Beadaholique Teams Up with Design Expert Mark Montano

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DIY designer and crafter Mark Montano is always cooking up some fabulous project for his legions of fans, so we were thrilled to help him with his latest jewelry project. The result is this knockout series of Boho rhinestone cuffs, embellished with eye-catching cabochons and rhinestone cup chain from Beadaholique.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.40.10 AMWatch Mark’s awesome video and the let us know what you would add to your dream Boho cuff. You can go big and splashy like he did, or focus on neutral colors and different metal finishes. The beauty of Mark’s project is that every part is customizable so you can make your version uniquely yours. Let your imagination roam free and then bling it out with this trendy springtime project.

 

 

Find Out Friday: Celtic Hearts Earrings

We’re already looking forward to St. Patrick’s Day here at Beadaholique, so we created these Celtic Hearts Earrings to get in the mood. Let’s take a look at how to make this fun project:

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What you’ll need:

2 TierraCast Tracy’s Celtic Heart Charms
6 Swarovski Crystal Bicone Beads, 6mm Emerald
1 Beadaholique Gold-Plated Findings Kit
Wire Looping Pliers
Flat Nose Pliers
Wire Cutters

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1. Take one eye pin and thread one crystal bicone bead.

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2. Hold the bead steady. With your wire looping pliers, pinch the eye pin just above the bead, creating the beginning of a simple wire loop. Pull the remaining length of the eye pin around the round side of the pliers to finish the loop. You can check out our video on how to use wire looping pliers here: http://www.beadaholique.com/t-video-How-To-Use-Wire-Looping-Pliers.aspx.

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3. Using your wire cutters, clip off the extra length of the eye pin just inside your loop.

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4. Use your flat nose pliers to close the loop. Here is what your first finished link should look like.

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5. Repeat this process two more times, so you have a total of three links. Then, twist open one loop on each link, the same way you would open a jump ring, and attach the three links with your flat nose pliers.

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6. Open one loop on the end of your strand and attach your Celtic heart charm.

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7. Open the loop of your earring wire and attach it to the top of the strand.

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8. Make your second earring, and you’re now ready to enjoy some St. Patrick’s Day fun.

 

Artist Profile: Licia Ramos

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LR11Bead artist Licia Ramos has been creating show-stopping jewelry for more than 30 years here in Los Angeles. We’ve been so impressed with her work over the years that we wanted to introduce her to you — maybe you’ll be as inspired by her creations as we are!

Licia uses cabochons, gemstones and seed beads in striking bead embroidered pieces that make a statement. She is a member of the Los Angeles Bead Society and her work has been displayed and sold at shows, galleries and studios. She also loves to teach beading and watch her students become inspired with ideas of their own. We’re thrilled that she took the time to tell us a bit about herself.

Filename: BNB-BP0414_20.psdHow did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

My ancestors were “thread artists” from Italy and Victorian ladies who loved personal adornment and the decorative arts, and they inspired me to develop creativity. Also, my mother was an opera singer who had beautiful custom-designed costumes, and I got to see her fabulous wardrobe frequently for her stage performances in New York City.

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

My great-grandparents and grandparents’ decorative items and jewelry that I “repurposed” for cabochon bead embroidery. These include cuff links, buttons, hatpins, beads — all from the late 1800’s to 1940’s. Many were purchased in Europe and left in attic trunks for me in New York City.

2015BevHills 041Who or what inspires your creative process?

My husband was a commercial and industrial artist who now sculpts miniatures as a hobby. We each have our own hobby studios. He collaborates with me on my designs and has hand-carved feature cabochons and focal beads for me. His guidance on color palettes is invaluable. Plus, construction of larger pieces can be challenging; his tips lead me to be more creative and push my limits to work with unusual and unique materials.

Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?

People can see and purchase my work at Pasadena Bead and Design Show, Contemporary Crafts Market and other high-end shows in the Los Angeles area. Home boutiques and classes can be arranged for collectors of my work. A few pieces can be viewed on the beadsocietyla.org website. I am also a published artist in “World on a String,” a collectors’ bead book, and was published in the April 2014 issue of Bead and Button magazine. I can be contacted at licia.ramos@att.net.

BevHills2015Do you have any advice for those just getting into jewelry making?

Do what gives you pleasure and appeals to your innate sense of beauty and art. Look at nature and observe colors around you. Spend time with other beaders and motivate each other. Learn from Beadaholique’s guides and instructional videos — they are the best! Have fun, and enjoy the journey!

Thanks for sharing your insight, Licia, and best of luck in future creative projects.

 

Beading Table Wednesday: February 25, 2015

It’s Wednesday again, so let’s check back in and see what everyone’s been working on.

