Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Eyecatching Photography

As jewellery makers we often spend a great deal of time thinking about bead combinations, colour combinations, composition and design styles but when it comes to promoting our work it can be really hard to get the photos just right. I want to share with you some simple ideas that might help push your photography from good to great!

When we share our work online with a view to selling we lose the direct contact a customer has with a piece, they don’t have any tactile connection with our work so we have to create a visual connection and create that ‘want’ feeling. This makes the images we share all important, they need to communicate the story of the piece and make it desirable. 
Here are some bullet points to consider: 

  • The background of the photo is as important as the work, it should be in neutral tones and not distract from the work.
  • Any props should be appropriate to the jewellery, i.e Leaves for an antumnal feel, shells, small pebbles for a summery/beach feeling, soft coloured flowers for a romantic impression. Again these shouldn’t be distracting, if you are capable with your camera settings using depth of field can help props blur into the background slightly. 

The colours and props in this one are aimed for a spring time feel, pastel, peppermint, the twigs in the background are pussy willow in bud blurred using depth of field on my camera.








  • Often what people will connect with will be colour combinations so its really important that when you edit your photos you try and match the colours as accurately as possible. 
  • Consider how you are framing your jewellery, it doesn’t have to be straight on add and prop that allows you to hang earrings rather than laying them flat, or raise a section of a necklace to add visual interest. 



These earrings hang from two twigs from the garden, supported on two wooden blocks that are out of frame. 








When you are looking for a suitable background a great place to start looking is the hardware store, often you are allowed to take a small piece of wallpaper as a sample, these make 
great free backgrounds and often have interesting textures or patterns and come in a great range of colours. These are some I picked up recently. 


All neutral tones, some with texture, some flat. Avoid anything with sparkles or a shiny finish, they will reflect light and detract from your final image. 















I hope these give you some ideas for interesting photo backgrounds, why not share your own ideas in the comments section. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Earthy Spring Vibes with Summer Wind Art

Earthy Spring Vibes: 

By Ashley Bonney-Summer Wind


I have been playing around a lot lately with mixing different elements in my jewelry. When I was designing this piece, I wanted to have some fun bright elements, but I also wanted to keep it earthy. I found that adding leather cord to the end and some natural stone beads kept it nice and grounded. 





When I am adding leather cord, I like to take a long piece, fold it in half and then use a crimp end to secure it. I then add a lobster clasp and jump ring for the closure.



I really like using Vintaj Brass Findings because they age really well and are very easy to manipulate. You can see in the picture that I just linked the stone beads using eye pins and jump rings. I'll be sure to post the sizes at the end. 


The wood beads on this necklace were tricky, because one hole was very small and the other was larger. I find that wood beads do best when they are secured with twine or hemp. I have tried using eye pins in the past, but I experienced more movement than I like, so I switched to twine. In this case, because the smaller wood bead's hole was much smaller, I had to actually take the twine apart so I had a nice thin piece. I then just made a loop and the top and knotted between the beads and at the bottom. 



I hope you got a little inspiration from my post, I am always so inspired by all the ladies that post to Art Bead Scene. I have soooo much to learn, as far as techniques go, and I am so glad that we have so many talented artists here. Hope everyone has fun creating! 

Ashley Bonney
Summer Wind Art
https://www.etsy.com/shop/SummerWindArt 


Supplies:

Twine-I used Baker's Twine from Lima Beads
Leather Cording from Micheal's Craft Store
Stone Beads, any earthy color or shape
Wood Beads- Summer Wind Art

Findings:
Vintaj Natural Brass
CE20 - 9mm Crimp End
CL0003 - 12mm Classic Lobster Clasp
JR60 - 15mm Smooth 15ga Jump Ring
JR40 - 7.25mm Smooth 16ga Jump Ring
EP1 - 1in Eye Pin





Friday, March 17, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: Sarajo Wentling + Humblebeads


This flowering tree pendant looks like it was plucked right out of our painting this month. While I love birds and nests, I also love that this tree is in full radiant bloom and is the focal in this pretty necklace. Those soft milky blue beads feel like fluffy clouds on a breezy spring day. Ahhh....Spring! Come quick! Just three more days!


Featured Designer :: Sarajo Wentling
+
Featured Bead Artist :: Humblebeads

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 March 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for March 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, March 16, 2017

Firefly Design Studio is hosting Another Designers Challenge!

The fourth designers challenge has been introduced on Facebook and it's all about Spring - daisies and butterflies!  Three kits are available to choose from in blue (however, now sold out) but yellow and pink are still available.  Every challenge has a guest artist that designs a component, and this round it is the fabulous Anne Gardanne with her enameled beauties.  What you receive from Anne is a surprise!  This is what is included in the kits with a link on how to purchase one for $20 -
https://www.etsy.com/listing/516035593/firefly-design-studio-designers?ref=shop_home_active_2
https://www.etsy.com/listing/516035881/firefly-design-studio-designers?ref=shop_home_active_1

* Design time from when you receive your kit through Friday, April 14th
* Post your design pictures on the group wall on Saturday, April 15th. One picture will be a group shot of a necklace, bracelet and earring pair. Then a separate close up picture of each, for 4 pictures total. (You must use everything in the kit with anything else you want from your personal bead stash).
* Every like and comment on every picture you post is a vote. The group is public so everyone can like your pictures, but only group members can comment. This is a Facebook thing, not mine 
:)

* Voting will end at midnight, Friday, April 21st
* A prize will be awarded for public vote of a bead embroidery design and a stringing design. Anne will also have the honor of awarding a prize for the most unique use of her component. Winners will be announced Saturday, April 22nd

Does this sound like something you'd like to do?  Then don't wait to buy your kit because they are only available through Sunday, March 19th.  3 yellow and 4 pink remain out of 30 total.  Make sure you join the Facebook group - both to see the designs and vote for your favorites by liking and commenting on the pictures when they are posted.  Here's the link for that -


Hope you'll join in the fun!

