Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Challenge at Art Bead Scene

Check out December's monthly challenge:

Here is just a sampling of the wonderfulness you could win:

Hope to see you there!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Embellish Yourself

I recently did a post on Art Bead Scene encouraging everyone to "Embellish" themselves. You can see the article here: Embellish Yourself.

Shelley Nybakke, owner of "The Bead Parlor" in Bloomington, Illinois sent this picture along:

Yow! We should all looks so good!

Thanks Shelley!.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Collaboration: Artist Donna Sloma

This beauty was created with my good friend Donna Sloma. Donna made the pendant from an actual domino game piece! The black ring beads are some I made - all combined with other beads and chain I picked up at Ornamentea. (You can get the ring beads there also.) I love this necklace, great for the fall season, but I'll wear it all year.
Donna is one of those people that can take a pile of stuff that looks roughly like the floor of a kindergarten classroom and make something wonderful out of it. She designs pendants, pins, altered books and a huge variety of other things. You can get in on this talent by attending a class taught by Donna at Artists' Oasis in Apex, NC. Click on this link: Artists' Oasis classes .

You can meet Donna and purchase your own pendants at:

Artists' Oasis Open House
1000 N. Salem Street
Apex, NC
(919) 367-9933
November 11th

Christmas Carousel
NC State Fairgrounds
November 23rd - 25th

St. Mary Magdalene
Santa's Village
Magdala Place
Apex, NC

If you have the opportunity to meet Donna tell her I said Hi!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Featured Designers: Monkeyshines

Here is a lovely new pair of earrings that Jen of Monkeyshines made. The faceted teardrop shapes are iolite stones, which Jen explains that in gem lore is said to have spiritual properties: opening the soul and enhancing psychic experiences. Wow! All that and they will make you look great too!

Thanks Jen for sharing your treasure with us.

- Elaine

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Good News from Ornamentea

I had a great trunk show at Ornamentea this last weekend. Thank you to everyone who stopped by. Since most of my time working is alone in my garage, it is a nice break to get to spend some time with such creative people. During these shows I get to chat with the staff and hear all kinds of wonderful ideas from the customers. To my heart's delight, many of the customers wore pieces of jewelry to the show that they had made from previously purchased items.

The good news is that even though the inventory at her two stores: Ornamentea and Panopolie, and on the web site are slightly different, Cynthia let me know that how easy it is for local beader to buy items from the website. When checking out on the web site, just click “pick up at the store” shipping option and let them know if you want to pick up your order at Ornamentea or Panopolie with an email to It’s that easy.

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by and to all the wonderful people at Ornamentea who continue to make me look so good!

Monday, October 1, 2007

"Soul Support "

A great friend of mine, Bonnie Anderson, is walking 3 days this weekend in support of the fight against breast cancer. She participated last year in the Atlanta 3-Day, saying it was the greatest physical challenge and one of the most rewarding experiences of her life.

The 2006 3-Day raised $86 million dollars in 12 cities and Bonnie's team "Soul Support" raised over $10,000 with only 3 walkers. This year, they will walk in the Philadelphia 3-Day October 5th-7th.

If you can, please give Bonnie your financial support. Your tax deductible donation will fund breast cancer research, raise awareness, and provide education and early detection of breast cancer. Your donation makes a real difference in the lives of those affected by breast cancer today and provides hope for tomorrow.

When deciding to donate or not, keep these numbers in mind: to train for this event, Bonnie has walked approximately 500 miles and has a personal goal of raising $3000. If you follow This Link you can see she is sooooo close to her goal and how you can help her meet and maybe even exceed her goal.

Thanks so much in advance for your support of everyone affected by cancer. I know that not everyone can donate right now, but I do know that everyone out there has been touched by cancer in one way or another - thanks for all the support, both emotional and financial everyone has provided for our brothers, sisters, moms and dads.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

William Tell Overture for Moms - YouTube

Well - I have tried to keep this blog all about beads, but this is just tooo good:

Monday, September 17, 2007

New sidewalk at The Bead Parlor

Wow - take a look at this!!!

