Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Beadmaker Interview Julie Picarello, Yellow House Designs

What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Julie Picarello :: Yellow House Designs :: El Dorado, California

What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use?
What is your favorite beadmaking technique?

I design focal art beads in polymer clay, using a loose adaptation of the Japanese ‘Mokume Gane’ metalworking technique. One of my favorite parts of the process is developing custom color palettes for each series of beads. I also love to find unique metal accents for the clay – vintage watch parts, snaps, model railroad parts, metal washers etc., and incorporating them in fun ways.

How did you get into beadmaking?
What are some of the important things you do for your business?

It’s funny – I’m not much of a jewelry wearer myself, but I’ve always loved the look of unusual, funky, hip jewelry…just on other people, LOL! I love the fact that the pieces I design are truly OOAK (one of a kind)– I can’t duplicate an exact piece even if I try, and to me, that makes every single bead and piece of jewelry special.

What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio?
What is a typical day like?

I turned my breakfast nook into my studio…I love it as it has a door onto the deck and big bay windows, so I can see the oak trees and the sky as I work. I don’t have a fixed schedule, but I’m usually in there before eating breakfast!

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

Hmmm…I think the better question may be how to keep from being over-motivated! Everything I see is food for inspiration…the colors, the shape, the material. I keep an eye on the ground for beat up pieces of metal and I’m constantly sketching new design ideas. The problem is finding the time to actually do everything I dream up!

What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment
your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?

I love the contrast of polymer beads in elegant, sophisticated color palettes paired with metal & found objects, trade beads, bone & wood. I also enjoy incorporating vintage chain and wire-wrap accents to create neckpieces and earrings.

What beady plans do you have for the future?
Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

Writing…magazine articles and maybe a book. I’ve been promising to do this for the past two years! I’m also giving a lot more workshops this coming year, which I absolutely love. Teaching people how to create beautiful polymer beads is almost as enjoyable as creating them myself.

If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers,
please list it here, including the expiration date:

I usually have a hard time keeping inventory on my website, but I take special orders if people want specific color schemes and/or bead shapes that they don’t see in the shop. Be sure to mention the code “artbead” for a 20% discount through May 31, 2008.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bead Scoop - Glass Disks

A bead I need way more of: Wavy Spirals from Serena's Beadery!

I was gifted with a few of these from FabFibers while on the Bead Cruise last year. So when I was designing my class project for the next Bead Cruise, this one was just begging to be included. It's makes the bracelet and now I must have more!
Serena offers more colors than you can shake a beaded stick at and the price is great, ranging from $8 - $15 for a set of 10!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - Lorelei Eurto

AprABS Youthful Spirit
Originally uploaded by Lorelei1141
Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors will pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

Melanie of Earthenwood Studio picked Lorelei's nest necklace noting, "I love the way this necklace reflects the first inklings of spring..the grey and dark branches left from winter, with little signs of life and color just peeking up. The pearl "eggs" in the nest cage, the beautiful bird, the is all well conceptualized and gorgeous!"

Our theme for April is Youthful Spirit and Lorelei's necklace sings of the youthful renewal of the season.

To see more of Lorelei's jewelry visit her etsy shop and blog.

Want to be next week's featured designer? Take a moment to enter April's monthly challenge!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Animals Loose in the ABS Neighborhood! this week's episode, there are animals loose in the Art Bead Scene neighborhood! Where did they come from? Can you see what kind of animals they are? Why, they're alpacas and armadillos!

They can only belong to one person on the cul-de-sac.... that crazy purple lovin' ABS Neighbor, Tari of Clay Buttons! Well, the ABS Neighbors knew crazy Ms. Clay Buttons loved color but animals too?!?. What are the ABS neighbors to do?

While the ABS Neighbors figure out how to corral crazy Clay Button's armadillo - let's see what else is going on with the Creative Bloggers on Hysteria Lane.... Jewelry Making
Are your wire loops perfect? Why not? What the heck is wrong with you!?

