Thursday, February 28, 2013

February Monthly Blog Tour

With spring just around the corner, this vibrant woodblock print by Toshi Yoshida is the perfect welcome to the impending change of seasons. I know that it might feel like winter is never ending especially if you have mounds of snow greeting you like I do. But I am hopeful that the green will return and the blossoms will bloom!

The strong red color in this painting is so dominant that it is hard to see past it, and I am so glad that Miss Emma of Fresh Baked Designs (above) focused on this rich color for her monochromatic look. The beautiful faux cinnabar bracelet connector is such a strong statement piece and is perfect for this inspiration.

Lynda Moseley of SC Diva created a beautifully detailed faux red jade pagoda. I am always in awe of how she can take such a humble medium and transform it into something completely different!

So nice to see you again Miss Natalie! Love the handmade cherry blossom connector and the multi-layered bracelet filled with so many interesting things to keep the eye moving is so pretty! Check out her bracelet at Grubbi Ceramics.We look forward to seeing what you create each month!

Breaking down the elements of this inspiration piece, Miss Michelle of The Cabby Crafter (above) turned color (red), image (cherry blossoms) and feeling (organic) into a beautiful wearable work of art.

I am very impressed with the vision and the execution of the necklace that Miss Julie of Autochthonous Evolved gives us this month. Amazing details abound from the lampwork glass cherry blossom tree to the intricately detailed architectural links. I find that when I have a vision and I sketch it out first I have a better chance of actually making something close to my vision and that is exactly what she did. I love peeking into your creative process!

Weaving a visual haiku with her design, Jill Palumbo (above) tells us such a compelling true story to go along with her highly detailed interpretation of the inspiration painting. Having spent time in Japan had a profound effect on her and her creative process as well. You simply must go and read her post!

Each month we ask you to go on a journey of creativity with our inspiration paintings. The journey is oftentimes more important than the destination. Miss Vera of Designed by Vera tried something new, found the perfect beads in her stash, and even though she wants to keep working on the idea, she chose to share it with us! Thank you for showing us your process and joining in the fun!

I love it when the perfect focal just happens to be in my stash for the monthly challenges, don't you? It seems to validate the fact that I bought it so very long ago, as if it was meant to be. That is what happened for Miss Melissa of Bead Recipes (above). A recent acquisition from a fellow Aussie artist was the perfect bloom for the vibrant red of this woodcut.

The architecture of this month's painting inspiration is so striking. The strong lines and the bold color dominate the scene. Miss Beth and Miss Evie agreed that the shape of a traditional Japanese shrine would be their focus. The enamel focal they created is perfect!

Experimenting with new beads and special patinas, Miss Michelle of Concatenation (above) hit upon a masterful new style of modern beads that works so well with the linear nature of the building in the inspiration. This has a a very modern Japanese flair and I can't wait to see what else she has in store for these new beads!

I love unexpected uses for those things we take for granted. Buttons in particular fascinate me. I have loads of them but none as pretty as the buttons that Miss Angela used for her pretty boho chic earrings.

Karin of Backstory Beads (above) created a bold statement necklace that has a definite Asian flair. I love the strong lines and shapes in this necklace and the colors and layers of elements are so well combined. Beautiful!

We are so glad to see that Miss Donna of Crazy Notions is back at it! She chose to focus on the cherry blossom and made some lovely representations of the blossoms from the painting with layers of color and a patina that evokes a timeless feeling.

Welcome to Miss Nena of Nena's Art & Design (above)! We are so glad that you found us! She was inspired by the warm and fresh palette to create these hip and modern earrings in a sort of ombre effect. Very pretty! 

Mary Ellen of Bee Tree by m.e. was a bit stumped by the decidedly warm autumn palette for this month's painting inspiration. But not for long! She focused on the fact that spring is for lovers with a romantic necklace that will guarantee some kisses under the cherry blossoms!

Miss Malin of Beading by Malin de Koning (above) has been creating some amazing beaded beads (I know. I couldn't resist buying some recently!). She put them to good use in this soft and special bracelet with such a flirty feminine feel. I love it!

