Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year - Book Giveaway!


These swarovski disco beads remind me of the new year's eve ball that will be dropping in about 45 minutes!

I wanted to share the excitement of moving into a GREAT New Year by giving away a copy of my beading book, A Bead in Time!

If you are interested, please leave a comment on this post. All the best to you in 2011!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sparkly Rivoli New Year!

Our "Speedie Beadie" friend, Dot, sent a great photo of a necklace she is planning to wear on New Year's Eve tomorrow.

She is going to be working an overnight
medical lab shift, but she is going to seriously

Dot mentioned that she bought this beading kit by Beki Haley so she could use the Swarovski Rivoli's that she has a tendency to hoard!

This kit showcases them beautifully! I LOVE that she chose these colors, so icy for winter, but could easily be warn all spring and summer too!

Wow, I'm feeling very inspired to learn how to make something this sparkly!

Thanks for sharing Dot!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Year's Celebration & Blog Gratitude

The new year is approaching quickly! I wanted to share a couple more great beads that would work perfectly in a New Year's Eve party piece!

I might have a chance to make something tomorrow so I've got a bunch of bead containers lined up just in case! :)

If you would like me to share your New Year's Eve creations this week, just send a quick email to

Today also seemed like the perfect day to express some Blog Gratitude! THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ready for the Party!

Thanks a bunch to Sheryl the Babbling Beader of Cool Moon Beads and Dee of D'Olivia Jewelry for sharing their gorgeous New Year's Eve Jewelry designs!!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I always seem to think of black and crystals for use in New Year's Eve jewelry and I would love to hear from others and see their designs.

Sheryl wrote, "Our last outing on New Years Eve my outfit was completed with a floor length leopard print jacket - THIS was the necklace I created to go with it. It's a Swarovski Crystal Copper Rivoli surrounded with black seed beads, and of course, lots of other Swarovski sparklies. I added it to a black silk ribbon, and 'swirled' seed beads and crystals all the way around it. I still wear it every once in awhile when I feel like bein' an animal!"

Dee wrote, "I don’t do too much glam, but I do have this gold and black set that I like to wear for dressier occasions. I got the lampwork beads and black pearls from Aunties (Beads)."

WOW, these are such great beads and attention getting designs!!

AND, yes, they both include black which lends a fomal look to both of them...LOVE it!

Thanks so much for sharing!! Anyone else? :) 

Monday, December 27, 2010

New Year's Eve Party Jewelry

For some reason when I think of New Year's Eve jewelry, I think of black and sparkly crystal... I don't know why that is...

Possibly because of formal parties with lots of black dresses and tuxedos or maybe it brings to mind the giant, sparkly disco balls that are usually involved...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on "New Year's Eve" jewelry if you have a minute AND, if you want to send along a picture that I can post this week that would be great too (!

I just received a gift certificate from for $25 and placed my order a little while ago which is what prompted this post! I found myself ordering two different types of swarovski crystals. The 8mm Swarovski 6301 bicone pendant in black diamond above...mmmm, verrry sparkly... and the 4mm xilion bicone in jet.

I just noticed the 3D feature on the catalog! If you haven't seen this swarovski feature, check this out!

When you get to this page, scroll down the page just a little until you see an option underneath the picture, "3D view". It might take a few seconds to load, but you will not be disappointed! 

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

It's going to be a great week as we say goodbye to 2010 and Hello to 2011!

I have learned so much this year and am so grateful for all the wonderful new people I have met along the way! It's been great and I know 2011 will be filled with even more!

It's time to take a quick peek into the beading worlds of our blogging pals below, I can't wait to see what they've been up to! Jewelry Making
Tammy looks at least year's resolutions and thinks about 2011. Share your resolutions or lack of them.
Art Bead Scene
Come make a sleigh bell bracelet with ABS for the 6th Day of the annual 12 Days of free projects!
Beading Arts
Come enjoy some insider information on the fabulous fiber and bead artist, Joan Babcock!
Beads & Books
Michelle shares a handmade polymer clay ornament by Diva Designs and her favorite chocolate candy recipe. (You'll need to keep up your strength if you're going to bead over the holidays!)
Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi starts to work with resin cubes she made earlier in the year.
Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares the key to her designs.
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie gets in the Christmas spirit with a holiday song to inspire three fun projects.
Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Come on over and get the shopping list for the next Blog Reader Challenge!
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes some holiday themed jewelry for Rings & Things! The time flew by as she made these pretty creations!
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Sue Kennedy of SueBeads offers up a really beautiful assortment of goodies in this week's Thursday Giveaway! Find out how you can win them!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Couple of My Favorite Projects

Merry Christmas and/or Happy Holidays!

