Monday, December 31, 2007

The Big Sale

Oh boy, I am working hard. I did a little new years cleaning in the bead studio. It needed to be done. Every week I make new beads, new ideas that I have that just need to get out of my head. They begin to pile up around the studio. So I gathered up all my idea beads and beads that I am not taking to shows or selling on my website any more. I took pictures of them all. So far that's 115 photos! Now I am entering them into my Etsy store. They are not there yet. I am going to have a huge sale next week to kick of the new year. They are priced so you can snap up several and help keep my studio clear for more of my bead ideas. So not much posting for now, there's so much work to be done.

Oh, and check out my new website. My web designer and I are still updating and improving but I am really excited about how it looks so far. Let me know if you see some thing that could be improved or I missed. want it to be user friendly, therefore, I am always open to suggestions.

I hope everyone has a wonderful and safe New Years. Thank you so much for your support and friendship throughout 2007. I am looking forward to and exciting 2008.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Moving On

Hey everyone,
Christmas was good to me, I hope it was good to you. We ate, drank, and were merry for four days straight. I think I mentioned before we had ten people at our house for the holidays. All of my family and Nik's. It was a ton of fun and they have all decided that they will be back next year. We did agree they could come back. As always, as soon as the long break was over I was itching to get back at making beads. I don't sit still well.

I am in the process of moving my studio home. I have been at great pottery studio for the last year. It was supposed to be a transition studio when we moved to Georgia the summer before last. I enjoyed being there so much, I just stayed. But over the last few months it has been getting harder and harder to work away from home. My computer and all of my beads are at my home studio. So I really have two studios. It just seems logical and more efficient to have everything in one place. I took a picture of the empty storage room that will be my making and glazing room in a few weeks, if all goes as planned. This room was full of garden tools and storage this morning. My parent's were still here for the holiday so I put my dad to work. (He doesn't sit still either) We spent the morning cleaning it out. Hooray! It is done.

Now the hard part of getting everything from my away studio here, ugh, that's next weeks job. I am also including a picture of my bead studio. I bought this great book called "Organizing your Craft Space", it inspired me to make it pretty as well as functional. I had a ball finding storage and labeling everything. I am so happy now that I can find everything. It took about a week to get everything organized and in it's place.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ornament Thursday

I told you and myself I would attempt to make ceramic cookie. Here they are. I am pretty happy with the way they turned out. My six year old, Fletcher wants to eat them. These aren't my usual beads but I made them in the same way I would make a ceramic bead.

Here's a quick run down of the process. I started by rolling out a slab of clay. I cut the cookies out with cutters and smoothed the edges. I also added a little ridge so they would look like they had icing on them. After drying for about a week, I fired them in the kiln. They come out a pure white color after the firing and they are ready to be decorated. I mixed a few underglazes up to make a nice cookie brown and then used bright colored underglazes for the icing. I put a matte glaze on the icing only. These were put back in the kiln for a second firing, this ones called the glaze firing. They came out looking like cookies but they needed sprinkles. What's a Christmas cookie without them? I made the sprinkles from crushed glass rods for lampworking, some crushed seed beads, and some glass frit. I carefully sprinkled them on and put them back in the kiln. This firing was a tricky one. I wanted the glass to fuse to the glaze but I didn't want the glass to melt in. So every half hour I would open the kiln and check the sprinkles. After reaching 1350 degrees the glass had stuck! I shut off the kiln and waited for them to cool completely.

Ornament Thursday has been tons of fun. There are a group of us that just can't let go of the idea. We are in the works of a monthly craft extravaganza, so stay tuned. I will keep you posted.

Here are the other great ornaments for this wonderful and last Ornament Thursday.
Happy Holidays!

The Cover

I have been waiting forever to see this. I got my book cover. It feels like a real book now. I have been working on my Ceramic Bead Jewelry book for over a year now,and it's so nice to something physical. I have learned so much about the process of writing books this year. First off all, I wrote the words and designed and made the projects and was on hand for the photo shoot. Actually, you'll get to see my lovely manicured hands in the book. They never look that good but for a book they have to. Ooops, I got off track here. This is what I am getting at. The author, most of the time has no control of the layout, look, or cover of the book. This is all in the hands of the editors and art directors. This of course is a scary thing since I am a control freak. But then again, I bugged and bugged Lark Books about publishing a ceramic bead book for this exact reason. I love every book they put out. The photographs are always wonderful and plentiful. They are always stunning books. I am thrilled with the way my book looks, I never could have made it look so good myself. Lark Books Rock!!!! Just in case you are wondering, my book will be out June 3rd. Yipee!

By the way....the new header on the blog matches my new website that will debut in January. It is freakishly similar to the cover of my book. I had no idea of what the cover would look like when I was designing the web stuff.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Yeah! It's ornament Thursday! I love ornament Thursday.

I am really happy the way this ornament turned out. I bought some 2" wooden wheels at the craft store, got out my markers, beads, and nails and went to work. The first thing I did was pre-drill eight holes for the nails. I tried just hammering in the nails but these wood wheels were really dense, it might work on another type of wood but not for me on these. Okay, next I drew circles with markers, pretty easy right? Then I dug around and found some 2 inch finishing nails, they are nice because finishing nails are pretty skinny allowing most beads to slide on. I did put a dab of glue on the end of each nail before sliding it into the whole. I figure I am going to have this ornament for a long time and so I should make it sturdy. Last to make it a hanging ornament, I wrapped a piece of silver wire around the top of one of the nails and then made a hook on the other end. I want to make more. I think these would be too cute hung all together on a garland across the mantle.

