Free Project: True North Pendant    Thursday, May 22, 2014

True North points to knowing what your guiding philosophies are and having a clear direction in life. It's your gut instinct, your guiding light. It keeps you on the path as you journey toward what is true in your life.  The feather pendant was inspired by colorful vintage arrows and is a reminder to shoot straight and keep on target. This makes an awesome gift for a grad or a student as they make their way in the world.

Feather pendant
32 x 14mm Art Metal blank
30mm brass ring
15mm Art Metal jump ring
7mm gunmetal jump ring
1 6mm glass bead
3" waxed linen
2" 19 gauge steel wire
18" gunmetal chain

Tools: Bench block, letter stamps, hammer, round and chain nose pliers, wire cutters, buffing block or steel wool.

1. Stamp True North unto the arte metal blank. Buff with buffing block or steel wool to lighten the metal, leave the letters dark. Add to the large brass ring with the jump ring.
2. With the round nose pliers create a large loop with the steel wire 1" from the bottom. With the chain nose pliers open the loop and add the feather pendant, close the loop. Wrap the tail of the 1" wire around the top of the feather.
3. With the round nose pliers create a loop at the top of the feather, open the loop with the chain nose pliers and slide the brass ring in the loop, close the loop. Wire wrap the wire several times under the loop creating a messy wrap, trim the wire and use the chain nose pliers to tuck in the end of the wire.
4. Wrap the linen around the brass ring twice, with both ends tie a knot, string on the glass bead, tie both ends into a knot at the bottom of the bead. Tie a knot on each thread at the bottom, leaving a 1/4" of linen.
5. Add the 15mm jump ring to the top of the brass ring, add on the chain.

Feather: Humblebeads 


Bead Table Wednesday - Bead & Button Show Prep    Thursday, May 22, 2014

We are making beads like maniacs over here.  Today we whipped up more Blooms & Birds sets because they are adorable, cheerful and full of fun colors and what's not to love about that?  I'm working on some little totem sets with a trio of tiny birds and a feather pendant.  Too cute - can't wait to show you.
Booth 1212, mark it down and make your plans to visit me with at Bead & Button.  I'll be sharing a preview over the next week or so as we finish stock piling inventory.  I love to see my piles of beads grow this time of year!
So it's Wednesday already - and that means it's time to share what's on your bead table.  Share a link in the comments below or use #BeadTableWednesday on Instragram.
Bead Mix Sale!
And speaking of bright and colorful - be sure to stop by my Etsy shop today to check out the fun bead mixes that are on sale today! 

For the Love of Color    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

It's all about the color, color, color! Loving playing with color palettes each morning before I start working on bead orders. It's been so much fun to go crazy with mixing colors. I'm squirreling away beads for Bead & Button but also putting some in my shop for those who won't be able to attend the show. 

I may have to make a set of these for myself.  Wouldn't a little family of birds make a fun necklace or bracelet?
Inspired by my Totem Earrings last week I made a few sets of tiny disk beads that would be fun to stack together in an earring design.  These are also cute paired with charms for fast and easy earrings.
Yes, these were definitely inspired by my latest island visits on the Bead Cruise! Loving these bright, tropical colors!

You can find the new beads in my Etsy shop.  If you loving all these posts on color and would like to learn my tricks for color mixing and making beads check out my upcoming workshop.

Mojo Challenge Week 10: Fashion & Beads    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

This week we are going to do some window shopping to find our inspiration.  If you sell your jewelry knowing what colors are popular and the major trends can help inspire new designs. Another reason to look toward clothing stores - you'll get to know your idea client a little better.

The Assignement:
Create a piece of jewelry inspired by your favorite clothing catalog or online store.

Tips for Designing with Fashion in Mind:
Check out the clothes from your favorite place to shop and design a piece of jewelry inspired by an outfit. What would you were with that dress or sweater? 

You could also head to Polyvore and search for your favorite store or brand to find outfits to inspire you. 