I wanted to share a couple of my favorite projects since I didn't take a photo of the earrings I made for my Mom yesterday before I gave them to her :)

I am looking forward to a great new year right around the corner and will be sharing blog gratitude throughout the week as well as updating A Bead A Day blog.

I wish you all the VERY best!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Featured Designer: Shelbi Lavender

It's Featured Designer Friday, yay!

I just recently came across this artist who is stamping metal charms and using them in jewelry pieces. I am in awe of her simplicity and edge! I love when people do something a little edgy, but it turns out that it is actually accepted in the mainstream. Very cool!

On her Etsy Site, Shelbi Lavender states, $5 of all sales are donated to Mid South Chapter of MS Society to help find the cure for MS. I focus on the smallest of detail combining delicate chains with unique charms, pendants, semiprecious stones and pearls.

These pieces can be worn individually for a chic simple look or layered to make a bolder statement. My lovely pieces are extremely versatile and can be worn for both casual and formal occasions.

All of the designs are handmade and, while most are produced in very limited quantities, some are even one of a kind."

I urge you to check out her inventory! Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Days are Here!

Yes, vacation has officially begun, yay!

I hope everyone is enjoying a happy holiday season!

I wanted to share last year's softflex bracelet project today because I will be working on a new holiday project tomorrow! I have all my beads out and I'm ready to roll.

If you have a chance, please check out this softflex econoflex project inspired by a colored pencil drawing from my book, A Bead in Time. Thanks to Sara, a.k.a. SoftflexGirl, for mentioning it on her blog!  I'll catch you all tomorrow! Until then, I am so happy to share more BLOG GRATITUDE!!

BLOG GRATITUDE continues here on A-Bead-A-Day blog! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be thanking bunches of fun, fabulous and talented artists/bloggers by sharing links to their blogs, websites or etsy sites. This is what blogging is all about...sharing connections!

Bejeweled by Jana

Cheryl's Jewelry Journal

Discovering Jewellery a.k.a. "LittleTreats"

THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!=

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Shoutout for Bead & Jewelry Blogs!

For "today's bead", I wanted to share my FAVORITE bead-togetherness photo!! :)

There's something about this group of beads that is beautiful and sweet. In my mind, they chose to hang out and appreciate each other and for that reason they look great together! :)

It's getting close to a week's vacation for me...YAY!! One more day and I'm on easy street for a total of 10 whole days! Not only that, I am fortunate enough to be spending them with my husband, I can't wait!

It's so easy to get caught up in the day to day routines of preparing for work, going to work, chores, dinner, appointments, etc. that it will be so refreshing to have a chance to catch up and carry on real conversations while spending time hanging out together!

I'm also hoping to get some updates made to A Bead A Day! There was a comment received on a Blog Gratitude post last week by Sheryl, The Babbling Beader, which first made me laugh, but then made me realize I am probably missing out on lots of other fun beading blogs!

She wrote, "Just when I thought I'd been reading most of the jewelry blogs -you find me more. No wonder I don't get out of house til almost noon anymore! Have a great weekend, and a great holiday!"

When I thought about the fact there are beading blogs and beaders out there I haven't had the pleasure to stumble upon yet, I got very excited! I'd like to put a shout out to all of you to leave a comment on any blog post through the next week or so and let me know of a beader and/or blogger that you think I might be missing out on. Maybe I am familiar, but just need to update my blog roll, so let me know that too!

THANKS SO MUCH!! More blog gratitude links tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Button EARrings!

 I was recently just a little obsessed with gluing buttons onto ring forms and received a picture of some button earrings crated by Dagi of Kokopelli Designs blog!

I just LOVE these. She did not remove the shank, but she bead stitched a bezel around them, how cool! Thanks so much for sharing!!

