Monday, August 30, 2010

Focus on the Clasp


A pretty clasp can take your jewelry designs from nice to fabulous, and there's no reason to hide an amazing clasp in the back. Switch up your design style by creating a necklace where the clasp is the focal point, either in the center like the necklace shown here, or on the side in an asymmetrical design.

If you're looking for economical clasps with an upscale look, check out Beadalon's Upper Clasp findings. They're fashionable, premium quality findings that mimic the high-end look, feel, and function of more costly, precious metal clasps. A combination of genuine Austrian crystals, high quality imitation pearls and cameos, and intricate piercings make each clasp one-of-a-kind.

Use an Upper Clasp to transform your design from a bracelet or necklace into a true keepsake, or make Upper Clasp the focal point of your design. All Upper Clasp findings are made in Europe from nickel free components and have a brilliant electroplated Nickel-free Gold or Rhodium finish. 

-Katie Hacker
Katiedids™

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bead Fest Philadelphia 2010

Wow, what a fun show Bead Fest Philly was! This was our 5th year of being a proud sponsor for the show. 

We loved talking to so many people about Beadalon products and showing them our beautiful designs on display. We received so many compliments on our live demos by our Beadalon Design Team Member, Fernando Dasilva, and Product Manager, Wyatt White. They answered many beading, stringing, wire-wrapping questions and everyone had fun just watching them in action. 

We had several Beadalon Distributors; Bead Warehouse, Bella Venetian Beads, Horizon Mineral, and Primitive Earth Bead that sold out on a lot of their Beadalon merchandise! Our Beadalon prize giveaway contest encouraged tons of people to participate for their chance to win over $250 worth of Beadalon & Artistic Wire products. Stay tuned for our next blog post and we’ll announce the winner!










Monday, August 23, 2010

Making a Katiedids™ Pendant

There are so many possibilities for Katiedids™ Creative Component! Here's a super simple pendant featuring Swarovksi Elements crystals:


1. String one 8mm clear 4mm round Swarovksi Elements crystal onto a medium ball head pin and place it in the center of the double circle pendant. Pass the head pin through the drilled holes and make a wrapped loop above the pendant to connect the head pin to an enhancer bail.


2. Cut a 4" length of .018" Beadalon 19 and pass one end under the head pin inside the smaller channel on the pendant. String 14 golden shadow 4mm round Swarovksi Elements crystals onto the beading wire, pass the end under the head pin and through the first four beads to form a beaded ring. Cut off any extra wire.


3. Cut a 6" length of .018" Beadalon 19 and use the same technique to add 23 peridot 4mm round Swarovksi Elements crystals inside the larger channel on the pendant.


4. For a quick finish, slide the enhancer bail onto a piece of chain or ribbon and attach a clasp.


-Katie Hacker
Katiedids™
www.KatieHacker.com



All Rights Reserved, For Personal Use Only

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Margot Potter's New Book: Bead Chic

Bead Chic will show you how to take inspiration that you love and forge your own creative path.  After learning basic jewelry techniques, you’ll be launched into 36 gorgeous projects. Each project comes with a variation, so you’ll learn how easy it is to adapt virtually any project to suit your individual style, making you your own designer.

• Each of 36 stepped-out projects features an inspiring variation, including some from today’s hottest jewelry makers.

• Clear step-by-step photography and instructions allow beaders of all skill levels create projects exactly “as-is” in the book, while variations show how swapping out just one or two elements can make an entirely different look.

• You’ll get to play with beads, a variety of stringing materials—from coated wire, to shapeable wire to commercial chain—and findings, all easily found at local and online craft retailers.

- Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter™

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beads, Baubles & Jewels

Last month, we filmed new episodes for the public television show, Beads, Baubles & Jewels. I'm thrilled to move over to the host's spot and can't wait to share the new season with you. Check out our new set! Mary Hettmansperger made the canvas panels you see in the background. I love the new vibe. It's like stepping into a fresh, organized studio space.

