Wednesday, February 22, 2012

500 Fans Giveaway!

Edited to add: Congratulations to Judy Russi of Angels-N-Everlastings!! She had lucky winning comment #24 and has won this set of my lampwork beads! I really appreciate everyone who joined in the fun and helped support my Facebook page and everything else! You're all awesome and I promise I'll be hosting more special Giveaways for you throughout the year! *Ü*

Last week, I first posted on my Facebook Fan Page that I needed help gaining 100 new fans by March 1st in order to qualify for a free ad coupon from Facebook. I was really nervous I wouldn't reach that goal in time, but ended up gaining over 150 new fans in less than a week and even passed the 500 Fans mark! YAAAAAY!!!

So, to celebrate this wonderful milestone and in appreciation for everyone who helped me get there, I'm giving away this set of my handmade Watercolor Rose lampwork beads to one lucky winner!

To enter for a chance to win these beads, you have up to 4 separate chances:
1) "Like" my Fan Page by clicking HERE
If you already liked my Fan Page before, you can give me a suggestion for a new bead design or color you'd like to see me make. ;-)
2) Encourage your own fans to enter this giveaway with a link back to HERE on your own blog or Fan Page.
3) Follow me on Twitter by clicking HERE
If you already follow my Tweets, you can tweet about my Giveaway with a link to this blog post.

4) "Heart" my Etsy shop by clicking HERE
If you already hearted my shop, post a link here to one of your favorite items in my shop and tell me why you like it.

For any of the above actions and to increase your chances of winning, leave a maximum of 4 separate comments here after this post saying which one(s) you did, i.e. one comment for liking my fan page, another comment for tweeting about my giveaway. And please make sure to also leave a good way to contact you if you are the winner.

Deadline to enter is February 29, 2012. 
I will pick a winner on March 1st via Random Number Generator.

Good luck and thanks again for giving me such a great reason for another fun Giveaway event! *Ü*

*** This Giveaway promo is now closed. Thanks so much! ***

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wishing all my friends, family, and wonderful readers a very Happy Valentine's Day today!

I woke up to a bouquet of gorgeous roses from my hubby, and we're planning on enjoying a nice, quiet steak dinner at home tonight instead of trying to squeeze into a crowded restaurant with all the other "lovey dovey" people. We actually celebrated Valentine's a little earlier in the week by going out to see the "The Artist" movie, which I have been dying to see ever since I first heard about it last year. It was SO good!! I highly recommend it for a romantic date—or even if you just love a fantastic theatrical performance!

If you haven't heard of this amazing movie yet, here's a trailer to give you sneak preview…

I also scored a big box of See's chocolates filled with all my favorites and it's been killer trying to save as much as possible for today. Now there's no holding me back! LOL I hope your day is filled with your favorite goodies and special moments with all your loved ones too! *Ü*

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pantone Color Forecast: Spring 2012

It's that time of year again—when we get to see all the exciting new colors that Pantone has forecasted will be hot, hot, hot in fashionable circles this Spring! Here's what they have to say about them:

For spring 2012 designers are inspired by diverse influences, showcasing a range of styles and lifestyles, from free and playful and light and breezy, to contemporary classics. Colors likewise reflect these differing moods, encapsulating vivid brights, soft muted tones and fun-loving pastels.

"Consumers look to spring for renewed energy, optimism and the promise of a brighter day," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. "They have learned how color can help them alter a mood and provide the vitality and enthusiasm that enables them to experiment with new looks and color combinations."

Provocative Tangerine Tango, an enticing juicy orange, is a vivacious and appealing refresher to enliven anyone's outlook this spring. Providing a jolt of energy, Solar Power radiates warmth and cheer.

Fanciful Bellflower, a distinct ornamental purple, exudes uniqueness and creativity. Scintillating and sexy, Cabaret is a sensual and intense rosy-red — an excellent choice for summer clothing and cosmetics.

Sodalite Blue, a classic maritime hue, brings order and calmness to mind. Like an anchor to a ship, this dependable shade works with every color in the palette. Cockatoo, a tactile blue-green, is sure to make your spirits soar. This unusual hue adds a whimsical touch to the palette and will surely make a statement this spring.

Margarita, a piquant yellow-green, lifts spirits with its refreshing and stimulating glow. Reminiscent of a blossoming garden on an early spring morning, fragrant Sweet Lilac evokes the fresh scents of summer. This delicate pinkish lilac adds a touch of romance to any wardrobe.

Natural versatile neutrals add practicality to this season's brights. Driftwood, an adaptable blend of beige and gray with a slightly weathered feel, and Starfish, a perfect warm summer neutral, complement all colors featured in this season's top 10.

These new colors don't thrill my heart nearly as much as last year's forecast did, but I can definitely work with them and already have some great new bead ideas in mind. I'll be posting my usual individual color reviews and ideas for each of these on the list soon! *Ü*

Which of these is your favorite color out of the bunch?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Roses of a Different Kind

As many of you who follow my blog know, I'm a HUGE flower lover, and often feature bead designs using a floral motif. I was recently contacted by someone who had seen my Peony Rose necklace that was published last year in Bead Trends (you can see my past blog post about it here). She asked me to not only recreate some of the same pink rose beads that she loved, but also a few more custom colors to use in her own jewelry designs. At first I thought they were a little unusual choices—but after I made them, I realized I really liked them too!

Olive Green Rose Bubble Beads
Black Rose Bubble Beads

Don't these look so dramatic and fun!? I love it when I get a challenge like this that opens my eyes to great new possibilities! I also made a variation of my Pink Roses, using a soft green base instead of clear glass…

Green and Pink Rose Bubble Beads

It takes me a about 45 minutes to an hour just to create the rose pattern in a thick glass cane. It involves constantly adding and spinning a huge wad of glass until the pattern is finished, then slowly melting it down (still constantly spinning!) and pulling it into a long cane or rod. When it cools down, I then cut it up into slices (aka "murrini") to use on my beads. By the time I'm finished with one murrini pull, my arms feel like noodles and it's time for a chocolate break! LOL

If it sounds like a lot of work—it is! But I really enjoy knowing my beads feature custom designs and colors that you can't find anywhere else. And when the beads turn out as nicely as these did and made my customer literally gasp with joy when she saw them—it's all totally worth it! *Ü*

I'm planning on making many more sets of these soon (as well as some other fun variations), since I have a few big Spring shows coming up where I'll be selling my beads and jewelry. And I'll probably list a necklace or two in my Etsy shop soon, so stay tuned! If you see anything you like here or would like to request a custom rose design of your own, please feel free to email me directly, or convo me through my Etsy shop HERE.

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