Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beading Contest: Beach Days Finalists

Thanks so much to all who entered our Beach Days contest!  We receive so many fantastic entries these days and it's always hard to choose just 10 finalists each month.  After much deliberation, here are our top 10 finalists (in alphabetical order by last name):

Beach Bum by Amelia Davenport

Untitled by Heidi DiCesare

Ariel's Armour by Tara Ellis

Sand and Surf by Ashley Fosberg

Mermaid Necklace by Joella Foster

Topsail Treasure Pendant by Kirsten Kidd

Ocean Dreams by Holly Kurzman

Sea Me at the Beach by Lauren E. Potts

SF Fisherman's Wharf Friends by Laura Still

Charms of the Sea by Terri Zumbrook

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 31st at 4pm PDT.

Best of luck to all!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: July 25, 2012

Julie's Table

This week I was inspired to do something with the amazing dark purple Miyuki Delica beads I found while searching for another supply a couple weeks ago. What I came up with was this bead woven bracelet and earring set that has a radiating sun pattern. Also on my table is a Nunn Design open-back bezel that I filled with resin, seed beads, and a pretty Green Girl Studios bead.

Megan's Table

Still on my beading table, here's another update on my big bead embroidery piece.  It's really coming together and I'm very excited about how it's turning out!  I'm pretty certain that I'm going to make it into a pretty waist sash, using silk ribbon to tie around the waist.  Stay tuned for a video on how to do freeform shape bead embroidery - once you get the idea, you can use it for any shape you want, and let your creativity run wild!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quick Tip Tuesday: Vibrating Bubbles out of Resin

Whenever I hear a good tip relating to resin, I definitely like to pass it along. Fig, who works as one of our awesome customer service reps, excels at many forms of jewelry design but is especially fond of resin. Recently he told me a great tip for getting the bubbles out of a 2-part resin pour: 

If you apply a gentle vibration to the side or bottom of a filled resin bezel or mold, it will cause the lower bubbles to rise to the surface where they will either pop on their own or can easily be popped with a pin. Who knew! For the vibrator, we have used cell phones, massage mats, and even electric tooth brushes. Just make sure that you protect (with plastic) whatever object you are using to cause the vibration and make sure that it is gentle enough that it does not cause the resin to spill over the edge of the setting. Vibrate for 5 minutes.  

Happy Resin Making!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Beading Contest Update: Beach Days

Have you checked out our current beading contest, Beach Days?  We want to see your day-at-the-beach 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 fantastic entries so far, but there is still time to enter if you have not yet sent us yours!  The deadline for submission is Tuesday, July 24th @ 4PM PT, so get beading! 

Other important dates:

Thursday, July 26th: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.

Tuesday, July 31st @ 4 PM PT: Public voting closes

Thursday, August 2nd: 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!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: July 18, 2012

Julie's Table 

Some of my favorite projects come about when I work according to a theme. The theme this week was epoxy clay and crystal chatons. I have worked with both of these products before but this time I devoted several days strictly to them and just let myself play. On my table are several pairs of earrings, several necklaces (including a locket), and a ring. Instructional videos are coming soon on how to make many of the projects you see on my desk!

Megan's Table 

I've been playing with different kinds of braiding this week. On my table is a bracelet that I'm working on that's made of metal seed beads. I strung the beads on beading wire and wove the strands together in a loose basket weave kind of a braid. I love the contrasting metal finishes!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Beading Table Wednesday: July 11, 2012

Julie's Table 

My challenge this week was to make something eye-catching using primarily wire (and in this case craft wire). I am a fan of wire wrapping but I tend to do it on a much smaller scale then the necklace you see here. I spent a good deal of time planning out my design only to come to realize that the wire really leads you and it is far easier to go with the flow then stick to a rigid plan. My favorite part of the design is how the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS in crystal astral pink and fuchsia look against the gold.

