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Strung Out - A Beaders Blog

  • Saturday, August 24, 2013
  • Friday, August 23, 2013
  • Thursday, August 22, 2013
  • Monday, August 19, 2013
  • Friday, August 16, 2013
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2013
  • Monday, August 12, 2013

  • Saturday, August 24, 2013


    Spotlight Saturday: Modify your Resin


    When it comes to using resin, you have more options than you realize. You can use beads inside of resin or put resin into a mold. But did you know that you can add pearlizing powder, dyes and even glitter? I know for some of you I just said the magic word: glitter! But it's true, and you can get some really great effects by adding different elements.

    Featured Video: How to Use Pearlizing Powder in Resin

    I love this video because it walks you all the way through your resin project. This is a wonderful technique to learn. We have so many bezel settings for you to fill with resin, and you will notice that in the video, there is a good amount of resin left over so you should be prepared with lots of bezels to fill. That way you can make several pieces all at once!

    Featured Project: Pink Sugar Bracelet

















    Shown here is the center piece of the Carmela Necklace.  It is comprised of gold plated oval connectors and gold plated jump rings.  Jump rings are what brought this idea to life.  They were the perfect little connecting tools to use as building blocks in this piece.

    Featured Product: Resin Pearlizing Powder
















    While it may seem that you need a lot of items to complete your resin project, once you get the hang of it, you will want to do a lot of experimenting, so you will need all those supplies. You may even want to purchase more variations to use in resin. Try using the powder with different colors or even no dye at all for a simple pearl look. Think about using red or amber for any Fall projects you may want to complete. This jar of powder will last you through many resin projects, as will the dyes. So get all your resin supplies, watch our tutorial videos and get started!

    Good luck and have fun!




    Friday, August 23, 2013


    Find Out Friday: Vintaj DecoEtch With New Artisan Pewter Blanks


    For this Find Out Friday, we want to showcase the Vintaj DecoEtch die for the Sizzix BIGkick Die Cut Machine. Using the new Vintaj Artisan Pewter blanks and patina, we have created a lovely set using the Birds of Paradise die.



    Vintaj Birds of Paradise Necklace


    1 Sizzix BIGkick Die Cut Machine
    1 Vintaj pewter oval stamping blank
    2 Vintaj pewter rectangle dog tag stamping blanks
    1 Vintaj DecoEtch- Birds of Paradise
    2 Silver plated earring hooks
    1 Jump ring
    1 Chain
    1 black patina
    3 SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Indian Pink flatback rhinestones
    2 chain nose pliers
    E-6000 glue
    paint brush
    Toothpick or wire glue applicator
    Paper towels
    Gloves

    Before beginning your project, watch this video on how to use the Vintaj BIGkick Machine by Sizzix.

    How to Use the Vintaj BIGkick Machine to Etch and Emboss Metal Stampings

    Let's get started!



    Begin by gathering your supplies.



    Place one cutting pad on the shim, then place your die cut with the blank face down where you would like the etching. Next, place the other cutting pad on top. Then place your etching on the tray of the machine.



    Crank the handle clockwise to feed the tray through the machine.



    This is what your etching will look like once it comes out of  the other side of your Sizzix BIGkick cut machine.



    Take your etching out of the machine and flip it over. Put down a paper towel to protect your flat work surface.



    To begin using your patina, dab a small portion onto a piece of scratch paper. Paint on your patina using your brush.



    Cover the entire front side of the blank with patina, making sure it gets into the grooves.



    Immediately take a paper towel and wipe the patina off of the surface.



    This is what your etching will look like once you wipe off the patina.



    Using your glue applicator, add a dab of E6000 to the flat back of your rhinestone. Now glue your rhinestone onto your blank.



    Now your pendant is finished.



    You can use the same technique to make a matching pair of earrings.









    To finish this project open a jump ring and attach the pendant to the necklace chain; close the jump ring.

    To make the earrings, choose a section of the die and repeat this process. You will attach your earring hooks the same way you would a jump ring. 

    Choose from our wide selection of Vintaj DecoEtch Die plates. We hope you enjoyed learning about the Vintaj DecoEtch and the Sizzix machine.  The Artisan Pewter blanks give such a lovely finished product using this technique.   Have fun!


    -Kat and Karlin






    Thursday, August 22, 2013


    Artist Profile: Marilyn Lee Reed - US Winner of our Ocean Treasures Contest




    Introducing our US Winner for the Ocean Treasures contest, Marilyn Lee Reed.  This winning design is part of her collection "Missing the Ocean".  The design, "By The Sea" features pearlescent seed beads and shells in a beautifully light color scheme of blues, sea foam greens, and pinks.

