Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Perfect Pairings :: Klassy Joolz + Mandrel

Holy crusty underwater goodness!
As soon as I spotted this deep sea treasure I knew that it was the one for this week. There is so much going on in this piece, yet it feels so very cohesive. The way the glass undulates and the slick surface give the feeling of movement and shimmering water. I love the little globules on the jellyfish-like pendant and the swirly stripes on the long stalactites that seem to be dripping from an underwater cavern. The color palette feels very authentic to the inspiration image and the finishing touch is that sweet little mermaid charm.
Featured Designer :: Klassy Joolz

Featured Bead Artist :: Mandrel

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Growing Garden Earring Tutorial - Free Project

I created these fun matchstick charms for a quick and easy earring option.  What I didn't know when I made them is how adorable they are as flower stems paired up with Czech glass beads. This simple wire project can be made in just a few minutes.

2 matchstick charms
2 14mm Czech glass coin flowers
8" 20 gauge brass colored wire
2 brass kidney wires
10 2mm copper beads

1. Cut 4" of wire, center the wire in the middle of the matchstick charm and pull both ends up and around the top of the charm.

2. Bend one wire straight up, above the matchstick charm and wrap the other wire several times around the first wire.

3. String on the flower bead, create a wrapped loop above the flower, trim the wire and tuck in the end of the wire using needle nose pliers..

4. String the earring onto the earwire, add 5 copper beads. Underneath the last bead add a tiny drop of glue applying it with a piece of scrap wire to the earwire.
Matchstick Charms: Humblebeads. Flowers: Nirvana Beads (wholesale only, here is an alternative retail source.) Wire, earwires and copper beads: Rings & Things.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Amuse your Muse with Rebecca of Songbead - Ceramic Beads

Just a quickie of a post from me today! It's full steam ahead with packing before the removal people come on Wednesday, and then we catch the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland on Thursday....only 4 more sleeps to go....(can that really be true?!).

This month's theme is ceramic beads - so I thought I would share some from one of my very talented co-editors here at Art Bead Scene - Mary Harding. Mary is a multi-talented artist, also working with metal and tiny seed beads in her free-form peyote work, but is primarily known as a ceramicist. Here is a little bit all about her, in her own words:

"I began ceramic bead making about 15 years ago when I couldn't find beads with holes large enough for the macrame jewelry I was making at the time. Once I got started I couldn't stop...
My ceramic beads, pendants and toggle clasps have been published in a number of beading magazines including Beadwork, Bead Trends, Bead Style, Stringing, Belle Armoire Jewelry, Australian Bead Magazine, Step by Step Wire Jewelry and Beads 2009,2010 and 2011.
I enjoy including natural plants and colors in my work. One day I discovered that ceramic beads are a natural for free form peyote stitch so now I include my handmade beads, cabachons and pendants in my freeform work.
For all of my adult life I have been involved in the creation of art: from California to England and to Berlin. From photography to drawing to carving and to ceramic bead work. I feel happy when I can use my hands and imagination to create beautiful jewelry. I also am happy when I can serve the needs of others and find that art and social work go together as well as ceramic beads and freeform peyote stitch. So that is how I have been able find balance in my creative and working life."

I love the painterly quality that Mary's beads and buttons have, and the way they look almost as if they have been created from nature itself. Vibrant yet organic colours and textures - the beads I have from Mary are sacred to me, and I have only dared use a very few in my work. The rest are treasured carefully, awaiting just the right project...

Here are a few of my current favourites, available in Mary's etsy shop now:

I hope you will take a minute to look through Mary's beautiful shop and see just how wonderful and unique her work is!

 And speaking of Art Bead Scene editors' ceramic endeavours.....take a peek at what Claire has been up to! Anyone else pretty excited to see how these turn out?

And now for the BeadBlogger Links:

Crafty Cupcake "Recipe" Calls for Styrofoam and Glue 
Not only are they cute, these cupcakes are fun to make. They’re guaranteed to be sugar-free, gluten-free, calorie-free and cute as the dickens.

Back to Amigurumi
Crafty Princess is loving amigurumi again with this new project that was a tad challenging.

Carmi's Art/Life World
It is wonderful to see how a bit of fabric ribbon and a button can be featured into a new beaded cuff.

Resin Crafts Blog
There are inexpensive bamboo tiles that can easily be turned into wearable jewels with some simple resin application techniques.

Beading Arts
With a few funky components and a little bit of wire, you can quickly have a new necklace!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is head-over-heels in love with a new book on reclaiming and upcycling textiles!

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, currently living in Belfast, Northern Ireland. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Art Bead Palette :: Orange, Peach, Copper, oh my!

Hipster Lampwork Glass Beads by GlitteringprizeGlass

Enara mini beads by GlitteringprizeGlass

Concave Crater orange focal bead by StudioTambria

Tumbling Dice Beads by TheBeadedBead

Beaded Beads set of 9 by TheBeadedBead

Hey art bead lovers! It's Brandi, here for a rare Sunday post because... I goofed last week and missed my scheduled day. Yeah, so that happened, which might be the first time ever. All I can say is that I've got summer brain right now, and focusing and remembering and doing anything requiring recollection is not my forte at the moment.

But I'm here today to share with you a few palettes to make up for it!

And actually, I thought I'd do something different today, in that rather than showcasing one shop, let me show beady goodness from a few. Mostly because I come across so many awesome shops doing these posts, and it's a good excuse to showcase a color combo I'm really liking right now.

Which would be pretty much any shade of orange.

This is a little strange to me; I'm not usually an orange person. I can handle coral, a little peach, and a touch of copper, but orange isn't usually what I gravitate towards. Ever. And yet, as I went searching for art beads today, I couldn't help but zoom right in on every shade of orange I saw. I just can't get enough of the warmth of it right now.