Art Bead Scene
Economy Gone Bad? Read ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone's series Beading on a Budget to keep you beading in style!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie's Studio Tour continues with a look at the skeletons in her craft closet, and in a new magazine!

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi has been working on her wire skills, and she's collected her favorite sites for learning the basics!

Katie's Beading Blog
Katie presents an easy wedding jewelry set this week. Check it out!

Make It Mine Magazine
Spread the word: Make It Mine's on MySpace.

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen has a fun DIY project showing you how to make a Tom Binns style No Time Watch in no time at all.

Contest! Contest! Keep Robin busy while she recovers from her knee surgery and send Bandanna Technique Cards-You may win a full set of Ranger's new Adirondack(r) Pigment Ink Stamp Pads and Re-inkers! Bandanna on, Sister (or Brother)!

Savvy Crafter
Candie shares a project for Ornament Thursday that she crafted with her mom.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean explains why she is so proud of her wabi sabi compliment (concerning a ring she made) by the great Eni Oken, wire worker extraordinaire

The Impatient Blogger
Madge takes matters in her own hands and collages an imperfect and quirky new bio photo. Just because.

That's As The Bead Turns for today.
Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Did you remember to stop by yesterday and read Studio Saturdays?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Studio Saturday- Finding Serenity

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.This week's winner is Beadbabe49, who has won a teal bird bead from Heather Powers. Please use the suggestion box on the sidebar to send us your address.

Serenity, Definition:
1. a disposition free from stress or emotion
2. the absence of mental stress or anxiety

Also, from Wikipedia, :
Serenity (film) is a 2005 space western film written and directed by Joss Whedon. It follows on from the canceled Fox science fiction television series Firefly, taking place about two months after the events of the final episode.[1] Set 510 years in the future, Serenity is the story of the captain and crew of a transport and cargo ship. The captain and first mate are veterans of the Unification War, having fought on the losing side. Their lives of petty crime are interrupted by a psychic passenger who harbors a dangerous secret.

It is spring crunch time here at Earthenwood Studio. It is easy right now to become overwhelmed. I have many orders to fill, projects and articles with deadlines looming, and the added stress of preparing for the Bead & Button show in just over a month. Suffice to say, *serenity* is in short commodity here.

Serenity as defined in the first definition shown above, that is. But the second definition, about the film Serenity, is very abundant in the studio. You see, a few months ago, I was commissioned to create some pendants to be used as fundraising. The group commissioning them is active in the Serenity film fan conventions, called Shindigs. These Shindigs, like the Raleigh NC one, sound like a fun way for fans together and enjoy one of their favorite shows/movies. But they also work to raise money for a great charity helping women all over the world called Equality Now

So when I learned about this event a few months ago, I was excited to be a part of it. And now is production time, as the groups are getting ready for their upcoming Shindigs. And even though it is one of my busiest times of the year, knowing that my work is going towards a great event and cause like grants me much personal serenity.

My question to you is this: what brings you serenity? For me it is working on worthwhile projects that help others and quiet moments spending time in nature, where I can catch a breath. Leave your answer in the comments section and next Saturday, one winner will be chosen. The prize is a serenity medallion pendant of your own.

And as a blog bonus, stop by the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles later today for some budget saving ideas for making simple yet high quality finished jewelry for fundraising events, like the pieces shown above...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Connecting - Social Networking for Jewelry Designers

I have been wandering into the world of social networking and loving it! I thought I'd share some tips and links with you today about connecting with the creative community through a variety of websites.

First, why should you? Well, if you don't own a business then the answer is just for fun. You'll find social networking a great source of inspiration and an entertaining way of getting to know more about your favorite designers and meeting up with other crafters.

