Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Monthly Challenge Recap

Whether you were inspired by the color palette (light blue shaded to dark blue, creamy yellows, inky blacks, slate grey and the vibrant pop of reddish-orange) or the subject matter (water, bridges, boats, stars, fireworks), this month's challenge inspiration of the festive fireworks display offered many different options.

Here is what you made...
Your turn! If you wrote a blog post this month, please share it here...

Get the InLinkz code for your blog...

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Perfect Pairings :: Alison Adorns + Andrew Thornton + Julie Miller + Outwest

There are some things that are just meant to be. Like when Alison looked into her stash and found the exact right pendant for this month's inspiration. Fireworks are often named for flowers so that makes this pendant perfect. The soft blue-jean hues of the stones and the carved beads in a gradated is like the flash of bright light in the night sky. Again, perfect choice!

Featured Designer :: Alison Adorns
Featured Bead Artists :: 

We are now using Pinterest! 
You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes,
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline July 28th (that's tomorrow!) to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for July 30th.

TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Earring Challenge Reveal

Once again these were the components we had to work with, Michelle of Fire Fly Design Studio provided the the earthenware discs and tiny beads. Anne of Gardanne Handcrafted Enamel provided the enameled long ovals.

I just read Michelle's post and my favorite features of her design are the how the the ceramic discs sit on top of the oval and the cluster of wire in the middle of the disc.

My hats off to you jewelry designers out there, my first mistake was waiting until the last minute to put this together.

First I tried something with seed beads and it worked, but I did not like the design. However I did discover that Michelle's tiny beads are a great way to hide crimps, they fit perfectly in the bead hole.

This is what I came up with, I know pretty basic, but I do love those freestyle wire wraps. I definitely wanted the discs facing forward to show off as much of that pretty glaze as possible. I kept the loops big enough so that everything moves and does not look stiff. These earrings feel very comfortable on, the enamel and earthenware are very light weight.

The wire is oxidized brass from The Patina Queen, she has wonderful findings.

Niobium ear wires are from

Hope your enjoyed our challenge, if I get a few more of these under my belt my jewelry making will hopefully improve.

Anne Lichtenstein
Gardanne Handcrafted Enamel

Monday, July 25, 2016

Ceramic + Enamel = Fun Earring Challenge

It is time for the big reveal....Michelle from Firefly Design Studio and Anne from Gardanne each started with identical ceramic and enameled pieces and thought it would be fun to see what each comes up with.  Here is a refresher on what each designer started with:

Anne started the earring design with her fun surfboard shaped enameled pair of charms.  They are a bronze base with teal and pops of gold, lavender and blue.  Michelle added 15mm teal ceramic earthenware discs and 5mm coordinating spacer beads.  We each took these components home from the Bead and Button show, so we've had some time to think about our plan of attack!

This is what Michelle designed:

All Michelle added to the above components is 24g wire, 3mm spacer beads and earring wires, all made by Vintaj.  Cut 8" of 24g wire and fold it in half.  Squeeze the wire tightly together with your flat nose pliers.  Hold the disc in front of the charm hole and from the back, pass the folded wire (folded end first) through the charm and disc holes.  Stop at the half way point and bend the wire down at a 90 degree angle.  With your fingers, hold the wire in place at the bend and start to twirl the wire over the disc hole.  When almost finished, take your flat nose pliers and push the end down through the hole to give it a finished look.  With the double wire tail sticking up, place a metal spacer bead, a ceramic spacer bead and another metal spacer bead.  This will help with the components fitting together nicely.  Make a small wire wrap loop and place earring on the earring wire.  Repeat and enjoy!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Earring Design Challenge Sneak Peek #2

 Michelle of Firefly Design Studio filled you in the other day that we are having a little design challenge.  I have the same components that she has in the photo below, Michelle's earthenware discs, tiny beads, and my enameled long ovals.

I am always on the lookout for new shapes, some I make myself and some I purchase already made. I introduced the long oval last year and it is my most popular shape right now.

I am a tad nervous, because jewelry making is not what I do best, I like making the bits and pieces for you jewelry designers out there. I guess its good that I'm uncomfortable because that means I am challenging myself, right???

