Bead Hoarders Blog Hop    Saturday, July 20, 2013

The very clever and creative Lori Anderson, author of Bead Soup Party and blog hop hostess extraordinaire, challenged us to bust our stashes and quit hoarding our beads in her latest blog hop challenge. I have many stashes that are hidden treasures - I looked at them at the beginning of this challenge and chuckled - "No, no sweet ones not yet", I whispered to them with dreams of future book projects dancing in my head.  A bead hoarder is not easily reformed!

So I picked some recent additions to my stash from my Bead & Button shopping splurges, trades and a few precious pendants from my very dear friend Erin.

My stash included pewter Green Girl Studios, Tesori Trovati's Simply Truths Pendants and ceramic beads Diane Hawkey.

Oh, look at that - a collection! That's how I design now for items I'm selling.  I love working in a series, using a basic formula and changing up the beads just a bit.  I wanted to use the wire nest theme to tie the designs together.  I added in some of my disk beads to compliment the art bead collection. 

First up - Nature's Harmony.  I love how the pendants have a totem feel with symbols and meaning to go with each bead. I grabbed the owl and harmony bead to go with the oak leaf pendant - the story this pendant whispers: to find harmony in your life, wisely accept change!

The necklace hangs on a 28" long brass chain and slips over the head for easy wear.  I love longer pendants.  I think mainly because I like to look at and fondle the beads when I'm wearing them! The pendant is 4" long.  My favorite little touch on this piece - the flower crown on top of the owl's head.

A close up of the Oak Leaf Earrings.  Steel wire nests, pewter leaves, polymer clay branch disk beads, crystal spacers and brass earwires.  Earrings measure 2 1/2" long.

The back of the pendant has a secret message: "bare branches hold the hope of spring".  Erin is so poetic!

Next is my Hopes & Dreams Pendant. I absolutely love this Simple Truths willow.  The willows are a theme I'm very fond of and Erin captured their beauty and delicate nature perfectly. I'd love this as a painting in my house!  (Erin, make that happen!!!) I paired the pendant up with a dream bead and pewter nest - the whole design speaks of the hope and renewal that arrives each year with Spring. 

The Hopes & Dreams Pendant measures 5" long and rests on a 28" gunmetal chain.

Little Bird Earrings are handcrafted of pewter and paired with steel wire nests, polymer clay branch disk beads and crystal spacers on brass earwires. These are also 2" long.  

Did you natural brass doesn't have nickel and if you have sensitivity to metals you might be able to wear brass?  True story, I haven't worn earrings in years but after I read that I tested some Vintaj brass earwires and it's a miracle - I can wear earrings again!

Now head on over to Lori's blog today for a mega dose of inspiration while you visit the participants of the Bead Hoarders Blog Hop!  And then for heaven's sake - go grab some beads that you've been hoarding and make something spectacular..

Did you use Humblebeads in your blog hop project?  Leave a link in the comments - I have a special gift for you!

(Hope you don't mind the buy now buttons, thought that might be an easier way to offer these today.  If you purchase more than one item I will refund the shipping.  All jewelry comes in a gift box and ships by first class mail. US residents only.)

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get." ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

Mum Connector Bead - Mum Photograph

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach - waiting for a gift from the sea." ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Dream Inspirational Bracelet Cuff Beach Photograph

Dollar Store Shabby Chic Planters    Saturday, July 6, 2013

One of my summer projects has been to create an outdoor room on my patio for entertaining, a place to create outside and just a space for taking breaks during the day when a little sunshine and fresh air are needed.  It's been a slow process, using mostly what I have on hand and a few finds from markets and thrift stores.  

Adding some green into my space was my top priority but I'm not a natural gardener.  For all my love of nature, I am way more of a black thumb than a green thumb.  My kids used to call me the 'plant killa' because well, that's what I was!  So I'm starting out slow with things I think I can manage.  A tiny herb garden, a few succulents, 4 very hardy hostas and two containers of coleus.  I've been assured by garden experts at the nursery that they are all easy to care for and keep alive. 

(Garden Marker project can be found here.)

As a new gardener one thing I'm in short supply of is cool pots for my plants.  And living in a small town and it's mid-July, budget friendly options were not in abundance.  Like seriously, plain terra cotta pots - no where to be found.  So I created some shabby chic inspired planters from dollar store finds.  These little pots were 2 for $1 and as you can see I used Rust-Oleum's 2X paint.  My other tool was an all purpose sanding sponge.

No priming or prep work was needed, just a few even coats to cover the entire pot.

After the paint is dry, use the sanding sponge to sand along the edges and ridges of the pot.  Wipe with a damp cloth when to remove the paint dust.

