Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Monthly Blog Tour

What a lot of inspiration this month! Not only were we treated to a beautiful Picasso painting, but we were encouraged to create something for the very worthy cause 7,000 Bracelets for Hope for caregivers of children with genetic disorders. It is truly inspiring to see how you interpret the paintings each month, but this month it is even more inspiring to think of all the good that your donations will do for the organization. Thank you so much!

Picasso went through a blue period, literally and figuratively, and this work represents his arrival on the other side to the Rose period. The mood is lighter than in his Blue period and the colors are starting to bring back some warmth to them. Our participants this month were mainly inspired by color and pattern for their inspiration.

Let's start the show!


Sharyl McMillan-Nelson of Sharyl's Jewelry Garden (above) created a pair of earrings with the striking harlequin pattern. The rings remind me of the tumbling those two acrobats would be doing.

Welcome to your first ABS challenge Miss Monique! I love the way that Monique of A Half Baked Notion used the silk cords to weave her own harlequin pattern and she even created a button from polymer clay that has the same pattern from the tights! Beautiful!

Mmmm... I love chocolate, and when you can get your inspiration for your pattern from a bar of chocolate, that is a sweet solution indeed! Read all about it at Backstory Beads and see the awesome bead stitched bracelet that Karin made.

I love the enthusiasm that Miss Kimi of Kimi's Jewelry and Gifts (above) had for our theme this month. Not only did she make the lovely polymer clay focal inspired by the acrobats uniform, but she made not one, not two, not three... but four bracelets inspired by the painting and ready to be donated to the 7,000 Bracelets for Hope charity. Way to go Kimi!

Tracy Stillman Designs focused on the serene and somber face of the young acrobats with her challenge piece. I love the gentleness of this image and the pretty soft colors she chose for her palette.

There is total freedom of creation when you make your own art beads. Miss Lisa Martin of Whistling Raven created all the art beads in her lovely blue bracelet. I love the explanation of her process of creating the little blue house!

Another super inspired beader is Renetha (above) of Lamplight Crafts. She made several beautiful blue bracelets for the cause, including her Blue Jeans Casual with a clever use of jump rings and bicones to make for a harlequin pattern setting off the polymer clay focal as a clasp. Very pretty!

Combining interesting fibers, mottled blue tones and a pop of coppery orange and a great mix of art beads, Mistheword12 designed a bracelet for the charity that is full of interest and color and texture.

The painting may have a somber look, but FreshBakedDesigns didn't let that stop her from making a fresh and lighthearted necklace and bracelet with a soft blue palette. She worked on making the polymer clay pendant with her granddaughters and discovered something special indeed about the clay! Do read more at her blog.

I was really touched by the sentiment behind the story of the bracelet that Miss Emma of A Polymer Penchant (above)created. With her background in the sciences she took the inspiration of the genetic disorders to their most basic element. Go read her post to find out more. I just know that someone will be very blessed to have this lovely bauble on their wrist!

Miss Shelby of Sundown Bead Designs was taken back to her childhood with this month's inspiration painting. She had a love of gymnastics and came up with a circus inspired bracelet that is surely going to go with everything in her closet!

I just love reading about the thought process behind a design, don't you? Miss Elly of Ebsnare gives us a glimpse into the reason for each choice, from the fabric to the different art beads to the asymmetry of the design. Very circus chic!

I am just smitten with the clasp on this bracelet from Shaiha of Shaiha's Ramblings (above). The pattern is a spot on match for the acrobat and the deep blues are so dreamy. I think that the fiber would make this very comfortable to wear. I don't blame you one bit for keeping this stunner for yourself, but we are grateful you will be lending your skills to designing some others to donate.

Welcome to Miss Iveth Caruso of Creative Atelier who designed her first ABS challenge piece with the idea of wandering minstrels in mind. The way that literally wove the colors and shapes together is beautifully done and calls to mind the patterns on the young acrobat's tights.

Miss Pam of Klassy Joolz focused on the deeper blues to violets in the painting and made a very soft and light bracelet from shimmering glass and silver. I just  noticed that she has a little paw print to represent the dog in the painting. Great details!

