UFO Box

June 13th, 2012

UFOs = UnFinished Objects

UFO box of unfinished beading projectsYou know, all of those projects you had such great hopes for, but somehow they just didn’t work out quite right.

You ran out of beads of a certain color. “Honey, I need three more red beads to finish these earrings.” Never mind that it’s snowing and the roads are icy. “We have to go right now!”

The colors weren’t quite right. “The background is too blue; it will look so much better in teal.”

You set it aside, knowing you will finish it in a day or two. “I cleaned off the kitchen table yesterday. Now, where did I put that darned bracelet?”

Something else caught your attention. “I’ll finish these earrings tomorrow, but this new pattern – it’s just too cool!”

I have a drawer full of these UFOs, and sometimes I take them out just to see what’s there.  From time to time, I’ll work on one – or even two – but mostly I just put them back in the box.

Do you have a UFO box?

by Beverly

The Special Language of Beads

June 11th, 2012

Mothers and daughters and bracelets have been a theme for me at Harlequin Beads and Jewelry lately.

The other day a woman comes into the store, and she has her back to me when I come to greet her. I say hello in my best cheerful voice. No response. I think, well, that’s odd, perhaps she doesn’t realize I’m talking to her, so I try again. Nothing. Hmm… maybe she just doesn’t want to be interrupted in her thoughts? Read the rest of this entry »

The Power of Color

June 8th, 2012

Knotted string necklaces in three thread and bicone color variationsMy favorite thing to do is experiment with color combinations. I am always amazed at how incredibly different a necklace with the same beads will look on a different color of thread.

These pictures show my latest creations that I have been busy making for my booth at the upcoming Oregon Country Fair. I used the same color mix of freshwater pearls but strung each necklace with a  different color of thread and crystal accents that match the thread. I used golden shadow Swarovski crystal bicones with the beige thread, jet with the black, and crystal copper with the carnelian.

I really enjoy making these necklaces knotted on silk. This technique is fast and easy, uses less beads than traditional stringing, and yields a beautiful necklace with a nice drape. Mona recently recorded a great knotted bead necklace video on this technique based on her beginning knotting class that she has been teaching for years.

Come visit me at my booth #22  at Country Fair to see the other combinations I cooked up!

by Stacy

Bead Inventory: “Oops, I Already Have These Beads!”

June 4th, 2012

We who love to bead often have jars, tubes, strings, hanks and packets of beads tucked hither and yon to have on hand when inspiration strikes. But how do we keep track of so many different beads?

Organize Seed Beads in DrawersToo often I used to come home from the bead store, excited by my new purchases, only to find that I’d bought beads I already had stashed in some forgotten nook.

So I bought a number of good-sized plastic drawers and filled each one with a different color of seed bead. This has helped tremendously. Now all of my seed beads are in some sort of order. If I need olive green size 15/0 beads, I can rifle through the “Green” drawer until I find what I need. If it’s not there, then I am fairly certain I can go out and buy it without duplicating what I already have. I store all of my seed beads in tubes of all different sizes – many of them recycled. I know some beaders like to keep their bead stash in more uniform receptacles of the same size and shape.

I store Czech glass beads in divided plastic boxes – flowers and leaves in one box, other shapes in another. I don’t bother dividing these by color, since they are fairly easy to keep separated in their little compartments. Since I use Czech glass flowers and leaves in much of my free-form bead embroidery, I like to keep a small plastic bag of them along with a few charms in my bead kit. I take my kit with me to Harlequin’s Bead Circle and my booth at the Eugene Saturday Market, so I always have a ready project to work on. Read the rest of this entry »

Rainy Monday

June 4th, 2012

I just saw the lightening flash and heard the thunder crash. The temperature dropped and it suddenly cool. What happened to summer? Today I’ll act like it’s fall. A cup of warm cocoa and a new bead pattern. Actually it’s an old pattern but one of my favorites – a black cat with golden eyes. This time he will have green eyes and a matching collar. Hopefully, it will be done in a couple of weeks and I’ll have a photo ready to share.

(Here are the photos of the original Mysti Kitty in black and the new Mysti Kitty in white to brighten the rainy day mood. Photos added 7/18/12)

mysti kitties

Do you have any photos of your favorite pieces? We’d love to have you share with everyone in our gallery.

by Beverly

Beading, for the Love of…

June 4th, 2012

Working at Harlequin has introduced me to some of my best teachers. Not just beading teachers; also the “how to be a better person” teachers – the kind of lessons I need most!

Lately, the best examples of this have come in the form of Read the rest of this entry »

Amethyst – the Purple Quartz Gemstone

May 30th, 2012

Purple Amethyst Round and Faceted BeadsBrilliant. Regal. Royal. Purple. Amethyst is the queen of all the quartz gems. Just a trace of Read the rest of this entry »

Sheila Can See the Itty-bittiest Beads

May 30th, 2012

We’ve all been reminded at one time or another that having the proper tools for any task will save us time and frustration. This is especially sound advice for beaders. The less we have to strain, the more we can enjoy the pure pleasure of our craft. Seed beaders, are you with me?

Sheila and her Head Loupe visor with magnifying lenses

Meet Sheila from Harlequin’s Beading Circle, a group of local beaders who gather on Tuesday afternoons to work on their latest beading projects. The regulars share good conversation, helpful insights and tasty treats with each other. It’s free, and anyone is welcome to attend. Sheila joined the fun about three years ago.

I dropped in on the Beading Circle for the first time yesterday, and Read the rest of this entry »

Good ‘ol Bead Bowl

May 29th, 2012

bead bowl for loose beadsI was thumbing through my Facebook pages recently and saw a post from a fellow beader that asked if anyone else had a bowl that they threw all of their spare beads and jewelry parts into? By last count, she had 53 comments, all admitting to their various and sundry containers full of beads, clasps, wires, clips etc.

Yes, I also have a bowl. It is little and usually receives Read the rest of this entry »

World’s Smallest Beads

May 29th, 2012

Mangalsutra - the smallest beads in the worldThe smallest beads in the world are probably the Mangalsutra beads. Traditionally, these tiny glass seed beads are made by hand in small workshops in India. Strands of these beads are tied by the groom’s family and given to the bride to be worn throughout her married life. The beads are a symbol of love and fidelity.

You can find Mangalsutra beads at Harlequin Beads & Jewelry.

by Beverly