Monday, January 31, 2011

Bead Trends February 2011

One of my designs is in the February 2011 edition of Bead Trends magazine!  I submitted this back in the summer, got accepted early in the fall, and just got the magazines and other goodies in the mail this past week.

Here are the magazines.  I got two free copies.
I also got a $20 gift certificate to Fire Mountain Gems as well as my returned bracelet.

Here's a close up of the spread.  If any of you get Bead Trends, it's pages 108-109.

I took a close up of the spread for the Etsy item listing, too.

Now that the issue is out, I'm allowed to list the bracelet so it's available on Etsy here.

This is the first version that I've done with this design using metal buttons.  My mom found a whole bunch of these vintage buttons for me at Vogue a while back. I made one other bracelet like this back in the summer, which I almost immediately sold to a family friend. I don't have any more buttons exactly like this, which is too bad, because they're amazing.  I also love the clasp button.  I used one other one like it on this piece.  I might have one or two more left, but that's it.  So I'll have to keep hunting for small metal buttons.

For those of you who are beaders and who are not interested in subscribing to the magazine or buying this issue off the stand, the pattern is available here.  Personally I think that patterns are a lot easier to work through with pictures, which obviously the magazine doesn't really provide.  And if you don't already subscribe, buying the single pattern is a lot cheaper.  Thus ends my little plug for it. :)

Also, for those of you who are beaders, Bead Trends is always accepting submissions for future issues here.  I'd like to get a couple more designs in for the summer issues that they're accepting for now.  I'm really amazed that they took one of my first submissions and hope that they're take others in the future, too.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I've started hinting to Jake that I want another ring for our 5th wedding anniversary.  I know what some of you are thinking: Didn't you just have your 4th anniversary?  Yes.  But there's nothing wrong with thinking ahead.  As I'm sure you can tell from any of my "modeling" pictures here, I have skinny wrists and fingers.  My wedding ring is a custom size so this ring will be, too, if I want to wear it on one of my ring fingers.  I have this wedding ring (which has gone up a scary amount of money since Jake bought it a little over five years ago).

I want something else that is yellow gold, but with at least one stone (I'm thinking aquamarine or diamond but I'm not set on that) that has some height, and that is cheaper than this one that I've had my eye on for quite a while.  I also want a somewhat substantial band so it doesn't wear down too easily.  But I don't want anything too bulky.  Jake doesn't want to spend that much money and is interested in something lab created and/or custom made, which is okay.  Easier said than done, though.  We love Stauer...but they don't offer custom sized rings.  I've searched up and down for lab created items elsewhere that can be made in custom sizes without much luck. 

So I've started looking on Etsy.  And this is what I've come up with so far.
Of course the ring pictured is white gold, but she offers this same ring setting with yellow gold like you can find here.  This setting is awesome.  So unique.  I love how it's substantial without being overwhelming.

This ring isn't a lot cheaper than the one I've had my eye on from Kay, but it's so amazing.  Yellow gold, diamonds, and aquamarine...what else would I want, right?  The setting isn't as unique as the last one but it's a very classic look.

I wouldn't want this stone, but I love everything else about this ring.  It's rose gold, which I think looks fine with yellow gold.  Otherwise I could ask about customization.  They offer stone choices/customization on other rings like this one, so even if it didn't have a diamond or aquamarine, I think we would find something that I would like.  This is another amazing setting.  So unique.  I love how it looks like a little crown.  The detail on the sides of the stone is great, too.

I'm not going to start contacting sellers for at least another five months, but it's fun to start looking.  I'll be keeping my eyes open and may share more ideas if I come up with anything else.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

winter Art Beads piece

For the winter Art Beads piece for the design partner program, we were allowed to choose any components that we wanted from the Art Beads site for a winter piece.  An idea came to mind for a winter piece about 24 hours after I got my e-mail.  I ordered my beads right away.  You can see the components that I used here.

As I mentioned in my post with the components, this piece is part of my new line.  I have to be honest: I am keeping this one.  But I am starting to list other pieces from the line in my shop.  I'll have a post about that and the pattern for the line later this week (or you can go to my shop now if you can't wait to see what's already available).  And as always, if anyone wants one with this particular color scheme, please let me know.  I'm always happy to do custom orders.

