Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Color Inspiration by Kristen Fagan

Image by aryan251 via Stock.XCHNG


 Items that match this color palette:





 


Guest blogger Kristen Fagan is the Website Graphic Designer for Soft Flex Company. She also has her own blog and etsy shop.  She'd love to hear from you! So, please feel free to leave comments or email her at Kristen@SoftFlexCompany.com.

LAST CHANCE! Vote - Vote - Vote

Autumn Bouquet by Tatiana Van Iten 

Last chance to vote today!

Thanks to some wonderful feedback, we changed the voting process slightly this year. We decided to use a Soft Flex jury to choose the top 10 designs. Now, it is up to you to help us rank the designs, choosing a first, second and third place winner. Each design uses both Soft Flex Beading Wire and Soft Flex Craft Wire. Only one vote per person please. Go vote! Yay!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Free DIY Beaded Bangles Idea by Jamie Hogsett

This trio of braided bangles is the perfect project to illustrate the wonders of Bead Stoppers. Bead Stoppers are one of my favorite tools. Sure, they work for keeping beads secure on a single strand of beading wire, but they're also handy in many other ways. In this project, Bead Stoppers add weight to the end of wires which helps the braiding process, keep braids from unraveling, act as place-holders to keep beads in a certain spot on a group of wires, AND secure beads from falling off the end of a single strand of wire.
Materials needed:
30 foot spool of Pink Tourmaline .019 Diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire
4 Sterling Silver 3mm Crimp Tubes
2 Sterling Silver 2mm Crimp Tubes
2 Sterling Silver 3mm Crimp Covers
64 Multi Color Tourmaline 4mm Faceted Rondelles
2 Assorted Color 7x12mm Ceramic Teeny Tiny Owls

Tools needed:
Bead Stoppers
Cutters
Mighty Crimping Pliers
Crimping Pliers
Pre-made Bangle Bracelet or Bracelet Mandrel

Finished size: 2 1/2" diameter
Bangle One
Step 1: Attach 1 bead stopper to three 14" pieces of wire about 6" from one end of the wires.
Step 2: Use all three wires to string 1 ceramic owl bead (top to bottom). Use one wire to string 18 tourmaline rondelles. Place a bead stopper on the wire end.
Step 3: Begin braiding the three wires together below the owl bead. When the wire strung with tourmaline rondelles is placed in the middle of the other two wires, slide 1 bead up into the braid and continue braiding. Repeat this every time this wire is in the center of the braid.
Step 4: Once you've braided about nine rondelles into the braid, place a bead stopper on the wires to secure the braid. Push the owl bead down over the braided wire until it reaches the first rondelle.
Step 5: Remove the bead stopper above the owl bead. Use 1 strand of wire to string 7 rondelles. Place a bead stopper on the end of that wire. Braid the wires as before, working 1 rondelle into the braid every time its wire is in the center of the braid. Place a bead stopper on the wire ends.
Step 6: Remove the bead stopper on the long end of the wires and continue braiding and adding rondelles to the braid until the bracelet is the size of the pre-made bangle.
Step 7: Use all three wire ends to string one 3mm crimp tube. Carefully remove and replace bead stoppers to secure the wires and use the other three wire ends to pass through the crimp tube in the opposite direction. Adjust the braided wires as necessary so that it's the right size, and use Mighty Crimping Pliers to crimp the crimp tube. Trim wire ends.

Bangle Two
Step 8: Use both ends of a 3" piece of beading wire to string one 2mm crimp tube. Snug the tube up the wire, leaving a small loop, and use Crimping Pliers to crimp the crimp tube. Cover the crimp tube with 1 crimp cover. Use both wire ends to string 1 owl bead (top to bottom) and 1 crimp tube. Snug the beads and crimp the crimp tube. Cover the crimp tube with 1 crimp cover. Trim the wire ends to about 1/8" and 1/4" and set the charm aside.
Step 9: Adjust one 16" piece of beading wire and two 12" pieces of beading wire so that one end of each wire matches up. Use all three wire ends to string 1 crimp tube. Adjust the tube so that it is covering the other ends of the 12" wire pieces and use Mighty Crimping Pliers to crimp the crimp tube.
Step 10: Use the short single wire to string 15 tourmaline rondelles and one 3mm crimp tube. Place a bead stopper on the single wire.
Step 11: Braid the three wire ends together for about 3/4". Use 1 wire end to string the charm made in Step 8. Continue braiding the wire ends until the bangle is long enough when measured against the pre-made bangle. Use all three wire ends to pass through the 3mm crimp tube in the opposite direction and use Might Crimping Pliers to crimp. Trim wire ends.
Bangle Three
Step 12: Cut three 12" pieces of wire. Place a bead stopper on all three wires just off of center. Use 1 wire end to string 10 rondelles. Attach a bead stopper to the wire to secure the beads.
Step 13: Use 1 wire to string 9 rondelles. Use the remaining wire to string 10 rondelles.
Step 14: Remove 1 bead stopper and braid the three wires together for about 3 1/2". Use all three wire ends to string one 3mm crimp tube. Place a bead stopper on the wires. Remove the other bead stopper and braid the wires together for about 3 1/2". Use all three wire ends to pass through the crimp tube in the opposite direction. Measure the bangle against the pre-made bangle, adjusting the wire as necessary for size, and use Mighty Crimping Pliers to crimp the crimp tube. Trim the wire ends.
Wear the bangles together or separate or play around with additional bangles to add to the stack. Enjoy!


