Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Book Review - Beading with Filigree

Beading with Filigree
by Cynthia Deis
I impatiently waited all summer to order this book. Once it arrived it has been on the top of my bead book pile as I frequently turn to it when I'm in need of a shot of inspiration. Cynthia's book starts off with an in depth "Filigree Primer" filled with the history of filigree, the styles, metals and finishes. The chapter on "Getting Started" introduces you to the cast of beads used in the book along with some great little tips and hints. The book is presented in an encouraging format with an emphasis on your own creativity.
The "Basic Techniques" gives you the how and why of using different types of filigree. Along with jewelry-making basics, there are informative tips for working with the filigree and a few ways to treat the surface, like heat treating and painting. Painting filigree, OMG, you have to see the Lucille necklace. You'll be pulling out the spray paint before you know it!
The rest of the book focuses on step-by-step projects that vary from simple earrings to complex asymmetrical necklaces. The designs range from delicate to bold. The techniques cover stringing to embellishing filigree with seed beads, so there is something for every one's tastes. While the projects focus on beads that are more readily available, each design could benefit from adding in your favorite art beads! I highly recommend adding this to your bead book library.

You can find the book and many of the supplies used in the projects at Ornamentea.

Don't forget, midnight is the deadline to enter the September Filigree Challenge. You could win a signed copy of Beading with Filigree!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - Lauren Abrams

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

This week Tari of Creative Impressions in Clay picked Lauren Abrams' necklace. Tari noted, "Fantastic! Colorful, expressive and very unique! It also has an art nouveau feel to it." You can see more work by Lauren by visiting her flickr albums.

Our theme this month is filigree, filigree in clay is an interesting twist.

There are only a few days left to enter our monthly challenge. Create something that combines the theme with art beads and then send in your submission for the September Challenge!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Ice Cream Truck is in the Desperate Neighborhood!

It's the end of summer but before the ice creams trucks are parked for the winter, Tari of Claybuttons.com is treating everyone to popsicles, chocolate ice cream, soft serve ice cream and push pops.

While the Desperate ABS Neighbors are enjoying their treats, let's take a walk out into the Bead Blogging World to see what else is going on.....

About.com Jewelry Making
For those in the jewelry biz, Tammy has a collection of jewelry business topics up for discussion in the Jewelry Making Forum.

Art Bead Scene
Fall Foliage as Seen Through The Trendy Bead

Barbe Saint John: New Jewelry from Old Artifacts
Barbe talks about Personal Imagery-what says YOU in your work?

Crochet Pillow Pendant
Carmi saves a pillowcase's trim by turning it into wearable art.

Jennifer Jangles Blog
Halloween Project

Jewelry & Beading
Repurposing autumn-colored beads gives you a stylish new necklace!

Katie's Beading Blog
Hear all about Katie's experience on The Big Idea. Check it out!

Linda from BeadStyleMag.com
An Oktoberfest-inspired bracelet complete with step-by-step photos and instructions

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean's got some earring designs in this elegant looking book, due out soon!

Strands of Beads
Melissa reminisces about her first time.

Have you heard any good dirt in the beading world? We'd love for you to share!

Gossiped...errr...reported by Cindy Gimbrone, ice cream lover and glass beadmaker.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Studio Saturday-Unleashed

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This week's winner is jenny j. at JenJuddRocks! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive your Pumpkin Beads from Jennifer at Jangles.

Fun, Funky&Functional Eyeglass Leash! I love these leashes. They are too fun and colorful. I just can't get enough of color! I am constantly loosing my glasses throughout the day. Here's my fun solution. They are made with my Bead Buttons w/loops on both sides and anodized aluminum jump rings. And the plastic eyeglass finding. They have sold well at the last 2 shows I did.

iPod Unleashed!
I had to show off my new iPod Touch with it's custom skin. I found www.skinit.com by accident one day. You can get your custom skin made with any photo you choose. Plus you can put text on it.
My new iPod Touch is sporting my Tie Dye Buttons. It definitely is not mistaken for anyone elses iPod!

This weeks prize is a set of 6 Bead Buttons with loops on each side so you can make your own eyeglass leash or necklace.

Do you like the leash and would you wear it?
What would you make with the Bead Buttons if you were this weeks winner?

Leave your comment and you just might be the lucky winner!!

Tari- Creative Impressions In Clay

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Bead Biz: Tweet it Out Loud!

Getting the word out on your bead and jewelry business can be a chore. When are you going to have time to do marketing? But take heart, Virginia - there is a way to market in little bits at a time and like cream cheese on a bagel, a little bit can go a long way!

