Wednesday, November 30, 2011

November Monthly Blog Tour

This month we are treated to the pre-Rafaelite Renaissance inspired painting of Madonna Pietra degli Scrovigni. This cold and heartless woman is depicted in a stunning green dress with flowing auburn tresses in a woodsy setting.

The colors are perfect for fall. As always, I am blown away by the creativity that is running amok in the ABS community!


 This necklace (above) is fit for a princess. A pre-Rafaelite princess. Kelly of Mackin Art really nailed it, don't you think? From the intricate right angle weave, to the real peridot stone embedded in the bronze clay flower pendant, I can totally see the lady of the painting wearing this, can't you? And I learned a lot of history of the artist herself by reading Kelly's blog post. Fascinating!

Hope gives us a lesson in using buttons as part of your jewelry making in her blog post on Crafty Hope. The button in her focal started out as a mistake, but then Hope saw the potential as it matched so well with an art bead just lying there. Success!

The heartless lady no doubt had a hole in her heart, so that is what inspired Bee Tree by m.e.! A hole in your heart toggle was created with polymer clay and the wonders of Gilder's paste to accent this simply stunning design. Please make more of these toggles! They are gorgeous and I want one! (That is the danger in putting together this monthly blog tour... I am shopping all the time! ;-)

Etching, stamping and polymer clay in the rich palette of fall become magic in the talented hands of Miss Natalie (above) of Grubbi. I love how deeply etched the design is on the copper bracelet piece. It looks like it would be very comfortable and stylish to wear.

Lynda Moseley of SC Diva went for full-on romanticism with her beautiful polymer clay transfer bead of the woman in our painting. The design is very much in keeping with the Renaissance feel and the colors are so muted and elegant. Check out her blog to read more.

Thrift store inspiration is some of the best. You can find some great treasures there that pair perfectly with any art bead! But you have to have a vision of what those cast off treasures could become. Fortunately for us, T Rose Leigh of Glory Hound Designs is just that sort of inspirationalist! Check out her beautiful bauble on her blog.

We are so glad to have all the support of the designers and artists in the Art Bead Scene community. It gives us all great pleasure to see the ways in which you are inspired. Miss Pippa of Pips Jewellery made each of these pretty polymer clay beads (above) in her challenge piece. We hope to see more from you, Miss Pippa!

Bringing in the deep dark of the woods and the bright dancing leaves, Miss Hazel Ward of Continuum Designs crafted some beautiful flower and leaf beads for her necklace. The finishes are what makes this necklace come alive!

Isn't it wonderful when you have the perfect piece in your collection just waiting for inspiration to strike? Miss Kym of Kym Hunter Designs won a gorgeous connector that was just waiting for this opportunity. A very modern take on a Renaissance look. I love it!

A beautiful interpretation of the colors and the sweet little flower on the branch were the inspiration for Miss Cece's earrings (above) of The Beading Yogini. I like the fiber that reminds me of the fair maiden's long auburn locks and wire wrapped centers of the flowers.

There is a great synergy happening in the bracelet that Miss Malin in Sweden created. She married two different yet equally stunning polymer clay beads from two different but equally talented bead artists with a simple knotting technique that really allows those beads to shine! If you know someone more 'thin-wristed' this would be the perfect Christmas present! ;-) Check out the inspiration here.

Welcome, Miss Sharyl of SharylsJewelry to the Art Bead Scene challenges! Miss Sharyl decided that the lady of the painting needed to have some jewelry of her own - I mean, just look at that naked neck screaming for some Renaissance bling! The colors match the palette perfectly and this looks like something the Madonna would wear for her sitting.

Layers of meaning are infused in all of Miss Christine's pieces (above). The way that she manipulates her medium and blends it seamlessly into a fusion of old meeting new is so fascinating to me. I am delighted to read Miss Christine's blog at Stories They Tell to learn of her processes and thinking. Truly magical!

Keenya of The Cranberry Studio was inspired early to make some beautiful paper beads for the challenge. These earrings are a very modern look and so very eco-chic! 

Picking up on the way that sunlight dapples through the leaves, Miss Angela made a necklace that is fit for a princess in her Green Madonna. The clever construction and mix of materials makes this a remarkable design.