We are sort of like the Pied Piper around here... we know that you can't help but catch the creativity bug when you see the beautiful artwork that we share for your inspiration! Miss Sharyl of Sharyl's Jewelry & Reflections tells us that she just couldn't resist a peek, and then was inspired to create something special that she couldn't even share with us! I am keeping my fingers crossed for her that it will be approved by the Publishing Gods, but in the meantime you can see the other beautiful earrings she created and see some of the other inspiring bead finds she spotted!

Miss Sarajo of SJ Wentling Designs (above) got so inspired this month that she created not one, but two pieces! Using a pretty muted palette and some very beautiful art beads, Sarajo pulled together two stunning looks. So happy that this painting inspired you!

Just Beadey brought together many elements from the challenge painting from the birds to the bold color choices to the architectural details. I love that she added a nod to the Japanese obi sash with an extra little touch to this sweet romantic necklace.

What I find amazing is that The Clayin' Mommy (above) created this incredibly detailed bib necklace.... and then she decided to check the Art Bead Scene inspiration. A perfect match! That is sweet serendipity!

And if you would like to see my bracelet inspired by the inspiration painting called 'First Signs of Spring' I invite you to stop by my blog Treasures Found :: Inspiration is Everywhere.

OOPS! I forgot to include Susan McClelland's beautiful necklace over at M is the Word. I like the mix of textures in this beautiful necklace, from the white gems that hint at the end of winter to the rough river stones that feel very zen-garden to me and the beautiful poppy red of the focal bead on an embellished ribbon beaded chain. Despite being struck by the dreaded ick in her house she managed to create something lovely!

Stay tuned for the March inspiration!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Joining a Bead Club

I know I'm not going to be alone in saying that I love the post, or mail, depending on where you are in the world. And when you are a beader - or any other type of crafter, I'd imagine - there's often a good chance of a wee package or two, Lovingly wrapped from any number of locations across the globe, landing on the door mat. Much better than junk mail and bills! There's always that slight element of surprise, if you know you have more than one thing coming your way. That's one of my favourite things about Internet shopping for beads - they usually not quite as you imagined in your mind, which can sometimes be a little challenging, but is mostly very exciting and a joy to open. Anyone else got the sizing of beads totally wrong when ordering?! 

Late 2010, I spotted Heather Powers starting a new scheme - the Bead of the Month club. One art bead or bead set sent to each member once a month, sight unseen. Membership limited so you knew you'd be getting a sneak peek each month at something very exclusive. I knew I had to be a part of this! It's easy to get stuck in a rut designing, and brand new designs that have been designed especially for you and a few others - you can't go wrong there, can you? 

Fellow ABS editors Erin and Brandi also have similar schemes in place. Erin's Simple Truths sampler club gets sent out exclusive polymer and metal art pendants:

And Brandi recently started The Palette Club. She sends out exclusive archive-quality prints with her signature palettes pulled out along the side. 

I can thoroughly recommend both of these schemes, having been a member of both last year. Sometimes the muse needs a bit of a kick start, and when you sign up with one of these talented ladies, you know Lady Muse will be kicked into gear when your inspiring monthly surprises arrive. Heather is this year running not only a BoM club, but also a Disc Bead Edition, with the beads linking in with the monthly challenges here at Art Bead Scene. Heather's schemes run beginning in January, but with Brandi and Erin's are available to join up throughout the year. I'd love to know of any other bead artists offering similar schemes too!

Wouldn't you love a monthly dose of surprise inspiration? 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Monday, February 25, 2013

Featured Designer of the Week: Diva Designs

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 winner is Lynda Moseley of Diva Designs.
Here's what ABS Editor Erin Siegel had to say about 's piece:
"A stunning, striking pair of earrings! I'm drawn to the clean, but detailed design. I couldn't help but notice the shape of these gorgeous antiqued silver pagoda frames! The pagodas are perfectly paired with expertly crafted faux red-orange jade beads."  
Read more about Lynda and her polymer clay jewelry on her blog, Diva Designs.

