Nov 17, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Snowflake Earrings with Kate & Drea

Hi Everybody!

Wasn't it great to have Drea on the broadcast today? We had so much fun creating these festive snowflakes!
Here are the materials we used:
The steps are pretty easy! There are 3 rounds of beading...or four if you do the extra 3mm Fire Polish row.

Start by stringing six SuperDuos. We used the Crystal Bronze Pale Gold to begin...and we'll just refer to them as "gold" from here on out.

 String through the same beads in the same holes again, to "double up" for a secure base. Pull tight so the beads form a tiny six-pointed star, and tie two overhand knots. Add a dab of GS Hypo Cement, but don't cut the tail.

String up through the top hole of the closest SuperDuo, string on two new SuperDuos (we used Pastel Emerald, hereafter known as "teal"), then through the top hole of the next gold bead. Your teal beads should nestle in a neat little V shape right inside the V of the gold beads. Continue through, adding your pairs of teal SuperDuos, then circle through the circuit again for security.

Now come up and out the top hole of a teal SuperDuo so your needle exits into the center of the V.

Add a single SuperDuo (we used the silver Full Labrador) and go out through the next teal Superduo so the silver bead is nestled right inside. Circuit through those three beads again to secure, then carefully go down to the gold bead, go through the top hole, and back up to the next teal bead's top hole. Pick up a silver Superduo, through the next teal top-hole, circuit through to secure, and down through the next gold and back up through the next teal. Continue around until you have all six silver "spires" or points of your snowflake.

If you'd like to finish your snowflake as-is, weave your thread back down through the SuperDuos to meet with your original tail in the center. Tie together, add a dab of glue, and trim the ends.

If you'd like to keep embellishing, go for it! We added 3mm Full Silver fire polish, which adds a nice bit of sparkle. They fit nicely in between the tops of the teal V's. When you string through, be sure you string through all three holes of the snowflake's point, if you skip the silver bead's bottom hole the point won't sit right.

Again, end in the same way: weave down through your beadwork and tie the tails together, glue, trim.

These cute little components can be used in a variety of ways. We created earrings with ours, but you could also use as a pendant, string several together to make a chain, use as a garland, ornaments, and more! Tons of ideas were tossed around on the Live's comments and they were all fantastic!

We wire-wrapped to create earrings. Make a wire-wrapped loop, stringing your loop through the top of a silver SuperDuo. Add a 3mm Full Silver, and wire-wrap another loop to attach to your earwire. Tahdah!

Watch the entire broadcast below for the complete step-by-step with Kate & Drea.

 We are dying to see what you all create! Please share with us! Send us an email or share on our new Facebook Group, Community: The Bead Table.

Nov 16, 2017

Connections: What A Woman!

Faithful friend and customer Debbie M. of Reno, Nevada has been a busy beader. I promised to tell this story way back when in our first Connections post, and finally, here it is. 

When Debbie’s longtime friend told her some bad news, Debbie jumped to action. This friend's daughter had been diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor, a very rare and aggressive form of cancer that’s usually found only in children under 5, though this daughter is actually a grown woman with a child of her own. The shocking news sent the family into a tailspin, and now they work together to cope with the news and fight the disease.

One thing that can be offered to support a friend in need is love. Debbie has taken her love to the next level with her latest beading project. To support her dear friends she wanted to create something with a symbol of strength. Drawing her inspiration for her beadwork from their adopted “mascot” through this struggle, Wonder Woman, Debbie got to work. The family couldn’t have picked a better icon. With the new films starring Gal Gadot portraying feminine strength and power, Debbie's friends can take their Wonder Woman bracelets and fight with all their might.

For the daughter, the fighter herself, Debbie’s made an Across Cultures based off Grace’s contemporary updates to our classic project. The classic Wonder Woman reds and blues are on full display with Czech Glass, 6/0 Seed Beads, and the delicious Pomegranate Czech Rollers. A mixed-metals selection of Tierra heishi, Shadows, Sliders, and River Shannon beads completes the second half of the bracelet. A large silver and gold Wonder woman charm hangs near the button loop, cohesively blending with the rest of the metals yet also standing out enough to make a statement. The Cobalt Daisy Czech Glass Button, a tassel, and a golden “lasso” of 3mm Czech Glass in 24K Gold Plate closes the piece. Filled with symbolism and strength, this bracelet is fit for a wonder of a woman. 

