Monday, January 31, 2011

Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

Treasures Found - We start off with ABS editor Erin Prais-Hintz sharing her renewed commitment to participate in each monthly challenge for 2011!

Palumbo Polymer Jewelry - Created a textural treat with a color mokume gane polymer clay beads combined with wood and shell.

Bead for Busy Gals - Shares an etched metal and lampwork glass creation.

Stories They Tell - Created a polymer clay necklace that is swimming with color.

Jenn Judd Rocks - Shows off a copper river entwining a lampwork art bead.

Mackin-Art - Pulled out the seed beads and created a freeform swirling river.

Leggende Segrete - Created a bold polymer clay necklace inspired by the texture of our challenge painting.

Kristi Bowman Designs - Transformed a sari ribbon into a color river that accents a bronze pendant that she created.

EE Bead and Metal Works - Mother and daughter design team created an enamel and beaded necklace in this collaborative effort.

Shaterra Clay Studio - Looked on the sunny side of the brown river to create a color and fun necklace.

Inslandgirl's Insights - Was so inspired she created two necklaces for the challenge and incorporated her new favorite metal - copper!

Linda Landig - Created a vibrant ceramic pendant that pulls some of the brighter colors from the inspiration piece. 

Beading by Malin - Shares a story of artistic connections across the globe inspired by this month's challenge.

Create with Spirit - Pulled together ribbon, wire and ceramic art bead for a completely unique bracelet.

Art with Moxie - Fashioned a mixed media beaded collage of unique elements for a show-stopping necklace.

A Dose of Inspiration - Created whimsical polymer clay beads inspired by this month's painting.  And she offers a peek into the making of her clay pods.

Mary Harding - Shares cherished childhood memories brought back by this month's inspiration.

Beautifully Broken Me - Created a metal and ceramic stunner in this modern necklace.

Bee Tree By Me - Was able to break out of the winter doldrums with an infusion of bright floral and heart creations in her challenge necklace.

For the Love of Beads - Whipped together a sugary-sweet necklace with a bright and fun color palette.

Thanks to everyone who participated - this was such a great month of creativity!  I'm totally inspired.  Join us tomorrow to find out who is the winner from this month's Challenge! Wednesday starts a brand new challenge for February, I'm looking forward to seeing what you create next.

(If I missed your blog post, leave the link in the comments below and I will add you to the list.)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sundays with Cindy....Beadbloggers weekly links

Happy Sunday, ABS Readers! There's a great line up of links for you this week. Enjoy!

A Bead A Day
Lisa continues to hammer happy thoughts into wood jewelry pieces over at A Bead A Day Blog! Jewelry Making
Sign up for this fun e-course themed around "love." Perfect for the up-coming Valentine's Day holiday.

Art Bead Scene
Believe it or not, sometimes an Art Bead Scene editor just can't come up with the right words.

Beading Arts
Cyndi put the finishing touches on her beaded postcards!

Beading & Books
Michelle reviews a "top 20" list of craft tools from Martha Stewart and compares it to what's in her own studio.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a very soft and warm felted bead necklace. 

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy has chosen one single word to keep her creative juices flowing. What do you think it is? 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Bang, bang, bang! Melanie makes another Response Saturday post featuring the loud sound of texturing hammers on metal.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Tammy Powley's amazing new book, The Complete Guide to Jewelry Making--what a thorough and terrific teaching guide and inspirational powerhouse for designers!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Can you feel it? Andrew is on the verge of many big projects with limitless possibilities ahead!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Studio Saturday 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 Malin De Koning , you won on of Cindy's Wired Red Lotus Pods. .

This week we are in the studio of Jennifer Jangles.

Hi everyone, last month I was working on setting up my new studio and store. Guess what...I am still working on it! I feel like I am making great progress, but I have to admit, I had no idea what was involved with doing this. The studio was up and running enough to make beads and buttons right away. It's all the little things that I am still working on. Last week I tackled the gallery display. I will be making work and filling the store as I go. I thought if I got the "bones" of the space all ready, it would be much easier.

This is what I did...

First I had really dirty and ugly peel and stick tile on the floor, but since the space is rented I didn't want to tear anything up. I bought vinyl the size of the shop and taped it down. Did you know they sell double sided tape especially for vinyl flooring? If I had known that I would of changed floors in most of my studios. It was a really inexpensive fix.

