Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tie-Dyed Tulips

Today's bead, in MY mind, resembles a tie-dyed tulip! This could be because I have spring on my mind and am SO READY for sunshine and flowers!

I found a small tube of these beads last weekend while rooting around in my creatively chaotic crafting room.

The vision I have is so clear of these beads each having a long green stem!

Now the question is: how can I make that happen?

They could be individual components, each on a headpin, with either green rubber tubing or seedbeads creating the stem.

They could then be hung from ear wires or a neck wire.

OR, there might be a way to get really interesting and have them strung on a bracelet with long stems creating LOTS of crazy dangles!

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one! :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Swarovski Sun Beads

Have you ever heard of swarovski sun beads? I just googled that phrase and found these beads (among others)! I'm not sure you will get the same list I did, but here's a link to the google results.

These seem more like "sunset" rather than a high sun, but I WILL TAKE SUN IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM!!

Would you believe we had a snow storm today?!! I know!! You are probably thinking, you DO live in Ohio you know... :) Yes, I just like to have selective memory when it comes to winter weather!!

I just had to share these beads in hopes they will help bring on some real sunshine tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

ID Badge Lanyard Contest ($300 Grand Prize!)

I received word today that a company by the name of is running a design contest! This is a company whose business revolves around ID Badges.

So many of us wear an ID badge a good 8 or 9 hours every day, so it makes sense to have something that is special to wear it on.

If you are interested in entering this ID Badge Lanyard Design Contest, you have until 5/13/11 to submit your entry. The top prize is a $300 Visa Gift Card, yay! Second prize is a $150 Visa Gift Card!!

The contest started yesterday and public voting begins immediately!! 1 vote per person per day. I just checked out the voting page and there are already a couple of fab designs out there!

Check out this site for all the entry details and GOOD LUCK!! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Speckled Art Project

Have you ever seen anything like this before? It was in a bargain bin for beads that maybe didn't turn out exactly as they were supposed to and I felt a strong need to rescue it!

I would have thought this was a rock that was dug up and considered a treasure.

I don't know how it made it into the world, but I think it is very artfully perfect! Sort of speckled egg-ish or freeform art project, maybe even comic bookish!

Now that I think of it, that is probably why I was drawn to it. I have a HUGE collection of Archie Comics and not a day goes by that I don't pick one up for a quick read. :)

What do you think? Have you seen anything like this before?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

This Week's Project: Leftover Bead Bracelet

I forced myself to make a few minutes today for beading! I don't mean to let on that I had so much going on I had to squeeze it in... I really mean, I made time within my resting/relaxation time today :)

I had a handful of these 12mm swarovski pearls left from the Crystally & Pearl Winter project I made, so I was able to quickly connect these pieces using jump rings and a magnetic clasp.

Yay! I LOVE a simple project!!

I'm looking forward to wearing this tomorrow and enjoying the sparkle!

I wish you all a great new week with a little bit of creativity thrown in for good measure!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers! (A Day Early!)

Saturday seemed like the PERFECT day to share these bead blogger links! Everyone has been up to fun and exiting things!! I'll catch back up tomorrow with this week's project!!

Have a great evening!! :) Jewelry Making
Tammy combines wire, chain, and crystal teardrops for some dramatic earrings.

Art Bead Scene
The ABS is serving up a free project courtesy of Ornamentea.

Beads & Books
Enter a jewelry, beading, or mixed media contest or challenge this spring. Michelle shares links to nearly a dozen opportunities.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a two part beaded sachet tuorial this week on her blog.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
This week's Tuesday Tangle is about taking up a challenge!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes about a book she was given years ago concerning Elizabeth Taylor's astounding jewelry collection

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
To celebrate National Craft Month, Andrew guest blogs for Beaducation.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Featured Designer: Heather of Blissful Garden Beads

When I clicked on Heather's Blog, Blissful Garden Beads, I felt like I had entered an english garden!

Wow, she has really perfected a "feeling" in her beads!

The flowers made me so happy and then I saw the bird houses! Aww, so cute!!

Heather is from Vancouver, Washington (US) and her profile reads:

"I am a self taught lampwork artist living in Vancouver, WA. I have been lampworking since August 2000 and love it. My work tends to be filled with flowers.

Every so often I try to get away from the flowers, but the flowers just make me happy."