What's a little bit of marketing? Twitter.

What's Twitter you ask?

It's a social broadcasting tool that answers the question, What are you doing?

How do you do it?

Sign up for twitter to start "tweeting." A tweet is a 140 character or less update of what you're up to. It's like texting to a group of people instead of just one person. Your tweet is broadcast to anyone who is following you and on the public timeline

You can tweet from your desktop, your laptop and even text it!

So get the word out on your business - Twitter it Out Loud!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ornament Thursday...Jennifer's Not-So-Scary Halloween Bracelet

Welcome to Ornament Thursday, this months theme is Brew.

It's almost October and if you haven't already started sporting your Halloween jewelry then now is the time. I noticed today on my morning walk the bats, pumpkins, and scarecrows are making their debut in my neighborhood. I love making my Halloween beads and each year I try to add at least one new style to my website. This year it is the Boo beads. This is a simple bracelet to make, but it packs a lot of color and fun. The supplies and instructions are below.....
1 Ceramic toggle
4 Halloween Character beads, bat, skull, ghost, witches hat
7 5 x 10 mm orange round glass beads
4 orange size 6 seed beads
2 crimps
beading wire

1. Attach one end of your beading wire to the loop portion of the toggle.
2. Begin, by stringing a glass bead, followed by a bat bead, and another glass bead. String a Boo bead, a glass, a ghost, and a glass bead. Next add a Boo bead, a glass, a witches hat, a glass, and a Boo bead. Follow this with a glass bead and a skull. Last, add the 4 seed beads and the crimp.
3. String the toggle bar onto the wire and then send the wire back through the crimp. Pull the wire snug and try the bracelet on for size before crimping. If it fits, crimp the bead and trim the excess wire.

Visit the other Ornament Thrusday Participants for more brew-ha-ha!

BeadStyle & Milwaukee's heritage Linda shares her Amber Bock Bracelet

Brew'in up a few Witches Witches born of glass

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva New Beads are Brewing...

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble... Joolz by Lisa has a "Hairy" Twist on OT Brew

It's not easy being green Michelle yearns to be the Wicked Witch of the West - we think she's hit pay dirt here.

Strands of Beads Something wicked is brewing at Melissa's place

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I Heart Tools - Only Have Eyes For You

They aren't glamorous. They can be easy to forget sometimes.

Unlike pliers or wire cutters, there are times when you can get the job done without them.

But your eyesight is very important. If you read the labels on your wire snips and other tools, you will see them recommended, to protect you from flying wire ends.

They are so important. If you don't have them, consider getting a pair of safety glasses. If you wear corrective glasses, they will fit right on top of those. The first time a clipped piece of wire bounces off of them, you will be glad you had them on. And I think they could be decorated to make them more fun to look at, like painted bifocals.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Bead Scoop - Fiber Beads

Librarian by day, beadmaker by night, Eleanore Brown offers a beautiful collection of handmade fiber beads in her Etsy shop. The beads are created using a variety of fibers. They are a wonderful bit of texture for your jewelry, quilt embellishment, wall hangings and mixed media pieces.

(FIBER BEAD We think we're beautiful. She thinks we are scrappy. One of us is obviously mistaken.)

Over the past three years Eleanore has developed her technique to produce beads that can withstand everyday wear. Most are able to go through the washing machine, tumble dry and the ends can be trimmed down. With the exception of the beaded beads, due to the delicate nature of the beadwork.

(FIBER BEAD We know delicacy attracts and charms, making people pleased and satisfied.)

The beads come in long and lean or a shorter, large hole version. This etsy seller is open to special requests for different quantities or sizes.

(FIBER BEAD Big Hole So the bead in love with itself and envious of the beauty of Czech beads will look with the enemy's eye on those more beautiful.)

Eleanore's beads are not the quiet type. Each title gives a little glimpse into their personality! Which makes visiting her site entertaining and inspiring.

(Click on the images to go directly to the listings.)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Designer of the Week - JewelrybyLDesigns

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

This week Jennifer of Jangles picked JewelrybyLDesigns' Rosa Bacio necklace. Jennifer noted, "I like her mix of colors, textures, and materials. They give her work a very eclectic and vintage feel." You can see more work by JewelrybyLDesigns in her Etsy shop.

Our theme this month is filigree and I like how the designer created her own filigree with wire. Want to be next week's featured designer? Create something that combines the theme with art beads and then send in your submission for the September Challenge!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

No Gossip or Martinis in the Desperate Neighborhood!