Open Hand Button by Creative Impressions in Clay

If you do own a business, of any kind, social networking is a great way to connect with potential clients and to stay on top of news from your peers. For myself, when I'm shopping for handmade items, one of the things I love is going to arts & crafts fairs and meeting the artist. Online you can "meet" the creative forces behind the designs. You can read about their inspirations, follow along with interesting links and in general get to see a peek into their creative process. (hint: if you are the creative one these are all great things to include in your profiles) Through social networking sites you can offer your customers the experience of getting to know the artist and learn the stories behind the work.
Glass Links by Cindy Gimbrone
For the small business owner here are a few tips for using these sites to your advantage:
1. Include contact information and photos to let people know what you do, this includes adding your website and blog.
2. After you set up your account, spend just a few minutes a day adding new friends or joining groups.
3. Content, content, content. Update your profiles with relevant content about your business. Avoid TMI (too much information) we generally don't want to hear that you are doing laundry or the status of your cold symptoms.
4. Be warned! You can waste a lot of time in social networking sites. Stay focused on connecting with people, commenting on their profiles and photos is more meaningful than sending virtual gifts. If you join a group, try to participate at least once a week.
5. Don't come on too strong. If you are selling stuff, just be yourself and share instead of trying to sell aggressively. You are networking, connecting with others.
Alchemical Adornment Pendant by Earthenwood Studio
So what networking sites are there? Jennifer Perkins did a great blog post a few weeks ago on the different sites you can join up with and a quick review of each.

True Blue Heart Pendant by Humblebeads

I have found that I really love facebook. It's easy to navigate and there is a fun community there. I've been able to meet up with old friends and make new ones. I have a myspace account and update it weekly, facebook I log in every day. What I really love is that it's a great place to funnel all of the different online activities that I'm involved in. I have the art bead scene blog automatically updated there, my flickr photos are sent there whenever I upload new photos. My etsy shop is featured. I can quickly add links to share with my creative buddies. I like following along with the status and seeing what's new with those in my network.
Now if you create a facebook account, it is boring. Plain vanilla. But it's easy to customize and in just a little bit you can add as little or as much information about your business and yourself as you want. Applications are the "flair" of facebook. These are little programs you can add, some automate updates for you, others are just for fun.
Here is a facebook primer from Mari Smith. It's a pdf and will help you get started on facebook.
And so that you don't feel lonely, you can join the Art Bead Scene Fan Club. Art Bead friends to add are me, Melanie and Cindy. You can also find notables such as Rings & Things, The Impatient Beader, Naughty Secretary Club and Beverly Herman.
The last thing I'll mention is Twitter. It's micro-blogging in 140 words or less. I click on almost every crafty, interesting sounding link that gets posted. If you blog and sell from etsy or your website, join twitter. I will follow you if you follow me. I uploaded the twitter application to my facebook page and the two can work together. Every time you update your twitter account, your facebook status is automatically updated. You can twitter on your cell phone or on your computer. Crafty folks to follow: me, Cindy, Margot Potter, Tammy Powley, Jennifer Perkins, Crafty Chica, Rings & Things, Soft Flex, Craft Magazine, and Etsy Storque.
Join us tomorrow for another Studio Saturday with Melanie. You still have one day to enter to win one of my bird beads, just share a comment on procrastination.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Mother's Day Corsage

Moms should be showered with flowers of all kinds.
This one is a needle-felted, art bead, bead embroidered variation.

felted flower (see below for instruction links)
wafer bead (humblebeads)
12mm bali spacer bead
1 pearl
various seed beads
nymo thread in coordinating colors
beading needle

1. Layer the two flower sections together. Thread the needle, tie a knot at the end and bring it up through the middle of the two flower layers.

2. Thread the wafer bead, spacer, pearl and seed bead through the needle and push them down snugly in the middle of the flower. Go back through the pearl, spacer, wafer and flowers with the needle. Repeat this step to make the beads more secure.

3. Bead embroider a row of seed beads around the art beads. Sew on beads in a random pattern around the edges of the flower.

