Category Archives: interview

Interview :: Heather from Humblebeads

humblebeads jewelry - autumn harvest mum bracelet

Does the name Heather Powers ring a bell?

If so, you may know Heather from the Art Bead Scene blog, where she’s the editor-in-chief; from her book Jewelry Designs from Nature: Woodlands, Gardens, Sea; from her Bead Cruises; or from her awesome bead store called Humblebeads. But did you know she’s also an incredibly talented jewelry designer, too?

It’s true, and today, she’s stopping by to share a little about her new fall line! I’m so excited about this because Heather is such an amazing person, and a good friend of mine. I love to find out how designers work, and it’s even better when it’s a friend. So, let’s get to it!


humblebeads jewelry - raven forest necklace


What’s your inspiration with your new fall line?

Grab your favorite scarf and old leather boots, there is a crisp breeze this morning. Head to the forest, listen as the leaves crunch beneath your feet. Notice the pattern of the branches against the grey sky and stark birch trees with their bright yellow leaves swaying in the wind.

Collect a few leaves and acorns on your walk. Watch as the birds balance delicately on the branches of a bush enjoying a late harvest of berries. Walk through fields of goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace as you head down a path less traveled. That’s my inspiration for my fall line and I hope my pieces let the wearer experience those small glimpses of the season.


With nature such a huge inspiration for you, what’s your favorite season?

I love the change of seasons and enjoy each one for it’s unique beauty but I’m totally an autumn girl. If heaven were one season, I’d want it to be those few fleeting weeks in October when all the world is ablaze with color. I walk around kind of drunk with color, trying to soak it all in and my camera clicking away to capture it before it’s gone – literally blown away in the wind!


humblebeads jewelry - autumn leaves earrings


Talk a little about your process for your fall line: do you work from an inspiration source, like a color palette/scheme or a theme, or is it a more organic process for you?

If I’m working on one-of-a-kind designs, the process begins with a luscious tray of beads surrounding a theme and color palette. From there, I play with the possibilities until the beads are singing and a successful design has come to life.

For new additions to my regular line of jewelry, I start with sketches and studying my current collection. I try to fill the line in with designs that will compliment what I already offer, making sure they speak the same visual language. This process goes through many sketches and usually features designs with more of the beads I create.


What colors do you come back to over and over? What colors are you loving right now?

Working with color is my favorite part of my job. I took a color course in art school and I always think that was the best money I ever spent! My go-to color combinations are usually copper/teal and purple/green. But right now, I’m working with autumn hues with mixed metals. I can’t get enough of yellow, orange, red and berry colors accented with touches of purple, brown and gray. I also have a color crush on navy blue and goldenrod at the moment and see those sneaking into my designs.


humblebeads jewelry - autumn ombre brass bracelet


What’s your favorite piece from your new line and why?

I really love my new Autumn Ombre Brass Bracelet. I love the contrast of the row of beads with all it’s colors and designs paired with a simple modern bangle of hammered brass. It’s fun to wear and has an interesting hinge design.


What do you want people to know about your work? Or, what would people be surprised to learn about your work/your process?

If you are new to my work I think you’d be surprised to know that every piece of jewelry incorporates beads I create and ones I collect from other bead artists. If you not familiar with art beads, these are artisan creations with beads as our tiny canvases. My background is in painting and printmaking and I see a lot of process going into the beads I make for my jewelry, in color, texture and design.

Thank you Brandi for the opportunity to share my work and inspiration with your readers!


humblebeads jewelry - birch and owl bracelet


Aren’t these pieces just lovely? I adore Heather’s work, and I can definitely see her crisp autumnal inspiration with these new pieces, how about you? What’s your favorite Humblebeads Jewelry piece?

And as a gift to you, Heather’s offering BGB readers 15% off your orders until Monday! Enter code BGIRL15 during checkout.



