Thursday, February 28, 2013

Follow us on Instagram!

I have to admit, I'm one of the few people I know that still doesn't have a smart phone.  But I did get an iPad mini for Christmas (best gift ever) and I'm crawling along trying to catch up with all these apps and what they do.  Amazingly, Julie only recently jumped on the smart phone boat too, so we've been paddling along together.

But our Marketing Content Creator Savannah, she's just about the most social media savvy person I know.  So she's got a bead on all these great social media apps (pun intended) and she's been hard at work getting us up to speed. 

The latest result?  Beadaholique on Instagram!  We figured that it would be a great way to share with you all and give you more of a peek into the people behind Beadaholique.  Want to check it out?  You can find us on Instagram as beadaholique to to see what we're up to.  And make sure you follow us if you'd like to keep tabs on all of our wacky hijinx.

If, like me, you still don't have a smart phone, never fear, you can also see our Instagram feed online here!

-Megan

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Beading Table Wednesday: 02/27/2013

Megan's Table

I love crystals.  I would gladly add them to almost any piece of jewelry that I make.  This week, I've been playing with the two types of SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystal chain that we carry at Beadaholique: rhinestone cup chain and channel chain.  To give a more subtle sparkle, I glued rhinestone cup chain onto the sides of a bezel around a sweet little cameo.  And I'm thrilled with how quick and easy it is to make gorgeous earrings with the channel chain.  What's your favorite way to add some sparkle to your jewelry?

Julie's Table

I really hope that this pile of half completed projects looks familiar to other beaders out there! I know I am a messy beader but this is pretty bad. My only excuse is that I am going out of town for a few days and was trying to hurry up and finish some projects before I left. Megan, I promise to put away all these supplies when I return :) 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Artist Profile: Kirsten Kidd - U.S. Winner of our January Gems Beading Contest

Kirsten Kidd was voted the #1 entry from the United States in our January Gems Contest with her "Sweetheart Earrings".  This lovely design features opal beads and some amazing wire wrapping.  We were curious to learn more about Kirsten and her jewelry making journey.  Here is her story:

Tell us a little about yourself:

My name is Kirstin and I live in Boone, North Carolina.  What is there to say about myself except that I absolutely love creating.  My sole purpose at this point in my life is to do whatever it takes to let my artistic expression overflow onto paper, wire, fiber… whatever happens to be in front of me at the moment.


Kirsten's Winning Entry: "Sweetheart Earrings"
How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

I’ve been creating art my whole life, drawing and painting.  It wasn’t until two or three years ago however that I picked up wire.  I had developed sort of a passion for crystals, rocks, and anything that comes from the earth.  Since then I’ve been teaching myself innovative, fun ways to put stones into jewelry.


 
What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

My favorite materials to work with, by far, are undrilled crystals and silver wire.  It truly amazes me, as I’m flipping through pictures of gemstones, the abundant variety of colors, textures, and patterns that are created through the natural processes of mother Earth.

Who or what inspires your creative process?

Mainly, my creative process is inspired by the patterns that I see and interpret in nature and life.  I believe that the universe has created the most magnificent designs already in nature.  So, in order for me to be the best artist that I can, I just need to interpret and analyze that design, and in a way reproduce it with my own creative expression.

Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?

My work can be seen on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/madwrapz or Etsy at: www.etsy.com/shop/soulfiresilver, and I take custom orders!

Thanks for sharing Kirsten!  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, February 22, 2013

Artist Profile: Julia Savchenko - International Winner of our January Gems Beading Contest

Julia Savchenko was voted the #1 international entry in our January Gems Contest with her "Garden of Dragonflies Set".  An incredible pair of wire wrapped earrings, these feature amethyst and seed pearl beads, and have a unique asymmetrical style.  We were curious to learn more about Julia and her jewelry making journey.  Here is her story:

Tell us a little about yourself:

I live in Uzbekistan, an amazingly beautiful country located amidst the high mountains and boundless plains of Central Asia.  My land is rich with its history, culture and traditions.  On the narrow curvy streets of its ancient cities, among the walls of its centuries-old palaces, mosques and mausoleums, under the large southern stars one can fully feel the spirit of the East and the breath of bygone epochs.  Jewelry is one of my hobbies while I work as a logistician in a pharmaceutical company.  It is hard to find free time for the things I really like, but whenever there is a free minute - I use it for creating a new item. 

