Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Wire Frame

Welcome to Bead Table Wednesday! Today I shared how to make these textured wire frames for your art beads. 

Watch the video below:

Resources from the video:

14 or 16 gauge copper wire for the frame - local hardware store 
18 gauge copper wire for the beads

Enamel Leafs: Gardanne Beads (trunk show on Saturday & Sunday)

Bead & Button Show - I'll be in booth 1208

May Monthly Challenge Recap

Sometimes the more abstract something is the more varied the interpretations are. That was the case with this month's challenge painting by Picasso, Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle. Come along and check out the beautiful works of art that we made inspired by this intriguing painting!

Now it is your turn! If you posted about this month's challenge, enter your link here for a chance to win some great prizes from our sponsors!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Art Bead Evolutions :: Stratum

I won’t lie to you….this was a hard challenge for me. I know that this painting is called Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle, but I truly did not see that at all! If I have trouble with a painting, I will print it out and turn it upside down to give myself a different perspective.

When I did that, what I saw were layers. To me it is a lot of layers of paper, as if you dropped all your bills and letters and junk mail on a table and made an artful everyday still life.

All those different textures peeking out intrigued me. So I set out to teach myself how to make veneers by various methods. I focused on the white and black speckled texture, the black and tan mottled texture and the pink, blue, orange and teal colors from the painting.

First I made the orange veneer (I don't have a picture of that, you will just have to trust me). I have never had much luck with canes, preferring instead to use the clay as my canvas and coloring it with various inks, stains and paints. But a bullseye cane is one of the simplest there is and layered on a pumpkin colored clay they really pop!

Next I decided to make something speckled. I decided that it would be too easy to just paint or ink those dots. So I devised a way to create Swiss cheese holes in the top white layer for depth. Manipulating it a bit through the pasta machine made the holes more shallow than I wanted, but I like the pockmarked effect, and I enhanced some of them after they were on the bead. The pink veneers were from an older project that I happened to have lying around, and worked in perfectly with this oddball mix.

Every month I try to teach myself something new in addition to exploring the art as inspiration. The remaining veneers were things that I learned from my favorite polymer clay guru, Debbie Crothers. I have taken several online classes from this lovely Aussie instructor through CraftArtEdu so when I saw that she was releasing her new series Explorations in Swellegant to create rusty and crusty veneers, I didn’t even hesitate a minute to hit the buy button. That was in January. And as is usual for me, I buy something, or sign up for a class without really having any intention of following through in that instant. So when I saw these paper scraps as layers - a slice of a life, if you will -  I remembered her class. And I am so glad I did! Miss Debbie is such a marvelous instructor. I told her that I felt like she was a friend who just popped over for a bit of clay play. She is thorough and engaging and so giving with her knowledge. Take anything with her and you will be wildly inspired!

I wrapped each large bead in a variety of the six different veneers I made so that no two are exactly alike. To make them my own, I added "faux bead caps" by dipping the ends in embossing powder for a metallic antiqued brass hammered texture that seems to work harmoniously with the Swellegant I used to make them look like bits of crusty old metal.

Since these beads are all quite large (about 3/4"), I wanted to make a statement necklace. I originally wanted to use a set of three (which is what my Simple Truths Sampler Club members received). But I couldn't make it work. Instead, I picked one as a focus.

I recently received these new wire frame components from Nunn Design and thought it would make an interesting sort of frame to set that bead apart. I had to stretch it a bit to fit the large bead but I quite like the sort of faceted shape. I was cleaning up (but hardly making a dent!) in my studio and was wrangling the fibers that I have collected. (Four bins of them!) I thought that the frame would look great to pull together different fibers - yarn, string, silks, sari ribbon - into a tassel wrapped with bronze wire and golden charlotte beads. For the rest of the necklace I just dove into my stash to make a long-ish slip-on necklace with a melange of beads ranging from carved bone, irregular ceramic, various stones and agates in many shapes and finishes. This is definitely a statement - not for the faint of heart! I am wearing it today with dark indigo jeans and a pale blush pink tunic. I think I might wear this next week at Bead & Button in Milwaukee in my new black maxi dress!

I have also been playing around with the same idea but in different shapes, including smaller rounds for earrings and some olive shaped beads as well. Thinking about making a layered patterned shield shaped pendant as well. So many possibilities!

Stratum means a layer or a series of layers, specifically of rock in the ground. These layered beads - and this necklace - have that stratified look of fantasy rock comprised of patterns and textures scattered across my desk or counter, and it is that layer and texture and pattern and color that I love!

Check back tomorrow for our monthly challenge recap!

