Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wish List: Beading Accessories

While taking photographs of some new rings recently, I made a huge error. I forgot to put away my hand display, and before I knew it, some little monster had used it as a drumstick. The index finger broke into three pieces. While I do plan to glue it back together, and perhaps decoupage it to cover up the seams, I thought it was a great excuse to look for something new.

I searched high and low for a similar display - preferably in black - and finally found one from Lizard Queen Jewelry on Etsy. It’s adorable, and I can’t wait to try it out the next time I make some new rings.

While I was searching, I came across all kinds of interesting goodies that have everything and nothing to do with beads. These are some of my favorites.

Silk Rosettes Tool Organizer

Silk Rosettes Tool Tote
From Artbeads.com

Aqua Blue Miniature Mannequin Display

Miniature Mannequin Jewelry Display
From Happy Cloud Supplies

Portable Magnifying Lamp

5x Magnifying Gooseneck Lamp
From Rings & Things

Beadalon 20 Inch Bead Board

Beadalon Bracelet or Necklace Bead Board
From Aunties Beads

Windy Day Jewelry Display

A Windy Day Jewelry Display Sculpture
By Vladimir’s Iron Art

Seed Bead Bottle Tray

Seed Bead Bottle Storage Tray
By JewelrySupply.com

Black Velvet Necklace Display

Black Velvet Necklace Bust
From Beadaholique

Pink Damask Jewelry Display

Pink Damask Jewelry Organizer
By KikiBella

Triangle Bead Scoops

Triangle Bead Scoops
From WEBS Beads

What’s the one beading tool or accessory that you can’t do without?

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Friends
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Monday, March 28, 2011

Bead Color Triads: Jurassic Jungle

Dinosaur by *caglarcity on deviantART

Inspiration can come from many different places, and one of the best sources is the people around us. It’s amazing how easy is it is to become interested in something, simply because it is a favorite of someone we love. Many of us even began our obsessions with beads thanks to a friend or relative that introduced us to the craft. I find that my bead helper's interests provide a constant source for new adventures and inspiration. He has helped me remember how much I like Batman and Harley Quinn, and given new meaning to the Star Wars franchise. Lately, our obsession has become dinosaurs. Prehistoric beasts are now the dominating topic in my workspace. I borrow dinosaur books from the library, and have watched BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs and related documentaries many times on Netflix. So when it came time to decide on a color palette for this month’s bead triads, dinosaurs were the first thing that came to mind.

Jurassic Jungle Color Palette

Very little is known about what dinosaurs actually looked like. The images of living dinosaurs that we see in books and movies are based on educated guesses. Scientists take what they can learn from fossils, geology of the time period, and modern animals, and piece things together. The texture of dinosaur skin is the only sure thing, and color is pretty much a shot in the dark. Still, it’s easy to imagine what colors may have been common during the Mesozoic era. Natural, earthy shades of greens and browns are pretty likely. These are the colors that we most often see in dinosaur art, and they are the inspiration behind today’s palettes.

Dragon Garden Bead Palette

Dragon Garden features an interesting contrast of colors and hues. It started with a strand of dyed wood beads, with a subtle flower pattern in dark brown and pink. I added 8/o seed beads in transparent jade, which blend in nicely. These two colors alone would make a great necklace. A shock of apple green 11/o’s add extra life to the palette. They would make pretty flower accents in a boho inspired design.

Herbivore Bead Palette

Herbivore started with some Christmas green pressed glass leaves with a vitrail finish. Since this would be the darkest of the greens in the palette, I added chartreuse magatamas for the lighter half. The two didn’t exactly fit together until I added the warm transparent rootbeer seed beads. They provide a neutral background that allows the greens to work together.

