Monday, October 31, 2016

October Monthly Challenge Recap

October brings with it a change in the weather, and a definite burst of color. I fell in love with this art glass lamp, how about you? Such a beautiful color palette, with the warm golden and deep russet and the cool touches of lavender and plum. I am sure that this lamp must be quite the sight all lit up!

I have been itching to do a new Symbol Bead in the series (I have two others… Frida’s Triumph and Tide Pool Treasures). And I needed to come up with something for an exciting new art exhibit called "The Art of the Bead" at Allegory Gallery (check it out!). This seemed like the perfect opportunity to slay those two birds with one {polymer clay} stone, so to speak. I created a mold of a Victorian dragonfly metal stamping and wanted to mimic the coloration of the lamp with the leaves at the bottom. I don’t normally go for a shiny finish on anything, but since the inspiration is a glass lamp, I thought a gloss finish would be appropriate. I call this Symbol Bead On Gossamer Wings.

Dragonflies and butterflies were all the rage in Art Nouveau stylings. Their fantasy colors and intricate wing patterns fascinated the Art Nouveau artists, as well as their stylized curving lines that hinted at the gracefulness of the art of this period. Dragonflies are a transformative symbol, delicate and graceful, yet powerful. They just skim the surface where they alight leaving a trail of happiness wherever they land. Using dragonflies and butterflies are sure to bring happiness to those who wear your jewelry designs!

Now let's see what everyone else did....

And time to add your links to the challenge. Post your blog links here to be entered to win prizes!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Support Your Local Bead Store Heroes

(Beads to Live By)

There is nothing easy about opening a bead store. It takes bravery, lots of determination, knowledge, passion and the ability to create a community that will support your business.

The best bead stores offer much more than beads. They teach classes, host special events and are always finding ways to inspire their local creatives. They provide inspiration in bead form and it's quite a bit of magic!

(Trunk Show Goodies)

I live in an area that is bead store poor. To go to my favorite bead shop I have to travel 2 hours way to the other side of Michigan! Even though it's a trek for us, we do manage to go visit several times a year. I'm fortunate enough to have made friends with the bead store owner and we've paired up for a few classes and trunk shows.

The shop is Beads to Live By owned by Cassandra Spicer. Cassandra knows the value of offering classes to her students to keep them busy with new projects. She listens to her customers requests, that's how we met! Every time I've been in the store she has helped students in the design process and with their projects. She is quick to share simple techniques on the fly and offers lots of encouragement.

(Holiday Workshop)

My next trunk show at Beads to Live By will be on November 19th. It will be a holiday themed trunk show with lots of new work and I'll be teaching a fun wire class. If you are on the east side of Michigan make plans to join us!

(Andrew Thornton)

My next bead store heroes aren't a local shop for me, but if you know Andrew and William you can't help but feel like Allegory Gallery is part of our community too!

Allegory Gallery is a bead shop in a very small tourist town that brings in nationally known instructors and attracts visitors from far and wide. They also operate an online version of their store on Etsy to help supplement their off season times. Allegory Gallery is a unique bead shop and gallery space, they offer a beautifully curated collection of beads supporting artists and makers!

They are another bead store that has created a space that brings out the best in their local customers offering weekly events, classes and even a book/jewelry club! I've been able to visit and teach at Allegory Gallery twice and both times I've wanted to spend hours pouring over their treasures and visiting with the staff.

(Andrew's Ceramic Pendants)

Andrew and William are in the middle of a huge crowd-funding project to expand their inventory and they are offering lots of amazing ways to pledge support.

It's been less than a week and they have met 35% of their goal but to reach the 65% they really need our help.

Support starts at just $8 for a pendant and Andrew's ceramic pendants are some of my favorites, they are quite captivating in their coloring and subject matter. There are events, publications, jewelry and other pendants available too.

(My Allegory Gallery Haul!)

So I'm asking three things of you today to support your local bead store heroes.

1. Visit a local bead shop at least once a month - more if they are closer. Make the trek if you are able. If there are no bead stores anywhere, find a local shop online to support! Tell your local bead store owner how much you appreciate them.

