March 30, 2008

Humblebeads in Action

Lorelei whipped up this Starry Night bracelet inspired by my Ornament Thursday project. The color combination with the vintaj brass and chain are the perfect touch.

Gingeroni used one of my blue birds in this wonderful sunny creation inspired by her garden. I love the little "dream" tag on there.

KarinsCreations came up with her take on my earthy pendant project that was posted on the Art Bead Scene. She used some of my one-of-a-kind wafer beads. The leather color with the art beads work so well together.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing my beads in action. I'd love to see what you've created with your humblebeads.

March 26, 2008

Ornament Thursday - Sprouting Up!

Trellis Bracelet
This design reminds me of berries or flowers creeping along a garden trellis.
Toggle Clasp
10 Disk Bracelets
Green Girl Lily Drop Pendant
10 headpins
10 flower spacers
10 size 8 seed beads
30 size 11 nickel seed beads
1 crimp bead
1 accent bead
5" of beading wire
2" of 22 ga. wire
round nose, flat nose & crimping pliers
wire cutters.

String one size 8 seed bead, flower spacer and disk bead unto a headpin, trim and make a loop. Repeat to create 10 dangles.

This chain opens at each link, so using two pairs of pliers open the chain at the length you want and set aside the remaining chain. Save at least one link for the lily drop. Find the center of the length of chain, open the loop on one of the dangles and string through the chain, close the loop.

Repeat this process for all the dangles, skipping a loop between each dangle. Alternate which side of the chain the dangle attaches to.

Create a loop on the wire, leaving a 1/2" tail. Open the loop and string it through the end of the chain. Wire wrap the loop two times. String on an accent bead. Create a loop, open it and string on the toggle clasp, wire wrap the loop.

String the beading wire through the chain on the other end. Thread on the crimp bead and 30 nickel seed beads. String each end through a few beads on both sides to create a loop. Pull both ends of the wire tightly to form the loop, crimp the crimp bead and trim off any extra wire.

Using one of the leftover links as a jump ring add the lily drop unto the link before the clasp.

Disk beads and toggles can be found on my website. A few limited edition kits for this project will be available in my etsy shop later today. Click on the images to see the details better.


A whole slew of new spring inspired craft ideas and projects are sprouting up on the blogs of the talented designers who participate in Ornament Thursday, be sure to check out each one...

Alexa Westerfield - a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Now that's it's time for spring, ideas are "sprouting" all over the place. Alexa creates this eye-catching notebook to keep them in order.

Art Bead Scene
Some good karma is sprouting up at the Art Bead Scene with Heather's Lotus Flower Bracelet

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
The Brooklyn National Anthem sprouts every year when Cindy's in Spring mode. See what it inspired this year!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie giggles and remembers a furry friend, brings back an old mold, and sprouts up a beaded LOLhammy ceramic ornament

Helen Bradley and Michelle Zimmerman at http design
It's spring and we're sprouting all sorts of wonderful art at http design. Michelle is toting her art to the market and Helen revisits a fun art school assignment for her inspiration.

Humblebeads celebrates spring with a Berry Good bracelet inspired by some juicy disk beads.

Jennifer Heynen of Jangles
Jennifer has come up with a cute little necklace to remind you of spring.

Katie's Beading Blog
Create some spring flair of your own with this easy bead embroidery idea from Katie's book, Hip to Bead.

Kriss Cramer - Spring Is In The Air
Not much of a horticulturist? Me neither! But I love flowers and I enjoy growing these ones with some paper, paint, and rhinestones.

Linda and Tea at Make It Mine magazine
Tea decided to join the fun this month. Check out her quilt blocks and Linda's purse.

Melissa J. Lee - Strands of Beads
What do Korean playing cards have to do with a sprouting spring? Check out Melissa's blog to find out.

Michelle McGee - S-P-R-O-U-T
Michelle just can't stop creating in green! A little wooden birdhouse becomes a beautiful palace!

Savvy Crafter
Candie shares some happy spring memories with a cheerful felty flower idea!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean tells a touching, poignant tale of some beads who help one another, and after a small amount of sturm and drang they get it together and help each other! In fact, they prettify whatever YOU choose! Go see! It's fun!

