Friday, November 30, 2012

November Monthly Blog Tour


I just love M.C. Escher's work. 
I have always had a fascination for puzzles and his clever and intuitive and intricately detailed illustrations are incredible. It makes me try to figure out how he knew just where to place everything just so that it fools your eye and really makes you think. What I liked most about this one, why I chose it for the monthly challenge, is that it had some very accessible motifs: leaves, water, goldfish, trees, sky. And the monochromatic black and white is such a departure from our usual color-full palettes. A challenge to be sure!
{If you are interested in a more color-full challenge, please hop over to my blog today for the reveal of the
3rd Annual Challenge of Color going on now!}


Pam of Klassy Joolz starts us off with a beauty in black and white. I love the addition of the little koi fish charm and the subtle touches of gold in this piece.

Pushing through the challenge is what Laura of the Bead Therapist had to do. She doesn't normally work in a black and white palette but she did a great job of combining some really cool fish/leaf shaped beads with the branch like sticks in her pretty necklace design.

And she was busy with other interpretations as well! A pair of earrings and another stunning necklace. Who rose to the challenge? Laura, the Bead Therapist, did!

Welcome Sevara! A very unusual flower shape ring made from polymer clay with a stark white and black palette is her entry.We hope to see more from you in the future!

I really like the idea that reality is divided by walls that we construct. That is the inspiration behind the bracelet with a lovely handmade clasp from Angela Lund-Logan.

This lack of color was a challenge for some. Miss Tracy Stillman tells us that she wasn't as drawn to this as other months, but I think that her explanation of each carefully chosen and placed element in this beautiful bracelet is spot on! This is something I could wear with everything!

Holy moly. When I look at StaciLouise's innovative design I can't help but think that she channeled Escher perfectly! If Escher made jewelry this is what it would look like for sure. That handmade fish is unbelievable! Thank you for sharing this stunning design with us and I always love to read your inspirations.

Oh my goodness. You have to go and read the process behind this fabulous interpretation by MackinArt. Truly amazing how she pulled together the materials for this from her own photography.

Black and white is a classic in all ways. I own more black in my closet than anything else. So all of your designs have me drooling. I think I could live in a black and white world as long as I had a stunning necklace like this one from Cece The Beading Yogini.

More classic loveliness from Backstory Beads. Pearls are a girls best friend, right? I love the carefully placed asymmetry in this design. It has flow and balance and tells a great story.

I can actually feel the chill in the air and the icy nature that inspired these beads created by Blissful Garden Beads. It reminds me of a heavy frost surprising the garden encasing everything in a clear icy bubble. Beautiful design!

Miss Beth and Miss Evie of EB Bead and Metal Works always mesh their talents in such awesome ways! The hand sawn and enameled goldfish pendant is very detailed. I can't even begin to fathom how much time and how steady a hand it takes to do that. And the glass beads Beth created are a perfect addition to this monochromatic palette.


Thank you for joining us on this journey of inspiration! 
Check back next week for the final challenge of 2012!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


'Late Fall' by gaea

The smell of fallen damp leaves inspired this celebration of fall supplies....


Monday, November 26, 2012

Featured Designers of the Week: MelMcG & MackinArt

Its the end of the Month and couldn't choose just one so this Monday we have 2 featured designers.
Every Monday one of our editors choose their favorite entries in our Monthly challenge.
Here's what ABS Editor Tari Sasser has to say about her picks.

First Image by Melanie McGready/Mel McG

"I love Melinda's literal interpretation of MC Eschers, Three Worlds. The Carp is just fantastic, contrasting with the black and white. Perfect!"

: : :

Second Image by Kelly/MackinArt, "Tri-Level"

"I love that Kelly has 3 images for Three Worlds. The images and execution of her beads are just wonderful. Loved reading about your process!"

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Show Me Sunday

  Today we have some handmade autumn acorns to show off!

