Monday, April 18, 2011

Totally tubular beaded beads

On my beading mat April 18th, 2011:
I'm making really super fast and easy peyote beaded beads by stitching small flat strips and zipping them together into tubes. I'm making a ton of them in about every shade of green Delica I have–and if you know me, you know I have a lot of green beads! I made tubes using some shiny hexes too.I am just tubing away, because I need to have as many components as I can in order to play when I make whatever it is I will make. Yesterday Mike and I drove to Baltimore (met friends, had Bertha's mussels) and I beaded in the car all the way there and all the way back!

Tip for car beading--work in larger sizes, it's easier to get your needle through larger bead holes if your needle is bumping around! I worked in size 8 hexes and size 10 Delicas. Hardly any finger stabbing at all. ;-)

I'll be combining the tubes with the Swarovski Dorado 2X crystal bicones #5328 into... something! Stay tuned!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Getting Twisted with Beadalon at Wire Fest 2011

Bead Fest Wire was more fun than I imagined. I did demos for two straight days for Beadalon.

The biggest attraction? The twisted tool! Can you tell that I was enjoying myself? You can see the blur as my hands whirled the handle around and around making a twisted cable. Talk about having the right tool for the right job.

So here's how it works:

Attach up to 5 wires (I used about a yard each of various gauges of Artistic wire, between 26 and 20 gauge) to a disk with holes in it, just twist them onto the disk so they wouldn't come off, nothing fancy. Then  attach the loose ends to a clamp or a chair rung--anything which you can use to pull against for some tension. Then just turn the handle as I'm doing in my photo. The end result is a cable of surprising hardness--perfect for making jump rings or wrapping stones, making bails, etc. Even using two wires made a hard enough cable for rings.

Lots of people (of all ages as you can see!) stopped to admire my seed bead work, too. I showed them the three colors of WildFire I use, and though I did not demo any stitches I did point out how the WildFire thread held up to different stitches and different beads, including Swarovski crystals.

Thanks to Meredith and Madeline of Beadalon who were so fabulous in teaching me how to best use the tools and make me feel really a part of the design team. Somehow that floor in the convention center doesn't feel quite as hard when you work with great people!

Meredith and I collaborated at the demo station on some new designs with the Katydid components, too. Meredith has such style in her designs--I hope they'll post those pix on the Beadalon blog site soon.