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"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. Amuse the Muse - Jewellery Packaging and Bead Storage - with Rebecca of Songbead
  2. Inside the Studio with Mary Harding
  3. February Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes
  4. February Monthly Challlenge
  5. January Monthly Challenge Winners
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Amuse the Muse - Jewellery Packaging and Bead Storage - with Rebecca of Songbead

Hello everyone! It's another Monday and another month. This month's theme is jewellery packaging and bead storage. I decided to throw them in together, and if we are having a partially fun time of it come the end of this leap year February, we may continue on into March! What do you say to that? 

We beaders and jewellery designers are almost as obsessed with bead storage and packaging as we are with beads themselves, right? (I'm sure I see at least some hands up there!) Something about organising our precious bead stashes really makes our souls happy, and there's nothing better than packaging your finished jewellery and art beads in a beautiful setting, worthy of their awesomeness. I'm going to be looking at the practical, the luxurious and the plain incredible! So without further ado, let's get going! 

Here's a lovely little shelving unit made from old pallet wood. This would be perfect for storing tools, and those bits and bobs that just need somewhere to go!

Love these cute cotton bags, they are so cute with those sparkly rings stamped on them, but still a nice open, rustic weave. 

Last of all, I think this one belongs in the realm of the plain incredible. This would satisfy anyone's desire to be a messy creative, and yet be able to close the doors on that mess every night. 

Looks innocuous enough at first...

...but look inside the brilliantly-named Narnia Crafting Station...

...and you'll discover the potential for all sorts of fun! 

And now for the BeadBlogger Links. Have a great week everyone!

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer; currently living in the capital city of Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, and see more of her jewellery at She also has a supplies shop at

Inside the Studio with Mary Harding

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 encourage you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries. And here are the results from last week!

This week's winner is Janet Loomis of Anvil Artifacts. Congratulations! You have won a  MYSTERY BUNDLE OF BEADS from Claire Lockwood of Something To Do Beads.  Please contact Claire to claim your prize!!

I want to start off today by thanking you all for your wonderful, informative and supportive comments about Studio Tours on my last Inside the Studio post.( November 27. 2015)  It was so great to get  your take on them.  I really appreciate the time and enthusiasm you put into those comments.

                                           Bracelet Bars by Mary Harding

It has been quite a while since my last Inside the Studio post and I have been struggling with which of the many things I have been doing to tell you about today.  I have finally decided to go with the most recent which is preparing for an update to my Etsy Shop.  That is a topic that often plagues me.  I always think I will put lots of pieces on and have an update, but usually, I get excited when I make something new and put it on right away, so I never get to the point that I have a quantity of new work to show all at once.  But knowing for quite awhile that I would be writing this post for today, I decided to give it a try.
  And I am going to be somewhat successful.  I will be adding about 30-35 new pieces at 2:00PM today--I am still working on listing some and finishing others. I say somewhat since that is not a very large number of pieces, but I am beginning to get the  idea of  how to do this.  I have put all the pieces I have ready so far on Draft so that I can quickly download them to my shop at the given time.
In the process of telling you a bit about what I will be adding to the shop, I will also be letting you know what I have been doing.

First off, I have spent the last 2 days making new Poetic Grunge style toggle clasps.  I have truly enjoyed making these and bringing them from a dirty grungy mess to their finished state:  Here are a few:
Poetic Grunge series Toggle Clasps by MaryHardingJewelry

I have spent quite a bit of time in the last month experimenting with iron oxide and just love what it can do.  You will be seeing quite a bit of it already in my shop and some new tries as well. I also have written several blog posts lately about using it.  You can find them in a series beginning HERE
I began by doing some experiments.

                       Using iron oxide stain on earthenware ceramic clay  different results

I have working with different clays:  earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware.  My new love is a slightly buffer than buff stoneware clay.  It is wonderful to hand form with as it is very elastic and retains its moisture a long time by clay standards which makes if lots of fun for making beads and birds with.  And best of all it takes glazes and that oxide stain in just a heavenly fashion.
These pieces are too new for me to sell just yet but they will be coming out soon.  Truthfully, I love them so much I just can't part with them--and I rationalize, I am using them as a test pieces to reference the effects of the stain and glaze on the clay.  So here are few of the pieces I am using to record and test the clay with glazes and the iron stain.

