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  Picmonkey.com 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 Humblebeads.com. 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 Humblebeads.com. 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: acehardware.com - copper and steel wire
 
Design Talented One: etsy.com/shop/designtaletedone - hand-dyed silk ribbon
 
Fusion Beads: fusionbeads.com - Czech glass, Vintaj patina, alcohol inks, findings, general beading supplies
 
Green Girl Studios: greengirlstudios.com - pewter art beads
 
Hobby Lobby: hobbylobby.com - Vintaj suplies, findings, copper sheet
 
Klynn Jewelry Designs: etsy.com/shop/KlynnJewelryDesigns - copper blanks
 
Lima Beads - limabeads.com - Czech glass, Vintaj patina, alcohol inks, findings, general beading supplies
 
Metalliferous: metalliferous.com - copper textued sheets
 
Michaels Craft Stores: michaels.com - polymer clay, general craft supplies, findings and beads
 
Monster Slayer: monsterslayer.com - silver wire, beads, metal tools
 
Munro Crafts: munrocrafts.com - chain and findings, polymer clay
 
Natural Touch Beads: naturaltouchbeads.com - resin beads
 
Nunn Design: nunndesign.com - branch toggles 
 
Out on a Whim Beads: whimbeads.com - peanut seed beads, seed beads           
                   
Rings & Things: rings-things.com - metal, tools, beads, findings
 
The Bead Obsession: stores.ebay.com/thebeadobsession - Czech glass beads
 
Vintaj: vintaj.com - Patina, inks, findings, metal blanks 
 
Wanan Beads: etsy.com/shop/WananBeads - nut and wood beads
 
White Clover Kiln: whitecloverkiln.com - ceramic beads, waxed linen
 
Yadana Beads: etsy.com/shop/yadanabeads - 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! 
 

Beautiful Elements Reader Showcase    Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hello! I wanted to feature a few designers who have jumped in and created projects inspired by techniques in Beautiful Elements. If you haven't heard, I am having a fun Book-Along to celebrate my new book. You can read all about it here. So let's see what folks have whipped up!

First up is Sarah Raines, Sarah created these pieces for the Art Bead Scene challenge last month. She created the wire wreath, copper leaf and berry headpins from the book and she did a fab job!

And she created earrings to match. Sarah blogged about her creations here.

Next up is are two projects from Kathy Lindemer, her blog is Bay Moon Design and she even blogged about her experience. Check it out here. Kathy jumped into the chapter that features acorn headpins and oak leaf copper components. 

Each chapter in the book starts out with basic techniques, this chapter I first cover how to make the acorn headpins and the basic oak leaf. I then take you through several projects featuring those elements. The leaf is used a pendant, bracelet cuff and toggle clasps.

Lorelei Eurto did a nice book review and created this bracelet inspired by the silk wrapped beads in the book. She did her beads with batik fabric - looks awesome and put them together in a bracelet of her own design. Read Lorelei's book review here.

The introduction in the book starts:

"This book represents the unlimited potential of raw materials. The most important raw material you possess is creativity. Limited only by what you can dream up with metal, wire, and clay, there are a million directions to travel in jewelry making. When exploring these basic materials, you'll never get bored or run out of ideas. One project gives birth to a new variation, one idea sparks another, and on it goes."

That was the essence of the projects I created for the book. I wanted to show how to create two or three elements and repeat them in various ways to create a collection of jewelry. I hoped to show you how to take a motif and translate it over and over in new ways and that the projects in the book are just a starting point. I know once you learn the basics and feel confident in the technique you'll add these elemements to your box of tricks and pull them out to create designs that are new and unique to you!
 

I'm looking forward to seeing what you create!

Beautiful Elements Book-Along    Friday, February 26, 2016

I'm super excited to host a book-along in March celebrating all the hard work and creativity that went into my latest book. If you haven't had a chance to pick up a copy of Beautiful Elements you can order it online here or check your local bead store. 
 
What is a book-along? It's a chance to play along and try out one of the projects during the month of March. Create a piece of jewelry inspired by the techniques or projects in the book and share a photo in my Humblebeads VIP Party by March 25th.  
 
