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Bead Stampede's Blog

Viva Las Vegas! Bead Stampede is Moving to the United States; Brand New Delicas (Duracoat Opaque & 24kt Gold-Lined) & More

So much has happened since we sent our last newsletter, what with getting our new-look website up and running and with our upcoming move (more about that below). We’ve had lots of new arrivals since our November newsletter and we hope you will find something to love in our new items section.

Newly Released 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2356 Duracoat Opaque Ocean Spray - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2356 Duracoat Opaque Ocean Spray - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2358 Duracoat Opaque Evergreen - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2358 Duracoat Opaque Evergreen - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2353 Duracoat Opaque Cherry Blossom - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2353 Duracoat Opaque Cherry Blossom - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2523 24kt Gold-Lined Sapphire - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
DB-2523 24kt Gold-Lined Sapphire - Miyuki 11/0 Delica Beads
Miyuki has just released 18 new Duracoat Opaque colours (DB-2351 to DB-2368) and five new 24kt Gold-Lined colours (DB-2521 to DB-2525). We have them all at our regular low prices, and they are perfect for autumn - it’s not too early to plan projects for when the weather is cooler. These Delicas can be found in our new items section, here, or the main 11/0 Delica section, here.

Other Recent Arrivals
11-FL3529 Fancy Lined Magenta - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads
11-FL3529 Fancy Lined Magenta - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads
15C-0257 Transparent Topaz AB - Miyuki 15/0 Hex-Cut Seed Beads
15C-0257 Transparent Topaz AB - Miyuki 15/0 Hex-Cut Seed Beads
DBS-0117 Violet Gold Lustre - Miyuki 15/0 Delica Beads
DBS-0117 Violet Gold Lustre - Miyuki 15/0 Delica Beads
TR8-1154 Transparent Green AB - Miyuki 8/0 Triangle Beads
TR8-1154 Transparent Green AB - Miyuki 8/0 Triangle Beads
We’ve had too many new arrivals to mention in detail, but all of them can be found in our new items section, here. A small sample is shown in the photos above.
Sale Section
TT-0707 Matte-Colour Peridot Iris - Toho 11/0 Treasure Beads
TT-0707 Matte-Colour Peridot Iris - Toho 11/0 Treasure Beads
Etched Magic Blue - 6mm Czech Fire-Polished Beads
Etched Magic Blue - 6mm Czech Fire-Polished Beads
If you’re looking for a bargain, we still have lots of beads on offer. All sale beads can be found here.
Bead Stampede is Moving to the United States!
They say as one door closes, another opens, and so Bead Stampede will soon continue as an online-only store located in the Greater Las Vegas area. We hope to be up and running by the end of this year, with sales to the domestic US market only.

As things stand now, we will discontinue EU sales as of 10:00 a.m. (BST) on 5th August and UK sales as of 10:00 a.m. on 19th August. We will need to receive any returns no later than 2nd September. It’s possible that we may need to close a few days earlier if things get busier than expected, so we encourage you to make any purchases as early as possible.

We’d like to thank all of our customers near and far for your support over the last several years - we couldn’t have grown without you. If you’re located in the United States, we hope you’ll visit our website again - please check our homepage, as we’ll announce our re-opening date there when we have better information.
Happy beading!

Frank and Paige - Bead Stampede

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Summery Striped Earrings

It's been a while since I made anything for myself.  Our newly arrived selection of Miyuki 11/0 Duracoat seed beads inspired me to get a move on and make something for spring and summer, so here are my new earrings:

 

Materials:

1 x 11-4464 Duracoat Opaque Light Watermelon - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads, here

1 x 11-4454 Duracoat Opaque Kumquat - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads, here

1 x 11-4468 Duracoat Opaque Pansy - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads, here

1 x Pink S-Lon / C-Lon Size D Thread, here

1 x Beadsmith Size 12 Long Beading Needles, here

1 pair ear wires, here

Jewellery pliers, optional

Technique:

These earrings require basic earring-making knowledge of ladder stitch, brick stitch, making an earring loop and fringe making.

Start by making the earring base in ladder stitch, using 11/0 beads in colour 4464. The earring base is 15 stacks of 2 beads each (a total of 30 beads). Continue with brick stitch until your work is down to two beads and make your earring loop. You can add your ear wire at this stage by slipping it onto the loop before you close it, or add it when your earrings are finished, using jewellery pliers.