Next I hit the restore, after taking inventory of what I had for displays. I found a large metal book shelf for 10.00 and a corner desk cabinet that was solid wood for 75.00. To make the place all flow, I painted everything white. I really wanted my bright work to shine, not the fixtures. I did decide on one accent color. I need some large pops of color. I, of course, choose lime green. Actually it's called lemon grass. I could paint my entire house in it I love it so much.

I figured by the time it's my turn for studio Saturday again the store will be up and running. Yikes, I can't believe that! But I am working on some Art Bead Scene posts for in the meantime on display ideas. I have been playing around with all sorts of ideas and thought I would share some with you.
My question for this week is about color. If you had to choose one for your signature color, what would it be?

Leave me a comment and you could win one of my new spring bead sets.

And if you want to win more...I started a contest today on my blog that runs until Monday. It's called "Guess What's in the Box?"

Happy Saturday!

Jennifer Jangles

Friday, January 28, 2011

Fit to Print Review: New Color Palette Ebook

When it comes to teaching color, Margie Deeb is the queen.  I've had the fortune of working with Margie on the Bead Cruise last year and she is brimming with inspiration and focused on helping others use color confidently. 

Her ebooks are filled with great tips, beautiful photography and down-to-earth lessons. In 7 Strategies for Extracting Color Palettes, Margie walks you through creating color palettes for your jewelry based on photographs, fabrics or colors from focal beads. 7 lessons show you how to translate those colors into beads and jewelry, explaining the theories of why they work.

The photos above feature the cover and an inside page from the book. I included the bead vignette showing art beads that use the same color palette to give you an idea of how you can translate the information in the book into your own work.

7 Strategies for Extracting Color Palettes is available as a PDF to download instantly.

Margie is the author of The Beader's Color Palette and The Beader's Guide to Color.  She teaches color classes across the country and online. Visit Margie's website for more information.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Tips For Bead Shopping in Tucson

I have the bead show blues - I'm feeling a little sad that I'm yet again missing the party at Tucson this year! 

In case you don't know the Tucson Bead Shows are the holy grail of bead shopping in America.  With over 43 shows happening during January 26 - February 13.  There are beads and shows to cater to everyone from the hobbyist jewelry designer to retail dealers to those who buy and sell diamonds.

If you are one of the lucky ones already making your plans, here are a few resources to help you plan your shopping, tips on how to survive a major bead show and a few places your favorite art bead makers will be hanging out.

For the rest of us, we'll just have to dream and live vicariously through those who will be going. 


Complete show details and planning tips from the Jewelry Show Guide.

Best Bead Show, Feb. 2-6 - This would be the one I wouldn't miss! Awesome line up of some of my favorite beadmakers.

To Bead True Blue, Jan. 30 - Feb. 4 - Check out the classes offered during this show and lots of art beads to be found.

Whole Bead Show, Feb. 2-7 - Bello Modo will have Humblebeads at this show. There are other bead artists like Gail Crossman Moore, Hip Chick Beads and Springall Adventures and more.

Bead Shopping Tips:

(Photo credit: cobalt123 via Flickr's creative commons)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Color Explosions: Boro Glass Beads

So what are Boro beads exactly?  Borosilicate is a type of glass that is very hard and requires great heat to melt.  It was first used in laboratory glass or cookware, such as Pyrex.  In the 1980's art glass pioneers starting using Borosilicate to create beads. 

During the beadmaking process the boro glass rods can change colors using the chemistry of oxygen and heat.  Boro glass beads are usually encased in clear glass to show off the colors better.  Because of it's strength it can be used to create more sculptural beads. 

Source: Wikipedia

Read more from the Art Bead Scene's WikiBeadia: Borosilicate Glass.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Meet the Designer :: Brandi Hussey

"The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love color the most." ~John Ruskin
Allow me to introduce jewelry designer, business owner and color enthusiast Brandi Hussey to you.

Brandi Hussey is the artist behind the CatiesBlue brand and brandigirl ::a life inspired by color blog. The moment I first laid eyes on this beautiful blog I was smitten. Descriptions such as ethereal... lush... romantic... airy... came to mind when I first landed there. With a charming eye for color and a savvy head for business, Miss Brandi's blog sucked me right in. It is on the top of my list of blogs to read every day as much for the tips that she provides as well as the feast for my senses.

