Monday, December 26, 2011

See you in a week!


Love you all! I'm taking the week off and will see you in 2012!!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yay for Regina!


Regina, who posts on Regina's Writings, is the winner of the terrific book Color, Texture & Casting for Jewelers that we were giving away!  Congratulations, Regina!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a post about Natural Touch resin beads and making them your own.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discovered a wonderful way to boost your inspiration! It's called DOTS--and you must get some! :) 


The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Embrace the holiday spirit of giving and bid on one of the fantastic "Artists Helping Artists" auctions going on to help Penny of SparrowSalvage!

About.com Jewelry Making
Don't get hung up on hang tags. Learn some easy options for creating earring cards and hang tags.  

Art Bead Scene
On the 6th Day of Christmas, Gaea posted a fun beaded holiday card hanger project! Check out all 12 Days of Christmas projects on the Art Bead Scene blog!  



 

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book review: Dimensional Bead Embroidery



One of my personal favorite bead embroiderers, Jamie Cloud Eakin, has a new book published by Lark called Dimensional Bead Embroidery.  What I really really like about this book is the exact thing that I've heard others criticize about it: it is a reference guide, almost an encyclopedia of techniques, and not so much a project book.  Oh yes, there some projects in it, of course, and they are lovely.  But they are not really the main attraction, in my opinion.

Jamie has eight chapters full of information on everything you'll need to know to add focus and interest to your basic back stitch.  She covers materials and tools, basic stitches, basics of design, adding components, dimensional surface stitches, bezel stitches, edging techniques, and attachment stitches.  Although she covers some of the same topics as in her very popular book Beading with Cabochons, all of the techniques in Dimensional Bead Embroidery are new.  If you already own Beading with Cabochons, you will no doubt want this book as well.  I think that the methodical way that Jamie takes you through each topic is excellent, and it will make it extremely easy for you to find exactly the portion that you want to refresh on in the future as you create your own works of art!   




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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

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 some of the easy ones on this 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:

Easy beaded ornament cover

Just peachy ornament cover

Crocheted beaded ornament covers

Beginner's beaded ornament cover

Easy netted ornament cover

Beaded ornament cover

Victorian beaded Christmas tree ornament


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Monday, December 19, 2011

Yay for Jackie!!



Jackie, who writes FiddleDeeDee Jewelry, is the winner of the book Ring a Day!  Congratulations, Jackie!



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Book review and giveaway: Color, Texture, & Casting for Jewelers



Have you been thinking about ways that you can set your jewelry apart from the crowd?  One way is to cast your own metal pieces or work with other hot metal applications.  Carles Codina has written an introduction to the various techniques that may interest you if you've been thinking along these lines.  Color, Texture & Casting for Jewelers is a practical demonstration style book that walks you through metal combinations, texture and patinas, modeling and many forms of casting.

I was especially interested in the section on patinas.  We're all familiar with liver of sulfur when working with silver, but there are lots of other chemical and heat treatments that will yield additional colors.  Casting is another topic that I find fascinating.  When I was in college, I did some lost-wax casting, but I never felt it was really for me.  Carles covers other forms of casting, including sand and cuttlebone.  Who'd have thought?

The metal combination section was much more interesting than I expected.  It covers keum boo, plating, mokume gane, and granulation.  Although I love the look of all these techniques, they do not really interest me to try.  Nevertheless, I do love learning about the techniques and understanding how they work so that I can better appreciate the work of other artists!

If you've been thinking that you'd like to move your career along and explore some more advanced techniques, this might be just the book you've been looking for.  I wouldn't recommend it for a complete beginner: the practical application projects are more advanced than most beginners would feel comfortable with.  But if you've already got some experience working hot, this might be just the book to help you find your next direction!

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

And now you have a chance to win this book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  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 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 24, 2011. 



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Friday, December 16, 2011

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

Art Bead Scene
Jennifer decks the halls with a super colorful, Jangles styled bead garland, and her free tutorial will show you how to make one too!