If you sell your jewelry think about what clothing store captures your jewelry brand. Ask yourself where do your customers shop. If your clients are trendy girls in their 20's your brand is more likely to fit in at Modcloth if you are funky and retro or Free People is your jewelry captures more of a boho spirit.  If your are customers are women in their 30's or 40's who love art, culture and travel - check out Anthropologie or Sundance

Have fun this week creating a piece of jewelry to match an outfit. If you blog, be sure to share your outfit inspiration along with your jewelry piece.

Don't worry about following trends or being trendy - pick something that feels authentic to you.  And you don't have to pick a big brand name - feel free to find your inspiration with indie designers and boutiques too.

Extra Credit:
Create a board called "Your Company Name" Style on Pinterest this week and pin clothing from your favorite brands and your jewelry. Please put your company name in there or people are just going to think your weird. :)  Add to this board frequently with clothing that matches your jewelry style and every time you add a new piece of jewelry to your shop.  Tag your clothing posts with the name of the clothing brand or catalog so their customers can find your pins and hopefully your jewelry! 

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 6 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring.  


Bead Table Wednesday    Wednesday, May 14, 2014

So these are on my bead table today. I've been whipping up round beads and bird mixes getting ready for Bead & Button. This weekend and next are my big production weekends.  We are going to make hundreds of beads with the help of a few artistic family members. My goal is to not go cray-cray in the next few weeks.  Wish me luck!
Are you planning to go to Bead & Button this year?  Make plans to visit me at booth 1212!
All week I've been mixing up a fun color palette in the morning like this one and turning them into bead sets. It's been a very relaxing and almost a zen-like creative exercise.

If you'd like to learn my color tricks and how to make your own beads check out the details for my upcoming workshop.  The early bird deadline is tomorrow! 

So what's on your bead table? Share your link with the Inlinkz tool below or on Instagram with #BeadTableWednesday.




Collection closes in 3d 16h 29m. 
Let other people know about it through twitter.

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Mojo Challenge Week 9: Ancient History    Tuesday, May 13, 2014

There is a reason art students are required to study history - there is a vast source of inspiration from ancient times, other cultures and what artists have created in the past.  This week we are going to do a little research for our assignment and create something new while borrowing from the ancients.

Your Assignment:
Create a piece of jewelry inspired by an ancient design using modern materials. What's ancient? Let's anything before the Renaissance. Head back to ancient Greece, Rome, Africa, China or India for a serious dose of inspiration. Don't forget Celtic and Viking jewelry designs too. There is literally a whole world to explore!

Tips for Making the Old New Again:
When I was in art school our library had a copy of the History of Beads. What an amazing book. I would spend time recreating beads and jewelry based on those styles found in ancient Egypt and Rome. 

Visit my Ancient Jewelry pin board for some inspiration. 

So off you go - do some googling or head to the library for an afternoon to find your inspiration.  Once you find your inspiration decide what modern materials will best translate your inspiration into jewelry.

You can use replicas of ancient materials, you can use wire or metal to forge a design, you can use materials that used by ancient cultures like lapis, carnelian, jade, turquoise.  Or if you have a stash of old beads, like African trade beads or Roman glass pull them out. 

Or you might try to replicate an ancient material.  Check out this awesome tutorial on faux Roman glass using polymer clay.  Here is a tutorial for faux jade

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 9 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring.  



Art Bead Scene's May Challenge    Saturday, May 10, 2014

This an Italian Renaissance painting by Bernardo Bellatto and Brandi Hussey's color palette for this Month's Art Bead Scene challenge.

I love using Brandi's color palettes for inspiration and in fact mixing colors is one of my favorite parts about beadmaking.

Here are the beads I made using the color palette. I kept them simple with stripe and leaf canes to tie into my upcoming workshop. You can find these in my Etsy shop.

