June 27, 2009

Homeward Bound

I'm off today to visit my family until July 22nd. I'm so happy, it's hard to contain myself.

I've done some planning and have decided to keep blogging while I'm gone. So visit check back daily for all sorts of goodies that I have planned! Also, just like last summer my etsy shop will remain open while on vacation. All items are in stock and ready to ship. Orders will go out 2-3 times a week while I'm in Michigan.

June 26, 2009

Bead Cruise Design Contest Winners

Every year on the Bead Cruise each student receives a gift bag from our incredible sponsors. Talk about a pirates' treasure! In the past they have been filled with art beads, beads, findings, product samples and much more. This year I decided to get a little creative and the Bead Cruise sponsored a design contest using 2 or more items our gift bags into a jewelry creation. On the last night of the cruise we displayed the winners and everyone voted for their favorites. Here are the winners:
Show favorite from Sherry Bercaw. Sherry used a pendant from Off Center Productions and seed beads from Foxden. I wish I had a better photo, but lighting on the cruise at night is impossible. Sherry was the show favorite and won first prize!

Royelle Gidding, who is a very talented instructor from the Houston area, created this stunning lariat. I think every mouth dropped when they saw this one. She did this in a week, while on a cruise. I can get over that! She won runner-up in the Intense Beading category. She used turquoise cubes from Rings & Things and Vintaj brass charms that were included in the gift bags.

Our next runner-up in the Simple & Sweet category is from Kathy Annane. Kathy used another pendant from Off Center Productions, those charms from Vintaj, tiger eye cubes from Rings & Things, a lampwork bead from Sue Beads and a brass filigree from Beadaholique. There may be more beads from the gift bag snuck in there but those are the ones I can identify.

And here are the winners sporting their creations: Kathy, Royelle and Sherry. Great job everyone! I will upload the other entries in the Bead Cruise flickr group later next week. Again, me+camera+cruise ship=bad photos! Sorry about that.
Bead Cruise registration opens tomorrow, don't you want to come play with us next year?

June 24, 2009

Tiger Lily Haiku

Morning dew sparkles
Tiger lilies greet the day
Summer has arrived

Humblebeads' Tiger Lily, disks from Blue Seraphim, leaf from Every Heart Crafts.
I'm happy to announce I've joined the Bead Bloggers group and will now be sharing a great round-up each week of the best posts from the jewelry making blog-o-sphere!
Summer time is affecting Tammy's jewelry designs. How about yours? Check out her summer jewelry plans so far.
Kandinsky inspires this month's challenge. The ABS editors suggest a selection of their handmade art beads for a Kandinsky inspired jewelry piece.
Barbe reviews Ancient Modern Polymer Clay book.
A vintage comic book becomes the inspiration for a necklace.
A new shipment of copper blanks has Melanie plotting for some metal playtime!

Jewelry & Beading
Auntie's Beads provided wonderful copper beads and findings so Cyndi could create this necklace!

In need of a speedy bead? Check out this quick and easy jewelry idea!

Pink, gold,and cream! Jean creates a lovely necklace and earring set featuring a beautiful Russian hand painted focal from Artbeads.com

Melissa shows off her work in progress - an eerie lock and key design.

Andrew shares a new necklace design. Check it out!

June 20, 2009

Funny Caption Contest!

We're back! Okay, first you want the winner of the hedgie cell phone charm, right? It's Erin of Treasures Found!

Okay, so it's a new round of my funny caption contest. This time we have a guest in the studio. It's the Rings & Things Russ Troll bead. The Rings & Things blog partners were challenged to send in photos of this little. He just happens to find himself mixed up with one crazy squirrel here in the Humblebeads studio. So what exactly is being said between these two? Leave your funny caption in the comments section. One random winner will picked next Monday to receive this little squirrel.
Bring it on, I need a good laugh today!

Twilight Garden

My Twilight Lily bead mixed in with Vintaj brass, Lucite flowers, wood, a little bit of crystals and glass. Navy is my favorite color this summer. There is just something about it that has capture my imagination. Like deep pools of water, Hyacinth blossoms, a dark night sky; navy is classic, mysterious and plays so nicely with other colors. Navy - is it the new black? It is for me.

Visit Bello Modo for Vintaj brass, they have free shipping!

