March 31, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Kahlo Perler Beads

Have you heard of perler beads, seen projects done with them, or used them yourself?

What are perler beads you ask?
The Beginner's Guide to Perler Beads, says "Pearler beads (as know as Hama beads or Nabbi beads) are plastic fusible beads. These colorful beads are usually arranged on plastic pegboards to form patterns and then fused together with a clothes iron. They can also be strung into necklaces, woven into keychains, or even assembled into three-dimensional decors."

I tried a small pearler bead kit a few years ago, but didn't really get into them until I did a Disney Pixar craft swap last year and a huge woodland critter kit for my daughter's advent calendar for Christmas. 

The process of using pearler beads reminds me a lot of cross stitching. In cross stitching you use thread to make little x's to make a pattern. The same concept applies to using pearler beads except you're using beads. If you make a mistake, you can easily move the beads around. Something I like about using perler beads. However, once you iron your pattern, there's no turning back. The only thing I don't like about using perler beads is that with any slight pump the beads come off the pegboard. Since they move so easily, I've learned to take lots of close-up pictures while using perler beads. That way if they come off the pegboard, I can look back to the photos to see were they belong. 

On Wednesday, while looking for a card in my cards/stationary tote in the garage, I found the remaining perler beads from the Disney pixar project. Perler beads can be quite addicting. I spent the last hours of Wednesday night and welcomed Thursday (I was up til 2:30 am) designing my own Frida Kahlo, watermelon, cactus, a pink sacred heart (as a type this, I'm realizing I need to add a flame at the top of the heart), a paint palette, and a paint brush. 


On Thursday, while my daughter napped, I searched for Frida Kahlo perler beads on Pinterest for inspiration and I started adjusting my Frida Kahlo pattern around. Frida's head wasn't square anymore. I gave it a more rounded shape.

Instead of Frida's unibrow being completely straight, I curved it by moving the middle black perler bead down.

I changed the flowers in Frida's hair numerous times and decided that I liked Frida with bight pink checks instead of peach colored checks. 

While taking progress pictures, I learned to take photographs from a distance because you get a better feel of how the pattern will look like once fused together.

Now, I just have to add flames to the pink sacred heart and iron the Frida inspired perler bead patterns, that I designed. Hopefully, I can find a square or long rectangular frame to display them in.

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up from the Viva La Frida swap, click here to sign up, and the Frida Kahlo pin giveaway. As a perk for signing up, you'll receive discounts from Etsy shops that sell Frida Kahlo inspired items. For more Frida inspiration, check out Emily's blog by clicking here.

March 24, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World Book Review

I would love to one day have a small collection of Frida Kahlo books, especially ones meant more for children and young adults since those seem to be the ones filled the most with beautiful illustrations. We currently own two Frida Kahlo themed books, "Frida" by Johan Winter and Ana Juan and "Counting with - Contend con Frida" by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein. While searching for Frida Kahlo books at my local library's search engine online, I came upon the book, "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World." I requested to put it on hold for Lily and I and fell in love with it the first time I read it to her.

"Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World," by Laurence Anholt is about a little girl named Mariana who gets her portrait painted by Frida. Mariana learns a lot about Frida, life lessons from Frida, and develops a life long friendship with Frida. Frida's interactions with Mariana gives the reader a glimpse of the wonderful mother Frida would have been if she could have had children. The illustrations in this book are beautifully painted; illustrations that both adults and children would appreciate. "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World" book would be a great addition to any girl's library as they "discover how love, creativity, determination and above all - courage - can give them wings to fly" (quote obtained from last page in book, short biography on Frida Kahlo).

Among the beautiful watercolor illustrations in this book, some of Frida Kahlo's actual paintings are included, like the portrait shown above of Dona Rosita (Mariana's grandmother). An artistic touch I love and haven't noticed to have been done in other Frida Kahlo themed books.

Not only was Frida an unforgettable painter but she has a great sense of humor too. Frida introduces Mariana to her pets, some whom are very uncommon pets. Frida pets included a monkey, parrot, dog, baby deer, and an eagle named Gertrude Caca Blanca, which means Gertrude White Poo. Frida makes fun of her "favorite friend of all" her husband Diego River when describing him to Mariana. She calls him an ugly frog-toad and big as an elephant (which I already knew Frida did), who is always hungry. Frida even reveals personal information about Diego that had me laughing when reading the book to my daughter. Diego has to get his underwear specially made "big enough for an elephant" and they're pink. Diego is like a big baby who plays with toys in his bath. Ha! Who knew!?! I think Frida reveals this information to Mariana to make her feel comfortable around Diego.

Frida is constantly reminding Mariana that no matter what life throws at her she can be still be strong and be whomever she wants to be in life. This constant message makes this book one of my favorite Frida Kahlo themed books. Frida explains to Mariana why she wears long dresses (the bus and tram crash) and how she began painting. The accident may have broken Frida, but it didn't break her spirit, it only made her stronger.

Frida also tells Mariana, "We are stronger than we think Mariana. And here's a little secret - women are stronger than men."

