Sunday, January 31, 2010

Peace, Love, BEADS & Bead Bloggers!!

WOW, these bright red beads can really cheer a person up! I need to add "color" to my list of things that can help turn any little frown upside down. :)

These are the last two items from my latest
extravaganza. The cool part about not using all the beads in one jewelry piece is now I get to make another sweet, happy heart piece of jewelry next Saturday!!

This LARGE stoneware pendant heart is certainly bigger than the other two I featured last week and the hole is positioned so it hangs on an angle, very cool! I have at least 12 of the Xillion 6mm light siam copper bicones left from the swarovski crystal beads collection and the swirly goodness heart.

And is time, once again, to take a quick peek into a few other bead bloggers worlds to see what they have been up to over the last week.

As always, I am wishing us all a brand new wonderful, happy, bright and sparkly week!!

Carmi's Art/Life World After a week at CHA Carmi chooses the sweater surgery necklace as her favorite event.
Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Instead of biting her fingernails down to the nub, Cindy makes Grunge Beads! Jewelry Making Are you ready to load up on some Valentine's jewelry tutorials? Are you even making jewelry for this holiday?
Snap out of it, Jean, There's beading to be done! book review by jean: here's a cool title, harking back to the 60s...Crunchy Granola Charm eBook by Yvette Doss !
Strands of Beads Melissa creates a new necklace design using cute heart beads from Rings & Things
Art Bead Scene Meet the pretty girl with lots of brains plus a whole lotta soul!
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie looks to the skies for the inspiration for some new cloud carvings
Jean Campbell Jean met up with two very cool artists this week: Gorgeous wool designs (including wool beads!); wonderful women.
Jewelry & Beading Cyndi is so happy that the third year of the Bead Journal Project has started. This year, she's making a bead embroidered bracelet for each month of the project.
Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei shares some new softly colored bracelet designs with readers.

FTC compliance disclosure: the item in this post from was provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

This Week's Project & Book Giveaway WINNERS!

This week's project is a necklace made with a stoneware pendant from that I featured earlier in the week.

I paired this gorgeously designed bead with some tiny glass pearls and plated chain from the craft store as well as some of the 6mm XILLION bicone crystals in light siam copper from Wow, that's quite a name isn't it?!! I do LOVE the word "Xillion"!! I actually believe I am pretty safe in saying that I have never met any swarovski crystal beads that I didn't like!!

The chains I used were both 18", but once I put it on, I realized I need to shorten it just a tad. I prefer necklaces with long pendants to be sized more as chokers.

Since my design concept changed as I was working with these materials, I still have one more LARGE stoneware pendant to share tomorrow, Yay!!

And now, the moment I have been anxiously awaiting.....the very first book giveaway WINNERS are:
I will be sending individual emails tomorrow requesting mailing addresses. Thank you all so much for all of your wonderful, encouraging and sweet comments!!! Stay tuned for more info on the next giveaway in a couple of weeks.

(Thanks to for assistance with making these selections.)

I hope everyone is having a fun and crafty weekend!!
FTC compliance disclosure: the item in this post from was provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Featured Designer: Velo Gioielli

As I was perusing Etsy earlier this week, I came across this week's featured designer's site entitled, "Velo Gioielli".

You are going to be so glad you stopped by when you see this extremely COOL and ORIGINAL jewelry designer who works with recycled bicycle parts!!

The gentleman responsible for this design work explains on his etsy site that many people ask what the words "Velo Gioielli" mean. Here is an excerpt from his profile:

"Velo" is bike or bicycle in French and "Gioielli" is jewelry in Italian. Two great cycling cultures. Velo Gioielli! Cycling is my passion. I ride cyclocross, road and trail. Race, tour and mountian bike. I love all things bike! This handmade bike jewelry is another extension of that love. I create jewelry for those in mind with a passion for cycling from repurposed, recycled parts. When I started bending and twisting up my first bike spoke bracelet I had no idea it would lead to all this. There is a lot more to come so keep checking back for newer items. I try to add something every few days to keep it fresh. He does custom work including size, colors and materials based on requests.

