April 30, 2008

Fortune and Glory Dr. Jones!

Hot Dog! I've been waiting for so long to start telling everyone my good news. Do you see that? That's my Siren's Song necklace on the cover of Simply Beads for the next issue!!!! (Are there enough exclamation marks in the world for how excited I am? Probably not!)

I'm like a kid at Christmastime waiting to see the magazine in person. Along with my project they featured my Sundry bracelet kit and there is article on Bead Retreats that mentions the Bead Cruise. Yes, this issue is the Heather Powers special edition. (har, har!) The magazine will be in stores on May 6th!

Yep, it's a banner day here at the humblebeads studio! Now back to making more beads for the show this weekend. Next week you'll see a wave of new wafer beads and urchins in my etsy shop. So many beads, so little time...

April 28, 2008

Another Class Project

Class numero dos: Sea Beads, an exploration in mold-making and surface embellishment with polymer clay.

This will be such a fun and easy class. Everyone loves instant results!

Along with the beadmaking, I'll cover some tips on using polymer clay beads in your jewelry designs.

Okay, only 306 days until the next cruise...

I'm ready!

April 27, 2008

Calypso's Cuff

This is the class that I'm teaching on the Bead Cruise next year. I'm in a little bit of a time crunch, trying to get the website updated before an article comes out next month. I'll have more news on that next week.

I designed this bracelet about 3 years ago and it ended up as a gift to my mom. So remaking one, taking notes for the instructions and trying to figure out the easiest and quickest way to make it for my students is quite a challenge. It's one thing to make something, but to teach someone else to create the same thing takes many more brain cells!

Here is the first version of this bracelet, the updated one went a little heavier on the surface embellishment and the clasp went from a single loop to something more substantial.

I'm beyond excited about the classes for our next cruise. I'm so blessed to be able to work with such talented artists! Now I'm off to finish the samples for my beadmaking class. Have a peaceful and creative Sunday evening!

April 26, 2008

Link Back Winner!

Drum roll please...
The winner of the link back contest is Jean Hutter!!!

I used a handy online number generator, thanks mom. Jean won a unique collection of William Morris beads. Jean email me your address!

And since it was a link back contest, here is a little link back love:

All great blogs, I hope you take a minute to visit each one.

I'm feeling mighty nice today, use discount code LinkBack to receive 30% off one item in my Humblebeads Shop. This is only good until May 3rd and only advertised here. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

William Morris Blue Cuff

April 24, 2008

Catching up, as always!

I've had a few emails asking what music I played on my blog this week, it was "Human Thing" by the Be Good Tanyas. Here is another one of my favorites, called "The Littlest Birds."

Which fits well with tonight. I just finished 80 bird beads. I did a few different colors. Why in the world did I make that many birds? I have a bead show coming up next weekend.

If you haven't stopped by the Art Bead Scene this week, I'm giving away a free bird bead to one random winner who chimed in about procrastination. Tomorrow is the last day to enter. Speaking of last days, you have until 10pm tonight to enter my Link Back Contest. Scroll down to read the details. Thanks to everyone who participated so far. I'll be visiting blogs tomorrow. There have not been enough hours in the week.

April 21, 2008

Link Back Contest

This week I'm running a contest. It's very simple, mention me in your blog this week. It could be about a post I've made here, like one of my free projects or about a humblebead from either my Humblebeads website or etsy shop. It could be a bead you've purchased or one you have your eye on! Come back here to put your link in the comments. On Friday I'll choose a winner by random. Don't have a blog? Well then just leave a comment here and that will be your entry. (But make sure to check back on Friday to see if you've won!)
The prize is over $50 worth of art beads in my William Morris' Garden pattern.

April 20, 2008

Another slide show

It's Sunday and I'm not much in the mood for business today. So here is a rare glimpse of the Humble family on our last trip home. Yes, I'm having too much fun at slide.com.

We'll be back to business tomorrow with a new contest.

April 18, 2008

Pendant Inspiration

We went to the neighborhood flea market last weekend and found some interesting copper and brass pieces. This heart, which is soldered copper caught my eye right away. I have hearts on the brain for the Bead Star competition. This one is a pin, but I'm going to convert it into a pendant and pair up with a collection of disk beads. I'm thinking of going with teal, kind of a complimentary color scheme. I seem to be into those lately!

