Sunday, March 28, 2010

Red Panda Customer Beading Headstalls....

I never cease to be amazed at the beading creativitiy my customers display.  Just when I'd thought I'd seen all the ways to bead, along comes Kay (or K as I call her) and she completely facinates me with her creativitiy and ability to make beautiful bead work!  I am amazed that she could pattern her work to match the saddle blanket so perfectly!  I just wish I had a horse so I could show off her work!

Here are some photos of her bead work:

Not only is her bead work beautiful, but the horse is stunning as well! 

Here are Kay's own words,

"I have braided rawhide for many years, decorating headstalls, reins and breastcollars. As this world turns, so do fad's, Unfortunately the braiding is not as "hot" as it used to be so I decided to try beading. With no prior experience I took to the internet watching video's and ordering catalogs. Much to my dismay... I still was confused!! Luckily I happened upon Betsy's Red Panda Store, sent her an email with my dreamy ideas and lack of knowledge and experience!! She set me up! Guided me to the type of thread, needles and a short course in understanding the different beads. The next chore for her was matching colors!! I asked about the color charts, unlike most businesses, she opted to save me the high investment cost and helped me get the colors perfect!! I am so thrilled with the way it turned out!! I advertised the first headstall on the internet and in 15 minutes it was sold! It sure is nice to know there is someone out there that will take time to help, encourage and promote a total stranger! Betsy.... you are my "Angel" .... your giving spirit is a testament!"

Customer for life...

Kay Davis"

Thanks K - keep up the great bead work!

Happy Beading!


Red Panda Customers find exciting ways to use beads

Who does not love beads?  Of course, some of us love them more than others, but the others can always be converted later!  LOL! 

This link in my blog is dedicated to Red Panda Bead customers exciting ways to use beads.  I'm starting the thread with Bethany's Wine Glass Stem Art.  She is using Rocailles and charms in her lovely and fun adornments.  Rocialles are rounded seed beads from Miyuki - they are more like a tiny "pea" with a hole through it.  Delicas are the really big sellers from Miyuki and they are more like tiny little tubes, with straight sides. 

So no more delay, here are Bethany's Wine Glass Stem Art.

I never thought to "layer" the charms - adds an extra special note to a celebration.

I love the nautical theme - again the multiple charms make a really special occasion.

The colored beads really make these charms pop.

I can just imagine Santa on the roof top during this toast!

Simple and age old message.  Elegantly done.

What more can I say?

Is there any doubt?

Very nicely done.

You can make charms for any occasion or purpose - you are only limited by your imagination.


Good Job Bethany!  Thanks so much for sharing your work with us!

Happy Beading!


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Red Panda Beads Has Gone Off Loom

My newest project is a cuff bracelet.  It is to be a gift for my mother-in-law's 80th Birthday.  She loves purple so I have decided to make some "wrist art" for her.  I started with the picture.    Then I uploaded it into my Bead Creator Pro program.  and created a pattern for a cuff Peyote stitch bracelet.

                                                   Here is the pattern it created.  I love the abstract quality of the pattern.  There are 246 colors, some of the newest 2009 11/0 Delica colors are included, even the new Palladium beads are included.

I learned from prior projects that the set up of your work space is key to an efficient work session on your project.  I fell in love with bead mats - since the beads tend to land hole up.  But I've always had issues with jarring the bead mat or draging my thread across the top of the beads and scattering them.  Solution?  BeadSmith Bead Mat Tray!  It works great - the bead mat is even now portable when filled with beads!

Next on to the perfect tools and materials for the actual bead weaving.  I am using 8lb test FireLine - it is very strong and the smoke color almost disappears.  I also use the Big Eye needles, exclusively.  They are so easy to thread and they are strong for on and off loom weaving.  I am using the 2.25 inch needle for this project.

One of the things I love most about Bead Creator Pro is that it provides an easy to follow instruction guide.  It tells you exactly how many beads and where to put them.  Before Bead Creator, I was using cross stitch patterns, not only was I limited to the artwork, but I had to follow the grid - and lots and lots and lots of counting.  The list from Bead Creator is so much easier.

I also found that by lining the beads up in the order to be added to the project, it was a lot easier to concentrate on getting the bead weave correct.  Funny how such a simple idea can be soo helpful.

Now to start the project!

Here are the first few rows.  I like to use Rocaille stop beads so they stand out from the piece I'm working on.

The hardest part is getting the first few rows going.  I know some beaders prefer to have a saved starter strip, but I'm too lazy to invest valuable beading time in a starter strip.

Here are the first 10 or so rows, comming along nicely!

Here is a close up to show the detail

Here I've progressed further and started to add additional colors....

Here is my latest progress.  I'll keep adding updates as I get further and further along in this project.  I really like the way it is coming along.  I think this will be stunning "wrist art" for my mother-in-law!

It has been a really hectic week, so I have not gotten much more done on the bracklet.

Here it is at an angle so you can see the contrasting finishes in the beads.

Here it is with the orginial photo so you can see how it compares to the photo.

Here it is along side the pattern, so you can see how it is coming along......

I hope to be able to do more this next week on it.  Her birthday is not until the 2nd week of May - so I have time to complete this, little by little.

Update!  I have resigned my position in my day job.  I have 20 more work days to transition the load and many days I will be working through lunch - so I'm having to suspend my work on the bracelet until I can get through this hectic time.  As soon as I'm able, I'll pick my beads back up and get this bracelet done in time!  I am so excited to be able to do Red Panda full time - I can hardly wait!

Happy Beading!