Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Inspiration Tip: Sharing Etsy Treasuries

Coral and Chartreuse Treasury by

Every week, I search through the zillions of Etsy listings, hunting for 16 amazing pieces of jewelry or beaded art. Using Etsy’s Poster Sketch tool, I share my finds here on Inspirational Beading. The entire process is a great way to meet other artists and to see new works of bead art.

Recently, I was asked to share the secret behind the Poster Sketch segments. The technique I use to share my Etsy finds can also be used to show completed treasuries on a blog or website. This process is great if you’ve been featured in a treasury, or have made one that you want to share, and you want to preserve it. Because Etsy treasuries expire, it’s nice to have a record of the short time in the spotlight. Making a treasury is a lot of work, and the results are often beautiful. Keeping and displaying your favorite treasuries can be a great source of inspiration in the future.

I’m going to list each step as clearly as possible, so if you’re just getting to know your computer or the internet, hopefully these instructions will be helpful to you. Note: I’m working with Windows and Mozilla Firefox, but these steps are pretty universal for PC users.

One: Open your internet browser and find the treasury that you wish to save. Scroll down so that all of the items are centered in the window, and nothing is cut off.

Two: Take a screenshot of the page to capture the treasury. Hold Ctrl on your keyboard, and press Print Screen [Prt Scr].

Pre-shrink the Page

Three: Open the Paint tool in Accessories. To avoid any unwanted border on your image, you can pre-shrink the page. Scroll down to the bottom right hand corner of the white canvas, and use your cursor to grab and drag the corner of the page up and to the left. Shrink the canvas so that it is smaller than a treasury.

Four: Paste the treasury screenshot onto the page. Hold Ctrl and press V. Save this page if you want - you can always delete it later.

Select the Cut Tool

Five: Click on the tool icon that shows a dotted rectangle. Use your mouse to draw a box around the treasury, only capturing what you want to show. Leave a few mm of boarder around the edge, and try to make all of the sides evenly spaced.

Cut Away Only the Treasury

Six: From the Edit drop down menu, select Cut, or press Ctrl + X. Open a New blank page in Paint. Do not save the changes to the current file.

Seven: Pre-shrink the canvas, and paste your treasury snippet onto the blank page [Ctrl + V]. Save the new file with a unique name - I usually use Month/Year/Curator. Be sure to save it as a JPEG file, not a BMP.

Now that you have this image of your treasury, you can upload it and share it almost anywhere you want to. A few good places to show off an Etsy treasury are your Facebook page, Flickr pool, and your blog. Most blog platforms allow you to upload and display images from your computer; but with a few extra steps, you can show off your treasury, and improve the look and SEO of your blog at the same time.

One: You will need to upload your treasury snippet to an image hosting site like Photobucket. Be sure to upload it to the correct album or sub-album. If necessary, relocate the file before completing the next steps.

Grabbing a URL from Photobucket

Two: Copy the Direct Link URL for your hosted image.

Three: At the point in your blog text where you want to display your treasury, type the following code:

<img src="YourImage" alt="ImageTitle" title="ImageTitle">

Replace YourImage with the URL for your picture. Replace ImageTitle with a name for your picture. The alt tag will create a text caption if viewers have HTML turned off, or if the image doesn’t load properly. You’ve probably seen these before. Instead of a picture, a box with a red X will appear, and if the alt tag is used, the name of the image will also show. The title tag will create the yellow caption that appears when you hover your cursor over an HTML image. Both of these tags can also help your picture and blog show up in search engines, so it’s a good idea to use relevant keywords in your image title.

You will need to add this code in the HTML editor of your blog platform. If you would like the image to be a clickable link to another destination, you can highlight the code, and use the link tool of your blog editor to add the destination URL. You can also add the code by hand. It will look like this:

<a href="Destination URL" target="_blank"><img src="YourImage" alt="ImageTitle" title="ImageTitle"></a>

If you want to link back to the actual treasury that you are sharing, remember that Etsy treasuries eventually expire. Broken links aren’t good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization), so it’s a good idea to remove the link code after the treasury has expired.

The target=“_blank” code will make the link open in a new window (unless the viewer right clicks or has tabbed browsing set up). This will make sure that readers don’t lose track of your blog when checking out your link.

Four: Set the alignment for your image.

