April 26, 2013

Ombre Feather Bracelet Free Project


Ombre was a popular dye technique for fabrics through the ages but it's now a trendy coloring you can find on anything from nails, to cakes, to dresser drawers, to hair dye and so much more.  If you have a Pinterest account, you know how popular this dip-dyed color effect is in the craft and fashion world!

This is a bracelet you can whip up in less than an hour.  Loving the feather, right? It's new from Vintaj and makes the perfect cuff for a bracelet.

Tail Feather Pendant - Vintaj
5 Ombre Feather Disk Beads - Humblebeads
Bronze Bird Clasp - Green Girl Studios
Large brass chain - Vintaj
4 5mm brass jump rings
5 1" brass eyepins
Vintaj Patina Paints: Quartz, Opalite, Cobalt & Aged Bronze
Paint brush & a small plastic lid for a paint palette


1. Bend the feather with your hands to form a curved cuff, slow and gentle will give you the best results.

2. Paint the feather. Start with quartz, then opalite and cobalt. Let the paint dry for a few moments and then do a light coat of aged bronze.  Apply sealant and wax.

3. Use round pliers to form a loop with the end of the feather.

4. Create links with the eyepins and disk beads.

5. Attach the links together with chain nose pliers, opening and closing the links.

6. Attach the links to the feather with a jump ring.

7. Use a jump ring to attach 3 links of the chain to the other side of the feather.

8. Use jump rings to attach the bird toggle clasp to the chain and links.

To see more Ombre samples visit my new blog:
Ombre Feather Bracelet Tutorial

April 24, 2013

Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs

Cherry Blossom Bead Inspiration 
Join me each Wednesday for a new feature here on the blog - a little bead inspiration and beauty. I'm so ready for blossoms to take over the country side!  Until then, I will have to let my beads do the blooming.

Cherry Blossom House Bead - Cherry Blossom Photo

Reposted from my new blog:
Bead Inspiration: Perfect Pairs

April 23, 2013

Bead Studio Makeover

Organizing my studio
Read about my adventures in organizing my bead studio over on my new blog:

Bead Studio Makeover

April 16, 2013

Thoughtful Gifts for Mother's Days

 Mother's Day Quote
I love this quote!  Your mom is one-of-kind.  Everyone has a mom, but you only have one! 
Have you started thinking about what you'd like to do to honor her this Mother's Day? 

Flower Pendant NecklaceFlower Necklace
Secret Garden Pendant Necklace - a one-of-kind design that captures the spirit of the poem perfectly.

My mom lives across the country, so I am working on a surprise for her this week to make sure it arrives in plenty of time this year!

Here are 5 simple gift ideas to honor your mom on May 12th:
  1. Nothing beats a Hallmark moment - write your mom a letter sharing your fondest childhood memories or lessons you've learned from her.  (As a mom, nothing makes me happier than knowing my kids listened to my sage words of advice!)
  2. I love using my apps to create photo gifts! Using Instragram, Typic or BubbleFrame and Printicular apps - you can take a photo, add in a quote and print them at your local Walgreen's in a cute 4 x 4 format!  You could create a banner by attaching them to twine with little clips.
  3. Create a "Me Moment" kit - include a soothing tea, decadent chocolates and a small journal.
  4. Make your mom a container garden with flowers that symbolize the birth months of you and your siblings. 
  5. Repay your mom for all those homemade cookies from back in day with something sweet from your kitchen.  These Merinque Nests with Strawberries looks quite lovely!
No matter what you do to cherish your mom, she will just be happy to hear from you or spend time with you on Mother's Day - because after all, she is an amazing mom, isn't she?

Does your mom love jewelry?  Why not add in an original Humblebeads design to your Mother's Day gift?  Check out my collection of one-of-kind jewelry designs that I just added to my website today.

Originally posted on my jewelry blog:
Thoughtful Gifts for Mother's Day

April 15, 2013

Flourish and Thrive Academy Multiply Your Profits Volume 2: Bread and Roses

Where are you in your jewelry business now?

My jewelry business is on the precipice, with wings extended, the breeze rushing past - on the edge and ready to soar.

Over the last few months I've created a beautiful and cohesive collection of nature inspired jewelry. I've delved deep into discovering who my ideal customer is, how to reach her and why she buys and wears jewelry. I've laid the foundation of my jewelry business, building on my past experience and the knowledge gained from the Flourish & Thrive Academy.

I have been selling my jewelry retail online and at shows for the last few years and love creating pieces that help women remember to slow down and cherish the natural beauty around them. I am taking off into the wholesale market this spring and working on getting my jewelry into shops across the country.

What’s holding you back in your business and your life?

Not having better systems in place for expanding and growing my business have been holding me back. Delegating work and hiring help is a challenge but one I'm ready to face and have been utilizing more. Knowing that I can not physically create each piece of jewelry to meet my financial goals is also a stumbling block. I only have two hands and 24 hours but it's hard to let go of control!

What is your vision for your business? Where do you want to go? What are your biggest dreams and desires?

My vision for my business is that it will provide bread and roses for my family and impact my community in a positive way.

What do I mean by bread and roses? I not only want a business that pays a living wage for my husband and myself, I want a business that provides quality health insurance, a robust retirement fund and college expenses for my children - that's the bread.  But I also want a business that affords roses - that doesn't mean a lavish or luxurious lifestyle, but rather the time and energy to enjoy life.  I want the freedom to not toil from sun up to sun down, but have time to feed our souls while we make a living for our family.

I live in a small town with scarce job opportunities.  It would be wonderful to have a business that could afford to hire a few local women to work for us assisting assembling our jewelry and shipping out orders.  I would love to know my creativity is providing bread and roses for other families too.  

