Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mid-Week Mutterings of a Different Sort

No jewelry (of my design, at least) in this post. Thought I'd pass along a few bits of information I've received recently that I hope will be of interest.

First, ArtFire - they've recently done two really wonderful things for their sellers.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

I got this press release in the mail the other day:

I thought you might be interested to know that we’ve recently launched free unlimited listings for all members during the holiday season as part of our Holiday Free-for-All. Below you’ll find the press release for this new promotion.

ArtFire Gives Away Free Unlimited Listings for the Shopping Season

Everyone gets free unlimited listings for the holidays on

Tucson, AZ – ArtFire has just announced that they will be giving away unlimited listings completely free for all sellers during the holiday season. This means that everyone can sell and list as many items as they wish for absolutely no cost or fees.

When they first launched, ArtFire revolutionized the handmade marketplace by making it completely free for users to sell online. Site members were able to list and sell up to 12 items at any point on the site, and could have unlimited listings with customizable features for the flat rate of $12/month. However, due to the current economic situation and the upcoming holiday season, ArtFire has decided to remove this 12 item limit for the shopping season, giving everyone on the site the option to list unlimited items for sale.

To make things even easier for sellers, ArtFire has also launched the their Global Product Editor, which gives sellers the chance to make batch edits to hundreds of products in their inventory at once. Although this feature is normally reserved for pro members, ArtFire is opening this tool up so that all members on the site can make use of it.

“Regardless of marketplace or venue we’ve found that sellers who list more items have a much greater success online,” said Tony Ford, COO of ArtFire. “We want to give everyone the chance to be successful, and free unlimited listing will help our artisans obtain more sales during the fourth quarter.”

“Many of our sellers are concerned about the shopping season due to economic issues, and cannot afford to promote and advertise as they had last year,” said John Jacobs, CEO of ArtFire. “This Holiday Free for All will allow them to sell more items than ever before completely free.”

This Holiday Free for All Promotion is the first ever of its kind, and expected to completely change the craft marketplace.

For more information, please contact:

Tony Ford, COO

ArtFire Inc.


Then today on Twitter, from John Jacobs (you may remember my interview of him, he's the CEO) I saw this:

Etsy Importer is LIVE on ArtFire | | list your Etsy items automatically & never pay listing fees!

So, I went to ArtFire via the link, followed the simple instructions and voila! My Etsy items (my lanyards) are all listed on ArtFire now.

There are a couple good reasons why I did this. First of all is that I'm disappointed in how little Etsy seems to care about their sellers. Recent changes and revealed information about their SEO policies, etc., lead me to believe they're more interested in promoting themselves to make a lot of money while providing very little in the way of real innovation that supports the sellers. This is the second reason, innovation is the one area where I believe ArtFire is well ahead of all of their competition - their feature set and amazing promotional tools are really superb.

If you're interested in becoming an ArtFire seller, please consider clicking the link at the top of the page (right under my banner) and join ArtFire through my referral link. I'd be grateful, and I know you'll love ArtFire.

The UKs Largest Collection Of Anglo Saxon Treasure Goes On DisplayThe UKs Largest Collection Of Anglo Saxon Treasure Goes On Display

(permission to use these photos comes via the 'embed this picture' code on Click on the picture to navigate to original site)

Next, have you seen the news about the Staffordshire Hoard? Largest find of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found. It's also a trove of design inspiration - the pictures above are just a sample from - go here for 500 more photos on the official website.

So that's it for me today. See you tomorrow!

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - River Rock Concepts 2 & 3

As I mentioned before, Heather at The Beadin' Path sent me some glass River Rocks to create some designs with as one of their design partners. I made the first one with the amber rocks pretty soon after I got them, but the yellow ones were harder for me, as it's not a color I work with much.

I gave the rocks a lot of attention over the weekend. Finally I got an idea to jumpstart my imagination. I pulled out my Soft Flex Yellow Lemon Quartz (also comes in the Harmony Trio) beading wire and played around with clear and yellow beads, but didn't like anything I was seeing.

Then, after I'd spent some time reading Margie Deeb's Fall/Winter 2009 Color Report, I pulled out my green aventurine beads but ended up not happy with the combination of just the two colors. So I decided to try some multi-stone bead chips I'd had in my stash forever because I hoped the variety of colors would be a better balance against the large, strong bright yellow.

