Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bead and Jewelry Link Love

Ugh, please forgive - I seem to have overextended myself in a big way between family and beady obligations. I should be able to dig myself out by the end of the year (touch wood), but I'm snowed under at the moment and don't have a lot of time to blog. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday (we certainly did), and I will be back in a few days. In the meantime, here's the usual set of lovely bead and jewelry links for your perusal.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes some SWEET earrings, using Green Girl Studios' beads! The fabulous crew over there are working on a book--it is going to be GREAT! No doubt about that!

Jewelry & Beading
Come drool over glass bead artist Kerri Fuhr's fabulous creations!

Art Jewelry magazine
Planning on coming to the 2009 Bead&Button show? Preregister today to make class sign-up a breeze! Jewelry Making
Giving With Your Jewelry Skills - With the coming new year, consider some new ways you can give back with your jewelry making skills.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Marketing Monday (on a Tuesday)-Casting the net wider

Art Bead Scene
Did Santa bring you beads from your wish list? Use your new beads in these free projects from ABS!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes one last Christmas ornament that could also be worn.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Art Bead Scene's December prompt is, "Puttin' On the Glitz!" See how Andrew addressed the challenge with his crystalline creations. (Two of which moved on to become KGI Worldwide Design Contest Semi-finalists!)

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off a simple snowflake necklace for her final seasonal piece of the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Here's my final Ornament Thursday project for 2008. A little rough-cut chrysophase, faceted aquamarine, snowy white pearls and white seed beads (along with my snowflake pendant, again) for a simple statement on the season. Please visit the other OT participants for other great ways to conclude the holiday season:

BeadStyle magazine
A seed-beaded ornament for the holidays

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's sharing her favorite OT project!

For myself, to be perfectly frank, I've seen enough snowflakes in the past two days to last the rest of the winter (it took my father two days to fly in, due to wintry conditions). Our family is now all together for the holiday, and the Short One is happy as a clam (although, admittedly, the first thing he said to his grandfather when he arrived this afternoon was, "Did you bring my checkers?!?" The SO has been quite keen to acquire a set of checkers ever since watching Elmo play the game a couple months ago and, between you and me, he has already figured out that his grandparents are a soft touch for this kind of thing). H. and I are looking forward to trying to assemble various items and then collapsing in bed for the night. (And since the SO doesn't really know what's going to hit him tomorrow, we are hoping for a late start to the morning, too.)

I hope this finds you likewise with loved ones for whatever seasonal celebrations in which you may partake. Thanks so much for reading!

ps. I ended up being too disorganized to hold a sale before Christmas, but I have marked down everything in the store by 25% through the end of the year. Should anyone be interested, that is.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion: Step by Step Beads

Well, I actually haven't received my copies for this yet, but I was in my local bead shop yesterday, and the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads was already on the stands. My necklace, "Java Jive", is in this issue, and it's one of my favorite pieces. It's been at the publisher's office for almost a year, and I am really looking forward to getting it back. It incorporates my silver and fabulous beads by Jenn Kelly of CaliGirl Art Glass and Kristine Dery of Krissy Beads.

On other fronts, I've recently discovered my alter-ego. Mild-mannered mommy by day, once the Short One is in bed I turn into...the Cookie Monster! We've been decorating Danish butter cookies in the house, and I'm afraid I've found them irresistible. The SO took out the cookie tin today, looked in and said "Cookies gone!!" My mother, who is here for the holiday, tsks, tsks and says I should be ashamed of myself (making nooo mention of the fact that she kept eating the candy for the gingerbread house before we could use it, of course). I don't know what the SO and I will do once the holiday is over. Or, at least, I don't know what the SO will do. I'll be going on a diet...

Two more days! Everyone ready? I must confess that I'm still working on my Christmas cards for the year...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Piece de Resistance

We made "gingerbread" houses for the last session of the Short One's Mom and tot cooking class. The SO, who still has not yet been introduced to c-a-n-d-y and who is naturally suspicious of any foodstuff that he has not already vetted personally at least a dozen times, made no attempt to eat the decorations during class, but I did have a hard time keeping him from gobbling down the graham crackers (of which he is inordinately fond). Hansel and Gretel have nothing to it, and we all know what happened to them.

