Don't miss our book giveaway, running until Sept 21! Visit the link above to enter.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Amazing exhibit!

Representing the year 2000, "Dragon Gate" Pendant

I thought you might enjoy taking a look at the Facere Jewelry Art Gallery show, Celebrating 70.  Each piece relates to one year from 1940 to 2010!  There's some amazing mixed media wearable work here.

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Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 
The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew's blog recently marked its four year anniversary. Celebrate with him, by entering to win a HUGE bead stash via this week's Thursday Giveaway!

A Bead A Day
A new beading component is on the market, created by and named after our fellow bead blogger Katie Hacker. 


About.com Jewelry Making
As part of the "Start a New Hobby" theme running through About.com's hobby blogs this week, Tammy takes a moment to think about jewelry as more than a hobby. What about jewelry as a job? 


Art Bead Scene
Want to capture a bit of the summer? This week's collection of sea beads will keep those summer memories alive all year 'round.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi was at CHA in Chicago and has a fabulous post about Prima Marketing. 


Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
This week's rewind makes a statement.  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a SUPERfantastic new book by all star stamper and metalworker, Lisa Niven Kelly!  

 

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Jewelry artist: Alicia Van Fleteren



Artist: Alicia Van Fleteren
Website: AliciaVF


Every last one of the vibrant, imaginative pieces is handcrafted by Alicia Van Fleteren in her SF Bay Area studio, using top quality, unusual materials including black diamonds, turquoise, turquoise, natural coral, Peruvian Opals, freshwater pearls and many other precious and semi-precious gemstones. Alicia Van Fleteren pieces are priced so any budget can afford well-made, high-quality jewelry.



Alicia Van Fleteren - Up-and-coming San Francisco Bay Area Financial advisor turned jewelry artist, designs vibrant, imaginative pieces that reflect her singular focus on designs that are sophisticated but accessible, elegant but with a touch of playfulness, and that organically complement everything from jeans, work wear, and the dressiest of styles.







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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cabbing Rough sponsors a giveaway


I don't know about you, but one of the most difficult things for me in beading and jewelry making is simply to find wonderful stone cabochons that inspire me.  If I buy them through a catalog, they don't always look like the picture, plus dozens (or even hundreds) of other people can end up using the very same cab in their piece.

This isn't a problem if I'm designing a piece that I intend for someone else to make...it's actually an advantage when I'm writing up tutorials to be able to tell you exactly where I got the whatever-it-is.  But when I'm designing a piece to be a one-of-a-kind, I don't want it to end up being seen around every neck in the country!

Enter Cabbing Rough to the rescue.  I know that you will be delighted by the wide variety of gorgeous hand-selected and cut stones that they have available.  Geometrics, freeforms, you name it.  And if you need a hole drilled or are interested in wholesale pricing or special orders, they welcome your inquiry.  Laura Hansen wrote to me to introduce me to her family business:

My family and I all work together on producing our stones, from selection of materials to the final polish. We work with all sorts of agates, jaspers, and anything else that catches the eye. In each of our product descriptions, we include the metaphysical properties of the stone. I think these little bits can make a piece of jewelry so much more personal. Everything is currently available online and prices typically range from $16-24.

***Free Stuff Alert!!!***

So, you see that gorgeous cabochon up at the top of the post?  Cabbing Rough is going to give it away to one lucky reader!!  This is Kingman Turquoise, which is turquoise infused with bronze and stabilized, making it very durable for everyday wear. It is polished with diamond, and measures 30mmx24mmx4mm.  You know you want it, so do this to enter for a chance to win it: visit Cabbing Rough, and leave me a comment here telling me which other cab is your favorite (personally, I'm a sucker for Chryscolla).  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Deadline: August 4, 2010. 




