All for The Love of Beads

Beads are found all over the world. Many different cultures believe in prayer beads. Some people believe the use of beads helps them to recite their prayers. What about “worry beads?” Middle East businessmen have been known to wear a tasseled strand of 33 beads they call “worry beads,” to help them make decisions. As for me, it would take much more than a necklace of 33 beads to help me make decisions. One never knows though until you try. Maybe I should put together a tassel strand of 33 beads the next time I am up against decision making.

During the Middle Ages, Europeans made beads primarily for religious purposes. In some regions there were laws against wearing any kind of jewelry except prayer beads, the rosary. Many other great bead traditions emerged. Beads have been found in much of our excavations. Historians study the finds to learn about ancestors. Some of the things they have learned from the study of beads found are:

trade route facts
technological advances of materials and manufacturing methods
evolving fashions and habits of generations before us

Beads continue to increase in popularity and value. People have become more and more fascinated by the history of beads as well as their significance to different cultures. Beads of all kinds is full of a rich history many people find fascinating as they work with them and create more and more designs. Innovation in bead designs is ongoing daily.

It is interesting to note Turkish eye beads found all over Turkey were and probably still are used to ward off the “evil eye.” Who is the evil eye? I would say it is the devil in my personal culture. As bead artisans learn more about beads and bead jewelry making we also pick up little tidbits along the way regarding how they have been used, and why they have been used or worn. Once we become fired up with enthusiasm about beads, the creative process of making bead jewelry kicks in as well. My first love was for the beads themselves, and not the actual finished jewelry products.

I know it must be exciting to travel the world, visit their local markets and hunt for beads. Africa, Eastern Europe, India, the Middle East, the Far East are all interesting locations for bead hunters, I am sure, as well as unique bead jewelry making traditions. It would take some time to learn differences in what is real and what is fake.

Glass was the most common material used to make beads during the Neolithic era of time in Europe and the Middle East. The Middle East is part of the”exotic lands.” They also had beads of amber, gold and semiprecious stones. I really think a lot of us just by human nature crave that which is novel to us.

Germany is known for their wooden toys. Germany’s wooden beads follow right along after their tradition of making wooden toys.

As for now, I truly am not interested in making beads. I think there is enough to discover already made without creating more. Beads have such a rich and fascinating history it is hard to just skip over to putting them together as jewelry pieces without knowing a little bit about where it all began. For the love of beads, a jewelry artisan most likely emerges.

Visit Carmilita Earrings at https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings for jewelry gifts.

 

Strung Chains Part 1

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: Carmilita Earrings

The simplest form of bead work is, of course, the strung chains. How we loved, as children, to make necklaces of beads or berries! To be allowed to string beads was one of the compensations for a rainy day. It still has a fascination for many of us. Women all over the world have felt the charm, and curious and beautiful are some of the chains they have made. Some have used beads of gold, silver, and semi-precious stones; others beads of shell, amber, and coral; while others still make chains of wooden beads or string beans or berries.

Black-eyed Susans — the tiny scarlet beans tipped with black that tourists bring from Florida — may be pierced and strung and make gay chains.

It would seem strange to be able to pick beads for a chain in one’s own garden, yet that is what is done by two girls on Long Island. They have a plant on which grow Job’s-tears. These tear-shaped seeds, ranging in color from pearly white to black (there are brown ones, too), make attractive muff-chains.

The gray ones are strung with cut-steel seed beads, two between each of the Job’s-tears, and the brown in the same way, using gold beads to separate them. But beware, if you raise Job’s-tears, of using them in their natural state. They should be boiled like chestnuts before stringing, for a tiny grub is often found in them, and he may at any time make a meal of the silk on which the beads are strung, or appear on your muff inopportunely.

Of the seed beads No. 0 are most used for these strung chains, with here and there a large Venetian bead in colors which harmonize with the body of the chain. The simplest are strung on a single strand of purse-silk or dental floss about two yards long. Fan-chains may be shorter — about a yard and three-quarters.

