4 reasons I have ignored my blog

Somehow the year has just flown by, and I have hardly touched this blog! Do I have a good reason why I haven’t been posting regularly? Not really, but I do have 4 flimsy reasons, and you can use these same excuses for just about anything.




There are many reasons to start writing a blog and there are just as many reasons not to start blogging, or to start one and then ignore it.

One article I read recently focused on getting out to meet other people instead of blogging, which kind of reinforced my recent thoughts about finding local businesses who would carry my Vampire Diaries earrings and bracelet or my handmade rosaries.

That right there would require face to face meetings, and I could probably come up with the same 4 reasons not to solicit!!

Ignore blog
Hit the Ignore blog button on your keyboard

4 reasons I have ignored my blog lately

  1. I have an appointment – that is always a good reason! A doctor appointment, an appointment with the BEACH, a dinner date, you name it!
  2. I just don’t feel like it – this is one of my top reasons, and it is associated with number 3
  3. Takes too much time – it really does take a lot of time, no matter how easy everyone says it is! First you have to write, then look up keywords and think of cool ways to illustrate because some people only look at the pictures!
  4. FREE HBO/Cinemax weekend! – that’s right, because watching a new flick is always a good reason not to blog or do anything 🙂

These 4 reasons are so generic that you can use them for just about anything!!

I do like to share ideas, and new cool beads and I will continue to do that. But somehow this year has just slipped past me. I really just wrote this little article to kind of apologize for not posting much lately.

What are your reasons for not blogging? Are they the same reasons for not beading or not exercising? Or not doing anything?  Comments are welcome!

Christmas crafts and holiday DIY projects

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Christmas crafts and DIY projects for the holidays are fun to make for yourself or to give as gifts. Click through the projects below for step-by-step directions and lists of materials needed.

The tutorials below can be followed exactly or use your imagination and creativity to make them a special custom creation.

Everyone loves handmade gifts, and these tutorials serve to fuel your inspiration.

DIY Holiday projects and Christmas crafts

Christmas Tree Earrings
Christmas Tree Earrings

Tutorial: Christmas Tree Earrings with Swarovski Crystal Beads

Super easy to make Christmas Tree earrings that can be made in any color! Also known as “Yule Trees”, they are a popular symbol for the Christmas holiday.

Dreidel Earrings
Dreidel Earrings

Tutorial: Sterling Silver and Swarovski Dreidel Earrings

A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top, played with during the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah. These adorable sterling silver earrings are a great holiday jewelry project to make and share with others.

Snowflad ornament
Snowflake Christmas Ornament

Tutorial: Steel Snowflake Ornament

Make several of these beautiful snowflake Christmas ornaments to give as gifts to family and friends! Experiment with other beads and components to make a truly special holiday decoration.

Check out the great selection of beads, charms and components shown below to add to other Christmas crafts!

Shop below for holiday charms and components

Halloween costumes accessories add spooky fun!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Halloween costumes accessories and jewelry put you at the top for contests, parties, or trick or treating.

Halloween is quickly approaching, and Fire Mountain Gems has a wonderful selection of fun and frightening items to put the finishing touches on your costume.

Resin dragon eyes, gemstone skulls, crystal spiders and more. They have everything you need to add a creative, personalized touch to your costume.

Sew beads or charms onto costume, glue on cabochons, dangle spiders, create a bracelet or earrings. There are so many ways to have ghostly fun with this assortment of Halloween costumes accessories.

Another great idea is to buy several charms to hand out in lieu of candy.

Love Halloween and all things spooky? Then check out these items below!

halloween-beads-charms
Click here to see the whole selection of beads, charms, findings and more.

Our favorite Halloween costumes accessories for the best costume ever!

Learn something new to enhance jewelry designs

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Want to learn something new this fall? Let your creativity loose and explore these different art forms to use in your jewelry making!

As the fall approaches and kids return to school, many of you may have a little more time each day. Learning a new skill to incorporate in your beading craft is a great way to spend that extra time!

Learn something new and expand your skills

Below are three different techniques that you can learn to enhance your jewelry design and skills. Make really unique gifts to give as gifts or sell at crafts fairs or fundraisers.

Learn Kumihimo
Learn to make a Kumihimo braided bracelet

Kumihimo

Kumihimo is an ancient Japanese braiding technique that lends itself well to modern jewelry design. These beautiful braids are made using easy-to-use foam disks, spool-taming bobbins and other convenient tools, and can be embellished with beads and findings.

Resources & Supplies

Kumihimo Braiding Chart
Square Braid Tutorial
Kumihimo Design Ideas

Learn Macrame
Learn to make beautiful Macrame jewelry

Macrame

Macrame is a technique of knotting cord to produce a lace-like pattern. It’s often used to make jewelry, belts, purses and more. It is a versatile technique that lends itself well to gender neutral or masculine designs, especially when woven with darker color tones and paired with metallic findings.