I LOVE it when people find something that just makes them happy and they are smart enough to keep doing it!! :)

Considering we had to pull our winter coats back out this week, the dream of happy summery gardens helped me to feel the warmth again! Even if it was from the heat of my laptop!

Thanks so much for that Heather and for allowing me to share your work here tonight!!!

If you love these, wait till you check out her Artfire shop, WOW!!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time for Spring Designs!

I am hoping to find time this weekend to make some new spring jewelry!

I thought I would take a look back at some previous designs to get my creative thoughts churning.

I'd love to share your spring designs if you want to send them my way ( or leave a link in the comments.

I do love the colorful mix on the pastel softflex wire. That cool leafy clasp is magnetic and from the Jill MacKay collection.

I have no idea what happened to this bracelet!! I must have given it away. I could recycle that design with some new colorful beads...

The gold and green pieces are swarovski elements from

I just used large gold tone jump rings to hook all the components together. It was so easy!

The light green faceted briolettes are from

I wired them up into flowers and attached them to a simple choker wire, also from

Ahh, it feels good to celebrate spring!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Final Deco-post

Oh my gosh, you guys!!

After this post, I promise I will stop obsessing about decopauge!! :)

I just love a good obsession-fest!

While "googling" how to decopauge jewelry, I came across these bamboo tiles that look so fabulous as pictured here.

Check out this link for lots of related products. I've never seen this site before and for probably the millionth time in my life I have to give thanks to the universe and all the wonderfully creative and smart people who created the internet!!

Enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Decopauging Links!

I received a comment from Mandy on yesterday's decopauging post so I did a little digging and came up with a few instructions and fun links to share.

My personal favorite product is glossy Mod Podge by Plaid.

This is a simple gnome earring that I made with wooden round craft disks. I drilled, painted and added this photo using mod podge. Once it was glued on, I covered the entire thing, photo and all, with glossy mod podge.

I also shared one of my projects last fall that had been published in Bead Trends magazine last May that included the use of mod podge. Here's a link to that blog post.

After doing a few searches, I found a great video by our pals over at Auntie's Beads that shows not only the steps for decopauging, but also for assembling this purple bracelet.

It's impossible to write a post about mod podge without including a link to the great Amy Anderson's blog, MOD PODGE ROCKS! Amy does projects constantly, including jewelry, and also shares LOTS of links to project how-to's from all over the web!

Now, once you get hooked on decopauging everything in sight, you'll want to check out the Plaid project page.

For anyone interested in creating resin jewelry pieces, but who didn't want to get involved in the chemicals, you have to check out this project by Cathie Fillian. She uses a mod podge product that is "dimensional" to create a collage charm. Great stuff!

I hope this helps!! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Great Beads for Decopauging!

The subject of decopauging on beads came up again recently so I thought I would share a few great picks to use for this purpose.

The amethyst squares were purchased for the purpose of decopauging, but the actual candy wrapper that was going to be used on these was too big.

For some reason that was enough to stall that particular operation...Yes, I know it would have been easy to scan and re-size
the image, but for some reason it lost its spark.

I was just thinking a few minutes ago while looking at this great mother of pearl pendant it might actually be cute with a picture of my book cover :) OR some really beautiful decorative paper with goldtone accents.

I think I have some that would work perfectly!

The purple round, which might also be dyed mother of pearl would provide the perfect background for a photo of your flower garden! What a fun way to show off your green thumb.

I'd love to hear about your experiences with decopauging on beads if you wouldn't mind sharing!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Here we are, getting ready for a brand new week...

So, fingers crossed, mantras at the ready and mounds of belief that we'll have the most perfect one yet!! :) In the mean time, here are a bunch of great links to check out!! Enjoy!

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy's been out with the flu so this week's a rewind on spicing up your plain old packaging.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Working with wire and ammonite slices, Andrew creates three Calder-inspired pendants.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie celebrates a new hairstyle for spring by making a pendant to match her new purple hair extensions!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Would you believe that you could wear flocked velvet wallpaper?

Beading Arts
Cyndi posted a tutorial to show how she made her Bead Soup necklace!

Beads & Books
Michelle shares her storage idea for spools of beading wire.

Art Bead Scene
Do you collect rocks? Make a bracelet with them using this free project from Art Bead Scene! Jewelry Making
Tammy explains the strategy she uses when reviewing jewelry making books.

