Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nuts for Acorns!

"Mighty Oaks from little acorns grow."

I think what I love most about acorns is that they symbolize the quiet potential in all of us to do great and mighty things.

Pictured above from left to right: Earthenwood Studio, Humblebeads, Credit River Art Glass and Diane Hawkey.

Above is my current favorite that sits in my bead stash.  It's a lampwork and copper acorn from Credit River Art Glass, one of my favorite purchases from Bead & Button!  You should have seen Erin and I fondling each and every bead in Julie's booth.

And in my own studio acorns and oak leaves have been beckoning the Autumn season!

Are you gearing up for fall shows and making autumn inspired creations? 

I'd love to see them, leave a link to your latest or favorite fall themed piece of jewelry.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Designer of the Week: Stephanie's Sammelsurium

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone chose this week's design winner, It's a Wrap by Stephanie's Sammelsurium

Cindy says this about "It's a Wrap"....Stephanie took up the ABS monthly challenge as an incentive to design outside her usual color palette. The warm colors of the painting inspired her to use orange to great effect. The bracelet is a real eye catcher and is bright and cheery just like the painting. Nicely done!"

You can see more of Stephanie's work on her blog.

If you'd like an opportunity to be featured as the Designer of the Week, there's still time to join in on August's monthly challenge!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

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

A Bead A Day
Do you like to mix crafting with jewelry making? Lisa is looking for crafty ideas for using a filigree pendant to create a unique piece of jewelry.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy announces her first About.com jewelry making video.

Art Bead Scene
While Art Bead Scene Editor, Cindy Gimbrone is on vacation, she's left us a gem from Studio Saturday - her box of inspiration!

Beading Arts
After receiving a wonderful package of crystals from Auntie's Beads, Cyndi set out to make a bracelet that would show them off!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi was at CHA in Chicago and has a fabulous post about Prima Marketing. 

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
While Cindy's off enjoying the bead-ch, let's get ready for the upcoming HalloweenMas newsletters by checking in on a re-wind. It's Barbe Saint John's magic with Cindy's Calaveraz.

Carmi's Art/Life World
The new Katiedids components are responsible for Carmi's new pearl necklace design.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei shows off her loot from her Bead Fest Philadelphia trip!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is totally WOWed by the fabulous Margot Potter's latest book: scroll down to read the truly intriguing review of this unique book--it is SO worth it!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone

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 Cetta! Congratulations! You have won a toggle clasp from Lynn! Send an email to Lynn and she will get it right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

I've done something a little different this week. Instead of still photography, I've created my first Studio Saturday Vlog!

Looking forward to reading your comments!

New Winner of The Complete Book of Polymer Clay

Since the original winner couldn't be contacted, I've done a second drawing, and this time the winner is

Elizabeth, I'll be contacting you!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Fall Color Inspiration

Oh, color - it is such an exciting part of our job and yet it can sometimes be completely overwhelming.  Some designers have a natural instinct for color.  Others struggle, some search out the experts for helpful advice, some pull out the color wheel and rely on the faithful results of color theory.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, you can find endless opportunities for color inspiration using Pantone's Color Forecasts.  You can download the Fall 2010 Forecast here.  I wrote an article with tips for using the fall color palette, jewelry samples and a printable color worksheet.  You can view them on my website here.  

I think the hardest part of seeing a list of colors, like the palette above, is trying to figure out how they translate into beads and jewelry. 

I've gathered 4 examples from our ABS Contributors to help inspire your color adventures.   
Erin Prais-Hintz combined golden glow, endive, oyster gray and chocolate to create a monochromatic design that is anything but boring!  This necklace sings a fall color melody that hits all the right notes.  Art bead: Humblebeads.