BLOG GRATITUDE continues here on A-Bead-A-Day blog! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be thanking bunches of fun, fabulous and talented artists/bloggers by sharing links to their blogs, websites or etsy sites. This is what blogging is all about...sharing connections!

Moags & Smeet

Sara from Softflex

Sheryl of The Babbling Beader

THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!

Giveaway Galore at!

I've got some exciting info to share, but first wanted to include today's bead.

It seemed appropriate to share this one that I received from I have two of them and LOVE the fact they are called "cognac"! It sounds so festive, warm and cozy AND a great color for for the holidays. A little silver & gold!

These two 6mm sterling cilver cognaz CZ bezel links of mine are currently "on deck" and will become a gift of earrings for a friend or family member.

And now, just a reminder that the $100k Gift Card Giveaway ends at Midnight Wednesday, 12/22/10!! Just click on the above link for all the details!! Basically you can choose up to ten of your family, friends, fellow bloggers, etc. to receive a free $10 gift card (one per household). More info is available when you click the link.

Another very cool giveaway is the I-PAD GIVEAWAY! WOW!! I understand it's the IPad with 3G capability so you can get online just about anywhere. Everyone who places an order between now and the end of the year will get an automatic entry for a chance to win. There is an alternate way to enter for those who don't want to place an order.

THANKS for the generous giveaways!! :)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

What a great bunch of bead bloggers! I just love these guys, they are always in to something new and always willing to share.

This seems like a good time to say, THANKS, to all of you for the information, friendship, encouragement and of course, the reviews and freebies!! :) You are the best!!

I hope you will join me in a quick visit to the sites below for updates, project ideas, giveaways, online magazines and book reviews!!

Happy Holidays! I thought I'd share this gorgeous caribbean opal swarovski bicone for just a little bit of warmth and sunshine considering it continues to hover in the 20 degree temperatures with a blanket of white here in Ohio. Jewelry Making
Tammy reviews an innovative new web-based magazines from Interweave.

Art Bead Scene
It's the ABS annual Twelve Days of free art bead jewelry projects! Stop by and try out the Jingle Berry Lariat!

Beading Arts
How about an entire month of fast and easy tutorials for handmade jewelry gifts?

Beads & Books
Michelle shares ideas for beaded napkin rings to decorate your holiday table.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a button pin much more attractive with a felted background!

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Inspired by the snow on the ground, Cindy created a new ring - the Flurry Flower!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei has moved her bead studio, yet again!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is delighted to present one of her latest book reviews of a remarkable book called 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs. Come and immerse yourself in the fascination of the heights which can be achieved using this medium through the brilliance of a collection of fantastic jewelry designers! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win some luscious lucite components from The Hole Bead Shoppe? Seize your chance in this week's Thursday Giveaway!

Colored Pencil Art - Book Project!

Saturday is such a great day!

Wonderful for planning fun and exciting things that you can't do during the work week, OR, just for hanging around doing nothing at all!

Today, Saturday is a great day for sharing a project from my beading book, A Bead in Time! Yay!

This is one of my favorites, not only because it is attention getting and always makes me think of the fun I had coloring in the original colored pencil drawing, but because I get so many comments when wearing it!

You should be able to double click for a closer view of each page.

This project was made using softflex econoflex wire in midnight black and autumn brown.

I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions! :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blog Gratitude!

Happy Friday! Time for fun and a celebration of freedom!! :)

Okay, just a slight case of melodrama, but still Friday IS a great day!

I had a wonderful time doing yesterday's interview with Rebeca Mojica of the Blue Buddha Boutique and stand here in awe as I look through her designs, WOW! I would encourage anyone interested in chainmaille to check this out!

I wanted to use today's post to continue on with my BLOG GRATITUDE project! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be thanking bunches of fun, fabulous and talented artists/bloggers by sharing links to their blogs, websites or etsy sites. This is what blogging is all about...sharing connections!

Beryl Jewelry

THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR: Author, Rebeca Mojica, of Blue Buddha Boutique

It's an exciting day here on A Bead A Day!!!

