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"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. September Monthly Challenge
  2. August Monthly Challenge Winners
  3. August Monthly Recap
  4. Wire Rocks!
  5. Inside the Studio :: Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

September Monthly Challenge

View of the Pond at Charleston, East Sussex
by Vanessa Bell
Oil on canvas, 79.8 x 84 cm
Collection: Museums Sheffield

About the Art
At the Royal Academy Schools Vanessa Bell was taught by and admired the work of John Singer Sargent. She was also greatly influenced by Whistler, and in the final pages of this letter to her friend Margery Snowdon she described the influence of his technique on her painting style.
Bell's first commissioned work was a portrait of Lady Robert Cecil. This was also the first work she ever exhibited, at the New Gallery, London, in 1905.
After her marriage in 1907, Bell continued to paint portraits, but with the birth of her son Julian in 1908, her paintings adopted more domestic themes such as still lifes and interiors

About the Artist
Vanessa Bell, 1879–1961, was a British painter and interior designer who established her reputation as part of the avant-garde Bloomsbury Group. Her most innovative works, which fused fine art and decorative design, show the influence of post-Impressionism, Matisse and Cubism.
Bell was the elder sister of writer Virginia Woolf. She was married to the art critic Clive Bell, with whom she had an open marriage, and had intimate relationships with the artist Duncan Grant and the critic and artist Roger Fry. In 1910, Fry organised the first Post-Impressionism exhibition in London. This made a strong, if brief, impact on Bell’s artistic development, and marked a milestone in the history of British taste.
In 1906, when Bell started to think of herself as an artist, she formed the Friday Club in order to create a place in London that was more favourable to painting. Vanessa was encouraged by the Post-Impressionist exhibitions organised by Roger Fry and she copied their bright colours and bold forms in her artworks. In 1914, she turned to abstraction.
Bell rejected the examples of Victorian narrative painting and rejected a discourse on the ideal and aberrant qualities of femininity. Some of Vanessa Bell’s works were related to her personal life.
Bell is one of the most celebrated painters of the Bloomsbury group. She exhibited in London and Paris during her lifetime, and has been praised for innovative works during her early maturity and for her contributions to design.
Charleston House, Firle, Sussex, where she and Grant lived, is perhaps her best known work. Bell and Grant decorated the interior of the farmhouse in the bold signature style of the Omega Workshops, a design group founded by Fry in 1913.

Our Sponsors
Our Sponsors this month are EmaK Designs and Indian Creek Art Glass.
Please visit us tomorrow to see the prizes!

How to enter the Monthly Challenge:
1. You need to have a Pinterest account. Go get one ASAP if you don't have one already. It's easy, fun and inspiring.

2. Email us at to get added to the monthly challenge board.

Subject: Monthly Challenge Board Request

You will be emailed an invite to the board within 48 hours. Accept the invite and you are ready to pin your entries.

3. Two ways to pin your entry to the board.

Pin your photo from the internet (on your blog, Etsy shop, etc.)

Add your photo directly from your computer

Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

An Art Bead must be used in your piece to qualify for the monthly challenge.

***Beads strung on a chain, by themselves and beads simply added to wire or cord will not be accepted.***

Please add the tag or title SEP ABS to your photos. Include a short description, who created the art beads and a link to your blog, if you have one.

Deadline is September 31st. 
You may upload 2 entries per month.

• Beads Makers Pinterest Board-Art beads must be created by you and fit the Art Bead Scene's monthly challenge theme. They can be made for the challenge or ones you have made before. 2 entries per month are allowed. 

One entry will be picked by the editors each month for a free month of advertising on the Art Bead Scene. Bead entries have to be pinned by the 30th of the month.

Beads only - do not post jewelry on this board. If a post doesn't fit the challenge it will be deleted.

Monthly Challenge Recap
• Please post at least one single shot of your creation on the Pinterest Board. This will be used to make a collage for the Monthly Challenge Gallery. Every creation will be added to the collage, regardless of a blog post. So everyone gets included!

Your entry must be on Pinterest 2 days BEFORE the recap to be included.

• Be sure to share with us the name of the art bead artist in the description of your photo so that if you are selected for the weekly Perfect Pairings on Wednesdays, both you as the designer and the art bead artist can get the credit you both deserve!

• An InLinkz button will be added to the bottom of the Monthly Challenge Recap post. Here you will be able to link up your blog post if you have one. It is no longer necessary to add your blog post URL to the description unless you want to. Be sure to hop around and see all the great inspiration and leave some comment love!

• The Monthly Challenge Recap with Blog Tour will be posted on September 31st.

Monthly Challenge Winners
• One prize winner will be selected at random from all pictures posted on the Pinterest board.

