November 30, 2008
November 29, 2008
A Very Random Post...
November 24, 2008
You don't say? Part 6
November 23, 2008
So today I kept it simple and made a few silk scarves. The one pictured above is a steel gray dupioni paired with an Italian tapestry fabric that is very soft and supple. I think I'm going to bead the end of it to hide my seam. I'm definitely not an expert seamstress. Thank goodness for beads, they cover a multitude of sins. The second one I created was a beautiful blue silk scarf that I did with a simple rolled hemmed and plan on beading a little snowflake on one end. I'm working my way up to tackle the pajama pant pattern that I picked up this week. Seems scary!
I was gifted with the luxurious stash of silk dupioni fabrics. Who knows what I'll whip up over the next few weeks. I was thinking today of making some monogram ornaments and using my new beads with them. Hmm, we'll have to see.
I leave you with a photo of my very hard working assistant from early this week:
Who felt he had to create a self-portrait on his glove, when he should have been busy rolling beads. Jesseeeeee...(that was me yelling like Dave in Alvin and the Chipmunks.) Now that, my friends, is handmade!
November 22, 2008
Winner and New Winter Beads
In other Humblebeads news, you can see my beads in the December issue of Simply Beads. Melanie from Earthenwood Studio created an awesome scarf pin using our beads together. Above is my version with one of my limited edition Frost beads. You can find the pin and the beads in my etsy shop.
Have a great night. I'm going to go dig into my fabric stash and start working on some gifts, more on this tomorrow!
November 19, 2008
Illuminated Manuscript Beads
What's up the classic pearls Heath?
Well, I thought it would be funny to copy Anne Boleyn's famous B necklace. I'm thinking of making a few of these for some pre-teen nieces on my gift list, of course using their initials. The monogram beads are an antiqued gold with touches of light blue and white washed. The back are the lily pattern that you've seen on some of my other beads.
A complete view of the necklace. Finished off with chain for an adjustable length.
Another design possibility, a little more me. I used brass chain & rings, pearls in gold, lemon faceted glass and a few stones.
And a detail of the monogram bead.
So what do you think? I love them for gifts. They are bit subdued and abstracted. I could also see them used in some non-jewelry projects for a new bride.
November 17, 2008
You don't say? Part 5
November 16, 2008
November 12, 2008
Humblebeads Garden Party
*Snowflake Beads in soft shades of teal, purple and blues.
*Garden Statue Pendants
*Vintage Poppy Beads in new colors
*Urchins and starfish in shabby chic colors, would that be shabby chic beach?
Here is my packaging for the new shop. More on branding and packaging tomorrow.
Lollishops open on November 28th. Until then you can see what's in store on their blog and at the Lollishoping Forum.
Changes for Humblebeads
One thing I've decided is to scale back the beads in my etsy shop. I will keep a few of the best sellers, but it will mostly be limited editions, one-of-a-kinds and jewelry by the end of the month. Some of the items in my etsy shop have been made to order, but with the exception of the personalized ornaments everything over on etsy is now in stock and ready to ship.
My ultimate goal is to find a balance between work and spending more time with my family and friends. It's hard to admit that I can't do everything and there are only two hands making these beads. (Jess helps with shipping at night and on the weekends, God Bless him!) Hopefully my new plan will relieve some of the pressure!
November 11, 2008
Deckin' the Halls?
And speaking of ornaments, check out the free $10 Tuesday project on the Art Bead Scene featuring my cardinal.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Humble-topia!
November 7, 2008
Collaboration Exploration - Garden Party!
Oh, I have some fun things to share with you today. It's the big reveal of the latest round of Collaboration Exploration! What is that? Two beadmakers create 3 sets of beads, we pair up with a jewelry designer and each of us use the beads to create a collaborative piece of jewelry or two. The only rules are that we have to use at least one bead from each artist and we don't share the results until the reveal. It's my favorite game! The players this round are myself, beadmaker Gaea and designer Lorelei Eurto!