I strung just the chips and the River Rocks but it wasn't clicking. I got the aventurine out again and decided to use the large round beads. Still not quite it but really close. Finally, I thought I'd add one or two bright pink chips and big pink glass beads. Almost there! Made a simple pendant by using two strands of Soft Flex and more chips and curled the wires. I didn't string the large green and pink beads symmetrically on the necklace and I'm debating re-stringing them so they follow the same pattern on both sides. That's why I haven't added the clasp to this one yet. I'm really happy with the pendant, though! I'm tempted to do another necklace with just River Rocks now and a similar pendant.

The next River Rock necklace is an attempt to 'dress up' the rough glass, which I used as a solo focal this time, with some faceted glass beads, some tiger eye beads, some gold freshwater pearl disks and other miscellaneous amber/bronze/browns. I strung a length of dark amber, 3 or 4mm faceted glass rounds and twirled them around the strand.

I don't have any gold tone cones to cover the double strand ends, so I used some large holed beads...I really like how it turned out...I'm going to use this idea again.

There are your Tuesday Tidbits. See you tomorrow for Mid-Week Mutterings!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday Miscellany - Gunmetal and Jasper Three Strand Necklace

Hope you're all planning on Tweeting Your Studio today - information about the contest is on my Thursday blog post of last week. Great prizes for three winners have been contributed from The Beadin' Path and me.

Over the weekend we had another warm spell and I didn't get as much done as I'd have liked. I did, however, start the necklace below.

I believe the stone is leopard skin jasper, a somewhat twisty, large rectangle bead, some long, thin rectangular tube beads, gunmetal bead spacers and Crystal Volcano CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements from Artbeads. The gunmetal mesh tube chain came from Michael's.

It's still kind of calling out for something else. Not sure what yet. I kind of have an idea about creating a connection between the two chains, but not sure how I'll accomplish that.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the entries in tomorrow's contest! Hope you will enter!

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Last weekend of September already. Nights are getting longer, it's barely light out when I have to get up to get ready for work. I think I'd love living in a much more southern latitude. Had a great visit on Friday night with some virtual acquaintances - I'd only met one of them before in person. I'd had a pretty awful day up till I sat down for drinks and great conversation. I may blog about that on my other blog one of these days.

Then Saturday was a lazy day, talked to both of my kids and watched shows on TiVo, took a long nap mid-afternoon. Cooked a late lunch for the husband and me, too - if you can call making salmon patties, nuking a tray of store-bought mashed potatoes and opening a can of peas cooking. It was very yummy nonetheless. Sunday will be a jewelry making day, I hope, because I've got a lot of ideas to work through.

Well, enough about me...this is about all my neighbors out there in the Beadosphere - so let's check 'em out!

Just one little plug for me - I finally broke down and started one of those 'fan pages' on Facebook. I'd love it if you'd become a fan.

Hope you're not too worn out from our little hike around the Beadosphere this week - lots of great places to visit. I highly recommend bookmarking or following the blogs mentioned so you never miss a post!

See you tomorrow for Monday Miscellany - I've got a good post planned! And if you're on Twitter, I hope you're going to enter the #TweetYourStudio contest - the contest runs tomorrow only and there are three great prizes being offered!

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Supplier Sales Saturday

Welcome back to the weekly post on supplier sales! If you know of a supplier that has great sales or coupons that I'm not mentioning, please comment below and I'll be sure to check them out.

A great sale on "handcrafted ceramic 'critters,' beads and bottle pendants!" at Rings & Things that unfortunately, for the purposes of my Saturday Supplier Sales posting, ends tomorrow - check their 5-day sale link twice monthly on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays to get to the sale early! Also, being subscribed to the newsletter guarantees the info will be in your in-box without you having to remember to go to the site!

Via Soft Flex Girl: 20% off sale on Soft Flex Wire at Fusion Beads

Artbeads Neck Knack sale "save 20% on a wide selection of necklaces and bracelets...Take advantage of this sale by entering coupon code SCW20P-NKS at ends at 9am (PDT) on Thursday, October 1, 2009." and Weekly Specials items through Thursday (9am) 10/1/09 (PDT). Plus there's a coupon: "Save 5% on orders of $30 or more when you use coupon code SCW5P-30 at checkout. Coupon expires at 9am (PDT) on Thursday, October 1, 2009.Only one coupon may be used per order."

At Lima Beads there's usually one Fresh Pick they've chosen to put all the beads in it on sale - usually for one day only. Today's is Cowgirl Up with some lovely beads at 20% off.

