Thursday, July 19, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Making Fabric Jewelry

Book Review:  Making Fabric Jewelry, 20+ Projects to Stitch, Fold, and Wear
by:  Marthe Le Van
from: Lark Publishing

Paperback, 144 pages, $15.95

Upon receiving this book, I quickly recognized the earring project on the cover.  Reading a little further, I've learned that this upcoming publication is was formerly published in hardcover format.  Yes - I know!  Because I couldn't resist it then and its in my library of jewelry design books!!  It was previously released as "Stitched Jewels."

This book is a truly refreshing approach to jewelry design.
None of the projects are out of reach in terms of cost, materials, or skills required.
If you enjoy any kind of needle work, or beadwork, THIS is something worth your time and attention.

The introduction is chock full of great information.  I learned a lot about what should be in a basic sewing kit, quality threads, sewing machines, and even basic hand stitches that I previously had not been taught.

The first project eases you into the comfort zone of working with fabrics by making a fabric covered button bracelet.  Three magic words - FABRIC - BUTTONS - BRACELET.  I should say, "You had me at Hello !"

The remaining 22 projects are all absolutely doable, not beyond anyone's reach, budget, or skill level.  Each one is interesting, pushes the way in which I viewed fabrics, and gives you an opportunity to even recycle scraps !!  You will fray, sew, stuff, add beads, glue, and gather to create truly unique pieces.

Careful, though - if you're a beader like me, you may have inherited a suppressed hoarding gene.
Fabric scraps could be next on your list   !!   *wink*

Enjoy !

Wednesday, July 18, 2012


Congratulations to Janet !!

She is the lucky winner of the Diane Fitzgerald Book Giveaway !!

I hope you enjoy Diane's book as much as I did, Janet !!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Nicole's Blog Giveaway !!

Nicole from Beadwright is giving away samples of her Bead Backing.

I've worked with the material once, and it was on a small project (from a kit).
It was a nice product to work with, and I'm hoping to try it out on a larger scale embroidery project soon!

Read - Enter - WIN !!

Nicole's Blog

Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Diane Fitzgerald's Favorite Beading Projects

Diane Fitzgerald is one of the world's most well known and highly regarded bead artists.  For over twenty years, she has shared her love and knowledge of beads without hesitation.  She's travelled the world and generously tells all about her experiences.

The thing I truly enjoyed most about this book was the in-depth "getting to know" Diane.
I've never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, although in the same room on a couple of occasions, just didn't have the opportunity of introducing myself.  Jean Campbell wrote a fabulous Foreward all about Diane's beading career.  In those three pages, I learned so much about Diane that I now feel I could call her a friend.  Jean wrote a great intro !!

The projects in this book are inspirational !!
For the most advanced bead weaver, these projects can draw you back to the days when you were first learning about knotting, or stringing and crimping.  As creative souls, sometimes we need to drift ourselves back to those days.
For those just getting started, its an amazing reference and visual guidebook.

Diane's knowledge of almost everything beady sure shines through in this book.
She uses colors that make statement pieces sing.
Many of the projects have variations illustrated after the main set of instructions.  I found these to be not only visually inspirational but thought provoking on how you can use your newly acquired skill set for the next project!

Diane is a master of her art.  I believe even the most experienced beaders will find something in this book that they didn't know and can prompt them to try something new !!

Lark Publishing is to be applauded as they have given us THREE sample projects from Diane's book:

Diamond Chain Bracelet

Fortune Teller Beads Necklace

Midnight Snowflakes Necklace

Bead and Glass Boutique is currently sold out of this book!  (they went fast!)
We will gladly order and ship to you if you would like to order.
Please call us at 856-827-0000 !!

Here's the GIVEAWAY Info - its easy & you get lots of chances to enter.
Please leave a separate comment for each entry you complete.

#1 - Follow this Blog  (earns you two entries!)
#2 - Like the Bead & Glass Boutique page on Facebook (earns you two entries!)

#3 - Leave a comment here on this post, tell me about your favorite Diane Fitzgerald project or pattern (earns you one entry!)

#4 - Share this post on your own Facebook page  (earns you two entries!)  Please post a copy of your Facebook page address here.

I'll draw a random winning number next week, so please have your entries posted here by 11:59pm on Sunday, July 15th.

