Monthly Archives: December 2010

Beading Basics: What You Need to Know to Get Started Beading

Stringing beads is a fun way to reduce stress and explore your creative side. Put a colorful necklace together or create a beautiful matching set with a bracelet and a pair of earrings. Wear your creations, sell them, or wrap them in tissue paper and give them to your friends.

Basic beading is easy, fun, and relatively inexpensive. You’ll find beading supplies at most craft shops, art supply stores, and discount stores, in addition to the beading boutiques that often specialize in more expensive beads.

Here is a checklist of the basic tools and supplies you’ll need to begin working on your new hobby:

Beads – You’ll find an abundance of different sizes, shapes and styles to choose from. Start off with a few favorite colors using plastic beads so you can become familiar with color coordination and putting on the finishing touches. This way, mistakes won’t be so costly. Work your way toward the finer glass, semi-precious, hand-painted, wood and cloisonn

The Truths About Beaded, Costume, and Cubic Zirconia Jewelry!

Shopping for Inexpensive Yet Brilliant Pieces

History of Beaded Jewelry

Beads have been used to create jewelry and adorn costumes since the dawn of time. If you were to look back on the Ice Age you would discover small objects crafted of natural “beads” including animal bones and teeth, seashells and colorful stones. These items were usually attached to clothing or plant fibers to form the most primitive forms of beaded jewelry.

Beaded jewelry symbolizes many different things for different people; different cultures have associated beads with varying spiritual beliefs, cultural customs and social traditions. Beads, like many other jewelry items, have been used throughout time to adorn the bodies of men and women alike, signifying power, beauty and the human spirit.

The very first actual “beads” that have been discovered date back to approximately 38,000 BC. Made by cavemen, these beads were crafted from animal parts. In later times, beads were crafted as symbols of fertility and animal spirits.

During the stone age, beads were crafted primarily as a means of adorning the body; they were also used for trading on occasion however. A couple thousand years later, beads were crafted out of coral and other “precious” substances. In ancient Greece there is evidence that carnelian beads and beads made of lapis lazuli were worn by wealthy members of society. The use of semi-precious stone beads began to become more popular about 2800 BC among the Syrians, who fashioned beads of materials like agate and serpentine.

Since that time beaded jewelry has become more and more valuable and popular. Gold and other semi-precious stones are often used to craft beaded jewelry.

Perhaps the most popular form of beaded jewelry is glass jewelry. Evidence of the first glass beads suggests that glassmaking was common in Mesopotamia around 2180 BC. Glass beads were popular then and are popular now in part because of their durability and inexpensive pricing. The Egyptian and Phoenician cultures are well known for their use of glass to make beaded jewelry. Beaded jewelry was commonly found buried with wealthy pharaohs in the ancient tombs of Egypt, though it was not uncommon for glass beads to be buried with poor families as well.

In modern times beaded jewelry is popular because of its versatility and diversity. Beads can be crafted from almost any material including the following:

  • Coral/seashells
  • Gemstones
  • Glass
  • Rock Crystal
  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Stone
  • Pearls

Beads can even be crafted out of plastic (though this is of course less lovely than some other more traditional options). Though in times of old beads served as symbols of status, wealth and heritage, today beaded jewelry is more much representative of a persons unique style preferences and personality. Beaded jewelry can be custom made in almost any style, using any type of chain and any type/combination of beads.

Beaded jewelry is just as popular today, if not more popular than it was in ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian times. Buying online is easy, and perhaps the best option for bead savvy and not so savvy consumers alike. Buying online eliminates the hassle of traveling from store to store, which can take days or more to find the right beads or beaded jewelry. By shopping online, you have literally tens of thousands of unique selections to choose from. Though no longer traded for food, modern jewelry enthusiasts often engage in bead trading for fun and camaraderie.

Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is sometimes referred to as “fake jewelry” by some well meaning but unknowing individuals. Costume jewelry is crafted from among other items, rhinestones, glass stones and gold plated metal or sterling silver. Costume jewelry first surfaced in the United States around the early twenties; it was very popular among European immigrants that settled into the states during this time. Movie stars and common folk alike wore costume jewelry that was carefully crafted and ornamentally designed.

