Monday, May 31, 2010

Featured Designer of The Week: KellsCreations

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is KellsCreations!

ABS editor Jennifer Heynen had this to say about Kelley's creation, "I like the many layers of this pendant, you can tell Kelley put a lot of thought into each one."

If you want to read more about this piece and what she was thinking about when creating it you you can find more on her KellsCreations blog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Sunday! Hope you're enjoying your coffee this morning! Let's see what's going on in the Bead Blogging world....

A Bead A Day
Looking to make some super-sized jewelry just perfect for a princess? Lisa uses large blueberry briolettes and a swarovski mix to create just that! Jewelry Making
Tammy ask in this quick poll about how you use social networking to promote you and/or your jewelry business.

Art Bead Scene
ABS is here to help you with your business. Check out Zazzle to customize your earring cards for your jewelry business.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Book Review: Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet

Beading Arts
How many people out there are participating in the Bead Journal Project this year?

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi's button maker is the reason for this new vintage image necklace.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week's Wednesday Wire is a free tutorial, "Matchin' by Wrappin'."

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Learn about the Raku firing process and see the results of Melanie's new Raku adventures!

Heather shares some time management tips for creatives.

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Kate McKinnon's wonderful new addition, Sculptural Metal Clay.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is delighted to review Totally Twisted by Kerry Bogert! You will LOVE this book which focuses on wire and art beads!

Strands of Beads
Melissa discusses the process of reworking a weak necklace design - the revised version of which now appears on the cover of The Best of Step by Step Beads.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Like Czech glass? Andrew hosts a giveaway courtesy of Raven's Journey. Find out how you can win these luminous beads!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Studio Saturday with Jennifer Jangles

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.

Last weeks winner is Erin(comment 5). Congratulations you've won one a set of the transparent Turquoise Links and Double Dips from Cindy . Send Cindy an e-mail and she will get it right out to you.

This week we are in the studio with Jennifer Heynen of Jennifer Jangles.

Hi there,
This week is a busy, busy week for me. I am packing up and heading out to Bead and Button! I will be teaching five classes and selling my beads and buttons at the show. There's lots going on in the studio. I have been showing lots of shots from the studio over at my own blog, so I thought it would be fun to show you some of my new pendants here at the Art Bead Scene Blog. I always want to have new work for the show so that way when my customers come to my booth and ask "what's new?" I have something to show them. This year I will have lots!

I am in love with Ready Stamps, that's where I get my custom made stamps made. They are a great company that always does high quality work. I drew up these new pendants this spring, got the stamps made, and have been playing with glazes. These are a few of my favorites. The starfish above has several different oranges on the pendant for depth and texture.

Still to this day, I am in love with my "wow" color combination. I can't stop glazing beads and pendants in lime green, turquoise, black, and white. I am always happy with how they turn out.

Last of the pendants I will be showing you today is my little birdhouse. My woodland birds needed a home and now they have one.

This week will be a super easy question, and if you answer it you will be added into the drawing to win one of my new birdhouse pendants. Will you be going to Bead and Button this year? If you are coming, please stop by and say hello, I am in booth 1103.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Bead Soup Favorites

I'm so excited to be joining the party this time around! I thought I'd share some of my favorite picks from the Bead Soup Party Flickr Group I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone creates, we have such an awesome community of jewelry designers in the blog-o-sphere.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Top 10 Bead Show Tips

As I prepare for Bead & Button and having my first booth this year, I'm also making a strategy for my shopping experience.  I thought I'd share a few tips with you that I learned from last year.

1. Have a budget - I know I just heard someone laugh, but seriously unless money is no object you can get into major trouble without a budget.

2. Have a list - make a list of materials or projects supplies you are planning to hunt down.

3. Have a plan - make a list of the beadmakers or shops you have to visit

3. A good pair of shoes - seriously, it's a lot of walking.

4. A good friend - to help you stay out of trouble and to share your best treasures.

5. Have a strategy - buy your art beads and rare finds the first day.  Look for deals the second day.

6. Impulses are not your friend - ask yourself: can I order this at home or will it add too much bulk to my suitcases if I'm flying.