Other chains are made with two strands, which are strung for a few inches with seed beads, then twisted like a rope. A large bead is slipped on, to hold the twisted strands, and a few inches more are strung with seed beads. This continues the whole length of the chain.

In finishing, the ends are tied with a firm knot. When chains are simply intended for ornament they are finished with more or less elaborate tassels, and in calculating the length of silk or floss enough should be allowed for them. One such chain is made as follows: Pale-yellow Chain

To be continued in Part 2: Strung Chains: The Pale-Yellow Chain

Reference Used: Copyright 1904 by Doubleday, Page and Company Published May 1904 (in public domain due to expiration of copyright)

White, Mary. How to Do Beadwork Complete with 100 Illustrations (Kindle Location 38). . Kindle Edition.

re-written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at Carmilita Earrings: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

Using Venetian Glass Beads and Seed Beads in Bead Work

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Originally Venetian glass beads were made by hand. A piece of molten glass, while still hot, was pierced, and two boys, holding each an end of the soft but stiffening mass with pincers, ran as fast as possible in opposite directions. The glass, thus drawn to a surprising thinness, still kept its tube-like form: the hole in the middle never closed. It was then cut into tiny lengths as nearly alike as possible. In order to smooth the rough surface of the beads, quantities of them were put into a drum with ashes and turned rapidly for some time.

Many of the large beads used for strung chains are made in this country. They come in soft, pale colors of opaque glass and in the same colors in pearly finish. The imitations of baroque pearl can hardly be distinguished from the genuine. In the most perfect of these beads seven coats of pigment are used, and they are filled with a special kind of wax, to give them weight and strength. Other large beads which are used in strung chains are highly colored and flecked or ornamented with gold or silver. All the colors and combinations we are accustomed to see in Venetian glass are found in these beads.

Then there are the seed beads. As one looks at a display of these, the masses of shimmering color make one long for an artist’s ability to combine them in things of beauty and use. With the larger, or E beads, one can fashion candle-shades or strung chains. The smaller seed beads range in size from o or i (as they are called by some dealers), which are the coarsest, to 5-0. The very tiniest beads sold in this country are 5-0 beads, with one side cut, which some dealers call 6-0. They come in small skeins, while the others are generally sold in bunches of eight skeins each. These are the beads for weaving, sewing, knitting, and crocheting.

For stringing bead chains dental floss has been found most satisfactory. It may be used with a No. 8 needle. Some persons like the French lace threads for the woof strands in bead-weaving, but an authority on weaving, Miss Eppendorff, prefers the numbered linen thread or Kerr’s cotton No. 000, as the French threads are not entirely reliable as to size. Two spools of the same number will be apt to vary in coarseness. The warp thread should be one-half again as coarse as the woof — No. 60, for example, for warp and No. 90 for woof, with a No. 11 needle when the beads are 4-0. No. 11 needles are also used when No. 000 cotton is chosen for the woof.

Often, when the background is to be of another colour than white, it may be advisable to use silk threads — letter D in buttonhole twist for the warp and letter A sewing-silk for the woof, with a No. 12 needle. These may be used with as fine beads as 5-0. In weaving with silk it will be wise to wax both warp and woof threads. In fact, some bead workers consider this essential with cotton and linen as well.

Reference Used: Copyright 1904 by Doubleday, Page and Company Published May 1904 (in public domain due to expiration of copyright)

White, Mary. How to Do Beadwork Complete with 100 Illustrations (Kindle Location 38). . Kindle Edition.

Re-Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan. Purchase handmade bead jewelry at Carmilita Earrings, https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

Is it Time to Get Creative at Beading

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: Carmilita Earrings

In this article we can take a look at several different kinds of thread, and some basic knots. A little further down in the article I will tell you the name of the book I am reviewing for your further reading and trying out some of the projects presented in the book.

Anyone trying to learn more about the craft and art of beading needs to be familiar with terms of all the bells and whistles it takes to proceed and to learn from the experts which is best for which project. I like to be prepared having all my materials and tools laid out beforehand as well as shopping around for best prices. I have to know what I am price checking before I can price check. This is the information I hope to give you in this article and many others I am writing now about the art of beading.