Next Lori Anderson has paired a lovely collection of art beads offering just a hint of color in this light and airy collection.  The earthy palette mixed with creams whisper a softer expression of fall designs.  This would be a great transition piece as we move from summer to crisp fall days. I could see it paired with a gray cardigan and your favorite jeans. Here we see oyster gray, a darker shade of purple orchid, chocolate, lagoon and a hint of golden glow in the accent beads.  Art Beads: Floridity and lampwork by Lori Anderson.
Lorelei Eurto has gathered together a mouth-watering combination that is inspired by the fruits of the season and the trees associated with them. There is a delicious play of lipstick red and chocolate truffle that add zing to this design.  Touches of oyster gray, endive and lagoon add depth to this playful palette.  Art beads: Jade Scott and Earthenwood Studio.
Shannon Levart offers a reserved color palette that is anything but boring.  What creates such visual interest in this design?  Texture!  Shannon brings color into her findings with a dark chocolate truffle patina that echoes the details in the light golden glow of the wing pendant. The stone egg in shades of oyster gray provide another contrast of texture. She named this piece Transcend and the colors do offer a heavenly combination! Art bead: Earthenwood Studio.

(You may notice two additions to our sidebar and I'd like to officially welcome Lori Anderson and Erin Prais-Hintz as regular contributors. We loved them so much as guest writers, we just had to snatch them up to write for you on a regular basis!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Book Review by Lori Anderson -- Blogging For Bliss

I love to write.  I learned to read when I was three years old and when I started to write, I quickly filled notebooks with my little made-up stories.  I remember one in particular.  After consuming way too many Nancy Drew mysteries, I wrote my very own -- "The Mystery of the Missing Mummy".  The only thing it had going for it was the alliteration, but I was so proud of it, especially the crayoned pictures.

All that to say, when blogging came about, I was in heaven.

(photo via imagechef.com)
So when I ran across Tara Frey's book "Blogging For Bliss", I was intrigued.  Why do other people write?  What motivates them?  What is their purpose?

This beautifully written book is also beautiful to look out -- throughout it shows various blogs that inspire by the sheer beauty of its pages.  "Blogging For Bliss" also covers what Frey calls "the tools of the trade" -- how to even start a blog and how to begin learning the ropes.  Will your blog be personal or strictly business? Just what the heck do all those online acronyms mean, anyway?

My favorite sections were about beautifying you blog and finding business via the blog.  I know that I regularly sell pieces of my jewelry off my blog, and I'm constantly working on photos and other "beauty marks".

The last section is so very important.  It covers the courtesy and manners for a good blogger and how to promote a wonderful atmosphere to your readers.  You can still show who you are and ask thought-provoking questions without causing a stampede of unsubscribing readers.

(art by StellaLola on Etsy)
I highly recommend this book to all bloggers, both new and seasoned bloggers alike.  It's an invaluable business tool as well as a source for inspiration.  Check it out today at Amazon.com, and visit Tara Frey's blog at http://www.tarafrey.com/

You can also read Lorelei's review of this book by clicking here!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs.  She write the blog Pretty Things and An Artists Year Off.  

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Interview with Loupiac, Lampwork Art bead artist Florence Sauerbrey

Let me introduce you to Florence Sauerbrey. Flo is a magnificent Lampworker who creates beads. Her Etsy store is called Loupiac. I have been in love  with her work for a long time. I know you'll love her too. Enjoy this little virtual interview!

1. Who are you, and what do you create?

I am Florence Sauerbrey aka Loupiac on Etsy. I came from France 9 years ago to marry that wooden boat builder man of mine. I make lampwork beads with glass rods that I melt with a torch. Sometimes I make jewelry with my beads, wear a piece once or a couple of times and then it disappears in my drawer forever because I don't wear -nor do I sell- much jewelry.

2. How long have you been working in this medium? What lead you to this craft?

I lit my Hot Head torch for the first time in November of 2006. Like for many other beadmakers, the idea was that I was going to be able to make my own beads for my jewelry, especially that I would always have a supply of spacers of all possible colors in the universe. Of course I focused on the beads immediately and completely forgot about the jewelry.

3. Who has had the strongest influence on your development as an artist?

Many people did, whether they are lampworkers themselves or not. My husband is always pushing me ahead of myself, encouraging me to try new things and helping me figuring things out. He offered me my kiln after a year, he installed my ventilation system, he even commissioned beads just to throw challenges my way.

My mother is my unconditional fan and she and my wonderful customers' appreciation keep me going and loving it.