I have the privilege of hosting a wonderful new book author as she explodes onto the virtual book tour scene! This is where we would be tooting horns, throwing confetti and wearing hats to celebrate this exciting event!! :)

Rebeca Mojica is probably not a new name for those of you who have found their way into the chainmaille world. If you are familiar with the Blue Buddha Boutique, you are familiar with Rebeca!

When I first discovered the BBB, I remember having a mouth-dropping moment! I had no idea these jump rings, in all colors, could be assembled into such fabulous and complex designs!! Ever since I've tried my hand at this, as you might remember, I have been in awe of such talent!

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebeca about chainmaille and her new book! The book is entitled "Chained: Create Gorgeous Chain Mail Jewelry One Ring at a Time" and is definitely a must-have for anyone wishing to learn more about this process.

One of the most exciting aspects of her book is that she is selling kits to accompany the projects! You can find them on the BBB site. You can actually see project pages from the book which is also exciting!! :) This is amazing Rebeca! Thanks for taking the time to answer my beginner questions below!

Question 1:  Opening and closing of jump rings sounds like an easy jewelry making process until you see the complexity of some designs. What advice would you give to beginners who might be intimidated by the process?

Answer: Don't start with the most complicated project you can find. :-) If you love a particular "advanced" weave, find out what the easier versions for that weave are, and start there. I once had a student who wanted to take classes just so she could make a micromaille bracelet. So, I started her off with the European 4-in-1 Mesh bracelet using 18-gauge rings. If I remember correctly, I even made her create two. We worked a lot on her technique, making sure she was closing the rings seamlessly. Once she mastered the bracelet in this size, I moved her down to 20-gauge rings. She received a pack of 22-gauge rings to continue practicing at home, before finally tackling the micromaille cuff using 24-gauge rings. She noted that "this gets exponentially more difficult, the smaller you go!" She did eventually make her cuff, but I'm sure that if she tried to dive right in with the tiny rings, she would have gotten too frustrated.

Interestingly, many intricate chainmaille weaves are not exponentially more difficult, and are only as tricky as the sum of their parts. So learn the various parts, and the pattern as a whole is entirely conquerable. Once you know box, making byzantine is a snap. Once you know Japanese 12-2, you can create all sorts of geometric shapes. There are plenty of striking patterns that are easy for beginners to learn, and with those base weaves in their pockets, they can adjust ring sizes, add colored rings or beads, and create entirely new looks. Ten weaves for the price of one!

Question 2: What is the most popular design for beginners?

Answer: There are a few really popular designs; I think it depends on personal preference. One of my favorites is the aforementioned Mesh Bracelet, because the pattern is easy to learn, giving beginners instant gratification. Another great beginner project is the Celtic Visions bracelet. It comes together in an unusual way, which really opens people's minds to the idea that jump rings can be pieced together in ways that aren't immediately intuitive. (But once you know what's going on, you've got it down!)

Question 3: I have worked with jump rings on a couple of simple projects and was concerned about leaving plier marks on the jump rings. I even went so far as to wrap my pliers with electrical tape. Do you use a special tool so that doesn't happen?
Answer: I love Tool Magic. When I first started making maille, I tried every sort of tape: electrical, duct, masking, and even gaffer tape. They were all still pretty slippery, and most left a gunky residue on my plier jaws. When I discovered Tool Magic, it was love at first grip. Not only did the rings not slip and slide around, but the pliers were not leaving any marks on the rings. This was especially important for me because even from the get-go, I used colored rings, and I wanted to keep the surface free from imperfections. Additionally, because of the good grip Tool Magic gives, I find I can work very quickly.

The only con is that the Tool Magic isn't permanent, and every couple of bracelets, you'll need to peel off the old coating and re-dip. I dip once, let it dry for an hour and then re-dip, usually allowing it to dry overnight. I have two sets of pliers, so that while one is drying, I can use the second set for my projects. I know it can get time-consuming to dip the pliers all the time, but I feel that I work so much faster with coated pliers, and I have far fewer "waste" rings due to scratching, that it more than makes up for the time it takes to coat the pliers.

Question 4: I've read that some pieces can be rock tumbled to shine them up. How does that work? Does it work on colored or coated jump rings?

