Saturday, July 31, 2010

Studio Saturday with Shannon LeVart

 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 Alice with The Bliss Guild! Congratulations! 
You have won a LUV2TRVL button from the studio of Tari Sasser with Creative Impressions in Clay
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get that super fun button shipped out to you.

 This week we visit the studio of Shannon LeVart at

I'm making buttons. 
Fine silver buttons that look ancient, as if they were dug up from an archeological dig or tumbled through the sea.
  I love antiqued metal; the subtle shine, the durability, the "go with anything" aspect of it. While I was wishing to be working with copper or bronze clay, I already had a pack of fine silver precious metal clay unopened for months that I settled for. Using molds that I had made by hand, I began pressing small balls of pmc into each one, delighting in a deeply textured patty of fine silver clay. I was tired of making pendants and buttons have such versatile uses so I created simple shanks with 19 gauge wire and pressed them into the backs of the molded clay. Dried, sanded, fired and tumbled; these buttons turned out beautiful!

As soon as I had the chance, I designed several pieces with them. A wrap bracelet created from sari silk and a hand forged sterling clasp features the Shiva button;

And the Sea Urchin button created a rustic bracelet being used in conjunction with patina-ted brass chain and brown suede;

 And the Wild Horse button acts as the clasp and the focal in this simple leather choker;

 So how do you use buttons in your hand crafted jewelry?

Leave a comment below sharing your button technique and next Saturday one of our editors will draw a number. You could win this fine silver shell button!

Thank you for visiting us here at Art Bead Scene!
Much Love & Respect,

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Finds with Lorelei: Crescents

Have you noticed this new funky shape popping up on the bead scene? I have! and I love it! It's new and everybody's doin' it. Whether you call it a crescent, a smile, a moon on it's side, it's still fresh and new! These are a few that I found when scouring the web. Click the links below to shop for your own!

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Only a few days left to Enter ABS Monthly Challenge!

There are only a few days left to enter Art Bead Scene's Monthly Challenge!
This months challenge is inspired by Alexander Calder's mobile "Blue Feather." Your design can be inspired by the movement, color, shape etc.

If you don't enter you can't win! Check out these cool prizes. 3 lucky entrants could win this month one of the prizes below!

A toggle and bead set from Creative Impressions In Clay.

A $50 dollar gift certificate from Lyn Foley.

Rush over to the ABS flickr page to upload your entry!

 Diva Designs beautiful polymer clay beads.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

More Winners!

We have two lucky winners for two grab bags of Ephemera Wooden Tiles from More Skye Jewels, both with 4 tiles each.

The winners are Raysgirl and Chris aka CW.

Please email me your mailing address and I'll get those tiles sent right out.  Thanks for playing along everyone.

Storing Your Supplies Artistically with Lori Anderson

Part of getting ready for artistic ventures is the absolute joy of buying new supplies. Paints, pastels, vintage ephemera, yarn, tons of books, metal-working tools, glass, beads — it’s like Christmas every time the UPS man comes! But with all this largess comes the dilemma of where in the world do I STORE this stuff? Moving into a new house is just not an option, so what to do… what to do.
Something I’ve realized is all of these new supplies are really, really pretty. So I started thinking outside the (paint) box and came up with some new home decor.
I’ve started random collections throughout the house. Here, lovely jars from Pottery Barn full of yarn, waiting for a class in sock knitting….
The yarn was just too pretty to put away in a box, so for now, they’re filling up these jars.
Speaking of jars, I found a vintage fruit jar and I’m using it to hold a treasure-trove of glass rod ends that I was given by a lovely blog reader. I’m holding on to them for a bit, just waiting to mash them up and turn them into frit or pull into stringer for lampworking. In the meantime, they're pretty just as they are!

Some of my storage options are BIG, like this one -- an antique postal sorting unit. It's huge and I love it. The sorting bins slant slightly downwards, making them perfect for glass rod storage:
Storing your art supplies this way may not be practical. Don’t get me wrong — all of my stash is most certainly NOT on display. Most, in fact, is packed into boxes and unceremoniously shoved under beds or into closets. But considering the beauty we make WITH the tools of our trade, doesn’t it stand to reason that some of our tools and supplies would be beautiful, too?
So choose a few. Find an unusual way to make them an everyday part of your decor. Who knows? It might just be the gentle nudge you need to try that new project you’ve been meaning to start.