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion Trends

Dress your tree in that Tree Skirt.
Make this Ornament to decorate it.


To see all our Fashion Trends online, click here.

Spotlight on...Bead in Hand Bead Store


Bead in Hand

Bead in Hand has a fabulous selection of beads from all over the world plus a variety of unique pieces to make projects one of a kind. We carry seed beads, pressed glass beads, lamp worked beads, semi-precious beads, Swarovski crystals, vintage beads, findings in many metals, Tierra Cast charms, Soft Flex wire and other stringing materials and much more. Customers are invited to look in all the small drawers and boxes to find their treasures. In store assistance is always available and we have a great selection of classes. We also host birthday parties, adult parties and scout groups. We do repairs. We are open 6 days a week and only closed on Wednesdays.
Article - Open House by Lorelei Eurto
Color by Margie Deeb - Holiday Glam Jewelry: Black? by Margie Deeb 
Designer - Lisa Hoffer
Book - The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg
Bead Seller - Bead in Hand in Oak Park, IL

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Vote - Vote - Vote

Free Wheelin' Summer by Erin Prais-Hintz 

Thanks to some wonderful feedback, we changed the voting process slightly this year. We decided to use a Soft Flex jury to choose the top 10 designs. Now, it is up to you to help us rank the designs, choosing a first, second and third place winner. Each design uses both Soft Flex Beading Wire and Soft Flex Craft Wire. Only one vote per person please. Go vote! Yay!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Spotlight on...The Northern Virginia Bead Society


The Northern Virginia Bead Society

The Northern Virginia Bead Society (NVBS) a Non-Profit organization, was created in February of 1992. Lorraine Morton, who passed away in 2009, was one of the founding 13 members.

Our purpose is to encourage members of the community to appreciate and participate in the visual arts through beads. We endeavor to provide a network for education opportunities and the exchange of ideas about beads and techniques in beading. We sponsor a bead and jewelry Auction (May) and a full scale Bead and Jewelry show (Sept/Oct) every year!  We bring artists from all over the nation to Virginia to speak at meetings and teach workshops.
Article - Open House by Lorelei Eurto
Color by Margie Deeb - Holiday Glam Jewelry: Black? by Margie Deeb 
Designer - Lisa Hoffer
Book - The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg
Bead Seller - Bead in Hand in Oak Park, IL

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Vote - Vote - Vote

Pretty Posies by Dorisanne Higgins 

Thanks to some wonderful feedback, we changed the voting process slightly this year. We decided to use a Soft Flex jury to choose the top 10 designs. Now, it is up to you to help us rank the designs, choosing a first, second and third place winner. Each design uses both Soft Flex Beading Wire and Soft Flex Craft Wire. Only one vote per person please. Go vote! Yay!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Free DIY Beaded Earring Project by Jamie Hogsett

This week I challenged myself to use all three sizes of crimping pliers in a project and, after a couple of failed attempts at holiday decorations, these earrings were created. Made with the three colors of the Renewal Trios wire set (one of my favorites!) and only a few peridot beads, these earrings are simple to make and are oh-so-pretty with just the right amount of sparkle.

My bead stash yielded a random assortment of small peridot beads leftover from other projects that turned out to be perfect for these earrings, so feel free to experiment. I can picture these earrings made with many of the Trios sets, just be sure to use varying shapes and sizes of of the same color bead to help blend all the wire colors together.


