August 26, 2011

Pinterest Inspiration



So what is Pinterest and why should you be interested?

From their website, "Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests."

Basically you get an account - if you can have a friend invite you, you can get an account within minutes, if you sign up on their website without a referral it can take several weeks.  I would ask on your facebook page for an invite, chances are you already know a few people who pin.

After you have your account you can download a "Pin It" button for your browser toolbar.  Whenever you come across something you'd like to pin, you just press the button and add in your description and category.  This is a great way to bookmark tutorials, things you'd like to buy later or inspiration photos.  Each photo that you pin will include a link back to that page. 

On your account you'll create 'boards' which are basically categories to arrange your pins.

Pinned a scarf I bought in my Style Pinboard.

On Pinterest you can connect using your facebook account and find friends already on Pinterest.  It's really fun to follow your friends, you'll get to know them in a whole new way.  You can also follow people you don't know if you find their boards inspiring.  There is a simple 'follow' button and their pins will go to your Pinterest Feed, which is the page that you'll go to when you first log into the website. 

You can also search pins under the "Everything" button for a quick dose of inspiration.  You can search a specific topic, like jewelry organizers or search under their categories to see has been pinned under a topic. 

So is this a marketing tool?  I can't really say, it's not a self-promotional tool.  You can post things that you have made, but that should only be a small part of your Pinterest activity.  I have a Humblebeads in Action board that I post my beads used in jewelry by my customers and some of my tutorials or samples that I blogged about.
Pinned my blog post on vintage lucite beads on my Beads Pinboard.

If you have a very helpful blog post, you could also pin that - make sure you have some really striking visuals in your post to use for the pin. 

It's also an organic way for other creative bloggers to find you.  You'll discover new blogs through Pinterest and meet new bloggers when checking things out. 

Pin-Etiquette: Be a good pinner and don't spam everyone with only pins of your work, repin other peoples pins (there is a repin on every photo on Pinterest) leave nice comments and like pins from those you are following. 

Pinned a salt water taffy recipe to make for holiday gifts in my Treats Pinboard.

So what exactly can I do with this besides pin pretty pictures?  Well, here are some ideas of ways you can use Pinterest:

Inspiration Boards - Create boards on themed topics to inspire new ideas.  This is also great if you are looking for inspiration for blog posts. 

Visual Bookmarking - Keep track of great tutorials and websites visually by Pinning them instead of creating bookmarks in the browser's favorites.

Vision Boards - Make a board of something you'd like to achieve - include photos that spur on your creativity and drive.  There are tons of visual quotes pinned by others. 

Party Planner & Recipe Finder - Collect party ideas and recipes for entertaining - there is a A LOT of this on Pinterest.  You may find yourself wanting to throw parties just to use the ideas.

Gift Guide - Keep track of gift ideas visually - you can add the price to the description and there is a gift section to browse through.  Hello early holiday shopping made easy.
Style Guide - I love pinning outfits, hairstyles and accessories that I'd like to get later or try out.

Trend Watcher - Scroll the the "everything" category a few times a week and you'll see what is trending at the moment - like ruffles!  Scroll through the Apparel and Fashion Categories to see what is trending in these areas - like popular colors and jewelry styles.

New Blog Hunter - You'll discover all sorts of new blogs by clicking through on the images, many of them were from blog posts be all sorts of creative people you have yet to discover. 

Social Network - Share inspirations, repin and comment to connect with others on Pinterset. 

Summer decorating idea pinned in my For the Home Pinboard.

So is it just a waste of time?  It can be - be warned!!!  But I think if you are purposefully pinning and make a point to use those recipes, crafts and inspirations then it's time well spent.  For example, we've enjoyed this sandwhich all summer thanks to Pinterest.  Once we are settled into our new house I will be revisiting my pins for decorating ideas.

I can't wait to see what is pinned as the holiday's approach.  I'm always on the look out for crafts and recipes to try and I know Pinterest will not disappoint. 

Here are my Boards.

Okay, that's my all I have to say about that...(yes, in a Forest Gump accent.)

Check out this video for a quick tutorial.


August 24, 2011

BTW - Leaf and Owl Pendants

A simple Bead Table Wednesday.

I may be a little too excited about getting to enjoy my first fall in 10 years!

