May 31, 2014

Free Humblebeads!

Aren't these just lovely! They are prototypes of a new line of beads that I will have at Bead & Button.  These were the ones I used to create my molds and played with different colors while I explored my way through polymer clay's endless options.  Now the ones for the show look completely different, they are smaller and in colors that match my latest wobbles and daggers - they all go together in a collection.

I decided to give these away. 

Yep, for free. 

Well, almost.  For any Etsy orders today that are $50 or more I will include one of these Zen Garden Pendants. This includes the sale items in my shop that are 40-50% off. It's like your lucky day or something! 

Zen Garden? Yes, I created this series after a workshop that encouraged us to create an anchor to remind us of a life changing goal that we are working towards.  The anchors are touch stones when you are tempted to fall back into old patterns.  For me, it's all about managing stress in healthy ways and these Zen Garden pendants are messages that I find encouraging.  I will actually be making a necklace with the Breathe pendant because just taking time to do some deep breathing totally changes my day.

And more free beads!


Uh, huh.

Sign up for my The Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp today or tomorrow and I will send you a gift certificate for $15 from  I thought this would be a nice treat for those of you who really wanted to sign up but missed the early bird deadline.  I have 11 spaces left because I have decided to close the class at 40.  That seems like a nice managable size so I can give my students the attention and time they need in our Facebook group and for questions via email. 

Head on over to my website to sign up today!

May 26, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 11: Characters Welcomed

This is going to be a fun challenge! I love seeing when designers show off their work that has made it on a TV show, movie or worn by a celeb. It fascinating to see how they capture the essence of a character with beads and metal.

Your Assignment: 
Create a piece of jewelry inspired by a celebrity or pop culture character.  The character can be from a TV show, movie or book.  Fun, right? Ask yourself - what would she wear and go to town making it.

Earrings inspire by Katniss from the Hunger Games.

Tips for Designing for a Character:
Start by doing a little research.  What kind of clothing or jewelry did the character wear in the book or movie?  Create a pin board to gather images, outfits, photos or other inspiration of your heroine.  Was there something meaningful to the character - a symbol, a place, etc. that you can tie into a piece of jewelry?

If you are going for your favorite celeb gather together photos of her styled for the red carpet and candid shots.  Is this a piece of jewelry she would sport at an awards show or one she'd wear out to lunch while dodging the paparazzi?

Have you noticed throughout the Mojo Challenge what a great tool Pinterest can be for designers? Use it for research, to pull together mood/style boards and ultimately to reach out to women who will love your jewelry.  If you don't have an account and you sell jewelry online - take advantage of the best tool for online sellers.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 11 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find

May 22, 2014

Free Project: True North Pendant

True North points to knowing what your guiding philosophies are and having a clear direction in life. It's your gut instinct, your guiding light. It keeps you on the path as you journey toward what is true in your life.  The feather pendant was inspired by colorful vintage arrows and is a reminder to shoot straight and keep on target. This makes an awesome gift for a grad or a student as they make their way in the world.

Feather pendant
32 x 14mm Art Metal blank
30mm brass ring
15mm Art Metal jump ring
7mm gunmetal jump ring
1 6mm glass bead
3" waxed linen
2" 19 gauge steel wire
18" gunmetal chain

Tools: Bench block, letter stamps, hammer, round and chain nose pliers, wire cutters, buffing block or steel wool.

1. Stamp True North unto the arte metal blank. Buff with buffing block or steel wool to lighten the metal, leave the letters dark. Add to the large brass ring with the jump ring.
2. With the round nose pliers create a large loop with the steel wire 1" from the bottom. With the chain nose pliers open the loop and add the feather pendant, close the loop. Wrap the tail of the 1" wire around the top of the feather.
3. With the round nose pliers create a loop at the top of the feather, open the loop with the chain nose pliers and slide the brass ring in the loop, close the loop. Wire wrap the wire several times under the loop creating a messy wrap, trim the wire and use the chain nose pliers to tuck in the end of the wire.
4. Wrap the linen around the brass ring twice, with both ends tie a knot, string on the glass bead, tie both ends into a knot at the bottom of the bead. Tie a knot on each thread at the bottom, leaving a 1/4" of linen.
5. Add the 15mm jump ring to the top of the brass ring, add on the chain.

