Friday, September 20, 2013

ArtBLISS 2013

Oh my, the artBLISS retreat is next weekend! Hard to believe it's already that time. I will be attending and vending the event again this year and I can't wait. It's hosted by fellow jewelry artists and friends, Cindy Wimmer and Jeanette Blix. It's one of my favorite social gatherings of the year. You can read about my time there last year here. Since I missed out on all the fun and camaraderie at Bead Fest in August, I'm anticipating artBLISS with intensity. I'm looking forward to spending some quality time chatting with my creative friends in attendance.

Thin Gauge Metal Workshop with Stacie Florer

Last year, I was one of the five instructors. I taught my Macrame Flower Bracelet class and I demonstrated how to do some macrame knotting. This year, I'm a student. I'm taking Stacie Florer's Thin Gauge Metal Workshop just for fun! Stacie is such a beautiful, inspiring soul and a very talented metal jewelry artist. I jumped at the chance to take a class from her. I want to just be there in the presence of her lovely energy and connect with her. I also have a feeling that being in her creative teaching environment will be an amazing experience all on it's own. Metalworking is outside of what I normally do and I don't plan on adding it to my existing work. I'm not taking the class with the intention to add techniques to my jewelry-making repertoire. Rather, for me, this class is all about enjoying the experience and having a little fun tinkering around with different materials. Who knows what I may discover from that. I am, however, looking forward to taking home some awesome, handmade metal earrings I learned to make from Stacie Florer.

See me demo my Leather Ruffle Hoops at artBLISS 2013.

Speaking of earrings, even though I won't be teaching a formal class this year, I will be demonstrating my Leather Ruffle Hoops on Saturday evening. A version of these earrings can be found in my book, Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry. At Saturday night's soiree, I will be showing how to make a pair of these and I will have kits for sale so that my fellow artBLISSers can make'em, too. Leather embellishments like in these earrings are really hot and trending right now, so I'm hoping they will be popular with the attendees.

Leather Ruffle Hoops in action. Follow me on Instagram.

In addition to the earrings, I will also have lots of other goodies for sale at my demoing table. I've teamed up with my dear friends at to bring their quality products to artBLISS. I'm talking some gorgeous materials here! I'll be toting along my very favorite fibers and beads from their selection. Here's just a smattering of the yummy bits and baubles I'll have at my table:

 Fibers and beads courtesy of will be available for sale at artBLISS workshops 2013.

Plan to stop by if you are in the Washington, D.C. area. 
Hope to see you there!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Submissions for Jewelry Stringing Spring 2014

Hello! It's my Studio Saturday day over at the Art Bead Scene blog. Hop on over there for a chance to win an Irish Waxed Linen Cord Color Mix from the Jewelry Accord shop.

Right now, I'm working on magazine submissions. Today, I invite you inside my studio to take a sneak peek at the materials I'm creating with for the Spring 2014 issue of Jewelry Stringing Magazine! It's time to submit jewelry designs for next year's Spring issue, now. And yep, I'm actually sharing with you exactly what I'm working on for the pieces I plan to submit to the magazine. That might seem kinda crazy, but I embrace the idea of freely sharing information that might help someone else find success in getting jewelry published. I thought it'd be fun to do a little show and tell to give you a glimpse inside my process. I hope this information will help other designers feel more confident about creating jewelry for publication.

Getting your jewelry published can be a tricky thing. Personally, I find that challenge fun! There's absolutely no guarantee that anything I make will be selected. All I can do is try my best to follow the magazine's guidelines, let the themes and color palettes provided inspire the ideas for my designs and stay true to my own style, esthetic and creative process

Jewelry Stringing is one of my all-time favorite beading magazines. I'm intrigued and captivated by the themes and color palettes the editors come up with to inspire their contributing designers. Come join me now and get a taste for what I'm working on and my process for creating jewelry pieces for this particular magazine. I hope to inspire you to work on your own creations as well and submit your designs.

Jewelry Stringing provides guidelines, themes and color palettes for each one of their upcoming issues. You can find the full details and guidelines for submission here. I've provided some of the information for the Spring 2014 issue here in this post.

The first theme and color palette for Spring 2014 is "Soft Jewelry". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)
Soft Jewelry
Leather, ribbon, cord, thread, embroidery floss, and fabric are most commonly used as stringing materials and structural components in jewelry pieces, but they also lend themselves to creative and compelling focal elements. Submissions in this category will range in style, but they should all include fibers, textiles, or leather as a prominent design feature. Consider highlighting these materials through techniques like knotting, braiding, and wrapping, or incorporating current trends like fringe or tassels into your designs.
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this palette at:

So, here's what I've chosen to work with for this theme:
As you can see, I've matched up pretty well with the first two colors in the palette provided. You do not have to use all the colors in the suggested palette, but at least one color in your design should match up. I chose these African trade beads in "Teal" from For additional color, texture and the fiber elements needed for the theme, I hand-knotted the beads on multiple strands of Irish Waxed linen cord in "Sunflower". Then, I'll pair the knotted beads with some brown Greek leather cord to complete the design.