Monday, May 29, 2017

Janice Everett shares thoughts on inspiration

If there is some chance you don't know Janice, please allow me to introduce her and share some of what she has to say about inspiration!! Janice Everett is the wonderful, hard working person behind the group Artisans Create Together and JLynnJewels Circle. She is planning to do a mini class this summer on inspiration through photography. If you have not seen what she does with photography, I encourage you to join her at JLynnJewelsCircle and find out. It's quite incredible!!

Before I share what Janice has to say I always like to start off with the random winner for the "inspiration in everyday" monthly challenge. A big thank you to everyone who played along this past month, it is so nice to see, and share in the things that inspire others! The winner this month is Ann Schroeder. I just love that Ann found inspiration from a store window display!! Here is photo of what inspired her and the lovely necklace she made from that inspiration.  

You can read more about what Ann has to say about her inspiration hereCongratulations Ann!! 
Please send me your address and this little bird will be flying over to you! 

At the end of this post I will show you the prize for June (that prize can fly too;) If you are not already in the "inspiration in everyday" group, you can join here:)

Now for Janice, here are s some of her thoughts on inspiration and upcoming related events:

Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative.  If you know me – then you know that inspiration plays a huge role in not only my chosen creative career – but also, living life in general.  It was also the platform of my former career as a Creative Marketing & Educational Leader with JoAnn’s.   Although I left those years behind to pursue my own creative interests and re-invent a new business for me in the jewelry and art world, in the early 2000 – much of what I did lives on in the retail world, and much of what I developed and implemented in the marketing sense, lives on in me, my business, and my two Groups – Artisans Create Together and JLynnJewels Circle.

Inspiration can be magical – an unexplained gift for those that receive it. But inspiration can also be a learned skill.   The more you exercise this phenomenon – the better you become at noticing the little things, that can inspire you in your creativity, and growth as an Artisan.   As Artisans, I do feel we all have a responsibility to future generations to carry on the many art forms, mediums, styles, techniques and skills, that have been handed down over the centuries. This is why I choose to inspire others – by utilizing my own business and past experiences, as an educational resource and financial supporter of paying it forward, through my two Groups.

How?  Through a lot of Creative Challenges, Tutorials, and Mini-Workshops that are designed to get the creative juices flowing…and to encourage others to become confident in their own abilities and thoughts in the creative process, while instilling an Artisan community that supports, shares, and encourages each other.

In addition to the many Challenges that take place every month in the Artisans Create Together Group (Color/Photo Inspiration, Component Inspiration and the new C5 Creative Challenges which involve being inspired by a multitude of themes and actions – Emotions, Causes, Patterns/Shapes, Places).  I also will be doing more involved Summer Workshops in the JLynnJewels Circle Group, including a new Mini-Class on Inspiration through Photography.  Similar to what I shared a few weeks ago, where I actually took macro photos of every day items from around my house and created abstract works of Digital Artwork that I’ll be utilizing for my own ART Tiles...participants for this mini-course, will be taken through a variety of exercises in taking both landscape and macro photos for the purpose of inspiration for creative projects, and more.

Upcoming in June…
Artisans Create Together Group:
Quick Creative Business Tune-up – June 19-21
Inspire Me, Inspire You – June 26-28

JLynnJewels Circle:
Inspiration Photography – June 22/23

Links for FB Groups:

Thank you Janice for all the work you do to help and inspire artists!  You are certainly a Gem - or wait....Jewel!!;)  If you know Janice at all you know she makes gorgeous photo collages!! Check out this one, and join her group here and find out what she does with these photos.

 A couple more of her beautiful collages for your eyes to enjoy and to stimulate inspiration!!

Now onto the prize for June.  One winner will be chosen at random from all who share in the "inspiration in everyday" group.  So come on over here and share what is inspiring you! The winner will be featured here on ABS next month and win this guy -

Hope to see you over there!!
Terri Del Signore

Friday, May 26, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: McEnroe Moments + Happy Fish Things + Kiyoi Design

Picasso is famous for his Cubist masterpieces featuring blocky faces of reclining nudes. These awesome clay components perfectly embody that style. The layers and the shapes of beads as well as the varied styles of the dangles punctuated by the tiny blue seeds makes this painting come to life. What fun to wear a masterpiece like these on your ears!

Featured Designer :: McEnroe Moments
Featured Bead Artists :: Happy Fish Things + Kiyoi Design

We are now using Pinterest! 
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline May 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for May 31st.
TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Disk Earring Project and Retreat Details

Hello and welcome to a late night Bead Table Wednesday. Today on my Facebook page I shared how to make these fun wire earrings. Watch the video below.