Answer: Most chainmaille can be tumbled in a rock tumbler. I recommend using stainless steel shot with a bit of burnshing compound. But you can still receive excellent results sans shot. What is happening, is that the shot (and the jump rings themselves) are acting like hundreds of tiny hammers, whittling away at any minor surface imperfections, which makes your piece nice and shiny. I want to emphasize minor! If you scratch the ring, you're not going to buff away the scratch just by tumbling. If you tumble sterling or copper pieces to a mirror finish, you'll also help prevent tarnishing, as the smooth surface doesn't have as much surface area for oxidation to take place as a rough surface does.

I have tumbled every sort of colored ring, with few bad affects. The color is affected most on titanium rings. Tumbling doesn't remove the color completely, but it does alter and mute it. You wouldn't want to tumble colored ring pieces for hours on end, but for 20 minutes here and there, it's perfectly fine.

Question 5: Would you recommend that beginners start with sterling silver jump rings or can they "jump" right in using the coated rings that come in MANY colors?

Answer: Actually, I recommend that beginners don't start with sterling because of the cost. Now while I'm never one to tell people to NEVER do something, I do let beginners know that I've had more than one student who started with sterling silver, and then months later looked back at their first pieces, and were disappointed with the poor closures and felt the need to go back and re-do those projects. So it might be a good idea to start practicing on base metal (including those beautiful anodized aluminum or enameled copper colors) and then work your way up to sterling.

Some weaves (such as the Half Persians and Dragonscale) I highly recommend learning in multiple colors, because it really helps students see the pattern.

Question 6: Is it possible to learn chainmaille on your own through books and blogs or is it necessary to take a class to get started?

Answer: This completely depends on your learning style. I learned just about everything through looking at photos on the Internet, and figuring things out on my own. (There was only one or two books on chainmaille when I started, and neither of them were very thorough.) I know a few other people like me who almost instinctively know how to put together jump rings. Most people, however, need books or videos, or they need to take a class. I feel like a high-quality book is usually a good investment, especially if you are really intimidated. It will allow you to learn at your own pace, and you can skip around to projects that really interest you. Even if you can't make heads or tails out of the instructions, you can get comfortable with some of the terminology and tools involved. Then, if you take a class, you'll already have a bit of a background, and shouldn't feel as intimidated. However, if you know you never learn well from static photos, and catch on a zillion times quicker if someone shows you how to do something, then by all means, take a class!

If you want to see if maille might be for you, I have a few free tutorials on Blue Buddha Boutique's Kits & Instructions page, and my all-time favorite resource for free instructions is M.A.I.L.

Want more information? You can find Rebeca here:
Blue Buddha Boutique

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Making Ornaments out of Beads

Hey everyone! I need your help... I was asked to create a holiday ornament for someone today that can be taken to an ornament exchange party on Friday!

Yikes! I'm guessing I was asked so I would make something using beads...


One idea that is not original, but it is a good one, is using about 4 or 5 loops of memory wire with a large/heavy bead on the bottom so when it is hung, all the loops seperate.

Maybe I could use this long orange CZ as the dangle, but I'm not sure it will be heavy enough...

The other idea I have is to create a simple dangle with 6 to 8 beautifully sparkly beads from large to small, packaging it in a nice organza bag with a matching pair of earrings. If I use the orange CZ above, I could use these smaller orange CZ's for the earrings...

Help!! Sorry for the short notice, but I GREATLY appreciate it! :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Vintage Button Look

I couldn't help but throw in one more cool button to talk about making a ring out of! During our recent craft night, one of our crafters used this one. All it takes is trimming off the button shank with a wire cutter, a little hot glue and a ring form!!

It's such a gorgeous button and turned into a fabulous ring! It's not vintage, but to me feels like it is. It is the perfect size to slightly cover the fingers to the left and right of the ring finger which is a look I love, especially when you are wearing a hand-crafted button ring! It does NOT looks like it came out of an arts&crafts night!

If only I had one of those heat tools for attaching crystals, this could use just a TINY bit of extra sparkle! I'd love to see your button ring projects if you are interested in sharing! :)

And now, it's time for tonight's BLOG GRATITUDE list!! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be thanking bunches of fun, fabulous and talented artists/bloggers by sharing links to their blogs, websites or etsy sites. This is what blogging is all about...sharing connections!

