Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New York City -Shopping

So what do a group of girls and 1 guy do when they get together?  They go shopping in NYC!  (and not on 5th Ave.)

Here we are, having a blast hanging out at CJS Wholesale.
From left to right:  Jim, Bobbi, Me (Heather), Barbara, Shoshana, and Lynnea.  

Here is a peak of what we did that day.  Later blogs are going to focus on each location and things you should know before  you go.  

First we went to CJS, be prepared to spend lots and lots of time here.  

Here is a picture of the chain room.
<------  You have to purchase the entire spool.

Below is a photo of a shelf full of flat back crystals. 
Everything is sold by the pound.

Next we headed off to get some food.  (Jim was starving, the girls were unaware of our hunger.)

After eating and getting our strength back, we headed off to York Beads.  Love glass beads?  Love Czech glass beads?  This place is for you!  The walls are filled with a rainbow of colors and shapes.
Be prepared to buy whole hanks of beads.  You can not split a hank on site, that is what friends are for.      ;)

Across the street from York Beads is a wonderful ribbon boutique.  While hanging out at Tinsel Trading Company a man came in to pick up an order from Martha Stewart.  Wow! We were shopping where Martha shops!

Our final stop of the day was at Metalliferous, one of my favorite places.  If copper shapes are what you are after, this is the place to find them.

I am hoping to go back to NYC sometime early spring 2013.  You can follow my NYC Bead Trip board on Pintrest.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Spring 2013 Colors!

Think Spring!
Pantone is the leading authority in fashion colors. They have recently released their color forecast for spring 2013.

Do you follow color trends?
How do they effect your work?
How are you going to use these colors in your
work for your spring collection?

As an enamel artist I don't try to hunt down the beads that are in the colors that are hot for a season, I create the colors through layering opaque and transparent enamels. So off to the studio I go! Time to experiment!

When trying to replicate colors, the first thing I do is look at my Thompson Enamel Chart. Here is a picture of the enamel colors page from my Thompson Catalog. I have underlined the colors that I own. I do the same with the transparent colors.

I decided to try to recreate Monaco Blue. First I tried 2 coats of Harvest Opaque and 1 coat of Nitric Transparent, no quite dark enough for my liking. Then I tried 2 coats of Bluejay Opaque and 1 coat of Nitric Transparent ---BINGO! I know you really can't tell the difference in the picture, but under a good light or outside there is a difference. My second attempt was a much closer match.

I will repeat this process for each of Pantone's spring color selections. It is really trial and error, and sometimes I just can't quite get it.

Now that I have the color down I write my recipe on my copy of Pantone's Spring Colors that I printed out from the website. (as you can see I dropped some water on this copy!)

So now I have a challenge to all the amazing artists out there! In the comment section list the stones and crystals that you feel most closely match the Spring colors. If you work in polymer or enamel; what combinations create these colors? Go head and experiment and share your recipes!
Have fun!

Heather M.


Monday, October 22, 2012

My Etsy Shop

How many of you have ever hung out at Etsy?  It is an amazing site dedicated to handmade, vintage and supplies to create handmade items. 
I've had an Etsy shop for quite a few years.  (since 2005!)   I use to list my finished jewelry in my shop, but now I only have supplies.  They are unique and unusual supplies, most of them vintage metal findings. 

Vintage Filigree!  These are so neat and versatile.
What could you make with these?  I've created pendants, necklace, earrings, rings and bracelets.
Vintage Filigree

Brass or Copper?  Not sure?  I think they are copper, they enameled beautifully.

Hammered copper earring findings.  Drill, enamel, and embellish.  You can also remove the earring post with just a bit of heat from a torch.

Looking for something really different for your designs?  Check out these vintage filigree beads.  Silver colored and highly detailed.  Also have been successful in enameling them.
 Spirals!!!! and more and more Spirals!
Hammered brass spirals.  Add a bit of whimsy to your pieces quickly and easily.
Do you know a Trekkie?   Would they love a themed charm bracelet for the holidays? 
Star Trek

Check out all of these great supplies for you jewelry making! 
CSW Designs on Etsy

Coming soon - vintage and Czech beads.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Metal + Glass + Fire = Jewelry

All about Torch Enameling
Here are the basics that you need to start torch enameling.
1. Copper or iron pieces. CSW Designs by Hehebeads on Etsy

2. Enamel and a torch. You can find those at Painting With Fire Studio. Barbara Lewis is an amazing artist and a good friend.