When you have finished the top portion of your earrings, continue with your fringe.  Each fringe is the same, using your 11/0 Miyuki beads in the following repeat: string 10 beads of colour 4464, 6 beads of colour 4454, 3 beads of colour 4464, and 12 beads of colour 4468.

Make a second earring the same way, and you're done!

Finished size of earrings is approximately 1.25 inches/32mm wide and 3 1/8 inches/81mm long, including the ear wires.

 

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Groovy Colour Tool Number 2

Many moons ago (back in January, to be precise), I mentioned in the "Groovy Colour Tool Number 1" post that Frank had found *two* groovy colour tools. The year has finally quietened enough that I can now bring you the second of these. It's not so much one tool, as a group of similar tools for you to explore.

Some of you will be familiar with Design Seeds, the website where designer Jessica Colaluca presents colour palettes based on selected photos.  If you haven't seen her website, definitely take a look for lots of colour-combo inspiration.

But what if you want to use a photo of your own to generate palettes?  As it turns out, all you need to do is use your favourite search engine for colour palette generators.

I used CSS Drive's palette generator on a photo of a necklace that I made, to isolate some of the colours in that photo. All you need to do is upload your photo, click "get palette" and you're done. Here's a screen cap of the results:

 

 

So, as you can see, the image that I uploaded is on the right, and underneath are several neutral shades that I selected from the complete colour palette. You can also go with CSS Drive's selected palettes, above left, which are broken down according to light, medium and dark.  You can use photos taken from websites to generate palettes, as CSS Drive allows you to search for photos via URLs.  Just a reminder, though: don't publish a palette that has been generated using someone else's photo without getting the copyright holder's permission first, if you plan also to publish their photo with your palette.

Another great site that allows you to play around with colour is Colour Lovers. They describe themselves as '. . . a creative community where people from around the world create and share colors, palettes and patterns, discuss the latest trends and explore colorful articles. . .'. They also sell software which will allow you to generate palettes on your home computer, along with creating gradients and mixing colours. This is now on my list of Nifty Things I Must Have.

I just want to mention that these sites are free to use, and therefore have advertising links on them to support them. Please use good judgement when clicking on links in any unfamiliar websites.

We hope you enjoy a more colourful summer - the web is full of places to start!

 

 

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Groovy Colour Tool Number 1

Frank found a couple of brilliant websites that offer the user tools to play around with colour, one of which I'll discuss today. If you're stumped for ideas for your next jewellery project, or just can't remember all those pesky colour rules, Color Scheme Designer will jump start you.  You start by selecting a base colour from the colour wheel, then you click on a button to pull up suggested colour combinations. You have the choice of mono, complement, triad, tetrad, analogic and accented analogic.

So, for example, I started in the blue range, then clicked on 'triad', and here's what this nifty little calculation tool came up with, and it even shows you shades and pastels, too:

 

 

Next, I picked a red, and clicked on 'accented analogic', and here are the results:

 

 

If you want to save your results, I recommend using the 'print screen' button, then saving into Microsoft Paint, which should come standard with Windows.

Two things never cease to amaze me: 1) the astonishing wonders that are available on the Internet, and 2) the generosity of people 'out there' willing to share their brilliance. But be warned: this website is a bit addictive and we take no responsibility for your food not being cooked, your chores not being done, and the kids left forgotten at the school gate.

There's a PayPal link on Color Scheme Designer for donations, so if the site helps you in any way, I encourage you to support it financially.

 

 

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Free(form) Spirit

I loved freeform beading the moment I first saw it.  I love the artiness of it, I love the visual rollercoaster of it, I love the texture of it.  So, finally, here is my first foray into freeform peyote.  The inspiration behind this bracelet was our new Picasso Tila beads in cobalt, orange and light olive.  I wanted to use these three colours together, so I built my bead choices around them.  I used Karen Williams’ book, FreeForm Peyote Beading: Design and Creation of Original Wearable Art Jewelry, as my guide to get started.