All of the beads that I selected for this piece are from the glass beads section of Art Beads.  I used Toho cube beads and Czech dagger beads.  The majority of the beads in the piece are from Art Beads with a few others from my personal collection thrown into the mix.  If you want to know any of the specific colors that I used, please let me know.  I'll be honest again: I DO order a lot of my Toho cubes from Art Beads.  I normally DON'T order my dagger beads from Art Beads.  I order them elsewhere in bulk.  But I watch for sales on Art Beads.  Throwing a few of their patterned daggers into a mix with solid color opaques and AB finishes can add a wonderful hint of detail.

I selected two "special" components for this piece.  Most of my dagger fringed bracelets won't have these, but I thought it would be a neat touch with this mix.  The first component is a button from their Swarovski collection.  As you know, I love all buttons.  The Swarovski buttons are pretty cool.  The second component is a sterling silver charm from their charm collection.  You can find that charm right here.  I normally order silver plated charms because they're considerably cheaper.  However, sometimes I like to splurge on some higher end pieces through the design program.  I'm a sucker for heart jewelry (such a cliche I know).  I don't go overboard with floral themes in my life because that would be pretty corny for obvious reasons, but I thought the rose here would be a subtle touch for this piece.

I love how the color theme came together for this piece.  I didn't make this at the same time as my winter leafy bracelet, but it has a very similar feel.  I still have a lot of the cubes left so I will most likely make something else with a similar color scheme at some point.

Here's a posed shot with the clasp showing so you can see how that comes together.

And here's a shot with it turned the way that you would normally wear it so you can see how the daggers will hang.

I am currently in the middle of writing the pattern for my dagger design with the cube base.  I'm hoping to release it around the same time that I start rolling out the new line on Etsy.

Disclosure - I received my ArtBead's products free of charge through their blogging program. I am honestly reviewing their products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products I received. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

leafy feature: the Valentine's Day edition (for the EtsyBloggers)

One of the blog carnival topics for the EtsyBloggers this week is love, in honor of Valentine's Day quickly approaching.  Today is actually my dating anniversary so I thought it would be fitting to feature leafy Valentine's items.  All of these pieces would be wonderful gifts for a special girl!  Even though Jake and I celebrate our wedding anniversary now, our dating anniversary is still a neat milestone.  We've been together nine years now.  Enjoy!

Double Hoop Earrings with Aluminum Leaf Drop by KaliButterfly

GOLDEN LEAVES with HEART MemoryHolder by andyecrafts

Altered Art PHOTO LOCKET - Monochromatic Leaves - HEART Locket by urbanrose

True Blue Heart Ornament Accented with Babydoll Ficus Leaves - Double Rope by Jaritascreations

Heart Shaped Gift Tags - Blueberry Leaves by Skapligt

Personalized Honey Tree with Green Leaves Original Painting on 4 x 6 Canvas Engagement Wedding Anniversary by LoveNaturally

Thursday, January 27, 2011

the best helper

Angel helped me take some pictures this past weekend.
I'd moved the items I haven't photographed yet out of light box so I could take photos of a couple finished pieces and a work in progress for a new pattern.  Yes, all of those pieces there are finished but not yet photographed.  I still haven't caught up from Christmas.  That pile doesn't even include my newest dagger fringed bracelets that are still in the living room.

When I was finished and went to move all of the not yet photographed items back, she didn't want me to put them away and pawed the felt like crazy.

She even tried to hang on with both paws and bite the felt.  Unfortunately eventually I did move everything back.  The fun can't last forever.  But it sure was nice for a while.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

a girlier side of life (perfect for Valentine's Day) and some Vitamin C

Two of the treasuries that I've been in this past week are girly and full of lots of items that are perfect gifts for Valentine's Day.  Janet (HoneyFromTheBee) included my Silver Dangle Earrings - Pink Shell (which is their second treasury appearance already!) in the latest EtsyBloggers' weekly treasury: EtsyBloggers Team: Strawberries and Cream.

CraftedRoots included my Beaded Cuff Bracelet - Embellished Square Stitch - Red/Purple in their For the Love of Being Yourself treasury.

