susanstars

Portland, OR, US
contributor

I'm a jewelry designer, writer, and crafter in Portland, Oregon, and I love making things, vintage and thrift-store shopping, and writing about it all. I mostly do jewelry-making, sewing, and general crafts projects for CraftStylish, which are my favorites!

I'm the author of Button It Up and Bead Simple, and the co-author of Super Crafty with Cathy Pitters, Torie Nguyen, and Rachel O’Rourke. I also write a daily craft blog, westcoastcrafty.com, and you can find more of my crafty projects and writing at susanbeal.com.

craft interests: embroidery, fashion, gifts, home decorating, jewelry making, paper crafts, quilting, restyle, sewing, buttons

my etsy page:
http://susanstars.etsy.com

Member Since: 03/24/2008

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Make an Old Coat New Again with a Beaded Brooch

Rework a broken piece of costume jewelry, or a handful of stash beads, into a sewn-on floral brooch design that brings new life to an old coat!

Make a Beaded Valentine!

Create this simple, pretty beaded Valentine in just a few minutes with two colors of cardstock and a few seed beads.

Heartfelt Valentines: Fortune Cookies and Rings!

I made up sets of felt fortune cookies and mini matching rings for my valentines this year! This is an easy and fun little project that you can customize with your favorite colors or a personalized fortune just for the lucky recipient.

Resparkle Your Old Ornaments: Round One

Add some sparkle to a set of old glass ornaments with this quick, easy series of crafty makeovers! This week's version adds a geometric pattern of rhinestones for extra shine.

How to Throw a Button Party!

I wanted to make some pretty button-themed treats for my book party this weekend, so I baked some button shortbread cookies and whipped up these fun button cupcake toppers, too. Here's how to make your own version any time you have something crafty to celebrate!

Make a Family Cookbook for Mother's Day or a Wedding Shower!

A handmade cookbook full of treasured family recipes is a thoughtful gift for Mother's Day or for a newly married couple. You can make it as simple and homemade or as sleek and professional as you like!

How to Embellish Kneesocks

I love wearing kneesocks, so I thought I'd embellish a couple of my favorite pairs for fall. Here are a few ideas for fancying them up with button rosettes.

How to Make Swingy, Sparkly New Year's Eve Earrings

Whip up these easy, swingy earrings for your New Year's Eve or any other fun night out!

Holiday Button Napkin Rings

Make these simple, festive napkin rings with a few twists of wire and a favorite button and leaf embellishment, perfect for your holiday table!

Check out Diane Gilleland's Amazing New Weaving Book!

Longtime CraftStylish contributor Diane Gilleland has a gorgeous new collection out, an e-book filled with stylish off-loom weaving projects to try!

Create an Art Nouveau-Inspired Shrink-Art Pendant!

Since I had so much fun making shrink-art buttons a few months ago, and I adore rhinestones and vintage beads, I thought I'd make a piece of jewelry using some favorite bits and pieces for my last tutorial here at CraftStylish. Thank you to everyone in the community for your great comments and helpful feedback, and I hope you have enjoyed my posts!

Decoupage a Colorful Pendant and Earrings Set!

Transform a few wooden discs into fun, sparkly jewelry that's just right for summer! I used some of my favorite Crafty Chica imagery and added a few rhinestones for extra pop, but this project is ultra-customizable, so you can mix in the colors or style you like best.

Make a Revamped Sparkle Necklace and Earrings Set!

Rework a forgotten piece of vintage costume jewelry into this striking earrings and necklace set, perfect for a gift or a summer wedding! This project is very flexible—just choose an old necklace you haven’t worn for a while and salvage the beads for an all-new configuration.

Recycle Metal Cans into Hanging Flower Baskets for a Spring Party!

Make simple, inexpensive, and cheerful hanging flower "baskets" out of recycled metal cans! These would be perfect to decorate a backyard or patio for a spring party, an informal wedding, or just for fun.

Resparkle an Old Handbag with Spring Flowers!

Revive a plain vintage or secondhand purse with a handful of rhinestones for a pretty new look—just in time for spring!

Recycle Baby Food Jars into Terrariums and Tea Kits!

Save a few empty baby food jars (or any other small glass containers) and turn them into sweet little presents for friends! I made a chai-tea kit and a teeny-tiny terrarium with mine, but the possibilities are endless.

How to Make a Felt Baby Toy with a Crinkly, Crackly Recycled Surprise!

Babies seem to find things that make noise irresistible...so I recycled two empty plastic wipes packages into a secret crackler inside a simple felt owl toy for my daughter! She loves grabbing it and hearing that satisfying crispy, crinkly sound.

Recycle Your Tin Cans into Mini-Planters!

I'm starting a garden with some little seedlings and thought I'd transplant them into bright, pretty cans for their first few weeks. This is a super easy project, perfect for beginners like me!

How to Make Button Embellishments for Shoes!

If you have a plain pair of shoes that need a little pick-me-up, how about adding a button rosette for a sweet and spring-y makeover? Choose two favorite buttons in coordinating colors for a super-personalized update.

Book Review: Sew Darn Cute!

Our month of craft-book giveaways continues with Jenny Ryan's beautiful new collection of sewing and craft projects, Sew Darn Cute: 30 Sweet & Simple Projects to Sew & Embellish!

How to Make a Covered-Button Bracelet and Ring Set

Use your favorite small prints for this easy fabric jewelry project! You can use the same one for each link as I did, or mix it up with all different patterns—it's up to you.

The Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing!

Kathy Cano-Murillo's colorful new sewing book is fun, glittery, and exuberant—just like its author!

Make a Button Link Necklace Three Different Ways!

This simple necklace links the buttons of your choice in a pretty row across the center. I've made three versions here to show how easy it is to customize it with your own favorites!

How to Make Your Own Shrink-Art Buttons

Make up a set of custom buttons using shrink plastic! You can create any size, style, color, or design you like for these buttons, perfect for your next embellishment or jewelry project.