Nicole Campanella (a.k.a. Beadwright)

THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Let the Sun Shine In!

I just can't get enough of this sunshiny bead!! I used this in a sunny bracelet project in my book, but just came across one of these in a bead box and had a new idea!!

What do you think about this... glue it to a ring form and attach a crystally bauble of some kind to the hole at the top so it has a little bit of sparkly movement. I can see it in my mind, but sometimes I can get carried away when I think about adding crystals to things.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas about using this in a fun/sparkly ring!! It would be the perfect holiday gift for family/friends heading to a warmer climate for the winter! :)

By the way, I've got a couple of exciting announcements about upcoming blog posts!! On Thursday, I will be hosting chainmaille jewelry author, Rebeca Mojica of the Blue Budha Boutique as part of her virtual book tour, YAY!!

AND, Saturday I will be sharing not only a project PHOTO from my book, but the instructions as well. I am so excited to have received permission for this!!

If you can stand any more fun stuff, today begins my BLOG GRATITUDE project!! Over the next couple of weeks, I will be thanking bunches of fun, fabulous and talented artists/bloggers by sharing links to their blogs, websites or etsy sites. This is what blogging is all about...sharing connections! 

THANK YOU for stopping by and taking the time to share kindness, information, encouragement and stories!! It means more to me than you know!

Erin of Treasures Found

Jamberry Song's Creations

Sandy's Coloring Box a.k.a. "I Love Color"

Kokopelli Design

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

I hope everyone is staying warm and safe this lovely wintery weekend! There is definitely something about the month of December for me that makes me want to craft, craft, craft.

I even thought about baking something today!! I found the cutest cake mix at Big Lots today, but put it back after I got my wits about me. It was a HUGE ceramic red and white pepperminty mug that included a cake mix that you actually baked in the giant mug. It was a chocolate peppermint cake!!

Once I realized there were probably other ingredients like milk, eggs, vegetable oil needed, I gave in and put it back. As a non-cook, those aren't things I typicaly have on hand. HOWEVER, I think I'll be hanging with my Mom next weekend in the kitchen, so I might head back over to Big Lots tomorrow...

As usual, Sundays bring this fun list of bead blogger updates....I hope you will join me in reading about giveaways, artwork, brooches and books!

Art Bead Scene
This month's challenge artwork is by John Anster Fitzgerald - who is that you may ask? Come over to ABS and find out!

Beading Arts
Mama's Minerals returns with another fabulous giveaway for Cyndi's readers!

Beads & Books
Michelle turns a ceramic pendant into a Christmas ornament. Jewelry Making
Are you feeling blue? Good, because that is the perfect color for beaded jewelry.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy's been stamping metal and has some thoughtful things to say about Lisa Niven Kelly's book, "Stamped Metal Jewelry."

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
This week's Thursday Giveaway is brought to you by Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva! Enter to win an assortment of inspiring jewelry components!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows that inspiration can come from anywhere, including the bathroom sink!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a new book giveaway! 500 Enameled Objects--a celebration of color on metal--what a divine, mesmerizing book to own and cherish! Please come and sign up for this very special giveaway!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a very special wooden brooch for her "no knit" scarf.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

This Week's Project & Book Giveaway!

I made this ring during craft night a couple weekends ago and completely forgot to post it!!

I have been keeping it at my desk at work and putting it on when I need a dose of fun! It's perfect!

I found these great ring forms at the craft store back in September and hadn't used them until now. We all glued either beads or buttons to them with some fun results!!

I have a bracelet made with this daisy button, so I thought it would be great to have a matching ring. The more I have looked at it and worn it, the more I LOVE it!

For just a few cents, I have an ongoing dose of cheer and that's what makes life good in my book!! :) I hope you are all having a great weekend!

Please visit the blog, "Where Women Create" if you have a minute and are interested in winning a copy of my beading book!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Featured Designer: Robyn Hawk

The first word that comes to my mind to describe this Friday-after-work feeling is: "ahhhhhh"! Shifting gears to embrace a little bit of freedom just takes an instant! Happy Friday!

In the title of this blog post, I was going to mention Robyn Hawk's blog or website name, but we're talking about someone who maintains not one or two blogs, but multiple blogs and facebook pages!!