Inspiration is never to far away and I am constantly amazed with what my customers and other jewelry designers do with not only my work, but other artisan beads as well.

If you love earrings then you already know Julie Thelen of Jewels by Jules please visit her ETSY shop and you will see what I mean. I love the layering Julie did with the flowers,  enamel components are very light weight so you can get away with adding a lamp work bead and additional components and still have a comfortable earring.

Cheryl Zink picked my favorite color in the enameled long ovals. Cheryl sells her items on her Face book page , please check out her work. I could not find these earrings, I hope that means they sold Cheryl. I love the wire wrap that Cheryl used on the top of the long ovals, its perfect, small details like this really make such a difference in jewelry design.

Like these designers I will probably have something going on above the enameled long ovals in my earring design, but that is all I have right now. Wish me luck.

 Please come visit ABS next Tuesday, July 26th for the big reveal.

Anne Lichtenstein, Gardanne Handcrafted Enamel

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Perfect Pairings :: La Touchables + SomethingToDoBeads + BalelaCermaics + GlassbyLeese + TwoSistersDesignss + GlassBeadArt + LAccentNou

Tiger in the Grass Cairn

Dawn of LaTouchables creates a striking pendant blending lampwork glass, ceramic, stoneware and porcelain. Here is what I see...the vertical launch of the mortar rising above the clouds and bursting like a giant flower blooming against the night sky as represented in this cairn-like pendant. Truly a marvel to behold that many art beads in one place!

Featured Designer :: La Touchables
Featured Bead Artists :: 

We are now using Pinterest! 
You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes,
including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge!
(Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)

Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description
so that I have someplace to attribute the picture! 
And don't forget to tell us about those art beads - providing links to bead makers is appreciated!

Deadline July 28th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for July 30th.

TIP: If you upload your photo rather than pin it from your blog or shop, edit the pin (the little pencil button) and add your link as the source. Save your edits. This will allow us to click directly on your photo and go to your blog or shop to read more about your entry. If you don't, I might not be able to access the photo to share it.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Earring Design Challenge Sneak Peek

This year at the Bead and Button Show, I was surrounded by some of my favorite bead artists.
One is fellow contributor and friend Anne from Gardanne.  Anne makes some of the most yummy
enameled jewelry components I have seen.  We were visiting each other at our booths and thought it would be fun to take home the exact pieces and each come up with an earring design and show you how different, or similar, two artists creative minds can be!

Anne started us out with the surf board shaped earring pieces.  They are a beautiful tropical blue with specks of orange, gold and lilac.  I found some 15mm round discs and 5mm spacer beads that coordinated nicely with the enamel colors.  I made these out of white earthenware ceramic clay.  Here is our collection:

The first thing I reach for when designing jewelry is waxed linen.  I also love 20g wire, so I have
some fun ideas brewing.  We'll have to see if I can bring my ideas to life!

You will be hearing from Anne about the challenge before our big reveal, which is scheduled for
Tuesday, July 26th.  I am excited to see the finished designs!

Michelle McCarthy/Firefly Design Studio

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Monthly Challenge Color Palette Inspiration

Well, there isn't much in the way of color inspiration this month in this print from Utagawa Hiroshige. It's pretty much monochromatic from black to blue with touches of brick red and muted rose. But who doesn't love a good midnight blue or shades of denim in the summer? 

But even though the colors are limited the inspiration still abounds. I gathered up some beads from my fellow Art Bead Scene contributors to help spark a few ideas for your muse! 
Feather by SwoonDimples. Disks from Humblebeads. Clasp from Mary Harding

Button from Creative Impressions in Clay. Crab from Firefly Design Studio. Enamel work from Gardanne Beads.

Bird from Firefly Design Studio. Enamel pendants from Gardanne Beads. Wobbles from Humblebeads. Tube beads from Tesori Trovati.

Monthly Challenge Guidelines

Monday, July 11, 2016

Monday Muse and Beady Link Party

Hello! Well July is just zooming by, isn't it? And speaking of things zooming by, today's very late Monday Muse is focused on bees. There seems to a bee for every type of bonnet and I found quite a lovely sampling on Etsy from artists all over the world. Let's take a peek:

This bee pendant from the Classic Beads reminds me of something you'd find in a Victorian garden. I love the earthy feel.

