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.

Oct 4, 2017

Connections 10.4.17

Hey gang! My apologies for how long it's taken me to get another collection posted here...it's not for lack of submissions, though! It was just a hectic time...which actually means I have SO much to show you! You've all been busily beading away and getting creative. Just wait till you see what we've got in store today...

Lynn C. submits another winner from Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. Recently, she shared her take on Kate's Leather & Looming wrap. She used 5mm strap leather from her own stash, 11/0 Durocoat Silver Seed Beads, 11/0 Picasso Seafoam Green Seed Beads,  and Crystal Fireline.  Lynn used her Deep Dish Design Tray to loom, and as she says, "probably won't use my loom again as it was so much easier.  Thanks for all the wonderful lessons and tips!  I learn so much each time I watch the videos." 

Lynn's skills with Superduos are also incredible. She can not only tame those tricky little guys into behaving just right, she's got an eye for color and design and she puts it to good use. Here, she has created a two-wrap bracelet that's a mix of Lauren Hartman's Herringbone Wrap and Janice's Seashore designs. Between her two "legs" of Metallic Gray Leather she's laddered her Superduos with Fireline in Smoke Grey. Her Superduo colors came form her own stash, they are Chalk Lazure Blue and Opaque Blue Picasso.
"I really love this Herringbone pattern and I used another pattern reversing the colors on the second half. "
We love it too, Lynn!

Continuing with this Superduo theme, I want to show off Cindy L.'s gorgeous Pathways. Cindy, from Liberty, NY, made her Pathways using Jet Metallic Suede Dark Brown and Crystal Capri Gold Matte (to DIE for!) with 8/0s in Dark Mauve Matte! With a Giant Sunflower button, I think this is a gorgeous Autumn bracelet...the colors are perfect and it's so lovely. Cindy says " I bead like I cook -- begin with a recipe and then play with it." That's a great way to look at it!

Peta from Down Under checked in with us, too! From South Australia, she sends us a really great take on Herringbone with Superduos, using one of our fabulous Superduo mixes to achieve a great look. She and I expressed a mutual love for this style of mixed colors. I've made a Herringbone using the Sylvan Woods Mix, myself, and it's fabulous. But now I want to do what Peta did, and use the Raku Mix. It's so fun! Along with 6/0 Picasso Seafoam Miyukis and Tilas in Mustard, Opaque Turquoise Green, and Burnt Sienna, her three-wrap bracelet is a showstopper. Her single wrap Herringbone on the right uses the gorgeous Picasso Opaque Green Superduos. Thanks for sharing, Peta!

Another bead mix in action: the Unions White Opaque Funky Orchid looks fantastic in Peyote! Look at how Krista from Windsor, ON, used them. She had a button in her stash given to her by a friend...she said she couldn't do this beautiful enameled thistle button justice until the Funky Orchid mix came along. I couldn't agree more! Look how perfectly these colors reflect the purples and greens of thistle...it couldn't be better! Her Peyote is on-point, making this cuff look like liquid beadwork, really amazing.  Ignis, her cute kitty, likes to get cozy and cuddly while she beads, and really enjoys Emily's (and only Emily's) videos! Too funny...If animals could bead...

Now, hold on to your hats, gang...this is some 
wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am creativity and it blew me away. Tammy D. from San Jose, CA sent me these two incredible designs using our boho bib components. In the first, Tammy creates her own multi-fiber tassels and used the Flower Child connector as a pendant to hang them from. Aren't they just fantastic? These long tassels are so on-trend right now, and you can make your own out of fiber and chain like Tammy did, and I've seen leather used as well. To go with the colorful tassels, Tammy uses a rainbow of crystals and stones. The overall effect is just magical. (Click on any of these photos to see them larger, just FYI!)

Tammy also used our new Etched Agate beads and a Modern Woman bib component to create this sensational necklace. Everything from her stone and bead choices to her wirework is interesting, and a chain tassel hanging from the Greenware Vase makes quite a statement...the whole piece makes a statement! It's like something you'd see in a magazine for a fashion shoot...wow! Tammy used the freebies we sent out from BeadFest Philly back in August to make these, and they are finally available now on our website, here!

OK, that's it for now...I promise I have MORE coming soon! Keep sharing with me, I love seeing everyone's creativity, and I love to SHARE it even more!
Happy beading,

Oct 2, 2017

Halloween Jewelry Time

Kophinos Gold 22mm Plated Pewter Charm
Just about any holiday is a good excuse for making themed jewelry, and now that October has rolled around again, that means Halloween will be here soon. Don't wait until the last minute to order your own Halloween goodies, such as beads, charms, and findings. You can create some fast and fun jewelry to wear during the entire month of October, and you only need a few themed components. For example, Kophinos charms come in sets of two and also include a jump ring. Simply add these to some ear wires for a pair of easy earrings you can make and wear in minutes.

Scary Cat Brass 15mm Plated Pewter Charm
A simple necklace design can be created with macrame knots and colorful Chinese Knotting Cord. Dangle a cute Scary Cat charm from the center. This brass cat comes with a jump ring so you can easily attach it to just about any piece of jewelry. 

Chain is another good option for fast jewelry, and decorative linked chain can add some beautiful elegance to a jewelry design. Beadshop has a large selection of chain by the foot, so you can get a little to make a bracelet or a lot to make a long necklace that has lots of drape. Add a Jack O'Lantern Charm to one of the chain's links, and you have a piece you can wear every day of the month. 

Jack O'Lantern Silver 12mm Plated Pewter Charm
Besides charms, you can infuse the Halloween spirit into your beaded jewelry by adding color through the stringing materials you select. Along with Irish waxed linen cord that comes in various shades of purple, black, orange, and yellow, you can select leather, C-Lon, or Chinese Knotting Cord from Beadshop's large selection of stringing media

Purple Full Spool 4 Ply Irish Waxed Linen
Finally, beads, of course, are an easy solution to your Halloween needs. No doubt you could spend all day browsing through Beadshop's huge selection of beads, but some possibilities include unusual Czech Crystal Orange Rainbow beads. They could be teamed up with charms and other larger beads to create a Float-Away style necklace.
4mm Crystal Orange Rainbow Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads

Vineyard Mix Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads are another option. They have layers of color starting with black glass underneath. The final result is a variegated look. 
4mm Vineyard Mix Czech Fire Polish Glass Beads
For a little less sparkle and a classic style, black is always the way to go. Gemstone lovers will gravitate to black onyx, and these are available in a number of sizes and finishes. Chunky 8mm black onyx is sold as an eight inch strand with 25 beads per strand. Soft Flex is a good stringing product to use with these large beads. 
8mm Onyx Round
We'd love to see the Halloween goodies you are cooking up for October. Remember to share on our Facebook page as well as by email to be featured here on our Blog in a future Connections Post

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...