In the bead world, I have to credit Susan Pacitto, former owner of SMP Designs on Cape Cod, who introduced me to all things beautiful about beading. Her shop was heaven on Earth and her knowledge about beads was as unlimited as her generosity. Her personal collection was my first introduction to lampwork. When I discovered Sarah Moran's beads on ebay, Susan was the one who told me "You can do that!". I said "Yeah, right!" and started thinking about it.

Over the years I have come to meet (personally or online) with some incredibly talented beadmakers whose work keeps reminding me that everything is left to be created yet. The talent of people like Sarah Moran, Claudia Trimbur-Pagel, Lydia Muell, Harold Williams Cooney, Dustin Tabor and many, many others, keeps raising the bar for all of us and I am grateful to them for that.

4. What are your goals for your art for the future?

I don't really consider myself an artist, more of a crafts(wo)man. I make beads for other people to use in their jewelry designs and the more use they can find for them, the better it is, because that means maybe I am a good beadmaker. So I guess I could say that my goal is to become a better beadmaker. I set some quality standards for myself and I don't mind throwing away beads that don't meet them. If a bead is a failure easthetically but still shows some technical improvement or innovation, I keep it, and then I come back to it several months later and laugh at it.

5. What do you consider to be the one thing that makes you stand out from your peers or help you be more successful?

My customers are always enthusiastic about the color combinations I use for my sets, and I admit that playing with colors is my favorite thing to do. Finding new color palettes and trying to translate them into glass beads is what feeds my soul when I sit at the torch, and I think this is what my customers see in my work.

6. For fun: What is something that most people don't know about you?
I love classical music and did a lot of choir singing in college, and sometimes I find myself singing along the alto scores of Beethoven's 9th symphony and masses by Schubert or Mozart. Very loudly.

Thank you Flo, for a great interview! I love that I know this little tidbit about you being a choir singer!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PMC Button Bracelet Project

I was tickled to death when the PMC button post for my July 31st Studio Saturday had such a warm reception!

Several friends emailed me and asked about the bracelet using the Sea Urchin button with patina-ted brass chain and suede strapping.

Well, here it is! Stepped out with photos so you can create your own version! Think of the variety you can achieve with this simple pattern; different chain, several chains, different colors of suede and leathers and so many different buttons to make comfortable, durable hand crafted jewelry with.

What you need;
1 Shank button
1 Shell bead (the one I used is widely available from retail craft and bead shops)
7 to 8 inches 5mm Brown Suede leather strapping from Lilysoffering.etsy.com
4 to 5 inches 6mm Weathered Patina brass chain from moi
8 to 10 inches 22 gauge dead soft antiqued sterling silver wire
Chain nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Flush cutters

 Step 1 - Decide on the measurement for the completed bracelet. The bracelet shown is 7.5".
Cut 4" of the 22 gauge antiqued sterling silver wire and create a wire-wrapped loop on the button shank.

Step 2 - Slide on the shell bead and wire-wrap the opposite side of the wire to the 4" piece of patina-ted chain.

Step 3 - To create a nice fit of looped suede over the button, I test before knotting by holding the suede over the button. Keeping your fingers where the button measured on the suede, tie an overhand knot and pull the knot towards the open ends of the suede to tighten it. 

Step 4 - Once the suede loop is formed and slides easily over the button, place the two lose ends of suede into the last link of the patina-ted chain and fold them over. Hold out your bracelet to make sure the folded section of suede is on the inside of the bracelet.

Step 5 - Cut another 4" piece of the sterling silver wire and wrap it tightly over the folded suede. To do this evenly, I start with the middle of the wire and wrap both ends simultaneously until I come to the ends of the wire. Tuck the sharp ends of the wire into the wire-wrapping with your chain nose pliers to prevent the wearer from being scratched.

You're done! Add dangling beads from the chain and the suede for a fancier version or just enjoy the simpler version as I am. You could also add large holed beads to the doubled section of the suede before wire-wrapping the ends to the chain or weave a thin silk ribbon into the chain links for an added punch of color!

Have a great time creating!

