Designer: Debra Kallen
2nd Place - $200 Soft Flex Beading Bucks
Designer: Sara Sally LaGrand
3rd Place - $100 Soft Flex Beading Bucks
Designer: Fallah Funston
Dear Soft Flex supporters,
I want to thank you again for your wonderful donation to the Northern Virginia Bead Society for this past May’s Annual Bead Auction. We raised over $2500.00 for outreach programs with the girl scouts, Dress for Success, and other venues that give us an opportunity to use our artistic talents and beads to help those in need.
The 10 packages of colored beading wire was not only unique to our auction, it was very well received. I believe you have launched a few fans, as those of us who were unable to “win” a package are becoming paying customers.
Contest designs are due Sept 1st, 2009.
3 FREE Trios of your choice!
That's right ANY 3 Trios. You choose the colors!
Total retail value = $50.85-$71.85
Here's what you gotta do:
Help us get the word out about our new contest.
To enter to win, please blog about our new "Flex your Creativity" Beading Contest.
For your convenience - Right click, Save & Post picture:
FIND OUT MORE HERE!
(link to: http://www.softflexcompany.com/BeadingContest.html)
Feel free to expand and say more if you like. The only big rule is that it must link to the details page on our website for your fellow designers to find out more.
In addition, if you use the fancy artwork that Kristen created in your sidebar, I will enter you again. 2 entries!
Grab the html code for the button artwork and display it on your blog at the bottom of the contest page. Then, leave me a comment with a link to your blog! I will enter you to win 3 FREE Trios in your choice of color combination! If you blog about it more than once, let me know. I'll enter you as many times as you mention and link to the details page.
All entries (comments) for this giveaway must be posted by July 1st, 2009.
Please stop by Dawno's Blog to see her neat designs using the Soft Flex Trios from Rings & Things! :)
Dawno is a blog partner of Rings & Things. She recently received a Trio package to test. Check out her assessment on her blog. :)
Would you like to be a blog partner of R&T? Check this out!
Crimps are so little, it is easy to forget just how important they are. Many times, they hold an entire design together. It is important to find a dealer that will stand behind the quality of their crimps. Our crimp tubes are double the wall thickness of most and are also seamless. Sterling silver is a soft metal - so it is important that there is enough sterling silver in the crimp tube to withstand the force used when crimping.
Above and beyond the crimp tube itself, the most common errors that I see when using the regular crimping pliers are easy fixes. 1. Don't use a lot of force with the regular crimping pliers. As I said above, sterling is pretty soft. It doesn't take much force to compress a crimp tube. 2. Also, after you fold the crimp tube with the "rounder", go around the crimp several more times with the "rounder" gently compressing. This will allow you to mold it into the perfect shape and make sure that the crimp is snuggly attached onto the Soft Flex Wire.
To learn more about crimps and crimping, visit our Soft Flex School of Design.
Remember, ask for Soft Flex beading wire, tools and crimps by name at your local bead shop. We consider quality a necessity and only put our name on simply the best products.
One of the neatest features of Soft Flex Beading Wire products is that you can actually knot the wire. You will not lose any strength or durability where the wire is knotted. Remember when I talked about tensile strength? Tensile strength refers to the breaking point when the wire will snap under the stress of weight and pull. From the very beginning, it was important to Scott and Mike that their wire was strong enough to be knotted. And what that meant to them was not that it could just be knotted but that it would not lose strength, work harden and break at the knot. So from day one, Soft Flex Beading Wire was tested for tensile strength with and without a knot. Our wire will not break under duress any sooner regardless of knot or no knot. Strong & flexible, Soft Flex was the first beading wire that could truly be knotted. It speaks volumes about the strength and durability of the product. If the product cannot be knotted then it will likely break easily if it is kinked. And there are beading wire brands made by other manufacturers that specifically advertise no knotting. Be aware.
Trios Beading Wire by Soft Flex
Use color in your next design.
