Showing posts from August, 2012

Looking Forward to Saturday

For the first time in a couple of weeks, I had a chance to work on my black bracelet yesterday during my break at lunch. Woo hoo!

I had thought that would be enough time to finish it, but it wasn't. I don't have much more to go, though. With a little luck, I'll be able to wrap it up Saturday when my daughter naps -- if she naps. She's not always a fan of napping.

I still have a couple of projects (not bead related) that can slow me down, so, unlike the last couple of weeks, I'm just going to put my Etsy shop debut out of my mind and not plan to do my first listing this coming Monday. If I can do it, great. Otherwise, I'm just not going to sweat it. One of the projects is getting stuff ready to sell on consignment, but I'm scheduled to drop all of that off at 1 p.m. today, so after today, that's done. The other is a freelance project that I have the finishing touches to go on, but I can't do anymore on it until someone else finished up her part. I e…

Beading Term: Bicone

In bicone beads, the diameter of the ends of the beads are much smaller than their center, which creates a cone shape at each end. Lengths vary; they can be short or long tubes.

Beading Term: Wire Gauge

Wire is measured in gauge, with higher numbers indicating thinner wire.

The reason for this has to do with how wire is made: Those who make it draw it through a cast called a drawing plate to make it thinner. The more times the wire is drawn through the plate, the thinner the wire gets. Gauge number is the number of times the wire gets passed through the drawing plate.

Etsy Purchase

I still haven't had time to bead -- beginning today or tomorrow, though, my schedule should get back to normal -- so I haven't listed anything on Etsy yet; however, I did buy something.

I bought a replacement high chair cover for my daughter's high chair. The one she had has been washed a few too many times because it's falling apart in the back. I can't wait to get the new one! I love handcrafted items!

Beaders With a Common Goal

I've been a member of Spark People -- a site that offers free diet plans and support for dieters -- for a few years now and have used its diet tips and food-tracking tool off and on.

The other day, I popped in, feeling yet another spurt of resolve to get my weight under control, and decided not only to record my weight but also to check in with my teams -- groups to which I belong in which the members have a common interest or characteristic -- for the first time since I joined them. One of my teams is a writing team, another for other members older than 40, and two teams are made of up fellow beading enthusiasts.

One of the beading teams seems to be defunct, with few posts in about a year. The other seems like it's sporadically active, but it's nice to see what other people think and are working on. My goal is to partake more in the Spark People community. Perhaps doing so will help me with my goals, both on the scale and with my beads.


My mom makes earrings -- tons of them -- when she sits down to bead. She also makes barretts, bun holders, headdresses and more.

For years, I never bothered to make earrings. I don't know why not. Perhaps it's because I don't ever wear them myself because I have yet to find a type of post that doesn't cause my ear to get infected. But about a year ago, I decided to give earrings a try.

This photo show my second pair I attempted. This is how far I got before I realized something wasn't going right with it. Now, though, when I look at it, I don't know what my mistake was, but I think it's my choice in stringing material. This is Fireline, which doesn't have any give to it. I think it looks OK, so I might try to finish it anyway for the arts & crafts festival.

Etsy Debut Delayed Again

Because life can be hectic -- for me, lately it's been illnesses, being short staffed at work, a freelance project coming due and a consignment sale I need to prepare for -- I have had no time for beading coming up on two weeks now. As a result, the black seed bead bracelet I was working on hasn't been touched and is still unfinished.

I think things will get back to normal now, or at least relatively normal, so hopefully this week I can get it done and get it listed. I'm anxious to give selling via Etsy a try.
Once I get this bracelet finished, I need to get started on my wish list for the next festival. If at all possible, I'd like to have a basket ready to go, too.

Interesting Beading Techniques

"Beaded Cords, Chains, Straps & Fringe" A Beadwork Magazine Project Book
Another book from my beading bookshelf, "Beaded Cords" features two beading techniques I haven't seen in any of my other books: embroidering and spool-knitting. With spool knitting, the yarn does more than just provide structure to the project, it's also front and center in the design. When embroidering chains, beaders can either hide the stringing material or create breaks in the beadwork to let it it show through.
Other techniques in the book -- spiral chains, daisy chains, loom straps, etc. -- but some projects, such as the Caduceus chain, put a new spin on them.

The Nameplate Update

It's been a while since I've worked on the nameplate for my daughter's bedroom door. We don't have her room ready for her yet, so I've got some time to finish it, but I'm pretty far from doing so. It doesn't even look like a nameplate yet. I haven't gotten any farther than what you see above.

Beading Term: Crimp Beads

Typically made of metal, crimp beads come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors to best match your beadwork. With the pair of pliers or crimping tool, beaders mash the sides of the crimp bead together to block beads from sliding and/or to secure the stringing material (typically tigertail or similar material).

Bead Term: Bugle Beads

Bugle beads are beads shaped like a long, narrow tube. Bugles are available in different lengths, measured in milimeters. Beaders can select bugles with smooth, faceted or twisted barrels.

Beading Term: Facet

A facet on a stone or a bead is a flat panel. Some beads, such as Charlottes, may be perfectly round with just one facet. Others may have several facets and no edges. Others may have no facets at all.

Because of how the panels reflect light from different angles, faceted beads and stones often have a shimmering quality.

Bead Term: Tigertail

Tigertail is a coated cable made up of strands of braided steel. Its coating making it a good choice for sharp-edged beads. More flexible than wire but not as bendy as string, tigertail works best in projects that do not require the stringing material to make sharp turns or several passes through the same bead.

Bead Term: Findings

Tools and supplies for jewelry makers (and other crafters). Examples include (but are far from limited to) clasps, jump rings, earring hooks, crimp beads and bails.

