Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Art Review -- Glass and Silver (and another give-away!)

This month, asked its blog design partners to review their glass and sterling silver collection. This was exciting for me, because I loooooove the Czech bead selection and I immediately had an idea in mind.

One of the things I like to work into my jewelry designs is texture. The other thing I like to do is add color, and as many color combinations as I can get away with. I've made a number of what I call "Bead Soup" bracelets, and with that in mind, I set to work.

First, I poured all my beads into a pile.

I knew I wanted to make a multi-strand necklace, so I pushed beads around until I got a rough approximation of how many strands I could make and how the beads would look the best. I don't make many multi-strand designs -- in fact, I could probably count how many I've ever made on both hands and have fingers left over. But I wanted to show off all these beads to maximum effect, and cutting three pieces of beading wire, pulled out a hank of tiny black seed beads and strung beads for the next two hours.

You may wonder why that smallish pile of beads took me two hours to work with. Well, it's like this -- randomly placed beads are really not so randomly placed! This type of jewelry needs balance, and I found myself stringing along, only to pull beads off to start over with a few more here, a few less there.

But I think it was worth it.

The asymmetry was a happy accident. I meant for the necklace to lie like a regular necklace, with all three strands hanging from two large rings. However, as often happens, when I dropped the necklace on the table to run and grab the phone, I came back to find that the piece had fallen into a different arrangement. I quite like new look, and if the wearer wants to wear the necklace in a more traditional manner, it can easily be done.

I think of this style of necklace as a "Story Necklace", because each bead can be used to tell a story. I've seen this sort of thing used in nursing necklaces, where mothers tell a story using each bead as part of the tale they make up and tell their child.

I hope you like the necklace, and I encourage you to visit to pick out your own beads and create your own Story Necklace. You can buy their Czech beads by the piece, and don't forget to explore their other sections for more design possibilities.

And to make it that much easier to bead, ArtBeads and I are giving a lucky winner a $25 gift certificate to their web site!

All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite section of is. Be sure to leave an email so ArtBeads can email you the gift certificate. I'll announce the winner on December 22nd!

ArtBeads is also running a Holiday Cheer Sweepstakes on their Facebook page. You could win a $100 gift certificate to their fan site! Click here to enter.

Disclosure...As a reviewer of products at, I receive the beads above free of charge. I have been asked to review these products and give my honest opinion of the products...positive or negative. I am not being compensated by for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.


  1. hi lori! i don't know anything about artbeads, so i'm not really commenting to win - but did want to comment on your necklace and how beautiful it is. you are right about the asymmetry - without it, it would be the same old same old - but it just changed into a funky, modern, interesting and daring piece of jewelry! nice job!

  2. the artbead section of course!!!

  3. I love, love, love the necklace took me three long years to get over the symmetrical thing! Now I do asymmetry as much as possible!

    I'm part of the blog program myself so I'm offering the same give away!!!


  4. cool necklace!

    I love the crystal section at Artbeads, in particular the 8mm cosmojet rounded bicone crystals. :)

  5. I love their awareness charms section!

    northssclub at yahoo dot com

  6. Wow, I LOVE it! I also like creating piles of bead soup. The way you used the star is a perfect example of why this is so much fun!! Great post! :)

  7. Hi Lori - I love the awareness charms section. As a cancer survivor, I like to make jewelry for those who've helped me and to personalize it in some way with an awareness charm.
    Thanks for the story necklace information, I really like the idea!

  8. The Learning Center if fabulous and full of wonderful ideas.

  9. Very cool piece! My favourite section? The section that says "free shipping!"

  10. Your necklace is great - I love the length and the variety of colors. What's not to like about Artbeads - I love how their items come wrapped in purple paper - like I'm getting a present.

  11. They've really changed up their website since I last looked. Twenty-five percent off seed beads is what I love most right now. That's how I'd spend a gift certificate!

    Thanks, lisa

  12. Really love the necklace! I like the idea of letting the necklace decide how it wants to hang :)

    I'd have to say the Hill Tribe section. I love organic silver!

  13. I just LOVE this necklace!! I believe this has inspired me to give assymetry a try! I have so many beads that are one of a kind that would be just fantastic for this!!

    Thanks for the inspiration!!!


  14. Lori
    What an amazing, over the top - incredible necklace! I can appreciate how long this must have taken to create with all of the teeny beads. It is gorgeous! My favorite section...hmm, I love their Swarovski crystal selection. Their customer service is wonderful too. I needed an order quickly and selected 3-day shipping. It was mailed right away.

  15. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the Silver, but the whole site is my favorite! I love beading and I love the site. The necklace is beautiful!!

  16. My favorite part of is the learning center...I've gotten so much inspiration from members of the community!!! That section has truly helped me grow. Since I'm relatively new to beading I love having a site like Artbeads to shop and learn and get inspired!!

  17. The Charms, and of course free shipping! :)

    The necklace is gorgeous - and I'm a big fan of 'bead soup' (great name!) things myself. :)


  18. My favorite section on is the Resources section. With the Color Palettes, Trends, and Customer Reviews, there is so much great information there. Artbeads is much more than just a place to purchase beads, and I thank them for that!


  19. I love the Hill tribe bead section~
    This necklace is awesome! I love that it isn't just a "regular" necklace and your use of color is wonderful. Your work is great-
    Thanks for sharing :)
    Kelley King
    The Pink Magnolia~ Oklahoma

  20. I think these beads are beautiful and this creative necklace is breath taking...I'm totally confused though how to apply for the beads? Is it applying for a gift certifacate or this redition of the beads in this necklace? I would love to be in a sweepstakes for this necklace...If that is what this is for, my contact email is:

  21. is my #1(and most used) online bead and findings supplier. Although I spend almost as much time browsing the beads as I do creating jewelry, my favorite part of the site is the "learning center". I have found more ideas, tips, and inspiration there than everywhere else combined. I'm not sure what I would do without it.

  22. Hi Lori,

    This is a beautiful necklace. My favorite section is Swarovski crystals and silver beads.

  23. My faves right now are the painted russian pendants!

  24. Anonymous6:39 PM

    Oh I love artbeads, have been buying from them for years. My favorite section are the hill tribe beads. Thanks. My email is sogj77[at] Thanks.

  25. Oh I love that necklace!! One that I can easily see myself wearing.

    Oh and my favorite part of Artbeads is whatever section they have on sale right now. I love being a part of their email club.

  26. I love the Czech beads too! Great necklace and I just love the way it drapes.

  27. Learning Center! Lots of great info there!

  28. You've always been super with asymmetric designs! (Which are so hard to come by for me unless I REALLY take time!)
    Super necklace!

    I luv to see whats new at Artbeads-so new products and top picks are always my favorite categories to see there!

  29. Anonymous8:01 PM

    i love artbeads. I like the sterling silver bead section. Currently I am stocking up on the sterling silver letter beads to make personalized bracelets for all the neices.

  30. Love the colors and the design!!! Beautiful work!..or play..

  31. lori - love the necklace..and I love Artbeads too!
    have a wonderful holiday and I look forward to your new blog.
    Deb Cox