Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

I hope everyone had a great leap year day! It felt interestingly like just about any other day, but slightly eerie!

As a beading enthusiast, it has become clear over the years that if you can think of a bead, it probably exists out there in some form or another.

I was jokingly thinking, "I bet there's a leap year bead"....

Well, sure enough, THERE WAS a Pandora! Specifically for those individuals who happen to be born on leap year day. I noticed a tweet around mid-day that mentioned there had been 32 births recorded in the state so far today. Can you imagine how many births there were around the world today? WOW!

Happy birthday leap-year babies!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Online Hangout

I wanted to check in with all of you to find out if you have been hanging out on Pinterest lately. It seems to be popping up everywhere on blogs and websites. Of course, just like with Etsy, once you get there you forget where you came in or what you came for!

It's a visual dream...ahh, you can really get lost!

I found my way over to Artbeads on Pinterest and had fun looking at all the pretty pictures. This great necklace, with a pendant I think I need to add to my wish list, is their profile picture right now.

 Having just set up an account tonight, I am just an observer at this point, BUT it looks like a lot of fun. Sort of reminds me of a video game for some reason.

I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts about and experiences with Pinterest, so please share!!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Colorful Softflex Giveaway!

Wow, this photo just drew me right in! I honestly thought I might be able to reach in and grab that beading wire!

What a fun giveaway!!  I won a trio from Softflex a couple years ago which resulted in pushing myself out of my comfort zone at the time and I have LOVED incorporating colorful bare wire into my jewelry ever since.

THANKS Softflex!!

So, now it might be your turn! You can find all the details here, GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Where Inspiration Comes From...

Where does inspiration come from? Is it the same place for beading inspiration as the inspiration to write a song? Or, the same place as a design for a futuristic car or some fabulous new piece of technology we don't even know we can't live without yet?

Hmm...My thought on that is yes, it all comes from the same place that I am pretty sure we all have access to. In my case, inspiration can hit at any time, they KEY to it is to recognize it and remember it. THEN, act on it!

Today I kept seeing cuff bracelets in my head, so a trip to JoAnn, Etc. was in order. I was able to find more than I went for, but the ideas kept coming. I am so grateful for inspiration, so I take it and if I have money to spend, I act on it! :)

Ribbon and grommets and beads, oh my! AND... this multi color "Big Value" pack of hemp cord, yay!  A good time was had by me and that is what I'm living for! I get it now...Strive for happy!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

This Week's Project: Leftovers!

Before heading out to a "Girl's Craft Night" this evening, I had a chance to use some fabulous leftover beads in a bracelet.

Well, it started out as a necklace, but was quickly turned into a bracelet because I wanted to be able to see the crystals!

That is pretty much why I don't make a lot of necklaces. I have a need to see the beads!! :)

The focal point is actually a beaded bauble or what some beaders call the "crystal ball". It is a right angle weave using 12 swarovski bicones all woven together to form a sparkly ball!

On each side of the ball are some top drilled black diamond crystals, yumm! Fun to make and FABULOUS to wear! That sparkle is WOW!

I also couldn't help but take a picture of our most fabulous craft tonight, the peanut butter/bird seed covered birdhouse!

Amazing isn't clever! It's on the kitchen counter at the moment and I can't wait to hang it outside along with some corn for the squirrels. :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Blogger Friday!

Wow, inspiration is just a few words away!

Check it out!! :)

AND, have a spectacularly creative weekend!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles 
Melanie shows off a new creation using the new Pantone Crystal Mixes from Fusion Beads 

Art Bead Scene
We celebrate some of our artisan bead crafters from across the pond with this treasury of UK bead artist awesomeness Jewelry Making
Owls are making a comeback from the 1970s and an owl charm was the inspiration for two jewelry tutorials. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
There is a remarkbly beautiful new jewelry store on Etsy! Come read all about it, and learn who is behind it! 

Beading Arts
Cyndi works through the first steps in turning an antique key into a lampworked pendant. 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Ruby Violet necklace kits are fun and easy to work with! 

Jean Campbell
"Stuff Beaders Say" Are you a beader? If you're not sure, just check out this video and see if anything sounds familiar. 

Resin Crafts!
A dollar store butterfly becomes a necklace center piece with resin! 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

7am Creativity Burst

I wonder how many times I have mentioned on this blog that knowing how to make jewelry really pays you back when it's gift giving time!

