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Bead-It-Forward 2014... and 2015!

Posted 19 hours ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Two weeks ago, I posted a blog about the journey every Bead-It-Forward square goes through when it arrives in our offices. That includes coming to the Bead-It-Forward assembly nights, where the squares are combined to make quilts, shadowboxes, ornaments, and more. Here are just a few pictures from our first assembly night, which was last night. See any of your squares in there? Many thanks to the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee, the staff of Bead Style, numerous other Kalmbach em...
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5 questions with the creator of WoolyWire

Posted 7 days ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Have you seen Wirework Spring 2014? It's a special publication from the same people who bring you Bead&Button, Bead Style, and Art Jewelry. On p. 12 -- in our "In the Loop" products page -- we featured WoolyWire, which is 24-gauge copper wire covered in felted wool. We just had to get the scoop on this concept, so I chatted with its creator, Nellie Thomas. 1. How did you come up with the brilliant idea of putting felted fiber around wire? “Well, it was both myself and my mom, K...
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Bead giveaways

Posted 10 days ago by Julia Gerlach
Did you know that we do monthly bead giveaways here at Bead&Button? That's right, every month we gather a selection of assorted beads and findings and give them away to a lucky reader. This month, for instance, we are giving this beautiful butterfly pendant by Michaela Klamert to one reader . . . . . . and this set of beads in shades of orchid will go to another. How do get in on this, you ask? Well, simply keep an eye open for our twice-monthly e-newsletters! In one newsletter per mon...
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The Bead-It-Forward journey

Posted 14 days ago by Stacy Werkheiser
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to everyone who sent in squares for the 2014 Bead-It-Forward project! Your thoughtful, funny, hopeful, and adorable beaded contributions have touched our hearts. But that is only the beginning. Here's the journey your squares will go on now that they're in our offices: Say "hello" to Lora: Our editorial assistant, Lora, assigns each square a number and enters them into a spreadsheet. As of this typing, she's logged 1,131 squares -- and there are still ple...
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How to find Bead&Button projects in a flash

Posted 20 days ago by Julia Gerlach
I have a beta version of the 20 Years of Bead&Button DVD on my computer and I have to say I really love it! It has proven to be very helpful several times when I wanted to refer back to a previous article but couldn't remember when it was published. For instance, I was pretty sure we had at one time featured a lampwork bead by Robert Jennik but I didn't know when, so I clicked on the arrow next to the "search" box to access the advanced search tool. Clicking on "sections" brought up a list o...
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The blue whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma

Posted 20 days ago by Jane Cruz
We’ve received over 1,000 beaded squares for the 2014 Bead-It-Forward project. Among them is a mosaic of beaded squares submitted by The Oklahoma Bead Society that instantly made me smile. What caught my eye first was the Route 66 logo. Route 66 holds a special place in my heart because when I was a child, we traveled down Route 66 to visit our relatives in Lincoln, Illinois, and it was almost 20 years ago now that my hilarious brother, John, and I followed that historic route from Lake ...
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Free beaded bead pattern and correction

Posted 24 days ago by Julia Gerlach
Thank you to eagle-eyed reader WelshMaggie for spotting an error in our April 2014 issue. The beaded bead pattern on p. 25 had a couple of mistakes -- the center beads in the initial RAW ring were incorrectly pictured as bone colored instead of blue, and the blue beads in round 7 were incorrectly pictured as medium blue instead of dark blue. We have corrected the figure and posted it on our Resource Guide for the April issue. Furthermore, we had promised an additional pattern for those beaded...
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Spring is here!

Posted 27 days ago by Connie W
Spring is finally here and what better way to celebrate than with a free project! Stitch up this cute cherry blossom bracelet by Jane Danley Cruz to warm you up even if it’s not warm outside yet. It can be done in square stitch or on a loom....
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Beading questions and answers

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
Our website redesign launched a few weeks ago and we have gotten some nice feedback on it. I'm glad people are finding their way around and enjoying the larger images and clean design. We will continue to tweak some things, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them to me at editor@beadandbutton.com. One feature I'd like to point out is a little item under the "Community" tab called "Ask Bead&Button." This is a dual-purpose section where we'd love to get some interaction going...
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Beading contests

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
You may have heard about a little contest called BeadDreams. For the past 13 years, Bead&Button has been celebrating bead artistry by inviting beaders from around the world to submit their masterpieces to our competition.You can see galleries of the finalists, including "Branwen" by Susan Horine (shown above), for the past seven years here. Each year we offer prizes for the winners in several categories (this year we have prizes totaling $12,700 across 10 categories!), and we display all t...
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Three favorite seed beads

