January 29, 2016

New Class Offerings

Metal Sketch Classes

Sweetest Song Metal Sketch Class
6 hour class
All skill levels

Students will learn how to cut and prepare metal blanks, discover how to 'sketch' images on metal with wire and hammers, (don't worry templates are provided, no drawing skills are needed.). Discover how to hand-color metal with a patina and dye system. 

6 hour class includes jewelry construction techniques of entwined wreaths, wrapped dangles, toggle clasps and birch twig connectors.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Instructor will provide patinas and dyes.

Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, polymer clay disks, chain, branch toggle, jump rings and chain. $35.

3 hour class options: bracelet or necklace only.




Forest Floor Metal Sketches
6 hour class
All skill levels

Learn how to cut metal with sheers, texture and shape the copper with hammers and wire and patina to create these flowers, seeds and leaves. Create your own sterling silver earwires and learn how to make silk wrapped beads.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers. 

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Instructor will provide patinas and dyes. 

Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, silk, wire, seed beads, chain, toggle clasp, brass earwires, jump rings and chain. $25. 






Maple Seed Earrings
2 hour class
All skill levels

This class covers cutting metal with sheers, texturing and shaping the copper with hammers and patina to create these lovely copper seeds. Create your own sterling silver earwires to finish the design.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Kits are $10 and includes copper sheet, wire and seed beads.

Luna Moth Metal Sketch 
6 hour class
All skill levels

Students will learn how to cut and prepare metal blanks, discover how to 'sketch' images on metal with wire and hammers, (don't worry templates are provided, no drawing skills are needed.). Discover how to use patinas to color metal.  

6 hour class includes jewelry construction techniques of entwined wreaths, wrapped dangles, toggle clasps and birch twig connectors.

Required tools: steel bench block, ball peen hammer, metal shears (Eurotool Metal Shears with spring are suggested), wire cutters, round nose pliers and two chain nose pliers.

Optional tools: metal files, metal hole punch. riveting hammer

Instructor will provide patinas and dyes.

Kits include copper sheet, wire, Czech glass beads, bead caps, polymer clay disks, chain, jump rings and chain. $35.

3 hour class options: bracelet only.


Polymer Clay Classes 

Monarch and Milkweed Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels

Learn how to create a monarch butterfly wing cane to use in a variety of beads shapes. Create a monarch chrysalis layering canes and clay. We'll create milkweed pod beads to match in several sizes and milkweed pod headpins.  

Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller, stylus sculpting tool. 

Required materials: 2 oz blocks of Premo in orange, black, white, wasbi (lime green), gold, transparent and brown. 

Instructor will provide bead mandrels, wire, paints and embellishing materials.





Organic Pods
6 hour class
All skill levels

Explore several ways to make simple polymer clay headpins sculpted with a few easy tricks to look like various pods. Using several mixed media treatments we'll create beautifully painted finishes on each pod. You'll create a large collection of pods during this workshop. 

Jewelry techniques to use heapdins in jewelry will also be covered. Bring your own additional beads or pick from several kits to transform your headpins into pendants. 

Required tools: round and chain nose pliers, wire cutters, clay stylus tool, acrylic rod. 

Instructor will provide materials to paint the pods. 

3 hour class option: headpins only.







Tropical Bonbon Beads
3 hour class
All skill levels 

Imagine beads that look good enough to eat, each one displaying layers of leaves and flowers as a sweet bonbon. Like learning to create heavenly European chocolates, the secrets of these scrumptious Bonbon beads will be revealed during this fun beadmakingworkshop. We'll mix up a tropical color palette and spend the class making these addictive beads. 

Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller, stylus sculpting tool.

Required materials: 2 oz blocks of Premo white and 3-4 bright colors. Suggested: peacock pearl, magenta, wasbi, purple and Souffle brand Mia Tai (coral). 

Instructor will provide bead mandrels and paints. 


Sgraffito Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels

Sgraffito is a ceramic technique that I've adapted to polymer clay to create folk-inspired beads in graphic black and white. Learn to create bead blanks, how to transfer images and carve the designs. We'll create fun faceted beads to accent these bold focals.

No drawing skills required, templates are provided.

Required tools: acrylic roller, scissors, single-edge razor blade,  *Students must bring a Speedball Lino cutter with a no. 1 small v blade. 

Instructor will provide paints. 

Required materials: two 2oz blocks of  white Souffle brand polymer clay. No other clay gives the same results. Find Souffle at Joann's or online at www.munrocrafts.com. 

2 oz block of Premo transparent and 2-3 colors for faceted beads. Shown are Souffle brand in seaglass (teal), key lime (yellow), mia tia (coral), and royal (purple). 




Birch Bark Beads
6 hour class
All skill levels

Students will explore beadmaking inspired by birch bark and falling leaves during this fun polymer clay workshop. Learn to create birch bark and leaf canes. Canes are clay stacked together to form designs that are cut and layered on the beads. Heather will share how to use the canes to create more complex looking beads. She'll cover shaping beads into disks and long tubes and mix up a few colors to create a custom color palette.

Required tools: pasta machine, tissue blade, acrylic roller.

Required materials: 2 oz blocks of polymer clay in Premo clay: wisteria (orchid purple), periwinkle, peacock pearl (teal), bronze, white and transparent. Souffle brand clay in jade, turnip, cowboy (brown) and key lime (gold green).