June 19, 2009

What would you do for Humblebeads?

Would you put on a stretchy red table cloth and dance around? Someone did, but I'm not going to name names!!! See the fun you missed out on the Bead Cruise! Start making your plans to join us for 2010.

June 18, 2009

Summer Haiku

Dragonflies buzzing
leaves float down a lazy stream
summer lingers here

June 17, 2009

hello? hello?

Hedgie get off the line, I'm waiting for a phone call. Ha! (Yes children, when I was a kid we didn't have call waiting and phones didn't travel in our pockets. No I didn't live in a castle and wasn't called my lady.)

Last month Rings & Things sent their blog partners "Things to String" to play with and see what we think. I'm not a cell phone person. I have a little one that I load up with minutes when I travel, but it's not something I carry around with me on a daily basis. So the cell phone lariats that they sent to us were a bit of a mystery to me. How do they attach? What do people put on their cell phones? Those burning questions were eventually answered thanks to google.

So I guess if you are too hot to wear jewelry this summer, you can still sport your art bead collection on your phone. For some reason these remind me of projects for a slumber party or camp. Kumbaya my Lord, Kumbaya...Okay no more silliness from me.

Have you adorned your cell phone with some bling or beads of some kind? Or have you used these cell phone lariats in some other kind of project? Leave a comment and on Monday I will draw a random winner for my hedgie cell phone charm.

June 16, 2009

Bracelet Exchange - The Beginning

Lorelei and I are hosting a bracelet round-robin swap. We each started with the beginning of a bracelet and then they were all sent to me. I added to each one and sent them to Lorelei. She'll do the same and send them along to our next participant. At the end of the swap we'll each get the bracelet back that we started. Sounds like fun doesn't it? The bracelets above are the starts that were sent to me. They belong to: Lorelei Eurto, Erin of Every Heart Crafts, Erin of Tesori Trovati, and Christine of Stories They Tell.
First up was Lorelei's bracelet. I added a lampwork SueBeads, a lime green branch bead and a big ol' Vintaj jumpring to echo the shape of the glass disks. I love the playful focal bead that Lorelei picked, should have bought some at Bead & Button. It was hard to know how much or how little to add to each bracelet, but I went by the guide of what "felt" right for each design.

Now, you may have noticed that Christine sent just a bead. She wasn't slacking, she really wanted a surprise and didn't want to influence the bracelet designs. Ah, complete freedom! I thought I'd work with the shape of the bead and had this great oval brass chain that works so well with the dark red color of Christine's focal bead. By pure happenstance I had made these poppy charms the week before - perfect. And to add a little zing, a bright green leaf from Earthenwood Studio.

Now Erin's bracelet was a little summer wisp of stones on waxed linen. I immediately thought it could use another strand via some gunmetal chain. I wanted to stay with the pastel color scheme and added in some stones, a crystals and a Humblebeads disk. And how could Erin not have one of her leaves on her bracelet, so I had to add one for her. Silly girl, she probably thinks I'm a nut for adding one of her beads to her own bracelet. Even if it wasn't Erin's bracelet I would have added the leaf, it was just calling to me.

I was so impressed with Erin's bracelet start. She packed more beads and work into 1" then I would have thought possible. I don't think my photo does it justice. The clasp is a coin that has been dapted and filled with resin, then a million little wire-wrapped dangles were added. I wanted to add to the earthy, opulent feel of the design so I added some glass disks from Blue Seraphim in the colors that were in the dangles. And the connector part of the clasp I decided to add my lime branch lentil. I hope Erin likes green! It will be fun to see how everyone fills in the space from the end of the chain to connector of the clasp.

And here is my start. I followed suit with the design that has the clasp and the connector and will enjoy seeing how this bracelet will come together. I used my Spring Branch lentil, a Mamacita Beadworks button as a dangle and some silver colored chain that has a great matte finish.
So that is the start of our swap. I've seen Lorelei's additions and they are amazing. I can't wait to see what returns to me at the end of our game! Lorelei took much better photos of the bracelets, read her blog post to see them in a different light.
The swap was inspired by the book, A Charming Exchange: 25 Jewelry Projects To Create & Share and I highly recommend picking up a copy for yourself!

June 15, 2009

Who's There?

