Saturday, May 31, 2008

Studio Saturday

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 of Heather's Urchin bead is Cindy Leitz!
Please use the suggestion box on the sidebar to send us your address.

I have always loved the imagery of the Sun and Moon. Above are two new buttons. Both are in bisque form and haven't been glazed yet. They will have dual personalities. They will be buttons and a new item I am releasing at my show next week, a Needleminder. They will have magnets in them so they attract your needles (and each other, one on top of the canvas and one on bottom) as you are stitching and don't end up on the floor.
I will be on hiatus for a while. 2 shows in a row and medical issue. I should be back some time in July/August.

My Question is:
Do you have a bead/button or other item that has a dual purpose?

This weeks prize is a mystery button! It's a mystery because I have to run take a shower! We have a child graduating today! 3 down, 3 to go.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Fit to Print Book Review - Bead One, Pray Too

Bead One, Pray Too
A Guide to Making and Using Prayer Beads
Written by Kimberly Winston

Before I read this book, beads had meaning to me. I make my living from beads, they are all encompassing in my house and daily life. But I had rarely attributed any personal or spiritual meaning to beads and more importantly to my jewelry. When I create jewelry it's often for the visual impact alone. One thing I did take away from this book is looking at beads as symbols to remind me of important lessons I've learned along the way or ones I need daily reminding of! Even with my inspiration from nature, I would design from the physical/visual connection. After reading Bead One, Pray too, that inspiration is a way for me to connect to my faith and creation. Books like this are rare. Bringing meaning to your creativity is a powerful and fulfilling way to approach the bead table.

"Feel free to experiment with the beading techniques described here to create your own unique set of prayer beads on which you pray any prayers in any way you like. Select beads that say something about your own spiritual quest. The choice is yours and the possibilities, like faith, are endless." -Kimberley Wilson

Whether you are of a particular religious belief or not, I think that quote sums up the tone of this book. It's informational, historical, helpful, but never preachy. Something you may be concerned about since rosaries are the main focus of Bead One, Pray Too.

Covered topics include the history of praying with beads, traditional rosaries and how to pray with beads. That includes traditional prayers, praying with songs or poems or doing your own thing, as the quote suggested. I loved the chapter on choosing beads and adding meaning to your jewelry through the thought process of what beads can symbolize. The book covers traditional and non-traditional rosary construction. There is a wonderful chapter on giving rosaries and the book ends with resources for beading and praying to help you further your journey.

The how-to part of the book is basic and meant as a guideline. I would love to see a companion book with more how-to projects and examples of the different types of prayers beads that can be created.

One of the most appealing parts of the book is that prayer beads can be created using your favorite art beads as the start of the rosaries and for the larger beads used in the construction. I have two examples on my blog today.

You can read more about prayer beads on Kimberly's blog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Insectia

The Flapper's Summer Dragonfly Pendant

Deep in the sun-searched growths the dragonfly
Hangs like a blue thread loosened from the sky.
~Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Silent Noon

This is a long 1920's inspired necklace that is so easy to make, you can whip it up in just a few minutes. Long and easy, sounds like the perfect summer day to me!

60" Brass Chain (Hobby Lobby)
1 Brass Wheel (Michael's)
2 copper or brass spacers
1 Large brass jump ring
1 2" brass headpin
Lentil art bead (Humblebeads)
Brass Dragonfly Pendant

1. Cut the end off of the headpin, use round nose pliers to form a loop. String on a copper spacer, lentil bead and copper spacer. Form a larger loop on the top.

2. Attach bottom loop to dragonfly pendant and the top loop through on of the spokes of the wheel.

4. Cut the chain into two 30" sections and loop all 4 ends through the jump ring. This will create a double strand chain.

5. Loop the top of the wheel through the jump ring and close the jump ring securely.

6. Go enjoy the start of summer!

This is part of the fun of Ornament Thursday. Our theme this month is Insectia. Click on the links below to see what kind of creativity is swarming around our blogs.


Sticky Note Reminders Taking Over Your Office?

Have you forgotten something and can't quite remember what it was? The editors of Art Bead Scene are here to help you sort through that pile of sticky note reminders.
(Photo credit for above:

On Studio Saturday, one of the Art Bead Scene Editors ask a question of the readers in hopes you'll leave comments! As an incentive, ABS offers free bead(s) each week to bribe you, the reader to use that keyboard. The following week, the winner of the bead(s) is announced during Studio Saturday.

