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.

Cynthia has won a blue bird resin pendant from Miss Fickle Media! Congrats! Email Shannon your mailing address to to receive your prize.

Welcome this week to the Humblebeads Studio.  I’m in the midst of preparing for my first national bead show, Bead & Button! (Booth 1212 – make a note!)  I’m hoping to be knee deep in beads by June, there is so much to do get ready for an event like this.  First there is stocking up on your best sellers and then there is designing new and exciting pieces for your loyal fans who will be seeking you out to see what’s new. 
I have been designing the new line of toggle clasps and pendants based on willows, trees, forests and nests for the show.  I’ve gone though many trails and errors working up the prototypes.  It’s true, beads do not just fly off the table perfect at the first try.  There are many experiments and tests before the ones you actually see online.  With the line fleshed out and streamlined, I’m now in the production phase.  There is nothing quite as fun as seeing a big ol’ heap of your beads. I just want to grab them and staring petting them, saying, “My precious.”
Okay, so here is the part where I ask a question and dangle beads in front of you!  What is the biggest leap you’ve taken with your business or creative journey?  Maybe it was submitting to a magazine for the first time, approaching a gallery, entering a show or taking a class across country where you didn’t know anyone.  Share your story with me and one random winner will be picked from the comment – the prize: a set of my new willow branch disk beads, shown above.
A few toggles and pendants can be found in Etsy shop.

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27 Comment

  1. Brandi
    May 8, 2010 at 3:42 pm

    I recently submitted to a magazine for the first time. I didn't get in, but that was a big step for me! I can't wait to do it again.

  2. HopelesslyAddicted
    May 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    My most recent leap was to join in to the current "Bead Soup" Party. I'm in quite a twist trying to gather the clasp, focal, etc! I know it will be fun!

  3. Erin
    May 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I took a lampworking class. It was a big leap for me because I had never worked with a torch or done anything with glass, and didn't know the first thing about it. It was a great learning experience with something completely foreign to me that I knew I would never try on my own (too much equipment/materials investment and too big a learning curve). Very positive experience, but I think I'll stick to buying lampwork. For now…

  4. Carol Creech
    May 8, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    My recent leap was to join the Bead Journal Project and commit to doing a small, beaded piece each month for the year. I'm already behind, but will continue to plug away! Hard to find time with little ones at home, but I am really enjoying the artistic commitment. Your beads are gorgeous, by the way!

  5. Sue
    May 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    My biggest leap was entering a contest where your entry was pictured on the internet. It is fun but also makes me very nervous. Not sure if I will do it again or not.

  6. sandi m
    May 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm

    My biggie leap was a first time publication submission.
    Not only was a piece featured but I was shockingly elated to see a portion of it appear on the cover and used as a prop in an article.
    A sense of validation for sure.

  7. Gail W.
    May 8, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    My first big leap was walking into a small clothing store,and talking with the manager about displaying my jewelry.I know now that is not how it's done,but it worked for me,and I sell more jewelry there than anywhere.

  8. Heather
    May 8, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Very nice new beads. I especially like your new toggle designs. All your work is so earthy!! just love it.

  9. Heather
    May 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    oops forgot to tell you about my biggest leap- I have joined the Las Vegas Etsy team-"Etsy Does Vegas" and hoping to really increase my friendships and sales by sharing with others in my area. This is my year to do everything to "Get Out There". I am networking like crazy and entering contests and I won 3 ribbons at our local Quilt Show this year. It has been great so far!

  10. Hannah
    May 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Pretty beads! My biggest leap was going to another state to take a PMC class. I'm primarily a seed beader, and may not realistically have a chance to do much with PMC for a while, but I wanted to try it out and see how it was done.


  11. Susanm
    May 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    In thre last couple of months, I have made two big leaps – to make my own felt balls and to start submitting designs to challenges and magazines. I have been making jewelery with hand-embroidered felt balls for quite some time, but have always purchased the balls. Making my own means that I can make different sizes and shapes. It is a lot of fun. I don`t make jewelery to sell so entering beading challenges was a big step, as was submitting designs to a magazine. These type of activities push me to try new things and master new techniques, which will make me a better beader.

  12. EB Bead and Metal Works
    May 8, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    The biggest leap for us was to be more involved with the blogging, putting inventory on Etsy, submitting work to a publication, and trying the Bead Soup Party. We also started going to art shows this year.

  13. Alice
    May 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    Your Willow Branch beads are just lovely! In fact, all the beads you've shown here are gorgeous!

    I just signed up for Stephaine Lee's Homesteader Metalsmithing ECourse. That's a big deal for me in several ways: I'm not sure if I can learn through a computer course, I've never spent that much money at one time for my jewelry biz, and I'll be learning all sorts of new things which will need new tools. Even so, I'm excited to get started, and to take my biz to a new level.

    Live and Learn!

  14. Andrew Thornton
    May 9, 2010 at 12:24 am

    I think it was a minor change, but with profound impact. I divided myself mentally as solely an artist and a businessperson. I realized that if I was to continue on this path, one could not survive without the other and I had to embrace the businessman inside of myself.

  15. Lucid Moon Studio
    May 9, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Love the turquoise/green colors of your beads! My biggest leap was submitting my work to magazines, which I just recently did and got accepted. Next, I am doing my first craft show in exactly a week. I am excited and nervous, so hopefully it will go well! Thanks for the giveaway!!


