Tuesday, March 31, 2009

5 More Days!

5 more days before Beady Girl closes her online beads shop temporarily! We will extend the additional 5% discount to our customers for the last 5 days, so hurry before it is too late!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What a Coincidence!

I was surfing the net looking for small metal beads when I chanced upon this website called 'The Bead Palor'. Actually, the instructors' works from this palor have appeared in many issues of the Bead & Button Magazine but I have never really checked out its site.

Anyway, what caught my eye is a class conducted by Ms Shelley Nybakke on 'Lucious Links', which looks almost similar to my 'Golden Chain' Necklace.

I believe Ms Shelley has created hers using the Peyote stitch but probably in a different variation to mine. Her links are flatter and in oval shape, whereas mine are thicker round shaped links.

I just thought it is amazing to see two people from different parts of the world coming up with an almost identical design. Well, I guess it is not surprising as well since there are not many ways you can design with the links.

Updates: Ms Shelley has kindly advised that her "Lucious Links" was created using the Right Angle Weave and the project was published in the Beadwork Magazine February/March 2008 issue.

Trunk Sale at Creative Escape

Over the years, Beady Girl has collected a good number of beads, findings, tools and beading accessories from around the world. These brand-new supplies are now available for sale at Creative Escape at irresistably low prices. Most of them have been discounted by at least 50%-70%!

If you happen to be at River Valley where CE is located, do drop by and check out these goodies. Creative Escape also offers lots of interesting classes on crafts, beading, scrapbooking, sewing, etc which you may like to check it out!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

March Promotions

Enjoy additional 5% discount on your final bill and receive a free needle threader with a minimum purchase of S$10 per transaction.

Terms and conditions apply;
  • Please enter 'Dis5' upon checkout under Discount Code to enjoy the promotion.
  • Offer is valid for both regularly priced and sale items.
  • Offer is not valid for class registration or purchase of gift vouchers. Please create a separate shopping cart for these two items.

Promotions end on 31 March 2009.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cancellation of "Trash to Treasure" Event

Our "Trash to Treasure" Beads & Craft Garage Sale event that will be held on 4 April is CANCELLED. We would like to thank the crafters who have signed up to participate as our vendors. We hope to see you at our next event.

From Beady Girl & Creative Escape.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Press : Bead & Button Magazine Online March 2009

Beady Girl is honoured to have its 'Bollywood Cuff' being selected by the Bead & Button Magazine editors to be featured in its March online issue. The project can be downloaded free for subscribers under 'Subscribers Exclusives'. This Indie-inspired cuff is created using a combination of 4-drop right angle weave and cross-stitch techniques. It is named 'Bollywood' because of the glitzy Swarovski crystals that are used to adorn the cuff.

With the same technique, you can change the look of the cuff from glamour to casual by working with different types of beads. For example, by combining matte/opaque seed beads with gemstone beads. You may also choose to reduce the number of rows to shorten the width if you prefer a more delicate cuff.

Classes on Bollywood Cuff & Bollywood Bangle are scheduled on 15 & 28 March 2009. See here for details.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Information on Seed Beads

Delicas are made in Japan, and they look like little cylinders. They have HUGE holes, and they are precision cut with lasers so they are all very close to being exactly the same size. They are very good for off-loom bead weaving, like peyote stitch, brick stitch, etc. They are not so great for bead embroidery. I personally think they are unsuitable for embroidery because their big holes cause them to roll around too much while I'm working, and for me this creates spacing problems. These come in size 8 (biggest) and size 11 (smallest).

The Japanese companies also make regular seed beads, and these are pretty good for embroidery, and they come in a marvelous array of colors! They have big holes, but not as big as the delicas, and they are less perfect. Their size and shape varies with the manufacturer. These come in size 6 (biggest size), size 8, size 11, and size 14 or 15 (smallest, very tiny but still easy to work with due to the hole size).

Czech seed beads are my favorite to use, and generally they are donut shaped. Their holes are smaller than the Japanese beads. They come in many colors too, but you may likely find the Czech purples and pinks to be less vibrant that the Japanese purples and pinks. Czech beads come in a wider array of sizes, the most common that you will encounter are size 6 (biggest), size 8, size 9 3-cut, size 10, size 11, and size 13 (smallest). Czech charlotte or true cut beads have a single facet cut into one side, and have a subtle sparkle; the 3-cut beads have multiple sides and are very sparkly.

In your quest to buy beads, you might also encounter beads made in France, Italy, India and Taiwan. French beads are similar to Czechs but I have found them to be more irregular in shape, and they tend to have smaller holes. You can find some really rich colors in the French beads though -- in particular I love the French opal pinks and blues. I haven't ever bought any Italian beads, but I have it on good authority that they are comparable to Czechs. You will find that beads from India or Taiwan are VERY irregular in shape and size, as well as hole size. However, this does not necessarily make them undesirable for bead embroidery . Using imperfect beads can add visual interest.