Shelley Nybakke from The Bead Parlor in Bloomington, Illinois wrote to me with this news and picture. They had a new sidewalk installed in front of her store and Shelley had the great idea to put beads in the sidewalk right by the door to greet customers. I'm mixed in with a little Vintaj, turquoise, coral and a few crystals - makes me feel immortal! Thanks Shelley for letting me contribute to your pretty sidewalk!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Featured designer: Jordana Thompson

Jordana Thompson and Donnaleta Twist own and operate Elementality - both as a brick and mortar store and as an online store. Their web site explains: .Our desire is to offer beautiful gifts, one of a kind handmade jewelry, photography, and other home decor items at fair and affordable prices to the growing population of those who care about the future of this planet and their fellow human beings....

At their site, you are guided through photos that reflect the elements of fire, water, earth and air. As I surfed through Elementality online I found myself on a visually calming trip that I didn't want to end. The land location of Elementality is in the Asheville Mall in Asheville, North Carolina. From the looks of the posted pictures, shopping in this store must be a treat all in itself.

Shown here are two necklaces Jordana made highlighting my toggles. These are stunning pieces that are such a wonderful blend of wood and clay - what better way could there be to represent earth elements! If you ever get the opportunity to visit Asheville, make sure to stop by Elementality and tell them Elaine says Hello!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Jenni Leigh Creations

Here is a plug for my friend and beautiful beader - Jenni Leigh.

Jenni has a knack for creating lovely and varied pieces - all the way from

"Traditionally Sparkly":

Vintage Bliss by Jenni Leigh

to "Earthy Crunchy":

to the "Wow - look at me!"

Blazing Phoenix by Jenni Leigh

Feast your eyes here at Jenni's online store:
or meet Jenni in person at The 34th Annual CenterFest in Historic Downtown Durham on September 17th.

If you get there, say Hi to Jenni for me and happy shopping!

- Elaine

Thursday, September 6, 2007

When Beads Collide

We have a new Challenge at Art Bead Scene:

When Beads Collide

The challenge is for designers to use art beads from two or more bead artists to create one project. I think this is the inspriation needed to get me to dig into my treasure of beads from a bead exchange done with "Beads of Clay" buddies a year or so ago.

The prizes this month are supplied by Joan Miller and Heather Powers.

Good luck and keep us posted on your creations.

- Elaine

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Altered Couture - Call for Entries

Cyndi Lavin from Bead Arts posted this great call for entries on August 16th:

Altered Couture (Newsstand Date: February 2008)
A hand-me-down sweater … a raggedy old skirt from the thrift store … a plain T-shirt … Using just a few tools coupled with your creativity, all of these items can be transformed into fantastic works of wearable art! The publisher of Belle Armoire and Somerset Studio invites you to submit your own altered and embellished clothing and accessories to be considered for the third volume of this exciting publication. Chapters will include Skirts & Dresses, Pants & Overalls, Jackets & Vests, Shirts & Tops, Children’s Wear, Sassy Shoes, and Accessories.

Deadline for artwork to be received: Sept 15, 2007. Please read submission guidelines before sending your submissions to: Stampington & Company · C/O: Altered Couture · 22992 Mill Creek, Suite B · Laguna Hills, CA 92653

If you add any beads / buttons to your entries, post a comment with a link and I'll blog about it here.

Thanks and good luck!

- Elaine

PS: For visual inspiration check in on Cyndi's other work here:

Mazel Tov Jewelry
Wildest Dreams Designs
Why Not Art

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Art Bead Scene contest

Quick - go over to Art Bead Scene and enter the Food For Thought contest. You could win a $20 gift certificate from

Good Luck!!!

- Elaine

Saturday, August 4, 2007

New Art Bead Scene Challenge

Make sure to take a look at Art Bead Scene's new monthly challenge. You could win over $100 in beads in the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge! August's Art Bead Scene Challenge theme is Midsummer Night's Dream. This month's prizes have been generously provided by Andrew Thornton, on behalf of his family's business, Green Girl Studios.