Artist's Bio:

Heather has been making beads and jewelry for over 20 years. She is the author of Jewelry Designs from Nature and Beautiful Elements: Metal, Wire and Polymer Clay. The Bead-Making Lab is her third book and will be available in May. Heather is a regular contributor as the Color Canvas designer in Step by Step Wire magazine. Her popular blog, the Art Bead Scene brings her love of handmade beads and art inspiration to jewelry designers around the world. Heather organizes an annual Bead Cruise and teaches at workshops and retreats around the country. You can learn more about her work at www.humblebeads.com


I'm finalizing my schedule for 2016. I have a few openings. If you are interested in having me teach at your bead shop or for your bead society please send me an email and let's chat! 

January 27, 2016

Halcraft Pretty Palettes Challenge


My friend Erin invited me to take part in this month's Halcraft Pretty Palette's Challenge. She sent me a very sparkly, icy inspired collection of beads and told me to create whatever I'd like and I could add in other beads. The inspirations were macro photos of snowflakes from a Russian photographer. You must go visit the Halcraft blog to see there beauties. 

So I gathered my Humblebeads, took a quick trip to Michael's to round out my color palette with a few more earthy options and set to work. I was a little afraid of all that pastel bling from the challenge, but a great challenge pushes you out of your comfort zone and allows you to put your stamp on it, stretching in the process. 

First up is a linked bracelet with a Humblebeads Winter Branches House Beads. I paired together the the snowflake charm, faceted glass and rhinestone beads Erin sent with faceted teardrops and metallic hematite from the Halfcraft Bead Gallery collection. A few copper hematite and copper jump rings added in darker colors to match my focal bead. 

Snowflake charm earrings with faceted glass and crystals from Halcraft.

Erin had sent in a few rose quartz beads inspired by Pantone's color of the year. I wanted to create a piece of jewelry in the pink hues that felt a little like spring might be on the way! I pulled out my Skeleton Leaf pendant, a disk bead and a Wedgwood bead in green from my Humblebeads stash. I paired with up with these unusual shaped sunstone beads that I picked up from a local bead store. My Halcraft beads are tiny dangle accents in between each link. Hurry spring...hurry.

I pulled some of the rose quartz colors to create a coordinating pair of earrings using art beads from Green Girl Studios and Gardanne Beads. 

This was a fun piece, I can't remember the last time I made a charm bracelet. As you'll soon notice, snow owls and woodland inspirations became my underlying theme for the challenge. This bracelet captures it all with art beads from my collection and tiny accents from Halcraft. 

 Snow owl charm earrings with tiny rose quartz crystals and lampwork beads. 

I wanted to create a multi-strand bracelet that captured those wintry hues and pulled out my Winter Wonderland spacers. I paired them up with faceted teardrops from the Halcraft Bead Gallery collection, each one on dark annealed steel wire to darkened my color palette.

For the multi-strand connectors I pulled out some metal blanks, cut them and hammered them to create a birch bark texture. I love how these turned out and tied the bracelet together. A Green Girl Studios owl clasp finishes the design.



Owl charm earring with Humblebeads disks and Halfcraft faceted glass teardrops. 

I love a good challenge and Halfcraft certainly provides a lovely one from Erin each month. Please head over to Halcraft blog and see what Erin created, she's kinda amazing you know! Thank you Erin and Halcraft for the opportunity to showcase art beads for the Pretty Palettes Challenge.

January 10, 2016

Featured Artist: Monica Pryor

This weekend in the Humblebeads VIP Party Facebook group Monica Pryor shared her bracelets with me featuring Humblebeads and Anne Choi. They were so amazing I had to share them with you today. I'm totally smitten with them. My house beads are among my favorite beads and I love seeing how creatively they get used in jewelry. 

I love the earthy mix of stones, Czech glass and art beads - so lovely. And I would have never thought of using my house beads as a dangle, but aren't they just perfect that way!

The silver bead from Anne Choi reads, "THERE IS NOTHING LIKE STAYING AT HOME FOR REAL COMFORT". Truer words couldn't express how I feel about home!

Who wouldn't like to retreat to a little cabin in the woods with a few good books, tea, watching gently falling snow with a fireplace roaring to keep you cozy. This definitely speaks to my soul!

This so beautifully captures the colors of the Caribbean that inspired my little beach hut bead. It has me pining for a tropical island on this cold January night! Anne's bead reads: "THE CURE FOR EVERYTHING IS SALT WATER. SWEAT, TEARS, OR THE SEA". Love that quote! 

Thank you Monica for sharing your work with me and for making my beads look so good! I love seeing what designers make with my beads - be share to share your creations with me.

Visit Monica's Etsy shop, Feminine Genius Jewelry to see her beautiful collection of art bead jewelry.

January 3, 2016

Winter Inspirations


Winter is settling into the fields and forests around my home. It's an icy winter wonderland with more snow on the way this week. I won't lie, I've enjoyed the warmer weather this year but once the snow is here and gently falling I'm transfixed by it's magic. Can we get a woot, woot for husbands that do the shoveling? .

I can't think of a better thing to do during winter hibernation than pull out my beads and get creative!

Try my muffin tin challenge to jump start your jewelry projects this weekend. It's a great trick to use to get 6-12 projects done quickly.


Image source: Pinterest 

December 21, 2015

Free Holiday Gift Tags

Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas. 

I was inspired to pull out my watercolors last night and make a new series of gift tags to share with everyone.

As you can imagine, my tree is filled with lots of special little boxes waiting for my nieces, sisters and daughters. We love wrapping gifts almost as much as we love making them. 


Download the gift tags here