I had a serious jaw dropping moment when I saw the bike spoke bracelet with the red swarovski rondelles. THEN, I saw the piece made with an inner tube that had this description:

Uniquely crafted cuff made from cut bicycle inner tube and adorned with a stunning turquoise blue stone. It is affixed to the wrist with a piece of bike chain that acts as a clasp to complete a cycling themed accessory.

If you have a few extra minutes, you won't be sorry clicking over to this site. WOW!! I'm amazed over and over, what an innovative way of using recycled parts for unique and clever wearable art.
Thanks a bunch to Brian for allowing me to show his work here.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Swirly Love: Part 2

Gosh, I hope you can stand more swirly goodness from!

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I recently selected three pieces from their stoneware pendants collection.

I have never used these in jewelry designs before, but I am thinking it would be pretty difficult not to make something cute with this bead even if you are a novice like me!

First of all, the brightness of the red is going to get all the attention, then the swirls will get people smiling.

Is it possible not to smile while looking at this happy, swirly bead?

I don't want to spill the beans about the swarovski crystal beads I picked to go along with my stoneware pendants but, let me ask you this.... Can you use varied shades of red in one piece? I think you can pretty much do anything, but I also would like to make something lovable and cute.

I guess time will tell!

FTC compliance disclosure: the item in this post from was provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Swirly and Flowery Love

What a fabulous design in so many ways! Love the red, love the heart, love the flower, love the art deco vibe!!

AND...Love for the opportunity to showcase it here! :)

After looking through the stoneware pendants, I selected 3 different pieces based solely on emotional response.

I honestly think it took over an hour to make my selections!! They are all so cool, unique and fun in their own way.

So now you know what to expect over the next few days :)

My final pick is from the swarovski crystal beads collection, I just couldn't help myself!!

I have a design idea in mind for all of my selections to be used in one piece, but as each bead is showcased, it is quite possible the idea will evolve! I can't wait to see what I end of with myself!!

Have a great evening!

FTC compliance disclosure: the item in this post from was provided as a promotional gift as part of their bead blogger program for review or design purposes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Miscellaneous Bead Stash Additions

Rather than share the remainder of my new stash piece-by-piece, I thought it would be more fun to show it as a collection.

These are just miscellaneous bits and pieces, but certainly worth the time to mention!!

Two cute 18" chains by Darice, a pack of six 6mm swarovski crystal ab rondelles and TINY 3mm white glass pearls by Blue Moon Beads.

I liked the contrast between the 3mm and yesterday's 16mm! :) I thought it would be fun to use them in a project together intentionally to call attention to the difference in sizes.

That was a fun gift card shopping spree!!

Now, before I forget, I wanted to share some info that I found mind-boggling in a GOOD way! I was forwarded a link to this Rings & Things site because I was included as one of their blog partners, but was seriously shocked by all of the information on this page.

I immediately wished I had a whole extra day to spend perusing all of these sites. What a great list of miscellaneous cool beady stuff! I will put the "extra day" on my wish list!! Too bad you can't buy that on Amazon!

I also wanted to thank Rings & Things for having me as a guest blogger recently. I enjoyed sharing some thoughts on the creative process.

I hope you are having a nice week so far!! See you tomorrow!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Giant Glass Pearls!

Today's bead is a white 16mm glass pearl from Blue Moon Beads. This is one of the packages I bought with my JoAnn, etc. gift card a week or so ago.

I have never used glass pearls this large, but I am not opposed to using glass pearls or any kind of bead or materials.

I enjoy the trial and error phase! I figure if I can wear something, like it, get a few positive comments and it stays together, I have a successful design, method and materials.

I think this would be cute as a single bead on a thin silver chain or the focal bead in a memory wire bracelet. This would also be so fun hanging from a long wire on earrings OR a long bracelet dangle that bangs into things and makes me laugh!

I don't know why I get a kick out of hearing a bunch of extra large dangles banging into things, but I do!

So, what do you think? Giant glass pearl bead...cute or tacky?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Blogger & Book Review Love!

