Monday, July 27, 2009
Thursday, July 23, 2009
When choosing which type of stringing material to use, start by considering what type of design you're going to make. For example, if you're planning to make a single-strand necklace, you can use almost any stringing material. But, for a woven necklace, you must use very thin beading wire or thread.
Flexible beading wire is best for stringing projects featuring glass, crystal, metal and semi-precious beads. It combines the softness of thread with the strength of stainless steel. You choose the style of beading wire based on the flexibility you need. It's available in a variety of colors and widths. You can also use it when you want to add metallic shine to woven projects using larger beads or crystals.
Beading thread is primarily used for creating intricately woven designs. You can also use very thin beading wire for some woven designs, but thread is the typical choice for peyote stitch and other traditional seed beadwork. Beading thread should also be used when adding beaded embellishments to fabric or clothing.
WildFire or Dandyline beading thread is ideal for a variety of bead stringing and bead weaving projects. Both are extremely durable, waterproof and have near zero stretch. WildFire is thermally bonded, so it can't be pierced with a needle. Use this type of woven beading thread with hard beading needles for small diameters and collapsible eye needles for large diameters.
Many beadwork patterns call for Nymo, which is a single-strand thread. It comes in a variety of colors and you typically use it with a hard beading needle such as a #10 or #12. It is easy to thread onto a needle and it is very easy to cut with beading scissors. Since it isn't very durable in single-strand applications, it's best to use it for intricately woven designs.
Want more info? Click here to watch the video!
-Katie Hacker for Beadalon
Monday, July 20, 2009
Here's a fun charm bracelet that's perfect for summer! Assemble an eye-catching collection of treasures: pearls, crystals, ceramic beads and metallic components create a delightful mélange.
• Materials & Tools •
• 5 aqua 20mm shell disk beads
• 6 aqua/brown 10mm ceramic lentils
• 6 silver stardust 12mm disk bangles
• 6 gray 8x9mm potato freshwater pearls
• 6 gray 5x6mm rice freshwater pearls
• 6 Pacific opal 6mm crystals
• 6 Pacific opal 4mm crystals
• 12 black diamond 4mm crystals
• .018" diameter Satin Silver Beadalon 7
• Silver Elongated Cable Chain
• 6 silver Pinch Bails
• 17 silver Head Pins
• 6 silver Eye Pins
• 12 silver 4mm Jump Rings
• 18 silver #1 Crimp Beads
• Silver Lobster Clasp
• Crimping Tool
• Round Nose Pliers
• Chain Nose Pliers
• Wire Nipper
• Instructions •
1. Cut a 7" length of Elongated Cable Chain.
2. Open the first link on the chain and connect it to a Lobster Clasp.
3. Pass a Head Pin through a black diamond crystal, leave ½" and make a basic loop. Attach it to the first link on the Cable Chain. Make five more identical dangles and attach them to the following links on the Cable Chain: 7, 13, 19, 25, 31
4. Pass an Eye Pin through a potato pearl and make a basic loop. Attach one loop to a stardust disk. Connect the dangle to the second link on the Cable Chain. Make five more dangles and attach them to the following links on the Cable Chain: 8, 14, 20, 26, 32.
5. Pass a Head Pin through a black diamond crystal and a lentil and make a wrapped loop to connect the dangle to the third link on the Cable Chain. Repeat for the following links on the Cable Chain: 9, 15, 21, 27, 33.
6. Cut a 2" length of Beadalon 7 and pass it through the fourth link on the Cable Chain. Hold the wire ends together and pass them through a Crimp Bead. Crimp it. String a 4mm Pacific opal onto one wire end and attach a Crimp Bead to hold it in place. String a rice pearl onto the other end and attach a Crimp Bead to hold it in place. Repeat for the following links on the Cable Chain: 10, 16, 22, 28, 34.
7. Attach a Pinch Bail to each 6mm Pacific opal crystal. Connect two Jump Rings together and attach one to the Pinch Bail loop; repeat for each Pinch Bail dangle. Attach one dangle to each of the following links on the Cable Chain: 5, 11, 17, 23, 29, 35.
8. Pass a Head Pin through an aqua disk and make a wrapped loop to connect it to the sixth link on the Cable Chain. Repeat for the following links on the Cable Chain: 12, 18, 24, 30.
9. To fasten the bracelet, connect the Lobster Clasp to the last link on the Cable Chain.
- Katie Hacker for Beadalon
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Beadalon Design Team is really excited about these collections and we've been whipping up new ideas using multiple colors. Check them out in the Design Workshop.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Trends come and go.
