Monthly Archives: September 2008

Peyote Stitch Beading

Peyote stitch beading and I usually get along OK; at least, up until today.  Today...well, it was certainly an interesting start to my day!

I have some lampwork and wired pendants that would look fantastic with a more substantial necklace from which to hang.  I mean, a small sterling chain or leather or ribbons just won't cut it for these bolder pendants!  Kumihumo might work, but that is time consuming and finishing the ropes...oh boy.

So, I decided to make a peyote tubular rope.  I mean, I've done it in the past and peyote is relatively simple, so it should be a breeze, right?

Peyote Stitch Beading, Tube Style

First thing I should have remembered; it is much, much easier to use a form of some typoe when you do a peyote tube.  I couldn't find the knitting needle I had planned to use, so I thought I could wing it.  Can you say, "oh, no!"?  Thought so.  😉

"Sahara" Lampwork Beads (Click to Enlarge)

"Sahara" Lampwork Beads (Click to Enlarge)

I actually wasn't doing too badly for making a flat circular peyote stitch, but that's not what I was trying for!

I finally gave up for the time being and just decided to do regular flat peyote stitch beading.  At least there I was successful!  So I kept on and decided instead of zipping my flat sitches into a tube, that I would make a bracelet instead.  And so far, it's looking pretty cool.  I already have a name for it, I think.  I won't post a photo until I am done, but here's a hint:  it's done in mostly shades of blue.

Anyway, as soon as I get my bracelet finished (probably tomorrow), I'll try the peyote tube again.  I should be more successful this time, because I found the knitting needle I need to use as the form!

Because I don't have a photo of my peyote today, I'll leave you with a photo of some more of my lampwork for the time being.  Enjoy!

Beading Books I Like – Three Reviews

Beading books have been a staple for me, ever since I became interested in bead jewelry.  I've mentioned before that I don't have much in the way of bead stores near to me.  And unfortunately, a lot of their classes are held during the day when I'm at work.  While they do have weekend classes, most times they aren't the classes I need.

So, beading books have been more the rule than the exception for me. I've both learned a lot and have been inspired by various books. From lampworking, to seed beading to other types of jewelry-making involving beads, I've got the books! So, I thought I'd share my reviews of some of them.

The first is The Beader's Guide to Color by Margie Deeb. Ultimately, this book is about how to choose colors for your beading projects. But to me, this book is about eye candy and inspiration! There are 135 pages with tons of color pictures. Sure, it goes through the standard analagous/complimentary color pallets, but it also describes combinations I had never thought of before.

One photo and "color set" that I really liked was page 63, with a piece called "Rhapsody in Flowers - Cascade". The colors, and the necklace itself, are lovely.  Although the book is far more about seed beads than anything else, there is some lampwork.  I think the necklace on page 32, done up in earth tones, is something I would wear in a heartbeat -- absolutley gorgeous!

There's a short bit at the end about how to do some of the seed beading (peyote, brick and loom work), but it's more of a refresher than really how to do the stitches. I do like this book, and recommend it to anyone who is looking to break out of their standard color combinations. Or anyone who just loves photos of beadwork!

Let's see, the next book is one I put in the "coffee table books" category. It's called Beadwork: A World Guide by Caroline Crabtree and Pam Stallebrass. It's a big book, hardcover, with tons of (mostly color) photos. It details beads, beadwork and beading traditions from around the world. It's not exactly a book that you want to read straight through. Instead, it's one to be savored slowly, over the course of days or weeks. But it isn't just pictures; there's a lot of good information on the history of beads in different cultures -- actually fascinating reading.

And I just love looking at all the photos.  The chair on page 71 is totally awesome; I don't even want to begin to think of how long that took to make!  If you're a Star Wars fan, you will immediately recognize the "look" of the Mongolian woman in the drawing on page 113.  And since I am a fan of colorful designs, page 122 appealed to me.

So, I recommend this book if you are a dyed-in-the-wool bead lover. And have a coffee table strong enough to hold the book!

The last one for today is called Passing the Flame by Corina Tettinger. If you are interested in making lampwork beads, I can't recommend this book highly enough. I bought it at the original price of $75, and now I understand that it's under $60 these days. Even at $75, it was totally worth it!

Corina's style and my style of making beads are about as opposite as you can get, but you know -- it didn't matter. The information she gives can be applied to about any bead style. So if you want to learn lampworking, and can only buy one book -- this one is it.

Those are the beading books for today. I'll write more reviews here and there of other books I think are worth sharing. Meanwhile, have a great day!

Bead Buying and Supply Sources

I don't know about you, but I love virtual on-line bead shopping. And yes, I do very much enjoy going to bead shows and fondling the merchandise, there aren't a whole lot of shows where I live. For that matter, there aren't many bead shops close by, either!

Lampwork and Swarovski

So, the internet, and especially ebay, are my shopping companions. Ebay especially I love for two items: [nmslink:lampwork beads,artisan lampwork beads] and also [nmslink:swarovski beads,Swarovski bead mixes].  Honestly, outside of a bead show, you can't find a better selection of artisan lampwork beads than on ebay.

