Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Heart Pendant Ideas

Welcome to Bead Table Wednesday! Today I share with you some ideas for designing pendants with heart beads. Watch the video to see my tips for this week.

Bead Resources from the Video:
Hearts - Humblebeads Etsy (update on Friday)
Enamel leaves - Gardanne Beads 
Lampwork bird and leaf headpins - Thornburg Bead Studio
Wire headpins: The Curious Bead Shop
Word beads: Diane Hawkey
Pewter Nest: Green Girl Studio
Brass bird: Vintaj 
Chain and jump rings: Yadana Beads
Leather: Nunn Designs
Leaf and branch connector: Anna Bronze
Steel wire: Ace Hardware 

Brass bird, leather and 15mm jump rings: Lima Beads

Bead & Button's much easier to create the wrapped loop on top and then string on the heart bead and do a wrapped loop at the bottom of the heart. Took me the whole video to figure that one out! 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A little love from the Art Bead Scene - Heart Beads, Pendants and Charms

Today I'm sharing a collection of artisan heart components from some of our team members. We can all use a little more love in our day to day. Hearts are the darling of Valentine's day, but they are never out of season - love is always in style!

Tesori Trovati - delicate tiny polymer clay roses are nestled in a heart pendant.

Firefly Design Studio - classic red heart ceramic charms are perfect for earrings.

Creative Impressions in Clay - playful and fun this graphic ceramic heart button can be ordered as a pendant too.

Summer Wind Art - a hand-painted wood-burned pendant featuring a homespun heart. 

Mary Harding - an organic take on the heart theme with a floral pendant in ceramic. Mary often sells her work on the Ceramic Art Bead Market on FB and here is the direct link for this pendant.

Soul Silver - a trio of etched lampwork heart beads.

Humblebeads - layers of branches, leaves and flowers cover this colorful polymer clay heart beads.

Have you made a piece of jewelry with a heart art bead/component? I'd love to see it!  Share your link in the comment.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: Winter Bird Studio + Scorched Earth + Pinocean + Garden of Beads

The bright bold colors is what attracted me to this pair of earrings. That and the petal shape of the main component. I like the textures that are in play here...the dripped paint effect, the filigree brass leaves, the dots on the tiny spacers. These earrings would perk up anyone with mid-winter blues!

Featured Designer :: Winter Bird Studio
Featured Bead Artists :: Scorched Earth + Pinocean + Garden of Beads

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 January 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for January 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.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Art Bead Evolutions :: January - Growing Free

I am not quite sure exactly how long I have been doing it. But it is likely since about 2011. 

That was the year after I started making my Simple Truths components in polymer clay. I thought it would be fun to offer my followers a way to ensure that they got the newest pieces that I was creating, and it would also allow me to keep coming up with something new, while also using it as an excuse to teach myself new techniques. The idea was that I would make a limited edition pendant or component in a little surprise package delivered each month to members who select 3-, 6-, 9- or 12- month subscriptions. I called it the Simple Truths Sampler Club

For about a year or so I was just making something that spoke to me. Possibly seasonal or thematic. But I found that to be a hard thing for me to sustain because it seemed....lacking something special. 

Don't get me wrong... I love each little creation I make (I totally forgot about the Queen Bee Rules!), and looking through these old pictures is like visiting with old friends (friends that I often wonder where they traveled to or what they became?). Some of them I even still make today because they have never gone out of style.

This is one of the few Sampler pendants that I made (April 2014) that I still take custom orders for today.
If you know me at all, you know that I absolutely have to have a meaningful message behind what I create. Often my creations have words, poems or song lyrics woven into them. Sometimes the image is enough.

And then it hit me....each month I was writing and creating for the Art Bead Scene with the awesome art challenges and I truly loved those inspirations. They were the sole reason I started using art beads in the first place, and the way that I got into making my own. Why not use the monthly art as my Sampler Muse? Absolutely, an aha moment!

In addition to the component, I started sending out a little letter to the members detailing the monthly challenge response to the inspiration...anything new that I learned along the way...and my process for creating something inspired by it. I have heard that they love these little letters. So I have decided that I will share this monthly missive with all of you so you can be privy to how I interpret the challenge theme each month. Welcome to my new series: Art Bead Evolutions.

The pieces that I make are created first and foremost for the Club members. If there are more created in a limited run, or if I decide to offer them as a custom made-to-order piece, then they will be available in my shop. 

Art Bead Evolutions

Simple Truths Sampler :: January 2017

With the bleak landscape of winter around here it is easy to get stuck in a rut of doing neutrals or dark and moody monochromatic color schemes. At least it is for me. That is why I was so happy to see that the artwork for January was bright and full of vibrant colors! Maybe these colors are more typical for end of August or early September, but that is why I love them all the more for January.

The painting by Egon Schiele is a departure from his most famous works which typically include figures and nudes. This Field of Flowers is just bursting forth with a liveliness that January desperately needs. There is a child-like exuberance in this painting with the simple brush strokes for each petal. I love the tapestry quality of this mass of flowers. The petals almost look as if they could be stitched. (Wouldn't this make a gorgeous quilt?) I can almost feel the heat on the back of my neck and the bees buzzing lazily around the blooms.

