Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Still Alive

I just thought I'd drop in quickly to say that, yes, I am still here! I've received such wonderful, kind messages from friends and colleagues over the past months. Thank you all - I really appreciate it. All of my time in the real world has been spent taking care of the Short One over the past few months (who is doing very well, I hasten to say). However, as a result, I've just been too tired to keep up with the blog and really haven't created any new jewelry recently (although you should see how crammed with ideas my sketch book is these days).

Here's a piece that I created earlier in the year that I thought would be timely to share. Despite the stark color combinations, I think it has a bit of a holiday vibe going. What do you think? Pearls, rubies and lava rock, all tied neatly together with a beautiful pendant by Saki silver.

We're slowly getting ready for our annual celebration, here. This is the first year the SO has been really excited about Christmas. He insisted on handling most of the tree-trimming himself this past Sunday - which, of course, means that 80% of our ornaments are now hanging from the three bottom-most branches of our rather large evergreen.

I hope you are doing well, too. Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Winner, British Bead Awards 2010

I am so very pleased to announce that my piece, "Geology", has won First Place in the "Other Finished Bead Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards. This piece is a personal favorite of mine, so I couldn't be happier.

I'm also quite happy, as this is actually a piece that failed to place in a different contest earlier this year (followers of my blog may recognize it).

In the past couple years, there has been a lot of interesting writing in the blogosphere about jewelry design contests and what it means for artists to put themselves out there to enter contests - and how it feels if their pieces do not make the cut. Most of this dialogue has been in connection with the Bead Dreams competition (in fact, if you are not already familiar with it, I highly recommend you visit "Didn't Make it into Bead Dreams - But Still Winners!" on Facebook which contains photos from interested contributors of the most jaw-droppingly gorgeous designs I have ever seen), but I think what these artists have to say ring true for any contest or submission process.

I don't think there could possibly be a person out there who doesn't feel at least a little depressed to receive a notice of rejection, whether it be for a magazine project, book proposal, contest or what have you. An artist always has an investment in what she creates and a sense of pride (or at least she should!) - it's hard not to take it personally when someone tells you that the piece doesn't fit or isn't exactly what they're looking for. I think it's so important in these instances to remember that judging any design is subjective and that not all judges will agree on what makes a piece outstanding or even use the same criteria for what makes a piece suitable for a particular category of design.

I've done pretty well by the contests I entered in 2010, but, believe me, I've had my fair share of rejections, too, including the one for which "Geology" was originally entered. However, as I said, I really like this piece - I had and continue to have a positive feeling about it. So, when I had the opportunity to enter it in the British Bead Awards, I moved forward. And I think the award is much more meaningful to me, as a result of this history.

As if that weren't enough, I have also earned Second Place in the "Metal Clay Jewellery" category of the 2010 British Bead Awards for "Words of Love". I created this piece specifically to enter the British Bead Awards. As I mentioned earlier, the design was pretty experimental for me - one of those concepts I wasn't sure anyone but me would actually like, so I'm quite excited to have placed with this design as well.

Thank you so much to Bead Magazine and to the judges of the British Bead Awards. I'm so grateful to have been a part of the Awards this year, and - my favorite part - I can't wait to see the other finalists' designs when they're published later this winter!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finalist, British Bead Awards 2010

The winners will not be announced for a few more weeks, but I can now share the news that I am a finalist in the 2010 British Bead Awards. Here's one of my two pieces. As you can see, I've continued with my "Love is a Puzzle" series, here, this time with a word search design instead of a maze.

I called it "Words of Love", but that's actually a bit of a misnomer, as there's only really one loving word in this piece. Can you find it? I've designed mazes before (at least on paper - "The Way to My Heart" was my first attempt to translate one into silver), but this was my first attempt at putting together a word search. I wanted to ensure that there was only one solution to this puzzle, but I found it was irritatingly difficult to prevent myself from unintentionally spelling words when putting this together. I think I managed it, though. I think. (If you find any others, don't tell me - I don't want to know!)