And for the Vitamin C, Ilenia (ile1974) included my Square Stitch Cuff Bracelet - Embellished - Summer in her Do you need Vitamin C? treasury.  Such a great mix of bright colors that are much needed this time of year!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

working with jade

My mom got me some jade rounds in China a few years ago.  I have most of mine strung as a bracelet on a simple stretchy cord.  I haven't wanted to part with the remaining few.  But I finally got them out again a few months ago and found some Czech glass and ceramic buttons that I wanted to pair them with to make a couple bracelets.  I ended up making one of them with the intention that it would be a birthday present from my mom for my grandma.  It seems like my mom will be keeping it for herself...and I'm not sure what my grandma is going to get haha, but here's the first one.

I made the second one, which is slightly longer, at the same time and listed it on Etsy last night.  It's available here.

This one doesn't have any strong copper/bronze colored components like this first one does, but it is still awesome.  It took me a long time to find the jade chips that I wanted and decide what Czech glass I wanted to pair with it.  A lot of the Czech glass is from Shannon (beadsandbabble).  The primary mix that I used is right here.  I added the ceramic buttons from Lisa (LisaPetersArt) on a whim at the last minute.  I cannot believe that I forgot they were in my stash.  The color coordinates perfectly.  I have one more left over, too.

I still had a lot of jade chips when I'd finished these pieces so I made a lighter weight jade piece with seed bead accents that I'll have up soon, too.  It's a similar style to to this little coral piece.

Monday, January 24, 2011

January EtsyBloggers Featured Seller

The January featured seller for the EtsyBloggers is Joy of TheArtofJoy.  Joy is a really sweet team member who sells printable and customizable paper and party items.  She is very pregnant right now so we haven't heard too much from her lately, but we really appreciate everything that she does for our team and wish her the best with her new little one.  And of course you should go check out her blog, too.  She has lots of freebies and other fun stuff over there.

Here are a few goodies from her shop.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Another wonderful treasury feature!  TheTeddyBearShop included my Beaded Bracelet - Silver Links - Celestial in her The moon and the stars...were the gifts you gave treasury.  I am wowed by how much attention this little piece has gotten since I took new pictures of the latest version!  And I never get tired of this theme.  Gorgeous collection.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

in the right season

As I'm sure a lot of you already know, I don't always make jewelry pieces that coordinate with the current season.  So I'm really proud that I'm getting all of this together in the winter!

I got my newest stash from Art Beads through their blogging design program this week.  We were allowed to pick any items that we wanted to create a winter piece.
It will be part of my new line that I blogged about earlier this month.  I'm very excited about it.  I used to maximize my number of choices for the blogging program and get lots of smaller items.  Lately I've been trying to splurge on some nicer pieces.  Thus, I chose to include the Swarovski button and sterling silver charm on the left.  I'll have more details about all of that in the near future.

I finally took pictures of my newest leafy bracelet: Beaded Bracelet - The Leafy Series - Winter.  It's available in two different sizes.  They're very similar and both awesome.  Both of these pictures are of the smaller version.

The clear blue and silver leaf beads that I used in this design are from Shannon (beadsandbabble).  I've mentioned her here before, but if you haven't checked out her shop yet, please go over there.  Also, the pattern for my leafy bracelet is available here.

Disclosure - I received my ArtBead's products free of charge through their blogging program. I am honestly reviewing their products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products I received. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

appreciating orange

ohpie included my Button Charm Bracelet - Orange in her Orange you glad you made it treasury.  Isn't that a cute idea for a treasury?  I kind of got into orange for a while when I was younger because my high school's colors are orange and blue.  I'm not into it so much now, but everyone once in a while, it's very refreshing.

On the subject of orange, if you've never checked out Jessica's How About Orange blog, please go over there.  In addition to appreciating any and all things orange, she has lots of great freebies, tutorials, and much more.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

getting ready for Valentine's Day

I listed two more items in my shell series this week, which would work perfectly for Valentine's Day.  Of course they work perfectly for lots of other occasions, too.

The bracelet is available here, and the earrings are available here.  I blogged about my shell designs pretty recently so I won't go into that again too much right now.  The small black/white shell design is up next and then I'll be working with blues and greens (as well as some black earrings).

Also on the subject of Valentine's Day, Christina (AnnasAdornments) included my Beaded Bracelet - Heart Fringed Raspberry in her Valentine hearts in jewelry, soap, slippers, and buttons treasury.  Thank you Christina!

Christina also included my brand new pink shell earrings in her Pretty pinks treasury!