Saturday, July 28, 2012

Return of Rainy Day Links!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I've been busy, busy, busy getting my class proposals ready for Bead and Button and compiling a list of participants for Sequintastic September. I've also built up a fantastic list of links, so I think it's time to stop hoarding them and start sharing!

So without further ado, here we go...

Eye Candy:

Omigosh, omigosh, omigosh!!! Have you seen this fish necklace by Kinga Nichols? It's one of the coolest things I've ever seen.

Another of my favorite pieces, here is Nancy Dale's necklace, which combines bead embroidery and freeform. Fantastic!


Jessica Hill over at Crafterminds gives an awesome lesson on how to write a good tutorial.Link

Business... With Heart!

I love Skylar's motivation behind designing and making jewelry. Read her post, and I think you'll get a dose of creative and emotional inspiration.

Henri Junttila, a guest poster on Dumb Little Man, lists 8 lies we've been told about following our passion.
Megan Petersen writes about how to keep going when you're more excited about the end result than the work you need to do to get there.

Chris Guillebeau writes about doing big things.

Here's an awesome article over at Design Sponge on starting an I Don't list. This is one of my favorites.

Food For Thought:

Gala suggests 100 things to do instead of spending time online. I can't wait to start my own list!

Johnny B. Truant encourages us to disobey. This is also one of my favorites.

Chris Guillebeau discusses fame versus community.

From Dumb Little Man: defining success on our own terms!

From Scoutie Girl... how to deal with your inner critic. This one is so relevant to me, it's almost scary.

I hope you enjoy the links! If you only have time to click on two of them this weekend, go for the eye candy. Seriously, Kinga and Nancy will knock your socks off. And of course, if you haven't already, sign up for Sequintastic September!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sequintastic September!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

I have some exciting news: this Fall, I'm hosting my own blog hop!

The Theme:

The theme, as you might have guessed, is sequins! Together, we'll celebrate sequins in all their sparkly, glittery glory.

The Date:

The blog hop will take place on the last Saturday in September, the 29th.

The Rules:

  • Use sequins to create an original work.
  • Have fun!
  • On the reveal day, post a photo (or photos) of what you made and include a paragraph or two about sequins -- what they mean to you, how they make you feel, what you like best about them. If this is your first time working with sequins, tell us about your experience.

Just because this is a jewelry blog doesn't mean you have to make jewelry! You can make a wall hanging, a stuffed animal, embellish your old tennis shoes, add sequins to your paintings, greeting cards, or art journal pages, include them in a quilting project, or stick sequins to your face and take an artistic photo. Whatever strikes your fancy!

To Sign Up:

You can sign up July 21st through August 20th. To do so, email me with your name and blog address or leave a comment with your email address on this post, telling me you'd like to join in. This will help me make a list of participants to include in my post for the reveal date, and also keep you informed of any changes or special happenings.

Stay Tuned!

Two months feels like a long time to wait for a blog hop, doesn't it? Well, don't worry! I'll post plenty of reminders for your sake and mine, including a list of sequin suppliers, some eye candy for inspiration, and a giveaway or two.

I've also created a Flickr group, which you can join here! You can post work in progress photos, final projects, and any other sequintastic projects you think might inspire the other members. There's also my Sequintastic board on Pinterest.

I'm super excited, and I hope you are, too. If you could help me spread the word about Sequintastic September, I'd appreciate it so much!

Thanks for reading, thanks for signing up, and thanks for commenting! Have a sequintastic day! 

10/21/12 Edit: Here's a link to the reveal!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Want to take a class with me?

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

Before I start today's post, I'd like to congratulate the winner of my Nicole's BeadBacking giveaway, Kayla of The Eclectic Element! As soon as I get your mailing address, I'll send that package right out.

If you didn't win, don't despair! Rest assured, there will be more giveaways in the future. Sparkly giveaways.

And now....Link

I need your help!

Teaching has been on my mind for awhile. It's something I did a handful of times before moving to the Midwest, and something I really enjoyed. Sharing what I know with others and watching their faces light up when they learn a new skill makes me so very, very happy.

(I don't know about you, but I think of the ability to teach, and to teach well, as a kind of superpower!)

So I've been thinking about teaching opportunities. I don't know if there's a huge market for jewelry classes in my area, and I don't have a place to give lessons just yet, so I'm considering distance education. Online, whether it's through private Skype chats or videos or tutorials, and also... bead shows.

My goal:

I'd love to teach at Bead and Button next year. The thing is, even though I've been making jewelry for over two decades, I'm a newcomer to the beading and jewelry world. The people at Kalmbach are awesome and wonderful, but they're also part of a business -- they need to know that picking me as a teacher is a secure investment.

One of the best ways to show them I'm trustworthy is to get projects published in magazines -- this piece of advice came to me from one of my jewelry mentors and favorite people, Vanessa Walilko. Another way is to send some letters of recommendation along with my application.

My request:

Would you like to take a class from me at Bead and Button next year?

Would you write me a letter of recommendation?

If you're interested, and you think I'd make a great addition to next year's faculty, email me. I'll give you my mailing address so you can send me a letter to include with my application. I have this crazy idea that if I have a bunch of letters, the Bead and Button people will take notice and be more likely to pick me.

Potential classes:

If there's something specific you'd like to learn from me, let me know! I'm still looking for class ideas. Some good places to look, if you need a reminder of the things I've made over the past year, are the My Work and Eye Candy sections of the blog.