As usual, this piece was inspired by my son's love of puzzles. As a preschooler, the Short One's spelling is still pretty shaky, but it doesn't prevent him from poring over word search puzzles and making up his own words. As for me, I just thought the display of letters had nice, graphic appeal and tried to translate that into a piece of jewelry. I made this piece specifically to enter this year's British Bead Awards. I wasn't really sure anyone else would agree with my point of view on this one, so I'm particularly pleased that "Words of Love" was juried into the finals. Winners will be announced at The Big Bead Show in England on October 30, 2010. Wish me luck!

Go here to find out more about the British Bead Awards and to see a photo of my prize-winning piece from 2009 ("Cabinet of Curiosity", pictured at the bottom of the page on the right hand side).

ps. For anyone interested, the beautiful, rough crystals I strung with the pendant are green garnet.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Psst, There's a Giveaway Going On!

Andrew Thornton is giving away a set of my more seasonal (my favorite season, really) work on his blog this week. Yep, all five charms will go to one lucky winner next week. Please go here to enter!

As for me, just hang that scarlet letter "A" on me right now, for "Absentee". Absentee Blogger, Absentee Beader, Absentee Beadmaker. I can hardly believe it, but I haven't touched a single bead in over a month, either to string or make. Somebody help me snap out of it. Please!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Rare Opportunity

One of my favorite people in the whole world, Jean Yates, is holding a rare one-day sale. Would you like to own this beautiful bracelet (and who wouldn't)? Please visit Jean's blog for details. But hurry, as the sale ends tomorrow at midnight.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Psst - Sale Going On!

In case you don't already know - Andrew Thornton is currently holding a big studio sale. I didn't act fast enough and missed out on a beautiful Jeremy Sinkus jellyfish pendant, but as of the time I write this post, this beauty - from the early days of Green Girl Studios - is still available. Please someone save me from myself and buy this before I do! Go here to check out all of the goodies.

Monday, August 23, 2010


The Short One is truly on vacation this week, so we've been lounging around at home. We spent the morning dyeing paper. This project is one I remember doing when I was slightly older than the SO (although we used paper towels rather than coffee filters - I rather like the coffee filters). It was pretty satisfying (the SO loves messing with food coloring and mixing colors generally), but we did run out of space pretty quickly:

I'm sure this will be on our agenda again later this week.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend. Here are your links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
For this week's Thursday Giveaway, TWO winners will walk away with beautiful bead sets created by Gaea Ceramic Beads.

About.com Jewelry Making
Have you ever thought about expanding your jewelry business but need a little mulla to do so? Then you may want to learn more about this jewelry grant.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows the results of her experiments with Ice Resin and LEDs... Light! Science!

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
This week Cindy's Mad for Monday is about the frit.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews Making Mixed Media Art Charms and Jewelry: not to be missed!

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week Carmi makes a floral tribute necklace with fabric flowers.

Beading Arts
Chapter three of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Dimensional Beading" looks at how to use textural stitches in your bead embroidery!

A Bead A Day
Do you have plenty of beads in all the right colors? Lisa is exploring the meaning of the color purple and discovers she might need to do some bead shopping!

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog! Join us as we embark on an exploration.

Strands of Beads
Melissa unveils her new Saturn charm.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

M-A's Hearts

My friend Mary-Ann wanted to make, or have her talented daughter Liz make, matching Dragon Heart earrings for the two of them. We discussed it and decided I would make a slightly larger version of the charm for necklaces to make the set complete. So the larger versions are about double the size of the original charm but still significantly smaller than my original Dragon Heart pendant. I think they're pretty cute as a set!