How to Make Pet Photo Magnets

Use your favorite pet snapshots to make a fun set of glass-topped magnets for yourself or your friends!

Pretty Pet Tags!

Make your dog or cat a fun little shrink-art tag—just the thing to fancy up a plain collar. Decorate it with any design, initial, or word you like for a super-personalized pet charm!

Get Crafty with the Orla Kiely Home Collection!

I picked up a few pieces from the new Orla Kiely household line at Target—perfect for storing my favorite craft supplies in style! Of course, you can use any organizing pieces like these, but I love her prints and thought it was fun to mix and match them with my own stuff.

Handmade Hooray: A CPSIA Victory!

Like everyone else in the craft world, we were so glad to hear that the CSPS granted a one-year stay on the CPSIA legislation last week! Here's a bit more on the updates we've gotten, and what you can do to help the effort.

Fantastic Craft Classes at Home Ec in Los Angeles!

Sew Darn Cute author Jenny Ryan has teamed up with handmade shop ReForm School for an amazing new series of crafty classes: Home Ec!

Special Delivery: Share Your Love

Etsy is organizing a lovely handmade Valentines drive—send in your crafty cards and they'll deliver them to seniors in New York City!

Recycle Your Tin Cans into Simple, Stylish Craft Storage!

I decorated some plain aluminum cans from the recycling bin with strands of my favorite beads for a quick and easy storage idea—this one holds all my scissors in one handy place!

The Meaning of Metals

I thought this post about the history and meaning of different metals was a nice mix of the romantic and the pragmatic!

Bay Area Jewelry Supply Sale - 1/17

I heard about this fantastic studio sale on all things jewelry-making and wanted to pass the word on to Bay Area crafters!

Handmade Nation in Portland

I got to go to Faythe Levine's Handmade Nation event at Powell's in Portland this week. Here are some of my photos and a quick recap!

How to Whip Up a Set of Winter Wineglass Charms

January is the perfect month for a low-key dinner party for friends, and what could be better than a quick, easy crafty project to decorate the table? Make this set of wineglass charms for yourself or your hostess in just a few minutes!

Reorganized Craft Room Resolution Redux!

Here's another look at how I've reorganized my beading stuff on a set of shelves—dividing things up into different areas has helped keep it all really easy to access and use.

New Year's Resolution: Organize Your Beads with Beaded Labels!

My New Year's resolution is to keep my beads and charms organized so my craft room doesn't turn into a sparkly, shiny mess and a half. Here's how I redid my bead boxes for an easy and pretty storage system!

Round Up Those Loose Beads Once and For All!

Use this simple 89¢ paint palette to wrangle the random loose beads that inevitably end up in every corner of your craft room -- making it easy to put them all away when you have a few minutes!

Beautiful Holiday Projects at Gingerbread Snowflakes

Pam Harris has put together an amazing collection of holiday crafts and posts at her lovely new blog, Gingerbread Snowflakes!

Resparkle Your Old Ornaments: Round Three

This is the simplest ornament makeover of all: Just add some graphic glitter stripes for a quick and easy embellishment!

Lovely Flower Brooch by Claudine Hellmuth

Check out this easy, gorgeous flower brooch project from designer Claudine Hellmuth—it coordinates with a pretty handmade card for two gifts in one!

Crafty Wonderland Round-Up!

We made it through a rare Portland snowstorm to visit the fabulous Crafty Wonderland on Sunday! Here are some of my favorite crafty treasures from the sale.

How to Make a Nephew-Approved Stenciled Sleepaway Pillowcase

I made this simple embellished pillowcase for my nephew, who's seven and just starting to head out to sleepovers with his buddies! Adapt this easy technique to personalize a gift for a guy of any age.

Amazing Ornament How-To Round-up at Threadbanger

CraftStylish's own Lee Meredith has posted a fantastic ornament round-up over at Threadbanger, with pictures and tutorial links galore!

Jewelry Encrusted Coifs by Jennifer Perkins

If you are looking for a glamorous project to use up shiny, sparkly jewelry and beading bits, try Jennifer's fantastical 3D collage! As a bonus, she gives instructions for making a costume-jewelry Christmas tree project, too.

Resparkle Your Old Ornaments: Round Two

Here's another idea for embellishing a plain glass ornament that's seen better days... make it a quick little beaded "necklace" featuring a favorite charm!

Holiday Sales in Seattle and Los Angeles This Weekend!

If you're lucky enough to live in Seattle or Southern California, don't miss Urban Craft Uprising or the first-ever LA Craftacular! Along with great handmade jewelry and craft shopping, there are lots of cool extras like DIY projects and craft book signings, too.

More Handmade Gift Ideas

This new livejournal community offers a great collection of handmade holiday crafts—browse for ideas, ask for advice, or add your own!

An Inspiring Array of Jewelry Displays

Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club has curated a whole collection of inventive, gorgeous ways to display and organize your jewelry.

A Handy Guide to Pendant Bails

Curious about which type or size of bail might work well for your next pendant project? Here's a helpful guide to different styles to check out.

Lovely Decoupaged Bangles from One Pearl Button

Allison of One Pearl Button posted this fun project recently, and shared some photos to inspire your own take on these gorgeously embellished bangle bracelets!

More Jewelry, Craft, and Holiday Projects to Check Out

The Fiskars website offers up some fun daily craft projects to try, including a nice set of jewelry how-tos!

How to Make a Striking Centerpiece Necklace

Turn a big, eye-catching charm into the centerpiece of your new favorite necklace. I chose a magnificent octopus to adorn mine, but the sky is the limit with this design!

Beading and Craft Supplies Sales This Week

Here are a few sales on beads, tools, findings, and other bits and pieces you might want to take a look at!

Make It: Beaded Stitch Markers!

These fun little bead stitch markers are the perfect holiday gift for your favorite knitters. Make up a set and slip them onto a ribbon or chain for wearing as a necklace, too!

