<![CDATA[Beads and supplies, classes, repairs, Bead In Hand - Kim\'s Beading Blog]]>Wed, 10 Jan 2018 14:43:52 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[3 Bead Embroidery Hacks You Need to Know]]>Mon, 08 Jan 2018 18:15:47 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/3-bead-embroidery-hacks-you-need-to-know
Introducing guest blogger Cassie Steele who edits a stitching and sewing website, stitchandsew.net. She noticed the connection between embroidery and bead embroidery, and has shared this article with me. If you're new to sewing in general, check out her site -- it has great information especially for beginners.
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Kim's bead embroidered felted bag
3 Bead Embroidery Hacks That You Need To Know
Embroidery is a big fashion trend nowadays as it’s in everything from blouses, jackets, jeans, bags, and even high-end sneakers. The trend is an homage to the 70’s as it can be seen in colorful florals to insect motifs on both couture and high street offerings. Celebrities have been spotted sporting the trend - model of the moment Bella Hadid has been seen in full bohemian mode wearing embroidered jeans.

​Oscar-winner Brie Larson has also been photographed wearing an embroidered floral bomber jacket, proving that this trend can work as part of casual wear. If you’re handy with a needle and thread and looking to add some spice to your outfits, elevate the trend by doing bead embroidery. It’s a great way to add some color and sparkle to your clothes and accessories, and you’re sure to love how decadent your piece looks. Here are a few bead embroidery hacks that you need to know.
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Bead embroidered jeans
Gather the right supplies
If you’re just beginning to sew or embroider, the first thing that you have to do before adding detail to your jeans is to gather your supplies. You will need beads, thread, needles, a backing material, and a foundation material. You will have to stitch the beads onto a fabric foundation which can be anything from leather, suede, or faux leather before you can put the finished design on your clothes or accessories. The backing protects the back of your design by covering the embroidery stitches and protecting the beadwork. Moreover, using backing material is important as it protects your skin from getting scratched by the bead and makes your clothes more comfortable to wear.
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A little advance planning goes a long way
Don’t stitch at an angle
How you stitch makes a big difference in how your design will turn out. If you don’t keep the needle straight when you insert it in your foundation material, the beads may bunch up or crowd against each other or will be spaced too far apart. It may be difficult to do this at first, but try and keep your needle straight to get a clean and even bead design. If you’re a beginner, you may want to practice doing a few hand sewing projects first to train yourself not to stitch at an angle.
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Keep you stitches even
Don’t stitch too tight or too loose
Stitching too tightly can cause your fabric to bunch up. On the other hand, stitching too loose can cause your beads to go in different directions and make your design look messy and unfinished. Adjust the way you stitch and make sure to check your design regularly to ensure that the beads are where they’re supposed to be.

Doing bead embroidery is a great hobby and a unique way to make your outfits stand out. Practice before doing your final design and have patience as you complete your project. Before you know it, you’ll have a sparkly, colorful piece that you’ll be proud to wear.
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Create your own sparkle!
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<![CDATA[Holiday Trimmings]]>Wed, 29 Nov 2017 19:57:45 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/holiday-trimmings
It's so much fun working with people who discover new and creative designs that are also simple! Laurel found this one for ornament hangers (you kind of get two ornaments in one, huh?).  Besides being so cute, they can be used as package toppers, or give a set as a hostess gift!  Here's the easy how-to.
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Angel ornament hangers
Start with 5 inches of 20 gauge wire.  Use round nose pliers to make a small loop at one end.
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Use round nose pliers to make a small loop at one end of the wire.
Use the Melody MacDuffee technique to make an earwire type loop: 
  • Place the wire under the stem part of a generic ball point pen cap (make sure the pen is round), with the small loop against the stem.
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Yep, this is your basic ball point pen!
  • Keep a firm hold on the wire that's under the stem, and use your hands to wrap the wire about 3/4 of the way around the pen.
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Use the pen to shape the wire.
  • Take the wire off the pen and use pliers to make a small bend about 3/4" from the top of your hoop.
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Make a small bend in the wire.
  • String about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of beads onto the wire.
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Add beads.
  • Scoot the beads to the bend you already made, and use pliers to make another bend just underneath your last bead.
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Bend the wire under the last bead.
Another view with the bottom bend.
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Another view.
  • Back to that handy ball point pen: wrap the tail end of the wire around the pen.
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Wrap the remaining wire around the pen.
Slide the pen out and you have a slightly coiled wire.
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Remove the pen and admire your coil!
  • Use round nose pliers to make another small loop at the very end of the wire.
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Use round nose pliers to make another small loop at this end.
  • Use your hands to align the bottom coil and shape it as desired. (We all have our good days and our bad days. Sometimes I find I've mangled the wire and have to wrap it around the pen again to get the curves back. Just so you know it's OK if this happens to you.)
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Shape the wire.
Now you've completed one ornament hanger!
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Success!
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Make a set to give as a hostess gift!
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So many possible designs!
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Angels are a favorite.
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Use them as package toppers.
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<![CDATA[Let's Get Knotty]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 19:49:09 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/lets-get-knotty
Need a macrame refresher? Half knots and square knots are the most basic elements of macrame, and once you get in a rhythm you hardly have to think about how to do them. (At that point, thinking usually gets in the way, as so often happens when someone asks how to spell a word that you usually know how to spell until someone asks.)
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One half knot: half way there!
At any rate, I had created a detailed step-by-step pictorial a while back for making half knots and square knots and decided I'd freshen it up some.

