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"Art Bead Scene Blog" - 5 new articles

  1. February Monthly Recap
  2. Inside the Studio with Humblebeads
  3. Art Bead Palette :: JoyMunshower
  4. Perfect Pairings :: SJ Designs + Tanya McGuire
  5. Book Review: Free Form Peyote Stitch Book Roundup
  6. Search Art Bead Scene Blog
  7. Prior Mailing Archive

February Monthly Recap

The poppies in this painting by Edward Detmold are so luxurious, don't you think? The perfect image to celebrate deep and abiding love in February with an eye toward the approaching spring. (It is coming, right?)

We had a lot of marvelous entries this month focusing the deep color, the poppy form and even the moth/butterflies. Let's see what you created...

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Art Bead Scene - February 2015 by Slidely Slideshow
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Your turn!
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February 2015 Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge Recap.
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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.

Alice of Alice Dreaming is this week's winner of a surprise bead bundle from Claire Lockwood of Something to do Beads.

Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio...

2015 has been crazy for me, I've been going from deadline to deadline, event to event. In between, I've been in my studio working away on orders and new beads. It's a challenge to find time to develop new ideas and my creative process definitely goes in cycles. 

Sometimes my creativity focuses on revisiting and updating designs that I have loved from the past like these fun poppy pendants. 

Most of these ended up in the gift bags for my 2015 Bead Cruise that just passed. I paired them up with some yummy sari silk ribbons that matched the poppies. Bead Cruise? Oh yes, a week of beads, beaches, friends and fun. I'm working on the details for 2016 right now! 

My next inspirations were from pics I snapped on the islands. Who can pass up the beauty of the tropical flora on an island? 

I will be working these into new beads this week to take to an event next weekend, spreading some color and island inspirations in the snowy tundra!
My favorite part of the cruise - teaching! Nothing makes me happier than inspiring students. I taught my Metal Sketches class and the Hibiscus Pendant, it's always a joy to see students wearing their projects and experimenting with new ideas.

I'll be teaching both these classes in Baltimore next weekend with the Baltimore Bead Society. If you are in the area, I'd love to have you join us. They just have a few spaces left, it's going to be a fun weekend. (Details can be found here.) I will also be presenting on Promoting Your Jewelry Business Online at their monthly meeting on March 10th.

So that's what's going on in my studio, making beads, putting together kits, working on lots of behind the scene's kind of projects.

And now it's time for the question of the week:
What kind of a jewelry class would you take if you could make a wish with a magical beady genie?

Share with me for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate from We'll pick a random winner next Friday from the comments. 

Art Bead Palette :: JoyMunshower

Periwinkle Reticulated Octopus

I've had Joy Munshower's Etsy shop bookmarked for ages, and I had to share at least one of her pieces for the sheer artistry. Isn't that lampwork bead exquisite? The details are just incredible, and when I realize it's glass - I'm blown away, how about you?

These are one of those beads that I'd probably never use, but collect and frame instead. Talk about a little piece of art!

To see more, stop by Joy's shop.


Perfect Pairings :: SJ Designs + Tanya McGuire

 I love the soft simplicity of this design. The way that Miss Sarajo purposely placed the lampwork poppy off-center... the framing effect of the textured brass washer... the playful butterflies dangling down. This one is a real winner!
I also love that Miss Sarajo was extra inspired and shows two other pieces of jewelry perfect for this month's inspiration!

Featured Designer :: SJ Designs

Featured Bead Artist :: Tanya McGuire

P.S. Hurry... the deadline to get your creations into the Pinterest boards for inclusion in the recap post scheduled for Saturday, February 28th is... this TOMORROW! Let's see what you made! ;-)

Just a friendly reminder... We have a slightly new format for uploading your pictures for consideration for the Perfect Pairings each Wednesday, as well as the Monthly Challenge Recap post. We are now using Pinterest! You can find more details in this post about the exciting new changes, including a board devoted to art beads inspired by the monthly challenge! (Ooh! Look! More pretty beads to lust after!)
Pretty please make sure that you post a link in your Pinterest description so that I have someplace to attribute the picture to! And don't forget to tell us about those art beads!
Deadline to get your pictures posted to the Pinterest boards for the creation of the Monthly Challenge Recap post is Thursday, February 26th!


Book Review: Free Form Peyote Stitch Book Roundup

With the publication of Karen Williams' new book Explorations in Free Form Peyote Beading, I am excited to see that freeform peyote stitch is getting on people's radar.  It is wonderful that  more and more folks are taking up beading with seed beads. To me, freeform peyote, is the ultimate fun and the greatest design generator of all the seed beading techniques out there.  So I am very excited about this new volume in  freeform peyote beading because it is going to make this beading format available to many more people.   For years there was a dearth of information on freeform peyote stitch.  I remember back in the late 90's when I was smitten with a freeform peyote stitch necklace I saw in Bead and Button magazine, that I had a hard time finding any information on how to make  one.  Finally I found the self published booklet by Jeannette Cook titled A Sculptural Peyote Projects Primer, and ordered a copy. It had originally been published in 1996 and was later revised in 2001.  It is a wonderful book and taught me all I  needed to know to start making those great cuffs and  necklaces.  But it only had pictures on the front and back covers.

 I still refer to this slim bible on freeform despite its black and white beading path illustrations because I find it to be very simple to understand and those few illustrations very inspiring.

                     Back cover of A Sculptural Peyote Projects Primer by Jeannette Cook

In 2000, Interweave Press published Beading with Peyote Stitch written by Jeannette Cook and Vicki Starr. Although most of this book is about flat, even and odd count, and tubular peyote, and sculptural peyote, there are some sections that cover freeform,  And there are many color illustrations.  This book has been a staple for many years for anyone wanting to learn peyote stitch beading techniques.

After the publication of the Interweave book,  it seemed freeform languished for a number of years until Karen Williams revitalized the scene with her book Freeform Peyote Beading in 2010.  Her 2010 book was full of color photos, beading diagrams and lots of information on design and color.  Karen filled a huge gap in the freeform beading knowledge base with this book

    One of my favorite techniques that I learned from Karen Williams is how to integrate the button and clasp loop into the bracelet as seen in the picture below of one of my bracelets.

And now, we have Karen Williams' newest book, Explorations in Freeform Beading, which continues the adventure and delves even deeper into being creative with freeform peyote stitch.  Not only is this a great resource and inspiration for anyone interested in freeform, it is a testament to the power of self publishing.  Karen set up a Kickstarter campaign to get this book up and running and was very successful at gathering the necessary funds and community support.  And equally important, she had the skills and the stamina to see this project through in the short year that she allowed herself to get it ready.  It is now available on Amazon and in her Etsy shop.  And most recently, she has gotten the ebook version off the ground!
 One of the significant differences between Karen Williams' two books is the inclusion of work by other bead artists in this one.  In fact, she gives in depth coverage to several so that you are learning how different artists create using free form peyote stitch.  Many of the roadblocks that discourage beaders new to peyote stitch are  addressed, especially the "ugly duckling stage" that most projects go through, and how to incorporate large stones, bead over found objects and more.
The other main difference is the attention paid to more advance freeform beading techniques making the book a valuable resource for beaders of all skill levels.
If you have an interest in advancing your freeform skills, or want to begin on a new adventure in freeform this book will teach and inspire you for many years to come. I hope you will check it out at your local bookstore, library, or favorite internet shop.


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