Posted one month ago by Jane Cruz
Today I was cleaning off my very messy desk since I will be on vacation next week and my office looks like a tornado ran through a bead store. Under the layers of half-finished beading projects and illustrations, I found a handful of empty seed bead tubes and another handful of almost-empty tubes. I noticed that most of them were one of three colors: silver, gold, and bronze. After a little more digging, I realized that I seem to have developed three favorite seed bead colors without even re...
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Beading with two-hole beads

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
With March being National Craft Month, I've been checking out Fusion Beads' 30-Day Bead Challenge, which I mentioned in my blog from last week. This Friday's challenge is to "Double up and design with fun and funky two-hole beads." All these new two-hole beads are great fun! Here are several two-hole bead projects from our archives if you need help choosing something to make. 1. "Golden glory" bracelet by Nichole Starman using two-hole triangles and lentils: 2. Also by Nichole Starman, "Two-...
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New Swarovski skulls

Posted one month ago by Connie W
I love the new Swarovski skulls and just had to have one. Our assistant Lora came up with the idea to put hair on it so I came up with a couple of fun styles –  take a look below! What have you done with the new skulls? ...
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Bead-It-Forward connections

Posted one month ago by Stacy Werkheiser
As the last of our Bead-It-Forward squares trickle in, I once again find myself waxing philosophical about this endeavor. To me, the Bead-It-Forward project is all about connections: People who have been touched by breast cancer connecting with folks who are doing the research to cure it Beaders from one part of the world connecting with beaders from other parts of the world simply by having their squares appear side by side in a quilt Like-minded souls connecting up to exponentially incr...
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March is National Craft Month!

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
It's almost March, and you know what that means – Dr. Seuss's birthday (March 2), Mardi Gras (March 4), leprechauns (March 17), and the official start of spring (March 20), which absolutely cannot come a moment too soon! In additional to all of that, March is also National Craft Month, making it the perfect time to finish up that UFO, learn a new technique, or try some fun new bead shapes. Need a little inspiration? Come back here for ideas and tips all month long. Be sure to check with ...
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Bead-it-Forward update

Posted one month ago by Jane Cruz
With the deadline to submit your squares for the 2014 Bead-It-Forward project on the horizon (March 5th!), squares have been pouring into our office. Yesterday we received this beauty from the Wednesday night beaders of Dayton, Ohio!  It's so beautiful we just had to share. --Jane...
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Introducing our new website

Posted one month ago by Danielle Calkins
The time has come! Our new website launched today and we’re thrilled to show you around. You’ll notice beautiful, large project photos — making choosing your next project harder than you may have thought. Not only that, we've improved the way you can search for projects, including sorting by keywords and by popular materials and techniques. Be sure to check out all our free projects, beading tips, and videos, for just a sample of what our website has to offer.  Also &md...
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There's still time to make a Bead-It-Forward square!

Posted one month ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Our 2014 Bead-It-Forward project is coming to a close, but there's still time to send in a 1.5 x 1.5 inch beaded square based on this year's theme, "Turn the tide on breast cancer." You can find the guidelines and submission form here, plus 26 patterns you can reproduce to your heart's content. Here's another one -- an adorable otter! Send in your squares by March 3 to be included in the 2014 Bead-It-Forward project, and take your stance against breast cancer! As an aside, this year will be o...
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Publish your bead and wire jewelry!

Posted 2 months ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Most days you'll find me and the rest of the Bead&Button staff hunched over our needles and thread, but twice a year we're also wire-wranglers! That's when we're putting together Wirework magazine, a special issue for people who love making jewelry with wire and chain mail. A recent survey showed that Wirework readers want to see more wire projects with BEADS. That's where you come in. We are currently accepting submissions for Wirework Fall 2014, and we'd love to see any original creatio...
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Five jewelry projects & patterns for Valentine's Day

Posted 2 months ago by Danielle Calkins
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. What jewelry are you wearing? If you're still unsure, we rounded up some of our best jewelry projects for this lovely holiday. And the best part: they're all FREE to download. This pattern can be woven on a loom or worked in square stitch. The red hearts pop against a blue background.  Petite buttons dance on easy layered earrings in this chain maille project. Use two shades of seed beads to add dimension and movement to the dangles. Petal...
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New Fireline update