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene reviews The Penland Book of Jewelry and is touched by the artistic statements, humanity, talent and sharing of the ten artists in the book.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

"Iron-on a Smile" Bracelet

Are these just too cute?!

I bought a package of smiley iron-ons when I was working on my book.

I seem to be drawn to things that aren't necessarily intended for jewelry making, but I know they will allow me to express myself in a piece of jewelry.

I did a project in the book using a cute, square iron-on, the "rock star" bracelet, so I have never used these.

I pulled them out a couple weeks ago and thought about incorporating them into a journal project I'm working on, but really want to WEAR one of these! I like them both, so we'll see what happens!

I'd love to hear about your experiences with using materials in your jewelry projects that weren't intended for that purpose!!

So, please share if you have a minute! :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Featured Designer: Mandy of Beads for Brains

Happy Friday!!

I am very pleased to share a "new" beader with you tonight. I was so impressed when I came across Mandy's blog, "Beads for Brains" recently.

First of all, the tag line of her blog reads,"365 days of a beginning beader's self-taught lessons".


Rather than explain to you what she is doing on her blog, here is Mandy's actual profile:

"I read about this great book called, "365: Make Something Everyday and Change Your Life!", by Noah Scalin and thought it was a fabulous idea. I really wanted to do this for several reasons, one is that I never stick to anything for very long, and two I wanted to increase my creativity, and three I wanted to do something to improve myself in some way. The book says to pick a theme, any theme, and do something creative with it every day for a year to see where you land. I've decided to teach myself bead weaving using books and the internet. I just started beading about 3 months ago when I took one class at a local bead shop (Thanks Kathy and Jo at Beadsoup in Savage, MD!), and I was hooked from the start.

Hopefully 365 days from now I will be at the least a capable beader, or at the most something better. :-)

Bead on! Mandy"

I know you are all now appropriately impressed too!! That is such an exciting thing to do, I just love it and enjoy reading through Mandy's posts to see what she has learned!

Today is day 66 for Mandy so I have posted her latest project as well as her St. Patrick's day project!

Thanks so much Mandy for allowing me to share! :)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wishing for Spring!

Well, in yesterday's post I was wishing for sunshine and it was 67 degrees and sunny here in Central Ohio today!! Wow!! That was easy!

I figured I'd wish for some flowers today and see what happens

I love these tomatoey colored flowers and how could you not love the tulip with a bunny in it!!?

We have the bunny in our yard, we just need the flower!

I believe!! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sun-Shiny Beads

Hi everyone! In case you didn't see the sun shine today, here are a couple GREAT sunshiny beads!

I love each and every one! I'd love to hear from anyone who has made some sunshiny jewelry!!

Making jewelry with happy, cheerful sunny beads can go a long way to keeping you upbeat during these dreary winter months!!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smart Design - Eye Glasses Holder

Instead of a bead, I was anxious to show you this ingenious design for holding your eye glasses!

My Mom wore it home from Florida this week to show me.

This is a design my Dad came up with for her and lots of friends who wanted an easy and cute way to keep track of their glasses without having to connect them to a chain.

He used the round end of a toggle clasp and crimped one end of beading wire to it, added a miscellaneous bead mix and ended it by crimping the other end to the toggle. This fits over the head and one arm of the glasses slides through the toggle!!

So cute and so smart! What a GREAT idea! :)

Monday, March 14, 2011


I read a great blog post over the weekend that really stuck with me. It was by Deb of Green Shoot Jewellery Designs. She mentioned that she and her family had been under the weather, but she had received two packages of beads from different designers which completely cheered her up!

How wonderful! Her post is titled, "new beads" and you can really feel the cheer in her writing!

She had ordered beads from the recently featured, Shannon LeVart, and from Gaea Ceramic Bead Designs.

Gorgeous! If you get a second to pop over to these great blogs, I am sure you will find something that will bring you a little sunshine and cheer too! :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Super Simple Gnome Earrings

Reason #1 that these earrings were so simple to make today was that I had already painted, decopauged and drilled a hole in them a year ago! :)

I can't believe I found them in the bottom of a bead box! I always think things like that are meant to be, so I didn't try to second or third guess myself about making "simple" earrings out of these decopauged wooden rounds.

These are plain wood rounds from the craft store. You usually get about 10 or so in a bag for a couple bucks.

