Friday, December 31, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy re-reads her KISS post before planning for 2011.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reviews a wonderful book about making chain.  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean gives a shout out for a fab class she took at Beaducation online, which as you will see, will revv up your urge to bead and have FUN!--Happy New Year!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Two publications from Interweave Press have hit the stands and Andrew suggests you check them out!  

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene reviews the different options for accepting payment.  

Beads & Books
Michelle shares the 10 most memorable blog posts she read in 2010.  


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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Plans for the new year?


Like all good goal-setting fanatics, I look forward to each new year with a palpitating heart: will this be the year that I finally get it right?   Probably not, but I keep trying!  I've mentioned before that I set and re-set goals on January 1, May 1, and September 1, but obviously January 1 is my favorite :-)

I like to start by re-visiting the major goals from last year.  There were four big ones that I started off with, and I'm happy to say that all of them were addressed in one form or another:


1. Take another class this year in something… anything.  Took an online class with Sharon Boggon

2. Get a light tent or light box and learn to make my photography better.  DH made me a tent and I've been working on getting clearer brighter pictures

3. Work on a book proposal.  Decided to self-publish my book as an e-book, one chapter at a time

4. Schedule a better balance between making and writing.  I think I'm doing much better at this, spending approximately half a day on each


I've been mulling over goals for 2011, and I haven't settled on anything in particular yet.  How about you?  How did you do on last year's goals?  Do you have plans for this year?  On January 1st, I'll be cozied up by the fire creating my list :-) 




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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Shape up your business for the new year


You can hardly even surf the net anymore without running into comments, information, and articles about social networking. Well, the well-known sites like Twitter and Facebook are not all there is to social networking. It starts with many of the things that you've probably been doing all along...like getting to know people through participating in forums, and interacting with others on blogs.

Dee Gordon wrote a piece about how important these social interactions are for the success of your own business. You can read her article on Home Jewelry Business Success Tips.

Here are some additional social networks helpful for jewelers:
Orchid Jewelry Forum

Ning Networks

Flickr

During the first week or so of the new year, I'm going to post a list of many many more social network sites that you might want to check out.  No one expects you to follow all of them...you'd have no time left for making stuff!  But it might be worth your marketing time to check out some of them :-)


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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bead Journal Project: bracelet for December



My last bead embroidered bracelet for the year!  It's been a lot of fun making these each month for my contribution to the  Bead Journal Project, but I'm happy to be finished!  Next month I'm starting my 4th year with the project, and this year it's going to be beaded buttons or cabochons...I haven't exactly decided which yet, but either will use the same round button forms as a base.

If you'd like to see any of my other bracelets for the year, all previous pieces can be found at these links:

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November


Here are the instructions for how I made these bracelets.




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Monday, December 27, 2010

What to do with your glass pendant


So maybe you won one of the beautiful glass pendants that Beading Arts was lucky enough to receive from Auntie's Beads for that purpose, or maybe you bought one of your own.  You know that if enough time goes by, you'll think of exactly the right design to make with it, so you don't want to "waste" it on another project, but darn it all...you want to wear it RIGHT NOW!

I know just how you feel!  And I'm going to show you how to have your cake and eat it too.  Here's a design that you can make immediately, for very little money, and none of the materials will be committed.  You can pull the thing apart in a heartbeat and either start over, or better yet, make the design of your dreams that will be permanent!


It all starts with a piece of satin cord.  Get one that's long enough to tie behind your neck, in a bow if you are worried about safety.  Tie a lark's head knot around the pendant hole.  Slip both cords through a large-holed bead, and slip each one through a couple more beads on their own.  Tie it on.  Untie it and disassemble it whenever you want.  Save the cord for the next time.




Really, that's all there is to it! 


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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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!



Beads & Books
Michelle shares a handmade polymer clay ornament by Diva Designs and her favorite chocolate candy recipe. (You'll need to keep up your strength if you're going to bead over the holidays!)

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi starts to work with resin cubes she made earlier in the year.  

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares the key to her designs.  

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie gets in the Christmas spirit with a holiday song to inspire three fun projects.  

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Come on over and get the shopping list for the next Blog Reader Challenge!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes some holiday themed jewelry for Rings & Things! The time flew by as she made these pretty creations!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Sue Kennedy of SueBeads offers up a really beautiful assortment of goodies in this week's Thursday Giveaway! Find out how you can win them!  

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy looks at least year's resolutions and thinks about 2011. Share your resolutions or lack of them.  

