Thursday, March 31, 2011

March Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

Welcome to the Art Bead Scene March Challenge Blog Tour!

This month we took to the islands with French post-impressionist painter Gaugin. With spring in the air and color returning to those of us emerging from the mantel of snow, this painting really was a wake-up call to the senses! Makes me long for the day when I can hop on the Bead Cruise with our own Miss Heather Powers. (Hi, Heather! Send us all a pocketful of sand and some sunshine, will ya?)

Cory at Create with Moxie (don't you just love that name?) created a stunning fiber bangle with some faux resin beads. This girl does have some designing moxie! Where can I get some of that? ;-)

AnnaJourCrafts used the prettiest of color palettes with pink and green. The swirly handmade polymer clay beads and the asymmetrical design are outstanding. I may not be able to read her words without the aid of Google Translator, but I know that great designs can come in any language.

Lesley of the Gossiping Goddess tells us that this is her very first blog post... and her very first entry into the Art Bead Scene!!! Welcome, Miss Lesley! We hope to see more of your stunning jewelry!

Sheila of Stone Designs made some absolutely beautiful lampwork glass beads for her challenge piece. I learned that the swirling colors come only from one particular rod of glass. Fascinating!

 BeeTreeByMe created polymer clay leaves that literally look as if they are floating in a tropical breeze with her necklace. So many interesting pieces.

There is an intricate simplicity to the lovely necklace that Molly Alexander of Beautifully Broken Me created in response to this challenge. The familiar shape of the butterfly etched with the words paired with the simple mechanics of the chain are really delightful.

I love the mixed media feel of Color Me Tahiti by Marian Hertzog of M's Place. She used upcycled seam binding woven into a tangle of leaves and some sweet polymer clay faces that she created just for this challenge.

Mallory of ForTheLoveOfBeads made a focal bead that burns with the intensity of the sun on a hot day and paired that with more muted colors representing those in Gaugin's tropical palette.

IslandGirl hand fabricated links from copper sheet and wire for an eclectic mix of energetic shapes. She pairs that with a beautiful glass focal bead that brings in all the island colors.

The ABS challenge helped encourage Susan White to get back in her studio to play with polymer clay again after a two year hiatus from blogging. I especially love the amazing toggle that complements the beauty of her hand made beads. We are so glad to have you on board, Miss Susan!

Desert Wind Designs made some hot hot hot polymer clay beads for a wild and wonderful bracelet because she is sick of winter. I think that if you can't take an island vacation, you should at least accessorize like you are!

Mary Jane Dodd has been playing with metal again! Her fold form earrings are roped in with a bright pop of blue waxed Irish linen for a pair of earrings that would look great with that little sundress.

I totally love that despite the fact that this color palette by Gaugin is Not Her Thing, Elaine of Too Aquarius Beads was able to get out of her parched and dry homeland and find some island inspiration that was already in her stash of beautiful handmade polymer clay beads! I love finding treasures in my stash!

Oh wow! That is all I can say about the seed bead extravaganza brought to us from Mackin-Art. The way she twists the inspiration from a tropical island to the Mackinac Island in Michigan is pure genius.

SilverRoseDesigns tussled with her Muse over the color palette to use for this painting... and lost! She wanted bright; the Muse wanted muted. The results are extraordinary with a blend of textures and shapes and colors that give your eye many places to look.

Penny at MyEarthlyJewels jumped right in with her first Art Bead Scene challenge featuring a handmade polymer clay focal that she made herself. The colors are sumptuous! Looking forward to seeing more of your entries in the future!

Jenn Judd grabbed a handful of beads and created something that is nothing short of fabulous. I would be proud to wear that bracelet any day!

Miss Malin over in Sweden is conjuring up the summer sun with her beautiful necklace. It just so happens that she had a beaded ring lying around the suiting this just fine as a clasp to complement the focal. She even created a wardrobe for the person who would wear this on the beach!

Kristi over at DreamSomeDesigns created a fantastically earthy and intriguing multi-strand necklace with turquoise, lucite, coconut shell heishi and one of her fabulous new bronzclay charms.

Another new designer on the ABS scene is Deb of Green Shoot Jewellery Design in the UK. She had to wait for just the perfect sari silk ribbon and paired that with some awesome links from MissFickle for a wonderfully bohemian necklace.