Julia's Winning Entry: "Garden of Dragonflies"
How did you get interested in beading/jewelry making?

As far back as I can remember I have always had some inner urge to try this or that type of handcraft. I was always drawing, embroidering/cross-stitching, sculpting salt dough, making papertole pictures, sculpting clay decorative panels, assembling paper models, etc.  About 5 years ago I started sculpting porcelain jewelry.  It was beautiful but fragile.  One day I was browsing the internet and saw some handmade wire-wrapped jewelry and some polymer clay jewelry.  I was fascinated at the thought of the endless possibilities these materials can offer.  I tried and succeeded, moreover I realized that my skills bring joy not only to me but to lots of other people, jewelry making has become the only craft I really stuck to.

What are your favorite materials to use in jewelry making?

My favourite metal I use in the majority of my works is copper; oxidized and polished copper jewelry pieces look stylish with a touch of vintage and antiquity.  I use Swarovski crystals, Czech glass beads, pearls, seed beads, semi-precious stones and of course, polymer clay.  One of the most recognizable features of my work are items decorated with miniature bouquets made by me from scratch - it's a tribute to my love for sculpting.  Making tiny flowers, thinking of compositions and variations I can create with them is my passion.

Who or what inspires your creative process?

The ideas come themselves, sometimes not letting me fall asleep - I have to take a paper and make a rough sketch.  I draw inspiration from lots of things, mostly from nature, since nature is the most perfect artist who possesses the best colors and shapes.  Another source of inspiration are fairy tales, legends, Japanese poetry and art which I love a lot.  Apart from that I constantly learn, trying to apply new techniques in my work.

I make all kinds of jewelry items: necklaces, pendants, rings, earrings, bracelets, hairpins, but my favourite type is ear cuffs.  This kind of earring brings to mind some little accent of fantasy, fairy tale, something that is lacking in everyday life.

Is there somewhere people can see/purchase your work?

You can see a gallery of my jewelry at www.jsjewelry.deviantart.com or follow and contact me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/J.B.Savchenko.

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

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Check out Our Designs in the Spring Issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine!

Have you seen the new Spring 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine?  Julie and I are very excited because we both have designs in this issue!

Julie has a fantastic bracelet in the bracelet gallery on page 24 and a lovely pair of hand painted earrings in the earring gallery on page 48.  I am very proud to have my updated flapper style necklace "Dancing Tassels" included in the Vintage Moxie theme on page 27. 

Pick up a copy in print or as a digital download to see our work, along with all of the other great designs that they've included for Spring!

-Megan

Beading Table Wednesday: 2/21/13

Julie's Table

This design started out simply with the desire to coat some Lillypilly copper sheets in resin. I had seen this technique done in Tucson and I knew I had to try it out for myself. I chose a pretty embossed copper sheet with red wine patina, set it down into a rectangular bezel, and then poured a nice layer of resin on top. Then I just stared at it for a couple days until the design came to me. I went with an Chinese theme and played off the bamboo design in the copper sheet and the bamboo design in the Vintaj stamping. To pull it all together I added Palace Green SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS flat backs and a Nunn Design bee. The name of the necklace is Taikang Road which is a little artist street in Shanghai that I thoroughly enjoyed shopping this past December.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beading Gossip! Vintaj 2-Day Comprehensive Workshops

I am sure that it comes as no surprise to anyone that I am a huge fan of Vintaj! I love their products and am always excited to see what innovative techniques they use to alter and enhance them. It's truly amazing how many different things you can do with just a single Vintaj element - rivet, patina, dap, emboss, distress, etc.... Some of my absolute favorite designs use lots and lots of Vintaj pieces.
Photo provided by Vintaj showing their designs

Have you ever dreamed of learning directly from Vintaj designers Jess Italia Lincoln and Mackie Mullane? If so, then I have some beading gossip to share with you! Vintaj just announced a series of 4 comprehensive 2-day workshops to be taught at their Galena Illinois studio. You can find all the details by following the link HERE to their blog.