Guess what I was doing at 7am... Yep, making birthday earrings for a co-worker! One of my very favorite things to do, but I do wonder why I procrastinate till the last minute. I think it might be to get the most of my creativity. Maybe I need the pressure to fly by the seat of my pants.

So, I let our little doggie out this morning and while he was out wandering for about 8 or 9 minutes, I switched between keeping an eye on him and making earrings!

I didn't have time to take a picture, but here are the crystals I used. The earrings were double deckers with the light rose bicone on the bottom, topped with a light purply/pink glass pearl. The top deck was just a single light rose AB bicone.

Cute! If I had more time, I would have made a pair for myself, all that sparkle was hard to resist! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Creating a Wish List

Thanks for your encouragement to buy beads! I appreciate the comments on yesterday's post and now I'm preparing my wish list for beads!

Swarovski bead mixes are so great, I love coming across new ones. Here's a great one called, Blue Lagoon, from Auntie's beads. Having been to the "blue lagoon" in Nassau for the Dolphin Encounter, it took me back there for a little bit, ahh!

It was a great idea to throw in the green bicones for the color and realistic contrast of blues and greens.

These would make a great sparkly cuff bracelet! Wouldn't it be nice to order a few extra beading hours when you order new beads? :)

By the way, if you are over on Aunties's beads website, make sure you check out the Karla Kam instructional videos, she is AWESOME!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Personal Bead Reward System

I was just thinking it might be a good idea to begin rewarding myself in beads for all the good habits I have been able to re-incorporate into my life this year.

Healthy eating, exercising and drinking lots of water come to mind. As always, over the years, it always seems to stick when I write everything down.

Now I'm thinking I should add it all up at the end of the week and order swarovski crystals as my reward. Is ordering at the end of every week the best way to go? Maybe I add them up for 4 weeks and place an order at the end of each month...

I will also need to determine what kind of task or achievement gets rewarded. Is it for meeting all my water, food and exercise goals for the day equals 3 crystals?

Thoughts? Maybe we should make this a new club! The SPECTACULARLY SPARKLY GOOD HEALTH CLUB? :)

Here is one of the beads I might be rewarded with today...I drank all my water, stayed under my weight watcher points AND walked morning, noon and night for a total of almost 2 hours!

It is a Swarovski 6100 24mm Faceted Teardrop Pendant Crystal Bermuda Blue from Yummy AND no calories!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Tangerine Tango Bandwagon

I'm finally jumping on the Tangerine Tango bandwagon thanks to FireMountainGems AND, I'd like to bring you with me! :)

First things HAVE to google "Tangerine Tango" if you haven't already. I know that sounds a bit bossy, but for good reason. Once you google it, click on "images for Tangerine Tango". Now you will see why...

Oh, the treasures you will find!! I'm not sure the link above will work so if it doesn't, you can easily google it too. 

As most of you already know, the Pantone color of the year for 2012 is "tangerine tango" so when you do the search you will find: how to decorate, what to wear, jewelry to buy and so on...all in tangerine tango! 

I will leave you with the above banner image and this link to some fabulous beads from our friends at!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Love is...a jewelry designer sharing the LOVE

There is nothing better than finding the love in jewelry designs to peacefully wind down the weekend!

Of course, there is always SHARING the love that is nice too! :)

I just discovered the Etsy site, "Jen's Jewellery - Art you can wear".

Some of the words I would use to describe her work are: darling, loving, heartfelt, joyful and creative.

Here are a couple of my favorites, but there were so many to choose from. If you get a minute to stop by Jen's, here's the link.

Have a great new week!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Real Live Bead Store Feature: ORNAMENTEA

In case you haven't had a chance to click on the Art Bead Scene link in yesterday's post, I wanted to point out this FABULOUS and festive bead shop, ORNAMENTEA!

Oh my goodness, the look of the shop is so festive and inviting!

Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, they also have an online store!

If you happen to be in their area, classes include stringing, weaving, chainmalle, wire work, name it!

I LOVED seeing my very favorite project, the crystal ball earrings on their class roster! If you are just starting out, you will feel accomplished when you make these and also learn a little magic trick in the process!

Enjoy! (Thanks Ornamentea!)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Blogger Friday!

Happy Friday! YAY!! I can happily report that I have just kicked off a 3 day weekend and can't wait to get crafting!

I'm going to be working on some mixed media pieces that I can then work into jewelry.