To center the picture between paragraphs, enter the HTML on a new line, and add paragraph tags to center it. It will look like this:

<p align="center"><img src="YourImage" alt="ImageTitle" title="ImageTitle"></p>

You can also make the text of your blog post wrap around the image if it is on the left or right of the page. To do this, add the code to the first line of the paragraph where you would like the image to be. Replace <p align="center"> with

All About the Blues Treasury by

<p style="FLOAT: right; MARGIN: 10px 10px 10px 10px;"> for right hand images


<p style="FLOAT: left; MARGIN: 0px 10px 10px 0px;"> for left hand images.

To make a handy reference of the HTML code, you can highlight and copy it, and save it to a text file, like Notepad or WordPad.

Now that you can preserve your favorite Etsy treasuries, there’s even more incentive to get out and try one. To find out when a new spot will open up, check in with the Treasury Clock on It keeps track of Treasury Main and Treasury West, and provides a countdown to the next opening. Have fun!

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Monday, December 28, 2009

Bead Spotlight: Colorful Cat’s Eyes

Assorted Cat's Eye Beads

Glass accent beads come in an almost endless variety of shapes and colors. Whether you’re looking for pieces to make beaded beads, or to dress up a multi-strand necklace, finding just the right accent beads is always a treat.

When I was searching for the perfect glass rounds to create beaded starfish with, I was really drawn to the shimmer of fiber optic beads. Not only were they the perfect color, but the unique shine of the layered glass added a little extra something to an otherwise simple design. They’re so much more than just colored glass.

The band of light that runs through fiber optic beads - called chatoyance - is intended to mimic the gemstone Chrysoberyl. The synthetic glass versions are not only less expensive, but come in a variety of interesting colors and shapes.

Although the selection of fiber optic beads is small compared to other glass beads like crystals, the combinations of shapes and colors are endless. My personal favorite is the 6mm round, but you can also find cat’s eye cubes, donuts, and even fetishes in a handful of fun colors.

Bangle Bracelet with Fiber Optic Rounds

Some excellent examples of how beautiful fiber optic beads can be in jewelry designs include Melon Menagerie by DaydreamBeadlover, and Asilia Tribal African Necklace by AfriqueLaChic. These pieces use an abundance of cat’s eyes for maximum effect. But these little beauties are great for a splash of shine or color as well. They make great accents for earrings, like simplebetty’s Antique Silver Charms, and LaBellaJewelry’s Ocean Theme Trio.

If you’re looking to try out some fun techniques showcasing shiny cat’s eyes, a few great projects to try are:

Raja Floating Wire Necklace from Lytha Studios
Golden Glimmer Choker and Princess Bracelet from
Illusion Bracelet from Witty Living

Glass cat’s eye beads may not be all-seeing, but they can certainly turn heads. Have fun!

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lemon and Berry Necklace

Yellow and Purple Provence Scene

Nearly everyone who collects beads for later use is guilty of bead hoarding. We purchase something wonderful, interesting, or precious, and just can’t bring ourselves to use it because we know we’ll never have that particular color or piece of art again. Sometimes these special beads will linger in our stash for years, waiting until inspiration strikes - the kind of idea that is so strong it can’t be ignored.

The Inspiration:

Before my local bead store closed down, I used to enjoy browsing their clearance section for discontinued seed beads. There was always a big basket of 10 gram baggies, filled with different colors and finishes that would never grace the store’s shelves again. These last chance beads were always my first stop when looking for something new and interesting.

One of the most precious finds from the clearance basket was a pair of baggies containing 11/0 crystal seed beads with a bright fuchsia-purple lining. Because they were so pretty, and because there were so few of them, I’ve been holding onto them for years. I finally felt that it was time to use them when I pictured the sweet purple against some sour yellow-lined crystal beads.

Purple and Yellow Bead Palette

The Beads:

I needed a really great focal bead for this project, so I was thrilled to have the chance to try a yellow CZ twisted oval drop. I love the honey-like color of the yellow Cubic Zirconia, which would add an extra dimension to the necklace that I had in mind for my precious purple beads. Together, the set reminds me of a bee’s favorite flower, fully in bloom on a bright summer day. Once I had sketched out the design that I wanted to use, I discovered that there was plenty of room for one more color, so I also added some gorgeous wisteria-lined crystal 11/0 Tohos.

