Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show: Getting Started!

Sarah, Julie, and Theresa at the airport
One of the most exciting events in our calendar year has finally arrived, the BIG Tucson Gem and Mineral Show! We are having so much fun shopping the many shows, seeing old friends, making new ones, and being inspired by the huge amount of talent gathered in one city at one time. 

Gorgeous Czech Glass

This year the team from Beadaholique consists of Sarah, Chris, Julie, Esther, and Theresa. We all have our unique interests and are being pulled in a bunch of different directions - which is great because we end up seeing a lot of cool things that just one of us might have missed. Some of our favorite finds so far are unique bezel rings from Amate, bead cores from Nunn Design, new Ezel earring hooks, and more.

Nunn Design

We are also enjoying visiting with some of our favorite people like Julie from TierraCast, Greg from Green Girl Studios, Kristal Wick, and Becky Nunn just to name a few. In the coming days we hope to see a lot more friends.

Love the display!

Our feet hurt but we are already day dreaming about tomorrow's activities which include teaching a demo at the Swarovski Event, a luau with friends, and more shopping of course!
We will keep you posted with all the latest from Tucson and will definitely be bringing back lots of new goodies to play with!


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Beading Contest: The Jewels of January! 10 Finalists

A BIG thank you to everyone who entered Beadaholique's The Jewels of January beading contest! We had a great response with lots and lots of wonderful entries. Here are our top 10 finalists (in alphabetical order by last name): 

"Parure Tanzanite" by Patrizia Campadello
"The First Snow of the Season" by Dawn Doucette
"Snow Birds" by Julie Gastelum
"Ice Forest" by Ana Luísa Remelgado Gomes
"Cascading Falls" by Jessica Klaaren
"Winter Diva" by Cheryl Marsenich
"Snowy Moonlight Magic" by Karen Raisley
"Frost Princess" by Kim Stewart
"Pearls and Pretties" by Noelle Zambetti
"Snow Queen Snowflake" by Laura Zupko
To vote for your favorite design, please go to Beadaholique's Facebook page and "like" the design you like best. You will need to "like" the actual photo in the gallery and not the entire gallery itself for your vote to count. Public voting ends Tuesday January 31st at 4pm PST. 

Best of luck to all!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BTW: Beading Table Wednesday 1/25/12

Julie's Table

On my table this week is the Lazee Daizee Viking Knit Wire Weaving Tool Kit.  I have been wanting to try out this tool kit for awhile now and finally got the chance. So far, I love how easy the tools are to use and am happy with my results. The silver colored 26 gauge craft wire that I am using is really easy to work with too - wooohooo!

Megan's Table

My Inspiration Monday post from this week on Erté still has visions of lovely ladies with dramatic style dancing around in my head.  I've starting working on beaded tassels to make into elegant art deco style jewelry.  I think these gunmetal Miyuki Delica seed beads will provide the perfect dark, sparkling touch!  I can't wait to finish the tassels so that I can decide what to pair them with and what creations I can turn them into!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Inspiration Monday - Erté

When I studied costume design in college, my professor introduced me to the work of Erté.  I can't thank her enough!  Over the years I have been endlessly inspired by his amazing art and designs.

Romain de Tirtoff lived from 1892 - 1990 and worked under the pseudonym Erté during his illustrious career in art, fashion, and costume design.  He is very well known for designing over 200 covers for Harper's Bazaar and for his costume work in films such as Ben Hur and The Mystic.

Erté's art most commonly depicts women in lavish, outlandish, and extraordinarily creative ensembles.  Many of the garments in his art are not actually possible to produce, and others are like a puzzle to figure out.  But we don't have to be able to pattern and sew an Erté gown to be inspired by his style!

Looking through these images makes me want to play with strands of beads, tassels, knot work, vintage style metal stampings, rhinestones, and chains.  That's quite a list, but trust me, it doesn't stop there!  Art deco is one of my favorite styles, and Erté did it best!  How do these images inspire you?


Friday, January 20, 2012

Beading Contest Update: The Jewels of January

Have you checked out our current beading contest, The Jewels of January?  We want to see your most dazzling interpretation of "The Jewels of January" and we want all of our other readers to see it too!

Our 10 selected finalists will have their entries published here on our Beader's Blog and on the Beadaholique Facebook page for public voting, and the winner will receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate!

We have received some great entries so far, but there is still time to enter if you have not yet sent us your sparkling best!  The deadline for submission is Tuesday, January 24th @ 4PM PDT, so get beading!

Other important dates:
Thursday, January 26: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
Tuesday, January 31 @ 4 PM PDT: Public voting closes
Thursday, February 2: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email.

Be sure to read through the original post for complete rules and submission guidelines!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BTW: Beading Table Wednesday 01/18/12

I've been all about shoe clips the last couple of days!  Shoe clips are decorations that clip onto the front of any plain pair of pumps or flats to give them a bit more flair.

I keep seeing beautiful vintage shoe clips, and even new shoes that come with clips to match.  I figured we could use some large clip on earring findings to make shoe clips out of just about anything!

