Monday, March 30, 2009

How do YOU feel about "made to order" beads?

Thanks to the one person who took part in the poll i had up for the last month. (Even though you decided to remove your answers the next day, I had already gotten your votes! lol But for future reference: if you vote in a poll, you do remain completely anonymous to me.

And speaking of polls, I have put up a new one on this page, and I would really like to get some feedback, so please vote!

I have seen some bead makers on etsy who show a set of beads that they offer to "make to order". It seems like this would be great for buyers and sellers: the buyer gets to choose from beads that might not exist yet, but can exist within a day or two once the lampworker knows someone wants some beads like that. It's like, if you walk into a shoe store and say you want this model but it size 10. The shopkeeper doesn't have to fill the front of his shop with every possible size of that model of shoe, but he can slip into the back room and, presto, come up with the pair that the patron really really wanted.

But please have a look at the poll and record your opinions on this.

I've been making fish beads for the son of a friend of mine to wear in his dreadlocks, hence "Dreadfish". Some of these beads will be showing up in my etsy shop in the next few days.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


This, the first bead ring I made, is a glamorous fashion statement, no?

I put some new beads in my etsy shop. I'm loving the cherry color! And the metallic sheen adds a "wow" factor.

I did a special order of bone beads for a jewelry designer, and thought the pile of bones in neutral colors looked really good. So I'm showing it off here, in hopes of inspiring more bone jewelry out there.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Red is a nice color

Put a really cute bracelet in my etsy shop today (you can click on the photo to go to it in my shop).

Check the lady bug beads. [NOTE TO SELF: make more buggy beads.] But the red dots, hearts and Swarovski crystals in this bracelets really pleased my eye in a sentimental way, so I made a simple little transparent red bead and turned it into a ring on sterling silver wire. I think it is really pretty, but it won't show up on etsy--mine! It's the second ring I've made with my beads-- the first one used the whole lost wax cast process and is pretty stunning (photo tomorrow).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Exploring New Bead Pattern

Last week I played with the idea of spiky beads. The resulting beads reminding me of the intricate larval forms of sea critters, like starfish, that float around as plankton. Because the beads were so starlike, I called them Interstellar Plankton. I listed them in my etsy shop and got three requests for them--I've never had that kind of interest in any of my beads before. It was wonderful!!

Playing with different color combinations, I came up some that I really like and so they will be turning up in my etsy shop shortly.

I had a fun afternoon talking about wool and introducing needle felting to the PACT Homeschool group. Lots of enthusiasm there and lots of pretty felted flowers and things were made.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Simple Beaded Zipper Pull How-to

There are many clip options available for use in zipper pull, key fob, lanyard, etc. making. Since my beads were fish, I used snap swivels that are found wherever fishing supplies are sold, just to keep in the theme.

1. Choose a head pin with a flat head or one with a fancier head. Arrange the beads on head pin.

2. I use a small round nosed pliers to put a bend in
the pin at the end of the beads. This is the start of the loop.

3. Push the free end of the head pin completely
around the end of the round nose pliers jaw.

4. Before you snip, attach the head pin loop to the loop of your clip. Snip off the free end of the head pin where it crosses itself. Using you pliers, push the cut end of the loop in line with the rest of the pin and make sure that it is nice and close so it won't slip off your fastener.

My catch was pretty good over the weekend.
I got a stringer full!
Find them in my etsy shop.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Inspires Me

Maybe I'm a slave to the ego stroke, or to capitalism, but nothing inspires me like having someone buy my beads.

I would like to give a big shout out to Christina M. who recently bought beads from my etsy shop. From everything I'm hearing, the slumping economy is affecting etsy sales for most folks, and I've noticed a slowdown myself since Christmas. But after several dry weeks, I'm eagerly making more beads, and branching out into lampwork buttons and little glass sculptural beads. Oh, and I've decided to offer some needle felted items, as well.

In fact, I made a dozen colorful lampwork fish beads yesterday, that I've already turned in to zipper pulls and will list in the etsy shop tomorrow if the wind dies down enough for me to do some photography outside without getting sandblasted with grit... It's been horrible!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I blog therefore I am?

Hello, and welcome to my shameless effort at promoting my beads and crafts!

I pledge to make regular updates and add pretty photos of my work and inspirations.

I am very likely to show items I am preparing to list for sale in my etsy shop:

I plan on doing a few how-to's or tutorials.

And I fully intend to keep you coming back with the occasional freebie offer!