Creatively Kym found the perfect match to those serene faces in the painting with a Gaea face bead. A very clever way to frame this face using Vintaj filigree and some tasty tidbits from Pinocean draw the colors from the painting perfectly.

Heather from Aquariart pulled together a cascade of polymer clay in bright tropical colors with her Tahitian Dreams necklace. The fun tassels reminded her of wearing a lei.

It was really fun for me to put together this array of amazing talent this month. We had a wonderful response this month with new bloggers and some even jumping into their very first ABS challenge. Welcome one and all! (If I forgot your link, or you would like to add it to this post, please leave your link in the comments below and I will try to add it to the list!)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tax Time...

My worst nightmare, tax time. I am one of those artists who go in the category of "hate the business side of my art." I procrastinate, which only makes it worse and then of course I hate it even more. has all sorts of columns and articles for just about everything. I found this article written by Maire Loughran.

"One of the most baffling non-creative aspects of running an arts and crafts business is figuring out what to do about taxes. Owners who can face down extreme bargain hunting customers at a craft show or vendors shorting an order that was needed yesterday can adopt that deer-in-headlights look when trying to get their tax situation under control.
So, how can a busy self-employed arts and crafts business owner stay on top of the tax situation?"
Read the rest of the article here

Monday, March 28, 2011

Designer of The Week-Middle Earth

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 Middle Earth .

Here is what ABS editor, Jennifer Heynen had to say about this week's design,
"This bracelet grabbed my attention because of the many elements. I love all of the mediums used to create this bracelet. Be sure to visit Middle Earths blog for even more inspiration, it's wonderful."

Want to see your work here next week? Enter our monthly challenge for a chance to be featured!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundays with Cindy

Good Sunday to you!  Let's see what the bead bloggers have been up to this week....

A Bead A Day
Interested in learning more about decopauging your jewelry projects? In response to a reader question, Lisa provides some info to help you get started. Jewelry Making
Tammy combines wire, chain, and crystal teardrops for some dramatic earrings.

Art Bead Scene
The ABS is serving up a free project courtesy of Ornamentea.

Beading & Books
Enter a jewelry, beading, or mixed media contest or challenge this spring. Michelle shares links to nearly a dozen opportunities.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a two part beaded sachet tuorial this week on her blog.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week's Tuesday Tangle is about taking up a challenge!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes about a book she was given years ago concerning Elizabeth Taylor's astounding jewelry collection

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene creates earring from humble materials and simple design

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
To celebrate National Craft Month, Andrew guest blogs for Beaducation.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Studio Saturday with Jennifer Heynen

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Last weeks winner is Rebecca Anderson . Congratulations you've won one (1) of her new Faux Wood Heart Headpins! . Send Cindy an e-mail and she will get it right out to you.

This week we are in the studio of Jennifer Heynen a.k.a. Jennifer Jangles.

Hello, there's a new studio picture this week. I decided I better change over to my new studio and gallery space. Spring is always busy for me and this one is no different. You can see from the photo there is a lot going on.

These are beads drying and waiting to go into the kiln and below are buttons that have just been painted.
Spring is always busy for making beads. My colors are nice and bright so this is when I tend to get more orders. It's also a few months before two really big shows. One is Bead and Button and the other is Quilt Market. Both require a lot of work to be prepared. I am working onn new designs for jewelry, kits, and beads for Bead and Button. I am sewing loads and loads of projects for my Quilt Market booth. I have a big calendar on my wall filled with deadlines and appts., it's quite crazy.

Speaking of designing, here's a knotted necklace I made as a new project. The step by steps can be found on my blog.

What are you working on? Leave me a comment, letting me know and you could win one of my new O pendants.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Art Bead Parade

Strike up the band, grab the banners and wagons - it's time for an Art Bead Parade!
blue and gold easter sunday egg
A painterly patina in spring hues graces these egg beads by Miss Fickle Media.
Mary Harding is showing off some fresh blooms in the floral toggles.

Chinook Jewelry offers two bold botanical patterns in her ceramic pendants.  That blue is kind of blowing my mind.  I need it!

Oh and speaking of color, check out these faux cinnabar beads from Diva Designs.

Raku fossil beads
Raku fossil beads by Suburban Girl offer up some earthy designs, they look like treasure plucked from a Victorian curiosity cabinet.

All of these beads were found in the new Art Bead Scene Parade flickr group.  If you are a beadmaker, upload your photos and you may find yourself featured on the ABS. 