4. Sew a pin back unto the back of the flower.

Felted Flower Directions:
One style by Carol Cypher
A wonderfully organic flower from Fibrespace

To see more Ornament Thursday projects visit these participating blogs:

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fit to Print Review - Semiprecious Salvage

I picked up Semiprecious Salvage by Stephanie Lee a few weeks ago and have been pouring over it, dreaming of working on some of the projects. Now, I'm not one to follow a pattern or project exactly, so this book which is filled with tutorials for techniques, is exactly what I love to read. What kind of projects? Altered art meets jewelry: etching on metal (I've wanted to try this forever), metalsmithing techniques, lots of new ways to use solder and copper tape, casting elements in plaster using vintage elements, along with some innovative jewelry construction techniques. Everything is explained in simple, low-tech terms with materials that are easily found. Filled with great step-by-step photos and inspiring photography, the images will set your creative muse to work.

There is a fun narrative for each project, as if they were unearthed from an archaeological dig. We all love jewelry with a story. Lee shows us how to create a sense of history with the projects in her book. The projects are really a jumping point for our own creativity, which is why I love this book! There are ample opportunities to sneak in your favorite art beads, any place a larger bead is used you can substitute for your favorite artist's creations. Tell your story through your jewelry creations, Semiprecious Salvage shows you ways to create ancient looking jewelry with an instant history. The more you can personalize the projects, the more they will become your story.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Art Bead Scene Book Store

Visit the Art Bead Scene book store! I've added in my favorite bead books and magazines along with resources for the small business owner. I hope you find the selections helpful!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - Kelly Angeley

If I Had Wings detail
Originally uploaded by beadologist
Each Monday we will feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors will pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

My favorite from this month's entries so far is Kelly Angeley's If I Had Wings Necklace. I love how she combined the herringbone lariat with 2 long slender art beads. The fringe is such a fun mix of colors and shapes that pull all of the elements of the necklace together. I also like the combination of the earthy colors with the bright yellow, it reminds me of daffodils poking through the barren ground at the beginning of spring. It's a wonderful interpretation of our theme this month, Youthful Spirit.

To see more of Kelly's jewelry visit her website or flickr album.

Want to be next week's featured designer? Take a moment to enter April's Monthly Challenge.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Angry Neighbors Gossip on As The Bead Turns! this week's episode, The Art Bead Scene neighbors have been congregating at Heather Powers Humblebeads Studio gossiping about the Desperate ABS Editor and frankly sounding like a bunch of Humblebeads birds.

"Who does she think she is, writing about Jennifer Jangles like that?!?" said one of the ABS neighbors.

"Could you believe what she said about me and the Pea Pod babies?!!" huffed Melanie of Earthenwood.

It seems the ABS Neighbors are none too happy with the Desperate ABS Editor. Who is she? Within the next couple of weeks, we'll learn more about the Desperate ABS Editor but in the meantime let's see what else is going on with the Creative Bloggers on Hysteria Lane.... Jewelry Making
Catch up on some jewelry product reviews and sign up for the Jewelry Making bi-weekly newsletter.

Art Bead Scene
Step into the world of faux-tiques and impossible objects. It isn't Alice in Wonderland, it's the world of Lynn Davis!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie offers a rare glimpse into an even rarer sight: her clean beading studio!

Jewelry & Beading
Need a new idea for bead embroidery? "Treasure Chest" will have you running for your stash!

Katie's Beading Blog
Make these Butterfly Bliss earrings in an evening (okay, so they're really moths...)

Make It Mine Magazine
New online content: shrink art videos and a downloadable pendant project

Naughty Secretary Club
The king of the chain gang, Justin Giunta’s Subversive Jewelry comes to a Target near you.

What a Hoot! Check out the artfully individual Owls of Massaustraliranger. HUH?!

Savvy Crafter
It's a Pearl! Click over to Candie's blog to see where pearls come from and a pair of earrings!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
My cool bracelet which I made with wonderful components by Green Girl Studios!

