Studio Saturday with Melanie Brooks

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.

This week’s winner is Cynthia aka Cynth’s Blog
Congratulations! You have won a Tales They Tell pendant from
Erin Prais-Hintz.
 Send Erin an e-mail with your address and she will get it out to you as soon as possible!
This week we visit the studio of
I recently received a lovely package of goodies from the folks at Nina Designs as part of their blog partnership program. I got a goodie bag with all of the items above included:  a bunch of beautiful shiny charms, pendants, and findings from their Bronze Collection, a lovely bright turquoise silk ribbon, and a bundle of soft and supple deer hide leather. What a generous and gorgeous selection of things to play with!
I loved the lotus pendant and it was very fortunate that I had just finished up some pendants with a water and lotus pond theme!  So I was eager to use those things together!  The cut-out design of the lotus pendant, like many of the other bronze pendants in the collection, makes it really versatile with all the areas to bead onto.  I used the lotus as a triple connector, hanging my pendant from the bottom and attaching a loop to each of the two top petals.  The ribbon color wasn’t so matchy-matchy with the pendant, so I took a few little strands of it and tied them to the bottom leaves of the lotus to tie the color in near the pendant.  I also used two of the swirly bronze charms and some strawberry quartz to make some interesting dangles further up the necklace, to tie the pink color in.  I like the cool simplicity of this necklace, interesting, but not too overly complicated.
I also made a pair of coordinating earrings with a pair of my ceramic links! The bronze is very shiny, almost gold in color, and I didn’t have any gold jump rings or other findings, so I used gunmetal black.  I really like the contrast of the two shiny metals and how it brings a little bit of extra interest to the design.
All of these pieces and colors remind me of cool waters like the kinds I get to see on vacation at the beach or visiting beautiful parks.  Or maybe that’s just my pre-Bead & Button preparation crazed head dreaming of summer vacation after the show.  It’s almost June… are you dreaming about summer vacation yet?

When you take a vacation or trip, do you do anything beady?  Do you visit local bead stores in the area that you are staying, or do you work on fun projects?  Leave a comment on this post and tell us about it!  Next Saturday, one random commenter will be chosen to win the Nina bronze charm and pair of Earthenwood ceramic links above!

materials above were provided as part of the Nina Designs blogging program. The
author of this blog has not received any payment from above-mentioned company.
The post above represents only personal opinion of the blog author.

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22 Comment

  1. Alice
    May 19, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    I love the Nina Designs components, though I have yet to purchase any. Your necklace is just gorgeous, as are the earrings.

    When we vacation we always go by car. Because I get car sick easily I can't read,or even bead. And we are always on the go all day and night so there's no time to bead in the hotel. I would love to visit bead shops but my family does not share my enthusiasm.

  2. Becky Pancake
    May 19, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    I plan to visit my grandsons in Michigan & Ohio this summer for the first time in 8 years. I has several bead shops stops planned on the way. I am going to teach their other Grandma some beading while I am there. YEAH!!

  3. Erin S
    May 19, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I rarely bead on vacation–too much stuff to take with me–I am always afraid I will lose something and inevitably I don't have something I need. I do like to visit local boutique jewelry stores to get ideas, though!

  4. Meadowland Designs
    May 19, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    When my family goes on trips, I pack a small bead box with designs that are in progress & work on new ideas. I usually do visit one or two beadstores.
    I love how you mixed your metals in the earrings!

  5. Kristi
    May 19, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I visit other bed stores, and sometime take projects to work on. Mostly I take my camera, and sketch book.

  6. Off the Beadin' Path
    May 19, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    When we vacation in Maui, I always visit the Aloha Bead Shop!! They have items that I don't see anywhere else! But I wait until I'm home to actually do any beading. I really like what you did with your lotus pendant and the other components!

  7. Shaiha
    May 20, 2012 at 3:56 am

    I haven't been on a away from home in years. I have far too critters. On my vacations I tend to live in my studio playing. I find it to be more relaxing then worrying about them as half of them join me there.

  8. Kristen
    May 20, 2012 at 10:37 am

    There is a great enameling supplies store in Scarborough, ME called Warg Tools and I always go there when we vacation on the southern Maine coast. But I don't usually bead on vacation but I often bring beading books or magazines with me.

  9. Lisa Chapman
    May 20, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I love the Nina bronze components! When I plan my vacation, I research bead shops and art galleries in the area. I like to bring home a special bead or two for my stash.

