Thursday, June 30, 2011

June Monthly Challenge Blog Tour

This month we visited the oft-illlustrated tragic character of Ophelia from Shakespeare's play Hamlet. 

{Ophelia, by Odilon Redon}

Recently a BBC news story of June 7, 2011 reported that there is evidence of a real-life tragedy that mirrored that of young Ophelia's drowning that could have been the inspiration for Shakespeare's virginal character. Jane Shaxspeare, age 2 1/2, drowned from falling in a millpond while picking a flower called 'yellow boddles' that grew along the banks. This spelling of her last name, and the proximity to where William grew up, indicates to the researchers that young Jane may have been a cousin, and as he penned the demise of Ophelia this may have been an image plucked straight out of his youth.

Interesting how artists are inspired by their experiences, yes?

It's a long one so get comfortable! On with the tour!

Welcome to the Art Bead Scene to Treasure Island Crafts (above)! Just look at the lovely polymer clay treasures she makes. I am so glad she decided that the time was right to share her creation with all of us. The pendant is so beautifully made and references the tragedy of Ophelia perfectly. Just look at the detail in this piece!

Staci creates a very touching tribut to the lovesick Ophelia. The blue butterfly with the moon is a beautiful pendant. I can feel as if I am tiptoeing on the edge of this pool as the water ripples around me. Lovely!

What to do when you can't find the perfect art bead in your stash? Go shopping on Etsy! Lesley, The Gossiping Goddess, found a serene face pendant in ceramic to coordinate with the earthy palette she used. Such a lovely design!

Miss Malin in Sweden made a truly modern and ultimately wearable piece with a fun design. And I don't care what she says... she is a beautiful model! ;-)

Jeannie of Jewelry by Jeannie focused on the bright summery colors and made a fun and funky polymer clay bangle set and matching earrings. Jeannie is a talented bead artist and even made a pendant that is inspired by this painting. The pendant will be sent free to whomever buys the rest of the set. Such a sweet deal!

The yellow of those flowers in the painting enticed Erin Siegel to make the perfect accessory for summer. This is one happy bracelet!

If you can't find the perfect art bead for your submission, make one! That is exactly what Kate of Tropical Blonde did (above). And she is selling these extra beauties in her Etsy shop. Yea!

For those with more eclectic tastes, check out Elly of EBSnareJewellery. All of these rings are joined in such marvelous ways and each piece is so varied. But the palette joins them all together for a great design that keeps my eye hungry for more!

The intricacies with which Kelly of Mackin-Art creates is truly astounding to me. In my world, seed beads are little nuisances that serve to separate larger beads. In her world, they are precious bits that when combined make magic. Go check out her lovely 'Teal Drift' bracelet and prepare to be amazed.

The colors in the beads that Linda Landig chose are so happy! These glass posies make it impossible to be sad with this bracelet on your wrist!

Not only is Sandy of EssentiaDesigns a talented jewelry designer (above), and gifted photographer (great use of props!), but she makes her own beads! That is the equivalent of one who can sing AND play an instrument (in this case, the instrument is lampwork glass rods and Thompson's enamel. And lots of flame, I am sure!)

Patti of My Life Under the Bus is one busy mom this summer, but in between fun in the sun with her kids, she found the time to do the Muffin Tin Challenge and knock off this lovely necklace for the June Monthly challenge as well. Booyah! That is what I call a 'multi-tasking momma', my friends!

Klassy Jools found the perfect brass stamping that evokes the sweet Ophelia. Adding some special glass beads and just a hint of the yellow completes this lovely necklace.

Using the color palette in the painting as a jumping off point, Lorelei pulled together an eclectic mix of art beads to match the feel of the painting. She tells us that the challenge was not so much the colors as in the construction.

Natalie of Grubbi knows that "the plays the thing" and found a touching and poetic quote from the Bard to incorporate into her long and lovely necklace. So glad that you challenged yourself further, Natalie, and did a necklace instead of your normal bracelet. This challenge brings out the best in all of us!

Blending two different artists into one piece is what Jill of Palumbo Jewelry did with her lovely cane face bead inspired by Frida Kahlo worked into the color palette of Redon's Ophelia. What a way to be doubly insired!

