Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jewelry artist: Haley Mindes

I hand craft accessories which can be viewed at HaleyM.com. I am also a jewelry design instructor at Sheffield School in NYC where I teach foundations like wire wrapping and bead stringing to beginners so they can get a line together to have their first show or open an etsy store. The courses are self-paced so they will fit anyone's schedule!

I started my business with a photo jewelry line in 2003 where I placed people's photos in settings I created. I have since moved into working with semi precious stones and leather cutting down some of the the use of silver and gold so pieces remain affordable. The rising cost of silver and gold had something to do with that decision but it has turned into a fantastic passion. The combinations of stones, leather and metal are endless.

I currently have many projects in the makings that are not yet on line such as my leather right angle weave bracelets. They are made from glass beads not semi precious stones or pearls so I did not include them [Editor's note...hopefully we'll be able to see them on Haley's site soon!]

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Gemstone and pearl tutorials from the archives

As you've seen this month, there are so many different types of designs and techniques that look great with the addition of gemstones and/or pearls.  Start with simple stringing, move on to knotting between your stones or pearls, add some wire work, experiment with embroidery, or even add larger accent beads to your bead weaving projects...the possibilities are endless!

As I started to look through the archives to find some good projects to share with you, I realized that I tend to use glass beads more than stones.  So in a few cases, you'll find projects linked here that feature glass instead, but it is soooo easy to see how wonderful they would be with stones or pearls instead!

Stringing projects - these include instructions on knotting

Turning a geode into a beaded pendant
A free form peyote necklace

Fibers and beads
Sunlit Seas necklace
Turquoise finger-woven necklace

Wire and Chain
Pearl dangle pendant
Faerie Bells necklace
Crocheted pearls necklace
Chain drop earrings
Free form wire wrap pendants

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!

A Bead A Day
Do you like mixing crafty techniques into jewelry making? Stop by A Bead A Day to chat about DECOPAUGE!

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy takes a look at a new book about chain maille that is scheduled to be published by Interweave next month.

Art Bead Scene
Erin Siegel shares a free Tribal Dance Earrings project, a great ethnic, boho look perfect for hot weather.  

Resin Crafts!
This resin blog post is dedicated to cat owners!  

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean wants to know if you get the Jewelry Business Success Newsletter...she does, and finds it very worthwhile! Here is the info on how to get it! It is free! 

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jewelry artist: Marina Rybak

Marina Rybak 
Moon & Venus

The “Back To Earth” jewelry series was born on the rooftop garden of my Manhattan apartment. The joy of gardening in an urban environment invigorated my artistic expression and passion for delicate detail, which has its background in lingerie design. Once I had reengaged the artisan within me, it was natural to integrate my design knowledge with my jewelry concepts. Liberated by creating organically and intuitively, the intricate trimmings from lingerie transformed themselves onto a mix of wire, semiprecious beads, nuggets, and pearls.

Each custom-made-piece, takes me on a journey that includes storytelling, meditation and immersing myself in an invisible world of rich poetic imagery that gives me a message that I include with each original creation. My wish is to facilitate the growth and transformation of the future owner simply by wearing my art. “Back To Earth” jewelry has expanded into an international market asking me to enter a new creative phase of expression and expansion.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Book review...sort of: Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry

I feel like it would be a conflict of interest to plug this book when I'm featured in it!  But then, so are quite a few of my friends, and none of us have been paid to do so :-)  It's an honor for me just to be chosen to be included in a Lark Book.  I am an Amazon affiliate, though, so I might actually earn a few cents if you buy the book through my site.  

