Saturday, June 30, 2012

Studio Saturday: Humblebeads

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 weeks winner is GreyCatGlass. Congratulations! You have won an urchin bead from Heather Powers.  Send Heather an email with your address and she will get them right out to you.
Welcome back to the Humblebeads Studio.

Well today I'm feeling a little obessed with retro camping style thanks to seeing Moonrise Kingdom yesterday. Think of how many kids are introduced to beads during camp each year.  I did my share of stringing wooden beads on cord, braiding friendship bracelets and all manner of leather crafts during camp visits.

Suzy & Sam from Wes Anderson's new movie - Moonrise Kindgom 

I mean, just look at the color palette in this scene: green, khaki, orange, yellow, pink, teal and red.  I'm so loving the fun, playful and retro vibe and feel totally inspired.  I would love to create some camp-inspired charms from some of my sketches.

Or some jewelry using my woodland-inspired beads pictured above.  From acorns and squirrels, to birch log beads, to owls and mushroom charms I have plenty of woodland punch.  Now to add in a few camp themed charms, wood beads and cord and it's instant camp themed pendants - fun and funky for summer!

Pine Trees: OnionBagel. Binoculars: OverstockOutlet. Compass: IngredientsForLovely. Wood Beads: JuanitasCrafters.  Yellow Faceted Wood Beads: LikeBeads8.  Retro Painted Wood Beads: ByRobertaSupplies. Yellow Suede: Nature Beads.  Brown Leather Cord: SkullSupply. Blue Waxed Cotton Cord: Nature Beads.

This week's question: what book or movie has inspired a jewelry creation?  
Share a link with a photo if it's online - I'd love to see it!  
One lucky winner will snag a Birch Log bead shown in the first photo.

P.S. Use discount code HappyCamper for 10% off at from now until Monday, 7/2.  

Friday, June 29, 2012

June Monthly Blog Tour

Nighthawks is one of the most iconic images of the 20th century. The brightly lit interior glowing like a beacon on a dark night, the three diners who each seem very much alone even while sitting together so closely, and the strong linear lines and striking colors of rust, green, cream, brown and mustard yellow are so iconic. I love how Edward Hopper chose to focus on seemingly mundane scenes and how his art seems to tell a story. And the perspective of the wraparound window is very intriguing, making me want to know what is just around the corner.

The woman in the picture is missing something. So says Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry Garden and what she set out to create is the missing piece (above). She used a fresh summery palette that complements the painting so well. I can see the woman in the red sundress donning this on her way out on the town!

Angela Lund-Logan interpreted the scene with her Nighthawks earrings with wire criss-crossing like the paths of these characters intersecting at this street corner, and the vibrant green glass handmade beads echo the lines in the window. A very lovely design incoporating her own handmade enameled ear wires too!

Reading about the thought process of an artist is so interesting. The way you pull together the disparate elements littering your studio space that were waiting for just the right moment to shine is so darned cool! Bee Tree by m.e. always has amazing stories of her process. I love the way she balanced the masculine and the feminine in this necklace and how it really tells the story of the painting with every bead choice.

 These poppies look like they would rustle in the breeze and smell glorious! Miss Emma Todd of A Polymer Penchant (above) created these beauties as a piece for that beautiful woman in the red dress to wear on her "One Hot Date."

Tracy Stillman created earrings from the deep color palette of this painting. She gravitated to the dark colors of green throughout as well as the clever little embossed rectangles that catch the light and remind me of the windows looking in.

Ghie Malig of Trinket Tales is a new name to me on the Art Bead Scene. She crafted a very layered and meaningful cuff bracelet entirely by hand. I am always amazed at what can be made from polymer clay. You must check it out!

Kirsi from Finland tells us that when you are in love everything seems very black and white. She envisions that this ravishing beauty should be wearing a necklace like this featuring a lovely ceramic heart (above).

Miss Cece Cormier of The Beading Yogini created an intricate multistrand bracelet in honor of her sister using the color palette from Miss Brandi as a jumping off point. Astounding design!

Everything from the tops of the stools, the oblong shape of the building and even the long crooked nose of the patron are all represented in this beautiful necklace by Pam of KlassyJoolz. The color palette is rich and classy.

I am always excited to see what happens when someone tries their hand at making the beads and components they need to use for the challenge. That is exactly what Lynda Carson of Fresh Baked Designs did. She made a very beautiful faux cinnabar pendant and charm for the necklace and earrings that she envisions the lady in red should be wearing. If you want to see her process, she gives a great tutorial!