Blending the work of different bead artists might seem daunting, but not to this talented designer! Inspired Adornments brought out the best in all three with the movement of the flowers, the softness of the fabric and the whimsical flower and butterfly beads keep your eye moving over this beautiful necklace.

Miss Jenna of Honey Bijou created a folksy interpretation of the color scheme. The little folk art birdie she made was inspired by our own Heather Powers and is a sweet touch. She has taken that iconic bird shape and made it her own! But my favorite part has to be the feather wrapped polymer clay tube bead she made. Where can I get one of those? ;-)

Dynamic duo Beth & Evie McCord of EB Metal and Bead Works have put their two darling heads together again to come up with an elegant design with a muted color palette. Check out the enameled roses and the frosty etched glass beads.(Plus they are having a giveaway - go check it out!)

The shimmering white blooms were the inspiration for this lovely bracelet by KlassyJoolz. I can imagine our lady wearing this pretty bauble in the painting!

Stretching yourself is what the challenges at ABS are all about! Miss Katherine of Catherine's Dreams pulled inspiration from the green of the dress, the white of the skin and the beautiful foliage in the scene. Thanks for letting us push your creative limits!

I am always in awe of what Miss Molly Alexander of Beautifully Broken Me (above) pulls from the inspiration pieces. This month is no exception. The heartless woman is truly a jealous, tortured soul and Miss Molly made the most amazing focal for her necklace. Look at the green patina on this! And the stitching on the heart!

Maryann Melo of Middle Earths was sucked into the ABS vortex once again with the lovely olive greens and earthy browns of the palette. She wasn't intending to participate, but we are so very fortunate that she didn't listen to that voice and pushed on through with another lush and lovely interpretation!

Showing a beautiful step by step on how to transfer an image to clay, Lizards Looks brings a beautiful romanticized Renaissance lady to life in her bracelet. Someone at the Christmas party will be very lucky indeed to win this beauty!

The Clayin' Mommy made a beautiful frame pendant with carved polymer flowers that suits the woodsy palette of this month's inspiration perfectly.


Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful interpretations of the November challenge painting with the Art Bead Scene community. Your enthusiasm and excitement always get us energize to keep bringing you more fun challenges and beautiful inspirations. Check back in for information on the fun happening at Art Bead Scene for the month of December!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pulling Colours

One of the ways I get inspiration for my jewelry, is the focals I use. Just grabbing my favorite focals will sometimes speak to me and bring inspiration as I lay them out. There are hidden colours and undertones that you may not see at first until you see them in a different light or by some accent beads that you have laying around from another project. I have piles of leftover beads everywhere! They do have a purpose however.

 This is the best example I could find of really pulling colours! This Fresco Painting is truly stunning! It has the warm colours like the red of the feathers and the yellow/gold of the fence. It has the cool colours like the blue of the bird's chest and it has the undertones of green and brown that every artist uses. You can see where I pulled the colours and added a mix of shades of each colour, pulling the different tones from the focal. Using a mix of different beads also added texture and interest to the finished necklace.

 This particular piece is more subtle than the last. The pendant has very simple shades of what seems to be grey and brown behind the Eiffel Tower. Certainly you could make a very simple piece using some black chain or some wood beads, but to really make the focal shine, put it in your tray of beads, see what hidden colours pop out at you, perhaps some unexpected combinations will shine! I found that this piece really pulled me toward using Vintaj brass with it's earthy rich brown patinas. You can see that adding the filigree really pulls out the brown in the lower half of the pendant. 

 The Vintage Style key by Tim Holtz was a nice contrast to the deep browns of the filigree and fleur de Lis. It pulls some of the more subtle Grey/browns of the Eiffel tower. The top of the pendant has very cool blues hidden in it's grey sky. I noticed that the crystal in certain positions, mimicked the sky, but when it sparkled, it sent out an array of other beautiful blues, green and teals! So the crystal was added and was the inspiration for the recycled silk sari wraps at the top of the key. The combination makes for a very unique colourful piece that could have turned out very differently depending on the colours you might have seen.

 Last but not least I wanted to show a variation of the second necklace, with completely different colours. You can see that once again the Artbead Focal had an array of beautiful colours.The warmth of the brass was perfect for the warmth of the corals and peaches of the pendant. This piece is warm where the last one was cool. But looking at the colours in your chosen focal will bring to life any piece.