Lizard Bead Palette

Finally, we have Lizard. This palette most resembles the dinosaurs we imagine. The shades are subtle and muted, especially the yellow-lined black diamond seed beads, which have a unique olive color. Emerald AB hex cuts add a leafy green to brighten things up a bit. I included two accents here, because I couldn’t part with one or the other. I just had to use tortoise druks, with their irresistible prehistoric vibe, and topaz fire polish were just the right color. Since they are both 6mm rounds, they blend together easily. Do you ever find inspiration in natural history? Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading COLOURlovers.com Subscribe to Inspirational Beading


Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Pina Coladas on the Beach

Pina Colda Freeform Cuff

This week’s bracelet was pure indulgence. I wanted to make something featuring my new starfish color, aqua blue, and I wanted it to be fun and easy to create. I needed a simple, carefree design.

I can’t think of anything more carefree than freeform beadwork. The only style that I’m comfortable with is netting, which is easy to work, but has enough limits and boundaries that I still know what I’m going to get in the end. It’s also very aquatic and nautical, so it fits well with starfish. And since I really enjoy throwing lots of different beads together, I couldn’t resist.

In order to make blue starfish stand out, and look right at home, I created a palette that would look just like a white sandy beach - the kind that hasn’t been cultivated, polluted or in any way touched by humans. It would be imperfect, varied, and totally beautiful. So I started by mixing 11/o and 8/o seed beads in opaque white, lustered white, ceylon black/gray, light beige, and dark beige.

White Beach Bead Palette

For accents, I went all through my bead stash and picked out beachy pieces, and assorted odds and ends that I might want to throw into a freeform piece. I began with pinch bicones in turquoise, crystal, and green meadow, frosted magatamas, the last of my pink shell beads and a few other bits of shell, just in case.

Almost immediately after I got to work on the bracelet, I omitted the turquoise and green beads from the accents. I was really happy with the more subtle colors, and I wanted to make sure that the blue starfish were the stars of this show.

Once the bracelet was complete, I went over the entire piece again, adding in peyote stitch and extra nets wherever it seemed fitting. Unlike most of the cuffs I make, this one has an overlapping clasp. I much prefer the seamless look for this piece, and I think I’ll strive for the same effect more often in the future.

Pina Colada Freeform Bracelet


Pass the coconut!

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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Friday, March 25, 2011

Black Swan Fringe Pendant

Black Swan

As a movie lover, I am a big fan of the sincere re-imagining. When a new artist pays tribute to an old one through their work, it can be an amazing collaboration. I especially enjoy films that take antiques and give them an updated twist. Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet, set in year 2000 New York City, is a fantastic example.

The fact that Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan - written by Andres Heinz - seamlessly merges a modern white swan vs. black swan story with a performance of Swan Lake isn’t the first thing that appealed to me when trailers and images of the movie started to appear. At first I was intrigued by the idea of seeing Natalie Portman in a thriller, assuming that she would only do one worth watching.

It’s unfortunate that films and stage productions do not share the same genres. Black Swan is more of a tragedy than a thriller. Though it has some spooky moments, it is much more sad than thrilling. I’m almost tempted to take a feminist stance, and shake my fist at yet another story where the heroine suffers for daring to be a woman. However, I didn’t interpret Black Swan as being ignorant to these themes, but sympathetic to them. No one in their right mind would choose the starved and solitary life that Nina (Natalie Portman) leads in order to be perfect, but she knows nothing else.

Black Swan Costumes


Nonetheless, I didn’t see Black Swan for the story or the cast, but for the costumes. When I learned that the ballet costumes, and much of Nina’s wardrobe, were created by my favorite fashion designers, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, the news wasn’t as exciting as I would have thought. This may only be because the pairing seemed like a perfect fit. Based on what I originally knew of the film, if you had asked me to guess who the producers picked to make the costumes, I would have guessed Rodarte.

Their feminine but unusual aesthetic is ideal for the themes of Black Swan, which follows a young ballet dancer through her descent from minor dysfunction into total madness. The dialogue is low key, and there are a lot of contemplative scenes with the tormented Nina. Strong visuals help keep the story alive, and the Rodarte costumes and wardrobe pieces certainly deliver.