2Karlin:

It’s no secret that I love to add crystal rhinestones to my jewelry — and this blingy bracelet featuring Swarovski crystal rhinestone flatbacks is so much fun to make. It incorporates white Vintaj patina, a striking Nunn Design stamping and crystal flatbacks for a sparkly, pave look. What do you like to add bling to?

 

Kat Silvia
Kat:

This week I was inspired by all this wonderful rain we have been having in Los Angeles.  I just finished the “Partly Cloudy Earrings” using the new Pastel Swarovski Crystal Pearls.  These pearls have a beautiful sheen to them that makes them look so silky and smooth.  I just love the combination of grey and yellow in this design.  What color combination are you working with right now?  Share in the comments below!

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Julie:

I am just about to start a sea glass-inspired kumihimo project and I am so excited! I love adding shaped beads and even European large hole beads to my braiding — I think it adds a really interesting textural element. Wish me luck.

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Rachel:

This past week has been all about kumihimo. With lessons from the amazing designers here, I learned non-beaded and beaded kumihimo techniques, and just completed my first beaded bracelet. I can’t wait to experiment with this technique some more.

 

Nunn Design Giveaway – 2015 Winter Collection

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We’ve got a great giveaway to announce: You now have a chance to win pieces from the Nunn Design 2015 Winter Collection, supplied by the fantastic Becky Nunn. The collection features lots of exciting new bezels, toggle clasps and ring settings, and a beautiful new charm bracelet to get you creating gorgeous pieces of jewelry. The whole collection is valued at over $110, but here’s your chance to win it for free.

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To enter, just leave a comment on this blog post telling us what you’re looking forward to the most from Nunn Design’s 2015 Winter Collection. The giveaway ends Friday, March 6th at 4 p.m. PST. At that time, we will choose one winner at random. Remember, only comment once per giveaway using your existing Disqus account, or simply comment as a guest with your name/nickname and a valid email address (enter an optional password if you would like to create a Disqus account). Please do not use your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus account when commenting since these methods have been unreliable when contacting winners. You can only win one Beadaholique giveaway every 12 months. For a complete description of how to enter our giveaways, click here.

To see our entire selection of Nunn Design products, as well as project tutorials and expert how-to videos by Becky Nunn herself, visit our Nunn Design page.

 

Best of luck!

Inspiration Monday: New York Spring Fashion Week

It seems so early to start thinking about spring, but last week saw the wrap of New York’s Spring 2015 Fashion Week. So many designers, so much glamour — so many different looks we’ll surely start seeing on the streets and in stores. Here are a few favorite themes that kept popping up in the collections, along with some beading inspiration so we can get a head start on matching jewelry.

(L-R) Carolina Herrera, Delpozo, Ralph Lauren

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.23.50 AMFirst trend: Yellow! We saw gauzy, flowing skirts and gowns in shades of lemon, sunshine and honey. This bright, cheerful hue begs to be punched up with fun, colorful jewelry like our Mojito Earrings, which are resort-ready with contrasting shades of blue. The flashy, gold and silver tones of the Sparkling Spike Necklace would also pair great with anything yellow. Or, for a fun and trendy wrist adornment, go for the El Tropico Bangle. Is it time for a cocktail?

 

 

Mermaid

(L-R) Rodarte, Delpozo, Prabal Gurung

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 9.51.54 AMNext up, we saw a distinct mermaid theme across several designers’ collections. Aquamarine hues, sequins and beads, sheer, drapey fabrics and sea textures — it was an ocean-dweller’s paradise. Our Beach Days Cultured Sea Glass Necklace offers a natural complement to any marine-inspired wardrobe choices, or to frame your mermaid locks with a hint of sparkle, the Splash! Earrings might do the trick. The Mermaid’s Tale Bracelet is a cute addition to the jewelry box of any aspiring sea-sprite.

 

Stars

(L-R) Three Tommy Hilfiger looks

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 10.11.48 AMFor this spring, Tommy Hilfiger was seeing stars, and we couldn’t be more jazzed. The designer showed off a parade of glam-rock creations featuring star patterns, dark colors and edgy shapes. We’re all about the rock n’ roll attire here, and can’t wait to pair The Glam Punk Cuff with some of these looks. Our Ziggy Necklace is a great accessory for that upcoming concert, or go for the Studded Skull Bracelet for a look that screams, “Back in Black.”

 

What spring trends are you looking forward to? It’s never too early to get to work on a few jewelry creations to match.

 

Announcing the Magnificent Marsala Contest Winners

We are excited to announce the winners of our Magnificent Marsala beading contest! A big congratulations to our domestic winner, Vanessa Suen, and our international winner, Mariya Nikolaeva Tsarkova.

Vanessa Suen Domestic Winner

Vanessa won a $100 Beadaholique gift card for her dazzling entry, The Burgundy Necklace. We love her intricate beadwork and color palette that brings out marsala’s sumptuous tones.