Art Bead Scene
Come make a sleigh bell bracelet with ABS for the 6th Day of the annual 12 Days of free projects!  



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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Book review and project: Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 2


I was inspired by one of the projects in Irina Miech's wonderful new book, Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 2, to make this pendant bail.  It's not exactly the way Irina did it...I don't like making exact copies most of the time, but I want to acknowledge that the idea of using the two filigree pieces came from her.  She used two pieces that actually fit *into* the hole, so her method of joining them is quite different from mine. 

I definitely highly recommend the book for those of you who are interested in expanding your wire repertoire!  It's a beautiful Kalmbach publication, with the great pictures and clear instructions that you know you can expect from them. Irina's book is divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced projects, and with each new section you will be introduced to new interesting elements, tools, and techniques.  From making wire links using beads to wire-wrapping and simple metal fabrication, I don't think that you'll find any of the projects to be so intimidating that you won't want to try them!  Everything is mouth-watering...

Onto my project!

Materials and Tools

Murano Style Oval Pendant, Black/Red/Silver Foil Swirl, 34x60mm

Vintaj brass wire, 20 gauge, about 4 inches
2 Vintaj brass filigree pieces
Vintaj dragonfly charm
Vintaj brass jump ring

Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
Chain nose pliers
Small file


1. Curve the filigree pieces gently with your fingers to match the curve at the top of the pendant. Cut 4 inches of brass wire.



2. Make a small wrapped loop [LINK] around the loop of the dragonfly charm.



3. Use a jump ring to attach the two filigree pieces as the top.  Thread the wire end through the first filigree piece, the pendant hole, and through the second filigree piece.



4. Wrap a tight spiral on the back of the pendant with the brass wire.



5. Bend the wrapped loop down gently so the dragonfly hangs correctly.





As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received the glass pendant free of charge from Auntie's Beads in order to 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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Monday, December 20, 2010

Simple Pompom Delica Earrings by Wendy Van Camp

Simple Pompom Delica Earrings


Wendy Van Camp has written a tutorial for us that would be just perfect for a holiday gift for someone special...or for yourself!  Make sure you didn't miss Wendy's artist profile!

*******************



This is a design that is based on instructions on making the pompom in a cap that you knit. Instead of yarn, I use strands of beads to form the loose pompom on the bottom and then cover a core base with a simple peyote stitch. This earrings are unusual and real conversation starters. I like to make the fringe in stone, but you could easily use glass in the fringe instead. The earrings in the photo are transparent amber delicas and citrine stones.
MATERIALS:

2 Glass Cylinder Beads 6x12mm
2 sterling headpins - 2" long
2 sterling ball posts with clutches
2 6mm clear glass rondelle beads (or opaque black depending on the
chosen color of delicas)
Delica beads
4mm round beads
Similade Thread

TOOLS:
Wire cutters
Round nose pliers
English Beading Needle

BODY:
The body consists of a simple round peyote stitch around the glass core bead. String 16 delicas on a 3 to 4 foot length of similade thread. Form the beads into a circle and knot the thread to secure it. Put the circle around your cylinder bead and make sure that the delicas are tight all the way around the core bead. Pass your needle through the first bead passed the knot in the delica loop, drop down and add a new delica, skip one of the beads in the loop and go through the next bead in the loop. Repeat until you have gone around the loop completely. When you reach the end of the loop, pass your needle through the loop and then through the first bead of the new row. Add a bead and then go through the bead that is hanging down. Continue around until you reach the end and go through the two beads to start a new row. I find that 7 to 8 rows will completely cover the cylinder core bead sides. To cover the top, I weave in a few delicas on the ends with a drop peyote stitch, decreasing dramatically so that they close in around the top of the cylinder. It should only take five to six beads to do the job. Do not cover the bottom of the cylinder bead.

FRINGE:
Form a circle of eight delica beads and tie a knot. Glue the knot if you wish, but I usually just pass the thread through the circle of beads twice to secure it. On your needle, put on four delica beads, one 4mm round bead and then one delica bead. Pass through the beads starting with the 4mm round, leaving the last bead in the spoke as a "stopper" for the fringe. Go back into the circle and pass through one of the beads. Then form another spoke. You should have eight spokes around the circle when you are done. After the spokes are formed, pass through the inner circle again once or twice to give strength to your fringe and tie a knot. Cut the threads close and set aside. You should make between three and six of the circle fringes per earring. They all stack at the bottom of the body to form the pompoms.

