ABS – June Challenge

Ophelia by Odilon Redon

painting for June ABS Challenge

c. 1900-05; Pastel on paper mounted on board, 19 7/8 x 26 1/2 in; The Woodner Collection

This painting is the inspiration for the June Art Bead Scene Challenge.  Aren’t the colors scrumptious?  Here’s how it works:

How to enter the Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge:


Create something using an art bead that fits within our monthly theme. We post the art to be used as your inspiration to create. This challenge is open to jewelry-makers, fiber artists, collage artist, etc. The art bead can be created by you or someone else. The challenge is to inspire those who use art beads and to see all the different ways art beads can be incorporated into your handiwork.

The challenge includes a blog hop and the potential for prizes!  I have entered this bracelet.  The ceramic art beads are by Evelyn Arvey of Vivid Arts.

handmade ceramic cube bracelet Evelyn used to show her ceramic beads in the same art gallery gift shop where I had my jewelry. I would often purchase a handful of her amazing beads when I brought new jewelry into the gift shop. Her bright colors and detailed, playful patterns have always inspired me.

handmade ceramic cube braceletThe button was purchased in a shop in the town where my parents used to live.  This bead shop had bought out all the vintage glass buttons from a defunct manufacturer in Germany.  The buttons were in a huge barrel on the floor.  I spent hours just lovingly sifting through them!

close up of button and loop clasp



Happy Blogversary!

Linda’s Bead Blog is 1 Year Old Today

I started this blog right after I retired, in June, last year.  My very first post was called Jess Blue, named after my friend, chainmail artist, Jessica Burnett‘s  favorite color.

blown glass teardrop shaped earrings

Blown Glass, Cobalt Blue Swirl Earrings.

At the time, I had no idea about the inner workings of WordPress.  I had to figure out how to post pictures, add tags, categories, blog rolls, links and widgets.  It all seemed so overwhelming!  I didn’t know how to edit my posts, publish a post on a different day than  it was written, create headings, lists or make the body of a quote indented.

carved rose quartz flower pendant on a pink handmade necklace.

Floral Cascade Necklace

I was a Facebook newbie then and had never tweeted, but now I create links to both Facebook and Twitter for every post.  I’ve joined Creating The Hive, which also publishes my blogs.  My Muffin Tin Challenge post was one of their featured posts this week.

bracelet of polymer clay, turquoise, felt, ceramic and glass

Bracelet of polymer clay, turquoise, felt, ceramic and glass, with a copper clasp.

In October, 1000 Markets was sold and I had to quickly find a new venue for my jewelry.  Fortunately a friend pointed me to Artfire.  I blogged about the trauma of loosing 1000 Markets and my transition to ArtFire.  I’ve grown to love ArtFire now and the venue just keeps getting better all the time.  Look for a whole new appearance for the studios in 3-4 weeks.  The changes coming up are truly exciting!

handmade necklace with castle pendant, lampwork glass and gemstones

Castle in The Sky Necklace

A year ago I had only a handful of online friends that weren’t also “in-person friends”.  Now I’m blessed with a whole community of friends, many of whom are beaders; but there are also other artisans and fine artists, as well as many wonderful non-artisans.  This community of friendship and support has become the most important part of this experience for me.  It is hard to find words to express what this has meant to me, both in terms of my growth as an artisan and for me personally.  I humbly thank each person who has taken the time to connect with me, through this blog or on Facebook.  I send a virtual hug to each of you.

I’m looking forward to the years ahead with you.

Ceramic heart necklace

Spiral Heart Necklace. Ceramic pendant by Yolanda's Clay.

•✿•✿• ✿•✿•

When you start a blog, you have no idea if anyone will visit, or if you’ll be able to keep up with posting regularly.  Here’s a mini-summary of the first year.

# of posts:  132

# of comments:  A little over 800

# of Bead Challenges I’ve participated in:  About 6

# of items in my ArtFire Studio at this time: 66

Muffin Tin Challenge – Finished Jewelry

 One Dozen Earrings – Done!

Heather Powers, polymer clay artist extraordinaire, created a fun challenge she named the Muffin Tin Challenge.  The idea was to use muffin cups to organize everything needed to make a dozen pieces of jewelry and to complete the 12 projects in just a week’s time.  I didn’t catch on to this challenge until Wednesday and then I had other commitments for most of the weekend.  For me it pretty much boiled down to two and half days of marathon jewelry design.  I originally had a couple of necklaces and a bracelet planned in 3 of the muffin cups, but earrings are quicker and so I had to put off the more time-consuming projects for another time.  You can view my beads sorted into the muffin tins on the post I wrote this morning.

So without further ado, here are the first half-dozen pairs of earrings.

six pairs of handmade earrings This group includes 1 set of copper metal clay charms by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some.  This pair turned out a bit on the heavy side, so I may turn them into necklace pendants sometime soon.