Black Swan Costumes


The Inspiration:

Jet Black and Ruby Red Bead Palette

Black Swan will be released to video next week, and I’m very excited to get my hands on the bonus materials. I love to watch the documentaries that accompany my favorite films, and learn more about them from the perspective of the creators. In anticipation, I wanted to create a necklace inspired by the gorgeous black swan costume - the highlight of the ballet.

The Beads:

Choosing a palette took some time. There are quite a few colors to consider when using the film’s images as inspiration - different variations of black, white, silver and red. Ultimately, I wanted to capture the intense, dark look of Nina’s black swan transformation. I knew that if I tried to incorporate too many of these colors, the mood would be lost.

So I went with a simple black and red palette. I already knew that fringe was going to be essential, and I eagerly scooped up some ruby crystal teardrops that I’ve been dying to use. They perfectly match transparent ruby Miyuki rounds, and provide a contrast to all of my jet black selections. I had to work with what was already in my stash, so I combined shiny and matte in hexes, magatamas, and seed beads in two sizes.

Black Swan Necklace

The Beadwork:

It had the worst time convincing myself not to recreate The Chimera necklace, which also works with lots of fringe. Because I don’t have metal findings as an option, there are only so many ways to put lots of bead strands together in one place. I did end up using a ladder stitch base, but with different approaches.

The straps are done in double St. Petersburg chain, with just a hint of the ruby red peeking out from the middle. The shapes and textures of the chain go so well not only with the fringe pendant, but the theme as well. They have a feathery look, that is more edgy than soft. I used magatamas for the center of the chains, which create a great raised effect and add some texture.

I think it might just be fit for the ballet.

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
Rodarte and Fox Searchlight Pictures
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wear It Twice: Mixing Prints

Since the dawn of fashion, there have been rules. For every decade, and every season, there is a set of do’s and don’ts, and some are more strict than others. Although ‘individuality’ has been a trend for some years, never before have there been so few rules to follow when getting dressed.

One of the oldest fashion decrees is never to mix patterns and prints. Polka dots and stripes don’t go together, and neither do leopard and floral. Or so we once thought. Mixing up prints is not only doable, but trendy. And since dressing to the beat of your own drummer is also in, it’s a great way to create an outfit that no one else can match.

How to Mix Prints with Style by BecomeGorgeous.com

There are, of course, a few rules to follow. These are actually more like tricks, since mixing prints is as much a science as an art. The idea is to flatter your shape and create a look that is easy on the eyes. Today I did a little window shopping to try out some of these fun and eclectic approaches.

I started with a beautiful multistrand necklace with a striped pattern in neutrals. The simple design has a great tribal or boho quality, but can also be played down, or even worked into a western theme. It has a lot of possibilities, so it’s perfect for this experiment.


One of the easiest tricks to print mixing is to pair small with big. Which goes on the top or bottom will depend on your shape, and which areas you want to draw the most attention to, or away from. Here I chose a patchwork A-line skirt, in white and navy stripes. It’s quite busy, so I topped it with a fitted blouse with big, bright flowers.

There’s already a lot going on in this outfit, so I played it safe with simple red slippers, rose stud earrings, and a brown bag with just a hint of subtle florals.

For the second outfit, I started with a gorgeous jacquard print dress in orangey-red and white. A simple nude shawl takes it from Sunday barbeque to drinks-on-the-patio. To balance the patterns, I used some fabulous Betsey Johnson wedges with black and gold stripes.

I chose simple earrings again, though much bigger. The red hoops pair up nicely with the dress print. A dark and subtle navy blue clutch ads an extra hint of color.

For a little more fun, I’ve decided to include an extra accessory to the mix. A wooden bead memory wire bracelet would look right at home with either outfit, or anywhere that the necklace could go.