Join the group here and enter your photo in the Book-Along photo album
 
Winners will be randomly picked from all the entries on March 26th. Prizes include a $100 and a $50 gift certificate from Humblebeads.com.
 
I'll feature several of the entries here on my blog. I'll also share several blog posts sharing some juicy behind the scene tidbits from the book. So stop by here often and be sure to join the VIP group
 
For a little treat today I thought you'd enjoy seeing some of the sketches of the jewelry designs that are featured in Beautiful Elements. The projects cover simple and easy metal and wire techniques along with a few polymer clay bead and headpin designs. The book is all about the next step from stringing jewelry to creating your own focal beads, links, headpins, clasps and earwires that will take your jewelry designs up a notch! 
 
Each chapter starts with a few techniques and then the projects explore the possibilities of how to combine those elements into jewelry. And my projects in the book are just the beginning. I can't wait to see what you create. 

 

To recap for the book-along:
 
1.Grab a copy of Beautiful Elements.
 
2. Create a piece of jewelry inspired by a project or technique in the book.
 
3. Enter your drawing in the Humblebeads VIP group by March 25th.
 
4. Have fun and be inspired for the month!

New Class Offerings    Saturday, January 30, 2016

Metal Sketch Classes

Sweetest Song Metal Sketch Class

6 hour class
All skill levels
 
Students will learn how to cut and prepare metal blanks, discover how to 'sketch' images on metal with wire and hammers, (don't worry templates are provided, no drawing skills are needed.). Discover how to hand-color metal with a patina and dye system. 
 
6 hour class includes jewelry construction techniques of entwined wreaths, wrapped dangles, toggle clasps and birch twig connectors.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Instructor will provide patinas and dyes.

Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, polymer clay disks, chain, branch toggle, jump rings and chain. $35.


3 hour class options: bracelet or necklace only.


Forest Floor Metal Sketches
6 hour class
All skill levels

Learn how to cut metal with sheers, texture and shape the copper with hammers and wire and patina to create these flowers, seeds and leaves. Create your own sterling silver earwires and learn how to make silk wrapped beads. 

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers. 
 
Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer
 
Instructor will provide patinas and dyes. 
 
Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, silk, wire, seed beads, chain, toggle clasp, brass earwires, jump rings and chain. $25. 
 
 

 

 
Maple Seed Earrings
2 hour class
All skill levels
 
This class covers cutting metal with sheers, texturing and shaping the copper with hammers and patina to create these lovely copper seeds. Create your own sterling silver earwires to finish the design.
 
Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Kits are $12 and includes copper sheet, wire and seed beads.
 

 

 
Luna Moth Metal Sketch 
6 hour class
All skill levels
 
Students will learn how to cut and prepare metal blanks, discover how to 'sketch' images on metal with wire and hammers, (don't worry templates are provided, no drawing skills are needed.). Discover how to use patinas to color metal.  
 

6 hour class includes jewelry construction techniques of entwined wreaths, wrapped dangles, toggle clasps and birch twig connectors.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Instructor will provide patinas and dyes.

Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, bead caps, polymer clay disks, chain, jump rings and chain. $35.

3 hour class options: bracelet only.
 


Leaves & Berries Felted Pendant

Technique: Needle Felting, Bead Embroidery
Skill Level: All
3 or 6 Hour Class

This meditative class starts with creating leaves from wool. We'll shape and needle-felt autumn colored leaves to bead embroider. With a few simple bead embrodiery techniques we'll embellish our leaves with seed beads and Czech glass. The stitches are easy and you'll finish this project before class is over and start on a second one! The lush beads with soft texture of the felted wool play off each other to offer a stunning design. Your kit will have enough materials to make two leaves and two pendants.

Require Tools: scissors, chain nose and round nose pliers, wire cutters. 

Kits includes felting needle, felting foam, beading needle, thread, seed beads, Czech glass beads, stones, chain and jump rings. $25. 


Polymer Clay Classes 

Monarch and Milkweed Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels
 
Learn how to create a monarch butterfly wing cane to use in a variety of beads shapes. Create a monarch chrysalis layering canes and clay. We'll create milkweed pod beads to match in several sizes and milkweed pod headpins.  
 
Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller, stylus sculpting tool. 
 
