Thursday, May 31, 2012

May Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to this Month's winners! 
We have 2 winners chosen randomly from all the challenge entrants.
Our first lucky winner is SueBeads65.
She has won Birch Leaves and Wild Harvest Pendant (a $58 value) from Mary Harding Jewelry.

Our second lucky winner is The Bead Therapist.
She has won four Pendants worth over $70 from  Heather Wynn.

Thank you Mary Harding and Heather Wynn for being our May Monthly Challenge sponsors!

Winners, please E-mail Tari, with your information so your prizes can be sent to you.
A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month using "Italian's House at Monmarte" by Maurice Utrillo, as your inspiration. 
We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.
Visit us tomorrow to see what May's challenge brings.

May Monthly Blog Tour

 "A small house must depend on its grouping with other houses for its beauty, and for the preservation of light air and the maximum of surrounding open space."
~ Clarence Stein

In response to this beautiful street scene we had houses and trees galore, but we also had shutters and doors and keys and the beauty of the wide open sky. The color palette was earthy in greens and creams and browns and blues with a little bit of coral thrown in. Let's start the show!


Miss Alice of Alice Dreaming (above) had the cutest little house pendant but had a little mishap. She came up with a clever solution to fix the house and add some visual weight to her piece. I like the textures and the different materials that lead your eye around the piece.

"Italian Ice" is the name of the piece by Angela Lund and picks up on the tree motif in the painting. I love the beautiful greens and brown of the pretty art bead focal that she found. She picked it up at the Bead & Button show. Maybe I will see her at that booth this year!

Jo of Daisy Chain Designs Jewellery (above) makes the most lovely metal components that are whimsical and sweet. For this month, Jo made a beautiful little house clasp, plus she added some other fine art bead artists as well. I hope she will make more of these sweet houses, because I sure do want one of those!

Sometimes the best laid plans don't go as planned. That is what A Polymer Penchant discovered. She struggled with finding her way in this inspiration. I can relate to that! She became fascinated by the shutters on the houses and created a design that evoked those little wooden slats. It is a work in progress, she tells us. I am really intrigued to find out what she will make with the shutter piece she crafted!

Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry switched things up a bit and started out making a bracelet instead of her usual necklaces. I really love the wood like ceramic frame that she used in one and the weaving of the ribbon in the other for a lovely spot of color. But she just couldn't help herself and made a necklace, too!

Joining us this month is Cate Van Alphin Fulgorine (above). I am just blown away by the magnificent hollow donut pendant that she created. The salmon colored sky above the tips of the trees was what caught her attention. I am very intrigued by this!

Charlie of Clay Space did some mighty fine multi-tasking this month with a bevy of designs. Her bracelet and necklace looks like a walk down this village street complete with cobblestones to me.

Kerri of Pink Lemonade was also doing double duty with her design. As part of the Echo Creative Club she received a lovely shabby chic pendant that looks like it was right at home in the painting. I love the soft and soothing color palette she chose.

Miss Sue of SueBeads (above) found the perfect little house bead in her stash. She used some interestingly shaped beads to give a feeling of movement as you stroll along the winding avenue in the painting. Lovely!

I just love the balance of the design that Heidi of Ex Post Facto Jewelry designed. From the pretty house pendant to the leafy fringe and the beautiful carved jade, this piece hits a lot of the motifs in the painting.

Keeping with the theme of houses, Miss Cece Cormier of the Beading Yogini hand crafted her sweet little house. I love the details and the textures that she used. 

I love the little door charm that Pam of Klassy Joolz (above) found for her bracelet. The ruffly green glass beads remind me of the leaves fluttering in the breeze. Pam also completed a second piece with a key that I love!

Bee Tree by m.e. proves that you don't need to do fancy or complicated to have a stunning design. She made this quirky cuff bracelet with a house, a heart and a key in a great earthy mix of cream and rusty brown.

I think that the designs that come together effortlessly are a true sign that our Muse is ready to go. Miss Malin of Beading by Malin de Koning let the beads just fall into place on this beautiful design that brings all the pieces together seamlessly.

Tracy of Tracy Stillman Designs (above) was drawn to the architectural lines and the perspective of the meandering street. She brought a romanticism to the painting and softened the hard lines with a muted color palette.

Miss Kirsi of Kirsiluokorut is really immersing herself in learning the art of enameling. She made all the beads and the quaint little house in her necklace. A really fun and bright color palette that picks up on the sky.

