Saturday, March 31, 2012

Featured Designer: Kristen Varian

This week's featured designer is Kristen Varian of the Blog, "Magical Melted Glass".

Kristen is seriously creative and makes handmade kiln enameled beads, clasps and components.

You can find her pieces on Etsy and also get a behind the scenes look at what she's up to on her blog!

I love Kristen's profile description: "I am an artist, wife and mother, paraeducator, yo-yo dieter and small town country girl." Very sweet and funny!

If you get a chance to visit her blog, she does a great job sharing her new "toy", a metal riveter!

I love what she made with it!

I posted a couple of my favorite pieces of Kristen's here, but feel free to peruse her other Etsy site for more!

Thanks for allowing me to share your work here Kristen! Have a great weekend everyone!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!!

Happy weekend!!

Yay, we made it! Time to take a few breaths and get excited about a little free time to create!

Here are some links to inspiration! :) Enjoy!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie pairs some new woodland inspired components with gorgeous chain from Fusion Beads Jewelry Making
Is it time to return to the jewelry classroom? If so, here are some suggestions for you. 

Art Bead Scene
Heather provides a beautifully sunny forecast for summer's jewelry making trends! 

Beading Arts
Cyndi wraps up "Seed Bead Month" with a look back at tutorials in the Beading Arts archives, from easy beginner projects to more challenging ones! 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has turned a vintage watch face into a bracelet component. 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares the inspiration behind a few of his new pieces, recently added to his store! 

Resin Crafts!
Black and white resin looks beautiful! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean has two cool offerings for you to check out today! See her blog for a fab new book and of course the challenge she is in! 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Butterfly Goodness!

Alrighty! If you happened to miss this in December, here’s another chance to see the fabulously sweet and sparkly SPINNING Swarovski Butterfly at

They have a graphic with a spinning butterfly crystal component that will definitely make you smile! How cool is that?

The butterfly pictured here will give you an idea of what they have posted, but the spinning version is SO MUCH BETTER!

All together now….awww! J

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Few More Butterflies

Aww, I love this Swarovski family photo of butterflies! How sweet!

A great way to see the various colors!

Yes, I realize they are inanimate objects, but hey, I blame Disney for my constant attempts to see things as living and breathing! :)

How about you?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Butterfly Kick!

Okay, I can't seem to shake spring fever!

After yesterday's Swarovski butterfly, I thought I would be sparkle struck, but wow, take a look at this!!

The talent and skill needed to create this bead-artwork from scratch boggles my mind. I have absolutely no idea how it materializes, but I LOVE it!

This is definitely a show stopper by Chase Designs Lampwork, Deanna Chase, artist. Yes....I was on Etsy and I have to say I blame google chrome for it.

Every day when I go online, it shows me the last places I have been including a good size snapshot of the page. Every day I can't resist! :)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Swarovski Butterfly...


That's about all I can muster up at the moment. I think I'm speechless...

I can't take my eyes off this fabulously sparkly butterfly!

I found this at described as:

Swarovski 4748 5mm Rivoli Fancy Butterfly Rose Peach


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updates from Handmade Jewelry News!

Here's wishing you all a great new week!

I had a chance to visit the Handmade Jewelry News blog tonight after receiving a comment on yesterday's post from Crystal and wanted to share!

There are some great articles over there, including one on birthstones. The one pictured here is the fabulous Aquamarine representing March!

There's also an article about Pinterest if you haven't had a chance to catch up on the latest online hangout.

Thanks for all the great info Crystal!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Happy Spring Lampwork Beads

Happy Spring everyone!!

If these don't say spring, I don't know what does! These are so special, I just love the look of water droplets.

From the Etsy shop, "Glass Bead Art", they are called Spring Green Dewdrops.

These were made by a self representing artist who is a member of the French Handmade Team, the European Street Team and Prayers on a Wire.