Feather: Humblebeads 

May 21, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday - Bead & Button Show Prep

We are making beads like maniacs over here.  Today we whipped up more Blooms & Birds sets because they are adorable, cheerful and full of fun colors and what's not to love about that?  I'm working on some little totem sets with a trio of tiny birds and a feather pendant.  Too cute - can't wait to show you.

Booth 1212, mark it down and make your plans to visit me with at Bead & Button.  I'll be sharing a preview over the next week or so as we finish stock piling inventory.  I love to see my piles of beads grow this time of year!

So it's Wednesday already - and that means it's time to share what's on your bead table.  Share a link in the comments below or use #BeadTableWednesday on Instragram.

Bead Mix Sale!

And speaking of bright and colorful - be sure to stop by my Etsy shop today to check out the fun bead mixes that are on sale today! 

May 20, 2014

For the Love of Color

It's all about the color, color, color! Loving playing with color palettes each morning before I start working on bead orders. It's been so much fun to go crazy with mixing colors. I'm squirreling away beads for Bead & Button but also putting some in my shop for those who won't be able to attend the show.  

I may have to make a set of these for myself.  Wouldn't a little family of birds make a fun necklace or bracelet?

Inspired by my Totem Earrings last week I made a few sets of tiny disk beads that would be fun to stack together in an earring design.  These are also cute paired with charms for fast and easy earrings.

Yes, these were definitely inspired by my latest island visits on the Bead Cruise! Loving these bright, tropical colors!

You can find the new beads in my Etsy shop.  If you loving all these posts on color and would like to learn my tricks for color mixing and making beads check out my upcoming workshop.

May 19, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 10: Fashion & Beads

This week we are going to do some window shopping to find our inspiration.  If you sell your jewelry knowing what colors are popular and the major trends can help inspire new designs. Another reason to look toward clothing stores - you'll get to know your idea client a little better.

The Assignement:
Create a piece of jewelry inspired by your favorite clothing catalog or online store.

Tips for Designing with Fashion in Mind:
Check out the clothes from your favorite place to shop and design a piece of jewelry inspired by an outfit. What would you were with that dress or sweater?

You could also head to Polyvore and search for your favorite store or brand to find outfits to inspire you.

If you sell your jewelry think about what clothing store captures your jewelry brand. Ask yourself where do your customers shop. If your clients are trendy girls in their 20's your brand is more likely to fit in at Modcloth if you are funky and retro or Free People is your jewelry captures more of a boho spirit.  If your are customers are women in their 30's or 40's who love art, culture and travel - check out Anthropologie or Sundance.

Have fun this week creating a piece of jewelry to match an outfit. If you blog, be sure to share your outfit inspiration along with your jewelry piece.

Don't worry about following trends or being trendy - pick something that feels authentic to you.  And you don't have to pick a big brand name - feel free to find your inspiration with indie designers and boutiques too.

Extra Credit:
Create a board called "Your Company Name" Style on Pinterest this week and pin clothing from your favorite brands and your jewelry. Please put your company name in there or people are just going to think your weird. :)  Add to this board frequently with clothing that matches your jewelry style and every time you add a new piece of jewelry to your shop.  Tag your clothing posts with the name of the clothing brand or catalog so their customers can find your pins and hopefully your jewelry!

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 10 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring.  

May 14, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday

So these are on my bead table today. I've been whipping up round beads and bird mixes getting ready for Bead & Button. This weekend and next are my big production weekends.  We are going to make hundreds of beads with the help of a few artistic family members. My goal is to not go cray-cray in the next few weeks.  Wish me luck!

