Monthly Archives: October 2010

Seed Bead Projects and Bugle Bead Projects – Doughnut Versus Straw

What is the difference between seed beads and bugle beads?

One way which you can separate the difference is seed beads are round like a doughnut and bugle beads are shaped like hollow stems or a straw. Each has its purpose in connecting or creating designs in making jewelry, home decorations, and wearable art.

Seed beads are usually made out of glass, but available in plastic as well. They are shaped like a doughnut with a small to large singular hole. In America many of the seed bead projects are found as Indian bead work in medicine bags, head bands, and Indian jewelry of necklaces, and bracelets. Seed beads were also used as trims on original Indian dress and their moccasins.

Hex seeds are used in the same manner as the delica seeds, however, a word of warning; I have experienced uneven sharp edges on the hex seeds cutting the thread. It is best to get another thread, to not trust the existing thread to hold over time. The delica seeds have a smooth interior and will not cause weak threads.

Three-cut beads are very attractive in gold and silver and are used heavily in evening or fancy work. I use these beads often in my bead weaving because:

  • These beads make excellent spacers
  • They add glamour
  • They fill in tiny areas of exposed beading thread
  • They maintain alignment of larger beads which is critical for allowing soft curving

Larger pebble seed beads are smooth on both interior and exterior surface, easy to thread and no fear of threads being cut. Similar to the standard bead; just larger.

Bugle beads are long and narrow; a hollow stem. Bugle bead projects are used in bead weaving and hand loom applications. A common finishing technique is to attach a seed bead at each end to give a finishing touch to the appearance of the bugle bead.

The handicap when working bugle bead projects in weaving is finding a needle very fine in size with long length to hold many beads and the strength to hold the thread. The next problem is for the interior hole of the bugle bead to be large enough for the needle and the thread to pass through twice.

Many bugle beads have been smashed under my needle pliers because the thread could not pass through. You are probably asking why destroy the bead?

When stringing twenty four beads to a strand and the eleventh bead does not cooperate, would you want to start all over again? To give you a better picture of this scenario, this is typical when stringing fringe lengths.

-By: Tricia Deed

Tricia Deed of http://www.Infotrish.vpweb.com/ brings you through internet marketing hobbies for your leisure and recreation and business hobbies to increase your household income. I invite you to my web pages to visit and review hobby companies of your choosing. Do take advantage of their free giveaway.

Beading Patterns Can Make a Product Much More Interesting

Have you noticed how a women’s dress with colorful or exotic beads can turn the heads of those around her? The beads sparkle or dazzle with crystals, gemstones or colorful glass and plastics. A purse enhanced with beads is usually the intricate work of a skilled person.

I see most of the products that are enhanced with beading as more interesting because of the beads. The beads on the most beautiful items are applied by talented people who devise a beading pattern for their work before they ever start applying the first bead. The beading patterns could be the original creation of the person decorating the product, but it could also be a beading pattern made and shared by others for their use.

Beading patterns could be used to add a border around the bottom of a dress, or perhaps an accent around the collar of a garment or a border around the edge of a purse. This method of beading used a limited number of beads and can be a very simple method.

You could cover your wedding dress for a more elegant look. Beading patterns could be from famous designers or from people working to become famous. When using beading pattern to be made considering the type of materials used need to be consider before hand.

Beading Patterns Are Made With The Budget In Mind

Note: When your budget is playing a role such as when beading pattern for an elegant dress using diamonds or expensive crystals your pre-planning will be most important.

The fact that precious gemstone used in a beading pattern can be quite costly means the pattern used to place the beads on one of these garments must account for each bead placed on it.

I like looking through the internet to find the gorgeous patterns available for us who would like to place beads on a special garment or purse. These patterns provide a guide for the person in charge of the beading so they don’t need to keep large inventories of beads and supplies.

Beading patterns are like paint by numbers or road maps and are designed to make beading fun and easy. The pattern you choose will help you place each bead in the appropriate color if necessary.

There are some beautiful patterns for beading available at craft and specialty shops or websites devoted to the beading enthusiasts.

You will find that there are beading patterns available at no charge. Besides a guide to the color and shape, the pattern will guide the individual with information on starting points and perhaps steps to make beading a little easier, you know tricks of the trade.

Starting with a kit that includes beading patterns will make the learning curve much easier. There are some wonderful kits that provide all of the instruction necessary for getting you started. Other guides include the information to make a glamorous necklace or some trendy earrings.

