Saturday, October 29, 2011

BeadSmith Snowflake Wire Forms Part 1

This time of the year BeadSmith Snowflake Wire Forms are very popular.  They come in four sizes and are easy to decorate.  They make great personalized gifts as well.  I will be doing a series of blog posts about all the different uses for these forms.

With Halloween just a few days away, these forms make great supports for spiderwebs.

I chose the 9" forms for my spiderwebs.  The 4mm Preciosa Bicone Crystals are black and orange.  Of course, I chose SpiderWire to string the web.

First I strung the crystals, alternating between orange and black on the "spine" of the web.

Then I began stringing silver lined Miyuki 15/0 Rocialles to make a sparkly web, adding a crystal here and there.

Here is the finished web.

Halloween is not the only spiderweb occasion - remember the Christmas Spider?  

This time I chose the 3.75" Snowflake Form to make Christmas spiderwebs to decorate my tree.

I used Miyuki 15/0 Silver Lined Delicas to make the delicate web.  I like to use the silver lined Delicas instead of silver ones, since they stay shiny and do not have any tarnish or fade issues.  I decorated the spine of the web with 4mm Bicone Crystals and Miyuki 11/0 Rocailles.  

Here is a close up of the details on the spine of the web.  The Rocailles are silver lined matte and have a rich glow.   

The 3.75" forms come with 8 in each package, so there are enough to do a set of Christmas Spiderwebs to decorate your tree, or to give as a hand made gift.

Now on to Part 2 ~ Snowflake Suncatchers......

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Snowmen Earrings in Swarovski

Now that Fall is finally here and the weather is starting to cool off, it's time to begin thinking about the holidays.  My favorite part of the holidays, of course, involves beading!  This tutorial blog will show, step by step how to make Swarovski Crystal Snowman Earrings.

Here is the finished pair of earrings.

In addition to the crystals and other components, you will also need these tools:

Flat Nose Pliers

Round Nose Pliers

Side Cutter Pliers

Each kit includes:

2 ~ 10mm Swarovski Round Crystals
2 ~ 8mm Swarovski Round Crystals
2 ~ 8mm Rhinestone Rhondells
2 ~ 8mm Swarovski Jet Margaritas
2 ~ 4mm Swarovski Jet Cubes
2 ~ Sterling Silver (or gold filled) 1.5 inch Headpins
2 ~ Sterling Silver (or gold filled) Ear Wires

Step One

Place one 10mm crystal on a headpin - this is the snowman's bottom.

Step Two

Place an 8mm Rhondell on the head pin next - this is the snowman's scarf.

Step Three

 Place an 8mm Crystal on the headpin, this is the snowman's head.

Step Four

Add an 8mm Margarita - this is the bottom of the snowman's top hat.

Step Five

Add a 4mm Jet Cube, this is the top of the snowman's top hat.

Step Six

Using Flat Nose Pliers, prepare the headpin excess to be trimmed.

Step Seven

Trim the excess with Side Cutter Pliers

Step Eight

Using Flat Nose pliers, bend the top portion of the head pin 90 degrees

Step Nine

This is what it should look like now...

Step Ten

Using Round Nose Pliers, begin to roll the end of the headpin, before you close the loop, add the ear wire.

Step Eleven

You've finished one earring, repeat all these steps for the second one, and before you know it you will have a pair of earrings!

Happy Beading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Miyuki Berry Beads

Miyuki just released new Berry Beads.  They are similar to Matsuno Peanut Beads, but slightly larger.  The Berry beads measure 2.5mm x 4.5mm and have the same great quality as other Miyuki beads.  There are 33 colors, including some precious metal plated beads.  They were so adorable I could not resist playing with some myself!  :)

First I picked the colors and finishes I wanted to work with. I love the gold plated beads and at first thought to do a plain Peyote bangle with them alone, but it was just too plain.  So I decided to add some 4mm Capri Blue AB crystals and changed the stitch to a two needle RAW.

The Berry Beads nestle the crystals very nicely.  

This bracelet very much resembles a tennis bracelet - but it is nice to be able to add the crystals in any color, not just clear or clear with an AB finish.

I next wanted to work with the silver lined matte Berry Beads.  These are so pretty.  I knew immediately that I wanted to contrast the frosted beads with a bright color - and with October being Breast Cancer Awareness, I chose a Fuchsia AB crystal.

The matte Berry Beads appear like little flowers between the crystals.

There is an air of elegance, almost like a pearl necklace about this bracelet.

Then lastly, I wondered what using just the Berry Beads in a RAW would do.  So, again for Breast Cancer Awareness, I chose to pinks.  The base of the bracelet is a pale inside color lined pink and highlighted is a darker inside color lined pink.

The weave almost gives the impression of fringe on either side of the bracelet.

This is a very pretty way to support Breast Cancer Awareness.

Here I have all three together so you can see how different they all appear, just by switching a few components - yet they all were created with Berry Beads.  :)

(shhhhh.... don't tell anyone, but I like these better than the Matsuno ones....)

If you are considering trying some of these for yourself - wait until Friday 10/7/11 - they will be featured with a 20% discount.  :)

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

MaroonBlue Designs

Tuesday's Treat :)

Miyuki has released some new shapes of beads this year, Long Magatamas and Berry Beads are some of the newest shapes.  These new shapes are inspiring creative designs by beaders.  Sharon is a new customer to Red Panda Beads this year and she was kind enough to share photos of what she created with Miyuki's new Long Magatama beads.