Visit Alpha Stamps "On Sale" page frequently to see what their deals are. Today I note they have Tim Holtz acrylic charms on sale - imagine the possibilities: "Clear tags in 4 shapes (circles, ovals, squares and rectangles) with nicely rounded edges. And you get 4 sizes of each of the 4 shapes. The largest of the pieces is 1-3/4" tall. Glue over paper and/or tint with inks."

Not a sale, but available for purchase is Margie Deeb's Fall/Winter 2009 Color Report for Bead and Jewelry Designers. She identifies beads/crystals by color name/number that match the palette and gives great color combo suggestions. The report is in PDF and costs $9.95. Well worth the price.

Sorry this is a short (and late!) post today - was out at a meet up of various online acquaintances last night rather far from home and got back too late to write this up, as I usually do, to schedule for my 6 am posting.

I will have Weekly Wanderings up on time tomorrow - so I hope you return to see what's been going on out in the Beadosphere this week!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Pick - Vinyard Harvest

I don't have much time tonight to do a lengthy post on this pick which I selected from Lima Beads, but I'll briefly describe the inspiration.

Now that fall is here I'm thinking about designs that reflect the changing of the season. While oranges and browns are traditional, where I live the purples and greens of the grape harvest are also part of the fall scenery. I love charoite, so a large charoite donut is the focal piece of this Vinyard Harvest design. I decided on copper beads and findings for their great autumn color.

Please feel free to visit my Fresh Pick on the Lima Beads site and leave a comment!

And don't forget to take that picture of your studio and post it for a chance at winning the TweetYourStudio prize!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Special Feature: Twitter Contest with The Beadin' Path and My Contest Finalist Necklace

Contest? Did someone say contest?

On Tuesday I blogged about finally organizing (well, mostly) my workspace with some pictures and shared about it on Twitter, too. To share it on Twitter, in less than 140 characters, you need to convert the URL of the post, which is very long, to something as short as possible. To do that, I go to a site called and create a short link. also tracks the human clicks (discounts all 'bots) on each link created.

When I look at the metrics for clicks on that link, I usually see that I get anywhere from 10 to 20 clicks and sometimes 30 or 40 if I'm really lucky. On Tuesday's link - over 200! (If you are back today after first visiting me via Twitter yesterday and Tuesday, thank you for returning) The point, though, is wow, people must like to see other people's studios!

Well, I was tweeting (that's what you call the messages on Twitter, by the way) about it with Heather DeSimone from The Beadin' Path (@beadinpath) and she said:
beadinpath: @AWDawno We should try to start up a #TweetYourStudio day. It could be fun. And inspiring. And scary.
That got some re-tweets and positive comments, so we are going to have a TweetYourStudio day on Monday, September 28th, on Twitter. To enter you have to do two things.

1) Go to one of the Twitter photo sharing sites (I'm familiar with yfrog and twitpic, but there may be others) and upload a photo of your studio. These sites allow you to tweet the picture and a brief caption to Twitter right from the same spot. You register there with your Twitter name and password. Signing up for Twitter is free. There may be other ways to share your pictures that those of you who are more Twitter savvy know how to do, feel free to use them.

2) In order to complete your entry, you *must* put the hashtag #TweetYourStudio in the message you tweet with your picture (or we won't be able to find it). If you don't know what that means, here's a great explanation of hashtags and how to use them.

Update from Heather on prizes! (promoted from comments)

The Beadin' Path & will be ponying up 2 $30 gift cards to The Beadin' Path or for winners in the following categories.
*Most Organized
*Most 'Holy-Cow-I-Can't-Believe-You-Get-Anything-Done-in-that-Space' Studio

Submissions are open to any artist working in any media. Just tweet your space.

Judges will be 3 BeadinPath staff'ers (but not me, sorry Tweeter friends, no favoritesies :). And we'll announce the winners on Tuesday morning here on this blog as well as on Twitter!
Submissions must use hashtag #TweetYourStudio or we won't see them.
And also - all entries must be submitted by midnight West Coast time on Monday night (we don't want to miss anyone who submits too late).

Wahoo! This will be fun!
Thanks Dawn for the superb blog!
:) Heather
The Beadin' Path

I am also offering an "honorable mention" prize for best use of a small crafting space. If you're stuck with a corner, a closet or have to do your crafts on the sofa, tweet a picture of the space in use (if you're camera shy, just show the stuff you craft with at the place you craft - you don't have to be in the picture) and use the same hashtag but mention "small space" or "sm.sp." to keep it short. I'll send the winner a special prize, something that won't take up too much space either: a Bead Buddy Dual Lap Desk.

So you have the weekend to tidy up (or not if you want to win Holy-Cow-I-Can't-Believe-You-Get-Anything-Done-in-that-Space) but post your picture and use the hashtag on Monday to enter.

