Thursday, October 31, 2013

October Monthly Challenge Recap

Ohara Koson gives us the perfect inspiration for October. It speaks to the fall, the growing darkness of the nights, the crisp clear star-studded sky, the mysterious sounds in the woods. It is Halloween inspired without being kitschy.

We had some amazing owl designs pulled from this month's painting rendered in glass, seed beads and even wood! Distinctive gingko leaves, some hand created, some perfectly purchased from artists. And moons from painted designs to beads to crescent shapes - marvelous! Check out the beautiful designs!

Your turn! 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Perfect Pairings :: Jill Palumbo + Palumbo Polymer Jewelry

When looking at the Koson picture for the challenge, everyone is first drawn to the owl that dominates the space. But what I notice is the sliver of a crescent moon. That shape is something that I am drawn to, and it is my favorite sort of moon. 

This necklace is entirely a crescent, and has so many interesting folds and layers that I just want to reach out and touch it!  Do you see the owl on the wing landing on the branch? This is a substantial statement necklace that gets more beautiful and intricate the closer you look at it. 

Jill Palumbo is a polymer clay powerhouse and is the designer and the bead artist. Her designs are very organic and inventive. She is all about texture, and she tells that this was central to her design. I love to learn how a design came into being and you can read more of this stunning torque necklace on her blog. 

Featured Designer :: Jill Palumbo

Featured Art Beads :: Palumbo Polymer Clay Jewelry

Remember to share the name of the art bead artists in your description of the picture so that I can include that in the weekly Perfect Pairings, now on Wednesdays!
Join me here on Thursday, October 31st for the Monthly Challenge Recap
with a picture gallery and InLinkz blog hop!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Amuse Your Muse Mondays with Rebecca of Songbead

Hello there Art Bead Scene-rs! I am writing to you today from the Land of the Pharaohs - yes, that's right, Egypt. I am taking in some Autumn sunshine for a week with a friend and am having a wonderful break. I'm staying right by the Red Sea, and from the coast, we can see Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Apparently the only place in the world where you can see four countries from the same vantage point - rather amazing! Loads of colour and textural inspiration, as you can imagine. 

This week, for our last Art Button week, I wanted to share a link that Mary Harding shared with me 2 weeks ago - about a button swap she took part in last year, organised by Cindy Wimmer.  She was paired up with metal artist Stacie Florer, and was sent these gorgeous buttons:

Here's what she turned them into - loads of inspiration for different ways to incorporate art buttons into your designs: a clasp... a decorative element/bead...

....and another clasp....

Mary always combines art beads/buttons and bead-weaving in a way I find particularly inspiring, having a background in bead-weaving originally myself. 

And here's a peek at the buttons that Stacie received from Mary. Aren't they gorgeous? 

Next month we are due for a new theme.....and as it's November, and we'll be thinking ahead to the holidays, it's got to be holiday beads! Yes, December is just around the corner, so we want to see snowflakes, fir cones, stars.....share your links in the comments below. I would love to see what you have created or stumbled upon! 

And now for the Bead Blogger Links:

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Friday, October 25, 2013

Inside the Studio - Mini Displays

Welcome to Inside the Studio! 

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 Kim Stevens! Congratulations!
You have won an owl from Tesori Trovati
 Today you back in the Humblebeads Studio and what's on my mind today - holiday shows!

I don't have much planned for the holidays and to tell you the truth I'm doing a little hustling to find places to host trunk shows - offices, schools, boutiques, spas - wherever I think a good match would be for my jewelry!  I have been researching shows but deadlines are so far in advance for the good shows, let's just say next year I'll be rocking the holiday markets in my area.  

For now I have two shows that are Artisan Markets at local art centers.  These are basically gift shop settings that take over the gallery for 2-3 weeks during the holidays and work on consignment.  

So how do you sell your jewelry and tell a story when are aren't there?  Well here are a few tips:

1. Merchandise your jewelry smartly - this isn't the time to throw any and everything on the display.  Create a  collection that works together.  For this show I paired up woodland themed jewelry with the motifs of leaves, trees, birds and nests.  Everything works together and I have a range of prices from $25-$65.  

2. Keep your display simple, affordable and one that compliments your brand/style.  I covered a canvas from Hobby Lobby with silk fabric and a flew 12" particle boards that we had in our crafty closet. A glue gun and scissors were all that were required.  Make sure you put your name on your displays.

The great thing about this display is your can make up several sets for different shows.  

*Be sure to pin everything down.  It keeps them from sprouting legs and walking away.

3. Tell your story without saying a word.  Create a sign with one or two sentences that introduce your jewelry, include it with your business name and logo and put it in a frame to go with your display. 