I'm sure there are more professionally photographed and detailed instructions to be found, but I kind of like mine anyway. Go ahead and click on the image at right or this LINK, and scroll through at your own leisurely pace.
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A series of square knots
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A series of half knots
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Macrame bracelet with bling!
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<![CDATA[Do You See What I See?]]>Mon, 25 Sep 2017 20:58:26 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/do-you-see-what-i-see
Probably not.  Sure, we both see blue, but there's a good chance we don't see the same blue.  I think the way vision works is both weird and amazing and complicated when you add in color.

Hence, my advice: don't get too bent out of shape over color choices.  Choose colors you like, take your time to think about your selection and be sure it works for you, but don't lose sleep over it.
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Various seed beads in tubes
Still, when selecting colors that you want to work together, it helps to compare. Especially because the color you see when a lot of small beads are packed into a tube is not necessarily the same color you'll see when the beads are strung singly.
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Transparent green seed beads, in the tube and a single strand
When customers are selecting seed beads for a particular project, we encourage them to open the tubes for a better look (always over a bead mat, please!).

I'm not a photographer, so the images here are not perfect representations, but you can see how differently beads look in the tube when compared with a single strand.  This is especially true for lighter and more transparent colors.
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Transparent blue seed beads, in the tube and (below) a single strand
YES: Plan, compare, ponder. But don't overdo it. Remember, no one sees the same colors as you anyway.
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Light rose delica seed beads
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Colorlined green seed beads
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<![CDATA[Ice Cream, Beads & ?]]>Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:27:20 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/ice-cream-beads
TOTALLY off topic here, but my daughter was telling me about two different ice cream trucks near where she lives, and wondering if they have "ice cream truck wars" because they never seem to cross certain boundaries. (This was her intro explaining that the one she hears ALL the time plays a tune that drives her nuts.)
This got us thinking that this could be a good plot for a lighthearted mystery involving kooky ice cream truck drivers, their territories, and . . . well, the rest has to be filled in.

​Tying this plot in with beads is another challenge.  Typing "beaded ice cream" into Pinterest does not produce a lot of beaded ice cream images, though there are some other interesting images out there.
So who's up for contributing to the Ice Cream War Mystery?  ​Write your contributions and ideas in the comments section and we'll see what happens.  Let's get started.

Tom Ballou had been driving his ice cream truck in this neighborhood for nearly 20 years, and by golly if he was going to sit around and watch some other wanna-be ice cream truck move into his territory.
Sure, they were having extreme heat this summer, but that didn't mean people were out eating more ice cream. In fact, they mostly stayed inside where it was air conditioned. He'd had to crank up the volume of his music to get noticed, much less overwhelmed with customers.
Still, he'd never wished anything bad happen to the new guy, Jimmy somebody, and just because they'd had a showdown the other evening where Tom might have said some unfortunate things about how he'd like Jimmy to no longer exist, all he really meant was that he just wanted Jimmy to go away. But this, this, he never imagined anything like this.  What could possibly have caused Jimmy's truck to totally melt?  And where was Jimmy? Oh man, Tom did not have a good feeling about this.
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<![CDATA[Beads + Sculpture + Fantasy]]>Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:39:19 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/beads-sculpture-fantasy
Here in the Oak Park Arts District, we're excited about hosting Oak Park's 6th Annual Sculpture Walk, to be installed in early May. With that in mind, I came across these bead embroidered sculptures by Betsy Youngquist. They are AMAZING.

On her website she says "I have always been fascinated with the intersection of humans, animals and mythology. My creative pursuits are centered on exploring those connections. Beads form the backbone of the materials I use."
Betsy continues to explain how “Children with their vast capacity for wonderment weave tales of gossamer, create magic kingdoms, and pass through invisible portals to lands of untold enchantment. . . . Creating art is a means to return to the looking glass and reenter the garden where flowers whisper and birds can talk. As my beaded characters emerge they carry with them tales from the other side of the mirror. I am grateful for the joy and astonishment experienced through this journey.”