On my beading table this morning are some great metal stampings, filigrees, various cabochons and crystals, and a special bit of bead embroidery that I'm working on to make a pair of gorgeous bridal shoe clips.  I can't wait to see what else I can dig up to add that perfect vintage touch to my plain old shoes!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Choosing A Color Scheme: Tips & Ideas

One of the most challenging aspects of creating a beautiful piece of jewelry is choosing a color scheme that "works."  Whether you are going for a bold look, subtle, romantic, autumn inspired, or modern, it can be difficult to choose colors that convey the feeling you are trying to express and that work well together. We have all seen beautifully handmade jewelry pieces that would have been spectacular if the colors had not been a little "off."

Golem Studios Ceramic Pendant

So how do you go about deciding on a color palette? The easiest way is to take whatever your focal bead is, and coordinate around it. For instance, if you are making a necklace around a gorgeous Golem Studios pendant, then look at what colors are present in the pendant itself and use those colors in your design. You can use red Toho seed beads, blue Czech glass beads, etc. Even if your focal is a solid color, use that solid color as your starting point and build around it. 

Swarovski Color Carousel
If you are a fan of Swarovski Crystal, there is a great tool at your disposal: the Swarovski Color Carousel.  Choose your main color, and this color wheel will automatically generate harmonious colors, contrasting colors, even the appropriate pearl color.  As an example, I chose Siam as my main color and was then told that Ruby, Burgundy, and Garnet are harmonious colors. Erinite and Emerald are contrasting colors to Siam, and the appropriate pearl is Crystal Burgundy. Even if you are not using Swarovski Elements, you can use this tool to generate beautiful color stories. 

Sample Color Palette
Other websites to check out include Kuler.adobe.com and Colourlovers.com. Both of these sites are free and offer thousands of color palettes for you to look through. The palettes have been sorted by theme, popularity, etc. so you can quickly narrow down your selections. There are so many choices in just these two sites alone, you will surely be inspired by a color scheme. 

© Design Seeds
A third website to check out is Design Seeds. This site takes a photograph, picks out all the colors from it, and gives you a handy color swatch palette to work off of. Seeing the colors in the photograph is really inspiring and gives you a better idea of how they will work together.  Once you have chosen your colors, you can then purchase beads to match. When picking out the beads, I like to have a separate browser window open with the color palette displayed so that I can easily see if the beads I am considering match my color scheme. 

Another great way of arriving at a color scheme is to take a piece of fabric, scarf, shirt, or dress where you really like the colors and use those colors for your jewelry design. An added bonus is that if it is a piece of clothing you are working off of, and you know you look good in it, then you know your jewelry colors will look good on you too. 

Finally, a tip I learned from a fellow crafter was to go to the paint store and pick up some paint chips. You can then use these to develop your color schemes. You might also find the free booklets offered at paint stores helpful too. These usually have "designer" schemes pre-arranged and you can pick out the one that appeals to you. 

Hopefully these ideas and tips were helpful! We would love to hear how you arrive at a color scheme! 

- Julie 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

BTW: Beading Table Wednesday 1/11/12

The year is off to a great start here at Beadaholique and we are very happy to introduce our new designer - Megan Patton! Here is our first Beading Table Wednesday of 2012!
Julie's Table 
My obsession with bead embroidery continues on my table this week. At the end of last year I completed a bunch of videos on Bead Embroidery - however, the one subject yet to be tackled was how do you attach all the bead embroidered elements together. I am preparing to tape a video on the "direct attachment method" as well as one on creating a ladder stitch bail. After bead embroidery, I really want to get back to resin jewelry since we just got in a bunch of yummy new collage sheets.
Megan's Table 
It's my first Bead Table Wednesday, and I am experimenting with knotted bead bracelets! These bracelets are made of different types of cord that is tied in macrame knots and they feature all kinds of beads tied into the knots. I've been playing around with waxed cotton cord and beautiful Beadelle pave beads, trying to recall how to make the knots, which I haven't done in ages. I love how the simple knotting process turns into such an intricate looking piece, and it works up so quickly! I think I'll try out a few color combinations, and maybe some black cord, and then perfect my sliding knot to finish the bracelet and make it adjustable!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Quick Tip Tuesday: Flattening Wildfire Thread for Easier Threading

Recently I was faced with a challenge: I wanted to use size .008" Wildfire beading thread because of its strength for a project, but I also wanted to use a size 12 beading needle for the same project. The problem: the thread did not go through the eye of needle. This was a big deal since a larger needle would not be able to make the multiple passes through a single bead required for my bead weaving project.

The solution: hold the wildfire thread between the fingernail of your thumb and the pad of your index finger about 2 inches from the tail and pull the thread while applying pressure with your fingers. This technique will actually flatten the tail of the thread. Now the Wildfire thread is much thinner and can easily be threaded through the eye of a size 12 needle. Once it is through, you can pull the thicker (non-flattened) sections of  thread through the needle.

