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Mojo Challenge Week 4: Findings    Monday, March 10, 2014

It's week 4 of the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge! I hope you've had a chance to jump in and have been inspired to create some amazing jewelry over the last three weeks. I love seeing and reading about your creative adventures in our Facebook group.

Your Assignment:
Make some findings and use them in your jewelry.  It can be earwires, clasps or chain.  You can make them out of anything - anything.  Wire, metal, beads, seed beads, polymer clay, metal clay - whatever is calling your name, jump in and give it a try!

Get creative, have fun and don't forget to share your work with us.

Two toggle clasps that I created - making your own findings takes your jewelry to the next level! 


Tips for Making Your Own Findings:
Practice, practice, practice.  Plan to make several pieces before you have one that is ready to use in your jewelry.  Practice with copper wire if you are making wire findings before moving on to silver.  Copper is a very soft metal, brass is much harder - keep that in mind when working.

Finding Inspiration:

Candy Cane Earring Tutorial by Heather Powers

Sun Clasp by Heather Powers 

Earwire Tutorial from Deryn Mentock

Spiral Wire Clasp Tutorial by Cindy Wimmer

Chain Tutorial by Keirsten Giles

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 4 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    Thursday, March 6, 2014

Today it's all about filling orders and creating inventory. Yep, we live and work in a bead factory and from now until the Bead Cruise we pretty much eat, sleep and breathe beads. Nothing makes me more creative than a deadline!
 
These are my lovely birch and nest disk beads, so sweet for Spring. Hurry Spring!!! 
Bead Table Wednesday is a fun way to connect with other beady creatives. You can share your bead table or work in progress - messy or staged. There are no rules! Share your post in the link below or on Instagram. Use the hashtag #beadtablewednesday. 
 
So what's on your bead table?

Mojo Challenge Week 3: Back to School    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Welcome to week 3 of the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge. It's been so much fun to see all those bead soup and challenge projects.  

Your Assignment:
It's time to go back to school! Learning something new is a super way to get your jewelry making mojo kicked into high gear. 

Find a project in a book, magazine or online (tutorials and videos are perfect for this challenge) and create a piece of jewelry inspired by the project.

If you blog about your assignment, be sure to share the link to the tutorial or book.

(I can't talk about books without showing mine!!!!)

Back to School Tips:
Pick a project that you already have the materials on hand or can easily get them, since this is a weekly challenge! Substitute beads that you already have on hand rather than going on a shopping expedition.  

Don't spend too much time searching for the project. I'm sure you already have one you've pinned or bookmarked that you have been wanting to try but haven't had the time. 

Schedule your "class" on your calendar this week so that you actually make the time to do this challenge.

The Library:
Humblebeads Projects (40 free projects)
Bead Cruise Program - this is my annual mini-magazine I create for the Bead Cruise.
Art Bead Scene Free Projects
Vintaj Projects
B'Sue Boutique Videos
Beading Daily Projects
Fusion Bead Projects 
Lima Beads Projects 
Nunn Designs 
Beaducation
Ornamentea

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 3 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.  

Garden Patina - Inspirations    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I've been spending a few hours this week playing with some new ideas and styles inspired by my trend research.  Loving metallic accents, patina and geometric shapes like daggers, triangles and coins. 

Here is another version on my ginkgo, I'm slightly obsessed with them for some odd reason.  I think I like the art nouveau feel of them.

I'm finding this shape incredibly inspiring and plan on working up an earring tutorial for the Bead Cruise program booklet - you'll be able to see that at the end of March when I get back from the cruise.  

I'm dreaming of old weathered garden gates, the patina on aged copper, walking in warm places and feeling a connection to the past.  Yep, that's all wrapped up into my beads this week.  It's been a long time since I've just played with clay and made one-of-a-kind pieces.  Some of these beads may become part of my regular line, but getting a handle on the patina to make it do what I want every time is a little tricky.  So enjoy them while they are around!

