Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Guest Post - The Beaded Pillow

Today I'd like to introduce Karen from "The Beaded Pillow."  She does beautiful and unique work with fabric and beads. Come on, take a closer look...  Take it away Karen....




Several years ago I bought some beads to make a necklace. I enjoyed creating something pretty and useful with my own hands and started making jewelry to sell at craft fairs. Then a friend, who also made custom drapes, asked me if I would have a use for her fabric sample books. I love to recycle and reuse so I said yes and shortly after started The Beaded Pillow.
My one-of-a-kind pillows are mainly embellished with seed beads and the occasional faux pearl, but I like to use vintage buttons and glass beads as well. 

Heavier fabrics work best to better “seat” the beads. Bold colors and fun prints are fun to work with but I try to offer neutral pillows as well. I have my personal favorites – they seem to dominate in my Etsy shop – but I also try to consider all tastes and d├ęcor options for my customers and do my best to offer a variety.

I work alone and since I create each item by hand, from selecting the fabric and beads, to sewing and beading, it is often a slow process to list a new pillow for sale. Sometimes I can finish a small pillow in a day, but a pillow like Orange Octopus may take up to two weeks. I’ve never actually counted how many beads go onto such a detailed beaded pillow – best guess would be hundreds!


Besides pillows, I create beaded coasters, ornaments/hangers, caps and pendants. I find myself getting too comfortable doing the same thing and remind myself to be open to new ideas.




What I can’t live (well, work) without: a foam work pad, straw needles (the only needles that work with seed beads!) and my MP3 player loaded with good stories.

This bead rack on my work table holds the tubes of beads I use the most...


A typical pillow kit includes fabric, backing, threads and beads....


I use a small piece of foam to keep seed beads from rolling away...


Naming a pillow happens while I work.  This is Spring Birds.....


One completed Spring Birds.....


Seed beads and small faux pearls.....


This butterfly is small so I've only beaded its wings with transparent orange and  mango seed beads...



Spring Birds is complete!


Thanks Karen.  I really enjoyed seeing how you work your magic with beads.  Your rack of bead tubes is colorful eye candy.  Who wouldn't be happy sitting and working with such colors? It was a real treat to get to see a work in progress.    Please visit Karen's blog and her Etsy Shop!

9 comments:

  1. I love Karen's work! I recently purchased something from her. You can read about it in my post today, hehehee....I can't believe we both featured Karen today!

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  2. I am so thankful to have the support of such wonderful friends here on Blogger. Kim: I appreciate that you have given The Beaded Pillow this wonderful opportunity to meet your followers here. (((Happy Dance)))

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    1. You're welcome! It was such a pleasure to have you.

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  3. Karen, Love your items. Hope to purchase something later this summer when I redecorate my guest bedroom. Keep up the great work.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Snug Harbor and checking out her post!

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  4. I have followed Karen on Twitter for some time now. Her work is unique, hers and it's amazing. I loved reading this and learning more about her and the peak at her process. She is such a talented woman!

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  5. Those are some pretty incredible pillows!!

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  6. I love everything she makes, too. The pillows are all exquisite and this new one, Spring birds is gorgeous! I love these colors! Very good post, my friend! Thank you!

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  7. Oh WOW! Those pillows are gorgeous!!! That's a lot of talent you have there, and great taste! :o)

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