Tag Archive | Vintage Beads

New Direction


I’m pretty excited with the new direction my shop is going.  Not only will I continue to design and sell beading tutorials and offer my finished creations, I am expanding my shop to include vintage items such as gloves, greeting cards, accessories,  jewelry, beads, and more.

Click on these pictures to take you to my shop’s items, where you can see more items and full descriptions.

I invite you visit Miss Poppy’s Boutique on Etsy.  I’ll be adding more vintage and new items periodically.

Happy New Year!





Know Your Beads

Last month, I attended a bead show. As I am always in the market for vintage and unusual beads, I was pretty excited that there would be a vendor who had quite a bit of beads, stones, and other components scarfed up from closed bead shops, and at fairly good prices to boot.

There were glass, crystal, mineral stones, clasps, and whatnot. The vendor and I spoke, and I mentioned that I was in the market for cathedral shaped beads.

Yes, there were some –a few strands of multi-colored 6mm.

“Czech?” I asked.

“Yes. But notice that a few beads on each strand were put on the string as filler. Those aren’t exact shapes of cathedral beads because they’re fillers.”

Hmmmmmm . . . that didn’t sound right, if these were, in fact, genuine. On closer inspection, only a very few of the beads were well-shaped cathedrals. The others were obvious very poorly made imitations. Then I definitely knew that these beads were of Chinese origin.

In fact, looking at the other glass beads closely proved that what was being sold here was mostly poorly made Chinese imitations of high quality Czech beads. Looking through the other bins, I saw that the clasps were cheaply made, the mineral stones were seconds, and most of it could be found in a big box store, but packaged differently.

I’m thinking that the vendor really didn’t know what beads were what. I’d like to think that this is a case of not a well-informed vendor, rather than a vendor who was out to fool beaders.

In a nutshell, caveat emptor.
©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

A Small Art Fair

Last weekend, Handsome and I participated in a small art fair at the cathedral in the town in which we live.  This was our first of this type, and we learned a lot from our experience.

We met fellow artists and collectors, shop owners from out of town, parishioners, people from town, and the parish priest.

The art fair was a conglomeration of handcrafted items and vintage collectables. There was something for everyone.

I invite you to enjoy the following pictures I took of the event.  We may even meet one day, but if you can’t make it to one of our shows, please visit my shop, Miss Poppy’s Boutique, or if you’re a beader, our bead shop, Poppy and Gene’s Beadery.


Here's Gene from Poppy and Gene's Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.

Here’s Gene from Poppy and Gene’s Beadery: my husband and fellow artist.
















My view that weekend.

My view that weekend.















The busiest part of the side of my table.

The busiest part of the side of my table.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.

The show was held in the school gymnasium.













Our booth sign.

Our booth sign.


























©Designs by Susan Marie Molloy for Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Creating Anew

Since February 2016, I have been creating something a little out of the ordinary in my studio:  rosaries.

This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and finally got around to doing.  The whole idea intimidated me and sometimes overwhelmed me, but one day, I just said, “Do it!”

One of the things I discovered is that it’s not as difficult as I imagined.  Sure, it takes concentration, a good understanding of counting beads, and patience.  These rosaries take hours to create.

I sold a good number of them so far.  Being the flexible artist, I accommodated about half of those sales and created rosaries according to my customers’ wishes.  One of the requests was to use 6mm bicones for the Hail Mary beads, and 8mm round Czech pressed beads for the Our Fathers.  I didn’t think the size, nor the color combination, would result in an attractive piece.  Yes, I was unconvinced, but as the old adage goes, the customer is always right.

I went ahead and made the rosary.  Starting off, I had a lot – a lot – of trepidation.  Yet, as each decade of beads grew, I started to like what my customer wanted.  He had some good foresight as to what the final product would look like.  Even his choice of a centerpiece – a fleur de lis – was the pièce de résistance.  I couldn’t have guessed how beautiful this rosary turned out.

I like it.


