Friday, December 31, 2010

Friday Favorites and Reveling Bead Blogger Links!

This week's favorites are actual purchases I've made recently. You can get a sense of my taste in jewelry. I like simple and clean, not alot of adornment in the jewelry I wear everyday. What adornment there is I like to be meaningful to me (like the hands). Since I've been described as "quirky" the jewelry I choose will reflect that too like this recent purchase, the  Fortune Teller Necklace from The Mymble's Daughter.

And back to the meaningful jewelry, this lovely hamsa ring from (yes, hands again!) from jewelry by michal

A short list of links today as our beadbloggers are out celebrating the new year. Hope your new year is filled with beautiful beads and many other good things!

Art Bead Scene
Art Bead Scene reviews the different options for accepting payment.

Beading Arts
Cyndi has finished her last Bead Journal Project piece for the year. Yay!!

Beading & Books
Michelle shares the 10 most memorable blog posts she read in 2010.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy re-reads her KISS post before planning for 2011.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie reviews a wonderful book about making chain.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean gives a shout out for a fab class she took at Beaducation online, which as you will see, will revv up your urge to bead and have FUN!--Happy New Year!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Two publications from Interweave Press have hit the stands and Andrew suggests you check them out!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wednesday's cold outside, an oldie but a goodie

Brrrr! I know it's cold outside but when I woke up this morning, it was cold inside! I went to check the temperature and my thermostat batteries were dead. Luckily I had new batteries and put them in. That's when the thermostat died. Sooooo, I've got no heat in the house this morning. I'm waiting until 8 am so I can call the repairman.

In the meantime, I recommending an oldie but a goodie: Making Wire Jewelry by Helen Clegg and Mary Larom.

(You can't really click on the picture to see what's inside, you'll have to go to Amazon to see it.)

I love this book for the variety of projects and techniques it has for the beginner. It's a bit dated and sparsely illustrated yet the illustrations it does have are very helpful. The Egyptian Coil bracelet/necklace is worth the price of a used book, which by the way, you can pick up for a song!

That leads me to the obvious segue of another oldie but goodie that I'm singing as I wait for the heating to be fixed.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Share the Love Winner and Little Sister Giveaway.

Kell! Congratulations! I'm sharing a mix of glass pearls with you from Auntie's Beads. Send an email to me and the pearl mix will be on its way!

For those of you who didn't win, you'll have another chance. Remember the Sisterhood is at my house now?

Back in March when Heather sent out the box, it was $200 worth of beads and cost $8.95 to send out. It's now doubled in size and cost to travel! That's alot of beads traveling around, too many. The traveling box, like the traveling pants shouldn't be growing in size. So to trim some excess from the box, I'm going to make some "Little Sister" grab bags to give away while I work on the jewelry I'm making from the Sisterhood box.

To win a "Little Sister" grab bag,

1. Go to Cindy Gimbrone Beads Facebook page, friend me and leave a comment on my facebook wall.

2. Want to amp up your chances? Follow me on Twitter then come back and leave a comment.

I'm making up the bags now and show them off in the next blog posts.

You've got until next Tuesday! Good luck, lil' sisters!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Sisterhood is here!

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Beads arrived at my house Christmas eve. It's a hefty box and chock full of beads, findings and even magazines/tutorials! I've got an idea or two brewing about how to lighten the load but I'll hold off until tomorrow. Until then, here's a peek at the box right after I opened it.....

Friday, December 24, 2010

Favorite Friday and Fabulous Links!

Cool blues and blue greens are running through my mind as I stare at the glass pearls mix I'm working with and drawing out a design. I'm thinking of a ring to go along with the necklace design. Here are some inspiring ring designs on Etsy for today's Friday Favorites....

Blue Transparent Ladybug Ring

Satellite Turquoise Ring

Las Palmas Porcelain Ring

...and here are this week's Bead Blogger links. I'm sure they'll become your favorites for this Christmas Eve Friday! Jewelry Making
Tammy looks at least year's resolutions and thinks about 2011. Share your resolutions or lack of them.

Art Bead Scene
Come make a sleigh bell bracelet with ABS for the 6th Day of the annual 12 Days of free projects!

Beading Arts
Come enjoy some insider information on the fabulous fiber and bead artist, Joan Babcock!