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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Show Me Sunday - Jewellery Packaging with Rebecca of Songbead

So, we come to the end of February and the end of our exploration of jewellery packaging of all varieties. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have! Your comments have made for some real food for thought. 

A couple of tips you left in the comments last week (again, really worth reading if you have ten minutes) - Ann gave a link to a really neat tutorial on how to much upcycle pillow boxes from toilet rolls (honestly!), and Saturday Sequins suggested using old playing cards to make earring cards. And Mary shared her alternative to bubble wrap - Uline's Wadding. It is recycled and recyclable, soft and protects her ceramic components very well. 

Here's a final packaging treasury from me:

'More jewellery packaging' by thecuriousbeadshop

Pack of 20 eco friendly tags...

3 Metres Natural Eco Ribbon ...

10 Kraft Boxes Flower Top Pi...

50 Small Natural Kraft 2x2x2...

240 Yards Eco Friendly Oyste...

SAMPLE PACK - Eco Friendly a...

20 Premium Blank Round Gift ...

Pillow Boxes, Medium - 10 gi...

Vintage OLD MAID Playing Car...

Tin . Rectangle Window Candy...

100 - 3x5 Unbleached Muslin ...

Handmade Earring Cards X 10 ...

10 Slide Top Tins ready to d...

Small Pillow Box, recycled K...

Circus Sticky Tape

Wooden Rubber Stamp Set - Ca...

As Marie quite rightly pointed out last week, not all of the products and supplies in these treasuries would be economically practical for businesses. But perhaps they will spark off ideas for how you can make your own packaging really personal, and ecologically as well and purse-friendly! 

Next Show Me Sunday with be March, so it's time for a new theme. Show us flower beads - all shapes and sizes, colours and materials. We're coming into spring here in the northern hemisphere - and boy, am I ready for it. Here's hoping for some British sunshine over here.....Let's get ready for some spring-themed designs with some beautiful handmade flower beads. Share your links here in the comments or on the Art Bead Scene Facebook page.

And now for the Bead Blogger Links: Jewelry Making 
Lisa Niven Kelly has a new class over at and a way to get 50% off when you register for it. Read a review and then go sign up. Jewelry Making 
Lisa Niven Kelly has a new class over at and a way to get 50% off when you register for it. Read a review and then go sign up. 

Carmi's Art/Life World 
Carmi joins the CraftArtEDu faculty with her first class "Working With Resin in Bezels." 

Resin Crafts! 
Resin Crafts has a great post showcasing a super easy transfer technique! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean is so excited by Issue 2 of Digital Beading Magazine! You have to see it to believe how beautiful it is! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Working with porcelain, Andrew creates some new pendants that are brightly colored and lots of fun! 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Manchester, England. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Saturday, February 23, 2013

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 Cheri of Creative Designs by Cheri! Congratulations, Cheri! You have won Ephemera Pendants from Marie-Noel Voyer-Cramp of Skye Jewels! Send Marie an email 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
I'm preparing for a trip of a lifetime aboard a luxury cruise liner! I have dreamed of this since I first heard it even existed. Yep, I'm going on the Bead Cruise 2013, March 1st - March 9th hosted by our fearless leader in the bead community, the gracious, Heather Powers. I jumped at the chance to be apart of her Bead Cruise. Perfect combination of a little bit of business with a whole LOT of pleasure. Plus, it's amazing opportunity for me to do something I have never done before. It's my very first cruise ever and really this will be my first trip outside the US, besides Canada. Geesh, I'm 35. I think it's about time I saw the world a little! I had to rush and get my passport for the first time, too and everything. Well, I got my passport in plenty of time and I'm ready to get away on this cruise!
Did I tell you my word for the year is EXPAND? Well, it is and apparently, I'm kickin' it off with a whole lot of 'expanding my horizons' in a very literal kind of sense! Cozumel, Grand Cayman Island and Jamaica, here I come. I'm so excited and so looking forward to this incredible adventure. I'm ready to be inspired by these amazing places we are visiting. Since I don't know if I'll ever get to go on a trip like this again, I went all out and signed up for the shore excursions at the three ports of call. Mayan ruins in Cozumel, snorkeling at Sting Ray City in Grand Cayman Island and a Reggae beach party in Jamaica. Hoo Whoo! Ya Mon. I feel so Irie!...Sorry...A little Jamaican talk for ya. ;)
Jamaican Reggae-Inspired Earrings
In fact, I've already been inspired by the cruise before even stepping onto the boat. I made myself these Reggae-Inspired color block earrings to wear on the beach in Jamaica!
Not only will this be a vacation trip of a lifetime, but I will also be teaching my Bohemian Knotted Earrings Class as well! Go here to see all the classes. I'm now getting all my beady goodness ready. I'm making kits for my class and extras to sell. I'll be bringing my other jewelry kits from my book and also kits and tutorials for my Macrame Flower Bracelet, some of my favorite supplies, materials and tools such as Irish waxed linen cord, Macrame boards and knotting tweezers. And of course, a few copies of my book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cord.

