Friday, December 24, 2010

Beads at Christmas

I am a confirmed beadaholic! :)  Now I find that I view everything, even Christmas, from a beaded viewpoint.  How to incorporate beads into Christmas?  Aside from designing and giving beaded gifts, beads can be used for decorations.  

One of the hottest sellers this holiday season has been the BeadSmith Snowflake wire forms.  They come in four sizes, ranging from 3.75 inches to 9 inches.  The possibilities are limitless for decorating!  And they can be an inexpensive gift with a personal touch.  

Kathy has been busy making her snowflake forms.

She added 12mm Twisted Bugle beads and says that the sparkle is much more stunning in person.

Here you can see another of her ornaments on the tree.  This one she added beads between the bugle beads to create more texture.

I like the way the lights set off the sparkles in this snowflake.  These snowflakes are great for decorating wreaths and can adorn windows as sun catchers all winter long.    Thanks so much Kathy for sharing!  :)

Another way to decorate with beads is to add embellishments to plain glass ornaments.  This adds a richness and beauty with a personal touch.  These are also nice gifts that can be cherished for many years to come.  You can even design your ornament, so that the beaded portion can be removed and added to another glass ornament in case the original one breaks.  You can find patterns in books, magazines or even on the internet.  They can be very elaborate and ornate, or they can be very simple.  The ornament below was done my by sister, Linda. She modified the pattern to adapt to her preferred Delica size 10/0.

  This was her first attempt at a beaded ornament.  I have to admit that I have been rather "persuasive" in getting her into beading.  LOL  I think this ornament is beautiful and am very proud of the fact that she was brave enough to not only modify the pattern, but then to send me the photo and allow me to add it to this blog!  Thanks Linda!

It's never too early to start thinking about Christmas... I have seen some ideas for beaded garland that I think I am going to have to try for next Christmas............

Happy Beading (oops) Holidays and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lady Voodoo Beading

Tuesday's Treat :)

This is the first in a series of blog posts that I'm doing to highlight Red Panda Beads customers who sell their creations.  These posts will be on Tuesdays - not every Tuesday - so when they are posted, it will be a Treat!  This first post is featuring Tammy aka Lady Voodoo Beading!

Tammy is a 3rd grade teacher in Florida.  She has always been into arts and crafts, but it wasn't until she was home on maternity leave that she discovered beads.  She saw a friend's I.D. Badge Lanyard that her friend's daughter had made out of glass beads and Tammy was hooked!  She started out making them and selling them to her teacher friends.  It snowballed first into all jewelry..... Check out these beaded beads.....


Tammy ran across Julia Pretl's book "Little Bead Boxes" and now seed beads are her favorite obsession of all time!  

Currently she focuses on making 3-D objects with Delicas, or covering small items with seed beads.

I must say this is my favorite!  I love the tri-color theme and the coordination of colors with the flowers.  It is so tiny and yet so elegant!

I am a curious person by nature and could not resist the urge to ask, "why Lady Voodoo?".   Turns out her hubbie is a computer gamer with the tag, Voodoo, after the character in Top Gun.  She liked the sound and since she's his Lady, 
Lady Voodoo just seemed too cool to pass up.  :)
 Now you know the inside scoop on Lady Voodoo Beading!  Check out her website.

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Red Panda Beads "Warehouse"

Four years ago I never would have dreamed in my wildest imagination that I'd be here today.  I did not even know how to blog then!  I have certainly come a long way on this beaded path!  LOL  

I started selling a few beads online in April 2007.  At first it was just a fun venture some evenings and weekends.  I was able to gradually add more and more beads and other related items in my "store".  It was not long before I needed a dedicated space ~ so we converted our living room into my bead office.

Now I have out grown this small space.  I know you should take before and after photos - but the before was sooooo cluttered.  Unofficially I began using our dining room as an overflow area for items like packing materials and bulkier stock items.  This year we made it official, removing the dining room furniture and installing 6 foot metal shelving.

This is a much more efficient use of this space!

