Thursday, September 30, 2010

Design Inspiration: Fall Jewelry


Looking for jewelry inspiration? Check out the gorgeous Fall 2010 issue of Stringing Magazine. It's chockfull of 59 design ideas inspired by the season. 



This issue of Stringing includes Beadalon Design Team Member Margot Potter's Fashionista Necklace featuring Beadalon wire, Scrimp™ findings, chain and clasp.



Or, download free instructions to make Margot's autumn-inspired Hootenanny Necklace at BeadingDaily.com.  


- Beadalon Blog Team 



Monday, September 27, 2010

Adventures in Wire Crochet

With a 10-month-old at home, my beading and wireworking time is at a minimum. The pressure of having a blog post ready has helped keep me a little more focused, but not really. I haven’t made nearly the number of flowers and leaves as I had intended, but I have started to play around with another new wire working technique – wire crochet. 


I always meant to learn to crochet. I had visions of giving fuzzy scarves to all of my loved ones at the holidays, but I haven’t had the opportunity to jump on that bandwagon yet. I dabbled with bead crochet ropes a few years ago, but abandoned that to move on to the next technique (sensing a pattern, here?).

During BeadFest Philly this year, one of the visitors to our booth took a few moments to teach me to wire crochet. It was a wonderful, sharing moment – she was a crocheter who showed me how to do a turn and start the next row (it’s just like a “step up” in peyote stitch), and I helped her understand that wire crochet is organic and things like “uniformity” and “even tension” go out the door when you're working with wire.

So, I’ve been practicing, perfecting and realizing that I need a few more hours in the day to get some beading done. Eventually, this will be long enough to attach my flowers and leaves and we’ll have an actual, finished necklace! See my post on epic projects to place bets on how long this will take.
  
Things I’ve learned:
·      If you’re going to keep a bunch of projects together in a bag that you schlep back and forth from the office, do yourself a favor and put each project in a separate bag.  (Yes, I learned this the hard way, ie. a tangled mess.)
·      Wire bends. It also bends back.
·      The right tools are really important, but sometimes, your fingers are the best tools for the job.

- Meredith Roddy for Beadalon

Thursday, September 23, 2010

On the Bookshelf: Wired Beautiful by Heidi Boyd


Wired Beautiful  is a brand new book from best-selling author Heidi Boyd . We're thrilled that Heidi used Artistic Wire and other Beadaon products in her new book and we know that Wired Beautiful will get you excited about the many ways you can use wire in your jewelry projects.

Check out Wired Beautiful to discover:

• Unique techniques. Introduces traditional wire techniques, but also new methods not typically found in wire-jewelry books, such as using a knitting spool, creating cages and flower shaping.

• Fresh designs and great basics. In addition to the 30+ projects—including bracelets, earrings, necklaces pendants and rings—you'll learn basic jewelry-making techniques you can use in your own designs.

• Easy-to-find materials. You'll be introduced to a range of materials you can easily find at your favorite online and local craft supply retailers.

-Beadalon Blog Team

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fall Jewelry Trends

Mixing textures is a strong trend in fashion and jewelry making. Chain and stringing combine in bold, multiple strand designs. Designs also include asymmetrical accents, large transparent beads and ribbon.


The Handmade Touch is a trend to watch. Sections of wire wrapping or beads will take some of summer's trends (like these clear bangles) into the fall. 


 Pearls are typically popular in fall/winter, and this year is no exception. Oversized pearls 10-14mm are getting star treatment. Knotting is a popular technique, especially for beaders taking their stringing skills to the next level.


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

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cover Girl: Lauren Andersen


When I saw that the October issue of Step By Step Wire Jewelry, the bracelet on the cover immediately grabbed my attention. It's a silver chain maille bracelet woven with beautiful AB Swarovski Elements crystal beads.

I quickly leafed through the magazine to find more photos and was pleasantly surprised to see that it was created by our very own Beadalon Design Team Member, Lauren Andersen!

Lauren created this Helm’s weave bracelet, “Crystal Quad Cuff” with sterling silver jump rings and strung the crystals using Beadalon wire. The step-by-step photos perfectly show that even a novice can recreate this design. 

