Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Wire: In the mood...

...to make a bit of jewelry for yourself? When I feel like that, I check out one of my favorite wire tutorial designers, KS Jewellery Designs.



Jewelled Flowers in 4 Variations (Photo courtesy of KS Jewellry Designs.) is available for a very reasonable $5.00 and you probably have all the wire you need in your stash!

Are you in the mood?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rewind: Thank You Tuesday!

Today's rewind is to remind you about the discount coupon for Artbeads.com:

SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0125


The coupon is good for a 10% discount on your purchases from Artbeads.com until July 31, 2010.  (psst - don't forget to check out their weekly coupon too!)

I've got my eye on these 4mm Sea blue Chalcedony Rounds.


What would you buy with the discount?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

About.com Jewelry Making
If you are selling your jewelry on-line or thinking about it, then you'll find some of these rescources very helpful.

Art Bead Scene
The June Monthly Challenge is a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Beading Arts
Do you like Chinese food? Do you like jewelry...?

Carmi's Art/Life World
A button get's glammed up with tear drop rhinestones.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy touts one of her favorite colors in this week's rewind.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie explores building materials as texture and symbolism in a new set of pendants inspired by a fortress theme

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei got together for a fun beady date with Kerry Bogert, and together they created a necklace!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is fascinated by the beautiful necklace which Jennifer Dangerfield created and reposts her analysis of what makes it so appealing! All jewelry afficionados really must see this lovely piece!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her necklace design that won second place in the Metal Clay category of Bead Dreams 2010.

missficklemedia.com
Come by and visit for a chance to win free Patina-ted Metal Components!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Talk it Up Tuesday

Are you wondering what's up with the alliteration in all my post titles? Me too. Maybe in another life I was a lyricist for cheesy turn of the century musicals! I'm pretty good at coming up with short and snappy titles.

But I've got something short and snitty to say today about the local Allentown Art Festival. Allentown is an historical neighborhood in Buffalo, NY, known for it's annual art festival among other things. It's a lovely neighborhood and one a visitor to the city should visit.

But the Allentown Art Festival feels old and stagnant. I visited the 53rd annual festival this past weekend after a lapse of about 5 years. There was white tent after white tent filled with mostly out of town, out of state artists with overpriced crafts.



In a rust belt city bleeding population struggling to create jobs and income, most festival goers weren't opening up their wallets to purchase anything. But it wasn't the same old tents and crafts that really made me never want to go again, it was the lack of activity. The street corners were vacant when they could have been filled with local talent, musicians, street performers, artists, anything but the void that was there when you turned a corner.

I love Allentown, I love Buffalo but what's good about Buffalo (stability) can also be what's bad about it (stale). Let's add some entertainment to those silent corners, let's update the crafts and encourage the artists to have a wide variety of price points.

Let's oil up this Rust Belt City and make her run again!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mad for Monday: Fascinated with Fascinators

I like to collect vintage goods and am always on the look out for new ways to use them and my handmade art beads. I'm fascinated with fascinators lately and want to try my hand at making some with art beads and/or vintage pins.

We all remember the first time we saw them - Project Runway and the infamous Kenley (Photo Courtesy of fanpop.com.) and her feather fascinators.


They've caught on now and here are select favorites from Artfire.com:


Xanadu by yjdesign on Artfire (photo courtesy of yjdesign.) Yjdesigns uses a vintage rhinestone pin as the center.


Floral Fascinator by Bead Flora on Artfire (photo courtesy of Bead Flora.) Bead Flora works a beaded bloom into a fascinator that will go with everything.


Fascinator Cocktail Hat by yjdesigns on Artfire (photo courtesy of yjdesigns.) Another stunner from YJ Designs using a vintage rhinestone piece in this funky hat.

What about you? Are you fascinated with fascinators?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links!

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy is proud to announce some of her jewelry designs were recently published in BeadStyle magazine.

Art Bead Scene
Join the Art Bead Scene Carnival Bloggers as they pay tribute to Bead and Button by creating a statement necklace.

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Look at all the fun I have have playing with fire.

Beading Arts
Shhh...don't tell Cyndi's Mom! Cyndi made her a necklace from some wonderful lampwork beads from Artbeads.com!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi recycles a beautiful tea box to create this necklace.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
The Empress models a statement.

Jean Campbell
Check out Black Crow's Gothic Contest winners...fantastic!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei started up a new website, and would love to hear your input on it!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Lydia Muell's mesmerizing art beads and her free giveaway this week!

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her entry that won the Grand Prize Gold Medal in the 2010 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts the BIGGEST prize in Thursday Giveaway history ever! Find out how you can win a set of beautiful lampwork glass beads by Barbara "Basha"!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wednesday Wire: Favorite Books

There are so many great wire jewelry books out there. I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. Although not new, they're full of lots of good beginner-intermediate info and projects:


Making Wire Jewelry by Helen Clegg (photo courtesy of Amazon.) This was one of the first books I bought on wire and it's full of classic designs and techniques that every wire jewelry artist should know.


Jewelry Studio:  Wire Wrapping by Linda Chandler and Christine Ritchey (photo courtesy of Amazon.com.) is a great book. The authors' go through the basics and then some.