I have been so happy to see Melanie of Earthenwood Studio making new pieces. She has these awesome new vintage inspired illustrative pendants. Stop by her shop to see all her new work!

White Swan Studio has these beautiful bees in her shop, I love the shabby chic look of them. I really need one of these!

Here is one from my shop, Humblebeads. Match up your bee pendants with flower beads for a instant garden.

I love the playful quality of this set of honeybees and a skep from JunqueJules.  

Andrew Thornton has recently launched a new Etsy shop for his bead store, Allegory Gallery. The Etsy shop is filled with Andrew's polymer clay pendants and lots of goodies to go with them. 

Rowan Song Crafts created this pendant that just makes me smile! Such a happy little bee!

Beady Link Party
We invite our readers to share their blog post links with us each week. As long as they feature jewelry or beads, share your favorite post from last week with us. We hope this will inspire you to blog a little more often and bring our community closer together.

1. Please only post blog new links each week. *

2. Visit at least two other blog links and leave a comment. We want to grow our blogging community and encourage you connect with each other.

3. You have until Wednesday each week to share your blog post.

We want to connect more with our readers! Join the party and share you latest beady blog link.

Haven't blogged in a while? It's the perfect time to share what you have been up to, what you find inspiring, your creative process, interview a favorite beadmaker, review a beady book - get creative and get blogging!

The beady link party is open to jewelry designers, beadmakers and group bead blogs.

Share you link using the "Add a Link" Inlinkz button below.

*We ask for fresh links, if you have a post that you haven't shared with us yet but it's a few weeks old, that's cool.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

July Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes

Our Wonderful sponsors for the June Challenge.
We will have 2 Lucky Winners this Month!

BayMoon Design

Kathy Lindemer of BayMoon Design creates wonderful Jewelry Components using polymer clay and also with brass. Kathy also creates one of a kind jewelry with her components and art beads from other artists.
BayMoon Design is located in Lewes, Delaware.

Kathy is donating a $50 gift certificate.

Visit Kathy on FacebookEtsy, and Blog.
: : :

Orly Fuchs Galchen of Hollowlogy creates beautiful hollow polymer clay beads. Her technique makes a lighter bead. Wonderful designs and colors!
Hollowlogy is located in Tsur Moshe, Israel.

Orly is donating a $50 gift certificate.

Visit Orly on her EtsyFacebook and Weebly.
: : :

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here.
Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.

Fireworkds at Ryogoku by Utagawa Hiroshige. This Month's art has many different elements that can be used for inspiration: fireworks, night sky, bridges, boats, colors of black, blue, red and white.

We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this month's challenge! 

**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put JUL ABS in the title or tag of your submission(s).  Pinterest doesn't keep Pins in the order they are posted.

Provide us with the artist of the Art Beads used and we always love to know all the materials you used. 

***Art Beads MUST be used in your entry.***

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July Monthly Challenge

 "Fireworks at Ryogoku (Ryogoku Hanabi)"
No. 98 from One Hundred Famous Views of Edo, 8th month of 1858. 
By Utagawa Hiroshige (Ando)
Woodblock print, Sheet: 14 1/4 x 9 1/4 in. (36.2 x 23.5 cm)

About the Art
This festive image shows pleasure boats on the Sumida River, with Ryogoku Bridge in the center. Elegant restaurants (north of the bridge) traditionally co-sponsored the major fireworks displays at the site, together with the boathouses. The large boat in the center is the "palace-boat," the only one of its kind to appear in this series. These grand pleasure craft were up to fifty feet in length and held as many as twenty "tatami" mats; they were hired out for parties by rich merchants. Next in size and most numerous here are the "roof boats;" the smallest are the uncovered "chokibune." Finally, there are the four boats which wandered among the pleasure boats to sell food and drink. Until 1659, all fireworks used in Japan were imported from China, but then an enterprising youth (Yabei) came to Edo and began to make his own. In 1733 he was commissioned by the shogun Yoshimune to mount a special fireworks display at the Ryogoku Bridge as a purification rite to dispel the evil spirits of the plague and famine then sweeping Japan (the first Kawabiriki- "opening river" ceremony). Only since the Meiji period have summer fireworks been reduced to a single spectacular display at the time of Kawabiriki. This particular print is very dark compared to other impressions of the image, particularly those found in the Hirose collection ("Ukiyo-e taikei').