Beading & Books
Michelle shares a handmade polymer clay ornament by Diva Designs and her favorite chocolate candy recipe. (You'll need to keep up your strength if you're going to bead over the holidays!)

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi starts to work with resin cubes she made earlier in the year.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares the key to her designs.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie gets in the Christmas spirit with a holiday song to inspire three fun projects.

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Come on over and get the shopping list for the next Blog Reader Challenge!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean makes some holiday themed jewelry for Rings & Things! The time flew by as she made these pretty creations!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Sue Kennedy of SueBeads offers up a really beautiful assortment of goodies in this week's Thursday Giveaway! Find out how you can win them!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sharing the Love of Glass Pearls Giveaway

I was over at my Youtube channel the other day,  Cindy Beads and I noticed that I have no followers.


If you go over there you'll see one of my favorites is Auntie's Beads. I love the wire wrap ring videos and have linked to one here before.

Just the other day, the good people at Auntie's Beads sent me some luscious glass pearls.

Yes, you can "ooo" and "ahhh!"

I've got these lovelies on my workbench to create with, but I'm willing to share some with you.

Go over to Cindy Beads on YouTube and become a subscriber and a friend and I'll enter you in a drawing to win a glass pearl mix courtesy of Auntie's Beads.

If you blog about it and leave a comment here, I'll enter your name twice. Please make sure your comment links to a blogger profile so I can reach you.

I'll announce the winner on my blog next Tuesday, December 28th.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wednesday Wire: The Closet Project and Free Project at Art Bead Scene

Monday I showed the in-progress closet make-over that TBC had dragged me into. Once the foundation was up, we tested how we wanted the shelving arranged....

...once it was decided, we were ready to put all our things back into the closet.

Whew so now that project is done and here's another project I completed...

...a free Bead Bravely Ornament project over at Art Bead Scene! Check it out!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Take it Tuesdsay: Free $10 Artbeads Gift Certificate

Ok folks, it doesn't get much easier than this - Artbeads is giving away a free $10 gift certificate. You can even get a free $10 gift certificate for each of your friends! The deadline is DECEMBER 22ND, 2010. - so go right away to their website by clicking on the banner below: $100,000 Gift Card Giveaway

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mad for Monday....Christmas Music, The Closet and Links

Wow, how'd it get to be the 20th of December already? Technically, it's not winter yet but the shortest day of sunlight is fast approaching. (YAY! The days get longer after that!) But without little ones in the house, it's much easier for Christmas surprise you.  I'm trying to find my Christmas cheer. So, this Monday I'm mad for Christmas music.

TBC started a weekend project and drew me into it. We had talked about organizing our bedroom closet for some time now. Honestly, how we ever got married is a mystery to me. I tend toward clutter and he tends toward throwing everything he doesn't wear into a dumpster.

A week ago, we had the remodelers in again to install pull-down stairs into the attic. Since then, TBC has re-organized with glee. Going for our bedroom closet was inevitable whether I was ready for it or not.

There was demolition involved as TBC removed the makeshift shelving and too long, too big for hangers, warped clothes bar and caulked. I chose no VOC paint to spruce up the closet walls. He painted while I went to work for a couple of evening hours. We decided to wait until this morning to get the Closet Maid shelving.

As I write this, TBC is chomping at the bit to run to Home Depot the minute it opens. So let's grab the opportunity to read today's bead blogger links!

A Bead A Day
If you are interested in chainmaille, Lisa had the opportunity to host Blue Buddha Boutique's, Rebeca Mojica, as she kicks off her virtual book tour for "Chained". Jewelry Making
Tammy reviews an innovative new web-based magazines from Interweave.

Art Bead Scene
It's the ABS annual Twelve Days of free art bead jewelry projects! Stop by and try out the Jingle Berry Lariat!

Beading Arts
How about an entire month of fast and easy tutorials for handmade jewelry gifts?

Beading & Books
Michelle shares ideas for beaded napkin rings to decorate your holiday table.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmis makes a button pin much more attractive with a felted background!

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Inspired by the snow on the ground, Cindy created a new ring - the Flurry Flower!