This is a tutorial I did for the Art Bead Scene a few years ago, I could see it in copper and patina to match these beads!  Hmm, I may have to give that a try.  Click here for the tutorial. 

The whole collection went in my Etsy shop today.  Stop on by to see what's left, they are already flying out the door!
 

Jewelry Trends for Spring 2014    Sunday, March 2, 2014

I'm not really one to chase after trends, but I do find them to be inspiring every now and then. I did some digging and wanted to share my trendy finds. I did a quick jaunt through the websites of the big fashion magazines and fashion bloggers to round up these trends. And then I headed to Etsy to see how I would interpret the trends and did some sketching to get your wheels turning.


Materials:

Oversized and layered chains
Pearls, sparkly crystals, big gemstones
Metal - in particular gunmetal tones and bright gold (or raw brass for us mere mortals)

Colors:
White - as in all white, monochromatic designs
Bold colors: cobalt blue, emerald green, bright yellow, orange
Metallics

Shapes:
Triangles and chevrons
Big, bold geomtric designs
Matchstick pendants and earrings
Daggers

Styles & Motifs:
Bold pendants
Statement necklaces 
Tassels - fiber, beads and chain
Layered necklaces, lots of layered chains with geometric pendants
Bold cuff bracelets and layered bracelets are still strong this season 
Enthic inspirations - bright, colorful, lots of layers
Animals, birds, butterflies, bees and feathers
Climbing vines and leaves
Words

 

And now to my sketchbook - how would I channel these trends into jewelry pieces? First up, I was loving big chains, geometric shapes and the white jewelry trend. I decided to use my Gingko Leaf Pendant for all three designs, showing how one bead could fit several trends.

This design would take three of my Gingko leaf pendants, layered with hammered brass pendulums. I would drill the brass pendulums and attach them together to create a bid design.  I'd used a big, oversized decorative chain to work in between the pendant pieces. 

I hardly ever make statement necklaces, there were so predominantly in the trends that I saw that I thought I should tackle one.  For this design I would wire wrap bails on five Gingko Leave Pendants. I would use a chain for the structure of the necklace and create drops from pearls, crystals and rhinestone headpins, mixing warm and color tones in white. White and shimmer were big, so why not go big with them! This would be so fresh for Spring.
And now going a little simpler I'd pair geometric shapes to create a trend pendant. I'd start with an open brass triangle, layered with the Gingko Leaf Pendant.  On top of the two pendants, I would attach a green triangle bead and an orchid disk beads. I would use a brass ring to add another geometric element and use a delicate brass chain. This style would look great with several other small pendants on chains, all worn together.
I was so loving the gilded trend that I pulled out my patinas and worked up some golden editions of my favorite designs. You can see how I would pair of few of them in the treasury above.  I plan to play all weekend with metallics and geometric shapes.
 
Want more inspiration? Check out these Jewelry 2014 pins!

30 Words: My Work    Sunday, March 2, 2014

Endless possibilities.
A rainbow at my fingertips.
A clever chameleon.
 
Roll, twist, shape, 
Manipulate.
 
Transformed, refined,
Elevated. 
Now a little piece of art.
 
Inspiration.
 
A connection.
Passed to your hands. 
 The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
 
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
 
 
Share your link with Erin at Treasures Found.
 

Bead Table Wednesday    Sunday, March 2, 2014

This is what's happening on the bead table today.  We are busy working on orders and it seems there has a been a demand for sea themes - ya'll are gettin' your inner mermaid on and dreaming of the beach.  Me too!  Only thankfully I have less than a month before I'm actually standing on one.  Bead Cruise 2014 can not get here soon enough.  

Bead Table Wednesday is a fun way to connect with other beady creatives. You can share your bead table or work in progress - messy or staged. There are no rules! Share your post in the link below or on Instagram. Use the hashtag #beadtablewednesday. 
 
So what's on your bead table?
 