Lori Anderson’s is a full time jewelry designer in Easton, MD. Her jewelry can be seen at She also writes a blog called Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.

Book Winner!

Opps! Sorry for posting this late. We have a winner!!! Jama, please email me your address and I will send this out to you ASAP.

Join us tomorrow for the two winners of the More Skye Jewels wooden tiles.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Color Palette Generator

While assembling a picture mosaic for a rust inspiration board I felt I needed, I came across this;
The Color Palette Generator.

This little online toy allows you to upload a photo file, a flickr photo or even one of your facebook photos and develops a color palette from that upload!

I chose one of my favorite photos from this photographer; Tanakawho. Actually just about every photo she takes inspires me but I was struck by this color combination of turquoise, orange and brown.

 (photo used with permission and remains the property of tanakawho)

The colors the palette generator gave me included names like brown pod, acapulca, viking and something numbered #a0410e which I like to call redwood.

 The names themselves could be used individually for inspiration but I combined these 4 colors to create this dynamic piece;

The orange of the redwood bead pops out at you just like the orange door knob in the photo. The chain, drenched in brilliant turquoise, is the dominant factor of the bracelet, similar to the bright turquoise in the majority of the photo. African bauxite from my personal stash and ceramic beads by macarroll gave the bracelet its finishing touches and I'm hooked...... I will definitely be going back to the Color Palette Generator for a personal swatch of color choices to design with!

Much Love & Respect,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Designer of the Week: Dana James

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Dana James.

Necklace by Dana James
This is what Art Bead Scene Editor Tari Sasser had to say about Dana's work, "I love how the necklace is asymmetrical and counter balanced like the mobile. The colors and movement parallel Blue Feather also!"

Blue Feather by Alexander Calder :: July Monthly Challenge

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Let's see what our Bead Bloggers have been up to this week....

A Bead A Day
If you enjoy recycling, Lisa shared a bracelet idea using an "old" canvas belt. Jewelry Making
Tammy catches you up on some of her latest free jewelry tutorials.

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog. This month's theme is "Commitment."

Beading Arts
You won't believe the goodies that Mama's Minerals in giving away on Beading Arts this week!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has completed the necklace featuring her "found again" bezel!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Mad for Monday features Cindy's new Step by Step Wire Jewelry Double Dip Adjustable Ring Project.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A shopping spree at an antique mall grants Melanie with some new old treasures! What will she make with these little bits of history?

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei's blog ended up on the Craft category, check out the others!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean made some summer fun earrings for Artbeads and they are soooo pretty! Go see!

Strands of Beads
Melissa has finally hung out her shingle and opened a modest store-front on her website.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Up for grabs in this week's Thursday Giveaway is an organic, lampwork glass bead by Susan Jones Designs.

Saturday, July 24, 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 Shannon Westmeyer of After Hours Art GlassCongratulations! 
You have won a Flower Pendant with Sari Ribbon 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.

Oscar the Fish!

In a previous Studio Saturday early in the year, I was telling you I wanted to paint. Mixed media it is! Above is the fish I created in Michigan while staying with my friend Margaret. We were in Lake Leelanau for a week. It is such a beautiful place, right on the lake. Margaret is such a great person and fellow artist. She and I taught together for a couple of years in Cincinnati. 
When traveling I am always looking for new inspirations. Strolling through the shops and galleries in Sutton's Bay we came across these fantastic fish by Jesse Hickman decorated with all sorts of items. Of course we both look at each and say "we can make those!" 
So to go with the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Repurpose" theme, my son keeps pounding in us, comes the fish. Oscar here is made from a picnic table board that was being replaced. The idea of using soda cans came to me as I was falling asleep one night. After the tops and bottoms are cut off the cans you can cut the aluminum easily into strips. From there into scales. I used very small nails to attach them to the board. That had it's own difficulties being so small and after so many your hand begins to cramp. 


Say Cheese!

Oscar's teeth are made with nails. Interesting dilemma, you can't get a drill in a small space and have it drive in straight. Cool crooked teeth!