I have been making beads while packing.  Although we have most everything boxed up already.

The bead table is filled with leaves, acorn and owls.  I tried a few different owl designs. I'm not sure which one I like the best or if I'm going to offer all three in my Etsy shop.

Head on over to Bead Table Wednesday to see what other beady folks are working on this week.

August 23, 2011

Inspired by: The Sea

I'm switching things up this week.  The challenges were a way to promote my book coming out and now that has happened sooner than I thought it was going to be, I'm going to simplify things here for myself!  I'm sure you understand.

So this is the new deal:

You have 4 weeks to design something inspired by the sea - you can enter up to four times with four different designs. 

Each Tuesday on my blog I will feature my favorite pick from the entries so far - so enter early!

On Tuesday, September 20th I will draw one winner to receive a
$75 gift certificate to Humblebeads.com

The winner will be chosen randomly from all 4 week's worth of entries.

You can follow along with the same themes from before or you can do something sea-themed in general.

Anything goes - it can included Humblebeads or not and use any technique as long as it matches the sea theme. 

To enter upload your photos to the Inspired by Nature Jewelry Challenge Flickr Group.

Here are some designs featuring my starfish and urchins to get the creative gears churning.



My design, featured in the first Bead Star magazine!


The book is out now and you can order a signed copy from my Etsy shop or head over to Amazon for an unsigned copy!

Zen Garden Winner

The winner for Inspired by Zen Gardens challenge is Bay Moon Design

You can see another view of the necklace here and more of Kathy's work in her Etsy shop.

The winner was chosen by random from the all the entries. 
 

Kathy mixed in a collection of garden inspired charm with a zen charm, laquered beads and a fun bead she made from blue jeans, that reminded her of her time in the garden.
 
She won two sets of my Random Acts of Beadiness Disks!

August 20, 2011

A showcase of beady awesomeness!

Do you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned auctioning off some large grab bags on my blog?  I decided while that would have been fun only three people would have walked away with beads and that didn't seem fair.  So I decided to spread the beady happiness around a little and broke them down into smaller grab bags.

And let me tell you - they are AWESOME!  So awesome I had to give them that crazy title.

These are not seconds, in fact some of them are treasures that I've been hording and realized it's time to let them go.  I know someone will put them to better use then being nestled away in my studio.  So let's look at what I put together.

Is it treasure you seek? Good thing you came here to take a peek!


The "Unearthed Treasures" grab bags have earthy colors with some very unique beads. These sets have at least 6 beads, some many more. A few sets include my very limited edition William Morris series, pictured here.   

Feeling blue? This is the grab bag for you! 

The "Chase the Blues Away" grab bag has all sorts of blue hued beauties.  Some include birds and eggs, one set has some of my tiny snowman and there are lots of beach inspired bead sets in this collections.  Each set has 5 or more beads.

Do you feel pretty in pink? Grab this bag before you click another link!

The "In the Pink grab" bags are so very lovely.  Some of them are woodsy inspired with brown and pink combinations.  Others head more towards the darker red hues.  They all have great beads, many were one-of-kinds, like these never before seen pink willow pendants and charms.

I have over 20 grab bags up for taking - you'll save at least $15 on each set.  If you order more than one grab bag I will send you a little Beady Bird charm - colors vary.

I have TONS, let me say TONS of beads in stock and you can find those  in my http://www.humblebeads.etsy.com/ shop and I will be shipping before and after my move. 

Most of our packing is done now.  I just have lots of 'business' to wrap up before I leave.

The move is actually the easiest part of this process, I have my portable studio all ready to go in my suitcase (okay, maybe two suitcases.) And the girls and I are flying to Michigan, so I have one day of travel.  I can handle that.   And I will hit the ground running, I have events almost every weekend in September!

I very much appreciate your bead buying support during this time! 

I am so thankful for each and every one of my Humblebeads fans.  You have no idea.  And not just for the financial support, but thank you for all your well wishes during this season in my life.  I have appreciated the emails and messages of encouragement on facebook.  It's so wonderful to be part of such a caring community.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!

August 19, 2011

New Fall Beads

A few weeks ago my very sweet friend Terri requested that I try my mushrooms and gnomes in earthy colors to match the rest of my woodland beads.  I hadn't thought about it before but once she said it I could immediately see them in my head.  Little gnomes in goldenrod jackets and leaf green hats.  Mushrooms in forest fresh green and tiny charms with mustard yellow mushrooms on light blue backgrounds.  So adorable for fall!  Thank you Terri!