{Ginger Necklace}
 It humbles me that I have come to be friends with Brandi over the past year. We have shared our successes and failures, our fears and our dreams. So I was delighted when she agreed to be my first interview for 2011.

ABS:: What is your background in this jewelry making? Did you take classes, get a degree, or are you self-taught?
BH:: A little bit of all three, actually! I used to make my own earrings growing up because I couldn't find ones I liked. Then, when I went to college and became an art major, I took a metalsmithing class thinking metal would speak to me (it didn't); I was awful at it, just awful. After that experience, I focused on painting till I graduated, and didn't approach jewelry again till several years later. That was when a fortunate visit to Hawaii led me to a bead store, which reminded me that hey, I really enjoy doing this. At the time, I was a jewelry rep for a direct sales company, but it wasn't until that vacation that I seriously considered creating jewelry of my own. It was a thought that festered and wouldn't come loose, so I did some research and started my business a few days after I got back home. Since then, I've taken a few classes here and there, asked questions from fellow beady friends, and dabbled with techniques.

ABS:: Did you always work with art beads in your jewelry? What type of bead is your favorite to work with and why? Who are your favorite bead artists?
BH:: When I started beading again, I didn't really know much about art beads at all, and truth is, I'm still exploring that world. But when I started, I knew that I loved gemstones and glass, so I focused on them at first; then over time, I stumbled upon borosilicate beads. Boros captivated me with their colors, and I couldn't get enough of them. They've been a favorite of mine for the last three or so years, and no matter what styles or techniques I try, I still come back to using boros over and over - I just love them. As for favorites? I love the work from Erin Davenport at Firelily and Pat Hernandez at AtlantisGlassandBead  for boros.

{Meri Earrings}

ABS:: You have an eye for detail and color and take beautiful photographs. You have a distinct style in your photography that presents your jewelry in a fresh way with beautiful lighting. Any tip that you care to share with our readers about photography? BH:: Thanks for that! Seriously, if you know me from my blog, I've mentioned a few times how I've struggled with taking photos. It's a constant thing that I work on, so I appreciate the kind words! As for a photo tip, natural light is your friend; I think everything looks better in natural light. My problem is, my house is pretty dark and the windows aren't positioned to let in a huge amount of sunlight. So, no matter the season, I'm out on my back porch taking photos. I'm pretty lucky that weather in Texas is fairly moderate, but I'll bundle up in the winter, or do shorter sessions during a summer heat wave. I've tried studio lights and light boxes, and wasn't really happy with the results. After months of experimenting and tweaking, I realized I liked natural light best.

{Miriam Necklace}
  ABS:: You also have a blog that is a visual treat for the eyes as well as a smorgasbord of business tips and techniques. Tell us about your blog, why you blog, what the best part of blogging is.
BH:: Aw, thanks! It's nice to think that my blog means something to others, the way it does to me, simply because of the amount of time I've spent crafting it. It's sort of like an ongoing art piece that I get to keep and give away all at the same time, and I look at it as my place to share inspiration and connect with people that I couldn't do (or do well) anywhere else. You can't really share like that on Facebook or Twitter or even a shop front; blogs are great because the format is wide open, and encourages a longer discussion, if you want it (which I do! Come say hi).

The best part of blogging is connecting with people - whether it's a regular reader or a first-time commenter, seeing that what you've written has connected with someone is amazing, seriously amazing. After a lot of thought, and trial and error, I realized that I liked that kind of additional layer or dimension of a person you can get from blogs - behind the scenes looks, personal thoughts, what they're obsessing about, what's inspiring them, what's next for them, that sort of thing. That's what draws me in as a reader, so that's what I try to do as a blogger. I also like a little variety, so I mix it up on my blog to keep things interesting, and I like sharing information. After almost four years as a business owner, I'm finding out that I know more than I thought I did, so if I can share a tip and save someone some time, awesome.

