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Showing posts from June, 2011

Bead Journal Project: April and May

April Bead Journal Project piece May Bead Journal Project piece For the first time ever, I've fallen behind in my commitment to participating in the Bead Journal Project .  Life happens sometimes, and you just have to roll with it.  It's kind of embarrassing that this is the year I've been a slacker, because I specifically picked to do little buttons with watch faces knowing that each would only take an hour or so! Oh well. Here are my pieces for April and May.  April is blue to remind me of how rainy that month usually fact, it's the beginning of Mud Season in New England :-)  I made my piece for May in a riot of colors to symbolize how happy I am that Spring is almost upon us! Link to tutorial January Button February Button March Button

Recent publications: June 2011

The Bead Lover's Guide: Beading Basics for Beginners by Felicity Walker The Bead Jewelry Bible by Dorothy Wood Handcrafted Wire Findings: Techniques and Designs for Custom Jewelry Components by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson Steampunk Emporium: Creating Fantastical Jewelry, Devices and Oddments from Assorted Cogs, Gears and Curios by Jema Hewitt

Improving your blog

Do you have a jewelry blog? If so, you already know that it's not a matter of "if you write it, they will come." While it might depend upon your goals whether or not you care whether they come, if you'd like to have more than just your closest circle of friends (online or off) reading your blog, you really have to pay attention to your content. Only a very few people can manage to build an audience by just free associating or ranting. The rest of us need good solid content. But that content can vary a lot: a picture journal of your projects, information on how you actually create your pieces, industry news. It all depends upon what your goals are for your blog. Are you trying to build a circle of friends, or are you trying to get a book deal? Something in between? Here are some articles that may help you to either nail down your goals, or to improve what you're already doing: Rajesh Setty has written about the 9 ways people respond to your content

Book review: Handcrafted Wire Findings

  Did you know that book and magazine editors really hate to see a wonderful piece of artisan-made jewelry ruined by a common off-the-rack clasp?  Did you know that you've got a much better chance of getting your pieces accepted by all but the beginner project publications if you make the findings yourself?  Once you see just how easy it is to make your own stunning custom findings, you'll never go back.  Between this book, Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson , and All Wired Up by Mark Lareau, you will quickly gain all the skills you need.  After they cover wire basics, Denise and Jane take you through the process of creating ear wires, links, S-hooks, single hooks, toggles (like that stunning wrapped toggle on the cover!), bails and spacers.  Some of my personal favorites are the vine ear wires (p 38), wired ring links (p 54), and textured corkscrew links (p 58).  This book is published by Interweave Press , so you know that all the instruct

A sale not to be missed

Did you see Jean's announcement yesterday about Andrew Thornton's Virtual Yard Sale ?  Don't miss it...there are tons of giveaways and major deals to be scored! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

  Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Andrew Thornton, a wonderful person and a member of our group, is having a "Virtual Yard Sale" as he calls it . Check it out on Jean's blog and then go have FUN! Jewelry Making Looking to make some easy metalsmithing jewelry? Take a look at these new jewelry videos.   Art Bead Scene Looking for some creative jewelry displays? So is ABS Editor Heather Powers. Come check out what she's found.   Carmi's Art/Life World Carmi's new ring features a rock garden!   Earthenwood Studio Chronicles Melanie opens a weekend bead store at her local artist market and has lots of pictures of her booth to share. Resin Crafts! Resin Crafts has a great tutorial showing you how to create a pendant with a spoon.   Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Wire artist: Andrea Trank

From earth science teacher to jewelry designer, Andrea Trank owns Heaven Lane Creations . Her crotchet beaded necklaces and bracelets feature Czech glass, semi-precious stones, crystals and dramatic toggles in silver or copper. Each piece is custom designed and takes shape in her sunlit studio on Heaven Lane in Fort Myers Florida. Andrea has been beading for ten years and has recently branched out into wire and bead crotchet, Kumihimo, bead embroidery, bead weaving and leather knotting. Her jewelry designs can be viewed on two websites: , through facebook at Heaven Lane Creations , or at her etsy shop, Andrea Trank . Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Yay for Erika!

