November 25, 2014

Polyvore App Tutorial For Jewelry Designers

If you caught my webinar last week on Visually Branding Your Jewelry Business, I mentioned Polyvore quite a bit. I hope you've had a chance to explore the site.

If not, Polyvore is a fashion collage website. It's a super fun and easy way to share your jewelry matched up with an outfit. 

And today I'm going to show you how to use the Polyvore app to use on your mobile device. Do you have to wait for an appointment this week or stuck in the car for a holiday road trip - give the app a try and do a little creative promoting during those spare minutes. Each rectangle below is a screen shot on my Ipod. 
First - clipping your jewelry. Your jewelry has to be for sale in your shop or website first.

1. Open the app and and go to create > add items > clip items from web
2. Type in your shop URL. 
3. Click on your items and press the clip button in the too right corner.
4. Press the like button on the window that pops up to save your item. 
5. Your item is now saved in the "my Items" category on the app and your profile on the Polyvore website too. 
6. On the create page on the app, click on the "my items" to find your jewelry and add it to your collage. 

Create a Collage
1. Go to create
2. Add your jewelry and search for items to create your outfit. You can search by category, brand or website. I started out searching for Modcloth for this example.
3. After you add your items you can arrange your collage. Add text or look up images to spruce up your collage. 

I looked up 'Christmas' to find the Noel graphic, which turned out to be a card on Etsy. To add text, click add item and scroll down to Text. 

4. When you are ready, click the lines on the upper right corner and click publish.

5. Add your title, description. You can add # hashtags, click on the hashtag on the bottom of the app and scroll through the list to find a few relevant tags. If you used a brand @ or # them. 

6. Press publish and start to share!

After your item is published, click on the share button on the lower right. You can share it on social media and even blog your outfit. 

Your jewelry is now catalogued on Polyvore and on the collage with a link to your item.

You can follow and connect with others on Polyvore. But it's not necessary. 

Woodland Holiday Party

Another way to get this fancy image and product link listing underneath log into your account on the Polyvore website, go to your sets, click the blog button at the top. You can choose your layout, if you want to post directly to your blog or grab the code to embed into your blog post. You can use the blogger button on the app to share, but if you have more than one blog I get a little nervous which one it's going to post too and you can't pick which layout you'd like. But it is fast and easy if those two items aren't an issue for you.

November 23, 2014

Micheals Beading Challenge Blog Hop with a Twist

Are you ready for a big dose of color and bead inspiration? I'm so exited to announce that Lorelei Eurto and I are co-hosting another Michael's Beading Challenge Blog Hop.

And we want you to play along!

Go to your Michael's craft store and buy these beads. This week, for an extra incentive to play along, the Bead Gallery beads are 40% off! There is an extra 25% coupon off even sale items today. Check the coupon page for details.

The bead details:

So here are the rules: 

You must have a blog to participate. It's a blog hop! 

Don't have one but want to start one? Lorelei has a nice ecourse on setting up a blogger blog from start to finish. Get it here. 

Use the beads shown here, and you can add in up to 2 additional bead types to your design. 

And the twist? Let's also support small businesses. 

If you are able, have your +2 types of beads from a beadmaker, local bead store or indie bead seller online. Your +2 beads can be ones you pick up for the challenge or ones in your stash. Make sure you include a shout out to the small business that you are supporting in your blog post.

Create any piece of jewelry you like, with the beads, using your own choice of focal.  If you want to make a necklace, and some matching bracelet and earrings... the sky is the limit.

Choose any design you like, using any technique - that'll be the fun part of the whole thing- to see what different things you can do with these same beads.

Not to worry! If you find similar beads somewhere like Hobby Lobby, go ahead and use 'em.  Seeing what everyone does with similar beads, is half the fun. If you can't find a particular bead strand at Michael's you can substitute a similar one. 

Reveal Date: December 18th

If you want to participate -  Come to my blog the morning of December 18th (reveal Day) and use the Link Up tool to add your blog links. I find this to be the easiest way to keep track of all the participants. So mark your calendars, buy the beads, create beautiful things, and get your blog posts ready for December 18th for a great hop. 

We know it's a crazy busy time of year - use the challenge to make a gift or two. You'll have an interesting blog post and an item checked off your holiday gift list - get two things done at once! 

Please feel free to leave comments on this post, or questions too. that color palette above? Check out the new issue of Step by Step Wire to see my contribution to as the new Color Canvas guru! 

(In case you are wondering, this isn't a sponsored post by Michael's or Halcraft Beads. Just two creative girls looking for a way to connect with our beady friends and share some inspiration!)