Deb of Greenshoot in the UK knows that Gaea's goddess face pendants are the perfect interpretation of this painting. She included all the soft soothing colors of the water as a backdrop to the vibrant floral tones. Well done!

Getting back into the swing of things, Creatively Kym created a mixed media necklace for the challenge. She did a little stamping, added fiber and found some great art beads for the palette. And she also notes that when the new challenge is released she makes that picture her computer background to inspire her all month. Clever idea, Kym!

For a completely outside the box thinking, Crafty Hope (above) played with the idea of the reflecting pool and found a clever way to use a tiny mirror in her own polymer clay pendant to evoke the body of water. Great use of materials!

Pairing a vintage calla lily brooch and a beautiful blue lampwork glass bead, Honey from the Bee created this modern reversible necklace. I love jewelry that can be worn more than one way! And there is such meaning in the lily for the story of Ophelia. Go on over and read all about it.

Kristi of Dreamsome Designs tells us that she was 'completely taken with color' from this painting inspiration. Kristi's creation is a playful mix of pinks, yellows and turquoise with all different art beads represented.

Anna of The Laughing Raven (above) is working her way through her bead stash and unearthing treasures she has long ago forgotten, like this stunning focal from Summers Studio. Luckily, these things work perfectly for this month's challenge. And Anna is the most gifted macro photographer. You must go and check her out!

Laurelee of Rue's Daftique joined us this month and even wrote a poem that was inspired by the painting and her creation! We hope that you will come back and play with us next month.

Bee Tree by m.e. may have 'rocks in her head' but she sure knows how to make polymer clay do her will! She focused on the thought of the rocks surrounding Ophelia's pond and made that pool come to life.

Have you ever suffered from 'beader's block'? You know, the times when you just can't settle on any one thing? Keenya of The Cranberry Studio tells us that this is exactly what happened to her. But she managed to turn that indecision to her advantage with a necklace that would go with anything in your closet!

And now for something completely different... Heather of Aquariart has so many gifts. One is working with fibers. You simply will not believe the intricacies of the needle felted cuff (above) that she created and beaded for this month's entry. Brilliant!

Evie and Beth of EB Bead and Metalworks have this wonderful relationship. This mother and daughter team work together so seamlessly to create beautiful jewelry. This month, they brought in the colors with some beautiful glass frit beads and even some polymer clay roses from another contributor, Bee Tree by m.e.!

And last, but certainly not least, MiddleEarths always manages to make me say "wow" with the way she uses her materials. Here she has opted for the black with touches of color creating a somber, yet full of life choker necklace.

But wait! There's more!

I goofed up. And I apologize. I missed the lovely Cilla's bracelet. Her piece features some summery shades of turquoise water and golden sunshine, and pink petals through the lampwork glass and patina-ed metals she found in her stash. Cilla was also chosen by one of our editors as the designer of the week. Congratulations!

Squeaking in just under the wire (so sorry I missed this!) is Sandy Volpe and her necklace with beautiful lampwork in a style that would be a staple with my summer wardrobe. Thanks for sharing your talents!

Thank you so much for sharing your gifts with our Art Bead Scene community! Be sure to check back soon for the challenge for July and to find out who the random winner of all those goodies will be!

Might I ask a teensy-eensy favor? I do go and read every single one of your posts. So if you have a blog and you are posting about your challenge piece, please, oh pretty please, put the exact link in either the challenge blog post or with your picture on Flickr. It takes hours to put this together and I just don't have time to cycle through the back posts on your blog in order to get it all done by the deadline. Thanks for understanding!

For my own creation, I focused on the color of the water and the blooms. I made a bracelet and did a little research on Hamlet, the inspiration for Redon's Ophelia painting and found some interesting facts about the language of flowers. Come on over to the Treasures Found blog and have a read!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Willow Fields - Free Project and New Challenge

Whip up this fun little project for a lightweight and easy-going summer necklace.  The design starts with a ready-made chain that is cut in half and the beads are added.  I found some blackened steel wire at a local bead shop when I was on vacation.  I have the hardest time finding it in hardware stores.  If you can't get blackened wire, you can use silver or copper wire and oxidize it before starting your project.  Ornamentea carries a gunmetal wire that is another alternative.