-By: James Mann

James Mann is a beginner at beading but is pretty much hooked already. Learn more about beading and beading patterns at ‘The Art of Beading’ located at:

[http://www.takealookatthisvideo.com/theartofbeading/] and

[http://www.takealookatthisvideo.com/]

Square Stitch Beading for Beginners

Beading is becoming a very popular pastime for many people around the globe but why stick to simply stringing beads when you can have so much more? Square stitch beading allows for a lot greater variety in your beadwork and instead of simple creating a string of beads for necklaces, bracelets or earrings, you can now create your own beaded fabrics. In this article we discuss how you can learn this and some ideas of what you can make with this beading technique.

Basic Instructions for Square Stitch Beading

These instructions may sound complicated but I encourage you to slowly do square stitch beading as you read through these instructions and you will discover that it is not nearly as complicated as it may sound.

Personally I prefer seed beads for this beading technique. It can be done with other beads if you prefer but you may not get the same effect. So take a couple of seed beads and a beaded needle and you are ready to begin.

Now take your threaded needle through your first bead and around once more and knot it. This bead will act as a stop bead for your project. Now take as many beads as you want to make your first row and thread them next to your first bead.

Once you have your first row it is time to turn around and do the second row. Thread the first bead of the second row next to the last bead of the first row and take the thread back through the last bead of the first row and back through the first bead of the second row. When you add the second bead of the second row you will then take the needle again through the second to last stitch of the first row, or as I prefer to do, take it through the last two beads of the first row if you are making a flat shape for a firmer hold. Continue working like this, each time threading the needle through the bead you are working on as well as the one lying next to it on the previous row.

In order to end my square stitch beading on a flat piece I also take the thread through two beads on the last two rows twice and then once through one bead on each row. This helps to give a firm hold.

Square stitch beading is not just for squares

In the basic instructions of square stitch beading above we were mainly dealing with squares; however the same technique can be used to create a wide variety of shapes by decreasing or increasing the number of beads at different places. Basically any pattern that can be created on a beading loom can be created with this beading technique.

Some basic ideas to get your square stitch beading started

The first item you could create to practice it is a coaster for your cups. This is a great starting project because it is just a plain square and you do not need to worry about any increasing or decreasing but can just work on the basic stitch.

Another project you may want to try as a beginner’s project is a beaded bead. Make a small square or rectangle with square stitch beading and then when you finish it (about five rows or a little more) stitch together the beads from the first and last row to form a cylindrical bead.

You can also use this for various other projects and there are plenty of ideas online and in books to keep you busy for many enjoyable hours. Once you get used to working with this technique start creating your own patterns and ideas for even more variety.

In conclusion, square stitch beading is a great new technique to learn as a beginner in beading. This technique allows you to make a wide variety of patterns as well as objects such as coasters, bookmarks, beaded beads and much more. Virtually any pattern you can create with a beading loom you can create using square stitch. Let your imagination go and come up with some great square stitch beading ideas.

-By: Mandy Buchanan

This article was written by Mandy Buchanan. Mandy is the owner of <a target="_new" href="http://www.protrackerplus.com/trk/go.php?c=4798

Rosary Beads: Choosing The Gem That Is Right For You

Rosary beads are highly personal objects of faith. Prayer is the means by which we cleanse our souls, and rosary beads are used to count those prayers. Though the ritual may be the same for all of us, each and every one of us have our own special connection to our faith. Each and every one of us attributes our own personal significance to the rosary.

Rosary beads are a circular string of beads used to count off prayers and decades while reciting the rosary. So how do we personalize our rosary beads? The answer lies in choosing the right materials to represent us as individuals. Rosary beads can be made from a myriad of different metals and gems, and with so many different materials to choose from it is easy to find the right one.

The precious metals used in rosary beads:

Precious metals have a long and fascinating history. Each of the precious metals has it’s own qualities and it’s own legends. When choosing the right metals for your rosary beads you simply choose the metal that best suits your personality. Here are a few examples of the precious metals used in rosary beads:

Gold: Gold has had a greater impact on mankind than any other substance on earth. It was the search for gold that fueled early exploration and discovery, and gold was the reason behind some of the largest mass migrations in history. Gold is also the first atomic element mentioned in the Bible: Genesis 2:10-12. Because of it’s impact on mankind gold has become a symbol of progress. Gold prayer beads are perfect for those who consider their selves to be forward thinkers.