November 20, 2014

Black Friday Dilemma

Okay, so I have been thinking, pondering, mulling it over and I'm pretty sure I'm 100% anti-Black Friday. And super anti-Black Friday for those poor folks that have to work on Thanksgiving. I mean I like deals and bargains and a good hunt, but at what price is the deal costing other people?

I like to live in a world where stores are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm an old-fashioned mid-west girl. I live in a town where the stores downtown close at 7 pm on weeknights and you have to drive to the next town to see a mall.

I want small events in artist's studios and shopping at local artists markets. I want to shop downtown and support all those hard-working mom-and-pop shops that make up the landscape of my beloved home town. I want to shop online with my friends and artists that I have been admiring all year.

But I'm also a business owner and have a family to take care of and know that everyone is getting ready to buy gifts and make gifts and start the whole shopping frenzy. I love that that my business helps those who want to buy handmade and honor small businesses. I love that I have a business that encourages creative folks to make gifts for the holidays. It's all great stuff and I'm a holiday nut and love celebrating the holiday season.

So my dilemma, I've decided to not offer a Black Friday-Cyber Monday sale. I've decided to offer my big holiday special early and have came up with a plan for December that makes me happy and ready to pull out a candy cane and hot cocoa!

Humblebeads Holiday Specials:

The Big Sale! 
My big pre-holiday sale is the return of the biggest deal I offer. This is super limited, only 8 are in stock. Like the image says, it's a 1/2 off voucher that you can use right away! Grab yours right here, right now!

Item of the Week:
Starting Monday every week until January, I will send out an Item of the Week email with a special item that will be on sale. There will limited quantities for the item of the week. Email subscribers may find exclusive bonus coupon codes throughout the holidays. Don't miss out!

Subscribe to the Humblebeads email list - the bead emails will include free projects, biz tips and all the good stuff I have always offered.

Subscribe to the Humblebeads Jewelry email list - look for gift guides, gift-wrapping ideas and fun ways to celebrate the season.

Rewards for Repeat Customers
If you are a repeat customer, you'll find little coupon codes to use for December included in your orders.

December 6th - Humblebeads Holiday Trunk Show - This will be a private invitation only event in South Haven. If you live near me, know me and want to attend, send me a quick email for details.

December 10th & 11th - Humblebeads Online Trunk Show - This will be a one-of-a-kind, sample and overstock sale in a private Facebook group. You'll find jewelry, bead grab bags and more during the event. Details will be posted later this weekend.

I am going to pick a random email subscriber from both my bead and jewelry email lists for a $50 holiday shopping spree. You have until Sunday at midnight to subscribe.  You may subscribe to both lists to double your chances of winning. Winners may redeem their gift certificates at either my bead or jewelry website.

Okay - candy canes ready - let's enjoy a less crazed, much happier holiday season this year!!!

November 18, 2014

Visually Branding Your Jewelry Business

I'm super excited to be hosting my first webinar for Interweave today. Just like the title says I'll be sharing all my tips and tricks for visually branding and promoting your business. 

The live webinar starts at 1PM EST today, so there is still time to sign up and join us. During the live webinar you get to ask questions and then after the webinar the recording version is sent out. So even if you can't make it today you can sign up and listen in later this week.  

  • How to create a mood board to help tell your story visually
  • Use the power of branding to grow your jewelry business
  • Learn what formats and sizes to create your images for the different social media platforms
  • Explore unexpected ways to visually promote your jewelry
  • Discover how to stand out with your printed materials
  • Jewelry designers just starting to sell their jewelry.
  • Seasoned designers who want to improve their online marketing skills.
  • Designers who feel lost at promoting their work online and could use a few guidelines.
  • Jewelry designers who want to stand out at shows.
  • Designers who are ready to get more attention online without feeling pushy or invasive.
  • Jewelry makers who want to wow their customers with creative yet affordable packaging.
  • Designers who aren't sure if they are a brand but would certainly like to sell more jewelry online and off!

In the webinar I'm going to talk about defining your dream client and thought I'd share my blog post on who my dream client is that I wrote a few years ago and now use as my guide for creating jewelry and marketing my business. Read Thoughts on My Target Market here

November 16, 2014

I Took the Art Bead Scene Challenge

So it's time for another round of the Art Bead Scene editors taking a turn at creating jewelry the monthly challenge and sharing our work in a blog hop. This month's painting is by Martin Johnson Heade.

For the challenge, I dug into my bead boxes to see what I already had and started my projects from there. I would say I was inspired by the challenge but not in a literal way. My pieces have hints of the inspiration painting, but I found the beads led this way this time around!

I started this necklace with my Orchid pendant. I made this pendant early this year in honor of Pantone's color of the year: Radiant Orchid.

