Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Ornament Thursday Elaine's Links of Love

On my first day of participating in Ornament Thursday I'd like to share Links of Love with you. This idea has been pacing about in my head for over a year and Ornament Thursday was just the boost I needed to set it free. As you can see the links do not hang perfectly, but as I moved around it didn't matter - only when I stood still and took the picture was it evident.

10 Heart Connectors
1 Diamond Slice bead (or other accent bead)
1 Round Disk bead (used as accent at end of chain - not shown in picture)
44 9mm jump rings
28 6mm jump rings
12 inches chain
1 lobster claw clasp

After attempting several times to write out the pattern in a understandable manner - I gave up and instead give you this chart:

Large circles = 9mm jump rings
Small circles = 6mm jump rings
Triangles = Heart Connectors

After connecting all the jump rings and Heart Connectors in this pattern, add Diamond Slice bead to bottom 9mm jump ring using your favorite wire wrapping technique. Now add 5 inches of chain to the 6mm jump ring on the left of the top row and add 7 inches of chain to the 6mm jump ring on the right of the top row. Finish 5 inch piece of chain with lobster claw. Finish 7 inch piece of chain with Round Disk bead using your favorite wire wrapping technique. When wearing this necklace, the lobster claw can be clipped anywhere along the chain, providing for an adjustable necklace length.

This is another version of Links of Love - using just 6 Heart Connectors and 12mm jump rings in place of the 9mm jump rings.

Thanks for sharing Ornament Thursday with me. If you decide to try any of the project be sure to leave a comment with a link. See you next time on Ornament Thursday!

Don't forget to see Melanie's project here on Art Bead Scene today here

And see our whole list of Ornament Thursday links here

Ornament Thursday Earthenwood's Gothic Garden Necklace

Gothic Garden Necklace

Her lover took her by the hand and they walked together through the rose garden. The scent of roses was heavy upon them as he plucked a blood red stem from a nearby branch. He handed it to her upon bent knee, and as he stood, he noticed her raven black hair flowed beautifully in harmony with her jet black velvet and lace gown in the cool night breeze, lit only by the pale moonlight. Thoroughly smitten, he leaned in for a delicious kiss...

Whew! That's a Love Story...and the inspiration for this necklace...

1 Porcelain black & white Floral Swirl charm
3 Porcelain charcoal pumpkin beads
4 pewter 7mm Ivy bead cap antique silver
1 pewter 16x15mm Empire Link antique silver
1 pewter 13x16mm Classic Clasp antique pewter
18” 3mm czech glass fire polish bead chain, jet on black
3 2” standard weight gunmetal eyepins
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

Open one eyepin and attach to the loop at the top of the Floral Swirl charm. Close the eyepin.
String a pewter bead cap, a porcelain pumpkin, and another bead cap onto the eyepin. Using your round nose pliers, form a loop at the top of the bead cap. Trim the excess wire.
Open the top eyepin loop and attach to the bottom loop of the Empire Link. Close the loop.
Open the loops of two more eyepins and attach one to each side at the top of the Empire link. Close the loops.
String one Pumpkin bead and one bead cap onto one eyepin and use your round nose pliers to from a loop at the top of the bead cap. Trim the excess wire. Repeat on the other side.
Using a ruler, measure your bead chain and cut two 9 inches lengths. Open the top loop of the eyepin and attach to one chain end. Close the loop. Repeat on other side.

Make sure your chain ends are even and trim if needed. Open the last loop of the chain link and attach to the ring of the toggle clasp. Close the loop. Repeat on the other side with the final clasp piece.

Finished Size 18” necklace

By simply changing the charm color and design or bead colors, you have a whole new look for this necklace! Imagine this design in any of these combinations:

These bead sets are available in the Earthenwood Etsy shop, along with a limited supply of kit findings to make this necklace.