Platinum: Platinum is one of the rarest and most valuable metals on earth. Platinum is so rare, in fact, that all of the platinum ever mined would not fill up the average living room. Platinum is also a very durable metal. So durable that when King Louis XVI ordered Mark Etienne Janity to create an international weight standard, Janity used platinum so as to make sure the standard was never corrupted. Because of it’s durability platinum has come to symbolize steadfastness and stability. Platinum rosary beads are great for the person who seeks stability in their life.

Silver: The history of silver dates back more than five thousand years, to ancient Samaria and Chaldea. For most of history silver was considered nearly as valuable as gold. In fact, most ancient coinage was made of silver, rather than gold. It was not until the discovery of the Americas, and the large silver deposits found there, that silver began to depreciate in value. Silver has always bean linked to the feminine and the passive, and is symbolic of the moon. Silver has been used in rosary beads for hundreds of years because it is believed to be a good conductor of the soul.

Gold, platinum, silver; these metals are all beautiful and well suited for rosary beads. It is up to you to choose the one that best represents you as an individual.

The gemstones used in rosary beads:

Gemstone history is rich in legend and lore. Since the dawn of time gemstones have been revered for their beauty and mythical powers. The use of gemstones in Christianity is believed to date bake to a garment worn by the High Priest Aaron. Aaron was instructed to make a breastplate of linen, gold, and twelve gemstones. Each gemstone was to represent one of the twelve tribes, one of the signs of the zodiac, and also one of the months of the year. Today gemstones are widely used in rosary beads. Finding the right gemstone for your rosary is as easy as looking in the mirror; you simply choose the gemstone that best represents you. Here is a rundown of the history and lore of gemstones to help you decide:

Amethyst: Ancients believed amethyst would protect them from drunkenness. In fact its name is taken from the Greek “A-methystos”, meaning, “not drunken”. Legend has it that Bacchus, the Greek god of wine, grew angry with mortals, and vowed that the next mortal to cross his path would be eaten by tigers. Just then a young maiden named Amethyst was on her way to worship the Goddess Diana. Diana, Knowing of Bacchus’ plan turned Amethyst into a statue of colorless quartz to save her from the tiger’s teeth. Bacchus, seeing this repented and cried tears of wine over the young Amethyst, staining her purple. Amethyst is the birthstone of February, the zodiac stone for Pisces, and was one of the gems used in the breastplate of Aaron. Amethyst rosary beads represent high thought, and are perfect for those who feel specially connected to their spirituality.

Moonstone: Moonstones are said to bring balance to life, and to calm emotion and fear. Many cultures throughout history have regarded moonstones as sacred, because their iridescent luster is reminiscent of the moon. Moonstones are especially connected to the water signs of the zodiac, and are believed to bring good luck. Moonstone rosary beads are perfect for those who seek balance in their lives.

Lapis Lazuli: Lapis lazuli is a beautiful deep blue stone with hints of violet. The ancient Egyptians prized lapis lazuli for it’s beauty and workability, and often used it to carve vases and figurines. Lapis lazuli has always been believed to have healing powers, and is still believed to expand the mind, and be very conductive to creativity. Lapis lazuli is the traditional birthstone for December’ and is the zodiac stone for Libra. Lapis Lazuli rosary beads are best suited for the creative and open-minded person.

Jade: Jade is a stunning gemstone usually of a deep green color, although it is sometimes found in other colors, such as yellow, pink, purple, and black. Ancient eastern cultures believed that jade could increase body strength and add longevity. Jade has long been a symbol of love and virtue, and is the birthstone of March, as well as the zodiac stone for Virgo. Jade rosary beads are perfect for the virtuous and pure of heart.

Onyx: Onyx is the birthstone for August, and the zodiac stone for Leo. In Greek mythology onyx was created when one day while Venus was sleeping Eros cut her fingernails and left the clippings scattered on the ground. Because no part of a heavenly body can die, the gods turned them into stone, which later became known as onyx. Onyx is thought to bring happiness, as well as help to break bad habits. Onyx rosary beads are well suited for the strong willed.

These are just a few of the gemstones used in rosary beads. There are literally hundreds of different gemstones, representing hundreds of different personality types. Whether you are creative, strong willed, virtuous, or any other personality type you can think of, there are rosary beads out there that perfectly represent you as an individual. Here is a good page to view rosary beads.

Where is the best place to purchase rosary beads:

To get an idea of the different styles and prices that are available in rosary beads it is more convenient to view them online before shopping around at local jewelry or religious stores.