Willow Connector
6 Czech glass flowers
2 Czech glass leaves
6 gunmetal brass 2" ball headpins
1 gunmetal brass 18" chain
22 gauge blackened steel wire
2 gunmetal brass 5mm jump rings

1. Cut a 5" piece of wire with heavy cutters.  Slide the wire through the connector leaving about an 1 1/4" of the wire at the front of the connector.  Bend the wire at a 45 degree angle. Form a wrapped loop with the smaller piece of wire.  With the other end of the wire continue wrapping around the wrapped looped.  Repeat on the other side of the connector.

2. Cut another 5" piece of wire, string it through the leaf bead, create a wrapped loop on one side.  *Before you wrap the loop, open the loop, slip in the loop from the connector and close the loop.  Continue to form a wrapped loop and wrap the excess wire as in step 1.  Repeat on the other side of the leaf.  Repeat on the other side of the necklace.

3. Create 6 dangles with the headpins and flowers.  Add three to each side of the connector loop.

4. Cut the chain in half.  Measure the length from the center of your focal bead to the end of the leaf loop - you'll want to trim this much chain off on both sides.  Add the beads to the chain with a small jump ring.  (If you'd like a shorter necklace, trim more of the chain.)

Sources: Willow Connector: Humblebeads.  Czech glass: Dream Girl Beads.  Gunmetal findings and chain: Hobby Lobby.

Are you ready for another challenge?  This one is so much easier, I promise!  Check out my blog for complete details.  To celebrate the release of my book I'm having 12 weeks of nature inspired challenges.  The first one started on Monday.  Hop on over to play along.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge Winner

What's cooking hot stuff?

Obviously a whole lot of creativity and talent were cooking last week.  I threw down a crazy gauntlet of a challenge and our community rose up and blew me away!  At first I wasn't going to do a blog hop type of post for today, because we have our awesome Monthly Challenge blog tour in a few days, but you guys deserve a little link love if you finished this one.  Doing the challenge myself last week, I know what a crazy amount of work went into finishing, especially if you had other things going on. 

So here are the creative bakers:

I noticed that some of you mentioned this helped in the design process and that they would use the muffin method again to help increase their productivity - that's enough to make you want to raid your baking pan cupboard!  I also noticed that several of you took the muffin tin while you traveled and one brave blogger even completed the challenge while moving. 

So I think this challenge accomplished everything I set out to do - inspire, help you narrow down design choices, give you some portability and create a body of work in short amount of time! 

I tip my baker's hat to you - ha, did you picture me with a baker's hat - giving you a little nod?  Or maybe I should curtsy in an apron - either way know that I am very proud of the artists who jumped in last week.

What - you want me to announce a winner?  Well, it just so happens that one has been randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries - SilverRose Designs!!!  Congratulations!  Please email me your address, I have quite an amazing prize to send to you.

Holly finished 12 pieces with a mix of earrings, bracelets and necklaces.  All sprinkled with lot of art beads - love seeing that - and a heaping dose of creativity while stirring in the pot the mix of taking care of her family.

Now, let's go find some real muffins or cupcakes and celebrate while we check out every one's blog posts! 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Featured Designer of the Week: Staci Louise

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

This week's featured designer is Staci Louise!

Here is what ABS Editor, Heather Powers, has to say about the chosen designs:

"I love the sense of movement in this piece.  It definitely captures the mood of rushing water.  The color palette is spot on from the challenge painting.  I love the focal pendant, Staci's bronze work is so awesome! A little detail that caught my attention is the adjustable length with the clasp able to grab onto any part of the chain - very clever."

You have a few more days to enter the challenge and the blog hop.  Visit here for complete details.

Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge Note:
Your photos are due today by midnight central time.  Don't try to use the 'create a link" option on the comment section, I have no idea what's up with blogger and that.  Enter your link in the comments section to qualify for the drawing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sundays with Cindy

Good morning! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in with this week's links! Jewelry Making
As an admirer of all things arts & crafts, Lisa shares the handpainted jewelry pieces of "Moni's Originals". Stop by to check out these miniature works of art! Jewelrymaking
Looking to make some easy metalsmithing jewelry? Take a look at these new jewelry videos.

