April 29, 2009

I Drag Behind

My theme song for the day. (Warning, it's a little on the loud side.)

Too many deadlines, working feverishly through orders and too many ideas that want to come into being. I'm racing toward June, May seems like a lost cause already. How can that be? Breathe little miss, breathe.

Why race toward June, because I can not wait to head to Michigan for a few weeks. Do you have places like that? Places that call to your heart & soul? Lake Michigan is that place for me. I can close my eyes and hear the sound of the waves hitting the shore, calling me home.

Have a cure for homesickness? I'd love to hear it!

April 28, 2009

A Thought on Designing

I've been working on new jewelry designs for a 10 page feature in a magazine this fall, I'm beyond excited and so thankful! And I've been putting together a few entries for this year's Bead Star contest. What I've come to realize in designing jewelry is that half of my time is spent taking things apart, reconfiguring, re-aligning, adjusting, playing with gravity, etc. I have a little basket of rejects on my table that are waiting to be torn apart because they didn't make the cut. Good design involves editing. Taking pieces out, adding elements to make a piece of jewelry lay better or highlight an unexpected element. I just thought I'd let you know that the beads don't always behave for me and to encourage you to keep working through a design if it didn't turn out like you had quite pictured.

The deadline for Bead Star is May 1st. It costs nothing to enter, all you need is a camera and a little courage! I hope to see some of your entries make it into the voting round.

The earrings above are a project in the book Earrings, Earrings, Earrings!

April 27, 2009

Summer Inspiration

Flickr Photo Credits: 1. Queen Anne's Lace, 2. Queen Anne's Lace, 3. Queen Anne's lace, 4. Queen Anne's Lace Embroidered Wool Cuff, 5. Queen Anne's Lace Stems, 6. 178-366b Queen Anne's Lace II

For the Art Bead Scene's Studio Saturday post I wrote about the start of summer here in San Antonio. (You can leave a comment over there for a chance to win a free dandelion bead.) It's in the 80's every day now. I can handle the 80's. But by mid-June and temps in the 100's I've had my fill of the south! By then everything is brown on brown with water restrictions.

My question on the Art Bead Scene was what motifs/designs remind you of summer. So I'll answer the question here. When I think of summer my thoughts turn to growing up in Michigan There is the magic of the dandelions - the puff ball version, of course. Who doesn't love a chance for wish-making! I miss the smell of the lilac bushes that grew outside my bedroom window. That was always the first clue that summer had arrived. The tiger lilies were another favorite along with irises. And I have fond memories as a child running through wild fields surrounded by Queen Anne's Lace. Weeds, flowers, they are all beautiful.

I'm making plans to head to Michigan again this summer. I keep thinking 4 weeks sounds about right! If I could, I would move back home every summer, but I don't think Jess would appreciate it. So a month seems like a good compromise. Now I really need to find some time for new bead designs, I'm going crazy with all these ideas accumulating and not being created!

April 23, 2009

Need a Carbon Copy?

Today I have printmaking on the brain. If you are new to my blog you may not know that I'm a professionally trained artist with a B.F.A. (Watch out guys I'm a profession, lol!) And in my other life I create printmaking illustrations for the children's market.
When I was in college I studied printmaking along with drawing and painting. I've created etchings, lithographs, monotypes and block prints. Loved them all! But block printing is the one that is done easiest in my home studio. I love the meditative repetition of carving the blocks, the steadiness it takes to ink and pull the print and the surprise of the tell-tale lines of the human hand in the imperfect texture that prints from the texture of the carving.

Margot Potter created a great little demo video of the new Yudu. It's a silkscreen system that is so easy even an impatient crafter can do it. I made a silk screened t-shirt once in high school, it was a laborious process with mysterious film and honestly the instructor had done most of the work. I would love to get my hands on one these machines, what fun could be had in the humble home with such a device! (Jess would steal it from me right away, he would love it!)

And while I dream of that, here is some more printy goodness that is within my budget: Jennnifer of Jangles did a post today about creating your own rubber stamps - something that has been on my to-do list for quite a while. I'd love to do a series of drawing and have them turned into rubber stamps to use in my beadmaking. I foresee fun times ahead in the studio!

April 21, 2009

Mix Tape Challenge

Okay, you know how much I love a contest that will have me laughing in hysterics with your entries so I've come up with a really good one!

Jess makes me all these crazy playlists, my mix tapes, that I listen to while I make beads. We both thought that would be pretty funny to see what kind of "mix tape" playlists we would create from our high school days. And that is the inspiration for this challenge.

So whether you were listening to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Cure or Nirvana, I want to hear your favorite songs from those angst-ridden, hormone-filled days!

Here is my playlist for curious minds:
Heather's High School Mix Tape

The Rules:

There are a few ways to enter and you can "earn" more than one entry depending on how much you participate. I will pick the winners next Friday, May 1st. Winners will be picked by random drawing.

1 entry - share your top 5 favorite songs from your high school days in the comments section.
Bonus entry - make a playlist to share on your blog and blog about this contest. (Leave the link to your blog post in the comment)

Triple bonus entry - your name will go in the hat a third time if you include a photo of youself from your teen years in your blog post about this contest.

The Prizes:
Grand Prize - $50 Gift Certificate to Humblebeads.com or Humblebeads.etsy.com
Runner Up - $25 Gift Certificate to Humblebeads.etsy.com

April 20, 2009

Cover Girl - Again!

