Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Year's Ring Instructions

I was just over at the about.com network and saw that Paula Morgan had a snippet about bead projects for the new year. I tried to click on Margo Field's ring, but couldn't find the link. So I've included the link in the title above - just click it to get her instructions. It's a beautiful little item, easy to weave, and so Margo Field. I love it! Happy New Year!
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Bead Weaving Contest: "Anytime Necklace"

There's a new beadweaving contest over at bead-patterns.com Click on the title above to get to it. It's open to anyone BUT the designers on bead-patterns.com (Darnit, that would be me). They've had some pretty great prizes in the past - Beyond Beadery (great beads, great people), Bead Cellar (A PC- based bead design program), just to name a few. So if you have a digital camera or a scanner, enter your work! Oh, and there's no entry fee. So why wouldn't you?!!
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Friday, December 30, 2005

Avoid Roof Overlay!

We returned from the Christmas break today only to find our kitchen under water. We've lived in this house for 10 years and not once had a leaky roof. Last summer my husband decided it was time to add a new roof. The roofers set down a new roof on top of the old one and, to say the least, I was not happy with how it looked. What's worse, we now have a horrible leak. We've never had a leak before. It's dripping through the vents and door jams. I've spent the evening researching roof overlays and would like to say one thing: NEVER put a roof on top of a roof. Do it ONLY if you have an experienced roofer who does it routinely. Make sure they repair the underlying roof first, install all flashing first, and lay the roof according to manufacturer instructions. If you want to know more about roofing, I've included a link in the title above.
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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Looking for Lampwork?

If you're looking for lampwork beads, I've found a website that lists a variety of artists with a variety of styles. Of the sites I checked out, all are actively selling their work. Click on the title above to take you to the list. Have fun!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Bali Silver Beads

I just discovered that Nina Cooper is now online! Her beads are beautiful. Click on the title above to take you to her site. Enjoy!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bad Food & Tasteless Comments

I bet you're wondering what this has to do with beads. Nothing at all. I was graciously sent a link to the old recipe cards for Weight Watchers. They offer a whole new perspective on why Diet is a four letter word. After having a good chuckle, I had to follow the links to all the other Bad Food and related items sites..... Six hours later........I now know why my brother calls it the World Wide Waste of Time. But I digress.

I thought I'd share the links I came across, for your amusement. I must caution you however, some of the comments are as unpallatable as the pictures. I was particularly amused by the last link and couldn't stop laughing (I used to frequent Java City). If you follow the link, be sure to read the entire page as the "Busted" link is golden. I never knew corporate America could have a sense of humor!

Start here with the Weight Watchers Recipe Cards: http://www.poundy.com/wwcards.html
Then try the old 1950's Cookbooks: http://www.lileks.com/institute/gallery/index.html
For a more tasteful look at other recipes and crafts: http://www.catesgarage.com/food/food.html
One of the funniest foodie pranks: http://www.cockeyed.com/pranks/javacity/javacity.html

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ornament Magazine Online

Ornament Magazine has created an online presence. They announced their new website in this month's issue of Ornament. They have big plans - galleries, information, and the like. It's a bit sparse at the moment but should be a great place to bookmark in your favorite sites - to return to time and again. Click on the title above to take you to their new site. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Embroidered Book Bindings

Imagine living four hundred years ago and designing and embroidering your family's bible. Imagine embroidering a cover for any dearly loved book - for Queen Elizabeth of England. I've found the British Library online and if you place the term "embroidered" in the search function of their welcome page, you might be amazed at the elegance and beauty of the handwork of women who lived long ago. What's equally impressive is that the Library actually put full images online for public viewing. Click on the title above to take you to the website, enter "embroidered" in the search function, and enjoy!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Laura McCabe Beadwork

I really enjoy the beadwork of Laura McCabe. I've included a link to her site in the title above. Check it out for some nice eye candy - literally! (You have to peruse her gallery to see what I mean).

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Victorian & Antique Jewelry Designs

I was searching for Victorian mourning jewelry and stumbled across a wonderful website, full of images of antique pieces. My local beadstore is apparently running out of black beads - the current color trend- and it recalled the days of jet and garnet. I'm not sure black was ever "out", but it's back "in" now. Anyhow, I digress....If you're in need of a little inspiration in your beadwork, click on the title above to take you to a candy store of designs! Who knows, maybe you'll find a little something for Christmas.....Enjoy!
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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Beadwork from Afghanistan

Bead Bugle - an online magazine - has a nice article this month about beadwork from Afghanistan. If you're interested in the more "ethnic" styles of beadwork, particularly on eBay, then this article might be worth checking out. It will give you an idea of what is currently being produced for the market.