CONSTRUCTION:
To assemble your simple pompom earrings, take your headpin and put one of the 6mm rondelles on it. Then place half of your completed fringe circles on the headpin, putting the headpin through the center circle. The glass rondelle will act as a stopper on the bottom to hold your fringe in place. Next, place the body, uncovered side down, on the fringe. Take your round nose pliers and form a loop with the headpin at the top of the earring. Place your ball posts into the loop and then double wire wrap the loop closed. Do the same to form the second earring. You are done! :)
All Images and Text Copyright 2010 Wendy Van Camp. 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.


Wendy Van Camp
wvancamp @ earthlink.net
http://www.indigoskye.com/blog/


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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Artist profile: Joan Babcock


Artist: Joan Babcock
Business name: Joan Babcock Designs
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico


Websites:
Joan Babcock
Micro-Macrame Jewelry


Joan, how do you describe your work?
I make jewelry in a variety of different mediums including fiber, wire, and metal, but I particularly like working with fiber. I'm best known as a micro-macrame artist and have written 2 books and a DVD on that technique.

What is your creative process like?
I do a lot of experimenting with the materials. Many times the results are not that great but I always learn something in the process. I've gotten better about keeping a record of the things that work or don't work so I don't have to repeat the same lessons several times. I'm really driven to discover something new, to pursue a fresh idea. I find it boring to repeat the same exact design - then it feels like work, not pleasure. I follow my intuition when creating a new design - I usually start out with a specific idea but I let it go where it wants.


My studio is my haven. I like to listen to music or the sound of silence. I usually work in 4 -6 hour chunks and rarely keep close track of my hours. I'm fairly disorganized which is a constant challenge. I think it's because I'm self-employed and I don't have someone else telling me what I need to do. I'm glad to be autonomous but I often feel like I need to be more focused and disciplined.

What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I've taken a lot of art related classes in my life and I've developed my art-confidence over the years. Taking a course in metalsmithing at the community college was an important learning experience for me. I'm a fan of books as a great and inexpensive way to learn something new.


How did you move from being a hobbyist to a professional?
I never thought of art/crafts as a way to make money until I moved to Santa Fe and got a job at an "art tile" business. I saw how they sold their products at trade shows and wholesale to gift shops. At about that time I discovered jewelry making and started doing outdoor craft shows. I created a wholesale line of beaded bolo ties and earrings and sold those for a while. As time went on I realized that I enjoyed making one of a kind pieces much more so I focused on galleries to sell my work. That's how I sell now, a few galleries and my website.

Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?
My macrame board and quilting pins.


What inspires you to create?
I'm inspired by the joy of creating. It transports you away from everyday cares and worries. You can lose track of time and get into an altered state - a meditative state.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
I know that "this too shall pass". I've accepted that creativity is an up and down path and I don't expect it to always be smooth (although I wish it were!) I trust that when I'm not feeling "on" creatively that something new is brewing under the surface. Like the cycles in nature, there are cycles in creativity.


What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
There's no substitute for being passionate about a certain artform and putting in the hours of trial and error that helps you to develop your own style. Although there are many beautiful techniques that may vie for your attention, focus on one technique and really explore it.

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
I'm a homebody at heart and love hanging out with my husband Jeff and my cats. I feel restored by nature so I like taking walks everyday. I like reading good novels, watching movies (especially period dramas of the 18 & 19th century) listening to beautiful music and dancing.

What's your favorite book?
At the moment I enjoy Eckhart Tolles The Power of Now


*********
Don't miss Joan's books and DVD:
Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Tips and Techniques for Knotting with Beads
Wired Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Enhancing Fiber Designs with Wire
Micro-Macrame & Cavandoli Knotting, Level One


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Friday, December 17, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 
Art Bead Scene
It's the ABS annual Twelve Days of free art bead jewelry projects! Stop by and try out the Jingle Berry Lariat!

Beads & Books
Michelle shares ideas for beaded napkin rings to decorate your holiday table.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmis makes a button pin much more attractive with a felted background!  

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Inspired by the snow on the ground, Cindy created a new ring - the Flurry Flower!  

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei has moved her bead studio, yet again!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is delighted to present one of her latest book reviews of a remarkable book called 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs. Come and immerse yourself in the fascination of the heights which can be achieved using this medium through the brilliance of a collection of fantastic jewelry designers!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win some luscious lucite components from The Hole Bead Shoppe? Seize your chance in this week's Thursday Giveaway!  

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy reviews an innovative new web-based magazines from Interweave.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Yay for Knititall!!


