One Bead, 5 Ways!    Monday, July 4, 2016

I spent the day working on my beads in this very classic Humblebeads design. A friend recently asked me to revisit the bead in new patterns and so I jumped all over it! 
This bracelet features my Van Gogh Oleander 6-Hole Spacer Bead.  I modified a bracelet design I did for BeadStyle magazine many years ago.  This updated version pairs chain, metallic beads and faceted stones.  The chains were attached using 20 gauge wire. 
Hint: start with the chains and then add the beads. 
On 3 1/2" of wire I created a loop 1 1/2" from the bottom.  Open the loop and slide on the chain, close the loop and wrap to create a messy wrap.  Slide through the bead and repeat on the other side.
For the beads I cut 1 1/4" lengths of memory wire, strung it through the bead and taped one side so the wire was centered.  I added beads on one side, created a loop with the memory wire to close and repeated the pattern on the other side.
You can see on the back I used 20 gauge wire and 4mm fire polished glass beads to create spacers to stabilize the bracelet. The key to this design is mixing sizes and textures to create interest. 
This bracelet is so much fun to wear, whips up quickly and brings the party to your wrist! 
This is the original bracelet I created for BeadStyle magazine.  You can find the directions online here.  
And check out this amazing necklace by Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.  Erin always thinks outside the box and turned this spacer on it's side.  
Great minds think alike! Designer Lorelei Eurto also turned my Van Gogh Starry Night spacer bead sideways to create a beautiful focal with a copper pendant.  This design was also featured in BeadStyle magazine way back in 2009.  It still sparkles five years later, truly a classic!
Gloria Ewing totally knocked my socks off with her Starry Night design cleverly featuring my 6-hole Spacer on the side of the necklace.  I love this!
Erin, Lorelei and Gloria's necklace are under their copyright, so I'm showing them for inspirational purposes only.  But I'm sure they will get you thinking differently about this bead.  
Feel free to create either cuff bracelet design - but beware: when you wear them you will get showered with compliments!  
You can find my new cuff beads in Etsy shop and use code SUMMER25 for 25% off your order - last night of my summer sale! 

Book Launch Party    Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Today I'm celebrating the release of book #3: the Bead-Making Lab. This book is stuffed to the corners with fun projects featuring all different ways and materials to use to make your own beads. In fact, 52 bead-making projects are included along with lots of tips, beadmaker insights and interviews and jewelry for inspiration. 
I go to play with polymer clay, paper clay, upcycled paper, resin, shrink plastic, felt, ribbons, rope, leather, stones, beach glass, wood, wire and more! The projects are geared towards beginners and anyone crafty or wishing they were crafty can jump right in and start making their own beads. 
So what's a party with gifts? 
I have a signed copy of my book to giveaway. 
To enter share my book on Pinterest, Twitter or Goodreads and leave a comment below. 
Here is the link to the book on Amazon:
And on Goodreads:
I'll pick one random comment on Friday at 10am EST. Make sure I can reach you if you win!
You can also enter to win a copy on my Instagram account:
And I have several giveaways going on today in my Humblebeads VIP Group on Facebook.
Just a few of the bead projects in the book!
Each chapter has jewelry design examples featuring the beads!
Wire abacus, wire next beads, paper clay birds and driftwood beads are all found in the book.
 Learn how to drill seaglass and beach rocks. And discover how to make faux sea glass with resin.
Love being green? I have quite a few projects that upcycle paper into beads and pendants. Little book pendants and paper beads from magazines give you a boho-look and give you lots of options for recycling your summer beach reads! 
Using some of the simplest materials, like cardboard, newspaper and Mod Podge I created these trendy color block pendants. Shrink plastic and Sharpie markers were the start of these doodle charms.
Oh, you can get so fancy with shrink plastic.
Love a good faux finish - here I created faux enamel with wire and embossing powder, You'll have to read the book to get the secret ingredient to complete this project! 
I dived into all sorts of fibers for the book projects and had fun with felt like these embroidered beads that make the cutest earrings! 
The jewelry projects aren't in the book, it's all about the beads - but I know you want some inspiration on how to use those beauties once you make them! 
Here are two videos with a few tips:

Win a Free Space in My Next Online Workshop!    Sunday, June 19, 2016

Win a free space in my next online workshop!

To enter:
Share your favorite online workshop with on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest and leave a comment below. 
Click here to view the four classes I'm currently offering, click on the classes to use the easy social sharing buttons. 
Make sure I can reach you through your blogger profile if you win! 
The class you share can be one you'd like to take or one you've already taken. 
A winner will be selected randomly from the comments on Tuesday at 12pm EST. 
Free registration to my next online polymer clay workshop! 