There are quite a few items of "Afghani" beadwork on eBay, some of which is listed as antique or vintage. Be careful not to assume that a piece of beadwork (or any ethnic textile for that matter) is old just because it's dirty, dusty, or frayed and worn. Old cloth can be recycled and grimey dust is readily available in vacuum cleaner bags (an old trick). Unfortunately this article lacks in photographic clarity, but it will give you an idea of what is currently being produced in the region.

Click on the title above to take you to the article on Afghani beadwork. Once there, you might consider signing up for the Bead Bugle magazine - a great source of information. Enjoy!
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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Fashion Forecast Spring 2006

I was looking for the color forecast for Spring 2006 and stumbled across a great website which features all the major designers' Spring 2006 collections. I've put the link in the title above (just click on it). It will take you to Michael Kors feature and I should note, his layered dresses are the best design of the season. You can look up other designers once you get there. Oscar de La Renta has some wonderful items, but then he loves women. Another site that might be of interest, in terms of fashion forecasting, is a little blog I stumbled across and really enjoyed: http://styleintelligence.blogspot.com I also just updated my blog with a snippet about Pantone's site and their forecast for color: http://beadweaver.blogspot.com/2006/01/spring-2006-fashion-trends.html

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Blog Flux Blog Finder

Blog Flux has created a new search function for finding blogs based on information you supply it with. It's really cool and I've put the link in the title above, so click on it to get there. Basically, they allow you to define your search terms by categories and some other preferences, which they've weighted, and then they give you a results page that lists the matches by how close they think the match is - i.e. the highest matches list first and so on. If you have a Mac, it's like searching "Help" and getting a list of topics by order of relevance. Very cool. Blog Flux would like everyone in the world to try it and see if they like it and send them some feedback. So please, head on over and check it out :)
Oh, by the way, if you choose "Arts" and "Crafts" and put in "Beads" for your search function.....hooray for Beadweaver!!! :P

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Update: Search My Site

I've replaced the Google search with a MSN search for now. Why? Because MSN caches the individual entries from my site and I thought that would be easier for you to search. I've placed the MSN search at the bottom of the page.

When searching my site with MSN, be sure to read the name on the cache (the URL under the description, or the title after the term "Beadweaver"). You should be able to tell from the URL if that particular item is of interest to you. Hope this helps!

11/08 Update: Google appears to be cacheing my individual entries now. If you've gotten to this page from Google and can't find the item you were looking for, use the MSN search below to search my site. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Find Your Color

What color are you? Take the quiz by clicking on the title above. Have fun!

Braiding with Beads & Threads

Looking for eye candy? Click on the title above to take you to the galleries at weavershand.com. Once there, be sure to click on "NEXT" to scroll through the various entries. You'll see some fabulous work as well as beginner's work. Truly worth checking out!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Advertising and Design

I love graphic design and discovered a great blog on the 'net. www.frederiksamuel.com/blog/ (link is embedded in the title, above) takes you to the world of advertising. It asks the question of what we are trying to say when we create "art" and looks at advertising that is either a success or a failure in answering that question. From there I found another website that is fascinating - a site that allows you to see what photo-retouching can do: http://www.glennferon.com/ It does an excellent job of telling the "truth" behind all those glitzy glamour girls and perhaps makes the rest of us imperfect mortals seem not so imperfect after all. Finally, take a look at the worst advertising around - an interesting venture into either good humor or horrid taste, depending on your perspective: http://www.bestrejectedadvertising.com/ (click on the trash can to enter). All of these links can be found on Frederik Samuel's blog, which can be found by clicking on the title above. Thanks to Frederik for a wonderful blog!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Halloween Bead Patterns

Looking for Halloween bead patterns? Click on the title above to view some fun patterns for sale on the net. Enjoy! (Note: bracelet shown above is pattern #7280)
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Friday, October 28, 2005

Tip #1: Starting Tubular Ndebele

I rewrote this section and updated it. If you've gotten here by following a tag, do one more thing: Click on the title above to take you to the updated "Tip". Thanks.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Bead Weaving Tips & Tricks