Art Bead Scene
Looking for some creative jewelry displays? So is ABS Editor Heather Powers. Come check out what she's found.

Beading Arts
Free-form peyote stitch and wire work...what could be more fun than combining the two?!

Carmi's Art Life/World
Carmi's new ring features a rock garden!

Earthenwood Studio
Melanie opens a weeked bead store at her local artist market and has lots of pictures of her booth to share.

Resin Crafts!
Resin Crafts has a great tutorial showing you how to create a pendant with a spoon.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Andrew Thornton, a wonderful person and a member of our group, is having a "Virtual Yard Sale" as he calls it . Check it out on Jean's blog and then go have FUN!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts a week-long Virtual Yard Sale! The week is filled with Ebay sales, new products added to the Shop, lots of giveaways, and some major deals!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

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 weeks winner is ArtZHodgePodge. Congratulations!

You have won a healthy helping of Bead Soup from Lori Anderson! Send Lori an e-mail with your address and she'll send out your yummy collection of beads.

And now it's time to join me in the Humblebeads Studio:
I was away from my studio for awhile after the Bead & Button show, enjoying a much needed vacation.  These were the last things from my crazy bead making frenzy the week or so before the show - cuff bracelet connectors.  This is the Garden series.  I also created a Willow series and a few Sea cuffs that will be available next week. 

These whip up so quickly and wear so well. You can wire-wrap these or use large jump rings to attach them to a chain or beads.

To ease back into creating after the post-travel funk, I've joined in the Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge.  I've finished 4 pieces so far and then decided umm, let's try more pendants and chain so I can have 12 pieces done by Monday. 

12 pieces in a week may seem like a lot, but I see that some of you have risen to the challenge and finished already!  Even if you start today, if you make 4 pieces a day you could finish by Monday night. 

That's something I do when I set big goals for myself - like writing a book or preparing for a national Bead Show or creating 12 pieces in a week -  I break the goal down into actionable steps to complete each day or within an allotted time frame.  Grand goals can be completely overwhelming, Like getting ready for Bead & Button, I created over 800 beads in 8 weeks.  That seems crazy, but I broke it down to 100 beads a week - then down to 20 beads for 5 days a week - way more doable than creating 800 beads!

My tips for meeting your goals:

1. Create a goal, write it down and give yourself a deadline.

It's not a goal if it doesn't have a deadline and writing it down has all sorts of scary, life-affirming power when it comes to reaching for something you really want.

2. Break your goal down into it's smallest tasks - no matter how small a step, write it down and give it a deadline. 

Using a wall calendar or dry erase board, write down your steps on the dates you will work on them and then get rid excuses and fears and focus on that task for each day.  Even if you can only devote 15 minutes to your goals, you'll be surprised what working consistently on a project will result in over a weeks.

3. Plan a reward for when you meet your goal - maybe it's a day at the beach or a shopping trip. 

Whatever will motivate you, promise yourself that treat when you meet your goal.

4. Stay accountable.

Share your goal with someone who will keep you on track or if you don't have that support system share your journey on your blog.  Having your peers encourage you and not wanting to let them down can be a great motivator.
What is a goal you are currently working on or would like to start working toward? 
For me, it's my next book proposal.  No goal is too small or too big - we are all on our own path and have different needs for our jewelry businesses and hobbies.  Share it with me in the comments below and one random winner will be drawn to win one of my new cuff connectors. 

Friday, June 24, 2011

Random Beady Links

Here is a hodge podge of great links to go visit today to help fire up your creativity this weekend:
First up - let's hear it for commitment! 365 days is a long time to commit to anything, but Cynthia Dies of Ornamentea, has been showing off a necklace a day for quite a while.  (I hope by featuring her here she'll stick with it!) Check them all out at 365 Necklaces.

Rose Noble, of Lady Noble and the Vintaj design team, is another brave soul taking on 365 days of creating on her blog.  Stop by and visit, she is another creative I hope sticks with the challenge - I love seeing what she comes up with next!