Beadalon is still a major sponsor for the show and there will be a range of great projects and techniques that you'll want to try, featuring wire, stringing, beadwork, resin, metal work and more! Fernando Dasilva and Wyatt White stopped by to show us some inspiring projects. I especially like Fernando's necklace from his new book, Modern Expressions, and Wyatt's wire-wrapped bracelet inspired by the precision of Bach's compositions.

Series 1300 will air in fall 2010. While you wait, check the Beads, Baubles & Jewels website to find current viewing times in your local area, or catch up on past seasons on DVD.

-Katie Hacker
Katiedids™
All Rights Reserved, For Personal Use Only

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Chain Maille Bracelet Pattern


Domed Bracelet
by Lauren Andersen for Beadalon

• Materials & Tools •
• Suggested Sterling Silver Jump Ring Sizes:
Sterling Silver Rings
21 gauge 7/64”(2.78mm)
20 gauge 1/8”(3.18mm)
19 gauge 9/64”(3.57mm)
18 gauge 5/32”(3.97mm)
17 gauge 11/64"(4.37mm)
16 gauge 13/64”(5.16mm)



• Suggested Artistic Wire® Jump Ring Sizes:
20 gauge 9/64”(3.57mm)
18 gauge 11/64”(4.37mm)

• Tools:
Chain nose pliers
Flat nose pliers

• Clasp & Ear Wires:
Copper/Sterling Silver
           
 • Instructions •
Tips: I will be using different colored jump rings for these instructions. I am making the European 4-in-1 out of gunmetal, the open “working” rings are silver, and the closed rings are copper. The trickiest part of this weave is getting it started. The rhythm of this weave is down thru one ring and up thru two rings. I would suggest that you make the bracelet a few inches longer than needed so that you can save the first part of the weave to use to start another bracelet.

1. I know of at least two ways of starting this weave. You can hold the individual rings in your hand or my preference, make a strip of European 4-in-1 with four sets of “mouse ears”. This strip of Euro 4-in-1 will be used to stabilize the four rings you will need to start this weave.

2. Turn the weave on it’s side. Looking at the rings from right to left, ring #4 should be lying on top of ring #3, ring #3 should by lying on top of ring #2, ring #2 should be lying on top of ring #1. When tilted up, it looks like you are holding four playing cards.

3. The path of the next open silver ring will be, “down” thru ring #3, around and “up” thru ring #1, and “up” thru ring #2.

3a. Take an open silver ring and pick up a closed copper ring, “down” thru “mouse ear” #3, come around the front and come “up” thru “mouse ear” #1, and then “up” thru “mouse ear” #2. Close the silver ring.

4. I am only using three of the four gunmetal “mouse ears”. The closed copper ring added in step 3a is considered your “down” ring. Take an open silver ring and add a closed copper ring to it, with the open silver ring go “down” thru the copper ring added in step 3a and “up” thru “mouse ear” #2 and then “up” thru “mouse ear” number #3. Do NOT go thru the silver ring added in step 3a! Close the silver ring.

5. The closed copper ring added in step 4 is considered your next “down” ring. Take an open silver ring and add a closed copper ring to it, with the open silver ring go “down” thru the closed copper ring added in step 4 and “up” thru “mouse ear” #3 and then “up” thru the closed copper ring added in 3a. Do NOT go thru the silver ring added in step 4! Close the silver ring.

6. The closed copper ring added in step 5 is considered your next “down” ring. Take an open silver ring and add a closed copper ring to it, with the open silver ring go “down” thru the closed copper ring added in step 5 and “up” thru the copper closed ring you added in step 3a and then “up” thru the closed copper ring added in 4. Do NOT go thru the silver ring added in step 5! Close the silver ring. You are now “weaning” you way off of the Euro 4-in-1 strip of rings.

7. Take an open silver ring, add a closed copper ring to it. With the open silver ring go “down” thru the closed copper ring added in step 6 and “up” thru the closed copper ring added in step 4 and then “up” thru the closed copper ring added in step 5. Do NOT go thru the silver ring added in step 6! Close the silver ring.