Registration for all workshops are currently re-opened and on sale. Save $50 off the Art of Color, Cane Design Bootcamp or Moths, Monarchs & Milkweed and $10 off Feathers & Friends.


Use code CLASS20 to save $20 off any two or more $75 classes. 


Sale ends Tuesday.


Classes are self-paced with life-time access to the step-by-step videos and instructions.

Bead Class Sale!    Friday, June 17, 2016

I've opened registration for my popular beadmaking classes for the next few days and have a special offer just for you!

All classes are currently ongoing and self-paced.  You'll have lifetime access to the classroom and Facebook group.
Each class have video tutorials to watch at your own pace along with a workbook with step-by-step photos to walk you through the process. There is also a private Facebook group for each class to share your work, ask questions and met your fellow students.


To view the details of each class visit my website here.
Class Sale Details
Classes are on sale, save $50 off the regular price of the my two bootcamps and the Moths, Monarchs and Milkweed and $10 off the Feathers & Friends Workshop! 
Current prices reflect discount.
Buy two or more $75 classes and use code CLASS20 for $20 off your order!
Sale ends Tuesday.
Student Reviews:
"It has been a wonderful experience, I love the group, everyone is so kind and helpful and Heather is an excellent teacher. I have learned a lot more than I thought I would." - Kim Dworak
"This was my first experience ever with polymer (I'm a bead weaver and I learned so much from this class).  I loved the online chats too...really felt like I got to know my classmates better and we've never even met!!" - Barb Wilcox
"I'm addicted to canes now... I sort of avoided them before..." - Tammie Tusher Everly
Student Work


Lisa Caryl: Art of Color Bootcamp


Beti Horvath: Art of Color Bootcamp




 Doreen Wiley: Art of Color Bootcamp
Ann Lorenzoni: Art of Color Bootcamp 
Ann Lorenzoni: Moth, Monarch and Milkweed Workshop


Ann Lorenzoni: Cane Design Bootcamp


Lisa Caryl: Feathers & Friends Workshop

100 Days of Beads Challenge    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I decided to challenge myself to make a new bead everyday for the 100 days. I love a good creative challenge to keep me on my toes. 

I've had this tiger lily idea in my sketchbook for a few weeks and wanted to see it come to life. I may revisit it again soon.

Tiger lilies are my favorite flowers. I love to see them growing wild along old country roads.

I created these pendants last week, lilies have been in my mind! 

This is my current inspiration, a little watercolor in a juicy summer palette. Let's see what I make tomorrow. 
Follow my 100 Days of Beads challenge on Instagram at:
#100DaysofBeads - jewelry and beadmakers feel free to jump in too and use the # so I can follow along! 
Beads will be listed daily in my Etsy shop:


Bead & Button Events and New Bead Preview    Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hello! I have been quite the busy bee over the past few months. Since April I've shared my skills with the Baltimore Bead Society, sailed the Caribbean on the Bead Cruise, moved into a new home and then spent four awesome days teaching with the Great Lakes Beadworkers Guild and in the middle of all of that my latest book was launched into the world.

The bead-making awesomeness contained in the book is going to fill your days with inspiration and creativity. 52 bead-making projects using clay, plastic, wire, paper stone, wood and fiber. I had the best time creating the beads and exploring all these different materials and ways to make a bead. You could try a new one each week for entire year! The Bead-Making Lab can be found in your local book shop or online at Amazon. (affiliate link.) I am going to host an official party for the book on June 22nd with free projects, giveaways and more! 

Whirlwind? Why yes it has been. The move was unexpected and has quite turned my life upside down. But box by box, it's being put back together as we settle into our sweet little home near the shores of Lake Michigan. Thankfully the move was just down the road. But a move is a move - are they ever easy?

With the Bead Cruise in May and a full teaching schedule I had made the decision last year not to have a booth a Bead & Button. I confess, it was one that I went back and forth wishing I could do it all. I will miss visiting with all my customers and sharing new work in person. But I am going to be at the show, shopping, doing demos and signing books. And while my head knows it's not show time, my hands have not got the message and I have just uploaded lots of new beads to my Etsy shop.

Bead & Button Events

In between my shopping adventures you can find me on the show floor this weekend doing a few demos and signing books!

 Vintaj Willow Metal Sketch Demo 
Booth 921 (Vintaj) 

Friday 3:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Saturday 2:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the amazing Vintaj booth to shop, visit and catch my demo featuring the Willow Metal Sketch using Vintaj metal blanks featured in my book Beautiful Elements.

Book Signing and Wrapped Silk Bead Demo
Booth 401 (Kalmbach Books)
Saturday 4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

I'll be signing copies of Beautiful Elements in the Kalmbach book on Saturday. Along with signing books I'll demo how to create the silk wrapped beads from the book. I have free silk bead kits for the first 20 participants.