Lemonberry Bib Necklace

The Beadwork:

After using right angle weave to create a bib necklace with circular 16 bead units, I was anxious to use the technique again. Using some graph paper, I carefully sketched out a pattern of loops that would create a background for the CZ oval drop. I didn’t want just a simple RAW triangle, so after some experimenting, I came up with a lacy V-shaped pattern that would allow me to stitch continuously without much back-tracking.

What I love about the looped right angle weave is that if the shared beads are a separate color, each unit is independent of the others. This allowed me to use a different color for each circle, creating a sort of flower bed with the two purples. The pale yellow beads peek out between each one like tiny motes of pollen, with a pretty drop of nectar at the bottom. The twisted oval bead was a great focal for this particular necklace, because the shape doesn’t have a definite front or back. No matter which direction you string it from, it still looks gorgeous. I was able to incorporate the drop directly into the beadwork without any extra stitches or findings.

I would like to thank for providing the CZ beads used in this design. Inspirational Beading has not received paid compensation for including products or reviews in this blog post. I have shared my honest opinions about the products used in this design.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Poster Sketch: Happy Holidays

The combination of red and green is such a large part of holiday themes, that it can be difficult to pair the two without having your project look like a Christmas tree. Although holly berries aren’t the only red and green thing in the universe, we sometimes can’t help seeing them whenever the two colors are used together.

The strength of red and green as a holiday palette makes creating summery roses a bit of a challenge, but it makes creating a Christmas project really easy! This week’s Poster Sketch is red and green all over.

Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas, to all of my fellow beaders, jewelry makers and artists!

Etsy Picks: Red and Green Jewelry

Row 1:

Red Rays Peyote Stitch Cuff - by LovliesFromMihana
Green and Bronze Beaded Pendant - by beadorigami
Red Hot Mama Bracelet - by beadnurse
Grass Green Peony Bud Pendant - by RockPaperSilver

Row 2:

Green Stripes Necklace - by maked
Aphrodite Necklace - by blueinblue
Key Lime Bon Bon Pendant - by caraway
Red Fire Bracelet - from MadeByKatarina

Row 3:

Fire Goddess Embroidered Necklace - by CircesHouse
Green Cellular Necklace - by RedThreadLetter
Sunset Necklace - by MoonlightAndFire
Lucky Lou Necklace - from KaysKraftKorner

Row 4:

Lime Fizz Earrings - by cigarboxbeads
Kawaii Peppermint Deer Necklace - by DestinationDesign
Green Monster Treasure Necklace - by StickLizardDesigns
Red Checkered Bangle Bracelet - by ThreeFatesDesign

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Raspberries and Cream Lariat

A Bowl of Raspberry Ice Cream

When looking for a way to describe togetherness, we often use foods for analogies: peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper, peas and carrots. These food combinations are examples of the perfect pair. Foods can also be very inspiring when looking for a great color combination. Mustard and ketchup, or chocolate and cherry are just two examples of great foods that also make great color combos.

The Inspiration:

I received a set of Cubic Zirconia hearts and ovals from in pink and lavender. The pale colors have a sort of creamy quality to them, and a definite sweetness that is reminiscent of candy. When I set out to create a design with the CZ beads, I wanted it to be something yummy.

Raspberry and Cream Candy Beads

The Beads:

I went through my entire stash of beads, looking for just the right colors to compliment the pink and lavender beads. The first thing that caught my eye was a packet of ivory Toho triangles. I also selected some raspberry lined crystal 8/0 seed beads, and fuchsia lined 11/0’s. Altogether, these beads look good enough to eat.

The Beadwork:

My first idea was to create a heart shaped pendant using square stitch and the triangle seed beads. The pattern I created worked great, but the triangles weren’t quite right, and the pendant had a lopsided look to it. I went back to the drawing board, and considered a light Y necklace with the heart beads as focals. That’s when I had a vision of a thin and delicate daisy chain lariat, with CZ hearts at the ends.

Raspberries and Cream CZ Lariat

The pink hearts were side-drilled, so I used these for the center of the bead strand, with the lavender hearts at the ends. I was surprised by the weight of the CZ ovals, which are a bit heftier than glass beads of the same size. They were perfect as bumpers for the heart section, and help to keep the tiny necklace in place when worn.

