Tia Dalma

My Bio

In real life, I do concert production work as my paying job...I work backstage with the artists and their crew, providing everything they need for their dressing rooms, on their tour busses, on stage and for all of their meals for the day, or several days that they are in town for the concert. 

I was originally introduced to beadwork by my mother and her best friend, who is more like my aunt. Both my mom and my late grandmother are amazing craftswomen so I have always been into some sort of sewing, crocheting, beadwork, jewelry making, crafting etc.     

But I got seriously into beading when I took my niece Christmas shopping for her parents. While in some awful department store she just had to buy these stretchy beaded bracelets. But I just could not see spending $20 for 2 stretchy bracelets from a department store...so we made a compromise: I would buy the beads and we would learn how to make them together. So we went to Michaels and bought some beads, Stretch Magic and big eye needles. We got home and made up over 30 simple bracelets for all of her friends and everyone in the family!      

After that I started to remember all the things I had made as a child myself and started a Google search for beadwork. I found Beadwork/About.com and that was the end for me! I immediately taught myself every on and off loom bead stitching technique I could find!

First I learned Peyote stitch in all of its forms, moved on to Herringbone in its many variations, struggled through RAW until I finally had the Aha moment, fell in love with St Petersburg stitch, untangled my way through many forms of Netting stitch, spiraled my way through the Cellini, Russian, Dutch and Spiral Rope stitches, figured out Brick and Square stitch, studied the intricacies of beaded lace techniques, stitched my way through bead embroidery and then finally warped my loom and made a few bracelets, for which I am finally learning better finishing techniques!

Within two months of my discovery of this wonderful world of beads, I had amassed a huge stash full of seed beads in every shape, size and color as well as beading books and bead magazines...and it continues to grow.

I am most definitely a bead addict...I love working with seed beads to create tangible things of beauty and sometimes I feel like there is nothing else I would rather do! I have never felt as creative, useful and happy in my entire life as I do since this great discovery of seed beads!


  • Nov 6, 2011
  • Swap Info

    Secret Santa Swap: In addition to all of the info below these are some things that I have been collecting and searching for lately:

    Several types of Czech glass beads in Light & Dark Bronze: Lentil beads, small and large Dagger beads, Long Tear Drop beads, 2mm and 3mm firepolish rounds, 3mm Druks, Small Leaf beads and any color 2mm firepolish rounds...these are so hard to find for some reason and I always buy out my LBS when  they have them!

    I love all seed beads, firepolish beads and crystals...the smaller the better! But lately I have been loving opalescent colors in Seed Beads, Czech Glass and Crystals! I also love Antique Brass findings, chain, charms and wire. I like stars, crescent moons, calla lillies, vintage keys, gears, turtles, and owls...bead related or not! And I have been looking for cool gemstone cabochons and donuts!

    And I love good Chocolate! Haha!

    Earrings: pierced, preferably dangley, any length up to 4 inches. My ears are kind of finicky about metal so Sterling Silver earwires or leverbacks and no posts or studs. I always keep these on hand though so that I can change them out if needed! I know Sterling is not cheap these days!

    Bracelets: I have 6" wrists, so 6 1/2" bracelets fit perfectly and up to 7" fit with a little room. Bangles must be 8" circumference to fit over my hand.

    Necklaces: I have a 13 1/2 " neck, so 14" chokers fit well. I prefer 20" to 30" for necklaces and any length for lariats!

    Metal Preferences: Sterling Silver, Brass, Copper and Lead Free Pewter. I prefer the look of Antiqued or Oxidized Natural Brass or Copper over the shiny, gold toned colors.

    I have no metal allergies that I know of but I never wear Gold or cheap, plated base metals. However I do like good quality Antiqued Silver Plated Pewter.

    Bead, Crystal & Gemstone Colors:

    I love Jewel tones like Dark Red, Cobalt Blue, Royal Purple and Emerald Green

    I also love earthy colors like Olive Green, Brown, Oxblood Red, Dark Turquoise, Sage Green etc. 

    And I love metallic colors like Silver, Pewter, Copper and Gunmetal but my favorite is Dark Bronze.

    I don't really like pastels but as accent colors they work well. However I absolutely love opalescent colors whether they are pastel or not! I love all of the Swarovski Opal colors as well as real opals of course!

    I work with seed beads so I love all seed beads as well as tiny gemstones, firepolish glass and crystals. I don't really wear Pearls but I do use them in some of my work...so I am not against wearing them! But I don't like plastic or stretchy jewelry!


    I love Vintage styles from many different Eras and styles from all across the world! I love Renaissance, Midieval, Victorian, Gothic, Romantic, Eqyptian etc... I like girly, feminine jewelry but nothing cutesy! I like simple and elegant as well as elaborate and detailed jewelry! I wear all black clothing and it creates an excellent backdrop for beautiful handmade jewelry!

    I love fancy, drapey, fringey collars and chokers and simple pendants on a rope. I love wide, elaborate cuffs as well as slender bangles. I love long chandelier earrings, drop earrings, fringed earrings etc...but I don't really wear anything smaller than 1 inch long!

    I also love to be surprised...especially with something handmade!

    My Birthstone is Blue Topaz or Turquoise. I prefer the darker of the Blue Topaz stones and prefer Turquoise over Blue Topaz!