Posts Tagged ‘artbeads’

modern vintage, or vintage modern?
I have a new Artbeads challenge piece to share. The challenge this time was to combine old and new, vintage and modern. I had strongly wanted to incorporate an actual vintage component into the piece, but I had to accept the fact that I just don’t have anything vintage that is easy and simple for me to incorporate into a piece of jewelry at this point in time.

After much thought, I let myself be inspired by a base-metal bead I had received from the previous Artbeads challenge. It was a TierraCast black-finish pewter bead, which was so gorgeous and I just loved it. The bead was antique-looking in design, but the black finish was very modern.

And, I remembered there were several other styles to choose from. So for this challenge I chose a butterfly, a bow, angel wings, a bird, the aforementioned bead, and another bead.

To bring some more modernity to the piece, I chose fuchsia heart- and flower-shaped Swarovski crystal pendants. The incredible sparkle adds a modern element. Plus, the deep pink color lends itself to the vintage feel, as well as using the heart and flower shapes.

And, since I love charm bracelets, I decided to combine all of these beautiful components into just that, again bringing together the old and new.

So finally, may I introduce Gertrude Goes Goth?

dear gertrude

The title is also a combination of the old and new. I love old-fashioned names. And since the bracelet is black, I thought goth was a good modern description. A young lady from the past, interpreting her favorite motifs into a modern object of beauty and charm.

dear gertrude

dear gertrude

Everything on the bracelet is from Artbeads, except the round and bicone Swarvoski crystals and the headpins, all of which were from my collection.

I hope you enjoyed this little bracelet!


Disclosure: I have received these products (beads, Swarovski crystals, chain, and findings) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

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new sparkly bits.
I have new treasures to share from Artbeads. The theme this time was “winter”. After thinking for a bit I decided to design some jewelry inspired by the simplicity, austerity, and colors of winter.

First, here are some of the beads I used – sparkly Czech fire-polished beads and gleaming pearls.

These are 4mm crystal and white porphyr Czech fire-polished beads.
beautiful beads

These are 4mm jet twilight Czech fire-polished beads. I just love that name – jet twilight. How could I resist a bead with a name like that? And they are so gorgeous! Black with a metallic bronze finish that has flashes of purple and blue. yummy!

And here are the pearls – white, rice-shaped, freshwater. They’re so lovely – pearls add an instant touch of elegance and classic style.

To these wonderful beads I simply added a focal bead, strung them all on thread, added a clasp – and voila! Practically instant, perfectly pretty necklaces. I wanted to make choker-style necklaces, so these are all about 13″ long from end to end.

Here are the crystal & white beads, with a Tierra Cast black-finish pewter bead. I love this black-finish bead – it is so gorgeous! Definitely will be getting more of those.
bead necklace

Here are the yummy jet twilight beads, with a Bali sterling silver bead.
jet twilight necklace

And here are those luscious pearls, with a stunning (although my photo certainly does not do it justice!) Swarovski dark indigo ab facetted bead.
pearl necklace

As far as the findings go, the jump rings and bead tips are also from Artbeads. The lobster claw clasps are from my own collection. I really love that fact that from Artbeads you can order however many of a certain item you want – instead of having to buy a pack of 50 jumprings, I can buy the quantity I actually need (plus a few more, just in case! Once a jump ring falls down into the sofa it’s usually gone forever!). Definitely more cost-effective.

I hope you have enjoyed these little necklaces.


Disclosure: I have received the above products (all of the beads, jump rings, and bead tips) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

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just a little word.
I finished the cards I was working on, the ones I was originally going to submit to Somerset Studio for their “simple pleasures” theme, but then ran out of time to finish them. I’m very happy with how they turned out. I’m calling them my “encouragement cards” – pretty little cards to give a word of love, hope, and encouragement to someone.

encouragement cards

I’m going to make organza bags to put them in. I envision these cards as little gifts – throw a chocolate or perhaps a small trinket in the bag, too, and voila! I’m not quite sure if they fit in with the Somerset Life style, but I’m going to give it a try. I’d like to sell these on my Etsy shop (whenever I get it up and running again!). They’re pretty simple to make, but turn out so lovely. The flowers are circles of scrapbook papers, dry-brushed with gesso, then cumpled up and unfolded, layered on top of each other, and fastened with a brad. The cards are about six inches by almost three inches, and have Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist on them. The backs are pretty scrapbook paper.

I think the world could use a little more encouragement.

what inspires you?
Artbeads is currently accepting submissions for their “What inspires you?” beading contest. There are two categories – beaded necklaces and other beaded items. The contest is open up through November 22, and then on November 23 the voting will be opened to the public. Basic guidelines – you need to submit two photos, one of your work and one of the inspiration; you need to write a short paragraph about your creation; and half of the supplies must come from Artbeads.

Good luck!


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new treasures
I have delightful treats from Artbeads to share. The theme this time was autumn-inspired beads and/or components. I decided to stick with a current favorite – antiqued-brass components. I selected some pretty chain and a beautiful leaf pendant. And for the perfect and necessary touch of sparkle, my perennial favorite, Czech fire-polished beads. I think if I could only ever have one kind of bead for the rest of my life, it would be the Czech fire-polished. These glass beads possess a unique warmth and that perfect sparkle. And they have an antique-ness about them, like they were found in the bottom of a drawer in a dresser that belonged to one’s great-grandmother.

