Crazy for Clay . . . Beads!

With a website called Bead Happily Ever After, it’s probably pretty obvious that I LOVE beads! 🙂

I‘ve been collecting and designing jewelry with both vintage and contemporary beads for years now. More recently, I’ve begun to sell beads on my website and also on etsy.

My specialty is vintage beads, but I am crazy about all kinds of beads including those created by bead artisans – both in glass and polymer clay. There is such joy in making something special with beautiful beads!

Here’s a set I’m working on that incorporates some fabulous clay beads. Notice the lovely layering of shapes on the pendant.


(Click photos to enlarge.)

Aren’t the coordinating diamond-shaped clay beads pretty, too?


For accents, I’m using genuine amethysts (the rectangles), and Swarovski crystals (rounds and bicones).


As you can see by the tape on the ends, I’m still pondering the style of clasp I want. The little ziplock bag on the left holds the exact beads that I’ll use to make matching earrings. Gathering those “earring beads” in a bag is a tip I learned the hard way. It’s so much easier to do it when designing the necklace – in case there will be a delay between finishing the necklace and actually making the earrings. Trying to find exactly what you need later can be difficult, especially if you’ve cleaned up the worktable in the meantime. 😉


Giveaway – Plum Blossoms Earrings

party-hatsToday I’ve reached a bit of a milestone. This is my 100th post! 🙂

It’s fun that it just happened to fall on a Monday – the day I post my new weekly giveaway. Seems a good way to celebrate!

Speaking of fun, a very bright young lady named Aik recently asked if she could “interview” me for her blog. I was delighted to accept and I really enjoyed answering her thoughtful questions. If you’d like to see the interview, drop by Aik’s blog!

Now on to this week’s giveaway:


Plum Blossoms Earrings in Purple and Rose

These earrings are so sweet. The photo doesn’t capture how pretty they are in person!

I’ve used beautiful and intricate polymer clay floral beads, which were created by the very talented Cheryl Harris.

The polymer clay beads are embellished with gorgeous 3-dimensional flowers and leaves in fabulous shades of plum purple, rose pink, and lavender!

For accents, I’ve added sparkling Swarovski amethyst aurora borealis crystal beads; and all metal components and findings are sterling silver!

Measurements: 1-5/8″ long (including the sterling silver earwires).

Contest Rules and How To Enter

You have up to 3 chances to win. . .

1. Leave a comment that answers the question: What makes you laugh? That will give you one chance to win.

2. For a second chance to win, leave a comment that answers the question: How do you think being a ten-year-old today is different from when you were ten years old.

3. For a third chance to win, leave a comment on another post on this blog.

You can choose any one, or all, of the above chances to enter.

A valid email address must be given at time of entry. You must be 18 yrs. old.

The name of the winner will be listed here after the completion of the contest.

The winner will be notified by email, and the prize will be mailed by USPS First Class Mail. If no valid email address is given at time of entry, or if winner fails to respond to email within 3 days from the time notification email has been sent, the win will be null and void and a new winner will be chosen. All entries must be received by 9:00 p.m. EST on 03/22/09, and the winner will be selected on or about 03/23/09.

Thanks for participating and Good Luck to all! 🙂


Interview with the Artist: Cherylsart

Today marks the beginning of a new blog feature – ‘Interview with the Artist’

We are very pleased and honored to begin this series with the absolutely amazing work of polymer clay artist Cheryl Harris of cherylsart.

Cherylsart: Beach Bead Series

Cherylsart: Beach Bead Series

Cheryl’s designs have been showcased in PolymerCAFE magazine and in Belle Armoire Jewelry. She has an extraordinary ability to transform polymer clay into beautifully dimensional beads, pendants, bookmarks, clay-covered vessels, and sculpture. With her rich palette of colors and her unique talent for adding exquisite detail to her creations, each of Cheryl’s pieces is truly a work of art!

Here’s a breath-taking example of Cheryl’s “way with clay”.

Cherylsart: Clay Vessel

Cherylsart: Clay Vessel

Recently, Cheryl graciously agreed to an interview . . .

Were you creative as a child?
I have been into art since I was a toddler and scribbled in my mother’s books!

When did you first become interested in beads?
I made my own earrings when I was in high school. I’ve also been a portrait artist since I was in my teens, and I was more focused on that than any other art form. I really got into making beads when I moved to Tehachapi, CA and met Karen Lewis, aka Klew. I saw her polymer clay beads and I was fascinated with her canework. I watched her videos, bought books and searched online to learn to work with polymer clay. Almost eight years later I still love it.

You have an extraordinary ability for choosing shades and tones of color in your work. Have you always had such an incredible eye for color?
That’s one of the compliments I get most often- that I have a great eye for color. I don’t know exactly how or when that happened, but I’m thankful for it! But believe me, I do make bad color choices from time to time. That’s the stuff you don’t see! Being an artist is a constant process, a journey of experimentation, trial and error and the constant striving to push your creative boundaries and find new ways to express your talent.

Cherylsart: Beach View

Cherylsart: Beach View

Is it relaxing to work with clay?
It really is. I get frustrated doing beadwork, the needle and thread part of it, but making the beads is just plain fun. Even the process of mixing the clay and making the blends for the canes is a pleasant experience.

You also make lampwork beads, do you enjoy that as much as working with clay?
Lampworking is a completely different process. You can’t put a hot glass bead down and come back to it later. Once you’ve started melting the glass you’re committed to it till it’s finished. For me it’s not as relaxing but it’s more of a challenge, in large part because I’m still relatively new to it. I’m in the process I was in seven years ago with the clay- the learning curve. But I love it just as much and I see it being a permanent part of my creative life. I also do glass fusing and I have plans to begin making larger glass pieces such as dishes, wall hangings and kiln-formed bracelets. Oh, and precious metal clay. Guess I’d better get busy!

Cherylsart: Polymer Clay Pendant

Cherylsart: Polymer Clay Pendant

From where do you derive inspiration for creating your art?
I get my inspiration from Nature. Flowers, plants, animals, the ocean, etc, etc! I love tropical and garden themes, and it shows in the things I make and the colors I use.

Do you keep any examples of your best work – just for yourself?
I sure do! Sometimes it’s something that has a tiny flaw which makes it unsuitable to sell, and sometimes it’s a bead that I just decide I can’t part with. It’s funny but I’ve had jewelry in my own collection that I’ll eventually sell to someone else. I’ve sold stuff right off my neck! I may as well be a walking advertisement for my own work!

To view more of cherylsart, please click here.