8. Continue this pattern: “down” thru one and “up” thru two until the bracelet is as long as you want it. Do not add a closed copper ring to the last silver ring you add to your bracelet.

9. Remove all of the gunmetal rings from your bracelet.

10. Now the fun part, adding the clasp. I am using the gunmetal rings to attach the clasp because it is easier to see. With an open gunmetal ring scoop up both the copper and the silver closed jump rings, before closing, add the clasp. Close the ring.

11. For the other end, with an open gunmetal ring scoop up both the silver and the copper closed jump rings. Close the ring.

-Lauren Andersen for Beadalon
The Chainmaille Lady
 All Rights Reserved, For Personal Use Only

Monday, August 9, 2010

Beading World Cup Winners


With the excitement of the FIFA World Cup all across the world last month, it created an opportunity for one our Beadalon Distributors in the UK, Beads Direct to hold a Beading World Cup competition. We were proud to be the official sponsor of this competition! They opened the contest to all their customers and Facebook Fans to create jewelry pieces inspired by a specific country participating in the World Cup. They received an overwhelming response of entries with remarkable pieces.

Sixteen contestants made it to the first round, where their designs were judged by the Facebook community. Six very talented contestants then made it to the second round. The final winners were chosen by a panel of judges from Beadalon and Beads Direct.

The final winner was Isabela Tanasa representing Greece with her mythological inspired necklace. She chose to create a piece inspired by the ancient Greek god of medicine, Asclepius. The snake is representative of the Greek mythological god and the rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains a symbol of medicine today.
 
The 2nd Place winner was Gloria Simpson representing Australia.  She was inspired to create her necklace by the "Shades of Uluru" also referred to as Ayers Rock. Uluru is considered one of Australia's most recognizable natural icons. It's natural landform creates the most stunning visual color effects when the sun shines the rock.  Congratulations to all participating in the first Beading World Cup!

-Yvette Rodriguez
Marketing & Events Coordinator           

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Matchstick Earrings with Katiedids™

This is one of the projects from my CHA Summer Show workshop. Candie Cooper helped with my workshop and dubbed these my matchstick earrings (thanks, Candie!). You can use them to strike up some creativity!



1. String a 4mm light Siam crystal and a 7/8" length of thin, frosted rubber tubing  onto a head pin.

2. Cut a 1" length of silver or gunmetal 24-gauge Artistic Wire  and coil it around the tubing ¼" from the top of the tubing as shown. To coil around tubing, place the wire centered across the tubing and wrap it in opposite directions.

3. Pass the head pin through a hole on the 35mm rectangular Katiedids™ Creative  and make a wrapped loop.

4. Open the loop on a round, hinge earring and attach it to the wrapped loop.

5. Repeat the steps to make a matching earring.

One of my crafty students tore her foil chocolate wrapper and pressed it inside the rectangle to add some color! If you don't have a wrapper handy, you could trim a piece of paper or fabric to fit and glue it in place with resin, Diamond Glaze or Mod Podge.

-Katie Hacker
Katiedids™

Monday, August 2, 2010

CHA Show Recap

The Craft & Hobby Association (CHA) Summer Show last week in Rosemont, Illinois, was THE place to be for the craft and hobby industry!

We launched a new catalog supplement at the show. New products include Artistic Wire Jump Rings for Chain Maille and new square, half-round, fancy round and fancy square German Style Wire.


Beadalon Design Team Members Katie Hacker and Margot Potter appeared in the booth. Katie demonstrated new ideas for using her co-branded line of Katiedids™ Creative Components and Margot led make-it-take-its from her new book, Bead Chic

Margot showed people how easy it is to transform copper Artistic Wire into chic hoop earrings.

Beadalon product manager Wyatt White demonstrated wire wrapping techniques with Artistic Wire and new half-round, square and fancy German Style plated wire. 

 Here are a few of Wyatt's gorgeous creations!


Sales executive Michael Hogan introduced new products, made connections and wrote orders at the show. Our planogram displays made it easy for customers to see how Beadalon products would look in their stores. 



-Beadalon Blog Team