They might all sound just about the same, but if you read them word for word, you will find they are all different and will offer you perhaps some information you did not have before you read my book review.

If what I tell you about the book sounds like something you want to read or has projects you want to try, then go further and buy the book.

In my series of beading articles on bead book reviews, I am like the captain that goes out to sea first and brings back the news of whether or not you should make the trip as well and even more than that, if you decide not to make the trip or buy the book, perhaps just a little bit of information you did not have before is my goal.

Types of Thread

Parallel filament nylon thread such as Nymo or C-Lon is durable and easy to thread, which is certainly a plus in my estimation, yet this writer says it can also be prone to stretching and fraying. It is best used in bead weaving and bead embroidery.

Piled Nylon Thread such as Silamide is a very strong and durable thread, and more resistant to fraying than parallel filament nylon thread. Writer says it is best used for twisted fringe, bead crochet, and bead work that needs a lot of body.

Piled gel-spun polyethylene such as Power Pro or Dandyline is said to be almost unbreakable, it doesn’t stretch and it resist fraying. Because of the thickness of this thread it can be difficult to make multiple passes through a bead. This thread is ideal for stitching with larger beads like pressed glass and crystals.

Parallel filament GSP such as fireline is extremely strong, does not stretch and resists fraying. Be aware that crystals may cut through this thread and smoke colored can leave a black residue on hands and beads. This thread is most appropriate for bead stitching.

Polyester thread such as Gutermann does not stretch and comes in many colors. Be aware that it can become fuzzy with use. Use this thread for bead crochet and bead embroidery. Thread must also match the fabric.

Flexible beading wire is stronger than thread and does not stretch. Use flexible beading wire for stringing most gemstones, crystals and glass beads.

Thread Tips:

Adding Thread or To Add A thread

Sew into the bead work several rows or rounds prior to the point where the last bead was added to leave a short tail.

Basic Knots:

Overhand Knot: Make a loop with thread, pull the thread through loop and tighten.

Square Knot: 1. Cross one end of thread over and under the other end. Pull both ends to tighten the first half of knot. 2. Cross the first end of thread over and under the other end. Pull both ends to tighten.

In this book you can also learn how to do the Surgeon’s Knot, how to stop a bead, crochet slip knot and chain stitch, and beaded back stitching.

Other basic stitches taught are:

The Brick Stitch
The Herringbone Stitch
The Ladder Stitch and a Cross weave Technique
Forming a Ring

The Basics of Stringing and Wire work which includes:

Crimping
Opening and Closing Loops and Jump Rings
Making a Plain Loop
Making a Wrapped Loop
Wraps Looped Above a Top-Drilled Bead

In this book are some stunning single stitch projects including:

Netting: A Hex-a-lot Bracelet in a zig-zag pattern of hex-cut sead beads. This is a design by Alice Kharon.

A gorgeous Peyote Stitch Floral Garland Bracelet, a Brick Stitch pair of earrings and many more, all complete with step by step instructions, colorful photographs, and many diagrams. All total I counted about 78 different and stunning jewelry projects. This book would be enough to keep one person busy for the next 10 years or more in my opinion. Will I try any of them? I might. They sure are beautiful and would be wonderful displays in any art show as well as for sale in your Etsy Shops. There are more single stitch projects detailed in the book.

Here are some of the names of projects:

Deco Egyptian Bracelet
Flower-Path Bracelet
Christmas Sweater Bracelet
Pumpkin Patch Bracelet
and of course many more up to about 78 is what I counted.

Resource Used: Book I am reviewing is entitled: Creative Beading. Vol. 11: The Best Projects From a Year of Bead and Button Magazine by the editors of Bead & Button Magazine. It has enlightened me to subscribe to the Bead & Button Magazine as well. I may never lift my head back up again!