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week I made a beautiful component even better! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has fun being a new designer blogger for Nina Designs! Come and see what she made! 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares a couple of magazines that he was recently published in.  

A Bead A Day
Share your holiday jewelry on A Bead A Day blog. Just leave a comment or send an email to get your work featured!  

About.com Jewelry Making
No time to make beaded ornaments? This is so not true when you have this super fast and inexpensive tutorial to help you.  




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Thursday, December 15, 2011

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!

Victorian Christmas necklace


Crystal ladder bracelet

Stitched stockings

Christmas earrings with patterns

Holiday images necklace

Frosty star earrings

Five Golden Rings bracelet

Holly Berry Earrings


Sugar plum swirls necklace

Evergreen star earrings

Berry bracelet bead pattern


The Eighth Gift Earrings

Holiday beaded bracelet

Christmas Tree necklace

Swarovski Christmas tutorials

Beading Daily free seed bead patterns

Holiday jewelry advice from Margie Deeb

How to design a jewelry gift by Tammy Powley


 




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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

InaRae's mixed media necklace



InaRae, who writes BCreativeU, contacted me recently with this lovely bit of news:

I made a necklace following directions you had in a 2007 Jewelry Crafts magazine. It isn't as good as I would like but it was a start, and the next one? Maybe? Anyway thanks, you are always an amazing inspiration.
I have to say that the real inspiration is seeing what other people do with the kernel of an idea, whether it's mine or someone else's.  Isn't creativity and art-making amazing?



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Calls for entries and submissions




Crafts National 2012
Deadline: 01/06/12  
   
 

Bead Soup Blog Party
Deadline: 01/07 - 10/12  
   
 

Metal clay, metal beads, wirework, or chain, FMG
Deadline: 01/10/12   
   


Belle Armoire Jewelry

Deadline 01/15/12  
   


Metal Clay Design Competition

Deadline: 01/30/12  
   


Rock 'n' Rollo challenge

Deadline: 01/31/12  
   



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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

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!



Holiday earring patterns are available for free all over the internet, and they make wonderful ornaments as well.  You can even use the regular shepherd's hook earring findings so that both you and your tree can wear them!  Some of my favorite quick patterns are on About.com's Beadwork site (link above).



Is it a pendant, an ornament, or a gift tag?  How about all three?  This square stitch rosette pattern holds many possibilities. 




And how about these darling little beaded wire trees by Fusion Beads?




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

Five more beading ideas from Beading Daily.

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







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Monday, December 12, 2011

Yay for Nancy!



Congratulations to Nancy Markosky, who won our Chains Chains Chains book giveaway! 

Book review and giveaway: Ring a Day


Ring lovers, take note!  You are definitely going to want to see this volume, Ring a Day, from Lark Publishing.  Marthe Le Van has chosen 700 photos from last year's Ring a Day challenge.  Marthe writes in the introduction, "When I heard that a group of jewelers was creating one new ring per day for an entire calendar year, three thoughts immediately came to mind -- This is brilliant!  This is completely mad!  Where do I sign up?"

Some of the entries are wearable and wonderful.  Some will make you scratch your head.  Others will make you roll your eyes.  All will make you wonder why you didn't get in on this project :-)  That's why I'm telling you about it now...what's to prevent you from setting up a challenge like this with some of your friends?  There's a whole new year coming soon...

The participants are listed and all the photos are identified by materials, artist, and technique, but this is purely not a project book.  It's a chronicle and an inspiration, but you'll find no instructions here, just great photos! 

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

And now you have a chance to win this book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  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 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 19, 2011. 

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Saturday, December 10, 2011

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! I put out a call to those who have shared their passion and creativity with you in the past, and here are the results: special offers and unique gifts for all!

Ann Kruglak  Free dreamwork consultation by email with any purchase (can be given as a gift also). My work is mainly gift items such as earrings, clocks, mirrors, bookmarks, wine stoppers, ornaments, candle holders, and larger sculpture, wall art and masks. All proceeds go to rainforest preservation. Please Note: My shop will be closed until 12/13 as I will be in Bali. Please visit me soon!