Retail jewelers and religious outlets will sometimes carry a small selection of rosary beads, but you are most apt to find a greater selection online. Just type “rosary beads” into an Internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and you will find several reliable websites that specialize in rosary beads.

The cost of rosary beads is dependant upon many variables, such as the type and size of gemstone or precious metal used. On average rosary beads should cost about $60 to $300, but can get far more expensive.

An essential part of our religious lives:

Rosary beads have long been an essential part of our religious lives. The counting of the decades of the rosary is a highly personal experience, and the rosary beads we use to help the counting should be personal too. With so many gemstones and precious metals now available, personalizing your rosary beads could not be easier. No matter what your personality traits, there is a rosary out there for you.

-By: Casey Buell

Casey Buell is an expert in the field of religious jewelry, and a contributor to the award winning religious jewelry website located at http://religiousjewelryshop.com.

Beading: Discover the Fun, Benefits and Beauty of this Popular Hand Craft

Beaded items are very popular nowadays. In shopping malls, department stores or designers

Popular Beads: Make a Fashion Statement with Beads

The advent of beads in jewelry-making has brought about nothing short of a revolution. No fashionable trinket is complete these days without some beads stitched on. To satisfy the growing demand, beads come in a range of colors, sizes, shapes, and motifs.

If you are thinking of making your own beaded jewelry and are wondering where to start, here is a guide to some of today’s most popular types of beads:

  • Seed beads: Tiny beads capable of producing a detailed and fine design.
  • Metal beads: Sterling silver, gold, platinum or bronze-plated beads are best for lending a metallic shimmer to bead jewelry. Brass and nickel beads can also add brilliance to any jewelry item. If you want to try something wild, experiment with pewter bead ornaments which mainly display animal, skull and flower motifs.
  • Cut beads: They are bigger sized beads, which can only be sewed on using a sinew.
  • Crow or pony: Similar to seed beads, but larger in size.
  • Charlotte: Opaque, round, true-cut beads with fewer facets. They are extremely rare in the market.
  • Bugle beads: Small tubular beads, used for a variety of decorations.
  • Plastic beads: Inexpensive alternatives to glass beads.
  • Glass and crystal beads: Crystal beads lend more dazzle and sparkle to your jewelry than any other beads, and crystal beads are highly cherished. The major name in this segment, boasting the finest cut and purity, is Swarovski crystal beads. A Swarovski crystal can be a good facelift for any traditional jewelry. But if you don’t mind compromising on quality you can go for glass crystals, which are less expensive. Both glass crystal beads come in a spectrum of colors like turquoise, pink, cobalt, black, green etc.
  • Bone beads: Meant for fashion lovers with ethnic and tribal tastes. These beads are made from bones of mammals and birds etc to reflect a tribal affinity.
  • Clay beads: Though called clay beads, they are not solely made from clay. Clay beads originate from a combination of PVC (polyvinyl chloride), a color pigment and a product that gives it a plastic-like texture. Bead jewelry made of clay beads reflects a special earth tone, which is best suited for summer or fall designs. Moreover, clay beads are usually not in the hefty prices category and are affordable to the general crowd.

Given such variety, are you surprised that beads have become the most innovative forms of expression for a whole bunch of creative souls?

-By: Tania Penwell

Tania Penwell is a professional author who provides information on beads, beading supplies, and beaded jewelry for All-Beads.net.

More Basic Bead Stringing

Once you’ve chosen a basic bead stringing material from the endless list of options out there in the beading world, you then have to consider some of the other components of bead stringing:

1. Select one or a combination of several stringing methods:

o Slide the beads on the string and tie the ends together.

o Slide the beads on the string and add a clasp.

o Knot between each bead if using thin synthetic or natural threads.

o Use crimp beads for security when attaching a clasp.

2. Choose a beading needle. (You may not even need one!)

o With flexible strings and small beads, try a big eye needle–two pieces of steel joined at the ends to form a single needle. The large eye closes to fit through the beads. Big eye needles can also be used with non-traditional stringing materials, such as ribbon or yarn.

o Twisted needles are made from flexible wire that has been doubled over and twisted together, with a little loop left in the end that forms a collapsible eye. They are very flexible and easy to thread.

o For small beads (especially seed beads) and when using thread to string your beads on, use a beading needle. They resemble sewing needles but are usually longer and thinner. The sizes of needles are indicated by number; the most commonly used being #10 and #12. Beading needles differ from ordinary sewing needles because the eye is narrower to allow passage through a bead. The higher the number, the smaller the needle’s diameter.

o Less flexible beading materials (like wire) require no needle, as the beads will slide right on your string.