Finding Crafty Treasures at Flea Markets, Estate Sales, and Thrift Stores

I love finding secondhand and vintage bits and pieces for crafting, and thought I'd share a few of my favorite ways to hunt for treasures.

Make One-of-a-Kind Earrings from Paper and Paint!

The endlessly inventive Jennifer Perkins offers this great tutorial for turning an original painted collage into an eye-catching pair of earrings.

Make It: Quick-and-Easy Flower Ornament!

Whip up some fun, sparkly ornaments for holiday decorating or to adorn a handmade gift for a friend. This is a perfect little instant-gratification project: Cut it, glue it, let it dry overnight, and there you go.

Clothespin Bats for Halloween!

This fun and quick little project from Martha Stewart is a perfect way to celebrate Halloween with fellow crafters or your kids!

Make a 3-D Fabric Butterfly Ring!

I love this pretty, inventive idea from Bridget Benton—create a three-dimensional jewelry embellishment with your favorite patterned fabric.

Make an Embellished Day of the Dead Collage

Create a colorful embellished art piece for your altar to celebrate Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) on November 1 and 2. Here's a simple how-to for making your own version!

Make Your Own Skull Beads

Regina of Creative Kismet shares this fantastic tutorial for making your own skull beads out of polymer clay without a mold—perfect for earrings, necklaces or a spooky, pretty bracelet like hers!

Cute as a Pumpkin Earrings

Michelle at Scribbit made these charming little pumpkin earrings out of polymer clay -- check out her fantastic tutorial and whip up a pair yourself!

How to Make a Vintagesque Necklace with Wire and Beads

Make yourself a sleek little choker with 24-gauge wire and your favorite beads! This video shows you how to loop right through beads to spotlight them in a row around your neck.

Spooky Cameos and Charms for Halloween Jewelry

If you're planning to adorn yourself with spooky jewelry this Halloween, here are some fun pieces to design with!

Organize Your Ribbons!

Jessica Wilson, aka Jekbot, has a lovely idea for keeping her ribbon organized in a flurry of beautiful colors. Fill a suitcase or another box with your spools of ribbons and trims facing upwards, and you'll never have to hunt around for just the right one again!

Make It Pink: Cocktail Ring!

Whip up a pink sparkly cocktail ring to wear out and about—this is a fun instant-gratification project and a perfect little gift for a friend.

Inspiration for the Make It Pink Challenge

If you're planning to make jewelry or accessories for the Make It Pink Challenge this month, here are some pretty pink beads and supplies—plus some free project ideas—to consider using!

Make a Graduated Bead Strand for Design Inspiration

A simple smallest-to-biggest collection of beads on a strand of flexible wire is an indispensable tool for planning your next jewelry project!

Make It Pink: Charm Bracelet!

I love mixing up different sizes and colors of vintage and new beads in the same design. This pink beaded charm bracelet was a lot of fun to make!

Shopping for Beads and Jewelry Supplies at Metalliferous

I love visiting Metalliferous to find beads and jewelry findings and supplies when I'm in New York, but they have an online shop and catalogs if you're not in the city.

The Perfect 89-cent Beading Design Tool

When you're planning which beads to use for a new piece, how about using an inexpensive paint palette to help isolate colors, compare shapes and sizes, and choose your elements?

Make a One-Inch Button Pendant

If you have some extra-special favorites in your one-inch button collection, how about turning them into pendants to wear on a ribbon?

Simple Embellished Tea-Towel Curtains

I made this set of kitchen curtains with some cheerful tea towels and a few fun embellishments. Update your windows in less than an hour with this easy project!

Barbe St. John and Craft Gossip

Barbe St. John writes up all kinds of jewelry coolness at the Craft Gossip site. Check out her regular column and her other crafty endeavors, too!

Make a Beaded Daisy Chain

This simple little beading project is very customizable—make your flowers in any colors you like!

Super-Handy Seed Bead Size Chart

If you're wondering which size of seed beads to use for a project, check out this helpful online conversion table.

Ornamentea!

This outstanding Raleigh, North Carolina, bead shop has an amazing website to browse and order from—and here are some of my favorite picks from my visit last week!

How to Turn Fabric into a Sparkly Embellishment

You can easily turn ordinary cotton fabric into a durable piece of jewelry or an appliqué for your crafting. Just finish the surface with decoupage medium and add some rhinestones for sparkle!

Book Review: Complete Embellishing

I love Kayte Terry's crafts and designs, and her new embellishment book is amazing, too!

Radical Jewelry Makeover

Donate the old jewelry you never wear anymore to become part of a new art exhibition by the Ethical Metalsmiths—a "responsible jewelry movement."

How to Make a Simple Bead-on-a-Wire Necklace

I made this simple, streamlined necklace to spotlight a single pink pearl and finished it with coordinating chain on both sides. You can make your own version to show off any favorite bead!

Beadaholics on Flickr

Get inspired or just marvel at the more than 26,000 photos of beaded jewelry in the Beadaholics flickr pool.

Lee Meredith's DIY Jewelry Frame and Knitting Needle Accessories

Crafter extraordinaire Lee Meredith of Leethal.net recently posted this quick project idea: a jewelry rack made with fishnet stockings stretched over an old frame! Don't miss her recycled knitting-needle jewelry, too.

How to Embellish a Picture Frame with Buttons

I found an old picture frame at a thrift store and covered it with an assortment of buttons, plus a flower charm, for a quick, easy project.

Urban Fauna Grand Opening in San Francisco

Jamie Marie Chan of Mary Jane's Attic has a new crafty endeavor: the Urban Fauna Studio. She's throwing a party to celebrate with all kinds of cool giveaways!

Tips for Applying to a Craft Fair

I asked Jenny Ryan of Felt Club and Torie Nguyen of Crafty Wonderland for their advice on applying for a craft fair—especially a big event like a holiday show! Here are their tips for helping your work shine through an endless sea of applications.

