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"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. Art Bead Palette :: APolymerPenchant
  2. Perfect Pairings :: Ann Schroeder + Tree Wings Studio + SueBeads
  3. Tutorial Tuesday: Wrapped column earrings
  4. Amuse Your Muse Monday with Rebecca of Songbead
  5. Inside the Studio with Humblebeads
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Art Bead Palette :: APolymerPenchant

Fantasy Flower Pendant - Pink Tones

Fantasy Flower Pendant - Purple Tones

Fantasy Flower Pendant - Red Tones

Fantasy Flower Pendant - Orange Tones

Fantasy Flower Pendant - Yellow Tones

I'm going to blame my current flower fixation on it being springtime. Can you blame me? After the winter we all had (and may still be having, for some), bright colors are the ticket.

Enter these Fantasy Flower beads, from Emma Todd's shop, A Polymer Penchant. Aren't they gorgeous? At first, I thought they were ceramics, but they're made from polymer clay! Beautiful. It's a hard choice, but I think my favorite pendants are the yellow ones, with the orange ones coming a very close second. How about you?

To see more from Emma, be sure to stop by her Etsy shop!


Perfect Pairings :: Ann Schroeder + Tree Wings Studio + SueBeads

The thing that keeps drawing me into this Degas painting are the swirling tulle skirts and the bright pops of coral. So when I saw these earrings from Ann Schroeder I had to come back for a closer look. The round Aster disks make me think of the swishing movement of those skirts as they flair out. The tiny coral rondelles are the perfect counterpoint to the more somber color. And I love that she put this all on some waxed linen with the ends twirling free. C'est magnifique!

Featured Designer :: Ann Schroeder
Featured Bead Artist :: Tree Wings Studio + SueBeads

Tutorial Tuesday: Wrapped column earrings

So, today, I thought I'd share how to make these wrapped column earrings. Mine are wrapped with sari silk ribbon and feature a pair of ceramic droplets from Scorched Earth.  However, you could wrap different types of ribbon or fabric offcuts, and you could also use different beads at the bottom. Maybe you have an earring pair - whether beads or charms - and you've been wondering what to do with them? This might be the answer.

The list of other ingredients you'll need is also fairly flexible.  You'll need 26 gauge / 0.4mm wire and 22 gauge / 0.6mm wire. I've mixed the metal finishes here; don't be afraid to do that if you wish. You'll also need at least two pairs of bead caps (around 10mm wide).  However, as you can see, I've used several pairs of caps at the top of these. I've been stacking up bead caps quite a bit recently; it gives extra textural and decorative detail, which I rather like.  Finally, along with some ear wires, you'll need some beads to form the inner columns.  I've used some hematite tubes (approximately 4mm wide) that have been in my stash for an age - perhaps you have something similar?  Alternatively, you could use 4mm seed beads to form the core.

To start, take about 10cm of your 22 gauge wire and make a wrapped loop at one end, attaching your bead or charm before closing the loop. Then, thread on a bead cap, followed by around 3.5cm of tube beads.

Next, take a good length (say, 25cm) of your 26 gauge wire and attach one end to the base of your column by wrapping around the core wire (above the cap and below the tube beads) a couple of times.  

Now to add the ribbon. Cut a piece that is a little bit longer than your column of beads. You'll be wrapping the ribbon lengthways along your wire, folding the edges round, rather than winding the ribbon around like you do with the wire.  Unless you actually want a bulky look, this is the best way to wrap ribbon onto any shape.

To start wrapping, fold the ribbon round the bead column and pull the wire up, making a couple of quick wraps to secure it. Then, continue wrapping, ensuring that the ribbon is fixed at the bottom of the column by wrapping several times. Once it is secured at the base, you will probably need to trim the end of the ribbon there (along with the tail of your wrapping wire), which can be done with flush cutters.  Then, keep on wrapping up the column. Use the wire to tidy and tuck in any loose edges and flatten any little bulges.  Be careful to avoid any gaps forming between your core beads as you don't want the wire to fall between them as you wrap.  You may need to add more wire, which can be done easily, at the top or bottom of the column. Once you have a good coverage of wraps, wrap up to the top of the column, secure with a few more wraps and trim both your wire and any excess ribbon. 

Now you need to add the bead cap(s) at the top. I've layered up three caps at the top of my earrings.

Finally, make a wrapped loop with your core wire to complete your column. Now all you need to do is add an ear wire...

...and, of course, repeat to make your second earring!


Amuse Your Muse Monday with Rebecca of Songbead


Inside the Studio with Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Congratulations to Angie Blasingame! You have won an adorable trio of owls from Clarie Lockwood of Something.To With Your Hands. Please contact Claire so you can claim your prize.
Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio today. And on my bead table and what I'm obsessed with at the moment? Spring and gardens! In particular, fresh blooms in delicate hues paired up with items that are weathered and full of rich patina.  Don't you love coming across an old garden piece or architectural detail that has aged beautiful? 

This pendant can be found as a free project in my latest newsletter - check it out here.

I've been working with some of my favorite beads that I make and adding patina finishes to them - they look like there were buried under ferns and over-grown hedges in a forgotten garden.  

Each piece is a one-of-a-kind due to how they are created.  

My other direction I headed in created pieces with metallic finishes and after some trend research last month I was really drawn to this dagger shape.  These make awesome earrings.  

And speckled wobbles treated with the same metallic finish.  These look like eggs to me.  I love them!

I have been sketching away new ideas for Bead & Button.  My next beads will be from Van Gogh's garden inspirations - sunflowers, irises and almond blossoms.  I can't wait until I get started on those.

So the big question this week - what is your current bead table inspiration?  
Leave a comment this week and on Friday we will draw a winner for a $25 gift certificate to

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