For a handmade and vintage alternative, I found these similar looks on ArtFire:

Mixing Prints Collection

And here are my favorite Polyvore collages using some of my picks:




What kind of print or pattern would your wear with today’s necklace?

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Polyvore.com
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Bead Spotlight: Designer Czech Glass

Have you ever noticed that some beads just feel beadier than others? I realized that one of my favorite things to say about certain pieces, is that they ‘embody everything I love about beads’. While I reserve this compliment for an exclusive bunch, it’s true that some materials just have that go-to factor – a timeless quality that other beads just can’t match.

One bead type that usually trumps all others is Czech glass, particularly the designer shapes, like grooved rectangles and cathedral beads. They have a unique power to take an ordinary design, and make it spectacular.

Assorted Fancy Czech Glass Beads

Pewter Vitrail Peacock Coins, Canyon Dusk Faceted Rondelles,
Jet Black Picasso Teardrops, Transparent Amethyst Large Daggers

Blue Spiral Tabular Squares, Mint Green Picasso Square Windows,
Orange Picasso Coins, Green and Black Turtle with Gold Inlay


Czech glass shapes with fancy finishes like Picasso are incredibly versatile, and they always work and play well with others. They are perfect for stringing, and can usually be worked into beadweaving with ease. They also make beautiful accents for intricate bead embroidery. Alone, they are intriguing enough to just pop onto headpins for a quick and fabulous pair of earrings.

Handmade Jewelry Using Czech Glass Beads

Teal Time Earrings, Stone Harbor Necklace,
Wall Art Bracelet, Autumn Branch Bracelet

Fire Opal Earrings, Wildflowers Bracelet,
Floral Bouquet Necklace, Desert Sun Pendant


What’s your favorite Czech glass shape?

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Friends
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Inspired by Flowers

It’s the first day of spring, and I couldn’t resist going on a little floral scavenger hunt to get inspired by things to come. Soon it’ll be nothing but flowers everywhere!

Although being inspired by colorful flowers during spring seems really obvious, it’s also the perfect time of year to wear such bold hues and prints. While the weather is mild and breezy, we can warm up with lots of hot pink, blazing orange, and sunny yellow.

Here are a few fun spring picks to get you inspired for spring!


Inspired by Flowers Collection

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
ArtFire.com and Polyvore.com
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Watermelons

Watermelon

When I first launched the tutorial for my Wavy Wedges bracelet design, I asked readers to share some ideas for using the flip-flop pattern of seed bead rows and panels. I was thrilled with all of the unique suggestions, but a little surprised that watermelons wasn’t one of them!

I’ve been sitting on the idea to use the shapes as fruit slices for a long time. It’s a relief to finally get to try one out. I knew for certain that a watermelon pattern would be one of my weekly bracelet projects, but other ideas kept getting in the way.

I finally got around to penciling in this bracelet. Coming up with just the right pattern for the black ‘seeds’ was the tough part. I kept grabbing the nearest piece of paper and doodling little rows of circles, and coloring them in at different intervals.

Watermelon Bracelet

Because it’s so hard to tell how the rows will look until they are all in place, I tried out several different patterns and alternated them. If I had to do it over again, I would stick with one or two - the simple triangle patterns that sit right in the middle of the wedge.

Still, I’m happy with the way this piece turned out. The hot pink seed beads remind me of watermelon flavored bubble gum and jump ropes. Now I can’t wait for summer!

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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Friday, March 18, 2011

Bead Giveaway: Spring Mixes

We’ve moved our clocks forward, and the first day of spring is just days away. More sunshine and warmer weather are just the beginning of inspiring things to come. Soon we’ll have all kinds of wonderful flowers to inspire us with their beautiful colors.

To celebrate, I’m giving away two custom bead mixes from my collection of rare and vintage beads, in beautiful spring shades of green and purple. These bead soups are full of sparkle, with assorted lucite and acrylic shapes that are perfect for spring designs.

