June 28, 2014

Birds & Blooms Knotted Necklace Tutorial

Don't you just love a fun and easy project that whips up in minutes?  Ahhh, instant gratification.  That's the good stuff!  I created this necklace using one of my Blooms & Birds sets with a few extra art beads and some very yummy bronze colored leather cord.

Blooms & Birds set from Humblebeads
Ceramic round bead from Firefly Designs
Pewter nest from Green Girl Studios
36" 1mm leather cord from Primitive Earth Beads

Use any round beads for the project, just make sure the holes are at least 1mm.

1. Find the center of the cord. 2.5" from the center tie a knot, add the bird bead, tie a knot, add a bead, tie knot. Repeat adding a bead and tying a knot for the remaining 6 beads.
2. Adjustable knots: overlap the two ends of the cord with about 6" of cord on each side of the necklace. Create a loop with one end of the cord, leaving a 2-3" tail. Wrap the end of the cord around both strands of leather and around the loop, keep wrapping the cord around all three cords two more times. Slide the end of the cord into the loop and pull tightly. 

This is a budget friendly version with a raven and round art bead from Humblebeads and wood, ceramic, bone and metal beads from the arts & crafts store. 

Here is a video tutorial so you can see how to make the adjustable knots on this necklace.

June 26, 2014

Color Me Happy!

My life is filled with color lately and I couldn't be happier! 

I whipped up this color palette for some more inspiration for the Michael's Challenge I am co-hosting. Check out the details here if you missed it.

I have some really awesome news to share.  I will taking over Kerry Bogert's Color Canvas column in Step by Step Wire. I'm thrilled to be working on this new project. My first article will be in the December/January issue. Wire, beads, color - I'm in heaven.

My Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp is underway. I'm having such a fun time watching these bead artists blossom. Some have never played with polymer clay, I'm pretty sure I created a few new clay addicts. We are in the middle of week 2 and the students have jumped in and had a great time exploring the infinite possibilities with color.  The bonus about the class, I'm rediscovering the beauty of color theory in my own beads and enjoying playing with a color in more purposeful way.

Student Work:
Karin Grosset Grange's color wheel, Barb Wilcox's color palette and beads.
Beads by Karin Grosset Grande, Beti Horavath and Susan Delphine Delaney.
Beads created by Lisa Caryl, Ann Lorenzoni and Tammie Tusher Everly.

You can still join us! The classes are at your own pace and you have lifetime access to the class to go back and work on lessons again. We have an encouraging and supportive Facebook group to bring some that real life classroom experience to the online class. If you have been kicking yourself for not signing up early - take the plunge!

You can read about the class details and register here.

Check out blog posts by Cory Tompkins and  Beti Horavath on their first week of class.

June 25, 2014

Michael's Beading Challenge Blog Hop

I'm so exited to announce that Lorelei Eurto and I are co-hosting a new Michael's Beading Challenge Blog Hop. Are you ready for some fun and colorful inspiration?

I was picking up some clay this week at Michael's and saw the big 40% off sign in the Bead Gallery aisle, so of course I had to take a gander. I picked up this lovely collection of beads for a project I had in mind and couldn't help but think they would make an awesome challenge like the ones hosted by the very talented jewelry designer Lorelei Eurto.  I always love Lorelei's blog hops. So I contacted her to see if she would like to co-host a Michael's Challenge blog hop and here we are.  

And we want you to play along!

Go to your Michael's craft store and buy these beads. This week, for an extra incentive to play along, the Bead Gallery beads are 40% off! Hurry though, sale ends this weekend.

In the order they are pictured from top to bottom: 
(numbers are the last 5 of the UPC codes)

Round Cut Horn Beads 91920
Aqua 9.5 x 10mm Table Cut Glass 55809
Purple Glass Round 6mm 80842
Green Ceramic 12mm Round 92927
Aqua Opaque Table Cut Glass 99069
Bone Amber Rectangle 12 x 20mm 93294
Reconstituted Turquoise White Rondel 93741

(My color inspiration!)

So here are some rules. 

You must have a blog to participate. It's a blog hop! 

Don't have one but want to start one? Lorelei has a nice ecourse on setting up a blogger blog from start to finish. Get it here. 

Use the beads shown here, and you can add in up to 2 additional bead types to your design. Create Any piece of jewelry you like, with the beads, using your own choice of focal.  If you want to make a necklace, and some matching bracelet and earrings... the sky is the limit.

Choose any design you like, using any technique - that'll be the fun part of the whole thing- to see what different things you can do with these same beads.

There are no rules folks.  If you find similar beads somewhere like Hobby Lobby, go ahead and use em.  Seeing what everyone does with similar beads, is half the fun. If you can't find a particular bead strand at Michael's you can substitute a similar one. 

Reveal Date: July 16th

If you want to participate -  Come to my blog the morning of July 16th (reveal Day) and use the Link Up tool to add your blog links. I find this to be the easiest way to keep track of all the participants. So mark your calendars, buy the beads, create beautiful things, and get your blog posts ready for July 16th for a great hop! 

Please feel free to leave comments on this post, or questions too!

Art beads as focals are optional.  Here are some of my Humblebeads picks and a beautiful pendant from my friend Erin from Tesori Trovati.  

Psst: Humblebeads are on sale today only use code SUMMER20 for 20% off. 

June 11, 2014

BTW: Bead & Button Loot

What's on my bead table today? Why goodies from Bead & Button, of course!

My art bead stash includes: Marsha Neal, Julie Miller, Lisa Peters, Golem, Tesori Trovati, Pumpkin Hill Glass, Diane Hawkey, Andrew Thornton, Green Girl Studios, Firefly Design Studio, Gardanne, Thornberg Beads, Kim Fields and Julie Nordine. 

Add in some Humblebeads for maximum inspiration impact!

One of my new show favs - the very sweet and talented Anne from Gardanne Beads. Perfect Humblebeads color combo!   

I didn't pick up much beyond art beads. Of course, now I wish I had!

And I just jumped right in making stuff! I couldn't help myself - I was so inspired by all these goodies.

I'm addicted to stacking beads into these sweet totem style necklaces. 

Whipped these up Saturday morning before the show. 

Bead & Button is always so much fun. I love hanging out with my beady tribe in person. And most of all I love spending the weekend with my two cheerleaders, booth assistants, personal shoppers and all around best bead bud on the planet Erin Prais-Hintz and my auntie Rosanne. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and said hello. I loved visiting with each of you!

The booth and new goodies from Humblebeads.

I hope to list the new beads before the end of the week. 

And up next? Oh let's all head to Philly for Bead Fest in a few months! I will be there in the artisan area and I can not wait!!!

So what's on your Bead Table today? #BeadTableWednesday on Instagram or include your link below. 

June 2, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 12: Art Inspired

I have to give you this as a challenge - it's one of my go to places for inspiration! The art world has something that will fit every style and taste imaginable. I've been taking a class and one of the mantas the teacher repeats often is that clients buy your joy.  So this week, tap into that joy.

Your Assignment:
Pick your absolute, all time favorite piece of art work (painting, sculpture, photograph, illustration, fabric design, etc.) and create jewelry inspired by this piece.

My favorite painting - Van Gogh's Irises.

Tips for Designing from Art:
Visit my Inspired by Art pin board for some of my favorites, you might find a new favorite too.

Start with the color and major motifs of the art work and find beads that relate to your inspiration piece.

Pick of piece of art work that makes you crazy happy every time you see it.  Ask yourself - what do you love about it? Is it the color, the mood, the story?  Try to capture that in your jewelry.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 12 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along at your own pace for 12 weeks of inspiration.