Have fun and happy creating! Julie


Friday, February 15, 2013

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Spring/Summer 2014 Launch: Part 1



What is it about SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS that excites us so much? Is it the brilliant sparkle their faceted beads and pendants radiate? Is it the warm luster of their crystal faux pearls? Maybe it is the knowledge that they are always thinking ahead, guiding fashion and trends? Whatever it may be, we just know that we love them and can’t wait to see what they come out with next! 

For the Spring/Summer 2014 launch SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS has presented a host of new shapes, a new color, a new effect, and a new pearl. They have also introduced fabulous new BeCharmed pave large-hole beads bedecked in sparkling SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystals (perfect for your Pandora Style bracelets). In this 2-part blog series we will take a detailed look at all these new items and give you some ideas on how to incorporate them into your designs.  


The new color this season is Light Silk. This soft romantic color hints of peach, brown and champagne and will look lovely accented by all different types of metal. Gold, copper, and rose gold will bring out its warmth and afford it a vintage feel while silver and gunmetal will give it an edgier modern bent. Because of its versatile subtle nature, Light Silk can be considered a neutral and will soon become a staple in your bead box to be paired with other more saturated colors such as Amethyst, Crystal Copper, or Siam. As wedding season approaches, this color is sure to be popular with brides and bridesmaids who want just a hint of color in their jewelry. Subtle, soft, and elegant, Light Silk is a gorgeous new addition to the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS line.  

The new effect for this launch is Crystal Rose Gold. Crystal Rose gold has a metallic blush pink appearance and is quite unique when compared with other colors and effects in the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS line. Not only will it look great paired with the new color Light Silk, but also with Jet Hematite and Jet (very Art Deco!) as well as Pantone’s color of the year Emerald. Rose Gold is a color that was popular in the 19th and early 20th centuries and I am particularly excited to see its return to the spotlight (my antique wedding ring is actually made of rose gold). If you have been following jewelry trends lately you will have noticed a surge in the popularity of rose gold as many jewelry design houses have chosen to use this soft color instead of the more traditional silver or gold. With the release of this new effect, you can now create your own on-trend beaded jewelry that, as Swarovski tells us, “glimmers with an 18ct rose-gold finish.” 

The new pearl color is Crystal Rose Gold. Much like its new effect counterpart, this subtle blush color is romantic and elegant. It’s perfect for those designers who want to add a feminine touch to their creations but do not want to go as far as using pink or rose. Crystal Rose Gold would look interesting paired with the recently released Crystal Grey Pearl, which has a steel-like appearance – the juxtaposition of hard and soft always has an intriguing result. For an Old World design, try pairing it with antique brass stampings, chain, and findings from Vintaj. "The new Crystal Rose Gold Pearl always impresses with its stunning simplicity and its chic vintage effect will stand the test of time," says Swarovski. 

In the coming days we will share another blog post detailing the exciting new articles that are part of the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Spring/Summer 2014 launch!

 - Julie

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beading Contest: January Gems Winners

Our first contest of 2013 has drawn to a close, and with our new format, we have three winners to announce!

"Sweetheart Earrings" by Kirsten Kidd

Kirsten Kidd was voted the #1 entry from the United States with her "Sweetheart Earrings".  This lovely design features opal beads and some amazing wire wrapping. 



"Garden of Dragonflies Set" by Julia Savchenko

Julia Savchenko was voted the #1 international entry with her "Garden of Dragonflies Set".  Another incredible pair of wire wrapped earrings, these feature amethyst and seed pearl beads, and have a unique asymmetrical style.