I don't know about you but when I am fueled by caffeine and a deadline nothing can stand in my way. Apparently that is the way with Shaiha of Shaiha's Ramblings, too. The pistachio colored shutters and house were all the inspiration that she needed and then let it all fall into place. Beautifully, I might add.

I don't know what to be more impressed by... the fact that Beth & Evie McCord of EBBeadandMetalWorks (above) made a bracelet (a cuff no less!) or that they hand sawed from copper this beautiful house or that they left it with the rusty patina.!

Welcome to Renetha from Lamplight Crafts! She used a gorgeous lampwork focal bead that brought out the impressionist brush strokes of the painting perfectly. And as a bonus she made a bracelet too! Check it out!

Miss Leah of Beady Eyed Bunny decided that she would make her own art beads for this challenge. The soft fringe on the fabric that backs her cuff bracelet echoes the soft sky at twilight and her house bead is darling!

Fresh Baked Designs (above) won our prize last month and was surprised and delighted to find that her winnings last month perfectly complemented the rich earthy palette of this month's painting. That is true serendipity!

There is a great satisfaction in making your own components for a design. Your hand print is all over it! Miss Kimberly Idalski of Kimi's Jewelry did just that. She brought in the vanishing perspective, the green and cream, the texture of the shutters and even the leaves in the wind and made an abstract statement necklace to be proud of!


Sorry for the late start everyone! I am hosting the Challenge of Literature blog hop over on my blog today so I am a tad bit behind. But I wanted to say that I am just always inspired by the creativity that our ABSers show each month, and this was no exception! 

Thank you to all who participated in this month's challenge! Looking forward to what June will bring!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Jewelry Designs from Nature Challenge

I'm so excited to let you know about a new challenge that the Art Bead Scene is hosting!

This is a fun challenge inspired by my book Jewelry Designs from Nature, to celebrate now that it's out making its way into the big craft stores like Hobby Lobby and Michaels.

If you haven't had a chance to pick up the book it's packed full of projects using art beads from my favorite artists.  Along with 30 projects the book includes a few articles on finding inspiration for your nature inspired designs. I share my ideas of creating jewelry inspired by poetry and include photos from my favorite gardens, woodland trails and beaches.  And that is where this challenge finds it's roots!

This is a creative blog challenge.  10 winners will be sent a packet and have a few weeks to create a piece of jewelry inspired by their packets.  On July 6th we'll have a blog hop featuring the results.  We'll also have voting for your favorite challenge piece during the blog hop and giveaway beads from the book!

The Challenge:

I'm going to pick 10 participants randomly from the comments below.  Each participant will receive a packet that contains:

1. A few Humblebeads featured in the book
2. A nature-inspired poem
3. A photo for color and design inspiration

The packets will be themed and you could get a garden, woodlands or sea set!


Winners will be picked June 6th.  Packets will mail on June 11th.  The blog hop reveal will happen here on July 6th.

To enter:

1. You must have a blog and plan to join in the blog hop to enter.

2. Tweet or Facebook about this challenge and leave a comment here letting us know you've helped spread the word.

Good luck!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

To Cap It All - Bead Caps Inspiration

We all love beads here at Art Bead Scene - readers and writers alike. But I bet I am not alone in saying that my personal love of beads extends way beyond 'small, decorative object(s)...usually pierced for threading or stringing.' (Wikipedia). Findings, fibres, cords, found objects that can be incorporated into my jewellery - all these are things that, alongside beads, I couldn't live without. Well, perhaps that's going too far but sometimes it can feel like that! 

Today though, I want to talk about one of my favourite of all non-bead components - the humble bead cap. When I first started out beading with wire, quite a few years ago now, I found these sweet little things endearing - they were, as you would think, tiny little caps; miniature headgear for the little beads I loved to work with. (I don't think I could have told you what an art bead was at this point!) They sat and looked pretty, and occasionally served a useful purpose in keeping my beads from falling off headpins if the holes were too big, but that was about it. I played around with having them on the bottom of a bead too, a cup rather than a cap, and also sandwiching a bead between two caps. All very pretty, but nothing earth shattering there! 

When I discovered art beads a few years later, I also discovered artists such as Shannon LeVart (better known to you and me as MissFickleMedia), and her stunning hand patinated components. I went ahead and bought some bead caps. They were really pretty and almost seemed too lovely to use with some of my beads....and when the caliber (and price tag!) of the beads you are working with changes, you don't always want to cover them up with bead caps, however pretty. And the bead caps were so lovely in their own right, I didn't want them to be secondary to the beads themselves. So I started to think, how else could I use these lovely components....I tried a few things out but wasn't totally I stuck with the capping and cupping, just with more expensive headgear than before. 