This is quite a feat and I am sitting here in awe...
Robyn provides the beading and jewelry making world with a wealth of information! Here are a handful of her sites:

In her profile on the blog, "A Fly On The Wall", she writes, "I hope to give you a "fly on the wall" view of the things that are important in my, art, people, adventure! I am a student of Jewelry Design and working on a Graduate Gemologist Certificate from GIA. I welcome your input...Robyn Hawk

Thanks a million Robyn, your passion for jewelry, gems and art comes through!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's Final...Brown Iris Flat Peyote

Thanks to Kokopelli's comment on yesterday's post, I decided not to use the gold metallic e-beads for my flat peyote bracelet just in case the metal rubs off.

When she said I should make sure that wouldn't happen, I remembered I had used some of these as spacers many years ago when I first started beading and eventually the outer coating did rub off a bit. (Thank you!)

I decided to use the brown iris e-bead mix in a flat peyote stitch bracelet. I think I ended up with 8 beads across and have about 2.5 inches done. It took about an hour because I had to cut off my first attempt and start over AND I had a couple furry little friends who were taking turns needing attention. :)

I'm kind of excited about possibly using my flat peyote as a base for sewing on some other embellishments. Now that would be a first for me!! I think it was Sara from Softflex who suggested it. (Thank you!)

I LOVE getting suggestions and guidance from you guys!! I don't have anyone to bead with here so I sincerely appreciate my virtual beading friends!! :)

Beginning next week, I will be thanking everyone who has commented on A Bead A Day in the last few months. I will be incorporating "thank you's" with links back to some great bead bloggers for the next couple of weeks. This is such a highlight for me every day!! I am so happy to see you guys here and love helping others make new connections!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Gold Metallic Peyote Cuff

Thanks for your comments on yesterday's post about jewelry stitching!! I was looking around to see if I had a nice sized tube of ebeads to practice making a cuff with and found these gold metallic beads. How cool!

I searched here to see if I mentioned them before and discovered I had this same thought in September when I originally blogged about these beads. I think that clinches it....time for stitching!

These would make the perfect, simple cuff for the holidays and get me back in the stitching groove!

I can't wait to have something to show you!!

By the way, I wanted to let you all know that I have asked and received permission from my publisher to share not only a photo of a book project, but the instructions as well!! I am mulling it over to figure out which one. I have been wearing one piece in particular that I have shown here before which seems to get people's attention (in a good way)! I'm hoping to post it on Saturday, yay!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Stitching vs. Stringing

I would love to get your thoughts on the pros and cons of stitching jewelry vs. stringing.

I was once VERY hooked on stitching. I learned the odd peyote stitch during a beading cruise sponsored by Auntie's beads.

My Mom, Dad and I all took the class and let me tell you, we had some difficulty with the first couple of rows. I thought it was sort of like math, all of a sudden the fog clears and you get it!! I loved the finished product and couldn't wait to learn more!

After the cruise, I bought a special publication magazine called "stringing". I took it to work with me every day and poured over it at lunch. I went on and on about it to anyone else I happened to be eating lunch with, I'm surprised someone didn't try to hide it from me!

I just came across the photo of this bracelet that looks like some kind of diagonal stitch and was thinking I might want to get back into stitching since it has been quite a while. The last thing I was doing when I got side tracked was the tubular peyote stitch.

It's the same technique as any other peyote stitch, but the first row becomes a circle and you place it over a skewer or some tubular form and then it's like a grade school project!! Add a bead to the needle, take the needle down through the next bead, add a bead, take it through the next bead, etc. Simple stuff that turns out looking very complex!

Please share your thoughts on this if you have a chance!! To stitch or not to stitch???

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Peace, Love, Bead Bloggers and GIVEAWAYS!!

I hope you had some crafting and creating going on this weekend! This seems to be such a great time of year for it. Maybe because it's colder out and not as much to do outside the house.

Regardless of the reasons, it is nice to have no guilt for playing with beads and craft materials.

If you are looking for some great giveaways, please check out last Wednesday's post for information about the "Where Women Create" 12 days of Christmas giveaways!! Three great items up for grabs every single day until 12/12/10!