Do you have a favorite technique book?

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Thank You Tuesday!

Today is Thank You Tuesday and I'm sharing a discount coupon code from Artbeads.com with you:


SCF10P-ARTBEADS-0125


The coupon is good for a 10% discount on your purchases from Artbeads.com until July 31, 2010.  (psst - don't forget to check out their weekly coupon too!)

Thank you Readers and Thank you Art Beads!

Monday, June 07, 2010

Mad for Monday....Purple and Green

Inspired by the green in my yard and garden, this week's Mad for Monday is really about color...well, ok, I still have some crochet thrown in here, but how could I resist?

Crochet Flower Lariat by Bohemian Hooks.


Kona Bay Fujiana Purple fabric available at Fabrics & Designs by Barb on Artfire


This lovely photo comes from Nuxie Made and is of a little girl in a crocheted cap Nuxie's work is available at her shop on Artfire.com

What colors in your yard and/or garden is inspiring you today?

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Silly Saturday and Sensational Links

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

About.com Jewelry Making
Tammy is getting back to the basics, starting with jewelry making tools. What is your must have tool?

Art Bead Scene
Gearing up for that big bead show coming up? ABS has the top ten tips for your bead buying trip!

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Barbe is having a "City of Love" giveaway!!!

Beading Arts
Chapter two of Cyndi's e-book is available for download! "Altered Surfaces" begins the exploration of the exchange between mixed media and bead embroidery!

Carmi's Art/Life World
A handmade bezel results in a new necklace for Carmi called FAITHFUL.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
A set of smokey quartz beads inspires a new necklace.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie celebrates her 1000th blog post with Ten Days of Giveaways!

Jean Campbell
Jean reviews Nathalie Mornu's Leather Jewelry, a bang-up book.

Katie's Beading Blog
Get the 411 about BeadStyle's gorgeous All Star Issue!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei has been answer some of her reader's questions from a previous giveaway post. Read up on what everyone wants to know!

Snap Out of It, Jean! There's Beading to be Done!
Jean is thrilled to be in BeadStyle magazine's July All Star issue, with pals Tammy Powley, Heather Powers, and Katie Hacker who made the cover so beautiful! Come and see!

Strands of Beads
It's Melissa's turn to review Kate McKinnon's fabulous Sculptural Metal Clay.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
The prize for this week's Thursday Giveaway comes courtesy of Green Girl Studios! Find out how you can get ahold of these fine pewter beauties!

missficklemedia.com
The Staples of Jewelry Making

Thursday, June 03, 2010

The Empress Models a Statement

You may remember I blogged about The Empress in April. I thought she'd make a good model for the necklaces I design. A picture taken of a necklace flat makes it lifeless and it's difficult to get a good sense of how it will hang. Sort of like this:


The colors are true yet the spirit of the necklace is lost. So enter The Empress:


She brings the necklace to life. You can see how it will hang. It seems clear an additional picture taken on the Empress will show a potential customer how a necklace will look when worn.

What do you think? Has the Empress made a statement?

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Wednesday Wire: Crochet to Make a Statement

Designers are combining my two loves, wire and crochet to create lovely statement necklaces. Check out this lovely....

Vintage Inspired Pearl Statement Bib Necklace by Chez Kevito on Etsy (photo courtesy of Chez Kevito.)

Crocheting with wire isn't easy. I've tried several times with no success. I'm not discouraged though. My desire to try again is renewed after seeing how crocheted wire is interpreted into a statement necklace.

If you're an experineced crocheter and want to explore statement necklaces or innovative designs, you might want to check out this book I'm eyeing right now.


Crocheted Wire Jewelry is available on Amazon (photo courtesy of Amazon.).

Do you crochet? If you do, have you tried wire?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Handmade Vogue: Statement Necklaces

Everywhere you go these days you see 'em - they're in vogue - Statement Necklaces.  They're over-the-top, full of chains, beads, flowers, and what-nots. I love 'em!  So much so, I made my first statement necklace in February. I'm hooked now and want to design more but before I do, I've been pouring over the internet and have scooped up inspiration for us both!

Statement necklaces can be worn with anything but keep your shirt simple, button down, small collar or t-shirts make a great canvas to show off your statement.  I'm particularly enamoured of the "lots of chain" necklaces. Like this one....


Betsey Johnson's Picnic Statement Necklace on Zappos (photo courtesy of Zappos.) It's Betsey Johnson what can I say? I should write a whole blog post on how I've loved Betsey Johnson since the 1980's. Her style, her clothes, her jewelry just puts a smile on my face. But I digress from my mission today, to share my inspiration.

Cruising over to Etsy to check out the inspiration there, I found this handcrafted, seed bead encrusted beauty...


Custom Doloris Petunia Necklace on Etsy (photo courtesy of Doloris Petunia)

If you love Steampunk Style, then you'll love what I found on Artfire.


Steampunk Tribal Kuchi Cogs n Gears Statment Necklace by Decibel on Artfire (photo courtesy of Decibel on Artfire)

The Art Bead Scene Carnival Bloggers will show off the statement necklaces they've made this Friday, June 4 in a visual blog hop. We'll have a hop from blog to blog with lots of inspiration for you.

Have you tried making a statement necklace?