Anyway, the SO did a good deal of this on his own, including the chic, modernist-looking Necco wafer roof, the elegant Christmas tree and the urbane landscaped gumdrops. I have a feeling we are going to be making this project again next year, on our own. What a great class.

I hope everyone is having a fun not-too-snowy weekend (once again, we had a huge snow dump here while the Husband was out of town - I think this has happened once too often to be called mere chance, let me tell you. Having grown up in Oklahoma, I'm not terribly good at the whole shoveling thing). Here are your intriguing bead and jewelry links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Despite his aversion to snow and the cold, Andrew finds appreciation for the winter whiteness and creates a buying guide for snowflake themed jewelry components.

Strands of Beads
Need a last minute gift idea? Don't panic! Melissa has a quick, easy and inexpensive snowball pendant project for you.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Remember the book, Rabbit Redux? Jean reviews another Redux-y book, Vintage Redux, a cool jewelry design book for your enjoyment!

Katie's Beading Blog
Check out Katie's polymer clay creations!

Jewelry & Beading
The fabulous Tammy Powley shares some of the secrets to her success in the jewelry making business!

Carter Seibels for Divali Glass Jewelry
Uncork the bubbly and put on your sparklies! Carter's studio is full of festive creations.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi upcycles an old coin necklace.

BeadStyle magazine
Sneak a peek at the projects in the January 2009 issue by watching our three new videos!

Art Bead Scene
Running out of ideas for gifts? Art Bead Scene has the Twelve Days of ABS projects ready for you! Jewelry Making
Get into the Christmas spirit with jingle jangling crystal dangles and Santa charm earrings! This jewelry project for the wire and bead lover.

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Let is Snow, let it snow, let it...well, you know

Greetings. CAN YOU BELIEVE CHRISTMAS IS ONLY ONE WEEK AWAY?!?! Ack. Rationally, this shouldn't bother me, as I believe I have all of my shopping done. However, for whatever reason (possibly because I am anal) the closeness of the holiday still makes my palms sweat, my heart palpitate and my mind wake me up at 3am wondering if there's anyone on my list for whom I forgot to buy a present.

It could happen, right? If you find yourself in this situation, my Ornament Thursday project may be just the thing for you. Turn a plain mother-of-pearl lentil bead into a cute snowball pendant by adding a couple small red beads and two green Czech glass leaves. It's simple, it's extremely quick, and it won't break the bank. I attached my version, above, to a cute chain and turned it into a nice seasonal necklace, but this pendant is small and light enough for earrings or could be worn as a charm on a charm bracelet. Versatile, eh?

Meanwhile, the Short One is somehow convinced that Santa (of whom he had not previously heard) is going to bring him a purple pop-up book "tomorrow" (the SO has held the belief that Santa will arrive "tomorrow" for the past month). In the interest of getting a decent night's sleep, the Husband and I have decided NOT to inform the SO when Christmas Eve actually rolls around. Maybe it's a little Grinchy of us, but we figure that we have the next 7 years or so years to be woken up at 4am on Christmas, so we might as well get our rest while we can.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Make a Confetti Ring to Wear at Your Next Holiday Party!

Holiday Sparkly Fan Pull
Lisa creates a dress up look for a ceiling fan

Linda's snowman
Some paper, beads, and fabric are transformed into an adorable snow guy.

Poinsettia Madness
Beautiful poinsettias in glass.

Poinsettia Ornament
Polymer clay and glittery snow recreate a Christmas memory

Don't forget to visit next Thursday (Christmas! Ack!) for the final Ornament Thursday of 2008.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion: Stringing

This is both a beginning and an end for me - my first appearance in Stringing and my last appearance in print for 2008. The Winter 2008 Stringing goes on sale December 30th and contains my Dragon Hearted necklace project. Thank you so much to the editors of Stringing!