Show Me Winter Holiday Beads! 
Tis the season for winter holiday beads! Let's see some of those great beads, charms, and components that celebrate the winter season! Holiday specific beads, pine trees, snowflakes... let's celebrate all of the things that remind of us December. Post your links in the comments here and I will select some of the links you leave on this post to highlight in another Show Me Sunday post. 
Here is what some of our beady friends have to show off this week: 

A Bead A Day
Yippee Skippy, Lisa's doing giveaways each week through Dec. 26! Stop by and leave a comment for a chance to win a jewelry making kit! Jewelry Making
Still looking for the perfect gift to make? Jewelry or otherwise, see this list of hand-made gifting possibilities.  
Art Bead Scene
Erin Siegel reviews an exciting new book full of fun ideas for making Leather Jewelry 
Beading Arts
Cyndi has another delicious giveaway book: Shrink! Shrank! Shrunk! 
Resin Crafts!
The classic resin glazed scrabble tile is explained in this mini tutorial. 
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean gives you the low down on Rio Grande's program concerning accepting your silver scrap! Do not throw it away!!!  
Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful Sale and Free Project

We are so thankful to the community here at the Art Bead Scene and our faithful readers.  Thank you for participating in our monthly challenges, joining in our blog hops, joining us for our Studio Saturday adventures and sharing your thoughtful comments with us. Our creative endeavor here is enriched because you join in with us exploring the world of art beads. Thank you!!!

A few of our contributors are having sales for a weekend.  Here are the coupon codes and websites to check out!  Sale dates are listed below - be sure to use the discount codes when you check out.

Gaea - Use coupon code BEADINGBLISS for 15% Friday through Monday. 

Tesori Trovati - 15% off with discount code HOHOHO or Free Shipping with the code: FREESHIP. Both offers are valid from 11/23-11/30

Humblebeads - Save 20% off now until Monday with discount code THANKS20.  Orders of $100 or more will receive a free holiday charm! 

Free Project - Thankful Banner

I created this tiny banner to offer some cheer to someone dear to me this Thanksgiving.  You can adjust the message or personalize it with a name or date to create a sweet ornament for the holidays. 

Brass leaf
12" 22 gauge brass colored wire
3mm faceted brass bead
14mm disk bead
Acrylic paint
Ball peen hammer
2-hole metal punch
Letter stamps
Round nose and chain nose pliers
Buffing block

1. Stamp your word onto the brass blank.
2. Texture around the word with the round end of the ball peen hammer.  Use a buffing block to highlight the texture.
3. Paint the letters and wipe of the access paint.
4. Create a hole with the 2-hole punch, so there is a hole on both ends.
5. Create a wrapped loop and string on the polymer clay bead and brass bead.
6. Create a loop to hold the beads in place.  Twist the wire with your hands and pliers to create the vine textured wire.  Hold the wire with one hand and twist it to create the crooks and turns, use round-nose pliers to create the small loops in the wire.
7. Attach the wire with a simple loop to the other side of the leaf.

Resources: Leaf and wire: Vintaj.  Polymer clay bead: Humblebeads. Brass Bead: Rings & Things.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

From everyone at Art Bead Scene we wish you a
Happy Thanksgiving!

We are thankful for all of you, our wonderful readers.
Many thanks to each of you. 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Show Me Sunday

 This week we are showing off a couple more leafy harvest inspired components.  Above, the clay Autumn Leaf Pendant by TinasBeadMind captures some of the fun autumn colors and textures we see this time of year.
 These Forest Finery pendants by TesoriTrovati are an elegant and artistic vision of the change of seasons.

Show Me More Harvest Beads! 
For November, we want to showcase beads, pendants, and components that remind us of the autumn harvest.  Let's see a cornucopia of fall colors, autumnal fruits and veggies and leaves, and a buffet of yummy visual treats to celebrate the change of season. Post your links in the comments here and I will select some of your ideas you leave on this post to highlight in another Show Me Sunday post. 
Here is what some of our beady friends have to show off this week: 
  A Bead A Day
Have you ever seen similarities in jewelry pieces now and from days gone by? Lisa shares her thoughts on timeless styles. Jewelry Making
Re-purpose a vintage pin into a pendant for a new necklace that has a vintage look. 
Art Bead Scene
November's Art Bead Scene challenge is a graphic illustration by MC Escher, bound to inspire wintery jewelry designs 
Beading Arts
Cyndi is celebrating a month of books! The newest book up for grabs is "Simply Stylish Crystal Jewelry", so head on over and get in on all the great giveaways! 
Resin Crafts!
A week of samples featuring new Nunn Design components end with a huge give-a-way this week on Resin Crafts Blog. 
Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Jean discusses her great love of Basha Beads!  