 Bohemian Knotted Earring Kits 
available for purchase in my Etsy Shop
Whether you are taking my Bohemian Knotted Earring class on the Bead Cruise or not, you can purchase a kit for the earrings in my Etsy shop! The kits included all the materials you need to make the three earring styles, Sun, Fringe and Chandelier. The kits come in Solid Copper for $30 OR you can upgrade to Sterling Silver for $40. All metal components are handmade by Shannon Levart of Miss Fickle Media. If you can't make it to one of my classes this year, you can purchase my Bohemian Knotted Earrings PDF tutorial in my shop for the instruction on how to make the earrings.

Not only am I teaching a class, but I'll have the opportunity to take two of the classes offered on the cruise. Ronna Weltman's Go Organic With Polymer Clay and Kerry Bogert's Sweet Tweeter class. I'm very excited for both of these classes! I'm thrilled to have the time to connect and learn from these two amazing artists, authors and instructors.This is a rare opportunity because most times when you are teaching at an event, you won't have the chance to take any classes yourself or even just chat with the other instructors.

Can't wait to meet all those aboard Bead Cruise 2013. Many will be new to me. I'm looking forward to seeing my familiar bead friends and fellow instructors, Heather Powers, Beverly Herman and Kerry Bogert, again and I'm looking forward to meeting instructors, Tracy Stanley and Ronna Weltman for the first time. I'm honored and humbled to be in the company of all these talented and accomplished women.

I can't wait for this journey to begin and I know it will not end once I step off the boat. I will forever hold the memories from the trip and the experience. The places we visit will influence and inspire my future jewelry designs for years to come, which leads me to my questions for you this week:

Have your travels influenced your jewelry designs? Where have you gone? How have those places inspired your creating? 

Dream Catcher Pendant Kit
 Leave a comment answering any of these questions and you will be entered for a chance to win one of my new Dream Catcher Pendant Kits in my Etsy Shop.

Thank you for joining me today and Bon Voyage!

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, February 22, 2013

Emerald City

I've been reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (I know. I am a bit behind on my reading.) Seeing how the Pantone color of the year for 2013 is emerald green, I found this wickedly appropriate! Here are some of my picks for some wicked emerald green inspiration! Ok. I'll stop with the wicked. Wicked!

'Emerald City' by gaea

                                       Unbelievable 183 Carats AAAA...
                                       Kiwi Simple bead set with fo...
                                       Verdigris Brass Scroll Conne...
                                       My Wild Irish Heart emerald ...
                                       Green Ivy House Handmade Car...
                                       Emerald Lotus / Lotus Pendan...
                                       Enameled crown
                                       Dragonfly Handmade Ephemera ...
                                       Nautical Wooden Letter & Mot...
                                       Butterfly Wings Bead Compone...
                                       20 yards Silk Sari Ribbon, S...
                                       Eye Bead Purple and Green - ...
                                       Bronze pendant, scarab penda...
                                       Vortex Flower- Lagoon- Handm...
                                       Handmade Silver multi hole S...
                                       1 x 5/8" Olive Sage Lim...

Gaea is a designer and lover of all things artsy! You can find her here or here as well as other places...