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Recent publications: July 2010


Beading Basics and Beyond by Alice Korach and Toshi Myoda

Get Connected: Make a Friendship Bracelet (Adventure Guides) by Dana Meachen Rau

Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry by Peggy Krzyzewski and Christine Hansen

Stamped Metal Jewelry: Creative Techniques and Designs for Making Custom Jewelry by Lisa Niven Kelly

The Art of Metal Clay, Revised and Expanded Edition (with DVD): Techniques for Creating Jewelry and Decorative Objects by Sherri Haab



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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Congratulations to Jan!



Jan Vermillion-Thomason is the winner of the fabulous giveaway package from  Mama's Minerals!!  Yay for Jan!

Resin paper


I'm sure you already know that there are many ways to use epoxy resin or polyester resin in your jewelry. Besides being an amazing adherent, especially when you are trying to "glue" two different materials together, resin also makes great cabochons, creates a hard shiny finish, pours right into jewelry molds, and stiffens paper and makes it translucent.

I was experimenting with this last property recently, and I thought I'd share a few tips with you to help you in your own experiments. I mostly use epoxy resin rather than polyester, so whenever I refer to resin, that's what I was using. Your results may vary from mine if you try polyester resin instead.

1. When you are applying resin to paper, use a non-stick mat under it and work with small areas of paper at a time. I spread resin all over a large sheet of paper towel, and it was difficult to achieve a thin even application.

2. Speaking of thin and even...there's nothing wrong with applying the resin thickly to the paper, but if you do it will be harder to cut and very difficult to sew through when it dries.

3. I love the texture of paper towels, and thought I'd use some that I'd previously used to blot up acrylic paint (recycling, right?). The problem was that when it dried, the towel looked like cheap plastic, as you can see in my picture above. Well, duh...resin is a form of plastic, after all, so why should I be surprised?  Disappointed, but not surprised.

4. You can sew pretty close to the edges of a cut resin shape, but remember the warning in #2 above.  I didn't have any trouble with the paper splitting, which I'd actually expected to happen. My thought is that next time, I'll probably use paper that has an abstract image or text on it instead of paper towel. I don't think I'll end up using these shapes for anything, even though I had originally planned to. I just don't like the plastic look.


Some previous tutorials using resin:
How to make time
Bottle cap pins
Cabochon for bracelet
Sublime Spring
Polymer clay frame pendant

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Some projects using organic materials


Here are some tutorial links to projects that use pearls, leaves, and split geodes. We've seen some incredible work so far this month, and I hope that it's inspiring you to think outside the "glass"!

Making a pearl dangle pendant

Turning a geode into a beaded pendant

Making a wrapped and bead-embroidered paua necklace

Making silver clay leaves




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Monday, July 26, 2010

Jewelry artist: Vicki Dehne


Artist: Vicki Dehne
Website: Paper Bead Girl



My work is all made from paper. I invented a tool to make paper beads. It is now being sold with Fire Mountain Gems and they had me design jewelry for them. I was in their May catalogue.




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Jewelry artist: Robin Humphrey


Artist: Robin Humphrey
Website and blog:
RobinCharlotte
RobinCharlotte blog



My name is Robin Humphrey and I am designer from Los Angeles and my jewelry line, RobinCharlotte features real recycled fish, seahorses and insects embedded in one-of-a-kind accessories. I collect the fish as they naturally pass away at local pet shops. i am a gradute of the Rhode Island School of Design and launched my jewelry company in 2008 after working for several years in the apparel and accessories industry.




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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lark books giveaway

Lark Craft's division of Jewelry and Beading is giving away copies of  the three Beadingweaving Masterclass books!  Leave a comment on their post by July 26, 2010!


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Friday, July 23, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 
Strands of Beads
Melissa has finally hung out her shingle and opened a modest store-front on her website.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Up for grabs in this week's Thursday Giveaway is an organic, lampwork glass bead by Susan Jones Designs.

A Bead A Day
If you enjoy recycling, Lisa shared a bracelet idea using an "old" canvas belt. 


About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy catches you up on some of her latest free jewelry tutorials. 

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog. This month's theme is "Commitment."  

