Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Every Bead is Precious

Never throw out a bead no matter how small it is as one day they will come in useful. I have just finished this beautiful Amethyst, Citrine and Prehnite gemstone necklace using beads I have had in my collection for over 12 years.  This is what I would call random design necklace, but as I threaded each strand I made sure that the larger accent beads were evenly spaced along the strands so there were no "heavy" or "Empty" areas.
Happy Beading
Bead Them Up

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Beading, boating and Barry
My 3 favourite B's
First "B" my husband is definitely my favourite B, married for 34 years, with 3 wonderful children about to become first time grandparents this June, still happy enough said.
Boating, what can I say everyone loves boating, and as we venture off on our annual holiday I am looking forward to seeing all the wonderful friends we have made on the water.
So enough of my other loves, this after all a beading blog, but beading on the boat is the best as I always seam to able to create better designs and come up with some nice ideas.
Boat beading also allows me the time to review and revise the website as when I am in the showroom my time is all about stock count, stock ordering, stock pricing and looking after our wonderful customers. This Christmas break I am working on our class format, after the massive response to teaching a knotting class Bead Them Up has decided to ramp up our class schedule and add a whole lot of extra specialty classes. Our FREE CLASSES will remain no charge for tutorials but we will be creating some exciting kits for students to use as sometimes it is very overwhelming when students are expected to create their own design in the first class.
So I am about to embark for 2 lovely weeks with my favorite B's and thought I would share with you.
Happy beading and Merry Christmas from Julie and the team at Bead Them Up

Thursday, 10 December 2015

My designing tips

Welcome beaders,
I love designing jewellery from simple earrings to complicated creations, I love creating them all. To  me, I think the most important elements when designing is colour, shape and texture. I also feel if you hold a few different beads in your hand and are happy with the look of them in the palm of your hand, they can be made up into something this will work well if they are all different shapes but if they are all the same shapes but different colors, that is when you are going to have to add another element to make the design sing. By adding another element it can be as simple as a small spacer bead to emphasize the colours or a larger bead that spaces the beads to better show them.
When I designed this set I had a very clear idea on how I wanted it to look but could not get the beads to sit the way I liked, I wanted the strong golden resin beads to be highlighted by a gold cap. My dilemma was the cap was not quite large enough or the right shape to fit either side of the barrel shape solution was to turn the cap around so that it sat in a way I was happy with, without compromising the look I was going for. This set had so many redesigns I thought at one time it was just not going to happen. When I have this much trouble with a design, and usually this only happens with a symmetrical design, I start threading from the center as I get less frustrated if I don't waste slot of time retreading the same beads over and over.
Asymmetric designing I find usually comes together quicker like this coral, pearl, onyx and banded agate set, which just went together with out any re-threads.
Another helpful place I find inspiration is from images on the web. Try typing different search wording and download what ever takes your fancy, think of these images as an inspiration don't just copy (which is most of the time impossible anyway) they may inspire colour combinations or use of a particular bead, just download what ever grabs you. if you do this on your phone you will always have the inspiration with you.
Once you start making jewellery I don't think it is at all possible to look at another commercially mass produced jewellery item without analysing how it was made, can I make it better, AND thinking "They are charging that!!!". 
To sum it up get your inspiration from where ever you can, seeing something in a shop, on another person, the TV (I have been known to stop a show and draw a picture of something that caught my eye) and don't forget very few designs are truly unique, jewellery designs have been being copied since the Egyptians.

My Favourite Stone

Welcome fellow beaders,
I am asked frequently what is my favourite stone? answer is I don't have one, but what I have is a favourite stone that I am working with at the moment. Whether I am purchasing, pricing, labelling or designing what I have in front of me at the moment is definitely my favourite.
When I am designing I tend to start working with just one strand or stone and then the design just sort of grows on its own, quite often on its own due to the fact that my work area can have a few different stones just laying around.. I recently had the opportunity to be in a position to being able to spend days designing with very few interruptions and I started with a relatively expensive strand of beautiful blue chalcedony and these were the final results. I loved this colour combination so much I made four different necklaces with the same colours.

One thing I find a great asset when designing is to have all my beads in boxes (1 level fishing tackle boxes are best) stored by stone/colour. I also like to have my beads priced, by strand and by per bead, supplier codes are also helpful if you wish to re-order.