Porcelain charm and beads
Earthenwood Studio
Fusion Beads
Rings & Things
Rio Grande

Don't forget to see Elaine's project here on Art Bead Scene today here

And see our whole list of Ornament Thursday links here

Ornament Thursday Two Love Stories

Ornament Thursday has returned to become a monthly event and Art Bead Scene is proud to participate again! Each month, one or more of our talented designers will give you a free project or show you a cool idea using art beads, which will fit the theme of the month. It doesn't have to be an ornament this time around, it can be anything crafty, but everyone will be interpreting a theme. This month's theme is Love Story. Here is a little preview of what we will have in store for you, please click to see the full projects...Elaine Ray links together a little love with her ceramic heart components

Melanie from Earthenwood tells a little tale of romance in a Gothic Garden

Check out ALL the Ornament Thursday Links here!

Ornament Thursday Blog January is coming to an end and Valentine's Day is looming on the horizon. Whether you wish to shower the people you love with love or show yourself a little well deserved affection, the Ornament Thursday Gang has a bevy of beautiful ideas to inspire you!

Cindy Gimbrone Beads Cindy's Love Story is about a hook and beads

Earthenwood Studio Bead Blog What is sweeter than a mix CD for your Valentine? A yummy gift box in which to present it, filled with candy themed decorations, including a cute bracelet and cell phone charm!

Hali's Blog Hali's flowers of love in Ancient Bulgarian. Two paintings in stylized Cyrillic spell out L-U-V.

Heart mobile painted paper pulp hearts

Humblebeads Heather shares her favorite bracelet design in a Valentine inspired color scheme.

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles Jennifer has made a fun "Ornament" for her neck that looks good enought to eat.

Joolz by Lisa This "Love Story" will last all year long! Lisa shares how beads and books work together.

Katie's Beading Blog Here's a happy little heart project for you - use it to embellish a bag or your jeans, or as inspiration for a necklace or bracelet.

Kriss Cramer - Art Interrupted Grow Love! Nuture and care for your loved ones every day. Use this heartfelt book, you can make yourself, to remind you of all the love you have to give.

Linda Augsburg at Make It Mine magazine Linda's love story project is a dress she embellished by stenciling dancers and a big band along the hem. Read why and learn how to do it yourself on the Make It Mine blog.

Michelle's Love Story... The band is getting back together again! Ornament Thursday celebrates the story of love...

Savvy Crafter Candie's love affair with big rings continue...she's making her own now! Love Stories and more over at the Savvy Crafter! XOXO!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Ah, Love ! This satirical creation of Jean's immortalizes certain women's profound affecton for their ... handbags!!!

Strands of Beads Love speaks many languages. Learn how to say "I Love You" in an untraditional way with Melissa Lee's whimsical jewelry project.

SwellDesigner Alexa shares with you her truly swell and punny Valentines!

The Impatient Blogger Love is in the air at The Impatient Blogger! Margot shares two vintage inspired jewelry designs that are oozing with a good way!

Bead Scoop - Ashton Jewels

Does winter have you feeling blue? In need of a little inspiration today? Would you like to be whisked away on a mini-Italian vacation? Then I invite you to wander through the bead and jewelry gallery of Lydia Muell. In particular check out her Roman Bath House Series. Bellissimo!

And if you are snowed in today, remember the deadline for January's monthly challenge is tomorrow at midnight!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Beadmaker Interview - Gabriel Studios

Today our beadmaker interview is this month's sponsor, Michele Gesign. I'm a huge fan of her sculptural and painted beads, each one seems to have a story.

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location? Michele Gesing
Michele Gabriel Studios
Ohio US

2. What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?
I work in polymer clay, but I also like to incorporate drawing and painting. I use mostly white clay, adding color with paint and liquid polymer clay.

3. How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?
I started making beads because I simply couldn't purchase/find the beads I had in mind. I offer to do custom work for the same reason. Clients have an idea in mind and I love bringing it to fruition.
4. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? What is a typical day like?