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei has moved her bead studio, yet again!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is delighted to present one of her latest book reviews of a remarkable book called 500 Plastic Jewelry Designs. Come and immerse yourself in the fascination of the heights which can be achieved using this medium through the brilliance of a collection of fantastic jewelry designers!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Want to win some luscious lucite components from The Hole Bead Shoppe? Seize your chance in this week's Thursday Giveaway!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The key to my designs.....

I promised yesterday I would follow up the State of My Studio post with the inspiration for the new faux wood painted hearts. Really, it was Andrew Thornton on his Thursday giveaway post that got me thinking when he characterized my work this way:

What I love about Cindy's underlining design principle is that she's not afraid to explore new materials and is constantly investigating new ways of doing things.

Andrew's gone to the core of how I approach beadmaking. I'm always working on a new media, a new technique to expand my ability to express a design. Different media lends itself to different techniques and I'm on a constant quest to expand my abilities in all media.

That quest usually finds me buying books. Today, I'm going to share which books have taken up residence on my workbench and are serving as the inspiration for the new faux wood carved painted hearts.

First up is Christi Friesen and her latest book,  Steampunkery.

I'm really taken with idea of hearts, hinges and bezels. It was her steampunk inspired hearts that was exciting to me and I just had to learn how to make them! I bought the book because of the hinged heart on the front. I didn't realize she had a Steampunk Heart free download on her website or a youtube video on how to make a heart.

But you shouldn't get the impression that I'm sorry I bought the book. The book is a jewel of humor and technique - right up my ally. I get to laugh while I'm learning a new media. Steampunkery is full of useful information for the less experienced (like me) and beautiful to look at with a story woven through it.

Christi's design aesthetic is distinctive and quite different from my own. So after playing with a few of the heart projects in the book, I wanted to go off in another direction with the hearts.

The other book occupying my workbench has been there awhile. Back in January, I reviewed Cynthia Thornton's book, Enchanted Adornments for Art Bead Scene. It's been on my workbench ever since.

Wanting to create a heart in a style of my own, Enchanted Adornments was the go to book. I've said how Cynthia's book is full of tips and techniques unique to her style and aesthetic. I love her style but again, it's very different from my own.  It's how she creates that style I'm interested in learning.

Pages 38-39 lie open on my workbench, the section is entitled, "Texturing Clay."  A quote kept going   over and over in my mind:

 "Unique textures will keep your work exciting and completely your own."
Spurred on to make a heart that is completely my own, I made some texture tools.  But sometimes the simplest can be just what you're looking for.

This one looks like an large old nut or seed found in the woods with small natural holes that has been carved into a heart. The texture makes me want to reach out and touch it. As it sits on my workbench, I can't resist picking it up and turning it over in my hands.

Each path to a new bead series is a passage to learning new techniques and exploring another media. It's the key to my designs.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wednesday Wire....The State of My Studio

Beads of Clay (BOC) is hosting a State of My Studio Saturday. It's a post updating readers on what's going on in your studio. I make beads but not of clay and this isn't Saturday. But I feel we're close cousins since back in the day BOC got their start on the Glass Forum on WetCanvas and that's how I came to know many of my BOC friends.  So I'm hopping on board and hope BOC doesn't mind an interloper!

(Outside entrance to my glass studio in the warm summer weather.)

Last Saturday, I hosted Studio Saturday on Art Bead Scene. It was a quick post since the winter weather freezes me out of my unheated studio every year. So rather than gear up when everyone else is, I'm not able to reliably sustain a production level for the holidays.  Lead time is moved out 2-3 weeks because the temperature has to be above 35 degrees to be able to work. In the Northeast, we can go 2-8 weeks without moving above 35 degrees. So my busiest time of the year is March-October. Winter forces me to take a long stretches of time from glass. I've begun taking that time to explore other media for beadmaking.

Here's a visual glimpse into my office/studio. Right now I'm working in polymer clay. It was 38 degrees this weekend so I grabbed the opportunity to work in glass.

Next blog post will talk more about the inspiration and process of my polymer explorations. But in the meantime, tell me, is your studio affected by the weather? Are you frozen out? Or maybe it's too hot?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Mad for Monday....Hands

If you work with your hands all day, like artists do and like I do as a sign language interpreter/artist, then you probably have a collection of hands. I'm always on the look out for artist made hands and I've recently found a couple I want to share with you.

