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Showing posts from June, 2010

Outsource yourself?

Melinda O'Keefe , of Melindesign Jewelry Assembly Studio has discovered an clever new way to market her services and make money doing what she loves...making jewelry.  She explains her journey, moving from being a designer and a teacher to becoming an experienced assembler. Unlike those "make crafts at home" scams where you will find that you never get paid for your work (it's never up to their requirements...the whole idea was to sell you the kit in the first place), Melinda has brilliantly figured out how to help other jewelers increase their production in a way that benefits them both.  Smart girl!  Read her story at Rena Klingenberg's site, Home Jewelry Business Success Tips , and if you haven't already subscribed to it, do it for heaven's sake! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Twisted ladder stitch in Bead&Button

The June 2010 issue of Bead & Button has an article by Lisa Keith , teaching a very clever variation on the simple ladder stitch.  She shows how it can be used to create twisted bracelets or necklaces.  As I read through the instructions and saw how easy they were, I thought I'd point it out for those of you who aren't subscribers and who might like to pick up this issue.  This stitch could be used to create a gorgeous neckstrap for an art bead or pendant, using a different stitch from the customary spiral stitch that we all love.  Above is a short little sample that I stitched in less than 15 works up fast!    Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Metal beaded bead in tubular peyote stitch

The large central bead in this piece is made from bead-woven silver and copper beads, using a spiraling peyote stitch technique. It is approximately 2-1/2 inches long, and is surrounded by copper, silver, and turquoise in the rest of the necklace strand. The rest is put together using simple stringing and wire work techniques. The trick to creating a spiraling strand or bead like this is to use different sizes of beads and to weave tubular peyote using an odd count.  As you make your way around the tube, the spiral naturally develops, and it is accentuated by using different sized beads.  This is similar to the Cellini spiral , which is worked even count.  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.  Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beadin

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  Cindy Gimbrone Cindy rewinds on wire. Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie shows her Steampunk Sampler class made of mixed metals, industrial porcelain, and cold connections   Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei's studio is in total disarray. Check out some pics and if you have suggestions, she would totally be appreciative! Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Review of a great book: Candie Cooper's Metalworking 101 for Beaders! Don't miss this!   Strands of Beads Melissa shows off a summery necklace design with components courtesy of The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Always on the hunt for unique components, Andrew spotlights "pinch bail components" from Shoutrinse on Etsy!   A Bead A Day Let's have a Tiki party! Lisa found Tiki beads at Big Lots for $1.00 and is looking for ideas! Jewelry Making Thinking of selling on-line but worried about the cost

Jewelry kits by Tammy Powley

My friend Tammy Powley , well-known author in the beading world and the guide at the jewelry making site , has started on a brand new venture: producing wonderful jewelry kits.  She sent me one to try and to critique for her before its release, and now I can tell you about it!  Look at how cute the packaging is, and check out the pretty pair of earrings that I made from the materials  and the instructions.  Tammy is selling her kits through her Etsy shop , and they are available as a full kit, just the supplies, or just the instructions.  I made the earrings shown above, using the Lovin’ Rose Quartz Briolette Earrings kit.  The instructions were very detailed and easy to follow, with excellent photos to accompany each step.  There are a few extras in the kit in case this is the first time you've worked with worries if your first loop doesn't turn out perfect! I would definitely recommend the kits to anyone who would like a nice gift for a beading fr

Jewelry at the Luce Center

The Luce Foundation Center for American Art has a fabulous jewelry collection. The Luce is one of the less well-known of the Smithsonian Museum family. If you won’t be taking a trip anytime soon to Washington DC, the Luce’s website thoughtfully displays a certain amount of the collection for your viewing pleasure right online! Ginny Ruffner You'll find everything from modern lampwork and fused glass to mixed media assemblage, fabricated metalwork, bead weaving, and historic pieces. This museum is well worth the time for a visit if you can possibly make it. Joyce Scott Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review and giveaway: Metalworking 101 for Beaders

Would you like to have a book that tells you how to do more metalwork than simply making your own jump rings and ear wires?  Would you like to learn how to make those correctly, but not stop there? Have I got a treat for you! Candie Cooper has written a terrific book, Metalworking 101 for Beaders , and I've got a copy here to give away!  Maybe you'd like to make your own bails with gorgeous pierced designs that complement the rest of your necklace (check out "bamboo bail").  Perhaps you've been wanting to learn to make your own ring bands ("profusion ring").  Or maybe soldered rings ("tassel necklace"). Candie starts out with all the technical know-how necessary to make the terrific projects she's included...and there are lots of them, ranging in skill levels so that everyone will find projects to love.   ***Free Stuff Alert!!!*** Would you like to win a free copy of Candie Cooper's book?  Just leave me a comment below a

