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Beading Blog - November 2006

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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This n that
posted by Colleen Shirazi, November 15, 2006 at 6:34 PM (Pacific)

I went back to Baubles and Beads...I still like Baubles and Beads. I was cheesed about the chain thing, but B & B is a great store. I've gotten some of my nicest beads there, along with stellar findings, the WigJig, custom "fringe bead" mixes...and the customer service overall has been terrific, to the point of being angelic at times. I would still recommend B & B and I still shop there.

I've been horribly busy...hmmm...finished some pieces for my daughter. A nice set of freshwater pearls--necklace and bracelet (she doesn't wear earrings yet or I would have made them). A set from one of those B & B fringe bead mixes...these are Japanese, small top-drilled glass beads that come in a wonderful array of colors and finishes...combined with some of those Czech Republic glass flower beads. A simple set...a sterling chain with five rose quartz faceted beads hung on it, and a bracelet of the same rose quartz beads combined with silver beads, with a sterling and rose quartz box clasp. A blue and silver necklace made from beads my daughter chose...a large turquoise focal bead, and apatite chips. I used Thai "sand beads" for this and let me tell you, they're hell to string until you get the hang of it (the trick is to pull them off the string in little groups and try stringing the whole group...otherwise you're stuck doing it one by one and they're tiny). Here I used some of the Bali "lantern beads" I got at Rings n Things.

Ummm...for me, peridot earrings and a bracelet. I ran out of chain and didn't have time to get more chain, or I would have made a necklace. Oh well. I still need to restring my citrine "points" (they're not chips, rather they're smooth little droplets) with the sterling and citrine flower-shaped beads I got. The thing is this: citrine points are heavy. I wanted to do a two- or even three-strand design with them but two strands with the sterling beads were already too darn heavy.

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Handmade Jewelry photo gallery . NO SPAM 0 Comment(s) NO SPAM

And now for a really bad analogy!
posted by Colleen Shirazi, November 7, 2006 at 11:08 PM (Pacific)'s been bouncing around in my mind for a couple of days. But beading has begun to remind me of makeup...which I was terribly into for some years (I still run a beauty site), in that it's the basics, the stuff you "don't see" and don't think about, that make the look.

With beauty products, it is always the color cosmetics that people think of (and buy the most of): eyeshadows, lipsticks, even blushes. But it's the foundation that makes or breaks the look: how good your skin is, how healthy your hair is, the basic structure of your face. From there, you have your base-face products, whatever you use to control oil or obscure flaws or provide moisture. Only from there, should you even begin to think of color cosmetics. Once you have the basics in place, you don't actually "need" color products: they're the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.

Now with beading, the beads are the color cosmetics. They're the eye-grabbers in any bead store, the most likely source of impulse buying, the stuff you end up with lots and lots of, that you may or may not end up using.

But the basic structure--what kind of wire to use, exactly what kinds of clasps to use, exactly how you want to close your pieces, how you tie your knots, which techniques you use, all of these things...your real "signature" starts in the structure. Not the beads.

I'm finding this out myself. May I say, I treat my own pieces like crap. I don't make delicate jewelry. I take stuff off, put it in my pocket, keep it on the bathroom has to be strong.

I prefer larger clasps. I hate having to fiddle around in the back of a necklace. I like toggles but not for bracelets. Every time I wear a toggle bracelet, it falls off sometime during the day. For necklaces, toggles are fine. I like a bit of slack in a piece. I hate those pieces where there's no drape.

I have a few things I need to photograph...and a few works in process.
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They always package so nicely...
posted by Colleen Shirazi, November 3, 2006 at 3:36 PM (Pacific)

Couldn't resist taking a pic.


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