For more great ornaments, on this wonderful ornament Thursday please visit these blogs of other handy dandy crafters.

Sara Naumann
Lynn Kvigne
Candie Cooper
Katie Hacker
Margot Potter
Linda Augsburg
Melanie Brooks Lukacs
Art Bead Scene
Cindy Gimbrone
Polymer Clay Craft Gossip
Alexa Westerfield from
Debba Haupert
Elaine Luther
Melissa Lee
Rebecca Peck
Jean Yates
Michelle McGee
Jenny Harada
Jennifer Heynen
Hali Chambers
Kriss Kramer
Brandy Lung Gill
Lisa Liddy

Before I end my post today, I want to show you another project I have been working on. It's my Etsy store. I have wanted to get one of these up and running for awhile and I finally did it this week. I have some finished jewelry and one of a kind beads. These are things you won't find on my regular website. All of these pieces are in stock and ready to ship for all of you last minute shoppers.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Teaching, Teaching, Teaching

Hey everybody! I have just finalized the plans for three ceramic bead making classes this year. How exciting is that? Lets go in the order of which comes first....

I will be teaching a 2 day ceramic bead making workshop in Miami. This is for the South Florida Jewelry Arts Guild but anyone and everyone is welcome. The dates are April 19th and 20th. If you have any questions or would like to sign up please e-mail Lynn Yuhr at This class will be fun!

Next is a one day ceramic bead making class at Bead and Button. This class will be taught Sunday, June 8th at the show in Milwaukee, WI. If you have never been to the Bead and Button Show you better consider going. It's a beaders heaven. For more info go to

And last but not least, I will be teaching a one day class at The Puget Sound Bead Festival. The dates of the show are July 11-13th. I don't have a specific date for teaching yet but information will be available soon. Here's the show website for more information

So it seems as though I have three corners of the country covered for anyone who would like to learn the fun and addicting art of making ceramic beads. One more thing, the photo above has some of the beads that you can make in class.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Cookies

The boys and I made Christmas Cookies this weekend. It wore me out! Not that the baking is hard, it's cleaning up the mess of sprinkles when it all over. I am sure we will be finding them for days to come. I do love to bake. When I was little I wanted to be a cake decorator. Actually, I still kind of want to be one. My husband bought me a fancy mixer last year for Christmas and I have been playing around with decorating cakes. I wonder if that's why everyone always says they would like to eat my beads? They look like candy. It's too late for this week, but I think for next weeks ornament Thursday I will make some ornaments that look like cookies. I will see how close to real I can get. Check back in to see them.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Holiday Jars

Hey there everyone, I just couldn't stop with ornament Thursday. I made these jars last night. I thought they would be great for putting baked goodies in for gifts. They were really easy to do. I spray painted the lids of canning jars. Once they were dry I hammered a nail through the center of the lid and then pulled the nail out. This left a hole just the size for my 18 gauge craft wire. I made a little spiral at one end, threaded it through the hole and put a dab of hot glue on the wire to hold it in place. While I had the hot glue gun on, I went ahead and put a little around the rim on the inside. This will hold the two lid pieces together. Next I added some glitter, strung on the beads and finished off the top with a little spiral or star.

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ornament Thursday

Yipee! It's ornament Thursday! Here is my ornament, "I love Snowmen". All it took was a little 18 gauge wire, some Czech Beads, and a couple ceramic Jangle beads, and voila I had made my ornament.

If you want to see more ornaments that some really crafty people came up with for today (Ornament Thursday) check out these great blogs.
Happy Beading!

Michelle McGee
Melissa Lee Candie Cooper
Alexa Westerfield from

My Book

It's an exciting day in the world of Jangles! I got the color proofs of my book! This is the final step before the book goes to the printer. I am so excited. So those of you who don't know, it's titled "Ceramic Bead Jewelry". It's being published by Lark Books and it will be out at the beginning of June.

My book covers everything you need to know to make all kinds of wonderful ceramic beads. The book covers all types of decorating processes, like raku, underglazes, chalks, slips, and, more. And if that isn't enough, I also have 30 jewelry projects in the book all with full page photos and complete instructions. The folks at Lark Books have done an amazing job with the layout and look of the book, I couldn't be happier.

As you can tell, I am so excited about this book! I think you'll love it too.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Decorating Has Begun....

So the decorating has begun at my house. . . For those of you who don't know, my husband and I are from Indiana. We spent four years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin but last year we made the big move to Georgia. We love it here, we are the college town of Athens. The only draw back is that we are so far away from our families. It means there is always a big trip to Indiana to see everyone at Christmas. Which also means, we put up a tree and then pretty much leave. I never get to really decorate and that's a shame because I loooooooove Christmas. This year everyone has decided to come to us! Yipee! I am so excited to spend the holidays at our house. So as I said before, the decorating has begun! I made this wreath, and a garland that hangs over my door. We have lights galore outside and a big ol' tree inside. I love glitter and it seems that a lot of the do dads and decorations this year are covered in it. This is fine by me, therefore I have bought a lot of glittery things this year. If I could figure out how to get glitter to stay in my glazes all my beads would be covered in it too. Speaking of glitter, my friend Dori who is the artist and owner behind Dreaming Bear Designs has a glitter bar in her store! She offers twelve different colors and styles of glitter to decorate anything you would like. Doesn't that sound fun?

Make sure you check back in a couple of days for Ornament Thursday. Katie Hacker, Margot Potter, and more artists are creating new ornaments on Thursdays. I have mine made and can't wait to show everyone Thursday. See you then, Jennifer

My website is
Pin It button on image hover