Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Finds with Lorelei: Soften it up!

This week I have pulled together a nice selection of beautiful textile options for your current jewelry designs.  A little bit of ribbon or lace, will help soften up your designs and romanticize your overall look! I chose a little bit of everything and even threw in some leather, felted wool and linen cording too. HAPPY SHOPPING!

1. Mixed Mini doilies: FreshVintageCrafts
2. Frayed Rosettes: FreshVintageCrafts
3. Yellow Cotton Crochet lace: HennyTJ
4. Balance Handspun Yarn- SimplyTwisted
5. Abalone Hand Dyed silk cord- TandZSupplies
6. Carnival Swirl Felt balls- TaraTaraTara
7. Fiber Beads- EBrown2503
8. Lace Trims- SimplyCardsbyChan
9. Pom Pom Trim in Pink- Junqueart
10.  Aqua Seam Binding- Junqueart
11. French Stamped Seam binding- ALittleScrappy
12. Sage Green Leather lace- LilysOffering
13. Chocolate Brown Leather cording- PetiteSpoon
14. Natural Torsion Lace- UniqueShiny
15. Waxed Linen Cording- RiverBendBranchStudio
16. Ten Silk Ribbon Knot Bundle- MarshaNealStudio

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Create a Neck Cuff for your Art Bead

Sometime last summer, I began going tribal. I was very inspired by the National Geographic show and recorded all the past episodes of Going Tribal to watch several times. One of the details that caught and held my attention were the neck cuffs that were fashioned in rudimentary ways. The cuffs on the different tribes featured on the show had a common denominator in that they held a special charm or talisman that meant something to the wearer. Some of the neck cuffs had collections of several "charms", others were simple with one or two hanging in the center.
 A light bulb idea! What if a neck cuff could be hammered out to feature a special Art Bead? I'd never made a neck cuff before but I had already hammered out a heavy gauge bangle, how much harder could it be?

 I was surprised by a couple of things; 1 - You do not need a steel neck mandrel to curve the wire. Sweet! This saves you at least $60 bucks! And 2 - they are surprisingly comfortable to wear. In fact, they bring to the surface a wild feeling inside that has been smothered by years of proper society upbringing.

What you do need;
Bench block - or other hard surface to hammer the wire against, even wood could work.
Hammer - my favorite hammer to use was found in my grandpa's old tool chest.
Flexible measuring tape - something that measures over 18 inches would be most helpful.
Heavy Gauge Wire - Copper, brass or sterling silver, dead soft, 14 gauge keeps its shape very well after hammering. You will need to make sure the Art Bead will slide over the wire before curving the wire.
Flush cutters - Heavy duty wire cutters to cut through your 14 gauge wire
Chain nose pliers - you will need a good pair of wide, chain nose pliers to firmly grip the wire as you shape it.
Round nose pliers - optional, you do not need a perfect loop formed for your latch 
Medium jewelers file - I use a dremel with a sanding drum bit to save time and work but a medium rasp jewelers file is an inexpensive way to smooth the edges of your cut wire.
Sharpie pen - to mark measurements on the wire

Begin by measuring  your neck where you would like the neck cuff to lie. To create a neck cuff that latches, you will need to cut that measurement plus 3" from your heavy gauge wire. File the cut edges smooth with your jewelers file. Hold the file at an angle as you run its length down the cut edge of the ends.

To curve the wire into a rounded, oval neck cuff shape, hold the middle of the wire in your left hand and tap the hammer on the end of the wire over the bench block with a straight up and down motion. Gradually move the hammer up towards the middle of the wire as you gently move the left hand up. The wire will begin to curve in as you hammer.

Once you reach the middle of your wire, slide on the Art Bead and switch sides so you are holding the curved side in your left hand now and hammering the straight side against the block. Repeat the same motion as previously so this side of the wire curves in also. You can create a sharper bend in the middle of the neck cuff by pushing in on both sides of the ends.

