Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A heck of a bead table wednesday

I just recently got a heat gun and have been using it with liquid Kato for glazing my beads. I'm so crazy about the glassy finish that I've been creating beads like mad, plus yanking out old stuff, just so I can glaze glaze glaze everything. This is everything that was on my table last night.

My favorite of my new super-shiny things is the one here on the left.

I took a drawing of a lotus from my sketchbook and transfer printed it onto translucent clay, so it's a little ghosty. Then I glazed it about a bazillion times.

I still need to figure out what to do with the backs of transfer print beads. Ultimately I'd like them to be printed the same image on front and back, but that would likely take 2 cycles through the oven and necessitate lots of sanding. Anyone have any tips on doing transfer prints on both sides of beads and pendants?

Check out the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group for more beader/beadmaker's messes.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Art Bead Scene's November Challenge

The Art Bead Scene blog has been a huge source of inspiration for me lately. They run monthly challenges and I knew when I saw the color palette for this most recent one that I had to participate.

I've been drooling over folk art and nature-inspired jewelry lately and these colors just screamed, "Make something folksy!".

Can you hear the colors screaming? No? It's just me? Hmmm...

So, here's what I came up with for my entry.

Unfortunately November has been devoid of good natural light for photos, so this is the best I could do. The detail shots are clearer.

I made all the beads except for the malachite chips, which I never would've thought of to go together with a folk art theme if they hadn't just been set on my table near enough to the other beads to make me take a second glance and consider pairing them. I love it when that happens.

This little bird is directly inspired by Heather Powers' little bird beads. I love that such a simple shape can so clearly represent a bird. However, I'm not so good at keeping things simple, so I etched designs into my little birdy. I think it adds to the folkish feel, but detracts from clarity of the fact that it is indeed supposed to be a bird.

The surrounding round beads are my first attempt at fabric-covering beads. I used a few different prints from my collection of vintage fabrics, including one that used to be the upholstery on my great aunt Ada's favorite chair. I love that I got to incorporate a little piece of her into this necklace.

I made this long bead with a feather design wrapping around it to offset the bird, and also to introduce more texture to the necklace as a whole. I wanted a good mix of different textures in this piece, which I think I achieved with the stringy seed pod beads and the smooth malachite and the torn fabric edges.

I think I'll be keeping this necklace for myself, but definitely incorporating similar parts into future items for the shop, so stay tuned.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

A few experimental bead batches in progress.

Check out the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group for more beader/beadmaker's messes.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bead Table Wednesday

A little peek into projects in progress. Check out the Bead Table Wednesday Flickr group for more beader/beadmaker's messes.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Art Deco Hair Acessories

Have you ever noticed how as soon as a trend or style catches your eye, it seems to suddenly pop up everywhere? That's what's been going on with me and Art Deco fashion. I've always liked the style, but it seems to suddenly be playing a big role in the world around me.

I think it first caught my eye in the HBO show, Boardwalk Empire.I found myself drooling over the decadent beaded dresses and eye catching hair accessories worn by the ladies of the cast.

Photo credit: Boardwalk Empire, HBO, image from

Then a couple weeks back one of my favorite shows, The Vampire Diaries, started having flashback scenes to the 1920's. More gorgeous hair accessories!

Photo credit: The Vampire Diaries, CW. Screencaptures by, edited by me.

So, then I had to ask myself my favorite question; "How can I make something like that?" I first took a look at what kind of handmade Art Deco hair accessories were already available on Etsy, and there were plenty of ornately beaded, beautiful pieces. However, I like to offer jewelry and accessories that you don't have to wait for a special occasion to wear. I decided on making some everyday wearable pieces out of polymer clay filigree. I think I succeeded in creating a couple of hair accessories that evoke the feeling of the 20's, while still fitting in with today's styles, both casual and dressy. What do you think? Shall I make more?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

We're back!

Hi friends, it's been a long time. We put the shop on "vacation mode" for several months while the tedium of life took over. But, we're back now, with all sorts of fun new stuff, which we will be sharing here as we go along.

The shop will now be offering bead sets as well as finished jewelry. We're excited to see how others can integrate our designs into their own work. If you have a chance to purchase beads or other supplies from us, please drop us an email at with photos of your creations. It would totally make our day!

Here are a few of the bead sets available currently through Honey Bijou:

Hot pink and zebra beads.

Succulent plant focal beads.

Taffy colored mokume gane beads.

Red and yellow leaf and swirl beads.