Discovered: Olive Manna

I have discovered the cutest shop! I was looking around on Etsy and found Olive Manna: Textiles and Paper Goods.
The most adorable shop- has really great photos, and really cool things to use in jewelry- like these vintage fabric ribbons, and hand dyed cotton twine. Love those colors, yum! Their website is really snazzy too, check it out if you have a minute.

Artist Spotlight: Diane Hawkey

This week's featured artist is Diane Hawkey.  
Diane is a ceramic bead maker, artist and jewelry designer.

I began my love affair with beads and designing  at a young age, taking apart and redesigning my mom's broken costume jewelry.
I was first introduced to clay in the 1980's and began almost immediately exploring the possibilities of ceramic beads and jewelry. I branched out into metal work, glass  and mixed media, but my first love was always ceramics.
I have been a featured artist in BEADWORK magazine and my designs have appeared in STRINGING and other publications.
My work reflects a spiritual connection to the natural world.

 Ceramic Bead by Diane Hawkey
Find these beads and more at Diane's online shops:

 Cherry Blossoms by Diane Hawkey as seen in the 
Spring 2011 issue of Stringing Magazine.
On news stands now.

You can find out more about Diane and see more of her jewelry on her blog,

We asked Diane a few questions about working with cording and fibers in her jewelry and here's what she had to say!

What's your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry?
Diane: My favorite cord to use is C LON or  Nylon beading cord. I find this to be the most versatile of stringing materials. It can be used in single strands  for delicate designs, or multiple strands twisted and combined with other materials. 

Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials?
Diane:While I am attracted to anything  pretty,  working with any fibers has  special interest to me. I had  the good fortune to study weaving and felting with Leslie Heimstadt  in collage before I turned to ceramics.  I love how fiber adds an element of color and texture while being functional in the design, either  as a compliment or a focal point. I enjoy the contrast of softness of fiber against the hard surface of beads and metal.

Thanks so much, Diane!

And the winner is....

I'm so busy hopping,
no time for stopping!
My fingers are tired , 
But,I'm so inspired!!! 
What would I do with ribbons and beads?
Follow my muse wherever she leads!!! 
m.e. :)
Congratulations goes out to m.e.!
Please email me and I will ship your 
ribbons and pendants out to you asap!!
Can't wait to see where your muse takes you with these!!
Thank you everyone for all of your funny and interesting ideas about using ribbon! I hope that inspired you to get some silk of your own and to try out some new projects!

Meet our Editor: Michelle Mach

Erin and I thought it would be exciting to share the news that we recently received word that our editor for our upcoming Jewelry Accord book, is Michelle Mach! 

Michelle is a freelance editor for Interweave Press and will be working diligently to help make our book a great success! We were both familiar with Michelle's designs because we've seen her in many beading publications. She was also the editor at Beading Daily! Michelle is no stranger to ribbon and cording- She shared some of her recent designs with us for this post! W e are certainly thrilled to have her working with us on this exciting adventure!

Erin recently asked Michelle some our burning questions, and we thought you'd be interested to get a little inside look at Michelle Mach- the beader, the crafter,  the editor!

What's it like being a freelance editor/writer/jewelry designer? What are your days like?

My days vary quite a bit, but that's what makes freelancing appealing.  Currently, I'm working on three different magazines (Stringing, Beadwork, and a new emag), plus the book, along with some projects for non-crafting clients. 
I'm definitely a morning person, so mornings are for anything that requires a lot of thinking or creativity such as writing articles or technical editing.  Afternoons are usually for more administrative tasks like sending emails, making phone calls, preparing invoices, or doing research tasks such as finding new products to feature.  Sometimes I'll go out and write at a coffee shop just for a change of environment.  Occasionally I have to drive to Interweave or elsewhere for meetings.  I still mainly bead in the evenings after dinner or on weekends, a habit I formed when I had a full-time job out of the house.  I do put in writing and editing hours over the weekend if I have a deadline, but I try to take time off when I can so I don't get burned out.

We have a lot of jewelry designers in this beading community who would absolutely love to make creating jewelry/writing about jewelry, etc. a full time gig. What advice would you give someone persuing a creative career like yours?

If you've never submitted your designs to a magazine or contest, I'd start there.  Creating something just for yourself or a friend is different than creating for a larger audience.  With a magazine or contest, you'll get experience with creating for a specific theme chosen by someone else, working with deadlines, and having to provide some kind of writing about your design, whether its step-by-step instructions, detailed lists of materials, or a paragraph on your inspiration.
Many freelancers (including me) work for a traditional publishing company before freelancing, either in a full-time role or as an intern.  It is definitely an advantage, since you'll not only learn about the field, but you'll meet lots of people who will be valuable contacts later on.  You don't need to necessarily look for an editing job, even if that's you're final goal.  I started working at Interweave as a web designer, which turned out to be a great position in that I got to interact with almost everyone at the company.  (Before Interweave, I worked as a librarian at a university, so I'm definitely proof that you can make a career change to a different field.)

We know you've written many jewelry tutorials and articles and you've been the editor of Beading Daily. Will this be your first time as an editor of a jewelry-making instruction book? How do you feel about being apart of this book? What do you think about the potential of this book concept?

Last year I was a technical reviewer on a beading book, but this is my first time in the book editor role.  (I do have other editorial experience in the magazine world, including technical editing, for publications such as Bead Star, Stringing, and the Handcrafted Jewelry Studio emag that came out last December.) 
I'm very excited about this book!  Ribbons and cords are so popular and a fun way to add texture to a design.  Plus, the five designers are all terrific.  I feel lucky that I get to see their designs before the rest of the world!

You've made lots of jewelry designs. Have you used cords, fibers or ribbons in your own work? If so, what is your favorite type of cording or fiber to work with in jewelry? Why do you like working with cords and fibers in your designs? What quality draws you to these materials?

I have used cords and ribbon in my jewelry designs.  I like how easy it is to find those materials, their affordability, and all the creative possibilities.  I especially like organza ribbon for its ethereal quality, but I love experimenting with all sorts of materials. 

 "For these earrings in Best of Stringing, I used paper cord.  Those earrings were the result of a personal challenge I gave myself to not use head pins or jump rings when making earrings."

"The Love Birds necklace from Beadwork (Oct/Nov 2007) shows a focal that I made by combining several separate brass elements and wrapping them with silk cord and sewing little seed bead daisies on them.  I was experimenting to see if it was possible to create a focal without using glue."

 "In the latest issue of Stringing (Spring 2011), my A Little Bird Told Me uses just a touch of organza ribbon.  I like using ribbon as an accent with a simple knot or bow."

"The Summer Camp necklace from Beads 2009 uses cotton cord and knotting."

Thank you Michelle for taking the time to talk to us so we could share this
with our blog readers!

Read more about Michelle at her Blog or her Website!

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