Gift Certificate Winner    Sunday, May 31, 2015

Thanks to all the awesome early birds who have signed up for my new online workshop. A quick congratulations to Aimee Sills - she is the winner of a $50 gift certificate to  

May Halcraft Pretty Palette Challenge    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I'm excited today to take part in Halcraft's Pretty Palette challenge hosted by the super talented Erin Prais-Hintz. Erin found this awesome Scandinavian print, those foxes and leaves really called to me! 

Erin sent me a package of beads she picked for this month's palette. I could use any of the beads and add in my own. So let's jump in and see what transpired!

My first creation I honed in on the the graphic leaves in the inspiration. I really loved the black petal beads from Halcraft, in fact I had a strand in my bead stash already. I paired them up with the gold matte Czech glass and just a splash of the red with the Czech glass coin beads.

Being Mrs. Art Bead Scene, I had to add in a few artisan beads. I grabbed this beautiful fiddlehead pendant from Kylie Parry and matched them up with my Humblebeads branch disk beads in copper.

For my next creation I was inspired by the print to create a bead just for the challenge. I created this tiny fox running in a birch forest. My Halcraft beads the jet petals, dyed bamboo coral sticks, the red Czech glass coins and the matte gold beads. 

My final design I played with an asymmetrical pattern with the petals, gold matte beads, the red Czech coin in a brighter hue. The focal is one of my new faux sgraffito style beads. The copper branch beads pulls in some of the reddish hues from the palette.

Stop on over to the Halcraft blog today to see what Erin and the other participants created. Thank you Erin for the inspiration!

Art of Awareness Blog Hop    Monday, May 18, 2015

Welcome, today I'm taking part in a blog hop hosted by Lori Anderson and Heather Millican of Swoondimples that is about raising awareness for causes that we want to support.

Based on the ribbon awareness campaign, beadmaker Heather Millian of Swoondimples created bean beads for us with our cause color and a word or two that we requested. When I saw the little "be." beads in Heather's shop, I knew those were the ones that I wanted for this hop.

For my cause I'm supporting mental health awareness with the color green and depression in particular.

It's difficult to watch someone I love struggle with a depression that causes them to not function or makes them feel completely hopeless. I can't fathom them not feeling worthy of friends or love or that they feel so much despair that death seems like a better choice.

Depression is terrible. It's not just the blues or feeling sad. It steals people from us, not only having them withdraw and change but depression is a disease that can sometimes be fatal. Think about that, someone struggling from this disease is at risk of dying if they don't get help. And even then, in a flash of a moment and a lapse in judgment, they could be gone. And that breaks my heart and keeps me awake sometimes. 

There is help for depression, although it's a long road to recovery and may be an illness that is managed rather than cured. Start here if you think you are suffering from depression or worried about a loved one.

Here are 7 great ways you can support and help someone suffering from depression.  Click here for more ways to support a loved one.

If you know someone suffering from mental illness, of any kind, treat them with respect, kindness and caring. Let them know that they are important to you. Spend time with them, even if it's difficult. Don't expect them to snap out of it, if they could they would do it in a heartbeat! And keep in mind that just because someone has a mental illness doesn't mean that aren't intelligent, brilliant and amazing.

For my awareness pieces I created two bracelets. I love the "be." bead. Be. period. What an important idea for someone with depression. Not be happy or be hopeful. Just be, as in live. No matter what, just be because when depression has swallowed someone whole, survival is all that required while they fight their way back.

Just be here, with us, with those that love you.

And we'll be here for you, ready to love you and see you through.

Here is the list of those participating in the blog hop:


Candida Castleberry
mischelle andrade
Paige Maxim
Laurie  Vyselaar
Marybeth Rich
Alice Peterson
Kim Dworak
Audrey Bélanger
Karen mitchell
Joan Williams
Jean Wells Jean A. Wells
Ann Schroeder
Gail Accinelli
Tania Spivey
Mallory  Hoffman
Mary K McGraw
Shai Williams
Beth Emery
Catie Doman
Lorelei Eurto Http://
Lee Koopman
Tammy Adams
Katie Nelson
Patty Miller
Chris Eisenberg
Cassi Paslick
Charlee Griffith
Kelli Nelson
Catherine King
Melissa Trudinger
Susan Bowie
Jennifer Justman
Cassi Paslick
K Hutchinson
Veralynne Malone
Evie and Beth McCord
Mihaela Georgescu
Rebecca Anderson
Charlene  Jacka
Kim Stevens
Susan McClelland
Gina Hockett
Mona Arnott
Sandi Volpe
Andrea Glick
Janine Lucas
Lori Bowring Michaud
Christie Murrow
B.R. Kuhlman
Lupe Meter
Lucy Bejarano
Stephanie Perry
Elisabeth Auld
Carolyn Lawson
Heather Powers
Katie Hacker
Kepi Rasmussen 
Gail  Vanderster-Zwang
Elizabeth Hodges


Upcoming Events    Monday, May 18, 2015

I'm hosting my annual spring beadmaking workshop here in South Haven tomorrow. 12 of us will gather for an amazing day of beadmaking. Above are the kits for the class, they make me want to create!

 I worked up a few new samples of the faux sgraffito style of beads, this bee skep is a fav.

I will also be making a limited number of these for Bead & Button. That is just a few weeks away. Yikes! I'll be in booth 1208 this year, right across from Green Girl Studios, so make plans to stop by and see me.

Also in the works this month will be my next online beadmaking course. I'll have samples and details at the end of next week. Be on the lookout, it's going to be an amazing polymer clay class.

Fall retreat info will be out in June, after the show. Did I mention I'm in the middle of writing a book too? (My third book!) I have lost my marbles, or they have all turned to beads. Either way, I don't know if I'm coming or going right now.

