Monday, May 26, 2014

Moving Right Along with Bead Weaving

Most of this series has been to do with using seed beads in your bead weaving.  That's not to say that this is the only bead that you can use, but it is the most difficult. Why?  Because they are small and easily missed or the sizes in your batch don't match up.  Anyway, for this series, we have now reviewed

as well as a few tidbits on other items.

This post will be broken down into two posts, just simply because I get a bit wordy and I don't want to lose readers because the post is to lengthy.

So now, let's talk about getting down to the nitty gritty of bead weaving.  You need to use the right thread and for the most part, this is an individual choice, it is what works best for your and your style of beading.  Here are some of my thoughts.

First let me just say that the threads I choose to use most often are Fireline and Wildfire.  Usually 8lb test and .006 or .008.  These just work better for me, your needle won't split them quite as often when you are going back through a bead and they knot easily and pull into your bead for hiding quite well. You can get Fireline through any of your bead suppliers, but you can get it cheaper at your local fish and tackle shop. WalMart even carries the neon colors now more than the crystal or smoke.

There are literally hundreds of choices.  When viewing a tutorial material list, you will often see Nymo thread listed.  I simply don't like Nymo or KO, but would choose KO over Nymo.  It splits, frays and in general just does not hold up to my beading, but that is my personal taste, try it you might like it.

Now let's get that thread onto a needle. Generally, you will use a needle that is close to the size of the bead your are using, for example for an 11/0 seed bead you will want to use a size 11 or 12 needle.  The higher the number of the needle, the thinner the needle and also the smaller the hole for the thread.  But these needles will be able to go through your beads several times without a problem.

Typically, I use either a size 10 and a size 12.  The size 10 is easier for me to thread and this is how I do it.

Get some beeswax, it is a must have.  Cut your desired length of thread (whatever you are comfortable with) usually not more than 3 yards (3 arm spans), then pull the thread through the beeswax.  This helps prevent tangling, knotting and it makes threading the needle a bit easier.  Take your flat nose pliers and fatten out about a half inch of the end of the thread, put the end of the thread between your thumb and forefinger so that only a small bit is showing, then take your needle and push it onto the thread.  That works better for me than anything. 

Got it done?  Great, get started doing some practice with your favorite beginner tutorial.

See you in a few days with more on bead weaving and what works for me.

Thanks for stopping by.

Be Blessed


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Latest Happenings

Well, I am not quite ready to finish my series yet, but the next post is not coming along as expected, so my apologies to everyone, it is a bit delayed, but just to keep up here, I thought I would post a few of the pieces I have been creating lately.

First there are several pair of earrings, all with the same type design.  This is a pair of earrings I saw from Chan Lu and I just tried to figure out how she did it.  This is what I came up with and did several with different size beads to see the effect.

First, these are some glass beads I picked up at the local craft store that I liked, they have a slight AB finish which really does not show up well in the photographs. Using two threaded needles and some right angle weave, this is what I came up with.

Second, I had some Czech fire polished beads and wow the camera does not do justice to this color.  They look read but in reality are a rich deep burgundy which is absolutely gorgeous.  I think this is my favorite.  You can see the different between this and the one above just with a difference in the size of bead.

Third, again some beads I picked up at the local craft store because they caught my eye, they are gold coated with a faceted side that shows an emerald green and I have used gold 11/0 seed beads to show them off. This pair I decided to do only two drops and the look great.

 Then I decided to do a ring in the Czech fire polished bead with a 11/0 gold seed bead and again WOW, I need a better camera or maybe it is the computer that does not show the right color.  Either way, I think I am in the market for new of both.

This is the same deep burgundy fire polished bead that are in the earrings which I have shown below as well as a set. 

I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peak at the newest listings in my shop at A Bead Thing on the Handmade Artists Shops.

Stop by anytime and be sure to look around, there are loads of other talented handmade artists there who have wonderful things to look at and to buy.  Great gifts to be had at the Handmade Artists shops.

Be safe and be blessed

Monday, May 5, 2014

Seed Bead Dilemnas

It has been a bit longer than I wanted since the last post of this series, but homeschool comes first, sorry my bead friends.  There was some testing to be done over the past few days and "little man" needed my computer.

I just wanted to clear up a couple things on the culling beads post.  You DON"T have to do this, but it is a good idea.  Keep reading for more information.

So, last post was about culling those beads.  Even the high quality Myuki beads do require some culling.  However, let's say you got a real deal on some just no-name beads from your local craft store or perhaps from a yard sale.  I did.  My daughter used to work for the local arts and craft store and to make a long story short she happened upon some busted bead boxes. Similar to the one I am showing here.

The container had been busted and many beads lost however, because there were so many beads left in the container, management did not want to throw it away, so they let my daughter purchase it for a nominal fee.
Now in the store today, I don't consider the cost of this container to be cheap, however, the bead selection is very poor quality. The sizes are off and it would take eons to cull these beads for use in, oh say a peyote stitch bracelet.  Not worth the time to cull these.  They are good for learning stitches if you watch each bead as you pick it up.  For myself, there is really only one use that I can find for these type of beads.  

Get you a bead spinner. like this one from Darice, or you can get a less expensive small wooden one which is what I use. Pour your beads in and with your curved needled threaded (follow the simple directions on the box) just give it a spin and watch the beads mount onto your thread.  Beads that are really really missized won't go upon the needle and you can just pop them off and keep going.

You really can make lovely items using a bead spinner.  The following photo is a piece that I just quickly threw together for a sample to show you here.  I am posting some really really closeup so that you can see the difference in the size of the beads from this type of selection.  But, Hey it make a really cute necklace

So see you don't have to cull the beads and you can still get some pretty neat pieces, but for brick stitch, peyote, square, you really want to make sure that the beads are really really close in size.

Back next week with another post on seed beading tips and ideas that have helped me tremendously in my learning curve and in reaching my goal of making beautiful jewelry.

Be blessed