Resources & Supplies

Macrame Video Tutorial
Macrame Charm Bracelet Tutorial
Macrame Design Ideas

Learn resin
Learn to make a beautiful resin pendant

Jewelry Resin

Learn how to use jewelry resin  to preserve and create beautiful, original components. You can make lockets, bracelets, frames and more with a clear, glass-like coating.

Resources & Supplies

How to Use Ice Resin Video Tutorial
Creating a Jewelry Resin Frame Pendant
Jewelry Resin Design Ideas

All of the above will teach new skills and make your handcrafted jewelry stand out from the crowd!

Leave a comment and let me know what new technique you are learning 🙂

Need fundraiser ideas for jewelry and gifts?

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Searching for fundraiser ideas that are easy and quick? Many jewelry designers and artisans use their talents and time to raise awareness and funds for a cause. Below are some ideas and inspiration!


Instant-Jewelry

Fundraiser ideas that are quick and easy

Want to make some jewelry for a fundraiser, but are short on time? Try easy to assemble jewelry such as Almost Instant Jewelry®. This line of metal settings is calibrated to specifically fit Swarovski® crystal fancy stones or other components. You’re able to produce a professional-looking piece of jewelry in 3 easy steps!

You can also use the settings as a base for other jewelry media such as Magic-Glos® top coat, Apoxie® Sculpt and your favorite polymer clay. Some settings don’t even require glue!! These open-backed settings are held securely closed by stringing onto a chain or cording. Want to switch out the pendant? Unstring the pendant and open the setting back up.

With such a vast selection of settings and Swarovski colors/effect, it’s fun to let customers customize their own jewelry. Lay out the options and allow customers visiting your fundraiser pick their favorite setting, chain and matching Swarovski crystal. They get a piece of personalized custom jewelry and your cause reaps the benefits.

Fundraiser-bracelet
Use beads, charms or both to show support for a cause!

Bracelets full of charms and beads

Charm bracelets are a fantastic and fun way to show support for a cause. Attach lobster claw clasps to charms such as awareness ribbons plus other dangles in matching colors. Add hearts, angels, affirmations and more for a full selection of charm options.

Fundraiser-charm-beads
Large hole beads are a popular favorite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customers will love being able to quickly and easily create a bracelet that stands for a cause they support. Plus, since the bracelet is interchangeable, charms can always be added later giving you the opportunity for repeat customers.

Large-hole beads are favorites for creating personalized jewelry. Dione® Easy-On Chains have threaded ends that twist off and on for putting on or taking off beads. There are even ring settings specifically made to accommodate a large-hole bead and are created simply by unscrewing the decorative top, adding the bead and securing the top back on.

You aren’t limited to just using metal bases though. If you’re a fan of custom cords such as macramé and kumihimo, make colorful cords at least 3mm in diameter and large-hole beads slide on perfectly.

Fundraiser-cord
Leather cord or hemp is a great choice for non-metal jewelry

Metal-free zone

Non-metal options include cord and simple loops or knots. Some metals can cause allergic reactions to metal-sensitive individuals, so having a selection of metal-free jewelry ensures no one gets left out.

Knot closures are an added benefit as well since they slide to fit a range of neck or wrist sizes. Fundraiser attendees can then purchase jewelry not only for themselves, but also as gifts for friends and family without worrying about the jewelry not fitting. On the other end use a lark’s head knot to attach gemstone donuts, go-gos and other shapes with center cutouts. This type of jewelry is also a fan favorite with males–further expanding the reach of your cause.

Fundraiser-pendants-etc
Try cuff links, tie tacs or pendants to appeal to all types of customers
Something for everyone

Want more ways to appeal to both the male and female demographics? Consider quick-and-easy pendant jewelry. Choose pre-made colorful multi-strand necklace cords or metallic chains including ever-popular ball chain. Then let customers select a pendant to match. Voila!

Other potential sale opportunities for men also include tie tac and cuff link settings made handsome by simply gluing a flat-backed component on the pad with a strong jewelry-making adhesive.

While we’re on the subject of gluing, bails turn beads, donuts, cabochons and more into pendants with just a dab of adhesive. You’ll be able to create more, in less time, for your favorite charity or community fundraising event. Decorative bail options give you and attendees more to choose from so everyone gets a piece of jewelry they’ll wear again and again.

Want even simpler? Try pinch bails. No glue required. Simply select a bead, charm, drop or other component with a hole and align the prongs of the bail. Squeeze with a pair of pliers and you have an instant pendant to attach to earwires or slide on chain as a pendant.