The Impatient Blogger
Madge is off to Japan for a designer exchange between the CHA and the HAJ! Check out this e-newsletter excerpt for the 411.

That's As The Bead Turns for today.
Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Did you remember to stop by yesterday and read Studio Saturdays?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Studio Saturday - Procrastination & Productivity

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free bead each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This week's winner is Linda Starr. Linda has won a set of Modern Glass Links in Bronze from Cindy Gimbrone. Please use the suggestion box to send us your address.

It's been an intense week of deadlines. Orders, finishing illustrating my first picture book and getting submissions together for upcoming magazine deadlines. Amidst all this creativity is this pile of beads on my desk, just waiting. I find there is nothing like a looming deadline to bring out the procrastinator/creator in me. I end up working on a flurry of side projects while working away on the big project. I need to, it's a stress reliever. I used to beat myself up about not staying on task, now I just schedule in the extra time for quick creative excursions. Of course, there is still the late night sessions to get things done on time. I seem to always work up until that deadline, no matter how far ahead I plan. The bead project above is my treat for finishing the book. As soon as I'm done I am going to make the most spectacular necklace!

So what games do you play to meet deadlines or to get projects finished? Do you participate in contests to challenge yourself to get something done? Do you treat yourself if you reach a milestone in a project? Do you splurge on something when you meet a deadline? What are your procrastination busters?

And speaking of treats, I have a little teal bird for one lucky person. All you have to do is leave a comment here to be entered in the drawing! But don't procrastinate, you only have a week to enter!

Ms. Bead It All's Studio Tour

Dear Ms. Bead It All,

How do you keep your beading business organized? I am a mess!

please help!

Miss Disorganized

Well, Miss Diss... Ms Bead It All is *always* perfectly organized and properly clean in her workspace. Cleanliness is next to godliness, don't they say? I will show you how it is done, the Ms. Bead It All way. Above, a picture perfect view of my beading desk, with lots of organizing drawers and compartmented boxes for beads. The sets of drawers under the table roll out, and can be used for extra table space, to put open bead boxes and trays onto while working. I organize my beads by material, and then color: seed beads all in one area, Austrian crystals in several boxes sorted by color, brass/silver/pewter in their own boxes. I try to keep many modular containers so I can pull them out as I need them. I also like to use lunch trays that I bought at a restaurant supply place (I have dozens of them)...they are inexpensive so I can have lots of them, each for a different project, and when not in use, they stack up. Handy true light flip light in the center of the table is mandatory, as well as the tunes and the little trash bowl on the table, to catch those little cord ends and empty bags and other bead trash (a tip learned from Rachel Ray in her cooking shows)
On the other side of this room, which was once a dining room (who needs to sit and eat when they can bead?) there is another important part of the business, the shipping area. This space gets used daily, and has folders to organize the business paperwork and receipts, drawers with packing materials for shipping. The trays on the left side are for organizing customer bead orders. Shipping can be a real chore, but it is easier when everything is at hand in a space like this. See more of the Studio Tour over on the Earthenwood Studio Chronicles blog, including the beadmaking spaces, as I continue taking pictures as I do my spring cleaning (oops, I mean as I casually document my studio in its totally unstaged, natural working state *wink*).

WAIT! What are you doing? OOPS! Don't open that drawer! No! My secret is out! The telltale sign of how things REALLY are when not staged for a photo opportunity...the shameful beadjunk stash. *sigh* oh well, I guess nobody is perfect, not even Ms. Bead It All!