Here are the second half-dozen earrings.

six pairs of handmade earringsAt the center top are earrings which feature a pair of small cranberry and amber lampwork glass beads by Beads and Botanicals, which I  paired with more charms from Dream Some.    The earring just below them also have very cool copper metal clay charms from Dream Some.  The long rectangular dangles on the two bottom pairs of earrings come from Miss Fickle Media.

I may blog about some of these earrings in more detail in the next few days, but I wanted to at least get out a brief post in time for the challenge.  The challenge was stressful to accomplish in 2 and a half days, but I also think it is good to occasionally push myself outside of my comfort zone.  If you visit the Art Bead Scene you can get links to other participants in this challenge.

Here’s a last look at 10 of the 12 sets.  Whew–mission accomplished!  What challenges have you met recently?

10 pairs of handmade earrings

Muffin Tin Challenge

A Hot One Dozen…

…and zero calories!  I love baking muffins and used to make them quite often.  I find that I rarely make them any more since the kids left home. But this lovely dozen was so much fun that I’m left with an appetite for more.

Heather Powers, writing for the Art Bead Scene, created the Muffin Tin Challenge.  The rules are as follows:

Fill the cup of a muffin tin with everything you need for one project – so the focal bead, accents, chain, findings – whatever you would need to complete one project and put that in one cup.  Repeat with the other 11 cups.  You now have 12 projects in a portable container ready for you to put together.  Grab your pliers/tools and sit somewhere comfy with your muffin tin and put each piece together knowing all your choices have already been made – your mission is to simply arrange those beads in a sassy design and complete those 12 projects as quickly as possible!  …put together 12 projects by June 27th.  Yes, 12 projects in a week – you can do it!

So here are the first half-dozen filled muffin cups.  I keep most of my beads in baggies, so it is a little hard to see what I have gathered up here.  There are a couple of charms from Miss Fickle Media included in this group.  I’ll be mostly making earrings, and these charms have been begging for attention!

Muffin tin of bead projectsHere’s the second half-dozen.  This group includes 2 sets of copper metal clay charms by Kristi Bowman of Dream Some and a pair of small cranberry and amber lampwork glass beads by Beads and Botanicals, which I plan to pair with one set of the charms.  I have the makings for 2 necklaces and one bracelet here–but at this point I don’t think I’ll have time to do the necklaces by Monday evening.  I will probably substitute 2 extra pairs of earrings.  I think I can do the bracelet though, as I’m just revising a previous design.

Well, there you have it!  Come back again tonight or tomorrow for the big reveal and you can see what I’ve done with this.  You can also visit the Art Bead Scene to get links to other participants in this challenge.

Beads in 6 muffin cups

♥ i heart macro ♥ – Orchid

Green Orchid With White Edging

Its time for another ♥ I Heart Macro Sunday! ♥

My computer has a serious virus and it’s in the shop.  They were unable to remedy the issues, so they have to back everything up, wipe the disc and then reinstall all the programs.  So not happy about this!

I had a couple of weeks worth of macro shots on my computer, but they are not available to me now.  I’m currently using my husband’s computer.  I do have a number of macro shots from early spring that I had saved to his computer and that’s what I’m sharing today.  This orchid macro was taken in the Botanical Building in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

green and yellow orchid✿✿✿

Lori of Studio Waterstone  hosts a weekly blog hop of close-up photos.
Visit Lori to get links to more great macro shots.

studio waterstone

A Little Something: Bead Donation

Denver Refugee Women’s Craft Initiative

My friend, Janet, of Pink Poppy Studios, told me that she had donated some of her unwanted beads to the Denver Refugee Women’s Craft Initiative, also known as A Little Something.   According to their website:

“A Little Something came about in the summer of 2007 when refugee women in a literacy-level English class in Denver, Colorado asked how they—a group of stay-at-home mothers—could earn their own money from their own work. “

Neighborhood groups of women now meet together to create crafts, learn new business and craft skills  and support one another.  The women in the program earn 75 percent of the selling price of their items. The rest of the money goes back into the business to purchase supplies.

I was needing to weed through my over-vast bead collection too.  So I decided to follow Janet’s lead.  I gathered up all these beads, (plus a few more). I sent them all off to a Little Something yesterday.

donation for Denver Refugee Women's Craft Initiative

You don’t have to be a beader to contribute to A Little Something.   In addition to  leftover or unwanted beads or jewelry-making supplies, they also welcome weaving fiber, knitting needles, or natural fiber yarn.  They do point out that they do not use acrylic or nylon yarn.  You can also make cash donations to their cause.  So if you are doing some spring cleaning of your crafty endeavors, this may be just the destination you need for your unwanted supplies.  It was just what I needed!