It's Bead Blogger day and, as always, I am so excited to share what everyone has been up to over the last week!! I am also FULL of LOVE for all the wonderful people who have posted reviews of my book, "A Bead in Time".

Nobody pinch me please, I am floating around on a cloud!! If only I could harness all this happy energy, I bet I could at least run a few appliances and maybe even my laptop! :)

For lack of any other more exciting way to say it, THANKS A MILLION to:

AND NOW, I hope you will stick around and check out all the fun and hard work happening here:
Carmi's Art Life World Carmi has an easy idea to thank a sponsor.
Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva An Emily Dickinson poem describes Cindy's newest piece of jewelry.
Jean Campbell Jean reviews Kerry Bogert's wonderfully whimsical new wirework book, Totally Twisted.
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Want to know what rubber duckies and Autism Awareness jewelry have to do with each other? Check Jean's site out!
Strands of Beads Melissa shows off a new earring design made from beautiful cubic zirconia from
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Andrew shares the new additions to his bead stash - goodies from Cindy Gimbrone, Diane Hawkey, and Nancy Schindler. Jewelry Making Catch up on the latest jewelry related podcasts. Tammy found some excellent ones for you to listen to.
Art Bead Scene Do You Rock? Here's your chance to show others that you do!
Jewelry & Beading How do you feel about using inexpensive materials in your designs? Chime in and let your voice be heard!
Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei won some great lampwork beads and a chance to write a tutorial on how she used them.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

This Week's Project: Egg Hunt Trio Bracelet

This week's project incorporates the new soft flex trios that I won recently along with the gorgeous silver plated clasp by Jill MacKay.

These colorful faceted beads have not yet been featured here, but I bought them last weekend at Joann, Etc. I wanted to make something that included all of these colors because they make me smile when I look at how they complement each other.

The other goal I set for making this bracelet was to only crimp the soft flex trios wire to the clasp, not within the bracelet itself. This is why I chose the criss cross pattern, so the beads would move slightly, but would have their own little section by themselves.

This was a fun one to make and I don't think it's too early to begin wearing a little bit of spring!!

I hope you are all having a GREAT weekend!! :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Featured Designer: Cindy Lietz, The Polymer Clay Tutor

This week's featured designer is Cindy Lietz of The Polymer Clay Tutor website. I visit Cindy's website often and have learned so much from her, not only about polymer clay, but many other elements of jewelry making.

Cindy has a true "teacher" attitude. She receives so many comments and questions and is always there for everyone with answers, suggestions and encouragement! Not to mention her wonderfully creative beads and jewelry!!

On her site you will find numerous posts categorized in the list below. This is a very helpful table of contents feature on this website.

Thanks a million Cindy for allowing me share your work here, you are amazing! Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Bead In Time - Officially Released Today!

I am very excited to share with all of you that my new book, A Bead in Time, has officially been released today, and it's giveaway time! :)

First of all, I want to thank all of you for your kindness and support every day. It means so much to me. I find that daily blogging about beads, jewelry and other jewelry designers/bloggers has become a very inexpensive form of therapy!! :) I don't think I could or would want to miss a day of hanging out with you, sharing stories and pretty, sparkly things.

Over the years I have often caught the entrepreneurial bug, but it wasn't until the idea for this book struck me, that I took action. That makes me think it was just meant to be!! It was definitely a "reese cup" moment, but instead of chocolate and peanut butter it was vacation pictures and beads!

Every day I am learning something new about being a book author. It has just occurred to me that this isn't just something that happens and then goes away. This book will be a part of me forever and might just continue to be printed in future additions. :) I'm so glad you are here and sharing this experience with me.

And now, with all that said, I would like to announce my first BOOK GIVEAWAY!! Actually, since "trios" have been a theme this week, I thought I would start out by giving away 3 books on this blog post.

Just leave a comment and a week from Saturday I will announce three random winners.

In the mean time, I'm not sure how you really thank people who have written wonderful and kind reviews of your book and sound sincere while doing it!...I think it must be like receiving your child's first Kindergarten report card. You want to know, but you have to close one eye for the first read just in case!