Congratulations to our newest giveaway winner! Knititall has won the cute little Murano glass flower pendant.

Glass pearls from Auntie's Beads



Auntie's Beads has a great selection of Glass Beads overall, and their glass pearls are no exception!  I recently received several sizes of glass pearl strands in the festive holiday colors of cranberry and evergreen. 

Aren't they gorgeous?   The luster on them is really nice, and it's a great treat to be able to buy so many different colors so inexpensively.  I feel like holiday jewelry should be big and bold, and high octane when it comes to glitz and color, and these Auntie's Beads glass pearls make the designs affordable too.  I'm going to be looking at the strands of mixed pastels for some spring designs!




As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received glass pearls 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.

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Some more jewelry gifts for the holidays


Whether you want to make something festive to wear to a party or are planning on making jewelry gifts for others this year, here are some great ideas to get you going. I've tried to include patterns here that will be appropriate for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Solstice. Please feel free to add more links (free patterns only, please) in the comments below. When it comes to the holidays, you can never have too many options!

Holly Berry Earrings

Holiday earring bead patterns for every winter holiday

Sugar plum swirls necklace

Evergreen star earrings

Berry bracelet bead pattern

Snowstorm earrings

The Eighth Gift Earrings

Holiday beaded bracelet

Christmas Tree necklace

Swarovski Christmas tutorials

Beading Daily free seed bead patterns
 Sugar plum swirls necklace



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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yay for Sharon!

Sharon, aka MoonRae, is the winner of that fantastic haul from  Mama's Minerals.  We'll all try not to hate her too much ;-)   Congratulations, Sharon!

Sprucing up your website or blog with video

It may be that you've decided you need to learn more about the video revolution that's taking place in cyberworld.  Including videos on your site will interest and enchant people, and you can also use your videos that have been uploaded to a social site to drive additional traffic to your site or blog.



Nicolette Tallmadge explains just how easy it is to get started, and gives you a list of topics to shoot if you're unsure about where to begin.

Once you've tried it a few times you'll probably start to wonder how to make your videos better quality.  Website Video Guide shares 7 tips for better videos which will help you with lighting and sound, camera work, and other ideas to make your videos look more professional.  


Finally, you might want to take a look at Jakob Nielsen's article on video eyetracking studies.  Even though the study is older, human preferences haven't changed. 


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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Beaded jewelry as decorations

Have you ever thought of using your beaded jewelry as garlands? How about to decorate Christmas lights or to enhance another gift? Here are some great projects that are fast and easy to do, and will leave your house (and packages) looking elegant and festive!




How about these darling little beaded wire trees by Fusion Beads? I know they look like earrings, but they're for your tree!



Small beaded wreathes for your tree? These can be made to be elegant or cute, depending upon the beads you choose.

Fun ways to use beaded jewelry at Christmas on the Bead Jewelry Blog.



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Monday, December 13, 2010

Beaded ornament covers


Most of the ornament covers you see out there are not for beginners, but the results are spectacular! A really motivated beginner could tackle some of them, and if you'd really like to have a go at it, I'd recommend working through the first one on the list to get the idea of how they go together. From there, dive into the more difficult ones!

There are many kits available, and patterns that you can buy. Some beading magazines also have patterns, and if you want to make the really elaborate ones, you're probably going to have to buy a pattern or kit. Still, here's a selection of the free patterns that are available:

Beginner's beaded ornament cover

Easy netted ornament cover

Beaded ornament cover

Victorian beaded Christmas tree ornament



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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Congratulations to Jenean!

The owner of Designs By Jenean etsy shop, Jenean is the winner of the black glass Murano cross pendant!  Yay!!



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Gift Guide for Handmade Jewelry Lovers


All year long, Beading Arts brings you the best, most innovative, creative, and NICEST bead and jewelry makers for you to drool over! Each week this month, those fine folks will be sharing their passion and creativity with you again, and here are the results: special offers and unique gifts for all!

Debby Arem Necklaces, bracelets , and earrings made with all vintage beads from the 1940's - 1980's. Many of these items were sold in the Smithsonian Institution's mail order catalog and museum shops during the 1980's.

Designs by Erin Unique knitted jewelry, handcrafted from high-quality and sustainable materials such as Sterling silver, organic cotton, and handspun tussah silk.

Mirrix Looms Happy holidays from Mirrix Looms! Use code bead10 for $10 off the "Holiday Bead Loom Gift Package" in the Mirrix Store.