• One prize winner will be selected at random from all blog posts added to the hop for the Monthly Challenge Recap post. So if you want to be in the pool for the second prize, be sure to use the InLinkz code at the bottom of the post to share your process and inspirations!

• Winners will be randomly chosen from all the qualifying entries on July 1st.

Perfect Pairings :: Designer + Art Bead Artist
• Formerly the Featured Designer of the Week, our new Perfect Pairings will focus on both the jewelry designer and the art bead artist. 

• Be sure to point out all the art bead artists in your work in the description of the photo on the Pinterest Board. Links to their website or shop are appreciated. That way we can all find new art beads to love!

• From all the entries during the month, an editor will pick their favorite design to be featured every Wednesday here on ABS, so get those entries in soon.

What is an Art Bead?
An art bead is a bead, charm, button or finding made by an independent artist. Art beads are the vision and handiwork of an individual artist. You can read more about art beads here.

***A bead that is handmade is not necessarily an art bead. Hill Tribe Silver, Kazuri ceramic beads or lampwork beads made in factories are examples of handmade beads that are not considered art beads.

Beaded beads, stamped metal pendants or wire-wrapped components are not considered art beads for our challenge.***

August Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the August Monthly Challenge winners! 
1 winner was chosen randomly from all the challenge entrants.
1 winner was chosen randomly from the InLinkz blog entries.
Winner of a month of advertising on ABS from the Monthly Challenge Bead category.
Our First lucky winner is Dorit.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Baymoon Design.
Our Second lucky winner is Jackie/Kydo Jewellery.
She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from BH Claysmith.
Our winner from the Bead entries of the Monthly Challenge is NadiaTerra.
She has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene.
                            Baymoon Design                       BH Claysmith                               
Thank you Baymoon Design and BH Claysmith for being our August Monthly Challenge sponsors!

Winners, please E-Mail with your information (Name and address) so your prizes may be sent to you.

A Big THANK YOU to everyone who entered this month using "Summer Thunder" by Hosteen Klah, as your inspiration. We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.

Visit us tomorrow to see what September's challenge brings.

August Monthly Recap

The stylistic rendering of this textile is rich with symbols and a very earthy palette. But simple doesn't mean lacking, and there was a lot of direction to go in for an image so simple. I am still working my way through mine for this month (mainly because you have seen a glimpse into my actual working studio and that things that I was working on have now been buried in my attempts to get organized... baby steps! But it is coming along and I think that I will report back at my next Inside the Studio... now where is that clay?!). I hope that to have that done very soon (better late than never, right?!).

Let's take a tour of the rustic beauty that you created for this month.

August Monthly Recap by Slidely Slideshow
August 2015 Monthly Recap by Slidely Photo Gallery

Be sure to click the image to make it full-screen and to listen to the haunting Native American flute music to go with it! 

Now it is your turn! Show us what you made so we can celebrate you!
Get the InLinkz code for your blog!  

Wire Rocks!

The last time I blogged for Art Bead Scene, I shared a look inside my studio as I was getting ready for Bead Fest in Philadelphia.  One of the goals I set for my self while at a large show, is to learn a new skill to add to my jewelry designing arsenal.  I was fortunate to be able to connect with one of my favorite artists and designers, Staci Louise Smith, for an after show class she was teaching.  It was all about wire and connections and cool beads.  What's not to love?

Staci's class is called "Wild Wire Gypsy Charm Choker."  The kit included 16, 18, 20 and 22 gauge wire.  It was great to handle each one and learn more about differences and when to use each one. Staci annealed the wire before class to give it more flexibility and a vintage look.  The copper wire started out very shiny.  I found out I can anneal the wire with a hand held torch.  Pretty cool!

The base of the choker uses 8 feet of 16 gauge wire!  Thankfully it was cut into two 4 foot sections which made it easier to handle.  Every student hand formed the choker base so differently.  You really can't do it wrong after the basic shape is formed.  I found out I was in a symmetrical mood when I was designing my choker.  Staci told me it looked like daisy petals!

This is my finished necklace.  What an amazing statement piece!  I added some of my ceramic beads to the wonderful selection of gemstones, glass, metal, and polymer beads included in the kit.  I plan on making another unique choker necklace for an October Breast Cancer Awareness blog hop that Andrew Thornton is hosting.  I will use silver 16 gauge wire for the choker base with a wonderful mix of pink beads.  It is going to look so different, but equally amazing!

The good news is Staci is going to be teaching this wonderful class again at Bead Fest Philadelphia at the Spring 2016 show.  So if you love it like I do and want to learn some great techniques from an instructor that is so giving with her tips and techniques, don't miss it!

Inside the Studio :: Erin Prais-Hintz, Tesori Trovati

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 prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.

Congratulations to Terri on winning a $20 gift certificate
to Heather's swoondimples  Etsy shop.
Email Miss Heather to claim your prize!