Green Meadow Bead Mix Plum Paradise Bead Mix


My favorites are the tiny leaf dangles, and top drilled rounds in a pretty shade of lavender. Both would look adorable in fringe or a spiral rope.

How to Enter

To win both sets of beads, leave a comment on this post, and answer the following question:

What is your favorite springtime inspiration?

Be sure to include a contact link, such as a website or email, if you do not have a Blogger profile with email contact enabled. For an extra entry, leave a link to a blog post or Tweet that mentions this giveaway.

I’ll draw one lucky winner at random, on Friday, April 1st. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada and the US.

Good luck, and happy beading!

Green Bead Mix Purple Bead Mix


Update: This giveaway draw has closed.

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Inspired Beader: Catinalife Creations

Pink Rose Foxtail Bracelet by Catinalife Creations

One of the best ways to find inspiration and encouragement is to admire the work of our fellow artists. When we can see what others have learned to do, it can give us motivation to keep learning and trying new things.

It’s interesting to admire work that is so different from our own. Whenever I see the wire jewelry designs of Catinalife Creations, I am in awe of the quality and beauty in each piece. I can’t even imagine the skill and time it must take to mold metals into such delicate shapes.

Today, the artist behind these beauties, Joy, shares some of her inspirations.

Inspirational Beading: How did you first get into jewelry making?

Joy: I've been making jewelry of some type since I was about 8 years old, I received a Creepy Crawler set for Christmas that year, was making bug pins and selling them at school when I went back. Then went on to macramé jewelry as a teen. It has definitely evolved and improved over the years.

Blue and Silver Wire Wrapped Bangle by Catinalife Creations

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite material or color to work with?

Joy: Gemstones and wire, and usually anything with blue, green or pink. I notice a definite preference to blue jewelry.

Inspirational Beading: Where do you find the most inspiration?

Joy: Mother Nature always inspires me, gemstone hold such beauty to me, I've always enjoyed collecting rocks, shells, fossils, and love being able to turn them into wearable art.

Inspirational Beading: If you could master any new technique, what would it be?

Joy: Polymer clay. I have dabbled in it a bit, and would love to make my own beads.

Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first jewelry project? Where is it today?

Seraphinite and Gold Wire Wrap Pendant by Catinalife Creations

Joy: I made a beautiful cotton bib macramé necklace with wood beads, perfect fashion for then "back in the day", as my grown daughter would say. Lost over the years, I still have a fond memory of that accomplishment. I was surprised by my own result.

Inspirational Beading: Who do you hope to inspire with your work?

Joy: First bringing a bit more beauty into this world through jewelry, I would hope my work would inspire any one who wants to make jewelry to follow that desire.

More about Joy:

I am a BA/RFH, beadaholic, rock, fossil hound. I love the beauty that can be found in Mother Nature, always inspiring. Loving the ancient jewelry arts and techniques I'm finding and scratching my little niche in this big world of silver, gold, glass and stone. I've made this my full time occupation, coming out of the busy corporate world and finding my own passion for making beautiful jewelry and being able to let my creative self act out. I've found my inner child and she loves to play with anything sparkly and shiny.

Fuschia Egyptian Swirl Bracelet by Catinalife Creations

I really do want to keep the ancient arts alive of Viking knit, chain maille and Egyptian coil techniques, used for thousands of years since the first simple stone or shell necklace was worn. I am always striving to incorporate these techniques with a modern day twist.

You can see more gorgeous jewelry designs like these at Catinalife Creations on ArtFire, and stay up to date with Joy’s newest works on Twitter.


Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
and Catinalife Creations
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Captured Bead Earring Tutorial

Captured Bead Earrings

You’ve probably heard the expression, “Those that can’t do, teach...”. While I sometimes agree with the other part about teaching gym, I’m not fond of the phrase. I think that people should only teach what they can do, especially if they do it well. This is why we’ve never had an earring tutorial here on Inspirational Beading. Until today!