Book Review Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

How to Make a Brand New Pair of Earrings or Bracelet in a Couple of Hours

Purchase Handmade Bead Jewelry at Carmilita Earrings

Learn to make jewelry using two hole beads! Having only two holes makes them relatively easy and quick to create projects. Two hole beads come in a variety of colors, textures, styles and shapes.

What is required to get started?

Good lighting
A needle and thread (try using braided fishing line for two hole beads)
and a pile of beads
hardware or jewelry components such as clasps, jump rings, chains, etc.

Some brand names of beads to help you get started are:

SuperDuos made by Matubo in Czech Republic
Twin Beads made by Preciosa in Czech Republic
Seed Beads, Japanese Miyuki or Toho

Be highly aware that seed beads are easily crushed to a powder. They are made from glass and will shatter to a powder easily. So be careful when using the seed beads in your designs.

Tools for projects using two hole beads include:

Needles (size 11 or 12 or most projects, your pattern will specify the correct needle size, I would buy only the needle size I need for a project instead of an entire supply of different sizes you might not ever use).

Small Sharp Scissors

Chain Nose and Long Nose Pliers

Bead Mat

Bead Scoop

Awl: This tool is useful for when you find a blocked hole in a bead and also handy for untangling threads.

Two Methods of Attaching a Clasp are:

Using a loop of beads
Using jump rings

Using a loop of beads:
Take thread through bead at the end of piece, a new loop of beads are added going through the attachment ring on the clasp

Take thread back through first bead of the new loop and then through the bead at the end of the piece of jewelry again

Sew around these beads for added strength

Using Jump Rings:

Open and close jump rings by twisting them apart

Place the open jump ring through a loop of beads at the end of the jewelry and through the attachment ring on the clasp and close again

If you would like to learn more about working with two hole beads, check out the book entitled “Learn to Use Two Hole Beads,” with 20 Fabulous Projects, A Beginner’s Guide to Designing with Twin Beads, SuperDuos, and More, written by: Teresa Morse

Reference Used for Book Review: Learn to Use Two Hole Beads by Teresa Morse

Book Review written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

Jewelry Designs Unaffected by the Passage of Time

Carmilita Earrings

We all know about fashion fads, and how they come into being every year and go out of popularity sometimes about as fast as they came in. There are, however, some jewelry designs that are never affected by the passage of time. They are elegant and beautiful in any time era and become classics.

I just stumbled upon a book showcasing several classical bead work jewelry designs using the following stitch techniques:

Ladder and Herringbone Stitch
Netting
the Peyote Stitch
Tubular Even Count Peyote Stitch with a Step-up
Zip Flat to Tubular or Flat to Circular
Right Angle Weave
Basic Knots
Half Hitch Knot
Overhand Knot

Some of the projects in this book are:

A Renaissance Cameo Necklace with two versions. One is embellished simply and elegantly hanging from metal braided cording and clasped with beaded pearl buttons. Version two is my favorite one and dangles from a strand of natural pearls, closed with a vermeil S-hook. The Pearl version is the one I would try. Either way you prefer, this necklace is one of the “timeless and classical” pieces of bead jewelry that just never goes out of style.

Techniques used to create the above necklace are:

Braiding
Peyote Stitch Even Count
Peyote Stitch Odd Count Technique, Step Up, Step Down
Peyote Stitch Tubular, even count with decreasing
Stitch in the Ditch

There are very detailed, step by step instructions for all the techniques and for the making of each of these versions of the Cameo Necklace. The layouts in this book are fantastic complete with beautiful color photos of the finished pieces and many diagrams.

If you are a person who likes to sew, I think these projects would be ideal as you use beading needles and tapestry needles. Other materials include:

A contemporary or antique cameo
Natural pearls or or Czech Glass Pearls (for the Pearl version)
Seed Beeds
Cylinder Beads
Nylon Beading Thread

For the other version materials needed are:
Silver Silk Capture (knitted wire)
Craft Wire
Seed Beeds
Pearls
The Cameo
and a few other different materials

The first version is said to be intermediate-advanced level. The second versions, which I like best, is said to be intermediate.