It feels so good to give back, doesn't it? Miss Elisabeth of Beads for Busy Gals couldn't agree more. She found the perfect art bead in her stash to make a beautiful blue bracelet to donate to the cause. Thank you Miss Elisabeth!

There are certain things that I just cannot do with any success and when I find someone who does, I am just in awe. That is what I feel about Miss Cece Cormier of The Beading Yogini and her fantastic way with weaving. You simply must go and see the textile she wove in the harlequin pattern that is outstanding!

You never know where inspiration will strike and how you will work through the process. Miss Malin de Koning has a mind that I would love to peer inside in that she comes up with the most amazing use of materials and she is always experimenting. The braided elements mimic the boy's clothing and the dry arid landscape is recalled in the fantastic focal. Beautiful!

Knowing that just one other person out there cares enough in the world to make a special bracelet for a mother to wear is a stirring tribute. I am quite certain that our efforts will make a difference to those who will receive these special heartfelt signs of love and care. Miss Mary Ellen of Bee Tree by m.e. wrote a moving explanation behind her special bracelet. Thank you so much for putting so much heart into this project!

We love it when we can entice new followers to join in the fun! Welcome Miss Sadafulee...Always In Bloom to the ABS Challenges! I love that this fun bohemian pair of earrings looks like they are doing acrobatic moves, jumping through hoops. Each element calls t mind a different part of the painting from the shapes of the beads to the way she styled it. We look forward to more from you!


Thank you so much for  all the enthusiasm and wonderful sentiments behind all the entries this month. We truly feel blessed to be part of a caring creative community that jumps up to lend a hand to those in need. The Global Genes Project will be so happy to have your donations of blue bracelets. And if you didn't get a chance to make something this month, keep them in mind for the future as they are always accepting donations. Thank you for your generosity of spirit!

The new inspiration will be revealed soon!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Featured Designer of the Week

 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 Backstory Beads.

Here is what ABS editor Erin Prais-Hintz had to say about her design:
"Anyone who can wrangle seed beads into something that is this stunning deserves a pat on the back. I am utterly amazed at the beautiful pattern that she created and I love the swirly focal bead from Marsha Neal and the way it is integrated into the design."

Here is Karin's blog post describing her entry and the way a chance meeting with a chocolate bar helped to save the day!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Show Me Sunday

 This week I have some watery blue, seaside inspired beads and components to show you!
 Pewter Seaside Charm by Mamacita

For August, we are going to be looking for handmade jewelry components in summery green colors!
Show me beads, charms, pendants, and supplies that make you think of leafy, lime greens and glistening peridot!  Post your links in the comments here and I will select some of your items you leave on this post to highlight in another Show Me Sunday post.

Here is what some of our beady friends have to show off this week:
A Bead A Day
Do you like mixing crafty techniques into jewelry making? Stop by A Bead A Day to chat about DECOPAUGE.
About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a new book about chain maille that is scheduled to be published by Interweave next month. 
Art Bead Scene
Erin Siegel shares a free Tribal Dance Earrings project, a great ethnic, boho look perfect for hot weather. 
Beading Arts
If you've been putting off updating your Facebook page or profile, procrastinate no longer! Cyndi's got the info you need to really rock out your pages. 
Resin Crafts!
This resin blog post is dedicated to cat owners! 
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean wants to know if you get the Jewelry Business Success Newsletter...she does, and finds it very worthwhile! Here is the info on how to get it! It is free!  
Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Studio Saturday with Erin Prais-Hintz

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 Erin Strother! Congratulations! You have won a 'Goddess Bless You' button!
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
This week we visit the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz at Tesori Trovati Jewelry.

I never met a challenge that I didn't like. I find that I am quite comfortable in my own little rut, that there is little incentive for me to push myself further, but I also know that there is so much more waiting for me and I am the only one that holds me back. So a few years ago I started seeking out challenges.

It started innocently enough. Right here. With the ABS monthly challenges.

At first I just looked and oohed and aahed a lot. I didn't think I could make anything good enough to post. But then there was that time that they did Matisse, and I thought, 'Why not? It is only one harmless little challenge? What could happen?' 