    Tell us about yourself:

    After 30+ years in the printing/graphic design field I retired 8 years ago. My daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, Alice, live in Spokane Valley, my son lives in Austin, TX, and I coexist with Buster, a 20-pound cat who lets my granddaughter dress him! I joined the local gem/mineral club to learn to cut my own cabs and rocks, love learning new tips from other beaders and online tutorials, and always search for new ideas.



    How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

    My best friend taught me basic brick stitch over 20 years ago, then we visited my first bead store in Redding, CA and I was hypnotized. So many colors, sizes and finishes! A designer’s dream! The same pattern takes on a new look by simply changing the color or size of a bead, adding crystals, picot or fringe…I was hooked!

    What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

    My go-to beads are usually 11 seeds, 13/15 charlottes, cabs of any shape, polished rocks, and now, with freeform peyote I can incorporate all of the numerous “oddities” I’ve acquired over the years just because they were pretty and I’d do something with them, someday!




    Winner: "By The Sea"



    Who or what inspires your creative process?

    I’m inspired by color ~ fall leaves, forests and lakes, harvested fruits and vegetables, clouds at sunset, the beauty around us, and dreams. I miss the ocean, dreamed about surf and sand, woke up singing “By The Sea, By The Sea” and the winning bracelet was the result!

    Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work? 

    I have an Etsy shop, BeadyEyedGram.

    Thank you Marilyn for sharing.  We wish you all the best in your future creative endeavors.







    Monday, August 19, 2013


    Artist Profile: Chiara Cattaruzza - International Winner of our Ocean Treasures Contest




    Chiara Cattaruzza is our International winner of the "Ocean Treasures" contest. Her winning design, "Peaceful Waves", showcased a wonderful sense of the ocean color palatte and charming sense of whimsy and creativity.  She combined pearls, charms, seed beads and more to link together this beautiful, tranquil bracelet.  

    Tell us a little bit about yourself:

    My name is Chiara. I am 24 and I live in Milan, Italy. I’m a university student, but in my free time I've become an eager crafter. Sometimes it is not easy to do everything, but whenever I can, I get out my beads and start creating. When I have an idea for a new piece, it’s just like in the comics: a light bulb turns on, and it doesn’t matter if I’m in the subway, eating or in class. I take out the first piece of paper I can find and I start drawing. From then on, I’m in my “beading world”…and I probably miss my subway stop, but in those little moments I am the happiest person in the world!



    How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

    Since I was little, I loved to look in my mom’s jewelry box and try her necklaces on. At 12, I received as a gift my first package of beads and as soon as I had it in my hands, I made my first bracelet. From then on, I fell in love with jewelry making and started to try improving little by little with the help of my collection of beading books, magazines and web tutorials.

    What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

    I love to work with crystals, pearls, fire-polished glass beads, gemstones… Well, I guess I am addicted to any beautiful small treasure that helps me bring to life the designs I have in my head!









    Peaceful Waves



    Who or what inspires your creative process?

    I’m mostly inspired by nature: I love flowers, leaves, butterflies, ladybugs… Sometimes I use ideas found in magazines and books to create details of my jewelry. However, I never copy an entire project. The best part of making a piece for me is designing it, creating something special and unique. Shopping for beads is also an explosion of ideas: looking at those small treasures is a constant source of inspiration.

    Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work? 

    At the moment, I don’t have an online shop yet, but you can see more of my creations and contact me through my facebook page at or my blog at www.gocceargentate.blogspot.com, where I share my ideas, projects and patterns, hopefully helping other crafters.

    Thanks for sharing Chiara!  It was great to read a little bit about you and your work and we wish you the best of luck with your endeavors!







    Friday, August 16, 2013


    Beading Contest: Ocean Treasures Winners!


    Our Beadaholique beading contest, Ocean Treasures, has come to an end, and we have three winners to announce!



















    Marilyn Lee Reed was voted the #1 entry from the United States with her "By the Sea" bracelet.  This design features a beautiful color palette of shells, pearls and seed beads.






















    Peaceful Waves

    Chiara Cattaruzza was voted the #1 international entry with her "Peaceful Waves".  This bracelet features beaded beads using seed beads and a beaded starfish among seahorse and shell charms.

    Marilyn and Chiara have both won a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate.  Artist profiles on Marilyn and Chiara will be posted soon here on our blog, so be sure to check back and find out more about them.
















    I lay in the Tidal Pool

    Our Editor's Pick, and the winner of a $50 Beadaholique gift certificate is Casey Sharpe and her "I lay in the Tidal Pool" bangle.  We felt that Casey was very inventive with the seed beads and yarn, by manipulating them to look like they had been plucked from the sea.

    Congratulations to all of our winners!  Our next contest will be announced in the September issue of The Beading Wire, and we can't wait to see what you all create! 