This is my newest project, decorative birdhouse. It's not really made to go outside. The roof has soda can shingles. The siding is made from paper beads/tubes. The ValPak coupons are the perfect length, only a little bit of trimming after you roll them. I glued my charms on it and dangled pewter bird charms from them. Feet are beads, a couple coats of varnish and voila! 
With kids and a husband at home for the summer these projects could be picked up and put down through out the day. I didn't have to worry about clay drying out. It's been busy this summer visiting college campuses with my son. I have to keep my hands busy.

My question is:
Is there a summer project you have been working on? 
Tried something new? 
 Have something you would love to try?

Leave a comment and you could win a LUV2TRVL button for all of your adventures this summer!

Happy Traveling and enjoy the summer!
School definitely needs to start soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sea Beads

A day at the beach - with art beads

Check out these sand and surf inspired creations - if you hold one up to your ear you can hear the ocean!

Visit the collection: here.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Skye Jewels and Humblebeads

My friend Marie from More Skye Jewels sent me a beautiful array of her wooden tile pendants and charms to pair up with my Humblebeads. Of course, what better why to enhance their vintage and nature vibe than to throw in a whole lot of Vintaj components with them!

The colors are soft and muted, I love their earthiness. I like how they look layered with filigree.

Some demand a little more attention and take center stage.

I love the distressed feel of the small charms. For many of the tiles Marie will drill the holes in any configuration that you'd like, the design possibilities are endless.

I have two sample packs of charm tiles from More Skye Jewels for two lucky winners. Leave a comment answering the following question:

What type of images are your favorite for pendants?

Winners for these will be picked next Wednesday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Book Review -- Metalworking 101 for Beaders

Today my son and I took a trip to hunt down the book "Metalworking 101 for Beaders" by Candie Cooper. Yes, I know, I could have ordered it from, and I'm sure I would have been happy with it since it has a Five Star rating, but I'm the sort that likes to hold a book and flip all the pages and really experience it before buying. (Anyone else like that?)

The book covers basis metalworking techniques, such as transferring a design to metal, sawing, and texturing (my particular favorite method for giving metal a unique look). It also covers doming, soldering, and fusing.

Not all of the projects require that you know how to do every single technique. Some projects are as simple as making unique ear wires, while some are as intricate as making a unique bee-and-blossom toggle. It's the sort of book that you can grow with, and I highly recommend it for those that feel it's time to take the next step in their jewelry-making career.

And guess what? Among other talented bead artists, ABS's own Cindy Gimbrone's and Heather Powers' beads are featured in the book!

So what are you waiting for? Go grab "Metalworking 101 for Beaders" now!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry at Lori Anderson Designs and blogs at Pretty ThingsAn Artist's Year Off. She lives in Maryland.
Bonus: We have a copy of Metalworking 101 for Beaders to giveaway!  Leave a comment and one random winner will be drawn on Monday.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Opportunities Knocking: Measuring Up

“When nobody around you seems to measure up, it's time to check your yardstick.”
~ Bill Lemley

I don't know about you, but I have a problem with measurements.

It is not even that I am stuck in ye olde British way of measuring with yardsticks and I am trying to convert myself to that newfangled metric system {I think I am too old of a dog to learn that 'new' trick}, I just have a problem with making my jewelry come out to the length that I think it should be. Long necklaces are too short. Short necklaces are too long.

Bracelets are the trickiest thing for me. I know they should be easy. They are far shorter than a necklace, but I just find them a challenge. I always tend to make them too long or too short. I want to be all Goldilocks with my bracelets. Just right. I try to make them adjustable and that can sometimes work. I guess bracelets are just not my thing. Doesn't mean I don't make them, just that I have to tell people you get what you get. And custom orders....fpppt...I have had to re-do more of them because everyone wears their bracelets at a different comfort level.

But I digress. {Or are you aware of that by now?}

I rely on my steel ruler. I use it to cut lenths of chain and beading deside how much wire to cut for doing a nice wire wrap on a bead {I find that at least 3x the size of the bead works best for me} slap someone touching my beads {No. Not really. But I've thought about it!}

Sometimes when I am at my work table, I lose my steel ruler. And then when I am at my computer writing up the instructions for a publication I am always looking for a ruler. If I decide to move my production to the family room to actually be with the family, I am at a loss without my ruler. When I am out on the road and I take a goodie box to create with, I wish I had my ruler.