Winners are asked to send in their address to the Pretty-Green-Blue-ABS-Suggestion-Box.

Is that what one of your yellow Sticky Notes says? "Remember to send in my address to ABS?" Did it get lost in your pile of notes?

There are free beads waiting for you! Check the Studio Saturday posts and see if you've won.

You can throw away one of your Sticky Notes. One down 9,999 to go!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bead Scoop: Mamacita Beadworks

You've probably noticed that Mamacita Beadworks is everywhere lately in jewelry design. D'Arsie Manzella creates delicious little pewter masterpieces that catch the eye and evoke a sense of nature and creativity in every piece. I first discovered Mamacita Beadworks in the very beginning of my Etsy adventure back in May of 2007, when I bought this little sweet bird for my friend's birthday. Since then, I have loved using all of D'Arsie's beauties in my work. I wanted to share with you a small online interview that I had the pleasure of having with D'Arsie.

Where are you from?
~Lakewood, NY

How long have you been making pewter beads?
~I have been sculpting beads for fifteen years, and began working in pewter two years ago.

What inspired you to get started with this craft?
~I have worked with polymer clay and pottery for most of my life. I created pieces that were one of a kind. I have always wanted to touch more people with my artwork and casting has allowed me to do that. Working in metal balances me somehow; it brings me down to earth and I have a great respect for my medium. It’s too hot not to!
I also have a crazy love of multiples. If I love something, chances are I have at least three of that thing in my house. It makes me happy to see a bunch of Folk Birds flocking on my workbench.

What is one of your goals for your small business? Can we expect a website down the road or is Etsy your preferred avenue?
~Although Etsy is my one and only venue online at the moment, I am currently working towards having my beads available “in person” in bead shops around the country. When time allows, I intend to build an individual website where I can include pictures of my process and links to the amazing artists that create with my beads.

Do you have any advice for people who are making their own jewelry?
~What I would advise to others is to be your biggest fan. Never pass up an opportunity to wear your artwork, and believe in your talents. Making a living as an artist is not always comfortable. It is work just like any other. If you create from your heart, it is the most joyful work you will ever do.

You can find Mamacita Beadworks on Etsy. Click here to start your shopping spree!

Written by Guest Blogger, Lorelei Eurto
Read her Blog, Buy her Jewelry!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - Art Faerie by Agnes

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

It was hard to choose this week! I picked Art Faerie by Anges' Lampwork Bracelet. The beads are wonderful and the designer picked out just the right accents to show off their beauty.

Our theme for May is Mother Earth and Art Faerie's bracelet is a chorus of colors in celebration of earth's little joys.

To see more of Art Faerie's creations visit her flickr photostream.

Want to be next week's featured designer? We only have a week left to enter May's monthly challenge!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Desperate Guest Bloggers in the ABS Neighborhood

News Flash!! The paparazzi are hot on the trail of Desperate Guest Blogger, Lorelei. They caught a quick shot of her in her famous Owl Shirt. But when they asked why she had been locked up recently, she turned on her heels and ran.

As she was sprinting across the Desperate ABS Neighborhood and away from the cameras, Lorelei shoved the paparrazi and told them to "Buzz Off!"

While the paparazzi chase Lorelei down Hysteria Lane, let's see what else is going on with the Desperate Bead Bloggers.... Jewelry Making
Tammy was having some major deja vu while reviewing this mainly metal jewelry making book.

Art Bead Scene
Do you love stamping? Check out Art Bead Scene for a review of metal stamps and a link to a tutorial!

Jewelry & Beading
Get your "Mental Gears" working...and win a free pendant!

Naughty Secretary Club
Anyone headed out to BEA (Book Expo of America) in Los Angeles next weekend? Stop by the F&W booth (#1351) to keep Jen company and to score a free Naughty Secretary Club T-shirt. You are going to need one for a project in The Naughty Secretary Club: The Working Girls Guide to Jewelry.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean explains why she loves a certain necklace she made for summer, and looks forward to writing about jewelry in the upcoming month!

Did you know the Desperate ABS Neighbors open up their studios on Saturdays? Stop by and read Studio Saturdays to find out more about the Desperate Neighbors of the Art Bead Scene!

Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Studio Saturday - BonBons

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 of Heather's Urchin Bead is Arline! Please use the suggestion box on the sidebar to send us your address.

Inspiration comes from strange places sometimes, and occasionally without inspirational intent. This is a story of accidental inspiration.

I often make things in a random sort of way, just letting shapes happen and come together without a lot of advanced planning.