Thanks for the inspiration, M-A! (Tell Liz she has to send me pics once she finishes your jewelry!)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Have Spaceship, Will Travel

Here's another new entry in my book of charms. Images of Saturn are so beautiful and classic looking - I couldn't resist making it my third space-themed charm. (Erin Prais-Hintz has had this uncanny ability to read my mind when it comes to upcoming designs - she's done it at least three times in the past year. Each time I read one of her comments, my first response has been: "Shhhh! Don't tell anyone else - I'm not ready yet!" If you look at my earlier rocket ship charm post, you'll see she got me again. It did motivate me to finish up these charms, though. Thanks, Erin!)

Actually, this isn't the first Saturn bead I've made. This design - all of the space designs, really - date back to 2008, when I first had the idea to develop a line of space-themed beads. I did create this three dimensional Saturn back then, but, as usual, I got distracted and moved on to other projects.

I think these charms are a modest beginning in the right direction. Hopefully, I'll be continue down this road (including more of the larger, three dimensional Saturns) this year.

In the meantime, though, I'll enjoy these charms. I hope you do, too.

By the way, does anyone know the origin of the title of this post? It's a slight misquote of the title of one of my all-time favorite science fiction books from when I was a kid. I'm just wondering if there are any other fans out there!

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Shipping Reduction

I have to admit, when I started making the charms a couple weeks ago, I had a bit of a dilemma - keep my standard Priority Mail shipping for the charms or more over to First Class Mail? I really prefer Priority Mail - it's convenient and it's somewhat trackable. However, I was preparing to mail my winner's charm to her last night, and it just seemed like overkill to insist on boxing it up and sending it Priority. So, I'm going to try something different. For the time being, only the charms will carded and bagged, rather than boxed, and shipped via First Class in a padded envelope. We'll see how that works out.

If you are a designer or beadmaker, and are willing to share your opinion, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on how you handle shipping.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


No matter how many years pass, I can never get over how beautiful the water lilies look at this time of year. Because I am a local, I tend to take the Chicago Botanic Garden a bit for granted and hardly ever remember to bring my camera with me when I visit. I took it with me for the kite festival last weekend and actually remembered to snap photos of a few of my favorites from the garden as well.

Here's a little visual inspiration for you - aren't they stunning? It makes me want to run out and create water-themed pieces.

Salad Days

Here's a pic of last night's salad. Apart from carefully arranging crustless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sliced diagonally, with fruit and a pickle for the SO, I have absolutely no sense of mise en place - hence the extreme close-up here. Red and yellow cherry tomatoes from the garden over fresh mozzarella, drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and topped with fresh basil. (The basil is also from the garden, but don't look too closely at my poor excuse for chiffonade.) Simple but yummy.

The weather has been nice and warm this year where we live so our tomato plants have been going gangbusters. We have also had a nice yield of okra, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, swiss chard, etc., etc. Now if only we could convince the SO to eat any of it...

I actually spent last night making a few more charms. I've had a couple orders to fulfill, so I hope to fire the kiln again on Tuesday - which means I should have at least one or two new designs to show off again. I think my design development is finally slowing down, though. I'll probably be moving on to something else in the next week or two.

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Here are your links for the week:

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie joins some up with some hacker friends to play with LEDs and Ice Resin

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi pulls out her buttons to make a jeweled attachment for sweaters.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy found some inspiration by way of some very cool clasps!

Beading Arts
Do you like art charms? Visit Beading Arts and sign up to win a copy of a brand new book on making them!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean continues her analysis of the jewelry designers whom she admires--wait!!!--loves! with some of her favorite seed beaders and weavers on "The Jean's List"!

Art Bead Scene
Get your inspiration on for the August Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge. Think "Sunrise."

Cindy Gimbrone, The Lampwork Diva
Cindy previews an upcoming newsletter series, Happy HalloweenMas. Sign up for her newsletter to find out what it's all about.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei is always inspired by music, and shares a favorite tune by Tori Amos.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Do you have a collection of lampwork beads nobody ever sees? Embrace simple, easy designs to showcase your glass treasures! Andrew shares five quick projects to inspire you to finally wear them!