Today we visit with Erin Prais-Hintz of Tesori Trovati.

 “Don't own so much clutter that you will be relieved to see your house catch fire.” 

I might not be the ideal candidate for Hoarders but my studio seems to be teetering right on the brink! I am about to get real in here. I wish my studio looked like this....

NOT my studio....but this one would be ideal! Light, bright and filled with tons of storage
~ Photo from paper crafter Richard Garay

But in reality my studio looks a lot more like this.... (raise your hand if you are with me!)

My workspace in early 2015....see that little bit of space to work? Right above the tray of watercolor crayons and in front of the blue pencil? About 6 square inches! And all those useless things on the wall...Oy! All the magnetic tins were EMPTY!
They have been moved and all my storage seems to be going vertical! (See below for a transformation)
When we moved to this house in late 2009, I started with a blank slate of a room. I knew it was the house for us when I was standing there stumped as to what we would do with this, and my husband said that he thought it would make a great studio. Right! It seemed quite a bit larger than what I had known, and I figured that I would have plenty of space. Yet I quickly filled it to the hilt.

Around that time, my office was downsizing and I got some really nice office furniture for the price of free. I also found my prized printers' cabinet on eBay for a steal. And I purchased a series of awesome little rolling drawer carts. But yet I still have a problem with tripping over all that I have amassed. I am ashamed to admit that there are no less than 7 drawers that are mostly completely empty in those rolling drawers! So I clearly have a problem with putting things in their place.

My prized Hamilton printers cabinet.
Can you believe that at one time I thought that this would house all the beads I might ever need?!
This holds a lot of beads by color (that I really should use or purge!) as well as the majority of my art bead collection... I have drawers for certain types of beads, like lampwork, and even parts of drawers that are devoted to just a handful of artists that I love.
My sister has the OCD bug. Her house is immaculate and looks like Pottery Barn threw up in it. I did not inherit this gene for neakfreakery. But this spring, completely fed up with myself, I really wanted to refocus on coming to terms with and making this space not only functional, but beautiful, and a place that I couldn't wait to create in and even invite people into! The past two years have been fraught with a lot of personal drama, so I truly need this space in my life to be free to experiment and create and find my voice. A retreat. A sanctuary. This clutter and the uncertainty of my daily life has left me with no urge to create, and even less to be in this space. And that is just not right.

The Plan
So I created a little floor plan diagram as a visual reminder and made lists upon lists of what needs to be done. I re-read Heather's great post from earlier this summer on The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Your Bead Room and found this great article on Craftsy about ways to make your jewelry design space work. I searched a lot of magazines and websites that show studios of creatives to get ideas. I started taking stock of the things that I had, including those things that could be repurposed from another part of the house. But I was still confounded by issues...
Repurposed TV cabinet...before...
crammed full of stuff
...and after...installed a shelf
from The Container store and organized the boxes... now I need labels...
One issue comes in the form of Time. I am not a full-time artist. At best I am able to work in here a few nights a week and a few hours on the weekend.  In addition to the organizing that needs to happen, it is also a working studio, in that I have orders that have to be filled and Simple Truths Sampler Club members that are counting on me (if you are one of them, I am working on it!). There is just no space, not even 12 square inches, to do that! Add to that the usual busy-ness of my summer life complete with baseball or softball every single night and weekend (not an exaggeration) from June-the first week in August. We only recently finished up those seasons and are already back in school as of this week. Tonight, as I write this, might be the rare occasion where I am actually sitting still.

I bought this wall shelf from Hobby Lobby. There is a nice top for storage of displays, metal baskets to hold fibers by type and color, and a rod that I hang carded beads by color from shower curtain hooks in easy reach.
Another issue is that I am easily distracted. (Ooh, look! Shiny!) Tiptoeing through my studio (and you must walk gingerly for fear of cave-ins!) it is easy to unearth layers of treasures, like a sort of beady archeological tour.

"Here we have the pile of 'muffin tin' projects put together in 2010 wedged between a destash haul from 2014 and the original half-used containers of resin from the Susan Lenart Kazmer class at Bead & Button in 2008!"

The view from the hallway...that clutter is on its way up and out!
To do the sort of overhaul that I have in mind, might indeed need an intervention! And once I actually paid a professional organizer to come in and help me. Even she was a bit overwhelmed and suggested that we start with my ribbon addiction. (Bah!) I have a friend that is very OCD and loves to organize and she actually offered to come and help me but we have not been able to set a date. Again, I fear she will run screaming from the house and told her as much. Those that have maid service  might understand my predicament (I never have, but I have heard...). I want to tidy the studio up a bit before I have my friend come over and really whip me into shape! :-P

Under the corner L-shaped desk are several of these cherry rolling drawer cabinets Home Decorators. Each one rolls out for additional work space, and the plastic jewelry trays with the flocked compartment inserts fit perfectly inside (2 to a drawer) for handy storage of often used items like jump rings, head pins, clasps and ear wires. Over the door towel bars put my favorite tools within reach. And I still have space for one more... which I might be buying soon! I love them!
Metals station has WHEELS!