7. Replenish - have water, you really will need it.

8. Bring business cards - this is a great time to network.

9. Bring a camera - you'll want pictures of you and your new friends and photos from the show.

10. Be kind to yourself - let's face it #1 will be blown the first day unless you have super human bead buying powers.  Bring a credit card or have a back up funds for your travel expenses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sponsor Spotlight

There are just a few days left to enter our challenge for May. Whip something up before the holiday weekend to win this month's amazing prizes. Here are my favorites from our sponsor's shops.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Add a Cool Shopping Widget to Your Blog

One of the things I like most about blog hopping is being able to click over to someones online shop or etsy store front. Easily. Right then. When I have $25 to $35 in my paypal that won't be missed when bill time comes around.
  I do not want to scroll up and down their blog, picking through awards, gadgets, followers, twitters that point me back to their blog, facebook updates that tell me what they are making for dinner;  hunting for the thing that grabbed my attention in their post that I could be buying RIGHT NOW.  I want it right there at the top.
  I know. I'm demanding. But more importantly I'm a buyer of handmade goods. You've got me. I'm here, interested in what you are doing. I know someone who would want that necklace. Or that pair of earrings would look fantastic with my sisters new shirt. My neighbor did something nice and I'd like to get her a gift certificate to your shop. Why can't I find it? Now!?! Never mind, I have to go get my kid out of the mud and I won't be back to the computer until after dinner. You've lost me.

Here are a couple of options that will allow you to capture your buyer with minimal effort and avoid losing them in the busyness that is your blog.

1.) Add an etsy mini to your blog side bar.
(these instructions are for pc users.)
First, log into your etsy and scroll down the left side until you see "PROMOTE" click on that. You are taken to a page that says Build your own etsy mini.
 You are given 3 choices; the first is items to show. Click "items from my shop". These items are your Featured items. You choose which items will show up in the top 3 photos of your shop and the items that are featured in your etsy mini by clicking on the gray star in the items title under Currently for sale . Arrange these featured items by clicking on Featured items and clicking the up and down arrows.
The second choice is choose an image size. This is up to you. I clicked both options to see which looked better on my blog and ultimately chose - Thumbnail.
 Your third choice is choose layout. You can add as many as 5 columns (down) and 5 rows (across) to your side bar. But the point is not to have your whole shop on your blog, rather a showcase of easily accessible work. Plus 5 by 5 doesn't fit on a lot of blog side bars.
 By now you have an etsy mini preview below your choices. Do you like it? If not, change a few of your choices, if you do like it, simply select all in the code box shown below the preview and right click copy. You are now ready to add this beautiful sampling of your finest goods to your personal blog.
 Do this by clicking Customize up at the top of your blog. Click on Add a gadget and scroll down the list until you see the option HTML/JavaScript - add third party functionality or other code to your blog. Click it!
 You are given a place to title your etsy mini, why not use your business name? Then you right click in the box and choose paste. The code will be entered into your box. Don't forget to save!

 2.) Add a cr8tivity slide widget to your blog.
Go to to . Type in your user name. Click the button that says Widget. Copy the code in the top or bottom box. See your little box on the side there? Isn't that pretty and eye catching?
 To add this nifty widget to your blog, repeat the same steps as with your etsy mini;       
Click Customize up at the top of your blog. Click on Add a gadget and scroll down the list until you see the option HTML/JavaScript - add third party functionality or other code to your blog. Click it! Fill in the info and paste your code into the box. Save it and arrange the new widget where it will be seen easily. Save your changes.

 Now view your blog and rejoice. You have just made it that much easier to fulfill a shop-a-holics need.

I'll check for questions in the comments so please ask if I can assist you. 
Much Love and respect,

Monday, May 24, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week: Mariposa

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features the Designer of the Week. One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Mariposa!

ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone had this to say about Mariposa's design:

I love this piece - it's very abstract in it's interpretation, taking the bird literally but the beads balancing or juggling themselves on the neck wire is conceptual. It makes you think and that's what art is!

You can see Mariposa's work on her Flickr page. Congratulations, Mariposa!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Sunday! Hope you're enjoying your coffee this morning! There are several of the bead bloggers showing off their entries for Bead Star - so be sure to check them all out!

