could be repeated in such a way that you could customize the length of your collar to fit your Fur Baby.  Some of the patterns even include an Alphabet to help you personalize the collar.


This is my first attempt at a leather collar.  Of course, I had to do this one for my little guy.  He is not quite big enough to wear it yet, but if he keeps growing as quickly as he is, it won’t be long.


And this one is the most recent one.  I bought this pink collar with another project in mind.  But I picked up the wrong size and it was to short for the beaded band.  It sat on the design table for a week or so, just staring at me and daring me to do something feminine.  Never having had a female dog, I was at a loss for a name.  I asked some friends to help me.  Carol DeLong came up with the name I chose:  “Hearts n Lace I Am”.

I have a lot more ideas coming.  So stay tuned.  And if you are looking for something special for your fur-baby, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I would be happy to work with you to make something special.



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