3. Have a safe place to work - After all you are using a torch. Make sure your table is protected and your torch is attached to our table.

I have a piece of Aluminum flashing I bought at the hardware store covering most of my table. On top of that I have a baking stone that is cracked, so I don't use it in my oven anymore, as my work surface.
My work space is a bit messy right now as I am getting ready for the holiday rush.
In the center of the table are some of my enamels, aren't the colors just yummy?

Here is another view of my work space. The shelves hold all of my enamels in labeled containers. I had a hard time trying to figure out how I was going to sort my containers, when my 9 year old daughter suggested I do it in "Rainbow Order." It was brilliant!
The bottom shelf holds all of my opaques and the top shelf has my transparent colors.
4. Have fun creating your own special color combinations and one of a kind jewelry components.
Here are some samples of my finished pieces:
This piece was made using the copper discs from the first picture.

Enameled iron bead, copper focal made from recycled copper pipe and a bit of recycled sari ribbon.

Hand cut copper discs enameled in blue.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Rest of Them! Sun and Sea Challenge

 Finally got the rest back from my mom and finished up one that I was working on.  First, is a blue and orange pendants (yes orange and blue again!)  The blue is a piece of copper that I enameled and riveted an enameled orange flower to it. 

 The 3 shell beads were a challenge for me as they are really not something I normally use.  They have a wonderful iridescent shimmer to them so I created a lariat style necklace with them using a multi colored ribbon to hang them from.  The other end of the lariat I attached a vintage piece of filigree.  Both sides are accented with coordinating crystals.

 The last two I created with the amazing polymer clay pieces I received.  As you can tell I love using fiber to accent some of my pieces.  The piece above I stamped and domed a copper washer.  The bottom piece I used an enameled head pin to attach the ribbon and the textured jump ring. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

CBC Summer by the Sea Challenge

A few months ago I received an amazing array of hand mane pieces to create jewelry with.  I wish my summer was by the sea, but it is spent by the pool.  Notice I did not say "in the pool!"  This is my daughter, a member of the local summer swim team, and doing quite well this year!  Since it is hard to take my torch and hammers with me to the pool I have not had much time in the studio.

My first piece was inspired by the amazing focal, I love using fiber in my designs and felt that the unique copper clasp could not be hidden in the back.  The copper beads between the blue ceramics ones are from my NYC stash and are from the 1940's or 50's.  

Not sure why I could not get the piece rotated the right way.  Here is another view.

Next I worked on some earrings, I really like how these came out.  The wire are handmade, it is something I can do sitting by the pool! 

I've been a blue mood this summer, making lots of blue jewelry.  I guess I am inspired by the blue sky, the blue water and my blue hydranga that I have in my front yard.  So using the orange components was quite a challenge, so I went back to my favorite blue and combined it with the orange.  I enameled copper pieces, stacked them and added the orange beads to complete the look.  

I do not have a picture of my final pieces, my mom borrowed them to wear one day and I have to get them back!  She does this all the time.  I'll post the pictures as soon as I can.  
Enjoy the blog hopping!

Check out the other amazing artists using these amazing components. 

Friday, May 25, 2012


What did I get done today?  I got lots of cool vintage items listed on my ETSY site. 
Vintage Lucite 

Brass Swirl Charms


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Special Order

I was asked to make this necklace by a friend, it is similar in design to one I did in pink.  I love the combination of blue and purple with the black chain.  I will be cutting more discs tomorrow to make one in shades of green and maybe one in oranges....how about browns or black and white?  The ideas are flowing!

And here are matching earrings:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This is the first blog post of CSW Designs:  Jewelry by He-He Beads.

A bit about the name CSW Designs:  Jewelry by He-He Beads; He-He Beads goes back to my childhood when my younger brother called me He-He instead of Heather.  CSW is the result of my business name being Crystals, Stones and Wire when I first started making jewelry.  Well I no longer use many crystals or stones, so I shortened the name and ta-da!  CSW Designs:  Jewelry by He-He Beads was created. 

I love enameling, texture, heating, patinias, riveting and folding metal.  My jewelry ranges from simple pendants to OOAK artistic creations.