Earrings made for the Bead Soup Blog Party earlier this year.
Still, my quest to elevate the bead cap from it's lowly status as a finding continued....and then I had several lightbulb moments over the past year....why not turn the cap around? Not merely cupping or capping, but springing out from the bead like a flower? Now I was onto something! (This is not to say this was desperately original. I know many people have done the same and many people continue to do the same! It was however, new and striking to me.)

Cupping, capping, layering and flipping of Vintaj and Fallen Angel Brass bead caps - all in one pair of earrings!Polymer clay rondelles - Humblebeads
The lightbulbs continued to flash - layer the caps! Stack them! And then I discovered more and more bead artists creating artisan bead caps - ChelleV2, GardanneBeads and TheaToo to name but a few. These caps didn't need beads to be beautiful - they could work all by themselves, turned into flowers or bells with cord, wire, headpins for stamen. 

Here are some examples if you are struggling with a stash of beautiful bead caps like I was:

A tiny ceramic bird from BoHulleyBeads perches atop a handmade bronze flower beadcap (TheaToo), handmade brass headpins form spiralling stamen. 
Patinated ring and headpins from MetamorphSupplies.
A series of earthenware clay bead caps from ChelleV2 are knotted on waxed linen cord and hang down artfully, mimicking faded flowers, or tears. 

This was made for Erin Prais-Hintz' Challenge of Music earlier this year. Watch out for her Challenge of Literature on Thursday! 

The difference that different media can make - look at these bell earrings, this time bead caps from NadinArtGlass. The light and delicate ridging on these caps make for an elegant pair.

I made these shortly before going on stage to sing as I had forgotten to bring any jewellery with me!
A different look again - these Vintaj bead caps make perfect earrings as well, or even a single one as a sweet pendant.
Created for one of Andrew Thornton's blog challenges last year.
Enamelled flower bead caps add a pop of colour wherever needed - these bead caps from Anne of GardanneBeads are some of my very favourites, being a lover of colour. One hangs from an antique brass branch, a perfect complement to this cute lampwork owl from SoulSilver
These wee flower dangles are the perfect addition to many pieces of jewellery - Anne has just made me a custom rainbow hued order!
What components (other than beads!) do you love to work with? What handmade elements have you elevated beyond the ordinary? If you are a bead or component artisan, what are you working on beyond beads and pendants to make our jewellery making ever more unique and beautiful? 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer and singer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about beads and singing at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at

Monday, May 28, 2012

Featured Designer of the Week: Heidi Post

Each week 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....
Heidi Post of Ex Post Facto Jewelry.
Here is what ABS editor Erin Siegel said about Heidi's Design:
"The handmade ceramic house pendant is perfect. Heidi did an excellent job incorporating all the colors of the painting in her necklace. The mix of materials and textures creates lots of interest throughout the piece. My favorite part is the use of the leaf chain at the front with the pendant. I love how this mimics the trees behind the houses in the painting!"
Check out Heidi's blog or visit her Etsy shop to see more of her work.
Enter the monthly challenge today - click here for details.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Link Library with Melanie

 Several of us at Art Bead Scene are getting ready for that annual big bead show, Bead & Button!  Here is a post from 2010 that gives 10 tips for how to more efficiently shop at a big show, because it can be overwhelming!

A Bead A Day
Lisa's sharing a quick and easy project using a craft store swarovski crystal's a tiara for the wrist! Jewelry Making
Tammy has some summer time jewelry tutorials for you.

Art Bead Scene
Heather shares a post about colors using bead supplies, showing monochromatic, complimentary, and analogous color selections

Beading Arts
A tutorial for simple but elegant earrings is featured this week!

Beads & Books
Michelle makes over an old pair of earrings. Come see the dramatic before and after photos!

Resin Crafts!
The 2012 Diamond Jubilee inspires these new resin filled bezels.