That said, I spent a delightful evening leafing through Showcase 500 Beaded Jewelry, and I plan to do it again more slowly later.  Lovely stuff included.  Here's my piece that is in there:

Blossoms of the Moonlit Waves

Recent publications: July 2012

How to Do Beadwork Complete with 100 Illustrations by Mary White

Bead Crochet Jewelry: An Inspired Journey Through 27 Designs by Bert Rachel Freed and Dana Elizabeth Freed

Creative Beading Vol. 7 by Editors of Bead&Button magazine

Steampunk Accessories: 20 Projects to Help You Nail the Style by Nicola Tedman and Sarah Skeate

Classic Style, Fresh Look: Sixty Jewelry Designs to Make and Wear by Irina Miech

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jewelry artist: Liz Blanchflower

Sterling Beaded Necklace with sterling, jasper,
and ruby quartz hand formed pendant.

Liz Blanchflower
Stone & Sterling Design

I've been a jewelry lover all my life. I never understood the attraction of wearing the same jewelry as half the people on the planet, in the same way that I don't gravitate toward clothing and accessories with other people's names on them. I always go for original pieces, more artisan-like than production line in appearance and design. Possessing a fair degree of artistic ability, I eventually started exploring my own design skills with beading and then metalwork.

46 inch garnet and sterling lariat.  This necklace is worn long,
with a simple knot at the desired spot.

I've been designing and crafting my own jewelry for 10 years and started my jewelry business, Stone and Sterling Design, in 2007, followed by my ETSY store in 2008. After beading exclusively for three years, I decided to take some classes in metasmithing and got hooked! Creating forms in sterling and other metals are my love, but I always go back to the color and versatility of beads. I've recently created a number of designs in long gemstone and sterling lariats, and hope to perfect my bezel-setting techniques this summer with semi-precious faceted stones and freeform cabochons. I'm a high school Spanish teacher, so my summers provide precious long hours of working time in my workshop.

White coin pearl collar necklace framed by two strands of
sterling beads, with sterling box closure.

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Beaded turtles...an update

A few weeks ago, I showed you a couple of beaded fabric panels that I was working on.  Well, all four are finished now, and if you're interested in seeing the step-by-step process for painting the panels, I've got it all posted over on Mixed Media Artist.    

Copyright 2012 Cyndi Lavin. All rights reserved. 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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Have you still not rocked out your facebook timeline?

This is my Beading Arts facebook business page.  You are welcome to like it :-)

What are you waiting for?  Whether you are happy about it or not, the newest iteration of facebook is upon us.  No, no matter how much you protest, it's not going to go back to the way it used to be.  I know it's annoying.  Deal with it!

Getting Creative with Your Facebook Page 
Exact dimensions for all those different image types!  And some great samples too.

15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page
Not knowing some of the rules can get you kicked off.  I'm just sayin...

Create an AMAZING timeline cover photo
By the take-no-prisoners experts at Photojojo

This is my personal facebook profile.  You can friend me here, too, if you want to,
but I just tend to post smarty-pants stuff and food here!

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Jewelry artist: Carolyn Turner

Eye of the Tiger
Embroidered seed bead cuff bracelet with Tiger Eye cabochons.
2” wide aluminum covered cuff.
I do other types of jewelry besides the bead embroidery, but even though bead embroidery work is much more time consuming, I love doing it. I am 1/2 Canadian Indian and strive to include a native approach in many of my one of kind pieces of jewelry. I have done various forms of artwork throughout my life. While living in Canada I was very successful in making leather work, ie: moccasins, mukluks, gloves, etc. I did a lot of custom work when I lived there. 
Mother of Pearl oval bead embroidered dangle earrings.
I have many relatives who are very talented artists as well, the closest being my mother who has her own art gallery in Kitwanga, B.C. called Gitksan Paintbrush. She is a well known artist throughout Canada with many of her paintings being purchased by quite a few art galleries. Needless to say I am very proud of her and her many accomplishments. I urge you to look at her website listed above as she has had a fascinating life.
Green with Envy
Mother of Pearl cabochon, with seed and bugle beads.
2” wide, aluminum covered cuff.
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
What is going on at Jean's new Etsy shop? Here is the latest and the colors are right on trend! 

