Amala Beads Worldwide is a new source for the discerning bead collector and jewelry lover. I am always on the hunt for new and interesting items and can offer you an exciting collection of beads and findings that have been collected from the world over. Many of the beads I sell have been handmade by me and all of the finished pieces I offer are designed and assembled by me as well. You'll never find a "mass market" version of finished jewelry on this site! I offer a custom design service, meeting your needs for a single bead or a complete "parure" composed of earrings, necklace, bracelet, and brooch. Please feel free to contact me via Thank you for visiting my blog and please tell your friends!

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"All created things must pass; strive on, diligently" - The Buddha

The Hilltop Street Fair!

The 4th Annual Hilltop Street Fair was Saturday, August 26th!

The organizers were really... organized, and I got my booth up in record time.  I had tried some new things for my set up - some worked and some didn't - and I did like having my tables at the very front of the booth.  Needless to say, I'll ditch the new things that didn't work!

It was warm - our heat wave has returned - but there was a nice breeze all day that kept everyone (except, maybe, the bands!) from getting too hot and miserable.

There was a bandstand just around the corner and the first band up played great Santana music - I recognized "Black Magic Woman" right away.

There was a nice crowd, busy, talking and laughing, eating good food, and having a fun time.

I met three very sweet young women who are freshmen at the university that's just a street away from home.

They are from Colorado, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and were all quite excited about being away from home and starting on a great big new adventure.  

I gave each of them a paper Buddha amulet as a little treat.

The Buffalo Soldiers were there and I think they were the most popular of all of the groups I saw.  Being a long time horse fanatic, I was happy to meet Shakakan and her very lovely owner/rider. 

The group is dressed in very accurate Civil War  reproduction Union uniforms and the horses tack is spot on.  I was invited to visit them at their encampment up the street at the park but I couldn't get away to do that.  Maybe next time!

The Soldiers - and the horses - were very patient with the crowds around them.  The kids had the chance to have their photos taken and everyone was wanting to know all about the horses, where they live, what they eat, and so on.

I met some great folks and some old friends stopped by... Paul, Linda, and Pete to name a few. 

The Fair wasn't over until 7PM and by that time my feet were really sore and I was glad to pack up and go home.  As always happens, I learned a lot and came up with some new ideas to help make my next Fair even better!

And, I've been invited to help with the planning of next year's Fair!  What a compliment!

An eclipse and the Hilltop Street Fair!

This is a photo of the beginning of the eclipse!  We don't live in the path of "totality" but did get to see a 92% eclipse.  This little photo is of the imagine we achieved by making a pin-hole in a sheet of paper and lining it up just so to the sun so the light was reflected onto another sheet of paper.  We had

an eight degree drop in temperature!  Colors turned deep with a reddish cast - kind of like a red sunset, but odd.  Tess the Wonder Dog wasn't phased at all but one of our neighborhood crows sat in the cedar tree and complained the entire time!

I've been working hard getting ready for the Hilltop Street Fair this Saturday, August 26th.  It runs from 11AM to 7PM on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way between South 9th and South 13th in beautiful Tacoma Washington.  I'm in booth C-19 near the car and motorcycle show, in case you happen to stop by.  If you mention that you read my teeny-tiny blog you will receive a 15% discount on everything!

Proctor Arts Fest - 2017

The Proctor Arts Fest was held last Saturday.  I wasn't a vendor there this year but I did go to check things out and to visit with some friends.

Ken Bailey was there, selling his dog and cat posters.  You may have seen his artwork - his posters are reminiscent of vintage advertising art but with a special twist.  You can see his full catalog by going here -

I learned some art fest tips from the lovely ladies at "Beyond the Basic Basket". Here is their website address -

The folks at Tacoma Lamp Repair were there with a one day special.  If you ever need an odd shaped light bulb this is the place to go! -

I met Officer Mullin of our local police department.  He gets to ride a Harley every day - . He was at the event with his motorcycle and was offering photo opportunities for kids to have their picture taken while sitting on his bike.  Did the kids get to turn on the flashing lights?!

I caught up with the folks at "Wag", a really super pet food and toy market and they took several of my flyers advertising my stand at the upcoming Hilltop Street Fair -

Last but not least, I stopped by Metropolitan Market - - to get something cold to drink and to chat with Micah, Roxanne, and Kim.  Micah was gracious enough to take some of my flyers to hand out to the store staff.

This pin is based on a Japanese "mon".  I found the image in a book published by Dover in 1970  named "Japanese Emblems and Designs".  The book contains over 800 illustrations and an informative introduction.  This image depicts three hats.

I made a blend of three different Fimo polymer clays; translucent, white, and Sahara, cut it to shape with a cookie cutter, and cured it for half of the recommended time.  I tried using old fashioned carbon paper to transfer the design to the clay but, as that didn't work very well at all, I applied a black pastel to the back of the drawing, placed the drawing on the clay, and then drew over the design.  This left a nice, crisp transfer on the clay.

Using a fine gouge I carved out the design.  Accurate carving makes all the difference!  Curing the clay for half the time made the carving easier and when I was finished I cured the clay for the remaining time.

When the curing was done, I sanded the pin.  Before I sanded with the finest grade of sandpaper (1000 grit in this case) I applied some Golden brand burnt umber acrylic paint to fill in the carved lines, removing the excess until I achieved the look I wanted.  When the paint was dry I did the final sanding and used the buffing wheel to bring up a lovely shine.  With a pin back glued and tacked onto the back the pin was finished!

These pins are addictive to make!  There are SO many designs available, it's difficult to decide which ones to choose.  I recommend starting with less detailed designs and using a fine gouge until the technique is perfected!