Right now my workspace is carved out of another larger room. I've tucked my many shelves and worktable behind curtains at one end of the great room because I couldn't stand being away from the rest of the family for long. (The quote from The Wizard of Oz comes up quite often, "pay no attention to the (woman) behind the curtain.") I have metal shelves with lots of plastic drawers for clay storage, my toaster oven and my lightbox for photos. Unfortunately, I have a day job that doesn't allow me to make things until evening. I become a beadmaker about 10:00 at night.

5. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

Inspiration has never been a problem. There are so many things I want to try that it's almost overwhelming at times. Since my studio time is limited, I'm always anxious to get back behind the curtains and make something.

6. What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads?

I just really enjoy seeing what designers do with my work. I've been so surprised to see how others perceive what I've made and how it has inspired them. It's fascinating to see one of my pieces incorporated into someone else's vision.

7. What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

Something is always swirling in my head, I just need to let it out. I've been thinking about architecture so much lately. Arches and columns are bound to end up in polymer clay somehow.

8. If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers, please list it here, including the expiration date:

I'd love to offer a 10% discount in my Etsy shop through February 2008. Use code FEB at checkout.

Thank you Michele for sharing some of the process that happens in your studio. We look forward to seeing your new work!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Fit to Print: Simply Beads: February 2008

As everyone is starting to think about Valentine's Day, we'd like to direct your attention to the February 2008 issue of Simply Beads which is stuffed full of hearts and love filled projects. On page 26, Brokenhearted by Melanie Brooks Lukacs of Earthenwood Studios shows us it really is OK to wear your heart on your sleeve (or at least on your chest).

Turn to page 86 and you can see Melanie at work again with Dots and Spots, a perfect set of earrings to go along with Brokenhearted or to be worn solo.

These Heart charms are the soul of Dots and Spots.

Turn a few more pages to see a special bag titled Next to my Heart by Tari Sasser of Creative Impressions in Clay on page 88. Instructions are provided for both this 2 x 2 1/2 and a 3 1/2 x 5 inch bag.

The larger bag features a Free Form Picasso-esque button, which Tari made by drawing freehand designs into the clay button, and is accompanied by a heartfelt Thank Goddess ceramic charm.

These loving hands help to hold the smaller bag close to your heart.

Take your time to read through all the great info in this issue of Simply Beads - I'm sure you'll begin to get into a loving holiday mood. Post link to your favorite heart project - I'm feeling sort of sappy today - which doesn't happen often, so post those links fast!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

As The Bead Turns January 27, 2008

Bringing you all the dirt and drama from the beading blog world...

Spotted in the Art Bead Scene Flickr pool as an entry for this month's challenge Jewelry MakingNot feeling inspired to make any Valentine's jewelry? Tammy's got some ideas to get your heart jewelry going on.
Art Bead Scene has the scoop on Spring jewelry trends!

Jewelry & Beading
Deborah Kwitney is the featured artist this week on Jewelry & Beading. You'll be amazed by the wide range of styles that Deborah has mastered!

Katie's Beading Blog
If you're going to the upcoming gem/bead shows in Tucson, don't miss Katie's workshops at the Swarovski Event!

Savvy Crafter XOXO! Love is in the air over at Candie’s blog as she kicks off the first installment of “Heartsy and Artsy”; Valentine Ideas for your Friends and Family. XOXO!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean has a son getting married and her thoughts turn to wedding jewelry: specifically, one of her Party Dress Charm bracelets entitled "Marry Me". It is a dream all in white: Venetian heart shaped beads, Swarovski Crystals, white pearls, sterling, and a sweet special charm which is an "open heart": always let the love in!

The Impatient Blogger Going to a big tradeshow for some shameless self promotion? Margot has a little hard earned advice to share about how to maximize your time and energy.

Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week? Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Studio Saturday at the Scene

Each Saturday, one of the contributing editors of ABS will share with you some of the things going on in their studio. We encourage you to participate by commenting to the post. And as an incentive, we will offer a small prize each week, given to one random commenter! Sound like fun? We hope you will join in...

