Saturday, December 08, 2007

Christmas Gift Tutorials

art bead sceneIf you're looking for some wonderful gift ideas this holiday season, be sure to check out the Art Bead Scene's 12 Days of Christmas. The blog's contributors are each adding their own special tutorial and they're free. Click on the title above and you'll see the first four tutorials in action.
While you're out surfing, be sure to head on over to Melanie's blog to view her Queen of the Craft ornament tutorial (she's a steady source of inspiration!).
Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

10 Things Beaders Want for Christmas

Are you looking for that special gift for your favorite beader? Here's a list of 10 things we Beadweaver Fanatics would love to get:

1. A selection of beading threads: offers a beautiful selection of C-lon thread in color-coordinated packs. Calico (browns/neutrals), Waterfall (blues/greens), and Sunset (reds/yellows) are $15 for a mix of 12 bobbins.

2. A package of 25 beading needles: Beaders can never have too many needles. sells the favorite John James of England in size 10 ($2.70) or size 12 ($3.10).

3. A tiny pair of extra sharp, extra pointy scissors: The best scissors I've come across are fly-tie scissors (A great tip from Pamela Welborn). I use Dr. Slick which retails for ~$13.

4. Beading Trays: I love these beading trays from Christina Wojcik of They're made of Vellux and roll up for easy storage. Prices start at $15.

5. Swarovski Crystals: Don't worry about color, size, or shape - your favorite beader will love them all. Prices start at $8 for 144 from

6. Tabletop Receptacle: Check out this mini trash can from Perfect for thread ends, broken beads, and any thing else that needs to be tossed. Nice looking too. $19.99

7. Ultimate Bead Storage: These popular storage boxes will be welcomed by any bead fan. Offered by, they come in 3 different arrangements and start at $5.75.

8. Best Bead Light: Ott light has cornered the market with their "True Color" series. Save your loved one's eyes and buy them an Ott Light. Prices start at $57

9. Lampwork beads: Beaders are always on the lookout for a beautiful and unique focal bead. With so many artists to choose from, where do you start? Check out some of the links from the International Society of Glass Beadworkers. (prices vary)

10. Peace and quiet. What beader wouldn't love an afternoon without interruption? Send a card with a promise note. Your favorite beader will love this gift best of all. (Priceless)

Email this list to Santa

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In The Bead News

Welcome back from the Thanksgiving holiday! In the news this past week were the following beady items:

Pure Allure recalls metal jewelry from Michaels: For those of you who pick up the occasional beading supply from Michaels, a number of charms, clasps, and earring components manufactured in China have been recalled. They are marketed under the product name Crystal Innovations. Here is a list which includes the recall numbers as well as photos of the items: Pure Allure Recall.

Countdown to Christmas: Suzanne Cooper is hosting her very own countdown to Christmas. Surprises will include free patterns that will be online for only one day! To find out what's in store, click HERE.

Carmilla of Carmilla Bijoux has created the most glorious and beautiful rendition of our Lavender Lace Bracelet that appeared in Beadwork magazine April/May '07. To see this absolutely stunning piece, click HERE.

Wearable Expressions 2008 entry deadline has passed. Artists who submitted items for consideration for this esteemed Palos Verdes Art Center exhibit await notification of acceptance on December 20th.

Nellie Mae has been working very hard creating beautiful beads for use with Pandora, Troll, and Biagi jewelry. If you're looking for a special, one of a kind bead, check out her newest website: Nellie Mae (I love those polka dots!)

Melanie from Earthenwood Studio still has a few poppy pendants and beads available on Etsy. I just received mine in the mail and my goodness, are they gorgeous! I also got the tiny poppy bead links. This is my little gift to me for the holiday season :)!

Mary Darwall received first place in the 2007 Lapidary Journal Jewelry Arts Awards. (Thank you to Louise from Louise Hill Designs for bringing that to my attention).

Mimi LG's Pumpkin Bead Pattern is now available online. You can purchase it in French, English, and Spanish! To order this lovely pattern, click HERE.

Peyote Stitch Basics: For those of you looking for basic peyote stitch instructions (free), be sure to check out Bead and Button's website.

Elegant Netted Bracelet: Beadwork magazine and Beading Daily have a lovely free netted bracelet project available for registered members.

