Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pretty Palettes: Fall Jewelry Inspiration

Hooray for Fall! Only a few more weeks until it's officially winter, so we're celebrating the season of the Pumpkin while it lasts. I hope you have a very peaceful Thanksgiving with family and friends and a maybe you'll even have a little time for jewelry making this weekend! Here's some color inspiration to get your wheels turning...

For this month's Pretty Palettes challenge with Bead Gallery beads from Halcraft USA, Erin Prais-Hintz picked this color palette from Design Seeds. I love the graduated tones and took this color palette with me to Michaels, where I picked out my beads. 

I chose stone and glass rounds in several colors from the palette, along with hematite color drop charms and findings to represent the grays. The hematite color chain is from Beadalon. The gray really tones down the orange and makes it look a lot subtler than if this same necklace was made in bright silver. Antique gold would look pretty, too!

This design evolved a lot as it sat on my work table for the last couple of weeks. I tried it a bunch of different ways but kept coming back to the idea of staggered drops off the chain. I like the way the first and second beads repeat on all of the drops but the third and fourth beads are only on every other drop to give it some visual depth. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Get a Blast of Creative Inspiration

Every season is a labor of love and this time around we have an amazing line-up of artists, authors and jewelry makers who share their ideas for making jewelry that's inspired by the past but perfect for today. With one guest expert per episode, you can learn a whole new technique to fuel your jewelry making fire. 

The new series 2100 of Beads, Baubles & Jewels starts airing for the first time this week - Oregon gets it first! Other stations will start rolling it out over the next couple of months. 

Here are some handy links: 
See what's on the show: materials lists and instructions.
Check out our preview: Series 2100 YouTube playlist.
Use the station finder to check local PBS listings.
Watch a new episode every Friday on the homepage.
Buy a DVD of the whole series so you can watch it now!

We couldn't make Beads, Baubles & Jewels without support from our sponsors. Please show them some love! Visit or shop their sites, like their Facebook pages and tell them how much you enjoy the program: Beadalon, Halcraft, Dreamtime Creations, Leather Cord USA, Bead Storage Solutions, Miyuki, Beaducation, Artbeads, and Dakota Stones. They love hearing from you! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Color Play: Statement Necklace

This month's Pretty Palettes Challenge from Halcraft inspired me to create a collar-style necklace. I've had this style on my to-do list for a while but wasn't sure where to start. I wanted it to look very earthy and artisanal but wearable, too.

The palette gave me a good place to begin. I pulled it up on my phone while standing in the bead aisle at Michaels. I chose beads that have a variety of textures and shapes in a blend of glass and stone. They're pretty close to the same size - about 6mm - but the gray beads on the lower row are a bit larger than the rest to give it some visual weight at the bottom. I used heavy 18-gauge Artistic Wire to create the beaded wires.

It was a little challenging to figure out how to hook everything together! Here's a close-up so you can see the head pin running down through the beads and loops at the end of each section. I made a loop at the bottom of the head pin and covered it with a crimp cover. (Sneaky, huh?!) 

Check out all of the other inspiring designs over on the Halcraft blog. Or, post your own blog link to reveal what you're making for the challenge!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY Bangle Bracelets and More

I'm heading back to JTV's Jewel School on Monday 10-noon EST with lots of jewelry making ideas for Fall using products from Beadalon. We're making DIY bangle bracelets, beading rosary-style necklaces and talking about wire! It's going to be fun and inspiring, so be sure to tune in. 

You can see that I'm still channeling the year of Radiant Orchid in the bracelets shown here. I promise there will be other colors on the show, too ;)

Looking for more ideas to kickstart your creativity? You can also check out a preview of Beads, Baubles & Jewels over on YouTube. The new season starts airing in some areas as early as October 30th. The new projects will also be online that week. 

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Making Jewelry Displays

Using a picture frame is one of my favorite ways to display jewelry. I love the way it highlights the piece and makes it look like a little work of art. I remove the glass and cut a piece of cork board to fit inside the frame so I can pin the jewelry in place.

This necklace and earring set is called Fly Away Home. I made it for a silent auction that's raising money for Riley Hospital for Children. The list gives the title and the various components, which include a Katiedids™ pendant, Swarovski crystals and pearls, Indian leather from Leather Cord USA and findings from Beadalon. I also included cards with my bio and website.

I also like to use traditional necklace busts to display my jewelry. They show how well the piece will drape when it's worn. Using busts give you the option of layering pieces together to maximize your space and encourage multiple purchases. 

These necklaces use Leather Cord USA round cord and Dakota Stones large-hole beads from Artbeads. I made them for the upcoming season of Beads, Baubles & Jewels. Set your DVR - it starts at the end of this month!

For bracelets, I'm a big fan of rolled-up decorative paper. Choose paper that provides a nice, neutral background and doesn't compete with your jewelry. Tape the ends together so the paper doesn't get messed up when people want to try something on. A cardboard tube inside the paper adds some durability, too. 

I made all of these designs with the Jewel Loom using beads and findings from Michaels. You'll find the loomed bracelet instructions here at

Have you seen all of the beautiful jewelry displays on Pinterest? I could look at those all day!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Make it Tonight, Wear it Tomorrow

You know I'm all about the instant gratification jewelry! Here's a DIY beaded necklace that I made this evening at the dining room table while the kids were otherwise occupied. There are a couple of tricks, though: 

1. I chose these beads ahead of time using Erin's Pretty Palettes Challenge for this month. 2. I already had a design in mind. I wanted to try this idea of connecting beaded strands to thick chain. 3. I assembled all of the supplies that I "might" need and put them in a tray that I could move, just in case I got interrupted before I finished the necklace.

This palette was created by Jessica Colaluca of Design Seeds. The multicolor Bead Gallery® beads inspired my other choices. I went with golden tones (again!) to bring out the subtle yellow color. You'll notice I didn't use any black. I kept it a little more summery. Black accents would definitely work between the beads, if you want to wear it with your LBD. I'm wearing it tonight with this T-shirt, jeans and gold flats:

I like the mix of metallic spikes and girly crystals. Works with a dress or a T! For more Pretty Palettes inspiration, visit the inspiration blog at and check out the links at the bottom of the big reveal. If you're a blogger, feel free to join us next month! The more the merrier :)

Beads provided by Bead Gallery®; wire and crimps from Beadalon®; dress image found on and shirt image found on 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

See You Saturday!

Beadalon's first-ever Factory Tent Sale is this Saturday, Sept. 20, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. I'll be there with Design Team Members Wyatt White, Fernando Dasilva, Meredith Roddy, Sandra Lupo and Leslie Rogalski to demonstrate some of our favorite techniques and answer your beading questions. Of course, there will also be great deals on all kinds of merchandise. If you live in the greater Philadelphia area (or want to visit), come on over and see us!

I'm demonstrating the Knot-a-Bead tool with my Katiedids™ channel findings. The Knot-a-Bead is a tabletop knotter that allows you to work with both hands as you knot. You can use it with lots of different types of cords from silk to leather, hemp and more. Check it out: Candie Cooper has a great knotting tutorial on her blog and there's another pretty, knotted necklace over at Beads, Baubles & Jewels