There are a couple pair of earring patterns I liked as well.

There are about 15 different classical jewelry design projects in this book. Names are:

Renaissance Cameo Necklace
Earrings for the Dutch Mona Lisa
The Key to Unlocking the Past
Forentine Rosette Cuff
Hebe’s Floral Earrings
Time in Motion Ring
Labyrinth Bracelet
Amalies Pearl Necklace
The Queen’s Lace Bracelet
A Token of Love and Affection
Byzantine Cuff
Necklace of Dancing Circles
Pearl Inlay Earrings
An Elegant Ladies’ Broach

As I mentioned above there are step by step, detailed instructions with many photos and diagrams. All projects are very beautiful, elegant and have a feel to me as being “romantic.” I would think as an extremely special gift, some of these projects would be worthwhile sitting down and learning how to do. Honestly, if a person never wore any of them, they would be works of art one could display in a glass cabinet that would also make could pass down through generations in families art work. I am certain they would be popular pieces at any art show.

The book is entitled: “Timeless Beadwork Designs” by: Cynthia Rutledge

Reference Used: “Timeless Beadwork Designs” written by Cynthia Rutledge, copyright 2016 by Sterling Publishing, ISBN # 978-1-4547-0875-9

Book Review Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita Earrings: https://www.etsy.com/shop/carmilitaearrings

Beads and their Special Powers

Beads are like the very first of all things when it comes to jewelry making somewhat like Adam and Eve were the first of all living human beings. Beads are the first “specimens” of materials for jewelry making.

The most universal forms of jewelry started out as bracelets and necklaces. Even for me as a young child, having pierced ears was something extremely peculiar and very few girls in my community had pierced ears. Bracelets and necklaces were all around me but very few pairs of earrings and even fewer “pierced” earrings.

Early in our history world wide men and women began making jewelry from nuts, berries, teeth and bones. They soon progressed to materials like jade, rubies and pearls incorporating these into pieces of jewelry to wear.

There is even evidence necklaces were part of the stone age people’s wardrobe as excavations of early cave homes revealed pieces of shells and ivory with holes that looked as if these materials had once been used as a necklace.

Beads of hammered gold, beads inlaid with precious metals, lapis lazuli and intricately carved jade and carnelian, which were all designed to be as symbols of wealth, power, good luck and to even ward off evil spirits were found in Egypt, the Orient and America.

It is well documented that some cultures believe the use of beads provide protection. Some of the bones and shells found in the caves from stone age civilization have symbols carved that people believe have some kind of meaning about magic or protection.

Various cultures associate certain stones with specific helps. Agate, for example, is in some cultures thought to guard against spider bites and thunderstorms. Some cultures believe the stones of Jasper can bring rainfall, and amber is protection against demons.
I can say only that I do not hold any of these beliefs about beads. I just think they are pretty to look and make beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
Carmilita’s Earrings: https://carmilitaearrings.etsy.com

 

dangle earrings agnes

 

Materials Used:
2 Glass Powder Blue with Chocolate and Beige Swirls Flat Beads 1 inch wide and 1 1/4 inch long
2 tiny cat’s eye beige beads 2 mm
2 tiny cat’s eye beige beads 3 mm
2 Dark Amethyst Glass Bicone Beads 8 mm
2 silver plated french fish earring hooks

Agnes Price: $15 (includes Free Shipping)

 

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Bead Jewelry Will Always Be Fashionable

Beaded jewelry has been around for thousands of years and it is not going out of style anytime soon. In fact, beaded jewelry’s popularity is on the rise. There are specific cultures such as some tribes of people who live in Africa that make and wear beaded jewelry as part of the everyday dress code so to speak.

Their jewelry is as much a part of their culture and appearance as clothes, if not more, as many groups of people in Africa wear very little clothing. You are more likely to see a string of beads or earrings in the nose and elsewhere on the body than even clothes.

Beaded jewelry has definitely become fashionable for millions of people around the world. In my life and I am now 58 years old I have never once thought of beaded jewelry, purchasing it and the last thing on my mind was to actually be one handcrafting beaded jewelry.

