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Designing a charm bracelet

Posted 22 minutes ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
While designing this week, I made notes of a few rules that I needed to follow to make the charm bracelet that I was working on turn out the way I wanted it. I called this one “The Love of Dragonflies” (Figure 1). The first thing that I did was pick out my clasp and attached to the end of the chain that I was going to use, and then measure it to my wrist. I then added about half an inch to the length of the chain to make sure that I had a charm bracelet that would be musical. I ...
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New face at Bead&Button!

Posted 6 days ago by Julia Gerlach
You may have noticed the announcement that Bead&Button is hiring. Unfortunately, we’re not adding staff, rather we’re replacing Jane Cruz who decided to take a different job. We miss Jane but wish her happiness in her new endeavors. And now, after six weeks of searching, I’m delighted to introduce our newest associate editor, Cassie Donlen. Cassie has been working as an independent artist within the beading community for the past 12 years, making and selling lampwork bea...
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Samunnat and Kazuri beads

Posted 9 days ago by Kerrie Slade
I was recently introduced to the beautiful hand made ceramic Kazuri beads made in Kenya and the stunning polymer clay Samunnat beads made in Nepal. You may already be aware of the story and perhaps you have even used the beads in your own work, but it was new to me and once I learned the background and saw the beads, I was happy to lend this initiative my full support and help to spread the word. Both of these small businesses were set up to help disadvantaged and vulnerable women escape...
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Having fun with beads

Posted 13 days ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
The social aspects of beads include wearing them to show rank, to show class affiliation, and to show wealth. Another less weighty aspect is to just have fun showing what you can do with beads and then sharing this with others. There are several beading groups in which one can get involved. Most states have a beading society or two. If you have a local bead store, you can participate in contests, or enjoy a get-together and bead with people who are sure to become friends. If you do not ha...
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Win our Wirework sweepstakes!

Posted 15 days ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Here at Bead&Button, we're hard at work creating our next special issue, Wirework Fall 2014, and we're even calling for submissions for Wirework Spring 2015. Whew! That's a lot to handle during the dog days of summer, so we decided to have a little fun. And what's more fun than giving away FREE stuff? Nothing! That's how the Wirework sweepstakes was born. Enter the sweepstakes here. At the end of the entry form, you'll have a chance to win more entries by sharing the sweepstakes with friend...
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Summer peyote necklace tutorial

Posted 23 days ago by Mortira vanPelt
When summer is at its peak, many jewelry lovers are on the lookout for lightweight designs that won’t interfere with staying cool and comfortable. This might mean going for a simple pendant and chain, a bit of macramé, or a few beads on a strand. But there’s no reason why we can’t have our summer jewelry, and do a little beadwork, too! A single beaded bead is all you need to make a really eye-catching summer necklace. Your favorite design plus a few accents, and y...
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Metallic suede and polychrome finish

Posted 24 days ago by Connie W
The metallic suede and polychrome finish have been very popular. Theses finishes are available on more of our favorite bead shapes with a few new colors added in. The metallic suede finish is now being offered on fire polish, mini daggers and SuperDuos along with three new colors. A new color has been added to the polychrome finish called Copper Rose. This color, along with others, has been expanded to include fire polish, CzechMates bricks, and triangles. Look for them at your local bead ...
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Knots for continuing your working thread

Posted 29 days ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
Most of my work, if I have to start a new thread, I will weave in the short working thread back into the bead work, doing half hitch knots along the way. Then, with my new working thread, I start back in the bead work and go forward doing half hitch knots until I come out of the bead where I started. This works great for peyote stitch, brick stitch, and other weaves where following the thread path and doing your knots is an easy thing to do. However, there are sometimes when doing so is n...
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New Pip bead from Preciosa Ornela

Posted one month ago by Kerrie Slade
We are living in exciting times in the bead world with an ever increasing choice of new bead shapes appearing on the market and the latest bead to be released is the new Pip™ bead from Preciosa Ornela. I was lucky enough to be involved in the process which lead up to the final launch and I learned that a lot goes on behind the scenes before a new bead shape is released. It actually takes many months of testing and fine tuning before the finished product reaches our stores in th...
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Bead publishing blunder

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
In the August 2014 issue, we published a lovely bracelet called “Floral Fireworks.” Within days of the issue hitting mailboxes, we received many notes asking if we had made a mistake. Clearly, our readers queried, this is Laura McCabe’s “Cherry Blossom Bracelet”? Upon inspection, we noted that the two designs are indeed remarkably similar. When I asked our contributor about the origin of her design and whether she had been influenced by McCabe, she replied “...
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Different wire working techniques