To accent the pendant I paired up lampwork from Sea of Glass, ceramic round from White Clover Kiln. The purple ceramic charm from Marsha Neal reminded me of the shape of the nest in the painting. I thought the butterfly charm from Gardanne pulled in some of the darker colors from the painting, the Green Girl Pewter nest seemed an easy pick, and then the copper leaf charm from Vintaj added a little tropical charm along with a tiny glass teardrop. The design has a toggle clasp above the pendant with a copper branch and a fine brass chain.

I tried to capture that lush feel that the painting has with lots of layered elements.

The next piece is further removed from the subject matter and pulled the inspiration from the colors of the painting.

I started out with a pink ceramic owl pendant in the same shade as the orchid - the pendant is from Andrew Thornton. A Diane Hawkey Inspire bead brings a little message to the necklace - always good to encourage random inspiration! A tiny orchid bird that I made is paired up with a green ceramic bead from White Clover Kiln. I added a few wrapped beads that has sari silk ribbon and seed beads. 

This necklace just makes me all kinds of crazy happy, must be those fun and playful colors! 

Earrings with enamel leaves from Gardanne, speckled wobbles from me and Czech glass from a little punch of color. 

For the next set, I pulled the color palette back and focused on the purples with a neutrals of grey and my metals. The lampwork headpin is from Pumpkin Hill Beads, the pewter nest is a Green Girl Studio creation and then I paired them up with my speckled wobble and tiny bird in shades of orchid and lilac. 

Matching earrings with enamel oak leaves from Gardanne, my wobbles and Czech glass.

And then I felt like I only make pendants for these challenges so I wanted to work up a bracelet. I don't make enough bracelets - what's up with that? I started with my tiny bird in emerald and few wobbles, added in a great ceramic bead from Starry Road Studio that looked very nest-ish. The toggle is from my friend and fellow ABS editor, Mary Harding and then I used a Vintaj leaf that I textured for the other side of the bracelet. The leaf is from Pumpkin Hill Beads.

 I really love how this turned out!

I have mixed my metals using copper, brass, and steel/arte metal to play with the darker colors found in the painting. 

And to finish today I have a pair of earrings that fit the tropical theme with enameled leaves from Gardanne and my speckled wobbles (can you tell they are a fav!).

Head on over to the Art Bead Scene today to check out what everyone else has done. And you should definately pull out your beads today or later this week and play along with us!

Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge

The ABS Editors Take the Challenge Blog Hop - see what everyone made for this month's challenge!

Humblebeads Jewelry  - these will be available in my jewelry shop later this afternoon.

November 4, 2014

Autumn Inspirations Booklet

Color inspirations - I can't get enough when it comes to creating jewelry! I'm always on the hunt for a new beautiful color palette to incorporate into my beads and jewelry. In a rut - find a new and unexpected color palette to inspire your designs. Want to create something trendy - find a fashion forward Pantone color palette. Not confident in your color yet? Start by finding palettes that you love and go from there.

If you haven't seen the Color Canvas feature before it starts with a photo that I take, a color palette pulled from the photo and a piece of jewelry inspired by both. Oh my gosh, it's so much fun!!! My first column is in the Dec/Jan issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry and you can download it now!

To celebrate my new gig as the Color Canvas contributor for Step by Step Wire magazine I created a free Autumn Inspirations color palette booklet.

Grab a cup of chai tea and enjoy a dose of autumn color and design inspiration! I've created a 10 page booklet with four gorgeous color palettes, design ideas, trendy tips and my favorite bead picks for each color palette featuring beads from Humblebeads and Lima Beads. 

It's a leaf collecting, pumpkin surprising, woodland walking bead romp that you won't want to miss! Print it out and use it the next time you sit down to make jewelry. 

Psst...You'll need Adobe Reader to access the PDF booklet. It's free here but your computer probably already has it.

November 2, 2014

Holiday Beads

Woodland Winter Inspirations:
Hand-knits, snowflakes, birch forests and evergreen trees, wreathes and mistletoe, tiny log cabins and holiday glad tidings.

Drinking cocoa, watching the snowflakes fall while bundled up under a quilt brings joy.

Family gatherings with laughter and sweet treats during the cold winter days warms the heart.

Festive decorations and glad tidings shared during the holidays.

Being a little elf and making gifts for friends near and far.

Walking in snowy forests, silent and still and knowing peace.

All my favorite things from the holidays rolled into this collection of beads. Can beads capture a little magic? I think so!


These have been in the works for a few weeks, but seeing the first snowfall of the season on Friday certainly put me in the mood to finish them. I will enjoy each moment of November and the last whispers of Autumn, as we should! But it's never too early to start planning those gifts.

You can find the collection over in my Etsy shop ready to ship out.