Spring is Sprouting for Joolz by Lisa
Even without a green thumb, Lisa managed to "grow" a garden of sorts this month.

Sprouting Up with Beading Help Web
Lynn Kvigne's used wire and a lentil bead to create a "sprouting" pendant for wire workers who want a bit of a challenge!

The Goddess ROCKS!
Inspired by a river rock shaped like an ancient goddess statue, Hali paints, melts crayons and adds glitter to create a sparkley celebration of Spring.

The Impatient Blogger
How does your garden grow? With metal mesh, Czech glass beads and vintage French images all in a row! Margot just returned from Paris where she discovered a treasure trove of vintage paper. This scanned and sized postcard image fit the theme of sprout perfectly and the necklace was in search of a new home...add some teal metal mesh bows and accents and voila...a design sprouts forth!

Vintage Girl Teams Up With Her Vintage Momma!
What does a gal do when she finds herself far from her crafting supplies? Why, she raids her mom's basement and then puts dear old mama to work! Stop by and you'll see why mom's basement is fertile ground for things that sprout!

March 25, 2008

Wafer Winner

Say that 10 times fast!

Ohh, so who won last week's little challenge?

Why fabfibers is the lucky stick. And honestly, she should buy a lottery ticket, she seems to win quite a few prizes in the blog-o-sphere. Actually she's just a good little blogger and leaves excellent comments! The winner was chosen by random and will receive a set of copper wafer beads.

Which you can see one in this messy little pile there on the left. So how is the studio going? Well, the whole room looks like that! Not so far along, but we have moved some furniture today and it's coming along. My evil plan to put my children to work didn't happen. Darn!

I have bribed my husband into helping. I've promised him a work table and a wall to for some space to create and to set up some of his inspirations. We used to share a studio in college. Yes we met in art school, two crazy young artists in love. He is so creative, I can't wait to see what he has planned.

This is a big week for blogging and free stuff! Check out the Art Bead Scene today and stop by both blogs on Thursday for a surprise.

March 21, 2008

Lotus Flower

This bracelet was inspired by Danielle Fox's design that is in the current issue of Stringing magazine. She combines wood beads with some of my bronze disk beads for a very earthy combination.
I'm ready for spring and new growth, so I went with purples, smoky quartz and wood beads (that I picked up at Michael's). The dangle is a lotus flower pendant from Green Girl Studios. The back is says "enlightenment", fitting for this weekend's celebrations.

Purple disk beads can be found in my bead shop.
Remember today is the last day to enter my wafer bead quiz.

March 19, 2008

Mission: Studio Makeover

Okay so where are a camera crew and design team, who can do makeovers in a weekend, when you need them? Sheesh. My studio looks like a tropical storm blew through, well one did, called the Bead Cruise and it's aftermath. I've just been rushing through orders and tasks, beads everywhere, papers stacked in every corner, tables piled high with layers that would resemble an archaeological dig.

So the orders are caught up, the bead inventory is looking good. I have one big assignment that is due tomorrow. (the sketches to my first picture book!) So I'm starring down the rest of the week with 2 kids (4 extra hands) on spring break and thinking, it's time to update, clean out and redecorate my studio!

I don't know if I mentioned here, but when I went to NY, I won the Tomie dePaola Portfolio award at the winter conference for the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators. The prize was $1000 gift certificate to Dick Blick, which I have been happily spending. But all my supplies are in boxes, because I have no place to put them! And I have another shipment of goodies arriving tomorrow.

The mission:
Clean out and sort
Rearrange furniture - 4 tables and 4 bookshelves
Create an environment that inspires me

Some inspiration for the task:
Teesha Moore - coolest art studio ever
A flickr group devoted to the cause
An ebook if you are totally lost
An article - organize your studio better

My studio, once upon a time. Actually this is what it looked like when HGTV came to shoot my episode of That's Clever. It doesn't look like this today!

Have you blogged about a workspace makeover? Share the links in the comments section, so I know I can survive this Herculean task!

March 18, 2008

Wafer Madness?

What a perfect way to showcase a wafer bead! This ring is designed by Ann Westby.