    Tuesday, August 13, 2013


    Back to School fun with Mixed Media





    Back to school is the perfect time to experiment with craft projects and mixed media. Send your kids off in style with bookmarks, backpack tags, magnets and so much more. Don't be scared if it's something you haven't worked with yet, you can always watch our videos to learn something new. We love to help you by walking you through a new technique and answering any questions you may have. 


    Colorful Bottle Caps





    When getting your kids ready for school this fall don't forget those little touches that go beyond notebooks and pens. The Bling It On Magnets are a great back to school gift for any girl that wants to see a little sparkle every time she opens her locker. They also work great for college dorms where you can place them on magnetic white boards to keep important notes organized.




    Bling It On Magnets





    Help your kid jump to the head of the class with the Teacher's Pet Ring featuring Crystal Clay. Haven't worked with a 2-part epoxy clay yet? Don't worry, we have a video for that too.  We carry a wide variety of colors and did you know that you can create color variations with your clay?  See it in this video.  How to Create Color Variations with Crystal Clay.




    Teacher's Pet Ring



    Let's not forget about all those teachers going back to school too. Wow them on the first day with a charming bookmark or stunning eyeglass holder. For your English teacher try making this whimsical Scrabble Tile Ring. Such an easy project, you'll want to make more then one!

    As you can see from the examples above, mixed media offers so many options. One of my favorite things about this medium is that there is not just one way to use a product in your design. This is your time think outside the box. Resin is a great product for this. Resin can be used in bezels or molds and it can be transformed by adding dye or pigment to change the color. If you haven't worked with resin, now is a great time to try it. We have a wonderful collection of collage papers and molds to choose from. When buying your resin, remember to buy your sealant and adhesive as well. It may be helpful to watch our videos before purchasing your items, just to make sure that you have all the ingredients you need for your project. 







    Monday, August 12, 2013


    Pairing Necklaces with Different Necklines




    Pairing your necklace with your neckline can sometimes be a challenge.  It can be frustrating and if you're like me, you have all sorts of necklaces with different lengths and styles to choose from!  You end up asking yourself "Does this work? Does it look right?"  And believe me, I understand.  I think this is something a lot of us second guess and could use help with.

    How do you choose your necklace?  Generally, when picking out a necklace we tend to echo the look of the neckline.  This works well most of the time.  For example, a v-neck top goes well with a y-shaped necklace with a focal point, such as the Ziggy Necklace. This type of necklace also complements boat neck and crew neck tops.




    The Ziggy Necklace



    For rounder necklines, choose rounder necklaces - this way the necklace falls right above the blouse in a flattering way. An example of this is the Lucy Necklace.

    When you wear higher necklines, it's important not to overcrowd your neck area, and by choosing a longer necklace, you allow both your neckline and your necklace to shine. For tops with turtle necks or cowl necks, necklaces such as lariats and multiple strand styles look best. A necklace such as the Purple Faux Lariat would work nicely with a higher neckline.




    The Purple Faux Lariat



    With a strapless top, the choice is yours: a delicate chain, a bib necklace or choker (like the Angel's Wings Bridal necklace) looks great.  An open collar blouse looks stylish when paired with a thick, chunky necklace. Pairing a square neckline with a pendant that dangles from a long chain works really well.

    It can also be helpful to know what the different necklace lengths are called: 14" is a collar, 16" is a choker, 18" is princess length, 20" is matinee length, 24" is opera length, and 30 - 33" is a rope or lariat.




    The Angel's Wings Bridal Choker










    Adding a necklace gives your outfit a stylistic finishing touch.  And although certain necklaces match particularly well with certain necklines, what's most important is wearing a piece you love.  How you wear your jewelry is a personal choice, so remember to make sure that you let your personality shine through!





    Common Necklace Lengths



    -Karlin




    Saturday, August 10, 2013


    Spotlight Saturday: Jump Rings


    Jump rings are used in just about every project but finding the right one can be tough.  I think it helps to have all different sizes and colors on hand for comparison.  Why use the wrong size when you don't have to.  Sometimes it can feel like you are Goldilocks, trying ring after ring... but you'll know when it's right.  When a project calls for a lot of jump rings, like chain maille or the Carmela Necklace, the jump ring opener can be a valuable tool.  Worth it's weight in gold, you might say.

    Featured Video: How to use Beadsmith's Jump Ring Opener

    The Beadsmith's jump ring opener is such a convenient tool to help you open and close jump rings while keeping your hand free.  It can also replace the need for a second pair of pliers in some cases.  It will help to steady jump rings so they don't go flying across the room.