- Julie 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Beading Contest: The Jewels of January!

Let’s brighten up those winter blues with some sparkle and shine! Show us your brilliant interpretation of “The Jewels of January” and you could win big! We’re looking for sparkling pieces fit for a Winter Fairy or a lovely Snow Queen. Whether it’s brilliant blues, glittering clear crystals, fiery garnets or any other hues, make sure to show us some sparkle and shine! Check out our free beading projects and tutorials for some inspiration.

We will select 10 finalists from the contest entries, all of whom will have their work published here on our Beader’s Blog and on the Beadaholique Facebook page, for public voting. The winner will receive a $100 Beadaholique gift certificate and further exposure on our blog and Facebook page!

Rules/How to Enter:

Email us a clear, in focus, well-lit photo of a beading project which fits our theme and uses one or more products from Beadaholique. Email one photo, at least 500 px in width or height but no bigger than 1600 px wide and 1600 px tall, to challenge@thebeadingwire.com (do not use this for questions; contact us here) with the following included in your email:

Subject line: Name of Piece tags: jan2012 (Example: Dark Princess tags: jan2012)

Body: Very important! Include your full name and email address within the body of your email. Optionally, you may also include a brief description of your piece.

Important Dates:

  • Tuesday, January 24 @ 4PM PDT: Last day to submit
  • Thursday, January 26: Top 10 will be posted on our Facebook and notified via email. Public voting starts.
  • Tuesday, January 31 @ 4 PM PDT: Public voting closes
  • Thursday, February 2: Winner is announced in the next issue of The Beading Wire and notified via email.
Other Rules:

One entry per person. If you send more than one entry, you may be disqualified. If your entry does not meet the “Rules/How to Enter” stated above, you may be disqualified. Winner must respond to our email notification within 2 weeks to claim gift certificate. No one person may win more than once every 3 months. By entering, you retain the rights to your original jewelry design but are giving Beadaholique, Inc permission to use your submitted photo(s) on our websites, newsletter, Facebook, blog and other properties. The terms and conditions that apply to all Beadaholique contests and giveaways also apply here.


Send in a large, clear, and well-lit photo.

Try to use natural light to illuminate your photo

Double check to make sure that your full name and email address are included in the body of your email. We continue to receive submissions with no contact information.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Shows

There's a group of Beadaholique employees that are starting to get pretty excited - we just booked our flights to Tucson at the end of January.  

A lot of you have probably heard about the "Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. "  If you've never been, you could be forgiven for thinking it's just one really big gem and beading show.   But that is rather short of the truth.   The annual Tucson shows (plural), which all happen more or less during the same 2-week period, now number at about 45.  Yes, that's right, forty-five gem, mineral, bead and jewelry shows happening almost simultaneously all over one medium-sized city.  And those are just the officially recognized shows!  More than 50,000 people will come from all over the world to buy and sell jewelry, beads, gems, minerals, fossils and more.  This is THE jewelry event of the year, and it is as fun as it sounds. 

The shows really do sprawl all over the city.  Some of them are small and low-tech, consisting of people selling outside from picnic tables or bags on the ground in parking lots.  Many of the shows are large, professionally produced affairs, occupying community halls, hotel ballrooms and football-field-sized air-conditioned tents.    

We at Beadaholique will be going to see old friends, and make new ones.  We are also going to be presenting a jewelry how-to demo at the Swarovski Elements Event (more on that in a later blog), and, of course, we will be turning over giant tables of gemstone beads, pearls and hand crafted elements to find beautiful things to bring to our customers.  We will be wearing our comfiest shoes and collapsing with groans onto our hotel beds every night.   Sure, all that bead shopping is exhausting, but somebody has to do it!

I would encourage every bead lover to try to go to the Tucson Gem Shows at least once.   If you can, book yourself in a hotel for at least 5 days--you may even want to stay the full two weeks.  Lucky you, if you do!  There is a lot of ground to cover in Tucson, and you never know what you will find, from fossils and geodes, to handcrafted ceramic beads, to imported jewelry, to ten thousand dollar cut diamonds ready for the right jeweller's touch.  One thing you can be sure of, though, is that you will never, ever be able to see it all. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lark Crafts Interview with Rachel Nelson-Smith

At Beadaholique we love learning about artists, how they found their way to jewelry making, and what continues to inspire them. Lark Crafts just posted an in-depth interview with designer Rachel Nelson-Smith.

Here is the start of the interview: 

"Rachel Nelson-Smith is one of the most popular and talented beadwork designers and teachers in the world. Rachel is the author of the new book Rachel Nelson-Smith’s Bead Riffs, as well as an earlier release Seed Bead Fusion, and also a contributor to numerous magazines and books, including the gallery book Masters: Beadweaving. Visit her online at www.rachelnelsonsmith.com." 

This is a quote from later in the interview "Every moment of life is an improvisation. Every stitch is an opportunity to travel in a new direction." (love this!)

Click HERE to read more! 

Interview was conducted by Ray Hemachandra
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