 Freeform peyote bracelet using Bead Stampede beads

The first thing I discovered is that “freeform” is not a synonym for “haphazard”, and that a certain amount of planning, balance and judicious choosing of beads is in order.  I started by selecting a larger range of beads than Karen recommends in her helpful chart relating to same, but as I stitched, I wound up not using all of them.  Less may not be more when it comes to freeform beadwork, but knowing when enough is enough certainly is.  It wasn’t deliberate, but I used six different types of bead for each colour, everything from 6/0s to 15/0s, and I threw in the Tilas and some 4mm Czech fire-polished beads for good measure.  It’s also important not just to mix sizes, but bead finishes, too.  Beads ranged from silver-lined, colour-lined, matte, opaque, transparent, lustered, and Ceylon to Picasso.

I admit that I broke a couple of rules that I’d read elsewhere (I’d broken them before I read about them, so I can’t claim to be an artistic visionary).  One was to avoid a stripe-y effect.  Yeah, well, so much for that – big, fat stripes galore here.  The other was not to transition from larger beads to much smaller beads too quickly.  Transitioning from larger to smaller beads meant that there was a certain laciness in the surrounding area, and it also meant that I got those wonderful bumps and ridges that freeform peyote is known for.  So, that was one “rule” I was happy to ignore. 

By the time I got two rows in, I realised that I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve never let a little thing like that stop me, so I just kept going.  One of the things that I noticed about freeform beadwork is that it takes a lot more time than “regular” beadwork, which is largely down to the fact that at least every couple of rows or so (if not every row), you have to make a decision about which beads you’re going to use next, and consider what impact they might have on the overall design.  You can spend ages sitting there, staring at your work and wondering what to do next.

I used C-Lon size D thread for the bracelet, changing colours as I changed sections.  I toyed with the idea of using FireLine, but FireLine can be a bit stiff and C-Lon/S-Lon threads have such a lovely drape.  I wouldn’t rule out using FireLine in a future project, though.  The choice would depend on the weight of the beads and the overall effect I wanted. 

I found this project wildly fulfilling.  I loved every bit of making it, and the finished bracelet is much more striking than the attached photos show.  Freeform peyote may well become my favourite type of beadwork. 

Before I switch over to the list of beads that I used, I’d like to say a bit more about Karen’s book:  there is very little information out there about freeform beadwork, which makes it difficult for a newcomer to know where to start.  Karen’s book is a small-ish one, but provides a lot of useful information for getting started.  It's not a project book, it's a technique book.  I’ve cobbled together bits of info about freeform peyote from many websites, so there’s still more that could be said about the topic.  Nevertheless, if you want to take the freeform plunge and don’t know where to begin, take a look at Karen’s book, linked above, and her blog at http://baublicious.blogspot.co.uk/.

 

Closeup orange segment of Freeform peyote bracelet

The beads used in the orange segment are:

11-0008F Matte Silver-Lined Orange - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads

11-0138F Matte Transparent Orange - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads

6-0138 Transparent Orange - Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads

TL-4520 Opaque Orange Picasso Miyuki Tila Beads

8-PF2112 Perma Finish Silver-Lined Ceylon Sunset Orange - Toho 8/0 Seed Beads

Orange Picasso - 4mm Czech Fire-Polished Beads

Orange C-Lon Size D Thread

 

Closeup of blue segment of Freeform peyote bracelet using beads from www.beadstampede.co.uk

 

The beads used in the blue segment are:

11-0019F Matte Silver-Lined Sapphire - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads

6-0020F Matte Silver-lined Cobalt Blue - Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads

8-4242 Duracoat Dyed Silver-Lined Powder Blue - Miyuki 8/0 Seed Beads

TL-4518 Opaque Cobalt Picasso Miyuki Tila Beads

11-0028 Silver-Lined Cobalt - Toho 11/0 Seed Beads

15-0003B Transparent Aquamarine Blue - Toho 15/0 Seed Beads

Royal Blue C-Lon Size D Thread

 

Closeup of green segment of Freeform peyote bracelet using beads from www.beadstampede.co.uk

 

The beads used in the green segment are:

11-0014F Matte Silver-Lined Chartreuse - Miyuki 11/0 Seed Beads

6-0143 Transparent Pale Lime Green - Miyuki 6/0 Seed Beads

TL-4519 Opaque Light Olive Picasso Miyuki Tila Beads

11-0246 Opaque Yellow-Lined Luster Black Diamond - Toho 11/0 Seed Beads

8-0457 Gold-Lustered Green Tea - Toho 8/0 Seed Beads

Chartreuse (Acid Green) - 4mm Czech Fire-Polished Beads

Chartreuse C-Lon Size D Thread

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Thinking Abstractly

My adventures in peyote stitch continue apace.  Below are photos of my second peyote stitch project, a bracelet using a pattern called Abstract Rhythms that I found on Etsy from Dax Bead Art Patterns.  I’m not so fond of blues, so I tweaked the colours a bit.  I also decided to use some AB finish beads to give the bracelet a bit of sparkle.  

 Abstract peyote bracelet using Beadstampede Miyuki Delica and Toho Treasure beads

Abstract peyote bracelet using Beadstampede Miyuki Delica and Toho Treasure beadsAbstract peyote bracelet using Beadstampede Miyuki Delica and Toho Treasure beads

In choosing this pattern, my goals were to reinforce the use of even-count peyote and to push me out of my comfort zone by trying something new: in this case, doing an open section within peyote stitch.  When I got to the strap ends, I found out that one side of the strap was in odd-count peyote, so it pushed me out of my comfort zone farther than I had planned.  I’m happy to say that these two goals were easily achieved, and my fears about the difficulty of odd-count peyote were entirely unfounded.

The colours used in this project are all Toho and Miyuki size 11/0 cylinder beads (Delicas and Treasures), as follows:

Miyuki DB-0200 – Opaque White

Miyuki DB-0651 – Dyed Opaque Squash

Miyuki DB-0660 – Dyed Opaque Lavender

Miyuki DB-1136 – Opaque Sea Opal

Miyuki DB-1776 – White-lined Yellow AB

Miyuki DB-1780 – White-lined Flame Red AB

Miyuki DB-1784 – White-lined Sapphire AB

Miyuki DB-1788 – White-lined Emerald AB

Toho TT-0046L – Opaque Terra Cotta

Toho TT-0048 – Opaque Navy Blue

Abstraction is my absolute favourite type of painting, so I’m pleased that I can now carry a little abstract art around with me wherever I go.  And speaking of abstracts, my current peyote stitch project is a first foray into freeform work; it’s proving to be a wild (though enjoyable) ride.  Stay tuned . . . .

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The Pick of the Picassos

Toho was the first Japanese bead manufacturer to use traditional Czech bead finishes on its seed beads, when it introduced Picasso- and Apollo-finish beads. Then Miyuki jumped on the bandwagon last year, with its Picasso finish on 6/0 and 8/0 beads. The Czech-Japanese connection continued several weeks ago when Miyuki introduced vitrail, marea, and capri finishes on Tila, Long Magatama and 3.4mm drop beads.There’s also a Jet AB in these ranges, whose finish is much more mirror-like than the traditional AB finish that Toho and Miyuki have used in the past.  Understandably, Miyuki doesn't call these "Czech-finish" beads; Miyuki's term is "special finish". And, boy, are these beads special!

This trend has culminated most recently with Miyuki applying a Picasso finish to Tilas, Long Magatamas and 3.4mm drop beads, some in colours that Miyuki has not previously used with a Picasso finish, like green, cobalt, orange, etc. Not only that, but Miyuki has also introduced a luster Picasso finish on some of the Long Magatamas, which means that you not only get the stone-like look of a Picasso bead, you get lots of pearly shimmer, too. These beads are designated with an "L" after the colour number.

Here's a sample of what we now have in stock (for our full range of these Picasso beads, please see the product pages linked above):