We are soooo lucky to have Andrew as a regular participant in our monthly challenges - click here for some inspiring designs: Andrew Thornton flickr page.

Remember when entering your designs, the challenge is open to any use of art beads, and not restricted to jewelry. Here are some examples of alternate uses of art beads. I'm sure there are many more used out there - please send them in!!!

- Elaine

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Art Bead Scene Poll

Hey everyone - over at The Art Bead Scene we are conducting a poll to see if we can get to know our audience better. Click here and cast your vote - Please!


Thursday, July 26, 2007

New Items at The Bead Parlor

If you are anywhere close to Bloomington Illinois, make sure to stop by The Bead Parlor and take a look around. I just sent a new shipment to Shelley and she has it out and on the floor already. Here is a peek at what is there:

While you are at The Bead Parlor, take a look at the large selection of metal seed beads they carry in the store and online at:

Here are some sample ideas of what you can make with those beauties!

I have never worked with metal seed beads, but given that metal and clay are both naturally occurring on our earth, I bet they would look great together!

If you see Shelley or Diane at The Bead Parlor, tell them I said Hi!

- Elaine

Monday, July 16, 2007

Featured Designer: Bethany Chaney

Bethany Chaney

Take a look at what Bethany Chaney has done with some ceramic Elaine Ray "shards" and doughnut. Aren't these lovely!!! You can see more examples and purchase her work at Grace Farm Studios. Take a peek - Bethany made these amazing pieces using North Carolina's homegrown Longleaf Pine Needles. This is a very old traditional way of weaving baskets - one that takes great care and even more time! Hats off to you Bethany for helping to support one of North Carolina's historical crafts.

Bethany can be reached at: chaneyb2 at .

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Crafter's Flea Market

Some of the Triangle's favorite designers and artists have banded together for an amazing several-times-yearly sale of handcrafted goods and craft supplies in downtown Raleigh. You'll find the latest designer offerings as well as the hard-to-find materials they use to create their wares. Some of the many items you'll find include fabric, beads, jewelry, paintings, pottery, baby gifts, knit items, clothing, paper goods, personal care products, photographs and accessories. You'll also find one-offs, samples and discontinued items at great prices!

Many local area designers, craftspeople and artists who believe in doing things by hand. Stop by to see all the wonderful talent showcased in this great event!

The parking lots of Ornamentea at 509 N. West Street and vicinity, Downtown Raleigh. New spaces now added across West Street!

Simply Beads - August 2007

I've been seen!

Melanie Brooks Lucas wrote a great article about ceramic beads in this month's issue of Simply Beads. She explains the differences between clays commonly used to make fired beads and pendants. In that article she points out that one glaze can look quite different when applied to different types of clay. Here are some examples:

Thanks for taking a look!

- Elaine

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Andy Velletri

Andy came to meet me during a trunk show at Ornamentea and showed me some of his wire wrapping projects. Wow, that man can wrap!!!! Notice in the picture that Andy not only wire wrapped his focal point, but also wire wrapped a hand made clasp for the back of the necklace. I really like the way Andy worked in some 7 mm cubes I made. They blend so well with the stone chips - a very nice compliment for the copper wire.

This necklace show cases Andy's hand made bamboo beads. Andy once explained it to me and it is a many step process to get that bamboo looking so good. The blue beads in this necklace are some 9 mm rounds I made. The earthy tones of the glazed clay and bamboo are a wonderful visual match.

Andy teaches classes at Bead Delite in Raleigh, NC. His gallery of work can be seen here. Click away for a real eye treat!

Thanks for looking!

- Elaine

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New View on Ornamentea

Hey take a look at Ornamentea's new redo of my stuff - thanks Sandy!!!

