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Showing posts from October, 2012

Halloween Beading

Happy Halloween, everyone!
When I was a kid, I loved being scared, so Halloween was always a fun time of year for me. I'd love to do some Halloween-themed beading, though I'm a little late for that this year. Next year, hopefully, I'll plan early enough to put at least a couple of items on my Etsy shop.
Speaking of, my plan to list my first item at my Etsy store tomorrow is still on. I'll have just one piece. I'd hoped to have more, but there's just no way I can get more done. Maybe by December 1, I'll be able to list a few more.

Beading Term: Patina

A film on a metal surface such as bronze or copper that's created by oxidation. Patina gives the metal an aged look, which many people like. It can either be produced the hard way -- over time -- or created with some household chemicals.

Beading Term: Barrel Clasps

Round like a barrel, this type of clasp is made up of two pieces that screw together to form a secure closure. Each piece attaches to the jewelry with a loop. Because both hands are needed to operate the clasp, it's best not to use it on bracelets.

The Bead Mix

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Sometimes, misjudging what a toddler can reach is just too easy.

A little over a week ago, I put this bead case on the kitchen table. I thought it was back far enough that my daughter wouldn't be able to reach it. I was wrong. She picked it up, tilted it sideways and made quite a bit of sorting work for me. I think I might just sort them as I need them, but even that seems like a lot of extra work to complete projects.

Beading Term: Lobster Clasp

Usually made of metal, lobster clasps have a long body and a half-circle hook, a segment of which can move to open and close the hook. That segment is operated by a spring-powered lever located on the outside of the hook. Users push the lever up or down to open the clasp, then let go, which causes the moveable segment of the hook to snap shut, much like a lobster snaps its pinchers.

Good Feedback

During the lunch I had with my friend yesterday, I got some good feedback both on pricing and on the design of a couple of the bracelets I made. I feel a little more confident now that I'm on the right track. I also got a tip on another possible venue to sell some of my stuff. I plan to do a little browsing around the place today to see what it looks like and maybe get an idea of how much it would cost to sell there and if I have to rent space for a certain length of time. It sounds very promising!

Couching

I bought some deerskin several years ago with big plans to learn couching. I have several books that contain patterns, but I have yet to give it a try.

About five years ago, I went to the Red Earth Festival in Oklahoma City. The event has tons of arts and crafts booths with the biggest variety of arts I've ever seen. One of the crafts vendors had some deerskin purses with couched beaded flowers and other images on the outside. I would've loved to buy one, but they were priced beyond what I was able to spend.

Ever since, I've thought about learning to do the same. I bought some deerskin off of eBay (and probably paid way too much for it), but I have yet to learn to make a purse or to couch. Perhaps after the festival in December has passed, I'll make the time to practice and learn.

A Basket Book

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Rather than profile a bead book, I thought I'd review another favorite craft book of mine. It's called, "A Basketmaker's Odyssey: Over, Under, Around & Through" by Lyn Syler.

I've owned this book for quite a few years. I love the variety of baskets it features. Syler shows the basics of weaving for novices and offers complex patterns that combine techniques for more skilled basket makers.
Another bonus: The projects the book contains also use a variety of materials, including flat reeds and round reeds. Some projects even combine the two. One of my favorites baskets is made out of dried pine cone needles.
Side note: As of this post, it looks like this book may be out of print. The link to Amazon.com above shows only two copies available, both from external sellers and both rather pricey (the used copy is $68; the new is $723.) For any readers who are interested in the book, I recommend checking with your local library to see whether you can get it throug…

Beading Term: Multistrand Clasps

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Multistrand clasps are made of two long pieces, each containing two or more loops for securing the threading material. One piece goes on each end of a bracelet, necklace or other jewelry item. Some multistrand clasps are closed by sliding one end into the other or with magnets. Others, like the one shown in the photo, have hooks.

Aha! Here's the Scoop!

Back in March, I wrote about the best freebie a beading retailer had sent to me as a thank you for my order. It was a little scoop that came from Fire Mountain Gems. I had lost mine a few years ago, looked for a replacement but couldn't find one. Eventually, I did find mine again, thankfully, but just in case I ever lost it again, I wanted to buy a backup or two.

Well, in exploring on the Shipwreck Beads website, I found some. After that, I decided to check Fire Mountain again, and it has some, too. (Maybe I misspelled the word "scoop" when I looked on the Fire Mountain website all those years ago, because surely, if it was giving them out as freebies, it must've had them in stock to sell, too.)

Anyway, this is now at the top of my list of things to buy when I do my next bead order.

Beading Term: Design Board

Design boards are typically gray boards with grooves in them and measurement markings. By using the board, crafters can see about how many beads they need for their project and determine whether their color, style and finding choices will work for what they want to create.

Design boards come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some for mapping out bracelets, some for multi-strand necklaces and others that can be used for both bracelets and necklaces. (Photo of one style can be found here.)

Czech Twins

I was making the rounds on the websites of bead retailers yesterday and found something rather interesting at Shipwreck Beads: Czech twin seed beads. They're oval, and rather than having just one hole, they have two. I can think of a few designs for them; I love to see what more seasoned beaders could do with them.

Shipwreck says they have a limited quantity, and darn it, if that doesn't make me want to buy, buy, buy. But I don't have the extra dough right now. Hopefully, they'll have some in stock once I do.