Speaking of contests...

Some time ago I got the news that I was one of the ten finalists in the Step by Step Beads magazine Colorworks contest held in the Spring. The contest finalists' pieces (including mine!) will be featured in the November/December '09 issue of Step by Step Beads with comments by Margie Deeb.

I have wanted to post a picture of the necklace ever since I heard, but I'd removed one of the copper chains to use for another necklace that I sold at BayCon, because I'd run out of that chain and didn't have time to order more. I'd put the necklace aside to wait for the replacement chain. Now that I've worked my way through the organizing (mostly) of my workroom to the point where I uncovered the necklace, I could replace the missing chain and take a picture for you:

The rules for the contest were to use the green, orange and purple triad of the color wheel. I'd already started what is the top beaded strand in the first picture, with those colors, so I used that design as my starting point for the final piece.

It went through several iterations before I finished it. I wasn't sure about it having five layers, but I just wasn't happy with it and kept on adding layers, until I had five.

So, there's the necklace and its story. Hope it was worth the wait...

My apologies for not being ready to review the Wubbers yet, nor having an interview ready - I need to carve out time to do some research and email good questions to the potential interviewee - hope to do so this weekend.

See you tomorrow for my Friday Pick!

PS - Picture credit: The picture at the top of the page is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1923. This image is available from the United States Library of Congress's Prints and Photographs Division under the digital ID cph.3b06083

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mid-Week Mutterings - Purple is "In" Again (Finally!)

I love purple. It was one of my High School colors and I wasn't all that crazy about it then, but later in life I realized that dark, jewel tone purples and I went very well together. Yeah, I had my "colors done" back in the 80's - didn't everyone my age do that? I was a classic Winter and purple was the color that looked best with my skin tone and hair.

Some years it's almost impossible to find anything in purple. Lavender maybe, lilac and mauve, possibly, but a rich dark purple, not so much. This year, though, I've seen a lot of mannequins in the department stores dressed in all sorts of gorgeous purple pieces and accessories. The Pantone fall color report (this link is to a pdf file, don't click unless you want to open a pdf) features a color they call "purple heart" which is a bit pale, but I see other colors accented with a much darker purple as well.

And Sunday's Emmy red carpet show - tons of purple! Some purple gowns got 'worst' clucks from the press, (things like 'grape soda' were said) but purple was certainly a color choice for the TV celebrities Sunday evening.

There are some wonderful purple stones, amethyst, purple chalcedony, charoite, flourite, Iolite, lepidolite, sugilite and tanzanite. Swarovski and other crystal and glass bead suppliers, have many shades of purple to choose from, too.

You're probably familiar with the story of how purple dye was very expensive and considered a royal color, as only the very wealthy could afford it. It was a red-purple dye which came from the secretions of a mollusc called Murex brandaris. During the Middle Ages the knowledge of how to obtain that specific purple was allegedly lost and royal blue seems to have replaced its use.

Murex brandaris - Photo: Source Luis Fernández García LP / 2005-09-09, via Wikipedia
Permission to use under Creative Commons "Attribution-ShareAlike 2.1 Spain" Licence

I've recently finished and listed a copper and purple two-strand necklace using amethyst and charoite. Not only do I like the colors, but I'm rather pleased with myself at the design, which lends itself to a number of asymmetrical conformations. This one is my favorite look, but it can be worn 5 or 6 (maybe more) ways, which I show in the pictures at ArtFire.

I'm almost out of charoite, although I have some really lovely diagonal drilled squares still to figure out a design for. They'll be perfect for earrings/bracelets.

What's your favorite purple stone or is it a color you typically avoid?

Today's post brought to you by:

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits - My Workspace - Almost Done

Well, I took Friday and Monday off so I'd have a 4-day weekend to get organized, take pictures of my work that's ready for Art Fire, and maybe even make a thing or two if I had time left over. On Friday my DH surprised me by also taking the day off and treating me to a movie I told him I'd like to see (The Informant with Matt Damon and Scott Bakula).

Thus, a big chunk of Friday was unavailable. It turned out to be more than just the movie time, unfortunately, as the hot dogs or popcorn I had at the theatre didn't agree with me very well and I didn't feel up to much work the rest of the day.