One day when I was at Michael's I decided to go up and down all the aisles, not just the jewelry ones. And it was in the sewing aisle that I found just the thing: an adhesive ruler tape used by quilters and seamstresses.

Brilliant! Now I not only can have my ruler in all these places, but it will stay put, it is yellow so I won't 'lose' it, and if I need a new one I can just whip out the roll. I am sorry that I don't have the original packaging anymore, but I found a few like it on the internet by searching for "adhesive ruler".

So that got me thinking about other tools of measurement that might be just the thing for a jewelry designer like me {or you.} Here are a few others that might be worth checking out:

I am not sure how I would use this, but I think it might be fun to try. Maybe I can get the kids involved in the measuring for me! It only goes to one foot, but if you were a blind beader it might be just the thing! {Or maybe I would wish for the days when rulers only made a sound if you slapped your sister hard enough. Not that I ever did that. Not that you can prove.}

According to the product description: "Use these handy, repositionable adhesive measuring strips to perfectly align machine-quilting designs, hand quilting, or embroidery stitches, beadwork (!), papercrafting elements, stencils, faux painting patterns, and more. Removable adhesive is safe to use on fabric and most papers. Package contains (10) 8-1/2" x 11" sheets of 8 peel-off 1" x 11" paper rulers which are marked in 1/4" increments to make measuring easy." Which I guess is handy if you want to measure in 11" increments. But it would work in a pinch.

How cool is this? I stumbled upon this new {to me} tool. {Maybe to you, too?} It has foam around the sides of the tray so your beads don't roll away {which happens to me daily} and your hands are cushioned {which would be welcome relief}. It has measurements built right into the tray, including handy bead diameters. I want one of these. I could see all sorts of mobile applications, like Kiersten, the Cerebral Dilettante beading in her car. My birthday is next month and I wish my husband read any of the blogs I write for, because I am SO hinting at one of these! HINT! {But since he doesn't read my blog - that I know of - I guess I will just have to buy this myself. This and the entire Glee season on DVD and CD! Anyone else with me? Maybe I can use this to design a line of jewelry based on the characters of Glee. Hey...not a bad idea! I just might do that!}

But this? This takes the cake! This pop up EZ Bracelet sizer from Gossamer Wings designs is just what I am looking for.

According to the description on "Have you ever made a bracelet only to find out when it is clasped it doesn't fit? That is because the diameter of the beads affects the final measurement, so it is impossible to measure a flat strand and gauge the final inner diameter. Put an end to the confusion with this bracelet sizer. Simply slide your bracelet over the cone to measure the inside diameter. "
Wait just a gosh darn minute...I have one of these! It is trapped in a box in my garage along with the EZ Necklace sizer since I moved back in December! {And it really does work, too.}

I guess I need to go 'shopping' in my garage more often before I buy another one!

And then I will have no excuse not to make bracelets. Because size really does matter ;-)

Enjoy the day!

Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration is Everywhere . Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote - not dust!) to Check out a gallery of her work at (but don't laugh too hard because she is working on a new website!).

Monday, July 19, 2010

Designer of The Week-Erin Strother

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Erin Strother.

This is what Art Bead Scene Editor Jennifer Heynen had to say about Erin's work. "Erin's piece is beautiful. I love the many different elements that were combined to make this necklace. Also the pendant with the dangles looks as though it's balancing, just like the Calder inspiration piece."

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Sunday! Hope you're enjoying your coffee this morning! Let's see what's going on in the Bead Blogging world....

A Bead A Day
Lisa learned quite a bit this week about the need to clean beads if they have a powdery residue inside. Stop by if you have a chance for some safety tips. Jewelry Making
Who says jewelry tools are mainly for metalsmiths? There are plenty of cool tools and gadgets for beaders too!