{Ringmaster Earrings}
 ABS:: There are a lot of romantic ideas about owning your own creative business. Do you do this work full time? What is the best part about being your own boss? What is the worst part?
BH:: Yep, I do create full-time, and let me tell you, it's both exactly what I thought it would be and nothing at all like I thought it would be. I like that I can work in my pjs if I want to (I like being comfortable, I'm not going to lie, and the UPS guy is used to it), I like that I only have to go down the hall to be at work, and I like that I'm in control of my workload and the projects I take on. But I will be perfectly honest - there's very little romance in it when this is your main form of income, and sales are slow, and you've got bills to pay. I also spent the whole first year as a business owner simultaneously excited and confused. I didn't know what I was doing half the time, and some of the lessons I've learned I feel like I've learned the hardest way possible. I was prepared to create and tap into inspiration - art school taught me that, as well as how I work as an artist. But art school did nothing to prepare me to actually make money or deal with all the outside-of-the-studio tasks. All of that I had to learn on my own, and it was a bit struggle to figure out taxes and pricing and branding and bookkeeping. Looking back, I wonder if my business didn't grow as fast as it could have, but I like that I moved at my own pace. I knew I wouldn't always struggle and that it would get easier, and it did. It's also hard to be down when work doesn't feel like work.

Best part: being the boss. 

Worst part: trying to find a good work/life balance. 
Second worst part: not having employees to do the tasks you don't like doing.

{One of Brandi's incredible photograph color palettes.}
 ABS:: Color is obviously key to what you do. Is there a color palette that you find yourself reaching for again and again? Are there certain colors that you stay away from? 
BH:: Color's a huge part of what I do, regardless of the medium! And I honestly like using all of the colors I can get my greedy little hands on, but I will say that I tend to use black, white, and browns the least. Most of my clothing are neutral, so I tend to choose brighter colors to work with. And I do like certain colors together, like aqua and green, but I try not to over-use that or any color combination.

ABS:: As a creative, I am sure that you are brimming with new ideas all the time. Any you care to share with us?  What is next on the horizon for CatiesBlue?
BH:: The biggest thing will be that Catie's Blue will have a new online home in February, and I'm really excited about it! I'm working on moving everything over to a new shop as I type this, and I anticipate a smooth, one-day transition on or near the beginning of February. I'm also experimenting with a new series of necklaces and bracelets directly inspired by the color palettes I do on my blog. Beyond jewelry, I'm working on turning a color e-class I taught last fall into a series of e-books, and there may or may not be something to do with photos later this year. We'll have to see!

Visit Brandi online:
BrandiGirlBlog - pretty awesome tips and pretty eye candy, too!
CatiesBlue on Etsy - for gorgeous lampwork and gemstone jewelry.
CatiesBlue - new website coming in February! Bookmark it now!

{Erin Necklace - the one that I have my eye on ;-)... after all it bears my name!}

I encourage you to visit Brandi's blog to learn great business tips, read her eBooks, and be inspired. Hop on over to CatiesBlue on Etsy and tell us what you favorite CatiesBlue creation is.

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 her brand spankin' new website at Tesori Trovati.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Designer of the Week: Birgitta Lejonklou

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 jan  "Colorful River" :)

This is what ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone had to say about Birgitta's design:

Birgitta has created a colorful interpretation of this month's challenge painting. The texture and colors work together to create a true masterpiece for the wrist! On her flickr page, Birgitta said she wasn't going to enter but her muse took over. I'm glad the muse was in charge, the result is a vibrant bracelet anyone would love to wear!

To read up on what Birgitta is up to, check out her her blog and Etsy shop.

Want to see your work here next week? Enter in the monthly challenge and you might be the next featured designer. Don't forget to blog about your entries for our blog tour at the end of the month.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Sunday, ABS Readers! There's a great line up of links for you this week. Enjoy!

A Bead A Day
Lisa's experimenting with alphabet stamps in wood. Please stop by to share your experiences with metal, wood or polymer clay stamping. Jewelry Making
What do you get when you combine yarn, crystals, and metal? A very cool double strand bracelet!

Beading Arts
Beaded objects don't always have to be wearable. How about some beaded postcards?

Beading & Books
If you make a mistake with a piece of jewelry, do you throw it out, start over, or try to fix it? Michelle shares a mistake she made trying to create a pendant using copper, ink, and a gloss sealant.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a special set of felted brooches for a Canadian company.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares a surprise she received during the holidays.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Ceramic pendants with cut-out holes receive a sparkly window treatment in this project using resin from Lima Studios

Katie's Beading Blog
A simple idea for keeping the inspiration flowing.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Using lovely design elements from Artbeads, Jean creates an evocative pair of winter earrings which remind her of seasons long past...

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
This week one lucky winner will take home a beaded brooch by Cenya AND score some Soft Flex flexible beading wire!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone: Sometimes there are no words...