Are you planning to go to Bead & Button this year?  Make plans to visit me at booth 1212!

All week I've been mixing up a fun color palette in the morning like this one and turning them into bead sets. It's been a very relaxing and almost a zen-like creative exercise.

If you'd like to learn my color tricks and how to make your own beads check out the details for my upcoming workshop.  The early bird deadline is tomorrow!

So what's on your bead table? Share your link with the Inlinkz tool below or on Instagram with #BeadTableWednesday.

May 12, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 9: Ancient History

There is a reason art students are required to study history - there is a vast source of inspiration from ancient times, other cultures and what artists have created in the past.  This week we are going to do a little research for our assignment and create something new while borrowing from the ancients.

Your Assignment:
Create a piece of jewelry inspired by an ancient design using modern materials. What's ancient? Let's anything before the Renaissance. Head back to ancient Greece, Rome, Africa, China or India for a serious dose of inspiration. Don't forget Celtic and Viking jewelry designs too. There is literally a whole world to explore!

Tips for Making the Old New Again:
When I was in art school our library had a copy of the History of Beads. What an amazing book. I would spend time recreating beads and jewelry based on those styles found in ancient Egypt and Rome.

Visit my Ancient Jewelry pin board for some inspiration.

So off you go - do some googling or head to the library for an afternoon to find your inspiration.  Once you find your inspiration decide what modern materials will best translate your inspiration into jewelry.

You can use replicas of ancient materials, you can use wire or metal to forge a design, you can use materials that used by ancient cultures like lapis, carnelian, jade, turquoise.  Or if you have a stash of old beads, like African trade beads or Roman glass pull them out.

Or you might try to replicate an ancient material.  Check out this awesome tutorial on faux Roman glass using polymer clay.  Here is a tutorial for faux jade.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 9 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring.  

May 10, 2014

Art Bead Scene's May Challenge

This an Italian Renaissance painting by Bernardo Bellatto and Brandi Hussey's color palette for this Month's Art Bead Scene challenge.

I love using Brandi's color palettes for inspiration and in fact mixing colors is one of my favorite parts about beadmaking.

Here are the beads I made using the color palette. I kept them simple with stripe and leaf canes to tie into my upcoming workshop. You can find these in my Etsy shop.

I whipped up a set of these beads into a fun bracelet yesterday with a ceramic sea urchin from Blueberri Beads, a lampwork spacers from Genea, starfish clasp from Green Girl Studio and wood beads from Rings & Things.

This bracelet is a serious multi-tasker, not only does it tie into the Art Bead Scene's May Challenge, it also happens to be my Jewelry Making Mojo piece, which is all about creating jewelry from a color palette this week!

I cover the stripe and leaf canes in our first week of the Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp. I'm going to show you how using a simple cane can open up a world of possibilities. So yes, you could learn to make beads like these and so much more during my four week class. 

I really wanted to create an online experience that goes beyond watching a video or downloading a PDF. A few points I'd like to share about the workshop:
  • It's a self-paced course, your assignments arrive every Monday but you can work on them at your own pace.  
  • On Thursday nights I will host an optional weekly chat in our private Facebook group to help you with any questions or troubleshooting from that week's assignments. 
  • Interacting in a classroom, seeing what others create, talking to the instructor - all of intangibles that make taking a class so invaluable are what I'd like to create for you in this weekly format. 
If you've always wanted to learn how to make beads, crack the code to using color confidently or pick up some of my baking tricks to achieve that earthy, organic feel - this class is for you!

Early bird registration ends May 15th. Read all the details here.

May 7, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday

Today on my bead table? A growing stack of these little fellows.  Adorable aren't they?  They have been made to go with goodies like these:

I've been enjoying taking Pinterest vacations to India lately.  The colors of the powders at the markets, the patterns and textures of the printed and embroidered fabric, the colors and details of the buildings - it's enough to make a girl swoon.