Costume jewelry, particularly antique pieces, are well worth their weight in gold. Many hand crafted pieces can fetch thousands of dollars on the open market. There are some designers that are more well known than others in the world of costume jewelry:

  • Napier
  • Nettie Rosenstein
  • Ciner
  • Hattie Carnegie
  • Miriam Haskell

Even celebrities currently invest thousands of dollars on costume jewelry every year. Because unique pieces are harder to come buy and rarely mass produced anymore, some pieces created in the early 30s to late 40s can be hard to find. More common are pieces that were created in the 1960s or later. Costume jewelry is fun in part because the wearer is at liberty to make a bold statement. Not modest, most costume jewelry shouts out “here I am, look at me!” An excellent choice for the bold and daring, costume jewelry can be a wonderful accessory to just about any wardrobe.

Costume jewelry collecting has even become a favorite pastime among many jewelry enthusiasts, much like beaded jewelry trading and collecting. The appeal of both of these styles is their uniqueness and diversity. Though in some instances hard to find, costume jewelry can be easily explored via online shopping. When buying online, be sure to have in mind a price range and style before shopping. The selection available online might leave you a bit overwhelmed.

If you collect costume jewelry, you might be wondering just how much it is worth. Just as there are popular designers for look and feel, some designers work is more valuable than others, including:

  • Ciner
  • Marel Boucher
  • Eisenberg
  • Hobe
  • Kramer
  • Vogue
  • Hollycraft
  • Monet
  • Coro
  • Kenneth J. Lane

These precious gems are often marked when crafted.

Cubic Zirconia Jewelry

Cubic zirconia jewelry has to be among the most popular inexpensive “knock off” jewelry items to buy. Part of the appeal of cubic zirconia jewelry is its remarkable ability to look exactly like real diamond jewelry. Most cubic zirconia is hard to distinguish from its natural cousins.

The widespread use of cubic zirconia became popularized around the 1980s, when it first became mass produced. It is created through a chemical process that combines zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide, which when melted together form a radiant and shiny crystal resembling a natural diamond.

Most cubic zirconia jewelry is very durable, brilliant and long lasting. Some people have to look at a cubic zirconia under a powerful magnifying glass to distinguish it from a real diamond, a testament to its quality and aesthetic appeal. If you are looking for a clear, brilliant and inexpensive option to traditional diamond jewelry, don’t hesitate to shop a wide selection of cubic zirconia jewelry. Buying online provides the most advantages, because there is a wider selection and you have the ability to customize your pieces with the click of a button.

-By: Antigone Arthur

About The Author:
Successful freelance writer, Antigone Arthur has completed a number of informative articles providing valuable insight for consumers on such topics as beaded jewelry, costume

Beading Patterns Free Peyote Stitch

The peyote stitch is an easy and enjoyable bead stitch to learn. Beginner beaders to advanced fall in love with the peyote stitch because of its versatility, flexiblity and beauty. The peyote stitch almost feels like fabric and can be use to make chokers, beaded purses… and endless bead designs.

Supplies

40″ (60cm) Nylon beading thread

Beading needle

Size 11 seed beads

How To Bead A Peyote Stitch…

Step 1. Thread on a top bead

Step 2. Thread on 7 more beads

Step 3. Thread another bead and then thread your needle through the 3rd bead from the end.

Pull the thread so that the new bead sits on top of the 8th bead of the first row.

Step 4. Thread another bead and then thread your needle through the 4th bead from the end of the first row.

Step 5. Repeat Step 4, 2 more times, weaving the thread through every other bead on the first row.

You will end the second row with the thread going through the stop bead. (your first bead).

You should have added 4 new beads.

Step 6. Now, lets continue with a third row…

Thread another bead and then thread your needle through the first bead on the second row.

Pull the thread so that the new bead sits on top of the stop bead

Step 7. Thread another bead and then thread your needle through the next bead on the second row.

