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!

Monday, May 8, 2017

April Monthly Challenge Sponsors: Allegory Gallery & Mary Harding Jewelry

We have two very talented artists as our wonderful sponsor for the May Challenge. We will have 2 Lucky Winners this Month!

Allegory Gallery
Andrew is donating in everything pictured above valued at $95 Andrew Thornton of Allegory Gallery creates handmade jewelry, jewelry components and unique art at his studio in Ligonier, Pennsylvania

"We are a creative space that's one part bead store, one part jewelry boutique, one part fine art gallery, and one part gift shop. The aim of Allegory Gallery is to promote artisan craftspeople, inspire the community to explore their creativity, and act as a focal point for classes and artistic education in the area."

Andrew is donating in everything pictured above valued at $95 which is made up of freshwater pearls, recycled sari silk ribbon, vintage seed beads, Czech glass, a strand of labradorite, vintage plastic, polymer clay by me, waxed Irish linen, and a luxury bead blend, for the Jewelry Pinterest board winner. 

Visit Andrew on FacebookEtsyTwitterInstagramAndrew's Blog and Allegory Blog.
: :

Mary Harding Jewelry

Mary Harding is one of the editors here at Art Bead Scene. Mary creates wonderful pieces of nature from clay in her Canton, New York studio. Her clay components can be seen in many pieces of jewelry made by her and many other jewelry makers.
Mary's recent work involves gathering the timeless and enduring plants of the pastures of Northern New York and channeling them to create ceramic pendants, beads, buttons and toggle clasps, marks a fresh and imaginatively interpreted fusion of styles and material embodied in her colorful renderings of these resilient beauties. This direction has made it possible for her work to be included in the Folk Gallery of the Traditional Arts in Upstate New York museum in Canton, New York.
Mary is donating the a $50 gift certificate for the Monthly Recap winner.

Visit Mary at her Website, Blog, Etsy, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook.

Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle by Pablo Picasso

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here. Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.

This Month's art has many different elements that can be used for inspiration:  abstract images, fruit, violin bottloe, orange pink teal and neutral tan colors.

We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this month's challenge! 

**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put MAY ABS in the title or tag of your submission(s).  Pinterest doesn't keep Pins in the order they are posted.

Provide us with the artist of the Art Beads used and we always love to know all the materials you used. 

***Art Beads MUST be used in your entry.***

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May Monthly Challenge

Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle
Pablo Picasso
Oil On Canvas

About the Art
This painting is an example of the Cubist technique that was developed by Picasso and Braque in Paris before the First World War. Cubism moved away from the traditional realistic depiction of an object from a single viewpoint. Rather than attempt to create a three-dimensional likeness, objects were fragmented and seen from different angles, blurring the distinction between two- and three-dimensional representation. The two artists were influenced to some extent by Cézanne's method of breaking down all forms into basic geometric shapes.
Here, the fragmented forms of a table, a bowl of fruit, a bottle, a newspaper and a violin can be identified. The artist has used areas of strong flat colour, painted dots, bare canvas and grains of sand to suggest the presence of these objects. 
This combination is characteristic of Picasso's Synthetic Cubism, in which he put together, or 'synthesised', areas of colour and texture to evoke recognisable objects. The shapes and colours are skilfully balanced to maintain the appearance of flatness and they echo one another throughout to create a satisfying and harmonious whole.
—The National Gallery

About the Artist
Spanish expatriate Pablo Picasso was one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century, as well as the co-creator of Cubism.

“Whenever I wanted to say something, I said it the way I believed I should. Different themes inevitably require different methods of expression. This does not imply either evolution or progress; it is a matter of following the idea one wants to express and the way in which one wants to express it.”
—Pablo Picasso

Born in Málaga, Spain, in 1881, Pablo Picasso, became one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century and the creator (with Georges Braque) of Cubism. A Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and stage designer, Picasso was considered radical in his work. After a long prolific career, he died on April 8, 1973, in Mougins, France. The enormous body of Picasso's work remains, however, and the legend lives on—a tribute to the vitality of the "disquieting" Spaniard with the "sombrepiercing" eyes who superstitiously believed that work would keep him alive. For nearly 80 of his 91 years, Picasso devoted himself to an artistic production that contributed significantly to—and paralleled the entire development of—modern art in the 20th century.
Our Sponsors
Please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

How to Enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.

2. Email us at to get added to the monthly challenge board.

Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request

You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.

3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board:

Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.)

Add your photo directly from your computer

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***

Please add the tag or title MAY ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is May 30th
You may upload two entries per month.


• Beads Makers Pinterest Board - Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. Two entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Monthly Challenge Recap
• Please post at least one single shot of your creation on the Pinterest Board. This will be used to make a collage for the Monthly Challenge Gallery. Every creation will be added to the collage, regardless of a blog post. So everyone gets included!

Your entry must be on Pinterest 2 days BEFORE the recap to be included.

• Be sure to share with us the name of the art bead artist in the description of your photo so that if you are selected for the weekly Perfect Pairings on Friday, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!

• An Link Up button will be added to the bottom of the Monthly Challenge Recap post. Here you will be able to link up your blog post if you have one.  Be sure to hop around and see all the great inspiration and leave some comment love!

• The Monthly Challenge Recap with Blog Tour will be posted on May 31st.

Monthly Challenge Winners
• One prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted on the Pinterest board.

• One prize winner will be selected at random from all blog posts added to the hop for the Monthly Challenge Recap post. So if you want to be in the pool for the second prize, be sure to use the Link button at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!

• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on June 1st.

Perfect Pairings: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Perfect Pairings focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photo on the Pinterest Board. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!

• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured every Friday here on the ABS, so get those entries in soon.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

April Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the April Monthly Challenge winners! 
1 winner was chosen randomly from all the challenge entrants.
1 winner was chosen randomly from the Linked blog entries.
Winner of a month of advertising on ABS from the Monthly Challenge Bead category.
Our First lucky winner is Michelle McInroe/McInroe Moments.
She has won Ceramic Leaf components valued over $50 from Firefly Design Studio
Our Second lucky winner is Terry Gauthier/Terri's Blooming Ideas.
She has won Beautiful lampworked beads valued at over $50 from T-Beads.
Our Winner from the Bead Entries of the Monthly Challenge is Barbara Hanselman/BHClaysmith.
She has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene
Please e-mail an image and link for your ad.

 A huge thank you to and our April Monthly Challenge sponsors!

( email address is acting wonky sometimes) with your information (Name and address) so your prizes may be sent to you.

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month! We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.

Visit us tomorrow to see what May's challenge brings.