I use bugle beads quite a lot in my bead embroidery, and bugle sizes begin at size 1 (shortest) and continue up thru size 30 (longest). I like to use sizes 1, 2 and 3. I prefer Japanese bugles because they have smoother ends. I do use Czech bugles as well though. To protect your thread from being cut, it is wise to sandwich your bugle between 2 seed beads. Some folks use emery boards to smooth bugle ends, but I just discard any bugles with chipped ends.
I use sequins in my bead embroidery sometimes.

There are also various specialty beads that you might encounter, like steel cuts, maco tubes, triangles, cubes, drops or magatamas, twisted hex, etc.

So, my preference for bead embroidery is the Czechs and Japanese seed beads, but I don't reject beads from other places, if I like them. I use mainly Japanese size 11, and Czech size 10 & 11, and I use other sizes too as accents in my work.

Another fun thing to use in bead embroidery and beadwork in general is pressed glass beads. They are available at Glass Bead Garden and at
http://www.beadcats.com/catalog/pressed/prestop.htm My needle preference is size 12 Pony needles. I have used the John James brand needles but in my experience, they break easily. I have never had a problem using a size 12 needle even with the tiny Japanese size 14 or 15. If you use a lot of Czech size 13 beads, you might want to keep a few size 13 needles on hand, since occasionally you'll find ones with really small holes. For thread, I prefer nymo size B or silamide size A. I've also used nymo size D, but I stay away from the O and OO weights because I find them to be too flimsy. I don't use a thread conditioner unless I'm using a lot of matte finish beads, and then I use beeswax, and I seal it by zipping my thread quickly across a hot light bulb.

I have done bead embroidery on several surfaces. When making a doll, I prefer to bead on ultrasuede, and I also like to bead on wool felt and even craft felt. When beading a flat panel, I like to bead on canvas paper or on stiffened felt, which can be purchased at Ben Franklin stores. When I use canvas paper, I usually use an iron-on stabilizer, just to make it more substantial.

This article was written by Carol Dellinger, 2004. She shares her thoughts on seed beads for bead embroidery and general beading interest. It is based on her personal experience and should not be viewed as standard procedure. The author has given permission to reprint this article.

Timeless Beauty Watch Revisited

The Timeless Beauty Watch has always been one of my favourite jewellery pieces and class projects. When I first created the piece, I used the button and loop method for the clasp (Picture 1).
I didn't think it is very secure so I created another version which uses the button hole method (Picture 2). I preferred version 2 as the Swarovski crystal button blends in nicely into the piece and makes the watch looks secured and elegant.
However, I have received feedback from a few students about this button hole method. Firstly, the constant pulling of the straps causes the nylon thread to stretch which in turn causes the watch to loosen. Secondly, the button hole is too big for the button (although the length equals to the button diameter) and as a result, it comes off easily when worn. This problem can usually be fixed if more stitching is done around the clasp area but the tiny seed beads can only contain "x" number of threads going through.

With these challenges surfacing, I decided to try out a third method using a Slide Lock Tube clasp. This type of clasp comes in different lengths, some in 4 strands, some in 5 strands and etc. The one I have used is a 4 strand clasp and measures about 26mm which is similar to the width of the watch face. You just have to stitch the clasp holes to the main strap and secure it twice.

These clasps are available for purchase under Miscellaneous items at our online beads shop.

All About Seed Beads

Seed Beads are uniformly shaped, spheroidal beads ranging in size from under a millimetre to several millimetres. "Seed Bead" is a generic term for any small bead. Usually rounded in shape, seed beads are most commonly used for loom and off-loom bead weaving. They may be used for simple stringing, or as spacers between other beads in jewelry. Larger seed beads are used in various fiber crafts for embellishment, or crochet with fiber or wire. Seed beads are measured with a /0 numbering system. The higher the number, the smaller the bead. The number refers to the approximate number of beads, per inch, when laid flat (not strung). For example, an 11/0 bead has approximately 11 beads per inch.

Glass Type
Transparent – Clear or coloured beads that transmits light
Opaque – Coloured glass that does not transmit light
Coloured-lined – Coloured or clear transparent glass and have an opaque coloured lining on the inside.
Metal-lined – Clear or coloured transparent glass with a core of real metal or metallic-coloured paint.
Metallic – Metal-like surface coating that is either a baked-on paint or an electroplated finish.