Change of hART & Destash  Closeout handmade jewelry & destash supplies. 50% OFF all finished jewelry with coupon code CLOSEOUT50.  30% OFF all supplies & kits with coupon code hART30. FREE DOMESTIC SHIPPING on all US orders with coupon code FREESHIPDAY

Burnt Offerings  An eclectic selection of artwork, jewelry, prints, and unique art supplies for your holiday gift giving needs!

DenisePerreault  Through 2011, get 25% off my bead sculpture "The Stoning," or any fandangle in stock.

VanessaSellsSupplies  Specializing in aluminum disks and leaf shapes to add pizzazz to beaded and chainmail jewelry.

KaliButterfly  Handcrafted aluminum chainmail jewelry.  Hypo-allergenic and lightweight jewelry is perfect for holiday gifts.

Kristin Diener, MFA  Diener studio in downtown Albuquerque New Mexico has ongoing beginning and continuing classes in jewelrymaking/metalsmithing/small metals.

Delia Marsellos-Traister  Wearable art-jewelry for loving and wearing and gemstones for your work.  Free shipping on many items.





Images: Stock.xchng


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Friday, December 09, 2011

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

About.com Jewelry Making
Time and money are items many of us don't have much of right now, but not to worry. These simple projects are just what you need to inexpensively spread some holiday jewelry love. 

Beads & Books
Michelle turns an inexpensive printer's tray from a craft store into a beautiful display for a jewelry show.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a series of bezels filled with last year's Christmas cards to share this week.  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean hosts a very lovely giveaway from the sublime bead and jewelry store in Florence, Italy, Beaded Lily!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew creates a piece to be silently auctioned off to help a fellow artist out! Bid on his necklace to win and check out all the other fantastic auctions going on!  

A Bead A Day
If you are looking for some fabulous giveaways by a wide variety of artists and crafters, Lisa is linking you up!  




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Thursday, December 08, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Beaded ornaments for your tree or table



Here are some projects that will help to bring the generations of beaders together in your family this year. I wouldn't recommend putting the beaded tea lights on your tree, but all the rest of these projects make nice tree ornaments as well as table top decorations.

Small beaded Christmas tree - a great way to use up all your leftover beads!

Beaded glass serving tray - choose beads and wire to match you own decor.

Beaded snowflake ornament - beads and pins...easy easy easy!

Golden beaded pear - not difficult to make but a bit time-consuming (shown above). Can you picture a set of these in a bowl on the table or hanging from your tree?


Star, candycane, and wreath - easy to make beaded ornaments that kids will enjoy helping with.

Safety pin tea lights - I've seen lots of flag pins and bracelets made from beaded safety pins, but I've never seen tea lights before!

Fuse bead ornaments - another great project to do with the kids!





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Monday, December 05, 2011

Book review and giveaway: Chains Chains Chains



Think you know all there is to know about chains?  I can guarantee that this book, Chains Chains Chains, will open your eyes and get your imagination working overtime with new ideas.  Have you ever seen links that are a flock of birds?  How about chain links that portray lakes from a map?  Or scribble marks.  Some of these chains are made from wire, and some are from sheet metal, so the variety is amazing.

Chains Chains Chains is an edited volume from Lark Books, so you'll probably recognize some of your favorite designers here, and lots that are destined to become your new favorites!

There is a basics section in the back of the book that covers the properties of different metals, bench tools and equipment you'll need, and basic techniques.  The techniques include annealing, cleaning, transferring designs, sawing, filing, dapping, chasing, riveting, shaping, melting, soldering, pickling, and finishing.  Even though this section is pretty extensive, I still think this book is best for those with some metal experience or very motivated beginners.  

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

And now you have a chance to win this book!  Just leave me a comment below and you'll automatically be entered to win.  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 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 12, 2011.  


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Saturday, December 03, 2011

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! I put out a call to those who have shared their passion and creativity with you in the past, and here are the results: special offers and unique gifts for all!

Nancy Tobey  Until January 31st - a pair of earring beads with every purchase of $50 or more.

