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Holiday design challenge: Round 6

Posted 2 days ago by Connie W
Our round robin holiday challenge is nearing the end. Kristen did a great job embellishing it with red pipe cleaners and white seed beads for a fuzzy candy cane look.  It’s definitely starting to embrace the Ugly Christmas Sweater theme. Cassie will be the last person to add her creativity to the bracelet. She said she has some unique ideas for what she wants to do, so look for the completed bracelet to be unveiled right before Christmas. You won’t want to miss it!...
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Lace cuff bracelet in two colour palettes

Posted 4 days ago by Kerrie Slade
Bead & Button magazine has once again reminded me of another ‘Same design: Different colour, different look’ example to show you. When I was working with Preciosa Ornela’s neon seed beads last year, one of the pieces I made was my Peas and Carrots cuff – a bright citrussy looking three row cuff, fastened with a slash of orange silk ribbon. Although it’s colourful, I used opaque matte beads for this piece which gives it a lovely smooth feel and also tones...
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Eyelash yarn

Posted 6 days ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
When I put out a call for jewelry pieces made with eyelash yarn, I expected a few responses. I received so many that I am going to tell you about many of the different ways this yarn was used in pieces. One of them has a touching store that I am going to repeat here. Deborah Shipp of DMK Artisans Jewelry shared not only her pictures of her work, but also the story behind it. As she said, “I'm sharing ‘Snowy’ with you.  It is a 16-Element Kongo Gumi Braid and it won...
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Holiday design challenge: Round 5

Posted 9 days ago by Connie W
Happy Ugly Christmas Sweater Day! This was our inspiration for our round robin holiday design challenge we started back in early November. The staff of Bead&Button has been taking turns creatively embellishing a holiday bracelet. Take a look at what Linda has added and watch for round 6 to see what Kristen does with it for her turn. So get out your Ugly Christmas Sweater and matching holiday jewelry (don’t worry if it doesn’t really match) and wear them proudly today!...
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What to do with new beads

Posted 11 days ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
It seems as quickly as we learn how to use a new shape bead, there are two more different ones hitting the market. Figuring out what to do with these new beads means I have to dive deep into my experience and use basic design techniques. If the hole of the bead is on the side instead of the top, that has to be taken into consideration. However, you really don’t know how things will look until you get brave and try it. Here I tried pellet beads with Kumihimo and made sure the ...
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Make bead garland for the holidays

Posted 11 days ago by Mortira vanPelt
As any beader with a family of children knows, it’s exciting to share our favorite crafts with kids, but it doesn’t always go as planned. Sometimes they surprise you with their creativity. Sometimes enthusiasm is in short supply. Either way, crafting is a great activity to share over the holidays. When my son was just a tot, we tried creating our own Christmas garland together using a variety of vintage beads. If you have some spare beads and string, you can make your own deco...
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2015 Bead&Button Show catalog

Posted 13 days ago by Cassie Donlen
cs_setInnerHtml('video_a7292d08-1458-4028-8b1e-ea531fe9d7b8',''); Yay! The Bead&Button Show registration booklet is in the mail to everyone who has signed up for classes in the past three years. It should arrive in your mailbox any day now! And on-line class browsing starts tomorrow, December 9! This will give you a few weeks to examine all of the classes and ponder which ones to add to the top of your list when registration opens on Tuesday, January 6. From my perspective, thi...
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Holiday design challenge: Round 4

Posted 13 days ago by Connie W
The bracelet for the holiday round robin design challenge is starting to look festive. I had the bracelet for round 3 and added little red bells and white pearls down the center of the base. If we’re going to wear it with an “Ugly Christmas sweater” I thought it needed to jingle a little! Linda Kast (our publisher) has it for round 4 so watch for the next update to see what she added to the bracelet....
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Need to bead!

Posted 17 days ago by Lora Groszkiewicz
Inspirational stories abound in the beading world. We've heard tales of how beading helps people get through tough times, how beading brings people together, how beading has helped communities out of financial difficulties, and many more. Bead&Button reader Denise Ginnis wrote to us wanting to share her own inspirational story — one that illustrates the how the need to bead helped her overcome a major obstacle. In 2011, Denise  was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Her doctors gave h...
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Holiday design challenge: Round 3

Posted 25 days ago by Connie W
We are off to a great start on our round robin holiday design challenge. Lora started us off with the bracelet base and it was Julia’s turn next for round 2. Check out the video to see what she added to the bracelet and who’s turn it is next for round 3! There’s still time to start your own round robin challenge and design along with us. Send us a photo of your finished bracelet to editor@beadandbutton.com. Please put round robin in the subject line. cs_setInnerHtml('video_c...
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Software to help you design