Flush Cutters

Flush cutters are cutting tool with blades off to the side of its mouth, allowing beaders to cut their stringing material much closer to their work than a pair of scissors does.

Blast from the Past: A Beaded Choker

This is another one of the first things I made, a choker that combines Czech seed beads, tiger tail and silver-plated beads. Back then, my kid sister provided most of the beading advice I had, right down to telling me what tiger tail is and all about crimp beads.
Looking back, I still like the idea of the choker, but I think it would be better not to use such a sharp color contrast. Perhaps if rather than silver the bigger beads were dark blue or red, and placed in a less structured pattern.

Etsy Delay

Now, I'm aiming for next Monday to do my first listing. I spent Saturday battling a headache that I thought was sinus related, but then I spent Sunday battling body aches and a bad tummy. I guess the two were related. Neither my baby girl nor my hubby are feeling all that great today.

I'm setting my sights on next Monday.

Etsy Debut?

I'm close enough to finishing the black bracelet I've been working on that I think I can list it on Etsy on Monday. I'm crossing my fingers crossed that I can finally get the site going. (My store site will be here.)
I know that I won't be making tons of money at Etsy -- especially given how little time I have for working on beadwork right now -- but even a little bit of extra income will be nice.
I've spent some time reading blogs of top Etsy sellers; hopefully, they'll give me a few tips for getting started on the right foot.

New Site Up and Running

Fusions Beads finally has its new site up, and I have to say, it looks great. I think it's much easier to navigate than it was before, because it allows users to winnow down their searches as they go. To change a search just slightly -- for instance, if you'd like to search for some yellow round seed beads to go with the red ones you just selected -- takes only a couple clicks, rather than having to start a whole new search, as shoppers had to on FB's old site.

Beading During Breaktime

Yesterday and today, I've worked a schedule that puts me taking a lunch during a time when the odds of having the breakroom to myself are significantly lower than normal. I shouldn't be so self-conscious about beading in front of people, I know, but I still feel that way. Therefore, I left my beadwork at my desk.

However, yesterday I went into the breakroom expecting it to be close to capacity. It wasn't. As a matter of fact, I did have it to myself for about 10 minutes, and then one person walked in. Just one. No one else did during my entire break.

Today, I plan to take my beadwork.

A New Wishlist

With another festival I'd like to attend coming up in October and a push to get my Etsy shop up and running, I've been considering how much of a stockpile of finished beadwork I'd like to have on hand. As I finish items that I think look good enough, I'll list them on Etsy. But by the time the festival arrives, I'd like to have the following:

15 kids rings.10 kids bracelets.10 adult necklaces.10 adult bracelets.2 bookmarks. At the rate I've been finishing items, though, that's a tall order. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some extra time beyond my at-work lunches to get some beading done.

Photographing Can Be Tough

Here's where I stand on the black bracelet I've been working on. It's in a herringbone stitch (I clarify that because the photo looks so awful). I've decided that if this looks good when it's finished, I'll make a necklace to match.

This is s a similar bracelet I've started with my green beads. For some reason, these beads photograph much better, perhaps because they have a matte finish instead of a gloss. If that is the case, I'll need to do quite a bit of practice photography with the shinier beads to get a decent photo for listing it on Etsy.

Beauty of Simplicity

"Easy Bead Woven Bracelets (Easy-Does-It) Bead & Button Books
Here's another bead book I like to thumb through when I'm running short of ideas, and it's about what one would expect from the editors of Bead & Button, one of my favorite beading magazines. I'd wear any of the bracelets featured inside. The book gives a great (though simple) tutorial on beading basics and features tons of illustrations and photographs detailed enough to help beaders follow along.

Odds and Ends

Darn, I missed it! A bead convention comes to town every June, and each year, I look forward to going. It's never very big, but it's a chance to see what others are making and pick up some beads that I don't see at my usual shops. The organizers had sent me a flyer about when it would be, but I never made note of it. Just yesterday morning I realized it had come and gone, and I didn't even notice.
Working lunch I spent my lunch hour Wednesday beading again. I've kind of put the green bracelet aside to work on the black one, and I think I've reached the halfway point. I think I'm probably going to take apart the green one and start again; I have a different idea about what I'd like to do with those beads and I don't have enough to make two. Maybe if the black one turns out well, I can sell it on Etsy, buy more green beads and make both ideas.
"In August" doesn't mean August 1, apparently As I mentioned Tuesday, Fusion Beads is revampin…

Beading Encyclopedia

Terms and tools to help novice beaders. Click links below for more detailed descriptions and images. (This list will update often.)

Beads: Types and DescriptionsAB finish
Bicone beads
Bugle beads
Crimp beads
Opal beads
Opaque beads
Translucent beads
Transparent beads

ToolsFlush cutters

Stringing MaterialSilamide thread

Everything ElseBeeswax
Jump rings
Seed bead sizes

Wire gauge

Then Versus Now

Back when I first started beading, I spent a lot of hours in front of the TV as I worked on projects. These days, pulling a tray table full of beads in front of me as I watch TV is just too risky. My little girl is just far too curious. She's either reaching for stuff on the table or trying to crawl under it to get to me.

As I've mentioned before, I've started taking my beadwork to work with me so that I can work on it during my lunch hour, and I've really been enjoying it. Rather than watching a movie or TV show like I used to, these days I switch on my iPod and listen to podcasts. Doing this has given me an added, unexpected benefit. I used to feel very restless when I had lunch in the breakroom. I'd often go shopping for part of the hour. It would feel more like a break if I got out of the building. But these days, I don't mind the breakroom so much. It's relaxing to work on my beads and just listen to stuff I enjoy. I only wish I could have two hours fo…