Recent publications: June 2010

Precious Jewellery: 25 Jewellery Projects Using Precious and Semi-Precious Beads by Cheryl Owen Beaded Treasures by Dorothy Wood A String of Expression by June Roman French Beaded Flowers - The Complete Guide by Zoe L. Schneider The Encyclopedia of Wire Jewelry Techniques: A Compendium of Step-by-Step Techniques for Making Wire-Based Jewelry by Sara Withers and Xuella Arnold 30-Minute Earrings: 60 Quick & Creative Projects for Jewelers by Marthe Le Van Glass Jewellery (Jewellery Handbooks) by Yvonne Coffey Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Bead Journal Project: bracelet for June

Here is my Bead Journal Project piece for June.  The green of spring is starting to shade into the deeper blue-greens of early summer...exactly what happens in New England over the course of the month of June.  I started with some faux leather fabric that I made from felt for the background.  You probably can't see it really clearly in this shot, but up close it looks and feels just like thin leather, dyed of course!  I used a Nevada turquoise cab, heavy on the green tones, that's been sitting around here forever, just waiting for a project.  Surrounding it are clusters of beaded stacks built around amazonite rondelles.  This bracelet is one of the featured step-by-step projects in Chapter Two of my e-book: Altered Surfaces .    January February March April May Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Double the Fun - beaded optical lens pendant

Some vintage optical test lenses make great magnifiers, with their thick convex shapes. I chose one such lens to make this bead-rimmed double sided pendant. If you can’t find an optical test lens that suits, a 1-1/2 inch magnifying glass on a loop would work as well. I used right angle weave (RAW), the one-needle variety, to make the beaded rim for this piece. The two sides are constructed separately, and then they are stitched together, which allows you to chose different colors for each side. The pendant shown here has just the basic RAW rim, but if you are experienced with bead weaving, you’ll know that this rim can easily be embellished with layers and layers more beads if you wish to fancy it up! Materials and Tools Optical lens Nymo beading thread, size D 11/0 cylinder beads (Delicas), 25 each of two colors (A) 8/0 seed beads, 25 each of two colors (B) 4mm fire polished facetted beads, 50 each of two colors (C) Beading needle Scissors Glue 1. Use a 3’ leng

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Carmi's Art/Life World A button get's glammed up with tear drop rhinestones. Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva Cindy touts one of her favorite colors in this week's rewind. Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie explores building materials as texture and symbolism in a new set of pendants inspired by a fortress theme Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei got together for a fun beady date with Kerry Bogert, and together they created a necklace! Come by and visit for a chance to win free Patina-ted Metal Components!   Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean is fascinated by the beautiful necklace which Jennifer Dangerfield created and reposts her analysis of what makes it so appealing! All jewelry afficionados really must see this lovely piece! Strands of Beads Melissa shows off her necklace design that won second place in the Metal Clay category of Bead Dreams 2010. The W

Jewelry artist: Justyna Jastrzebska

Justyna Jastrzebska has created a blog called JewelryClassroom , where she shows you many of her unique a gorgeous techniques for making stunning jewelry! You definitely are going to want to visit her and see all that she’s up to! Here is a link to one of her jewelry making videos to get you started. Justyna writes: If I could pick one word to describe my most burning passion, it would be individuality. Growing up in Poland played a monumental role in this. Poland in the 80’s – yes, you can try guessing my age – was all about conformity. You’d find more or less the same goods in every shop. Everyone looked the same. Everyone acted the same. In fact in the town I grew up in, any attempt at making yourself stand out from the crowd was met with mockery and disapproving looks. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m not trying to bash my homeland. I love the people, culture, food and environment I grew up in, yet I always found myself wanting something more. I wanted to find myself.

Alternate sites for selling

Sometimes it makes more sense to use a pre-made sales site rather than set up your own website if you're just getting started in sales. Sometimes you've got a website, but you want to handle sales separately. And sometimes a selling site makes sense because of the extra traffic it can help generate. Please don't think that using a selling site is a free ride though. They are not going to automatically bring the buyers to will have to dedicate time and energy into promoting your online shop, or nothing will happen. Count on it! Don't let the fact that the first link on my list talks about places to buy handmade make you think you've gone to the wrong place... 10 Great Websites to Buy Handmade Goods Setting Up Shop: Handmade Marketplace Comparisons Online Venues for Selling Crafts and Handmade Goods Starting an Etsy Business Free Ads for Your Etsy Shop Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace

Helpful bead and wire charts from SoftFlex

Don't we just love charts around here?  Well, the fabulous Sara Hardin has posted two charts that you will most definitely want to see.  The first is a Beading Wire Comparison Chart , which lists all the variations of SoftFlex along with diameter, number of strands, test strength, best uses, and crimp size needed.  Ok, so that's not enough for you?  Wait, there's more :-) There's a second chart which tells you how many strands of wire at each diameter can pass through a bead of a given size.  For example, the medium diameter wire ( 0.019") will fit four times through a size 8/0 seed bead.  Sometimes you really need to know these things before you start creating your design.  See the Seed Beads vs Beading Wire Diameters Chart for this info.  Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Chinese Fortune Necklace