The beads know what they are, and they will tell you. The ideas come down to the fingertips, and out into the clay or paint in surprising and wonderful ways sometimes.

These three little beads must have decided that they were meant to be something different from the original idea in my mind. When making them, I thought of them as a sort of cameo, or maybe a framed antique pearl image. Something like that, which is like my usual style.

They were shaped in polymer clay, colored, baked and polished.

At that point I looked at them and realized they were different than I pictured them. And then they showed themselves for what they meant themselves to be, it was a revelation of a sort. They are BonBon Beads.

What's the story behind these little visual goodie beads? Not completely sure, but I think it goes something like this. It's spring, and I'm making the usual effort to lose some weight. So candies have been on the no-go list. No baking, staying away from goodies, cupcakes, all that.

However, my subconscious is apparently craving sweets, causing me to unknowingly create things that look like the candies and baked goods I'm trying to stay away from.

Even the reverse side looks like a confection. Pistachio, caramel and orange glazed.

At some point I believe that it's best just to accept what your eyes are telling you and acknowledge that they are BonBon beads, even if that's not what I started out to make in the first place.

Have no plans to make more, since to tell the truth I had no plans to make these, so these are a limited edition. They are very fun looking, brighter and more colorful than my usual palette. Maybe it's the spring flowers, the sunny weather.

Here they are, posed in a candie box, looking very sweet, like tiny iced cakes. Don't they resemble little confections?

If I had meant them that way, I'd be very proud of my efforts, but since I didn't intend them to look like candies, it's all very mysterious in the creative brain process.

So I am offering up one of these BonBon beads, hopefully someone will have a great time designing a cute necklace or something with them. The question for this week is what do you do when your creations take on a life of their own? Do you fight it or go with the flow? Share a time when your creations got away from you.

Because if I keep looking at them, I'm going to lose all my reserve and head to the bakery!

Save me from myself! Doesn't that one look just like a little blueberry tart? I must stay strong.

Guest Blogger, Lynn Davis - LLYYNN
Check out the Art Bead Shop or read the tell-all blog

Friday, May 23, 2008

Collaboration Exploration Latest Edition

Collaboration Exploration is a fun project that involves two beadmakers working with a designer. All three get the same sets of beads from the two bead makers, and all three have to design jewelry or other crafts with those items. They do it secretly, and all reveal at the same time. It is an exciting surprise to see the different ways each has used the beads. Thanks to Cindy Gimbrone for coming up with this great creative challenge!

The latest three participants: beadmakers Mary Harding and Heather Powers along with designer Lorelei Eurto.

Click on the designers' names below to read their blog posts about the collaboration:

Lorelei Eurto

Mary Harding

Heather Powers

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Findings Worth Finding: Prolifique

As you well know, Etsy is a wonderful place to find a little bit of everything. But I usually find the BEST stuff by accident! Clicking around the site one day, I came across a shop selling little handmade bits and bobs and perfect findings for jewelry. When I took a closer look, I found that they offer chain, charms, earring wires, connectors, pendants, beads, and cabachons too!

Definition of prolific (from the French word 'prolifique') - producing creative or intellectual products abundantly. This lovely shop is run by two women, one in Arizona and one in Florida. They have only just begun this Etsy adventure and have had their shop since March of '08!
They sell primarily on Etsy, but do plan to open their own website in the future.

They primarily use PMC (precious metal clay) for their findings. When I asked Prolifique why they use PMC, they answered, "Because the possibilities are endless... and the ideas are never- ending!"

One of them used PMC as a creative outlet after her daughter was born. Then the other was so excited seeing what she was making, that she begged her to teach her too!

Currently, they have many new design ideas in the works. Prolifique plans to eventually cast the most popular pieces so that they can still have time to continue to make new things. When they are cast, they will have them done in argentium, so they will still be highly tarnish resistant and carry almost the same qualities as the fine silver does. We have also started to make jewelry with out findings and offer it to those who don't want to make it... you can find their handmade jewelry here!

Written by Guest Blogger, Lorelei Eurto See her Shop, Read her Blog

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Fit to Print Review - Simply Beads June 2008 Issue

Simply Perfect

What's cool, refreshing and inspiring, all at once? Be sure to find a copy of the June 2008 issue of Simply Beads Magazine, it has page after page of inspiring ideas, informative articles, and useful information for the bead collectors and jewelry designers in all of us.