 You might have seen different colours than I did, you might have seen the Gun Metal grey of the Eiffel Tower, or the soft browns at the base of the pendant. Your version of the necklace would have been completely different. Just imagine the possibilities, when you pull colours!!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Designer of the Week - Erin Strother

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

Art Bead Scene Editor Heather Powers notes: "I love the unique use of the leather pieces wrapped with the stones. I haven't seen that before.  It's a great mix of textures and colors, the hammered and patina saffron links from Miss Fickle Media were the perfect touch for this pair.  Beautiful job Erin!" 

You still have a few days left to enter this month's challenge.

On a side note, you'll need to excuse our absence last week.  I am in the middle of moving and needed a little break.  

We are winding down with November and we'll have our new December Challenge soon.  And in December join us for our annual Ornament Hop and the 12 Days of Christmas with 12 free projects.

Be sure to head on over to Lori Anderson's blog to check out 70 giveaways from 70 artists in 7 days!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Link Library with Melanie

  A few years ago, I wrote a post for Art Bead Scene about the things I was thankful for about my craft.  This thanksgiving weekend, I wanted to reflect back upon that post. My beading has taken on a different form lately since I have been running a weekend booth at an artist market every week, so I am thankful for different things now, namely the opportunity to help others be creative with my crafty knowledge and encouragement. You can find my original thankful post in the archives here!

And now for the latest news from our beady friends:

A Bead A Day
If you have "glitter" experience, Lisa and her readers are looking for guidance when it comes to using glitter in jewelry projects. Jewelry Making
Combine those jewelry techniques - this time with wire and fused glass.

Art Bead Scene
Gaea's ceramics pair up with Vintaj Brass to create some gorgeous Victorian Christmas jewelry inspiration!

Beading Arts
Beautiful toggle clasps are meant to be seen, not hidden away!

Resin Crafts!
This week Carmi shares some useful information about resin and cold temperatures.

Snap Out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discovered a very special pendant that expresses the way a person feels in a very special, amazing way!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Art Bead Scene Black Friday thru Cyber Monday Sales

Happy Holidays! A few of the Art Bead Scene editors are offering weekend sales. Here's the scoop! Sales start Friday unless otherwise noted.

Earthenwood Studio is offering 25% off of your entire purchase of handcrafted ceramic beads and components for the holiday weekend.  Use code HOLIDAY2011 at check out at the Earthenwood Website, Etsy shop, and Etsy Jewelry Galleria.  Offer expires Tuesday, November 29th at midnight.

Etsy Shop:
Etsy Jewelry Galleria:

10% off and Free shipping at the Jennifer Jangles website and the Jangles Etsy shop. The Etsy shop has just been loaded up with beads, jewelry, gifts, and more. Shipping charges have already been removed from both sites, enter cyber10 to receive your discount. Sale ends Tuesday, November 29th at midnight.

Jennifer Jangles website:
Jennifer Jangles Etsy shop:

20% off your entire purchase now until Monday, Novemeber 28th at midnight.  You'll find holiday inspired beads like snowman, snowflakes, evergreens and more in the Humblebeads Etsy shop.  Use discount code Holiday2011.

Heather's Humblebeads Etsy Shop: 

Happy Shopping!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Link Library with Melanie

  A couple of Novembers ago, Heather shared some ideas for a holiday craft booth set up, showing some ideas that she and her husband used to create a warm and friendly holiday themed display.  I thought this might serve as some good last minute inspiration for some of us who are working on our holiday shows this season.

That is one of the great links from the Art Bead Scene archives, now check out these new links of some of our beady friends:

A Bead A Day
Enjoying the creative process can sometimes be more important than the perfect finished product! Lisa finds that out while having fun with glitter! Jewelry Making
Here are some tips and design ideas for picking the right bracelet for the right person.

Art Bead Scene
Heather offers a free project: a quick and simple nest necklace that uses wire to elegantly frame an art bead

Beading Arts
Bead a continuous loop necklace for a unique eyeglass holder!

Beads & Books
Join Michelle's last beading challenge for 2011 with a winter-themed kit featuring handmade porcelain beads by Chinook Jewelry, Czech glass, pearls, and ribbon!