And speaking of fall, I've also added a golden yellow addition to Willow Petals headpins and pendants.  They remind me of fall leaves.  These would look great with my Golden Branches Disk beads.

I'm so ready for fall.  And for the first time in 10 years I will get to see the leaves change colors.  You know that is going to inspire some autumn colored creations later in the season.  I can't wait for apple cider, getting pumpkins at the farmers markets, wrapping up in woolly scarves.  I can't wait to see that first snowflake of the season.

I know, it's August and I'm pushing it.  But I've been baking in Texas for way to long.  I need a dream and right now that dream involves a snowflake seen through a steamed up glass window pane, a mug of cocoa in my hand and my feet in some crazy fuzzy slippers.  Ah to dream...

Have you had enough of summer or are you still hoping to squeeze out a few sun-drenched beach filled days?

Visit my Etsy shop to see all of the new goodies.

August 17, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - Video Edition!

I have big, big news for today's Bead Table Wednesday.

You'll have to watch the video to find out what it is:


I know, right!!!  I'm so excited!

Check out the BTW Flick Group to see what other bead addicts are sharing from their work tables!

August 16, 2011

Inspired by: Zen Gardens

My upcoming book, Jewelry Designs from Nature, is all about inspiration from the natural world and one of my missions in life is to help inspire those on their creative journey. This is week eight!

This week's inspiration is Zen Garden! Your design can be inspired by the photograph or dragonflies in general.  This lotus flowers, bamboo, Buddha, cherry blossoms, om symbols, smooth stones and wood beads.

Details:You have one week to complete a piece of jewelry inspired by the weekly theme. The entries have to be created this week - you can finish something you've already started, but the purpose of the challenge is to inspire you to make something new related to the challenge!

Anything goes, it can include Humblebeads or not, art beads or whatever you have in your stash. It's up to you and however the inspiration strikes you for that week.

To enter add your photo to the Inspired By Nature Jewelry Challenge Flickr group. On Tuesday I will draw one random winner from the week's entries and feature them here on my blog. (Monday night is the deadline for entries.)

Here are some inspiration ideas to get your gears churning!




The winner this week will receive 2 sets of Random Acts of Beadiness Disk Beads worth $30!

Order my book today!

The books are now in stock - you can find ordering information on my site, a list of Humblebeads featured in the projects and my upcoming book events! 

For those who have pre-ordered books they are shipping out this week. 

Exciting times here in the Humblebeads studio!
Have fun with this week's challenge - I can't wait to see what you make.

The upcoming challenges:

 Next week we dive into the sea!

Week 9: Urchins

Week 10: Waves

Week 11: Starfish

Week 12: Driftwood

Dragonfly Challenge Winner

The winner for Inspired by Dragonfly challenge is The Beading Yogini

It pays to enter each week - this is Cece's second win and I do believe she has played along for each challenge.

The winner was chosen by random from the all the entries. 

Cece Cormier combined wire wrapping, lampwork, macrame with the perfect dragonfly focal.
Cece won one a set of my dragonfly charms - she can make earrings to match her necklace!


August 15, 2011

In Need of Wings - New Pendants

If ever there was a week when I needed to be held along by the wings of angels, it is this week.

Tasks will be completed that seem nearly impossible.  Grace and hope will be my guides.

"Be like the bird who, pausing in her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing she hath wings." -Victor Hugo
  
"Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall." -Ray Bradbury

Do you know how I get through Herculean tasks? I picture them done.  I picture the end result and me enjoying it.  I picture what I want and then the work of getting there isn't quite so daunting. 

So if you are in the middle of something overwhelming this week - know it's temporary - and during the hard times tell yourself, "This too shall pass." 

And if you are faced between fears and chasing after your dreams - jump and see your wings spread out as your dreams take flight.

August 9, 2011

Tigerlily Challenge Winner


The winner from last week's challenge is Maneki-Neko Girl!  
 
Kristina has won a one of my Lily Pendants. 

The winner was choosen randomly from all the enteries.
 
Visit Kristina's blog to read more about her lovely design.
 