A stylish woman pays attention but is never a slave to them. This summer is all about vibrant, bold, saturated colors! From electric neons to vivid jewel box to feminine pale florals to the color of Summer 2009 yellow...the palette is all over the map. Looks ranging from ethnic-inspired and tribal patterns, bold florals, strong geometrics, long fringe, butterfly accents, 80s era
silhouettes, harem pants and fairy tale inspired designs made for one of the most diverse runway seasons in years.
Mixing and matching styles is de rigueur and it appears that the standard fashion rules have been set aside at least through 2009. Short shorts pair with structured jackets and platform sandals; sheer, ruched, one-shoulder goddess dresses are worn with chunky jewels and gladiator sandals; tribal-influenced fabrics and shapes are mixed and matched with abandon...it’s a free-for-all and it may be making more than a few of us wonder...what jewelry goes with that?!
The haute couture designers are defying the rules of jewelry too. Big, bold, outrageous looks were all over the runways and the fashion magazines.
Lacroix explored skeletal forms making huge laser cut open jet black acrylic cuffs and collars. Pucci and Cavalli showed larger than life focal pendants on long chains. Ana Sui and Christian Dior explored African tribal looks in woven beads and oversized metal fetish dolls. Dolce and Gabbana took a cue from cutting edge designer Tom Binns 1999 calamity chains collection and showed chaotic layers of chains twisted and bundled into chunky collars. Valentino featured large layered bib style necklaces and used thick roping to add accents to shoulders and form large, intricately-woven neck pieces and bracelets. The cage effect made popular by the now iconic cage boot created by Stephan Pilati for Yves St. Laurent is being reinterpreted endlessly in jewelry and accessories.
How does the designer interpret these trends into his or her own work?
Remember that runway design is usually larger than life and you can scale it down to suit your style. Don’t be afraid to use materials you’d usually overlook this season. Large and light weight acrylic and plastic beads are no longer being snubbed as inferior. Mixing ‘high’ and ‘low’ materials is the norm. Bits and pieces of old rhinestone jewelry are being integrated into new designs. Take apart some old pieces you find at yard sales, flea markets and thrift stores and repurpose them into something fresh and new!
Beadalon has a huge variety of foundations and accents that are the perfect starting point for bold and beautiful designs. QuickLinks™ make easy work of multiple layers of bold chains and can be used as accents for other creations. Memory wire is a strong and stiff foundation for bigger, bolder beads and retains its shape even when you add layers of cascading chain, charms and beads to the center, attach a clasp to the ends if your piece gets heavy.
Use a 49 strand .018 or larger Beadalon wire to fill the holes of your bolder beads and keep your more substantial pieces sturdy. Make your own caged wired creations using ColourCraft and German Style Wire. Use the Beadalon knotter tool and silk to created wispy, layered fantasy looks.
Whatever your style, look to Beadalon for a vast arsenal of professional quality jewelry making products to help you express it.
All images and designs are copyrighted by Margot Potter and are intended for inspiration only. Not for reproduction or resale.
- Margot Potter for Beadalon
The Impatient Crafter™
Key Words: Beadalon, Jewelry Making, Beading, Summer Jewelry Trends 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Disney World isn't the only reason to visit Orlando this summer!
The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Summer Show. Comes to town on July 27-30. We are excited to debut over 30 new products including beading wire, findings and tools at the show. Although the CHA Show is only open to the trade, a special consumer SuperShow will take place July 31 - August 1. For a sneak peak of one of our newest innovations, click here.
Beadalon will also sponsor a workshop at the show. The ZigZagged Necklace by Margot Potter is featured in the co-authored book, Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed (F+W Pubs 2009).
Instructor: Margot Potter, Beadalon Design Team member
Wednesday, July 29, 7-9am
-Yvette Rodriguez for Beadalon
Monday, July 6, 2009
If you don't have a project in mind, I recommend scooping a bunch of leftover beads into a baggie and taking them along for a bracelet challenge. In addition to your pocket tools, you'll need a spool of Beadalon 49, crimp tubes and a few clasps. Be sure to include some metallic beads for accents. Think outside your usual color combinations and challenge yourself to create a bunch of bracelets that will make great last-minute gifts in the chilly months to come!
Get more ideas for beading on the go in this quick Beading Lesson video.
- Katie Hacker for Beadalon