That is the conundrum of artistry:  order and balance is good, quirkiness is in the eye of the beholder, and create what you feel that expresses your soul.

©Miss Poppy’s Boutique, Designs by Susan Marie Molloy, The Rosary Shoppe, and all works within.

The Importance of Culling

This morning, I am working on a large wire work/beading order.  Part of this includes using fire polished beads.   

When I begin any project of this type, I first go through the beads that I’ll be using, looking for broken ones, misshapen ones, odd sized ones, et cetera. 

This morning I found one of the fire polished beads didn’t quite make it to being a true fire polished bead.  As you can see in my photograph, the one on the right is what a fire polished bead should look like, facets and all.  On the left, well, that’s just a smooth round bead.FirePolishedExamplesI cannot stress enough how important it is to ensure that all of your beads for your project meet your approval before you begin.  It’s awful when you’re deep into a project and discover a bead or two aren’t up to par and you don’t have enough beads to replace them right away.

The extra few minutes culling your supplies will save a lot of time, aggravation, and money.  Luckily for me, this was the only “wrong” bead in my supply.

©Susan Marie Molloy, and all works within.

Spring Show

We set up our table at the Emerald Coast Bead Society Spring Bead Show earlier this month, and the event was successful. It was held at a local church in town.

My husband, who is an artist and owns Gene’s Joint, and I shared a table. This arrangement worked well. We could take breaks and cover one another’s’ items, and not skip a beat.

There's Gene from Gene's Joint preparing for the show.

There’s Gene from Gene’s Joint preparing for the show.

We visited our fellow artists’ tables, and we found some pretty nifty creations and supplies. We had a lot of fun talking and laughing with a fellow member whose table was behind ours. Fun times!

All of our fellow bead society members made lovely art, including jewelry, handcrafted glass and polymer clay beads, and similar art. I only wish I remembered to take a few pictures to show their outstanding work.

View from my side of the table with a few of my handcrafted charms and earrings.

View from my side of the table with a few of my handcrafted charms and earrings.

Lunch was tasty. The spinach quiche I had was delicious, and my husband’s turkey sandwich was to die for. The ladies of the church made a large selection of great-tasting and healthy food for our bead society.

One of the things that I would do differently would be to better organize our box of organza bags, gift boxes, and sales slips. I threw everything in a box (including extra business cards and pens) under the table, and it was sloppy. I’ll be better set up at our next show.

Show 1 Table

This is a mess. Organization is the key for the next show!


Overall, my husband and I had a fun time and sold a lot of our work. I even garnered a few custom orders.

I heartily suggest attending a bead show anywhere there is one available in your area. The work is beautiful, and sure beats the cheap, breakable junk that’s imported from China.

Before the crowds.

Before the crowds.

Support your local artists.

Happy Beading,

Susan Marie Molloy

Designer and Owner, Miss Poppy’s Boutique


For Book Readers

When I read books, I like to have something a little more special to mark my page than a ragged-edge piece of scrap paper, and I think you do, too.

One day I decided that I would make a beaded metal bookmark for myself. It turned out so well that I started making some to sell.

They are a popular item. For starters, I use high quality 14K gold plate and sterling silver plate markers. That’s the simple part. It’s choosing the right combination of beads that sometimes presents a challenge, because I want each bookmark to be as individual and unique as the readers who use them. Therefore, I only use high quality glass, porcelain, crystal, and gemstones, including unusual vintage beads.

Once I decide upon material and color, I painstakingly place the beads in pleasing combinations. Once that’s done, I hand wrap each bead cluster before adding them to the metal bookmark. I like many beads to make the bookmark sparkle and throw off great colors!

When you visit my shop (CLICK this LINK to Miss Poppy’s Boutique), you will see a couple that are for sale. I do take custom orders, so I invite you to contact me to discuss the possibilities! (Click on any of these three photographs to learn more about the product details.)

I look forward to doing business with you,

Owner and Designer at Miss Poppy’s Boutique

Bookmark Mardis Gras