Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Subscribe To Your Favorite Blog

I just discovered Bloglines, which is a free service on the net that allows subscribers to be notified when their favorite blogs are updated. I've included a link in the title above, if you're interested. If you like this blog, here's my URL: http://beadweaver.blogspot.com

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bead News: Free Online Projects

Bead News is a Japanese Beadwork magazine. They're online and offer a number of free bead tutorials. The tutorials are written in Japanese but the photos are excellent and make the items relatively simple to follow. I've included a link in the title above to take you to the ring projects. For more projects, on the right side of the webpage is a section titled "Charisma" - click on the images of the artists to see their jewelry designs! Enjoy!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Make-Over!

2/26 Update: I couldn't wait! I still have lots more changes, but thought I'd give this a go! Hope you like it.... PS Blogger has some new templates - for those of you who blog, you can find them here: http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/

Beadweaver is getting a make-over! After toying with the idea of changing the site design, I've begun working on a new layout. I like the current "Scribe" layout of Beadweaver, however I've noticed that while it looks great on my Mac, it looks horrid on my PC. And since 70% of the world's computers are PC's, I thought I'd do something about it. To take a look at the work-in-progress, you can click on the title above which will take you to my seedbeads blog - where the design process is ongoing. I hope to have the make-over complete within a week, so stay tuned!

Friday, February 24, 2006

Research Costume Jewelry

Illusion Jewels has a wonderful website featuring costume jewelry. It includes everything from vintage jewelry patents to the Robert Gatter Jewelry Catalog from 1900. If you're looking for inspiration for jewelry designs or simply want to know the origin of your Grandmother's favorite necklace, take a look at this website. It's great for researching and a wonderful little find on the web!
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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Sushi Mama

Sushi Mama's website has lovely pieces of beadwork on view in her gallery. Some of the pieces have a wonderful ethnic flair to them. Take a look at her gallery and be sure to click on Beadwork: Sets... Her "Mango" and "Sea Ruffle" are beauties!

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Free Cabochon Bracelet Instructions

Bead Bugle's online magazine is offering free instructions for creating a ruffled cabachon bracelet. This is a promotional offer for a limited time (7 days only) for viewers to sample the quality of their projects and their work. I've looked over the instructions and they are wonderful! Click on the title above to take you to their website, where you'll find the pdf file for downloading. Check out their membership services - I've really enjoyed being a member. Have fun!
Photo courtesy of www.beadbugle.com
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Sunday, February 19, 2006

One of Fifty

Leeza Silverman is a bead and jewelry artist from Australia. She specializes in both off loom bead weaving and beaded wire sculpture (flowers). Her website is wonderfully done too. Her beadwork is featured under her section "One in Fifty" - meaning that no more than fifty of any one design will be produced. To see her work, click on the title above and enjoy!
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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Beading For A Cure

Beading for a Cure has a wonderful gallery of beadwork of various artists.The organization was started in honor of Layne Shilling, who died of colorectal cancer in 2002. Pieces are auctioned on eBay once a year and all proceeds go towards Colorectal Research. Take a look at the gallery, you'll find lots of treasures and if you're interested in participating, click on the "About Us" link. Enjoy!

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Friday, February 17, 2006

More Fun Rings

For another look at beaded rings, check out Francie Broadie's site (click on the title above). While there, be sure to take a look at her bracelets too, they're fun and inspirational!

Fun Rings!

For some really fun rings and inspiration, check out The Blue Between's gallery. Click on the title to take a tour. Enjoy!
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Beaded Ring Pattern

Anillos de Abalorios has a few free patterns for beaded rings. Check it out by clicking on the title above. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dzi Beads

I once bid on an authentic and rare 9 eyed Dzi bead offered on eBay - fortunately I did not win. After the bidding war was over, the seller contacted me to offer an identical bead for the winning price. How rare do you think that bead was - or rather, how authentic? After politely explaining the situation to the seller, I never heard from her again.