" Beads on film, da da da da, beads on film..." That was my best Duran Duran impersonation in case you didn't catch that. You'll have to look closely but you can see my two manuscript beads there above the word "project'. Hot dog, another cover! I have 7 beads featured inside. You'll find my sea urchins, a whole host of woodland creatures and a beautiful project featuring my Twilight Lily bead. They are back in my etsy shop once again. I will also add them to my website this week as they have all made the transition from limited edition to regular line. Ah, it's like a bead promotion!
I have a really fun contest lined up for tomorrow, come back to see what it's all about.

April 10, 2009

Bookish Inspiration

(Flick Photo Credits: 1. topaz, 2. $1 Apple, 3. Foggy Mailbox, 4. Ferns, Hoh Rain Forest, WA, July 3, 2007, 5. Bella's truck, 6. Grape Hyacinths (20080504-134318-PJG) )

A little more pop culture tom-foolery for you today! I've been thinking of making a set of beads inspired by Twilightby Stephenie Meyer. The collage above is my starting point, now to find some free time!

I finished reading the series last week. Sigh. Always sad to come to the end of a universe isn't it? Although I was a little put off by the last book. I won't say anything else about it.

I noticed that the Venerable Bead created a series of necklaces inspired by quotes from Twilight. I love them!

(Twilight Key series from the Venerable Bead, visit her flickr gallery to see the entire collection.)

I visited the author's website and found she has playlists for each book, that is just such a great idea. I've been enjoying them while I make beads. Here is the Twilight playlist, I love the first song.

April 9, 2009

Website Wish List

I'm looking for someone to barter with who can redesign and build my illustration portfolio website for me. I would like to barter for beads and/or jewelry for the website, I'm thinking around $250.

I have the content and images on a less than stellar website: www.humblearts.com

What I'm looking for:
*Clean and simple gallery with thumbnails that click unto individual pages.
*To have the html written instead of using the godaddy.com template. I'd rather host the site at godaddy.com than have the Website Tonight account.
*Stats set up.
*Something I can go in and easily make updates with new work using my limited html knowledge.
*I'd like to keep the design simple and let the artwork shine.

It's important to me that you are familiar with Go Daddy hosting. My time frame is mid-May.

If you are interested, please send me a link to websites you've created.

April 8, 2009


Okay, I don't comment much on pop culture, mainly because I like to share my nerdiness discreetly, but I have to say something about American Idol. I watched the video of Adam's cover of Mad World. Not even guys. Gary Jules' cover from the movie Donnie Darko is even better than the Tears for Fears original. Don't even get me started on Donnie Darko, I just love a time-traveling teen movie that thumbs it's nose at the status quo.

And speaking of showing off my nerdy side, I took some pictures of myself the other day. I need a new photo for publications. I may have Jess try to take a better shot this weekend. The photo that currently runs in the magazines is about 5 years old. Time for an update!

April 7, 2009

Rings & Things Blog Partner Project

Rings & Things sends me amazing products to review and test drive. I'm happy to bring a free project today featuring their glueable Disk & Loop bracelets. Check out the Art Bead Scene today for another design idea using these fun and interesting jewelry components.

Wrapped in Spring Bracelet

Disk & Loop Bracelet

Dogwood Blossom Pendant
Leaf charm from Every Heart Crafts
7 wood tab beads
6" sterling silver wire, 22 gauge half-hard
4 glass accent beads
silver oval jump ring
5 gunmetal 1" headpins
Diamond glaze

1. Remove the third flat disk of the bracelet by using pliers to unwrap the links that attach it to the loop.

Designers note: If you have a smaller wrist you may want to remove the 2 disk and 1 loop from the bracelet, so that you have 3 gunmetal loops on each side.
2. Cut two 3" lengths of silver wire. Wrap the wire around a thick marker or tube of seed beads to form a large loop. String the wire through one side of the dogwood pendant and other end of the bracelet link and close the silver loop. Wrap each end of the wire around the loop to make a secure link. (Use pliers to pull the wire around the links.) Trim wire and use chain nose pliers to push the ends of the wire tight around the link. Shape the wire link into an oval by pressing on it. Repeat for the other side of the pendant and bracelet.
3. Attach the leaf charm with a jump ring on the last link of the bracelet.
4. Create dangles from the glass beads and one wood bead, attach to the silver links, 3 on one side and 2 on the other.
5. Glue the wood beads with a drop of diamond glaze on each gunmetal disk of the bracelet. Since the beads have holes, try to line the holes up so that they aren't visible on the side of the bracelet. Let the glue dry for a few hours.

April 1, 2009


I'm sure you have fallen out of your chair, seeing an update here on my blog!

It's been a rough week or so. Jess was in a car crash, which has thrown quite a wrench into our day to day life. He is fine, thank goodness. Our car didn't fair so well. My mood has faired even worse.

My mom was here for a little over a week. I'm afraid I was terrible company. (If I apologize again, she'll pinch me though the keyboard, so I won't say I'm sorry. But I do feel bad.)

I feel a little like I've crashed. Just filling orders as quickly as I can, but not much else creative is going on. I've been enjoying reading the Twilight series. Oh, thank goodness for guilty pleasures.
(Twilight focal bead)

Just wanted to say that I'm here and will be back to blogging soon.