Strands of Beads
Melissa puts a new twist on her skully charm by pairing it with a new cutlass design.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, August 13, 2010

And the Winner is...

The results are in - the Short One has selected a winner. I was quite amused that on this day of all days, Friday the 13th, the SO chose

as the winner. Lucky 7 is Michelle Mach - congratulations, Michelle! Let me know which charm you would like to have and send your mailing address to me at melissa[at]melissajlee.com.

I had a great turnout for this giveaway, and I really appreciate it. As a special "thank you" to everyone who entered, I'm offering 20% off all items in my new store through Sunday, August 15th. Just enter the promotional code CHARMED when you check out to have the discount applied. (Any orders placed during this period will ship out early next week.)

Thank you again and have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Avast Ye Scurvy Dogs

Like most of us, I'm sure, I look forward with great enthusiasm to International Talk Like a Pirate Day (which will roll around with its usual inevitability on September 19th). This year, I plan on being really prepared with jewelry to match. I thought I could turn one of my skully charms a little more pirate-y if I paired it with a little cutlass. What do you think?

And thus, here's the last charm for the week. Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fly Me To the Moon

I think I have to face facts that I'm not going to be able to keep up the pace of design that I've enjoyed for the past few weeks. I might have one more new charm to show you before the contest deadline, but that will be it. The others will have to wait until next week - at least. The Short One will be on vacation for the next several weeks (his school starts quite late), so all bets are off as to how much I'll be able to get done. Still, it's been a fun couple weeks. Thanks for joining me!

Here's a cute little rocketship. I wanted to created a charm that would complement the moon design I unveiled earlier:

I think they'd make a cute pair of earrings. What do you think? I'm working on a third space-themed charm, but I'm positive I won't be able to introduce it until next week.

There are still two days left to enter my charming charm giveaway. Go here, if you haven't already entered.

Thanks for visiting.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Bite Me

It's close enough to the Witching Hour to show off my little fang charms. Have I mentioned yet how much I love this time of year?

Honestly, I can't decide if these are cool or cheesy, but I do like how they came out. They are pretty small, too:

As with the rest of the charms I've unveiled this week, these are also a part of the giveaway, should the winner like this design the best. Go here to enter.

Thanks for visiting.

Minimize Me

Here's a smaller version of my Stop Traffic pendant. I was originally going to try putting colored concrete in the pendant, rather than resin, but changed my mind at the last minute. I may try it in a later batch of charms, though. I threw this particular charm on a chain this morning and wore it to morning drop-off at the SO's camp. It was a good look, although, as is typical for me, I find that I have practically no shirts with the right collar for wearing a charm necklace.

Speaking of which, I sat down the other night and tried to come up with a few jewelry designs to support the new charms. I was completely flummoxed when I discovered that, since I usually like big, chunky designs, I have virtually no beads delicate enough to string with the charms. It seems I'm going to have to go bead shopping soon. What a fate worse than death, eh?

As with my previous posts, this charm is also included as one of the giveaway charms, if it happens to be the winner's favorite! Please visit my earlier post to enter the drawing.

Thanks for visiting.

Go Fly a Kite

The Chicago Botanic Garden held its annual Kite Festival this past weekend. We decided to attend with the Short One this year and ended up having a great time.

Kites are so beautiful, aren't they? To be honest, I don't have many memories flying kites when I was a child, but I've always admired their colorful designs.

I was rather partial to this dragon, but the owners had some trouble getting it up in the air.

We all thought the shark was rather cool, too.

In addition, the Chicago Fire Kite Team performed with amazing stunt kite flying. I'd never even heard of this before - it was interesting to see formation kite flying (there are videos on the Garden website here, if you're interested).

It was a fun family event. The SO had the opportunity to make his own small paper kite, and we ended up taking a larger one home with us to fly in the field near our house.