    Featured Project: Carmela Necklace

















    Shown here is the center piece of the Carmela Necklace.  It is comprised of gold plated oval connectors and gold plated jump rings.  Jump rings are what brought this idea to life.  They were the perfect little connecting tools to use as building blocks in this piece.

    Featured Product:  Jump Rings












    There are many varieties of jump rings. Because many jump rings are so inexpensive you can always have extra in your jewelry storage. When choosing the right jump ring, pay attention to the gauge of the jump ring as well as the size. When looking at gauge the higher the gauge number, the thinner the jump ring. For example, a jump ring that is 18 gauge is much thicker than a jump ring that is 22 gauge. This also applies to wire and other findings. See our handy wire gauge guide in our Techniques & Guides section on our website. There are a lot of helpful tools there.






    Wednesday, August 7, 2013


    Beading Contest: Ocean Treasures Finalists!


    The 10 finalists for our beading contest "Ocean Treasures" have been announced and it's up to you to decide the winners!  See each entry and cast your votes on our Facebook page.  Simply "like" your favorite entry—or entries—to cast your vote.  The entry with the most likes from the United States and the entry with the most likes from abroad will each win a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate!

    Entries are numbered in alphabetical order. Voting ends Wednesday August 14th, at 4PM PT.


    "Sea Turtle's Cycle of Life" - Barbara Bellatti



    "Peaceful Waves" - Chiara Cattaruzza


    "Greek Ocean's Bottle Necklace" - Maria Diamantatou



    "Star of the Show Adjustable Ring" - Carrie Grabowicz



    "Exotic Wings Necklace" - Olga Karaulova



    "Gift from the Sea Necklace" - Milena Petrova



    "By The Sea" - Marilyn Lee Reed



    "I Lay in the Tidal Pool (Bracelet)" - Casey Sharpe



    "It's a Shore Thing" - Autumn J. Stump



    "Beadwoven Starfish and Seaglass Earrings" - Joanne Zammit




















    We received some beautiful entries this time around—it was so hard to narrow it down! The next contest will be announced in the September issue of The Beading Wire, so be sure to stay tuned.

    Visit our Facebook Page to vote now!






    Wednesday, August 07, 2013


    Beading Table Wednesday: 08/07/2013




    Kat's Table




    This week I am working on some medieval inspired projects. When I am working, it helps me to be inspired by how I can use something unexpected in an unexpected way. Have you ever found a bead or a focal piece that you really want to use but have no idea how to implement it into a project? I found this great Lion and Snake focal piece medallion, but the only problem is that it has no holes. So I can't string it, and I can't put a jump ring in it unless I drill a hole. Despite that, I think I have found a way to creatively make it a center piece in my new creation. Be sure to check back in our free beading projects to see what it becomes. Challenge yourself this week. Make the unexpected!




    Karlin's Table





    My table is very colorful this week, full of Czech seed beads in a bright Rainbow Opaque assorted mix. These beads are so colorful and fun! I'll be incorporating them to make a few pieces inspired by one of my favorite Disney Pixar movies - can you guess which one? Can't wait till it's all done and I can share.




    Megan's Table





    It's soutache time again! Have you tried soutache bead embroidery yet? If you've done any hand sewing or traditional embroidery, you might be surprised at how similar it is. As a long time stitcher, I was shocked how much less intimidating this technique was once I got started. The hardest part is planning it out! I'm trying something a little different with this piece which uses SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS pearls and will have chain dangles.







    Monday, June 4, 2012


    Mastering 2-Part Resin - Tips and Advice








    Over the last year I have happily earned the title of "resin expert" here at Beadaholique. When there is a question about how to use this versatile product, it ends up with me. I also receive a lot of questions describing challenges people are having with their resin pours. With so many wanting to learn and master this technique, I thought I would put together this little blog with hard-earned tips and advice.







    Dancing Dragonflies Pendant


    First off, do NOT expect your first pour to be great. If it is, that is wonderful, but expect there to be a little glitch here or there. Was the first wrapped wire loop you ever made perfect? How about the first time you tried bead weaving? All these disciplines took time, patience, and practice to master - resin is no different. It took me at least 6 pours before I was truly happy with my resin results. Hopefully with the information in this blog, it won't take you as many, but think of your mistakes as learning experiences and allow yourself some slack. TIP: For your first pour, choose an inexpensive bezel or bottle cap to pour into, even a mold would be a good option. Do not use sterling silver or spend a lot of time making a gorgeous piece. Think of this first pour strictly as practice.  