Monthly Challenge
And for those who have entered the monthly challenge don't forget to blog about your entry and leave a comment on the Monthly Challenge post.  Erin is hosting our blog tour on the 31st.  All posts must be made by March 30th to be included.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fit to Print Book Review: Wire Art Jewelry Workshop

Wire Art Jewelry Workshop by Sharilyn Miller is one of those books jammed packed with tips and tricks that you'll be turning to again and again if you love working with wire already or if you'd like to learn how to tame wire in your jewelry-making designs.

The book is broken down into simple directions to create the basic building blocks of working with wire.  Once you have mastered the techniques Sharilyn walks you through several projects that mix the techniques in complex jewelry creations.  Even if you have been working with wire for a while, you'll learn rock solid techniques to improve your designs. 

I love that the many of the projects are shown in copper as well as silver and some are mixed metal. If you aren't ready to invest in silver while you are learning, you can see how wonderfully earthy the copper designs look.

An instructional DVD is included in the book and shows how to create several techniques.  While the book is very well photographed with great step-by-step directions, it's helpful to see how the author actually creates the pieces, holds the wire and offers some insider tips as she goes along.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Asymmetrical Design Tips

If you are more comfortable with symmetry and order in your jewelry design, branching off into asymmetrical design can seem overwhelming and a little scary. Asymmetrical design can seem deceivingly effortless. But it actually takes quite a bit of planning to balance an asymmetrical design.

Don’t fear! Here are 5 simple tips to successful asymmetrical design.

1.  Layout your beads and arrange them before stringing them, this will help you see any unbalanced areas or where you may need to add in more color.

2.  Balance is the key to asymmetrical design. Each part of your design should be counterbalanced by another element on the other side.

3.  Mix up the colors. Mix in lights and darks along with an accent color so that your creation pops and to avoid the blah coloring that can happen with monochromatic designs. Value is the term in color theory for lights and darks, watch your values and make sure you have a good mix of both.

4.  Alternative the size and shape of the beads to add visual interest to your design. Play with the balance of the beads until everything evens out and no part of the design looks out of place.

5.  Play with texture. A good asymmetrical design will use a variety of finishes and textures as part of the design elements. Mix shiny with matte, rough with smooth, faceted with curved.

There are no right and wrong answers with asymmetrical design; it’s whatever pleases your eye. Remember these 5 tips when taking that leap and you’ll soon be confident in beading without a pattern and mixing up those basic design elements.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bead Theme: Island Inspiration

My mind is only focused on one thing this week - tropical islands!

I'm loving ferns - I can't get enough of them! A fern is a hardy and ancient plant.  Some cultures use ferns to symbolizes new growth, strength and peace.  Not to mention they also fit in with this month's island theme!

I'm daydreaming about beach combing.  Sand between my toes, the sound of the waves lapping at the shore, little treasures hidden among the beach pebbles - I could so be there right now! These beads have already beaten me to it. 

What are some themes or trends you are loving lately?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Designer of the Week: Lizards Looks

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 Lizards Looks. (ABS is sure "Lizard" has a full name but we are sorry we were unable to find it.)

Here is what ABS editor, Cindy Gimbrone had to say about this week's design,
"Lizard" has plucked the most vibrant colors from the monthly challenge painting and brought them to spectacular life in this lovely piece! The swirl of turquoise, sky blue and red around the sparkling gold in the pendant draws you in."

Want to see your work here next week? Enter our monthly challenge for a chance to be featured!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cindy's Favorites and Bead Blogging Links

This week I've been perusing Etsy for something a bit different. Something to express how I feel about spring creeping her way into the Northeast. It makes me feel like it's time to try out new things, to put on my wings and fly. So this week's favorites are all about wings:

Dragon fly wing pendant by skykoltun on Etsy

Handmade Blue Wing Butterfly Earrings by Ox Original Art Jewelry on Etsy  

Monarch Butterfly Hindwing Pendant by Eyvinds Alchemy on Etsy 

Before you fly away for the day, why not click on a few of the bead bloggers links and see what they are up to this week?

A Bead A Day
Lisa shares the steps to making super simple gnome earrings just in time for spring! Jewelry Making
Tammy explains the strategy she uses when reviewing jewelry making books.

Art Bead Scene
Do you collect rocks? Make a bracelet with them using this free project from Art Bead Scene!