I actually first fell in love with the vintage Czech, Japanese and Chinese glass stones and started making stud earrings. I love the intricate designs and artwork on some of the Cherry Brand especially Japanese glass stones. The stories behind how those stones were made is remarkable as well. Much of it was made by Japanese rice farmers. After they worked in their rice fields during the day, they spent their nights crafting these beautiful flower designs and other designs onto glass stones. I don’t even look for anything else now. When I want a pair of earrings I look for stones or beads.

I enjoy wearing my handmade creations much more than any other kind of jewelry I have ever owned. Bracelets and necklaces have never been a big part of my wardrobe until now. Is it vanity? Not for me. I just love the creation process and the feeling that the piece is uniquely mine. Most of it is easy to make. There are more advanced beading techniques, but for the most part, everything is easy to make at least for me. You do have to be patient and have a steady hand plus good eye sight.

I have found some special lights especially made for jewelry making. One I am planning to purchase which is one of the simplest is a magnifier table base lamp. This lamp features a 3 1/4″ 3 diopter lens with 3/4″ 8 diopter insert lens to provide a detailed look at your work. The lamp has a flexible 12 inch gooseneck design that allows the user to adjust the lamp to various heights and positions. It is easy-to-operate with an on/off light switch. Cost for this particular lamp I am planning to purchase is $30.

Although the materials for making beaded jewelry is quite inexpensive the resulting works of jewelry art is what makes the piece valuable. The creativity involved in the design, if you design it yourself is the key component to beadwork art that gives it much greater value than more expensive jewels you purchase from regular jewelry stores.

Even if you assemble a kit from a pattern or design someone else created the end result in my opinion is always more fascinating than just plain jewelry you could go out and purchase from a jewelry store. I am amazed at how all the individual components fit together to actually make something that is wearable.

You can throw all the beads out on a mat and they are just beads of different sizes and colors combined with the jewelry components all laying there on the mat looks like one big mess of “nothing.” When assembled all together into a necklace or bracelet it is like hearing music in the air for me. I derive a lot of pleasure right after putting pieces together. It is like a “high” of some kind I am calling a “bead jewelry artisan high.” I hang necklaces and bracelets I make everywhere in my environment here, on door knobs, on drawer knobs just to view the sparkling beauty.

Fashion trends come and go from season to season, but stone or beaded jewelry I think will always be in our midst somewhere. It is here to stay and will never go out of style for some people. I don’t follow style. I follow what I like and nothing more than this.

Stone jewelry was worn by Cleopatra, kings, queens and other royal dignitaries and has been used to celebrate many different things in the lives of people world wide. Many celebrities wear bead fashion jewelry. Beaded jewelry can be personalized as well. Even though patterns are similar, beaded jewelry can be put together using so many different types of beads and jewelry components it is easy to come up with a unique line of jewelry all your own. The creativity and uniqueness of design is what it is all about rather than the price tag.

Those who create and wear beaded jewelry set a class and style of their own, and some sort of bead jewelry will always be fashionable.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan
P1090560

 

Materials used:
2 silver plated French hooks
2 silver plated 8 mm crystal bead caps
2 silver plated eye pins
2 silver plated head pins
3 pink glass crackle beads 6 mm
2 Chinese porcelain 12 mm beads (painted in a Victorian rose design)

She will be shipped in an organza bag within secure wrapping.

Her price of $15 includes shipping charges.

Carmilita Earrings

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Bead Types for Beading Projects

If you are in love with beads and bead jewelry or any kind of bead product you know the feelings of joy as you walk down aisles of a crafts store and see beautiful displays of beads. Do you know the different types of beads and which type to purchase for your beading projects?

Some things you may want to consider before purchasing beads for beading projects are:

What is the purpose or use of the beaded project? For example if you are making a pair of earrings, you don’t want to choose heavy weight beads necessarily, although I have seen some long dangling earrings that look extremely heavy and there are people who do not mind the weight but just want the look. But the project you are making will determine the type of beads to use, so you first need to decide what exactly you want to make from beads.

