KR Designs 11 - Beadwoven Jewelry Blog

This blog is for my comments about making beadwoven jewelry, my inspirations, frustrations, and love of color.

The banner is Lilacs in Springtime, a free form peyote bracelet.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Time Sale in my Etsy Shop

I am having a sale in my Etsy shop on Holiday Glam Earrings which is managed by Items are 33% off through December 18. Reduced prices are noted so no coupon code is needed.

For readers of my blog, enter "BLOG11" for a 10% discount at checkout. If you are looking for something you have seen at an Art Fair or previously in my shop, please contact me either here or in my etsy shop.

Hope you are having a great start to winter!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Art Shows & Future Plans

I spent last weekend in Barrington, Illinois, at the Barrington Park District's Arts and Treasures show. I was disappointed in the turnout from the public as well as my sales results. I have been wait listed the past two years for Amdur Productions outdoor Fine Art Fair held over Memorial Day weekend, so thought this show would give me exposure to this market even though it is not a fine art and fine craft show.

One thing I noticed about the art fairs I have shown at this summer is the aging population. Many of the lookers/passerbys are very much senior citizens--85 years old, some active, some with walkers/wheelchairs. They are looking for things they have found in the past and prices from the past. The prices are pre Walmart days.... cheap cheap....

Sunday I had a request for a changeable bracelet for a watch. An undisclosed time ago, the patron had purchased a watch face for $5 and a bracelet with lobster clasps as connections for $10 more in Maryland and was surprised she couldn't find them at this show. I suggested that I could make one for her if she described what she wanted, but she thought her daughter could get one for her in Maryland. When I suggested that not as many people were wearing watches any more due to the changes in technology, she showed me her watch which was about to fall apart and/or off of her. It operated by battery so it wasn't a really old one that needed to be wound up daily.

Maybe it is sort of a nostalgia for the simpler days. I find myself telling stories from my childhood, sometimes to people who are not old enough to have heard of the things I talk about. Some of my jewelry is inspired by my grandmother, who would be almost 120 years old if she were still living. Maybe it is because I am approaching a milestone birthday. But I'd really rather be using my Square to accept credit cards on my smart phone, so I could pay my credit card bill for the supplies and fees for the shows.

What is missing at the shows are the younger people, the ones with jobs and empty spaces in their homes, who are needed to purchase items so the artists can pay their vendors and promoters so there is a show to attend.  I am tired of hearing "I'm not buying today." although I do understand it. I just don't know how to react. May be it is just folly to think someone would pay for my hand made items. I know a home cooked meal is appreciated  even though a lot of us consume a steady diet of microwaved frozen pizzas and processed "foods".

I am planning ways to change my on line presence, starting with blogging more often. If some of your favorite items are no longer listed in my Etsy shop, please look for photos in an album on my KRDesigns11 Facebook page. You may inquire about availability of the items however it is most convenient for you. I really need honest feedback, even if it is only some of your time to try on my items so I can see how the designs work for you. I currently do NOT plan to write tutorials for sale. I will be working on bead embroidery with druzy cabochons and stones from North America with a few exceptions. I also want to get back to creating bracelets with peyote stitch. I also have a couple of things I want to try which I will blog about, successful or not.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Art Fair - Last Outdoor Show for Season

I will be returning to LaGrange, Illinois, this coming weekend for the West End Art Fair. There is a free jazz concert on Friday night from 6 to 9 pm, with a regular show on Saturday (10 am - 5 pm)and Sunday (closes at 4 pm).

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Huntley Art Fest

I will be in an art fair this weekend. If you are near the north west suburbs, near Rockford, please join us. There will be about 50 artists, 30 percent are jewelry booths with photography and various others. There is music, too, but check the site to make sure it is your favorite type. This is a small enough (intimate is their word) show that we'll all be able to hear. I think I saw some dancing, too. I will be demonstrating along with quite a few of the other artists.

I will be debutting my new tent. Back to filling the new weight bags with pea gravel. Hope to see you at the fair. Come for the funnel cake!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Art in Your Eye - Art Fair

I will be participating in a local art fair this weekend. If you are in the area, please visit.

They have a website:

There is also a page on Facebook for the place and event.

It is in downtown Batavia, Illinois, by the Riverwalk. You really can't miss the white artist tents.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Next Art Fair - Northbrook, Illinois

Busy organizing my new work for my first show of the outdoor season. Hope you can join us in the park.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Month With Only One Post!