This pendant sits across my bead table over in Jesse's workspace. I think I may have to steal one of them. He has been working on a series of William Morris Pendants for his etsy shop. Yum-o!

April 17, 2008

Make your own mini-commercial

If you stopped by last night you saw the version of this slide show with music. Can't say I was loving the music, since it keep playing every time you came to the blog. I don't like music playing unless the viewer can stop and start it themselves. I might use a music one on facebook or youtube, but not my blog.

But that said, omgoodness how easy is this tool! You can make your own little commercial within minutes using flickr and slide.

1. Go to flickr, organize your photos into a new set or use an existing set.

2. Go to slide.com, click on slideshow.

3. On the left-hand side there is a list of places you can add your images from, click on flickr.

4. Pick which set or sets you'd like to add to your slideshow. Don't do a slideshow with a 100 photos, we internet folk get bored easily. Use your best only please!

5. You can edit your photos, change the text, rearrange them. Play with the features. I liked the simple fade option. (You'll find it under the view more options on the box that says, "customize your design.")

6. Save it. Here you can choose to have it sent automatically to your social network sites or blog. But be warned, if you have more than one blog it sends it to the first one you have listed, opps! I'm not sure if there is a way to change this. You can also copy the code and paste it to your blog, which is what I did here.

I'm in so much trouble. I have all sorts of ideas for using my photos!

April 16, 2008

The 5 Minute Necklace

Okay, so what to do if you are shorter on time than cash these days? Here is a necklace idea you can whip up in about 5 minutes! It's a quick and easy way to show off a special collection of art beads.

Disk Beads can be found in my humblebeads shop or in my etsy store.
Time-saving tip: use a ready made chain and cut it in half!
Now you are ready to get back to making dinner, helping your kids with their homework, checking your email and working on your next jewelry project - all at the same time.

April 15, 2008

Budget-Friendly Bracelet!

To help with the pain of taxes and rising gas prices, here is a FREE project for a budget-friendly bracelet.

Woodland Waters Bracelet

Supply List

Teal Branches art bead (humblebeads) $10.00
Wood Beads (Hobby Lobby) $3.00
Flower Clasp (Hobby Lobby) $1.50
2 amazonite beads $0.30
5 bali-style spacers (Hobby Lobby) $0.25
Beading Wire $0.05
2 crimp beads $0.04
Total bracelet cost: $15.14
(Keep on eye on the Hobby Lobby sales flyer. I bought everything last week from there on sale - 1/2 price!)

1. Thread your beading wire through the flower part of the clasp, string on a crimp bead. Crimp using crimping pliers.

2. String art bead, spacer, 5 wood beads, spacer, amazonite bead, spacer, 19 wood beads, spacer, amazonite bead, spacer.

3. String on the crimp bead, thread through the loop of the leaf part of the clasp. Crimp the crimp bead, trim any excess beading wire.

April 14, 2008

Housing Market Upswing?

It's a buyers market in the humblebeads studio. These little birds are picking out the perfect nests.

Wire-wrap a disk bead, silver spacer and a bird bead for a quick and easy pendant. The next 10 birds that sell from my etsy shop will be leaving the humblebeads studio with a free disk bead and spacer!

There is someone for everyone!

Lavender and Lime Disk beads

Inspired by my day dream of a picnic in the Hill Country. I see a large tree in a field of lavender. On a fresh vintage flower sheet we lay out sweet, light cakes, lemonade and watermelon slices, with salt and lime. Ah, sounds like summer to me...

April 13, 2008

Creativity Parking Lot

I was listening to one of the Craftcast interviews and they were talking about writing down the projects that you want to work on but can't get to at that exact moment, to park them until you can devote the time they need. Well lucky you, my blog today is going to be my "parking lot" where I dump all the projects I will be working on soon, but have to wait until I get a big deadline out of the way.

So in no particular order:

Needle felted project for Ornament Thursday

Entries for Bead Star Competition (I have 2 in mind)

Carve gingko and other flower stamps

Collaboration Exploration projects

Quilt for my bed and a few decorative pillows

Thanks to Lisa, now I want to make skirts for my girls

New beads (expanding my humblebeads line for the summer)

Etched metal pendants inspired by Semiprecious Salvage.

Grow flowers from seeds for my lackluster yard

2 new classes/samples for the Bead Cruise

Okay, I feel much better writing those down. Now I don't have the cloud of unfilled projects looming over my head.