This week's winner is Janel! Please use the suggestion box to send your mailing address to us and Heather will send your bead out right away!

There are many projects in progress in my studio. Along with children coming and going, leaving a trail of assorted items and messes. If you hadn't figured it out my studio is always a mess and in constant state of chaos. I know where most things are located.
I am working on the new Decorative Scissors Tips that were recently in Creative Knitting Magazine. They have become very popular with Knitters and Stitchers. Glazed tips can be seen on flickr and at

Stacks of buttons waiting to be cleaned or glazed is a constant. To the left are stacks of the Square Graphic Button in two different sizes. Some are for orders, the extras are to build an inventory of buttons to help prep for the upcoming show season.

I am always sketching new designs. Which sometimes gets in the way when I need to make progress glazing and I have to stop to draw out what is in my head. It has to come out! It's also the over 45 syndrom...I just won't remember.

Buttons are used by everyone on a daily basis. Most people don't stop to think about what that small disk does for them. Taken a step further buttons can adorn your favorite sweater, coat or bag and is the final touch needed to make your piece look fantastic.

Do you have a favorite type or shape of button? It can be plain, ornate, handmade, or antique. Do you have a favorite design or one you would like to see? I'm always open to new designs. Sometimes new ideas are helpful.

The prize this week for one lucky commenter is one of the Square Graphic Buttons shown above. Of course, I'll glaze it first!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Art Beads and Armatures

Designing with art beads creates numerous possibilities for wearable art. Key to a beautiful design is construction. Good design is durable and beautiful. An armature allows your piece to stand out while ensuring quality construction.

Normally, we think of an armature in relation to sculpture, but it serves the same function in wearable art. An armature provides support for the jewelry piece and is most often heavy gauge wire. An armature and art beads example comes from Cyndi L. of Mazeltovjewelry who blogs about a piece she created using an armature. Another example comes from Hand Felted Jewelry and Beads published by Interweave Press and includes a bracelet using an art bead and an armature.

Art beads and armatures - another idea for your jewelry design!

(Photo credit: ABS Flicker gallery - ebbandflo pomomama)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Fit to Print Review: Links by Jean Yates

I recently purchased the book "Links" by Jean Yates. It is quite a rarity for me to purchase a bead book, as I have been beading for many, many years and am familiar with most basic techniques, so the book has to be pretty special for me to want to purchase it. "Links" fits that criteria for me. While this book is perfect for a beginner, full of basic techniques tho get one started in jewelry making, it also contains beautiful photos with incredible art beads, enlightening interviews, valuable thoughts on creativity and inspiration, and more advanced techniques to please even the seasoned bead artist.
The thing I like best about the book is that it features many incredible art beads from popular and well known artists such as Barbara Becker Simon, Aardvark Glass, Emma Ralph, Green Girl Studios, Kate McKinnon, and many others. I would say that more than half of the projects contain art beads, and the others use high quality, beautiful materials as well. Scattered throughout the book are mini features called "Creative Connections" which are snippets of interviews Jean has done with the bead artists whose beads she has used in the projects, which really brings a nice collaborative feeling to the book.

I especially enjoyed Jean's introduction to each project, each of which tells a personal story of inspiration...what she was thinking of when she designed the piece. Some of her jewelry stories are about people she knows, family and friends, or memories of her youth. Yet others are a response to the beautiful materials she created with. Each story helps the reader to understand the *why* of the project, which is followed by *how* with the instructions. As an advanced beader, the *why* is what interests me, as I am continually searching for sources of creativity myself.
But the *how* is an integral part of this book, as it is full of projects and instructions. And the first day I sat down to read "Links", I was inspired to learn a new technique! The more advanced projects near the back of the book called to me. There are several beautiful chain making projects in the book, many which feature art beads. Chain making is a technique that I am often intimidated by, but Jean shows the basic techniques in such vivid detail and direction, I was able to whip out my first Byzantine bracelet in no time! And since then, I have been itching to try some of the other chain techniques shown in the book as well. My bracelet project is not a direct copy of the one in the book, and again and again Jean shows us that that is the point to become inspired by projects and techniques and make them our own!

