Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Picnics Beading Contest: 10 Finalists!

A big thank you again to all those who entered our Summer Picnics Beading Contest. We received a lot of really clever, inventive, and beautiful designs. It was hard to pick just 10. Here are the 10 finalists for June's Beading Challenge (in alphabetical order by last name):

Stop & Smell the Flowers by Tanya Brouillet

Summer Passion by Rosalind Burch

DaBees Earrings by Elizabeth Freville

On The River by Nadezda Gerber

Lovers' Picnic by Penny Harman

Snow Cone Earrings by Amanda Hinson

Summer Nummers by Alison Huie

Summer Breeze by Katalin Kmetyko

Aratilis by Naz Garces-Perlas

18.5" Necklace with T

To vote for your favorite design, please go to Beadaholique's Facebook page and "like" the design you like best. You will need to "like" the actual photo in the gallery and not the entire gallery itself for your vote to count. Public voting ends Tuesday July 3rd at 4pm PDT.  

Good Luck To All!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: 6/27/12

Julie's Table 

I have a new love this week, yes another, lol. I just can't help it, when I start to design with an ingredient that I have not used much before, sometimes I just fall hopelessly, madly in love with it. This week it is SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS turquoise, jade green, and coral faux pearls. These resort inspired colors are yummy and the sleek feel of the faux pearls is simply luxurious. On my table I have two completed necklaces using these elements. There are a couple other projects from this week on my table too. Now I have to pull myself away from creating and type up the instructions!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Inspiration Monday Book Review: Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies

Beadweaving is my favorite medium in jewelry making, and as an avid beadweaver, I was thrilled with Sabine Lippert's Beaded Fantasies from Lark Crafts.  This book boasts instructions for 30 gorgeous projects, and I honestly would love to try each and every one of them.

Sabine does a lot of really amazing and different things with beaded bezels, and the way she combines and layers different stitches is as interesting as it is beautiful.  She's got the kind of projects in here that leave me saying, "How did she DO that?" and that is always a fun reaction for a seasoned beader to have.

Les Fleurs by Sabine Lippert
The projects in this book are ornate and intricate.  They are hopelessly romantic and very feminine, and perusing through them will leave you itching to grab your beads and get started!  Perhaps the best part is that as daunting as some of these beauties may look, Sabine gives very clear instructions.  The step by step how-tos and detailed illustrations break it all down into digestable bits, and make these projects quite doable.

You can get a preview and try out one of the patterns in this book for free at the Lark Crafts website.  Once you do, and you get hooked, you can grab your own copy of this amazing book here.

- Megan

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Spotlight Saturday: Briolettes

When I think of summer, I think of sunny days, picnics, flowers, friends, and crafts. Growing up, my mom always had a summer art project planned for me. Perhaps it is because of these childhood experiences that I still associate summer with crafting and making. If you too delight in creating during the summer, here are a few ideas to spark your imagination:

Featured Video: How to Wire Wrap a Briolette 

In this video learn how to wire wrap a briolette so that you can easily incorporate it into your jewelry designs.  

Featured Project: Olive Grove Necklace

This necklace is a show stopper! The vibrant green of the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS briolettes is accented beautifully by the copper accents and chain. 

Featured Product: Rainbow Moonstone Gemstone Teardrop Briolettes 

I am absolutely in LOVE with these Rainbow Moonstone teardrop briolettes. Their milky white, slightly iridescent and translucent appearance is mesmerizing. I also love that they are all not exactly the same, there is an organic feel to them. They would look fantastic wire wrapped onto a sterling silver form or several of them dangling from a chain.  

- Julie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: 6/20/12

Julie and Megan's Table 

Happy Summer Everyone! Megan and I have a shared table this week which is full of resin experiments. On the table you can see a bangle mold that has real flowers embedded into the resin, a fully cured resin piece that I drilled a hole in so that I could place a head pin through it, and multiple experiments embedding objects and trying to see if we can make a complete symmetrical sphere. Some of the experiments are coming out great, some not, but we are having a blast trying!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Beading Contest Update: Summer Picnics

Have you checked out our current beading contest, Summer Picnics?  We want to see your day-in-the-park best and we want all of our other readers to see it too!  

Our 10 selected finalists will have their entries published here on our Beader's Blog and on the Beadaholique Facebook page for public voting, and the winner will receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate!  