This designer also shares her work on her blog, Glass Bead Art Lampwork Beads. If you get a chance to stop by, please do. She has a great set of beads on her post today that make me think of fruit salad, yumm!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Blogger Friday!

This week flew by! I need to figure out how to slow things down for a couple of days!

Checking in with other beaders is a great way to switch gears into weekend mode!

For starters, ceramic artist and jewelry designer, Gaea Cannaday, shares the inspiration that drives her to create.


Art Bead Scene
Gaea finds beady inspiration in the sights of her hometown of Ojai.

Snap Out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has to solve a very big bead problem and gets some help from an extremely inspirational (ahem) source! 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie creates a new necklace kit design, buzzing with flying creatures and blooming with leaves and trees to celebrate spring 

Beading Arts
Cyndi has gotten inspired by Spring Fever! Has that ever happened to you? Do you have some work you'd like to share? Jewelry Making
Tammy pulls out a previous interview of a jewelry designer who makes jewelry for celebrities. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

In case you need Swarovski buttons...

Just in case you can't get Swarovski buttons out of your head since they were mentioned here recently, I have a link for you!

Fusion Beads has them all! Wow, I didn't expect to find them all in the same place.

Sometimes you see rivoli's OR a few of the round buttons, but this is a real find!

I don't think I have even SEEN this one before. It is described as:
3024 32mm Crystal Volcano Swarovski Elements Crystal Dufflecoat Button.

Wouldn't it be fun to work for Swarovski and come up with these names? You've gotta love it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Fabric Covered Buttons!

Okay, just when you thought it couldn't get any better than button jewelry...

I didn't even think about making fabric buttons and using THEM in jewelry! Oh my goodness, the variety of fabric patterns is endless!

I'm thinking sparkly fabric, doggy fabric like this one by Handmade Heyday, fun retro patterns, etc.!!

Thanks Heyday Handmade, LOVE it all!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Is it too Early?

Guess what I pulled out tonight? Yep, my favorite happy summer bracelet, "Princess Blueberry Pie".

I don't think I ever really named it, but that one seems fitting! Love the blue, love the pink and LOVE the rhinestone peace sign dangle!

Okay, so I guess I answered my own question...nah, it's not too early for Princess Blueberry Pie!

This is a very simple design on one strand of memory wire as the foundation. It's the giant blueberry quartz briolettes from that make it so spectacular. Since they are heavy, I attached the memory wire to the middle loop of a 3 strand bar/clasp.

The pink swarovski crystals are just strung on wire twisted around the briolettes and attached to the outer loops of the bar/clasp. Easy, but memorable! :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

Just Add-A-Bird

I love Beading Daily updates, but I don't always have a chance to explore all of the great information they lovingly put together for their fellow beaders.

I honestly don't know how I ended up here exactly, but clicking led to more clicking and look what I found!

A great page of jewelry designs featuring BIRDS! So springy and now that it seems safe to believe we are actually in Spring, it's perfect timing!

I see a couple of our friends' designs here, Lorelei Eurto and Melanie Brooks among many others! Thanks Beading Daily!

Button Lovers UNITE!

After yesterday's post, I heard from fellow button lovers, Maryanne of Zingala's Workshop blog and Sarah of Saturday Sequins!

It's so nice to be in good company!

Maryanne mentioned she collects and sometimes uses vintage lucite and bakelite buttons. There is something about those vintage plasticky buttons that I love too, they seem to call my name!

Sarah wrote that she often uses buttons in her work as clasps. As if you didn't notice the SEQUINS in the project above, that yummy creation is hers. Please note the use of the button! Here's a link for a couple other examples from Saturday Sequins!

Button lovers UNITE! :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Buttons Are SO Versatile!

I love it when other beaders share THEIR love for buttons!

I don't know what it is about buttons that I find so attractive, but like many other things, it feels good when you know you are not alone!

Check out Carmi's button project on her Art/Life World blog post.

I've also included one of my button projects below, made with a swarovski button, yes SWAROVSKI does make buttons!

