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Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Thursday, June 20, 2013

"What grows in the garden, so lovely and rare? Roses and Dahlias and People grow there." 

- A Gardener's Diary, TV Show

Dahlia Pendant - Dahlia Photograph

New Floral Pendant Preview    Saturday, June 15, 2013

Visit my Etsy shop today for a preview of my newest pendants. They are inspired by the beauty of my country surroundings with their lush gardens and fields of wild flowers. 

 

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"Faith sees a beautiful blossom in a bulb, a lovely garden in a seed, and a giant oak in an acorn." 

- William Arthur Ward

Acorn Beads Acorn Photograph - Acorn Jewelry

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"We have all, at one time or another, been performers, and many of us still are- politicians, playboys, cardinals and kings." - Laurence Oliver

Cardinal Pendant - Cardinal Photograph

Bead Show Shopping Tips    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

As I prepare for the Bead & Button show, I have bead shopping and my bead budget on my mind.  Some years I have gone through the show and spent all my money in one aisle. Other years I had a well mapped out plan.  Most of my time I wander aimlessly buying whatever catches my eye as I suffer from stimulation overload.

So you hear "have a budget" all the time and that's easy enough - total cash on hand with credit available, add in first born, plan to eat crackers & oatmeal for 3 days, sleep 6 to a hotel room and there you go!  But a budget is more than a number - to get the most out of those dollars, you need a plan!

1. Research Tools. If you are planning on adding new tools, do a little research before the show and visit booths that sell them.  You can grab them in your hands, in some cases you can see a demonstration or give it a test drive.  This is the time to ask the experts questions and get some insider tips on using on a certain tool.  Decide beforehand if you will actually buy the tool there, have it shipped home or order it online when you get back.

2. Take stock of your bead boxes before you go.  What do you really need?  Most of us would probably say, nothing really, but I want everything!  I'm low on clasps, bugle beads, small faceted stones.  Those are on my list. 

3. Make a Plan.  Do you have focal beads that have been sitting in your bead box forever - snap a pic of it or bring it along to find some accents.  Smart shopping is a combination of pairing up what you already have with great finds.  I've had shoppers arrive at my booth with a strand of beads, looking for the perfect focal.  One year my friend Erin shopped with a series of paintings she had printed out and was on the hunt for beads to match the color schemes. 

 
4. Window shop before the show.  Visit websites, Facebook pages and subscribe to mailing lists of your favorite bead artists and shops that will be at the show - they often send out coupons or special deals.  You can also get a sneak peek of new work. 

5. First things first - visit your favorite bead artists at the start of the show.  They are more likely to sell out of the beads you really have your heart set on!  
 
 
6.  Is it in your budget to buy larger quantities?  Some vendors offer wholesale or discounts for larger orders.  If you are creating a series of designs for upcoming events, this could be a smart move.
  
7. Plan for the unexpected surprise - add a little cushion in your budget for new found items. 

 
8. If you have a lot of art beads in your stash, be on the lookout of spacers and accent beads from yourfavorite artists, you'll find the perfect match for those focals.  Add in just a few stones or glass beads and some chain for quick and easy designs. 
 
9. Buy the unusual - now is not the time to stock up on headpins.  (Unless you stumble upon the deal of the century for them!) Look for art beads, stones and new items that you can't find easily at home or online.
  

10. Do you have past Bead & Button purchases haunting you, deals you picked up that have sat in your bead box?  Don't let them take up mental space and keep you from buying beads that will bring more inspiration into your studio.  Either pull them out and whip up some simple designs to sell in the next two weeks or have a destash sale and send them along to a new home.  Not only will be feel less guilty about those past purchases, you'll have some extra cash in your pocket for new beads!  Win, win my friends.
 
Come visit Humblebeads and some other amazing artist at the Bead & Button Show.
 

DISCLAIMER: Budget - Who am I kidding? Do you see those pictures up there? And that is just what I KNOW is going to be there. I'll be in trouble the moment I walk in the door. 

 
More Info:
 

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind" - Bruce Lee

Twilight Reed Pendant - Reeds Photograph

Workshop Review    Thursday, May 23, 2013

This past weekend I hosted the Garden Party Bead Workshop in my home.  I had 10 amazing students join me for a day of beadmaking.  The top left photo shows the kits for the day - clay and tools wrapped up like presents.  It was a fun mix of old friends and new that gathered for the day.  The two photos on the bottom left and center show my student's work.  They were fearless and jumped right in, soon experimenting and trying new things with the basic techniques I taught them.  On the bottom right is a mix of polymer clay with porcelain bisque blanks that my friend Marla brought along.


If you have beady friends, you know what a treasure they are and how much fun it is when we get together.  My friend Marie of More Skye Jewels traveled all the way from Canada to visit with me for several days.  Erin from Tesori Trovati was able to surprise Marie and stay with us for the weekend.  We are all kindred spirits and even though there are many miles between us, our hearts are always on the same page!  I'm so blessed to have such sweet friends with precious hearts, creative minds and generous spirits. 

Saturday night we stayed up into the wee hours of the night making beads.  Nothing beats a beady slumber party!  Here are are the new beads I made this weekend - Nest & Birch Trees.

We gathered together on Sunday for brunch and a bead swap!  Oh look - an art bead trifecta with Humblebeads, More Skye Jewels and Simple Truths by Tesori Trovati! 

Marie & I watching the sunset before she had to head back home.

Our visit was much too short, but we all left with sweet memories and the promise of another visit soon!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy,

they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

-Marcel Proust

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"The bird a nest, the spider a web, man friendship." -Willilam Blake

Nest Pendants - Nest Photographs

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs    Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Time is for dragonflies and angels. The former live too little and the later live too long." - James Thurber

Dragonfly Charms - Dragonfly Photo

 

Call for Submissions and Your Favorite Humblebeads    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Humblebeads Best Sellers

Did your favorite Humblebead make the Best Sellers List

I think most of these have appeared in a publication over the last few years, which may account for their popularity! 

I have a big annoucement! 

Call for Submissions to the Humblebeads Quarterly

Humblebeads Quarterly is going to be a how-to booklet featuring projects from my customers and exclusive free projects from me!

Deadline for contest entry: June 5th, winners will be announced June 8th.

Winners will have until June 20th to send high resolution photos and written directions for their project. 

Prizes: All Humblebeads Quarterly contributors will receive a $50 gift certificate from www.humblebeads.com, sent after the final deadline. 

Details: Create a project using one of the beads from the Best Sellers List.  Stringing, wire-work and simple metal work projects only.

Winners will be picked according to originality of the project and quality of the photo. 

(I highly recommend photographing your work in filtered daylight with a non-distracting background.)

New work only - Designs can't be previously featured in an online publication, print publication, blog hop or online contest. 

Rights: All rights remain the designer's.  I will publish your winning project in my Summer edition of the Humblebeads Quarterly with your directions.  Final edits will be approved by the designer. All I ask is that you keep your winning design unpublished until July 1st! 

Email your submission here!

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