October 15, 2011

Oh You! Customer Gallery

You guys - you always amaze me!  Here is a round up of some recent creations using Humblebeads.

First up is this beautiful fall inspired bracelet from SoulsFireDesigns.

Another autumnal beauty from Kristy Abner.

Love the little bit of ribbon on these earrings from Bead Muse.

And this very sweet bracelet is from Skye Jewels.

I always love seeing what you make with your Humblebeads! 
Share them with me on my Facebook page!

October 12, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

It's been a while since I've done a Bead Table Wednesday post.  I'm finally starting to get into a regular schedule again and gearing up for the rest of the season.

I have a little stash of beads I keep nearby so I can work on nests when I have a spare moment.  I'm stocking up for holiday shows.  I try to not work once the kids are home, but I do sneak in a little nest time when they are doing homework or off goofing around.  

Eventually the nests will be used as pendants - simple and sweet and just awesome gifts.  I was invited to do an Inspired by Nature Jewelry Trunk Show at the Kingman Museum in Battle Creek next month - so most of these are heading over there.

Along with a few shows I'm hoping to get into, I have a trunk show, book signing and Birds of a Feather Nest Workshop at Bead Quest here in Grand Rapids on November 12th - just a month away.  The class will be lots of fun and a great way to get started on a few of your own holiday gifts!  Everyone will leave with at least two completed nests.

I'm also working on plans for a Humblebeads Holiday Workshop for November and will have details posted soon.

Be sure to stop by the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr Group to see what other bead obsessed folks are up to this week.

If you'd like to stock up on some beads for your projects I am having a sale in my Etsy shop until 10pm tonight.  Use discount code BEADS4FALL for a whopping 25% off!!!  

October 11, 2011

The Key to Happiness

Oh, I likey!  I took two floral skeleton keys from Vintaj and made them into curved bracelet components.  I punched holes in one end of each key to convert them into connectors.  The big leaf was from Ornamentea, it was raw brass that I antiqued with liver of sulphur - love that stuff.  I added a little pinch of navy blue ribbon to offset my branch disk bead in midnight blue.

The keys were hammered and buffed to bring out the silver under tones.

I picked up a whole new bag of tricks from the Vintaj 2-Day workshop that I attended last month.  Jess and her gang are so creative and inspiring!  I love how innovative they were with their decorivets line. They transformed them into charms and connectors.  I love being wowed and seeing something I would never have thought of - that's how you know it was a good class!  More on that later.

So let's talk about the key to happiness.  

It's something I've been thinking about a lot lately.

I am happy.

My happiness doesn't come from moving here to Michigan or being with my family.  Although that is awesome!

The key to my happiness is not letting outward things dictate my happiness.  

My happiness comes from a well deep within.

My happiness comes from ability to be thankful no matter the circumstance.

People can disappoint or fail me, but I still love them.

I weed out bitterness and never let that root take hold.

I accept the struggles as a chance to grow.

I find the good in each day and the more I look, the more good there is to find.

We all have struggles, but we are not alone.  Reach out when you need someone to help lighten the load.  I don't know of anything that makes my heart lighter than sharing with a friend and being able to find the humor in what seems unbearable at the moment.

Life passes by so quickly, if we only wait for those perfect moments or when things are going our way to find happiness we will miss out on all the good that is mixed in with the mess.  

And you thought I just made a pretty bracelet to share!  Jewelry is a way to share our stories.  They have different meanings for the maker and the wearer, what stories are you telling?

Sending hugs out to all those who need them today.

October 8, 2011

Falling for Color!

My memories of fall pale in comparison to the tapestry of color I get to see every day here in Michigan.  Each time I go out of the house it's a visual feast.  I need to find some time to take photos before the colors start to fade.  It's a mix of green, purple, yellow, crimson red and fiery orange.  I was surprised by how lovely all the purple wildflowers set off the autumn hues.  You know that's making it's way into a bead soon!

 Oh and don't even get my started on Queen Anne's Lace.  It's everywhere!

Here is a little bit of that purple snuck in with copper and olive.  Love it!  These are two hole spacer beads and a toggle set that can be used in with the Zen Garden Bracelet project from my book or used in a stringing project.  They are something fun and different and make really color bracelet spacers.

These are some color variations of Bittersweet beads that I made some time ago.  Inspired by those autumn colors that have my muse spinning around in my head!

So that's a little peek of beads from September.  Now that I've soaked in the colors of fall I'm itching for more free time to make new beads.  I have a trunk show in November and will need to start on the holiday goodies soon too.  

So who's figured out how to make a clone yet?  Or maybe Dr. Brown will deliver a DeLorean to me and I can squeeze in a few extra hours this week!

Visit my Etsy shop to see what else I have been up to in the bead studio!

October 7, 2011

Retreat Goodies

I can not even tell you how much fun I had at my retreat.  Can I do that 2 or 3 times a year?  Yeah, that would awesome.  It was the perfect weekend.  I can't remember how many times I relished the perfect moment!  But before the fun began I had spent a good month getting ready.  First up are the gift bags - what's an event without a little swag?  My aunt found the perfect bags for me - isn't she sweet!

Along with a copy of my book everyone received an issue of Bead Unique Magazine.

I put together little necklace kits featuring a Vintaj dragonfly pendant, silk ribbon, waxed linen, seed beads and a Humblebeads disk.  

Marie from MoreSkyeJewels gave everyone an awesome bird pendant - they are really amazing!!!  

My friend Angela Brittain donated silk dupioni cord in rich colors.  

Everyone was treated to Simple Truths pendants created by Erin Prais-Hintz.  She made a special one for each theme of the book: Woodland, Garden and Sea.  

And then people surprised us with extra goodies like forged and etched metal charms from Mary Newton.  

Other goodies were shared from our participants like nautical sketchbooks from Linda, shells from Terri  and tiny hummingbirds from Royelle.  It didn't take us long to warm up and we were soon making new friends and having fun reconnecting with those we already knew.

Along with preparing the gift bags, there were kits to assembly.  This was part of my Birds of a Feather class and Poetry & Beads workshop.

I filled each kit with with a Humblebeads egg, stones, a Green Girl Studio bead or pendant and charm from Pulga N Pansas.  The beads were put together with a poem and I broke everyone up into to small groups to brainstorm on how to translate their poem into beads.

Here are some of the finished pieces from the nest class and workshop.  It was fun to see how different everyone made their final pieces based on what they thought of the poem.

More kit goodness!  This was from the color workshop we did before we made our bracelets on Saturday afternoon.  Everyone was able to explore color theory as they picked the components for their bracelets.

Here everyone is showing off their finished work.  Some students had never created with seed beads and thread before.  Everyone rose to the challenge and most had their bracelet ready to sport the following day!  This is a project featured in my book.

I had students from all over the country.  Some had never made jewelry before, others had been creating with beads for years and years.  We had a great group, everyone was encouraging and loved sharing their inspirations.  Here we are during our walk in the woods. 

And my lovely bracelet models showing off their creations after a weekend of fun that flew by all too quickly.

I loved doing the retreat.  In fact, I'm already starting to plan a spring one.  And I have a one day holiday workshop that I am planning and I'm toying around with another class idea that's doing cart wheels in my head.  I could get used to this!  I would love to teach classes and workshops on a regular basis.  I love seeing that spark of inspiration set in as a I student discovers their creativity!

Before I go I must thank my three awesome helpers - that includes my Mom, my Aunt Rosanne and my very dear friend Erin Prais-Hintz.  They were the best!