Once the curve is to your liking, measure 1"  from one end of the curved wire, mark this measurement with a sharpie pen. Grip this mark with your round nose pliers and bend the end of the wire towards the middle of the neck cuff to form a curve. Press in with the chain nose pliers to complete the loop. This will be the side the latch hooks into.

The other side of the neck cuff can be curved in at 1" to form a simple latch. If you grip the latch in your chain nose pliers and turn it slightly to the side, it will easily slide into the curved loop, creating a secure clasp that will stay closed while the piece is being worn. The amazing thing is; you do not even feel the latch at the back of your neck!

My special clay Art Bead was a gift from the talented and most gracious Barbara Wukich, whom I would link you to but she does not sell online. It's special meaning is accented by the rattles inside the fired clay. This unique bead required a necklace that is as rustic and primitive but did not over power it. I choose to hold it in place on the neck cuff with strips of recycled sari silk and bound wire. A simple tassel of more silk, patina-ted chain and organic shaped bits of metal are hung next to the bead to add to it's wild, tribal charm.
Now I just need a place to wear my tribal neck cuff! I hope you are encouraged to hammer out your own neck cuff from these instructions, I think you will be surprised at just how easy it is.
Much Love & Respect,

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Findings Worth Finding - Safe Safety Pin Links

Have you ever made a bracelet or necklace using safety pins for that edgey look? Did they come apart or were a bit flimsy for your design? Ornamentea comes to the rescue with these brass curved safety pin links.

Still wonder how you'd use they wonderfully different findings? Well click on over to Ornamentea's Safety Pin Bracelet project sheet for inspiration and/or your next piece of jewelry!

(Thank you to Ornamentea for use of their photos.)

Written by ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone, a lover of safety pins and all things wonderfully different!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Bead Biz - Earring Holder

Check out these great earring holders I found online. Beth Miller who is a silversmith and jewelry artist made them. If you click on her name it will take you to her site. She gives instructions and a supply list for making them. They would be great and inexpensive for an art show.

This post was written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles

Monday, April 26, 2010

Designer of the Week: Malin de Koning

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 Malin de Koning!

ABS editor Lorelei Eurto has this to say about Malin's bracelet, 
"That curved focal is what draws my eye into this piece, as well as the curved
lines in the Klee painting. I love the bright and happy colors Malin uses to emulate the painting. Bead placement is so great, and draws your eye around and around, so many interesting things to look at here! 
Always a fan of mixed media, Malin throws in some soft silk too, and that
addition makes this divine!!"

If you would like to see more of Malin's jewelry on her Flickr or her blog!

This month's challenge "Insula Dulcamara" by Paul Klee.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Wondering what's going on in the bead and jewelry world? Take a peek at our links and see..... Jewelry Making
It is flower power time! Mix resin, real flowers, and beads for this necklace design.

Art Bead Scene
Art beads don't have to be round, they can be toggles too!

Barbe Saint John
Barbe will be at Unique LA promoting the Steampunk Style book

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of "Totally Twisted" that she's giving away! Come enter the contest now!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Stranded by the volcano, Carmi has time for a little more window shopping.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
For Cindy, yellow is the color of anticipation.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie sets up a trunk show at her favorite local indie craft gallery. Check out her display!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Resin has become quite popular in jewelry design lately. It's a lot trickier than Lorelei had originally thought. She tries out the technique for the first time.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Do not miss out on Andrew Thornton's amazing sale and giveaway! It is fantastic!!! Go now! Really fun!

Strands of Beads
Melissa creates a sweet Spring necklace from wasabi-colored pearls and a beautiful Lillypilly pendant courtesy of

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Be entered to win a one year subscription to Beadwork magazine! Find out how!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Studio Saturdays with Designer Lorelei Eurto

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 Erin of Tesori Trovati!
Congratulations Erin!!
You have won a fun "Off to see the Wizard" necklace from Tari Sasser of Claybuttons!
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.