Megan's Table

In between other projects, I've continued to work on my large and intricate bead embroidery undertaking this week.  I'm not sure yet what it will turn into...possibly the front of a waist sash?  But I am loving the look of all of those pretty Czech glass seed beads set against the Golem Studio cabochon.  And can you spy the little SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal faux pearl cabochons in there too?  I love the way they add a different texture to the embroidery.  I'm so enjoying watching the final look of my piece develop as I go!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Learning Through Practice: High Temperatures and Resin

A note from Julie:

Well, I had a bad resin pour this past weekend, ugh! This was incredibly frustrating but I wanted to share my story in hopes that it will help others avoid the same mistake. Here is what happened:

I was making a series of 20 compacts with my husband's art work on top of the lids. I had cut, glued, and sealed the images in place (just as I always do). I had purchased a brand new batch of resin specifically for this pour. I mixed up 1 oz of resin in a small measuring cup, making sure that I used exactly equal amounts of part A and part B. I waited 5 minutes to let some of the bubbles rise to the top and pop on their own. So far, so good. Next, I went to resin was already starting to set!!! It was slightly sticky and when I spread it onto the top of the compact, it was no longer fluid and self-leveling. I used up the entire cup on about 8 compacts before I realized how bad they looked. The centers were fine but the edges were lumpy and uneven.

My problem: it was too hot in my house. Resin works best in temperatures around 75 degrees. However, it was around 90 degrees this weekend in Pasadena and inside my house was even warmer then that. It had been a hot day and I had been gone so the house was closed up and hot. I should have known better but I honestly did not even think about it. 

My fix: this morning around 7am when it was still cool (for summer that is), I mixed up another 1 oz batch of resin and poured it on top of my "bad" layer. This time the resin behaved as it should and evenly spread out to the edges. It filled in the gaps and unevenness that was left from the last pour and my compacts look great.

Tip: Even though I was making 20 compacts, I still only mixed up 1 oz of resin at a time. This way I was able to catch something like this before it caused too much damage. I never mix more then 1oz at a time, no matter how many pieces I am making.

With summer getting into full swing across the country, I hope this tip comes in handy.

- Julie Bean

Monday, July 9, 2012

Artist Profile: Amanda Hinson winner of "Summer Picnics" beading challenge

The winner of June's beading challenge was Amanda Hinson with her very creative Snow Cone Earrings. We wanted to learn more about Amanda and asked her to share her story with us. 

My name is Amanda, and I live with my husband and two crazy little kitties. I love working with children, and I have spent the last 10 years working at the same amazing after school daycare! I also love to travel; especially to Walt Disney World – I am always plotting our next trip in my head, and I love helping others with their trips as well! In my free time I can usually be found with a pile of beads and some string. 

How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?  

I have been crafting for as long as I can remember! My Mom always kept us busy with one creative project or another. Beadwork is the craft that stuck with me. I remember using my spending money to buy beads at a very young age. And I must say beads are still my favorite item to shop for!  

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?  

Seed beads are my number one favorite material, simply because the possibilities for these little beauties seem so endless! And I can never resist adding a little bit of bling to my pieces with a Swarovski or two. I have noticed that nearly 100% of my finished pieces incorporate either seed beads or Swarovski crystals. Or both!  

Who or what inspires your creative process?  

So many things inspire me! Most of my pieces are inspired by childhood memories and whimsical fun! I love using lots of bright colors, and enjoy playing around with colors and color combinations in general in my work. I am also inspired by the places that I travel to (or would like to travel to!) favorite foods, nature, holidays, different cultures… There are just so many things to draw inspiration from!  
Winning Entry!

Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?  

My shop: 


Thanks Amanda and congratulations again on winning June's beading challenge "Summer Picnics"!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

July Beading Contest: Beach Days

Let’s make a splash this month and celebrate beach days! We’re looking for pieces inspired by the sand and sea! So let’s get nautical and send in those beach-inspired projects!

