Jan 28, 2016

Fabulous Coatings on Czech Glass...Do we take them for granted?

Czech Glass in 3mm, Honeycomb, 4mm and Superduos
It's not everyday that I can drool over new beads all in my favorite colorways...sea green, mossy brown, deep teal. Nothing captures my imagination like a good Picasso Green. I've been in love with ocean colors since I first set eyes on the deep, rough waters off the coast of Big Sur. And I'm an absolute pushover for anything pebbled with brown. 

I've talked a bit about how the Czech glassmakers are on fire. They really are. There has been a resurgence in glass from the Czech Republic for about 8 years now. It's so popular that Miyuki Beads of Japan ships its seed beads over to have them coated because no one can mimic them. That's pretty crazy! But seriously, there are some very talented artists coming up with these new beads and coatings. I love beads in all colors and I do my best to always find the unusual in every hue, but sometimes it's so hard for me to look beyond green.....

Read more about Czech Glass and the Precosia Company, the leader in the renaissance in glass beadmaking. I think you might, like me, have a greater appreciation for the under-rated, taken-for-granted, affordable, Czech Glass Bead. It's really on a trajectory to stardom, if it isn't there already.

Jan 21, 2016

The Amazing Autumn Look Book...


Finding inspiration for a project can be daunting for any jewelry artist craving originality. Over the years, I have suggested to students and customers that they don't need to look any further than a favorite photograph for ideas on bead selection and even design parameters. When I had my store (closed in 2008), I used to teach "Tricks of the Trade" and students would tell me it "changed their lives." That was wonderful to hear, but I'm just glad to see the process opened many up to the fun and ease of designing authentically.

In our Autumn Challenge, we asked for entries from the beading community. The parameters were to create a wrap bracelet inspired by Autumn. Guidelines were pretty simple: 50% of the ingredients had to be available on beadshop.com and it had to be inspired by fall foliage from a photograph. 

We asked artists to submit photos of their bracelets and their source inspiration. The results were outstanding. If you're like me, you'll want them all! What an incredible group of artists...just amazing. What do you think? I'd love to hear from you and I'd love to pass your comments on to the artists themselves. 

Please email me and happy beading!

Jan 10, 2016

Your 2 Cents

One of my resolutions for 2016 is to spend more time talking with readers and customers. When I had The Bead Shop in Palo Alto, I would chat every day with students, shoppers and people who wandered in off the street curious to see a store that just sold beads. There was a natural flow of ideas and opinions. I would often hear, "I saw this in a catalog. Will you help me make it?" or "When will you get this back in stock?" or "I'd like to learn how to do this. Will you teach me?"

Now that we're an online bead shop, it's more challenging to communicate one-to-one, but not impossible. So, with the new year, comes my resolution to go "old school"and begin chatting again. Give me your 2 cents on how we're doing and I promise I'll listen. Whether you're intrigued by a product you saw someplace else, curious about what thread to use in a project or you'd like to share what you just made, I want to hear from you. And if I don't have an answer to a question, I'll do my best to get you one. Please email me at feedback.beadshop@gmail.com or join me on Facebook and give me your two cents!

Thank you and happy beading,
~ janice

Flash Sale Friday...get creative!

Last week Kate went shopping for some special strands at a local gem show, and she brought back six stone strands she couldn't live with...