Beading Arts
Cyndi posted a tutorial to show how she made her Bead Soup necklace!

Beading & Books
Michelle shares her storage idea for spools of beading wire.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Would you believe that you could wear flocked velvet wallpaper?

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's been out with the flu so this week's a rewind on spicing up your plain old packaging.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie celebrates a new hairstyle for spring by making a pendant to match her new purple hair extensions!

The Bead Dreamer
Charlene reviews The Penland Book of Jewelry and is touched by the artistic statements, humanity, talent and sharing of the ten artists in the book.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Working with wire and ammonite slices, Andrew creates three Calder-inspired pendants.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone - Feeling Refreshed!

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 My Life Under the Bus! Congratulations! You have won pewter reproduction button from Lynn. Send an email to Lynn and she will send it right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

Well the flu finally caught up with us and I've spent the last month either taking care of someone with the flu or having it myself. But spring is slowly making her presence known in the Northeast so I've been spring cleaning in my office/studio.

Yup, those are bead and glass related books along with past issues of Bead and Button, Beadwork, catalogues from Vintaj, Rio Grande, Rings n Things, and just about anyone else who publishes a catalogue. 

Next to my computer is my prep desk. I've just put up a pegboard for my tools. This is where I'll be putting together jewelry pieces.  I keep an antique faux wicker desk that was my maternal grandfathers next to the window.  When I was first married, it was the desk I used to work at, now it's much too small to use as my primary desk.

Now that my workspace is clear and the flu is gone,  I feel refreshed and ready to get back to creating!

Has spring come to your part of the world?  Have you done any spring cleaning?  What refreshes you?

Leave a comment below and you'll be entered to win one (1) of my new Faux Wood Heart Headpins!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bead News

Here are some random pieces of Beady News to take note of this week:

Bead Star Auctions - 100% of the proceeds go to the American Heart Association.  You can purchase one of the designs featured in this year's magazine. 

Also, don't forget to enter Bead Star this year for your chance to win!

Rings & Things - The road show is once again touring the country with those beady rock stars.  I will be checking out the one in San Antonio this weekend!  Here is a list of all the dates.  Throw a bead soup party when the show rolls into your town.

Ornamentea - On the 25-26, they are hosting a trunk show with Elaine Ray and a class on Designing Without Limits with Lorelei Eurto, so if you are in that neck of the woods (Raleigh, North Carolina) be sure to check them out. 

New work from our ABS editors:

Art Bead Scene Parade
I've created a new Flickr group for beadmakers called the Art Bead Scene Parade.  You guys create such amazing work and so often, I can't keep up!  So make it easy on me by submitting quality photos of your latest art beads & handmade findings and you may end up featured here on the ABS.  Show me your best! 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Earring Display Idea

It's spring and I bet a lot of you are working on new displays for your upcoming shows and sales. I thought I would pass along a display idea for earrings that I use in my new store. I found it to be super easy to move pairs around with this one.

I found these great cafe shutters at my Habitat Store. They were a couple of dollars so I bought several sets. First I washed them, and then gave them a good coating of paint. It was a light turquoise. Once the first coat dried, I took a dry brush with some darker blue and painted it on. I tried to brush it on lightly so it would have a worn look. Once they dried they were all set for my display.

It was then time to make my earring cards. I usually make my cards one layer thick but for these cards, I made a long rectangle, folded it half and printed the usual card graphics on one side. If you are using large shutters, at this point, your cards will most likely slide into the slats of the shutter. Since my shutters were small, I needed to cut slits in the back of the card. I then could slide the middle strip between two slats.

You wouldn't need to use this display just for earrings, you could card small pendants or pins just as easily.



This post was written by Jennifer Heynen a.k.a. Jennifer Jangles

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Findings Worth Finding - Rustic Canyon

Beverly Herman sent me these photos of pendants she found at Michael's and I knew I had to share them with you!  Guess where I'll be heading today?  You could fill up that little window with an image and resin or a tiny charm in resin.  
I tried to find more information about the line, but it wasn't available online. I have been told that Micheal's also carries chain to match the patina finish.

The trick to using inexpensive components in your jewelry is to add art beads to compliment the pieces - like I have done here with the Industrial Chic findings - also from Michael's. I added one of my eggs and Green Girl Studio nest. This offers your designs a unique touch even though you are using store bought components. This strategy can also help stretch your beading budget by mixing art beads with less expensive findings.