Mixing Up My Media


Remember as a kid the fun and excitement of going to a friend’s house and playing with all their cool toys that you don’t have? That was my weekend.

The friend: Fine artist, writer and photographer Christine Goldbeck

The house: PA Guild of Craftsmen Center for American Craft

The toys: paint, canvas, rubbing alcohol, Liquitex sealer, stamps, putty knives, basting brushes, sand paper, paper towels, tissue paper….the list goes on.

Truth be told, I didn’t know Christine until this weekend. My friend Jessica and I took the Experimental Media Painting class in Lancaster and Christine introduced us to color theory, painting techniques, aspects of focal points all in a few short hours.

I am not a painter. Nor do I intend to be. I signed up for the class hoping to jump start my creativity by experiencing a type of art with which I am unfamiliar. We painted. We scraped and sanded. We Mod Podged, we spritzed with rubbing alcohol and sprayed with water. We colored with oil pastels and chalk pastels. We painted some more. We cut and glued paper and stuck anything and everything to our canvases. I added horse hair (of course) and deer antler pieces. There were angst-y moments of worrying we’d “ruin” our work and also the realization we can always paint over it and start anew.

As you can see, my masterpieces can still use a lot of work but I have every intention of finishing them. Christine insisted. November is my month to do that. In fact, I’m hoping to make November a month creation and hope to create something, anything each and every day. This is payback for the year my husband did NaNoWriMo :)

Happy crafting!

Holiday Jewelry Orders

The top bracelet is a Garden Gala Style bracelet with rectangular sterling silver clasp and pink/red bead mix ($83). The bottom bracelet is the Rapitorial style bracelet, which features an engraved nameplate and sterling silver lobster clasp ($95).

Well, we survived Hurricane Sandy! That was the worst storm I’ve seen in my many years here in Pennsylvania. Unbelievable, there are still homes in the East without power and many people have lost their homes, cars and other possessions. If you’d like to help these folks donate, contact the American Red Cross.

A week of kids home from school, no power and bailing out the basement, and I lost complete track of time. Did you know it’s November already?

That means it’s time to secretly harvest some hair from your friends’ horses and send it me so you can wow them this holiday season with some custom horse hair jewelry. It’s really a showstopping gift that’s perfect for any horse lover.

Since each item is handmade by me, I need time clean it, braid it, finish it and get a fine piece of jewelry back in your hands for gift giving. So keep these deadlines in mind:

  • Regular deadline for horse hair to be to me is December 1, 2012. It needs to be in my hands with an order form on December 1 so I can start on your order.
  • Orders received December 2 – December 11 that are needed by December 25 will include  a $30 per item rush fee.
  • All horse hair must be in my mailbox by December 11 for Christmas delivery.

Don’t forget to include the order form! If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or call me.


This week I just sent out these beauties.


Garden Gala Bracelet with blue bead mix and lobster clasp.

This Garden Gala bracelet with blue beads is heading across the country to a customer in California. I love to mix different shades of the same color.  And blue pops on any color horse hair. You can get a bracelet like this made with any color beads.

Garden Gala Bracelet with lobster clasp

Staying on this side of the country, this Garden Gala bracelet is heading right over the border to New Jersey to a returning customer. The classic look of a Garden Gala-style bracelet looks great on men or women.

You can order either of these styles from this site.

Also new, you can follow me on Facebook and Twitter! Find out what I’m working on and new products and classes coming your way.

Horse Hair Bracelet Class

This Saturday, July 9, I will be teaching an Adjustable Horse Hair Bracelet class at The Bead Hive in Coopersburg, PA. Horse Hair will be provided at this class or you can bring your own hair. For more details, check out The Bead Hive. You can also register and pay online. See you Saturday!


Today I saw:
A fire breather.

A Renaissance band.

A cooper.

Irish dancers.

Belly dancers. Fencers. Sword swallowers. Lakota dancers. Ukrainian beaders. A flute maker…. the list goes on.

I ate samosa chaat and a kuhs lassi while me mom had a Native American Indian Taco.

And I got to give my favorite flintknapper and fly-rod-maker his new horse hair bracelet.

A medic ID bracelet with horse hair band.

It was all at Artifest, a cultural festival sponsored by the Museum of Indian Culture. You can experience it all again tomorrow (6/12)  at the festival, located at 2825 Fish Hatchery Road in Allentown.

Yellow Bubbles

Yellow bubbles by Red Tail Designs
Yellow bubbles, a photo by Red Tail Designs on Flickr.

Sent off this custom horse hair bracelet today to a customer in Ohio. The yellow beads look to me like bubbles floating around the wearer’s wrist. Maybe that’s because spring in the air, which means at my house a new box of sidewalk chalk and new bottles of bubbles for the kids.

Adding yellow beads to a black bracelet isn’t a color choice that would have occurred to me, but it turned out gorgeous.  That’s the beauty of creating custom orders: Customers have their own visions that I need to translate and that process, in turn inspires, me to think of new and different ways to create jewelry.

Contact me and we can create a custom piece of jewelry that inspires you!

Have You Ordered?

I just sent out four custom pieces, and a few of them were Christmas gifts.

Have you ordered your horse hair jewelry for Christmas or Hanukkah gifts?

Remember, only a few more days to get your horse hair to me to make custom jewelry for that horse lover in your life or even you (you deserve it, right?).

Sneak out to the field and snip a bunch of hair from the underside of the tail as big around as your pinkie, put a rubberband on it and mail it to me at:

Susan Newquist
Red-Tail Designs, LLC
813 Porter St.
Easton, PA 18042

Get it to me by December 1, and I’ll send back a unique holiday gift in time for Christmas.

Keep in mind that all pieces ordered after Nov. 24 will incur a $20 per item rush fee.

Can’t sneak out to the field in the time? Give a gift certificate for any denomination!

Holiday Custom Orders

Did you see that word up there in the title?


Really? Already?

Personally I think all the holiday hoopla shouldn’t start until after Halloween. On Nov. 1 you can break out the Christmas carols and stores can heap upon us trees and sparkly ornaments and the like. But until Nov. 1, it’s still fall and pumpkins and trick or treat.

On the other hand, I think about holiday gift giving year-round. I’m always shopping for the perfect gift.

The perfect gift for the horse lover in your life is a custom horse hair bracelet! You send me the horse hair, I wash it and braid it, adding beads and sterling silver, even gold if you like. A piece of your favorite horse with you all the time.

Check the horse hair tab above to check out the different jewelry styles. If you’re not able to sneak into the field and clip a bit of horse tail, I offer gift certificates for purchase in any denomination. You can also order custom jewelry without sending me horse hair and I will use the tails I have in stock. Choose from white, black, brown or any combination of the three.

Creating this jewelry by hand takes time, so keep in mind these deadlines as you contemplate which horse hair jewelry piece to buy for a friend or put on your wish list.

  • Horse hair must be in my hands for the order to be placed. Send your horse hair to me as soon as possible.
  • I prefer to have horse hair before November 24 for custom pieces.
  • Any horse hair arriving after November 24 will incur a $20 per piece rush fee for Christmas delivery.
  • All horse hair must be to me by December 1 to be made into jewelry for Christmas delivery.
  • Gift certificates are available any time and do not expire.

Please fill out the custom horse hair jewelry order form and mail it along with your check or money order to:

Susan Newquist

Red-Tail Designs, LLC
813 Porter St.
Easton, PA 18042

If you choose to pay with PayPal, I will invoice you when I receive your order.

Happy Halloween/Happy Thanksgiving/Merry Christmas!