Saturday, January 30, 2010

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Color Bead Strands, Katmandu, Nepal
Art Wolfe
12x9 Photographi...
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Friday, January 29, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Art Bead Scene
Meet the pretty girl with lots of brains plus a whole lotta soul!

Carmi's Art/Life World
After a week at CHA Carmi chooses the sweater surgery necklace as her favorite event.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Instead of biting her fingernails down to the nub, Cindy makes Grunge Beads! 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie looks to the skies for the inspiration for some new cloud carvings

Jean Campbell
Jean met up with two very cool artists this week: Gorgeous wool designs (including wool beads!); wonderful women.

Snap out of it, Jean, There's beading to be done!
book review by jean: here's a cool title, harking back to the 60s...Crunchy Granola Charm eBook by Yvette Doss !

Strands of Beads
Melissa creates a new necklace design using cute heart beads from Rings & Things

A Bead A Day
Is it too early to "think spring" or will that make it get here faster? Lisa used her Soft Flex Trios in an attempt to hurry spring along. Jewelry Making
Are you ready to load up on some Valentine's jewelry tutorials? Are you even making jewelry for this holiday?

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

In search of a prettier circle

I've always been pretty haphazard about doing circular flat peyote stitch.  Generally, I use the method recommended in the back of both Beadwork and Bead and Button magazines: you start with a small odd-numbered circle and build off of it, each row alternating between adding one bead and two beads for each stitch.  And if need be, you alternate between one and two within a row.

It works well for awhile, but eventually it gets kind of messy.  I never worried about it too much, because I'm more into freeform than into precise geometric work anyway, but it occurred to me that maybe I ought to care, just in case...

So it was with great delight that I found Jean Campbell's instruction for circular flat peyote stitch in the most recent issue of Beadwork (Feb/Mar 2010).  Here's the thing: it's wicked easy to do and to keep track of what you're actually supposed to be doing, rather than trying to just feel your way and figure it out.  And look at the results:

Jean's icky circle

Isn't that nice?

I know that Jean's method gives you more of a flower shape, but hey, mine isn't actually a circle either! 

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Jewelry and beading school classes

American Jeweler's Institute in Oregon

Arrowmont School of Arts & Crafts in Tennesee

Boca Raton Museum of Art - The Art School in Florida

Colorado School of Jewelry & Metalarts

Idyllwild Arts in California

Jewelry Creations Workshop in Florida

John C Campbell Folk School in North Carolina

Lillstreet Art Center in Illinois

Miami Jewelry School in Florida

Northwest Gemological Institute in Washington

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in California

Rye Arts Center in New York

Studio Jewelers Ltd in New York City

3rd Ward in Brooklyn, New York

I'm sure there are more schools and non-profit organizations that offer classes. Can you think of any to add?  Leave me a comment with your suggestions and I'll add them to the list!

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Bead Journal Project, 2010

On January 1, 2010 the third season of the Bead Journal Project began.  I was thrilled to get back to it…the discipline of knowing that I have to make something for a series really motivates me.

Here’s my piece for January: I've decided to make a bead-embroidered bracelet for each month. Even though January is pretty bleak in New England, I always look forward to each new year…the hope and promise of something new. That’s why it’s brightly colored and sparkly

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up! Jewelry Making
Catch up on the latest jewelry related podcasts. Tammy found some excellent ones for you to listen to.

Art Bead Scene
Do You Rock? Here’s your chance to show others that you do!

Carmi’s Art Life World
Carmi has an easy idea to thank a sponsor.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
An Emily Dickinson poem describes Cindy’s newest piece of jewelry.

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Kerry Bogert’s wonderfully whimsical new wirework book, Totally Twisted.

Snap out of it, Jean! There’s beading to be done!
Want to know what rubber duckies and Autism Awareness jewelry have to do with each other? Check Jean’s site out!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off a new earring design made from beautiful cubic zirconia from

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew shares the new additions to his bead stash – goodies from Cindy Gimbrone, Diane Hawkey, and Nancy Schindler.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to get your work featured on Beading Arts

There's really no mystery! If you'd like to share a piece you've made, all you have to do is shoot me an email to cyndi (remove the spaces). Please put beading arts image to share in the subject line. We love to read about things like what inspired you to make the piece and any challenges that you faced, so tell us a bit about yourself and the image that you're sending. Please size your image to 72 dpi resolution, and make it no wider than 600px. I'll gladly share your website and/or blog link along with your image and description.