The second theme and color palette for Spring 2014 is "Spring Greens". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)
Spring Greens
If there is one color that ubiquitously represents springtime, it has to be green. Fresh leaves sprout from the trees, grass peeks out from beneath snowdrifts, and budding shoots speckle our garden beds. From subdued mossy shades to high-energy lime tones, each piece in this category will celebrate spring in all its green glory.
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this palette at:

Here are some materials I've chosen to use for this palette and theme:
 Shimmer Floss Ribbon, Czech glass beads, Irish waxed linen and a gold button.

I've got some hand-painted Shimmer Floss ribbon in "Grandma Moses" from, green, faceted Czech glass beads, Irish Waxed Linen in "Dark Forest Green" from Jewelry Accord and a matte gold button from the fabric store. For this palette, I did want to match up with as many of the green colors as I could. The hand-painted shimmer floss helps me pull quite a few of the green tones in the palette with just that one element. I'll pull in the darkest green color with the waxed linen cord. Then, I'll pair the fibers with the contrasting finish of the faceted Czech glass beads and the button for balance and interest in the piece.

The third theme for Spring 2014 is "Monochromatic".  (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)

In honor of our annual color issue, we are inviting our contributors to create monochromatic pieces in the color of their choice. While creating a piece in a single color simplifies the process of selecting color-coordinated materials, it makes the other design elements of the piece more visible. Balance, proportion, and symmetry are often accomplished through clever color combinations. Without the aid of a varied palette, designers must rely on their other skills to create well-executed, interesting, and attractive jewelry. We know that you are up to the challenge, so pick a color and show us what you've got!
See their Pinterest inspiration board for this section at:

Below is the color I've decided to go with for monochromatic:

Gray Opaque Matte size 8 seed beads from ShipWreck Beads.

Yep, Gray. Might not seem too exciting. Why in the world would I choose grey out of all the beautiful colors of the rainbow? Well, the design I want to make for this category will be elegant, sophisticated  and a little bit moody. That description could not be farther from how I would describe my usual style. I've decided to go in this direction because the color and look I have in mind is a total deviation from the esthetic I would normally create. It's fun to try different styles and show some range in my work. That is very exciting to me! :) I'm going to incorporate these opaque, matte grey seed beads from into my jewelry piece by stringing them on multiple strands of gray waxed linen cord. The multiple strands of these seed beads will provide texture and visual interest to a monochromatic design.

Last, but not least, the fourth theme for Spring 2014 is "Bead Soup". (The following description is taken from the guidelines on the magazine's website.)

Bead Soup

In contrast to the previous theme, the pieces in this section will be packed with colors-the more the better! We are challenging you to use as many different colors as possible in your submissions for this category, but be careful that you aren't sacrificing cohesion or wear-ability for variety. Tip: Successful "bead soup" pieces often have a unifying characteristic that runs throughout each design (ie: consistent bead size, shape, finish or material; a repeated technique; a specific theme or motif; etc.). 
See our Pinterest inspiration board for this section at:

Here are some beads I pulled from my stash for this category:
Seed beads from and a handmade ceramic bead set by Keith O'Connor.

One hank of "All Mixed Up" size 8 Czech seed beads from Shipwreck Beads and a graduated ceramic bead set from ceramic artist, Keith O'Connor. I can't think of a better way to get more colors in than these fantastic seed bead mixes! They remind me a lot of the African "Christmas" or "Love" trade beads, which would also be a great choice for this theme. If you take a look at the Pinterest board for this category above, there are images of African beadwork. So, obviously those would be an ideal selection!

I hope you've enjoyed following along with me on my journey to creating jewelry for the Spring 2014 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine. I want to inspire you with ideas that you can use in your own jewelry. If you'd like to try submitting your designs, here is the deadline information and submission guidelines you'll need to know:

E-mailed pre-submissions are due September 26th, 2013; physical submissions are due October 10th, 2013.
For the rest of the submissions instructions and specifics, please read through the Contributor Guidelines in their entirety here.

Don't forget to leave a comment on my Art Bead Scene blog post to be entered to win the cord color mix giveaway. Thanks you!

Happy Beading!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Jewelry Stringing Fall 2013

The Fall 2013 issue of Jewelry Stringing magazine is finally out. This issue is even more fabulous than the last one! With every issue, I'm more and more impressed with the fresh, modern and fashionable jewelry.

I'm proud to be among the contributing designers for the current issue of Jewelry Stringing:

Modern Girl Pearls
Necklace in "Not Your Grandmother's Pearls"

Tribal Fringe Bib
Necklace in "Bibs and Collars"

I can't wait till the next issue!