We discovered Lauren and her talent at the CHA show early this year and couldn’t help but be amazed at her chain maille work. Her self-proclaimed title, The Chain Maille Lady, isn’t an exaggeration! In fact, her expertise led us to publish several booklets to teach the beginner and advanced chain maille techniques, which will be available soon.


-Yvette Rodriguez
Marketing & Event Coordinator

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Inside Fernando's Design Studio

Here are a few of the designs I've been making lately, along with some of my design influences. Find more pix on my blog: Modern-Expressions.blogspot.com.



I made this necklace for Murano Glass beads and love the way the organic aquamarine chunks mix with filigree spacers, Swarovski Elements and Beadalon's polyester chain and rhodium plated star key rings as connectors. Untreated Brazilian aquamarine large chips add a funky and edgier vibe to the refinement and sophistications of crystals and Venetian glass beads.



My mom loves earrings and cannot leave the house without wearing a pair of them. Like many women under the Leo zodiac sign, her jewelry needs to stand out and catch as many glances as possible, like the rays of Sun. These hoops are made with her in mind: gold-filled hoops with dangling gold plated charms and Beadalon's extension chains.



I am addicted to peacock glass beads! I made these earrings for John Bead Corp to show off this fabulous new shape. Earrings made with peacock red Labrador glass dagger drops from John Bead Corp; ornate components used as connectors by Tierra Cast; padparadscha SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS xilion beads- article 5328; German-style wire and silk thread from Beadalon.

- Fernando Dasilva
All designs are for inspiration only and are not for reproduction.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Making Wire-Wrapped Leaves

I've jumped feet first onto the wire wrapping bandwagon. With so many colors and gauges of Artistic Wire to choose from - how can I resist? I started this adventure by making a beautiful rose, so I needed to make some leaves next.


I suppose the easy way to have done that would be to find a pattern and some instructions and sit down like a good student and learn. Anyone who knows my beading style knows that's not how I do things. I grab as many different tools, gauges and colors as I can and jump right in to figure it out myself.


First, I took some 18-gauge Tinned Copper and bent it into a leaf form and started wrapping with 30-gauge wire. Not what I was looking for. Luckily, a recent issue of Step by Step Wire Jewelry just found its way to my desk, and there's a great pattern by Kaska Firor on page 29 for a cool leaf bracelet. That's more the look that I was going for. I used her basic instructions, and my original leaf form and voila! Well, voila after a few failed attempts, but you get the idea.


- Meredith Roddy for Beadalon

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Making an Adjustable Wire Rose Ring

I'll admit it - I'm a girly girl. I like flowers and puppy dogs and pretty, sparkly things. I like seed beads and crystals and stringing patterns. Most of my previous experiences working with wire involved making French Beaded Flowers where the beads are at the design forefront. I've always admired the intricate spirals, the delicate loops, the ability to take a simple cabochon and transform it into a work of art, but my beads had been too needy of my time and attention!

With Beadalon's acquisition of Artistic Wire, I'm suddenly surrounded with a rainbow of wire everyday.  How could I not get the itch to try it?  
So, I tackled this project like any other, I dove right in with no direction and no idea what I was doing. I floundered around for a while, checking my beading library for patterns, looking in back issues of Step By Step Wire, surfing the Internet looking for inspiration. Nothing really got my fingers excited about wrapping until I found the gorgeous Adjustable Rose Ring Tutorial by my new friend Kiki - Borneo Queen.  I got it, and started wrapping right away.  

The instructions are clear and she has some great tips for keeping the framework even. It was surprisingly easy to make up, once I got the hang of it. For my first attempt, I used bare copper in 20-gauge and 28-gauge, but I think my second combination worked better for me: 18-gauge and 30-gauge red. By my third rose, the basket weave was a lot more even and took a lot less time.  The next one will be perfect!

Things I've learned so far:
1.         I'm a better teacher than I am a student.
2.         Using a fingernail to tighten wraps with 30-gauge wire will ruin a manicure in a New York minute.

Next time: Making a leaf to complement my chain of roses.

- Meredith Roddy for Beadalon