So, enjoy these lovely art bead-inspired palettes! You can find links to each shop directly under the photos, should you want to cruise on by and see more.

Tell me: what color are you digging right now?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Inside the Studio :: Creative Impressions In Clay

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

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.

Congratulations Ali/Rouladen! You have won a Starfish Pendant from Humblebeads
Please send Heather an e-mail with your information.
Lotus Buttons
Happy Friday! I thought I would share my process for making buttons. 
I would show my studio but the ceiling is being repaired from a leak and its a disaster.
First I make a prototype which involves carving the design out of clay that is in the leather hard stage. I use many different tools and brushes to get the design ready to mold, making sure there are no undercuts. The clay would not release from the mold if there are undercuts. 
A plaster mold is made of the prototype. In this example I used a paper bowl to pour the mold. Tacky glue is used to glue the prototype to the bottom of the bowl to prevent it from floating. This one is off center and looks like it may have floated a little. Patience...let the glue dry :)
Customers order their button style(s) and hole or loop configuration. I can put as many hole or loops as you would like. Have it your way!
They are left to dry.

When the buttons dry it is referred as bone dry stage or Greenware. At this stage I sand the backs, clean and smooth all edges and holes. You don't want anything sharp that may scratch/cut anyone or pull your clothing. 
Some underglazes are applied to the greenware.
 Bisque fired buttons. Nice and smooth. You can rub them on your clothing without snagging, the same can't be said for my hands. 
I sign all my buttons and add my website. It gets a little tricky on the tiny buttons.
All buttons can become a pendant or jewelry component. 
Assortment of buttons with loops and holes. The dragonfly button in the picture is slightly curved for a bracelet component.
It's up to how you will be using your buttons: No Holes, Shank, 2 Holes, 4 Holes, 1 Hole-Top, 2 Holes-Top&Bottom, 1 Loop-Top, 2 Loops-Top&Bottom, 2 Loops-Left&Right, 1 Loop Top/3Bottom, etc.
Same goes for beads, holes or loops!
Special orders don't upset us!

My Question is: 
What do you do when your bead/button table isn't calling your name?
Mine is buried at the moment.

Leave your answer to the question in the comments 
and you could win a $10 Gift Certificate.

Have a great day!!
Feeling Sassy as usual!
Tari Sasser

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Perfect Pairings :: Liz Stefano of LizardsLooks

I kept coming back to this intriguing little mermaid trinket in my search for the Perfect Pairing for this week. Liz Stefano of LizardsLooks indicates that she created this fishtailed beauty using a 'drip solder method.' I have no idea what that is but I think it is brilliant and I want to learn how! Liz is known for her polymer clay creations. She created a long curved tube bead in a watery palette and wrapped that with lots of tiny beads that look like bubbles rising to the surface. This pretty necklace looks like it would be right at home on any beach!
Featured Designer :: Liz Stefano of LizardsLooks

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Very Vintage Pendant Necklace

I received this fabulous connector from Lorelei Eurto the other day.  I have several of her connectors and clasps now; they have taken root in my stash and I'm struggling to pull them out and use them.  With this one, I decided I'd get it worked into a piece before it became ensconced in my hoard.  This is what I came up with.

Sometimes you want to wear just a relatively simple pendant-style necklace, but you want some thing  more than just a pendant on a chain or cord. That's what I was aiming for with this design.

I just love the vintage tins that Lorelei uses and I decided that I'd team her connector with a selection of other vintage goodies.  I've used vintage acrylic flowers, vintage Miyuki petal beads, and vintage sequins, all in co-ordinating colours.  Aside from these items, if you want to recreate this piece, you'll also need around 25cm of 0.6mm wire, some fine(-ish) chain (the amount you use will depend on where you want your necklace to sit), two head pins, a hook clasp, a couple of jump rings and a couple of seed sized beads. I've also used a czech glass flower coin and a Scorched Earth leaf drop (I promise I will do a tutorial soon that doesn't feature a SE component - just not today!) Obviously, I'm being very specific here with the last couple of ingredients; you could, of course, put all manner of items in their place. Start by threading a seed bead and an acrylic flower onto a headpin and attach it to the larger link at the bottom of the connector by wrapping the end of the pin round the link several times, then wrapping it around the back of the flower.

Next, add a second flower in the same way. Then take about 7cm of 0.6mm wire and secure one end, with a couple of wraps, onto the connector. Use this to fix the flowers into position, wrapping around the back of them. Trim when you are happy they are securely positioned. As you'll see, you don't need to be a demon wire worker to do this... ...ahem...

Take about 6cm of your wire and attach your ceramic leaf to the bottom of the connector, making a wrapped loop link with your glass flower coin. Then, attach a jump ring to the top of connector.

Take the rest of your wire and make a wrapped loop at one end. Start threading on the sequins until you have roughly 1.5cm. (For the sake of your sanity, I recommend you remove the sequins from their original strands by holding them in clumps between your thumb and forefinger, then threading a number onto your wire at a time.) Add a vintage petal bead, a centimetre of sequins in a contrasting colour, another petal bead, then another centimetre of your original colour of sequins. Thread on the connector using the jump ring you attached at the top, then keep adding sequins until you have an equal length of sequins on each side of your pendant. Finish your wire with a wrapped loop.

To complete your necklace, add one end of your chain to one side of the sequin bar and attach a jump ring to the other end of the chain. Finally, attach the hook clasp onto the other end of your sequin bar.

And there you have your finished necklace!

Now I have to decide whether to keep or whether to sell!


something to do with your hands
something to do with your hands on Etsy