Resin Crafts!
A brand new resin has been created for jewelers and launched on the Resin Crafts blog this week! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the fabulous book, Sharilyn Miller's Arty Jewelry III! Is Sharilyn great, or what?  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew muses on the importance of having time to think and "tinker".  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Studio Saturday with Humblebeads

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.

Sweet Willow Designs won a Celtic button from Creative Impressions in Clay.  Email Tari your address and she will send that right out to you.

This week are in the Humblebeads Studio.

In September I took a workshop with the Vintaj gang in Galena and one of the projects was using a melting pot with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) and a beautiful palette of embossing powders.

Basically you add the colored powders on the brass blank and then the clear UTEE.  It melts together into this little bit of mixed media heaven that looks like a little painting.  Jess shared with us a trick to make the UTEE matte and oh, that's so lovely with my beads!

During the workshop I wasn't sure if the melt art stuff was for me, so I waited and let the ideas percolate until I decided I really did want to play more with the melting pot and UTEE.  They almost remind me of enamel and in fact I have played around with adding them to dapped disks to create a faux enamel design.

I put together these fun necklaces for a show a few weeks ago mixing in copper leaf chain, Czech glass and some of my branch disks with my favorite gunmetal findings and chain.

Which got me thinking, my little branch disk beads are the workhorse of most of my designs.  I'm constantly using them in my pendants, necklaces and earrings.  And my other go-to beads are Czech glass, vintaj brass and gunmetal findings.  

So my question for you this week - what are your go-to beads, the trusty ones that you stock up on and use in the majority of your designs.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a set of my Golden Branch Disk Beads.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Holiday Inspired Jewelry - Gaea and Vintaj

Ceramic beadmaker Gaea has partnered with Vintaj this month for a beautiful holiday inspired collaboration.  

This one is titled Victorian Christmas.  I love the mix of brass with arte metal component.  You can find a step by step tutorial on the Vintaj blog.

I'd also like to take a moment and officially welcome Gaea to the Art Bead Scene along with Brandi Hussey, Rebecca Anderson and Erin Siegel!  

But we'll do a more formal introduction next week with this new talented group of bloggers and designers.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Inside The Creative Studio

Interweave Press has a new book out this month and it's called Inside The Creative Studio. I have to admit, I haven't gotten my copy of the book yet, but I love Studios magazine. This book highlights the best of the magazines featured studios so it's got to be great.

If you don't have time to sit down with the book yet, you can listen to a podcast all about artist studios. Mark Lipinski the host of Creative Mojo devoted this Wednesdays two hour podcast entirely to studios. He talks to several artists about the arrangement and designing of their studios. If you have never listen to Mark before, he and his co host Jeff keep things lively. At the top of the second hour is where you will find my interview.

You can listen to the interview here online, it's the 11-09-2011 podcast.

Happy Listening,
Jennifer Heynen a.k.a. Jennifer Jangles

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Art of the Moment Fused Glass Pendants

Fanny Dallaire is a self taught Canadian artist. Born in 1979, she began drawing at the age of 9. Starting with pastel she slowly graduated to watercolor, oil and acrylic.  Her favorite mediums are now oil, watercolor and fused glass. 

She has taken those fairy tale qualities of childhood and her love of painting and mixed them with the art of fused glass to create art beads that are completely unique and utterly charming.

"This beautiful glass pendant is made up of small pieces of glass fused together at a temperature of nearly 1700 degrees. Each mini work of art is carefully hand made with love and attention to detail in my home studio. All glass pendants are slowly annealed (controlled cooling of the glass) to ensure their strength."

Okay - did you get that - the pendants aren't painted - they are tiny pieces of glass fused together to create images.  Color me impressed!

Frannie's storybook work includes birds, animals, floral images and a series of mermaids.  She offers them as ready to wear necklaces with silk cord, but there is no reason why you couldn't use one of her pendants in a beaded creation.

See more of Frannie's work in her Etsy shop: Art of the Moment.

Wow, right?  Yeah, I'm still stunned too!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Simple Nest Necklace


Short on time and need to whip up a 1/2 dozen Chrismtas gifts?  Give this easy project a try.