Beautiful Handmade Findings for Sale on Etsy!

Finishing your jewelry with a unique, gorgeous clasp or set of earring wires is such a nice touch. I spotted these beautifully detailed handmade findings on Etsy—so inspiring!

How to Organize Your Necklaces, Earrings, and Hair Clips

Keeping your beads and crafty supplies organized and accessible is challenging enough, but once you've made yourself a handful of necklaces, earrings, and hair clips, how do you keep those neat and tangle-free? I've finally found the perfect jewelry organizer to display my collection, and here's a great idea on how to make your own, too.

Beadalicious Review and Interview

I had a chance to catch up with Sonya Nimri, the author of Beadalicious, and ask about her favorite tips for beading and how she got started.

Beaducation Online Classes

Beaducation has a whole array of cool online classes for making all kinds of jewelry projects... from (free!) basic tutorials to intricate, gorgeous chainmail, crochet, and wirework pieces, there's something for every skill level.

How to Organize Your Brooches and Pins

Once you've collected or made yourself a handful of brooches and buttons, how do you keep them organized and off your dresser or nightstand? I've come up with a simple solution to display my favorites.

Jeaneology Accessories and Jewelry

Crafter extraordinaire Nancy Flynn has put together some really fun ideas for making jewelry and accessories in her book, Jeaneology... but the twist is that they're created with recycled denim! Here are a couple of my favorite projects from her collection.

Craft In America: Jewelry Extraordinaire

Craft In America is a documentary, traveling museum exhibition, and gorgeous, vividly photographed book all in one. The collection features craft designers and artists in every medium, but of course some of my favorites are the jewelers and beaders...

Craft Blog Week: Bloglines and Beyond

If you are reading craft blogs regularly, it's super handy to keep your collection of favorites in one convenient place. I use Bloglines myself, but Google Reader has plenty of fans too. Here's a little how-to along with a list of 25 of my favorites you might like to browse through

Craft Blog Week: CRAFTzine

CRAFT: magazine has a simply amazing daily blog, featuring an incredible array of projects to make, cool sites to check out, or handmade pieces to browse and buy. And best of all, they even have an entire category of posts on jewelry!

How to Start a Craft or Beading Group

Starting up your own beading or crafty circle and sharing ideas, techniques, and supplies with friends can be a lot of fun! Craft maven Diane Gilleland was kind enough to share plenty of tips for getting a jewelry-making group off the ground.

Amy Karol's fantastic 5-minute skirt

This simple, gorgeous a-line skirt is a five-minute project... just whip up a pattern from your measurements and go!

Ponoko: Make Your Designs on Demand

New craft-design site Ponoko offers a very innovative service: submit your original ideas and the company will turn them into fabricated pieces for customers to snap up -- perfect for jewelry and beyond.

How To: Organize Your Buttons

I love vintage and new buttons, but as I've accumulated more and more of them, my collection has been getting a bit out of control. So I came up with a few ideas for keeping them streamlined instead of letting them take over my whole craft room.

Gorgeous finds at the Vintage Bead Boutique

Annie Chau's Vintage Bead Boutique on Etsy showcases an array of charms, beads, and cabs from her enviable collection. Browse her shop to find just the thing for your next jewelry project!

Notecard Necklaces by Jill Bliss

I love these hand-illustrated underwater-scene necklace notecard sets from artist Jill Bliss -- the perfect intersection of jewelry and paper crafts!

Fantastic craft books and a summer sale

I love craft books by Chronicle, and they're all on sale this week - 30% off plus free shipping!

How To: Make an S-Clasp

If you're interested in making a simple handmade clasp for your jewelry, the S-clasp is a great one to get started with. Here's how to do it!

Enameled Pendants How-To

Indie Fixx offers a new craft tutorial every Tuesday, and the enameled imagery how-to contributed by Dreams and Jewelry is particularly outstanding. Don't miss it!

Lovely bits and pieces at Lulu's Vintage Bonanza!

If you're looking for glass or Lucite vintage cabochons, or other fun jewelry bits to design with, don't miss Lulu's Etsy shop.

How To: Organizing Tools

Here are a few ideas for keeping your beading and other crafty tools organized and easy to access while you're working.

Tips for Selling at a Craft Fair

If you're interested in selling your handmade work at craft fairs and events, check out these helpful resources from Sarah Neuberger of The Small Object.

Hip to Bead Interview and Giveaway!

Beading designer and writer Katie Hacker is offering a copy of her book, Hip to Bead, to one lucky CraftStylish reader! I interviewed her about jewelry-making, her tips for beginners, and lots more.

How To: Organizing Findings and Supplies

If you do much jewelry-making and beading, you probably have a million things to keep track of—jump rings, wire, clasps... Here's how I keep mine organized and easy to grab when I'm working on a project.

Live Crafty How-Tos at Etsy All Month!

Check out these great how-tos at Etsy: screenprinting, glass etching, sewing, and of course some amazing jewelry-making and beading projects.

The Amazing Rose Bowl Flea Market

Flea markets are fantastic sources for crafty and jewelry-making supplies, and my favorite one of all is the magnificent Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California—don't miss it!

Jewelry and Decor Projects with Cathie and Steve

I love Cathie Filian and Steve Piacenza's craft show, Creative Juice. They have a ton of great jewelry, beading, and embellishment projects online to check out, too!

How To: Simple Drop Earrings!

Choose two of your favorite beads and turn them into a quick, simple pair of earrings or embellishments...all you'll need are pliers, wire or eyepins, and a few minutes!

Video: Make a Basic Bead Dangle

I made this video to show my favorite technique for creating embellishments, earrings, or pendants using wire and beads.

Bead Expo Recap!

I had the chance to check out the Bead Expo when it came to Portland—I highly recommend going when it visits your city! Here are a few of my favorite vendors and teachers from the event.