Fighting cancer takes strength and support, and family is oh-so important in that. For the younger sister, Debbie has created a Herringbone Ladder design. Using Picasso Opaque Blue SuperDuos and 1.5mm Blue Leather, the bracelet starts out strong. The Czech Rollers used in the Across Cultures are echoed in this bracelet as well, this time in Antique Silver and they separate sections boldly but gracefully. Laddered Marbled Gold Siam Ruby Czech Glass and Golden Hematite Rondelles come next. Finally, Czechmates Tiles in the last section complete the look, again echoing the traditional red and blue, with hints of metals thrown in. Debbie used Picasso Black Opaque Coral RedPicasso Cobalt, Matte Metallic Flax, and Silver for this section. A Tattoo Button in Silver completes the piece.

For those loving parents, married over 40 years, a Strong Point (perfectly named!) and a version of Sumer Tahoe were created. Debbie and I hunted the internet for Wonder Woman components, since that’s not something we’d carry at Together, we found a great selection and Debbie bought a bunch! The Summer Tahoe for Dad has a bold and gold “WW” symbol plaque as its centerpiece. Knotted to either side of it are bright red and blue 1.5mm leathers adorned with Wonder Woman beads traditionally used on a Pandora-style bracelet, but Debbie ingeniously used them to collect all her leather strands together. Adding flashes of the mixed metals, there are Happy Donuts, Czech Rollers, and Silver Metal 6/0s, and of course Silver Evolve Beads used to crimp the Round and Round Clasp on. 

Mom’s Strong Point has the 1-2-1-2 beading pattern. Debbie used the beautiful Peacock Hematite Rondelles along with Silver Shadows sprinkled throughout. A great point of added interest, we think. The Red Wine Star Czech Glass Button is so reminiscent of Wonder Woman’s shield, and resting upon the blue background of hematite and leather it looks fierce and strong. To hold the button, another golden lasso, this time using Bright Brass Shadows. A Royal Blue Tassel adds a touch of whimsy and matches with the Across Cultures. The two women have been friends since grammar school, and knowing her friend well, Debbie expertly created a piece that’s perfect in both style and personality.

Notice that in all of Debbie’s bracelets there’s not only the Wonder Woman theme, but also certain beads carried from piece to piece. Truly a matching set, the same beads and leathers can be found across all four pieces, the imagery of the shield represented in the button, the lasso in the button loops…I see it as just one more way this quartet is bound together.

Personally, I want to attest to Debbie’s caring nature. With a pharmaceutical background and a brain that’s just chock-full of knowledge, I have been blessed to get to know Debbie as more than just a customer. What started as a customer emailing in to ask a few design questions turned into a friendship I am so thankful for. She’s always looking out for me (and scolding me for my sweet tooth) and she’s been a great asset as I deal with my own journey with MG. Debbie inspired me to create my own Wonder Woman Across Cultures for myself. I had just seen the movie and loved the message and experience, and Debbie and I collaborated to create our jewelry. Cara and Grace helped us to select colors, and Debbie and I ordered our components and got started. I jumped the gun and started working on mine before Debbie had even gotten her beads! I just couldn’t wait. Our pieces ended up pretty similar although the differences that attest to our personal beading styles are still apparent. I added leather strands to my “metal side” of the bracelet, and used more charms. Big, chunky, bold…you can’t miss it on my wrist. I wore it to Johns Hopkins for my first round of testing…oddly enough, since my disease makes me very weak, I don’t feel like such a Wonder Woman as my neurologist tests my muscle strength (I don't ace these tests…) but I do love the fighting spirit it instills.

I shared the story of Debbie’s projects and this cancer fight with the team. All of us here at the office are rooting for you, girl. We know you’re going to kick some serious cancer butt, and you’ve got your very own fan club here.

Nov 10, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Tassel and Leather Lariat Necklace

Hey Gang!