Ms. Bead-It-All is the sassy alter ego of Melanie Brooks Lukacs, who is the ceramic beadmaker of Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I Heart Magical Tools

Do you use beading wire? I do and I never cared for the look of the crimps. Soft-Flex has saved my crimps with their Magical Crimping Pliers. The Magical Crimping Pliers will turn the tube crimp into a lovely rounded bead shape. If you're new to using the tool, Soft Flex is there to help with a tutorial on how to use the magical crimping pliers.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Beadmaker Interview-Lynn Davis

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
My personal name is Lynn Davis, and my Etsy shop also uses that, I'm a native Texan living in the midwest almost ten years, at the moment in Saint Louis, Missouri. Lots of artists and hot glass creators in this town, it's all very encouraging. The blog is at - the 'z' in front comes from an accidental typo years ago on some junk mail, and suddenly getting mail for ZLLYYNN, which I thought was fun and decided to use. Currently have the art bead Etsy shop, it's the newest one at, and the finished jewelry is at I originally had both in the same location but found it was difficult to keep them together. I try to be a consistent blog writer, adding photos and new resources almost every day. I take pictures of the process and focus on studio safety, having heard too many artists say that they wish they had used more safe and healthy practices in their creative activities.

2. What kind of jewelry do you make? What types of materials do you prefer? what kinds of art beads do you use?
I like making jewelry that seems to have a hidden story, a sense of history and mystery to it. I am learning to use any materials needed for the piece, including metal, wire, fused glass, etched and beveled glass, sheet metal and polymer clay. I use different materials to make the parts, I don't try to make polymer clay look like glass and use glass instead. This has made me a student in the school of trial and error, not having a formal education in any of these. I recently got a small torch and am learning how to work with fine silver, and occasionally I use precious metal clay to make charms and components.
I think of my jewelry as faux-tiques or replicas and invented impossible objects. I use beads that come from molds I've created in polymer clay, carved or made off actual vintage items. No doorknob or faceplate is safe from my mold making materials! Travel is great by introducing new images and styles and helping the faux artifacts to have that sense of actual history. When possible I track down actual vintage pieces and purchase them, not to disassemble and re-purpose, but to act as inspiration and authentication for my creations.
I've started to collect interesting bits of metal from cans, boxes and packaging to explore using as found objects in the jewelry and making domed beads or settings with them. Some of the imagery on packaging is very visually interesting.

3. How did you get into jewelry design? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I love wearing jewelry, especially unusual and one of a kind pieces, and when I started out it was more difficult to find the vintage and faux vintage findings and pieces to use, so I started making my own pieces to wear. I make each piece, whether bead, component or finished jewelry, as if I were going to wear it myself, so the feeling and style of the pieces reflect my taste. I don't try to follow trends or other artists' successes although it's impossible to work in a vaccuum so other artists do influence me. I read a lot of books, especially those set in other times and places, to give my mind something to work with in creating, as I believe the inventor in all of use needs a spark to get started.

4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?
I moved into a house here in Saint Louis and have two studios. The reason is that some work needs lots of natural light and is clean and needs to stay pristine, and some activities are messy, create fumes and shards, and need a spot away from the main living area to vent, hose down messes and keep away from food preparation and eating. Studio A is upstairs with natural light, where the assembly, photography and computer work is done. It's large and airy with a big closet for storing the bead supplies, buffer and jewelry tools. Studio B is in the basement away from the living areas, with large sink and tools dedicated to jewelry making. No food or drink comes into Studio B, because of the flux, patina chemicals, glass cutting areas and other things that shouldn't be eaten or drunk. Jewelry and beadmaking is messy, that comes as no surprise I'm sure. All the hot tools (dedicated polymer clay oven, butane torch, soldering iron, kiln) are in Studio B. There are vents and fans in the windows to remove the fumes, and a fire extinguisher that has never been needed but is always handy.
I'm very lucky to have two spaces that can have work in progress available and set up all the time, because I grab moments when I can to do little bits at a time. On the weekends I do the parts that take a long time, like setting up the glass for fusing, so I can kick off a kiln load in the evening, or get up an hour early and make some wire work before I leave for the day.