Much Love & Respect,


Monday, August 23, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week: Melissa Meman

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 one is by Melissa Meman, and embodies the spirit of the painting "Sunrise" by artist John “Jack” Savitsky (1910–1991) - which is this month's challenge image - in several different ways.

This is what Art Bead Scene Editor Lynn Davis had to say about this piece:

"This necklace has the colors and textures of the inspirational piece. I love the use of Jennifer Jangles' house bead. And the topper is the enameled copper on the sunburst focal. A balanced and very sprightly combination."

You can check out the backstory on the enameling and composition on Melissa's blog.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

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

A Bead A Day
Do you have plenty of beads in all the right colors? Lisa is exploring the meaning of the color purple and discovers she might need to do some bead shopping!

About.com Jewelry Making
Have you ever thought about expanding your jewelry business but need a little mulla to do so? Then you may want to learn more about this jewelry grant.

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog! Join us as we embark on an exploration.

Beading Arts
Chapter three of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Dimensional Beading" looks at how to use textural stitches in your bead embroidery!

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week Carmi makes a floral tribute necklace with fabric flowers.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week Cindy's Mad for Monday is about the frit.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of her experiments with Ice Resin and LEDs... Light! Science!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean reviews Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry: not to be missed!

Strands of Beads
Melissa unveils her new Saturn charm.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
For this week's Thursday Giveaway, TWO winners will walk away with beautiful bead sets created by Gaea Ceramic Beads.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Studio Saturday With Lynn Davis

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 Melinda. Congratulations! 

You have won a set of starfish charms by Heather Powers at Humblebeads. Send Heather an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you!

This week we're in the studio of Lynn Davis, who has been going through big changes recently.

Hi, welcome to the studio. It's still in the process of being unpacked. I recently made the major life decision to relocate from Missouri, where I was working for ten years at a corporate management job, down to Louisiana to be near my family.

It involved a lot of planning, hard work and effort, but since my last Studio Saturday post I am now fully moved to Central Louisiana and into my new house.  The studio is in a small house a few blocks away, and I've got it almost totally unpacked now.

I'm one block away, walking distance, from my grandbaby and her parents. I get to visit with them almost every day, which makes it very special to be here.  Exciting!

I had the studio packed away and the Etsy shop almost down to the bare walls during almost the whole of July, so my big project right now is to rebuild the Etsy shop and get all the studio functions back up and running full steam ahead now.  Thanks very much to all of you who posted encouragement on my blog as I worked through all the relocation situations! You helped me very much and I appreciate you ... and the full story about the new studio is there, if you want to know more and see pictures of the new setup.

I've been experimenting with new toggle clasp designs, these two have vines and grapes on them. If you answer the question below by commenting on this post you'll win one of my new toggle clasps in hand cast pewter, with a dark patina. I think it would be great for a summertime nature bracelet!

If you could change one thing about your creativity location, what would it be? More space, bigger storage? Would you like more light, a better chair, or fewer interruptions? More tabletop space, or more drawers? What works for you now, and what do you wish was different. If you could wave a magic wand and add or remove one thing in your working spot, what would it be?
I've been giving these questions lots of thought lately, as I basically re-invent my creativity location, I'm wondering if you have any of these thoughts, too. So tell your story here, comment to reply to the question, and you might win one of my new vinyard toggle clasps!

Posted by Lynn Davis - for her the boxes are almost completely unpacked and the bruises are healing!

Friday, August 20, 2010

READY: Friday Finds with Lorelei Eurto- My FAVORITES!

Click the image above to take you to the Treasury. I put together a small smattering of some of my recent favorites on Etsy- all perfect for the Summer season, or Spring too! I love color lately and these selections celebrate the use of color in many ways.  Happy Shopping!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Opportunities Knocking: Collaboration

"Let's you and I conjure together. You watch me and I'll watch you and I will show you how to show me how to show you how to do our marvelous human tricks together."

I sell my work through a local art gallery called Gallery Q. They bugged me for months to put in a proposal to do an exhibit of my work. Truthfully, I balked at the idea that I would have enough of a body of work to fill a gallery show. {That might be also why I don't do more than one art show a year, coming in October.} I still can't believe that I filled up as much of this space as I did.