And here is just a little something to get your creative brain juices going:

Birds on a Wire ribbon

Remember to check in on Art Bead Scene and enter the monthly challenge - you could win some really yummy beads!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tracy Thomasson

Hi - Well Tracy Thomasson has been at it again. She aways makes my pieces look so good! I'm not sure how these double cord necklaces were made but I am really loving them!

The spacer looking beads in the middle of the 3 sets of beads in this photo are a new design I am trying out. this is a great way to "fasten" a necklace. No clasp needed and you don't need to fiddle with a clasp behind your neck.

Last, but obviously not least, another version of the "Tangle" shape. I especially like the way Tracy wrapped the cord ends right above the Tangle. Blue is my favorite color so I am really loving this one! You can see more of her creations on her Flickr account.

Thanks again to Tracy Thomasson for making this earth a more beautiful place to be!

- Elaine

Friday, June 1, 2007

Stringing Magazine

Again I want to say how excited I am to be featured in the summer issue of Stringing.

Since this was my first try ever at submitting to a magazine everything has been a learning process for me. Cynthia Deis, the owner of Ornamentea and Panopolie in Raleigh, NC originally encouraged me to try and was the one to get me motivated to get this done.

This Double Donut necklace is one of the featured projects.

Along with these three sets of earrings.

The photos that the people at Stringing took are way better than these of mine - they really did a great job of making me look good!

They were also very helpful at answering my questions and made the whole process run smoothly. I'll definitely be submitting more in the future.

If you are wondering, I have been working hard at getting all of these items out to the bead shops and to Ornamentea to post on their on line store. I'm not done yet, but if you are looking to purchase some of these pieces and don't see what you want, stop by again in a week or two and we will be ready. Between having one of my kids graduate from high school, one getting ready for the SAT while looking at colleges and one graduate from middle school, band banquets, band concerts, soccer tournaments and other end of the school year shindigs I have gotten behind. Also, keep an I here and I'll be posting other ideas to make with those same pieces.

Thanks for all your support and remember to send me pictures of your finished pieces!

- Elaine

Friday, May 25, 2007

Artist Profile on Bead Arts Blog

Please take a look at Cyndi Lavin's blog: Bead Arts where on May 24th, she has posted an Artist Profile about...... me!

Once you have done that - bop over and take a look at Cyndi's web site with its opening line:

For outstanding women who don't mind standing out

Wow - enjoy the journey!

Thanks again Cyndi for making me look so good!

- Elaine

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Stringing Magazine

I'm soooo excited about this! "Cascading Tangle" is featured as one of the free project with the summer issue of Stringing magazine!

You can see it here:

This is the first piece I made with the Tangle - it is still one of my favorites!

Thanks for looking and if you'd like to purchase a Tangle and maybe a coordinating set of cones, check with the bead shops listed here on my blog, or with Ornamentea.

Remember to send me any pictures of finished products and I'll try to get them posted!

- Elaine

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Here is a plug for a friend's husband. Poetry for the Skeptic. I love these as pendants or they could sit on a desk, hang from the edge of your computer monitor or just lean nonchalantly against your kitchen window sill. Also - is that name cool or what! Good luck to Jesse as he travels his poetry path.

- Elaine

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Down The Street Bead Show

If you are in the Raleigh area this weekend, make sure to stop by The Down The Street Bead Show.

It is being held at the

The Velvet Cloak Inn
1505 Hillsborough St
Raleigh, NC 27605

Saturday May 19th
(10am - 6pm)
Sunday May 20th
(10am - 5pm)

Here is where you can view classes and photos and sign up:

Maybe I'll get to see you there!

- Elaine

*** Click Here for 1.00 Off Coupon ***

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Ugly Necklace Contest

Well - here is a different kind of treat for your senses! When cruising through some of my favorite blogs, I find this: The Ugly Necklace Contest , posted by Cyndi Lavin on her Bead Arts blog. Sort of like a car wreck - you know you should just drive on by, but you slow down and look anyway. Once you get your votes in and are ready for some visual rehab - check on the entries to this month's challenge at Art Bead Scene.

