Studio Saturday – Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments!

As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

This weeks winner is Staci Louise! You have won simple truths pendant from Erin Prais-Hintz! Email Erin to claim your prize.

Welcome to the Humblebeads Studio today!
Butterflies & Brambles
Today I’m going to share a little challenge I set up for myself.

I was at Hobby Lobby last week and heard the bead siren call coming from this purple artistic wire.  It was so pretty in the spool. It was singing of spring and blossoms and well that was a tune I wanted to hear.
At first I envisioned creating some kind of wire nests with it.  But after a few tries, they looked like something that belonged in an Easter basket and not my vibe.  So I went back to the drawing table.  Determined that I would transform it into something ‘humble-ly’. 
As you can see from the two photos my first order of business was to change the focal beads.  Eggs and light purple wire – the only song they sing are “Here comes Peter Cotton Tail, hopping…” Well, you get the picture.  So  I traded the nest pendant for one of my earthy butterflies pendants.
I then decided to create purple wire links that were joined with Vintaj brass colored wire.  Now they are playing my song.  So while I loved the wire on the spool, it was not my aesthetic once I tried to work it.  Combining it with components and elements that were more my style helped transform it into something I could actually wear.
Some of my new beads – yes, it is spring here in Texas. 
I’m hoping to spread some of the sunshine to those with snow still on the ground.
So my question for your today is what material have you fought with in your jewelry design and either won or lost?  (I might mention I used almost the whole spool of wire on my failed – I mean learning – attempts!)  Leave a comment and one lucky winner will win one of my Butterfly Pendants.
Happy Creating!

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35 Comment

  1. Elaine
    March 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    One of my most popular selling beads are little "swirlies" – lentil shaped, multi coloured swirling beads.

    I think it took 4 or 5 YEARS before I made one piece with them beyond earrings or simple pendant that I liked.

    I've also done the coloured wire thing. Now I just stick to a few more natural metal colours, so that one defeated me (for now!)

  2. Alice
    March 5, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Your new spring beads are lovely, and so is the Butterflies and Brambles necklace!

    As for the material that challenges me the most–I would say wire of any type. I just can't get it to work for me and it ends up in a twisted mess. I really need some one-on-one lessons.

    Congratulations Staci!!!

  3. mairedodd
    March 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    vintage/filigree components – i have a hard time with them… i recently feel like i had a successful session using one – after i modified it – but that's ok… it took away my knee-jerk reaction of avoidance… i love how you combined the color withe the antiqued brass – very subtle… very humble!

  4. Cillaw
    March 5, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    I like the color with the wire and I didn't' know how to incorporate it without it looking like children's dollar store jewelry but you did it! Nice work!

    I have trouble with horizontal holes in beads for earrings. The wire wrapping tends to look messy and unfinished. I keep trying but not my favorite task!

  5. Janet
    March 5, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Heather this is so Pretty! I have been wanting to get better and master copper,and am going to work on this more; such as hammering and lettering etc. I am going to take an Online class soon!

  6. Sweet Willow Designs
    March 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    When I first started working with polymer clay, I went through a lot of clay trying all different techniques and learning how the material reacted to paint, burning (unintential), and inclusions. I ended up with several plastic bin of throw away beads, pendants, etc., etc. I felt kinda bad about such waste until I found a way to justify it to myself. These weren't trash; they were "prototypes". I like the sound of that. Calling my failed pieces prototypes makes it seem like I'm really perfecting my craft with every attempt not just creating junk.

  7. Erin S
    March 5, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    resin has been a mixed bag for me. light coatings on scrapbook paper have worked well, but bezels–not so much. Love the pendant-hope I win!
    Erin S

  8. GailW.
    March 5, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I just could not work with polymer clay.Don't know why,just never ended up with anything that pleased me.So,I just began to by the beads and pendants,with a special fondness for yours,Heather,as you know!

