Saturday, March 29, 2008

Little Black Crystal and Sterling Necklace and Earrings for Your Little Black Dress.

By Ginny

To avoid fashion emergencies, every woman needs a classic “little black dress” in a simple style that can be dressed up or down by the choice of accessories. This sleek “Y” necklace made with jet-black Swarovski crystal will be equally wearable.

Skill: Basic wire loops – View the Create a Loop Instructional Video in the projects section of the Beads Amore website for assistance.

Tools: Wire cutter, round nose pliers, chain nose pliers

Materials for 17” necklace and earrings:
14 inches of fine sterling silver chain
1 pair sterling lever back earrings
1 – 10mm sterling lobster claw clasp
1 – 5mm sterling closed ring
15 - 22 gauge sterling eye pins or 22 gauge German jewelry wire
15 – 4mm jet Swarovski crystal beads
3 – one inch 22 gauge sterling headpins
3 – 8mm jet Swarovski crystals
6 – 2.5 mm sterling round beads
6 – 4mm sterling daisy spacers

Place the fifteen 4 mm crystals onto the 15 eye pins. *Bend each eye pin over at the top of the bead, trim to ¼ inch, and then turn the second loop with the roundnose pliers. If desired, you may use 22 gauge German jewelry wire and turn both of the loops yourself.

On each of the three headpins, create a pendant by placing one 2.5 mm round, one 4mm daisy spacer, an 8mm jet crystal, another 4mm daisy spacer and another 2.5 mm round. Bend the headpin over at the top of the beads, trim to one-quarter inch, and turn a loop.

Cut the sterling silver chain into eleven pieces one inch long, one piece that is approximately one and a quarter inches long and has an odd number of links, and two half-inch pieces.

With the chain nose pliers, add one of the pendant drops to a one-inch piece of chain to form the Y drop. Place a 4mm crystal link at the top of this piece of chain, and attach all to the center link of the longest piece of chain.

Begin assembling by linking the 5 mm closed ring to the first 4mm crystal link. Add a one-inch link of chain, and continue alternating 4mm crystal links and one-inch chains until you have five pieces of chain and six crystals. Add the longest piece of chain with the drop attached next to create the focal point of the necklace, and continue adding crystals and pieces of chain until you have repeated the second half of the pattern. Finish the necklace by adding the lobster claw clasp to the last crystal.

Add the other two pendant drops to one end of the half-inch pieces of chain. Add the last two 4mm crystals to the top of the chains, and link these shorter drops to your earrings.


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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Knotting Silk with Ginny

Having a background in other crafts is one thing that Beads Amore employees have in common with many of our customers. Formerly, I worked professionally in several local stained glass studios and did freelance work from home. When I became a mother, the safety issues and the intense concentration needed made the work less enjoyable. When a long interval had passed without making any art glass projects, I decided to make some simple ornaments using bevels and jewels embellished with glass beads. Since I also crochet, I stopped at Beads Amore on 82nd Street the first time to look at beads, and to inquire about a class on crocheting with beads. The store was beautiful, and I really liked that the beads were displayed on tables instead of hung in packages. I could shop without the discomfort of having to bend over to look at things at ankle level. I could get just one bead if that was all I needed. One day Sue, the owner, waited on me, and I asked if they needed any help. It was my lucky day, and soon I will have my three- year anniversary.

We have great customers, and it is so much fun to show a beginner simple techniques that allow them to make a necklace, bracelet or earrings that look professional on their first attempt. Our customers don’t have to find time for a class or buy tools to get started since they can drop in at any time and work in our store with our assistance on beginning techniques. Videos demonstrating beginning techniques appear in the projects on our Beads Amore website, This allows you to refresh what you learned in the beginning bead class or in the shop at any time. As you learn what types of beads you like and what styles of jewelry you want to make, we do have lots of classes available.

After I began working at Beads Amore, a friend who is a jeweler suggested that I learn to knot silk, since there are very few people left who work with silk. Since none of my wildly talented coworkers were using much silk, this was a niche I could fill. I traveled to New York City, and became certified by the Gemological Institute of America in pearl restringing. Restringing pearls is really rather tedious, so I developed classes using silk that are more fun. One is basic silk knotting . The other is knotting pearls and crystals. Both classes include the use of bead tips and clamshells and single and double strand silk and nylon threads. Like all Beads Amore classes, you will have fun, and a completed project to take home when you leave.

Wire Working with Natalie

This is my first post on our new Beads Amore Blog, so I decided to tell you a little bit about me! I have been working here at Beads Amore for over 2 years and I love it. Before I came to work here, I started out shopping at both of our stores because I found that the selection was second to none. I then decided, “Hey, this is a place I can really see myself working and growing as a designer.” The rest is history. I love to teach classes and meet new people here. Sometimes I think we may have too much fun during our classes! Though, I also think that anytime you can work in an environment that really lets you be who you are, then everyone around you can feel that you are enjoying what you are doing and that allows them to have fun, too.

I have been making some kind of jewelry since I was in elementary school. (Even if it was just the little woven friendship bracelets.) I was the “go-to” gal if you needed one. :-) Though I so loved making those little woven bracelets, my friends get much nicer friendship bracelets now, to say the least. I have found in jewelry making and design that even though there are so many aspects that you can really get into, people tend to find what works the best for them, whether it be basic stringing or something far more advanced like metalsmithing. My dad always called me a “Jane-of-all-trades” because I always want to know a little bit about everything. And though I have tried many facets (pardon the pun) of jewelry making, my FAVORITE is wire working. We offer quite a few classes here in wire working.

If you are intrigued by working with wire, but feel a little intimidated, start out with our Wire Primer class. In the wire primer we teach you how to essentially make a beaded chain by making loops and coils with wire and beads in between. This is a very versatile technique that can be used in making bracelets, necklaces, earrings, anklets, and even rosaries. We offer this class twice a month at each of our two stores. Here are some examples of this technique. Wire Working Primer.
If you want to take wire working a step beyond the basics, we offer many other classes. Two of my favorite classes to teach are: Mounting Cabochons with tools and Mounting Cabochons Freehand . I like both of these classes because it allows you to really put yourself into the piece. Even if everyone in the class started out with the same wire and the same stone to wrap, each piece would turn out differently, which is really cool! With a little practice you can wrap just about anything from rocks or shells, to marbles, to pieces of broken pottery. You can even wrap fossils or sea glass. We get a lot of people that come in with rocks or shells that they have found on vacation. It’s a great way to make an unexpected showpiece out of a memory. We try to offer these classes fairly often and we are more than happy to schedule one to fit it into your busy schedule. Please check out our class listings here: Beading, Wire Working, Bead Stringing Classes. If you are unable to find the class at the time you need, click on the box at the top of that page to see a full listing of classes that we offer. If you give us a time that works for you, we will try to set something up.

Thanks for checking us out. I hope to see you in one of my classes soon!


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beads Amore Bead Store

We have established this blog to give our employees and customers a place to post information about beading, learn new skills and help us become the best bead store in the world. Please visit often and help us help you become better beader.

A New Adventure - Wearable Art Galleria

We have started a new project that was designed to be a win win for our designer customers and our gift buyer customers. It is called Wearable Art Galleria. It is an area of our store and a website that is dedicated to a new artist every month. The artist can display up to 60 of his creations for one month in the store and twelve month on the website. The artist will also be assisted in learning how to market his creations. Please visit our new venture and check out a new artist evey month.