A Bead A Day
Lisa explains her thoughts behind part 1 of a new bracelet project. Jewelry Making
Tammy recently took a trip to the Bahamas and discovered some souvenir pennies in her purse. They were so bright and shiny they had to be turned into jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
It's the fifth month anniversary of the ABS Carnival Blog! Come see how we've grown!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Take a jewelry class with me at CREATE!

Beading Arts
The new Rubber Glass silicone has inspired Cyndi to create some beginner projects!

Carmi's Art/Life World
In an effort to use all that she buys, Carmi repairs and recycles vintage metal from Paris.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's starting a new feature on her blog - The Wednesday Wire! Come take a look!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A gift from a local potter starts Melanie on a new clay adventure: Raku!

Heather explores 23 days of inspiration as she gets ready for the Bead & Button Show. See how Van Gogh has inspired her through the years.

Jean Campbell
Jean's just full of travelogues, isn't she? This time she went to a Kansas bead retreat.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Voting has now opened in the Bead Star competition, come check out my 5 entries!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
The best wedding I never went to! My editor's incredibly romantic wedding -- Australian Beading Magazine

Strands of Beads
Like several of her esteemed colleagues, Melissa has a few pieces in the Bead Star competition to show off this week!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew has six finalists pieces in the Bead Star competition. Please take a moment to vote!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Re-Discovery: Studio Saturday with Cindy Gimbrone

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.

Last week's winner is Theresa Buchle/Bead-Mused ! Congratulations! You have won a set of Lynn's pewter charms Send an email to Lynn and she will get them right out to you.

Welcome to the Studio of Cindy Gimbrone!

Step a little closer to my workbench. I've got alot to show you today! This week I blogged about picking up the pastels and drawing. I didn't have any real drawing tools and I wanted to sketch out a design using a set of the Turquoise glass links and double dips. I took my new pastel pencils and charcoal and got to work.

Take a virtual look over my shoulder and see how my design began and ended.

Voila! My completed necklace entitled, "Smokey Blues." I can't tell you how much I enjoyed drawing and coloring the design! The investment in my first set of drawing tools was worth every penny! So that leads me to today's question:

Have you re-discovered a skill, talent or simply something you used to enjoy? Share your story with me and you'll be entered to win a set of the transparent Turquoise Links and Double Dips.

I look forward to reading what YOU'VE rediscovered!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Friday Finds with Lorelei: Bezels

Click the image above to take you to the Etsy Treasury!

With all of the hype going on right now making resin components, I wanted to compile some
amazing Bezels that I found on Etsy. I created a nice little Treasury to showcase them
all! Have fun shopping! And be sure to show us what you make if you use any of them!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Design Custom Earring Cards

You don't have to be a graphic designer or even hire one to create professional looking earring cards that you can easily customize with your own images!  The answer - Zazzle!

Here you'll find a great selection of earring cards created by designers and artists.  I created 3 different styles playing around with the idea and you can customize them with your own image, text and colors.

When you find a design you like, click on it. Under the product image will be a button that says "Customize It".  Click that button and you'll get to a page that looks like the one above. Where I've circled the area, you'll find the buttons to customize the design. To change the image, click "change image." You can make the image larger or smaller and move it around.* Do the same to change the text.  You can also change the text and background colors to match your brand.

*If there is a yellow caution sign on your image, the print quality is too low and you'll need to pick a bigger original image.

When you have the design you like, purchase and you are done.  Shipping starts at $4.00! 

You'll have to punch or drill the holes.  Check out Jen's quick tip for that!

It really is that easy. 

Find Earring Cards:

Material Connection Disclosure from Heather Powers:

I have a material connection to Zazzle. Some of the links above are my affiliate links and I will earn a commission on purchases made via these links.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hint: More to Love

Beth from Hint let me know last week that she is now offering her charms in sterling silver as her business has been growing by leaps and bounds this past year.  You can read about them on her blog, which is always so thoughtful and see them in her etsy shop.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Featured Designer of the Week - Maryellen at Beetreebyme

Each Monday we feature the Designer of the Week. One of our editors pick their favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries. This week's featured designer is Maryellen at Beetreebyme for this imaginative, colorful and unique necklace with beautiful fibers and interesting charms. It works so well with the facinating Chagall picture that is the challenge inspiration this month.