This week we visit the studio of Lorelei Eurto, Jewelry designer.

This week, I have gone outside of my studio and down to my Dining room to show you how I take my photographs of my finished jewelry pieces. Photography is a vital step in showing off your art beads.  I utilize a large North facing picture window in my dining room, along with a small wooden bench, and some kooky props. Watch this little video below, I'll show you what I mean.

I took a photograph of the bracelet in full sun. This is something I try to avoid, as I don't think it really shows off the piece of jewelry very well. There are shadows, and overexposure of light can really affect the true colors of the beads.

Below you'll see the photographs I took while I was shooting the video! 5 different shots to get a variety of different angles, plus a photo to show scale of the piece when it's worn.

To enter to win THIS BRACELET, yea! this exact one!
Please answer the following question in the comments section of this post.

What photography tips do you have? Do you find
that a certain prop works better or a certain setting on your camera is key
to your jewelry shots?

Any questions about
my process can also be posted here!

A random winner will be picked next Saturday, here at Studio Saturdays on ABS!
Thanks so much for stopping by!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Finds with Lorelei: BUTTONS

Click the image above to take you to the Button Treasury on Etsy, there you'll be able to click the links and enjoy some shopping Therapy!
I chose buttons this week, because a few days ago, I did a Button tutorial, and thought it would be fun to tie this into that, so that if you wanted to make your own button clasps, you can actually find really cool ART BEAD BUTTONS on Etsy!

Did you know you can now create Treasuries on Etsy using Treasury East? Before, Treasuries were hard to come by, you had to sit and wait for one to become available and who has time for that? I guess LOTS of people because at any one given time there could be as many as 400 treasuries to see. BUT NOW! Anyone can create a treasury, and it's really easy to make one,  to show off some of your favorite Etsy goods!


1. Go to the Treasury East page here.

2. Click +New Treasury in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

3. Name your Treasury. You'll see blank squares for pictures and below each, a spot to copy and paste in your URL address for you favorite Etsy goodies.  Tip: I went and favorited all the things I wanted to add to my Button treasury within Etsy so that the items were easily found.  Click on each listing and copy the URL address.

4. PASTE the URL into the space below each photo, and CLICK ENTER. After creating the whole thing the first time, I didn't click enter and just thought I was all set, created the treasury, only to find out there was nothing in it! Once you click enter after copying and pasting, you'll see the image pop up into the square.

5. Fill them all up and click SAVE THIS LIST.

6. As a courtesy, I sent everyone a convo telling them that I used their item in my treasury. I think this is a nice gesture so that if they notice extra traffic in their store, they'll know why!

Read some information in this Forum about the new Beta Treasury East

Have fun making your treasuries!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where Did My Muse Go?

The other day, I wrote a post on my blog about losing my gumption, losing my energy, losing my muse. I felt alone, more than a little worried, and a lot frustrated.

The comments I received made me start thinking about what I could do to get out of this slump, and how I really am not alone -- who of us hasn't hit a rough patch in our creative careers?

There are various reasons you may feel you're in a slump.

Sometimes losing your muse is as simple as getting bored. If you feel like you're stagnating, look around you for classes to take. No classes in your area? Hit the local book store and see what's new in books and magazines. One of my favorite new books is Kerry Bogert's "Totally Twisted" -- it's fresh and eye-catching. Or hit Etsy and search the many jewelry and bead-making tutorials.

On the other hand, maybe you've lost your muse because you're trying to do too much! In this case, perhaps fall back on tried and true designs, stocking up on earrings for the Christmas season, or making lampwork spacers. You'll get satisfaction from getting work done, but you won't overtax your mind by constantly bombarding it.

Finally, you may just need a vacation. Everyone needs a break now and then, and artists are no exception. Give yourself permission to literally stop and smell the roses. Go out and garden. Read a good book. Sit in a coffee shop and people watch. Finish that knitting project you started and abandoned. Do anything that has nothing to do with beads.

