March 23, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

Oh, it's a quick post today.  I'm buried in beads over here, getting ready with last minute details for the Bead Cruise. 

This is one of the classes I'm teaching next week, so that means kits, kits and more kits!

Good thing there was a Rings & Things show last weekend.  Here is some of my stash, most of it will be put together in kits.

And here is a sneak peek at Jess' desk.  He was inspired by my bunting beads and decided to try some of his own.  They will be soldered with jump rings on both sides.  I LOVE them!  They will be in his shop next week.

Jess will be doing his first guest blog post next Wednesday for BTW.  Be sure to stop by and say hi to him, he's a little nervous about blogging.

Okay, so that's my beady views, what's on your bead table?  Snap a pic. and share it with the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group!

Remember my shop is open until this evening.  Use discount code BEADCRUISE20 for 20% off your order today.

March 20, 2011

Bunting Banner Beads

I love how these turned out!  So stinkin' cute.  Just makes me want to have a party. 

A big ol' bead party and all of you could come over and eat cake and laugh and talk about beads and share what we made.  That sounds like a great time to me.  Let's pencil in a date!

I'm really looking forward to the Bead Cruise. I love meeting my new group and seeing those who have traveled with us for years now.  It's the best week long bead celebration I can think of!

And because I'm feeling all celebrate-y I have a lovely little coupon code for you, if you'd like to pick something up.  Enter BeadCruise20 for 20% off your order.  This is good through Wednesday.  This is for my Etsy shop only. My shop will be closed from March 24-April 4th.

"The world is so full of a number of things, I'm sure we should all be as happy as kings." Robert Louis Stevenson

So tell me, what's one thing that makes you want to celebrate? My list at the moment includes my family, the cool breeze blowing through my studio window, donuts for brunch and in one week I will be on a cruise ship!  

March 19, 2011

Play Vs. Procrastination

I don't know why, but sometimes when I have deadlines piled up the weirdest ideas come into my head and I feel possessed to get them out into the world.  If you've seen the Anthropologie necklace that inspired the trend of tiny banner necklace you know why these just had to come into being! I couldn't resist giving the theme a Humblebeads' spin.  These may be the only ones I make or they may evolve into something else down the line.  In the meantime, they were a fun and quick distraction from my ever-mounting to-do list.

Visit my other blog to see some banner birthday drawings and a round up of crafty banner tutorials.

And a real reason to wave the banners - the winner of the Polymer Clay Pizazz 2 book giveaway is Skygazer/Christy!!!  Christy please email me your mailing address and I will ship that right out to you.

March 16, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - Really?

How can it be Wednesday!  Not only is it already mid-week, it's also mid-March! I have been in a daze all month.  Too many things to deal with, too many deadlines and not enough time to breathe!  Holy stressers Bead Girl, get it together!

Okay, well it is Bead Table Wednesday and that is my favorite day of the week. I love seeing what you guys are up to and have discovered lots of new talent over in the BTW Flickr group.

On my desk today: starfish - some are for the gift bags on the cruise and some are for orders and some are just extras.  I'm so feeling the tropical island vibe at the moment.  I want to be on that ship already!

And this is a little peek at what Melanie sent to me for her Earthenwood Design Team series.  I can't wait to make something with these.  But time is too short at the moment, so they will be packed away and heading on the cruise with me.  I will work my magic with them while I'm sailing on the high seas.  These crackle glaze components are so cool.  I love the egg/teardrop charm.  I see some birds and wire nests in my future!

Of course I'm only showing snippets of the tables today - oh the shame of this messy room!  So share whatever is on your bead table, whether it's messy or neat - the whole panorama or an artsy detail.  Check out the BTW photos this week for a quick dash of inspiration.

Okay, it's back to the Bead Cave for me.  Happy Creating!

March 13, 2011

Sleep & Creativity

As a recovering workaholic the best thing I can do for my business is get a good night's sleep. 

Did you know that Harvard did a study and found that you boost your creativity by 33% when you get a good night's sleep?

Getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night can cause premature death, it also increases your chances of developing heart disease and diabetes.

So living longer, being more productive and creative - is that worth a few extras hours a day to you?

