March 28, 2012

Hello Van Gogh

Some artists reach out across time and space and settle into our soul.  For me, it's Vincent.  There is such a longing and heartfelt admiration of beauty in his work.  I love where you can see his work change, from trying to meet the status quo of being a good draftsman to searching for his voice in color and texture. And then finally you can see where he reaches his stride, he has formulated a visual language that was his alone.  He dared to be original and made his mark in human history.  Are you following the crowd or bravely letting your own unique voice sound off?

This series of beads was created for last month's Bead of the Month Club.  I had so many requests to do the regular Bead of the Month Club after my Disk Bead Club sold out. I gave in and decide to do the club with a mix of beads through the year, like I did in 2011.  Although this year I'm going to look for paintings for each month for my inspiration.  I picked Van Gogh's Peach Blossoms for my first edition.

I still have a few subscriptions left for the Bead of the Month.  Click here for details. 

And ooohh, lookey - silk ribbons and Czech glass have found there way to Humblebeads on Etsy

March 27, 2012

Spring Nests

I love how everything is coming back to life after the cold winter months! Flowers are blooming, trees have tiny buds - some have exploded with blossoms and the sweet sound of birds wakes me up each morning.  I forgot how wonderful spring is after everything seems so blah.  Next week is Spring Break for my girls and how in the world is it almost Easter?  Can someone please do some magic that makes Cadbury Eggs calorie free?  It's such a simple request.  No, okay I'll stick with enjoying the sunshine and birds chirping then!

I whipped up this nest the other day and then created a tutorial for it to offer in my Etsy shop.  The nest is a small decoration - you could attach it to the top of a box, set in on a shelf or use it as a place card hold or to hold up a little photo - the leaf is the perfect perch.  With a little skill you could easily transform the design into a pin or a pendant.  I think I'm going to do some smaller ones as gifts for the girl's Easter baskets.  I know they are teenagers, but they still want those little sweet treats from childhood.  Don't we all?

March 21, 2012

Bead Soup (uh, well Bead Stew)

I'm so late to the Bead Soup Blog Hop party it's embarrassing.  But due to the fuzz of pain medication and the avalanche of stress preparing for the Bead Cruise, I was laboring under the delusion that the reveal date was March 23rd.  Don't ask me why I thought it was then! 

My bead partner Genea was sweet enough to email me a sneak peek and then I discovered my big mistake.  I promised her I would do my reveal as soon as I got back, but let's just say my brain finally arrived on shore today. (Yep, it was on the slow boat home!)

I LOVE Genea's wing dings!  They are such a fun shape and she always does them in the yummiest colors.  Genea really challenged me with the bright color palette.  It's was great to stretch myself to use this tropical inspired set of beads!

When designing this piece I had the two sides laid out and went through several options for my focal beads.  I finally settled on a key as a connector and added a ceramic house. (I'm sorry, it was a gift and I don't know the artist's name.) Along with Genea's lampwork beads I paired them up with some of my polymer clay beads in matching shades.  The little house reminds me of the colorfully painted houses on the islands we've visited on past Bead Cruises.

The clasp was a fun button created by Genea.  The heart chats nicely with the house and key.  There is a story there.

The focal bead and headpins seemed like they went nicely together with the confetti of Czech glass that arrived with my soup.  Ideally, we are suppose to create a piece of jewelry with the focal, clasp and some of the extra soups - but Genea sent me such a heaping help of delicious bead soup, there were enough beads for an appetizer, main course and little dessert!

I really love this piece and with the silk sari ribbon and adjustable length it will be one of my go-to pieces for the summer.  The focal bead is a bead-within-a-bead = AMAZING!!!  And something I treasure!

For the bead dangles I created the wire loops with enameled headpins from SueBeads.  They add a little dot of color to each dangle. At the bottom I used one of Genea's headpins with one of my polymer clay disk beads. 

And for dessert - I wanted to use some of "My Elements" pieces that Genea sent in the soup mix.  I found the rubber O's in the bright colors and the plastic sputnik beads the most appealing and paired them up with some of my lime disk beads and more of the headpins from SueBeads.

You can see all the amazing jewelry that Genea created with the soup that I sent her: Genea's Bead Soup Reveal.  And if you'd like to get a hold of some of Genea's beads for yourself stop on over to her Etsy shop!

And the whole party can be found on Lori Anderson's Blog

Hopefully the soup simmering and stewing was worth the wait!  Thanks Genea and Lori!

March 15, 2012

10 Days of Paradise

The Bead Cruise was amazing - how could it not be? 

I didn't take many photos, hardly any of the beading events - I was just having too much fun and a little medicated at the same time.  Not a good combo for capturing moments!

 Hibiscus flowers were in bloom in Florida - what a beautiful start to our trip. 

Participants enjoyed classes with our awesome instructors - I'm an official member of the Kerry Bogert fan club.  We enjoyed fun demos and talks from each instructor. I picked up some fun metal texturing tips from Tracy Stanley.  We had so much fun at the Queen's Ball cocktail party - we invited everyone to wear a tiara, mask or fascinator for a costume contest.  The winner of the contest dressed in full Renaissance Queen's costume.  We had a crazy parade with all those who dressed up and then ended the night with an impromptu conga line.  The conga line was a first on the Bead Cruise.  Each instructor offered kits, beads, books and more at the Bead Bazaar where there was shopping, open beading and lots of visiting with old and new friends.

All of our ports were so beautiful.  I love spending time on the islands and that is where I seem to have snapped the most photos.  Despite my mobility issues I was able to wheel around and sight-see on each island.  One of my favorite ports was Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.  We wandered around the cobblestone streets with sherbet colored buildings with decorative verandas.  We stumbled across two bead shops and picked up a few little treasures.

My second favorite stop was Labadee, a private port in Haiti.  Of course, it was artificial, built up by the cruise line - but the natural beauty of the island was preserved and just a little slice of paradise.  There were bands playing as we arrived.  There were beaches at every turn along with palm trees and tropical scenes built around little walk ways.  There was this amazing rock formation that looked like a giant lizard. I could have spent a few days here, sitting under the swaying palm trees, enjoying the sound of the ocean.  Oh pure bliss!

After the ports we enjoyed our last day of classes and a fun farewell party where we voted for our design contest winners.  I was excited to see that the winner has used some of her components from the Faux Sea Glass that I had taught earlier that week.  The winning design was created by Janis Garich.

The Bead Cruise flew by too quickly, as it always does.  I came home to sunshine and the smiling faces of my daughters and Jess.  I'm happy to be home with all those sunny memories tucked away as I work on taking care of myself and get back to the biz of selling beads again.  And wait until you see the beads I have to offer!!! 

You can check out all my island photos on my Flickr set and go visit Kerry's blog - she has been sharing great photos and stories since she got back!  We are already planning 2013 and soon will be looking forward to our next vacation in paradise.