Frida quickly influences Mariana. Frida gives Mariana a skeleton toy doll and Mariana tells the doll, "Listen, Boney. I'm the bravest girl in the world."

When Mariana says farewell to Frida and Diego, Frida tells Mariana, "Promise me you'll be strong like me, Little Sister. Promise me you'll fly in your life." This quote is one of my favorite in this book because it helped me better understand one of Frida Kahlo's most popular quotes, "Feet, why do I need you when I have wings to fly."

At the end of the book, there's a short biography of Frida Kahlo that you will enjoy reading as much as the actual book. In it, it tells that Frida and Mariana developed a lifelong friendship.

If you think you'll love, "Frida Kahlo and the Bravest Girl in the World" as much as Lily and I did, you can get your own copy at Book Depository for $12.00 with free shipping. I'm a bargain shopper and this is the best deal I could find online. The regular price for this book is $16.99. I hope to add this book to Lily and my library in the future. 

Here's a fun surprise from Lily and I to my fellow bookworms and Frida Kahlo admirers - two free downloadable book marks:

You can print them out for your Viva La Frida Swap partner and for yourself.  If you haven't sign up yet for the swap, click here to do so.  For more inspirational Frida Kahlo posts head over to Emily's blog here. Also, don't forget to enter the Frida Kahlo pin giveaway! Click here for more information on the giveaway. 

March 17, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Kahlo Enamel Pins

I become obsessed with Frida Kahlo enamel pins last year, when I purchased one for my Viva La Frida swap partner and myself. Since then, I have decided to collect a Frida Kahlo enamel pin for each year Emily and I host a Viva La Frida swap, in honor of that year's swap. While searching through Instagram using the #fridakahlo and on Etsy, I found lots of Frida Kahlo enamel pins designed by many talented artists.

One of those talented Etsy artists is Ryan, from Badges by Ryan. I featured his Frida Kahlo enamel pin on my first Friday Frida Favs post for this year, "My Frida Wish List on Etsy 2017." Ryan is a very generous person who has donated one of his awesome Frida Kahlo pins for Bee Creative Swaps to giveaway.

To enter you must:
- Be a Viva La Frida Swap participant (click here to sign up).
- Follow Bee Creative Swaps Instagram account
- Like the Frida Kahlo Pin Giveaway post on Instagram.

Extra Entries:
- Leave a comment on Bee Creative Swaps Instagram with your favorite Frida enamel pin from the ones featured below.
- Post your mosaic up early using the #vivalafridaswap2017

Contest closes April 1st.

Below are some my favorite Frida Kahlo enamel pins. Don't forget to choose your favorite Frida pin for an extra giveaway entry.

Visit our Frida Kahlo pin giveaway provider and show his Etsy shop some love!


The Found Retail:

Product Your Magic:

Which is your favorite Frida Kahlo enamel pin? Share your thoughts with us here, for a chance to win a Frida Kahlo pin. Wouldn't it be great to win and have a Frida Kahlo pin to remember your participation in this year's Viva La Frida Swap!?! 

Can't get enough Frida this Friday; stop by Emily's blog, The Morose Bee, for another dose of Friday Frida Favs. 


March 10, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: Frida Kahlo Gift to Emily

To celebrate the success of Emily and my first Viva La Frida Swap in 2016, through Bee Creative Swaps, I made Emily a Frida Kahlo skull embroidery hoop, a pair of spool earrings, and I purchased a Diego and Frida t-shirt from Etsy. I had been wanting to make Emily the embroidery hoop for some time and this was the perfect occasion to finally get off my butt and get it done. Plus, during this time my daughter was in bed by 6:30 pm and I had some time to sit outside, relax, and embroider before the sun went down. 

I love Day of the Dead and Mexican themed fabric and I own a decent stash of Day of the Dead skull fabric. This particular Day of the Dead fabric is one of my favorite and I have used it for many projects. I embroidered the skull to look like Frida with flowers in her hair, her unibrow, and wearing her hand shaped earrings that we a gift from Picasso. I decided to add the hand with the banner because I had seen this in one of Frida’s paintings. I embroidered, “Viva La Frida” on the banner which is also the name of our Frida swap. Below are some progress pictures I took while making the Frida embroidery hoop.

In 2016, Emily was sewing a lot. She was making dolls, quilts, etc. The girl was on a roll. I thought the spool earrings were the perfect extra gift to send her. I made them in her favorite color, purple.

The Diego and Frida t-shirt was actually purchased from one of the Etsy sellers I had figured on “My Frida Wish List on Etsy” blog post in 2016. You can check out this year Frida Wish List on Etsy by clicking here. The seller is Mis Noples Art. I own a Diego and Frida t-shirt just like this one but in a darker shade and I wanted Emily to have one too. 

I always like to include a letter with packages I send, especially swap packages. I usually tell the recipient to open the letter last since in it I describe why I made or purchased what they received from me. Emily and I are a team. We work together to run Bee Creative Swaps. I consider us the two Fridas this is why I drew a doodle of two Fridas on the envelope I sent her. 

