Saturday, June 29, 2013

Weekend Creativity

Yay, time to get creative! I actually overwhelmed myself earlier by getting out too many beads..oops!

I just finished putting them all back where they belong and am starting the gathering/selecting process over again. :)

I had a chance to create two necklaces this week for the Cousin Corp, I can't wait to share. One was created with my absolute favorite type of bead, the SHAMBALA bead!

Wow, if you haven't used them before, I urge you to  find yourself at least one strand and see what happens. It's kind of magical...there is something about them that makes you smile. I dare you not to! :) They're usually available at JoAnn, Meijer and Walmart.

Pictured above is the shambala strand I used for one of the projects, in fact, I used 13 of them for good measure. This photo doesn't do them justice because of how they sparkle, but you get the idea.

If you are looking for inspiration before beginning your weekend project, check out our bead blogger friends to get things rolling!

We're kicking it off with Carmi's adorable and unique rubber stamped buttons.

Resin Crafts Blog
Jeweled and rubber stamped buttons are easy to make with resin clay. Jewelry Making
Baking polymer clay is supposed to be easy, but that's not always the case. Here are some tips for successful polymer clay baking.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
The June selection for the Inspired by Reading Book Club was, "The Bucolic Plague" by Josh Kilmer-Purcell. Come check out what Andrew and the others made for the blog hop! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a giveaway of a fabulous book about soutache and bead embroidery. Stop by, check out her review, and sign up for a chance to win this hip, fascinating , great jewelry design book!

Art Bead Scene
Editor Tari Sasser shares her pick for this week's Designer of the Week - a stunning, art bead-filled creation from Ahowin!

Carmi's Art/Life World
On my post this week I show you how I cut a turtle pendant out of fish leather!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ready for Christmas in July?

Lots of people are preparing to celebrate Christmas in July! It just so happens that Cousin Corporation has a new line of holiday beads hitting Joann's right about now!

Here's a fun way to embellish your packages or gift bags. Make curly-q's the same way you do with ribbon, by gently sliding the scissors across the wire.

Then, just add a crimp to the end of the wire and add a bead or beads to create the dangles. These are also a fun way to use beads on a small tree or hang from a light fixture or chandelier.

The dangle below uses a star pendant with ribbon tied on for use as a necklace or package embellishment that becomes an ornament.

While there are times I enjoy making little tiny dangles like the red, green, clear dangles on this charm, I do love that Cousin provides packages of ready-made dangles.

I just used a length of chain and jump rings to attach them and added a large charm to the bottom.

Fun and SO EASY!

As always, we'd love to hear your Christmas in July stories, so please take a minute to share! :) Oh, and "happy holidays!"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bead Blogger "Jewelry Therapy"

Wow, the weekend flew right by! I hope everyone had a chance to get creative like our friends below.

Check out this gorgeous bracelet by Jean Yates. She was in need of a little "jewelry therapy" inspired by a happy occasion. LOVE IT!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean tries a bit of Jewelry Therapy, making a lovely bracelet to relax during an exciting, event-filled week!

Resin Crafts Blog
Sometimes when you have too many supplies you just go too far. Take a look at this over the top initials in resin clay necklace. Jewelry Making
The polymer clay community has gone global. Learn about a new book that shows off the works of hundreds of international artists. 

Art Bead Scene
Gaea shares her June etsy finds in a gorgeous treasury, full of texture and colour! Perfect for working on your challenge piece with.

Beading Arts
Make your own unique and colorful head pins...using nail polish! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It’s time once again for the annual JTV Jewel School Design Contest!  There are 3 fabulous categories this year. Mixed Up Media, Metal Art Play and Blissful Beading.

NICE! I’ve got to say just reading the words “blissful beading” made me really happy. I’m in create mode now so I hope to jump in and submit a design this time around.

Today, June 19, is day 1 of the submission period. The final day to enter your work is August 21.

That should be plenty of time for all of us to get our designs in!

Now before clicking off this post, make sure to check out these amazing prizes!

I don’t know if I have ever seen prizes of this magnitude in a jewelry design contest before! 

Amazing! I hope to see all of you on the submission board!! If you aren’t ready to submit your design this time around, no worries, take a few minutes to vote for your favorite designs!!


Mixed Up Media Winner
Metal Art Play Winner
Blissfully Beading Winner
Grand Prize Winner
Judge’s Pick

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! I’ll post a reminder half way through just to keep everyone on their toes. Can’t wait to see all the sparkly designs!

Let us know in the comments when your design is uploaded so we can all go check it out!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Art Glass Inspired Project

I am happy to be able to share my bead and button show project with you finally!

The Cousin Corporation creative circle ambassadors received a project assignment back in January for the months of February and March.

Two whole months to select beads, design and submit an attention getting piece...something out of the ordinary that wouldn't be considered an everyday look. It would then be displayed in the PrimaBead booth at the Bead and Button show in June.

This project now holds a special place in my heart because of the circumstances surrounding its creation.When I returned from my trip to visit Cousin headquarters in February, I was met at home with some unfortunate news.

My 18 year old sweet baby bichon was not doing very well. He had become sick while I was gone and, while we thought he would make it a few more months to his 19th birthday, his little body was ready to call it a quits and we had to say goodbye.

I was devastatingly sad and seemed to have lost my creative inspiration. I stared at my beads and tried to bring my design to fruition, but nothing seemed to work. The first weekend without our boy, I decided a trip to an art museum was needed so I could find some inspiration.

We visited the Toledo Ohio Art Museum and as soon as we walked into the glass pavilion, there it was...a gorgeous work of art that covered the entire wall.

As soon as I saw this glass piece by Dominick Labino, I knew I had seen what I needed to see. I realized then I wanted to figure out a way to create rectangular blocks out of the beads I ordered weeks before.