Thanks a million to Margot Potter, "The Impatient Crafter", who posted a review on her blog yesterday. Seriously, when I saw my name pop up on her post, I think my heart might have skipped a beat!! Gosh, this is a dream come true!! :)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Colorful Opaque Bead Mix

Are these great colors or what? I bought this strand of colorful Darice beads at Joann's over the weekend with my gift card because the colors really spoke to me! They are bright, fun AND diverse! They contrast with each other in a very interesting way. The description on the tag reads, "14x8mm Rectangle Twist Opaque Mix".

Once I got these home and was handling everything and figuring out a place to put things, I realized, they could probably be paired up in a fun way with the colorful soft flex Trio wire I won recently...hmm, if only they were egg shapes!

I might have to make something tonight because I could really use some extra cheer this time of year. It has been a bit dark and dreary lately, although the sky on the way to work this morning was a beautiful and soft combination of light blue and light cotton candy.

By the way, please stay tuned for tomorrow's book release post, there might even be a giveaway in the near future! :)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jill MacKay 3-Strand Magnetic Clasp

I received a generous giftcard over the holidays to Joann, Etc. from my Dad and finally made it over there with a plan to buy anything I saw that I liked.

Normally I will walk the aisles and make a mental list of the things I like, then walk the aisles again picking up the things I think I can't live without. It is normally at that point when I start editing until I end up with just the items I absolutely "need".

It was so nice picking things up on the first walk-through and keeping everything I liked! Thanks Dad!!

This silver plated magnetic clasp caught my attention right away so I just reached out and grabbed it, put it in my basket and I think I might have even hummed a happy little tune in the process.

It seems ironic that I photographed this at the same time as the Soft Flex Trios and it didn't even occur to me until now that the 3 strand clasp would work well with these 3 different colors of wire. I can't wait to try some kind of knotting or weaving project using the wire and this very cool clasp.

Stay tuned... :) Oh, and PLEASE send me any ideas you have that I can incorporate into this project!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm a Soft Flex Trio Winner!!

How exciting!! Look what I won!! I was so excited to receive this package in the mail on Friday!! I LOVE THESE COLORS!!

I entered to win on Sara Hardin's blog (a.k.a. Soft Flex Girl) by making a comment and was thrilled to find out that I was one of several winners of one of their new colorful beading wire "Trios". The package is called "Egg Hunt" and the colors included are: Chrysoprase, Amethyst and Green Turquoise...You know they were having a good time while naming all these great colors!!

I also received a guide to the other Soft Flex Trios color combos and they are AMAZING!! The funny thing is, if I had a chance to pick the colors, I would have picked these and probably the "Tranquility" pack. However, there are so many to choose from, it's sort of tough to narrow it down!!

Here is a link directly to the Soft Flex website so you can look through all the combinations. On the back of this package, I see that they have other holiday packs such as: Fire Works, Trick or Treat, Kiss me I'm Irish...too darn cute!! :)

Now, what to make....? I have studied Sara's designs as well as her fellow Soft Flex designer, Jamie Hogsett's designs and just love when they weave the wire as though it were hemp cord or something. I think I'll try that.

I just need to find my knotting guide so I can get some ideas!! The beauty of using wire rather than hemp is the ability to use even small hole beads like crystals which is a bit more difficult with other cording.

Wish me luck!! Oh dear, where are my manners...? To Sara and Soft Flex, THANK YOU SO MUCH!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Gosh, it's that time again already, phew! That was a quick weekend!! The best part of a Sunday for me is getting to visit my blogging pals and share what some of them have been up to with everyone!

I really believe it gives me some extra momentum or motivation to keep moving forward. It would be nice to sit still for a little while, but then you miss out on lots of new and cool stuff.

It amazes me how much goes on in the bead and jewelry making world in the course of just one week... New products, new designs, new books, beautiful magazine covers and even new techniques!