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 EB Bead and Metal Works! Congratulations! You have won hand cast metal cross from Lynn. Send an email to Lynn and she will send it right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

Readers of my blog know my word for this year is, "do." So instead of avoiding actually sitting down to make something by surfing the web or any other number of avoidance tactics, I'm making in a big way.

My work table is cluttered with various projects in different media. It feels good to get my hands into beads, chain, polymer clay, stamping, painting, sculpting and just do.

One of the reasons I create is to express something I don't have the words to express. Yet according to business advice, it's really important to name your handmade work to entice others to buy it.

How to name a piece you've made because you have no words to express what made you make it in the first place?

I made this necklace with great deliberation, I created the lotus pod, took a shell slice from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads and strung it together using Vintaj findings. The small beads inside the pod represent the lotus seeds deliberately saved and strung on the necklace. I love the look/feel of the necklace but I can't seem to come up with any words to explain or capture what I was feeling when I made it or what it represents to  me. I know it represents something but can't express it.

I need a copywriter!

How do you come up with names and titles for your creations?

Leave your thoughts below and you'll be entered to win one (1) Wired Red Lotus Pod.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Love Ya

A few earthy Valentine themed hearts and sentiments for you today.
(Left to right)

Think outside the red heart-shaped box for your Valentine creations. Pieces created with non-traditional colors and styles offer wearability long after the roses fade and chocolates are gone.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

An Early Spring

Hello Spring?
Hi, yeah it's me Heather.
Umm, do you think you could come earlier this year?
Great thanks, see you soon!

Not gonna happen anytime soon where you live?  Well, we can at least enjoy some spring inspired creations with these sweet little nest beads.

Left to Right:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Art of the Card

"A product is something made in a factory; a brand is something that is bought by the customer. A product can be copied by a competitor; a brand is unique. A product can be quickly outdated; a successful brand is timeless."  ~ Stephen King
If you are in business for yourself, the first thing you likely purchased is a business card. Business cards are an essential tool. They are sometimes the first thing that people see about your business. They tell a lot about who you are, what you do and how you do it.They are compact, low cost, non-techie bits that can actually increase the value of your brand and bring you business for days, weeks, months and years after they leave your hands. They are not networking in and of themselves, but without them it would be hard to network properly. They can inspire, amuse and inform. They can be mini-masterpieces of art.

{My business cards and hang tags were created by Jody Passwaters of Rethink Ink on Etsy using recycled paper and soy-based inks. If you stop by, tell Jody I said hi!}

Of course, business cards should have your name and contact information. But they can also include a lot more. They can be attractive and charming, unusual and strange... but no matter what they look like they should definitely tell the world something about you and your brand. Since they are so essential, I would argue that while it is tempting to use the pre-made templates through a service like VistaPrint (which I have used extensively in the past), in the long run you will be better off having your own distinct look. If you don't have the ability to create your own look, have someone create one just for you (check out Etsy, there are some surprisingly low cost packages from designers that would love your business creating a look for you!).

Business cards help you in two ways: gain business and get your name out there. Don't leave home without them! Whether your small business has clients locally or far and wide, don't overlook an opportunity to give them away... especially with every package you send (I write the essential information about the piece written on the back), tucked in every thank you note... and always carry some in your purse and in your car because you never know when an opportunity will present itself to leave a few behind. Like at your hairdresser... or your favorite restaurant... or with your accountant.

One tip to be sure that the card gets saved: hand write one thing on the back of the card, whether that is about the jewelry that you made,  a special sale code or even an essential contact method like your email or your blog. With that note on it the card is less likely to be tossed away.

I have amassed quite an extensive collection of business cards. Cards from vendors that I bought things from and ones I hoped to buy from.Cards from large online retailers. Cards from other jewelry artists to make connections with in the future. Cards from bead artists I admire. Chances are, if I ever purchased anything from you, I have your card. I never like to part with things that I collect. Not only might I need to buy from them again, but some of them are so beautiful that I couldn't bear to part with them.

One day I was at Michaels and found these really cute little recipe boxes for a few bucks. The sweet little bird illustration on the outside and the silver latch gave it a treasure box appeal. Inside were little dividers that had recipe categories like 'Salads' and 'Entrees.' I sorted my cards into stacks by medium (ceramic, polymer clay, glass, tools, beads, chain & components, artists, etc.) and then I used my Dymo to re-label the tabbed dividers and placed the cards in the box. Now I can keep them and have them handy for when I am searching for the perfect bead or component to work with.