Bijoux Tisses by Marie Geraud is now available online directly from Marie. You can purchase this wonderful book using Paypal!

And last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Laura McCabe on her acceptance into the 2008 Smithsonian Craft Show!

If you have any beady news you'd like to share, be sure to send me an email (See "Send Me A Note" top left)

Sunday, November 18, 2007

NEW! Subscribe to Beadweaver

Dear Readers,

susan mandelExciting News! I've just made Beadweaver easier to get: By using a Reader or by eMail!

Getting posts by a reader or email saves you time from having to search the web or plug in Beadweaver into your browser. This means less time on the computer and more time beading!

What's a Reader? A Reader is a service ( a website ) that allows you to receive "feeds" or posts from all your favorite blogs and websites in one place. More importantly, the reader updates all your blogs regularly so you don't have to. And you can visit your reader at any time to get the latest information.

A good example of a reader is "Bloglines". Here's a snapshot of my Bloglines page with all of my favorite sites on the left. Bloglines regularly updates the sites in my reader so I can get the latest posts and news from each one. This is how I stay in touch with what's happening in the beading world (Melanie at Earthenwood Studios is offering some lovely Poppy Pendants, btw).

I've also included an eMail subscription - sometimes we don't have time to browse the web and if you're anything like me, you want to get to the dessert without having to go through the main course first.

Subscription by eMail allows you to get posts ONLY when I post. If I don't post, you don't get an email. And since the service is provided by Feedburner, you're protected against spam and unwanted emails, you can unsubscribe at any time, and you don't have to worry about your email address being shared. What could be better???

To get started, all you need to do is sign up with one of the options listed at the left or below. I hope this will make reading Beadweaver much easier for you.

Beadweaver will still be here, online, as a blog and you can visit me anytime. I just thought I'd add these delicious options to help you streamline your day :)

Happy Beading!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Marion Hembach's Unique Website & Beautiful Beadwork

marion hembachWhen I first saw this website from Berlin, I was amazed at how uniquely beautiful it was. When I looked closer, I realized that a very talented artist had dressed famous canvases with her beadwork! Marion Hembach is the artist behind "kronleuchterjuwele". There are two galleries and each image in the gallery has a link for "Details" in which you can see the jeweled pieces up close. Each of her items fits her subjects perfectly, it is quite a beautiful sight to see.

Please take a moment to view Marion's jewelry by clicking on the title above. I think you'll enjoy both her website and her beautiful jewels!

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Thursday, November 15, 2007


caravan beadsCaravan Beads is sponsoring it's first contest in conjunction with Miyuki of Japan. Called "Mmmm...Miyuki", the contest requires participants to use a selection of prechosen colors from a list of available beads. Sculpture, jewelry, embroidery....all forms of beadwork are encouraged. Entry deadline is March 1, 2008. To read more about the contest and the contest rules, please click on the title above!

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Where Botany & Beadwork Collide

botany beadsIf you've always wondered about seeds used as beads - their identification and origins - look no further. Written by Ruth Smith, Botanical Beads of the World is a compendium of true* seed beads used in decorative arts from around the world. The manuscript contains images and information about how seeds were used by indigenous people. It's a great resource. To see this wonderful book online, click on the title above.

*as opposed to glass seed beads, so named because they look like tiny seeds. Embroidered bag with sandalwood beads necklace is from (Click on image to view)

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Bigger Than Barbie

"There's so much product out there in the world, but there's so little product that makes a difference...Monkeybiz makes a difference" ~ Donna Karan

Bigger than Barbie Film


To read more about MonkeyBiz and their new documentary "Bigger Than Barbie" simply click on the title above. You can also go directly to Monkeybiz's website where you can view and purchase their products by clicking HERE. (

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Susan Fraerman: The Beaded Object

susan fraermanSusan Fraerman of the Beaded Object is perhaps best known for her beaded shoes. Using a free form version of right angle weave, she decorates each shoe without pattern or a preconceived idea of decoration. Each shoe has a purpose however and reflects an issue about which Susan is greatly concerned. In addition to her shoes, she also has a series of beaded hands and bodices.