I remember creating these using pictures of my real-life gnomes with a different picture for the front and back, but completely forgot
whatever happened to them.

So, even if you aren't a gnome fan, you could consider using the same technique with kids pics, your blog title/pic, book cover if you are an author, OR if you really want to have a conversation piece, put your own photo on a pair of earrings!!

How fun would that be? :)

I hope you have had a wonderfully creative and fun weekend!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!!

I'm switching things up a bit tonight... Instead of a jewelry design, I'm posting the Sunday links for a change of pace.

In truth, it's because I have been working on another project today and didn't get my jewelry project done!!

The idea in my head was so simple, but it wasn't exactly working out. SO, back to the drawing board tomorrow in hopes of sharing some GNOME earrings with you!! :) Please stay tuned!! In the mean time, there are some great links below!!

Beads & Books
Win a copy of two novels: Waking Up in the Land of Glitter and Miss Scarlet's School of Patternless Sewing. Jewelry Making
It's the perfect time to make your own luck with this lucky earring tutorial.

Beading Arts
Mixing traditional embroidery with beads leads to a garden full of promises...

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shares some of her process and inspiration for her new Earthen Oxide collage key pendants

Art Bead Scene
Stop by and see the Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge painting.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses an image of Anna Pavlova for her new necklace idea.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Inspired by Calder and Medieval crowns, Andrew sets out to create his own crown out of wire and Roman Glass.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
In this week's rewind, Cindy hammers home a point about tools.

The Bead Dreamer
Inspired by signs that spring is on the way, Charlene creates a lush leaf and flower bracelet and pair of earrings.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Featured Designer: Shannon LeVart

Happy Friday!! It's a perfect moment and I am cherishing it! :)

To celebrate, I wanted to share these super fun bracelets with you by Shannon LeVart of the blog, MissFickleMedia.

I just love the colored chains with a simple stone, but there is something more complex about them that makes me smile!

LOVE these!! Shannon has some fabulous pieces in her etsy site, if you are interested in more cool stuff!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Final Sweepstakes

One more day, YAY!! For me, it's more than just a weekend coming up, IT'S A WEEK OFF!

Wow! I am patting myself on the back for requesting the time off!! I have an opportunity to stick around close to home and spend lots of time with my Mom who is coming home from Florida to pick up my niece for her spring break the following week.

It's going to work out perfectly so we will have time to just lounge around, craft, laugh, eat, drink, be lazy and maybe visit the new Hobby Lobby! I am blessed in so many ways!! :)

I wanted to use tonight's post to mention there is less than a week before announces the winner of their ROAD TO TUCSON SWEEPSTAKES!!

The prize package includes round trip airfare for two to Tucson, Arizona to attend the Gem, Mineral and fossil showcase, 3 nights hotel accommodations and classes with renowned beading instructors. DON'T MISS OUT on the opportunity to enter. It is SO EASY!! Entries are accepted through March 16th!

Until tomorrow, here's some extra sparkliness! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

If You Love Gnomes...

You know, once you start having a conversation about gnomes, it's not that easy to change the subject!!

After yesterday's post, I have to
admit I've been in the gnome zone!

I just love these little guys. Our collection includes many gnomes with garden tools or riding animals,
driving cars or hugging deer!!

Seriously, there are some cute gnomes out there!! The gnome in this picture is actually a BEAD!! It is made to resemble the founder/owner of the bead company,!

How fun would that be to have a gnome bead made in your likeness?! :)

Here is a link to the Russ Troll bead. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Almost Time for Gnomes!!

It is beginning to feel like spring is really coming soon! It's actually 50 degrees at almost 11pm, yay!

It will soon be time to get all our gnome friends out of hiding!

They've been secluded in the garage for the winter except for a couple who seem to love the snow.

Sometimes all we could see was a pointy hat sticking through the snow.

They all seem to have unique and fun personalities :)

I did a gnome photo shoot a couple years ago when I was working on book projects.

I was determined to come up with a way to incorporate a gnome into a piece of jewelry for the book.

Above are a few of my first ideas. If you have the book, you know my little friends ended up there.

And....I've decided that the gnome project will be the next one I share here in the Spring, yay!

I can't wait. So, for any of my fellow-gnome loving friends, please stay tuned!

Monday, March 7, 2011

In Search of...

Have you ever bought a special bead and down the road wondered WHY DIDN'T I BUY MORE THAN ONE???!!!