These sentiments are clearly displayed in her work. Enjoy viewing a sampling here.  Click on any of the links or photos to go directly to her website.
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<![CDATA[Definition Day: Aquamarine]]>Mon, 27 Mar 2017 17:39:40 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/definition-day-aquamarine
Aquamarine is in fact a color variety of the mineral beryl (emerald is another).  Like many beryls, aquamarine forms large crystals suitable for sizable fashioned gems and carvings.  It’s preferred color is a moderately strong dark blue to slightly greenish blue.  (Another plus: it has been said that the mineral beryl gives the wearer protection against foes in battle or litigation. It makes the wearer unconquerable and amiable, and also quickens the intellect.)
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Rough aquamarine often occurs as beautiful six-sided crystals
If you were born in March, these seem like pretty good reasons to get yourself some aquamarine! Unconquerable happiness and amiability to all!

As always, the Gemological Institute of America gets credit for all of the information here.  I just copy & paste.
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Aquamarine crystals range from tiny to very large—some even up to 100 lbs.
Let’s acknowledge March babies with aquamarine, the birthstone for March.  And a beautiful stone it is. Aquamarine is prized for its blue to greenish-blue hue and transparency.
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Aquamarine is prized for its blue to greenish-blue hue and transparency.
The name comes from the Latin for seawater, and it was said to calm waves and keep sailors safe at sea. March’s birthstone was also thought to enhance the happiness of marriages (it’s also the gem of the 19th wedding anniversary). The best gems combine high clarity with limpid transparency. 
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Because aquamarine’s color is light, cutting is important and well-cut gems show brilliance
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Rarely, aquamarine can show a cat's-eye effect, as in this cabochon
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Most cut gems are eye-clean, without visible inclusions
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<![CDATA[Bead to the Bone]]>Mon, 27 Feb 2017 20:37:44 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/bead-to-the-bone
Continuing with my Beads & Nature theme, I was recently reminded of local artist and occasional customer Sandra Wilcoxon and her beaded skulls.

Yep, real skulls. This isn't new though.  Especially in the southwest and native American traditions there is a long history of decorating bovine remains.
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Sandra's beaded steer
If you've run out of ideas for how to procrastinate, let me suggest you go to Pinterest and type some combination of words that includes "beads" and "skulls" or "cow skulls."  Procrastination success! Once more the creativity of others serves to astonish. Here are a few images to get you warmed up.
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Small skulls (bird beaks?)
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Sandra's Red Bull
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Well, it's blue now
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Huichol style beaded skull
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Another Huichol style
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<![CDATA[The Amazing Vochol]]>Mon, 06 Feb 2017 16:47:16 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/the-amazing-vochol
This is amazing. A friend recently brought it to my attention, and even though it's been around for about seven years it's new to me.  What is it?  It's the Vochol, a Volkswagen Beetle that has been decorated with traditional Hoichol beadwork from the center-west of Mexico. 

Google it and you'll find links to numerous articles.  I copied most of this information from the Wikipedia site (click on the link if you want to go there).
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Vochol, front view
​The name is a combination of “vocho”, a popular term for VW Beetles in Mexico, and “Huichol”, the common name of a tribal indigenous group and their traditional beadwork.
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Vochol, top
The Volkswagen was covered in 2,277,000 beads applied by eight artisans from two Huichol families in an exclusive design based on Huichol culture.  The purpose of the work was to create a folk art project for the 21st century that demonstrated the ritual nature, skill and culture of Huichol beadwork.  
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Vochol, dashboard and steering wheel
​The artisans clocked 4,760 hours using beads that weighed ninety kilograms and fastened with sixteen kilograms of resin that can withstand 200° Celsius. The project lasted over seven months and began in May 2010. 
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In progress
The images represent Huichol deities and culture. These include, on the car's hood, two snakes above clouds, which represent rain. The back has images of offerings, and a canoe steered by a shaman. 
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Vochol, hood
The sides show the gods of the sun, fire, corn, deer, and peyote, all important to the Huichol culture. The roof contains a large sun and four eagles, which represent the union between man and the gods. There is also an Eye of God, which is a figure with five points. 

Inspired?  Thought so.  No more procrastinating: Get out there and bead!
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Side view
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Inside
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Back view
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<![CDATA[Back to Nature]]>Mon, 23 Jan 2017 20:35:37 GMThttp://beadinhand.com/kims-beading-blog/back-to-nature
I'm cruising through Pinterest looking for sea shell inspired jewelry. I feel about Pinterest the way I feel about a meal someone else has cooked -- I'm never disappointed.  Fun ideas include the earrings with a cascade of shells, pearls and crystals at right, to the Sharpie decorated shells below.
Then I come across something totally new to me: using fabric and smocking to create beautiful images and create jewelry.  The following come from a blog and website called Tinctery by Eva Birmingham. I knew I was hooked when I read her explanation of the term Tinctery:

Tinctory is a word that may not exist but if it did it would mean a place where things are dyed. Tinctor means 'dyer' in Latin.

Click on any of the highlighted links or images to go to her site. As you peruse the images remember that these are all fabric.  Enjoy.
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Pleated and smocked fabric sea shell necklace
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Thistle brooch
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Autumn blossom earrings
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Winter solstice
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The King's Falcon
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Mellow spice blossom
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