Resources mentioned in the video:

Humblebeads disk beads: Humblebeads VIP Party
Earring wires: Nunn Designs
Bead Cruise - registration is now open!
Adornments Retreat
I'm so excited to tell you about the retreat the Art Bead Scene and Vintaj are sponsoring this summer. Jess from Vintaj and I have worked hard to bring an amazing 3 day, bead-filled event! Instructors are Jess Italia Lincoln, Brenda Schweder, Erin Prais-Hintz and myself. 

Classes are a mixed media bonanza of wire, clay, metal, paint, ink, resin and more! Registration opens on Friday. Visit the website for complete details. 

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Bails and Beads

                                                      Handmade bail by Mary Harding

It was one of those "happy accidents" that lead to the making of this bail a few months ago.  I  had apparently made a toggle bar that was way too long and had for fun wrapped some copper wire around it and then left it to one side of my soldering station.  Weeks later I came upon it and thought it could be salvaged if I added two more loops --one on each side and completed the wire wrapping along the entire piece.  It took one of my talented customers buying it to clue me in that it could be a viable and desirable jewelry component.

Today  I am sharing several of these bails that I have made since. I have just added a few of all of them  to my Etsy shop, as well.
                                     Handmade jewelry stringing bails by MaryHarding

And now for a look at how some art beads will look on the bail:  I will begin with a Diane Hawkey pendant which I recently purchased from the Ceramic Art Bead Market on Facebook.  This is the first bead by Diane that I have ever owned and I am so taken with it.  I have admired her work for years and am so pleased to have one carefully packaged up in my bead stash.

                                            Ceramic art bead by Diane Hawkey

Next I tried out a bird bead by Gaea  also from my personal collection
                                                       Handmade art bead by  Gaea

I tried out a long bead from Something to Do Beads and it looks great in this rustic setting
                                    Handmade art bead from Something to Do Beads

And finally one of Claire Maunsell's pod beads

                             Handmade art bead by Claire Maunsell

I hope you enjoyed seeing how a handmade bail can be versatile enough to be used with a variety of art beads.
 Thanks so for stopping by today!!  See you again next month.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Inside the Studio: with Summer Wind Art

Hello everyone, since I am fairly new to the Art Bead Scene Blog I thought I would give you a little peek at the process I use to make my wood burned beads. A little known fact about my studio is that it is actually in my bedroom. It is one of the many joys of living in a two bedroom townhouse. Luckily, my husband built me an awesome desk to work at, and I have beautiful natural light coming in through my window. 
When I am going to design a bead, I almost always start in my sketchbook. I have been doodling and sketching since gradeschool and I find that it helps me work out designs without messing up wood pieces on experiments. The best time for me to sketch is during church. It is nice and quiet and I can relax and doodle without worrying about all the things at home that I need to be doing. If church isn't your cup of tea, car rides or nice comfy armchairs work just as well.   
I don't have any templates, so I sketch each wood bead by hand. Here is a before and after picture of one of my bee beads. 

I use a regular old wood burned to create my designs. As you can see by the scorched block I work on, it took quite a bit of practice to get the steady hand I needed to keep my lines straight and even. 

Wood burners can be tricky things, so I suggest if you try it, to always have a scrap piece of wood handy. 
 Some of my bird beads, half painted.

All these beads have been burned and are now ready for a quick sanding, and then paint! 

Fun fact: I have been using the same paint cups for the past 7 years!!! I love seeing all the color drips on it. 

  Here is the finished product, all painted and sealed with a couple coats of polyurethane.

Most days, my time is consumed with making beads for orders and I rarely get to play with them myself. I am trying to make designing more of a priority. I have to say, the more I design with my beads, the more ideas I get for new ones. Here are some of the pieces I was able to make this month.

Thanks for reading! Hope you all have a great time designing! 

-Ashley Bonney 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: LaTouchables + GlassByLeese + SomethingToDoBeads + DonnaPerlinplim

I think I may have said this once or twice before, but I would dearly love to see the stash that Miss Dawn of LaTouchables has access to! Every single bead, from the largest to the smallest, is selected with such care and composed with a masterful eye for placement in every single thing I have seen her make. When I look at the Picasso painting for this month I am struck by the layers, the seemingly disjointed scraps of... paper? I am not sure... that make up the composition. The result is a bit chaotic and random, yet there is a great synchronicity in the placement of each pattern, each color, each line and dot. I think that is much the same with Miss Dawn's necklace. There is a great intention in every choice here, and although there is a variety of art bead artists and materials, there is a harmony all its own. 