While working my shift at the Gallery Q one day I realized that I was vastly inspired by the artists whose work was hanging on the walls all around me. There were landscapes and still lifes. Watercolors and oil. There were sculptures and pottery. There was saturated hues and stark contrasts. This was the seed of inspiration for my show.

So I took the plunge in January and put in a proposal {and that is a nerve-wracking event in and of itself}. But it was contingent on getting the other artists to collaborate with me. And that took a lot of trust on my part. Trust that the Board of Directors would want to give me this space. Trust that the artists would be intrigued enough to surrender a piece of art for my show that was eight months away.

This was a huge leap of faith.

Any good collaboration starts out this way. You might not know what to expect from the person who approaches you and you don't know if you want to give up control. What if you don't like what they make in the collaboration? A great part of collaboration is learning to let go, to trust the other person, to believe that they will do great things in this partnership. I am well aware of collaborations that can go horribly wrong. I have been in them. But if you trust and believe, I think a collaboration can be a truly liberating growth experience.

There were seven local artists who gave me eleven pieces of their art to be inspired by. Then in turn I took a leap of faith and sought out bead artists from around the world and asked them to be inspired by the paintings and art that I chose. This was another instance of blind faith.

I did not tell them what to make for me - what color, shape, size, amount - because if I did, that would only be a straight commission and then they would give me exactly what I asked for. I was hoping that they would be inspired by this collaboration, to give me more than what I asked for and the fact that I put no limits on them led to some outstanding works of beady art. And if I was going to ask the local artists to collaborate with me and trust me, I had to do the same with the bead artists. After all, they are all tops in their respective mediums: lampwork glass from Kerry Bogert, Dora Schubert and Julianna Cannon; ceramic from Melanie Brooks, Nancy Schindler and Jennifer Heynen; polymer clay from Heather Powers, Kate Clawson, Lynn Davis and Christine Damm; enamel from Barbara Lewis; metal clay from Beth Hemmila; mixed media from Mary Jane Dodd. So I trusted them and their creative instincts. And what I got from these 13 artists was nothing short of brilliant.

These bead artists told me that this collaboration pushed them in new directions. Some examples:
  • Kerry Bogert pushed through her doubt and came up with a new technique to add those bubbles to the hollows. Each took her 45 minutes to make.
  • Dora Schubert normally doesn't take custom orders. But she was inspired by what I was doing and wanted to challenge herself. The results are breathtaking.
  • Julianna Cannon made me five sets of beads based on the inspiration monoprint. Each different from the last.
  • Heather Powers told me that she was seeking some new inspiration for a fall botanical motif and found it in the bittersweet vines.
  • Mary Jane Dodd knows just how to pick the right words for any occasion and selected some very poetic ones for the two inspiration pieces she interpreted.
  • Christine Damm tried out a new technique with inks to add depth the the color palettes of her clay beads.
The fact that I could inspire them is a wonder to me.

I thought that I would test out my mad skillz at videography and take you on a virtual tour of the Gallery Q and my exhibit and point out what I learned through this collaboration. {Note: I have quite a loud voice, but in this video I am very soft spoken. Must be my inner librarian coming out to play. Turn up the volume a tad!}

The best part about collaborations for me is the fact that by letting go you can fly to heights you may never have imagined. When you allow yourself to relinquish some of the control you have the capacity to transcend what you even thought possible, to do something better together than you could have done apart.

I would really love to hear your thoughts about collaborations.
Do you seek them out?
Or do you shy away from working with other artists?
Would you like the chance to do something like this in your own community?
What's stopping you?
If so, what art bead artists would you most like to collaborate with you?
Do tell!