I never get more done than after a good night's sleep.  But how many times have I started to work again at 10pm after my kids are in bed and work until 1 or 2am only to get up again at 7am.  Is this you?  I can tell you, it's not worth it. 

Some small business gurus will spout you have to sacrifice to become successful, working 60-70 a week.  But I'm here to say if you don't take care of yourself, you are not going to be healthy or happy enough to enjoy that success.  Is success, money in the bank only?  Is it worth it no matter how exhausted and non-present you are during the day?  Let's face it, if you are running on empty because you were up all night working - how enjoyable are you to your family the next day? 
So let's talk about those sacrifices:

1. Your health should not be laid on the alter of your business.  Take care of you, sleep, eat well, walk, get out of the studio.  Working 24/7 will not lead to success, it will lead to burnout.

2. Cut out TV or limit it to the weekends when you deserve some down time.

3. Sacrifice being the perfect mother/wife - other people in your family can do dishes, wash clothes, help cook dinner.  A few dust bunnies will not kill anyone.  Let go of standards of perfection and focus on the things that make you happy.

4. Sacrifice your freedom for a schedule - set up work hours and stick to them - do not go online, do not answer the phone, do not do the dishes or run errands.  If you have 8 hours a week to work - then work them, don't waste that time doing anything else.

5. And finally - how much time are you spending online, really?  How many blogs, tweets and Facebook status are you tending to?  Keep track for a week, I mean minute by minute.  There is a limit to what we can do and social media is rockin' for promoting your business.  But I venture to say if you are spending more than 2 hours online a day, you have found the place where you can trade in some time for those zzzz's. 

Listen to this podcast with a top Etsy seller who downsized to find balance and happiness.

March 12, 2011

Polymer Pizzazz 2 Giveaway

I don't give much info on this blog about polymer clay, because my focus is on inspiring jewelry designers and all things beady.  But I do know that there are polymer folks who visit the blog, just because they love all things polymer.  And who wouldn't? Polymer clay is like the most awesome stuff on the planet. 

So to make it up to you polymer peeps, I'm having a giveaway just for you this week.  First, one lucky winner will get these 4 texture sheets that I love using.  There is a linen texture, faux bark, stripes and dots.  So much fun to press in the clay and paint over to show off the texture.  This set comes from a blinds sample book that Jess brought home from an interior designer's office.  He is good at collecting weird random things that turn out to be genius.  The four sheets measure about 2 1/2" square. 

The second part of the prize is an advanced copy of Polymer Pizzazz 2, which will be out in April!!!  Yes, you can win it here first.  It has 25 eclectic projects from notable polymer clay artists like Pam Wynn, Barbara McGuire, Lisa Pavelka and Christi Friesen - to name a few.  The projects range from whimsical to modern.  There is an interesting mixed media section that you'll have to check out. 

Okay, so you do have to work for this prize.  Share the title of your favorite polymer clay book and one online polymer clay resource.  Folks are always emailing me asking for that and I never have a good answer for them. 

I'll pick a winner on Friday, March 18th.

P.S. Online resources - Sorry for the confusion!  I didn't mean material sources, but your favorite online resources for tutorials, lessons, videos, inspiration, etc.

March 11, 2011

Bead Cruise Countdown

16 days until I set sail for Bead Cruise 2011!

I'm trying to be reasonable about my to do list for the next two weeks.

Things I keep reminding myself:

1. I only have two hands.
2. I will get everything done in the time allotted. 
3. Whatever I make, it will be enough.
4. Most importantly, I must take time off to spend with my family, no matter how long that list is.

Hmm, these are actually reminders for myself no matter what deadline is on the horizon.

Have a great weekend!

March 9, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

Welcome to Bead Table Wednesday - where I share what's on my bead table and ask you to do the same!
Let's see what's going on here today.  Hmm, there are projects in process for the Bead Cruise program.  The program is a mini-magazine that I put together for the Bead Cruise participants.  That needs to be finished by this weekend.   Above are charms from Marsha Neal, a beehive from Hint (LOVE) and some of my mini disk beads.

These little darlings have my heart this week.  I love working with these peanut beads, I add them to wire-wrapped projects or just string them.  Great texture!