Senior Vice President of IMG Fashion
The Fashion Show
A timeless tradition that many will recall learning as a child has returned. The knitting spool you may have used with yarn or thread as a youngster has been reimagined for wire weaving. Skip ahead to 2009 and try knitting using Craft Wire, Soft Flex Beading Wire as well as threads, cords, yarns, leathers, etc. You can add beads, you can weave multiple different materials together and create unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry bracelets and necklaces. Check out this easy how to video to learn more about knitting on a spool using Soft Flex Beading Wire. We offer 34 colors of beading wire between our 5 different brands as well as 4 different diameters. The possibilities are endless! Find all of the supplies that you need at www.SoftFlexCompany.com!
To see more helpful blogs about knitting, click here!
See what my friends are up to this week:
Jamie Hogsett has some work in the new issue of Stringing magazine.
Kristen Fagan created free wallpaper, bookmarks, recipe cards and gift tags for June.
Proovisin ära selle Soft Flex traadi, millest eelmises postituses kirjutasin. Väääga rahul olen :) Ei murdu, paindub hästi, hoiab vormi ja jääb parajalt pehme.
Valmis sai komplekti, metallist roosidega. Klaaspärlid, -helmed ja mõned ehtekivid. Värvikombinatsioon on teile juba tuttav...
So I tried this Soft Flex wire that I wrote about before. I'm sooo happy :) Doesn't frail, is flexible, keeps its shape and drapes well.
I made a set, with metal roses. Glass pearls, beads and few rhinestones. Colour combination may be familiar to you...
Check out the nice things that the lovely Lisa said about our Econoflex on the A Bead a Day blog! At Bead & Button, I had a few Econoflex free project ideas out on the demo table. This one caught a lot of attention:
Econo Lampwork Necklace
I'm not sure that you can see how nice this is in the picture. The Econoflex is less flexible as it is a craft beading wire, so when you take 10 strands and put them together it gives almost the effect of an omega. It has bounce and is perfect for showcasing a lampwork bead that you just don't want to mix with any other beads. It is also a great way for lampwork artists to sell their beads in a simple, affordable cost effective finished design.
Thank you for the kind words, Lisa!
Friday - Sunday June 19-21, 2009
Dates & Times
Friday, June 19, 2009: Noon - 8:00 pm
Award Ceremony 6:00 pm
Saturday, June 20, 2009: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday, June 21, 2009: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Location & Getting There
FASHION INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
The John E. Reeves Great Hall
West 28th Street between 7th & 8th Aves.
New York, NY 10001
$5 to the general public.
$1 off for members of other craft organizations with a current membership ID.
Free admittance for all BSGNY members and for faculty and students of FIT with a valid ID.
YAY Beading Daily!
The Red Bead
3209 Jefferson Street
Black Mountain Jewelry Company
The Prairie Girl's Guide to Life
by Jennifer Worick
It's Easy Being Green
by Melissa J. Lee
Free Bead Art & Printables
Printable Gift Tags
Printable Design Recipe Cards
by Kristen Fagan
More and more, I'm talking to designers who are frustrated and confused about how to pick the best diameter of wire for their beading projects. With there being so many copy cat wire manufacturers out there and no standard way of marketing or labeling the wire, it can be very hard to decipher what is the most important information. I can't speak for every brand, but I can certainly speak for ours.
Very Fine (.010 in) – sewing, crocheting, knitting, weaving & embellishment.
Fine (.014 in) – pearls, seed beads, small stones that won’t fit on a thicker diameter
Medium (.019 in) – most commonly used, all purpose diameter – will fit most pearls & seed beads but can also handle more abrasive materials such as crystal, glass & stone
Heavy (.024 in) – best for bracelets, eye glass holders, watch bands (designs that get a lot of wear and tear) – also good for lampwork, trade beads, bone & stone (heavy and abrasive beads) most
Soft Touch – premium 21 & 49 stranded beading wire, available in 4 diameters: .010/Very Fine (2 colors + steel), .014/Fine (steel only), .019/Medium (steel only), .024/Heavy (steel only). Soft Touch is more flexible with the same strength and durability as Soft Flex Company
Extreme Steel – 19 stranded beading wire, available in 3 diameters: .014/Fine (only silver), .019/Medium (only silver), .024/Heavy (only silver).