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

"Amazonite and Sparrow Bracelet" by Leilani Olsen
Our Editor's Pick, and the winner of a $50 Beadaholique gift certificate is Leilani Olsen and her "Amazonite and Sparrow Bracelet".  We love the simple, yet perfectly balanced and effective design of her piece, and felt it really showcased the amazonite beads that she used.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beading Table Wednesday: 02/13/13

Megan's Table

Mixed media is maybe one of the techniques that I use least - but that isn't because I don't enjoy it.  I'm just a little less familiar with this area of design, so it's not one of my default directions to go in.  But this week, I've jumped head-first into some fun mixed media projects, and I'm having a blast!  I've been working with collage art, Diamond Glaze, glass cabochons and buttons, and Crystal Clay.  Have you tried using these products in your mixed media projects?  What's your favorite?

Julie's Table

Glitter! I must admit that I love to play with glitter and had a blast doing some experiments this week on how it would react in resin. I am known around Beadaholique as the “resin expert” and people come to me with questions about it all the time. I created a bunch of gem shaped resin pieces using a resin mold and then sprinkled glitter on the surface of some while others I mixed it into the resin before pouring. I tried all different shapes and cuts of glitter to see how they would react in the resin - some sank, some floated, all looked really cool! 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Beading Gossip! Huge Lark Book Giveaway

Psssst...

We heard about a giveaway that our friends at Lark Jewelry & Beading are hosting, and we wanted to share!  In celebration of their Facebook page reaching 10,000 fans (woohoo!) Lark is giving away thirty-three author-signed books to one lucky entrant.  Yes, thirty-three!  Talk about an instant jewelry-making library.  And the list of titles includes some really amazing books.  We're sure you won't want to miss your chance to enter, so check out all the details on the Lark Jewelry & Beading Facebook page and enter before 9pm ET on 2/21!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Beading Contest: January Gems Finalists

The 10 finalists for our first beading contest of 2013, "January Gems," are in 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 Thursday, February 13 at 4PM PT.

"Native Flowers" by Chiara Cattaruzza
"Lavender Lagoon" by Leah Curtis
"Sweetheart Earrings" by Kirstin Kidd

"Luxurious Smoky Quartz Necklace" by Karen Landis
"Wild Rose Necklace" by Kate Ledum
"Amazonite and Sparrow Bracelet" by Leilani Olsen
"Czarina" by Lauren Reed

"Garden of Dragonflies Set" by Julia Savchenko
"Naturally! Earrings" by Francesca Maria Strada
"Spring is in The Green" by Kim Whitby

We received so many wonderful entries this month—it was very difficult to pick the finalists! Unfortunately, some great entries were disqualified for not including required information such as country of residence or email address, so please make sure to carefully read and follow the instructions for each contest. The next one will be announced in the March issue of The Beading Wire.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Beading Table Wednesday: 02/06/2013


Megan's Table

I spent my morning today revisiting an old project and (finally) getting a video taped on how to do it.  Yay for finishing long overdue projects!  This is my Evening Star Necklace, and it will be up on our Free Beading Projects page soon, now that the video on embellishing the beaded bezel has been taped.  Have you done beaded bezels around Swarovski rivolis?  I haven't worked with these types of projects too much yet, but I had a blast experimenting with them for this project!


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Quick Tip Tuesday: Make Straightening Wire Easier

I've been playing around with some wire pieces this morning, and I thought I would share a quick little tidbit that made straightening wire much easier for me.

If you've worked at all with wire, you probably know that the first thing you usually do after you cut your piece of wire is to straighten it out with nylon jaw pliers.  But I had a hard time getting a nice straight piece until I learned to give myself something to hold on to.


Take a pair of round nose pliers and bend a little loop in one end of your wire (give yourself a bit extra when you cut it for this purpose).  It may not seem like much, but having this little loop to hold on to when you straighten helps a LOT.  It keeps the wire in your hand, keeps it from twisting, and keeps it from bending up between your fingers.  Then when your wire is straightened up, simply clip off the loop, and you're good to go.
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