Raku Hand Ornament from Wonderous Strange Designs on Etsy.

Frosted Hand Pendant by Spirited Earth on Etsy

Do you have a collection? I'd love to hear what you are always on the look out for!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Favorites Friday and Fabulous Links

Snowflake Lariat

Silver Orb Earrings

Blown Glass Bowl, Lucid Jewelry Making
Are you feeling blue? Good, because that is the perfect color for beaded jewelry.

Art Bead Scene
This month's challenge artwork is by John Anster Fitzgerald - who is that you may ask? Come over to ABS and find out!

Beading Arts
Mama's Minerals returns with another fabulous giveaway for Cyndi's readers!

Beading & Books
Michelle turns a ceramic pendant into a Christmas ornament.

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi creates a very special wooden brooch for her "no knit" scarf.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy's been stamping metal and has some thoughtful things to say about Lisa Niven Kelly's book, "Stamped Metal Jewelry."

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
Melanie shows that inspiration can come from anywhere, including the bathroom sink!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has a new book giveaway! 500 Enameled Objects--a celebration of color on metal--what a divine, mesmerizing book to own and cherish! Please come and sign up for this very special giveaway!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

It's the Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop!

Welcome to the Art Bead Scene Ornament Blog Hop! Here's my ornament for today:

Flurry Star!

Flurry Star is made from five flurry double dips, 26 gauge copper wire and cranberry colored alcohol ink. Weaving together five double dips creates a star shape in the center.

Let's take a hop around and enjoy the other lovely ornaments made especially for today's blog hop. Here are the ABS Ornament Blog Hoppers....

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Favorites and Linky Love

This week's favorites are shawl pins to hold those handmade crocheted shawls around your shoulders on the chilly nights. First up is a tutorial for a wire Heart Fibula by Jewelie Beads....

Next is this lovely aluminum Tulip shawl pin by Nicolas and Felice....

And finally this beauty from Ingo Designs is made of copper with a lovely smooth quartz stone drop....

A Bead A Day
Looking for some great holiday giveaways? "Where Women Create" will be posting 3 new items to give away every day through December 12th! Jewelry Making
Have you started your list of DIY gifts to make for this season? Here's a slew of jewelry and other crafty ideas for you.

Art Bead Scene
Wondering if you should pick up that new magazine? ABS reviews 101 bracelets, necklaces and earrings.

Beading Arts
What can you do with a handful of circuit breakers?

Bead Soup Party- Jewelry Swap Challenge
Come see the small swaps that go on in the Bead Soup Blog Party Yahoo Group!

Beading & Books
Michelle begins a weekly challenge for herself, using books as inspiration for jewelry designs.

Carmi's Art/Life World
This week Carmi has a very simple Santa that she made with a free digital download.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy doles out some "flakey" business advice in her "Take It Tuesday" post.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean is so happy to have a recent design appear in an upcoming GORGEOUS book! Come see!

Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Celebrate the holidays with Vintaj! Check out one of their limited edition kits or one of their beautiful pieces of finished jewelry!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday Wire....Wickwire Jewelery Tutorials

Researching today's post, I found Wickwire Jewelry Tutorials on Etsy. I fell in love with the Victorian Key (shown below) when I saw it in a show and tell on Eni Oken's site. If you're drooling over it too, hop on over to her Etsy shop and buy the tutorial!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010

Favorites Friday and Fabulous Links - better late than never!

I'm going to share some of my favorite things with you on Fridays and then more on Sundays over at Art Bead Scene. Since today is Black Friday, I'm in the holiday spirit. I found these Retro Star Ornaments which are the same as the ones that hung on our family's Christmas tree when I was a kid. These are from Tipple and Snack's Etsy Shop.

I love this colorful Beaded Christmas Tree Ornament from Wild Woman Jewelry on Etsy!

How fun is that?

Check out all the fun links this week....

A Bead A Day
Do you have a quick and easy jewelry project or design that you would like to share with others? Stop by A Bead A Day to pick up an idea or leave an idea! Jewelry Making
Find out the latest news, including a tight deadline, for an awesome jewelry making challenge sponsored by Rio Grande and Lark Books.