We have some great entries so far, but there is still time to enter if you have not yet sent us yours!  The deadline for submission is Tuesday, June 26th @ 4PM PT, so get beading! 

Other important dates:

Thursday, June 28th: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.

Tuesday, July 3rd @ 4 PM PT: Public voting closes

Thursday, July 5th: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email.  

Be sure to read through the original post for complete rules and submission guidelines!  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Artist Profile: Oksana Gaevskaya winner of May Flowers beading challenge

The winner of last months Beadaholique beading challenge, May Flowers, was Oksana Gaevskaya with her beautiful Apple Blossoms necklace. We asked Oksana to tell us more about her jewelry and what inspires her creative process.

Tell us about yourself:  

Winning Entry: Apple Blossom
My name is Oksana, I'm 22 years old. I am an ordinary student of the Donetsk National Technical University. I am a future master of the specialty "Computerized Control Systems". Now I am in search of a future career, as my education at the institute will soon be over. I wish that my future profession was connected with my hobby – beading, despite the technical specialty. However, this is unlikely in our country, because people are not accustomed to handwork and its value.  

How did you get interested in beading / jewelry making?  

I started beading about 10 years ago. First I made ​​flowers out of beads, which looked very similar to natural plants. Then there was a break in my beadwork, but I went back to my hobby soon after. However, I did not make flowers anymore, but instead began to study the creation of jewelry. On my own, I am independently studying various techniques of beading. And now you see what I can do. The main thing in my jewelry - accuracy. 

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making? 

In creating jewelry, I love to use only the highest quality materials. Such as: Czech beads, Japanese seed beads, Toho, and Miyuki. But my favorite materials include: Miyuki Delica beads and Rivolis. To my regret, these are the most expensive materials for me.  

Who or what inspires your creative process? 

Thanks to the Internet, I have a unique opportunity to meet and communicate with the great masters of beadwork. Enjoy their work and continue to learn. Also, you can draw inspiration from nature. I like to make necklaces of flowers: poppies, roses or fancy flowers. 

Is there somewhere people can see / purchase your work?

If you are interested in my work, you can contact me by e-mail 

Also all of my work can be seen in the group of Vkontakte, it does not need to register.

In the following albums: 

Thanks Oksana and best of luck to you in all your endeavors!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: 6/13/12

Julie's Table  

My love for kumihimo continues and this week I am working on another beaded kumihimo necklace using Miyuki Long Magatama beads. We have received a number of requests asking for a video on how to braid using the magatamas - this project is the source for that video :)  

Megan's Table 

I've got a fun bead weaving project on my table this week, which is my favorite thing! I'm working with a really pretty, soft combination of pink, crystal, and silver Miyuki Delica beads to make a choker with a combination of stitches. Keep an eye out for a horizontal netting stitch video, too.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Inspiration Monday: Nail Art!

I'll always be the first to admit that I'm a total girlie-girl.  I love pink, I love glitter, shoot, I even have little pink bows tattooed on my body.  So, with that in mind, it's a no-brainer this new trend of DIY nail art that I'm seeing everywhere makes me ridiculously happy.

Explosion Manicure Tutorial by nailside

We designers here at Beadaholique tend to keep our manicures pretty low key.  Clear polishes, or a subtle nude really work better when you're taping an instructional video.  I am left, therefore, to live vicariously through others when it comes to these amazing new ideas.  My favorite way to do this is by browsing nailside, a blog that's all about nail art.  Jane from nailside has oodles of incredible photos, reviews, and even free tutorials on her blog.  It's a girlie dream come true, and I highly recommend checking it out.

At first, it might seem like the only outlet for this manicure mania of mine would be absolutely fantastic toe nails.  Not so.  Don't get me wrong, I do have fantastically painted toes most of the time, but this is not the only way that I have been inspired by the goodies that I have found on this site.

The color combinations and shapes that Jane used in these manicures evoke a whole style.  They're just asking to be the jumping off point for other creative ventures.  I would love to design the outfit that goes along with them, and definitely the jewelry that would complete the look.  From shocking 80s color pops to glamourous art deco chevrons, these manicures really paint a picture!  Which one would you like to wear this week?

Friday, June 8, 2012

ENDED! Exciting News and a Great Giveaway!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED. We have hit 2 million views on our YouTube videos!  We are so excited, and to celebrate, we're having a giveaway.  The lovely folks over at Lark Crafts have sent us all four of the books in their 30-Minute Series, and we are going to give them away to one lucky reader.