I would so love to have swarovski buttons on all my clothes, but at least on one finger for starters!

This base of this ring is a paparadscha crystal button.

I then wired on a couple of swarovski butterflies and a sparkly flower. :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers!

There sure are some mighty talented designers out there!

Check out this heart pendant made by Melanie of Earthenwood Studios!

It is no wonder she sold out of them at a show before it even started! :)

Here's some creative inspiration to get your weekend started, enjoy!!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie rocks out to the "Rose Tattoo" and it inspires a new pendant design.

Beads & Books
Get inspired with 20+ spring jewelry designs from the Suddenly Spring Blog Hop.

Cyndi finishes up her tutorial for a seed bead rope that features some beautiful lampwork glass beads. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean jumps into Spring revealing what she made for Michelle Mach's Suddenly Spring Challenge! How fun! Jewelry Making
Catch up on some of the latest jewelry books recently published. 

Art Bead Scene
Marie Cramp shares some fun ideas for making your own custom artisan components in unexpected ways. 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi never tires of making buttons wearable! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew creates "Color Bundles" from enameling experiments and offers them up for sale! 
Resin Crafts!
Responding to a question about transparencies and resin means we have a new pretty sample to show off! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Magic Charm!

Since all of you have seen just as many beads and charms as I have, I'm checking back in with you on this magical charm. :)

The multi-color flower inside goes around and around...or does nothing but sit there! You have to have the right touch to get it to start spinning. I'm guessing it has something to do with how it's weighted and gravity...

No, I wouldn't let my husband take it apart to explain it!

I would love to find more of them, but for now, would be interested in hearing your thoughts on how this one charm could be best used in a piece of jewelry.

Oh, AND, if you know where I can find more of these, please share!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Has Spring Sprung??

Wow, I don't remember a time that we had such warm and sunny days in MARCH!

I'm not questioning it, I'm embracing it, YAY! We were having thoughts about the drive-in tonight, but it doesn't open until April.

SO, how about this...TV, movies from the library, deck, air mattress? Sounded pretty good to me earlier!

I was searching for some fun springy beads and came across a great spring collection at Lima Beads which included this pink peony faceted teardrop!! LOVE it!

I'd love to hear about your spring collections, so feel free to share! :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ready for Spring Flowers?

How about a Swarovski Purple Flower RING!?

Yummy.... Gosh I just love this. It's quaint, while at the same time it pops your eye balls out!

From our friends at, this kit is available online!!

I'm envisioning people seeing this on your finger and doing a double take because it is so cool. I think it's the layered effect. What do you think?

Here's the catalog description:

Swarovski Purple Flower Ring Kit
Flower power is back, Swarovski style! This fun kit will help you create a Swarovski flower ring. Swarovski Crystals are high quality crystals from Austria and have been distributed into these kits to create flower rings. These kits come with everything needed to complete the project shown. You will be required to have basic weaving skills to use these techniques. Be sure to browse our selection of Bead Stringing Books to learn new tips and techniques about this popular beading method. Swarovski crystal rings are quite popular and with these fun kits you can do them yourself at home!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sewing a Necklace!

Interestingly or ironically, I happened to have watched the PBS show, Sewing with Nancy twice today. First at 6am and now at 12pm.

These are the episodes called "Runway Finishes". The guest is explaining how you make exciting fringes for home decor and then suggests that Nancy actually wear a piece of fringe that she just sewed as a necklace. Nancy sort of looked at her and chuckled then said,"that's an idea". :) Love Nancy!

If you get a chance to watch, check out the part where Nancy winds some very colorful yarns and ribbon around a plastic tool that she calls an old fashioned lace maker that holds the ribbon in place. She then takes an organza ribbon and sews it down the center of the ribbon.

Here's a link to a video of the show, skip to about 18 minutes in for the ribbon fringe. I'd love to try making a fringe necklace! If you have experience making fringe necklaces, please share!