Featured Designer :: LaTouchables
Featured Bead Artists ::
GlassbyLeese + SomethingToDoBeads + DonnaPerlinplim

We are now using Pinterest! 
You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes,
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline May 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for May 31st.
TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Artist Spotlight on Ashley Bonney of Summer Wind Art

I have recently discovered the beautiful wood beads created by Ashley Bonney of Summer Wind Art. I saw her work in action by other designers and I found her Etsy shop and had to buy a few pieces for myself.  I love sea life, so I chose a fun set of fish and the poppy garden bracelet topper just called my name!  Ashley gifted me the fun round bead.

Ashley is on Facebook and you can find her Etsy store here

I would like to share some of Ashley's bio with you.

"Ashley Bonney says she has always been artistically inclined, dating back to her time at Jefferson Forest High School. She also always connected with nature, and says the best times are often spent with family camping, hiking and kayaking in the mountains.  Now, she has combined these two loves in her jewelry line, Summer Wind Art.  After the birth of her son, Bonney, who had been teaching art at Rustburg High School, began crafting wearable art while working from home on graphic design projects for her aunt’s jewelry business.  Delicate flowers with hombre tinged petals; henna-style leaves and vines on stained wooden backgrounds. Whimsical owls with large round eyes tucked in textured plumes, and brightly scaled fish. Paint streaks reminiscent of watercolors, accentuated by the sharp, dark lines of burned wood."

Don't you just love the rustic feel of the wood burning technique along with the pop of color the paint adds?  I am a fan!

I would like to share a super easy bracelet design using a craft store short cut with the pre-made chain links that already has the lobster claw clasp attached.  Simply add the jump rings to the bracelet topper to the correct length needed to fit your wrist.  For a little extra style, I made a spiral headpin and put a ceramic bead I made along with a bead cap, crystal and spacer bead.

Thanks and I hope you will add some Summer Wind Art beads to your stash real soon!

Michelle from Firefly Design Studio

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Creative Slump Busters

It happens to us all, sometimes life takes over and our creativity seems to abandon us, it can feel like the hardest thing in the world to take a step back and into making, drawing, designing, or even just enjoying the process of choosing colours.
I want to share with you some ways you can kick start yourself and your creativity.

1.  Don’t force it,  if like me your creativity is tied into your sense of achievement and self value trying to force yourself out of a slump can only make the upset around one worse. Consider that perhaps your lack of creativity is your minds way of telling you to take a break, refill your cup/well of inspiration.

2. Do something different, read a book, visit a museum, visit and art gallery, try to find new things to inspire you, go to the beach and just enjoying being outdoors. Don’t be scared to sit still and just let the world spin around you, you might find yourself noticing tiny things as you sit, little details, often there is a lot of wonder to be found in those little things.

3. Spend some time reflecting on yourself, often a creative slump comes along with a need for change, try and work out what that change is, do you need to try something new or take your work in a new direction?

4. Spend some time with other creative people, it doesn’t need to be in the same field, I recently spent some time with a photographer friend, it helped me to see my work through the eyes of someone else, we had a great time bouncing ideas off each other.

5. Ease yourself back in gently, make something that comes easily to you, for me that might be spacer beads, or simple earrings.

6. Above all else, be kind to yourself, you are not a machine, your creative cup may well be drained and treating yourself kindly may be the first step to a refill!

This book is a great place to start: The Artists Way

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Night Owl Earring Maker

Seize The Night

"At the end of the day, I'm just getting started."  That's my life, and probably for most women, in one way or another. I'm a night owl by nature, but forced to live as an early bird, as my day job starts at 6:30 a.m. So, when I get home from work, my studio day just begins. Now, on the weekends, I'm more myself and stay up into the wee hours of the night. And, I know Whoooo the rest of you are because I see you posting on Facebook, too at 2 a.m. ! lol

I bought these sweet little etched copper charms from Gaea Handmade a few months ago,  I decided to make frames and add crystals to bring some color and night drama.

I formed frames using 18g wire and XL round mandrel pliers. Then, attaching the frames to the charms by making simple loops with my round nose pliers. Hammering the frames a bit for strength.

Using 26g wire I added crystals.  I chose a free form pattern and went in a direction that felt right.


  • Owl charms:
  • Crystals:
  • Wire:
  • Earwires:


  • Hammer
  • Round nose pliers
  • Chain nose pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • XL round mandrel pliers found at
  • Bench block

The Earring Whisperer and  her trusty studio cat, Luna, bid you a fine farewell until next month! xo - whoo, whoo, meow!