This Frida inspired package is the perfect example of what you can send your swap partner if you sign up for our Viva La Frida Swap. It has a mixture of handmade and purchased Frida goodies. I made the hoop inspired by Frida and purchased an item that helped support a small independent business, which we highly recommend when you plan to purchase Frida inspired items. However, you can send your partner a package that includes all handmade goodies or just purchased Frida Kahlo inspired goodies because Emily and I know life can get crazy at times and you may not have time to create something.

If you would like to see what other Viva La Frida Swap participants sent/received last year, check out our Instagram account here or our Bee Creative Swap Facebook page here. Better yet, if you want to join us in this years Viva La Frida swap click here to sign up. 

March 3, 2017

Friday Frida Favs: My Frida Wish List on Etsy 2017

Our Viva La Frida Craft Swap was a huge success last year that we, Bee Creative Swaps, decided to have it every year. This is will be our second annual Viva La Frida Swap. Click here to sign up. Emily and I will continue dedicating our individual blogs to Frida with Friday Frida Favs. 

Swappers spending budget is $25 - $30 not including shipping. We give our swappers the opinion to just purchase Frida inspired goodies if they cannot make something. We highly recommend they purchase these items from independent local businesses that support artists, like Etsy. Below are 10 Frida Kahlo items on Etsy, $15 and under, which I wish I had. I chose $15 in case someone would like to make Frida inspired art and purchase an item from Etsy too, while staying on budget. I’ll show you a perfect example of this on next week’s Friday Frida Favs.  

This item is no longer available. 

From all the clipart I saw available on Etsy, this one by Lilla Bolecz is by far my favorite. It comes with 39 Frida Kahlo inspired illustrations. It includes illustrations of butterflies, a deer, Frida, and even Diego and Frida, to name a few. There is so much you could do with this clipart. You can make stickers, put together a print with some of the illustrations and add a Frida Kahlo quote, make iron-ons, use it for shrink dinks (shrink plastic), the possibilities are endless. She also sells some awesome Frida pattern digital papers, which I absolutely adore. Click here to view. If you purchase both you could make a Frida inspired pre-made scrapbook for your partner.

These mini Frida wooden laser cuts would be great to make into earrings, making them (or even these) the perfect little extra to add to your swap partner's package.

This is a digital download tutorial to make a crochet Frida pillow. Isn’t the pillow just dreamy. Pun intended. Unfortunately, the directions are all in Spanish. Since I don’t crochet, I don’t know if that makes a difference. Does it? 

Every Frida fan needs a Frida Kahlo sticker on their laptop. I would say car but unfortunately my husband does’t share the same passion I have for Frida Kahlo. This shop has 3 more different styles of Frida decal stickers; however, this one is my favorite.

Cost: $5.46

Instagram: @afera_handmade

Everything about this pattern reminds me of Frida. She loved plants and included them in her artwork. You’ll also see skulls or skeletons in her artwork too. Frida Kahlo herself would have loved this pattern. Wouldn't the skull look great with a unibrow too!?! 

If you would like a pattern with a unibrow included, this shop also sells a pattern titled, “Frida Kahlo Cat.” Yup, you guessed it! It’s a pattern of Frida as cat with flowers on it’s head and a unibrow. All  Alifera's instant downloaded patterns are $5.46.

Frida Embroidery Kit by Sozo DIY; Cost: $12.00 
or 2 for $20 and just let the seller know at checkout.

Instagram: @sozo_pics

This is DIY Frida kit is actually one of my top favorite Frida inspired discoveries on Etsy, for this year.  I absolutely love this playful and colorful rendition of Frida Kahlo. It's an easy DIY kit that even a 6 year old can do, according to the sellers. If you get creative, there is so much you can do with this kit after it is embroidered. If you’re short on time to make something, you could always send a kit to your swap partner instead. Or, purchase two kits and keep one for yourself. 

Frida Kahlo loved Mexico so when I see these wooden laser cuts they remind me of Frida and her artwork. They make me think of Frida and Mexico. These craft pieces would make great magnets, brooches, etc. 

Last year, I got my Viva La Frida swap partner and myself an Frida enamel pin from @mexiconart. Since then I’ve decided that it would a great idea to own a Frida enamel pin for each year Emily and I host Viva La Frida swap. This Frida enamel pin from Badges By Ryan is one of my favorite on Etsy. 

I absolutely love Frida inspired fabrics and this seller carries them all. This Frida printed design titled, “Black Frida Esperanza” is a new find for me. I’ve never seen this design before. I’m hoping one day, someone surprises me with a mini Frida Kahlo quilt. 

You’re never too old to color, especially when it’s a Frida Kahlo coloring book. I love coloring. It’s very therapeutic.  

There are many more inspired Frida Kahlo items on Etsy that I could have included, that I love. Click here to see my Frida Kahlo board on Etsy. Trust me, choosing 10 was hard! I actually rewrote this post 3 times because I kept finding more Frida items I love. Luckily, here’s always next year to include the ones I didn’t and discover new ones too. Did you like any of the Etsy items I picked?  If so, which ones? What are your favorite Frida Kahlo items on Etsy? I would love to know. 

If you haven't signed up yet here's the link again, to join us for the second annual Viva La Frida Swap!
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