I hope you had a good weekend, too. I actually finished up four more charm designs (with yet another 3 designs in process, believe it or not), so expect pics shortly. (And, yes, I have thought about making a kite charm but am still grappling with making the tail sturdy enough for daily wear...)

In the meantime, here are your links for the week:

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean explains a bit more about "The Jean's List", an ongoing selection of her favorite jewelry designers selected from all types of jewelry!

A Bead A Day
Lisa's exloring the concept of "happy jewelry"! Stop by and share your thoughts on expressing happiness in your jewelry designs.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei visits a cool lampwork artist in Atlanta, and tries her hand at making a bead.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi whips up a one hour brooch project with left over chain.

Katie's Beading Blog
See 3 bloggers' ideas for painting metal, stringing crystals and making custom toggles using my new components.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy has spotted several celebrities who have new jewelry lines and wonders what you think about this.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Cindy learns that the fourth time can be a charm.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie's friend David Erk Nelson shares a free project from his upcoming book Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred...a stuffed Cthulhu sock toy!

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene gets creative with storing supplies.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Offered up in this week's Thursday Giveaway is a pack of Katiedid Creative Components by Katie Hacker.

Beading Arts
Metal clay is a great material to have in your jewelry-making repertoire!

Strands of Beads
Melissa is giving away one of her new fine silver charms this week. Enter now!

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Even More Charming...

I finished a few more charm designs. Here's the first - a cute little ladybug. Once again, this reflects recent interests in our household. Among other things, the Short One discovered the joys of bug collecting this summer. He started out with fireflies but got terribly excited and ended up bringing all manner of grasshoppers, beetles and crawly things-in-a-jar into the house. Here's the one I find the most innocuous (as long as they don't travel in hordes, at least - is there a term for a group of them?), a little lucky ladybug.

I wasn't so sure about this next design:

Little silver buttons always strike me as being very ladylike for some reason. Not that I have much personal experience with this, frankly. And they are quite dainty:

I wanted to develop a design to complement the skulls, so I came up with a new version of an old favorite of mine - an eye charm. As you can see, this is a human eye rather than a dragon eye. I didn't really mean it to be a charm against the evil eye, but I guess, inevitably, it probably looks like one:

It's a bit big compared to the skull (almost twice the size, really), but I think might work well in a grouping, maybe with one of the mini dragon hearts.

Finally, I just kind of cut this charm off the cuff the night I was working on the others:

Yep, a classic cobweb. I used a few large round cobweb pendants last year for Halloween-themed designs. I think setting the design in the rectangular tag-shaped charm, gives it a nice effect. This, too, is larger than the other charms,

but still pretty understated and small for me. I only made one of these, but I liked the way this one turned out, so I'll probably make a few more, especially given that we're heading into my favorite time of year again. (I had serious negotiations with the SO yesterday about Halloween costumes. Robin - of Batman and Robin - seems to be the frontrunner at the moment.)

Anyway, I'm currently tinkering with two more designs, and a couple more on the sketch pad, so there will probably be a few more things to show before I turn my attention back to boxes and bigger pieces. Don't forget, my Charming Charm Giveaway is running until Friday the 13th - so be sure to enter by posting a comment here. These designs are included in the giveaway, should the winner prefer one of these designs to the others I posted earlier this week. (And they are also available in the shop, for any interested parties.)

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Charming Giveaway

As sad as it is to confess, my sense of style - where jewelry is concerned - sort of got stuck in the 80s. I like big pieces. Big earrings (back in the day, if they weren't at least 2" long, they weren't really earrings), big pendants, big statement jewelry. Big. Not small.

So, when I decided to make a Man in the Moon pendant (the Short One is very into the Man in the Moon these days), I planned on making a relief version similar in shape and size to the hippo one. Pretty straightforward.

In the meantime, however, I had a request from a customer to make a simple set of "Java Jive" letter charms. The night I made them, on a whim, I cut a simple moon face charm (above). And, well, I liked it. Simple, slightly rough looking. It worked for me. And it was small, probably the smallest piece I've ever made. See?