How about a giveaway? For each comment recorded here - one comment per person please! - I will draw a random winner to receive a few of the art beads that were created just for me for this exhibit, some of which were made expressly for me and exist nowhere else in the world! {Deadline: August 25}

* * * * *

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 enjoytheday@tesoritrovati.com.
Check out her brand spankin' new website at http://www.tesoritrovati.com/

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Free Project-Swing Necklace


3 Jangles ceramic pearls
2 brightly colored cane glass rings
5 assorted size and colored coconut shell discs

6" 18 gauge gunmetal wire
18 inches 2mm x 4mm gunmetal chain
2 4mm gunmetal jump rings
1 6mm gunmetal spring clasp

Needle Nose Pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters

1. Take the end of the wire in your needle nose pliers. Turn the wire around the pliers several times to make a loop.

2. String your beads on in any order you would like.

3.Trim the excess wire to an inch in length. Grab that end in the pliers and twist a loop to match the first loop.

4. Open up a jump ring and attach one end of the necklace to one end of chain. Do the same on the second side.

5. Attach the spring clasp to the back of the necklace.


This project was written by Jennifer Jangles, a.k.a. Jennifer Heynen.

Book Winner!

Congrats to Must Create! You have won a copy of Lisa Pavelka's The Complete Book of Polymer Clay.  Please send your mailing address to Lori

Thanks for playing everyone!  Looks like this one was on the wish list of quite a few of our readers.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Do You Dream in Color?

Do you dream in color?

Do you dream of beads in all their magnificent glory?

(Beads by Clayfulmingles)

Well then.  Do you ever get stuck for an idea, even though you're surrounded by colorful beads?  It's like the saying, "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink."

Sometimes I get tired of looking through my color inspiration books, full of photos of flowers and fabric patterns and the like.  Sometimes I really do just want to be surrounded by colorful beads, even though it's the beads that are eluding my creativity.  This is when I take a random trip through Etsy.

My favorite trick is to type in a search term (being careful to also type in "NOT jewelry" so I only get beads) and then randomly choose a page.  Sometimes I'll start on page 50.  Sometimes I'll sort prices high to low.  You never know what you'll find that will cause that spark of creativity to turn into a blazing inferno of beading frenzy.

For instance, check out this ultra-cute peace bead by Cocobeads:

It makes me want to pull out a bunch of colorful seed beads -- or maybe some tiny pink, blue, and orange lampwork spacers?  Maybe even find some more flower beads to add as an asymmetric accent along one side of a necklace?

How about Earthenwood Studio's lovely toggles?  I always say the clasp of a piece of jewelry should be as beautiful as the rest of it.  How can you go wrong with this?  The bracelet can be made with a simple strand of beads, allowing this toggle to shine all on its own.

Or how about these gorgeous polymer clay beads by Stories They Tell?  I imagine pulling out fiber and making something wildly three-dimensional with beads as exotic as these.  Strips of kimono fabric, sari cloth, silk ribbon -- the possibilities are endless.

So what do you think?  If a bead show doesn't happen to be in town the day your creativity plays hooky, take a visit to my personal favorite online store for handmade art beads -- Etsy.com.  I guarantee you'll get lost in all the colors and designs and possibilities.  And your creativity just might not be able to resist coming back to play.

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs and writes the blogs Pretty ThingsAn Artist's Year Off.  She lives in Maryland.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week: Molly Alexander

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 is what Art Bead Scene Editor Heather Powers had to say about this piece:

"What can I say, enamel is hot and this piece is on fire!  I love how the painting directly inspired Molly's art bead pendant.  It's so unique and such a wonderful reflection of the inspiration source.  I also love that this is a simpler design, but with some great details like the texture of the wirework and accent beads and the handmade clasp."

Visit Molly's blog to see more of her work: Beautifully Broken Me.
Sunrise by John “Jack” Savitsky

Want to see your design here next week?  Enter our monthly challenge and you just might!
August Monthly Challenge

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

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

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy found some inspiration by way of some very cool clasps!

Art Bead Scene
Get your inspiration on for the August Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. Think "Sunrise."