Saturday was very productive, though, and I did the bulk of the clean up then. Here's a shot of my worktable (it's 6' long by 3' wide). Down to the far right is a little wheeled shelf unit that has my polymer clay toaster oven (still unused, alas) sitting on it, under a Bead Buddy lap desk and another Bead Buddy 'briefcase' that's great for traveling with beading stuff. I've got lots of various kinds of bead storage containers, desktop drawers, etc., crammed full of beady bits. I just ordered a Beadalon beading station and a table top work bench from Great Craft Works (who also had the Beadalon square knot links I've been wanting!) so I can get my beading wire and tools better organized.

for a clearer, larger picture, please click!

The boxes at the bottom left side of the table, just past the Ott lamp, are my 'sorting' boxes - bits and beads and stuff that needs to be sorted back into their proper places. That's what most of Saturday was about. As a result of my re-sorting and consolidating I freed up five or six of the divided plastic storage boxes and got a lot of stuff out of bags and box lids into proper bins. The boxes on the table hold the metal beads, bead caps, findings and components I've managed to collect. Several of them also have Swarovski, since there's no more shelf space and I don't want to mix them in the other bins by color and mix them up with the other glass.

Here's the stuff further along the wall to the right of the table. The bins in the bookshelf are beads sorted by color. That pink bit at the bottom right of the picture is a nifty cushion thing from Bead and Button Show 2009 on-line souvenir sale, called a Krafters Komfycush that I've got on my worktable chair. It has handy pocketed flaps that hang over the side of the chair and a seat cushion. The whole thing folds up into a tote with a shoulder strap. I thought it'd be handy for conventions and other shows whether I'm selling or just sitting in a seminar/panel discussion.

for a clearer, larger picture, please click!

And here's a bit further to the right - this is the hutch that still hasn't been worked on yet. When I first started beading it was my work surface. Eventually I had to get some carts with drawers to hold my beads, then after a while I needed two more. And all the shelves in the hutch were full of bead bins. Finally I bought the long table and moved stuff over to it. No way I'm going to pan further around the room - it's still a work in progress and there's still a lot of clutter over thataway. The wall is rather short as that side of the room has the sliding glass doors to the back patio in it.

for a clearer, larger picture, please click!

The other 180° of the room has my printer, computer desk and bookshelf. It's a major mess that's next on the list of things to do. Someday. When I'm not busy beading or blogging about beading.

That's the Tueday Tidbit. See you tomorrow when I go back to sharing about some new pieces I've done post-cleaning frenzy.

P.S. - can you see the one Star Trek item I've got in my beading area? Tell me in the comments if you can and know what it is.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday Miscellany - The Beadin' Path's Glass "River Rock" Design Partner Necklace

Heather De Simone of The Beadin' Path recently asked some bead-jewelry designer/bloggers if they'd be interested in being design partners. I was honored to be asked and thrilled with the opportunity it would give me to be able to feature some of The Beadin' Path's exclusive and unique offerings for jewelry design on a regular basis.

So, it wasn't very long ago that I received a package with their large glass "River Rock" nuggets in topaz and citrus colors.

I don't do a lot of work in what I've seen described variously as primitive, natural or tribal styles. My personal likes tend toward the vintage, favoring Victorian, Edwardian, even Renaissance looks.

That said, when I got the nuggets immediately I knew they would look great combined with a strand of amber chips, some lava rock and a number of India glass round beads in a light AB finished amber color that I've had in my stash forever, it seems. I felt that I should only use a few of the large River Rocks because they're definitely substantial in size, presence in the piece and weight. The India glass beads and lava stone are very light weight, fortunately, and I didn't use any metallic beads, caps or spacers, either. I still haven't added a clasp - need to find something suitable and don't even know where to begin!

The strand with the River Rocks is strung on .38" 49 strand Beadalon satin gold because the River Rocks are rather heavy. The practically weightless amber chips are strung on .33" 19 strand Beadalon satin gold. When finished it will be about 18 - 20" total length.

The nuggets I got had some powdery grit on them, so I rinsed them before I used them. There were also a few with more than one drill path through them, in other words, one which dead-ends and one that goes through. They're are definitely rough hewn inside and out.

All in all, while they aren't the kind of thing I'd have thought to buy, I was surprised with how much I liked what I came up with. I look forward to making another necklace using the citrus colored 'rocks'.

That's it for today - see you tomorrow for Tuesday Tidbits: Dawno shows you her clean(er) workspace.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Well, that's it for today's wanderings - see you tomorrow for Monday Miscellany. I have a Beadin' Path design partner necklace to show featuring their new glass River Rocks, *plus* I'll finally be able to share pictures of that Step by Step Beads Colorworks design contest finalist necklace I made, so I do hope you'll stop by.

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