Posted 25 days ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
Many designers use graph paper and colored pencils to make designs that they use in their bead work. The first software that I became familiar with was from The Bead Cellar. I still use it, and I do have a later copy of it that I was Beta testing, but that version was never really finished. It never ran on the Macintosh, have the bead store that sold it closed. But with my old computer, I can make patterns for peyote, loom, brick stitch, and if you think about it, the loom designs can be...
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Senhoa design contest winners

Posted 25 days ago by Julia Gerlach
During the month of October, we co-sponsored a design contest with the Senhoa Foundation. Senhoa is a social organization that supports survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia by teaching them life skills, including jewelry making. The purpose of the contest was to get a few new designs to add to Senhoa's line of products. Thank you to everyone who entered! Our judges had a great time evaluating the pieces and here is our list of winners: 1st: Heidi Kummli's "Kaleidoscope Pendant" 2nd: San...
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Bead-It-Forward call for patterns contest

Posted one month ago by Cassie Donlen
The Bead-It-Forward project for 2015 is in full-swing and this year's theme is animals: "Wild about finding a cure." Even though Bead&Button is no longer managing the project, it is still going strong and is in the dedicated hands of fellow beader Amy Severino. All of the proceeds benefit two organizations: The Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, and The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. Do you have an idea for a Bead-It-Forward bead square in an animal theme? There is a call fo...
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Kazuri Kritters – from button to brooch

Posted one month ago by Kerrie Slade
Following on from my recent work with the polymer clay Samunnat beads from Kazuri West I’ve finally got around to having a play with some of the ceramic items from the Kazuri range. These buttons and beads are all hand made by an inspirational fair trade co-operative in Africa from clay from Mount Kenya. They are then carefully painted one at a time to produce a unique collection of richly coloured beads, cabochons, pendants and buttons in every shape, size and colour imaginable wh...
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Holiday design challenge: Round 2

Posted one month ago by Connie W
The Bead&Button staff is getting in the holiday spirit and doing a staff holiday round robin challenge.  Lora (editorial assistant) started us off with a right-angle weave bracelet base of red and green pearls. She hid the base in one of five boxes and we all picked a box at the same time to see whose turn it was next. It was Julia (editor)! She can embellish the base using any type of bead or button, and any type of stitch. Anything goes! When she is done, Lora will hide it in a box...
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Wire wrapping meteorites

Posted one month ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
With all the excitement about landing scientific instruments on a comet in the recent news, I thought I would show what I’ve done with things from outer space. In particular I’m talking about meteorites. One of my brothers sells them on eBay, and the smaller pieces he sends to me for making into jewelry pieces. I started doing this wire wrapping years ago, and found that many people were interested in this out-of-the-world jewelry. I hadn’t even taken a wire wrapping cl...
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Learn the basics of three-drop peyote stitch

Posted one month ago by Cassie Donlen
Peyote stitch is often considered a beading favorite, but have you ever tried your hand at making a project using three-drop peyote stitch? It isn’t as intimidating as it might sound and is actually quite fun! Here is a short, laid-back video demonstrating the basics of three-drop peyote stitch. The video refers to the Santa Baby bracelet designed by Josie Fabre. It’s an extremely darling design, and I just know you are going to want to make it! And… the pattern is free to re...
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Learn how to make holiday beaded ornaments

Posted one month ago by Danielle Barr
The holidays are just around the corner, and whether you want to make beaded ornaments to decorate your own home, or to give as a gift to those you love, our Holiday Ornaments app is the perfect way to get started. You'll learn how to craft ornaments with classic beading stitches combined with your favorite materials — SuperDuos, pearls, seed beads, crystals and more.  You can get the app on Android or iPad, and it includes video tips, interactive illustrations, a...
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Winner of the $5,000 shopping spree is...

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
As many of you know, during last month's Visit Your Local Bead Shop celebration, we teamed up with CJS Sales in New York City, who offered a $5000 shopping spree to one lucky shop owner. To determine the winner, we asked you to vote for your favorite shop. And with nearly 5,000 votes cast, we have a winner! Garnering 207 votes, the winner of the Vote for Your Favorite Bead Shop Contest is iBella Beads in St. Louis, Missouri! In addition, everyone who voted had a chance to win one of our weekl...
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BSNH fall 2014 bead retreat

Posted one month ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
Twice a year, members of the Bead Society of New Hampshire get together for a bead retreat at The Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center. We enjoy four days and three nights dedicated to beading and teaching each other new techniques. I had wanted to try a 7-strand Kumihimo pattern, and set up my disk before arriving on Thursday, Oct. 23rd. I was also prepared to teach how to use a marudai, and it certainly left me more beading time by having the twelve strands pre-loaded on bobbin...
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Senhoa contest - time to vote for your favorite design!