I highly recommend Jean Yates' "Links" to everyone who is interested in beads, at any level. I believe it has something for everyone!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Findings Worth Finding - Saki Silver Spacer Bars

I love components that offer unlimited design possibilities. These round spacers from Saki Silver offer loops in the back that could be strung horizontally or vertically with multi-strands. They come in four different textures that would work with any of your favorite art beads! Okay, I'm off to order some of these for myself...I feel a few ideas brewing.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bead Those Winter Blues Away

From NoEasyBeads:
Don't let those winter blues slow you down. Now is the time to play with your beads and try something new. Create something to please yourself. Don't let those blues grab you by the seat of the pants. Grab those beads and bead happy! (Eat chocolate, that helps too!)

Add a new technique to your beading repertoire if winter has you feeling blah.

If you are in the mood for beading, Beverly has an easy project featuring a multi-hole art bead as the focal point in her Caribbean Queen Necklace.

I could see art beads used in Eni Oken's Coiled Frame Wrap project. I've been itching to try out one of Eni's tutorials. This project has a lot of possibilities. You could make one as part of a pendant, just add a few dangles to the bottom. Make two for earrings. Create the bracelet pictured or go crazy and make a long version for an incredible necklace.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Bead Theme-Ice Storm

Ice-Ice Baby...then comes the riff from Queen's song Under Pressure, I'm not supposed to say that.
"Ice Storm" beads to help inspire you with this months Bead Theme.

The Frost is on the Berries by Heather Powers :: Humblebeads

Pixie Snow Princess by Melanie Brooks Lukacs :: Earthenwood Studio

Ice covered Tree by Elaine Ray :: Elaine Ray Beads

Icy Blue Water by Cindy Gimbrone :: Cindy Gimbrone Beads

Ice Blue Eyes by Tari Sasser :: Creative Impressions In Clay

Icy Blue Moondance by Virginia Miska :: Virginia Miska Nature Inspired Designs

Get your entry in for this months "Ice Storm" inspired ABS challenge before January has melted away.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

As The Bead Turns: January 20, 2008

Bringing you all the dirt and drama from the beading blog world...

Spotted in the Art Bead Scene Flickr pool as an entry for this month's challenge
The Art Bead Scene editors are sharing a little Valenine's love early, with a post full of love related eye candy Jewelry Making
Tammy talks about an article she recently read which deals with various jewelry-related ethical issues such as free trade. Even though many of us are "small time" designers, that doesn't mean we can't at least listen to this on-going conversation which is a hot button issue in the jewelry industry right now.

Jewelry & Beading
Amazing fiber and bead artist Rebecca Brown is profiled on Jewelry & Beading this week.

Katie's Beading Blog
The February Triple Take from Simply Beads is online now. Visit Katie's blog for pix and links to this month's fun, hearty projects!

Naughty Secretary Club

This week’s link is not about jewelry, but instead about supporting fellow crafter Bernie Berlin in her quest to expand her animal shelter A Place to Bark. Bernie saved over 500 cats and dogs last year and with our help can save even more!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!

Eni Oken ( is a famous wire working star. I just had to try my hand at her fascinating ring. She was really kind and encouraging to me by email, and enthusiastic, too! That is what I love in a teacher! It makes you WANT to learn from that person!

The Impatient Blogger

So you sold a project or a book, now what? Summon your inner pirate with Margot Potter as she tells you how to negotiate a fair deal. Arrr...

Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week? Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Studio Saturdays at the Scene

Each Saturday, one of the contributing editors of ABS will share with you some of the things going on in their studio. We encourage you to participate by commenting to the post. And as an incentive, we will offer a small prize each week, given to one random commenter! Sound like fun? We hope you will join in...