  9. Malin de Koning
    March 5, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I love the necklace. I love all your new beads. I love the way you have worked with that lilac wire. I too have a weakness for materials like that wire. Often I hold myself back from buying them, coz they are so specialized. But not always. And now I just got really inspired to go through my stash hunting for old purchases of a specific kind. I know there is a maroon colored wire for instance, that I could play with.

    What I have struggled with?
    I would say wire wrapping. But it is funny, coz sometimes it goes really easy for me, and then sometimes it just won't work at all.

    Crimp beads and crimp covers is another thing. I don't know if I am too picky with the final outcome, so I make it more complicated than it should be.

  10. Hazel Ward
    March 5, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    It took me ages until I could use metallic polymer clays in my beads and be satisfied with them…still can't do mica shift though πŸ™

    And any wire under 0.6mm goes cray on me; the thinner the wire, the more times I end up poking myself with it as it waves wildly like a rabid snake while I'm trying to wire-wrap!

  11. Mandy
    March 5, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Your piece is lovely! The butterfly bead is perfect for spring. The worse material for me is wire of any kind. I can't even make a loop on the end of an eye pin.


  12. SueBeads
    March 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

    Heather, I'm glad you posted that you used up a whole roll spool of wire. You make those connectors look so easy, this is one of my challenges, making wire do what I want it to do!!!!!!!!!

  13. rosebud101
    March 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    The look of my wire work changed when I began to use dark annealed steel wire that you can find at the hardware store! I love it, and it certainly changed things for me!

  14. Christine'sCreations
    March 5, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    Your necklace is stunning. Very inspiring.
    I have stuggled with incorporating fabrics like lace or ribbon into my jewelry.

  15. Ashleigh Becker
    March 5, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I have bought/ordered so many things that I thought would be amazing for the idea in my head, only to find out that things don't always work-out as beautifully in reality as they do in my head. I once tried to make a bracelet using Vintaj blanks as connectors between lines of beads & chain. Turned out to be a big mess & waste/learning process.

    I also bought this colored chain at Hobby Lobby thinking, I don't know what I'll do with this but it'll be really cool. Still haven't figured it out. I'm starting to think maybe it wasn't as cool as it looked in the store. oh well, we live & learn!

  16. Off the Beadin' Path
    March 6, 2011 at 12:14 am

    I might have an answer for you in a few weeks, I'm working up to trying resin bezels, very scary! Love your butterflies. Glad to know that YOU , too, have your moments with plans gone wrong. You pulled off a spectacular recovery though, and forced that wire into submission, good work!

  17. somethingunique
    March 6, 2011 at 1:48 am

    Hi Heather,That necklace is so pretty, and that butterfly is teasing me because spring looks so far away right now we are getting slammed with snow as we speak. I would say the thing that has been the biggest challenge for me has been metal stamping, no matter how much i have practiced before using my sterling blanks i still make mistakes I have wasted so many of them you can't really erase the stamp once you hit that hammer down and with the price of sterling those mistakes are costly i'm getting better though.i really enjoy your blog ttfn πŸ™‚

  18. Zyatica
    March 6, 2011 at 2:52 am

    Love your work.

    One material I have fought with would be thread and seed beads. I love crochet ropes and the hard part is starting the ropes… One which was black beads on black thread took me at least 20 attempts to start… Yes I don't give up easily and yes the end result was worth it…

    I have struggled with wire especially coiling but I hopefullu have mastered it with the use of my drill…

  19. Sabine
    March 6, 2011 at 4:05 am

    Fabric beads have been the hardest things I have worked with. I got Kristal Wick's book for Xmas one year, but nothing I made looked right. I will stick to the beads that other people make.


  20. raquelamaral
    March 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

    I love your style. I just placed an order and can't wait to get them. Thank you!

  21. Kristi Bowman
    March 6, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Great necklace, and I think the colored wire is something I've always thought of using but just couldn't see it. But I love the way you used it and I think I might have to give it a try. I love all the links you did. I've done some sort of similar but you took it to the next level, I'm gonna have to try it!! Thanks!