Recently I have been focusing on creating bead embroidered one of a kind jewelry using porcelain jasper cabochons. I wanted to use as much material as I could that was made in the USA. I decided to expand the area to North America when I saw the porcelain jasper is from Mexico. I live in a city which has a large Hispanic population, I eat lots of fruits and vegetables grown there, and it seemed natural to include my neighbor. I have also purchased cabochons from Canada, neighbor to the north, which are not necessarily natural to the USA.

Purchasing metal findings components made in the USA is easy from RioGrande. I recommend you request paper catalogues from them if you are able to purchase wholesale. The catalogues/website are great for browsing and learning. Their website has many tutorials, the company uses solar power, and it is easy to see which items are green.

The Evanston Art Center invited me to submit four pieces of my work for their 21st Evanston and Vicinity Biennial Art Show. I am grateful for this nudge back to the jewelry creation side of my business. The technology side of business is constantly changing which requires more time and energy learning more things, none of which bring in customers. I am grateful the Monday deadline was extended a week; I am able to do more elaborate items during the added week. Instead of a pin, I have designed a wide cuff bracelet with a porcelain jasper cabochon focal, side cabochons with about half the bracelet bead embroidered. The ends are bead woven with a button hole opening for a stone button. And it is in some of my favorite colors to wear, pinks and greys, so you know some of the items are in my size. If I am not accepted for the show, I will be wearing some of these items at my first Art Fair in mid July.

On the technology side, I have decided to watermark my photos. From personal experiences, I am aware that some think it is okay to copy my work, tell others how to make my items, and to post my photos without my knowledge/name associated with it ( is given credit for the photo). As I struggled with this issue, I have not posted any new items on the internet.

I am adding cabs of a purple/white stone from Utah to my inventory. Looking forward to creating a series of jewelry with them. Back to the bead work.

Monday, May 7, 2012


New show added, indoors in November with about 100 artist vendors. It is sponsored by the Barrington, Illinois Park District and run by the same two women for more than 10 years so it should be well run. They have some talented artists scheduled to participate with more to come as entries are received. It is a fee free jury with a modest booth fee, no percentage of sales or charity donations involved.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Art Fairs and Photo Editing

My 2012 outdoor Art Fair schedule is set through September except for possible additions where I am on the wait lists as an alternate. There are shows in Barrington (May), Highland Park (June), Glenview (August), Lake Forest (September), and Geneva (July)(all in Illinois, Chicago area) that I hope to be called to participate. This would be if someone in my category has to cancel and I am able to step in their place, sometimes at the last minute.

These shows are highly competitive with 4 - 6 or more applicants for each spot. In order to be accepted at more of the shows where I am on the wait list, I will be improving everything on my applications. I have started with using the book that I purchased a while ago for my Photoshop Elements 7 software.

Since I have disliked some of the color in my photos on Etsy, I skipped to Chapter 4 Color Me Badd in Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski's book. First thing I learned was to set the program to optimize for computer screens or for printing. Most of my photos are viewed on computers.

Then I went on to learn about quick fixes. I had been using guided edit most of the time, but was impressed with the changes the software made on my sample photo which I can select based on whatever one appeared best to me via a side to side comparison of before and after.

Smart fix balances the overall tone and fixes the color cast. There is an auto feature or a sliding bar that can be used to increase or decrease the fix. If I'm not happy with the fix, I can reset back to the original photo and try other fixes. The levels fix under lighting is to adjust contrast. The lighten shadows slider tool can be accessed here. The fix that helped my photo the most was in the color area which will remove color casts, improve contrast and reduce color casts in the mid tone areas. This seems to be my background which is supposed to be white (or black). My etsy photos always seemed to be on a pale purple/gray background, not white. It could be my monitor, but the background in Blogger seems to be white to my eye.

The point of this post is to encourage readers to learn more about their photo editing software. I wish I had taken the time to see what was available before now. I will be using the book more, so look for better photos in my next post.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Facebook Timeline

I've been working on small druzy cabochon pendants--a white with matte opaque deep turquoise, a honey color with white, and an amber colored one. Sorry no pics yet.

I liked the blue lace agate necklace so much, I purchased a round and an oval shaped cab so that I can make more items in my collection. I also purchased two lavender amethyst cabs, a small rectangular turquoise cab, and an aquamarine oval cab. I am going to be very busy doing bead embroidery as these are regular size cabs, not tiny or small ones. I have some findings with a pin/bail so customers can have two ways to wear the beadwork. These purchases were my reward to myself for facing the Timeline on Facebook for my business page.

I waited until the last minute to make changes on my business Facebook page. So Thursday afternoon was the time I scheduled as I've been warned the changes will take affect on 3/30.