Spotlight on SoftFlex

I have been using SoftFlex beading wire for years, but I spotted a few other cool products—not to mention some great free resources for beaders—while I was at the Bead Expo.

Interweave Craft Books to Check Out

I saw these titles at the Beadwork Bead Expo recently and thought they looked amazing. These new jewelry-making books are fantastic, whether you're into glass beads, metalwork, or bead-stringing.

Make It: Ridiculously Easy Wineglass Charms

Seattle crafter and blogger Megan Reardon shares this gorgeous, simple project to make: a set of wineglass charms to give as a hostess gift or keep for yourself.

Gorgeous Beads and Unusual Pieces to Check Out

Whether you're looking for vintage Lucite, trade beads, or semiprecious beads, Dava Bead and Trade has a very cool selection of unusual pieces to browse online or in person at their shop in Portland, Oregon.

Try a Vintage Beading Project: Tri-Bead Fun

I love vintage beading pamphlets and magazines. Here is one of my favorites from 1972.

Find Amazing Handmade Jewelry and Accessories at Renegade Brooklyn!

The Renegade Craft Fair is coming to Brooklyn on June 14th and 15th. If you're in New York, don't miss it -- there are great handmade treasures to shop for!

How to Make a Basic Bead Dangle

Here is an easy to follow video tutorial based on a wrapped loop technique from my book Bead Simple. I used this simple step for the Wedding Ring Pendant.

Make a Pendant out of Your Wedding Ring

Here's how to turn a wedding ring (or any ring) into a pretty pendant. I've made an easy-to-follow video tutorial in the companion post so that you can learn how to make the center-bead dangle, using a wrapped-loop technique.

Organize Your Beads and Charms

Once you've been collecting jewelry-making treasures for a while, storing and organizing them can become an overwhelming endeavor! I have a pretty huge collection at this point, so I've done my share of endlessly arranging and rearranging ... but here are a few things have worked well for me.

Beaders Adore Toho Shoji

Toho Shoji is one of my favorite bead stores, and every time I’m in New York, I go there to browse everything and pick up new bits and pieces to work with. If you should ever find yourself in the Big Apple, be sure to stop in. Give yourself plenty of time because there is a lot to see.

Untangle that Mess and Organize Your Handmade Jewelry

If you're a jewelry maker, sooner or later, you're likely to end up with a dilemma: how to keep your work organized, i.e., untangled and nicely arranged, and how to store all of your finished pieces. Once I realized that I had a problem on my hands, I came up with some solutions that have worked out well.

Beadage.net is a Fantastic Resource for Jewelry Making

Yes, my great passion is beading, and every time I visit Emma McCreary’s incredible Beadage.net, my passion is fueled, inspired, and ready to take on new things. The site also has a very fun blog.

DIY Bride Interview and Giveaway!

I recently had a chance to catch up with DIY Bride author Khris Cochran to ask about the inspiration for her book and her current crafty idea favorites.

Etsy Selling: How to Raise Your Profile Profitably

Selling your jewelry on Etsy is easy. What requires a bit of skill is learning how to draw attention to your shop on a site that has more than 400,000 listings. Here are some great tips on how to get your work the attention it deserves.

Vintage Bead Book Spotlight: The Family Creative Workshop Series

I love all things vintage, and some of my favorite sources for vintage jewelry-making inspiration come from the craft books and magazines of the past. You can find these treasures online and in thrift stores. Here are some great places to hunt for true vintage crafting magic.

California Designer Creates a Paradise of Jewelry

Meet the inspired jewelry-making world of Laura Stokes. From her own line of unique jewelry creations to her amazing hand-crafted supplies available via her Web site, this California-based designer does it all. Here is a jewelry resource that you won’t want to miss.

Shopping for Jewelry Supplies on Etsy

If you’ve never been to Etsy, I highly recommend that you go to their site. It is an incredible resource for all things crafty: great supplies, handmade items, and of course brilliant inspiration. The site is super-easy to navigate and is one of my favorite places to go looking for awesome jewelry-making finds. Here are some tips to help you find what you’re looking for.

Tips for Buying Beads and Jewelry Supplies Secondhand

Finding a vintage trinket, charm, or bauble at a yard sale or a favorite thrift store can feel like you've struck jewelry-making gold! Here are some of my best tips for spotting treasures among castaways.

Craftypod Jewelry Projects

Craftypod is the blogging home of Portland crafter, Diane Gilleland, aka, Sister Diane, leader of the Portland Church of Craft. This extremely talented lady has a new project that I'd like to share with you.

Bead Bloggers

Meet this talented group of jewelry designers. These ladies have banded together to share their favorite resources and links, and promote all kinds of exciting work, too! Super inspiring.

Hot Deals on Beautiful Baubles!

Here is one of my all-time favorite sources for beading basics and beyond, especially since they're so affordable.

Katie Hacker and Beads, Baubles and Jewels

If you've got just three minutes then Katie Hacker can change your whole approach to jewelry-making. Her beading tutorials are great!

Wire 101

Whether you’re a beginning beader or you’ve been making jewelry for quite awhile, you probably have plenty of favorites in terms of wire—both materials and gauges. But if you’re wondering what the best choice for a project might be, or whether craft wire or sterling is the better bet, here are my recommendations for what to use in your jewelry-making projects.

The Art of Jewelry

If you're in the Pacific Northwest, you have to check out this spectacular exhibition at Portland's Museum of Contemporary Craft, Framing: The Art of Jewelry.

My Favorite Los Angeles Bead Store

If you're ever in L.A. and on the lookout for jewelry-making supplies, you must plan a trip to Berger Beads. And now that they have a Web site and expanded mail-order services, you can check them out no matter where you are!

Susan Beal, Author of Bead Simple

I'm so excited to see the CraftStylish site come together and to share my favorite crafty resources and projects with everyone. Thanks so much for checking out my jewelry-making and beading posts, and I'd love to hear what you think of it all!


recent comments

Re: Recycle Metal Cans into Hanging Flower Baskets for a Spring Party!