  10. Lois Moon
    May 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    I'm headed north when school is over to get out of the heat and visit with family and friends. I always check out the class listings at the bead stores around Cleveland, Ohio before I go and plan to catch a class or workshop to learn something new. I love going to the bead shops because there is nothing near me.

    I always take a simple project to bead weave while I'm visiting with old friends. I love to sit out side and chat and not have 10,000 mosquitoes and gnats flying around as I do here.

  11. Attorney Angela Lund-Logan
    May 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    Whenever I am with my parents I always bring along beads. Many times I create items for my mother, grandmother, or sister. On my last visit, I brought along finished pieces that needed to be photographed so I could list them for sale on etsy, payvment, copious, and style.ly. I enlisted my mother and sister to assist. Getting ready for a week long RV trip with my parents and sister so I am packing up ALL my beads.

  12. Carol Creech
    May 21, 2012 at 2:12 am

    I haven't vacationed in a long time!! Itching for a trip and hoping to get to the beach this summer. I imagine I'll leave my beads at home, but would love to explore local shops and see what's new, get ideas. The Nina components look fantastic – I have ideas already 🙂

  13. Lynda
    May 21, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Love the fresh green ceramic links! And yes, whenever I get to travel I'm often on the look out for bead stores. Sometimes I'll even do a bit of internet research to find stores in the locations we're traveling to. Something a bit different or intriguing. One of my favorite little finds was the Aloha Bead Company in Paia, on the island of Maui. Found it on the road to Hana.
    Thanks for this great opportunity.


  14. DeeAnne
    May 21, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I love these components as well as the way Melanie has incorporated them into a simple, beautiful design! I always manage to find a least one bead shop when we travel, to shop and to get ideas. I usually enjoy talking to the owner of the shop as well as the people who are there. I wait until I am home, however, to work on beading projects.

  15. Stephanie
    May 21, 2012 at 3:53 pm

    I've done some of my best work while traveling! My husband says a vacation isn't a vacation unless we get lost trying to find a bead shop!

  16. Kathleen Lange Klik
    May 21, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Gorgeous selection from Nina Designs. They work beautifully with your ceramic components!

    I always look for bead shops in any town I visit, it is a must on my list!

    Each summer, my husband and I join his family for a vacation in the Adirondack mountains. Initially, I was bringing along my jewelry supplies to work on nature inspired pieces. A few years ago, my mother-in-law became intrigued and I offered to teach her how to
    string a necklace. Each year since, we have held a "crafty day" in the cabin we rent. One year we made felted wool beads that my sister-in-law taught us how to make, last year we painted wine glasses and coffee cups. This year I am planning to bring my supplies for creating polymer clay beads. It has been on my to do list for a while, and a week in the Adirondacks will be the perfect inspiration!

  17. Cynthia
    May 21, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Whenever I go some place (on vacation or for the day) I am always on the look out for a LBS, or a rock shop, or someplace to buy beads. You never know what you'll find when you're away from home!
    I don't do beading when I travel – my stash is too large to take anywhere 😉

  18. Terri
    May 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Funny you should ask about beads and vacations! My husband is a work-a-holic and I had to leave my job 3 years ago to work in the family business. Last fall I decided that if I was ever going to go anywhere, maybe I should just go by myself. So I took a jewelry vacation to Heather Powers' Inspired by Nature Retreat, came home for a few days and then drove off to ArtBliss in DC.

    Then in March I went to Virginia Beach for Art and Soul! I've had great times, met people who share my interests, and shop in some great bead shops! On my way home from ArtBliss, I stopped in to meet Andrew Thornton and see his gallery, and after Art and Soul I drove home by way of Muncy, PA, to stop in at Melind Orr's, so I've even used my travels to meet jewelry artists meet on the 'net!

  19. Malin de Koning
    May 22, 2012 at 11:03 am

    I always research ahead which bead shops I can visit in the area I am going to. It is a must to go shopping in new places :-). And if I have a chance to go and see a bead artist or a beading friend in person, I will definitely try to arrange that. I would bring along things so I can do some beading while away. Mostly I take along my Delica beads so I can do some peyote work. And I might bring stuff for casual macrame also.

    I hope I win the beautiful pieces from you and Nina's.

  20. lajadedgrrl
    May 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I keep finding more and more lovely places to buy things of beauty from! This is supposed to be a bad thing, right?

  21. rockcreekcreations
    May 27, 2012 at 3:23 am

    We don't take an actual vacation, but every couple weekends we go camping and my beads go with me everywhere!!

  22. Kathy Lindemer
    June 27, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I love your idea of connecting the pendant to the lotus and putting the charms on the ribbon. Very pretty!

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