Category Archives: Lurking in the Lair

Recent events, projects, successes and failures in the Goblins’ Market Studio

New Goals, New Work – a Fresh Start for Spring

It was a horrible winter in Far Upstate NY.  There were lots and lots of very cold days and nights and winter hung on for much longer than usual.  The worst part of the winter came when we had to say goodbye to our beloved silk tester, Grainne.  She truly was a queen of cats.  There was so much cold and sadness that it felt like we had nothing good to share.  We were living at Goblin subsistence level for many, many days, hence the silence here on this blog.

Now at the end of May, spring is finally here, the leaves are on the trees, birds are singing and there is warmth in the sun.  I’m shaking off my SAD and getting back to work with some ambitious new goals and some helpful tools to keep me motivated.  Molly is learning how to do many of the things that need doing at Goblins’ Market as she ponders how to best navigate adulthood so, for now, I have an extra set of hands online and in the studio.

In the next few weeks, look for new beads and chokers over in our Etsy shop. You can still find us at GoblinsMarket at ArtFire but Etsy’s new management tools really are helping me stay on top of inventory better than ever before.

Also, keep your eyes open here for results of our ice dyeing experiments and an easy tutorial for trying this technique out for yourself. You might also want to check out my Pinterest boards. If you like beads, textiles, color and texture, you will especially love my collection of fab stuff on the Fabulous Beadwork & Textiles board.

Wishing you a glorious Springtime, V.


Colorful Studio

Yardage ready for Dyeing
Waiting for the Dye Vat

It’s not a pretty sight, is it?  The Lair is almost always messy.

There are so many steps to all of the dyeing processes.  And beads?  Well, they might as well stay out all the time.

On Monday this week, I dug into a bin of unfinished experiments, assigned them colors for overdyeing and tied or bundled them, depending on what the first layers of dye looked like.

Cat Sleeping in Silk
Grainne in the Silk Bin

I also opened the white silk & rayon bin to get out a scarf for a custom order.  Grainne promptly found the bin and fell asleep on a pristine length of white silk Dupoini.

It has been a busy week with appointments and Halloween commitments but this morning saw the first fabrics come out of their dye baths.  They are drying right now – the blues are glorious!

I have news about Studio Tour and Potsdam’s Winter Farmers’ Market but I’ll post that later with photos of some of this fabric after drying and ironing.

The Rinse Vat
The Rinse Vat

Beaded Beads!

Artisan Beadwoven Bead
Urchin Berry Large Hole Slider Bead
side view of large hole focal bead
Detail - Urchin Berry Beaded Bead side view

With all of the summertime hullabaloo here in The Hollow, I’ve had very little time or inclination to sit in front of the computer.  But I have made time to play with beads!

During my down time during the school break, I have been making pretty little beaded beads.  They are a great project size – I can finish one in a couple of hours – have plenty of embellishment potential and they fit nicely on my Pandora style bracelet with the beautiful lampwork beads my kids have bought for me as gifts.  (What can you give a mom who makes all her own scarves and jewelry?  Artisan Glass Beads!)

Beadwoven Large Hole Focal Bead
Copper Grey and Teal Zen Wheel

The beads are woven using 11o TOHOs in Right Angle Weave.  I used a pattern by South African artist, Heather Collin of studio 183 to get me started working on this scale.  Her Satellite beads and Sabine Ring patterns result in nice, sturdy structures that hold their shape and don’t leave a lot of exposed thread.  Once you have tried the basic patterns a few times, you can start embellishing on your own – making the beads bigger or wider and introducing different bead styles for embellishment.

I have two more going on my bead tray this weekend and loaded a bunch of them into my Etsy shop this morning.  You can find them in my Artisan Beads and Pins

Artisan Wide Hole Bead
Springtime Large Hole Beadwoven Focal Slider Bead

section.  Maybe I will even bring some to the Remington Arts Festival next month!  I’m even thinking of playing with this basic bead style and scaling it larger to become a scarf ring.