A Bead A Day
Looking for a great project that girls or women of all ages will have fun making? Lisa's sharing some bracelets made with iron-on appliques!

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy is catching up with her jewelry book reviews. This new book has some interesting fabric techniques to try.  

Art Bead Scene
Heather reveals some gorgeous jewelry designs from a variety of artists who participated in her Inspired by Nature challenge.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi finally gets to incorporate a little neon into her jewelry making projects!   

Resin Crafts!
This week I had an opportunity to pour resin into ceramic bezels from Jennifer Jangles!  

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jewelry artist: Elena Kriegner

Austrian-born and trained at the prestigious European Jewelry Design School, Elena Kriegner knew she wanted to become a 'jewelry maker' at the age of six, creating her first pieces by ten and attaining her Masters degree by nineteen. Elena specialized in creating one-of-a-kind signature pieces for private clientele from her Austrian workshop for fourteen years. During this time, she traveled to South Africa to work with gemstone lapidaries, and to Greece to teach a jewelry design workshop. She also frequented New York City to visit her sister and indulge her love of fashion. In 2002 Elena moved onto a sailboat, sailing from northern Italy, and crossing the Mediterranean and Atlantic to the Caribbean. Designing while onboard, she incorporated inspiration from her travels into her jewelry.

Elena now creates exquisite pieces from her Chelsea studio.  The beautiful pieces at the top are from her South Sea Pearl Collection.  Elena can be contacted at the email link above, or at her studio by appointment: 231 West 29th Street, Suite 1204, NYC 10001

On pearls, Elena says, “The beauty and elegance of a South Sea pearl is only fully evident when you hold the original in your hand. It literally hurts me to see holes drilled into these wonders of nature, created in the ocean by an irritated oyster. I want to be able to wear themas they are, beautiful, perfect and untouched.”

Elena Kriegner has developed an exquisite collection of earrings, rings and pendants in which classic, undrilled pearls can be interchanged to match your taste. A selection of pearl colors is available in white, champagne, brown or black colors. Whether you wear them for fashion, as an amulet for a long life or as a gift from a loved one, each piece in the South Sea Pearl collection illuminates elegance on its wearer.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Book review: Contemporary Cube Bead Designs

Have all the new gorgeous cube-shaped beads caught your eye, but you don't know quite what to do with them other than stringing?  Or maybe you've already fallen under their spell and you'd like more ideas.  Either way, you're going to love Virginia Jensen's book, Contemporary Cube Bead Designs.  In this new Kalmbach book, Virginia shows you how to use different sized cube beads in herringbone, peyote, ladder, St Petersburg chain, brick, and square stitch patterns.  But wait!  Let's back up a minute...

Don't skip the introductory material where virginia discusses the myriad of new cubes available from different suppliers.  Each has its own features, and it is important to know the differences before you pick the beads for your project.  Although she does not discuss Tila beads (2 holed) in the introduction, there are a few designs that use them.

There are 29 projects plus many suggestions for variants.  If you've been wanting to add more cubes to your repertoire, I think you'll be very pleased with this book.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Book reviews: Lark's 30-Minute series

Aren't we all rushed these days?  There never seems to be enough time to make all the wonderful pieces that you dream of.  Well, that's one of the things that I most like about the 30-Minute series by Lark Books.  I've previously posted reviews of  30-Minute Rings and 30-Minute Necklaces from the series, and now I've had the chance to read through 30-Minute Earrings and the new 30-Minute Bracelets too!

I haven't changed my mind...I think this series is wonderful.  Flip through for some quick inspiration from some of the best designers out there, or browse slowly to enjoy the sights.  The books are all heavy on fabrication, but there are also wired, strung, stitched, and beaded projects as well.  I'll remind you again that these are not really beginner books...many of the basics are assumed rather than spelled out, and there is no included techniques section, simply a list of tools that you'll need.  But since many of us already have books that cover the basics, I don't consider that a failing, just something to be aware of when you purchase them.   