Now I am even more excited to look through these blogs! Have a GREAT week!! :)
Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei tests the waters with some new bead elements from Pork Chop Show.
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! I really think Barb Switzer is a super person and editor! I was thrilled when she interviewed me last year for the online newsletter, Simply Beads!
Strands of Beads Melissa has a fun time exchanging bead stashes with a friend to create a new bracelet.
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Inspired by a lampwork glass champagne-hued Basha Bead and a shibuichi mermaid pendant, Andrew creates a whimsical and sophisticated necklace. Jewelry Making Tammy has developed a quick link list to help you find the jewelry info you need.
Art Bead Scene January's Art Bead Scene Challenge is a snowy landscape with a solitary magpie painted by Monet.
Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts Barbe will be tooting Jean's horn for her new book Steampunk Style at CHA.
Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi has a special Paris post on photographing jewelry.
Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva Rewind: Cindy's Art Noveau inspired Stile Floreal bronze clay pendants.
Jean Campbell Oh, geez. Jean's tooting her horn again about her new book, Steampunk Style Jewelry...
Jewelry & Beading Cyndi wants to know, wanna be facebook friends?
Katie's Beading Blog See pix of Katie's workshop offerings for the Bead & Button Show in June. Registration opened this week and classes are already filling up!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sweet Tweet Jewelry

Okay, I might have gotten carried away with the glitter, BUT....I had a lot of fun playing with these Rings & Things findings today. Since they came in my Valentine's Day bead package, I thought it would be nice to incorporate them into Valentine jewelry.

I had mentioned the Necco Sweatheart Candy hearts recently and thought it would be fun to see if I could put one into jewelry.

So, here is the experimental, glittery necklace I came up with. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVED the "Tweet Me" heart.

Now, I am just assuming this is referring to communicating via Twitter, but I could be wrong. Regardless, it was perfect for the bird dangle.

The glue and mod-podge is still drying, so it is not yet connected to the pearls permanently. I am hoping to wear it tomorrow if everything adheres well.

I hope you are all having a fun weekend!! I'm counting down to Thursday, 1/21/10, which is the day my book, A Bead in Time, hits stores....yay!! I am so EXCITED and to be perfectly honest, I've had a moment or two of nail biting... :) I hope to have my book page link up in the very near future which will include info on where it can be found.

Ironically, I am now heading over to Twitter, hope to see you there!! If so, I hope you will "Tweet Me"! :)

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the item in this post from Rings&Things was provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Friday, January 15, 2010

Featured Designer: Leela Bijou

Every time I see the updates from this week's designer on Facebook, I get distracted and have to check them out on Etsy! It is most definitely the colors and the sparkle! I find myself wanting all of the blue pieces especially! They are so dreamy...

Leela Bijou is actually Maria of the Canary Islands, Spain. She mentions on her Etsy profile page that as soon as she came across swarovski crystals, she fell in love with them which is very easy to see as you scroll through all of her sparkly designs!

I don't know how she parts with these pieces, they are so gorgeous!
Thanks so much Maria for allowing me to share your work here!!

You can also find more information, including her facebook and twiter sites, on her blog.
Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Beaded Trim

I bought this beaded trim a few years ago for a craft that I was taking to our craft night to "teach". I use the word "teach" lightly because I didn't really have a plan, more of a concept and hoped it was going to work.

I had bought microfiber placemats that looked like suede in a variety of colors and the plan was to make them into a purse or clutch bag by folding them so they would have a flap closure, punching holes along the side and using faux suede cording, lace them up. Sounded easy in my mind anyway!

I thought it would be fun to bring lots of different trims and beads along for embellishing. This is the trim that was left over and now that I see how cute it is I really want to find a use for it. That might mean using it as is OR taking it apart. Not sure.
I was hoping I might get some ideas from all of you since lots of beaders are also crafters.

Please let me know what you think! Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Is it Spring Yet?

Maybe focusing on sunshine, green grass and flowers will make it happen faster. I know, patience..patience..patience.

This cute pile of flower beads are leftovers from a chunky, flowery, needle and thread bracelet project and I have never figured out what to do with them. It seems a shame not to use them for something.

It might be fun to sew them into some kind of giant bauble to hang on a long chain or cording that you can look at throughout the day to get that springy feeling. I sure could use a little of that right now.

I am all of a sudden reminded of little plasticky perfume containers that would hang around your neck...must have been popular in the 197o's.