Required materials: 2 oz blocks of Premo in orange, black, white, wasbi (lime green), gold, transparent and brown. 
 
Instructor will provide bead mandrels, wire, paints and embellishing materials.
 
 

 

 
Organic Pods
6 hour class
All skill levels

Explore several ways to make simple polymer clay headpins sculpted with a few easy tricks to look like various pods. Using several mixed media treatments we'll create beautifully painted finishes on each pod. You'll create a large collection of pods during this workshop. 
 
Jewelry techniques to use heapdins in jewelry will also be covered. Bring your own additional beads or pick from several kits to transform your headpins into pendants. 
 
Required tools: round and chain nose pliers, wire cutters, clay stylus tool, acrylic rod. 
 
Required supplies: three 2oz blocks of Premo brand polymer clay. Must be this brand. Find it at Munrocrafts.com or your local craft store.
 
Instructor will provide materials to paint the pods and wire. 
 
3 hour class option: headpins only.
 

 

 
Tropical Bonbon Beads
3 hour class
All skill levels 
 
Imagine beads that look good enough to eat, each one displaying layers of leaves and flowers as a sweet bonbon. Like learning to create heavenly European chocolates, the secrets of these scrumptious Bonbon beads will be revealed during this fun beadmakingworkshop. We'll mix up a tropical color palette and spend the class making these addictive beads. 
 
Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller, stylus sculpting tool.
 
Required materials: 2 oz blocks of Premo white and 3-4 bright colors. Suggested: peacock pearl, magenta, wasbi, purple and Souffle brand Mia Tai (coral). 
 
Instructor will provide bead mandrels and paints. 

 

 
 
Sgraffito Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels

Sgraffito is a ceramic technique that I've adapted to polymer clay to create folk-inspired beads in graphic black and white. Learn to create bead blanks, how to transfer images and carve the designs. We'll create fun faceted beads to accent these bold focals.

No drawing skills required, templates are provided. 

Required tools: acrylic roller, scissors, single-edge razor blade,  *Students must bring a Speedball Lino cutter with a no. 1 small v blade. 
 
Required materials: two 2oz blocks of  white Souffle brand polymer clay. No other clay gives the same results. Find Souffle at Joann's or online at www.munrocrafts.com. 
 
2 oz block of Premo transparent and 2-3 colors for faceted beads. Shown are Souffle brand in seaglass (teal), key lime (yellow), mia tia (coral), and royal (purple). 
 
Instructor will provide paints. 
 
 
 

 

 
Birch Bark Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels

Students will explore beadmaking inspired by birch bark and falling leaves during this fun polymer clay workshop. Learn to create birch bark and leaf canes. Canes are clay stacked together to form designs that are cut and layered on the beads. Heather will share how to use the canes to create more complex looking beads. She'll cover shaping beads into disks and long tubes and mix up a few colors to create a custom color palette.
 
Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller.
 
Required materials: 2 oz blocks of polymer clay in Premo clay: wisteria (orchid purple), periwinkle, peacock pearl (teal), bronze, white and transparent. Souffle brand clay in jade, turnip, cowboy (brown) and key lime (gold green).
 
 
 
Artist's Bio:
 
Heather has been making beads and jewelry for over 20 years. She is the author of Jewelry Designs from Nature and Beautiful Elements: Metal, Wire and Polymer Clay. The Bead-Making Lab is her third book and will be available in May. Heather is a regular contributor as the Color Canvas designer in Step by Step Wire magazine. Her popular blog, the Art Bead Scene brings her love of handmade beads and art inspiration to jewelry designers around the world. Heather organizes an annual Bead Cruise and teaches at workshops and retreats around the country. You can learn more about her work at www.humblebeads.com
 
 
I'm finalizing my schedule for 2016. I have a few openings. If you are interested in having me teach at your bead shop or for your bead society please send me an email and let's chat! 

Halcraft Pretty Palettes Challenge    Wednesday, January 27, 2016

My friend Erin invited me to take part in this month's Halcraft Pretty Palette's Challenge. She sent me a very sparkly, icy inspired collection of beads and told me to create whatever I'd like and I could add in other beads. The inspirations were macro photos of snowflakes from a Russian photographer. You must go visit the Halcraft blog to see their beauties. 