2. Check out Allegory Gallery's Crowdfunding offerings and treat yo'self!!!

3. Share Allegory Gallery's Crowdfunding page on your Facebook or Twitter account today.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Inside the Studio with Mary Harding Jewelry

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 will leave  comments!  As an incentive, we offer a PRIZE each week to encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think.

At the next Inside the Studio post a WINNER is chosen at random from all eligible entries.
Here are the results from the last Inside the Studio post.

Congratulations to Laura Souder Studio You are the winner of a $20.00 gift certificate from MaryHardingJewelry.  Please contact Mary to claim your prize.
       Now you can see how these turned out.  Visit Artisans Create Together Trunk Show                                  going on all day today Oct. 28, 2016

Welcome to Inside My Studio this Week.  Thank you all for your  heart felt comments on my last Inside the Studio post and for welcoming me back. I see a common theme in your replies that we all share a very strong need to create.  How wonderful that is.  Since I broke my ankle, I have a great respect for our ability to be resilient in times of change and mishap.  I find that very reassuring and I see that all of you would manage just fine too.  Thanks so for taking the time to share your thoughts and stories with me.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ This week I have been busy for preparing for my first on line trunk show which is just starting on the Facebook Group Artisans Create Together.  I am please to be a part of this show which includes all the featured artists this week in that group, namely,  Mary HardingLila KobersteinNora Lee PriceSharleen Newland, and Linda Younkman .
So my kilns have been firing and I have been busy glazing my work and getting it posted. I made a template of the basic information needed to list an auction and then used it for each piece as I entered them onto the site. That way I only had to add the title of the piece, the auction price, and a short description of each piece. I chose to go with  a BIN (buy it now) price  since this Trunk Show is for one day only.
 I found that it is much faster to use the camera on my slightly( luckily) outdated Samsung Note II phone.   It takes wonderful pictures AND I found it is good in low light.  We  have had a gray rainy week so that was also very helpful.  Once I got my pictures edited the way I wanted them, I made a new folder titled Artisans Create Together and put them  in there so I would not have to scroll thru so many pictures the way I often do.  It has been such a snap to get the  photos in this small collection of pictures. What I had been dreading as an overwhelming task has turned out to be quite easy and quick.  As I write up the auctions, I don't save them but just change the template.  I find it much faster to do this as I go rather than do the write ups beforehand,  save them, and then have to retrieve them.  It also means that I don't dump too much data on FB all at once which can get it to freeze up.  
So now about half of the pieces I will have up for sale are listed.  I will add more later today.  I  hope you will stop by and take a look.  Here is a short preview of what I have listed so far.
Red Daisy Cabochon by Mary Harding Jewelry

Rustic Birch Leaves Pendant by MaryHardingJewelry

Chamomile Pendant by MaryHardingJewelry

Red Purple Thistle Pendant by MaryHardingJewelry

Multicolor Striped Toggle Clasp by MaryHardingJewelry

Now for our question for today:  What kinds of shortcuts have you found help you add work on the internet either on Facebook or Etsy or your website? Share you insights in the comments section below and you will be automatically entered to win a $20.00 gift certificate from my Etsy Shop.  I am still working on getting that updated but it should happen soon.
Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Doodle Designs and Ceramic Bead Making

I love to doodle and have been doing it since I was a young child.  Like when I was supposed to be listening to the teacher in class or to the professor while lecturing in college - Lol.  My doodles are being brought to life with my ceramic beads.  Let me show you!

This is fired ceramic bisque so it is porous.  That makes it not stick when I press the wet clay on top to transfer the image.  Then I use an exacto knife or cookie cutter to get a final shape.  This first picture is random lines, dots and circles placed in somewhat of a pattern.

These are simple line animals that take on a new life in clay and with different glaze techniques.  The finished piece has the lines sitting 3D on top of the ceramic base.  You will see a finished disc in the last picture.

These doodles are actually textures taken from an old crocheted doily, a piece of burlap and a sea shell.  So nature and items around your home can give interesting results, too.

Here is the swirly circle with little line accents.  I cut it into a 40mm circle and made it a large disc by putting another hole in the middle.  I glazed it in shiny ice blue.  This is a fun cabochon, too!

