Monday, October 24, 2011

4 Beaded Jewelry Design Trends from Bead Trends Magazine Video


I just happened on Bead Trends Magazine Facebook page this past weekend and was pleased to see this nice video – apparently they have a YouTube channel - which describes some bead art jewelry trends that are quite nice.

As usual I always hope for more on the bead weaving art form of beading; but the beaded jewelry items featured in this video are quite unique and lovely…Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Bead Colors That Work with Pantone’s 2011 Fall / Winter Fashion Color: Bamboo

It’s one thing to know the current seasons fashion colors as forecast by Pantone, but it’s another to determine which bead colors  actually work back to those colors – the great thing about bead colors is that they seem to always be in fashion, if not this season certainly the next.

Bamboo Bead Color Collage

Those that know, realize that bead color choices and selection is quite exhaustive so it’s really kind of nice to have a trend color chart to reference so we’re not searching endlessly to match current fashion colors.

Bamboo is the first color listed on the chart. Mustard and Mustard Yellow immediately come to mind so this is an easy one for trying to figure out which bead color works back to Bamboo.  The beads and bead mixes I selected for the collage starts with the solid color in Miyuki Japanese Tila beads Mustard.  The bead mixes can be searched on two names Honey Butter aka Marigold.

I always like to know what’s inspiring to a designer in fashion, but especially in bead art jewelry designing as it often tells an interesting story.

Designers Chris Benz, Lela Rose and Kenneth Cole created the following pieces for Pantone and talked about not only what inspired them but the signature and prominent colors that they worked with while designing for Fall / Winter 2011 Fashions; so let’s start with the color Bamboo.


Chris Benz fondly reflects on his travels to Savannah Georgia in 2010 inspired his use of the color Bamboo and speaks of the prominent colors he uses as swampy colors in the moonlight: Licorice, Pirate Black, Mood Indigo and Cypress; splashed with Rust, Freesia, Hot Coral, Super Pink, Algiers Blue and Antique Moss. Chris’ signature color is Sponge which he describes as a Green-Beige.

Lela Rose was inspired by the obscured imagery and hazy aura of the artists’ Gerhard Richters’ paintings while visiting The Chicago Art Institute; so this along with her signature color Sea Green, she’s selected these prominent colors: Bronze, Tanger and Burnt Clay.

Kenneth Cole was also inspired during his travels to Ireland while sitting in front of a warm fire in an old Irish castle. With Saffron Yellow being his signature color which he likes to layer with other spicy colors: Terracotta, Red Apple and Fire Orange.

What an amazing array of color which will certainly inspire the creation of stunning bead art jewelry designs!

Mustard Yellow is clearly an obvious choice for the color Bamboo, but there are some more bead color options which could offer similar color ranges but because these colors are transparent rather than opaque like the Tila beads pictured above they take on less o the mustard yellow color: Transparent MAB Light Topaz, Transparent Light Topaz, Transparent Amber.

Metallic Matte Gold is another good choice.

Remember that the bead colors mentioned are consistent across bead types which includes seed beads, fire polished beads, Czech Glass Druk / Pressed beads, Swarovski Crystal NOTE not all bead types carry the same range of colors.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bead Art Jewelry Designs in Vintage Costume Jewelry

I came across this amazing YouTube video about the history of Vintage bead art jewelry on All Earz Jewelry blog. 

I learned a lot in a little over eight minutes, but one thing that stood out for me was the term used by the narrator throughout the video – Bead Art; and believe me as you see the designs you will recognize that not only are these bead art designers unique, but that you just might have a treasure trove of their designs in your jewelry box!

Atlanta Vintage Jewelry is apparently the originator of this video.  Check their website for their current selection of Vintage Bead Art Jewelry and a list of Vintage jewelry suppliers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

2011 Bead Color Trends: Czech Glass Beads Swarovski Elements

Pantone’s color forecast for Fall / Winter 2011 is spectacular as usual and sure to stimulate some amazing bead art and jewelry designs.

I will elaborate more in another post about what fashion designers are saying about how the 2011 Fall / Winter colors inspired their designs, but for now I wanted to basically give a shout out to some online bead stores that really help bead art jewelry designers by offering the current seasons color palettes for beading.

Pantone Color Chart

I do believe that the availability of Pantone’s colors every season inspires more bead stores to create mixes of color coordinated beads and bead mixes.

I attempted to coordinate beads and bead colors when I first discovered the value of using the Pantone color charts but must admit that I found it a bit overwhelming. So I’m thrilled to find the following information available online.

Preciosa-Ornela website currently offers a bead color palette which seems to coordinate nicely with Pantone’s colors for Fall / Winter 2011.

Phlox, Deep Teal and Bamboo – shown in the above color chart - are the dominant in these Preciosa Bead Fashion Trends News Flash – check out their website for more colors.