She used golf filled rings to create this 3 in 1 half-persian necklace with a focal piece of the Miyuki Magatama beads.

Here you can see just how this piece drapes.

 She also did matching earrings.  Sharon has been beading for over 10 years and her friends and family have enjoyed buying and receiving her beaded creations as gifts.  She decided to branch out of her warm market and entered a piece in the Fire Mountain Gems Swarovski contest last year.  Her design, "Simplicity in Motion" made it to the finalist group, so she decided to start selling her pieces to a larger audience.  Here is a photo of the piece she entered into the contest.

Sharon is in the process of stocking up her Etsy shop to feature her unique designs.  She also used the magatama beads to make a very fashionable watch....

I can hardly wait to see what she adds to her shop.  Thanks Sharon for sharing photos of your stunning work with magatama beads!

Happy Beading!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Beyond Beads

When I started this blog last year, for some reason I thought that it needed to be "pure" beads and bead related.  But I've come to realize, that I'm more than a beader and bead vendor!  For one, I am a confirmed foodie as well as a beader and I love to cook.  My cooking has taken a really creative turn in the last few years and I have started creating my own recipes.  My latest is Fresh Bruschetta.  I'm sure it is similar to some others out there, but I have a few unique ingredients that I think take mine over the top!  And it is too good not to share!

First the eye candy.....

doesn't it look delicious?  I can testify it is!  :)

Now the recipe.  This recipe is "to taste" so there are no real measurements.  If you like one item more than another, you can add more of it.  If you hate an item, just leave it out or substitute one of your favorites instead.  For instance, in stead of black olives, you might prefer green.  That's the spirit behind this recipe - make it your way.

Fresh Tomato - chopped - of if they are out of season you can substitute sun dried tomatoes 

Marinated Artichoke Hearts - chopped

Capers - chopped

Black Olives - chopped

Parsley - fresh or dried to taste

Oregano - fresh or dried to taste

Garlic Power - or fresh chopped - to taste

Red Wine Vinegar - to taste

Olivado Oil - Omega Plus, or Avocado Oil - to taste

Onion Juice - to taste

Kosher Salt - to taste

Freshly ground Black Pepper - to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.  I like to thinly slice a ciabatta loaf and lightly brown the slices in butter before topping with the bruschetta.  You can also add a layer of fresh mozzarella cheese and broil until the cheese melts.  The delicate flavor of the Olivado oil and onion juice help blend the other flavors and the red wine vinegar gives the tang.  This is so easy to make and tastes so fresh - I'll never buy bottled bruchetta again!  


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Little Socks


Tuesday's Treat :)

Anica is a new Red Panda Beads customer from Croatia.  She does beautiful bead work.  Here is her introduction on her website.....

My name is Anica Čarapić. Čarapić means Socks in Croatian and Čarapice (my site) means Little Socks.  I inherited my last name from my dear husband with whom I am married for 6 years who I love very very much.

The interest in jewelry making in general was brought out by one of my dear friends who remained to live in my beloved Varazdin (city in Croatia).

Her works have fascinated me so much that I wanted to do something myself. I found a talent in myself, I did not know until then.

I was born in a village near the city of Varazdin, and now live in the capital Zagreb.

I have started work again a few months after my child got a little older and more self-reliant (and since he started to go to kindergarten).

Personally, I value handcrafted jewelry of any material because it was done thoroughly and lovingly. 

Anica sells her work to her friends and to people who contact her through her webpage.  

She has a slide show on her webpage that shows much more of her work and the pictures are bigger too.

Anica also sells her work at local fairs.

She prefers to work on more intricate pieces. 

She specializes in bracelets....

...and she sells more bracelets that anything else.

She works with various stitches.....

....but Peyote is her favorite.

She also does fabulous earrings.....

....and many varied designs.

She also works with the various bead finishes, sizes and shapes to create interesting texture in her pieces.

You can see her eye for design even in the photos she does to display her work.

She is so talented, it is hard to pick just one as a favorite!

This cuff has the look of lace.

This cuff sports embellishments that add to the interest in the piece.  

Visit her website to see more of her work, and if you would like to contact her, to purchase a piece - here is her email address -

Thank you Anica for sharing your beautiful work!  :)

Happy Beading!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Judi Morgan Fine Art

Tuesday's Treat :)

Judi is a Red Panda Beads customer from the UK.  She is a very talented artist and beader.  She paints beautiful landscapes....

"I want the finished painting to take me back to a particular
time and place, essentially capturing through paint a fleeting
but significant experience of somewhere."

She sells her work on her website.  In addition to landscape paintings she also sells jewelry and has recently added Dragonfly Pins to her inventory.  She made the first one for her "Mum", Annie, who introduced Judi into beading.  Sadly, as Judi was finishing the first pin in the series, she learned of her mother's recent passing.  In her mother's honor, Judi calls the pins, Annie Pins.  Judi uses size 11/0 Miyuki Delicas to make these pins.  She is currently selling them at various craft fairs, but plans to add them to her website in the weeks to come.

No two Dragonfly Pins are exactly the same.

And, if all that were not enough, in addition to her landscapes and jewelry she also features hand painted lamps on her site in her Lamp Shop.  Each lamp is hand painted then fired to fix the pigments to the glass.  The lamps measure approx 10cm square by 23cm tall and come with a 9 watt low energy bulb and all the fittings.

This close up shows the quality of her work.

There are even more lamps on her site and each one is a beautiful piece of art!

Thank you Judi for letting me share your beautiful artwork!

Happy Beading!