Our good friends at Beads Direct have shared a really fun earring project that you can make in minutes, using some simple chain mail techniques and your favorite seed bead color. This project is a great way to get started with using jump rings in your work. It’s also a great instant gratification project that you could do with crafty friends.

To make one pair of earrings, you will need:

Silver Plated Earring Findings

2 silver plated ear wires
4 8mm jump rings
16 6mm jump rings
6 size 6/o seed beads
4 eye pins
Pliers and snips

1. Create a captured seed bead by threading one bead on to an eye pin and making an eye to either side. Thread one eye onto a large jump ring and bring it to the bottom of the jump ring. Thread the other eye on and close the ring, so the bead is captured inside it.

2. Link two small rings to the captured bead, placing one to either side of the eye pin. Use one small ring to catch these two small rings and attach it to the ear wire. Close the ring.

3. Make a second captured bead, and link it to the first one, using 2 small rings to either side of the eye pin.

4. Place a bead on a small ring and close it. Link this beaded ring to the bottom captured bead with two small rings, to either side of the eye pin.

Captured Bead Earring Project

5. Repeat to make second earring.

The simple design offers lots of great color possibilities. You could make a whole set with seasonal palettes, like pastels for spring and earth tones for fall.

Happy beading!

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Beads Direct UK
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Bracelet a Week: Trade Bead Medallions

African Christmas Bead Strands

Earlier this week I dabbled a bit with some new African Christmas beads, and made a set of tribal inspired rings. Once I got going with these little beauties, I felt ready to dive right in and make something with a little more kick.

I had already planned a new necklace design using the bigger strands, so I unstrung the smaller beads, which range in size from 11/o to 8/o. The colors are amazing, with lots of red and yellow, and plenty of striped seed beads, which are often hard to find on their own. The Bohemian quality is so inspiring, and reminds me of everything I love about beads.

Again I was reluctant to do anything too wild with these beads, since they are already so vibrant. So I paired them with up with simple black seed beads and druks. The Christmas beads are slightly irregular, and I needed a technique that would lend itself to various bead sizes. Brick stitch seemed like a great choice.

Trade Bead Medallion Bracelet

I started with a single medallion of circular brick stitch, then added two half circles to either side, and made a matching button. Regular flat brick stitch provides straps to connect everything into a simple and colorful bracelet.

I’m really head over heels for this design. I think the shapes work so well with the Christmas beads, and if I hadn’t made it about ¼ inch too large for my own wrist, I’d be keeping this one for myself.

Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading
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Friday, March 11, 2011

Inspired Artist: Soapsmith

Amethyst Soap Rocks by soapsmith

When you really love your craft, the materials can become an obsession. As beaders, we surround ourselves with the gems and baubles that form our creations. We wear them, decorate our house with them, and shop and search for them wherever we go. Some beaders write and blog about beads, or spend hours sorting and organizing them again and again.

I think most bead and jewelry lovers would be excited to learn that you can even take gems and crystals into the tub. When I first glimpsed the amazing rock and gem creations by Allegheny Hearth - aka the Soapsmith - I was stunned by their realistic beauty, and had to learn more. The artist, Bonnie Bartley, shares a little insight into these marvelous soaps.

Inspirational Beading: When did you become interested in geology and gemology?

Bonnie: I have always found all aspects of nature fascinating – gems and mineral formations are amazing to me. Since childhood I have saved bits and pieces of stone and rocks. I would sit for hours in the summer on a bank near our home that was filled with fossils, picking up rocks one at a time, examining them, saving the treasures. I still have them and bring a pebble home from beaches, forests, and fields where ever I travel.

Tanzanite Soap Rocks by soapsmith

Inspirational Beading: How did you first get into soap making?