    Work Area: Before pouring resin, set up a pouring station. It should be an area that is relatively dust free with a flat plastic covered surface, where the cat can not jump onto, and the temperature of the room should be around 78 degrees (you must keep it around this temperature for at least 12 hours after the pour). Pouring in a cold environment can create a cloudiness to your finished piece and the bubbles will be more difficult to remove. High humidity can also affect the curing. I actually try to avoid pouring when it's raining out if possible, just to be on the safe side. TIP: pour your pieces on a piece of card board cut out of a box you were going to throw away. This way if any spills over, you can just discard the board. It also gives you the ability to move your resin (not recommended) if you absolutely must. Also have on hand some type of lid or platform to cover your resin once you have poured it. This prevents dust from settling on it.  

    Dreams in Flight Necklace


    How to Prepare Images in Pendants for Resin Using Mod Podge | Beadaholique Video

    Prepping Your Pieces: If you are using a collage image set down into a bezel setting, you must first prep your piece before pouring. To do this, it is important that you glue the image to the bezel. A "white" glue is recommended for this. Do not use E6000, it is too thick and will most likely seep through your image. After the glue is dry, paint 3 coats of sealant ontop of the image, letting each layer dry thoroughly before applying the next. I repeat - 3 LAYERS! Trust me on this one, it is tempting to skip the third coat, but doing so can and most likely will result in a bit of the resin seeping into the paper at random places and causing a spotted blotchiness to your artwork. I prefer Nunn Sealant for this application if you are using images you printed yourself. Let all these layers completely dry before pouring your resin. If you are using molds, make sure to use a mold release spray, this will help you pieces come out more easily. TIP: Print on a 100# white card stock if you are making your own images. A laser is best, but ink jet printers work fine too.

    How to Use Ice Resin | Beadaholique Video

    The Mixing: Resin hardens because a chemical reaction takes place between part A and part B. If you do not mix exactly equal amounts, this chemical reaction can not occur properly and your resin will end up either not curing at all, being squishy and flexible, or hard but not solid. That is why the number 1 thing to remember with resin is to measure carefully. Also make sure that you have not stored your resin in a cold place. If you have, place your sealed resin in a warm bowl of water for 20 minutes to bring it up to room temperature. After you have measured exactly, stir your resin for 2 full minutes until all striations are gone. If you whip your resin, more of those pesky little bubbles will appear - so give it a good stir and scrape the sides of the container, but do not be over zealous. Never mix less then 1/2 ounce, it needs this much for the chemical reaction to take place. TIP: After mixing, let your resin sit for 5 minutes before pouring. This allows a good deal of the bubbles to rise to the surface and pop on their own.

    Using Ice Resin, Molds and Color Dyes to Make Jewelry | Beadaholique Video

    Dyes and Pigments: Remember that there is a chemical reaction that needs to occur for your resin to set up properly. Any liquid you add to the mixture will affect this. A couple drops of dye or pigment per ounce of resin will not affect the curing process, however, an abundance of color will off-balance the mixture and cause the resin to not cure properly. Glitters and other dry substances are fine to add in quantity.  

    How to Make an Embedded Object Resin Bangle Bracelet | Beadaholique Video

    The Pouring: If you have a large area you are covering, by all means pour directly from your mixing cup. However, if you are making pendants or smaller items, then use your popsicle stick as an applicator to transfer your resin to the bezel or mold. Just grab some on the tip of the stick and then let it drip from there into the bezel. Also use that stick to push the resin to the edges versus trying to directly pour near an edge where you run the risk of spilling over the side. TIP: You have approximately 30 - 45 minutes of work time, go slowly and be patient.





    Air Bubbles: There always seem to be air bubbles in resin. With all the pours I have done, I have never not had to deal with air bubbles. That said, I am happy to report that only rarely does one slip by me and end up in the cured finished piece. I prefer to use a micro torch or a bbq lighter to remove my bubbles. Do not get the flame too close as it can burn the piece. In a pinch, I have used a lighter. For molds which you can not apply flame to, you can try breathing your hot breath over the top surface, this does actually remove some bubbles. Vibration also works to bring the bubbles to the surface where they can easily be popped with a pin.  







    Learn To Soar Necklace




    Curing: You can actually start to work with your piece after 24 hours, but allow 3 days for it to fully cure.

    Things to keep in mind:

    - Resin has a shelf life of 12 months. It will turn bad after awhile so only get as much as you will use in this time frame. Resin which has turned will appear much more yellow in its unmixed state and the resulting pieces will usually be flexible or maintain that yellowed look. 

    - You can not reuse your mixing cup

    - You can not store mixed resin for a later use

    - You can sand, file, and drill resin 


    Chocolate Hearts Magnet Set


    I hope these tips help you along your creative journey! 