{One of my first ABS submissions inspired by Matisse, March 2009 featuring ceramic discs from Jennifer Heynen of Jangles, still one of my favorite pieces}
 I entered my piece and was delighted that I was chosen as the designer of the week by Miss Jennifer Heynen of Jangles. I will never forget the high that I felt from that moment. I was in awe that people could make jewelry inspired by master works of art. And it was also my first introduction to the world of art beads, mini masterpieces in themselves. Those editors at ABS kept coming up with new inspiration every month, which is like crack for me. I couldn't get enough. And I recall completely looking forward to what the next month might bring. And seeing how I could push my own limits.

{'Grow Tall, Bend Deep & Love Life' for the ABS challenge April 2011 featuring a Green Girl Studios leaf, a ceramic leaf bead from Earthenwood Studios and a tile from Marie at More Skye Jewels}
From that innocent foray into challenges, I started hitting harder competitions: first it was the online retailers and their annual contests for prizes, next it was publications like Bead Trends and Stringing. And finally, I felt the bug to compete in the Bead Star. From there it was only natural to do the Bead Soup. It was a lot of hard work, but I was up to the challenge.

{Winner of 2nd place in the Designs with Heart category of Bead Star 2009 - 'Good Advice' features ceramics by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles}

Then I decided that I just wasn't getting the same sort of buzz from the challenges that I was doing. I wanted more. I had ideas of what I would like to see in a challenge, and so I started offering my own version called 'Inspired by..." each month and a few people played along with me. I was now fully addicted.

Then I decided that I should come up with my own challenge, and in 2010 I started with the first - the Challenge of Color in November 2010. I was able to tease my participants into joining me and getting the same high off their creative juices that I was experiencing. And I have been able to do it again... and again... This November will be the 3rd Annual Challenge of Color and I am already planning what we will do to rev up our color palettes!

{For my Challenge of Literature, inspired by a poem by Cristina Norcross "For Those Who Endure Midwest Winters" I call this 'Winter Into Spring' featuring fold formed and patinated leaves from Mary Jane Dodd, polymer clay egg from Heather Powers and a wee ceramic birdie from LeAnn Weih of Summers Studio}
 This year I decided to bring the crack of a challenge to the masses with a new challenge each quarter. There was the Challenge of Music in February, the Challenge of Literature in May and now, on Monday, July 30th, I will announce the next Challenge of... on my blog. I can't give away all the secrets, but I will give you a taste and tell you that it will take you to places you never thought you would go! (Don't you just want to mainline a bit of that challenge with me? Hmmmm? ;-)
And lately, there have been others coming to me and suggesting different themes or ideas for hops... and I have been gently encouraging them to pursue that on their own, to splinter off and make their own attempt at running a blog hop. To franchise the idea, if you will. After all, there is so much to be gained by being the hostess and there are plenty of great ideas to go around!

{'Inner Joy' created for the 4th Bead Soup Blog Party, September 2011, featuring a gorgeous enameled hummingbird and beautiful lampwork glass beads from Beth & Evie McCord}
I have found that the best challenges don't have to be the largest ones with the most participants or the wackiest theme. The whole point is about creating a community, cultivating an appreciation for our artistic differences and giving ourselves a push outside our comfort zone. That is what we are trying to do here at the Art Bead Scene as well. I hope that is what happens when people come to play with me in my Challenges and what others experience with the myriad of opportunities out there there is a hop for everyone!

And speaking of hops, today is the first of three reveals for the popular Bead Soup Blog Party hosted by Lori Anderson of Pretty Things. Lori is a whiz at running one of the largest hops around and making everyone feel welcome. My reveal date is today. Come on over to my blog today to read about my new friend Eni Fabian from Austria, who makes amazing seed bead creations, and see what we created with our Bead Soups. And if you are looking for a new challenge, join me on Monday, July 30th for a reveal of the next Challenge of...

Up for grabs this week to one random commenter on this post:

A custom made 'take time' message stick pendant

Do you like to participate in hops and challenges? Why or why not?
What are some of your favorites?
What is your best idea for a hop or challenge? 
Have you ever considered hosting one of your own?