I wonder if you could spritz a bauble of beads with some perfume every morning and have it linger slightly all day. Hmm... interesting thought, maybe a little bit off-kilter...not sure... It's okay to laugh and shake your head from left to right a few times, I am not offended, in fact I completely understand.

I hope you are having a great week! If you have an extra second, let me know what you think about "scented baubles". :)

Oh, I just found a picture of the bracelet I made with these. Now, what did I do with it? Is that a sign I have too much jewelry that I don't know off-hand where something is?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Fun Foam Craft Jewelry

I bought a container of these fun foam snowflakes a couple of years ago to use in holiday crafts and I have quite a few leftover. I was just thinking there are quite a few things you could do with these to craft some jewelry pieces.

I am not sure if paint adheres to the fun foam, but I have done my fair share of glittering fun foam and it holds just fine. My first thought is to keep them white, glitter them up with diamond dust, add earring wires and dangle a couple of crystals from the bottom.

You could also very easily link these together to form a fun bracelet. I'm thinking of all the interesting embellishments out there nowadays that could be glued to them.

Any other ideas? I was thinking it would be fun to make a few pairs for friends.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sentimental Jewelry

I re-discovered two of these musical note charms tonight while looking through a jewelry box.

They were earrings that belonged to my Grandma. I am not sure if she bought them or if they were a gift because she was in the chorus at her local senior center for many years.

She is no longer with us and since these were probably some of her favorite earrings at one point, I was thinking I might use them in a charm bracelet of some kind.

I enjoy wearing earrings and an occassional necklace, but bracelets are my favorite because you can see the beads without removing the jewelry.

You can just be going about your business throughout the day and catch a glimpse of a crystal or pretty combination of beads that makes you smile. Maybe it's some musical notes, formerly worn as earrings by your Grandma. A sense of family and the personality of that person can change your attitude or outlook in a split second. Pretty amazing, I love when that happens!

Now, the question is, what other beads to use with them? My Grandma was the kind of person who, in her middle aged days, had a purse that matched her shoes which coordinated with her outfit and topped off with costume jewelry that brought it all together in a nice, neat package.

Even later on in her life, she was always nicely coordinated, even if she was wearing a polo shirt, it was likely ironed neatly and worn with casual jewelry and cute canvas shoes. She certainly had her own special style. She did wear a lot of red, white and blue which always looked nice and crisp. Maybe that's the answer!

I'm so glad I have come down memory lane for a minute, it was nice to remember these things about a special person who just happened to be my Grandma.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Blogger Peace, Love & Thanks!

I wanted to send a little message of Peace, Love and Thanks to everyone today!

I can't tell you how much I enjoy being part of the bead blogging community, it means so much to me that I can hop from one blog to the next and learn more in an hour than I ever thought possible.

Not only about beading, but about many other wonderful aspects of life. I find it very refreshing and amazing to find so much fun, goodness and excitement in the lives of fellow beaders. Thanks for sharing and allowing me to share too!

Have a great week!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Looking for just the right clasp? Lorelei reviews a few from
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean meets a cool new friend who offers us a great jewelry teaching site!
Jewelry & Beading Cyndi has started a new series, called "What would you do" to discuss some of the sticky dilemmas we face in jewelry making.
Strands of Beads Melissa is the author of Softflex Company's Spotlight On...Article for January 2010
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton A luminous Golden Cloud Series Basha Bead inspires Andrew to create a bracelet ready to take flight! Jewelry Making Artfire, Zibbet, Etsy, which of these is the right selling venue for your jewelry?
Art Bead Scene ABS Rewind: Art Bead Scene isn't just about art beads, it's about artist made buttons too!
Carmi's Art/Life World Demon Monkeys appear in Carmi's projects this week.
Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Cindy's made a New Year's resolution to clean out the studio with a January clearance sale!
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie starts the new year with a new source of inspiration... a project she calls Song Lore.
Jean Campbell Jean is sharing stories and images this week about her stops in CA. Monterey brought the most creative inspiration of all.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

This Week's Project: Springy Winter White Sparkles

This week's project is a fun, springy, wintery white pair of earrings. Since my hair has gotten a bit longer, these are the perfect length so the sparkly dangle seems to just float in mid-air and looks very fun!