                           Test beads for glazes and clay color

                                 More test beads for glaze and clay color at cone 5

Some of my pieces in the update are in porcelain and they too handle that iron oxide and glaze wonderfully.  I have been firing them to cone 5 in my new kiln that is so fun to use since it is so reliable and does a great firing job.  It has been a long time since I have had such a kiln.  My deepest gratitude to Don Seymour of ClayScapes in Syracuse New York for guiding me on this matter.

                             Porcelain pendants and Toggle Clasp by  MaryHardingJewelry

I love this time of year and this year especially because we are having such a mild winter.  This is the season that I like to explore and experiment.  Getting to my studio is easy since there are no outdoor garden and upkeep tasks and a sunny deck and river calling me away.   So I am feeling very productive. Here are some more of my new pieces in my shop/update.
Lilacs in Bud by MaryHardingJewelry

Three Ceramic Bracelet Bars by Mary Harding Jewelry

Barn Wood Toggle  Clasp Porcelain by MaryHardingJewelry

Heart Pendant by MaryHardingJewelry

Toggle Clasp by MaryHardingJewelry

Now for the Question:
Today I am offering a surprise package of pieces from my new favorite buff stoneware clay.  Not the ones you just saw but ones that I will be making especially for this occasion.  Here is my question:  What do you think of shop updates?  Like?  Dislike? Find them helpful or frustrating?  or a better idea like auctions, Facebook group sales?  Leave a comment below and you will be automatically entered .  A winner will be picked by the random number generator next week and announced in that Inside the  Studio post.
I so look forward to reading what you have to say.
Thanks so  much for stopping by today.

February Monthly Challenge Sponsors + Prizes

Our Wonderful sponsors for the February Challenge.
We will have 2 Lucky Winners this Month!
Sasha Crow Design

Sasha Crow of Sasha Crow Design creates wonderful ceramic pieces and she uses decorative tin work to make beautifully imaginative, fantastical, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Her pieces are beautifully rustic, like broken pieces of your grandmothers china with patterned metal as the accent. Absolutely fabulous!! A must for your designs!
Sasha Crow Design is located in Springfield, Oregon.

Sasha is donating a $50 gift certificate.
: : :

Sharleen Newland of Shaterra creates lovely ceramic components. Along with her wonderful clay creations, Sharleen also crafts Leather Bracelets to use as a foundation for your own designs. Or you can purchase complete designs. Go buy some for your jewelry making stash!
Shaterra is located in Grove City, Ohio.

Sharleen is donating a $50 Gift Certificate .

Visit Sharleen on ShopifyEtsy, and Facebook.

: : :

Submit photos of your wonderful Jewelry creations using one or more Art Beads here.
Submit photos of your wonderful Bead creations here.

Vogue Cover by Sonia Delauney has many different elements that can be used for inspiration: figures, bold designs, automobiles, chevrons, triangles, compass rose, reds and blues.

We can't wait to see where your creativity takes you with the art for this month's challenge! 

**IMPORTANT** Please remember to put FEB ABS in the title or tag of your submission(s).  Pinterest doesn't keep Pins in the order they are posted.

Provide us with the artist of the Art Beads used and we always love to know all the materials you used. 

***Art Beads MUST be used in your entry.***

February Monthly Challlenge

Vogue Cover
Simultaneous Dress next to the Simultaneous Car
by Sonia Delaunay
Illustrated by George Lepape from January 1925

About the Art
Orphism is a term originating from 1912 when French poet and art critic Guillaume Appollinaire identified the new style of Cubist painting. Appollinaire was inspired by the work of František Kupka and the Delaunays, who, although channelling the Cubist vision, prioritised colour in their work. Appollinaire felt this use of colour brought movement, light and musical qualities to the artwork and therefore referenced the legendary poet and singer of ancient Greek mythology, Orpheus, when naming the movement.
Simultanism is the strand of Orphism practised by the Delaunays. The name comes from the work of French scientist Michel Eugène Chevreul who identified the phenomenon of ‘simultaneous contrast’, in which colours look different depending on the colours around them. For example, a grey will look lighter on a dark background than it does on a light one. The Delaunays dispensed with form and aimed to created rhythm, motion and depth through overlapping patches of vibrant hues.