Just changing things up a bit and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I hope I have something to share with you by next weekend! :)

Here are some great links to kick your weekend off with some inspiration! Enjoy!

Beading Arts 
Cyndi has some tagua nut beads to give away! Jewelry Making
Ionic cleaners are a great way to get your jewelry sparkling clean. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
The super fab Margot Potter interviewed Jean on Margot's new blog, Craft. You. What an honor! She is a love and so is this new blog! Join it! Wow it is informative and fun! 

Resin Crafts!
Resin Crafts has a tutorial on resin layering. 

Art Bead Scene
Ornamentea is hosting a fun charm shop! Visit the Art Bead Scene blog for links and info and see the beautiful charms that Erin Prais-Hintz created.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Innovative Design by Deb Moffet-Hall

Are you familiar with Deb Moffet-Hall?

As if I needed another reason to wish my way down to Florida! My Dad just forwarded me the Anderson's Bead Room Newsletter featuring Deb Moffet-Hall and her "quick start peyote" designs.

She is a fabulous designer and has developed her own shortcut to creating peyote designs. Check this out! You can find more about Deb's work on her website, "Patterns to Bead".

I am so inspired by people who not only come up with an innovative idea to help make designing/creating jewelry a little easier, but they actually find a way to bring it to life!

The product pictured here really excites me. I mean, WOW! When I first learned the peyote stitch I wished there was an easier way to get it started so there was less risk of it falling apart! This would do it!

How exciting and innovative! Great job Deb! :)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Vintage Swarovski Wow!

Oh gosh, I'm so glad my Mom sent me those beads I posted yesterday! Otherwise, I wouldn't have been searching out more vintage swarovski crystals!

LOOK what I found! How cool!

These are from the "A Grain of Sand" website. It's a must-see! They have some fabulous vintage pieces!

Pictured here are "Vintage Swarovski Crystal Article #5106 Beads: 15x12 "These are stunning! They are drilled along the long top edge. We have put a headpin through a couple so you can see..."

Also pictured are these fabulous "Vintage Starlight Crystal Graduated Model #34-RARE!!! "We have a limited supply of Swarovski's Graduated strands of "starlight Crystal" in excellent vintage condition..."

These are so amazing! Thank you "A Grain of Sand"!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sunny Day Swarovski!

Just when you think it can't get any better than Swarovski, you discover there is such a thing as Swarovski Sun AB rounds!!

Wow! My Mom sent these to me for Valentine's day. Aww, thanks Mom! :)

She found them at a garage sale down in Florida where my parents hang out for the winter. The person selling them had marked them as vintage and didn't think they were made as rounds any more.

I did some searching and couldn't find any others, but I'm not sure that means they aren't made any longer. If you have any info on the subject, please leave a comment if you have a minute.

In the mean time, I can't wait to use these in a bracelet so I can see the sunshine every day. Almost like being in Florida! Yay!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Self Portrait in Beads & Jewelry

I have a question for you! If you were creating a self-portrait in a piece of jewelry or a polymer clay or lampwork bead, what would that look like?

In a post on the ArtTherapyBlog about self exploration in the form of self portrait, it states..."the self portrait is a simple art therapy idea that can reveal a lot about a person. The basic idea with this type of art therapy is that the person communicates, through art, how he or she sees him or herself."

That is an interesting concept when it comes to bead or jewelry making. I wonder if we are already doing that, but don't realize our work is a self portrait!

When thinking about the last few projects I have created they were all pretty quick, simple and smile-inducing. (Well, in my opinion :)

If I set out to create a self portrait intentionally, I would imagine there would be smiley faces, flowers and crystals. The flowers and smiley faces might be represented by colorful beads or simple shapes, but I would know what they meant inside.

I hope you will give it a few minutes of thought and share your "self portrait" with us in the comments. :) 

By the way, I just discovered this picture of my favorite beads from a blog post in 2009, how funny! The moral of that story is you can run, but you can't really hide from yourself! (Sort of, I am who I am!)  

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Real Live Bead Store Feature: GRAND RIVER BEADS

Welcome to Grand River Beads in Rocky River, Ohio!

I am happy to have an opportunity to share this real live bead store with you! In my own area, local shops have dwindled so I'm always thrilled to learn about those who continue to thrive.

This one in particular is in my own home state of Ohio! I've had a blast looking at all the fun being had at Grand River Beads and am amazed at the diverse classes that are offered!

You've got to click over to see this great photo of their design team. What a fun group!

