February 28, 2014

Jewelry Trends for Spring 2014

I'm not really one to chase after trends, but I do find them to be inspiring every now and then. I did some digging and wanted to share my trendy finds. I did a quick jaunt through the websites of the big fashion magazines and fashion bloggers to round up these trends. And then I headed to Etsy to see how I would interpret the trends and did some sketching to get your wheels turning.

Gingko Pendant

Vintage Glass Pearl Drop Mir...

lot 2 ft large engraved bron...

Vintage Swarovski Crystal Be...

Orchid Willow Disk Beads

12 flat brass pendulum/curve...

50 Czech Beads,16x10mm Frost...

12 large brass open triangle...

ON Sale-33 feet fantastic R...

15.5" Lapis Lazuli 14mm...

12 large flat brass tall tri...

Gilded Patina Feather Pendan...

lot 1.5 ft large engraved br...

Gilded Sparrow Pendant

10 Agate Triangle Rare Stone...

50 pcs of faceted solid meta...

Oversized and layered chains
Pearls, sparkly crystals, big gemstones
Metal - in particular gunmetal tones and bright gold (or raw brass for us mere mortals)

White - as in all white, monochromatic designs
Bold colors: cobalt blue, emerald green, bright yellow, orange

Triangles and chevrons
Big, bold geomtric designs
Matchstick pendants and earrings

Styles & Motifs:
Bold pendants
Statement necklaces
Tassels - fiber, beads and chain
Layered necklaces, lots of layered chains with geometric pendants
Bold cuff bracelets and layered bracelets are still strong this season
Enthic inspirations - bright, colorful, lots of layers
Animals, birds, butterflies, bees and feathers
Climbing vines and leaves

And now to my sketchbook - how would I channel these trends into jewelry pieces? First up, I was loving big chains, geometric shapes and the white jewelry trend. I decided to use my Gingko Leaf Pendant for all three designs, showing how one bead could fit several trends.

This design would take three of my Gingko leaf pendants, layered with hammered brass pendulums. I would drill the brass pendulums and attach them together to create a bid design.  I'd used a big, oversized decorative chain to work in between the pendant pieces. 
I hardly ever make statement necklaces, there were so predominantly in the trends that I saw that I thought I should tackle one.  For this design I would wire wrap bails on five Gingko Leave Pendants. I would use a chain for the structure of the necklace and create drops from pearls, crystals and rhinestone headpins, mixing warm and color tones in white. White and shimmer were big, so why not go big with them! This would be so fresh for Spring.
And now going a little simpler I'd pair geometric shapes to create a trend pendant. I'd start with an open brass triangle, layered with the Gingko Leaf Pendant.  On top of the two pendants, I would attach a green triangle bead and an orchid disk beads. I would use a brass ring to add another geometric element and use a delicate brass chain. This style would look great with several other small pendants on chains, all worn together.

I was so loving the gilded trend that I pulled out my patinas and worked up some golden editions of my favorite designs. You can see how I would pair of few of them in the treasury above.  I plan to play all weekend with metallics and geometric shapes.

Want more inspiration? Check out these Jewelry 2014 pins!

February 27, 2014

30 Words: My Work

Endless possibilities.
A rainbow at my fingertips.
A clever chameleon.

Roll, twist, shape, 

Transformed, refined,
Now a little piece of art.


A connection.
Passed to your hands. 

 The premise of 30 Words Thursdays is simple...
Take an image (preferably one you shot, or have permission to use).
Write 30 Words about it. No more. No less.
Share your link with Erin at Treasures Found.

February 26, 2014

Bead Table Wednesday

This is what's happening on the bead table today.  We are busy working on orders and it seems there has a been a demand for sea themes - ya'll are gettin' your inner mermaid on and dreaming of the beach.  Me too!  Only thankfully I have less than a month before I'm actually standing on one.  Bead Cruise 2014 can not get here soon enough.  

Bead Table Wednesday is a fun way to connect with other beady creatives. You can share your bead table or work in progress - messy or staged. There are no rules! Share your post in the link below or on Instagram. Use the hashtag #beadtablewednesday. 

So what's on your bead table?

February 24, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 2: Bead Soup

Welcome to Week 2 of  the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge.  This week is going to be fun and easy.

Your Assignment:
Find a little stash of bead soup and make something with it.

Now, I would keep it simple and let the beads do the talking - remember the challenge is to get you making something - so don't think too hard about this.

There aren't any hard and fast rules for the challenge this week - just use what is in your bead stash.

(This has nothing to do with the popular blog hop that we all know and love. Bead soup is a random mix of beads that are either leftovers from other projects or a little mix you gather together.)

Bead Soup Tips:

You could make a stack of bangles, a crazy long necklace knotted on linen, simple loops to create a beaded chain like the one I did, etc.  Keep your techniques simple and your beads limited.

If you don't have a 'soup' mix started, I suggest getting a little bowl and pulling out some beads and use only those in the bowl.  Limiting your choices can be very freeing and help get you producing new jewelry! Sometimes our bead stash can be overwhelming.