I hope one of these ideas helps you in some way, and I hope you'll make comments about how you personally get out of your ruts, funks, and blue spots. I know that writing about mine on my blog helped me a great deal, and I'm taking some of my own advice from this post.

Whatever you choose to do, create in good health!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry at and writes at Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

You Are My People

When I first learned of Art Bead Scene through Lorelei, I felt as if I had come home. I spent hours pouring over the site; past posts, current members, monthly challenges and reader comments. My blood quickened and my Creative Muse was not just awakened but charged as if she had been given Red Bull.
I went to the neglected clay table and pushed aside the embossing powders and flat polymer clay bases I had previously been making a living on and began to create....

An Art Bead.
(insert angelic choir here)

Emerging Pod by me
But the idea of an Art Bead wasn't just for my own creation, there was a whole world of art beads to discover. To obsessively collect and hoard. They would conjure up worlds outside of my own, allowing me to dream and create from those dreams.

This new way of thinking about beads gave the average stone or glass bracelet a purpose, a history and a story. It wasn't just assembly with beads it was a piece of someone's artistic ability.

Their years perfecting their craft, honing their skills and bravely sharing them with the world. We get to own a little piece of them and treasure them as the unique individual they are.

We get to combine their creativity with our own and make something beautiful. 

I look forward to delving further into the Art Bead Scene and getting to know other art bead makers and those whose design with them. Thank you for your warm welcome and allowing me into your lives.

You are my People.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Bead Biz- Organization

In my on going quest to be organized I am loving my new cookie sheets. I bought mine at the dollar store so I got quite a few for not much money. They are great for carrying everything. I use mine for bead making, kiln loading, jewelry assembling, and more. They can be washed when the get dirty and they stack all together when they are not being used. I have thought about lining some of mine with fleece for laying out beads, It think it would work well.

I wish I could take credit for this great tool but it was my best friend, and art bead maker Theresa Dart of Lily Studios who has used them for years. She keeps all her beads throughout all of her assembly steps on cookie sheets. It just took me five years of watching her use them before I finally went and bought some myself. I am glad I did, I hope you don't wait as long to try them.

This post was written by Jennifer Heynen of Jangles

Monday, April 19, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week Ginny Henley

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 Ginny Henley.
ABS editor Tari Sasser has this to say about Ginny's piece, 
"The bold lines work so well representing the lines in Insula Dulcamara. 
I just love the bright colors and overlapping tiles in this necklace."

If you would like to see more of Ginny's art jewelry on her flickr page or her website.

This month's challenge "Insula Dulcamara" by Paul Klee.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Wondering what's going on in the bead and jewelry world? Take a peek at our links and see.....

A Bead A Day
Give (inexpensive) beads a chance! Oh, the variety you can find at the craft store! Jewelry Making
Where do you create your jewelry and other crafts? Show, tell, and look at some great craft spaced created by other designers.

Art Bead Scene
Art beads don't have to be round, they can be toggles too!

Barbe Saint John
Putting out the call for Steampunk art!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has just finished up a floral necklace that features fabric!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi is photographing the jeweled decolletage on paintings in Paris again!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's personal history finds its way into her work.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie mixes shell pearls from Rings and Things with metallic hardware motifs to create a softer industial look

Katie's Beading Blog
Share your ideas about beading trends and be entered to win a copy of Jean Campbell's new book, Steampunk Style Jewelry.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Dig out your button collection, because wonderful Keepsake jewelry can be made from it, and Lorelei shows some examples!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Join the fun and become a fan of the lovely jewelry design magazine, Australian Beading Magazine!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew teams up with Cathy Collison of Glass Garden Beads for this week's Thursday Giveaway. You could win a set of three hip bottle-cap beads!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Studio Saturday with Creative Impressions In Clay

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 Christine Brandel.
You have won a woodland beads from the studio of Jennifer Heynen
Send Jennifer an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.