To view this talented artist's work, please click on the title above. Her work will be featured in an upcoming exhibit entitled "Orthopedics in Art" at the American Academy of Orthopeadic Surgeons annual meeting in San Francisco.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Annette Tacconelli: Urban Artifact Artist

Annette Tacconelli uses found objects, beads, and thread to create uniquely beautiful sculptures. She has two lines of work of interest to the weaver: Urban Artifacts and Vision Boxes. Her website "Red Lotus 108" contains a variety of her works, including non-beaded items. To view this very talented artist's work, please click on the title above. Be sure to also read her biography, she is nothing short of inspiring: "She learned to weave, spin, kumi-himo, dye and think in fiber at a Chicago City Park District adult education class".

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Seed Bead Finish Results & Summary

The results are in! What a varied response, too, really nice to see! 73 respondents in total, 19 (26%) chose matte metallic as their favorite (mine too!). Coming in a 'near' second were matte beads (12/16%) followed by 'other' (11/15%) and tied between AB and Luster (10/14%). Least chosen was satin (5/7%).

I love satin beads but I don't like their sharp edges. I've heard many complaints from beaders regarding this bead cutting their thread. I was pleasantly surprised to see matte beads coming in second. I've heard people say how they don't like the matte beads, but they are also one of my personal favorites.

Thank you everyone for voting! To view the results, click on the title above.

To summarize the results of our three polls, here's what Beadweaver readers like:
Cylinder beads (Delica, Toho, Aiko) were the favored choice of bead shape, size 11o seed beads were the favorite size (by a whopping 65%!), and matte metallics were the favored finish. Perhaps the best choice for readers then would be Delicas in the finish #'s: DB361-380; DB311-340; DB1051-1055; DBL301-325. To read more about finishes, Barbara Elbe of Beaded Images has a great chart you can use for guidance.

Thank you again to everyone who voted, this was really fun!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What's Your Favorite Finish on Seed Beads?

This week's poll is up and running. It's the last poll in the series on seed beads (I thought you might be tired of taking polls!) It will be up for one week and results will be published next Friday.

Please take a moment to vote; so far we've found that cylinder beads and size 11 beads are everyone's favorite. So what finish do you prefer? If you like them all, gosh, that's a tough decision!

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Favorite Bead Shape results are IN!

72 readers took the poll and the winner is... Cylinder beads! Cylinder beads were by far the favorite shape, preferred by 52% of respondents. Trailing in second place (16%) was a preference for rocailles - those gorgeous donut shaped beads we've come to love from the Czech's, Venetians, and French. Tying at 13% each were the cubic (Japanese seed beads) and cut (true cuts) beads. In last place were the shaped beads, such as triangles, which received only 6% of the vote.

I'm surprised to see Cylinder beads as everyone's favorite. I thought the donuts or cubic beads would have won. But with their beautiful colors and great big holes - they are so easy to work with - who can deny just how wonderful these little beads are. There are over 829 colors of Delicas alone, no wonder they are everyone's favorite!

Thank you everyone who voted. To see the final results, click on the title above.

PS: I have one more poll, for those who are willing :) Again, participation is completely anonymous. What surface finish do you like best? Tough one! Poll ends in one week.....

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Friday, October 19, 2007

What's Your Favorite Seed Bead Shape?

Do you prefer the cylindrical shape of the Delica, Aiko, or Toho Treasure line? Perhaps you like the texture of the donut shape that characterizes the Czech Republic, old Venetian, and French Bovis beads. What about the modern Japanese bead with it's taller, flatter sides and consistent shape? Or maybe you prefer those gorgeous cuts - the charlottes and two cuts - or the shaped beads such as the triangles and hex's?

Please take a second to vote on your favorite shaped seed bead. If you don't have a favorite and you like them all, then vote for the shape that best represents your bead stash!

All voting is anonymous and results will be published next week, so please vote and stay tuned!!!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Seed Bead Size Results are IN!

127 readers answered the poll and ...... size 11 seed beads were favored by 65% !!! Second in line were size 15's with a vote of 22%. Size 8's, 10's, and 13's all lagged behind at roughly 3-6% (Surprised? I am - I thought size 13's would have gotten a larger vote).