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Monday, July 16, 2012

A project from 30-Minute Earrings

Tomorrow, I've got a review for you of  30-Minute Earrings along with the other 30-Minute members of the Lark Books series.  In the meantime, I thought I'd try to tickle your interest by showing you one ultra quick project that was inspired by the book.

I used a technique by designer Nancy Wickman, but instead of making earrings, I sized (waaaay) up and made a quick pendant from a stone donut and some colored wire.  This is actually electrical wire, one of my favorites.  Nancy uses copper metal washers and sterling silver wire for a lovely and rustic pair of earrings.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Artist profile: Hazel Ward

Artist: Hazel Ward
Business name: Continuum Designs Beads
Location: Notts, UK

Websites & Blog:
Continuum Designs
Etsy shop
Continuum Designs blog

How do you describe your work, Hazel?

Bold, subtle, rustic, geometric- I like to dabble in a lot of styles!  If I had to pin down a common theme, I'd have to say that plant-life re-occurs a lot in my work, mainly because I love the curves and shapes that you find in amongst flora.

My business name stemmed from the fact that in my studies, I always chose to write on cultural continuums of some kind, and I thought, hey, why not carry on the tradition and name my business in the same vein?

What is your creative process like?

My creative process starts out in an organized way, but somewhere between designing and making, organization falls by the wayside. I start out with a sketch or a general idea of theme or colour, get out
my materials, and then let the clay decide how it wants to turn out.  In general I like to experiment with all sorts of shapes and lines, play around with how they interconnect, and see how colour choice makes a difference. Then once I've found an interesting design, I try to explore it as extensively as possible, usually while nodding along to classic punk and indie!

What kind of training did you have which helped you achieve your current level of artistry?

I've never had formal training in an art or craft area, but I received so much freely-given advice from the polymer clay community when I started, and information from books and magazines that I never really
felt out of my depth. I came to crafts quite suddenly, after completing post-graduate work in Media and Culture and realizing I could either teach the same subject I'd studied, or do something completely different - and after a family friend gave me a jewellery making kit, I was started on the path that usually leads to

Is there a tool or material that you can't imagine living without?

Like so many polymer clayers, I find my pasta machine indispensable, especially now I’ve attached a motor to it - it makes conditioning clay and creating colour blends so easy and quick. But I also have a collection of random pointy things like tiny screwdrivers and empty pen nibs that I use for nearly everything - texturing, piercing, carving, detail work.

What inspires you to create?

Something about the potential in a few slabs of polymer clay make me want to experiment with what I can achieve. Because there are so many potential techniques and methods - not to mention design choices and
colour schemes - inside a medium that looks so simple, there's always something to prompt you to keep on going.

What inspires you to keep going when the work gets frustrating or tough?

Stubbornness. I'll walk away from the clay for a while, but I can't resist returning after an hour or two and trying to negotiate with the clay again until it works with me, not against me!

What is your best piece of advice for those who would like to rise in their level of artistry?

In polymer clay, my tip would be clean everything as you go along - it's amazing how polymer clay attracts the slightest bit of scrap clay or debris, and that can ruin a really great piece! As for a tip in general, I would say just Keep Going - don't ever let your inner voice talk you out of anything before you've even begun.

What takes up the majority of your time besides your art?

Sleeping and eating and hanging out with the cat. I am a complete book and media addict though, so when I'm not making beads (and sometimes when I am!) I'm watching geeky TV shows, or reading any book I can find. I'm also learning lampworking, which is the process of making glass beads, so I practice that skill when I get the time.

What's your favorite comfort food?

Cake and chocolate biscuits (of the vegan variety). Sometimes together!

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Bead & jewelry blogging round-up!


Resin Crafts!
A week of special projects begins with this one featuring Stampendous and Jewelry Resin. 