I've been toying with the idea of putting up bead weaving instructions on this blog. I've put up instructions for free on the bead-patterns.com site, but I want people to also be able to access the information here. My problem is, how would a beader download the information? Blogger doesn't allow me to upload pdf's. It dawned on me today how to solve this problem. If I put the instructions directly into a blog article and if you send an email of the blog article to yourself, you can print your own email! So stay tuned, I'm going to start putting little tips and tricks into my blog.......and I'll include info on how to email it to yourself (see the little envelope below this tidbit? Try clicking on it to see what happens). For now, just click on the title to find some of my tutorials online!
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Monday, October 24, 2005

Create Stylish Earrings

I love earrings - they're great for gifts and fast and easy to make. I've discovered a website that sells earring patterns for $3.95 each. That's a good price for wonderful ideas, particularly when the sky is the limit on the imagination! If you're looking for inspiration to create Holiday gifts or are in need of a pick-me-up for your own design ideas, click on the title above to take you to Kalmbach publishing's website. You'll find a variety of projects besides earrings too. Enjoy!
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Friday, October 21, 2005

Free Bead Patterns

I've had a lot of requests for where to find the best bead patterns that are free on the web. There are quite a few, so I am listing them below. Please copy and paste the URLs into your browser. Enjoy & I hope this helps!

http://www.bead-patterns.com/shop/shop.php?category=138
http://beadwork.about.com/library/weekly/aapatternsA-Z.htm
http://www.suzannecooper.com/beadwork/beadfreepattern.html
http://kimberlychapman.com/crafts/beadpatterns.html
http://www.rockfront.com/beadpatterns.htm

And the almost-all-inclusive list: http://members.tripod.com/~kyal/patterns/links.html

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Gorgeous Czech Beads

I love Czech beads. I know, everyone loves Japanese beads. But Japanese beads are soooooo perfect. They're also kinda rectangular. Czech beads - they're round. True rocailles. When you weave them, they have a texture all their own. I've often said that Japanese beads are the "Modern art" and Czech beads are the "Renaissance" of the bead world. It's true! Czech beads got shape. When you've done beadwork for a few years, you begin to notice the difference. I have certain stitches I prefer to weave with Czech beads, while others look better with Japanese. But that also depends on the application. For example, free form peyote is inherently a texture-producing weave so any type of bead will do. But if you want texture without the design hassle it's relatively easy to get with Czech beads. I've entitled this snippet "Gorgeous Czech beads" to draw your attention to looking more closely at Czech beads and considering them for your next project. I've found a website with scrumptious photos of all sizes and colors of Czech beads - a virtual candy store! Check it out by clicking on the title above to take you there. Once there, click on "size 8/0" for a yummy treat. Enjoy!
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Barb's World at Beadwrangler

I'm so excited- Barb Grainger is starting a monthly column on Beadwrangler's site. I LOVE her work. It's so beautiful, feminine, and all with beads! She's great with flowers and netting and just so talented. I've included a link to her new column, so click on the title above to see it!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Magnetic Clasps

I've been trying to find worthy magnetic clasps. There are a lot of magnetic clasps on the market, but which ones are worth their weight? I wove a lovely little bracelet on a loom, about an inch wide and six inches long. I added a magnetic clasp - the heavy duty one that is sold at my local beadstore for $2.50. It's a nice looking clasp but.....no sooner had I snapped the clasp in place when the bracelet suddenly flew off! A simple flick-of-the-wrist and it was gone! After this experience I became very disappointed in magnetic clasps, wondering if they weren't just another bit of hype. Until I found some clasps from Rio Grande. Available in a variety of metals, the ones with the snap-lock appear to be the best. They are so powerful that they are difficult to pull apart. Now that's my kind of jewelry clasp! My Mom uses them on her heavy-duty gem and mineral pieces and they do not fail. Advice: For magnetic clasps, check out Rio Grande - a catalog supplier to the jewelry trade. They can be found at 1-800-545-6566 or online at www.riogrande.com
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Sunday, October 16, 2005

Weave a Free Form Peyote Bracelet

A beginning tutorial for weaving a free form peyote bracelet can be found in the classroom section on the whimbeads.com website. This tutorial is a good place to get started and the project is a simple bracelet design. Click on the title above to take you to the tutorial. Enjoy!
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Learn to Weave Square Stitch

If you're interested in weaving beadwork using square stitch, look no further! My FREE tutorial on Bead-patterns.com provides step-by-step instructions. The method provided is slightly different from what you'll find in most books but takes the same amount of time to weave and results in a more resilient piece. It's also a great substitute for weaving on a loom. Click on the title above to take you to the tutorial. Be sure to check out my patterns while you're there (click on my name in the pattern box) - I've got quite a few that use this lovely stitch. Enjoy!
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Sunday, October 09, 2005

Free Form Peyote Beadwork

I've discovered another interesting bead weaving site on the web - this one is owned by Lillian Todaro. She has all kinds of interesting things on her site, not to mention a gallery of her own beadwork. She is noted for her free-form peyote neckpieces. If you like this style of work then I recommend checking out her site. She also sells patterns and teaches classes. Click on the title above to take you to lilliantodaro.com
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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Just Bead It!