The negative space created by the wraparound window in the diner is so intriguing to me. Fulgorine took that concept and mixed it with another artist inspireation - Frida Kahlo - and a very moving and raw personal experience and created an inventive focal that gives you the same voyeuristic effect. It may seem that the open windows are empty but I hope that the fact that these seemingly lost souls have found one another in this diner gives me hope that the emptiness won't last for long.

Rocky of The Claying Mommy created an entire garden of polymer clay flowers in the palette of the inspiration painting. These rich and earthy blooms look like they would be right at home on the lady in red.


Thank you for taking the time to submit your designs to the Art Bead Scene. We so enjoy seeing what the jumping off point does for your creative sparks! Looking forward to next month!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

White Hot Summer Bead Theme

leaf pendant charm SHABBY wh...
wood buttons... set of 9 BIR...
WHITE - 4 x vintage style me...
Birch Logs Focal Bead
Bird in Cage and Branches Ha...
A Sparrow's Egg
Old Lace White - 16mm Patina...
Snow Bird bead Ceramic handm...
Two Brass Dragonfly Charms -...
assorted ivory white lace st...
Antique Dogwood Blossom Pend...
Natural undyed sari silk rib...
6 Feet White Glint Chain (WC...
Set of three chapped white h...
SWOOPING bird charm, shabby...
Calling All Angels Feather P...


Is it hot enough for you?  I love the look of crisp summer whites when the tempatures are soaring.  

I'm thinking fluffy dandelions, feathers, queen's anne lace, white picket fences, sheets on a clothes line, delicate bird eggs, flower petals, birch tree forests, pieces of aged lace and jars of white buttons.  All images from my childhood summers and now they are seeping into my summer jewelry designs. 

Here is a fun collection of pendants and beads in subtle shades of white and cream, pairing my art beads with some of my favorite Etsy picks.

I love the idea of adding in ribbon, lace or chain in shabby chic hues to bring in some texture to your designs.  Gather together pearls, light blue lace agate, quartz and white milk glass to create monochromatic pieces.   

When the temperatures rise, do you lighten up your jewelry styles?  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Coral Flower Adjustable Necklace - Free Project

This simple, casual cord necklace is perfect for easy, breezy Summer. It whips up quick with just a few knotted beads and a sliding knot at the back. The adjustable closure is a versatile feature and also makes the project inexpensive to make!

6 coral 8mm large-hole Swarovski pearls
14 gold size 6 seed beads
1 coral 30mm ceramic flower pendant
48" of dark brown 1mm waxed cotton cord


Finished size: adjustable

1: Cut 12" of cord and set aside.
2: Fold the longer cord in half and form a lark's head knot onto the pendant's loop.
3: Use one cord to string 3 seed beads; form an overhand knot. String 1 coral pearl; form an overhand knot. Repeat two more times. Repeat entire step for the other side of the necklace.
4: Use the 12" cord from step 1 to form a sliding adjustable knot. To create this knot, follow the step by step instructions from my previous tutorial found here.

Ceramic flower pendant: Suburban Girl Beads. Cotton cord: Macrame Super Store. Seed beads: Shipwreck Beads. Coral pearls: Fire Mountain Gems.

Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog, Erin Siegel Jewelry

Monday, June 25, 2012

Designer of the Week: Beading Yogini

 Each week the Art Bead Scene features a Designer of the Week. 
One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.
This week's featured designer is Cece Cormier from the Beading Yogini
Here is what ABS editor Heather Powers said about her design:
"Who could resist the wonderful cornucopia of of textures in Cece's macrame bracelet.  I love that she picked on of the color palette's as the jumping point for her design.  I like the mix of the fiber with the small seeds and chain, it offers a wonderful texture.  Her focal departs from this month's inspiration as her bracelet did double duty as a gift.  The front of the bracelet is a great cobmination of metal of glass flowers which is a nice play in contrast to the soft and flowing fiber section of the bracelet."
Just a few days left to enter our challenge, it's time to pull out those beads and see where this month's inspiration takes you!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Link Library with Melanie

 Hey, it's me!  In my booth at the Bead & Button Show, with the lovely Erin Siegel in the background.  I am showing this picture to point out my booth banner behind us on the background.  Booth banners are a great, inexpensive way to bring a little extra attention to your art fair or bead booth.  Heather wrote a post for Art Bead Scene about banners (along with some other great show tips).  
 Click here to read her post from our archives.

And here are some of the things that our beady friends are up to this week: 

A Bead A Day
If you are looking for an EASY hemp cord project, Lisa is sharing one that requires no special skills! Jewelry Making
Summer time means time to get organized for many of us jewelry designers. Read about how some of us get organize and consider sharing your own tips as well.

