Friday, October 29, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi takes classes with Swarovski Elements Ambassadors and finally learns how to crochet.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
It's fall and along with it comes a gray sky in the form of jewelry. 

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Rotting veggies and over ripe fruit makes for bead inspiration and a delicious muffin recipe!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
A little antiquing adventure, and Lorelei's got some cool new props for an upcoming craft show!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviewed a unique and very beautiful book: Metal Clay Origami Jewelry, by Sarah Jayne Cole. Please come and see the review on Jean's blog!  

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Beadaholique has generously donated a leafy assortment of autumn-inspired beads and components. Find out how you can win this Thursday Giveaway! Jewelry Making
Tammy has a few new projects incorporating pewter, a perfect substitute for silver.  

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene gets down to business and talks about loss leaders.  

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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Artist profile: Holly Kline


Artist: Holly Kline
Business name: Irrepressible Styles
Location: Marlton, NJ

Website: Irrepressible Styles

Child's Play

Holly, how do you describe your work?
I'm often told that my pieces push the edge without becoming gaudy or being overdone. I design from a natural, organic perspective and really take a lot of inspiration from the elements, the earth around me, different times, Goddesses, and historical figures I admire. I like colors to catch the eye and keep it moving. I want you to feel the piece you're wearing, to keep seeing more in it as time goes on. Jewelry should be an expression of the spirit.

What is your creative process like?
I keep all my beads out in clear containers so I can see them, and I keep searching for color combinations that speak to me. Often I find the focal piece and just build around it until I've reached "the end". I keep track of fashion magazines and decorating magazines to track color and shape trends, and keep a notebook with works I find interesting and inspiring. I'm not afraid to riff off of someone else's work, beaded or not. You can't create in a bubble!


What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?
I really got started because my father was interested in rock hunting, and the family went to some rock shows. My mother picked up some beading gear, and eventually I gave it a whirl. I didn't really get adddicted until seven years later, when I found my first copy of Bead and Button. After that, I was totally hooked. I've never taken a class; everything I've learned has been from books and magazines, and a lot of experimentation.

Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?
Good materials and equipment are key to a really well-finished piece. I never, ever skimp on materials.

Apothecary Jars

What inspires you to create?
I take inspiration from so many sources! I'm a pagan, so a lot comes from the earth and the Gods; a lot also comes from the English and Italian Renaissance eras, fantasy realms, sci-fi, and artists whose work I admire. William Morris, Mary Cassatt, Larry Elmore, and of course the great beaders like Sherri Serafini, Vampi Choy, Laura McCabe, and Carol Wilcox-Wells.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?
I have been known to yell at the beads or throw them across the room! Then I take a break and indulge in something else. Reading, as I'm a huge bibliophile. Crochet. Gardening. Inevitably I come back and the piece either makes sense, or I can drop it and start on one of the other ideas I have bubbling.


What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?
Practice. Practice. Then, for fun, practice. Study and learn from others.

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?
In my other job, I'm a mental health therapist for abused and neglected children. I work with families to help them learn skills that improve their functioning. My family takes up a lot of time as well; I have two gorgeous kids and a wonderful husband. My daughter is already asking to help me make more jewelry!

What's your favorite comfort food?
Chocolate and a good book. What more do you need?

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Polymer clay artists from the archives

We've seen some really wonderful polymer clay artists this month, and I don't want you to forget about some of our old favorites!  There are full-length artist profiles with each of these fabulous people:

Amy E Fraser
Heather Powers
CA Therien
Helen Breil

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's time to make your plans to join the 4th annual Bead Journal Project!

The 2011 Bead Journal Project will run from January 2011 through December 2011. Registration will begin November 8, 2010 and close on December 8, 2010. All the project information is available on the BJP website.  If you’d like to register, please send a request to our registration angel at beadjournalreg11 @ (remove the spaces).

The brain child of internationally known bead artist Robin Atkins, the first Bead Journal Project, which began in June of 2007, included 241 women and 1 man from 13 different countries, who were dedicated and committed to creating 12 bead journal "pages", one per month, for a year.

The BJP is about your personal development through visual journaling using any media and techniques you desire, providing each journal piece includes some beading (usually bead embroidery) and all 12 pieces are the same size. Rules are minimal: the commitment you are making is to yourself and your personal growth through art.

Special BJP blogs are used as a means for members to support each other throughout the process.  They are used to post pictures of completed pieces, technical questions, or links to participant blogs. Each BJP member will be invited to be a participant on the group blog, but it is not required to read or post to the BJP blog or to have your own blog or website.  All are welcome no matter what your level of bead embroidery experience! Please register early!