Ok - now... GO !

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Book Review: Japanese Beadwork with Sonoko Nozue

I have had a copy of this little treasure since sometime in March 2012.
As you know, I own a bead store. Up until last week, we could NOT keep a copy in the store. This publication has been very popular.

This week, I took the opportunity to really sit down an pour through the beautiful projects presented within its pages.

Sonoko Nozue authored the original Japanese publication in 2008, as "Mode de Beads," which included nine projects. Lark furthered the book by translating 16 additional designs by Sonoko. There are a total of 25.......yes, 25 projects !!!
This English language version was only made available this year (2012) from Lark.

Sonoko is a proud bead artist that seems to truly enjoy teaching her students both at home and here in the US (since 2005) at the Bead & Button Show. She is known for not only her beadwork, but also developed the SoNo thread, with her namesake.

Do we owe Lark a round of applause or what?
This is an absolutely stunning publication !
I don't know what beader could ask for more of.
Sonoko's amazing beaded projects are presented in an artful way, where the jewelry is the focus. There are photographs of a beautiful model in a matte black and white, with the jewelry in full color shiny finish!
In addition, the graphics make it easy to follow the pattern, with minimal written verbiage that can often confuse a novice beader. These instructions get straight to the point, either by translation or well-drafted default - its really this easy !!

My favorite presented project is Sonoko's "Sweet Breeze" netted shawl.
While time consuming, the finish project looks stunning in print - can you only imagine what it looks like in person ??

Congrats to Lark for yet another phenomenal Beadweaving Master Class presentation,

If you would like to preview two sample projects, I encourage you to visit Lark's website pages (links below).

Sonoko Wave

Crystal Rose Project

We want you to own this publication!! It's a MUST for every seed beader's library.
Call us at 856-827-0000 - order yours today and we'll ship one right out!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bead & Button Show - Here I Come !

The day is here...
My first ever Bead & Button Show.

I've been involved in the beading community since 2003....nearly a decade.
I've shopped all of the local shows in the NorthEast that have outlets in the Greater Philadelphia area.

But... Bead & Button - goodness, of all beading mecca's !!

Not only is it a place for bead enthusiasts to shop, we gather, share ideas, bring exchange baggies, give lots of HUGS, and get to meet our beading friends from afar in real life (not just through a computer.) This bonds us together in ways that I can't yet describe.

So - I'm heading out to spend some time in the beading mecca.
I plan to make the Lisa Peter's Art booth my home base for the duration of the expo (shopping) days.
Joining Lisa this year is Carol Dean Sharpe !! Not only is she sharing Lisa's booth, she's generously sharing her room with me !!
This year has been so unbelievably busy, that I really didn't get to make plans too early. Carol Dean offered me a place to stay, for which I am grateful !

I'll be heading to the Meet the Teacher's night, working at the LPA for those busy times, visiting the Toho Party, having dinner with a group of beading friends that are joining in on a big bead swap, meeting with a group of other bead store owners for a fun night, lunch (hopefully) with Shelley Nybakke, dinner (hopefully) with June & Jill Wiseman on the final night, and a nice breakfast / brunch with Marcia DeCoster before relaxing the last day away & heading home.

I can't wait to see everyone & share photos !

Wait until you see what I bring back for Bead & Glass Boutique !!
Our customers will be just tickled pink at the amazing selections we'll have.
If it came from Bead & Button - it must be the best stuff on earth, right? LOL !!

See you all in Milwaukee !!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

30-Minute Bracelets - Book Review

Recently the wonderful people at Lark Jewelry & Beading sent me some books to take a peek through and provide you (my readers) with a review.

First and foremost, I have to openly admit, I'm not a metal smith. I have worked with metal (cutting, hammering, stamping, drilling, annealing, adding a patina, and even ruining the surface of my chasing hammer during a impatient riveting attempt). I've done a lot of reading about soldering & forming, but I dont have any practical experience in those two areas. They are on the "to-do someday" short list, however!!

The "30-Minute" series is compiled by Marthe Le Van, featuring many designers' work. Each publication presents 60 Quick and Creative Projects for Jewelers. I have had the opportunity to flip through the following books: Rings, Necklaces, Earrings, and last but not least, the newest installment, Bracelets.

