Monday, July 25, 2011

New Items in the Shop!

It's down to crunch time now! I'm a bit crazy and will be doing a show every weekend starting this Saturday until the end of August. Who needs weekends for relaxing anyway!

Here are some new things that have made it to my Etsy shop, including some sweet cuff links made with purple circuit board. Yes, purple!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainbow Beads!

A very awesome customer at the Cornhill Festival this weekend requested a custom beadwoven necklace with three circles. Who am I to pass up the opportunity to use every bold color in my bead stash?

Friday, June 24, 2011

What's Old is New Again

I'm back with more designs for the Artbeads Blogging for Beaders Challenge! The theme is "What's Old is New Again." The idea was to take inspiration from the past by incorporating old, vintage, or antique items into our designs, but to also include modern components. I decided to take a couple of gorgeous antique styled components coupled with antique brass and copper chain and findings and pair them with contemporary Swarovski and fire polished glass beads. 

This first piece incorporates a beautiful Kabela Design filigree component with the sparkle of a Swarovski copper rivoli. The rivoli is bead bezeled in golden rose colored delicas. I think I may have used the "wrong" side of the component, but it still has charm!

This next piece is a simple brass chain that has been embellished with a range of Swarovski crystals in warm brown tones. To finish the honey feel of the bracelet, a little bee charm decorates the clasp. A simple pair of earrings completes the duo.

This bracelet combines metal and fiber for a simple yet aged appeal. Glass beads and brass wire compliment the triangle link.

This next piece has a gorgeous Victorian style link. I kept it simple by adding beaded links to the chain. 

Finally, this piece reminds me of the industrial revolution, since it's the only one so far to incorporate silver. It feels more modern than the others, yet still looks antique. The Swarovski briolette adds a much needed punch to the ribbon necklace. 

ArtBeads is having a summer savings sale, so stop on by if you want to get some awesome jewelry supplies. 

Please note that I have received the products free of charge from and that I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid to do so.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Winter Enchantment

Living in Rochester, NY provides ample snowfall in the winter season. This year we're way above average with over 100 inches of snow so far. I'm not a huge fan of the cold, windy, blizzardy days. Today is an exception though. The sun is out, the sky is bright blue, and the snow covered trees look wonderful. Again, Artbeads has offered a chance to embody the feeling of winter through jewelry. I chose to use color to reflect the theme.

Here are some designs that incorporate glass beads that grade from aqua to clear paired with Swarovski Crystal.

I had to give the Swarovski Helios pendant a try. The one I used is in indocolite. It has a really neat geometry and has a wonderful tactile quality.

I also selected a strand of cobalt colored glass roundelles and used them in a few different ways. The copper doesn't embody winter as well as silver, but I couldn't resist the little snowflake charms.

And of course there is more Swarovski! I hadn't seen the snowflake pendant yet so I gave it a shot too! I wish the hole went from side to side but I made it work! I also used some briolettes because they have a wonderful shape and are a budget friendly alternative for using AAA gemstones.

And finally, here are a few miscellaneous items. The blue Picasso beads were a bit darker than I thought they would be, but they still look beautiful.

If you're ready to make jewelry, I have a coupon code for you! Use code ZZ-DESIGNER-0211 when you checkout at to receive 15% off your entire purchase, with no minimum, through the end of February.

Please note that I have received the products free of charge from and that I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid to do so.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Budgeting Your Business Spending for 2011

Even though we're more than a month into the new year, it's still not too late to develop a supply spending budget! I spent my first year as a registered business spending here and there without much of a plan. I suppose that's fine if you're just starting out while you get a feel for things, but if you've been growing, watching your spending will really help to increase your profit. I have developed a worksheet in Excel that will track your spending in 2010 by category so that you can easily determine your budget for 2011. Take a look! You can download it from Scribd. Be sure to start on the 2010 spending tab. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Budget Worksheet

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Studio

This is taken from the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) blog. They run cool articles on each day of the week, with Mondays being studio visits. It was my turn to showcase my studio last week. Take a gander...

Make-it Mondays: Studio Visit #8 Beadwork By Amanda

This week's studio visit is with a veteran seller and long time RNESTer, Amanda Preske, of Beadwork By Amanda. Amanda opened her Etsy shop in 2006 and and is an art market pro. Since then she has gone on to have her work published in a book and co-founded Mayday Underground Crafts and Art here in Rochester, NY. All while working towards a Phd!!! So how does she do it?

Buenahelena: Where do you work/where is your studio?
Beadwork By Amanda: My primary work space is the lime craft room. I also have amassed equipment that is considerably messy that is used in the basement. It is so awesome to have my own space. Previously, I lived in a one bedroom apartment so the living room and dining room became my studio. It was a terrible arrangement and bits of circuit board and beads wound up everywhere.

B: What is your medium or product?
BBA: On Etsy, my product is jewelry and accessories made with recycled circuit boards and resin. I make bracelets, necklaces, rings, cuff links and tie tacks, key chains, and dabble in other product types. I also have a second shop that focuses on resin kits and tutorials. Off Etsy, I make beaded and beadwoven jewelry, felt key chains, and magnets that I sell at shows and festivals. My studio space is also used for the random scrapbook or art projects.

B: What is the biggest challenge about your space and how have you worked through it?
BBA: The biggest challenge has been organizing the space. It’s the largest bedroom in my house, but I still struggle to find space for everything. I have divided my room into zones that are all used for specific tasks. The green counter is where I make non-resin jewelry, and the pine desk is for resin work. The small desk and black counter are for order processing and packaging, administrative stuff, and a space for anything else that doesn’t have a spot. When we were transitioning from living in the apartment to moving in, we remodeled the kitchen, so I commandeered the cabinets which offer a lot of storage for my zillions of beads and tools. The basement is where I keep the messy circuit board cutting supplies.

B: Describe a typical day at the studio.
BBA: Since I am a PhD student, there is, unfortunately, no typical day. Sometimes I’ll be in there in the early morning packing an order, or up really late doing resin. I usually spend all day Sunday cutting circuit board, photographing stuff made on Saturday, and making new beaded jewelry. I usually reserve updating my shop to weekdays when I have downtime (like when I’m waiting for a reaction to run).

B: What do you love the most about being a crafter/artist/etsy seller?
BBA: I love the fact that I have complete control over everything I do. My success is directly proportional to the amount of effort I put in. Creating comes naturally so I don’t feel like I’m being forced to do or understand something. Etsy is wonderful because I can reach customers all over the world and the cost is very low. Etsy doesn’t require an 8 hour day at a $300 booth that might result in a terrible sunburn! I also love that my space is totally mine. I’ve avoided making the whole house lime green, so my craft room is my place to go wild and put up whatever I want.

Thanks for sharing you space and process with us Amanda! You can visit Amanda's Etsy shop here: .Be sure to come out to the third installment of Mayday Underground on May 7, 2011 at the Main Street Armory or apply to be in the show online, here: