Sunday, September 30, 2012

Ribbon Project Update

This chain is so cool!

It's shiny and has a fun, slightly rebellious vibe about it. Not sure what it is.

It appears to have sort of a cut finish that makes it really shine.

I am about a third of the way done with my ribbon bracelet project. I have ironed on a backing and sewed chain on one side so far.

I just need to sew on the other side's chain, embellish and add a cool clasp!

By the time I'm done with this fun project, I'll be ready to start on a HALLOWEEN project, yay!

That will be the October Cousin Corp. project and I can't wait! :)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Bring on the Weekend!

Yay, happy weekend! It's so hard to believe September just FLEW by!

It was a very busy month at work AND play! Speaking of play, when I look back over the month I'm kind of amazed at all the fun stuff I found time to make and play with!

It helps me remember I really did appreciate and enjoy the moments.

Here's some extra inspiration for the weekend just in case you haven't caught the crafty bug yet...

First up is Cyndi's Beading Arts blog. She's sharing 13 projects that incorporate lampwork beads. FUN stuff! Love her necklace pictured here called, Rock Candy Necklace. :)

Beading Arts
Cyndi believes that you can never have too many ideas for how to use your lampwork beads... Jewelry Making
There is still plenty of time to make some Halloween jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
Heather shares some tips of the trade for jewelry designers who are interested in wholesaling.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of the liquid clay slip application experiments she recently made.

Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi shows you how to glaze a feather with resin!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Bead Soup, the great book by Lori Anderson, has arrived! Enjoy this review about Lori's delicious concoction by jean!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares his latest win! Check out "Night of the Shaman" that top honors in Nina Design's most recent design challenge.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Looking for Beads at Midnight?

Well, I've been there several times myself...a couple of times while working on my book and also the day before teaching a project.

Just in case you didn't know this, Cousin Corporation has beads at Walmart AND now they are in Meijer stores! Love it!

I've bought beads in the middle of the night at Meijer before so I'm excited to see their new products on the wall.

I also wanted to share this cool bracelet project that Cousin created with the products at Meijer.

Hello, this is so appealing to me and totally shouting my name. (Could be the dangles!)

I love the fact that very few products were used to create what looks like a very intricate bracelet. NICE!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fun for $1.49

I just had to share this FUN find! This pink plastic bracelet was a total of $1.49 at Marc's, a local discount grocery store.

It is a pink FLASHING bracelet, yes, it lights up and is extremely bright!!

As soon as I walked by it, I was retracing my steps back over to get it. I just couldn't resist regardless of the fact I couldn't think of anywhere I would be going in the near future to wear such a thing.

So, here I am hanging out in the comfort of my living room with my happy $1.49 flashing bracelet. It's not every day that you find that much happiness for that price! :)

I couldn't get a picture of all the lights flashing because they flash one at a time. You would never know it when it's going to town, but hopefully you get the idea.

The lights flash red, yellow, blue, green, blue, yellow, FUN (and juvenile)...the fun always wins!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Enter to Win a Free Class at CraftArtEdu!

Our good friend Tammy Powley of and the Crafty Princess Diaries has a great giveaway going on...yay! Make sure to enter by September 30!

Tammy is giving away a free class at!

They offer classes in jewelry making, polymer clay, fiber, fine art and other media, wow! Check out all the great instructors and wide variety of classes.

HOW TO ENTER: Click here and leave a comment on Tammy's post. It's that easy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Featured Designer: Roxanne McGovern of 3Graces Jewelry

I'm pleased to introduce you to Roxanne McGovern of 3Graces Jewelry! It's a rare occasion that I have someone local to spotlight, so today is a great day!

Roxanne was the store manager for a very hip and longstanding bead store in Columbus, Ohio called Byzantium. She was with Byzantium for 12 years before they closed due to the retirement of the owner.

I'm guessing that she probably had a chance to meet just about every beader in the local area and lots who would travel great distances to take their specialized classes.

She had some very cool news to share about her glass bead making classes...they're back! Torch and kiln glass bead making classes are available if you happen to be in the Columbus area. Check out 3Graces Jewelry website for classes, a blog and an Etsy site!!