24" 24 gauge steel wire
15mm gunmetal jump ring
18" gunmetal chain
Tiny nest charm

1. Leaving a 3" tail of wire, wrap the wire in a circle slightly larger than the charm.
2. Continue wrapping the wire over and under, forming the nest shape.  Wrap the wire three times around the entire bundle of wire.  Leave 6" of wire.
3. Pull the 3" tail of wire through the charm and up and around the top of the nest.  Wrap a loop around the pliers twice to form a double loop.  
4. Wrap the rest of the wire from the 3" tail around the base of the loop.  Wrap the remaining wire around the loop to from an entwined loop.
5. Add jump ring to the loop and string the chain through the jump ring.  Buff the wire with Vintaj's Metal Relief Block or a polishing pad.

Be sure to check out my Etsy shop for my entire collection of tiny charms!

Last week on Earrings Everyday I featured this variation using Meadowlark charms and tiny nests.  I left 3" tails of wire on both ends of the nest to create the wrapped loops.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Designer of the Week

Each Monday the Art Bead Scene features a Designer of the Week.
One of our editors picks her favorite from the Monthly Challenge entries.
This week's featured designer is....
Here is what ABS editor Tari Sasser said about Linda's necklace:

This necklace represents the painting wonderfully. The components used gives it an old world feel.
Green and red stones are perfect.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Link Library with Melanie

  Back in August of 2007, Art Bead Scene contributor Virginia Miska reviewed an online store that sells high quality leather cord in a Findings Worth Finding post.  Given the popularity of cording nowadays, I thought it was a good resource to remember.  Click here to see the review of Greco Leather Cord in the archives.

And now, here are this weeks awesome links from some of our beady friends

A Bead A Day
Lisa shares her love for the creative community! Connecting with others is what it's all about! Jewelry Making
Bravo has a new TV show that uses Project Runway as a template but the designers are making accessories instead of clothing. What are your thoughts about this new show?

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene announces its annual Holiday Ornament Blog Hop!

Beading Arts
Jewelry designer Tammy Powley shares some of her expertise for creating unique bead strung jewelry!

Beads & Books
Michelle shares upcoming deadlines for beading & jewelry making contests and challenges.

Cindy Gimbrone Beads
Cindy is off her loom this week! Come see her new RAW book!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie mourns the passing of a furry friend by making a pair of special cuff bracelets to honor her memory

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean's famous friend, the Great Margot Potter, has some wonderful news! Read all about it on Jean's blog!

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Studio Saturday with Creative Impressions In Clay

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 weeks winner is ErinS. Congratulations! You have won a Holiday Pendant from Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Send Jennifer an e-mail with your address and she will get it right out to you.
This week we visit the studio of
 Tari Sasser at Creative Impressions In Clay.

Happy Saturday to all and welcome to the glamorous life of buttons! Wait, it's glamorous?! I didn't get that memo. Above is what I have been working on. Snowflakes and (hmmm, right.) 
Clay is a muddy business and it only became remotely sexy with the movie Ghost. Believe me, Demi Moore I am not. Most potters detest even hearing that reference. 
I haven't thrown on my wheel for quite a while but really need to just for therapy. Like Calgon, take me away. There are times you need to have your mind go somewhere besides the task at hand.

Or the mess at hand. This is the usual mess on my work counter. Take your arm and push any and everything to the side so you can begin another project. At some point you will have the time to clean up the mess. 
Time is something I haven't had a lot of in my studio. I have started working outside of the studio. Something I haven't done for many, many years. You do what you have to do. 
I work at a wonderful gallery. What better place to be than a gallery and be able to look at art all day. It's an American Art and Craft Gallery. Yes, some of my jewelry is being sold there. 
I get to explain how items are made and techniques used. I love that part of my job and it helps customers understand what is put into making art. Along with the prices that go with the art.
The owner of the gallery uses Wholesalecrafts (lots) and also attends shows to purchase items for the gallery. I just realized yesterday that she placed an order with our own Virginia Miska
Since I am now uber curious to learn about Wholesalecrafts, 
My question(s) is:
Do you use Is it worth the cost? Has it been a successful tool?
Do you vend at any of the wholesale shows to sell and market your art?

Answer one of my many questions and you could win the Celtic Buttons shown above.

My sincere apologies to the winner of my last Studio Saturday. 
I have misplaced your info, could you please resend. 

Feeling sassy as usual.
Tari Sasser