Let's travel together for a minute:
I'm committing a blogging faux pas because I'm just going to say: click here to see more details on each photo.  Many of them were pinned without attributing their original source from other pinners and I was just collecting them for inspiration. Please forgive me photographers and blog readers. 

So what's on your bead table today? Share your link below or use hashtag #BeadTableWednesday on Instagram.

May 6, 2014

The Art of Color Polymer Clay Bootcamp

I've received many requests to host an online class so I finally decided to listen and created this amazing color and cane beadmaking course that stars these awesome Sunflowers inspired by Van Gogh.  It's a four week course that will cover an array of my favorite color tricks, the ins and outs of color theory and how all that info can help you make better beads.  We'll start out with simple canes, building on your skills until you are ready to tackle the sunflower and create color palettes like the one below.  Are you excited? Because I am!

 Thank you Vincent for the endless inspiration!
I've wanted to revisit Van Gogh's paintings to create a new series of beads for a while now.  This class was the push that got me going! I couldn't be happier with these lovely sunflowers.  My next beads will be Van Gogh's Irises and his Almond Blossom painting.  You can find the Sunflowers in my Etsy shop right now.

Visit my website to see all the workshop details and to sign up for the class!

Humblebeads Giveaway!
Help me spread the word this week about the class to win a $50 gift certificate to my Etsy shop.

To Enter:
 Share on Facebook, twitter, pin it on Pinterest or all three.  
Leave a comment below. 
Sharing on each site will get one entry, just be sure to let me know where you shared. 
I will draw a winner this Saturday.

May 5, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 8: Color Palette Inspiration

Thanks to sites like Design Seeds and Pinterest there is an abundance of color inspiration for the picking. Last week we played with one color this week we are going to take it to the next level.

Your Assignment:
Find a color palette to use as teh inspiration for your next jewelry design. Pick a color palette that isn't your go-to colors! Think outside the box this week.

Extra credit: Use the same color palette in different proportions to create two different pieces of jewelry. (See Below)

Tips for Working with Color Palettes:
First you can find a million amazing color palettes on Design Seeds or check out my Pin board for ideas. I happen to love the color palettes that Brandi Hussey created for the Art Bead Scene challenges, like the one above.

Both of these designs use the same color palette - the one of the left is predominately the light blue with the copper color as the secondary. The bracelet on the other hand used the copper hues as the main color with green, yellow and blue as accents in equal parts.

By varying the proportions of the colors you can find a great deal of inspiration in one single color palette.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 8 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.  Can you still join? Yes! You can follow along and do all 12 weeks or pick and choose the ones you find inspiring. 

May 3, 2014

Willam Morris Beads

You know when an artist just speaks your language?  Their images just make your soul sing?  Designer William Morris speaks my language - loud and clear.  Mr. Morris was a textile designer who was part of the Arts & Crafts Movement which celebrated the marriage of nature, design and the handmade. The Arts and Crafts Movement was from the 1860s-1910's.

"It stood for traditional craftsmanship using simple forms and often applied medieval, romantic or folk styles of decoration." - Wikipedia

That my kind of movement!   Inpsired by William Morris' designs and colors I created three sets of pendants and beads in a few of my favorite styles.

Above is Honeysuckle.  Oh my gosh, I loved tasting honeysuckle as a kid and every time I smell those sweet blossoms it takes me right back to my childhood.
This set is called Willow Bough inspired by the branches of a Weeping Willow tree.  I love, love this design. Jess made me the most spectacular jewelry box with the pattern on the front of it.  It's definitely near and dear to my heart.

And the last design is called Windrush.  I've seen it in several colorways over the years but decided to go with a blue/teal monochromatic design.

You can find these in my Etsy shop.  I only have a few sets available now. These are some of the new styles I will have at Bead & Button this year as I'm working on a series of Art Inspired beads.  Which ones are your favorite?