My favorite part of Roxanne's bio is this, "Becoming a successful glass artist, glass art therapist, and teacher is a dream realized." 

Wow, what a wonderful feeling! Congratulations Roxanne and thanks for sharing!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Assembling the Pieces...

Here are some of the pieces I have assembled for my next jewelry project. :)

I just love this wired ribbon with the silvery plaid highlights. When I saw it, I immediately thought it would make great jewelry or accessories.

The current plan is to make a bracelet using either velcro or ribbon clasps for the closure. That decision will come a little further down the road.

My first steps will be to sew the pieces and parts onto the ribbon before applying a craft project!!

As you can see, I've assembled the pieces and parts from my Cousin bead stash, yay!

By the way, just in case you didn't know this, Cousin does a bead giveaway called sweeps every week on their facebook page. They throw in more beads based on the number of participants. Check them out here.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Ready to Embrace Fall?

As always, it's not easy to see the change in seasons, but the best thing you can do is...EMBRACE IT! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Art Bead Scene 
Rebecca shares her Turning Leaves bracelet tutorial, a beautiful free project that speaks of the change of seasons Jewelry Making 
Tammy says "yes" to wire hangers, especially when they become part of a pair of earrings.

Beading Arts 
Fabric art and beads? Of course!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean falls for Erin Siegel's tutorial which she designed for Ornamentea and decides to challenge herself by trying it! It is irresistably cool!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gotta Have Earrings too!

I loved wearing the filigree bracelet yesterday and started making more dangles to add last night. :)

Then I thought earrings would be nice too! Sometimes after making a new bracelet I don't feel the need to have them because I can just grab a pair I already have in black, crystal or pearl.

For this special bracelet it felt like I needed to use the same beads so it seemed like a matched set. These days I like to follow my instincts more often than not, so here's how it worked out.

YES, I'm still stuck on the 12 bead bauble! You probably find that as no big surprise if you stop here occasionally. I do have a tendency to get fixated on things...sometimes it's the bauble or right angle weave in general, hemp cord, glitter, druzy's, shrinky dinks or mod podge just to name a few...

So, today I have a nice new set of jewelry for fall, yay!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vibe Adjustment

Just a quick update... Here's where the filigree project stands this morning. I just finished it up so I can wear it today. :)

You've just gotta love jewelry making for that reason alone! I feel like this will propel me into the day with a very cool vibe. Can you change your outlook or how you present yourself to the world with a fresh piece of jewelry..yep, I think you can!!

I'm looking forward to wearing this one! I'm still considering adding dangles of some kind to the jump rings between each of the pearls. Thoughts? :)

In response to the question on yesterday's post, all of the components, pieces and parts are by Cousin Corp. Check your local Joann's or Michael's, even Walmart! If you can't find them there, check out the Cousin website or PrimaBead catalog.

The filigree chandelier piece was previously in silvertone, but I used a liquid copper DecoColor paint marker to give it an earthier tone.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Design Process Continues...

The design process continues! The best part of jewelry making...the actual creating!

This is the filigree piece I mentioned last week. It was silver tone until I used a paint pen on it! Craft project, yay!

Here's where I am so far. I'm using copper findings to create connectors. I haven't figured it all out yet, but it should be FUN and hopefully a little whimsical with a hint of a conservative vibe.

Throw your ideas out there if you've got them! I'd love to hear!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Weekend Inspiration!

Yay! It's time to relax and create! Here's some inspiration to get the ball rolling.

Art Bead Scene
Rebecca's breezy necklace commemorating the end of summer and featuring fun artisan materials is available as a free project! Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a bea-u-tiful bead weaving book.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to be done!
A wonderful book deserves a good review! Jean reviews the fascinating and terrific jewelry design book, The Spirit of Bead Embroidery by Heidi Kummli!

Beading Arts
Did you know that you can bead a bezel for...get this...a large BEAD? Yup! And it's really easy!
Carmi's Art/Life World
My t-shirt yarn flowers have been turned into a fab necklace!