Erika Towle is the winner of the fabulous new book Creating Glass Beads ! Congratulations, Erika!! Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review: 500 Silver Jewelry Designs

  How do you define what is a good book?  Sometimes I'll call a book good if it teaches me a new technique that I've been wanting to learn.  And sometimes it's because a book is full of beautiful inspiring work, those pieces that we in "the biz" like to call eye-candy.  Well, how about when there are lots of pieces that challenge you to rethink what you think you know, and you don't really like some of them?  But you can't stop looking at them? I'd say that's a new category of good book, wouldn't you? That's the experience I had with 500 Silver Jewelry Designs by Lark Publishing.  Talya Baharal, the juror is part of a new breed of silversmiths.  The pieces she chose range from classic to completely not-at-all classic, and at first I was confused as I leafed through the gallery.  I found my answer when I went back and read the introduction that Talya wrote: Intent to shock, intent to alter our perceptions of what jewelry is, intent

Creative Options for Jewelry Displays

A guest post by Heather Green Whether you're selling your jewelry at a craft show or through an online vendor like Etsy, your presentation is key to drawing in customers and increasing your sales. Your displays should show off the personality of the jewelry, highlight its style, and show your customers the fabulous possibilities for how they can wear your creations. An ornate statement necklace might look beautiful laying on a table or a simple bust, but its possibilities for wear might not seem obvious, making it seem more like a beautiful piece of art than the funky fashion statement that makes an outfit. When you display your finished pieces for sale, put as much creativity into how they are presented as you do in creating them. Here are just a few ideas: Frames Show off your necklaces, earrings, and other jewelry items as the pieces of art they are. Find some funky or vintage frames in different colors, styles, and finishes, and hang or post your items in the middle.

Passion Flower necklace - using a wire armature

I love the look of freeform peyote stitch criss-crossing its way through a wire armature, especially if I can find some really striking object to use for the centerpiece. I had already started on a freeform piece when I came across my friend Amy E. Fraser’s collection of polymer clay medallions. Amy is an extremely prolific and creative artist whose first love is painting. Based upon a series of enchanting women that she painted, Amy designed many series of medallions. She calls the collection Exalted Beauty . I had a hard time choosing, but finally settled on a floral medallion that Amy made in the colors I was working with. Materials and Tools: 20 inches sterling silver wire, 14 gauge Seed beads, #8s and #11s 3-5 assorted glass floral beads, 4-10mm Nymo O Polymer clay floral medallion (available from Exalted Beauty ) 20 inches of beading wire, .019” diameter 25-35 assorted glass beads, 6-10mm 2 sterling silver crimp tubes, 2mm Sterling silver toggle clasp

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Resin Crafts! Resing crafts has a special $200 give-a-way ending June 21 Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Cyndi Lavin, multi media artist and beader extraordinaire, has added a new chapter to her e-book! Please read my review of it! Her book is now 5 chapters long and is filled with great ideas and beauty -- irresistible! Plus, as you may know,the first chapter continues to be a FREE download! Hooray!   The Bead Dreamer Ever wonder if the Knew Concepts red jeweler's saw frame is really better? Charlene shares her take on it.   The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton Want a "post-Bead&Button Show" stash of jewelry-making goodies? Enter to win this week's Thursday Giveaway!   A Bead A Day Earrings make great gifts in a hurry for yourself and friends! Lisa shares a few newly made pairs using both sparkly and vintage beads! Jewelry Making Get in the mood for summer jewelry fun with two turtle jewelry

Wire artist: Gem Designs by Lee

Artist: Lee Website: By the Sea Designs I create mostly earrings using wire sculpture and wire wrapping techniques. Each piece is one-of-a-kind and designed to bring out the beauty of the gemstones. Earrings are challenging because they have to be mirror images of each other as well as the same width and length and they are all done free hand. My goal is always to provide a beautiful, original piece of jewelry that is affordable, and will last and I use only quality gemstones and metals (14k gold led and Argentium sterling silver). My prices range so there is something for everyone. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Book review and giveaway: Creating Glass Beads

  Jeri L Warhaftig is already the author of one very fine Lark publication on glass bead making , so you might not think there's a need for another.  Wrong!  Creating Glass Beads is different in scope and design from any other how-to book I've ever seen.  Jeri introduces ten beads as projects, each one covering multiple intermediate and advanced techniques, from constructing hollow beads and mirroring the insides to creating advanced stringers and trying out lapidary work. Here's the kicker: Jeri has invited fourteen project testers to try out her instructions and see what happened.  I don't know about you, but I'm extremely thankful to know that I'm not the only one who doesn't always get it right the first time!  And the variety of styles that grow from Jeri's instructions will also be inspiring to everyone who likes to color outside the lines anyway!  The step-by-steps are really clear, with excellent photographs, but the message is also clear: d