This yarn looks like it might be fun to incorporate with ribbon into a cool vibe necklace!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Love Seed Beads?

Just in case you missed Cyndi's post over at Beading Arts, I wanted to point it out for all of you seed bead lovers out there!

Cyndi is celebrating Seed Bead Month!

In her own words, Cyndi is a "seed bead addict" and is looking for fellow lovers of all things seed beads, whether you are stringers, weavers, embroider-ers (?), etc. Let her know why you love them on her blog post HERE.

Have a great new week everyone!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What a Gem! Featured Designer: Pearl Blay

This week's featured designer is Pearl Blay, also known far and wide as "The Beading Gem" who writes a fabulous daily blog!!

I am a subscriber of her blog and LOVE receiving an email every day about anything under the sun related to beading, beads, wire, crafting or pure creativity...

Thank you Pearl! As her blog profile states, yes, her name really is Pearl!! How perfectly perfect!

If you are not a regular reader, you can catch up on her blog or check out her one-of a-kind designs on Etsy, like this sterling silver sunburst!

LOVE it! Pearl, you are quite a gem!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Happy Friday Bead Bloggers!

Happy Friday!! It's time to get busy creating, yay! There's nothing like waking up on Saturday morning with free time to design and create.

I hope you all have some time set aside to do just that!

If you need inspiration, our bead blogger friends below are happy to oblige! Take a look...

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles 
Melanie starts the month by drawing inspiration from fantastical forest places Jewelry Making 
This month's feature jewelry designer is the savvy and talented Margot Potter. 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton 
Andrew finally catches up and posts some snapshots from this year's BIG event in Tucson! 

Resin Crafts!
This week we feature a very unique way to use resin as a glue. 

Art Bead Scene
A rustic Van Gogh painting with bits of earthy color are this month's source of inspiration for the monthly challenge 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean writes about Day 8 of the Fusion Beads 30 Day Challenge and Beadist Kim Miles plays an amazing, remarkable part 

Beading Arts
Every March, Cyndi celebrates "Seed Bead Month". Do you have some seed bead work you'd like to share? 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More, More, MORE Classes!

In yesterday's post, I mentioned the Santa Fe Bead Fest project being taught by Judy Martin.

SaturdaySequins commented she thought Judy was also teaching the Starstruck pendant at the Bead & Button Show in June.

Sure enough, she is! Here's a link if you are interested.

So, I'll give you 3 guesses as to where I have been for the last hour thanks to Saturday Sequins...yep, the Bead & Button show website!! It's being held June 1 - June 10, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, US.

I searched classes and instructors and saw every technique in the book along with the best of the best instructors from A to Z! WOW!! There are a handful sold out, so you better get moving if you are planning to attend!

I was curious about the macrame projects being taught and found these ADORABLE bracelets pictured above!! This is called the Spiny Knotted Bracelet and is taught by Stephanie Sersich. I love the variations pictured and think they are perfect for June, the colors are so bright and cheerful! Here is the description, enjoy!

"We’ll use floss and waxed linen to bind beads and other treasures into a funky bracelet. The materials and techniques used in this class provide an opportunity for self-expression -- there is no pattern to follow and the beads will vary in size, color, and shape. The unusual materials and larger bead sizes seem to level the playing field for beginners and long-time beaders."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Starstruck in Santa Fe

How cool is this "Starstruck Pendant" project???

Taught by Judy Walker, the description reads: This mystical spherical beaded pendant, glittering with stars and crystals, only looks complicated, but you won't believe how easy it is..."

There are going to be some happy beaders taking this class next week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It's Bead Fest time!!

Let us know if you are going to be there so we can live vicariously through you please!! :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Wood Flowers

I have been in love with this bead for a while now, but I haven't had the design inspiration needed to make it come alive!

So, I'm shouting out for ideas...

Just to get you started, here are the options I have given a little thought:
- use paint to yellow up the "petals"
- focal bead in a macrame choker
- make a denim cuff and sew on flower bead

Please share whatever ideas come to you! As always, THANKS!!