The series consists of 30-Minute Rings, 30-Minute Earrings, 30-Minute Necklaces, and 30-Minute Bracelets (the newest release in the series) and each book contains 60 quick projects for jewelers.  The projects cover a huge variety of techniques for many different skill levels, including more advanced metal working projects.  While most of us aren't practiced metal workers, the photos in these books are an amazing source of inspiration regardless of your skill level.  And these books might just inspire you to seek the tools and training necessary to give them a try!

Want a chance to makes these books your own?  Leave a comment on this post, telling us where you draw inspiration from in your creative endeavors.

Giveaway ends next Wednesday, June 13th at 4pm PDT. At that time, we will choose one random winner from those who left comments on this blog post. Please do not comment anonymously and do not use your Yahoo Pulse Profile if commenting, we cannot contact you if you do. Please adhere to all Beadaholique rules and conditions for this giveaway.

Good Luck, and if you'd rather not leave it to chance, you can find the 30-Minute Series at Lark Crafts!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June Beading Contest: Summer Picnics

Many of us love to spend our summers soaking up the sunshine. The wonderful weather encourages fun outdoor activities and get-togethers, which leads us to the inspiration for this month’s beading challenge: summer picnics! 

So whether you’re thinking about yummy and portable summer foods, pesky picnic pests, or romantic picnic settings in the countryside or under the fireworks, show us pieces all about fun in the sun.

We will select 10 finalists from the contest entries, all of whom will have their work published in our Beader’s Blog and on the Beadaholique Facebook page, for public voting. The winner will receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate and further exposure on our blog and Facebook page! 

Rules/How to Enter:
Email us a clear, in focus, well-lit photo of a beading project which fits our theme and uses one or more products found at Beadaholique. Email one photo, at least 500 px in width or height but no bigger than 1600 px wide and 1600 px tall, to with the following included in your email (make sure you leave in the words tags: june2012):

Subject line: Name of Piece tags: june2012 (Example: Flower Fiesta tags: june2012)

Body: Very important! Include your full name and email address within the body of your email. Optionally, you may also include a brief description of your piece. 

Important Dates: 
  • Tuesday, June 26 @ 4PM PT: Last day to submit
  • Thursday, June 28: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
  • Tuesday, July 3 @ 4 PM PT: Public voting closes
  • Thursday, July 5: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email. 

Other Rules: 
One entry per person. If you send more than one entry, you may be disqualified. If your entry does not meet the “Rules/How to Enter” stated above, you may be disqualified. Winner must respond to our email notification within 2 weeks to claim gift certificate. No one person may win more than once every 3 months. By entering, you retain the rights to your original jewelry design but are giving Beadaholique, Inc. permission to use your submitted photo(s) on our websites, newsletter, Facebook, blog and other properties. The terms and conditions that apply to all Beadaholique contests and giveaways also apply here.

  • Send in a large, clear, and well-lit photo. For tips on taking great photos of jewelry, click HERE.
  • Try to use natural light to illuminate your photos. 
  • Double check to make sure that your full name and email address are included in the body of your email. We continue to receive submissions with no contact information. 

Need inspiration?
Here are some free Beadaholique project tutorials to help you along:
Chill Out Charm Bracelet
Ice Cream Social Earrings
Time for Fruit Salad Necklace
Layer Cake Cuff Bracelet
Honey, Bee Mine Earrings
Grappa Necklace
Crystal Radiance Earrings
The Uninvited Guests Necklace—coming soon!

Congratulations to Oksana Gaevskaya - Our May Flowers Contest Winner

Congratulations to Oksana Gaevskaya who won our May Flowers beading contest!  Her winning design was Apple Blossom, pictured below.  An artist profile will be coming soon on Oksana and her work.  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: 06/06/12

Megan's Table

We just got a bunch of great new items from Green Girl Studios here at Beadaholique, and I am super excited to work with all these goodies.  Today on my table, you'll find a wicked little winged skull toggle clasp and an assortment of Czech glass beads, which I'm using to make a necklace.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Mastering 2-Part Resin - Tips and Advice

Dancing Dragonflies Pendant
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.

Dreams in Flight Necklace

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.  

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.

Learn To Soar Necklace

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.  

Chocolate Hearts Magnet Set
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:
  • Most resins have a shelf life of about 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 

I hope these tips help you along your creative journey! 

Happy Resin Making,
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