Mariya Nikolaeva Tsarkova International Winner

Mariya also won a $100 Beadaholique gift card for her piece, Red Red Wine. Her use of antique brass-toned wire complements a large mookaite gemstone beautifully.

Dora Oresic Editor's Pick

Finally, we extend a warm congratulations to Dora Oresic, whose gorgeous, floral-themed entry is our Editor’s Pick. Dora won a $50 Beadaholique gift card for this lovely bracelet that features bead crochet ropes, polymer clay bead caps, a TierraCast watch toggle clasp and a focal piece made with a brass bezel and polymer clay flowers.

We were so impressed with all of the entries. Keep an eye out for next month’s contest!

Quick Tip Tuesday: End on a Charming Note

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.42.35 PMWe really can’t overstate how stylish, easy and trendy charm jewelry is right now. Charms work great as focal pieces on a necklace, as in Karlin’s Tim Holtz Key Pendant necklace. Expandable charm bracelets, like our Ying & Yang Unity Charm bangle kit, place expressive charms front and center. But charms also work great as end-pieces on memory wire bracelets. Whimsical nature charms dress up our Dancing Ladybug Bracelet kit, and a simple heart adds sparkle to the My Classic Valentine Bracelet kit.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.56.17 PMOur Copper Harmony Bangle Trio kit features a concert of neutral-toned beads, capped off by peace-inspired charms. It takes just a bit of embellishment to make a big statement with these pieces, so let your inspiration guide you through our wide assortment of charms. Here’s a tip for necklaces, too: Don’t let the center of the strand get all the love — you can add a hidden treasure to the back of your necklace, too, by hanging a small charm off of a jump ring near the clasp. These are just a few of the ways you can make a piece of jewelry your own.

Magnificent Marsala Contest Finalists

We’ve received some outstanding entries for our Magnificent Marsala Contest, and it’s up to you to decide the winners! These pieces each incorporate the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, a rich, warm red with brown undertones that derives its name from a fine Italian wine. Visit our Facebook page and like your favorite to cast your vote—the American entry and the international entry with the most likes will each win a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate.

Finalists are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to cast your vote before Wednesday, February 18th at 4pm PT.

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“A Split of Marsala” – Christina Donofrio

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“Red Floral Earrings” – Berina Febin

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“Champagne & Marsala Bracelet” – Martha Glover

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“Victorian Ribbons and Wine” – Amanda Madison

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“Sugar Plums and Marsala Necklace” – Alexandra Marshall

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“Candles and Wine” – Mariam Ohanjanyan

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“Marsala Challenge” – Dora Oresic

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“Unlock My Heart” – Autumn Stump

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“The Burgundy Necklace” – Vanessa Suen

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“Red Red Wine Bangle” – Mariya Nikolaeva Tsarkova

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite at our Facebook Gallery! A big thank you to all of our participants, and best of luck to the finalists. Beadaholique’s next contest will be announced in the March issue of The Beading Wire—be sure to subscribe on our website or here at the sidebar on the right, because you won’t want to miss this one!

Inspiration Monday: Snow!

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Big Bear small 5Yes, we know — we’re spoiled here, weather-wise, in sunny Los Angeles. But what many people don’t realize about Southern California is that snow-capped mountains and frigid temperatures are just a short drive away this time of year. This winter, my husband and I visited Big Bear, CA for the first time, and I found myself unexpectedly inspired by the snowy landscape.

Big Bear small 6Growing up in New Jersey, I always took winter for granted. As a kid, a snowfall was a fun afternoon pastime as I tromped around in my boots, making snow angels in the front yard. But as I got older, the novelty wore off. Snow meant traffic delays, never getting to wear cute shoes, and endless shoveling. So when I moved to L.A., I was happy to kiss the cold weather goodbye. The thing is, visiting Big Bear made me realize what really happened: I’d forgotten how beautiful the snow really is.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 10.59.19 AMWinding through the mountains, I was struck by the comforting colors of the winter landscape — pure, white snow against deep green pine trees and the warm earth-tones of the rocky mountainside, captured sweetly in Karlin’s Woodland Glass Dome necklace. We caught a gorgeous sunset where the sky settled into gentle bands of purple and blue, and then made sure to stop at Big Bear Lake, where flocks of birds cut a stark silhouette against the soft, orange reflections in the water.

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Much of Big Bear’s architecture is comprised of quaint, wooden cabins, which reminded me of how beautiful and earthy wooden and
ceramic beads can look, as in Kat’s whimsical Watchful Owl necklace. I can already imagine a wood-bead necklace or bracelet, paired with some frosted glass accents, reminiscent of the snow. What does your winter landscape look like? How would you translate snowy splendor into a jewelry creation?

Best of beading,
Rachel