Why it's a little JadeScott owl pendant hanging out with Humblebeads. Who else joined the party? A raku bead, an awesome copper branch toggle and some copper chain. I won the JadeScott pendant from a drawing on Lorelei's blog a while ago. I've been sporting this necklace as it's made it's way into my personal jewelry stash. The lime green branch disks are some of my favorite Humblebeads and ones I've been reaching for quite a bit when I'm designing.

Hmm, I could see this design using my owl too. Now I'm going to have to run off to the bead table and whip one up.

June 14, 2009

Mellow Yellow

I haven't seen the latest issue of Stringing, but on the website it looks like yellow will be a hot color for summer jewelry. I have quite a bit of yellow and gold in my collection of beads, so I thought I'd put together some possibilities with a little dab of sunshine.

Okay, so this one isn't a yellow bead, but it compliments the yellow in my design so nicely. I'd start with a wire-wrapped nest with some bright yellow glass beads, add in my teal bird, wire-wrap a few links with these fun vintage beads from Milbits and finish the necklace off with a hand-dyed silk ribbon from JamnGlass. Nothing like a little wisp of ribbon instead of a bulky chain on a hot summer day. Man, I wish I had these beads on hand right now, I'd love to wear this necklace today!

The next necklace I'd create a little longer than my usually 18 or 20" and add a few inches. I'd start with a pendant created from these awesome wood filigree leaves from xgq15 and one of my Golden Branch beads. For the necklace I'd string blue wood beads from BeppeMartha and glass disks from LindenAvenueDesigns onto brown waxed linen. This would be a very lightweight necklace with a lot of visual pop. Don't those blue beads look like blueberries?
My final design would incorporate another wood filigree element offered by Shareliving, are you noticing a trend here? I'd add a few dangles with these sweet little vintage flowers from RudyFig. My dandelion bead would play nicely with the matte white finish of the filigree. I'd add in a bright buttercup yellow glass bead to finish off the pendant. I'd string the pendant on a long brass chain, it would look perfect with a navy blue tunic and white capris.
Beading Daily had an awesome article last week on designing summer jewelry. Be sure to check out the link here.

June 13, 2009

Mermaid's Grotto and a Sale!

I was experimenting with some fantasy mermaid color schemes before Bead & Button. These technicolor knobby urchins are the results. I like them, kind of reminds me of something you might find on the Broadway set of the Little Mermaid. They would look lovely paired with amazonite, wood and shell beads. Hmm, I may have to pull out the beads today and whip up a sample.
I have finally listed some of my jewelry in my etsy shop. I'm heading home at the end of the month to spend July in my beloved South Haven - that sleepy little tourist town on Lake Michigan. So mermaids, the sea, the beach, they are all on mind and making their way off the bead table.
I love this little coconut & starfish bracelet. I snuck in an Elaine Ray cube bead, amber, pearl and tiny amazonite bead.

And this was a fun mix of beads that have been calling out to me, very sand and surf inspired in light, sun-washed shades.
I will be gone for the whole month of July, so if you need Humblebeads please plan accordingly. My etsy shop will remain open with what I have in stock, my beads love to travel! But I won't be able to fill regular retail or wholesale orders while I'm away.
June 17th - Last day for wholesale orders
June 24th - Last day for orders from Humblebeads.com
As an added bonus, I'm offering 20% off retail orders from Humblebeads.com. Use discount code summer09. (Sorry, can't be used for orders already placed and can only be redeemed on my website.) The discount can be used until Monday at midnight.

June 12, 2009

Brass Bezels

Oh, how I love a good color study. I'm sure you've stopped by the Art Bead Scene this month and spotted our monthly challenge painting. This fun little abstract number is by Kandinsky. I woke up this morning with an idea to create these:
Each one is hand painted. I have a degree in fine art painting, so this is right up my alley. I could do a million more of these, but those orders are calling my name and demanding my time.
The backs are Vintaj pendants. Dapped and textured; transformed into bezels. Check out Mary Hettmansperger's latest book for tips and tricks on texturing metal. (Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet) Wish I had picked up a texturing hammer at Bead & Button. You can find these little pendants in my etsy shop.

I'm digging playing with metal and have ordered some new tools. And I am thinking about treating myself to a bronze metal clay class here in town for my birthday in August.
And speaking of Vintaj, check out the cool little scrapblog album on their blog. They included Humblebeads in there!

