Studio Saturday with Humblebeads

Welcome to Studio Saturday! 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.

Sweet Willow Designs won a Celtic button from Creative Impressions in Clay.  Email Tari your address and she will send that right out to you.

This week are in the Humblebeads Studio.

In September I took a workshop with the Vintaj gang in Galena and one of the projects was using a melting pot with UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Powder) and a beautiful palette of embossing powders.
Basically you add the colored powders on the brass blank and then the clear UTEE.  It melts together into this little bit of mixed media heaven that looks like a little painting.  Jess shared with us a trick to make the UTEE matte and oh, that’s so lovely with my beads!
During the workshop I wasn’t sure if the melt art stuff was for me, so I waited and let the ideas percolate until I decided I really did want to play more with the melting pot and UTEE.  They almost remind me of enamel and in fact I have played around with adding them to dapped disks to create a faux enamel design.
I put together these fun necklaces for a show a few weeks ago mixing in copper leaf chain, Czech glass and some of my branch disks with my favorite gunmetal findings and chain.

Which got me thinking, my little branch disk beads are the workhorse of most of my designs.  I’m constantly using them in my pendants, necklaces and earrings.  And my other go-to beads are Czech glass, vintaj brass and gunmetal findings.  
So my question for you this week – what are your go-to beads, the trusty ones that you stock up on and use in the majority of your designs.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a set of my Golden Branch Disk Beads.

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30 Comment

  1. debb
    November 20, 2011 at 12:29 am

    Your necklaces are beautiful! I thought they were enameled at until I read! I am an amateur beader but find sead beads to be my go to. Thank you for all the inspiration- I am going to get some utte and give this a go-

  2. moonlitfantaseas
    November 20, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I really love those necklaces! the colors are wonderful!

  3. Elaine
    November 20, 2011 at 3:07 am

    My go to beads would be some small round brass filigree beads, small brown jasper beads and my own tiny flower shapes in seasonal colours – they make great simple earrings or awesome dangle bracelets en masse.

  4. Abeille à miel
    November 20, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I tend to keep small amber chips and beads on hand, as they are going well with my copper pieces. I have admired your work for a few years now, and love those necklaces!

  5. Marianna
    November 20, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I also thought these were enamel..what a smart trick! My go to beads are black onyx. I tend to have it somewhere in anything I design..and gunmetal filigree caps in anything that is delicate!

  6. Lisa Cone - Inspired Adornments
    November 20, 2011 at 8:32 am

    Those leaves are STUNNING and the necklaces are amazing and right up my alley!

    My go to beads are Czech Glass – especially the pressed glass flowers and anything Picasso. Second would be small Swarovski bicones to add just the right amount of shimmer and shine to a piece. Third would be a bird. (Bit, I can't say that now without saying "Put a bird on it").

  7. Linda Starr
    November 20, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Love the matt surfaces on the leaves so wonderful how you used them in your necklace design.

  8. JeannieK
    November 20, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Your disk beads are my favorite. My go to beads are either pearls or metal beads.

  9. Malin de Koning
    November 20, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I really love the necklaces! They look so great laid out next to each other like that.

    Go-to beads? Well, I find I often use a certain kind of small rustic circular spacer heishi type beads in my designs. In brass or copper because that's the metals I most often work with (even if lately I have started to long for silvery colors too). I guess they work as 'travelling' components between the beads and/or other parts. They are important even though they are small and seamingly insignificant. I also often use 2 mm round beads in brass or copper. For the same reason I guess.

  10. Carol Creech
    November 20, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Ooo – that UTEE is awesome stuff! What beautiful necklaces. I don't do a ton of beading, but right now, I am making some bracelets for Christmas gifts and am in love with semiprecious stone beads (jaspers, agates, etc.) and just can't get enough of the beautiful earth tones, swirling colors, etc. I could actually see using one of your branch beads as the closure bead for one of the bracelets. Thanks for the opportunity!

  11. Julie Tomes
    November 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Garnets are my "old faithful" components. I love the deep wine shades and am constantly stocking up on 2mm – 4mm round. They are PERFECT for all of my jewelry! 🙂

  12. Alice
    November 20, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    When I saw these lovely leaves I thought they were enamel! The UTEE Powders sound like fun.

