I can safely say the adventure of art started while I was the staff writer for our local paper, but took some years to germinate. It turns out that one of the artists I interviewed would be my future husband. That in itself is an adventure.
Turns out he used to be a tour guide in the Canyonlands area where he and his group of friends spent many days on camp-outs. His company was called Mystic Eye Expeditions and its tag line: “the adventure of art, the art of adventure.” All that time he was also painting and developing his massive talent as an artist. Me, I was a mom crafting and keeping busy learning skills I would later use.
Well, we met and married and I opened my Interior Design business. I had these massive inventories of discontinued fabrics and left-overs from jobs. Being an environmentalist, it pained me to throw them out.
I looked for something to do with them and Randy (the spouse) and I created our Cliff Spirits (They can be seen on redrockartisans.com.), but that didn’t begin to help. 
One day we were walking through Joanne’s Fabrics and I spied a book called “Fabulous Fabric Beads” by Kristal Wick. That was the answer to a prayer!

I love fabric. I love textiles. My art centers around fabric and I am always asking, how can I do that with fabric. So the fabric beads were the beginning.
With the guidance of the book I began making beads by the dozens and jewelry with the beads. Then came the craft shows at which I sold almost everything I made and where I grew in understanding and art.
Unfortunately, or fortunately, I never do things by half and beading has become an addiction. I have trays of beads in every color and tubes of seed beads too.

But, I digress. I wanted to share with you some of what I have learned about fabric, jewelry, art and adventure. Today, I’ll talk about fabric beads, but later about our adventures! So, far it’s all been fun!

Instructions on making fabric beads make the process look simple. Maybe for some it is, but I worked at getting it just right. First, you have to start with the right fabrics. Many of those I had just wouldn’t do, so I gave them to quilters to create with.

The best fabrics to use are silks, cotton, muslin, batiks and vintage kimono fabric. Polyester, nylon and upholstery fabrics just don’t stick well at the edges. I have also found that I love to work with leather and friends in the furniture business have donated much of that to me.

But fabric is just the beginning. You need a rotary cutter, ruler, iron and self-healing mat like quilters use. Then there are the glues, paints scissors, spatula and straws. Never mind, the embellishments: beads, bleach, copper sheets, crystals, dyes, embossing gun, embossing powders, fibers, yarns, wire, hole punches and die cuts, inks, ink pads, metallic markers, glitter, paint brushes, rubber stamps, templates and texture pads, salt, sponges, stencils, and stringing tools. Beading is a whole other subject, which we will take up in parts.

Meanwhile, if you think you might enjoy making fabric beads, I’ll be giving hints and tricks right here.

If it works like it should I’ll insert a photo of a finished necklace right here.

Image

I call this necklace Carnival, and it is sold. I never make any two alike, but can make similar ones.

Next installment: How it all works.

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