Sterling Silver

Then there are places like Monsterslayer where I enjoy buying sterling products -- beads, clasps, wire, etc.  Not a high-tech site, for sure, but the prices are great!  (And the more you save the more goodies you can buy, right?)

Gemstone Beads

Buying gemstone beads is a bit tricky.  In the beginning I bought a lot of my gemstone beads at the online stores you see advertised prominently in the beading magazines.  Then I went to some gem and bead shows and saw what I had been missing (in other words - a lot).  So these days, I try to buy hands-on whenever possible. 

I did find one place online I was impressed with, though -- Stones 'N Silver.  I bought a few loose gemstone beads to try them out, and I was pleased enough to go back.  The blue lace agate beads I bought were especially yummy!  Come to think of it, maybe it's time I go back again for more goodies like their beautiful leopardskin jasper.

Miscellaneous Beading Supplies

OK, other supplies.  Yep, now is the time I use those big bead places like Fire Mountain -- stringing supplies, Delica beads, glues, needles and other miscellaneous items.

Lampwork Bead Supplies

And lampwork glass.  I do an awful lot of glass shopping on ebay for glass as well, especially the [nmslink:vetrofond,Vetrofond odd lots].  Then of course I am on several email lists for various small glass suppliers, so when I get word of a sale....  😉

Eye Candy For Today

Right now I'll leave you with some beady eye candy from Sisters Beads on ebay.  I do so enjoy looking at their auctions, and I hope you do, too.

[nms:lampwork beads sisters,7,1,25]

Bead Manager Pro — Do You Use It?

Do you use Bead Manager Pro?  Do you like it?  Do you use it?  Let's talk about it!

Do You Make Jewelry?

The first question is this:  do you make a lot of jewelry? 

OK, if you're a bead lover (like me, for instance) you probably have a ton of supplies.  Make that a ton of supplies all over the place!  And when an idea for the perfect piece of beaded jewelry overcomes you, naturally you go looking for the components. 

Here's what happens to me; I know where my most-used supplies are, and I have a pretty good idea what I have in stock at any given time.  For instance, I know that I have a lot (and I really mean a lot) of 4mm round sterling beads.  But as for sterling daisy spacers...I don't use those as often, so right now I couldn't tell you if I need to order more (which probably means that I do).

I was making a gemstone and seed bead necklace early this week, and I wanted to use my amethyst beads.  I knew I had some, so I went hunting for them.  Ok, found some.  Not what I thought I had but oh well.  So I went and made the necklace.

Naturally, after the necklace was done, I saw the beads that I originally wanted to use.  Yes, I still had some and they were just hiding from me (don't you hate it when they do that?)!

And then there was the clasp situation.  I honestly thought I had a dozen or more lobster claw sterling clasps, so blithely went on my way.  OK, time for the clasps...what do you mean I only had 2!  Grrr, time to get more, and in the meanwhile, change my clasping plans.

Does any of this sound familiar?  😉

Do You Make and Sell Jewelry?

Taxes.  I hate them, you hate them, but if you make and sell jewelry, you have to do them.  I know that every year towards the end of December I get depressed with the thought of doing inventory.   I have to balance what I bought, versus what I used and sold then compare it to what I have on hand.  Because I can only write off in taxes what I actually used and sold.

Lampwork Bracelet, "Watercolor Garden"  (Click to Enlarge)

Lampwork Bracelet, "Watercolor Garden" (Click to Englarge)

Did I use 10 or 12 Swarovski bicones in that bracelet?  And what the heck did I pay for those Swarovski beads to begin with?

Which brings up another point -- how do you know if you made a profit on your jewelry?  I know that technically, once you get some supplies (let's use my 4mm sterling beads as an example), you should figure out the price per each.  So say I paid $70 for 1,000 of them.  OK, that's 7 cents a bead.  Now say I use 20 of them in a bracelet.  That's easy enough, $1.40.  But what about the rest of the materials?  It all adds up when it comes to jewelry.  Was that clasp $2...or $10?  How many of those $5 per bead lampwork beads did you use?  Now, what did you sell that piece for?

OK, point made.  You need to know what you bought, what you've used (and sold) and what you have in stock (either unused or made into jewelry and as yet unsold).  At the end of the year, you need to know if you've made a profit or not.

Do You Use Bead Manager Pro?

I don't have the Bead Manager Pro software (yet, at any rate).  I know the benefits of it, and when it comes to the end of the year, I'd bless anything that let me do inventory easier/faster/better.  And it would be nice to know exactly how much it cost me in supplies to make that piece of jewelry. 

So I want to hear from you folks.  Do you use it?  Do you like it?  (Do you want to find out more about the Bead Manager Pro software in general?)

Leave me a comment.  Tell me about it.  I think it sounds like a great idea, but what do you think?