    Right now my go-to beads/findings is anything Vintaj.

  13. Kristi
    November 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I love the enamel look.

    I do not have a go to bead, yet anyway.

  14. Merrie
    November 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    My go to beads are swarovski bicones, I use them liberally as spacers. Love the pop they give to my other beads. Merrie

  15. Natasha
    November 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    I, too, just got back from learning the melting pot at vintaj studio–i have yet to play with mine at home, but am now VERY inspired! Thank you! My go to beads are agates of all kinds and czech glass beads.

  16. Lela Bouse-McCracken
    November 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Like everyone else, I thought the gorgeous leaves were enameled. They're beautiful! And the necklaces all look stunning.

    I think I need some UTEE. 🙂

  17. Erin S
    November 20, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    Pearls are my "go to" bead. I never use them as the major part of my design, but they are the perfect accent bead. They work with any style. Love the faux enamel, and I've always been a fan of your branch beads.

  18. stephanie_mcginley
    November 20, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!!! I love the necklaces!

    My "go to" beads have changed over the years…They used to be freshwater pearls. Now, I tend to use either turquoise (chips or other shapes) OR garnets. It really all depends on my designs!


  19. Off the Beadin' Path
    November 21, 2011 at 12:06 am

    The leaf necklaces are a winner! A new trend with that enamel look? I have noticed those branch disk beads in your designs, they always look just right! Can't answer that go-to question – too many possibilities! Anything with a dragonfly seems to be a seller, then pearls, of course, garnets, and probably turquoise is the most used. But I have a nice collection of Humblebeads, too! Don't forget Vintaj and copper. that was a good question, really got me thinking!

  20. KayzKreationz
    November 21, 2011 at 1:34 am

    Those leaves and beads are wonderful. I usually end up going to my multitude of different jasper beads and chips. And they always seem to be in shades of browns and reds. But I also love my Red Creek jasper.

  21. For My Sweet Daughter
    November 21, 2011 at 2:25 am

    My go to beads lately seem to be Czech Glass beads and Gaea's rounds.
    I have been dying to try the utee technique and now you made me want to even more 🙂 Beautiful.

  22. Cynthia
    November 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Your necklaces look so good together!
    My go-to bead is the 3mm melon spacer from Vintaj. I rarely make something without it. And, I often use Vintaj Floral bead caps. And, I've been having a love affair with my Czech glass beads lately. Then, put all 3 of those together!! Mmmmm, yummy!

  23. Beth
    November 21, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    I am a chainmailler but when I use beads I definitely go for art beads– polymer, ceramic and lampwork.


  24. quiltingjewel39
    November 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm

    Those leaves are wonderful and I love what you did with them on the necklaces. My go to are aquamarine rondells and czech glass beads.

  25. indigo heart
    November 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    my go to bead is actually chain. i rarely make anything without a bit of chain in it. love those leaves!

  26. The Crazier Sister
    November 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    I don't actually have a specific "go-to" bead as much as a color. I love the earthy-tones and have a tendency to lean that direction. I have to be careful to create in other colors that are just as pleasing to the eye and not stick to my favorites; forest greens, ochre, umber… colors you'd associate with Autumn in New England.

  27. Meadowland Designs
    November 22, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Hi! It's rather hard to pick just one kind of bead or componet that I use a lot…mostly because it changes every couple of months. Right now it would be a toss up between Czech glass and Swarovski crystals.
    I would love to use more Vintaj brass findings, just haven't find the time yet to incorperate them! I like your branch disk beads, very sweet and natural-themed.

  28. CreationsbyKari
    November 22, 2011 at 5:06 am

    Love, love, love those leaves! Where can I learn how to do that (without having to go to a class- I live in Hawaii so it's just not practical) I am now obsessed. Ok, I know I haven't answered your question, but I am distracted by those leaves! Staples would def have to be Vintaj and czech beads also,colors greens,turquoise,and blues. I love your beads by the way 🙂

  29. Kat
    November 23, 2011 at 7:56 am

    I really love the utee I have been wanting to try that on my pendants. These are very pretty.

  30. Sandra Young
    November 23, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    I've used UTEE on paper with my rubber stamps and embossing powder but would never have thought to use it on metal! Incredible pieces for sure! Thanks for sharing.

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