Saturday, June 30, 2012

Using Heat in jewelry making

Hello Again,
I hope everyone is having a great summer. For me  it has been a busy one, family functions, holidays and work. With summer usually comes heat, and this week was extremely hot here (in the 100's).  A little too hot for me.  Luckily, my husband got the AC fixed and we remained comfortable.

Being hot, I thought about using heat in jewelry making and remembered I tried out precious metal clay.  The process was long, but worth it.  I took a class at Beadin' Mon! a few years back.  Taking a class, was the best way to learn this technique.  I didn't have to invest in all the supplies to try it out.

As I worked with the clay, rolling it out and cutting out my shapes I remember thinking how sculptural it was. We used rubber design plates, much like stamps that I used in card making.  We dried the clay pieces on a small hot plate, filed the edges smooth and then we applied the heat.  The instructor showed how to use a small torch to fire our pieces, and then dropped them in a solution of liver of sulfur. Then we finished the pieces as directed and added our beads and findings.

I know I may of missed a few steps in my description above.  But I remembered how fun making my own metal pendant was.  And I was able to use techniques that I have learned in a number of other crafting arenas. Plus it was kind of cool to use a hand held torch to fire my projects.  But remember to always use safety measures.  You don't want to get hurt.

Here's a photo of my project.  I had enough clay left to make a pair of earrings to go with the pendant.

As I always say, if you want to try out a new techniques, the best way is to take a class.  You get instructions, walked through the process and you don't have to invest in a lot of products just to try it out.  It has been a while since the class was offered at Beadin' Mon! but, you can always ask to have it again or they can direct you to another place that may offer the class.

I hope that if you are in the area (Flint, Michigan) that you stop by the shop and say hi, check out the class list and even pick up a few supplies and beads.   Or you can check out or website at where you can see our class line up or shop our online store.  So until next time, stay cool, enjoy the sun and happy beadin'.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bead Journal

Summer is here. And with summer comes get togethers and vacation.  My family likes to go camping.  Camping is just the kind of vacation to recharge yourself.  When we camp, we usually will stay at the campground and just ... relaxxxxxxx.  Just what I need for my body, mind and soul.

I find beading relaxing and the stress of life just melts away as I bead.  When we go camping, I like to take some of my unfinished beading projects.  I usually do get a couple of them done. And sometimes even come home with ideas for more projects. Because of that I like to keep a small notebook with me at all times.  You never know when inspiration will come and in what form.  Maybe it's a song, a store front, color combinations, or a even a butterfly. The things for inspiration is endless.  It's all up to you.

So today's tip is to carry a small notebook with you.  So when you see something you like or have a great thought you can write it down.  And with today's technology, most cell phones have some sort of camera, so you could even take a photo of that inspirational sunset or the bright blue waters,  and jot down a note about it.

Then when you have time, you can take your journal and head to Beadin' Mon! for supplies.  We have a wide range of beads and findings for you to chose from.  Stop by our website for class listings and supplies at

Hope to see you at the shop sometime and until next time Happy Beadin'

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer is Here

Summer is here, which means lots of things to do.  A time to for special events like weddings, pool parties and just hanging out with friends.  Summer is also a time to do things in the house such as painting a room (ahh a fresh coat of paint just brings new life to a room). And sometimes summer is going through all that "stuff" that just seems to come out of nowhere and then having a garage sale to let it all go.

But my favorite part about summer is vacation time. When I was young and my family went on vacation I would alway bring back a souveigner.  I still do that, but now I usually get a magnet for my refrigerator and/or lapel pins.  And since I started beading I sometimes find myself picking up some sort of bead element from my destinations.  So when I work that element into a project, it reminds me of that trip, so it is a souveigner that keeps giving back.  This could be anything, a stone you found on the beach that you might wire wrap, a pendant made from a bottle cap or even just a few cool beads that you may come across.

My beads from Traverse City, MI.
I had never seen beads like these and thought they were cool looking. They had a few different colors but I choose these cool blue ones because they reminded of the blue water of the bay.

