Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Different Types of Beads

Monday I showed you some different shapes of crystal beads. Today I wanted to show you some other types of beads available.  These can be just as fun as the crystals.  We live in a time when we can get ingredients for our creations made from nearly anything.

I have seen beads made from bone, porcelain, metal, seeds, precious stones and you name it, it's probably been made into a bead.  You can even create your own beads from glass or clay.  Or you can take several beads and make a beaded bead.  I know that sounds weird, but these are really cool.  I have seen several different ones made up and I just love how a bunch of small beads can come together to create something so beautiful.

Here is a selection of different beads from my stash.  It includes natural stones like quartz, agate and wood and also man made pearls, and beads of metal, glass, porcelain and plastic.  I thought I had a clay bead or two around but I couldn't locate them at this time.  Hmmmm, where in my stash could they be?

I like to pick my stones by what I like. Each one of these beads touched me somehow. Some might feel nice to the touch, with others it was the color that caught my eye and still others were just funky and cool.  I know eventually each and everyone will have its opportunity to be part of something special.

Like on Monday, I have to say that there are so many types of beads that I can't list or show them all.  But I do know that Beadin' Mon! has a variety for you to pick and choose from so stop by and browse the selection.  You can also visit the website at where we now have some beads for sale to be shipped directly to your door, ahhh - bead delivery, better than pizza.  Join me on Friday for another entry and until then happy beading.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Some Shapes of Beads

Welcome back, I hope you all had a fabulous weekend.  As I sat and pondered what to write about this week I realized that I have not shared anything about the really fun part of beading.  The Beads themselves. So today I wanted to show you a few different shapes of beads that you can choose from to make your unique creations.

My favorite type of beads are the swarovski crystals, I love how they sparkle and shine. And they have so many colors to choose from, many shades of any color you can think of and they create more every year.  How do they do that?  That seems like it would be a very fun job.

So I don't overwhelm you I will only show you a few shapes today.  These are the ones that I use the most at the moment.

Here is a short description of the bead shape.
Bicone = looks like a diamond or two triangles fused together at the base.
Round = the typical round bead (but much prettier)
Cube = just like it sounds, a symmetrical square
Rivoli = As you can see it looks round from the front, but the profile consists of points at the center  
   (one on each side) that come out a little bit.  I'll try to get a better image for you sometime.
And some other fun shapes like the heart, saucer, teardrop and star are also available.

This is just a small sampling of the many different shapes available for your creating pleasure.  If you would like to see more great crystal shapes to play with stop by Beadin' Mon! or visit our website at and browse around.  Hope you enjoy crystals as much as I do.  I hope to see you wednesday and as always happy beading.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Wire Bracelet

The project I wanted to show you this week is a bracelet that I made during a class at Beadin' Mon.  Classes are always fun and I love to meet people.  The cool thing about go to a class is that we may be all using the same pattern for a technique, but each artists' bracelet turns out differently.  I like seeing all the different versions.

So here is mine.  I used Silver Crafting Wire, a bigger gauge for the base of the bracelet and the smaller gauge to attach the beads.  I mixed metals and added copper beads to the turquoise and black beads.

If you like this project and would love to learn how to make your own unique bracelet, stop by Beadin' Mon and check out the lastest classes.  As I mentioned wednesday, if you don't see what your looking for make a request and it may end up as an upcoming class.  And feel free to browse the website at

I know what I'm doing this weekend -- working with wire. :)
Have a great weekend and as always, happy beading.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wire for Jewelry Making

In the photo above is a variety of crafting wire used for Jewelry making, It comes in a variety of thicknesses called gauges. And it can also come in a variety of metals.  As you can see I have gold, silver, bronze and copper.  I have been using the silver and gold the most.  There are more pure metal wire such as sterling silver that you can purchase, but they can be quite costly. So the trend at Beadin' Mon  as the moment is to use crafting wire.  It has a number of benefits.   It's readily available, inexpensive, easy to work with and non-tarnishing.