Check out our free beading projects for some inspiration or browse through our selection of ocean life charms for some ideas. See below for a list of inspiration projects.

We will select 10 finalists from the contest entries, all of whom will have their work published here 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 (do not use this for questions; contact us here) with the following included in your email (make sure you leave in the words tags: june2012):

Subject line: Name of Piece tags: july2012 (Example: Roaring Waves tags: july2012)

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

Important Dates:
Tuesday, July 24 @ 4PM PT: Last day to submit
Thursday, July 26: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
Tuesday, July 31 @ 4 PM PT: Public voting closes
Thursday, August 2: 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.
Try to use natural light to illuminate your photos.
Double check to make sure that your full name and email addressare included in the body of your email. We continue to receive submissions with no contact information.

Summer Picnics Contest Winner

Congratulations to Amanda Hinson, winner of the Facebook fan vote for her "Snow Cone Earrings" entry. These clever and creative earrings are her "favorite picnic treat" and "will not melt in the sun!" This cute design features seed beads and simple earring hooks.

Amanda has won a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate, and a full artist profile of Amanda will be posted here on our blog soon, so be sure to check back.

This month's Editor's Pick goes to Tanya Brouillet for her "Stop & Smell the Flowers" bracelet due to its wonderfully creative use of cube beads and seed beads in creating a very wearable white picket fence. We love the flowers made from lucite and Czech glass beads!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

ENDED: Chains, Chains, Chains Book Giveaway!


It's time for another Beadaholique giveaway! 

The good folks over at Lark Crafts have been kind enough to supply us with the fantastic book Chains, Chains, Chains by Joanna Gollberg and Nathalie Mornu. We are giving this inspiring book to one lucky person who leaves a comment to this blog post telling us why they love chain. On Monday July 9th at 4pm PDT we will choose a winner at random from those who commented.  

Featuring 25 necklace, earring, and bracelet design projects, this book "celebrates the chain as an eye-catching piece of jewelry in and of itself that takes the spotlight without any pendants, dangles, or charms." Most of the projects are for those comfortable with metalworking, but even if you are a novice in this arena, the ideas presented in the book will surely spark your creativity and have you itching to try something new. 

Besides the projects and instructions presented in the book, there is a wonderful and large section devoted to the basics of getting started working with metal and creating metal chains. This section covers an overview of metal types, tools, equipment, skills, soldering, and finishing techniques. Lots of great photographs accompany the text for better understanding. Then in the back of the book there is a beautiful gallery of work by various artists, which is oh-so-inspiring! 

If you would like to win this book, make sure to leave a comment and please do not comment anonymously and do not use your Yahoo Pulse Profile (we will not be able to reach you). Please adhere to all Beadaholique rules and conditions for this giveaway.  

Good Luck!

Beading Table Wednesday: July 4th, 2012

Julie's Table 

On my table today I have magnets made with Lillypilly aluminum stampings and glass domes, a paperweight made from a large glass dome and collage images, and also a flat braid Kumihimo bracelet. Outside of the photo is also a wire working project. Whew, feels like a busy week!  

Megan's Table 

I've been thinking about using one of the gorgeous Golem Studio cabochons as the focal in a big bead embroidered piece for a long time. This week, I finally got this project underway. On my table, you will find the beginnings of a lovely, intricate cuff bracelet all in teals and turquoises. I sketched out a rough design onto my foundation material, and now it's time to play!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Megan Got Married!

You might have noticed that Megan's beading table was absent from the Beading Table Wednesday blog post last week. Well, she had a very good reason.......she got married! Megan Patton is now Megan Milliken!  

The entire team at Beadaholique wants to wish her a wonderful marriage filled with love, laughter, and joy. Megan was kind enough to share one of her favorite photos from her special day: 

So now when you see a project, video, or blog post by Megan, it will say "Megan Milliken". We are in the process of updating all her old projects and videos to reflect her new name.

Congratulations Megan!
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