During summer and early fall, the Sumida River was the scene of a custom known as "taking in the cool of the evening." Activity centered at Ryōgoku Bridge, where an endless variety of entertainment was offered on both land and water. The ideal place was not in the crowded stalls of the bridgehead plazas but rather in one of the nearby restaurants or in an individually chartered pleasure boat on the river.
Fireworks were an indispensable feature of evenings on the river. By the mid-seventeenth century, they were so popular that the threat of fire led authorities to issue decrees restricting their use to the Sumida River.
About the Artist
Utagawa Hiroshige, also Andō Hiroshige, 1797 – 12 October 1858, was a Japanese ukiyo-e artist, considered the last great master of that tradition.
Hiroshige is best known for his landscapes, and for his depictions of birds and flowers. The subjects of his work were atypical of the ukiyo-e genre, whose typical focus was on beautiful women, popular actors, and other scenes of the urban pleasure districts of Japan's Edo period (1603–1868). The popular Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji series by Hokusai was a strong influence on Hiroshige's choice of subject, though Hiroshige's approach was more poetic and ambient than Hokusai's bolder, more formal prints.
For scholars and collectors, Hiroshige's death marked the beginning of a rapid decline in the ukiyo-e genre, especially in the face of the westernization that followed the Meiji Restoration of 1868. Hiroshige's work came to have a marked influence on Western painting towards the close of the 19th century as a part of the trend in Japonism. Western artists closely studied Hiroshige's compositions, and some, such as van Gogh, painted copies of Hiroshige's prints.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are Bay Moon Design and Hollowlogy.

Please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.

2. Email us at to get added to the monthly challenge board.

Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request

You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.

3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board.

Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.)

Add your photo directly from your computer

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***

Please add the tag or title JUL ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is July 31st
You may upload 2 entries per month.


• Beads Makers Pinterest Board-Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. 2 entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Monthly Challenge Recap
• Please post at least one single shot of your creation on the Pinterest Board. This will be used to make a collage for the Monthly Challenge Gallery. Every creation will be added to the collage, regardless of a blog post. So everyone gets included!

Your entry must be on Pinterest 2 days BEFORE the recap to be included.

• Be sure to share with us the name of the art bead artist in the description of your photo so that if you are selected for the weekly Perfect Pairings on Wednesdays, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!

• An InLinkz button will be added to the bottom of the Monthly Challenge Recap post. Here you will be able to link up your blog post if you have one. It is no longer necessary to add your blog post URL to the description unless you want to. Be sure to hop around and see all the great inspiration and leave some comment love!

• The Monthly Challenge Recap with Blog Tour will be posted on July 30th.

Monthly Challenge Winners
• One prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted on the Pinterest board.

• One prize winner will be selected at random from all blog posts added to the hop for the Monthly Challenge Recap post. So if you want to be in the pool for the second prize, be sure to use the InLinkz code at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!

• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on August 1st.

Perfect Pairings :: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Formerly the Featured Designer of the Week, our new Perfect Pairings will focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photo on the Pinterest Board. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!

• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured every Wednesday here on ABS, so get those entries in soon.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

Monday, July 4, 2016

June Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the June Monthly Challenge winners! 
1 winners was chosen randomly from all the challenge entrants.
1 winner was chosen randomly from the InLinkz blog entries.
Winner of a month of advertising on ABS from the Monthly Challenge Bead category.
Our First lucky winner is Howling Dog Jewelry/Cindy Peterson.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Tesori Trovati.
Our Second lucky winner is Legally Boho Jewelry/Niki black.
She has won a $50 in Jewelry Components from Kylie Parry Studio.
Our Winner from the Bead Entries of the Monthly Challenge is Divya N/Jewels of Sayuri . She has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene. Please e-mail an image and link for your ad.

Thank you for being Tesori Trovati and Kylie Parry Studio our June Monthly Challenge sponsors!

Winners, please E-Mail Tari, or with your information (Name and address) so your prizes may be sent to you.

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month! We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.

Visit us tomorrow to see what July's challenge brings.