December 31, 2007

Year of the Beads

Beady greatness from 2007

1. Project in BeadStyle - Eclectic Mix

2. Named as an Editor's Top Pick in Beads 2007

3. Bead Cruise 2007

4. Proclaiming Bead Week
5. Starting the Art Bead Scene

6. My Etsy shop

7. William Morris Beads

8. My first real Bead Show

9. Thickets & Thistles

10. Cover of BeadStyle's 365 Earrings

Looking forward to what 2008 will bring!

Back from Vacation!

Did you miss me? I ran off for a week to Michigan to visit my family for the holidays - best Christmas present ever! Yes, there was a little snow. My youngest and I made the snowgirl above, we named her Rosebud.

The beach, my favorite place no matter what the season! I love this little town, no place is perfect I know, but no place feels quite like home!

We took the girls ice skating!

It's wasn't as easy as it looked!

Hey, you snickering behind the camera, why don't you put on a pair of ice skates and give it a try? (no thanks little E, mommy likes her legs unbroken!)

I'm so inspired and renewed. I have new designs, shapes and all sorts of goodies to share with you. My Humblebeads shop will be relaunching on the 10th!

December 20, 2007

Ornament Thursday

I have company this week, yeah mom, so I only did Ornament Thursday on my craft gossip blog. They are super easy to make, in fact I think I'll whip up a few more today.

Polymer Clay @ Craft Gossip

All my orders have been shipped, I'm officially on vacation now until the 1st of the year. I'm working on a new line of beads and redesigning my website for 2008.

In the meantime, today we are baking Christmas cookies and I'm working on a few doll p.j.s and blankets for gifts. I LOOOOOVE making Christmas gifts, this is my favorite time of year. Business is done and now it's on to being a little holiday elf putting together a few last minute gifts, pure joy!

December 17, 2007

Etsy Sale

Just a quick announcement:

I'm having a BOGO sale in my etsy shop - buy one, get one 1/2 off. I also have free priority mail shipping upgrades for orders over $30.00.

You can still shop of Christmas, it's only $2.60 more for priority mail shipping on orders under $30.00. The post office guarantees delivery by before Christmas for priority mail orders shipped by the 20th of December. Gotta love the last minute holiday elves!

December 13, 2007

Ornament Thursday

I couldn't resist the pull of Ornament Thursday, such a great collection of artists and designers making the coolest ornaments this side of the North Pole. My design is a simple one using art beads, wire and few embellishments.

5 Disk Beads (from Humblebeads)
20 gauge wire
6 pewter spacers, 6mm
Pewter Pendant (from Green Girl Studios)
3" silver cable link chain

1. Wire-wrap loop, string on a spacer and a disk bead, repeat 4 times, ending with a spacer bead.

2. Make a loop at the bottom of the wire, thread one end of the chain unto the wire. Loop the chain through the pendant and add the other end of the chain to the wire to hold the pendant. Wire-wrap the wire to form the bottom loop.

3. Tie on a ribbon in the desired length.

Add a few wire-wrapped dangles to create this garden inspired ornament.

Create a funky sprite tassel with seed beads and accents to match the disk beads.

Now on to the other fantastic blogs to view more ornaments, just imagine what our Christmas trees must look like!
Melanie Brooks Lukacs
Art Bead Scene
Cindy Gimbrone
Polymer Clay Craft Gossip
Alexa Westerfield from
Debba Haupert
Elaine Luther
Melissa Lee
Rebecca Peck
Jean Yates http://prettykittydogmoon/
Michelle McGee
Jenny Harada
Jennifer Heynen
Hali Chambers
Kriss Kramer
Brandy Lung Gill

December 10, 2007

A Free Gift from Humblebeads

I have created a PDF of gift labels featuring my little squirrels. Print them out on return address labels (Avery 5160) for 30 gift tag labels. These are for your own personal use, feel free to post this link on your blogs to pass along the holiday cheer!

In other news, today is the last day to order from my main humblebeads site.

The Texas Etsy Crafters are hosting a treasure hunt today in our etsy shops. Check out my shop for details!

December 7, 2007

Christmas is Sneaking Up!!!

Oh, I am happy Christmas nut, I can not tell you why!

Oh, I am happy Christmas nut, I could just cry!

All my Christmas dreams just came true.

My holiday will be filled with white and not blue!

Oh, I am a happy Christmas nut, working through and through.

Finishing each days work, there is always so much to do!

Oh, I am a happy Christmas nut, getting orders quickly out the door.

Soon I'll put the "Closed for Christmas" sign up and will work no more!

*Please place your orders by December 15th for guaranteed Christmas Delivery.

Shop Handmade San Antonio!

If you are in the San Antonio area, don't forget to stop into Art Inc. this weekend to find a large collection of handmade artisan goods, perfect for gift-giving. The super friendly staff offers great suggestions and free gift-wrapping!!!

Art Inc. has been representing my jewelry for 4 years now and they have a wonderful collection of my one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. They are also carrying some of Jesse's work now.

Along with jewelry from local and national artists they have a beautiful collection of ornaments. Glass, ceramic, metal from traditional to contemporary. All on display on their Christmas trees throughout the gallery.

They offer a wide range of functional and decorative fine craft items along with their fine art. No snooty art types here, just beautifully handcrafted items for those who want art in their everyday lives!

December 5, 2007

New Beads!

Finally! I had a camera melt down this week and so things are going a little slower than I planned. But my new William Morris beads are up in my etsy shop.