Snap out of it, Jean! There is beading to be done!
Jean reviews Sharilyn Miller's extraordinary, not to be missed book, Arty Jewelry IV. You will agree that you must own this book when you read the review!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew kicks off his annual Spring Cleaning Destash Sale! He's got lots of amazing beads, jewelry, and more!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Studio Saturday with Erin Siegel

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

This week's winner is Carol Creech. Congratulations! You have won a Nina Designs bronze charm and a pair of ceramic links from Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio! Send Melanie an e-mail with your address and she will get your prize out to you soon!
This week we visit the studio of
Erin Siegel of Erin Siegel Jewelry
In my last Studio Saturday post, I mentioned that I used to work and teach jewelry-making classes at The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery. Well, I'm actually there right now, as you are reading this, celebrating the release of the book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry, authored by myself and Lorelei Eurto! (Lorelei, I wish you could be here!) This shop has really been a center point in my life and my jewelry-making career. You can read more about my discovery of the store and my involvement with it in a recent post on my blog, here.

Today the shop is hosting a book launch party for me and my friends and family. It's a very special day in my little corner of the world and it all revolves around this amazing place where I got my start, The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery in Amesbury, Massachusetts. The shop is half bead store, half art gallery. Below, I share some photos of the space:
The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery
Here's a shot of the art gallery side. The shop carries all kinds of local handcrafted items such as jewelry, clothing, handbags, pottery, paintings, wall hangings, baskets, home accessories, cards and stationary and much more. 

Some of the handcrafted jewelry and art on display.

Here's the bead shop side. The wall O' gemstones! I love this wall. What beader wouldn't love this?

Bead shop side. Students taking a class from fellow teacher and jewelry artist, Maggie Mehaffey.

The Riverwalk Bead Shop and Gallery
32 Elm Street
Amesbury, MA. 01913
Riverwalk on Facebook
If you are in the area, come by the shop today from 10am-5pm. I'd love to meet you!

I feel so very blessed to have this place close by. A space that I can go to nurture my creative spirit. A beautiful, inspiring place that supports local artists and not to mention, the most important thing, a place to buy beads! So, that leads me to my questions for you:

Do you have a local bead store to go to? Or perhaps an art gallery or shop where you can sell your handmade jewelry? 
Tell me if you have a business or organization near by that supports you creatively!

Leave us a comment on this post and you will be entered to win a copy of  the book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbons and Cords SIGNED by both me and Lorelei!

Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog, Erin Siegel Jewelry

Friday, May 25, 2012

Bead Show Shopping Tips

Humblebeads - booth 1212
As I prepare for the Bead & Button show, I have bead shopping and my bead budget on my mind.  Some years I have gone through the show and spent all my money in one aisle. Other years I had a well mapped out plan.  Most of my time I wander aimlessly buying whatever catches my eye as I suffer from stimulation overload.

So you hear "have a budget" all the time and that's easy enough - total cash on hand with credit available, add in first born, plan to eat crackers & oatmeal for 3 days, sleep 6 to a hotel room and there you go!  But a budget is more than a number - to get the most out of those dollars, you need a plan!

1. Research Tools. If you are planning on adding new tools, do a little research before the show and visit booths that sell them.  You can grab them in your hands, in some cases you can see a demonstration or give it a test drive.  This is the time to ask the experts questions and get some insider tips on using on a certain tool.  Decide beforehand if you will actually buy the tool there, have it shipped home or order it online when you get back.

Golem Design Studio - Booth 111
2. Take stock of your bead boxes before you go.  What do you really need?  Most of us would probably say, nothing really, but I want everything!  I'm low on clasps, bugle beads, small faceted stones.  Those are on my list. 

3. Make a Plan.  Do you have focal beads that have been sitting in your bead box forever - snap a pic of it or bring it along to find some accents.  Smart shopping is a combination of pairing up what you already have with great finds.  I've had shoppers arrive at my booth with a strand of beads, looking for the perfect focal.  One year my friend Erin shopped with a series of paintings she had printed out and was on the hunt for beads to match the color schemes. 

Julie Nordine - Booth 1134

4. Window shop before the show.  Visit websites, Facebook pages and subscribe to mailing lists of your favorite bead artists and shops that will be at the show - they often send out coupons or special deals.  You can also get a sneak peek of new work. 

5. First things first - visit your favorite bead artists at the start of the show.  They are more likely to sell out of the beads you really have your heart set on! 

Lisa Peters Art - Booth 1213 & 1215
6.  Is it in your budget to buy larger quantities?  Some vendors offer wholesale or discounts for larger orders.  If you are creating a series of designs for upcoming events, this could be a smart move.
7. Plan for the unexpected surprise - add a little cushion in your budget for new found items. 

8. If you have a lot of art beads in your stash, be on the lookout of spacers and accent beads from your favorite artists, you'll find the perfect match for those focals.  Add in just a few stones or glass beads and some chain for quick and easy designs.