World wide, size 11 seed beads are known to be the favorite. Many seed bead manufacturers offer their greatest variety in the size 11 selection too. So just how big is a size 11/o seed bead? Well, it depends on who you ask, what beads you are talking about, who the manufacturer is, and what century they are from (the beads, that is). I've heard various descriptions, but one that stands out (from Lydia at Beadwrangler) is that a size 11/o seed bead, placed with its hole facing up and lined up in a row, will cover one linear inch with ~11 beads. To read more about bead sizing, click on Lydia's name.

Thank you everyone who voted!!! To see the final results, click on the title above. And please stay tuned: I have a series of polls planned that will give us some insight into our seed bead should be interesting and fun!

Next up: What is your favorite seed bead shape?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Bead Arts Awards 2007

signsofspring_beadweaverLapidary Journal and Step by Step Beads 2007 Bead Arts Awards winners can now be viewed online or in the Nov/Dec Step by Step Beads magazine. The jurors for this year's awards were Valerie Hector, Gail Crosman Moore, and Margie Deeb. One of my favorite pieces in the bead category is the bead by David Palnick of Inside Out Beads (shown right). To view all of the finalists, click on the title above - you will be redirected to the Step by Step Beads website where you can download the 1 MB pdf. Applause to everyone who entered and congratulations to everyone who placed.
(PS: Many thanks to Louise Hill for her wonderful encouragement!)

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

LiBeado Designs by Donna Lish

Donna Lish creates sculptural objects using seed beads and a variety of surface embellishments. One of her well known objects includes "Pushing up Daisies" (shown right). Besides beadwork, she has also pursued knitting and crochet. Many of her objects are vessels and explore personal meaning. To see this artist's work and to read more about her process, click on the title above.

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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Halloween Bead Patterns

It's that time of year again. Here are a few patterns from Click on the image to see the individual patterns. To see all patterns from the Halloween collection, click on the title above:

"Vampita" (above) is a pattern by the very talented bead artist, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. I used DB010 Hex in her dress to make it *sparkle*.

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Friday, September 28, 2007

Dori Csengeri

If you love bead embroidery, you'll love seeing this couture designer's jewelry. She uses a mixture of beads, cabochons, crystals, and trim to create beautifully spiralled designs. Her range includes bracelets, necklaces, earrrings, and also purses. While I have had her listed under "Artist's Galleries" (aka Eye Candy), unbeknownst to me she has more than one website. To see her original website "Dazzle and Shimmer" click on the title above. To see her namesake site - "Dori" click HERE. To see yet a third website, "Ella" click HERE. Thank you Mimi for sharing the links!

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Monday, September 24, 2007

A Very Talented Artist & Designer: Mimi Talier

Mimi_beadsI have admired this bead & jewelry artist's work for a long time. Perhaps some of you know her - Mimi from Belgium - she is incredibly talented. She creates beautiful beaded beads, tassles, and pendants and composes classic designs for necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. Mimi has a great eye for design and color. She is a wonderful person and I am sure you will enjoy seeing her work. Please click on the title above to see her website and leave her a message. She also sells her beaded bead patterns online. Enjoy!

Mimi_beadsJ'ai admiré cette perle et l'artiste de bijoux travaillent pendant longtemps. Peut-être il savent qu'elle - Mimi de Belgique - elle est incroyablement douée. Elle crée de beaux perles, tassles, et pendants perlés et compose des conceptions classiques pour des colliers, des bracelets, et des boucles d'oreille. Mimi a un grand oeil pour la conception et la couleur. Elle est une personne merveilleuse et je suis sûr que vous aurez plaisir à voir son travail. Cliquez svp sur le titre ci-dessus pour voir son site Web et pour lui laisser un message. Elle vend également ses modèles perlés de perle en ligne. Appréciez !

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Manek-manek: Lovely Beads

Helena_beadingManek-manek is the home of Singapore beadweaver, Helena. On her site you can find beautiful kit creations of many well-known artist's such as Linda Richmond, Cynthia Rutledge, and Laura McCabe. She's done a lovely job both with her weaving as well as her photography. Be sure to check out her treasures (especially her shoe designs!) by clicking on the title above!

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Frany: More Beautiful Beadwork!

I haven't posted on Frany's work for a while. She's been beading up a storm, experimenting with new shapes, colors, and presentations. Check out her latest work by clicking on the title above. Enjoy!


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