I have a board on my Pinterest page with lots of doodling ideas.  You can find it here:

I welcome you to try it with other craft mediums, too.  Have fun!  Michelle McCarthy

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A New Facebook Group

I am  feeling very lucky this week to be one of the featured artists on Janice Everett's new Facebook Group Artisans Create Together.  I sent the picture above to Janice among many others and answered questions about my life and my art in preparation for this event. If you follow this link you will be right on the page where she begins her writing about me.
But this post is about more than my special week, it is about this very special Facebook Group that might be just right for you too.
Artisans Create Together Facebook Group is a Share oriented Community/Networking Group. As Janice describes her group "Our Goal is to create Connections, Unity, and Positive Energy/Vibes".
There are some great features in this group that encourage participation and give members a chance to share their creativity with others.  The focus is not on selling but there are opportunities for that as well during individual and group Trunk Shows, and Open Artisan Times. The focus is on handmade artisan components and handmade artisan jewelry .
But there is much more.  Each month Janice puts up an inspirational photo that could be a color palette, a work of art or fashion or something from nature and at the end of the month members are invited to show what they have made using these palettes.
 Another really cool feature is the COMPONENT GIVE-AWAY & CHALLENGE. Again all members are eligible to participate. I was very impressed with the work shared on  Reveal Day last month.  You can see them HERE.
In addition to being a featured artist, there are othe events and opportunities for artisan involement. I hope I have piqued your curiosity about this group. I encourage you to go to check  it out and peruse the Files tab to find out more and how you can be a participating member as well.
I will be in a shared Trunk Show on Friday of this week and I hope you will come and see what I have made. Right now this new work is slowing cooling off in my kiln.

               sneak peek of new work in the process of being glazed by Mary Harding

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Perfect Pairings :: SJ Designs Jewelry + Stone Designs Studio

Nothing says Art Nouveau more to me than the graceful curving lines of a dragonfly or damselfly.
This month we are treated to a stunning glass lamp that must look absolutely breathtaking when lit. Sarajo Wentling captured the cursive flowing lines of the dragonfly lamp and the color scheme perfectly in this romantic necklace.

While you are checking out her design thought process, be sure to click through and read her review of her weekend with our own Heather Powers in the annual Inspired by Nature retreat that was just last weekend! 

Featured Designer :: SJ Designs Jewelry


Featured Bead Artists :: Stone Designs Studio

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 October 29th to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post for October 31st.

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, October 18, 2016

Monthly Challenge Color Palette

Have you been digging into your bead box for this month's challenge? I love the dragonfly motif! The colors are a gorgeous complimentary color palette of golden yellow and shades of lilac and lavender rounded out with rusty burnt sienna and raw umber. I can't to see your creations this month.

I was super inspired by this month's challenge and created all these beads for the challenge. I've been offering them in my Humblebeads VIP Party on Facebook.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Designer Challenge by Firefly Design Studio

It's time for my fall designer's challenge!  This is round #3 and the theme is bird on a branch in 2 different color palettes.  15 kits in each color is offered.  Each kit is $20 and has a bird focal, 2 small birds, a leaf bracelet topper, a pair of leaf charms, a branch, 2 12mm round beads and 2 10mm flat beads.  The kits are for sale in my etsy shop.  The link will be down below.  The rules are simple - use everything in the kit, plus whatever you want from your stash in whatever beading style you want.  Every round includes a mystery component.  Susan Sudnik from Bead N Sisters is a wonderful mixed media jewelry designer.  All I am going to say is it is copper component :)

This is the Cardinal Red kit (3 remain)
This is the Smokey Blue kit (10 remain)
Designers will upload their pictures to the Facebook group where all this fun happens.  (I will post the link down below for you to check out.  Even if you don't want to design with a kit, we need people to vote for their favorites!)  There will be 4 pictures from each designer - one of the necklace, bracelet and earrings alone and a collage picture of all 3 pieces together posted on the group wall. Every like and comment on any and all photos, counts as a vote! The voting period is Tuesday, November 1 at 12:01 am EDT - Sunday, November 6, 2016 at midnight EDT. 3 prizes will be awarded on Monday, November 7, 2016. One for the public's vote, one for the best use of the ceramic components and one for the best use of the guest artist's (Susan Sudnik's) piece. 