I already have two that I've started work on:

Sequin Embroidery

(Rainbow sequin cuff)

I want to teach a class on sequin embroidery. I'd teach some basic stitches, and then we'd work on a cuff or some earrings... or maybe I'd let students go wild and make whatever strikes their fancy. I've always been a fan of classes that are more technique than project-based.

(Multicolored sequin cuff)

I'd like to open this class to all skill levels. Everyone should get a chance to play with sequins!

Bead Embroidery Meets Freeform

(Freeform heart necklace)

I'd love to teach my approach to combining freeform beadweaving with bead embroidery. Of course, I love making necklaces, but bracelets are also a possibility, and they wouldn't take as long.

(Freeform button necklace)

This class would focus more on the freeform side than the embroidery. Unlike the sequin class, this would be for people with a basic knowledge of bead embroidery stitches and finishing techniques. A little beadweaving experience would be good, too.

(My new favorite... Floral Fiesta!)

(Closeup of the beaded focal piece)

So if you've been a blog reader for awhile, or you're an experienced teacher who appreciates my work and enthusiasm, I'd love your help! Whether it's to tell me what you think of my class ideas, to suggest other class ideas, or to write me a letter. In exchange, you'll have my undying gratitude and love. I'd offer cookies too, but I don't want to seem like I'm bribing anyone.

(Although, to be fair, I do make a mean sugar cookie. Wink, wink.)

Thanks for reading and commenting, thanks for sharing this post with your jewelry friends, and if you decide to help me, super duper thanks with glitter on top!

And of course... have a sequintastic day

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Giveaway: Nicole's BeadBacking!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

In this post, I reviewed Nicole's BeadBacking. Nicole generously sent me two packages in the mail, and while I'd love to keep both of them for myself, I'd also like to give someone else a chance to try this amazing product.

I'm giving away the sample pack. There are 14 colors of NBB in it, including black, white, tan, red... and bright pink, which is my very favorite. If you do bead embroidery, or if you'd like to try bead embroidery, you'll want to enter this giveaway!


  • The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.
  • To enter, leave a comment along with your email address. One comment gets you one entry and one chance to win.
  • If you've never used Nicole's BeadBacking before, let me know! This will earn you an extra four entries.
  • You have from now through Friday to enter.
  • The winner will be chosen at random out of Mr. Sequin's top hat.
  • If you win, I'll contact you by email.
  • If you don't respond within two days, I'll have to pick another winner.

Wait... what? That's not all?

Want to further increase your chances of winning? Well, Nicole and I had a chat, and she has decided to do a giveaway on her blog, too! Isn't she the best?

Edit: Look! Lori Anderson is also doing a giveaway with not one, but five different prizes! You can win a tote bag, one of two different books, or one of two different bead soups. Yay!!

If you're not a bead embroiderer... just yet.

What if you've never done bead embroidery before, but you want to give it a try? Well, you're in luck! My list of Bead Embroidery Resources, which I continue to update as I find new information, has everything you need to know -- and more -- about the technique.

(Nicole has also written a book on the subject. Hey, you can place your order for NBB and the book at the same time! How's that for convenient?)

If you're not interested

Some of my sequintastic readers are not beaders or jewelry makers. I think you're missing out (of course, I'm a little biased) but I still love you and want you to get something out of this post. If you're looking for something else to read and comment on, I suggest...

Overwhelmed! Check out my method for coping when you have too much to do and share your own strategy.

Soup's On! Come see what my partner for the Bead Soup Blog Party sent me, and meet a new little friend of mine.

Adventures in Freeform!
See some eye candy and join in the discussion of what to do when you're not sure you like a project you're in the middle of.

More Rainy Day Links! Learn how to make your own mannequin jewelry display. See an awesome project involving sequins and resin. Discover one of my favorite musicians... and more!

That concludes today's post! Stay tuned for my latest beading projects, the lowdown on one of my top secret projects, and a whole lot of other things. Whew! I have more ideas than there are Saturdays.

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and as always, have a sequintastic day! <3

Friday, July 6, 2012

Soup's On!

What kind of soup do I enjoy in even the hottest weather?

Why, bead soup, of course! This summer I'm participating in my second Bead Soup Blog Party, hosted by Lori Anderson.

My partner, the very talented Mary Ellen Parker, sent me a beautiful soup mix. The beads on the spoon are faceted agate. There are also some lovely silver oval beads, some fantastic fiber beads, some ribbon, and a beautiful handmade leaf toggle clasp.

There was also this guy! A polymer clay owl pendant, made by Mary Ellen. I fell in love with him the moment I took him out of the box.

I've named him Norbert, and I can't wait to make him a necklace to nest in. I've already picked out the seed beads I'm going to use, and now it's a matter of making something that does him justice.

(And that he'll feel at home in, of course!)

I didn't take photos of the soup I sent to M.E., but I can tell you that there were sparkly beads, assorted sequins, a handmade copper wire pendant, and a matching clasp. Keep an eye on her blog! Maybe she'll post some pictures. And if not, our reveal date is on August 11th.

Thanks for checking out my soup, and have a sequintastic day!

Also, a special announcement: tomorrow I'm doing the Nicole's Beadbacking giveaway that I mentioned in this post. So watch this space, and tell your beady friends.