Okay, back to work for me. Happy Creating!

Sea Inspired Beads    Monday, May 18, 2015 home is Lake Michigan. As one of the Great Lakes it really does seem more like the sea. Minus the salt water. The beaches are not crystal clear but rather stormy shades of dark blue and foamy greens. 
This is my happy place, where my soul calls home. Life has had some challenges lately and some heartbreak, so it's no wonder my muse has wandered back to a source of comfort. 
Here are my latest creations:
You can read more about the inspirations behind these pieces on the Art Bead Scene.

My new pendants can be found on my website at
The etched farfalles glass beads are from Stinky Dog Beads. You'll want tons of these!
The lampwork beads are from Sea of Glass at

The ABS Editors Take the Challenge    Sunday, April 19, 2015

Today a few of us from the Art Bead Scene blog are sharing how the monthly challenge painting by Frida Kahlo has inspired us this month. You can read all the challenge details here.

The story and symbolism behind this painting is so sad, it reflected the pain and heartbreak of losing the two great loves of her life.


For my beads that I created I focused on the foliage behind the artist, taking visual clue from the leaf and sky. Even the butterflies in her hair found their way into the beads. I also did a design inspired by the thorns. 
I took the disk beads and created two bracelets with ceramic cuffs from Suzie Q Beads.
For this design I used a series of jump rings to create the chain. 
The next bracelet I took a few cues from the painting but went into a more playful direction than the serious subject matter of the painting. 

For this bracelet I added in a tropical Bonbon bead. I definitely stepped away from the inspiration and went in a brighter and cheerier design.

And isn't that the best thing about the monthly challenge? It's a spring board that takes artists from all the world on creative explorations as they take a painting and transform the colors, designs and subject into jewelry.

Have you created something for this month's challenge? You still have a few days, so join us!

Featured Beads: Bonbon Beads and Wild Growth Disk Beads.


Beady Advice For Happier Times:    Thursday, April 16, 2015

Believe good things are going to happen.

Surround yourself with precious friends.

Just bee yourself darling.

Remember, wishes do come true - make at least one a day!

There are seasons of growth, embrace change.

Variety is the spice of life, mix things up every now and then. 
Share your favorite quote or words of wisdom that have helped you lately.

Mother's Day Gift Guide    Thursday, April 16, 2015

I'm so thrilled to be part of this wonderful Mother's Day gift guide featuring my fellow Indiemade jewelry designers. Looking for something unique for your mom or to reward yourself for all your hard work as a mom? Take a moment to do a little window shopping!

Click on the arrow in the upper right corner below to see the booklet full size - you don't want to miss out on all the beauty!

Prayer Tassel Necklace    Monday, April 13, 2015

Beads can be so much more than pretty shiny things that appeal to our magpie gene! A piece of jewelry can be infused with meaning and a silent prayer that you wear through the day as a talisman or reminder of deeper meanings and symbols. 
I reviewed a great little book years ago called Bead One, Pray Too and it came to mind last night when I was making this necklace. 
I made this necklace as a reminder and a prayer to myself that no matter how harsh the winter, spring always comes. No matter how hard the day, tomorrow has the promise of being a better one. 
So I picked some beads to symbolize things I'd like to remember when wearing this necklace. It's a prayer for my family. And if you are a mom you know whether you are religious or not, there is a always a prayer in our heart for your beloved children!
I used two charms to symbolize my daughters. The leaf, is my youngest. She floats, goes with the flow, she is flexible and giving. 
The other charm is a flower, my oldest. Ready to bloom into an adult, she is beautiful and has layers of complexity that makes her so interesting and creative. 
The nest symbolizes our family, our home. It's in the center, it's the heart beat that keeps me going each day.
I added a bird, that symbolizes me. I'm the mother hen, brooding over my nest. With wings that gather them in for protection and comfort on the rare moments they let me! 

I choose beads that are bright and cheery with a playful mix. A reminder to let joy seep in during the trials. To bring love and light to each day.

In case you are wondering about the construction - the beaded strand is on waxed linen, I knotted between the beads.

At the end of the strand I attached it to the ball chain by wrapping and tying it several times around the chain. I added a dot of glue to keep things in place. I threaded the linen through the connector and then trimmed it. I did that for both sides of the necklace and then attached the two sides with a little bit more of the ball chain.

Oh and a really good tip my aunt Rosanne shared with me about the tassels - brush them out with a toothbrush to make them fuller.

Leaf and nest from Stinky Dog Beads. Flower from Gardanne. Ceramic bead: Firefly Designs. Disk Beads and Bird: Humblebeads.

Have you been having fun making these tassels? I know I can't quit!

Email Marketing Webinar    Monday, April 13, 2015

Want to know the one marketing effort that has consistently brought in sales through all my years of owning a business? It's been email marketing. Hands down. 

And tomorrow I'm going to share every tip I know to help you grow your business through email campaigns. 

In this web seminar you'll learn:

  • Important tips for creating emails that get opened and speak to your customer.
  • Techniques for convincing potential and current customers to sign up for your email list.
  • Creative ways to brainstorm content for your emails.
  • How to maximize your social media accounts to get more subscribers.
  • Different ways to create emails that translate into sales.

The webinar starts at 1pm EST but if you can't make it they send out a recording so you won't miss a thing. 


Save your spot! Click here to register.


And while we are talking about emails are you signed up as a Humblebeads VIP Designer? I frequently send out jewelry biz tips to help my customer grow their jewelry business, along with awesome free projects, creative tips, exclusive gifts, discounts and more.


Become a Humblebeads VIP Designer today!




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