    Happy Resin Making,

    Julie




    Tuesday, February 28, 2012


    Artist Profile: Megan Patton








    We have a new designer here at Beadaholique!  For months and months we searched for just the right person who was creative, crafty, enterprising, organized and, most of all, loved to bead! We needed someone who was not afraid to try new things, who delighted in tangled strands of awesomeness, and would want to wax eloquently about how to bead and what inspires them. We had honestly almost given up hope and then a delightful little polymer cupcake popped onto our computer screens. Intrigued, we dove further into the website and portfolio of Megan Patton and invited her in for a chat.

    Megan is a joy to work with; her laughter and cheery spirit are infectious. Her designs are so very pretty and constantly have us saying "wow, I would not have thought of that!" - which is exactly what you want in a designer.  We are thrilled that Megan is part of our team and proud to introduce her here. Below is a series of questions we asked Megan so that you can get to know her better. Happy Reading!





    Megan, Dress by Megan












    Polymer Clay Cupcakes


    Q.  How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

    A.  I have always been crafty, and would receive craft supplies for presents quite often.  One year for my birthday, my mom bought me an organizer full of beads and jewelry making supplies.  I was hooked!  I was in high school at the time, and I remember that all of my friends got beaded jewelry for their birthdays that year.

    Q.  What is your educational background in the arts?  

    A.  I have a bachelor's degree in theatre and I also attended fashion school.  Most of my education has been focused on visual, practical, and performing arts.  But I have been an avid self-teacher my whole life.  When I want to learn how to do something new, I learn what I can from books and tutorials, and I wing it!







    Q.  How would you describe your design aesthetic?

    A.  I love delicate, feminine, dainty, simple jewelry with beautiful details.  I love vintage style and pops of color.  I also go for quirky, fun designs that indulge my (not-so-inner) child.

    Q.  What inspires your creative process?

    A.  I love to look through the materials that are available to me to get inspiration. I see a particular component and start to imagine all the ways I could use it. I also tend to get some of my better ideas when I'm not trying to. I get struck with ideas when I'm falling asleep or doing everyday things.  They're like little creative gifts from my subconscious.





    Go Go Girl Costume by Megan


    Q.  Who inspires you/your creative process?

    A.  My family is incredibly creative.  My father is a graphic artist and musician, my mother is an artist and illustrator, my step-mother is an artist and cake-decorator, my sister used to dance professionally, and my brother is a musician.  Frankly, they would probably have been disappointed if I had decided to be an accountant.  Coming from a family like mine nurtured every creative impulse I had growing up and has inspired me to always follow my creative passions.

    Q.  Do you work best in chaos or an orderly workspace?

    A.  I tend to create clutter.  I think it's just something that comes with being artistic.  I try to battle the clutter as much as I can, because it makes it hard for me to focus.  I'll usually leave things a bit messy, but then clean up before I start the next project, so that I have a fresh space to begin in.























    Knitting Keychain


    Q.  What are your current favorite materials to use for making jewelry?

    A.  I work a lot with polymer clay, making miniature cupcakes and other sweets.  I think it's amazingly versatile.  I also love seed beads, and intricate bead weaving.

    Q.  Is there a jewelry-making technique that you are currently intrigued by?
    A.  I've only dabbled in resin work, and I'm starting to experiment and play with what it can do.  I love the idea of sculpting original components in clay, making a mold, and then casting them in resin.







    Q.  Is there a jewelry-making technique that you haven’t tried yet but want to try/learn/use?

    A.  I haven't worked much with metal.  I want to get more into wire wrapping and stamping.

    Q.  Are you or have you been actively involved in creating work in artistic media other than jewelry?

    A.  Yes!  I have been sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidering since a very young age.  I've done fashion design, theatrical costume and make up design, writing, acting, illustration, and even millinery.







    Megan & Kris


    Q.  What is the favorite piece of jewelry or art that you own?

    A.  My favorite piece of jewelry is my engagement ring.  It's absolutely gorgeous, and it means the world to me - just like the man who gave it to me.

    Q.  Who is your favorite jewelry designer/artist?

    A.  Faryn Davis.  She does amazing things with resin!  She does hand painted pieces and found object pieces that are just incredible.  One of my other favorite pieces of jewelry is my Faryn Davis necklace.  It was the first gift my fiance gave me.








    Q.  Are there other areas of your life that you feel are or have been enriched by your creation of jewelry?

    A.  Being creative makes me feel more myself.  It enriches my entire life experience.  It has also enables me to handcraft gifts for my loved-ones, which reminds them how much I care about them.

    Q.  Is there someplace people can see/purchase jewelry or artwork that you have made, other than Beadaholique.com? 








    Pink Cupcake Illustration on Zazzle


    A.  I sell my cupcake jewelry on PinkSugarBakery.com and a variety of jewelry, accessories, and apparel in my etsy shop: MyCatHatesYou.  I'm currently working on a new etsy shop, MaeMaeMills.  I'm really excited about some of the new directions that my work is going in, and I'm looking forward to getting it up and running.  I also have a huge number of items on CafePress and Zazzle that sport my little pink cupcake illustration.












