Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Czech glass & a little bird.. an ARTBEADS REVIEW

Hi everyone! Here I am for another Artbeads.com review. This time, I was asked to select some beads from their glass bead products and pendants. I opted to spend the bulk of my "allowance" on the sweet little sterling and resin bird pendant you see pictured above. With the warmer weather approaching, I thought it would be the the perfect accent for a summer necklace (for me!). I also ordered some czech glass rondelle beads in various sizes and colors.

Here are a few more detailed photos of the necklace. I paired the off-white pendant with a mix of brown and off white owyhee jasper beads from my bead stash and interspersed them with blue opalite czech glass from Artbeads. I was originally going to use all glass, but I needed something to tie in the white from the pendant- also the beads I ordered just seemed a little too large except for the 5X4mm czech glass roundelles which were perfect.

In an attempt to go for a natural look, I used Griffin silk cord (also available from Artbeads) and created a floating bead design with knots. I'll just say that this technique is harder than it looks! It's the first time I've tried it and I definitely have a new appreciation for those who make knotted necklaces!

The larger beads are perfect as an earring accent especially when paired with fine silver charms made from PMC. Artbeads also has a wide variety of beautiful sterling silver charms that can be used in place of my handmade components. Below are some earrings that I made with 5X7 mm Czech glass rondelle beads in turquoise. I just love this color!

One more pair: These use the opalite blue/purple beads that I used in the bird necklace with more pmc components. The glass beads I chose have the "Picasso" finish, meaning that the ends are a different color that the middle of the beads. It really gives the glass interest and a more rustic look. I opted to oxidize all of my components with liver of sulphur and rubbed them for a soft antique finish.
Well, I hope you are inspired to try out Artbeads.com. I have found their customer service, prices and quality of products to be outstanding, and I often shop at their website for products for my jewelry business Beadin By the Sea.

And until I have something else to say...
Have a great day!

FTC disclaimer: I have received these products free of charge from Artbeads.com . I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for this endorsement as it pertains to the products received.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I'm so sorry it's been so long since my last post! As the byline on this blog says, "I might have something to say" and more often than not, I really don't! I'm the type that prefers to keep to myself and sit in the background, listening but not talking much.

I'm not sure why, but I've been getting more custom jewelry requests lately. For me, it is both exciting and scary- exciting and flattering that someone thinks that I am able to do the work they have in mind and scary because sometimes their suggestions are so vague and I must come up with the idea. This is when being a mind reader would really come in handy!

Normally I require to have full payment before I begin work, but sometimes, when I'm not sure I can even fulfill the request, I am inspired to try it out on my own first. I feel less pressure this way- knowing that it MUST turn out when they've already paid can stifle my creativity.

Below is a photo of 2 necklaces I made because I wasn't sure what the customer wanted. She ended up buying one of them. Both turned out beautifully and now I have another new item for my shop! The one on the left is made from fine silver wire and the cross on the right is made from precious metal clay and hammered after firing.

With a little experience under my belt, I thought I'd share a few thoughts/tips for custom orders for a customer which you can easily adapt if you are the seller.

1. Be as detailed as possible. We need adjectives like large, small, delicate, bold, dainty, rustic, smooth, shiny, matte, etc. Having the actual dimensions is ideal.

2. Support your idea with sketches or photos of a similar piece for comparison.

3. Don't ask a seller to copy someone else's work. Just go to the original artist and purchase it.

4. Expect to pay the full amount or at least give half for deposit before work is completed. Also expect to pay a little more than a ready made item as it takes us time to research and/or buy materials needed for the project. We may even need to educate ourselves on a new technique or buy a new tool. Be upfront, with the amount of money you are willing to spend.

6. Answer emails that contain questions in a timely manner. That way you will get your order quicker too.

5. In general try to convey your ideas as clearly as possible for the artist. We cannot read your mind and you will be much happier with the result if communication is open.

The beauty of custom work and dealing directly with the artist is being able to have an original design made to your specifications and it's also very inspiring for the artist!

and until the next time I have "something" to say...
Have a great day!

NOTE: The first photo is custom order order pendant made from metal clay. A customer supplied me with a photo of a Hawaiian petroglyph which I drew on the clay, engraved with a lino cutter, finished and fired.