Find a unifying element for your soup - it could be a spacer bead, a color or a bead shape, this will help you soup from becoming a hot mess!

I used three repeating elements in my design, tiny gold spacers, the small disk bead shape and the elongated oval of the owl and white beads.

More Bead Soup Inspiration:
Check out Lori Anderson's book Bead Soup for lots of great design tips.  I have a project in there along with many of my beady friends, it's super inspiring. 

Why not host a bead soup get-together with your creative friends and have a little bead party in real life?  You can read all about hosting one of your own right here.  I've done this several times over the years and it's always fun!

Check out the Spring issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine for a section on bead soup creations.

I bought this tutorial a few years ago and love it - it's such a fun way to dig into a mix of bead soup! The Tribal Gypsy Bangle Stacks Tutorial is from Fanciful Devices.

Share your progress!
If you write a blog post about your Week 2 Challenge share the link by clicking on the blue button below.  If you don't have a blog leave a comment here to let me know you participated in the Facebook group this week.

What is the Jewelry Mojo Challenge? Click here to read all about it.

February 23, 2014

Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge

So this week for the Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge I asked participants to pick a challenge or contest to play along with and create a piece of jewelry.  I'm right in the trenches with you and the challenge that I picked was to create something for the Art Bead Scene's February Blog Hop. If you are are new the Art Bead Scene, we challenge readers to create a piece of jewelry each month inspired by a work of art.  This month it's Paul Klee's The Rose Garden - shown below.

In the painting I love the layered look of the buildings with the tiny windows and that was what I wanted to capture in my set here. I cut out the pieces from copper and textured them with an awesome texturing hammer - so much fun! I should have cut out house shapes - of course, I just now thought of that.  (I'm also really good at coming up with witty come backs - hours laters.) 

I paired the copper with some of my disk beads in the color palette of the painting.  

This is Paul Klee's The Rose Garden.

There is still time to play along with the Art Bead Scene's challenge - you have until the 28th.  And if you use Humblebeads in your creation - enter here for a chance to win a $50 Humblebeads gift certificate.

In case you wondering what all this Mojo talk is about - read more here and the first challenge here.

February 20, 2014

Throw Back Thursday Bead Edition

Throw Back Thursday is seen often on Facebook & Instagram showing awesome pics of peeps back in the day.  I thought I'd do a little bead edition and share one of my first printed projects with you.  It must be a classic because I'm looking at it thinking I need to make some of these again!

The cuff bracelet was first published in BeadStyle magazine in 2007.  It went on to be republished in another beginner beading magazine by Kalmback and in their Easy Beading Book series.  It also made an appearance on PBS' Beads, Baubles and Jewelry.  It really was the project that started my beadmaking career. 

And thanks to internet archives you can download the project for free courtesy of Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

A few tips: it works better with size 8 seed beads and with larger size memory wire so it's not so tight on your wrist.  

I don't offer the leafy cuff beads shown in the project anymore. I made them for about 5 years before I decided I never wanted to see another one! I have them in my popular branch style in several colors and in my Starry Night design.  Maybe I will revisit this design in some limited edition styles this week. 

February 19, 2014

Bead Table Wednseday

It's Bead Table Wednseday! 

I'm finishing up some new beads for a little challenge I'm doing with a few of my fellow Art Bead Scene contributors. 

I'm loving these colors for spring: coral, robin's egg blue, leafy green and an acid yellow. 

Bead Table Wednesday is a fun way to connect with other beady creatives. You can share your bead table or work in progress - messy or staged. There are no rules! Share your post in the link below or on Instagram. Use the hashtag #beadtablewednesday. 

So what's on your bead table?

February 18, 2014

Humblebeads' Customer Gallery

Today I wanted to feature some of the amazing creations my friends on Facebook have been sharing with me!  These are just too fantastic, I want to show them off to everyone! Designers just blow my mind with how they use my beads, always so creative and clever.

Let's start with my all time favorite Van Gogh creation from Gloria Ewing, Starry Night Necklace.  I would have never in a million years thought to use one of my spacer bar beads that way.  Just when I think I should retire my Van Gogh series someone comes along with a brilliant idea and I fall in love them all over again. 

You can see more of Gloria's innovative designs in her Etsy shop at Chrysalis Too.

I had to pull out this design to show you how different two artists can design with the same bead! This necklace is one of my all time favorite designs from Lorelei Eurto and was published in BeadStyle magazine in 2009.

Lorelei has such an eye for color and texture.  This fun piece caught my eye a few weeks ago and I love, love the asymmetrical design with the disks opposing that generous heaping of silver chain - they play so nicely off each other. The tassel is so sweet I can barely stand it, but there are some tiny touches that catch my eye in this bracelet too - like the little dash of color of seed beads and the leather for part of the clasp. Lorelei used my woodland disks in Blooms and Bark

You can see more of Lorelei's jewelry designs on her website and in her Etsy shop.