I had mentioned earlier in the week, the springy part of these earrings were previously twisted wire stars from Rings & Things.

Unraveled from the star shape, they have become a perfectly rigid "spring" to hang some dangly beads from. Pretty simple, but at the same time a tad unusual, hey, that sounds just like a description of me! :)

I hope you are all having a fun weekend! I also wanted to take a minute here
to thank Susan, most commonly known as "Capitola Girl". She just received a copy of my new book, "A Bead in Time" and blogged about it earlier today. I was having a moment AGAIN of "I'm not worthy"!!

When I first started blogging, I came across her blog which is so beautiful and professionally done, but I really connected with her jewelry designs because there is always something unique about them that really appeals to me.

Thanks so much "Capitola Girl"!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Featured Designer: Catherinette Rings

I came across Catherinette Rings through twitter and every time I would visit their etsy site, I was in awe of the unique and professional quality of their work.

The "steampunk" style has always intrigued me and I enjoy studying the different pieces and parts as well as twists and turns!

Catherinette Rings etsy site features more than just rings. You can find the COOLEST EVER bracelets with an art deco flair, as well as necklaces and earrings.
I have really fallen for their art deco bracelets...WOW!!! If you have a few extra minutes, you will not regret taking a peek at their wonderfully unique designs!

As luck would have it I was visiting one of my favorite websites this week, The Beading Gem's Journal, and discovered she just posted an article about Catherinette Rings as well.
She has given me permission to link over to her story which is very informative and provides additional information and more pictures from this design team.

The Catherinette Rings design team consists of Catherine and Daniel of Quebec, Canada who can be found on the following sites.

Many thanks to the Catherinette Rings team for allowing me to share their designs! Enjoy!!
AND....have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Uses for Existing Beads

I just discovered a new use for an existing bead as the result of a beading mishap! Those are the best kind of discoveries too! Just when you think your project or idea has taken a turn for the worse, you find there is something new right before your eyes!

I just LOVED these silver plated stars that I mentioned back in October. It wasn't until I recently made the mistake of wiring one of them too tightly into a project that I discovered I could stretch it out to make a nice, solid spring!

When I was trying to detatch the star from the other beads, I pulled so hard it started to stretch. I liked the look so I made it even longer.

I am going to connect a big sparkly crystal to the end of it and can't wait to get started!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ring in the New

I just came across a couple bracelets that I have worn and worn and worn....but one day, I set them aside. I haven't seen them in a while, probably close to a year. I can see that they are sort of out of shape and just a tad dull from all the wear, but the sparkle still SPARKLES!

I loved each of these bracelets after I made them to the point of not wanting to take them off. I think it must have been the crystals. Sometimes when I love something that I have made, I really do want to sleep in it for some reason.

That might sound silly, but I have a clear memory of being very young and not wanting to take off my new shoes. They were adorable brown shoes with 3 thin buckle straps.

Since I had to take them off, I remember tucking them away in a dresser drawer so I would know where they were when I woke up. I'll have to ask my Mom about it to see if she remembers the same thing.

So, I was wondering if I should take these bracelets apart and use the beads for something new. I don't feel a strong attachment to them any more, so why not?

I'd love to hear from if you have done this with some of your jewelry and how you felt about it afterwards. :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

White Coral

Would you believe this strand of beads was in my recent Rings & Things blogger package? The tag reads, "white coral, short branch".

I was surprised to find it there because many of the other beads were related to Valentine's day. Not that this can't be used in a valentine day jewelry piece, it was not the first thing that came to mind when I looked at them.

In fact, that old song from Sesame Street started running through my head, "one of these things is not like the other, which one is it, do you know?...."

HOWEVER, now that I see them up close and I have reviewed the product details on the Rings & Things website, I'm thinking they would add some cute and interesting texture to some of the sweet lampwork heart beads posted yesterday. I like holding the strand, it is so light and soft to the touch, very interesting!

On the website, these coral beads are described as: 4-15 x 1-3mm short branch (cupolini-style) coral beads, 0.5-0.8mm hole. 255-345 beads per 16" strand. Bleached.

