Apr 30, 2017

Memory Wire Joins the Team...

Lily by Kate Richbourg and Janice Parsons

It's always so fun to bring a product back from "the old days" that inspires new, robust creativity. We found that to be truer than true when we added Memory Wire back into our stable of stringing materials.

When we used it back in The Bead Shop circa 2005, it was not like it is today; it was super hard wire and only came in dark grey. The new memory wire comes in colors and shapes and sizes that were not even conceived back then. So, the possibilities are endless!

We recently did a Facebook LIVE Episode all about Memory Wire. Kate and Janice had such a fun time trying out new permutations. We hope you get a chance to watch the video, see the project samples and try out Memory Wire again. Whether it's your first time or, like us, it's a long, lost friend, think about it when you want to add more creativity back into your designing.

Apr 25, 2017

Jewelry Making on the Go

Spring is here, which means summer time is soon to follow. For many of us, summer includes travel plans, which can put a hold on our jewelry making time. However, if you plan well, it is possible to bring a project or two with you, and beadshop has a number of tools that will make that possible. 

First, you can macrame in the car, airplane, hotel room, or wherever you are. Instead of using our regular macrame board, scale down by opting for the Mini Macramé Board by Anne Dilker, which is only 10-1/2 x 7-1/2 inches big. 

Mini Macramé Board by Anne Dilker
To keep your jewelry tools to a minimum while on the go, think of ways to use tools that have multiple uses, such as Handy Tape. This self-adhesive measuring tape is 25 feet long, and besides measuring in inches, it also shows millimeters.
Handy Tape 25 Feet Self-Adhesive Measuring Tape
Macrame means you will need lots of stringing materials, and to organize them, nothing could be simpler to use than beadshop's Little Box, a cardboard box that is 5 x 2-1/2 x 1-3/4 inches and holds eight spools of C-Lon.
Little Box 5 x 2-1/2 x 1-3/4 inch Cardboard Box
The right tools, packed along with your beads and beading supplies, can make your trip that much more enjoyable because you can continue to create, no matter where you happen to travel. 

Apr 18, 2017

New Powerful Fire Polish Czech Beads

3mm Pink Crystal AB Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads
The Just In section of beadshop's web site is brimming full of new products, and of special note are some sparkling beauties: Fire Polish Czech Glass beads. They may only be 3mm in diameter, but they are big on the bling you can add to your beading creations. Pictured above are pretty Pink Crystal Beads, and the rainbow aurora borealis coating (often simply referred to by its acronym of AB) is the reason why light reflects so well off of these crystals. 

3mm Opaque White Tortoise Celsian Czech Fire Polished Beads
For a more neutral color selection, Opaque White Tortoise Celsian Beads are wonderful alone or mixed in with other components and beads of any color. Use these small beads on your beading loom to weave bracelets you will love to wear everyday.

3mm Milky Amethyst Celsian Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads
Milky Amethyst Celsian Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads have a rosey lavender tint to them. All these 3mm beauties come in six inch strands with 50 beads on each strand. There are so many choices, it can be difficult to pick just one color as a favorite.

24Kt Gold Plated 3mm Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads
Gold never gets old, and, actually, gold and all shades of yellow are trending right now in fashion. By using 24Kt Gold Plated Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads, you can incorporate a classic look of metal into fashionable jewelry pieces. 

Apr 15, 2017

Naturally Wrapped Up with Agate Beads

Inspired by Tricks to Laddering by Brittany Ketcham ~ Sample by Savanna Hall 
Picking the perfect color combination can be tricky when designing jewelry pieces. There are so many options and decisions to make. One method for creating a wonderful color combination used by Savanna Hall with this wrap bracelet, entitled Sage, is to let nature select the colors for you. 
Kalahari 4mm Botswana Agate Round
Botswana Agate is made up of a mix of natural hues in pinks, grays, and browns. In the Sage wrap, Kalahari 4mm round beads are the gemstone of choice and determined the colors for the other ingredients: 13mm Plated Brass Button, which was used for the toggle clasp; 1.5mm Greek Leather in SageHematite Tuff Cord; and 2.5mm Little Shadows Antiqued Silver Beads

So, take a look at your gemstone beads next time when you are starting to think about your color choices. 