Well, I thought, why stop there? I made a few mini skully pendants:

This design was one of the earliest I created. I made the first one about a month after I started working with metal clay. Except the original version is about twice as big as this one. These are small and light enough to work perfectly well as earring components. Cool! So I decided to shrink yet another favorite, older design:

Here's a tiny version of my dragon heart pendant, just about 11mm square. Anyway, these all turned out quite well (in my humble opinion). As a test, I hung one of the little skullys on a ball chain, wore it around over the weekend and liked the result. So, I sat down with the clay and made a small school of fish:

You can probably tell where I'm headed, here. Not only do I have these four charm designs, I have two more on the table with prototypes for an additional two and sketches for at least one more. Yes, I'm completely charmed! Charms are charming!

Would you like to share my current joy in smallness? If so, please leave a comment here, below this post. On Friday, August 13th (an auspicious day if there ever was one), the SO will pick a winner. The winner, in turn, may pick one favorite charm, among not only the charms in this post but any I show off on the blog before the 13th, to be mailed to her or him. The usual rules apply - no "Anonymous" posters, please.

Oh, and if you can't wait until the 13th, I've put a few of the finished charms in the shop.

Thanks for visiting - I hope to hear from you!

UPDATE: You can view more charms here, here, here and here.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Here's a little bagatelle of a pendant from me - a cute little hippo dreaming (probably) of rainbow-colored ice cream. Yum.

As I mentioned yesterday, after my grand statement that I wanted to focus on big three-dimensional pieces, I went off on a tangent and created this medallion pendant, among other clearly small, two-dimensional pieces. Oh, well. Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, as they say.

Anyway, this little guy's been on my list of things to do for the past year. Back in the days when the Short One's vocabulary consisted solely of "No", "Mommy", "want" and a variety of animal names, we took a plane flight to New York. The SO had trouble with ear pressure during the descent and, in an attempt to distract him, I grabbed his doodle erase board and started sketching animals for him to identify. About fifteen animals later, the plane landed, and we toodled off the plane and had a fine vacation, but a few of the animal designs stuck with me (us). The hippo, being the salubrious beast that he is, was one of our favorites.

So, here's a charm for peaceful travel and a good night's sleep. (I'm putting him in the store, should anyone be interested.) More new (two-dimensional) designs from me later this week.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Full of Beans

I went out to the garden this evening and discovered that the SO's little lima bean plant is no longer all that little and is even starting to produce lima beans. I'm not sure why I'm so surprised by this, but I am quite surprised. I took photos to commemorate the SO's success for posterity, of course.

The SO and I put together a little Life and Times of the Lima Bean Plant booklet tonight, complete with the aforementioned photos, so he can take it to summer camp tomorrow for his "Show and Share" day. My little botanist is determined to donate the book to the school for posterity, but I'm trying to convince him to bring it back (it is, after all, still unfinished) so we can find out the end of the story and fill in the blank pages at the end. Still, it's good to be excited about books and plants (and hopefully lima beans, once they're ready to eat), right?

I actually fired the kiln this weekend and have some new work to show for it. Of course, after making all of those grandiose comments about making big statement pieces, I fired a bunch of small things, but they're still cute (in my humble opinion). I'll try to take pics tomorrow, so I can actually talk about beads and jewelry for the first time in weeks on the blog. In the meantime, I'll let my friends and colleagues do the talking - here are your intriguing links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew's blog recently marked its four year anniversary. Celebrate with him, by entering to win a HUGE bead stash via this week's Thursday Giveaway!

A Bead A Day
A new beading component is on the market, created by and named after our fellow bead blogger Katie Hacker.

Beading Arts
Want to get in on a fantastic giveaway? Cabbing Rough is offering a Kingman turquoise cabochon on Beading Arts

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi was at CHA in Chicago and has a fabulous post about Prima Marketing.

