Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bead Circle Network

I am so excited about the relaunch of! I have been working so long and hard on it, I have neglected everything else. This includes the laundry, my etsy shop, even my beads....BUT...I wrote a e-book about Beaded Pens! You can get a free copy by signing up for the Bead Circle Email Newsletter. Thanks to Sister Diane for reviewing my e-book, and to Erin of Edub Graphic Art and Design for creating my logo and header for the site!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

5 Fab Tutorials from around the Crafty Web

All of my crafty friends and I have been getting ready for holiday shows. In fact, I'm going straight back to my studio to finish up my new line of Eco Journals right after this post! I just wanted to post some fabulous crafty tutorials I've found around the web this month:

1. Upcycled Tin Can Belt Buckle from adaptive reUse- (shown above) It's amazing what you can make from a tin can, and this tutorial is from a patent-pending design by Christine Terrell! Great website, very inspirational work, must bookmark.

2. Smooshy Stack Owl from Lolly Chops- Awesome fabric owls to use up scraps and dazzle your clothing!

3. Magnetic Notepad from Skip to My Lou- I'm addicted to buying these and I'll soon be addicted to making them too. Great gift potential as well!

4. Tubular T-shirt Scarves from College Fashion- I have a bunch of souvenir t-shirts that are perfect for this project.

5. Stylish Pen Case from Pink Penguin- This case looks so cute and it would be great project for using up scrap fabric. Very detailed photos, too.

Monday, November 02, 2009

November Giveaway: Win A Pen!

I'm giving away a FREE PEN, every month!

The winner of the October Giveaway can
choose any pen in my shop, MandiBeads!

This contest is open to international residents, as well!

Ways To enter the October Giveaway:

1. Leave a comment under this post and tell me about your favorite pen in my shop, or suggest a new design!
2. Subscribe to my newsletter (thru box at top right)

3. Tweet about this giveaway, and let me know about it in the comments

Please leave enough info so I can contact you if you win: email, etsy shop, twitter etc.

Each person can enter 3 times by doing each of the 3 ways described.

The winner will be announced December 1, 2009.

Congrats to Lisa for winning the October contest!
Peace & Love,

Monday, October 19, 2009

7 Things I Leaned From My Biggest Show Yet

The Urban Street Bazaar was held 2 weekends ago in the Bishop Arts District. It took me a week to recover from it, and another day to finally write about it. It was a good show, and I'm happy that I was there, but it also gave me doubts about doing future outdoor shows because there's so much more to contend with. Then again, I love all the new friends I made and interacting with my customers in person.

I shared my booth with Patricia of KarmaCrochet. It was freezing on Saturday and the weatherman was wrong about it warming up, so I modeled a KarmaCrochet scarf to keep warm for awhile.

She makes these amazing neckwarmers that everyone was going crazy for! I don't know if it was because they were featured prominently on the USB website or if it was because a lady that bought one was proudly flaunting it around the bazaar. Either way she sold all but one!

So the Bazaar was 12-8 on Saturday and 12-4 on Sunday. As I was driving there on Sunday, it started raining really hard! I was skeptical and didn't want to subject my handmade books to this weather, and even debated going home! I told myself I was committed to doing this, and it was important to see it through. Even if it was just for the experience. I'm so glad I did!

Things I learned:
  1. EZ-up tents are far from being easy to put up. I used mine once and it broke! Same thing happened to the fellow crafter next to me. If you plan to do a lot of outdoor shows, check out this awesome tent review post by the Kessler Craftsman.
  2. Be extra prepared for outdoors shows. So many more things can go wrong it seems. Things I wish I had: extra clothes, small screwdriver, tarp to put my stuff on instead of the wet ground (and cover it if it started to rain before I set up the tent). My checklist was essential for all the things I would have forgotten.
  3. Make friends with your neighbors. Help each other set up those hard to put up tents, watch booths for bathroom and coffee breaks, check out their display, talk to them and learn from them. I'm always improving my set up.
  4. You can learn a lot from your customers. Guys were more interested in my journals than the ladies. I will be creating a few more masculine journals in the future.
  5. Sales on the short Sunday were much better than the long Saturday. I never would have guessed that.
  6. You never know. Treat every customer as a potential buyer. Say hello and don't be shy to tell them about your work. Patricia and I were both surprised at who dropped money in our booths that we wouldn't have expected.
  7. Sharing is awesome. I can't imagine doing this by myself, at least at this point.
Shout-outs to my lovely, talented neighbors:
Pigsey Art: Unique Upcycled Journals, and someone I love for using every scrap she can
Bolsa Bonita: Sexy bags for foxy ladies, and I just love her Tom Selick purse!
Ornamental Things: handcrafted jewelry from vintage components

