Bead Supplies

Making Beaded Jewelry – When You’ve Run Out of Supplies

Making beaded jewelry is fun, unless you have run out of supplies.  And if in today's economy you can't afford more at the moment, what do you do?

As for me, I take a look at what I've made and rarely worn.  Time to disassemble and create something new!

What to Choose?

As I mentioned, the first thing I do is look for jewelry that I made and have only worn once or twice (or in some cases...never).  No, I don't particularly like taking apart my "babies", but on the flip side -- I love creating something new!

And honestly, if I don't wear it (and don't really expect to in the future), why not take it apart?  It's doing no good sitting in the jewelry box.

When you are hungry for beading supplies, it can be a treasure-trove.

(Re) Making Beaded Jewelry

OK, I have two necklaces that I am eying.  One is primarily pearls and Swarovski.  The other has gemstone beads, sterling spacers, gemstone chips and Czech beads.  I've rarely worn one of them.  The other I used to wear a lot, but haven't put on for at least 5 years.  I'd say they are ripe for redux.

So, let me take 'em both apart.  I'm probably create just one necklace out of the two.  I will add in a few of my lampwork beads that I just found this morning (whoo-hoo!). 

So, I'll post what I come up with -- let's see if I can manage to make something interesting.

Meanwhile, if you do have some spare change for more beads, here are some you might like.

Lampwork Glass Novelty Evil Eye Beads 75 8mm Round Dark Blue 20
Lampwork Glass Novelty Evil Eye Beads 75 8mm Round Dark Blue 20
Time Remaining: 17d 14h 12m
Buy It Now for only: $2.65
Glass Eye Pendant with Claw lampwork Blue Boro Focal Bead Oil Dabber Mazet VGW
Glass Eye Pendant with Claw lampwork Blue Boro Focal Bead Oil Dabber Mazet VGW
Time Remaining: 15h 21m
Buy It Now for only: $89.00
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue  Yellow 15 mm 4 Beads 333y
Lampwork Glass Flower Beads Raised Petals Blue Yellow 15 mm 4 Beads 333y
Time Remaining: 24d 2h 53m
Buy It Now for only: $6.99
6 Handmade Lampwork Blue AB Finish Twist Leaf 32x25mm Glass BeadsDDD46
6 Handmade Lampwork Blue AB Finish Twist Leaf 32x25mm Glass BeadsDDD46
Time Remaining: 26d 13h 30m
Buy It Now for only: $1.25
G3093L Blue w Gold  Silver Foil Handmade Lampwork Glass 24mm Oval Beads 10 pkg
G3093L Blue w Gold Silver Foil Handmade Lampwork Glass 24mm Oval Beads 10 pkg
Time Remaining: 17d 8h 34m
Buy It Now for only: $8.20

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Bling in the New Year!

Well, it's New Year's Eve day, and the end of 2008.  High time to plan how to bling in the New Year!

As you know, I've been doing some collecting of costume jewelry, as well as doing a redux on pieces.  My latest acquisitions have been some crystal necklaces, probably from the late 60's through the 70's.  Or, they could even be newer, but based on the materials used, I'd say probably late 70's.

I took apart these necklaces for three reasons.  One, they aren't Swarovski -- crystal, yes; Swarovski, no.  But the AB beads sure are pretty!

Second, they weren't strung as well as they could have been; way too tight, so they didn't hang right.

The last reason were the clasps, which were really nice.  The clasps would be lovely in a re-done piece!  All three included chatons, one of them with AB chatons.

So I've got plenty of materials to work with in 2009!  (I won't talk at the moment about all the other bead necklaces I've disassembled lately....)

Finding the Bling

I've been watching the ebay auctions for costume jewelry, as well as haunting some flea markets.  Some days I find all kinds of treasures; some days I am empty-handed.  But I've since gotten over buying just any "bling" -- I wait until something jumps up and screams in my face, "Bring me home!"

Sometimes the pieces just need to be taken apart for a redux, like the crystal necklaces I just disassembled.  Some pieces stay whole, like some brooches I recently bought.

And hey, I found a great way to use my Christmas Tree pins!  OK, I'm a little late this year in telling you, but it's something you can do year-round.