Melanie Brooks is the ceramic beadmaker behind Earthenwood Studio, who blogs from her Metro Detroit, Michigan home.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Leather Jewelry

Leather Jewelry: 30 Contemporary Projects by Nathalie Mornu

This book has been in my collection for a couple of years now. It's one of my favorites in my jewelry-making library and it deserves a little review love here on the blog. With the recent popularity of leather in jewelry, this book hits the mark for creating stylish accessories that are oh-so relevant with what is happening right now in the jewelry and fashion industries. Leather jewelry is hot, hot, hot and still on the rise with no signs of stopping anytime soon!

If you want to add leather to your jewelry and you're looking for inspiring ideas on how to do it, this book is for you. I really didn't know much about leather before grabbing a copy of this book. Now, I feel informed and confident I could handle any leather jewelry project I set my sights on with this book by my side. Author Nathalie Mornu presents a great introduction to the medium. Her book is loaded with useful information I have found enlightening on the subject. You'll learn all about the different types of leather, which ones work well for the kind of jewelry you want to make and tips on where to track down leather scraps for jewelry-making. The book also contains detailed sections on all the right leather-working tools to use and techniques that you can start applying to your creations immediately. 

The jewelry projects in the book are chic and sophisticated, stylish and fashion-forward. Some of my favorite designs are also the simplest ones. For me, jewelry that is on-trend and easy to execute are top priorities. You can even start adding leather to your pieces right away with the jewelry-making skills you already have and a little inspiration from this book.

Take a look at a few of the projects inside Leather Jewelry:

"Gossip" by Nathalie Mornu 
Photo courtesy of Lark Books

"Regina" by Nathalie Mornu
Photo courtesy of Lark Books  

"Knots" by Nathalie Mornu
Photo courtesy of Lark Books 

See what I mean? How cute is this jewelry? And so easy to make. Couldn't you see changing up these projects just a little and adding in some art beads??? I certainly could. Leather is a great material to pair with your favorite art beads to add texture and interest to your jewelry designs. In fact, I did just that recently with my own version of Nathalie's "Knots" earrings pictured above. 

Here are my earrings inspired by Nathalie's:
Blue Titanium earrings by Erin Siegel
 Suede knot earrings inspired by "Knots" in Leather Jewelry by Nathalie Mornu.
Featuring handmade blue ceramic beads by Lisa Boucher.

If you want to learn how to add leather to your jewelry designs, grab a copy of this book. I highly recommend it! Buy it online at Barns & Noble (on sale now) or Amazon.

Okay, it's giveaway time.  
In the spirit of the season and the Thanksgiving holiday, I have an author SIGNED copy of Leather Jewelry to giveaway. While I was at Bead Fest this year, I had the pleasure of meeting author Nathalie Mornu. It is pretty exciting and an honor to meet someone who's work you admire. I loved meeting her. She's a pretty awesome person and she was awesome enough to personally send me a signed copy of her book to help me say "thank you" to you. Nathalie, I love your book and I know our ABS readers will, too.  Let's show my friend Nathalie some love for her generosity and leave a comment on this post. Leave your comment by Friday, November 23rd 2012 to be entered to win the signed copy of Leather Jewelry. Please leave me a way to contact you in case you are the lucky recipient.

Good luck and
Happy Thanksgiving! 
I hope your holiday is filled with reading, beading and all things you are thankful for.

Erin Siegel is a jewelry designer, beading instructor and co-author of the jewelry book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry: 50 Designs Using Leather, Ribbon and Cords. To find out more, visit her blog: Erin Siegel Jewelry.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Art Bead Palette :: Sigaliot

This month, with the lack of color in our Monthly Challenge Palette, I felt the need to go in the exact opposite direction and find the brightest, happiest art beads I could. Partly influenced by a recent color theory post that I've got on my blog, and partly because November can start to feel dreary, I started searching and quickly came upon a shop called Sigaliot.

Run by a lovely lady name Sagit, Sigaliot is full of polymer clay beads featuring saturated rainbow colors, stripes, dots, and fun designs. This is just a small sampling, but how can you not smile when you see such happy colors?

My favorite is the last palette with the black and white stripes - what's yours?

Photo sources, from the top:

  1. Disco Ball
  2. The Blue Lagoon
  3. Color Cells
  4. Funky Zebra