    Polymer Clay Donut Charm Bracelet



    Friday, June 24, 2011


    Designer Profile: Julie Bean

    When we here at Beadaholique realized that we needed another designer on staff, we were a little panicked.  Our job requirements weren't just about demonstrated technical skill and creativity--although those are important.  We wanted someone who could 'play,' not just manufacture.  We were looking for someone who "got" our aesthetic, but could bring their own point of view, too. How do you interview for serendipity?

    So it was our lucky day when Julie Bean walked in.  After experiencing her enthusiasm, her bubbly personality, and seeing a few samples of unique multi-media jewelry pieces and re-purposed vintage elements, we were convinced.

    Julie Bean - Artist
    for Beadaholique.com

    Julie's been working here for long enough that we now feel comfortable asking her probing questions and making her as uncomfortable as possible (kidding!).

    Q.How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

    A.:  I started as a miniaturist (making dollhouse miniatures) when I was 15 and have continued making them to this day (although in a much reduced capacity), supplying over 200 stores in the process. As much as I love making miniatures, several years ago I started feeling the need to branch out my creative activities. I distinctly remember seeing a necklace by Israeli designer Ayala Bar in a shop window in Paris and being awestruck. That was my "Ah-ha!" moment and I have been avidly obsessed with jewelry design and making jewelry ever since.


    Q.:  What is your educational background in the arts?

    A.:  My education focused on history and English rather then on the creative arts, so that left it up to me to pursue outside artistic activities on my own. I tended to seek out classes and workshops in the towns I have lived, ranging from wheel throwing and hand building pottery, to jewelry design, to screen printing. I have also been fortunate enough to travel to many wonderful places and have gained an incredible education by seeing and doing. 


    Q.:  What inspires your creative process?  

    A.:  Rummaging through old black and white photographs or looking at the intricate pattern of handmade lace from the 1800's inspires me. Old advertising and paper goods with their "vintage" color palette and period aesthetic also are a constant source of inspiration. 


    Q.:  Who inspires you/your creative process?  

    A.:  My husband, who works much harder then anyone I know at his own art, inspires me to constantly do better, push my art further, and stay on path.


    Q.:  Do you work best in chaos or an orderly workspace?  Are you a morning person or a night owl? 

    A.:  I work best when I have all my materials out and readily available, which tends to be messy. I don't like having to stop the creative process to find an ingredient that is buried under 5 other boxes in another room. I have always been a morning person but am learning to be a night owl.



    Q.:  How do you arrive at the color palettes in your jewelry work? 

    A.:  I usually draw off the past for my color palettes; vintage color schemes are the most appealing to me. I might find a vintage dress or old postcard to work off of. My favorite colors are sepia tones, muted golds, bronzes, browns, black, grey, and ivory. 


    Q.:  How would you describe your design aesthetic?  

    A.:  Eclectic and vintage with a bit of Steampunk thrown in.





    Q.:  What are your current favorite materials to use for making jewelry? 

    A.:  I love working with old gears and watch parts, antique buttons, and salvaged antique jewelry pieces. I am also obsessed with resin at the moment and trying to push its limits further.


    Q.:  Is there a jewelry-making technique that you are currently fascinated with/using a lot?

    A.:  I just discovered Gilders Paste and have started to use quite a bit of it. For such an easy technique it has a very dramatic result. 



    Q.:  Is there a jewelry-making technique that you haven’t tried yet but want to try/learn/use? 

    A.:  I am fascinated with metal working in jewelry. Creating an intricate setting or design out of just a piece of sheet metal or building your own bezel settings is very intriguing to me.


    Q.:  Are you or have you been actively involved in creating work in artistic media other than jewelry? 

    A.:  My dollhouse miniatures were my main artistic activity for the longest time. In addition to them, I have also made handbags, fascinators, and screen printed items. I love to sculpt and have taken several of my husband's drawings and created sculptures from the designs.



    Q.:  What is the favorite piece of jewelry or art that you own?

    A.:  My favorite piece of jewelry that I own is a pearl and rhinestone necklace from the 1920's with a large cluster dangle that artistically hangs off the front. There is also a matching cuff bracelet. 

    Q.:  Who is your favorite jewelry designer/artist? 

    A.:  I find the most inspiration and happiness from Elsa Mora and Stephanie Lee. Both artists produce amazing work but they also seem to have an excellent grasp on life, what's important, and how best to live it. They share not only their artistic work with the world but their inner thoughts and lives. 