I've discovered another FUN website with all kinds of projects. There are purses made of metal mesh, a beautiful butterfly and leaf necklace, a creative bracelet made of dominoes and stamping........the possibilities are endless here! Check it out by clicking on the title above!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Amy Pfaffman's Functional Jewelry

Beautiful and Creative are the two words that come to mind when I view Amy's site. Who would have thought brass hinges would make an incredible bracelet? What about those colored pencils we have stashed away in our kitchen drawers? Cut them up and use them as earrings? Brilliant!
Click on the title above to take you to Amy's website and her "About me" page. To see her creations, click on the links once you've arrived. Enjoy!!!!
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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Learn to Read Peyote Patterns

One of the greatest challenges to new and even seasoned beaders, is reading a peyote graph. How does one get started? I've found a lot of instructions on the net and in books, but honestly, most of them are confusing. A peyote "start" consists of stringing rows one and two sequentially, and then adding the third row. Once you've mastered the "start" (which is quite simple) reading the pattern is easy. Many beaders will weave a few "dummy rows" to get started and then pull them out once their piece is woven. But what happens when you've pierced a thread and woven through it? You can't unravel that dummy row! If you've struggled with starting a peyote project, please click on the title above. It will take you to my FREE instructions for reading and weaving peyote. I also have a FREE tutorial on tubular peyote as well, but the flat peyote is the best place to get started! (Pattern # 8290) Enjoy!
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Friday, September 09, 2005

Bead Patterns - The Magazine

NEW! Bead-patterns.com, a popular bead site, has announced it's new magazine, "Bead-patterns" available September. Edited by Deb Moffit-Hall (A fabulous designer in her own right), it promises to be an outstanding addition to the craft magazines on the market. It's currently available as a pdf download or as a bi-monthly CD subscription (Brilliant!). And the projects this month.....outstanding. I can't wait to try Judith Bertaglio Giffin's beautiful rings with crystals - so elegant and just in time for the Holiday season. You won't want to miss it. Click on the title above to take you to the website where you can learn more and even subscribe!

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Scrumptious Japanese Beads

Do you love Japanese beads? Do you buy them from various beadstores and wonder "Where the heck can I find more of these?" More, meaning, kilos? Look no further. Charlene Booth has the most wonderful, wonderful beadsite with almost every imaginable Japanese bead, in every imaginable size. There are so many choices! If you can't quite place that odd little number on your bead tube, chances are you'll find it here. And if you're looking for that special, beautiful color for that special project, look no further! Click on the title above to go to her website.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Beading Gets Bigger!

Interweave Press, the creator of popular magazines such as Beadwork, has been bought up by a bigger media company, Aspire Media. To read more on this story, click on the title above!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

The Beaded Garden

Just out! The Beaded Garden by Diane Fitzgerald. I've not seen it yet, but it apparently contains all kinds of projects for creating beautifully beaded flowers. Click on the title above to take you to her opening book signing event at Bobby Bead in Minneapolis. You can also pre-order the book at amazon.com

Monday, August 08, 2005

Poppy Field Bead Company


The work of Margo Field is superb. Her website "Poppy Field Bead Company" has some beautiful examples of her beadwork. Her specialty is flowers and floral design and each design reminds me of wildflowers in an open field. Click on the title above to take you to her website and from there, click on "Workshops 2005" to see a wonderful selection of her work. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Preserving Xhosa Beadwork

I've found a wonderful, short article on the work of Stephen Long. Stephen is a well known collector of traditional Xhosa beadwork which he gathers in the field. He has also led trips for the Beadventures tours in South Africa and recently completed a lecture tour in the United States. Click on the title to take you to a short but informative article!
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Friday, August 05, 2005

Beadwork from the Eastern Cape

I've discovered another site offering authentic, old beadwork from South Africa for sale. Click on the title above to take you to the home page and from there, click on "Gallery" to see what's currently on offer. There are some very interesting pieces - Enjoy!
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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Sign My Guestbook!