And speaking of designers, there are some familiar beads and names in this issue, as several articles showcase beads, kits and designs developed by Heather Powers (HumbleBeads) and Melanie Brooks Lucas (Earthenwood Studio).

Don't those beads on the cover look familiar? Your eyes aren't deceiving you, those truly are disk beads created by Heather Powers in her lariat style design necklace. Gorgeous and inspiring, it's a well-written two-page spread showcasing Heather's beads and original design in a fresh, summery style.

As if that isn't enough, Melanie Brooks Lukacs has two designs in this issue, including the inspiring bracelet in this photo using porcelain beads from Earthenwood Studio and a pewter seashell clasp from Green Girl Studios. Simple yet beautiful design that will go with everything.

There are book reviews that any jewelry designer and bead lover will find interesting, new product reviews, and some non-jewelry projects using art beads with home decor, accessories and even a DVD case. Plenty of variety and lots of inspiration, an issue you will return to many times.

Having been on a self-imposed magazine diet, after a quick flip through the pages an exception was quickly made for this issue of Simply Beads, be sure to find one for your collection. This one is a finder-keeper.

Guest Blogger, Lynn Davis - LLYYNN
Check out the Art Bead Shop or read the tell-all blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Orphan Works Bill

I don't have a full grasp of the Orphan Works Bill. I have received enough email about it from various organizations that I belong to and feel it's time to take action. I've sat on the sidelines long enough. The down and dirt for all artists, designers, creative people in general: If enacted, this legislation will basically allow anyone to use a design after a 'reasonable search'-- without the copyright holder's permission. Even if the copyright holder objects, he has no recourse because the bill eliminates the statutory damages that currently prevent rampant infringement.

I have highlighted the main points I gathered from Creative Leisure News. They have more info to click and read.

1. It changes the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act (enacted in 1978), and makes it virtually impossible for artists to protect their work. It basically allows anyone to use a design without the copyright holder’s permission.

2. It requires artists to attempt to protect their work by registering it with a digital data base system (presumably for a fee, in addition to the copyright filing fee) – when no such system exists!

3. It eliminates statutory damages wherever an infringer can successfully claim an orphan works defense, thus eliminating the only tool the law provides to prevent deliberate infringement.

4. It allows for an infringer to create – and copyright – a derivative work from the original design.

Under current law, the right to create a derivative work is one of an artist’s exclusive rights. Section103(a) says a user can’t copyright a derivative image that he’s infringed. "Protection for a work employing preexisting material in which copyright subsists does not extend to any part of the work in which such material has been used unlawfully." Under the proposed new bills, since the entirety of an infringed work can be included in a derivative use, then the copyright of the derivative will amount to a copyright of the original. This would be a de facto capture of new exclusive rights by the infringer. In other words, these bills allow infringers to make and copyright derivatives – even if the copyright holder to the original work objects.

Time is of the essence­ we need to get the word out to people so they know about the devastating consequences this legislation could have for us ­and we need to do it NOW.

Take Action: Don't Let Congress Orphan Our Work
2 minutes is all it takes to write Congress and protect your copyright: Just click on the link below, pick the letter you'd like to use, fill in the info needed, click send. Very easy. Pass along to all your friends even if they aren't artists. We need everyone's support.

Let your voice be heard - Click here to take action!
A patriotic Art Bead Scene salute:

Glass Links from Cindy Gimbrone

Muse Stone Pendant by Earthenwood Studio

Disk Beads by Humblebeads

Monday, May 19, 2008

Featured Designer of the Week - Goddess Joy

Paisley Earth necklace
Originally uploaded by goddessjoy
Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.

I picked Goddessjoy's Paisley Earth Necklace. It caught my attention right away. I love the colors of the pendant and the earthy mix of beads that compliment it so well. I could see Mother Earth donning this one for special occasions!

Our theme for May is Mother Earth and Goddessjoy's necklace is a a perfect fit for anyone wanting to express their inner goddess!

To see more of Goddessjoy's creations and read her blog, visit her website

Want to be next week's featured designer? Take a moment to enter May's monthly challenge!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Desperate ABS Neighbors Comissions Paparazzi

Commissioned by the ABS Neighbors, the paparazzi have been lurking in the neighborhood to snap photos of the Desperate ABS Editor - The ABS Neighborhood wants to know who she is and take their revenge for all the posts she's done about Tari, Heather and Melanie! Hiding in her backyard, one photographer was able to snap this picture when she was stepped onto her porch for the Sunday paper.