Mine says, " My jewelry features designs that jump out of my sketchbook, are transformed into clay and become reminders for the wearer to live mindfully, rejoice in nature's beauty and to remember the peace that comes from touching the earth."

I also included a copy of book because well that's just impressive isn't it?  And now you see the story of my jewelry and know a little bit about it without me saying a word.  If you do sign up for these type of events they always have an opening night.  Plan to attend, meet as many people as your can, wear a ton of your jewelry and bring your business cards.  You never know who you might meet!

 Now for the prize this week - it's a $20 gift certificate from

What is a clever display idea that you've seen or that you use?
Leave a comment and we'll pick a winner next Friday. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Perfect Pairings :: Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny + Angel Whisperer...+ A WINNER!

Oh! You all made it tough to choose this week! So many cute and mysterious owls in the mix.

I chose this necklace because I kept coming back to the picture to enlarge it to see more. 

There is a very subtle asymmetry to this that I didn't notice until the second time I came back to it, with the different leaf dangles on each side. (Plus, Miss Leah used the Power of Three to her advantage - using elements in clusters of three - something that I love to do in my own designs whether they are balanced or asymmetrical!)

The pendant from Birgitta Lejonklou of Angel Whisperer has a shape of an owl, it was only upon closer inspection that the faint and weathered image of the owl was apparent. 

This is a necklace that begs to be touched and explored!

Featured Designer :: Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny

Featured Art Beads :: AngelWhisperer


Heather asked me to select a random winner of Cindy Wimmer's fab new book, The Missing Link,
 from the interview on Sunday...
 and the random generator chose....

Denise McCabe!

Miss Denise, you will love the book, and yes, you do need to get a tumbler! ;-)
Email Heather to claim your prize!

Join me here on Thursday, October 31st for the Monthly Challenge Recap
with a picture gallery and InLinkz blog hop!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Amuse Your Muse Monday with Rebecca of Songbead

Hi Art Bead Sceners! I am writing this post in advance this week, I am off on holiday to Egypt, by the Red Sea! Very excited for this trip - I love sunshine, I love the sea, I love holidays.....I will of course be taking a mini-kit of jewellery supplies, and will no doubt be posting pics online as I go - you can follow me over on Facebook if you would like to see what I'm up to (along with new designs and Songbead news, of course).

This week seems to be the week for polymer buttons! Monique of A Half-Baked Notion sent me a number of links to some pretty cute handmade buttons - take a peek here:

I also went on the hunt, and found this super-cool button by one of my favourite polymer artists, Claire - awesome colours and texture, don't you think? (Psst - she's having a sale in her shop over the next day or so with coupon code TIDYUP20! Hop over and see!)

I also wanted to share this rather fabulous button bracelet with you. Not a Songbead creation this week, but one from Ailsa Jackson of Katz Jewellery. She's in my 'beads of the month' club, The Curiosity Club, over in my supplies shop, and the pressed glass beads here are mainly from September's kit, The Emerald Isle. Ailsa added a few more beads, and this gorgeous button from Thea Elements. Don't you just love it? The bronze compliments the colour palette so well!

Have a great week! 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Missing Link Blog Book Tour and Interview

Today we are thrilled to help designer Cindy Wimmer celebrate the release of her new book, The Missing Link!  I had the pleasure of interviewing Cindy this week.  Read about her process, tips for working with wire and why art beads and wire are the perfect marriage.

Cindy - the book is amazing. I'm so inspired by the open ended possibilities of using all these interesting links and components in my jewelry.

What is your go-to link from the book - the one you find sneaking it's way into your designs again and again?

It would have to be the Corona link.  Would you believe, it was the very first of the 30 links that I made for the book.   The Corona link incorporates coils, one of my favorite wire elements.  It looks complex but is surprising easy to reproduce consistently and looks great with any mix of metals.

Can you share one tip that will greatly improve someone's wire working skills?
It’s been said many times before, but practice really makes all the difference in the world.  I highly recommend purchasing an inexpensive roll of copper wire, say 18 gauge, and practice a link until it looks just so.  Also, more often than not, it is better to go with one gauge thicker than you planned to use.  A link generally needs a heavier gauge wire to hold its shape and to be a sturdy connector.

What is one tool you consider a guilty pleasure and one a necessary investment?
There is one “tool” that may be seen as both a guilty pleasure and an investment all in one!  That tool is the tumbler, hands down.  Do you absolutely need one to make wire links? No.  However, a tumbler can really help to set your wire jewelry apart.  It offers many benefits that I find it indispensible:  It softens tool marks, polishes the metal, and most importantly, helps to work-harden the links.