Now I can store boxes and labels with ease and see exactly how much I have in inventory and know when to order more!  

Much easier to access the bubble mailers and various sizes of baggies when they are organized!

Now the Bead Soups have their own individualized compartments.

The bead mats have a new home too, on top of one of the wire racks.

And it is much easier to store the bulky beads while transitioning them to their formal and final filing home.

 So much easier to work with.

This is the view from my computer chair in my office.  I am so grateful that I have an understanding and supportive husband.  How many husbands would allow their living and dining rooms to be over taken with beads?  

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Red Panda Beads Hoodie

Cindy is a Red Panda Beads customer.  She specializes in making beaded hoodies.  She decorates them with Swarovski crystals and Delica beads.  

After seeing her work, I asked her if she would be interested in doing my logo in beads on a jacket for me.  I was thrilled when she said she'd love to!

First I picked the beads that I wanted to use.  For the red in my logo I chose one of the newest Delica colors DB1804.  I also chose a white satin and opaque black.

I wanted a beige or tan jacket so that my logo would stand out.  Instead of a hoodie, Cindy found a great Sport Savvy jacket.  Here is the finished "hoodie".

She did an excellent job translating my logo into beads.  I am very happy with the work.

You can see her attention to detail.  She really captured the spirit of my logo.  I wear this jacket with pride.

She even added these "Don't Worry Bead Happy" zipper pulls to the jacket.  What a nice and sweet touch!

Cindy is a very talented bead artist and I am very grateful that she was willing to do my logo in beads!

Happy Beading!


Thursday, December 2, 2010


What inspires you to create?  Is it a life changing event, such as a wedding, graduation or even a death?  Does nature inspire you?  For me the inspiration is beads.  There was no secret there!  LOL  

This past weekend I was restocking inventory when they smallest of the Miyuki Square beads, SBS, 1.8mm beads caught my eye.  

The silver lined beads just seemed so Christmasy I knew I had to create something!

So knowing that I wanted to use these Christmas colors, I pondered the best way to show off these little beauties.  Since they are cubes, they fit best together in square or rectangular shapes.  What Christmas items are shaped as squares?  Christmas presents, of course!

Now the next problem, how to create a bow out of beads.  I did not want to try to tackle bows made with square beads, so I decided to try other Miyuki beads to assemble my bows.    I experimented with my design.

Here is my first attempt.  The bow really overpowers the gift, so I decided to make the gift larger and tweak the bow a bit.  Here I used size a 8/0 Rocaille for the center of the bow and used 6mm bugle beads for the loops with 4 15/0 Rocailles curving the loops.  I used gold, but did not like the effect.  So I switched to silver.  I also wanted to add some pattern to the gift wrap.

I switched to an 8/0 Rocaille bead for the center of the bow.  I added one 15/0 Rocaille as a spacer between the bugle bead and the 8/0 Rocaille center of the bow.  I also switched out the 15/0 Rocailles on the loop for 3 size 11/0 Rocailles to give more body to the bow. I brought both bugle beads to the single spacer 15/0 Rocaille bead and ran my Fireline through the tiny bead each time to bring the loop tighter in the bow.  I used 20 of 15/0 Rocaille beads for the top loop to attach the earring wires.

Here are the finished earrings.  I really like how cute they turned out!

Then I got to thinking that I could do them in other colors, not just green and red.  Then I thought, why do they have the be Christmas presents?  Why not make a few Hanukkah presents as well?

 It never hurts to experiment with beads, you never know what you'll end up with, and at worst, you might have to undo a little bit of bead work.  Experimenting will broaden your beading repertoire ~ I know, it certainly has given me more confidence and opened new possibilities for me!  

Happy Beading!


Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Jen Jen

Last month the worst thing that can happen to a parent happened to my friend Jackie.  Her 27 year old daughter died suddenly in her sleep.  My son is 27 years old and I can not even imagine what Jackie has gone through this last month since Jennifer, or Jen Jen as she was affectionately called, died.  I know her pain is greater than anything I could even possibly imagine.  A parent should never have to bury a child.