They were, in fact, the PERFECT beads to represent this piece of art. I love it when the universe shows me it has my back and as long as I just move forward in faith, all things will work out as they should.

I hope the inspiration comes through so you can see what I had in mind or actually, what the universe decided was best for me and this project. :)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Lots of Beading Fun!

I have a last minute REMINDER for you!

If you are interested in applying to become one of the next 5 Cousin Corporation creative circle ambassadors, you have until the end of the day Monday, June 17. Here's an earlier post with more info.

Tomorrow I'm finally going to have a chance to share my special "turning in up a notch" necklace project that was on display at the bead and button show, yay!

It's been hard to keep it to myself...of course, there's a bit of a story that goes along with it. :)

For now, if you are just hanging out looking for beading inspiration, our blogger friends are sharing what's happening in their beading world...I hope you are having a crafty weekend!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean previews an exciting blog hop and reveal hosted by Carmi Cimicata, using Dazzle-it's great new Chinese Knotting book by Fernado DaSilva! Come see the excitement!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Don't you love when a new tool does your job for you? I cut all my felt necklace parts with one pass in the eBosser.

Resin Crafts Blog
You can replicate the look of kiln fired clay with air drying resin clay and brass stencils!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew created a pair of summery earrings for a customer. Check them out! Jewelry Making
A pretty pattern on a bag prompted the design for a new necklace.

Art Bead Scene
ABS editor Tari selects Susan McClelland's quirky, art bead-filled design for her Designer of the Week piece. Check out Susan's gorgeous necklace!

Beading Arts
Aren't found objects fun? Join Cyndi to see what she does with ceramic insulators! 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summery Sparkle

I had a chance to squeeze in some jewelry making time very early Saturday morning and this necklace materialized. :)

Sometimes I never know what I'm going to end up with and was very pleased with this new sparkly and summery necklace.

Especially because it perfectly matched a new blouse that I planned to wear to a class that day. Maybe my subconscious mind is the actual jewelry designer in the family.

When I posted these Cousin mirror beads back in April, one of the comments was about how to use the two tone mirror beads in a project.

I wondered about it myself until Saturday. It must have been a Reeses cup moment, chocolate and peanut butter coming together in a sweet combo.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Featured Lampwork Artist: Janel Dudley

It's been way too long since we've had a featured artist on A Bead A Day.

It's my pleasure to share the work of Janel Dudley.

When I saw her lampwork gecko beads, I thought they were so adorable.

I have an idea of how lampwork artists create glass beads, but I'm always in awe when I see the depth and the artistry that goes into them.

I was also excited to share the "eye candy" in Janel's Etsy shop, Janel Dudley Beads.

These eyeballs are so detailed and layered so beautifully, I couldn't stop staring right back at them!

Here's a bit of background from Janel's Etsy profile:

My obsession for beads began in high school when I had found a shell bead. After years of creating jewelry, I realized that I could learn how to make glass beads. In 1997 I took a lamp working class , ever since then it seems that the majority of my waking hours are spent, if not making beads, then thinking about making beads. I want to share my obsession with the world! Whether it's finished pieces of jewelry, bead sets or focals, I hope you embrace my obsession as much as I do!

Thanks for allowing me to enjoy and share your work Janel! You can also visit Janel on her blog.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Inspirational Beaders - Unicorns, Birds & More!

I wanted to share my "scientific" discovery this week.

I've been beading for many years and have experienced the calming power of sorting through beads on a number of occasions.

Did you know it could lower your blood pressure?

I took mine after making a bracelet earlier in the week and sure enough it  had that effect.

It's nice to have scientific proof that a beloved craft has such positive side effects. :)

Okay, now it's time for weekend inspiration from our bead blogger pals...

You know it's going to be a great weekend when you find inspiration that involves unicorns!

AND, included in the blog post was my favorite saying...

Always be yourself.
Unless you can be a unicorn.
Then always be a unicorn.

Thanks Carmi!

Resin Crafts Blog
A fast and easy UNICORN ring with pewter miniatures and Jewelry Resin. Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a new book that incorporates epoxy in jewelry making.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! 
Jean's review of the fabulous book Crystal Play by Anna Elizabeth Draeger, in case you missed it the first time! It is a MUST!

Art Bead Scene
June's challenge piece, Jackknife Village by Franklin Carmichael, is revealed!

Beading Arts
It's Mixed Media Month on Beading Arts! Do you have some work you'd like to share?

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Check out the Inspired by Reading Book Club blog hop for May's selection, "A Rumor of Gems" by Ellen Steiber!

Carmi's Art/Life World
It is truly wonderful how tools in the papercrafting and sewing world can be sued for jewelry making. I have a new leather bird bracelet to share this week!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

1-2-3 Bracelet

Looking for ways to make quick and easy jewelry? Just connect statement pieces together...1, 2, 3 and there you go.

That's one reason this bracelet makes me happy. It was SO easy and quick, but is unique as well. Love the neon pink against the black.

Also thought this pendant (which I cut the loop off) was very cool. The intricate lines with the tiny little sparkle in the middle...nice!

I picked the two black components while at Cousin Corp headquarters, but found a collection of pink neon pendants at a Ben Franklin store.  Love it when a "plan" comes together. :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sparkle for the Holidays

Here's another sneak peek at one of my favorite holiday bead packages by Cousin Corp that will be coming to local craft stores in a couple weeks....LOVE this!!

There's just nothing wrong and everything right about my two favorite things...these sparkly beads and sweet Rudolph charm.

Wouldn't it be fun to have a bracelet FULL of these? Actually those white beads would look great all summer. Just tell people the charm is a doggie. :)