You have so many unusual links that I've never seen before like the Lightbulb and Over-Under link.  Are they the result of planning and sketching or just pulling out the wire and seeing what you can create?

I rarely sketch.  My planning is all hands-on.  I develop ideas by looking through my bowls of practice and experimental links – often times I see something that inspires me.  I also like to play around with the wire with trial and error – one twist or turn leads to another and next thing you know, a link is formed.

There are art beads on the book cover and sprinkled throughout the projects. What are your tips for combining art beads and wire links?

When you are investing in a jewelry design by using art beads, handmade components further add to the appeal and beauty.  Wire links can elevate a design in a way that commercially produced components cannot. You’ll want to check the size of the bead hole and be sure your wire gauge is not too thick. When using a heavy gauge wire, use caution so as not to chip the inside hole of ceramic or lampwork beads.  Finally, consider the thickness of the wire and size of the link are to scale to the art beads used.

Thank you for sharing with our community today Cindy!

Thank you for the opportunity to share my passion for wire with the the ABS readers!

Visit Cindy's blog today for a round up the book tour and amazing giveaways. 

Cindy's publisher has donated a copy of her book as a giveaway here on the Art Bead Scene to one of our lucky readers.  Share this interview on Facebook, Twitter or Pin it and leave a comment below.  (Make sure your email is connected to your profile or leave it in the comment so we can contact the winner.) Winner will be drawn on Wednesday, October 30th.
Grab a copy for yourself!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Inside the Studio :: Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati

Welcome to Inside the Studio! 
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  Carol of Dillman's Dallies. Congratulations!
You have won a Jack-O-Lantern pendant from
Gaea Cannaday of Gaea Handmade.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
This week we visit the studio of Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati Jewelry.
• • • • • • • • • • • • • •
 I have small but mighty group of talented designers who have signed onto my
Simple Truths Sampler Club

Each month, I promise to send them a goodie in the form of one of my Simple Truths polymer clay designs. These will be limited edition and available first to the Club members but then possibly released to the public at the full retail value through my Etsy site.
They don't get to choose, but they tell me that is part of the fun!

This year, I decided that instead of making what the spirit moved me to do, I would challenge myself to make something inspired by the artwork chosen for the monthly Art Bead Scene challenges. Sometimes that is a daunting thing to do because I am so very inspired, and just like you, sometimes I am not inspired at all! But it is an extra challenge to me to come up with something new and exciting every month, it helps me push my creative boundaries and try new techniques, plus the Challenge Art is just so darned impressive, that it is a joy to create! 

I hope that my Club members enjoy what they get (I have several members who keep coming back year after year, so they must love it) and I love to see what they do (I have a Pinterest Board devoted to their clever and inspiring designs). 

Want to see what you may have missed out on? Here is a look at the limited edition offerings that my Simple Truths Sampler Club has received in 2013:

It's really gratifying to see all the progress that I made this year! I have tried new techniques, like carving my own molds in January, using an open backed bezel in March, making my own scenic canes for the first time in June and a Stroppel cane in August and even hand sculpting a design in September.

So, you might be asking,  what is next for the Simple Truths Sampler?
I am not really sure, but I already have designs in the works (read: in my overworked brain ;-) for November and December (I picked the art for December and I am so excited to share it with you!).  I guess you will have to stay tuned to find out! And I can't wait to see what happens next year! I intend to keep this plan in place for the 2014 Club as well. And while there are only a maximum of 20 spaces available any month (there are spaces open now, you know, in case you are interested), I would love to have you. You can choose from 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- months subscription that suits your budget and needs. 

Wouldn't that make a great gift for a jewelry designer you love? (Or you! Especially you! ;-)

Since this month the theme of the painting features an owl, and I recently released two new owls to join my parliament of Woodsy and Motley owls - Snowy and Great Grey - I gave a choice to the Club members of one of the four types of owls. And of course, I have a few left from this batch that haven't made it into jewelry for my holiday shows or the new boutique that is carrying my owl jewelry. 

I will select one of the remaining owls (surprise!) to fly to the home of a random winner drawn on October 25th if you answer one of these questions: 

If you regularly participate in the ABS monthly challenges, why do you do it? 
If you do not regularly participate in the ABS monthly challenges, what would encourage you to participate more? 
We have over 3,000 members who follow us regularly from around the world. And there are likely many, many more that also follow us. We would love to see more entries in our Monthly Challenge Recap/Blog Hop and have been making changes around here to spruce things up and bring you even more inspiration. We would love to have your feedback! We can't thank you enough for being a part of our Art Bead world and look forward to the future!