What to expect from the crowd

Now that you’re prepared to create for the next event, what should you expect? There are 3 possible outcomes.

  1. Some people will walk away–that’s okay.
  2. Some people will offer a donation without wanting a piece of jewelry–that’s great.
  3. Some people will buy your jewelry to support the cause and spread awareness by wearing it–super!

Not only do you end up helping your cause, but you also end up meeting a lot of caring people. You’ll also form a newfound appreciation of your own talents as you create fundraising design lines. Charity events and community fundraisers are sure to attract attention for your cause when tables are lined with your sparkling jewelry creations to buy or bid on.

Make it your mission to engage in deliberate acts of kindness and use your jewelry-making talents to foster a better community, nation and world one jewelry design at a time!

Design with
• Almost Instant Jewelry
• Dione large-hole beads
• Gemstone donuts and go-gos
• Charms
• Pendants
• Flat backs
• Cuff link findings
• Almost Instant Jewelry ring settings
• Dione easy-on chain
• Cord
• Ball chain
• Chain
• Bails
• Magic-Glos tools and supplies
• Apoxie Sculpt tools and supplies
• Glues and adhesives
• Pliers

What’s in The Artisan Group swag bag? 2016 MTV #GBKMovieAwards

I am excited to share this collection of items in The Artisan Group® swag bag that will be given to attending celebrities at GBK’s Celebrity Gift Lounge honoring the MTV Movie Awards Nominees and Presenters.

Celebrities and members of the press will be given these popular gift bags which always contain finely handcrafted products from participating members.

This years invitation-only luxury celebrity gift lounge, hosted by GBK Productions, will be held on April 8-9, 2016.

What’s in the SWAG bag?

Our Seven-stone wire wrapped pendant is included along with 26 other fantastic gifts. You can check out these great gifts on the Pinterest board below or in The Artisan Group® Gift Guide online magazine.

Follow The Artisan Group 2016 GBK MTV Movie Awards Celebrity Gift Lounge on Pinterest.

What Celebrities will receive from Bead Lovers Korner

My gift this year is similar to the Chakra balancing pendant that was seen at GBK’s 2014 Primetime Emmy Awards gift lounge.

The difference this year is that each pendant is made with a hand-knotted wire and wrapped bale that attaches to the chain, finished with a swirl!

MTV Celebrity Swag Bag
Wire wrap pendants for celebrities

Celebrity pendants are made with a variety of semi-precious stones and colors which includes:

  • Chakra balancing (three different stone selections)
  • Black Obsidian
  • Tigers Eye
  • Golden Cream Quartz

Members of the press and media organizations that attend will also receive the same pendant in one of three different types of stone beads: Chakra stones, Tigers Eye, and Black Obsidian.

Press and media SWAG
Gifts for members of the press and media

Side Note: Why I have not posted to this blog in over a month

I really try to post several times a month, but last month there was a death in my family that caused me to be absent. Between wrapping up final affairs and making pendants for this event, I just had no spare time.

It is extremely likely that my posts will be sparse for several more months, but I was super excited about this upcoming event and wanted to spread the word!

Top 5 Valentines Day ideas with beads

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links.

These top 5 Valentines Day ideas are easy to make Valentine crafts using beads and Swarovski crystal. Give them as gifts that will be treasured for years for years to come. Use these great ideas as a guide and let your imagination soar!

Heart-earrings
Heart earrings with Swarovski crystal

Valentines Day ideas to make jewelry with beads

These three jewelry ideas below are easy to make Valentines gifts to give to moms, teachers, best friends or make them for yourself! Handcrafted jewelry is always a special way to show love and devotion.

1. Heart Earrings with Swarovski Crystal Beads and Drops 

Beautiful red Swarovski crystals make these romantic dangle earrings.

Heart-charm-beads-bracelet
Popular large hole charm beads make a beautiful bracelet

2. Bracelet with Large Hole Beads and Swarovski Crystal

Chamilia, Troll and Pandora bracelets are very popular and this idea creates a similar stunning look.

Heart-Bracelet
Adorable heart beads and heart with key toggle clasp

3. Millefiori Glass Hearts Bead Bracelet

Sweet millefiori glass heart beads and a unique toggle clasp make this a really unique gift!

Heart-decorations
Card and gift packaging made with beads

Make Valentines Day gifts special

Here are two Valentines day ideas to check out if you don’t want to make jewelry. Create beautiful decorations on homemade cards or really pretty gift boxes using beads and crystals.

4. Valentine’s Day Card with Swarovski Crystals

5. Gift Box “Love” Decoration with Swarovski Crystal

Inspiring beads and supplies for Valentines Day crafts

See the great selection below of pendants, charms, beads and other jewelry making supplies to enhance Valentine’s Day ideas to use in making gifts!