About the Artist

Sonia Delaunay (November 14, 1885 – December 5, 1979) was a Ukrainian-born French artist, who spent most of her working life in Paris and, with her husband Robert Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. Her work extends to painting, textile design and stage set design. She was the first living female artist to have a retrospective exhibition at the Louvre in 1964, and in 1975 was named an officer of the French Legion of Honor.
Her work in modern design included the concepts of geometric abstraction, the integration of furniture, fabrics, wall coverings, and clothing.
Sarah Ilinitchna Stern was born on 14 November 1885 in Hradyzk, then Ukraine was part of the Russian Empire. At a young age she moved to St. Petersburg, where she was cared for by her mother's brother, Henri Terk. Henri, a successful and affluent Jewish lawyer, and his wife Anna wanted to adopt her but her mother would not allow it. Finally in 1890 she was adopted by the Terks. She assumed the name Sonia Terk and received a privileged upbringing with the Terks. They spent their summers in Finland and traveled widely in Europe introducing Sonia to art museums and galleries. At 18 she attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe. She studied in Germany until 1905 when she decided to move on to Paris.
She came to Paris 1906 to join the emerging avant-garde. She met and married the artist Robert Delaunay, with whom she developed ‘Simultaneism’ – abstract compositions of dynamic contrasting colours and shapes. Her work expressed the energy of modern urban life, celebrating the birth of electric street lighting and the excitement of contemporary ballets and ballrooms.
She artist dedicated her life to experimenting with colour and abstraction, bringing her ideas off the canvas and into the world through tapestry, textiles, mosaic and fashion. Delaunay premiered her first ‘simultaneous dress’ of bright patchwork colours in 1913 and opened a boutique in Madrid in 1918. Her Atelier Simultané in Paris went on to produce radical and progressive designs for scarves, umbrellas, hats, shoes and swimming costumes throughout the 1920s and 1930s. Clients included the Hollywood star Gloria Swanson and the architect Erno Goldfinger, as well department stores like Metz & Co and Liberty. Delaunay’s designs presented her as a progressive woman synonymous with modernity: embroidering poetry onto fabric, turning her apartment into a three-dimensional collage, and creating daring costumes for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes.
There are diverse inspirations behind Delaunay’s work, from the highly personal approach to colour which harked back to her childhood in Russia, to the impact of her years in Spain and Portugal. Her inspiration provided by modern technology throughout Delaunay’s career, from the Trans-Siberian Railway to the aeroplane, and from the Eiffel Tower to the electric light bulb. Sonia designed a vast seven-metre murals Motor, Dashboard and Propeller, created for the 1937 International Exposition in Paris.
Following her husband’s death in 1941, Sonia Delaunay’s work took on more formal freedom, including rhythmic compositions in angular forms and harlequin colours, which in turn inspired geometric tapestries, carpets and mosaics. Delaunay continued to experiment with abstraction in the post-war era, just as she had done since its birth in the 1910s, becoming a champion for a new generation of artists and an inspiring figure for creative practitioners to this day.

Our Sponsors

Our Sponsors this month are Sasha Crow Designs and Shaterra.

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 FEB 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 February 29th. 
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 February 29th.

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 March 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.***

January Monthly Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the January Monthly Challenge winners! 
2 winner were 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 Karen Marks-Brown. She has won a $50 Gift Certificate from Humblebeads.

Our Second lucky winner is Sarah Raines. She has won a $50 in Jewelry Components from Art Incendi.

Our Third lucky winner is Ann Schroeder. She has won a $50 gift certificate from Donna Perlinplim.

Our Winner from the Bead Entries of the Monthly Challenge is Marcy LambersonShe has won a Month of Advertising here on Art Bead Scene.

Thank you Humblebeads, Art Incendi and Donna Perlinplim for being our January 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! We were so fortunate to have so many beautiful entries and experience such creativity from our wonderful readers.

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

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