Larger beads means you will need to most likely purchase less in number, however, larger beads will be more expensive as well.
After you decide how many beads you will need to purchase then decide upon the type of beads and jewelry findings to purchase. For example, if you want an antique look in your earring designs then purchase antique copper or antique bronze jewelry findings. Antique copper and antique bronze jewelry components mixed with just about any kind of bead will have that “vintage” look in a finished product.

Maybe you want a Midwestern piece or an American Native Indian look, then you might go with wood beads or turquoise beads and maybe even a mixture of these beads together for necklaces and earrings if it is jewelry you are making. You can use beads in a variety of other projects such as handbags and on clothing. I saw just recently a beautiful material handbag that had a bead handle resembling a bead or bead bracelet, very pretty and would be easy to make.

The theme of your project always determines what type of beads, what sizes and what colors to purchase. You might also like to just pick out different beads in styles and colors you like and then allow the creative juices to flow as you look over your stash of beads and jewelry findings to complete beading projects. And of course any pattern you are following from online blogs, books or magazines will give you exact size and quantity of beads to use as well as colors of which you can substitute however you wish to do.

In the category of glass beads there are sub categories as well. There are fire polished, plain, faceted cuts, blown glass, lamp work beads and the Aurora Borealis beads that are so well known for their extra sparkling effects. There are Czech glass beads and beautiful sparkling Swarovski glass crystal beads to choose from as well. The world of beads is a fascinating place to journey through. Anytime you see the word “Czech Glass” or Swarovski Glass Beads” you can pretty well count on good quality in those brand name beads.

As you progress through beading projects using kits or patterns from others, you will learn many different terms that applies just to the art of beading. It is not such an important thing that you need to study it for any length of time as you will learn it as you go along most of the time. However, it is still a good idea to have a grasp of what is available on the market today.

I see a lot of beads in packages at Wal mart nowadays. They are labeled “glass beads,” but lack the sparkle I like to see as is in the Czech and Swarovski Glass beads. The packages are low priced as well and may be good for a starting beader to learn techniques from, but in my opinion, I still like to get good quality beads to work with. Some of these beads I am seeing are plastic and acrylic. I don’t much like the acrylic beads, although I do like the acrylic flower beads I am using a lot in Carmilita’s Flowers In Bloom jewelry projects. There are exceptions in that some acrylic beads are even better than others. There is high quality and low quality in everything you buy, even with beads.

Metal beads are a popular bead many beaders work with today. Hematite metal beads come in numerous varieties of magnetic and non-magnetic types. Some of the highest quality in hematite metal beads are those which are somewhat heavy-weight with a nice perfect finish. They make excellent focus beads or accents for bead jewelry bracelets and necklaces.

Skull and pirate beads are interesting to work with around the Halloween season for making Halloween jewelry. Look for lead-free zinc alloy metal in these type of beads and charms.

Many beaders like using pearls in their designs. I am one of those. There are high quality Czech glass pearl beads as well as Freshwater Pearls that are offered in numerous sizes and colors by many bead retail outlets. I rather use “glass” pearls than acrylic pearls.

Spacer beads in sterling silver, silver plated, gold plated, antique bronze, antique copper, antique silver, gunmetal, hematite and rhinestone covered are essential in building jewelry designs. These are sort of like “staples” in a beader’s stash that you can purchase in greater quantities when on sale.

Miyuki brand Japanese square beads make interesting additions to beading designs. Choose ones made by the makers of Delica for the highest quality in this type of bead. They will add a very unique touch to your beading projects.

As you can see in this brief article there is a whole new world out there just made up of “beads.” It is a creative journey for anyone looking for something fun to do as a hand craft and also makes great gift ideas as well.