If you'd like to consider sharing an in depth artist profile with us (see Artist Profiles for past examples), just put beading arts artist profile in the subject line. I'll send you the questions that I ask profiled artists to consider...I think you'll be able to tell from those questions whether or not you'll want to do a full profile. If it seems to be too much, you could simply send me an artist statement that covers what materials you like best and what inspires you, along with about 3 images you'd like to feature.

I'm always looking for new artists to promote and profile as well as established favorites! Don't be shy...send me that query!

Image: WikimediaCommons

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Know your jewelry terms

Don't know your dohickey from your whatchamacallit? Well, it's past time to learn. There is a specialized vocabulary for most disciplines, and jewelry making and beading are no exceptions. Here are some resources to help you get your vocabulary straight and up to date!

Jewelry making supplies
A fabulous chart of terms by Jean Campbell

Seed bead finishes, sizes, types, and manufacturers
Susan Mandel...bless her!

WigJig Dictionary of Beads and Jewelry Making Terms

Glossary of Jewelry Making Terms on All Info About

All About Jewels
Illustrated dictionary

FDJ Tool

Rings & Things
Frequently asked jewelry making questions

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Monday, January 18, 2010

A wild caterpillar bracelet

I made this bracelet for a challenge over at the Wearable Arts forum at WetCanvas a couple of years ago, and just unearthed it recently!  It was actually inspired by a photograph of a fruit and vegetable market in Seattle. The beads running down the center of the bracelet are the same color as Rainier cherries, which figured prominently in the image, and the ribbon yarn colors reminded me of all the other summer fruit bounty in the photo.

When you wear this bracelet, the ribbon pieces flop around since they're very lightweight.  It really doesn't look so much like a creepy centipede circling your arm when you see it in real life :-)

I wrote up some tips on making these finger-woven pieces awhile back.  The process for this bracelet was quite similar, except that I used short lengths of ribbon yarn to tie the square knots in between each bead instead of using one continuous length of cord.

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, January 16, 2010

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Jewellery for Sale at Istanbul Bazaar...
Wes Walker
24x24 Photograph...
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Friday, January 15, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Katie's Beading Blog:
See pix of Katie's workshop offerings for the Bead & Button Show in June. Registration opened this week and classes are already filling up!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei tests the waters with some new bead elements from Pork Chop Show.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean really thinks Barb Switzer is a super person and editor! She was thrilled when Barb interviewed her last year for the online newsletter, Simply Beads!

Strands of Beads
Melissa has a fun time exchanging bead stashes with a friend to create a new bracelet.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Inspired by a lampwork glass champagne-hued Basha Bead and a shibuichi mermaid pendant, Andrew creates a whimsical and sophisticated necklace. Jewelry Making
Tammy has developed a quick link list to help you find the jewelry info you need.

Art Bead Scene
January's Art Bead Scene Challenge is a snowy landscape with a solitary magpie painted by Monet.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe will be tooting Jean Campbell's horn for her new book Steampunk Style at CHA.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a special Paris post on photographing jewelry.

Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva
Rewind: Cindy's Art Noveau inspired Stile Floreal bronze clay pendants.

Jean Campbell
Oh, geez. Jean's tooting her horn again about her new book, Steampunk Style Jewelry... 

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Artist profile: Kathryn Lane Berkowitz


Artist: Kathryn Lane Berkowitz
Business name: Blue Ridge Diva Designs
Location: Lincolnton, NC

Blog: Blue Ridge Diva Designs

Kathryn, how do you describe your work?
I see my work as the culmination of the release of my abundant and free flowing creative angst. I am somewhat compulsive when it comes to creativity, and never seem to be at a loss for inspiration.

My biggest challenge is choosing which project to start next ! I chose the name Blue Ridge Diva Designs because I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I didn’t want to limit myself to jewelry and beads, although they are my primary medium. I also enjoy painting, crochet and embroidery.

What is your creative process like?
The process usually starts with a found object, a color or something that I see or feel that resonates with me. I rarely plan anything from start to finish. I like to jump in and let my muse take me for an adventurous, spontaneous ride.