I've said this so many times already, but I have to say it once more - this was my first year in print, and I'm really grateful to everyone with whom I worked for taking a chance on my freshman work. I have certainly enjoyed designing for the magazines. Maybe the time will come when I feel so blase about the process that I will no longer even mention it on the blog, but I must (embarrassingly) admit that I still get as excited as a kid in a candy store whenever I have a new piece coming out. Professionalism, shmufessionalism.

And now that I'm through (for the moment) being shameless, I'll return you to your regularly-scheduled programming. Thanks for dropping in.

Bead and Jewelry Link Love

My mother-in-law very kindly took this shot for me back in October, when we were visiting the zoo with the Short One. (Over Thanksgiving, his teachers created an "I am Thankful For" statement for each student. The SO was apparently thankful for his stuffed monkey, the color green and "when Grandma and Grandpa take me to the zoo", so the trip clearly made a deep impression on him. But I digress.)

The shot was meant to inspire me to create a new winter-themed piece, and, like so much else recently, I just never found the time this year to do it. Despite the fact that I'm working at even more of a snail's pace now than I ever have (sigh), I thought I'd at least share this photo, which I think came out quite nicely. I wonder if there's any chance that Santa will bring me that extra hour in the day that I've been wanting for Christmas...

On more enlightening fronts, here are your bead and jewelry links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Inspired by Chinese creation myths, Andrew creates a Swarovski-encrusted and bead embellished sculpture. Jewelry Making
Think you don't have time to make any bead and wire holiday ornaments? Think again! Tammy has a super easy project so easy even children can make them.

Art Bead Scene
It's the holiday season! Art Bead Scene is getting glitzy.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi experiments with Claudine Hellmuth's new product line and ends up with another fun necklace!

Carter Seibels for Divali Glass Jewelry
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Carter's studio.

Erin of
Erin's chosen a few free jewelry how-to's to get you crossing off the names on your shopping list.

Jewelry & Beading
Glass bead artists galore are being featured on Jewelry & Beading!

Naughty Secretary Club
Raid your stash of vintage baubles to make some Floral Fros – jewelry encrusted coifs to make your walls swoon!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean's in a holiday mood for Soft Flex Company!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off a simple winter rose bracelet project this week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Short Order

I can't decided if this is just another example of how my creative process works or if it means I need to get out more. I was playing with the Short One as usual yesterday afternoon, when I finally noticed that several pieces in his miniature cooking set (he loooves to cook - it was my little short-legged toddler and a bunch of elementary school aged girls at the doll furniture section of FAO Shwarz when we were in NYC last) had holes at the end. "Yes!" I thought, "No drilling required!"

Lo and behold, they make a pretty cute necklace, right? Right? I think they'd also look good with big, colorful lucite beads, but I couldn't resist pairing them with pearls, here. (Okay, okay, this is just a mock-up, as I can't even begin to imagine the complaints from management if I took these and used them as jewelry components right now. One of these days, maybe...)

Anyway, at the very least, I offer this necklace as another illustration of the fact that you really often don't have to look very far to come up with a simple, original - if not downright kitschy - piece of jewelry.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Winter Roses

Welcome to Ornament Thursday, Part Deux.

Here's another extremely simple and quick idea for holiday adornment. This project is based on one I made back in October for Terrorific Tuesday, entitled Gothic Pink. I'm still rather in love with the vintage pink lucite rose beads I purchased several months ago, so I thought I'd use them again for a similar, albeit slightly more feminine, project.

For some reason, I've always been intrigued by the idea of winter roses, so I combined these with faceted white quartz and one of my snowflake pendants. I strung the beads simply on stretchy Magic Cord. It's gone over well in this house. The Short One took it over and spent the afternoon playing with it - nothing like stretchy beaded thingies for hours of fun (and it's still in one piece, even).

I'm off to coerce my husband into finalizing gift selections for his side of the family. He's the only person I know who starts hyperventilating when forced to shop on-line. (Or maybe it's just a guy thing?)