NEW Extreme “Green Product” (look for green logo) – 19 stranded beading wire, available in 3 diameters: .014/Fine (silver, gold & champagne), .019/Medium (silver, gold & champagne), .024/Heavy (silver, gold & champagne). The NEW Extreme “Green Product” is more flexible than Extreme Steel with the same durability.
Econoflex – 7 stranded beading, available in 3 diameters: .010/Very Fine (7 colors + steel), .014/Fine (7 colors + steel), .019/Medium (7 colors + steel). This is our ONLY wire manufactured in
What other questions do you have? I'm all ears. Feel free to leave me a comment or email me at Sara@SoftFlexCompany.com.
See what my friends are up to:
Jamie Hogsett caught up with some of her long distance buddies at the Bead and Button show.
Kristen Fagan has got a lot of inquiries from friends and family about her Jamaican bus ride so, here is her review.
After, we relaxed at the Miller Time pub in our hotel. I love my co-workers:
I took some more video today. I hope that you can enjoy. I'm sorry for all of those that cannot make it to a big show like Bead & Button. It is a ton of fun and you should make it a priority for next year! You'll have a blast.
This is just a quick run over our booth.
Photo by Tatiana Van Iten
Co-Creator of Soft Flex Wire
the first 21 & 49 strand beading wire to come to market
also the first knot tying stainless steel wire
with Cathy and Anne, Kalmach'ers
Cathy's NEW book - Hip Handmade Memory Jewelry
buffalogal51 on Etsy.com
Some highlights: Heather Powers dropped off some awesome beads for me. She is just as sweet as can be. If you aren't familiar with this lovely lady, please stop by and check out her blog: Humblebeads.
I got interviewed for a podcast. That was cool! I'll post details when it goes live. :)
I got to meet a breast cancer survivor that donated to my 3-day walk last year and give her a big hug. She sight unseen donated to my walk from a Soft Flex email. She happened to be at the show. I happened to be talking to her. I happened to mention that I was Sara. She replied, "THE Sara." Then, we got to share a few stories and it was wonderful.
I got lots of compliments on my new fringe earrings that I posted a few days ago and wore for the first time today. Yay!
The lovely, amazing & hilarious Jean Campbell stopped by. She is always a hoot. She commented on my being so very domesticated. It's true. I love nothing more than to be home with my boyfriend and dog. But, visiting a bead show (and especially this one) is always a nice addition to my life. If you don't know who Jean is (I'm not quite sure how that could be possible, but just in case) she was the founding editor for Beadwork Magazine.
Cathy Jakicic brought over a copy of her new book Hip Handmade Memory Jewelry for me to take a look at. I can tell that I'm going to just love it. I can't wait to sit down and enjoy it more thoroughly. I think that it will need to get in line for a book review later this summer. "Hip" is definitely a word that I would use to describe Cathy, Editor for Bead Style Magazine. She always is so well put together and uniquely herself. It was a joy to spend some time with her.
It has been a pleasure to see so many bead stores come through the show. In the past half year we have made some big changes in our distribution pattern. For many years, we had little to no direct contact with the stores that sell our products because we sold almost exclusively through a 3rd party. That isn't so any more. We still have several authorized distributors, but we have taken a more hands on approach. It is WONDERFUL. It is so fun to visit with the many bead stores that have sold our products for years and not gotten to spend a lot of time with us. It just warms my heart to hear from a store owner that they would never use anything but our brand of wire and won't sell anything else to their customers. We are so fortunate to have so many loyal supporters, and I really do believe that bead stores are the backbone of the beading industry. So if you have a local bead store be sure to support them and their efforts. Find a bead store near you!
Lots of excitement for the new products. The Trios are just flying off of the shelves. We can't keep them stocked. The gemstones are always a huge attraction. Mike has the best gemstones and this year, we went to great lengths to cut down to short strands and single beads. This allows for the designer to buy in a smaller quantity and not break the bank in this poor economy.
