November 29, 2012

Challenges & A Pinterest Photo Tip

This Artisan Whimsy group is having a Berries & Leaves challenge and I thought I'd join in the fun.  I see many entries that could do double duty in the Art Bead Scene's November Monthly Challenge which has a leaf/tree theme goin' on.  And to really multitask this was also my earrings on the Earrings Everyday blog - eh, what can I say, I get around. 

The berries are handcrafted polymer clay beads with little flecks of silver leaf.  The leaves are pewter components from Green Girl Studio.

I wanted to share a super simple way to make your images more pinnable and feature them in the gift area of Pinterset.  It's quite simple, flip your images or better yet, angle the jewelry when your photography them, so they pointing in the right-hand side of the images rather than the left.  

If something is pinned from Etsy or your website with a price, Pinterest includes a little banner on the top left side with the price.  This automatically enters it into the Pinterest gift pool by price.  Handy - and who knows who might find you in the gift area.  

If I had kept my image like it was in the bottom photo, the price tab would have interfered.  Just something to think about.  I used PicMonkey to flip my image and lighten them.  And here is another example below.

The top photo is more pin-friendly!

November 27, 2012

Giveaway Winner

 The winner from my Cyber Monday giveaway is Julie from Waay Outwest.  

Here are more of our ornaments that will be in my jewelry Etsy shop later today.  Jess is an ornament making machine.  He loves creating these beaded treasures, I think it's because he gets to play with the bead spinner - which is just too much fun. 

He hasn't stopped making ornaments since our party Saturday.  My dinning room table is filled with paper ornament balls, I had to put a stop to it, they were starting to take over.  I could see a room filled with them and Jess buried under the holiday rubble. 

Every year we spend time making ornaments for our tree.  Some year there is  theme, other years we just have fun and make whatever strikes our fancy. We are going to make some pine cone themed ornament this weekend for round two of our ornament making party.  We'll be pulling out the clay, rubber stamps and felt once again.

Can't wait to head to the tree farm and pick our our evergreen canvas to decorate this year!

November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday Free Projects & Givewaway

Welcome to my Cyber Monday blog party!  Grab a cup of cocoa, put on some Christmas music on Pandora, enjoy the inspiration here and the holiday shopping and deals in my Etsy shop when you are done!

I have a trio of holiday inspired projects for you using some of my new leaves and berry beads.  Perfect for the holidays, but nature-inspired enough you can wear them long after December.  The best part, these simple designs whip up in a matter of minutes and would make fast and easy gifts for the nature-lovers on your list.

Frosted Leaf Earrings

2 leaf charms
10 5mm brass jump rings
10 3mm brass faceted cubes
2 7mm brass jump rings
2 15mm brass jump rings
2 28mm brass kidney earwires

1. With two pairs of chain nose pliers open a 5mm jump ring and string on a brass cube, close jump ring and set aside.  Repeat 19 times.
2. Attach the 7mm jump rings to the leaf charms.  String the leaves unto the 15mm jump rings.
3. String five of the cube jump rings on each side of the leaf.  Close the 15mm jump rings and slide them unto the loop at the bottom of the earwires.  Squeeze the bottom earwire loop with the chain nose so the jump rings can't fall off.

Leaves: Humblebeads.  Brass: Vintaj.  Brass cubes: Rings & Things

Winter Bird Pendant

Pewter bird
12mm polymer clay disk
32mm polymer clay leaf
2 15mm brass jump rings
4 6mm brass jump rings
10 5mm brass jump rings
1 2" eye pin
6 2mm silver beads
6 3mm brass faceted beads
28" gunmetal chain

1. Create a jump ring rosette with the three of the 6mm jump rings. 
2. On the eyepin string the polymer clay disk, jump ring rosette, bird and brass cube. Create a simple loop on top.
3. With two pairs of chain nose pliers open a 5mm jump ring and string on a brass cube, close jump ring and set aside.  Repeat 4 times.  Repeat the same process with six silver beads on six jump rings.
4. String the bird pendant on a 15mm jump ring, string on 3 jump rings with silver beads and 2 with brass beads, alternating beads.  Repeat on the other side of the jump ring.  Attach the two ends of the chain and close the 15mm jump ring.
5. Attach the 6mm jump ring to the large leaf, add a brass cube before closing the leaf.  String onto the other 15mm jump ring, attach the jump ring to the bottom of the bird pendant. 