Written by: Connie Limon, Bead Jewelry Artisan

 

dangle earrings zena

 

Materials Used:

2 Silver Plated 11 x 15 mm Leverback Earrings
2 Silver Plated Head Pins
2 Silver Plated Eyepins
2 Silver Plated 4 x 10 mm 7-Leaf Bead Caps
2 Silver-Plated 2 x 8 mm Filigree Bead Caps
4 Silver-plated 4 mm Ridged Round Metal Beads
2 Silver-Plated 2 x 6 mm Beaded Rondelles
2 Yellow 6 x 12 mm Flower Beads
2 Melon 7 x 10 mm Flower Beads
2 Sunburst 4 mm Glass Crystal Bicones
2 Emerald 11 x 7 mm Glass Crystal Teardrop Beads

 

The Uniqueness of Handmade Beaded Jewelry

A lot of people like to wear handmade jewelry. The shape and style of handmade jewelry you choose can enhance your appearance. You can use handmade jewelry to show your unique fashion style and/or serve as a reflection of your character. It is one way of being original and telling the world you are an individual with a style all your own.

Most people admire celebrities of some kind and for different reasons which include their unique style. It would be nice to be able to look like some of the celebrities and wear the jewelry pieces they wear, however, if that is not possible and it is not for most of us, we can shine forth just as unique and glamorous as some of them using handmade jewelry and accessories.

Handmade jewelry is one the best ways I know to create a style all your own. Inspire others with the handmade earrings, bracelets and other pieces of jewelry. An everyday outfit can transform into an extraordinary outfit without a whole lot of cost when you choose handmade jewelry pieces to adorn yourself.

Handmade beaded earrings and matching bracelets can add color and sparkle that otherwise would not be present. I am always cheered up when I see beautiful beaded necklaces, earrings and bracelets on other people of bright colors and sparkles. It is just something that evokes emotion in me like no other kind of jewelry. Jewelry helps to enhance the appearance of the face, or draws attention to the neckline of a simple dress or blouse. Jewelry can accentuate your waist, handmade barrettes help to enhance the appearance of your hair color and hair styles. You would be amazed at how just a few pieces of handmade beaded jewelry brightens up your entire look.

You are unique and this is why your jewelry also should be unique. Handmade beaded jewelry is a great way to update older clothes you have in your closet, make an old outfit seem like a brand new outfit with the additon of colorful and sparkly beads.

Czech glass beads are some of my favorite to work with. Preciosa components were first registered in Bohemia in 1915. They offer the widest range of components for the jewelry, handmade jewelry and fashion jewelry with an inventory including more than 425 thousand components. Preciosa is a number one choice for many jewelry artisans. These beautiful stones and beads are made in the Czech Republic.

Preciosa stones are cut from synthetic crystals which is the highest quality. They are able to cut fine round stones from cubic zirconia in sizes ranging from 0.50 to 8.00 mm and they guarantee the maximum optical purity of their final products. Preciosa is also a supplier of round stones cut from synthetic spinel, synthetic corundum and nanogems. The most outstanding feature of these stones is their exceptional stability.

Swarovski glass beads is another superior name in handmade jewelry. Nothing seems to sparkle quite like Swarovski glass beads. Swarovski gemstones come from Austria. Genuine Swarovski brand glass crystal beads are the highest quality crystal beads available on the market today.

Shop for handmade beaded jewelry next time you want to dress up an old outfit. Start your own beaded jewelry collections.

Written by: Connie Limon
P1090958

 

The necklace is 22 inches long.
The bracelet is approximately 8 inches long
The earrings hang about one inch from the hook

Materials Used:
26 inches of Antique Copper-Colored 0.35 mm Buddy Braids
1 Antique Copper 17mm Toggle Clasp
2 Antique Copper 2x1mm Crimp Beads
2 Antique Copper 4mm Crimp Covers
22 Antique Copper 6x13mm3-Branch Bead Caps
24 Antique Copper 3x4mm Thick Rondelle Metal Beads
22 Antique Copper 2x6mm Beaded Rondelle Metal Beads
24 Antique Copper 4mm Ridge3d Round Metal Beads
11 Turquoise 12 mm Czech Fire Polished Bead
36 Gold 8x5mm Glass Crystal Rondelles

 

 

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