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?
I don't make the jewelry full time, so every piece is very special to me. I carry a 3x5 card spiral bound notebook with me to catch fleeting ideas, or make notes. When a new piece of glass comes out of the kiln, I carry it in my pocket and look at it for a couple of days to get a sense of what it will become. The fun thing about jewelry is you can always have a do-over, if something doesn't quite look the way it should it can be taken apart and the units made over into something new. Cut the glass and bevel, fuse again and make a new piece.
I get bead and finding catalogs and look through them to let the shapes, colors and styles inspire me. I know it's not possible for me to cast my own brass (although I've considered casting pewter) so I let the images become part of my visual vocabulary and later influence my work. When I'm creating, I try to stay open to anything that happens and not consider anything a success or failure because too many times I have gone back to a component with fresh eyes and seen a different aspect of it.
Movies can be very inspiring, especially period pieces where the jewelry and costumes are from an earlier age or a different geographical location. Science fiction shows also have interesting textures and images in the sets and costumes. Just being open to images as they present themselves.
The motivation comes from the fact that if I'm not creating, I'm incomplete in some ways. When I first moved to Saint Louis all my art supplies were packed in storage for six months and I found myself drawing with pencil and paper just to have an outlet. Creating and inventing is automatic to me, I've always done some kind of creative work. Narrowing down to jewelry was the difficult part, I also enjoy making handmade books, spinning, dyeing and knitting yarn, and fabric dye and surface design. I also do collages, and use the paper images to make my handmade shipping boxes.

6. What kinds of art beads do you look for? Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?
I love glass lampwork beads, and because of my own torch fears I have not gone toward making glass lampwork beads. There are vintage cast glass beads, very time consuming and highly detailed, that I wish were being made today but they would be difficult to replicate today. Cast pewter beads amaze me, especially those with high levels of detail or words and phrases cast into them. Artists are doing amazing things with polymer clay, lots of color and very contemporary images and textures.

7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?
I like to develop new techniques and do the testing and research/development to get the materials to respond to my needs, at the moment I'm working with glass and enamels, to find ways to fuse them together to get the vintage glass looks I want. I'm experimenting with using my bevel grinder to turn the fused glass pieces into gem-like faceted glass, both clear and colored glass. I'm testing ways to combine my printmaking and fabric surface design techniques for mark-making into polymer clay and glass to create unique focal components. The article in the Spring 2008 Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine was on using molds with polymer clay to make distinctive pieces and how to antique and patina them. In the Summer 2008 Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine the next article is on image transfers and using translucent polymer clay to create highly glossy finished items that look like enameled copper.
I'm excited about getting the etching solution to use on copper and creating some metal designs with vintage images and lettering on them. I have this idea about making faux scientific instruments like astrolabes and compasses with moving parts and metal connections, that look like artifacts or machine age implements.

8. If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers, please list it here, including the expiration date:
ARTBEAD-4-16-2008 for free shipping and 10% off purchases in either Etsy site for beads or finished jewelry - Expires 5-1-2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Beady Back Track - Beads on a Budget

Last week I posted on the budget friendly chains from Blue Moon Beads.

Cindy Gimbrone did a whole series of posts on beading on a budget last week. You can see the instructions combining inexpensive craft store components to showoff her spiral art beads. I love the tips she included when shopping for glass beads, be sure to read the whole series.

Today I posted a free project on my blog for a $15 art bead bracelet! Yes, that was the total cost. So you may be watching your money a little more closely these days, but your creativity and style doesn't have to suffer!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Feature Designer of the Week - Nicole Little

Egg Splat and Toast
Originally uploaded by
Each Monday we will feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors will pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

Cindy Gimbrone chose Nicole Little's Egg Splat and Toast Necklace noting, "It's an art pendant with a sense of the absurd. It's quirky and perfectly executed. It's jewelry that makes me smile when I see it. Nicely done!"

Our theme for April is Youthful Spirit and Nicole's necklace has that hip irrelevance of the young at heart!

To see more of Nicole's jewelry and ceramics visit her etsy shop or flickr album.