You will probably use many different gauges throughout your jewelry making career.  The thing to know concerning the size of wire is the larger the number the smaller the diameter of the wire.  For example, when I make a ring or earring I like to use 20 or 24 gauge whereas when I make a cuff bracelet I probably would want to use about a 16 gauge wire.  

Pick up the wire you desire at Beadin' Mon in Flint, MI or visit the website at  Like I mentioned at the beginning, there is many sizes and metals to choose from.  Also be sure to check out the many classes offered demonstrating many of the different techniques.  Don't see what your looking for? Make a suggestion and it may become a future class.  Happy beading and see you all on Friday. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Wire Cutters

Greetings, I hope you all had a great weekend.  It was so nice to see the sun.

Today, I would like to show you some Wire Cutters, a great tool to keep handy when beading.  Here is a photo of the ones that I own.  This is actually my second pair, the first pair I didn't like so much when I started using them.  These make clean cuts and are comfortable to hold, not to mention easy to get into tight areas.

Notice that there are two sides to the cutters.  One side has the angled edge (shown) and the other side (backside) is flat.  The side that you have toward the piece will determine what end cut the project wire will have.  If you place your cutters on the wire with the angled edge facing toward the project, your wire ends will have a pointed angled end.  If you place your cutters on the wire with the flat side toward the project your wire ends will be flat.

NOTE: When clipping off tails or ends,  Make sure you are going to clip the correct wire.  I have actually finished a piece and went to finish off the ends and.... clipped the wrong wire. Oops, I had to remake the project.

So until Wednesday, take a few moments and check out As I mentioned last week, Beadin' Mon! now sells Preciosa Czech Fire-polished glass beads in a variety of colors and sizes on the website, there are lots to chose from. And if you happen to be in the area stop by and pick up some findings for your stash. Have a great day and happy beading.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Wrapped loop bail

On Friday's I like to show you something I  have created using the technique and or tool that I feature for that week.

Well, last week I went to my Bead Guild meeting and got to work with a new idea. This project is called "Washer Wear" and I am very happy of the way it turned out.  I like the use of the two colors of crystals that I selected and the two different colors of metal, gold for the wire and silver for the washer.

On Wednesday, I showed you how to make a wrapped loop.  Notice the bail on this project, it is simply a wrapped loop, with at twist (Ha ha, that wasn't intended).  Instead of wrapping the wire around the pliers once, you do it twice and then finish at usual.  When done wrapping, gently pull the loops apart to create a beautiful simple bail.

I didn't have the exact sizes called for, so mine looks different than the project.  But that's the cool thing about beading and jewelry making, you can do it however you like. So this is my version of the project. I just love it, I have already gotten several compliments on it.  This weekend I may "play" with some ideas that I have brewing that was sparked by this project.  Always, have fun and enjoy.

If you would like to learn how to make this project, contact Beadin' Mon! for class times and availability at 810-720-9200 or visit the website at I would also like to mention that Beadin' Mon! now sells Preciosa Czech Fire-polished glass beads in a variety of colors and sizes on the website, stop by and check it out.

Well, I wish you all a wonderful weekend - practice your loops and as always happy beading.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Making a Wrapped Loop

Welcome to Wednesday's entry.  Today I will attempt to show you how to make a wrapped loop.  Sorry for such a long entry, but I couldn't get the photos to line up the way I had hoped and I didn't want to make them to small to see.

There are two different types of loops. A loop and a wrapped loop.  The loop is simply wrapped around the pliers at the selected size and then cut off.  It has a gap between the base and the end.  I don't use this kind of loop very often because I have had my chain slip through the gap.

The wrapped loop is closed and uses a tail that closes the loop off.  I use these for earrings, bails and pretty much anything you can think of.

I suggest using some scrap wire to practice on first.  I had a hard time with this and only realized recently where I always go wrong.  I'm not sure if this is the correct way to make them, but this is what works for me.  Okay, here we go.