Art Bead Scene
Erin Siegel shares a free project using silk ribbons to highlight a handmade ceramic pendant

Beading Arts
Brass wire, lace fabric, beads, and buttons all combine in one fabulous mixed media necklace!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Resin, bezels and Christmas imagery! Is it too soon to start projects for December?

Resin Crafts!
This week Resin Crafts focused on the launch of new components by Nunn Design. If you review the week you'll also find an amazing give-a-way!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Katie Hacker's great new book, LiveWire Jewelry!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Studio Saturday - Humblebeads

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 weeks winner is Aileen Clarke CraftsCongratulations! You have won a pair of earrings from Rebecca Anderson.  Send Rebecca an email with your address and she will get them right out to you.
Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio today.
Last night I had a nightmare that summer was over and I hadn't spent one day enjoying it.  Hello subconscious - trying to tell me something!  I have been reading The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte and thinking about what I want my life to look like and how I can tweak my business so that I have more time to enjoy the things that feed my soul. 

Before I moved from Texas to Michigan there were certain things I missed about my Michigan summers and they would work their way into my beads.  Now that I am here I find that I need to slow down and enjoy them.  Like fireflies - you never saw them in Texas and now the fields around my house light up with these magical creatures.  I need to spend a few nights outside stargazing and enjoying those fireflies as things twinkle above our heads and around our feet instead of working away on beads and blogs into the wee hours of the night.

The second thing I love about summer are tiger lilies - my favorite flowers.  They grow like weeds around here.  They are along the highways, at the edge of forests and in all their glory in well pruned gardens.  Digging in the dirt and enjoying the farmer's markets are another thing on my summer bucket list.

And then there is the beach.  We live an hour away from Lake Michigan.  I love the feel of sand under my feet and the sound of the waves splashing the shore.  In fact, that is where I am the most happiest in the whole world.  

So what does this have to do with today's Studio Saturday?  I just want to remind you guys to enjoy those small moments while you are chasing your beady dreams.  Maybe for some of you beads are an escape from work and everyday stress.  But if you work in the world of beads or as a business owner of any kind, it can be hard to find the balance where you are enjoying your life while forging out a career.

I'm off today to enjoy the farmer's market, walk around the small tourist shops of my hometown and I will not head home until I watch the sunset on Lake Michigan.  Sometimes you just need to take a day for yourself.

How do you stop to smell the roses and find balance between work and family and doing things that feed your soul?  I'm all ears!  Leave a comment and we'll pick one commenter to win an urchin bead shown above.

You can find all sorts of summer-inspired beads in my Etsy shop today.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry Mash-Up

Today we are celebrating the release of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry co-written by Art Bead Scene contributor Erin Siegel.  Erin paired up with Lorelei Eurto to bring a book that focuses on adding fibers to jewelry designs in a fashion-forward boho style.   

If you haven't had a chance to check out the book you need to add this one to your shelf.  It's packed with 50 inspiring designs, many featuring art beads - which is always a plus around here!

The book definitely has me pulling out different fibers to add to my jewelry designs.  There are plenty of new techniques in the book that I know I will use again and again.  I have a collection of waxed linen, silk and leather piled up on my bead table with my copy of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry nearby for inspiration.  

I've particularly enjoyed working with the waxed linen and decided to do a mash-up of projects featured in the book.  I love the look of Erin's "In the Garden" necklace combining great focal with knotted beads and complimented with a silk ribbon.  But I wanted to use a focal with two holes and combined the use of linen in Erin's "Indigo Forest" project. I love how Erin used the linen in a contrasting color as a design element and pulled out a lovely sage green to use in my necklace.
So I combined the two techniques with a mix of stones, glass and resin beads with one of my new pendants.  I finished off my design with large brass rings and hand-dyed sari silk ribbon.  I love that with just a few changes you can create a completely new necklace.  The book offers so many jumping off points - interesting combinations of materials, new techniques and great color combinations.  You could spend all summer with this book as your inspiration and never run out of ideas to mash-up into your own creations!

You can find the Blue Bloom pendant at Humblebeads and a great source for waxed linen is White Clover Kiln.

Congratulations to Erin and Lorelei for creating a book that will have the bead world buzzing this summer!

You need to run over to Beading Daily today to check out the rest of the party that's happening this weekend, there are blogs to hop, inspiration to soak in and a contest too! 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Lady in Red Bead Theme

When I look at Edward Hopper's Night Hawks I am immediately drawn to the lady in red.  She has me wondering what kind of jewelry is tucked away in her jewelry box and that had me heading to Morning Glory's website to look at some vintage jewelry from the 1940s.  