We had such fun in #FTF today... I am really enamored of the resulting necklace, thanks to the inspiration of customer Susanne from Finland.

This lariat is a "mash up" of two projects... the simple tassel that I created on Free Tip Friday on 11.6.17 and Janice's Boho Beauty Leather Choker Necklace.

As promised, here is a list of the products I used in the Tassel Lariat:
Distressed Violet 1.5mm Leather
Distressed Violet 1.0mm Leather
Pinwheel- Purple Serpentine
Russet Sands
Circle of Bronze
.05mm Chinese Knotting Cord Deep Plum , Grey, Light Iris.
C-Lon Fine Grape, Orchid.

Check out the rebroadcasts below for all the learning you need to start creating! Enjoy!

Oct 19, 2017

Boho Beauty, Tribal Tried and True!

We have had Tribal Beads on the brain lately! With our new collection of Etched Agates, new metal Charms and Pendants, and of course old favorites like Padres and--what's Kate's fav?--Shadows, we have been feeling inspired lately. Here's a couple quick projects that Janice and Kate whipped up!

Janice shows off the Earthenware Rounds and Rondelles in this lariat choker she created. Using 1mm leather and just a few beads she made an easy-breezy necklace that can be worn with just about anything. The simplicity is what makes this so special, it's unique and not something you'd find in a store. It's boho and chic.

Make it yourself! Cut a length of leather twice as long as you'd like your necklace to be, because this necklace doubles the leather over. Slide your rondelle to the middle and use a smaller piece of leather tie a silk wrap just above the rondelle to keep it in place. Near the ends of your leather, silk wrap with Chinese Knotting Cord to create the "button hole" your rondelle will fit through. Add the Earthenware Rounds to the ends of your leather near the button hole, and secure in place with more leather silk wraps. Done!

1mm Metallic Pearl Indian Leather
.8 Chinese Knotting Cord in Cement
2 Earthenware 7-8mm Rounds
1 Earthenware 9mm Rondelle

How to Silk Wrap

This is a timeless design that can be made with an array of beads. Make it in earthtones with Old Pottery Rounds and Rondelles on 1mm Distressed Brown leather, or use a Greenware Vase in place of the leather silk wrap above the rondelle for a larger focal, and some lush Metallic Pyrite leather...or whatever you like!

A few weeks ago on Facebook Live viewers took note of Kate's fabulous tribal earrings. Using our new Make a Point brass dagger drops and some wire, Kate fashioned a quick pair of earrings that really do make a point!

To create your own, string your three beads onto a length of craft wire and make a Rosary Loop at the top, and a Wire-Wrapped Loop at the bottom, being sure to include your Make A Point drops on the bottom loop before you wrap the wire to close it. Attach the Rosary Loop to an earwire...and voila! A sassy pair of earrings for you (or a friend! Makes a great gift!)

1 Pair Niobium Earwires- Antique Copper Finish with Copper Bead
22G Vintage Bronze Craft Wire
4 Earthenware 7-8mm Rounds
2 Tide's Out- Sea Green

2 Make a Point Charms

How to Make Rosary Loops With Beads
How to Wire Wrap A Bead Unit
How to Open and Close Jump Rings Securely (this don't use jump rings, but the concept is the same for when you are opening your Rosary Loops to attach the earwires!)

You can easily choose just about any beads from our Etched Agates collection and make these your own. Why not use a Greenware Vase an hang several Small Point charms below with jump rings, or use Old Pottery Rounds,  Tide's Out in Marina, and Tiny Elephant charm dangles? So many great options! Please share your designs with us!

Oct 13, 2017

Free Tip Friday: Sleek Stacker Bracelets

So simple and easy to make... these Sleek Stacker bracelets are a quick 1-2 hour project. They look so great together that you'll want to make a wrist full!

