Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sunday with Cindy

Good morning, Beady Readers! Wondering what's going on in the bead and jewelry world? Take a peek at our links and see..... Jewelry Making
Tammy got the 411 on some very cool new metal stamps. Though these can also be used with clay as well.

Art Bead Scene
The Art Bead Scene begins a new monthly feature - the ABS Carnival Blog! Let the Carnival begin!

Beading Arts
Do you want to try lampworking? Cyndi's been busy at the torch again.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy takes a bead shopping trip to the Great White North and almost passes out!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie unleashes her grumpy feelings with a little rant and a bead sale!

Jean Campbell
A mystery package is the catalyst for this creative challenge. Up for it? You could win a free book!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares his feelings about the awesome new Spring issue of "Stringing" magazine.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Studio Saturday with Jennifer Heynen

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.

Last weeks winner is Diane at Crafty Passions . Congratulations you've one Cindy's Faux Bois Noir Pendant . Send Cindy an e-mail and she will get it right out to you.

Happy Saturday to You! I am soooo ready for spring to be here I can't stand it. Last weekend we did have a pretty warm weekend in Georgia and I was inspired to make some springy beads.
The ideas started coming to me out of the blue. I kept having images of snails in my head when I woke up in the mornings. I couldn't stop thinking about them. I let the idea simmer in my head for a few weeks, I was considering all of the options for making a snail. Would I make it out of clay, would I sew it, paint it, or combine all of these things?

Last weekend my son and I were out on the back porch making animals and beads. I thought I would give my snail bead idea a whirl. I liked it so much Birkley and I started coming up with more and more animals we could make from the woods. He hasn't had a chance to glaze his or I would show you. We had a lot of fun.

Since pulling the beads out of the kiln, I have been designing with them. I came up with this simple owl pendant with a stick I found in our woods. I have some other ideas brewing but they haven't made it to jewelry yet.

This leads me to my questions of the week... Do you dream in beads? When you wake up in the morning are you full of new ideas? If you do have you followed those ideas to complete the actual piece?

Let me know and I will send you a pair of Toad Stool charms.

Have a great weekend,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Findings Worth Finding: Katie-dids

Check these out! Katie Hacker has some new components for beading. I just love the look of these and can think of so many uses. I think I need to get my hands on some and fill them with resin. They are being sold by Beadalon under her name Katie-dids.

Katie's designs have shown up on our blog before, so we are so excited to also get to show off her new product. And if that wasn't enough excitement for her, she just announced she is going to be the new host of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels. Congratulations Katie!

This post was written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight: Blue Seraphim

1. What are your current inspirations?
My current inspirations for creating glass beads are exploring with different shapes and color schemes through textiles....fabrics and papers with lavish palettes, patterns and textures

2. Describe your beadmaking studio and process.
My bead studio in my basement holds hundreds of glass rods in every color imaginable (although I am forever seeking out new color) plus a kiln, torch and tanks of oxygen and propane. The glass rod is melted in the flame and wound around a steel rod (to form the bead), different colors of glass can be applied in many ways to create designs and shapes. Once the glass has cooled slightly, it is then placed in a kiln to anneal for several hours.

3. Favorite color combination?
Right now, I am experimenting with spring colors and like the light greens, orange and pinks together.

Visit BlueSeraphim on etsy to see her latest offerings.

Enter the monthly challenge today for a chance to win beads from BlueSeraphim!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Class Act

Do you have cabin fever?  Need to get out of the house and spend time with other creative folks?  Check out some of the upcoming beading events that offer amazing classes.

March 12-14 in San Francisco
Jean Cambell, Marcia Decoster and Maggie Meister offer up a dream weekend for those in love with seed beads. 

 March 18 - 21 in Santa Fe
There is a class for every medium.  I'd take a Tracy Stanely class if I were going!

March 2 - 7th in Houston.
This is the place for all you mixed media fans.

And of course, do check out your local bead shop or bead society for classes offered in your area.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mixed Media Pendant Swap

Hi there, just wanted to mention a super cool swap going on now. If you make beads and pendants this could be just for you. Cloth, Paper Scissors is having a mixed media pendant swap. Any chance I get for free beads and fun, I will join. You can read about it all at the Cloth, Paper, Scissors website. Hope you enter and we get to see some of your creations on the magazine.
Have a great day,

Monday, February 22, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week: Kate Clawson of Organic Odessy

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Kate Clawson of Organic Odessy.

ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone says of Kate's Carnival Necklace:

"Kate has captured Vestie Davis' painting beautifully in her design, the colors, the flags, the ticket and the Luna Park pendant simply sing with perfection!"

See more of Kate's nature inspired art beads in her Etsy Shop and on her blog.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Good morning, Beady Readers! Wondering what's going on in the bead and jewelry world? Take a peek at our links and see.....