Earthenwood Studio - Booth 1127
 9. Buy the unusual - now is not the time to stock up on headpins.  (Unless you stumble upon the deal of the century for them!) Look for art beads, stones and new items that you can't find easily at home or online.  

10. Do you have past Bead & Button purchases haunting you, deals you picked up that have sat in your bead box?  Don't let them take up mental space and keep you from buying beads that will bring more inspiration into your studio.  Either pull them out and whip up some simple designs to sell in the next two weeks or have a destash sale and send them along to a new home.  Not only will be feel less guilty about those past purchases, you'll have some extra cash in your pocket for new beads!  Win, win my friends.

Green Girl Studios, Booth 1203 & 1205

Hot Links:
Bead & Button Show
Exhibitor List

Lori Anderson shared a great post with tips for shopping at a bead show.

Disclaimer: Budget - who am I kidding?  Do you see those photos above???  And that's just what I KNOW is going to be there.  I'll be in trouble the moment I walk in the door. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Color Study

Do you have a color wheel in your bead kit?  If not, pick one up the next time you are at the craft store and give it a whirl for a world of inspiration.  Here is a simple color study with my Poppy Pendant and a few accents.  Three simple color combinations inspired by the color wheel include:

Monochromatic - Colors of the same hue in varying values (light and dark).
Complimentary - Colors across each other on the color wheel.
Analogous - Colors next to each other on the color wheel.

So let's start with monochromatic color schemes, like the one shown above.  While it may seem like a no-brainer to use the same colors in a necklace, keep in mind that a successful monochromatic design needs contrast.  The contrast can be in the light and darkness of the colors used, but also the textures, size and shape of the beads will help offer visual interest. 

In the sample above I've paired up my Poppy with lampwork glass beads from Lori Bergmann, matte recycled glass beads from Yuki Designs and cord from Edwards Jewelry Supply Shop

Complimentary color schemes pop with vitality and punch.  Complimentary colors can offer a playful solution to your design challenge.  You can play around with the spectrum a little and don't have to follow the color wheel exactly.  A navy blue would pair up with a burnt sienna color, pumpkin orange or more of a yellow-ish orange.  Each color would offer a different feel paired up with the focal bead.  If you want to tone done the combination a little, add in a neutral color like a steel gray or warm wood brown. 

The complimentary set matches up lampwork beads from Lutrick, glass beads from Yuki Designs and cord from WISH Supplies.

Analgous colors are another fun combo, these are the colors next to each other on the color wheel.  For this set I went with blue, green and yellow.  But you could also go teal, blue, purple.  Or blue, purple, magenta.    These combinations can offer subtle and harmonious color schemes.

For this set I paired up the French cord from Fini Ribbon with lampwork beads from Serena Smith's Lampwork and yellow glass beads from Yuki Designs.

So which color combination grabs you?  Have you pulled out a color wheel lately?  Give it a whirl - it could be your wheel of fortune for hot designs that fly off your table at shows this summer!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Featured Designer of the Week: Malin de Koning

Each week the Art Bead Scene features a Designer of the Week. 

One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.
(We seem to be allergic to Mondays here on the ABS - but better late than never!)
This week's featured designer is....

Here is what ABS editor Heather Powers said about Malin's Design:
"I love how Malin color blocked the beads, it leads the eye around the necklace like a little stroll through the French neighborhood in our inspiration painting.  The art beads/focals off to the side add interest and movement.  I love that while the design seems simple Malin managed to use three art beads paired with glass and stones that sets the necklace apart."

Check out Malin's blog to see more of her work.

Enter the monthly challenge today - click here for details.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Link Library with Melanie

 In this post from the archives from 2009, Heather contemplates the challenges of designing seasonal jewelry, especially when your seasons are altered by the calendars of publications.

Here are this week's links from some of our beady friends:

  A Bead A Day
Get your crystals ready, the Swarovski Elements design contest sponsored by FireMountainGems opens June 1st!! Jewelry Making
Here are some jewelry tutorials that incorporate ceramic pieces in them.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene highlights some of the handmade beads that are entered in the Bead Star competition. Come and see some of the entries and place your votes for your favorites!

Beading Arts
We're celebrating everything to do with wire this month! Come and visit with some fabulous wire artists and try your hand at working with wire yourself!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A fabric bead is always fun to create and uses up leftover beads too!