  22. m.e.
    March 6, 2011 at 11:05 am

    I am trying to recall if I have ANY material
    I haven't fought with at one time or another!
    I don't think so !!!
    My fights are usually about how I want to use the material in some "great design idea " I thought up .
    Sometimes I win , sometimes not!
    m.e. vs .material ….
    I think the score is about even ! LOL!!!
    m.e. πŸ˜€

  23. cw
    March 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    Heather, your new piece is wonderful. It's an uplifting sign of spring after a tough winter here. ' good of you to admit your difficulties, I have been there many times myself. It's nice to know that artists like yourself struggle too! =) I found my biggest disappointment is when I create something with resin and finish only to find that I have not completed sealed the image, and now shows signs of it on the finished piece. Too late, it's been sealed with the resin, …starting over is disheartening and the original image is lost. Ah…the learning process! Continued success! ' love your creations.

  24. raquel roysdon
    March 6, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I love your blog and your beads. My biggest challenge is working with silver clay, pmc.

  25. Creating beaded beads. I love beaded beads- round balls of loveliness. When I tried making them they were pretty but I had shape and size issues. I eventually created something that was close to my vision. More adaptations are yet to come.

  26. roseworksjewelry
    March 6, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I saw someone else comment that they were glad you posted that you went through a whole spool of wire trying to make it work – because I do similar things! I love wire, but I'm still really struggling to get it to do what I want it to do. Especially chainmaille. I've always wanted to make it but never managed it yet πŸ™

  27. lynsey
    March 6, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    i love that combination of wire colours.
    You are such an artist with polymer clay, this appears to be one material that has challenged me and won…so far, I just need to practice with it more

  28. Attorney Angela Lund-Logan
    March 6, 2011 at 10:48 pm

    It was comforting to hear that someone with so much experience has challenges still. I think I will be a little easier on myself. I made a portion of a necklace and then struggled to complete it. I finally put together an idea and attached the beads. I hated it. After a while I tore it apart so I could try again. I finally came up with something I really liked.

  29. My Life Under the Bus
    March 7, 2011 at 12:52 pm

    So pretty and they still have that "nesty" feel – which is a great compliment to the Spring theme!

  30. quiltingjewel39
    March 7, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    I love how you made the purple wire work – it looks great. I'm not great with seed beads – they are so darn small!! I use them occasionally but in very small doses.

  31. Cynthia
    March 7, 2011 at 9:50 pm

    I have all kinds of supplies that I've bought, only to not be able to "master" them. The most recent is guilder's paste. Maybe it's me, but when I try to rub it on my brass stampings, it crumbles off, and makes a mess. But, I'll keep trying!
    One new thing I tried & succeeded at was your "birds nest bail". You were generous enough to put the instructions on ABS, and I tried it, and I really liked it. I have to turn it into a finished piece, but, it looks cool!
    Thanks for the chance to win one of your lovely butterflies!

  32. Leslie Gidden
    March 9, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Heather, I am totally in LOVE with this necklace….I come here daily to look at it!!! Just had to tell ya!


  33. Valerie (Cline Jewels)
    March 11, 2011 at 12:43 am

    I was working with a Cab for a necklace I was making. The Cab almost won with broken beads . I was able to slide new ones in and string my thread all the way around 2 more times without breaking any more. It only took a small spool of thread to finish just the Cab, but it did come out beautifully.

  34. Marion
    March 12, 2011 at 5:08 am

    I love your butterfly bead, I'm a big fan of things with wings.
    One thing i a big problem with is wire wrapping big stones for pendants. I have not problem with basic wire wrapping but for some reason i just struggle with holing onto big pieces to wrap them. I'd love to know if anyone has a simple trick to help I'm missing.

  35. Papillon
    March 13, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    J'β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯ ce style, superbe !

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