Some things that caught my eye while searching through the articles and jewelry archives were:
  • Enamel brooches in floral and bird themes
  • pearls
  • beaded beads
  • bakelite
  • jade
  • cinnabar
  • filigree
  • beaded chain
  • chain with textured bars
  • tassels
  • monochromatic designs
I whipped up a treasury with some a mix of modern art beads and vintage findings that would fit this month's theme.  Check it out here.

So if you have been stumped with this month's challenge painting, create something for our lady in red to wear!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Colors Of Summer

I am admittedly a girl about fall, but am in love with the colors of summer! The bloom of a sunflower. Ocean side on a melty day. A few inspirations for the upcoming season of warmth and play...

FiberWire from Ktotten

Love Birds by LavaGifts

Flower buttons from MamacitaBeadworks

Red and orange lampwork from ahouston

Flower disks from CapturedMoments 

Painted rocks from PlymouthRocks

Fish pendant from singingcatstudio

Wooden flower tile from JLynnJewels

What inspire your summer designs?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

In A Tree Necklace - Free Project

In a Tree
Erin Siegel

Here's an easy way to use silk ribbons to highlight a handmade pendant. The texture of the silk fibers add interest to this monochromatic necklace and draw the eye to the focal piece.
48 green aventurine 6mm rounds
2 antique copper fold-over cord ends
2 antique copper 2mm crimp tubes
2 antique copper 4mm jump rings
1 antique copper 6mm jump ring
1 antique copper 19x15mm toggle clasp
1 antique copper 15x19mm leaf charm
1 green 36mm “bird on a branch” two-hole porcelain pendant
5” of emerald green ¾” dupioni silk ribbon
5” of light sage 2mm silk cord
6” of antiqued copper 20 gauge wire
18” of copper .019 beading wire

Pair of chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Crimping pliers

Finished size: 18 ¼”

1: Use the 20 gauge wire to form a double wrapped bail that attaches to the top hole in the pendant. Use the 6mm jump ring to attach the leaf charm to the bottom hole of the pendant. Set aside.
2: Lay the 2mm silk cord on top of the dupioni silk. *Place the two ribbons inside 1 cord end and close.* Use both ribbons to to string the pendant’s bail to the middle of the ribbon section. Repeat from *to*. Fray the edges of the dupioni silk.
3: Use the beading wire to string 1 crimp tube and the loop of 1 cord end. Pass back through the tube and crimp. String all the green aventurines, 1 crimp tube and one half of the clasp. Pass back through the tube and crimp.
4: Link the two 4mm jump rings together. Attach one to the free cord end and 1 to the other half of the clasp.

Ceramic pendant:Round Rabbit Extra, Dupioni silk and cord ends:, 2mm silk: Marsha Neal Studio, leaf charm:, All other materials: Fire Mountain Gems.

Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog, Erin Siegel Jewelry

Monday, June 18, 2012

Featured Designer of the Week - Fulgorine

Each week the Art Bead Scene features a Designer of the Week. 
One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.
This week's featured designer is.....Fulgorine
Here is what ABS editor Rebecca Anderson said about her design:

"I love the modern aesthetic that Cate has brought to both the focal bead and the necklace itself, mirroring the cool night atmosphere in the painting. The negative space in the focal bead not only echoes the architecture in Nighthawks, but also creates wonderful shadow effects similar to those atmospheric ones within Hopper's painting itself."

Check out more of Cate's work on her blog.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Link Library with Melanie

   In this post from the archives, Heather gives some tips on pricing your artwork and offers a link to a free E-Book on pricing for artist by Brandi Hussey

Here is what some of our beady friends are up to this week:

A Bead A Day
Do you find yourself taken by certain beads or techniques for periods of time? Well, head on over to A Bead A Day to share your experience of "Bead Love"! Jewelry Making
Leslie Rogalski is the featured jewelry designer for June. Stop by and read her wonderful interview.

Art Bead Scene
Try adding some fiber fun to your jewelry-making this Summer season! You can set off a handmade bead or component with soft materials, like in this necklace tutorial by Erin Siegel.

Beading Arts
Mixed Media Jewelry month gets off to a rousing good start on Beading Arts with a tutorial that includes buttons, beads, fabric, lace, and wire!

Resin Crafts!
Resin Crafts has a great demo featuring polymer clay!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes an appearance in not one but two new Kalmbach books of BeadStyle jewelry designs!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.