Well, me too! I have been searching online for this butterfly bead and found just about every other butterfly bead except this one!! I did find it on Ebay in a piece of jewelry made by another jewelry designer...

I suppose I could try contacting that person, but I'm thinking that might be a little rude.


You might be wondering why this bead has to be EXACTLY the same. The answer is, I guess it doesn't, but for some reason it seems to have more meaning to me. I made this bracelet when I was doing a book signing at a bead store last year.

It was such a GREAT day and I was hanging out with the owner, staff and customers and one of them was making a chakra bracelet.

The theory is wearing these specific gems in this specific order can help to align your chakras.

Of course, I found it necessary to make one of my own!! Any opportunity to bead with others makes me very happy!

This bracelet has a great vibe and I would like to make more of them! I did discover that the swarovski bicones need to be switched out with real crystal gemstones, so I'm getting ready to restring this one.

So, if you happen to see this butterfly bead, please let me know!! THANK YOU!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

It's Sunday and that means it's time to check in with all our bead blogger friends to see what they have been up to. My favorite part of the week...just wish it was Friday all over again!!

HAVE A WONDERFUL NEW WEEK!! Here is a shrinky dink bracelet message to keep things moving in a positive direction! :) Jewelry Making
Celebrate National Craft Month with jewelry and all kinds of other interesting crafts to try.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shares her Bead Soup project, made with a shimmery upcycled key and keyplate from her new Earthen Oxide website mixed with some wonderful lampworked glass by MJRbeads

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews STEEL WIRE JEWELRY by Brenda Schweder and is totally wowed!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew sits down with the fine folks of Beadaholique to answer a few questions. Check out his interview!

Come see "what matters most" on Cindy's bead table this week!

Beads & Books
If you make earrings, you'll want to read Michelle's review of the Easy Earring Cards Punch Kit

Art Bead Scene
Take a peek at what's on the bead table each week - it's Bead Table Wednesday!

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene reviews the book Creating Glass Beads by Jeri L. Warhaftig. It’s a wonderful book for ambitious beginners and intermediate glass bead makers. Charlene – she just wants the beads!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A lovely piece of paper inspires a new red necklace!

Beading Arts
Since there were so many participants, The Bead Soup Party is still in full swing, thanks to the efforts of the fabulous Lori Anderson!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Winner Announced

THANK YOU ALL so much for stopping by and leaving a comment on my giveaway post in honor of my sweet dog who happens to be featured in the book. You are all so kind and your comments have really helped me through this!!

I just used to select a winner and had a chance to email Norma of the blog, "Beads and Moonlit Fantaseas" to let her know she WON, yay!!

I also couldn't help but share her recent Bead Soup jewelry project that she titled, the "Bling Thing"!! Is that just too cute!! :)

Thanks for your comment, Norma, the book will be on its way very soon! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Stick Figure Whimsy & Giveaway Reminder

Happy weekend!! YAY!! We made it and I am so grateful!! :)

I wanted to share these whimsical doggies that I made quite a few years ago while playing around, I think I made them before I even had doggies of my own!!

I just love the stick-figure quality of these doggies, they make me very happy!!

Thanks for sticking around for what seems to have turned into whimsy-week!!

I will be announcing the winner of my beading book tomorrow, so if you haven't already left a comment here, please take a moment to do that. :)

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Whimsical Recycling

I didn't want to disappoint and since I was on a whimsical roll, I wanted to find something unique, different and whimsical to share tonight!!!

Check out these recycled jewelry pieces!!

WOW! I love great ideas and all of these fall under that heading!!

Seriously!! How great are these?!

The simcard earrings are perfect, the ruffle-step-cake earrings and paper bead bracelet

The designer's etsy site is called "hippiekingdom"! Oh my goodness, that name alone brought tears of joy to my eyes!

I love that and I wish there was a hippie kingdom that I could actually get to and set down roots!!

Maybe it exists, here where Devi Chand created it, in India!! Enjoy!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Need a Little Cheer?

Oh my goodness! I had a great time sharing some whimsical beads the last couple of days and wanted more!!

I did a quick search at Etsy on "whimsical lampwork" and found these seriously fun and cheerful beads by "Puddy Tat Glass".

Please join me in smiling, laughing and head shaking over the whimsy here.

Hopefully if you needed a little cheer, this did the trick!! :)