Hi, and thanks for the comments! Colleen, they have rusted a bit in a month outside, but not dramatically. If I bring them in for winter, I will put them on something to make sure they don't mark a tabletop or any other surface.

merryme, my best suggestion for plants that wouldn't need drainage holes is succulents - I have some in closed containers in my kitchen and they've done fine. Otherwise, maybe putting a simple rug or towel under them could work, or piercing holes in an old tupperware or other plastic lid and rigging it up under the cans to catch the water? What a fun project to do with your class :)

Re: How to Make a Clothespin Cake Topper

That is amazingly cute, Erika! Love it!!!

Re: How to Make a Reversible Swiffer Sock

awesome, Linda!

Re: How to Make an Out-of-the-Ordinary T-Shirt Quilt: Part One

Erika, that is so amazing, I love it! I've been saving favorite old t-shirts for a quilt and you've just given me a million ideas to mix them up :)

yay!

Re: How to Crochet a Hanging Terrarium Planter

that is awesome, Cal!

Re: How to Make a Felt Baby Toy with a Crinkly, Crackly Recycled Surprise!

oh, thanks so much everyone! I'm glad you like the idea, I would love to see some handmade owls out in the world and I think a fabric version would be fantastic - using prints or patchwork could be really fun :)

sewitall, I completely agree that safety is crucial. We have two handmade toys, a ball and a penguin (made by friends, not me) with bells inside - both are very securely sewn and the toy is well padded so the bell is deep inside layers of stuffing. Months later, the seams are still perfectly intact and I've kept an eye on them to make sure they stay that way! My daughter also has a commercially made toy with a squeaker deep inside the stuffing and it's also in very good shape after she's played with it.

Re: How to Sew Your Own Produce Bags

love this idea, Linda! I'm definitely making some!

Re: Recycle Your Tin Cans into Mini-Planters!

oh, thanks so much everyone! I love seeing these on my porch every morning... I will definitely use them every year just as you said, Diane!

Re: How to Throw a Button Party!

thanks so much!

jokittens, that sounds like so much fun, I'd love to see photos of that fantastic meetup :)

Re: How to Make an Apple-Print Tote Bag

oh, I love it!!

Re: How to Make a Covered-Button Bracelet and Ring Set

janaogletree, the only reason I added those extra buttons is that the covered ones have an empty space on the back instead of a flat surface. They'll glue fine (metal to metal is great) but creating flat backs with those glued-in buttons gives the covered buttons more total surface to join, instead of just the thin circle rim touching the bracelet links, so it's a sturdier piece.

You can make these without the extra step for sure, though!

Re: How to Make Pet Photo Magnets

thanks, tabbott! I actually like cutting them by hand since my glass marbles are usually not an exact size or perfect circle shape. I used to use a 1/2-inch punch but it only looked good with similarly shaped ones and left gaps at the edges of the bigger marbles.

The nicely sized discs you found sound perfect, and what a thoughtful personalized gift for your students - how cool! I'd love to see them if you want to add them to the gallery :)

Re: Crafting with VHS Tapes

Diane, you rule! seriously, an amazing collection!

also, love the Henry Ford bit :)

Re: How to Crochet a Button-Bedecked Headband

oh, that looks awesome on you, Linda! love it!

Re: Crafts I Want to Punch in the Face

I hate the empty bobbin moment! my new sewing machine won't wind them while you sew (unlike my old basic nothing-special model which was great for that) and thankfully I got a Sidewinder... but it is still maddening!

I also hate re-threading my serger and most of all when the long skinny virtually invisible wire needle thing is nowhere to be found. Serging stresses me out, when it goes wrong it's a nightmare.

Re: Grandma and the Beautiful Button Hat

oh, I can picture that amazing button-covered hat, Jennifer!

Like other folks have said, I really wish I had learned to sew from my grandmother but she passed away when I was 12 and just a little bit too young to sit down at the machine with her. She made me the sweetest things and I still have three of the bias-tape-tie sundresses she made me in the fabrics I picked out - I'm saving them for my daughter, Pearl. I also have some of her half-finished needlepoint that I hope to complete some day.

Pam, I'm so sad that you weren't able to keep that marvelous button collection for you and Diane, but luckily you've been able to pass on so many crafty gifts to her :)

Re: Crafts I Want to Punch in the Face

ugh, so many of these hit home. I'll add: placing an online order, or leaving the craft store with my bag of stuff, and suddenly realizing the next day that I need one more crucial thing that would have been so easy to pick up in the same trip.

I was at the giant JoAnn just yesterday and what do I desperately need today? Tissue paper!

Re: How to Make Button Embellishments for Shoes!

thanks, ladies! I'd love to see yours if you make some :)

Re: How to Make Button-Embellished Cards

those are gorgeous, Kayte!

Re: How to Make a Pretty Pincushion with a Button Center

That's gorgeous, Linda! I want to make one for sure... I love those ingenious tiny-amounts-of-fabric projects :)

Re: How to Make a Covered-Button Bracelet and Ring Set

oops, a quick correction, the silver ring from metalliferous is #JF0682W, gold is the same product number but ends with Y instead of W.

Re: How to Make a Covered-Button Bracelet and Ring Set

ok, I'm back with the specific product #s for the blank jewelry pieces I used...

the bracelet is from eloxite.com - product #18-201, it comes in gold or silver.

the ring is from metalliferous.com - product #JF0682Y (page 105 in the downloadable catalog). It also comes in silver and in gold (#JF0682Y).

The prices vary by quantity but they are not expensive, they're base metal instead of sterling silver or gold-filled.

Hope that helps!

Re: Wait 'til You Hear This...

Hooray, Michaela! Congratulations!!