Resin Crafts!
This is a week dedicated to working in molds on Resin Crafts Blog!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Join the Fun!

Thanks for hanging out with me the last few days checking out these cool "Make the Connection" kits from Cousin in preparation for their first appearance on HSN!

It's always fun to have something new to play with and share with you.

One of their video demonstrations is below and their first segment will be on HSN in a matter of hours...between 3 and 4:00am ET, then between Noon and 1:00pm ET.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

"Make the Connection" Sneak Peek

As promised in yesterday's post, I'm happy to introduce the Formal Collection of Cousin's new "almost ready to wear" jewelry kits called, "Make the Connection."

Both the everday and formal collections will be available on HSN tomorrow, yay! Since I had the pleasure of receiving both kits in advance, I can't wait to pick up a few for holiday gifts. 

At $19.95 for each kit, these are going to be perfect for lots of people on my list. The ability to create at least 30 different combinations with each kit not only makes this a great value, it also feels like a craft project!

Shown here are a couple of my favorite pieces from the formal collection. I had stars in my eyes for these pearls and crystals and couldn't wait to start putting the pieces together!

This set has six pieces including two long connectors, three short and very sparkly connectors and a great stone/crystal pendant.

For lots more info and photos, check out the Cousin Corporation's Make the Connection on HSN site. They have uploaded photos to Pinterest with lots of different combinations you can make!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

New HSN Kits: Part 2, "The Coolness Factor"

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the Cousin Corp is heading to HSN on Thursday. They are introducing two "almost ready to wear" jewelry kits called, "Make the Connection". There is one for everyday and one considered more formal.

The everyday kit contains 8 different connectors. The beauty of these jewelry kits is they need your creativity to become wearable pieces.

They are perfect for people who enjoy creating and are looking for instant gratification along with many different looks!

These are really fun to play with and with each kit, at least 30 different options can be created. COOL!

And, when I put this necklace and bracelet together and put them on, I actually felt my coolness factor rise a few points. :)

Can you feel it?

By the way, the kits will sell for $19.95 on HSN on September 13. Stay tuned to tomorrow's post for the FORMAL kit that includes quite a bit of pearl and sparkle!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Exciting Shopping News

I've got some big news to share on behalf of the Cousin Corporation, yay!

They’re headed to the Home Shopping Network (HSN) this week with some fun jewelry products!

The best part is, the creative circle ambassadors have a chance to tell you about them in advance! How exciting!

So, let’s get right to it…

There are two kits called “Make the Connection”. One is for everyday and the other is labeled formal.

The kits are considered “almost ready to wear” because creativity is necessary to complete a “look” for the day or occasion.

There are several long connectors, a medium length connector, two short and two ultra cool pendants.

I had a super-secret mini play group, I mean focus group with some friends, two beaders and two non-beaders just to get their reaction.

Of course, they all loved the pieces and as usually happens when you get a few women together, we had a lot of fun mixing and matching.

These kits are perfect gifts for friends or fellow beaders who just don't have the time to string or create beaded pieces, but really crave the opportunity to be creative.

The best part is how each person did something different with the pieces and each seemed perfectly suited for their personality and/or outfit. LOVE it!

Pictured here are three of the eight pieces from the everyday collection. More to come tomorrow! The HSN broadcast date is Thursday, Sept. 13.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Time to Ponder...

This is the fun part of designing jewelry...pondering!

Anything is possible so it's time to pull some possibilities! If I'm designing for myself it depends on whether I plan to wear something to work or play.

If it's work, I tend to want to use interesting techniques, but fewer crazy beads or colors.

If that's the way yesterday's filigree focal ends up, here are some possibilities. The filigree might need to go just a tad darker and maybe with a tiny bit of glitter involved...I know...I can't help it!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Feeling Crafty!

I had a moment of crafty inspiration a little while ago.

Actually it struck while I was on the treadmill earlier, but as sometimes happens with those fleeting thoughts, I forgot about it until now.

Two of these great components were in my Cousin Corp package and they are perfect for a chandelier type earring, but I was thinking of using one for a bracelet focal and one for a necklace focal piece.

