Friday, September 30, 2011

E6000 - Our Favorite and Most Unusual Uses

If you have enjoyed trying out some of the free projects available here at Beadaholique, you will have probably noticed that we are big fans of E6000 adhesive. This industrial strength glue creates a permanent tight bond between materials which usually present adhering challenges - metals, plastic, glass, ceramics, rubber, etc. When we are looking for an extremely strong, waterproof bond, we know that E6000 will do the trick!

We often use E6000 to glue our Vintaj brass elements together, set our Swarovski rivoli stones, and attach our Aanraku bails to scrabble tiles, bottle caps, and resin creations.  However, just about everyone on staff here at Beadaholique has a tube of E6000 at home and has used it for some other, rather unusual, applications. 

My favorite E6000 story is from several years ago when I awoke one morning to find the side mirror of my car smashed off and dangling by some wires. I got a quote from the repair shop and they wanted $300 to repair it! Well, that seemed pretty steep to me, so I grabbed my E6000 and put a generous helping all around the part of the mirror that was supposed to join to the car body. I then pressed it in place and used packaging tape to hold it there. After 2 days, I removed the tape. My E6000 fix has still held to this day - almost 6 years later! My second favorite use was when I accidently broke the head off of the woman in King Kong's hand on my husbands very expensive and very large (over 2 feet high) King Kong vs. T-Rex statue. E6000 saved me and you can't even tell that she was ever headless!

Andrea had this to say about her E6000 experience: "One day at Beadaholique, an interesting thing arrived in the mail. It was a trinket from someone trying to solicit our business. As a promotion, this company had sent out miniature shopping carts. We all thought it was quite clever, the only problem was that our cart came broken. The bottom bracket which held the wheels had completely detached from the basket portion. Being a person who has a hard time throwing anything away, I began to think of ways to repair this fun little gimmicky toy. Getting ready to attempt wire wrapping the bracket back on, I suddenly had an idea: E6000! There was a little bit of skepticism floating around the office at first, but after I did the deed and set the cart aside to dry... You seriously cannot move the bracket now. Not a wiggle. E6000 has held up better than the original welding job!"

Esther, a fellow team member here at Beadaholique, has used E6000 to glue the Honda emblem back on her car, fix her garage door opener, and add decorative embellishments to book shelves. Fig reattached the rubber soles to his shoes and glued his apartment number back on the front door. I have also heard of people repairing picture frames, gluing drawer pulls and handles, and fixing all other types of assorted knobs, cases, and devices. 

Have you found and interesting and unusual use for E6000? We would love to hear it!

- Julie 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

BTW: Bead Table Wednesday 9/28/11

Andrea's Table

My BTW today is extra super-duper glamorous. I whipped up some right angle weave bracelets using Swarovski pearls, Czech fire polish beads, and some ultra special clasps. The one on the right is inspired by my love of Autumn, bees, and art nouveau. The piece on the left I made because I couldn't wait to use our new fancy box clasps, and I wanted to try to make something that looked very "special occasion". Now, I just need to figure out how to attach my new fancy clasp.

Julie's Table

I am playing with dominos this week and having so much fun! We just received in these cool small dominos and perfectly sized epoxy stickers to match (coming to the website soon). I was challenged with a way to connect the dominos into a bracelet and then it occurred to me that I could hole punch copper stamping blanks and then link them with jump rings! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Inspiration Monday: Doing Good

I am bringing you a little different type of inspiration this Monday, one might even title it "food for thought" vs. inspiration but I hope you still feel motivated after reading it. This Monday I want to focus on organizations and groups which use beading and jewelry making as a way to give back to their communities. The individuals  who make up these groups are very inspiring to me and their deeds inspire others to create, heal, and find greater happiness in life. 

There are lots of organizations internationally who make/sell beads for charities and who do amazing work; however, for this post, I want to focus on groups in the US. Also, I know that money is often something we can not spare, as much as we would like to, so all the groups listed below focus more on the donation of time and talent instead of dollars and cents (although any group would love cash donations as well). 

Layne's Legacy Beading For A Cure is an annual beading challenge which raises money for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Association. The program was started by a group of beading friends to honor one of their own, Layne Shilling, who lost her battle with colorectal cancer in 2002. Here's how it works: every year participants purchase a beading kit, then they create a unique piece using what is in the kit (you can add one more bead and then non-bead items), then all the finished products are auctioned off on Ebay and the proceeds are donated to charity. Make sure to check out their website and gallery page highlighting all the amazing beading artists who have participated in past events. 

