Sep 29, 2016

Fast Halloween Jewelry Ideas

Halloween jewelry is fun to make as well as wear, and there is plenty of time to get your supplies together and whip up a few cute jewelry pieces for yourself as well as family and friends. Whether you want to use an entire weekend to weave some bracelets or you’d prefer to just add some cute charms to ear hooks to make some immediate gratification Halloween jewelry, you can find plenty of inspiration at beadshop.

Sample by Ten Eyck

In the Graveyard is a spin-off of Brittany Ketcham’s In the Garden. Ten Eyck created the sample and used colors of copper, pumpkin, black, and mahogany. A Jack O’lantern charm dangles from the center. You can see a how-to video for the original design on beadshop's Youtube channel:

The Jack O’lantern charm comes with open jump rings, so it is easy to attached, and you receive two in a package. Perfect for a quick pair of earrings! 

Sample by Sam Applegate
The Wicked Mood bracelet was adapted from Brittany Ketcham’s Set the Mood design, and the sample pictured was crafted by Sam Applegate. 
It’s finished off with a cute skull copper button as the part of the toggle style clasp and is constructed with various colors of cord: purple, black, orange, gray, and garnet. 

Make some wickedly fun jewelry this Halloween!

Sep 26, 2016

Pathway Cuff Bracelet Kits!

With beadshop's huge selection Superduos that come in loads of color options, there seems to be no end to the design possibilities with the Pathways Cuff. But, sometimes you want to get right to the fun of beading, so that is when kits can make your life easier and the fun more immediate. 

These kits are so popular that they come in and out of stock, so we are happy to announce a few have recently returned. 

Green Gables is back in stock and combines beautiful hues of green along with a hint of teal and copper.

Then there is Covered Bridge available again. These colors are perfect for fall, and each kit comes with all the beads you need.

Cobblestone's neutral colors will go with everything. Even for those who have not done a lot of beadweaving, you will find that you pick this up in no time. Weaving with herringbone stitch is relaxing and a perfect project when the weather turns crisp outside.

You can download the free handout even before you pick out a kit, but make sure not too wait to long and miss out. Of course, you can also add it to your beadshop wishlist

Sep 23, 2016

Beads! Who knew?

Hi Everybody, I'm Kate Richbourg and it's so great to meet you at the Bead Table. Some of you may know me from my metalworking classes, articles, and two bestselling books Simple Soldering and Metalsmithing Made Easy. But before I was bitten by the metal bug, I fell in love with beads.

In 1992, while looking for a part time job while toying with the idea of grad school I stumbled across a want-ad in the local paper. It read "The Bead Shop is hiring." "Wait, what?" I thought. "There is a shop that just sells beads?" I had a bit of retail experience and I liked all kinds of crafty pursuits, so I thought, "Why not?" and applied.

The first bead.
I got the job. And I was bitten by the bead bug in the very first week. I still have the very first bead I ever purchased. In our Palo Alto store, we had a case of vintage beads. They were all so special. Holdovers from the days when Janice and her mother Lydia sold beads and antiques in that store space.
Beads from The Bead Shop

This is the bead. An old carnelian beauty. It's about 1" square. It has some dings and wear. I love it.

There have been many beads since that first one. Glass, semiprecious, handmade lamp work beads. So many beads that I collected and saved. Beads that we made especially for different occasions at The Bead Shop.

I still have those two as well. They have found a home in my bead stash.
A favorite necklace made from my bead stash.

I worked at The Bead Shop for 10 great years. In my position as Class Director I developed countless classes and met amazing students. I made friends amongst our staff that I still have to this day. I left The Bead Shop in late 2002 to continue on my career path. It included owning my own bead store in San Francisco, teaching my classes at national bead shows and working for a variety of different companies in the bead and jewelry business. I also authored countless magazine articles and two books. Little did I know, that little want-ad in the newspaper would hand me my life's work and passion.

And now what goes around, comes around. I am so pleased to be back as part of the family. I have a lot of fun things in store for you. New projects, tutorials, videos... the sky is the limit! It's a pleasure to meet all of you and feel free to reach out and say hello. Find me at kate (dot) beadshop (at) gmail (dot) com. And thanks, Janice. It's good to be home.

Bracelet Designs New for Bollywood

They are here! And you can sneak a peek now at some new Bollywood designs, a project that is mega popular with many bead lovers. This is a wonderful project to attempt over a weekend, and it is accessible to all ages. Be prepared with enough supplies so that you can make multiple bracelets in coordinating colors. They look great stacked together.

First up is River Birch, The sample pictured was created by Robin Tobias. The cord colors used are in shades of green, like Ocean Pacific. Beads are a combination of various colors and finishes - sea foam, teal iris, matte, and metallic. 
Sample by Robin Tobias
Sugar Maple is next. Dark brown, gold, and willow are a few of the cord colors used for this sample. Some of the beads used are antiqued copper and iris. As with all of these projects, a few tools come in handy: thread snips, project tray inserts, and a deep dish project tray

Project by Brittany Ketcham Samples by Robin Tobias
For purple and pink fans, there's Fragrant Lilac. Cord colors and bead combinations used in these samples by Robin Tobias include deep plum, frosted lilac, eggplant, topaz, and many more. 
Samples by Robin Tobias
For extra help creating your bracelets, watch this video tutorial that brings you through each step so that you are on your way to success!