I used my Lilacs in Springtime bracelet for the first page. It's the same bracelet I have in the heading of my etsy shop and this blog. I have used parts of the photo for half of the round Moo stickers. The bracelet also appears on my business and earring cards. If you're wondering where that bracelet is, I have it; may keep it as it was the one I showed off to get started as a business. Maybe I should adjust the size so I can wear it.

Please visit my Facebook business page . I need "Likes". Any ideas on what I should post there would be appreciated.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Light Blue and White

I enjoyed creating this bead embroidered blue lace agate cabochon and the bracelets flowed easily in the same colors/beads. I was surprised when I photographed and edited my pictures that the blue gray color appeared dark. I learned that it was my usual adjustment for "brightness and contrast" on Photoshop that created the color cast over the entire photo. I played with the sliding bars and other adjustments to come up with a photo that is more true to color and pleasing to my eye.

This is my lower price point all seed bead version of the blue lace agate colors.

This is my two strand flat spiral weave version of blue lace agate. I did not redo the photo editing on this, so you can see it is darker than in real life. The cabochon photo below is without the brightness and contrast adjustment. I adjusted the mid tone values until the gray background (really a thick white paper) pleased me.

Loving these colors so much and needing some knit tees for summer, I ordered an assortment including some in mineral blue which looked like it would match perfectly. The clothes arrived and the color is a mint green, not at all blue. So misleading! The one I ordered called rose quartz is a deep tone orange pink, not at all like the semi precious stones pale pink color, but my monitor did read this color true. Since it is not a flattering shade for me, I will be shopping for some pastel colors.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Welcome Spring

This is a cabochon pendant using a millifleur Venetian glass cab; it is on the purchased natural leather cord with a lobster clasp. It would also look pretty with a beaded chain.

A bead embroidered aqua blue druzy cabochon pendant with adjustable white cord.

This emerald green bead embroidered druzy cabochon has palace green opal Swarovski bicones in the bezel as well as seed beads.

I have decided to spend time blogging rather than on Facebook. I plan to continue my FB page, KRDesigns11, with postings of new items in my Etsy shop and treasuries featuring my items. I'd love to have you "Like" my page as well as join me here on my blog. I will not comment on friends status reports so please do not take this personally. My focus will be on promotion and creating my art.

Today I purchased some stone cabochons that I envision being made into pins/pendants. I have some combination findings with a bail as well as a pin. The stones are larger to accommodate the pin/bail and are regular shapes in pink, amethyst purple, pink/red, and greens; these are colors that are attracting me now. The designer shapes require more design time due to the irregular shapes of the stones and would tend to be assymetrical.

I also purchased more of the small druzy cabochons to have a variety of pendants. I am loving making these. The white Greek leather cord with sliding sterling silver rings seems to work well as a "chain" on which to hang them. I measured 28" of cord, so that it easily goes over my head with my glasses on, and then can be adjusted to the position I like with the clothes I am wearing. For the same amount of money, I purchased a natural leather ready made neck chain which is thinner and the lobster clasp wire work has some rough edges on it. Some customers may prefer the clasp versus putting it over their head. Making a bead woven chain would be an option too.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Bead Embroidered Tiny Druzys

I have been trying to create items with lower price points to sell at my Art Fairs. I am currently working on bead embroidered druzy cabochons that are tiny--between 18 and 23 mm. I am using delicas, size 13 charlottes and size 15 beads. It is taking more time than I expected because the beads I have are also tiny. But I'm having fun creating these cute little babies with lacy edgings. I have one more in aqua blue that I want to finish for my indoor show on March 9 & 10. Being primarily a bead weaver, I have mostly delica beads. Before I do more bead embroidery on regular size cabochons I need to shop for seed beads. I'm also planning to use Greek leather cords with adjustable length, probably in white.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rose, Mauve, Amethyst AB and Gray

I really have enjoyed creating items in Vintage Rose, Mauve Pearls, Czech Amethyst AB, and light pearlized gray and wanted to use the items for jury photos. My husband convinced me that they are not artsy enough and the colors are too subtle to photograph well. I determined he had a point, (he is sometimes right) and will use the photos of the Noreena Jasper items for the juries. I determined I didn't have enough items in those colors, so will need to add to the collection. In the meantime, please enjoy what the juries will miss!

These items are or will be listed in my etsy shop. I am playing with a couple new projects and working on bead embroideries featuring porcelain jasper and a stone with purple, white and grey/black, both purchased from tradewinds studio on etsy.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Indoor Show Jury Photos

I have selected items in cream/ivory/eggshell in a range of prices for my applications to shows held indoors. These items can be created in any color, but I thought I would bring light colored items which would show up better in darker, indoor situations. I'm not sure how much light will be available in the space, assuming I am accepted.