Beading Arts
You won't believe the goodies that Mama's Minerals in giving away on Beading Arts this week!  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has completed the necklace featuring her "found again" bezel!  

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Mad for Monday features Cindy's new Step by Step Wire Jewelry Double Dip Adjustable Ring Project.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A shopping spree at an antique mall grants Melanie with some new old treasures! What will she make with these little bits of history?  

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei's blog ended up on the Wikio.com Craft category, check out the others!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean made some summer fun earrings for Artbeads and they are soooo pretty! Go see!  

 

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Bead Journal Project: bracelet for July


This is my Bead Journal Project piece for July. Even though I don't visit the ocean much during the summer (red hair and pale pale skin!), I always think about it a lot at this time of year.  When I was younger and not so afraid of icky things like skin cancer, I would spend lots of time outside and at the beach.  Sometime during this last decade though, I developed an allergic reaction to sun block!  My days of sunning are definitely over, but I can still appreciate the beauty of the ocean at any time of the year :-)


January
February
March
April
May
June

Here are the instructions for how I am making these bracelets.  



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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jewelry artist: Jewels



Artist: Jewels
Website: Jewels

The daughter of an Air Force pilot, Jewels spent her formative years growing up in Tripoli.  She traveled extensively with her family from Tunis to Tangiers and recalls endless wanderings through exotic market souks with her mother.  Struck by the beauty of the coral, amber, silver and gold - all the wealth of North African families - she says, “I was hooked”.   After her education in Europe Jewels spent many years traveling, living in India, South America and again in North Africa enlarging the scope of her knowledge and always collecting.



Jewels’ cultured eye and her nostalgic passion for the dreamy North African cities have given her designs the allure of exoticism and sophistication. She accomplishes a balance and beauty without being contrived and the resulting pieces are hip and elegantly understated wearable works of art.



The appeal of Jewels is, not surprisingly, broad.  She has long time devoted clients ranging from East Coast elite and intellectuals, to fine art collectors, young entrepreneurs, Hollywood familiars and individuals who share her passion for the beautiful, the rare and the extraordinary.  Her work is shown in boutiques and gallery locations throughout the US and Marrakech where she currently resides when not in Santa Fe, New Mexico.




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Jewelry artist: Miss Mae


Miss Mae Couture Collection is composed of a unique, bohemian, chic style created of raw and precious materials to enhance and add elegance to your life while providing functionality and comfort. All pieces are handmade.



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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yay for Tara!

Beading in No Time: 50 Step-by-step Designs for Beautiful Bead Jewelry 

Tara Roberts was the winner of the book Beading In No Time by Linda Peterson that we just gave away! Congratulations, Tara!


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Fall/ Winter 2010/2011 color and style forecasts


As we've discussed here before, not all of us pay that much attention to the color and fashion trends, especially if we just make beaded pieces for our own amusement.  But most of us who sell our work find that giving at least a passing nod to what's going on in the world of fashion helps us to sell more.  For thems that want it, here are some links to the latest Fall and Winter predictions:

PANTONE Fashion Color Report Fall 2010

Jewelry trends at the Bead Jewelry Blog

Lenzing Textile and Color Trends Autumn/Winter 2010/2011

Darquer Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 Trends

CIFF Autumn/Winter 2010/2011 Fashion & Color Trends

APLF Color & Material Trends Fall/Winter 2010/2011

New Swarovski Color charts
These will help you match colors with the upcoming trends


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Do you use BlogSpot or WordPress?


Even though most (not quite all) professional bloggers prefer Wordpress for their blogging platform, I've noticed that many of us in the arts still stick with Blogger, aka BlogSpot. I'm not quite sure why that is. I've used both, and while I'm perfectly happy to use WP when I write for someone else, my heart still seems to belong to Blogger! Maybe because it has just the right amount of bells and whistles for me. I've been able to tweak it to look the way I want, and it doesn't have a bunch of stuff that I don't ever want to use.