This week we visit the studio of Tari Sasser at Creative Impressions In Clay
This is my birthday weekend. I turn the big 5-0 on Sunday! Plus I am having a party tonight.
I am excited to entertain again and I have lived to see 50. If I live as long as my Great Grandmother, I've got another 49 years. I'm on my way to the second half of life.

Above is a design that has been hanging around my studio for a couple years. My original intention was to create a ceramic button that looked like resin. This is round 3 or so of testing glazes. I still don't have it right. So will continue testing. Or I may ditch the design all together. I'm not sure I like it anymore.

My question this week is:
What was the best or worst birthday for you?

Leave a comment and you could win the necklace shown above.
I'm off to see the wizard about my birthday!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Welcome Miss Fickle Media!

It's my honor to introduce the newest member of the Art Bead Scene team, Shannon LeVart of Miss Fickle Media!  True to her name, Shannon's work covers hand forged metals, unique patinas, polymer clay and ice resin bezels.

Shannon is the author of Handmade Underground Jewelry and a frequent contributor to Belle Armoire Jewelry.  You can find her Etsy shop at and her blog here.  She is currently working on her second book. 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Art Bead Spiral Bracelet

If you've never worked with seed beads or bead weaving, even the smallest projects can seem a little daunting. All those teeny tiny beads, where do you begin?! Today, I'd like to introduce you to bead weaving by starting with one of the most basic and easy-to-do stitches, Spiral Stitch. And, of course, in true Art Bead Scene fashion, we're gonna jazz it up by adding a few handmade art beads to the mix! If you follow the instructions below, you'll be able to create this one-of-a-kind bead woven bracelet in about an hour and a half. I call it Art Bead Spiral.
Oh, and if you don't have the exact materials that I've used, please feel free to swap out any color seed bead and any kind of art bead you have on hand. Let's get started!

Materials:- 3 Elaine Ray 7mm cube beads in Patina color.
- 5 grams size 11 matte brown Japanese glass seed beads. (A)
- 3 grams size 11 galvanized dark blue gray Czech glass seed beads (B)
- 3 grams size 11 opaque cream Czech glass seed beads (C)
- 1 small antique brass lobster clasp
- 2 6mm closed antique brass jump rings
- 3-5 6mm open antique brass jump rings
- 1 larger seed bead in a contrasting color (this will serve as your stop bead)
- Wildfire or Fireline beading thread (5 feet length)
- Size 12 beading needle

Terms: (these will help you as you follow the instructions)
Pass Through: to move the needle through the bead in one direction (i.e. from left to right)
Pass Back Through: to move the needle back through the bead in the opposite direction (i.e. from right to left)

Spiral Rope:1. Begin by threading your needle and pulling about 2' of thread through the eye. String the larger seed bead onto your thread and pass your needle through the bead again. Pull the thread tight and slide the bead towards your needle leaving a 6" tail. (Fig.1)


2. String 3A, 1A, 1B, 1C, and 1A. (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2

3. Pass your needle through the first 3A that you added and pull tight to form a loop. (Fig. 3)

Fig. 3

4. Add 2A, 1B, 1C and 1A and slide those beads down to meet the loop. (Fig. 4)

Fig. 4

5. Pass your needle through the last 2A of the original 3A that you started with and also the first A that you just added. (Fig.5) You will be passing through three beads all together. Pull tight, allowing the new loop that you just created to sit on top of the first loop. (Fig. 6)

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

6. Complete steps 4-5 as many times as you need to reach the desired length. For the purpose of this bracelet, you will make 2 1/4" of spiral rope using this method. Make sure that as you add each new spiral you are allowing the loop that you just created to sit on top of the previous loop.

Note: As you work, notice the trend. You are constantly adding one bead to the main body of your rope as you add four beads to the outside spiral. In Figure 7, you can see how the spiral rope is starting to take shape as I continue to add four beads to the spiral for every three beads that I pass through of the main rope.