Thanks to Larry aka Kessler Craftsman for helping me with that horrible tent, and also to Stephanie of Tefi Designs for writing a sweet feature and coming out to support us!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Worktable Wednesday: Cupcake Parade

Yesterday I made several flavors of beaded cupcake pens for the Urban Street Bazaar on Saturday. I had fun using the colors of the last cupcake cupcake pen (pink, red, white, chocolate) and created the Deconstruction of a Cupcake Pen:

What do you think? I love comments!

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tutorial: Easy Retro Flower Cane

Basic flower cane was the first thing I learned when I got started in polymer clay. I wanted to share it because it’s fairly easy and there are many color variations. For this tutorial, I used pink, purple, and black to achieve a more “retro” look.

  • Clay: ½-1 ounce petal color (we used pink) ½-1 ounce center/outline color (we used purple) ¾-1 ounces contrast/outside color (we used black)
  • Razor blade/ slicer blade
  • Roller/acrylic brayer (or pasta machine)
  • T- pins (used for quilting) and foil pie plate or other method of baking


1. Create a cylinder out of the pink clay by rolling it into a ball, and then slightly flattening it. Then roll out the purple clay into ¼ in thick sheet long enough to cover the cylinder. Save the excess purple for step 3.

2. Roll the purple clay around the pink cylinder and then reduce it down.

3. Create 5 equal lengths of the reduced cylinder. These will become the petals. Then create a length of solid purple the same size. This will become the center.

4. Create 5 more lengths using the black clay. Shape them into triangles by simultaneously pinching the top and pressing down to flatten the bottom.

5. Space the 5 petal lengths around the center, and then place a triangle in between each petal.

6. Roll out ¼ in layer of black to wrap around your entire roll. Reduce it down and cut the cane to create ¼ in to ½ in slices. You may choose to cut the cane in half and reduce each half to a differently. This way you can create focal and accessory beads.

7. Cut the cane to create ¼ in to ½ in slices. You may choose to cut the cane in half and reduce each half to a different size. This way you can create focal and accessory beads.

8. Push a t-pin half way through the slice and stop. Then push the t-pin through the other side to meet the first hole to prevent the clay from puckering. Stick the end of the t-pin into pie plate. Repeat until you have reached the desired number of beads, the bake according to the instructions on your clay package.
Enjoy your beads!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Polymer Clay: Comparing Brands

There are many options when it comes to choosing a brand of clay, and each brand has different properties and benefits. I keep a few different brands in my own stash. Hopefully this list can help you decide which brand is right for your project:

Sculpey III: This clay has a wide variety of beautiful colors, and is low in cost. Though it is also considered more brittle/fragile than other brands, it is a great choice for beginners.

Premo! Sculpey: This brand is strong and flexible when cured, and the colors are brilliant. This is the preferred brand of many clay artists.

Super Sculpey: This clay is a pinkish-beige sort of color that is somewhat prone to “plaquing.” The addition of a stronger more opaque clay can eliminate most problems.

FIMO Classic/Soft: Soft is easier to condition than Classic, but both types will hold the finer details of cane work. Great colors available that come in blocks of 8 segments allowing for easier cutting and blending.

Cernit: The German clay is one of the strongest on the market, and has a wide range of flesh tones. It is soft and sticky when warm, so it is better suited for doll-making than cane work.

Kato polyclay: Being one of the newer brands on the market, this clay is both strong and flexible. It can be difficult to sand, and it has a strong vinyl odor.

Liquid Sculpey: This product has many different uses including smoothing surfaces, attaching two pieces, and creating faux materials. The translucent brand can be tinted to any color desired.

Tomorrow I will post my tutorial for making polymer clay Rorschach Focal Beads using Sculpey III!