  16. Diana P.
    May 9, 2010 at 1:55 am

    I'm currently in the process of getting my LLC paperwork together and looking for a formal studio space. I'm also in talks with a bead magazine for some tutorials. So I've taken a few big leaps this year!

  17. Sabine
    May 9, 2010 at 3:55 am

    I started by joining in the Use the Muse contests, not that I won anything. Now I have joined the Bead Soup Party. Now I need to get busy with etsy. We shall see what becomes of it!


  18. Boot ~C
    May 9, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I started the steps to open a shop on etsy & my goal is to have it opened & 5 pieces listed by the end of the month

  19. cindydolezaldesigns
    May 9, 2010 at 5:56 am

    My biggest leap was submitting beads to Beads 2010. One of them was actually accepted. I also sent beads to Bead Dreams which were not accepted. I have started entering every challenge and contest I find. I love doing them and the exposure is great.

  20. Beadativity
    May 9, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Thank you for the opportunity to win your beautiful beads! I haven't been very adventurous yet… but I have started work on my blog and set up my Etsy shop. I'm working on creating a number of pieces of jewelry so that when I start selling a will have a large variety to put in my store. It's a small step, but I'm proud of it!



  21. moonlitfantaseas
    May 9, 2010 at 7:15 am

    mine was to enter the use the muse….also I did the beadspup party last time and will be doing it again this time around…..and planning on having a store on zibbet,
    just have to figure it all out

  22. Ros
    May 9, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Those beads and pendants are gorgeous – I particularly like the toggle clasp!!

    I am very new at jewellery making and design, so my biggest leap was a few days ago, when I entered an item into a design challenge. It was very nerve-racking!!

  23. Malin de Koning
    May 9, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I love your new designs Heather! They are wonderful.

    My BIGGEST leap I think took place many years ago, almost 20 now, when I decided to send in my application and portfolio to the National College of Arts, Crafts & Design (Konstfack) here in Sweden. I applied for Industrial Design although I knew I didn't have the right kind of background. My portfolio consisted of only arty stuff. I WAS confident with my own artistic level, and thought if I was lucky the committe would think I was interesting enough to be considered for Industrial Design. And they did!!!! They asked me to come to an interview. And although I was only chosen as third reseve that year it was such a victory for me. I spent the whole next year dedicated to get in next time. Everything I did was about increasing my chanses to get in. I took classes, arranged an internship in a famous Industrial Design Bureau (just kept begging, and finally they said yes), worked in a restaurant to earn money. And I got in!!!! 4 years of high quality studies in design. I have an MFA. It is such a versatile education I can use it in many fields of design. Due to MS I don't work professionally anylonger, but instead got in to beading. I do get a  pension, but I hope to be able to make a bit of extra money from my beading, or at least get some feedback and attention. 'Coz it is in the interaction with others I feel alive. And the beading world is just so great to be in anyway. I love how it is so international, sharing and inspiring. I am drewling most every day looking at other peoples great creations, and I love to sit in my studio and design and experiment.

    Gosh, I 'always' write so loooong. Bare with me please. All my best, Malin

  24. Lois Moon
    May 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Because I bead and make beads as a creative outlet and not as a business (although all my friends are pushing me in that direction and I have sold pieces and consigned pieces by accident), my biggest leap has been to start to establish a web presence. I had been lurking, but now I am trying to reach out and connect with other beaders and bead makers. I started because I wanted to sell a few pieces in order to legitimately qualify to get a resale license so I could buy silver wire wholesale, but reading blogs and asking questions has gotten me started making my own beads and bead weaving. Big leap # 2: as others have said, joining Bead Soup. I chickened out earlier this year and swore I would try it if it came around again.

  25. Elizabeadan.com
    May 9, 2010 at 4:40 pm

    Well….the long story short is, I started to "work" my jewelry in Feb, when I was layed off my full time job. I started by actually working my Facebook page. I hunted for connections, people I knew in the business and moved onto blogs (I had no idea there were so many!) In March I found Art Bead Scene & fell in love. My son started a Web page for me(under construction). I started listing on Etsy. I entered Art Bead Scene's March compatition and a few days later became Artist of the Week! That was the kicker! Then I started researching local markets to participate in. I was excepted into one, and then I received notice that I was excepted into 3 juried markets, all of which are in the next 3 months. The next day I found out that a piece I had sent into a magazine, was excepted…I'm told that it will be in print in October. I am overwhelmed and sooo excited with how fast this has happened….a little hard work really pays off! And, it is all Art Bead Scene's fault for boosting my confidence when I was down! Thanks Art Bead Scene, for the creativity you have inspired in me! I LOVE reading your blog!

  26. Night Beader
    May 9, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    My biggest leap was entering Use the Muse III for the first time and low and behold, I won the grand prize! I was thrilled beyond belief and am glad that I entered. I would have been happy with an honorable mention. I'm going to enter more competitions now.
    Beadily yours
    Susan E Feldkamp

  27. Shaiha
    May 14, 2010 at 12:59 am

    I don't know that I have taken any leaps this year. I have been too busy dealing with some health issues :(. I haven't really been creating but I have been taking some old necklaces from a lady at work and updating them. This is the first time I haven't been able to just get an idea and go from there.

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