Once I have my travel beads, I stop by Beadin' Mon to add the perfect accent beads and finding.  I recommend that you shop Beadin' Mon! too.  But, if by chance you can't make it to the actual store, you can shop our online site at and have them shipped to you.  How fabulous is that.  So if you happen to be or go on vacation, they will be waiting for you when you get home.

Hope you find lots of inspiration and until next time, Happy Beadin' and happy summer.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Momento Clasp

Hello again,

Today I wanted to show you a bracelet that I made using a pattern from a magazine.  For the most part, I did pretty good, but I remember having to ask for a little help from one of the teachers at Beadin' Mon!  I think it was a terminology thing.  SO if you are doing a project from a magazine and need a little help, stop by and ask and I know if the staff of Beadin' Mon can help you they will. If not, I'm sure they can steer you in the right direction.

When I decided to make this bracelet it was because I really wanted to make something using these gorgeous red seed beads.  I chose the clear AB (Arora Borealis) seed beads because I thought they looked nice together.  Nice and simple.  In my hast to use the seed beads, I forgot to pick up a clasp.  Silly me. Then my idea formed.  Use a button, so I choose this small button of pearly white that I picked out of my Moms button stash.

My Mom did a lot of sewing and always kept buttons that could be recycled to a new project. Unfortunately she passed away many years ago, but I kept some of her sewing stuff  so I have a big stash of buttons. Whenever I see my button clasp I think of her.  And I didn't think about until now, it's also red -which was her favorite color.

I like to wear my bracelets loose, because I like them to move around on my wrist.  Even though, my button is small, when the button ends up on the top of my arm, it not only acts as my closure piece it also becomes a focal point in the bracelet.

There it is, my finished bracelet and a close up of the stitching. If I'm not mistaken, I believe this stitch is the St. Petersburg chain stitch.  And once I understood the pattern of the beads, it became quite easy to do.

Purchase supplies for your own bracelet by stopping by Beadin' Mon! to check out their selection of seed beads and clasps. Or shop your stash for items that could become a closure and make your project a special momento from days past.  You can also shop the online store at

Hope you have a great day and until next time, Happy Beadin'.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I just love Pearls

Oops, sorry this is a day late.  Had a lot going on yesterday and I just didn't think about writing.  So here I am a day late.

The last few days I have seen lots of news stories, movies and ads about special occasions.  The biggest event for Great Britain is the Queen's Jubilee.  How exciting it must be to be able to celebrate such an accomplishment.  I also have been seeing a lot of commercials for Wedding dresses and even watched a movie that revolved around a wedding. Both of these events make me think of Pearls.

Before we could make a pearl, they were considered rare and worth a lot of money.  Only the rich could afford to own such a beautiful thing.

Pearls are so lovely.  Isn't it a wonder that something so beautiful could be made by a small living thing.  The price of a pearl can be very expensive.  I found a piece of jewelry that I really liked when we went to Vegas.  It was a Tahitian black pearl on a silver flower bracelet, mmmm just lovely, but unfortunately if way out of my budget.

But wait, we can still get the look of those fabulous expensive pearls for much less.  A budget saver for me anyway.  And these budget friendly substitutes are made by Swarovski. They are Swarovski Crystal Pearls.  And to make our jewelry making easier, they offer a wide range of colors and sizes. I have purchased several sizes of Cream pearls and some small Midnight blue pearls from Beadin' Mon!  The are very pretty.

Here is a pattern from Beadin' Mon that I finished that uses these lovely little pearls.
This project uses a technique called netting.  Unfortunately, I haven't quite gotten the hang of netting yet.  But having my pattern, I was able to finish my project.  I just haven't figured out how to incorporate this technique into my own designs yet.  Eventually, it'll come.

Like I mentioned earlier I got these lovely little pearls at Beadin' Mon!  I also was able to pick up the autumn colors of seed beads and an easy to wear magnet clasp too.  Pick up your next strand of inexpensive Swarovski Pearls and other supplies you may need to make your next project by stopping in to the shop or visit our website  Hope to see you again tomorrow, until then Happy Beadin'