AND, while I do love the silver tone, I feel fall approaching quickly and thought it would be fun to make some earth tone jewelry for the changing seasons.

I dug around in my craft drawer and found a cool copper paint pen. About 1 minute later, I had a cool new coppery component!

It's going to take another coat and a varnish of some kind, but I can't wait to make something new for fall!

What do you think?

Weekend Inspiration!

Here we go...weekend ho!

Lots of fun inspiration to start things off...How about jewelry made with t-shirts!

Carmi's Art/Life World 
Carmi is making jewelry this week with t-shirts cut up into yarn...which is TARN! Jewelry Making 
This month's jewelry designer interview showcases the work of the queen of resin.

Art Bead Scene 
September's Art Bead Scene challenge is a portrait full of floral beauty in rich autumn colors. Check out our blog and see how this painting from the 1500s inspires you!

Beading Arts 
Beading Arts takes a look at lampwork and glass fusing all this month!

Resin Crafts! 
You will not believe how stunning a little crumpled foil can look under resin!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
A completely fabulous book, Necklaceology, by Candie Cooper, all about necklaces of all styles and lengths is the subject of Jean's review today!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Crystal Up!

After yesterday's post about the heat-set crystazzi flat backs, I was thinking this cool swirly pendant could stand to be a tad more sparkly...maybe the crystazzi's would look great embellishing this pendant.

I'd love to get your thoughts...

I have clear and red flat backs. Maybe just the very inner ring or maybe just the outer ring should be crystazzi'd...

I will have to ponder this for a bit. Anyways, for now, enjoy the pendant which is still very cool in its original form. :)

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Unicorn Power!

I broke out the heating wand a few weeks ago when I had a project epiphany after discovering these Crystazzi heat-set flatback crystals.

It was one of those moments when all planets aligned and I got my chocolate in someone's peanut butter and a great project idea was born!  :)

This nice looking unicorn is actually a removable 3D foam cutout that came on a birthday card. AND, the best part is the circle in the middle. You press it and the unicorn turns into something of a cartoon character. It says four different things that are all as cute as cute can be.

I found a youtube video (of course) just in case you want to hear it. So, the epiphany was that this sweet unicorn didn't seem to match the voice and needed a little jazzing up.

How? With heat-set crystazzi flat backs of course! :) I don't have a pic to share of the finished product, but I'll get one soon. The unicorn is now called "Sparkle."

"Come prance with me...."

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Love the Trinkettes!

How cute are these Trinkettes beads?! They're a Cousin product and I've seen them at Joann's before, but never bought them for a project.

I'm SO glad to have been on the receiving end of Cousin's generosity recently! These were included in my giant box of goodies!

They are so perfect to use with the One Direction shrinky dink I posted yesterday. The colors are great and those flowers bring a little bit of childhood whimsy along with the heart charms, yay!

I love it when a plan comes together... (yes, I have TV show quotes in my head that just want to get out!) - Thanks to Maxwell Smart for that one!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Shrinky Dink Play Time

I had a chance to work on shrinky dinks this weekend, yay!

A friend had seen my Bohemian Rhapsody bracelet with lyrics from the song on a shrinky dink and said her daughter would love that.

Her eleven year old is currently taken by the "boy band" One Direction.

So, I had fun playing around a little and will be stringing this focal up on a cute one strand stretchy bracelet for her.

I made a couple more that I'll make into backpack tags or zipper pulls she can give to her friends. The topcoat is drying now, so I should be able to put it together tomorrow. If you are interested in shrinky dinks, here's a previous post with more info.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Glittery & Pink!

I love a giant package of beads, especially if they are glittery and pink!

These Cousin beads are good candidates for a single-color jewelry project because there are 75 of them on this package.

I don't usually just use one particular bead without mixing it up, but when you have quantity, it's sometimes fun to create interesting patterns or designs with them that are just as attention getting as multi color pieces.

These would be great twisted, braided or woven into a chunky choker or bracelet.

To the drawing board I go! Hope you are having a creative weekend so far! :)