Andrew Thornton is having the virtual yard sale of the year with all sorts of beady fun that you won't want to miss.  There are new pendants like the ones above, he's selling some of his original and published designs on eBay, he has lots of artist's beads in his regular shop and he's hosting a big ol' summer giveaway.  Check out all the festivities on Andrew's blog.

Need some color inspiration?  Check out Design Seeds for a mind-blowing array of color palettes.  You'll never again have an excuse for staying in a color rut! (photo from Design Seeds)

Have you put together your muffin tin of beads yet? 

Here are a few clarifications:
Your link is due on Monday by June 27th at Midnight - central time. 

I've decided to give a bonus chance - if you fill your muffin tin and get 6 of the projects complete, you can enter the challenge.  I know 12 is a lot for a summer week when there are pools to visit, meals to grill, lemonades to sip, fireflies to catch - I get it!

Your challenge pieces can use art beads or not - that's up to you.  Earrings and pendants count - surely you can whip up 6 pairs of earrings and snap a pic before Monday.

Good luck and enter your link here to enter.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer Solstice Necklace

It's officially summer, so here is a cute and quick necklace to whip up using a pendant from Golem Studios in their lace design.  Geometrics are hot for summer fashions and triangles are pointing the way to trendy styles.  I teamed this striking pendant with ceramic tabs from Elaine Ray, a hand blown glass bead and Czech flowers, the play of the complimentary color palette makes this a fresh find.

Ceramic pendant - Golem Studios
Hand blown glass bead - Stephanie Ann
4 ceramic 12mm tabs - Elaine Ray
1 copper 12mm round bead
12 Czech flowers (6 of two colors)
12 copper 4mm spacers
12 2" copper ball headpins
6 2" brass eyepins
10 brass 12mm jump rings
brass hook clasp
2 5" lengths of brass chain

Create the elements:
1. Add a spacer, ceramic tab and a spacer to an eyepin.  Repeat with the other 3 ceramic tabs and the glass bead and copper bead for 6 beaded links.

2. Add a glass flower to a ball headpin, create a wrapped loop using the rest of the wire wrapped several times under the loop.  Repeat with the other 11 flowers.

Put the necklace together:
1. On the jump ring, add the pendant and a ceramic tab.  Close the jump ring.
2. Add a jump ring to the other side of the ceramic tab, add 3 flower dangles and the glass bead link, close the jump ring.
3. Add a jump ring to the other side of the glass bead, add 3 flower dangles and a ceramic tab, close the jump ring. 
4. Add the chain to the last tab with a jump ring.
5. Repeat pattern on the other side, using the copper bead instead of the glass bead.
6. Add the hook clasp with a jump ring, add the other jump ring to the other side of the chain.

A simpler variation of this design uses one of Golem's poppy pendants with smokey quartz links and a single color of flowers.  This one reminds me of art nouveau jewelry with the graphic floral elements and geometric design.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fit to Print Review: Stringing and Easy Wire Magazine

"A Little Fresh Air" by Erin Prais-Hintz from Stringing Summer 2011

Need a quick jolt of inspiration?  Look no further than Interweave Press' latest issues of Stringing and Easy Wire magazine.  Both issues are packed with art bead inspired projects by today's top designers.  You'll find a few of our Art Bead Scene editors within the pages of these awesome publications.

Stringing Magazine projects include designs with toggles, the oh-so trendy circle motif, a brush of blush theme featuring necklaces inspired by Pantone's color of the year, earthy primitives and power packed posies.  You'll also find 16 bracelets and 26 earring designs dripping summer's juiciest colors.  There are articles on trying overhand knots, designing jewelry collections and 30 favorites materials from Jamie Hogsett, Michelle Mach and Danielle Fox - find out what they couldn't live without on their beading table this summer!

I'm escpeically excited about this issue of Easy Wire magazine.  And it's not just because I have 4 projects in this issue!  Oh no, it's because it's packed with innovative and deciptively simple projects using wire!  I'm completely inspired by this magazine.  You'll find projects in here from Lori Anderson, Lorelei Eurto, Cindy Wimer, Cassie Donlen, Kerry Bogert, Andrew Thornton and many more - including some of our long time Art Bead Scene readers!  Congratulations to Cristie Clothier for the great cover design!  This issue is also bursting with art beads - such a great resouce for ideas on how to utilize your favorite beads.  I'm ready to pull out the wire and get to work!