    Q.:  Are there other areas of your life that you feel are or have been enriched by your creation of jewelry?

    A.:  Allowing your artistic side to flourish enriches every part of your life. I am a much happier person because of my jewelry design and that has postitivly affected my marriage, sleep, self confidence, and personal contentment. 




    Q.:  Where can people can see and/or purchase jewelry or artwork that you have made? 

    A.:  You can see a gallery of my work at my website: www.bluepigdesignhouse.com I do shows and cons but am also slowly starting to list on Etsy. My Etsy store is bluepigdesigns. My blog can be viewed www.bluepigdesigns.blogspot.com



    Tuesday, August 24, 2010


    Designer Profile: Andrea Morici

    Andrea is the senior designer at Beadaholique.  

    She has designed most of the hundreds of free instructional projects you can find on our website.  We sat down with her to find out how she keeps coming up with design after unique design.

    Andrea Morici senior designer
    for Beadaholique.com
    Beadaholique:  How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

    Andrea:  I have always been artistically inclined, and I really enjoy working with my hands. Beading is such a comprehensive art form because it contains elements of visual layout, color composition, textural juxtaposition, even a bit of math. Plus the finished product is utilitarian; you actually get to wear your art!


    B:  What is your educational background in the arts?   What was your favorite art subject?

    A:  I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan. My concentration was in painting, and I always thought it was such a shame that I had to whittle my interests down to such a fine point. Even though my focus was on painting, I absolutely adored my sculpture, printmaking, metal and wood shop, photography, and (of course) jewelry making classes.


    B:  You have a distinct personal fashion sense, and a distinct design aesthetic.  How would you describe them?  

    A:  Thank you... I think!  Once again it goes back to that artistic, right-brained curse. I am constantly thinking, "What can I do to make this piece unique?"  Perhaps there is a bead or a finding that has a traditional use, well, I try to visualize it in a non-traditional setting. It is the unexpected little details that make a piece interesting.


    B:  What are your current favorite materials to use for making jewelry?  

    A:  Oh, there are so many! Working at Beadaholique is like being a kid in a candy store. I have nearly limitless resources, which makes designing such a fun adventure. Lately, though, I have been having a great time playing with all of the amazing Steampunk items that we carry, and I'm loving the Patera collection.


    B:  How do you arrive at your color palettes in your jewelry work?

    A:  I am a self-proclaimed color addict, and I draw my inspiration from many different sources. Sometimes I am inspired by colors of the natural world, sometimes I like crazy, unnaturally vibrant color stories. I love odd color combinations that somehow work well together, or variations on a traditional color scheme. One of my favorite websites is (colourlovers) where you can create your own customized color palettes and patterns. It is a treasure trove of inspiration for anyone in the design world.


    B:  Is there a technique that you haven’t tried yet but plan to soon?

    A:  I'm getting really excited about all of the resin molds we are getting in. I can't wait to try them out. Also, I love the idea of fine silver wire fusing and I can't wait to experiment with it as well!


    B:  Do you work best in chaos or an orderly workspace?

    A:  I have to say, I believe my workspace is a combination of both. It is organized chaos. I try to stay on top of everything, but as any beader knows, this is easier said than done. You may start one project, only to be distracted by something else. Beads and findings inevitably pile up, and as long as I can remember where and why I made said pile, I consider myself ahead of the game.


    B:  What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own?

    A:  Over the years I have collected mostly vintage pieces from resale stores. I love those pieces, although my favorite jewelry was given to me by loved ones. As a birthday gift one year, I received two stunning turquoise and silver necklaces. One of them, from my parents, was a large and interesting chunk of turquoise set in sterling silver, and hanging from a sterling snake chain. The other was a bizarre and enormous antique art deco era silver and turquoise piece, given to me by a friend.


    B:  Is there someplace people can purchase jewelry or artwork that you have made?

    A:  I am in the process of setting up my Etsy store. I'm really excited about it!  More details to come.


    B:  What inspires your creativity?

    Everything from music to fashion, the past, the future, magazines and websites... I am inspired to create by so many things!


    B:  Who inspires you in your creativity?

    A:  Once again, I have to be broad here, because I am surrounded by creative beings who make me want to create. These include my family, my friends, my boyfriend, and of course my coworkers!


    B:  A little bird told me that you are also a musician, and that you’ve appeared on a number of records.  Care to elaborate?

    A:  I find so often that people who are into the visual arts tend to be involved with music, as well. I'm no exception. It is the right-brained thing, I think. I began taking piano lessons at age seven, and by the time I was in my early twenties I was playing keyboard and writing songs for my first band. A few years ago I was asked to sing for a well-established band that I really admired. After many tours and several albums together, I am still so humbled and honored to be a part of this musical project.