I would venture out to say that several (not all!!) of the projects in these books are geared for the experienced bench jeweler that maintains a nice stock of materials in their dedicated studio space. The books are all nicely laid out, with a modern style to them. They are easy to follow, but do lack the step by step photos that the inexperienced person would need to actually fabricate these projects in 30-minutes.

The projects themselves? They are amazing, and they do appear to be easy, once you have the proper skill set. True art at work!

Let's focus on 30-Minute Bracelets (releasing in June).
Not all of the projects require soldering, forming, or even metalsmithing!
I am pleased to see stringing, chainmaille, and even some bead weaving represented!
The innovative use of materials keeps you guessing.... (where to source some of these things? And what the heck is a carbon steel internal retaining ring?). But those are the questions that the more experienced might have an answer to. Me? No.. I'm still guessing -hahaaa!

Bottom line: don't avoid this series due to the skill set I believe you need to finish some of the projects. Get these books, and use them as a method to draw you into the creative process! Learn a new technique, get a new tool, and play! Soon, you'll be making your own 30-minute jewelry!

If you'd like to test out one of the 30-minute projects, visit Lark's web page for a sample pair of earrings, designed by Brenda Schweder.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review: Showcase 500 Rings

Lark Jewelry & Beading is preparing to release their debut title in their Showcase 500 Series.
Showcase 500 renames and lightly redesigns their popular 500 Series.
The 2004 publication, 1000 rings has sold more than 50,000 copies !!

This release revisits the design topics and updates the contemporary style we see, almost ten years later.

Showcase 500 Rings is not a How-To book. In fact, many of the pieces may not really be functionally wearable, as you and I define wearability. However, this collection brings together an amazing representation of art that the viewer is drawn into - page by page - through the journey of the definition (or should I call it a redefinition) of the ring.

This redefinition is done in the most artful representations !!
The introduction even goes as far as explaining the definition of "clunk" as to prepare the viewer for what he/she is about to embark upon.
Be prepared to react with "Oh - that's a ring?" to the barely there gold dust on one's hands to the "You Cant Miss It" ring from Rachel Timmins (Growth One).

One of my favorites appears toward the end of the journey on pg 406. This is the "Mussorgsky" by Ian Henderson. Something about the texture, the interlocking mechanisms, and the spirals makes you want to reach into the photo & touch it !!
You can view more of Ian's work here:

Here's a pic of "Mussorgsky":

This is a true discussion book. Leave it on your coffee table, in your studio for inspiration, in your office for visitors, and even in your crafty retail store to evoke expression from the people that pick it up to view it. Even my father, in his mid-60's couldn't resist a peek and an opinion of some of the pieces.

Great job on making unique selections, Brad Metcalf !
As always, kudos to Lark Jewelry and Beading for a well put together publication for us !

Monday, April 23, 2012

To organize or to bead....a type "A" dilemma

Only another person with strong type "A" tendencies will understand my dilemma.

I can create a mess just like any other creative soul.

I like to organize things.

Most of the time, I handle organized chaos really well.
There might be a small pile on my desk, but if you ask me for the electric bill, I've got it at my fingertips!

I can not be creative in a messy work space.
I can't even work on an existing project until the materials that I've pulled out for the projects that I've recently finished have been put away.

For the readers out there that know me, you know that I really don't get too much time to actually work on beading projects. I own and operate three businesses, manage a team of staff, take care of my house, my fiancée, and my little kitty, teach beading classes, design new projects on occasion, and volunteer for a bead society. Beading? Don't laugh, it's true! I am a bead store owner that loves beads, loves to work on bead projects, but rarely gets to work on them.

So, wouldn't you think that my workspace would be rather messy? If I rarely have time to bead, why do I make time to clean it up and organize it so well? I could be spending that time starting a new project!

So, tell me - does anyone else need a really clear workspace and well organized materials to be able to get to working on your craft / hobby?

I'm interested in hearing your thoughts!

Free Projects from Sabine Lippert AND Sonoko Nozue AND More !!

The people at the Lark Crafts Blog are doing it again... !!

They're sharing projects from two of their newest publications so we, the readers, can get a feel for each of the book's layouts, type of projects, and skill levels.