Buyer beware? Absolutely. Dzi beads are beautiful (pronounced "Z") and abundant on the market. An authentic Dzi bead is a very rare find, worth thousands of dollars, and are usually well looked after in museum and private collections. But that doesn't mean that the rest of us can't enjoy these beautiful beads. There are many, many replicas to choose from on the market and as with all beads, purchase the ones that are most attractive to you but before paying a big price, be sure you know what they are made of.

I've included a few photos of some Dzi beads I own. The first, at the top right, are glass. These were brought back from China by a friend and given to me. They are lovely little beads and as you can see, the quality is variable in the "etching" of the bead - they aren't really etched, that's just colored glass.

The second photo on the left is of a pair of Dzi beads I purchased a few years ago at an exhibit at the Bower's Museum. They are large, heavy, and made of agate. The pattern is indeed etched into the stone. They are replicas, were reasonably priced, and are beautiful beads. Note that they are in perfect condition.

The last photo is a comparison of size and as you can see the size varies in these beads as well. If you're interested in learning more about Dzi beads, click on the title above to take you to a brief look at the 'etching' of beads and scroll down to see some examples of fake and authentic Dzi's. For more information on the significance of Dzi beads in the far east, see:
http://www.donations-blessing-tibetan-karma-thai-amulets-merits.com/dzi.html

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ginger's Needle Weaving

Years ago, when I first joined the Yahoo chat groups, I discovered the Needleweaver's chat. I've always been fond of these types of weavings and recently purchased Helen Banes book "Beads and Threads" (co-authored with Diane Fitzgerald). To see a gallery of beautiful textile jewelry, click on the title above. The current featured artist is Anne Gailhbaud from France and a link is provided for you to see more of her lovely creations. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gorgeous Amulets

I love beaded amulet bags. Especially the ones created by Rainbow, Sunny Rose and their 80 year old mother, Helen! I think you will agree that these are special pieces. Click on the title above to get to their website. There are 14 galleries in all and each one is as enjoyable as the next. Truly inspirational.
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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Herringbone a la Sweet Peas

This afternoon I came across Chika Terai's website which has her instructions for "plaited herringbone". It's a variation on the herringbone weave and it's beautiful. It's always so nice to find something unique on the web! Click on the title above to get to her site (the direct link to her instructions are there). Be sure to check out the rest of her website too - her leaf shaped beads are fun!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Something Different

I've been looking at textiles lately - they provide a lot of inspiration to me, particularly the African textiles. I stumbled across a wonderful online gallery that features everything from old Barber Signs to Bottlecap dolls. To see the Bottlecap dolls, click on the title above. To see the main page of the gallery: http://www.indigoarts.com/gallery_frame.html

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Little Crocheted Beauties

I love Diane Morelli's jewelry. My favorite are her crocheted items which are delicate and light and would be beautiful paired with linens. She is a jewelry designer and her product line, Past Tense Jewels, is sold by Homefrocks of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Click on the title above to take you to Homefrocks homepage, where you'll find a direct link to Past Tense Jewels on the left. Once there, scroll to the bottom of the page to see Diane's simple and elegant crocheted necklaces. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Miniature Trinket Boxes

Suzanne Cooper has created some really great little trinket boxes - aka miniature purses! She's been putting them up on bead-patterns.com. Wouldn't they be fun to attach to a beaded necklace or bracelet? Check them out by clicking on the title above. Have fun!
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Thursday, February 02, 2006

More Free Form Peyote Beadwork

I try to feature people that aren't as well known as the "Big Stars" of beadwork. Today I thought I'd feature a fairly known artist, but perhaps not one that you might say "Hmm, I wonder what 'soandso' is up to lately"...Lidija Fairbanks weaves interesting and beautiful beaded pieces with free form peyote. She also creates beaded dolls - her doll gallery can be found on her home page. I've provided a link to her beadwork jewelery - a little eye candy for a Winter's morning. Enjoy!
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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Unique Bead Embroidery

Jo Woods is a bead and fiber artist from Minnesota who's work is interesting and unique. I enjoyed seeing her "painted" images of landscapes, particularly the summer garden (found in the "About" link). She's also reproduced her work as fine art prints and note cards. Now that's an interesting idea - beadwork images for cards - I like it! Click on the title above to take you to her website.
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