This week's winner is Stacia! Please use the suggestion box to send your mailing address to us and Melanie will send your bead out right away!

This year I'm focusing on creating new beads and experimenting more with shapes. These oval beads are part of a new collection I'm working on. They were inspired by the request of a bead artist who had a particular design in mind.

One of the advantages of making beads is that I'm limited only by my own imagination when it comes to shapes. So this week I'm asking for a little inspiration...What is your favorite bead shape? Do you have one that you seem to be drawn to more than others? I'd love to hear from you. And for one lucky commenter the prize this week is one of my new toggle beads.

Friday, January 18, 2008

2008 Spring Jewelry Trends

I love reading Pantone's Color Trend reports for the Spring and Fall fashions. The 2008 Spring report has been out for a while, but now is when my mind turns toward the season.

Trends from the Designing Divas Blog:

*Blackened Metals - designing with chain is still going strong
*Textures - whether hammered metal, fibers or facets, textures are big.
*Charms - vintage inspired, birds, floral

Color Trends ·
Muted pastels of pink, green, yellow, and blue
Light gray and light coffee neutrals
Jewel-tone violet and yellow-green

Hot gemstones:
Blue Quartz
Gray onyx
Rose Quartz
Smoky Topaz

And this is just me, but I'm seeing a lot of Art Nouveau influenced beads and jewelry.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bead Scoop - Beading on the Go!

With only 6 weeks to go until I set sail on the Bead Cruise, traveling with beads has been on my mind. There are so many different traveling bead cases on the market, I'm sure they all do the trick. The one pictured is called The Bead Buddy. I like that it has a place for tools and projects that can fit underneath the beadboard.

I use plastic storage containers that have removable compartments so you can put larger items in them, like tools and wire. When I pack beads for traveling I put together little inspiration kits with beads that look good together and a few focal art beads. I'm not one to travel with every bead I own, I like the challenge of using what I have to design something new.

Beverly from NoEasyBeads likes to stock up on Christmas cookie tins when they are on clearance after the holidays. She stuffs a lot of beads in those little things.

Besides storage boxes full of beads and your basic tools, here are a few other helpful things to take along when you and your beads hit the road...

Needle Threader - if you are working with seed beads

OTT Lite & Extension Cord - good light is important!

Bead Scoop - super easy clean up

Bead Mat - keeps beads from rolling around, can be folded away or rolled up to save space when you're done.

Here is a nifty version of the Bead Mat, this designer has created them into a tray!

Do you have any beady travel tips to share with me? I'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I Love Tools - Chain Holder

Chain Holder

Just a quick post to show you a chain holder I made to help with my new adventures in jewelry design. Sometimes I need a third or fourth hand to help hold a chain straight to get charms hanging from the right links and in the correct direction. Also, sometimes if I can work with this set up, I do a slight bit less of bending over my desk - anything to save my neck and back is good with me!

I've seen similar set ups commercially made, but you know me, I love to use tools and this was a great excuse to use the power drill.... The bottom board is a piece of scrap wood, the dowel rods are new and the clothes pins I had around. As you can see, there are several holes in the bottom board allowing dowel rod change of position. The trickiest part of the whole assembly was drilling holes into the bottom of the clothes pins to insert and glue the dowel rods into. The clothes pins where stabilized in a vise, but it was still difficult.

Post a comment with link to your hand made beading tools you'd like to share with our readers - we all love learning new tricks!

Thanks for stopping by, Elaine

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Brr...Staying creative in the cold?

Whoops! You know what comes with winter? Hibernation! Looks like the editors fell asleep today, huddled away in our little studios, hopefully keeping warm.

Just a quick reminder that this month's Challenge theme is Ice Storm. We have great prizes and there are already many entries in the Flickr pool. Stop by HERE and take a look, maybe you will find a little inspiration!

We will see you tomorrow morning with a new post for you...
(porcelain charms above by Earthenwood Studio)