OH! And - while you're visiting their blog post - make sure you scroll down....
There are TONS of free projects from other artists and publications from Lark.
A little treasure trove of beading patterns to keep you busy for quite a while!

Lark Crafts Blog

And when you're there - be sure to check out two projects that were shared earlier this month.
Tracy Stanley & Janice Berkebile have a new book, "Making Wire & Bead Jewelry: Artful Wirework Techniques."

Two Wire Projects at the Lark Crafts Blog

Now - GO !

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lark Books Giveaway

Lark publishing is celebrating the number 1,2, and 3 spot on a popular book buying website! That's a big accomplishment for them. While we wholeheartedly support Lark Books, we hope you will come preview their publications at Bead and Glass Boutique. In the meantime, hop over to their blog for info on how to win a set of some of the best beading publications out today!

. Lark giveaway

Stop by to see all of these great books !!

Monday, April 9, 2012

NEDbeads giveaway !

Nancy Dale put together a beautiful piece of jewelry using a focal button by Lisa Peters Art and some of the upcoming new colors of the Long Magatama Beads.

Preview the jewelry - and WIN the cuff by visiting Nancy's Blog, NEDbeads

Visit Nancy's Etsy Store for some great tutorials !!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bye Bye Little Bead Shop - HELLO new BIG Bead Shop !!

The month of January has come to a close (already?!) and the team at Bead & Glass Boutique just finished packing and moving the last little bead from the existing location, that you've all come to know and love - into the new location.

We're planning on reopening in just a couple of weeks.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the new space.

But I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that closing the door last night was a little bittersweet.
Bead & Glass Boutique opened its doors in February 2008 as a brick & mortar store.
Four short years later - we're moving into a permanent space for our little (soon to be not-so-little) beading home.
This has been my home away from home for the last 4 years.
I've met new friends, reconnected with old ones, and spent countless hours laughing, learning, and sharing.
I've even spent the night !!

What more could any business owner ask for?

More of it, for many more years to come !!
So that's just what we have planned - we hope you'll join us in our new venture with a bigger retail space, expanded classroom, and eventually a new art studio !!
My goals is to make the new Bead & Glass Boutique location a place where you can come and relax, enjoy, make some jewelry, and spend time with your beading friends.

See you all soon - we'll keep you updated !


Saturday, January 7, 2012

Classes at Bead & Glass Boutique for the second week of January 2012:

Don't forget: Class Coupon - BUY 2 Get 1 Free (of equal or lesser value)
All classes must be taken in January.

"Back to Basics Month"

Tuesday 10th at 6:00pm, Basic Peyote Stitch 101 with Candice (Beginner)

Wednesday 11th at 6:00pm, Bridge Over Tila Waters Bracelet with Lauren (inetermediate)

Thursday 12th at 6:00pm, Basic Spiral Rope Stitch 101 with Amy (beginner)

Friday 13th at 6:00pm, FRIDAY NIGHT BEADER's CLUB - The Regifting Party

Saturday 14th at 10:30am, 3-D Crystal Bracelet with Amy (beginner)
Saturday 14th at 1:00pm, Serpentine Crystal Bracelet with Amy (beginner)

Sunday 15th at 12:30pm, How to Read a Peyote Graph Class with Peyote Scrolls Pattern Bracelet with Amy (must know peyote stitch)

Visit us at for more info
Or call 856-827-0000 to register for classes.

Don't forget: Class Coupon - BUY 2 Get 1 Free (of equal or lesser value)
All classes must be taken in January.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Classes at Bead & Glass Boutique for the first week of January 2012:

Don't forget: Class Coupon - BUY 2 Get 1 Free (of equal or lesser value)

"Back to Basics Month"

3rd Tuesday 6pm - Basic Herringbone Stitch 101 (beginner)

4th Wednesday 6pm - Basic Wire Wraps with Bracelet (beginner)

5th Thursday 12:30-3:0pm - Beader's Break (open beading)

5th Thursday 5:00-7:30pm - Open Studio

6th Friday 6:00 - Free Basic Stringing 101 (beginner)

7th Saturday 10:30am - Cubic Right Angle Weave Rope (intermediate/advanced RAW) with Amy

8th Sunday 12:30pm - Bead Embroidery You Can Do In One Day with Amy (beginner embroidery)