For more from Heather, check out her sites below:

Humblebeads Jewelry Shop | Humblebeads Bead ShopHumblebeads Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Art Bead Scene Blog | Bead Cruise | Earrings Everyday Blog | Inspired By Nature magazine



Inspired by :: Collecting Colour

At the beginning of this year, the lovely Emily decided to do a color challenge for herself called Collecting Colour. After assigning a color to each month, she went about photographing all of objects in her house that were that color.

It’s a beautiful idea, collecting color, isn’t it? And now that she’s just finished her last Collecting Colour post, I couldn’t resist asking her about it! Plus, with winter upon us in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought that maybe you’d like a burst of color for your Monday (I’m always up for it, but you know that).



What made you decide to do a monthly color challenge?

I’ve always enjoyed participating in link ups and challenges on other blogs and I knew I wanted to do something similar on my blog in 2012, I just didn’t know what! I’d been toying around with a few ideas but nothing really grabbed me. Then one very jet lagged night, when I was wide awake at 3am, the idea for Collecting Colour just kind of coalesced!

It combined two of my favourite things – colour and themed collections – and I knew being a monthly project that it would be manageable (having said that, I only decided on it with a few days left in January, so I had to get organised pretty quick!).


Now that you’ve gone through 12 months, how does it feel to have completed it?

I know it’s such a small achievement but it does feel pretty great to look back over the 12 collections. The response to the challenge has been lovely too, there’s been a few ‘hard core’ collectors who’ve stuck with it till the end! I’ve loved seeing peoples reaction to each colour, and what’s been in the collections they’ve submitted.

I found it really interesting the way the challenge made me think about each colour – what it represents, how I respond to it and why (for example, my school uniform related forest green phobia and my love of the slightly crass coral).

It also made me much more aware of the colours I surround myself with; what’s in our wardrobe and kitchen, what’s on our shelves. It’s not always the colours we’d consider our favourites! And judging from blog comments and social media responses this was a common experience. I guess different colours have different purposes, so even if we adore gold it doesn’t mean all our kitchenware is going to be gilded!

I noticed in putting my collections together that some colours are definitely favoured for certain purposes. For example, I was amazed by the amount of green in food packaging. But try to find something in the pantry to add to a purple or blue collection? Tricky! Lots and lots of book cover designs feature green too, I could have made a whole collection just from green book covers!



Any plans to continue in 2013? Any new color choices?

Yes! I’d love to do another monthly project in 2013. Again, I’ve been tossing up a few ideas – the current favourite is actually inspired by your Colour 101 posts on why some colour combinations work and why some don’t. I’m thinking colour collections based on PAIRS of colours! Now doesn’t that sound like fun? [It totally does!]


I love that some of the colors aren’t immediately obvious for that month, like Coral for February instead of pink, or silver for April. How’d you pick your color choices for each month? 

I wish I had a sensible answer for this but really it was kind of random!

The first three colours I picked because they are some of my favourites, and because it was at the tail end of a brutal Winter in Seoul and I really felt the need for some bright Spring colours. Other than that, I knew I wanted to end with the very festive trifecta of gold, red and forest green. Then I just slotted everything else around that, making sure there was plenty of variety.



Was there a color you wished you had picked but didn’t? Or a color you wished you hadn’t picked?

I can’t think of a colour I wish I had picked but didn’t, and I guess because I’ll continue to do something similar I don’t feel like there’s been any missed opportunities. I guess it might have been interesting to do a black collection though…

As for ones I wish I hadn’t picked – oh so many! Because I basically picked the colours at random I didn’t really think through how I would manage the collecting and photographing. I mean, silver? White? Gold? Really?! But, the one’s that I was dreading the most turned out to be some of my favourite collections. The challenge posed by some of the colours forced me to be a bit more creative with how I dealt with them, so it was all good in the end.


What’s your favorite Collecting Colour month/photo/color?

Tough call! I have a soft spot for yellow in January because it’s definitely one of my favourite colours and being the first one it was exciting to see an idea become reality. Despite it’s sparseness I also liked the gold one in October. It’s got a bit more balance and order to it, with the baubles in each corner and the tinsel in the middle. Plus it makes me feel all festive (I adore the holiday season!). Then there’s some collections I like just because they have a few special pieces in them – like the silver one from April which has an awesome robot the youngest step-son made and a lovely photo of my gorgeous late Grandma.