I'm so thankful for my life and feel like I'm living so many of my dreams.  We live in a 1910 farmhouse in my sleepy hometown on the shores of Lake Michigan. I want my days filled with making beautiful things, connecting with amazing clients and sharing my work with those who love the beauty of nature as much as I do.  My dream is to grow a business that let's me feast in my creative pursuits and allows us the luxury of a balanced life with work that feels rewarding not all-consuming!

This is my essay entry for the Flourish & Thrive Academy Mulitiply Your Profits Volume 2 course.  I took their volume 1 course and it has been life changing!  To learn more about the next course and sign up for their free webinar visit Flourish & Thrive Academy.

April 13, 2013

Midnight Garden Beads Color Palette

 Midnight Garden Beads Color Palette
Today over on the Art Bead Scene I blogged about finding the color inspiration for my beads.  My latest bead series, Midnight Garden, were inspired by paintings and textiles from Pinterest.  Stop on over at the Art Bead Scene today for a chance to win a $30 gift certificate to celebrate my new website launch!

To see my Midnight Garden Pinterest board click here 

Midnight Garden Beads from Humblebeads

Midnight Garden Big Disk Beads, Midnight Garden Wafer Beads, Midnight Garden Long Beads, Midnight Garden Disk Beads.

Design Ideas:

  • I could see these beads paired up with turquoise stones for a bright and playful look. 
  •  Mix them with Czech glass flowers and leaves in green, teal, red and yellow with Vintaj brass filigree for a summer garden design.
  •  Stack them up with round black stones or glass beads and silver accents for a sophisticated and subdued style.
  •  Or use black chain and let the art beads take center stage.  I really dig the Arte Metal chain from Vintaj, it's black as midnight and has a lovely matte finish.  That's good stuff!

Originally published on my new blog:
Midnight Garden Beads Color Palette

April 12, 2013

New Humblebeads Website

I'm thrilled to announce the launch of my new website! 

Here are some highlights:

One Stop Shop - All my products and blog on one website, no more jumping around the internet to find my shops and blog.  Humblebeads.com is now the place to find your favorite Humblebeads and inspiration.


Ready to Ship Section - The items in this section are in stock and ready to ship.  Ready to Ship beads mail out in 2-3 business days.

Order & Shipping Status - You'll be able to check your order status and tracking number.

When you place your order you'll be sent a user name and password to log into your account.

Larger Selection - You'll find beads that were once limited edition have now become part of my regular line!

My made-to-order section now includes all of my beads.  Any bead on the site is available for wholesale and in larger quantities.

Easy to Navigate - Use the categories to narrow down your bead shopping search.

Inspiration Galore! - I've created several galleries to inspire you, including a gallery of Free Projects.

Originally posted on:
New Humblebeads Website

April 11, 2013

Lessons from Nature

Download this image and print it out for your studio inspiration board!

Class is in session:

(Photo from Pinterest)


Join my mailing list for a free 12-page Inspired by Nature Retreat booklet.  Download the booklet and join me for a walk on the beach, a trip the farmer's market and stroll in the woods as we explore texture, color, line, pattern and rhythm in jewelry design.

Reposted from:
Lessons from Nature

April 5, 2013

Sweet Home

I remember all those years of longing for home when I lived in Texas. My soul thirsting for the beach, my heart longing for beauty of Michigan's countryside. It took us 11 years to find our way back to my sleepy hometown.

And now that I'm here, happiness just doesn't describe it. Deep down in my bones content is a little closer. These last few months have been bittersweet with a struggle my family has had to endure. Our goal is to find a little slice of joy in each day.

Yesterday it was a walk on the pier. It is finally warming up now and I'm ready for walks in the woods, strolls along the cute shops in town, sunsets on the beach. Can't wait for the farmers market to open in May! I live each day here like a tourist, loving all the wonderful things about this place.

Tips for being a tourist in your hometown:
1. Take your camera and see all your old haunts with fresh eyes.
2. Check out some local culture - visit a museum or art center.
3. Take in a show - either a play or concert.
4. Shop downtown and support local businesses.
5. Check out the events calendar and do something new!

Make plans to be a tourist this weekend and blog about it or share a photo with me on Facebook!

April 4, 2013

Garden Party Polymer Clay Bead Workshop

Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you, yes I am teaching a polymer clay beadmaking class next month!  This is a very rare chance to learn my favorite techniques and tricks during a one day workshop in my charming 1910 farm house in South Haven, MI.

In the workshop you'll discover my tips for mixing a successful color palette as we dive into the class and learn about color theory. We'll make three flower canes and an easy leaf design. The afternoon will be spent learning how to form bead shapes, apply canes and finish your beads like a pro.

The beads shown above and below are the techniques and shapes that will be covered during the workshop.

May 18th from 10am - 4pm.  Cost is $125 and includes all materials, tools and lunch.  Just show up ready to have the time of your life - because me and clay - we are quite the party!

Only 10 spots are available and they are filling already.  Don't delay!
For complete details and to register, click here.

Travel isn't the easiest to my little beach town, so this workshop is best for those who are in driving distance from South Haven, that's two hours from Chicago, three from Detroit.  But for those who are up for the adventure, the closest airport is Grand Rapids or Kalamazoo.  I fly out of Midway in Chicago, they offer the best deals on Southwest and it's a quick 2 hour drive to South Haven.  There are hotels just down the road and a retreat center that will offer a great deal if 4 or more would like to stay for the weekend.   South Haven is a sweet little tourist town on the shores of Lake Michigan, it's a great place for a girls weekend out!

Feel free to email me if you have questions about travel or the retreat. 

P.S. Yes, I am still planning a  fall retreat for a weekend in October.