I have a few more projects to complete before the 'room' is done.  We are painting a bench. I have some cloth napkins to make for dinner parties to match a vintage table cloth that I found. I would like to make a decorative sign, spruce up an old bird bath and then add some fairy lights around the trees.  And then I will need to invite some folks over to enjoy it!

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Saturday, July 6, 2013

“The lilac branches are bowed under the weight of the flowers: blooming is hard, and the most important thing is - to bloom. ~ Yevgeny Zamyatin,“A Story About The Most Important Thing”

Lilac Pendant - Lilac Photograph

Summer Inspirations    Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My life via Instagram! I have been trying to find more balance between work and rest while I recover from Bell's Palsy - an unfortunate gift I woke up with the day before Bead & Button. I've been working through each day doing what I can. I'm almost back to full speed!

Things I've been enjoying while learning to relax include gardening, putting together an outdoor dining room, trips to the farmer's market, adventures in making jam, discovering antique shows and frequent trips to the beach.

We live for the weekends around here! How are you enjoying summer?

Winner of those copper dipped wobble beads? Nicole - the last person to leave a comment - yeah for  Nicole send me your mailing address. 

Bead Giveaway    Monday, July 1, 2013

It's been a busy time of experimenting in the studio this weekend.  These metallic accented wobble beads were one of the fruits of my labor.  I've been playing with different textures and finishes for a class I will be teaching at my fall retreat.  And while I love these, I think instead of listing them they will be a gift to someone in the bead world.  These are such a fun and trendy color!

Enter to Win!

To enter to win take a moment to Pin, share on Facebook or tweet 3 of your favorite new Humblebeads here at  

On each bead listing there is a button to press to share on your favorite social media site, it couldn't be any easier - just click the button!  Leave a comment here to let me know you shared your three favorites.  (Make sure I can contact you if you are winner or check back here on the 5th.)

I will pick one random winner on July 5th.  

We are also extending the Summer Sale until July 4th.  

Use discount code SPARKLER for 25% off your order from either my Etsy shop or the website.  You can find all sorts of amazing new beads including these Coral Wobbles.  

Summer Sale & Events    Friday, June 28, 2013

Everybody's working for the weekend!

Are you ready to kick off July and jump into summer?

Let's go for juicy slices of watermelon, fresh cut flowers from the farmer's market, cookout's on the grill, romance novels read on the beach, sparkers and lightening bugs when the sun goes down, watching fireworks while laying on a blanket - what's your perfect summer day?

This sale is for both my website and Etsy bead shop.  Use discount code SPARKLER when you check out for 25% off your order until Sunday at midnight.

Bead Cruise 2014

OH and before you go running off to shop for beads, the new Bead Cruise registration is opening at noon.  We are sailing March 21st from New Jersey to the Bahamas and Florida.  There are jewelry making classes, bead parties, a costume cocktail party, design contest, goodie bags and more.  If you dream about joining me every year - you might want to check this sailing out.  Cabins start at $604!!! 

Inspired by Nature Fall Retreat

Details are coming together for my next Inspired by Nature Fall Retreat for October 18th - 20th in South Haven, MI.  Registration will open tomorrow.  The website will be updated later today with class details.  I only have space for 15 students.  I hope to see you there! 


June Art Bead Scene Challenge    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

It's been forever since I've done one of the Art Bead Scene challenges, since it's my game - I should probably start playing along again. 

It's always fun and inspiring to see what we can create from the featured art work.  This month was a watercolor painting called "Jackknife Village" by Franklin Carmichael from 1926.  Loved the sun-bleached hues, tiny houses and mix of textures.

So let's drool over these beads again, shall we?  The lampwork beads were a gift from my very sweet friend Genea of Genea Beads.  Oh my, are they heavenly.  I love that focal bead with a fierce passion!  Genea has always been creating textured lampwork beads she is calling beach stones - love them.

I paired the lampwork beads up with one of my polymer clay urchins and a house bead.  That nautulis clasp is from Green Girl Studios.  The design is simply strung with some mystery blue stone - amazonite maybe?  Sunstone faceted briolettes, orange adventurine and a kieshe pearl.  Yep, just one.  Oh and some tiny faceted stones that are another mystery.  Seriously, keep records Ms. Heather. 

Hot Links:

Genea Beads

Urchin Bead

House Bead

Art Bead Scene Challenge - still a few days to enter the challenge but the blog hop deadline is today.


Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, June 26, 2013

“Love is much like a wild rose, beautiful and calm, but willing to draw blood in its defense.” ~ Mark Overby

Wild Rose PendantWild Rose Photo

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