I'm saving your wonderful story for first thing tomorrow to celebrate St. Patrick's Day :)

Re: How to Make a Covered-Button Bracelet and Ring Set

thanks so much, Adele, Kayte + pattyannie!

pattyannie, I will look for direct links or product numbers for the exact ring and bracelet blanks I used and post those as soon as I have them. You can also find some good options at http://rings-things.com.

Re: How to Make Singleton Buttons

Diane, you are a button genius. I love this idea! Your singletons are beautiful :)

Re: How to Make a Covered-Button Cardigan

so, so cute! I love it.

covered buttons forever!

Re: My Shrink Plastic Buttons

I love those! What great patterns!

Re: Make Your Own Buttons from Polymer Clay

Linda, how cool! those are gorgeous :)

I will definitely make some too. I've been wanting to try polymer clay and this looks like the perfect project!

Re: Cathy of California Is on the Martha Show!

Hooray for Cathy! Can't wait for the episode tomorrow!!!

Re: Make a Button Link Necklace Three Different Ways!

thanks so much!

Re: Make a Button Choker

so pretty, Jennifer!

Re: How to Make Your Own Shrink-Art Buttons

also, a quick note: I used white shrink plastic sheets but you can also buy the clear/"frosted" style which are nice to color over. (Both of them are easy to see through and trace onto, it's kind of personal preference which one you like the look over better.) I think the repurposed #6 plastic would probably come out more like the frosted does, since it starts out clear. I have to try that!

Re: How to Make Pet Photo Magnets

thanks everyone!

Dawn, I just saw your comment. I also buy some from a big craft store as well as other places and here are my suggestions:

-look for "clear" or "ice clear" on the label instead of "luster" or something like that. The iridescent ones are so much harder to see through for photos and images, I hate it when I accidentally get that kind.

-I usually assume about a third or half the glass bits won't be perfect so I sort them out and use them for something else - plant pots or mosiac or something? Or I just recycle them with the glass bottles.

-Have you tried looking at a pet supply store? Sometimes they have them with the aquarium stuff. Ditto a floral supply shop or larger florist with the arrangement supplies. I used to have a good source online and I wish I could recommend it, but they discontinued carrying them (bummer!) so now I look at craft, pet, and floral supply stores... and if it says luster it stays on the shelf! :)

Hope that helps, and I'd love to see your magnets if you want to share photos!

Re: How to Make Your Own Shrink-Art Buttons

thank you SO much for the comments, everyone! I am so glad that you like the idea - I loved making this little set of buttons for fun and I would love to see yours if you try it too!

I did use the Shrinky Dinks brand of shrink plastic (if I remember correctly - the package is in the other room). I bought mine at Collage, a store here in Portland, but you can find it at Michaels for sure. That's a great tip about the #6 plastic!

Jan, I haven't washed these, but if you make a sample one you might try hand-washing it first to see how it does - depending on what marker/ink you use I think it could have very different results. You could also add a stronger sealant to cover and protect the finish - I'll see if I can find any suggestions for what would work best to make them more durable. I am using mine for jewelry so I hadn't thought about this stuff until now.

Again, thanks so much for the nice words and feedback!

Re: How to Make a Collar Necklace with Button Bling

so pretty, Kayte! I love how luxurious and textured and easy-meets-fancy it is. I want to make one too :)

Re: How to Make a Woven Button Coaster

beautiful, Linda! I love it so much. I just mentioned on Erika's post that I adore pearl buttons and it's so cool to see these gorgeous projects bringing them to life!

Re: How to Make a Pearly Box Fit for a Queen (or King!)

Erika, this is fantastical! I love it! I have a huge soft spot for pearl buttons and this is the perfect project to celebrate them :)

Re: How to Make a Pet Food Tray, Embellished with Duct Tape

hooray! what a lovely project, Diane!

Re: How to Make a Button-Embellished Notebook Cover

that's awesome, Diane, I love the idea! I especially heart the circles version :)

Re: Etsy Hearts Erika Kern: We Know the Feeling

Yay Erika!

Re: Handmade Hooray: A CPSIA Victory!

Char 50, this is definitely the window for us to contact senators (either the two representing our home states, or Senator DeMint, who seems very focused on protecting small businesses - thrift stores, handmade crafters, and shop owners) and bring up the points we feel strongly about so that the law is as fair as possible. I agree that the issue of whether or not supplies - rather than handmade items made with those supplies - have toxic chemicals is what should be targeted, and this first step in delaying the law has given us the space to make our opinions known. Besides senators, you can also contact CHA, which has been a major advocate to protect its members and the craft industry in general.

We'll see how it unfolds, of course, but being proactive has certainly made a big difference so far!

Re: How to Turn Old Sheets into Shopping Totes

those are awesome, Erika. I love Star Wars too, and now you can enjoy those super cool graphics while you're shopping!

I also hesitate about cutting up vintage treasures (like Vera textiles or barkcloth or Star Wars sheets) and the stained --> new life rule works for me, too. I keep some things precious and mint but when something cool has already seen some good living, it's fun to rework it, that's for sure.

Re: How to Make a Super-Simple Recycled Quilt

very cool quilt project, Diane, and what an awesome bonus tip, Linda!

Re: How to Make Dangly Earrings with Magazine Pages

those are awesome!

Re: Crafting through Grief

I'm so sorry, Jen. Thinking of you.

Re: Handmade Nation: West Coast Book Signing Dates!

Faythe, it was great to see you in Portland last night! Looking forward to your screenings in April :)

Re: How to "Doilify" Your Hoodie for $5 or Less

awesome, Linda!!

Re: New Year's Resolution: Organize Your Beads with Beaded Labels!

thank you both so much! I would love to see photos if you label your bead boxes too :)

Re: Video: Make a Basic Bead Dangle

thanks to both of you for your comments! Ancee, I know what you mean about the contrast, it was a rainy day in Portland when we filmed it, which didn't help. I'm definitely a crafter more than a filmmaker! I'll try to re-shoot this one with a lighter background, but hopefully it's helpful for now.