Also check out the Art Bead Scene, we are doing the 12 Days of Christmas and offering 2 weeks of free projects!!!

And I have to brag, Jess has his etsy shop up and running again with some of his new work. I hope he takes my many hints of which ones I'd like him to make me for Christmas.

December 3, 2007

1st Monday ETC Holiday Sale!
It's a stocking stuffer extravaganza. These little guys are ornaments, but if you put them on a ball and chain type necklace they would make cute pendants for the pre-teen/teen crowd.

Today only, 20% off my entire shop. All items are in stock and ready to ship out tomorrow in plenty of time for the holidays.

Join me today in the etsy virtual labs for a holiday chat. We'll be dishing about stocking stuffers; our favorite ones to make, buy and those in our shops! Join us in the Red Room at 12pm CST (1pm EST).

I'm waiting for my camera battery to charge and will be listing new beads and jewelry all day today. Check back often. Shipping charges will be combined on multiply orders.

December 2, 2007

Stocking Stuffers round 2

The ETC sale is tomorrow. Check out this forum post for all the details and a list of participating shops. Here are a few more of my favorites:

Peppermint Lavender Bath Salts from Stephaniek

Snowman Pincushion Ornament from ReFabulous

Olive and Cranberry Earrings from NoEasyBeads

Fun Garden Gnome Ring from LucyBlueStudio

ETC Stocking Stuffers

Don't forget to check back here on Monday for the latest news about my Etsy Texas Crafters 1st Monday sale! I'll be featuring a few members and some of my favorite stocking stuffers from their shops. I'm also hosting a stocking stuffer chat in the Etsy labs on Monday at 12pm. (CST)

Red Jade necklace from ChickRocks.

Snowflake soap from Serenitysoapworkstx

Moo Card Holder from Lavenderlizard, also works great for spare change or a little spot for gum or mints.

Pocket Mirror from MissBellasRoom.

Candy Cane Earrings from Humblebeads.

p.s. the show is going great! if you are in San Antonio, come visit us!

November 27, 2007


This is the inspiration for my latest beads. I wish they were as beautiful and intricate as this print, but "inspired by" will do for now. It's a wall paper design from William Morris. Could you image a wall filled with this?
I know, I'm so mean not show you pictures, but you'll have to come back on Monday to see all the new beads. Which also includes a new round of beads inspired by Gustav Klimt's painting, The Kiss. Good stuff!

November 26, 2007

Upcoming Holiday Events for Humblebeads

Where have I been? Getting ready for my biggest show of the year!

I learned a few years ago that I'm happiest if I only concentrate on one show each holiday season. It's a gamble, but it does keep me sane during the month of November!

This year I will be returning to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio for their Hecho-A-Mano/Made-by-Hand show. This will be my 4th year for this event.

So many new things are flying out of the bead oven. I wish I could show them to you - maybe if I have time to take photos later this week. I created an incredible new version of my William Morris beads in shades of blue, loving them!

In the meantime, today is Cyber Monday and I have free shipping today in my etsy shop or use promo code M2007 for my humblebeads site.

Next Monday is the Etsy Texas Crafters 1st Monday Event. Stayed tuned for more details!

November 8, 2007

Etsy Banner Workshop Review

Yesterday I attended an online workshop at the Etsy Virtual Labs on how to create banners. Now, I have photoshop and know how to use it to make a banner, but I always learn something at the workshops so I was there ready to take notes!

Here are a few pointers:
*A good banner can be graphic, all text.
*It's nice to have an image of your product in your banner, so shoppers see your work right away.
*For branding, your avatar & banner should match.
*Make sure your banner fits in with the theme of your shop.
*Use the banner and avatar to brand yourself, this is very important when you are starting out.
*Play with the scale of your images for the background of your banner. (like I did for my holiday banner)
*Gimp is a free photo editing software that works like photoshop.
*dafont is a great source for free fonts.

Here are a few of the shops they showed as examples of effective banners & avatars:
MaryInc. - used a close up photo of silk-printing screens with a simple logo, that cleverly ties into their silk-printed items.
Megan Auman -used her jewelry and graphic lettering, keeping things clean and bold, just like her shop.
Savor - used a close up of her packaging.
Your Secret Admiral - drew her own lettering and illustrations with a sharpie marker.

My old avatar and banner:

November 7, 2007

the photo jackpot

I've been going to the online critiques that the etsy lab has every Friday. They pick two shops and go through what's working and how to make them better. I've learned something every time I've sat in on one and thought I'd share some of the photo tips with you.


Last year's photo of my snowmen pendants, background is way too busy and I used lamps for the lighting.

In natural light, but need to have the photo lighter and the background was too washed out. One of the problems of this photo is the light is coming from the back.

So what's my secret now? 1. Natural light, I set up right next to the window sill and 2. Contrasting background for extra pop! I've been photographing most of my items on white paper, but found my camera's color balance works better if I use a background with some color.

I've been using books, which is the green background here.

scrapbook paper in a dark grey

and a rusted sheet of metal.

Another thing to consider when choosing your backgrounds and props is what kind of theme works best for your product. I felt like things that looked ancient, like items from an old library, worked very well with the natural colors and textures of my clay.

Here are two videos on taking better photos.
Photographing Your Items from the Etsy Labs
Photo Tips from Gemmafactrix

Natural light is the key! I will never take pictures with a lamp again, there is just no comparison for me. I also spend much less time fixing up the light and colors in Photogshop. Since I've been using natural lighting for my photos my work has been featured on the front page of Etsy twice, so I must be doing something right!