As I was going though my stash, I came across a lot of Moo cards. Do you Moo? These quaint cards are about 1/2 the size of  a standard business card. What sets Moo cards apart is the extraordinarily high quality photography and printing on extremely durable and heavy cards stock with a soft matte finish. Just holding a Moo in your hands gets you hooked. The genius of Moo cards is that in one box of 100 cards you can upload up to 100 images. That's right. Each and every card in the box can be different. 

This makes them collectible in my eyes.

{Cute little box with dividers inside for holding your Moo cards. Here is the jumble of my Moo cards ~ 35 designs in all ~ and some close-ups}.

I wanted some Moos of my own with a special discount code for my Etsy shop on the back. For every order that I send out, one of these loyalty cards will go along with it and hopefully turn into repeat business. But I also wanted to find a to be inspired by my Moo card collection all the time.

As I was placing my order I came across the coolest thing: a frame that holds 20 of your favorite Moo cards in a multitude of different arrangements. If you've ever collected baseball cards, or have a child who does, you can see how this would become addicting! I have the frame filled with some of my favorite artists along with my own Moo cards to inspire. My goal is to swap out my cards in the frame with as many others as I can get from beady friends, because each card represents a connection to someone new. Who knows? Maybe I will get so many Moo cards this year that I will have to order more of these clever frames. ;-)

{My Moo Frame ~ I might use this at my next show with all the pictures from my personal Moo cards to show different pieces that I have made.}

Now it is your turn...

How do you use your business cards?
Do you collect business cards like I do?
Do you Moo? Tell us what you think of your Moo cards!
What other purposes can you think of to use your Moo cards or business cards? 

If you are interested in creating your own Moo cards, use this code ~ 2RB2CK~ to get 15% off your first order at the checkout. Go to Moo right now to get started!

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 her brand spankin' new website at Tesori Trovati.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Designer of the Week - Kristi Bowman

ABS January Challenge Necklace

Each Monday (Opps!) 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 Kristi Bowman!

Here is what ABS editor Heather Powers had to say about Kristi's piece, "I love the energy of this necklace.  The ribbon provides such live to the design, it really reminds me of the brushstrokes of the painting.  I also like the handmade clasp using the ribbon and wire.  The pendant makes a bold statement and balances out the colorful and textural ribbon, wire and beads."

To see more of Kristi's work visit her blog and Etsy shop.

Want to see your work here next week? Enter in the monthly challenge and you might be the next featured designer. Don't forget to blog about your entries for our blog tour at the end of the month.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sundays with Cindy and This week's Favorite ABS Fan

Say "Hi" to Lisa Boucher, this week's ABS Favorite Fan! Thanks for following us, Lisa! We love our fans and we love this week's bead bloggers! Jewelry Making
Finally, Tammy's latest jewelry book is out on bookstore shelves!

Art Bead Scene
ABS announces the January monthly challenge.

Beading Arts
Cyndi thinks that the new year is a good time to look into bead and jewelry education!

Beading & Books
Michelle shares a list of beading and jewelry-making challenges and contests with deadlines through the end of March.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi turns a clasp into a necklace pendant.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy offers up a free project based on a treasure from the Sisterhood.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Old keys, resin, and cold connection techniques combine to create Melanie's unique new pendants.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei tries her hand at an online class to make a Wire framed Bead- a meager attempt but fun at any rate!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has reviewed a fascinating, beautiful book, 500 Enameled Objects. If you are curious about this form of beautiful jewelry and object crafting, check out her review!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win a FREE class from Beaducation? Check out this week's installment of Thursday Giveaway for your chance to win!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Studio Saturday Reflecting 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.

The winner for last weeks offering of a Teal Bird by Heather at Humblebeads is Christine Damm!

Congratulations! Please email Heather your address so she can ship that off to you.
This week, I've been in a thoughtful mood, partially due to the current events we hear in the news. When I took this photo earlier this week, planning to use it for my week in Studio Saturday, I wasn't really aware that the title of the book, "World History," that I used as a backdrop would become more meaningful. I just liked the color and texture of it, with the bright cast pewter pieces on top of it. The Resting Heart Shields, the keys and crosses, especially speak to me with meaning.
Last Saturday was the day the old church that sits behind my house takes down the Christmas decorations and puts them away for another year. My husband and I helped with the process, it was a community project together. Weeks earlier, everyone had brought a poinsettia plant in remembrance of someone, and they added a bright spot of color to the old whitewashed wood walls and dark floors. 
If you're like me, and you've been listening to the news, it's hard to think about the things that happen, the sudden losses and the inexplicable turns of history that bring such sadness, and for those who survive and heal, such turmoil and change.
Maybe this isn't a usual topic for this blog, but it made me think about what I can do, with my creativity, to help with remembrance, and holding the hope of change in my own hands and heart.