A Bead A Day
Are there color combinations that are always in style? Black and white seems to fit that description. Jewelry Making
Tammy reminds you about a thriving jewelry community and how to keep up with news on her site.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene teams up with Margie Deeb for a color challenge.

Beading Arts
Cyndi's new bead embroidered necklace has everything but a name!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi restrings a strand of cheap plastic beads with a wristlet. Repurposing is great!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Inspired by the color of summer gardens in a seed catalog, Cindy creates a new bead.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Celebrate the many uses of Ice Resin with Melanie's blog latest blog series which highlights some of her newest works

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Margie Deeb's (pretty fabulous) Spring/Summer 2010 Color Report.

Jewelry & Beading
Have you heard of Zulugrass? Find out about the wonderful industry that's helping to support the Maasai, and enter to win a piece!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is still a little nervous to try her hand at using resin. But the pendant in this necklace turned out nice at any rate.

Snap Out of It Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is embroiled in a conundrum--help a girl out!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Working with Jill MacKay's new line of decorative bezels, Andrew experiments with resin and takes advantage of the bezels' deep walls.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Studio Saturday: Cindy's Box of Inspiration and Creativity

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.

Last week's winner is Tabby of Crooked Heart Art! Congratulations! You have won one of Lynn's "Make Art" pieces! Send Lynn an email and she will get it right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

Every winter, I complain about my unheated studio and how I make more jewelry in the winter time.

This year however, I needed to keep my hands at work and making jewelry just wasn't enough for me. I'm a beadmaker and I had to make beads. After experimenting with bronze clay and moldmaking this past summer, my hands were urging me to try a new medium and one I could manipulate with my 10 digits.

You probably didn't know I have a stash of polymer clay. I've had it for years and add to it every now and then. Sometimes I use it to try to work out a prototype bead rather than draw it. Until now, I've never dove head first into creating with it.

But the box of polymer clay started to call me from under my bed where it's been sitting. Like Pandora's Box, I had to open it. Pandora's Box unleashed the troubles of the world, but this box unleashed a sea of creativity. When I opened my box of stashed polymer clay, I really opened a box of inspiration and creativity.

I started warming and rolling out the clay eager to make beads. But what would I make? I wasn't sure and just went with the flow.

First out of the box was Grunge Beads....

Then there was the Steampunk styling of "Flying Ace".....

Followed by the Victorian Garden Bee Skep...

I'm partial to the bronze color of the gold polymer and the faux ivory. I like the quickness of the curing compared to glass (hours of kiln annealing). There's something deeply satisfying about touching the medium directly.

I'm thrilled at the beads I've made so far. So, rather than calling it my stash of polymer clay, I'm referring to it hereafter as, "Cindy's Box of Inspiration and Creativity!"

Maybe not.

Sounds a little self important yet my little box of polymer clay has been a source of inspiration during a cold winter and has kept my spirits high. Seems like it should have an appropriate label, don't you?

Do have your own box of inspiration and creativity waiting for you? Do you have a stash that you haven't quite tapped into yet? Share your story by leaving a comment and you will be entered to win the Faux Bois Noir Pendant.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Getting Readers to Your Blog

I very recently reached 300 readers on my blog, and it was a heart-warming, humbling thing to see that number. It didn't come from just sitting and waiting, though -- I've walked around the blogosphere a bit to get my face out there.

So how do you get more traffic to your own blog?

First, show readers what you're all about. If you have a shop, list it on your blog. If you're on Etsy and your blog allows for a mini-Etsy of your shop, set it up. It will show people at a glance what you do and get you click-throughs. I always check out people's stores out of curiosity, no matter what you sell, and I remember bloggers by their products. I also spend a lot of money that way, but that's another story entirely!

If you don't sell on Etsy or a similar venue, make a button on your blog that is clickable to your store. An example is on my own blog. I created an image with a picture of my jewelry and my company name and linked it to my own web site. I did the same thing for the other blog I write.

If you like to write a chatty blog (like I do!), put a signature line at the bottom that includes your web site address. An example of that can be seen by clicking here.

Use pictures! Too many words with no break tend to make a person's eyes glaze over. Have a Wordless Wednesday, or if you're stumped one day, list photos with short captions, like this (click here).

Write often. How often is up to you, but at least two or three times a week is a good rule of thumb. Once you develop a following, they'll come back to your blog and expect to see new content. If weeks go by with nothing new, they'll forget about you and go for other bloggers. Grab a notebook and write up some ideas for those days when your brain just does NOT want to work.. Take random photos. You can always post an eye candy day -- your jewelry or beads! Or post beautiful photos of things that inspire you.