Jesse James Beads is another website that creates bead mixes based on Pantone’s Fashion color palette (currently Fall 2011 not seen online, but it’s still August). Many of their mixes look lovely; however, personally, I would just suggest to be sure to read what makes up their bead mixes as I noticed that they seem to include Czech Glass, Japanese and Chinese beads in the same mix.

Swarovski Elements Crystals and Beads and Pendants are probably one of the best at following every color fashion trend up to two seasons in advance so we certainly want to keep an eye what they have in their Crystal bead pipeline. There are so many sources for Swarovski Crystals, but HarMan Beads is a terrific resource for determining in advance what’s coming in Swarovski Crystal – you’ll probably want to bookmark their webiste.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Trend-Wrap: 4 Bead Art Jewelry Design Fashion Trends To Try

This is an end of season trend wrap of four jewelry fashion trends that I think would look fabulous in beads.

Fall / Winter 2011 Fashion Season is right around the corner but there’s still lots of HOT weather left in most parts of the country to still rock Summer trends.

Along with other sources I really like looking through the trends as forecasted by the Direction Accessories Trend Forecasting (photo’s) report which follows the trends seen on the runways.

I’m sure there’s lots of beautifully designed beaded items already created, and if yours fit any of these trends, please share.

Here’s one item of many highlighted during London Fashion Week categorized as POOF and totally appropriate – as these earrings from House of Holland makes the statement; ‘this kitchy Poof adornment is sure to score some fashion points.  We can't wait to cheer this trend on--with our chic oversized pom-poms in hand, or on our heads, of course!’


Handcrafted and hand beaded hair accessories, well, there never seems to be enough of a selection.  One material that came to my mind for creating some of the most unique hair accessories is used by Polymer Clay bead artists; I’ve seen such breathtakingly beautiful polymer clay creations which would certainly lend themselves to some amazing handcrafted, hand beaded hair accessories. Again, perhaps I’ve missed what’s already been created, so please share.


Can it be that wooden beads will come back and make a fashion statement? The wooden accessories pictured below are sure to inspire some amazing pieces. I perused Artfire and Etsy and to my surprise didn’t see much that stood out as a fashion statement which means there’s lots of room for amazing bead art jewelry designs in this category!


But I think, well know, that my favorite trend is the Friendship Bracelets which,not unlike the Cuff bracelet style which are still amazingly popular, the Friendship bracelet too seems to have staying power.

I love the versatility truly basic design, and also with the many different materials and beads that can be used to create these bracelets bead art jewelry designers are only limited by their creativity! 

Here’s a display of an interesting design selection on this website Polyvore of friendship bracelets:

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Even though we’re wrapping up Spring / Summer 2011 creating with the Seasonal colors as forecasted by Pantone is a terrific way to keep your handcrafted, hand beaded, bead art jewelry designs on trend!

2010 Spring Summer3

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Artfire The Premiere Online Selling Venue

I’ve been selling my beads online for some years now on various online ecommerce venues including my own websites.

Some of these sites, when in their early stages, I came across only to decide against selling on them as they just didn’t quite have the same look and feel as the venue I was currently selling on.

When I could no longer ignore the press, forum comments about others that were gaining increased sales on one site - which became a sort of poster-child for selling to the handcrafting community - I decided to revisit that particular site.  It was evident almost immediately that I had certainly been missing out on valuable sales and opportunities – my decision to not get on board sooner immediately came to mind!

I didn’t make the same mistake when I came across Artfire.

There’s always a learning curve of new features, down time when populating a new site, trying to manage both sites simultaneously and filling order – interestingly enough sales do increase.

The recent opportunity to express why Artfire sellers selected it as their main selling venue; along with the incentive to possibly win a $500 gift certificate got me thinking and as a result listing my reason for selling on Artfire.

Here are the top 5 reason why I enjoy having a Pro-member account selling on Artfire:

  1. SEO tools, tutorials, guides and results that are realized almost immediately as you see your items indexed in the major search engines and shopping sites; along with ease of listing tools, and integration with the major social media websites.
  2. Flat rate monthly fee no final value fees regardless of the number of items listed, no percentage of sales or relisting fees (ongoing promotions for Free monthly Pro-member accounts for referrals and during other promotions member fees can go as low as $5.95 - and I thought my original fee of $15.95 was an incredible bargain over what I was paying on another venue)
  3. The look and feel of your Studio can be personalized in a number of layouts and color schemes to fit your style or the season.
  4. At-a-glance dashboard – which seems to be always evolving for the better – offers several tools; but especially the blogging tools and collections features which amazingly do bring not only additional views to the products in your Artfire Studio, but also sales.
  5. All in all, any ecommerce selling site which is gaining traction due to bringing in sales, managing their challenges, and listening to their community will experience growing pains; however, when sellers are seeing increased sales month-over-month (you can view running totals during the month) even during these growth phases – glitches and all – it is a testament that Artfire’s management is doing something right!
Become an ArtFire Pro with this link and get your 3rd month free!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Bead Sale in Artfire Bead Studio

Here are the coupon codes for March The Bead Stylist Artfire Bead Studio.