Do you throw all your materials on the table and let serendipity take its course?
That’s a pretty apt description of the way I work ! I like to make a bead soup and see what “cooks up.” Occasionally I do make very rough sketches when I have an idea. If I don’t, I am likely to forget the concept. I love music when working. I listen to a lot of music. Anything goes except country and hip-hop. I love Loreena McKennitt, Hillsongs Worship, Delerious and John Doan. I am a manic beader. Once I start, it is very hard to stop ! So I keep going as long as I can.

What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I do not have any formal training and have never taken a beading class. My Mom was an art teacher, so we always had our hands in something at home.

Is there a tool or material that you can’t imagine living without?
Charlottes, 3 cuts, Hex beads, Fireline, Silamide and Ultrasuede.

What inspires you to create?
I believe it is my Creator, primarily, who inspires me. The very meaning of the word, inspiration, implies that an outside force breathes creativity or ability into men, a divine enabling to communicate or create.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
Sheer stubbornness ! The most frustrating thing is having to tear something up because of a mistake. I have done this so many times. But the beads will eventually submit to my whims.

What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
I would just say plunge in and follow your instincts. Enjoy the process as much as the finished project. Stay true to your intuition and you can’t help but grow. And don’t judge your work too harshly. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been completely underwhelmed by a piece I created and it would be the first thing I sell at a show. That makes me feel great, because I have brought pleasure to someone else, even though I may not have been thrilled with the result. It’s always a delightful surprise ! My beading buddy, Paula, and I have a saying that goes “The one thing you know, is that you never know.” ( who is going to be attracted to what piece )

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
My family and granddaughter, and my work as a Perinatal Educator.

What’s your favorite comfort food?
Lattes and Chocolate, both of which make for more enjoyable beading !

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jewelry and beading shows with classes

Jewelry and beading classes are offered all throughout the extravaganza in early February in Tucson. Here is some general information on Tucson, including a map: Show guide: an overview

Besides Tucson, there are many beading shows throughout the rest of the year that also offer classes. Why should you take a class this year? Why not just learn everything online (preferably for free)? Well, there are actually lots of good reasons to go the hands-on route, and here are just a few of my best tips: you won't waste as much in materials, you'll learn the techniques properly and efficiently, you'll have a chance to have your technique corrected if need be, and you'll figure out which tools and materials you must have as opposed to just want to have!

Manning House
Tucson, AZ.

The Innovative Beads Expo
Shows and classes in the northeast only. Click on Beading Classes

Bead&Button Show
Milwaukee, WI. Click on Classes

Best Bead Shows (Crystal Myths)
Tucson, AZ. Click on Bead Shows. Bead show classes are linked in the right sidebar

To Bead True Blue
Tucson, AZ. Click on Workshop List

Down the Street Bead Shows
Southeast locations only. Click on Class sign up page

Puget Sound Bead Festival
Puget Sound, WA. Click on Classes

Gem and Jewelry Show (JOGS)
Tucson, AZ. Click on Classes

Intergalactic Bead and Jewelry Shows
Click on Classes

International Gem and Jewelry Shows
Free beginner workshops with Wendy Simpson Conner
Click here for Wendy's schedule

Interweave Bead and Jewelry Events:
Step by Step bead classes
Jewelry Artist classes

Whole Bead Show
Click on city to see class schedule

New York City. Go to Shows & Events, and click on Seminars

Rio Grande
Catalog in Motion events

Interweave Bead Fest
3 great venues with workshops

Adorn Me! 2010
Art Unraveled's wearables workshops

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Beading Arts has a new sponsor

In the sidebar, you'll find some companies that help to sponsor the Beading Arts blog.  Just today, I was fortunate to add a new sponsor, Yehuda Diamond Company.  To find the perfect clarity enhanced diamond, please visit Yehuda, where you'll find both loose and set diamonds. 

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Monday, January 11, 2010

The White Woman from Rosenegg

I came across a blog full of stories from all over the world, collected by Andrew Wright.  Andrew has also written many of the stories himself as well as posting his versions of traditional tales.  One caught my eye, because it featured a woman in distress, a rescuer, a monster with treasure...and an interesting twist.  If you'd like to read Andrew's version of The White Woman from Rosenegg, you'll find it at the link.  Above is the treasure necklace that I made in response to the traditional elements of the story. 