3. Select a basic bead-stringing surface to keep your beads from traveling:

o A great tool for laying out your design is a beading board. Just line beads up and insert your stringing material.

o A beading tray works in a more low-tech way. Pour your beads in the tray, line them up along the curved edge, string, and pour leftover beads back in their container.

o A bead mat helps prevent beads from rolling off your work surface and provides a cushion for your hands.

o The most accessible surface is simply a low-pile towel or a square of felt. Your beads don’t roll around, and clean up is easy.

o Planning on stringing seed beads? Check out a seed bead spinner. Just give the tool a twirl, stick in your threaded needle, and the beads slide on.

Basic bead stringing isn’t hard. Just pick your stringing material, beading method, a needle if needed, and a surface to work on. But first, get yourself some great beads!

-By: Merrilee Gasaway

Do you want to learn more about how I do it? Get more information here: How To String Beads

You can also find everything you need for beading projects. Click here: Bead Supplies

Merrilee Gasaway writes full time in the crafting industry.

Beading on a Bead Loom

Beading is a hobby of many. Though it may be a hobby for many, a number of people have taken up beading in a professional capacity. Tapestry beading and seed beading are a few of the many different forms of beading. Bead weaving is interesting and can keep one occupied for hours on end. A bead loom is a piece of equipment that is used so that one can produce beautiful bead work. You often find people who love jewelry spending a lot of time playing around with beads and beading on a bead loom to create wonderful and delightful products.

Prior to investing in a bead loom, you need to the uses of the bead loom. You need a bead loom that is strong so that it gives you enough of space and support while you are creating different designs. Most often you’ll find bead looms are generally square in shape, rectangular looms are also common. You’ll also find a number of hooks and groves in the bead loom. There is a myriad of different styles of bead looms that you can choose from. Prices differ according to the style. While selecting a bead loom, you need to check all aspects and features of the loom. While you may find that the wooden bead looms are rather pricey, these are strong and powerful. Moreover at the end of the day, it is quality and durability that you need to look for, and the wooden bead loom provides just that.

When you start beading on a bead loom, you need to make sure that you start with small easy tasks. Generally beads of size 6 and/or 7 are recommended for first time users. Using the bead loom for bigger heads, helps make things easy for you, and your end result is a wonderful design as well. Seed beads are extremely common, so if your in a business, you can start with these beads.

While working on the bead loom, care should be taken on the choice of needles that you’ll be using in order to weave the beads. It’s advisable to use a needle size which is a size lesser than that of the bead. This makes it easy for the bead to pass through the hole. Lets take an example. If you intend creating a necklace with a couple of strands, you need to fix around four threads on the bead loom. Having done this, you insert a bead and make a knot, right next to it. This is done, so that the bead does not move, and is in a fixed position. Thereafter, you need to keep inserting the beads and move the needle under each of these, thus locking them. While working with the bead loom, you need to maintain a back and forth pattern. Having completed the necklace, cut the ends and tie knots strongly, and you your piece is completed.

If you learn the techniques of the bead loom, you’ll find it interesting and fun to use.

-By: Karen Lincoln

For more tips and techniques on beading then why not visit our craft information site or for craft supplies then please visit our UK crafts shop – Criss Cross Crafts.

French Bead Flower Making – A Vintage Craft Is New Again

How do people use Bead Flowers?

Bead flowers can be used in every way you use silk or fresh flowers. The only difference is that it will be many, many years before bead flowers deteriorate. Therefore, they make ideal inserts in bridal bouquets, bridal headdresses, hair barrettes, pins, napkin rings, corsages, “potted” plants, 3D pictures and wall hangings.

A few notable people who owned and treasured examples of this fine art were Marie Antoinette, Madame Pompadour, Napoleon’s Josephine, Princess Grace, Princess Caroline, Patricia Nixon and William Randolph Hearst.

Bead flowers can be made out of many kinds and styles of beads, and beads can have a wide variety of finishes. The most common type of bead used is a seed bead, gauge 10 or 11, and used on wire of 24 or 26 gauge. I have seen very tiny flowers made with gauge 15 seed beads. The edges of the beads can be squared off or rounded, depending on the artist’s taste. Japanese beads are of very high quality and are very uniform. If you make bead jewelry, you may have used Toho or Miyuki beads in your jewelry and other projects. One-, two- or three-cut beads add sparkle, and trumpet beads and rhinestone centers can be used as an accent. Beads can be matte or pearly, colorlined or unlined, opaque or transparent, and the list goes on. Beads can be bought on hanks, or loose in bags and tubes.

