Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Beading Tutorial Woes

Beading tutorials can be a huge drain on your resources so I have decided to do a few blogs on some very good and some not so good beading tutorials for you.
While I have been beading for a while there are times when I am just uninspired and want to learn a new technique so I cruise around, usually on Esty looking for something that catches my eye. The goal for me is to learn a new technique that I can later incorporate into my own designs. Perhaps a new stitch or a different way of adding a clasp.
When I first began beading several years ago I purchased a lot of books, DVDs and Tutorials because I was working full time and did not have the time for classes. I live a distance away from any classes that were begin offered.
What I have found is that until you are quite experienced you might want to invest in the time and money to take a class.
While the photos on the finished product look delicious and are described as very easy, I have found that it usually is not. I have recently purchased some very good beading tutorials as you have seen in my last blog and I highly recommend this artisan. A few days later I decided to buy this one

and while the instructions were quite good and super simple for the "bead" I could not finish the earrings. I have been beading for quite some time and after an hour or so I finally gave up and decided it would have to be a small pendant. You see, the earwires were impossible to get between the beads and I destroyed 2 pair of sterling earwires trying. Now in all fairness to the artisan, she does mention that if you are an experienced beader you might want to add the earwire at the beginning. I like to go through the tutorials as if I am new simply because then I can direct beginners (family member, students, etc...) to those tutorials. A new student would have a really tough time trying to add the earwire at the end! Anyway, it was time to cut my losses, toss that tutorial, and add this artisan to a list of those I will not purchase from again.
It is my opinion that if you cannot properly finish a piece of jewelry making it becomes a waste of time and money. There is a large website dedicated to beading tutorials that rarely gives you complete instructions…although on most of them they do tell you that.
In order to help you in your search I have a few questions you should ask BEFORE you buy beading tutorials.
What level of experience should I have to complete this?
What materials and tools will it require?
Are the instructions complete from stringing the first bead to being able to wear it?

Is the seller available for questions should you have any?

If there is a question in your mind while you are looking at a tutorial...ASK!
The key when it comes to tutorials you are paying for is to ask questions BEFORE you buy it.
I will have more tutorial tips and questions coming up soon as well as some new really good beading tutorial buys!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Beaded Tutorial Critique

I have purchased a couple of tutorials for beaded earrings and thought I would share my finds with you.
I got bored with my designs and was uninspired but needed some new earrings. I looked around on Etsy and found these 2 tutorials. They were extremely well written as few beaded jewelry tutorials are. When I first began beading a few years ago I purchased several from a site that has tons of them. They were so difficult to follow I never bought another until now. The directions are so easy to follow you don't even really need the photos that comes with them. I highly recommend any tutorials from this artisan!
She is also running a really good sale a the moment and I think I will go and pick up a couple more!
Happy Beading!

Color Relief

I have been so bored with all the neutral colors I have been working with I had to do something with color. I have quite a stash of lampwork beads created by fellow Etsy artisans so I put them to good use. You will also find other lampwork beads, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, hand blown glass and some vintage glass beads and Lucite as well.This necklace was created using micro macramé in a beautiful technique taught by Stephanie Sersich.On one side I used red and orange ending up with yellow and the other side is blues and green ending with yellow.It measures 9.25 inches from the clasp to center and the center dangle hangs a full 4 inches from the bottom of the necklace.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pre Season Hat Sale

In an effort to clear out some space for new designs and colors I am having a sale on all my hats from last year. Save 30%, enjoy free shipping and get your Holiday shopping wrapped up early or just get yourself ready for the cold days ahead! I even have some summer hats left. Enjoy the rest of your summer and I will see you with some new designs and fresh colors in the same popular design soon!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Felted Bangle Instructions

These bracelets are a lot of fun and all you need is some wool yarn, a couple of beads and some wire. Great for necklaces too! It makes a wonderful project for those scraps you have in your yarn collection.
You can buy the kit from Generations Lampwork with some stunning lampwork cones. It comes with everything you need.First you need to make the bracelet part. For this you will need 2 double pointed needles and some yarn. All you do for this part is make an I-cord. You can find great instructions for that with photos at Stitch Diva. I make a long I-cord, felt it then cut it into several pieces. Just remember that when you felt you are going to lose about 25%.
After the piece if felted and DRY, you can begin to put your bracelet together.
You will need 2 pieces of 20 gauge wire of your choice, 2 cones and your chosen beads. For a roll on bracelet keep in mind that you need to make it larger than your standard because it has to fit over your hand. Measure your hand around the widest part with you thumb on the inside of your palm.
Put the wire through the I-cord at least 1/4 inch from the end. Make a loop and wrap 3 times. Put the cone on and pull tight, make another loop and wrap 3 times. Set this aside while you put your cone on the other end.
After you have both your cones on slide your beads onto the wire and put through the loop on the other side, wrap and Voila!

 I wish I would have thought to write the instrustions before I put these together so I had photos to share with you along the way. I will be knittig some more up today so I should have soem photos in a couple of days.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lampwork Stack Necklace

I found a great way to use up some of my lampwork so I can buy more!

A stunning array of Artisan Lampwork beads by a couple of different artisans combined with Silver Leaf Agate and Bamboo Leaf Jasper makes this truly a one of a kind piece. Measuring 18 inches to center the drop is another 1.5 inches.
The lampwork beads are stacked and wire wrapped on heavy gauge 14K gold filled wire. The lobster claw clasp is also 14K gold filled.
This is truly a stunning piece, even more fabulous in person.
I can make earrings to match if you like.