On the Bead Cruise everyone received one wafer bead in their gift bags, I would love to see how other artists use this unusual bead. I'll have new wafers coming out soon in olive, copper, purple and periwinkle.

How would you use a wafer beads? Leave a comment on how you would use a wafer bead and at the end of the week I'll draw a random winner for a set of wafer beads in one of the new colors!

March 16, 2008

Party Favors

These remind me of candy, yummy little colors that they are! I'm in a celebrating kind of mood. The Art Bead Scene's first birthday is this month. Every 5 days one of our contributors is giving away a prize. So be sure to stop by and read up on this month's challenge. I'm offering free shipping until the end of March on my humblebeads site, a little gift for you! Use discount code ABSBirthday. I hope your week is filled with creative moments and new inspirations.

Bead Cruise Review

This year the Bead Cruise was so enjoyable. I feel like I'm getting the hang of putting together the events. We had a few problems with the meeting space & lighting, but that was a matter that Royal Caribbean failed to deliver on and was out of my control. Other than that, the cruise was perfect. This was the first time I had a few moments to bead while on the Bead Cruise, imagine that! I even took one of the classes.

I was having too much fun to take photos. All my pictures seem to be from the Turtle Farm! So I'm borrowing some from Rosanne's Flickr Album...she was much more of a shutterbug than me.

Okay, so every Bead Cruise starts out with our awesome gift bags donated from our sponsors. This year Ornamentea provided us with artsy tote bags to fill up. Along with many other beady goodies, we had 7 art beads in each bag!

I loved our instructors. Each one is a fabulous designer who is generous with their students, all had rave reviews. They are wonderful, professional women that I had the honor of working with over the year.

The group we traveled with this year was so much fun. I loved each time we would get together and like little peacocks, we strutted around admiring each others beaded creations. You could always spot the Bead Cruise group, we were the ones decked out in the fabulous jewelry.

Anne Kinter was working on a beaded wall hanging of the Mona Lisa. I was IMPRESSED. I hope she blogs about it. hint, hint!

The students enjoyed their classes, some were even able to finish their projects before the cruise was over. Everyone was sporting their Siren's Song necklaces, I was so proud of them! My beadmaking class had wonderful results, again with me and no photos. Everyone's beads were great and of course I love when students experiment and come up with unexpected results.
Our evenings were filled with beads, friends and all the entertainment onboard the ship. That included parades on the promenade, dancing on deck, midnight buffets, treatments at the spa, all dressed up for formal night, a cocktail party under the stars, late night beading and we were even sung to by Maria, one of our lively cruisers!

We went to Jamaica and experienced a little local flavor. We spent the day in Grand Cayman. We did a tour of Hell, (where they sell bottled water by the way) the turtle farm and swimming with the sting rays. The sting rays were beautiful and terrifying at the same time. You can see that by the look on my face!
Bead Cruise 2008 was the best time ever, it always goes by too quickly. I'm working on the details for our next adventure and I'm even considering doing a second Bead Cruise that has a little twist. I'll share more when I can!
Visit FabFibers & NoEasyBeads for more blogging about the Bead Cruise.

March 9, 2008

Bead Cruise Blues

What? Only one course meals? No one is making up my room twice a day? No elaborately folded towel animals? There isn't a room full of fun beady women to hang out with every day? No spa treatments or hot tubs? No exotic beaches to lounge on? I wish the Bead Cruise could last for weeks!

This year was so much fun! I had the best instructors, I just loved Eni, Marcia and Rachel. So much talent! We had the best group to travel with, the women this year were so sweet, enthusiastic and made the cruise a pure joy. It was worth every ounce of effort I put into it through the year.

The necklace above was the cover for this year's Bead Cruise Program. I titled it The Key to Davy Jones Locker. The key is from The Venerable Bead's etsy shop. The Boro glass from Sonoran Beads and then I have one of my wafers and a few disk beads. All on some inexpensive chains from Micheal's. You have to love your local craft store for a little last minute inspiration!

I am glad to be home, back to work and making new beads. I have new ideas rolling around in the ocean of my mind like it's high tide!

More cruise pictures to follow soon.