Take advantage of this Triple Coupon Play for the Month of March in honor of March Madness & National Craft Month:

  1. MARBEAD20 gets you 20% off of your order total (any size)
  2. MARBEADS30 gets you 30% off of you $40 or more order
  3. FREESHIP-MAR gets you Free Shipping on any order during the month of March

Coupons can not be combined, but they can be used multiple times.


Friday, January 28, 2011

DIRECTIONS TREND FINDER: WHAT’S HOT Upcoming Trends Tassels & Colorful Beads

The Directs Trend Finder Reports are so on point with the trends in jewelry and accessories that will be worn with the current seasons fashions. Although a subscription website I was able to glean what they dish for free here.

As we all know beads are always in fashion but it’s always fun to see what and how they fit into Spring / Summer 2011 fashions.

Loving the following look long layers of strategically placed small and large monotone beads and the idea of embellishing the strands with a bead woven piece of bead art jewelry – stunning!

It looks like we will be seeing Tassle's everywhere! Just check out what Ann Taylor’s working this trend into their jewelry line. Tassles and beads are, at least in my mind, are almost synonymous so it will be fun to see what bead artists and bead art jewelry designers will do with this trend for Spring / Summer 2011.

Enter video caption here

Will feathers stay on trend for Spring / Summer 2011?

The top two pictures are all Peacock feathers; I had no idea there was so much variety in this particular feather (feathers pictured available upon request).


Just curious,which of these trends will have the most influence on your designs this season?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Bead Stylist: Michael O’Connor’s 2011 Jewelry Trend Report

Typically I like to look at the way fashion designers accessorize their designs to see if there is a particular trend surfacing in jewelry.

Other places to look are of course the fashion magazines, but television shopping channels really need to keep their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in this area, and two of my favorites are HSN and QVC.

I came across this blog post on QVC from Michael O’Connor which gives a terrific overview of what’s happening this year in jewelry trends.

The following bullet points are taken directly from Michael’s blog post. Two of my favorites that I will be keeping an eye on are numbers one and four – I’m especially interested to see how bead artists develop these trends in their designs.

  1. The New Retro: All you need to do is take a look at the engagement ring of the future Queen of England to see that retro is returning – in a big way. In fact, it has been for years! Retro styles are romantically reminiscent of a kinder, gentler age of white gloves, hats and chic New York style cocktail parties. The new retro mixes yesterdays romance with today’s more casual style to create an elegant, but less fussy feel.  You’ll wow them at teatime or at a late theater date when you show up with ½ ct tw of dazzling diamonds sparkling from the heart shaped center of this necklace (J154726).
  2. Eclectic Naturals: Remember the childhood joy of collecting shells at the sea, or pressing autumn leaves between the pages of a book? Well designers haven’t forgotten the joy that nature brings. Nature themes and colors, as well as natural rustic fabrics were all over the runways this year.  As a result, some of today’s biggest jewelry designers like Robert Lee Morris, Barbara Bixby, Stephen Dweck, Orit and Or Paz are artistically interpreting nature’s shapes and incorporating its elements into jewelry. Mixed metals, crystals, rough gems, natural materials and organic shapes are popular.   Definitely inspired by nature, Stephen Dweck wistfully wraps the wrist in this textured branch-inspired 14K gold clad hinged cuff (J152596).
  3. World Inspired: Today we live in a mobile society with more people traveling than ever. As a result, today’s confident women are exposed a variety of worldly cultures and want that global feel in their wardrobe! Fashionistas are accessorizing that Italian or French fashion suit with something chic and native with ethnic or tribal influences. The mix says, “sophisticated”.   J155425 has oxidized sterling that gives the piece an old-world feel that is enhanced by the contrasting colors of a center oval turquoise cabochon, surrounded by red coral cabochons, all bezel set.
  4. Today’s Neutrals: While color has been hot on the runways, the balance being struck by designers is a new neutral. While black, white and gray will always be chic, runways today are treating us to muted mauves, pale palettes, shimmering pastels and smoky silver. Today’s new neutrals can be styled with other neutrals for a sophisticated monochromatic look or mixed with a variety of brighter colors for chic contrast.  It’s all about the movement with these faceted gemstone dangle earrings with 14K overlay (J153667).
  5. Dramatic and Bold: Whether it’s an impressive necklace, a bold bracelet or a dramatic ring, what gown would be complete without a statement piece! Be it big or bright with color, bolder statement pieces are sweeping stylists imaginations.  You’ve seen this look on the red carpet and in the pages of your favorite fashion magazine. Now it can be yours!   J155303 gives you drama with approximately 135 total carats of faceted cognac quartz and approximately 1/3 of a carat total weight in diamonds.