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Recent publications: October 2010

Lark Studio Series: Pendants 

Julia Pretl's Big Book of Beadwork: 32 Projects for Adventurous Beaders by Julia S Pretl

Beautiful Wire Jewelry for Beaders 2 by Irina Miech

Beading: 200 Q&A: Questions Answered on Everything from Basic Stitches to Finishing Touches by Dorothy Wood and Ashley Wood

Making Jewelry from Polymer Clay by Sophie Arzalier

Classic Chain Mail Jewelry: A treasury of weaves by Sue Ripsch

Lark Studio Series: Pendants by Ray Hemachandra

30-Minute Necklaces: 60 Quick & Creative Projects for Jewelers by Marthe Le Van

Twentieth-century Jewellery: From Art Nouveau to Comtemporary Design in Europe and the United States by Alba Cappellieri

The New Encyclopedia of Jewelry-Making Techniques: A Comprehensive Visual Guide to Traditional and Contemporary Techniques by Jinks McGrath

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Steel-cut button necklace - part three

I finished this piece by first adding the needed hardware (two hammered silver loops) and then stitching on the backing fabric.  I used the edging brick stitch that you'll find in the free first chapter of my e-book, Every Bead Has a Story

I alternated jet-colored glass beads with picots around the outside.  At first I thought the black beads might be real jet, but alas, they are glass.  Still nice, though, and vintage!

Finally, I salvaged the chain from the falling-apart purse that Jean gave me, the same one that the steel seed beads came from.  I added a Bali silver clasp set to either end.

Part one
Part two
Part three


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, October 25, 2010

Bead Journal Project: bracelet for October

A carpet of leaves covers everything!  Because of our hot dry summer, the leaves are turning brilliant colors and immediately falling off the trees.  I'm afraid that we just won't get our usual scarlet - orange - yellow display that we live for each year here in New England. 

My Bead Journal Project cuff bracelet attempts to celebrate the gorgeous leaves underfoot, even though I'd rather have them overhead!  

Previous pieces:


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

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Polymer clay artist: Cindy Lietz

You all know Cindy Lietz as the Polymer Clay Tutor.   Well, Cindy has shared about her journey to artistry and mastery over this fabulous jewelry-making material!

Way back about 15 yrs ago, I found myself very frustrated with the process of learning how to work with polymer clay. There were few books or classes available, and nothing on the Internet to learn from. So I did what most everyone else did at the time, and used trial and error to guide me.

Having been a Mixed Media Art Instructor for many years, I knew that if I was finding it tricky to make professional looking polymer clay beads, then there were probably many others who were having trouble as well. Having seen some beatuiful beads done by one of the pioneers of polymer clay, Donna Kato, I knew it could be done. It was just a matter of figuring things out.

After making my fair share of mistakes, I discovered that it really is not that difficult to work with polymer clay. There are just a few secrets you need to know to get it right. Things they do not have room on the back of the package to tell you about... and that most books fail to mention.

For example, it is very important to condition your clay so that air does not get trapped inside little pockets that may leave bubbles on the surface of your clay after baking. And it is also important to know that most ovens are not calibrated properly, so using an oven thermometer is an absolutely must. Plus... not all polymer clays are created equal. Each brand has it's own properties that you should be aware of.

After learning from the many mistakes I had made, my husband Doug and I put together and filmed a video-based Polymer Clay Bead Making Course. It allows beginners to avoid the pain and frustration that I had to go through, so they can experience success with this very fun medium right out of the gate.

The course led to a Membership Video Library, a weekly newsletter with free color mixing recipes, as well as a very active community on our Polymer Clay Tutor Blog. Currently there are hundreds of helpful posts and thousands of supportive comments from readers and members around the globe.

It is really amazing how a simple block of oven hardened clay can ignite such a passion for creativity, inspiration and friendship! If you would have suggested back when I was burning my beads, that within a few years I would have made over 200 videos, trained thousands of people to make wonderful polymer clay beads, and attracted many new friends... I would not have believed it! But that is the power polymer clay!

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Barbe Saint John
Barbe 's finally a Cover Girl!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi whips up a new necklace with a "Day of the Dead" theme.

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
It's time to get educated and Cindy provides some stats along with rainbows.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Check out the goodies Melanie found at an antique mall...What would you craft with these items that are full of history?  