P.S. Come back here on July 31st for a reveal of the ABS Monthly Blog Tour that I curate as well!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Best of ABS-Song of Spring Art Bead Picks

Are you ready for Spring?  Longing for those pale and delicate shades of blossoms and tiny bird eggs?  Are you ready for the world to come back to life with the fluttering of butterfly wings and songs of birds?

Me too!

I gathered up some bead picks to melt away the winter doldrums pairing art beads from our sponsors, one of my favorite Czech glass bead shops and a few of my own beads.

Top: glass from Bead by C, ceramic bead by Gaea
Bottom: pendant by More Skye Jewels and polymer clay egg by Humblebeads.

Top: glass from Beads by C, pendant by More Skye Jewels.
Bottom: flower by Humblebeads, ceramic beads by Gaea.

Stay warm this weekend and have fun pulling out your Spring inspired beads!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Best of ABS-Art Bead Color Palette #1

Lost My Key Lentil Boro beads, from AtlantisGlassAndBead on Etsy

Hello ABSers! Today starts a new monthly post from me with color palettes derived from art beads. It's combining two of my very favorite things together, so I've been looking forward to this post for the last two weeks (squee!).

When I started using art beads in my own jewelry, I gravitated almost immediately to borosilicate beads. They were the first art bead that I ever fell in love with, and the colors that swirled in the glass had me absolutely mesmerized from day one.

So, what better way to celebrate a new series about art beads than to share with you a cherished favorite? A significant portion of my boro stash has come from the fabulous husband-and-wife duo of Val and Patti Hernandez of Atlantis Glass and Bead. I flat out love the color combinations they use, and their beads are a little bit of visual inspiration for me.

Take it Easy Boro Glass Lampwork beads, by AtlantisGlassAndBead on Etsy
If you liked the pop of yellow-orange and bright blue from the December Challenge Palette, then a set like these would be perfect, color-wise. Adding that pop of yellow would be a fun way to play with the colors (or a pale lavender, like The Crazier Sister pointed out!).

Midnight Stars Boro Lampwork beads, by AtlantisGlassAndBead on Etsy
If you prefer a darker palette to work with, how about something like this set of beads? A dark navy with a shimmer, and a surprising pop of sky blue.
Photos are from Atlantis Glass and Bead; palettes created by Brandi. To view more from Val and Patti, including their line of findings, be sure to stop by their shop!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Parliament of Owls

An image very commonly seen recreated in art bead form is that of the humble owl. Renowned as a symbol of wisdom, owls seem to hold within them that winning combination of reverence and whimsy; sophistication and humour. I love that the collective noun is a parliament - it goes so well with the idea of their quiet wisdom, but with the twinkle you just know that the art beads at any rate, have in their wee eyes. I can't get enough of them, and I thought I'd share some of my as yet unused parliament with you.

Centre circle going clockwise - Tesori Trovati, SummerStudio, Tree Wings StudioSoul Silver.

I love that each of these is so recognisably an owl, but they are all so different - especially the five polymer clay owls! Two beads, two pendants and one polymer charm. Each has it's own character and mood - you can just read it in their faces and their wide eyes! 

Here are just a few of my favourite favourites:
Soul Silver
Sally is an glass artist based in my homeland of Scotland. Her glassy creations are truly astonishing and she is quickly becoming one of my very favourite bead artists to work with. Along with owls, her signature dolls are popular in her easy shop, but watch out too for her wee elephant beads that pop up from time to time! I have a selection of Sally's owls and one of my favourite things about her winged creatures is that she doesn't feel restrained by the colours that nature prescribed. This beautiful pink and blue owl is the perfect example of that, and quite possible my favourite Soul Silver owl so far. I love the eyebrow decoration - there's something a little bollywood about this one!

Daisy Chain Extra

He's come out a little fuzzy in the photographic wash, but trust me, Jo's limited edition antique copper owl clasp is a beauty. I believe she originally designed him for one of Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Blog Parties (check out her blog for details of the next event which is just around the corner!) and then decided to make a few more for her component shop. I was lucky enough to snag one, I hope he'll be happy with his owly friends for a little longer as I'm just not ready to use him yet! Special pieces which I know I may not be able to work with again usually hang around in my bead stash for a good while...