Posted 2 months ago by Connie W
A couple of months ago, I told you about Fireline original being discontinued and being replaced by a new thermally fused version. I like to buy my Fireline in the larger spools and all the local fishing stores in town have been out for months. Well, they finally have the new stuff in. The packaging looks different and it’s now just called Fireline, not Fireline original. It has a smoother feel to it than the original but otherwise it looks just the same. However, we’ve been worki...
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Bead challenge for the June issue

Posted 2 months ago by Jane Cruz
Have you ever been completely stymied by your beads? In the Bead Soup section of Bead&Button magazine, we frequently share a design challenge in which we are each given the same materials and beads and then turned loose on them. In general, as soon as I see what we have to work with, I find inspiration in one or two of the components, and I'm off and running. However, this fabulous kit stumped me and I don't know why. I love the new Luna Soft cabochons and I love the color purple -- so wha...
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What is your “must have” for beading?

Posted 2 months ago by Connie W
There are a few things I always have on hand and can’t do without when I’m stitching, besides beads of course. For me, it’s my 6 lb. smoke Fireline, size #11 Tulip needles, and my split ring pliers. What’s yours?...
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3 bead lessons I learned in 2013

Posted 2 months ago by Julia Gerlach
This is a blog I've been meaning to write since the end of 2013 - after all, that is the normal time for reflecting on the year gone by. But one thing after another has cropped up these past couple of weeks, and here it is the end of January already! So before I waste any more time, here are three things I learned as a result of beading last year! 1. Fireline disintegrates in heat OK, here's the story. I used Fireline (as I often do, because I love Fireline) to stitch beads to a domed comp...
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Important changes coming to the Bead&Button website

Posted 2 months ago by Danielle Calkins
Exciting changes are coming to Bead&Button – a new website! Keep your eyes peeled. With this change, we’re going to have some changes with our forums. We will still have one forum open for any questions you may have for us, but the others will be completely removed with the new site launch, by the end of February. What this means for you: Any previous forum posts, comments and interactions will no longer be accessible. If you are interested in any tips, threads or conversations ...
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Two-hole bead stud bracelet

Posted 2 months ago by Jane Cruz
One of the best things about working at Bead&Button is getting to play around with the many different kinds of beads our contributors/designers use in the projects they send us. We are already working on the June issue, so I'm knee-deep in sea and summer projects, but I took a little break to work on these really fun-to-stitch bracelets using the two-hole bead studs. These bracelets are designed by Dana Rudolph, and she stitched the cream/gold and the bronze/gold versions. I, of course, go...
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The New Fireline

Posted 2 months ago by Connie W
A couple of months ago, I told you about Fireline original being discontinued and being replaced by a new and improved, thermally fused version. I like to buy my Fireline in the larger spools and all the local fishing stores in town have been out for months. Well, they finally have the new stuff in. The packaging looks different and it’s now just called Fireline, not Fireline original. I tested it last night and although the new Fireline does have a smoother feel to it, I didn’t...
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Free cherry blossom bracelet pattern

Posted 3 months ago by Jane Cruz
Until last week, I had never heard the term “polar vortex.” Then the temperatures dipped below -18°F, the wind chills dropped unspeakably low, cars wouldn't start, and ice formed on the inside of my windshield. When it finally blew over, I fully understood the meaning of the term. I typically don't mind the cold too much, and in general anything less than a foot of snow doesn't bother me. But day after day of no sunshine makes me SAD. This year is no different except...
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Bead and button terrarium

Posted 3 months ago by Stacy Werkheiser
At Christmas time, my family draws names to determine who shops for whom. This year, my aunt and uncle selected my name, and they came up with the perfect gift for me -- a bead and button terrarium! They used large pony beads instead of rocks and decorated the "landscape" with bug buttons, which have plastic zip strips attached through the shanks to create the stakes. They dreamed this all up on their own -- they didn't even see it on Pinterest! I can imagine this craft being ideal for large b...
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Free holiday beading patterns

Posted 3 months ago by Julia Gerlach
With the winter holiday season in full swing and 2013 drawing to a close, I just wanted to take a moment to write a brief note of appreciation for all of you who stop by to read the Bead&Button blog. Everyone is busy and there are countless blogs and websites where everyone can find beading info, anecdotes, and inspiration, so we are grateful that you choose to spend time with us. We can't send gifts out to everyone individually, so instead, I've created a roundup of a few of my favorite fr...

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