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"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. Inside the Studio with Ema Kilroy
  2. Perfect Pairings :: Ditzy Blue
  3. Long Lines Necklace Tutorial
  4. Amuse Your Muse Monday - Autumnal Beads - with Rebecca of Songbead
  5. Monthly Challenge Accepted
  6. More Recent Articles
  7. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  8. Prior Mailing Archive

Inside the Studio with Ema Kilroy

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

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 Susanm
You have won a pair of handwoven bead earrings handmade by Rebecca of Songbead and The Curious Bead Shop.
Please email Rebecca with your contact information and your color selection.

Hello Art Bead Scene Friends. It seems like it's been quite some time since I've had a chance to visit with you. There have been some changes in my life that have been keeping me busy. I'll cut straight to the heart of it and tell you that I got a job! A job outside the studio. A job that pays weekly (yes I'm liking that!).

I am excited about getting out of the studio and back to work with other people. I had a challenging summer. You could hear the cricketts chirping in my workspace. My ideas dried up with the summer heat and I felt artistically tired. After a lot of thinking about my life and my direction I decided it was a good time for me to look for a job outside the studio. There are many folks that work hard and successfully create a niche for themselves in this art bead world we all love. Personally I find marketing my work to be daunting. Keeping up with trends and the ever changing desires of magazines and such is a chore for me. A chore that doesn't resonate with my style. I'm pretty laid back and prefer to take life slow. I have a style and I'm not one who chases after too many trends. I stop often to listen to the birds and to smell the roses. I don't care to rush about to meet deadlines for shows and magazines. I think some folks are cut out for this type of lifestyle. I don't think I'm one of them. I love to create but a marketing guru I am not.

 I've gone back to my accounting roots and taken a job as a bookkeeper for a large company that has a second location not far from my home. I'll be handling all the accounting tasks in this location. I'm really enjoying it so far. I think this job will be perfect for me. The job is supposed to be part time but for the last 4 weeks I've been working close to full time. I see the light at the end of the tunnel and hope to be working on a part time basis next week. That's where I want to be. I'm hoping the part time hours will allow me to have free time to create and spend more time with my family. I feel that creating without relying on it for my income will free up my creative spirit. I have to say that I like getting that regular paycheck. If you've relied on your art and craft for an income you know exactly what I'm talkin' about. far as what's happening inside my studio, it's been a bit quiet. I did manage to create some pieces inspired by the onset of Fall. It was down right cold in my part of the world this past week. We might even get a frost tonight. Yikes! It's too early for that! Inspired by thoughts of Fall I got out some leaves I had collected, dried and pressed last year; before I ever had a thought about creating the Natural Impressions line. This means there are a limited number of these pieces available. When they're gone they're gone (until next year). As the Fall season gets into full swing I'll definitely be on the hunt for fantastic leaves to press this year.

I thought these pieces would be fun in an Autumnal jewelry design.

I have little more cleaning up and polishing to do in order to get these pieces ready for sale. I'll be listing them on Sunday.

In the meantime you could win this lovely lampwork bead set. Silvered glass encased in a layer of clear glass, handmade by me.

Leave your comment answering this question for a chance to win. 
Are you creating a special piece of jewelry inspired by the beauty of the Fall season? 

Thanks for visiting ABS today.
Ema Kilroy is a lampworker and metalsmith living and working in Central Massachusetts. 

Perfect Pairings :: Ditzy Blue

Karen had just created this rose mold and it fit the theme of this month perfectly. What serendipity! I like the worn and faded colors that she painted on the clay rose. The way that she used the soft silk ribbon to soften the harder lines of the pretty glass beads in complementary colors pulls this all together for a very cohesive look.

Featured Designer + Bead Artist :: Ditzy Blue

Long Lines Necklace Tutorial

I love long thin pendant necklaces. I often make shorter necklaces and, perhaps, I more frequently make shorter necklaces to sell. However, when it comes to the day-to-day designs that I find most comfortable to wear, I'll go for a piece where the focus is on a long pendant drop, rather than on the neckline. Unfortunately, such pieces are a huge pain to photograph.  Nevertheless, I do rather like this piece.

It's highly unlikely that you'll have everything I've used here in your stash! However, there are plenty of possibilities for substituting different items. It's just a case of bringing together like shapes to get a similarly cohesive look. You may want to go for a totally different colour scheme. The focal is an enamel plate from 4 Ophelia.  I've mixed it with semi-precious stones and some czech glass. Here are the steps to make it.