Anyway, if you are a Blogger user, you know that it can potentially hold you back from presenting a professional-looking face to the blogging world. It needs to be tweaked.  I found a fabulous post by Darnell Clayton on BloggingPro titled 8 Tips for BlogSpot Lovers.  Just what the blog doctor ordered!  There's lots of great info on this blog in general, so once you've read through Darnell's post, go exploring for more helpful advice.



On the other hand, if you love WordPress and use it for the sleek, sophisticated look it can give you, let's make sure your look really is sleek and sophisticated!  Brian Casel has written a post for Mashable called Top 10 Ways to Tweak Your WordPress Theme.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mama's Minerals sponsors a giveaway!



Do you like working with stones, fossils, semi-precious gems and all things from the earth? Have you ever wanted to try rockhounding yourself, but weren't sure where to start? Mama's Minerals might be just the supplier that you've been looking for.


Personally, I'm a huge fan of fossils, like these ammonites, but I've always had to wait until a gem or mineral show comes around and maybe there will be a vendor there with specimens that I like.  Now I know where I can get them online!  Or how about meteorites or fossilized fish?  There is a bead section too, with lovely offerings, some of which you'll see above in the picture.  And guess what...

***Free Stuff Alert!!!***


Mama's Minerals is giving away everything that's in the picture at the top of the post (not the ammonites).  Included is a strand each of Lapiz Lazuli, Onyx, Bamboo Coral, and multicolored Turquoise beads; a carved dragon / phoenix Blue Agate focal bead; Turquoise pendants; Bamboo Coral focal beads; and sterling silver clasps.  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered.  If you tweet or post on Facebook or other social spots about the contest, you can leave a second comment and be entered twice!  Deadline: July 27, 2010.  


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Jewelry artist: Crystal Taggart


Artist: Crystal Taggart
Website: Crystal's Idyll


My formal education is in biology and I get most of my inspiration from nature. I find organic materials intriguing and mysterious; entire worlds can be found in the nacre of a pearl or within the depths of a chunk of amber.


Most of my jewelry is what I call natural fantasy. A visit to the beach fills me with dreams of naiads' crowns and sea monsters just waiting to be given form. And what better materials to use than those provided by nature. Pearls become butterfly wings, prehistoric amber a prehistoric spider.



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Monday, July 19, 2010

Beaded rope necklace



I told you awhile ago about the splendid lampwork glass beads that I got from Auntie's Beads:



At the time, here's what I planned to do with some of them:
I think I'm going to use the oval beads and the round beads right above them to accent a right angle weave rope that I've been intending to try. The rope can be found in Marcia DeCoster's book Beaded Opulence. Assuming that I do make this piece, I'll share pictures of it when I'm done.

Well, it worked out even better than I had hoped. Most of you know that bead embroidery and not beadweaving is my primary thing. I sometimes get sloppy and miscount the beads, because I like to listen to recorded books while I work. Fortunately for me, Marcia's instructions are so easy to follow that once I got going, it was pretty much idiot-proof.


1. I started by weaving right-angle weave sections between the beads.


2. I added the full embellishments to the base in the middle section, but added a bit less to the upper sections of the RAW strand. The criss-cross pattern is stitched on both sides of the strand.


3. I used a variation on Laura McCabe's beaded toggle set from Embellished Beadweaving.


I am really happy with how this piece turned out!




As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received these lampwork glass beads free of charge from Auntie's Beads in order to write a review and/or create a project free of charge for you. I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

Copyright 2010 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.


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Jewelry artist: Sherry Duquet

Pearls and a Smokey Quartz clasp

Artist: Sherry Duquet
Webiste: Solstice Designs Jewelry


An amber pendant strung on strands of amber, coral, peridot and lapis


The pieces I create are designed to reveal the inner beauty of the stones and metals from which they are made. Some pieces are delicate and classically designed; others are chunky, funky, statement pieces. Each composition is inspired by its raw materials.

A brooch created using Precious Metal Clay, black diamonds and copper wire



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