Kits are available through October 17, 2016, so there is still time to participate!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

October Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes

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

Helena Benkoczka of Areto creates wonderful nature inspired pendants and jewelry components. Helena began making colorful polymer clay beads out of her own need for her jewelry. She immediately fell in love with the creative process and possibilities that come with polymer clay. 
Areto is located in Oghmagh, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom.

Helena is donating everything pictured above valued over $50.

Visit Helena on her EtsyPinterestInstagram and Facebook.
: : :

Laura Souder of Laura Souder Studio creates Raku fired pendants, art Beads, jewelry components, jewelry, wall sculptures and vessels.  Laura's beautiful raku pieces 
are organic and give a feeling of movement, flow, and immediacy. Many of her pieces feel like they are from the sea.

Laura Souder Studio is located in Menifee California.

Laura is donating a $50 gift certificate.

Visit Laura on her Website, Instagram, Twitter, PinterestFacebook and Etsy.
: : :

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here.
Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.
Dragonfly Lamp by By Émile Gallé
This Month's art has many different elements that can be used for inspiration:  dragonfly imagery, trees, movement, wings, insects, leaves, tulips, glass, light, yellows, brown, burnt sienna, purple and pink.

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

**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put OCT 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.***

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

October Monthly Challenge

"Dragonfly Lamp"
By Émile Gallé, late 1800's- early 1900's
French Art Nouveau, Cameo Art Glass

About the Art
Cameo glass is a luxury form of glass art produced by etching and carving through fused layers of differently colored glass to produce designs, usually with white opaque glass figures and motifs on a dark-colored background. The technique is first seen in ancient Roman art of about 30BC, where it was an alternative to the luxury engraved gem vessels in cameo style that used naturally layered semi-precious gemstones such as onyx and agate. Glass allowed consistent and predictable colored layers, even for round objects.
From the mid-19th century there was a revival of cameo glass, suited equally to Neo-Grec taste and the French Art Nouveau practiced by Émile Gallé, and cameo glass is still produced today.

About the Artist
Émile Gallé (8 May 1846 – 23 September 1904) was a French artist who worked in glass, and is considered to be one of the major forces in the French Art Nouveau movement.
Gallé was the son of a faience and furniture manufacturer and studied philosophy, botany, and drawing in his youth. He later learned glassmaking at Meisenthal and came to work at his father's factory in Nancy following the Franco-Prussian War. His early work was executed using clear glass decorated with enamel, but he soon turned to an original style featuring heavy, opaque glass carved or etched with plant motifs, often in two or more colours as cameo glass. His friend and patron Robert de Montesquiou sent him to Bayreuth with a recommendation to Cosima Wagner, which led to a great enthusiasm for Parsifal. In 1875, he married Henriette Grimm (1848-1914). In 1877, he then assumed his father’s role as director of the Maison Gallé-Reinemer. In that same year, he was elected Secretary-General for the Société centrale d’horticulture de Nancy. His career took off after his work received praise at the Paris Exhibition of 1878.
Within a decade of another successful showing at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, Gallé had reached international fame and his style, with its emphasis on naturalism and floral motifs, was at the forefront of the emerging Art Nouveau movement.
He continued to incorporate experimental techniques into his work, such as metallic foils and air bubbles, and also revitalized the glass industry by establishing a workshop to mass-produce his, and other artists', designs. The factory would employ 300 workers and artisans at its height, including the notable glassmaker Eugène Rosseau, and remained in operation until 1936.
Gallé wrote a book on art entitled Écrits pour l'art 1884-89 ("Writings on Art 1884-89"), which was published posthumously in 1908.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are Areto and Laura Souder Studio.
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 OCT 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 October 30th
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 October 31st.

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 November 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.***

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

September Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the September Monthly Challenge winners! 
1 winner 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 Lise Anderson/Raspberry Fields Design.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Allegory Gallery.
Our Second lucky winner is Mona Arnott/Bijoux Gems Joy.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Tsin Design.
Our Winner from the Bead Entries of the Monthly Challenge is Cathleen Zaring/Blue Hare Art Wear
She has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene
Please e-mail an image and link for your ad.
Allegory Gallery and Tsin Design our September Monthly Challenge sponsors!

( email address is acting wonky) 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 October's challenge brings.