Beads

BeadFest part 3 — the art bead shopping

Of course I didn’t forget the art beads at BeadFest. Some of my favourite beadmakers were there, as well as some I have eyed from afar but never seen in person.

A group of beadmakers had a progressive make’n’take going on, so of course I had to play along. The ceramic house is by Diane Hawkey, the copper house frame was made by me on Brenda Schweder’s Now that’s a Jig wire wrapping jig, the dangles are by Nikki Thornburg (who also showed me a cool way to wire-wrap long stems) and the tiny enameled tubes were from C-Koop Beads (who also provided the leather). I’ve worn this a lot as I’ve travelled around the US, it’s nice and light for summer and the colours work beautifully with a lot of my clothing.

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I bought a few more beads from Diane Hawkey. The glass beads in the picture were from Beach House Glass Beads.IMG_0860

I also bought some more beads from Nikki Thornburg—some of her headpins. I’m sure I can find some uses for them somewhere!

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Between Diane Hawkey and Nikki Thornburg was Marsha Neal Studio. Marsha was absolutely lovely and we chatted for ages (more than once!). I bought a few bead pairs from her, one of her organic pod/vessels (and one for my mum, not pictured) and one of her great wrap bracelet kits. Which I had every intention of making as I travelled but, well, you know …

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And I had to buy a few somethings from C-Koop Beads too.

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I had lunch with one of my very favourite bead makers, Heather Powers, on Saturday and then had a little splurge at her booth. Such beautiful beads, I could have bought one of everything. We also did a little swap – more on that in the next blog post.

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Staci Smith’s stand was full of fabulous treasures. I picked out some fun bits and pieces there, and a gorgeous necklace for my sister in law’s 40th birthday (yes I know I could have just bought some of the components and made something myself, but the necklace just seemed right for her, apologies as I don’t have a picture of it).

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Michelle McCarthy, a swap buddy of mine from the old Bead Swap USA group (now disbanded) had a booth of her ceramics (Firefly Design Studio) and I selected some great summery beads and pendants there.

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Right next door was Anne Gardanne‘s stall and I picked up some more enameled components there.

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I splurged on a few exquisitely made beads from Joan Miller Porcelain. I wanted to buy a lot more.

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Green Girls Studios was good for a few more beads too.

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At Jenny Davies-Reazor ‘s booth, I picked up one of her mixed media word pendants — this one just called to me and I suspect I’ll be keeping it. And then I did some swapping with the Art Jewelry Elements girls, again more on that tomorrow.

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I have to say, it’s fantastic to actually be able to see the beads in person, pick them up and fondle them. Although it makes choosing them even harder.

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Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop

Some months ago, Lisa Lodge announced another one of her fun challenges and blog hops, the Summer Color Surprise Blog Hop. Lisa’s challenges involve purchasing a kit from her, containing a selection of beads for creating something. In this challenge, we didn’t get to pick the colour of the bead selection, hence the surprise.
The bead kit I received was green. It contained a round Marsha Neal Studio pendant with a spiral design in a pretty shade of green, a handful of large round yellow turquoise beads and some tiny olivine Swarovski bicones.
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While I was tempted to keep to greens alone, I decided the beads needed a pop of colour to pull the three shades of green together, I added some green and orange bi-coloured glass nuggets and some oval antiqued copper chain. Apparently I’m on a long necklace kick at the moment, because this one is about 30 inches long.
Summer colour challenge
With some of the left-over Swarovski crystals and a couple more of the bi-coloured nuggets, I whipped up a pair of earrings too.
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Thanks for the opportunity to create something with these beautiful beads Lisa! I’m looking forward to the next challenge in November. Now, go and check out what other people have made. We all got different packs, so there’ll be a great variety!
Your Hostess: Lisa Lodge, A Grateful Artist
Chris Eisenberg, Wander Ware Audrey Belanger, Dreams of an Absolution
Mary Govaars, MLH Jewelry Designs
Melissa Trudinger, Bead Recipes <– You are here!
Monique Urquhart, A Half-Baked Notion
Beti Horvath, Stringing Fool
Charlene Bausinger Jacka, Clay Space
Renetha Williams Stanziano, Lamplight Crafts
Leah Mifflin Tees, My Beady Little Eyes
Kathy Zeigler Lindemer, Bay Moon Design
Molly Alexander, Beautifully Broken Me
Alicia Marinache, All the Pretty Things
Laurie Vyselaar, Lefthand Jewelry
Eleanor Burian-Mohr, The Charmed Life
Julie Lockhart, Copar Aingeal
Dolores Rami, CraftyD’s Creations
Elizabeth Bunn, Elizabeth Beads
Mowse Doyle, Mowse Made This
Veralynne Malone, Designed by Vera
Candida Elkins Castleberry, Spun Sugar Beadworks
Shaiha Williams, Shaiha’s Ramblings
Christie Searle Murrow, Charis Designs Jewelry
Andrea Glick-Zenith, ZenithJade Creations
Beads, Blog Hops and Challenges