One of my pins is large and heavy, and kept flopping when I wore it.  The pinback itself is vertical, so I had the idea to pin it onto a necklace (in my case, a vintage faux pearl necklace).  The pin hung there wonderfully!  So now I know what to do with the large Christmas Tree pins next year.  And what I can do with large brooches all year long.

Bling in the New Year!

So let's make a deal here; resolve to bring some bling into 2009.  Whether your bling style is modest or in-your-face, there's a place for it in all our lives.  Something sparkly to liven up our dull days, and pretty, to look at when we are stressed.

At any rate, here are some [nmslink:vintage crystal beads, vintage crystal beads] to consider, for starting your own vintage "bling" redux collection (below are just a few examples). 

Oh, and Happy New Year!

[nms:vintage crystal beads,7,0,5]

Flea Markets, Beads and Jewelry

For the first time in awhile I went on a flea market search for beads, beaded jewelry and vintage signed costume jewelry.  What fun I had, looking through the piles!  But my eyes hurt from squinting to see the signatures on the jewelry (even with a loupe it was difficult at times).

My mission today was simple; I was on a hunt to find vintage costume jewelry with one of the three "R's" -- re-sellable, re-usable or restorable.  And yes, I found nice examples of all three.

I took my husband David with me, and he was a big help, in pawing through the jewelry looking for signatures.  In fact, he found two pieces that I immediately snatched up!  And he suggested that we go to a much bigger flea market tomorrow to see what we can find.  So we'll go early and probably stay all day (it's a very, very large flea market).

Were They All Treasures?

Well, I did make a few mistakes, about $2 worth.  Don't ask me why I picked up 3 Christmas pins that I didn't mean to buy...but I bought anyway, by accident.  They are pretty, for sure, but I realized that one tree had a branch broken off.  Another was a necklace that I thought had a particular designer's signature, but I didn't check with my loupe.  Oops, once I got home, the signature wasn't what I thought.  But at 50 cents each, my mistakes didn't cost too much.

Like Vintage "Redux"?

Jennie sent me an email this morning about a book by Kalmbach publishing (you know, the Bead & Button people) about taking vintage pieces and remaking them into new pieces.  Naturally, I checked on Amazon and they have it (for a much better price).  If you think this is a cool idea, check out Vintage Redux: Remake Classic and Collectible Jewelry for some ideas and inspiration.  So, if this sounds interesting to you, why not pick up a copy (I have one in my Amazon shopping cart right now).

Well, I'm going to go for now and go play with today's finds.  So I'll leave you with some [nmslink:vintage bead lot, ideas for redux supplies] (if you don't have any good flea markets nearby).

[nms:vintage bead lot,7,1,9]

It’s a Bad Glue Day

In my previous post I mentioned that I was working on a new project which involves working with a cabachon on a Stiff Stuff background.  And I also mentioned that the cab had been glued to the Stiff Stuff for a few years (ahem!).

Well, I'm ready to put the final microfiber backing on the cab.  I have it all ready and waiting.  So, I get out my E6000 glue and squeeze.

Hmm, nothing coming out.  So I grab another tube.  It's hardened too.  Drat!

So knowing that I've seen E6000 at the local grocery store, I went there to get some.  Hmm, they don't carry it anymore.  But wait!  There's a hardware store right around the corner, surely they have it.  Nope, they had never even heard of it.

OK, off to Michael's.  Hated to go there on a Sunday afternoon, 'cause I knew the lines would be long, but when ya gotta bead...ya gotta bead.  Good grief, where did they move the glue aisle to?  Ahh, found it.

The first tube I grabbed felt kinda funny.  I took off the cap to check if the top was still intact and it was.  Just ready to walk away, I noticed there was a puncture in the tube, which had hardened.  Well, there's another tube, and it feels squishy, so I'll grab that one.

It wasn't until I got home that I thought to check if the top had been pierced -- naturally, it already had.  But fortunately probably not for long since it was still gluey.  So I was able to put the backing on my one piece (which is turning out nice so far) and then glue three more cabs to the Stiff Stuff.  Success!

Well, that's my sticky situation for the day (groan).  So I'll impatiently check my cabs to see how far along they are, and leave you with some more pretty beady [nmslink:lampwork bead focal,ebay bead auctions].  See ya later!

[nms:lampwork bead focal,6,1,10]