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Showing posts from November, 2009

Holiday Inspiration Aplenty

( Add strands of silver Beadalon 19 to transform a costume brooch into an eye-catching ornament!) I’m a member of the Craft & Hobby Association Trend Team and we recently released a holiday trend report. Two components of the report that pertained to jewelry making were the sections on lifestyle and color trends. Here are a couple of excerpts: Key lifestyle trends include recycling and “upcycling.” Families are doing more together and saving money by making their own things like gifts, cards, and decorations. They are recycling or “upcycling” with their handmade projects whenever they can...old jewelry is turned into ornaments and holiday embellishments, and handmade touches are added to everything. Traditional red and green will be the primary colors, with the green moving from lime green to a more traditional shade of green such as forest green, avocado and Kelly green. For a contemporary look, a cleaner apple green or spring green will be used. A new hot color wil

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Beadalon Blog Team knows who we’re thankful for – you, our readers! Thanks so much for reading our posts and cheering us on. Please leave a comment today and let us know what you want to read more about – we couldn’t do it without you. To make your own Thankful Banner like this one by Katie Hacker: You'll need 2" chipboard letters, 22-gauge silver shaping wire, 10mm firepolished glass beads, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers and wire cutters. Bend a 3" piece of wire in a U shape, hold it against the back of a letter and wrap the wire ends around the letter in spiral patterns as shown. Repeat on the left and right side of each letter. Make wire-wrapped bead links to connect the letters. -Beadalon Blog Team

Fall Harvest Place Card Holders

Getting ready to decorate your holiday table? These adorable place card holders are so fun and easy to make! Copper wire is coiled into a faux flower and ‘planted’ in a painted miniature clay pot. Make up a bunch of these for any occasion, simple change the color scheme to suit your event. These would be delightful as wedding favors! Materials Miniature clay pots Sage green raffia 18 gauge ColourCraft copper wire Decorative ribbon Ranger paint dabbers in gold, copper, lettuce and sunset orange Liquid Fusion Hot Glue Sticks Small glass pebbles Glue dots Tools Paint brush Hot glue gun Scissors Round nose pliers Wire cutters Nylon jaw pliers Paint your pots and allow to dry. Paint a second coat if needed. Glue decorative ribbon around edges with Liquid Fusion. Cut a 5” segment of ColourCraft wire. Bend one end of your wire with pliers to create a small stand that fits inside of your pot. Use round nose pliers to

Fabulous Beaded Décor

As the weather turns chilly, the Beadalon Blog Team is thinking of beady ways to feather our nests. Over the next few blog posts, we’ll be sharing ideas for bringing your hobby into your home. We’d love to hear about your projects, too, so please share them in the comments! Beadalon Design Team Member Fernando Dasilva's obsession with beads doesn't stop at jewelry making. His entire home is an expression of his passion for adornment! Here are a few of Fernando’s tips: • Display jewelry around your home, whether it's an eye-catching necklace draped across a vase or a piece that's fit for a queen, like the custom necklaces that adorn the statuary shown here. • Strands of beads can enhance even the most functional objects. Suspend strands on the outside of draperies or shower curtains. • Wrap beaded memory wire bracelets around the spindles on your staircase. • Create three-dimensional works featuring beads, findings and other jewelry making supplies to display in yo

Jump Ring Alternatives

Q. When I attach a pendant to a necklace with a jump ring, I have a problem with it coming off the beading wire. There seems to always be a tiny little space that the wire slips through. Suggestions? –Susan A. Jump rings do have a tiny space where they connect that can fall off the wire. One thing that might help is making sure you're opening/closing them properly. Never pull the ends directly apart from each other, but turn them open like a door on a hinge. Alternatively, you could use a split ring or you could use a bail instead. They're more secure and add a decorative touch as well. -Katie Hacker for Beadalon

Fernando’s Bead Society Workshop

I recently taught a workshop for the New Jersey Bead Society and it was fantastic! The ladies enjoyed the project, loved the crystal components, and were surprised by the high tech findings from Beadalon, including the Beadmaster flash animation that I used to teach the class. For the workshop, I created a variation of one of my projects from Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed , the book I co-authored with my fellow Beadalon Design Team Members Katie Hacker and Margot Potter . This version uses black rubber tubing with CRYSTALLIZED™ - Swarovski Elements in red magma, black diamond and jet colors. It suits the fall and winter seasons well. I was lucky to have such nice participants in this workshop and it seemed like they had no problem understanding my Brazilian accent. (Accent!?! What accent? LOL) I see a workshop as a great venue to promote your designs skills, business and the brands behind you but on the other hand, is an exhausting gig. I am thankul that I had a lot of

Dr. Beadalon to the Rescue!

After spending almost three years with all of the Beadalon pieces and parts, I’m still discovering new uses for old things (sound like your beading stash?). One of the many benefits of quick access to so many neat components is that when a beading problem arises, there is a host of solutions at my fingertips, and some of the most talented designers around to ask for advice. As I was finishing up my latest project – 8 double stranded simple looped bridesmaid’s necklaces for a friend’s wedding – I was really struggling with the best way to finish them off so that they would lay correctly. Use a jump ring? Too jumbled. A bead cone? Too bulky. Loop them all together? Just not right. Then, I consulted with product manager (and jewelry designer) Wyatt White. Wyatt suggested using ball head pins to connect the last beads to a 3-hole spacer . Aha! I added a pearl on each opposite side, and, voilá! Now I had a perfect way to keep the linked chains evenly spaced so they’d l

Color as Beading Inspiration

[Fit-for-a-Queen Bracelet from Hip to Bead by Katie Hacker (Interweave Press 2006). Purchase the project pdf in the Interweave Store .] People often ask me where I get my inspiration. The short answer is that my inspiration comes from a lot of different places! But, my idea for this bracelet came directly from the amazing borosilicate lampworked bead at the center. I bought it from Nancy Tobey at a Bead & Button Show. I remember combing my fingers many, many times through a bowl of beads until I found the bead that spoke to me. The colors in this bead are a swirly combination of red, yellow and purple, so I highlighted that group of colors with seed bead strands in the same combination. I brought color into the ends of the bracelet by adding a large 6/0 seed bead outside each beading cone . The large seeds draw color into an otherwise strictly metallic section of the design, and, they also prevent the wire wrapping at the ends from slipping into the beading cone and causing p

New Products for Maximum Sparkle

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of the new flat back CRYSTALLIZED™ – Swarovski Elements . Beadalon now has the perfect findings and adhesive solutions to easily turn them into sparkly pendants. Many thanks to Alisa from Har-Man Imports for donating a variety of crystal flat backs for my presentation to the South Jersey Bead Society last month. The ladies (and gentleman!) who participated used our new BeadFix™ Squares and Glue-On Bails to make gorgeous pendants. Then, we made dramatic necklaces by stringing their pendants onto our new 49 strand Beadalon Silver Color Wire and EZ Lobster™ Claw Clasps . To make one of your own, trace the shape of the bail onto the BeadFix™ Square and cut it out. Peel off the brown backing paper with the white paper still attached, then attach the flat back rhinestone. Next, peel off the white backing paper, and attach it to the Glue-On Bail. BeadFix™ Squares are also great to use with cabochon stones. Allow 24 hours for maximum adhe