YMCA - lots of local branches of the YMCA offer beading and jewelry making classes to kids and teens. This is a great way to get involved hands on. If your local branch does not currently offer a beading activity, try talking to the operations director and volunteer to teach one! 

The Children's Healing Art Project (CHAP)  "brings the healing power of art to children in crisis and their families through a mobile team of teaching artists working in partnership with hospitals, schools, community organizations and local businesses, creating programs through which children are known for their creativity and ingenuity and not by their disease, diagnosis, or disability." If you look on their website you will see photos of volunteer artists working with the kids and their families. The pure joy shown on some of the childrens' faces is heartwarming and inspiring. This is a Portland based organization but I wanted to include it to show not only what a great program it is, but to encourage you to look in your own community for such a program - they are out there! 

Dress for Success' goal "is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life." If you have jewelry projects which you want to donate, you can give them to Dress for Success and they will TRULY be appreciated by a woman who is looking to better her life. We all know that happy feeling you get when you put on a beautiful piece of jewelry and the extra confidence it gives you. Now imagine giving the gift of that feeling to someone who really needs it. 

If you are inspired after reading this and would like donate your time, beading skills, jewelry, or beads in your local community - try doing a quick google search for the name of your city and the word "charity". You can see if adding "beading" into the search parameters narrows your search. Often groups which would love your beading skills will not be bead specific - such as foster care programs, community centers, YMCA, or others. In my community, I had the best luck with the local community center - just 3 blocks from my house and they have arts & crafts programs! 

Happy Beading!

Saturday, September 17, 2011


BSBP is here!

Hello, and welcome to the Bead Soup Blog Party!  

To view Julie Bean's Bead Soup reveal, click here.  

To view Andrea Morici's Bead Soup reveal, click here.  

Thanks, and have fun blog-hopping!


Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal: Julie's Bead Soup!!

It's Bead Soup Blog Party day and I am so excited to reveal what I made! First off, a huge THANK YOU to Lori Anderson for arranging all this. Coordinating 360+ artists was an enormous task. Please visit her blog to see all her amazing work, and if you get a chance, say thank you. Also, after you finish reading this blog, don't  forget to visit my friend and fellow Beadaholique designer Andrea Morici's Bead Soup reveal. Just keep scrolling down, it's the next blog post. 

Just as a refresher, my partner is the talented polymer clay artist JuLee Wolfe. She creates fantastic beads in polymer clay using a variety of techniques. You can check out her blog here: I had the pleasure of getting to know JuLee during this event and we found out that we had quite a bit in common in addition to our love of beading. 

For my Bead Soup mix, I was thrilled to receive a wide array of handmade beads from JuLee::

The pink and green beads were just for me! 

The color palette I found very inspiring. Black, red, and gold are colors which I had not really worked with before in jewelry making, but ironically, I actually use them a lot in the decorating of my house (so I love them!). Next, the large focal beads with their detailed designs and textures drew me in and reminded me of several things: Medieval and Tudor England, Morocco, and Ancient Mesopotamia. I also briefly thought of a Victorian carnival as well, with striped silk drapes and spices in the air. Can you tell I have a love for history?  From all these themes, I chose Morocco. I hope everyone likes the result:

The colors were so rich in JuLee's handmade beads that I didn't want to distract from them by adding any new colors to the equation. Therefore, I decided to play off the existing palette and bring in matte gold seed beads, gold bali style beads (which I beaded around), carnelian gemstones, Czech matte black fire polished beads, and red and black 13/0 charlottes. For my findings, I used brass which matched the clasp JuLee sent and faded into the background instead of drawing the eye to it which gold would have done. 

I felt that playing off the texture of the focal beads would be fun so I added a lot of bead weaving elements including the beaded bails on each side of the necklace and some bead weaving up near the clasp. Finally, I wanted to duplicate the rounded shape of the beads in my Bead Soup mix so I decided to make multiple round beaded beads.

So that is the process I went through to create my piece. I had so much fun and I feel so honored to have received such lovely handmade beads. In addition to the joy the beads and beading brought me, Bead Soup also garnered me a new friend and that is priceless.

Join in the fun and visit all the blogs participating at the official Bead Soup Blog Party Page!

Bead Soup Blog Party Reveal: Andrea's Bead Soup!!