Place wire or headpin in your pliers at the selected
size and bend wire to 90 degrees.
Here I have repositioned my pliers so that the top
jaw is sitting on top of the wire.
Carefully pull the wire tail around the top jaw
(about 180 degrees where you started).
I again reposition the wire on my pliers by moving
it onto the bottom jaw.  Then carefully pull the tail
around the bottom jaw to complete your circle.
Once the circle has been completed, guide the tail
around the base wire a couple times, I usually like
to wrap it 2 or 3 times, but it's up to you. 
Once you wrap the tail around, clip off the excess wire.
Then gently squeeze the wrapped tail layers
together using your bent nose pliers.
Viola, you have just completed your first wrapped loop.  It took me a while to get the hang of this, and I feel I still need to practice this technique, especially when I haven't worked with wire findings in a while.  I try to remember that this technique is one of those where the old saying of "practice makes perfect" comes into play.

Thanks for stopping by to view how I wrap a wrapped loop.  I hope it was helpful.  Being a visual learner, I like to see photos to learn a new technique. The only thing better than photos is seeing it in person.  So if you need any wire or headpins, remember to stop by Beadin' Mon. And while you're there check out all the great classes.  The teachers are great and very helpful and the class sizes are small so you get a lot of one on one time.  And as a added bonus you meet and make new friends.
So until Friday, practice your loops and happy beading.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Round Nose Pliers

Hello again, I hope you all had a great weekend.  Today I wanted to add another tool to our toolbox, the round nose pliers.  These are used for making loops. And it seems like loops are used everywhere.

Loops can be used as connecting devices or as a bail for a pendant.  The size of the loop depends on where on the pliers you place your wire.  To make more consistent shaped loops, mark your pliers with a permanent marker at your desired size.  As you can see in the photo, my mark is wearing off.  But,  I am discovering as I work with my designs  to make my loops different sizes depending on what the project is.  Such as when making a pendant I like to make the biggest size loop I can so my bail will fit over the end of my necklace, and I use smaller sizes for making connecting pieces on anklets, bracelets and necklaces.
I'm sure that may seem obvious, but I never really thought about it before.  Now I make sure to think about how my piece will be worn and go from there.

Join me Wednesday when I show you how to make a wrapped loop.

Remember when picking up your supplies from Beadin' Mon! to purchase some wire to experiment and play with.  They carry several gauges of wire to choose from.

Until Wednesday, happy beading.   Oh and everyone have a Happy Valentines Day.

Friday, February 10, 2012

One of My First Experiments

Today I was hoping to show you some things that I used jump rings on, but I forgot I loaned out most my pieces for a friend to look at.  So instead, I'm going to show you one of my first experiments.  Earlier in the week, I showed you how to work with jumprings, and this project does have a jumpring or two in it.  :)

At the time I made this I was getting ready to graduate from college and I had these really neat earrings that I wanted to wear for graduation. I had the outfit and everything picked out.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a necklace that matched.  But luckily I had started to dabble in jewelry making and thought "I could make one".

So as my earrings as my inspiration I built a pendant that went with them.  I took a little bit of chain, several sizes of sterling silver beads and some headpins and got to work.  I stacked the beads on the headpins and attempted to create loops at the top to attach to the chain.  My loops are rough looking, but I was happy with it at the time.   I then needed a way to put it on a neck chain, or cord and that is where the jumpring comes in.

After creating this piece, I decided to make it a little bit longer and to add a few more larger beads.  So I got another little piece of chain, added the beads and then attached the small piece of chain to the larger piece with another small jumpring.

The lesson here is don't be afraid to experiment, it is fun to figure this out and have that "I got it" moment.  And some pretty neat things can come out of experimenting.

If you are ever in the need for supplies to complete a project or supplies to simply play with and experiment, be sure to stop by Beadin' Mon!  They carry all types of beads, and various sizes of jumprings, chain and cording for your creating pleasure. You may just find the makings for your next necklace, pendant, earrings or whatever makes you sparkle with delight.

Have a wonderful weekend and until Monday, happy beading.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Welcome to our new format

Hello again,
We decided to move my blog here to make it easier for everyone to follow.  Please bear with me as I learn some new ropes. :)  See you tomorrow.