You can see her description of her inspiration on her blog, and her ideas about keeping things in balance like the juggler in the painting.

ABS editor Lynn Davis says of this unique and interactive necklace "the colors mirror the painting and the spirit of the juggler with wings and clock face are wonderfully captured here. Love the use of polymer clay, too!"

You can see more of Maryellen's work on her Flickr page.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sundays with Cindy

Happy Sunday! Hope you're enjoying your coffee this morning! Let's see what's going on in the Bead Blogging World....

A Bead A Day
Creating jewelry for special vacations can help you look forward to upcoming trips and keep the memories fresh afterwards.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene has a new look and some new opportunties to get involved. Come see!

Beading Arts
Rubber glass? Rubber glass?!? What the heck is rubber glass?

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi uses some amazing digital images to create a new resin filled bezel necklace.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Check out the new beads on Cindy's site - Turquoise Sky!

Heather shares some sketches of possible designs.

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean reviews Kate McKinnon's inspiring new book, Sculptural Metal Clay Jewelry, with DVD included!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off new designs using cool skull beads and charms from Rings & Things

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts another Thursday Giveaway! This time, the prize comes courtesy of Natural Touch Beads! Find out how you can win some awesome resin jewelry components!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Studio Saturday and Fire Water Copper with Lynn Davis

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.

Lois Moon has won a really lovely set of willow branch disk beads from Heather Powers at Humblebeads! Congrats! Email Heather your mailing address to to receive your prize.

This week we're visiting the studio of Lynn Davis to see what the heat and fire is all about.

Welcome to the studio, I've been continuing on my quest to make the most of maximizing the use of art beads and conquering my torch fears. For the longest time I've been wanting to make my own copper headpins, so I always have the size I need for the hole in the bead or charm I'm working with, and something that looks organic and handmade to match the pewter components.

I had already used a butane mini-torch to make fine silver headpins, but I love the ruddy color of the copper and wanted to have some that would have that beautiful oxidized ruby color. I knew I'd need more heat than the butane torch put out so I went to the hardware store and got a plumber's BernzOmatic torch. Sometimes making jewelry with Art Beads takes you to strange places for your supplies - you can get the raw copper wire there too!

I cut a 6" length of 20 gauge raw copper wire and turned on the Mapp gas plumber's torch. Holding the copper wire very vertical with a hemostat I kept it in the hottest part of the flame and it balled up right away. To get that ruddy ruby color I immediately dunked it into cold water and wiped it down with a cloth. Now to turn it into a bail for one of my pewter charms, I put it through the hole in the top of the charm and made a 90 degree angle so I could put the wire into my bail making pliers.

I made a couple of turns, one to the left, one to the right and then back to the center on the bail making pliers to make a hanger for the charm so that a large chain, wire wrapped beads or a thick cord could pass through to make a pendant out of the charm. The pewter has a coppery-bronze patina on it, so it is very compatible with the copper wire color.

To finish it off I tucked the end of the copper into the back of the bail to make it secure, or if it's long enough it can be wrapped around the bottom to make a wire-wrapped finish. The three wrap loops can be snugged together to make a tight rounded coil, or spread them in a "V" shape for a different look. I like mixing the metals with a silver chain, pewter charm and copper headpin bail for an interesting play of color.

Here's the question for this week, post a comment in reply and you will win a pair of my pewter charms so you can practice making headpins for earrings or necklace bails, too.

Do you use copper wire in your designs with Art Beads as well as fine or sterling silver and if you do, how do you decide which metal to use in your design - do you have a favorite?  Do you like the natural copper finish or do you use a patina of heat or liver of sulphur to change the color of the wire in the finished design -  and do you mind that copper isn't considered a "precious metal" like silver or gold?

I hope this gives you some ideas on ways to try copper wire bails and headpins with pewter, glass and many other Art Beads in your designs!

Posted by Lynn Davis, who is also offering a BONUS tutorial on her blog for making small diameter headpins for pearls and other small-holed beads using fine copper wire.