Step 8. Continue like this until you have 4 new beads threaded for the third row.

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Visit http://www.beadpatternsonline.com to read this article with easy to follow diagrams.

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Keep going! The peyote stitch takes a bit of practice at first. The trick is to keep the thread tension tight, and still allow the weave to lay flat. Practice with larger seed beads at first to get the hang of the stitch. Once you learn the peyote stitch, you will be hooked! Bead long strips of seed beads to make a choker!

Happy Beading!

Jennifer Thoden

-By: Jennifer Thoden

Discover free bead patterns, beading instructions and an online bead store directory. Visit http://www.beadpatternsonline.com to enjoy free designer bead patterns, detailed step by step bead instructions, dozens of beading related articles and a growing online bead store directory to help you find the beading supplies you need.

http://www.beadpatternsonline.com

Beads-A Sign of the Times?

When you hear the word “beads,” do you immediately think of jewelry? Or do you think of Rosary beads or some other non-jewelry use of beads–beaded dresses, headbands, belts? Perhaps you think of a country and western outfit, a studded, head-to-toe piece of jewelry.

The first thought that enters your mind when you hear the word “beads” may date you and give away your age faster than physical attributes. If you’re a product of the 50′s, your mind may wander to pop beads, those plastic pull apart, pop together baubles that have risen in value from pennies to $20, $30 or more. If you’re a product of the 60′s, you may think of “love beads,” which complemented the long-haired, unkempt look, or your mind may wander to the long strands of beads that once adorned inside doorways in Haight Ashbury with sounds of The Mamas and the Papas blaring in the background. Thanks to television, it’s difficult to forget the beaded belts of the 70s.

From Ancient Trade to Modern Computer Applications

Beads predate the mid-20th century by eons. Remember the abacus? Of course, you can’t actually remember back 2000 years unless you possess powers unknown to this author, but you can remember learning about the abacus in school. In Europe, Venetian glass beads and German metal beads served as currency in trade as early as the 16th century. Beads also played a central role in Native American jewelry.

Bohemia (aptly named) was the center of the European bead trade from as far back as the Middle Ages. Through the twists and turns of history, bead making moved to Bavaria and now, has once again found its home in the Chezk Republic, in the Bohemia area, home of Swarovski Austrian crystals.

In 1990, Native American traditional beadwork intersected with computer sciences. Several college campuses introduced a pilot program in which beadwork shaped the foundation for courses AutoCad and other design program courses for Native American students. The popularity and applicability of these courses continues today.

Modern Beads

Now that we’ve strolled down memory lane and taken a quick look at vintage beads, beads no longer in production, where do beads fit into today’s jewelry scene? They’re everywhere you look from casual chokers and necklaces to fine Swarovski Austrian crystal designs.

Think beyond a single strand of beads. Start by thinking of a single strand of beads from which a pendant dangles. From there, think pins–yes, pins adorned with beads, beaded bracelets, barrettes, earrings, etc. In fact, think beyond jewelry to purses and other accessories. If you look closely at your surroundings, you’ll find beads everywhere.

The Many Faces of Beads

Another thing that you might rethink is the composition and shape of beads. Today’s beads come in a myriad of shapes and materials, with Austrian crystal topping the list. Today’s look du jour of transparent, translucent and iridescent beads don the bodies of the rich and famous along with everyday mortals. Venetian glass beads often encapsulate swirls within the beads for a unique, timeless quality.

The latest in fashion trends includes little beaded silk purses. While you wouldn’t want to cover yourself in head-to-toe beads unless you’re auditioning for a singing gig in Nashville, a silk beaded purse with a complementary beaded necklace turns an ordinary evening outfit into a walking work of art.

Open your eyes and look for one-of-a-kind, handmade beaded jewelry. It’s everywhere, and it’s calling your name.

-By: M J Plaster

M J Plaster is a successful author who provides information on shopping online for beads and jewelry in general. M J Plaster has been a commercial freelance writer for almost two decades, most recently specializing in home and garden, the low-carb lifestyle, investing, and anything that defines la dolce vita.