Not very camera friendly is she? While the paparazzi continue to stalk her to get a good photo, let's see what else is going on with the Creative Bloggers on Hysteria Lane.... Jewelry Making
Wire is a great medium for jewelry making, and with this new DVD review you can findout how you can turn straight wire into super cool bangle bracelets.

Art Bead Scene
Obessing over details leads Cindy Gimbrone to revise her MF Bird. No, she's not frustrated she means Modern Folk Bird.

Jennifer Jangles Blog
See the first ceramic beads Jennifer made.

Jewelry & Beading
What to do with those odd-shaped treasures you pick up on vacation this summer!

Katie's Beading Blog
Feeling the economic pinch in your purse? There are plenty of ways to make cool jewelry with stuff you already have.

Naughty Secretary Club
So many social networking web sites and so little time. Find out how Jen utilizes websites like My Space, Indie Public, Twitter and more to help promote her jewelry business Naughty Secretary Club and spread the crafty gospel.

Check out what blingy wonders Robin's been beading while recovering from her knee surgery!

Savvy Crafter
Need a card for your favorite beader? Candie may have just the thing!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Margot will be posting in a cool crafting group but still visiting here. When I get the url, I will post it for that group. Until then, check out this repost of her fantastic pocketbook which I adore and treasure she made me!

Did you know the Desperate ABS Neighbors open up their studios on Saturdays? Stop by and read Studio Saturdays to find out more about the Desperate Neighbors of the Art Bead Scene!

Did you read or write any good dirt on a bead blog this week?
Leave us a comment and a link and tell us the latest scoop!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Studio Saturday - Random Inspirations

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 of Cindy's Modern Bird is Gaea! Please use the suggestion box on the sidebar to send us your address.
More photos than words today, as I have more orders than minutes! My latest seed bead stash, which is telling of my current color inspirations.

I found these pink pearls at the bead show and had to have them. Why pink? I'm so not a pink person, but they called to me. Of course, my job is to transform them into something that is me. I like the idea of mixing dark woods and maybe gray with them. The remind me of the brilliant sunsets on Lake Michigan.

Some very cool seaweed stuff that I found at the beach last week. I love the colors and design. (Although, not the best photo) I could see this becoming a cane for a series of beachy beads.

And speaking of beachy, here I mixed one of my new sea urchins with pearls, a few little wood beads that reminded me of driftwood, silver shells, crystals and a seaweed pewter button from Mamacita beads that works as the clasp. I love those!

Part of my sea urchin collection. I've made many more since this, they take me right to the beach.
Which leads me to this week's question: name one thing in nature that is the biggest source of inspiration for your jewelry designs. For me, it's the ocean. While I'm inspired by many things, the pieces that I love the most have a tie to the water, beach or it's creatures.
Take a minute to share with me and next week we'll pick a random winner to receive one of my urchins.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Faux Pas - Avoiding the Fakes!

A few weeks ago I was selling my beads at a local bead show. And of course, when you are selling at a show, that means you are shopping too!

I found one dealer who was selling silver findings. I was looking for some unique clasps, when what to my wondering eyes appeared but Green Girl Studios' shell clasps. It was perfect for the seashell inspired necklace I was creating. But wait, why did it only have one shell and some weird ugly loop for the other side? My beady senses were tingling. I looked around, they had the sunflower, the bird and a few others. All at quite a discounted price. I felt a little sick to my stomach to see that one of my favorite artists were knocked off and being sold right here at my local bead show. What can I say, I'm a little naive!

I took them up to the dealer and asked the origin of the clasps? Did you purchase these from the artist, I inquired? No they came from Indonesia. I explained that these were copies from a famous beadmaker called Green Girl Studios. She gave me a shrug and blank expression. I put down my tray of beads and politely said I would not be shopping with her.

So how can you avoid buying knock-off art beads when you are shopping at a bead show. It's very simple, ask the seller. A reputable seller will know who the artist is and will probably give you some background information on the creator. Don't commit a designer faux pas by picking up a few of the cheaper copies. It's just not worth the measly dollars saved to know that you are cheating a family out of their bread and butter! And what a cute family behind Green Girl Studios, you can see the very real designer on her blog.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Heart Tools- Metal Stamping Kit

You've probably seen examples of stamped metal charms in quite a few designers' jewelry lately. I know I have! A wonderful example of this is in Heather Wynn's jewelry.