Picture Jasper Curl Wrap Bracelet - a tutorial by Paul Bishop

  Many of you are familiar with Paul Bishop's work from his website Bishop Wire & Bead . You'll also recognize his name and his style from the artist profile that he shared with us here and the other wire wrapping tutorials that he's written for us.  Let me tell you, we're extremely fortunate to have this new tutorial by Paul, because wire wrapping is not my strong point! So, thank you Paul so very much for blessing us again! As with Paul's other tutorials, it looks long, but it is filled with detail and advice. TO MAKE WHAT YOU SEE, YOU NEED: - Annealed black steel wire - Picture jasper nuggets/barrels - Hammer - Anvil/steel block/surface that won't get hurt by hammering - Flush wire cutters - Round nose pliers - Chain nose pliers (two or one and flat nose pliers) - ball point pen cap/chopstick or something with a strong blunt point I used 19 gauge wire for this project because the holes in the picture jasper were fairly large. The

Wire artists: Perfectos Dragones line from JousJous

Website: JousJous Perfectos Dragones was founded by a group of graphic, industrial, and fashion designers during Argentina's economic collapse (1999-2002). During this time, Perfectos Dragones placed an emphasis on giving a new direction to traditional jewelry materials since Gold, Silver, and Platinum were no longer available. The collective aims to create beautiful jewelry that is unique and eco-friendly, focusing on utilizing unconventional materials. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Wire artist: Leah Hitchcock

Artist: Leah Hitchcock Website: Michon Design About 10 years ago, when I started my jewelry business, I was an artsy single girl in my early 20s. I could stay up til 3 am crocheting 28g wire into a collar if I wanted to. Fast forward to now, I'm in my 30s and am a wife and mother of a 3 year old boy and 1 year old girl, and work part time. While I still love designing and making jewelry, the only reason I'm up til 3 am these days is if one of the kids is sick! I'm taking a break from making jewelry to sell, and focusing on just making things for myself and to give as gifts. Since I rarely have more than 15 minutes or so to work (if that), my design focus is on making something that I love, quickly. I'll use pretty much anything to make jewelry these days - paper, shrink plastic, and ink, for example, in addition to wire, metal, and beads. I recently transformed my old jewelry selling website into a general purpose blog, where I write about all my creative int

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio Lorelei put together a nice collection of items that would be great for your Art Bead Scene challenge entry this month. Resin Crafts! Resin Crafts blog has a post introducing shrinky dink to resin.   Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done! Jean "reviews" a few items from the fabulously lush and unique online bead store, ARTBEADS! See what she does with some of the materials which she purchased there!   A Bead A Day If you enjoy using photos in your jewelry creations, stop by A Bead A Day to pick up some simple instructions for making label holder necklaces! Jewelry Making Tammy has a new Twitter account and an updated Facebook page for her site. Please like & follow her!   Art Bead Scene Come see what ABS has in store for this month's challenge!   Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts Barbe shows off The Queen and her Industrial Chic Crown

Wire artist: Gayle Tillem Benator

Artist: Gayle Tillem Benator Website: Gila Leah I’m an “accidental” artist, who combines my latent love of fashion and Judaism; along with my ethic of good materials, quality and service in creating wearable art. I’m passionate about bringing forth beautiful designs that look good and that people can wear and use with pride. These attached images are of a Jewish themed sterling silver, turquoise, dyed freshwater pearls and seed beads necklace; tarnish resistant sterling silver his n her Jewish book marks with turquoise, coral and pink opal; and sterling silver Jewish themed wine charms with aquamarines. Technorati Tags: handmade beaded jewelry , wearable art , beads , jewelry , necklace , mixed media , beading

Copper bead necklace - part two

Starting with the copper beads that I showed you on Monday, I wired together a necklace with copper wire and chain, and some fabric beads. Materials and Tools Copper beads Fabric Plastic straws Glue Yarn or ribbons Glass beads Copper wire, 18 gauge Copper chain Copper lobster claw Jump rings Chain nose pliers Round nose pliers Wire cutters Measuring tape 1. Cut some long triangles of fabric and roll up a set of fabric beads around cut pieces of straw, using a bit of glue to anchor them at the beginning and the end.  Add yarn or ribbons if desired. Allow to dry thoroughly. 2. Create links with the copper and the fabric beads, alternating with short pieces of chain. I chose to make a double strand. For the copper beads, add a glass bead to each end and turn wrapped loops around the chain. For the fabric beads, slip onto a length of wire and add size 6/0 seed beads to stabilize them before turning the loops. 3. Add chain and a lobster claw or other