Inspired by: Dragonflies

(Photo credit: Hjhipster via Flickr's Creative Commons.)

My upcoming book is all about inspiration from nature and one of my missions in life is to help inspire those on their creative journey. So from now until the book release I am hosting a weekly challenge.

This week's inspiration is dragonflies! Your design can be inspired by the photograph or dragonflies in general.

Details:You have one week to complete a piece of jewelry inspired by the weekly theme. The entries have to be created this week - you can finish something you've already started, but the purpose of the challenge is to inspire you to make something new related to the challenge!

Anything goes, it can include Humblebeads or not, art beads or whatever you have in your stash. It's up to you and however the inspiration strikes you for that week.

To enter add your photo to the Inspired By Nature Jewelry Challenge Flickr group. On Tuesday I will draw one random winner from the week's entries and feature them here on my blog. (Monday night is the deadline for entries.)

Here are some inspiration ideas to get your gears churning!
Dragonfly pendant from Beverly Herman (aka my awesome mom) using one of my Dandelion Wine beads.  You can find the pattern in her Etsy shop.

Kerri Fuhr - she knows how to work a dragonfly!  Check out her shop for more dragonfly inspiration.

This week's prize is a pair of tiny dragonfly charms.

Pre-order the book here.

Have fun with this week's challenge - I can't wait to see what you make! 

August 3, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - Oh La La



I have finally worked out a reliable and permanent method for creating these vintage illustration pendants! 

The sweet rewards of trial and error and so many beads in the trash, I can't even tell you.  Transfers are quite difficult and while I'm thrilled with these ones, I am still going to experiment because on average about one out of every three pendants had a minor flaw and didn't make the cut.  You can see the best of the best here.

I can't help but think of this video from Flight of Conchords when I see the Eiffel Tower and a bicycle paired together.  Parlez-vous fran├žais?  No.


So that's what's on my bead table today - there will be new beads each day this week.  I've been a busy beadmaker.  Share your latest and greatest or just your big ol' mess on the Bead Table Wednesday Flick Group and connect with other like mind bead-aholics.



August 2, 2011

Big Huge Giveaway Winner

A big huge thank you to everyone who entered and helped spread the word about this giveaway. 

I plan to visit each blog and follow you on twitter - but it will take some time! 

The winner of the challenge is...drum roll please...


Yeah, streamers flying, crowd cheers!

And your favorite beads?  The top picks were:

Willow Pendants
Van Gogh Beads
Birds of any kind
Meadowlark Pendant
Urchins (with starfish not far behind)
and quite a few of you are smitten with my Fantastic Mr. Fox.

You can find all these goodies and more in my Etsy shop.

Be sure to stop back this week for a fun and exciting round of auctions for some one-of-a-kind bead bundles that I have put together.  And I went crazy this weekend and created a whole bunch of new beads that you won't want to miss!

Inspired by: Tiger Lilies

My upcoming book is all about inspiration from nature and one of my missions in life is to help inspire those on their creative journey. So from now until the book release I am hosting a weekly challenge.

This week's inspiration is one of my favorite flowers - Tiger Lilies! This week your design can be inspired by the photograph, lilies, orange flowers, etc. Just as long as it relates to the theme of Tiger Lilies it will qualify for the challenge.

Details:

You have one week to complete a piece of jewelry inspired by the weekly theme. We are going to move from Tuesday to Tuesday from now on - my Monday's are a little too crazy right now!
The entries have to be created this week - you can finish something you've already started, but the purpose of the challenge is to inspire you to make something new related to the challenge!

Anything goes, it can include Humblebeads or not, art beads or whatever you have in your stash. It's up to you and however the inspiration strikes you for that week.

To enter add your photo to the Inspired By Nature Jewelry Challenge Flickr group. On Tuesday I will draw one random winner from the week's entries and feature them here on my blog. (Monday night is the deadline for entries.)

Here are some inspiration ideas to get your gears churning!


My design featuring my Tiger Lily Bead.



The prize:
One lucky winner will get one of my vintage illustration pendants with a lily design!!! 
(Yes, the are finally coming to my Etsy shop this week.)

Pre-order the book here.

Have fun with this week's challenge - I can't wait to see what you make. 

And yes, the Big Huge Giveaway winner will be announced soon.