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is teaming up with designer Erin Siegel, to write their first beading book! Come on over and learn how you can sign up to submit work for the book! 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has contributed a one of a kind jewelry piece which she made to help raise funds for Andrew Thornton's medical bills. She is delighted to help, on behalf of her family. Please come and see the piece and consider bidding. Thanks so much!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Three of Andrew's necklaces are amongst the gorgeous finalists in Soft Flex Company's "Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest". Check out all of the Steampunk-inspired designs and VOTE today!  

A Bead A Day
Need help embracing seasonal change? Lisa uses a bit of swarovski sparkle to make the leap! Jewelry Making
Tammy has a collection of crafting Halloween project ideas as well as an adorable monster pin for you.  

Art Bead Scene
A free jewelry project by ABS Editor, Cindy Gimbrone.  


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Polymer clay artist: Ann Kruglak

I was so thrilled that Ann was able to share her work with us.  Not only does she make gorgeous wearables, but she has also pushed the boundaries of polymer clay in other mixed media art pursuits.  Wait till you read just what Ann does with her artwork:  

Art connects me to my spiritual center, and the greater Mystery of the universe. I treasure beauty (in nature and art and all it’s forms) as a gift that infuses my life with meaning, joy, wonder and gratitude. By creating art, I work to bring more beauty into the world, in hopes of sharing these gifts with others.

I created Mystic Dreamer: Art for the Earth as a service project, to donate 100% of proceeds to the World Land Trust as a way of giving back to the Earth. My deepest hope is that my art will inspire others to bring their gifts of service into the world.

I discovered polymer clay in early 2008, and have found it a compelling and amazingly versatile medium. I have created well over 200 pieces in the last two years, and am just hitting my stride. My Anemone Teapot won 1st Place for sculpture in the 2008 International Polymer Clay Association competition and I have participated in several juried exhibits.

I am eager to discover what new learning and growth this creative path offers me in the future, and what new opportunities for expression and service emerge from it.

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Polymer clay artist: Kristin Hipple

Virtuous Adornment is a fun-filled and colorful etsy shop run by Kristin Hipple.  You just can't help but smile when you see Kristin's work.  She explains why that is:

I have a love for sculpting with polymer clay.  I also make non clay jewelry, but I have to say my clay work represents me more accurately. I make lots of different items but mostly miniature food themed beads and sculptures. I like this media because I can offer my customers a custom item and not just a pre-made idea, their own ideas. And it helps me to broaden my skills to make something I didn't imagine myself. 

I have been doing this kind of work for about 10 yrs and hope I will have my own shop someday. Making clay beads in the forms of donuts and cakes and chocolate is so whimsical and fun and really makes everyone giggle when then stop to stare at them. I think it is a compliment when people have a laugh at my work. It just means they like what I do. I have always had a hard time finding beads for my jewelry items I make because its not what I imagined in my mind so I decided I would just make them myself and that is were I am today. There is just something so fun and magical about tiny beads of all our favorite foods. I makes us different from what we like and lots of people like to show off what makes them original in the jewelry they wear and I get to make that possible which is so rewarding.

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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

More on writing for jewelry magazines

I get a lot out of reading the blog All Freelance Writing.  Ringleader Jenn Mattern is the one who inspired me to finally get going on the e-book, Every Bead Has a Story, that I'd been thinking about for years.  Except that I hadn't really been considering doing it as an e-book until I started reading her blog regularly.

Jenn has a whole stable of brilliant (and funny) friends who write with her.  One of the topics that they cover is writing for magazines.  I've previously posted a list (which may need some updating at this point) of submission guidelines for many beading and jewelry magazines.  Before you launch into pitching your new project to any of the magazines on this list, I would suggest that you read through these posts on All Freelance Writing first!  While you're there, subscribe to the blog if you are serious about writing.

When it comes to magazines, guidelines are rules by Catherine L Tully

A sample query letter - that works! by Chris Bibey

Getting past query rejection by Catherine L Tully

A sample query letter - that fails! by Clint Osterholz

Image: Johnsense

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Fashion trends and magazines

Not everyone who makes artisan jewelry bothers to follow the fashion trends, but a number of us do.  Even if it's just to keep up with what are the hot colors or what shape necklines are coming up, paying attention to fashion can greatly increase your sales. But I'm not here to convince you to do it, just to report on what I've found ;-)

Fashion Trendsetter has lots of articles about fashion trends.  Here are two I specifically found helpful: where they come from and how the magazines decide which to cover.  Both posts are interesting reading if you like to keep up with the catwalk.

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Steel-cut button necklace - part two

I finished up the embroidery.  The outline changed somewhat from the original, so I picked the stitches out as I went. 

Part one
Part two
Part three

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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