A big thanks to Emily for sharing her experiences with us! For more, check out her links below:

Collecting Colour posts   |   Good Things* Blog   |   Etsy Shop   |   Flickr   |   Twitter   |   Pinterest



Reader Spotlight :: Cari of CrochetHooked

Today’s reader spotlight is of one of the sweetest ladies I know – Cari of Crochet Hooked. Cari’s a jewelry designer who creates crochet braided bracelets called Braidlets with pearls, Swarovski crystals, and wire; each piece she makes is lush, incredible, and colorful! Speaking of color, that’s how we “met”. Cari emailed me to ask if she could use my color palettes as a jumping off point for her Braidlet pieces (of course, how flattering!), and it’s been great to get to know her since then.

Here’s Cari!


How would you describe your work in three words?

Labor of love! [I can imagine!]


What inspires you?

People, places, and things!



If you could only use one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

My forever color would be Green (lovin my Frogs).


What would be a perfect day?

Are there any imperfect days? [What a great mind-set!]



What are three favorite artists or bloggers you think the world should know about?

1. Well… I would certainly like to promote Brandi Girl Blog because you have inspired me to create some of my Braidlets using color combinations I would never think of putting together. ;o) Also, because you have a writing style makes me feel as if you are talking to me face to face…. You make other feel comfortable, you’re down to earth, and witty! [Thank you so much!]

2. Colette (awesome wire wrapper) from Colette Collection… I am in awe of how she manipulates the wire to create her jaw dropping jewelry. She is the reason I am trying to learn to wire wrap.

3. I would love everyone to know about Handmade Artists. Kimberly and Andrew Kitchen (the owners) are not only handmade artists themselves, but they have also built a handmade community were handmade artists can go to interact, get promoted, sell their wares and even become a contributor writing about handmade topics. Truly and special place to be apart of this amazing group. They have a forum, shop, and blog!



Many thanks to Cari for stopping by today! To connect with her, you can visit her blog, her Handmade Artists shop, her Etsy shop, her FB page, or her Twitter profile.



Reader Spotlight :: Shelly of MiShelDesigns

Today’s reader spotlight is with Shelly of MiShelDesigns. Shelly and I “met” through blogging, and it’s always a delight to see her sweet comments here. She’s as nuts for pearls as I am about color (Shel has a Graduate Pearl diploma from GIA), and I think if she could, she’d put pearls in every single jewelry piece she creates. She has also been a supporter of mine for a while now, so it’s a pleasure to do a little interview with her, and get to know her a little bit better.

Here she is: Shelly from MiShelDesigns!


How would you describe your work in three words?

“Work in Progress!” LOL! Okay, seriously, let me think. Quality – people who wear my jewelry always comment on its quality. Timeless – my designs can be worn season after season, through different fads/fashions and for years (at least that’s what my customers tell me!). And versatile – most of the jewelry I create can be worn with your favorite pair of jeans and comfy T-shirt as well as with your LBD and gorgeous knock-out heels!

What inspires you?

So many things. Nature, and all the colors and textures found within that scope. Sounds, smells, and tastes also inspire me; like listening to certain music, smelling certain flowers, or tasting certain foods. I know that last one’s kinda weird, but it’s true. Example: Pumpkin pie reminds me of Fall, and when I think of Fall, I picture leaves of every color. Then my thoughts turn to jewelry with leaves and traditional fall colors. It’s kind of a silly process, but now you know how my brain works!

What truly inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing, though, is when I look at other people’s jewelry designs. Even though I don’t have Barbie boobs in my jewelry like Margaux Lange or honkin’ pearls and gold links like Dominique Cohen, or gorgeous rough diamonds like Todd Reed, I’m inspired by their styles, choice of materials and craftsmanship. Seeing amazing jewelry like that, well I could just look at it all day long!!


If you could only use one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Blue, every shade and hue. I love blue! (Translation: Blue Pearls, baby!!)