I would like to thank for providing the CZ beads used in this design. Inspirational Beading has not received paid compensation for including products or reviews in this blog post. I have shared my honest opinions about the products used in this design.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Friday, December 18, 2009

Poster Sketch: Winning Combo

Thank you so much to everyone who visited and commented earlier this week, and especially to everyone who shared their favorite color combinations. One visitor was drawn for a $25 gift card. Congratulations to Mary K. McGraw! Spend it well!

Mary’s favorite color combination was brown and green with a hint of red. To celebrate the first Inspirational Beading giveaway, this week’s Poster Sketch is full of woody browns, leafy greens, and deep, natural reds.

Etsy Picks: Brown, Green and Red

Row 1:

Hand Wired Fancy Jasper Necklace - by IndigoStudio1
Tourmaline Bracelet - by LeanneFDesigns
Maple Leaf Heart Necklace - by surly
Garnet and Mahogany Obsidian Necklace - by minaude

Row 2:

Autumn Berries Necklace - by GlitzGlitter
Lampwork Beads in Green and Brown - by susansheehan
Fall Color Earrings - by llrodenjewelry
The Mediterranean Necklace - by DanaBeigelDesign

Row 3:

Pine Tree Earrings - by FebystanDesigns
Savannah Bracelet - by tribaljewelry
Lattice Reversible Bead - by Naftali
Manukan Necklace - by earlybirdcreations

Row 4:

Fun Felted Set - by goldenneedlecreation
Kiwi Bracelet - by anatsa
Wild Fall Drops Necklace - by bijoujoulry
Tri Color Jade Bracelet - by DiamondSand

You can still have a chance to win with by entering the Holiday Cheer Sweepstakes! The prize is a $100 gift card, good for all kinds of fabulous beads and treasures! Click on the icon below to visit on Facebook, and get all the details. $100 Gift Card Sweepstakes

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Inspired Beader: Spring Colors

Green Light Necklace - Spring Colors

Now that winter is truly upon us, spring seems an awfully long way away. Fortunately, art and crafts give us the ability to fill our homes and lives with the most colorful blooms, even if they don’t come with bees. When it comes to beading, we have almost as many color options as a painter. By mixing the thousands of types of beads with threads and accents, we can create nearly any color that nature can come up with - and these vibrant beauties are what get us through the cold, gray months.

The beadwork of Spring Colors, created by Hadass, is a great example of what color can do for one’s mood. These intricate and bright pieces can inspire warmth with their colors, and liveliness with their shapes.

Galway Necklace - Spring Colors

Inspirational Beading: Do you remember your first beading project?

Hadass: About 5 years ago, a friend taught me how to crocheted jewelry. I bought some wire and some simple beads and made a crocheted bracelet. It came out quite nice, so I tried something more ambitious – a crocheted necklace.

After I accomplished the crocheted necklace, I became more interested in beading and all of it's options. Through the internet I’ve learned about the different beading techniques, and started to try all kinds of techniques. I bought Carol Wilcox Wells' book The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving, which showed me how beadweaving could be artistic, elegant and versatile. And this is the kind of art that I aspire to do.

Kabbalah Bracelet - Spring Colors

Inspirational Beading: What is your ultimate source for inspiration?

Hadass: I’m most inspired by nature. I love the colors of nature and I love to imitate the brightness and life of nature in my works. I wish that my jewelry will express the joy, optimism and beauty of spring and the deep colors of Fall.

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite color to work with?

Hadass: My favorite colors are everything pink. In the Spring I love to combine pink with green and whites to get a look of a blooming garden. In Autumn I like darker tones like mauve and purple and love to combine them with natural stones and pearls.

Jasper and Crystal Necklace - Spring Colors

Inspirational Beading: Do you have a favorite beadweaving technique?

I like working with right angle weave, because I love it's soft drape and lacy textures. Recently, I've rediscovered netting, after avoiding it for some years. I'm learning it's many possibilities and trying to find new ways to incorporate them in an item, like a necklace inspired by the TV series The Tudors, in which the netting is a part of a rivoli bezel that looks like an Elizabethan color.

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

Hadass: I hope I inspire women who love one of a kind jewelry, that love the romantic and elegant look of my jewelry, and aspire to have jewelry that is more then the last call of fashion. I also hope to inspire women who would like to carry with them a little bit of spring.

Spring Lariat - Spring Colors

Hadass creates her colorful beaded art from her home in Jerusalem, with the help of her five cats, who are always trying to get into the bead tray. She enjoys beading while catching up on her favorite television shows. Hadass has always been creative, and says that her favorite item is always the last one she created - a great philosophy to have!