Some time back I made a pewter ornament for donation to decorate the little country church's tree, and as I took it down, wrapped it in organza and put it away last Saturday, I tried to think of things that I can do to make a difference for Peace and Hope in this new year we all face together.
When I took this photo of the giveaway pewter cross for this post, and put it onto a vintage map of the world, I wasn't thinking then about the meaning - but now it seems very special and right. No matter where in the world we are located, we can make our own mark for change, don't you think?
If you also have personal goals to share your talents and hope in the new year, post your thoughts here and if you respond to this question and are the one chosen, you'll win one of my hand cast pewter crosses, to make your own remembrance, gift of love or ornament to start the process in your own way:

How do you participate in your community with your beads or jewelry? Is giving from the heart part of your creativity? It could be teaching someone, giving to an auction, or a gift to someone who is suffering and needs hope. If you have thoughts about how our participation in our families, communities and nation can help light the way to greater peace, share it with all of us here. In a small way, we can begin the process here, with each other.

Peace and joy, every day, to each of you, from Lynn Davis, who is grateful every day for all the good things already given!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Color of the Year: Honeysuckle

Pantone has picked Honeysuckle as the 2011 Color of the Year.  They state, "Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life."

What can I say, who knew the power of color could be so, um powerful.  Need a shot of elevating, confidence-instilling pink in your creations but really not a 'pink' kind of gal?  Let me break it down into a few manageable color palettes and show you how I have added in some of this potent honeysuckle to my designs.

First up, a sugary sweet mix of honeysuckle and teal are tempered by neutrals with the brown lotus pod beads and matte silver components.  Even though pink is the dominant color, the intensity of the teal takes away some of it's thunder, offering more of a Spring color scheme rather than screaming "I'm wearing a pink heart!".

Diane Hawkey pendant, Humblebeads disk beads and egg.

This design uses the honeysuckle as an accent to the navy, melon and cream palette.  The pink rhodonite beads are combined with peach aventurine and gunmetal findings. 

The flower connectors are Arte Metal from Vintaj.  The pendant is from Gaea and the navy blue disk beads are Humblebeads.

The pink beads above, left to right: Jubilee, Spirited Earth, Humblebeads, Diane Hawkey and Lynn Davis.

Want more color inspiration? Check out Kuler where you can find color palettes based on honeysuckle and create your own.  Warning - don't click this link unless you have time to spare, it's too much fun!

The Winner of the Sunshine Artist Magazine is.....

The winner of the issue of the latest issue of Sunshine Artist is....

Congratulations, Shelby!

If you weren't a winner, Sunshine Artist is currently, for a limited time, running a special -- four print issues absolutely free!  Just click here to take you to the special.

They also offer several options and price points -- receiving an actual print magazine or the cheaper option of reading the full magazine online.  Click here for more info.  You can start out with the four free issues, see if it's for you, and then go from there!

Congratulations, Shelby, and I hope you all take advantage of the offer.... but hurry, it can end at any time!

Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site lorianderson.netShe writes the blog Pretty Things and chronicled her artistic New Year's resolutions for 2010 at  An Artist's Year Off.  She lives in Maryland.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trends and News

If you are like me, a little peek at Pantone's color report always provides a much needed shot of inspiration.  Above are the colors for Spring 2011 and some of my beads that match.  Have fun finding beads in your stash that match the color report colors and find ways to work them into your jewelry. 

News from the ABS editors:
Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for Lori Anderson's next Bead Soup Party. There are already over 180 participants!

On the 15th Cindy Gimbrone is having a clearance bead sale - don't miss it! 

Lorelei Eurto has opened a new shop featuring her handmade tin bead caps, charms and connectors.  Super cute.  Lorelei is also the featured designer in this month's issue of Bead Trends magazine.  Be sure to check it out. 

I'm offering a Bead of the Month Club for 15 lucky customers!

Do you have news to share with us?  I'd love to hear it.