 

So I gathered my Humblebeads, took a quick trip to Michael's to round out my color palette with a few more earthy options and set to work. I was a little afraid of all that pastel bling from the challenge, but a great challenge pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to put your stamp on it, stretching in the process. 

First up is a linked bracelet with a Humblebeads Winter Branches House Beads. I paired together the the snowflake charm, faceted glass and rhinestone beads Erin sent with faceted teardrops and metallic hematite from the Halfcraft Bead Gallery collection. A few copper hematite and copper jump rings added in darker colors to match my focal bead. 

Snowflake charm earrings with faceted glass and crystals from Halcraft.

Erin had sent in a few rose quartz beads inspired by Pantone's color of the year. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry in the pink hues that felt a little like spring might be on the way! I pulled out my Skeleton Leaf pendant, a disk bead and a Wedgwood bead in green from my Humblebeads stash. I paired with up with these unusual shaped sunstone beads that I picked up from a local bead store. My Halcraft beads are tiny dangle accents in between each link. Hurry spring...hurry.

 

I pulled some of the rose quartz colors to create a coordinating pair of earrings using art beads from Green Girl Studios and Gardanne Beads. 

This was a fun piece, I can't remember the last time I made a charm bracelet. As you'll soon notice, snow owls and woodland inspirations became my underlying theme for the challenge. This bracelet captures it all with art beads from my collection and tiny accents from Halcraft. 

Snow owl charm earrings with tiny rose quartz crystals and lampwork beads. 

I wanted to create a multi-strand bracelet that captured those wintry hues and pulled out my Winter Wonderland spacers. I paired them up with faceted teardrops from the Halcraft Bead Gallery collection, each one on dark annealed steel wire to darkened my color palette.

For the multi-strand connectors I pulled out some metal blanks, cut them and hammered them to create a birch bark texture. I love how these turned out and tied the bracelet together. A Green Girl Studios owl clasp finishes the design.

Owl charm earring with Humblebeads disks and Halfcraft faceted glass teardrops. 

I love a good challenge and Halfcraft certainly provides a lovely one from Erin each month. Please head over to Halcraft blog and see what Erin created, she's kinda amazing you know! Thank you Erin and Halcraft for the opportunity to showcase art beads for the Pretty Palettes Challenge.

 

Featured Artist: Monica Pryor    Sunday, January 10, 2016

This weekend in the Humblebeads VIP Party Facebook group Monica Pryor shared her bracelets with me featuring Humblebeads and Anne Choi. They were so amazing I had to share them with you today. I'm totally smitten with them. My house beads are among my favorite beads and I love seeing how creatively they get used in jewelry. 
I love the earthy mix of stones, Czech glass and art beads - so lovely. And I would have never thought of using my house beads as a dangle, but aren't they just perfect that way!

The silver bead from Anne Choi reads, "THERE IS NOTHING LIKE STAYING AT HOME FOR REAL COMFORT". Truer words couldn't express how I feel about home!

Who wouldn't like to retreat to a little cabin in the woods with a few good books, tea, watching gently falling snow with a fireplace roaring to keep you cozy. This definitely speaks to my soul!
 
This so beautifully captures the colors of the Caribbean that inspired my little beach hut bead. It has me pining for a tropical island on this cold January night! Anne's bead reads: "THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING IS SALT WATER. SWEAT, TEARS, OR THE SEA". Love that quote! 
Thank you Monica for sharing your work with me and for making my beads look so good! I love seeing what designers make with my beads - be share to share your creations with me. 

Visit Monica's Etsy shop, Feminine Genius Jewelry to see her beautiful collection of art bead jewelry.
 
 

Winter Inspirations    Sunday, January 3, 2016

 

Winter is settling into the fields and forests around my home. It's an icy winter wonderland with more snow on the way this week. I won't lie, I've enjoyed the warmer weather this year but once the snow is here and gently falling I'm transfixed by it's magic. Can we get a woot, woot for husbands that do the shoveling? .

I can't think of a better thing to do during winter hibernation than pull out my beads and get creative!

Try my muffin tin challenge to jump start your jewelry projects this weekend. It's a great trick to use to get 6-12 projects done quickly.

Image source: Pinterest 

 

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