You can see full galleries of her work on Flickr and on Facebook. Hadass is also a member of the Etsy BeadWeaver’s Team.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and Spring Colors

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quick Inspiration: Giveaway

Chocolate Mint Beads

Most color combinations that look amazing can be explained by looking at their positions on the color wheel. There’s a science to mixing colors that we sometimes use without realizing it. Still, there are some combinations that are wonderful no matter what the wheel says. Perhaps it’s because we see them together all the time - something that nature has put together, or maybe the jerseys on our favorite sports team.

Coral and Turquoise Glass Beads

Most of my favorite color combos can be found on the wheel. I adore Chocolate and Mint, which are really just orange and green at different values. Coral Red and Turquoise Blue is another favorite, although I haven’t been brave enough to use it just yet. Then there is a combination I like to call Barbie Doll - blonde yellow with electric pink.

What color combinations do you find the most inspiring?

Share your all time best color combinations for a chance to win a $25 e-gift card from! You can use it to stock up on all of your favorite bead colors. How about lemon and lime? Sky blue and leaf green? Black and white!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment telling us what your favorite color combination is. You will also need to include your email address if you do not have email enabled on your Blogger profile. Spam bot free is okay ( A winner will be randomly drawn on Wednesday, December 16th.

Barbie Doll Seed Bead Combo

And if you have a handmade shop or blog, don’t forget to enter the Inspiration Theme Contest, too!

So, what beads do you love to put together?

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading Beads and Jewelry Supplies

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Poster Sketch: Sugar Plums

No matter what denomination you are, or how you feel about the holidays, there is no denying that December is a time for delicious treats. There are pies and tarts, candies and chocolates, and a lot of fancy cheese. This is the only time of year when you can get a carton of eggnog, or 20 kinds of shortbread at any store. December is also the time of year when we roll up our sleeves and make things from scratch, because it’s worth it to make something a little extra special.

One holiday treat that I’ve never had the pleasure of sampling is the sugar plum. One hears about them all the time - visions of them dance in our heads. I always pictured some kind of purplish cake made with juice and sprinkled with sugar. Apparently they’re just round candy.

Nonetheless, this week’s Poster Sketch is dedicated to juicy oranges and purples - the colors of sweet plums.

Etsy Picks: Sugar Plum Jewels

Row 1:

Bright Purple and Orange Necklace - by VantasticDesigns
Purple and Orange Beaded Collage Pendant - by mannequinreject
Sea Anemone Lampwork Moretti Bead - BatChenDesigns
Felted Bead Bracelet - by fyberknitics

Row 2:

Acrylic Wire Wrapped Earrings - from Lightworks
Purple Rain Bangle - from PoppyRayeStudio
Hot and Spicy Earrings - by artdi
Fearless Bead Embroidered Cuff - by CircesHouse

Row 3:

Orange and Purple Paisley Brooch - by juliespace
City Beach Cuff Bracelet - by miamiamia
Amethyst Garden Necklace - from MichelesArtJewelry
Purple Orange Earrings - by BEEdSTrING

Row 4:

Cecilia Necklace - by seamingly
Blossoming Orange Pendant - by ambergoulet
Purple Jade Fiesta Necklace - by debbaworks
Funky Orange Purple Bracelet - by azjewelrydesigns

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Quick Inspiration: Superior Scribbler Award

Superior Scribbler Award

There’s no better way to brighten someone’s day than to tell them - and the world - that you like what they do. I was thrilled recently to receive the prestigious Superior Scribbler Award, courtesy of Marsha of Haute Ice Beadworks. Thanks Marsha!

One of the things I really enjoy about these blog awards is getting the chance to stop and check in with other bloggers and see what they’ve been doing lately. Trying to pick five awesome blogs is a great excuse to put the rest of the world aside for awhile, sit down, and do some reading.

I’m passing on the Superior Scribbler to these excellent bloggers:

Lisa of A Bead a Day, for endless beady inspirations.

Valerie of Cabin + Cub, for wonderful photographs and images.

Zoya of Gem and Beaded Jewelry, for stunning designs and an expertise worth striving for.

Erin of Treasures Found: Inspiration is Everywhere, for a totally unique reading experience.

And The Lone Beader, for her surprising, intriguing and exciting creations.