Art Bead Scene
It's July and the Art Bead Scene has a new monthly challenge. Wondering what the prizes are for this month? Come check them out!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
As she gathers inventory for her show, Barbe wonders why no one buys bracelets these days.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of "Beading In No Time" to give away! Pop on over and sign up to win!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a new necklace featuring the funniest artwork images!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
The schedule has been crazy and the studio is in disarray. Cindy is going to take back her workspace by....brace!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Summertime is the inspiration for a new necklace using glass flowers from and Earthenwood Studio birdie and lumber themed components.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei gives a sneak peek to the new Craft blog ratings from

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is thrilled that Margot Potter's latest oeuvre, Bead Chic, is already available at Amazon! This is a super concept for a jewelry design book, and Jean will explain why!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew creates a necklace called, "The Keeper of Memory" around one of Anne Choi's sterling silver beads.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Studio Saturdays with Jennifer 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. Congratulations Copper Diem, you won one of Cindy's Double Dips.

This week we are in the studio of Jennifer Jangles

Hi! How's summer going for you? I have to say mine is going fantastic. We've been to Bead and Button and to Indiana to visit our friends and family for a week. In between traveling my boys have been going to summer camp. They really wanted to do this for the summer. I had no idea what we were signing up for, but I have been pleasantly surprised. They are at camp all day and love it. That means I am in the studio all day and love it. It's an all around great thing. I feel like I have been able to get a jump start in planning my fall. Things are going to be busy around here so any head start I can get, I will take.

Unfortunately with all my planning and making around here I don't have a lot of things to show you. I need to keep things top secret until I get a bit further a long on things. But I can tell you I am working on Holiday Projects, Sewing Projects, Jewelry Projects, New Fabric, and New Beads. Whew! I have my hands in many things right now. It's super fun though.
The other big surprise to me this summer was finding podcasts. I have never really taken the time to load them up on the ipod to listen to them. I finally have done it and I am finding so much inspiration and motivation. I love them and am hooked to glazing and listening. This leads me to the question of the week, which crafty podcasts do you listen too? Let me know and I will send you one of my new flower pendants with a Sari ribbon to match.

Thanks so much for your comments, I love reading them!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Finds with Lorelei: Calder Inspired

Click the above Etsy Treasury to start shopping!

I have pulled together some items for you this week that will help you prepare for this month's Art Bead Scene challenge! The Alexander Calder mobile, that is the inspiration this month, is full of inspiration with its geometric lines, and shapes. There are 3 main colors in this piece, Black, Orange, and deep Blue. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone can come up with this month for the challenge. Check out the blog to find out how to enter your own design!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

ArtBliss Jewelry and Mixed Media Workshops

There's a new set of workshops on the east coast -- ArtBliss!
The inaugural event will take place September 24-26, a first of its kind in the DC Metropolitan area. Taking place in the Hampton Inn and Suites, Dulles, the retreat is minutes from the Dulles airport, with a free shuttle service to the event location.
Sought-after, nationally known instructors will be teaching in an intimate setting .... not a bustling, busy conference center, giving students the best learning experience possible.
The instructors include:
Deryn Mentock

This is Deryn's first time teaching on the East Coast and her ONLY teaching venue on the East Coast, so if you're a fan of her jewelry and always wanted to meet the artist behind the popular blog, Something Sublime, now's your chance! Learn an array of wire links and many secrets of working with wire, make resin earrings, and combine vintage pictures with metal work! Check out her various classes!

Melissa Manley

Here's your chance to learn metal techniques from an expert. Her "Hard Candy" enameling class sells out early wherever she teaches it...and only TWO spaces are left! You can also come try using a rolling mill with metal in her "Roll Playing" class, and try out a hydraulic press in her "Forest Floor" locket class

Kerry Bogert

Take a class with the author of "Totally Twisted" If you've ever wanted to learn how to make lampwork beads, now's your chance! Kerry will be teaching a beginner's lampwork class. You can also learn how to make several wire bangles in her Bang-A-Rang class, even using your own beads if you take her lampwork class!

Lesley Venable

You can take both jewelry classes AND mixed media classes, all at the same retreat! Work with vintage pictures, ephemera and inks in Lesley Venable's altered art classes.

BOTH day and evening classes are available, and lunch is included with the full day classes.

A Meet and Greet Reception occurs on Friday night and is included free of charge with your class registration.The instructors will have their art and supplies available for sale, and it's a great opportunity to network and meet friends, "old" and new. There will be many amazing give aways at the reception, along with yummy desserts!

Registration is now open, so click over to now to grab your favorite class before it's too late!