The big day has finally arrived!  First off- I have to give a big shout-out and an enormous, warm & squishy "THANK YOU!" to our hostess with the mostest: Lori Anderson.  This time around, the blog party must've been such an unfathomably large undertaking, (with over 350 participants!) but everything was handled so efficiently and graciously.  Secondly, I'd like to express how extraordinarily lucky I feel to have been partnered with the awesome Hope Smitherman.  The time, effort, and thoughtfulness she put into the soup she sent me, along with every correspondence we've had, has made this experience all the more amazing.  Don't forget to visit her blog to see what she made out of the soup I sent to her.  Also, if you just landed here be sure to check out this post in which my talented coworker, Julie Bean, reveals her bead soup.  Okay!  On to the reason you're here, presumably!

Like I've said in a previous entry, Hope sent me an incredible array of goodies. At first my brain went right to, "What one single piece can I make that incorporates ALL of this?". Then I received a simple encouraging comment from Lori saying, "Remember, you can make more than one thing.".  Those were the words I needed to hear, and I immediately set to work on my first piece.  What I want to show you first is my piece de resistance, since it it the thing I spent the most time on, and am most excited about.

Part of the bead soup my partner sent really had an "antique-y" feel to it. These items included a large Tim Holtz key pendant, a soldered glass dome link displaying a yellowed dictionary segment, and four breathtaking antique Mother of Pearl buttons. Hope not only sent me beautiful bead soup, but the packaging itself was really stunning.  I knew I needed to somehow incorporate the gorgeous lace ribbon and lovely weathered old dictionary snippets (used as tags) in my design.  I developed my design for this necklace around these elements.  I gathered pearl seed beads, Swarovski faux pearls, various other key charms and a key toggle, some glass domes, and I set to work.  I cut the old dictionary tags into the shape of my glass domes and glued them in place to create unique cabochons.  I embroidered around the cabochons and buttons, adding Swarovski pearls here and there.  I added beaded loops to the bottom of the embroidered bib to hang the three keys from.  After I finished the embroidery portion of my necklace, I moved onto the rest.  I knew I wanted to have the two "straps" of the necklace be asymmetrical, so I wire wrapped one side- utilizing the remaining Mother of Pearl button and the soldered link- and I strung the other half, weaving the antique-looking lace ribbon around various sized pearls.  I finished the necklace off by using the loop half of the nice clasp that Hope sent, pairing it with my own Patera key-shaped toggle bar.  One thing I still cannot decide, though... What should I name it?  Any ideas?


One of my favorite parts of this soup was the hand-embellished buttons which Hope painted bright yellow-green, royal purple, and vibrant blue.  I found a seed bead mix which complemented these buttons perfectly, so I automatically knew I wanted to do a little bead weaving with them.  Along with the other treasures came some adorable lucite flowers, in the same color palate as the buttons.  The only problem was that the colors of the lucite flowers weren't quite as vibrant and saturated as the buttons.  The solution?  Running over to CVS and buying a pack of Crayola markers!  That's right!  I colored the lucite to match those awesome buttons.  Now, these are water soluble markers we're talking about.  Ideally, I would've sprayed them with a coat of Mod Podge acrylic sealant before working with them.  But I didn't, and I was happy enough... coming home from work with marker all over my fingers.  Oh, by the way, I used three-drop peyote stitch on this piece.


The focal Hope sent was really exceptional: a large lampwork glass bead in shades of blue.  She also sent a variety of glass beads in complementary blue hues.  I wanted to retain that all-glass-and-all-blue feeling to complement and enhance the focal, so I chose to make my necklace entirely out of blue glass.  Even the clasp is a cobalt blue borosilicate glass toggle


Okay, maybe this was the most underwhelming way to finish, but- hey!- I just posted in order of production.  I made these last because I still had so many cool leftovers from the soup, and I wanted to make a pair of earrings.  I also don't do too much wire wrapping, so I was attempting to leave my comfort zone... if only for a moment.

This has been such an amazing experience from start to finish, and I hope to be involved in more of the upcoming BSBP's!  The following is a list of all the current participants.  My goal is to try to visit them all, how about you??

These are the partner pairs.

The Hostess, Lori Anderson and her partner, Manuela Wutschke

11. Andrea Morici (you are here) and Hope Smitherman
19. Anna Sabina­­­­ and Erin Siegel

For a total of 362 people making jewelry!


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