And finally before I go today, I wanted to tell you about a new website from Interweave. It's called the Flockshop and you'll be able to save 40-60% off craft supplies from your favorite brands and Interweave products. Later this summer the Flockshop will be curated by popular bloggers sharing their favorite finds and yes, I am one of those lucky curators. I will be working hard to bring you some amazing bead supplies hand-picked by me! The website launched yesterday, be sure to subscribe so you won't miss a single deal!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Muffin Tin Jewelry Challenge

Do you look in your bead stash and want to sit down to create but find yourself overwhelmed by years of purchases and too many choices?  My dear auntie was in need of inspiration for some upcoming shows so I suggested this muffin challenge to her as a way of breaking through being overwhelmed by a stuffed craft room. 

The challenge is simple:
Fill the cup of a muffin tin with everything you need for one project - so the focal bead, accents, chain, findings - whatever you would need to complete one project and put that in one cup.  Repeat with the other 11 cups.  You now have 12 projects in a portable container ready for you to put together.  Grab your pliers/tools and sit somewhere comfy with your muffin tin and put each piece together knowing all your choices have already been made - your mission is to simply arrange those beads in a sassy design and complete those 12 projects as quickly as possible!
So let's play!  Grab a muffin tin and put together 12 projects by June 27th (Midnight CT).  Yes, 12 projects in a week - you can do it!  Take a photo of your muffin tin and one photo of all 12 projects - blog, facebook or add it to a free album like Flickr and share the link below.  On the 28th, I will pick one winner to receive a Bead & Button grab bag from me valued at over $75, it will include art beads and some awesome goodies from the show.

*Addendum - if you complete 6 projects you can enter!

Pictured above are Rosanne's treasures from Bead & Button and include art beads from: Golem Beads, Vintage Meadows, Lisa Peters and Humblebeads.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Designer of the Week

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

This week's featured designer is Jen Judd Rocks!

Here is what ABS Editor, Lori Anderson, has to say about the chosen designs:

One of the things that immediately struck me was Jen's use of texture.  Texture captures the senses and begs to be touched.  

The lampwork beads by Julsbeads, HMB Studios, and Donna Millard all pick up the colors of "Ophelia", particularly the beautiful ribbed rounds, which look like the painting itself.  I also like how Jen chose to use just a hint of yellow, as yellow is such a strong color it can easily overpower a design.

What can I say?  I love it all and would wear it all with pride!
Ophelia by Odilon Redon

It's not to late to join the

Lori Anderson writes the blog Pretty Things and creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs.   She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party.   

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Father's Day! Quick before he gets up and you're busy for the rest of the day showering him with much needed attention, join me in seeing what the bead bloggers have been up to.....

A Bead A Day
Earrings make great gifts in a hurry for yourself and friends! Lisa shares a few newly made pairs using both sparkly and vintage beads! Jewelry Making
Get in the mood for summer jewelry fun with two turtle jewelry tutorials from Tammy.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene dishes up some lovely sunshine - come get some!

Beading Arts
Cyndi's favorite wire guru, Paul Bishop, shares a wonderful tutorial with Cyndi's readers!

Beads & Books
Have you ever wondered how much traffic websites such as Etsy or ArtFire get? Michelle shares a free online tool that gives you quick website statistics.

Carmi's Art Life/World
Carmi is experimenting with Apoxie Sculpt!

Resin Crafts!
Resin crafts has a special $200 give-a-way ending June 21!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Cyndi Lavin, multi media artist and beader extraordinaire, has added a new chapter to her e-book! Please read my review of it! Her book is now 5 chapters long and is filled with great ideas and beauty -- irresistible! Plus, as you may know,the first chapter continues to be a FREE download! Hooray!

The Bead Dreamer
Ever wonder if the Knew Concepts red jeweler's saw frame is really better? Charlene shares her take on it.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want a "post-Bead&Button Show" stash of jewelry-making goodies? Enter to win this week's Thursday Giveaway!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Studio Saturday with Lori Anderson

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

This weeks winner is BeadRoe. Congratulations!

You have won a bag of goodies from Erin Prais-Hintz!