Here’s a good excuse to eat more Chinese food! The instructions that follow will create a 20 inch necklace, but you can adjust it to your favorite length by either changing the number of beads, or altering the length of chain used. Materials and Tools 11 black wood beads, 30x12 mm twisted ovals (wood beads found at Michael's ) 4 black wood beads, 8 mm round 16 red beads, 5 mm round Colorful piece of decorative Asian paper 11 fortunes from Chinese fortune cookies 24 inches of red-coated SoftFlex beading wire, 0.019 inch diameter 2 crimps 2 inches of bronze colored chain Bronze colored S hook with rings Diamond Glaze or other clear drying adhesive Small paint brush Scissors Wire cutters Chain nose pliers Measuring tape Wire or pipe cleaner 1. Cut thin strips of decorative Asian paper and trim down the fortunes close to the printing. Hang your large oval beads on a wire and suspend them so that you can brush glue all around them. 2. Brush on a thin coa

Celebrity “designers”

I've noticed several articles, both in print and online, that have been bashing the so-called celebrity designers. I'm not talking about designs that arise from famous fashion houses, but entire lines that some celebrity has "created" for (Walmart, Target, KMart, fill in the blank). Whether they are supposedly creating perfume, fashion, or jewelry, do any of us really truly believe that they are doing much more than lending their names to a line? At best, perhaps, they really do like the pieces that wear their names. At worst...well, let's not even go there. I don't know whether it bothers you or not to see celebrity jewelry "designers" cropping up all over the place. I can tell you that Abe Gurko is definitely bothered. He calls them the "tabloid sweeties" who are here to muck things up! Great line, wish I'd thought of it. " you think Alicia Keys, between amazing albums and looking stunning, took a silversmith

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  Art Bead Scene Join the Art Bead Scene Carnival Bloggers as they pay tribute to Bead and Button by creating a statement necklace. Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts Look at all the fun I have have playing with fire.   Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi recycles a beautiful tea box to create this necklace. Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva The Empress models a statement.   Jean Campbell Check out Black Crow's Gothic Contest winners...fantastic!   Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei started up a new website, and would love to hear your input on it!   Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Lydia Muell's mesmerizing art beads and her free giveaway this week!   Strands of Beads Melissa shows off her entry that won the Grand Prize Gold Medal in the 2010 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest   The Writing and Art of Andrew Thor

Yay for Heroilda!

  Heroilda of Las Creaciones de Boricua is the winner of Crystal Brilliance !  Congratulations to you!! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

What's new at Lark?

Beading with Cabochons Do you love Jamie Cloud Eakin's work as much as I do?  Then hop on over to Lark Crafts to read an interview with Jamie and find a link to a free bonus project! You'll also find an interview with jeweler Joanna Gollberg , and a chance to win fabulous Lark books ! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Seed bead artist: Betsy Youngquist

There’s a lot to love on Betsy Youngquist’s site! I really love her older beaded paintings, but it’s her beaded objects like the ones below that totally blow me away! Not surprisingly, Betsy’s work has been featured in many books and beadwork magazines. Most of her very newest work features doll heads. She is an artist who is always growing, changing, and pushing herself to raise the bar! And talk about prolific! My goodness. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review: Sculptural Metal Clay

Oh. My. Goodness. Kate McKinnon is a master of form and a delight to read.  Her new book, Sculptural Metal Clay , even comes with a DVD so that you can have Kate guide you through her amazing techniques almost as if she were right there with you!   This book begins with an overview of the properties of metal clay and the basic techniques which will be used in her projects.  All of the basics are shown in great detail so you will have a great foundation once you've worked your way through this section.  The projects include wonderful sculptural rings, pendants and chains.  I'd say the overall feel of the book is aimed at the advanced beginner through intermediates, but a determined beginner will find a lot to like here too.    Always on top of safety issues, Kate points out that fine silver has fewer toxic qualities than sterling silver in just about every stage of working with it.  Still, there are important safety concerns that she covers because she wants us all to

Traffic traffic, who's got the traffic?

If you sell your jewelry online, hopefully you know that good traffic flow is a must. Let me repeat that: Good. Traffic Flow. A Must. If you don't have Good traffic flow, you will not have sales. What constitutes good traffic flow? Visits by people who are looking to buy what you're selling. Not visits by other artists who are looking for ideas or bored trolls who are looking for places to leave nasty comments. So what are you selling? Specifically, what are you selling? Are you selling simple inexpensive pendants for teens? Upscale precious metal pieces with set stones? Are you perhaps selling lessons and patterns instead of finished pieces? Or maybe you are selling supplies, like your own lampworked glass beads for other artists to use in their designs. You need to be very clear about exactly what you are selling and what your best market is before you spend a lot of time (or any amount of money!) targeting those people. After you figure out what your spe