Please feel free to share your thoughts. Click on the title and it will redirect you to the Beadweaver Guestbook page.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Perfection is reached, not when there is no longer anything
to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.
-- Antoine de St.-Exupery

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Inspirations

If there was a way to place this photo as my image, I would. But on the Mac, I've yet to figure out how to do that exactly. In the meantime, I thought I'd share this beautiful image I took and a friend of mine, "JB", helped to crop and expose. Can you guess where this is? (Hint: Click on the title "Inspirations" to take you on a journey to a truly wonderful place)

Friday, July 08, 2005

More South African Beadwork

For a truly exquisite adventure into the textiles of South Africa, click on the title to take you to the online gallery "Axis Gallery". Once there click on any of the thumbnails to find some truly wonderful beadwork presented in an authentic manner (A second click on the images that download will present you with a full view of an outfit). Enjoy!
3/02/06: Note that Axis Gallery has changed it's site and removed a number of beadwork items. The link is still valid but takes you a limited view of both beadwork and textiles. Still worth checking out though!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Teaching Bead Weaving


The Shasta County Arts Council is a lovely venue for teaching. These photos are of my typical set-up for the classes I teach. The Arts Council is very supportive of local artists and I am thankful we have a site such as this in our community. I also teach in the Community Education program at our local college. I love to teach and strive to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere for my students. Click on the title above and it will take you to the Shasta County Arts Council homepage, where you can see the schedule for all sorts of wonderful classes and events!
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Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Floral Inspirations

I find a lot of inspiration in my surroundings. Some time ago I was asked by a customer if I could create hibiscus flower earrings. Last winter I was in Hawaii and I took this photo of a Hibiscus after a rainstorm. It's now on my desktop as a reminder - to think about a way in which I could capture it's beauty on a very small scale.

Post Script Aug 4, 2005: I've done it!

3-D Beadwork

Julia Pretl is a wonderful artist who has created beautiful vessels using beads. If you are interested in 3-D work, I highly recommend her site. She sells her patterns which range from a uniquely styled four-legged urn to extraordinary little boxes. I recently purchased the four legged vessel pattern for peyote stitch and I thoroughly enjoyed weaving it. Her instructions are easy to follow and I was very pleased with the results. Click on the title above to take you to her website.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

African Beaded Bracelet


This is a beautiful cuff bracelet that I've created from an old weaving technique used by the Xhosa of South Africa. A dear friend of mine shared with me the secret to the weaving process and I came up with this design. meta-tag:,

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Ethnic Beadwork

Some of the most beautiful pieces of old beadwork from South Africa can be found on Michael Stevenson's website. He owns a gallery in Cape Town and has written a book on South African beadwork. Click on the title to follow the link!
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Saturday, July 02, 2005

Bargello Cats

I am very fond of this bracelet pattern and have woven it in a few different color combinations. I designed it after an African mask and somehow, it came out looking like a cat! The pattern is available from bead-patterns.com and is woven using peyote stitch. Click on the title above to take you directly to the pattern!
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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Loom Weaving: A Great Beginning

I love Don Pierce's work. I'm drawn to simplicity and geometric styles. And when someone adds a "little something extra" to that style, it has what it takes to WOW me! Don Pierce's work is exactly that - WOW! He has a wonderful book on Loom weaving as well as offering one of the finest bead weaving looms I've seen. I've taught classes in loom weaving and some of my students show up with his looms and they are just superb. One of these days, I am going to get one for myself! If you are interested at all in weaving on a loom, I highly recommend you check out his website! Click on the title above to take you there.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Highland Art Gallery

These items are all handwoven and currently for sale at the Highland Art Gallery in Weaverville, California (where else?!) Shown from clockwise upper left: Dogwood bracelet, Beaded bead & Crystal bracelet, Hibiscus cuff bracelet (Original Hibiscus pattern by BlueBearBeads, Pattern #1677 at bead-patterns.com), Dichroic African beaded bracelet, and the Peach Flowers bracelet.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

A Wonderful Bead Artist

There are so many wonderful bead artists, where does one begin? I thought I would share with you a link to one of these incredibly talented persons, who's work always has me ooo'ing and aaaah'ing. Her name is Cynthia Rutledge and if you aren't familiar with her work, take a peek at the samples she has on her website. She is a constant source of inspiration and one day I hope to take one of her classes. Click on the title above to take you to her website.