Holly and Berry Earrings

2 polymer clay leaf charms
2 polymer clay berry beads
2 5mm brass jump rings
2 6mm brass jump rings
2 1" brass eye pins
8 4mm brass faceted cubes
2 28mm brass kidney wires

1. With two pairs of chain nose pliers open a 5mm jump ring and string on a brass cube, close jump ring and set aside.
2. Attach a 6mm jump ring to the leaf, slide on the 5mm jump ring with the cube before you close the jump ring.
3. On the eyepin string the berry bead and create a simple loop on top. Attach the leaf to the bottom of the berry dangle. 
4. Slide the leaf and berry on the earwire, close the bottom loop of the earwire with chain nose pliers.  String on three brass cube beads.

Supplies: Leaves and berry beads: Humblebeads.  Bird: Green Girl Studio. Brass Cubes: Rings & Things.  Brass findings: Vintaj.

The Giveaway:

The winner will receive this beaded holiday ornament that Jess created and a $20 gift certificate to my Etsy shop!

To enter share this blog post on Pinterest, twitter or Facebook.  Leave a comment below letting me know you shared these fun projects and spread some holiday cheer!  Make sure I can contact you if you are the winner.

You only have one day to enter, the winner will be picked tomorrow morning!

The Sale:

20% off in my Etsy bead shop until Midnight.  Use discount code THANKS20.

30% off in my Etsy jewelry shop until Midnight!  Use discount code HOLIDAY30.

November 24, 2012

Ornament Party

We hosted an ornament making party at the new house today.  We gathered together supplies to make felted ornaments with cookie cutter shapes.  These are the ones I finished.  It took me half the day, I not quite sure why I was so slow.  I guess it was the good company, great laughs and yummy treats that made it hard to work quicker!

 Here they are on my beaded tree.

I have been enjoying nesting in the new house.  Today we added a few holiday touches to put everyone in a festive mood.

 We were stocked up on chocolate - the crafter's fuel.

 Happy crafters!

My sister made her ornament into a mitten pin to wear on her sweater, she is such a clever girl.

 A few of our finished and not quite finished ornaments.

 Had to share a cute picture of my aunt's pup, Finton - he is always a welcomed guest!

Jess was happy to create his paper ornaments again, spending the day hunting unusual and interesting images from harvested Martha Stewart Living magazines.

 Here are the stacks waiting to become the ornaments below.

From the time I get up in the morning until the moment my head hits the pillow at night I am completely and thoroughly happy here in our new home.  It's all put together and the nesting has began.  We are looking forward to decorating for Christmas next weekend and have been working on some crafty projects for the house thanks to Pinterest! 

November 14, 2012

Gilded Leaf Pendants

I've been enjoying waking up on these frosty Michigan mornings to see the fields around my house covered in a magical world of tiny crystals.  That combined with perhaps one too many decorating magazines on my Kindle and I couldn't help but notice that gilded natural elements are this year's biggest trend for the holidays.   I like a little glitter and sparkle with my nature-inspired creations.

These leaves are layers of gold leaf and translucent clay to mimic treasures captured in ice.  The gold leaf glows underneath the clay like they are lighted from within.  I love it!

I'm so ready for all things wintry, Christmasy - filled with light and joy.  I can't wait to decorate my tree, make some holiday gifts and start baking something besides beads.  That last part is a rare occurrence in the Humble home. 

We have a whole collection of beads based on these leaves, check back soon for more updates.  These frosty beauties can be found in my Etsy shop.

November 9, 2012


We are still working through boxes and boxes.  I can't wait to start nesting, put up paintings and making this place our own.  This is a print from Jackie Lehman, I will be ordering it soon for my dining room.  I'm also looking through my Pinterest boards for inspiration for decorating.  I love adding those little touches that make a house a home.   