Posted one month ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
I can remember the first time that I saw someone’s wire working on a pendant. I had been seed beading for about three months and had learned how to make simple loops well enough to do earrings. But when I saw this fancy wire working I thought to myself, “I never will be able to do that!” Well, I was wrong. I took some time to research how a wrapped loop was made and took the advice in one article that said before I would be able to do them nicely I was going to have to...
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Bicone or bacon

Posted one month ago by Connie W
Autocorrect and beading can have some funny outcomes sometimes. Our Editorial Assistant Lora Groszkiewicz recently noticed, when she would type in bicone, as in bicone crystal, it would automatically change to bacon!  Unfortunately, she didn’t notice the change right away, and when working on the online resource guide, bacon went out in place of bicone for one of the projects. An observant contributor noticed the unusual item listed and questioned Lora. After a laugh and a few baco...
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Are you a messy or neat beader?

Posted one month ago by Marcia DeCoster
A while back my house was full of beaders, and my usual trays of in-progress projects (and past projects and future projects) were around and the thought was that I must have spilled my trays. There was much empathy for my 'situation'....having 'spilled' all those trays and now needing to sort them, ha! The truth is I am a messy messy beader. To the right is a typical tour around my studio of bead trays. It is part of my design process to be messy, at least that’s my story. ...
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Publish your wire and chain mail designs!

Posted one month ago by Stacy Werkheiser
I know what you're thinking -- this is the Bead&Button website! Why would Bead&Button be looking for wirework and chain mail jewelry to publish? Well, I'm glad you asked! Twice a year, the same editors who bring you Bead&Button, Art Jewelry, and Bead Style put their heads together to create Wirework magazine. It's devoted to jewelry made primarily with wire and chain mail, often with beads mixed in. In fact, we're working on Wirework Fall 2014 right now, and whose pendant is current...
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Plan your shopping at bead shows

Posted one month ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
If you have ever shopped at a big bead show and not planned for it properly, you know that lost feeling a shopper can get standing in the middle of the show floor overwhelmed at the many selections of goods available. Should you shop for that one project? It seems a waste to be at the show and do only that! Should you walk the whole floor and see what is new? Will you find your way back to those things you discovered? The best way to make the most of the show is to plan well for it. If yo...
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How to wash your beads

Posted one month ago by Mortira vanPelt
Whenever new beads arrive in our workspace, it’s always tempting to open them up and get beading right away. Anything that comes between new beads and a great idea is bound to be a little unwelcome, but sometimes a few extra steps are necessary. Washing beads before using them is definitely one of them. While most beads are ready to use right out of the package, there are a few that need some care to make sure they’re at their best so that they can make your designs shines. ...
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Great tool for easy bead crochet

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
Have you ever had a great idea for a product or tool that would make beading easier only to find out it already exists? And that the tool is really great? This was my experience recently. I have been doing a fair amount of bead crochet lately, and even though I've been doing it for years, I still sometimes have some trouble getting the first few rows going. I know this is the case for a lot of people. There just isn't enough to hold onto as you try to manipulate your hook, beads, and cord. So I...
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Christmas in July sale!

Posted one month ago by Danielle Barr
Here at Bead&Button, we think it's never too early to start making beaded ornaments. After all, they make amazing gifts for the holidays. Which is why we're having a Christmas in July sale for our Holiday Ornaments app. It's simple — download the app for iPad or Android and browse the different ornament bundles we have to offer. You can choose from single ornament projects for $.99, or bundles of three beaded ornaments for just $2.99. The possibilities are endless! And your fri...
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7 ways to upcycle in beading

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
The past few years have seen a lot of emphasis on conservation – "reduce, reuse, and recycle" has become a well-known refrain. I was recently looking through our archive of reader Tips and found several that can help you become a beading conservationist. Here are 7 of my favorites: • Don't toss those scraps: Save short pieces of beading wire to make cute earrings. • Don't needle me: Tote beading needles safely with old hair curlers.  • Take two and bead till morn...
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Bead crochet vs. kumihimo

Posted one month ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
One of the first classes I took was a bead crochet class. I was so fascinated with the bead crochet bracelets that I saw fellow members of the Bead Society of New Hampshire making, that I signed up for their class at their annual Bead Retreat. I was taught by Edie Leone, a woman who taught Judith Bertoglio-Giffin how to bead crochet. This was a three hour class. I fumbled, and I fumbled, trying to hold the crochet hook the right way. I have been taught how to crochet by my mother when I ...
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New bead shapes, new organization