Fall is coming, dear readers, and the Desperate Neighbors have been scarce around the neighborhood, working like squirrels to be ready before the snow flies. There has been a little less gossip around the neighborhood because Heather has been locked in her studio making beads,

while Jennifer has stayed away from the martinis (wink) long enough to remodel her studio.

The rest of the Desperate ABS Neighborhood is busy too so let's nose around in Bead Blogging World to see what else is going on.....

About.com Jewelry Making
Mixed-Media is still a very hot topic in the jewelry making world, as evidenced by two recent book reviews posted at About.com Jewelry Making.

Art Bead Scene
Do You Have Junk Envy? The Art Bead Scene does!

Barbe Saint John: New Jewelry from Old Artifacts
Another Marketing Monday and Barbe talks about what is involved with creating a line sheet.

BeadStyle Magazine
Stacy shares her story about working with the jewelry designers who contribute to BeadStyle magazine -- could you be next?

Carter Seibels for Divali Glass Jewelry
It's the beginning of the busy season, and Carter has new designs to share!

Clear Resin Silhouettes
Carmi lets her image stand alone in a clear resin ice cube.

Jennifer Jangles Blog
The new studio is finished.

Jewelry & Beading
Learn one of the foundational skills of jewelry making: the wrapped wire loop.

Katie's Beading Blog
Tune in this Thursday to hear Katie as a guest expert on CNBC's The Big Idea. They're profiling the inventor of a new game called Bead Trade.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean finds a lot to like about the fun book by Karin Buckingham, Altered You!

Strands of Beads
Melissa reviews a book of grace, style and wit - Links by Jean Yates

Have you heard any good dirt in the beading world? We'd love for you to share!

Gossiped...errr...reported by Cindy Gimbrone, Desperate Neighborhood snoop and glass beadmaker.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Studio Saturday with Jangles

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner. This week's winner is Elaine at Tooaquarius! Congratulations! Please send your postal address to the ABS Suggestion Box to receive your Love Links from Cindy.

Today we are in Jennifer Heynen's, Jangles studio.....

Hi there, everyone, it's my turn for Studio Saturday. It has been an exciting week for me so I have a lot to show you. First and foremost, if you read my blog, you have seen that I have just completed my new studio space. We made our guest/office/play room in to my studio. I ripped up carpet, tore down wallpaper, and painted to get this space in working condition. I absolutely love it now and I spend most of my time there now.

As for the beads that I have been making in my new studio....

Next week is Ornament Thursday and I will be contributing for Art Bead Scene. The theme is Brew and I have been busy stirring up some new beads for it. Here are some of my beads, they are a bit funkier than my usual beads, but Halloween is supposed to be fun so I wanted to make some fun beads. These are stuffed animal eyes.
I am not really sure these will make it into my design, but they were fun to make. Spooky eh?
I also made these Boo word beads. I thought they would accompany my Halloween pumpkins, ghosts, and bats well.

And last but not least, I have been working on jewelry. We are starting to come into fall and soon enough we will all be doing our Holiday shopping. Since my book has come out, I have had lots of requests for finished jewelry. My goal is to have it up and selling online next month. I actually started making jewelry before I sold my beads individually. I have had a wholesale line of jewelry for eight years. This is the first time I will be offering pieces online. Here are some samples of my finished work. I even have a few pieces up on Etsy now, like the earrings above.

As you know, if you answer my question of the week in the comments section of the blog you could win a great prize.

So my question of the week would be...

Have you started making jewelry for Holiday sales or as Holiday gifts? If you leave an answer you could win a set of my Jack O' lantern beads.
Have a super Saturday!
Jennifer Jangles

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Trendy Bead - Fall Foliage

Is the weather turning cooler in your area? We've gone from 98 everyday to 89. Feels like Autumn to me! Nature is a constant source of inspiration for trendy jewelry designers. This week I've paired up some of my favorite art beads with leafy inspired copper components from Etsy.

First up is an amazing set of handcrafted copper leaves from firstfruitdesigns. They be would perfect with my new copper Branches Disk Beads and oh, look at this find, a branch toggle clasp in copper from BeadSupplies. I must have these!

Next is a harvest inspired set with copper ball headpins from HigherChakraSupply, don't they look like fruit ready for the picking? I'd continue the dot theme with Jangle's woodsy ceramic bead. And the center piece? This amazing Shibuichi Tree of Knowledge pendant from Green Girl Studios offered by Cathy Dailey. Apple cider anyone?