Thread a tektite drop an inch or so onto 10cm of 22 gauge hematite wire. Bend it round the top and wrap the shorter wire length round the longer and trim. Thread on a cream glass coin, a jasper coin, a pyrite rondelle, then make a wrapped loop. Attach this to the bottom of the enamel panel with a jump ring. Then add another jump ring to the top of the panel. 

In the next steps I've used a combination of 2mm, 4mm, and 6mm black agate rounds. 

Take about 30cm of beading thread and pass it through the jump ring. Thread a 6mm round on either side of the jump ring. Next add three 4mm beads on either side, then follow them with a 2mm round on each side. Take a two hole bead and take the two ends of your thread through either hole, then add a 2mm round on each thread. Repeat this until you have five of the two hole beads, finishing with 2mm rounds.  Then add a 4mm round on each side.

Up to this point, the design has been totally symmetrical. At this point I've added in a subtle bit of asymmetry to give some extra interest.  On the right side of your necklace add another two 4mm rounds. Take some moonstone rectangular stick beads of graduated sizes and sort them so that you have one set of seven pieces and one set of five pieces, each going from small to large then back to small.  The set of five will go on the side where you've added the extra 4mm rounds. Start adding the moonstone, interspersing them with 4mm rounds. However, on the side with seven moonstone beads, swap four of the agates for 4mm pyrite rounds, as shown in the image. If you are looking for an alternative, co-editor Rebecca stocks some faceted brass rounds in her supply shop which would be a great substitute here!

To finish, take about 30cm of chain and attach the ends of your thread to the ends of the chain using crimps and covers.  Finally, open your chain at the centre point and add in a hook and eye clasp. 

And your necklace is complete!

Bye for now,


Amuse Your Muse Monday - Autumnal Beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Happy Monday everyone! Monday's are busy days with me, and especially after a weekend away - very welcome, but things certainly stack up for my return. Jewellery orders, bead orders, custom orders, magazine projects, Craftsy articles.....phew! So without further ado, it's on with the beads! 

My fellow editor Claire always manages to find new and unusual lovelies that I haven't seen before. I don't quite know how she does it....but thankfully, she is always happy to share her sources. Here are a some gorgeous leafy finds from Silvia Izkovich:

A beautiful, classic Autumnal amber. 

They would look really lovely paired with this leaf pendant which Claire also found, from Slate Studio Supplies:

I love the way the edges almost look burned - I'm sure there's a technical ceramic term for that effect, or possibly it's a glaze....whichever way, it's a beautiful, earthy piece.

You could finish off your design with just a bit of bright but still soft and Autumnal colour, with this beautiful enamel clasp from BeadSwedeSupplies. 
Love it's soft ombre-ness!

If you prefer your Autumnal colours a little brighter, then look no further than these awesome lampwork leaves from Tanya McGuire (also tracked down by Claire):

I thought they would go really well with these gorgeous rondelles from Heather:

I am a HUGE fan of the whole magenta and orange thing, and also of feathers, so these *really* work for me. 

And I think they'd look pretty sweeeeeet with this cute enamel clasp from BeadSwedeSupplies:

...don't you think?

 I'd love to see your Autumnal Art Bead finds and makes! Share your links in the comments below. 

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

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, based in her country's capital, 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


Monthly Challenge Accepted

I was looking for a fun distraction yesterday and an excuse to pull out some of my new beads so I thought, hey I should play along with this month's Art Bead Scene challenge! I love the color palette and delicate line work of our inspiration painting this month.

I grabbed a pair of lovely rose colored enamel bead caps from my talented friend Anne of Gardanne Beads. I had these Green Girl Studio leaves in my stash for a while and thought they were just what I needed for a pair or rose inspired earrings. I used new disk beads that I recently created that seem to fit the bill as thorns.

The back of the earrings have a secret message: "Love Life". Which has been particularly meaningful to me lately as one of my parents battles with an illness. Each day is a gift and the world is filled with so many amazing things.  Who knew one could pack so much meaning into a tiny pair of earrings!

On the back of this Green Girl Studio pendant it reads "Life is a rose beware the thorns." And that is just so true. Life is beautiful but not without it's challenges.

Along with the rose pendant I stacked a ceramic bead from White Clover Kiln from my new bead kindred spirit Mary Hubbard and then paired it with another one of those thorn looking disk beads.

My final piece was inspired more by the color than subject matter.  Pulling in some of the green from the painting and golden hues of the brass owl pendant to complement the rose colors.

Art beads on this necklace include the owl pendant from Andrew Thornton, the grow bead from Diane Hawkey, lampwork from one of my favs, Sea of Glass and then the ceramic bead from White Clover Kiln and another disk bead from Humblebeads.

It's only the middle of the month, plenty of time to play along and get inspired by our monthly challenge. Click here for complete details.


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