ArtBeadScene July Challenge

This month, the Art Bead Scene challenge is a painting by Picasso of one of his wives, Olga Koklova. Painted in 1917, the picture is a portrait in cool greens and blues, with a leafy floral motif.

Portrait of Olga in the Armchair, 1917
Pablo Picasso
Oil on Canvas 130 × 88.8 cm
Colour palette by Brandi Hussey

I used the colours in the painting as my primary inspiration for this necklace, which has a green floral ceramic focal by Marsha Neal. I matched it with a couple of ceramic beads and Czech beads in various hues of greens, blues and browns. I put the leafy brass clasp to one side and balanced it with a couple of small brass floral links.

ABS July challenge collage

And there is a pair of earrings to match, with smaller versions of the ceramic focal, and some of the Czech glass beads.

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I’m planning a few posts this week. On Wednesday I will reveal what I made with the porcelain flower pendant from Suburban Girl Studio I received as a guest designer for Art Jewelry Elements’ Component of the Month challenge. And on Saturday I plan to have something ready for Sharyl McMillian-Nelson’s Summer Color Inspiration Challenge.

Beads

To market, to market

Well, I survived the school craft market! And it was fun! I sold some jewellery, made a little money, and I got a few compliments on my designs too.

To put it all in context, this market was primarily for school kids, and their accompanying parents. I knew my customers were mostly going to be little girls, aged between 5 and 12. So I decided to make necklaces appealing to girls like my daughters, who are 7 1/2 and almost 6 years old, with mysterious keys, heart-shaped lockets, bright flowers, butterflies, rainbows, fairies and unicorns, cute little critters. I mostly used silver-toned metals, but I also had some antique copper and brass chains and charms. And I had a few wooden pendants with a broader appeal—some surfboards and some tribal-looking pendants.

I ended up selling almost half of the necklaces I made, mostly the silver ones. Some large silver lockets I found on Etsy were the most popular item, which didn’t surprise me.

To tempt the adults, I also made a few things—earrings, the bracelets I featured in this post, and a handful of necklaces in various designs using pendants from Marsha Neal Studio, Humblebeads and White Clover Kiln and Czech beads. I didn’t expect to sell much—I ended up selling two pairs of earrings—but I wasn’t disappointed, as I knew the main customers were going to be the kids. But one customer was very taken with my Día de las Muertos necklace and took my card—maybe I’ll hear from her, maybe I won’t.

So what’s next? Well, there is a monthly handmade market, aptly named The Handmade Show, just around the corner from me. I went and had a look yesterday and there were a few jewellery sellers there, but they do restrict the numbers of each kind of stall so not too many. This particular show is closed over the summer months, but I have made note of the date when applications open for the first show in April next year, and I think I will apply. It’s inexpensive, and, I think, a good starting point for me. I also need to seriously think about opening an Etsy shop—I’ve started the process but I need to pull together some more stock, take some good photos, and start listing. And I need to make a Facebook business page, and perhaps have a small sale there in the run up to Christmas.

In the mean time, if you’re thinking about getting someone something special for Christmas, let me know if I can help!