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
This week's rewind makes a statement.

Art Bead Scene
Want to capture a bit of the summer? This week's collection of sea beads will keep those summer memories alive all year 'round.

About.com Jewelry Making
As part of the "Start a New Hobby" theme running through About.com's hobby blogs this week, Tammy takes a moment to think about jewelry as more than a hobby. What about jewelry as a job?

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean reviews a SUPERfantastic new book by all star stamper and metalworker, Lisa Niven Kelly

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bead & Jewelry Linky Love

Here's another shot of a view from our garden. H. is growing okra for the first time this year. I never knew okra blooms were so attractive! (I love that color combination.)

Despite the opening of my new store (store-let?), I feel as if I've been taking a little holiday from jewelry, with the end of my competition "season". I think I'm ready to dive back into it now, though. How about you? Here are some links for the week to get you inspired:

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean made some summer fun earrings for Artbeads and they are soooo pretty! Go see!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A shopping spree at an antique mall grants Melanie with some new old treasures! What will she make with these little bits of history?

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei's blog ended up on the Wikio.com Craft category, check out the others!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
Mad for Monday features Cindy's new Step by Step Wire Jewelry Double Dip Adjustable Ring Project.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has completed the necklace featuring her "found again" bezel!

Art Bead Scene
It's the Art Bead Scene Monthly Carnival Blog. This month's theme is "Commitment."

Beading Arts
You won't believe the goodies that Mama's Minerals in giving away on Beading Arts this week!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Up for grabs in this week's Thursday Giveaway is an organic, lampwork glass bead by Susan Jones Designs.

A Bead A Day
If you enjoy recycling, Lisa shared a bracelet idea using an "old" canvas belt.

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy catches you up on some of her latest free jewelry tutorials.

Strands of Beads
Melissa has finally hung out her shingle and opened a modest store-front on her website.

Monday, July 19, 2010


The Short One wanted to admire his plants in the garden (the lima bean plants have recently been joined by kidney bean plants), so we took a look this afternoon. Imagine my surprise when I noticed that the lima bean plant - the one the SO grew as a preschool project and that he and his Daddy planted last month - is flowering. The plant is so small still, we're not really sure if it will actually yield beans or not, but it's kind of cool, nonetheless.

Of course, if anyone has any insight into this process, please feel free to let me know - my experience with lima beans is pretty much limited to growing them in, well, it was probably first grade for me, but you know what I mean. And they keeled over pretty quickly after I took them home - I have a completely brown thumb.

Anyway, here are your bead & jewelry links for the week:

A Bead A Day
Lisa learned quite a bit this week about the need to clean beads if they have a powdery residue inside. Stop by if you have a chance for some safety tips.

About.com Jewelry Making
Who says jewelry tools are mainly for metalsmiths? There are plenty of cool tools and gadgets for beaders too!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew creates a necklace called, "The Keeper of Memory" around one of Anne Choi's sterling silver beads.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a copy of "Beading In No Time" to give away! Pop on over and sign up to win!

Cindy Gimbrone aka The Lampwork Diva
The schedule has been crazy and the studio is in disarray. Cindy is going to take back her workspace by....brace yourself.....cleaning!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
As she gathers inventory for her show, Barbe wonders why no one buys bracelets these days

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Summertime is the inspiration for a new necklace using glass flowers from Artbeads.com and Earthenwood Studio birdie and lumber themed components.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is thrilled that Margot Potter's latest oeuvre, Bead Chic, is already available at Amazon! This is a super concept for a jewelry design book, and Jean will explain why!

Art Bead Scene
It's July and the Art Bead Scene has a new monthly challenge. Wondering what the prizes are for this month? Come check them out!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes a new necklace featuring the funniest artwork images!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei gives a sneak peek to the new Craft blog ratings from Wikio.com

Thanks for visiting!