Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Inspiring Links: September 2011

National Museum of Mexican Art in Pilsen

There are lots of exciting things happening in the beading and crafting world. Here are just a few of my favorites of late!

Earlier this year, the design partners participated in a fun challenge called “What’s Old is New Again”. We were asked to create jewelry using old beads or components, such as found objects, upcycled jewelry, or vintage beads. Now you can see all of the fabulous designs in the Artbeads Facebook galleries: Part One and Part Two

Arguably one of the greatest inventions in the realm of DIY, the sewing machine has been around for generations. To celebrate 160 years in the business, SINGER has started a fun new genealogy site just for sewing machines, called My SINGER Story. You can share stories about how your sewing machine came to your studio, and track the history of used and vintage machines.

Speaking of sewing, if you like to make your own clothes, or want to give it a try, this handy guide from Casey’s Elegant Musings will show you how to measure yourself or a friend for a circle skirt.

Learn to make a slinky variation on the slave bracelet with this DIY Handpiece tutorial from Honestly…WTF, created by Amanda Thomas of Luv Aj.

If you want to take a break from beads, fiber jewelry is a fun diversion. This combination pin and multistrand necklace tutorial from Michaels uses fabric ‘jewelry twist’ to make a pretty and lightweight statement piece: Three Flower Pin Tiered Necklace.

Have you ever looked at jewelry in stores, magazines, and on the runway, and wondered how your beaded designs fit into a world of mass produced metals and gemstones? No matter how many trends come and go, classic jewelry seems to always be on top. But there are a few high end designers that are making ripples, which could pave the way for beaders and rustic designers.

Regatta Bracelet by Chrisbeads
Check out this Regatta Bracelet by Chrisbeads!

On the other hand, sometimes when we get so wrapped up in our design process, we forget that the world sees beading and jewelry in totally different ways. Here’s an interesting view on pearls and pearl jewelry from the eyes of a fashion blogger.

The messy wire bail is a very trendy way to showcase a gorgeous crystal drop or gemstone briolette. This step by step tutorial from will show you how to master the messy wrap bail technique.

Who says beads are just for jewelry? I think these DIY sparkle sunglasses from Glitter Guide could use a few Swarovski flatbacks!

I love to learn about how beads are made, don’t you? This week, shares a little insight into the making of Czech fire polish beads.

Jewellery - Green Emerald Collection

If you like to work with patterns or geometric shapes, this showcase of Diagonal Stripes of Goodness over at the Naughty Secretary Club may provide some colorful and angular inspiration! Or check out some fabulously decorative doors at Everyday Inspired.

We know why we love jewelry, but why do we wear it? Sally at Already Pretty explains the very good reasons why we accessorize.

If you enjoy using fibers and knots in your designs, you might get a kick out of Macramé Mondays over at zombies wearing helmets. It’s like a time warp of crazy crafts.

New beads are coming! Just like fashion, beads get their seasonal refresh with new colors and styles. has a sneak peek at the Swarovski Fall 2012 lineup. There are also 30 new Miyuki Tila colors, which should be available sometime this month! Some of the most exciting colors are the opaques in bright hues like yellow and turquoise.

In other news, I spent part of the Labor Day long weekend picking wild blackberries with my little guy. We whipped up a batch of blackberry crisp that was so yummy, I just had to share the recipe for Perfect Blackberry Crisp.

And fresh blackberries means that fall is really here! I hope it brings plenty of new inspirations and ideas.

What are you exploring right now?

New Tila Bead Colors by Miyuki

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  1. Thanks for linking to my Macramé Mondays! I'm glad you're enjoying the images I post. :)

  2. You're most welcome, Leah! I wonder what crafty trends from today will make good posts 40 years from now!


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