These are just a few of my highlights. I'm sure I could go on for another few hours, but I better get some rest for tomorrow! What a fun show!? I'll see if I can get more video tomorrow. I took some today, but it was just too bouncy. I need to slow down and not move around quite so much. Learning curve....
Bead Dreams at Bead & Button in Milwaukee, WI 2009. Soft Flex Company sponsored the lampwork category. :)
From the ISGB website:
Convergence is the International Society of Glass Beadmakers’ juried exhibition project for 2009. Inspired by the overwhelming response to our Out of the Box exhibition at the 2008 Bead&Button Show* in Milwaukee, Convergence pairs ISGB members with International jewelry designers focusing on the four elements of water, air, earth, and fire.
The mission in creating this opportunity and challenge for artists to come together in creativity and design was to showcase how handmade glass beads can be incorporated into exhibition-quality jewelry.
We received 140 entries for this one-of-a-kind lampwork and jewelry-design exhibition. This will be an amazing collection of work. The use of glass, metals, seed beads, semi-precious, fibers, and other materials has resulted in extraordinary creativity, superior artistry, and innovative design. Hours upon hours of detailed work were dedicated to each piece.
A beautiful catalog of the exhibition will be published in May, and you can also visit the Convergence shows at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, Ohio, May 1 to May 24, 2009; the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin from June 3 until June 7, 2009; and the Windisch-Hunt Fine Arts Gallery in Coconut Grove, Florida from June 20 until the ISGB Gathering closes on July 24, 2009.
A limited number of exhibition pieces will be featured in Bead&Button magazine’s special issue dedicated to Convergence designs. This publication is planned for October 2009 and will include beautiful photographs of the selected jewelry, step-by-step instructions, illustrations and how-to photos for making the pieces, and artist biographies.
The Convergence project has produced distinctive jewelry designs for the exhibition culminating in a Live Auction at our 2009 annual conference, The Gathering, to benefit ISGB educational programs and CERF, the Craft Emergency Relief Fund.
ISGB would like to sincerely thank the SoftFlex Company for their generous support in helping to underwrite the Convergence Exhibition at the Bead&Button Show.
Recorded on June 4, 2009 at Bead & Button in Milwaukee, WI. Tatiana Van Iten is a beading genius. She has created and sold hundreds of intricately beaded necklaces and uses Soft Flex & Soft Touch Beading Wire in her jewelry designs. Her seed bead work is absolutely amazing. We are so glad that our wire works so well for her designs.
We featured Tatiana Van Iten on our website in April 2008.
Today is Tatiana's Birthday. She has officially been beading for 50 years, although she looks far too young to have beading for that long. She started at a very young age. Her years of experience show in her design knowledge. I'm so glad that I ran into her this afternoon and could share with you!
Hello from Milwaukee. Today was our set up day. I leisurely made my way to Borders this morning for coffee and to purchase the first installment in the "Dead & Unwed" series. Yes, this is my 3rd vampire series in the past year. I'm really not INTO vampires. I keep getting recommendations for more and more vampire books. Then, I came back to the hotel and created a pair of earrings to go with the dress that I plan to wear on Friday. I flipped through several fashion magazines on my way way to Milwaukee. I'm seeing a lot of fringe and ruffles. Fringe on shoes, on bags, on dresses. So, my earrings were inspired by the idea of fringe. Pictures are posted below. Anyway, set up went smoothly. The booth looks fantastic. I have my video camera so I tested out taking video of the booth so that I can post some videos for everyone to see over the next few days. You will have to bear with me, I'm just getting my footing in this whole video thing. I learned a few good lessons in my practice run today.
Date:June 4 - 7, 2009
Midwest Airlines Center
400 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Details: Thursday 6/4, 4pm - 9pm (preview night is only open to students and registered wholesale buyers)
Friday 6/5, 10am - 8pm
Saturday 6/6, 10am - 6pm
Sunday 6/7, 10am - 4pm
Admission: $9 each day