Re: How to Make Easy Two-Bead Earrings

Those are gorgeous, Lee! I love them all!

Re: How to Make Appliqued Undies for Your Sweetie

how sweet!

Re: How to Make a Basic Sweater Something Special

That is awesome, Erika! I want to make one too... :)

Re: Extreme Paper: The Long, Dark Road to a Bright Idea

That is absolutely magnificent! I'm just amazed.

Re: Make It: Crafty Mini-Wreaths

those are gorgeous! such a great way to use everyday things.

Re: How to Make a Button Advent Calendar

oh, Diane, I love it!!

Re: How to Make a Modern Centerpiece Using Natural Materials

gorgeous, Kayte!

Re: Make One-of-a-Kind Earrings from Paper and Paint!

Bonnie, you can check out Jennifer's tutorial here:

http://naughtysecretaryclub.blogspot.com/2008/11/from-paper-with-purple-paint-to-one-of.html

She includes lots of tips and photos for making your own version!

Re: How to Make Button Cards . . . with Removable Buttons!

that is just gorgeous. love it!!!

Re: How to Craft with Gourds

so cool, Diane and Pam! I love gourd crafts... I have to send you some photos I took at the North Carolina Gourd Festival last month. Awesome ideas!

Re: Shopping for Fuzzy Bear Hats with My New Friend Bill Murray

how cool! and very VERY Lost in Translation.

Re: How to Make a Yo-Yo Handbag

completely awesome, Diane!

Re: Crafte's Inferno: Scary Crafty Excesses or How to Terrify the Opposite Sex

wow! Michaela! just wow. What a story!

Re: Make a Prize-Ribbon Pin

oh, cute!

Re: Crafting in the Current Economy

I agree - I find crafting very soothing and it's been really nice during these uneasy weeks. I gocco-printed some get-out-the-vote postcards and I'm knitting a scarf for my baby's Halloween costume and both have felt very meditative. As you and Linda have said, I feel less impulse to buy new stuff when I feel fulfilled and creative. and I value the handmade so much more, whether it's mine or someone else's!

Michaela, what you said about watching the debate and beyond was very powerful. thank you!

Re: Make a Graduated Bead Strand for Design Inspiration

thank you! I love bringing it along to the bead store for instant comparisons when I'm shopping. I can never exactly remember what the 12mm vs. 14mm looks like, and it's so much easier when they're right next to each other :)

Re: Quilt the Vote!

I love that quilt - it's amazing!!

One of my favorite sites is the Obama Craft Project blog and flickr pool - http://www.flickr.com/groups/obamacraftproject/

I Gocco-printed some map postcards to get out the vote last month, which was a lot of fun. Here are some pictures if anyone is interested: http://www.flickr.com/photos/susanstars/sets/72157607616027010/

Re: Flower Power Challenge Winners!!!

beautiful! congratulations to all the super-talented winners!

Re: How to Recycle Yarn from a Thrift-Store Sweater

oh, cool, Lee!

Re: How to Make a Patchwork Cozy for Your French Press

oh, so cute and perfect for a fall coffee date!

Re: How to Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel (Part 1)

beautiful, Erika! I loved yours too, Kayte!

Re: How to Make Fringe Flower Greeting Cards

Diane, such an awesome idea, and beautiful details as always! I love them.

Re: Decorate Your Walls with Doily Decals

those are super cute!

Re: Make a Beaded Daisy Chain

cool, Elaine! I'd love to see your third round of daisy chains if you'd like to post some pics :)

btw, I love your avatar - hooray for Rimsky's and long live Church of Craft!

Re: How to Dress Up Your Curtain with a Crochet Tieback

aw! adorable!!

Re: How to Make a Felted Bird Mobile

oh, that's adorable, Kayte!

Re: How to Make Flowers Using a Vintage Flower Loom

I love your loomed flowers, Cathy - I'm wearing one of the brooches you made right now! :)

Re: How to Make Woven Ribbon Jewelry

back again to mention that I want to try this with monochromatic ribbon - weaving the same color through for a subtler woven look - and maybe a small embellishment over the finished surface. Thanks again for the super great idea and tutorial!

Re: Organize Your Embroidery Floss

that's a great idea! I like having mine wrapped on the cardboard thingys, but if I hadn't already done a ton of them I would be all about this easy, lovely method!

Re: How to Make Woven Ribbon Jewelry

wow! that's such an awesome take on covering buttons! I love it :)

Re: Make It: Lacy Headband

oh, I love it! I have some fun little millinery supplies looking for a good home... I think I better make one myself!

Re: My Completed "Bead on a Wire" Necklace!

That looks fantastic!! I love the three beads together.

Re: How to Make a Super-Simple Roll-Up for Organizing Your Crochet Hooks

Such a great idea, Linda! So simple and gorgeous.

Re: How to Crochet a Bead and Wire Bracelet

Great tutorial and such a pretty project!

Re: Crafte's Inferno

Yay, Michaela! Your pillows look amazing (and nice pajamas, Jen!)

I just made something for fun for the first time in six months yesterday. So exciting. I must be on your Crafte Inferno parallel... :)

Here's my sewing project, at last:

http://westcoastcrafty.wordpress.com/2008/07/31/sewing-for-fun/

Re: Depth Charge: How to Make a Splash and Get Paid for it.

those projects are incredible! thank you for posting them!

Re: You're a Fabric Designer!

I am so excited for Spoonflower! Can't wait to get my invite...

Great interview :)

Re: My Summer of Hand-Sewn Dresses

lovely!

Re: How to Make Cold Porcelain

what a cool idea - looks amazing!

Re: Crafters Catch Bangle Bracelet Fever at the Indie Craft Experience

that looks so fun, Jessica!

Re: Twisted Gives a Shout out to Craft Magazine

It was so great to see you, Michaela! Thanks so much for coming down to visit with us :)

Re: How to Reverse Applique a Tote Bag

beautiful as always, Diane!!