Tuesday, January 26, 2010

February/March Issue of Beadwork

Can't tell you just how impressed I am with the current issue of Beadwork Magazine. It arrived last weekend and I am just blown away by how many great patterns this single issue contains, including a beautiful rivoli necklace by Laura McCabe:

and the Kaleidoscope Quilt Cuff by Carole Ohl:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New pattern uploaded: Puffy Heart Pendant

I finally took my free Heart Pendant and made a double-sided Puffy Heart Pendant out of it. The pattern finished at a whopping 19 pages with 108 illustrated steps, available for sale at AroundTheBeadingTable.com or Bead-Patterns.com:

For the larger heart, I used 4mm bicone crystals and 4mm fire-polished beads but you could also use all 4mm fire-polished beads or 4mm pearls or rounds. The smaller heart is my favorite but it uses 15/0 seed beads and 3mm fire-polished beads so it's a bit tricky to bead until you're familiar with the pattern.
The pattern was extremely difficult and time-consuming to write and illustrate. I'm hoping it's clear but please send feedback if you have suggestions for improvement.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Some daily deals worth a mention

I love these gold-filled earring findings and until tomorrow, they are on sale at ArtBeads.com for 66 cents each/$1.32 per pair:

Hard to believe but the best prices that I am finding for Fireline these days are at Amazon.com:
Berkley Fireline, 125 yards, $14.95-$17.99
Berkley Fireline, 300 Yards, $29.95-$31.49

Friday, January 8, 2010

Some of my favorite designers

Carole Ohl and Sandra Halpenny are two of my favorite designers. I'm constantly amazed at how beautiful their work is.

Carole's patterns are available at Bead-Patterns.com:

Sandy's patterns are available at Bead-Patterns.com and her Web site, SandraDHalpenny.com:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Free Beading Videos

There are so many great (and FREE) beading videos on the Web right now that I've decided to compile a list for my Web site. Here are just a few that I have come across so far:

Laura McCabe's Intro to Seed Beads at Beaducation
In over 20 minutes of free video, Laura McCabe covers beading tools and materials (i.e, needles, thread, wax etc.), the different types of seed beads (size, Czech vs. Japanese brands), threading needles, flat even peyote, flat odd peyote, tubular even peyote and tubular odd peyote. It's quite a resource and hard to believe that it's free without even having to create an account. Laura is the author of one of my very favorite beading books, Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski: 65 Sparkling Designs with Crystal Beads and Stones.

Auntie's Beads Free Jewelry Making Videos
Many fantastic "Karla Kam" videos here (hosted at YouTube.com) that cover techniques, materials, weaving and stitching, stringing, working with wire and much more. There must be hours of free video here.

Fire Mountain Gems Video Tutorials
Fire Mountain Gems now has free videos on topics ranging from using crimp covers to learning the brick stitch. Some are segments from the PBS television show, Beads, Baubles and Jewels.

WigJig Jewelry Making Videos
If you want learn wire wrapping or gemstone bezel work, WigJig has several introductory tutorials, hosted on YouTube.com.

Beadalon Videos
Beadalon is the corporate sponsor of the PBS television show Beads, Baubles and Jewels and the Beadalon Web site has over 100 three minute videos from the show.

Monday, January 4, 2010

On holiday

While I was in Ann Arbor for the holidays, I had some time to just bead, rather than design. For a while now, I've been buying up eBay seller Flowerchylde's Beads supply of Light Peach 12mm square Swarovski rivolis just about as fast as the owner has been posting them for auction:

I'm not a big fan of Light Peach but I fell in love with these rivolis because they had no foil backing and just looked so gorgeous. I tried them on the Double Delish Earrings designed by Carol Wilcox Wells (pattern in the April/May 2008 issue of Beadwork), although I stopped at the end of Step 3 because I didn't want the back of the rivoli covered with seed beads:

Carol Wilcox Wells is also the author of The Art & Elegance of Beadweaving: New Jewelry Designs with Classic Stitches, Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide To Classic Off-Loom Stitches and Masters: Beadweaving: Major Works by Leading Artists (Masters: Major Works by Leading Artists).

Next I tried a couple designs from Marie Géraud's book, Bijoux tissés perles à l'aiguille. The book is in French but I found that I could follow her illustrations and my Mum-in-law helped translate when I got too confused. I can't say that I followed Marie's directions completely but her designs are lovely. You can see more of her designs at her blog, biloba bijoux. Here are a couple from the book that I beaded over the holidays:

I also made some earrings out of some vintage rivolis that I found on eBay. I'm thinking about making some limited edition kits to sell on Etsy since the rivolis are rather hard to come by:

I made both pairs of earrings using a pattern similar to the medallions in my Rivoli Bracelet. The earrings on the left were created using size 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads, 3mm fire-polished beads and #1100 45ss (about 10mm) Swarovski Diorin rivolis (which can often be found at the Beading in the Rain eBay site). The earrings on the right were created using size 11/0 and 15/0 seed beads, 3mm fire-polished beads and 12mm by 10mm oval Indian Sapphire Swarovski rivolis (which can sometimes be found at the Flowerchyldes Beads eBay site).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

My first attempt at blogging...

Inspired by the thousands of great beading blogs already out there, I've decided to start my own. So... here we go!