And check out Mr. Humblebeads.  I'm not sure he would approve of that title.  So shh, don't tell him!  I love the house pendants.  We will photograph and list them starting tomorrow.
And some birds he is working on today.  Jess is so cute.  The other day he was digging around in his boxes, metal was clanging, he was sounding like a wild animal forging - I finally couldn't take it anymore and asked,

"What in the world are you doing?"

"I'm finding stuff, I have an idea and I must create."

Oh, that just made my heart melt.

Rebekah is the winner of my Butterfly Pendant from last week's BTW. 

Add your photos to the Bead Table Wednesday group

Can't wait to see what you are up to this week!

March 3, 2011

Spring Stringing

I'd like to thank a few designers who used my beads in the current issue of Stringing magazine.  Stringing is my all time favorite magazine and I never miss an issue.  It's a great resource for finding new bead artists, seeing what's on trend, there are always design articles and of course, the beautiful jewelry creations for inspiration.

In his featured article on Stringing Shortcuts, Andrew Thornton used one of my nest pendants in a clever design.  Andrew paired it with another ceramic art bead and silk ribbon, so simple and so lovely.  I'm always honored when Andrew does his design magic with one of my beads.  You all have Andrew's blog on your reading list, right?  If not, check it out here.  And he also has a shop that you should see.  And like I need to tell you, but he is part of the Green Girl Studios family so I will include them here too.  Andrew has paired up to teach Capturing the Moment Workshops with Kate McKinnon, what an experience that would be!  You can read more about their event here.
Jamie Hogsett created a bracelet with my teal egg and disk beads.  They were paired up with a bird clasp from Green Girl Studios and an Earthenwood Studio nest charm - such a sweet combination.  She also has a pair of earrings using my disk beads as the accents for Heather Wynn's Chit Chat bird charms - I love them.  Jamie is the education coordinator for Soft Flex.  Her work has been seen in countless issues of Stringing & Beadwork magazine along with several Interweave books.  You can learn more about Jamie's work on her website

Beads featured in the magazine are available on my website: Nest Pendant, Teal Eggs, Teal Disk Beads.

Be sure to pick up the spring issue of Stringing for a shot of creative inspiration!

Humblebeads Affiliate Program:
Starting this month if you have a design published in a magazine or book I will send a $25 gift certificate per publication.  Simply contact me after the publication is released to let me know what issue or book it's in and I will send you over a gift certificate code to use on my website. 

March 2, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday - A Photo Tour

The Good:
Rabbit: Spirited Earth
Bumblebee Fairy: Green Girl Studios
Ceramic Butterfly: Gaea
Green butterfly, bird nest, disks and egg: Me
Czech glass & stone eggs

The Bad:
Shipping is the least favorite part of my job - which is now Jesse's job!

The Ugly:
What my work table really looks like!

Back to the Good:
So do you feel lucky? (Well, do ya?) - um - who let Clint Eastwood into my studio today?

Share the link to your Bead Table Wednesday blog post
in the comments below for the chance to win one of my new butterfly pendants! 
I'll pick a winner on Friday. 

Don't have a blog: leave a comment telling me the craziest thing on your bead table - I need a good laugh!

Today is Bead Table Wednesday or the BTW, where the online beading community shares a snapshot of their bead tables and what they are creating.  Visit the Flickr group for a blast of inspiration, connect to other beaders and join in the fun!

March 1, 2011

Get in Gear Earrings - Free Project

I created these earrings using some of Jesse's new beads.  To show them off, I put them on a backdrop of brass bezels. 

10 4x2mm peanut beads
2 brass kidney wire earrings
2 2" brass ball headpins

Tools: metal punch, round nose and needle nose pliers.

(Click on the image to see it larger)

1. Punch a hole through the center of the bezel with a metal punch.
2. String the headpin through the charm with ball facing the front, string the bezel on the headpin.  Bend the headpin at a 45 degree angle.
3. Create a loop at top of the bezel and wrap the rest of the wire around the loop of the bezel.
4. Put the bezel on the loop of the earwire.  Use the needle nose pliers to close the top of the loop on the earwire. Open the earwire and string on 5 peanut bead beads. 

I would put a little drop of beader's glue on the last seed bead to make sure it doesn't slide of the wires.