Here is the recipe:
1 tube or strand two-hole beads like SuperDuos, Tilas, 1/2 Tilas or CzechMates Tiles.
1 tube or strand of 11/0 Seed beads, 2mm or 3mm Czech Firepolish or other 2-3mm bead like Little Shadows or Cut Cubes.
1 button, toggle clasp or clasp of your choice.
1 tube or strand of 11/0 Seed beads if not used in the bracelet design.
1 spool Fireline
Size 10 Seed Bead Needles
Bees Wax

These are the ingredients that I used for the samples in the video:

Sleek SuperDuo Stacker
1 strand Cut Cube Hematite- Matte Light Gold 2mm
1 Tube SuperDuos Jet Iris Luster
1 Tube 11/0 Metallic Dark Bronze
1 Button Courtesan- Brass

Sleek Tila Stacker
1 Tube TL4505- Picasso Transparent Silk Cream
1 Tube 11/0 Metallic Dark Bronze
1Strand Little Shadows- Silver Plate
1 Button Little Vine- Antique Copper

Sleek 1/2 Tila Stacker
Tube Half Tila TLH2035- Metallic Khaki Iris
1 Tube TL4505- Picasso Transparent Silk Cream
1 Tube 11/0 Metallic Dark Bronze
1 strand Cut Cube Hematite- Matte Light Gold 2mm

I used Size 10 Seed Bead Needles and Wireline

I'l love to see your interpretation! Have fun! -Kate

Oct 9, 2017

Free Tip Friday: RAW Bead & our Monthly Mix!

Wow! I loved learning RAW (right Angle Weave) from Emily on FB LIVE on Wednesday. It was really a fun stitch to learn and the possibilities to embellish are endless.

I thought it would be fun to expand this idea into a beaded bead... a small and do-able project that is fairly quick to make and a great way to hone your RAW skills.

This project will work with any 11/0s (or 8/0s) for the base and any 11, 8 & 6/0s for the embellishments.
This is the monthly mix for October called Cinnamon Spice. You can find all of the recipes for our monthly mixes right here on our website.

For the base, I used 11/0 Gilding Matte metal seed beads, but you can use any bead you like for the base. I also used Smoke Gray Fireline thread and a size 12 seed bead needle along with some Bees Wax to condition the thread.
Your bead can be any size. My base was 6  rows x 4 squares (make 5 rows and then when connected together you have 6 rows for the finished bead.) Each square was 2 beads x 3 beads.

I used the monthly mix to randomly embellish the bead. I love how it turned out... looks pretty good on those 6mm From Childhood beads. Watch the complete broadcast below. Let me know how it works for you. I am excited to see what you make. -Kate


Advancing Your Bead Weaving Skills

Beadshop continues its venture into bead weaving by adding more free projects to its collection and devoting more Facebook Live shows to this wonderful way to bead. More projects mean more techniques and stitches as well, all of which can be found in what we call our Seed Bead School. We have covered brick stitchspiral rope, and peyote, all three of which are well-known bead weaving stitches. Now, you can add right angle weave, also referred to by the acronym RAW, to that list. RAW is a stitch that is a little more advanced, but if you have been following along with beadshops' Seed Bead School series, you are ready to give it a try.
Austin ~ Project and Sample by Emily Miller
Two free projects using RAW are now available for downloading. First, there's bright and cheery Austin, which combines size 11/0 seed beads in shades of topaz and also bright yellow along with size 6/0 Miyuki Baroque Pearls in a beautiful golden color. We recommend using Fireline as your stringing medium for these bracelets, which will require you to make multiple passes through some of the beads, because while Fireline is thin enough for use with seed beads, it's also very strong. 

New York, New York ~ Project and Sample by Emily Miller
New York, New York also uses beautiful 6/0 Miyuki Baroque Pearls, but this time in a silver color. Their organic shape and texture combined with a shiny pearlized finish make them look like natural pearls. However, they are a better choice to weave with since Miyuki strives to create beads with uniform holes. The smaller 11/0 seed beads in this project are shades of blue: Moody Blue, Eucalyptus, and Silver Gray Ceylon

One of the benefits to right angle weave stitch is that you can make chunky jewelry pieces that still have a lot of drape to them. Whichever one of these two new projects - Austin or New York, New York - that you decide to attempt, you will love the finished product.

Free Tip Friday: Snowflake Earrings with Kate & Drea

Hi Everybody! Wasn't it great to have Drea on the broadcast today? We had so much fun creating these festive snowflakes! Here are the...