Anyway, here are my new treasures.

leaves are falling

The leaf pendant is gorgeous, and very detailed. Minus the loops it’s about 1 and 1/8 inches long, and just over an inch wide. I think this would look great with a bit of chain hanging from the bottom loop, embellished with beads.

From the left the beads are 4mm purple metallic iris (one of my favorite colors), 4mm bronze, and 3mm dark bronze. I just adore metallic colored beads!

(The words are from a Joni Mitchell song, Got the Urge for Going, if I am remembering correctly!)


And here we have a variety of gorgeous chain. The top chain is really cool – it’s called a box rollo chain. It’s small enough to still be delicate, yet is sturdy and has a nice weight to it. I also particularly like the bottom chain – it’s the 5+1 round and twisted rectangle link chain (that’s quite a name!). I think it’s so pretty, and it can stand on it’s own or you could embellish it.

And of course the other two chains are quite lovely as well.

The beads are 6mm crystal marea, and this picture really doesn’t do them justice. They are clear with a silvery coating on one side that contains flashes of color. They are quite eye-catching!

I do have ideas for these items, and I am hopeful that over the next couple weeks I will actually have some time to bring those ideas into reality!

Disclosure: I have received these products (chain and beads) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

way to go, mr. microphone
The past few weeks I have been listening to Under the Pink, by Tori Amos. This is one of my favorite Tori albums – I think the music is some of her most beautiful – the piano is exquisite and delicate, and the strings are so gorgeous.

under the pink

I decided to rearrange it though – I took off a few songs and added a few b-sides. So my lineup is:

Pretty Good Year
Cornflake Girl
Bells for Her
Past the Mission
Baker Baker
Sister Janet
Wrong Band
Daisy Dead Petals
Cloud on my Tongue
Space Dog
Yes, Anastasia

I’m enjoying it very much. I hadn’t listened to it in ages, as I usually listen to live stuff or her more recent albums. I love her voice too on this album – kind of wavery and on the edge. Also all the little noises – pedals or cabinets or something. They give the album an organic feel. I never took much notice of them before, but I really like them. And I even heard something I never heard before – if you listen to Yes, Anastasia carefully, with the volume rather up, at the very end you can hear her kind of sigh, and there’s a sound, like a pedal, and then that’s the end of the album. Very cool.

I’m not obsessed. I swear! I just notice things.


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new goodies!

I have new treasures to share from Artbeads – this time we were allowed to choose from anything on the website, in celebration of spring. So hard to choose! I ended up going with antiqued-brass base metal components (I’m going for an antique sort of spring!).

As soon as I saw this leaf chain I had to have it. It’s fabulous! It feels wonderful against one’s skin, and has a nice drape and weight to it. And all the little leaves make a delightful rustling sound.

leaf chain

Here we have a beautiful filigree flower pendant. I love how there is a hole in the center – this is perfect to add a bead for a little color. This pendant is very detailed and has a lot of dimension and interest to it. You will definitely get noticed with this around your neck!

filigree flower

I love this chain – it’s the coolest! It needs no further embellishment. You could put a couple of these around your neck and you’re good to go.

3-oval chain

And finally, here is a sweet little bird nest charm. The perfect thing to welcome spring!

nest charm

Disclosure: I have received these products from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

~sweet dreams of spring!

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Heart: the essential or most vital part of something. (from Merriam-Webster.com)

pretty little hearts
In honor of the day, how about some
Valentine’s Day beads and components

These pretty sterling silver heart charms (and one key!) are from Artbeads.


I want to make a charm bracelet with them but haven’t had time yet. These charms are so pretty with a lot of detail, and are brighter and shinier than they look in my picture (but not too bright and shiny – they are just right!).

And this also:

heart chain

This lovely and delicate heart-chain bracelet is only waiting the addition of some sparkly beads or charms. The heart links are small, so I would add only smaller-sized components. It would be perfect for a child, which is what I plan to do with it (once my daughter is a little older and can be responsible with it!).

Of course hearts are not for Valentine’s Day only – the sentiment and meaning they possess are perfect for every day. Funny how I used to dislike hearts – I thought they were mushy and only for overly sentimental people. But over the years I’ve grown fond of them, and have come to see them as representing one’s innermost feelings, as well as being a symbol of love and joy.

Disclosure: I have received these products (sterling silver charms and chain) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.


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glorious sparkle
If you like all things sparkly as do I, then check out these stunning Cubic Zirconia beads from Artbeads. The sparkle is simply amazing! I used the pendant and beads to create this necklace and earrings set, along with antiqued-brass chain and findings.

The facetted CZ drop pendant has a lovely weight to it. I used a simple bail to attach it to the chain. With beads this gorgeous, I wanted to make sure they were the focus of attention, so I kept the jewelry design minimal. To add a touch of elegance I used bead caps and wrapped loops on the beads. I never used or even saw Cubic Zirconia beads before, and now I know how beautiful they are!

I have another CZ pendant and beads that I am using to create a bracelet and necklace. As soon as they are done I will be sure to post them!

Disclosure: I have received these products (Cubic Zirconia pendants and beads) from Artbeads free of charge. I am posting an honest review of said products and have not been paid to endorse said products.

glorious clothes
I found a neat website called Ruche that sells clothing with a 1930s/1940s flair. Very nice pieces and the prices are reasonable. I’d like to buy something sometime!

~dreaming of a sparkly Christmas~

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