Interview other bloggers. Not only is it a great way to help a fellow artist get their product out in the public eye, but it will get their readers to come over to your blog. Perhaps arrange with the other shop for a giveaway, or agree that they will interview you at a later date. Here's an example of a shop interview (click here).

(Hey MieMie on Etsy)

Finally, visit other blogs and leave comments. Most bloggers will take the time to visit the blogs of those who have commented on their own blogs, and if they like what they see, may become followers of your writing. Keep track of your favorite blogs via RSS Feed or by using a reader, such as Google Reader. See who else is commenting on your favorite blogs, and check out their blogs. Before long, you'll have a network of blogs you love to read and readers who love your blog.

Written by guest contributor Lori Anderson,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Findings Worth Finding: Organic Charms

Objects and Elements has a line of organic handcrafted charms that are the stuff dreams are made of! 

Bronze leaves and pods of various shapes:

These have me reaching for my credit card!  I love the rustic and handcrafted feel of these charms and pendants.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Let the Carnival Begin! ABS Carnival Bloggers

Art Bead Scene is happy to post the first post of the Carnival Blog. The ABS Carnival Bloggers are an dedicated group of ABS readers who have written a post this month on the theme, "Beginnings." I know you'll be as excited as I was to read each blogger's interpretation and how beginnings impact their art and creativity.

Holly explores the source of creativity and where might it really begin?. A swirling spring creek gave her pause to think. (Photo courtesy of Holly.)

Our intrepid Carnival Blogger, Kate, delves into the inspiration to the found in the theme "Beginnings" Read her post and you'll feel inspired too!

Lime Green Eggplant Leaf by Kate.

Mary Harding writes a thoughtful post on the beginnings of art bead and shows off a lovely necklace (see below).

Many of us have an abnormal stash of art beads. I'm sure you'll find kindred spirits in Jen and Kelly who share how their obsession with all things beady began.

Meanwhile, Lyn Foley is striking out into uncharted territory, she has begun a new endeavor in mixed media. Lyn shows the beginning of her new piece in her sketchbook (see below):

On Christine's aptly named blog, Intuitive Sparks, she generously shares a tutorial using one of her artist made lampwork beads which embody the power of a beginning.

(Christine demonstrates how to create a wire spiral.)

Beginnings can mean false starts and Michelle Mach shares with us how beginning a design can be the hardest part.

Sometimes, a beginning can suprise you and doesn't come from our magpie nature to collect shiny things. It can come from a new life. Marcie, a talented seed bead artist LaBellaJoya writes about the beginning for a new addition to her family.

(Turquoise Blue beaded bead by Marcie.)

Beginnings mean so many different things. What does "Beginnings" mean to you?

The ABS Carnival Bloggers have just begun! We'll be posting monthly on the Art Bead Scene and writing about a secret theme. We're always happy to welcome another dedicated Art Bead Scene reader to our Carnival Blogger Group! Interested in joining? Please send an email to Cindy saying you'd like to join.

Until next month...the Carnival Bloggers bid you adieu!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week - Lyn Foley!

We didn't forget!  The resin blog hop had a set date, so I decided to work around it rather than double post yesterday.  I didn't want our featured designer to have to share the glory on their day! Each week we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

 This week's featured design is Lyn Foley's Luna Park Necklace.

You can read about the creation of Lyn's necklace on her blog here and visit her website to see more of her luscious lampwork and beautiful jewelry designs.

Heather notes, "I picked Lyn's necklace for two reasons, first the overall design is a joyful celebration that is directly inspired by the fun carnival feel of the inspiration painting.  And secondly, her beads are a perfect match for the challenge, you can see where each part was inspired by the painting.  This is 40" of awesome beads put together in a solid example of great design."

If you'd like to see your work featured here next week be sure to enter our monthly challenge inspired by Vestie Davis' Luna Park painting.

UPDATE: Lyn is now offering her lampwork beads on her site!

Join us tomorrow for our first Art Bead Scene blog carnival! 

Monday, February 15, 2010

ICE Resin Blog Hop

I was so excited to read about Objects & Elements blog hop last week as I was already compiling some resin resources for you, my dear creative readers!  So to start the hop here at the Art Bead Scene I'd like to show you some wonderful examples of ICE resin and art bead bezels.

First up is a ceramic box bezel from Jangles.  You can see her whole collection of clay bezels here.  She has filled this one up with a collection of beachy finds.  I love this, summer trapped in a pendant!
Next up we have some Elaine Ray ceramic bezels that were filled by Cynthia Dies from Ornamentea.  That is where you'll happen to find these pendants. Perfect for steampunk or earthy inspired creations.