- Elaine

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Bead Kits

Melanie Brooks Lukacs of Earthenwood Studio sent me this link. She is a co-author on our Art Bead Scene blog and really knows her stuff about getting published.

Stampington and Company is looking for bead kits to feature in an upcoming article. Some of you might want to give a try. Just click on this picture and give it a read.

See ya in the bead shops!

- Elaine

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Trunk Show Pictures

Thanks to everyone who was able to come by my trunk show on Friday and Saturday. It was great to get to meet so many designers. I handed out cards with this blog and Art Bead Scene blog on it. I'm hoping to get lots of images emailed to me!

These are some pictures of the items I had there. Gotta run and go make some more!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Tangle and Cone set

Just posted to show off another necklace using a coordinated Tangle and cone set.

Hope to see you at Ornamentea for my Trunk Show this Friday and Saturday. I'll have plenty of Tangles there.

Thanks for letting me share!

- Elaine

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Handmaidens show

If you are around Raleigh, NC this weekend be sure to check in on The Handmaidens show on Oberlin Road near Cameron Village. This a group of local women who make hip crafts. It will be a great place to pick up a unique graduation gift for just about anyone on your list. Or treat yourself to a gift. The sight of all their handmade, marvelous goodies is worth the trip by itself!

Say Hi to them for me - that will be one big pool of talent there!

- Elaine

Trunk Show

Hi everyone - just a quick reminder that I'll be having a trunk show at Ornamentea this weekend on Friday 10 am - 9 pm and Saturday 10 am - 5 pm. (May 4th and 5th) If you come by, make sure and let me know if you have seen this blog - I'd love to hear from you...

Here is a message from Cynthia's weekly newsletter:

Friday at Ornamentea is First Friday. We’ll have a trunk show by the fabulous Elaine Ray with her handmade ceramic beads AND you can come and make a free pair of beaded bobby pins from 6:00-8:00. You know, we are open every Friday night till 9:00 at Ornamentea but we only have the free projects on First Friday. Every other Friday we usually have few folks hanging out at the work table, drinking boxed wine and beading, but this week we’ll have the free project. See you then.

Saturday at Ornamentea I am teaching a class on Teaching Your Craft. Many artists and craftspeople teach to supplement their income and there are ways to make it easier. Call 834-6260 to register for this class.

Did you catch that part about making a free pair of beaded bobby pins? How cool is that!?!

See you there!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sherri Mains

Well - it is always fun to search my own name and look at what I found on Flickr.

Aren't these remarkable! I love the way Sherri Mains has used chain to highlight the brown clay color. This is always a great combination. Make sure to take a look at Sherri's etsy shop for more lovely ideas.

For those of you around the Raleigh, NC area, Sherri has items at SuzAnna's Antiques.

Feel free to send me any pictures you have that you'd like to share! Send them to: ElaineRayBeads at

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

New Item!

Cyndi's comment yesterday about the "Tangles with all the angles" was my inspiration for naming this new line of pendants. As they came out of the kiln yesterday I was searching for a name for them - so now I will call them "Angles". Gives me plenty of wiggle room to vary the shapes and angles while at the same time giving them a linguistic attachment to my "Tangle" pieces - which lead me on the path to these.

Thanks Cyndi for your poetic comment!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Fresh from the Kiln

My heart still skips a beat each time I take the first look after firing my kiln. Here is today's offering:

Many of these are heading out to The Bead Parlor in Bloomington IL. Stop by if you are in the neighborhood!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Featured Designer: Emily Violette

Emily Violette takes an inovative approach to her work. Each piece is a work of art in its own right. I love all how all the strands direct my eye from place to place, leading me on a journey around the whole picture. I bet these pieces look tantalizing from the back also!

Look at the various ways this necklace can be worn. You could change configuration to go with almost any outfit or neck size.

Here Emily used an interesting closure. You may need to enlarge the picture to see the details, but it looks like a great way to display any of your favorite art beads or pendants. Ornamentea has this pendant in their online shop.

Thank you Emily for sharing these beauties with us!

- Elaine