Round Rabbit
And speaking of special pieces which I know I may not be able to get my hands on again due to their limited nature......this unglazed owl is a couple of years old now, but still absolutely one of my favourite Round Rabbit pieces from my ever-growing collection. However, can you see my problem? He's been kept alongside some other art beads and goodness, he needs a good wash now! Anyone have any tips on cleaning unglazed porcelain? If not, he might just have to stay with me forever - a little dusty but well-loved nonetheless.

Do you have a favourite image that you can't help but covet when in art bead form? Do owls capture your imagination like they do mine?

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer and singer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about beads and singing at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Featured Designer of the Week

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 Tracy Stillman Design.

Here is what ABS editor Tari Sasser had to say about her design:
"I just love the face cabochon! Tracy did a fantastic job mixing the colors, patterns and textures. Everything works well together!"

Here is Tracy's blog post describing her entry.

Winner of Melinda Orr Bonus Giveaway!

To help get the word out about our bracelet challenge for the 7000 Bracelets for Hope project, we have paired up with a few sponsors for bonus giveaways on Mondays during July. 

Congratulations to Shelley Graham Turner for posting on Facebook and her blog about 
Your wish has come true, you're the winner. Woo hoo!!

Thanks to everyone who has spread the word and/or donated to this great cause! 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Show Me Sunday

  Last week, I asked to see some examples of Blue Skies in artisan beads.  Here are some of the fun things you helped me find:

  Winged Bird Pendant by Earthenwood Studio
Lampwork Glass Frozen Heart Bead by LORiOLA at Ornamentea
Wheel Mandala Bead by Mary Alexander at Ornamentea
Ocean Wave Ring Pendant by Elaine Ray at Ornamentea
This week, please add your links to handmade components that make you think of:

Show me beads, charms, pendants, and supplies that make you think of the watery blue ocean!  Next week, I will select some of your links from the comments you leave on this post to highlight in another Show Me Sunday post.
Here is what some of our beady friends have to show off this week:

A Bead A Day
Looking for a great project that girls or women of all ages will have fun making? Lisa's sharing some bracelets made with iron-on appliques!

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy is catching up with her jewelry book reviews. This new book has some interesting fabric techniques to try. 

Art Bead Scene
Heather reveals some gorgeous jewelry designs from a variety of artists who participated in her Inspired by Nature challenge 

Beading Arts
Wonderful gemstone and pearl artists continue to be featured on Beading Arts all this month! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi finally gets to incorporate a little neon into her jewelry making projects! 

Resin Crafts!
This week I had an opportunity to pour resin into ceramic bezels from Jennifer Jangles! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
What is going on at Jean's new Etsy shop? Here is the latest and the colors are right on trend!  

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

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Studio Saturday with Creative Impressions In Clay

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 Claire Maunsell Congratulations! You have won a three pendants from Jennifer Jangles!
Send Jennifer an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
This week we visit the studio of Tari Sasser at 
Creative Impressions In Clay.
It's summer. My daughter and grandchildren have been in the country for nearly a month and will be leaving Tuesday to go back to Oslo. How could time go so fast?
The goings on in the studio have been slow. I've been working on glazing orders in between grandchildren running in. They love coming in to the studio where "grandma lady" works, "yets go to the tudio." There is a stash of licorice that is the incentive to go there more often. Alexander, 3, points to everything and tells me "my do dat when my bigger." He is hilarious. He will be using pliers, wire cutters, drills, pottery wheel and other assorted tools when "my is bigger." My will miss them very much come Tuesday.
Summer is filled with shows for many. Busy, busy, busy. Mine is filled with children and not much time in the studio. I would love to start to do more shows but I wouldn't trade my time with my grandchildren for anything!

My question this week is:
How is your summer going?

Leave a comment answering the question. You could win a "Goddess Bless You" button.

Feeling sassy as usual.
Tari Sasser