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 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. 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. 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!

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 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

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Now Open!

The store is now open, such that it is. At the beginning of the year, I had big ambitions to get off Etsy, establish my own storefront on a newly-developed website and really get rolling with bigger pieces. Then, life got in the way, and I find that I don't really have a lot of time to devote to jewelry-making at all right now, and that this lack of time will probably continue for the next two to three years. At which point, who knows where any of us will be? Life is full of possibilities, after all.

However, in the meantime, I still have modest ambitions. I've scaled back, but I have at least tied my blog into my web address (, for those of you who come to me through I still intend to phase out my Etsy presence during the course of the year (I am leaving it up while magazines and books which identify that store as the place to find me are still new and around). And I have opened a small, little storefront directly on my blog. There aren't many pieces in there right now - just a few pendants. However, they're pendants that, with one exception, I haven't previously offered for sale. And this trend will continue from here on out.

You see, I've decided to be selfish. Since I have very limited time, I'm going to work only on making pendants, beads and jewelry that actually interest me now. Which happen to be more three dimensional pieces - like the divided boxes. Although I still like my earlier designs, like "Geek Love" (which still appears in the Etsy store), I'm really more interested in new work. And maybe some large finished pieces. And if the wind shifts and my interest turns, I'll create different projects at that point.

Given my circumstances, even when I put up new work, there will never be more than a few pieces in the store at one time. Nevertheless, I hope you will check there periodically to see what I've been up to.

Thank you - and thank you for continuing to follow my work!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Margot Potter's Bead Chic

Bead Chic: 36 Stylish Jewelry Projects & Inspired Variations by Margot Potter has now been officially launched! Margot is not only a wonderful designer, she is a truly engaging writer. In this new work, she had the clever idea to write a book focusing on variations on a theme. She created beautiful original designs for the book, then invited other jewelry designers to come up with variations based on these designs.

Here's a rough pic of my own necklace design, entitled "Sweet Dreams", that appears in Bead Chic:

My design was inspired by Margot's original, entitled "Green Man", which used beads from Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio. An image of the piece appears in the table of contents of the book. (You can see it by using the sneak peek function on Amazon. Click on the book link, above, to go there. Can you find it?)

There's a little secret associated with my variation. My necklace uses fab beads from ceramic artist Diane Hawkey. In fact, Melanie was the person who actually introduced me to Diane and her work several years ago, so I felt it would be fitting to use Diane's beads here to create a subtle link between the work of the two artists.

When you get a chance, please take a look at Bead Chic, Margot Potter's excellent new work.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Short but (sort of) Meaningful

I meant to write an insightful, thoughtful post today, but I'm so exhausted that I think I'm going to go fall on my face instead. You may have noticed I have had a "New Shop...coming soon!" notice in my sidebar for a yonk's age. These pendants will be going in there...sometime. If I'm lucky, by the end of the week. But, given my track record, you might want to take that statement with a grain of salt. The photo looks nice, though, right?


Monday, July 12, 2010

Candy Colors

Among other excursions, we took the Short One to tour the Jelly Bell factory in Wisconsin last weekend.

As my husband commented, there's something perverse about taking a diabetic to a candy factory. However, it's a fact that the SO's favorite treat are sugar-free Jelly Bellys, which come in ten great flavors, including Buttered Popcorn (my personal favorite). From my perspective, these have really been a lifesaver, as just a few will satisfy my son's pre-schooler sweet tooth, and they also have proven quite easy to calculate into his daily carb count. I really don't know what we would do without them.

Thrillingly, we found even more sugar-free flavors (the sour Bellys) and even sugar-free taffy - which the SO had never tried - at the factory, so it ended up being a big hit from the SO's perspective. He didn't even seem to notice that the other 99% of the store was off-limits, for which we were quite grateful.

Anyway, here's a pic of the favorite candy in our house right now, in all of their glorious colors. Doesn't it just make you want to go out and design something bright and fun to wear for the summer?

Here are your bead and jewelry links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Honoring a friend who passed away, Andrew hosts a necklace auction on his blog to raise money for a good cause.

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene offers up a unique inspiration piece for July. Stop by and take the ABS Challenge!

Beading Arts
Cyndi wants to know: what does your work say about YOU?

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reviews some of the Song Lore pieces she has finished in the first half year of the project.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week's Wednesday Wire is in the mood - in the mood to make something special so she turns to a fabulous tutorial.

Carmi's Art/Life World
A Napoleon themed medallion is this week's resin project with Carmi! Jewelry Making
Tammy has been thinking about Christmas in July this week, starting with beaded ornament covers.

A Bead A Day
If you are a fan of turning flea market finds into shabby chic treasures, stop by A Bead A Day to help Lisa with ideas for using a bead reminiscent of an antique treasure.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei was a participant in the first Designer Challenge at the Art Bead Scene. Come over and see what she made with her Humblebeads!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
This book review by Jean discusses making fabulous earrings in 30 minutes flat! How cool is that?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Shameless Self-Promo: Creative Jewelry 2010

Creative Jewelry 2010 is now on the stands. I personally really like this issue - there are a ton of interesting designs from some of my favorite designers in here (and a truly monumental showing of beautiful ceramic beads and components from Earthenwood Studio - yay, Melanie!).

As for myself, I have four necklaces in this issue, all a little unusual for me in that they are slightly more ornate than I tend toward. One of them uses a tube of 4-color peppercorns for adornment and another uses a strand of very delicate, fan-shaped sapphires that I purchased at Bead & Button.

Anyway, I hope you'll check out the issue - it's worth it!

Friday, July 2, 2010


In case you haven't already heard, Andrew is giving away copies of Kate McKinnon's new masterpiece (above) on his blog this week. As you may already know, I love this book. Run, don't walk.