Bonnie: When we moved into our home in 1975, the property was completely outlined with mature pine trees. The first autumn, our yard was covered with pinecones. I picked 21 bushels and decided to make pine cone wreaths as Christmas gifts. Several people who were gifted with the wreaths asked to purchase them for their family and friends. That began my crafting career.

I made my first soap in 1977. This is my 33rd year in business. I am always interested in trying different genres. Soaping was just one of many. I love the history of the craft, handed down through the generations. Modern methods improve on the product but I feel the soul of old time soap makers move my spirit when I create.

When I started making soap, selections of oils and butters were limited to what was available in local supermarkets. Now I can revel in kokum, shea, mango and cocoa butters, coconut, palm and avocado oils. Essential and fragrance oil choices are astounding. My studio shelves are filled with enticing amber and cobalt bottles that I can blend to my heart’s content. Colorants safe for cosmetic use are also readily available.

Stained Glass Handmade Soap by soapsmith

I dance for joy when the delivery truck brings a box filled with new delights, begging to be concocted into something unique and original that is sure to thrill my customers.

Inspirational Beading: How did you decide to combine these two concepts into one unique idea - what has the journey been like?

Bonnie: The gemstone/mineral formation soaps were first brought to my attention on soap making forums when others were trying to figure out how to make them. I love a challenge, it fuels my creativity. Game on!

That was many years ago, now I teach and demonstrate my techniques and methods to other soap makers on how to create these little gems. There is a full detailed tutorial on my blog with step by step instructions with photos on how to make gemstone soaps.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite stone to admire or create with soap?

Bonnie: I love them all. The great thing is each one is a mini work of art, unique unto itself.

Hummingbird Soap by soapsmith

Inspirational Beading: What is your all time favorite color and fragrance combination?

Bonnie: That is like asking me which flower in my garden is my favorite or which of my sons do I love the most – impossible to answer. Lavender is high on my list because it calls to mind my spring garden. The purple hues of lavender inspire a poet’s voice, an artist’s hand and a gardener’s eye, and purple has always been one of my favored color palettes.

Inspirational Beading: Do you have any other favorite soap inspirations?

Bonnie: I find great satisfaction in formulating products that pamper the skin and care for my customers. Working with the many aspects of the craft, I am able to be a mad scientist as well as an artisan. Nature is my muse: my garden, the spectrum of colors, the textures, the herbs and flowers, the trees, the fragrances – all of creation. My home is located on 5 wooded acres surrounded by the glorious Allegheny Mountains, they provide the muse.

More About Bonnie:

Soap stone treasury

In all aspects of my life, I am known for my organization and attention to detail. That attribute greatly contributes to my success in my family life, career, business and volunteer work. I manage my time carefully in order to meet the demands of a busy life. My life in general is my success. I have wonderful family, friends, co-workers and customers. I am able to lead the life style that suits me, in a home and community that I enjoy, with my life’s work fulfilling my dreams. Simple pleasures adorn my day.

My customers are my greatest promoters. They are the greatest. Many of them are so kind to take the time to write me notes and emails thanking me for the results they get from using my products. They sing my praises to their friends and neighbors, which grows my business. I am grateful and dedicate my efforts to them. I draw my inspiration from them. To cultivate that base I am sure to offer the most outstanding customer service I can.

Soap Rocks Gemstone Soaps by soapsmith

I am dedicated to the advancement of the craft. I am always open to sharing my techniques to others in soap making communities, forums, classes, symposiums and gatherings. For me, soap making is much more than a means of financial gain. I carry the traditions of old time soap makers in my soul married to today’s modern methods. That builds my reputation, thus my business as well.

I am part of a great community of soap makers. I do develop my own recipes and techniques, and I am willing to share them with my fellow soap artisans. We all learned from those who came before us, I try to carry on that tradition.

You can see more unique soap creations and get to know Soapsmith on Facebook. Check out Bonnie’s ArtFire blog for tips on making, using and selecting handmade soaps.


Copyright 2011 Inspirational Beading and Allegheny Hearth
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