Apr 11, 2017

Bollywood Is Back: 3 New Bracelet Projects!

You can't have too many of these fun, colorful, and simple to make Bollywood bracelets. And, they are so addictive. Once you begin, it's hard to stop after just making one. With only 4 tubes of seed beads and 5 colors of Chinese Knotting Cord, you can make 15 bracelets! 

This basic macrame and bead design is an excellent project for beginners and takes about an hour to make one bracelet. While beadshop has a huge assortment of Bollywood sample projects to select from, more is always better, so we welcome three new bracelet projects to tempt you.

Daydream ~ Project by Brittany Ketcham ~ Samples by Robin Tobias

 focuses on shades of blue as it combines colored .05mm Chinese Knotting Cord - such as Light BluePoseidon, and Teal - with lots of Miyuki Japanese Seed Beads

Nostalgia ~ Project by Brittany Ketcham ~ Samples by Robin Tobias
Yellow is a color you don't see used that often in jewelry designs, but it is becoming more popular, especially as spring is here. Nostalgia includes a blend of creams and tans resulting in a buttery combination. As usual, a full list of linked ingredients and helpful tutorials will get you started making any of these Bollywood bracelets very quickly. 

Bliss ~ Project by Brittany Ketcham ~ Samples by Robin Tobias
Enjoy some Bliss and make a collection of pretty pink bracelets. It's hard not to become cheerful when you look at these on your wrist. Once you secure your cord on a project board, you will be ready to go, and these are all made using basic macrame techniques, so easy!

Bollywood has become so popular at beadshop, that now two videos are dedicated to this inspiring project:

Apr 7, 2017

#FreeTipFriday Seed Beads on the Brain!

Hi All,
As promised, I wanted to post the links here to with the info I shared on #FreeTipFriday this week.

First, if you missed the LIVE broadcast on our Facebook page, I have embedded it here:

I seem to be pretty excited about sharing Seed Beads with you!

You can catch all archived broadcasts from our FB LIVE segments on our YouTube Channel

Here is a list of the learning to make the looming project from the video:
2. Click the link at the top of that product page to download a copy of my seed bead patterns and design sheet, or go directly to it here.
3. I used the Deep Dish Design board as my loom and I "warped" the loom like we show in our YouTube Video Tricks to Looming. I warped the board so I have 6 channels across. Each pattern segment is about 6 3/4" to fir my wrist as a 3-Wrap bracelet. Refer to the FB LIVE video A Primer on Beads and Closures for Looming" to learn more about how to add a clasp to the project.
4. Refer to the #FreeTipFriday video above for tips on how to create your own looming pattern and how to finish the bracelet.


Apr 3, 2017

Off the Cuff, A New Take on a Beadshop Classic

Bead and metal mixer Kate Richbourg recently took a look at an old favorite from the beadshop archives, the Music Notes Cuff bracelet, and re-imagined it into a design that speaks to her appreciation for steampunk and vintage nostalgia. Below is a comparison of the before and after. 

Music Notes Cuff ~ Brittany Ketcham-Roney
The original design is contemporary and bright. While Kate's design (below) has the same structure and uses the same techniques, it has a look of old-world charm to it. She calls this updated design Off the Cuff.
Off the Cuff ~ Sample by Kate Richbourg
A free download and list of ingredients, which are linked into the beadshop site for easy ordering, is available. Materials used to construct this cuff bracelet include a Bali button (for the toggle closure), LeatherCopper Eye Pins, and an assortment of glass, metal, and stone Rice Beads from our Vintage Finds collection. 

For additional information about this new project, go to beadshop's Facebook Live page, which includes the pdf downloadable instructions, lots of helpful links, and video. Or, if you prefer to see Kate and Janice in action as they introduce and explain how to create Off the Cuff, watch this video from YouTube:

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...