Next up is my friend Rebecca Anderson of Songbead and boy does she ever make Humblebeads sing! Rebecca has a sophisticated eye for color and creates jewelry that leaps off the computer screen.  This pendant features one of my Hibiscus flowers paired cleverly with enameled bead caps with a great use of waxed linen to add in a little pop of color. The whole pendant has a magical quality that draws me in!

You can see more of Rebecca's beautiful work at SongBead on Etsy

And congratulations to Rebecca on having two pieces of jewelry featuring Humblebeads published in Beads and Beyond. These adorable house earrings pair my Willow House beads with some fancy wire and seed bead accents

The second piece is a necklace that paired up a Petal headpin with a keyhole pendant from Green Girl Studios.  There is definitely a story going on here with this design!

And another big hearty congrats goes out to my sweet friend Kaushambi Shah who had this fun pair of Peacock Headpin Earrings published in the Spring issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine.  Love them Kauashambi - the well chosen accent beads bring these art nouveau inspired headpins to life!

Visit Kaushambi's Etsy shop Ornament Lounge to see her art bead infused jewelry.

A gift for you!
And if you are feeling inspired and need to add some new Humblebeads to your bead stash now, I want to also share a little gift with you! 

Use code 5FREE for a $5.00 gift certificate to use on any purchase of $20 or more.  If you order is more than $50 use code 5FREEPLUS for 10% off your entire order. 

This can be used at both Humblebeads.com and Humblebeads.etsy.com.

February 17, 2014

Mojo Challenge Week 1: Challenges & Contests

This week is about stepping up and entering a challenge or contest.  Nothing stretches my creativity more than a few boundaries to reel me in and get me focused.

Your Assignment: 
Pick a contest or challenge, make something or start something! Blog about it or share your entry on the Facebook group.

Here are a my top picks for contests & challenges:

Blog hops are a great place to start, they are no pressure, a fun way to meet new bloggers, they give you a little creative jump start, sometimes there are prizes involved and it's a nice way to break out of your comfort zone.

Art Bead Scene Challenge
Challenge of Music Blog Hop

Blog hops also can be quite the multi-taskers. You get some social media exposure, a new finished piece of jewelry to sell and often a chance to win a prize. 

If you participate in this month's Art Bead Scene challenge and use Humblebeads in your design you can enter to win a gift certificate from Humblebeads.com. Read the details here.

*If you are hosting a bead/jewelry blog hop free free to leave a link  in the comments below or in the Facebook group.

Bead Star
Bead Star is the competetion hosted by Interweave Press.  There are several categories with all sorts of awesome prizes and the added bonus of seeing your work in print if you are a finalist. 

Bead Dreams
Oh, this is the big one right? Bead & Button sponsors this contest each year that covers beadmaking and jewelry designs.  The finalists are amazing.  This is the contest to design that crazy, over the top piece of jewelry that you've been dreaming about.  Big, bold, amazing techniques, this is the place to step up like an Olympic Athlete and show your best.   I'm planning to enter this year, I have a big crazy necklace in mind.

Uncommon Goods Jewelry Design Contest
This is a monthly contest that could really add a big boost to your business if you win.  Keep the designs interesting, but something you could reproduce a 100 times if you had to or could hire someone to make them. I enter this one often, I haven't made the finals yet - but I keep trying!

Mojo Challenge Facebook Group

To enter this week use the InLinkz Tool or leave a comment below if you are participating only on Facebook.


Jewelry Making Mojo Challenge

Happy Monday! It's time for a big challenge.  I need some motivation and inspiration and I love working with kindred spirits to keep it fun!

Last week on the Art Bead scene I posted 10 Tricks to Get Your Jewelry Design Mojo back. You can read the post here and see the graphic below. I couldn't help think this would be an awesome 12 week online challenge.

Join me every Monday for a weekly assignment to get your creative juices flowing.  You can share your results on the blog post from each Monday. 

Challenge Prize:
What's a challenge without a prize? You can enter each week by sharing your link on the Monday blog posts.  At the end of the 12 weeks I will draw one random winner for a $100 Humblebeads.com gift certificate. Each week you have a chance to enter by participating.

The only rule is to participate in the weekly challenge.  Share your link or comment on the blog post for each challenge.

Participating may or may not end in a finished piece of jewelry, so you may blog about your process or your inspiration for the week. Share your blog post or photos in the Facebook group or here on the weekly blog post.

You don't have to use art beads or Humblebeads for the weekly challenge, you can work in any jewelry medium or style.

Do I need a blog to participate? No, you can participate and share in the Facebook group.

Be sure to leave a comment each week if you are sharing your work only on the Facebook group so you can be entered in the challenge.

You don't have to follow along each week, this is mainly to get you inspired and connect with other creative jewelry designers.  

Mojo Challenge Facebook Group
Join the Facebook Group for insider tips, updates and to share your work!

 These are the weekly challenges, I have two bonus creativity challenges for week 11 & 12.

Feel free to grab this graphic for your blog posts or sidebar.