Three Image Resources for Jewelry Designers and Beadmakers    Monday, April 11, 2016

I've been busy this weekend teaching workshops for the Baltimore Bead Society and one question that came up is where to find images that you can use for bead and jewelry making. Just a little FYI, images created before the 1920's are public domain and you may use them royalty free. 
The Graphics Fairy - this website has tons of free vintage images to use in your projects. You'll need to resize them and can use to do that for free or take them to a copy shop and have the images reduced to your desired size. 
Piddix - offers collage sheets for sale that could be used for jewelry and bead applications. They come in many different sizes so find the ones that fit your needs. She has some great Alice in Wonderland ones. 
Dover - is a publishing company that offers collections of public domain images. You can find them in your local library, bookstore or online
Here are some pictures of my student's work. The Baltimore Bead Society is a great group, they were so much fun! One of the guild members took pictures today so I'll have more to share soon. 


Inspiration Kits!    Thursday, April 7, 2016

This is the Art Bead Scene's inspiration for the April Monthly Challenge. It's an amazing painting by Helen Frankenthaler titled Jacob's Ladder. I love this color palette so much!

I pulled together some inspiration kits with beads that reflect the painting. You can find them in my Humblebeads VIP Party group here.

Beautiful Elements Book-Along Winners    Thursday, March 31, 2016

Thank you to everyone who played along for the Beautiful Elements Book-Along! I loved seeing your creations. 
Remember, their is no deadline on creativity so if you create something inspired by the book please share it us in myHumblebeads VIP Party Facebook group! 
Book-Along Winners!
A big congratulations to the grand prize winner Barbara Bellatti! Barbara was randomly choose from all the entries and has won a $100 gift certificate to Barbara was inspired by the steel wire metal sketch technique and created an abstract design for her copper earrings. Reminds me of twigs on a forest floor. 
The second place winner is Melanie Swope. Congrats to Melanie who has won a $50 gift certificate to She was inspired by the wire wreaths in the book and used them as connectors on her necklace, which happens to feature a Humblebeads Sparrow Pendant! 
Next up are a few who played along and I wanted to share their work. 
I featured Kathy Lindemer  on an early post but here we see her completed necklace featuring her acorn headpins, oak leaf pendant and wire wreaths.

My friend Mary Harding had fun creating wire wreaths as part of her chain for this necklace that features a copper leaf from the book and one her amazing copper toggle and one of her ceramic beads.

Mary also had fun putting her spin on the oak leaf connector in the book with a metal texture. OH, Mary, this is speaking my language.

Mary also used one her wire wreaths in this gorgeous wrapped bracelet that was featured on the Art Bead Scene this week. Love it!

Sarajo Wentling, who excels at earring production - whipped up these cuties for another challenge but happened to use a technique in the book to create the dotted texture. 
Have you ordered your copy of Beautiful Elements yet? 

Beautiful Elements Resource List    Sunday, March 20, 2016

This week I wanted to share my resources list with the supplies that I used in the book. They were not included in the book out of solidarity for local bead shops, which I totally support and understand. Local bead shops are far and few between so I do encourage you to check out your local store, request specialty items and share your thoughts on what you'd like to see in their shop. 
In fact a bead shop a few hours away had a customer tell her about my beads. The owner reached out to me and tomorrow we are having a big shindig with a trunk show, book signing and classes.
So first and foremost, talk to your local bead shop owner if you have one in the area for items you'd like to see them carry.
So with that said, shop local first and then if that isn't an option this is my resource list that I created for the book. 


Beautiful Elements Resourses:
Ace Hardware: - copper and steel wire
Design Talented One: - hand-dyed silk ribbon
Fusion Beads: - Czech glass, Vintaj patina, alcohol inks, findings, general beading supplies
Green Girl Studios: - pewter art beads
Hobby Lobby: - Vintaj suplies, findings, copper sheet
Klynn Jewelry Designs: - copper blanks
Lima Beads - - Czech glass, Vintaj patina, alcohol inks, findings, general beading supplies
Metalliferous: - copper textued sheets
Michaels Craft Stores: - polymer clay, general craft supplies, findings and beads
Monster Slayer: - silver wire, beads, metal tools
Munro Crafts: - chain and findings, polymer clay
Natural Touch Beads: - resin beads
Nunn Design: - branch toggles 
Out on a Whim Beads: - peanut seed beads, seed beads           
Rings & Things: - metal, tools, beads, findings
The Bead Obsession: - Czech glass beads
Vintaj: - Patina, inks, findings, metal blanks 
Wanan Beads: - nut and wood beads
White Clover Kiln: - ceramic beads, waxed linen
Yadana Beads: - chain, findings
We are half way through my book-along - have you created a project from the book? Be sure to share with us in my Facebook group! 
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