The other design idea I had was about digging out all of my miscellaneous fish or under-the-sea type of beads in bright colors such as turquoise, red, yellow, etc. to incorporate into a fun and sort of chunky bracelet. I am imagining that it would end up looking like an underwater fantasy piece.

What do you think? (I am open to suggestions!!) :)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hearts, Hearts & More Hearts!!

I thoroughly enjoyed wearing my new valentine bracelet that I made on Saturday to work today.

I received some nice comments, but more importantly, I could tell it was an attention getter for some reason. It must be the shiny gunmetal gray with the sharp red and black along with the mysterious red bead inside the domed filligree heart/spade pieces.
I must admit I have been holding out on you a little bit though....These weren't the only beads I received in my recent Rings & Things blogger package.

These fun and adorable lampwork glass hearts look like decorated cookies or a line of pies cooling in the window.

I've been sketching designs for using these and hope to have something fun and festive ready for the weekend post.
These beads are just plain cheerful!! What a nice surprise in the middle of winter...somehow they give off an aura of happy sweetness. NICE!
I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to hear your ideas for incorporating these into jewelry designs.
I hope you are all staying warm and safe!!
FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the item in this post from Rings&Things was provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone is ready to head on into new territory! I'm doing my best to prepare for great new experiences by letting go of any old limiting beliefs. I can see it now...a happy, healthy and fun new year!

Of course, a Sunday wouldn't be the same without taking a trip through the fabulous and fun blogs below to see what everyone has been up to and how they are preparing for the new year ahead.

Have a great week! Jewelry Making Take a moment to look back at 2009 and forward to 2010.

Art Bead Scene Deep hues and bright pops of color highlight a trip to ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone's studio for a look at a special set of beads for this month's ABS challenge.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva Rewind: Cindy ventures into moldmaking with a vintage French button.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie reflects on the past year and sets her goals for the new year

Jewelry & Beading It's that time of year! Cyndi wants to know, "What's on your worktable?"

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Getting back on the saddle again can be hard, but Lorelei is finally back up and beading after a busy holiday season.

Polymer Clay Bezels Carmi makes up her first batch of polymer clay bezels for pendants.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is proud and happy about her contribution to Jean Campbell's gorgeous Steampunk Style Jewelry book! Take a look!

Strands of Beads Melissa shows off the elegant necklace of a guest designer - her mother-in-law.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Dark reds and lush blacks mingle together in Andrew's latest necklace design, "The Shadow King." Andrew also announces the launch of his new Skull Shop!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

This Week's Project: Happy Valentine's Day!

Have you noticed the grocery and craft stores have already made room for Valentine's Day? Any occassion that celebrates love in any form is a good thing!

I like the pretty hearts and I get a kick out of how the candy heart sayings have evolved and include current methods of communications such as "call me" and "email me". Too cute!!
If you are interested in looking at the history of Necco sweetheart conversation hearts, I've included a link to the Necco site. Amazing info here!! Did you know they have been a tradition since the civil war?? Seriously, according to their website, Abraham Lincoln was still president of the United States at that time. I had no idea!

Getting back to jewelry....for this week's project, I have incorporated the domed filligree "spades" that I thought looked very much like hearts and the flat filligree harvest pieces with the fabulously faceted red and black beads that I mentioned last week, all from Rings & Things.

There was a bit of trial and error with this piece. I ended up wiring it all together with black craft wire which makes it very pliable and form fitting to the wrist. I was also able to slightly curve the flat filligree pieces to form to my wrist.
I can't wait to wear this tomorrow with a nice black sweater and red blouse! I guess the motto here is, "merrily we roll along". Move over New Year's and hello Valentine's day! Is that being fickle or extremely well adjusted and accepting of the next step in life? Hmm, something to ponder. :)

I hope you are all having a great and crafty weekend!!

FTC compliance disclosure, notice of material connections: the item in this post from Rings&Things was provided as a promotional gift as part of the Blog Partner Program for review or design purposes. More info about the Rings & Things Blog Partner Program