Beading Arts
Do you like art charms? Visit Beading Arts and sign up to win a copy of a brand new book on making them!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi pulls out her buttons to make a jeweled attachment for sweaters.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy previews an upcoming newsletter series, Happy HalloweenMas. Sign up for her newsletter to find out what it's all about.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie joins some up with some hacker friends to play with LEDs and Ice Resin

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean continues her analysis of the jewelry designers whom she admires--wait!!!--loves! with some of her favorite seed beaders and weavers on "The Jean's List"!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Do you have a collection of lampwork beads nobody ever sees? Embrace simple, easy designs to showcase your glass treasures! Andrew shares five quick projects to inspire you to finally wear them!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Studio Saturday with Humblebeads

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 Lucid Moon Studio. Congratulations!

You have won a set of lampwork beads by Kelleysbeads. Send Lorelei an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you!

Hmm, my studio for the last few weeks has been a beach.  I'm actually taking a much needed vacation and enjoying recharging my batteries.

Favorite ways to renew my creative state:

1. Go to the beach
2. Spend time with loved ones
3. Eat delicious homemade meals with said loved ones
3. Laugh, laugh, laugh
4. Guilt-free naps!
5. Sketching
6. Trying something new - it's watercolor right now
7. Visit visually beautiful places
8. See art shows or visit handcrafted markets
9. Read
10. Enjoy nature

What's next:

When I head back to the studio on Tuesday I'm going to take a day to reflect.

1. What's working?
2. What am I enjoying about my business?
3. What's not working?
4. How can I streamline my product line?
5.  What direction do I want to go with for new products for the fall and 2011?
6. What can I delegate and where I can use an extra set of hands?

So now for the question of the week: how do you recharge your creative batteries?  Leave a comment and one random winner will receive a set of starfish charms - shown above in those earrings.  Looking forward to reading your comments!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Complete Book of Polymer Clay

This book is full of step-by-step instructions for those that want to delve into the world of polymer clay. Written by Lisa Pavelka, it covers everything from polymer clay basics (which clay should I use?) to Skinner blending, caning, and image transferring.

Each page is full of colorful examples for each tutorial (64 in all!) -- lots of inspiration. Chapter Fourteen delves into "Projects You Can Make", offering six independent tutorials that will utilize the skills you learned in the book. The end of the book is pure eye candy, with an Artist's Gallery of finished work that is nothing short of breathtaking.

And now, you can WIN this book from me! Just leave a comment and I'll draw a name on August 18th.

Lori Anderson makes jewelry for Lori Anderson Designs. She writes the blogs Pretty Things and An Artist's Year Off.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Virtual Interview with Kylie Parry

I sat down (alright, not really, just virtually) with Kylie Parry, ceramic bead artist. Here's the answers to some questions I had regarding her talent in ceramics! Enjoy!

Who are you, and what do you create?
Hello there! My name is Kylie Parry and my latest obsession is creating ceramic pendants.
How long have you been working in this medium? What lead you to this craft?
I took my first ceramics class in college. I fell in love with the “magic” of the process. Creating pendants was a compromise between the 2-D and 3-D sides of my brain. Creating them allows me to work with my hands (the messy, tactile clay experience) without ignoring my love for drawing and painting. I get the best of both worlds. I have been going non-stop for the past 5 years. 

Who has had the strongest influence on your development as an artist?
I was born into a creative, hardworking and stubborn family. For better or worse, these traits are me and have definitely influenced my development as an artist.

 What are your goals for your art for the future?
 I hope to continue to find ways to incorporate my drawings into ceramic forms. The idea that my drawings can exist on something that is functional, something that is used or worn in everyday life, by common folks, appeals to me.  
I also have a new series of mosaics that I am working on. Im building them into old crumbling dresser drawers. This is completely different from anything I have done before and I am excited about how they are turning out!
Someday, I would love to be an artist “full time”. I want to be my own boss. I hope to exhibit in larger shows and get into more publications. 
What do you consider to be the one thing that makes you stand out from your peers or help you be more successful?
I think my background in illustration helps me stand out among other ceramic artists. I view each pendant as a tiny canvas. Each one turns out different and special.
For fun:  What is something that most people don't know about you?
I am an aspiring children’s book illustrator and am currently working with an author on a book about a boy with a wild imagination and a pair of red goggles.

Thank you Kylie, for a great interview. I know that Art Bead Scene readers will love to know more about you! 
You can read Kylie's blog for more behind the scene looks at her art!