If you’re not following these blogs yet, take a moment or two to stop by and see what they’ve got to offer. I promise you’ll be impressed! Thanks also must go out to The Scholastic Scribe for creating this award.

Here are the rules:

Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit the post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor.

Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

If you're looking for great new blogs, there is already an immense list of excellent blogs to try out. Stop by and see what interests you. Happy reading everyone! Keep looking for inspirations wherever you go.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Starry Art Bracelet

Happy New Year, Cherubs at Moon

The end of the year can be both magical and hectic for anyone who loves to celebrate holidays. Some of the most wonderful holidays are all pressed together during these few months. Halloween and Thanksgiving are melded together, then give way to the combination of Christmas and New Year’s. Of all these holidays, the only one that doesn’t have a clear place in the decoration aisle is New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

The Inspiration:

I wanted to create a piece of beadwork that reflected some of the wonderful qualities of an often neglected holiday. Whether one makes resolutions or not, the fact is that the first day of the year is an important one. It’s a time for looking forward, and orienting one’s self with the past and future. To me, a perfect New Year’s Eve night is a crisp, cold winter evening spent with warm company.

The Beads:

Snowy Night Beads

I started with a handful of tiny yellow and white Cubic Zirconia star beads from Not only are they perfect for imagining a clear winter night, but they can also be an example of the sort of choices we make on the first day of the year. Instead of diamonds, which can have unfortunate origins, these little beauties are created with science. To create a snowy night, I also selected 6/0 silver-lined crystal seed beads, cobalt blue 11/0 Miyuki’s, and rounded out the palette with 8/0 silver lined blues.

The Beadwork:

I had envisioned a bracelet using the embellished right angle weave technique in my Gaia Pendant, with loops of pretty blue seed beads and sparkling CZ stars. After creating the base with silver lined beads, and adding the loops, I stood back and looked at the bracelet, not quite satisfied with how it looked. The dark blue loops were such a contrast against the light bracelet that they looked stark and somewhat naked. So I picked up the thread again and started adding more cobalt blue loops wherever they would fit.

The result of my experiment turned out much better. The addition of more 11/0 seed beads gave the blue section more weight. I like the way the loops are reminiscent of abstract art, sort of like a Matisse cut out, or just plain old doodling. The yellow and white Cubic Zirconia are the perfect contrast with the cobalt blue beads, and add a bit of the winter magic I was hoping for.

New Year's Eve Bracelet

I would like to thank for providing the CZ beads used in this design. Inspirational Beading has not received paid compensation for including products or reviews in this blog post. I have shared my honest opinions about the products used in this design.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Inspired Beader: Marsha L. Wiest-Hines

Fuschia Profusion - Haute Ice Beadwork

When it comes to using color, bead weavers may just have the most elaborate palettes to choose from. There are thousands of different seed bead colors and finishes, which can be combined in endless ways with other types of beads. Add to that the variety of colored threads, cords, and fabrics, and the color possibilities are endless.

Marsha L. Wiest-Hines, of Haute Ice Beadwork, puts her color choices to work, creating bold and inspiring pieces with extraordinary flair. From bright and sassy pinks, to elegant golds, her designs are true eye-candy.

Inspirational Beading: How did you first discover beadweaving?

Marsha: For my birthday in July 2007, a friend gave me a lovely little strung bead bracelet her daughter had made as a gift. My wrists are really, really small, and I thought to myself, "How hard could it be to make this fit?" For the same birthday, another friend gave me a gift certificate to Barnes & Noble. I have always been a person who likes to learn for myself from books, so I went to the book store and found Jewelry Making & Beading For DummiesJewelry Making and Beading for Dummies by Heather Dismore and Tammy Powley. Right next to that book was 500 Beaded Objects500 Beaded Objects: New Dimensions in Contemporary Beadwork. I opened the book and felt like I had fallen through the looking glass. I was astonished and mesmerized. I can't even think of words big enough to describe how I felt. All I could think was, "I WANT TO DO THIS!!!"

Vera Similitude Walks the Red Carpet - Haute Ice Beadwork

Inspirational Beading: What kinds of things inspire you the most?