June 10, 2009

Bead and Button Booty

Ha, I just like to say the word booty - followed by a good arrggh matey. So let me guess, you want to see my Bead & Button stash? Oh okay, if you are going to twist my arm...

Behold my treasures!
My first stop was Anne Choi's booth, I think I was her first customer! Buttons, she had buttons! I wish I would have bought more of them.

The second booth I sprinted, okay ran to, was Elemental Adornments by Christi Anderson. You may have seen her work on the cover of Mixed Metals. I couldn't afford one of her sculptural pendants but these doves and nests quickly found their way into my hands. In the background are lampwork beads from Cindy Craig and blown glass beads by Kerri Fuhr.

Some of Joan Miller's porcelain beads. I really love the new decal work and matte finish.

Yeah, Humblebeads and Green Girl Studios, we are like peas and carrots. Some things just belong together. (Ooh, bezels to fill on an upcoming creative play day.)

Beachy Earthenwood Studio beads alongside some vintage sequins that I though looked rather shell-like.

Gotta love the quirkiness of Diane Hawkey. Notice the magic bead, I have a Midsummer Night's Dream theme on the brain - more on that below.

And some of the only non-art beads that I had to have - lotus pod seeds from TIKA Imports.
In the top photo I also have some incredible pendants from Lisa Peters. Love the organic and earthy quality, picked up sea urchin buttons, disks and raku flowers. Love them! Next was Pam & Heather Wynn's booth, you'll notice my lovely collection of Pam Wynn beads in the top right corner. And tucked in there are a few bezels from Susan Lenart Kazmer.
Stopped by the Soft Flex booth to pick up a few Trios sets for their contest. And then some inspiration struck when I found these odd little sea urchin spines, grabbed some pearls from Bead Trust and back to Green Girl Studios for a shell clasp.

My beads at Bello Modo's booth.
A big thanks to Pam for representing my work at the show!
I can't mention everyone I met and saw but that was my favorite part of the show. I met some of my art bead heros, online friends, editors, instructors, bead cruise girls and so many more. If I met you, I was thrilled and enjoyed soaking in the creative energy and getting to know such a diverse collection of beady folks. It was pure joy!
I can't thank Erin enough for rooming with me and Lisa Peter's too!
Now, since this post is going for record length, here is a sneak peak at some new items:

The girls at the Vintaj booth were doing a little stamped Make & Take. Which quickly sent me on a mission to find a dapping block to play with at home. These started out as simple blank circle pendants from Vintaj. I stamped them with quotes from a Midsummer Night's Dream and filled the back with polymer clay. (Thanks for the inspiration Erin!)

So that is it for now. Those pendants will be in my Etsy shop tomorrow. If you are waiting for an email from me, you may want to prod me a little. I'm working as quickly as I can on orders & emails. (I woke up at 6am to make the pendants before I had to officially start the day!)

June 8, 2009

Back to Reality

I had such a great time at Bead & Button. I have almost no photos to show, that's just how I roll. Once I start having fun the camera goes into the bag and doesn't see the light of day again! Erin however was a photographing genius and will have lots of photos to share on the Art Bead Scene later this month.

It was wonderful to meet so many online beady friends in person! That was the best part of Bead & Button. Second best, bead shopping, of course! I loved meeting my favorite artists and bought a nice little stash of new art beads to play with, I will take pictures tomorrow of my new treasures and share.

Inspired ideas floating around in my head: designs for Soft Flex's trio design challenge, midsummer night's dream beads/pendants and making more eggs. I need a day to play with all my new toys!

Have you seen Lorelei Eurto's necklace in the new issue of BeadStyle magazine? It's nice to see my little urchin front and center. I'm off to make a fresh batch of them, get ready for a slumber party for my daughter's 13th birthday and try to get caught up on my emails. Ha!

June 3, 2009

I'm off!

All orders - shipped.
Emails - will be answered on Monday.
Beads- are made, not all I wanted to get done, but so, so many for Bello Modo!
Plane - leaving in 2 hours.
Friends - waiting to gather.
Bags - packed.
Sleep - none. : )

Headed off for my first Bead & Button show. I will be helping Bello Modo at booth #957, stop by and chat!

See you Monday with photos, stories and beads!!!