Materials needed:
5" of Chrysoprase .019 Diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire
9 1/2" of Peridot .019 Diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire
8" of Green Emerald .019 Diameter Soft Flex Beading Wire
2 Sterling Silver 3mm Crimp Tubes
2 Sterling Silver 2mm Crimp Tubes
12 Sterling Silver 1mm Crimp Tubes
2 Sterling Silver 4mm Soldered Jump Rings
1 pair of Silver Plated Ear Wires
4 Peridot 3.5x4mm Faceted Ovals
2 Peridot 3.5x5-4x7mm Faceted Tubes
2 Peridot 6x7-6x8mm Smooth Ovals

Tools needed:
Cutters
Mighty Crimping Pliers
Crimping Pliers
Micro Crimping Pliers
Bead Stoppers

Finished size: 2 3/4"

Note: though I didn't include Bead Stoppers in any of the pictures here, I assure you I used several of them for this project and highly recommend them!
Step 1: Attach 1 Bead Stopper to one end of 2 1/2" of Chrysoprase wire. String one 1mm crimp tube, 1 peridot faceted oval, and one 1mm crimp tube. Attach the Bead Stopper to the other end of the wire and set aside. Repeat, using 4 3/4" of Peridot wire to string one 1mm crimp tube, 1 peridot faceted tube, and one 1mm crimp tube. Repeat again, using 4" of Green Emerald wire to string one 1mm crimp tube, 1 peridot smooth oval, and one 1mm crimp tube. Do not crimp any crimp tubes.
Step 2: Remove all Bead Stoppers and carefully gather together both ends of the Chrysoprase and Green Emerald wires and one end of the Peridot wire. Place the other end of the Peridot wire so that it is 1 1/2" longer than all other wire ends. Use all six wire ends to string one 3mm crimp tube so that it rests at the very end of the group of five wire ends. Use Mighty Crimping Pliers to crimp the tube.
Step 3: Use the remaining Peridot wire end to string 1 peridot faceted oval, one 2mm crimp tube, and 1 jump ring. Pass back through the tube, making sure to nestle the peridot oval between the 3mm and 2mm crimp tubes as snugly as possible, and crimp. Attach 1 ear wire to the jump ring.
Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3 to make a second earring.
Step 5: Adjust the 1mm crimp tubes and peridot beads on both earrings so that they are mirror images of each other. Use Micro Crimping Pliers to crimp the 1mm crimp tubes, keeping the peridot beads secured in their spots on the wires.

Enjoy!


Guest blogger Jamie Hogsett is the Education Coordinator for Soft Flex Company. Contact her at Jamie@SoftFlexCompany.com.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Spotlight on...The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg


The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry 
by Joanna Gollberg

The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg is a comprehensive guide for making professional looking jewelry. Although this book is less about beading and more about metal work, I think it is important to look at books of all kinds to gather inspiration for my bead work. The jewelry in this book is amazing! I love modern design and this book did not disappoint.

Color by Margie Deeb - Holiday Glam Jewelry: Black? by Margie Deeb 
Designer - Lisa Hoffer
Book - The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg
Bead Seller - Bead in Hand in Oak Park, IL

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vote - Vote - Vote

Genesis Necklace by Marie Brittain

Thanks to some wonderful feedback, we changed the voting process slightly this year. We decided to use a Soft Flex jury to choose the top 10 designs. Now, it is up to you to help us rank the designs, choosing a first, second and third place winner. Each design uses both Soft Flex Beading Wire and Soft Flex Craft Wire. Only one vote per person please. Go vote! Yay!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Spotlight on...Designer Lisa Hoffer


Lisa Hoffer

Lisa Hoffer is a self-taught jewelry designer. She has been making unique pieces of wearable art for over 15 years. Lisa is the creator and head designer of Bead Girl Jewelry, an Arizona based company. The belief that art should not only be beautiful, but should also be affordable is why Bead Girl Jewelry offers their unique pieces of wearable art at prices that won't break the bank.

Color by Margie Deeb - Holiday Glam Jewelry: Black? by Margie Deeb 
Designer - Lisa Hoffer
Book - The Art & Craft of Making Jewelry by Joanna Gollberg
Bead Seller - Bead in Hand in Oak Park, IL

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fashion Trends



To see all our Fashion Trends online, click here.

Vote - Vote - Vote


Ishi Garden by Diana Shiraishi 

Thanks to some wonderful feedback, we changed the voting process slightly this year. We decided to use a Soft Flex jury to choose the top 10 designs. Now, it is up to you to help us rank the designs, choosing a first, second and third place winner. Each design uses both Soft Flex Beading Wire and Soft Flex Craft Wire. Only one vote per person please. Go vote! Yay!
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