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Power of Beads!

Do you ever put on certain jewelry to give you cheer or comfort?

I used to wear a great memory wire bracelet that I would take off and play with because it had such interesting beads on it. By the time I found the eye ball, lady bug and alien space ship I would have a smile on my face.

I'd like to make a new "happy vibe" bracelet so I'm gathering beads from my stash. This is definitely going to be one of them, possibly the dangle.

It seems to evoke feelings of peace and happiness. I love finding special beads like this with the ability to shift my thoughts or mood. It's pretty amazing. I can't wait to see what other beads I can come up with!

Ahh....the power of beads!!

I'd love to hear about your creations that have been able to shift your thoughts or mood for the better so please share!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Bead-A-Cupcake by Happy Mango Beads

Wow, you are going to LOVE this new contest!!

"Bead A Cupcake" sponsored by Happy Mango Beads! How fun!

Here's the sample photo. According to the instructions, this is a great way to have fun playing with beads! (SWEET idea!)

So, hurry and get your beads out so you can make your own cupcake in the next couple of days and get it submitted! GOOD LUCK!

By the way, you will also love the fact it just requires swishing your beads around and forming them into a cupcake. No need to string or glue, just smush! :)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Looking for Cheer?

If you are looking for some cheerful handmade beads, look no further!

Thanks to Jennifer Jangles, you can get pulled into her happy and colorful world pretty easily!!

Jennifer's designs are always fun, peppy and cheerful!

Here are a couple of my faves that are currently in her etsy shop.

If you want to see some of her jewelry designs and even some behind the scenes "making of" the beads, here's a link to her blog.

Enjoy! Thanks Jennifer for sharing the cheer!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Peace, Love & Bead Bloggers, YAY!

Happy Weekend!! First and foremost, I'd like to share a reminder with you to make time in the next couple of days to hug all the people in your house and call, email or text your friends or family just to say "Hi".

Sparkle goes a long way to satisfy many things in life, but the people are where it's at! :)

So, back to shiny and sparkly...!

Our blogger friends are sharing lots of inspiration this week! Jewelry Making
Tammy has the perfect jewelry tutorial for you to ready yourself for an up coming St. Patrick's Day celebration.

Art Bead Scene
Check out the February blog hop to see all the beautiful pieces that were inspired by last month's artwork

Beading Arts
Antique keys and lampwork beads are a natural combination...come see how!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's Beading to be done!
Jean is going to try the Fusion Beads 30 day challenge! Read about it on her blog and see what she has already made for Day One. You might want to try it too!!!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a rub-on shine on a bead with resin!

Charlene Sevier Jewelry
Charlene makes beads from simple materials - wire, embroidery floss, and muslin

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie ends February with the last of her icy inspiration with some new crackly window pendants

Jean Campbell
Jean's got a new design in need of a name and your opinion!

Resin Crafts!
Resin Crafts has a cute idea for a St. Patrick's day pendant.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Ready to Ooh & Ahh?

I thought you might be looking for something to make you say, "ooh" or "ahhhh" tonight. This is one of those moments when I knew it when I saw it!

After gushing a few "oohs" myself and realizing my jaw was hanging open at these lavender lampwork beads, I popped over here to SHARE!

WOW, these are just so fabulous! Made by Tracey Connor of BeatleBabyGlassworks on Etsy.

Tracey calls these "Sand Pebbles in Lavender". You will love how she describes them:

"Oooooh...this is what I hear every time someone sees these in person. I make these by wrapping transparent glass over opaque thus blending the 2 colors and giving depth and a glowing effect. These have an etched, sea glass-like finish and it really makes them seem electrified! So versatile. Can be accent beads or the star of the show. Great for earrings too!"

For any gnome lovers out there, she also has a line of "stuff on a stick" which includes gnome houses, mushrooms and trees perfect for a little gnome forest. :)