There are a lot of colors to work with in this painting. The varying shades of burgundy to pumpkin to ocher to cream is complemented by the various shades of green in the stems and the leaves. You can stay with the analogous warm tones and then add in the complementary color of green from the other side of the wheel. And if orange is your nemesis (as it was mine a few years ago), this is the perfect time to give it a shot! Make it the star! That is the only way that I know to make it my own. Adding little pops of lighter or darker values allows texture to play an important role in whatever you create.

For this month's component I decided to turn my focus to the flower shapes. Last month I started working again in micro mosaics for a new gallery exhibit. Using up all those bits and pieces I have amassed has given me a new focus and helped me breathe new life into all of my work, not just jewelry. I knew this would be the perfect technique to use.

While not necessarily a new-to-me technique, usually I make micro-mosaics very flat. This one I wanted to be dimensional. So that in itself was the challenge.

I had sold kits for a bracelet design I did that was in a magazine a few years back and ended up with a lot of these bright marquise shaped epoxy resin components left over. I realized they would make the perfect daisy petals. So I came up with a design that would allow me to use them in different color combinations for a charming little pendant that is practically bursting with life. This posy is sure to make you smile!

  1. a flower of an uncultivated variety or a flower growing freely without human intervention.

It seemed to me that this field of flowers that Egon came upon was likely just a bunch of wildflowers. I like the idea of wildflowers as "growing freely". That means they are hardy and sturdy and able to withstand the elements. If I learned only one thing from this past year it is that we all need to be hardy and sturdy and able to withstand the elements. We are stronger together and all our colors blend for a more beautiful vista. I want to be just like this wildflower. So I named these pendants Growing Free

And something else I want to do in the new year... as well as creating the components, I want to make sure that I save one for myself to make something. More often than not I give them all away! I made mine just a bit more bling-y with a different center to the flower. To complement the colors of the bloom, I did a color-block sort of pattern with dyed gaspeite magnesite, carnelian, resin flower rounds and dyed buri seed tubes. I call this necklace Like a Weed.

I am looking forward to seeing your Field of Flowers inspired by this painting! 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bead Table Wednesday - Painting Chain and Beaded Clusters

In today's video I share how to alter chain with Vintaj Patina paints. With a few tricks you can quickly transform a plain chain with a pop of color. The second half of the video is demostration on how to embellish chain with wire and keishe pearls.

Video Resources:

Supplies Used for Chain:
Vintaj Patina Paints
Nunn Designs Round Chain in Antique Silver
Liver of Sulfur Extended Life Gel
400 grit wet/dry automative sandpaper

Beaded Clusters:
Keishe Pearls (Rings & Things
5mm oval copper chain (soldered rings)
26 gauge brass colored wire

Birds and disk beads: Humblebeads

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Earring Whisperer - Chain Tassel Earrings

Hello, 2017 Greetings! I am new to the Art Bead Scene team, my name is Loralee Kolton. I wish you all a wonderful, bright and creative New Year!

I was delighted to find that Chinese New Year falls in January this year, so I thought, how lovely for my first monthly feature to have an Asian touch!

I have to say, I'm pretty crazy about these; they have lovely movement and shimmer! Sexy stuff! They are bold and yet easy on the ear. Comfort and balance is always important.


1 pair, ceramic artisan charms with multiple connectors .
8, 3 mm vermeil  seed beads.
4, 4mm oxidized jump rings.
20 pcs., .75" black and gold chain.
6 pcs. of 2.5" - 3" 26g. oxidized copper or brass wire.
2 oxidized brass or copper earwires.

Earwires and jump rings by Vintaj.
Vermeil seed beads and chain: Many shops on Etsy carry these items.


1. Taking the ceramic charm and one piece of 26g wire, thread it through a connector loop, leaving a small tail to hold down with your thumb. 

2. Begin to coil the wire around the loop,  going up as high or as low as you'd like. Snip the wire with cutters and press the end tail with your chain nose pliers until smooth. Repeat on all connector loops.

*Small vermeil seed beads were added to the top loop by slipping them on one at a time as you coil the wire.

3. Take two open jump-rings and add 5 pcs. of chain to each. Attach the jump-rings to the connector to form a tassel.

4. Add earwire to the top connector. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Five Free Island Inspired Jewelry Tutorials

Would you like a quick island escape with a nice big plate of beady eye-candy? Of course! I have five free projects to share with you.  

Each year for the Bead Cruise I create a mini-magazine with free projects and resources from our sponsors. Today you can check it out and download a copy for yourself! 

Lampwork wings and butterfly from Kim Snider, Enamel leaves, flowers and butterflies: Gardanne and disk beads: Humblebeads. 

Pewter button from Mamacita Beadworks.

Flower from Creative Impressions from Clay and round bead from White Clover Kiln.

Looking for great bead resources? Check out our amazing Bead Cruise sponsors!