Whether you want to personalize a piece of jewelry for a gift, or if you want to display a quote, these stamped charms can definitely jazz up any piece!
I know I'll be saving my pennies to buy my own set of stamping tools. They now have them available at Fusion Beads! They have stamp sets available in a few different sizes, as well as the silver blanks. OR if you want to save some cash, you can also get a cool 1.5mm set on Etsy at Evies Tool Emporium for only $12.00 (plus shipping)!

The only other thing you'll need for this project is a bench block and a regular household hammer.

Another cool feature about Fusion Beads is they also offer a free instructional stamping technique! Click here to learn how to make your own stamped charms!

Written by Guest Blogger, Lorelei Eurto
Read her Blog, Buy her Jewelry!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Bead Arist Interview-Sarah Hornik

What is your personal name, business name, website and location?
Name - Sarah Hornik
:: Business – Glass by Sarah
– Tel Aviv, Israel



eBay -


What kind of beads do you make? What kinds of processes do you use? What is your favorite beadmaking technique?
I make glass beads. The process I use is called lampwork. In a nutshell - rods of colored glass are melted over a flame and wound around a steel mandrel to form a bead.
I don’t know if I could pick a favorite technique, as I like to combine many different elements in my beads. One of the great things about working with glass is that you’re constantly discovering new things you can do with it. I like layering opaque and transparent colors to create a sense of depth in my beads. I usually add a lot of decoration on top of that, so each bead turns out interesting from whatever angle you look at it!

How did you get into beadmaking? What are some of the important things you do for your business?

Pure coincidence – I was looking something up on Google, when I came across a sponsored link for a place here in Tel Aviv that was offering lampwork classes. Before that moment, I had no idea one could even make glass beads at home!
At the time, I was a web designer – I had been one for eight years, was running my own business and beginning to feel very burnt out. I thought I’d give “the glass bead thing” a try, just to get out of the office and away from the computer, expand my horizons, find a new hobby, something like that. I was instantly hooked. Within just a few months, I closed down my web design business and decided to devote my life to being a full-time beadmaker. No regrets whatsoever there! I think one of the most important things I do for my business is maintaining an online presence. As I sell exclusively on the internet, it is important to me to give people a sense of who I am – the personality behind the work. I run a website and a blog, and I am also active on several web communities and social networking sites.

What is your workspace like and how do you work in your studio?
What is a typical day like?

My workspace is quite small and always chaotic – but for now, I like it that way. I hope to get a larger studio someday.
A typical day… I usually wake up in the early afternoon (I’m not a morning person!), photograph yesterday’s “crop” of beads while the light is still good, pack orders and take them to the post office if I need to, and then it’s torch time! I try to work on the torch for at least a few hours each day. I spend most evenings editing photos and/or listing new items on eBay.

How do you stay inspired and motivated?

How could you not? :-)
As I mentioned – when you’re working with hot glass, there are always new things to be discovered, new techniques to explore, new colors you’ve never tried before – it’s a whole little world of ideas. It never gets boring. Besides the glass itself, some of my inspiration comes from other types of art – anything from painting to photography to music. Inspiration is everywhere really, if you keep your eyes open. Of course, there are also “bad bead days” when nothing seems to go right and I feel like I’m out of ideas – but those pass, thankfully.

What type of beads and jewelry designs do you feel best compliment your art beads? Do you design your own jewelry too?

I don’t design jewelry. I thought I’d want to when I started out with this business, but discovered I was too obsessed with the glass itself to focus on learning other things – so I leave that up to my buyers. Since my beads usually have a lot “going on”, I feel that clean and simple jewelry designs usually compliment them best, but there are always exceptions.

What beady plans do you have for the future? Do you have new designs or ideas you will be exploring soon?

One thing I’ve learned through working with glass – you can make as many “plans” as you like, but eventually, the glass will take you wherever it wants to go and you’ll find yourself creating designs that never even occurred to you before. Glass is definitely a material that has “a mind of its own”. Even when you think you’re controlling it, it’s really controlling you!
Since writing is another activity I enjoy, I plan on writing a book (or possibly a series of booklets) about glass beadmaking in the near future. I have taught some beadmaking classes in Europe over the past few months, and I am heading out to teach in Australia this summer – and then to the International Festival of Glass ( in the UK. I hope more travel opportunities come up in the future – what could be a better way to see the world, than sharing a love for glass beads?

If you have a discount code you would like to give our readers, please list it here, including the expiration date:

I’d be glad to give your readers free shipping on any order from my Etsy shop ( – just place your order, contact me through Etsy and tell me you read this interview, and I will refund your shipping costs.