It's going to be a busy week. I have new beads, a sale for those who subscribe to my mailing list and a new free project. Stop back later this week for a visit.

April 7, 2008

Comfort Zones

Boy, what a scary place to move outside of your comfort zone! I have had it in my mind to create some bright cheery designs based on textiles that caught me eye. Of course, if you know me, bright cheery colors and I are a little shy around each other. So last night I threw all caution to the wind, whipped up the brightest, most delicious batch of colors I could muster up and created this series of beads. I'm calling them Swiss Tropical. They are somewhere between the textiles I was dreaming about and the tropical island culture that I just returned from a few months ago while on the Bead Cruise.

Either way, I like them for their sassy little beady selves. Not my usual fare, but different can be good!

So maybe your teetering around your comfort zone, wanting to push ahead. Maybe it's submitting to a magazine for the first time, opening an etsy shop or applying for a big arts fair. Hey, go for it. You just never know what might happen!

Etsy Texas Crafters 1st Monday sale is going on today. Free shipping with orders from my etsy shop. Go take a peak. A few new beads, pearls and some of my favorites are all just waiting to sneak into your studio and inspire your next creation!

April 6, 2008

Beads in the House

Oh, what a beautiful sunny day I have been enjoying. We went clay and bead shopping this morning. I found some awesome copper links of chain, I'm going to antique them and make something spectacular. Went to church this afternoon and enjoyed lunch with the family. Now I'm in my studio for a little quiet time and wanted to share some beads/pendants that make me squeal!

First is Jesse's Skeptic Despite Necklace. Jess mixes religious imagery with his thoughts on struggling as an artist. Fighting the inner critic, living as an artist, creating with intention, he is one deep thinker. Is he a skeptic, sure, is he a person of faith, 100%. Do they mix? If you are human they do.

This pendant is amazing, all 1" of it! Have you ever seen anything so cute? I have a real thing for houses, they symbolize our inner selves, the part we protect from the outside world. I often dream of my grandmother's homes, I think my subconscious is seeking out places that are safe, where we belong. Home is definitely where the heart is for me!

This little work of art is from Lynn Davis, be sure to stop by her new shop, filled with awesome focal beads! In fact this one is mine:

I'm going to mix it with some gunmetal chain and reddish/copper humblebeads for a necklace for myself. Oh, I need more hours in a day!

Old Door Charm from Mamacita Beadworks. I want to order a few of these, I have a plan for a necklace using a key pendant as the focal point and what's a key without a door?

The key is from the Venerable Bead and she is just awesome! She made this special order for me in 1 day.

Okay, so that's the eye candy for today. Tomorrow is the Etsy Texas Crafters 1st Monday sale and I have all sorts of goodies for the Etsy shop that I'll be listing throughout the day. Along with a few surprises! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday, I hope it's peaceful and filled with beautiful things.

April 4, 2008

Random Bead Bits...

It's been a busy week, with not enough time for creative play! I need to fix that this weekend. But this is what I have been up to...

I've added pearls to my etsy shop. I have this incredible design to submit to the magazine using keishi or cornflake pearls, so I've been stocking up on them. I plan to offer them in my etsy shop on a regular basis.

Here is that special order bracelet that I talked about earlier this week. The white glass bead was a vintage bead from her mother, along with some of the beads on fringe. I mixed it up with amazonite and crystals.

And finally, I was thinking about jewelry booths this week and put together a new flickr group, Jewelry & Bead Booths. Add your booth or display photos to the pool, I'd love to see them!

April 1, 2008

Winter Shores

South Haven, Michigan

I'm working on a bracelet for a client using some vintage beads that belonged to her mother combined with a set of my disk beads. The beads she brought were coral, shells and vintage white glass. I loved the muted colors and knew I would do something inspired by the beach.

I love the beach in winter time. It's quiet and there is something wild and untamed about the water and ice that take over the sand. The beach is rough and held back by fences. There seems to be an age old struggle of nature trying to take back the man-made elements forced upon the landscape.

So as always, through my art I work out my nostalgia and longing for home by creating objects that transport me back to those places.

(the beach photos are from flickr, click on the image to see them in greater detail and for the photo credits.)

These two sets of Winter Shores beads can be found in my etsy shop.