Not ready to give up the sunshine? Here are some harvest gold glass beads from BobbiThisnThat. They say charm bracelet to me paired up with a collection of copper filigree leaves from ArtfulMarket. And the clasp? Why, an oregano leaf button from Creative Impressions in Clay.

Doesn't Lynn's Zephyr bead in Paprika just make you want to book a trip to Vermont to see the leaves change colors? I'd use these Art Deco looking leaf charms from RockStash with Hammered copper rings from Prolifique to create a necklace with lots of linked pieces using copper wire.

Want your leaves with a modern twist? Start with a set of Cindy Gimbrone's glass spirals in bronze, sprinkle in these organic metal disks sold by lustrousthings and use a graphic leafy clasp from BrazenButton to carry off the design. Add in bold copper chain and you'll a statement necklace perfect for fall.

The Trendy Bead report is brought to by Heather Powers of Humblebeads.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Collaboration Exploration - Golden Links

(Subscribers, please excuse my first post this morning. I had a technical glitch!)

Two of the Art Bead Scene editors, Heather and Cindy, paired up with designer Katie Hacker for the latest round of Collaboration Exploration.
The game starts with the beadmakers who create 3 sets of the same beads for each participant. The challenge is to use at least one art bead from each artist, along with our own personal stash. We don't share the finished projects until we blog about it on the agreed date.

Cindy's opulent results and blog post can be found here.

Kate went all transformer on us and made a very versatile design, read about it on her blog.

I stretched those beads as far as I could to create a few different designs, check out the results on my blog.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Designer Interview with Shona Murphy

1. What is your personal name, business name, website and location?

Shona Murphy

My Company is Private Label Designs-

I make greeting cards and a t-shirt designs

and under private label is “ A Chic Thing :: www.achicthing.com”, that's my jewelry website

I also have an Etsy store, achicthing.etsy.com
2. What kind of jewelry do you make? Accessories; earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings- basically anything you can wear I make!

3.What types of materials do you prefer?
Big, bold, bright and shiny

4. What kinds of art beads do you use? Same as above, I love beads that pop out at you; I try to design pieces around the bright colored focal point.

Lately I am finding myself drawn to recycled items. Phone wire, bottle caps, glass, vintage buttons, shells, yarn, material, paper etc…using the items we have available to us and re-using them. I find this a very cost effective move.

5. How did you get into jewelry design? There was a bead store that I saw in Minneapolis and thought I could do this…I took part old necklaces and started stringing…. Again I have always made stuff, even as a child I would make everyone something at the holidays… I wish I had some of those projects still.

6. What are some of the important things you do for your business? I want to offer shoppers something different that is affordable. I myself don’t like to be cookie cutter image-but can’t always afford those cool eclectic items that are unique and special. So if I can bring a lower price item to the market I feel that makes me a smart manufacturer. This is also were I realize that if I get materials or supplies at a discount or even free I need to pass that along to the consumer. I also love doing fundraisers for good cause organizations. Offering the creation at a wholesale price for a fundraiser give organizations something different at a affordable cost. For the last two years with the help of Jennifer of Jangles, I have made puzzle piece designs for the Autism Society of MN. They are always appreciative of the special pricing to pass along to the customer and the unique piece that is for their organization. To sum it up, it makes sense and it’s good karma!
7. What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio? Well I like many artists have tried the studio space away from the home and it doesn’t work for my family and me. What’s really funny as when I have a big order the creation station is everywhere in the house; living room, kitchen, dining room, car…Everywhere I go the creation goes…One time my husband said maybe we should make the kitchen in to my work area and just eat out of the garage…Sounds ok to me. Let’s just say when you walk into my dining room-you know that I make stuff!

I have a large number of bins, and in those bins are my supplies…. I try to do the do the see through ones so I don’t have to open everything…I find that if I have all my supplies in front of me on the table I work best.

I love that book, Organizing Your Craft Space, that shows you other artist workspace and I always dream that I would have a space like that-----It would be so much work to get organized like that….

8. What is a typical day like?

My typical day is a full time job. I have four sons age- 20, 19, 17 and15. My day is so crazy I can’t tell you how I do it, I think that I have been dancing the dance so long that it comes natural, not too much down time at my home--- and then my passion job on the weekends and nights. I will tell you there isn’t a day that I don’t make something…. Either a jewelry piece, furniture item, card, or a special present. I find it my daily fix to make something…my friends all call me when they need a quick gift-they know that I can whip something up. Of course some day I would love to quit my day job and do this fulltime not yet---I recently met a woman in Northfield who owns a cute eclectic gallery She is 82, and didn’t have her first store until she was 65…. She gave me HOPE; I am firm believer never to give up on ones dreams or ideas. Oh yea I may leave the house without shoes, but I never leave the house without 3-5 bracelets, earrings and my favorite art glass watch!