Next week’s calendar is really packed! They’ve got up to 4 classes scheduled per day, wow!

Classes include beaded serving ware, bird’s nest ring, beach glass pendant, feather broach, coiled wire rings, textured & layered copper cuffs, intro to soldering and MUCH MORE! Not to mention a 3 hour beady buddies brunch! Even though it’s just a few hours away from me, I WISH it was closer!

The owner, Eva Sherman, mentions in her profile that she "began playing with beads as a way to spend time with my daughters but soon discovered I really enjoyed it. In '05, I opened Grand River Beads in Cleveland, Ohio and now happily spend most days in the studio fooling with wire and metals, writing and teaching. Life is good!:)"  Yay, Eva!

By the way, you can also find Eva here:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

This Week's Project: Ready-for-Spring Gnome Bracelet

I found a package with two of these GREAT hematite chain bracelets at one of the craft stores around the holidays.

They are Darice products, so they probably came from Joann Etc.

I came back across them today and when I opened the package realized how shiny and cool they were! Love the toggle too. It's a perfect chain for adding a great focal piece.

While sitting here wishing for spring and thinking about how to incorporate spring into a hematite chain, I might have actually snapped my fingers when the idea popped into my head, "GNOMES!"

This is an adorable gnome that is currently spending winter out in the garage with his gnome buddies. He has a watering can and a happy look on his face, ready to water some flowers!

I played around with adding beads to the chain, but nothing felt as good as it did just like this. Simple and charming.

This is one of the gnome pieces I made for a project in my book that never made it into a piece of jewelry. So this is a win-win! He's going to get his 15 minutes of fame, maybe even longer!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Blogger Friday!

Wow, this week flew by! READY TO CREATE? I hope you all can make a little time this weekend to create something fun!! Here are some great ideas for inspiration!

Resin Crafts! 
This week Resin Crafts had a big post featuring bezels and components available at Michaels! 

Art Bead Scene
Marie shows off some creative and innovative uses for some beautiful artisan components 

Beads & Books
Michelle shares a tip for writing beading project instructions.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews the fabulous Jean Campbell's latest book, Creating Glamorous jewlery with Sawarovski Elements. You are SO going to want this great book! Wow! 

Beading Arts
Cyndi has lists of fabulous suppliers in all sorts of categories for jewelry makers and beaders. Do you have any faves you'd like to add? Maybe even yourself? Jewelry Making
Polymer clay has come a long way, especially in this new book published by Interweave. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Vintage Rhinestone Buttons

Oh, the goodness of these sweet pink rhinestone buttons....yumm!

These are so cool and so cute at the same time!

I found them on the website of our friends over at BumbershootSupplies.

They have a great selection of vintage beads, buttons and rhinestones.

The description reads, Vintage Rhinestone Buttons. Pink Cups, Lucite plastic. I can envision these making some fabulous rings or earrings!

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I got love in my tummy
And I feel like a-lovin you
Love, you're such a sweet thing
Good enough to eat thing
And it's just a-what I'm gonna do

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bead Love-In

LOVE is a funny's not hard to detect. It causes a physiological response!

I was looking for a specific bead online. Sometimes it's like a needle in a haystack. Looking for a specific bead online creates an opportunity to find LOTS of beads to love!

Here's how it happens to me...I see the bead, my eyes widen, my mouth turns up and I feel something rise up on the inside of me sort of above my stomach, but below the chest...LOVE! :) It's a good thing!

This is what got me...a humble, but oh-so-cool, ceramic peace sign by MaryAnn Carroll! She's so good! Please join me for a Bead Love-In if you have a sec!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Band of Jewels Pattern

WOW! I just love the beading daily emails that pop into my inbox and are packed full of interesting tips, tidbits and wonderful things to buy or dream about buying!

I clicked over to a page of design patterns and immediately noticed these bracelets by Melanie Potter called "Band of Jewels".

You can download the instructions directly from this link. You can also enlarge the photo and  admire them!

Fabulousness just has to be shared, yay blogs! :)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Dreamy Vintage Flowers

Okay everyone, I hope you are still up to see these tonight!

Check out these unique and fabulous vintage flower beads....they sort of made my head spin!

I have to admit it's beads like this that rekindle my love affair with all things 1950's to 1970's.

The description of the beads on the Isabella'sCollections etsy site reads, "...a mix of 120 plus vintage, 1970's, white, plastic and celluloid flower beads. The sizes range from 8mm to approx 80mm..."