Posted one month ago by Stacy Werkheiser
Here at the Bead&Button offices, our storeroom (read, bead stash) hasn't been able to keep up with the influx of new bead shapes. Our existing organizational system of drawers and trays and bead boxes was simply not set up with these bead options in mind. Sure, we tried to make it work -- we put Tilas with cube beads, for example -- but really, those are two very different animals. Plus, what to do with the half-Tilas? Associate Editor Connie Whittaker and Editorial Assistant Lora Groszkiew...
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Kumihimo: What Thread to Use

Posted 2 months ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
Like most bead weaving, looming, and crochet, Kumihimo can look better, last longer, and add to the design of your piece, depending on which thread, hemp, rattail, or wire you use. In Kumihimo, your thread (a word I will use to describe any medium you use to hold the beads or make the braid) is going to show. This is why it’s so important for you to pick the correct medium. You can have a piece made mostly from rattail, and add just one bead (Figure 1). This might be a good way for yo...
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2014 Bead&Button Show recap

Posted 2 months ago by Julia Gerlach
The 2014 Bead&Button Show is over and I'm back in the office getting caught up. But before the Show becomes a distant memory, I want to share a few highlights. Classes! From Master Classes to technique fundamentals to Moonlight Sonatas, there are classes for everyone during the Show. I took Paulette Baron's "Spike Me!" class, and it was a hoot. I'm not quite done with my bracelet yet, as you can see, but I'm close! Shopping! The Bead and Jewelry Marketplace is so wonderful. With more t...
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Tips for choosing the right clasp

Posted 2 months ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
You spent half an hour stringing a simple beaded necklace. Or maybe you spent two months doing an amulet bag with Delica or Toho beads to create a picture on the face of the bag, and then weeks doing a seed bead spiral stitch for the straps. Which clasp are you going to use? Don’t be hasty in making your decision. If that simple strand is made with acrylic beads and you intend to sell it at a craft fair for a nominal amount, putting a 14kt gold clasp on the piece would be foolish....
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Bead&Button is hiring!

Posted 2 months ago by Danielle Barr
If you've ever wanted to work for a beading magazine, now's your chance to apply. We are seeking an experienced writer or editor with excellent communications skills, a professional demeanor, and a strong interest in beading to fill the position of Associate Editor for Bead&Button.  Reporting to the Editor, the Associate Editor is primarily responsible for preparing project instructions for print and online publication. This includes testing submitted instructions, remaking jewelry, ...
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Beading inspiration: Clasps

Posted 2 months ago by Kerrie Slade
I’m often asked what inspires me to create a certain piece and although inspiration can come from anywhere, there are several places I tend to turn when I am trying to come up with a new design. As I’m going to be writing a regular monthly post for the Bead Buzz Blog, I thought it might be interesting to explore some different sources of inspiration, starting this month with clasps. Sometimes a finished piece calls for a beaded clasp to create a seamless closure, other times nothing ...
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How to get design ideas

Posted 2 months ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
We all suffer from mental blocks every now and then, when our muse seems to have deserted us. Most of my design ideas come from the simplest things, the dark bark of a tree in spring highlighted by the bright green of new leaves, or perhaps a building that has design features that attract me. Sometimes it can be beads on my worktable that have mingled with beads from other project, and then inspiration strikes. Ask yourself, what do I like about <fill in the blank>. Does a food recipe...
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Master classes at the Bead&Button Show

Posted 2 months ago by Julia Gerlach
The Bead&Button Show 2014 is under way, and this past Sunday, the Master Classes got off to a great start. Here are a few pictures so you can see just some of the fun beady happenings! Bead&Button associate editor Connie Whittaker is happy as a clam in June Huber’s “Architectural Inspiration in Bead Design.” Students are learning to create all sorts of forms, plus June led the group in creating collaborative color palettes. And June’s display of jewel...
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Announcing the ribbon winners of the 2014 Bead Dreams competition

Posted 2 months ago by Lora Groszkiewicz
Congratulations to all the 2014 Bead Dreams finalists. The following won 1st, 2nd, or 3rd Place ribbons. Also listed are the winners of Best-in-Show and Best-in-Show runner up. Best-in-Show sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, $1,000 gift certificate Thistle by Sarah Thompson, Spokane Valley, Wash. Best-in-Show runner up sponsored by Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, $500 gift certificate The Shamanic Path by Heidi Kummli, Nederland, Colo. People's Choice Award sponsored by Fire Mountai...
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Bead Spinner tricks & tools

Posted 2 months ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
As with all tools, there are tricks that make them easier to use. For instance, the small plastic spinner (Figure 1) uses fewer beads to fill until it is one-third full, the recommended level. Use too few beads, and you won’t get as many beads marching up your needle. Use too many, and you’ll have beads flying all over the place. Notice the BigEye needle in the smallest bead spinner? This is what I use when I am doing fringe. A bead spinner does not have to be limited to loading ...

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