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses her thought process when she designs jewelry. 

A Bead A Day
To add or not to add...when should you call it a masterpiece and stop adding more beads?

About.com Jewelry Making
Love them? Hate them? Not sure about them? Get the skinny on magnetic clasps.  

Art Bead Scene
This month we have an extra bonus giveaway you can enter by spreading the word about the 7000 bracelets project!  

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jewelry artist: Lynn Julian


Artist: Lynn Julian
Velvet Chokers

I design custom choker necklaces made from velvet chokers, satin, lace and organza, adding pendants featuring a gemstone, cameo, rhinestone or vintage charm. Visitors are invited to design their own custom chokers, and I will bring them to life. Prices start at only $10.95 for a basic choker necklace, and $29.95 for a gemstone choker.

Amethyst Velvet Choker

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yay for Liz!

Liz, aka KipperCat, is the winner of the tagua nut beads from Ecuadorian Hands.  Congratulations, Liz!

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Calls for entries and submissions

Flex Your Creativity
Deadline: 09/01/12  
Cultured Pearl Association of America's 2nd International Pearl Design Competition

Deadline: 09/01/12  
Saul Bell Design Award 2013

Deadline: 09/12
Altered Couture

Deadline: 09/15/12  
Swarovski Elements - Fire Mt Gems

Deadline: 09/30/12  
Niche Awards

Deadline: 09/30/12  

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Jewelry artist: Courtney D. Williams

She Walked the Plank with Grace and Poise

Courtney D. Williams
Seventh Cloud Studio

All of my work is completely original in every way—the designs are all my own, and are never recreated—so that each Seventh Cloud Studio piece is truly one-of-a-kind, something that no one else will ever own. Each time I sit down to work on jewelry is a new experience—so even when I’m working with the same stash of materials, I’m doing so with a different perspective and different inspirations. I could spread out the same beads and supplies each day, and come up with something unlike anything else I’ve ever designed or made.

Pachelbels Canon on the Electric Guitar
I love to use semi-precious stones, pearls, Hill Tribe silver, and vintage elements. When I repurpose an old brooch into a new pendant, or reuse vintage beads, I like to think about the piece’s history. Often I make up stories about it that influence the piece’s name and description. I’m also a writer, and strange as it sounds, my jewelry design and creation, and my writing and love of words and books are all related in my messy and tangled mind…I get to use my writing skills when naming and writing descriptions for my jewelry, and creating jewelry using color and texture is similar to me to composing words that also work well together and set each other off.

She was an American Girl

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Crocheted bead bracelets

Regina Lord, an artist in Arizona, has filmed a tutorial for the cutest little crocheted bead bracelets.  If you enjoy crochet, I think you'll go wild for these.

Among other things, they work up so FAST it's amazing.  I strung and crocheted these four bracelets (there are two of the acrylic bead bracelets in that pile) over the course of two evenings of television viewing.  The perfect project for when you don't feel like concentrating.

The other reason I thought I'd bring it to your attention is because this could be a great way to use up shell and gemstone chips.  Since this is Gemstone and Pearl month, that seemed appropriate!  The irregular shape of chips can add a lot of interest to a simple bracelet, and think how great it would look to have a whole armful of them.  In the case of pearls or more expensive gemstones, this airy style will allow you to space them out and get more bang for your buck.  I should note here that I used C-Lon cord instead of the waxed linen thread that Regina recommends, so that accounts for the slight difference in look.

So thank you, Regina!  Besides viewing her video, you can also visit Regina on her blog Creative Kismet

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Saturday, July 07, 2012

Jewelry artist: Kat Douglas

Washoe Kat's Creations

Look at this beauty: charoite (one of my favorite semi-precious stones!) framed by glorious free form peyote.  I want Kat to give me lessons!

And I can't help sharing this piece with you, even though it's NOT jasper...it's a broken ceramic bowl.  How clever is that?

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