Want to be next week's featured designer? Take a moment to enter April's monthly challenge!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

One Too Many Margaritas on As The Bead Turns! this week's episode, The Art Bead Scene neighbors have seen Jennifer of Jangles with one too many Martinis and Margaritas in her studio!! Has writing the first book on ceramic beadmaking put Jennifer over the edge? The Desperate Editors of Art Bead Scene don't know but are wondering what else is going on with the Creative Bloggers on Hysteria Lane. Let's nose around the neighborhood and see what's going on..... Jewelry Making
With the cost of metals on the rise, many jewery makers are turning to copper. Here are some copper connections for you.

Art Bead Scene
Free Project at ABS!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie digs in deep and picks at the heart and bones of her creative process.

Jennifer Jangles Blog
Jennifer shows a sneak peek of a project from her new book, Ceramic Bead Jewelry, due out June 3rd.

Jewelry & Beading
What do cherry donuts have to do with jewelry? Come find out ;-)

Katie's Beading Blog
Look what happens when spring fever meets beads! A colorful necklace is born.

Make It Mine Magazine
A challenge: transform something unpurselike into a purse

Naughty Secretary Club
Bead Simple: Essential Techniques for Making Jewelry Just the Way You Want It - A book report by Jen.

Robin reports on her fun trip to Absolutely Everything and her "Kate's Neighborhood" Creation!

Savvy Crafter
Hey Everybody, it's a wrap! Candie shows some finished pendants from the wire wrapping workshop.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean interviewed Melanie Brooks Lukacs for Jean's book, Links, as Melanie is a terrific ceramic artist!

The Impatient Blogger
What's your Googleability Factor? Madge coins a new phrase and discovers that she's quite Googleable. Help her select a new promo photo too!

That's As The Bead Turns for today.
Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Did you remember to stop by yesterday and read Studio Saturdays?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Modern Art and Textiles Inspire Studio Saturday

Welcome to Studio Saturday! What is Studio Saturday? Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free bead each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This weeks winner is Alexa. Alexa has won Tari's Triple Dot Beads on a Steel Choker. Please use the suggestion box to send us your address.

Good morning! Welcome to my studio! Saturday morning is a good day to stand over my torch while I melt glass....

In the last few months, I've been exploring modern art as the inspiration for a different series of beads. The Modern Glass Links are the result of exploring Modern Art but it doesn't stop there. I want to create an entire series. When I create beads, I envision them serving as a talisman for people, to represent emotions...all those things that can't be seen. Modern art seeks to represent emotions, themes and abstractions so it's a perfect fit. Some of the best examples of Modern Art and Design is in textiles. One of the designers I'm drawn to is Alexander Girard.

After pouring over several modern textile books, it sparked an idea. I envisioned a Modern Art Bird using the bold outlines and start color contrasts characteristic of modern textiles.

I have a sketchbook but I don't draw well so I don't usually draw out bead designs. I say usually because once in awhile I will draw a design. I draw to figure out the basics of placement of design and sculptural elements.

Normally, I don't show anyone my sketchbook but since it's only us ABS readers today, here's a rare look:

From a sketch, I'll go to the torch, set out glass rods in a color palate and make a prototype. Lately, I've favored a bronze colored glass that has reflections of violet and purple. So the color palate for the Modern Bird uses bronze, black and violet.

The first prototype is rarely the final design. I'll tweak it before it goes on my website. I don't like to show it before then, but today is Studio Saturday. All readers get to see inside my studio...

I made "eye" beads in bronze and black and violet accent beads to complement the Modern Bird.

I'm not completely satisfied with the translation from sketch to prototype. I need to tweak it and make another prototype. Maybe change the color palate or add another layer of glass in the circles....lots of little details to think about and tweak. While I'm doing that, I'll be checking my research on Modern Art and Design to make sure revisions stay true to the style that inspired Modern Bird.

Now that I've shown you what inspires me, here's today's question:

What inspires you?

Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a pair of Modern Glass Links in Bronze. I look forward to reading what inspires you!