Mojo Challenge Week 2: Bead Soup    Monday, February 24, 2014

Welcome to Week 2 of  the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge.  This week is going to be fun and easy.

Your Assignment:
Find a little stash of bead soup and make something with it. 

Now, I would keep it simple and let the beads do the talking - remember the challenge is to get you making something - so don't think too hard about this.

There aren't any hard and fast rules for the challenge this week - just use what is in your bead stash.

(This has nothing to do with the popular blog hop that we all know and love. Bead soup is a random mix of beads that are either leftovers from other projects or a little mix you gather together.) 
 

Bead Soup Tips: 

You could make a stack of bangles, a crazy long necklace knotted on linen, simple loops to create a beaded chain like the one I did, etc.  Keep your techniques simple and your beads limited.

If you don't have a 'soup' mix started, I suggest getting a little bowl and pulling out some beads and use only those in the bowl.  Limiting your choices can be very freeing and help get you producing new jewelry! Sometimes our bead stash can be overwhelming. 

Find a unifying element for your soup - it could be a spacer bead, a color or a bead shape, this will help you soup from becoming a hot mess!

I used three repeating elements in my design, tiny gold spacers, the small disk bead shape and the elongated oval of the owl and white beads.

More Bead Soup Inspiration:
 Check out Lori Anderson's book Bead Soup for lots of great design tips.  I have a project in there along with many of my beady friends, it's super inspiring.  

Why not host a bead soup get-together with your creative friends and have a little bead party in real life?  You can read all about hosting one of your own right here.  I've done this several times over the years and it's always fun!

Check out the Spring issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine for a section on bead soup creations.

I bought this tutorial a few years ago and love it - it's such a fun way to dig into a mix of bead soup! The Tribal Gypsy Bangle Stacks Tutorial is from Fanciful Devices.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 2 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.
 

Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge    Monday, February 24, 2014

So this week for the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge I asked participants to pick a challenge or contest to play along with and create a piece of jewelry.  I'm right in the trenches with you and the challenge that I picked was to create something for the Art Bead Scene's February Blog Hop. If you are are new the Art Bead Scene, we challenge readers to create a piece of jewelry each month inspired by a work of art.  This month it's Paul Klee's The Rose Garden - shown below.

 

In the painting I love the layered look of the buildings with the tiny windows and that was what I wanted to capture in my set here. I cut out the pieces from copper and textured them with an awesome texturing hammer - so much fun! I should have cut out house shapes - of course, I just now thought of that.  (I'm also really good at coming up with witty come backs - hours laters.) 
 
I paired the copper with some of my disk beads in the color palette of the painting.  
 
 
 
This is Paul Klee's The Rose Garden.
 
There is still time to play along with the Art Bead Scene's challenge - you have until the 28th.  And if you use Humblebeads in your creation - enter here for a chance to win a $50 Humblebeads gift certificate.
 
In case you wondering what all this Mojo talk is about - read more here and the first challenge here.
 

Throw Back Thursday Bead Edition    Monday, February 24, 2014

Throw Back Thursday is seen often on Facebook & Instagram showing awesome pics of peeps back in the day.  I thought I'd do a little bead edition and share one of my first printed projects with you.  It must be a classic because I'm looking at it thinking I need to make some of these again!

The cuff bracelet was first published in BeadStyle magazine in 2007.  It went on to be republished in another beginner beading magazine by Kalmback and in their Easy Beading Book series.  It also made an appearance on PBS' Beads, Baubles and Jewelry.  It really was the project that started my beadmaking career.  

And thanks to internet archives you can download the project for free courtesy of Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

 
 


A few tips: it works better with size 8 seed beads and with larger size memory wire so it's not so tight on your wrist.   

 

I don't offer the leafy cuff beads shown in the project anymore. I made them for about 5 years before I decided I never wanted to see another one! I have them in my popular branch style in several colors and in my Starry Night design.  Maybe I will revisit this design in some limited edition styles this week. 
 
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