Art Bead Scene
Get your jewelry shop ready for the holiday shopping season with help from Art Bead Scene!

Beading Arts
Don't miss the beautiful Murano glass pendants that Cyndi will be giving away now and all through next month!

Beading & Books
Michelle searches the toy store to get ideas for earring displays for her upcoming craft show.

Carmi's Art/Life World
In a two part story Carmi glams up a name tage with jewelery components.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Watching your pennies while trying to make fabulous jewelry for gifts this holiday season? Cindy can help you, read on!

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles
A thrift store find inspires Melanie to make some fun dinosaur tear pendants

Pretty Things
Come see the small swaps that go on in the Bead Soup Blog Party Yahoo Group!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
The latest news from Artbeads : voting and a new sweepstakes!

Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Happy Thanksgiving! Celebrate the holiday with a special Thursday Giveaway sponsored by Auntie's Beads!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! Thought I'd share some vegan sweet treats for you to drool over and consider trying. First up, Vegan Pecan Pralines by Sweet Fritsy on Etsy....

oh oh before we leave Sweet Fritsy, what about her Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pies?

Yummy, right?

The last tempting vegan treat I have is Shortbread Mint Chocolate Dipped Candy Cane Cookies baked by The Sweet Vegan on Etsy.

Happy Vegan Thanksgiving, y'all!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wednesday Wire: Pounding Metal

I know you've probably all seen Lisa Niven Kelly's book, Stamped Metal Jewelry but I always like to wait until after the flood on initial reviews before I review a book. I like to try out the techniques and let the information roll around in my head for awhile wondering if I can say something different than what's already been said. If I think I have something to add to the conversation, then I review the book.

I like this book ALOT!

Ok, so that's not original but it's worth saying even if all the other reviewers have said it. It tells you, the prospective buyer that the majority of people really love the book. Then it's worth picking up and it is.

The book opens with a list of the tools necessary.  Even though I have a workbench full of tools, I find there's always a key tool I don't seem to have.  Cutting and Sawing comes next and is packed with indispensible information on saw blade sizes and how to saw.

I skimmed the sections on hole punching (I love the Euro Power Punch, nice clean holes) and dapping because I do both tasks regularly. Someone unfamilar with either will find easy to understand, comprehensive directions. I skipped the next few pages on riveting (I have Susan Lenart Kazmer's/Interweave's DVD on riveting), Oxidizing,  Annealing and went straight to "Start Stamping" on pages 36 and 37.

Who can blame me for skipping forward to the stamping section? Afterall I bought a book entitled Stamped Metal Jewelry, so obviously I wanted to pound metal!

Pages 36 -37 are chock full of the information and tips you need to personalize your jewelry with stamping. There are tips throughout the book along with idea starters like the list of words on page 42. My favorite projects are the Stamped and Stacked Ring on page 68, The Crown Jewel on page 92 and the Bold Stamped & Riveted Beads on page 102.

Time to get back to my's a little glimpse at what I'm working on. You'll see more of it in the couple of weeks.

In the meantime, if you don't already have Lisa's book, put it on your Holiday gift list!

(Thank you to Interweave for the use of the photo.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Take It Tuesday: Business Tips from a Flake

It's time to admit it, folks.

I'm not as productive as I'd like to be.

I sometimes spend hours on the computer and get nothing done (can you say Facebook and Twitter?)

I have great ideas, in fact, I'm a brainstorming machine.

Successful implementation of those ideas is spotty.

It's time to admit it.

I'm a flake.

It's time to re-evaluate (how cliche since it towards the end of the year, but however cliche, it's true.)

So if you are a fellow flake, take heart! There's help at hand! Check out the Complete Flake's Guide to Getting Things Done by Sonia Simone.

After I read Sonia's blog post, I knew I needed to have a compost pile.....

...No, not THAT compost pile!

I mean a place to put all of my good ideas and try to keep it neat somehow. I've got sketchbooks for my design ideas but I needed a place to put the advice and good ideas I got from the web.

Remembering vaguely that one of my friends showed me a notebook program, I googled and found Notebook by Circus Ponies. You can download a 30 day trial for free.

So far, so good. Notebook is where I put the notes for this blog post.

Now, come a little closer to the computer can whisper....are you a flake too?