Monday, September 28, 2015

Managing Colors

I really like using Deb Roberti's patterns.  They are so easy to follow and very versatile.  Several of her patterns work for "any 4mm" bead.  These patterns will work with round beads and pearls, fire-polished, bicone crystals, etc.  I've recently beaded up several variations of Deb Roberti's Lilac Bracelet.

One of the reasons I like her patterns so much, is she diagrams the patterns and it is very easy to visually follow the steps in each pattern.  She uses various colors to represent each bead in a pattern.  Below is her legend for the Lilac Bracelet pattern.

When using "any 4mm" bead it can get confusing remembering which of the four different 4mm beads is Color1, Color2, etc.

I've found it helpful to "label" each bead with the color represented in the pattern.  It is much easier to bead up the pattern using the diagrams.

Happy Beading!


Sunday, July 19, 2015


My friend, Deb Roberti, from, recently coined a new term, "SuperDuped" to express her frustration with occasional plugged holes in SuperDuo beads.

Unfortunately the occasional plugged hole is a reality with not only the SuperDuo beads, but also the new MiniDuo beads, as I found out when I was beading up a blue version of Deb's new Infinity Bracelet.

I cannot think of anything more frustrating than having beaded to the point of going through the 2nd hole in a SuperDuo or MiniDuo only to find the hole plugged.  When faced with the only option of undoing all the beadwork, in desperation I've turned to my bead reamer.  I've found that more often than not, the tool can ream out the plugged hole and I'm quickly back to beading.

I originally purchased my bead reamer to ream out larger holes in fresh water pearls.  I found the tool so handy, I subsequently added it to my website.  For the purposes of reaming plugged holes in SuperDuos and MiniDuos, I keep one of the Diamond Replacement tips handy while beading.  The averted frustration has been such a relief!  I highly recommend that every bead stash include at least one bead reamer.

Happy Beading!


Saturday, May 9, 2015

Pearl Coat vs. Pastel Finishes

Deb Roberti's newest FREE pattern is the Berry Band.

In the example above she uses deep rich purple CzechMates® Tiles and SuperDuos.  The product codes on the Red Panda Beads website are:

CZTWN06-25032 - CzechMates® Tiles Pearl Coat - Purple Velvet


DU0525032 - SuperDuo Pastel Bordeaux

While the names seem different, they are actually the same color.  These two items are sourced from two different wholesale suppliers.  Starman calls the colors in this series "Pearl Coat" and BeadSmith refers to the series as "Pastel".  The common factor is the 25032 color.  When comparing Czech and Japanese beads it's best to refer to the product code number and not the "name" so much - as many wholesale suppliers assign different names to items, but will have the color number embedded in the product code.  So while it may appear that the CzechMates® Tile beads are a different color than the SuperDuos, they are in fact identical in color - making Deb's Berry Band perfect!  :)

Happy Beading!


Friday, March 27, 2015

Czech 2-Hole Silky Beads

Silky beads come in various finishes.  There are opaque and transparent colors.

 There are several types of coatings too.

The beads I used in the Nexus bracelet (pattern by Deb Robertiare examples of the "vacuum" finish.  When applying a "vacuum" finish - beads are spread in a tray in a single layer and then the tray is inserted into a special machine to apply the "vacuum" finish.  Depending on the bead orientation in the tray, the finish will either be on the top of the bead or on the bottom.  The only way to get the finish consistently on the top or bottom of the beads would be to hand sort the beads in each tray - adding extra time and cost to the process. 

At first glance, beaders may prefer to have the coating all on the tops of the beads, but I rather like the contrast effect made when alternating the top finish vs. bottom finish beads, as shown above.  Bead colors with the word "Full" in the description have the finish on both the top and bottom of the bead.

Below are some examples of Deb Roberti's FREE Silky Stacker pattern, also highlighting the 1/2 coating on these beautiful Silky Stackers.  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Pecans

For years now, it's been a Christmas tradition to make these yummy pecans.  I've modified the recipe over the years to this version.  I always make them in 4 lb batches - but you can modify the recipe if you don't want to make that many.  They make great gifts.  No matter how many you make, you'll wish you had made more.  This year I made 20 lbs!

  • 4 lbs Pecan halves
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

It is important to start with quality pecan halves

I always use a natural sugar.  The less processed the better.  The larger grains of sugar do not work as well as the finer ones.

I use a large bowl to prepare the pecans for roasting

I use large aluminum disposable pans - makes cleanup a cinch 

Start by putting 4 lbs of pecan halves in your bowl.  Make sure to cull out an bad pecans or shell fragments

Put 4 cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons each of salt and cinnamon in a small bowl.  I always use either kosher salt or sea salt for added flavor

Mix the sugar, salt and cinnamon together

Beat 4 egg whites and 4 tablespoons of water until frothy

Pour the egg white mixture over the pecans and toss them well to coat all the pecans so that they are all wet

Pour the sugar mixture over the pecans and toss well to evenly coat all the nuts

Pour the pecan/sugar mixture into the baking pan.  You can continue to toss the nuts to better coat them.

Place the pan in your preheated oven and bake

Set your timer for 30 minutes and turn the pecans every 30 minutes

After the first 1/2 hour, the pecans will appear very wet

As you continue to turn them, over time, they will not appear as wet

Be prepared to have a sugar coated spatula before you are done.  The nuts are usually done win 2 1/2 to 3 hours, depending on the humidity and variations in ovens.

Let the nuts cool in the pan.  When cool place in storage containers or gift bags/containers for gifts.

Warning these nuts are HIGHLY addictive!  Enjoy!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Antonia Pendant

Deborah Roberti designs beading patterns.  Her website offers some free and some bead patterns available for purchase.  I highly recommend her bead patterns, not only are they extremely affordable and easy to follow, but they are very versatile as well.  This category highlights some of the possible variations of her Antonia Pendant pattern.  This pattern is available for purchase on her website for $4.00.

Materials for Pendant examples shown below:

  • 5 Feet of 6 lb. FireLine
  • 22 size 11/0 seed beads
  • 7 size 3mm FirePolished beads
  • 5 size 4mm Glass Pearls
  • 8 size 4mm FirePolished beads
  • 1 size 9mm Fluted FirePolished bead
  • a size 4mm closed jump ring
  • a 16 or 18 inch chain, or satin, silk or leather cord, with clasp

To see the beads used in each of the designs below, click on the desired image.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Claret Stackers

Free Stackers Bracelet Pattern

by Deb Roberti

Deborah Roberti's Stackers Bracelets pattern is available for FREE on her website. This pattern was created to use the new Czech Neon beads and Swarovski Neon Pearls, but can be made with any colored beads. The Stackers below were created to highlight the Czech Pearl Lights color Claret.  Czech Pearl Lights are semi-transparent - allowing light to pass through them, giving them a warm glow.  Click on any image to see the beads used in each version.