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
Our Senhoa Design Contest has officially closed so now its time to select winners! Three (or maybe four, depending on you!) lucky designers will win Swarovski crystals for their efforts to add new jewelry designs to the Senhoa Collection. A panel of judges will determine a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner but you, dear readers, get to pick the People's Choice winner. Please click here to see the entries and vote for your favorite! Voting ends November 7....
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National Button Day is almost here!

Posted one month ago by Julia Gerlach
I do enjoy all those special "holidays" created by enthusiasts to celebrate their interests, such as National Cheesecake Day (July 30), Pi Day (March 14, naturally) and National Mustard Day (first Saturday in August). About once a month or so, I look them up to see what kind of quirky things people are celebrating. Well one of my favorites is right around the corner — get ready for National Button Day (November 16)! To celebrate, I've posted this free bracelet design (with matching neck...
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Getting in the holiday spirit

Posted one month ago by Connie W
Last Friday in Wisconsin, we woke up to our first dusting of snow. What happened to our mid 70’s four days earlier? The cooler weather definitely has us thinking about getting our warm sweaters out for the winter. With the holidays just around the corner, it won’t be long before we’ll be wearing those Ugly Christmas Sweaters that have become so popular the last couple of years. There’s even an Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on December 12! The Bead&Button staff thought...
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Using online photo editors to enhance creativity

Posted one month ago by Cassie Donlen
As the leaves start changing, the days start getting cooler, and the daylight slips away quicker every evening, I find myself shifting into new creative modes. There is a new energy in the air with every season change. I was a tad slow out of the gate this Fall but finally put up some Halloween decorations last night and made plans to carve the pumpkin and roast pumpkin seeds this evening with the kids. I find it interesting how just pulling out decorations from a storage box gives that little i...
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First annual kumihimo meetup

Posted 2 months ago by Dr. Gail H. Devoid
In September 2014, twenty enthusiasts gathered in Hyannis, Massachusetts on Cape Cod to have their first annual meetup. Several of the attendees were teachers, and informal classes were set up using a Facebook page. I was happy to teach a few wire working techniques, such as forging a clasp, demonstrating the Conetastic, and making jump rings. I also did a class on how to use a marudai. Ricky and I had never met these people, but by the time the meetup was concluded, I had 20 new friends, ac...
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The 2015 Bead&Button Show commemorative bead is shipping soon!

Posted 2 months ago by Cassie Donlen
Oh happy day! Even though it seems like the Bead&Button Show was only a few months ago, things are starting to gear up behind the scenes in exciting anticipation for the 2015 show. Every show year, a limited edition commemorative lampwork bead is revealed. The 2015 bead is even more exciting as it’s our 15th anniversary bead and is made by flameworker Andrea Guarino-Slemmons. Working for Bead&Button totally has its perks and getting first dibs on designing with the show bead ...
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How to use orange with elegance in your jewelry designs

Posted 2 months ago by Mortira vanPelt
Of all the colors that we come to associate with fall, none of them is quite so predominate in October alone as orange. With so much focus on Halloween pumpkins, it’s easy to forget the elegant side of orange. Here are a few classy ways that you can capture this fiery color in your designs. Compliment It with Complements - Pairing your favorite shade of orange with a few of its color wheel neighbors is a great way to tame this often cartoonish hue. Turn up the heat with bold yello...
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New color collection

Posted 2 months ago by Connie W
The manufacturer of the popular CzechMates series of beads has come out with a new color collection called Halo Ethereal. The soft and warm colors have an opaque core and a shimmery coating that emit a radiant glow. Shown from left to right are: Shadows, Myrrh, Regal, linen, and Celadon. These colors would look great in those fall stitching projects! Look for them at your local bead store or online....
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Enter our design contest for Senhoa

Posted 2 months ago by Julia Gerlach
If you got the October 2014 issue, you may have noticed the Spotlight on Senhoa, a non-profit foundation that supports survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. Their programming, targeting at young impoverished women with few jobs options, is supported in part by teaching the women how to make and sell beaded jewelry. Many of the pieces in their collection were designed by their creative director, Jenny Van, who also owns JJ Bead in Huntington Beach, California. You may have seen her designs ...
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Bead-It-Forward project

Posted 2 months ago by Connie W
Have you started making your Bead-It-Forward squares for next year? Even though Bead&Button is no longer managing the project, it hasn’t gone away. The very dedicated Massachusetts beader Amy Severino has stepped up to keep Bead-It-Forward going. The 2015 theme is animals: “Wild about a finding a cure”. The squares will be assembled into different items like quilts and shadow boxes and auctioned off, with all proceeds benefiting two organizations: The Rays of Hope Center...

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