I am still getting a bit of a 1950's vibe from these beads. They are perfect flowers, but fake, but perfect. Does that make sense to anyone else?

There is something about flaunting a piece of jewelry that is beautiful and pristine, but pure plastic. That's dreamy to me.

Isabella: I love your collections!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Beads, Baubles & Jewels Update

I have a quick update for you about the Beads, Baubles & Jewels PBS show episode I had the pleasure to make an appearance on last June.

It has been incorporated into the 1500 series DVD set and I was thrilled to see that the individual episode is also available as a download for $2.99.

Yay! I had such a wonderful time being part of the show with Katie Hacker. She is one of my idols and the person who taught me how to make macrame jewelry. Ironically, and without knowing that I learned from her very first book, she happened to ask me to demonstrate the macrame project from my book!

Seriously, if you ever doubt the "coincidences" in the universe, the older you get, the more privileged you are to get glimpses of the bigger picture involved. My gratitude for that awareness grows on a daily basis...

It still seems like a dream! Here is the "1506 Wood Beads" episode description. :)

Explore the warm tones and organic feel of wooden beads! Craft fusion and mixed media will have you looking at your beading stash in a whole new way in this 28-minute episode of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels.
Author Lisa Crone will show you how to combine seed beads with macramé to create a fun nature-filled bracelet. Discover everything that wood burning has to offer. Use a burnt pattern effect on wooden beads, and then paint them to create a coiled wire memory bracelet with Candy Cooper.
Download this exciting episode to:

·         Add flat-back crystals to your wooden beads for a unique effect on a fabulous bracelet with Dale Nicholson.
·         Learn how to use gold, silver and copper leaf on wooden beads to give your jewelry a fun finish with Mark Nelson.
·         Use wood beads as they are, or completely alter their look for fun new ways to spice up your jewelry box!
·         Skip the guesswork with expert tips, up-close shots, and easy-to-see steps.
·         And so much more!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

This Week's Project: Easy Button Bracelet

Happy Saturday! Yay....

It was a great day for crafting, lounging and loving on my peeps!

I've been seeing a bracelet made with this large button in my mind for several years, but I could never focus on making it come to life until today.

I came back across a stash of rubber tubing for memory wire and thought this red would be fun to contrast with the black and, of course, I couldn't resist dangling a pretty good sized velvety heart from a chain for a valentine-ish vibe!

Pretty quick and easy considering it's been brewing for quite a while on the back burner! I hope you had a fun day too!! :)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

Can you believe it's the weekend already?! Wow, that went fast! Let's get ready to create!! Yay!

Here are some great links to get you started! Jewelry Making
This month's feature jewelry designer is Jean Campbell; read about her beading and editing life. 

Art Bead Scene
Check out all the great pieces the Art Bead Scene readers made in response to last month's challenge 

Beading Arts
Nobody ever likes to talk about that necessary evil...pricing! 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reveals a new bird carving that will become a new pendant design. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading going on!
Jean is so READY for Michelle Mach's Suddenly Spring Challenge! Check out the whole story! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew announces three new limited edition components available by pre-order! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Breaking the Cycle

Do you know when it's time to stop obsessing on something and move on? Usually I get to a point where I know it's time, the obsession is beginning to wane, but I still need something to put in its place.

The obsession I'm speaking of today has to do with music. I have toddler-like tendencies when it comes to music and movies. I will watch or listen to something over and over AND OVER until a normal person would say enough is enough!

So, to honor the release of my current Led Zepplin obsession, I thought a blog post and a piece of jewelry would help me move on. I love this bracelet because I think it says "love". In my mind the circles represent the un-ending commitment to something (a.k.a. obsession), but the chain breaks the cycle. The dangle feels like it keeps me grounded.

This probably only makes sense in MY head, but you know I can't help but share! :) You also know I love it when you share similar stories so I know I am in good company! Please DO!!

Now, let's just say how much we love jewelry. It can really help tell a story and mark an occasion!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Looking for Patterns?

For some reason I was thinking it was closer to the weekend than Wednesday today and I would have time to craft tonight...Well, reality struck and all I had time to do was poke around looking for interesting beads.

Sort of like running your fingers through beads, but not actually making something! :)

I wondered if any of you had come across this site. I noticed there was a top 10 list of beading patterns. You've got to love these rings called "flashy fingers"!