Tammy Powley's Crafty Princess Etsy Shop Jewelry making supplies, kits, and finished jewelry at excellent prices.

Greenpurse Free shipping December 1st through January 1st plus get a $10 Greenbuck when you spend $50.

Denise Perreault Bead Artist Specializing in beadwork for interior design. Functional beaded people, window jewelry, intricate pictorial valances, sculptures, and vessels.

WindyRiver Find unique beaded and embroidered jewelry and accessories where shipping is always free within the USA. There are many items under 25 dollars, and all items come in a gift box made of recycled materials.

Margie Deeb All kits are 15% off through December 31, 2010. Supplies are limited! (Note: Posted price includes the discount.)

Humblebeads Handcrafted art beads inspired by nature. Free shipping for the month of December. Use discount code m2008 when checking out.

Mama's Minerals Expanded selection of beads, fossils, tumbled stone and minerals for all your unique jewelry creations. Save for the holidays with our gift packages.

RusTeam  If you've ever shopped at Anthopologie and feel it's overpriced, try RusTeam instead!

Iced Moments  New line of very special and unique lampwork glass headpins for jewelry designers. Also a
selection of lampwork glass items that make perfect gifts: lapel pins (great for men!), designer push pins, and elegant earrings.





Images: Stock.xchng


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Friday, December 10, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 
About.com Jewelry Making
Are you feeling blue? Good, because that is the perfect color for beaded jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
This month's challenge artwork is by John Anster Fitzgerald - who is that you may ask? Come over to ABS and find out!  

Beads & Books
Michelle turns a ceramic pendant into a Christmas ornament.  

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a very special wooden brooch for her "no knit" scarf.  

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy's been stamping metal and has some thoughtful things to say about Lisa Niven Kelly's book, Stamped Metal Jewelry.
 
Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows that inspiration can come from anywhere, including the bathroom sink!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a new book giveaway! 500 Enameled Objects--a celebration of color on metal--what a divine, mesmerizing book to own and cherish! Please come and sign up for this very special giveaway! 


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
This week's Thursday Giveaway is brought to you by Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva! Enter to win an assortment of inspiring jewelry components!

A Bead A Day
Jewelry Stringing vs. Stitching... Have a passion for one or the other? Stop by and express an opinion or encourage someone to try a new approach!  

 


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Thursday, December 09, 2010

The last Murano glass pendant giveaway for 2010


Thanks to Auntie's Beads, the next glass pendant giveaway starts today, just as the old contest ends!  This will be the last giveaway of the season, because I want to make sure that these little packages don't get lost in the flood of holiday mail...plus, I want you to get it in time for Christmas!

***FREE STUFF ALERT!!!***

The last pendant giveaway for 2010 is the floral pendant right in the center of the picture (Murano Style Glass Pendant, Round With Orange Flower, 30mm.).  All you need to do for a chance to win it is to leave me a comment telling me what you plan to use it for 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!  Please please please make sure that your link will lead me to an email address, or else I won't be able to contact you.  No contact, no win, and I simply have to go on to the next person.  Deadline: December 16, 2010.  More chances to win in 2011!    


Here are all the beads shown in the picture above:
Murano Style Glass Donut Pendant, Blue, 34mm
Murano Style Oval Pendant, Black/Red/Silver Foil Swirl, 34x60mm
Murano Style Glass Pendant, Round With Orange Flower, 30mm.
Murano Style Glass Heart Pendant, Brown With Silver Foil, 38mm.
Murano Style Fancy Cross Pendant, Black With Silver/Gold Foil
Murano Style Foil Butterfly Pendant, Blue Stripe, 40x60mm
Murano Style 50mm Disc Pendant, Black/Silver Foil
Murano Style Glass Rectangle Pendant, Red, 24x50mm

As regards FTC disclosure guidelines: I have received these glass pendants free of charge from Auntie's Beads in order to create some projects free of charge for you and to give away the rest.  I have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.



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More holiday tutorials from around town



OK, these tutorials are not exactly from around my own town...they're from the blogosphere. There are so many talented people out there making gorgeous beaded gifts, both wearables and non-wearables. Here are some of my favorites...I am simply not going to have time to make them all, so I wanted to share with you!

Quick and easy beaded frame

Beaded Christmas tree earrings

Pattern for a beaded crystal snowflake

Stacked wire cuff bracelet

Beaded cards

Beaded tree

Vintage button bangle

Gradient button necklace

Corsage for Mom

Bib necklace 

Glitter bangles

Washer necklaces

Paper bead necklaces:




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