Michelle McCarthy
Firefly Design Studio
Ceramic Beads

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Hello March,  Hello Spring, Hello Polymer Headpins :: By the Earring Whisperer ::




All I can think about is the coming of Spring and pastels! So, I thought I'd share some unbelievable new art beads I purchased from Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads! I'm already planing my next order! I'm a sick woman...but, please, don't help me...lol

These focal beauties are headpins! They are big and bold but since they are made of polymer clay, are super light weight which allows you to go little wild with the embellishments.  

The accent beads are from my dear friend, Kay Mallery! I have a deep collection of her work... 'bout, ankle deep actually!  She makes so many colors  that you'll need them all! These are from her stringer series, and are a favorite of mine. She tells me these started out as a mistake but it's getting harder to make that "mistake" on purpose!  Ahhh, gotta love happy accidents!




To mix things up I added some vintage chain links. I adore the pattern on these links, which look very much like an Egyptian eye! In fact, now that I'm thinking about it....the whole piece has an Egyptian flavor.  Funny how that happens even when you don't plan for it.

Well, I hope you enjoy the colors and textures! I appreciate you checking out my little blog post each month! 

Thank you!

Loralee :)


Loralee Kolton Jewelry 
www.loraleekolton.etsy.com


Supplies:

2 polymer clay headpins with a long wire of approx. 4"
2 faceted African etched spacers
2 lampwork stringer spacers
2 4mm jonquil Swarovski crystals
2 24g oxidized copper wire, 4 - 6" approx.
4 24g., pcs. 2" oxidized copper wire *optional
2 ornate links of chain 25mm oval
2 earwires, Vintaj

Directions:

1.)  Taking your headpin, string on the etched African bead, the stringer bead and lastly your bicone crystal.

2.)  Attach your chain link using a wrapped loop. I added a coiling of fine wire on each end of the link, but that is optional.

3. ) Using a piece of 4-6", 24g wire, go back and add it in between the headpin and the first strung bead by tightly      wrapping it around and around, then tucking in the end with your chain nose pliers.

4.)  Add your earwires. I chose shorter earwires due to the long length of the design.



Resources:

Polymer clay head pins:  Kimberly Rogers of Numinosity Beads www.numinositybeads.etsy.com 
Lampwork "stringer" beads:  Reflections - Kay Mallery  https://www.facebook.com/Reflections-Kay-Mallery
African recycled glass:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/yukidesigns
Vintage Chain links:  Offered by many shops on Etsy.com
Oxidized Wire:  www.artwearelements.etsy.com 
Earwires:  Vintaj

Monday, March 13, 2017

Art Bead Evolutions :: Nesting Instinct


There is something so hopeful about a bird's nest.

The urge to nest is common to many different animals, from squirrels, mice, pigs, birds - even fish! - and of course, humans. It makes sense. Shelter is of the utmost importance to survival. So it should come as no surprise that setting up a special spot for the new arrivals is so necessary.

I imagine that the birds building this formidable fortress want to protect their little ones and keep foes from intruding. But I also imagine that the interior is soft and warm and cozy, unlike the thorny exterior.

I love the sweet yellow buds and the distant blue mountains. What a beautiful view to be born into!


I decided on making a clasp for this month's Sampler. I have never worked with an extruder before, but I had bought one a few months ago and this seemed like the perfect project to test it out on. It reminds me of the spritz cookie press that I inherited from my mother. You put the dough...er...clay inside the tube and then squeeze it out the other end through a plate that shapes the clay, in this case, I used one with little holes. I ended up with a lot of brown/tan/grey spaghetti that I then fashioned into a wee little nest. I can see that these other discs will be fun to experiment with for the future!

Then I mixed up some granite and turquoise clay to make the tiniest eggs to nestle in there. I am not sure what color eggs that these birds in the picture lay, but nothing says SPRING to me than little eggs in a nest!


So I whipped up a little bracelet last night to show off the Nesting Instinct clasp that I call "Spring Awakening." A bisque birdie I have been hoarding from Summers Studio (missing you Miss LeAnn!), a branch bead from Humblebeads, some wood chips and turquoise chips as well as some oddball fire agate in a mottled golden yellow and snow white round it out. Up in that branch there looks to be a feather, so I added one to the bracelet to complete the look.





Hurry up, Spring!

Each month for my Simple Truths Sampler Club I come up with a bead, pendant or component that is inspired by the monthly challenge here on the Art Bead Scene. I challenge myself to come up with something new, but also teach myself new techniques and tricks. I write a little note with each monthly package that details my thought process and inspirations, my trial and errors. These pieces are offered to the Club members first, but then offered up for sale to the public on a limited basis. You can find out more at www.TesoriTrovati.com.


Friday, March 10, 2017

Perfect Pairings :: Alison Adorns + Humblebeads + Diane Hawkey


I have to be honest....I am totally smitten with all things bird-y! So I was really delighted to see this pretty necklace that brings together all the images that I see in this month's painting inspiration: yellow flowers, birds, nests, branches, blue skies. I adore Diane Hawkey's word beads. I have quite a dragon's hoard of them in my own stash. They always strike just the right note in any design. And this one is chirpy sweet! Hurry up,Spring!

Featured Designer :: Alison Adorns
+
Featured Bead Artist :: Humblebeads + Diane Hawkey

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