As strange as it may seem, weather can have an effect on the availability of beads. Because of weather conditions in many parts of the world, certain colors of beads can be made only at certain times of the year. About six years ago, the fashion industry bought up all the available pink beads, and jewelrymakers and flower beaders had to use other colors until the climatic conditions changed again, production of pink beads could resume, and the supply could catch up with the demand.

History of Bead Flowers

The art of making flowers out of beads is many centuries old. Although there is very little documentation on the development of this art, research has shown that the first primitive bead flowers may have been made as early as the 1300′s in Germany, when steel needles and wire were developed.

In the ensuing years as the craft spread across Europe, different methods were developed: the Victorian method, also known as the English or Russian method, and the French method. The main difference is that in the Victorian method, which is similar to modern bead jewelry-making techniques, the thread or wire passes through each bead twice or more, and the wire passes from row to row on the sides of the piece; in the French method, the wire passes through each bead only once, and passes from row to row in the center or on the bottom of the individual piece.

One of the reasons that flowers are associated with churches has to do with beads. In the thirteenth century a form of prayer using a string of beads was instituted by St. Dominic. The string, called a rosary, consisted at that time of 15 units of beads. Each unit contained 10 small beads, preceded by one larger one. A prayer was recited at every bead. The word “bede” (sp) is Middle English for “prayer.” Because of the length of the original rosary, it became customary to pay someone, usually a resident of an almshouse, to recite the prayers. These people were referred to as bede women or men, and it was they who made the first bead flowers. The craft was handed down through the centuries and came to be associated with the church and its decorations.

The French used bead flowers as funeral wreaths. These wreaths were called “Immortelles,” and ranged from 3 feet to 4 feet in height. They would be left at the grave of the deceased. Since they were made on metal wire and were exposed to the weather, most of these items were destroyed within a year, but a few examples remain today. Occasionally you will see one on Ebay. Once an Immortelle disintegrated, leaving only a pile of beads, the beads would often be recycled into other projects. Not only are there bead flowers mounted on the frame of the Immortelle, but the frame wires are wrapped in beaded wire as well. Wires strung with beads might have been coiled or braided as well before wrapping onto the piece. The whole surface of the Immortelle would be wrapped over with wire strung with thousands and thousands of beads.

In Venice in the 16th century, middle class and poor women made bead flowers for churches, banquet tables and parade floats. At that time, someone could walk down the streets of Venice and see women sitting outside every door, making ornaments out of wire and tiny glass beads. At one time Venice was a center for the actual production of beads. According to one source, at one point all the beadmaking activity in Venice was moved onto the island of Murano. Murano glass vases and other items are still treasured today.

Around the Napoleonic era (1768-1821), Italian and French peasants who tended the vineyards in the summer were recruited to work with beads in the winter. They would be assigned to embroider the ball gowns and jackets of the court nobility with beads. Imperfect beads or beads that would not fit over the needle were saved and made into flowers. These imperfect beads may have been strung onto wire for the flowers with horsehair or human hair. These flowers were used to decorate church altars, and were carried by altar boys for Easter and Christmas.

In Victorian times, royal European brides often wore wreaths or circlets of bead flowers and carried bead bouquets on their wedding day. The custom was for the bride to abandon the fancy hair styles of the time, and wear her hair simply, straight down her back, and adorn her head with a floral wreath. If she were getting married at a time of the year when fresh flowers were unavailable, bead flowers were an excellent solution.

Wreaths

In response to the 9/11 tragedy, many flower beaders from around the world collaborated to make a modern-style funeral wreath for each of the three crash sites. These wreaths are now in the Pentagon, the Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the New York Wreath was temporarily placed in the Wheaton Museum of American Glass in Morganville, New Jersey. Recently the New York Wreath was moved to a permanent display case in a board room at the World Trade Center Museum Foundation Headquarters. The Pentagon wreath is in a large, glass wall-mounted case in a new hallway in the Pentagon. This hallway leads to a chapel commemorating those who died on 9/11.

Swarovski Project

Several years ago, when the Swarovski Crystal company was first making their line of crystal beads, they commissioned several bead flower artists to design and create the first Swarovski crystal bead flowers. The beaders adapted existing patterns and wrote new patterns to accommodate these new, larger beads. A sparkling garden of flowers was the result. This collection of flowers toured the world, and is now back at the main offices of the Swarovski company in Austria.