This was made in a similar fashion to a previous treasure necklace that I shared with you.  The instructions for that one, called All the Keys to Emerald City, are found at the link.

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, January 09, 2010

Buy at

Buy From

Friday, January 08, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Jean Campbell
Jean is sharing stories and images this week about her stops in CA. Monterey brought the most creative inspiration of all.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Looking for just the right clasp? Lorelei reviews a few from

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean meets a cool new friend who offers us a great jewelry teaching site!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is the author of Softflex Company's Spotlight On...Article for January 2010. 

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
A luminous Golden Cloud Series Basha Bead inspires Andrew to create a bracelet ready to take flight!

A Bead A Day
If you are looking for some unique findings to use in your valentine jewelry (or Twilight jewelry), Lisa uses some interesting domed filligree pieces to house a bright red mysterious bead. Jewelry Making
Artfire, Zibbet, Etsy, which of these is the right selling venue for your jewelry?

Art Bead Scene
ABS Rewind: Art Bead Scene isn't just about art beads, it's about artist made buttons too!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Demon Monkeys appear in Carmi's projects this week.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Cindy's made a New Year's resolution to clean out the studio with a January clearance sale!

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Monday, January 04, 2010

Polymer clay swirl necklace

I spent some time fooling around with polymer clay awhile ago.  One of my favorite things to do was to see if I could mimic the look of some of the fabric and paper projects that I've done over the years.  It turns out that polymer clay is a wonderful material to use to make beads, something that many of you already know!

For those who haven't messed around with it much, here's a really easy project to get you going.  All you really need is a couple of colors of clay (I bought Sculpey III), something to use to roll it out, something to cut it, and something to suspend the beads as you bake them.  You could buy an acrylic roller and a polyblade, or you could just use whatever you've got around the house (like an exacto knife) until you decide if you really want to invest in good tools.  None of them are expensive (except for a pasta machine), but I'm a believe in deciding before buying!

Here's what you need to know to get going:

1. Condition the clay.  Don't let the fact that Sculpey III is soft fool you.  You need to knead it for awhile until it softens up even more and becomes elastic.  You'll feel the difference.  Mix some colors together, stretching and pulling and folding until you like the look of the mix.

2. Roll an even slab.  You can use a couple of skewers, playing cards, or whatever to keep your roller level.  When you decide that polymer clay is your life, get a pasta machine.

3. Cut a triangle from the slab with the polyblade or exacto knife.

4. Roll the triangle around a wire to bake, starting from the wide end.  Make sure the tip is secured against the rest of the bead.

5. Make additional beads from triangles.  You can texture some or all of the triangles before rolling if you'd like.

6. Make variegated round beads in the same or contrasting colors.

7. Suspend beads on a wire over a pie pan and bake according to the brand's instructions.

8. Finish the surface of the beads.  I like to wet sand them and add a coat of Future floor polish.


9. String beads on beading wire, using smaller spacer beads in between the polymer clay beads.

10. Finish the ends using spacer beads, crimps, and a toggle clasp.

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, January 02, 2010

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Beads at Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi),...
Izzet Keribar
16x12 Photograph...
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Friday, January 01, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reflects on the past year and sets her goals for the new year

Jewelry & Beading
It's that time of year! Cyndi wants to know, "What's on your worktable?"

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is proud and happy about her contribution to Jean Campbell's gorgeous Steampunk Style Jewelry book! Take a look!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Dark reds and lush blacks mingle together in Andrew's latest necklace design, "The Shadow King." Andrew also announces the launch of his new Skull Shop! Jewelry Making
Take a moment to look back at 2009 and forward to 2010.

Art Bead Scene
Deep hues and bright pops of color highlight a trip to ABS Editor Cindy Gimbrone's studio for a look at a special set of beads for this month's ABS challenge.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Rewind: Cindy ventures into moldmaking with a vintage French button. 

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Getting back on the saddle again can be hard, but Lorelei is finally back up and beading after a busy holiday season. 

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off the elegant necklace of a guest designer - her mother-in-law.

A Bead A Day
Happy New Year from A Bead A Day! Lisa is working on transitioning new year's jewelry into valentine jewelry!  

Polymer Clay Bezels
Carmi makes up her first batch of polymer clay bezels for pendants.  

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Happy New Year!

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