Marsha: I find most of my ideas while walking my dog! I love gardens and flowers and most things in the natural world, so often I walk past things I find heart-meltingly beautiful, and want to try to capture that beauty in beads. I have a masters in Costume Design and have designed and made costumes for competitive ballroom dancers through my business "Made for Movement" since 1987, so the glitz and glamour of that world is certainly an influence. I also worked for the Guthrie Theater and Children's Theater of Minneapolis, so my pieces tend to be theatrical and emotionally expressive. I've had just enough costume history to realize that some of my ideas look like they are from another time. Sometimes the walking itself just seems to stir up ideas I've had floating around in my mind and they fall together for me in new ways, and I can't wait to get home to my beading bench.

Chapea de Peche - Haute Ice Beadwork

Inspirational Beading: What is your favorite color to work with?

Most of my dance wear clients fall into one of two camps. Either they love reds, blues, purples and pinks, or they love greens, yellows and oranges. I belong more in the second camp, but after I have made 20+ gowns for a client, they have usually had one of nearly every basic color, and I'd say that is where I am, now. Every color is beautiful in my book, but I do seem to struggle with silver a bit. Just can't seem to get comfortable with it, although I do use it.

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

Marsha: I really have to try lampworking!

Sticks and Stones Choker - Haute Ice Beadwork

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

Marsha: I don't think I really hope to inspire anyone, although I think I do have an aim to communicate. I make my work because I want to re-create something awesome I saw or experienced, and in doing so, preserve that experience and joy. When others share my vision of beauty and want to own it, that is completion for me. I think my weakest work was created when I first opened my Etsy shop and thought, "What would people want to buy?" My soul was not engaged in that stuff.

Ballroom Dancing with Marsha L. Wiest-Hines

Marsha creates her beadwork from her home in Minnetonka, MN, which she shares with her husband Carl and son Zak. Beading has caused her to stray from her garden, but she always makes time to walk with her Nova Scotia Duck Toller, Gingerbread, and their daily walks provide plenty of inspiration. She also has a beader’s best friend - a 22 year old cat named Samantha.

In addition to being a member of the Etsy BeadWeavers team, Marsha is also a member of the Upper Midwest Bead Society, and an unofficial beading club founded at her favorite bead store, Bead Monkey. You can catch up with her latest creations on her blog, Haute Ice Beadworks.

In Heavenly Peace - Haute Ice Beadworks

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and Haute Ice Beadwork

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Poster Sketch: Blue and Yellow

I’m a big fan of the beadwork of color expert Margie Deeb. Her use of color is always beautiful to behold, and could turn even the most un-crafty person into a life-long bead lover. Her tips and ideas for combining interesting colors are always inspiring. Through classes and her blog, she encourages beaders to use bold contrasts for maximum visual appeal. Some of my favorite challenges have been combining purple with yellow, and blue with orange.

In honor of these wonderful color adventures, this week’s Poster Sketch is filled with pieces that combine two color wheel opposites: blue and yellow. Each unique pair of shades and hues tells a different story. As beaders, we are so very lucky to have so many wonderful colors at our fingertips.

Etsy Picks: Blue and Yellow

Row 1:

Sea Flowers Bracelet - by FaerieKat
The Water Lily Necklace - from jewelsbyldesigns
Petite Yellow and Periwinkle Flower Earrings - by jFrancesDesign
Sea Salt Necklace - by Hopesart

Row 2:

Polymer Clay Heart Pendant - by Rolyzcreations
Blue Heart Charm Bracelet - by GreenHeathTreasures
Blue Damsel Earrings - by surfandsand
Gold Finches in the Sky - by LovelandShadeTree

Row 3:

Yellow Jade Pendant - by betsyryland
Butterflies in the Air - by AracneDesigns
Twisted Disc Candy Drop Earrings - from TheApple
Lapis Blue Goldstone and Orange Swirl Necklace - by DesignedByLynricia

Row 4:

Happy Yellow Daisy - from imaginarygirl
Denim Opal Howlite Bracelet - by martaky
Tessa Yellow and Blue Feather Earrings - by CottonCandyCupcake
Plume Earrings with Tooling Leather - by rondoudou

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading and

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fantasy Olympic Medal

Every two years, people all over the world become equals as they gather together to cheer on their county’s athletes during the Olympic Games. No matter what our different backgrounds are, when we embrace the spirit of friendly competition, we are one and the same.

2010 Olympic Torch Relay

The Inspiration:

I recently joined the Etsy BeadWeavers Team, and as soon as I had sent my application, I got to work planning my entry for the December team challenge. This month’s focus was chosen by two team members, who came up with a dual theme of “Peace and the Winter Olympics”.