History of Bead Flowers in America

In 1865, Godey’s Ladies Book published a flower pattern that suggests the flowers could be used as decorations for hair and clothing.

The Dritz Traum Company released the earliest U.S. pattern, in 1928. It was titled “Hiawatha New Imported Crystal Bead Models.” You may recognize the Dritz name, since they still produce needles and other items.

By 1957, Samuel Wallach of the Walbead company was packaging and selling kits, “Bead a Bouquet,” which included a wide variety of beaded flower instructions.

In 1965, Aleene, of Temple City, California, released what was possibly the first U.S. book of patterns, simply titled “Bead Flowers.”

The art of bead flower making was popular in the U.S. in the late 1960′s to early 1970′s. Years 1966 through 1983 brought us a flurry of publications. These books are now considered the “bibles” of the French beader. The noted authors of these books include the highly respected Virginia Nathanson, Bobbe Anderson, Samuel Wallach, Helen Leibman, Ruth Wasley/Edith Harris and Virginia Osterland. Although these books sometimes appear in garage sales, collectors are willing to pay well in excess of $100.00 each, when they can be found.

Virginia Nathanson was a Vaudeville performer in her youth. Later on, she saw a bead flower arrangement in a department store in New York City. She wanted to discover the secret of these everlasting flowers, so she bought the arrangement, took it home, and took each flower completely apart. By this rather drastic forensic method, she learned the four basic techniques of French bead flower making.

Mrs. Nathanson’s first book, “The Art of Making Bead Flowers and Bouquets,” is now in reprint in softcover. The instructions in this book are very clear, and this is an excellent book for the beginner.

In the late 60′s and early 70′s, most of the seed beads sold in America were imported from Czechoslovakia. With the last phase of the Cold War, around the late 1980′s, Czech beads were difficult to find, and popularity for the craft diminished.

In 1991 Helen McCall produced a book dedicated entirely to miniatures, and in 1995, Leisure Arts produced a few patterns, in an ornament book. Still, the art seemed to be fading away, in the United States.

Then, the late 1990′s saw a dramatic interest in beaded flowers around the world. Books were published in Japanese, French, Italian, Russian, German, and Dutch. Although some of the styles “cross over,” most of these books use the Victorian technique.

In the last several years, Mario Rivoli bought up many vintage bead flowers and spray-painted them to create astonishing effects on the flowers. These beads are often seen in shops in New York City, and in magazines and on the Internet.

With the start of the new millennium, the United States has shown a renewed interest in French beaded flowers. Magazines are describing the art as “what’s hot” and French-style pattern books are once again appearing.

Quality beads are now available from many sources. The Internet is making the books and materials available to all beaders, regardless of their location. Many of the books are available from Amazon, and wire, beads and other supplies can be found online at very reasonable prices.

The art of bead flower-making is very old, but is new all over again!

Sources

Jonalee Crabb

Sharon R. May, Scouting Out the Bead

Virginia Nathanson, The Art of Making Bead Flowers and Bouquets

Wasley and Harris, Bead Design

Walbead

Godey’s Ladies Book

Dritz Traum Company, Hiawatha New Imported Crystal Bead Models

Samuel Wallach, Bead A Bouquet

Aleene, Bead Flowers

Lark Books, 500 Beaded Objects

Dalene Kelly, Bead Flowers For The New Millennium

Carol Benner Doelp

-By: Rosemary Kurtz

http://www.rosemarykurtz.com

Tips on Storing Beads and Beading Accessories

Thanks to a growing popularity in jewellery making and beadwork, more people are discovering the rich variety of beads available from all over the world. From the tiniest ‘seed beads’ through to larger, more ornate versions, beads come in a huge selection of types and sizes. But storing them safely in a way that is easy to access and prevents them from becoming lost can be tricky. So how can you bring a little organisation into your jewellery storage and bead collection?

Bead storage boxes

The simplest way to safely store your beads is by using storage boxes that are specifically designed to house loose beads. The cheapest alternative for someone just starting out on their beading hobby is to pop down to the local fishing tackle shop and buy a couple of boxes designed to house fishing flies. These plastic boxes have compartments that are perfectly suited for keeping a selection of beads separate from one another – particularly useful if you don’t want to spend hours sorting out one colour from another!

