Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Make it Tonight, Wear it Tomorrow

You know I'm all about the instant gratification jewelry! Here's a DIY beaded necklace that I made this evening at the dining room table while the kids were otherwise occupied. There are a couple of tricks, though: 

1. I chose these beads ahead of time using Erin's Pretty Palettes Challenge for this month. 2. I already had a design in mind. I wanted to try this idea of connecting beaded strands to thick chain. 3. I assembled all of the supplies that I "might" need and put them in a tray that I could move, just in case I got interrupted before I finished the necklace.

This palette was created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. The multicolor Bead Gallery® beads inspired my other choices. I went with golden tones (again!) to bring out the subtle yellow color. You'll notice I didn't use any black. I kept it a little more summery. Black accents would definitely work between the beads, if you want to wear it with your LBD. I'm wearing it tonight with this T-shirt, jeans and gold flats:

I like the mix of metallic spikes and girly crystals. Works with a dress or a T! For more Pretty Palettes inspiration, visit the inspiration blog at and check out the links at the bottom of the big reveal. If you're a blogger, feel free to join us next month! The more the merrier :)

Beads provided by Bead Gallery®; wire and crimps from Beadalon®; dress image found on and shirt image found on 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

See You Saturday!

Beadalon's first-ever Factory Tent Sale is this Saturday, Sept. 20, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I'll be there with Design Team Members Wyatt White, Fernando Dasilva, Meredith Roddy, Sandra Lupo and Leslie Rogalski to demonstrate some of our favorite techniques and answer your beading questions. Of course, there will also be great deals on all kinds of merchandise. If you live in the greater Philadelphia area (or want to visit), come on over and see us!

I'm demonstrating the Knot-a-Bead tool with my Katiedids™ channel findings. The Knot-a-Bead is a tabletop knotter that allows you to work with both hands as you knot. You can use it with lots of different types of cords from silk to leather, hemp and more. Check it out: Candie Cooper has a great knotting tutorial on her blog and there's another pretty, knotted necklace over at Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Fresh Fall Looks

I'm off to Knoxville, TN for the Jewel School Live Show (Wednesday 10-noon EST) and Customer Appreciation Event this week. I'm presenting a bunch of fresh ideas for Fall jewelry making using new kits from Leather Cord USA

This is one of my favorite collections. It's an example of some of the different things you can make with 1.5mm round leather cord. You'll have to tune in to see the rest! I'll demonstrate how to make the middle bracelet on the show. I used a Jewel Loom to make the bracelet on the left. The cuff on the right uses new distressed leather strap.

I even had to pack an extra carry-on bag for these girls! Hope to see you in class or online!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Labor Day Giveaway

Jewelry making is a labor of love and I'm sure there will be lots of jewelry making going on this Labor Day weekend! I've been doing some stamping on leather and I'm just loving it. I might even break out some metal blanks this weekend and get really busy.

Beaducation sent me some of their most popular stamps to give away to one lucky blog reader. Besides being fun and trendy, their  design stamps are also:
     - made in the USA from USA steel
     - precision engraved for sharp, clear designs
     - made from tempered steel for extreme durability
     - engraved so you know where to hold your thumb for proper positioning

This stash-building set includes these original design stamps: two 3mm love birds, "three flowers", spiral bracket and the (currently) sold-out sugar skull. The winner will also receive a DVD of six popular video classes for a total retail value of $64. Pretty awesome, right?

It's easy to enter! Please click on the Rafflecopter box below. US Residents only, please, and bonus points for following Beaducation and/or Beads, Baubles & Jewels on Facebook. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Beaducation is a new sponsor of the show and we're super thrilled to have them on board! Here's stamping pro Lisa Niven Kelly and me outside the set of Beads, Baubles & Jewels with our Beaducation goodies in-hand. 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Color Inspiration

I love the fun, vibrant colors in Erin Prais-Hintz's Pretty Palettes August Challenge, don't you? The darker colors deepen the turquoise/coral combination and make it fresh for Fall. I went a little more coral with the orange/pink color and used antique brass accents in place of the lighter brown color...I can't wait to see what everyone else made!

Shopping for beads is always fun, but I especially like standing there with the palette in my hand, looking for the best combination of colors, shapes and sizes for the design that I'm envisioning. The beads I chose are made from different materials: wood, stone, glass, shell and metal, which all mix together to create a lot of texture. Plus, the different materials make the colors feel different, too. The faceted glass and bamboo coral beads are the same hue but there's a subtle difference in the intensity.  

Ta-da! This is the necklace I made. I worked on it in the car while my family drove home from Michigan's Upper Peninsula. We tried to squeeze a little more summer into our summer this month. I missed some scenery while experimenting with the pattern and bead placement but it was a relaxing way to pass the time - and I made sure to look up from my bead tray every now and then!

Here are a few of the sights from our trip. I think I feel another color palette coming on! Maybe some blues, sand, ocher and a little bit of rust? It would be fun to create a necklace inspired by these photos to keep as a memento of our adventures.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Bead Fest Philly

My bracelets and I are off to Bead Fest Philadelphia! I'm excited to catch up on what's new from some of my favorite vendors, see what's buzzing at the show and meet up with my beading friends. 

In case you want to make some bracelets like these: Top one is a leather cuff from Leather Cord USA with a mustache riveted onto it (try these colorful mustaches on sale). Center one is flat Artistic Wire bent into a bangle with a TierraCast infinity symbol in the center. The stripy bangles are Made with Love recycled rubber. I added charms to some but these are blank.

Now, I must-ache you a question: what's your favorite thing to look for at a bead show?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Back to School, DIY Style

It's back to Jewel School! Registration is open for the 5th annual Jewel School Customer Appreciation Event in Knoxville, TN, Sept. 11-13. I'll be teaching how to make these pipe knot earrings and a bolo wrap bracelet using beautiful leather cording from Leather Cord USA

Event participants can take classes for three days for just $25. It's a great opportunity to try out a lot of the products you've seen on Jewel School with some of your favorite instructors.

I'm excited to spend a few days with Jewel Schoolers and am looking forward to the special live show on Wednesday, Sept. 10th, 10am-noon EST. We're going to have a bunch of exciting new products to give your Fall jewelry designs a fresh infusion of creativity.  

This is one of my projects from the workshops last year. The black and white cording is made from suede that's printed and then stitched together around a cotton core. It's super soft! The pendant is one of my Katiedids™ channel findings with bolo cord inside. 

There are still a few more days to enter the Jewel School Designer Showcase Challenge. Entries are due August 17th. What are you waiting for? I'd love to see your design in the gallery!