Send Erin an e-mail with your address and she will send you those treasures!

This has been a hectic week here in my studio!  I went to the Bead and Button Show (brought lots of goodies back in case you want to try for the Big Bead Giveaway!), met with my book editor, did a video interview for promotional purposes down the road, met a million wonderful people, and did a bit of damage to a credit card I'd just paid off.  But I was good, actually, compared to some years.

Needless to say, my beading table and lampwork studio are either piled up with clutter or getting dusty.  I'm behind.  Soooo behind.  I feel like the White Rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland" .... "Late, late, for a very important date!"

When I have so many things piled up and a ton of deadlines due, I tend to get, shall we say, frazzled.  The running-down-the-street-waving-my-hands-over-my-head-screaming type of frazzled.  So I've learned to set aside the deadlines, if only for an hour or two, and do something that gives my mind a break.

Two things sooth this savage beast, and one actually helps me get the pile on the workbench under control.

One:  I sort beads.

It's SO cathartic for me to pull out a box of beads and sort.  Beads in too large a baggie get poured into a smaller baggie.  Ahhhhh, there.  Nice and tidy.  Beads that are rolling all over the table, driving me (and the cats) mad, I scoop up and corral into their proper spaces.  My mind can just drift, and I actually feel like I'm accomplishing something without having to think and plan and design and create and, and ..... and.

my bead storage cabinet

Another thing I do when my brain is on overload and I need a mental break is make earrings.  I sell a ton of earrings at craft shows and always try to keep at least 200 or so pairs on hand, so days when I'm overwhelmed are deemed Earring Days.

This time of year, believe it or not, I start preparing for holiday earrings.  My show season starts in mid-October, and patrons expect to see those snowflakes, so out comes the ho-ho-ho and away I go!

beads by Moonraker Lampwerks

I think we all have days when we're just completely overwhelmed with Life.  Life has a way of sneaking up on us and yelling, "BOO!" in our ear just when we've thought things had settled down.  It's always good to have a backup plan, and these are just two of mine.  Depending upon the day, my backup plan could be a nap and a box of chocolates, but then, that would have been a short and boring blog post, now, wouldn't it?

So here's my question to you -- what is your favorite way to recharge your batteries when you're overwhelmed with being a jewelry designer?
Answer this question in a comment below, and a winner will be drawn at random next Saturday.  The winner will receive a nice healthy helping of my Bead Soup, styled to your favorite color palette.  Mmm, soup is good food!

Lori Anderson writes the blog Pretty Things and creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs.  She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Iced Lemon Bead Theme

I love the color palette from this month's challenge painting!  Here are some of my top picks that would fit with our theme.

Have you entered our challenge yet?  I'm amazed by what I'm seeing so far!
To read more about our challenge and join in this month, visit here.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Creative Jewelry Storage Ideas - Beyond the Jewelry Box

I'm on the hunt for some new jewelry storage ideas for my personal jewelry.  I find my jewelry is treated less than idea, thrown into a box and that's just not very inspiring.

First up are repurposed printer drawers from Etsy seller BlueBirdHeaven.  I'm seriously coveting one of these!  I could see a teal one in my studio, housing my earrings and bracelets.  There are some on hinges that would rock as a show display.

If you are feeling more DIY - show off that art bead jewelry in style - as framed art!  This would look so lovely in my bedroom with my personal collection of jewelry treasures that I've collected over the years. You can find the directions at the Better Homes & Garden website.

Here is another clever display idea spotted on the Brass Razoo Boutique website.  I love this one for several reasons - 1. you can display a ton of jewelry on this.  2. It's all woodland-y awesome. 3. It's super green, you could recycle a found frame and go hunting for the twigs in your backyard.

Pinterest in a Nutshell

All of these finds were discovered on Pinterest.  I am not responsible for the amount of time you will waste once you discover this site!  Basically you create inspiration boards and 'pin' photos and links to your boards.  It's a great way to visually organize your inspiration and online finds.  There is a button to add to your browser and 'pin' things when you find them online.  It's also a great resource to see what's currently trending.  You have to be invited to join the site, so if you have a friend that has talked about it, ask them to invite you!  Be warned - this site is like crack for those addicted to design blogs!