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?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mad for Monday: Beadmakers you might not know....yet

I've been on line ordering gifts already and came across several cool beadmakers that don't seem to be well known. I chose different media just so you can see what can make your handcrafted gift unique - supplies made with just as much care as you put into your handmade presents.

I came across these handcrafted Polymer Clay Christmas beads from Barbie's Best on Artfire. They're well made and crisp in their details.

You might not think of fabric or fiber when you think of beads but let's broaden your horizons! Take a look at these Red Fiber Beads by Petal Creations on Artfire. They'd make a festive piece of jewelry or even an ornament.

In the holiday spirit, I'm offering a winter version of my lampwork glass links and double dips, "Flurry."

Have you bought from any "new to you" beadmakers lately?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Fabulous Friday!

Today is just a fabulous Friday, not only for the links but for the fabulous charms I purchased from Hint Jewelry. I'd been eyeing them for awhile and finally bought them a few weeks ago. They arrived and with an extra surprise - the hummingbird! What a generous and fabulous surprise! Thank you, Beth and she's what makes this Friday Fabulous!

Enjoy the Fabulous Links!

Art Bead Scene
Take a Trip into the Woods via ABS's Friday Picks!

Beading Arts
Cyndi currently has TWO fabulous giveaways going on: Acculon beading wire and a Murano glass pendant!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi has a cute little felt ring project to share this week.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week's Mad for Monday is all about the lotus.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean has an amazing, don't miss, book giveaway! All you have to do is leave a comment on her blog and you might becme the winner of Lark's completely stunning 500 Plastics Jewelry Designs--what a marvel of a book!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mad for Monday and the Missing Links....

'tis the season for free projects! I'm mad for the free projects I read about in this week's Bead Bloggers missing links (meaning I missed posting them this past Friday!) Take a peek at Carmi's sweet little joy pin....

....or Tammy's "a Time to Gather" pendant. What fun projects to make into lovely handmade gifts for the season!

Get in the spirit and read what the other bead bloggers are up to as the holiday season starts to rev up...

A Bead A Day
Do you enjoy making more than one piece of jewelry in the same design? Lisa is exploring this topic over at A Bead A Day. Jewelry Making
Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey. It's a perfect time to make some fun themed jewelry as well.

Art Bead Scene
November is here and so is the monthly challenge. This month it's Klimt's Tree of Life.

Beading Arts
Registration has just opened for next year's Bead Journal Project! Don't get left behind!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi crafts a little joy brooch.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
Cindy shares a handmade necklace that has special meaning for her.

Earthenwood Studio Chronicles and Pantone inspire Melanie to work with some new fall colors to create an asymmetrical autumn cluster necklace

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Tis the season for Craft Fairs! Lorelei had a great weekend at the Raise the Roof Fundraiser last weekend.

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Artbeads inspires Jean to write about their Fall Inspiration Contest (you can win!), and also their FaceBook site!

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Kathy Van Kleeck helps Andrew out with his medical bills by placing a magical, fairytale style fine silver and beach glass box up for auction. Check it out!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wednesday Wire: Favorite Tools

Several months ago, I sort of reviewed the Euro Power Punch tool for the Art Bead Scene. I say sort of because I hadn't actually tried it when I wrote the review. It hadn't arrived yet. But now that I'm actually using the tool, I had to revisit it.

I like to punch holes rather than drill them and the Power Punch is just the tool! The holes are nice and clean and don't need any sanding. It does the job I want it to do and very well. Now that I've really used the tool, it's earned a favorite spot on my work bench.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Take It Tuesday: The Bead Vegan

I'm taking Tuesday to share some vegan linky love with you. I know, I know, you're not a vegan but who doesn't want more recipe ideas? I contend that if the food tastes good, you'll eat it. I myself am not a full blown vegan. My friend describes it as 80-20 or 80% of my diet is vegan and the other 20 is the occasional piece of fish and the cream in my morning cuppa joe. My whole thing is food needs to taste good and vegan food has a bad rap.

Here's link to a listing of the best vegan blogs from Healthy, Happy, Lifewho is a vegan (and where I got the photo below).. She's also got an iPhone app for trying out the vegan diet chock full of recipes. Try it, I'm sure you'll find some recipes you enjoy like this Mexican corn salad, vegan or not.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mad for Monday...Snow Globes

Cooler weather starts me thinking about the upcoming holidays. Soon, I'll take out the boxes of holiday decorations and in it will be several snow globes. So I thought today would be a good day to take a peek at snow globe inspired handmade jewelry and home decor....

First up is Reson8's Tiffany Blue Snow Day Necklace on Art Fire. I love the sparkles that create a snow globe feel to the pendant.

Swirly Garden's Snow Mosaic Wine Glasses on Artfire have the feeling of snow floating down the outside of the glass.

Finally, this Winter Fox Ring by Divine Sweetness on Etsy is too adorable! I can almost feel the chill in the air!

What do your holiday decoration boxes hold? What is your favorite?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Friday, November 05, 2010

Funny Friday and Fabulous Links

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Who Wants It More? - Endangered Republicans

Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity Jewelry Making
Tammy is catching up on her book reviews. Take a look as some of her latest .

Art Bead Scene
Make a lovely autumn wreath with this Art Bead Scene free project!

Beading Arts
Cyndi has a SIGNED copy of the wonderful new book "30-Minute Necklaces" to give away!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi makes some Peter Rabbit clay pendants using new rubber stamps.

Cindy Gimbrone aka Lampwork Diva
This week's Mad for Monday is all about the lotus.

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Indian Creek Studios has generously donated some rustic ceramic pieces to be featured in this week's Thursday Giveaway! Find out how you can win these beauties!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Mad for Monday: Crochet Quirkiness for Day of the Dead

Yeah, I could do the traditional skulls for the Day of the Dead but I'm choosing quirkiness in form of crochet.
Toshwerks made me smirk when I saw their Pincushion Queen Doll
and their Toxic Boy.

Both are characters in Tim Burton's 2005 book, The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories. I find inspiration in Tim Burton's work as you can see in the mixed media, glass and resin skully beadz I made after visiting the MoMA.

Quirky, yes.

Fun, definitely!

If you'd like to crochet up some quirkiness, how about a skulls and crossbones scarf from JudesCreations?

 Get your hooks out! It's time to be quirky!