AB – An iridescent finish that resembles an oil slick. An AB finish may sometimes be called iris, rainbow or aurora borealis.
Luster – Transparent glaze that lends extra sparkle.
Matte – An etched surface that results in a velvety, frosted appearance.
Matte AB – Matte finish with an AB coating that results in a soft, variegated look.
Semi-matte – A slightly etched surface that produces a silky finish.
Galvanized – Coated with an unstable zinc-based finish. This coating which may be shiny or matte, rubs off easily.
Metal-plated – Plated with a think coating of metal such as high-karat gold, sterling silver, copper, titanium, palladium or nickel. This is a permanent finish, though the metal layer may wear all over time.
Pearl – A lustrous pearly finish on an opaque bead.
Ceylon – A lustrous pearly finish on a semi-transparent bead.
Opal – A milky semi-translucent finish. Some are gilt-lined.
Satin – A striated appearance
White hearts – Dark transparent or opaque beads that have an opaque white core.
Two-tone – Made with two colours of glass.
Striped – Made with two or more colours of glass in a striped pattern.
Gold Luster – A luster finish with glowing gold highlights.
Painted or Dyed – Have an impermanent colour coating. Exposure to sunlight will cause the colours to fade and the colourants may rub off when handled.

Hank – Strung bunch of seed beads of standard length.
3-cut – Small flat cuts on slightly barrel-shaped bead.
2-cut – Tall seed bead, like a tiny bugle bead.
Charlotte – Delicate bead with a cut “facet” on one side.
Bugle – Narrow tubular bead.
Twisted bugle – Narrow tubular bead with a spiral exterior.

Sources: Bead & Button, beadwarehouse.com, Wikipedia.com

Guides to Wearing Pearls

Pearls for brides:
1. open neckline--use chokers (24"-16"), princess (16"-18") or matinee (21"-24")
2.high neckline--use only earrings and a matching bracelet, no necklace

Flattering pearl colors for your skin tones:
1. Light, fair skin--use pink, white rose, or light cream rose pearls
2. Pinkish skin--use cream or rose pearls
3. Dark skin--use cream or golden pearls

Pearl lengths for different clothing styles:
1. Collarless suit--use choker or princess length
2. Open neck shirt or crew neck sweater--use short pearls
3. Turtleneck sweater--use long pearls, possibly knotted at the bottom
4. Low cut evening gown--use choker or opera length (24"-34")

*Article from Creative Inspirations Gallery website.

Bead Trends for Fall 2008 / Winter 2009

Beads can add such glamor and detail to a winter outfit. Here are the upcoming bead trends for fall 2008 and winter 2009.

There's nothing that can dress up an understated outfit faster than a beaded necklace. Beads are an inexpensive, versatile way to add style to almost anything you wear. Whether you make your own beaded necklaces or buy them ready made, beads can be a timely addition to your fall and winter wardrobe. Although they never go out of style, bead trends come and go. Here's a peek at what's hot in the world of beads for fall 2008 and winter 2009:

Colors for Fall and Winter: Expect to see lots of black beads and crystals showing up on necklaces, earrings, and even attached to clothing. Black is always a strong color going into the winter months and it appears to be even stronger this season. Another bead color to watch are fiery carnelian beads and stones which will make a dramatic statement around the holiday season. Expect red to have a strong presence this fall and winter both in fashion and in the world of jewelry. With the emphasis on purple in the world of fashion, amethyst will make a strong showing along with labradorite, a multicolored stone with purple and blue undertones. Blue is also an emerging color trend which will bring lapis into the forefront along with sodalite. You'll see these colors emphasized not only in semiprecious beads and stones but in glass and crystal beads as well.

The Return of Gold: Although silver beads and pendants are still strong, gold and gold toned beads and jewelry is making a strong comeback overseas. Gold provides a beautiful contrast to the fiery carnelian and red shades that will be so popular this fall and winter. You'll also see a renewed interest in copper beads and pendants in keeping with the focus on red tones. Silver beads will continue to be important as they bring out the beauty of purple and blue stones and provide a contrasting background for black. Choose the metal that flatters your hair and face and you can't go wrong.

Long or Layered Beaded Necklaces: When it comes to beads this winter you can't go wrong with long. Long beaded necklaces will coordinate beautifully with longer length winter sweaters and sweater dresses. Colorful crystals in brilliant red or shades of majestic purple contrasted with metal beads and pearls in various shades of gray will give a boost to cold weather fashions of all types. Expect to see necklaces layered in groups, making an even more dramatic statement. Beads are big and bold and strung in unique combinations to give rise to one of this year's biggest jewelry trends, the statement necklace.

Pendants: This fall and winter pendants take on new prominence and they'll be larger and bolder than ever, in keeping with the trend towards large, statement making pieces. Almost anything goes when it comes to pendants for fall and winter 2009. Pendants will range from abstract, bold, and geometric to motifs in the shape of key to words printed boldly on metal. The pendant provides a way to turn an ordinary necklace into a power piece. They're a great way to express yourself.

This winter's bead trends will surely inspire you to make a trip to your local bead store to create your own unique necklaces and jewelry to wear with warm winter sweaters. Enjoy!

Kristie Leong MD, Oct 1, 2008