Sep 18, 2016

Beader Showcase Addition Indian Summer

Indian Summer by Cindy Brook
Have you ever been inspired by one of the man free project handouts available from beadshop? However, maybe you wanted to add your own design twist to it by changing out findings or choosing different bead colors. Beadshop has many talented customers who expand on the designs and use our products to make amazing jewelry. 

This is the case with a new addition to the Beader Showcase. This beautiful beaded piece was designed by Cindy Brook. It's called "Indian Summer" and is a spin off of the "Garden Wrap Bracelet." You can find a list of ingredients for Cindy's version here, and below is a video of Brittany from the beadshop showing how to make the original design of the "Garden Wrap Bracelet."

Sep 14, 2016

Vintage Pearl Dusting Dedication

Bringing work home from the office takes a new extreme when it comes to beadshop owner Janice Parsons and her dedication to making sure all her products are perfect. 

Well-known for amazing vintage pearls, beadshop offers a special selection of these and also incorporates them in to free projects such as the Poetry Project

However, vintage also means old, right? And, old means it has been sitting somewhere untouched for a very long time. As a result, when beadshop acquires vintage products, such as pearls, they might be covered in dust. 

There is just no way Janice would let her customers get dusty beads! Not going to happen. 

So, she brings them from the warehouse to her home. After examining each strand, she cleans them with a very mild soap and water. Then she rinses each one and arranges them to air dries.

This extra attention brings them back to their original beauty and makes them ready for jewelry designers to handle (minus the dust) has they create their special jewelry pieces.  

Sep 11, 2016

Clamshell aka Beadtip and Bright Versus Antiqued Metal

Clamshells, also referred to as beadtips (or bead tips), are findings used to finish off bead stringing jewelry pieces such as bracelets and necklaces. 

As the clamshell term suggests, this finding has two small cups that look like a clamshell, and the knot on the end of the beading cord rests inside of these two cups that you then close up around the knot to secure the end. There is a little hook on the end, and this is what you can attached to a jump ring or also a clasp. 

For example, here's a necklace I have that uses clamshells on the end.

I tend to use either crimp beads or clamshells on the end of my beaded pieces. Which one I select can depend on my mood but also on what I'm making. However, I have to admit that I find clamshells much easier to work with and longer lasting than crimp beads. 

Finishing touches to a jewelry design can be really small sometimes but make such a difference in the overall look.This is one reason I have started to think more about the type of metal finish that my clamshells and other findings have and either purposely try to mix up the metals (when I'm going for an eclectic style)  or try to match them (when I'm making a piece that is classic in design). 
Clamshells, whether they are silver or gold tone, come in different finishes: bright, antique, black. This is something to think about when you are getting your findings together and before you sit down and start creating your strung jewelry pieces.

Sep 7, 2016

Color Collection

When designing with beads, you can’t help but consider color as one of the most important elements of your creation. It really is the first thought that comes into most of our minds when we start to develop an idea of what we want to make. 

Our color choices might be the result of attempting to match an outfit, finding inspiration in a piece of artwork, or looking around at nature for our muse. To help you assemble an assortment of hues, beadshop has put together The Color Collection

In The Color Collection, you’ll find every color of the rainbow ready for you to click on and enjoy. Looking for that perfect shade of green? You will find a harmonious collection from colored cord to picasso beads to tassels to Swarovski crystals and more brought together on one easy to access area.

What about going with neutrals of black and gray? Or loads of reds? And then there are those soft pastels to love. It’s all there ready for you!

Take a few moments to explore your favorite color in The Color Collection

Sep 4, 2016

Bead Scoop!

Be the first to get beadshop notifications. Between new products, special sales, promotion codes, free project handouts, and video tutorials, there is constantly something new going on at beadshop. If you aren’t paying attention, it can be too easy to miss out. You can never go wrong taking advantage of freebies and sales, so make sure you learn about them before it’s too late. There are a number of easy ways to plug into beadshop and keep on top of important information that will assist you with your jewelry designs.

Facebook page: Like our Facebook page and receive access to special offers and Facebook member coupon codes. We also update it daily with inspiration and tidbits gleaned from various fashion sites around the Internet.

Newsletter: All you need is an email address to sign up for our free newsletter. A compilation of information and free offers are collected and emailed directly to your inbox.

Youtube: The beadshop Youtube channel has an amazing playlist built up over years of designing and sharing how-to information with customers. 

Pinterest: Loads of eye candy is available on our Pinterest board. You can always find great jewelry designing ideas there.

The Bead Table Blog: And, of course, The Bead Table is the beadshop's weblog. Free content is posted right here just about every week.

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...