Michele Palenik  I can make you the best gift-giver on the block! Off the rack or custom designs always available. Bundle your purchases and I will include a free gift and super saver shipping.

Lissie Design  Free shipping until next year!

Annika deGroot  Micro-Macrame Jewelry Artist creating intricately knotted designs for your holiday gift giving.

Change of hART  Distinctive one-of-a-kind jewelry & custom wedding flowers.  10% OFF all items in the Clearance Section with coupon code SPECIAL11 from now through the end of the year.

Sylvia Windhurst  Unique beaded and embroidered jewelry and accessories. Shipping is always free within the USA, and your orders will come in a gift box.

Ling-Yen Designs  41st annual crafts fair to benefit the Mendocino Schools Enrichment programs.

Cheri C Meyer  Unique handcrafted jewelry art, offering free shipping anywhere and check out the sale section in my Etsy shop!

Nancy Peterson of Beaver Island Jewelry will be offering a free zipper pull with any purchase from her website if you mention Beading Arts blog! Beaver Island Jewelry offers handmade glass lampwork beads and jewelry made with these beads.

Blueridge Diva Designs  Features artisan designed seed bead jewelry and accessories, to enhance your beauty and style!

Kydo Jewellery  Keep Your Dreams Original!  Elegant Handmade Art Jewelry is a beautiful gift for any season.

Jackie R Jewelry  Give a Gift of Beautiful Gemstone Jewelry!  Promotional sale on now.

Steider Studios  Kilnformed glass home decor and personal adornment. Complimentary standard shipping through December 10th.

Gila Leah, Jewelry for the Unique Woman  Find Jewish jewelry for Chanukah gifts – also unique, Quality, handcrafted pieces with sterling silver, shells, ribbons, stones… at my online store 



Images: Stock.xchng


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Friday, December 02, 2011

TAST 2012 - Take a Stitch Tuesday



I've decided to join the stitching challenge run by Sharon Boggon, called Take a Stitch Tuesday.  Each week Sharon introduces a new embroidery stitch that participants can practice and expand upon.  Sound like fun?  Sign ups are still going on over at the TAST home page!

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Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

 

A Bead A Day
Looking for some easy and fun holiday jewelry making projects? Lisa is sharing a few new ones this week. Snowflake earrings, jingle bell rings and simple Swarovski crystal earrings!

About.com Jewelry Making
There is still time to make some awesome (and easy) beaded ornaments.  

Art Bead Scene
Marie Cramp shares some beautiful examples of using the colors from art pendant focals to inspire a necklace design.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a little post about working with hemp cord this week!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is so excited about the wonderful opportunity to win 150 dollars worth of Nina Designs components! For details, please see her blog!  




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Thursday, December 01, 2011

A month of holiday tutorials




So, who's making jewelry gifts this year?  Raise your hands...who hasn't exactly gotten started yet? 

If you're looking for quick and easy, I just might have a link to a good project for you here :-) These are not all necessarily holiday-themed pieces, just pieces that I think you'll like to share.   I'll be sharing more tutorials throughout the next couple of weeks...right up until it's almost too late.  Really though, if you're going to make something for someone, it's never too late!



Polymer clay greeting card necklace 

Eyeglass holder necklace

Enchanted charm bracelet

Button charm necklace

Sparkle wire wrap ring

The easiest polymer clay earrings

Mixed metals necklace

Chain mail bead earrings

Faerie bells necklace

Ethiopian cross necklace

Cobalt and crystal bracelet

Simple pom-pom earrings

Sparkling Pin

Champagne bubbles necklace

Leaf earrings

Bubble earrings

Cherry donut necklace

Pearl-dangle pendant

Stamped resin pendant necklace

Optical lens pendant

Hanging the Moon necklace

Fishing for Trout necklace

Beaded bauble necklace

Wired up beach rock

Textured polymer clay pendant

The simplest pendant necklace

Lots more ideas can be found in our Tutorials posts. Some of these projects are fast and easy, some take more time, but there is plenty there to get you going!



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