Still, I am trying. At the beginning of the summer I made a pledge that I would have my studio cleaned out and put back together by the end of August. Well, guess what my calendar says this weekend is?! I started out good by pulling things out into the hallway and making piles for keep, use, donate and trash. Of course, in all the rearranging, it means shifting storage to other areas which leads to arranging other rooms, notably the adjacent furnace room which has lead to even bigger piles for purging and a clear need to tackle those rooms as well. So clearly, my clutter is not confined to this one room! And then my life starts to feel like one big roundabout story....

If you give a girl a hammer... she might need to buy 7 more. And then she will need to find a really nifty rotating lazy susan for storing them... And if you give her a rotating tool caddy she will want wheels on her table...


{Have I mentioned that my husband is a saint for putting up with all of this?}

Before... the black hole bookshelves...

...after... repurposed a cubby bookshelf from another room. It takes up the same amount of space and feels lighter somehow...

I did check a few things off my list...
  • I moved the filing cabinet over next to the computer (which meant that I had to get inventive to make the table just a little bit higher to accommodate it by making my own polymer clay bun feet to raise the table 2"!)... 
  • I had my husband put rolling casters on the large butcher block table that I use in the center of my room for metal work (hammering, jigging, stamping, dapping, torching - on a proper fireproof base!)... 
  • I swapped out the two tall dark shelves that had become a black hole catchall with one cubby shelf that now houses 1/2 of my book collection (for more on where the rest of those are going, read on), the printer and boxes hiding my shipping materials. 
So I can attest, there has been progress!

All of these shelves and storage containers used to be spread out,
but I found a way to go vertical to keep all the clay stuff together and
repurposed the old printer cart to hold art supplies.
This is the same space as my first messy desk shot, but now much more functional.
Today, Friday, as it is my only day off, will hopefully be spent really getting down to the dirty work of making my studio functioning (remember that self-imposed deadline?). I have grand ideas that the floor will be free from bags and boxes and bins... which means that things will need to FIND THEIR PLACE (and then I will need to give my label-maker a workout!)... I want to file all the paperwork that has piled up in a makeshift basket... I must get all the things that are to be trashed or donated out of my sight line... I need to hang some art. For then I might be able to BREATHE and feel ENERGIZED to tackle making new things and taking my art in a NEW DIRECTION.
Rotating bin storage from Harbor Freight for inks, embossing powders, resins and assorted. Going vertical saves space! And I have another one that is not yet put together as soon as I can figure out what will be on it.
So if you are reading this, I have hopefully unplugged from technology, cranked the tunes, focused on the task at hand and will have something to show for it... as of Tuesday. ;-)

One of my favorite storage hacks is to hit up the kitchen accessory aisle. This ornate paper towel holder from Hobby Lobby hangs on my wall and uses fancy copper colored shower hooks to house a lot of my footage chain pieces by type of metal/color. Easy to see and grab when I need it, plus it is pretty. I actually need another one of these for spools of chain, and I am working on getting rid of the cellphone cord clutter by using metal sponge holders for your sink on my wall with a brand new outlets that have USB ports. I love me some funky organizers!
 “There are, it seems, two muses:
the Muse of Inspiration,
who gives us inarticulate visions and desires,
and the Muse of Realization,
who returns again and again to say, "It is yet more difficult than you thought."
This is the muse of form.
It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction,
to baffle us and deflect our intended course. 
 It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work; and that when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey.The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
-Wendell Berry

My mind has indeed been baffled by this task, but I want my studio to allow me to sing! So maybe that is the real work that I have to do...for when I do that I will be ready to embark on my true journey, the one that my soul will be ready and open to undertake.
I have shown you just the tip of the iceberg, but also along the way a few of my favorite storage and organization techniques. And I am always looking for more help and ideas. So.....What are your favorite storage ideas and tips? or What would your ideal studio space look like? Give me your answer in the comments for a chance to win! Feel free to add links to your favorite products for organizing or even your favorite studio space images.

See that stack of books? (Click on it to make it larger!) That came from The Great Purge (but don't worry, there are like 50 more that stayed on my shelf!)

My prize for you is up to 3 of these titles - your choice! - that I will ship to you in continental United States (if you are from outside of the US and happen to win, I will make a deal with you to split the shipping cost 50/50, okay?). There is something for everyone here! Most retailed for anywhere from $15-25 a copy and I am ready for them to find new homes. (And those that are not chosen should be up for sale dirt cheap in the near future!)


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