 Miyuki 3.4mm drop bead Transparent Green Picasso #4507

3.4mm Drop in Green
Picasso #4507

 Miyuki 3.4mm drop bead Opaque Turquoise Blue Picasso #4514

3.4mm Drop in Turquoise
Picasso #4514                

 Miyuki Long Magatama Opaque Red Picasso #4513

Long Magatama in Red
Picasso #4513

 Miyuki Long Magatama Opaque Red Luster Picasso #4513/L

Long Magatama in Red Luster
Picasso #4513/L                       

 Miyuki Tila Bead Opaque Yellow Picasso #4512

Tila Bead in Opaque Yellow
Picasso #4512                      

Miyuki Tila Bead Opaque Cobalt Picasso #4518

Tila Bead in Cobalt
Picasso #4518

 Miyuki Tila Bead Light Olive Picasso #4519

Tila Bead in Light Olive
Picasso #4519

 Miyuki Tila Bead Opaque Orange Picasso #4520

Tila Bead in Orange
Picasso #4520

 Miyuki Tila Bead Opaque Ruby Red Picasso #4521

Tila Bead in Ruby Red
Picasso #4521

Where will this Czech-Japanese connection end?  Who knows?  But I've put the word out that I'd love to see the vitrail, marea and capri finishes extended to Miyuki's round seed beads.

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You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks

After three decades of promising myself that I’d learn peyote stitch, I have just completed my first project, the even-count cylinder bead bracelet, below.

Peyote stitch cylinder bead bracelet

 

I chose a pattern from a 2006 issue of Step-by-Step Beads, but decided to use very different colours and add brick stitch trim to turn two of the triangles into diamonds.  I really like the added interest that brick stitch edging adds to flat peyote, and I'm looking forward to using this technique in future projects.  I not only found even-count peyote easy to get the hang of, but I really enjoyed the process, too. 

The bracelet is very sparkly and really shimmers in sunlight. The bracelet required fewer than 5g of each of the following beads: Miyuki DB-0783 Dyed Semi-Frosted Transparent Purple, Miyuki DB-0202 Pearl White AB, Miyuki DB-0010 Opaque Black,Toho TT-0163 Transparent Rainbow Aquamarine, Toho TT-0007 Transparent Peridot, Toho TT-0789 Tangerine-Lined Crystal, Toho TT-0191C Crystal/Hot Pink-Lined, Toho TT-0790 Opaque Fuchsia-Lined Crystal

Both the colours (I incline towards understated neutrals, as a rule) and learning a new stitch took me out of my comfort zone, but now that my comfort zone isn’t the comfort zone I had before, I have to get out of my new comfort zone. Try saying that ten times, quickly.

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When Is A Bracelet Not A Bracelet?

When it's a pair of earrings, of course.

 

Bead Stampede bead crochet earrings

 

The bead crochet earrings above started out life as a bracelet made from one of Linda Lehman’s many gorgeous bead crochet patterns, Drops Traveling in Reverse, from her Etsy shop Wearable Art Emporium.

I had planned to make the project as a bracelet, per Linda’s design, but about three-quarters of the way through, I realised that I hadn’t strung enough beads for a bracelet and was faced with having to cut the cord, string more beads and then add the new cord in.  No big deal, but I thought that as I was going to have to cut the cord anyway, was there something else I might like to do with the project?  There was.  After twiddling the bit I’d made this way and that, I decided to turn them into earrings, my first bead crochet earrings ever. 

 

Bead Stampede bead crochet earrings on display head

Materials used were our Toho 11/0 seed beads in Marbled Sandy Pink Luster (11-1201), Marbled Lavender Luster (11-1204), Marbled Dusty Amethyst Luster (11-1203), Marbled Blue Sea Foam Luster (11-1208), and Miyuki 3.4mm drop beads in Violet Gold Luster (DP-1884).  I'm not much inclined to pastel colours, so this project forced me a bit out of my comfort zone.  I also used our  Amethyst C-Lon Micro-Cord for crocheting, sterling silver 8mm bead caps and sterling silver ear wires. 

When the bead crochet segments were finished and the tails of cord woven in, I threaded a piece of flush-cut 20 gauge sterling-silver half-hard wire through one bead cap and into the bead crochet tube.  I made a small loop at the bead cap end of the wire with a round-nose pliers, and repeated at the other end after flush cutting for smoothness.   The two loops were easy to thread onto the ear wires, though the loops of the wire needed to be twisted with flat-head pliers to get the earrings to lay flush against my neck.

The cool thing about using wire as a core for bead crochet is that you can re-shape your work into something it won’t do naturally.  I could quite easily squeeze these earrings longer and narrower, or squish them out to be more circular.

My next project is attempting my first peyote stitch piece:  an even-count cuff bracelet.  Of course, at the rate things are going, I may just wind up with another pair of earrings.

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