I wanted to provide comfort, but had no idea how, when I thought to do a memorial charm bracelet honoring Jen Jen's life and achievements.  This way Jackie can fondly remember her daughter and have a piece of Jen Jen with her at all times.  

I had absolutely no idea how I was going to accomplish this. So I thought about the things that Jen Jen did and took those thoughts to the nearest craft store to see what I could create.

I knew that Jen Jen loved silver, so I started with a silver chain bracelet and started adding charms and crystals along the way.

First I started with a toggle clasp.  The toggle end is an angel and the loop end has four hearts etched on it.

Jen Jen was very active in plays and chorus during high school.  She was also active in a local theater.  So this musical themed charm is a tribute to Jen Jen's musical and theatrical talents.

Jen Jen was a fire cracker baby, being born on the 4th of July.  These Swarovski crystal hearts are red in honor of Jen Jen's birthstone.  They are used to accent the other charms on this bracelet.

Jen Jen was an avid softball player and volunteer coach.  She loved the sport and to help others.

Here is Jen Jen's high school senior picture.  

This charm says it all......

J is for Jen Jen.

Jen Jen inspired others with her creativity, so this charm is a tribute to her inspiration.

After her passing, many, many people have related their own personal experiences and achievements due to Jen Jen's encouragement and dedication.  This bracelet can not truly reflect all of Jen Jen's great characteristics ~ I'd need a million charms ~ but I hope that it can provide some comfort to my friend and help her remember the good times with Jen Jen.

I normally sign all my blogs Happy Beading!  But this is not so happy beading :(


Saturday, October 9, 2010

Playing with Tilas

I must confess that when the new Tila beads finally arrived a few weeks ago, I stashed some aside for me to enjoy!  I really like the bronze TL457 and TL2006.  The contrast of the matte and shiny really intrigue me.  Tilas are new beads from Miyuki, they are 5mm x 5mm x 1.8mm and they have two parallel  holes.  These new unique features require more creativity from beaders when designing with them.

So I set to see what other Miyuki beads would work well with the Tilas.  I stuck with the 457 color and the 22L colors.

I wanted to make a simple bracelet out of the Tila beads, using the contrast between the finishes to create a pattern.  Weaving the Tilas together in this offset pattern, I needed some coordinating beads to fill in the ends left open.  I started with size 11/0 Delicas in the 22L color.  Four of the DB22L beads fits the space perfectly.  But I don't like now they come down on the right side....

Next I tried the 10TW457 beads.  And two of them fill the area, but I don't like the twisted appearance.

Next I tried the smallest Delicas DBS22L.  I like to color, but four beads don't quite fill the gap.

Next I tried the smallest of the square beads SBS457.  These 1.8mm beauties fit three in a row in the gap.  But again I don't like the way it comes down on the right.

So I finally went with the size 10/0 Delicas DBM22L.  It still pulls a bit, but I figure that it will work out best and now I need to decide on a pattern for the bracelet.....

I've chosen to weave the shinny beads through the matte ones in a zig zag pattern......

Here is a close up of the pattern.

I took quite a bit of time studying how I would clasp this bronze beauty.  I really like the color of the 22L Delicas and I really like the delicate nature of the size 15/0 beads, so I used DBS22L to add an extra row of beads to the end.  Then I ladder stitched the 15/0s.  I did a flat Peyote even count strip and zipped it together to create the toggle and attached it to the beads extending out in the ladder stitch.

Then I did a strip using 3 drop Peyote to create the loop end of the toggle.  Again I used the DBS22L beads to add this finishing touch.  

Here is the finished bracelet.  The bracelet is very slinky and moves so nicely.  I'm rather pleased with this piece and wear it often.  I can't wait to get back to playing with more Tilas and create something new....  Maybe I'll go with white this time.... or maybe the matte copper.... or maybe the matte green... it's a good thing there are only 30 colors ~ else I'd never decide on which one to use next!  LOL

Happy Beading!