Cindy Gimbrone Puts Up Her Xmas Tree!
Fused Glass Xmas tree ornament sparkles from Cindy's real Xmas tree.

Friendly Plastic Ornaments and Sew simple mittens
This week in the countdown to Christmas, Michelle shares her recipe for Friendly Plastic Ornaments and Helen sews another tree ornament

Gingham and beads and buttons, oh my
Counterchanges smocked gingham forms the foundation for this homespun ornament

HHH Enterprises
We are pleased to have this special guest join us this month!

My Favorite Things in an Ornament!
Lisa shares a special gift ornament

New Beaded Ornament
See our special guest's beautiful creation!

Secret Garden Christmas Tree Ornament
Michelle's got a special tree from the Botanicabella collection!

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Here's more otaku goodness from me. Last month when the SO and I were suffering from cabin fever, the Husband very kindly took us to Rotofugi to play with all of the Japanese import toys. The SO came home with a cute Wish Come True toy that he calls his "snowman", and I came home with this green Mini-Trexi Voodoo Kong, that started out life as part of a key chain.

Some women shop for the perfect black pumps to go with their new dress - I spent several days searching for the perfect tacky plastic banana charms to go with Kong-san (actually, I believe the Trexis are made by a Singapore-based company, but still). I wanted charms that looked like true bunches of bananas and, by golly, I found them. Woo-hoo. Throw in some hot pink vintage lucite and you have a bracelet that makes a Statement (in my humble opinion).

I love this bracelet - I really do. Sometimes you just have to throw subtlety out the window.

Thanks for visiting!

ps. I solved the whole problem with the Christmas cards. While the SO was occupied with decorating Christmas cookies (his current favorite pastime), I shoved the holiday hat I knit for him on his head and snapped away with the camera. The photos came out lovely - he even looked up and smiled for me on occasion. I must remember this trick next year...

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bead and Jewelry Link Love

I'm currently engaged in the holiday tradition of trying to take a cute photo of the Short One for Christmas cards - it's been very uphill going (also a tradition). While I was flipping through old photos, desperately looking for one I could use instead of the gazillion I took this weekend that came out blurry (the SO is quite fast on his feet these days), I came across this photo. It won't do for holiday cards, of course, but I still find it kind of appealing. The SO was playing with his little Playmobil figures right after we had our new windows installed. I'm still not sure if the people are admiring our windows or trying to see out of them, but I thought the whole installation had a lot of character.

So, everyone have their Christmas shopping done yet? Should we change the subject?

How about a few intriguing bead and jewelry links?

Art Bead Scene has a deal for you!
Got $10? Then you can make lovely home decor with art buttons and beads!

Brilliant Crystal Jewelry 2
Get the scoop on this special issue from Bead&Button Magazine

Carter Seibels for Divali Glass Jewelry
Carter ponders her love of color and the meanings behind the colors we love

Katie's Beading Blog
Make your own jewelry sets in minutes with these projects that are perfect for gifting.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean, an "Amazon top 1000 reviewer" pens her thoughts concerning Melinda Barta's new custom jewelry making book!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
The mythic riddler-of-old prompts Andrew to find Sphinx Inspired jewelry components. Jewelry Making
Thinking of ways to sign your jewelry art? How about a metal stamp? Even better, how about a cool sale Tammy found out about on metal stamps and jewelry tags?

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe reviews Tammy Powleys Making Designer Mixed Media and Memory Jewelry with 2 big thumbs up!

Carmi's Chinese Silk Button Covers
The simple button form is used to create these stunning asian inspired fabric pendants.

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi is hosting a Beadmaker's Blitz this month!

Naughty Secretary Club
Jen is in the midst of a 4 day jewelry display extravaganza with this post that gives you a glimpse into the jewelry boxes of the ladies behind Felt Club, Crafty Chica, Handmade Detroit, 31 Corn Lane and More!

Strands of Beads
Melissa makes very simple Christmas tree earrings to kick off the holiday season.

Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Happy Holiday Earrings

We're getting back to basics with Ornament Thursday this month, to celebrate the season. Ornament Thursday was originally created last year as a craft round-up to celebrate the holidays. In honor of the group's history, every Thursday this month we will have seasonal projects to show off and, hopefully, to inspire you with your own holiday crafts.

I love the holidays, and I love holiday-themed jewelry (the cuter - or tackier, depending on your perspective - the better). I love colorful Christmas ball earrings and candy cane necklaces - you name it! Yay for the holidays! (The only thing preventing me from wearing a lot of this jewelry nowadays is the less-than-three-foot-tall person running around the house tugging on and getting into everything. We already have arguments on who owns the cool beads in the house - no need to fan the flames, I say!)

I have a very simple earring design for you today, something that you can likely make out of what you already have in your stash. I like cones, not just for finishing up multi-strand necklaces but also for use in sculptural pieces. They remind me of, well, Christmas trees, for example. Add a Venetian glass star on top and a circular or square glass bead on the bottom, and you have a super-quick and easy gift for holiday giving. I had a hard time photographing these well, so here's a second photo of the pair I whipped up today (during the SO's naptime):

As a bonus, the glass bead at the bottom acts as sort of a clapper, so the earrings make a nice jingly noise when worn, like small bells.

Please visit these links for the other cute OT projects (and look forward to more next week!):

Brandi's keepsake childrens coaster ornament!
Super fun and easy ornaments to make for the whole family!

Christmas Past and Needle Magic at
Michelle is addressing the ghosts of Christmas past and Helen gets down and dirty sewing a Christmas ornament - stand well clear, she is dangerous with a needle.

It's ORNAMENT Ornament Thursday!
Michelle's got some cheap, easy mini clipboard ornaments to share!

It's Ornament Thursday Again: Icicle Time!
Lisa takes a look at handmade icicle ornaments from Ruskin Designs

Needlepoint Stocking on
Linda's ornament this week is a mini stocking in needlepoint.

Happy holidays!

ps. One of my favorite bloggers, Amy Locurto, is giving away a beautiful personalized photo frame with matching ribbon. Go here for details.

Bead and Jewelry Link Love

Hi there. I'm back from my trip and trying to get organized. I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. We had a nice time, but the Husband sprained his ankle the day before Thanksgiving (it wasn't a bad sprain, luckily), which meant he was laid up for a couple days. We did take the Short One to see the balloons being blown up for the Macy's parade before the accident, which is always fun.

I did not have as much access to the Internet while I was away as I was expecting, so I am terribly, terribly late with these, but here are the week's bead and jewelry links. I will be back later tonight with my Ornament Thursday project - a cute set of Christmas tree earrings. Ornament Thursday will be running weekly this month in honor of the season, so look forward to a lot of holiday projects. Jewelry Making
Tammy's drooling over the big and beautiful cloisonne beads.

Art Bead Scene Inspired by Steam
Art Bead Scene picks for Steampunk Style.

Art Jewelry Magazine
A holiday gift to you: a sale on downloadable patterns from BeadStyle, Bead&Button, and Art Jewelry magazines.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Getting know Barbe=7 random things post!

Jennifer Jangles Blog
It's time to get started on those Holly - day projects, here's one from Jennifer.

Jewelry & Beading
Cyndi has rounded up a few fast and easy projects from some of her favorite suppliers.

Naughty Secretary Club
See what fun baubles Jen and her collage artist buddy Traci Bautista come up with this week. Hint: there are vintage cupcake toppers, chunky plastic chain and fabric involved!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean thinks this class with Anne Mitchell and Gail Crosman Moore would be a fabulously fun and educational experience. Make this upcoming February a truly special one! Read all about it here!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is inspired by astrolabes and orreries to create a pendant from a beautiful lampworked bead.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Magic Words � Text-based jewelry components can be a great source of inspiration. Andrew investigates these worded beads and pendants in six new designs.

Oh, and speaking of Andrew Thornton, he's currently holding a Studio Sale - lots of wonderful stuff, including a necklace published in Stringing and a beautiful fine silver tree ring. Check it out!