We have so much to do, but that isn't stopping us from inviting family over - after all this is the reason we have moved down here.  Tomorrow we will host a little housewarming party with homemade pizzas and playing cards with my favorite people.  Life is good and filled with so much happiness at the moment.  I feel like my soul has woken up for a very long and sleepy nap.

Hopefully I'll have new beads to share next week.  Until then here are some lovelies that look like they would fit in nicely with the print above! 

(Today is also the last day for my sale: SWEETHOME for 20%, shop here.)

November 7, 2012

Bead Table Wednesday

Now that the clay is set up and we are back in business, the hard part begins - finding a place for all my beads.  There was some throwing things in boxes type packing in the last few days before our move.  I probably shouldn't have done that because now I need to organize that mess!  But that's also a fun challenge and it's always great to rediscover forgotten finds and past purchases.  Who knows what treasures await me!

I snapped the sunrise for you this morning.  The colors are so beautiful against all those entwined branches.  My bead muse is putting on her thinking cap - we'll see what I come up inspired by all this nature surrounding me.  Which I am so loving!  We are waiting for that magical day when we wake up to discover the ground covered in snow.  It will be so pretty out here, like a winter wonderland. 

Oh, I could see these used in a necklace inspired by the scene above.  My winter branch beads have been the hot item lately.  I made a big batch before the move but I'm sure I'll need more soon, because aren't they just yummy! 

Okay, I'm off to enjoy my grandmother's homemade beef stew.  Life is good.  Stay warm and near your loved ones tonight. 

November 6, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We are settling into the new place.  It's a little different working from home, I wonder how other people set up house first.  For us, it was kitchen, beds, bathroom and then beads.  We have our priorities you know!

The studio is unpacked and ready for action.  I wonder what will be the first beads I make in my new space?  I have a feeling it might be inspired by the lovely woodland fields surrounding my home.  Something cozy and wintry that will capture the feeling that bubbles up every time I look out our picture window.  I love waking up and watching the sunrise across the field, the pinks and purple flooding the trees and tall grasses that are now wintry husks.  It's breathtaking and I promise a photo soon!

As we settle in and work between getting the rest of life put back together and our need to keep busy with our livelihood here we are going to do a sale again until Friday.  Not quite the great deal my email subscribers got, but still a darn good one.  Use discount code SWEETHOME for 20% off your order and keep Jess and I busy in our new studio!!!  Feel free to share this discount code with your buddies. 

Happy Creating!

November 2, 2012

Bare Branches Blog Hop Reveal

Welcome to the Bare Branches Blog Hop!

I'm late to my own party, that seems about right!  We have been busy packing orders and my house at the same time.  Thankfully my sister came to rescue last night and we packed for hours and hours.  

Last month I sent out kits with the teal branch beads that were used by Cindy Wimmer in Lori Anderson's Bead Soup Book.  I included glass, stones, pearls, sari silk and brass pieces to round out the bead mix.  

I only added a few pieces of my own to the mix, including this awesome glass oak leaf by Susan Hager, one of my favorites!  In my mix I also threw in the large leaf pendant, oak leaf pendant and the chain.  Everything else came from the kit.

I went with a symtertical design for this challenge, adding in lots of interest with texture and shape.  I wanted the feeling of leaves floating down a dark river, just like the scene from my retreat last week with the autumn foliage caught up in the current of the Black River.

 Matching earrings, because hey they were just begging to be made!

My blog hop participants:
Andrea Ross
Erin Prais-Hintz
Cherrie Fick
Stephanie Haussler
Becky Pancake

We had a few more, but life has a way of sneaking up.  Enjoy visiting each of these talented ladies to see what they created with their Bare Branches mix.

November 1, 2012

Sketchy Charms

Each one of these is hand-drawn into the clay and then painted for a watercolor effect.  I love the birch trees the most.  As we have been driving back and forth to South Haven, the highway is flanked by forests and the birches always jump out at me as we are whizzing by.  They remind me of the Robert Frost poem.  

You can find these fine fellows in my Etsy shop.