At first I was at a loss for what to create. An Olympic rings bib necklace? Too obvious. A flag charm bracelet? Too garish. Then inspiration struck.

The very next day, I was jolted out of bed at 6 am by a commotion just outside my window. It was the Olympic Torch relay, on it’s way to Vancouver. Seeing this historic icon in person was just the inspiration I needed to create my “Peace Piece”. Thanks to the incredibly loud Coca-cola trucks that had announced the arrival of the torch, I had several extra hours that day to work on a design.

The Beads:

To symbolize peace, I chose a cool, calm palette of blue, green and purple 11/0 seed beads. From my stash I was able to collect different shades with lustered finishes, which flowed from one to the other quite nicely. I started with transparent aqua blue, then added transparent lustered blue, transparent lavender iris, and gilt-lined violet. In the other direction, I chose Ceylon light aqua, shamrock lined crystal AB, and transparent peridot AB.

Peaceful and Diverse Beads

For accent beads, I selected an assortment of green, blue and purple 8/0 seed beads and hex-cuts. Some of the shades, like chartreuse and raspberry, stretch the palette a little closer to the red and yellow areas of the color wheel. I also selected fuchsia lined blue, root beer lined topaz, emerald green and many other fun shades.

The Beadwork:

My original idea was to create a large cabochon in salt dough, with a 3-D olive branch at the center. Everything was going well until I tried to add antique effects on the background, and it turned out awful. I could have started over and repainted the entire cab, but I felt a little defeated by the mishap, and started looking at other options. I remembered having a 16mm vitrail rivoli in my stash, and decided it would make a perfect focal. The prismatic effect of the crystal is a great way to symbolize the diversity of the global village.

Dream Medallion Necklace

It hadn’t been my intention to do anything as literal as a medallion, but I was stuck with the image of a large round focal for my necklace, and decided to just go with it. I added a purple and blue bezel to the rivoli, then continued adding rounds of circular peyote stitch in blue, green and purple. The medal is suspended from a V-shaped St. Petersburg chain, with the aqua blue at the centre. Each side of the necklace gradually changes to green or purple. In the middle of the double chain is the 8/0 mixture.

Voting for the December 2009 EBW Challenge runs from the 9th to the 15th on the Etsy BeadWeavers Team Blog. You can also search for EBWC on to see all of the wonderful “Peace Piece” creations.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

Monday, November 30, 2009

Paper Bead Bangle

Making your own one of a kind beads can be a very rewarding experience. Not only to you get to enjoy creating them, but once you’re finished, you can use them to make a completely unique piece of jewelry that is totally you. The only thing better than just making unique beads, is reusing something that might otherwise be thrown away to create beautiful up-cycled treasures.

The Inspiration:

While I was experimenting with making my own paper gift bags, I thought it would also be fun to try making my own recycled magazine beads as well. I didn’t have a plan for how to use them when I started, I just got to work hunting down some boldly colored pages to cut up.

Recycled Paper Beads

The Beads:

The first few pages I tore from a fashion magazine were pink and green. After I had cut, glued, and rolled them into beads, I continued to flip through the same issue and found several more pink and green pages that were just right for bead making.

Once I had all of the beads made, I decided to go ahead and use all of the different shades of pink in one piece of jewelry. This made it a bit difficult to find other beads in the right colors. I didn’t want to have too bold a contrast that might not blend well with green, magenta and light pink. So I went with 6/0 seed beads in a pale shade of pink, and black - which goes with everything.

The Beadwork:

To really put the paper beads on display, I decided to center them on a bangle bracelet. Using right angle weave, I created two separate bangles with the 6/0 beads, then connected them with the paper beads in between. The bracelet is quite large, and has a nice slinkiness to it. I like the idea of the paper beads being nice and snug between the outer beads

Pink Orchid Bangle

To create the paper tubes used in this bracelet, I had a little help from a Paper Bead How To video from Aubrey’s Beads, and a wonderful book called Creating Extraordinary Beads from Ordinary Materials, by Tina Casey. If you have any old magazines or catalogs lying about, I highly recommend giving paper beads a try. They're so easy to make, and turn out gorgeous no matter what's printed on the paper.

Copyright 2009 Inspirational Beading

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