However, specially designed bead storage boxes are perhaps a better option, as they have been created with the beading enthusiast in mind. These organisers are made up of different sized compartments and drawers, allowing larger beads to be housed in more appropriately sized sections. They also come with scoops and tweezers, making handling small beads in particular much easier.

Seed beads normally come in their own plastic tubes, which can be re-used once the beads have been incorporated into jewellery. These are perfect for storing small beads safely and securely and can even be bought wholesale if you have a lot of beads to sort out and store. Small plastic ‘snap-bags’ that have a top that can be re-sealed are also ideal for sorting out a bead collection, allowing you to instantly see what is in each bag and even labelling individual bags that contain specific beads.

Don’t forget your other equipment

Specially designed bead cases have the advantage in that they have an acid-free, sticky surface upon which loose beads can be placed without rolling away. This gives you the opportunity to design a beading pattern before threading, saving time during the design stage. Some of these even have magnets attached to hold your needle, meaning no more hunting around carefully for a lost needle on the floor. These additional features make bead cases ideal for use both at home and when travelling.

The most important thing to consider when picking out the best jewellery storage is what you want to achieve. If you are a serious bead fanatic, you may be looking for a system that allows you to instantly see what you have in front of you and select the appropriate bead quickly and easily. But don’t forget that you also need to consider how you want to store your beading equipment. Bead looms take up a lot of space, so a large fishing tackle box with a spacious area underneath concertina-type drawers will be ideal. Small items such as needles and pins need to be stored safely, and valuable tools also need their own storage space. Whatever your requirements, there are plenty of options available that will suit almost any budget, allowing you to keep your beads safe, free from damage and easily accessible.

Thanks to a growing popularity in jewellery making and beadwork, more people are discovering the rich variety of beads available from all over the world. From the tiniest ‘seed beads’ through to larger, more ornate versions, beads come in a huge selection of types and sizes. But storing them safely in a way that is easy to access and prevents them from becoming lost can be tricky. So how can you bring a little organisation into your jewellery storage and bead collection?

Bead storage boxes

The simplest way to safely store your beads is by using storage boxes that are specifically designed to house loose beads. The cheapest alternative for someone just starting out on their beading hobby is to pop down to the local fishing tackle shop and buy a couple of boxes designed to house fishing flies. These plastic boxes have compartments that are perfectly suited for keeping a selection of beads separate from one another – particularly useful if you don’t want to spend hours sorting out one colour from another!

However, specially designed bead storage boxes are perhaps a better option, as they have been created with the beading enthusiast in mind. These organisers are made up of different sized compartments and drawers, allowing larger beads to be housed in more appropriately sized sections. They also come with scoops and tweezers, making handling small beads in particular much easier.

Seed beads normally come in their own plastic tubes, which can be re-used once the beads have been incorporated into jewellery. These are perfect for storing small beads safely and securely and can even be bought wholesale if you have a lot of beads to sort out and store. Small plastic ‘snap-bags’ that have a top that can be re-sealed are also ideal for sorting out a bead collection, allowing you to instantly see what is in each bag and even labelling individual bags that contain specific beads.

Don’t forget your other equipment

Specially designed bead cases have the advantage in that they have an acid-free, sticky surface upon which loose beads can be placed without rolling away. This gives you the opportunity to design a beading pattern before threading, saving time during the design stage. Some of these even have magnets attached to hold your needle, meaning no more hunting around carefully for a lost needle on the floor. These additional features make bead cases ideal for use both at home and when travelling.

The most important thing to consider when picking out the best jewellery storage is what you want to achieve. If you are a serious bead fanatic, you may be looking for a system that allows you to instantly see what you have in front of you and select the appropriate bead quickly and easily. But don’t forget that you also need to consider how you want to store your beading equipment. Bead looms take up a lot of space, so a large fishing tackle box with a spacious area underneath concertina-type drawers will be ideal. Small items such as needles and pins need to be stored safely, and valuable tools also need their own storage space. Whatever your requirements, there are plenty of options available that will suit almost any budget, allowing you to keep your beads safe, free from damage and easily accessible.

-By: A Hunter

Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of cooksongold.com. Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of supplies from over 10,000 products including gold and, jewellery findings, tools, precious metal clay and precious metal sheet – gold, silver, platinum and palladium plus jewellery storage and technical information for jewellers, jobbers, designer, craftsmen, artisans and students.

For interviews, quotes, images or comments contact:
Adam Hunter
E-commerce Marketing Manager
E-mail: adam.hunter@cooksongold.com