And our last examples are some of Melanie Brooks' Travel Talisman pendants.  She created these before the Bead Cruise and the middle one happens to be mine now!  These were created with vintage maps, working compasses and other tidbits.  You can find a nice assortment of one-of-kind pendants from Melanie in her Earthenwood Studio Etsy shop.

Resin Resources:
The good folks at Ornamentea have provided their customers with a bezel template.

You can find their bezels and template here.

Resin is 'the thing' at the moment.  If you haven't given it a try, go for it!  It's fun and a nice way to add a little personal touch to your creations.

And from Rings & Things here are three juicy links with copyright-free images, you know you need something swanky to put into those bezels!

And now go Hop! 
Here is the list of participating blogs, be sure to visit each to for inspiration using ICE resin.

Molly Alexander

Ro Bhrun

Karen Burns

Keecia Frazee Deveney

Mary Jane Dodd

Melanie Earthenwood

Shea Fragoso

Kerin Gale

Vickie Hallmark

Jess Italia Lincoln

Jill Liles

Heather Powers

Art Bead Scene - You are here!

Amy Purdes

Jenny Barnett Rohrs

Stephanie Rubiano

Lisa Sommerville

Kim Taylor

Jen cushman

Deryn Mentock

Kristen Robinson

Barbe Saint John

Susan Lenart Kazmer

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Good morning, Beady Readers! Wondering what's going on in the bead and jewelry world? Take a peek at our links and see.....
A Bead A Day
Need a quick gift or new piece of jewelry for work tomorrow? You can't miss with black Econoflex Softflex wire! Jewelry Making
Ever thought of applying for a jewelry making grant? If so, here is news about how to do so as well as some important tips to follow.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene Unveils the February Monthly Challenge - Luna Park by Vestie Davis.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Avoiding work by showing off some new jewelry pieces and other eye candy

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi attempts to explain how one necklace turns into two.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
An addition to the Grunge Bead Series - Grunge Faux Bois!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows off the necklace she made for the Bead Soup Party: a delicious blend of stone, pearls, glass, ceramic, and brass ingredients.

Jean Campbell
Jean did a little product scouting in Tucson...check out her favorite finds!

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi has a great giveaway going on: TWO gift certificates for Murano glass jewelry!!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
The connection you can have with a customer, is a treasure. Collaborating on a necklace, Lorelei and JoAnn create a wonderful keepsake.

Snap Out of It Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Book review by jean: feel like learning new techniques? Try this new text with fab photos!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Using components from, Andrew creates a Valentine's Day worthy necklace named, "Not Without".

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Studio Saturday with Metallic Collage

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 weeks winner is EmandaJ, congratulations! You've won one of Heather Powers' Poppy Beads, so lovely. Send an email to Heather at Humblebeads and she'll slip that in the mail to you.

This week we visit the studio of Lynn Davis, who is influenced by the cold weather idea of dressing in layers to layer up her most recent pewter work.

I've always wanted to work in metal, I love the look of antique medallions and medals. For quite some time I've been self-teaching myself how to work with cast pewter. It's been a bit of trial and error, learning as much what not to do, as what works. I started in May, 2008 experimenting, and gradually figuring out things about the ways and means of casting molten pewter.

At the beginning I tried applying the same methods I had been using with my polymer clay replicas, building up components to create a look in metal, but the pewter didn't respond as well as polymer to working that way, and I moved on to creating flat components in pewter. I never gave up the idea, though, and kept trying to figure out a way to get dimension into the pewter pieces.

In the months in between, I experimented with combining the metal with glass and with polymer clay, and came up with ideas about using an armature to combine the very different materials. This necklace has the pewter combined with fused dichroic glass, for a faux gemstone look.

Recently a friend loaned me a cache of precious antiques from a trip to France, actual medals and medallions -- in the hope that I could reproduce them in pewter. In trying to replicate the look of the real vintage items, I decided to try again to build a metal collage using pewter components.

I played around with that idea with the pewter, and these dimensonal medallions are the recent results.

I adore the look of real antiques, but I tend to hoard and cling to the real ones and the family heirlooms I have! For me, though, using the replicas is guilt-free as I can make more of them, and several of a type, if I want.

I especially like these new three-dimensional collage pieces in pewter, but I could really use some constructive feedback from all of you, so here's the question I pose this week:

What is your most favored way of seeing the pewter pieces I'm making - combined with resin, pewter by itself, layered or collaged with other pewter, or combined with glass faux gemstones - and why? Lots of juicy details, pretty please .... ?

Answer the question in a reply to this post, and you could win the bracelet pictured above with the words "make ART" in resin, mounted in a pewter frame and strung with my hand-dyed costume pearls and bone beads!

Posted by Lynn Davis, who will never have a proper manicure again as long as she keeps grinding pewter and glass pieces!