What would be a perfect day?

My perfect day would be snorkeling off a beach in Tahiti with my hubby and son. Seriously. ‘Cause if I was in Tahiti , I could get my hands on some really gorgeous Tahitian Pearls – yummy!!


What are three favorite artists or bloggers you think the world should know about?

OMG! Seriously, only 3?!! This one’s tough, Brandi! Well, I already mentioned 3 of my favorite jewelry artists above (even though there’s many, many more, let me tell you!!) so let’s go with bloggers, shall we? And this is a really tough one too. Have you seen my Blog Roll / Reading List, I’ve got tons of peeps that I like to read and follow!

But, here’s who I think the world should know about (and probably already does!):

1) I’m completely taken by the talents of Lori Plyler over on her blog Studio Waterstone. She’s an amazing artist, she crafts fabulous handbags (of which I own two!!), has cool tutorials, yummy recipes on her blog and designs kick-butt buttons and headers for your websites and blogs (she did my MiShel Designs one, too!) PLUS,…she hosts I Heart Macro on Sundays – so there’s a bit of everything over on her blog which keeps things hopping! And, she’s really a nice person too boot – so you get the best of everything!

2) Rena Klingenberg’s Home Jewelry Business Blog. I’ve been reading Rena’s tips and information for home-based jewelry businesses for several years now. The information, ebooks, design tips, articles and community that she’s built is amazing. I don’t even know where to begin to list all that she has to offer and all that she does for everyone in the handcrafted jewelry business – my hat’s off to her!

3) I’m in love with the photography talents of Deb over on Deb Duty Photography – amazing photographs! She is sweet, humble and a complete pro at capturing macro shots that stop me in my tracks! She hosts This or That Thursdays and I’m in total awe at all of the people who link up and post on Thursdays with her – their photography is beyond comprehension it’s so perfect! She’s truly a great inspiration to me.



Many thanks to Shelly for taking the time! To connect with her, you can visit her on her blog, her jewelry store, and her supply shop, or on Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr.



Reader Spotlight :: Cyndi of Ornamental Style

Today’s Reader Spotlight is from a lovely lady named Cyndi, who I’ve had the pleasure to get to know better over the last few months. She’s not only a talented beader, but super sweet, too, and I’d love for you to meet her. So, without further adieu, here’s a few words from Cyndi!

How would you describe your work in three words?

Something for everyone. Seriously, I have an extremely difficult time defining my jewelry style. Some of it is modern, some of it is vintage-inspired. Some of it is casual, some of it is dressy. I asked one of my best customers to describe my jewelry in three words and she said, “Unique, contemporary, and timeless.” Thanks, Donn!


What inspires you?

I find my inspiration in the beads and components themselves—the colors, textures, and shapes. What style would complement this shape? What other colors would go with this? How best to showcase this focal piece?


If you could use only one color for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pink has always been my favorite color (a childhood holdover?) but for creating jewelry I think it would be blue in all its glorious shades—from the steel blue of kyanite to the greenish-blue tones of amazonite and turquoise to the deep blue of lapis and sodalite. There is a shade of blue to complement everyone.


What would be a perfect day?

A perfect day would be one that involves some creative time along with spending some time with someone who shares the same interest and passion in creating. Put the two together and it’s a play date with another artist, like when my friend Cat came over. Or a road trip to take Barbara Lewis’ torch-fired enamel workshop. Lots of fun and exploration of new skills and techniques.


What are three favorite artists or bloggers you think the world should know about?

Cat Kerr, a mixed media/altered art artist and blogger. For her friendship and kind heart, her exquisite mixed media pieces, and teaching me how to solder.

Stacie Florer, a metalsmith and blogger. For her introspective and thought-provoking posts, her nomadic spirit, and mad metalsmithing skills.

Barbara Lewis, a jewelry designer, enameler, and blogger. For her down-to-earth manner, fearless risk-taking, and teaching me how to enamel beads.



Many thanks to Cyndi for stopping by! You can find more about Cyndi on her website, her shop, her Facebook page, and her Twitter profile.