The next necklace is a fun pendant with the lanterns, my garden lantern beads, a gunmetal tassel, and a copper pearl. The top part is something different, I used a hardware retaining ring, which I love them and need to find more! I added Green Girl's Lotus pendant with two jump rings and a chain attaches there to create the necklace. Although I think I may redo the chain to a larger size to better compliment the scale of the pendant.
Please visit Lorelei and Gaea's blogs to see their amazing results!
November 6, 2008
Gift Guide Research
Does your work fit into one of the categories? Make sure you add the appropriate tag then. When I saw the woodland category I realized I had quite a few items in my shop that would fit but didn't have that tag.
A little snooping around in the gift guides can give you some ideas of what people shop for the holidays. Why not create your own gift guide on your blog featuring some of your favorite sellers or a gift guide of your own products in helpful shopping categories?
November 5, 2008
Oh Deer and Other Holiday Trends
November 4, 2008
Twitter Tips for Artists & Designers
Why twitter? For the same reason we do anything online: for entertainment, information and connection to a global community.
As a small business I twitter for a few reasons. I use twitter to keep up on industry news, inspiration and ideas for running my business. A few of my favorites:
Interweave Press: http://twitter.com/InterweaveNews
Whip Up: http://twitter.com/whipup
Croq Zine: http://twitter.com/croqzine
Softflex Company: http://twitter.com/SoftFlexCompany
The Blog Squad: http://twitter.com/BlogSquad
Rings & Things: http://twitter.com/Rings_Things
Timothy Adam Designs: http://twitter.com/timothyadam
Crafty Chica: http://twitter.com/CraftyChica
Margot Potter: http://twitter.com/MargotPotter
I also use twitter to connect with customers who are following me, my friends and even a few family members.
I check out twitter every day at lunch for "lunch and links." I skim through what everyone has posted and click on the links that catch my eye. Even though I follow over 100 people, there are rarely more than 25 twittering on a regular basis. If someone is twittering too much for me, I simply unfollow.
When I blog or have some news to share I go to ping.fm to make a post to both twitter and facebook at the same time. It takes a minute to set up and has been a handy time saver.
What to twitter?
Your latest blog entry
Good news & important updates
Interesting events in your life
Occasional sales and specials
Listing of new items (although I'd rather click on a link to your blog that talks about your latest item and your inspiration behind it.)
Links from other places that have caught your eye
Good deals you've found or shops you love
a few random tidbits that let us know the person behind the computer screen
You can also use twitter to get feedback on ideas and your latest creations
Ask questions - I like to twitter back now and then.
Please, I really don't want to read about errands, household chores or what you had for lunch unless you are related to me! Of course if you can write about those in an entertaining and funny way I may make an exception. Food items are okay if they are seasonal, quirky or could inspire a recipe search. No "I just had a bowl of oatmeal." A better tweet would be, "hmm, just pulled the pumpkin bread out of the oven!"
Should you Twitter? Maybe! All you can do is give a try and see if you enjoy it. If you are twittering to promote your business, remember with social networking getting your name out there is the goal. Don't be pushy, don't contact people directly asking them to visit your shop. And for goodness sake, don't turn off followers by being aggressive with the listings from your shop. You are building up awareness of your brand and making connections.
Etsy had a great article about Twitter yesterday, which yes, I found out about through Twitter!
Timothy Adams also has some good tips for branding your business with Twitter.
If you Twitter, do you have a favorite crafty, bead or business that you follow that you could recommend?
November 3, 2008
You don't say? Part 4
November 2, 2008
November 1, 2008
A flurry of beads
Be sure to stop by and see what kind of goodies I have, beads for those making their own gifts and ornaments and jewelry for those shopping for gifts.
And because I'm really feelin' the Christmas crafties coming on, I'll share a bit from my favorite holiday movie, The Snowman. Made in 1982, a wordless animation. It's so charming. If you haven't watched it before you need to see it on DVD, each frame is hand-drawn and completely enchanting. Okay, back to the bead table for me.
(Watch The Snowman video on my blog those who subscribe by email.)