October Art Bead Scene Challenge

Ohara Koson's woodblock print chosen by Art Bead Scene for this month's challenge was the perfect October inspiration. I love the way the warm grays give the whole scene a gorgeous glow!

And I had the perfect etched gemstone focal in the print's blacks, whites and grays. I think it suggests a full moon in a star-filled October sky.

Handmade glass disc beads by Susan Kennedy and Kimberly Branch, along with lampwork beads by Juls Beads and April Larson provide the accent beads for the Russian Spiral-stitched rope. The brick-stitched bail, embellished with branch and leaf from Nina Designs, gave me the opportunity to include just a touch of the painting's muted peach and golden yellow.

Now, click over to the Art Bead Scene blog to see some really fantastic designs by this month's challenge participants!



I'm so glad to see that hoop earrings are showing up on everyone's 2014 style lists, because I've been making lots of them in Deryn Mentock's Boho Bliss eCourse. Here are a few of my favorites.

Blue London topaz, firepolish and pearls
The palest green amethyst faceted rounds with blue and green kyanite rondelles
Three-sided ovals with crystals
Peridot rondelles and 6/0 three-cut seed beads

Deryn's course has me tackling lots of new techniques! Torch work no longer terrifies me, and a Dremel can be found center stage on my bead table these days. So much fun and much still to learn! But the combustibles and the power tools are going to be tucked away for the next few weeks while I return to needle and Fireline. I have a few challenge pieces to prepare.

If you'd like to join in the fun, Boho Bliss is open for registration until November 3rd.


Do you have a favorite?

I wonder if my sister, Janet, knew that October is Visit Your Local Bead Store month when she surprised me with a gift certificate to my favorite bead store for my birthday. Although my birthday is the first of the month, I exercised great discipline and waited until the middle of the month to head to Augusta and YaYa Beads. I had already contacted YaYa's owner, Lesley, to see if she was up for a challenge. Instead of redeeming my certificate in the usual way, I wondered if Lesley, whose style I adore, covet and (when my skill level allows) strive to emulate, would use Janet's gift to choose some items in the shop for me. When I arrived, a basket awaited , filled to the brim with goodies, in fabulous colors and shapes I would not have chosen myself. I'll be sure to post back here when these make it into my designs. Ideas are already forming!

The Blacks:

The Warms:

The Cools:

The Singles:

A visit to YaYa Beads is always a treat! Whether I'm indulging my inner traditionalist, or looking to push the envelope, I always find design inspiration from Lesley's made-in-store creations and her latest product finds. And how cool is it that she took the time to hand-select these unique and fabulous beads for me?

When I began beading four years ago, there were two bead stores in my suburb of Atlanta. Both have since closed their doors. Now, I have to travel an hour north or 90 minutes south, (or in the case of YaYa Beads, 3 hours east) when I need to coordinate colors and textures, learn a new skill, or solicit help dreaming up my next bead project. The camaraderie of fun and creative people eager to share their love of beads is always worth the trip. So, whether your favorite bead store is around the block or across the state, there's still time to plan a visit to show your support this month!


Summer-to-Fall Classics

This pretty scarf arrived in my mailbox last week, a birthday present from daughter Dani. The perfect Fall accessory, in all my favorite colors (just look at that muted teal!), I decided to think of it as a bold necklace, and design some simple earrings to go with it. Which cued me to open and fire up my birthday present to myself, a Lenk LPT-500 butane torch!

I recently won a spot in Deryn Mentock's Boho Bliss eCourse, which requires the use of a torch, and I discovered last week that overcoming my fears and watching the wire magically bead up in the flame into that shiny silver ball can be a lot of fun!

For my first pair, I focused on that lovely teal and worked through Deryn's lessons on drawing a bead on wire and hammering the earwire's surface for shine and strength. These are pretty and simple - fantastic with Dani's scarf, but classic enough to go with my entire summer-to-fall wardrobe.

My second pair is all soft browns and creams with a touch of black gold to pick up on the metallic threads infused throughout the scarf. I worked up copper samples of Deryn's handformed ellipse earwire at least a half-dozen times before attempting them in silver. Another autumn-inspired color palette, and again, those magical tiny balls. I'm really having fun with Deryn's class…next week - hoops!

Boho Bliss is chockful of techniques and still open for registration - come and join in the fun!