Fig. 7

Art Bead Add-ins:1. Once you've completed 2 1/4" of spiral rope, string one Elaine Ray cube bead. (Fig. 8)

Fig. 8

2. Repeat steps 2-6 of the Spiral Rope instructions until you have 3/4" of spiral rope. Make sure to pull tight after each loop you make in order to keep the beadwork close together.
3. Add another cube bead and another 3/4" of spiral rope.
4. Add your final cube bead.
5. Add another 2 1/4" of spiral rope. This will complete the beadwoven portion of your bracelet.

Adding the Clasp:1. Once you've added your last 2 1/4" of spiral rope, string 7A onto the thread along with a closed jump ring. (Fig. 9)

Fig. 9

2. Pass back through the three beads that you just exited. (Fig. 10)


3. Pull tight to form a loop of beads which will be holding the jump ring. (Fig. 11)

Fig. 11

4. Tie a knot by passing your needle around the thread that creates the body of the rope and then through the loop. Pull tight. (Fig. 12)

Fig. 12

5. Pass your needle back through three more beads in the main body of the rope and tie another knot.
6. Complete step 5 again. Pass back through three more beads, pull through and trim the thread.

7. To attach the jump ring on the other end of the bracelet, simply string your needle onto your tail thread and complete steps 1-6 again.

8. Add the open jump ring with the lobster clasp to one end, and to the other end add as many open jump rings as you would like to make the bracelet adjustable.
Congratulations! You have your first Spiral Rope bracelet with some pretty cool art beads added in! From here, the variations are endless. Try using larger beads or beads in different colors. Add larger art beads, add more art beads, or complete more spiral rope to create a necklace.

This is a variation on the technique you just learned. This bracelet features two spiral ropes and Elaine Ray's almond shaped art beads. I added a copper leaf toggle to mimic the shape of the almond beads.

So, what are you waiting for? Try your own Spiral Art Bracelet and post a comment with a link to your creation! We'd love to see your original beadwoven design!

Today's post is written by guest author Marcie Abney. To view more of Marcie's work visit her blog, La Bella Joya and etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ABS Carnival Day! Anticipation

This month finds the ABS Carnival Bloggers thinking about "Anticipation." Since spring is in the air, I find the color yellow is a symbol for the smiles and happiness of summer - it ignites the summer season much like it ignites the Miro like design of "Flame" (below).

For other Carnival bloggers, a Carly Simon song was brought to mind....

Holly, Patty, and Chris anticipate the moment when they open up the kiln to look at their most recent art bead creation.

Other bloggers are anticipating their designs....

Kate of Organic Odesseys uses a line from Carly Simon's Anticipation as a spring board for showing us how she approaches creating a piece of jewelry.

Michelle Mach wonders about a design for a swap and gives us a peek at her design and the work in progress.

Cindy Dolezal sometimes follows her muse and makes whatever the clay tells her it wants to be and sometimes she anticipates a design. Looks like Cindy's anticipation over her primary colored beads show below was right on track.

Jen Judd is excitedly looking forward to new things and making opportunities. This month, Jen made her first set of flamework glass beads shown below:

To Mary Harding, anticipation is more of an idea than a word we use daily. Kelly of Silver Parrot tells a story of a lifetime of anticipation. Anticipation seems to be imbued in the hot colors of the Sunfire bracelet (shown below) which anticipate the upcoming summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

Nicki shares how planning helps her to anticipate what will happen next - it works for her since she was able to anticipate creating some new enameled pieces (below):

I'll end this month's ABS Carnival blog with a thoughtful post from Marcie who shares her insight into what anticipation means for her and makes a profound observation for all of us:

And so I wait, with joy and anticipation...I do not know what the next year will bring...I am positive that when the waiting is over, I will step into that part of my life having learned a lesson that could only have been learned in the anticipation.