Resin Crafts!
Working in a shell pendant with resin...difficult but possible!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
What do you think of the idea of making your business more successful? Sound good? Check out what's on Jean's blog today!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Studio Saturday with Melanie Brooks

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

This week's winner is Cynthia aka Cynth's Blog
Congratulations! You have won a Tales They Tell pendant from
Erin Prais-Hintz.
 Send Erin an e-mail with your address and she will get it out to you as soon as possible!
This week we visit the studio of
I recently received a lovely package of goodies from the folks at Nina Designs as part of their blog partnership program. I got a goodie bag with all of the items above included:  a bunch of beautiful shiny charms, pendants, and findings from their Bronze Collection, a lovely bright turquoise silk ribbon, and a bundle of soft and supple deer hide leather. What a generous and gorgeous selection of things to play with!
I loved the lotus pendant and it was very fortunate that I had just finished up some pendants with a water and lotus pond theme!  So I was eager to use those things together!  The cut-out design of the lotus pendant, like many of the other bronze pendants in the collection, makes it really versatile with all the areas to bead onto.  I used the lotus as a triple connector, hanging my pendant from the bottom and attaching a loop to each of the two top petals.  The ribbon color wasn't so matchy-matchy with the pendant, so I took a few little strands of it and tied them to the bottom leaves of the lotus to tie the color in near the pendant.  I also used two of the swirly bronze charms and some strawberry quartz to make some interesting dangles further up the necklace, to tie the pink color in.  I like the cool simplicity of this necklace, interesting, but not too overly complicated.
I also made a pair of coordinating earrings with a pair of my ceramic links! The bronze is very shiny, almost gold in color, and I didn't have any gold jump rings or other findings, so I used gunmetal black.  I really like the contrast of the two shiny metals and how it brings a little bit of extra interest to the design.
All of these pieces and colors remind me of cool waters like the kinds I get to see on vacation at the beach or visiting beautiful parks.  Or maybe that's just my pre-Bead & Button preparation crazed head dreaming of summer vacation after the show.  It's almost June... are you dreaming about summer vacation yet?

When you take a vacation or trip, do you do anything beady?  Do you visit local bead stores in the area that you are staying, or do you work on fun projects?  Leave a comment on this post and tell us about it!  Next Saturday, one random commenter will be chosen to win the Nina bronze charm and pair of Earthenwood ceramic links above!

*The materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company. The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Art Bead Palette :: Humblebeads

Funny story, one of the first art beads I ever bought, back before I ever knew what an art bead was, was one of Heather Powers' urchin beads. I was fascinated with how she took a humble medium, polymer clay, and turned into art (maybe that's where she came up with the name Humblebeads? I'll have to ask her). The textures and shapes and sheer volume of what she can create amazes me. As does, you guessed it, Heather's color choices.

I'm really taken in with the colors artists choose in their bodies of work, and Heather's color choices are no exception. I think they're fantastic, and would instantly bring a ton of color to a necklace or any jewelry design. Every bead she has in her shop would be an awesome jumping off point, so I picked out a few favorites and whipped up these color palettes.

I know Heather's got a ton of fans out there who love and use her beads, so tell me: what's your favorite Humblebead you've ever bought?

To connect more with Heather, you can visit her website and her blog.

To see more color palettes from me, you can stop by my blog.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Colorful Button Bracelet

Button Bracelet

  Supplies Needed:
1mm cotton cording 20" in length, 1" ceramic owl button, 1 large ceramic flower button, 5 assorted 3/4" ceramic buttons, 6-8 asst. vintage buttons with shanks, approximately 30 asst color size 6 seed beads

 Start by threading the cording through the button so there is an equal amount of cording on each side of the holes.

Tie a knot just behind the button holes. Approximately and inch after the button, tie a second knot. Thread a button onto one cord and tie a knot directly behind it.

Note about knots: I used whatever type of knot seemed to fit the situation, there's no right or wrong knot.

On the opposite cord of the first button, string on a ceramic button. To do this slide the cord through the back of the button and then back through the front. Tie a knot. On one cord string a few seed beads. String a vintage button on the remaining cord.

Continue stringing buttons and seed beads, making sure to tie knots in between adding items. When you are about to reach the halfway point in the bracelet, even up the stringing on the cords buy adding seed beads and then tying a knot. This time string both cords through the back of the flower, out the front, and back through to the back.

Continue stringing the bracelet as you did the first half of the bracelet until you reach the desired length. Tie the two ends together.

Tie a second knot approximately and inch further down. Before pulling the knot snug, be sure the owl button will fit through the hole.

String a bead on each cord and secure with a knot. Trim the excess cording.

 Enjoy your bracelet!