I whipped up a set of these beads into a fun bracelet yesterday with a ceramic sea urchin from Blueberri Beads, a lampwork spacers from Genea, starfish clasp from Green Girl Studio and wood beads from Rings & Things.
This bracelet is a serious multi-tasker, not only does it tie into the Art Bead Scene's May Challenge, it also happens to be my Jewelry Making Mojo piece, which is all about creating jewelry from a color palette this week!
I cover the stripe and leaf canes in our first week of the Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp. I'm going to show you how using a simple cane can open up a world of possibilities. So yes, you could learn to make beads like these and so much more during my four week class. 
I really wanted to create an online experience that goes beyond watching a video or downloading a PDF. A few points I'd like to share about the workshop:
  • It's a self-paced course, your assignments arrive every Monday but you can work on them at your own pace.  
  • On Thursday nights I will host an optional weekly chat in our private Facebook group to help you with any questions or troubleshooting from that week's assignments. 
  • Interacting in a classroom, seeing what others create, talking to the instructor - all of intangibles that make taking a class so invaluable are what I'd like to create for you in this weekly format. 
If you've always wanted to learn how to make beads, crack the code to using color confidently or pick up some of my baking tricks to achieve that earthy, organic feel - this class is for you!
Early bird registration ends May 15th. Read all the details here.




Bead Table Wednesday    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Today on my bead table? A growing stack of these little fellows.  Adorable aren't they?  They have been made to go with goodies like these:

I've been enjoying taking Pinterest vacations to India lately.  The colors of the powders at the markets, the patterns and textures of the printed and embroidered fabric, the colors and details of the buildings - it's enough to make a girl swoon. 

Let's travel together for a minute:

I'm committing a blogging faux pas because I'm just going to say: click here to see more details on each photo.  Many of them were pinned without attributing their original source from other pinners and I was just collecting them for inspiration. Please forgive me photographers and blog readers. 

So what's on your bead table today? Share your link below or use hashtag #BeadTableWednesday on Instagram. 



Collection closes in 6d 17h 24m. 
Let other people know about it through twitter.

The Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp    Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I've received many requests to host an online class so I finally decided to listen and created this amazing color and cane beadmaking course that stars these awesome Sunflowers inspired by Van Gogh.  It's a four week course that will cover an array of my favorite color tricks, the ins and outs of color theory and how all that info can help you make better beads.  We'll start out with simple canes, building on your skills until you are ready to tackle the sunflower and create color palettes like the one below.  Are you excited? Because I am!

 Thank you Vincent for the endless inspiration!

I've wanted to revisit Van Gogh's paintings to create a new series of beads for a while now.  This class was the push that got me going! I couldn't be happier with these lovely sunflowers.  My next beads will be Van Gogh's Irises and his Almond Blossom painting.  You can find the Sunflowers in my Etsy shop right now.
Visit my website to see all the workshop details and to sign up for the class!
Humblebeads Giveaway!
Help me spread the word this week about the class to win a $50 gift certificate to my Etsy shop.
To Enter:
 Share on Facebook, twitter, pin it on Pinterest or all three.  
Leave a comment below. 
Sharing on each site will get one entry, just be sure to let me know where you shared. 
I will draw a winner this Saturday.

Mojo Challenge Week 8: Color Palette Inspiration    Monday, May 5, 2014

Thanks to sites like Design Seeds and Pinterest there is an abundance of color inspiration for the picking. Last week we played with one color this week we are going to take it to the next level.

Your Assignment:
Find a color palette to use as teh inspiration for your next jewelry design. Pick a color palette that isn't your go-to colors! Think outside the box this week.

Extra credit: Use the same color palette in different proportions to create two different pieces of jewelry. (See Below)

Tips for Working with Color Palettes:
First you can find a million amazing color palettes on Design Seeds or check out my Pin board for ideas. I happen to love the color palettes that Brandi Hussey created for the Art Bead Scene challenges, like the one above. 

Both of these designs use the same color palette - the one of the left is predominately the light blue with the copper color as the secondary. The bracelet on the other hand used the copper hues as the main color with green, yellow and blue as accents in equal parts.

By varying the proportions of the colors you can find a great deal of inspiration in one single color palette.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 8 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring. 

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