Here's to a great new week!! Please join me in taking a trip through the fun and friendly blogs below to see what else has been happening in the beading and blogging world. :)

Beading Arts What can you do with a handful of circuit breakers?

Beads & Books Michelle begins a weekly challenge for herself, using books as inspiration for jewelry designs.

Carmi's Art/Life World This week Carmi has a very simple Santa that she made with a free digital download.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva Cindy doles out some "flakey" business advice in her "Take It Tuesday" post.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is so happy to have a recent design appear in an upcoming GORGEOUS book! Come see!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Celebrate the holidays with Vintaj! Check out one of their limited edition kits or one of their beautiful pieces of finished jewelry! Jewelry Making Have you started your list of DIY gifts to make for this season? Here's a slew of jewelry and other crafty ideas for you.

Art Bead Scene Wondering if you should pick up that new magazine? ABS reviews 101 bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

Bead Soup Blog Party -- Jewelry Swap Challenge Come see the small swaps that go on in the Bead Soup Blog Party Yahoo Group!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

This Week's Project: Replacement Necklace

It seems that I have been misplacing jewelry lately and haven't been able to find one of my favorite necklaces.

So, I grabbed 4 or 5 bead boxes and was determined to make something out of what I found in them to replace it.

I was happy to have found this large circular mother of pearl bead to use for making a pendant. I was just going to include the little gray circle with a hematite bead inside of it, but it seemed a little too simple and expected.

The extra hematite bead adds a little something extra that made me stare at it wondering whether I liked it or not. I didn't dislike it and it seemed more interesting than the simpler version, so there you go.

Another simple project to add to my collection!! Love that shiny hematite!

I hope you are having a fun weekend! :)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Featured Designer: Michelle Mach of Beads & Books

We made it to Friday!! Life is good! :)

This week's featured designer is someone you might already be familiar with from numerous beading publications.

Michelle Mach is a freelance jewelry designer, writer, editor, and former librarian.

On the "jewelry designs" page of her website, she lists the current publications she is in and even shares projects previously published.

Michelle writes about her creative adventures every Tuesday and Friday on her blog, Beads & Books, which has a great tagline to clearly express her unique perspective, "Reading and writing in an arts and craft world".

She is preparing for an arts and crafts show tomorrow and shared some of the earrings in her collection.

I LOVE that her earring cards give ideas for books based on the earrings selected... Now THAT is creative!! :)

I had a great time scrolling through her posts on a wide variety of subjects, from how to submit designs to magazines to advice for using resin.

Thanks Michelle for allowing me to share your cool concepts and pieces here!! I'm so glad she is going to be part of the Sunday bead bloggers list, yay!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Colors = Holiday Festivities?

I was getting out all my green and red beads to create something new to wear for the holidays and realized I don't want to do red and green this year...

I really broke out of the norm last year when I went with white pearls, peridot bicones and Cinnamony CZ's! :)

Actually, I still love that bracelet on memory wire because it goes with anything all year!
I also made this whimsical bracelet last year using softflex holiday colored wire to appease the other part of my personality. I still love both of those bracelets, however...

This year I'm looking for some new color ideas. Maybe I should create a Floridian holiday line!!

I'd love to hear your thoughts or your own experiences breaking out of the typical holiday jewelry box!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Where Women Create - Giveaway Extravaganza!!

Great News everyone!! It's time for the 12-Days-of-Christmas holiday giveaways over at the "Where Women Create" blog. Yay!!

In the words of Jo Packham and Paige Hill, "Starting today and continuing each day until December 12th, we will feature three fabulous artists on our blog. They will be sharing their cherished holiday traditions, plus giving away a FANTASTIC prize ... Yes, that's three prizes a day! Three chances to win! And believe me when I say FANTASTIC prizes!!!!"

I am truly honored to be part of the festivities on Day 11!

The first giveaway was just posted and it's a doozy! Jo and Paige have the first items up for grabs on the kick-off post as follows:

-A copy of "Where Women Create" book of inspiration
-A copy of the "Where Women Create" book of inspiring work spaces
-A Where Women Create logo charm bracelet
-PLUS a SWAG bag!

What an extremely generous AND amazing gift package!!

Head here for instructions for how to win these and many other items over the next 11 days!!!