9. How do you stay inspired and motivated?

My brain is so full that I will be making till the day I die…I have a million ideas. I find that more I make the more creative I get------it goes back to the passion job…my passion is to CREATE. There are so many creative people out there and it is so fun to see what others are doing, sometimes I think that I should change directions and go into paper products (I make cards too) but then I always come back to beads! I have always thought that I wanted my own shop, but I am not sure I would be able to still make stuff and keep the shop stocked with unique items. So that idea is on the back burner right now…

10. What kinds of art beads do you look for?
Bright colored, big and bold. The ceramic and glass art beads are for me. It gives you a statement of clean, bold and sturdy…..I am not a foo foo girl, so the lace and delicate stuff doesn’t work for me.

11.Is there a bead you wish an artist would make for you?

When I first met Jennifer with Jangles at a bead show in Rosemount, MN I thought I can make these ceramic beauties…so I took the class-----well let me tell you- Jennifer has this down to a science and I will continue to purchase from her. All I do is call her up with my idea and she makes it…. funny when I made them they didn’t look a thing like hers J…. In fact my ceramic beads are in a bin somewhere…I really like the ceramic beads because the offer colors that glass beads don’t. You can get your true red, blue, green and orange…

12. What beady plans do you have for the future?
I am going to continue exploring the recycled materials area to incorporate into my work. The bottle caps, marbles, yarns, material, license plates, buttons etc….

13. Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon? The latest and greatest is the bottle caps – I have taken the ring of a bottle cap with the center cut out and beaded around it (Brickstich) I will continue to more in that direction. I also acquired a few license plates that I discovered could be cut up with the correct tool, so I am thinking there is something that can be down with small pieces there too.

Written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Junk Envy: Findings Worth Finding

I have junk envy and I don't mean the "junk in your trunk" kind of junk. Bric-a-brac, found objects, broken keepsakes, that kind of junk. I'm drawn more and more to using some of my junk into jewelry.

If you want to add junk to your jewelry and haven't got any, Pink Flamingo has the junk you're looking for. The shop is full of junk and supplies.

Here are just a few things for spectacularly unique jewelry:

Vintage theater seat numbers

Old Radio Vacuum tubes for the SteamPunk look or Robot bodies.

Or this Captain Midnight goody for your Inner Pilot!

Are you using junk in your jewelry?

Written by Cindy Gimbrone, junk collector and glass beadmaker.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - MundoGominola

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

This week I picked MundoGominola Chinese Girl Necklace. Claudia is a Spanish illustrator who transforms her illustrations into wearable art. I love the mix of the dreamy painting with the vintage style brass, it's the perfect frame for Claudia's art!

You can see more of Claudia's work here.

Want to be next week's featured designer? This month's theme is filigree. Create something that combines the theme with art beads and then send in your submission for the August Challenge!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Magical Goings on in the Desperate Neighborhood

Lynn has stepped out onto her porch this morning with a famous jewelry maker. How she's brought him back to life is a dark secret found among her fauxtiques. There seems to be dark magic in her Marakesh.

While the Desperate Editor sneaks into Lynn's shop to "borrow" Marakesh and uses her Chakra Hand to determine its magical power, let your mind wander into the Bead Blogging World...

About.com Jewelry Making
Are you making Halloween jewelry? Or, is this holiday not a big jewelry time for you?

Art Bead Scene
Win prizes! The ABS Monthly Challenge is filigree.

Bead&Button Magazine
Ann Dee's looking for photos of QuinceaƱera jewelry to celebrate Bead&Button's 15 years

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Shining a Steamy Spotlight on suppliers that sell and make beads and findings that can be used to create steampunk jewelry styles

Jennifer Jangles Blog
Check out the progress being made on Jennifer's new studio

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi describes the process of putting together a multistrand necklace that features lots of wrapped-loop dangles.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
TJean talks about the Bead a Day Calendar for 2009 in which she appears, and adds that she also uses Melanie of Earthenwood beads in one of her projects for it! See photos!

Strands of Beads
Melissa interviews lampworker and bead artist Sarah Moran.

Have you heard any good dirt in the beading world? We'd love for you to share!

Gossiped...errr...reported by Cindy Gimbrone, Desperate Neighborhood snoop and glass beadmaker.