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MLBS 2019 Mid-Atlantic Bead Shop Hop Opening Day!

Wyatt and I spent a beautiful Saturday celebrating the beginning of the Main Line Bead Society Bead Shop Hop at two of our local bead shops. I went to Studio 36 Bead Shop in Pottstown, PA for a Facebook Live, and Wyatt went to Blue Santa Beads in Media, PA for demonstrations.

Seventeen stores in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia are participating in the three week event coordinated by the Main Line Bead Society and Sponsored by Beadalon. Participants have the opportunity to win swag from each shop, including a grand prize valued at $500!




Lisa from Studio 36 makes the most beautiful painted acrylic flowers and leaves! Her process is a secret, but the results are spectacular!  I showed her how I use the Beadalon Tying Station to make an adjustable sliding bracelet. We have written instructions posted for a similar project, and the Facebook Live video shows making Lisa's flowers into "beads" to include in the design. I love going to the shop to see all of the goodies!

Memory Wire Mayhem Part 1

Memory Wire is steel wire, either stainless or carbon, that holds its shape. You can find all about Memory Wire on the Beadalon Memory Wire Page including all shapes, sizes and finishes. There are so many designs that you can make with it, and so many different ways to finish off your designs. 

The two most important tools to use with Memory Wire are the Memory Wire Shears and the Memory Wire Finishing Pliers. Never (say it with me) never, ever use your nipper tool to cut Memory Wire - always use Memory Wire Shears! After you've strung up your design, you have a lot of options for finishing it off. In the Facebook Live video, the first technique that I show is making a loop with the Memory Wire Finishing Pliers. When you turn the loop, make sure you hold the wire as far down in the jaws of the pliers as you can so you don't bend the tips of the tool. Another good tip is to come back with your Chain Nose Pliers and bend your loop back a little bit so it looks more like an eyepin than a P.  Sometimes, I even turn the loop to the side.

More Tips and Tricks:

  1. Did you ever think to join the ends of Memory Wire with Elonga Stretch Cord? Katie Hacker did, and it's a super fun technique.
  2. Beadalon also offers Flat Memory Wire with special findings that slide right onto it. You can make a design that looks just like a Tennis Bracelet for a fraction of the cost! Check out this video for instructions. You can also wrap beads or cup chain onto the Flat Memory Wire.
  3. Add a magnet (or other) clasp to the end of a bracelet or necklace made of Memory Wire. Just turn a loop on each end and use jump rings to add a clasp.
  4. Bead Bumpers are great for both keeping your beads on the Memory Wire and also taking up slack at the end.
  5. Use double or triple holed beads - like SuperDuos - to make a delicate two strand bangle with two pieces of Memory Wire.
  6. You can thread hollow leather cording through Memory Wire for a different look.
  7. Don't forget to add a charm or a tassel to your loop!
  8. Use the Katie Knotter Tool with a Tacky Mat to knot B-Lon around Memory Wire for a macrame bangle.

We only scratched the surface on the all of the ways to use Memory Wire in this Facebook Live. I can't wait for parts 2 and 3 (maybe even 4?) Be sure to set your notifications for the Beadalon Facebook Lives and post your Memory Wire Designs in the Jewelry Making with Beadalon Facebook Group!

Happy Beading!
Meredith

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