Friday, May 14, 2010

From the Beadmaker's Table: Miss Fickle Media

From One Little Piece of Coral
This is a piece of coral my son found on the beach in Florida in 2007. It is an extraordinary piece of coral in that it reminds me of that precious time and floods me with wonderful memories each time I look at it. I remember the feeling of contentment and peace of mind seeing my family enjoy the sand, sun and ocean.

I first used it to create a mold. Something I do with almost every 3D trinket I own cause you never know what is going to make a really cool clay thing-a-ma-bober. 

From that mold I created this simple but unique pendant;

But I also found that by just using the top section of the coral I could create this very interesting crackle effect in beads;

The sides of the coral added a nice texture to the edge of these clay discs;

And the back of the coral creates this texture;

I am thrilled to get so many uses out of one item! It has opened my eyes to looking at every little object with potential for so much more. A change of position and color of paint and I have a seemingly endless way to decorate polymer clay art beads!

Much Love & Respect,

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Findings Worth Finding: Clasps

There seems to be a buzz with art bead clasps, so I thought I'd feature another round up of them here on the ABS.
I found Amanda Davie through that intrepid bead scout, Lorelei.  How does she discover such amazing finds?  And yeah that she shares them with us.  Here is a resin clasp with a crow.

Carrying on with the bird theme is this awesome pewter owl clasp from Green Girl Studios via the Beadlady on Etsy.  I love that branch toggle, wish I had a million of just those!

Melanie from Earthenwood Studio has been experimenting with new designs.  I'm smitten with the timber pendants.  I could see this as a clasp.  Just add one of these branch toggles from Nunn over at Bello Modo.

LeAnn at Summers Studio has created Victorian inspired key toggle bars - works for steampunk or more floral themed designs.

And now let's get into some clasps for seafaring jewelry designers.  Lynn Davis has this wonderfully rustic looking hook clasp, it has a nautical vibe don't you think?

And speaking of beachcombers, here is a starfish toggle pendant from Humblebeads, yes - that's me!   

And finally, maybe you are feeling a little DIY-ish today and want to customize your own clasp.  Miss Fickle Media is offering these new bezel clasps, fill them up with your favorite image and resin.  I've been eyeing them thinking some polymer clay belongs in there!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Leap in the Dark....The ABS Carnival Blog

all growth is a leap in the dark...
Henry Miller

I leaped on board with the Art Bead Scene when it first began in 2007. It was a leap in the dark for all of us - where would it lead us? Would it be successful? Would others read ABS? We didn't know but we were passionate about inspiring others to design with art beads and the handmade movement and we believed we could attract an audience.

ABS has grown and developed over the past three years and I along with it. I was interested in how our reader-bloggers have grown and I asked them to share their thoughts on "growth" for this month's Carnival blog.

Mary Jo shares how the concept of growth is inspiring her. She shares some lovely pieces she's created including the earrings below:

Jeannie Dukics wants to take a break from production work so she can develop and grow her skill in other media. She shares the lovely God and Goddess Art Beads (below) she's most proud of and wants to follow the path they've laid out for her.

Erin leaps at the opportunity to grow when she's offered an opportunity to create a special piece for a local charity. The result is her "Grow Through Change Necklace" shown below.

Mary Lou reflects on her development as a beader and takes us through her "birth" on through her "adolescence." Each stage of development is marked by a particular beaded jewelry piece. I think many of us will relate to Mary Lou's observations.

Stephanie takes us through a journey she and Chris have taken in developing their craft.

Some of us go willingly and others are prodded into growth - Thanks to Dudley the cat, Our Island Girl was forced to expand her beadmaking repertoire.

Our clever beadmaker/jewelry designer, Janel was inspired to make a new style of bead - a sprout! How cute is that? (See below.)

Hope you've enjoyed this month's Carnival Blog! If you'd like to join us, we're always happy to welcome another dedicated Art Bead Scene reader to our Carnival Blogger Group! Interested in joining? Please send an email to Cindy saying you'd like to join.

Until next month...the Carnival Bloggers bid you adieu!
(written by Cindy Gimbrone the Carnival Bloggers' fearless leader.)